Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Am a God-Fearing Atheist

The idea of atheism conceptually disposing with any idea of God or a higher power is a misconception. Although the term has been hijacked by both religious people and non-religious, both sides miss the point, I think.

Asexuality, for example, means essentially, "without sexuality". Atypical means something like, "not typical". The prefix simply negates the rest. Atheism means, "without theism."

I make this distinction because the difference between theism and atheism is not the difference between God's existence and non-existence. Theism is an idea that supposes a Creator that deliberately intervenes with Human existence. Deism, on the other hand (the belief that is understood to be held by our founding fathers), is different than theism because deism is a more agnostic approach to the idea of God.

It is still essentially monotheistic, but not in the sense that it is "theistic". Deism is the idea that there is some grand design or God, but it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Human actions. A "Grand Observer", for example.

To be an atheist, to me, means that you are against the idea that God has given us a specific route to follow. It means you are against any person who believes God has directly spoken to them, or sent them literature, or given irreversible rules that must dominate our actions. So then, atheism is really the rejection of man-made religion and practice.

I am definitely an atheist in this sense. However, I am somewhat of a deist, because to believe that saying there is no God is kind of like saying there is no sense of physics. Whether it is called God or Nature or The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster. Simply because "He" can not realistically be an anthropomorphic representation of ourselves, it does not mean that there is nothing at all.

Agnosticism, however, is more of a buzz-term for being too open-minded. People tend to use agnosticism to say, "I'm smarter than you because I will believe anything, and therefore nothing completely." That kind of thought just shows how flawed our sense of Self has evolved.

So, if there is a concept of God, then what will that be, in terms of manifestation? To us, at least, and to what we have observed in our history, God has only taken one real shape: Rationality. Understanding. Reality.

As we learn, we find irrevocable truths about reality. The way that chemicals interact, the ideas of Human rights that become more universal as we become a global culture, the denunciation of all things inherently negative and self-centered, and our responsibilities to uphold what we deem to be true in the purer sense. Some day, far into the future I'm sure, there will be a single, singular truth; there will be one rationality and reality.

It will be something that is universal enough to encompass all of our modes of thought, yet dynamic enough to adapt to every situation in a contextual sense. It will be the representation of our complete understanding of our own behavior and psychology. This, in the end, will be the only form that God will ever realistically take in our world.

So, I am God-fearing, only because I fear going against what I know is morally right. Dogma is too easy to see through if you take the time to do so, and as a person builds his or her intelligence, such dichotomies are painfully obvious. There is the true and untrue; the right and wrong. While this is almost always hard to apply, it is still there. There is always one wrong and one right, even if we don't understand the application thereof, or how it directly applies or can contribute to a solution. There is only one God, and one Satan. I fear doing anything to empower that concept of the Devil, because I do not want our society as a whole to descend into moral depravity. Not in the Christian sense, though, but in the absolute sense of it all. Slavery will always be wrong, whether we recognize it or not. Whether we do so is whether we admit our obligation to God, our obligation to existence itself. We are obliged to do what is right, because we are here.

This kind of concept is what I believe the post-modern movement was supposed to uncover. However, it has only seemed to be interpreted as a way of justifying moral relativism and self-interest as dogma. But, no matter how many people may ever think that owning another person is right, or abusing for the sake of abuse is right, or raping Nature itself is right... it will always be wrong. It is Humanity's choice to follow The Light, or self-destruct in Darkness.

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