Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Yeah, disappointing, ain't it? No blog post this month. It'd be more than a week late as is, and I'm just too busy doing other things. Might even make a habit out of leaving December off the list. 'Tis the season to be busy, eh? Back on schedule next month.

Merry Christmas
from the Land of Disillusionment

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Repetitive, Ain't It?

Like many internet Atheists, I do enjoy debating online. I spread what I know to be true while others attempt to convince me of what they know to be true. It's truly the fastest way I know of to learn anything, and the easiest way to point out exactly what you don't know about your own truths. However, more often than not, there is a shadowy element to each debate, an element of misinformation. And every time I try to correct this misinformation, I get the following question.

"Don't Atheists also follow a dogma?"

You'd be surprised just how often that comes up. And, of course, I need to replay to it with what dogma is and why Atheists don't have one.

Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Atheists don't have any kind of authority, or principles, and they see nothing at all as being incontrovertibly true. Another definition for Dogma replaces principles with beliefs and doctrine (set of beliefs) which is held by a religion.

As I have already stated many times in this blog, and I'm sure it's getting a little old for everyone, including myself, Atheism is simply a lack of belief in deities. There are no beliefs, no principles, no doctrines, and no dogmas associated with it. Some Atheists have beliefs, doctrines, and dogmas, and I'm positive most of them have principles, but none of those have anything to do with Atheism.

I am getting rather tired of repeating myself in this fashion, but it seems I have little choice. Every misconception about Atheism seems to stem from the misinformation that Atheism is a belief, generally, the belief that no gods exist, and specifically, the belief that God doesn't exist. Every debate I have on the topic of religion boils down to this, and it does get rather tiresome. However, I will continue to spread the truth as I know it as needed.

I'm sure the rest of you will do the same.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ritual Posting

Today is the third anniversary of this blog. It is now three years old. Like anything else that's turning three years old today, it has less to do with supporters and more to do with a kind of stubbornness to survive. At the time of this writing, it has a grand total of two followers. But, I suppose it's better than nothing, especially if they are actually reading these entries.

In celebration of this blog's birthday, I've decided to pose a question of my own, to myself, so that I may answer it. I know, what else is new or unusual? However, this time is slightly different. This question is one that I have never heard before, but I think should be asked constantly.

"Why do Atheists celebrate birthdays?"

It amazes me how many people don't question this practice. Birthday celebrations are originally a pagan ritual. It was believed that evil spirits were especially attracted to someone on the day of their birth, so friends and family would gather around that individual and would bring good thoughts and wishes, as opposed to cake and presents. At least, that's one of the more popular origins of Birthdays. No one is entirely sure where they originated.

Still, it is a spiritual ritual, all the same, and a superstition surrounds this ritual on all sides. So why do we celebrate them?

Getting past the fact that some probably don't, there is nothing wrong with celebrating a Birthday. Atheists typically celebrate their Birthdays in the fashion their parents did, passing it on like a tradition. Some eat cake, some break piƱatas, almost all of them give and receive presents. Some of them even go through the superstitious portions of the ritual, like making a wish.

The bottom line is, we celebrate out of habit. That's how all holidays go for us. We enjoy the celebrating and see no reason our lack of belief should get in the way of having fun.

So, Happy Birthday, Land of Disillusionment. May there be many more, and hopefully some more guests at the next party.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Meager Stock Options

Money has always been referred to as the root of all evil. It's a common theme in just about every religion. If you are rich you are supposed to give to the poor, give until it hurts. Your giving nature in life is supposed to reward you several times over in death. At least, that's how the religious are supposed to see it. Instead we find churches and other buildings of worship popping up everywhere, taking in donations from everyone, and the spiritual leaders actually making a profit. This, of course, leads to a very important question that I actually don't get asked very often but is just as important all the same.

"What do Atheists have against churches?"

Nothing, really. Churches themselves and other such buildings are perfectly fine. If you want a place where you can meet with your peers, worship together, and discuss your religion, that's great. However, it's not the building itself that's at fault here, it's the people running them.

I'm sure anyone away from particular religions will have noticed that certain spiritual leaders, especially within the large confines of the radically different sects of Christianity, have taken it upon themselves to hold onto the funds that their church raises, rather than giving it to those who need it. Quite the opposite, in fact, as they seem to want to take every cent their patrons have and are willing to promise them anything to get it.

There are spiritual leaders with yachts, mansions, private jets, and even Mega-Churches, which just seems like a slap in the face, to me. These people seem to think that the meek will inherit the Earth while the rich can buy Heaven. As mentioned above, I understand the need to have a place of worship, but I don't understand the need for a large monument to the wealth of the person running that place, which is exactly what a Mega-Church is. And, to make matters worse, these buildings are a part of a religion and are thus free from taxes, as I understand it. I certainly hope I'm wrong about that one.

The bottom line is, churches, in and of themselves, are perfectly fine. Even non-religious people gather together to discuss their non-religiousness. It's human nature to want to congregate and share likenesses. If I had a problem with churches, I'd have to have a problem with every place of gathering or worship, which would rule out most of the planet. A hard life to live, indeed.

The problem I have is with those who run these spiritual establishments expecting to make a profit, and actually accomplishing this task. These people who seem to have forgotten that religion is meant for spiritual wealth, not material. These people have lost their way, spiritually and morally, and the community they claim to be a part of owe it to themselves to bring them back into the fold and teach them the same lessons they claim to be teaching.

After all, it's one thing to ask for donations to keep the church around, and something entirely different to ask for donations to add another room onto the fourth floor of your "modest" home.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lessons Learned

It's no secret that I like to debate online. Many Atheists who are vocal about their Atheism tend to get into these debates, but some of us actually enjoy them. I enjoy discussing philosophy as well as science and history. Every debate is a chance to test my knowledge and logic against a new person, to possibly learn something I've never even heard of before. I research as many aspects of the debate as possible, whether I think I know the answer to an argument or not. I present my arguments with confidence and I refuse to back down from them until they have been sufficiently defeated. As such, it can be quite easy to mistake my confidence for arrogance and my knowledge as being closed minded. This leads to one fairly obvious question.

"Why do Atheists think they know everything?"

The short answer is that we don't. Granted there are some of us who are that arrogant, but I'd hardly call them the norm. These types are in every culture, and aren't to be taken seriously. Those of us who debate online tend to acknowledge that they could be wrong and are more than willing to admit when they are wrong. The problem, and the question, arise when the opposing side does not provide a convincing argument but thinks that they have. While they continue to present the same argument over and over, wondering why the Atheist is not convinced, they are incapable of seeing that there is a glaring flaw in their argument which is preventing the Atheist from seeing any kind of connection.

Of course, we are not immune to this flaw. There are many times when we enter a debate with flawed logic or false knowledge. I can recall a couple of instances where I have stood by an argument throughout an entire debate, not knowing why the other person could not see the logic behind it, only to learn long after that debate that I was the one in error. If the other debater had found the exact information I had seen and presented it to me, I may have altered my argument right then, as I have done in the past.

The key, however, is not to know everything during such a debate, but to continue to learn through every encounter and to research everything you are talking about to ensure you have up to date knowledge. If your opponent refuses to see your point, it's time to look into it further. If they are right, it's better to find out immediately. If you are right, you are lacking the exact knowledge needed to convince them. In either case, repeating yourself like a broken record will get you nowhere, regardless what position you hold.

So, to sum this up, and to get back to the question, we don't know everything and we never will know everything, but we're okay with that. We get that we can be wrong and that we'll probably be proven wrong at some point in the near future on one point or another. If we're wrong and we're called out on it, most of us will admit that a mistake has been made. Those who don't aren't worth your time.

So keep debating, keep learning, and keep an open mind. We'll try to do the same.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Independent Atheism

As the 4th of July approaches, America's Independence Day, I can hear fireworks going off around me. The occasional red glare fills the sky, the sounds of bombs bursting in the air, and flags waving all over the place, whether the family is traditionally patriotic or not. Every year around this time I am reminded, quite forcefully but pleasantly, that I am living in a free country. These freedoms are challenged on many occasions, but they still exist.

"What rights and freedoms pertain to Atheism?"

Directly? None of them do. Not one right or freedom that I'm aware of directly mentions Atheism. I could be wrong, of course, but I've never heard of any. Indirectly? There are quite a few. I won't go into all of them, but here are a few big ones.

The first one that comes to mind is freedom of religion, part of the first amendment written in 1789. The government is not allowed to make any laws which support or harm any religious organization. In other words, no special treatment in either direction based on your religious status. Without this amendment, we could very well be living in a nation run by religion, one of the very things this country was formed to get away from. This amendment also guarantees that your child will not be forced into religious ceremonies in public schools.

Also part of the first amendment is the freedom of speech. You are allowed to voice your opinion despite how many people disapprove or disagree. As long as you are not intruding on the rights of others, you can say anything you want, in theory. In practice you still need to show a great deal of constraint.

Thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal for anyone to reject employment based on religious status. You can't be denied a job because of being an Atheist. Again, in theory. In practice it's still possible, but only if the excuse is good enough. Still, it is one of our rights and freedoms. Besides, any company that would deny employment simply because you're an Atheist isn't a company you should be working for, anyway.

To make a long story short, we have the right to be Atheists. No one can punish us for it and no one can tell us otherwise. This is our right and our freedom practically since this country was taken by the colonies in 1776. As long as we live here we can continue to fight for our right to be Atheists. Not by fighting other countries, but by enforcing the laws in our own.

While freedom still reigns supreme in America, so will Atheism exist and thrive.

Happy 4th of July.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Accurate Corrections

It's quite rare when I find an actual question being asked of Atheists. Typically I have to dig through various websites or create one based on debates that I have with people. This time, however, I have a real question asked of Atheists all the time. This question was stated by a Theist a while ago and has never been answered by Atheists. In fact, I dare say it's impossible for them to answer it. So, what is this question?

"What is the proof and evidence that atheism is accurate and correct?"

I'm sure a lot of readers already know why this question has never been answered, and can never be answered. The question simply makes no sense.

In the first place "proof" does not exist. As such, evidence is all we have. Evidence cannot prove anything, only make it unreasonable to see things any other way. This is what's known as demonstrating beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the closest we can have to proof of any kind, and even this can be shown to be wrong if we find enough evidence against it.

Second, in order for something to be accurate, it has to be correct in all details. It has to correlate to reality as we know it. This means that saying both accurate and correct is just redundant.

So how does this work with Atheism? Put simply, it doesn't. There is no relation at all between the position of Atheism and this question.

Atheism cannot have evidence for or against it as it is simply a lack of belief. The position of Atheism is based entirely off the lack of convincing evidence for deities. It is impossible to have evidence for or against a position like that.

Atheism also cannot be "accurate" in any sense because it doesn't offer anything. In order for something to require accuracy, it has to have a mark it's trying to hit, a point it's trying to make. Atheism is a rejection of a point, not a point in itself. There is nothing to be accurate about.

So, can you see why this question can't be answered, why it makes no sense? Just because it's possible to ask a question that doesn't mean it has an answer.

Why do apples chop fewer logs than shoes? The question makes no sense. You'd think I was crazy if I seriously asked that question. Well, it's the same as the above question. Anyone who seriously asks that question doesn't understand what they're asking at all.

So if you see this question going around, try not to get too worked up over it. Just tell them it makes no sense and calmly explain why. If they still don't get it, they're not worth worrying about.

Let them have their nonsense and just focus on reality.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sphere of Knowledge and Belief

There is a growing number of people that I'm debating with lately who are under the mistaken impression that Atheism is the same as Anti-Theism, that Atheists believe there are no gods. They of course site various definitions that claim that Atheists are people who believe there is no God, singular, referring to the Judeo-Christian deity. Despite how often I attempt to point out that this is not the be all and end all, especially since their quoted definition doesn't even include other deities, they just don't get it.

So, here it is again, in plain english, and with pretty pictures.

"What is Theism? What is Atheism? What is Gnosticism? What is Agnosticism?"

Let's say for a moment that the two theistic positions are a colorful sphere.

Theism is all of the warm colors. Atheism is all of the cool colors.

Of course, this is just the center of the sphere, using only the x axis and y axis. There are also the light levels, on the remaining axis, which are the levels of Gnosis. The darker colors are Gnostisim and the lighter colors are Agnosticism.

This makes a complete sphere, with colors going all around it and the higher the colors the lighter it is.

As you can see, there are many colors and shades of both Theism and Atheism. These are all of the religions and philosophies concerning these two halves of the sphere. Some are more Gnostic than others, purporting more answers to mysterious questions than others. The higher you are on this sphere, the more open your mind is to new things. The lower you are, the more you stick to what you know to be true, despite what others tell you. Obviously, it is not a good idea to be on either the top or the bottom of the sphere, as you would learn nothing in either case.

On the top you accept nothing as knowledge for no one can know anything about anything, and thus always know nothing. You don't even know if YOU exist.

On the bottom, everything is exactly as is, no different, and nothing ever changes. That blade of grass you saw years ago is still right there at this very moment, even if you saw the land it was growing out of destroyed, relocated, and turned into a brick house. By the way, that never happened, either.

So the middle sections, where you can actually see the colors, is the best place to be. It's hard to be in the exact center, but it's always best to attempt to remain as close as possible. You are open minded, but not intentionally ignorant.

So, where does this leave us in this analogy?

By "us" I am referring to the Agnostic Atheists. We are scattered around the upper half of the cooler colors. We are but one quarter of the sphere. Our equal opposite is the upper half of the warmer colors, the Agnostic Theists. Both sides are open minded, but hold their own beliefs.

How does this go against what I've been debating?

The definition of Atheist that I've been handed several times IS Atheism, but only half of it. The darker half. These people seem to think that the bottom half of the cooler colors is all that exists for Atheism. They also think that this is all that exists for Theism. They then place the entirety of Agnosticism as its own thing, which encompasses both of the remaining parts, the entire upper half of the sphere.

They are blind to the real definition and real use of the terms Atheism and Theism, which cannot hold any claims to knowledge in and of themselves. They are blind to the fact that there are four main positions, each with their own shades and colors which are freely traversed as opinions change and knowledge is gained and lost. They are blind… to this.

This very simple, yet very informative analogy.

I'll say it again, because it needs to be repeated until everyone gets the message.

Atheism is simply Without Theism. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less. You either have it or you don't. You either believe or you don't. You're either warm or cool. You cannot be both and you cannot be neither. There is a very fine line that cannot be stepped on, only crossed.

The sooner everyone realizes this, the sooner we can get back to the real issues at hand, like not killing each other for having a differing opinion.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Playing the Fool

I've talked a lot about holidays on this blog. Christian holidays, Pagan holidays, Jewish holidays. However, I've never mentioned any kind of Atheistic holiday. To put it quite simply, there is no Atheistic holiday. It's almost a contradiction, really. Most Atheists don't consider anything to be "holy" so they wouldn't have any kind of holiday. On the other hand, there are many Atheists who wish they did have their own holiday, whether they want it to rub in the faces of Theists, or to have something to share with family, or simply a day of their own for getting off work. There is one day, though, that is argued by some as being the Atheistic holiday of the year. What day might that be? If you checked the date, you may already have guessed, which leads us to this month's question.

"Don't Atheists already have a holiday, April Fool's?"

Despite this being a poor attempt at a joke on behalf on the questioner, it just shows ignorance of the day itself, and the purpose behind it.

It's widely believed that April Fool's came about when the calendar was changed to make January 1st the start of the new year instead of April. The day was then marked to call people fools and play pranks on them for not knowing when the year actually began. This is why some Theists associate the day with Atheists, they consider Atheists to be fools.

This, however, is not the origin of the holiday. We can trace portions of this holiday all the way back to the Romans who celebrated Hilaria on March 25th. This was a day of great rejoicing, when winter ended and the planting season began again. They would dance and play games and could even disguise themselves as another person and imitate anyone, including their own rulers.

That being said, while April Fool's is not an Atheistic holiday, Hilaria could be adapted into something. That's not to say our favorite April holiday isn't for Atheists. We can and do celebrate this day in much the same manner. If it did hold such a disregard for other's calendars in the past, it certainly doesn't now, and no one is safe from the pranks. There is not a shred of any kind of religion left in this day of pranks and musings and it is open for all to enjoy.

Back on the topic of actual holidays, though, there are some holidays that are celebrated by Atheists. Remember those Buddhists I'm so fond of mentioning? Songkran is one of their April holidays which seems the most related to April Fool's. This Thai festival goes on for days where people clean their houses and clothes and sprinkle perfumed water on the monks, novices, and other people. On top of everybody being wet they can enjoy boat races on the river. Good times are had by all and there's a lot of wet, clean fun. No deities involved, so any Atheist can join in when and if they want.

There are, obviously, other such holidays celebrated by various Atheistic religions. However, what about specifically Atheistic holidays? Well, I doubt we'll ever see any of those, for the same reason we will probably never see any specifically Theistic holidays. It just doesn't make any sense to base a holiday on a state of belief or lack there of. It's only when you start getting specific and creating a religion or philosophy that you are able to create a holiday for your group.

So, remember, today is a day everyone can enjoy, not just Theists or Atheists, and don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The "Nature" of Atheism

Debating with people online, particularly over Atheism, can yield some... interesting results. Not just debates with Theists, either, but also with fellow Atheists. There are those who simply don't understand the term on both sides. It certainly makes it hard to maintain an identity when so many others are shrouding that identity in misinformation. In an attempt to shed some light on the true meaning of Atheism, I'm going to be answering a question pointed at fellow Atheists.

"Are rocks, animals, and babies Atheists?"

It's a three part question for a reason. All three must be addressed individually in order to properly answer this question and every other form of it.

This question, and the related misconception, actually stems from what I have been using as the definition for Atheism, a lack of belief in deities. People have said on both sides that rocks, animals, and babies all lack that belief, so they must be Atheists, too. However, this is simply not accurate. Let's start with the rock.

Rocks are not Atheists.

While it is true that they lack a belief in anything at all, let alone deities, they also cannot believe in any way. They are not living things. In order to be described as having a lack of belief, there must be a point in time where one could potentially carry that belief. If that situation is impossible, then the opposite is also impossible. So, all non-thinking things cannot be Atheists.

Animals are not Atheists.

Some of them can hold beliefs, this is true, especially the more intelligent ones. That's not the problem in this case. however, there is an additional problem that also falls back to the previously mentioned rocks. In order to be an Atheist, you must aslo be a person. The -ism and -ist suffix sets Atheism and Atheist as being personal traits. Personal, meaning for people only. If the animal in question isn't a person, they cannot be an Atheist, regardless how much belief they lack. The same goes for rocks. Rocks are not people.

Babies are Atheists.

Surprised? Don't be. Babies fit the description. Babies are people. When they become people is still up for debate, but no one denies that babies are people. At the moment you are born, you are an Atheist. There is no getting around that. If you want your child to believe in something, you have to teach it to them. They have no idea what a belief even is, let alone how to hold one. However, because of their ability to learn what a belief is and hold beliefs later on, they are able to be either Theist and Atheist. And, since they do not start with any knowledge, they do not start with any beliefs, making them Atheists.

So, as I have said, only people can be Atheists. Rocks are out. Other animals are out. The only animal able to have the personal trait of lacking belief is homo sapien, human. With this in mind, I would like to ask all Theists and Atheists to stop spreading this misconception. It's just making the debates take longer as we have to get all of the junk out of the way.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Theistic Threats? (Atheistic Myths #5)

When it comes to myths, it gets hard to tell what is or is not true. Myths, especially those spread on the internet, can be passed around so much, for so long, that they become virtually indistinguishable from facts. Such is the case with today's Atheistic Myth. And, for the first time, it does not stem from a lack of understanding the definition.

"Why do all Atheists think all Theists are murderers?"

First, the short answer is that we don't, not all of us, anyway. There are some that do, but they typically aren't in the mainstream.

However, that is not where this myth comes from, that's just part of the underlying truth. In the past, there have been many instances where people have killed and tortured in the name of their god or gods. Most Atheists these days know better than to lump all Theists together under the banner of murder just because some Theists in the past killed others.

What the majority of Atheists do say, however, is that the religion has killed people, which is very true. There are many instances where a particular religion was responsible for a lot of deaths. These facts cannot be denied. However, does this mean that Atheism could have avoided these deaths? Probably not.

As I stated earlier, there are many people today who do not kill just because it is in their religion. In fact, they have altered their religion significantly to avoid the bloodshed. This means that Theists are not the problem, just the old religions combined with people who were pretty close to unstable already. The religion would simply be the final push they needed. This does not, however, clear the religion of being at fault, if only partially, as it was the final straw, a straw that would not have ever existed otherwise. The person may have been messed up to begin with, but it was the religion they held that ultimately made them decide to kill.

Atheism and Theism cannot kill anyone. These two things, by themselves, cannot do any harm. You cannot kill in the name of Atheism or Theism. Anyone who tries is just using an excuse, as neither of these things have ever commanded death. While there have been Atheists and Theists who have killed people, their Atheism/Theism never told them to. That is simply part of the bigger truth that there are murderers in every large group.

There is, however, another bit of truth to this myth, one that is uncomfortable for others to hear. There are those today who are perpetuating this myth on both sides. While there are those Atheists I've already mentioned who hold this belief, there are also Theists who are constantly wanting the deaths of Atheists, who openly pray for Atheists to die, and who occasionally take it upon themselves to kill Atheists. These same people will also occasionally kill those of other religions, but within this group, those particular people are fewer in number.

As an example, there was a story recently about a girl who noticed a prayer hanging on the wall in her public school, something that goes against the US constitution. She informed her teachers about this, and they did nothing. She informed the school board about this and they did nothing. She was eventually forced to go to the courts to get it removed. All they needed to do was revise this prayer to not include any religious element and it would have been able to stay. They were adamant about not removing it because it was a tradition in their school, one that could have remained just by altering it slightly.

Why am I bringing this up? This girl has since received a never ending supply of hate mail and death threats. As I said, these people are perpetuating the myth. There was also a story about FOX News who had interviewed an Atheist. Simply from that, the FOX News story on Facebook got hundreds if not thousands of death threats against the Atheist, to the point of needing to remove the story from their wall.

These are not the first instances of this happening, either. Theists have been sending death threats against Atheists for a long time. Every time we try to do something that they disagree with in the slightest, there are death threats made.

As I have already said, this is not the fault of Theism, it is the fault of those making the messages. However, the religion is not entirely faultless. It is the religion that taught them to not respect other's beliefs or a lack there of. These are the people who have chosen not to follow the new versions of their religion in the new age. These are the people who are still of the mentality of their ancestors who murdered people in the name of their religion.

So where does the myth stand? The myth is just that. It is a myth that all Atheists think all Theists are murderers. However, some of us believe this, and some Theists aren't making it easy to change their minds. We each need to get these people to stop pushing this myth into the realm of fact, before we have death threats on both sides actually being fulfilled.

A myth is only a myth as long as people don't act upon it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thoughtful Resolutions

I've been focusing a lot lately on the aesthetics of what makes an Atheist; how we are defined, how we react to certain situations. However, I've not really gone into depth on how an Atheist thinks. Granted, this is a difficult subject to delve into as Atheists, like all people, are widely different and vary in just about every way from one person to the next. Though there are many similarities to how they think as well, especially when you get a like-minded group in one location.

The main problem I've faced with this topic, though, and the one that has kept me from writing about it, is that it's hard to get into someone's mind, especially when that someone is not yourself. While I may be an Atheist, there is very little point in trying to explain my own mind and my own way of thinking. It would be too personalized and completely unhelpful. However, my mind is all I have to work with. So, I came up with a new way of tackling this topic, and it is very different from how this blog has been handled thus far. Today, I am going to ask the Theists a question and then try to answer it myself in their stead. I already know it won't be very accurate, but I'm not trying to be. I'm simply demonstrating how an Atheist thinks when trying to understand Theists, which is one thing I've been trying to do more lately. Think of it as a New Year's resolution.

As with other touchy subjects, I'll have to give a warning right now that this may offend some people. I'm sorry if this does offend anyone, as that is not my intention. With this in mind, let's get to the question.

"How do Theists know their god(s) exist(s)?"

I figured something broad would give a lot of details to work with.

The simplest answer anyone can give to this question is that they don't. This then falls back on the faith aspect of Theism, where you keep belief that the particular god does exist despite your lack of physical evidence. This is great, as long as you don't then assume that there is no other possible solution. Faith, after all, is meant to teach an open mind.

Some people claim they look at the complexity of the universe and can't fathom it coming from something other than a god. The problem with this is that the most complex things we know about are not designed in the slightest, but the work of various forces. Sure, one could argue that these forces were set in place by this god, but that's going back to the first answer, faith, as there is no evidence for this.

There are those that have a feeling, deep within them, and they believe this feeling is their god. This is a lovely feeling, and one many people would benefit from. However, this also is not a way of knowing whether or not their god exists, but merely assigning something to their god arbitrarily. This, again, leads us back to faith.

The most often used argument for gods that has been used recently is known as the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Essentially, this argument states that all things that began to exist had a cause, the universe began to exist, therefore the universe had a cause. This sounds good, and is logically correct, but the facts aren't there to back it up. We're not entirely sure that everything that exists has a cause, nor are we sure when or even if the universe began. Without the evidence to back these premises, we are, once again, back to faith.

So, from an Atheist viewpoint, the only thing that lets Theists know that their gods exist is faith. As I've already said, faith is not a bad thing. As long as one keeps the open mind that faith requires, it can be a great tool and a great feeling. There are many Atheists who actually wish they could have the faith it takes to believe in gods. However, as I've stated in a previous blog, these Atheists also require evidence to change their minds, making faith unobtainable.

So, there we go, an Atheist's view on how Theists know their gods exist. I hope I have not offended anyone with this topic and that the Theists that read this now understand how Atheists think a little bit better.

Happy New Year to everyone. May this year bring even more joy and disillusionment than the last.