I don’t believe in God.
I believe in love.
I believe in energy.
I believe we are all one.
In the popular vernacular, this would see me as an atheist. I simply don’t like the word or it’s connotation. By definition a-theism means against theism, or against God. I’m not against God. In fact, some definitions of God actually resound with me. I just don’t believe in the Abrahamic God of The Old Testament, just as I don’t believe in Nordic Gods or Celtic Gods or the Ancient Greek Gods.
If you say “God is love” then we probably agree and are just using differing language.
If you think God is an omnipotent, omnipresent being then we certainly don’t agree.
God makes things more complex
I think the belief in God (or Gods) developed from the fact that humans started asking questions that they couldn’t answer. These questions created deep philosophical chasms that could only be filled with an all powerful “being”.
The root problem was that people just couldn’t accept that they didn’t know the answer. Surely, it is a simpler approach to just move on and admit that there are some things that we can’t know.
Why do we need to know why we are here?
Why does it even matter?
How will solving the riddle of the meaning of life make any significant difference to our being?
Instead of just admitting our limitations, we created multiple fantastic beings to explain away the ignorance of our existence. I fail to see how this made anything less complex.
And then it got even more complicated
Humans have an overwhelming desire to structure things. The belief in Gods was not immune to this pressing need. Soon, we developed dogma and rules and penalties and mythologies around the Gods we created. Then we started arguing about whose God was the true God. Then we started killing each other.
Religion complicated an already complex construction based on ignorance.
When organisation causes more harm than good
It’s no secret that I am no fan of organised religion. In fact, I have seen more harm come of it than good. I have also seen some amazing good come of religion (but rarely from the bigger players). I have no doubt that some people have been saved by religion, just as I have no doubt that many more have been lost due to the same systems.
Recently, Alain de Botton – a favourite author of mine and a highly respected modern day philosopher – has proposed a temple of atheism. I just don’t see that there’s any point. Atheists are a disparate bunch, they may agree that there’s no God or they may align themselves more closely with atheism than religion but that doesn’t mean they are in need of a unified front or a temple.
I can’t see how organising atheism and building temples will be any different to what we have in organised religion. The only difference will be that the religion of atheism has no God.
My simple approach
In my beliefs – as with everything else – I search for simplicity. I cannot reconcile the existence of a God. There is no need for such a being in my life. In fact, such a belief would complicate my life exponentially.
The discussion about the existence of God and the need for religion will continue until we destroy ourselves, of that I am certain. This pains me greatly.
I do not, for a second, contend that I am absolutely correct in my beliefs. I could be wrong about God. I freely admit that I don’t know. It is the admission of my ignorance that sets me free. I’ve let go.
…we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. -Bill Hicks
Just let go too. I dare you.