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Atheism 101
Photo by Herman Krieger

Someone has to say it, so I'll do it - There is no "god". Period. It a childishly obvious fairy tale, and, like Santa Claus and Superman, should never be believed by an adult with a working brain.

Believers of the ancient god-fables will of course rail at that pronouncement. Well, sorry, but they've had 2000 years to make their case and all they've managed to do is make a lot of people very miserable. They have resorted to everything from the Manchurian Candidate-style brainwashing of defenseless children (see Jesus Camp), to torture and murder, to genocide and religious war and still can't prove that their alleged deity exists. Threats and intimidation have always been much more persuasive for them than the merits of the concept. Despite the efforts of their best minds, they have manage to produce only the lamest of arguments. In the end they are left with the same tools as any charlatans - pretty lies, a story that is just too good to be true. Can't collect until after you're dead and no one ever asks for their money back.

For the beginners, atheism is quite simple - where theism means a "belief in god(s)", a-theism means "without a belief in god(s)". Essentially it pertains to those who do not subscribe to the ancient god-fables. It is the default state of all Humans from birth. In its basic form it is not an assertion that god does not exist, it is simply the philosophical position that one does not happen to share that particular belief. It is merely an "Excuse me?" response to an unbelievable tale. Atheism in its "harder" form is the clear recognition the all god claims are merely ancient mythology and are obviously false.

I take a slightly different position which may cause philosophical purists some heartburn. I assert with confidence that "god" does not exist. Purists would take issue with my apparent assertion of a negative proof. That is not the case, however. I agree that a negative cannot be proven. The burden of proof is obviously and necessarily on the affirmative position - the one that claims that god does exist - rather than on those who failed to fall for it.. As yet, those making that rather extraordinary claim have yet to provide one single shred of objective, irrefutable evidence in support of their claim.
I arrive at my position from another direction. If I come to you and tell you that invisible beings are present in the room with us, but that I just made them up, you will still be unable to prove that they don't exist. And yet it will be obvious and factual that they do not exist. It will be quite clear that it is an invention and there is certainly no rational reason to "believe" it (and probably very good reasons not to).

To me, it's as if the god fables are presented anew. It is known that the current version of "god" was invented and modified by a committee of vested interests within recorded history. The evolution of "god", from early polydeities to the currently accepted and locally popular version of a single omnipotent deity, is well documented. It is a confabulation of previous myths which were then discarded. "God" is a distilled and finely tuned anthropomorphic manifestation of the fables and guesswork of men who thought the earth was flat. In reading history, we can watch the invention evolve. Since it is an obvious, and flawed invention of ancient ignorance and superstitious, I feel OK about dismissing it out of hand in exactly the same way that the purist will dismiss Santa Claus and Superman without much mention of negative proof.

To me it is of some significance that the alleged xian deity does not yield to examination. The harder we look, the more invisible he gets. All the clues are exactly the same as for something that is non-existent - it cannot be seen or detected in any way and never leaves any objective evidence of any sort. Yeah, I know - absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but at some point we can stop looking for unicorns.

The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.      Havelock Ellis

Among the primitives, it appears that rumors and fantastic stories were passed on as fact with little critical skepticism applied. Few were savvy enough to question such things and those who were, were strongly dissuaded from doing so. There was little that resembled scientific methodology and there were few tools available for critical examination of such stories. This does not add to the credibility of the ancient myths. It shows them for what they are - urban legends so poorly reported and so unverifiable that they could never be used in a news report today. In fact people who claim to speak to gods are now routinely confined and heavily medicated. As students of History and Science, we know that the ancient myths can be disregarded as far as they represent an understanding of the workings of the universe. They correspond to reality not at all.

For my part, I don't see how grownups can believe any of that shit.

 ©The Assertive Atheist
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