Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Atheism

Atheism seems to be one of those complex words that defy definition. That seems strange to me too because of my simplistic view of things. I mean shouldn't atheism simply mean the belief that there is no deity? But then you have to define deity. Even if you speak of God, you have to define what God means to the people who use the word. God should be another simple word, but it isn't. In any debate about the existence of God, shouldn't the topic of the definition of God be a basis for the debate?
The thing is, atheism is all about proving the nonexistence of something. Aren't negatives supposed to be difficult or impossible to prove? So why bother? It just makes atheists look like fools, doesn't it?
I mean, isn't it blatantly obvious that there is intelligence in the universe that this intelligence exists independent of the human mind?
Isn't it?
And isn't it blatantly obvious that even in evolution, intelligence guides any change?
Isn't it?
The thing is, it's dumb to make that the focus of the debate. It's just plain numb to argue that there is no intelligence outside of the human (or animal) brain.
Atheists and non-atheists alike know that the debate isn't about intelligence. The debate is about whether there is a living, loving, caring, deity who has defined and dictated to humanity the terms and rules of morality. That is the real claim of religion. Religion claims that morality comes from God. We all know that intelligence plays a guiding role in the development of life. What we differ on is the source of morality, the origin of the rules we all have to live by.
Theists see a living God, a deity, as the source of morality. To theists, morality supercedes human consensus. God tells us how to treat each other.
To humanists, morality is a human consensus. Man decides what is good and what is evil.
It is here, in the debate over the source of morality, where religion fails. Religion insists that morality originates from a good and loving deity. Yet all around us, and throughout the history of the universe and projecting into the future of the universe, we see tragedy and destruction under the same power of intelligence that we see creation. In our own lives and history we see tragedy and disease all around us. Theists concoct elaborate defenses for their deities, but the evidence is that there is no loving deity in control. God doesn't really care about tragedy. He is just as likely to deliver us into it as He is to deliver us from it.
Atheists point to this uncaring God as proof that there is no God. Their real claim is that there is no loving, caring deity in control.
So by that standard, an atheist isn't a person who denies the role of intelligence in creation. An atheist is a person who believes that morality comes from man.
Now doesn't that make more sense? Is it really that difficult to defend the notion that man concocts morality?

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