Sunday, August 14, 2016

11 - What’s Wrong With Atheism?

To whom or what does the atheist, if he is thankful for his life as a whole, feel grateful? This is not easy to answer, if one believes that our lives are a product of chance, and molecules in motion.  - Dr. Oliver Sacks
In this post:

What are the different types of atheism?

How does one become an atheist?

Is atheism more logically defensible
than theism?


  1. Kol HaKavod Art. Very thought-provoking as always!

  2. As I read this, another possibility occurs to me - admittedly not well thought through, and certainly not falsifiable or provable. What if the actual principle is "Life wants to live": "Life" is a separate entity that has an imperative to exist, and adapts itself to a given environment. So, Life on Earth, needing to exist, adapted itself to the conditions on Earth as it developed: the level of gravity, mixture of gases, and unique qualities that exist here. If "Life" has an imperative to live, it would adapt to the environment given to it within each universe - or planet, for that matter. If that's the case, "Life" could plant itself and evolve elsewhere by adapting to very different circumstances - more or less gravity, different atmospheric gases, temperature, etc. If that's the case, how would we even recognize life elsewhere, or they, us? For that matter, is it possible that other manifestations of Life also exist here on Earth? Could rock, for example, be living in a way that we don't recognize? Of course, this possibility still leads back to the question of the origin or provenance of Life....


  3. As a self described "atheistic agnostic", the issue of a god or a God or a greater power larger than ourselves is a non issue. The question of a greater power, which I believe is unanswerable within our limited ability to understand our universe, is to my mind nothing more than a philosophical head game whereby the goal is to arrive at a similar conclusion to the question of " how many angels can fit on the head of a pin".

    As an agnostic, I cherish and revel in the ability to doubt everything.
    Further, I hold a similar view to that expressed by Jean Paul Sartre in his existential work, "Being and Nothingness". Sartre stated that even if one could prove to him that a god exists it would mean nothing in how he would live his life. For Sartre and existentialists, god is a non issue. Life is meaningless and the important and crucial matter in life is to find and bring meaning and purpose to one's life.

    Therefore, the real question of our lives does not involve the question of the existence of a greater power. The question and discussion we should be having is how to create meaning and purpose in our lives which is reflected in our resulting behaviour. Good religion or good spirituality should focus on how our lives should be lived. For many religions, the focus of the teaching has emphasized behaviour through the "golden rule".

    Within Judaism, there is a strong current of thought that doubting the belief in a higher power is not an impediment in being part of the Jewish tradition and the Jewish people. The importance of behaviour over belief in a higher power has been an acceptable part of the Jewish tradition.

    Nathan Ross


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