Sunday, July 01, 2007

When I Became an Atheist

Who needs a god?

Like Einstein, I became an atheist at 12, and although much of my criticism was directed at the Catholic Church, any major religion would have worked. My biggest criticisms focused on the hypocrisy and irrationality of belief systems, e.g., moral absolutism, "my god is the only god," the suppression of science, the practice of celibacy, the promotion of poverty, etc. My belief system, as some people assume it, trusts science - I am not faith-oriented and am anti-dogmatic - and my 'philosophy' is commonly termed secular humanism. As a belief system, Wikipedia defines it as follows:

Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. Like other types of humanism, secular humanism is a life stance or a praxis focusing on the way human beings can lead good and happy lives (eupraxsophy). 

As for myself, my concern is for people, the people of the world, and the world in general; I care that people can live humane, pleasurable, and self-directed lives, free from authoritarian control. I possess a strong social conscience and am considered by others to be an ethical and moral person, albeit not moralistic. I think rationally about cause and effect.

Looking at the world, and knowing religion's relationship to ignorance and misery, pity the believer.

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