May 11, 2009

Guest Post: Why I am an Atheist and Who Cares

Jesus on the wall of the senior HomeImage by freestone via Flickr

One of the things I would like to do more of here at Atheist Revolution is provide my fellow atheists who do not already have their own blogs with a forum to share their thoughts. By contributing a guest post, you get to reach an established reader base, and I get a nice little break from writing blog posts.

The guest post below was submitted by BrandonAtheist. He is a married 67 year-old U.S. Navy veteran with two grown daughters and three grandchildren. BrandonAtheist has worked as a public relations specialist, professional ad copywriter, and newspaper reporter and photographer. I am pleased to bring you his guest post.

Why am I an atheist and who cares?

What’s in a name? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Shakespeare.

Atheist. Agnostic. Secular Humanist. Non-believer. All names that characterize and define someone who does not for whatever reason accept the traditional belief system in god, gods, goddesses, supernatural personages, good spirits, bad spirits, devils, angels, afterlife, before life, or mystical interventionist in human or other affairs.

What mankind has not been able to understand and explain has been attributed to some supernatural force. Greeks, Romans, fellow citizens, American Indians, East Indians, South Americans, Aleuts, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrews, people of the middle east, and far east, all with different belief systems. Far more erudite and learned men and women than I have pondered this age old question of religious belief systems, gods and goddesses. I have arrived at my on conclusions independently but with their input.

There is sufficient historical data in texts on comparative religions and the history and evolution of religion to ascertain that men with motive and resource have written, rewritten, manipulated and distorted belief systems for power and personal gain.

Some rulers were (are) nuts. They gave themselves the status of god or goddess as a justification for taxing and rule. Of course, the primarily ignorant masses, ill educated, obeyed without question.

There is historical evidence that John the Baptist existed. The Romans kept meticulous records. But there is no Jesus recorded for historical evidence. Was he a composite of other contemporary Jews?

Roman and Hebrew historical records indicate that indeed there was a reformation of Judaism, and the Romans had their hands full. Pilot remembers John but not Jesus. Strange. The only records are from learned scribes and Greeks like Luke or Romans like Paul. Paul was the single most influential figure to promote and spread Christianity. There are Roman records of his existence. He was citizen of Rome. It’s his ‘rasslin’ matches I question.

Paul and his troupe were instrumental in creating and manipulating the legend and figure of the Old Testament promise of a messiah. The Jesus figure was fabricated by the Pauline intellectual line of early church rulers and no doubt in collusion with the Roman leadership. Why? Create an opiate for the masses was the goal. It was successful then and remains so today.

Why did they back then, and believers of today, fight tooth and nail for the various religions to prosper? Is it for salvation, redemption and an after life? Naw. Follow the bucks and power, it has been and is for power, money, self aggrandizement, and rabid narcissism in what is now the most expanded and wealthy good ol’ boys club in the world: The classical and historical Christian churches. I opine this mentality and like motivation have spread like a cancer into the latter day Christian protestant churches of the world.

My question now is, “Where’s the beef?” There is no scientifically, independently documented proof of any supernatural beings or acts. We are asked to take it on faith. We’ve been told from proselytizers of “faith,” like Jim Jones, Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart and all the others, too many to name to take their word for god’s existence. Even when they are exposed for the frauds they are, they cry and plead to forgive them and remember to have faith—“because I told you to.” All practicing men of the cloth pound the message home at every meeting and opportunity. If asked for proof of god's existence and the story of Jesus, they by rote, regurgitate the word and tell us, “You must accept it on faith!”

Conversely, when you inquire as to why in this year 2009, that there is projected by the World Monetary Fund and World Health Organization that 300,000 plus children under age five are going to die of starvation alone, as broadcast on NPR, recently. But yet abortion or birth control is “against god’s will.” The world’s natural resources are being depleted. Worldwide the quality of life is deteriorating. Women’s rights in many Islamic countries are backsliding. Burkas are back big time. Clitoris removal is in vogue. Girls are thrown out of school, again. India and Pakistan can’t agree on anything and have more religious sects than there are politicians and lobbies in Washington.

What kind of world-god, or god of the 0T, Talmud (angry), or the New Testament (loving and forgiving), would sit on his or her throne and basically say, “Let them eat cake.”

Everyday, science is discovering more about the creation of the universe and life forms. Synthetic DNA has successfully been created and repeated in creation at a number of Universities and research centers.Genetic mapping and manipulation of genomes has been accomplished. Embryonic stem cell research is showing great promise to heal and help, from AP reports, Scientific American, etc. The brouhaha over the embryos’ use is from superstition. Besides, the fertilized embryos are about to be discarded anyway. This is hard science, not voodoo supernaturalism.

Hard scientific fact has stripped the hypocritical mantel of faith-based religion away and exposed it for what it is: Intelligently designed, superstitious manipulation of the masses for political and monetary gain (again, follow the bucks).

The sad thing is that most of the dupers are as innocent and blinded by social and psychological mind-myths as their flocks. They all have drunk the Kool Aide.

I found freedom in atheism once I came to the intellectual conclusion that religion, all of it, is a lie perpetuated by well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning--mostly men--with an agenda for job security, self-promotion, power, money and a few of the seven deadly sins.

I still believe the big ten are good rules for everyone to obey. It keeps us civilized. I also believe when we live in fear of our gods, when we are scolded and shamed for natural thoughts and instincts by pompous preachers, and when we hold ourselves in self-righteous indignation about how others look, believe, and think, that it simply says volumes about what we think of ourselves and our own guilt heaped upon our heads by religion and its toadies.

One might say a good dose of atheism is a catharsis for the constipated ideas of faith-based religion. Take a dose, you’ll like it.

I was a biology major with a minor in physical anthropology. I have also taught at the college level. I have been a professional copywriter and in the advertising agency and public relations business. I have been married to the same lady for 45 years, have two children and three grandchildren. I am a veteran of Viet Nam. I sleep good at night.