Jul 14, 2011

How an atheist can empathize with the slightly-more-primitive sorts in society, and why they might want to

Being an atheist myself, I once was mad at religion-in-general. It angered me to be in a world where “faith” was considered a virtue, and actual, real-world laws existed (not all, just some), which affect my life, based solely on religious preferences. I was ticked off over the violence, and the fraud committed in the alleged name of (insert relic here). But, no more.

Gone now, are those days of being mad about the religion of others, forcibly being a part of my own reality, since now, I own my own reality (we can haz cookies too) and am the absolute master of all I accept. No more will I, as an atheist, be cruel or crude to the hopelessly mystical/mystified. Such anger is all together too much of a waste of much-needed resources like time and sanity/focus/bearing.

We non-believers might want to consider the predicament most people are in, as well as that of humanity in general, over these last few million years, or so. First off, even if humanity, as a species, has been saying there are no imaginary sky daddies up there for 3,000 years, the realization itself, is still relatively new to most of the world. We've had a million times as many years as a primitive creature, than we've had as a modern, self-aware being, and there will be growing pains.

Over time, even the most religious of people, will come to one day understand that, as they rant they will be ignored. They'll find themselves speaking to only the trees, and their personal shill followers, as the rest of the world merely continues on. There's just no more need to hate the various religions of this planet. They cannot help it.

Imagine being (as your ancestors were) a primitive human, coming into those first few glimmers of self-awareness, tens-of-thousands of years ago. Perhaps during one evening of those all-too-random moments, you notice a particularly pesky, flying insect – and you swat at it. It's ability to maneuver as a response to its tactile senses of the currents of air happen too fast for you primate brain to process, and it appears the bug exists and doesn't exist, all at the same time. A formation of thoughts towards all-things-”spiritual” was actually the best guesses ancient man had at the time towards those things of nature which we could not understand.

Thus this same guessing process happened towards other mysteries as well. Couldn't explain the Sun? God ®. Why do the leaves fall, when it's cold? God®. Where did all of this come from? Obviously, God®. The problem isn't really so much with people having made their best guesses, until they learned better. What causes a problem for those of us who've crawled out of the box is when the guessing mechanism is mis-used by those with a taste for control of others, at various times through history.

From this day forward, I've no desire to attack the people themselves, who've been drawn in by the false security and the optional illusions of God®. But when a false statement is made to, or about me, I'll still respond. I just won't be going at it with a heavy hand. I'm sure those folks at ThinkAtheist are relieved to hear that Dad's not such an angry ass anymore. They win.

It's worth being kinder and gentler to the religious sorts in society. Just because they're following the traditions and customs they couldn't help but be raised up in, doesn't preclude the fact of most of them are the kindest, most well-intentioned people humanity has. Heck, even I can see some of the good things churhes have acheived, regardless of their reasons- or other errors made. Jimi Hendrix had so much right. We're all just misunderstood.
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