My past two posts have been sort of “off the wall,” and not seeming to have any real grounding in my normal and usual topics. But how many times can one write about the travesties of religion, the wonders of science and nature, the amazing power of humans and our scientific endeavours and our amazing frontiers? Well actually I could write an enormous amount, but that’s not the point. Why have I been writing these whimsical stories of my life? well for a very important reason. Ideological people assuming I have no ‘faith’ or love for humans, and that I don’t appreciate the world. Clearly these people have never read my posts, and have never actually looked at what an atheist, scientist, humanist and realist actually sees.
If anything, it is them who do not appreciate the world as it is, for they believe the supernatural will save them, it will be their salvation from destruction and that their very being has been brought into existence and not beautifully evolved over time, under amazing connections between chemicals and biological principles. Well while they get along praying, preaching and accusing me of not caring, I’ll get on and do the real work. Now I don’t wish to moan at the nice people who believe in religion and the superstitious supernatural. There are some nice supernatural believers out there, I am friends with one. But there are many who take their religion so heavily, dogmatically and so entrenched in their life that it comes to the point of farce and pointlessness. Now I don’t agree with any variation of the supernatural beliefs held. It is better to disbelieve with no facts, than believe without them. Thankfully I believe with a library filled amount of facts. So not belief then. Its fact. But that aside, we know my standpoint regarding religion and the supernatural, I never think it is healthy. It can and does lead to fear, paranoia, isolation, cliques, prejudice and bigotry.
However, we must not linger on those who are stuck in iron age myths and want to stay in a cloudy fantasy, we must look onwards with that same devotion, not disparaged by hideously flawed conjectures and idiotic ideas about the most basic of phenomena. No, we must look to help others, and keep our minds clear, and not deluded with fairy-tales of the supernatural. and to demonstrate this, and as a tiny hit back at one person who said being an atheist meant we didn’t care, I have a true story from a very good friend of mine.
I had a very religious friend. They went to church on Sundays, prayed to god during the week, and believed in the holy trinity. They gave the same standardised arguments, like they are written in some christian indoctrination guide-book, and would refute some of the great works of science and logic. They struggled at getting to grasp with evolution, but believed that it happened, but that God was the sculptor behind it, and he sculpted man from it. They honestly thought that God made the Sun and Earth as they were, and didn’t really believe in the big bang. As you can see some very conflicting thoughts, which he sometimes struggled with. At least these die-hard christians don’t get confused over fact and fantasy, they just believe in the complete fantasy, ignoring irrefutable scientific reasoning. But this was my friend, slightly confused, but definitely believed in God and Jesus. And recently, after years of listening to me marvel at the universe and them not caring, he came to me and said, I know what you mean. He said he finally got it. I joked and said, “so you’ve seen the light.” And what had changed was, he seemed so happy. And I knew exactly how he felt.
He sat with me and told me of all the amazing things he had seen in the world. He asked me how had I been so patient and compassionate to such a fool. I told him he was never a fool, just caught in tradition & fear. He relayed the things he now knew, and saw that the universe is far grander than what religion had told him. He recounted at how amazing the universe was, and how fascinating quantum mechanics is, and that evolution is the best scientific fact he had ever read. For several hours we shared information about spontaneous fluctuations resulting in particles popping into existence randomly, and how these were the seeds of the universe. We recounted at biological trees, and how that it is so amazing to know that everything in his family tree survived long enough to breed, to lead to him. A fact he had remembered from my discussions with him. And he was so elated and liberated.
He said he had no fear to be himself. He said he didn’t feel scared of death, and the punishment he thought he may have received in hell. He was happy to look up at the majesty of the cosmos and know how insignificantly significant he was. But he wasnt changed in the way this religious propaganda makes out. He wasn’t going out committing crimes, committing emotional upset or creating any unnecessary problem. He was a normal person, living a normal life. And I knew how he felt as well. Theres not a day goes by that I don’t realise how amazing this planet alone is, let alone this galaxy of ours we call home, in a far distant corner of the universe. I love that fact. For I know, that I only get one life, and that I am going to appreciate it and use it for the better of my species, and for life on earth. I am going to live my life for me to the full, and not be burdened of trying to do right for a god. Nor do I think I can put it off for the day I go to heaven, for a second chance. I know this is it, and that I have to do it now, or I’ll never do it. And it was with that, that we both agreed.
So for a religious, spiritual or supernatural person to say that humanists and Atheists do not care for others is utter idiocy. It is Atheists and Humanists who care the most about people, who are trying to end disease, stop famine and bring the downtrodden up off their knees and to make them stand proud. Atheists and humanists are not the ones who think a divine intervention will save them, or that they will be rewarded in the afterlife. They are the ones who fight for an end to suffering in the name of equal minds and shared emotion, and for the good of man. Not for a reward in eternity. They fight for not only themselves and the selfishness of humanity, but also for the protection of Earth. This is our only home right now, and so they know that we must protect it as best as possible. We as Atheists are not monsters or callous demons, we are the ones who are fighting for the human race, and not praying for it.
Many Atheists also are concerned about the environment and nature as a whole. They do not believe they are masters over animals, but are evolutionary equal. They realise that nature is not ours to control, but that we are a product of nature. It is us who do not believe in things being made for us, and that it serves a purpose for mankind. We appreciate the wonder of nature, and see the true elegant glory that is in evolution and natural selection to create the most beautiful creatures on this planet. And that includes dangerous parasites as well to me. They may be unpleasant and somewhat vile, but they are the ingenuity of nature, and that their way of life is wonderfully and most beautifully fitted. And that is the power of evolution. I do not look at it and go, God made it. I see the torment and struggle life has gone through to get here. And I see the struggle it is in now. But in it is the symphony of evolution, and the entire orchestra of life, conducted by natural selection has created a marvel of biological, chemical and physical evolution.
And then the universe and our connection it. I am amazed that all life has come from the dust and debris of long dead stars. And I am astounded that atoms can do amazing things, like move and think. It is the stars which to lead to life on earth, for they in their death gave the atoms for life of carbon and oxygen. We are star-dust, contemplating the stars. It is wonderfully weird and astonishingly poetic. To think that there is so much more to be discovered as well, is enough to keep us fighting to see it. And who said Atheists don’t love nature?
I remember the first day I truly looked at the world and saw it for what it was. And all I could say was wow. The wonder that is here of over 5 million species, of which accounts for only 1% of all life that has ever existed on this planet. The mechanics of the solar system. The wonder of matter. And the amazing cosmos that is out there. There are adventures to be had by generations to come, and I hope religion does not stop our greatest endeavours to look outwards into the cosmos, and try to see home. And I think as Atheists, Humanists, realists, naturalists or whatever, we should never stop our dreams or aspirations, and hope that we can encourage future generations to look to the stars and say wow.