Is the atheist approach right?
Science, philosophy, atheism and religions
In previous hubs I have discussed about the different implications that religion have on our society. Religion is what humans use to be able to “contact” the spiritual world, and depending on the culture, the way they do it can be very diverse, yet there is not a consensus that establishes a form of harmony and respect between all, and generally people who follow their religion believe they are right and whoever follows another religion or even another division within the religion, is wrong.
Because of this, a sector of humanity has believed that such a disagreement “validates” the thinking that all of this is in reality nothing but bogus. They have decided to put their “faith” more into what they can see with their senses. Most of them believe that what cannot be proven then can be assumed to not exist and therefore, does not deserve any consideration. Or at least, it cannot be proven that it exists, and so they totally ignore the issue. I am talking about atheism.
Atheism is the lack of belief in any deity, and therefore, atheists do not follow any form of religion and believe it is nonsensical. For atheists, there is nothing beyond what can be seen or proven. We can say that the main reason for the increase in the number of atheists in the world is because religion has turned so “human” that some people do not really get to understand the concept of God and finally ditches it. Before I go with what is wrong about atheism, let me explain why this point of view is still valid in the sense that it must be respected.
Atheism as a consequence of religious fanaticism
I have to admit that personally I have thought about the idea of the inexistence of God. The thought results very tempting when we realize how the world really is. Maybe some of you think like me in the sense that many churches and religious places have “lost their touch” in the sense that they don’t practice what they teach. Experiences in life have showed that while it’s not in all cases, many people who go to church do it out of a mere custom, not because it is in their hearts to go and worship. As soon as they hit church, they get very joyful and sing and pray, but once they go out, they transform. They continue to be the same bitter people they are in the workplace, the same harsh parents who punish their children for the slightest misbehavior, and the same ones that endorse bigotry and prejudice against different sectors such as homosexuals. In America, where Protestantism is the leading sector in religion, this has caused that the newest generations become more rebellious and more questioning on the issue of religion, and it is totally and absolutely understandable. They think they don’t need to continue a tradition of hypocrisy and bigotry caused by taking the Bible out of context. Different subdivisions within religions such as Christianity have their origins in a convenient aspect- for example, the Anglican Church appeared because one of Britain’s kings wanted to divorce and the Catholic Church did not allow for divorce then. Some religions believe that polygamy is right, and some make people simply not take care of their hygiene. With such scenarios, it’s not really a surprise that some people ditch religion and if they are not able or have not being taught to separate God from religion, they also ditch God and become full atheists.
The atheist approach
Because of religion inconsistencies, people who are atheists put their trust in what they can do, and live by their own standards. When I was a Christian, I used to believe that atheists were people that simply wanted to feel free to live a libertine life, with no moral rules and no limits to what they can do. This is not necessarily right. Some atheists can be very irritating on their task to take down religion and preach against it, but the truth is that if they are so is because some religious movements can be just as irritating and kind of dangerous because of the support they have from both the majority of the people and the government. At this point of life I ask myself, what has caused most people to not realize the great mistakes of the different religions, the inconsistency and the lack of logics they insert to people with thoughts such as that people who are not Christians will burn in hell for eternity. Don’t you see that such a mindset is nothing but a form of control? According to this mindset, God is love yet He punishes people simply because they don’t follow Christ. They make most people who go to church believe that whoever does not know Christ is as evil as a rapist, a pedophile or a murderer. There seems to be no space to the thought that a person may not know Christ because they are just as faithful to their religion as Christians are with theirs, or simply because they may live in a deep valley where no Christian nor any Bible has entered and there is no way of knowing about Christianity. This same thing I am explaining, atheists also know and they simply conclude that it makes no sense, just as I do. The difference is that while I believe that God allows for variety in the universe such that all religions in their forms are valid, atheists concluded none of them are logical or right and ditch them.
It can be understood why atheists ditch religions, as they find out they have caused loads of trouble and there is no horizon in the sight on a solution. Here in America (United States), religion continues to have a solid presence in the government, especially in the Republican Party. There is still a majority of people who talk ill about homosexuals and give value to the country on the basis of its military and don’t stand most of the Muslim community, especially those living in the Middle East. Not that Muslims don’t do the same thing- this “grudge” between Christian Americans and Middle Eastern Muslims is an example of the vivid intolerance between religions and continue to wreak havoc and what’s worse; we are making our children inherit this grudge. Atheists believe this is all ridiculous and they are right, and this eternal grudge has made some to think that they are fighting for nothing but control and power, and they use religion as a form of excuse.
The atheist approach is to ditch religion, deities and the spiritual world. I can’t agree with this, because then lots of questions are left hanging and they cannot be answered. Questions such as where the universe comes from, what is the reason behind emotions and feelings, why do we love, why do we hate, why do strange things happen, what can be said about the millions of spiritual experiences from some and why do we exist and how come humans are the only life form on Earth capable of reasoning (even when some can’t and don’t reason) are left hanging and scientific discoveries will never be able to answer these questions since they are philosophical.
Philosophy, atheism and science
Science uses strict empirical rules and procedures to explain the physical aspects in the Universe, and there is no room for speculations, personal opinions or biased conclusions, even when we know that it is impossible to separate humans from biasing. Using this definition, science cannot be used to explain philosophical questions, and to ditch them does not solve the puzzle of the origin of the Universe. Recently, CERN has apparently discovered the so called Higgs’ boson and according to them, this is a great discovery to better understand the origin of the Universe. Not to say that it is not important, but it is still impossible to understand the entire scenario of the origin of the Universe because we would have to know what originated the Higgs’ boson, and what originated that sub-particle, and so on. It will be an endless search for the original particle. It’s not illogical that there are millions or maybe an endless amount of sub-particles before the God’s particle, but what is not logical is to say the Universe is startless because then, why are some things new? If something is startless, then maybe everything should be startless, no? There is no way to prove the Cosmos is startless (Cosmos meaning the universe and a possibility of multiverses and dimensions, i.e. ALL). Why did the Big Bang occur? Why did it occur in a specific moment, and not before or later? Questions arise and some cannot be answered. Therefore, maybe the answer can be found outside of the matter of science.
My problem with atheism is precisely here. You cannot ditch an idea just because some human groups have messed up with the matter of spirituality. I agree with atheists that most of today’s religions are basically there to control people, but I cannot agree that God is a human invention for that cause. God is independent of religion- even if religion is erased from the world that does not erase God and spirituality, we would just have to find a new way to have access to the spiritual world.
Science is essential to understand the physical world and humans have improved a lot in the sense of health, physical advance and even psychological issues thanks to science. But science cannot be used to explain spirituality; it is like trying to use oil to combine with water. Spirituality depends entirely on the use of both faith and logic. Reasoning can help to understand spirituality better, but you can’t use a huge hadron collider or a beaker, or a microscope to understand spirituality. The discovery of the God’s particle does not cancel spirituality, especially if you understand that the CERN’s purpose is nowhere near trying to end the belief in God.
Atheism is a point of view that has to be respected and most people who become so are not because they are bad or selfish, since religious fanaticism is the biggest factory of atheists in the world. But because God and religion are different things and so, the atheist approach is not right. Religion can be erased and replaced with something different and perhaps better to understand God. Just because science cannot prove God, does not mean God does not exist. Science and human physical approaches cannot prove nor test spirituality. Putting the faith in only what can be seen or detected is reducing the complexity of the Cosmos to a minimal, tiny aspect. Millions of questions hang without answers and it would be much more complicated to understand the Cosmos with the atheist approach than what we have now with the religion and the disagreements between them.