“Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” ~Unknown
A few days ago I had a interesting debate with a couple of Atheists about the existence of God and religion. They shared limited points of view in which some were valid arguments but only half truths. From what I could tell, they didn’t believe in the Bible either, because to them the things in the Bible are inconsistent and therefore false. They have a point; however, they do also have a Bible of their own called a ‘dictionary,’ which they believe that everything stated within a dictionary is true. That is no different than the religious believers that reference the Bible to reenforce their claim. They have also failed to understand the study of etymology, which is the study of the changes in historical linguistics and the derivation or origin of a word especially as manifested in individual words. For example the word ‘apocalypse’ is defined in the dictionary as, ‘any universal or widespread destruction or disaster: the apocalypse of nuclear war. A prophetic revelation, especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil. Simply put, as understood by many, as the end of the world.’ However, the real meaning of the word apocalypse is derived from the Greek word ‘Apokalypsis’ which simply means, ‘to uncover or reveal.’ Not the end of the world. That shows an inconsistency in the dictionary. The list of inconsistent definitions with their true meaning goes on. I would like to share my debate in which you are free to perceive.
It all began with the picture to the left.
Atheist 1: We’re not angry. What makes us angry is that you can force your beliefs on the rest of us through law, and that you can somehow claim to be more moral than atheists when you believe in a God , who in the Bible alone, apparently killed more people than Satan. A God who would throw an atheist like me into hell regardless if we lived good lives or not, but let a rapist and killer of children into heaven because he said he was sorry. That’s the s#!t we don’t like. We don’t hate your God. That would make us as delusional as you. A=You say atheism depends on the idea of God. With that same logic, you might as well claim that Zeus and Bigfoot must be real, since there are many people who don’t believe in either of them.
PerceptiveTruth: Nobody is forcing anything on you, it is not the Bible nor God that killed more people than your mythological figure known as Satan. What killed and continues to kill innocent people is an ignorance that is no different than yours. Atheism and religion are both mistakes, as God has no religion.Atheism is a fanatical religion as any other. Where do you get the ‘Idea’ of God from? Think about that for a minute?
Atheist 1: Oh so I suppose it’s Satan then who flooded the world but saved Noah in the Bible? And no it’s really not. You need to buy a dictionary and look up the definition of religion and atheism. It clearly shows that atheism is not a religion. The same place that I get the idea of Zeus and unicorns, from myths.
PerceptiveTruth: The only true atheists are animals, because they do not have the mental capacity to understand the concept of God. But somehow you were born human, and have the innate ability to ponder on the existence of God. Just because you cannot see something within the limits of your five senses does not mean it doesn’t exist. In religion, which no different than yours, there was the invention of the devil so you can blame someone else, rather than look at yourself. God does not exist as a deity, God exist as consciousness.
Atheist 1: Religion is a system of beliefs. Atheism the lack of beliefs. By definition, atheism is not a religion. I don’t know how many times I have to say this. If you want to claim a pantheist view of God rather than a personal one, that’s all fine and good. At least have your definitions straight.
PerceptiveTruth: Believing that you have ‘no beliefs’ is a belief within itself. Atheists even use a symbol like any other religion. So yes, atheism is a religion.
Atheist 2: You’ve redefined the words with an expectation that everyone else accepts your new found definition. Here’s a handout: religion, is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. An atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being. Where I ask, is any of the former aforementioned definition found in being atheist? You have created a fallacy by redefining the words and thus fail within the discussion, no?
PerceptiveTruth: I have only proven what can be proven. According to your definition, an atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being. The keyword is ‘denies,’ self denial is not truth. Besides it is psychologically impossible to question that which does not exist. If God does not exist? What do you oppose? Atheism is 100% dependent on the existence of God, like animal rights activist are dependent on animal cruelty. God does not exist as a deity, as many religions like your own believe. God exists as consciousness, you and everything exists within God, as God exists within you. But to answer your question, the only fallacy is within what you cannot see or comprehend. Where you ask? In your devotional and ritual observances to oppose that which exist only within your mind. No different than any other form of religion just atheism is the extreme opposite. Like hot is the opposite extreme of cold. Which both are merely expressions of temperature, as Christianity and Atheism are both expressions of God.
Atheist 2: Aside from your position about God as that’s not in question, you have made a claim that atheism is a religion, correct? If it is,then by common definition it is required to have certain components. A: belief in a supernatural agency. B: ritualistic practices. C: observances. What are the those three components in atheism? This is an unavoidable question that must be answered with precision to prove your claim. If unable, then the fallacy is as stated, you’ve redefined the word, which is dishonest to the conversation. Religion is to theism as building model planes is to hobbies. By choosing not to build model planes does not make one a hobbyist, does it?
PerceptiveTruth: A: Your atheist religion is dependent on the existence, belief or idea of God. B: your ritualistic practice to relentlessly oppose any beliefs that are different than yours, if they don’t coincide with your religious views C: your very actions of being here discussing the topic of God or religion is your observance. D: the use of a symbol to identify your beliefs, or religion. As Catholics use a cross. You see, it is you that has come here. I understand you’re also looking for answers about the mystery or should I say paradox of God.
Atheist 2: You failed again. If I take your logic, I can apply it to any discussion I have about any topic and it’s then religious and that’s a preposterous notion. You should reserve that for your philosophy 101 course for further examination. Having a discussion about women’s rights on a regular basis is not ritualistic nor my discussions about the falsehoods of religion. And choosing to call you on your disposition incorrect is not an observance of anything other than engaging in a conversation about your lack of understanding for common definitions. Ritual: an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite. Now reference the definition religion, you fail to equate the words you use with their correct definition. The fundamental need to be religious is a belief in God. Animals have no religious values. Animals thus are atheists. An amoeba has no religious value and thus are atheists. Neither have a concept for God and thus, are atheists. Their very existence has no God, no religion and yet are atheists. Much like that recent adage about not collecting stamps is a hobby, such is atheism. And when did I infer I was looking for answers about God? Sir, I have walked your path and many like it and none suffice answers for real-world questions and real-world problems. Answers are in logic and reason, not fairy tales and superstition. I look forward to your response, though will no longer engage in this conversation. You and I have different ways of defining words. I tend to be old-fashioned and use the dictionary. You, seemingly make them up to fit your needs and drive points which, as stated before, is dishonest to the conversation.
PerceptiveTruth: First you have never walked my path, only your own. If you have walked my path we would not be having this conversation, which I enjoy. If in your belief, I failed, it is simply due to the fact that your cognitive dissonance, look that up if you wish. One aspect about philosophy is that the same argument can be applied to many different concepts and yet remain true. The methods in which you use to practice your religion of atheism is seen in what you’re doing this very instant. All religions practice their beliefs in different ways, this is how you practice yours. I’m only willing to participate with you because you have more questions than answers. Something must be within you to keep you coming back? There is something within the human mind which allows us to ponder the existence of God, all other species cannot do that, they do not have the mental capacity to understand the concept of God. But you are human and you do have the inborn innate ability to think about God. Religion is manmade, like atheism is manmade. It was once believed that the world was flat and that Earth was the center of the universe, but now we see that it’s not so. Perhaps if you were born in those times you would also believe the same? You see, as I’ve said before, atheism is dependent on God for it’s own existence, as animal rights is dependent on animal cruelty. Maybe atheists are merely the missing link between the modern day human and the old-fashioned Neanderthal because the Neanderthal once was equal to all the other animals on earth and could not understand the concept of the universal mind also known as God. What then separates you from an amoeba? I guess not much. Believe as you wish, after all it is you that comes to me. However, you do display symptoms of a neurotic, and a neurosis is a secret you don’t know you’re keeping. as Carl Jung once said.
“Neurosis is the suffering of a soul which has not discovered its meaning.”
The definition of ‘ritual’ in Psychiatry is, a specific act, as hand-washing, performed repetitively to a pathological degree, occurring as a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive neurosis. Interesting. You seem to be doing the same thing. I think I just saved you a visit to the doctor. But I must admit I did like your analogy about not collecting stamps. However, it still does not mean that stamps do not exist.
She then returns the following day.
Atheist 2: Isn’t this conversation about the definition of the word religion? I have yet to discuss the existence of God with you. I am merely discussing your gross misrepresentation and definition of the word religion. We agree stamps exist. Though is not collecting them a hobby? Is not playing football a sport? Is loving music but not playing it make you a musician? See, I have offered you evidence that is contrary to your reality. Not my opinion, but a fact about the definition of religion. It requires a belief in super natural agencies. Atheists do no believe in supernatural agencies therefore it can not be a religion. As much as you want it to be, it simply can not by today’s definition. Moving onward, my discussion is simply about the definition of religion and you have yet to show evidence of how atheism is somehow religious. Aside from inferring one must have the other to exist, that is not evidence. Again, religion is, a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies. Atheism has no belief in supernatural agency. Nor does being an atheist have a concern about the nature of existence. It is simply defined as, a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings. The definition alone exempts itself from religion. Theism, deism, poly theism, atheism, none are religions just simply philosophical arguments about God.
PerceptiveTruth: Hello, my atheist friend. I see you’re back. Again, a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of God is denial. Remember the key word ‘denies’ from your definition? Denial does not signify exemption. However, I must say I like your points, about music, playing football, or collecting stamps. But isn’t playing or loving music, playing football or collecting stamps something that can only be performed and understood by humans? I think yes. The concept of God is no different. However, there are many who choose not to play or love music, not play football or not collect stamps. But the point is that those people, do not form into a group, like atheists, and give themselves a title and a symbol and try to discredit, pester, or ridicule those who play or love music, play football or collect stamps. For example, there are many people who don’t like or eat McDonald’s, but they also don’t form into a group and call themselves atheists and pretend that McDonald’s does not exist, then pester, discredit or ridicule those who eat at a McDonald’s. Isn’t a hobby of any kind a form of religion which makes people enthusiasts? The definition of ‘enthusiasts’ is 1. a person who is filled with enthusiasm for some principle, pursuit,etc.; a person of ardent zeal: a sports enthusiast. 2. a religious visionary or fanatic. And yes fanatic atheist fit into this category. By forming into a religion of atheists, in which God is necessary, does not in no way remove the existence of God. Your believing or not believing in God has no effect on its existence, nor on its consequences to you. Just as a refusal to believe in the ocean would not prevent you from drowning. Here are some definitions of the word religion. Since you like to use it, but choose to ignore the definitions that are not convenient to your argument, which makes you a typical atheist.
1. A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature,and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances,and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Which I have already answered, but was dismissed without debate and simply state that I failed? How convenient. Did you look up ‘cognitive dissonance?’ in the dictionary?
2. A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: I believe this defines atheism well.
3. The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: as I’ve said before by believing you have ‘no beliefs’ is a belief within itself.
4. Something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice. to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices.
You see ,you have only given me one definition of “religion,” but conveniently left the others out. You say that atheists do not believe in supernatural agencies therefore it cannot be religious. That’s just as credulous as saying something is true because it’s in the Bible? And yes, I have inferred that you must have one to have the other , which you seem to agree upon. It is merely the universal law of duality, black is to white, as up is to down, left is to right, inside to outside, good is to bad, which is within your mind, as atheism is to God. You say atheists have no concern over the nature of existence? You must be the advocate for all atheists? If you really want to talk facts, do an online search for “the double slit experiment.”
Atheist 2: I am using definition 1 from the dictionary. It is the most common definition for any given word. Any definition following is an addition to; society has changed it’s usage or the context in which the word used, wheter it be adjective or noun slightly changes the meaning. I am not ignoring those definitions out of convenience. The nature of existence is something virtually everyone ponders, so I will concede purely based in the broad approach that can be taken. But being an atheist does not require the existence of god. That notion is foolish. Frankly, the word should not exist. There is no word to describe a person who does not collect stamps, or play sports. They just simply are, and that is atheism. I didn’t dismiss without debate your attempt to show example of each. They were futile, which is always the evidence in debates of these kind. You showed a subjective view point that was totally inaccurate to reality. If one has to have a belief in god to be religious, how does not believing in the existence make one religious? That is asinine. Just because, as you claim, god must exist to be atheist, still doesn’t make an atheist a believer in deity. God’s existence is completely irrelevant. All being said, you, sir, are religious then as well, but you seem to be quite against that notion. Let us process with an understanding that we both know and understand all terms, and theories used within our conversation. For all I know you are an astrophysicist or a douce capable of using Google to search cool terms, or somewhere in between. As could be me. I think we have to agree we both can either use Google or use a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders if needed. As a side note, I don’t debate a God or God’s existence or lack thereof, as it is pointless.
PerceptiveTruth: This conversation can very well be as infinite as God itself. And I don’t know if I should be flattered that you called me an astrophysicist, but thank you anyway. I just simply use what has been given to me, which is the ability to think. Have you ever wondered where thoughts come from? Many will say that thoughts come from the brain; however, it cannot be the brain because the brain including all physical matter, and the entire infinite universe is a projection of itself. Now doesn’t that sound like God to you? It exists within you, as you exist within it. As I’ve said before, God does not exist as a deity, God exists as consciousness. I am a believer in all religions, including atheism but I’m a follower of none. My religion is truth, which is not limited by limits and is as unlimited as God. The flaw in human thought is the belief that ‘something’ has to be one thing or the other. And you say that my attempt to show an example of each was futile. And I say, just as futile as teaching the concept of two plus two to a cat. Perhaps your mind is not that evolved even though I do believe you have the capacity. The facts do not cease to exist because they’re ignored. And the word God does happen to exist in the dictionary, and there is a word for that describes a person who does not collect stamps, or play sports, they are called prohibitionists, which is synonymous with abstinence. However, just the way the religious refer to the bible to prove their arguments, atheist do the same, they refer to the atheist Bible known as a dictionary to also attempt to prove their argument. It’s kind of clever, but yet sneaky since the dictionary is blindly accepted by all. Likewise, atheists fail to understand etymology which is the study of linguistics and the origination of words. Simply put as the evolution of language. Believe me, I don’t disagree with aspects of atheism but I don’t agree with it completely either, as with any other religion. And the similarity of all limited religions, including atheism is the use of the half truth. Believe me I’ve been called atheist by the religious and religious by the atheists. In which they are both correct. You see, God itself becomes its own final obstruction to the discovery of God. How can the finite mind define that which is infinite. It can’t. And there lies the paradox of God and the infinite argument of the idea of God.
If you want to understand the universe, study the atom, if you want to understand God, you must look within yourself.
And many atheists and the religious of other religions have failed to do this. As Gandhi said,
“Turn the spotlight inward.”
Einstein’s equation of E=mc2 states that all matter is energy, that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed. God is no different. God cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed. It is a fact that we’re all made of atoms. And the atom is a microcosm of a solar system in which the atom is 99.999999999999% empty space. So that makes you and me and the entire universe an imagination of ourselves. And as weird as that might sound is the nature of reality.
And this debate ended with my atheist friend conceding or agreeing that God does exist. The entire infinite universe is permeated with an infinite thinking substance. We are literally inside an ocean of thinking stuff. This entire infinite substance is merely a projection of what’s within your mind. As said before you exist within God, as God exist within you.
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” ~Albert Einstein
“The kingdom of God is within you.” ~Jesus Christ