TED Conversations

Christian Howardson

This conversation is closed.

Religion and Atheism

Here's my take on an "Atheism 2.0" - all quotes are for emphasis:

Imagine a continuum; on the left side is a 100% conviction that a god(s)/afterlife do not exist, and on the right is a 100% conviction that a god(s)/afterlife is real. In the middle of this continuum, 0%, is a conviction that a lack OR presence of a god(s)/afterlife are on equal terms.

-100%--------------------------0%---------------------------100%

Believe in a god(s)/afterlife? If so, where do you think he (it?) resides on the above mentioned continuum? Why? As a point of reference, where do you think the existance of the toothfairy falls on this continuum?

Now, while my own personal opinion might be that the existence of a god(s) and/or afterlife (especially the one depicted in any of the three desert dogmas) are of extremely low odds (say, 99% for does not exist) and are not worth adopting as real, the important thing is that I am not absolutist in my point of view, because it is unprovable, even if only technically unprovable (ya can't bring back evidence of nothingness, can you?).

In my opinion, the "thoughtform" of the future is one were people do not claim an absolutist stance on impossible to prove concepts such as these. Arguing whether a god does or does not exist is pointless. Fighting over which god is or isn't a true god only leads to war. It's possible that the most humble and honest position is one of uncertainty. Imagine if everyone would just concede that they really just didn't know...might be a lot more peaceful world.

Also, the terms "atheist" and "believer" should probably be removed from our vocabulary. Not only have these terms been evacuated of any substantive meaning, but they've become words regularly used to express contempt or ridicule, which makes people defensive, and basically blocks any hope for open communication regarding the greatest mysteries of the universe.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 27 2012: I think we should stop this debate about who is right about the existence or non existence of God because there will be no agreement I can assure you. The stalement can be compared to two salesmen both selling shoes, one Nike brand and the other Adidas. Both companies want to make the best shoes, but when asked in an open debate which company makes the better shoes, none would want to openly admit that the other is correct, even if it knows it is true. This response can either be a basic human survival instinct or as a result of a code of honour one has undertaken to protect. May be something else drives this behaviour.

    In my view, science is the only tool available at this moment that will help us determine if there is indeed God. Asking atheist to have faith alone is not gonna work because atheist are people who would only accept a hypothesis as truth when backed up with sufficient cogent evidences and who would feel irresponsible if they just argue based on hearsay. Having said this, granted that "truth" it self is transcient and why it is so is mainly because new evidences might be found to disproved the accepted "truth". A good example is the debate over whether the world is flat or round centuries ago.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.