Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Atheist Viewpoint

This blog is intended to present a view of politics from the atheist perspective. That is not to say that everything in the entire political spectrum falls under the atheist umbrella, rather that atheism can be used as a launch pad for rational thinking; an idea sorely lacking in the majority of politics. Political Atheism is not left or right; but it can be applied as a base to argue with logic, reasoning, and the knowledge that each of us only gets one chance at life.

Before we dive into politics, an explanation of atheism needs to be addressed. Atheism usually carries a negative tone with it. This is because atheism is of course the non-belief in anything supernatural. It is unfortunate that this term has not only been accepted into popular culture and its meaning well understood, but that there appears to be no way out of using the word altogether. Richard Dawkins puts it fantastically by saying "we don't call ourselves a-teapotists" when discussing the non-belief of an orbiting teapot around Mars, so why should we have to call ourselves atheists? Again, because of the lack of a better, more well understood term. And because my mother told me words will never hurt me.

It isn't all negative. Atheism frees the mind from jumping to ridiculous conclusions when sudden or strange events happen. Even the more mundane parts of life; thanking God for a touchdown you scored or the meal you are eating, become utterly absurd when thinking from a rational standpoint. Atheism, in this sense, promotes critical and creative thinking, and self-awareness. The knowledge that all can and hopefully will be explained, without the interjection of something spiritual or mystical, is the greatest power known to man.

Evolution has shown that the human brain is the key to our biological success. Humans can out-think every other animal on this planet. And in the not-too-distant past, evolutionarily speaking, humans had some very real and closely related competition. It is our enlarged frontal lobes and lowered voice box that form the basic components of creative expression; spawning culture and identity, and they drove the progress of the human race over all other hominids. Humanity is not the end of evolution however, and we should not think that our lives have any more or less meaning because of these facts. Instead, we must understand that our environment and sexual tendencies have allowed us to reach far beyond the top of the food chain and into the realm where, for lack of better words, we are able to play God.

Political Atheism can, in a few ways, be seen as a reaction to the religious right, but it is more broadly represented as the promotion of education, science, and reasoning in every aspect of life. This is not to say that atheism denies the literary value of religious texts, or that people are stupid for believing such myths. Atheism is simply the conclusion people should reach if and when they choose to investigate religion. Donald Morgan states it plainly as "a thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to Atheism."

In the next few posts, Political Atheism will tackle the health care debate, our educational system, and the Federal Reserve. Thank you for reading and continue to think critically and independently.

The Political Atheist

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