For Bookworms Worldwide
I’m currently reading an interesting book that argues in favor of atheism. Titled “>Atheism: The Case Against God
writer George H. Smith gives clear, concise reasoning of why religious faith is detrimental to man’s conceptual nature. Although Smith focuses on Christianity in making his arguments–they equally apply to all religions.
What I like most about Smith’s argument is that he does not resort to ad hominem attacks. He goes straight to the source and cites theologians from Tertullian, Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and biblical texts. Smith’s thesis is man’s only tool of survival is reason; that faith as a means of acquiring knowledge is detrimental to knowledge as such. This is the main reason why I became an atheist. I am philosophically opposed to religion because I could not reconcile faith and reality. How can I place my consciousness on religious faith when there is no evidence to support the existence of god. I have to admit, this was not an easy process. I always had doubts in my mind, particularly when I came into difficult periods in my life. I would go through the motions of prayer, and it never got me anywhere. It wasn’t enough for me because in the end, I had to make decisions by THINKING!!
But what really made me question religion was the September 11th terrorist attacks. That horrific event was done in the name of allah. And those that tried to excuse Islam’s madness really made me angry. Only religious faith could justify flying airplanes into buildings killing 3000 people. Only religious faith could justify burning a young french woman after she saved her nation from English domination. When people no longer deal with others through reason, all that’s left is force and destruction.
Ultimately, this battle is between reason and faith. As Smith states:
The conflict between Christian theism and atheism is fundamentally a conflict between faith and reason. This, in epistemological terms, is the essence of the controversy. Reason and faith are opposites, two mutually exclusive terms: there is no reconcilliation or common ground. Faith is belief without, or in spite of, reason.(Bold added)……..
Explicit atheism is the consquence of a commitment to rationality–the conviction that man’s mind is fully competent to know the facts of reality, and that no aspect of the universe is closed to rational scrutiny. Atheism is merely a corollary, a specific application, of one’s commitment to reason.(Bold added)
This is what it boils down to. And this is the conclusion I came to. As I progressed from Protestantism to agnosticism to atheism, I feel much more confident that my mind is capable of dealing with reality. I don’t need religious fantasy to do that!
Update: Made sentence changes for clarification.
Update 2: Grammatical changes to post title.Tags: agnosticism, allah, atheism, Augustine, biblical, faith, God, reason, Religion, St. Thomas Aquinas, Tertullian | Posted in Philosophy