the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 1/81


The atheism that one can come to
by argument
is not true atheism.
A definition given to atheism in one age
is not the unchanging atheism
nor its permanent meaning.
From the original experience
of being human
atheism arises.
Being the original human experience,
it is the parent of all religion.
From theism we derive the essence of atheism,
although from their names, we see only the conflict.
Both ways of experience
have the same origin
only different names.

Their mutual identity is the mystery
of experience.

And in this mystery
is found
the doorway
to the universe.

How does a person prove that a god exists?
There are the claims of ancient stories that simply say so.
After the myths come the logical arguments from cosmology to ontology to teleology to say that the existence of a god is rational. Others say that there is no proof, and that a god's existence must be taken on faith alone. And still others claim that the proof of a god is in the experience, and that they have experienced the existence of a deity or even have a relationship with it. None of it is enough to satisfy the atheist.

How do people prove that a god does not exist?
The passage of time, which has silently but effectively buried most gods in history, is the most evident proof that not all gods exist in perpetuity nor are all-powerful. Isis and Apollo are now cultural fictions whose reality died with the culture that created them. Arguments against deity often center around inter-textual contradictions, or the miracles and physical impossibilities claimed as fact in the religious text. Rational proofs against the existence of deity, such as the argument of evil and psychological hero projection, also exist, together with the arguments based on the historical abuse of religious institutions in contradiction to their religious tenets and the use of religious belief as a means of social control. But none of it is enough to satisfy the atheist.

Reason cannot always help. Belief and disbelief exist by themselves, sometimes innately within a person. Some people, like the apostle Thomas, Jesus' twin brother, cannot create mental belief without first-hand sensual experience. The mental doubt exists until the physical evidence is demonstrated. Until the experience of deity itself.

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