Search This Blog

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Faith and the lack thereof

Part of my drive to absorb the works of the major religions is that I have been pondering them for many years. I have been thinking about what they mean and trying to understand why people have faith in any of them.
This has also made me consider the idea of a lack of faith.

I have come to the conclusion that there are two very different versions of not believing in an all-mighty being and/or force. The difference between them can be reduced to a single character; "a" or "A."

Atheism is the evangelical belief that there is no god(s). Atheism the just as much a religious dogma and faith as any of the major religions (as is the fanatical belief in just about anything). On the other hand atheism is the failure to have faith in any of the religions. The difference between the "a" and the "A" at the front of the term terms is the difference in faith. Those who are Atheists have the faith that there is, without a doubt, no god(s). Those who are atheists fail to see proof that there is one. The difference is minor, but VERY important. One group has active faith in a negative while the other merely lacks faith in a positive.

I've often found that people who refer to themselves as "agnostic" dislike the word "atheist" regardless of their capitalization because they don't want to be associated with Atheists. I've also found that atheists resent people who use the term "agnostic" because they feel that it is a cowardly way of saying "I'm an atheist." I've also found that many people who are religious seem to think anyone who fails to have a fail MUST be an Atheist.

The reality is that these words have different meanings for different people and that is just as much a problem among the non-believers as different interpretations of dogma have among different sects of believers.

When you're speaking with someone who uses the term "atheist" to describe themselves it may be wise to inquire if they are an "Atheist" or an "atheist" before entering into any discussion on the topic of religion. I know that the difference between the two will be my first discussion point shall I ever be in such a situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment