Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Hypothesis of Atheism

So far we have been trying to understand the Theism hypothesis. Upon some reflection, it turns out that it is not so easy to make this hypothesis precise, which is where most of the difficulty with God arises. Nevertheless we will try various approaches and see what we can do with it. For the sake of completeness, we mention a caricature of this hypothesis : There exists a (many ?) loving, caring, all powerful, all knowing, timeless, supremely perfect (and with limitless creative powers) being called God. The universe, life, humanity, ethics, morals, etc all are His creation. He rules the world with his infinite wisdom.

Now we come to the Hypothesis of Atheism. Again different people may have different interpretations of it, but let us have a initial working hypothesis, which we may refine as need comes (just like we are doing with theism hypothesis).
  • Life has got no spiritual meaning. We are all products of unconscious physical laws and our life is a result of choices/actions of all of us and the universe. There is no divine intervention in life. We are solely on our own.
  • Death has got no higher purpose. We have got just one precious life, which cannot be reincarnated and is lost irretrievably after death. In short, death is a full stop. No more outer journeys, no heaven, no hell and no after life.
  • There does not exist any soul, which is also one of the ambiguous concepts. We will try to understand it clearly in the future. Also we don't consider existence of ghosts, spirits, bhoots, demons, draculas, etc.
  • The universe was not made by God neither are we designed by any conscious being.
  • Nobody rules us from up there since there is no 'up there'. Our ethics, morals etc all are our creation and God/religion has no place in it. And nobody is 'up there' to punish for our wrongdoings, we have to do it on our own if at all.
  • Finally there is no God. So no divine intervention in the world too. No Allah, no Yahweh, no Ishwara, no Awesta, no trinity, no awatars, no prophets and no awaited messiah. Anybody who claims to be a prophet or awatar is either fraud, foolish, demented, demagogue, power hungry or all. Can't help but wonder how much our politicians (especially the dictators) fit this picture ? This we shall see is actually more true : such messiahs are usually very cunning politicians. In fact their aides are even more cunning and cruel.
  • Religion is a big eyewash. It serves no constructive purpose in our life. If something superficially seems nice about it, it is only our own inherent goodness and is not bestowed either by God or religion. Consequently prayers are meaningless. And so are all purported Books of revelations.

So let us steer clear of such prophets, messiahs and their revealed Books. Let us embrace the beautiful life that we have got with such a great luck. Let us pay our just tributes to mother earth by acknowledging its role in (figuratively speaking) creating life and not pander to imaginary / destructive Gods. We have already destroyed too much life in the name of God. Let us put a stop to all this madness.

Rationally speaking, the burden of proof should rest on the theists. We atheists are simply asserting the opposite of theists point of view. So technically theism is a hypothesis in need of proof not atheism. But to start with we consider the theism as well atheism on equal footing and start our investigation.

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