Thursday, December 26, 2013

Atheism Requires Faith

As an atheist (among other things), I am frequently told by anonymous nutballs on the internet that my "religion"requires more faith than theirs.  Usually, I throw out the old logical argument: saying a lack of religion is a religion is like saying "colorless" is a color or "off" is a television channel.
One internet person (the new, politically correct name for "nerd with a computer") asked me what I believed in.  I threw out my usual answer: "I believe in YOU."
A few days later, I realized it really does take a lot of faith to believe what I do.

It takes faith to believe we are so flawed we kidnapped millions of people, worked them to death, beat them to death, raped them, sold their children away, and poured atrocity after atrocity on them not because they bore the mark of Cain, but because we could.
It takes faith to believe we invented steel, violins, paint, semicolons, beer, the Ten Commandments, Loki, presumption of innocence, and the Golden Rule without the guidance of little green men.
It takes faith to believe our society is held together by our government, our laws, and our people, not the hands of spirits and angels.
It takes faith to believe we will someday unravel, if not all the mysteries of the universe, at least a good chunk of them without the help of Loas or djinn.
It takes faith to believe anything good or bad could come from such a pathetic, dirty little monkey as man.  And yet here we are, completely alone and completely amazing.
So, yes, I have faith.  I have faith you are wonderful, and I have faith you are terrible, and I have faith you will do great things.
And you will do them all by yourself.

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