I don’t consider myself an atheist yet I cannot consider myself a monotheist or polytheist, I also don’t consider myself an agnostic because I believe that there is an underlying thread that connects all matter. In essence I believe that every form of matter in the universe is one, and the big bang theory supports that. If we all came from the same atom (in the big bang) and since the universe is slowing in expansion and will eventually collapse back into that single atom, then we are all essentially one. This connection between everything is what I believe most cultures relate to “god”. God is simply an idea sparked by consciousness and religion is the futile attempt to explain the unexplainable. A really horrifying statistic that I recently heard is that “more Americans believe in angels than evolution”. More people believe in a fairy tale like being overlooking their every move than a scientific theory backed by overwhelming archaeological evidence. People refuse to believe that Homo sapiens have descended from apes even though genetically we are nearly identical to chimpanzees; we are the only animals on earth with opposable thumbs, and just how amazingly close humans appear to look like apes. Not to mention the multitude of fossil evidence supporting the evolution of mankind. But no, Christian creationists refuse to accept scientific evidence and instead choose to believe in the King James Bible, (king James basically rewrote, edited, and completely changed the book, as many people before him did as well) and believe that they are created in the image of god… how amazingly arrogant can people be?
When I hear statements like “what benefit comes from being an atheist? ” or “what good has an atheist ever done for the world? ” or “why would anyone choose to be a faithless atheist? ” I respond to that by saying that atheists (or people like me who believe in oneness) are more at peace with their lives, they know that they only get one shot at living and don’t waste their lives expecting something better after they die. They live fuller lives filled with more happiness and less guilt. How sad is the thought that a priest has sheltered himself from truly experiencing this world in order to make it to the afterlife but when he dies, his consciousness simply turns off and there isn’t a heaven awaiting him. Also there has never been a war without the support of religion, every single war ever fought and every life ever killed in war was the result of two different theories of religion disagreeing or even the same religion interpreting words differently. There has never been an atheistic “terrorist” who killed another to support his lack of belief in religion.
In response to the origins of morals go, I believe all moral character is simply a part of consciousness. People know that hurting others in any way is wrong; you don’t need to be taught that. And the belief that all humans are inherently sinners only leads oneself down a slippery slope of guilt designed to control. In fact that is the one thing that religion seems to be the best at, controlling its followers. I wish more people around the world would wake up to the enlightenment that Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, and most other religions are trying to suppress. Thank you for reading this and I eagerly await your response.
Your metaphysics might be essentially atheistic, if it does not include any kind of deity. But that would depend on exactly what you mean when you say that “every form of matter in the universe is one.” I would also disagree about God being an expression of this connection, unless you are defining your terms very specifically.
You bring up the often-asked question, “Why would anyone chose to be an atheist.” I have always disliked that question, in that it implies that you can chose whether or not to believe in God. Could I choose to believe that I own a duck that never makes noise and always happens to be in a different room so I never see it? If not, then how can I choose to believe in God? I have to be convinced — I can’t just decide to believe.
I don’t know that I agree that a priest has somehow necessarily lead a depressing or less-than-fulfilling life. Some people find great joy and fulfillment in religion. I also think your statement about there never having been a war without the support of religion is debatable, but your overall point is well taken.
I would also quibble a bit with your statements about morals. I think that only conscious beings can be moral (because they can examine their own beliefs), but I don’t think that this implies that moral character is a part of consciousness. For example, there appear to be some basic moral principles that have evolved, but “hurting others in any way is wrong” is not one of them. (I wish it was.) If such a principle was inherent in consciousness, then schoolyards and playgrounds would be much more peaceful places.
You are definitely right that the structure of organized religion can easily lead to abuse in the form of control through guilt or misinformation. In fact, even non-religious organizations (such as Communist and fascist governments) often use religion-like tactics to control their populations. This isn’t mean to imply that all religious organizations have a goal of controlling or dominating their members, but the potential is certainly there.