Monday, September 21, 2009

Why I consider myself atheist now

Religious stories involving the supernatural seem to be mythological, and literally believing them seems brainwashed or even crazy. However, scientific understanding has such gaping holes that it's impossible to rule out that something like what religions talk about is part of reality. So, for a long time I considered myself agnostic.

Recently I realized that calling myself agnostic can imply that for all that mythological and crazy stuff, I'm saying "I don't know, it could be true". It doesn't feel right, and being unsure about delusions can lead to more delusions. To see the problem, imagine being unsure about something which is generally recognized as a delusion: the idea that there are satellites which read your thoughts and put thoughts in your head. This is kind of like the idea of God hearing your prayers and providing guidance.

I don't deny that religion can be a useful psychological tool. I don't deny that it can offer moral and ethical guidance. However, this doesn't mean that religion is fundamentally true, and I don't think that it's necessary for these purposes.

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