I read in a philosophy forum post that…
“Atheism is a valid freedom of conscience position”
OK, so is ANYTHING else.
“Do not attack it as anything else”
“ANYTHING” else? What does that even mean? Does atheism has a special immunity privilege? Surely not.
“Although it has characteristics similar to those of religion (so does Rotary), it is not a religion”
So, I will not attack atheism as a religion. (and actually why not being a religion is something good? Civilization has evolved within a religious environment after all) I will attack it as a set of beliefs. (and this is indeed the characteristic of a religion) Which is exactly what it is.
In particular, atheism is a set of beliefs which are mostly based on the philosophical DOGMA of materialism and the mechanistic view of nature – without that limiting it’s set of beliefs of course in any way. Most (if not all) atheists BELIEVE that the brain is producing what we call “consciousness” and that we are all bound to the physical laws of matter (hence what we call “free will” is an illusion). Atheists do not believe in a Creator for the Universe. Because they BELIEVE in a universe which existed for ever. And as it is mentioned in another philosophy post (in the same forum where I found the first… diamond I presented in this article), they should provide evidence for this claim. Atheists do BELIEVE that physical death is the end. (even though there have been evidence of the consciousness not being bound to just the brain)
All in all atheists believe in many things, as all people do. (I would be pleased and surprised to find atheists who do not believe in the above)
These things they believe are according to my opinion obstacles for the spiritual elevation of human kind, since they reduce our existence to a mere “machine-like” random and with no purpose existence – not too different than super-computers which happened to exist. (but computers are designed by someone – oups! wrong metaphore… hehehe…)
Religion had for a long time been the cradle of science. And remember that science was not even separate from religion for thousands of years – not until the fake-hero story of Galileo (read Feyerabend for the true nature of this case). It is not accidental after all that all civilization was developed by societies holding some kind of religion – from ancient Greeks to the Christian Europe. (one could mention Chinese civilization as an exception, but one cannot discard the deep spirituality of Confucianism) The first universities were monasteries and the lust of people to understand the mind of God is what drove scientific progress for centuries. Dawkins himself teaches and speaks against religion in a College of… St Mary.
Surely the advancement of science can be based on mere curiosity.
But apes have curiosity as well.
Trying to reach apotheosis by understanding God is surely a greater motive…
As above so below as a great alchemist once said…