My religious beliefs

I do not believe in any god or gods.  I cannot claim none exist, but neither can I claim any do exist.

I am confident in what I believe, and I know it and I can withstand scrutiny, debate, conflict, criticism, and disbelief.  It is acceptable and supportable on its own merits and requires no leap of faith.

I do not have confidence in the idea that any higher intelligence guided our development any more than I believe one directs our present course.  Similarly, if a higher power had been involved in our development, it would have to be an inept creator who failed miserably to come up with a good design given the many flaws and basic fragility of the human form, not to mention life in general.  Otherwise, it had to be a creator who left all the bugs in the design because it didn’t much care for us to begin with.

I do not believe that religion lends itself to honesty, integrity, sincerity, reason, or logic when practiced en masse at the behest of an organization, although individuals dedicated to the true soul within devotion can be the most giving, caring, loving, tolerant, and inclusive people.

I fail to comprehend how every faith calls on its members to sacrifice for the greater good, yet the leaders of these faiths live lives of luxury, excess and indiscriminate waste.

I do not believe so-called sacred texts offer sound moral guidance or were inspired by a presence capable of defining superior humanity than is offered by our own intellect and conscience.

I do not see faith as more than arbitrary commitment to dogma, the whim of men — only men — conspiring together in hopes of setting the course for humankind.

I can not see the median follower as more than intolerant and bigoted and intent on forcing others to conform to his or her will.

I fail to comprehend why so many are willing to hate in the name of their gods, and I have no interest in believing in anything that requires me to look down on others.

I do believe an organization granted tax exempt status should in no way be allowed to participate in the political process of our country.  The moment you voice an opinion, you register yourself actively participating in the governmental process.  Doing so means you should carry your portion of the financial weight that comes as the price for such a right.

I find it unnecessary to impose metaphorical teachings from times both primitive and unenlightened on a world millennia removed, representations of morality out of step with current times and declarations of fact directly contradicting present-day age old knowledge.

I do not find need beyond science to explain the world and universe around me, especially when all religious teachings contradict what is observed and verifiable.  Relatedly, any divine being who intentionally deceives us with scientific findings that directly contradict its teachings must be a mean son of a bitch who wants us to be damned for not believing, and who is willing to provide ample proof intended to keep us from doing so.

I have no need of diminished benevolence inspired by a merciless and vengeful god intending to infringe forcefully upon the freedoms and rights of those who disagree or do not believe.

I do not require any type of higher law or power in order to practice superior morality and humaneness.

I find it reprehensible that so many people need the threat of eternal damnation to make them do what is right and to refrain from doing what is wrong.

I am repulsed by the hypocrisy of religions that support violence, torture, terrorism, and dishonesty so long as their believers perpetrate it in the name of their respective gods.

I will never adhere to any ideology that requires my beliefs to exist behind or outside of the societal curve, especially when it calls on me to ignore the advancement of civilization in areas of human rights, ecological protection, equality, knowledge of both self and the cosmos, exploration of the same, tolerance, open-mindedness, charity, virtuousness, decency, and love.

I proscribe sophistry and do not abide its use or encouragement regardless of justification.

I abhor followers of faiths who selectively adhere to the directives set down within their own religious texts, often selecting for convenience what will and what will not be practiced, and it is offensive to think this is the will of any divine and loving being.

I do not believe that disagreement is oppression and I can happily disagree with someone without calling them evil and less than human.  Likewise, I can not support the premise that any idea deserves legal protection from dissenters and contrary opinions.

I am not a victim, nor do I victimize others.

I have absolutely no need of a doctrine teaching that consenting adults engaging in activities that bring no harm to anyone can still be bad people and should be disallowed to engage in such activities, and more importantly that such people deserve fewer rights than others.  Any god would be a god of love, yet every god limits how we can love each other, a blatant hypocrisy inherent in the being itself that makes it unworthy of my worship even if it did exist.

I disavow any superior power that grants us dominion and absolute authority over nature even when such dominion and authority engender the destruction of that very nature and thereby places us in jeopardy by either divine ignorance or divine inspiration.

I find all religion lacking, simple and unequivocally irrelevant in modern days.

I see vitriolic beliefs as abhorrent and inhumane.

I have no interest in participating in any system of principles responsible for so much death and destruction throughout history, violations of the very foundations of the faiths responsible for these acts of utter barbarism and cruelty.

I can not fathom believing in any god capable of allowing the death of so many innocent children by disease, abuse, neglect, suicide, and all other threats to the young.  I certainly disagree with any belief that children are somehow born evil and must consciously decide not to be evil and to claim or pursue salvation before they are considered good and worthy.  I have witnessed the birth of several children.  I have been involved in the rearing of many children over the decades of my life.  I cannot believe any of them were or are inherently bad and require saving.

I abhor the idea of a being who claims to love humans so much while ignoring the visitation of death and destruction upon those very people — and who, ultimately, is responsible for all that death and destruction, including diseases, ailments, the suffering of old age, accidents, wars, and all manner of horrible trials and tribulations that befall us.  Consider that, according to myth, I am created in its image, yet I find such things unacceptable and would prevent them if I had the power.  I’ve yet to see any god do such a thing.

I hate the belief that, while humans may be granted free will and the responsibility for their own suffering, animals who are innocent and unaware can be equally betrayed and thrown to the wolves.  For the least of these, they seem to get the shaft from every direction.

I see the rapidly growing number of planets outside of our solar system as well as the now undeniable likelihood of life elsewhere, a belief I have long held even before it was scientifically sound, and these findings are, to me at least, a contradiction to all that religions hold dear: that humans are the crux of creation and the center of the universe.

I do not require a spiritual crutch to get through life without screaming too much.  I am not that weak.

I could never subscribe to the surreptitious undermining of free will as advocated by the apparent nature of all gods.

I do not believe miracles are anything more than happenstance.  Being cured of cancer happens to atheists and the faithful alike.  Walking away from an accident that seems impossible to have survived occurs around the globe on a daily basis to people of all faiths and of no faith.  Waking up each day to become aware of my first breath does not a miracle make, but it does mean I am still alive and have only that very moment to celebrate it.  Many things called miracles occur each and every day to the most evil among us.  Are they only miracles when they happen to the faithful, but otherwise they’re nothing more than coincidence or luck?

I have no interest in practicing a faith that calls on me to utilize methods of communication with a god that have been shown to be detrimental and useless.  Irrefutable studies show prayer does not make a difference in medical care, even showing in measurable ways that it can harm the recovery and survivability of the patient if they put too much faith in its powers and do not focus more on their own will and need to survive.  Why would any god tell us to practice this supposed positive mechanism while making it unarguably harmful?

I believe I should not be called upon to ignore what my eyes see and ears hear.  My senses work fine, so why should I deny what they sense in the name of a declaration made by man in the name of a deity?  I will not submit my will and mind to the whims of men who lived thousands of years ago.  They may claim to represent the will of a god, but I am given only their word upon which to base a belief in what they wrote.

Ultimately, I believe a person should be judged on the merits of the totality of their life instead of uninformed belief in mysticism.  We all make mistakes.  Chance and circumstance conspire against us.  The universe is too large for any being of conscience to manipulate or control it successfully.  A person is either good or evil, but the specifics of his or her life are irrelevant.  It is the nature of the person that counts, not whether they took communion, went to confession, prayed three times per day, faced the right direction while praying, or otherwise engaged in predictable and shallow representations of their faith as mandated by a god which never clearly and definitively presents itself.

Call me what you will—agnostic or atheist or heathen—but in the final analysis I am simply a man who believes what I can see and what is proved, and who doesn’t need faith to get through life or the threat of hell to be a good person.

a life in progress