In Praise of Atheism
As an atheist, sometimes, I wonder why it has taken human beings so long to realize that there is no god and that the so-called creator, almighty, all merciful, all knowing, and all-what-again god that humans have worshiped for ages is a fantasy, a figment of human mind and imagination, without any real instance, essence, existence or significance.
Because I think the non existence of god is so commonsensical a fact and really does not require any mental rigor to understand. God by definition has properties and attributes that make him/her/it unknowable, tenable, and an existential impossibility. They include attributes like infinity, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence etc. Just observe nature and you will know that it has no god. And that this city of humanity is a self regulating entity. So, I regard the idea of god‚Äôs existence as the most nonsensical of all nonsense. Yes, the god idea is a lie, complete absurdity. The whole concept of god‚Äôs existence is total, absolute and arrant nonsense. The ‚Äėfather figure in the sky‚Äô is a mental block to proper understanding of life nature and reality. My only concern is this: why has it taken the world so long to know this. Why are many people still holding on to this illusion in spite of modern civilization, renaissance and enlightenment? Why have most human beings on earth yet to acknowledge this simple fact. That god has no real existence.
The god-idea may have served some good for some people in the past and in the present. There is no doubt about that. But that does not change its epistemic value or character. Does it? That a superstitious belief is comforting doesn‚Äôt make it science. Does it? That most people in the world today believe in god does not negate the fact that god is a concept without content. Or better a concept that contains whatever we ‚Äďhumans-invest on it.
So when I consider the amount of energy, time, money and other resources that believers invest or better waste revering this non entity called god or the number of lives snuffed out over the ages by religious militants, jihadists, suicide bombers and other that kill in the name of one god or the other, I cannot but shudder at the depth and profundity of human stupidity and foolery. On the other hand I cannot but appreciate the wisdom, insight, excellence ad beneficence in the atheistic worldview. The psalmist was wrong for saying that ‚ÄėThe Fool has said in his heart, there is no god‚ÄĚ. I‚Äôm sure that the author of the Psalms, like other ancient writers of the holy books, got something wrong somewhere. What the Fool really said in his heart is ‚ÄėThere is god‚Äô. Because it requires the suspension of one‚Äôs reason and intelligence to believe in the existence of a deity and to spend one‚Äôs life time worshiping this transcendental illusion.
By saying this I don‚Äôt mean to insult any body or hurt anyone‚Äôs sentiments. Far from it. I just want to state what I think are very bitter and brutal facts-
There is no god(Allah). There is no devil. There is no heaven. There is no hell. There are no spirits, no angels, no demons, no witches or wizards. There is no life after death. Human beings have no immortal soul. The Bible is not the word of god. The Koran was not revealed by Allah. The holy books were written by human beings. Jesus is not the son of god. Jesus is not the saviour of the world. Jesus did not rise from the dead. Jesus did not ascend into heaven. Jesus is not coming again. Rapture is not taking place. Mohammed was not sent by Allah. Mohammed did not ascend into heaven in a flaming horse. Praying is like talking to somebody who is not there. Jerusalem is not a holy land. Mecca is not a holy land. Eternal bliss is an illusion. Religion is superstition.
These are truths. These are truths every human being should know. These are truths that should guide us. There are truths that should government the world.
But I know some people will not accept them. Some people will not want to hear them at all. Some people will find them offensive. Some people will regard as blasphemies. But offence or no offence, these are truths that are critical to the liberation and emancipation of human beings in this 21st century. These are truths that will enlighten and civilize the world. These truths will surely awaken human beings especially those of us in Africa from our religious and supernatural slumber. Because the god idea and the religious nonsense that goes with it have caused darkness and made human beings to fall asleep. And humans have slept to the point of forgetfulness, crass gullibility, and foolery. Humans have slept to the point of stupor. And now is the time to wake up to a dawn, a life and a world without god.
Human beings need to wake up because the day break of a new Enlightenment is here. Unfortunately, some religious apologists continue to maintain that the realization of god‚Äôs non-existence will lead to social chaos or anomie in the world. They propagate this falsehood to make the whole idea of a god-free world undesirable. Sadly they are greatly mistaken. The global acceptance of god‚Äôs non existence will pave the way for the realization of universal humanism. In fact global atheism will usher in a new world, a new life and a new hope. Global atheism will help bring a lasting solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other faith based conflicts that are ravaging the world. Global atheism will help rein in Islamic militants, suicide bombers and other religious warriors that are threatening and terrorizing the world. Most importantly global atheism will make humans to live better and to become fully human. Because it is when human beings know that there is no deity to help or save them that they will sit up and without reservations, help and save themselves. No one will waste precious time praying to the imaginary Father in Heaven for ‚Äúthy kingdom come‚Äô Instead every body will work diligently and conscientiously to protect and preserve the earthly kingdom. Human beings will take their destinies fully in their hands and make the best out of this one life we have by striving to realize heaven here on earth
About the author: Leo Igwe is director of the Centre for Inquiry in Nigeria. He can be reached at email@example.com.