This is a continuation of my previous post Words: No Such thing as a Godless Man. I am not trying to convince anyone that either of the two, religion and atheism are better, these are my views.
Firstly, in this argument, we have to define ‘god’. God can be many things, a man in the sky who watches over you. An angry being who punishes you for your wrong doings and sends you into eternal fire, or he could be a kind being, who forgives you for everything, as long as you believe in him. Whatever the case is, god to each individual is what that individual believes in, his spiritual faith, in an idea, perhaps something grater than himself.
Well to simply things, god can be considered to be the faith, or hope of a particular person or society, the followers of that particular faith. This faith governs the peoples morals and values in its system as well. If that can be used to define god, then religion can be defined as the set of practices that people would do to worship that being, almost all religions in the world believe that one must give prayer or praise to god to be in his good graces and also, there are common ritualistic practices in religions to celebrate and worship god.
Hence then we shall define an atheist, an atheist is a one who does not believe in god. There are many reasons why people might not believe in god, it could stem from their experiences, where god “was not there for them when they needed him the most” or it could stem from the simple fact that they were never taught that there was a god in the first place. Lastly is the reason that they had contemplated, and reasoned out with themselves that god is an entity that was not required by their internal system. Perhaps, they looked at things through extremely probabilistic eyes, such as Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy. He was a man who was a probabilistic atheist, which meant that he did not believe in god because to him, ‘the probability of a god existing was so small that it was not of any significant value for him to look into.
Well then lets start proper, an atheist then is a person who shapes and moulds their value system according to their own beliefs. Where do these beliefs come from, one might ask. Their beliefs stem from the rationalization and perception of their experiences in the world. This then becomes their personal philosophy, their way of life, their practice and ritual of daily life. So in that sense, it can be considered that there is faith and hope in an atheist that would be represented by their dreams, their fears and their very meaning in life. Hence, so to speak, their dreams, their fears, their meanings, emotions and experiences, make up ‘god’.
I would assume that on both ends of the scale, there are good people and bad people. Not everyone with a religion is a good person, no matter what their religion might be, and not everyone without a religion is a bad person, based on their own set of beliefs and characteristics.
To the atheist yes that might be a philosophy or way of life, however, a staunch religious person would never understand the meaning of this as he would usually, be guided and taught by religion, his wants, are inclusive of the wants of the religion or the wants of his ‘god’ and his dreams would be for both in the life here and for the after life as well. His fears, are for him to fall out of gods good graces and for him to enter the eternity of torture and the abysmal state that awaits him. Well, it is to say that a person like that would think of god often.
Well, however, if you think about it, how many stories have you heard about people whom are practicing religion only because their parents ask them to, or they are afraid of societies perceptions, such as people quipping, oh my that is a godless man his soul must be saved by gods good graces, lets pray for him. Well, I would say I’ve heard many of those stories, especially in a multi cultural society such as Singapore. Well, to me, it looks like the atheist is more in ‘resonance’ with his ‘god’ or rather his idea of god as compared to the religious, whom are often in ‘dissonance’, out of fear of others opinions, fear of their own disapproval, fear of hell, fear of god, fear of wrath, and I believe that this emotional baggage only serves to deter and diminish oneself, specifically from the guilt that arises from the fear. Well, it is hard to say but most people would not admit this. The godless man sometimes seems to be closer to god than those whom are practicing faith and religion.
These are the statistics for Religions at the current moment: