Quantcast

«

»

May 11 2012

Why I am an atheist – Thomas Spierckel

Because I don’t understand what you ask me to believe in and because I don’t think you do either.

Because I don’t put a name on what science doesn’t yet know.

Because the wonders of the natural world don’t call for additional man-made mysteries to struggle with.

Because living as long as the age of the universe would not suffice to apprehend everything there is to know.

Because you don’t believe in Zeus or Athena. Because I think it’s wise to not do so.

Because we are not the end product of evolution.

Because living a good life is the only purpose or meaning I need. Because imagining that everything was made for us is childish.

Because the work of an intelligent designer is yet to be seen anywhere.

Because being moral for anything but morality itself is not moral. Because being good in any other name than goodness itself is insulting and degrading.

Because I find suspicious that over so many years, so many people with a vested interest in proving a point failed so miserably in doing so.

Because an idea that is reassuring doesn’t gain any credibility just because of it.
Because an idea that is only reassuring should be looked at with suspicion.

Because of the awe of us being here and the sadness that would bestow upon me if indeed everything was premeditated.

Because the unfathomable set of circumstances is that much more inspiring than just being here because we were suppose to, doomed to.

Because of Myers and Dawkins and because of Galileo or Darwin before them. Because of Hitchens.

Because of cosmology, physics and geology. Because of biology, archeology and history. Because of the sun. Because of the skies. Because of the Big Bang and because of super-novae.

Because of the utmost insult to our common capacities and intellect that is the phrase “we could never know” and because you ask me to believe in what we could never know.

Because what we could never know yesterday we today understand. Because you would be inspired to reject a piece of information that actually doesn’t give you any information.

Because I fail to see any reason why I should think otherwise and because I’m still waiting to hear your arguments, not just that I’m wrong.

Because “it is written” does not work for me.

But most of all, my friend, because you ask me to put a tag on all of the above, I’ll say to you that I’m an atheist.

Thomas Spierckel
France

16 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    mudpuddles

    Nice.

  2. 2
    stracci

    Goosebumps. I so enjoy things that provoke this unnecessary physical response. Thank you, Thomas.

  3. 3
    jand

    Poetry

  4. 4
    tomfrog

    @stracci, #2:

    Goosebumps.

    I’ve just got that but because I wrote/sent the piece before Hitchens died and am just rediscovering it now… so posthumous tribute it is then. I would have prefer it to have been de son vivant.

    Thank you

    If only one person likes it I’m just very glad. And I see two people like it so I’m over the top!

  5. 5
    miserybob

    Really excellent, one of the best yet! There are some perfectly pithy quotables in there, too.

    “Because I find suspicious that over so many years, so many people with a vested interest in proving a point failed so miserably in doing so.
    Because an idea that is reassuring doesn’t gain any credibility just because of it.”

    Yes – well said!

  6. 6
    tomfrog

    @miserybob, #5:

    well said

    Thanks but to be fair a lot of things in there I probably heard or read in talks, debates, books, blogposts, …
    And, given my sometimes-weird-memory, I hope I didn’t outright plagiarized anyone.

  7. 7
    Thomas Lawson

    One for the “Favorites” file, Tom.

  8. 8
    allencdexter

    Don’t worry about plagiarizing. We all learn from each other and many times unconsciously repeat what someone else put out there.

    Your summary was very sccinct and I printed it. I may even use parts of it as springboards for blogs of my own. We just have to keep hammering away on the basic facts.

  9. 9
    tomfrog

    @allencdexter, #8:

    I may even use parts of it as springboards for blogs of my own. We just have to keep hammering away on the basic facts.

    +1 Let’s hammer away!
    (And thanks for reassuring me about plagiarizing ;) )

    One other thing: since English isn’t my native tongue, some phrasing may be a little off… the problem being that it obviously looks correct to me… that’s the famous quote “Everyone thinks they are intelligent enough, as it is what they use to assess that.” (rough translation but you get the jist of it).

  10. 10
    ibelieveindog

    Compelling and gave me chills. I’m posting a link to it on Facebook.

  11. 11
    Richard Wade

    Not just wonderfully clear, but also wonderfully clarifying. The spareness and conciseness of the parts makes the whole compelling and powerful. Thank you Thomas, I’ll be referring to this many times.

  12. 12
    'Tis Himself

    There is nothing wrong with what you wrote. Your English is fluent and grammatical. I wish my French was half that good.

    You may add me to the list of people who liked your essay.

  13. 13
    Margaret

    Because I don’t understand what you ask me to believe in and because I don’t think you do either.

    QFT

    The whole essay is good, but this one statement really resonated with me.

    Thanks.

  14. 14
    allencdexter

    Your English is very good, better than many native Americans, in fact.

  15. 15
    stonyground

    One of the best ‘Why I am an Atheist’ essays that I have read. I would not have guessed from reading it that English was a second language for you.

  16. 16
    tomfrog

    Thanks everyone for reassuring me on my English, I’m glad you gals/guys like it! :)

Comments have been disabled.