Maybe you'll bear with me on this one
It's interesting. I know that something dies, due to my existence, constantly. I walk, I kill. I breathe, I kill. I exist, I kill. The scale of my existence, ensures the death of so many creatures; many so 'microscopic', so ubiquitous in my environment, and my relationship/life - kills.
Let's start from that as a proposition. Something must die, in fact many things must die, during my existence. I am, to the best of my knowledge, unable to prevent this. The defense systems in just my mouth and nose kill millions/billions(?) of living being with each breath.
I know: "Move on. I get it already."
But, I 'choose' to take a 'catch and release' attitude to many of the creatures I encounter. I make an effort, for the most part (which demonstrates a real lack of 'fanaticism', I think, in my approach to this), to try and capture creatures, and physically remove them from my environment, rather than cause them 'direct' harm.
Quick aside: I caught a moth or something, that was in my way, I think I was painting a house at the time, and tossed it out of my way, and a bird just swept down and ate it. Cause and effect?)
Well, I sort of view it this way: I know I can
kill that copperhead, rat, mouse, spider, bug, camel-backed cricket, or whatever. I just lack the desire. To the degree that I can, w/in some narrow parameters w/ lots of exceptions, I choose to expend a little energy to remove, rather than kill.
"Yeah," but, "Why?"
Well, I reply in a very haughty manner (which lets you know immediately, I don't have a clue), "I choose to live life in a manner that causes 'least (again, w/in parameters)' damage/disruption to my environment, and will expend energy to improve the health of the ecosystem I live in, knowing full well that my choices depend on my world view.
"Ah, situational ethics," you say.
No, not at all. I believe I am perfectly capable, and do, choose deep lines in the sand. I recognize that some situations, Inuit
for example, where harsh conditions led to seemingly extreme cultural norms, environmental ethics
Cut! Let's start again from an Introduction To Activistic Atheism:
The definition for atheism that we use, put simply, says that atheism is the lack of a god-belief, the absence of theism, to whatever degree and for whatever reason. The one thing that all atheists have in common, according to this definition, is that they are not theists. One either believes one or more of the various claims for the existence of a god or gods (is a theist) or one does not believe any of those claims (is an atheist). Though we do not recognize any "middle ground," we do acknowledge the agnostic position, which spans both theism and atheism: a theistic agnostic thinks one or more gods exist but can say no more on the subject than this (is a theist); an atheistic agnostic doesn't know if any gods exist (lacks a god belief, and is thus an atheist). Noncognitivists think all god-talk is meaningless, and thus lack any god beliefs (are atheists).
Just found that. Wow. I like it, and the site.
I tend to believe - SURPRISE! In the teachings of Jesus and Buddha. Yep. Next proposition: There is nothing incongruous between the teachings.
Not like the incongruities that are rampant between the 'old testament' god, and the 'new testament' god. The 'old testament' god is Stalinesque, Maoist, Pol Pot, etc. I mean, "sacrifice your only son on the alter to prove your loyalty to me?" I don't want part of a theism that makes Saddam look half-ass. So, the 'old testament', the talmud, and the koran, if true, are truths I still want no part of.
The new testament god, is by contrast, Willy Wonka
. Just too damn good to be true.
Oh, and how can Jesus say "our father
, and yet be the only son
, unless I'm sort of...Some kind of...errrr...transexual?
Yet, I buy totally into many of the statements of both Jesus and Buddha. I do not except the divinity of either. But, I think philosophically, both are dead on. It's just too bad that so many people accept their divinity, but so few live by their teachings.
wow. I think I'll leave it there for now. I think that is actually a decent start to trying to express why I am an atheist, and why I still feel moral and ethical in my world view.
Maybe not. If you see huge holes, please let me know.
Oh, and I think I understand some of the lack of flow in the documents supporting most belief systems: How do you concisely explain everything?
I don't know why, when the corrections I made last night did not take. But I changed 'definite' to 'divinity' last night. Definite does not make sense, but I don't think the reader could necessarily jump to the conclusion that I meant divinity. Apologies.