Non-Believer. Not An Atheist.

It’s been almost two years I’ve been writing my thoughts out via this blog. Although writing, for me, has never been much of a passion as an occasional hobby. I blog when there’s something I feel like writing about; something I feel like sharing my views or opinions about. There have been quite a few things I have written about in these couple of years. I know for a fact that I haven’t got lot many readers. But again, writing for me is just putting my thoughts out there. I know I’m not very good at it. But it’s something that makes me happy. I love writing on the topics I have a say about. But then, there’s this one topic I’ve always had very strong opinions and my own perspective about. But somehow I could never get myself in to writing about it. May be I did not consider myself to be capable enough to effectively communicate those views through my writing. Not that I’m in any better position now. My only thought-process behind writing this piece is ‘Let’s give it a try.’ And the reason I’ve had to really keep contemplating about my decision to write on this topic is because; it can get really sensitive. If you are going to publicly voice your opinions about the ‘concept’ of God, or about the whole idea of worship, you may be at a risk of offending the faiths and beliefs of a group at large. So am I here to in any way offend their devotion? No. In fact the utter sincerity in their reverence always leaves me a lot impressed. They are so passionate about it. And just to clarify I’m referring to only those who are truly genuine in their devotion and admiration for Him; not those who just use His name to nurture their selfish interests. But am I passionate about devotion? I don’t think so.

Truth be told, I’m not a believer. And I’m usually very frank about it. My parents know about it. Many of my friends obviously know about it. And I rarely shy away from being open about it. Somehow, my thought-process doesn’t make me a believer. And I like to keep the reasoning behind me being a non-believer to myself. Because I don’t really want to force my thought-process on to anyone else; neither do I need to reason myself and defend my though-process. Then if I’m not here to write about I being a non-believer then why am I here? I’m here not to write about how ‘theism’ doesn’t work for me, but am here to write how ‘atheism’ doesn’t suit me either. What is atheism? If you ask me, it is just a fancy word. Me being having atheist-like qualities myself, it would make more sense to write against those who believe. But, I have always had a lot of admiration for the believers. It’s these self-proclaimed atheists I have a problem with.

Who is an Atheist? A dictionary will tell you ‘A person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God’. Fair enough. Going by the words of the dictionary, I’m an atheist. But somehow when I come across the views and opinions of ‘atheists’ in general, I find my views and opinions a lot differing. For me, being a non-believer is a very personal and intimate feeling or rather a choice of living. That’s something I think is good for me. But, that doesn’t essentially necessitate me to be really adamant about it. If I am a non-believer, that doesn’t mean I should oppose anything and everything that even remotely resembles theistic tendencies. I being a non-believer do not obligate me to talk against or ridicule those who believe. In fact like I have reiterated, the passion the believers have is something I consider of the highest form. Nobody can be as passionate about anything as a believer is about his faith in Him. And I really adore that. I really respect that. And I being a non-believer do not make me any superior than them. If anything, I’m missing out on that feeling of happiness and contentment they gain through their reverence. And that’s, for starters, is something I hate about the ideologies these ‘atheists’ have. They are of the opinion that, since they have supposedly risen above any want of divine or spiritual inspirations, they are somehow more-evolved beings. Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t permit you to question the beliefs of those who do believe. Aren’t you being a total hypocrite when your beliefs are freedom of expression and their beliefs are an apparent exploitation of that freedom?

I’ve tried to be a part of many of these atheist forums just to get a flavor of how they think and what they think. I was under the impression that I’m among a group of like-minded people. But somehow, these atheists tend to be more anti-theists than atheists. I think they have completely lost it with their idea of atheism, which is more concentrated on targeting the believers rather than understanding the ethos of being a non-believer. Being a non-believer, for me, is not about being total big-head about it. I being a non-believer do not stop me from visiting temples. Are my visits to the temples triggered by a sense of devotion? No, it’s more of a social obligation. I visit temples, I take part in religious activities, and I offer my worships to Him, not because I believe in Him. It’s because I don’t want my beliefs to offend the beliefs of those who do believe in Him. My parents know that I’m a non-believer. But that doesn’t give me any right to oppose any of their beliefs. If their beliefs demand me to visit temples with them, take part in their religious activities and offer worships to their Gods, and if that makes them happy, I’ll not let my beliefs to come in way of their happiness. Being a non-believer is a belief in itself. And somehow the way in which others are okay with my belief in being a non-believer, I’ll be okay with their beliefs too. But this is a quality I found to be missing in these atheists I came across on these forums. For them, being a non-believer is a two-point agenda; Firstly, to consider their belief to be of the highest standard, and secondly, to not let go a single opportunity to prove the apparent superiority of their beliefs. It’s too important for them to project their beliefs through actions. So, visiting a temple is a complete taboo. Visiting a temple is equated to being a believer. Though I do agree if our beliefs aren’t reflected through our actions, those beliefs lose their essence. But that doesn’t mean we have to a really adamant about it. When we are sharing a life with a society comprising of people of all the beliefs, we should learn to respect and appreciate their beliefs too. For me, beliefs are a highly personal prerogative. They aren’t and shouldn’t be a substance of projection or show-off. And this applies to both theistic and atheistic beliefs. If I believe in something, I shouldn’t try to shove it down the throat of those whose beliefs don’t conform to mine. If even pretending to be a believer somehow helps maintain that decorum, I don’t mind it. That doesn’t necessarily change my core beliefs. They are still intact. I am just trying not to enforce them on others through my actions.

And another thing that surprises me about these atheists is that their whole atheistic ideologies are based upon the rationality or irrationality of doing something. They try to seek reasoning for everything they do. One thing they tend to forget is that, while we have evolved in to these brainy creatures that can care for rationality and reasoning, but at the very core we also have a mind which is capable of perceiving the emotions which surpasses the confines of rational thinking. Like, say, worshiping the forces of nature; I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with worshiping all these forces which we know exist, and in fact help in making our lives sustainable. We won’t be able to live a life if it wasn’t for these forces, the sun, the rains, the winds. Although rationality dictates that worshiping these forces as a feeling of gratefulness is pointless since these forces don’t have the ability to receive that gratitude. But we tend to forget that we, the humans, do have the ability to convey that gratitude, and nothings really lost if we do convey it to these forces, via worship. The want for reasoning in anything and everything we do, reminds me of robots. Robots work in complete accordance with logic. They can perceive only those things which are reasonable. If humans start looking for reasoning in everything they do, they are no better than robots. And these are just a few of the things that I think differentiate me from these ‘atheists’. I remember my friend once saying to me, these so-called atheists are so busy in religiously opposing the constitution of religion, that they tend to forget that their own rigid ideologies about the concept of atheism makes atheism a religion in itself. And I find it so very true. But then, like any other religion, the followers seldom try to be flexible with their ideologies. So, I don’t care what the dictionary says about being an atheist. According to me being an atheist is being anti-theist, which I’m not. Sure, I’m a non-believer; but atheist I’m not.

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6 thoughts on “Non-Believer. Not An Atheist.

  1. You do realize that many religious people think you have no morals and are going to be tormented for all time, right? If you think atheists are being rude, let that thought sink in. While you kiss the ass of religion in the hopes that you *gasp* don’t offend someone, religious groups are actively using their religion to kill, maim and take away the rights of minorities around the world. Homosexuals, atheists, apostates and even rival religions aren’t safe.

    I know it’s easier for you to attack the minority group than to risk offending the majority, but I have to question the honesty of someone who doesn’t like it when a select few atheists ridicule religion, while a large portion of religious people are say, hunting down and beating gays in Russia.

    • 1/ The whole point of this write-up was to present an opinion about how, despite being a non-believer, I consider myself to be different from majority atheists. So I’m not “attacking” anybody. Just an opinion; I’m entitled to one.

      2/ I don’t endorse violence in the name of religion. Neither do I believe in the constitution of religion. That being said, these people who are involved in crimes in the name of religion aren’t “a large portion of religious people.” Though I do disapprove of what a few of those ‘religious people’ do, I won’t blame all of them for that. It’s only those few of them who deserve the blame.

      3/ I do agree most theists despise non-believers. But that doesn’t mean I should despise them too. I don’t believe in an-eye-for-an-eye philosophy.

      4/ This wasn’t an attack on atheists, but a perspective against few of the atheistic ideologies I don’t agree with. Neither was it an attempt to “try-not-to-offend” the believers, but just an opinion that, just because they happen to be believers, doesn’t necessarily make them “bad people”

      5/ To conclude, me being a non-believer doesn’t mean I ‘should’ speak against those who believe. I have my own beliefs. They have their own. I’ll not speak against everybody who believes to punish them for the wrong-doings of a few of them.

      Thank you for your comment. 🙂

      • “1/ The whole point of this write-up was to present an opinion about how, despite being a non-believer, I consider myself to be different from majority atheists. ”

        Where do you get that idea?

        ” So I’m not “attacking” anybody. Just an opinion; I’m entitled to one.”

        Yes you are. And I’m entitled to my opinion.

        “That being said, these people who are involved in crimes in the name of religion aren’t “a large portion of religious people.” ”

        I wonder if you’re ignorant of world events, willfully blind or just so worried of saying something that might offend someone, you’d rather ignore world events.

        There are whole countries that stone homosexuals. There are countries that try to legislate the death sentence for homosexuals. There are countries where they behead apostates and atheists. There are whole countries where they hunt down homosexuals and kill them. In the name of religion.

        Yes. A large percentage does this. Yes, whole countries do this.

        “Though I do disapprove of what a few of those ‘religious people’ do, I won’t blame all of them for that. It’s only those few of them who deserve the blame.”

        Grow a backbone. It’s not a few. It’s an ancient mythology that teaches it. Like I pointed out, whole countries that oppress minorities because of religion, including supposed secular countries like the US that prohibit gay marriage in some states.

        And NO ONE said you should blame all religious people.

        ” I do agree most theists despise non-believers. But that doesn’t mean I should despise them too. I don’t believe in an-eye-for-an-eye philosophy.”

        No one suggested you do.

        Know where the eye for an eye philosophy is taught?

        Religion.

        I was pointing out that you suck up to an idea you don’t even believe in because you might upset a majority of people.

        “Neither was it an attempt to “try-not-to-offend” the believers, but just an opinion that, just because they happen to be believers, doesn’t necessarily make them “bad people””

        You said directly in your post that you didn’t write this before because you didn’t want to offend people.

        Here…let me remind you: “And the reason I’ve had to really keep contemplating about my decision to write on this topic is because; it can get really sensitive. If you are going to publicly voice your opinions about the ‘concept’ of God, or about the whole idea of worship, you may be at a risk of offending the faiths and beliefs of a group at large. ”

        Did you go to PC school or something?

        And again, no one said being a believer makes someone a bad person. It’s some of the ideas religion teaches that are bad.

        “To conclude, me being a non-believer doesn’t mean I ‘should’ speak against those who believe. ”

        I never suggested you do.

        ” I have my own beliefs. They have their own. I’ll not speak against everybody who believes to punish them for the wrong-doings of a few of them.”

        No, you’ll only do that to the minority group. Wouldn’t want to offend anyone or take a realistic, truthful look at what religion really teaches.

      • I come from a land with second largest population on earth and with people from a variety of religions and castes and creeds living. So, I’ve seen in close quarters how they work. Make yourself familiar with the ground realities. All they care for most of the part is making a living. Trying to earn a bread for their families. And these people who’s sole ambition in their lives is to make a living, they are a lot more than those who care for spreading hatred. These are the people who believe. But most of them do not know what their religion really preaches. I am no student of religion myself so i wont go into what religion does preach and what it doesn’t. But what i have observed is that, whenever there are incidents of violence in the name of religion, it’s always the few who are really responsible behind it. It’s just a few, who wish to spread that hatred. Not all of them. Do you really think the people of the “countries” you are referring to, which have such a high poverty levels really care about spreading hatred when all they need to do is make a living off their poverty. I’m not gonna go into details making my point (getting late for my work), but again, I’m not gonna hate “all of them”. For what i know, “most of them” are good people. It’s always the few of them who believe in spreading the hatred. And I’m telling this from the experience of coming from a land with people following so many religions. And many of these people who do believe also dis-approve of what a few amongst them do in the name of religion. And also illiteracy proves to be an another major factor. These people can easily get brain-washed by those few, in conforming with their principles of spreading the hatred. It’s always the few, who for their selfish interest try to influence the others. Many of them wont even care unless they get wrongfully influenced. And like i did mention, my appreciation was for those “who are truly genuine in their devotion and admiration for Him; not those who just use His name to nurture their selfish interests”. The root of the hatred is always a few people. Not a majority of them.

        And as for me trying not to offend them, if you had cared to read the line next to the one you quoted, it said “So am I here to in any way offend their devotion? No.” The whole point of the article isn’t ‘try-not-to-offend’ but to appreciate the good among the believers and give my opinion against a few qualities of the atheists.

        I could write an article speaking against the practices the religion preaches that I don’t approve of. But as for this article, that wasn’t the point. Missed the point, have we?

  2. It is very difficult to read your post because of the one large, long wall of small test. Paragraphs would make it much easier. I did pick up a little bit. I fear you may be coming to an conclusion about atheists based on a majority. At any rate, why do you so admire the passion for the religious but not for the non-religious?

    • I admire the passion of the religious as long as their passions are restricted to their own beliefs. The problem i have is with the ‘passion’ of only those non-religious, whose sole ambition is to be anti-religious rather than non-religious. I am non-religious. Not anti-religious. And isn’t it better to come to an conclusion based on a majority rather than a minority? In fact the conclusions the anti-religious come to, are never based on a majority.

      Thanks for the comment. And as for paragraphing, yes, I’ll do that. 🙂

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