A satya-advaitist who has arrived at a position on the precise meaning of God and his existence or non-existence owes it to society to make his views known. The reasons for my doing so are presented.
Promoting atheism comes into much vitriolic opposition in the world from those living according to God-based religions. One therefore needs good arguments to counter those who persecute atheists for their views. The premise of my secular ethics which I base on evolutionary biology is that one is an intrinsic part of society, be it the community in which on lives, the national society, or the world society. One therefore has a duty to society to express one’s deeply held views so that society benefits from those views, accommodates them in light of other views expressed freely and therefore becomes better through improved knowledge. We humans have a voice. We should use it in a good positive manner for the benefit of society. One should not allow oneself to be bullied into silence. One should voice one’s atheistic opinions in a pacifist manner, and in so doing fight to prevent one’s rights to freedom of thought and expression from being eroded from the stampede of religiousity.
Promoting atheism needs to be demonstrated as being a good thing. What constitutes the good thing? The good thing is the right thing that is supported by the bulk of the factual evidence. Truth alone emancipates in all kinds of ways, not least in the quest for peace of mind. This conviction comes from thorough studies to acquire knowledge and when this happens the realisation may dawn that there is the need to promote atheism by getting one’s arguments right. Atheism must be shown to be working towards the emancipation of humanity through promoting science and reason as being the rational basis for living thus releasing humankind from the shackles of religion. This will lead to the gradual emancipation of humankind from the delusions of a supernatural entity that tortures people into unreasonable behaviour with their fellow human beings and leads to deaths and the destruction of the environment that nurtures us all.
The internet has contributed greatly to the release of many a tortured human who had been thoroughly brainwashed by an upbringing in religion-based knowledge. But we need to do more to prove to people that rational consideration of facts and figures does lead to the discovery of the ethics that is indisputable in terms of generating the highest quality of life in terms of its health, life expectancy and happiness, and that this will be more real and durable than the ethics discovered by following religious dogma. Those who have truly found reason and science to be the right reins for their outlook and the dependable basis for conducting their lives need to show why these reins are superior than those that rely on adhering to religious guidance and doctrinal procedures for living.
If one can logically work out what is a good way of living that is harmonious with nature and generates health, happiness and longevity, than one has no grounds for presuming that there is a God sitting in one’s mind as a supersoul telling us the correct way of living that will achieve these natural objectives. This is simply true because quite evidently such a God is not telling anyone else to live according to the same principles and objectives and because principles and objectives change with time and knowledge accumulation. Further, on the whole, the religious format of reasoning is that these are not the objectives that are right for us humans because this evidence-less God has clearly dictated an altogether different objective for humans, namely the quest of a union between man and himself. One needs to ask how credible is the religious format for basing our lives? It is clear that the apparent God has told Christians, Muslims and Hindus to live to different procedures that are frequently in conflict with each other. So which is more rational to pursue: believing in one’s own determination (self-determination) as being the correct way of living or living to some holy book that promises an after-life that we have no evidence of and which, above all, was arrived at through different paths for different sections of humanity? The logical answer is one should not believe that there is any kind of a Personal God who can serve as a guide to how we live and whom we humans can serve as the purpose of our existence. Our biology is sufficient to tell us how we should live as a population of human beings who mate with each other so we need to live with each other as a community and humanity. We should not pray to any entity for our welfare, because praying demonstrates a loss of faith in our own ability to influence the course of our lives.
If something can happen without the need for a God to design and make that thing happen, then it is more logical to assume that it happened by itself due to the natural forces implicit in the system. The evidence shows that life arose without the absolute need for Creator God. Science has identified a lot of the detailed mechanisms that form the mechanism of life and evolution. We know how we humans evolved from lesser primates for example. All of life could have arisen without a designer for abiogenesis and evolution to what we have today. To consider that the species that arose in during the process was the deliberate result of the free will of a creator God intervening in the evolutionary process is simply too incredible to make it a worthwhile issue for consideration.
We then come on to the question of who or what created the universe: the case for God is not not so easy to dismiss in this respect because we cannot see the totality of the universe through our eyes and scientific instrumentation. We therefore have not a clue on what caused the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe. We have theories only which can be disputed. But we do have clues to guide us in our decision. We know for example that expansion will lead to the death of our solar system one day so that we will come to an end in less than a billion years. Who would want to create a universe like that generates something wonderful only to see it go out of existence. What kind of intelligence and will would do that? Not a good one who has made something that will self-destruct. Beyond that a designed universe is not credible because it is not a good design to have generated only one planet where after 3.5 billion years we humans came about to be able to ask such fundamental questions and living fearfully of the present and future in terms of how we will survive. Notwithstanding, it could be a creator or some other kind of force that can be called God. Science may not ever be in a position to give us a categorical answer of whether the universe arose from itself. It seems likely that there will always be a case for another force beyond it. So it dampens our analysis of the case for atheism.
In the past I have swung about like a pendulum from strong theism, to strong atheism to, theism, to atheotheism, to theism and back to atheism where I have settled now. There is nothing wrong and everything right in such to-ing and fro-ing. The considerations are complex. To be able to change one’s views shows a mind seeking the truth and not allowing oneself to be straitjacketed ever. One alone can make one’s own mind up if one is truly searching for the truth. The uncertainty on what was there before time began in terms of the forces that generated the universe does not make me a weak atheist but a strong atheist with a question mark because I believe that we humans should be in total command of our own future because there is no higher power for us to be fearful of or to sing the praises of because of what we see as being the wonders of the universe. The power source that generated the forces that brought about the universe which science cannot yet determine the composition of should not be accorded the word God, because this word implies a being for which we should have some fear, awe, respect, reverence or love, and there is no reason for according these feelings to the power source that generated the universe.