This is inspired by Reincarnation And Life After Death.
My co-blogger had an interesting thought that Buddha was the most badass atheist off all time.
I am fond of this. Namely, because Buddha was anti-doctrine, anti-ceremony. At the same time, I think atheism is a troubling term unless one has the all-embracing, tolerant approach of Buddha.
He insists on the no-self as a teaching mechanism, but not to discredit that existence exists. Only our relation to the universe becomes in question, we are the universe. As any physicist knows, an experiment says as much about the observer as it does the observed.
And what is our existence beyond a grand experiment in consciousness and movement?
Atheism, to me, is troubling for its absolute conviction. Agnosticism seems more true to our limited knowledge.
Now, some call themselves Atheists specifically to counter the notion of a benevolent or omnipresent creator God. Which is fine. But is not God’s fault that others misinterpret God’s consequence. The burden is on us to understand eternity. As Spinoza contended, deeper understand of God lays bricks and mortar to a foundation, a vantage from which we can perceive.
In the past, was there a need to differentiate between the universe and God? Existence and God? What good can this division be? Is it similar to the division between science and religion?
Some Atheists after a long discussion agree that yes, the universe does exist, but why call it God? My response is, why not call it God? Language is merely an agreed upon, coalescing set of symbols and interpretations anyway. Why not use it to the best of our advantage? And if we begin to talk of God we being to find many other truths, discovered under this moniker.
The only true atheist can see past dualistic thinking and the limitations of no-God, otherwise they are as mistaken as any other.
God exists, and God does not exist. But God cannot not exist. Otherwise you run into the circular reasoning of Kant – existence is not a property.
Existence is a property of all existing things. And non-existence, what about that?
Thus God is a superior term to universe, existence, non-existence, because it contains all of this. God is oneness. In Eastern Philosophy this has been called Tao:
Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao. It springs into existence, unconscious, perfect, free, takes on a physical body, lets circumstances complete it. That is why every being spontaneously honors the Tao. The Tao gives birth to all beings, nourishes them, maintains them, cares for them, comforts them, protects them, takes them back to itself, creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering. That is why love of the Tao is in the very nature of things.
– Tao Te Ching
Atheism – i.e. nonbelief – doesn’t inherently imply absolute conviction any more than belief does, in my opinion. I agree that absolute conviction about anything for which there is no objective evidence, is troubling. But atheism doesn’t always fall into that category.
I think anything that exists must also not exist. But a thing that does not exist, does not have to also exist in order to nonexist. It can just simply not exist.
How’s the blog going? I’ve become a regular and your last posts have been excellent! I really want to contribute to the discussion, but still a bit unsure – waiting for fullness, am.
I see your point. I agree and need to be more specific I think.
You have given me good direction for my next post that I’ll do later today.
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