I stumbled upon this post on a study on faith in hospitals and found it kind of interesting that even the old argument about prayer helping patients in hospitals is not entirely true. That’s pretty crazy, as I always assumed the studies were correct, that there really were statistics showing that prayer helps healing and that it had to do with the connection between the mind and body, but apparently even that is not true, and the study shows that prayer might actually be damaging. It’s funny, that was one of the most common pro-prayer arguments I’ve heard over the years, and none of it was true. Why am I not surprised?
But anyway, that’s not what this post is about, because someone made a comment that I found interesting and important to address:
“One exasperating aspect of reading or watching the atheists’ arguments is that they are so linear, cognitive and left brained. If we were wholly left brained beings, this would make sense but we are not. There is an emotional aspect to us as well as a strong sense of intuition. When we are seriously ill, we do not respond solely with our intellects. We respond with our entire beings.”
He wrote some more in his comment, but this is what I found important, because he’s got some really good points. Atheists do have a tendency to think so linear and left brained, and I have the same frustrations with the way so many other atheists just present cause-and-effects and use logical proofs to try and scientifically discredit the existence of God, as though our lives are just some big math equation. What many atheists need to understand is that for many people it doesn’t matter how true or rational or obvious something is, if it doesn’t make them feel good, they won’t believe it. Period.
But the commenter seemed to be implying that atheists are essentially free of the emotional aspects of life, which I think is a misconception. Atheists tend to be in love with logic and reason. That’s really all it is. We talk about logic and reason all the time, like how a guy in love always talks about his girlfriend, and we seem to relate everything back to that. It doesn’t mean we don’t have everything else that theists appreciate about life, it simply means that our passion for life is directly integrated into our logic and reason, and that brings us more joy than God could.
It might seem foreign and strange for many theists for us to be this devoted to something that on its surface seems so cold and mechanical, but once you start relying on logic and reason you quickly find that it rewards you. It rewards you with success, good fortune, happiness, a sense of self-worth and a reliable sense of safety and security, and, since the commenter mentioned intuition, it also trains our subconscious to be more accurate and make better decisions. It’s hard not to fall in love with something when it brings you so many amazing things, especially for those of us who have given God a serious try and done a comparison.
So this is one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog, because I wanted to talk about the human aspect of Atheism. I want to talk about the night I became an Atheist (the same night I became a writer) after reading a novel that made me forget who I was. I want to talk about the joy and poetry of code, the magic of the if statement and for loop and try to communicate the way I feel when I’m using that logic to command the computer, affecting the lives of hundreds, thousands or even millions of people. I want to talk about how amazing, fragile and beautiful this world is knowing that it all came out of chance, that it wasn’t created by anything intelligent, and yet it came out in all these glorious colors, and even though all those colors make perfect logical sense, they are no less amazing–nay, they are far more amazing because they make logical sense and because we have the capacity to understand them.
If our world was created out of unintelligent randomness, just imagine what the human race could accomplish and where we could go from here. That is the true magic of this world. If God were here, what would be the point? Why should we bother when He already created everything?
And I want to talk about how nice it is to have control over your emotions, to know that some irrational paranoia is not going to creep into your mind, to know that if something happens you won’t lose control, that you won’t randomly become depressed and anxious, knowing that you are your own person and you have control over who you are and how you feel.