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Atheism is a religion

We have free will, so we can believe in whatever we choose, including if it cannot be proved.

Many atheists think that because they can point out logical fallacies in the arguments people posit for their belief in God that it proves that God doesn't exist. To convince anyone of the non-existence of God, an atheist has to prove that there is no universal consciousness or will running the universe. What makes people believe or experience what they do has nothing to do with that larger burden of proof.

While we can logically derive conclusions from a combination of facts, there are many things we can believe in that don't have empirical facts to support those beliefs. This is called a leap of faith, and it is not confined to religious beliefs. The scientific method relies upon a hypothesis that we assume is true – or false – and see what happens as a result of that. That is a leap of faith because we take action on the basis of the assumption. We rely upon this process to live our lives, because almost everything we have to make choices about does not have a guaranteed outcome.

We are often not good at evaluating whether the results track with the expected outcomes, usually as a result of too much emotional investment in the outcomes we want. Everything we do has the risk that we have misplaced our beliefs, perhaps as a result of placing to much trust in those who have advised us because we assumed they knew what they were talking about.

The reality is that we are often dealing with those who are either playing us or are in the middle of their own wishful thinking. We are at their mercy, and this is especially true for something as nebulous as religions, which are mostly presented as definitive, especially if we buy into the fears of retribution resulting from non-compliance that many threaten will befall us. The fears are usually to stop critical thinking about whether to challenge the narrative presented to us, especially about God's existence.

However, religion is like any other assumptions we make, and we must periodically evaluate, away from the pressure of living the assumptions, whether we are on track. If we are not, we can choose to make changes that will get us back on track, but we can also decide that we can do something else instead.

Atheism is like a religion in that it requires making a definitive assumption that cannot be proved unless one has the consciousness of the whole universe, so it is just as nebulous as any religion because people can't really know. Unfortunately, many atheists are just as proselytising as evangelical religions, and so try to bully people into giving up their beliefs, usually by ridicule. However, they are failing to grasp that people choosing to believe in a religion is just as valid as an experiment in living life as their own choices are.

Such choices are a lifelong experiment, and so need to be taken seriously, as they usually lead to a lot of other choices that will either support that core choice or undermine it. Of course, we don't have to take on all that others present to us as being required, though we run the risk of them rejecting us if we don't. We can choose to live with that and forge ahead with our lives with a hybrid belief set, as many are choosing these days.

With such a path, more diligence is required because there can be conflicting outcomes due to incompatible choices, perhaps needing more rigorous introspection at the reality-check times. Whatever the choices, they are our own responsibility, and so we must not let ourselves buy into other peoples' expectations because the life lived as a result is not theirs, but ours alone. We can start, stop or change our experiment as we see fit. We can also seek advice, but we have no obligation to accept it, though we should at least take it seriously.

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