Perhaps at first glance this appears a trite question for an atheist, or even a theist for that matter, however the question I am posing is slightly more insular.
What I have been asking myself recently is what am I doing on the net? Twittering, blogging etc. I guess the answer is that I feel that I am engaged in some form of altruistic act. It may be no different to someone who engages with a charity or helps an elderly person across the road.
I am (in my opinion) a fairly tolerant guy. If someone wants to pray to a Haddock God who brings forth Fish in a cheese sauce to his followers then that's fine by me, however when the Haddock God's followers start telling me how I and those around me should live my life then I start getting annoyed. Don't get me wrong, I am not an anarchist, far from it. Society functions through a series of rules. But those rules need to be developed through common sense and a sense of morality and this is the biggest problem with gods. Gods are both immoral and illogical. My frame of reference is that of the Christian God as I grew up a christian. But in recent years I have travelled and read and have an understanding of other belief systems.
What the faithful do not seem to grasp when I speak to them on twitter (and I am generalising to make a point) is that being an atheist is not a religion. Science is not a religion. To me being an atheist is a belief, if a belief can be framed in the negative! That is there is no God, no grand designer, no supreme being watching over us. Its that simple.
Science is not a religion, it is not a faith, it is not even a belief system. It is a methodology, a way of testing and examining the world, the universe, the phenomena from the gargantuan to the sub-atomic which occur around us and within us every moment of every day. Some processes started with the beginning of time and are still occurring others are so fast as to be currently unobservable.
So with that in mind what do I believe in. I believe in lots of things, I believe that the world is pretty much a spherical object, that gaseous exchange takes place in my lungs as I breath, that whilst I am sure Justin Beiber is adored and admired by a huge number of people if he stopped making music tomorrow my life would not be detrimentally influence (although chaos theory may suggest otherwise). I do believe that life on earth was created by chance occurrences over millions of years and that evolution is not something that happened it is something that is happening and will continue to do so.
I am flexible in my beliefs too, this is different to faith. If evolution is show to be false tomorrow then I will re-evaluate the evidence and reconsider my position. Creationism was show to be false years ago. It does not stand up to scrutiny at any level. I ask and continue to ask for evidence of its existence and no one has provided anything that stands up to scientific rigour.
So the reason I am here is to say that I was once a Christian. But religion holds no answers. I use to read the bible, but its just words, stories written during a time that no longer has context. I ask people to think, if you can find answers to some of the more difficult questions mankind has asked himself through reading an book complied from translations of ancient manuscripts then go ahead. But if you want real knowledge then put on your white coat and get in the lab, or pull on a pair of boots and study the world around you. Get out there, stand on the shoulders of giants and make a difference, explore, discover and improve your world, your life and that of those around you. On the other hand go listen to someone reading pages out of a very old book. Choice is yours.
And as for the Haddock God, what does he want? Well, I would suggest he wants you to leave him alone, because he is not really there!!!!
[coming soon, why gods are immoral and illogical, before anyone asks]