I don’t and can’t consider myself an atheist. Part of that comes from my deep disgusm with the rabid and dogmatic campaign against religion that the likes of Dawkins and N are conducting. But that’s just part of it. There are other, more subtle and complicated, or maybe even more important, issues at hand. For, you see, my current position is such that a casual observer would never see the difference between my point of view and atheism.
For lack of a better word, let’s call it ananthropomorfism.
This means i strongly refuse any depiction of god that inputs to it human characteristics. For example, every time god loves or talks or commands or thinks or exibits any kind of emotion or judges or shows moral biases of any sort, every time this happens a doubt strikes me: if you could create the universe, wouldn’t you be beyond such idiosyncrasies?
This basically means that i would take the word /god/ to be something very close to the universe or, in overly precise terms, the set of everything that is not me.
Thus, my view is not hard to reconcile with a materialistic one, that says that there is only matter, only the world and nothing beyond it. I just happen to think that the universe could have amongst its many properties, one that happened to fit the role of god. Not will or conscience or any of those human centered concepts, mind you, but just god-ness.
You might say that god to me is an interesting hypothesis. Not an useful one, certainly, for it is almost the archetype of untestability. But interesting because it opens many dimensions of meaning.
Thus, from the untestable <existence of god> we could proceed to ask what is the difference between faith in gods and faith in equations — a very testable concept, for ethnographers.
And going down that particular road (amongst many others equaly useful) we will find that the only particularly useful distinction between, say, 10 commandments and 4 laws of thermodynamics, is that the “scientific” ones are less moral.
And i do think so-called faith-in-science is de-moralizing in some ways, and i do think that’s the way to go, but this faith-in-science/atheism thing is not the final word in abandoning moral biases, amongst other reasons because it pretty much reproduces a christian moral code.
And so unqualified atheism is not sufficient to me.
what i believe we need instead is the realization that the old frontiers between religion and other spheres of life, like politics, like science, like law and so forth, those barriers do not exist anymore.
And with that realization we must come back to putting in the front stage issues like purpose, self-fulfillment, belief — issues that lost their appropriate place when religion was taken out from life. Not that we must go back to religion — that would simply not work. But we need to bring back the notion of holy that religion once provided, bring it back into day-to-day life.
How? I do not have answers. But it is something we must ponder.
And as we are pondering, the hipothesys of the existence of god is an interesting one, albeit not useful.