In my personal circle of atheist friends, we don’t talk about God. To us, it has become one of the least interesting topics to discuss. I remember the day that this really clicked for me. My wife and I were driving with some friends to the store when one of us (I don’t remember who) said something that was essentially mocking the idea of God. This sent us down a conversational stream of reiterating points we had made in the past that made the idea of God seem laughable. We again pointed out the mere improbability (dare I say, impossibility) of God. We were saying many of the same things we had said in the past, perhaps from different angles, but for all intents and purposes, it was the same argument. It was then that one of my friends asked, “why are we doing this?” This wasn’t a sympathetic question towards the Christian faith, suggesting that we were being too hard on them. No, this question was asking; why are we talking about something that is so clearly false?
Soon after he asked this question, we all kind of laughed introspectively. I then began to mock what we were doing by pointing out the clear flaws in the myth of Santa Clause. Bringing up the improbability (dare I say, impossibility) of a man reaching every home over night. I pointed out how Santa was not as generous a man as claimed, leaving the starving kids of Africa without food or shelter while giving a child in America a new XBOX. We all laughed, because the idea of Santa is so clearly false that discussing his likelihood is literally a complete waste of time. It was then that we realized, so is God.
The idea of God is not a discussion worth having once you are an experienced atheist, and I think many atheists would agree. If you have studied religion and science for a substantial period of time, there comes a point when acknowledging the God hypothesis as a valid possibility is to give too much respect to it; lending far too much of our valuable (and finite) time to an unsubstantial claim. God is clearly a failed hypothesis. Contradiction after contradiction, improbability after improbability in the face of a probable solution, no other hypothesis could fail so often, so explicitly, and still render five minutes of intellectual discussion. So why lend the 5 minutes to this?
The reason that I have taken the time to point this out is because we need to recognize that there are better things to be talking about. There are better things to ponder. The wonders of science are at our fingertips and we need not spend another moment wondering if there is a dictator in the sky waiting to punish us for thought crime. We know this argument is over. It’s time to move on to more relevant ideas.
Now there is a caveat to the points I have made above. What I have said above applies more to the subjective experience. I think that we atheists that have covered all the bases in the God debate need not spend so much time on it when there is so much more to discover in this life. That being said, we still need people that do speak out against religion. Religion is far too popular and we are clearly hindered as a people because of religion. I am thankful for people such as the four horsemen and the various atheist groups that work to keep religion out of our government, we need these groups, we need these people.
And I am sure that we still have people in our lives that we care about that do want to have this discussion with us. We should not ignore this simply because the idea of God is so stale. And due to religions popularity, sometimes we need to present ideas that people haven’t heard before. If we want religion to lose its popularity, people need to feel pressure when they try to claim nonsense. We need to be willing to speak out when someone tries to present an unsubstantial claim with pride.
To summarize, the power that religion still has on society makes our voice in opposition important. But at the end of the day, for me, I know that this debate is over. I have spent a good amount of time this subject and I have quite honestly spent enough. I personally rarely desire the conversation anymore. Now, I am open minded. If someone has a new and revolutionary idea, let me hear it. But I know (virtually, I should say) that it won’t happen. The argument is over. I have better things to think about. There is a universe filled with plenty of wonder and beauty and I need not waste any more of my time on this idea called God.