An Atheist Running For A Utah School Board Seat?
By Josh Cameron | Our Voice Contributor
My name is Joshua Cameron. I am a combat veteran. I have worked in the oil fields in UT and Wyoming. I have driven over the road as a truck driver across the continental states of America. I have worked in multiple factories in Indiana. I am also an agnostic atheist.
Why is this fact, that I am an atheist, important?
Well let’s define terms first. A theist is someone who believes in a God in one form or another. I don’t. It’s as simple as someone who has a cold and exhibits symptoms, and someone who doesn’t is asymptomatic.
The term atheist, in and of itself, is philosophically devoid of any meaning. The only meaning atheist has, is the meaning you just imparted into the word as you read it.
Now I have nothing against the idea of a creator of the cosmos, I simply lack the evidence for one. I don’t believe in faith, because I see people of faith electing war mongers and sexual assailants. I see people of faith electing friends of bankers that enact austerity policy against the working class, while redistributing wealth from the working class to the massively wealthy. The same massively wealthy that think if they have less than 100 million dollars, they are poor… and that’s just the Democrats. Republicans are far worse.
This absurd notion that we need to believe in a God to be moral just lacks evidence. I have read the Old Testament. I have read in 2 Kings 23-25 where children mocked a man, a prophet of God, by calling him bald head, or baldy, and they were set upon by she bears that mauled and killed them all. I have read in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 that if a man rapes a virgin, his punishment is to pay her father 50 shekels and then is required to marry her.
Well that’s strange. That sure doesn’t sound moral to me. That sounds amoral actually.
I have read time and again how people in our day and age call upon Levitical Law to denounce gay marriage, and yet the New Testament, which I have also read, describes that Jesus was the lamb of God; the final sacrifice fulfilling Levitical Law. To me this suggests a slippery slope. If you follow one law of Levitical nature, where do you draw the line? Also, if you follow Levitical Law, what are you saying about Jesus’ sacrifice?
You don’t think it was worth it?
Well that is quite strange coming from Christians, which quite literally means Christ-like, to say out of one side of their mouth that Jesus loves me so much he sacrificed himself so I, a Gentile, can be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven. And out of the other side of their mouth they say, “…but his sacrifice wasn’t all we thought it was.” These two things seem incongruent to me. As a man of evidence, I seek to prove things wrong, scientifically and Socratically. If I am unable to prove it wrong, then I must be on to something. It doesn’t mean I can’t prove it wrong in the future, it just means that given my current level of understanding it cannot be proven wrong.
This, in a nut shell, is what we call critical thinking.
To consider what evidence we have, introduce that evidence to physical real world environments and experiments, and see how it holds up. There are times where questions don’t come with answers, so just because I can’t disprove it, doesn’t mean I ultimately can prove it. This, essentially, is Scientific Theory. Stating that given the evidence available, this stands up to the rigors of scientific questioning, but perhaps can be further expounded at a later date. Think General Relativity and Special Relativity (Einstein).
And yet I see people of faith telling me that the bible is the word of God. Well which bible? The Old or New? The Old would suggest a Jewish faith of some sort and New would suggest a Christian. What is someone who bases their ideas off evidence to do with someone who claims they follow the New, but draw upon the Old to demand others live by it?
There is a quote that I quite like. It comes from a Nobel Prize winning Physicist by name of Richard Feynman. He said: “I’d rather have questions that can’t be answered, than answers that can’t be questioned”. Now the bible has some very interesting parables that suggest how to live a good life and be nice to others, but then the very people who claim to follow Christ, pray to find their keys, to have God cleanse them of their skin condition, also praise God while locking up babies in cages on our Southern border. These very people elect and often get excited by candidates that wage war that hurts millions of innocent people.
What is a person of evidence to do these facts? I simply say I have no evidence of God, and by way of those who claim to follow him, I have evidence that what they say is in the bible and what they do are often quite different and amoral to today’s standards.
I mean, if your daughter, sister, niece or cousin got raped, does it seem moral to force her to marry her rapist as HIS punishment?
Asking for a friend.
About the Author:
Army Service 12/99-12/03
Candidate for Granite School Board District 6 In Utah