Thursday Inspiration — I Believe

For this week’s Thursday Inspiration prompt from Jim Adams, I’m taking a shortcut. His prompt is the word “believe” and to use the photo above and to write a post around that word. Well, I discussed the notion of believe in a post I published on October 25, 2018, and feel that it fits this prompt, so here it is.


I’m a Believer

If you’re reading this because you think this post is about the 1967 song “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees, it’s not. Not even close.

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What this post is about is that I was talking to a friend of mine this past weekend. He’s a fairly religious person and he knows that I’m an atheist. He told me that he didn’t understand how anyone could be a “non-believer.” Apparently he believes, like many people, that being an atheist means that you’re a “non-believer.”

Do you tend to call those who don’t believe in God “non-believers”? Well, if you do, your definition of “believer” is way too narrow. You’re thinking that the word “believer” applies only to a belief system, a religious belief system. A belief in a supreme being, a greater intelligence, a supernatural deity. And for most Americans, that means believing in God, Yahweh, Allah, or whatever you call your deity.

As an atheist, I believe that God does not exist. I believe that Christians, Jews, and Muslims made up God in the same way that Greeks and Romans, for example, made up Zeus and Jupiter and all the other gods they believed in.

But just because I don’t believe that God exists doesn’t make me a non-believer. Because that would imply that I don’t believe in anything. I believe in a lot of things.

I believe that we didn’t exist before we were born and that we will cease to exist in any form after we die.

I believe that our universe is almost 14 billion years old and that the planet we live on is 4.5 billion years old. I believe in evolution. And I believe that we are working pretty damn hard to destroy our planet’s ability to sustain human life.

I believe in a woman’s rights to choose. I believe in free speech, in freedom of (or from) religion, in equal rights for gays, and in gun control. I also believe in the separation of church and state.

But wait, there’s more that I believe. I believe that humans are fallible and that we all make mistakes. Some more than others. I believe that most people are good, decent, and moral, regardless of their religious beliefs — or lack thereof. And I believe in my country. Just not in “God and country.”

Yeah, I know. You’re thinking that these beliefs make me a liberal, which is the next worst label a person can have after atheist, right?

You’re also thinking that these are not beliefs. These are philosophies. These are ideologies. And you’re thinking that I’m expressing political opinions, not, you know, beliefs.

Sorry, I don’t believe that. Yes, these are philosophical beliefs. They are ideological and even political beliefs. But they are, nevertheless, beliefs. Other than from a very narrow religious perspective, just because I don’t believe in God, doesn’t make me a non-believer. I have a whole host of beliefs. Because I am a human being and I am alive.

There is not one of us — unless you’re dead — who doesn’t believe in something.

And now, for those of you who took the time to read my 520-word post, here’s a reward for your effort.

22 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration — I Believe

  1. newepicauthor March 25, 2022 / 11:18 am

    Believing in anything is good. My sister believes in prayer, and I am happy that works for her. I believe in love, but that never seemed to work out for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. wideeyedwanderingspoonie March 25, 2022 / 11:54 am

    Dude, we could have some really interesting friendly discourse going here. 🙂 Everybody’s got to believe in something, I believe I’ll have a cup of tea. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. wrookieschu March 25, 2022 / 12:23 pm

    Great post! I love your perspective. Ps I instantly thought of the Monkees when I first seen the title 🤣

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 25, 2022 / 4:23 pm

      Thanks. Yes, that’s what I figured most would think.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. rugby843 March 25, 2022 / 12:52 pm

    Forgot about those haircuts😂😂Great post Fandango

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Marilyn Armstrong March 25, 2022 / 4:47 pm

    I didn’t think of the Monkees song because i don’t even remember the Monkees — or their songs. In 1967, I was recovering from a spinal fusion and if it wasn’t the Beatles or Beethoven, I probably wasn’t listening.

    I’m a non believer if you are talking about religious dogma. It’s not that I don’t believe in anything because obviously, I do. My mother believed in a lot of things, but as she got older, she became increasingly cynical — and lefty. She was very seriously left wing from her youth as an FDR follower and nothing changed her mind, including dying.

    I’ve had some strange experiences that leave me a little less definitive about beliefs in things that are other than typically experienced by humans. Having had those experiences — and they happened, really — I know I’ll never be any religion’s adherent. But. There are many things out there, Horatio. So I’ve got a very open mind and I’m very accepting of other people’s beliefs, whatever they are.

    As long as no one asks me to follow their rules.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 25, 2022 / 5:07 pm

      “As long as no one asks me to follow their rules.” Exactly!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen March 25, 2022 / 7:02 pm

      I appreciate your “experiences” (that can’t be proven to anyone but did happen). I think you said in another thread (and/or at your own blog) that you don’t think all or most people are “good.” I said that (in this thread and not per religion v not religion or adherence to doctrine), but my post somehow didn’t take. Technology can be funny.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen March 25, 2022 / 10:53 pm

        Ah… it just now dawned on me why. And I’ll reiterate, sort of. I differentiated between “decent” (which I do think most people are) and good (very much along the lines of how you see that, Marilyn). Meanwhile, at the same time I gave a blatantly obvious example of not decent, some people think I’m not decent. I think. (I didn’t get into this.) The former step mother (during her second marriage) of my daughter-in-law (when she was a kid) came over to offer a bid on doing some gardening work (via creating a flower garden). She had the nerve to seriously ask if we were “living in sin” (my ex-husband, with whom I have five children from when we were married, and myself). I told this story to one of my sons, years later. We laughed and pondered.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Paula Light March 25, 2022 / 6:27 pm

    I don’t believe in a god or anything supernatural because I have not seen any evidence for it. But I see lots of good things about many religious values, so I’m fine with theists as long as they don’t criticize me for not sharing their ism…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 25, 2022 / 8:26 pm

      I have no quarrel with the religious or their values, but as you said, if they criticize me for not embracing THEIR believes, then it’s no holds barred.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. bushboy March 25, 2022 / 9:27 pm

    My girlfriend asked me to stop singing I’m a Believer by The Monkees because she found it annoying. At first I thought she was kidding……But then I saw her face

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Lolsy's Library March 26, 2022 / 5:17 am

    Thank you for the reward, lol . I don’t believe in a God persay, I believe in Spirits, I believe that there is good is most people. I believe in the Science. I believe in you and me ❤ =D

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marleen March 26, 2022 / 1:36 pm

    I’m sharing this because religion is often associated (rightly based on history) with war. And, war is based on beliefs (whether religious or not). Clearly, we have a current situation dominating the news. I appreciated that someone in this conversation mentioned the prevalence of political people within the current church (founded and rebuilt in the previous century and then in Putin’s time) in Russia or the former Soviet Union. I’ve read significantly about what the general populous went through in the lands between Germany and Russia in the last century. For one, Richard Wurmbrand has written of the moment of truth when he was pressured to succumb (and many others did step in line). {Let me go ahead and say there are, in my view, two sets of cognitive dissonance involved for people like those speaking in this presentation: they are in “The Church” established in violence [fourth century] while speaking of the true gospel too AND (flip side of a coin) they are aware of the sermon in the mount while participating in a messed up historical institution. It seems to be the best we can do en mass even while I don’t buy in for my daily life. The dialogue is relevant.}

    Ukraine special: The religious roots of Putin’s invasion – Fr Cyril Hovorun & Clifford Longley · 3 weeks ago

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen March 26, 2022 / 1:39 pm

      sermon on*

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Marleen March 26, 2022 / 1:36 pm

    And then there’s this kind of thing.

    Vladimir Pozner: How the United States Created Vladimir Putin · 3 years ago

    Liked by 1 person

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