Atheism originates from the Greek word “atheos” meaning without Gods. The Atheist does not believe in the existence of deities. It was in the 18th century during the “Age of Enlightenment” that century individuals identified themselves as Atheist, criticising religion and seeing iI as narrow-mindedness.
Theism comes from the Greek word “theos” meaning God, and is a vast contrast to Atheism. In theism the belief is that ONE God exists and presides over mankind, ruling with an iron fist of thunder, rewarding the faithful and condemning those who do not keep the laws or commandants or laws set-forth by a certain Religious Sect-Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Druze, Sikhism and Hinduism.
Agnosticism, coined by Thomas Henry Huxley during the mid-1800s is the belief that God, the divine supernatural deity may exist, but may not. An Agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves that God truly exists. Confusing I know! An agnostic is confident in their belief that it’s not possible to have knowledge about God or about the creation of the Universe for that matter; therefore refrain from following any organized doctrine.
Growing up in a predominately Christian society you were taught to follow the laws of the Bible, and trust in God the almighty! The giver of life and all that’s good in the world. Also believe in the Devil, doer of evil and creator of Sin. Despite it all, over the years my mind has grown from the neophyte Christian being spoon-fed from the pulpit. I’ve learned to question everything, especially those coming in the name of Religion.
But one belief I’ve held onto is the existence of God. Not the guy with the long white beard sitting on a throne in the sky casting lightning bolts at those who don’t keep his laws, the homosexual, adulterers, thieves, liars, unbelieving sinners of all kinds. No, I trust and believe in God the spirit that lives inside each of us whether we believe it or not. I have friends from all walks of life, all beliefs and Religions. Through conversations, I’ve found that the one common ground we each have is respect for self, respect for each other, and FAITH in the seen and unseen! The Atheist has faith that the stars will light their way at night; the Theist has faith that God is always watching over us all; the agnostic has faith that the sun will rise tomorrow.
None of us truly know how the Universe was created and we can only speculate about how far it expands. Scientist says it was created through the “Big Bang,” an enormous explosion that scattered matter through the vastness of space causing it to expand and create our planets, galaxies, and stars. While others believe we are living in an intricate illusion created by our minds. What is one correct in their theory, or maybe they both are? The “Big Bang” could be a part of this illusion. But created consciousness? Evolution or God?
© Etta D. Richards