Poetry – God – the musings of a mystical antitheist.

I’m an atheist. I do not believe in god or religion. I believe in science, carbon dating, Darwin, evolution and the Big Bang.

I believe the Bible and Koran were written by men. They are not ‘the word of god’.

I see no evidence of creation in the human body or the universe. I see a lot of things we do not understand with out limited intelligence and perhaps we never will.

I acknowledge the good things that religion has produced: the cathedrals, works of great beauty, poems and writings that move people, morality that helps people live their lives happily, comfort and purpose in times of desolation.

I believe in tolerance, peace, love, free speech and the right of people to believe what ever they want. I think we should argue our case with passion.

We don’t all have to agree – just respect each other.

I also see the terrible things that have been carried out in the name of religion (and still are), the slaughter of unbelievers, pogroms, crusades, jihads, persecution, holocausts, genocides, crucifixions, beheadings, burnings and discrimination. I see the crazed fanaticism of the fundamentalists and the intolerance, bigotry and hatred it induces. I see the indoctrination of small children and cultural brainwashing.

I find the beliefs of creationists and fundamentalists (along with the dogged quoting of religious texts) absurd. I have studied how those texts were put together and find their formation, translation and content all extremely suspect. They were written by various men, long after the events, passed down generations by oral tradition and accrued into books. These books were then further culled to remove ‘heretic’ works and mistranslated. What we have is a mish-mash of contradictory offerings, purporting to be the word of god but really a collection of writings from many suspect sources. No more the word of god than my poems.

We seem to have a need to believe in some deity and magic. It is a psychological need. We’ve worshipped suns, moons, rocks, idols, ancestors, cats, trees, and supernatural superbeings who we have placed in the sky in heavens, valhallas, cloud palaces above Olympus, paradises and the rest. We have had gods and goddesses cavorting in human form, creating catastrophes, drinking, fornicating and causing mayhem. We have idolised, worshipped, sacrificed and beseeched them all. Most of the ones that were previously idolised to the point of martyrdom and believed in to the point of death have fallen by the wayside. Once they ‘ruled’ over millions but now we no longer know their names.

It just so happens that we have a few that are presently flavour of the month. Wars will be fought over them, sacrifices made, much prayer and offerings will be carried out. The only trouble is that they do not exist. They were invented by men (few by women) and are now being used to gain power.

Our present religions will fade and die. No doubt they will be replaced by others equally incredible.

Meanwhile science continues to push back the frontiers of knowledge so that we understand more and more.

I believe all religion is a product of human imagination but I can be persuaded that there are mystical forces at work in the universe. They are probably scientifically verifiable – given time.

My idea of a ‘god’ is more akin to atomic energy. It’s an incredible force that pervades the entire universe. I do not think it is conscious, has purpose or thinks we humans are anything special. It is. It is something in the midst of nothing. It came into being and that in itself is miraculous. Forget the rest.

I am an antitheist because I believe all religion is false, it creates more harm than it does good and it is used by the powerful to gain more power and wealth. It is one more cause of misery, hatred, violence, bigotry, intolerance and arrogance. We’re better off without it.

The end verse is meant to be humorous.


God is energy

God is light

God is sound

God holds the atoms

That swirl in the ground


God is flowing

Through you and me

God is the galaxy

And electricity


Religion is dogma

Religion is a lie

That separates us from energy

And puts God in the sky


I don’t believe in God

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna or Mohammed

They’re all just people

That lived on this planet


I don’t believe in prayer

Or a God that cares

A force for good or evil

With a face that stares


Religion is an evil

Full of pomp and hypocrisy

Useful by the powerful

There for all to see


If God were alive

In such simplicity

Guiding our lives

On a planet in this galaxy

One tiny speck of dust

In a raging sea

He’d appear the same to you

As he does to me


Not as Jesus to some

Just the chosen few

Jehovah to some others

Creating pagans and true

Giving out commands

Ordering us around

With strange beliefs

And dictats profound


No – God is the atom and the energy

The fuse that makes them dance

And the time to let them be

God is around within and without

With no Heaven or Hell

On this magic roundabout


When I think about religion

Perhaps there’s something I missed

Maybe God’s just punishing me

For being an atheist.


Opher 8.2.99

3 thoughts on “Poetry – God – the musings of a mystical antitheist.

  1. Hi Opher
    My partner Georgina (now my wife after our Quaker wedding) follows you and is waiting for some of your books from amazon. I’ve just spent 40 minutes writing this comment on her ipad and lost it thanks to the idiosyncracies of wordpress and the ipad. (the ipad must have been designed by God or just evolved a long way short of perfection so I’m trying again on an iMac – more evolved and better designed in the first place. I think I can deal with wordpress – here by posting on Georgina’s account rather than trying to change it – we’ll see!)

    I have another friend called Christopher in Beverley. I see you deleted Christ from your name!
    I quote you above: “My idea of a ‘god’ is more akin to atomic energy. It’s an incredible force that pervades the entire universe. I do not think it is conscious, has purpose or thinks we humans are anything special. It is. It is something in the midst of nothing. It came into being and that in itself is miraculous. Forget the rest.”

    I agree with most of this, sometimes described as the ‘Power we call God’. The only bit I’m uncertain about is it not being conscious or even consciousness itself. (Part of Hindu teaching?).
    I am a member of the ‘Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain’; of the Quaker Universalist Group (QUG) and of the Non-theist Friends Network (Quakers), the last claiming that ‘Religion is a wholly human creation’. All on the internet.

    However, the majority of Quakers in the world (in Kenya and other parts of Africa, South America and the US) are Christian, even Evangelical and all Quakers value their ‘Christian roots’. Only what might be referred to as liberal ‘unprogrammed’ Quaker meetings (Britain Yearly Meeting and many Yearly meetings in the eastern US) accept into membership those of any (other) religion or none and might include both ‘Christocentric’ and ‘non-theist’ Friends. Some Quakers are members of the BHA and have even been a keynote speaker at their AGM (David Boulton).

    Many of us would believe that Christ (or Jesus) (and the Buddha) were rather special teachers, not that Jesus was the Son of God (virgin birth would have meant that he was a woman) except in the Quaker sense of ‘Yes, but so are you and so am I, we are all sons and daughters of God’. Of Quakers one might say once a heretic always a heretic. Luckily we no longer get beaten up in the UK. (Jesus was of course a Jewish heretic, thank God for heretics. A Quaker writer has pointed out that heresy is from the Greek for ‘able to choose’)

    Hitchens is especially hard on Islam, perhaps understandably, and Dawkins does not bother much with Buddhism or Hinduism as they don’t quite fit his bill. Buddhism might be thought of as a religion for atheists? I know Muslim Quakers, Hindu Quakers, Jewish Quakers, Anglican Quakers (Terry Waite for example), lapsed Anglican Quakers (rather more common), Catholic Quakers, Buddhist Quakers (including ‘converts’ both ways), Pagan Quakers and Atheist Quakers.

    Like you, Quakers also strive to make the world a better place (for 360 years) and ask questions rather than give answers. Quite a few are scientists (Jocelyn Burnett Bell for example). Many say that when you enter a Quaker meeting, you are not required to leave your brain outside!

    So why ‘Religious’? Well, as you say, religions have done a great deal for our cultures and I think that whilst one might debate whether Christianity or Islam have done most harm in the world, both have some claim to doing good. One could argue that it is not the core religious principles (the probable teachings of Jesus or the Buddha for example) that have done harm but men’s inability to follow them. (Both the Buddha and Jesus are quite hard acts to follow but we try!).

    I think that central to Quaker belief (if there is any) is that it is more important to lead a ‘good christian life’ than to have any particular beliefs. As in Buddhism, Hinduism and perhaps Sufism, we are encouraged to abandon our selfish ego and, as one early Quaker put it, ‘give over our own willing’ (self-centredness) in favour of ‘God’s will’, perhaps a little fatalistic or accepting of what is and subject today to the guidance of others and the community (sort of think for yourself but don’t believe that you are always right). (Quaker Advices and Queries says ‘Consider that you might be mistaken).

    As British Quakers (as described above) don’t pray out loud, sing hymns, chant or listen to sermons, what do they do in their (largely) silent meetings? Listen? Think? Stop thinking? Meditate? Worship? (what exactly).

    If you’re curious: http://quaker.org.uk/beverley

    Love and best wishes
    Trevor Bending (sometime resident of Barton)

    1. Hi Trevor,
      Thanks for this. It is really good to hear from you. I have a couple of friends in Beverley who are Quakers and have a lot of respect for the order. My major problem is ‘God’ or at least the concept of this. I do not have any recognition of a conscious being outside of the universe, creator of the universe, who has an interest in human beings. I have a great empathy with the force of the universe which could be construed as spiritual but I see no value in the rituals, prayers, offerings or ‘judgements’. I used to be a Buddhist and still reflect on the meditations and power of the mind. For now I am content to live what I consider to be a good and moral life, based on love, justice, freedom, tolerance and equality, and do whatever I can to improve the world, educate and enjoy the wonder of life. I like to create, be a positive force, counter the evils around us and have so love and fun on the way.
      I hope you and Georgina enjoy the books. I would be very interested to hear. They seem to have become the purpose for my existence. Sad really.
      I am intrigued by your non-theist element. I shall look into that.
      Thanks for all this. I will come back to it. I have friends round and have to rush. Much love to you both

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