Warning: Brilliant argument ahead. Pliss to watch out for sudden curves, road-blocks, cul-de-sacs and terrifying leaps of faith.
Atheists! Gah!! What do they know? They're like color-blind insomniacs attempting to appreciate Dreamland. Missing the essence for the smell, the texture for the taste, the tone for the color. I would like to propose, hereby, that atheists cannot exist. Not that they do not exist, or that they will not exist or they did not exist but that they simply can't. It's impossible. Wait, wait, do not jump down my throat just yet. There shall be plenty of time for that in a bit.
My argument is simplicity in itself. Let us consider the believers. The devout-when-in-trouble ones, the not-so-pious priests and the sometimes-pious common man. And yes, yes also the truly hypnotised believers (I fear I'm allowing some bias to creep in here, but let us pass along merrily pretending to not see it). The ones who see God and his mum in subway puddles (interesting anecdote: I was once accused by a grad student in my lab of seeing the Virgin in my southern blot! I would like to restate my total innocence in the face of that accusation, just for the record). These multitudinous hordes of believers, the religious Muslims, the lacklustre Hindus, the righteous Christians, the martyred Jews, the we're-not-asking-for-trouble Buddhists, all of them believe strongly in a God. A supreme Saviour. A Man for Every Crisis. Yes? Is everyone with me so far? Right. Now, we realise that some beleagured believers are born with a miracle, some achieve miracles and some have miracles thrust on them. But, by and large, most of us never catch sight or sound of a miracle. Still the believers believe. They genuflect. They rejoice in the knowledge that they are Taken Care Of. And this, this is the seduction of God, isn't it? A receptacle for all that needy belief.
What about atheists you ask me. After all you began with a bitter diatribe on atheists, you point out smugly. Please do not interrupt sir, I say coldly and with merciless dispatch. I was coming to atheists. Now, these great atheists, these supposed non-believers, these heretics. Can they attest that they have no belief? Can they vouch for this and say we don't believe, with one voice? Can they swear on the Bible in a court of law? Of course not (cept maybe for the last, cos that's a little umm..suspect)! They can't. Because they do believe. Just that they believe in themselves, or they believe in their family, or their country, or money. Or Science. Or something. They still believe, don't they? And no, this is not mere semantics. This is Truth! The thing we guard most jealously, protect from all those other heretics, nurture among our children, foster within our communities and argue about most passionately is Belief. It is immaterial whether God exists or not. For people who tell me they can't decide whether there is a God or not, I have only one word : Pshaw! It is not about whether he exists or not, it's not about which one is the true god. It's not about how many times you pray or in which direction or how long your beard is. It's about this: Do you believe or not?
I might not know whether God exists or not, I might not know whether God can work miracles or even if God cares about each and everyone of us. All of that is open to doubt. But what I do know is that the world would be a million times worse off if we didn't have Belief. I do know that God cannot exist without Belief, but Belief can exist without God. So, in the eyes of Belief, putting all my trust in It, I summarily reject all my claims to being an atheist. Cos I Believe. I do.
PS: Click on all the links. They're good ones. I promise. None of that annoying wiki stuff. Also I'm sharing all my glory with Picoult (because I was inspired to write this because of her, even though the thoughts were mine before I read hers, or so I'm claiming, as Belief is my witness! :P).
Update: A guide that facilitates understanding of the post. Like an easyreader.
KG: You're not saying that faith is a good thing
or a bad thing
you're saying that we have an all-pervasive need for faith
so if there wasnt god
there would have been something else
there'd b smthng else
so we re all asking the wrong q
it dsnt matter whether there's god or not
tats jst totally beside the point
atheism mks no sense
cos they're protesting the wrong thing
god is jst a name
at the end of the day
its jst a means to the end
we need to question our need for faith
Update 2: And I give you someone who said it much better than either of these two pathetic attempts.