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Atheism Atheism And God


Jun 14, 2010
I found this quote from Sri Aurobindo whereby atheism does not contradict faith in God. It is a good example of paradoxical reasoning which I enjoy practicing. "Atheism is a necessary protest against the wickedness of the churches and the narrowness of the creeds. God uses it as a stone to smash these soiled card-houses."


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Here is the complete set of aphorisms by Sri Aurobindo pertaining to atheism. These can lead to some fascinating discussions about the nature of atheism versus the nature of God, the nature of the athsist versus that of the believer, the nature of disbelief versus the nature of faith.

33. The Atheist is God playing at hide and seek with Himself; but is the Theist any other ? Well, perhaps; for he has seen the shadow of God and clutched at it.

240. Atheism is a necessary protest against the wickedness of the Churches and the narrowness of creeds. God uses it as a stone to smash these soiled card-houses.

538. Atheism is the shadow or dark side of the highest perception of God.

Every formula we frame about God, though always true as a symbol, becomes false when we accept it as a sufficient formula. The Atheist and Agnostic come to remind us of our error.

539. God's negations are as useful to us as His affirmations. It is He who as the Atheist denies His own existence for the better perfecting of human knowledge. It is not enough to see God in Christ and Ramakrishna and hear His words, we must see Him and hear Him also in Huxley and Haeckel.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
And next a collection of his quotes and expressions regarding atheism and the existence of God. Some fascinating thoughts.

* Atheists do believe in something; maybe they believe in reason or truth. Are not reason and truth a significant aspect of God's nature?

* Atheists use reason and the power of the mind to proclaim that the infinite, illimitable, and transcendent consciousness is non existent. But, can the Highest Transcendental Consciousness be explained within the narrow confines of mental reason and the domain of the mind? - Similarly, could words justify the existence or non - existence of music?

'They proved to me by convincing reasons that God does not exist; Afterwards I saw God, for he came and embraced me. And now what am I to believe- the reasoning of others or my own experience? Truth is what the soul has seen and experienced; the rest is appearance, prejudice and opinion.'

- Sri Aurobindo Existence of God

* There are good atheists, there are bad atheists; there are good religious people, there are bad religious people. What does this prove?

* Atheism is not a reaction against God. Atheism is a reaction against religion - organised religion which has been coloured by human egoism and human misconceptions.

* Errors in religion can never be proof that God does not exist. How frequently is religion a pure expression of God's will, and how frequently is religion a reflection of man's ignorance and misunderstanding?

* To concentrate on the flaws of religion is to miss the divine potential that each religion can lead a seeker to God. Divine religion is the love of God. When a seeker sincerely and self-givingly practises the heart of religion, he rises far beyond any outer imperfection of form.

* When atheists dispute with religious fundamentalists we are surprised to see that both groups share quite a few similarities of belief. What are these similarities?

* The desire to convert others.
* The belief that mental reason is able to prove / disprove God.
* An evangelical fervour that they must be correct.
* A feeling that the other side is hopelessly misguided.

*Atheists generally disbelieve in the monotheistic conception of an external God high above in heaven. But, the real question is whether this conception of God bears any relation to the true nature of the omnipresent, omnipotent and infinite consciousness of pure delight that is God?

*The Buddha never talked about God. Does that mean the Buddha was an atheist? No, the Buddha never talked about God because he felt the infinite, all pervading consciousness of nirvana could never be described in words. To talk about God, was so unsatisfactory that Buddha felt silence was more powerful. But, the Buddha was a shining example of the transforming power of the transcendent, illimitable consciousness, which other people may refer to as God.

* Some religions emphasise the justice aspect of God, they give the impression God is a tyrant who condemns the majority of souls to eternal hell. Who wants to believe in that kind of God?

* God has inspired many prophets to preach a message of peace and forgiveness. If people ignore this, whose fault is it - God or his followers? Jesus Christ said 'love thy enemy as thyself' - If during the middle ages this immortal utterance had been give any importance, would the Crusades have ever occurred? Unfortunately, adherents have often chosen to ignore the divine utterances of great prophets. But, can we blame God, if people give greater importance to their egoistic understanding and prejudices?

* Atheism plays a role in highlighting religious fanaticism and misuse of occultism.

* True religion will always remain unperturbed and detached from the arguments and criticisms of disbelievers.

* A true lover of God, will never feel the need to defend himself against atheism. Spirituality is not about proving anything to others. Spirituality is about the inner life; if others are not ready to follow a spiritual life and believe in God, a real aspirant feels it is not his responsibility - it is Gods.

* There is a story about a poor, dishevelled man who was not able to enter into the temple; a temple frequented by all the great and notable figures of society. The poor man felt miserable and cursed God, saying if this is God's will then I don't want to believe in you. Later, in a dream God came and spoke to the poor man. saying, 'please don't feel bad about being kept out of the temple. they don't let me in either."

* Is it such a bad thing to doubt God's existence? It is often through self enquiry about the nature of God and the self that can we make real spiritual progress. It is often when we feel a sense of lack, abandonment and loneliness that we actually start to be a sincere seeker. Look at how many mystics, before their own realisation, experienced a process known as the 'dark night of the soul'. - A feeling of complete hopelessness and distance from God. But, the night is often darkest before the dawn. Maybe, atheism is just a necessary stage in man's evolution.

* Some Atheists not only disbelieve in God, they also seem to actively dislike God. Poor God doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.

* Hatred and fanaticism have long used the cloak of religion and God to try and give a sense of self-justification. The fanatics may be able to delude themselves. But, God can always see the inner motives of man.

* To some a person may be a father, to his work colleagues he will be Mr Smith, to his parents he will be 'their son'. If a person gets called by different names, he doesn't mind, he remains the same person. It is the same with God, countless are the different names used to refer to him. But, we cannot say that there is only 1 or 2 correct ways to name a consciousness with is ultimately without name and form.

* It is said we will never find God if we look only in the external world. God can only be experienced by our self. But, here 'our self' implies a oneness with the rest of creation

‘He is an atheist who does not believe in himself. The old religion said that he was an atheist who did not believe in God. The new religion says that he is the atheist who does not believe in himself. But it is not selfish faith, because the Vedanta, again, is the doctrine of oneness. It means faith in all, because you are all.’




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