Sunday, May 6, 2012

My god

Theists are always trying to tell atheists that our religion is atheism, our gods are Dawkins or Darwin and our dogma is "something comes from nothing". As foolish as it is to try and tell someone else what their beliefs are, theists seem determined to equate our attitude toward theism with their belief in god. 

Rather than allow them to frame the conversation, rather than give them license to tell me what I believe, what I value, what I worship, I've decided to tell them what it is I hold sacred (if I may borrow that term from their lexicon).

My god and my religion is music. And my god is demonstrably greater than any anthropomorphic god humans ever invented. 

First and foremost, music accomplishes that which no other god can, it unites and brings joy to any person regardless of any factor that might otherwise divide them. It's the one thing common to every culture, tribe or clan that can be shared with everyone else with no loss of quality or quantity. It is a universal language, it can speak to the heart of both young and old, male and female, gay and straight, black and white, Republican and Democrat. There are no barriers to music, no nation can claim sole ownership of it. Music can inspire, comfort, enlighten, encourage and fascinate anyone who listens to it. Even the deaf can appreciate musical rhythm. Music is available to everyone and appeals to us all. 

No other god is as powerful as music to improve our mood, lift our spirits, and all without a demand of belief or sacrifice. No one has to believe in music. No one group of people holds the "truth" of music. It's accessible to anyone, anywhere, any time. Because music can take different forms it has universal appeal. No one is denied the benefit of music. Music can make us cry, make us love, make us think. It asks nothing of us except to listen.

Music is the greatest god humans have ever discovered, and it's the only thing I worship as a god, with the exception of dance, a minor but equally universal god. All else is temporal, conditional and flawed to some degree. Only music is perfect. Music has been with us since a time before god-belief and no doubt will be with us until we become extinct. 

Below are some videos of my god and of the joy and unity that music can provide when it's performed by surprise in a population of diverse humans.