Well, I don't have any "special" definition for atheist. Just the good ol one :doesn't believe in god(s). It's interesting that you use the word "forgotten" in refering to our species cause it's a central them in one of my favorite book series, Ishmael by Danie Quinn. It talks about how things came to be this way and I find it to be the most accurate. Now, I haven't read all the books but from my little understanding. It shoes the link between civilation and destruction vs. tribalism. just as as a was of organizing ourselves. It's not judgemental, it's borderline scientific, it's gives a pretty good explaination of the biblical stories of the "fall of man" (a prapaganda storiy the Hebrew's ancestors wrote about the devistating expanchion of whites into their land).
What was your question?
I've only read one book that attempted to explain the role of religion in our society. But it was actually a book about love, defined as the need for humans to be connected to something outside itself. It was a great book. It wasn't the Valentines Day love or Hallmark love or ripp off your clothes in sweety passion love. But the human need to be connect. And it explored the consequences of not getting this need meet. I sure see how that's played out in the "American" African community. From slavery up to now.
But I would be interested in reading about the development of religion. For me, I've seen it used in through out history to explain the things we don't have explanation for. Basically it's the anti-fear. It's fear's cryptonite. God did it. Satan did it.
Of course there are laws of nature. And hell ya our culture (both east and west) has forgetton what they are. There are probably some really cool things our specices can do that aren't developed yet or we don't remember how to do. But anytime someone can't "expain" something, it becomes "mysterious" and "spiritual" or "god did it". I was thinkign about last night. About prayer and healing. About how I used to pray as a little kid to not have night mares. My Sunday school teacher told that if I asked "god" to not let me have nightmares, I wouldn't so I ask, and he served up some sweet dreams! Yahh me right? Well, the power of suggestion is a pretty awesome thing. I think we should find ways to actually inhance this skill or ability we have. Children are way more suggestable than adults because they aren't so synical and basically don't know the can't do something. That's why children are able to slip into different personality when facing EXTREME abuse or trauma but adults can't. Adults do not believe it's possible to do that and thus they can't. I was thinking about that last night. By the way, I had sweet dreams last night! hahahaha
As far as forces in nature that exist. Well go to a cliff and jump off, you'll see a force of nature right there. It's called gravity! And we can't see gravity, but it's there. But I wouldn't say that if I fell to my death if I jumped from a high height, that it was god punishing me. It would be me not living in accordance with one of the laws of nature on this planet.
Our culture is living against one of th laws of nature (limited competition) and it's about to bite us in the but in the next couple or few generation. Increased food creates an increased population. Nature provides a solution for this over population for this, but because "god" has ordained us rulers over this planet, we are removed from nature's rule. So we just go on repopulating and repopulating. And it's not a right or wrong thing. It's a does it work thing. IT does'nt work for any other speicies on this planet, but we as homo sapien sapien are some how exempt from this law. There's no way we would have to succumb to the laws of the every day common wilder beast or gazelle or gorilla or pin worm. HAHAHAH.
My last boyfriend (still a little tender about him) was an agnostic. He used to say, I don't know if there's a god, but if there is, I know he don't care about me. If he did, I would be free. (he's a flamming revolutionary). But it was always good to talk to him. I never had to clear through his spoke isms. I dated a guy after him that was "spiritual" and I thought that would be ok. He was into "African spiritualism" but he couldn't go 10 minuets without pointing out this or that and all this spookism stuff. It was difficult to be in his company. Needless to say, I don't date him anymore.
But being an atheist and being an African is difficult. Thank "god" for my award winning personality right?!?!?1 hahaha But it's hard to find connections outside myself with people like me. African people are a very spiritual people and the ones enslaved in america were branded (literally) with christianity. And we wont let that go to LITERALLY save our lives. I probably could get down with tribal african value systems a lot easier than modern religions that are common with our culture.
If you know of some good books, please suggest. I would suggest Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Really enjoyed it. www.ishmael.com
So that's all folks!
"Revolution Starts Between the Ears"