List of disbeliefs

If an atheist were to make an exhaustive list of all their disbeliefs, they would likely match the items on my own disbelief list.

Yet, I am not an atheist.


I share the disbeliefs of atheists, but I share the faith of the religious.

I respect the former, but the latter is more important.

If atheists were able to focus less on the objects of religious belief, and more on the religious subject, they might make progress toward understanding religion. But this is where objective thought hits its limits, and that limit is the uncrossable horizon where there be dragons — irrationality.


Arthur C. Clarke is famous for saying “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Religion is such a technology.

3 thoughts on “List of disbeliefs

  1. I suppose the question comes down to “faith in what”. If one strips away all the objects of religious beliefs, there is no way to distinguish one religion from another. So what remains for one to believe in?

    Love? Ineffability? That which cannot be named? Perpetual novelty? Emptiness? Annihilation? Interbeing? Heat-Death of the universe? Etc.

    Atheists/non-theists/humanists/fruitionists can have faith in one/several/all of these, without identifying as “religious”. What is gained by/what is the cash value of calling such faiths “religious” (and what is lost by doing so)?

    I share the insights of the religious, but I “disbelieve” the objects/ontologies of religious beliefs.

    Perhaps “disbelieve” is too strong: I view all religious dharmas to be equally empty (as empty as atheism); they all participate in one interbeing.

    “It is good that an orange is an orange and a mango is a mango. The colors, smells, and the tastes are different, but looking deeply, we see that they are both authentic fruits. Looking more deeply, we can see the sunshine, the rain, the minerals, and the earth in both of them. Only their manifestations are different. … Buddhism is made of non-Buddhist elements. Buddhism has no separate self. When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist, and vice versa”.
    — Thich Nhat Hanh

    Given the insight of Nhat Hanh, I’d be comfortable calling myself a polytheistic atheist. After all, A-thesim is just another variation of -theism, all of which intertwingle in empty interbeing. When you a truly happy atheist, you are also a religious person.

    1. “Faith in what” is an objectivist prejudice. Even if you call it “the unnamed”, you have named it.

      Religious faith is faithful orientation away from object-primacy. What is called “religious” is the imperfect objectivities projected at the stations on the way to religious faith.

      I’m intentionally provoking you (and telling you in order to make it less offensive), but I do believe what I am saying.

  2. Two can play the game of provocation! Your insistence on the label “religious faith” is ALSO a manifestation of objectivist prejudice. There are many other labels for what YOU label “religious faith”: faithful orientation away from object-primacy. Of course, all such labels are merely Dharmas/perspectives that disclose some aspects and hide others, including labels I privilege.

    You privilege “religious faith” as a label, and I privilege “secular, naturalist, fructivist faith”. But both of us try to see our ways of seeing in the others way of seeing, and that’s what’s most important!

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