As a Jewish Atheist why I don’t enter into (many) debates over faith.

I’m an atheist first and Jew second, my wife and children have faith in g-d, I have faith in atheism. I respect their feelings and don’t contradict, condescend or debate with them regarding their faith. I like the food and traditions bound up with Judaism, I like the fact that there is no evangelising or trying to make people convert.

At shabbat, shul and high days, I can say the prayers, but they are just words, saying things doesn’t necessarily make you that thing (I can think of so many religious hypocrites who think the believe and follow at the same time as they are going against the tenants of their faith).

Anyway, I have a mate who is a committed Dawkinist atheist (sorry Prof. Dawkins you known its happening), he was a bit snotty about me going to shul, he harumphed saying I knew you were religious, I couldn’t be bothered with explaining or debating, I see it as a worthless waste of time, but then he grew up in a very christian family and I think he wanted an argument to make himself feel better.

I grew up in a family that was Jewish in background and traditions, because there was no shul in our area, I never experienced any of the trappings of religion, the shul we attend is the only religious building I’ve ever been in.

I cannot comprehend a higher being, for me “the self” is it, there is nothing higher than ourselves, I am conscious of who and what I am, therefore there is nothing higher than myself. There is nothing spiritual about that, prays are just words that come out of my mouth so I can participate with my family so that they feel happy about my involvement with them.