A visit to an Egyptian exhibit at the National Geographic Society Museum in Washington, D.C. brings about a short post. This is some alternative thinking which I am exploring in this post. The thought is that we are all atheists. We all reject certain deities and theological systems. I realized this while looking at the Egyptian God Sekhmet.
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
“Despite all their hopes for the afterlife, the ancient Egyptians could not escape the natural human fear of death and its many unknowns.”
The Washington, D.C. area is rich in culture and museums. For all the difficulty of living in the D.C area its one of the benefits. If you would like to know what it is like to live in the Washington, D.C. area I wrote a post about that topic in, “What is it Like Living in the Washington, D.C. area?” One of the neat museums here is the National Geographic Museum. The first time I visited it was to see a special exhibit on the Titanic, which I deeply enjoyed. So recently I went back to the museum to see the newest exhibit which is called “The Queens of Egypt.” Its a fascinating exhibit that is full of Egyptian history and artifacts relating to differing queens over the long time span of Egyptian civilization. While walking through the exhibit a thought popped into my head while I stood before a statue of Sekhmet, You can see a picture of her above.
Brief Overview of Sekhmet
In Egyptian mythology Sekhmet is sometimes believed to be the daughter of Ra and often associated with the goddesses Hathor and Bastet. Sekhmet is a warrior goddess and also the Egyptian goddess of healing. Often she is depicted as a lioness and the fiercest hunter in Egypt. The Egyptian desert, it is taught, has been formed by her breath. And she was known as the protector of the Pharaohs and led them in battle against Egypt’s opponents. In death Sekhmet continues to protect them and brings them into the afterlife. If you would like to read more about Sekhmet you can do so here and here.
Why We Are All Atheists
When I stood in front of that statue of Sekhmet an idea came about that actually led to this post being written. Now this may unnerve people, it may raise some eyebrows. The point of this is not to ruffle feathers, instead in thinking and looking at things from differing perspectives I like t wrestle with competing and different thoughts. The thought I had is that if we look at ourselves in our humanity, then it can also be said that we are all atheists. After all each and every one of us has rejected some type of God or deity, or will do so in some aspect of life. It can be said that I am an atheist because I reject the deity behind Sekhmet. Now I can acknowledge the wonder of Egyptian mythology. And in addition I can also contemplate the role that the Egyptian religion played in its civilization and also history. One can acknowledge that the Egyptians were deeply religious. However, one can also say that the Egyptian religious system was also false and had no truth to it. It is not legitimate. So while I stood in front of that statue and admired the history, carving and stonemanship; I also acknowledge the fact that I would not recognize and believe in a God from the Egyptian civilization. Now this line of thinking can also play to other theology systems as well. From the Romans to the Greeks. It also can play to the Hindus and more. This line of thought that I had also is similar to what Richard Dawkins wrote in “The God Delusion.” In that book Dawkins wrote the following. “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” In the end we all reject Gods and divinity systems in shape, manner or form. Often times no one stops to think about the issue. None of us would imagine accepting or buying into Egyptian belief system. This post may unnerve people and I am not trying to stir the pot. What I am saying is that we may be more united and closer in our thinking and more then what was previously accepted. Feel free to disagree and push back. The goal of this blog is to get people to think and wrestle with different topics as well.