A friend on Twitter passed this link to me. I call him friend, but I have contemplated this subject so many times and the argument frankly bores me now. I wrote Sudden to try to explain this to myself and to refer others to if they ever asked the question, “so why are you an atheist?” I don’t wanna have to keep beating this burning bush every day.
I don’t want to have to have this conversation with every single Believer that crosses my path. I don’t want to be converted back into a religion of any sort, and I’ve noticed many Believers are more interested in “witnessing” to me their anecdotal reasons why they have to believe as opposed to listening to my reasons why they shouldn’t. Likewise, I don’t want to convert other people into “believing” atheism. As I say so many times it’s beginning to annoy me to have to repeat it, atheism is NOT a belief. It’s doubting your faith. That’s all. If anyone tells you otherwise they are trying to sell you something.
I don’t even want to believe there’s no god. I used to like the idea that there was a god. I used to take comfort in that. Why would I want to convert you? In hindsight now I’m glad there isn’t a god, but if you find comfort in the delusion why should I want to remove that comfort from you? That’d be like ripping a security blanket away from a little kid. It’s mean spirited. That’s SO not my intent here.
But at the same time, you’re not a kid anymore. Why you still holding on to that security blanket? I mean really.
So anyway Frank Viola wrote Why I’m A Christian and invites people to post to his blog, so he and his Christian friends can “respond.” At the end of his list of reasons why he believes christianity over other mythologies, he asks: “What are the reasons why you haven’t trusted your life to Jesus?”
I’ve done this dance enough times to know that neither side is gonna see the other person’s side. Frank and his pals wouldn’t admit that secretly they wanna convert people. Either they honestly wanna hear other people’s perspectives or they’re just looking for opportunities to tell themselves they won this endless argument. I don’t care. My response is about me, not Frank. So I’m posting my response here.
I post this here cuz I ain’t talking to Frank Viola or his friends. I’m talking to you, whoever you are, if you are open minded enough to listen to random ramblings about other people’s life journeys and just wanna compare notes. I don’t care what you believe in. If you care what I don’t believe in, that’s your trip. You’re more than welcome to stop reading. Again, I’m not interested in converting you, but once one stops looking at the world from a closed subjective viewpoint using the crap that’s been put into your head from childhood, I don’t see how people can still believe in anything.
People talk about enlightenment. it’s actually a veil they put over their eyes. I’ve seen actual enlightenment. it’s what’s real when you take all the veils away. It’s what’s left. Actual reality.
What are the reasons why you haven’t trusted your life to Jesus?
Well first things first. I have. I did. I was born into a Christian family, but I was told the choice to be Christian was mine to make. This was of course a lie. There was a lot of peer pressure, not that I knew that’s what it was cuz I’d felt it since birth. Fish don’t know how much pressure water has on their bodies. There’s atmospheric pressure on you right now from the air, but you can’t feel it. You’ve lived with it all your life.
Everyone I knew, family and friend alike, were Christian. Baptist to be precise. I might have known one jew kid at school but he was “the jew kid.” I had no idea what that meant when I was eight. Still, I listened intently in Sunday School. I followed the lessons. Everyone I knew believed what i was being told and I had no reason not to believe. So I accepted Jesus Christ as the son of God and accepted him into my life and had a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior from the age of eight to the age of forty. I was saved. I was baptized in a church. The whole smash.
Now, I’ve had conversations with Believers since the age of forty and they just assume “well you didn’t do it right somehow.” That there is something they do which i didn’t and therefore that means in their minds that I never really was saved, but that they still are. This is once again, delusional. However, they have to tell themselves that so they can perpetuate the illusion that they are saved.
Saved from what? Exactly?
Well. Sin. Right? Okay. So what’s sin? Well there’s things that your god doesn’t want you to do. If you do them, that’s sin. He gives you the choice. If you choose to do them, you reject god. If you don’t do those things, you’re showing your god you appreciate him going down to Galilee thousands of years ago to sacrifice himself to himself with blood in order to cleanse you of your wrong doing that he knew was gonna happen anyway cuz he made you and when he made you he made you a sinner so that he’d have to die to sacrifice himself to himself in order to save you from yourself.
Why am I no longer a Christian? Why the heck are you still a Christian? This doesn’t make any sense?
Blood sacrifice? It doesn’t work. We’ve scientifically proven that. If blood sacrifice did work, people would still be sacrificing goats. Well, okay, some NonChristian Believers still do blood sacrifice rituals but they don’t do anything. Why? Cuz blood sacrifice never worked.
It’s not that at one time long ago they used to have magical properties and then when Jesus died on the cross for your sins all the sudden that magic went away. Blood sacrifice NEVER worked.
And EVEN IF IT DID… I never asked him to die for me. He did it before i was even born. I wasn’t consulted. Even if this could be true, which is scientifically impossible cuz magic doesn’t exist either (spoilers!), how dare he take it upon himself to suffer so that i don’t have to. As his friend I’d tell him not to do it. Let me answer for my own sins. Let you answer for yours. As it turns out, some of the things religions claim to be sinful aren’t all that bad after all. Like eating fish on Friday, or bacon. Really. Bacon alone should be a good enough reason to not be a Believer.
Oh wait. If you’re Christian you can eat bacon right? WRONG. Jesus said he didn’t come to change the law but to fulfill it. Jesus was jewish. All you Christians got it back asswards. You’re supposed to still be following jewish law. The Old Testament is the jewish Tanak. Jesus didn’t give you a get out of hell free card. You’re still supposed to work for it.
But over the centuries Christianity had diluted itself more and more not cuz that’s what a god wanted, but cuz that’s what the leaders of the church needed to convert more followers and get more power and influence on the communities it wanted to ‘serve’ aka control and influence. The jewish faith was limited and crippling. Christianity made itself open to all Gentiles and anyone who wanted to accept it, and when Constantine converted, Christianity merged with the Roman Empire, and all bets were off.
When you look at how religions have affected human history with a more objective discerning eye, the idea that any of it could be true falls apart like paper towels in the rain. Why would a god need armies to defend him? He smites entire cities in the bible. Why not just smite your enemies? Why make you do it? Cuz it wasn’t a god calling the shots, but the people leading the church at the time. It was the church that needed defending, cuz their god had conveniently gone fishin’.
When King Henry Tudor had all those wives he did it against the Pope’s wishes, so rather than God smite him, Henry just made the Church of England and declared himself leader of a new church. You can do that. Doesn’t have anything to do with how powerful god is. You don’t even have to be king. I know people who make religions as a hobby.
Now, I’m sure if you’re still a Believer at this point you have all kinds of apologies and caveats and claims I’m taking things out of context or generalizing or whatever. All kinds of arguments and rebuttals.
The Pope rides around inside a bullet proof popemobile. Really. Even he doesn’t believe in his own god. Why do you?
Do you lock your door at night? Your god isn’t that omnipotent is he, to protect you? Expects you to protect yourself, does he? Why do you need him, then?
Sacrificed himself on a cross for you? If he really is the son of god, that was a temporary painful experience, that was over in three days. One and a half days really. I mean he died on Friday afternoon and got up Sunday morning. So it was a rough Saturday. For a god, that’s not much of a sacrifice.
Who did he sacrifice himself to? Himself. Not much of a sacrifice. Why? Cuz he made you flawed. Perfect, omnipotent being, screwed up when he made humanity. Not very perfect of him, is it? He gave us free will so we could choose to accept the sacrifice he made of himself to himself so that you wouldn’t feel so bad that he made you flawed. Sounds more like a codependent god. A cold manipulative vindictive and malicious god who wants to control how you feel about him. Needs you to feel guilty.
If he created the universe, why would he have to sacrifice himself on top of that? Making the universe isn’t enough? Making you isn’t enough? He had to put on a magic trick for you? Your christian god is messed up.
It’s a good thing he’s not real. If he were, this universe would be a much more disturbing place. The truth is the universe is just here, and if you can’t find your purpose within it, well you’re just gonna have to make a purpose for yourself. Give yourself a reason for living cuz there’s no gods around to do that for you.
If there were a god, you could prove it. You can’t. Welcome to atheism.
My dad died October of 1998. My wife left me a few years after that. I still believed back then. It wasn’t until years later that I came to my senses. I could still believe my dad is alive. There is physical evidence to the contrary but I could ignore that. I could believe my ex-wife still loves me. Leaving me and never speaking to me again is a strange way of showing it, but I can tell myself she did it cuz she loves me. Sometimes when you love something, you have to let it go.
I could choose to believe these things, but I can’t ask you to believe me. Why should you? I can’t prove it. If I did believe these things, I’d be delusional. I’d be insane. Cuz these beliefs would not coincide with actual reality. My dad’s dead. My ex-wife hates me, or worse she has no opinion at all. I don’t expect you to believe those things either, even tho I do have proof.
I don’t expect you to believe. I expect you to doubt. A lot. Much more than you currently do.
You can’t prove your god exists. Don’t expect anyone else to believe you until you can. And you really should reconsider believing in a subjective delusion that isn’t even objectively provable to yourself.