(This is my first posting here, and actually the first time I have ever spoken with other atheists. I'm rather relieved about the fact that I am not alone...I will definitely be very active in this community. )
I have a large "kinesiology and faith integration" paper to write by the end of the semester. Clearly I don't believe in faith, normally I would BS these papers but I am VERY tired of lying and being fake/closeted to get my degree. This assignment, the last of many, has just caused me to snap. But I'm almost free, I'm a senior so I can't just transfer now. I have a few options:
1.) Talk to the professor that I am not a Christian. I don't think it will go over well and he will most certainly judge/hate me, he takes his faith very, very seriously. I also have to face him for classes next semester and currently he really respects me. Maybe there is an alternative assignment I can do?
2.) Try to write it as assigned. It hurts me to think it's still an option. I hate hiding my beliefs like they are something to be ashamed of.
3.) Go out with a bang. Write an 'integration paper' about how science and faith DONT get along, much to his surprise. I'll enjoy writing it but I'll fail for sure. I also still need to see him next semester.
4.) Something I haven't thought of. Perhaps kill myself?
Can anyone else relate to being in a Christian school and having to lie on a daily basis? Only my closest friends know I am an atheist.
Here's the prompt that I can't ever see myself writing:
"...paper that integrates your understanding of the regulation and control of movement with your Christian faith. For example, what analogies or metaphors might be drawn between the control and coordination of human movement and how God works through his Church, and/or will of God?" I also need 8 references and it needs to be at least 8 pages.
I just finished it yesterday. I completely took your advice about writing in the third person-it made it so much more bearable to write. I ended up writing about how faith influences self control, then how self control effects how you do or don't move. Instead of making it super fluffy and 'faith-oriented', I tried to make it as straightforward as possible using bible quotes and then using random peoples' commentary of the verses I found to get the 7 pages. It turned out exceptionally boring and it definitely wasn't what my professor wanted, but at least I got it done and I can now enjoy Holiday break.
Thanks again for your concern, support and all your help!
Hey! I'm just getting started here too.
And can I just say - I give you mad props for lasting that long in a community composed entirely of believers.
I definitely would have exploded in an outburst of blasphemous anti-Christian rage by that point.
But, concerning your dilemma...
I personally am in love with option #3 - especially if it's done well. Just to make them eat it a little bit.
Nonetheless, dealing with him next semester would be less than awesome. Save that punch to the stomach for the spring ;]
Although - idea: if you can't bring yourself to reconcile faith and science (which I know I couldn't) you could reference NOMA - Non-overlapping Magisteria Theory (I think Gould was behind it?) which essentially upholds that science and faith are two different realms of thought, and thus cannot comment on one another. I suppose this doesn't technically place one as superior to another, so it might be less likely to ruffle the feathers of your prof.
Either way, good luck!
Personally, I started to write option #3 and I was halfway done before before I stopped. I was having a great time finally standing up for myself, but I realized it wasn't worth being expelled over (yet). I will definitely be less cowardly next semester, I am really hoping to have some nice atheism pamphlets in Christian's mailboxes before I graduate. I am dying to know the religious response. Will they debate them in a special chapel or will they ignore them along with all other controversial evidence?
NOMA would have been an good idea. I had read up on it again because I only heard about it from Dawkins' lectures. I could have neatly argued for less power to faith and more reliance on facts in the natural world. Surprisingly the college has never offered this theory in one of our many science and faith lectures. Usually the congruence of science and faith is 'proved' in a wonderfully circular argument using biblical quotes (surprised?). Basically that's what I ended up doing for my paper, however abashing of me.
Thanks for your reply though. I have another integration paper next semester for neurophysiology and I might try the NOMA approach you suggested. Either that, or option #3...
Surprisingly the college has never offered this theory in one of our many science and faith lectures.
Not surprising to me! :-)
I went to a Christian university, but they were far more open to rebellion than yours appears to be. I'm stuck between wanting to tell you to "suck it up" and be rebellious and "tough it out" and punch your card. I'm leaning towards the latter, but I've gotta warn you that with your studies at this school, some employers won't consider your college diploma won't be worth the sheepskin it's printed on. Oh, to have another go! Um -- grad school? You've totally got the brains!
Hey, I went to Gordon in the 80's. It only took me 20 years to leave religion behind me. I wouldn't worry about being an atheist there. I knew a couple that were out when I was there. Odd, yes, for their choice of school, but I don't think anyone hated them or discriminated against them because of it. Most of the faculty were pretty nice, despite their belief in non-existent supernatural powers. While it wasn't as liberal as some Christian schools, it isn't like it's Bob Jones or anything. Good luck with your paper!