There have been times that I have wondered if there could be the possibility that I am missing something... that perhaps I'm missing the antennae in my brain that picks up sky-man's signal or something... Maybe a mental disorder? A lot of christians say atheism is just that... Sometimes it seems I am the one person in a room of a thousand people who doesn't believe in god. I work in an educational environment filled with scholars and professors of varying disciplines, and I am constantly being surprised, and completely perplexed, by their faith in something, that is to me, so mindlessly illogical.
Just last Friday, one of the smartest people I have ever known, who has never once mentioned god and who has one of the most spectacular analytical minds I've ever come across, came out and said, "I wonder how I'll find medicine for my family when the rapture finally comes..." I thought he was kidding; I laughed; he took offense. I felt completely defeated. Yet another hopeful atheist checked off the list... The same night, in a local restaurant, I had to comfort an 11 year old who was scared to death that the end of the world was coming, because a christian adult had told him so. He told this innocent child to enjoy his birthdays while he still can, because god wouldn't allow him to have many more... that he would be ending this miserable world very soon. I said what I thought would comfort the child - basically that people have been saying the end is coming "right now" for 2,000 years, and it never happens. After I was finished talking and he was settled, I noticed that I was surrounded by dirty and disagreeable looks from neighboring tables... I had never felt more like an alien on a strange world in my entire life. I was almost expecting a lynch mob to be waiting outside.
Ever since that day, my head has been swimming in the numbers I'm up against here - swimming with the questions, "Why is my thinking so radically different from others? Could I be missing something, maybe? Could my way of thinking actually be a disorder of some kind?" Has anyone else ever felt this way or gone through this phase? I know, with all my heart, that I would never go blindly back to sky-man. I'm just curious if this type of questioning is common. Thanks guys.
Gold bud? With a sprinkle of mushroom dust? Followed by a shot of tequila? Oh well, I'm sure his point is quite profound.
Just kidding Kirk. Please don't be mad at me. I just like to goof off sometimes here at TA. I was right behind you up until the bosons and fermions part, kinda.
Sounds like the old argumentum ad populum is wearing you down. Take comfort in the very important lesson that history teaches us: Just because "everyone" believes something, doesn't make it true. In fact, as a general rule, the majority tend to be wrong (oh so very wrong) on most important issues throughout history. For this reason, a majority belief should be circumspect right from the start.
You're not missing anything in your brain just because you don't believe a delusion that most people DO believe. Remember that at one time people believed that volcanoes and lightning were the work of gods. They were wrong. People believed the world was flat; they were wrong. Everyone believed that women were inferior, child-like, and incapable of doing anything for themselves; they were wrong. Everyone believed that black people were some kind of sub-human race that God put here to serve white folks; they were quite wrong. These and many many more examples are littered throughout history to show us that a majority collective mentality tends to be stupid, not right.
People who are religious can be brilliant, intelligent, wonderful people that have chosen to wear blinders to blaringly obvious logic so they can hold onto the emotional comfort religion gives them. They go into "ignore/blinder" mode if circumstances shine a light on the obvious contradictions of logic their faith forces them to accept.
The only thing you are missing is a desperate need to fit in--you don't have the mind of a sheep.
The fact is that "intelligent" believers are simply well-educated believers. Being a believer actually makes it easier top get an education in the U.S. in general and where you live in particular.
You are right to wonder how anyone can take seriously something so mindlessly illogical, just as you were right to wonder about the lynch mob that might be waiting for you. Religion is an expression of the mentality of the mob--not something to be respected.