Dammit Jim I'm an Atheist, not a Scientist.

Interesting question posed to me during a stunted debate (I wasn't in the mood for another fight.)

The question was, "If you aren't a  scientist why are you so convinced that they are telling you the truth?"

This of course was in reference to my atheism, so many things said to me these days touch upon the subject and really this is quickly becoming the place where I vent. I should start a countdown as to the moments left before I stop respecting their right to be religious and go all Christopher Hitchens on them.

The misconception seems to be that I am an atheist because of science. That I, a once devout Catholic, was led astray by some lofty explanation of the cosmos. Perhaps someone chanted the words "Big Bang" over and over again until I was under the spell of atheism.

I like this accusation better than the one where I simply didn't want right and wrong anymore. It implies that I can glean some sort of information from the amazing stars above me, and that those lovely suns that touch my eyes with their old light unfold secrets for me.

But I am not a scientist, so the stars remain distant in their splendor.

Still I'm an atheist, because you don't need to be a scientist to be an atheist. You just need to not believe in a god, which is a pretty easy thing for me.

It was hard and miserable being Xtian. That was apparently a sign I was doing it right, living in constant guilt and begging some deity to wash my brain free of sexual thoughts. Praying that I could just get another hit of faith (yes like a drug) to get me through the week. Faith enough to help me overlook the glaring inconsistencies between the message of the bible and the mercy that the followers claimed it preached. I thought that certainly god would speak to me if I kept reaching out to him, and as my mental health deteriorated I hung on still trying to revive that faith so god would pull me out of my inadequacies. 

So I talked with my brother one day because my parents told me he was struggling with his faith. I hoped to set him straight, struggling was no excuse for faltering in your religion. He told me it wasn't a struggle, he just didn't believe in god.

I was shocked and when we got off the phone 10 seconds later I felt like a door had opened up before me. I wrote the word "god" over and over and chanted it as a prayer for a sleepless night, and by the end of it the word meant nothing to me, and I was an atheist.

Now I feel like I can breathe. My turmoil is at an all time low and I still know jack-shit about the cosmos but I am godless at last.

But I didn't say all that to my friend.

I said "If you aren't a preacher, how are you so convinced they are telling you the truth?"

Views: 811

Comment by Dylan Sloboda on October 28, 2011 at 4:31am

"I said "If you aren't a preacher, how are you so convinced they are telling you the truth?"

lol... NICE!

Comment by David Missingham on October 28, 2011 at 5:27am

I like this one. "If we don't sin, Jesus died for nothing."

Comment by Nate on October 28, 2011 at 9:14am

Your responce was so full of win.  I agree, if your a christian and miserable your doing it right... I'm still shocked I held on for so long lol.

Comment by Rick on October 28, 2011 at 10:43am

One doesn’t need to be a scientist to be knowledgeable about science any more so than one needs to be a musician to be knowledgeable music, or a baseball player to be knowledgeable, or a Christian to be knowledgeable about Christianity. Self-education is a beautiful thing. There are countless books, journals, documentaries, etc. on almost any subject that one can easily access. I’d be willing to bet that I’m more of an authority on christianity than some christinas, which frankly doesn’t say much, but proves the point because I’m not a christian.

Comment by The Doctor on October 28, 2011 at 12:36pm

I think I have more trouble trying to define (A)theism  to folks, it's like they assume there is a set dogma for being one like there dogma.

Also love the Star Trek reference ;)

Comment by Dale Headley on October 28, 2011 at 3:00pm

   There are two overarching reasons I don't believe in any sort of god, neither of which require science (though it helps!):

First, the concept makes no sense to me.

Second, I don't need to.

Though they would deny it, Christians believe in god because they fear what follows death.  I don't.  I consider the question moot.  After all, why should I fear my atoms returning to the state they were in before they agglomerated to form me?  I don't recall suffering at the time. 

Now, if there were a religion that dealt with the question of the pain associated with the PROCESS of dying, I might listen a little more attentively.  Even then, though, it makes no sense to me.  Besides, But if such a such religion exists, it's keeping itself a secret.

Comment by Dave Gibbs on October 28, 2011 at 4:49pm

This paragraph - It was hard and miserable being Xtian. That was apparently a sign I was doing it right, living in constant guilt and begging some deity to wash my brain free of sexual thoughts. Praying that I could just get another hit of faith (yes like a drug) to get me through the week. Faith enough to help me overlook the glaring inconsistencies between the message of the bible and the mercy that the followers claimed it preached. I thought that certainly god would speak to me if I kept reaching out to him, and as my mental health deteriorated I hung on still trying to revive that faith so god would pull me out of my inadequacies.

...is the most eloquent and truthful summation of my experience of Xianity that I've ever seen.

Thank you.

 

Nail hit on the head here, too. Perfectly put.

Comment by Danny Sanchez on October 28, 2011 at 7:24pm

I agree with Dave and Rich... Well said

Comment by Cara Coleen on October 28, 2011 at 7:33pm

Yeah, being a Christian was misery for me, too... and it's like you had to embrace it. If you were miserable, it was because Satan was attacking your faith because you were a strong, threatening Christian and had to be brought down. I always felt really ill-at-ease when things were going okay, because that might mean I've ceased to be a viable Christian.

Eh, even thinking about that bothers me so much.

Anyway... it's interesting how you stopped believing. Could you go into more depth about that? Was it really so simple for you? Of course, I'm not saying it was simple... I'm just curious to know more about that process for you. It's so different for each of us.

Comment by Danny Sanchez on October 28, 2011 at 9:08pm

@Cara Coleen I think your question is an opening for a different discussion.

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