- Religion and Philosophy
RANT: So Why is it So Bad not to Believe in God?
So what if I don't believe in god
The last week has been a nightmare. While my Google Plus stream comprises mostly atheists, my facebook stream has a variety of people, comprising mainly believers in one religion or the other. As an atheist, I find people believing in virgin births as ludicrous as I would find people who believed that the Greek pantheon of gods was alive and well and living on Asguard. I have always had a sharp divide between fiction and fact, and religion is no exception. So when I am constantly forced to read what I regard as utter nonsense, it raises my ire after a while. The way I counter this (and many atheists do counter this) is to laugh at jokes which are at the expense of Christianity.
A typical day in a superstitious world
Today I was walking from my house to the shops. It’s about a thirty minute walk and about ten minutes in, a lady stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride. I said yes with delight and got into the car. I kid you not. Her first words after I got in were “Do you believe in Jesus?”
“No, I’m a hardcore atheist.”
And after that there was no stopping her. The blood of the lamb had saved her, she said. She had a personal experience with Jesus, she said. It was very much like the one that Paul of Tarsus had, she said. Her god provided her with everything she needed, she said. She grabbed my hand and assured me that she would pray for me. And so it went. Thankfully the ride was less than 2 or 3 minutes, and when I got out of the car, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Earlier today, someone I care about told me a story about my late brother, how he walked into two different churches, attacked the pastor, and how each pastor had said words like ‘Let the blood of Jesus clean this man,’ and how my brother had frozen and floated in the air, totally pinned down by the blood of Jesus. Or some such tripe. The time period was mid-70s, and I was told that two independent witnesses confirmed this, therefore it must be true. Does it not occur to the people who spread this type of nonsense that it is absolutely and utterly impossible for that type of event to occur? Where is their commons sense? What happened to their ability to analyse and evaluate whether something is true? I just don’t get it.
How anyone with two brain cells can believe this junk is completely and utterly beyond me, but they do, and because there are so many people in the world who believe in six armed gods, virgin Marys, seventy virgins waiting for sex, and laws of attraction that magically convert one’s thoughts into reality, I am doomed to meet it at some point most days of my life.
Humour and atheism
So to counter this onslaught I post atheist jokes, articles that expose religion for what it is (a pile of ancient myths with no foundation in reality), and more. I wonder if anyone today realized how close I was to screaming at these people and telling them to take their deluded belief systems and get out of my life. Yet society tells us we have to be polite. I battle to be polite when people start telling me stories about the Illuminati (they don’t exist), how an angel came to visit them the previous evening (they really do need to see a mental health practitioner), or how the local pastor raised someone from the dead (I kid you not).
Again, my weapon against the irrationality is humour, science, and knowledge. They are the only weapons I have. I will go mad if I have to consistently be forced to listen to stuff that I know to be complete and utter nonsense. There is no polite way for me to say this.
So why are you so desperate to convince me of your god?
I don’t harm anyone. I have never committed a criminal act. I mind my own business, and I don’t try to convert anyone to my own point of view. Why then, does it appear to be so awful that I don’t believe in gods? I am certainly in good company in my belief systems as most of the world’s leading inventors and scientists are atheists. Why does it bug Christians so much? Why do they constantly force me to discuss the topic? Why won’t they just leave my posts be? I don’t go to their stream to counter what they say about their particular belief system so why do they come to mine? Is my lack of belief in a mystic god so threatening to them?
I suspect that there is a sort of desperation to believing in god, as if believers cling to it because their lives are so awful that they would collapse if there was no hope of a supernatural being who would sweep away their woes. I often wonder if they fight atheism because they would rather be deluded and have hope, than face harsh reality. I can think of no other reason why these people are so desperate to convert me to their belief system. The bottom line is that people who are secure in their knowledge have no need to convince others.
In younger years, before Christian fundamentalism joined mainstream, it was considered impolite to talk about religion. I still think it is. Some of us find it offensive, and I very definitely do.
Jesus never existed
The Christian Delusion...
If you go to the comments below, you will not find a single comment made by a religious person that addresses the topic of this 'rant.' The question is "Why is it so bad to be an atheist." Instead, every single religious person is attempting to prove that Jesus Christ is real or they're praying for me, or some such nonsense. They appear to be incapable of focusing on the topic. Like Pavlov's dogs, their behaviour is unthinking and automatic: propagate their religion. I rest my case.
© 2015 Tessa Schlesinger