Thanks for stopping by to read this post! I have had a lot of very interesting conversations with a lot of folks since I made a public declaration of lack of belief in god. I was surprised by some of the topics of discussion and some of the questions that were brought up, and assuming that others may have the same questions, I thought it might be nice to roll out some answers all in one place.
Just so that we are on the same page before we dive in here, I’d like to establish what I mean by ‘lack of belief’. I have personally not come across enough evidence for the existence of a god or gods that I can be convinced that a god or gods exist. At the same time, it is impossible to prove a negative in relation to existence (e.g. the cosmic teapot) Academically, I concede that there is potential for a divine existence, and I find that denying that potential is intellectually dishonest. Some say that makes me an agnostic. However, in practical everyday terms, I live my life as if there is no god. Some would say that makes me an atheist. I’ll refer to myself as an atheist in this post just for simplicity’s sake.
This post is not a defense of atheism or agnosticism. It is not an attack on religion, spirituality, mysticism or the divine. This post is a slightly tongue in cheek response for some people who may want to know, but who may not want to ask. Every one of these has been inspired by a real life conversation.
Myth #1. Somebody must have hurt you or treated you badly for you to walk away.
This has been the first comment/question in a majority of the conversations I have had about this. “Who hurt you?” or “The reason that you are walking away is that you were presented with a false picture of what the love of Christ really is.” There are many variations. Perhaps you’ve heard a few yourself.
The truth is that there is not a single person, or group of people, who have driven me away from god with their actions, words, dogma or their ignorance.
Myth #2. You must be blaming god for something undesirable in your life.
I don’t believe in god, singular or plural. I can’t be mad at someone that I don’t believe exists.
Myth #3. You can’t have morals if you don’t have god.
I don’t even know how to respond to this, really. In order to make this assertion, it must be conclusively demonstrated either that god and morality are equivalent, or that morality cannot in any way exist through natural processes. I haven’t seen enough evidence for either of those premises. At the risk of making my response too simplistic: I don’t believe in god and I also have an innate sense that rape is wrong. I don’t see those two things as mutually exclusive.
Myth #4. You can’t have a reason to live if you don’t have god.
This myth also comes in a few flavors. “What is the purpose of your life if you weren’t created?” or “Why don’t you just kill yourself now” are some of the more common. My question is this: why does life’s existence demand one expressly designated purpose, or any purpose at all? Life exists and I live to make the best of it that I can. I have one shot.
Myth #5. Its because you were never able to make the decision about religion for yourself.
In order for this to be true, there has to be some kind of age limit or cut-off that I’m not aware of.
As far as I can tell, I did make this decision about religion for myself. It wasn’t when I was a child or a teenager. Does that make the choice invalid? I don’t think so.
So why am I an atheist? Very simply, I came to my position through reason and logic. That’s it. Asking questions and finding, or not finding answers. Challenging assertions that I had never challenged before. After all, if faith can’t stand up to the same analytical scrutiny that I would apply to less important life decisions, is it worth holding on to?