O ften religious people, seeking to silence any skepticism, will ask those cornered with the label of atheism, why they care to speak out against and idea they do not believe exist. I’m not sure why others choose to speak out. It’s true, there are not lots of books or blogs deconstructing the story of Santa, faith in the tooth fairy, or the polemic of the Greek gods. But it is also true that a majority of society is not basing their life around these and other mythologies. when it comes to the worlds major deities, many certainly are basing their life and public policy ideals on their particular concept of a god, and the many variations of such deities. And with varying degress, both presently and historically, many not only live in subjugation, but also believe that all others are lost and will be eternally damned if they do not comply. This removes the “faith is just a personal issue” tenor to the public discourse. It’s the ultimate catergrizing of an “us and them” message, that cannot be camaflouged, however It’s branded. It stands to reason that if you claim to have special revelation from a being not from this world who has organized all of this life as we know it, and demand submission with threat of eternal damnation, it’s worth ongoing examination. It is a fantastical worldview that goes beyond anything else accepted as reality on planet earth. And for me, the platitude of “god’s ways are higher than our ways” no longer satisfy a thinking mind.
It wasn’t until I was able, physically and mentally, to step outside my own belief system and evaluate it like I had evaluated
every other faith claim that I stopped believing. I was already, by default, atheistic about all other gods. And I’m not just speaking about the ones that are called by different names with different religions, but also the many different versions of Yaweh and Jesus among Christians who disagree on major essentials. Religious people can always find someone to the right or the left of them calling them a heretic. Once I examined my beliefs historically, critically, and logically in the same manner I examined Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Islam, Scientology, Buddhism, and all other faiths that claimed authority for the unseen, I simply added one more god to the list of unbelief. It so happened to be the Christian version of a god because of my culture and geography.
I know that for those that accept belief in a god, by culture or conversion, belief seems to make perfect sense. Think about it, you might be frustrated right now with my use of the words a god vs. God. Ask yourself, why among the thousands of god stories do you beleive your god is the true god? Why among the various biblical interpretations about essential doctrines do you honestly believe this deity has revealed the true way to you? Those people who you would say are not true Christians are just as confident, and their faith is just as practical and special experientially as yours. They also believe to hear the voice of a god. This is the insiders viewpoint. Like cojoined twins who have grown so familiar with their physical condition, forgetting the strangeness in appearance to others, faithful insiders are blinded to the fantastic nature of their claims. For insiders, everything make so much sense, is air tight and factually supported. Even though all other faith claims are disavowed with critical logic, the insiders faith is the exception to the rule of logic, accepted, and sustained with a magical thinking that supports its belief dependent realism.
I was just like you, honestly convinced I was enlightened with a revealed truth from a deity. It felt good, very special. Everything I knew confirmed it. The trouble is this wasn’t an examined decision. Becoming an insider happens, for a majority of the faithful, first through geography and then by culture. Then every contradiction, irrational doctrine, inconceivable past event or unanswered prayer submits to this dependancy.
I hope to write this blog in ways that are challenging, not to the already unconvinced, but to you who may not have truly examined christianity from an outsiders perspective. I hope to lay out the many reasons I see the bible, it’s god and Jesus as unconvincing as you consider all other god claims. I write as a former insider, now a whistle blower. Believing has been such a big part of my life, walking away without a word isn’t an option. I’ve always been interested in the philosophy of religion but now I’ve just repositioned. It will also be a therapeutic exercise to demonstrate, in the least, reasonable doubt, and at best, an honest examination. Ask yourself, if a majority of the population claimed to be communing with an alien race, wanting everyone else to tune in, shape public policy based on the alien’s wishes, and threaten horrible consequences for those who would not comply-could you just ignore it?
Ive learned a lot talking with people of faith and know they cannot often be dissuaded with facts, but I’m still compelled to have this dialogue. Maybe this will be an argument with myself. I remain open to anything true, anything beautiful and authentic, are you?