I am sure this topic has been covered before but I thought I would add my two cents in the form of a question. Are you ready theists? Here goes.
If you have the “TRUTH” on your side, why do you need to be dishonest in your dealings with atheists on the web?
I have heard it said that there is no such thing as an atheist. I have heard it said that we really do believe in the Christian god but are lying to ourselves about it. Why? Because we just can’t handle the reality that God is real and/or because we want to live “in sin” without fear of judgment.
I don’t think you are crazy or stupid for believing in gods. Humans have pretty much always done so. It is a flaw in our genetic makeup. But if you think others believe what you believe even when they make it clear that they don’t, you are (at least a little) crazy or stupid. Well, maybe not but you are certainly delusional. If I say I don’t believe in your god, it is because I don’t believe in your god. To assume otherwise is sad.
Think of it this way: if I were to say that there are no theists, just atheists pretending there is a god because they can’t handle reality or because they want someone else to take the fall for their sin filled lifestyle, would I be correct? No. I could believe it all day long. I could shout it from the roof tops but in the end my belief on the matter would have no effect on the reality of it.
So, if you are one of those who believe I really do believe in your god, it might be time to reevaluate that belief.
If I don’t believe in god, why do I talk about him at all?
Well, maybe because the idea was fed into my brain from infancy by well-meaning parents. Maybe one never really gets past the need to fight against the brainwashing that was done to him especially when he sees it being done to others. Maybe every time I hear someone say “God bless you” I am reminded of the fact that the majority of human kind is still trapped in the superstition and delusion that is religion and belief in gods.
Do I find pleasure in the seemingly pointless and endless debates? Does it made me happy to argue the same points without being heard in any real way by those trapped in god belief? Is it fun for me to get the same non-answers skeptics got a hundred years ago?
No. So why do I do it? How can I not? If you woke up one morning and saw something that was fundamentally wrong with the world, would you roll over and go back to sleep or would you stand and fight for change? Some people stand and fight for water for Africa. Some people stand and fight to end abortion. Others stand against drugs. I stand against what I perceive as the greatest enemy of human kind: the notion that gods are real and that old books should guide our every step.
I do not fight out of hate. I fight because I care. I am a part of humanity and I care where we go and what we do on the way there. If you can’t understand that, if you still cling to your preconceived notions about me, well, then I guess we will be enemies. But for my part, I do not fight you. I fight the trap you are in. Maybe someday we can be friends when the traps are torn down and destroyed? I suppose we will have to wait and see.
In the grand scheme of things, truths go in and out of fashion about as fast as hair styles. If you were to have you hair styled in a fashion from the 1950’s, people might stare. From the 1850‘s, people might laugh. Hair styles change and evolve over time to fit the environment of the minds of the time.
In the same way, the things we accept as truth change in our own lives and over the course of history. What was popular 10,000 years ago, or even 1,000 years ago, is not popular today. For example, most people know that dancing naked around an idol will not bring rain. Today’s truths will look funny in the future.
People think that their hair style makes them look better. People think that their truth makes the wold look better too. If this were not true, I don’t think anyone would care how their hair looked or what the truth was.
So, in some ways religions are like hair styles. But what style best describes the different religions of the world? Well, Buddhism is an easy one. Their monks shave their heads. They say the only truth is that there is no truth. Then there are Rastafarians, they think that smoking the reefer helps them get closer to god. Maybe you can think of a better hair style for them, but I am thinking dread-locks here. Let’s see… Next we have Jews. They grow long sideburns and long beards because the Torah says they have to. They have not changed their style… ever. Then there are the Christians. The problem here is that there are so many different kinds. Some are flat tops, some are shoulder length. Others have spikes. This reflects the fact that people interpret the bible in different ways. The last religion/hair style I want to mention is the small cult Mullet. They don’t stay in style very long and everybody who does not have one thinks they look silly.
The problem with truth is that people from any given religion see people who do not share their truth wearing a Mullet. They think, “Why would that person want to leave the house with hair like that?” or “What is wrong with them? Look at the state of their head.”
But in the same way all hair styles are artificial, so are all truths. Hair just grows, anything we do to it is a choice. The way we perceive the world is not that different.
As some of you may know I am an atheist/Buddhist/Vegetarian/ex-Christian. Some people have told me to stop talking about my views and to find something else to do. I started this blog with the hope that maybe, just maybe, someone would see reality the way I do. I don’t know if I have a right to do this. Maybe its not my place to point out reality as I see it. If it is not, then maybe evangelists should stay home too.
I see the world is broken. I see we are all hurting. I see that most of use are missing the point. So I write and write, trying to get people to open their eyes. But they all tell me that their eyes are already open and that it is I who has shut mine. You know how I feel about that….
I am not belittling people of faith. I do not think you below me or less intelligent than me. I am just trying to get you to see the rest of the world. I was a Christian for most of my life. I know how small the Christian world is, I was in it. When I woke up to the rest of the world it scared me. I tried desperately to go back, but I couldn’t.
You don’t have to believe me, but I am telling the truth.
No, I don’t believe the title is true. But I know people that do. I have been thinking about this subject the last few days and thought I would share my take on it.
When I was growing up in the Church I was told that meditation of any kind is dangerous because it opened your mind to Satan. Thinking about it now I have to wonder how this could be true. I mean, can Christians really be possessed by the devil if they are already possessed by Jesus? I don’t see how. I personally don’t think that the Devil is a real entity… But what do I know? 🙂
Meditation comes in many forms and is called different things. Christian meditation is called prayer. I think the problem a lot of people have with meditation is a general lack of knowledge. We seem to fear what we don’t understand. I would say the opposite is true also, we don’t fear what we understand.
In my humble, opinion Zen meditation would serve to protect the minds of Christians. If there is a being hellbent (ha ha) on getting into your mind, it would behoove you to train your mind to focus. That is one of the main points of Zen meditation, as far as I can tell. Would it be easier to break into a house where the owner is zoning out in the back room thinking about whatever comes to mind or a house where the owner is disciplined and focused, paying attention to what he does and what is happening around him? That is what meditation does, or can do. It helps train the mind to focus.
Dear Christian brothers and sisters,
I would like to formally apologize for any and all deliberate attacks I may have launched against your faith or world view from this blog. I am sorry. It is not my place to tell you what is true or false any more than it is your place to tell me what is true or false. I started this blog with the hope that some may see the “Truth” and turn away from self delusion and make-believe. That is to say my “Truth”, the way I see things. Because deep down I “know” I am right. Logically this idea, that I am right and you are wrong, can not, and should not, be held. I see the world and so do you. How is it that we do not see the same world?
You are convinced that the world functions in a set way. I can not change your mind. I know I have tried. 🙂 I am also convinced that the world functions in a set way. A way very different than the way you see it. You cannot change my mind either. What does this leave us with? We can do three things, I think; continue to fight, stick our heads in the sand and hope we all go away, or learn to live together with mutual love and respect.
I vote for that last option. The first two only breed suffering and hate. The fight is a pointless one that none can win, and sand will make our ears itch badly. Besides that, we should not live in ignorance. At least I do not wish to. That really only leaves the option of learning to live together with mutual love and respect. I am up to the challenge if you are. It will take teamwork and a real desire for understanding from both of us. We will need to tear down walls of preconceived notions, stereotypes, and prejudices so that we can see one another for who we really are, not just what we think the other is.
Zebulon The Red
Atheist and Zen Buddhist
P.S. So… Is anyone game?