I used to be religious.
I’m not going to claim otherwise. I’m not going to say I was an atheist since I was five years old. I was a serious Christian for several years. I dabbled in occult religions (Thelema, Satanism, Sangreal, etc.) for a bit. Most recently I identified as Hindu for a number of years. To an extent I still do, though that’s a topic for a different blog post.
Honestly, I think that those who have never been religious are not really the people to whom you should be looking in order to combat religious thinking. Do you want a zealous patriot, or someone who has seen the inner workings of the Enemy?
Why I Changed
So what was the reason that I became an atheist and disavowed My belief in god(s)? I’ll tell you as best as I can recall.
It was a chilly day here in Texas, probably near the New Year. I had been talking with a friend of Mine who was a Muslim. I seriously considered converting to Islam because, let’s face it, Islam makes a lot more sense than Christianity. To a crazy person, at least.
The circumcision thing was a big problem, I admit. I am au natural, and letting anyone with a knife near the … you know … wasn’t really making Me happy. I had gone through an online course in Islam (in addition to exposure as a teen and discussions with My friend) when I just suddenly realized that I was actually looking for a set of rules.
It didn’t matter if they were the Christian rules or the Muslim rules or the Hindu rules (if you can even call them that), I wanted some structure to My life. I made a bold decision in that moment and decided to live without rules. I decided to be Myself, not trying to live up to some idealistic version of a person.
Why I Remain
So why do I remain an atheist? Well, beyond the fact that it is TRUE?
I am a strong atheist, distinct from a weak atheist. For those unfamiliar with the terms, a weak atheist does not believe that any god(s) exists.. A strong atheist is one who believes that no god(s) exists. I believe that no god(s) exists primarily because of a lack of evidence but also because of a lack of a satisfactory definition of what “god” means.
What differentiates your god from a really powerful alien who threatens you? It’ll help you out if you declare your allegiance to him (or her) but it will kill you gruesomely if you even dare to question its absolute authority. Kind of like every imperialistic nation in history.
Now, the Mormon belief system is pretty consistent with that. It says that their god is from a planet called Kolob and he made this world and everybody in it.
My question is this: What makes its opinion more ‘true’ than Mine? For that matter, even if it were proven that there was some sort of “god” (definition still forthcoming), what reason would I have to consider its valuation of Right and Wrong superior to My own?
Seriously, what would make a god(s)’ s evaluation of good and evil any more correct than Mine? Because it is all-powerful and could condemn Me to eternal hellfire if I don’t agree? That’s blackmail on a seriously cosmic level. Not cool, dude. Not cool at all.
There may well be beings that are more powerful than I am. Some may know a lot more than I do. Call them gods, call them space aliens, call them whatever you want.
Now I have an opinion regarding what is “right” and what is “wrong.” It is just that, My opinion. I support it with reason and logic. If another being comes and tells Me than I am wrong but the only reason they have to back it up is “Because I said so,” then I might have a problem with that. I would gladly choose eternal damnation instead of doing what I considered to be wrong.
If they have a rational argument that proves Me wrong, I’m willing to consider it. I am a scientist at heart. I want to be proven wrong because that’s how I learn. I am not perfect (though I come close), and I still have many things to learn.
I have a great deal of experience in a number of world religions. I did not find anything in any of them to satisfy Me. I want what’s true, not what’s expedient.
If you are happy being satisfied as a Christian despite the proof that it is bogus, then hey, go and be happy. If you’re Muslim and believe in Islam despite the evidence that it was a plagiarized pile of crap, then hey, blessed are those who do not think.
So if there is a god(s), then you probably know where I live. You know when I’m here. Stop by some time. Tell Me why I am wrong. Or are you just afraid?