What started out as a simple status post on Facebook, turned into the biggest crapstorm. Here’s what I posted:
While surprised that twenty-six of my friends are awesome enough to click the “like” button, please note the 123 comments. I think like, eighteen of those are mine, leaving 105 comments made by other folks. I”m happy they all commented, truly, because America!
What I don’t agree with is part of what was said, and I don’t mean in a “waa waa waa, you naughty Christian hurt my atheist feelers! Waa waa waa!” I mean in a “it turned from a fairly rational discussion between consenting adults to making personal attacks and demeaning those who do not share your opinions” type of way.
I made a comment on Twitter yesterday about Christians going on rampages. I was called out for that by one of my followers who said, “don’t you go on rampages, too?”
Touche, sir. Touche.
I do go on rampages; he’s right about that. I don’t deny that I do that, because I totally do. My excuse is thus: I try–key word is “try”–to not make the person to whom I’m debating feel dumb, or unintelligent or otherwise because they are Christians. I was a Christian for twenty years. For me to attack these people in that way is beyond hypocritical of me and I sincerely apologize if at any point I’ve done so, because shame on me.
It’s difficult to stay rational and calm sometimes though, and yes, I’m using that as a scapegoat. As I’ve said before, religion is one of those hot-button topics that gets people fired up, as it should, really. As the saying goes, “if you’re not outraged, you haven’t been paying attention.”
As an atheist, I call to question Christian beliefs: “why do you think that? Okay, I get what you’re saying, but have you ever considered the alternative?” It’s okay to question what you believe in. Questioning things makes you more intellectually mature, in my opinion. God isn’t going to smite you down because you doubt some of the things you read in the bible. If he’s the loving God you claim him to be, he’ll chalk your doubt up to a typical case of “teenage rebellion,” ruffle your hair, pinch your cheeks, and say, “you little scamps. So full of curiosity!” And rightly so–the world is a fascinating place. We’re curious about its inner workings and being human, we want answers.
This is where I, as an atheist, tend to disagree with theists: “because it’s God’s plan” is not an acceptable answer to me. I see it this way…it’s like when you’re little and ask your parents a question and they respond with “because, that’s just the way it is.”
What? That’s not an answer! That’s avoiding the topic because you DON’T know the answer! Just cop to it and say, “hey, you know what? I don’t know.”
I’m approaching a topic here that I’m having trouble reconciling with myself because when I first heard the term “agnostic atheist,” I threw a fit. “Whoa, wait a second here. How can you be an agnostic atheist? That’s like being ambidextrous with your beliefs!” To me, you either believe God (theist), don’t believe in god, but don’t know for sure (agnostic), or there is no god/gods/god-like beings (atheist).
However, I was sent an article by a good friend of mine, who just happens to be an agnostic, and after reading it, I’m begrudgingly have to accept that I too, am an agnostic atheist. Mumble, groan, and complain.
Here’s why: when asked, “do you believe in God?” I reply, “no, I don’t.” When asked how do you know there isn’t a god?” I reply, “I don’t know for sure.”
Confusing, no? I admit I am now, too. Here, try this:
One of the earliest definitions of agnostic atheism is that of Robert Flint, in his Croall Lecture of 1887–1888 (published in 1903 under the title Agnosticism).
The atheist may however be, and not unfrequently is, an agnostic. There is an agnostic atheism or atheistic agnosticism, and the combination of atheism with agnosticism which may be so named is not an uncommon one.
If a man has failed to find any good reason for believing that there is a God, it is perfectly natural and rational that he should not believe that there is a God; and if so, he is an atheist… if he goes farther, and, after an investigation into the nature and reach of human knowledge, ending in the conclusion that the existence of God is incapable of proof, cease to believe in it on the ground that he cannot know it to be true, he is an agnostic and also an atheist – an agnostic-atheist – an atheist because an agnostic… while, then, it is erroneous to identify agnosticism and atheism, it is equally erroneous so to separate them as if the one were exclusive of the other…
Well, that really isn’t any better than what I said, just not in so many words, but hopefully you get the basic premise. I still don’t much care for the term, but whatever. I’ll get over it.
However, because of my acceptance of considering myself agnostic atheist, does not mean I back down from my previous statement of “everyone is an atheist towards other religions.” I still think that’s true, in my opinion, and I have Richard motherfucking Dawkins to back that up, too. I’m rawkin’ like Dawkins.
I may have to eat my hat and a slice of humble pie for a moment. One of the friends who got in on the debate quoted her pastor and he said something along the lines of “I don’t believe there are ‘true atheists’ in the world, because to ‘know’ there is no god implies a vast knowledge of the world and its intricacies, which science has clearly proven we do not have that knowledge at our fingertips…”
Okay, wait…I may redact what I just said. The more I read this, the more I go, “wh-wh-wh-whaaaaat?”
I do see his point with the “true atheists” thing, because as I just confessed to, I”m now an agnostic atheist, I guess (grumble moan complain), but that’s is just a personal realization. I do not represent the entire atheistic community, although I should be on a poster because I can be kind of cute…I digress.
There are people out there, these “true atheists,” as Pastor McPastorPants shuns, that believe there is no god, I do not question this belief, end of story.
For Preacher McPreacherson to be so cavalier as to continue by saying that “science has clearly proven we don’t have the knowledge” is–uh oh, Pastor!–a hypocritical statement on your behalf and kind of contradictory to what you’re trying to convey in your message. You are basing your “knowledge” of “God” on what? A book, albeit a poorly written book, on the existence of your god. And this classifies as knowledge how….?
Hey, Pastor-ooski; I read a book about a girl who fell down a rabbit hole and was suddenly in another world were rabbits, smoking caterpillars, drunk mice, and a creature called the Jabberwocky existed, but you don’t see me going around preaching the Gospel of Alice now, do you? No, you do not.
And here’s where your contradiction comes in, sir: “science has proven we don’t have that knowledge.” You’re right–science hasn’t proven the knowledge of there not being a god. Science hasn’t proven the existence of one either, so…your move, sir.
I don’t believe in God, and I don’t know if that’s true or not. If there is a god, well, looks like I was wrong. I’m capable of admitting and accepting the fact I could be wrong. Inversely, I could also be right and there really isn’t one.
That’s all for today, friends. Don’t worry your pretty little faces; I’m planning on doing some major posting this week, it being Easter and all.
Thanks for reading and as always,