sent in by a Pennsylvanian agnostic
I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for 12 years. I was obsessed with the idea that praying to Jesus was the only solution to every worry in life. He was my hero. What I was taught about Christianity is that it's about love, kindness, and self-sacrifice and getting rewarded with your own personal invisible super hero who will protect you through life and reward you after you die. The first part are good ideas to live by, but what gets mixed into that is magical properties that seemed to work all the time a few thousands years ago, yet you never see work today. When was the last time you saw a "miracle", something that defies all known understanding of the physical laws of the universe (and wasn't performed by David Copperfield or Blaine using clever tricks)? Once I started being exposed to other religions, books, and movies I started realizing the alternative explanations had about as much proof behind them as the one that had been forced upon me in early childhood. So, with a cynical eye, over the past 10 years I've been looking for alternate explanations for what I used to believe.
I've never seen anything miraculous, but the ability to control the way people think seems a likely motivation for the invention of this idea of "God". Didn't the Church and state used to be more intertwined? I think it's likely a lot of it was made up. Maybe it was those History Channel specials that explain how the Bible was basically just a bunch of manuscripts the early church leaders arbitrarily threw together and decided to call the "Word of God". Maybe it was the way the Holy Trinity and the divinity of Jesus was debated in the early Church. So, because some people with their limited knowledge a few thousand years ago decided something, that makes it literally true today? -- Of course, it might not be that malevolent. A lot of the people who perpetuate it are just afraid of their own deaths and the uncertainty of the world they live in. --
I'm not saying everything Christianity claims is false. Some of it could have just been exaggerated. Other parts could have been due to alien influence (assuming aliens from other planets or wherever even exist), and the lastly the supernatural events could be true. I don't claim to know everything about the universe. I only claim not to believe it's all described by a single, short-sighted religion.
Besides, I've reasoned recently how can there even be a single all-powerful being who created the universe? I've thought about what it was like before the universe (all of it) existed and decided that the idea doesn't make sense. So, the universe must have always existed. I've also thought about what's beyond the universe and decided that idea doesn't make sense either. So, the universe must be infinite. In an infinite universe, for every being that's powerful, there's some other being that's more powerful. Look at all the different species on earth. Now, just imagine a being evolved by a few more billion years, possibly able to tap into physical laws that we haven't yet discovered (are fireflies, electric eels, or even birds magic? didn't we used to think the sun revolved around the earth?). If some simple people with no technology encountered an intelligent being like this, wouldn't they have called it a "God"? Just imagine what some isolated tribe in a jungle somewhere thought the first time they saw a piece of 20th century technology in action. They'd think it was magic. They could be convinced the person using it was some sort of god. Imagine what else lies out in the universe.
-- Here's a question. Why does an all-powerful and benevolent supernatural being require worship from lesser beings like us? If it's all-powerful then it doesn't need worship, and if it's benevolent then it wouldn't want worship. So, any being that pretends to be a "God" or "god" would either have to be a liar or a tyrant. --
-- Here's another question. If "God" is perfect and loving and creates all life, then why are there birth defects? I understand everyone can't be super good looking or super smart, but why screw someone over so severely? I think a better explanation than "God" is that the basic chemical and physical processes that define life aren't concerned with complicated ideas like perfection or love. --
I'm not an atheist. It's obvious to me the universe has many properties and rhythms I only partly understand. I'm interested in breaking the chains of a single, limited religion and exploring the possibilities one day at a time.
Joined at birth
Left at 18
Converted because: Born into it
De-converted because: Lack of evidence
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)