I Don’t Believe So

Priest

An Atheist and a Christian walk into a discussion. The Christian – surprisingly politely – asks for an explanation. I thought that I might provide one.

Thank you for your polite response. I respect your right of choice. If you don’t mind would you please share what first caused you to question the validity of Christianity when you began believing otherwise? I’m just curious. Was it something someone did or the church you were attending or a major life experience? For you to believe one thing for so long and then decide to believe differently had to be a major life changing moment.

You have made two fundamental unsupported assumptions in your question.

First, no-one chooses to believe anything, Atheism, or otherwise. Anyone who claims that they, or anyone else does, is either mistaken, or lying. We all believe what we do, only when we become convinced. It’s just that some people are more easily convinced than others.

Second, most people who leave Christianity to become Atheists, do not have a single, major, life-changing moment. It’s like Chinese water torture – drip, drip, drip, drip. Or like a new-born baby, growing into a full adult. There’s never a day when they are what they were yesterday, but it’s a constant series of tiny, un-noticed, incremental changes. For many, these changes are powered by a slew of social, secular, and saintly causes.

Read the Bible, it will give you Faith and Belief

Don’t read the Bible, you might not ‘interpret it’ correctly – says the priest/preacher who is interpreting it.

You have free will – but don’t use it to think for yourself. Accept what you are told, and DON”T QUESTION!
The church which preaches love and acceptance – discriminates against LGBTQ.

The ‘infallible’ Pope just finished changing a ruling that a previous infallible Pope made.

There are hundreds of religions in the world, and they all insist that they are right and Christianity is wrong. The three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, all disagree with each other. “Catholic” means ‘universal in extent, pertaining to the entire Christian body, or church’, yet there are three ‘universal’ Catholic sects, Greek, Russian, and Roman. At least two of them must be wrong – along with more than 20,000 Protestant divisions.

We are told, especially by the RC Church that, “There is no supermarket Christianity. You must accept all of it.” But the Holy Church picked and chose what gospels to put in, when the Bible was created. The Gospel of Mary, Christ’s supposed mother, was not put in. The Gospel of Peter, the Rock upon whom the Church was built, was not put in. They voted on whether Jesus was God or not. If Jesus was God, who did He pray to, in the Garden of Gethsemane?

And the ‘Inerrant’ Bible…. 😯 I have a Word file with 23 pages of mistakes and contradictions. There are two versions of Creation in Genesis. One says that Adam was created before the animals; the other says that the animals came first. There are two versions of Eve’s story. The first says that she was made from the dust, like Adam; the other testosterone-driven drivel claims that she was made from Adam’s rib. In neither was she present when God forbade eating the magic fruit.

Moses came down from the mountain twice, but the two pairs of tablets hold different sets of the Ten Commandments. Could God not remember the first set? One says to remember the Sabbath, and keep it Holy. Check with a Jew, a Muslim, a Seventh-Day Adventist, or your calendar – Saturday is the Sabbath, not Sunday. A pope made all Christians into sinners

Two different people supposedly constructed the Ark of the Covenant. Two different people are credited with killing Goliath, only one of whom was David, and that was with a sword, after the stone had stunned him. Both accounts contain historical inaccuracies. In one, he was a Philistine, in the other, an Amalekite. There are two different versions of the death of Judas.

One version of Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus says that those with him saw the figure of Christ, but heard nothing. The next one says that his companions heard the voice, but saw nothing.

Drip! Drip! Drip! Eventually they wake up one day and realize that it’s all exceptions, and no rule – no great, life-changing decision. Believe it all – or nothing. Okay, Nothing it is. Reading the Bible is the best way to create Atheists. Other than carefully selected and justified passages, most Christians haven’t. If a Power exists which created the universe and us, it neither needs nor wants our puny adoration and obedience – and it need not be called God. We’re just an ant farm. The “God” that Atheists don’t believe in, is the one in your imagination.

I imagine that there will be a Flash Fiction or a WOW on Friday. There’s only one version of the story of me being happy if you show up. 😀

18 thoughts on “I Don’t Believe So

  1. Every last one of us is born atheist, blank slates indoctrinated according to place of birth – geography being the leading circumstance responsible for faith based mythology. Theists don’t consider this fact, nor can they fathom those of us who never believed in mythological deities. “Why did you leave the church?” “What made you become an atheist?” Blah, blah, blah, it’s astounding! Me – I was baptized in the Anglican church because that’s what people did in the 60s.Growing up in a small town, church was what farm families did on Sunday, we went every few weeks to please my grandparents. Next came Sunday School (Mom needed a break, she had 5 children) I was 5 years old, attended Sunday School twice when teacher took Mom aside – I was kicked out of class, seems I asked questions “upsetting” to other children. I was five years old! That night Mom let us stay up past bedtime, she spread blankets on the lawn, lay on our backs star gazing as she pointed out constellations telling stories from Greek mythology. I know now how lucky I was. 🙂

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  2. Archon's Den says:

    I was never baptised in our Baptist Church, (which apparently was very laissez faire) because they believed in teen baptism, which they felt was old enough for informed choice. I was outta there by then. It had a bathroom-sized, heated pool hidden behind the lectern, for full-body immersion.
    We never pushed religion on our kids. When she was about 12, the daughter begged to be allowed to be bused to a Baptist church at the edge of town, to be with the neighbor girl. After 6 or 7 weeks, she asked if she still had to attend. We said no, but why not?? Seems this one was a real Hellfire and Brimstone Baptist Church, and the sermons were scaring the shit out of her. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dbenn says:

    To one who stands outside the Christian faith it is utterly astonishing how ordinary a book can be and still be thought the product of omniscience.
    (Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation)

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Like Christians who have only read snippets of the Bible, I have only read bits and pieces of Harris’s works. I’m almost afraid to. My head might explode – or I could die laughing at Christian Apologetics. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rivergirl says:

    I was raised Episcopalian and dragged to Sunday school every week. My earliest memories are of bucking it and arguing the premise. All my little friends were Catholic and enjoyed the stories…. I could never understand why. Guess it starts early for some of us.
    😉

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Yeah, I get you. Even as a kid, I thought that they were great stories – but just stories. Hansel and Gretel….Daniel in the lion’s den. 😳 I didn’t realize that most of those around me were accepting them as “Gospel Truth.”
      It’s only in the last 25 years that I’ve done enough research to show just how impossible they are. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim Wheeler says:

    Spirituality is, of course, entirely subjective, a product of the enquiring mind. The placebo effect is real, a good example of mind/body interaction. Theism lacks any evidence of reality when judged scientifically. But then there is the problem presented by quantum physics. On the sub-atomic scale, matter and energy are but two forms of the same thing, both wave and particle, and reality can be affected by the observer. Is free will a thing or a stochastic illusion? So many questions. Curiosity killed a cat but satisfaction brought him back, eh?

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Most of these Apologists won’t be satisfied until we agree with their version of reality – but then, there are so many different versions of “their” realities. 😯 We’re damned (by them) if we do, and damned if we don’t.
      I believe…. that I’ll have another beer. 😉 😀

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  6. dbenn says:

    And then there is the question of the “moderates”. My feeling has tended to be that they do more harm than good by not speaking out against the evils of fundamentalism. Yet there’s also the sense the older I get that we must look more for commonality than difference. I have been confronted with this again recently with the death of my father, a retired Uniting Church Minister (Australia). I’ve written about that here: https://strangequark.me/2020/01/19/a-eulogy-for-dad/

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Lovely sentiments, many of which I’ve echoed in previous posts.
      It’s interesting that Australia has a “Uniting Church,” and the largest single Protestant Denomination here in Canada is the “United Church,” formed in 1925 by the amalgamation of the Council of Local Union Churches, the Congregational Churches, the Methodist Churches, and a portion of dissatisfied Presbyterians. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

      • dbenn says:

        Thanks. Yes, I’ve often thought the difference in tense was interesting here vs Canada. Although the basis of union was similar (at least with respect to the denomination mix) but in 1976 here, it’s probably a good thing that Australia decided upon Uniting vs United given the ongoing nature of such things and that over the last 15 years or so a schism has emerged in the UC here over issues such as homosexual ministers, gay marriage and voluntary euthanasia.

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      • Archon's Den says:

        Oh dear…. But then, schism has been a growth industry since Martin Luther. 😯

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Achon’s Den,
    I’m a Christian who has read the Bible many times, and it didn’t turn me into an atheist. You are making some fair points in this post. I like that you are calling out the church on hypocrisy toward the LGBTQ community. You also rightly point out the problem with considering the Bible inerrant when it is easy to find discrepancies and many textual and translation problems.
    I would like to point out a few problems in your post. The first is regarding your statement about the pope making people sinners through Sunday rather than Saturday worship. The Ten Commandments were never given to Christians. Those were Jewish laws. Christians have never been instructed to rest on the Sabbath. The Ten Commandments were part of the covenant God made with the Jews. God made a new covenant with humanity. There’s nothing wrong with the Ten Commandments. It won’t hurt anyone to follow them. But those are not the Christian rules for life. Christians traditionally worship on Sunday because it is the day that Jesus rose from the dead- the first day of the New Covenant.
    You said, “If a Power exists which created the universe and us, it neither needs nor wants our puny adoration and obedience – and it need not be called God. We’re just an ant farm.” What qualifies you to decide what humanity’s significance is to the Power (if there is one)? I think you are greatly mistaken. 😉 Thanks!

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    • Archon's Den says:

      So you have read the Bible. Congratulations. So have I. So have many Atheists. Have you read Matthew 5: 17/18, where Jesus says
      17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law, or the Prophets, I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18: For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest jot or tittle shall pass from the Law until the Kingdom of Heaven is established upon the earth.”
      Have you read the Papal Encyclical which says that the entire Bible must be accepted as the inspired, inerrant word of God? Have you read the transcript of Pope Frank’s speech, where he says that there can be no ‘supermarket Christianity,’ that you must accept everything, to be saved? Have you read the portion of my post, where I write about it becoming all exceptions, and no rules?
      So, you have gone to your favorite religious supermarket and shopped for, and picked and chose, what you wish to believe, and reject. You think that you can ignore the Old Testament, The Ten Commandments – perhaps the most important Bible passage – because you’re not Jewish, even though Jesus said that you can’t. You think that you can ignore the tenets and directives of the Mother Church, which all other Christian denominations sprang from, perhaps because you’re not Catholic.
      Congratulations! You are well on your way to being an Atheist. You don’t believe almost as much as I don’t believe. Apologia not accepted. 😯

      Liked by 2 people

      • Awesome! Thanks for responding. Just because the Roman Catholic Church has appointed itself the Mother Church doesn’t mean it’s true. There was no established or official church for hundreds of years of Christianity and in God’s eyes, there still isn’t today (no matter what the Pope says). Regarding your quote from Jesus about the law: The law has fulfilled its purpose. The kingdom of God has been established through the death and resurrection of Christ. “So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” (Romans 7:4) I’m not picking and choosing what I want, I could quote half the New Testament on why we are no longer obligated to follow the law.
        Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      If these claims ore the best defense that you have for your particular faith, then I am at least as qualified as you to speculate what “God” is, and isn’t. 🙄

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  8. Being an atheist means to not believe in God, to my knowledge. And each person has a right to their opinion.

    But to believe that you come from nothing and return to nothing in my opinion is a very sad philosophy. Not only are atheists dismissing scripture written over 2000 years ago but they dismiss all wisdom from the buddha, Hindus, Vedas. And the list goes on.

    Even scientists like Max Planck, and other quantum physicists say there is a intelligence behind the universe

    To think that all these prophets, scientists, gurus, men of wisdom are delusional?

    That in my opinion is highest form of arrogance.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Then your knowledge is in error. There are sufficiently arrogant and aggressive Atheists, who are sure that no God/gods exist. Like the religious, they do so without proof. Most of the rest simply claim that they have not been presented with sufficient evidence to believe in anyone’s particular and peculiar definition and delusion.
      To me, not only believing in an unseen, unproven entity, powerful enough to create an entire Universe, but believing that such an entity would even be aware of, much less take an interest in, an insignificant member of an insignificant race, on an insignificant planet, circling an insignificant sun, in an insignificant, back-water corner of a minor galaxy – THAT is the ultimate in arrogance.
      I am astounded that you credit the Buddha, Hindus, Vedas, etc. Most Christian debaters/Apologists quickly dismiss their questionable claims…. Unless they happen to shore up a weak Christian argument which needs supporting.
      You seem to have started with the assumption that these things/people are right, and therefore, wise. I see no proof that they are correct, and are therefore, at best, well-intentioned fools.
      I find no evidence that Max Planck, and other quantum physicists see “intelligence” behind the Universe. Planck theorized that the Universe constituted ‘consciousness’ not intelligence. There is quite a difference. Ask your cat to explain it to you.
      Once upon a time, all these prophets, scientists, gurus, and men of wisdom (at least the Christian ones) believed that the Earth was flat, square, resting on four pillars, and the center of creation. Wiser, smarter, more knowledgeable men, have proved them all quite wrong. 🙄

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