Atheist dealing with a family of believers.

On Facebook (and below), I posted a quote from Stephen Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do.  When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

My sister, a Roman Catholic, said this: "You don't really want to start this family argument on FB do you ?? Mr Born, raised and had his kids baptised Catholic!"

I spent some time on the response and thought it turned out pretty well, so I thought I'd share it with you:

OK, first of all, it seems that you're suggesting I had some control over how I was born and raised. If you made a conscious choice at birth to be christian, I’d love to hear that story.  

I can't help that I was raised in a climate of naive and irrational thinking as it relates to religion. There’s nothing wrong with parents passing their beliefs on to their kids, but there comes a point, when a child grows up (whether that be 13 or 30), when he has to look inward and decide if everything pushed on him throughout his life still makes sense.  Just because I decided to look critically on religion and decided that nothing about it made sense, doesn’t make it wrong.  It’s different from your view, (which I know in your eyes makes it wrong by definition), but that doesn’t make it wrong.

I don’t hold any of this against Mom and Dad, or you, or anyone else. You’re all victims of the same machine, and it takes a special mindset to question the dogma.  It’s been going on for centuries, and I suspect, unfortunately, that it will continue for years to come.  But it has to start somewhere and this is where I take my stand.  My kids learn to think for themselves instead of accepting blindly the beliefs of others.  If they decide to turn back to religion at some later date, I’ll respect that as long as they can give me some good reasons. Of course, this is more than I ever got from any of you.

As far as my kids’ baptism, it’s the only sacrament they’ve had and they have no concept of its meaning.  We only had them baptized (not to mention our church wedding) to keep peace in the family.  This was before I realized how ridiculous it was to fake something that was clearly so important to both us and all of you.

This is going to sound condescending, but I don’t mean it that way.  I realize that being Atheist is not for everyone and it would serve no purpose to try to push it on others.  Despite how ridiculous I think religious beliefs are, it’s that belief system that makes you what you are.  Removing such a construct, artificial though it may be, from the psyche of someone who is so heavily dependent on it would be destructive and counter-productive to the cause.

I’ll have this debate with anyone who steps up.  I’m not embarrassed.  I’m not shy. I have common sense on my side.  So, to answer your question…bring it.

BTW, did you follow the link and read the whole quote?

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do.  When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

So ask yourself this question.  Do you believe in the gods Zeus, or Apollo, or Dionysus?  Why or why not?  Would you have the courage to ask the same question about the Christian God?  If you say ‘that’s different,’ why? And before you say ‘cause the bible says so,’ consider that the bible was written thousands of years ago by a bunch of old me who advocate murder, rape, polygamy and a host of other acts that “Moral Christians” would never admit to.

Posted via email from Kevin’s Ramblings

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