Clarity

‘He has made it quite clear to you that he exists. You are acting like a fool.’

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It was only when I uploaded the above image onto this blog post that I realised this wasn’t a photograph at all. It looks more like a painting. Did I take it and change the filter? Did I take a snap of a painting? I have many photos from a similar height and location, I am just unsure of this one. With the bright sunshine pouring onto the main road below and onto the roofs of every building around it, I wanted to associate this with the comment I received recently.

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Another that I found from the same day, it seems to be the image quality after upload. It adds something to the image I guess. But I don’t want to drift away from the original claim that I am a fool. Let’s get back to that.

The sun is shining.

Check.

I am aware that the sun is shining.

Check.

It would seem to be a foolish move to associate this with anything other than nature. Countless religions and civilizations have claimed this to be the work of their God. I am pretty damn sure, given the chance to converse with anyone from any of these belief systems, I would be considered a fool for not coming to the same conclusion as they did. The problem is, which God is making it clear that he exists? Amaterasu? Apollo? Mithras? Ra? Your God makes it as clear as any other of his or her existence. The problem is, he or she does not make it clear at all, or at least as clear as any other.

I will never be satisfied with such a God. If a deity can only prove his or her existence through nature, it is not clear that he or she exists. That is, unless your God looks like a yellow ball in the sky and requires you to wear sun-cream. I can claim that Ra is my God and already I have an argument of equal validity. It is obvious isn’t it? All you need to do is look up, just remember to put your shades on. He speaks to me, he hasn’t spoken to you? Maybe you aren’t listening. Pray harder.

The problem isn’t that I am foolish enough to ignore the signs, it is that the signs are so vague they can be associated with anything. Please do not be foolish enough to see signs when there aren’t any.

A God needs to clarify their own existence if they truly want to prove themselves against the competition. There is a reason why so many deities still exist on our small world, a lack of such clarity.

Fooled

Don’t be lied to. It’s a pretty impossible task as the recipient, yet you are able to limit the chances by filtering out the right people from your life.

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Photo credit: Kristina Flour- Unsplash.
‘By intention, atheists have taken it upon themselves to militantly enforce their dispirited worldview upon the rest of us.’

I am yet to turn on the news to a story proving this claim. If religious fundamentalism wasn’t so rife, atheism wouldn’t be so opposing. When another Bangladeshi blogger is hacked to death in the street, the perception of morality is turned on its head once again. It’s a great shame that any criticism of religious violence is seen as immoral. I see people lying about the dangers of atheism daily and I know to not take such claims seriously. I also know when it is done for the benefit of the liar.

No-one is being threatened by atheism. If you are homophobic, against women’s rights, or against blasphemy maybe your beliefs are indeed under an attack, an attack looking for equality. If you do feel threatened, do you assume you are God? If you choose to take offence on behalf of God, consider your reasons for doing so. Leave the worry to God. You’re the employee that was never employed. Take off the name badge and work for yourself.

The truth will set you free, it’s a shame so many people desire divine guidance that creates such divide between people.

 

Chasing rainbows

We hear of the fortunes awaiting us at the end of the rainbow. A double rainbow I can only imagine. We never see an attempt to obtain it, we only hear of the glory in doing so. Failure to pursue such fortune is a result of either lies or stupidity. With no motivation to chase what is being gazed at from afar, it seems like an empty promise. Religion is no different.

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It is hard for me to believe theists truly believe in an afterlife, an eternal fate based on their performance here on earth. To spend more time stressing over bills and school exams, keeping up with the latest Netflix series and preparing for job interviews that may affect the next few years, it is alarming to consider this takes priority over securing a pass into an afterlife of eternal duration. They are happy to wing the latter- confident that the religion born into will see them through. Take a moment to see why this should be of huge concern. Despite all the precautions taken in life to get that job, achieve that grade and maintain good health, the eternal life after these next few short decades is left to chance.

To be more willing to play Russian Roulette with an actual Revolver than a water pistol is insane, and would be an understatement in comparison. This is however, life. Reading scripture seems to be a part-time activity for most, if studied at all, and a rainbow most refuse to do anything but talk about.

Always remain skeptical of those refusing to practice what they preach.

An Atheist in Canada

I can’t tell you at what specific age I was when I lost faith.

During my childhood, my parents were very involved with the church. I went to church every Sunday and helped clean the church during the week. I went to Sunday school, and this is where the trouble began as far as my faith is concerned.

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My father loved to read and he often bought National Geographic magazines and I would read them after he was finished. These magazines clashed with a lot of what my Sunday school teachers were feeding me.

I remember them telling me that believing in Jesus was the most important factor when it came to being saved. The problem for me was geography and time periods – how could the Native Americans know of Jesus, for example, when Europeans hadn’t yet discovered North America? How could isolated tribes, which I’d read about in my dad’s beloved magazines, be expected to know about Jesus when they had no opportunity until recently to have heard about this savior?

Noah’s Ark was another big one for me. I knew there were millions of species, and I couldn’t imagine a ship large enough to house them all. How did Noah keep the carnivores from eating the other animals?

When I asked questions I was usually met with either condescension or anger. Eventually, the Sunday school teacher didn’t want me attending any more. They told my parent’s that I might corrupt the other children with my strange ideas.

However, I still believed because my parent’s told me that Jesus existed and so it must be true.

It wasn’t till my late teens and early twenties that I really began to examine my beliefs. I began to devour books on the subject and watch debates between theists and atheists. It was around that time that I began to write about religion and I embraced my atheism as well as my skeptical nature in general.

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Where I live in Canada, faith doesn’t play a super-important factor in my day-to-day living. As far as disadvantages go, I don’t think there are many. Sometimes I feel a bit uncomfortable when everyone decides to pray at a special event, social gathering or at work etc. It’s not that big a deal though.

I’ve had a few uncomfortable moments with family members over my lack of faith. A few of them (and one in particular) told my mother that I had strange ideas about religion and faith after I challenged him for saying that he could prove Jesus existed and had godly powers.

I’ve been called many names by religious people online, but I don’t mind that much and I actually think such treatment has its advantages because it helps me hone my arguments and learn how to shrug insults off.

I recently went to a Catholic funeral and had a hard time not laughing when the priest began swinging incense around and chanting in a melodic voice. I couldn’t believe people thought watching a grown man do that was normal. I could also feel the congregation’s eyes on me when I refused to close my eyes or bow my head when they wanted to pray.

However, that last part might have been my imagination at work.

The advantages are immense in my opinion. It has allowed me to shrug of the guilt that comes with Christianity, such as the blood guilt of Jesus’ death, the idea that I deserve eternal torment and so forth.

I find atheism liberating. I can face death on truthful terms and I don’t have to rely on magical thinking to explain things I don’t understand.

Plus I get to sleep in on Sundays. Win, win in my books.

Where I live, religion is sort of in the background and while some people still look at me funny if I say I don’t believe in God, I don’t really suffer any extremely difficult to manage repercussions because of my lack of faith.

I’m thankful for that. I’m also thankful to have been born in a country that affords me the luxury of being able to criticize religion or bad ideas in general without worrying about being beheaded or thrown in jail.

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Thank you to Godless Cranium for this weeks Insight into atheism were you live.

This is my second of the INSIGHT guest posts, which will provide a glimpse into the lives of atheists around the world and an opportunity to connect with bloggers of a similar nature.

Follow for more and thank you GC for the perspective!

Playing the ‘I used to be an atheist too!’ card

Everything is going swimmingly. You are killing a debate with a Christian and the ‘I was once an atheist like you’ card is slammed onto the table.

Kapow! All the relevant haymakers you were setting up have turned to dust. If the theist knows where you are coming from and still chooses to believe, what are we missing here?!

One possibility is that many of these freebirds rebelled against God in their teens. Like they did with their parents, teachers and society in general. At a fragile age where our thinking has not had the time nor understanding to dive the depths reached later in life. Leaving adolescence, we are hit with increased responsibility and financial pressures. We are made to stand on our own two feet and rely less on others. It is likely there has been an increase in the loss of loved ones. Is it surprising that those that claimed to be previously atheist found a need for religion and a sense of guidance?


I wouldn’t expect anyone in their teenage years to have the answers. C.S Lewis is a name that is thrown about regularly in Christian circles. He returned to Anglicanism at the age of 32 after leaving religion in his teenage years. To compare a Godless, teenage C.S Lewis and his adult spirituality would be unfair in my opinion, for the reasons mentioned above. I haven’t studied his life, however I am sure this trend occurs regularly in many lives.

I have encountered many people that claim to have once been Godless, before abandoning reason and a world understood via evidence. What would it take to adopt faith, other than an overwhelming urge to feel loved during the difficulties of adulthood?

Are you really in a relationship?

You know that friend, the one that tells a little white lie every now and then about things such as their relationship status? The conversation goes a little like this. For this example, his names John.

Me: Did you watch the game last night? 

John: Na, I was with my girlfriend so had to give it a mi…
Me: Wait, when did you get into a relationship? Great! Who is it?

John: Well, just a girl I got talking to….

Me: Cool, can I see her? What does she do?

John: Na I don’t have a pic, she just works near her home, nothing special. 

Me: Well where does she live? 

John: Erm, a mile or so that way?(Points in a direction that is no help whatsoever) It’s nowhere special you probably haven’t heard of it. Anyways I’m hungry. Are you hungry? Let’s grab food or something.

Me: Right John…

———-

It’s as if John isn’t really in a relationship. Lack of a detailed description or any evidence in general when it would probably be easier to provide at least some proof, most people wouldn’t allow this to slip them by. This is a chat I have all the time with many theists, claiming to have a relationship with God. I am then told instead of questioning, it is my fault that I do not seek the very same relationship. What does God sound like? What does he say? When do you talk? How often? Funnily enough, these questions are never answered or cannot be answered. 

If these questions can’t be answered, it seems the relationship isn’t a close one at all. Either I am being lied to or you need to up your relationship game, big time!

‘The end of atheism’? XD

There is a movement called ‘The End of Atheism’ that I have seen in response to the book The End of Faith by Sam Harris.

It would be much more inspirational to me if God would just show himself and declare the end of atheism. But he doesn’t. Instead WordPressers will devote their free, unpaid time to the boss that doesn’t work for himself. 

I wonder if they put that on their CV’s?!

Résumé, for those outside of my postcode.

Postcode, meaning zip code, for those outside of my… you get the idea.