My how time flies. I just turned 45, and this month marks the two year anniversary of that fateful mouse click that lead me down the road to complete and total freedom from God belief. In a matter of a couple weeks I had an epiphany and walked through the door of non belief that permanently slammed behind me. There was this wonderful giddy moment where a light flashed in my head, and I just knew without a doubt that religion was a complete sham. Although I was never very religious, I did truly believe in God, prayer, Heaven, and Hell.
From the moment I discovered the amazing internet world of non believers, I became obsessed. I was absolutely captivated with the fact that I had discovered something astronomical. I had finally cracked the code of absolute truth and I knew it. I felt like Doc Brown on “Back to the Future” the moment when he discovered his time machine from the future was a success(insert stereotype crazy scientist laugh here). With this fact, I became increasingly hungry for knowledge. I wanted to cover every angle and every argument a Christian could muster, leaving no stone unturned. It’s been and endless sea of web sites and books, along with hours and hours of video, and audio downloads. I also give much credit to the Science Channel and it’s related Discovery Networks. I have had email correspondences with atheists, ExChristians, and most interestingly with a couple Bible literalists. In these two years I don’t believe a day has gone by that I haven’t spent at least one hour in the pursuit of information refuting religion. Some days it’s been eight or nine hours.
Essentially it’s as if I have earned a two year internet degree in Refuting Religion, with a lesser certificate in Evolutionary Science and Astronomy. I never really knew a thing about natural selection or the “Big Bang” before this journey began. God Damn I have learned a lot of in these two years. I owe so much thanks to the brains of this site for the majority of my new found knowledge, as well as the wonderful atheist community of You tubers. I’ve read the books of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Dan Barker, and David Mills. I have also seen the nonsensical works of scientists(wink wink) like Ken Hamm, Kent Haviland, and Lee Strobal. I hate to put Strobal in with these knuckleheads, but the Case for a Creator was nonsense. I’ve learned more about the Bible than probably almost any Christian friends I know, although Biblical knowledge is defiantly my weak point. Also I have just learned cornucopia of facts about religion in general in which I never knew. For instance I never knew the word mass only pertained to Catholics. I thought the Baptists could throw a good mass. Countering virtually any religious argument has now become second nature and I would consider myself self educated enough to do a pretty fair speech on evolution in which I previously had very little knowledge. I can now properly define the word “Theory” in regards to science.
I must admit I have been a huge pain in the ass to those around me at times. Like the newly born again Christian, I have a strong desire to spread the word. I seem to work my atheism into conversations whenever I can. What has been interesting is the fact that my big mouth and I have unearthed numerous sleeping atheists. I discovered six guys in the workplace thus far who other wise would have remained silent as most atheists do. It is funny how so few will identify themselves with the “A” word. I had one coworker say, “I’m no atheist, I just don’t believe in any of that shit.” I had to sadly inform him that he indeed was an atheist. Perhaps many feel to be labeled an atheist one must belong to a certain organized group, like a Catholic. Speaking of Catholics I certainly have seen great folly in the fact that some consider themselves to be the true Christians, where as the Fundamentalist Baptist may think of the Catholic as Hell bound. I hadn’t a clue there was such division amongst Jesus believers. I thought it was really all the same club in different buildings.
Perhaps my strangest finding, through all my research, was the fact that there are people today in the 21st century, who believe our earth to be 6000 years old. It just blew me away. I had never heard of a young earth creationist. My public elementary school education taught me our planet is billions of years old, and dinosaurs were here hundreds of millions of years ago, and believe it or not we never had one angry parent march to the school board in protest. I never knew there were challenges to the age of the earth. What was most disturbing is the fact is this group just doesn’t include a modest group of loons like the flat earth gang, but millions of (sometimes highly educated) people. To learn these same people literally believe somewhere around the year 4000b.c. someone built a wooden boat big enough to hold two of every animal species on the planet to save them from a world flood that carved the Grand Canyon in two days time. I’ve read this Noah’s Ark story in one of those big books in a Dr's. office as a child, but I always thought it really was just a story.
“Why does God allow children to get cancer?” As a health care worker who sees this first hand, this is a standard question I often use as an ice breaker in a discussion with Christians. Most who boldly go beyond the “God works in mysterious ways,” business, blame it on original sin. Original sin? I’ve heard of sin, but never original sin. A gal is talked to by a snake and then eats an apple 6000 years ago which causes an innocent four year old today, to get a brain tumor. Makes perfect sense. My other favorite Christian question that sends them reeling is, “How can you be happy in Heaven if a loved one is in Hell?” That’s a great party question.
In reality nature is cruel and indiscriminate and sometimes without purpose. Just as the hungry lion will eat the baby wildebeest, a cell will sometimes randomly mutate into cancer in an old man or innocent child. If a church full of kids is in a tornado’s path, it will topple into splinters with no divine protection. Plate tectonics doesn’t care who happens to be standing in the fall out zone of a massive earthquake whether they believe in Jesus or not. I know Pat Robertson thinks that homosexuals often cause catastrophic natural phenomena, but I think it to be random forces of nature is a much better explanation. When one person survives a plane crash that killed 200, it’s is not a miracle from God. It’s luck. To recover from a disease in which only one out of 10,000 survive is not a miracle. It’s called beating incredible odds of a statistically possible outcome. Returning a person with a severed spinal cord back to full motor capacity would be a miracle because in medical science it is absolutely, statistically impossible.
As this wonderful ExChristian website suggests, I also never knew there was such a thing as a hard core Christian who lost their faith. I guess if I could point to one specific fact that cemented my non belief, it would be reading the first couple of testimonials from guys like Webmaster Dave. Atheists who were once hard core Bible thumpers give by far the best and most convincing arguments because they do know the other side so well. I am in awe of the atheist who is also a Bible scholar.
So what made a man, of former tepid God belief, who accidentally discovered the real truth, to become so totally obsessed with refuting religion and it’s associated topics? I don’t know !!!! Why does this interest me so? Why can’t I just be one of those stealth atheists who rolls his eyes once in a while when religion comes up, but never much talks about it? Perhaps on a deep subconscious level I need constant reinforcement as the religionist does. Maybe a psychologist is needed to come in and figure this one out. Why couldn’t I have become obsessed with finance or something in which I could profit? Hell I almost do feel like I could write a book.
In conclusion it’s a wonderful feeling to know that there is no invisible voyeur in the sky who is watching my every move, and reading my every thought, while recording my every action to be judged in the end. When I realized there is no afterlife and the finality of my own death, it wasn’t a huge let down. Returning to that pre born state in the end sounds like a pretty good nap. I think I’ll be fine. I do wish that heavenly afterlife did exist because of those who were totally robbed of this life though, from the child who never walked, to the child who battled leukemia for five years and died at 11, or the man born with a severe facial deformity who never knew the love of a woman. It would be nice of the Sudanese kid who starved to death at three was at an eternal feast with Jesus, but we all know this isn’t true. One of the saddest facts of life, is the fact that it just isn’t fair and never will be, and to try to explain this away as plan of the grand designer is the most ironic of all conclusions.
P.S. I welcome all emails from atheists and Christians as well.
xrayman AT chartermi DOT net
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)