Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The New Atheist

A little background on me:

I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. I've read my bible, and I've read quite a few other religious texts as well. I never felt the connection. I wonder if it's a bit like growing up gay: everyone assumes you're straight, but there's this feeling inside that you're different than everyone else, but you can't quite put your finger on it.

As I grew up, I donned my plaid uniform & headed out to Catholic school every day, I attended Church every Sunday with my family, and I took my sacraments as they came. But I can't say I ever truly believed any of it.

I constantly made excuses for my religion as I learned more and more about science. I came to my own conclusions. Noah didn't really build an arc for all the animals in the world, he probably just took his own animals on a boat & the story was exaggerated over time. The plagues Moses brought on Egypt are mostly explainable by natural phenomenon; red tide, bubonic plague, etc.

I made a lot of excuses in my mind for Jesus. Maybe he was just smarter than everyone else, he probably didn't "raise" people as much as he could see they weren't really dead to begin with. He didn't really feed thousands with a few loaves of bread & some fish, the real "miracle" there was that people shared the food they brought with them. When he said bread & wine were his body & blood, that was just a metaphor. And most of all, he probably didn't really die on the cross, again, at that time in history, it was probably pretty hard to tell when someone was really dead.

It wasn't till later in my life that I realized that not believing the body & blood & resurrection actually meant I wasn't even a Christian. I could recite the Profession of Faith, but in reality, I would be lying any time I said it. To me, Jesus & god then fell into the rhelm of Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Magic, & Superman. All can be nice stories for children, ways to get children to behave, to teach a moral lesson, to make you think about the world, but none are true. The real faith is faith in the goodness in other people, the real magic is our ability to manipulate the physical world to our own advantage.

As I've grown and learned more about the physical world, I've also explored more of my spiritual world. I have begun to say "I don't believe in god," but sometimes I still struggle a bit to say "I believe there is no god." And here is where I welcome you to explore with me.

I don't wish for anyone to convert me, and I don't wish to convert anyone, but I do wish to confront those of faith & those without. There's plenty of opinionated people with their own blogs, why not provoke them some?


Blogger carpeliam said...

hey, I was baptized Roman Catholic too, but most of the Christians that I know now are non-denominational. I also like to have an open discussion about religion without the intention of converting or being converted, but rather expanding my own horizons and expanding others'. if you'd like to email back and forth (the thread at mike's page was getting to be a bit long), my email address is "liam [at] carpeliam" .com.

12:56 PM  

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