11/07/2010 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Trilby ~
The things I hear other people say about my discarded religion sometimes make me feel like laughing and crying openly. This is not always a good thing, since my mother is Christian and somewhat serious about it. And sometimes, just speaking about my non-traditional religion can cause others to make it feel like I am an outcast or somehow silly for not believing in their God.
Image via WikipediaI, of course, say "their God" because that's all it is to me. And to anyone who does not share the same religion. I balk at the fantastic double-thinking involved in being able to say, "My God is real, but theirs is wrong. Even if they say that theirs is real and mine is wrong, I'm right because my God says I am. They are wrong, even if their God says they are not." And that, I believe, is why I finally abandoned Christianity in the first place. The sheer loops of logic I had to try and follow to understand the above ideology were a waste of time. And even at the age of ten years, I couldn't help but wonder: "What makes Christianity special? What makes it more 'right' than Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Shinto, Wicca, or any other belief?" I honestly couldn't find the answer.
Talking to Christians has given me numerous arguments to refute in this regard. "Christianity is right because all other religions are derived from it." Not true. Buddhism and Hinduism are far older. Other Eastern religions are derived from those as well. Then, there is ever-popular one: "The Bible says it so it is right." The Quran says so, too. As do the pyramid walls in Egypt. Doctor Seuss says that there is a Wocket in my Pocket. Harry Potter must exist, too. Yes, it was written. That does not make it true, even if it was written long ago. The argument I've heard against this: "People would not make this stuff up. They would have no reason to." False. I could lock in a time capsule a book describing the ways in which the Flying Spaghetti Monster touched the earth with his noodly appendage and brought about life.
Five-hundred years from now, that could be completely accepted as truth. Just as much as the Christian God is accepted now. I could make up anything, just for fun, and it could be a religion.
So, that leaves the explanation: "Christianity is best because God tells me so." Can they prove this? No. So, it is not a valid answer. Moving on.
Since there is no reasonable answer to the question, I have concluded that the original premise must have been false. Christianity is equal to all other religions. It is simply a choice. No problem then.
Or there should be no problem at least. So, why do many of the proponents of so many ideologies and beliefs choose to antagonize each other, convert each other, persuade each other, look down on each other? Where is the sense? Why? Because they have "faith" that their god/gods/deities/aliens want them to do so. Now, really, what is faith?
I ask that seriously: What is faith? I have checked an online dictionary. It had many definitions. They ranged from faith in another person, to belief in anything, to belief not based on proof, to specific belief in the Christian God.
Belief without proof. That seems to be the pervading notion of the meanings of the word. And yet, this very word: "faith" is constantly used as a trump card in arguments regarding morality, theology, and ethics. The "lack of proof" has somehow become double-speak for proof. "Proof" that God exists. "Proof" that Christianity is right. "Proof" that all non-Christian religions are evil. "Proof" that the earth has developed in only a few thousand years. "Proof" that homosexuality is immoral, that abortion is immoral, that so many behaviors are immoral. These arguments are made, citing the bible as proof when in fact the bible is based on faith - a literal "belief without proof!" And these arguments, with no proof, are accepted by the blind. Blind faith. They are blind to the people who do not share their disability, and the blind continue to lead the blind, making their children blind as well. The cycle continues. So long as they are blind, so long as they have "faith," two plus two can equal five. So long as their God says so, their pure opinions can be "right" with all others as "wrong."
Countless times, I have seen the Bible cited as a source. A document, based on faith, used as actual evidence ("proof") in order to enforce someone's opinion of how I, an ex-Christian, should live. In both school and national debate. It has begun to have more weight than pure logic. Because sometimes, words of logic "have no source."
Well, I say this: No more. These notions of a "lack of proof" having as much weight as actual proof must be shot down and corrected. Otherwise, truth and lies will continue to mix until all debate becomes nothing but a farce. Flimsy opinions versus shallow conjectures. Does that sound intellectually stimulating?
Whether or not religion in general is a problem, the blind acceptance ("faith") involved most definitely is. It is a large source of ignorance, which is also a large source of evil. People need to think, question, and criticize what they hear or read - before the world starts to bring Oceania, Orwell's nightmarish dystopia where all things are accepted if said by Big Brother, into reality.
And yes, I do see connections between blindly accepting an ancient text and blindly accepting a government figurehead. It's all the same to me.
All it takes to prevent such a world is for those who look for truth to rise up. It takes sites like this, encouraging people to question what they believe.
Sites like this help people toss off the chains of blind faith, open their eyes, and say that they know: "Two plus two equals four."
As a free-thinking ex-Christian, I have to thank you for creating this web site. I wish the best for it.