By the time I moved to College Station in ’02 I had firmed up my ideas quite a bit. It was there that I started to consider myself agnostic. I looked at as many different religions as I could to see if I could distill them to their basics. What I came up with surprised me. I found that at their core they really weren’t that dissimilar. I also found that the modern interpretation of all these religions looked almost nothing like the original incarnation.
Since I know the most about Christianity that’s where I will put my focus for now. Now, remember to keep in mind that you probably won’t agree with my conclusions. That’s okay. You don’t have to. Just please try and keep an open mind and really think about it. That was the hard part for me. Because of all my preconceived notions about god it was hard to see beyond what I already “knew as fact”. If you can just for a moment see through my “eyes” maybe you can understand where I’m coming from. And please reserve judgment until you’ve read the whole thing.
Why doesn’t god perform miracles that defy the laws of nature? In the Bible he did them all the time. But there has not been one single confirmable miracle documented by anyone that wasn’t lying about it. And someone who was sick and got better just wouldn’t cut it for me- medical science is still in its infancy. What happened to the parting of the Red Sea, the water turning into wine? If god did those things for the people in the Bible it sure would have made it easier for those folks to believe in him. Are we not good enough for that? Or are we expected to believe sight unseen when they didn’t? Well yes I guess we are.
Why am I expected to look at nature and find god “all around me”? If I look back in history there are tons of things that people used to think of as supernatural that we now understand to be simple natural functions. The earth is round and rotates around an enormous nuclear reactor and spins on its own axis. That’s why we have seasons, night and day, weather, and why the stars move in the sky. Before we were able to observe these facts it was the hand of god that made these things happen. If you follow this to its logical conclusion it would seem that everything has a logical explanation that we may have just not found yet.
Why won’t god give me a sign? Moses had the burning bush, Paul was blinded, and Jona had the whale (big fish) just to name a few. Seems fair to me, if god had to give signs to some of the most important figures in the Bible in order to convince them then why am I expected to simply believe?
Why won’t god talk to me? In the Bible god seemed to talk to almost everyone in an audible voice. Today if god talks to you in an audible voice chances are you are insane.
Why do bad things happen to good people, most notably people who are god’s followers? The Christian answer didn’t really work for me because it is unbelievable to me that god can be so crule. If I were to let someone truly suffer and even die to prove a point I would probly go to jail. And if god really is love wouldn’t he be that much more worried about people’s suffering?
Why are all the other god’s bad and false and wrong? There are literally thousands of gods out there but because I was born in a small town in Texas, Yahweh was my god. Maybe if I was born in Iran Allah would be the way to go. Why if Yahweh is the one true god doesn’t he prove it?
I could go on but for brevity’s sake I’ll stop there.
Now keep in mind I know the Christian answers to these questions. Those answers just seem too naïve to me. The only real answer I keep coming back to is, there is no god. That is the only one that provides for a world not controlled by some god that is either not caring or maybe just enjoys watching us bumble around in the dark. This is where I have comfortably settled into atheism.
Told you this part would make you mad. I am sorry about that. I am not sure there is a way to say “god is imaginary” that wouldn’t upset a believer. If there is please let me know.
I also know that my explanations need some expounding on. But I would probly need to write a book to really get into them and frankly I think I may have already lost most of you by this point.