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Posts Tagged ‘atheism’

The Bible Set Me Free

May 8, 2012 38 comments

The Bible Set Me Free

Blame it on my parents.  They always told me to “think for yourself”.  I doubt they ever considered what would happen if I really did that.

Now, I suspect what they meant was, “Think what we tell you but do it in your own words.”  Too late.  When I was 13, I began to question everything and soon the total absurdity of religion became apparent.

Because I have been “encouraged” (forced) to read the bible several times, it was easy for me to see the contradictions in the book, what christians professed to believe, and how they really lived.

When I refused to go with them to their church, they said they would “Make me go.”

I asked them, “How are you going to make me? How will forcing me to attend church change my mind?”  Already, their attitude was starting to harden me against everything else they would tell me.

Their next idea was to have their minister talk to me.  I told them it was a waste of everyone’s time.  They persisted and had him come to the house to “Talk some sense into me.”  (as if they ever works for anyone)  After about 15 minutes of him quoting the bible to me and me pointing out that he was either wrong in his quotes or showing him how it said something else in another place, he became very angry and told me I was going to hell.  I suspect it was because I knew the bible better than he did and was, at age 13, able to prove how ridiculous his arguments were.

I told him, “If there is a Hell I’ll see you there.  Save me a nice place, OK?”  He said I was an impertinent, disrespectful child.  By then, I was angry myself and for the first time, I told a christian that he was a hypocrite, a liar, and a fool.  My parents insisted that I apologize.  I refused and left the room to a lot of yelling and threats.

For the next four years, I heard about this at least once a week.  So the night I graduated high school, I left my parent’s home and didn’t see them again for well over a year.  By then, with the credits I had accumulated in high school and summer school,  I had completed a couple of years of college.  Fortunately, I was able to pay for this myself.  I was entering the army and wanted to try to make peace with them, but had to listen to the same old recriminations and arguments again.

The next time I saw them was two years later when I was getting married.  After several years of an on-again, off-again relationship they finally agreed to just not discuss it any more.  I’d like to say that worked, but  subtle hints slowly became outright condemnation.  Then I took a job transfer from Ohio to Arizona, so family meetings were rare enough to become occasions for something other than contention.

I do have to say that I appreciate the other things they did for me, like encouraging my education and equipping me with the work ethic and attitudes I needed to survive and thrive at that early age.  In those areas, they were excellent parents and I am grateful for those things.

What did I learn?  Even your family can turn against you if you refuse to share in their illusions.  There are times, if you are to become your own person, you must stand firm in what you know to be true.

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Is There a God?

August 11, 2010 111 comments

Where Is God?

We can demonstrate that no god exists.  Certainly not in the Jewish/Christian/Islamic omnipotent father-figure image.  Notice the contradictions in observed reality with the image of the loving god that is aware of “every sparrow that falls” and “numbers the hairs of your head”.  Clearly, no such deity exists and there is no divine intervention in either a positive or negative sense.  If there were, at any moment the 27,000 children around the world  dying of malnutrition and starvation be permitted?  Would evil be permitted to exist?  Would people benefit from evil deeds and good deeds go unrewarded?

For that matter, it can be mathematically demonstrated that prayers are not answered, either.  Unless you consider a success rate of .01% to be “answered”.  That’s far below even the rate of random chance.  Even the behavior of religious groups when confronted with practical matters demonstrates that they do not believe in the “power of prayer” either.  If they did, they would simply pray to god to provide their churches with all that was needed instead of extorting money from their members.  If they don’t trust that, they must not have much faith in their “god” either.