Why I Am An Atheist

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In two days, the world is going to end, or so these guys have predicted.

So, this seems like an appropriate time for me to explain why I don’t believe in God.

I was born and raised Lutheran. I went to Church at an ungodly rate. I started to question things when the church I attended excommunicated a woman for being a lesbian. Plus, the pastor was kind of a dick. I knew those feelings applied specifically to the church I was attending and that didn’t reflect “God’s work,” but that was the catalyst for questioning faith and religion. The problem was the particular church, not God.

Then I moved to Florida. I stopped going to church. Just because. Why? Just because.

When I was 18, I declared myself agnostic because I realized no one can prove or disprove God’s existence.

Almost ten years later, in the midst of an anxiety attack alone in my apartment in a new city (Saint Augustine), where I practically knew no one, I thought, “Shouldn’t the person making the claim be responsible for proving the claim; and why should it be my responsibility to disprove a claim in order to prove its nonexistence?

So, here’s a light thought experiment that helped me to lead to atheism:

I tell you there’s a pink elephant outside your house. Immediately, you think I’m nuts. But I persist. I tell you there’s a pink elephant outside your house. Naturally, you want proof. I tell you to look outside.

It’s gone now.

In response, I tell you, “This pink elephant is elusive. It exists, but I just can’t show it to you. Oh yeah, millions of people believe in this thing as well.”

Now, whose responsibility is it here: is it my responsibility to prove to you the pink elephant exists? Or is it your responsibility to prove to me it does not exist? Furthermore, just because a lot of people believe in it does not make it true.

The burden of proof lies on the person making the claim. It would be my responsibility to prove to you the pink elephant exists, not your responsibility to prove to me it does not exist.

I’m not against believing in the pink elephant. I just want final, conclusive evidence. Merely pointing to the mountains, clouds and beautiful flowers is not enough. But if Jesus were to descend upon the Earth on May 21st, I’d happily accept his faith, his teachings – why? Not because I’m afraid of hell, but because I aspire toward truth.

If I knew Jesus was truth, I would accept that truth. If I knew the Christian God was the God I ought to believe in, I would believe, just in the same way that if I knew any other possible God was the God I should believe in, I would worship that God.

I have no problem with belief; I just need a reason to believe. I’m not mad at the world and I’m not mad at God. Whether the world ends on May 21st, 2011, December 21st, 2012 or some other time, hopefully God will know that with the rational mind he intended us to have led me to deny his existence.

Hopefully, God will say, “Just like the millions of people who never heard of my existence who led good lives, I’ll let you into Heaven too – for not being a douche in a world of douches. And oh yeah, sorry about that one pastor.”

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