The reaction to my original why I’m an atheist post and Conor Murphy’s guest post continues to be really great. I’ve received a few guest post submissions and this is one from Matt Bolton. If anyone else would like to submit a story please contact me.
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In a lot of blogs people give all sorts of reasons for their non-belief and it can sometimes read like an introduction to an AA meeting:
My name is Matt, and I have been without God for six months. This is why…
Or they take a rather more direct approach and come to the conclusion through intellectual arrogance.
I am an Atheist and anyone who is not one is a moron
Neither of these approaches suit why I decided against believing in any form of mumbo jumbo.
I was raised Methodist but my parents were not overly religious nor where they particularly anti anything. Until the age of nine I was taken to church and made to sit through Sunday School. I remember this as a particularly profound boredom. Nothing that the Minister or the parents running the group ever said ever really connected with me. Once my parents split up and we stopped being forced to go I simply stopped thinking about god or anything related to it. I would however always question people with faith as to why they held those views but that is more a sign of my own arsey-ness than any intellectual curiosity. I guess, being brought up in England which is a very secular society makes being an Atheist easy as more people seem to be agnostic than are believers.
My parents and brothers have held on to their faith and take my young nieces to Church with them. Obviously, I do not agree with this but it is, after all, their decision to make. They hold on to their beliefs in the afterlife and in to the version of God they have been taught to worship.
For me the idea that anyone in the sky is taking a vested interest in our lives and acts a guiding hand is absurd. It is the same as the stories you tell to small children to calm them about the dark. I find a lot of what the Religions say to be utterly nonsensical, phrases such as “God’s greatest gifts are the prayers he doesn’t answer” send me to a tailspin of irritation. That no one has spotted that is a massive cop out actually hurts. It is a perfect example of twisting logic to suit needs – if you get what you want then that is god’s will and if you do not then that is also god’s will. It is all bollocks.
I briefly complained about the arrogance of some Atheists (notably Richard Dawkins) but some fundamentalist Theists are just as bad. They want the whole to think and to act like them. They want us all to see the world as they do, through the eyes of Bronze Aged farmers trying to explain what they do not know. Arrogance such as enshrining anti-abortion into constitutions, dictating Creationism is taught in schools and at National Trust visitor centres.
I do not come from a Science based background but from a grounding in the Humanities so I cannot argue the finer points of evolution or the make up of the cosmos. I can however, point out that Holy Books are often contradictory, almost always have an ingrained misogyny and are not the literal truth. Also, I find it interesting how people believe their particular Holy Book is the oldest and most authentic disregarding thousands of other equally Holy books and other assorted nonsense.
I do not want to change the opinions of people, nor do I want to change the world but I would like Religion to be treated as a minority interest, such as speaking Klingon or excessive gaming. I have found more comfort in literature than I ever have out of Holy Books.
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