Disclaimer Note: I do not support IFB churches, I no longer agree with them and I think many churches and/or organized religions are around to control people. I know Hyles Anderson College is not accredited and I don’t consider it a real college now. I went to HAC from 1997 -2001) since I was a Christian at the time. Since I started at an IFBC at age 16 (1992), I was brainwashed into thinking that only IF B churches were “real” churches. After hours and hours of questioning what I truly believed (or didn’t believe) I became an atheist in Feb 2013. I will be adding this this disclaimer to each post I have written so people know where I stand now.
When I was a Christian, I used to wonder this myself about atheists. I always wondered if they want to stop all religion. So, now I’m on the other side. And I can answer this question. I only speak for myself.
I think religion can do damage to people. Wars happen over religion. People can think that “their way” or “their religion” is the only way. It can be very dangerous territory to tell a child “this is the only way”. I think the worst thing about religion is how they don’t encourage a person to ask questions – or asking their god questions. It is like you can’t question god about anything.
When I was a student in my undergrad and graduate studies, the instructor WANTED US to question the instructor. It showed critical thinking skills. But the idea of me wanting other to “stop” their religion? No. Why would I care if other people pray? I don’t. If that is what they do and it works for them – okay. If someone want to go to church – so what? It doesn’t involve me if someone else go to church. So, I’m fine with that.
But what I do have a problem with is when fundamentalists, Jehovah Witnesses and Morons go out and try to convert others to “their way”. Fundamentalist act like they know it all due to “their holy book”. It shuts down critical thinking and I don’t like that.
I wouldn’t want my child to go to any church. No way. If my kid wants to go to church -I’d have to go with him. Why ? I’m not going to send my child to a church and not know what the teacher is teaching my child! (now if my child was say. . .17 or 18 . ..they are old enough to critically think – and if I had children – I’d teach them how to think and to not just take everything or anything at face value.
BTW, I believe it was Daniel Dennett that said that religion does do some good and his video is on YouTube. He is an atheist too and I like him. I like his thinking. He can help me understand that religion DOES do some good. . .I don’t remember the name of this video I saw but one similar to it is “Dan Dennett What should replace religions?” and the other one I need to see is “Daniel Dennett: Breaking the Spell Religion as a Natural Phenomenon”
I forgot to add Sam Harris to the list. I read most of “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris. I didn’t read the chapter on Islam and all that. It would piss me off due to all of the suicide killings. So, do I care if you go to church or pray? No. I don’t care. Go ahead and pray and read your bible or your holy book. It makes no difference to me if you do any of those things. What makes an impact on me is when
1. others come to me and try to change me or convert me to their religion. Even if their religion is “not a religion but a relationship with Christ”. I don’t want it. Leave me alone. And know that many many many people have heard the Jesus story before. If they are over 35 and live in the USA- just know that most of them probably heard this story before. You can save your Jesus story for children under the age of 10. (see number 3 for more on this)
2. When other people say “all others religions are wrong and only my religion is right.” You don’t KNOW shit. All you know if you have FAITH. That is based on HOPE. You HOPE you go to heaven. But no one KNOWS for sure if there is a heaven or hell. NO ONE. And we all have to wait until we DIE. When we die we will find out what is after death.
3. When someone tries to indoctrinate children since they believe anything you tell them. Yes, children are easier to persuade since they are younger. But doing this is wrong since it doesn’t give the child a choice. They are made to believe in something by the adults around them.
Do I remember my own birth? No. But my mom does! So, may be death we it will be like that? May be others will “see us die” but once we are “gone” – others remember us and miss us. And maybe the ones that died – will not KNOW they died. If our brain is not working after death, then how can we know we are dead?
I’d LOVE for science to help us out with what happens after death. May be in 100 years we’d have the answer. I think it would be great if I could be a butterfly after this life. But if I was a butterfly and if my spirit did float out of the “me” that is my body now – and float into a caterpillar – how do I know if I will remember being human? I don’t.
Since I don’t know – I’m NOT going to go around acting like I do know. And this is what Christians do. They act like they KNOW what will happen. All they have is a book that they take literally. That is all they have. People have been saying “Jesus will return” for centuries. I’m guessing that as long as people have some book to believe in, they will believe it. They need something positive to look forward to. Especially those that have had a hard life. And the idea of a perfect heaven with no tears – seems pretty much like a happy place. Who wouldn’t want that if they’ve had a hard life?
Do I believe in the soul? I don’t know. I haven’t got that far in my quest. For now, I’m alive and I’m going to focus on my life and being alive and focus on my health! I hope you do too.