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Monday, 27 February 2012

Atheists and other beliefs.

So recently I've been thinking a lot about what people believe in, and consequentially, what people don't believe in.  I go on YouTube and find arrogant Christians telling me what questions that I can ask Atheists to mess them up, and videos of Atheists telling me questions I can ask Christians to mess them up...  All the questions and points they made seemed to support their sides, and basically pitted science vs. faith, and ultimately made the people on the video look douchey and close minded.
But as I continued to look through my videos having a good laugh at everyone involved.  I noticed something rather interesting.  Each side was very specific.  The Christians seemed to always target the Atheists and vice versa.  Then I started to wonder to myself, where the hell are the other religions, and why aren't they represented? 
Surely there must be someone hardcore fundamentalist Christians who were making videos saying that Buddha had it all wrong, and screw the path to enlightenment, and there must be some Atheists who claim that Confucius says nothing, cause he's full of shite!  But it wasn't there.  Or at least I didn't see it.  I mean lets face it, I didn't look that hard.  If it's not in my face, why bother researching.  So I'm just going to assume that it doesn't.  At least not in great enough numbers to garner my attention.

It's probably fair to tell you that in my youth I was part of a youth group that was quite fundamentalist.  I'm not saying that I ever marched around with a "God Hates Fags" sign or anything like that, but there were those who did believe quite literally that the Bible was the word of God.  I wasn't quite worldy enough to ask if they thought the world was only 5000 years old, or if dinosaurs ever existed, or even if they thought it might be OK to kill people who didn't share their beliefs.

"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

Frankly I have read the bible since, and am pretty shocked at some of the stuff in there.  I really can't take it litereally, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some really good points as well.  The old testament is pretty harsh, but Jesus had some really good ideas, and while I can't agree with everything the bible preaches, I can choose to listen to the relevant parts of it's philosophy.  That last quote paints a very unfair picture I know, but I think my point is proven.  I truly beleive that most Christians in their heart have good intentions, and honestly TRY and do the right thing.  Some are just misguided, as we all are at times.  The fundamentalist group that I was a part of really just wanted there to be more love in the world, and thought the best way to do that was to spread the word of Christ.  The underlying intention was quite noble.

I have since given up my "born-again" ways as I grow to understand that there is more than one way to reach whatever it is that we don't truly understand as God or god if you prefer.  I do beleive in many of the Christian ideas however.

The atheists however make the argument that you can't choose which parts of the Bible are good and bad, if you say it's God's word, then it all must be true, and then go ahead and pick holes in its stories, thusly proving that it all must be absolutely wrong.  What a pretensious load of horseshit!  Where in the world do we look at anything with one or two mistakes in it, and then decide that all its ideas must be false?  This argument ONLY holds true for people who beleive that the entire Bible is the absolute word of God unchanged over the years.  Beleive me when I tell you that this is a VERY small segment of the Christian population.  The rest of us know that it's bad to eat babies, that probably evolution is a very valid thing, and that the idea of loving your neighbour, not murdering and stealing, and doing unto others is probably not such a bad guideline to live your life by.  By no means do I agree with everything that the church has done, but that's a whole other blog.
So still though, there are people so strong minded in their beleifs about not having beliefs in a magic sky man that they feel they have to form groups, make videos, and ultimately prove a very small segment of a small population of the earth wrong.  (Albeit a sometimes very vocal small segment.)  Whilst doing this, they acknowledge that the rest of religion is wrong as well, but tend to ignore that as a whole and focus on the fundie Christians.

Perplexed, I asked one of my atheist friends, who I consider to be very smart about what she thought about why it seems that most online atheist content only attacked Christians, and were there equally vocal atheists perhaps that I wasn't aware of in other societies that I might be too unworldy to know about.  She looked thoughtfully at me, and suggested that she agreed, it was strange, and offered that other societies sometimes don't have words and phrases which are nearly so self important as ours.  For some reason it's a very ethnocentric idea that we need to define ourselves as much as we do, and indeed perhaps Atheists in other societies may not feel the need to define themselves as such because their beliefs, or lack there of, just are; and don't need a name.  Consequentially those who beleive in other religions in those societies may not feel the need to push it in other's faces as much as certain segments of our population, just because what they beleive is, and that's all they need.  I kind of like that idea.

Maybe Atheists and Christians can get along.  Maybe we need to stop worrying about "Me" and start worrying about "We".  I can't tell you what or what not to beleive anymore than I can tell you how you should feel. 

It just is.