Letter to Christians from Bashh
Dear Concerned Christian,
I am writing this in hopes that you understand atheism a little better, as well as understand why many atheists are abhorred by beliefs such as your own. I also ask that you read this in its entirety and please know that this is not a personal attack.
I was raised catholic, and attended church fairly regularly. Somehow, my guess being that I have a very analytical mind and find no proof for God, I in my mind realized that the concept of god was not valuable. I'm 18, and only since I was about 15 or 16 did I accept my atheism, I did not want it to be true. I told myself I was Christian, even though from a younger age still I felt there was no such thing as God. At age 15, I considered myself agnostic without even understanding the word. I just didn't want to care about the issue. I didn't believe in a god (an atheist) but I didn't even want the issue to be in my life at all, so I figured agnosticism was the correct intermediary position, that is, the apathetic position. I found this to not be the case within the past year of researching atheism and finding out that it's much more widespread than I assumed it was, which of course made me happy.
In my search for the truth I've found many contradictory points in the Christian bible, which I won't name for you as it is most likely that you are not a literalist, though that is even more mind boggling to me. I've also come to grips with mortality, which was the hardest thing for me to do. People who have survived crashes will tell you that through their suffering though they wished to be dead they are glad to be alive, which brings me to the point of afterlife. An afterlife is contradictory, life is finite, and there is nothing after it. The concept of the afterlife propagates because people don't want to not exist. Heaven and hell are moot, because even if you are in hell, rotting for all eternity, you still exist, and you would much rather exist, than to not exist. Self-preservation is a big deal with humans, and I won't lie to you, I love my life. However, knowing that I won't be around after it to just 'chill' makes me more willing to take care of my body and my world around me. Life is fleeting and even in this day, I still have trouble with the idea of not existing, and I don't want to die. I've layed awake at night as a child in tears trying to cope with the idea. It lead to a very shattered and scared childhood, no doubt. I feel however this is in part a problem my parents did not help; as I was told by my mother that the afterlife was real, and death was only a transition, and I was just so angry at her for not telling me the truth, I still wish she had the insight I did on the matter, and could have consoled me as a child, instead of just telling me a lie. Atheism is a hard thing to deal with as a child, I won't lie to you, a few years ago I would envy your ignorance, and wished I still had it.
This leads me into another whole point on humanity and society. Christians such as yourself say that morals come from the bible. The first and foremost counter I have to offer is that the bible, including the old testament since you cannot just focus on the new, is by far immoral and cruel. It promotes bigotry, rape, murder, and many other disturbing things. The bible is very intolerant and to an extent many Christians are. The problem is that humans are not completely cruel by nature. Yes there are some very disturbed individuals that are criminal by nature and very unstable. This nature of evil is not common by a long shot. Your general human being is a general all-around good person. Might be an asshole, but that does not mean immoral. What I am trying to allude to is that morality comes from the social behaviors integral to human existence. Not many Christians would stone a homosexual to death because of lying with another man as he does a woman is a sin. The majority of Christians realize that murdering someone because of their beliefs is detestable. This however does not mean that Christianity is a moral religion, it means that people decide what is moral for themselves based on what's best for them and their society. Sure many churches won't tell you that homosexuals are to be stoned, or that disobedient children are to be stoned as well, but they are, according to the bible. Warped morals do come from religions, and thanks to the ineptitude of the biblical authors, the religious right have a very firm stance in this country because the vast majority of idiocy they spew is directly from the holy book.
I apologize for writing so much, and I hope to have not offended you, but I wish you to look at your faith, read your bible without bias, take it for what it's worth and don't look for hidden meanings, you won't find any. You said yourself that it is a childish faith that binds you to your deity, well, stand up for yourself and toss away the security blanket. Take on your own responsibilities rather than attributing them to fate or god. Accept your acomplishments as your own, and pride yourself in being the best you can instead of owing thanks to a being that did not help you at all. Take your downfalls as your own, and seek to fix them instead of asking them to be fixed for you. It's a hard challenge, I know, but you must question your faith, as people have died so veinly for it, at least know what it is you believe in, and pride yourself in not being a sheep, regardless of what path you decide to take.