Monday, April 5, 2010

The problem for atheists

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I am an atheists and in many respects life is good. I can’t say it is perfect, but I could not be happier. There is no place in my life for God, but I am very happy. A year ago I was not so happy. There was no place in my life for God then either. So there seems no positive correlation at all. Now is it simply about being happy? Does having a relationship with God impart any greater sense of happiness? I think not. In fact a great many of the Christians I encounter seem to be scared of their own shadows. They seem to have little in the way of mental efficacy. The more logical ones tend to be more defensive and evasive. In the case of my ex-boss, who was also a minister of his church, I would suggest he was terribly conflicted.
The more engaging ones simply don’t want to explore their minds. Its not that they are ‘closed minded’, its as if they have turned it off. Any argument results in a counter-assertion which is simply some dogmatic assertion they have learned at church. It is interesting to ask such people why they are happy. Don’t expect their happiness to relate to any meaningful values. They can no doubt celebrate the incidental….I want to change the world. This is in fact the basis of my happiness…the expectation that I can make a positive impact on the world, by helping people to become better parents, helping people to make money, helping people to develop good character values, etc. It really has nothing to do with helping people. It has more to do with being good at something. I am a consummate thinker developing new knowledge. I want to share these ideas so that I can achieve some practical success as the discovery process is so intangible….so I want to make it real. Poor fellows those Christians. I have tangible reasons to have confidence that I will achieve my goals, but they have to accept God’s world on faith. Faith is incidentally the acceptance of some assertion without evidence…not a good thing and contrary to your whole knowledge system.
Anyway, what makes me happy is the fact that I love my writing/work. I can't wait to get up in the morning and do my exercise, and start writing. If I have any hang up, its my impatience to get my ideas into books. The editing is a drag, though also a necessary process in developing ideas and organising them. Equally as important I finally have a lovely partner in my life, I no longer work for unethical people in the finance industry. Mostly I am excited about the impact of my future books. I have so many ideas....god is the last thing on my why spoil it. Ok, well its the last thing now.... :)
It is therefore understandable that I might think religion is a pack of crap. I can have a satisfying and rewarding life without it; I have intellectual arguments which dispel any need for it. The question then becomes - would I recommend it to people in difficulty? Well, not even if a gun was pointed at me. The reason is clear. Faith is not going to help you achieve; you don't develop a sense of efficacy by renouncing your mind; you don't develop your cognitive skills by memorising Christian verse. Basically you will only find another really insecure person at church. Hardly the type of person you want as a life partner....notwithstanding that there are morally 'grey' Christians with some redeeming Christians. Personally I take this as a superficial distinction. I don't spend much time around Christians. The only ones around me I have converted. It is a slow process, and who has the time.
Andrew Sheldon
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Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon