Finally, the day has arrived: my last church service of the summer! The fact that I can choose not to attend church at college is something that I take for granted when I’m there, and next week I’ll be talking about other reasons why I’m so ready to return even though it’s a Christian college. For now, however, I can’t help but share something that I found in my church this morning: booklets on evolution and creation made by the Creation Research Society.
When I started my blog last November, I mentioned that I planned to talk a lot about what I discover as I read books about atheism. You may notice, however, that I have yet to really get into any book reviews or discussions. I started reading The God Delusion an embarrassingly long time ago, but I read it off and on, and with a lot of starts and stops. When I’m at school, I’m either doing homework or watching Netflix, and when I have time at home to read in the summer, I don’t want to do it locked up in my bedroom so my mom doesn’t realize that I’m studying heathen literature. So what I’ve done instead of reading atheist books is reading theist books!
I found The Language of God last May when I was turning in rental textbooks to the school bookstore after finals. The subtitle, A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief caught my attention and I bought it impulsively. I noticed that it was required for a section of the Science and Religion class I had taken the previous semester, except with a different instructor. This week, I finally finished it!Continue reading “The Language of God Review”
I’ve talked a lot about my deconversion story and how my Christian college turned be from being religiously apathetic to a full blown atheist. I’ve talked about a philosophy class that made me consider my naturalistic worldview and start reading about the topic, but constantly slipping my mind has been the story of how I became a weak atheist before stepping foot in that classroom.
Over the past week, I’ve gotten a few comments from readers asking me to explain/defend my atheist position. While I’m no expert in science or theology, I’m still an atheist, and my disbelief is the result of a lot of thought on the various arguments for an against the existence of a god. As I learn more, these reasons can change and hopefully solidify further, but for now, here are my most basic reasons why I don’t believe in God. Continue reading “4 Reasons Why I Don’t Believe in God”
My church had the same pastor from the time that I was about thirteen to the time I was about nineteen. Having bigger things than religion and atheism and the afterlife to worry about as a teenager, I didn’t realize it at the time, but this man really passionately believed and taught the opposite of everything I believe. He is the type that refers to atheists as if they are a group only to be fought with and not a group to make amends with; the type that believes that gays have no place in church and that to be transgender is to be mentally ill; the type who shares a lot of Matt Walsh posts on Facebook. You know the type. Unfortunately.
It is a common argument against Christian thought that scripture calls for us to not question God when he does something we do not understand. This can apply to times that God does not save those who are suffering, times in the bible in which Jesus performs miracles that are impossible in the natural physical world, or times when God does not answer prayers. Admitting that there is no way to comprehend God’s means or reasons for doing what he does is an easy way for Christians to come to terms with this cognitive dissonance, but I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. The majority of Christians that I’ve met are not stupid people. Some questionable logic is generally necessary for reconciling various fantastical claims in scripture that can clash with our reasonable, observable conclusions, but it doesn’t stop believers from doing their best to apply logic to these situations.
You can do no good.
You are not worthy of love.
You should feel guilty for your constant sin.
Everything in your life has been laid out for you and you have no control over it.
Nothing you can say or do can get you into heaven.
There is a lot about Christianity that I don’t understand, from giving up your life in exchange for being spared eternal punishment, to LGBTQ+ discrimination, to not eating meat on Fridays during Lent, to Noah’s Ark. But one of the greatest mysteries to me is prayer. As people grow older, their prayers typically evolve from asking God for what you want to thanking God for what you have and asking him to guide you in the right direction. While the latter appears to be more selfless and appropriate, I can’t help but see it all as just silly.
A few months ago, some of my classmates got into a discussion about whether my college is really all that Christian. I’ve talked before about how I go to an oppressively Christian school that teaches Christian values, has mandatory chapel services, requires a letter of recommendation from a pastor for the undergrad application, and looks down on atheists and those of other beliefs. During this conversation, my Christian friends mentioned that it really wouldn’t be a big deal for a non-Christian student to attend. After all, other than attending chapel, we aren’t required to fast, read the bible, or go to bible study or church. “How bad can it be?” says the Christian student attending the Christian college.
Most of the time, when I hear the word “autonomy”, it’s being referred to as a negative thing. Almost everyone I know has a pretty steadfast “Jesus take the wheel” mindset. They let go of their worries, send up some prayers, and let God take care of the rest. It’s not their problem anymore, nor should it be. If something doesn’t work out, they simply say that it wasn’t in God’s plan for them and that when he closes one door, he opens another.
The idea of autonomy gives many Christians the impression that if they don’t give control to God, then they are playing god in their own lives. They have taken over the god-role and are assuming that they have that omnipotent amount of control and the freedom to do whatever they want. And putting yourself in God’s place is a way of idolizing yourself and your power, which of course goes against God’s very own ten commandments.
This, however, is not how I see autonomy. Continue reading “The Freedom of Autonomy”