ExChristianDotNet (exchristian_net) wrote in extian,

[Testimonies of Ex-Christians] When I was 15...

Sent in by Robert WFor me, the worst part of being a Christian was
this: taking things on faith, even when my mind totally, utterly
disagreed with what Christianity wanted me to believe in. I'm soon
going to be 31, and I had my first moments of doubt when I was about
15. I can't remember what, exactly, set me off, but the end result was
that I became a bit more fanatical about my belief in the truth of
Christianity. That's not odd, I suppose. How many Christians who, when
they feel doubt, begin to fear that Satan is working his wiles upon
them? They, like I was doing at the age of 15, cling more tightly to a
sinking ship. The water spills out of the ship, the ship goes down to
the deep, so to speak, but the faitful remain unawares in a mad,
blissful sort of way. That's how I was at age 15, and up on through
till my mid-20s: unaware, mad with faith of a sort, and blissful with
that happy sort of stupidity that only a complete denier can
possess.Now, at almost 31, I'm having, I hope, the last battle with
Christianity and Jesus. There have been moments in my life when I've
seriously waffled between belief and disbelief; a part of me wants to
believe, that credulous and irrational part of us that will accept any
little thing “on faith.” Another part, the rational part, of me rebels
at the very notion of being locked back into a religion that drove me
out of it in the first place. Who is going to win, what part of me will
walk away after this last-man-standing battle between Jesus and myself?
I want to win of course! I don't really care about Jesus or his
religion any longer, even when I take into consideration all of the
moral platitudes and niceties that have been written about this dodgy,
so-called savior. Do 2,000 years of wishful thinking and, I'll admit
this freely, eloquent apologetic writing by Christians truly justify
the internal, existential misery that I've gone through for all of
these years?Christianity may have a great deal to offer to those who
need a savior or who fear the hellfire, but what about a person like
me? Is the world a cosmic chess board between God and Satan, with black
and white, absolute good and absolute evil? Or, rather, is it merely,
as Carl Sagan said, a “pale blue dot?”Well, I can say with a great deal
of certainty that notions of cosmic good and cosmic evil are fodder for
comic books and Hollywood, not for real life. I can also say that, from
my experiences, life actually comes in shades of grey. As to pale blue
dots, time will tell if mankind exists at the center of the universe;
I'm open to notions of other intelligent life forms out in the
universe, but I've also studied Fermi's paradox a bit, too.A part of me
has always wanted to believe that Christianity is true, but how can it
be? I think that, empirically, I've more than amply disproven
Christianity. My rational, reasoning side sees it for the sinking ship
that it is, but it's my gullible, faithful side that wants to hop back
onto the Jesus train. Skepticism is far harder than one might think and
I'd decry anyone who says that skeptics are cowards or quislings. It's
taken me nearly 16 years, swinging back and forth between belief and
disbelief, to come this far. At one time “faith” dominated my life;
now "reason" seems poised to dominate. What is going to win, faith with
all of its superstitious accouterments? Or, will reason win out in the
battle for my heart and mind?I can't recall who said that "Faith
without reason is dead." I'd like to see this quote placed in a better
context; I've seen Christians and other theists use it to justify their
own religion, but what does faith mean? Protagoras quipped about 2500
years ago, "Man is the measure of all things." So, if I had faith in
God and Jesus, I'd be lauded to high heaven by the believers. I'd be
one of the elect. But, if I instead said that I had faith in myself, as
a human being, I'd be accused of hubris. I'd be on a trip to hell with
Satan and the devils. But, this is what I have the most faith in:
myself. I put my entire trust in my own humanity, my intellect,
intuition, and ability to reason, rather than in a shady savior and a
God that never seems to be around when you need him the most.Examining
my life, I'm reminded of a bit of poetry from Aeschylus's Agamemnon:He
(God) steered the mortal mind to thought,making one law: suffer and
learn.How correct that is, if God is anything more than a hopeful
figment of imagination!To monitor comments posted to this topic, use .
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