This question was posed during a debate on Facebook regarding a discussion on… well… God’s existence and people’s inconsistency in taking the Bible literally. I figured it was a good thing to get back to blogging with. Yes, I’m still alive, survived my airplane rides, but have had a lot to process and sort out, like life without God, or much of a family. (No connection between the two.)
So, a world with no religious discourse, that sounds like a world with no religion, great, I can live with that. Now we just need to convince Christians that the only command that most Christians really take seriously should be ignored like the others (sabbath keeping, pork, shaving, mixed breed cattle, mixed textiles and vegetable gardens). This command is the one to ‘make disciples of all nations’. As long as there is this mentality, then religious discussions must, as a necessity, continue.
Since religion is probably objectively bad for modern society, and (at least all the ones so far invented) are so obviously, not true, it would be a good idea to continue in the vein of bloggers and writers around the world that are working to free people from the imaginations of ancient cultures. Here is the answer, the discourse can be fulfilling, since it can have positive results. Fulfilling is a little vague, but I think it’s more than just ridding the world of one of many justifications for evil.
So, is it worthwhile debating the existence of God, is that fulfilling? Again, a bit vague, but when I’m done you can decide whether I have fulfilling. I’d say yes, an emphatic yes. My deconversion started on this blog, and on other people’s blogs, debating, examining arguments, checking facts (you’ll be surprised at how much christianity crumbles when you just check to see if the “facts” from the apologist are indeed facts), and finally, trying to defend the Bible as something worth believing from a rational standpoint.
It was the uncomfortable places I found myself in, the discussions I had with believers, and unbelievers, and the final realisation that if the God of the Bible does exist, he’d not be worth the effort. I won’t reiterate Dawkins’ famous description from The God Delusion, but for those who know it, or who will look it up, that’s what I think of the Old Testament God. My quest for the truth was sincere, I tried, I prayed, I researched, and I just can’t find truth in the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus or Muhammed.
This discomfort was compounded by issues at home, and eventually a life of moving from place to place, I still do this. For readers out there who don’t know me personally, I teach horses to be ridden, so I tend to work myself out of work, and then move to the next breeder. My life has been somewhat upside down, but it is a strangely more promising life without the hope for a hereafter, without the belief that the amazing rainbows I see are anything more than a fortuitous assortment of water and light unintentionally formed by natural occurrences to provide something aesthetically pleasing. That, I am lucky enough to be there at the right moment, to glimpse the beauty of the universe. Instead of believing that they represent the promise of an unreliable God to never eradicate mankind with a flood again. I wonder if that means he’ll do it some other way.
I work hard (it doesn’t look it), I fall, rarely, but it happens. I enjoy every minute of being the first person to climb onto a horse’s back. Sometimes I’m anxious, mostly just excited. It’s exhilarating, and it’s real. I don’t need to add superstition, or God protecting me or anything else into it, it’s just fun. It’s this life, my one life, and I’m living it doing something I love, not sacrificing it for a hopeful, heavenly, hereafter of complete subservience to a totalitarian peeping Tom who watches you shit.
Am I fulfilled? Did having those nasty discussions result in fulfillment. My life before of constantly feeling like I was ignoring what I knew to be true for things I wanted to be true. This wasn’t fulfilling, it kept me in books, it kept me from living. It kept me focused on God, and not on life, I truly believed that if God was my focus all else would come right, so I made God my focus. Work suffered, I didn’t stop completely, relationships with friends suffered as I tried to foist my beliefs at them, such was my love for God. Has having the discussions that lead to my deconversion offered fulfillment? Absolutely!
Sure, religious discussion often go nowhere, especially with religious minds involved, but they can be fulfilling, but my hope is for them to be unnecessary.
This is by no means comprehensive, and sort of got away with me, but hey, have something from the heart as my return gift. Any issues you have may be addressed in the comments.