Christians sure do know a lot about god.
I know what they see when they see me. They see a woman living under god. Denying him, sure; but they are unable to see me without him always being in the picture. And I say “him” because the only god they see is also a paternal father figure who knows every detail about each of us. Right down to our deepest thoughts. What they can never see is what the world looks like without him. So how can we discuss things like heaven?
I was criticized recently by a Christian for not realizing god’s plan for us in heaven. I know she thought her vision of eternity would move me, but it did not. When I say that eternally worshiping this god sounds like a bad time, please understand that I am saying it from a place where this god does not exist. I don’t believe in any god, but I find the Christian god to be at a whole new level of improbability. So I’m not worried about being any more wrong than Christians are. Whatever eternity holds, I feel confident that atheists and Christians are in the same boat.
I know her bible says that I secretly know her god is real. It is just further evidence that the bible is wrong. I know I don’t believe. And when a Christian attempts to argue with me about heaven by explaining how being in the presence of god will exceed our most intense feelings of joy as we know it? I am almost speechless. Because I don’t believe god is real, and giving me your brilliant “best guess” about eternity is literally meaningless to everyone.
I don’t know how to say it any plainer. I used to believe what she believes with all my heart. Something changed my mind. Obviously I’m willing to choose a different point of view on everything that matters if the evidence presents itself. It may be a rare trait- but I’ve done it. And truthfully, I gave more to loving and serving god than I ever gave to my lack of belief. It must have been something pretty convincing, don’t you think, if all these “undeniable” arguments for god can’t change my mind again? Is Satan stronger than god?
That’s silly. Satan and god are imaginary.
When atheists break down specific parts of Christianity that do not make sense, it is only natural for Christians to want to clarify how we are wrong. They want to explain why they are not crazy for believing that thing we think is so crazy to believe. I get it. I do it, too. But the difference between us is that in doing so, Christians often forget they are not debating other Christians. They can’t help it because they are so stuck on the belief that we all know we are under the Christian god.
Instead of saying, “well actually, this is how I imagine heaven….” they speak as if an atheist’s lack of understanding about the Christian point of view is somehow the whole reason we have no faith. “The trouble with atheists is that they are looking at heaven all wrong….” If it were really that simple, Christians would be right.
And I would still be a Christian.
Christians, please stop telling me I am misunderstanding god. That’s a debate for Christians to have among themselves. I have no god to understand. I lost faith for reasons that are far bigger than what you have reduced them to in your mind. Every time you explain how I have misinterpreted your views on god you seem to believe you have proven god, but none of it makes god real.
Pick a religious topic and jot down your thoughts. Already a blogger? Read one of your favorite posts. Now replace god with any other made up character and see how persuasive you sound. That’s where we are starting from. First you will have to convince me that god exists for any of the rest to have meaning. And remember, while I was still desperate to believe, I couldn’t even convince myself.
In the meantime, when I tell you that your thoughts on heaven mean nothing to me? Use your imagination (that magical unicorns instilled in all of us) and simply believe me.