Nothing More than Us

I once believed in God. I was a child.

In college, I pursued science. I became an atheist. I got in numerous arguments with my father (whose “religion” was tenuous at best). Unwavering, I was still an atheist.

I met many people after that who believed in God, were my friends, and who I loved. So, I made some concessions where necessary. I became an agnostic.

Even as an agnostic, I once said:

A person’s piety is directly related to their need for external validation.

I still think that’s true. I finally realized, however, that agnosticism is just me being a pussy.

If you believe in God, then good for you; I hope He makes your life better. I do not believe in any God. You’re not allowed to question my lack of faith, as I am not allowed to question your faith.

9 thoughts on “Nothing More than Us

  1. Thinking out loud and lamenting about the state of the Union… where some Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.

  2. Not allowed to question your belief? Wow, I thought the truest form of respect is to be challenged without insult. I thought best way to educate and level intellectual positions to challenge and debate.

    Digging in your heels, crossing your arms and saying you have no right to question me seems childish.

  3. I may be projecting, but I can’t remember the last time a deeply religous person cheerfully encouraged me to challenge their beliefs. But that’s beside the point.

    I agree with Gary – this is not a point for debate – no one’s going to win. Most people consider their religous beliefs (or lack thereof) intrinsic to them. I just don’t think it’s polite (or respectful) to say “Let’s talk about you, as a person, and why I think the way you are (or who you are) is wrong.”

  4. Maybe I am different but I think everything is a point of debate if you respect your friends. More importantly I have no friends I don’t respect. I would never start a conversation by saying “Let’s talk about you as a person”. I would ask them to tell me why they believe what they believe. I want to understand.

    I believe strongly in things from religion to politics and I like to know that I have formed my opinion understanding why other have chosen other view points. If I can’t defend my idea with real arguments then what is my foundation of faith. I prefer my friends saying “you are wrong didn’t you think about this ….” Instead saying to other friends “what is wrong with her can you believe she thinks”.

    Challenge me and make me think, that is respect.

  5. Agreed, but unlike many people (friends or otherwise), you are very open with your opinion(s) and open to debate about them. Your intellectual curiosity about other people’s beliefs is rare in today’s society. My basic purpose for saying, “You’re not allowed to question my lack of faith, as I am not allowed to question your faith” was to preemptively bar someone from trying to save my pitiful soul in the name of Jesus (or whoever).

    Oh, and the previously-mentioned lamentation. Rational thought is becoming tantamount to heresy in our burgeoning theocracy.

  6. Ah, but there is a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between “I would ask them to tell me why they believe what they believe. I want to understand.” and a “challenge.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking someone to tell them more about themselves. That’s curiousity. That’s an expression of interest. That’s learning more about others. That’s lovely.

    But then you jump to “If I can’t defend my idea with real arguments then what is my foundation of faith.” Where did defense come into play? Better yet, where did your beliefs come into this, if you are truly just wanting to learn more about the person with whom you are speaking?

    This transition only makes sense if the “tell me more about yourself,” was followed with a challenge, however intellectual and well-meaning, to whatever it was that person said. That’s not pure curiosity about someone else, that’s an expression of curiosity followed by a self-serving sucker punch. I’m not saying the motivation is mean-spirited, but it’s not pure interest in another, either.

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