Thursday, June 18, 2015

Coming Out Atheist Message

I'm toying with the idea of a short & sweet coming out message to my friends, many of whom went to Christian youth group with me. This would probably come as a minor "huh" moment for most of them.
I'm not sure how serious I am about posting this on Facebook. Probably not very, because I'm not really the type to make a big stink about my beliefs. I thought this might be helpful as a Coming Out Atheist letter for others. Here's a draft:
About 20 years ago, I started sincerely exploring the reasons why I believed in God. True things withstand scrutiny, and it was important to me that I be consistent in the things I accept as true. I considered the strength of the foundations of my religious beliefs. The reasons I thought had for believing in a God were not at all convincing when examined honestly. 
Absent a defensible foundation for God belief, I considered the only honest conclusion would that God is not likely to exist. Looking across the history of human religions, the progression from polytheism to monarchy-polytheism to monotheism is all too clear. I'm quick to dismiss all those silly ancient beliefs like Roman and Greek pantheons. What objective evidence could I point to when asserting that Christianity is somehow different?
The magical beliefs surrounding Christianity fell as well. It's clear from our understanding of the brain that my consciousness resides there in. And that its demise will surely mean the end of my consciousness. There's no rational reason to believe that I will somehow survive the death of my brain. In short, it's wishful thinking that directly conflicts with everything we learned about consciousness.
This last realization took some time to come to grips with. I was raised to believe that my religion made me immortal. That loved ones lived on in a magical place where there was no pain or suffering. Where they were aware of the happenings here on earth. They could possibly even read my mind. I believe that such would be my fate as well, and coming to grips with my mortality was by no means trivial.
I've lived my last 20 years without any sort of God belief and couldn't be happier. My version of immortality is the influence I have on those around me. It's rewarding to realize that I can be inspirational to those around me and that they will carry forward my vision, my joy, and my curiosity to others.

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