If I become an atheist…
by Steve Douglas
August 22nd, 2011 | 21 Comments
Becoming an atheist is not in the cards for me at this point. But if ever I find myself an atheist, here’s my pledge to you.
I will not set up websites or troll others’ websites trying to get people to see why I lost my faith or why they should as well. I probably won’t even waste my time frequenting other skeptic/atheist blogs, either to shore up my non-belief, or to help me cope with my loss of faith, or to poke fun at those who still believe. If I step into the void of a godless universe, I’ll know exactly what I’m getting into (which, not coincidentally, is one reason it’s unlikely to happen any time soon).
If anything, I will spend my time trying to bridge the great divide and getting people to stop demonizing one another long enough to understand the positive aspects of the other side — and to exhort the true believer and the disillusioned alike to recognize that there are indeed positive aspects on both sides that we would all do well to cultivate. From what I’ve seen, you can remedy most of the bad aspects of the other guy’s belief system by helping to inform his beliefs more easily than embittering him by forcing your system onto his or trying to make him your clone.
I’m just so blasted tired of the bitterness and the negativity. Whether the God of love exists or theism is pure hogwash, I simply won’t live my life like that. Whatever ad hoc meaning I can contrive out of a purposeless universe will not include debunking the purpose currently bringing about good in other people’s lives. Yes, I can see myself delicately augmenting their current purpose with concepts of open-mindedness and goodwill, perhaps, but not popping their balloons just because mine got popped and I’ve convinced myself I’m happier without it.
I guess you could say that I’ll continue to serve, worship, and even proselytize for what Christianity has identified as good, right, and lovely, even if I abandon my faith in the Ultimate Basis for those concepts. So in a very real way, I can pretty much promise you that even if I lose my faith in God, I’ll never really lose my religion.
And hence, I pledge to you that my religion won’t ever grant me permission to be a jerk, a troll, or an evangelist for self-made and self-defined purpose.