Friday, November 12, 2010

Join me in proclaiming your Holy Evidentialist nature

I've really pissed people off with my willingness to "come out of the closet" as an atheist. I've confirmed this week the loss of a couple of friends due to what seems their Roman Catholic commitment and the discomfort my outspoken disbelief brings. One friend said that my criticisms of the current Pope's collusion to child rape seems like I am shouting in his face that his mother is a whore. I don't understand the accusation and an atheist I respect said, "Well if his mother is a whore, it isn't your fault." (I think it's reasonable to make that moral assignation with the Catholic institution based on the evidence we have).

It is a tough realization to see friendships driven by nostalgia rather than shared values but that isn't the most startling thing I've discovered in my new atheism. The most startling thing is the willingness of the religious to shape their belief with a subjectivism that seems to put them in very close proximity to atheism.

The most common response to the assertion that I am an atheist is that others could never be because they just have to believe.

When I say that my perspective is driven by a lack of real evidence to the character the religious claim in god, the response is that a person doesn't need evidence because they "feel" god is real.

I can respect the psychological draw to the numinous but doubt that these devoted "feelers" deny the power of evidence in the rest of their lives. In fact, the evidence of my worth to them in my actions keeps me as a respected and moral person despite the doctrinal commitments their faith demands to see me guilty of eternal sin or, at least, as Matthew 10:14 says, covered in the dust from their feet.

But that isn't the case. Most believers still like and respect me (except for the aforementioned Catholic friends who see my honesty about my disbelief as a source of persecution).

It seems that the rule of evidence the Enlightnement gave us as a gift IS a respected value of god believers but isn't applied with my level of incredulity or skepticism. And that little application seems the only difference between their religiosity and my atheism.

So, I would like to call a truce and invite all subjective believers who want to believe in their feelings of god yet still respect my moral ground (in opposition of their religion's doctrinal commitments) to join my church of St. Evidence of the Numinous where we can all be Holy Evidentialists. I allow you to believe your god is real because you "feel" the need to believe that belief and as long as your need to "feel" this belief doesn't lead you to conclude that those who don't share your "feeling" will be tortured for eternity or are enemies of the imagined person you believe to be true or claim your "feeling" should apply to everyone then, you can join me in proclaiming your Holy Evidentialist nature.

For everyone else, your mother is a whore.


Gandolf said...

Hi Chuck.

Enjoying catching up on your bog.Somehow i think part of the problem (might be?) to do with humans like to be coaxed and assured lots in life.To be reminded everythings going to work out fine .Part of this psychological support system has been built up to include needing to have beliefs eternity of life must be an important thought for our wellbeing .

Hense when atheist become totally honest about not believing in eternal life.This thought sounds terribly frghtening to those who have spent their whole lives building their mind up around the indoctrinated beliefs that life lasts forever.Its like its also so very far worse for the fragile psychology of a carefully "sheltered" moulded mind of a child, suddenly learning what to them seems like a unfamiliar cold hard truth, that Santa honestly isnt real and neither is the tooth fairy.The more truth they have been fed over the years of early youth,the easier this cold hard truth is to bear when the honest reality finally sets in.

Had this "hard truth" simply and honestly been broken slowly, right from the get go .Then the feeling of such frightning horror and despair ,of both finding you had been decieved and led asray and the fact you found yourself suddenly thrown in the deep end most likely wouldnt have existed .But sadly this is a fact of life when adults prefer putting telling the honesty parts off, until a later date ....For there soon or later comes a time when the "later date" must equal a full blast of honesty, must suddenly hit the person splat flat ! in the face in one extremely large dollop .

This can be a very shocking and somewhat "overwhelming" experience for some people to try dealing with all in one go.

And sometime in these times in life when we suddenly feel very "unsettled" and "unsure" about some things , sadly we can tend to take it out on other people like our good friends, that deep down we honestly still do ! love and care for.

We dont purposely set out to mean to hurt them ,it happens because we are hurting and trying to deal with some problems ourselves.

You all be real well friend.Love from NZ

Chuck O'Connor said...


So good to hear from you. Thanks for checking in. Much love to you.

Chuck O'Connor said...


So good to hear from you. Thanks for checking in. Much love to you.