No God for Me, Thanks

A friend asked me the other day why I no longer believed in God. She seemed rather hesitant to bring the subject up at all, but she did. I'm sure that I inadvertently rolled my eyes back in my head without even thinking about it. "Why do I have to explain this again?".
I told her that she must have meant to ask "Why am I an Atheist?" I got the expected reflex action as she looked away from me, as if the word "Atheist" was something that was some evil that she shouldn't trifle with. I get that response a lot. She then admitted that was what she wanted to know.

She told me that she could not understand how I could possible by happy without "god" in my life. I responded that since he had never been there, how could I miss him? She persisted, as they always do, tap-dancing around the temptation to resort to name-calling based on her book of fairy tales, or the Bible.

I explained to her that religion might indeed bring peace and comfort to some people, but that is was not the only thing that could influence people in that way. Some people meditate, others get into exercise and that fills the need to calm them down and feel better, others find peace in music. When she pointed out that all of these things were the creation of "god" I responded that these things are universal, whereas Christianity was not. She was attempting to apply her beliefs to cover something that exists with or without her religion, or her "god" being involved.

I really dislike these conversations because I have had bad experiences in the past where people try to "convert" or "save" me. I don't want to be converted and I don't need to be saved. I think she realized that the subject was about to reach a dead end, since neither of us was going to budge. She asked if I was happy, and I replied that I was. She wondered how and I told her that my happiness came from within, not from some external source, real or imaginary, allowing me to feel happy. The conversation ended at that point. I don't believe in trying to lead people away from their faith, that is their concern, not mine.

Sometimes I wish that we could all just get along better with each other. The key to that, in my humble opinion, is to not try to go around changing other people to be more like ourselves because a world full of clones would be really boring.

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