Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re asked a question and your response is clear, articulate and thoughtful? I enjoy those rare moments. Damn, I wish they weren’t so rare though.
I enjoyed reading this response from one friend to another on why a former devoted believer became an atheist:
“I gotta ask, Marty. I see you liking some posts from the friendly atheist…but I know you were a man of strong faith back in the day. My curiosity is getting the best of me. What are your beliefs these days?”
Yesterday at 8:56pm
[Marty]: “If you study one religion intensely, you’ll be an enthusiastic believer and you’ll know that your religion is the only true religion. If you study two religions intensely, you’ll begin to notice the basic constructs and commonalities between all religions, and you’ll start to doubt whether or not there is one true religion. If you study three religions, you’ll finally have the epiphany that all religions are ancient man-made attempts at explaining the meaning of life and where the sun goes at night.
The single greatest regret of my life is how vocal and forceful I was in promoting and advertising my Christian faith as a teenager. I was a know-it-all, self-righteous, bigoted asshole that burned a lot of bridges. I distanced myself from non-Christian friends, only to destroy my friendships with all of my Christian friends when I walked away from religion. My theist-to-atheist paradigm shift is the defining feature of my life thus far, and one I don’t talk about much except with my wife and fellow ex-theists on Facebook and Twitter.
The greatest liberation of my life was replacing faith with reason. I now consider myself a secular humanist. I am an atheist, but that describes what I do not believe. I don’t believe in gods or the supernatural. Humanism is what I do believe in. I believe in the progress of humankind. I believe in making the world a better place for everyone. I believe in tolerance, acceptance and justice for all people. Ironically, these are all things I opposed as a Christian.”
Well said Marty. Well said.