That’s a good read. . shared that book with me this past summer. Actually, when I was out at his place in California and was packing for the plane trip back home – I mentioned that I didn’t have anything to read on the 5 hour flight. So he gave me free reign to his bookshelf and said I could pick out a book to read. This book caught my eye – the title of it. Sounded very interesting and I have to say that I wasn’t at all disappointed. It was a great read that taught me a few things and validated some of the thoughts and ideas already inside my head.
“Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief.”
An atheist is not a person who believes that a god does not exist; rather, he does not believe in the existence of a god. This always starts a grand argument between theists and atheists – but generally, when the argument is broken down … allow me to quote from the book again….the person who asserts the existence of a god assumes the responsibility of demonstrating the truth of this assertion; if he fails in this task, theism should not be accepted as true.” Further explaining that if a person presents the argument that a god does exist – – the burden of proof completely lies in their court. Asking an atheist to prove that a god does not exist – – what does he have to prove, really? How do you prove a non-belief? I don’t have anything to prove – – the theist is the one stating that a god exists – and I don’t believe him, it is up to him to explain it to me in a way that will make a believer out of me — he will, essentially fail, however – – but the burden of proof is his, not mine.
I was discussing this with . this afternoon. I was explaining to him my first ventures into the question of a gods existence. I mean, I was raised in a strict Catholic home. I attended Catholic school with Nuns as my teachers. I stood and walked in the single file line down to the chapel every Wednesday morning during first period to attend Wed. morning confessional. It was on my way down the hallway that I began to fabricate all my sins and misdeeds to tell the curious man behind the screen – – because if I dared show up to confessional without a confession, well that’s TEN times worse than not having a sin to confess to begin with. So I would oblige….”Father forgive me for I have sinned….I didn’t clean my room like my mom told me to.” “That will be 10 ‘Our Fathers’ and 5 ‘Hail Mary’s’ young girl and you will be absolved of your sins” Week after week after week. I have this perfect little picture of myself at around the age of 8 or 9. My First Communion. Dressed up like a miniature little bride in white – with a veil and perfect little white gloves and a pretty, sparkling gold cross hanging around my neck on a delicate chain given to me by my father for the event. With my long blonde hair and sweet innocent smile and white tights – I was the picture of perfection. Yes, my background is very religious. As a family we went to Sunday Mass every week – – until my mid-teens. We stopped attending altogether. I finally asked why. My father told me that him and my mother had a ‘falling out’ of sorts with the catholic church and they have made the decision to remove themselves from any type of organized religion and keep their faith and beliefs within the confines of their own home.
It wasn’t until I was older that I asked more questions. Apparently, my mother decided it was time to get her tubes tied. She had three children – – in their teens, they decided that enough was enough. This was in the early-70’s. So they went to the doctor and the local hospital – St. Luke’s. They were promptly told, that as an institution associated with the Catholic Church, my mother could expect to have only one tube tied, but not the other. The hospital explained that was a very liberal gesture, considering the stance the church takes on birth control. They were willing to tie off one of her tubes – which doesn’t eliminate the possibility of getting pregnant, however it does decrease her chances by 50%. My parents were infuriated, went to their local priest for counsel – who advised them against the procedure completely – otherwise the local church would have remaining issues about their continued involvement in the congregation.
Shortly after that, I began dating a man who is very religious. At present day, he is now the pastor of his own Apostolic Pentecostal Church here in my local town. Back then, he was just another horny young man with hormones-a-flarin’. I took his virginity – – and he never let me forget it. Everytime we’d have sex – – he’d be all kinds of guilty and regretful and vow to never partake in the pleasures of the flesh ever again…..and yet……he inevitably would. So our conversations naturally turned to god. Try, though he may, he never was able to convince me that god truly does exist – – his argument always ended in ‘You just have to have faith’. That’s where I began to question and started down my path to where I am today – – comfortable in my belief that there is no god.
Take a gander at the book I mentioned above – – it’s a great read.