The goal of my blog is to write entries which challenge people to think. (I know thinking is difficult for some, but give it a try, your brain will only hurt for a short period of time!) I have my beliefs and others can have theirs. We don’t have to agree! I am always open to new information.
Important facts: (You might want to print these facts out! In fact, I will add them to my about page!)
- I don’t hate “god” and I don’t hate Christianity, or any other religion. (I simply don’t believe!)
- My blog is not an atheist blog. (I am an atheist, therefore many of my opinions are based on that belief!)
- I don’t want anyone to change his or her beliefs. (I have no desire to convert anyone.)
All opinions are welcome! (I will approve every comment. Even if someone writes something negative about me, I will allow the comment to be viewed by everyone. I don’t believe in censorship. **Just understand that I am never afraid to respond!**)
Comments are important. Everyone’s voice is relevant. A comment may spark a great discussion. The best comments are usually from the people who disagree! **If you are shy, create a fake e-mail address and a fake name!**
***What is the point of this entry?***
On July 6th, 2011, at 12:07pm I received a text; a suggested reading. The book is called Mere Christianity, and was written by C. S. Lewis. (He also wrote the Chronicles of Narnia!)
I immediately googled the title. As soon as I learned the book was written in the1940’s, I made a quick assumption. There was no way C. S. Lewis would be able to change my beliefs. Not only would his book not make me a believer, it wouldn’t even get me to question my atheism. This was my assumption for one simple reason; I was educated in the 90’s and 2000’s. Any new book about religion, was probably written by someone who had knowledge of Lewis’ Mere Christianity. Also, I understand that we live in a different world. Much of the information about religion and its origin has been gathered after Lewis’ book. If the book had the ability to convert atheists to Christianity, there would be no atheists.
I had my doubts, but I was open to the challenge. If there is a book out there which can change my views on religion, I want to read it! The key is, not to be afraid of learning. (Might this be my last post as an atheist?)
Who was Lewis, and why did he write the book?
From the book, “Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day. The contents of the book were first revealed by Lewis during a radio broadcasting. He made some additions and released a printed version. Lewis was a follower of the Church of England and a self-proclaimed, former atheist who converted back to Christianity. (Have I followed in his footsteps?)
I called Barnes and Noble to ask if the book was in stock. It was! I couldn’t wait to buy Lewis’ text so I hopped in the car and drove to Braintree. I purchased the book and returned to Boston. Later on, I began to read. (It was exhilarating. Interesting book, but would Lewis change my life?)
Sorry to report the truth. I WAS DISSAPOINTED IN LEWIS! (Not challenging at all.)
I didn’t even make it through the preface. An immediate red flag was raised. In the preface, on speaking about the division between the different Christian denominations, Lewis states, “Our divisions should never be discussed except in the presence of those who have already come to believe that there is one God and that Jesus Christ is His only son.” (pg. viii)
What I take his statement to mean is: we can’t even agree on how to worship God, so how can we expect a non-believer to accept the fact that we believe he is indeed real. I guess the goal is to convince people that God exists, beat it into their heads until it is fully ingrained into their consciousness, then and only then can you reveal the fact about the inability of the different denominations to agree.
Seems a bit ridiculous that part of the strategy of converting people is to hide important information about the religion. (Sounds like Lewis was more about scamming than converting.)
The second red flag:
The major problem with this book, is the major problem with Christianity in general…FOUNDATION!
If a religion is built on a weak foundation, it will not stand up. On pg. X of the preface, Lewis states, “If any topic could be relied upon to wreck a book about ‘mere’ Christianity—if any topic makes utterly unprofitable reading for those who do not yet believe that the Virgin’s son is god--surely this is it.”
I take this to mean, Christians believe that Jesus is not only born of a virgin, but he is the son of “god,” and we have to keep this fact away from the non-believer, until he is a believer. (Get him believing in “god” and, when he is hooked or brainwashed, then we can tell him about the virgin birth.) To me Lewis is saying, the foundation of the religion is so preposterous that no one would ever join if the truth is revealed, in the beginning. Hiding the very foundation of a religion from someone who you are trying to convert is not convincing to me; the first thing you should mention is the foundation.
The foundation of the book is also very fragile to me. Every argument in the text is based on the fact that there is a law of nature and, “First human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it.” (pg. 8)
For me to agree with anything Lewis has to say, I would have to agree that the foundation of the book is true. I completely disagree with him. There is no Law of Nature, and people do not have a curious idea that they ought to act in a certain way. I do agree, people may come to understand this Law of Nature that he speaks about, but it is not a part of human nature; it's something that they have to be taught. The Law of Nature which Lewis mentions is ingrained in people, not natural. I have taken many classes on human behavior and it is undisputable that human nature is to be completely selfish, and to act without caring about other people. Children have to be taught that throwing tantrums, when they don’t get their way, is wrong. It takes years to remove their natural behavior. If anything, the Law of Nature is for humans to be selfish.
I believe the same thing can be said for the animal kingdom as well; it’s survival of the fittest. There are lionesses who protect their young and lions who protect their pride, but they do not care for any other animals. In fact, if a lion is too old and a new lion fights him off and steals his pride, the new lion will immediately kill the young or scare them off. He will want nothing to do with the babies of another male lion. With humans, it’s completely the same. We only care about those who are part of our group, unless we are taught otherwise. There are indigenous people in Papua New Guinea who eat their enemies. (If you get the chance to watch the documentary Eating With Cannibals, do so!)
The fact that the foundation of the book is false, leaves me to believe, everything based on the foundation can be easily disproved. The book was an enjoyable read for entertainment purposes and general knowledge, but as an argument for the existence of “god,” it fell short. Not only was his argument weak, I don’t believe Lewis even has a true understanding of what is means to be an atheist.
My beliefs are founded on solid, and accurate information. People don’t understand that one of the most difficult challenges for a human, is to change hi or her beliefs. They think I just woke up one day and said, “Fuck it, there is no ‘god’!”
Belief in “god” is based on fear. Everyone must be god-fearing. Why should I have to fear “god?” Shouldn't the relationship between man and the lord be about love. That's another part of religion that helps me to compare “god” to Santa Claus. Kids are scared into believing in Santa to keep them from misbehaving They are often told, “If you are naughty, Santa won't bring you a gift.” The fear of not getting a gift is what makes them behave. Once the children grow up, they let go of the belief in Santa, but they keep the lesson of behaving. Same thing with “god.” It's good for children to believe during their youth because they learn the lesson of how to be good citizens, but once they are adults, and they understand how ridiculous religion is, they should let go of the belief. Santa is easy to let go of because adults admit that he is fake. It's different with “god.” Adults continue to believe, and scare people into keeping their faith.
I was able to seek out and challenge conventional thought and I found that there is no “god.” Did you notice that religions always beat up the devil, but they are careful never to kill him, because if they do there will be no fear!
I love reading and I love learning. Thanks for the suggestion! Lewis’ book was extremely helpful in helping me solidify the fact that my beliefs are based on a concrete foundation. Anyone who has knowledge of another book worth reading, please notify me! Who knows, maybe I can be converted! (Just kidding!)
Challenging conventional thought is fascinating to me. I can’t understand why anyone who has a strong faith in “god,” would have a fear of testing their faith. Even Lewis admits in his book that he continues to doubt his faith. Why do people lack a thirst for knowledge? If “god” exists, nothing you read will change that fact. I have no problem challenging atheism because there is no doubt in my mind, there is no “god.”
Texts don’t kill people. People with (religious) texts kill people!!!