Against The Unexamined

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!)

  1. I don’t hate “god” and I don’t hate Christianity, or any other religion. (I simply don’t believe!)
  2. My blog is not an atheist blog. (I am an atheist, therefore many of my opinions are based on that belief!)
  3. 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!!!

@PeteTeix617

Advertisements

34 responses to “Against The Unexamined

  1. Bravo, a year ago! I started to questions my faith (i used to be all about “god” for 5 years prior). Until I picked up the bible and read. I, immediately stop claim I was a catholic. (to me catholic don’t follow the bible, they worship on Sunday, but god said rest on Saturday, the Sabbath day)

    So I learn towards being a Christian. The only answer I get is “you gotta have faith.” (that answer is a joke).

    So I stop claim a particular group. Looking for more text, I read apocrypha, dead sea scrolls…etc no answer every text” left me hanging. All these hiding artifact “ark of the covenant” “holy grail” “mose’s staff” why hide it? (because they don’t exist.

    I hate when people, state how can I stop being god over night. (but never read the bible thoroughly”

    • Anyone who thinks a person can drop their faith overnight is uninformed. Deep down inside, every single person questions their faith. They don’t seek out answers because they fear what they will discover!

  2. Just curious, has anyone in your family disowned u? Or gotten pissed @ u for this kind of entry? And why the hell aren’t they commenting?! Or are they doing fighting with u in person, if so u should post those conversations! Of course u can protect the names of the “innocent” that would be an exciting read!

    • People often comment in person. Nothing major though. There was a family cookout on the 4th of July, but I wasn’t able to attend until the very end. The blog was only 5 days old, but ‘Why I Laugh’ and ‘Virgin Birth’ were already up. I received a call from someone very close to me. “Peter, they are here saying that you don’t believe in “god.” Is that true?” Yes, it’s all a myth! HEART-BREAK! “I can’t believe what you are saying. We’ll talk when you get here.” I arrived too late, but I definitely feel the change in people, but I completely understand the reaction. I think the reason no one mentions anything to me is because I have had many conversations about religion with people. I stopped going to church in my early teens and the questions started then. “Why don’t you go to church?” I don’t have anything expmsive to wear, and we all know that church is a fashion show…I’m saving up to buy an outfit that will impress everyone. Obviously, they didn’t like the answers. The virgin birth has been in my head since I was a child…I always thought there was something fishy about that story. Imagine what would have happened if I mentioned my thoughts during Sunday school! Whenever I told people that Joseph was a sucker they replied, “You’re going to He’ll!” I believed in “god” but, at the time, my deity had a sense of humor so I was good!

  3. That’s what I’m saying…I caught this dude at the coffee maker this morning. He read the tattoo on my arm “In God I Trust” I said “used too, god don’t exist” he looked at me like I had 3 heads. To make a long story short. I told him I’m going to hell any ways cause I had a baby outta wedlock. His answer was “Marry ur sons mother” and u will be forgiving. I laughed her and I are no longer together ( we are together 7 years). He replied “oh then that’s ok” (buy this time we drew a small crowd) I laughed “so its ok to change gods word to benefit you? ” I ended with religion is a joke… Im happy to say I’m hated by everyone here…

  4. Ok so here it goes…. When I found out you don’t believe in God I wad shocked and interested in why not. We had a convo and it went nowhere because you are firm in your belief and I am too. We agreed to disagree. You have stated in the past that you hate when believers try to change your mind so I respect that. Today it seems you begging for it. It seems as if you are thirsty for someone to come save your day with a good reason to believe in God. It is said that the man who says there is no God is a fool and this is true… ( I read your blog every single day faithfully because it is extremely impressive and I have a greater respect for you and your level of knowledge) When it is said that a non-believer is a fool is meant that anyone who wouldnt want God to exist is unaware and uneducated on what could take place in a world without God. You said it yourself a child needs a reason to do the right thing and I would go further to say ppl need a reason to do right. I love and admire the fact that you have your morals in line (not too many of us do these days) but that is thanks to your former belief in God. Why would you even think to remove what little stability is left in world? You said it before the mind is a powerful thing and so if you believe in God He does exist for you. When I pray I feel a sense of relief and peace from my meditation… You wouldnt know about that because if you did you would never deny its existence. Here’s where I do agree with you I think religion is dangerous and have a hard time finding a religion that completely makes sense to me. You are right ppl do go to church dressed up and it seems like a fashion show but that’s ok. Church is an important event or gathering when ppl feel they want to look their best. Don’t we all do that for weddings, funerals, interviews, before going to a nice resturant its just culture. If you want to go to church in sweats you can you’ll just feel a little out of place. Ppl shouldnt be judging you because church-goers don’t judge, right? Lol. The point of this I believe in God but the rest of the stuff can be up for discussion. Special comment for Cheno 617 I believe in God and havent read the Bible thoroughly and…..

    • Thank you for stating your beliefs. I respectfully disagree…there is no “god.” I didn’t find a reason to believe in him in your comment. (The same way you don’t find reason to disbelieve in my comments.) Trying to convince a believer that “god” doesn’t exist is pointless, because faith is impossible to argue. Faith was created to give those without valid arguments a defense against logic. I have yet to meet the believer who does’t use the faith defense. My goal is to understand, and I understand why people believe. My only goal is to challenge. I respect those who are unafraid to seek out the truth.

      A world without “god would be a wonerful place. Religion is the biggest killer of man.

      Again, thanks for your thoughts. I wish more people who believed would enlighten us with their thoughts. Just because I don’t agree, doesn’t mean the comments aren’t valid.

  5. I respect believer. Believers don’t respect non-believer. When I say “I believe in god” the room say “amen”. When I say “No I don’t believe in god”the room attacks me. But let me clarify something I do believe something is responsible for us. Until I find my concrete evidence I need. I’m going to call religions bluff.

    • You cannot make that blanket statement about believers because not all believers judge ppl who don’t. Ok so you do believe in a higher power…. I call it God you call it whatever. In my opinion you shouldn’t give your opinion on the fact you THINK God doesn’t believe as if you’re saying you KNOW God doesnt exist. The man who’s know anything knows he knows nothing at all…

    • Clearly there is a difference. Let me ask this question to everyone. Would those who believe in “god,” Heaven, and Hell be content to make it to heaven knowing that some of your family and friends are burning in hell for all eternity? That doesn’t sound like heaven to me. How would I be able to be happy knowing I have loved ones in hell! I’d spend the entire time begging “god” to save my friends. I have many more questions about the unrealistic “heaven” but let’s start with that one. (If your answer is “I don’t know” or “we are incapable of knowing how we would feel” don’t bother commenting!)

  6. As for know I don’t believe of a “higher power” , I’m leaning toward science. But when I find out i’ll let you know. I’m seeking the truth, in my studies religion to me is made up. Sorry if a offend you.

  7. Again… The belief of heaven and hell is a religious belief. But lets just say hypothetically there is a heaven and hell and I make it to heaven and someone I love dearly is sent to hell… This might sound cold but it is what it is. Everyone is free to make the own decisions. Just like when someone you love goes to prison you know it sucks there and every time you talk to them they say they depressed and miserable but sorry there’s nothing I can do about the fact you suck at making decisions.

      • What you imagine heaven to be is boring… Why? None of us know but if there is a place called heaven I think it would be full of good souls who know how to enjoy themselves. Half of these boring ppl who are miserable judging others are horrible ppl at heart. They can put on a show but they are no good within. It’s all about having a good soul and not letting this world do away with it resulting in eternal death. If you die in flesh your soul remains but if you kill your soul while you are alive then nothing remains of when you die in flesh. Just some of my ideas…

  8. As for the question for the murderer I believe that God will support a person who truly in their heart sorry and changed after any wrong doing. Ppl who just say they are sorry because ppl are listening are a waste of time. If you havent noticed ill tell you the ppl in jail need God, without him they would go insane. The idea of God brings change out of them if you give it enough time.

  9. Sorry it makes no sense. Murder is murder. You broke one of the commandment! There is no begging for mercy! Was the answer I expected. 10 commandment that shall not be broken….not, if you break it hear and there its ok…

    Sinners go to hell! That’s a scary thought

    • Are you kidding me! Since when is it believed that ALL sinners go to hell? If that’s the case then that’s the answer to our question…. Heaven is a big crib with only babies… They’re the only innocent ones

  10. You missed my point, Catholics or Christian will twist “god’s” word around to favor there situation, stuff was added/removed from the bible, to benefit mankind. So that lead me to believe religion is fake.

    • Exactly that’s because the bible was written by man which means is full of mistakes. And everything in this world is about perception… Just the way it is. You read the bible it means one thing. I read the bible it means something else. You missed my point, religion is a mess but that has nothing to do with God’s existence.

  11. Now this is more like it! We got ourselves a debate instead of the mutual admiration for Peter’s writing, not to hate but come on, we all know Peter can write and is pretty insightful when he’s not being a dumbass! Shout out to Cheno and Wise. I’d give my two cents on the subject but its the wknd and the heaviest thought I want in my head is if I should get a lobster roll or oysters to go w/my beer…wait I figured out, both!

  12. I’m thinking about starting a blog which strictly covers beers, wings, burgers, steaks, and warm buttered lobster rolls!

  13. I’m trying ‘Wings over’ in Framingham as i write. I’d like to thank all my fans for the support. Stay tuned to Peter’s blog as I invade the comment box ’cause I don’t know how to start my own…

  14. Kelly’s in Revere. The beer was courtesy of my friend’s cooler. If you’re looking for wings, try red hat by govt center…they have 10cent wings mondays and tuesdays…that and a pitcher of blue moon makes any weekday seem like a wknd!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s