The title of this post is known by theists (from all religions) and atheists the world over. The fact that this is the case speaks to the reach that religion has, especially Christianity. So, from an atheist perspective, why do we immediately associate these three words with the existence of God?
The purpose of this blog is twofold. I am an atheist looking for faith, to put it simply. I am in my late twenties, work within science, and I was raised in a house with a secular-catholic mother (writing that almost seems ridiculous, but that is the case) and an atheist father. Neither of my parents were militant in their lack of belief, so my atheism was not pressed upon me. Religion was not generally spoken about in my house what so ever. This being the case, I was hardly ever exposed to Christianity or any other religion in my upbringing. One purpose of this blog is to share my feelings on the Bible as I read it, starting with the document that serves as the foundation of the Christian faith, the New Testament. I will read it with pure intentions. I will read searching for meaning and try my best to relay what I believe the message behind the scripture is. I think my perspective will be useful to a reader because I am NOT a man of God, at least not yet. I am not attempting to push a message that was given to me by a church of any dominion. I am trying to find meaning directly from the people inspired by God.
The second purpose of this blog is to act as a document of my own journey into faith. Many people will not have read this post due to my ‘confession’ of being an atheist. Let it be known, that I do genuinely want to find faith in God, and I would like my life to have some greater meaning than it already does.
So, what has set me off on this journey? I began going to church with my partner and my young son (he is now almost 2). My partner is religious, though we are unmarried (because of my personal views towards marriage. Perhaps with time these views will change). Her faith has been somewhat an inspiration for me. Her past has been somewhat traumatic, in terms of life events and in terms of health. I won’t discuss what these issues are, as it is not my place to say. What I would say, is that she has more reason than anybody I know to look up to Heaven and curse God for the trials she has been put through for no obvious reason. Yet this is not what she does. She is grateful to be alive, thankful that her struggles put her on a better path, and faithful in God. I often wonder if she is built differently than me, that she has such belief that I lack. I don’t think this is the case. I guess I don’t really know.
Another thing that has set me on this journey is exposure to different viewpoints. My background is in science. To be more specific, my degree was in a life-science related subject, and I have studied evolution thoroughly. I listen to YouTube often and I would have described men such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens as heroes of mine, who champion not only atheism but claim that religion is fundamentally bad for mankind (speaking more about Hitchens here, a man who I greatly respect). I too believed this, however then I began to expose myself to other thinkers. The two that really added another perspective were Jordan Peterson, a man who hasn’t publicly stated that he is a Christian though he does live life as though God exists, and Ben Shapiro, a practicing Jew. Their perspective on religion is very different. The both believe that the reason that the western world have become relatively civilised is because of the adoption of Judeo-Christian values, not because people are inherently good. The more I consider this view point, the more I believe this to be the case. That is not to say that if all Christians stopped believing in God today, there would be mass murder and rape and all the other terrible things that humans are capable of. However, it is interesting to ponder the question, if Jesus hadn’t existed, whether he was divine or not, would western civilisation have become so civilised? What values would we hold? Sure, I do not believe mothers would be smothering their children left and right or that fathers would take their daughters for wives, however perhaps the sense of community that most people enjoy would not exist as it does now? Even if it did, would we show as much kindness to strangers?
As I wrote earlier, this blog will share my feelings about passages in the New Testament. Firstly, I will explore the Gospels, then the other books. Perhaps I will even do the same for Old Testament once I am done, though I suspect that this could take years. Perhaps I will end this journey with Faith, perhaps I will become a Christian. Perhaps not. Either way, I will have a greater understanding of the man that has influenced the culture of the entire western world, Jesus Christ. Surely that cannot be a bad thing. I am knocking on the door, waiting for an answer.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7)