Wander as I do through the atheist outback of the internet, I’m constantly running across profoundly clear explanations for why people who don’t believe don’t believe.
I found one of these on an earnest blog with a cheeky title, Apetivist.
The proprietor of the blog, as are many in the large and growing demographic of American nonbelievers, is a self-exiled former believer — a “former Southern Baptist minister turned atheist and free thinker due to research in Theology and Apologetics.”
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “theology” as the broad study of religious faith and God, and “apologetics” as the “branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity.”
I’m frequently struck by the emotional similarities that apostates experience in their deconversion process, as they leave the faith of childhood for more rational realms. Often, there is a fierce sense of betrayal, that parents and important adults in their lives had sold them a bill of goods regarding religion, which became glaringly evident when they started thinking independently.
What impressed me about Apetivist (the blogger prefers to write anonymously, so I don’t know his, or her, name) is its clarity of thought about complex issues of faith. Here below is Apetivist‘s argument against the Christian concept of “free will” posted March 31 and which now adorns the blog’s landing page:
The Free Will Argument Is Riddled With Insurmountable Problems
“If the Christian god was truly good he wouldn’t risk our salvation upon faith amidst a world rife with conflicting religious claims and sects. He would provide an irrefutable and personal revelation via a direct message to each of us and the message would never conflict. A truly lovng god would not leave it up to an accident of birth, geography, or what family you’re born into to determine whether you will ever believe in the right things.
“Saying that the Christian god revealing himself would be infringing on our free will is ridiculous. Not only did he reveal himself to various people during the OT [Old Testament] he even did so in the NT [New Testament]. If the Christian god is supposed to not favor one over another then it would be unreasonable and unfair for the Christian god to expect anyone to take another person’s word for it much less an account told by someone that lived millennia ago and in whom we have no verifiable details about their life much less their motives or honesty in telling these stories.
“The Free Will Defense also exonerates the Christian god from answering for the very many problems he started. If the Christian god is omniscient, omnipotent, omnisapient [perceptive], and omnibenevolent then he could very well have placed us in a universe where there would be no sin, evil, or suffering. In fact, an omnibenevolent god wouldn’t be able to live with himself unless he did exactly that. If I had a way to prevent or solve suffering I would do it. That means that, I, a mere mortal, has more compassion than the Christian god. If I had both the ability and desire to prevent evil and suffering and I didn’t do so then I am not a loving or compassionate person.”
Couldn’t have written it as well myself.
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