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Did Someone Give You a Cookie?

WARNING: This post is full of my snarky answers to questions a Christian asked an atheist. They aren’t good questions. My answers vary between humorous and very offensive. You have been warned.

I was reading “God Saved My Baby!“* earlier. Then I skimmed the comments (they were really long…) and came across some lovely** questions from a theist. Actually, nearly the entire comment is made up of questions, some of which are rather offensive and, frankly, ignorant. And then there are the ones that I’m quoting and answering below (no, the comment was not directed at me).

You asked a lot of questions, but are you willing to ask yourself why you react this way when someone says, “God saved my child?”

Why yes, I am. And so was the Wandering Atheist. That’s why he wrote a post about it! I react in a similar manner because it’s irritating when doctors and nurses do most of the work (along with hospital support staff, etc.) and receive no thanks. Instead people thank imaginary powers for listening to their prayers. As if god told the child’s soul, “Nono, it’s not your time,” and that solved everything. As if the work of the doctors did nothing. It pisses me off. Have some appreciation for the humans that you can actually see, whose existence you can verify scientifically.

Or to look at what happened that caused you not to believe in God? Bad experience with someone or a church?

Did you look at what caused you to believe in god? Good experience with a church? Did someone give you a freaking cookie and you thought, hey, cookies are delicious, I should keep going to church and believing in god? Sometimes bad experiences with people or churches are a catalyst, but they are rarely the reason people become atheists. This is particularly true when you’re talking about atheists that blog about being atheist.

Example:  person that believes, but has questions, has bad experience with church/unpleasant person -> Questioning believer questions even more because of the bad experience -> Questioning believer delves deeper than asking their religious leaders questions -> Questioning believer reads atheist blogs, agnostic blogs, philosophical writings, biological texts, etc. -> Questioning believer realizes that the concept of a Christian god is rather silly. End example. Notice all the intermediate steps between “bad experience” and “stops believing.”

Were you raised an atheist, if yes, why did you just accept what your parents told you, didn’t they teach you to question everything?

“Atheist” is not actually synonymous with “skeptic.” Yes, they tend to overlap, but that doesn’t mean someone raised as an atheist is always taught to question everything. Unfortunate, but true. That being said, many religious children aren’t given even the semblance of a chance to free their minds from religious influence whether it be arbitrary rules, ancient gender roles, belief that the world is much younger than it is, forceful disbelief of evolution, etc.. The sheer volume of the things religious children are indoctrinated with decimates their chances to be freethinking children. Atheism, on the other hand, is mildly superior because when children are raised as atheists it pretty much only means one thing – they’re taught that there are no gods. That’s it. Much easier to become a freethinker if you only have to get over being indoctrinated with one individual statement (that, in all honesty, probably wasn’t delivered with a terrible amount of conviction).

Don’t want to face the consequences if God is real? You believed when you were younger and somewhere along the lines someone challenged your faith and so it was easier to give up on God than to continue believing?

Consequences if God is real? Seriously? First, how subjective can you get? What exactly are the consequences? I think the answer to that would be different from every mouth that answered it. Second, so what if he/she/it/they is/are real? So freaking what? I’m a good person. I have a personal code of ethics and a set of morals. If there is a Christian after-life (because it’s pretty obvious that at this point I will not be struck down while I’m still alive on Earth), either Hell is going to be rather enjoyable, full of good company and full of a lot of good books, God will let me into Heaven because, while I didn’t believe, I was still a good person (kind of along the lines of good Buddhists and good Native Americans), or I’ll just have to raise an army in Hell and take over (this sounds wickedly awesome to me… I think Rebecca Watson will be one of my generals, and James Randi will be another).

Did you pray for something and God didn’t give you what you wanted so stopped believing He existed?

I find it rather disturbing that these comments all tend toward, “Are you an adult acting like a petulant child because god didn’t give you everything you wanted?” This is a stupid question. You may as well just ask if the writer (of the original post) is really immature. Just for the record, faith and maturity don’t go hand in hand. I prayed for stuff until I realized I was talking to myself. It’s not that I didn’t get what I wanted – I was praying for the safety of others and they’re all still doing just fine. It’s just that there was no difference between the control (not praying) and praying.

*Trigger Warning for Christians.

**That would be a sarcastic “lovely”

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