Wednesday, October 14, 2009

After the rapture

In many ways, my atheism is simply a lack of faith, an inability to believe the impossible. I arrived at my current godless state through purely rational means. At the same time, I have taken on a bit of an anti-theist attitude. That is, I have determined that the traditional Christian god is not only fiction, but he is also evil.

This may damage my Christian credibility, but I have to admit that I never really understood the doctrine of the rapture. As a Christian, the focus was on making it into that first wave. I never thought much beyond that. But that isn't even the end. There is an anti-Christ who is supposedly some demagogue. And this occurs after the rapture. Right? So somehow the rapture happens and then there are still people who don't believe in god.

That's absurd. If half of the people on the planet suddenly disappeared, I think plenty of atheists know enough about the rapture to identify what happened. So then I try to imagine myself in that position. Suddenly the god of the Bible is proven to be real. What then? What do I do? Can god be fooled? Would he buy my false confession? Because I would have a very difficult time learning to love - or even forgive - this god. Obviously I wouldn't want to burn in hell, so I would probably try to get on his good side. But it would be nothing but self-preservation. I would be forced to believe that god existed, but if I had any honesty, I would refuse to love him.

This attitude bothers me a little bit, because I feel like it weakens the honesty of my position. It should be all about rationality and have no emotional element at all. So every time I discuss the intrinsic evil of the god of the Bible I feel compelled to explain that he is fiction first, villain second.


miriamt said...

Have you ever gotten your hands so dirty it takes days to get them really clean again. The dirt gets into everything even under the is this effect you may be feeling when thinking of the "rapture". It is just a residual dirt from past religions that are taking a long time to get rid of. If heaven is spending the rest of "time" with this cruel "god" then count me out.

nathaniel wallace said...

You know, it's funny but I feel the very same way, although my metaphor was of sleeping on wires. When you wake up, you have a sharp impression of something that used to be there, and the absence can even hurt for a little bit. But after a bit of time the absence is scarcely noticed.
In fact, that is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately - if I weren't involved with the social/political aspects of atheism, I would likely ignore everything about religion. As it is, however, religion is far too prevalent and dangerous to simply ignore.

As far as the rapture goes, I don't actually worry about it. The concept itself is a little confusing to me, but there isn't anything about it that is the least bit believable anymore. It's very nice to be free from that kind of looming dread.

miriamt said...

Ironically, the only lasting feeling I have from my trek though christianity is a faint embarrassment that I ever bought into is such a dim memory now and the freedom to think and choose for myself is intoxicating, I could never give it up! My only concern is how to converse with those who are still trapped...with both compassion and lack of attachment.