Friday, February 26, 2010

Remembering What it Felt Like

When I became and atheist and started to post publicly on Facebook and on this blog I was interested in a dialog. I still am, in fact. The problem with dialog between atheists and theists is that it is almost necessarily uneven. For reasons previously discussed at length, the approaches to the subject of a deity will result in wildly different outcomes. For example, a rational and purely empirical approach will reveal that there is absolutely no evidence for supposing a deity exists, while a faith-based and emotional approach might end up with any number of deities. This disparity is the cause for the frustration on both sides.

And yet both sides want desperately to be understood by the "opposition", especially by new converts. I was recently reminded (by a video, linked here and below) of this feeling and my frustration that no real dialog existed. At this point I understand the difference of mindset and don't care so much. So what was my issue before? What was my problem? I think it was - as expressed in the video - that no one cared. Not one of my Christian friends or family members really cared. Sure, they tried halfheartedly to "bring me back", but they never tried to understand why I left the faith in the first place. It hurt because I felt that I had just discovered the key to the universe (or, more accurately, I discovered that what I had thought was the key to the universe was really just a fairy tale) and no one was interested in hearing about it. It's certainly possible that they were able to read all about my reasons online. Whatever the case, it doesn't really matter because I know now that nothing anyone could have said would have led to anywhere constructive.

I am still open to a dialog, but I don't really care that much about it. I have seen the conversation play out a hundred times and it's pretty much impossible to resolve without major concessions made on one side or the other.

The idea for this post was inspired by YouTube user Lovingdoubt's new video.

1 comment:

miriamt said...

I understand this hurt. I think, in part that the dialogue feels lopsided because “they” believe in “something” while “we” do not believe in that “something”…. (Atheist v. Theist) That is why I like the names humanist and secularist… because they do not leave us empty handed while “their” hands are full…with garbage but full noe-the-less…