Humans Suck

One of the greatest ironies in all of human history is those preaching greater tolerance while in practice are spewing some of the most vitriolic, hate-filled intolerance that you can read. Perhaps you will not see it that way, but being blind to oneself is a theme that has run throughout of all of human history.

One might think I am about to jump on the bandwagon of Christians commenting with hateful slurs on atheist and nontheist videos, telling them they should die, and saying how happy they are knowing that the atheist will BURN IN HELL for all eternity when they die… But that bandwagon is full of people. Yes that happens, and yes I believe those people need to do some deep introspection before they post another comment to YouTube.

What I am going to talk about is the opposite, and why there will never be peace on Earth even if 49% of the entire population campaign for peace, 50% don’t care, and 1% campaign for war. The reason for that is even among the people that campaign for peace, there will be those who do it in the most aggravating, horrible ways, giving the 1% who want war an avenue for attack.

I have been watching a ton of videos, as always, on the sides both of Christianity and of atheism, and the comments sections are almost perfect mirrors of each other. For every comment of “I hope atheists burn in hell,” on an atheist video, there is an equal comment of “ur an retarded christin and u shuid no ther is no god”. You know what, I want to say I am ashamed to be on the same side of the fence as people who would insult someone’s intelligence flat out like that for no good reason, but then I would be on the same side of the fence as those that profess a loving and merciful God (unless you are gay/nonbeliever/born in a different part of the world/woman/etc). What does it all round out to, then?

It all rounds out to the fact that I am pretty much ashamed to be a human. We are hateful creatures, we remember and stick to pain for much longer than happiness, and we seek our own validation too often from taking happiness away from others.

I do not want to make atheists out of Christians, and I think it is obvious I don’t want to make Christians out of atheists. Hell, if a Christian could restore my belief in God, I don’t think there is anything in the world that could make me happier, but I don’t think that is possible any more. Please, don’t let that stop you, though — perhaps it is through trying that I could believe again. I don’t know. I am not sure.

What I do want to do is to make people realize that everyone on both sides of this argument is a human being with hopes and dreams, with things that make them happy and things that make them sad, with emotions as rich and vibrant as your own… And what people on both sides are doing is spewing a corrosive vitriol that does not chew at the soul of the other person, but at their own soul. For every bit of joy you take from making someone else unhappy, you are sacrificing your… I wanted to write “humanity” there, but that’s not right. You are sacrificing your godliness and reason, and becoming more human, more earthly. For those who read the Christian Bible, I think you should not miss the reference to the Worldly man, here, for those who become Worldly are not of the Father. As it says in 1John chapter 2, renounce worldly things, for the desires of the flesh, and the desires of the eyes, and pride are not of the Father.

For the atheists, it should be noted that by calling Christians names, and attacking their person rather than their argument, you are making yourselves look exactly like what the Christians knew you would be. You are making all nontheists look bad. You are making all atheists look bad. You are proving to Christians that without God, we are evil beings.

Elevate the conversation; Christians, love thy neighbor, atheists, prove that there is some good in humanity. I know there are good Christians and good Atheists, but the bad tend to shout so much louder. If you know someone who is spitting corrosive acid into their own better nature, talk to them about it, make them see (reason/God).

Until then, I will continue to try to renounce my humanity, but being as I am currently stuck as a human, I am having troubles with that idea.

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Words are Hard

You know what’s funny is how often people will use a word to describe themselves when almost no one can agree what that word means.

For the purposes of my own ongoing narrative, there are four words that people use, three of which no one agrees on. The first of the four, and the one that is easiest to define, is theist. A theist believes in a God or gods. A theist Christian believes in the Biblical God, for example.

Now we enter muddy waters, and what I am about to tell you is not a strong definition but my own personal use of the words. Let’s start with agnostic. This is a weird one, actually, as gnostic generally means seeker of knowledge, or just knowledge… So to be agnostic would, from an etymological reading, be a person who denies seeking knowledge. Like Astrology, however, the meaning of the word’s roots has been dropped over time, and now an agnostic is a person who does claim knowledge of theistic truths. That bears some additional definition, I fear.

It is sometimes said that a person is a “teapot agnostic”, which evokes the narrative of Bertrand Russell’s space teapot. Russell, a late nineteenth-early twentieth century atheist, once posited that there was a teapot floating around in space, and it was his right to believe in it because you could not prove that it did not exist. To prove that it did not exist would be to make a constantly evolving, exhaustive map of the entire solar system at all point simultaneously (the teapot moves, obviously). A teapot agnostic, therefore, is said to believe that the likelihood of God existing is comparable to that of the teapot; very unlikely, but possible.

Atheist, then, is a word I use to describe those that believe, actively, that there is no God. These are the people who tell religious people they are wrong, and that they should update their thought processes and stop being so… So wrong! I am not this thing, or at least, I would not describe myself this way. I certainly am not one who holds to the belief that there is no God.

Nontheist is a somewhat newer word, though I do not know the detailed etymological history of it. I know for a fact that it has been in frequent use since the 90s, and was used by Richard Dawkins in his 2002 TED talk on atheism.. But to me, it signifies something slightly different than atheist. To me, a nontheist is not someone who believes there is no God, or believes in a God, they are just someone who does not believe in a God. That… That is admittedly a very difficult statement to explain, and very difficult to understand, and it took me many years to iron down even the way I felt, let alone a word to use to describe it.

How to describe it without sounding atheist or agnostic? I don’t even truly know. I certainly do not have an active belief that there is no God. I am certainly partially agnostic, but not in the traditional “Could be or not could be,” sense. I just… Don’t believe there is a God (or, perhaps, a Personal God who cares what I think or do on a daily, moment-by-moment basis). I am sorry, even to me this is a deeply unsatisfying definition. In my head it evokes a wide-reaching set of ideas and feelings that I seem not to be able to put into words.

Anyway, words are hard. That’s really the point here.