I suppose my shift from Agnosticism to Atheism occurred rather quickly when compared to other people’s experiences. I’ve never been a religious person, even when I was kid. My family would go to church very infrequently and religion never proved to be a major topic of discussion in my house. In truth, it was barely mentioned at all. I consider myself to be quite lucky in this regard, seeing that millions of children worldwide are mindlessly indoctrinated into a faith by their parents, teachers, and local religious figures. It is because of this nonsensical brainwashing that people have begun to stop thinking for themselves in all sorts of matters. As unbelievable as it may sound, my sudden conversion can be mainly attributed to one book. Christopher Hitchens’s “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” left an indelible impression on me that will forever drive my intellectual pursuits. Of course, there were many other reasons for my adoption of Atheism. An example would be the sheer amount of intolerance I faced in high school from my predominately Christian peers. Instead of dwelling on the past however, I would like to focus on my two biggest grievances with organized religion.
By far the foremost thing that has bothered me the most with Religion is this belief in an omnipotent being. “What is wrong with a supreme being?” you may ask. Well, the main issue lies within the name itself, “supreme.” If this being is “all-powerful” as most religions suggest, then we human beings are essentially slaves. In other words, we are living under an unchallengeable dictatorship, much like North Korea. On top of this horrifying belief, we are watched during all hours of the day, can be committed of thought crime, and will be judged after we die. Therefore, there is no true rest in death nor is there any freedom to think for one’s self or live life as one sees fit. I can only speak for myself, but, I see nothing comforting about believing such nonsense. Rather, I find this belief to be a direct threat to both physical and intellectual freedom. To the believers out there, I pose a simple but direct question. What is so magnificent about living under an unalterable dictatorship?
Another grievance of mine is this perpetual urge of the religious to convert and coerce those of different beliefs. It is not uncommon for me to be approached and told by believers that “I need to be saved” and should “come here God’s word.” As long as the faithful keep their beliefs within their institutions and amongst themselves, I have no issue. On the other hand, if these beliefs are brought into the classroom or elsewhere making it unfair in any way, shape, or form for those with different views, I must object. Simply put, people are absolutely entitled to their religious beliefs as long as they leave me out of it and treat those of different views with the utmost respect.