Let’s start with a Bible quote and my coined definition:
…Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
— 1 Peter 3:15
A Theological Christian: a self-professing Christian who has feels they understand the Bible and theological issues such that they talk about their faith using apologetic strategies to fulfill the advice of the writer of 1 Peter.
Just as Christians feel they should be able to defend their faith, maybe Atheists should heed that advise and be able to defend their faith-free choices — and to do so succinctly, honestly, simply and modestly.
Most theological Christians, and other theists, feel atheists are too close-minded. They feel we should constantly be searching and at least be humble enough to say, “Well, it could be . . .”
I was talking to a Christian yesterday who felt non-believers (us faith-free folks) need to keep examining [their myths and theologies]. But I disagree. I am a pragmatic atheist — I realize I am close-minded because I have tested two things far enough that because of them I will act and believe as if I am certain that a faith-free life is a good choice for me. The two things which stop me from spending days and years of continually studying the writings of all the various theist religions are:
(1) Interventionalism: I see absolutely no evidence of intervening spirits or gods. I understand the desire that magic prayer and thought projection really work, but they don’t. This is a larger version of the Theodicy issue.
(2) Beliefism: I find it totally bizarre that even if #1 a god [Krishna, Amida, Yahweh, Jesus, Zeus …] existed, that such a deity would determine my afterlife depending on my correct belief or ritual actions toward that him, her or it.
So those two points are my simple defense of my faith-free life — such that any further discussions are almost immaterial. I really need to let theological Christians know right up front how strongly I hold those two beliefs before we get distracted into talking about all the meaningless details. For unless those two issues are clearly addressed for me, we could be talking past each other for hours on end.
Questions to readers:
- Tell us the 2 or 3 things that you hold strongly that you would use to defend your faith-free life and which allow you to stop desperately “searching” but instead to joyfully explore your worlds? (see my post on searching vs exploring).
- If you are a non-Atheist (an A-Atheist) who feels we Atheists need to keep searching, let us know why.
PS: I don’t care to debate my phrase “theological Christian”, because I only created it so as not to speak too generally about all Christians — because most of my Christian friends are Cultural Christians and not Theological Christians. I know that there are many shades between all these terms to almost render them useless — but hopefully you see the real purpose of this post and the term will be helpful to that end.