Deconverted: A Story About My Journey to Atheism

Source: Deconverted: A Story About My Journey to Atheism

Sharing a stranger’s personal story of conversion to atheism, with this question in mind:

How do those who convert to atheism, from [any] religion in which they were raised, feel about the idea (of some religious proponents) that there should be NO separation of church and state?

The American public, for example, isn’t accustomed to the new politicized evangelism which seems to be gaining such ground (is, due to generous gifts from religiously biased donors) but is in fact a facade to cover up for the growing percentage of Nones who are younger and yet younger; who will eventually demand the secular government they’ve grown to expect.

Still, the new evangelists are centered around a religion-government merger idea that threatens to challenge the very Constitution of the United States, having already caused quite a stir.

Lockdowns on Reasoning Inhibit Progress of Freedom

There is nothing wrong with an open and reasoning mind.

How else do we find solutions for problems?

This ability to reason comes naturally for some, can be learned by others, and improved upon by all. The theory and practice of secularism is an important freedom and tool in the fruition of reasoned outcomes, as well as in the structure of one’s governance, in order to ensure success of reasoning and progress.

The God/No God argument is for those who either enjoy argument or those who have been so marginalized that argument is their way out of- or into- some place in society. What of individualism?

Argument has become the new pastime for many (understandably) as the world changes by leaps and bounds in awareness of “the other”. For example, a “New Atheist” generally opts to challenge Bible proponents and reasoners of faith in argument, with skeptical “challenge” being a tenet of the belief system in action.  Open and aggressive challenges to religion and those who practice any have become the new norm. A general attitude of a New Atheist is that religion should be skeptically challenged unto to its demise if possible. This is fine, if it need be in some stance. Just know that, in such a stance, one positions theirself as an evangelical soldier of sorts for their preferred system.

Oh, the Irony

It’s ironic, too, considering that leaders in New Atheism sometimes declare openness to a pursuit of the “ways” or ideals of some religion or spiritual belief system(s). Such a pursuit of “state of mind”, formerly only credited to a religion, can be seen as a form of fence-building in itself . . . looking for a place upon which to sit and evaluate others while not themselves being beholden to . . . well, anything. In the belief that they are creating a “new way” for all, some New Atheists are indeed a new danger to society as most would have it. Just check other

It’s clear that, with New Atheists, any feelers of open reasoning by faith-siders (spiritual or behavioral seekers) can be stomped as harshly by atheists as are skeptical feelers stomped by religious evangelists. “Sitting on a fence” as it’s been called-  is an accusation by New Atheists that minimizes others of their communities.

There’s real progress in understanding that secularism allows for the most reasoning of any system (except science itself) and it’s merely a political system that allows freedom for all to be smart, reasoning community members with a capacity for humane surpassing of old, detrimental ways.

Remembering & Evolving Darwin

THE SCIENCE OF DARWIN

Had we evolved to live today as long as is reported of the Biblical characters, then Charles Darwin might have celebrated his 207th birthday on February 12 this year. Wondrous, to consider the impact on science had this been so. Darwin’s work on his Theory of Evolution surely sought to solve some questions around human lifespan expectancy.

Humans have lived longer lives in general as time has passed, yet have gained practically nothing in comparison to the centuries of life documented in canonical references. Since the days of many Gods on Earth and their likely mythical children, it seems that human lifespans have . . . been limited. Perhaps this is part of the evolution.

REMEMBERING DARWIN’S BIRTHDAY

Darwin’s approaching birthday brings to mind thoughts of what his experience entailed. Was Charles a lonely man? Beleaguered, surely- having lost a child at an early age in addition to his challenging pursuits . . .pursuits not least of which included a more-than-fair share of social resistance.

Darwin joven

There’s an infamous story of Darwin that brings to mind the idea of “religious testing“.

During the final years of Darwin’s life, a close peer wrote Charles a letter. Contained in the letter was the childlike query of Darwin’s personal belief. As is the custom of many who hold supernatural faith dear, the query held a conditional, almost evangelical tone. Surprisingly, Darwin vacated his coping secular self in favor of a fuller disclosure of his personal stance at that time and due to that prompt. Darwin declared atheism in a return letter.

Charles Darwin was and remains a figurehead of an institution that struggles to live and progress against an equally-evolving tide of evangelical religious adherents. Where some strive to quash scientific research and live by old understandings and methods, others strive to reconcile religions and science- and yet others strive to discount ‘the other’ as a point of win/lose economy . . . to the death if necessary, as some times have shown. Perhaps due to social conscience or to a need to concentrate on his work, Darwin chose a secular path of least resistance . . . until the very end.

RELIGIOUS TESTING

Today, it’s not uncommon to hear phrases like “Pray Until Something Happens”. Seen in jewelry and on logo merchandise, it’s a popular and widely-used motivational acronym that [sometimes] stands for encouragement to pray until something does indeed “happen”. This is just one example of the modern push by Christians [for instance] to bury deeper into a religious system rather than be equipped to relate on a secular level, which encourages teamwork and success among all people.

Recognition of this term is largely associated with the Alcoholics Anonymous experience. As a religion-based program, it’s common practice for subjects who have been exposed to the phrase to extend that dogma outside their circle in various settings. As such, commonly enough there’s a mindset to “push” for certain behaviors that mirror the prayerful stance, and too often this brings strife through conflicting ideas in the secular realm.

PUSH . . . BACK

Such active (camouflaging as passive) persecution [religious testing] of peers has gone on practically unfettered despite major movements over time to avoid it. Many humans allow theirselves in moments of weakness to succumb to the very dogmas they’ve been warned of throughout an educated youth. Rather than neighbors living fully without limitations, humans today see and experience a world of religious challenges and evangelism of the kind seen hundreds and thousands of years ago.

HOW TO KEEP SCIENCE IN THE WORLD AROUND YOU

Be more secular! Let the secular realm have its space as that land upon which all may walk in peace and let it extend through the churches. Let our souls and consciences be the individual benefits they should be to us as living, breathing humans.  Secularism allows us to know one another and to come together peacefully while adhering to our true selves in this great pursuit of life.

The pursuit of reason and science is highly criticized by some religion advocates. To help avert this growing trend, declare- as our international part of this world- that a scientist is to be valued and that perhaps the discipline of science should be much more heralded than it is. Let’s encourage our policy-makers that International Darwin Day be a nationally proclaimed event of the United States, to celebrate with days of observance across the globe.

Urge your State Representatives to co-sponsor the Darwin Day Resolution now. Share! Maybe, by February 12, we will have Senators from each state co-sponsor the bill.

LINK REFERENCE:

Charles Darwin’s letter confessing he is an atheist sells for £127,000. Western Daily Press. (09-2015) http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Charles-Darwin-s-letter-confessing-atheist-sells/story-27845322-detail/story.html (01-2016)

 

 

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