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Category Archives: Life As An Atheist

How My Atheism Led to My Vegetarianism

I’ve only been a vegetarian for a few months. I feel almost dishonest to be using the word “vegetarian”, as even within those months I have not had a perfect track record. Perhaps “aspiring vegetarian” would be a better way to put it. Anyway, why would a dedicated steak devourer, bacon gorger and fried chicken consumer such as myself even consider giving up one of the purest pleasures of life?

Same reason I became a Christian: Intellectual integrity.

I feel like the arguments for vegetarianism are more compelling than those for meat eating:

Arguments for Vegetarianism 

  • Meat produces a lot of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change
  • It’s an inefficient use of resources: the animals consume lots of grain and water before they end up on my plate.
  • In a world where there are humans starving, it seems questionable to give food and water to animals simply for the purpose of turning them into a steak.
  • Deforestation: Forest land is cleared both for raising the animals and for growing their food.
  • Vegetables are good for you!
  • Vegetables are cheap.
  • Animals are sentient beings, they feel pain, have interests, etc.
  • If you do it right, you can be just as healthy, (if not healthier) as a vegetarian.

Arguments for Meat Eating

  • It’s yummy
  • We’ve evolved to be omnivores
  • It’s tradition
  • Health: source of protein, iron

As a person committed to critical thinking, rationality, ethics and integrity, if I cannot justify doing a thing, I don’t do it. And I can’t see any way to justify eating meat. I can get my protein and iron elsewhere, so why should an animal have to die for it and the environment be depleted for it?

I feel like if I am to have any creditability in criticising the hypocrisies and inconsistencies in the actions and beliefs of others (Christians in particular), then I have to be striving to remove them from my own life. Christian or atheist: practice what you preach.

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Agnostic Atheism

When talking to people about atheism I often find them confused about what atheism actually is. All the people I know that call themselves atheists do not claim to know for certain that there is no God, but some seem to argue that due to this uncertainty these people are not atheists but rather agnostics. This diagram should help to clear up the confusion:

agnostic-diagram2

I originally found this diagram here: http://www.noforbiddenquestions.com/2010/10/defining-agnosticism/

Let me know what you guys think and where you might fall on the diagram!

Freedom From Sin

At church this week (I go to keep the parents happy) I felt extremely uncomfortable with the message. It was another perfect example of how churches emotionally manipulate people.

The speaker began by asking the congregation some questions:

“Who has back pain?”
“Who has a bad memory?”
“Who is tired?”
“Who feels stressed?”
“Who has relationship problems?”

By the end of it, everyone had recognised the imperfections in their lives. He brought our problems to the forefront of our minds and reminded us that life isn’t “how it was meant to be” because of these woes.

Then, he explained why life is imperfect: it’s our fault. It’s because we sin. We turned our backs on God and decided to live our own way and that is why there is suffering and wrongs in the world. It’s not God’s fault, it’s something we freely chose.

By this point, everyone was feeling very guilty and hopeless. We were primed for the Good News. Then comes Jesus Christ. He’s born, he dies for our sins, he rises again, we are forgiven and restored. Cured of the disease of our sins.

This is a pretty standard format for a sermon, and I really do despise it. It makes you feel unnecessarily shit about yourself and your life, because if you feel shit then you will be more responsive to the message of Jesus. They pile on the guilt and the hopelessness until you turn to him in desperation.

sin-is-an-imaginary-disease-600x557

Being freed from the guilt and shame that I felt as a Christian has been one of the most life changing aspects of becoming a nonbeliever. Before, I would think about sexual things or accidentally say a swear word and I would be so upset because I had let down the Maker of the Universe. He died for me, and I couldn’t even stop sinning for him. The emotions I felt daily because of my faith were completely exhausting. Now, I no longer have to feel guilty simply for being human. Instead of focusing on the imperfections of my life, I try to be happy about all of the things that are good. I am a truly lucky person to have the life that I do. I am not a dirty, sinful, inherently bad and selfish failure. Rather, to quote Ehrmann:

“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees or the stars; you have a right to be here.”

I still make mistakes, commit “sins.” But I am free from the impossible expectations of a sadistic god. Sure, my life isn’t perfect, but in many ways I feel like that is what makes it so beautiful. Don’t let Christianity take that away from you.

God does not understand love.

God does not understand love.

Excuses and a Christian Summer

Greetings blogging world!!

I have officially finished my first year of Uni! This means I will finally have time to do some blogging!!  Hurrah!!

My other excuse for not keeping up with my blog is that I’m now living in the big city, far away from home, with my wonderful liberal atheist friends: Religion has never been so far from my mind. It has been fabulous! But it doesn’t give me much to write about.

I am about to return home to my parents’ house for the summer holidays, so Christianity will yet again be an everyday part of my life. I’m feeling quite worried about this. Everyone changes when they move out of home, and I suspect my parents won’t be thrilled with the ways I’ve changed.

It’s going to be tricky for me to go from the drunken, debaucherous life of a philosophy undergrad back to the life of being the disappointing child. I am pleased that I have you clever internet people to talk to! Should be an interesting summer……

This basically sums up my feelings about my home town.

This basically sums up my feelings about my home town.

I’m An Atheist: Of Course I Have No Morals

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An Unfortunate Regret

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Salvation By Grace Vs. Morality

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