A friend of mine said that this topic would be an interesting read. He specifically asked about a relationship between an atheist and a Christian, but I feel as though an atheist with anyone who believes in any religion would still make this topic interesting…
He knows I am an atheist, as is he, so this is always a topic people of non belief enjoy talking about. That’s where people don’t understand us. I have been told that I’m scared to talk about it because I’d find myself a believer afterwards… Or that I have no ground to stand on in a debate on religion, or lack thereof. Or that I’m embarrassed.
On the contrary, I am not scared of becoming a believer. I was once a believer (a long time ago) and have evolved my thinking beyond that where I don’t need that crutch. I don’t like getting into debates with people of extreme faith, because they take everything I say as an attack on the deity in which they believe in. That is not my goal whatsoever when talking about religion. When a person is willing to hear what I have to say and vise versa, I genuinely enjoy these conversations. I like to know what has occurred in someone’s life to bring them to their way of thinking. I enjoy the back and fourth of asking questions about one another to learn about each other, not leave the situation hating one another (although the hate/dislike is usually one-sided, as I don’t let this subject matter determine how I see a person). I like getting to know people. I’ve definitely endured individuals deciding they no longer want to be a part of my life, or me in theirs, due to the fact that I don’t believe what they do.
Also, when I’m told I have no ground to stand on or “proof,” I can’t help but subconsciously judge. I don’t want to be a judgmental person, but on this topic, proof is the one thing believers lack. So when I’m told I don’t have any, the hypocrisy baffles me, especially when they accuse this, unknowing of what I will have to say.
When I’m told I am embarrassed about being an atheist, it really makes me laugh inside. Are believers embarrassed by admitting they praise a deity that causes so much pain and demands worship and is the level of petty that has a club that only those people who follow the rules will get to join when they die? No. People of faith are proud. I am an atheist by choice. Through question, separation of fantasy from reality, and science, and I am also proud. I am not out there finding people of faith and trying to turn them away from something they’ve spent their whole lives believing, but if these people are not willing to question things that are extremely farfetched and undoubtedly know them to be impossible, that’s why I don’t start conversations about religion.
Society has brought us up to believe in something that we only believe from books regular dudes wrote during a time when death was very frequent. People get sick. It sucks, but it happens. When they get better, it’s a miracle. No one of faith questions their deity when that said person fell sick in the first place. The word “miracle” is a common one from believers. To me, that word just means “a random coincidence that happened to have your desired outcome.” Not all sick people get better… Why did an all powerful deity have these people fall sick and then only cure some of them? We can’t know the will of the deity, of course, of course… But can’t you logically come to the conclusion that they must be cruel? There is no reason for death. It happens because we are mortal. How it happens is due to circumstances we put ourselves in and biology. We can’t help our genetic makeup, but we choose to get into a car drunk and drive 100 mph. No one likes to lose a loved one, so clinging to the thought that they are in the clouds watching over us makes us (who are still living with the pain and grief) a bit more at peace.
Don’t get me wrong, I want everyone to just be happy and at peace with whatever they should choose to believe. I love many people who are believers, and those people love me knowing I am not. One of my most favorite people once said after the mention of me being an atheist, “That makes me sad. Not for you, but for your soul.” Her faith is strong, and that’s great. So within her religion, she believes me doomed to Hell for all eternity after my death because I’m a nonbeliever. I am a good person. I treat people well. I love hard. I have morals. I have a conscious. And I don’t go out of my way to make people feel less of themselves. But regardless of the way I live my life, these religions say since I don’t believe (due to lack of evidence, and completely outlandish practices), I will suffer in Hell after I die. If I should die, I guarantee no one is going to be talking about me burning in Hell. They will be using their faith to somehow make themselves think I made it to Heaven. Completely contradicting their beliefs of what would happen to me while I was still alive.
Being an atheist, however, means I also do not believe in Hell. I am 100% positive that when you die, your heart stops beating, your blood stops circulating, and your brain stops functioning. If anyone disagrees with that, I truly underestimated the inadequate education of our population. Beyond the physical death we all inevitably face, I don’t think there is anything after that.
It’s scary to think that this is the only time we’ll be on this Earth. That when that time comes, we won’t be able to see or hear our loved ones ever again, or they us. We don’t want it to be over. We want there to be a paradise waiting for us with all our loved ones who have passed before us ready to greet us with a big hug.
Death is scary, and unexpected things happen everyday that stops everything in it’s tracks. That’s all I will say on that subject before moving on to the relationship between people of opposing beliefs.
If anyone is a believer and wants to pray for me, I appreciate it.
So, I didn’t get too in depth with atheism, as I’m not trying to write a book or convince people of anything. People may choose to believe in whatever they wish, and I respect them all the same.
As far as being in a relationship with someone of faith when you, yourself, are not, it can either work or not. Just like any other relationship.
If you don’t have love for the other person, the subject of belief isn’t really a factor anyway.
If you love a person for everything they are, but you disagree with what they believe in, you will have to determine how big a deal that is to you.
For me, religion is not a deal breaker as long as my partner isn’t trying to quote bible versus or always talk about it otherwise. I do not go on and on about why a person shouldn’t believe in a deity, so I deserve the same respect that you don’t annoy me with constantly talking about things I believe to be untrue.
There has to be a mutual agreement that it won’t be a tipping point in the relationship. Obviously a believer who goes to church every Sunday and wants to baptize their kids (who can’t possibly have any idea what religion is, let alone be a believer) after birth and quote the bible in every other phrase isn’t going to be a great match for someone who is an atheist. Or vise versa. I think it’s important to find a partner with similar beliefs as yourself, but I don’t necessarily think they need to match completely.
There isn’t much more I can say about it other than if the person you are with thinks opposite of you on the idea of religion, you’ll have to decide if that’s something you can live with forever. If not, move on. It’s damn near impossible for someone to change what they believe when they’ve spent their whole lives being so attached to it from the time they were a young child.
I’m going to quote something Ricky Gervais said that I hadn’t ever heard before, and it makes a lot of sense… “Science is constantly proved all the time. You see, if we take something like any fiction, any holy book… and destroyed it, in a thousand years’ time, that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book, and every fact, and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back, because all the same tests would [produce] the same result.”
Think about that for a minute. It is true. Now, I am not usually one to start up discussions on controversial topics such as this because I know that they generally end up with people arguing. I am not trying to belittle anyone else’s beliefs. I am just simply stating my own. If a discussion should ensue, I would love to talk to anyone willing. I want everyone to get along and respect each other, because the fact is, religion is going to be around whether atheists like myself want it to be or not. And atheists like myself are also going to be around whether people of faith like it or not.