So Why Are YOU An Atheist?

Dubious... At best

Dubious... At best

Why is it that whenever anyone asks me about my religion it seems that I always must explain myself?

“Oh, you’re an atheist? Why is that?” They ask.
“It’s just the conclusion I have come to regarding the nature of our universe” Is usually the first thing I say.
“How… Why… When…” You get the picture.

I seldom see this sentiment directed towards other religions but usually my lack of religion.

Why is this? Why is it that the secular need to explain themselves? What if I asked people why they are Catholic? That would widely be considered rude. So why this double standard?

Again, religion has granted itself a “no fly zone” around it. It has somehow been deemed that it is impolite to inquire about a person’s belief system but somehow a lack of belief system is fully within the public sphere to question.

I believe it is because some religious belief is embarrassing. Sure it is. It’s like telling someone you believe in Santa or that you still believe in monsters under your bed. When someone says “I believe the Bible to be the Word of God” then they are telling me, among MANY other things that they believe and 500-odd year old man built a boat and put 2 (or 7!) of EVERY animal aboard that boat and then took care of them… nonsense! I would be quite ashamed myself if I believed in the literal truth of that statement.

So to say that it’s rude or improper or impolite to point out the sheer implausibility in most Bible stories is a wonderful dodge. The fact that it has reached such a deep seeded level of social understanding baffles me. How/when did this all happen and were the Atheists all out to lunch when it did?

I do not take any such offense when someone asks me about my Atheism. Maybe because religion’s “no fly zone” does not seem to apply to Atheism to the degree that it does to Theism. Maybe if it did then I would automatically take any inquiry on my faith… rather… lack of faith… as a personal attack.

I am not in the least embarrassed by my Atheism. Maybe if I was running for public office I might be but currently I am not embarrassed by it at all. Given sufficient time I can explain how I came to this conclusion many times before. Sure, I will admit, I have had my “lack of faith” shaken a few times in the past but each time I have still drawn the null hypothesis on the “God?” question.

I have no reason to take it as a personal attack. I actually believe that most people in fact ARE Atheists and they happen to be curious about someone that actually “comes out” to say that they are an Atheist.

My Dog Tags state “Atheist” and I am proud of it. Well… 2 sets do, another says “Jedi”.

SPC Paul K. Brickey 68W Combat Medic
Charlie Mike, Out

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6 Responses to “So Why Are YOU An Atheist?”

  1. Brooks Dingus Says:

    Paul,

    Good job on the blogging. We met right before your mobilization at the Barnes & Noble meeting. If you need or want anything let me know, sorry I can’t send a naked Gillian Anderson.

    Keep Up the Good Work
    SSG Brooks W. Dingus

  2. Howdy,
    Just found you from your JREF sig line.

    To answer the question posed by your latest blog, I came to be an athiest in much the way you expressed: “It’s just the conclusion I have come to regarding the nature of our universe”.

    I, much as you have described yourself, try to tolerate others’ beliefs and show respect for their practices, but it has always astonished me how they seem to feel free to challenge or even ridicule MY interpretation. Folks are funny that way;).

    Thank you for your service to our country, it means a lot to me and more others than you may realize!

    Cheers,

    Dave

  3. I think your perception of this is not accurate. I, for one, am asked often why I am a Christian. I don’t find it rude or offensive in the least. Anyone who believes in something ought to be able to explain themselves. If we want diversity to work, we need to understand one another, and for this, the “why” questions are extremely important.

    By the way, I am very scientifically minded – I have a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in engineering. But I am not the least bit ashamed of my beliefs, nor do I think they conflict with science. (At this point I am guessing that you are either asking the “why” question, or you are calling me an idiot in very unflattering terms).

    Thanks for your service to our country –

    • 556caliberatheist Says:

      I appreciate the comments!

      I personally have never seen a Christian being asked why he/she is a Christian in the Army. But then again I don’t go around asking folks why they believe in 500 year old men putting two of every animal on Earth on a huge boat; ad naseum; simply because it would be construed as an attack on a world view and no one really likes that. After reading Kennith Miller’s book “Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul” I gained quite a bit of insight on how someone could reconcile a belief in God as well as an understanding of science.

      I wouldn’t call someone an idiot for believing in a personal God. I’m pretty dim myself.

      You do not typically see Atheists or Non-Theists evangelizing or proselytizing a naturalistic world view. See my post on “IEDs” (which, I am told, are still there). We have frequent Jewish services even though that there are fewer Jewish Soldiers than there are Atheist Soldiers. They even get paid a little extra for Kosher food. The few instances of “Evangelic” Atheism have raised the collective cackles of the Theists around the world even to the point of calling “New Dawkinsesque Atheism” a religion.

      Atheism is as much a Religion as “bald” is a hair color.

  4. RhodyDave Says:

    Dude, another JREF’er checking in – don’t let the bastards get you down! I respect you greatly for your service and for the atheist stance you are taking despite the challenges, hatred, and discrimination you face due to your belief. Keep safe!

  5. […] And, yes – there are atheists in foxholes… Posted in freedoms, religion. Tags: atheism, freedom from religion, Pat Condell. Leave a Comment » LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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