Friday, November 11, 2011

Miraculous Transformations

A Miraculous Transformation from Atheist to Christian

It is always interesting to read about a miraculous transformation from an atheist (a word that should not exist) to a christian, or any other religious denomination.

I read a letter to an editor of Daily Lobo by Michael Sandoval. Below is an excerpt.
I know I’ll get flak for this but I’m strong in my beliefs, and I honestly don’t care what you have to say. Becoming a Christian was the best thing that has ever happened to me, next to falling in love with my fiancĂ©e. I found a new life and all of a sudden everything seemed like it made sense. Keep in mind that I was an atheist before this happened 2 or 3 months ago. I felt that up until then I knew everything there was to know and since I felt strong in my knowledge, there was no need for religion. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Michael was an atheist who felt he knew everything there was to know. He then became a christian and all of a sudden everything made sense.

It is great that Michael has a new found confidence, but it is actually depressing that he arrogantly thought he knew everything when he was an atheist. Sure, I can understand having confidence in your world view and providing good reason and justification for your world view, but nobody knows everything and thinking that you do is dishonest and absurd. Nobody can know everything.

I think that accepting the fact that you don't know and can't know everything is similar to delegating the explanation to a god or a story in a book. It amounts to a mental offload, acceptance and maybe a relief that there are things and problems you don't need to know about or solve. The difference being that putting a god into the equation only complicates the situation and you are in exactly the same position as before. You still don't know everything but you've delegated to an imaginary god that still doesn't explain anything.

On a slightly similar note, I conducted a mental exercise, sat in a room and offloading my problems and issues to an imaginary entity, say, a flying spaghetti monster. I externalized my thoughts and put the burden on something else. Sure, it is kind of interesting, the flying spaghetti monster wasn't aware I did it, but I've mentally conned myself into not facing up to my problems and issues. I've effectively done nothing to address the issues. Back to reality, I admit to myself that I can't deal with or explain a situation and go and get some assistance. No need to invoke a imaginary entity.

I'm still surprised that people invoke a god and then everything suddenly makes sense to them. Basically conducting a mental con job on themselves and not actually providing any answers or explanations for anything. Basically it boils down to honesty. Either deal with and accept the fact that you don't know everything or dishonestly invoke an imaginary god that explains everything without explaining anything. Any position, other than that of honesty, is absurd.

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