How many times have we all heard the following accusations: “Atheists are just rebelling against God.” or “You just want to sin, so you deny God” or “You hate God, that’s why you reject him.” I have heard them quite a lot, especially recently and I think it’s time to address this fundamentally flawed argument.
No I am not rejecting God. I have a genuine nonbelief, that Christianity/Islam (and other World religions) represents an accurate account of the reality we live in. If we all, as nonbelievers and as believers were to take an honest look at the claims, that the supposed “word of God” makes then I don’t think it’s a big stretch of the imagination, that some people can’t seem to buy into the scriptures.
Whether it’s a burning bush, or a talking snake or a global Flood, or Angels or a winged horse or a man walking on water and rising from the dead these claims are extraordinary. I realize, that many Christians and Muslims see at least some of the supernatural claims the scriptures make as allegory and that’s all fine and good but some things, that are essential to the respective religion, such as Jesus rising from the dead or Jesus ascending into Heaven are to me personally too much to be believed. I’m sorry but to all those who claim we “reject God”: You have to be more forgiving towards those, who don’t believe as you do.
Why do people accuse me and other Atheists of “rejecting God or rejecting Jesus”? Well I think it’s the case, because firstly, they assume, that we also believe in God and secondly that we want our “sinful” lifestyle so we simply don’t serve him.
Now it is true, that I want to live my life the way I see fit. It is also true, that my lifestyleand my beliefs are probably vastly different from the person who grew up learning, that the Bible is the word of God and that it’s absolutely true and that we need to adhere to it. Yes I take Gods name in vain, I never go to church (never did even when I still believed in a god), I never pray, I watch movies that some Christians would never watch, I listen to inappropriate music and so on and so forth.
Again I don’t do these things, because I don’t accept God’s authority, I don’t do it in rebellion because God can’t tell me what to do, I do it, because I enjoy my lifestyle, I enjoy my finite life that I believe will end at death and I do it precisely because I don’t believe in a deity that would punish me for eternity if I don’t adhere to it (I don’t believe in deities in general).
If I did hold the belief, that Christianity is true and I need to avoid Hell, then I probably would adhere to God simply because I don’t want to be burned. I wouldn’t be good buddies with God and I wouldn’t want to follow his commands but I would see myself forced to do so anyways. It’s just common sense, that rejecting a deity won’t save me from the consequences, that Christians think will await me. It’s also common sense that the consequences aren’t desirable. So why would I willingly reject God? If you don’t think I’m plain dumb then I wouldn’t. So why do I live my life the way I do: Not because I reject God’s authority but because I don’t believe, that there’s an authority to reject.
My actions are not the result of rebellion against God or rejection of God or Allah or Jesus, they’re the result of genuine nonbelief.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation
4 thoughts on “Nonbelief isn’t rejection”
Thanks – good post
Excellent post! Me, learning more in the Catholic schools I attended only cemented my disbelief. Because not only did they teach us the Biblical texts, they also taught us critical thinking skills. Of course they told us we couldn’t apply critical thinking to faith. Ha!