Thoughts on christian non-answers…
In a greek forum I have many times argued with a fundamentalist greek orthodox. Whatever I ask, he avoids to answer, and he always brings forth the following arguments, to which I am presenting my own thoughts:
You do not know anything about the orthodox christian faith: I have been born and raised in Greece, and I was baptized in the orthodox christian faith as a baby. My grandmother and my godmother were very faithful and used to force me and took me to church with them. They tried to make me believe in orthodox christianity, I even was sent to Sunday school, to catechism. It did not work. There was too much irrationality. From the story of Adam and Eve to the stories about the lives of the various saints, a lot of things do not make sense, and I could not make sense of those, could not see their logic. Because there is no logic in faith. As Carl Sagan put it: Faith is belief without evidence. As I grew up, I started to understand more and more, that really Sagan is right, that there is no logic in belief, in faith. One has to blindly believe, never question your faith and your beliefs, never question the reality of all these… Because the day you start asking questions, is the day that you start seeing faith for what it really is: a big fat lie.
You do not understand the christian orthodox faith: On the contrary, I understand it very well. I have seen blind faith and what it can do. Unfortunately, blind faith only brings out evil. Because when you do not ask questions, but you blindly follow what you are given, then you just become a pawn to an idea, an organization. And, in this case, you become a slave to that idea, a pawn, a foot-soldier lying for Jesus. This faith makes people feel guilty for simple human things, from swearing and cursing to having sex, and many other things. This faith keeps people ignorant and illiterate, fills their heads with misogyny and racism, I unfortunately understand it very well, and have witnessed many of its forms and expressions.
Find a confessor/spiritual father from the church: this is a total non-answer! I do not want to go to a priest, confessor whatever from the church. I do not trust them. They know nothing about psychology, I do not think that they can help anyone. The only thing that those «spiritual fathers» will do is try to fill me with guilt for everything I do, make me feel inferior, try to imprison my spirit, and make me another foot-soldier for Jesus. I have explained many times that I do not trust confessors. With a 6 month seminary they go through, they cannot know and understand psychology. How can they diagnose a serious psychological illness such as monopolar/bipolar syndroms, schizophrenia, and more?
Read a book about the orthodox christian faith: This another evasive tactic. I do not want to read another book about the orthodox christian faith, What more can this book tell me from the Bible or from what the various priests and bishops say? And what is my stimulus to get one of these books and read it? Is there anyone giving me a good reason to do so? None at all. However, I have taken a look at various such books in bookstores. I have opened them and tried to read a few paragraphs, to see if they had something interesting to say, if there was something that would make me buy and read that book. So far, I have not found anything positive in those books. All they say is just the same old stuff that the christian faith says: repent sinners, you will burn in hell, do not do this, do not do that… In short, they are forbidding people from living their lives…
And of course, the last non-argument, and the one that is never going to convince me to become a believer:
You have to believe first in order to find god: if I have nothing to believe in, if I don’t have evidence for what I believe in, how can I even start believing? How many faithful have really found god? There are a lot of faithful who have never found this entity. And there are a lot of atheists who were faithful, and never found god. When those people looked for god, looked for answers, they saw that there is nothing there. No god. There is absolutely no evidence at this moment for god, for the existence of such an entity. And I am not only talking about the christian orthodox faith, but about all religions. I have met a lot of people online, a lot of people who once were fundamentalists, creationists and the like. Some of them were even priests, or were trying to be, and have studied the scriptures, have studied apologetics, they had gone the whole way. But when they looked deeper, and tried to find god, they did not find what they were looking for. To their credit, these people did not close their eyes and go back to their blankets of faith. They went deeper, they followed their logic, their critical thinking, the evidence. A lot of faithful would say that those people did not believe enough, that their faith was lacking and other similar arguments. But those people did believe, they felt that faith, those beliefs with all their hearts, with all their being.
The above do not constitute answers, nor arguments for god and for a religion. They are evasions, apologetics, a tactic for those who do not want to have a rational and intelligent discussion, who do not want to engage in dialogue or debate. I am ready and willing to have such a discussion, but when I ask questions, and the answers are always the above, then how do these people expect me to start believing? How can they expect me to throw my logic, my critical thought, my freedom out of the window? Where are the arguments for the existence of god? Where is the evidence? And what evidence is there that the orthodox faith is the one true faith, and not another, like islam or catholicism, or even one of the cargo cults?
This article was originally posted on the Snippets and other stories from the Net blog in English and you can direct your comments there.