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September 8th, 2012 (2:08 PM).
Under the brow of a sparkling sky.
What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?
I’m divided only slightly on the subject of same-sex marriage since I don’t believe marriage in general is such a good idea. But it’s obviously a matter of equality and everyone should be afforded that right. Kind of baffling that in 2012 we are still fighting
. I’m rather proud to report that same-sex marriage is completely legal in my country and has been since 2006. Still ridiculous that it could have taken so long.
Of all social problems, I think abortion has been the most difficult for me to square away. I am pro-abortion, but every now and then I am reminded why those who oppose it do so. It is absurd and extreme to suggest that aborting a foetus is parallel to murdering a baby with a knife. How can anyone calculate the amount of physical pain experienced and then draw the conclusion that they are the same? Of course, those who oppose the idea of abortion ever gleefully forget that pregnancy is a process of slow, gradual degrees. It should be clear that there is a difference between the group of cells at the start of term and the foetus at the end of it. It’s odd to me that some people value and will defend with violence the life of an embryo, and disregard that of the adult woman.
And again, how can we quantify the suffering that may occur should the baby be born into harsh circumstances or at the hands of ill-equipped parents?
The argument from the “right to life” can be dismantled rather swiftly though. Saying that aborting embryonic life amounts to denying a person the right to live is like saying we are denying the life of every baby that might potentially come from any sexual proposition. Should we then seize every single opportunity to have sex with each other to give every resulting foetus a chance to live?
Why are your beliefs the way they are?
I suppose the fact that my parents are only moderate Christians had a hand in my relinquishing it. I am grateful to them (secretly) that they never really forced religion down my throat. They DID however, mandate regular attendance of Sunday school and the occasional formal church congregation which was a mere chore to me at the time. The Sunday school meetings were, in retrospect, a joke and I wasn’t in the presence of mind to treat it as such. I think I was also a bit of a cynical child, which didn’t help me in embracing the wishful nature of Christianity.
These days my lack of belief is simply due to rational thinking. I realised that the idea of belief is precious to me. It shouldn’t be handed out freely. I want real truth in return for my belief. This, naturally, ruled out a god as a target of my belief.
Do you believe in any form of life after death?
I do not. What have we seen that points to anything like life after death? Finite things do not frighten me.
Do you believe in aliens?
No. How is it that they choose to reveal themselves mainly to desert yokels in America? All the “evidence” that I’ve seen in favour of their presence on earth has been childish. As for their presence anywhere else, that would be little more than a wild stab in the dark.
Does your family and friends know about your faith? If no, why not?
My immediate family knows and most of my friends do too. Of all the people I personally know and speak to regularly are only 2 of them atheists. I am friends with a great amount of believers, all Christian, and I seldom speak to them about religion because I anticipate some black clouds.
Do you think separation of church and state is different from freedom of religion?
I think this is chiefly an American debate so I don’t know all the facets on this one. But judging from the terms, freedom of religion should include freedom from religion. America was founded on secular principles, amirite? Should that not carry some weight here? The separation of church and state gives way to freedom of religion to take place. I think?
If God does exist, what do you think it would be like?
The god that is most familiar to me is Yahweh, and if he did exist our lives would collectively be the most terrifying, violent, divisive and badly written rat race episode of Big Brother ever.
What are your family's general religious beliefs?
My parents are moderate Christians. To give you an idea, every month or so they host a gathering of Christians and drink cocktails and selectively discuss and exalt the poetry of the Bible (mainly New Testament, since the stories of Yahweh are too inconveniently uncomfortable). My atheism was quite abruptly thrown into the air one day during an argument with them. It had been after my begrudged Confirmation (a watered down and largely useless version of the Catholic practice, that I followed through with only to appease my mother) to our church and I had not since then been to the church. One day, as we were all kind of irritably getting the house ready for guests, my father hoarsely said that it was time for me to attend the ceremony again and made some comment about how lazy I had been in the past. I quietly refused, he demanded why. I said something along the lines of “The church isn’t for me anymore,” and he snapped, “So, what? You believe there’s no god?”
I gave him the same answer and he left. No questions, no elaboration. In hindsight I think perhaps if I had said more it could have escalated, but to this day there hasn’t been another word on the matter. They don’t ask me to go to church anymore, which is respectful I guess. Every Christmas I dare myself to buy them the books on religion and unbelief that have been most instructive to me (and maybe for a bit of irony).
Joined Dec 2007
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