Sunday, June 17, 2007

I encountered a misunderstanding of atheists yesterday.

As I'm on the topic of atheism and conflicts with others over this topic (see my last post from a bit earlier today), I guess I'll mention what happened yesterday. I'm taking Naturalist in Training classes at Bernhiem. (For more info on that see my other blog, Naturalist in Training). Anyway I was having a relaxed conversation with another guy in the program, mainly about a book called "The Time of Man" he was reading. Another regular in the program joined us and we where just sitting about talking. Something about religion came up and the other guy made a comment that anyone who sees the wonders in the world around them (and he gestured toward some of the natural wonders around him) must believe in God or else they are just soulless. This irritated me quite badly and I quickly pointed out that I happen to be in that group that he just called soulless (I actually just lifted my hand and said "I guess that's me then"). Then he says something to the effect that if I have any sense of wonder I would believe someday (He actually used a lot more words than that.) I just looked at him thinking "you don't know what the hell you are talking about" and I'm sure it showed in my face. I resisting telling him that I used to be a believer, and I did tell him that I see all the wonder around, I'm affected by it, I just don't call the source behind it "God". (Not those exact words but that was the point.)

Even as I type it out now, I'm still offended. But I didn't want to fight about it, so I soon joined the rest of the group and didn't bring it up again.

And just to head off the expected comments saying that I don't believe in a soul anyway, so why should I care? I don't believe in an eternal supernatural soul, that is true. But the soul being talked about in context was that core of personality and feeling that everyone has, regardless of their belief about supernatural things. And for anyone to suggest that I, as an atheist, don't have one of those is deeply, deeply offensive.

No comments: