Hands down, the video at the bottom of this post is one of the best videos I’ve seen about losing faith. It almost exactly mirrors my own experience, minus the abuse at the hands of my parents. In my case, my parents just gave me weird looks and refused to talk about religion with me, probably so that they could maintain their own religious belief.
Some of my extended family on the other hand, have openly argued with me (which I encourage because it means a discussion) at family functions.
This video also succinctly explains why faith is not a virtue. Faith provides the perfect venue for hiding lies and perpetuating those lies by demanding that evidence to the contrary never be sought, and be ignored if it’s presented. It also explains why so many debates or discussions with believers can be so frustrating, as they struggle against hearing or even entertaining any ideas you may present to them.
The sadness I feel is nearly overwhelming when I read stories like the one about albinos being systematically murdered in Tanzania because some people superstitiously believe that their hair and body parts might bring good luck:
Albino people, who lack pigment in their skin and appear pale, are killed because potions made from their body parts are believed to bring good luck and wealth.
More than 70 albinos have been killed over the last three years in Tanzania, while there have been only 10 convictions for murder, campaigners say.
In the most recent case, in May, a woman was hacked to death.
“We’re being killed like animals. Please pray for us,” one albino woman sings, at an event called to promote the rights of albinos.
*bold lettering is mine*
While suffering at the hands of superstition, they’re asking for their own brand of superstition (in this case prayer and by extension their deity) to protect them. And I could find several more news stories that are similar to this one; people dying because of one superstition, followed by the victim calling out for their own superstition to protect them.
The article also says in the side bar that:
Indeed. Education is the key, but also understanding the seemingly endless loop of superstition that can add and sometimes fuel such atrocities.
Why do we teach that faith is a virtue when it clearly isn’t? In no other area do we teach that believing something without evidence is a good thing. When we examine an idea, in what other area do we think it acceptable to label people as abominations, immoral, destined for hell and misery etc. in order to drown out their point of view? And if we do those things, we face social ramifications because the people around us realize that questioning, honest inquiry and evidence are the cornerstones for finding out the truth of something.
I’ve even been told (several times) that because I’m an atheist now, I was never a Christian. What better way to protect your belief system than to nullify anything someone might say by labeling them as someone not to be listened too.
Both Psalm 14:1andPsalm 53:1read, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Some take these verses to mean that atheists are stupid, i.e., lacking intelligence. However, that is not the only meaning of the Hebrew word translated “fool.” In this text, the Hebrew word isnabal, which often refers to an impious person who has no perception of ethical or religious truth. The meaning of the text is not “unintelligent people do not believe in God.” Rather, the meaning of the text is “sinful people do not believe in God.” In other words, it is a wicked thing to deny God, and a denial of God is often accompanied by a wicked lifestyle. The verse goes on to list some other characteristics of the irreligious: “They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; / there is no one who does good.”Psalm 14is a study on the universal depravity of mankind.
In other words, they are not righteous (and you God believer are), they are sinful and wicked for not believing, and their ideas, evidence and logic can be simply dismissed.
Translation: DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!
In my mind, faith is the exact opposite of a virtue. It demands obedience without evidence and unless you break away from the very concept of it being a virtue, you’ll never examine your own beliefs in an honest and open manner. Whenever you encounter contradictions, you will invariably rely on your belief that faith is a virtue and that other people know the answers. You will rely on insufficient, contradictory books that were written during a severely ignorant time in humanities history, instead of looking at all of the combined evidence we have since gathered.
So if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and feel free to comment whether you agree with me or disagree. I also hope you enjoy the video if you have time to take a look.