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Speading the Good News

I just got a visit from my first door-to-door evangelist! How I went for so long without a visit, I can't figure out. Anyway, this nice young man in a suit (carrying a briefcase and a bible) came to the door and asked my opinion on a question: With all the bad things that happen to the world, many people blame god, what do you think about that?

I tell you this, I was nearly trembling with excitement. Here was my chance to represent the Atheist population!

I smiled and said "Well, I don't blame God. Actually, I am an Atheist and I don't believe in God."

He didn't seem prepared for my frank honesty, but he didn't seem repelled or upset either which made me very relieved. Coming out can be a very stressful experience, even if you're doing so to a stranger. Anyway, he was intrigued and asked me about my Atheist background. I told him I didn't grow up in a religious home, but I tried believing and read the Bible three times so far (he seemed quite surprised at this, though I am not sure if it was the number of times or the fact that an Atheist had read the bible at all). I simply could not believe in the idea of an intelligent being in the sky that knows all etc etc. I agreed with him that many people who believe have a hard time with those elements, and that what does cause belief is often inexpressible.

We shifted back towards the question at hand. He asked me if I ever wondered why bad things happened in the world, and I asked him to clarify. Did he mean both natural and man-made bad things (ex. hurricanes vs. murder)? He said yes. I said I don't spend time wondering about natural disasters because there really is no why, it is simply about bad place and time. As far as man-made bad things went, I said that it's important not to ignore the why, (as in, the cause) but the most important thing is what you do after (instead of obsessing over "why me" or "why them") and that it was my personal philosophy to try instead to help and work to fix problems when I can. He said that was very commendable, and thanked me for my time.

I never got to find out what denomination he was from, and that makes me somewhat sad.

At least I got to put a good face on Atheism, and show people that we aren't monsters, selfish, or amoral.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
Hmm... tell me, does Athiesm mean simply disbelief in a supreme god, or disbelief in all things divine (i.e. afterlife, souls, etc.)

Dictionary definitions are unclear on this issue.
Nov. 17th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
It is rather unclear isn't it? Most Atheists will tell you the term itself simply means a person is not a theist, and does not directly entail an active disbelief, "a-theos": without-god. However, the most common usage of the term means someone who does not believe in any deity but it does not explicitly refer to other supernatural beliefs.
Nov. 24th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC)
Following that definition of Atheism, here's a trick question. Buddhism, at its core, doesn't believe in a higher power (of course, it's often mixed in with other beliefs such as Shintoism or Shamanism). Does this mean that Buddhism is an atheist religion? It's quite an oxymoron if we take the widely accepted definition of what a religion is.

And yes, I'd call myself an Atheist Buddhist if I was fond of labels. :)
Nov. 18th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
A couple times people have come to the door while you're not home, but they just handed me a pamphlet and went on their way.
Nov. 18th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
For folks wondering how to define or describe atheism, this link (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/intro.html) to Internet Infidels is good.

Nov. 18th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)


Naw, just messin witcha. Atheists're pretty cool. Couple of my friends are among the numbers, but there's really nothing abnormal about them.

But I'm glad to read how you handled that situation. Some people get... scary, I suppose, about religion. D:

On other grounds, never woulda guessed you were Atheist. Then again, religion doesn't always come up in day-to-day conversations.

You just keep doing your thing.
Nov. 18th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a really awesome conversation. That is cool. :3
Nov. 18th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
Nov. 19th, 2006 08:13 am (UTC)
Red Atheist needs mana badly!
Nov. 19th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
Greetings! I come here by way of www.friendlyatheist.com. It's always a pleasure to meet other atheists on the web and hear their thoughts...very nice journal! I've added you (if you'd rather me not then just let me know). Feel free to do the same. Cheers...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )