Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slipping Down the Slope

One of the worst assumptions a religious person can make is that anyone that does not believe their particular version of god doesn't really understand their religion or their god.  I could be making a huge generalization when I say this, but it does appear to me to be a wildly popular argument from middle-aged people toward young adults.  I would venture to say that this argument has become a half-hearted fallback position for religious people over 40.

For those of you in-and-around my generation that find yourselves falling back to this elitist position, let me make this point very clear.  More often than not, this argument is fallacious and could not be further from the truth.

The argument generally goes as follows:
  • Older religious person:  "We are living in the end-times!  Non-believers will mock me for saying this, but you cannot deny the predictions in the Bible.  The Bible even says non-believers will mock me!  SEE!?!?  Nobody could've predicted that."
  • Younger skeptic:  "I don't think end of the world predictions were new when that book of the Bible was written..."
  • Older religious person:  "So what?  All of these horrible things are happening just like what the Bible said would happen.  Jesus said that he would return and God gave us warning signs for his return.  Have you not noticed all these earthquakes and hurricanes and floods?"
  • Younger skeptic:  "Yeah, but with science we understand more now and with modern technology we're exposed to more news from around the world.  We know more than they ever could have.  And doesn't the Bible also says in Matthew 16 and 24 that Jesus would return within the lifetimes of his disciples?"
  • Older religious person:  "People are still ignorant of the coming of Christ.  I just care about all these people that will not accept Jesus by the rapture!  It is so sad to me that all of these people will spend an eternity in Hell!"
  • Younger skeptic:  "Wait, so you're saying that I'm going to burn in Hell forever?"
  • Older religious person:  "Once you completely understand Christianity, you'll understand my faith."
If you are arguing for the legitimacy of your religion, please... PLEASE don't do this.  All it takes is two sentences from someone like me to tear down your entire argument:
"When it comes to the Bible, I guarantee I know as much as or more than you do about it.  And it is because of that fact that I am an atheist."
 If you're old enough to make assumptions based solely on smugness, then you're old enough to know what happens when you assume...  Besides, don't let your complacency plug your ears.