October 22, 2008

If You Could Believe Again, Would You?

Christian Bible, rosary, and crucifix.Image via WikipediaI have a question is for my atheist readers who were raised in the Christian religion and who once believed in it. In a recent comment in response to my post on miracles, a reader (Melissa) said that she would gladly return to Christianity if she thought she could do so. Since I disagreed, I thought I'd ask whether this was a common desire among ex-Christian atheists. That is, if you could go back to believing in Christianity again, would you do so? Why or why not?

My answer is that I would not choose to return to Christianity. As for why, I suppose the easiest way to explain it is that I have find my post-Christian life to be so much more intellectually rewarding than my Christian life. There are so many other reasons about which I could go on and on, but that one seems as important as any. There is something so much more genuine about facing the world as it truly is, free from the trappings of superstition.

I would not deny that some things were easier about being a Christian. As Melissa put it,
Honestly, if I could successfully lie to myself start believing in God, I would in a heartbeat. It makes life so much easier to believe that someone is watching over us and helping us along the way, but its just not the case. Life runs its own course and you make your own decisions in life. Its called responsibility.
In many ways, accepting the delusion of supernatural oversight is reassuring. Moreover, I must admit that the idea of being accepted (even falsely) rather than demonized sounds good at times. Still, if I thought I could convince myself to believe again, would not do so. How about you?

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