Hello! Your site is most fun and thought-provoking.
So, it’s usually at these times (it’s 2 AM here in Finland) you really start to think about all the serious and deep stuff. I am an atheist, I have been as long as I can remember. The idea of a “god” or a “power” just doesn’t fit in my mind. But why? Why don’t I believe in such things? Is it because of how I was raised or where I live? Might just be.
I’ve lived with just my mother and my brother for most of my life, I don’t have the vaguest memory of my father living with us. During all these years I’ve lived here, we have never really talked about God, Christianity or any religions at all except when there’s been something major in the news concerning a religion. We’ve gone to church something like twice in Christmas, but that’s just about it. Confirmation school with it’s apparent brain-washing tactics had absolutely no effect on my beliefs, I just used to ask the teachers extremely difficult questions about their own beliefs. And no, it wasn’t rebellion, it was just out of curiosity. WHY did they believe so strongly? Why didn’t I? I’ve never been aggressively hostile to religious people, for I’ve never really seen a reason. They’ve got their beliefs, I’ve got mine. Who’s right in the end isn’t important to me, I’m just interested in their reasoning and logic. I do sometimes get angry with people who don’t use logic at all and just blindly base everything they do on their religion, but nothing else.
I think here in Finland we atheists are better off than there in America. Religion here is not an as important thing in our everyday life. I’ve never heard that one’s religion would have stopped them from getting a job (unless it’s a priest or something, of course). Sure, there are raving loonatics, but it’d seem the percent of such people is far smaller than there. I’ve had some interesting discussions with all kinds of people from all age groups, but the only ones who really seem to be “into” religion are the senior people.
So, where am I aiming with all this? Well, I’ve told the same things as here to religious people. I’ve asked them, just WHY can’t I feel God in this world? If God was anything at all like described in the Bible or is usually thought of, shouldn’t I feel his presence some way? Should people really need all the feeding and brain-pounding to believe in God? I think that this, in some way, proves that there is no higher powers, at least not the Christian God. If there really was a God, shouldn’t it just be apparent? Shouldn’t I believe in him, even though in our home there’s never been a word against or for religion? The place of birth and the manner of raising shouldn’t be any kind of barrier for such a power, I think.
Nah, these are just some random ramblings of a Finnish 18-year-old. I’m sorry if it’s not the most clearly written piece of text in the world, but it really is 2 AM and I guess I’m a bit tired.
I’d like to hear your comments and thoughts on my text and the effects of raising and habitation on religion and beliefs! Thanks a lot in advance, keep it up.
It sounds like the U.S. has quite a way to go before it catches up with Finland in the department of accepting atheism. There are still a lot of anti-atheist feelings around here, and plenty of misinformation and bias.
Your question about feeling the presence of God is an interesting one. I have had religious people on many occasions tell me that if I’d just “open my heart” I’d feel God’s presence. When I say I’ve tried and all I get is silence, they say that I’m not sincerely trying. So it’s an impossible argument to win.
Part of the problem is that theists very often do have a real-seeming feeling of God. Some people use this as evidence that God exists. To which I answer that a person can have a very strong emotional feeling for a teddy bear, but this does not prove that the bear is anything but a stuffed animal.