Walking on eggshells: Being an atheist in a religious society

Sep 23, 2015

Connor Moriarty

By Connor Moriarty

Almost 14 billion years ago, all mass and energy that constitute the observable universe expanded from a state of tremendously high density, marking the beginning of time. But how did that energy exist in the first place? What was before the beginning? It is a question that has been asked for centuries, and scientists just don’t know.

And that excites the heck out of me.

Mysteries, confusion, questioning, doubt, discovery — all words that label scientists. Living life at the drawing board, the unknown, feeling discontent with finality, hoping to be proved wrong because of a new discovery or theory.

Here is where I find my tranquility, my excitement, my happiness and my spirituality. I am a secular atheist, but I feel uncomfortable admitting it in today’s religious culture.

I was raised Catholic, I went to Sunday school and I attended a Catholic high school. It was there where I learned more about the religion that had been forced upon me since I was young. And it was then when I finally took a step back to actually think about the idea of a superhuman agency. I understood I could never again believe.

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6 comments on “Walking on eggshells: Being an atheist in a religious society

  • Together we need to find tranquility in accepting diversity

    Timely article – President Obama, in his speech directed to Francis, laid on thick references to Christian God.

    However, did not notice (correct me if I’m wrong) any reference to non-believers; a glaring omission if the message of both men is freedom to be you. Hypocritical? Falling / failing, the tight rope act, imo.

    these stories are popping up more and more

    Some have the opinion we should not sweat the small stuff. That certainly has merit, on the other hand, all combined illuminates the growing trend of ‘Nones’.

    Student Secular Society

    An awesome group – started in a few high schools, and has expanded to universities.

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  • Francis, talking on the Capitol balcony, did included non-believers (in a way) with something along the lines of

    …if you are not a believer, then send me good wishes instead.

    Purportedly said last summer – if you cannot pray because you don’t believe, then send good vibrations!.

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  • bonnie
    Sep 24, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    …if you are not a believer, then send me good wishes instead.

    Why would non-believers want to send good wishes to a charlatan perpetrator for his imposition of poverty enhancing destructive dogmas, when he is on a promotional recruitment mission and political campaign, to expand his crusades against reasoning humanity ?

    They are more likely to wish for his smiling glossy charade to fall apart and reveal him as the deluded exploiter of the trusting, he really is!

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  • I know, I know –

    let’s send good wishes (just for the fun of it) to Dan Dennett instead, in honour of his engaging “thank goodness to everyone at hospital that I’m well!”.

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  • 5
    RobertKaufman says:

    Religious society? Religious people have become easy to deal with in my view. The real difficulty now for atheists is trying to be skeptical and reasonable in an authoritarian-left PC society. We thought the religious were good at punishing us for thought crimes… Try telling a feminist that admiring a woman’s beauty isn’t patriarchy, try suggesting that an obese person should lose weight, try making the point that a 14 year old Muslim is not being oppressed, or that twitter won’t give you PTSD, or that Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is not a hero.

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  • Religious irrationalism intrudes into government all over the world, whether it is Sharia in Saudi Arabia, kosher and halal killings of animals, banning pork, exporting Holy Fathers to unsuspecting 3rd world countries looking for education, or preventing the eating or exporting of holy-cows by those “evil” beef-eaters”!

    India plans to set up laboratories at ports to test for illegal beef exports amid controversy over the lynching of a Muslim man after rumours that he consumed beef.

    Most states ban the slaughter of cows, which is considered a sacred animal by India’s majority Hindu community.

    However, the killing and consumption of buffaloes is largely allowed.

    The ban has provoked immense outrage with many questioning the government’s right to decide what is on their plate.

    It has also been criticised by many as beef is cheaper than chicken and fish and is a staple for the poorer Muslim, tribal and Dalit (formerly untouchable) communities.

    Despite the slaughter of cows being widely banned, India ranks as the world’s top beef exporter thanks to buffalo meat exports, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture.

    It is expected to export 2.4 million tonnes of beef in 2015, against Brazil’s 2 million tonnes.

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