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My atheism and a song concerning it


I have a song which is quite new called The Outfidel which I played at a session at folk club on Friday night. It displays my atheism and may be offensive to some religious individuals who are sensitive that way. I suppose that my singing of it will alienate some people to my music in general, by association. I guess, too, that my publishing of this here will turn some people away. Ho-hum. I’m too long in tooth now to concern myself about such prejudices.

But what of gods and the supernatural? I simply can’t believe it. I have no grounds to believe it. And the idea is even absurd to me now. It would be the height of dishonesty if I were to profess even to having an open mind about the matter! And surely any God would not be welcoming of such hypocrisy! Anyway, it seems to me, if I look at a map of the world, that the belief set of an individual is a function of where she was born, raised, and “educated”, and little else.

Occasionally when I hear of the promise of immortality in return for faith it feels It’s like one of those letters that drops in the mailbox that tells you that you are a lucky jackpot winner (one of a “select” few?) and all you have to do to collect is call the number below. You would like to believe it’s not a fake, but you know it’s a ruse.

I could hardly care less what adults will choose to believe so long as they leave others in peace. But the indoctrination of young children is entirely another matter. To my mind it’s abuse and the results can be intellectually and emotionally crippling for the children so treated. I hope the sponsors of faith schools the world over will one day be recognised by historians for the damage they have done.

The Outfidel is in my mind to record shortly [Edit: done – hence the links].

3 thoughts on “My atheism and a song concerning it

  1. I am a fellow atheist guitarist. Humans seem to be hard wired
    For theism and that’s the way it is. Thanks for being an independent
    Thinker. And thanks for the tabs. Regards, Peter

  2. Hi Peter,
    I am a fellow guitarist, and a theist. I was raised a theist, in a branch of the protestant Christian church that put a lot of emphasis on personal decision in the salvation process. It has been a struggle for me as I’ve wrestled with the question of God’s existence and how God is portrayed in the Christian scriptures, and how God has been presented to me by various religious authorities. I empathize with your skepticism regarding the “select few” being saved to immortal life.

    Through the testimony of the scripture, particularly the books of John and Romans in the new testament, and through the influence of a Scottish theologian T.F. Torrance, I’ve come to believe in an unlimited atonement provided for the world by the Living God, creator and redeemer of the cosmos. It’s a faith thing, but still, it’s based on the testimony of the life and work of Christ in the world.
    Regarding your comment that you have no basis upon which to believe… I’m curious to know the difference between us regarding our faith commitments. Have you read the book of John? If so what do you think of it?

    It seems to me that the Christian people most obnoxious about their faith commitment are very invested in their own “free will” and good works and self-justification. These are the very types that Jesus was hardest on as recorded in the new testament gospels (the Pharisees). When he confronted them about their self righteousness and arrogance, they were angry… angry enough to kill, and that’s exactly what happened. They killed him. Moral of the story… don’t ever tell an obnoxious bible-thumper that they’re wrong… they might kill you. 🙂 just a little joke… I hope I made you chuckle.

    If you’re curious about T.F. Torrance, I’d recommend a couple of his books that were published posthumously: atonement, and incarnation. Here’s a link to the publisher:
    https://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/author.pl/author_id=6327

    Hope I didn’t say too much…
    Thanks for sharing your music and your thoughts on this blog…
    -Greg S.

    I’

  3. Hi Greg!

    First, thanks so much for taking the time to give me your thoughts – and I’m so sorry it’s taken so long for me to respond. I take your points well and I have really no difficulty in respecting the faith of those who (are lucky enough to?) possess it. My inability to have a faith is just that – an inability. I admire your sincerity and I see you wear your faith with humour and light, which I also admire. I confess(!) I have not read the Bible since my Scottish Presbyterian school days, however I do mean to. I do remember there is much wisdom therein.

    In passing, I see that you reference “free will” in quotation marks? Does that reflect doubt in the existence of that human quality? If so, then we have much in common!

    Thanks again for your comments, Greg, here and elsewhere.

    Dave

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