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Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Essays | 12 comments

Andrew Herzman

Name: Andrew Herzman

Year Born: 1964

Location: Long Island, NY

Label: Atheist

Former Religious Affiliation: Catholic

Where Do I Begin?

I was brought up Catholic, but never read the Bible. I just went to Church and did the rituals like communion and confirmation, but I never really saw the point of it.

As a child, I overheard my mother tell somebody that a priest admitted to her that religion was all made up nonsense. My mother actually taught me that organized religion is just “smoke, candles, stained glass and other things to impress you”.  She made it clear to me that it was important to believe in a “higher power”, and organized religion was not the same as God.

I was lucky to have been brought up that way. As an adult, I am now able to ask myself what I really believe in. There are many reasons why I don’t believe in God.

  1. Moral values. God believers say they are moral, yet they do immoral things all the time. They think that all they need to do is run to church to confess in private and they will go to Heaven. How convenient! Maybe if they had to look the person in the eye that they wronged and ask for forgiveness, it would actually mean something. That’s what I do and that’s why I avoid doing bad things to other people to begin with!
  2. The concept of Heaven and Hell. I’m told that God gives us free will, but if we use the free will he gives us and not believe in God, he will torture us forever. That’s not free will. That’s extortion.
  3. Eternal life. People have a survival instinct. We fight to survive everyday. We don’t want to die, so what greater way to get you to go along with religion than to offer eternal life? No more fear of death! Well, I though about that. I decided that I really wouldn’t want to live forever. Forever is a long time. I think that after a billion years or so, I’d be so board and would know so much that I’d finally say “make it stop”! I think life is worth living because of the fact that we learn and experience new things. We need to be challenged. If we were in Heaven and life was just perfect and we had time to learn every language and everything else that was to know, what would we do? Think about it. No reason to do anything and no way to end this existence of just having to exist! I think having a life and making the most out of the time you have is just the perfect way to make life valuable. Live for the moment you’re alive, not for the “what if” there’s a Heaven afterlife.
  4. Social acceptance. I recently found an old high school classmate of mine on Facebook. He likes country music, the Republican party and Christianity. For some reason those things go together. In any case, we got to talking and we started to become better friends. When the topic of religion came up, I mentioned that I didn’t think the Bible was true. The look of pure horror on his face was priceless. I don’t remember his exact words, but he basically broke off the friendship and ran for the hills. He insisted that you can’t even believe in a higher power if you don’t take the Bible literally. Wow! I would never choose my friends that way. People have a right to believe what they want, and we should all accept others for who they are and not what they believe.
  5. Science. I recently took a class in college call “The Search for Life in the Universe”. It was astronomy, biology, physics, math, chemistry and geology all wrapped up into one class. It covered so many topics on the possibility and probability of life on other planets. It really opened my eyes as to how this planet formed and how life evolved to the way it is now. It made perfect sense. When I compare it to the stories I hear from the Bible that involve talking snakes and giant arks, you really have to be ignorant to ignore the science.

I know Atheism is not believing in God and that you can’t hate something to don’t believe to exist. I however, will say that I hate the concept of God. If there really was a God, I’d hate him. As a creator, he would have designed the ultimate unfair situation.

Nobody asks to be born, so we are forced to exist and try to survive even though it is futile to even try.
In addition, we are compelled by hunger to nourish ourselves. The only way to do that is to consume other living things. That means we must kill (plants or animals) against their own survival instinct, in order to try to survive ourselves. Yes, I do believe plants have a survival instinct. Plants try to grow towards sunlight, for example.

Another thing that we are compelled to do is have sex and make new self-aware beings (without them asking for it), so that they too are forced into the same situation of futile survival.
This whole system is really just torture. Here we are, given no choice but to either kill and try to survive another day or end up not existing anymore.

Also, the “reward” for surviving is the slow deterioration of our bodies causing us pain, blindness, sickness and many other problems to deal with.

How could a loving God create a Universe like that?

I now belong to the First Church of Atheism so that I can marry couples who don’t want the word God in their ceremonies.

http://www.atheistmarriages.com/

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