Hello good people in Internet land. I’m writing this article not because I really want to, but because a number of people have asked me this question and I don’t want to keep having to respond to it again and again. Let me start by saying that I don’t feel that the subject matter of this article is actually all that important, it is after all just my personal motivations. The real issue as I see it is the truth. I don’t care what motivation a person has for bringing the truth, I’m really just concerned with the truth itself. But anyway let’s explore this a little bit. The first thing that I want to do is ask a question myself: “why do you ask?” That’s right! I’m asking why you’re asking why I’m doing this. Here is the main reason that I think Christians ask me why I’m doing this. Most people don’t like to have their beliefs challenged. By and large the people that I have encountered in the Christian community like to live their lives believing what they want to believe without having it confronted. And that’s fine, if you’re contented to live your life believing in something just because you want to, that’s your choice. But it doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice. Especially if you’re going to believe in something that should, if you believe in it properly, dramatically affect your life. From my perspective Christianity is all or nothing. Does not the good word say “it is better to be hot or cold, if you are lukewarm I will spit you out.” Well I’m hot baby! I’m hot for the truth, and I’m afraid to say that it points me in a different direction from yours. I think that a lot of Christians hold their faith with such fragility that they can’t bear any challenges to it. I can almost picture them in my head sticking their fingers in their ears and going “lah lah lah lah” very loudly. But anyway, whatever you motivation for asking me this question I shall now provide an answer.
Having been a Christian for twenty years and a teacher of the Bible and theology for the greater part of that time, I have spent the best part of my life studying this topic. This means that the topic interests me greatly, and I suppose, I could say that it is my specialist area. Do you think that because I have determined that God, Christianity and religion in general are not true that I am no longer interested in the topic? No! I still find it incredibly interesting to explore the reasons why people believe these things. In fact my new experience has opened up a world of novel exploration. If anything I find Christianity even more interesting now than I did before. Looking at it from an outside perspective sheds an entirely different light on so many things that I previously took for granted.
Certainly a part of my motivation has to do with self-exploration: I am exploring the reasons why I was held captive to this belief system for so long. I don’t consider myself to be a stupid person, so how could I be deceived by this ideology, and how can it remain a source of deceit for so many other intelligent people that I know? I think I have good answers to these questions, and that is a part of what I’m sharing in the writing of these articles. I am doing this in an open format, in front of everybody so that it can benefit not just me but others also.
A part of my motivation for doing this is also the aggravation that I feel at having lost twenty years of my life to these false ideas. I spent twenty years going to church services and hearing the same message over and over again; attending inane prayer meetings where I would hear people making self-serving statements, rather than actual pleas to God, and using the medium of prayer as a way to manipulate and get what they wanted. I spent that time flagellating myself, metaphorically, over the guilt of my imaginary sins. I went through a barrage of church fads and had to deal with people who used religion as a vehicle to further their own personal kingdoms. If you’re a Christian you will have experienced at least some of what I’m talking about. A big motivation for me is to help people to not have to lose the only life that they have, dedicated to the service of a God who doesn’t exist. During my service in ministry it was my desire to provide people with spiritual truth. Well, unfortunately I had the truth wrong, but the desire remains. I still want to be a defender of truth.
If you’re not bored yet I will continue. I have invested an enormous amount of time and energy in studying these things and still feel that I want to put that study to good use. It was my study of theology and the inner workings of these religions that enabled me to see that they are untrue. I want to share a lot of these unspoken, behind-the-scenes workings with others so that they can see what I have seen. That’s right people, I’m offering you the red pill.
Now let’s explore the true noble path of my motivations. At its heart Christianity, and all other religions, are a complex form of superstition. They are extremely theatrical, multifarious and labyrinthine in form but they are superstitions nonetheless. I strongly believe that humanity is served best by the removal of superstition. All of the Christians that I know believe that Islam is a lie and therefore a superstition, and look at the wonders that it has provided us with: suicide bombings, honour killings, female genital mutilation. Isn’t it marvellous to see the admirable, life affirming results of letting superstitions go unopposed? But I hear you say “we are not Astapor or Qarth, we are Yunkai!” Well Christianity has had its day in the sun also: ostracising homosexuals, killing witches, the torture and murder of heretics, and not to mention the vast bulk of wars that have ever been fought. And these are not just the sins of the past, they continue on today. If you want to make a good man do evil it requires religion. Our society and technology are moving forward at a blistering pace, but yet huge numbers of people are dragging behind with their antiquated belief systems. What society needs is not more superstition. Ignorance needs to be curbed and the problem with the world today is not too much sceptical enquiry.
The more ignorance I encounter the more motivation I have to try and fight off superstition. I might be fighting a losing battle, but I will fight nonetheless! People who have tenuous beliefs tend to engage in what I like to call active avoidance: they go out of their way to avoid unpleasant truths. They don’t want to hear arguments that oppose their belief system, especially if they are good arguments. And while I think that people have the right to believe whatever they want to believe, I also don’t want to make it easy for people to believe rubbish. I am putting the facts in front of people so that they can’t just easily avoid them. If you don’t like what I’m saying then maybe you should ask yourself if you engage in active avoidance.
Lastly, I am doing this because despite the fact that there are many people in the religious community who are completely closed off, and will never be open to hear what I’m saying, there are some people in these movements who are open to opposing evidence. I know this because I was one of them. I’m doing this for the benefit of those people, like myself, who really want to know the truth, regardless of what the consequences of that truth might be. I can’t help but grin at the irony of the situation as I reflect back. The very first Christian book that I read, that motivated me to investigate Christianity, was a ridiculous piece of fiction called “He came to set the captives free.” While that book is repugnant garbage, as I’m writing this article it seems to bookend nicely. As my knowledge and understanding have grown over the years I have learned to reject nonsense like that, and after rejecting enough nonsense, I am now writing work that is indeed designed to set the captives free. I don’t say this with a sense of self-aggrandizement. What I’m talking about are things that people have known for years. I say this as one captive to another. I was once in prison but now I’m free, won’t you come and join me?