Monday, March 20, 2006

A Small Victory

I feel better than I have for a very long time. Allow me to explain:

About 2 months ago, I was attending a Meeting for Business at my Quaker Meeting (yes, I see no problem with Quakerism, without the religion, as a way of life. I'm sure Seth and I will end up debating this, but there you are... in fact, I should post about that sometime). At the Meeting, the subject was the curriculum for the Junior High class (my class). The basic outline called for Bible study, and there were open to suggestions. I suggested Job, and to my great surprise everyone thought 'it was a brilliant idea.

A month later, the curriculum began. The first Sunday was... pretty interesting. We looked at a few passages, and mapped out the general plot of Job. In fact, as the resident atheist, I was asked to express my opinion several times (the Cambridge brand of Quakers are so liberal and free-thinking it would blow your mind, people like me actually have a name there: the non-theist Quakers).

Second Sunday, I was prepared. I had read through Job again, marking interesting parts, and parts that supported my argument for the obliviousness and over-all stupidity of the character God in the Bible. I also looked up the God is a Dick on Job that the Evangelical Atheist wrote a few months ago. Without that I doubt I would have made as much impact.

As it is, on the third Sunday we wrapped up Job, and did a final discussion. It was better than I could have hoped for. In those three weeks, or during the time before, nearly all of my peers had become atheists. I was shocked, and overjoyed.

Better yet, my mother, who was attending a youth organization committee, informed me of a great conversation they were having. Apparently the parents of the atheisticized teens were expressing how the kid's were starting to question the beliefs their parents had hammered into them. They were beginning to view the world differently, and their parental units couldn't have been more angry. That, for some odd reason, makes me happy.

So I come to you now to announce a small victory, and a message that I myself was until recently in desperate need of: don't give up. It may take a while, but eventually someone will see what you are trying to tell them. Especially if you go with the younger, more freethinking teens as I did. I'm overcome with joy. I shall go celebrate with pizza, as there is one right across the street.

Good night everyone, and thank you for your time.


At 3/20/2006 8:57 PM, Blogger Enil Edam said...

Job really did get screwed over.

I mean, this rational part of me says "Job, what the hell are you doing? I mean, God's taking everything!"

I think actually, looking at that story helped me realize that God can't be all good. To test someone's faith by taking away all their worldly possessions just for a bet can't really be justified.

At 3/21/2006 1:51 AM, Blogger Delta said...

Good to hear a success story, keep up the good work!

At 3/21/2006 4:59 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

it may not necessarily be considered a good thing to try and convert everyone to atheism, thats just as bad as trying to convert everyone to any other religion which im sure some people think is wrong, but how is this much different?

The best thing to do is to just share your believes, but to make slamming other religions a last resort

At 3/21/2006 6:05 PM, Blogger seth said...

Well, the idea is to make them think about what they believe, rather than follow blindly; hence, Aethernon wanted his class to read one of the more colorful books of the Bible.

At 3/21/2006 6:15 PM, Blogger Aeger said...


In response, I was not actively trying to convert anyone, I simply gave them the tools to analyse their own religion in detail, and, as the intellectual freethinkers they are, most of them came out of the experience less inclined towards said religion.

None of them (I think, I know for sure this is true of at least 3 of the 7) had never read the bible, aside from select passages presented to them by their parents. I will look up the definition of "converting" shortly, but until then I will say that I was not suggestive of any other religion, or even atheism, I just said "Here, take a look at this," and left it at that.

At 3/23/2006 10:45 PM, Blogger Nauticashades said...

I'm suprised it took only three weeks. But to put it into perspective, they were incredibly "liberal and free-thinking".

At 3/25/2006 9:57 AM, Anonymous Richard said...

Great job! (Excuse the pun)

What you did is perfect. There is a very true saying "People are most convinced by reasons they discover for themselves."

Criticising the beliefs of the religious is unlikely to be productive. They need to work it out on their own.

At 4/03/2006 4:53 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

It also seems odd to me that just because they find that they dont really believe in THEIR religion they decide to give up entirely on god, just because that particular god may not be the right one doesnt mean there cant be a god

At 4/03/2006 7:55 PM, Blogger Simon said...

I couldn't disagree more.


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