Religion is always quite the touchy issue to bring up, I think mostly because faith is that sort of risk that people take on a personal level and they don’t want to be wrong. What happens when we die is beside the point to these debates we have, meaning it has little bearing on why we have them in the first place.
I suppose that’s why Seventh-Day Adventist pastor Ryan Bell decided to undertake his recent New Year’s resolution, living as an atheist for the entire year. The best way to understand where people are coming from is to attempt to put yourself in their shoes, so it’s a smart idea. The shock is what changed when the year was up. From NPR:
After a year, Bell tells NPR’s Arun Rath, “I’ve looked at the majority of the arguments that I’ve been able to find for the existence of God and on the question of God’s existence or not, I have to say I don’t find there to be a convincing case in my view.
“I don’t think that God exists. I think that makes the most sense of the evidence that I have and my experience. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the most interesting thing about me.”
I like that last bit. Even though I’m probably writing a bulk of the religious tinged articles on this site and that stuff fascinates me, it is the least interesting thing about me. I don’t wear a badge defining who I am to the general public and I’m not slapping believers for speaking to me about “the lord.”
It can be the same way for the other side (if you think of it like that) and Bell sort of proves that with his actions since coming to his new realization, working with PATH to help the homeless:
“It’s, I think, an expression of really the part of me that hasn’t changed. I’m still the same person deep down that I was before. I care about justice and equality and I want to see opportunities spread more evenly in our society,” Bell says.
The NPR story is an interesting listen, so I embedded it below. It really echos how I personally feel on the subject, away from the stupid jokes and weird evangelist junk that I’m always rummaging through.