Monday, March 8, 2010

Ask an Athiest

A friend of mine recently inquired about my being an Atheist. This led into a discussion about my opinion on the purpose of life, the existence of good and evil, and what happens when we die. Deep... I know... See, my friend will be looking death in the face sooner rather than later, and I found myself cringing with guilt at answering his questions honestly. But why?

See, growing up with a devoutly religious family, in a predominantly Christian community, in a town where misbehavior of any sizable proportion was sure to get back to your parents and church leaders, made for a consistent and impingent feeling of guilt. Why has that guilty feeling continued on without the piety? I think there's actually a simple explanation: I was taught that the automatic response to disagreeing with religious teachings is guilt, and automatic responses are the most difficult to shake.