Every now and then, when a Christian finds out that I'm an atheist, I get a response that starts out with "I'm sorry..." followed by some aspect of my life that they think is missing (or with some aspect of their life that they think they have because of their belief, implying that it is missing for me).
Imagine that you are not a hippie and don't smoke pot and you encounter a hippie who finds out that you don't. He says to you that he's sorry you have not experienced the zen (or whatever a hippie might say) that comes with smoking pot. What might you think about that? Here is what I might think:
- I have other means by which to find "zen."
- I am actually thankful that I don't have to resort to use of paraphernalia to find "zen."
- I am actually sorry for the hippie that he thinks he has to resort to pot to find his "zen."
My response to the Christian is very similar.
- I have other means by which to find purpose, meaning, joy, morality, or whatever it is that the Christian thinks I'm missing.
- I am actually thankful that I don't have to resort to believing in a mass delusion* to find those things.
- I am actually sorry for the Christian that they think they need their mass delusion to find those things.
- On an extra point, I am also sorry that the Christian either bought into or was indoctrinated into the mass delusion (and more so for those who were indoctrinated, because they had less of a choice).
* While I'd hate to be a part of any mass delusion, I'm really thankful to not be part of one that has a history of torturing non-believers (the Inquisition), burning witches, suppressing women, abusing children, enslaving people, and discriminating against homosexuals, and being anti-science...and has a holy book that more-or-less supports all of these behaviors.
Additionally, I want to appologize to the hippies out there for using them in such an example. I actually have a lot of respect for hippies. I'm generally all for "sticking it to the man" as long as the man deserves...um...having it stuck to him? That gets to be my bigger problem with hippies - they go a bit overboard at times. They abuse the appeal to nature fallacy, for example. But, as far as the pot smoking goes, as long as no one else is getting harmed from it, the can knock themselves out. Mass delusions, on the other hand, have such a potential for harm, that I cannot not speak out against them.