I Am Not A Robot

I lost quite a few friends over being overly political and outspoken about being atheist. Not wanting to lose all my friends (or fight with everyone) I worked on being more diplomatic. Diplomacy isn’t a bad thing, especially for an activist. I’ve been doing well but I’m still navigating this complicated space of someone who has major reasons to detest organized religion and the stories that could make some belief systems crumble. Even when I word things well, people get all irate. All people get irate. I don’t always feel I’m wrong but I’m not always right. There are more global concerns someone like me needs to consider when discussing religion and I’d rather bite my tongue than speak in a way that miscommunicates my concerns. In fact, I’m not even sure I want to continue what I do, but you’ve heard this before.

Ironically, I recently lost a friend over being too moderate. I was attacked by someone I care about for that. Why do people put politics and religion before people?

I’m going to continue to be myself and I am going to put people first in my life who respect that. You won’t always agree but I will always treat you fairly as long as you do the same. I’m not going to change who I am because of political mobs of people who act more fundamentalist than Pat Robertson. I am not a robot and I feel that as humans we should be able to grow past labels that confine us and move beyond stifling constraints. We should be free, especially our minds. If that means we’re lonely, then fine.

I’ve been taught so many lessons about people in my life and I’m not finished learning. All of these people’s reactions prove that very few people (including myself) are actually open-minded and friendships are more fickle than I thought. People will worship you when they need you and discard you when you don’t conform to who they want you to be. I care about those people…to a point. But in the words of my friend Brenda, I don’t need people like that in my life. And neither do you.

1 thought on “I Am Not A Robot”

  1. This strikes me as being from a well-meaning thinker whom may be a little bit confused about her duty as an atheist. Firstly, being an atheist does not require despising religion– organized or not. There’s no reason whatsoever to waste time, energy or emotion on hating a man-made cultural phenomenon that’s been with us since the beginning of time.

    Religious rites and practices of every denomination are nothing more than a psychological “story” or ritual narrative humankind has been revising and retelling for tens of thousands of years. It is responsible for the early forms of science, astronomy, history, cosmology and philosophy, if not the very origins of civilization, and government itself. The way we tell ourselves stories and dreams may be essential to the evolution of our entire nervous system as well.

    It is incumbent upon atheists to speak out, but not to denounce, decry or destroy religion. That would be as senseless and destructive as trying to destroy ancient forms of literature or the Mayan Codex. Modern scientists, thinkers, philosophers and storytellers are learning and will continue to glean vital information about how, why and what makes humans believe the things they do by studying all forms of religion from the most primitive to the New Age. Learning about religion, mythology, psychology, evolution and neurology will be the lineaments of a future science yet to be defined.

    The reason we speak out, aside from whatever legitimate grievances we might have, is not to persuade, convince or convert the religionist, the fanatical “true believer” or the blind follower, for that is an impossible, thankless and futile task. We speak out without fear of reprisal, because we have but one goal in mind, or as Lawrence Krauss reminds us: As educators our duty is not just to educate, but to destroy ignorance.” We speak out relentlessly and indefatigably with one purpose in mind i.e. to encourage others to do the same and no longer complicit with the every encroaching regressive ignorance, prejudice and nescience that “believers” would impose upon us all were we to remain as silent as we have been in the past.

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