Origins Part II: the epiphany

My de-conversion happened in a couple phases, but if any one moment can be considered the starting point, it’s this:

I realized that the Jewish god and his teachings are for the Jews.  And as I had more questions, the answers went a little something like this:

Well, then, what’s required of me, a non-Jew?

“The Talmud teaches that the righteousness of all the nations has a share in the world to come.”

The world to come? You mean Heaven? Will there be a judgement?

“For the Jews, if at all. Judaism doesn’t have an official stance on Heaven and Hell. And there’s certainly no eternal damnation.”

So… can I make a graven image? [the second teaching/commandment to the Jews]

“Sure. Why not?”

That one blew my mind. I can make a graven image.

It sounds a little silly now, but there it is. I mean, I grew up thinking that these laws were for me. Maybe its not as practical a change as an ex-Muslim eating pork and having a pet dog, but it’s still kindof a big deal– even though I didn’t go out and make a little deity. But I’ve always loved little artistic statues and figurines, and now I won’t have any qualms about getting one purely because it’s a depiction of a lovely Hindu goddess with twelve arms.

After I concluded that Christianity was not a natural outgrowth of Judaism, I entertained the question, “Well, what about the gods of other nations? The scriptures refer to them, after all. Why can’t they be considered as real as the Jewish god?”

So, are there many gods?

At this point I basically started to create a fantasy universe in my head, with warring gods and goddesses using humans to wage war against the followers of rival gods. It was actually pretty cool.
But then I had to wonder why I was assuming that there are any gods at all.

See, if I accept that the Jewish god truly revealed himself, that means that all the other religions must have been divinely inspired as well. To say otherwise just wouldn’t be fair. Besides, it requires too much explaining:

It must have been demons who inspired all the other religions!

What? Where did the demons come from? Why can’t they be considered gods, too?

They are fallen angels!

Whoa there! Who said anything about angels? We’re talking about gods. You’re making this all very complicated.

No, it is simple. My god is going to judge you after you die and all the other gods will be revealed as demons who deceived the world.

Are you sure I’m in your god’s jurisdiction? We’ve already established that the Jewish god, if he exists, won’t come after me because I’m not a Jew. What gives your god the authority over me? And, how could your god punish me after letting the demons out to deceive me? That’s not very nice or fair.

You don’t understand nice or fair. My god invented those ideas. My god is those ideas.

I don’t understand. How do you figure?

My god made the earth and you and everything.

Are you sure? Let me tell you about a little thing called descent by modification…

Here’s a simple solution to the problem of which god is god: There are no gods.

But what about good and evil? What about the afterlife, what about justice?

Here’s a question. How do you know that the gods of the ancients aren’t up there counting our sins against them? I don’t see you worrying about that. And what makes you think there will be perfect justice someday? It sounds like wishful thinking, to me.

Just because I wish for something doesn’t make it not true. And anyways, where did our morals come from if there are no gods?

Are you saying different gods are giving out different moral standards?

No, there’s only one god. The rest are demons.

Where are you coming up with this stuff?

Okay, okay. But how did we get here if not from a god creating the world and the universe and everything in it?

Can’t we just say we don’t know?

Listen. How many times has a religious understanding of the world been replaced by a scientific one? It’s thanks to biology, psychology, chemistry, astronomy, and all kinds of ologies I’ve never heard of that we understand the world.  We learn by observing and examining and testing, not by making up stories!

But I’m getting off the subject. Those were a few of my epiphanies.

I’ll likely add to the Origins as necessary.

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One Response to “Origins Part II: the epiphany”

  1. Temaskian Says:

    I must say you seem to have come to lose your christianity very creatively. Quite unlike many other deconversion stories that I’ve read.

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