What Life of Sin?

It’s been a while since my last fundie troll, but I’ve been reminded of one of their tropes when discussing atheism: The assertion that I disbelieve in their god because I want to live a sinful life. I presume most are talking about an exceptionally sinful life, like committing crimes, actively persecuting people, leaving behind long lines of fatherless children, and such, rather than “sinful” things like deriving pleasure from an occasional piece of candy.

In my case, this leads me to ask, “What life of sin?” I’m pretty tame. If anything, I’m pretty boring. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do illegal drugs. I don’t gamble (or rather, I only gamble in video games with fictional money, and only to get the good stuff). I don’t swear very often (mostly to preserve the power of precision F-bombs when I do feel like swearing). I don’t believe in witchcraft, much less practice it. I’m a virgin.

I don’t leave shopping carts in the parking lot. When I have to reach back to get a particular item off the shelf, I pull a couple extra ones to the front for others. I avoid using my cell phone while driving or in the theater. I use my turn signal, even if I don’t see anyone else on the road. I usually go to bed around 10 or 11pm.


Where’s the big sinful change that supposedly comes with my atheism?

7 responses to “What Life of Sin?

  1. The breakdown of what ‘sins’ are common in one’s life is interesting self-examination and maybe more people need to try it. My breakdown produced results not so different from your own. (My sex, drugs & rock’n’roll era was mostly in the past although sex & rock’n’roll can still play a part).

    I was more ‘sinful’ before I turned to atheism and critical thinking. Racism and the secret desire to be rid of all other religions were both mine before I took charge of my own life & supposed soul.

  2. I enjoy reading your posts, Bronze Dog, even if it takes me awhile to comment! I have recently noticed that I am much more honest with other people (and myself!) after leaving religion in my past. It wasn’t a conscious decision either way, but I’ve noticed that I no longer fear confrontation, or being told “no”, or whatever, and therefore can engage honestly with other people. For example, I sometimes pay visits to clients of mine who reside in nursing homes. There is one in particular where I wasn’t sure what the policies were, and I was afraid that if I asked, I might be told I couldn’t go there. So I just went anyway and let “god” handle the details. (While feeling a twinge of guilt for doing so.) So immature, I realize in retrospect. At some point, I just went to the front desk and found out the policies, and now I sign in when I go. No big deal!

    It is really sad to me now how much time Christians (for example) spend trying to convince others that they are sinners in need of a savior. Christians who say that atheists just want to live a life of sin have drunk deeply of the “man is inferior, god is superior” kool-aid.

    And last time I checked, even “saved” Christians still sin? Some groups are rather big on pointing out that they can’t go ten seconds without sinning and “need” God. Saying that atheists just want to live a life of sin doesn’t even make sense! Which reminds me, some pastors, etc. do spend a lot of time trying to discredit atheists. Fortunately some people do emerge from the haze and learn how to see past those logical fallacies!

  3. What I was trying to say in my first paragraph is that I am demonstrably a better person after no longer being religious. I think the first commenter made a similar point. I wonder what a Christian preacher would have to say about that!

  4. We’re not so different, you and I. I’m pretty much about as tame as they get. If I’ve committed any sin, it is the comedian’s sin of being “boring”. (I’ve literally heard some comedy writers say they can more easily tolerate someone being racist or sexist than being “a huge bore”).

    That’s now anyway. Most of my refinement comes from a childhood of being taught how to behave, like just about anyone else. I tend to be shocked when I find out someone I know stole some petty thing, like a lawn gnome, because I’d never think to do that, even as a prank.

    That sort of informs how I act as an atheist amongst the atheist movement. I would have a very hard time being “civil disobedient” because part of me would fear someone else justifying a revenge killing as “civil disobedience” . The other part realizes that’s kinda silly, but can’t really put a finger on why just yet. I’m the one that gets shocked at simply throwing a shoe at someone, yeah, I’m the one. I’m the one you’re riding with driving the speed limit on a nearly empty stretch of road, the one annoying you to death because “it’s an unwritten rule that cops don’t care unless it’s over 5 over the speed limit”. Basically, I can’t break rules easily. My thinking is “society is built on rules of behavior, and without order we have CHAOS! CHAOS EDDY!” On the one hand, this makes me a “tool”, but on the other hand, I’m not the one who’s going to eventually “take the law in my own hands”, so it’s basically just two strategies to the same problem.

    I’ll support those who feel it is needed to break some mild laws to get change to happen, because sometimes that gets attention and works. I’ll probably be “supporting” them from my armchair though.

    Um, back on topic, the “sin” is apparently any thing they can pin on you that you did as a kid. Right, they change the argument slightly. If you demonstrate well enough that you are NOT in fact “living in sin” (and while I’m at it, while you and I may not by any of their definitions, I won’t hold all atheists up to our plain bread standards), a subtle shift occurs. They ask if you have EVER sinned, then find some lie or some cruel thing you did as a kid, then say “see, you are a sinner and need Christ”. This totally changes the argument from “You are only an atheist so you can sin” to “it doesn’t matter how well you are living now, you are still impure from some past act, so stop being an atheist”. It’s an overall lack of concern for any one specific argument, or any specific fact, because all that matters is the end goal, getting you that sweet sweet salvation.

  5. the concept of sin is ridiculous

    wifey & I lived in sin for three years and then tied the knot in the presbyterian church behind which we used to makeout

    4 years later, the Rev is busted for diddling three boys for years

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