|A warning: this post may go a bit off topic and may contain personal revelations of the author that have not much to do with a criticism or praise of the article in who's thread it is attached. I mention this only in light of reading other threads that go off topic after many a posting and in hopes that this doesn't happen too quickly in this thread (or if it does, that the "collective" members of SOLO don't throw me out the door on my ear ;) That being said, I submit the following:|
This story definitely hit home for me in several ways. I was once a member of the ICOC (it seems Jenna and I have something in common) and am now an atheist. Looking back, I sometimes have a hard time understanding what it was that led me to the ICOC. I think in many ways it was the fact that as a freshman in college, and somewhat lacking in friendships, I grabbed onto the first group of people that wanted to be my "friends". And, growing up Lutheran, I didn't find the fact that it was a church group that disconcerting. Of course, as at least one other can probably attest to, hindsight is twenty-twenty and the brand of "conditional friendship" that the members of the ICOC offered quickly became unsatisfactory (some say I have a gift for understatement).
Anyway, once I "fell away" my relationships with the members of the church disappeared. I was quite confused for some time, being afraid to even think of an unsavory word for fear of the Almighty's wrath. I truly felt in part of my being that the decision to leave the church was a damnable choice. Fast-forward several years, and after discovering The Fountainhead (through the webmaster at bodyinmind.com) I discovered Objectivism. Now, I'm definitely still a newbie to the ideas of Ayn Rand, but have been careful not to replace one religion with another.
To try and curtail myself before I ramble too much more, my recent switch from ardent Bible thumper to Atlas Shrugged thumper (hope you get the joke) would most certainly come as a surprise to my own father. In fact, a comment he made to me recently disturbed me quite a bit. In a discussion on religion and it's validity, I put forth the idea that religion, or belief in any supernatural explanation for unknowns, is just a psychological "scape goat" and has no basis in concrete reality. My father said that he believed in God, because if there were no God, he would be "very lonely". This really struck me hard. I felt so bad for him. I, on the one hand understood to some degree what he felt, but on the other hand, now realizing that I am a glorious being all to myself and don't need a higher powered figure to validate my existence, I wished he could feel how I do about the world and myself now. Maybe in time.
Yes, that is quite a ramble, but these are the thoughts that this story brought out in my mind. Thanks for submitting it and allowing others to voice their thoughts.