“You’re an Atheist Because You Want to Sin.”

I’ve heard a lot of things since my beliefs changed. Some are rather funny, but most are hurtful and frustrating. This is one I hear a lot: “You’re an atheist because you want to sin!” Here are my rebuttals.

1. First of all, you’re essentially calling me a liar. I know why I stopped believing, and that’s not it. Your implication is that I actually DO believe in God and sin, but am lying or in denial, and that being an atheist is my excuse for being able to sin. So what you’re saying is that I cannot possibly know my true reasons for disbelieving, but you (often a stranger) somehow do. How arrogant and offensive.

2. Secondly, you’re assuming that I’m basically devoid of common sense. Do you think I’m foolish enough to think that saying “I don’t believe in God” would be enough to save me from the consequences of sin if God did exist and sin was a real thing? Of course not. According to common Christian teachings my belief in sin would be irrelevant, it would not change how I was punished. I’m not foolish enough to try to fool an omniscient deity- I just don’t believe there is such a thing.

3. You assume that I care about or fear sin. I don’t. Just like Christians don’t think about or worry about reincarnation, I don’t worry about sin. Why? Because I don’t think it’s a real thing, other than as a human societal construct. I believe sin is a human construct that was created by people for controlling others. If you tell someone that what they’re doing is sinful and they’ll burn in hell for it, it’s a very powerful tool of manipulation. Political rulers have used this tool since early human history. I don’t think about sin at all in my daily life because it has absolutely no bearing on my life.

It’s equally humorous and frustrating when some Christians threaten me with hell, or make comments about how “if I loved God I would turn from my sin”. I don’t love God- I can’t love something that doesn’t exist. It’s like chiding me for not loving Allah or Vishnu, both of which are deities that other people currently believe in. And I don’t care about sin, because I don’t need obey another human’s arbitrary rules to be moral and kind.