Atheist-for-a-year: ‘No evidence for God’
At the start of 2014, former Seventh-Day Adventist pastor Ryan Bell, above, made an unusual New Year’s resolution: to live for one year without God. This led to his sacking from his job as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Now, as 2014 draws to a close, Bell has decided that there’s no going back to Christianity. He is reported here as saying:
I’ve looked at the majority of the arguments that I’ve been able to find for the existence of God and on the question of God’s existence or not, I have to say I don’t find there to be a convincing case in my view.
I don’t think that God exists. I think that makes the most sense of the evidence that I have and my experience. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the most interesting thing about me.
Today, Bell has a new job at PATH, an organisation dedicated to helping the homeless.
It’s, I think, an expression of really the part of me that hasn’t changed. I’m still the same person deep down that I was before. I care about justice and equality and I want to see opportunities spread more evenly in our society.
Bell says he still feels like atheism is “an awkward fit” and also feels uncomfortable around his former Christian friends who are adjusting to his new views.
One of his biggest lessons from the year is:
That people very much value certainty and knowing and are uncomfortable saying that they don’t know.
Now he thinks certainty is a bit overrated.
I think before I wanted a closer relationship to God and today I just want a closer relationship with reality
Reporting on Bell’s defection to the Light Side, blogger Bo Gardiner compiled a list of comments left on several sites about Bell. They include
• What a dirtbag. Sorry, without Christ your ‘good deeds’ are worth *****.”
• Drama queen.
• Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light….. Isaiah 5:20.
• He means without submitting to God. But only God is good, so it is impossible without Him.
• Being good without boundaries. The serpent couldn’t have said it any better.
• No God, no concience… No God, no peace… Now come out of the closet faggot.
• Calling evil good and good evil … where have we heard that before, I wonder?
• Next he’ll tell us he’s discovered he’s a transvestite.
• I was wondering if he is dating a male or female.
• Seems as though he is sewing the devils fruits to me.
• His ‘wrestling with doubts’ is about as real as professional wrestling.
• Smells like someone is having a mid-life crisis.
• He is not smart enough to be able to see the difference between religion and belief.
• I am sincerely curious. What obnoxious certainty do Christians have that he objects to?
• This man is full of self-approval. He thinks he knows it all. Pathetic.