Now the anti-theist in me had woken up. The next time we met with the missionaries mostly I did the talking. It was my turn to talk, and their turn to listen. I criticized their faith, claiming it was racist and sexist and had no archaeological evidence to support their book of fan-fiction. I talked about the real origins of religion, about where Yahweh really originated from, about how no evidence has been found to prove a divine being, and how evidence actually has so far disputed most religious claims throughout history. I talked about all the fallacies they’ve made so far in trying to prove god, like the god of the gaps argument and appeal to authority. I said that either there actually is no god, or he deliberately hides himself from humanity, leaving behind false evidence that point to a galaxy billions of years old and an earth where life has evolved over a long period of time. This was not the loving god that Mormons believed in. They didn’t think that god would be a deceptive god who wanted to fool mankind.
I told them how I had tried to notice god answering my prayers. About how I had to make unbiased observations, not only noticing when my prayers were answered, but also when they weren’t. I had to look at all signs about what god liked about the idea of me joining the church. I told them that when I was on my way to church the second time, my car almost didn’t start, I almost backed into a car driving past me when pulling out. Another car almost rammed me a couple of minutes later, and I lost my way at the end, only finding my way there by asking directions. My fellow humans helped me get to church, not god. This is why I put my faith in humans.
They soon started to realize that there was no way they could convert me, but they had their orders of trying until I told them I didn’t want to continue meeting them. We all felt the awkwardness in the room now when we were praying. We only met a couple of times after this meeting. I found that it was really going nowhere. The same arguments were used by both sides, time after time. I tried to lead the conversation to something new, but it felt like the missionaries were deliberately trying to keep us on a track they’ve been trained to handle. Finally I had the guts to say that I didn’t want to keep meeting them anymore, that this whole thing was going nowhere and that it was a waste of time for all of us. They said that it was unfortunate, but said that I was one of the smartest guys they had ever met, and if I ever felt like I wanted to meet them again I shouldn’t hesitate to call them. I knew I was smart. I had gotten an ego boost from the Mormons during my time with them. During Family Nights and other events especially the Stengers were amazed by how much knowledge the brain of someone my age contained. I knew though that the Mormons thought that because of my intelligence I should have realized that their church was right and that god existed. Before they left they once again asked if there was anything they could do. They suggested washing my windows. Seriously, what the fuck was this all about?
Back to before
That was my encounter with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was not a complete waste of time, since I think that both I and the Mormons gained a little more respect for each other. I don’t think of Mormons as complete nutjobs anyore. I think of them as decent, friendly human beings who are complete nutjobs. They probably realized that the younger generation has become more secular for a reason, be it a divine reason, and that non-believers are not all the complete assholes fundamentalists sometime regard them as. I’m a complete asshole, yes, but the Mormons never realized that.
I don’t know what will happen after death. I don’t know the answers to many of life’s big mysteries. But not knowing is much more exciting than filling in those gaps with an imaginary being. We don’t have to justify our existence. We don’t have to keep the egoistic thoughts about existing forever. Life becomes so much more meaningful when you realize that this is the only chance you get to have a glimpse of the vast universe. Don’t waste it on Iron Age fairy tales. And if the Mormons happen to be right, I need not worry. They have my name somewhere in their registers. Once I die, I will be posthumously baptized, ascend to heaven, get my own planet and create it full of kittens and without sin. As a planet should be.