MELISSA’S LETTERS: Dear Atheists, I understand your beliefs, but do you understand mine?

Dear Atheists,

God can be a touchy subject. There is a lot of hatred between theists and atheists—and for good reason. They disagree on one of the most important questions of life, one that may not ever be answered.

People can get a little upset when you disagree with their beliefs on the ways of the universe and the meaning of life. Everyone takes it personally, and we all get extra worked up out of insecurity because no one can prove either side. We are really trying to convince ourselves, as well as others, of our beliefs any time we are discussing God. The arguments never get anywhere, and the only reason someone ever seems to win is because they are the better debater, not because they are right.

The late-night thinking and intellectual discussions (arguments) among friends are difficult and tiring. It’s hard not to stereotype; it really seems like every atheist thinks they’re better than I am. You all look at me as if I am some little child who wants to believe in fairies and magic.

To be honest, you guys are right. There’s no use denying it. Of course I want to believe in God. The idea of God gives life meaning and depth and hope for something bigger and better. In the world we live in—full of hate and sorrow and greed—who wouldn’t want to believe there’s something worth living for, other than living simply for the sake of living?

However, just because I want to believe in God does not necessarily make whatever argument I have automatically null and void. But I always feel that, to you atheists, it does. It is as if whatever I say has already been deemed an unfit argument before it even reaches your ears.

Besides the fact that the existence of God is a nice idea, to me, it seems logical to assume there’s something bigger than we. But, of course, no one—not even myself—will ever know how much of my argument for God is logical, and how much simply comes from my desire for the existence of God. However, I believe that logic and feeling do not always have to oppose each other, but can work together. With a question as unanswerable as this, who is anyone to say that my gut feeling is not a good enough reason for me to believe in God?

Lots of atheists are oppressed and harassed for their beliefs, especially by more traditional and radical religious organizations. However, some of you complain about radical theists trying to convert you and telling you you are going to go to hell when those you youselves can be equally judgmental and hurtful.

I am not very religious, but it seems to me that the purpose and meaning religion brings those who are outweigh the hate and corruption that often comes with religious organizations. This is why I dislike it when you attack religion. Religion pushes people to be good and do good, which is beneficial to everyone. Many religious organizations also raise lots of money for those in need. I feel like a lot of the time you atheists see only the bad side of religion (gay hate, sexism, corruption etc.) and fail to acknowledge how much good religion does.

However, I am also met with arguments such as “What about the Crusades?” and at this point of the argument, I am at a loss for words. Perhaps religion does bring just as much bad as good. However, I don’t believe it is the religion’s fault. People will find reasons to hate with or without religion. Although religion has given people reason to hate one another, without religion, people would still find other excuses to hate. I believe the fault for the evil in religion lies mostly in the people, not in religion itself.

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