Some of you who have visited us before may have read about my ‘holy co-worker’. Our relationship dynamic is an odd one. He is not really a subordinate or colleague, we merely work on separate projects in the same lab so interactions between us are much more casual.
He is aware that I am an atheist and that skepticism is what drives my non-belief, I require substantial evidence to believe the spectacular claims of religion and thus far, the criteria has not been met. On the other hand, he is a fervent Christian and though he claims to follow scripture to live his life, he has not read the complete bible (a real deficiency in my opinion of many fervent believers).
We are able to have many benign conversations about religion and ‘god’ without any hard feelings on either side, usually we end up agreeing to disagree. There is one issue though that is a bit irksome, he incessantly claims that one day my mind will change, I will no longer need evidence for supernatural claims and become just as relentless as he is about the existence of god. While I always leave my mind open to new evidence and seldom say “never”, I have looked very deeply into religious claims and all of them came up lacking where they pertain to evidence. A change of mind is highly unlikely.
The arrogant assumption that one day everyone will join his ‘club’ is an indication to me of the Holy Co-Worker’s insecurities with his faith and beliefs. An uncomfortable tone coats his words when he speaks of those who do not believe exactly as he does, this even applies to other Abrahamic faiths such as Judaism and Islam. There is a tension exhibited by the ‘insecure’ believers when they encounter others who do not hold the same beliefs. It appears that they feel their faith, their so-called “personal” beliefs are at risk when not everyone tows the line.
On the other hand… I am secure in my non-belief. I do not need another person on this planet to be a atheist for me to hold confidently to what I believe is (or isn’t) true.
I have encountered many believers such as my co-worker, they do little to support their faith and only display to me the weakness and deep welled strife within that possibly comes from belief in 2000 year old myth and legend.