25 Aug 2011

Truth over Comfort

If you had to choose between truth and comfort which would you choose?

My last post talked about the very clear deception that occurs in Charismatic Christian churches, it was the truth but when I began recognizing this truth it was anything but comfortable.

Comfort, in my own words, is when your understanding of the world is something you are OK with. It’s when your way of seeing the world doesn’t have to be changed by anything because it doesn’t conflict with the way you want the world to be. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that a life of faith doesn’t have it’s challenges – what with denying your carnal desires and working to please the man in the sky all of your life – it’s tough for many that care enough to pursue it fully – but the idea of an afterlife of niceties kind of outweighs those cons.

I’ve always valued Truth…so much that I’ve often capitalized it as if the word Truth were just as good as the word God (actually, it’s better), the way I determine what is true has changed dramatically though; as I used to believe that if the Bible said it that it must be Truth. I didn’t even have to question that conclusion, my faith allowed for that to be so…it was comfortable to me and I had no reason to question it.

I remember when I first started feeling my doubts, it was very uncomfortable – kinda like sleeping on a bed of nails uncomfortable, it won’t kill you but it’s not a Serta™. It was at that point that I had to make a decision:  I could hush my doubts and try to forget that they had ever began…I could be comfortable where I was before or I could embrace the standard of evidence that I had been fully aware existed but ignored most of my life – I could pursue Truth despite comfort.  I didn’t know where it would lead me, I never expected to become an atheist but without fully knowing what the consequences would be – I told myself that it was Truth that I wanted, even if it hurt.

I think that was the last day I ever prayed to the god I believed in. I told him that I wanted the Truth, specifically about him and that I was ready for it…I told him I didn’t care about how much this would hurt – I wasn’t going to let my emotional frailty determine what was True any longer. Truth is not relative, it never has been – something either is or is not true and your acceptance of that fact has no effect on it’s reality, the idea of blind faith is an affront to truth as it grants no method of determining and testing it.

I’m not saying that truth and comfort are mutually exclusive, that’s not true at all – the fact is that one should never rely on the other. I’m not privy to the comfort of believing in an afterlife or a big sky-daddy to take care of me, but I do have the comforts provided by science, medicine, discovery, and the prospect that eventually the world will be a better place than it is now.

I think we, the human race if you will, are coming to the point in our evolution where we may be able to start preferring truth over comfort. The numbers of atheists and non-religious are growing very quickly throughout the world and that tells me that we don’t really need to make up truth any more, we can pursue it and until we discover it we are becoming comfortable with the statement “I Don’t Know”. I think we are moving away from our need to believe in an afterlife, prayer, and superstition – it’s happening slowly, but it’s happening. This is a truth that I find rather comforting.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,
written by
Matt is a former Christian who, through facing his own doubts found a life without faith. Now atheist he dedicates his life to helping people transition through stages of belief via private counseling. Matt is currently working on his first book - Embracing Doubt, and contributing to the dialogue between atheists, Christians, and skeptics.
Related Posts

15 Responses to “Truth over Comfort”

  1. Reply @GUYVESTAL says:

    Truth and comfort are the same thing.

  2. Reply frkelsey says:

    Very well stated. I have a dear friend who often tells me that I take her out of her comfort area by forcing her to deal with truth. Though she admits that she cannot in any way prove or defend her beliefs that give her comfort she would rather hold on to that fantasy than to be forced to abandon those beliefs for truth.

    I myself had to deal with getting out of my comfort level in accepting truth. I now call that truth "reality". And the only way that I can see myself or mankind at large growing and advancing is to deal with realities.

    It is also similar to politics. As the 2012 presidential campaign ramps up I have talked to many who know nothing more about Rick Perry other than his PRAYER DAY but turn a deaf ear to anything more about him as they do not want that prayer image of his tainted by the reality of what facts and truth tell about his governorship of Texas.

    • Reply squirrel88 says:

      "who know nothing more about Rick Perry other than his PRAYER DAY but turn a deaf ear to anything more about him as they do not want that prayer image of his tainted by the reality of what facts and truth tell about his governorship of Texas."

      And that is totally ridiculous! I can see it now, there's good ole Perry in the Oval Office, conducting his Sunday mornin' prayer meetins' with his staff, passing the collection plate after the last hymn is sung! How does he get away with this crap in Texas? Did all those citizens forget about separation of church and state?

  3. Reply rblevy says:

    The truth usually hurts and is something that we don't want to hear when it shatters our illusions. If someone believes in utter nonsense and refuses to accept or even listen to the facts, about the only thing one can do in that case is to tell such people that they can believe want but not to stop spouting their absurdities in your presence.

  4. Reply Mark says:

    Good post. Truth versus comfort is something I tacked in a post some time ago – except I included two other variables – happiness and freedom. I try not to link back to my blog much (I haven't even written a new article there in quite some time), but this one is, I think, similar enough to warrant. http://40yearoldatheist.com/doubting-your-faith-f

  5. Reply vjack says:

    I'll take truth, although I have to admit that I've always found a certain level of comfort in truth.

  6. Reply lilcoppertop says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog because of your honesty and your general lack of….dang, can't think of a word to replace "blasting the church and religious people".

    As for truth…I've been looking for it. Especially in regards to god. It kind of scares me sometimes when I think about how you said your journey started with a desire to know him deeper, and lead you to not believing he exists. My own search has not (as yet) lead me to that conclusion, but it has me constantly asking myself "what is the truth? What is just opinion? What am I assuming is true without really testing it?"

    Anyway, I think I mostly just wanted to let you know you have another reader. =)

    • Reply RevOxley says:

      Thanks! Glad to know you enjoy what I do – It means a LOT to me, especially knowing that my approach is still acceptable by some believers, no matter what stage of belief you are in.

      I did a lot of second guessing myself, trying to decide if my emotions and prejudices were more involved in my beliefs than an actual love of truth. I found the case to be that yes, most of what I believe and hold on to is simply because I want it to be true. None of that makes my former beliefs untrue, but it does give me reason to question them… for me, the most important thing I could have ever done was to tell myself to attempt to be as devoid of emotion and prejudice as possible as I began looking…which meant starting with a blank slate in regards to religion.

      If you start with a blank slate (as blank as you can get it anyway) and consider whether or not you would believe something had you never heard of it before and had been sterilized of those sorts of leanings you'll notice the things you are willing to accept as true change rapidly. Regardless, you may find yourself still believing in some sort of god but if you start to question that belief at all it will change quickly into a different sort of belief…god will evolve as you search for a better understanding as you recognize just how impossible it would be for your first revision of religious understanding to be correct.

  7. Reply Bowmanave says:

    I'm not really understanding how Tim is religious. Sounds more like he's Church of England.

  8. Reply (Another) Former Atheist Embraces Faith says:

    [...] place when compared to the idea of eternity in the presence of a great and wonderful god – but these conveniences don’t make the Christian story any more true. The fact remains that belief in god cannot be substantiated outside of faith, when held to [...]

  9. Reply Facing the Reality of Death says:

    [...] to believe that we have  “souls” or  “spirits” even though those things sound nice. I think this one life is all we have, anyone that claims to know otherwise is lying or is falsely [...]

  10. Reply Vol says:

    The truth is that an omnipresent god could contact each and every one of us to pass on what he rally wanted. It chose not to, and that doesn't comfort me.
    Ergo, truth and comfort are not the same thing.
    Yes, simple I know, but it makes my point. Truth does not equal comfort.

  11. Reply The Problem with Certainty says:

    [...] Certainty is comfortable, yes – it risks nothing and it gains nothing but what good is that life? Steeped in arrogance and assurance but never gaining knowledge through experience, never leaning over the edge of the canyon of doubt. Eyes closed. Leaning further forward. Free-fall. [...]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: