Seek and You Will Find

Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (NASB)

Ok. Awesome. The bible says all I have to do is ask. All I have to do is seek.

Oh, will you look at that, it's in the following passages as well! (Bear with me. Feel free to skip down a bit.)

Luke 11:9-13 "ditto"
Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 21:22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
and again...
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
and again...
John 14:13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
wait there's more...
John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
and again...
John 15:16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
and again...
John 16:23 In that day you will not question Me about anything Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
Ho Hum, even more...
James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
This is really getting repetitive...
1 John 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
Finally, the last one!
1 John 5:14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Whew! Sorry for going biblical on you. But obviously if the "good book" repeats the same message twelve times, it must be important and it must be relevant. I should be able to believe in it as a Christian. Right?

I guess this is why people rely on prayer so heavily, even in this day and age when it's pretty obvious that prayers aren't answered any better than chance. But I digress. I have a point to make.

How many times as an atheist or freethinker have you been called cold and unfeeling, unemotional, disconnected from God, unable to see the Love of God that Christians feel so effortlessly and in abundance? I get it all the time. And frankly I find it quite offensive.

First, while I embrace science as the best way to observe and understand the universe, and while I cherish reason and logic as tools to make sense of ourselves and our world, I am not a cold, unfeeling, uncaring baby eater. Ok, ok, I have to be honest with you. I'm in BabyEaters Anonymous and it's been 34 days and 6 hours since I last ate a baby. So leave me alone about it. It's not my fault they're so damned tasty. (and if you don't know I'm kidding, I can't help you. There's nothing to see here.)

What is more deeply moving and awe-inspiring than Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot? Or on a personal level, what about the 15 year deep and abiding love I share with my awesome husband? Or the girlish thrill I get when I watch an Assassin Bug catch a Japanese Beetle in my garden? (oh the marvels of nature and evolution! So completely astounding! I get a rush watching such "mundane" things). What about the compassion I feel when I reach out to help a sick child? Yes, even us cold, heartless atheists do volunteer work to help our fellow inhabitants on this amazing planet.

I could go on and on. If I had children I'm sure that would be at the top of the list, but like many godless I'm also childless, a testament that humans can overcome their biological imperative with intellect, and that in itself is amazing. The very fact that we are compassionate and truly altruistic against our biological need to have our genes survive is also marvelously cool.

Anyway, I got completely sidetracked with how awesome the world and the Cosmos is. But as an atheist I supposedly can't feel the same joy, love or awe that Christians can because they have the love of God and I don't. How insulting and condescending!

And the fact that I'm godless is obviously a real lack on my part. I supposedly have chosen cold intellect and icy reason over warm faith and God's unconditional love. (Don't get me started on his love. It's very conditional if you read his book)

Apparently, I've turned from God. I've been told I'm angry at him. But how on earth can I be angry at something that I am pretty confident doesn't exist? I'm not mad at leprechauns either, by the way.

Okay, here's something else. I know 4 people who were all very devout Christians who are now all atheists. They all studied the bible to fully immerse themselves in God's Word. And in that immersion, instead of deepening their faith, reality came calling and they had to listen. Even though it was a painful thing to admit, they all realized that God doesn't exist and the bible is a book written by men.

The same thing happened to me. I went on a Quest for Knowledge when I was in my mid-twenties. I believed and wanted to understand Jesus more completely. I was on a personal mission to seek out knowledge of Jesus. Instead of finding faith and love of God, I found reality. I wasn't looking to become an atheist. That wasn't even a consideration. I wanted to understand God better.

Did God harden my heart like he did to the Pharoah? Is that what he does to people who try to understand him more fully? Is that how atheists are created? If God exists, why would he abandon me when I was trying to understand his son more deeply? Why would he show me reality instead of bathe me in Love for him?

Two men I've known (one mentioned above and a fifth friend not previously mentioned here), have found it very painful to leave their faith. Religion was a comfort to them, but the facts were overwhelming and they had to admit that God doesn't exist. Why would God make them suffer to leave his Love like that?

Occam's Razor must be employed here, and the only reasonable and rational answer is that God doesn't exist. If he does, and he treats people who seek understanding and knowledge of him the way he treated me and my friends, if he really acted the way he did in the bible and other holy books, if he really lets such evil things happen to innocents and does nothing to lift a holy finger, I wouldn't want anything to do with him anyway.

Why would God withdraw the spiritual world Christians seem to find so easily? Why would he sow doubt into good people seeking him out, who just want to broaden their minds? What kind of god would do that? If that god exists, he's malicious. And he goes against the 12 verses in his own book that I quoted above, most said by his own son!

Unless of course we are just removing the veil of illusion from our eyes and seeing the world as it is instead of how we'd like it to be.  The evidence is certainly in my favor on that.


  1. Good post Neece! Always a pleasure to read :)

    During my recent studies for my book I made a study of what is called 'the social contract' (rousseau 1762), which applies to your story of helping other people and how us 'atheists' do have morals and ethics. John Rawls (see wiki) doesnt talk of 'the veil of illusion', but of the 'veil of ignorance' (which perhaps applies even better to the religious!). Social contract theory might even explain why people stay in church and the 'power' of religion. I hope this may inspire your writings.

    As for your friends, it takes bravery, effort and even pain to find and face the truth. As for devout believers not getting of their chair, I've coined a term for them: 'intellectual lazyness'.

  2. No, no! You don't understand:

    Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

    And you forgot to boldface here:

    1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

    You see, this isn't a contradiction. You just have to "compar[e] spiritual things with spiritual" (I Cor 2:13). I'd explain, but you probably wouldn't get it, because, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Cor 2:14)"

    My work here is done.


  3. Thanks Jobson. :) I'll have to look into social contract theory. And yes, I used to be a believer. I know how hard it is to face reality and realize just about everything you believed was all an illusion. It's painful and difficult.

  4. Neece,

    I came upon you blog through a friend's blog. Interesting reading here. I have gone something of the opposite direction. I was raised Catholic, lapsed and decided to be something between an agnostic and an animist. That was when I was in my late teens, early twenties. Over the years, I read the Bible, English translations of the Koran, Greco-Roman and Norse mythology, Irish myths, C. S. Lewis, Carl Sagan, etc.

    I have been and remain appalled by "pious certainty," be it in the name of Christ, Allah, or any other deity. I have found the same intellectual thrill in Sagan's The Dragons of Eden as I have in Lewis's The Great Divorce.

    The most transformative thing I encountered was a statement from a Bay-area photographer and entomologist whose name I can't even remember now. (I paraphrase) "I came to believe in God because I could not otherwise explain beauty that exists beyond function."

    I believe now that there is a entity or consciousness that is omnipotent. Our attempts to measure, define, describe or name that entity are pale things, but they are consistently made throughout human history and cannot be easily dismissed as mere superstition. We are "..Sub-creator(s), the refracted light through whom is splintered from a single White" attempting to re-create -- through story -- something we dimly understand or feel that we once knew.

  5. Hi Denis,
    Beauty is like Love, Justice, Honor and other ideals. It is a product of the minds of humankind. We decide what is beautiful. It's completely subjective. There is nothing outside of our heads that say anything is "beautiful". Same for love, although elephants mourn their dead and recognize themselves in mirrors, so they might be getting close to us in consciousness. At any rate we're definitely at the top of the scale of consciousness and self awareness. And with our big brains we have developed advanced concepts. It's wonderful and marvelous, but not really unexplainable.
    We don't measure or define a conscious entity in the universe because there is ZERO evidence of anything supernatural in the entire universe. EVERYTHING so far ever discovered has a natural cause. To reach for god or a conscious omnipotence is to appeal to ignorance just because one doesn't understand all the wonderful science that has been done, and all the observations that have been made that ALL agree that everything is natural and so far falls within the laws of nature.
    Why do you need to make up more when this is all so marvelous on its own?