Atheists Help Theists?

I recently found a user on reddit named anonoman925 who gave a particularly poignant description of the origins of his atheism. I asked him if I could reprint it on my blog and he gave me full permission.

The post was in response to a user who described Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook’s view that atheism helps theism (available here.) Why? User taqwacore describes:

According to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook atheists only deny one of man’s many images of God. Since any man-made image of God can be considered an idol, Kook held that, in practice, one could consider atheists as helping true religion burn away false images of god, thus in the end serving the purpose of true monotheism.

In response, anonoman925 said:

I keep coming back to this experience as this is the most poignant experience in my life i can point to to pin point my Atheism.
Every Xmas up to 5 yrs old I believed in Santa. Close to Xmas my parents would use Santa as a tool to check my behavior. Santa was always watching me. I could almost feel him shaking his head in dismay when I did something out of order. Close to my 6th Xmas, my parents came out with it, and that feeling disappeared. And reasonably with it, so did Jesus. However, not believing in Jesus meant burning in hell (the message I inherited). So I struggled to …”bring back that lovin’ feeling, though it’s gone, gone, gone, whao–ooooo”.

So what the fuck does this mental scaring have to do with Atheism supporting Theism? Pretty soon you peel so much onion, there’s no onion. When you have nothing left in your hands, tears in your eyes, and a distinct offensive smell – you find that all you have IS your hands.

The peels dry and fade, the tears are a memory, and the smell is recalled during outings; I remember when I was done all I had was me.

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