My name is Paul Schaffer and I am one of the newer Committee members of the Atheist Foundation of Australia.
As a baby, I was christened in the Salvo’s. I attended Sunday school until I was 11 or 12 years old when I couldn’t put up with it anymore. My mother wanted me to attend Church with her then but I think that only lasted for about a year. I used to have a go at the Officer for giving too long sermons (not that I took any notice of them) before I pulled out altogether.
Most of my mother’s friends were Catholics and I must have been 14 or 15 when I thought that I would try Catholicism. However, that did nothing for me and after about a year – yes, it lasted that long! – I left.
Over the next few years I floundered around in different churches and at 19 I thought that I’d found the right one when I was baptised in the Christian Revival Crusade (Pentecostal).
I lived in country South Australia, lost my job and came to Adelaide in 1974. Thank goodness for that!
I kept up with the C.R.C. for a few more months until I realised that I wasn’t receiving answers to the questions I asked and many things didn’t add up. You probably all realise that the ministers know what makes people upset, laugh, cry etc and they all have one explanation to questions – theirs! And of course each minister has a different version from the next.
I was aged 20 when I saw the light, so to speak, and relinquished religion altogether. I’m so glad that I did and over the last 26 years I’ve been a ‘non-practising Atheist’.
I put Atheism into the “Science Fact” column and religion into the “Science Fiction” column. We all know that there are some assertions, which neither side can prove nor disprove.
I’m proud to be an Atheist and a Committee Member and if there are other members or readers who would like to share their story, we would be pleased to hear from you.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Was there ever a time, after the age of about ten, when I really believed in a god? I doubt it very much. I cannot recall truly believing that there was actually an invisible Father Christmas-like being who was watching my every move; listening in to my very thoughts. Tooth fairies and angels and hobgoblins and all the rest were just for the amusement of children. How was god so different? To me, god didn’t seem any more real than the rest of the inhabitants of the fantastical world of make-believe.
It was rather later, when the beginnings of critical thought began, that doubts crystallised further. We were told, and told again, that god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to be crucified. It was said so many times that the absurdity of it got missed somehow. God, the Almighty, the Omnipotent, the One without limit of any sort would choose to show his love of the world, (which we now know to be among the most insignificant of his innumerable creations) by having his only son made a human sacrifice unto himself. Why? Was god incapable of showing his love in a more loving way? Could he not have erased plague or famine or earthquakes or tempests from his perfect world instead of this disgusting crucifixion? Just think of it, this god of the Jews chooses to have his beloved and only son brutally slain upon a cross as a sign of his love for us. Does it even begin to ring true?
And speaking of plagues and the like, why do we have them? If god made the world, and all that is in it – including Satan for some odd reason, then why did he include all the unjustified pain and mayhem? Cruelty beyond measure for even the youngest of the innocents. Why? Freewill, perhaps, can be blamed for war but not for any of the natural disasters which beset god’s perfect creation. Can all the mischief in the world be blamed on Satan? And if it can, then why did god create him in the first place? And why does god permit Satan to continue on his merry way? And why, if it comes to that, does god have so cosy a relationship with him? Refer if you will to the prologue in the Book of Job. At chapter 6 we see: The day came when the members of the court of heaven took their places in the presence of the Lord, and Satan was there among them. Really! What was Satan doing there in the court of heaven? Why were god, hereinafter referred to as Yahweh, and Satan, hereinafter referred to as Satan, chatting away like a couple of drinking mates? (For the full story see the rest of the Book of Job.)
There are many other examples in the Bible of the absurd and the disgusting. Just read it and judge for yourself. Look, for example, at the account of the crucifixion at Mathew 27:52. There was an earthquake, the rocks split and the graves opened, and many of God’s saints were raised from sleep; and coming out of their graves after his resurrection they entered the Holy City, where many saw them. And what, we may wonder, happened to them then? Strangely, no other mention is made of this rather interesting event in the other gospels. Stranger still is the fact that no other writer of the time seems to have thought that this unusual awakening was worth recording.
As we may safely conclude that these same saints, in whatever state of decay they may have been in at the time, are not now roaming around Jerusalem the most likely surmise as to their fate is that, after a suitable time of merriment, they reburied themselves in their former graves. We congratulate them on their achievement and hope that there were no homecoming mix-ups.
There are many reasons why one should not be a Christian, and most of them can found in an admirable book called ‘The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy’ by C. Dennis McKinsey. Get it if you can. But not being a Christian, or some other form of devotee of Yahweh, does not automatically make you an atheist. That extra step requires further enquiry and honest endeavour. For me, that enquiry required only that I use the same critical faculties that I use for more mundane matters. In general I take the view that nothing should be believed without at least some solid evidence. There are of course degrees of evidence and degrees of certainty but, overall, it is a sound practice to always ask for some fair level of proof.
If all you get in response to your request for proof is ‘Just have faith’, then there is a problem, because the next question you ask might be, and certainly should be, ‘Well, there are so many calls upon my faith, how should I decide?’ How indeed? If blind unquestioning faith is required by any number of superstitions and religions then there must be some way of deciding which faith to have. But how? By definition you are asked to abandon reason for faith, but if you abandon reason you have no way of deciding among so many competing calls upon your faith. It is a dilemma, is it not? Hinduism is as capable of proof, and is as likely to be true, as, say, Scientology or astrology. All claims upon faith, without proof of any sort, are as likely as one another to be true – or untrue. It is far sounder, I think, to reject them all and to embrace reason and science and that which can be known with some certainty.
Science, unlike religion, actually works. And it can be seen to work by anyone who cares to look. It doesn’t ask for our agreement or our faith. It just works as if we weren’t there at all. It, science, has already brought astonishing benefits and insights, and it promises much more in the future. Atheists are comfortable with science because science never asks them to decide between absurdities. Science sometimes throws up conundrums and controversies but the scientific endeavour can accommodate such tensions without difficulty. It, the scientific non-faith based way of enquiry, asks for proof and replication and independent confirmation. All difficulties are recognised for what they are; difficulties only, matters to be resolved later when more complete knowledge is to be had. There are no dogmas, no calls upon reasonless faith.
I know of no reason to believe in a god. I have every reason to believe in science. I am, therefore, an atheist.
To be atheist is to be wonderfully free from religion and superstition.
Conversly to rely on reason and natural evidence of the wonders of our life on earth and the world around us, is to live free of the confines of having to have faith – that is a belief in something for which there is no evidence.
I am comfortable with living life without the need to love honour or obey any supernatural force, without having to believe in a post mortem existence, and without having to believe in a book of words written by ignorant superstitious peoples thousands of years ago.
Science answers all the questions I need to know about the world, our democratic government, my family and my peers, all ensure I adhere mostly to a moral and ethical way of life, and I am the master of my own destiny. I love being atheist.
For me it was a matter of evolving into atheism really.
I was brought up in the Anglican Church, going to Sunday School and Church every week. I was never very attentive and whenever we had a test on what was learnt, I failed miserably. Church was boring and I hated having to go. I did not question the stories being told but they meant nothing to me. As I became older if I did question anything (not just religion) and the answer was “well that’s just the way it is” that used to really annoy me. Why is it “just the way it is” why can’t their be another view or answer I thought.
On reaching my teenage years I was able to be more independent and so I stopped going to Church. While living at home Easter and Christmas church visits were essential to keep family peace.
As a child and teenager reading was not a part of my life but in my early twenties I was introduced to the books of Bertrand Russell. Also watching Cosmos by Carl Sagan really influenced my thinking. These people were explaining to me in easily understood language what I felt about the world and religion. I read more and more and just knew I was an atheist. It seemed the natural path to take.
Basically the reason I became an atheist was through knowledge. The more I learnt about religion and atheism the more obvious it was to conclude that there is no god. Not any god.
The harm being done by religion to women and gays, just to name two, is not supportable in a civilised society. I refuse to be a part of it. No one can convince me that women are inferior or should not enjoy the same benefits as men. No one can convince me that because two people who love each other but are the same sex should not enjoy the same benefits as couples of opposite sexes.
Now when I read religious material or the Bible my main emotion is embarrassment. The Bible stories that I was taught in Sunday School are clearly ridiculous and I find it difficult to believe that millions of people throughout the world actually think they are true. But I know they do.
Mind you it is not just the Christian stories, it is all the other religions as well, including Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic etc.
Lastly, the more I learn, the more reasons I find to be an atheist along with finding more reasons not to be religious. In both cases there are just so many.
In order to answer this question fully, it needs to be divided into two parts: why I am an atheist rather than a theist; and why I am an active atheist (one who joins atheist and related organisations) instead of keeping my atheism to myself.
Atheism rather than theism.
The reason I am an atheist rather than a theist is simply that I think atheism is true. In other words, I consider atheism a more reasonable and accurate interpretation of the world around me.
If the universe has not been created by a god, goddess or pantheon of deities, atheists are left with the unsolved question of why does anything (including me) exist, rather than not exist.
To this the theist can reply, “You, I and the world exist because God created it and us, because God loves us, and because he has a purpose for us.”
I am unimpressed with this argument for theism because, instead of really solving one ultimate question, it creates more questions. If God made us, my response is: (1) How did God do the creating? (2) Why should God and God’s creations exist rather than not exist? (3) How was God created?
Atheism leaves me with one unsolved riddle; theism offers an answer of sorts to this riddle, but creates two or three more. Applying the principle of Ockham’s Razor, I prefer an explanation with one loose end to one with two or three unsolved problems.
In other words, my atheism is evidential and probabilistic: it is not a matter of dogma or faith in the religious sense. I do not “believe in” things the way religious people do: in fact I do not approve of “believing in”! And I see no need for the supernatural or for magic to explain the workings of the world around me. I suspect people created the notion of gods, souls, divine intercession and religious ritual because such people did not like the idea that, at death, their personalities would be extinguished, and for ever.
The argument is sometimes raised that faith in God is a good thing because it is sustaining and comforting. Belief may be comforting for some people, but belief in, say, devils, evil spirits and hell may not be. In any case, arguments of convenience should not override considerations of truthfulness.
The beginnings of doubt and dissent were sown in my case when, as a boy in England, I was told at about the age of eight that animals did not have immortal souls. If I could not be joined in heaven by my old tabby tomcat, then heaven seemed a distinctly poor proposition.
Soon afterwards, no doubt as a reaction to being at an Anglican boarding school, I toyed with the idea of converting to Catholicism. This romantic reactionary phase was brief, because I soon found I could not swallow the notion of the Trinity. For a few months I dropped belief in the Holy Ghost and retained belief in God the Father and God the Son, but of course I started questioning whether it was reasonable to belief even in this dual godhead, and I soon concluded that it was not. I was about ten at the time.
Active and passive atheism
Having decided that they do not believe in gods and organised religion, some people are content to give such matters no further thought and to get on with other aspects of their lives. Others, however, decide to “go public” and join atheist and freethought organisations.
My reason for being “on the active list”, to borrow an expression used by the National Secular Society in the nineteenth-century Britain, is that I spent ten years in religious boarding schools – Anglican ones to be precise – and my experiences during that time (1952-62) left me determined, long before I left school, to oppose the social and political influence of organised religion, and to support secular, state education. Despite all the waffle and humbug I heard about love and forgiveness at one of the schools I attended, the institution was in reality brutal and punitive, with scant regard for concepts like justice and the right of dissent.
Few things engender a passionate love of freedom more than the experience of being deprived of it, and Anglicans deprived me of freedom for far too long. Having become a non-Christian, I soon became an anti-Christian, partly because of the behaviour of Christians around me, and also because I learnt about Christian persecution of Jews and heretics.
I do not, of course, maintain that all religious people are intolerant control freaks: many are clearly not. And although atheists as a rule are libertarians, there have been exceptions. For example, the pro-fascist Australia First movement was run by a couple of renegade rationalists. Both theism and atheism have included tyrannical monsters in their ranks, but on the whole unbelievers tend to care more about civil liberties – for everyone – rather more than believers do. Opposition to the legalising of homosexuality and to the right of women to control their fertility has characteristically come from conservative religious lobbies, and only very rarely from unbelievers.
Private atheism is justifiable on grounds of truth. What about public atheism? Well, because of tax concessions and centuries of privilege, organised religions often have the resources to act as powerful lobby groups. So I think atheist and freethought organisations serve a useful role in putting an alternative point of view and in trying to counter undesirable aspects of the influence of organised religion.
There would be many reasons why people become atheists. I consider it obvious that over 90% of religious devotees are so because of infant brainwashing and such was the reason that I was a Baptist. Infant baptism was scripturally wrong and I was even warned against marrying a Catholic.
People can see that the Bible is faulty in regard to the facts of science and they ignore that. However, when it comes to insisting, as the fundamental doctrine of Christianity does, that guilt for wrongdoing can and must be off-loaded on to an innocent scapegoat, it is time to do some serious thinking. Once a person begins to give serious thought to Christian doctrine, the flaws are obvious. Love cannot be commanded. For a person to declare (as stated in the Bible) that anyone who did not accept what he said to be true would be destined to everlasting torture in Hell, puts that person out of bounds as a morally perfect example to follow and certainly not to worship as a god.
Initially, as in my case, one can reject Christianity but still consider it possible that a supernatural creator of the universe may exist, until the facts established by science are understood, then the only honest option is atheism. We live in a natural universe and we have a vast amount of factual knowledge about this universe. We have no factual knowledge of anything supernatural. Gods, demons, angels, fairies, leprechauns etc are all creatures of human imagination. Prayer and worship are useless and are roadblocks to the effective use of reason to solve problems.
I was not raised as an atheist. Being from a Greek/Cypriot background I was raised as a Greek Orthodox. My mother was and is very religious and my father was religious when it suited him. During my childhood I endured regular churchgoing and I also attended Sunday School in addition to learning about the religion from my mother who is sincere in her beliefs. I was preoccupied with heaven and hell and would drive my grandparents crazy with all sorts of questions. In my mind I would picture god as a cantankerous old man with a grey beard, sitting high in the sky, noting in his book all the wrongdoings of people.
It was during my teenage years that I began to think about and doubt religious and cultural absolutes. I increasingly found myself drawn to the then emerging women’s movement and inevitably I formed views which collided with those of my parents.
Since the seventies there has been great social change in Greek and Cypriot society. Many women are now receiving tertiary education and entering the professions. The demand for virginity is on the wane and girls have far more freedom then their predecessors.
What I found most repugnant about religion and tradition was and is the preoccupation with female chastity and the double standard sexual code. Equally repugnant is the attitude towards women’s bodies. Eg menstruating women are considered unclean and are not allowed to attend church and the superstitions regarding menstruation are so numerous, one could write a book on the subject.
Whenever someone mentions the word “morality” I automatically think of religious morals which revolve around sex. There was no particular moment when I decided to become an atheist. It happened gradually over the years. Reason prevailed and I found it impossible to believe that there is a man sitting in the sky watching to see whether girls are having sex with their boyfriends, or whether people eat meat on Good Friday!!
While many people find comfort in religion, the fact remains that it is the biggest sham in the history of humankind. I’ve always been perplexed as to why so many women would willingly submit to the inferior status accorded to them by various religions.
Another thing that angers me about religions is their blatant dismissal of environmental concerns.
Also the hypocrisy of religious institutions shows no bounds. While they condemn materialism and preach about the afterlife they have amassed great wealth and are exempted from paying tax. Whenever I pick up Christian literature, I come across admonitions of how sinful we all are, how pride and self worth are a sin and that we can all be saved by admitting that we are sinful, with self-effacement and belief in God.
To submit to such rubbish, would be committing intellectual suicide.
Religion is based on belief in the supernatural and blind obedience to religious absolutes, whereas science is based on facts, human experience and reason. Religious belief is a primitive form of thinking derived from ignorance and fear of the unknown. If religion were true it would be able to sustain itself without force, threats and protection from the state. An almighty, all knowing supreme being would not be losing sleep on whether people worship other gods or if women are using “morning after” pills.
As for the meaning of life, it is what we make of it. For some people family and friends provide meaning. For others it is the endeavour to change society for the better. Even though I do not believe in a god/religion, I find my life quite meaningful and enjoyable.
1. Why I am not a Christian
a. If Jesus was the Son of God, why did he not just jump off the cross to prove it?
b. To say that he had to suffer to save our souls is just a cop out – if he was omnipotent then he could have just switched the pain off, so that is fraud on the people.
c. It seems to me that Christianity is the opiate of the masses to keep the poor happy by saying things like your life is yet to come
d. If you believe in the trinity of god Jesus and Holy Ghost being one, then how can Jesus be the son of himself?
2. All that humans consists of is their memory.
a. If you did not have a memory, apart from the fact that you would not be able to remember the word you had just spoken, you would not be able to converse intelligently with anyone, because you would have no basis to fall back on in your discussion.
b. You can verify this by speaking to someone with advanced Alzheimer disease – you find that they are simply clockwork people – they are like burnt out buildings – a frame but nothing inside.
c. When you die the brain cells die too, and there is no way that you can carry a memory into afterlife. So if that has gone, what use being an angel flying around – you may as well be a flying ant.
d. Tests with radium have shown that your whole body, including brain cells and strongest bones like femur, are completely changed during the course of a year. In other words you are not the same person you were last year – your meat is made up of completely different atoms. But the thing that holds your being together is your memory, which perpetuates because the cells are replaced one at a time, and the new cell becomes magnetised if you like with the data from surrounding cells. When you die ALL the cells die and there can be no transference of memory.
3. From the perspective of first cause.
a. Many people believe in god because they say there must have been someone who started it all, and to that person you ascribe the name god. But I believe there is no end to space and if there is not end why should there be a beginning? It is simply due to the poverty of our imagination that we think everything has to have a beginning and an end.
b. I cannot see how you can define the end of space – I am unable to understand relativity although I have tried hard to do so. My mind must be contaminated with something like the flat earth belief, but even if you start at a point and go right back to the same point, in time and space, then that space must exist somewhere. And if you say then take this solar system, and then put it in the milky way, and then find another galaxy – andromeda or whatever, and find another and another and to the edge of space until there are no more galaxies, then what is at the edge, say the void, then that void is positive in any case. So go to the edge of the void – how can you it goes on forever? So if there is not an end, how could there have been a beginning?
c. Likewise, if you say time started from 00000.0, then what happened before 00000.0? Also, what happens after 99999.9 – supposedly heaven?
4. Has religion made useful contributions to humankind?
a. I think not. You may say what does religion have to do with god, but a dogmatic belief in god is the basis of religion whether Islam Christian or Jewish. More wars have been fought in the name of gentle Jesus than anything else. In fact you could say that the present jihad is nothing more than the fourth crusade.
b. This is no more stupid than the terrorist who wrote in his will before WTC attack that he did not want any woman to see his genitals after he was dead. As if he did not know that he would be vaporised in the crash!
c. If there was not religion and hence no god, we could all get on with making this world a better place, instead of fighting over Allah.
5. Christianity is based on fear.
a. In the past belief in Christianity included a belief in hell but since the decision of the privy council belief in hell is no longer a requirement, although the bishop of Canterbury and York dissented from this decision.
b. There are instances in the Bible where weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth is mentioned, and you can’t but help get the feeling that a certain gratification emanates from them.
c. There is the case of the Gadarene swine where Jesus (god) made the devils go into them and they rushed over the cliff and fell to their deaths on the rocks below. Why could he not have just made the devils go away?
d. And then there is the matter of the fig tree which coming upon it had leaves but no figs so Jesus (god) made it wither up, but it was not the time for figs anyway?
e. There are many occurrences in the Bible where you can see it is just a fairy story and to use this book as a basis for belief in god makes no sense to me.
The following question was posed to the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc and answered by David Nicholls and is a good representation of why the author is an Atheist. Her name shall remain anonymous. ))
‘For what reasons do some people choose to follow atheism and not accept a religious perspective to life?’
The question I am about to answer contains a very important word. That word is ‘choose’ and as you read the following, I would ask that you keep it in mind.
I was born an Atheist, as are we all. My immediate culture decided for me that I should become a Catholic. The choice was not mine and if my immediate culture was say, Anglican, Islamic, Buddhist or Bush Baptist, then that religion would become my religion.
Early school years were by Catholic Nuns, followed by Christian Brothers and then Dominican priests (Hounds of the Lord). In pre pubescent years I wanted to become a priest but soon rejected that idea and religion itself on reaching puberty. My family was and still is Catholic but none of them were capable of answering my questions on the subject. I had huge doubts as whether the whole thing was true or just a gigantic fairy story.
I decided that, to the best of my ability, I would investigate the subject with an open a mind as I could generate.
Even though my conclusions showed very quickly and clearly that no one had any better idea on the truth or not of religious tradition and the existence of ‘God’, it took some years for my complete acceptance of that.
Many of my thoughts on the subject can be found on the Atheist Foundation Inc Web-Site, under my name, which is David Nicholls, but here are a few very pertinent observations that had me ‘choose’ to become an Atheist.
The first thing that stuck out like a pimple on a pumpkin was the fact that other cultures also believed vehemently that their ‘God’ and religion was the only true one. Even within cultures, other Christian religions believed they had the right way.
This had always bothered me even when I was a ‘believer’. My parents, peers and priests would answer my inquiries with such things as: “It is the same ‘God’”, or, “They have not yet found the true ‘God’ etc”, right down to “they were heathens”.
Easy to see that other religious people did not ‘choose’ their faith anymore than did I, but rather, as with me, it was ‘chosen’ for them. As religions differ so vastly in their beliefs, I wondered why my luck had me ‘choosing’ the correct one. Out of the thousands of faiths I had been ‘blessed’ by being a Catholic. Wait a minute, I thought, that seems so unfair on the billions of people without my luck. Most of them will live and die and never know the true religion; Roman Catholic. But still my feelings on the subject were telling me I was correct, even though my intellectual side was rejecting that.
Eventually, by reading quite a bit on the subject, I came to realise that when children are taught a consistent theme, which adults give sanction to, (Known as brainwashing or indoctrination or inculcation) then in later years these teachings take on the property of instinctive feelings. This is shown very well by the differing accents in language, by how we automatically and ‘naturally’ hold a knife and fork instead of chopsticks etc. etc. We think we are putting intellectual input into these acts but it is our younger training at work. Try holding your knife in your fork hand and your fork in your knife hand at the next meal you have, to see how hardwired is the brain in remembering its teaching of the learning years.
After the acceptance of the above, it became easier to look at my religion with a more critical eye. I found that:
* There was scant and unreliable historical evidence of the man known as Jesus as depicted in the Bible. There was absolutely no non-Biblical evidence for the miracles depicted in the New Testament accorded to the alleged character, Jesus.
* The Bible (Old & New Testament) was written many years after the supposed events by people who had little sophistication compared to today and who had no understanding of the natural world and science.
* Even theologians reject many of the miracles attributed to Jesus. Nowadays many priests etc do likewise.
* Saints are canonised with ease. No Saint would be a Saint if scientific method were applied to their case.
* Present day miracles are so subjective as to be unreliable and fit well within the category of coincidence.
* ‘God’ is indiscriminate in allowing suffering and the term “It is ‘God’s’ will”, took on a more than hollow ring when seeing the immense amount of suffering in the world.
* Religion has been the main source of conflict in history, with Crusades, Inquisitions and wars.
* Religion is a patriarchal affair.
* Even nowadays, religion discriminates against women, gays and lesbians, people seeking voluntary euthanasia and women seeking (and needing) an abortion.
* Religion will not wake up to the fact that the world is vastly overpopulated with a desperate need for fertility control to be widespread.
* Religion expects unrealistic sexual restraint and uses this as a guilt device to the unhappy disadvantage of humanity. The greater the sexual prohibition, the more violent a society is, with the violence directed in the main against women.
* All religions, to a larger or lesser degree, teach with the punishment and reward system of heaven and hell. This is mental child abuse.
* All religions give inadequate regard to other species and natural systems.
I go back to the word ‘choose’. No person without being brainwashed would ‘choose’ to accept the above without sound evidence. There is none.
I am now an avowed Atheist because of all this and more and I actually ‘chose’ to become an Atheist of my own volition. Many persons go through life without questioning their childhood teachings, for fear of doing so, and because of this I carry a great sadness for them.
For myself, that life has bestowed upon me my Atheistic outlook is the greatest single thing I have experienced. I would love to thank someone for this but that is impossible, except by way of eternal gratefulness to past and present similar thinkers and by passing on my good fortune to others. Many people in history have courageously maintained an Atheistic approach to life, even in the face of the threat of death for some.
We live in a universe of such immensity and grandeur where no god has intervened on our behalf. We have no exact knowledge of how it or life started, but it did. To say a god was responsible makes no sense at all and is really an admission of our ignorance.
We all have only one life that we can be sure about and it is such a waste to live it clinging to a forlorn hope that eternity waits with open arms to receive us forever more in bliss. Especially as we did not ‘choose’ to think in that contorted fashion.
I hope I have been of some help to you. In years to come, my words and the words of others may take on greater meaning to you. Keep questioning everything.
Very Kind regards,