Would you sell your soul to the devil as an Atheist?
I sat one summer's evening, pointed squarely at the television. A slight curry stain blemishing an otherwise pristine white t-shirt, with the near certainty that it wouldn’t be alone for long. What was I watching, you may wonder. Derren Brown’s Fear and Faith part 2. It’s a really interesting watch, and one i’d highly recommend if you’re interested in Derren Brown’s work.
It’s the first, brief section of this episode that I would like to address. Derren calls for members of the audience, largely atheist, to perform a satanic ritual and to sell their soul to the devil. Out of the rather large audience very few volunteer to do so.
Immediately, naturally, I wondered if I would do so. At the time and to this day I am comfortably atheist. Yet like the members of the audience, I don’t think I could have done it, which is illogical and a little crazy when you think about it. I, and many other convinced atheists would be unwilling to on the off-chance that they are wrong.
As you may have read in my blog about cultural perception of satanism, the idea of satanism has permeated into our general unconscious understanding of the world, and the same is true of major religions that exist with our society.
For me, as i’m sure with many others, attending a religious school during my formative years is likely to have exacerbated the problem. At my school, the bible was real, we were never told that we should question it or look beyond it for the whole of my time at Primary. Being told that the moral code of the bible, gristle and all, is an unquestionable fact is likely to mess you up when you reach an age where you can question it yourself; you still have the fundamental values imprinted on you form an early age.
For the record, I want to make it clear that i’m not saying that the basis of religion is damaging at all; i’ve known people from all kinds of denominations who follow their religious values and are good people. My comment is as an atheist, the fundamentals of the religious teachings i received contradict on occasion my own self-determined world view.
I’m curious to know, if you’re an atheist like me, would you be willing to sell your soul to the devil? Do you think your background and how you were introduced to religion has made you come to that conclusion? Let me know what you think!