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A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

When I was an atheist, the thing that distinguished me from my peers was that I wasted no time trolling believers on their blogs or their websites or drawing them into debate in the offline world. The first and most basic reason for this distinction of mine was that atheism is a fundamentally boring topic. You are not arguing for a something but for a nothing. It is easy to be passionate for a positive but not so much for a negative.

The second reason is that it struck me as a waste of time. When you consider the existential dimension of atheism, what do you gain from disabusing people of their fairy tales? If life is nothing more than a blip in a sea of infinite nothing, why should I care if you find some comfort in a lie? Atheists humor people in more damaging fictions like those of the transgendered who mutilate themselves in some vain effort to resolve the conflict between their biology and their delusions. In fact, I know from personal experience that atheists will tolerate virtually anything you care to believe so long as it is not the Christian religion. This is how my club of fellow atheists turned from people devoted to science and reason into a society tolerant of polyamory and Wicca.

Despite having a short life with the expectation of eternal nothingness awaiting at the end of it all, many atheists prefer to spend their precious time in this finite existence arguing endlessly in Christian forums and comboxes against the thing they do not believe in. Bishop Robert Barron noticed this same phenomenon of atheists trolling the CNN Belief Blog and being passionately interested in the thing they claim to be a delusion and a waste of time. I can honestly say that I spend no similar amount of time in flat earth forums attempting to disabuse those people of their nuttiness. I have a friend who is a flat earther, and I can say that the flat earth delusion does no practical harm to him whatsoever. This might be different if he was a travel agent.

The atheist troll will make the claim that debunking religion is a good cause done out of charity and goodwill in order to make the world a better place. Look at how great Chinese society is as a consequence of their efforts to stamp out all things religious. It is an awesome thing to be able to think anything the government allows you to think. Yet, this charitable desire of atheists to stamp out ignorance does not seem to extend to the Musloid fanatics with a penchant for beheading their critics and flying passenger airliners into tall buildings. The Freedom From Religion Foundation focuses on the truly harmful religious practices of coaches praying with their teams before football games or swearing on Bibles before taking office. The world would be a truly better place without those superstitious practices. Plus, those Christians don’t tend to swing scimitars, chop off the heads of your menfolk, and force your women and children into bondage and sexual servitude.

The ire, vitriol, and combox hijinks of atheist trolls comes down to the desperate desire to convince people like me that my belief in God is incorrect. They have it right, and I have it wrong. For some reason, convincing me of my wrongness is worth the third of their meaningless lives they waste trying to badger me into unbelief. Then, they discover that I was already an atheist and for a very long time. Now, I am not an atheist. That troubling fact causes even more desperation and distress for the atheist troll. One of their own defected from the ranks of unbelief to embrace the myths again.

The reality is that atheist trolls waste their time because they do not need to convince others of the truth of atheism. They need to convince themselves. Despite having an arsenal of scientific facts and logical arguments at their disposal, they are not convincing to the atheist trolls because people like me still stubbornly believe in God. Somehow, the assurance of God’s non-existence does not reach 100% until some believer becomes an unbeliever. I find this bizarre because my flat earth friend causes no similar distress in my round earth worldview.

The fact is that forever is a long time, and it is certainly made longer when it is eternal damnation. That potentiality would certainly make wasting a large portion of your meaningless life a worthwhile endeavor. I can afford to be wrong as a Christian because I have nothing to lose from believing except the love and adoration of atheist trolls. If God does not exist, I will never even know that I was wrong. And the atheist will never know that he was right. Knowledge requires consciousness which atheists claim is extinguished at death. But if God does exist, the atheist will have to contemplate his error forever. That possibility is a great motivator to make sure you got it right.

I will now render some charity to those atheist trolls and help them a bit in their desperation. If I became an unbeliever again, would it make you feel more confident in your unbelief and assurance of annihilation at death? Would it end all of your doubts in doubt? Would it make one damn bit of difference? Of course, it wouldn’t. Countless Christians apostasize and lose their faith in God. In fact, the entire world could become atheist, and this still would do nothing to alleviate the desperation of these atheists. The suspicion that God exists and the desire to know Him are itches that remain even after the scratching has stopped. If you doubt this, contemplate the phenomenon of the atheist church or the semi-religious practices of the atheist Sam Harris who attempts to gain the benefits of religion through meditation practice while retaining a prophylactic of unbelief.

The atheist must contend with the fact that if man is an animal then he is a religious animal. The material universe produced material beings with desires for non-material things. This makes no sense. Yet, religious belief and superstition is ubiquitous, and human beings have expended great amounts of material, manpower, and resources over the centuries to serve these needs and desires for the non-material. Humanity desires the divine. The desperation of atheist trolls is merely a symptom of religious frustration stemming from a denial of this desire for the divine.