Talking about Religion in NS

Anyways, I am bounded by the law not to speak of details of the events occurring during my 2 years of enlistment. That said, I don't have much to talk about that subject anyways. Basically, it's just lots of training everyday.

And now to the main point of this entry: My first conversation with a real-life typical theist.

It was one of those ice-breaker introduction sessions and were supposed to present something interesting about ourselves apart from the usual name-school-hobby-etc crap. Being pretty much involved in learning stuff pertaining to religion & atheism and philosophy & science, that was the only thing I could and want to say.

But hey, I was in the Singapore Army. So I explained that I probably shouldn't go there and end my introduction as another boring dude. Surprisingly, the sergeant gave a green light and I went on with the topic briefly.

I said that I was an atheist.

During the introduction, several common misconceptions about non-believers surfaced.

"So you have no meaning in life/being alive?"

"Where did humans come from?"

" Where did everything come from?"

Then throw in some rather unusual and misled jokes about the atheist answer to those questions and that was pretty much what happened.

The jokes were of no ill-intent. At least, I hope not. But they do represent the misunderstanding the majority of the public have about non-believers. Heck, even the word "satanist" came up.

I explained calmly and, for the most part, it was fine.

The unusual thing was, a few days after that, a religious platoon mate wanted to talk about my atheism. Well, it wasn't really a conversation... much more like a Q&A session.

I gave short and simple answers to his queries. He didn't ask for any elaborations but just carried on asking questions that exemplified his ignorance of what atheists are.

Cue typical theist question:

"So you believe humans came from nothing?"

After my hurried answer, the conversation trailed off to a halt.

I finally had a real life experience of such a situation. And frankly, it was slightly frustrating.

Oh... the tonnes of misconceptions.