Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

S.I.L. Missionary Becomes Atheist When Asked for Proof

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on March 27, 2009

Here is a story I found online about an S.I.L. missionary who worked with the Pirahã in Brazil. How to Become An Atheist, Talk to the Pirahã
I love this part of the story: “They challenged him to provide evidence for the existence of Jesus, and lost interest when he couldn’t. Eventually so did he. The Pirahã made him an atheist.”

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2 Responses to “S.I.L. Missionary Becomes Atheist When Asked for Proof”

  1. Paulo said

    I read the article and I think the reason that the Pirahã keep it real and stuff is because they are just trying to survive, you know? But you gotta admit, it seems like they live completely in the moment, and that is something that (to me) doesn’t necessarily sound like an idyllic way to live. A society who lives only in the moment does not produce a history. Consequently, they do not advance in scientific knowledge or eventually produce contact lenses and pacemakers. But you gotta give it to ’em: They see through the bullshit.

  2. Ann said

    I really like how they have a language established around “living in the moment”, even if it is a survival thing. They understand the past is gone and a person can’t be living in the future now. These are concepts we have in our head probably largely due to language. They really do see through the bullshit.

    We others know you can have a history and future and still focus on living in the moment by building on past experience, and planning for the future, while grounded in this moment. Not quite the same, but same enough. Too many people are thinking about past happy or sad experiences or future happy or sad experiences, for large portions of their day. The time they are living now is not now. That’s not to say memories or anticipation are bad, but they can interfere with day-to-day functioning when they are disproportionate. Kinda where a lot of mental illnesses originate.

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