In the Facebook group Atheism United, this question was asked by Peter Elisha: “In any case…what is the #1 thing you wish the Christians in your life would understand about you, personally, as an atheist?”
Thanks for the question, Peter. Below is the response I posted in the group, edited and expanded for this blog.
The fact is that the various authors of the Bible could have simply stated that it is wrong for one human being to claim another human being as property. They didn’t. They were products of their culture and time, as are their writings. If they were truly inspired by a god and if that god truly wanted people to think that slavery was wrong, he could have inspired them to say so. However, what we have is exactly what would one should expect of purely human books written by humans who were of that time and of that culture, nothing more.
Now, it’s true that some parts of the New Testament are somewhat progressive (eg. Galations 3:28) but those passages are counter-balanced by others that prescribe an inferior place for women and which instruct slave owners on how to treat their slaves rather than telling them outright that owning people is wrong.
I don’t use any of those, including pot. Tried it quite a few times. Just wasn’t into it.
[shrug] So it goes.
The argument goes like this: most users of “hard drugs” probably used marijuana before using cocaine, meth, heroin, and so on. Therefore – so the argument goes – pot is a gateway into the “hard drugs”.
Well, most people who drink alcohol probably started out drinking coca cola or pepsi. Does that mean that colas are a gateway into vodka?
Most people who smoke probably started out chewing gum or sucking on jawbreakers. Does that mean candy is a gateway into cigarettes?
Here’s the point: correlation is not causation. If you don’t know what that means, look it up or ask somebody. If you’re not willing to make even that minimal effort, then you sure as hell have neither the intellectual equipment nor the integrity it takes to stand behind anything that states or even implies that marijuana is a “gateway drug”.