You are correct in that I am not representing my personal interpretation of things. I have nothing that I did not receive.
Now there's a statement that needs deconstructing and analysing, and when we do, we may reach an interesting conclusion.
I don't intend to be personal here as it sounds to me as if "I have nothing that I did not receive."
is a phrase common amongst the religious in the boastful, false-humility way that they seem to revel in - So let's get started...
Imagine that you are given a hammer, a pile of nails and a large quantity of good-sized lengths of wood. For years, generations of your family have lived in a cave, have used the hammer for digging for roots; have used the nails for cleaning their ears and as spear tips, and have burned the wood for heat.
You travel to another land and there see that other people have been given hammer, nails and wood, but they build houses that are warm, comfortable and protect families. You return to your land and your draughty, dirty cave and try to explain but everyone calls you an idiot and a heretic "Hammers are for digging!" "Nails are for ears and spear points!" "Wood is for burning!"
You try and explain about the wooden houses and your family start to shout at you, "We live in a cave, we have all lived in a cave for ever and we will continue to live in a cave!"
You realise that your family just hate to admit that they are wrong and their beliefs are so strong that when information reaches them, if it conflicts with what they have been taught for generations, then they become frustrated and angry. The anger becomes so great that you leave, go to the other land and build a house. You still love your family but are sad that they will not listen to reason,
All religion teaches that we must not change. We must have one set of immutable laws. There is only one way of doing things and, to speak or act against this is heresy.
The atheist is here to tell you to use your and other people's knowledge, ideas, and experience to make a better world, a freer world, a world in which progress, not stubbornness and denial, shape our future.
You have probably seen this as a quote:
A: "But last week you said that we should do this! And now you are saying we should NOT do it! What are you? Some sort of idiot?"
B: "But things are different now, we know more, we are wiser. When the circumstances and the evidence change, I change my mind... What do you do?
So, when you say, "I have nothing that I did not receive." think also, "but that does not mean that I should always do the same thing with those things I was given: the same thing that was done 1,000 years ago. There is always room for progress and development. There is more than one way."
We here are trying to get the believer to "think outside the box." When you do, you will not always be right but, every now and again, there will be a breakthrough and we will all benefit.