How has being an atheist made you a better person?

Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Posts: 7578
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
How has being an atheist made you a better person?

So I created a video to respond with my thoughts.
 
I just came off the top of my head and didn't take too much time to think about it, and I know I left a lot of room to improve on what I've said, so I'd like to hear from you. How has being free of theism made you a better person?
 
Or if you think you're not a better person, please explain how you've changed if at all. I directed youtubers to this thread, so if you're a viewer of youtube and want to put your thoughts down in text, please feel free, and welcome aboard.

Here is my video response on the issue, although the jist of what I say is that I think more clearly now.

 

 

Please donate to one of these highly rated charities to help impede the GOP attack on America 2017-2019.

Support our activism efforts by making your Amazon purchases via this link.


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote:I had made a

Sapient wrote:
I had made a youtube video about how atheists are more moral than religious people and someone responded with a video that posed the question, "how has atheism changed you."So I created a video to respond with my thoughts. I just came off the top of my head and didn't take too much time to think about it, and I know I left a lot of room to improve on what I've said, so I'd like to hear from you. How has being free of theism made you a better person? Or if you think you're not a better person, please explain how you've changed if at all. I directed youtubers to this thread, so if you're a viewer of youtube and want to put your thoughts down in text, please feel free, and welcome aboard.

Here is my video response on the issue, although the jist of what I say is that I think more clearly now.

 

 

I'd have to say it might have.
On the other hand, maybe it didn't.

Remind you of anything?


Eradan
Eradan's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-05-05
User is offlineOffline
A rare case

I think I belong to the minority like Voiderest, who never really were into religion. Parents had taught me to read when I was around five, and first books I had read were some fairy tales and a Bible for children - so guess what, I couldn't really see the difference. So I suppose I'm a rare case of not being a believer never in my life, and I don't think I'll change my mind now that I'm 19.

P.s. Sorry for the broken English - I'm not a native speaker.

I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus! I wanna feel his salvation all over my face! - South Park, S7E09

I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect. - George Carlin


munkyman
munkyman's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-04-16
User is offlineOffline
I made the leap into

I made the leap into full-fledged atheism only a few months ago.  Before that, I was a Christian born to a pastoral family.  I'd say that I'm more moral now than I was as a Christian, even though I'll admit that Christianity has a bit to offer in the way of morality.  Well... the words of Christ, anyway.  (I've been keeping a blog of my thoughts since then, if anyone's interested in some casual reading)

Anyway, why am I more moral as an atheist?  I now define morality as one's propensity to view and treat other human beings as equals.  And while Christianity may claim to hold this same worldview, it is horribly tainted in practice.  In fact, if one were to merge this worldview with biblical teachings, it would have to be tainted.  A good Christian sees all men as the same: sinners.  Even homosexuals, who were born that way.  A Christian is told that a homosexual is "a sinner, just like any murderer, rapist, adulterer, theif, or idolater."  As if gays would appreciate being equated with rapists.

Now that I'm non-religious, people are not labeled by their so-called sins.  I make every effort to make my neighbors' lives easier in this life, because I know it's the only one we'll have.  I treat people with the same respect I'd want for myself.  And I think that's better than even most Christians can claim.


rEvolution07
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-05-24
User is offlineOffline
Better Understandably

 

Since ive been an atheist ive been more understanding and have seen more into what people are.

I have been more understandable to people who have religion and tried to help them see more meaning other than god. In a understandable way. 

                           -rEvolution07


digitalbeachbum
atheistRational VIP!
digitalbeachbum's picture
Posts: 4901
Joined: 2007-10-15
User is offlineOffline
As an Atheist I take

As an Atheist I take responsibility for my own actions or the lack of them. I stopped using the excuse "the devil made me do it" or "god or Jesus game me strength".

As an Atheist I realized that every one has an ego and that negative or positive actions, words or thoughts are caused by us as a reaction to outside stimulus.

 


marshalltenbears
marshalltenbears's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: 2009-02-19
User is offlineOffline
 I think that my ability to

 I think that my ability to not judge people based on their lifestyle is one of the biggest improvments. No matter who I would meet I would always wonder if there lifestyle was right, and if they would go to hell. I used to even judge my poor wife when we were first together. Now I can truely accept anyone and get along with everyone...unless they are a douche. I guess when I really knew that I was athiest was when my wife was giving birth to our daughter. I went to the bathroom and was about to start praying to god that " if you are real, please let this go smoothy". But before I even started I said to myself "No, I am not praying". Then after all the initial labor my wife pushed the baby out in 23 minutes( that is really fast for those of you who do not know) and we have a very healthy baby. So now that I don't believe anymore I can stop worrying if god will punish me for something that I did. I used to be so afraid to leave the house after I did something "bad" like look at porn or something. I was afraid if I went for a drive god would kill me and I would go to hell. Now I realize that people die and there is nothing I can do about it. So I no longer fear death. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


POed Ex-Theist
Posts: 13
Joined: 2009-06-17
User is offlineOffline
My Mind Is Clearing

hi all, first post...

 

i should probably put a disclaimer at the bottom of my posts: my username suggest I am anti-theist....  I am not.  Ii am anti-theism.  and I'm really pissed at what theism did to my life and the battle I am going through to take back control.

Some people have told me I simply need to take it easier on myself and my problem is that I took religion too seriously.  I don't think these people have read their Bibles - Christianity is extreme:  "Deny yourself, Pick up your cross, He who does not hate his mother, father sister, etc... is not worthy of me, He must hate his own life, If your hand offends you cut it off, Do not run in their excess of riot, Be watchful, Vigilant, etc...."  

Faith in god had caused me to totally renounce this world, my life, and everyone around me.  Nothing really mattered except the life to come.  I never looked for enjoyment, I taught my children that life should not be enjoyed; that trying to enjoy it is carnal and useless b/c only god can give us real pleasure and pleasure-seeking is putting desire for enjoyment in the place of god.  I lived my life in constant hatred for this world and the sinful people in it.  I only pretended to love my neighbor b/c that was god command, but I also knew that god hated sin and knowing I had to avoid sin meant I had to avoid people - except the "real christians" in my small mennonite (nearly amish) church.  Prior to this I was devoutly catholic and believed I was holier than the pope.  I had no social life whatsoever b/c I had to avoid the sinful world in order to avoid backsliding into my former sinful ways.  I spent every day at mass, went to confession several times a week and believed the only "one" I needed to communicate with was god.  I spent hours sitting in church at "adoration" (where you adore the eucharist/host) and believing god was giving me grace and wisdom and divine guidance.  I put a way between my husband and I as I insisted we avoid contraception.  Thankfully, we both wanted a large family (we have 5) but I'm not sure I would have had more than 3 or 4 I didn't believe god wanted me to keep spitting out more.  I love my children but I have a very hard time raising them with the numerous nervous and mental disorders religion has left me with.  I never thought about christian "morality" except in the context of what I had been taught; believing it was absolute truth with no gray areas or reasons to really consider the other points of view.  When some tragedy struck I was left trying to determine if it was god's punishment or some great blessing I wasn't able to comprehend.  when I didn't know what decisions to make I always turned to god and sometimes the "answers" contradicted each other. 

Now, certainly some religious person reading this will say that you can have faith and follow Christ without all these problems.  But can you prove that your way is really the right Christian way?  There are many varieties of Christianity and they all contradict one another. 

I cant really tell you what turned me around.  I have posted on here as a theist giving my last drops of faith a whirl with all of you and I've sat back and watched all the responses and just nodded my head in agreement.  I was probably an ass for doing that but im glad I did it b/c it made me realize there wasnt a shred of rationale  in my arguments.  I probably knew that from the get-go but in a fit of emotionalism as I was letting go of the last of my faith I just let it all come out and wondered if it could stand a test.  

I guess I'm in the recovery phase now.  I have a lot of withdrawl to go through.  I still sometimes have a gnawing fear that god is real when i know full well in my mind that faith in god is ridiculous and destructive.  Ive been very ill the past couple of months and every morning I still feel compelled to beg god's forgiveness for doubting him as he continues to punish me through this illness - when I know there is no god to be punishing me in the first place.  I just awake everyday with this overwhelming fear and despair and I know its because I've abused myself with faith and its going to take a long time to overcome the numerous mental disabilities it has caused. 

Since my serious doubting started I've learned to think for myself and develop my own moral beliefs.  I used to think being atheist would lead to living an immoral lifestyle but reallly it hasnt.  I may not see "sin" in all the places I once did, but it hasn't made me more selfish like I thought it would.  I strive to make the most of this life without hurting anyone else's.  I appreciate the here and now and stopped living in hope for the next one.  I'm trying to just accept circumstances as they come instead of trying to find the secret hidden divine purpose begind them.  I do what I think is best instead of waiting for the contradictory "answers" to my prayers.  I still havent gotten to the point of discussing this with my children but they are given my well-thought-out direction in life and allowed some leeway to make mistakes without fear they will end up in hell.  We are all getting involved in more social situations and finding that there are wonderful people in the world and I'm no better than any of them.  I am learning that many of the things I once thought were sinful are really a matter of culture and have nothing to do with morality, sin or god.  My mind is freed from the constant, minute by minute obsession with conforming my will to gods, trying to please him in all things, and trying to avoid the snares of this sinful world.  I can actually be present in every life experience from the mundane to the profound. 

In a nutshell, its like being awake for the first time since I was a child (my family was irreligious) - before all this religious extremism.  I feel like a kid again rediscovering the world.  AND I LOVE IT!  This world is a fabulous place.  It isn't always easy and nothing is perfect, but it makes life more purposeful as we strive to make things better. 

Thanks for helping me get off my high-holy horse~

My username suggest I am anti-theist.... I am not. I am anti-theism. and I'm really pissed at what faith in god did to my life and the battle I am going through to take back control of my mind.


marshalltenbears
marshalltenbears's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: 2009-02-19
User is offlineOffline
Well first of all, Welcome.

Well first of all, Welcome. I think you will find a lot of people like yourself on these post. I too went through the same ordeal when I dumped religion. I was a christian for 25 years and I could not go 1 minute without thinking about sin. I constantly lived in fear of everything I did. I would even feel bad if I went a got something to eat bc I knew that there are other people who have nothing. Everytime I sat down and watched tv for 30 minutes or played on the computer felt like a sin bc I was being unproductive and I could have been out in the streets talking with people about christ. I even judged my poor wife and treated her badly when we were first together. (i'm just glad she stayed with me.) When I first dumped religion I kept asking myself "what if I am wrong?" But the  more I asked christians those hard to answer questions, I realized that they could not be rationally answered because the concepts are irrational. It is funny bc the first time I came to this website a couple of years ago I came as a christian to debate. Now I feel like if is my job to help talk to people who are going through similar circumstances. 

     I can honestly say that I know how you feel. Christianity for me was not just something I did on Sunday, it was 24/7 for me. It consumed my life. And it makes me angry that I invested so much of my life to it. I can't help but to be angry at myself for being so stubborn my whole life. I think of all the good times that I have wasted and all the time I have wasted on it( and the money I would give to the church). I had this rule, that whenever I went to church I would give whatever was in my wallet. Sometimes it would be over 100 dollars. It makes me angry that I let them trick me into giving them money. The bible says nothing about erecting huge buildings for god. In fact I think that jesus preached against things like that. It is so liberating once you wake up and actually realize all the things you can do without the worry of hell. I made a similar post called getting over the fear of hell. I will leave a link, you should check it out bc many members left some very good responses on it. Good luck and remember the fear of hell goes away with time. I am still getting over it but I am much better and happier now. I think the biggest thing I am afraid of is telling my parents I don't believe anymore. 

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16870

 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


POed Ex-Theist
Posts: 13
Joined: 2009-06-17
User is offlineOffline
thanks for your

thanks for your encouragement.  ive enjoyed reading through that thread.  i have a lot to overcome.  SOOOOO much!  i am still very much tangled up in the aftermath of religion.  i am having a very hard time shaking my fears.  and our family has been through some very hard times the past several weeks and months.  its really hard not to attribute that to god, and of course, my religious friends think my bad luck is the result of my rejecting the truth. 

 

is there an island somewhere that i can go to where no one believes in god?  i am so ready to go there!  i'm so sick of feeling guilty and confused.  it is a daily battle to overcome the unhealthy and insane mental garbage i have to wade through in order to function normally again!

My username suggest I am anti-theist.... I am not. I am anti-theism. and I'm really pissed at what faith in god did to my life and the battle I am going through to take back control of my mind.


Sheena
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-07-22
User is offlineOffline
Two feelings mixed

Hmm. I don't know. It makes me kinda sad in a way. I mean, how easy would it be to know that there was a "God" who was always there, always watching. It would make things easier, like no matter how bad things are, God will be there to make sure it won't get too bad.

 

But at the same time, it makes me feel empowered. I am better able to attribute my success to myself.

I got married and found my husband because of MYSELF. God didn't put him in front of me.

My mother stopped drinking because she wanted to, not because God gave her the power to.

It seems like sometimes, the faith in God makes your victories less yours, at least for most religous people.

 

So it is freeing and saddening at the same time.


ragnarok
High Level Donor
ragnarok's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: 2006-07-05
User is offlineOffline
Atheism improves everything, silly

Atheism improved my life immensely: I no longer collect money for questionable charities, so no more ethical quandaries involving specious claims to various desert lots; I no longer donate to my synagogue, so I save money; I no longer view every non-Jew as a possible source of difficulty, nor do I automatically consider them unclean or undesirable company, so my potential social network expanded considerably; I can eat whatever I want without adding guilt or fear of divine retribution; I don't waste time praying, so I have more time to actually do things, and things actually get done.  I can explore many other fields of inquiry unfettered by a parochial ignorance, and unchained from the limited thinking demanded by dogma, so I learn more, and I learn faster and better.  I am free to explore, examine, experience and evolve in every echelon of my existence.  I have given control of my life to myself, so I am completely responsible for everything I do, rather than assign blame for mistakes or attribute my successes to one or another uninvolved imaginary spirits or entities.  No more crutches, no more excuses, no more bullshit.  Good stuff.

I have little poignant or anecdotal to share in this space, but I'm glad I wrote something that made someone like you waste their time reading it. HAVE SOME.


SevenScarletSharks
SevenScarletSharks's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: 2009-08-01
User is offlineOffline
My Atheism

 I was raised Jewish but I kind of rejected and doubted it from the start, and my parents moved a little ways away from it too, so there's not much to talk about there. Basically I went from Judaism to agnosticism (for about half a second) and then to atheism. Since my de-conversion, I have learned that all assertions should be questioned, and I have also learned to appreciate the science that not only helps us understand the world, but has evidence to back it up as well! I have also accepted the lesson that you can't always get what you want (cue awesome Rolling Stones song) so praying to a mythical sky spirit which we can't even see won't change things. 

SevenScarletSharks reserves the right to be better than you.


Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-08-22
User is offlineOffline
I now have the drive and

I now have the drive and initiative to fulfill literally everything I want to before I die.

       "I'd rather live than live forever..." - Bring Me The Horizon


Ecuadorian_Atheist
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-09-09
User is offlineOffline
I feel free, more open

 I was raised in a Catholic family, and my country is very "religious", Catholic church dominates every aspect of our society. Talking about not being religious is seen here as almost a "big crime". I was educated in a Catholic school during my elementary and high school years. I always felt that religion was not right, but society and family "force" you to follow the rituals, prayers, go to church, and all that things they do. The university I attended was secular, and that helped me to establish myself as an atheist. I realized that all things related to religion and gods are absurd, product of superstition, impossibility to explain certain things, and mass control of people. Society here doesn't want to understand my position, even my close family. But I stand very firm in my "non-believer" status. And someday I hope we atheists are seen as a real example of how to live and understand our world with REASON. 

God is a delusion. Period.


greg90e
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-09-28
User is offlineOffline
a god that was never there

In truth i have never been a christian or religious at all. its an excuse to steal from your neighbors. What makes us any better than one another we shit, eat , and sleep, so does every other animal who are we to put ourselves above one another. they created religion as a way to pacify our selves to our kings. it makes us obedient to our rulers and its still being used for this. religion is evil in entirety. and i am a better person without it because i judge everyone and everything on equal terms. i have more morals than any christian i have met yet


slitherysob
Posts: 6
Joined: 2009-10-25
User is offlineOffline
I can tell you one way about

I can tell you one way about how athiesm has made me a better person.  It's made me tolerant and less judgmental.  I remember being religious when I was a child, and my goal was to be a missionary, go to China, and convert the heathens.  My parents, teachers and pastors all thought this a very honourable thing to accomplish.  How sickening.  I believed and was taught all those who believe different than me go to hell.  I would be upset whenever someone ate pork, for I believed they would go to hell(was raises adventist, which is essentially jews for jesus).  Now I accept everyone's beliefs.  I don't believe them myself, but if you are catholic, jewish, hindi, moslem, mormon, baptist, adventis, etc., I'm not going to judge that person because I believe essentially the same thing they did, but differently.  Being athiest has opened my eyes.  I find it ironic that those who are religious ask me to open up my eyes and accept christ.  I merely respond that my eyes are open, they are the ones blinded by faith.  So now, the questions that religion answered, like how did life start, what happens after death, etc., I seek out an answer of my own.  Not one gift wrapped and given to me by religious doctrine.  Being athiest has also made me, happier.  When I was religious, I doubted strongly, why.  A simple question, yet one considered blasphemous and sinful.   Why does god allow the world to be in pain?  Why did god not stop lucifer?  Etc.  These questions troubled me deeply.  No longer, for I know now the questions to be irrelevant. 


LokiSeven
LokiSeven's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-10-26
User is offlineOffline
health and godlessness.

First post for me! 

Something that's been on my mind lately about the benefits of non-belief, is a greater emphasis on health (mental and physical).  I was once a strong believer, and had a lot of wild hunches (I say hunches because even then I was a skeptic) about health being tied to spiritual soundness or that disease could be caused by sin.  Taking on a naturalistic worldview has given me the clarity of looking at my mind and body for what they are... fragile products of millions of years of evolution, not without their flaws.  The only way to be healthy, is to take action and do healthy things.  Being a good person will not increase your life span (though it will increase the number of people who don't think you're an asshole).  This a simple, yet profound realization for me.  I guess my point is, don't sit around and wait for god to solve your problems... you're going to be waiting for a long time. 

"Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth. " Ayn Rand


the reg
Posts: 1
Joined: 2009-11-09
User is offlineOffline
im new to this but i truly

im new to this but i truly sincerely no longer beleive in the bible and god.just noah's ark is a load of crap.like bill maher asked,where in the 10 commandements does it say"thou will not rape a child"?bullshit.if jesus could turn water into wine and multiply fish for a fucking wedding/party why cant he feed starving children in africa?sick.if god loves us and we are his children then why we have to prove unending devotion to him,?why doesnt he come to us?when jesus came about there were mayans living on another continent......what they didnt matter?


DirtySanchez130
DirtySanchez130's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-11-09
User is offlineOffline
How has Atheism mad me a better person?

Straight up and overall. Knowing that this is the only life I have to live. I live it to the fullest without the restrictions of a "Higher Power" setting a fear of eternal damnation in me if I chose not to live my life to the fullest that I possibly can.

I live with the comfort of knowing that I'm already in a better place and I feel good knowing that my children will never be SPOONFED the delusion of any God and hereby give them the right to a "Free Thinking Mind".

If there were a God....... Then I have the power in me of free thought, so If I ever have to face judgement day wich I know in my heart is bullshit. I can throw in his face the fact that he put that rational free thinking brain in my head so he has no right to judge me either.

Free thought and cheers to Natural Selection. Hold your heads up high Atheists and know that we are the one true form. Todays Version of a better us and this years version of our transitional species and Tomorrow's future.

Live this life like there is no other one because frankly............ There isn't!

 

D.S.

 

 

Thanks,
Dirty Sanchez


LJFHutch
LJFHutch's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: 2009-11-11
User is offlineOffline
I've always been an atheist

I've always been an atheist (although I personally would prefer to be thought  of as someone who "does not believe" since "atheist" has somewhat negative connotations in such a religious world).

I'm definitely a more "moral" or a better person because of it. Knowing that there is not black and white differences between me and another person or even animal makes me respect all living creatures, and even the non living, such as rocks or volcanoes ... OK, I tried to make that sound less crazy than it came out, hopefully you get what I mean Eye-wink Furthermore, I think that (according to observing live and the word around me) it's probable that there is nothing after death, and even more probable that I will not have any memories or personality after death. When I die I die: memories, personality, body, the lot. As a result, I cherish every moment of life, I try to become the best person I possibly can, use every moment to the utmost I possibly can.

Another result of being an atheist is that I "question everything and believe nothing". Now, I don't literally believe nothing, but I accept the fact that I may be wrong about things, in fact, considering how often I change my mind on things, I know that I'm probably not right on some things, however, I have the ability to change my mind. This makes me accepting of other people's views and skeptical, which I think is key to personal improvement and the improvement of the human race.

So, I'm an atheist and a better person because of it Smiling


naomi94
naomi94's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: 2006-11-12
User is offlineOffline
How has atheism made me a better person

Off the top of my head...

 

1. I give people credit for their contributions, hard work and effort - INSTEAD of thanking Jebus. I give credit where credit is due.

 

2. When I give to others, I do it for the sake of that person, not because I am kissing gods ass

 

3. I made an effort to contact two elderly relatives dying of cancer, and tell them how much they mean to me. I apologize for my wrong behavior.  Atheism made me understand there is no afterlife and this is my only shot at making things right.

Quote:
The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost their power of reasoning
- Voltaire


Peppermint42
atheistSuperfan
Peppermint42's picture
Posts: 170
Joined: 2009-11-15
User is offlineOffline
Like eating vegetables... for your brain :)

As for me, I have hereditary chronic depression (thanks, mum and dad) and suicidal tendencies.  I haven't been an atheist for very long, but ever since I finally admitted to myself that I am one I've been more positive and less irritable and I've even quit smoking all of a sudden.  I can't say my morals have changed at all (I've always been kind of a liberal-minded person, Christian or not) but as far as my outlook on life and the fact that it's the only life I've got, I'm a totally different (and better) person.  I just feel healthier, you know?


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 4127
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
Gallowsbait wrote:As for me,

Gallowsbait wrote:

As for me, I have hereditary chronic depression (thanks, mum and dad) and suicidal tendencies.  I haven't been an atheist for very long, but ever since I finally admitted to myself that I am one I've been more positive and less irritable ....

    Ahhh, finally someone besides myself who was "gifted " similarly. Kind of puts that whole "life is a gift from God " attitude in a different light.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


rdklep8
atheistScience FreakSuperfan
rdklep8's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: 2009-11-10
User is offlineOffline
I think it's been covered



I think it's been covered fairly well by everyone else.  I stopped being particularly religious at about 16, and a few years later I considered myself atheist.  I think the most important thing that atheism has done for me is given me the drive to gain knowledge.  It is so easy to become complacent in life and to just be happy with what you know.  However, knowing that this is my one go round, I have become eager to learn anything and everything I can.

 

The only problem I have with this forum has a direct correlation with what I just said.  I have had trouble getting off this forum in order to finish busy work my college professors have given me.  It seems pointless to me to complete the work, as I would much rather go through old topics here and read into what other people here feel about science, religion, morality, basically anything of substance. 

So, yeah, atheism has made me more motivated to learn about topics of substance.  I am also more aware of people and things around me.  For me it's fairly easy to get into my own world, where I lose sight of everything around me.  Not necessarily in a selfish way, but if I have a busy week, I tend to throw basically everything else on the back burner.  I've learned to let things come as they may, as nothing is important enough to make me retreat into my own little bubble.


skeptiform5
skeptiform5's picture
Posts: 21
Joined: 2010-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Well I have gotten a much

Well I have gotten a much better life after becoming an atheist, the reason I became an atheist is simply because I have found no evidence for god, it didn't do much to as my church or my christian friends but the best answer to ' How do you know god exists' was 'faith' of which I had none so that was it for my religious life. 

      First I have let all my fear of hell and going to it, drift away into nothingness. It wasn't just me who I was worried about because my father has been an atheist so the fear was doubled. Second I have not had to get up at six in the morning to get to Church on time. Also because I don't constantly have to fear of the devil or any alike demons. Even though they are simple things they are important things and god (no pun intended) is my life better.


POed Ex-Theist
Posts: 13
Joined: 2009-06-17
User is offlineOffline
Hello again, Everyone can

Hello again,

 

Everyone can please disregard this post.  I'm no longer an Atheist and some of what I posted, on hindsight, was not completely honest, as I was very hostile about my prior religiousity.  And I'm not here to debate, b/c I know I'm not supposed to post as a theist in this forum, but I would like to just correct my errors:

 "I lived my life in constant hatred for this world and the sinful people in it.  I only pretended to love my neighbor b/c that was god command, but I also knew that god hated sin and knowing I had to avoid sin meant I had to avoid people - except the "real christians" in my small mennonite (nearly amish) church."  It is true that at times I felt the need to distance myself from people in order to avoid, what I'd have considered "resurrecting the old me", but out of charity, I made no great effort to do so.  Other people, however, who misunderstand Mennonite separation (the way they dress, for example) often withdrew from me or made false-accusations (some of which, in my hostility to religion, I accused myself of).  It is also true that at times our "neighbor" is not "lovable", and it takes obedience and love for God to overcome the temptation to avoid being selfless and charitable/loving toward that person.  In that respect it may seem disingenuous to "love my neighbor" in action when in my heart or mind I may not FEEL love.  But love is not always something that is felt - it is often a choice that is put into action.  We are all selfish at times, and sometimes doing the wrong thing means going against what we naturally feel.  

It is important to me to go back to all the places I renounced God and set the record straight.  And I will not see any replies to this post so there is absolutely no chance for debate from me.  But in case anyone would like to know what can make me do a 360 in my thinking I will just say that eventually I realized I truly was living a selfless life as a Christian, and strived to live a blameless one.  As an Atheist I loosened up here and there (not seeing sin in those places anymore) and grew more and more miserable.  I lost that selfless charity I once had.  Loving neighbor got increasingly difficult and it was easier to justify being selfish.  And finally, and most importantly, I knew that this way I lived as a Christian which I could now see, on hindsight, as being truly blessed, could not have been paved with human wisdom.  And one day I finally reasoned that I would just continue to live the way I had as a Christian w/out attributing its goodness to a god.  But my heart was still empty, having, in a sense, lost my closest friend/love (the God I no longer believed existed).   And one day, in my anguish and grieving for this (perceived) loss, I found myself praying, and immediately following this very heart-felt and painful prayer, God answered me very profoundly. 

 

I had been praying while playing a song on the piano (the words of the song expressed my feelings; making it my prayer) - a song I had never heard or seen before, from a music book I had never seen before which had been my mothers.  The words of the song became my prayer (about the loss of a loved one).  When the song was finished I just sat, exhausted and overwhelmed at the discovery of how hurt I was and how long it would probably take to get over believing in God - and how I just wished God were really true so that I could fill this longing in my heart.  Well, I turned the page to the next song in the book and the song was "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (Meaning Jesus is the joy of man's desire) by J.S. Bach.  Coincidence? I could have played any other book at that time.  95% of the songs in the book are written by the same, contemporary composer.  None of the other songs (as far as I could tell) were religious.  In fact, more than 50% of the songs were in Spanish and didn't even interest me - I was simply leafing through and didn't find any of them appealing until that one song about the loss of a loved one.  I was at first overjoyed by the apparent answer to my prayer.  I had hope, but even still, the next day I drew back into my depression, wondering if it had really been an answer to my prayer.  At that exact moment that I withdrew to my room in depression, I heard, in the next room, that fabulous song again (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring).  This time there was no question.  My little girl had turned the TV on, to a show we have never seen before, and in the show the characters were practicing a dance to that song, and they kept playing it over and over again.  That was 2 months ago, and since then God has only continued to faithfully guide me. 

I believe God exists, and He will answer a sincere and seeking person.  I don't know why people say they've tried and God didn't answer.  Maybe their heart wasn't right - maybe they missed the answer...  I have no idea.  But I do know that simply believing God exists is not enough - even Satan believes in God, and things are not good with him Eye-wink  - You have to want to know Him with the intent to live for Him, and with all the world has to offer, sometimes that is a difficult place for a person to get to.

So again, I will not see replies, so please don't try to contact me.  I trust I gave a good testimony and confession through this post, and I'll leave the rest to God. 

Godspeed~

 

My username suggest I am anti-theist.... I am not. I am anti-theism. and I'm really pissed at what faith in god did to my life and the battle I am going through to take back control of my mind.


Marquis
atheist
Marquis's picture
Posts: 776
Joined: 2009-12-23
User is offlineOffline
POed Ex-Theist wrote:I'm no

POed Ex-Theist wrote:
I'm no longer an Atheist

 

Then you weren't one in the first place and you need not lose any sleep over that Peter-ish sin of denial.

To me it is an absurd idea to "quit" being an atheist. It makes about as much sense as to say you have "quit" being sober, when the proper expression is that you have taken up drinking (again) - or whatever other drug of choice you prefer, in this case "faith". Being, or becoming, an atheist is, whatever personal mental and emotional process this entails, simply a question of admitting to yourself that you are a monkey, not a god, and that the world you can know, in this life that you have, is by and large that world which physics and the other sciences can describe; one which we may all agree upon, the real world, the one that doesn't go away even if you stop believing in it.

But you are of course free to harbour any superstition you like. Just don't expect to be respected for it.

Whether or not atheism has made me a better person is not for me to say. I have never been anything else for as far back as my memory reaches. Nor have I ever been encouraged by anyone to adopt any "belief" this or that way. Religion has simply never been an issue. Myths and fairy tales are only stories. Ritual and psychodrama is naught but theatre. Harbouring superstitious beliefs is the propensity of stupid, if not outright insane people.

The human capacity for imagination is spectacularly vast, but our capacity for knowledge is very limited.

 

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

http://www.kinkspace.com


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
POed Ex-Theist wrote:Hello

POed Ex-Theist wrote:

Hello again,

 

Everyone can please disregard this post.  I'm no longer an Atheist and some of what I posted, on hindsight, was not completely honest, as I was very hostile about my prior religiousity.  And I'm not here to debate, b/c I know I'm not supposed to post as a theist in this forum, but I would like to just correct my errors:

 "I lived my life in constant hatred for this world and the sinful people in it.  I only pretended to love my neighbor b/c that was god command, but I also knew that god hated sin and knowing I had to avoid sin meant I had to avoid people - except the "real christians" in my small mennonite (nearly amish) church."  It is true that at times I felt the need to distance myself from people in order to avoid, what I'd have considered "resurrecting the old me", but out of charity, I made no great effort to do so.  Other people, however, who misunderstand Mennonite separation (the way they dress, for example) often withdrew from me or made false-accusations (some of which, in my hostility to religion, I accused myself of).  It is also true that at times our "neighbor" is not "lovable", and it takes obedience and love for God to overcome the temptation to avoid being selfless and charitable/loving toward that person.  In that respect it may seem disingenuous to "love my neighbor" in action when in my heart or mind I may not FEEL love.  But love is not always something that is felt - it is often a choice that is put into action.  We are all selfish at times, and sometimes doing the wrong thing means going against what we naturally feel.  

It is important to me to go back to all the places I renounced God and set the record straight.  And I will not see any replies to this post so there is absolutely no chance for debate from me.  But in case anyone would like to know what can make me do a 360 in my thinking I will just say that eventually I realized I truly was living a selfless life as a Christian, and strived to live a blameless one.  As an Atheist I loosened up here and there (not seeing sin in those places anymore) and grew more and more miserable.  I lost that selfless charity I once had.  Loving neighbor got increasingly difficult and it was easier to justify being selfish.  And finally, and most importantly, I knew that this way I lived as a Christian which I could now see, on hindsight, as being truly blessed, could not have been paved with human wisdom.  And one day I finally reasoned that I would just continue to live the way I had as a Christian w/out attributing its goodness to a god.  But my heart was still empty, having, in a sense, lost my closest friend/love (the God I no longer believed existed).   And one day, in my anguish and grieving for this (perceived) loss, I found myself praying, and immediately following this very heart-felt and painful prayer, God answered me very profoundly. 

 

I had been praying while playing a song on the piano (the words of the song expressed my feelings; making it my prayer) - a song I had never heard or seen before, from a music book I had never seen before which had been my mothers.  The words of the song became my prayer (about the loss of a loved one).  When the song was finished I just sat, exhausted and overwhelmed at the discovery of how hurt I was and how long it would probably take to get over believing in God - and how I just wished God were really true so that I could fill this longing in my heart.  Well, I turned the page to the next song in the book and the song was "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (Meaning Jesus is the joy of man's desire) by J.S. Bach.  Coincidence? I could have played any other book at that time.  95% of the songs in the book are written by the same, contemporary composer.  None of the other songs (as far as I could tell) were religious.  In fact, more than 50% of the songs were in Spanish and didn't even interest me - I was simply leafing through and didn't find any of them appealing until that one song about the loss of a loved one.  I was at first overjoyed by the apparent answer to my prayer.  I had hope, but even still, the next day I drew back into my depression, wondering if it had really been an answer to my prayer.  At that exact moment that I withdrew to my room in depression, I heard, in the next room, that fabulous song again (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring).  This time there was no question.  My little girl had turned the TV on, to a show we have never seen before, and in the show the characters were practicing a dance to that song, and they kept playing it over and over again.  That was 2 months ago, and since then God has only continued to faithfully guide me. 

I believe God exists, and He will answer a sincere and seeking person.  I don't know why people say they've tried and God didn't answer.  Maybe their heart wasn't right - maybe they missed the answer...  I have no idea.  But I do know that simply believing God exists is not enough - even Satan believes in God, and things are not good with him Eye-wink  - You have to want to know Him with the intent to live for Him, and with all the world has to offer, sometimes that is a difficult place for a person to get to.

So again, I will not see replies, so please don't try to contact me.  I trust I gave a good testimony and confession through this post, and I'll leave the rest to God. 

Godspeed~

 

 

Battered Housewife syndrome.

You bitch and moan about the beating and when you have the opportunity to make it stop you refuse to follow through.

Go right ahead, bail out your abusive lover. I'm sure it will be different this time. Go back and tell people you hit a doorjam or you fell because you were so clumsy.

Don't 'cry wolf' again, lowlife.

 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


DarkSam
DarkSam's picture
Posts: 54
Joined: 2010-03-24
User is offlineOffline
I was born a Catholic.

I was born a Catholic. However I am a logical person. Since about year four I started to have doubts about God. When i turned 12 I realised I was an atheist just as I realised the Easter bunny and Santa Claws didn't exist. This has opened up my eyes to the world of Science and Truth. I now feel as if I have been enlightened, its a great feeling.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click Here, You know you want to

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You cannot disprove the existance of God, but you also cannot disprove the existance of an all powerfull, incomprehesible, pink elephant that lives in the boot of my car.


ContemptableWitness
ContemptableWitness's picture
Posts: 43
Joined: 2010-04-06
User is offlineOffline
I've become a better person

I've become a better person since becoming an atheist, but I don't think atheism has necessarily made me a better person. It's just because when I was a theist, there were a lot of barriers my religious beliefs put up in the way of me becoming "better."  

When I was religious, I hated gay people. I know a lot of Christians say "love the sinner, hate the sin," but trust me, behind closed doors, there's a lot of "hate the sinner" going on, at least in my experience. The sole reason I hated gay people was my religion, and I think this is true of just about every homoclast and homophobe out there. Once I abandoned religion, I no longer had the justification for hate.  

My religion also taught that charities were a waste of time, because the end of the world was coming soon. That organization does conduct relief efforts, but they engage in them solely to help out their own followers in the affected regions. They do not concentrate their efforts on everyone, only themselves, and their first priority is to rebuild their church buildings.  I can now donate to causes because I abandoned my religion.

When I was religious, I wasn't allowed to take blood transfusions, even to save my own life. If I had children, I would be expected to deny them a blood transfusion as well, even if it meant their death. Because I'm no longer religious, I no longer have to face the possibility of denying my future children the medical care they might need to save their lives at some point. I am no longer willing to sacrifice their lives for an irrational belief.

When I was religious, I had no sense of community or civic responsibility. I didn't vote or get involved in any way in the political process.  All that mattered was my church "family," and honestly most of the ones in need there went uncared for anyway. Now, I make sure to vote and realize the importance of being involved in the community.

When I was religious, I had no qualms about knocking on peoples' doors on a Saturday morning to push beliefs the vast majority of them didn't want to hear.  Now that I'm no longer religious, I realize that this behavior is unacceptable.

When I was religious, I assigned almost no value to my current life. The end was coming soon. Why think about the long-term?  Now that I'm not longer religious, I value the life I'm living here and now. I'm not putting my life on hold for something that MIGHT happen. Instead, I'm savoring the life that IS happening, right now.

When I was religious, I saw everybody that wasn't part of my church as doomed, condemned, up for God's chopping block when it all goes to shit. For this very reason, friendship outside the church is heavily discouraged. I intentionally separated myself from people I called "worldly," refused to associate with them.  Now that I'm not religious, I have normal relationships with people, and I can look at them without considering them to be doomed.

 

To most of you these things might seem small or basic, but they're major changes for me.


Whatthedeuce
atheist
Whatthedeuce's picture
Posts: 200
Joined: 2008-07-19
User is offlineOffline
In my opinion, being an

In my opinion, being an atheist has not made me a better person. It does, however, give me greater freedom to express the characteristics and actions that a good person has.

Now that I don't have to waste time and money worshipping an imaginary being, I have more of both to devote to all other aspects of my life. This includes my philanthropic activities.

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


Kapkao
atheistSuperfan
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
hehe

I generally feel a helluva lot better and am more likely to... enable my mind, body, and... "persona" in the best possible manner I know how. Like being suffocated and then suddenly having a sudden breath of fresh air.

It was kinda painful realizing that I was both separate and unequal with regards to the silly, stupid, and anxiety-riddled theistic family members, authority figures, and friends I have/had right in the buckle of the bible belt. So it's kind of a gift AND a burden, but at least I found the gift on my own, at age 10. That has to count for something...


On the plus side, my "soul" ("persona" is a better term) is free, and I don't have to worry about what happens to myself after I die.

Of course, that makes the unfortunate assumption that I will die.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


syw1759
Posts: 8
Joined: 2012-04-05
User is offlineOffline
the boy's in the white shirts made me........

You know, I am not sure what difference it has made, but I know I am happier.         That said, I had a couple of the wet behind the ears young and zealous pups of the LDS crew visit my home the other day.  Now on a normal visit from them ( we got us a big colony of them out here ) I politely turn them away, I have even offered them a drink of water once and again.  This visit was different.  I hear my kids talking out in the yard and a male voice say something like, " Do you know why we are here?", We are carrying a message from Jesus."  I druther it was the sheriff coming to serve me a paper for something but  out I go.  It comes to mind that over the past couple years more bible thumpers been in the area.  Jehovah's, Mormon, 7Th Day.  It is the poor economy trots them out.  These people see an advantage.

Anyway, I go out to the back and see these two young Mormon bra's talking to my kids ( ages 7,9,and 13).  I say, hey! you no talk me kids what you want?  These guys are part of the new missionary crop.  anxious to score points with their leader.  Excuse us sir, we would like to share Jesus message with you.  Right to the point.  I am like to be paranoid.  I think the Mormons ( Normans to my reference) are out to take over the island.  They even built a brand new temple out here.  Big ugly pile of rock too. 

So, these boy's continue.  We can make you more happy and your relationship with your children better.  Come to assimilate me Borg style, but I go off both barrels, " Get the F off my property!  Get away from my kids!  Go on and walk you silly S""T's!  Etc, etc.  All the way down my driveway.  I stomp back up the drive half a mind to switch my kids.  So, my kids are laughing about it.  I am still burning with madness, I go into the house and sit down.  What the heck did I do that all for?  I am still not sure.  However, If those Mormons try to steal my name ( soul to them ) after I die , in some arcane induction service I swear I will come back as a ghost and eat them up.

End result;  I now need to learn about ghosts


vBlueSki
atheist
vBlueSki's picture
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-12-10
User is offlineOffline
Well

Well for one I no longer live under a strange fear of being watched all the time. Man was it helpful to let that one slide off my shoulders. And most importantly there is a realness that proves to myself that this is the only life I have been given. It is so important to realize this. I'm no longer waiting for an afterlife. I seek the gifts and pleasures this life has for me. And humans are most certainly not fallen beings. We are confused. We are not fallen.

Eternity wouldn't be much of an experience.