How has non-belief improved your life?

MattShizzle
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How has non-belief improved your life?

This thread is meant for those of us who once believed in God, but no longer do. How if your life better now than it was when you believed? Not talking about abstract things like no longer believing in something that isn't true, more along the lines of actual quality of life things. For me, when I believed I used to fairly often have nightmares about dying and going to hell. After I became an atheist that stopped! Laughing out loud

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GrimJesta
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How has non-belief improved your life?

I actually started out on this road by seeking to prove, once and for all, the existence of a divine being (not really the Judeo-Christian one, but something... that Unmoveable Mover so to speak). I found myself painted into so many corners and caught in to many rediculous loopholes that I started doubting the whole "god" thing. All of this came about after a strange occurence during a near-death experience (well, I did die, but was brought back... twice) which I wanted answers to. The end result: I'm a non-believer, but I leave myself open to discussion about it and I'm willing to accept that I might be wrong. My only beef is that I usually find theists who don't reciprocate and refuse to accept that they might be wrong.

My life is better now for a few reasons:
- I've always been into research and what-not, but being an atheist means you have to be ready to do "intellectual battle" most of the time, so I've found myself reseraching more. I've found myself reading up on obscure things that I wouldn't have normally known about or cared about. So it definately has helped me intellectually.

- I've become more tolerant. Because I don't believe in any gods and want to "enlighten" others as to my reasons and rationale, I've found myself also more willing to listen to other people's reasons and rationale for their beliefs.

-I've become more self-critical. Being an atheist, I don't believe in an afterlife, but I still understand the need to be "good", or "just". If this time I have here on earth is all I have, I want to live life well and as a decent human being (who wants their only time to be ridden with pain and misery, which is what comes with living in the fast lane... trust me). As a result I've really become much more self-critical and philosophical about how I live my life, as well as how I interact with the rest of the world. There's no self-righteousness when you can't be 100% sure you're right.

Those are the big three. There's more, but those are the one's that are most notable as a result of my heathen status.

-=Grim=-

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applesforadam
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How has non-belief improved your life?

The single biggest way that I've profitted from being an atheist is the frame of reference I'm able to place on everything. By that I mean everything. I feel genuinely sorry for theists who cloud their reason with illogical beliefs because they are missing out on the real awe and splendor mankind is meant to feel when they view the universe with a rational mind.
"Science is not only compatible with spirituality, it is a profound source of spirituality." - the late, great Carl Sagan

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shedevil
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How has non-belief improved your life?

Two words: BIRTH CONTROL.


GrimJesta
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How has non-belief improved your life?

shedevil wrote:
Two words: BIRTH CONTROL.

LOL! Best answer so far.

-=Grim=-


FreeThoughtMake...
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Yeah I feel a lot like you

Yeah I feel a lot like you matt and also I just feel more eh open minded lol, smarter even.


spentley
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The one biggy. I'm at ease

The one biggy.

I'm at ease with not existing proceding death.

Which means I will make the best out of what little time I have here.

I agree with Grim's post, I feel I have gained a lot of knowledge around the subject since I've become atheist. For the same reasons. Thats another possitive.

The feeling that my life isn't governed by someone or something.. thats great.... and knowing there is nothing to blame or give credit for events "god" is often "responsible" for.... good as well.

definatly agree with shedevil... birthcontrol rocks!! even christians love that shit.

God is the omnimax creator by definition of major religions. If there is evidence that the religion is incorrect about the nature of reality, then there is evidence that the God the religion defines does not exist.


MattShizzle
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There's also getting to know

There's also getting to know other non-believers, such as here, and being able to realize just how absurd the Bible is - getting to read books by Dan Barker, Richard Carrier, Robert Ingersoll, etc.

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Yes... this community has

Yes... this community has helped solidify my atheism. When I first contradicted my faith... i felt i was alone.. and possibly the only one. Its a great thing to be able to discuss matters with other atheists.

God is the omnimax creator by definition of major religions. If there is evidence that the religion is incorrect about the nature of reality, then there is evidence that the God the religion defines does not exist.


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I felt very alone for a

I felt very alone for a while when I finaly realised there was no God (on my own, btw), then my bro de-converted and I found the RRS. I still often have alone feelings, however, since every single person I know is a theist. That's one of the reason i like coming here. I feel like there's at least some people out there who GET IT, even if they live miles away. Smiling

Anyway, I've never really had any religion, but I did certainly used to believe in God. I think my non-belief has actually hightened my sense of importance and definatly my sense of self worth. Back when I was a theist, I would think "Got made all these other people great, good looking, successful... So why not me? Am I less? I must be, because God made all these other people greater and better at all these others things than I am. Sure, people keep telling me he loves me, but then why would he make life difficult? I wouldn't make life anymore difficult for anyone I loved."

It simply confused me, and made me feel like crap, like I was helpless. However, after I shed my God belief, I finally felt in control of my life, and felt that I could make my own purpose and forge my own path without having to wonder if I had permission from the all-powerful king in the sky.

It's strange that I feel far more important and loved without God belief than I did with it. The fact that I'm actually right this time helps too. Sticking out tongue

Wilson: "We were afraid that if you found out you solved a case with absolutely no medical evidence you'd think you were God." House: "God doesn't limp."


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Quote:MattShizzle For me,

Quote:
MattShizzle
For me, when I believed I used to fairly often have nightmares about dying and going to hell. After I became an atheist that stopped!

I am still afraid of death. Me dieing. My family dieing. But do not worry about hell. Hell was invented by Christianity. The Jews never believed in a eternal torture chamber.

I still believe in God sometimes, but it does not last long. If there is a God I really do not see any relationship with humanity. At best we have our abilities as a gift and thats it. And look at the pain and suffering that all creatures endure, and the suffering and struggles that our ancestors had to go through to get us to our current level of technology and success in surviving as a species. At best earth is Gods project and we are definately not his children. I think God could not give a rats ass about the individual. He knows the numbers of hairs on our heads, but never ran his hands through our hair like our parents did. Maybe I am an anti-religious apatheist.

Since I became a Christian apostate and an atheist (most of the time), I have very different kinds of friends now. Not many, but they are interesting. I see people differently than I used to. I am kind of strange, but I don't care much about that like I used to and I feel comfortable around others who I think are a little strange to me. I am not afraid of homosexuals anymore. I see value in letting people do thier thing even though it is not what I think is worthwhile so long as they aren't hurting any one. I think that is important because if I do that then maybe others will reciprocate. People do sometimes.

People are limited. Limited in life span. If they die it is permanent. People are very valueable, even though I get angry at them or think they are unecessarily causing problems. The here and now is important. Because it is our time. Things matter because this is our time and it is limited time. I really enjoy my successes that I worked hard for and also the things that are easily within my grasp. I have more interests than I used to. I am interested in school because it is freedom. I will try to play by the rules and focus on goals. Time is precious.

I can make things happen. Luck and miracles are the idiot brothers of procrastination.


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Honestly the more I think

Honestly the more I think about it the more I'm not sure if I ever really DID believe in God or if I was just going through the motions because that's what I was "suppose" to do. Does that even make sense?

I can tell you though, since I stopped going to church and all the things that entails I have been, in general, a lot happier and more at peace with myself than I ever was before.

Which... in turn, has effected my quality of life greatly.

--Sarah--

Prayer: How to do nothing and feel like your doing something.


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shedevil wrote:Two words:

shedevil wrote:
Two words: BIRTH CONTROL.

Right on!

I'm not sure that non-belief has improved my life....maybe changed it a little. I guess it depends on what you mean by improved? I perceive things much differently and my interests shifted slightly. I now find myself watching shows about the differences between the Columbian and Wooly Mammoth and reading books that I never would have considered beforehand. Oh, I stopped driving like a bat out of hell. Other than that, it's business as usual.


Nick
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DelphicRaven wrote:Honestly

DelphicRaven wrote:
Honestly the more I think about it the more I'm not sure if I ever really DID believe in God or if I was just going through the motions because that's what I was "suppose" to do. Does that even make sense?

YES, it makes perfect sense. I know what you're talking about. That's how it was like when I was a kid. Everyone else believed in God, my parents believed in God, I'm supposed to believe in God, right? Yeah, I know that feeling.

Luckily for you, you saw the light. Welcome to the Rational Response Squad!

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Derevirn
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I no longer: - diminish the

I no longer:

- diminish the value of this live for the sake of afterlife
- rely on god to fix my problems
- believe in demons, spirits etc.
- do moral acts, to gain "paradise points"
- think unbelievers might go to hell

...and countless more, but I think those are the most important.

Saying there can't be morality without God,
is like saying there can't be presents without Santa Claus!


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When I went through a bad

When I went through a bad financial time of my life (homeless, etc.) I was hanging out with this girl who was also homeless. She asked me if I believed in God. I said that I don't know anymore. She said that she hated him if there was. My road to atheism started there. I started questioning a lot those days. Then pretty soon I came to the realization that there wasn't a god. I must say it was a big step for me. I was scared to take it but once I did I could not go back. I felt really strong for the first time. Leaving my theism behind me has made my life experiences more significant in that I appreciate the way things work naturally.
After I went through 17 hours of labor with my first child, I was extremely happy what I had accomplished. A thing that I had growing inside my belly came out a beautiful baby. Then my husband's mother deflates my balloon by saying, "Look what God has given you." I told her that I did it all by myself and God had nothing to do with it. She just smiled smugly at me and disagreed in a nice way.
Honestly though at times atheism is hard because people treat you differently. It makes me sad. I just registered my kids at school and one of the papers I had to sign asks what religion they are. Most the people here are xtian so I hope they don't treat my kids different because I signed it none/freethinker.
Atheism has made MY life better but I do fear for my kids because I don't want them treated bad for no reason. Know what I mean?


darth_josh
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MarthaSplatterhead wrote: I

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
I just registered my kids at school and one of the papers I had to sign asks what religion they are.

Whoa. I didn't think they could do that. I've never had that question when registering my children. They'd have to fill that part out anyway.

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BarkAtTheMoon
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I can stay home on Sundays,

I can stay home on Sundays, sleep in, sit on my ass all day, and watch football without feeling at all guilty about it. That's good enough for me.

It really hasn't affected me too much, because even when I was growing up going to church every week it never really meant anything to me. It was just something generally boring that you had to do on Sunday. I had drifted towards a sort of deistic/agnostic approach by high school with little fanfare. Thankfully I live in the northeast so it was never really a big deal before or after.

In recent years now that I've really researched a lot about atheism and religion, I've listened in a different way at the few church services I've been to. It really seems ridiculous now.

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
- Eric Idle, from The Galaxy Song


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DelphicRaven wrote:Honestly

DelphicRaven wrote:
Honestly the more I think about it the more I'm not sure if I ever really DID believe in God or if I was just going through the motions because that's what I was "suppose" to do. Does that even make sense?

I can tell you though, since I stopped going to church and all the things that entails I have been, in general, a lot happier and more at peace with myself than I ever was before.

Which... in turn, has effected my quality of life greatly.

--Sarah--

That's very similar to how it was for me. Church was just where you went on Sundays...and it was boring. Praying always felt kind of silly and never felt like God was listening. The only time I ever felt any sense of wonder so to speak of anything God related was in some of the old churches (including the one I grew up going to) and cathedrals, how you instinctually whisper, here and in Europe that I've been to, but that's more the architecture than anything.

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
- Eric Idle, from The Galaxy Song


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BarkAtTheMoon wrote:I can

BarkAtTheMoon wrote:
I can stay home on Sundays, sleep in, sit on my ass all day, and watch football without feeling at all guilty about it. That's good enough for me.

Oh yea. Sunday is reserved for coming down, taking naps, reading and watching television.


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I get extra drunk on Sundays

I get extra drunk on Sundays just to piss Christians off! Laughing out loud


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darth_josh

darth_josh wrote:
MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
I just registered my kids at school and one of the papers I had to sign asks what religion they are.

Whoa. I didn't think they could do that. I've never had that question when registering my children. They'd have to fill that part out anyway.

You just totally made me realize that I should have protested that and now I want to write a letter to the school district and ask them to remove that. School is no place for that. Man I feel like I got duped.


hartfield
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I can act bad whenever..for

I can act bad whenever..for example I punched some kid in the face because he took my seat. Before I would think about it because I would think that I would get in trouble but now I do it with out thinking about it.


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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hartfield wrote:I can act

hartfield wrote:
I can act bad whenever..for example I punched some kid in the face because he took my seat. Before I would think about it because I would think that I would get in trouble but now I do it with out thinking about it.

Aren't there still consequences to still consider?


MattShizzle
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Good point. Being an atheist

Good point. Being an atheist is no excuse for anti-social behavior. In fact, you should refrain from it as they will blame negative behavior on atheism any chance they get.

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I never felt like I fit the

I never felt like I fit the religion I was in. I completely believed it, but I had these thoughts, feelings and wants that completely went against what was "right". I felt like I was very lazy and that my lack of glazed eye enthusiasm for this religion meant that there was something wrong with me. I wanted to be completly in love with the bible.....but at the same time I couldn't bring myself to it because it would always be an act. Looking back I see my personality as very fragmented and repressed. Taking the god element out has helped me piece together who I am. I found myself and a lot of my passions because of it. Like GrimJesta and other people here, I've also been more intense in obtaining knowledge than before. I'm facing my death with realism, which is extremely hard and scary and liberating. I'm more concerned with humanity. I make a conscious effort to challenge my motives and comfort zones all the time. I see clearly that we are one race and the walls that divide are superficial. I can go on and on. Bottom line is that I'm happier and more fulfilled as an atheist.


hartfield
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well yea but depends where

well yea but depends where if I was at campus then I would of been detained but since we were at my friends house I just went for it.

I do understand what matt is trying to say the sad thing is that I haveno tolerance for thiest..I really really really tried to be understanding and nice but it's really hard.


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Quote:Amber: I never felt

Quote:
Amber:
I never felt like I fit the religion I was in. I completely believed it, but I had these thoughts, feelings and wants that completely went against what was "right". I felt like I was very lazy and that my lack of glazed eye enthusiasm for this religion meant that there was something wrong with me. I wanted to be completly in love with the bible.....but at the same time I couldn't bring myself to it because it would always be an act. Looking back I see my personality as very fragmented and repressed. Taking the god element out has helped me piece together who I am. I found myself and a lot of my passions because of it. Like GrimJesta and other people here, I've also been more intense in obtaining knowledge than before. I'm facing my death with realism, which is extremely hard and scary and liberating. I'm more concerned with humanity. I make a conscious effort to challenge my motives and comfort zones all the time. I see clearly that we are one race and the walls that divide are superficial. I can go on and on. Bottom line is that I'm happier and more fulfilled as an atheist.

We are simular. I want what you have. I seem to be going in the direction you are. Trying to Smiling

But I make mistakes sometimes. I really liked what you said here Amber.


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Quote:hartfield: well yea

Quote:
hartfield:
well yea but depends where if I was at campus then I would of been detained but since we were at my friends house I just went for it.

I do understand what matt is trying to say the sad thing is that I haveno tolerance for thiest..I really really really tried to be understanding and nice but it's really hard.


Hang in there hartfield. You will find a way. You are a thinker.


darth_josh
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MarthaSplatterhead

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
darth_josh wrote:
MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
I just registered my kids at school and one of the papers I had to sign asks what religion they are.

Whoa. I didn't think they could do that. I've never had that question when registering my children. They'd have to fill that part out anyway.

You just totally made me realize that I should have protested that and now I want to write a letter to the school district and ask them to remove that. School is no place for that. Man I feel like I got duped.

Perhaps getting ahold of one of the registration forms first would be a good way to start a mild protest. I would skip the school district and write to the state board of education with a list of concerns about your child's education with regard to religious materials being explicitly forbidden from the curriculum.

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Brian37
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It has made me more

It has made me more confident in questioning claims. I have also lost what I used to do. I used to beat myself up over not being what others wanted me to be or thought I should do. I finaly have the confidence to live my life the way I see fit without worrying about what other people think.

Theists have this unfounded superstition that atheists are simply rebels looking to drink blood and cause problems. That is nothing but a steamy pile of poney loaf.

Atheists are not bound by a religious book and that frees the mind to observe question and test to insure quality answers without dogmatic bias. Theists are threatened by the atheist for no good reason. Rather than say to themselves, "Is what I believe really true"? They cling to ancient mythology just because someone told them. So in order to justify believing in magical super daddies and talking donkeys, they seek to distroy reason and twist science into science fiction to justify holding onto the patently absurd.

Religion teaches you to shut down you brain and blindly follow. It is divisive worldwide and it's only goal is peace through domination by any means via vote or war.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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