Hi. I am a new atheist and I have some personal questions for all of you please. (Moved to General Conversations)

Zeeboe
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Hi. I am a new atheist and I have some personal questions for all of you please. (Moved to General Conversations)

Hello everyone. Smiling How are all of you?

Before I begin, I think it's important for me to introduce myself to all of you and share with you my history. If you want to skip this, I understand. But please just scroll down and answer the questions. I'd really appreciate it if you would. The questions are in bold.

My name is Gilson and I'm a 24-year old young man from Texas. I was raised Christian, but when I was 12 I turned away from God for reasons I rather not get into right now because this post will be long enough as it is. LOL.

Even though I turned away from God, I still believed in Him. I just did not want to follow Him anymore. Then in early 2006, I became a born-again Christian.....for reasons I would again rather not get into at this time.

I was very overweight when I became a Christian but I loved Jesus so much that He (at least I thought He did).....inspired me to go on a diet and I lost well over a hundred pounds.

Looking back now, I wish I would have just watched Rocky. Smiling

Actually, no. I take that back. I was happy when I was a Christian. In fact, I was at my happiest when I was a Christian. There was no happier time for me ever in my entire life. I used to have a very negative outlook on life. When I became a Christian, I had a very positive outlook and was overall a very happy and pleasant person to be around.

It was one year ago at this very time. I was very religious. I prayed, I read the bible, I went to church, I posted on Christian message boards, I posted prayer requests and the prayers always were answered and I watched the church channel all the time and loved The Way of the Master. I felt good. I felt happy. I was happy to be alive.

Now here I am one year later as an atheist and I am miserable.

It all started when I saw The Da Vinci Code last year and after seeing it, it changed my life forever. It first made me really question the existence of God.

I researched the Da Vinci Code on the web but it was debunked by my online Christian friends very easily. However, I wanted to research religion more because the proof of God being real was still not given to me. So I researched everything there was on Christianly. Then I researched Judaism. Finally, I researched atheism.

I very, very was slowly going down hill as each day passed. It took a matter of months but in the end, atheism won and here I am, posting on my very first atheist message board.

No one but me knows my true feelings. People in my family still think I am religious and I have never publicly announced that I am atheist.

Now for my questions:

Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

If so, how did you deal with it?

Did it ever go away?

Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Is it normal to react this way?

Why do you think I am depressed?

Do any of you fear death?(My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.)

Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

For a few months now, every now and then I have half-ass debates with family members and acquaintances about religion and I pretty much stump them every time. I bring up points Richard Dawkins has brought up before and ask questions he has asked and give the same answers he has been asked and I even have my own questions and answers.

Infact, I was asking some of the questions and making the same comments Dawkins made before I watched his stuff but I have learned more facts and even more stories from the bible because of Dawkins that I never knew before. And I looked them up for myself and he was telling the truth.

Anyway, back to my last question: The looks on some of the Christians I've debated with make me feel bad. I silence some of them, I shock some of them with the things I put out in the bible that Dawkins pointed out to me and the looks on their faces....like I said, they get a little upset and some even get very angry.

And then I recall watching the debate the rational response squad had with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort.....two men I once greatly admired and respected.........get destroyed in a debate....I was not being bias either. I was hoping so badly that the two men who I had so much respect for would save my faith. I wanted them to win, but they didn't. They even posted a BS "introduction to debate" video on you tube that was a total cope out to try and cover up that they lost.

Anyway, I feel bad. I hate seeing my family members looking upset....heck, I hated seeing Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort look upset.

I feel like I am taking away the hope these people have. When I was religious, I was a happy person. Now look at me. I've been angry, miserable and have been depressed for months.

Now granted...it took me a long time to get to the point I am at now so I have no doubt that one debate with a Christian isn't going to kill their faith but it might plant the seeds....and they might start doing research on the web like I did and then they found Richard Dawkins and it all goes down hill from there....

In a way, since become a nonbeliever...I am developing my own laws and I believe destroying someone for no reason is a crime in my book. Unless I am attacked by religious people, I see no reason for going after them.

And if they came out with me with little force, I'd respond with little force. If they come at me with full force, I respond with full force. Either way, I will always try to be civil and respectful.

I guess that's my very first law in my bible. lol.

Anyway, I had a friend on my space write me and ask me why I changed my religion to agnostic and I told him why and then he wrote me back with bible quotes and telling me to look up bible quotes and reminded me of a former teacher of ours that died a few months ago and almost sounded angry.

Should I reply back or let it go? At first, I thought I'd just let it go.

It's kind of like an old Simpsons episode when Lisa discovered Jebediah Springfield was actually not a hero, but a crook. But she saw how happy everyone was in Springfield and how he brought out the best in everyone and made so many people happy that she decided not to tell everyone the truth about him.

That's how I feel now. Religion can be very easily debunked. VERY easily...but if God makes people happy, then why take Him anyway?

Like I said, I myself fear death more now then ever and if people can get comfort by thinking their loved ones are living in the clouds up in Heaven or if they think they will go there one day and there is no reason to fear death...why take it away? I consider them lucky actually and telling them the truth is almost like telling the truth to a small child about Santa Claus. I just don't know if I am mean enough.

Right now, typing all this....I feel bad. Really...I have this very strange feeling as I type all this like I am murdering somebody. My stomach feels weird and so does my throat. My heart beats quicker too...and sometimes I actually feel sick to my stomach like I wanna throw up. Is this all in my head?

Or is God telling me something?

No, no.....I know it's in my head...it's just wishful thinking on my part.

You know, I almost posted this on a part of the forum where religious people are welcome because I want so badly to believe and want to be convinced that God is real.

But I don't want this topic to turn into a debate. I've seen enough of those and I pretty much already know what the religious people are going to tell me.

In closing, I don't like this new person I am. I want to be a Christian again, but I can't live a lie.

I wish I hadn't ever seen The Da Vinci Code because it planeted the first seed. Although I shouldn't just blame that movie. I use the net all the time and I'm sure in due time, I would have discovered atheism. But who knows, maybe I would have ignored it and stayed happier for a lot longer.

I think the reason why most people are still religious despite the overwhelming evidence that crushes religion is because they ignore the clips on you tube and this website and all the books. They wanna cover their ears and live in their fantasy world....and I can't blame them.

Thanks for reading. I'm sorry if this was long. Any advice will be highly appreciated.

And if there are any religious people out there lurking, I will welcome your prayers and private e-mails.

Thank you all again.


Voided
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I would suggest you bold or

I would suggest you bold or highlight your questions, it'll make it more likely to get the lazy to answer them Eye-wink

Zeeboe wrote:
Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

If so, how did you deal with it?

Did it ever go away?

Can't answer, never religious. I often wonder about the idea though.

Quote:
Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Sure, there are things that I could have in my life that would make me more happy, but I'm not starving to death and I could "walk the mall with a shirt that says, 'fuck the law' without the likelihood I'd get my head blown off." (If anyone knows where I got that they get brownie points, I just like the way the idea is put across.) There are worse things that could be going on with me.

Quote:
Is it normal to react this way?

Why do you think I am depressed?

It is a disadvantage of being human that we can be sad. The idea of god wouldn't keep going if it didn't comfort people. It would be my guess that your just missing that feeling. Just keep in mind that truth does not depend on feels and that this life simply becomes more special.

Quote:
Do any of you fear death? (My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.)

I have a healthy fear. If I didn't I'd think that would be boarder lined suicidal.

Quote:
Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

I don't really feel bad, but I have heard some feel guilty if it is the religion of their past.

Quote:
Religion can be very easily debunked. VERY easily...but if God makes people happy, then why take Him anyway?

Because this same idea can cause harm. Just realize there is a difference between an argument aginst religion and an argument to do something about religion.

Quote:
Right now, typing all this....I feel bad. Really...I have this very strange feeling as I type all this like I am murdering somebody. My stomach feels weird and so does my throat. My heart beats quicker too...and sometimes I actually feel sick to my stomach like I wanna throw up.

YOU ARE KILLING SOMETHING GOD! Sticking out tongue

Again I've heard of odd feelings like this from ex-religious people before. If you've been hearing something a good portion of your life its going to have some effect on you. Also I hear that some atheists who left religion recently might be more likely to have such feelings. This would make since to me, but I never had to deal with something like that.

Quote:
I wish I hadn't ever seen The Da Vinci Code because it planeted the first seed.

Shhh don't let the secret out, christian groups freaked out about this enough already. Sticking out tongue

Quote:
They wanna cover their ears and live in their fantasy world

I saw this once in an ID/evo debate...

 

I think you might like, or at least get something out of, this.


Zeeboe
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Thanks.

EDIT: Triple post. I am so sorry. Please remove. Embarassed


Zeeboe
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Thank you Voiderest.

Thank you Voiderest. I edited my post and have posted my questions in bold. I appreciate the suggestion, the response and the video clip.  Smiling

 


Zeeboe
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Thank you Voiderest.

EDIT: Triple post. I am so sorry. Please remove. Embarassed


latincanuck
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    Well that was a long

    Well that was a long read. I cannot say exactly why you feel this way, I have been an atheist for as long as i can remember, since childhood. However there are many reasons why, change is a hard thing for us humans we are comfortable with the predictable and being part of the "crowd", usually. As such, when are views change and they are different than those that we associate with, specifically friends and family, a feeling of isolation can overcome you. However I don't know the specifics of what you are feeling or how you are view this change, you say you don't like the new person, but you don't exactly elaborate as to what you don't like of yourself.

    Are you a prick now? are you completely angry at the world? are you merely depressed? my opinion would be that you figure out what you don't like.

    As for the question of death, to be honest it doesn't bother me at all, we live and we die, simple as that, once you accept it, life is really beautiful, well at least to me it is. I know that one day it will end, I enjoy all my time, i enjoy my time with friends and family as well i tend to have a positive outlook on life, that people can be and are generally good people.

      As for your question regarding attacking others beliefs, well that really depends, if someone asks me my opinion on religion i give it, personally i not worried about there feelings, they asked, they get the truth. As well, one cannot make someone change their beliefs, they have to come to this conclusion on their own. like you said, if they want to cover their ears and go la la la la, well that's their choice. This however is a website, they are free to ignore this place and ignore anyone else's views. People have the freedom to express themselves, their opinions, beliefs and views. No where, and i mean no where does it mention that i have to protect their feelings in any constitution. You don't have to attack religious idea, no one is asking you to do. It is completely up to you.

    As well, welcome to this forum

 


Iruka Naminori
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Hi Zeeboe.  Welcome to the

Hi Zeeboe.  Welcome to the forums. 

Zeeboe wrote:
Now for my questions. Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

I was depressed and bitter before, during and after the whole process. Smiling  Take a step back and look at what has happened to you.  You discovered that your reason for living was a lie.  Many, many people have a really hard time with that.  In my case, I not only lost my world view, I lost my friends and closeness with family.  I lost everything.  So, yes, it was very difficult.

Check out this book: Leaving the Fold by Dr. Marlene Winell.  If nothing else, it will totally validate your feelings.  It also gives you some ideas on making your way through.  I had some counseling with Dr. Winell, but for reasons I won't go into, it didn't work out.  I do recommend the book.

Zeeboe wrote:
If so, how did you deal with it?

Because I had a history of depression prior to deconverting, I knew there were multiple causes of my angst.  I sought counseling and a decent doctor.  Books can, at the least, help you to realize you're not alone and that grieving is part of the healing process. 

Zeeboe wrote:
Did it ever go away?

I still deal with the fallout because 1) I was thoroughly brainwashed and lived in a bubble until age 18 and 2) my atheism affects my relationships.

However, I have learned more effective ways of dealing with anger, depression, bitterness, etc.  Christianity promises you'll never have to feel these things.  It deprives you of normal coping skills because the truth of the matter is, yes, you will have to go through hard times.  Life is a mixture of pain, joy and everything in betrween.  Christianity does not equip a person to deal well with this reality so it is up to you to equip yourself. 

Zeeboe wrote:
Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Yes.  I am PROUD of my atheism.  I had to work awfully hard to attain it.  It was much more difficult than going with the crowd and believing what felt good. 

Zeeboe wrote:
Is it normal to react this way?

Yes.  Read Dr. Winell's book.

Zeeboe wrote:
Why do you think I am depressed?

I don't know.  I am not a doctor.  Let me recommend that you see one and consider counseling.  Chemical imbalances in the brain cause depression.  Hell, I was depressed as a Christian and felt pissed off that god wouldn't help me.  Well, guess what?  Non-existence is a rather large handicap to helping someone with depression. Smiling

You have to be your own advocate.  Christianity didn't teach you that.  It taught you to "trust god."  Now you must learn a new set of coping skills. 

Zeeboe wrote:
Do any of you fear death? (My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.)

Oh man, Zeeboe!  Once I really, really knew in my heart of hearts there was no afterlife, I dealt with a horrible fear of death that was attached like a parasite to my heart!   Again, Christianity does not equip a person to deal with reality.  You're told a beautiful (false) story about heaven and living an immortal, joyful existence.  It's like a smack in the face to figure out the truth.

So, now you have to learn to deal with it, same as everything else.  I've learned that if I face my fears head-on instead of running from them, I can conquer them.  (Yes, I am still afraid of some things; I'm not perfect.)  I lived with the day-to-day realization of a final end for a long time before the fear eased.  Now I'm cognizant of the inevitability of my death, but realize 1) if I spend my time worrying about it, I will waste my life and 2) when I am dead, I won't give a shit. Smiling  It will be just like it was before I was born.  Nada. 


Zeeboe wrote:
Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views?

A little.  I'm very blunt with the theists on this forum and many times they misconstrue my problem with religion as a problem with them, personally.  Our society holds criticism of religion as taboo, so theists tend to get their panties in a bunch, even though most criticisms of religion are not any more forceful than say, a criticism of politics. 

Zeeboe wrote:
Especially if those people are your family members?

Brian Sapient said something wise to me once--no really, he did! Smiling  He said that duking it out with family can be too difficult on relationships because of the intense feelings involved.  That's why we're having this debate in the public sphere.  As we speak out more, we'll start affecting more people.  I can say something to your family that might get them thinking.  You can say something to mine.  

I have debates and conversations only with strangers or acquaintances.  I try to leave friends and family out of it.  I have failed at this and lost friends because of it, but if the friendship couldn't survive a little honest questioning, perhaps it wasn't such a great friendship after all. 

Zeeboe wrote:
For a few months now, every now and then I have half-ass debates with family members and acquaintances about religion and I pretty much stump them every time. I bring up points Richard Dawkins has brought up before and ask questions he has asked and give the same answers he has been asked and I even have my own questions and answers. Infact, I was asking some of the questions and making the same comments Dawkins made before I watched his stuff but I have learned more facts and even more stories from the bible because of Dawkins that I never knew before. And I looked them up for myself and he was telling the truth.

I'm leaving family and friends out of it as much as I can.  I have been honest with them about my atheism.  It pisses them off.  Sometimes they start something with me.  Sometimes I start something with them.  But mostly I keep such issues in the public sphere. 

Zeeboe wrote:
Anyway, back to my last question: The looks on some of the Christians I've debated with make me feel bad. I silence some of them, I shock some of them with the things I put out in the bible that Dawkins pointed out to me and the looks on their faces....like I said, they get a little upset and some even get very angry.

Once again: It's taboo to criticize religion, so you WILL catch hell for it.  You have to pick your battles.  I hope you do a better job of that than I have. Eye-wink  I'm glad Sapient grabbed my ear when he did.  I'm starting to learn when to keep my mouth shut and when to chime in.  Not perfect yet, but better.

 Zeeboe, if I respond to the rest of your post it will have to be later, but I hope I have given you some things to think about and hopefully, some tools with which to begin your new life.  Reality-based existence ain't that bad. Smiling

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Zeeboe
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Thanks.

Thank you for the responses. I don't sleep much at night so I am just online doing some researching and well...I have some more questions. Smiling Hope that's okay.It seems to me a lot of the "evil bible quotes" were written in the old testament. But then Jesus came along and fixed things and it seems like the only thing that matters is the new testament and I don't recall reading anything evil in the new testament.I've read the quote in the old testament about how if one commits adultery they must be stoned. But remember the story of..."He who is without sin, cast the first stone.". So Jesus is pretty much telling us not to kill anybody even though the old bible laws told people to.It seems to me that if God is real....He is either changed His mind or maybe the old testament got screwed up. Maybe evil men got a hold of it and put in their own beliefs. So that is why Jesus came to set things straight. And it seems to me that the new testament and the four gospels are very good stories about how to lead your life. Also, in Luke 21:33, Jesus said that regardless of what happens in the world, His words will never be forgotten. Here we are 2000 years later and the words of Jesus are all around us.I actually have more questions but I'll stop here for now.Please don't think I am challenging any of you or trying to debate with anyone. I go on Christian message boards too and ask them questions as well. I am only trying to find the truth.


Zeeboe
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Well, it's 5:03 AM, Austin,

Well, it's 5:03 AM, Austin, Texas time and I have been up all night.

I was watching some videos of Way of the Master on You Tube and the videos spoke to me and made me feel good. I thought maybe people were praying for me and God was trying to speak with me. I needed to talk to someone though. Over the phone and have a chat with them.

I attempted to call a few prayer hotlines. The first one I called rang forever and no one answered.  The second one I called didn't have anyone available so I was told via recording to wait and I did. Then the recording came back and told me that due to all the other calls coming in, no one could talk....so I had to listen to a boring recording for three minutes with this redneck sounding guy rambling on about the bible....then I was hung up on. I thought I'd have to wait again but nope...after the recording I was hung up.

The third number I called I finally got an answer. It was the Church Channel's hotline. The person sounded like some overly religious old southern black woman. I was asked my name and I told the woman and she responded "Gilson??" in a strange tone of voice. I am used to people giving me a hard time about my name or responding the same way the woman did when I tell people my name but I expected Christians to be a little bit more mature and nice about it...Anyway, I asked the woman if this was just a prayer hotline or if it was okay to talk to. She said it was just a prayer hot line a rude tone of voice like she was annoyed.I told the women what I needed a prayer for. And then I was told to hold...and I could hear her typing and mumbling to herself. I guess she was having trouble finding the script...She said the prayer and it all sounded like she was reading from a script...Then she asked me about the church I went to and I told her and then she rudely and sarcastically told me maybe I needed to pay attention a little more in church. And if I did, I wouldn't have this problem.The atheist that is growing inside me wanted to say...."That's what I did my whole life you stupid bitch and it was the bullshit they were preaching that made me lose my faith!"But the Christian in me turned the other cheek and I just told her I was never involved in church groups and maybe I should go back and give it a try and maybe the people there can help me.I also don't think she understood what I was talking about. She made it seem like I was a Christian who just got lazy and was tired of going to church. And I would have gladly debated with her a little and told her my concerns...even though I already said it a few times....but I felt very rushed whenever I had a chance to speak.I talked more with her and she acted like she was annoyed by me and I could even hear her laugh and try not to laugh sometimes when I told her of my concerns.The call ended and I don't know..she just sounded amused like she was waiting to get off the phone with me so she could laugh or something. I don't know what I said that was funny. Could it be my weird name? It's not that funny is it?Anyway, I just wanted someone to talk to. I needed help. There was no one for me to turn to. So I went to the people who I thought I could always turn to, 24 hours a day.....and I got nothing. I heard a prayer for me that has probably been said a million times and then I was treated with no respect or compassion and I was laughed at.I tried calling the other hotlines a few more times but got nowhere.In the end, I ended up praying on my knees in my empty garage...begging God for His help......I want so badly to believe in God...but after this experience.......I don't know. I guess haven't really let go of God yet.Despite all the evidence, I still am having trouble letting go.Maybe I do need to just go find a shrink instead of rambling to you poor people all night. Smiling Course, the last few shrinks I had were all Christian. lol. So good luck with that right? Smiling


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Hi Zeeboe Zeeboe

Hi Zeeboe


Zeeboe wrote:

Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

 I don't think I have every been really religious but it was only recently the consiquences of atheistic reality have seemed real. I think I always half believed in an afterlife without really thinking about it. Recently I did think about it and the result was I had to deal with the reality of death. I became obsessed with the concept. I couldn't accept that after some point in the future I would no longer do or experience anything. I was angry about it but then I realised that there was noone to be angry at.

Quote:
 

If so, how did you deal with it?

 Everything from denial to concluding that I don't really exist anyway (almost not joking - but I wont go into it here). I'm not sure I have dealt with it. Most of the time now I think I've accepted it but at other times the negative feelings come back.

I think what helps me is to remember that nothing can go on forever. Our planet will come to an end, our sun will die, even our universe (as we know it) will come to an end, either with total entropy or a reversal of the big-bang, everything gets the same deal we do.

Also I ponder the two main ideas of life after death. Heaven and reincarnation. Heaven doesn't make any sense. It seems pointless. To live on forever in perfection. It's the imperfections that drive us. We learn because there are things we don't know, we create because there are things yet uncreated and we socialise because we want to be closer to other people and we solve problems because there are problems to be solved. What is the purpose of existence in heaven? Also heaven makes our current lives pointless, they would be an infinitisimal fraction of our total existence. Reincarnation seems equally pointless. To forget absolutely everything and have to do it all over again, and again....

When you think about it. Total death is the only answer that makes any sense. It means that our lives are important. they are the entirety of our existence.  

Quote:
 

Did it ever go away?

I hope so. It does get easier

Quote:
 

Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Most of the time.

You have to remember what you gain from from being an atheist. Most importantly you have mental freedom. Watch when you ask a christian a difficult question about their faith, they won't even let themselves think about it. You now have no reason to have unaskable questions. You gain other freedoms too. You no longer need to live your life by an arbitary set of rules because 'God says so' you can decide for yourself what is right and wrong and not limit your experience of life out of fear of hell. You get to marvel the wonderful complexity of life and the amazing processes through which it got here without the boring 'god did it' all-purpose christian answer.

And all it cost you was a comforting lie. 

Quote:
 

Is it normal to react this way?

Probably, does it matter? be an individual, feel how you feel and deal with it your own way.

Quote:
 

Why do you think I am depressed?

Possibly partly for the same reason I occasionally am - dealing with the reality of death for the first time - but as you were a genuine believer in christianity I think it's probably deeper. There might be guilt as you've probably been led to believe that leaving the church is something like an act of betrayal. Maybe shame for beliveing things you now know to be ridiculous. Maybe you feel you're losing some of your connection with friends and family who still believe.

These are all just ideas. I have no qualifications but you asked. Find someone to talk to in real life about it. Not someone who is going to tell you you'e going to hell though - that wont help. Maybe a professional, but honestly I think people are pretty good at figuring out what's making us unhappy ourselves especially if we talk it through with someone. Maybe even keeping a diary for a few weeks will help you to get your thoughts in order.

Quote:
 

Do any of you fear death?

Not really, when you think about it what is there to fear? you wont experience it. I'm afraid of dieing before I achieve my goals and I'm afraid of having a slow or painful death but I can't find a reason to be afraid of being dead. 

Quote:

Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

 

I don't feel guilty about making someone question their faith. Yes it can hurt them emotionally but we grow through pain. I feel sorry for those who were indoctrinated from birth and will probably never see reality without the filter of their religion. They barely get to experience any of life and when they die they get the same deal as we do - nothingness. Why would I feel guilty for trying to get them to make the most of their life

On the issue of family. My rule, well really my father's rule (also an atheist) is you just don't argue religion with family members who will be upset by it. You're largely stuck with your family so it's best not to create problems like that. This rule was developed after my dad's sister started dating a fundie (they are now married) and he and my father got into a punch up over his ridiculous beliefs.

 

 

I hope you start to figure things out. I had it relatively easy, My father is an atheist and I've been one for as long as I could think so I can't really comprehend how difficult things are for your currently. Just remember that a comforting lie is still a lie and you're better off free from it, even if you don't feel that way right now.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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Welcome to the hizzle

Welcome to the hizzle


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Zeeboe wrote: Was anyone

Zeeboe wrote:
Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

 I was not depressed, nor am I now. I do not think I have ever experienced clinical depression in my life. But then again, I never really bought the religion thing. I was raised catholic but it never 'stuck', my brain does not readily buy into the magic aspect of religion.

Zeeboe wrote:
If so, how did you deal with it?

See above question.

Zeeboe wrote:
Did it ever go away?

See above question.

Zeeboe wrote:
Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Yes, I honestly can say that I am happy. I cannot think of another time in my adulthood I have been happier.

Zeeboe wrote:
Is it normal to react this way?

For some I suppose it is, just as it normal for people to react this way to many life changing events.

Zeeboe wrote:
Why do you think I am depressed?

It is a very stressful event in one's life to shrug off religion and start thinking for themselves.

Zeeboe wrote:
Do any of you fear death? (My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.)

Not really, I do not look forward to it but I am also not afraid of it. I have trouble being afraid because it is inevitable.

Zeeboe wrote:
Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

 No, hopefully I am helping them. Hopefully the discussion about their beliefs will help them to begin to look at the dogma critically and analyze why the believe what they believe.


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Quote:

Quote:
Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

Yes. i was very angry at the religion, and the people who had brainwashed me. My experience was different than yours, though. At first, I was ecstatically happy when I realized that this is all there is. The anger wasn't at the notion of not having god to protect me, or at the idea of dying and not living anymore... I've always been fine, even happy about those things. My anger was at the religion itself for the harm it's causing. For doing what it does to people like you, who, if you'd never been introduced to religion, would not have to go through what you're going through now.

Quote:
If so, how did you deal with it?

It's just like a breakup or a death in the family. Time helps a lot, or at least it did with me. To be honest, I have never been happier in my life, and I've had a good ten years of being a cheerful, upbeat, and truly happy person.

I know that doesn't help much in the short term, but one of the things that's been really helpful to me in both the short and long term has been making friends who aren't Christian. Having real people to be your friends is a lot better than having an invisible friend and just rationalizing everything in your life according to it.

Quote:
Did it ever go away?

I absolutely love life, and love living it. I can't even contemplate what it would be like to still be a theist.

Quote:
Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

You couldn't pay me ten million dollars to spend the rest of my life a theist. I'm serious.

Quote:
Is it normal to react this way?

Normal is what happens. I'm not just saying this. I have some background in psychology, and am familiar with grief processes. There isn't a "normal" process for this. Your feelings are valid because you are having them. That doesn't mean they necessarily correspond to reality, and you should always examine your feelings, and try to act intellectually in spite of what you feel. Again, losing a loved one is a good analogy. You do your best to get up in the morning and go to work, and go see movies, and clean the house, etc... even though you don't feel like it. Eventually, you do start to get over it, and you're already in a productive mode, so it's an easier transition.

Quote:
Why do you think I am depressed?

It's hard to say from one post. I don't do this very often... in fact, almost never, but I do have a lot of experience with cognitive therapy, and if you are interested in PMing me, I might be able to answer some of your questions. It's not something I'd like to do in the forums, though. Most likely, I'd need to ask you some very direct and sometimes personal questions before I could make an educated guess at what's going on with you.  [edit: I am not a doctor, and I cannot and will not attempt to be any kind of counsellor for you... what I am offering is simply a private exchange where I might be able to shed some light.  My first, and best recommendation is that you find an atheist/agnostic licensed therapist.  I know they're expensive, which is why I am saying I might be able to give you a head start if you can't afford it right now.]

Quote:
Do any of you fear death?

When it's imminent... yes. During normal life, no. I don't want to die, and will probably do what I can to live a full, happy life, but when it's time for me to die, I don't believe I will be afraid.

Quote:
Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

No. In fact, it's people like you who make me even more staunch in my view that ending religion is a good thing. The only way to end it is to end it individually.

I do feel empathy and sympathy sometimes. I know how hard it is to leave, and I feel sorry that it causes people pain, but I know it's for the best.

Quote:
I feel like I am taking away the hope these people have.

You're not. You're trying to take away false hope and give them real hope. I have real hope, and I dare say 99.9% of atheists in the world do, too.

Quote:
Should I reply back or let it go? At first, I thought I'd just let it go.

You've already told him once. Do you think telling him again will help? I doubt it. I'd let it go.

Quote:
That's how I feel now. Religion can be very easily debunked. VERY easily...but if God makes people happy, then why take Him anyway?

Because religion causes GREAT harm in the world, and to individuals. Hang around this site for a while. You'll see.


Quote:
I think the reason why most people are still religious despite the overwhelming evidence that crushes religion is because they ignore the clips on you tube and this website and all the books. They wanna cover their ears and live in their fantasy world....and I can't blame them.

I agree on all counts.

Quote:
And if there are any religious people out there lurking, I will welcome your prayers and private e-mails.

I can't blame you for this, but as you know, praying is the best way in the world to feel productive and accomplish nothing.

I do wish you the best, and I hope these forums can help you get through this very tough time.

I would also recommend that you keep an eye out for Iruka. She has been through a lot, herself, and dealt with a lot of really negative feelings after leaving religion. You might find that she has a lot to offer you.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote: Despite all the

Quote:
Despite all the evidence, I still am having trouble letting go. Maybe I do need to just go find a shrink instead of rambling to you poor people all night. Smiling Course, the last few shrinks I had were all Christian. lol. So good luck with that right? Smiling
 This, I can tell you, is very common.   I agree that a psychologist would be a good idea.  I strongly suspect that there's more to this than religion, and I think that if you figure out the root of your issues, you'll find that religion is a band aid.  I'm not promising that the discovery will make your depression go away, but it will at least let you know what you're really working on. 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I might look into the

I might look into the psychologist thing later down the line. The last few I had really sucked.

I think yet another reason why religion was invented was because it makes lonely people such as myself feel better. lol. We figure, if we're all alone and unloved....it doesn't matter! God loves us right? And that's all that matters. Eye-wink Looking at it now, it's really no different then having an imaginary friend name Tyler.


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Zeeboe wrote: In the end,

Zeeboe wrote:

In the end, I ended up praying on my knees in my empty garage...begging God for His help......I want so badly to believe in God...but after this experience.......I don't know. I guess haven't really let go of God yet.

Despite all the evidence, I still am having trouble letting go.

Check this out:   http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/rook_hawkins/biblical_errancy/8785

You don't have to give up hope yet... 

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Thank you for your

Thank you for your response. It's probably going to get removed though. I will say that the one thing that makes me hold onto faith is creationism because I think creationism sounds more realistic. The idea that there was a big bang and here we all are and all this happed by luck and we all just naturally learned how to speak and have morals sounds as fairy talish as some of the things in the bible. It sounds more realistic that a higher power made everything.And the one thing that makes me think the true path to God is through Jesus is because Christ did say His words will never be forgotten and they never were. No other religion can make that claim.


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Zeeboe wrote: I will say

Zeeboe wrote:
I will say that the one thing that makes me hold onto faith is creationism because I think creationism sounds more realistic.
Please do some reading on evolution and cosmology from non-creationist authors. They argue againsty a parody of science, so they are not the best sources for information about it. If the theory of evolution was really the way they portray it I would probably be a creationist. fortunately the real theory makes a lot more sense.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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Before you can have an

Before you can have an opinion on something, like evolution, you really need to research it. I.e. read books about it, for example origin of species. Also, unless you already know about'em, it's helpfull to know all about logical fallacies and how to spot them, especially in your own line of reasoning. It seems to me that you're still thinking well inside the christian box, and that could be a source of misery.

 As far as death is concerned, there's nothing to be afraid of, but you'll always be afraid, because fear of death is something we evolved in order to survive imo. But you can stop it from making you miserable, simply by approaching it from a different angle, which is what I did, having suffered from panick attacks in my late teens after I became an atheist. It's just a question of facing the concept of death from a different perspective, which is hard. 

Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first.


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Was anyone else who was

Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

 

I find there is a difference between being religious and a thiest. For a time I believed in a higher power. Comfort thoughts, although they aren't really comforting. I guess it was more of an instinctual thing. However, it wasn't religious in any way shape or form.

Come to think about it, it was more of an "I hope this happens when I die, that'd be rad" kind of thing.

 

And no, I've never been sad or bitter about any of it. 

 

If so, how did you deal with it?

 

The reason I haven't been sad or bitter about any of it is because it's nothing I can control. Since I can't control it, who cares, eh? 

 

Did it ever go away?

Never had it 

 

Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

This question is kinda Undecided. It's like asking if I'm happy with a mouse, or keyboard. Sure, I guess. It doesn't effect my daily life in any way.

 

Is it normal to react this way?

I suppose not.

 

Why do you think I am depressed?

When someone loses someone or something that loved them (I.E. a family member, an animal, a diety, etc.) it depresses them. You feel a lack of love. Since you've been programmed into thinking that God can give you more love than anyone else, you feel like you're missing out on the greatest thing in the world.

 

Que depression. 

 

Do any of you fear death?(My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.)

No. Death is not in my control, although I can most certainly speed it up if I wanted to. Because it's not in my control, I do not fear it. Why fear something you can not control? 

 

Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

No. 


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Can one be happy without

Can one be happy without God?

You've been happy without belief in Allah or Thor, so what makes you think, other than being told you need God, that you actually do.

There are lots of reasons people reject God and if it is merely based on emotion that is not a strong reason. The best reason and strongest reason to reject a claim be it about god/God/Deity/supernatural being is lack of evidence.

You seem unhappy because you feel like you are an oddball but you can get over that feeling by not letting their phobias and hang ups and bigotry get to you. If someone dislikes you merely because you dont believe, they are the one with the problem, not you. Dont make their problems yours.

YES you can be happy and recognize that you ARE suseptable to everyday joy and sorrow and striff and is not dependant on a devil with a pitchfork or bearded man in the sky based on Superman vs Kriptonite claims.

Do I have problems? Do I get depressed or worried? YES, but I also know that I can deal with those issues without believing in a magical puppiter by any name.

I find my happyness in helping my mother. I find my happyness in doing the best I can at work. I find my happyness in helping other non-believers get over their fear of being open. I find my happyness in getting a laugh out of people every day. Smiles make the harder times go buy easyer.

I find my happyness in my cat and my mother's dog. I find my happyness in knowing I am not alone in my non-belief. I find my happyness in donating to meals on wheels and our local pet charity. I find my happyness in the Redskins beating the Cowboys. I find my happyness when I capture a small frog or gecko off my screened in porch and release it so that it doesnt die.

I find happyness in challenging people to think about their own claims. I find my happyness does not depend on silence. I find my happyness is what I look for. I find happyness in lots of things.

Many people find themselves, and I was no different when I first said to myself |"I dont believe anymore",.....I found myself isolated and lonely and felt that there were few, if none I could talk to.

But it was only when I realized that I didnt have to buy into the stereotypes sold about "atheists" and found like minded people that I realized that happyness is what I want it to be, and not what others tell me I should be.

You really need to find it within yourself and dont buy the crap about atheists being evil, lawless kitten barbaquing cootie spreaders.

Atheists, just like veryone else can and do have ups and downs, good times and bad times. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Was anyone else who was

Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

It CAN be depressing at times not knowing why you're here, or if anything happens to you after you die.  But a rainy day can be depressing at times as well, so keep it in perspective. If I'm bitter at the world at all, it has nothing to do with atheism, and everything to do with the imbeciles that are essentially destroying it. 

If so, how did you deal with it?

You can't do anything about it, so either get busy livin', or get busy dyin'. 

Did it ever go away?

It comes and goes.  Comes infrequently, goes quickly. 

Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Yes, I haven't felt more sure about something in my whole life. 

Is it normal to react this way?

Sure.  It's a shock to your system, and it can take some time to adjust. 

Why do you think I am depressed?

Because you've come to the realization that you're really not all that special.  It'll pass. 

Do any of you fear death?(My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.)

Yes.  Although I won't be aware of anything, just like before birth, it's a weird concept to get my head around. 

Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

No.  I have no problem telling anyone it's ridiculous to be concerned with what meat product you're eating on certain days. 

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Was anyone else who was

Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

I was never a religious person but I was raised in a religous family. Over the years a certain amount of guilt came from me not believing, I really don't know how to explain it but I felt bad for not believing. I don't blame religion as the single culprit for my depression it wasn't even the source, there was a whole soup of reasons. The problem I faced though was wherever I turned for help with the real issues in my life I was always handed God as the solution and it had no value to me.

If so, how did you deal with it?

The problem is I didn't deal with it too well, depression turned to anger at myself and years of self-destruction. It's rather ironic actually when people tried to help and all they offered me was religion, it simply added to my angst, since they're only applying more guilt. A rather vicous circle.

I can tell you one thing from experience... years of self-destruction is probably not the best method to deal with it. I would suggest you seek help from inside the realm of reality.

Did it ever go away?

Almost 20 years ago...

Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Atheism is not tied to your emotions, it's not a religion. Religion injects itself in every aspect of a persons life when they eat, sleep, marry, give birth, die, and even how they feel. Atheism is simply the removel of that religious influence. So the question becomes is the happiness in your life only supported by religion? If so it's going to fall down since atheism is not a crutch.

Is it normal to react this way?

From what I can tell you seem normal but I'm probably not the best person to ask about being normal. Normal was never my goal...

Why do you think I am depressed?

I wouldn't know I have tried to explain my curcumstances but everyone is different. If you don't know where your depression stems from I would seek some professional help.

Do any of you fear death?(My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.)

Welcome to life, now you can appreciate the one you get and everyone elses even more.

Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

Personally I think it depends on the actions and motives of the person that defines my reactions. I don't typically cross those boundaries these days unless they open themselves up to ridicule or debate. Also it depends on what context we're talking about, on a forum where people layout their ideas for discussion and debate it seems appropriate to some degree, while in your living room when your family is watching T.V. and minding their own business it would seem rude. That's just my opinion I'm sure other people see this different.

Good luck...

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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Was anyone else who was

Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

I was never raised around very religious people, but I can tell you my own experiences.  I was taught at a young age the basic Christian facts as the "truth." Later in middle school I was introduced to a new age/pagan view which I followed for awhile.  Eventually I decided that those beliefs were stupid, so I became agnostic.  I wanted to believe there was a purpose, and more to life than meets the eye.  That was the hardest part about becoming an atheist, and yeah, I did go through some depression.

If so, how did you deal with it?

Well, it gave me a new outlook on life.  I think that this is the only life I have, so I'm not going to throw it away.   

Did it ever go away?

I still have that feeling inside that makes me feel sad, and I'm not sure if it will ever go away.  I learn to deal with it though, because life is too short. 

Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

Actually, I am.  I want to know everything I can about the world around me, without screwing up my view with religious beliefs. 

Is it normal to react this way?

 I suppose so.  I mean, it can just rip away that comfort blanket.  

Why do you think I am depressed?

I'd guess because of the same reasons I was, and partially still am.  I thought that there was a lot more to life, and realizing there wasn't, I was dissapointed.  However, I don't think I really appreciated the little things in life when I was a theist. 

Do any of you fear death?

Absolutely.  I'm actually quite facinated by death, especially when I was a theist.  However, I know think that death is the absolute end.  It's just like before you were born -- nonexistance.  It definately makes me feel more like spending time with family and friends.

Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

Well, my mom made me promise not to bring up my atheism to my family (some of them are Christian), and at work (because that could have negative influences as well).  I flaunt it everywhere else however.  I do it to my friends, and at school.  I want to do it primarily to find others that think like me, not to anger believers.  

I do feel a little guilty for taking away that security blanket from theists though.  I do have a friend who works at a nursing home and hospice.  She sees death everyday, and is able to rationalize it as "they're in heaven now."  I just can't bring myself to say anything to her...  so yeah, it is tough.  However, I try to bring religion into conversations often, and bring it out of the taboo. 

JESUS SAVES!!! .... and takes only half damage!


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Holy shit!  Now, I know

Holy shit!  Now, I know that I have developed a bit of a reputation as an acerbic, condescending rat-bastard on this forum, but I cannot allow this particular thread to continue without expressing my utter and complete disgust.

First, Zeeboe, you are from TX; so, I will make this first remark so that you may fully understand my irritation at the questions asked.  You should be taken into a public square and bull-whipped for being one of the whiniest atheists that I have ever met.  "Oh no, I found the truth about reality and am so depressed due to my new found knowledge and freedom."  What you are experiencing is the awe produced by the realization of Existential absurdity.  Bask in its realization; don't mewl like a lost kitten!

Second, it took some half assed movie about friggin' knights Templar to shake your faith in God?!?  That was some faith.  If you wanted to lose weight, you should have watched "Supersize me," and you would have stopped believing in the existence of fast food!  I've seen a lot of valid reasons for faith to be questioned: loss of a loved one, cruel turn of personal health, losing a spouse to another person.  Notice none of those come near a friggin' Tom Hanks movie.

Third, it sounds like you need some psychological help if weight loss can turn you on to a deity and movies off.  I would advise the request of one of the many fine antipsychotics that big Pharma can now provide.  I mean, Jesus man, think about what you are saying there.

So, in conclusion, you can see that some have little patience for weeping athiests.  If you don't believe in God, then man up and examine what is to be done to make your life a valuable one.  I think most on this forum have done so successfully to some degree or other.  Note how they do not bemoan their state, and attempt to stop snivelling about your chosen position.

I think from the mere penumbra of my comments what I think of the issues suggested.  I will not dignify the request by answering them one by one.

*waits for the axe to fall from the omniscient, all-compassionate  moderators*

[ed: spelling corrections for haste and irritation]

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Wow Nero, that was

Wow Nero, that was cold.

Someone has their beliefs collapse around them, asks for help to try to make sense of their new relationship with cold hard reality and all you can do is tell them off for not being a man about it.

 

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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ParanoidAgnostic

ParanoidAgnostic wrote:

Wow Nero, that was cold.

Someone has their beliefs collapse around them, asks for help to try to make sense of their new relationship with cold hard reality and all you can do is tell them off for not being a man about it.

 

Yeah, that pretty well sums it up.  Paranoid, I ask you to review the beliefs to begin with and their origin.  Then, look to the reasons for their collapse.  I don't see how anything but a solid backhand will bring such a person to his senses.  I certainly could not commiserate because that is just affirming the entire silly line.  Often, truth is best served cold and without apologies. 

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Actually, every time I

Actually, every time I watch "Super Size Me" it makes me staving for McDonalds...SmilingTry to understand things from my point of view, with all due respect. Wanna know the rest of the story? If you do, please read on....if you rather not...I'll tell you now...me losing faith is not because of a Ron Howard movie...but because of my Father....I grew up in a very small, bible belt town in Southeast Texas. The city is one of the most racist, sexist and homophobic cities ever. And yes, also the most religious. It's like the 1950's down there. People have not evolved. Using racial and homophobic slurs is socially accepted down there and it's one of the many average words the people use. It's not shocking or offense. To them, those slurs that would offend you folks...is what they are supposed to be called down there. African Americans are not African Americans...they're the N word...and those rednecks would think you were crazy if you call them anything other then the N word.My Uncle used to tell me when I was a kid..."That's what they're called."Sick stuff I know...And then you have my Father..who was addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling and beating my Mother for no reason...who is a very religious man and played in the local church's band.He used to always say and do very mean things to me. He bullied me, threatened me, saying he'd spank me and intimated me. I hated and feared my Father as a boy. He actually made me wet myself once when he spanked me because I was so scared of him.And he always used the "spare the roid, you spoil the child" crap from the bible to back himself up.And he always did the same to my Mom and sister too...talking about how the bible says the man is the head of the house and we all needed to respect him and obey him.When my Dad was beating on my Mom...she called a church hotline, begging for help and prayers and she told me the woman she spoke to was very rude and told her that she wasn't a shrink and wasn't there to listen to her problems.And then when my Mom went to the church's pastor to get help....he told her that if my Dad beat her.....it was because she was a bad wife...and she deserved to be punished. And needed to go home and respect him because he is the man....That son of a bitch Father of mine also used to use scare tactics to me all the time to obey the bible and him.  He used to tell me about Hell and the end of days...and how Jesus is coming back anytime now...and how if I am not a good Christian, I'd be left behind. And how if I didn't get the mark of the beast put on me....I'd be tortured and killed. And that if I did get the mark of the beast...I'd go to Hell forever when I die.Can you imagine telling your own kid that? I was a little kid too. Like eight-years old. It was bad enough that he beat my Ma in front of me but then to go and do that? My gosh, the stuff he used to tell me scared me so much I couldn't sleep at night. This is the same bastard who wouldn't let me watch fake horror movies (because it was from the Devil)  but would tell me stuff about Satan and Hell? For years, I feared the end of days happening and I feared going to Hell. Hell, my Dad STILL thinks Jesus is coming back soon and that he end of days are happening right now. He's been saying that for years. Hell, preachers at churches I go to have too. They're always saying how the end of days is going on..and how Jesus is going to be back pretty soon. Since I was a kid, they have said that....and here we all are....still here...life on earth going on...and those preachers....even the ones on the church channel who say Jesus is coming back soon ALWAYS say "But you can be saved if you donate..."Yeah, you know the rest. My Dad was worst though. Those con-artist preachers use fear to get people to give them money...whereas my old man did it to get me to be good and scared and to obey. So my attitude towards religion began to change as I turned into a pre-teen and teen...I hated my Father and his God.  And anytime I didn't obey him or do anything he wanted...he'd always....raise his index finger up and try to sound smart and wise and go....."The bible says...."....and then he'd quote the bible...Hell, I went through a faze where I never wanted to kiss him...I was like 13 or 14...so that's normal. But he'd tell me...."You know what the bible says? It says to greet a person with a kiss."I dare him to try to go to his bible now and do that to me....because I'd also tell him how the bible also says to kill people.I've kinda brought that sorta stuff up with him before in a half-ass way....but he'd always talk about how that is the old testament...and it doesn't count......and yet the ten commandments do count?Yes, I know....he'll try to debate me again one day...and I pity him when he does...For years, I've wanted to yell..."I DON'T GIVE A DAMN WHAT YOUR BIBLE SAYS!"  It took a long time to get to where I am now. When I moved to Austin, I was no better then any of the ignorant hicks I grew up with. I was never racist but I was pretty sexist and homophobic. To me, saying a slur towards homosexuals was completely normal and socially accepted. I viewed all homosexuals as perverted ass-raping machines. Being in a much bigger and more diverse city completely changed my views on a lot of things. Including my attitude towards women and homosexuals.But my insane religious views stayed. Even when I had my up's and down's with the Lord, I still believed in him. And I'd never watch a film that dared to debunk religion. I thought was all from Satan and that's the type of stuff my parents told me about things that were unchristian. To just ignore them. Well, when I saw The Da Vinci Code....my Mother, sister and brother-in-law all went and they are Christian so I thought I'd go to. The movie didn't affect them at all. Probably because they cover up their ears to that kinda stuff...but the inner-child in me who hated my Dad and his God...came out...and the rest is history.Since studying atheism.....I've become quite the expert on the bible. And every now and then, my Dad and I debate the bible....And I crush him every fucking time. :D He was one of the people who I silenced months ago and he had a look of disapointment on his face. Not in me, but in his God....it was fucking awesome.I wish I knew what I know now as a kid....My Father is not who he was anymore. He cleaned up....he doesn't dare hurt my Mom now...and he never goes to church. But he still believes in God and loves to still use the classic "honor thy Mother and thy Father" bullshit line whenever he needs to or he turns to the bible whenever he needs to back up some sexist nonsense.Hell, my Mother is just as guilty. She loves the concept that the man is supposed to be in charge and loves that the bible promotes protecting women and talks about how they are the weaker sex. My parents don't think women can be strong at all. You can them that many women lift weights and are strong...but no, men are stronger...the bible even says how men were made to be tougher....you can't talk to em'.Course, I am learning more about the bible...hell, my Dad didn't even know that the only sin that is never forgiven is blasphemy to the holy spirit. He looked shocked and confused when I told him it was.Anyway, I think my parents know at this point in their life that there is no God...my Mother makes hints and my Father even jokes about not wanting to go to church ever and how he would rather be lazy and such.I think they both still believe because it's a comfort thing...they fear never seeing their loved ones again and I am sure they fear dying too but the idea of going into some make believe place in the sky makes them feel better and they believe the bible when it can help them in their life. But if they are in for a surprise the next time one of them debates me about the bible. SmilingThey only believe what is a comfort for them...but I don't think they know everything that is in the bible...I admit.....me looking back and talking about my childhood actually makes me feel good that I am not a believer anymore.The myth of God contributed to my rough childhood...and it's the reason why I am the way I am today and struggling so much...not just with this topic, but many things.But just typing this post....I'll say for the first time I truly do feel like I am my own God right now and I will never let man's God control me again.And when I do something good...it will be because I did it and I will give myself the credit. Not God. Not anymore.CAN I GET AN AMEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS!? Eye-wink


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AMEN!!!

AMEN!!!


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Quote:

Quote:
Are you truly happy with being an atheist?

 

Are you truely happy being blue eyed? Are you truely happy having two arms? Are you truely happy responding to religion with athiesm? Are you truely happy saying yes when someone offers you chocolate? Are you truely happy breathing oxygen?

 For me, happyness is an outcome resulting from several different angles. If athiesm is taking precidence and I don't feel good about it, then I suppose I wouldn't feel good about it. Otherwise, I'm more content with being an athiest. There are times when I'm happy being an athiest. Being first generation and have never really been persecuted for my stance, it's been an all round good experience. For me.

"There was a 100% chance I was going to write this" - Heisenberg.


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Zeeboe wrote: Hell, my

Zeeboe wrote:
Hell, my Mother is just as guilty. She loves the concept that the man is supposed to be in charge and loves that the bible promotes protecting women and talks about how they are the weaker sex.

How very odd.  Protecting women?  This is the woman who was beaten by a drunk and the church wouldn't help?  Of course, it IS easier to beat someone when they are weaker than you.

I'm glad your father has cleaned up his act.  It sounds as if a lot of the "behavior" was the liquor talking.  Doesn't make it right, though.

You should stand proud that you have used your reason and intellect to overcome all the crap pounded into you as a child.  The strength comes from within us, not from the church or a god.

Good for you!

 

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Zeeboe wrote:questions:

Zeeboe wrote:
questions: Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards? If so, how did you deal with it? Did it ever go away? Are you truly happy with being an atheist? Is it normal to react this way? Why do you think I am depressed? Do any of you fear death?(My fear of death has gone up greatly. It actually makes my heart beat faster when I think about it.) Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

 

Zeeboe!  A fellow Texan atheist!  Welcome.  I too was raised in a religious family.  My grandfather was a deacon.  My mother has played the piano for church service for 40 years.  It's difficult in letting go.  I lost it gradually throughout my 20's.  But finally admitted and realized it at the age of 30.

Was anyone else who was religious before becoming an atheist depressed and/or bitter at the world afterwards?

Depressed...well no.  Pissed, yeah.  Pissed at religion.  I wasn't angry at my parents because they had been indoctrinated just like me.  They just hadn't woken up.  Why be depressed?!?!  The world is beautiful!  Amazing!  It is much more miraculous at us existing through random chance than the intentional actions of a magical sky daddy.  Study human evolution!  Study cosmology.  It will fill you with such reverence and awe that religion can never compare to.  Sometimes I simply look at the world and feel overwhelmed with everything that we are and the TRUE reality to our existence.[/b]

Do any of you fear death?

Of course I fear death.  I don't fear the concept of death, but if a truck is about to hit me I'm going to do my damned best to jump out of the way.  That's due to evolution.  The creatures that didn't care if they died didn't quite do as well as the creatures that did.  Evolution favors the creatures that don't want to die.

But why worry about it?  Do you remember before you were born?  Really I think as an atheist we should never say someone is dead.  Only that they are not alive.  In 1970 I wasn't alive.  I seriously doubt I'll be alive in 2070.  I don't remember it being so bad not being alive in 1970.  So why should I be so worried about not being alive in 2070?  Screw it.  Not being alive only bothers the living.  I've never heard a non-living being complain. Sticking out tongue

Does anyone else feel guilty when they kill or at least hurt religious people's views? Especially if those people are your family members?

Never.  Because it is what I would want them to do to me if our places were reversed.  Why live a delusional life?  Quite sad really.  This is the only life I get.  I want to live it well.  I can't do that with a dogma that teaches hate and fear.

 Dude, get some Carl Sagan books.  Great stuff.  I highly recommend his book Cosmos.  I've read it several times.

 P.S. I'm just about an hour and a half away from austin.  My aunt lives there. 

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Thank you all for the

Thank you all for the responses. However, with all due respect no one has responded to the following yet...

Zeeboe wrote:

Thank you for the responses. I don't sleep much at night so I am just online doing some researching and well...I have some more questions. Smiling Hope that's okay.It seems to me a lot of the "evil bible quotes" were written in the old testament. But then Jesus came along and fixed things and it seems like the only thing that matters is the new testament and I don't recall reading anything evil in the new testament.I've read the quote in the old testament about how if one commits adultery they must be stoned. But remember the story of..."He who is without sin, cast the first stone.". So Jesus is pretty much telling us not to kill anybody even though the old bible laws told people to.It seems to me that if God is real....He is either changed His mind or maybe the old testament got screwed up. Maybe evil men got a hold of it and put in their own beliefs. So that is why Jesus came to set things straight. And it seems to me that the new testament and the four gospels are very good stories about how to lead your life. Also, in Luke 21:33, Jesus said that regardless of what happens in the world, His words will never be forgotten. Here we are 2000 years later and the words of Jesus are all around us.I actually have more questions but I'll stop here for now.Please don't think I am challenging any of you or trying to debate with anyone. I go on Christian message boards too and ask them questions as well. I am only trying to find the truth.


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Quote: Thank you all for

Quote:

Thank you all for the responses. However, with all due respect no one has responded to the following yet...

If the Bible is true, then it sure does look like the god in the old testament and the god in the new testament are completely different.  I dunno...if I was a Christian I'd just say, "well, Jesus freed us from the law of the old testament, so we don't really have to worry about obeying all that stuff."  Somehow I too doubt that anyone will respond to your question about what Jesus said about his words never being forgotten, simply because it's evidence for Christianity.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Ok, first off God messed up

Ok, first off God messed up on his first attempt and sent Jesus to send a new plan?  If this is a perfect god why couldn't he do it right the first time?  If it was changed by evil men, then why give us his word in the first place?  I would think that a god that gave us a manual for how to live would at least protect it so it would not become corrupt.  However if he did and it was why did Jesus say, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill" (see Matthew 5:17)."? That tells you that jesus had no problem with the old testament.

If the old testament was corrupted by evil men how can you know whether the new testament has been also changed?  You can't.

Also here you see where jesus talks about the second coming to a crowd:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
 
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
 
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
 
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
 
 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

MAtthew 24:29-34

I'm pretty sure all those people that listened to those words have "passed".  He didn't return. He's not going to.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Thanks Watcher and

Thanks Watcher and everyone else who has responded. But you should push back now...it's long post time. Smiling I feel like I should at the very least give religion one last chance. If I'm going to leave it, I need to have some guts and fight my way out of it. If you want to scroll pass my message to Christian's, it's cool. But please read the last part because I have a question for you guys.

I posted the following on craig's list...(had no where else to go)....anyway...this is what I posted....(pretty similar to my first post here)

"This is going to be long. I'm sorry. If you're going to e-mail me, I ask that you please read every word. I feel it's important to share my history as a Christian and what lead to me losing my faith so you can understand where I'm coming from.

I am 24-years old. I was raised Christian and believed in God my whole life. When I was 12, I turned away from God for reasons I rather not get into right now. But even though I turned away from God, I still believed in Him. I just did not want to follow Him anymore. Then in early 2006, after having a very hard year and after posting on prayer request message boards and having ALL my prayer answers...I became a born-again Christian. I was very overweight too at the time when I became a Christian but I loved Jesus so much that He (at least I thought He did) inspired me to go on a diet and I lost well over a hundred pounds.

I was happy when I was a Christian. In fact, I was at my happiest when I was a Christian. There was no happier time for me ever in my entire life. I used to have a very negative outlook on life. When I became a Christian, I had a very positive outlook and was overall a very happy and pleasant person to be around. I changed so much too. It was one year ago at this very time. I was very religious. I prayed, I read the bible, I went to church, I posted on Christian message boards, I posted prayer requests and the prayers always were answered and I watched the church channel all the time and loved The Way of the Master. I felt good. I felt happy. I was happy to be alive.

Now here I am only one year later as an atheist and I am miserable, angry, sad and scared.

It all happened in late 2006 after studying Christianity, other religions, atheism, the world's history of violence, the natural disasters as well as observing all the horrible things that still continue to go on in this day and age, including to me. I slowly began to lose my faith. It didn't happen overnight. I was very slowly going down hill as each day passed. It took a matter of months but in the end, atheism won and here I am.

As I said, when I was a Christian, I was happy. Since becoming an atheist, I've been depressed, angry, bitter and scared. My fear of death has increased because I know longer believe in Heaven or Hell and believe that when you die, you die. And that scares me.

I feel like if I turn back to religion it's out of fear and I now believe that religion was made up to get people to conform and do as they are told. And that it uses fear to get you to believe in it. And it gives people comfort. Comfort knowing that they will live forever in Heaven and comfort knowing that their loved ones are in some magical place beyond the clouds in the sky called "Heaven". It all sounds like a fairy tale to me. And if I become a Christian again...it's going to be because I fear dying forever.

However, I feel I need to give religion one more chance and a fair chance at that. The truth is, I have never been apart of a church. As a kid, my parents made me go to church but since moving to Austin in 1995, none of us have ever joined a church. I went to United Bethany Methodist church here in Austin with my Mother last year quite often and loved it. However, due to social anxiety...I never joined, never was baptized and never joined any groups. As I slowly began to lose my faith, I slowly stopped going to church and with all due respect to my Mother, she only went with me for my sake. Sometimes we'd encourage each other to go but since I lost interest, she did as well.

Many Christians I chatted with on Internet message boards told me I needed to join a church so I could be apart of the body of Christ. Well, I never did and that may have been why I ended up this way. I could have gone to the church with my questions instead of trying to figure out things on my own. I have been wanting to join a church and get involved for a long time now, but I shamefully admit that I didn't want to do it alone or depend on my Mother who I sometimes have to "push" to go to church.


There are three things that keep my faith in not only God, but Jesus as well.

1. Creationism - Evolution makes no sense to me and sounds more like a fairy tale then some of the things I've read in the bible. It makes more sense on many different levels that there was a higher power who created us all. But in defense of evolution, it is a topic I have never studied much of.

2. In Luke 21:33, Jesus said that regardless of what happens in the world, His words will never be forgotten. Here we are 2000 years later and the words of Jesus are all around us.

3. The Way of the Master - As some of you may know, this is a Christian show that comes on the church channel. It is my last link to God. It is hosted by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. They are both highly intelligent men who I respect very much and admire. I'd give anything to talk to these men and ask them questions but I know that is not an option. If you have watched this show before and you feel that you are as wise or even more wise then these men, please contact me.

I am seeking an intelligent, compassionate, open-minded Christian. Your gender or age does not matter to me. Please just be mature and intelligent. Think and pray before you e-mail me too please. Make sure this challenge is for you. Don't be too cocky either because I might point things out to you in the bible that you have never heard before. Who knows, I might actually convert you. So I warn you to be prepared.

Don't just tell me that you'll pray for me or tell me to read certain bible quotes, don't warn me of hell or how the end of days are coming soon or any other scare tactics because I know longer believe in the hell that
I think man invented.

I also insist that you know not only about Christianity but about atheism, Judaism, other religions and evolution because I am going to want to have a debate with you and if you're going to take me on, I think it's important for your sake that you know your stuff.

Please be open-minded, have patience and be prepared to debate with me. I want to have a civil, friendly debate with you. I will remain calm, respectful and civil the entire time and expect you to as well. If you get mad or frustrated or lose your patience and start to yell or raise your voice..the debate's over. I've had to deal with enough of that kind of nonsense in my life and I will not deal with it again.

That's my only rule is that you debate how Jesus would debate. Or if you want to see an example of how I expect you to act, go on the web and search for Way of the Master videos and study how Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort speak to people. Because that's how I will debate with you.


I believe if one's heart is willing, they will find God. My heart is willing. I do not want to debate with you because I want you to become an atheist. I want to debate with you because I want you to convert me. So my heart is willing. I know some atheists have hearts that are not willing and refuse to listen to reason and when they are proved wrong, they get mad, make jokes, gets sarcastic, get an attitude and still refuse to change their ways or even admit they are wrong.

That is not the case with me. My heart is willing, my mind is open and my ears are ready. I don't mind losing or being proved wrong. I want to seek knowledge and I want to lose this debate. I want you to silence me. But I will NOT let you win. It's true I wanna be a Christian again, but I want to know the truth once and for all. I will not lie to myself and let you beat me. I will bring everything I got and everything I learned...and more. And I want and expect you to do the same.


I feel like God is still here...I feel like He is speaking to me....I always get an overwhelming amount of goosebumps and little tears in my eyes whenever I feel His presence. I prayed in my garage late at night a few nights ago when I was depressed about my new life and could not sleep. I did not sleep at all that night.

I feel like if God is real...He is telling me to do this. To put an open challenge out to Austin's smartest Christians. I feel like He is telling me if I am going to truly abandon Him once and for all....to at least have some guts and put up a fight.

I also feel like He is telling me that if you can beat me, I need to befriend you and have you take me under your wing. To go to church, get baptized, join groups...make good Christian friends...and have people there who will support me during tough times. I've never had a lot of friends in my life and the few I had were not very good ones. I've always believed that the best kind of friends a person can have is good Christian friends.

Please. I beg you. Please help me. This is not only my soul at stake, but also my life and how I view the world. This is a very important crossroad in my life and will be my FINAL attempt to find God....

I don't want to be an atheist. But I can't help but be one as of right now.

If Jesus is real, I am hoping Jesus will speak and work through one of you. Jesus was intelligent, compassionate and He lead His followers. That is what I am looking for. Someone who can respectfully shut me up in a debate, will be compassionate towards me and lead me into a relationship with God just like Jesus lead His followers.

If you are up for this challenge...if you feel right now that God is telling you to go on a mission and go out into the dangerous wildness and bring this lost sheep back into the flock...I am ready and waiting for you.

If you can beat me in a debate, I am willing to humble myself before God, beg His forgiveness and start a new life and see if He will come to me like He promises when one humbles themselves. I know I can't just snap my fingers and expect God to come running to me. I know I have to humble myself and if you can defeat me in a debate, I will do that.

I can't stress this enough though and am really gonna push this.....as much as I want to be Christian again, I will not let you win and will not let this be easy. I don't want to become a Christian just because I fear dying.

When and if I found God...I want it to be real. I want to be a Christian....not because of my parents but because I know it's the ultimate truth.

Thank you. "

 

 

In the event that a Christian accepts my open challenge to a debate, will you guys help me out a little and give me some questions to ask? I already have a lot of knowledge on the subject but any and all advice is appreciated.

I honestly doubt anyone will response...and if they do, they'll probably be some overly religious moron. But you never know.

In the event that, that happens...I have a back-up. There's an online Christian friend of mine who is willing to talk to me. If I find no one in Austin, I'll debate him. I just wanted to debate with someone in Austin because if they end up winning, I do plan to honor what I said I'd go and let them take me under their wing and go to their church.

Guess I'll just wait and see what happens.

*sigh* I really did sigh by the way. I don't enjoy any of this...I sure am taking this all very seriously...but I think it's very important.

It seems  like all of you who were Christian had no problem leaving

that religion and were more angry then sad. And none of you seem to fear death.Well, it's not that simple to me. From a Christian point of view, you were more angry then sad because you never had a close relationship with God. And you don't fear death....because Satan comforts you and wants you to be content with it so that when you die, you go to Hell.I gotta make damn sure I am on the right side here, ladies and gentlemen. I don't wanna burn in Hell forever. Christians can't prove it's a real place, but none of you can prove it isn't a real place.I know you can't prove Santa Claus and the North Pole is real either, but unlike Santa and North Pole....people have actually claimed to have seen and spoken to God, Jesus, angels and go to Heaven.
 Maybe God doesn't speak or appear or respond to any of the stuff all of you guys are saying....because he knows when you die and you stand before Him, you'll be crying and begging for His forgiveness.He who laughs last, laughs the loudest.(Yes, I know. Some say He who laughs last, thinks the slowest. Please don't make that joke. Smiling I already know it.)Anyway, I appreciate that so many of you have been so kind and compassionate towards me and have welcomed me here. But now it's time to see if I even belong here.It's the final run with God and I and I'm just gonna wait and see what happens.I'll keep you all up to date if you like. So long for now.


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Zeeboe, zeeboe,

Zeeboe, zeeboe, zeeboe...

You don't think I was "close to god"?  My parents thought I was going to be a preacher when I was younger.  I led several of my friends to christianity.  For your sake, educate yourself!  Go buy some books by Carl Sagan.  You tell me that such a man is going to stand in front of god and be condemned to eternal damnation.  The very idea is absurd!

Learn about evolution.  Just because you've never studied it and can't understand it because of that, you would rather believe a magical being in the sky did it?  Are you shitting me?

I've argued against christians incessantly over the years.  Flogged them like a beast.  I've dragged them and their ideas back and forth through the mud raging at them.  They would get absolutely enraged at me and ask me if I was so sure that I was right why would I argue tirelessly with them.

It was because I was asking a single one of them to show me that I was wrong.

They all failed.  It's bullshit, Zeeboe.  Learn about reality.  Evolution, cosmology, all of it.  Sometimes I look up at the skyline at the thin shell of the atmosphere of the Earth, and realizing that the atmosphere is no thicker on the earth that the peel on an orange, I gasp with the realization of my own existence.  That I am simply an animal.  That this is my world.  Not some fictional made up god like Zues or Oden, or Horus, or Allah, or the christian god's world.  My world.  Our history is magnificent.  Overcoming many odds and chances of fate to be where we are.  Moreso that even in the history of our species we, we lucky few, that live such lives of luxury are so lucky.  That we have wonderful lives. 

And you want to trade THAT for a religion of lies that teaches you that your very impulses, thoughts on attraction, etc, is a sin?  Evil, devil inspired corruptions?  That sounds more appealing to you?

You don't understand how amazing life is.  How wonderful and glorious life is.  So go suck you thumb for comfort with christianity.  Live life blind and wallow in guilt.  I'm not going back.  I've never been happier.  I would rather rot than go back into blind servitude to a self deluded fiction.  I live my life by these words, the words that finally allowed me to be free.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

--Carl Sagan

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Think on this Zeeboe. 

Think on this Zeeboe.  Modern scientists hold humans to be primates.  Besides DNA sequencing there are the obvious physical similarities.  Another little fact is that only primates have dermal ridges.  Fingerprints are made of dermal ridges.  Moreso that humans are "great apes".  Great apes like gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos.  You may be more familiar with bonobos under the name pygmy chimps.  We share over 98% of our DNA with them.  Some studies of the similarity of humans and bonobos suggest that 99.4% of our DNA is identical.  The Bonobo walks upright about 25% of the time.  Also the Bonobo has highly individuated facial features, just as humans.  In this manner they are cued for visual recognition and social interaction just like us.

There have been documented cases of chimps sharpening sticks to use like spears for hunting.  Of them using caves for shelter.  Some chimps from the inner Congo have started to develop a completely bipedal means of locomotion.  Those chimps, when in captivity, prefer the company of humans to non-bipedal chimps.  They learn quite easily to shake hands, lounge on a sofa, sip scotch, watch tv. 

You hold that these creatures are simply souless animals where we are divinely created?  That we are on a level beyond their reach?  That humans, who lie, kill, rape, torture are so superior to our cousins the chimps?  Can't you see how utterly ridiculous that is?

Even if you can't how can you justify christianity as the correct religion?  Why isn't it the muslims that have the right one?  Maybe you should be praying to Shiva, Oden, Zues, Horus, etc, etc, through the thousands of gods.  Why don't you figure out which god is the best one before you decide to pray to any of them?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Master Jedi Dan
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Since I am an atheist, and

Since I am an atheist, and wouldn't debate with you over Christianity, I won't put up any points.  But here is someone you might be able to talk to about Christianity.  Please follow the link, this guy is pretty good.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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I don't know anything about

I don't know anything about evolution other then the basic story behind it so I can't debate with anyone about it. All I know is I've seen Christians who do know about it debate it and the fact that they can even debate it seems like maybe they are right. You never know.Ray Comfort brought up a good point in the debate with the Rational Response Squad. A lot of you and myself included quote history books like they are the gospel. How do we know history is real? Why is it we can believe what history books say but not the bible?There actually was an article I read a year ago that talked about George Washington and how he looked completely different then what we thought. You can goggle search it and all types of things come up.I'm also a civil war buff and I've gotten into a lot of debates on civil wear forums about this subject, but how about the fact that we are all brought up to believe the civil war was only about slavery when there were many other issues? How about the fact that Lincoln was actually a racist and wanted to send black people back to Africa when they were free? How about the fact that many of the Union soldiers actually fought in the war, not to free the slaves but to preserve the union?We can't just depend on history books. Yes, maybe the gospels are wrong but why are the history books right?And not ONE history book ever predicted the future and was right. Jesus Christ said His words will never be forgotten and they haven't been. That's a fact. You can debate it all you want, but it is a fact. His words have not been forgotten. Yes, there have been many other Messiahs out there with the same story but how do you know those people didn't rip Jesus's story off? And why is Jesus the only one who has stood the test of time after all these years?You can't just depend on history books to help you. You have to look at the facts here.Look, I'm not a Christian sneaking onto this board trying to convert any of you. I am just someone who has to be 100% sure I am right and has to consider all the options here.


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Zeeboe wrote:

Zeeboe wrote:
Christians who do know about it debate it and the fact that they can even debate it seems like maybe they are right.
Once again, please educate yourself about what the theory of evolution really is. People can debate many things that are totally ridiculous. Some people debate that jews were not killed in massive numbers by the nazis, Some people debate that NASA never landed people on the moon. Are they right? Most of the christians who debate against evolution don't understand it. You really need to stop looking up to Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron because they are some of the worst offenders here. Their "Crocoduck" argument was utter nonsense. They argued that if evolution was true we would see animals like a half-duck half-cocodile and since we see none evolution is false. However the theory of evolution predicts no such thing, infact if we ever did find a crocoduck we would have to do some serious revising of our current understanding of evolution. 
Quote:
A lot of you and myself included quote history books like they are the gospel. How do we know history is real? Why is it we can believe what history books say but not the bible?
  History books are written by authors who generally hold qualifications in the field. They are based on research that can be checked and they agree across multiple books from differnt authors. None of this is true of the bible.
Quote:
 There actually was an article I read a year ago that talked about George Washington and how he looked completely different then what we thought. You can goggle search it and all types of things come up. I'm also a civil war buff and I've gotten into a lot of debates on civil wear forums about this subject, but how about the fact that we are all brought up to believe the civil war was only about slavery when there were many other issues? How about the fact that Lincoln was actually a racist and wanted to send black people back to Africa when they were free? How about the fact that many of the Union soldiers actually fought in the war, not to free the slaves but to preserve the union?
  This is why we can rely on history books more than the bible. We can check facts against other sources and when they disagree do further research to find out the truth.
Quote:
And not ONE history book ever predicted the future and was right.
  Not one history book has ever predicted the future. That is not the purpose of history books, they are about the past. 
Quote:
Jesus Christ said His words will never be forgotten and they haven't been. That's a fact. You can debate it all you want, but it is a fact. His words have not been forgotten.

Proove it. Proove that he ever actually said the words that we now attribute to him. The gospels were written many years after the death of christ so there is little chance that what was recorded was exactly as spoken. It was also spoken in a language that none but a few schollars know any more. So his words are pretty much forgotten.

Maybe you mean his message. Well that has been reinterpeted and abused so many times for so many purposes that I doubt you can claim his message is still remembered either. and if it is, who is it remembered correctly by, many of the interpretations conflict with eachother so they can't all be right.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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Quote:

Quote:

How about the fact that Lincoln was actually a racist and wanted to send black people back to Africa when they were free?

Lincoln was not a racist, however, the possibility of sending the slaves back was brought up during the war and he probably at least considered the idea of sending the slaves back to Africa.  There were other suggestions as well, such as sending the slaves to other nations nearby.

Quote:

How about the fact that many of the Union soldiers actually fought in the war, not to free the slaves but to preserve the union?

The war wasn't started because of the slaves, but as time dragged on it became evident that this was one of the main issues. Of course the soldiers had to preserve the union. A divided union was the issue, and the slaves were the largest factor.

I didn't read this stuff in history books, I read history. Every page of a weekly newspaper from the four years during the civil war. Here is the site I worked for: http://www.sonofthesouth.net

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.


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Zeeboe wrote:All I know

Zeeboe wrote:
All I know is I've seen Christians who do know about it debate it and the fact that they can even debate it seems like maybe they are right.
Yeah, there's a great You Tube video where a christian is saying that a rock sitting on his porch proves that evolution is impossible.  A FREAKING ROCK!  The idiot doesn't even understand the difference between evolution and geology.  There's another great clip about some idiot saying peanut butter proves that evolution is impossible.  Zeeboe, if neither of these arguments sound EXTREMELY deluded to you, you NEED to learn more about evolution.
Zeeboe wrote:
"A lot of you and myself included quote history books like they are the gospel. How do we know history is real? Why is it we can believe what history books say but not the bible?"
History books are generally different depending on the people.  If two seperate countries fight a war, after the war each countries history book will reflect their perspective of the war.  In our history books about the revolutionary war against England we kicked Englands butt.  In England, our revolution was simply an inconveinence that took up resources they preferred to use in another manner.But the bible is no where near as legitimate as any history book from any peoples perspective.
Zeeboe wrote:
"You can goggle search it and all types of things come up."
Zeeboe, I can google search and turn up links that the Queen mother of England is an evil reptilian monster that drinks blood.  Don't be so gullible.  Idiots put shit up on the internet all the time.  No one censors it.  What do you want me to put up?  I'll put up whatever you like.  Does that legitmize it?  USE LOGICAL THINKING!
Zeeboe wrote:
"I'm also a civil war buff and I've gotten into a lot of debates on civil wear forums about this subject, but how about the fact that we are all brought up to believe the civil war was only about slavery when there were many other issues? How about the fact that Lincoln was actually a racist and wanted to send black people back to Africa when they were free? How about the fact that many of the Union soldiers actually fought in the war, not to free the slaves but to preserve the union?"
Zeeboe, you're really starting to worry me now.  If anyone in America does not know that the first and foremost reason that America fought the Civil war was because the South wanted to break away and Lincoln was determined to preserve the union then they are completely ignorant on American history!  Lincoln has a very famous quote of saying, "I will free some of the slaves, all of the slaves, or none of the slaves to preserve the Union."  I didn't google that, that's from memory.  So the wording might be wrong.
Zeeboe wrote:
"And not ONE history book ever predicted the future and was right. Jesus Christ said His words will never be forgotten and they haven't been. That's a fact. You can debate it all you want, but it is a fact. His words have not been forgotten. Yes, there have been many other Messiahs out there with the same story but how do you know those people didn't rip Jesus's story off? And why is Jesus the only one who has stood the test of time after all these years?"
First, jesus most likely never even existed.  Second, the bible isn't right about any predictions.  Jesus most likely is a figment of the writers imagination.  Second the bible was written far later than the supposed words, sometimes by people that wasn't even familiar with palistinean culture.His words have not been "forgotten all these years" Do you think 2000 years is a record for a religion?  The ancient Egyptions had a religion.  They hung around for about 3.5 thousand years.As for ripping off words, since christianity is still one of the newer religions to humanity most likely those words were rippped off from a far older religion.  Christians are the new kids on the block.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Watcher
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Zeeboe wrote: There

Zeeboe wrote:
There actually was an article I read a year ago that talked about George Washington and how he looked completely different then what we thought.

Oh yeah?  Check out this link. http://piersonphoto.com/Pierson2.htm

This is a very famous portrait that was painted in the likeness of George Washington during his lifetime.  It has been closely strutinized by experts and deemed the original.

"Given the above, it is clear that this authentic portrait by Gilbert Stuart has been hanging in Fredericksburg Lodge for close to 200 years and was probably placed there upon its completion during the lifetime of Washington."

Quit believing everything you read!

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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I've already had three

I've already had three e-mails from religious people...and they were well..idiots...and quickly destroyed.I doubt I'll find the great and worthy Christian opponent I seek because no so such warrior exists.Watcher....you bring up a good point about people being able to debate anything. Really, I could debate that Santa Claus is real. Seriously...I could. lol. I could present a very convincing argument that he is as real as you and I...but we all know he isn't. It's probably the same deal with God.As far as history goes, I don't know much about Washington so I can't debate that. But I am correct about Lincoln and the Civil War and you and I seem to agree on that. But there are some people who think Lincoln was some liberal out to free the slaves, when that is not the case. Not all history books are right, so I agree..not believing everything you read is good advice but I could say the same to you.As far Jesus Christ goes...out of all the religions out there, Christianity is the most popular and Jesus is the most well known figure. So the bible quote about His words never be forgotten is right. So how can it be explained?I also have to say in defense of Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort...I think some of you are being a little bias because you disagree with them and because they get your blood pumping because they do present a good argument. Do you honestly think they are both stupid? I mean, if you did...you'd shrug and laugh them off and not give them a second thought like I shrugged and laughed off the idiot Christians who e-mailed me...and they actually were idiots.I think anyone who can get another person really mad using only words must be doing something right.


ABx
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Zeeboe, whatever you're

Zeeboe, whatever you're going through right now, I honestly don't think it has as much to do with religion as you think. It's obvious you are struggling with some issues, and I can't help but think that you are looking for a way to justify religion as an easy answer. The thing is that whether you go with atheism or theism, those issues aren't going to disappear. If you need that social support, there are better ways of going about it. Counseling, sports, art, various hobbies, or other things could all be just as theraputic.

I strongly agree with Watcher that you would do very well to learn about some science. Science is not opposed to religion, it's religion (and only some religions) that's opposed to science, and only some science at that. Read up on Carl Sagan, watch his videos, listen to some science podcasts, and so on. In fact, today's Science Friday just covered cognitive dissonance, which I think you would do VERY well to listen to. It should be on the web tonight or tomorrow morning at http://www.sciencefriday.com/ - I can't emphasize enough that you really should give this a listen. It came on when I was reading your post, and I couldn't help but see some very strong correlations. Then give a listen to the rest! They are a lot of fun, educational, and will give you perspective on the world that will be valuable regardless of the way you wish to go.

Lastly I would ask you to take a step back and look at what you're doing. Are you really looking at the notion of god objectively, giving creedence to the mythos with an informed and educated view of what we can actually verify about this universe, or are you looking at it without that knowledge and making judgements based on what's most comfortable to you? Does reality conform to your feelings, or do you develop your feelings based on reality? Ultimately trying to wrap your mind around every point and counter-point to every line in the bible will only lead to greater confliction and take up a lot of time that could be spent on more productive endeavors, espeically when you have emotional attachments. That is unless you are looking to be a bible scholar, whether theist or atheist. Is that what you really want to do with your life, or is this just something to focus on to distract you from the things that you really should be focused on? Your age is the approximate time that most people start to realize that their childhood is over and that they need to get moving to build themselves a future. I can't help but suspect that you're having problems moving on, and avoiding the 800lb gorilla in the room that is your future. I'm no psychologist, so don't take my word for it, but I think you should seriously consider the idea that your issues are about more than the bible.

Check out the things Watcher suggested, check out Science Friday tonight, and if you want a list of science podcast just let me know. You can find most of them on iTunes and various podcast directories, too.


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I think ABx has got a good

I think ABx has got a good point.  Zeeboe if you are depressed then you need to deal with that first.  You don't need religion to keep from being depressed.  Find out what's really bothering you and what facet of going to church made you happy.  Was it the community?  The togetherness?

You keep bringing up the point that people still have the bible and know words that the imaginary jesus said about his words(which he didn't actually say in the first place) would not be forgotten.  That's COMPLETELY irrelevant to whether god exists.  I've got a translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh.  It is much older than the bible and talks of Gilgamesh being part god.  So since I remember his book Gilgamesh is real?  That makes logical sense to you?  I remember the story about Little Red Riding Hood.  Does that make her real?  I remember Harry Potter.  I guess Hogwarts is real.  Let's see what else I can remember...huckleberry fin, three pigs that built houses, a talking penguin named Opus, Richie Rich, Big Bird...

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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I think all of you are

I think all of you are right and it's time to put words into actions.

I would like to say this much...my issue is, is that I fear death. As hard as life is and as much as the world has be so cruel and unfair to me....I don't want to die. I seriously want to live forever. I don't like the fact that when you die, it's over. You can't think, touch, taste, feel, see, hear, smell or talk ever again. It's over. Forever and ever.

Maybe you are all comfy with that, but I am not.

I want to cover up my ears like a lot of Christians and ignore what you are all saying and pretend that there is a place...a magical wonderful place...beyond the sky and clouds and universe called Heaven where everything is perfect and where I will be with my loved ones, forever and ever.

 

I hope that science figures out a way to make people live longer and I hope when I do die, I am very old and that I am in so much pain that I am begging for death.

Ironicly, the only quote about death that really comforts me is from Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.

"To conquer death, you only have to die."

lol. I actually just got chill bumps right now. Smiling


ABx
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Zeeboe wrote:

Zeeboe wrote:

I think all of you are right and it's time to put words into actions.

I would like to say this much...my issue is, is that I fear death. As hard as life is and as much as the world has be so cruel and unfair to me....I don't want to die. I seriously want to live forever. I don't like the fact that when you die, it's over. You can't think, touch, taste, feel, see, hear, smell or talk ever again. It's over. Forever and ever.

Maybe you are all comfy with that, but I am not.

I want to cover up my ears like a lot of Christians and ignore what you are all saying and pretend that there is a place...a magical wonderful place...beyond the sky and clouds and universe called Heaven where everything is perfect and where I will be with my loved ones, forever and ever.

 

I hope that science figures out a way to make people live longer and I hope when I do die, I am very old and that I am in so much pain that I am begging for death.

Ironicly, the only quote about death that really comforts me is from Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.

"To conquer death, you only have to die."

lol. I actually just got chill bumps right now. Smiling

Sounds to me like a preoccupation that keeps you from having to think about life. I mean, if you were 65 yrs old I could understand, but you don't have to seriously worry about death for at least 40 more years. If I were you, I would worry more about how you're going to get along for those 40-60 years. Decades of fighting off tragedy is a much more difficult proposition, requiring a lot more effort, responsibility, intelligence, and even luck. If you die before then, you probably won't even feel it. Then you'll have nothing to worry about.

Dying is easy, living is hard.


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Here's an analogy for you;

Here's an analogy for you; if you've ever had to move in your adult lifetime you know how stressful it is, but it's not about being in a new location. It's about everything leading up to it. What's stressful is arranging the transportation, moving the utilities or getting a new account with another utility company, it's packing everything up, getting it all on the truck, making sure you don't break anything, making sure someone doesn't take off with your stuff, getting friends to help, and on and on. Once you're there and you're unpacked, then the hard part is over and the stress is alleviated. Being in the new place isn't the problem, it's all the responsibilities and effort that you have to put into it that's the hard part. I don't know a single person that ever wants to move, just like I don't know anyone that ever wants to die (even when they think they do), but it's not about what happens afterward, it's about everything leading up to it, and how smoothly they can make it go.


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Hey Zeeboe, this is some

Hey Zeeboe, this is some interesting information that you might find useful...

Chrishna, of India, born on December 25, his mother was a virgin, mother's name was Maia. His uncle, Kamsa, the ruler at the time of his birth sought to kill him. Chrishna escaped death by being smuggled out of the area to safety (sounds like Herod and Jesus does it not?).

Mithra, of Persia, born on December 25, his birth was witnessed by Shepherds that brought gifts to honor him. He was styled as a Mediator between God and Man.

Horus of Egypt, born on December 25. His mother, Isis, gave birth to him in the swamp, she was warned by the god Thoth, to flee and conceal the child from the evil Set.

Buddha, of India, born on December 25, his mother's name was Maya she was a virgin. He was immaculately conceived, and at birth, he announced that he was a savior to the world. His birth was announced by a star. At his birth, he was visited by Wise Men who declared that they had seen Signs of his birth.

Beddou (Fot), was a god of the orient born 1027 BC, his mother was a virgin. The king sought to kill him at birth. The god child was saved by shepherds, and lived in the desert till he reached the age of thirty, at which time he commenced teaching his spiritual doctrine to that religion.

Quetzalcoatl, a god the Western Hemisphere, was born of a virgin. He sojourned in the wilderness, fasted forty days and was crucified. He was represented as the God of light.

Hercules son of the god Zeus, predestined by birth to inherit the throne of Argos. Hera tried to kill him while in his crib.  He was sent away to the countryside where he became a shepherd.

Attis, of Phrygia, his mother was a virgin, her name was Nana. He was a shepherd, and reported to have died by self emasculation under a pine tree. He was alleged to have risen from the dead at Easter i.e. The vernal Equinox.

Tammuz was hailed as the only begotten son of the god Ea. His mother was a virgin, by the name of Ishtar.

 

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci