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