Let me just clarify, that this is not the first time I had thoughts like this. I was a Catholic for 18 years, stop believing that after that time.When I was 25 I contemplated on the faith of deism in the past, but eventually found no evidence to support it, so declared myself an atheist again.
I was in a strange sort of humour the other night and just out of curiosity I prayed just to see what would happen. I asked god to give me stretch to believe to show me a sign that he is there, to give me the wisdom to know that he is there. I told god I know that he cannot show me testable evidence and I accept that. I feel asleep moments after that. But hours later I awoke to a light tapping on my arm that lay outside my bedcovers. It was almost like a gentle but firm tapping of someones hand. Btw, I lock my room at night. I thought maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. But was it? Did I just feel the hand of God?
Please be aware I am very open to the strong possibility that my mind was indeed playing tricks on me. But honestly, I just don't know what to believe or not to believe now. Please don't be mean or harsh to me about this. If I am wrong in what I say here, I'll accept that given reason
Am I losing my mind though? I just need a perspective from non-beleivers to look at all possibilities here.
If I am touched on the arm at night in bed, my first thought is mosquitoes, not god.
I just need a perspective from non-beleivers to look at all possibilities here.
Consider this one, Keith.
The taps were fasiculations: a series of contract-and-releases in rapid succession in a muscle or part of a muscle. Most people get them-- most often in eyelids but they can happen in any muscle-- and say they feel like tapping or twitching sensations. It's a false firing of the nerves: the muscle gets a constant signal to contract but none to let go so the muscle contracts until it cramps up. Fasics are associated with stress and certain medications. (Source: my wife is a medical doctor.)
Surely God, having decided to reveal himself to you, could do better than a light tap on the arm. Why not remove all doubt from your mind? You awaken floating three feet over the bed. A smiling face looks down into yours and says, "Hello Keith. I am God. Yes, I am here."
Not a shred of testable evidence would it leave you to convince others, but would it leave any doubt in your mind personally? God would be quite the rotten bastard for messing with your head like that: you ask him for a sign and wisdom, but instead he taps your arm and makes you think you're losing your mind?
Your mind is completely there Keith. It's exactly as it should be. It's better than most minds in fact: you're asking intelligent questions rather than jumping to foolish conclusions. Consider how many crackpots would be swearing up and down right now: Jesus touched my arm last night!!!!!!
A muscle twitched in your arm while you were half-asleep, timed coincidentally with your request for a sign from God. A guess: muscle tension from overwork or stress, or maybe you're taking some kind of new medications, perhaps to help you sleep or for allergies, or something like that.
Thanks,GM; I'll consider fasiculations. I occasionally feel an eyelid twitch, maybe once a month, or a week, or a day. Maybe once in 3 or 4 months I'm all but asleep and a leg twitches. Now that's a twitch.
When did I first notice them?
Might have been around the time I started saying god fucked up.
You're welcome, Keith.
You're trying to figure out who you want to be, and you're afraid of being wrong. Makes sense.
You can't decide whether you want to believe or not.
If you do believe, you want someone say, "you're right". If you don't, you want someone to say, "you're right". In either case, what you're wanting is for someone to assure you,"you're right" Good luck!
Death is easy, choosing how to live is hard.
If you want to believe, go eat a wafer.
If you don't want to believe, you're among friends.
Millions of folks make the choice internally, but never manage to change their settings or the way the live their daily lives, so they live a lie. Some of them are quite comfortable doing this.
What we say to you about your decision doesn't mean anything, it's your decision; paper or plastic.
You're going to die either way, how do you want to do it?
I have decided after reading many of the responses here, that my mind must have been playing tricks on me. And I have to say, the arguments here are very compelling.
The thing about me is, even though from time to time I am open to possibilities; I much to skeptical to be drawn in without questioning everything including myself. First and foremost I want to at least feel I'm being honest with myself, regardless the position I hold. I am still an atheist
I hope I didn't come across too much like myself (an asshole)
I'm 57. I've already seen as much as my weary eyes can, in terms of learning about the world, mankind, and life. My philosophy comes from way-too much experience and frustration.
I've had an atheist point of view since I was almost twelve years old. And I've seen nothing since that has caused me to question that in any way.
But that's me--that's my life. We're talking about you.
I have a son your age. As with him, I wish this life, this society, didn't force you to figure things out so quickly. It seems to me that much of the prejudice of the heart and mind that we see today comes from folks who've had to make their decisions too quickly, rushed, or even coerced.
I urge all young people, when they feel pressured by those around them, to find a bit of thoughtful solitude and figure out their own way to go.
I wish you the best my friend.