Hi I am newly discovering a name for what I believe or better yet not believe. I just wanted to know if anyone is having the same doubts as I. I just am at odds with knowing what the meaning of life is. what is there to look forward too. I have a small obsession with things like apocalypse scenarios. Just wondering if someone could just give some thoughts. I so far have really like this site and hope to make some new friends. There is noone to talk to about any of my beliefs. Husband is Catholic. Parents are Christian and never talk to coworkers about religion or politics. I am at odds with myself right now!

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I just bought that Andy!

Hi April welcome believe it or not  but most Atheist have been were you are most of us left religion and what we had been taught from childhood to find our own path and we ended up here. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back the truly hard part is over and it dose get easier from here on out you have found us and we are everywhere. I know it can be lonely starting out but you are on the right track I would do a search for Atheist or Secular groups in your area and see what turns up any big city will have some small towns not so much but depending where you are there may be a group close by. I would also look for more pages like this I visit several on a daily basis check out American Atheist at http://atheists.org/ and The Secular Coalition for America at http://secular.org/ both sites are a great way to tap into the national community and see whats going on in the world of Atheist. Hope that helps a bit its a great time to be an Atheist I did not have the internet when I left my faith and it took me years to find out how many others were out there.

 

Live in reality Bill

Thank you everyone! You have helped me more than you know just in these small conversations. I look forward to continuing my research. Got alot of reading to do!

Welcome April.

You say you are discovering, I would say you are thinking critically with reason.  You will find answers and support here as you go through this journey.  Don't be afraid to ask any question and speak your mind. Believe me, you are not alone in terms of what you are going through.

Hi April. Welcome.

The key thought that keeps recurring to my mind when someone says,"What is there to look forward to?"; or when a theist says anything about being judged by a "God", is this: How we live our lives is how our legacy will be defined. The people we touch, those who come after us, are the real judges of every human being who came before them. History is the real judge of men.

This is why it is so important that we keep learning, keep striving to make life better for not just us, but for the world, the universe and everything that exists within it. One day the corporeal form that we see as human beings will have morphed (or branched) into a new, hopefully, better species. 

But, as long as we, as a species, keep hindering our thinking and development, by adhering to repressive ideals, we delay the day when humanity becomes truly enlightened.  I am not speaking of mysticism here. What I am saying is that there will be a day when mankind understands its place within this world and that scientific advancement can move ahead unabated, tempered only by compassion and altruism, moving humanity to the next and following steps.

If you take the big bang theory (I do support it, but I still give credence to other theories, with the obvious exception of creationism and its pseudonym, intelligent design) to its fullest extent, with the expansion and eventual contraction and subsequent implosion of this universe, Who's to say that we are not part of the fourteenth trillion, or for that matter, septillionth iteration of  the same phenomenon. Not to put a damper on the whole "What's the point to / meaning of life?" parade, but maybe it is, after all, just...

LIFE.

There is definitely a sense of "oh shit!" as you begin to step away from the religion you've grown up with, or of which you've been a part. It definitely feels like stepping out on the high wire without a net. But let me reassure you - the farther you step out, the more confidence you'll get, and the more at ease you'll be.

 

The best thing you can do to help get over your current feelings of fear and doubts is what you're doing right here, right now - talk it out, ask others for help, etc. This will help you get your thoughts in order and feel more at ease with what's going on in your head.

 

As for "the meaning of life" and all of that... I've found that being an atheist gives you a deeper appreciation of life than any xian could ever have. Why? Because we know this is all there is. We understand that this life, the one we have now, is the only one we'll ever have - so we find it to be very precious, and very meaningful. There's a sense of comfort in this, at least for me - I so value this life that I work to make the most of it, to help others, to raise my family, to help me friends - I work hard to do all of this to the best of my ability.

 

As you come to grips with your beliefs and feelings, you will grow stronger and more confident in them. At some point you may want to "come out" to your family and friends - but rest assured, there are many, many of us who never take this step, for many different reasons. So, do what's best for you and your situation; and continue to come here for comfort, friendship, and even advice.

 

Welcome to T|A!

LotusGreek! 

It had not hit me before that because the religious do not see this as the only life, they do not cherish life (any life), the way we (who do not have the imaginary safety net) do. Thank you, Sir! 

Epiphany!

Hi April, I've been a member of the site maybe a couple of months, and I like it because we do tackle all the big basic questions in an enthusiastic and intelligent way, I think.  The people seem very nice.  You're worried about the end of the world?  So is just about everyone else.  It's an absolute miracle we're still here - there are so many things which could destroy the planet but we keep on just missing them.  Asteroids, supervolcanoes, solar flares, etc. etc.  The ecosystem doesn't look very happy.  My boss says that nuclear weapons will never end the world because whoever starts the war will get obliterated immediately.  The human race has always been plagued by disasters and destruction.  You and I and all these people are just the very lucky ones.  So yes, the planet or the human race could be destroyed at any time, and it's always been like that.  How do we deal with it?  Accept it and live your life the best you can.  To do less would be a criminal waste of your life.  You don't want to be sorry that you didn't live up to yourself, whenever your time comes.  I personally believe in life after death and this informs my life - I want to spend "eternity" with good memories and a clean conscience, otherwise I'm in for a very bad time.  Stick around!  Ask questions!  Discuss things!  You're in the right place. 

Hi Simon, You believe in "Life After Death"? Am I reading you right? Not sure how you can square that with an Atheist viewpoint!

The same way I can believe in Life Before Death.  There's no need for God in either case. 

Ok, so how does that work?

Assuming it works, I have absolutely no idea how.  I don't presume that the only things that can exist are those we can explain.  That would be a foolishly human-centred point of view.  I assume that you don't need God for an afterlife to exist because you don't need Him for the living world to exist.

 

I see it as a strong possibility (but not a certainty).  Therefore, I have to prepare for it. 

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