I have been an Atheist a very short time. I don’t want to bore you all with how or even why. I’d like to deal with a question that perhaps other people are struggling with as well. The question of, “How do I stop quoting the Bible to myself?” For every thought or revelation, or beautiful experience as an Atheist I find myself thinking on the Bible verse that reveals the Truth to me just as I did when I was a Theist. I find myself then questioning whether I am truly an Atheist. I KNOW there isn’t evidence for a God based on what I’ve LEARNED. But the educational piece has not taken away the deep love that I have for God, or the peace I have received from remembering what I used to think of as, “God’s promises.” I don’t want a lecture about why there is no evidence for a God. Please spare me these details. I rather want to know how to move forward as an Atheist. A True Atheist.
The bible does have some good verse, though some of it is just common sense, I know someone who is atheist but treats the bible as allegory.
But here is a question, how do you have a deep love for a being that supposedly murdered million's if not billions in a flood? or sanctioned the murder of all first born? or commands that unruly children be put to death.
Even if this entity called god was real, he'd be the last thing I'd worship and love.
I never broached the idea that god does not exist, that would be remarkably arrogant of me, for me personally it's the "evidence" that's non existent, so I tend to agree with Hitchens "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"
But I can tell you it took me over 20 years to transition from theist to atheist, growing up with the chapel next door to your house can do that, I was agnostic for a good portion of the 20 years, I guess you could still say I am given the first paragraph in this post, I'm approximately where Dawkins is, about 6.5 on the scale.
I've seen some who claim to have become atheist over night, but I have to wonder if they just see it as some kind of fad, religious indoctrination is not an easy thing to shake off, especially if you have grown up in that environment, heck I still find myself saying things like "please god make this happen"; fortunately I know it's habit rather than actual belief, anyway, ED put's it better than I, it's not just something you shake off, nor can anyone else do it for you, it has to be a personal choice.
Hey Belle I reread your post and thought of a few more, well, thoughts. lol
You mentioned god's promises. It reminded me of when I was a christian, which I abandoned some years ago. I grew up in a very religious family, and I tried my best to have faith. I really did believe too. It is definitely comforting to think that no matter what happens to you, it's either for a plan or will turn out ok in 'the end'. I think that's why it draws so many people. It gives comfort, and if you're a believer by default from culture/family etc., it's the easiest and most accessible solution to blindly blot out the things that cause discomfort.
I found myself, from a blend of agnosticism into atheism, slowly recalling memories or abstract ideas and seeing them in a different light. One by one as they came along. And suddenly having so much clarity about them. And this is a process that just takes time as they come along. Sadly I think that religion, especially the monotheistic ones of today, are mental prisons. Think of a prisoner who grew up from the earliest memory in a prison, then many many years later gets to leave. Just imagine how the outside world would be interpreted. Especially, with an analogy I like, where the prisoner grew up in a prison cell with an 'open door' in which they walk through, just to step into the very prison cell they just left. Think of the self looping logic and explanations and acrobatics and defenses that most people have a difficult time mentally escaping.
All to say again lol, I know how it feels. Hang in there. It's a process!
Maybe read more Atheistic literature, you may be in time able to move away from bible quotations to quoting secularists and philosophers more.
I don't know what you mean by True Atheist though.
I rather want to know how to move forward as an Atheist. A True Atheist.
Atheism itself is simply a lack of belief in God(s). In that sense there is no way to move forward. If you tell me you're an atheist I still know nothing about what you believe; I know exactly one thing you do not believe.
Where you go from here depends on what you're interested in. Do you want a philosophy of life? Look into Humanism. Want an overview of the natural world based on empirical science? Borrow Richard Dawkins' "The Magic of Reality" from your local library. Interested in detecting baloney when you see it? Read 'The Demon-Haunted World' by Carl Sagan.
If you want to embrace the reality of an atheistic universe, decide what you're interested in, choose some non-fiction about that subject, and read, read, read. Do that enough and the Bible starts looking like the superstitious ravings of Bronze Age men who would have gaped in astonishment at the sight of a wheelbarrow.
Wheelbarrows are pretty awesome!
This sounds to me like you're a little reluctant to let go of the peace that you've found before when you were a theist. I think it's more important for you to try and figure out why you don't want to let it go, than trying to be a 'True Atheist'. Perhaps it's a realisation that there is no afterlife? That someone/something isn't looking out for us and everything is random? Some initially feel that because there is no god, there is no purpose to our lives.
Or perhaps I'm understanding it wrong. Perhaps it's a habit you need to break, like quitting smoking. I personally find the bible to be one of the most violent and ignorant books ever made. Perhaps you need to read the negatives in it and decide if they overpower the positives? I don't see a problem with you using bible quotes in your every day life as there are some good morals in there, but it must be difficult to still love a god you no longer believe in. It seems very confusing. Maybe you can start quoting another book instead, one which you may have read and enjoyed that had good morals in it (without reference to a god).