I've had thoughts on why many cling on to religion, even after constant debunking and debating. I think I may have a possible reason why some do not give them up.

Most religions all have some system of an afterlife. People practicing the religion believe that, if they follow their specific book and appease to their specific God, they get to go to a magical place where nothing bad happens and they get to live out their wishes and desires that were either impossible in their mortal life, or there life was too short to live it.

When someone suddenly suggests that such a concept does not exist, the believer becomes defensive. Death is a bitter result of life. We dread the day we where we breathe our last breath, or if our life was suddenly cut short. To us, the concept of an after-life is comforting, a God protecting us like a Dad telling his son everything is going to be alright, even though he knows the bitter end is near.

I think, while not the sole reason for many that hold on to their faith, a denial of a mortal death being a permanent death is what keeps them from swallowing the bitter pill of reality that life is not fair, and that shit happens and you may not get to do everything in life or you could drop dead the very next day.

I was born in Mississippi, and raised Baptist, although, my family was mostly lazy Christians who only went to church on around the Holidays. I had the hope as a small child to go to Heaven and be with Angels and no kids there would ever be mean to me again. The thought that I couldn't have any of that would probably have scared me back then.

I came to realize that it's for the best that there is no afterlife. Imagine what exactly you would be doing in an afterlife. As the eternity went on, you would grow tired of the same mundane things. Would you truly want to spend your mortal life appeasing some God, only so you can appease him the rest of your life? I can't think of anything else that would be so...well, boring.

In a way, I feel more confident in this life. It won't be okay if I skip out on opportunities, because I may not get the chance again. This is my one shot, and I don't want to blow it on wishful thinking.

How about you? If you were once religious and now Atheist, how did you overcome the hurdle of accepting there is no afterlife? Or, do you not believe in an afterlife, but in some way, wish/hope there is one? Has any of this changed your perspective on how you live your life than how you lived your life beforehand?

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Aren't you the one who directed a "fuck you!" to me in one exchange? Discussions get heated. There's no need for pissy fits or temper tantrums.

I said I thought what he was saying wasn't true and challenging him to say that he had actually been able to convert anyone his way. Instead of saying "Yes, I've done so" I got a challenge to a duel in a dark alley, the implication being a physical assault would await me.

What will this place be like if interlocutors take umbrage at people simply disagreeing with them?

Maybe we can implore The Powers That Be here to change Atheist Exile's handle to @Easy Umbrage.

So this is the strategy you morons have settled on? That there's nothing wrong with wrongly implying somebody is lying but everything wrong with being angered by it?

Calling you out was a valid option. I chose it. I don't give a flying fuck if you won't own your own words or reply to specifics. And since you won't reply to specifics, there's nothing to pursue here any longer.

This experience reminds me of an incident, years ago, in San Pedro, CA . . .

There was this restaurant, called Sushi 21, that shared parking with a hotel. The main outdoor parking lot was on a hill and was slightly inclined. Below, near the hotel lobby there was a few parking spaces. Even further down the hill, Sushi 21 had only one parking space in front of it for handicap parking.

As I arrived, I noticed 2 young healthy couples getting out of a car parked in the handicap spot. It had no handicap placard or handicap license plate. I mumbled something about damn inconsiderate people under my breath and continued up to the parking lot. I parked and started walking down the hill, when I saw this guy, Ken (a Sushi 21 regular, like me), driving up to park.

Ken was from Taiwan. He was a few years younger than me and had been born not long before polio had been eradicated. Unfortunately, he was one of the last people on Earth struck down by the disease. One of his legs was almost (but not quite) useless and his spine was deformed. He could walk without assistance but with a severe limp, if you could call it that. It was torturous watching him walk.

I knew that walking down that hill was going to be hard for him, so I told him to wait and I would have the illegally parked car moved. As I walked past the BMW in the handicap spot, I saw a German Sheppard bobble-head on the dashboard and knew this was the same car I had seen there before . . . only this time, I had seen the occupants of the car and knew who they were.

As I walked in, the owner greeted me, as usual. I apologized to him for the scene I was about to create. I had, at that moment, seeing that the restaurant was unusually full of patrons, decided that I was going to call this guy out very publicly.

I looked around and saw that the 2 couples were already seated at a booth. I recalled, from moments earlier, that the driver (male) was shorter than the male passenger. I walked up to them, looked at the driver and loudly said, "Hey you. Get your god-damn BMW out of the the handicap parking space!" He didn't say a word in reply, he just got up and headed out to his car. Everybody was looking at us. As he passed me, I loudly proclaimed him a "Fucking asshole".

At this point, the other male said "No. Not fucking asshole." I said, "That is the only spot where a crippled person can avoid this hill: so yes, he's a fucking asshole. And if you defend a fucking asshole like that, you're a fucking asshole too." At that point, some of the patrons applauded, so he shut up and turned around.

What was interesting about this whole episode was how different people responded differently. The owner gave me a big smile and sent the waitress over with a complimentary plate of sweet shrimp (which he knew was my favorite). But when the waitress explained that it was free, I could see that she was very displeased with me.

I looked around and among the smiling, happy, faces were also disturbed, unhappy, faces -- just like the waitress. I realized that there are fundamental differences between these people. I'm sure none of them like to see cars illegally parked in handicap spaces, so it's not as if they disagree that doing so is wrong. I think the frowning people would have been unhappy with ANY scene that "rocked the boat". They're more passive, status quo, types of people and probably don't feel very displeased when they see things like assholes parking in handicap spaces. The smiling people, on the other hand, probably are displeased when they see assholes parked in handicap spaces. If they don't actually call out such people, they'd like to.

And in that moment, I realized I'm glad I'm not like those passive, apathetic, people. I'm glad I stand up for people. I'm glad I speak up for myself. I'm glad I don't take shit from anybody.

And if that bothers you. I'll just have to accept that you're not my kind of people.

I hear you.

For everyone who doesn't wanna read that long drawn out crap, here's the sum:

"I made an unnecessary scene before and I was a hero."

kOrsan - that's damn rude. 

Atheist Exile - I totally applaud what you did, I believe it was completely the right thing to do, compassionate, and courageous, but I feel there was no need to go in with all guns blazing.  Perhaps you could have started off being polite. 

Simon, he could've reacted like a grown up and just told the guy that what he did is rude/not right, and ask him to move his car. Instead he, once again, lost control of his emotions like a teenaged girl and made a scene by playing the loudmouthed "hero" and calling the guy an asshole and whatnot in front of all the other guests. That's rude of him to do, not me to point out. Not just for him, but also the other guests. We shouldn't celebrate and encourage such acts. Leave aside that it's probably made up, everyone who looked at him at the restaurant had one thing in mind, and it was certainly not "Gee what a courageous guy. I love seeing people yell and scream when I'm out eating dinner with my family and friends."

Making your point in an unnecessarily aggressive way is never cool or courageous, disagree?

Also the fact that he chose to tell this story to reinforce his own self image of honor and courage doesn't help. It's like hearing a drunk kid telling about "that one time I got so shitfaced I banged 10 chicks!! True Story!"

Now, to be honest, I don't want to have anything to do with this thread anymore. This thread got hijacked real bad and it was funny at first but now it's sort of drawn out and painful to watch. People need to get over themselves, but some just aren't able to do it. Let the two carry it out in private. Like one member already said, this has truly turned into a comparison of dicks.

Let it be man, this guy's not taking any advice. He believes he's a hero and everyone else who isn't ok with his heroic douchebaggery is status quo or something. :P

Of course he should have started being polite! Simon, he really let you down with that rather tedious story. Far from looking like the champion of decency, he comes off an aggressive and immature man with anger issues. His anecdote displayed just the 'qualities' we have complained of and you tried to defend. Maybe your spat with Unseen coloured your judgement? (no disrespect intended to you).

Well, that was a wonderful but pointless (as regards this discussion) display of heroism, but it really doesn't change the fact that you took offense at simply being disagreed with. I repeat my point which was that I bet you couldn't cite any instances where you had argued anyone from theism to  atheism, and apparently I was right, because your response was a smokescreen of imagined umbrage.

If you would actually read replies, Unseen, you wouldn't have missed the post that explained exactly how I deconverted a theist. It's in this discussion, on page 2. Hey, I've even provided a link for you to read it for yourself.

And quit projecting your motivations onto me. It was actually YOU who took offense at simply being disagreed with. Go to the top of the thread. I replied with something like "That's true in theory but in practice . . ." and in return, you implied that I was lying. You keep trying to make it about something it's not . . . and you talk about smokescreens? How pathetic.

I read that bit. I didn't see any insult in it. I implied you were wrong and not that you were lying. That is just hilariously ridiculous.

Being insulted like being jealous is one of those self-inflicted emotions, since so often the other party never intended anything. I can tell you no insult was intended and leave it at that. If you insist on remaining in a huff, that's all on you.


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