So we all know people use religion as a crutch, everyone needs something to help keep them upright in life at some point or another..... But when things are really bad for you - say the person you love is dying.... Would you ever find yourself, an atheist, down on your knees praying for them to get better?

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Sure.. I've called on every thing that might help.    It is something to do when you've done everything else and still feel helpless.   I think positive thinking is more helpful than negative thinking..and if there's even a micron's chance of positive thoughts affecting the world then I'm certainly going to project those thoughts like a beacon from my brain.

I certainly enter pleas into the air for friends and loved ones who I can't help in any other way.  Its a way of showing my support and love for them to 'wish them to get better'.. to 'send positive energy their way'.. even 'prayers for their recovery'..even though my prayers aren't directed towards any god.

 

I have lost someone I love and no, I never prayed.  Part of it was that I knew he was going to die no matter what anybody did.  I did try to direct my thoughts and actions in a way that would be comforting to me.  I thought of him and his atheism and how he would not be suffering any more when he died.  

I have also the experience of seeing my child on a ventilator in the ICU.  I did not know what was going to happen.  Still I did not seek God.  I just simply don't believe there is one.  I tried to have the presence of mind to be able to let go of her if that's what happened.  It didn't, but I don't think my actions had anything to do with it.    

I have attempted over the years, to center myself,  'while in the storm'. But this has nothing to do with 'god'. I am only trying to find that next moment of strenght to continue, and keep my head linked to compassion and hope. Most bad experiences do not last, from my memory. Some things one must past through, power over the situation seems rather limited... 

No

Then too, there's always Chester --

I'm honestly sorry, Blaine, but at the same time, you know that if there's a joke in there, I gotta go for it --

Maybe you should have prayed to him, for him.

I hope she isn't expected to sit on the floor and beg for table scraps!

That CAN'T be an improvement!

I'LL be the judge of that! Mail me some --

Brad Pitt?

Shortly after I gave up my theistic beliefs I was in a small aircraft that was flying through a bad storm.  After a loud crack of thunder and a streak of lightning that popped right outside of my window, the airplane felt like it lost air and dropped a number of feet before stabilizing.  It freaked me out and everyone on board was praying.  Everyone except me that is.  Once I gave up superstitious thinking it was like a valve turned to reality and I never needed the crutch again.

I love this story because it is so similar to mine. Sorry if I have told it here before. I wallowed in the gray area of non-belief without really using the words 'atheist' or saying 'I don't believe in god' to myself, even though I was a defacto non-believer and had been one for a while.

Anyway one day I said it, admitting it to myself and realizing that I did not believe and could never really be convinced to believe without a personal visit from Jesus, that other people could see, to prove it wasn't a mental delusion. It was a Wednesday.

On the next day Thursday, I was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at work and the EMT both at work and on the ambulance had a very difficult time finding my pulse. I was admitted with blood pressure of 210/160. In the end I was ok, released after a day of observation and treatment and I went home. I am a soccer fan and against my better judgement I insisted on going to the game that night. Leaving my house, I was fiddling with the radio and swerved into oncoming traffic and got into a low speed head on collision. Wrecked the car (my baby an MG Convertible), but was essentially fine.

So it might be obvious to a believer that this was of course god punishing for my declaration a few days earlier. I took it as no such thing. Instead I considered it to be a test of my non-belief. A test that I passed. Instead of crawling back, I looked over the wreckage and looked up and said 'f**k you, god'. The cop standing next to me thought I said 'f**k you, cop', and said he was going to breathalyze me but never did.
That was the last time I ever spoke directly to god, I was free!

Forgive me for the drama. I like to tell a story, but that is pretty much how it happened.

Marc

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