Over the course of the last several months my views and knowledge and information has evolved and changed...I am now ready to be put under fire....again, lol...

I'm ready to be scrutinized, analyzed, degraded, taunted, laughed at, shamed, or whatever. I'm ready to be asked the hard questions and answer them against myself. I'm ready to find out that I'm wrong (again.) I'm ready to end up back where I started and realize that I was completely misguided. I'm ready for whatever happens as I put this out there. I'm ready for what I consider to be the ultimate test...

I am going to admit first and foremost that I may end up being wrong. I'm cool with that. But...I gotta test myself against myself and there is no better way for me to do that than to try it out here. This is after all a safe place for me...so...Here it goes...

I don't know if I am a "real" Atheist. I think that I DO believe in God. I say "I think" because I'm not entirely sure....but....

I have to say up front that I am not exactly excited about this. I don't really want to believe in God again. It shakes up everything I thought I knew. It challenges me to re-think everything AGAIN!!!

So this is a start. I didn't come to this conclusion easily.

So there you have it....

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I make my living wagering and it was more than evident to me this was coming.

If you are not entirely sure then you are an atheist.

Frist some questions.

Which God do you think you believe in?

Would you take “The Outsider Test” for Faith from a friendly atheist?

What “knowledge and information” have you obtained to come to this conclusion?

You will not be scrutinized or analysed by us. Your ideas and arguments will be. You know how it works here :-)

I should probably start with this: Defining what I mean by "God." I mean that there is some sort of energy that cannot be explained by science as we understand it.

There are many things that have caught my eye over the past several months, and this has been a process, so I suppose I will start by linking the Ted Talk that started it all for me:

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius?quote=428

I think that (for me) the first problem or shall I say roadblock is that the etymology of the word "god" itself traces back to a religious root. While I do think it is possible that the people who began to use this word to describe the same sort of energy or force may have experienced it and then twisted it into the "god of the gaps" sort of explanations DUE TO their lack of understanding of science, I think that whatever the energy is, I would call it (possibly) God simply because there is no other word I can think to assign to it.

Energy and force are predictable and measurable parameters. You don't really think god is mass times the speed of light squared? I feel a creator is the weakest theory amongst many on the origin, if there even needs to be an origin. However the real need for a god is the need to find a purpose, for eternal justice, and as something "to appeal to" that gives loft to our sentiments. Like when Obama says "god called his children home" when they got massacred. This idea of a "force or energy" is a woo-full substitute for creating your own motivations.

I don't feel like it is a "need for a god." It is like we always say...we follow the evidence and no single piece of information can ever paint the big picture for us. You know?

I should probably start with this: Defining what I mean by "God." I mean that there is some sort of energy that cannot be explained by science as we understand it.

Belle, Humankind is in its infancy. There is SO much that cannot be explained. I feel the same way about creativity. I feel the same way about music. I put creativity and music together and I get Mozart (maybe not your taste, pick you own creative artist) and I say "How the HELL can they DO that?". How can they make something that never existed before using nothing but brain power? It's easy to be bowled over by the "impossibility" of genius. It's easy to conclude that it MUST come from some place ELSE.

I, too, am astounded beyond words at some of what I perceive around me. But not quite astounded enough to allow myself to invent daemons. It's EASY to do. Being so overwhelmed is one of the foundations of religion - and MOST people are religious.

Please don't go back to thinking that, if science can't explain it - if it seems to be beyond science, it MUST be supernatural. That simply doesn't follow logically.

By all means look at Elizabeth Gilbert and be astounded by her creativity. But don't follow her into her world of make-believe.

The problem with defining “God” by not giving “Him “ a name like Allah or Yahweh or Thor is that you are stepping straight into the field of metaphysics where you “feel” that there is (or must be) some sort of “creator force” even if it is not a personal god. Often this “god” is called the “God of Spinoza” which is basically “the god of nature”.

If a person does not accept that Allah is God and that Mohammad is His prophet then he or she is not a Muslim. If a person does not accept that the Christian God sent Jesus to Earth to die and rise from the dead for “your” sins then they cannot claim to be Christian.

I think it is a universally held concept that there is “something bigger than ourselves out there”. We often want there to be. This does not make it so. When we start to use magical thinking to view the world we start to see a “Force” behind everything. However even if you think in terms of Spinoza’s God you are still an atheist. In fact I am sure you are. Just be careful of people who use too many “deepities” to explain things.

I really don't think I have been using "magical thinking"...and I don't think it is about me "wanting there to be a god.

Hi Belle,

Can you pinpoint anything that has happened recently that has led to you feeling this way or has it been a gradual shift?

Ask yourself if you are looking for the emotional comfort that belief in a God brings to a lot of people. If so, this would make sense to me because you have often stated that intellectually you do not think there is a God and your use of "I think" above seems to confirm this.

This emotional pull is very strong. It makes us FEEL like there is a God out there. There's nothing wrong with that. As long as you acknowledge it as a feeling instead of something that has been arrived at by an inspection of the available evidence.

Honestly for me it has been the opposite. I am content being an Atheist. I actually like my identity as an Atheist more than I liked my identity when I was a Christian. It "fits" me. It makes sense...

I did not set out looking for this to happen. It has been a gradual process over time...I hope that answers your question.

As far as "things happening"...yah. My life is like the soap opera that doesn't quit. Shit had BEEN happening to me and I keep getting knocked down and trying to pull myself back up. I keep wondering if I will ever know what it feels like to just "be" without so much stress. But...that is not what or why I have reached my thoughts about this subject. I have tried to be very careful not to operate from an emotive stand point.

"I have tried to be very careful not to operate from an emotive stand point."

I'm actually pleased about that (in terms of the discussion, please don't think I am making light of your difficulties), because that means we can have a conversation about it rather than someone just saying "it is because I feel it is".

Could I ask what argument or piece of evidence was most compelling in making you reach your conclusion? I'm sure there were many but what struck you as the one that gave you your "epiphany"?

It has actually been through asking a lot of hard questions. Looking at science and asking further questions...there is no "one thing that did it for me." That would mean I were operating from an emotional standpointbwouldn't it? Lol

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