Not believing in God is like not shaving.

'Oh you're growing a beard' people say.

'No, I'm just not shaving.'

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What is not believing in god like? Its fucking fantastic for one. It frees my mind and allows me to view the universe in a way that seems to simply make more sense.

Sometimes I wonder just the opposite: What it is like to truly believe in a god? As far back as my memory takes me I never really believed. I tried really hard to but it just never worked out there was always some question and always some doubt I was never satisfied with religious answers. Discovering the word atheism was like a breath of fresh crisp clean mountain air... it's really nice to have a word for what I am.

Sleeping in on Sundays!!!

We will NOT be praying for you.  Or preying on you.

It's a sad shame that many of these "Christians', can't except people for who they are.

From Becca: "Sometimes I wonder just the opposite: What it is like to truly believe in a god?"

I think some people choose to work on building their faith.  Some don't really work on it and instead borrow from others - they step in and out of faith whenever it's convenient.  It always seemed fake to me, though I tried to "get it", a sense of reality was a stronger pull for me.  I needed the bigger picture, even if it had lots more blank spots.

I imagine that people who push past the doubt get to a place where faith is like an umbrella.  They work hard to fit their lives in to the space beneath the umbrella, to explain every experience with reference to the umbrella.  They see life only from under the umbrella, so the umbrella gives them context and meaning.  A suggestion that the umbrella is unnecessary is incongruous to the core of their existence.  Such a suggestion diminishes their every waking moment, so it's a very strong insult.  Some umbrella dwellers get angry at this and will want to prove they are right.  They will carry that umbrella and when it rains they will have proof it was the right thing.  If it's not raining, they are happy to have protection from the sun.  If bad things happen under the umbrella, it doesn't change the outcome, but the umbrella makes it better because they're dry or not sunburned.  Life under the umbrella is smaller, but everything that matters fits under it.  Umbrella dwellers can deal with the incomprehensible, infinite abyss beyond the umbrella by looking up to their own umbrella and asking that one day, couldn't the umbrella maker make umbrellas for everyone everywhere?  I just wonder if their hope is guided by wanting to help others find umbrella-comfort, or is it so they won't continue to be distracted by the infinite, unknowable blank spaces in the sky. 

Not believing in god is like that first time you jump off a swing.

wuhuuuuuuuuu - Well yeah I actually think you are spot on 

Virginia, I liked your reply better than the others here but I needed to add a bit of left-brain effort.

The moment I realized that I no longer had a god to believe in felt like a first jump off a moving swing.

I enjoyed the flight so much that I started the swing going and jumped off again, and again, ad infinitum.

I imagine that losing faith is a lot like giving up belief in Santa Claus, at first. As I grew older and more sure that at least 90% of religions in the world had to be wrong (because they each claim to be the only true religion), it felt like an obligation and responsibility to search for truth, independently.

Then when I saw the danger of fundamentalist faith (and Bush's knee-jerk-"christian"-righteous response to it), I felt obligated to push back on all holier-than-thou, black-and-white, zero tolerance, absolute with-us-or-against us belief systems.

So to me, not believing in God is believing in clear and independent thinking, with goodwill and compassion for others because we all know it's the right thing to do (if we're healthy and living in a healthy environment and NOT just fighting for survival). And the "cost of freedom" and free thinking is in being responsible for setting a good example, in spite of the quacks and whackos and fundies trying to take you down.

From what I've seen in your other responses, he's about 40 right?  How old are those grandkids?  Close to driving age?  Maybe you can get to see them without his knowledge.

I want to change my stament.

It is like having an unlimited supply of Bacon…

Just fucking awesome 

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