I know this is a journey, and what I am asking is, where are you on your own personal atheistic stance? Would you considered yourself confirmed, convinced, still doubting, adamant, or still looking over your shoulder at your religious training/indoctrination? Please provide your own favorite adjectives.
I consider myself convinced and adamant about atheism. I feel very strongly about my nonbelief. Too strongly some times.
Where stands you?
I consider myself convinced and, yes, adamant. Sometimes I look over my should, but it's not because I think there's something to look at. There are aspects of religion/believing that I miss, but that sentimental feeling doesn't sway my conviction that there is nothing supernatural out there, or that there is no afterlife. I just sigh, knowing Heaven or reincarnation is just a fantasy to quell my dread of oblivion. Sure, I won't know when I'm gone, but I'm one of those that wouldn't mind continuing into eternity. I'm too curious about what comes next to despair and wish my life was over. But I can tell the difference between wishful thinking and stark reality. It's just like the old saying goes: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I cannot think of anything that would even remotely cause me to entertain the idea that there was a creator. Besides, there's no reason to believe that a creator would be benevolent. Why would a supernatural deity necessarily be "good"? Why would my well being be the goal of the universe? I've had too many negative experiences as a Christian... too many disappointments... too many contradictions. I felt like the butt of a joke a lot of the time. I'm now comforted by the fact that there was no reason certain things happened to me; there was no encrypted message to decode, nor any test to pass. I was not being ignored or laughed at. I'm just an organism experiencing life like any other organism. The universe is indifferent at best.
I just have to smile and nod at people when they try to convert me; it's like trying to explain chemistry to a three year old. They don't get that I don't believe. I hate they think it's a choice. I hate that they think some warm, fuzzy experience will win me over. I hate they think I'm going through a phase. Honestly, I hate how stupid they can be sometimes. I don't believe they are stupid, but their thought-processes can be so... infantile.
My grandmother sent me a birthday card with a nice letter, but she included a small paragraph about hoping I'd come back to my "first love" (Jesus), and quoted the verse that says (1 Corinthians 13:11) "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." I just wanted to scream EXACTLY!!! Believing in Santa or Jesus is something a child does... and I have put the ways of childhood behind me.
At this point in my life (mid-fifties) I am completely grounded in my understanding of the origins of matter, man, and the romance of religion. If people need a crutch to deal with reality I cannot fault them for that. Acceptance of our finite existence is not easy for some.
I'm just glad I wasn't a May fly..... :^ )
Hang in there. I was raised Christian but I kept laughing thinking they were referring to some sort of 'inside joke' . Loved the family and friends but I apparently was born without the 'faith' gene. Lynchburg, VA can decide to picket your home should you reveal yourself. I live in San Francisco where all I know are nonbelievers of many stripes. In fact, I rarely come across a christian throughout the day, now that I think about it.
As a young boy, around 7 or 8, I remember the neighbor girl coming over and showing me her new church dress, she asked me if I was going to go to church, I asked "Why would I go there?" she said "To pray to god", I said that I don't believe in that stuff cause there's no such thing, she asked "where do you think you came from?" and I said "I came from my Momma", exasperated she asked "where do you think your momma came from?" and to me it was obvious, I came from my mom, she came from her mom, and on and on down the line, she got angry, and said "you just don't understand" and turned and walked away, and I remember thinking that she was the one that didn't understand, how can you believe in something that isn't real, you can't see it, you can't touch it, and I wasn't going to believe in fairy tales no matter how many people told me they were true, and that has set the tone for the rest of my life, as I grew older I called myself an agnostic for awhile so as to fit in with my "confused" friends who individually would admit their nonbelief but in a group they always professed in their belief, because if you didn't you were ostracized, I couldn't wrap my mind around why this happened but went along with it up through my early teens, it was then that I realized why my friends were so contradictory, GIRLS, girls believe because they were taught to believe, boys want girls, but girls don't want boys who don't believe, so boys "believe" to get, and keep, girls. Here in my 55th year of life, I see how that same conclusion fits in with today's young men, even now the friends of my youth are still the same, man to man they profess that they don't believe, but in front of their wives and children they won't admit it, and will get angry if I try to push the point, so I've come to the realization that that's why I get such angry and disgusted looks from women when I wear my "Out of the closet Atheist" hat, and men ignore it. A year ago I visited a friend that I had been out of touch with for several years, I wore my (Atheist) hat (it's my favorite) and once inside I noticed a Jesus picture hanging on the wall and I asked him why he decided to "believe" when as kids he didn't, before he could open his mouth his wife chimed in that it was her fault, that she came from a catholic family and that they wouldn't be together if he didn't "believe", after a short visit I left, my friend told me he would be in touch but I haven't seen nor heard from him since, I've called and sent cards but get no reply, to me it's obvious that his wife has forbidden him from associating with the evil atheist, and since then it's dawned on me why I've lost touch with almost all of my married friends but get along fine with my single friends, so, to me it seems that women (and effeminate men) are those responsible for this overbearing belief in some almighty being, and that you either play the game, or you don't get to play at all, and I guess I've just been too old (mature) to play their ridiculous games (so it seems.)
Here's where I come from: My sister is a practicing Catholic for these following reason, professed from her own mouth:
"I like the idea that there's a Pope who has a direct link to God, so as long as I do what he tell me, then I can only go to heaven."
When I responded that this sounded like a perfectly good way to waste one's entire life by never trying anything new, she disowned me. I much prefer NOT having or knowing people like that in my life, so I have happily gone along with her banishment of me from the family.
Move to ANY big city and you will find more atheists, Laura Ann.
They would never let me play their reindeer games either.
It seems I was only interested in killing their sacred reindeer.
I am angry at the predominance xtianity has had over my own life; I despise the simple jesus stories that none of his fans seems able to follow; stuff like "Love one another". Jesus is just an excuse these people utilize. I hate the lip service people pay to these myths then turn around and act vile to one another.
I hate how cynically the church will equally pick the pockets of the stupid as well as the faithful.
I contend it has all been one big lie that got out of hand. There may have been a historical jesus; I don't care if there was. The myth spun out of control, and culturally, humanity, in the past 1,978 years has made the jesus myth what it needs it to be. Over the centuries they wrote a book to support their plot.
Be good, period. Be bad, accept the consequences. What's tougher than that?