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?

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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.

Oh, no doubts here! I tried for years to force myself to be religious, but it just never happened. I finally stopped trying and I have no desire to go back. Reality makes more sense to me, and if there's one thing I despise, it's people who lack common sense.

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.....   :^ )

 

Ed 

I was raised Jewish and never got it. I still love the people at the temple that I grew up in because I have known them all my life and they took care of me when I was young, HOWEVER, they do not know that I am an atheist, and have been for a long time. My husband, a Baptist, I do not think knows either, although at lunch today, in one of our many discussions about religion, I asked, "Why didn't god stop the Holocaust if he is so powerful?" He said, "When you (me) die and stand in front of god, you will be asking him all these questions!" as I continually do about why people follow religion, and my response was, "What if I do not believe in god?" He said that "Maybe we are all wrong, but we will probably find out some day when we die" (not sure how I feel about this). I am convinced but still in the closet. I am slowly testing the waters a little in our small city, but I live in the town of Jerry Falwell (Google him if you do not know about this person). I feel like I am swimming (hard) upstream sometimes just to stay sane.

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.

Hmmm...I wonder what it would be like for this southerner to live in such a great city? Lucky, lucky you. A city where Christians are rarely heard from. I could not imagine how freeing that would be.

  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.)

As a 49 year old woman, I believe that men do follow the lead of their wives beliefs. I am in the opposite way, sort of. My husband is an active church going Baptist who, I am sure, gets tired of all my questions about the belief of god and religion. I detest when women say, when something bad happens, that they will pray for them and have all these prayer circles and stuff like that. Jeez, enough already! Since becoming atheist, I have left behind my feelings of guilt over everything and the feeling that something is always ready to judge me. I look at people differently too, wondering why they will believe anything concerning a supposed higher power. I go by tons of churches daily (I am in the bible belt) and am sick at the realization how much religion has hurt our society, allowing very bad things to happen in the name of this god. Excuses to make it all o.k. I think of other countries and how they have wars in the name of their faith. I don't get the religion thing, I really don't, no matter how many people try to explain it. I work with mostly women as a teacher, so I am in the closet atheist because I just don't want to hear it, just like the men mentioned in the post about men following their wives.

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?

As I have said. I am a confirmed American atheist, have been since a boy, but I have a half brother who became a Methodist minister thirty years or so ago after seven years in the US Army, he said he became a minister after seeing firsthand the devastation and the degrading lives people were living where he was stationed, we talk often on our differing opinions on religion and my lack thereof, and he points out how in their situation life is so miserable that they need religion to make it bearable, and on that point I can understand it's benefits, and we both agree that it's the extremists that take the worst of religion and use that as a tool of aggression, and from what I've read that aggression is mostly towards the Christians (mostly American) who are pushing Christianity into a culture where it's not wanted, but here in the US it's a different story altogether, here religion is a status symbol, it's a "we are better than you because we are holier that you and you must revere our god or be forsaken" and we both agree that it's the extremists, the loudest, the most obnoxious, that are giving religion a bad name, especially those who are infiltrating our government in attempts to turn it into a Theocracy such as is U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes who wants to put religion in all of our government buildings including our schools and our libraries, as a minister my brother doesn't necessarily share their belief in a logical, relatable supreme being, but bases' his ministry on the life and love and the good teachings that came from the experiences of Jesus, he says he lives a Jesus' life, and in part I commend him for that, teaching love and caring towards your fellow man is a good thing, my only argument is that there's no need to credit someone who may or may not have ever existed, but to own up to the fact that it is who HE is (my brother), he can aspire to represent the good in mankind without giving credit to someone else, because as atheists that is what we aspire to do, not because you'll go to hell if you don't, but because it's good for mankind, instead of saying go ahead and sin because Jesus has already forgiven you, we say be good or suffer the consequences of the law, not because of eternal damnation but because we'll lock your ass up, the bible was a good thing back in caveman days, mankind was undomesticated and uncontrollable, and an all knowing chief of police with unstoppable power was necessary, but today we know how to act right and the consequences if we don't, the power of an all knowing god has become obsolete except for those out to cause trouble because they have so many misguided followers to back them up, if we support the Constitution and it's present amendments, support our local police, and condemn those politicians infiltrating our government with antiquated theocratic laws of "Belief" we may somehow survive this out of control world we live in, because if we let them win, the self fulfilling prophecy that IS the Bible, will destroy us all.

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