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Comment by MikeLong on December 7, 2013 at 3:49pm

"Painful Truth"  -  I don't get it.

Well, sure, nobody wants to die; but big deal. Put it off as long as practical, but don't spend your life in "pain" because of it.

This seems surprisingly prevalent. Do most atheists spend their lives lamenting the fact that they're not immortal? I sure as hell don't, but maybe that's because I'm almost 70. As old age catches up to me, I can foresee a time when I might be fully resigned (or more) to death.

I genuinely feel that I am much happier BECAUSE I'm an atheist. The idea of spending eternity "at the right hand of God" could hardly be a more depressing thought. The idea of spending my life in the cause of silliness is far worse than the acceptance of my mortality.

I (my existence) am/is simply not sufficiently important in the big picture for me to spend any of this precious time wishing things were different.

Further I disagree with the posted image. People don't hate atheists because we represent truth, they hate us because our very existence is an insult to their beloved purpose in life.

If life is painful, it's easy enough to end it; but, instead, we should make the most of what little time we have and love the universe and each other.

Comment by James Cox on December 7, 2013 at 5:29pm

It just does not seem that painful, more like a tiny disapointment, equal to not getting a pony.

The ideology seems to place a rather unnecesssary burden/focus on death, and too little hold on life. We should be working together to build a wonderful life together as a species, not find so many petty ways to divide us. We have wasted so many lives repenting for our imperfections, and little to overcome them as a personal/cultural quest. Ideology gives us so many ways to rationalize our pettyness and bigotries, but few ways to excape them. There seems to be a 'call' to grow or recognize our 'great souls', but again few tools to build them.

I would hope that 'atheists' might, in time, offer 'something more', but many of us spend time counting our improvements in debate skills. 

Comment by Kairan Nierde on December 7, 2013 at 11:25pm

Beause you are an action-packed fantasy and I am a documentary.

Comment by CJoe on December 8, 2013 at 11:07am

As a formerly religious person, this did resonate with me... even if I have moved on.

Here's what was beautiful about religion in my life: community, support, cosmic justice, a destiny, a safety net, an ever-listening "friend", immortality (yes, even that), spiritual experiences, revelations, etc. Sure, a lot of it was a bit convenient: religion appeals to our greatest desires... and savior from our greatest fears.

Here's why the truth was painful: my relationship with my mother has really suffered, yeah... I'm not going to live forever and I only found that out at 25 (wish I hadn't wasted all that time), I've lost friends and a support network, I don't have a destiny, no one is watching out for me, there is no cosmic justice, etc. I did have a great sense of loss once I stopped believing in fairy tales.

Yes, I do feel more liberated and empowered now. I learned quickly that now I get to choose the path my life will take; I get to create my "destiny". No questions or thoughts are forbidden to me. I am not inherently evil. I don't have to "struggle with doubt" anymore since I don't have to work at convincing myself anything I believe now is true. I believe things are true when they obviously are true. I can decide what I think is moral and immoral based on how things affect other people, not on whether I'm being obedient. I've learned so many beautiful things about science that I would never have known. The world and the universe are vast and breath-takingly wonderful, and I'm lucky to exist at all. Instead of greedily demanding immortality, I have to appreciate that I got to witness all of this like billions of others did not.

So, yes... there was a time when I believed religion was a beautiful lie and atheism is a painful truth. Sometimes, I still grieve the things lost, but... I'd never go back.

Comment by _Robert_ on December 8, 2013 at 11:41am

@Cara, thanks for that succinct post. Sometimes I need a little inspiration. ;)


Comment by MikeLong on December 8, 2013 at 5:36pm

@Cara - Nice post. I "hate" that you can enumerate all the emotions I feel but that I don't often take stock of.

It really sucks that you've lost family, friends, and support networks. I know for certain that my life would not be so happy without them. I'm from a large (Irish-Catholic) family - ALL religious (and, BTW, good) people. I guess I feel like a cousin with Downs Syndrome - continuously happy, unconditionally loved despite my affliction (atheism, not Downs).

Comment by CJoe on December 8, 2013 at 7:51pm

HA! Interesting way to put it.

Yeah, my mom and family still love me... but, you know, they believe I'm going to Hell and it makes them sad and frustrated. My mom has said she can't just "accept it" because that means giving up on me. Ugh. Lol. I get where she's coming from. I wish I could put her mind at ease.

Comment by Michael on December 8, 2013 at 11:44pm
@Coleen, I would expect true Christians to love you even more. to disfranchise you is real hypocritical. I had the reverse path, of being an Atheist until I was 18.
Comment by Emperor Milos on December 9, 2013 at 3:51pm

I would expect true Christians to love you even more.

And I would expect true Scotsmen to freeball it when wearing a kilt.

Comment by CJoe on December 10, 2013 at 1:31pm

I don't believe in "true Christians" the way you do. If someone says they believe Jesus in the Son of God, they're a Christian. Some people are jerks no matter what they believe, atheists included.


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