You know, sometimes I feel like I am pretty vain in my blog posts here. Other authors on thinkatheist post such awesome studies they've come across, or causes they support. Me? I talk about the stuff in my life. I justify it by telling myself that maybe it will help someone out there like me realize they aren't alone.

I just finished spending three weeks with my parents. I attended mass, I had passionate discussions about the nature of god with my mother, I helped her with her rosary on the long drive back to my home. My poor mother seems to think this is a sign of me coming back to the faith.

I get very frustrated with my parents, and honestly there are times where I wish I could go back to feeling like there is a god. I wish I could go to a church and feel like I was doing good for humanity by sitting on a wooden bench and singing hymns. Truth be told it would make my life so much easier.

Of course there is no going back for me. Even if I could somehow believe in a creator I certainly can't accept any of the religions in the world. The bigotry, the shame, the misogyny and class-ism that permeates the religions of the world will be a perpetual lock on that door for me. 

This kind of talk leads people to the assumption that I have given up on spiritual searching. You all know the tired accusations of us thinking we "know everything."

This accusation couldn't be more wrong for most atheists I know. First off, the words "we don't know," comes with so many scientific studies that it should be on a bumper sticker. We don't know, but damn if we aren't trying to figure it out.

Secondly, my "spirituality," remains fairly intact, in spite of my disbelief.

Okay, "spirituality" is probably a misnomer. My mercy, love, compassion, patience, sympathy and caring are all in tact. In some cases they are heightened. We have one shot at life and we are surrounded by so much pain, uncertainty, fear, sadness, and loss. It breaks my heart when the cries of my fellow man fall on deaf ears, or worse, ears that hear and offer nothing but the promise of prayer.

During my time with my mother I searched myself to see if my faith had returned. I have always tried to keep tabs on myself and regularly assess myself to see why I believe what I believe.

It has not. There is still silence in the skies and crying in the streets, so I turn to hear and move to help. It is all I can do. God does nothing, and has left the heavy lifting to us.

It is almost Lovecraftian... instead of monsters though, there are other horrors that prove that gods have never loved us. So what else can we do but love each other in the void of silence?

-C 

ADDENDUM: Because I feel it needs to be said before people get the wrong idea. I did those churchy things as an effort to avoid arguments. It's much easier to play nice for a few weeks than spend that time arguing with my folks like cats in a sack. Over-all the trip wasn't one large attempt at saving my soul, but that was the part I felt like writing about. There were also delicious frozen beverages on the beach and a trip to a dinosaur park. Much fun was had. Still a non-believer.

Views: 149

Comment by Strega on August 1, 2014 at 8:56am
Good point Scott. There's a new film out called "Noah" with Russell Crow in the title role, and my wife expressed a wish to see it. My first instinct was to refuse, inasmuch as I don't like to support the religious theme, but then I realized she was looking at the trailers for it, in the same way as she looks at the trailers for Thor. Lots of imaginary heroes, and a bunch of great special effects. How liberating!
Comment by bongani muthwa on August 1, 2014 at 9:13am

I hear you Carol and am thinking Scott's way of putting might assist you if you really want to shrug off the god myth, I think I would want to say I understand your labelling of our emotional atachements to pains and suffering of other humans as being spiritual, I want to think it is just we understand that there must be a level of equality in terms of aquiring the basic human needs. I am no spiritual. Maybe Scott you misinterpreted her mentioning of spirituality as an embrace to the life after death, I did not understand her like that, I understood her as labelling human feelings of love, compassion etc as being spiritual.

Comment by Strega on August 1, 2014 at 10:56am
@Scott Kaelen; exactly what my wife said, she also wasn't interested in the Passion of Christ. Once we have attempted Noah, I will try to remember to let you know whether it was a good movie or a sneaky effort to proselytize.
Comment by Carol Foley on August 1, 2014 at 11:21am

@Scott My spirituality is more along the lines of "the human spirit" or "that kid has spirit," as in life. I try to embrace my life, it is the only one I have afterall.

Also the "God does nothing," statement. You know the joke about how atheists hate when "god" is at the beginning of a sentence because we have to capitalize it?  If I wanted to be Judeo-Christian specific I would have said YHWH, or Jesus. When I say "god" it is a blanket statement covering all of them.

Comment by Belle Rose on August 1, 2014 at 1:20pm

@Carol

You know, sometimes I feel like I am pretty vain in my blog posts here. Other authors on thinkatheist post such awesome studies they've come across, or causes they support. Me? I talk about the stuff in my life. I justify it by telling myself that maybe it will help someone out there like me realize they aren't alone.

Would it help to say I feel the same way and you're not alone? lol....

I always love your posts Carol. Good to see you back on TA.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on August 1, 2014 at 5:26pm

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on August 1, 2014 at 9:35pm

Carol, about being spiritual:

A woman I met, when we got past the small talk, made it as clear as anyone can when she told me "I'm a materialist!!!"

The three exclamation marks above do not exaggerate.

More recently, a man I know who is unable to leave the Catholic plantation asked me if I believe anything spiritual exists. I replied "No" and saw a surprised look on his face.

About avoiding the upper case g:

I write "the xian god...." or, when starting a sentence "The xian god.

I avoid the capital g, and also avoid ambiguity as to whose deity.

I borrowed the x from xmas.

Comment by Ed on August 1, 2014 at 11:31pm

"I had passionate discussions about the nature of god with my mother."

Carol,

Do you feel your mom has a better understanding of your position as an atheist? Did she acknowledge any points you may have made? How has your lack of religious belief changed your relationship with her?

Comment by Belle Rose on August 2, 2014 at 12:25am

.....Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am a painful truth.....

So so so so true...

Comment by NatureBoy on August 2, 2014 at 12:47am

People have many different reasons as to why their views have changed.  As for me, I knew a long, long time ago that religion was not for me.  Basically, I learned it through science... ha!  Honestly, even to this day, when I am around with religious folks, I don't come out saying that "I'm atheist, but rather, "I'm agnostic".  This way I don't get ostracized within their circle....

Hmm... one of the reasons "they" offer is that "God works in mysterious ways."  Well,... certainly, a devotee will believe that beyond a shadow of doubt, and, soon or later, one's prayer will be answered.  Just pray hard, and be patient.  Yeah... let'd do that.....

So, in the void of silence?  I just carry on my daily chores/activities as usual....been doing that for years now.  Instead of religion, I try to be more caring, understanding, forgiving, and, as you have stated "loving" person.  I look within myself to improve myself within reaches of human intimacies and relations.  Religion is not essential part of my life.  Morality, kindness, sharing, and......loving NATURE are my mortal traits!  =^.^=

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