My story is not one of becoming an atheist or turning away from religion as a recent event. From a very early age I smelled a rat but was unsure of what exactly was going on. I was sure that my parents, and all the other adults, wouldn’t lie to me. That was nonsense; it had to be. Why would there be this huge conspiracy to confuse one little kid. So I worked arduously over the next several years attempting to convince myself that I had surely made a mistake and there was some reason I was simply not getting it. This is not uncommon; many people face this same quandary as they struggle not to feel different than their friends and family. So even though I became sure of incredulity of theistic claims, I continued to go along with the scheme. Worse than that, as I grew up I found that I had a particular skill for convincing people to see things the way I wanted them to.

This is where my story goes south.

I spent several years easing the doubts of people and bringing them back to the faith. Despite the fact that I felt strongly that it was all BS, I guess it somehow made me feel like less of an outcast. It’s despicable and not the proudest time in my life, but I was scared and confused so I clung to familiarity.

So now, here I sit, firm and open in my beliefs or lack of beliefs and I have the guilt that religious people typically harbor because they have angered their sky god. Where do I go from here?

Views: 3

Comment by Emmy Ellison on October 6, 2010 at 4:16pm
You should feel no guilt. The people who feel a certain race or sex is inferior feel no guilt. Killers rarely feel guilt. Thieves don't feel guilty for their dirty deeds. You simply feel within yourself that there is no god. This is not a criminal offense. You are not intentionally harming anyone by choosing to see that there isn't some sky daddy looking down on every move you make. (Which is a good thing because I don't want uninvited guests in the shower with me. LOL) If friends and/or family members are "hurt" by your belief/lack thereof, then that is on them. You should NEVER feel guilty for having a difference of opinion with someone.

To me, being Atheist means I have no one to answer to for my actions, other than myself, unless of course, I choose to break laws. I have no one to tell me what my morals are. I chose them. Granted, they are much like the morals of religious people, with a few exceptions. I love people regardless of race, sexual orientation, etc. I don't feel that I am better than, or less than anyone. I'll help someone in need because someday if I'm ever in need, I'd like to think someone would help me. We don't have some great plan that leads us through our lives like religious people think. Life is what we make it. The decisions we make are what take us where we're going to end up. There is no god testing me by making certain aspects of my life less fulfilling. There is obviously something I am doing wrong that I need to change. No amount of hoping to some intangible being is going to change my future. I and only I can make my future brighter than my present.

Why do I feel like I sound like an after school special? LOL I don't mean to if I do. I'm just telling you what I believe.

I hope that someday in the near future you can let go of that guilt you hold. I checked out your profile to gain a bit of prospective into your life... and I have one question. Your profile says you are a closet Atheist, and you are married. Does your wife know about your Atheism? Your children? Or is it a secret even from them? I ask because it was shortly before my 11th birthday when I decided I was Atheist (though I didn't have the word for it back then) so seeing as you have found yourself as an Atheist, I hope you'll be able to share that with your children at some point so if they have all those doubts you had, they'll know it is ok to talk about them and that they aren't bad people for having such thoughts. Hopefully things work out for you!
Comment by Kevin Marks on October 6, 2010 at 5:50pm
My profile does indeed indicate that I am married. When I say that I am a closet atheist, that most definitely does not include my wife. Also within that circle are a few of my more open minded friends. As far as my children, that is still an ongoing process as they are young.

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