"You HAVE TO believe in SOMETHING"

I can't understand why believers insist that you have to believe in something in order to have a good life.By something, of course, they mean a "higher power", something "higher than you". Smh. I just had a phone conversation with my aunt. I was speaking to her about an issue in my marriage that her and I had discussed earlier. She went on to advice that my husband and I believe in a higher power. I told her (again) that I don't believe in a deity or a higher power, nor do I subscribe to any of the religions. I told her my husband and I do have beliefs and morals, like the belief in the power of love, for instance. She went on to say, "but what is love, love is just an emotion, you need to believe in something more powerful, something outside of yourself in order for your marriage to work". I couldn't understand it. Why do we need to believe in a god in order to work through life's issues? I told her there are couples who believe in god or Jesus who don't have successful marriages. She agreed, and then said that you still have to believe in something.....smh!

She started to talk about faith, and the need to have faith in a common thing. I told her that we do have faith; we have faith in each other, we have faith in ourselves. I told her that faith in something you don't know exists doesn't make much sense to me anymore. She asked me who created the moon and the stars. I told her that no one has the answers to those questions. No one knows how it all got started or why we are here. I told her that scientists speak of the big bang, but still, they don't know how or why that begin. But, I said, the point is that NO ONE knows, and I'm pretty comfortable not knowing the answers to things that no one knows the answers to.

She took offense to that. She told me that religious beliefs are personal and that I shouldn't say no one knows, because she knows by faith and that she didn't just make this up, she got this from the bible...lol. I told her I don't believe in the bible any more than she believes in the Koran. There are things that you can get from both books that may be edifying, but I don't subscribe to any one book for all the answers to life or for a way to live my life. I told her that I understand her beliefs are personal and that my point was not to offend, I just wanted her to understand that I am not a believer and that it IS possible to live a moral life without belief in the supernatural. She changed the subject, but before we hung up, she spoke about how she woke up feeling good and said, "thank you Jesus, I know there is a higher being." I just laughed at her way of trying to reinsert her beliefs, and shook my head at her ignorance.

I've pretty much come to the conclusion, that believers are going to be offended just on the mere fact that you don't believe. Our lack of belief alone is an offense.

Views: 51

Comment by Shanika on April 15, 2010 at 6:20pm
Ahh...feels good to be in the company of like-minded people:-) I'm sure most of us have similar stories but as Leigh said, it feels good to just share and vent. Thanks for letting me do that:-) It really is true that believers have the privilege to question and feel that we're not supposed to or else they'll be "offended"...smh...And you're right Wendy, if it's so personal, why won't they keep it to themselves?
Comment by CJoe on April 15, 2010 at 7:21pm
Leigh, you make a great point. Getting offended that someone has an opinion about their "personal faith", which they vocalize 24/7, is like getting mad if someone replies to their Facebook status. It's only personal if you're not talking about it all the time in front of everyone!
Comment by Shanika on April 16, 2010 at 1:00pm
Right Zak. I was thinking about this last night. I said it's probably that they get shaken up by the fact that we don't believe because it threatens the core of their own belief. If you are told that without god, nothing is possible, that without god you can't be good or loving or have morals or a purpose for living, and then you meet someone who has purpose, is kind, loving, good, etc and doesn't find it necessary to believe in god in order to be, it can shake you at the core, because it proves you wrong!
Comment by CJoe on April 16, 2010 at 1:24pm
I had two interesting experiences/epiphanies during my "deconversion stage". During the first part, I was living with my cousin temporarily and she was really curious and interested to know what I was finding out. At the time, I was still unsure whether or not letting her in on everything would really be good or right. What if I was wrong and I led her astray? In that line of thinking, I was very careful about what I divulged to her. She had sort of idolized me up until that point (I had been a "very good Christian girl", the likes of which all Christian girls are supposed to be) and it seemed that I had a huge influence on the decisions she would make for herself.

She didn't have all the facts, but even that small amount of doubt caused her to start acting differently. She was 18, but still pretty innocent and didn't cuss, smoke or drink. Suddenly, when her foundational beliefs were questions, she started doing all of the above. Just like Shanika said, she had been told her whole life that you couldn't be good without God; if God were removed, of course you'd start misbehaving. I don't think cussing, smoking or drinking is wrong, but it was very out of character for her... it was like she was doing it only because she thought that was the inevitable next step to losing her faith. So, I told her to go back to church... which she was grateful for I think, because she was pretty confused and distressed. I don't think she goes now, but she still deals with a lot of religious pressure from her very legalistic father.

Another experience I had was with an (idiot) guy that I dated. He was of the school-of-thought that believed certain people were destined for Heaven, and others were destined for Hell. They were "chosen" and didn't have a say in their fate. This guy still believed all the religious crap but didn't believe he was "chosen". His attitude really seemed to scream, "F*ck it! Might as well live it up while I can since I'm not going to Heaven anyway!" He was a lying scum bag, but felt a lot of guilt. He wanted people to see him as a "nice guy" but he was not. But, what is the motivation to really be a nice guy if you're "damned if you do; damned if you don't". To me, it's very sad. Although Christians wouldn't claim him as their own, he's still shackled to their dogma.
Comment by Shanika on April 17, 2010 at 12:30am
Wow, that's interesting Cara. I definitely understand where you were coming from with the 18 year old. I felt the same way about sharing the info with some of my friends who also looked to me as a "role model" within Christianity. One of my really close friends couldn't handle the changes in my thinking. She said she was a "weak" Christian and she was depending on me to help her to become stronger in her faith. I used to prayer with her and encourage her to memorize bible verses, the whole nine (yeah I was kind of a fanatic..lol). When I started to question, it made her feel scared that if I could "stray", she might too. At first I was scared to share with her what I was learning because I wasn't sure she could handle it (not to insult her intellectually, but she was using religion as a crutch and I just thought the girl would come to pieces..lol). Later I decided to try to get her to at least start to ask some hard questions. She got a little upset about that and asked that I never discuss religion with her again because she didn't want to ruin our friendship.
Comment by CJoe on April 17, 2010 at 9:53am
Well congratulations on your deconversion, Shanika! I don't think it'll ever cease to amaze me when the fanatics, like you and I, cross over! I guess that gives me even more hope that even fundies can "see the light". It's really interesting to see people's different motivation for being religious though. What was yours? All I wanted was "the truth", and I vowed to let the facts to take me wherever they led. When I said that, I never imagined that I'd find there was no god. It all started with me wanting to get closer to God; I didn't want to depend on all the theologians to tell me about what they'd found out. If they could search and seek, why couldn't I?

It all reeeeally began to unravel when I found out about the Preterists. Ever heard of them? I think it's hilarious that it was this stuff that knocked me off the path! lol
Comment by Shanika on April 17, 2010 at 7:42pm
Wow! That was my same experience. I had a friend who was asking me some really hard questions. I decided to look into trying to answering them for him but I was having a tough time doing so. I thought it was God's way of getting me closer to Him, of making me seek Him more. So, I set out to find the truth, to answer my new friend who God had brought in my life to strengthen my faith. But oopsy...that didn't work out. lol...

My friend challenged me to read books that were not biased to the Christian faith, to see what others had to say on the matter. I was scared to do so at first but then I said to myself that if the "word of God" is true, it will prove itself to be true so there was nothing to fear. Well, turns out that it's pure BS. It was a very painful experience. I felt my whole world crashing down on me but I managed to push past the mental discomfort it brought me and that increased my hunger to learn more and more until I had no choice but to admit to myself that it was all made up stuff.
Comment by Shanika on April 17, 2010 at 7:46pm
I never heard of the Preterists. Thanks for sharing. But yeah, after seeing that everyone has their own little interpretations and views on what the bible has to say, you start to question how badly "God" wanted his message to be heard when his own followers can't get the message right. They're all "confoosed"


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