A confused Atheist..
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14-08-2011, 12:56 PM (This post was last modified: 15-08-2011 08:11 AM by theophilus.)
RE: A confused Atheist..
(13-08-2011 12:43 PM)Zach Wrote:  You also seem incapable of understanding that I have read much of the Bible, and that I know perfectly well that the only response I would get from you or any Christian is that I need to read more of it.
Perhaps your problem is that you are reading the Bible for the wrong purpose. You seem to have read it to find out things that you want to know. But God gave the Bible to show us the things he wants us to know and these aren't necessarily the same. All of us have questions that we want answers to but there is no way we can find those answers unless God chooses to reveal them. The purpose of the Bible isn't to satisfy our curiosity but to tell us what we need to know about God in order to obey him. It contains all the information we need but not all that we want.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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24-08-2011, 05:48 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(09-08-2011 04:40 PM)Zach Wrote:  I've been an atheist for less than a year; before deconverting I was a Christian. I sought him, and during the period of uncertainty before I deconverted I was desperate for some reassurance that he existed. God did not seem interested in revealing himself to me. You can be sure that I have sought him sincerely, and it didn't work.

With my current perspective, I would probably not be willing to do God's will if I discovered that he exists. I can't think of any plausible reason for him wanting or needing me to(or me needing to), although if he provided one that would be a different matter. I can't really say how I'd react if he presented me with information that I hadn't considered before, since that's entirely dependent on the information he reveals.

The way I see it, if he wants something done he has the power to do it. There is no need for him to order one of his finite creations to do it for him. The only reasons he might have for ordering his creations are:

1. For their own benefit. He cares about them.
2. Because it amuses him, or he just feels like fucking with us.
3. To harm them or cause them distress. He has some sort of dislike or hatred towards them.

If a being that powerful and intelligent was worried about whether or not I worshiped him, cared about consenting adults having sex, or was willing to punish people for not believing in him when he can simply impart knowledge of his existence to every being on the planet, I would tell him to go fuck himself and carry on with my life.

As far as personal revelation being a way to know God exists, that isn't reliable. Personal experiences with the supernatural are more likely hallucinations, delusions, or other breaks from reality.

I don't have anything useful to add except, thank you Zach for saying what I was thinking while reading this thread. Smile The idea that a God uses personal revelations as a way to prove existence, when we know for a fact how unreliable our brains can be at times, pretty much has sealed the deal for me. The idea that a God could be so duplicitious in his love/hate for us sends chills down my spine. Chills because it's his followers who carry out judgement here on Earth...and that is a very real judgement. Anyway...

@theophillius - I apologize in advance for the length of my little rant...and I hesitate saying anything at all...but, here goes.

I spent my entire life...since toddlerhood (no really...I accepted Jesus into my heart at age three), earnestly seeking God and trying to find out exactly what he wanted me to do for him with my life. I prayed, I fell to my knees in supplication, I worshiped, I read the Bible seeking God's wisdom, I fasted, I avoided people who would be bad influences, I went to church several days a week, I thanked Jesus for all the good and the bad that happened in my life because I knew it was all for a greater purpose, I did *everything* expecting God to eventually at least meet me halfway. I waited on him for YEARS. When my fellow Christians "heard" God's voice, or got the feeling that God wanted them to do this or that...I wondered...why hasn't he told me anything? I knew some of the sinful stuff these other Christians were doing, that I never did, and yet...God spoke to them? What is my purpose? I did everything from seeking it out, to just chilling and letting God show me. I *loved* God, I *loved* Jesus, I lived my life by the Word...but I got *nothing* in return. Oh...wait...I did. I lost my mom to cancer, was ignored by our church afterwards when I needed them the most, my stepdad basically gave up his interest in being a parent, and I suffered debilitating depression for over a decade. Yay. Thank you baby Jesus.

Okay, so something good did come out of the suffering. My eyes were (slowly) opened to The Truth. The Truth is that life is life. There is no greater meaning to life than what WE give to it, not what a book or an institution tells us the meaning is. The Bible teaches people what we already know as human beings. I'll tell you what, though, I find more awe and do more God-fearing trembling at the vastness of the Universe and the frantic division of cells and the beautiful chaos that has created our Earth than I ever did reading the Bible or desperately trying to commune with God at church. I can't tell you what kind of joy I get out of this knowledge.

I say all this with a broken heart, too. My mom's greatest wish was for me to be a woman of God, and Lord knows, I tried. The fact that she is dead and that I can't talk to and argue with her about all this is excruciatingly painful. I hope this demonstrates the magnitude of my conclusions (and I know many others have had the same experiences). God is in our head, made up during a time in our history when we had little to no understanding of how our universe works. Religion has become a shameful social parasite and is a sham. We have all the answers we need without a deity to point them out to us. We will not decend into a murderous, animalistic mob without God. Books contain a lot of great stuff, but none are divinely inspired. That is The Truth and it holds up to scrutiny. The end.

I know that my rant isn't very smart and it is very personal, but I had to poke my head in and raise my hand as yet another lifelong Christian who has deconverted...and why. I will retreat to my lurking corner now. Smile

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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24-08-2011, 06:03 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
Zaika, please stop lurking and rant more often. You told your story beautifully.

Aatheist, if you're still there, that should un-confuse you, way better than all the back-and-forth about God's 'superior' morality.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-08-2011, 07:37 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(24-08-2011 06:03 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Zaika, please stop lurking and rant more often. You told your story beautifully.

Aatheist, if you're still there, that should un-confuse you, way better than all the back-and-forth about God's 'superior' morality.

Thank you, Peterkin. Blush

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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24-08-2011, 10:22 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(24-08-2011 05:48 PM)zaika Wrote:  I know that my rant isn't very smart . . .

That's the only place I disagree with you. Your "rant" was one of the smartest and most eloquent things I've read on the Forum.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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25-08-2011, 09:14 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(24-08-2011 05:48 PM)zaika Wrote:  Okay, so something good did come out of the suffering. My eyes were (slowly) opened to The Truth. The Truth is that life is life. There is no greater meaning to life than what WE give to it, not what a book or an institution tells us the meaning is. The Bible teaches people what we already know as human beings. I'll tell you what, though, I find more awe and do more God-fearing trembling at the vastness of the Universe and the frantic division of cells and the beautiful chaos that has created our Earth than I ever did reading the Bible or desperately trying to commune with God at church. I can't tell you what kind of joy I get out of this knowledge.

So well said!!
I think so many of us have had this moment. A moment when we sit down and put aside the ancient simplistic superstitions and stand at the edge of the abyss of our understanding. The simple idea that each element in our body was manufactured in the cores of super massive stars that were created from a gas that itself was created at the beginning of time. That each of us is made up of constituents that are billions of years old and will exist in other configurations far beyond what the mind can imagine. It takes my breath away in a way that no human "idea" ever could. We were there at the beginning, when t=0... and we will be there when the last red dwarf blinks out.

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
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25-08-2011, 10:02 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
Oh wow...Thank you cufflink. Blush

(25-08-2011 09:14 AM)myst32 Wrote:  So well said!!
I think so many of us have had this moment. A moment when we sit down and put aside the ancient simplistic superstitions and stand at the edge of the abyss of our understanding. The simple idea that each element in our body was manufactured in the cores of super massive stars that were created from a gas that itself was created at the beginning of time. That each of us is made up of constituents that are billions of years old and will exist in other configurations far beyond what the mind can imagine. It takes my breath away in a way that no human "idea" ever could. We were there at the beginning, when t=0... and we will be there when the last red dwarf blinks out.

Absolutely!! When I first heard Carl Sagan talking about how we are made of the stuff of the stars...I got chills. This is how we are united with the universe. How is this not amazing to EVERYONE?? Throwing a god in there as the catalyst for our existence and using it as an excuse to claim power over others just demeans the magnitude of our existence.

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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25-08-2011, 11:44 AM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2011 12:11 PM by myst32.)
RE: A confused Atheist..
(25-08-2011 10:02 AM)zaika Wrote:  Absolutely!! When I first heard Carl Sagan talking about how we are made of the stuff of the stars...I got chills. This is how we are united with the universe. How is this not amazing to EVERYONE?? Throwing a god in there as the catalyst for our existence and using it as an excuse to claim power over others just demeans the magnitude of our existence.

I miss Carl. Luckily, we have Neil to pick up were he left off....





And if you like cheesy but sort of cool...








“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
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25-08-2011, 12:56 PM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2011 12:59 PM by zaika.)
RE: A confused Atheist..
(25-08-2011 11:44 AM)myst32 Wrote:  I miss Carl. Luckily, we have Neil to pick up were he left off....

Neil is my boyfriend!!! Heart Well...not really, unfortunately. lol I've been watching his videos and listening to his old podcast, and I think he is the perfect person to follow Carl's work.

And those Symphony of Science vids are awesome. I love it. Smile I saw one not long ago that was about the magnificence of the brain...



[

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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26-08-2011, 04:21 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
Lady Zaika, you clearly have enough good things to say, so please, don't just lurk around, tell us what you think, don't be afraid, this is not the place for anyone to hide, this is the place for all of us to talk, discuss and argue about the meaning of life... Your experience and your way from extra-Christian to atheist is pretty awesome and inspiring, I'm sure you could squeeze out more of these pearls if you remain active in discussions.

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I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
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