Being "Led" by God
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26-10-2012, 09:22 AM
RE: Being "Lead" by God
(25-10-2012 02:07 PM)onedream Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 01:13 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Hi onedream,


In answer to your last question, the feeling of God's influence used to happen to me when I was a Catholic. After I left Catholicism, I then went through a period of exploration regarding religions and didn't know exactly what I believed. During that time, I had moments where things still seemed to fall into place too easily at times as though they were meant to be and it contributed to lingering doubts about becoming an atheist. After that, I went through a period where I just got so busy in my life that I mostly forgot about religion. It just wasn't important enough to focus on anymore and from that point to n[undefined=undefined][undefined=undefined]ow I no longer get those feelings of supernatural intervention. [/undefined][/undefined]

Thanks for the welcome! Have you ever feared that the reason you don't feel those moments of supernatural influence is because "You've shut God out?"

Not trying to argue. Remember, I'm learning as I go here.
No I don't because of all the reasons I don't believe he exists to begin with.

Much of my focus in my personal journey has been on the Christian god since that is my background. But one single factor that contributes greatly to my dismissal of all Earthly conceptions of a god is the fact that we are having this discussion. It makes no sense that, if any god exists, we wouldn't know it absolutely. No one would disagree about whether he/she/it exists because everyone would know. The same thinking pretty much rules out any god, even conceptions not specifically believed in by people on Earth. And, when you add in all the explanations for things that don't require a god to make sense as well as the total lack of evidence for the existence of any god, the whole matter becomes doubtless at least for me.

P.S. I know you weren't arguing, but feel free to do so. I welcome disagreement as long as it's polite. It helps me to learn as well.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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26-10-2012, 09:35 AM
RE: Being "Led" by God
(25-10-2012 02:23 PM)onedream Wrote:  You guys are really helping here.

Ok...here's some other weird stuff that happened to me.

And we could be getting over into "Power of the mind and ESP" here.

I went forward at a prayer meeting at a church and got prayer for something. I felt a physical sensation like "warm electricity" shooting through my body.

What was that?

The mind is a powerful thing and I believe we only tap into a fraction of it's abilities in normal consciousness. Take DMT-induced out-of-body experiences, for example. How does a person seem to float out of his/her body and perceive the whole room, his/her own "separate" body, etc. even with DMT? It must be the brain's capacity to reconstruct all that from the information available to it from ordinary day-to-day life. My point is, you were in a prayer group anticipating (and probably hoping) that something might happen. Your own brain probably constructed that sensation out of the sheer emotions of the whole context.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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26-10-2012, 09:48 AM
Being "Led" by God
Interesting thread, and to answer a question in your original post, yes, these kinds of things happen to atheists. Not praying for help and having it show up, of course. But wacky things that a religious person would consider the hand of God. Awhile back, my house was in foreclosure. I was trying to get that resolved, and after working with the bank, thought I had successfully gotten the sale of my house cancelled. One day, I just happened to pull into my driveway as a man was taking pictures of my house. I asked what he was up to, and he shared that he was gathering info on houses in foreclosure for the upcoming sale. I told him my house wasn't part of that sale, and he showed me a printout. So I got on the phone and took care of it. But if he hadn't been there at the exact moment I pulled into my driveway, my house might have been sold out from under me. So that was fortunate, and five years ago I would have given God the glory. (For letting me almost lose my house then giving me that wacky clue! Yay God!!!) Ha ha.

I only shared that story because you asked if things like this happen to atheists. Indeed they do. And yes to all the above about confirmation bias! You might enjoy reading about logical fallacies in your exploration of these ideas. I found that in my religious training, I was taught things to counter critical thinking. With some distance, it's easy to see these things are not the hand of God.
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26-10-2012, 11:39 AM
RE: Being "Led" by God
Quote:Have you ever feared that the reason you don't feel those moments of supernatural influence is because "You've shut God out?"
I've been asked this in real life. As a kid, I actively wanted all manner of gods and woo to exist. It would make the world interesting, I thought. I was as open to the possibility as anyone, I'd say. For a while, I'd even say I was disappointed that I could not find any believable evidence for God (or ghosts or psychic powers, etc).

And this is the reason I think indoctrination plays a huge role in how one interprets feelings and events and coincidence. My dad was an atheist. My mom went to church and made me go until 2nd grade, but she didn't really put any more weight on God than on Santa or the tooth fairy, either, and I was skeptical of them. Meanwhile, my way of interpreting things was being shaped by science books. My dad bought me books on dinosaurs and we watched nature shows together. At 10, I wanted to be a paleontologist. It was obvious to me that Genesis was not a literal account of anything. Even as a teenager I was heavily into reading about woo, books about ghosts and so on, but I just didn't actually believe them.

Not trying to drag creation into it, but I'm just saying perhaps if a person is exposed to a scientific way of thinking as a child rather than being indoctrinated, religion just doesn't make sense. It's not "shutting God out", it's lacking belief due to insufficient evidence. "Faith" just doesn't cut it from a scientific point of view.

And what vanilla said about being taught things to counter critical thinking. I've witnessed that from a lot of people I know.

So to the quote above I would say, "How can you be sure it's supernatural influence?"
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26-10-2012, 11:55 AM
RE: Being "Led" by God
(25-10-2012 10:38 PM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  I don't know. Things sometimes work out in a seemingly odd way. That being said, it feels like if there is a god all he keeps saying to me is "Here, let me slap you with my big cock again.". My wife is going to be having surgery (at least I hope anyway) at the end of December. We just went to a meeting at my company about benefits which will renew 11/1. I make only about 20k per year. The deductible for the insurance is now 10k. The surgery will cost about 15k. It is as if nothing I do is ever good enough. Everytime I overcome an obstacle it is as if something says, "Let's see you get over this one". I finally find a way to buy a house and it is as if life is not happy with that. I guess back to school I go.

Man, I'm really sorry to hear that. Sucks and bites.

For what it's worth, thanks for chiming in. It does help to hear your personal experience.

Sorry that it's tough, though. Really sorry.
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26-10-2012, 12:05 PM
RE: Being "Led" by God
Great, COMPELLING responses, guys and gals.

Here's where I am currently:

I'm absolutely convinced that the Bible is full of bullshit. Absolutely. Contradictions left and right, as well as physical impossibilities up the wazoo make me sure that the Bible is a storybook.

THAT I'm sure of. That's as far as I'm willing to concretely go at this point. Call it conditioning, fear, a desire to fully search things out...at this point I see that there's no way to take the Bible literally. But I'm not ready to say I believe with certainty there's not SOMETHING out there helping guide things.

And this is a HUGE step for me. 18 months ago I would have shuddered at the idea.

But it's like Lewis Black says: "I'd love to believe in Creation...but I have these things called 'thoughts.'"

Still searching...
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26-10-2012, 12:34 PM
RE: Being "Led" by God
(26-10-2012 12:05 PM)onedream Wrote:  Great, COMPELLING responses, guys and gals.

Here's where I am currently:

I'm absolutely convinced that the Bible is full of bullshit. Absolutely. Contradictions left and right, as well as physical impossibilities up the wazoo make me sure that the Bible is a storybook.

THAT I'm sure of. That's as far as I'm willing to concretely go at this point. Call it conditioning, fear, a desire to fully search things out...at this point I see that there's no way to take the Bible literally. But I'm not ready to say I believe with certainty there's not SOMETHING out there helping guide things.

And this is a HUGE step for me. 18 months ago I would have shuddered at the idea.

But it's like Lewis Black says: "I'd love to believe in Creation...but I have these things called 'thoughts.'"

Still searching...

WetPipeDream, that's pretty much where I think my descent into evil atheism began. After a life-time of indoctrination and seminary training and teaching from the pulpit, I began to find the claims of an ancient book without ties to modern science to no longer be tenable. But I wasn't ready to give up on God yet. Even after 18 months of being convinced the supernatural does not exist, I'll still have the occasional mind-fart in the dark of night where my brain toys with my emotions. According to the indoctrination, those who follow science, those who don't read the bible, pray, and worship, will fall away from the Truth. Well, "they" were right. I did those things and I fell away. So it's tough for the deeply initiated to get clear of all the webs of delusion and fear tactics. It does get better over time. And I'm not what I call a stubborn atheist. I'm pretty well convinced there are no deities, but I'm open to being challenged and if I'm wrong, show me the evidence and I'll take a look at it.

I'd say you're in a place that's not going to change over night. And who knows? You may even go through this time on the fence reaffirmed in your faith. It doesn't seem likely, but it could happen. But otherwise, you should feel proud of where you are right now...questioning, reasoning, seeking reality. Good onya, Bro!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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26-10-2012, 12:37 PM
RE: Being "Led" by God
(26-10-2012 12:05 PM)onedream Wrote:  Great, COMPELLING responses, guys and gals.

Here's where I am currently:

I'm absolutely convinced that the Bible is full of bullshit. Absolutely. Contradictions left and right, as well as physical impossibilities up the wazoo make me sure that the Bible is a storybook.

THAT I'm sure of. That's as far as I'm willing to concretely go at this point. Call it conditioning, fear, a desire to fully search things out...at this point I see that there's no way to take the Bible literally. But I'm not ready to say I believe with certainty there's not SOMETHING out there helping guide things.

And this is a HUGE step for me. 18 months ago I would have shuddered at the idea.

But it's like Lewis Black says: "I'd love to believe in Creation...but I have these things called 'thoughts.'"

Still searching...

I found it interesting the way you carefully worded your response. You did not mention whether your still believe that part of the bible is real, or if it is based on fact. Would you clarify? If you still consider yourself a Christian, but reject taking the bible as literal then perhaps kingschosen could share his belief with you, as he adheres to well known scientific fact, but still considers himself a Christian. If you reject the idea of a Christian God (as almost all of us do) but still believe that God is a possibility there are tons of agnostics and atheists who will tell you that the Christian God is a logical impossibility (Carl Sagan was very good at explaining why). One of my favorite examples of disproving the Abrahamic God (Jewish, Christian & Muslim) is from Epicurus. He said

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

Can't argue against that with logic. I hope you find some satisfaction in your search for truth. Remain skeptical, and question everything. Thumbsup

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26-10-2012, 12:46 PM
RE: Being "Led" by God
(26-10-2012 12:05 PM)onedream Wrote:  Great, COMPELLING responses, guys and gals.

Here's where I am currently:

I'm absolutely convinced that the Bible is full of bullshit. Absolutely. Contradictions left and right, as well as physical impossibilities up the wazoo make me sure that the Bible is a storybook.

THAT I'm sure of. That's as far as I'm willing to concretely go at this point. Call it conditioning, fear, a desire to fully search things out...at this point I see that there's no way to take the Bible literally. But I'm not ready to say I believe with certainty there's not SOMETHING out there helping guide things.

And this is a HUGE step for me. 18 months ago I would have shuddered at the idea.

But it's like Lewis Black says: "I'd love to believe in Creation...but I have these things called 'thoughts.'"

Still searching...

That's what I decided - a long time ago, when I was 10. The bible is a fairy tale. And if you read the first testament, it's more gruesome than Grimm's brother's tales. Which led to the realization that this god was not a very nice fellow, he loved killing people, children, entire cities and the entire world population at one point. Looking into it deeper since then, he was a war god. And a nasty, jealous, conceited wrathful fellow to boot.

He incorporates a lot of abhorrent things a decent human being would never even consider.

And that's when I decided it wasn't for me and filed the bible with my other old fairy tale books.

I haven't regretted since. My moral compass works a lot better than that of the characters in the bible, that I am sure of.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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26-10-2012, 12:53 PM
RE: Being "Led" by God
(26-10-2012 12:05 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm absolutely convinced that the Bible is full of bullshit. Absolutely. Contradictions left and right, as well as physical impossibilities up the wazoo make me sure that the Bible is a storybook.

Remember, the only thing in this world that tells you there is a god is the bible, and as you say, it's just a BS storybook. Sure, people tell you about god, but they get all their info from the same BS storybook. And you think you know about god, but you get all your info from the same BS storybook or from those people reciting the BS storybook.

It all comes back to the BS storybook - without it, nobody would have ever heard of god.

Take away that BS storybook and there's no reason to believe in the mythology it teaches.

(26-10-2012 12:05 PM)onedream Wrote:  THAT I'm sure of. That's as far as I'm willing to concretely go at this point. Call it conditioning, fear, a desire to fully search things out...at this point I see that there's no way to take the Bible literally. But I'm not ready to say I believe with certainty there's not SOMETHING out there helping guide things.

Neither am I, nor are most atheists.

There is little certainty in this universe, but one thing that I am certain of: I'm certain that I don't know with any certainty how the universe got here, how life began, or exactly how it evolved into us.

I guess that's three things.

I won't tell you there is no god, or that there is definitely not SOMETHING out there helping to guide things. But I will tell you that there is not one shred of real evidence supporting such things. I will tell you that the bible is not evidence (which you already know). I will tell you that the people preaching stuff from the bible don't have one shred of actual evidence.

I will tell you that I withhold judgment about what's out there until some evidence can be presented to support it. Until then, I'm an atheist.

I won't tell you that you have to see things the way I do, but I will tell you that finding evidence first and THEN believing in what the evidence proves makes way more sense than doing it the other way around. But maybe that's just my opinion.

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