Grief and Believer Envy
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17-10-2013, 06:04 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
(17-10-2013 05:39 AM)amyb Wrote:  This is how I feel about my dad. And it's more comforting to me to know that, than to lie to myself to say he's on a cloud having tea and crumpets with Jesus.

Most believers have everything you have.....plus the belief that their loved one is having tea and crumpets on a could with Jesus. This is of course, If the believer believes their loved one is in heaven.

I know believers who think their loved one is probably in hell. For them, atheism like you have would certainly give them more comfort.
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17-10-2013, 06:38 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
(17-10-2013 06:04 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I know believers who think their loved one is probably in hell. For them, atheism like you have would certainly give them more comfort.
I've seen a lot of people flipflop on this. Take my dad for example. He was an atheist from a Catholic family. After he died, I had to put up with people like his sister going on and on about praying for him to not go to hell, because he was, in their eyes, very blasphemous. And my mom would've agreed with the sister before he died, but then, once he died, she was convinced "his suffering was over" and that he'd "gone to heaven." Seriously, my dad was probably more anti-christian than I've even been, and I used to be quite outspoken on the matter. So it still looks to me like many people (my mom) tend to just say that they believe whatever would make them feel good (that he's not dead, that he's in heaven, that he's happy now, etc).

I don't know. I mean, I've known a lot of formerly religious people who have died, and then everybody just decides god made an exception for them and they won't go to hell. Sounds like wishful thinking to me. Not saying everyone is that way, just a lot of people I know.
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17-10-2013, 11:04 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
Sorry for the loss of your dad.

People's process of dealing with tragic events, like the death of a loved one, I think is all about finding some comfort to offset the grief in some manner. I just raised a question about this to my christian sister in-law recently. We were raised catholic and attened many funerals over the last couple of decades. So I asked her why the clergy person would tell the family and friends that the loved one is "with god", "in a grand place" or has been "chosen and taken by our loving lord". The point I made is that the priest did not know anything about the deceased person's relationship with god, or if there was any belief present at all. Some of my uncles were far from living a christian life here on earth. Her answer was that "maybe that is just what they all like to hear during that time".

I said there ya go - the whole premise of her faith in her one response.

So I understand the need for comfort, but I do not envy that approach as it strays from my perspective of truth.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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18-10-2013, 09:22 PM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
(17-10-2013 12:02 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  Are you jealous of their delusions?

Normally, I'm not jealous of anybody's delusions. I'd prefer to know the truth even if it's not "as good" as the delusion. Honestly, in this particular case, I think I am jealous of their delusions. That may change with time. It may not. I couldn't say at this juncture.
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19-10-2013, 02:52 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
Death does suck. There is no getting around that fact. Try to take comfort in the fact that in some sense he is not truly gone. ve Not just 'in your memories'. He changed the world. He affected things. He made a difference. His influence will be felt as long as there are people. He undoubtedly affected tens of thousands directly. Let's just say he affected you and you alone. He helped shape the person you are. From that you've affected others, and they, others still. In some small way he exists.

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19-10-2013, 04:52 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
(16-10-2013 11:33 PM)ArchAtheistMichael Wrote:  I don't often find myself in a position where I envy believers, but that's where I found myself last week.

I'm not what I could call "out" about my beliefs. I don't hide them, but I don't make them public either. I just go about my life. The only exception to that rule has been when I'm around my family.

My family are strong believers, and any questions posed by me regarding "The Faith" have been quickly reprimanded. It didn't take long to stop asking, but questions no longer asked don't mean questions no longer had. I lost my faith in silence, and my family has been blissfully unaware for close to 30 years. This has been made easy by distance, as I now live on one side of the country and my family lives on the other.

Last week, my Dad died.

The rest of my family gathered and held hands and said prayers. Of course I was included because my religious status is unknown to them, but it didn't make me feel like any less the outsider. There were constant allusions to my father being an angel, stories about what he must have said when he met Saint Peter, and questions about what kind of mischief he and his brother and sister are getting into right at that moment.

I think that thinking Dad is just somewhere else and he's happy makes the grief easier for them to deal with. He was a man of faith, so he must be in Heaven.

Of course, I don't believe that. There is no God. There is no Heaven. My Dad is gone. Forever.

I admit that I'm more than a little jealous of my family in this case. I wish what they believed were true. If it was true, he'd be somewhere else, and he'd be happy. The Universe would feel like a better place for me knowing that he was still in it, somewhere. That would make me happy even though I'd be destined for Hell.
Well at least you have admitted that your non-belief system sucks. I guess non-belief has its advantages too in terms of getting short term pleasures. Whereas God requires us to delay gratification in order to server and worship him. The notion of God having a say about what his creation should be doing is rather offensive to atheists, but their way around it is to simply deny that God exists. Then they can do whatever they like.

You have not proven that God does not exist. Even Dawkins admits that he has not 100% proved that God does not exist.
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19-10-2013, 06:03 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad when I was 20 and I miss him dearly.

Have you tried grief beyond belief? You might did comfort there without the unnecessary god aspect of it.

I feel jealous too sometimes. Like when I lost my infant son. I wanted to believe there was a purpose for something so senseless. But as I cycled through the stages of grief, in no particular order, when I got to the Anger stage, it was easier not to believe in a god that was responsible for his death. Heaven didn't need an angel, blah blah blah. There was no reason for it and it happened as a natural occurrence of life. That was easiest to stomach than the thought of a god that would strangle an infant with his mother's cord just because he wanted him 80 years sooner.


*hug* it also helped me to remember him in the first law of thermodynamics. His energy is still here. Just transferred.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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19-10-2013, 06:17 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
(19-10-2013 04:52 AM)excubitor Wrote:  Well at least you have admitted that your non-belief system sucks. I guess non-belief has its advantages too in terms of getting short term pleasures. Whereas God requires us to delay gratification in order to server and worship him. The notion of God having a say about what his creation should be doing is rather offensive to atheists, but their way around it is to simply deny that God exists. Then they can do whatever they like.

You have not proven that God does not exist. Even Dawkins admits that he has not 100% proved that God does not exist.

The Personal Issues and Support section is not an area where we debate. It is for support when people are feeling down and similar situations. You have the atheism and theism section if you wish to debate.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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19-10-2013, 06:24 AM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2013 06:29 AM by sporehux.)
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
(19-10-2013 04:52 AM)excubitor Wrote:  I guess non-belief has its advantages too in terms of getting short term pleasures. Whereas God requires us to delay gratification in order to server and worship him. The notion of God having a say about what his creation should be doing is rather offensive to atheists, but their way around it is to simply deny that God exists. Then they can do whatever they like.

Wow what a ignorant statement,
Atheist have to live with the cause and effect of their moral choices here and now, there is no redemption afterlife. for them . no chip to cash in for forgiveness.
Mostly we are good instinctively, we don't need a boss man to keep our crimes in check as you apparently do.
How about you try being a good person for yourself and not just because you want to make you god happy, it works well for us Atheists.

We don't spread hate and fear, nor death threats if you don't like our opinions.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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19-10-2013, 07:31 AM
RE: Grief and Believer Envy
When I was 8 years old my grandfather died... It seemed very sudden to me, but everyone else knew he'd been I'll for a long time.

The whole thing shook me up pretty bad, and religion offered some relief from both the grief and anxiety attacks I started getting in the immediate aftermath. But, the effect was ultimately only temporary, and in many ways stopped the grieving process in its tracks.

Only once I accepted that he was gone forever did I manage to come to terms with his death...

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