Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
10-11-2013, 02:32 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(10-11-2013 01:49 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(10-11-2013 12:33 AM)DLJ Wrote:  You want to talk to god but find you are talking to yourself, therefore...

You are god.

When I was a believer, I was taught to build a personal relationship with God through prayer. If all believers are building relationships with themselves, doesn't it follow that they would consider any questioning of that relationship to be a direct attack upon them as a person?

In other words, if the believer is God, isn't questioning God, questioning the believer's integrity?

Could it be that this is a psychological explanation for how easily they take offence when their God is questioned?

What are your thoughts?

No thoughts required on that one. It's a self-evident no-brainer.

god = ego... just that some have a problem separating ego from id.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
10-11-2013, 04:00 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(10-11-2013 02:29 AM)DLJ Wrote:  And there I was thinking that it was a deliberate pun. I was going to +rep him for it.

It coulda been deliberate... but that's no pun.

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.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-11-2013, 05:33 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(10-11-2013 04:00 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(10-11-2013 02:29 AM)DLJ Wrote:  And there I was thinking that it was a deliberate pun. I was going to +rep him for it.

It coulda been deliberate... but that's no pun.

T'is so!

Tongue

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes DLJ's post
11-11-2013, 01:40 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(10-11-2013 12:24 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What are your thoughts on prayer?

The concept doesn't make much sense. The idea is that:
  • Things are happening, and
  • God is in charge of these things, and
  • These things are going to keep happening unless you ask God to change his mind.
It's very weird. Picture a person who gets cancer in a world with God who goes to him in prayer. If we start at the point where the person already has cancer, this will be resolved in precisely three ways:

1: God already intends to heal the person. He gave the person cancer because of [mysterious ways], but plans to heal the person. Prayer is unnecessary.

2: God is not going to remove the cancer; the person will die from it because of [mysterious ways]. Prayer is unnecessary.

3: God isn't planning on removing the cancer unless the person asks for it. Prayer will help in this case, although we are baffled as to why the person got cancer in the first place other than [mysterious ways], and possibly God wanting to feel better about people asking him to solve problems that he creates. Or something.

That's it. There's no other magical forth conclusion, and that whole thing is seriously fucked up. Bonus points if you ask if there are any added benefits to getting an entire congregation to pray on that person's behalf.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like RobbyPants's post
13-11-2013, 10:38 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(10-11-2013 12:24 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1. Why are my prayers unsuccessful and unanswered?

I prayed faithfully from the time I was first able to repeat the prayers of my parents. I have never experienced ANY sensation that was indistinguishable from indigestion. I knew it in my heart, even as a child. Sometimes, this reality would bother me enough to go down one of these paths.

a. I am not good enough for God to talk to me. I am unworthy.

This line of reasoning would cause such guilt in me over any supposed sin that could possibly be responsible, that I would feel compelled to pray all the harder out of shame. My prayers would soon lead me to begging for forgiveness that I would never feel I received. This was the foundation of my childhood depression.

b. Something is wrong with my ability to hear God. I am broken.

This thought made me equally sad, and depressed over time. If I was at fault by malfunction, and not even God had repaired me, what chance did I have? Surely, I would never hear his voice, or feel his will.

c. I just need to accept God's will, and stop worrying about my prayers.

For a while I settled on a policy of self deception. By purposefully repeating the answers that I thought God ought to give to me in my mind, I convinced myself that it was, in fact, God sending me a message. Part of me was aware of my self deception, but the rest was caught up in my desire for it to be true.

One day I realized, if God's will is inevitable, why pray? His will will go on regardless of my desires. I might as well save my breath and suffer his will.

My prayers continued out of despairing hope, but were never the same again. In the end, the only thing keeping me trying was my desire to not be alone in the world. Surely someone had to be watching out for me. What was true wasn't important, because I didn't want to be alone.

One day it occurred to me that it might not matter that I wasn't being answered by God with a message. Perhaps my prayers were having a physical effect upon the world. Miracles may have happened, and I would not have known. I began immediately to test the effectiveness of my prayers on the world.

It didn't take long for me to despair over the simple fact that my prayers did absolutely NOTHING. The odds of getting what I wanted were not different than if I had never prayed. For example, I found missing items I prayed for some of the time, and I lost others forever.

I noticed the way others reacted to events around them in relation to their prayers. When something good happened to a person of faith that I knew, they would always be certain to give the credit loudly to God or Jesus. Whenever something bad would happen to that very same person, not a word about God being responsible escaped their lips. If God was mentioned at all in these situations, it was only to remind themselves, or others, to have more faith in him. The obvious double standard seemed ridiculous, as well as disrespectful towards God. It made him look the fool, only succeeding in being omnipotent and omniscient for some of the time. God might as well have "off hours". I could not take any of this seriously.

I struggled even more with the implications of God's ability to intervene in the first place. If God was so benevolent, as I had been emphatically taught, why would he not take every possible opportunity to intervene for the good of humanity? If he were to look down upon the earth and witness the suffering of one of his faithful children, would he help them?

Natural disasters seemed an excellent place to test this line of reasoning. If God is responsible for all things in the world, and they serve him at all times, I had to conclude that God is personally responsible for every natural disaster. If God is good, and good to humanity, why would he construct such massive instruments of death and suffering? Why would he choose to unleash them on his children, both the righteous and the unrighteous?

News was a constant subject of discussion in our home due to my father's love of politics. Even if he did not mention a particular article, I had full access to the internet to do so myself. Natural disasters occurred often enough for me to have read many such articles. I noticed the strong likelihood of survivors to credit God with their survival. This seemed foolish to me, since they did not consider that God was responsible for striking their home with the disaster in the first place. They made him sound like such a good Samaritan who just happened to be glancing down among the raging winds, only to snatch up a victim and take him or her to safety. These testifying victims may as well have called God a twisted individual for causing the chaos, merely to be branded the hero. It was all so embarrassing to read.

Another implication of their claim of a miracle rescue by God, was that those who perished, some in intense agony, were destined to that fate by God. If the storm were God's will, anyone who perished was destined to that end. This made God out to be maniacal to me. Who else would cause such chaos, death, and destruction and call it good, but a maniac? No benevolent God could do such a thing. If God taught his children to be moral, he must be even more moral and good. This could not be his work.

It all comes apart completely at the seams when one ponders on the many prayers that must have pierced the air in the midst of such disasters. How many helpless people prayed in desperation to be spared by God, and were killed. How many would live? Didn't they all pray? Doesn't God answer all of their prayers? If the storm were his will, prayers were rendered meaningless. Why pray if your fate is sealed? The unfairness of it, disgusted me.

I do not pray anymore. For a while I was painfully alone. Now, I am stronger and more responsible for myself. Allowing myself to go through a time of longing for something greater shaped me into a more proactive and responsible person. I no longer feel alone in my own mind, because I have learned how to trust my own reason and judgement. I pay attention to my own private feelings and thoughts in a way that I would never have fathomed before.

What are your thoughts on prayer?

May I be frank/blunt with you? How is any of your post rooted in the facts of the Bible and not mere emotionalism? The Bible records that Abraham spent decades between hearing God's voice, etc. and most Christians have never had an audible answer to prayer or seen visions. We know our value, His revealed will, and etc. based on the scriptures.

I apologize to you that you were misled by being raised on the path of emotionalism. There's nothing wrong with applying reason to faith. If you were to become born again, you would receive the Spirit of God inside you, and you would have an inner witness to the reality of Christ incarnate inside you. That's different than praying and feeling something. That's the kind of experience that may come without any prayer whatsoever.

My $0.02.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-11-2013, 11:07 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(13-11-2013 10:38 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  May I be frank/blunt with you? How is any of your post rooted in the facts of the Bible and not mere emotionalism? The Bible records that Abraham spent decades between hearing God's voice, etc. and most Christians have never had an audible answer to prayer or seen visions. We know our value, His revealed will, and etc. based on the scriptures.

I apologize to you that you were misled by being raised on the path of emotionalism. There's nothing wrong with applying reason to faith. If you were to become born again, you would receive the Spirit of God inside you, and you would have an inner witness to the reality of Christ incarnate inside you. That's different than praying and feeling something. That's the kind of experience that may come without any prayer whatsoever.

My $0.02.

What you just described is pure emotionalism; reason never made an appearance.Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Chas's post
13-11-2013, 11:12 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(10-11-2013 02:32 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(10-11-2013 01:49 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  When I was a believer, I was taught to build a personal relationship with God through prayer. If all believers are building relationships with themselves, doesn't it follow that they would consider any questioning of that relationship to be a direct attack upon them as a person?

In other words, if the believer is God, isn't questioning God, questioning the believer's integrity?

Could it be that this is a psychological explanation for how easily they take offence when their God is questioned?

What are your thoughts?

No thoughts required on that one. It's a self-evident no-brainer.

god = ego... just that some have a problem separating ego from id.

The psychological explanation for the defensiveness when calling into question is because to believes, god is their eternal caregiver. He cares for you, punishes or rewards you, and is responsible for your existence. Much like your mother. So when you question their god, it's like insulting someone's mother. If you call my mom a sociopath, I will get offended.

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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Cathym112's post
13-11-2013, 12:34 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(13-11-2013 10:38 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  May I be frank/blunt with you? How is any of your post rooted in the facts of the Bible and not mere emotionalism? The Bible records that Abraham spent decades between hearing God's voice, etc. and most Christians have never had an audible answer to prayer or seen visions. We know our value, His revealed will, and etc. based on the scriptures.

I apologize to you that you were misled by being raised on the path of emotionalism. There's nothing wrong with applying reason to faith. If you were to become born again, you would receive the Spirit of God inside you, and you would have an inner witness to the reality of Christ incarnate inside you. That's different than praying and feeling something. That's the kind of experience that may come without any prayer whatsoever.

My $0.02.

Please cite examples of *your own* prayers which have been answered, PJ.

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.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-11-2013, 08:20 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(13-11-2013 10:38 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(10-11-2013 12:24 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1. Why are my prayers unsuccessful and unanswered?

I prayed faithfully from the time I was first able to repeat the prayers of my parents. I have never experienced ANY sensation that was indistinguishable from indigestion. I knew it in my heart, even as a child. Sometimes, this reality would bother me enough to go down one of these paths.

a. I am not good enough for God to talk to me. I am unworthy.

This line of reasoning would cause such guilt in me over any supposed sin that could possibly be responsible, that I would feel compelled to pray all the harder out of shame. My prayers would soon lead me to begging for forgiveness that I would never feel I received. This was the foundation of my childhood depression.

b. Something is wrong with my ability to hear God. I am broken.

This thought made me equally sad, and depressed over time. If I was at fault by malfunction, and not even God had repaired me, what chance did I have? Surely, I would never hear his voice, or feel his will.

c. I just need to accept God's will, and stop worrying about my prayers.

For a while I settled on a policy of self deception. By purposefully repeating the answers that I thought God ought to give to me in my mind, I convinced myself that it was, in fact, God sending me a message. Part of me was aware of my self deception, but the rest was caught up in my desire for it to be true.

One day I realized, if God's will is inevitable, why pray? His will will go on regardless of my desires. I might as well save my breath and suffer his will.

My prayers continued out of despairing hope, but were never the same again. In the end, the only thing keeping me trying was my desire to not be alone in the world. Surely someone had to be watching out for me. What was true wasn't important, because I didn't want to be alone.

One day it occurred to me that it might not matter that I wasn't being answered by God with a message. Perhaps my prayers were having a physical effect upon the world. Miracles may have happened, and I would not have known. I began immediately to test the effectiveness of my prayers on the world.

It didn't take long for me to despair over the simple fact that my prayers did absolutely NOTHING. The odds of getting what I wanted were not different than if I had never prayed. For example, I found missing items I prayed for some of the time, and I lost others forever.

I noticed the way others reacted to events around them in relation to their prayers. When something good happened to a person of faith that I knew, they would always be certain to give the credit loudly to God or Jesus. Whenever something bad would happen to that very same person, not a word about God being responsible escaped their lips. If God was mentioned at all in these situations, it was only to remind themselves, or others, to have more faith in him. The obvious double standard seemed ridiculous, as well as disrespectful towards God. It made him look the fool, only succeeding in being omnipotent and omniscient for some of the time. God might as well have "off hours". I could not take any of this seriously.

I struggled even more with the implications of God's ability to intervene in the first place. If God was so benevolent, as I had been emphatically taught, why would he not take every possible opportunity to intervene for the good of humanity? If he were to look down upon the earth and witness the suffering of one of his faithful children, would he help them?

Natural disasters seemed an excellent place to test this line of reasoning. If God is responsible for all things in the world, and they serve him at all times, I had to conclude that God is personally responsible for every natural disaster. If God is good, and good to humanity, why would he construct such massive instruments of death and suffering? Why would he choose to unleash them on his children, both the righteous and the unrighteous?

News was a constant subject of discussion in our home due to my father's love of politics. Even if he did not mention a particular article, I had full access to the internet to do so myself. Natural disasters occurred often enough for me to have read many such articles. I noticed the strong likelihood of survivors to credit God with their survival. This seemed foolish to me, since they did not consider that God was responsible for striking their home with the disaster in the first place. They made him sound like such a good Samaritan who just happened to be glancing down among the raging winds, only to snatch up a victim and take him or her to safety. These testifying victims may as well have called God a twisted individual for causing the chaos, merely to be branded the hero. It was all so embarrassing to read.

Another implication of their claim of a miracle rescue by God, was that those who perished, some in intense agony, were destined to that fate by God. If the storm were God's will, anyone who perished was destined to that end. This made God out to be maniacal to me. Who else would cause such chaos, death, and destruction and call it good, but a maniac? No benevolent God could do such a thing. If God taught his children to be moral, he must be even more moral and good. This could not be his work.

It all comes apart completely at the seams when one ponders on the many prayers that must have pierced the air in the midst of such disasters. How many helpless people prayed in desperation to be spared by God, and were killed. How many would live? Didn't they all pray? Doesn't God answer all of their prayers? If the storm were his will, prayers were rendered meaningless. Why pray if your fate is sealed? The unfairness of it, disgusted me.

I do not pray anymore. For a while I was painfully alone. Now, I am stronger and more responsible for myself. Allowing myself to go through a time of longing for something greater shaped me into a more proactive and responsible person. I no longer feel alone in my own mind, because I have learned how to trust my own reason and judgement. I pay attention to my own private feelings and thoughts in a way that I would never have fathomed before.

What are your thoughts on prayer?

May I be frank/blunt with you? How is any of your post rooted in the facts of the Bible and not mere emotionalism? The Bible records that Abraham spent decades between hearing God's voice, etc. and most Christians have never had an audible answer to prayer or seen visions. We know our value, His revealed will, and etc. based on the scriptures.

I apologize to you that you were misled by being raised on the path of emotionalism. There's nothing wrong with applying reason to faith. If you were to become born again, you would receive the Spirit of God inside you, and you would have an inner witness to the reality of Christ incarnate inside you. That's different than praying and feeling something. That's the kind of experience that may come without any prayer whatsoever.

My $0.02.
So you don't think much of prayer either then, huh... Drinking Beverage

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-11-2013, 08:30 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(10-11-2013 12:24 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1. Why are my prayers unsuccessful and unanswered?

I prayed faithfully from the time I was first able to repeat the prayers of my parents. I have never experienced ANY sensation that was indistinguishable from indigestion. I knew it in my heart, even as a child. Sometimes, this reality would bother me enough to go down one of these paths.

a. I am not good enough for God to talk to me. I am unworthy.

This line of reasoning would cause such guilt in me over any supposed sin that could possibly be responsible, that I would feel compelled to pray all the harder out of shame. My prayers would soon lead me to begging for forgiveness that I would never feel I received. This was the foundation of my childhood depression.

b. Something is wrong with my ability to hear God. I am broken.

This thought made me equally sad, and depressed over time. If I was at fault by malfunction, and not even God had repaired me, what chance did I have? Surely, I would never hear his voice, or feel his will.

c. I just need to accept God's will, and stop worrying about my prayers.

For a while I settled on a policy of self deception. By purposefully repeating the answers that I thought God ought to give to me in my mind, I convinced myself that it was, in fact, God sending me a message. Part of me was aware of my self deception, but the rest was caught up in my desire for it to be true.

One day I realized, if God's will is inevitable, why pray? His will will go on regardless of my desires. I might as well save my breath and suffer his will.

My prayers continued out of despairing hope, but were never the same again. In the end, the only thing keeping me trying was my desire to not be alone in the world. Surely someone had to be watching out for me. What was true wasn't important, because I didn't want to be alone.

One day it occurred to me that it might not matter that I wasn't being answered by God with a message. Perhaps my prayers were having a physical effect upon the world. Miracles may have happened, and I would not have known. I began immediately to test the effectiveness of my prayers on the world.

It didn't take long for me to despair over the simple fact that my prayers did absolutely NOTHING. The odds of getting what I wanted were not different than if I had never prayed. For example, I found missing items I prayed for some of the time, and I lost others forever.

I noticed the way others reacted to events around them in relation to their prayers. When something good happened to a person of faith that I knew, they would always be certain to give the credit loudly to God or Jesus. Whenever something bad would happen to that very same person, not a word about God being responsible escaped their lips. If God was mentioned at all in these situations, it was only to remind themselves, or others, to have more faith in him. The obvious double standard seemed ridiculous, as well as disrespectful towards God. It made him look the fool, only succeeding in being omnipotent and omniscient for some of the time. God might as well have "off hours". I could not take any of this seriously.

I struggled even more with the implications of God's ability to intervene in the first place. If God was so benevolent, as I had been emphatically taught, why would he not take every possible opportunity to intervene for the good of humanity? If he were to look down upon the earth and witness the suffering of one of his faithful children, would he help them?

Natural disasters seemed an excellent place to test this line of reasoning. If God is responsible for all things in the world, and they serve him at all times, I had to conclude that God is personally responsible for every natural disaster. If God is good, and good to humanity, why would he construct such massive instruments of death and suffering? Why would he choose to unleash them on his children, both the righteous and the unrighteous?

News was a constant subject of discussion in our home due to my father's love of politics. Even if he did not mention a particular article, I had full access to the internet to do so myself. Natural disasters occurred often enough for me to have read many such articles. I noticed the strong likelihood of survivors to credit God with their survival. This seemed foolish to me, since they did not consider that God was responsible for striking their home with the disaster in the first place. They made him sound like such a good Samaritan who just happened to be glancing down among the raging winds, only to snatch up a victim and take him or her to safety. These testifying victims may as well have called God a twisted individual for causing the chaos, merely to be branded the hero. It was all so embarrassing to read.

Another implication of their claim of a miracle rescue by God, was that those who perished, some in intense agony, were destined to that fate by God. If the storm were God's will, anyone who perished was destined to that end. This made God out to be maniacal to me. Who else would cause such chaos, death, and destruction and call it good, but a maniac? No benevolent God could do such a thing. If God taught his children to be moral, he must be even more moral and good. This could not be his work.

It all comes apart completely at the seams when one ponders on the many prayers that must have pierced the air in the midst of such disasters. How many helpless people prayed in desperation to be spared by God, and were killed. How many would live? Didn't they all pray? Doesn't God answer all of their prayers? If the storm were his will, prayers were rendered meaningless. Why pray if your fate is sealed? The unfairness of it, disgusted me.

I do not pray anymore. For a while I was painfully alone. Now, I am stronger and more responsible for myself. Allowing myself to go through a time of longing for something greater shaped me into a more proactive and responsible person. I no longer feel alone in my own mind, because I have learned how to trust my own reason and judgement. I pay attention to my own private feelings and thoughts in a way that I would never have fathomed before.

What are your thoughts on prayer?

Prayer is something believers do when they are all out of other options and can't face reality. In that one last desperate attempt at having some control, some input, into an otherwise hopeless situation, they pray.

Prayer is also something believers do offhandedly with very little thought in the stupidest of circumstances - "I pray my team wins", "I pray I get that iPad for Xmas", "I pray I get an A on that test".

Anyway you look at it, prayer makes no sense at all, but countless people cling to it like Linus' blanket.

I too was one of those once. Like Momsurroundedbyboys, I too continue to pray for awhile even after my faith was gone. I was still desperate and still stupid and still clinging to that useless blanket.

Thank goodness (cuz what else would I thank), that's all behind me now and I never pray anymore. And it's funny, I'm still getting through life just fine too - no, actually better.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: