Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
16-11-2013, 08:45 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
The OP sounds exactly like what my wife went through. She prayed and prayed for god to reveal something to her to show he was even real. But the doubts began to set in.

You would think that god would consider showing himself to her in SOME way would be a "good" thing. Why would he think, (if god were real) that letting one of his slide into atheism would be a good thing? The proof for him isn't there. He doesn't answer prayers and cries to him to show he is real when asked.

Gods not real.

Twitter: @doubtingdragon
http://doubtingdragon.wordpress.com
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-11-2013, 09:09 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
I think the biggest questions that led me to atheism were the more conceptual ones. Like; "Why would our creator let our eternal fate be decided by how we behave in our most vulnerable state (trapped in a body that can suffer and has desires)?" And "Why did the creator and his lackeys supposedly reveal themselves to the prophets so long ago, but anybody who claims to see angels or Jesus nowadays is considered crazy?"

Then I got into more specifics like "How did Egypt pop into existence only a few generations after the flood?" I did this with Islam before Christianity, but the Christian examples are easier to identify with.

THIS USER IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. THANK YOU, AND HAVE A GREAT DAY! http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...a-few-days
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-11-2013, 12:02 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2013 03:18 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(15-11-2013 05:44 AM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 04:58 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Gotta love how the all-knowing creator of the universe was incapable of inspiring a book with plain writing, opting instead for one that requires (and is so easily subject to contrary) interpretation.
I can agree in part to your first point here. But let's remember that we're dealing not only with a translated text but some of the baggage that comes with past misinterpretations of it. That's why I always come back to context and new scholarship to help me understand it. We always have to come back to the text to make sure that we are always aware of what we're saying. You might have picked up that I hate the 1 or 2 verse approach for either feel good cards Christian cards or biblical criticism by atheists. I don't have a problem with people saying 'this verse seems to say this and I think therefore that God is evil.' As long as you can back it up with something other than 'I got this out of the Message paraphrase translation.' Show me more than verse against verse. Show me cultural context, original word meanings, current interpretation, and at least then you'll be giving yourself something to work with. And come on, even though I did limit the verses, at least I gave it more context than you did Wink

Careful now, studying it Bible in it's wider context (without apologist holding your hands) is the sort of thing that leads to atheism. Because then you lean about things like the very pagan polytheistic origins of your God (Yahweh Sabbaoth of the Canaanite pantheon, one of the sons of El Elyion/El Shaddai, a desert war god with dominion over the land of Judea). The barbarity of the Old Testament does indeed make for more sense from the perspective of a ignorant regional war god, then the supposedly omni-max creator of the universe according to our current understanding of it.


(15-11-2013 05:44 AM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 04:58 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Funny how a supposedly limitless God requires that we have the 'right' thoughts, act in the 'right' way, and if we ask for the 'right' thing, then he might grant them to us?
Again, I think we're both seeing it completely different. You seem to see God in terms of sin and guilt. Blind obedience or punishment. I was certainly raised, and taught again at uni, that the ministry of Jesus was promoting a relationship between God and man. So if I want to live in the will of God, then my behaviour will naturally become that. It's not a matter of having to all of a sudden switch into 'God mode' within 50ft of a church and switch back as soon as the service is over. Neither is it a matter of having to 'beg' something from God. Often I think, and again this might be a bad influence by some more charismatic churches, but those who acknowledge a God (even if just for the sake of argument) seem to place man in the position of authority, and man who defines how God should treat us. Never really sat right with me somehow.

Do you want to know what doesn't sit right with me? People claiming to know things they do not know. Live within the will of God? What is your God's will, and how do you know that? After every sentence in that paragraph, that question kept jumping into my head. "How do you know that?" Therein lies the rub. When you get down to the basics, cultural indoctrination, personal anecdotes, authority, and tradition, are all terrible reasons to believe something without (or indeed, in the face of) evidence.


(15-11-2013 05:44 AM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(15-11-2013 04:58 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  It's not about him sitting in a corner until needed, it's that he has no perceptible verifiable affect on reality whatsoever. Your God is, in practical terms, identical in every way to an non-existent God who also doesn't answer prayer.
'To the best of my knowledge.' Exactly. To tell you the truth I'm glad you seem to fall more into the 'prayer is completely pointless' camp and not the 'God as a vending machine' one. More solid position I think. That said, both our sides rely on how we see God's nature and we each think the other is reading the text wrong and aren't very willing to be convinced otherwise!
Oh dear, I don't think we're going to agree on much, are we? No

Fortunately it's not an even debate, the sides of this issue are not equal. Your faith relies upon a claim that you are simply incapable of adequately substantiating. You are believing incredible shit on terrible evidence. All atheism is, is the rejection of that claim on the grounds that it has failed to meet it's burden of proof. There is no reason to believe a god exists, and every reason to doubt it. If there was any evidence for answered prayer, then maybe would could have a debate about the nature of the power and it's motives. But we can't even get there, because there is no evidence whatsoever. No amount of reading or studying the Bible changes that.

Faith is nothing more than the reasons the religious give each other to believe incredible things on terrible evidence.

[Image: GrumpyCat_01.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes EvolutionKills's post
03-01-2014, 03:14 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
I'm bumping this because it's an awesome topic and some of the newer users may have missed it.

THIS USER IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. THANK YOU, AND HAVE A GREAT DAY! http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...a-few-days
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Cephalotus's post
03-01-2014, 07:51 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
I forgot all about this one, and it was nice to re-read the OP.

Thanks.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-01-2014, 08:27 AM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
I actually meant to say "users newer than ME" because I'm obviously still pretty new myself.

THIS USER IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. THANK YOU, AND HAVE A GREAT DAY! http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...a-few-days
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-01-2014, 07:12 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
Problems in prayer really didn't lead me to atheism. Although you make valid points, I really didn't contemplate the things you mentioned in great detail until after I heard other atheists make those points on prayer.

What did it for me was reading the bible and just contemplating the theology of it all.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-01-2014, 12:19 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?

God hasn't said anything to me either. I've never gotten on sensation or anything. But I pray to him when I want to. I believe. Don't ever ritualize anything for God. He doesn't need your need bending or your arm waving. Talk to him because it is in your heart to do so. If it isn't there then don't. If it isn't from the heart, don't do it.

One of the best things I ever did was quit saying ritualistic prayers and admit I didn't Love God. Life is a lot more clearer when you admit where you really are in life. Now I don't even worry myself about my love for him or his rules. I focus on His Love for me. That I believe has made all the difference.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-01-2014, 01:03 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 01:08 PM by Adrianime.)
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(23-01-2014 12:19 PM)anidominus Wrote:  God hasn't said anything to me either. I've never gotten on sensation or anything. But I pray to him when I want to. I believe. Don't ever ritualize anything for God. He doesn't need your need bending or your arm waving. Talk to him because it is in your heart to do so. If it isn't there then don't. If it isn't from the heart, don't do it.

One of the best things I ever did was quit saying ritualistic prayers and admit I didn't Love God. Life is a lot more clearer when you admit where you really are in life. Now I don't even worry myself about my love for him or his rules. I focus on His Love for me. That I believe has made all the difference.
No offense, but you seem like a terrible Christian.
...which is a good thing, really. Thumbsup

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Adrianime's post
23-01-2014, 01:04 PM
RE: Questions That Led Me to Atheism #1
(23-01-2014 12:19 PM)anidominus Wrote:  I focus on His Love for me. That I believe has made all the difference.

How does God love me, let me count the ways ?

- Allows poverty and war.
- This world is running outta resources, what up with that ?
- On the plus side there is lots of porn and the internet.
- Earthquakes and shit.
- Doesn't like gay people.
- Wants me to do stupid shit for no reason.
- Wants to cook us if we don't believe in him when he's explicitly hidden all the evidence.

Yeah, he's a great deity alright Smile

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
[+] 2 users Like morondog's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: