Why I Believe
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09-04-2017, 01:54 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 12:23 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(09-04-2017 10:34 AM)Vera Wrote:  Aw, Kimmie, that was lovely. And reminded me (plus, it's autumn here) of this beautiful haiku by Issa:

"quite remarkable
being born human...
autumn dusk"


[Image: 1NpjsX.gif]

SeaJay, if you're struggling with believing and fear of letting go of the idea of god, and fear is the only thing that's stopping you... don't. I've been in a very similar position and it was the most depressed I have ever been (and believe me, I've had really low moments); I, too, could imagine no meaning without a god, the idea that we're just a biological bundle of chemical reactions made the entire existence of the world futile and meaningless...

... and then I came out the other side, to a world which was beautiful and full of possibilities; a world which I didn't have to struggle with myself not to "love more than its creator" and one where suffering was random bad luck, and not the premeditated malicious actions of a supposedly loving "parent". When something bad happened to me or my loved ones, we weren't being punished and there was no plan for me that I desperately had to try and figure out. The Universe was indifferent to me, but I was in awe of it and it's potential. It didn't care for me or protect me, but it didn't threaten me with eternal torture if I didn't spend my life on my knees, beating my chest and hating myself and my fellow human-beings, either.

In short, before I wax *too* poetic (I have my cynic cred to maintain, you know Rolleyes ), life, the world and everything in it are immensely more wonderful and awe-inspiring once you let go of the shackles of religion and bronze-age mentality.

Good luck!
But I don't know how to let go. Truth is, I'm not even sure what I believe. Not in an "oh so you're agnostic" type of way.

Thing is, I'm ok with there being no god looking out for us. I'm fine with us just being a bunch of chemicals and electrical synapses on two legs. It's just my fear of burning in agony forever. How did you get over this fear?


What you are dealing with here is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD. This then is what you need to study, overcoming PTSD.

What you need to do is understand how that works and how people have dealt successfully with that in their own lives. I am not an expert on that, but I assume that there are experts out there who can guide you through that process. Googling for overcoming PTSD would seem to be a good start.

Overcoming religious PTSD pulls up a lot of sites. So you are not the only one who has felt this way. Good luck with your journey.

Yog Sothoth! Yog Sothoth! Come back old ones! Yog Sothoth!

Cheerful Charlie
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09-04-2017, 01:58 PM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2017 02:02 PM by SeaJay.)
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 12:53 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(09-04-2017 12:47 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  I just checked this out and it looks to me that God initially hardened Pharoah's heart (Exodus 7:3) before any of this started.

After 7:3, this is the next relevant verse:

Exodus 7:13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

Pharaoh here hardens his heart, but it looks to me like it was because God hardened it (verse 3)

7-13 depends on which version you use; the translators reworded it to say what they wanted it to say. The King James is what I had quoted and it explicitly blames the god

http://biblehub.com/exodus/7-13.htm
It does yes. But I always double check the original language and it (7:13) omits God doing it.

Hebrew: "and·he-is-being-steadfast heart-of Pharaoh and·not he-listened to·them as which he-spoke Yahweh"

Still, I have to say it looks like Pharoah's heart was initially hardened by God.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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09-04-2017, 02:06 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 12:53 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(09-04-2017 12:47 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  I just checked this out and it looks to me that God initially hardened Pharoah's heart (Exodus 7:3) before any of this started.

After 7:3, this is the next relevant verse:

Exodus 7:13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

Pharaoh here hardens his heart, but it looks to me like it was because God hardened it (verse 3)

7-13 depends on which version you use; the translators reworded it to say what they wanted it to say. The King James is what I had quoted and it explicitly blames the god

http://biblehub.com/exodus/7-13.htm

Joshua 11
20 For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses.

See alos Romans 11.

God causes people like Rezin, king of Damascus to attack israel, and in his tun, God raises enemies against Rezin. Etc.

Yog Sothoth! Yog Sothoth! Come back old ones! Yog Sothoth!

Cheerful Charlie
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09-04-2017, 02:09 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 01:34 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Start by realizing that it's absurd. That takes away any fuel it might be getting from your reason. Seriously, what sort of jack-ass god gives you an immortal body, especially after going through all the work of repairing the rot, producing new living flesh, etc... (I'm going to be cremated so I'll be extra work for the fucker) just to torture you for eternity? What sort of fucked up god does that?!?

It will help to realize that you aren't alone in this. Many of the atheists on this forum have gone through similar experiences. Check out the deconversion story thread and the Recovering from Religion section. You may find some familiar stories.
Yes I dip into the deconversion thread every day almost. On page 13 right now.

(09-04-2017 01:34 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  It might help to parody it in your head. Next time it pops in to frighten you add some absurd detail. Does the lake of fire have lillypads? Do you get a boat? Are there fireworks? Terror loses its power if you're snickering at it. It'll take work but if you keep at it you may be able to blunt its power over you.
Vera offered this advice too. Perhaps I'll try that.

(09-04-2017 01:34 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Keep up with the therapy. We're just people on the interweb and you need a professional.
Without a doubt, the most help I have ever had since 2010 is here. No doubt at all. The last psychologist I had had been a priest for 20 years. That didn't go too well and in the end I had to move on.

Here, I have people who can relate and the support is second to none. Wish I'd found this site 7 years ago.

Thanks all

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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09-04-2017, 02:12 PM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2017 02:21 PM by SeaJay.)
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 01:51 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I think SeaJay might have been making a joke about not knowing if they were agnostic or not.

"Are you agnostic ?"
-- I don't know.
I was serious. I don't know what I truly believe or even how much I may or may not believe. I don't really feel much at all other than a cold gnawing in my stomach.

Suffice to say right now I just don't know what to think. On a scale of 1-10 where ten is an unshakeable belief, I'm a solid 5.1

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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09-04-2017, 02:17 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 01:54 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  What you are dealing with here is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD. This then is what you need to study, overcoming PTSD.

What you need to do is understand how that works and how people have dealt successfully with that in their own lives. I am not an expert on that, but I assume that there are experts out there who can guide you through that process. Googling for overcoming PTSD would seem to be a good start.

Overcoming religious PTSD pulls up a lot of sites. So you are not the only one who has felt this way. Good luck with your journey.
Hi Charlie

Thank you

I have been diagnosed with Complex (complex meaning long lasting - many years) PTSD due to my childhood. I don't think I'm suffering PTSD from my faith though because I'm still Christian. Albeit if Christianity was a house I'd be at the front door with one foot out the door. Not quite walked though.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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09-04-2017, 02:52 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 01:58 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  It does yes. But I always double check the original language and it (7:13) omits God doing it.

Hebrew: "and·he-is-being-steadfast heart-of Pharaoh and·not he-listened to·them as which he-spoke Yahweh"

Well, that makes about as much sense as the fully translated versions anyway.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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09-04-2017, 02:54 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 02:17 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  I don't think I'm suffering PTSD from my faith though because I'm still Christian.

Does that mean you suffer from TSD?

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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09-04-2017, 03:10 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 02:54 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(09-04-2017 02:17 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  I don't think I'm suffering PTSD from my faith though because I'm still Christian.

Does that mean you suffer from TSD?
Smile In spades

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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09-04-2017, 04:23 PM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2017 04:29 PM by mordant.)
RE: Why I Believe
(09-04-2017 06:25 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Let's say a hardcore Christian becomes a hardcore atheist if that atheist sometime later has a change of heart, can he once again become a Christian, is he saved, or is he forever lost? Not sure what the bible says about this.

I know this isn't logical (looking to the bible to affirm I'd be ok as an atheist/agnostic, but I am interested in what people here believe to be the case.
The Bible, according to many Christians, says that you cannot lose your salvation once you have obtained it. According to others, you can, at least in certain scenarios. Some say you can lose it, but not permanently because ultimately all humans will be reconciled to god. So I can't give you a clear answer as to what scripture says because, as always, it's a question of interpretation and emphasis. You have to choose which exegesis to believe. So in my view, you may as well add to your list of choices, not to believe any of them.

Another way to look at it, of course, is that of course everyone believes whatever they believe at any moment, and those beliefs often change, and sometimes they go from belief A to belief B and back to belief A again, based on what the person is currently aware of in terms of evidence, logical argument, or, as is often the case for you, their emotional climate on a given day.

In principle, no one, not even you, can control what they believe and beliefs can and will change. The separate issue is whether you are going to give credence to people who come to you pretending to speak for god or the church as to what you are "supposed" to believe or whether you're "allowed" to return to former beliefs.

The definition of "theist" and "atheist" determine which you are. Someone can't, by fiat, declare that you are one or the other.
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