Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
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04-06-2014, 10:35 PM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
This is the only part I really liked:

Quote:Maybe that warm feeling I miss is the true scary part of religion: that it can become this numbing hive mind of false comfort that brainwashes at best.

It sounds mean and bitter. I can definitely understand why how religion can be comforting and reassuring. I have never been a christian in my life, but I remember wanting to be a christian when I wrestled with hard problems like coming to terms with mortality, and the realization that when I suffer in this world, I suffer alone.

Still, the overwhelming feelings I kept getting when I read this article was a screaming voice in my head shouting "GROW THE FUCK UP!". The article speaks a lot about being selfless and how much easier it was when she had faith, but that is bullshit. Religion is at least as much about self worship as it is about worshiping the lord and others. It feels great to be kind to people when you have a divine mandate, but you aren't doing it for the people you are helping, you are doing that for yourself. It so obnoxious and fake and false, and even if its good that people are getting helped (although for the wrong reason) I can't help but feel sick with how incredibly disingenuous it is.

Help people because you care about them. Listen to people because your empathy compels you to. Make sacrifices in order to better live by your ideals and take part in making the world a better place by them. This infinitely more meaningful and selfless, in my view, then doing the same things as a way to worship god.

This lady at buzzfeed might not be there philosophically yet, or she may be but chose not to write about it in this article, but when you really start to consider the implications of being a "servant" of God you realize how shitty that all is. I have pretty strong views on it, and I posted them in another thread. I want go over it all again, just quote it incase anyone is interested. For my part, I am just as terrified by this world as anyone else, but I am incredibly grateful that there is no reason at all to believe anything about christianity is at all true. Even if God is benevolent and loving, the world is so much of a better place without him. We can own our own virtues, exercise control over our own destiny, and have true meaning in a mortal life, and the very notion of a God whom we all of this too robs us of that. Going on my soap box here (forgive me) but there is nothing more liberating and empowering in this life than shedding religion. I can understand why people miss their faith, but in my opinion, they really shouldn't, they have so much more to be thankful for without it.

And as promised, more soap box from another thread:

(17-05-2014 07:11 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  All of those videos I linked are merely interpretations on a mortal life in the absence of god, or in the case of the hitchens video, the opposite of that. If you see things differently then that is very alright. There is not right or wrong answer in this case, although there might be view points that are better reasoned.

The hitchens video makes the point that by virtue of being the creation of a deity that makes us property of them. If we are good, we are good because god made us that way, not because we independently possess the 'good' qualities. If we behave morally, or justly, or righteously it is because god made it so and not because people made it so, because after all he created us that way. Nothing more thoroughly robs us of our humanity, in my opinion, than the notion that we owe ourselves to a greater being. In a world without god we exist in a moral vacuum, the universe has no opinion on right or wrong and the other animals around us are often dubious and incomplete models for a moral frame work. If we make the world a better place through our actions we do through our reasoning and our efforts; we OWN that goodness and it is entirely ours.

Giving thanks to a deity is not just an action of reverence, in my opinion, it is an ultimate surrender of self respect and human identity. What could be more debasing and low than an entirety spent worshiping this deity? Even if he is good and just, I much prefer the reality where I rule my own, finite destiny.

I think this is the core of hitchens point, and the major point made in the other two videos. Living a mortal life means that every action, every thing you do every second of every day, is in a sense a form of sacrifice. "Our days are numbered", as they say. If you give even on hour to help people or to advance humanity in some way it is infinitely more meaningful because you only have so many hours to give. An eternal life infinitely cheapens that. Why does any one moment matter given an infinite landscape of them? If you ponder it in that way, the notion of an immortal life seems very shallow and empty by comparison.

It is the great human paradox, I think, when we ponder our own existence. Every person, I don't care what they say, wants to live forever. It is biologically engineered into us over billions and billions of years; the principle goal of every organism is to stay alive because staying alive means you get more chances to produce offspring. It is also central to our ego. We want to be present. If not alive, then something as close to being alive as possible, we just want our consciousness to persist. It is very scary and extremely humbling to imagine ourselves as not only very small, but very fleeting too. The "flash in the pan" cliche applies to all of us.

In juxtaposition to that is our desire for our lives to be meaningful. There is only really so much meaning we can afford ourselves given the reality of the universe we exist in. The most fantastic accomplishments we can imagine for ourselves in our lifetime pale in comparison to many of the natural forces and physical bodies in the universe. No monument we build will ever be as grand or as majestic as a galaxy or a star, no force or feat of engineering will ever be as massive as our own planets gravity. The legacy of every person can only outlast their lives for a little while, because one day we all will be forgotten.

So its pretty bleak I know. There is a balance to everything though. The lesson to be learned from this, I think, is to live the best life for yourself, and nobody else, that you can while you have it. You are small and your life short by any objective measure, don't delude yourself with grandeur or look to the afterlife for comfort or reformation. All of it is empty, there is only right now, right where you are, and only for as long as you have air to breath and healthy mind to consider it all. If the universe teaches us anything, its be kind to yourself and to each other. The only thing that can give you value is yourself and the people you care about. We are truly alone in this universe, and imperfect in every conceivable way except one; we know we are here and we have just enough intellect to appreciate it all. That is what life is all about, in my humble opinion.

Sorry for drowning on. I do hope you find your answers, and I think if you keep searching it is very likely you will.
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04-06-2014, 10:39 PM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
Quote:Losing Jesus, someone I talked to both hunched over in prayer groups and in the darkness of my bedroom, felt like losing a friend, even if he was an imaginary one all along. Many people would call this a good thing, this kicking of the "opiate of the masses" habit, and I would too. Putting on my existential big-girl pants. Confronting the fact that God didn't get me through any hard times. I did. Considering that heaven isn't a gentle ledge I can lean my elbow on when confronted with the sadness of death. These were hard truths to swallow, but like tablespoons of fish oil, they were good for me.

I can understand this. Jesus is set up to be the friend that would never let us down. That perceived relationship is a loss. Who wouldn't want our own personal super hero?

Mmm, fish oil. The rank truth. So many benefits to the truth, even if the taste is repulsive at first.
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05-06-2014, 02:26 AM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
(04-06-2014 08:16 PM)Vosur Wrote:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/w...-christian

Thoughts? Consider

I'm not clicking on a fucking link.

That's my thought.
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05-06-2014, 03:12 AM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
(05-06-2014 02:26 AM)Foxen Wrote:  
(04-06-2014 08:16 PM)Vosur Wrote:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/w...-christian

Thoughts? Consider

I'm not clicking on a fucking link.

That's my thought.

That's got to impact your internet experience quite a bit.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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05-06-2014, 03:13 AM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
I now realize that the only reason I found comfort in believing is that I was just a kid and I hadn't realized how bad life can get, or how much life is worth for that matter.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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05-06-2014, 07:33 AM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
(04-06-2014 09:02 PM)Logisch Wrote:  Reality is hard. I MISS WISHFUL THINKING! *sigh*

Did Mozart Stinks write that blog?

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-06-2014, 11:56 AM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
(04-06-2014 08:16 PM)Vosur Wrote:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/w...-christian

Thoughts? Consider
The whole thing resonates with me (but I wasn't a born-again Christian). The initial buying it all hook, line, sinker - committing my way of living to following Christianity - committing to learning more about it and believing Jesus would smile on me for it - the questions and contradictions that arose during my learning - the vanishing of my faith - the feeling of losing someone close - even the last part from the article of intellectually being fine without it, but spiritually trying to pick up the pieces. I went through all of that. I was fine being without it after a couple of years, but the spiritual part went on for probably 10 years before I was comfortable abandoning that too. And the fear of being wrong and of hell (which I didn't see in the article) lasted the longest, returning to haunt my thoughts and create doubt from time to time.

But, unlike the author, I don't miss a single thing about it. For awhile I may have missed the "friend" I had in Jesus, but looking back at this point, I can't miss something that I now know I never actually had.

I read about half the comments and then quit. Every single one that I read were some Christians who couldn't help themselves from trying to convince the author that she's viewing it all wrong. Rolleyes

"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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05-06-2014, 12:08 PM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
I was not born again, I was raised catholic. For a while I did miss the comfort provided by religion, but that went away as the fog lifted.
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05-06-2014, 12:10 PM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
I have lots of warm fuzzy feelings. *shrug* Dont need religion for that.
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05-06-2014, 12:47 PM
RE: Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian
(04-06-2014 08:16 PM)Vosur Wrote:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/w...-christian

Thoughts? Consider

Quote:John Jeremiah Sullivan writes in Pulphead that even now, years after he got out of his Jesus phase, he still feels drawn to his old beliefs. “The sheer sensation of life that comes with a total, all-pervading notion of being, the pulse of consequence one projects onto even the humblest things,” he writes of his former faith, “the pull of that won’t slacken.".

That "sheer sensation" that "pulse" that "pull" ... is the rush which governs perception of life and life thereafter.

The rush the rock star feels...
The rush the gambler feels...
The rush the magician feels...
The rush the junkie feels...
The rush the artist feels...
The rush the swindler feels...

In a sense, once a _________ always a _________.

So I have observed. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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