dead to me
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15-11-2014, 11:42 AM
RE: dead to me
(15-11-2014 09:47 AM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  Was that your first post Nurse?

Dreaming of meeting your beloved dead relatives is not delusional, it's human. I wouldn't "hate" (for lack of a better word) myself for that if I was you. You wanted to meet your biological father, I think there are a few things more "natural" than that. Really.

I think that the worst realization post-deconversion for me was death. When I realized I didn't have an afterlife anymore. Many atheists say that they don't mind it, I personally disagree (and that goes to show that we're all different on many issues). I don't like ceasing to exist, I like to live and to experience stuff. But the universe doesn't care about what I want. Tongue I'm kind of hoping that we get to be ghosts. At least we can scare somebody on Halloween (and the rest of the year).

In any case, I'm also available if you want to have a chat. Even to talk about whatever just to distract yourself. Big Grin I think that talking is a good therapy of the mind. I'm sure you have friends IRL and on here too, but well, just so you know.

Hug Agreed, talking definitely helps. I don't have any offline friends I can talk to about it. That's why I'm here.

It was my second post. Shy The first was in the intro thread. I've made a lot of progress. When I wrote that, I felt like my world was crashing down around me. How did no one else feel that massive crack in existence? The world completely shifted on its axis, and no one noticed.

Admitting to myself that the fairy tale isn't real, there is no heaven, there is no afterlife, there is no Jesus who loves me and cares - that is the hardest thing I've ever been through. And I've been through a lot. I had accepted for years that the bible was more of a metaphor and guide than to be taken literally - I couldn't believe the crap that was in there otherwise. If I thought of it as a metaphor, then I could still hang on to Jesus and heaven. And then I thought surely a merciful, just god doesn't send anyone to hell - and I had stopped believing in hell. I think that's where my husband is in his belief - he doesn't really believe in a hell, I think he's worried my soul will cease to exist and his soul will go to heaven because he wills it that way.

Funny thing happens when you read your bible and start thinking and paying attention to the world around you. It destroys your faith - it did mine.

It was a Sunday when I finally admitted to myself that I'm an atheist, not a "loving christian", and will be nothing when I die. My husband was out on a call for yet another child exploitation case. (A few days before that I had seen a two week old infant with a crush injury - to her head - with no hope for survival.) So, I opened a bottle of my favorite Chardonnay and sat by myself and cried on the front porch, watching everyone in the neighborhood drive home from their Sunday evening church services. I told my husband when he came home that night. He told me that he would love me no matter what and that hopefully one day if reconsider. Now we fight all the time, something we have never done, and I know it has a lot to do with it. It may have been easier for my marriage to keep my atheism to myself, but I had to talk to someone. And you should be able to talk to your spouse about anything. He's finally accepting it - he sent me a text message yesterday about something that said - "you keep your fingers crossed and I'll pray this works out!" I know that's his version of trying to meet me halfway.

I don't like the thought of ceasing to exist, either. I quite like myself and don't really want the party to go on without me. And I'm still upset that I won't meet my dad.

On a less serious note:
If I were a ghost - I'd be a drunk one. And curse a lot. I wouldn't really want to scare anyone, I'd be content with haunting ER lobbies and calling people dumbasses.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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15-11-2014, 12:48 PM
RE: dead to me
(15-11-2014 11:42 AM)Nurse Wrote:  Admitting to myself that the fairy tale isn't real, there is no heaven, there is no afterlife, there is no Jesus who loves me and cares - that is the hardest thing I've ever been through. And I've been through a lot. I had accepted for years that the bible was more of a metaphor and guide than to be taken literally - I couldn't believe the crap that was in there otherwise. If I thought of it as a metaphor, then I could still hang on to Jesus and heaven. And then I thought surely a merciful, just god doesn't send anyone to hell - and I had stopped believing in hell. I think that's where my husband is in his belief - he doesn't really believe in a hell, I think he's worried my soul will cease to exist and his soul will go to heaven because he wills it that way.

It was less disastrous for me, but I'm happy that you're getting over that moment. It's an important issue, I mean, it's one of the hardest questions to befall the humans. It's about existence itself, so it's no wonder that it affects people so deeply.

(15-11-2014 11:42 AM)Nurse Wrote:  So, I opened a bottle of my favorite Chardonnay and sat by myself and cried on the front porch, watching everyone in the neighborhood drive home from their Sunday evening church services.

That's kind of... poetic.


(15-11-2014 11:42 AM)Nurse Wrote:  He's finally accepting it - he sent me a text message yesterday about something that said - "you keep your fingers crossed and I'll pray this works out!" I know that's his version of trying to meet me halfway.

That made me smile. Big Grin

(15-11-2014 11:42 AM)Nurse Wrote:  On a less serious note:
If I were a ghost - I'd be a drunk one. And curse a lot. I wouldn't really want to scare anyone, I'd be content with haunting ER lobbies and calling people dumbasses.

Well, we can be the type of ghost that acts nonchalantly about it. Like "yeah I'm a ghost, so what? You look like you never saw one!" and then laugh at their incredule faces.

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
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20-11-2014, 12:08 PM (This post was last modified: 20-11-2014 12:35 PM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: dead to me
I had my "conversion" to atheism when I was fairly young, 12 or 13 or so. I remember the exact moment it happened but don't recall how old I was. I was sitting in church, the pastor had just received the collection plates and was standing at the back of the altar giving a prayer of offering, etc. and it hit me like a slap in the face - this is a man talking to a wall and we all just gave him money. I suspect that MOST people, if they're truly honest with themselves, are actually atheist or agnostic and are just willingly pretending - the stronger they proclaim their faith the more they're just trying to convince themselves that the nagging voice of reason isn't really there - thus the creation of "The Devil," etc.

People of faith tend to ask what "happened to me," to "make" me an atheist. I can't speak for anyone else but my own journey wasn't spurred on by a specific tragedy or poor life outcome. I like to think that I didn't "become" an atheist that I always WAS one; that we all are but most of us never realize it. I didn't LOSE my faith, I discovered I never really had it to begin with and decided to stop pretending.

Anyway it's made for some awkward conversations with family and friends over the years but I've figured anyone who wanted me out of their life over it wasn't worth keeping in my life. My mother is a retired Methodist pastor who struggled with my lack of belief for a while but has since realized I'm just as moral, fair, and charitable as I always was.

Overall though it's been a very liberating thing for me and my worldview and outlook. Morally-speaking I'm no longer bound by the idea that we have a genocidal, misogynistic, slavery-supporting, lunatic to thank for our morality and that we can move beyond bronze age ethics. Because I neither fear damnation nor expect salvation I'm encouraged to make the ONE life I know I have as pleasant as I possibly can for myself and those around me.

But there certainly can be a gaping hole, and a feeling of loss when you're dealing with the sudden absence of some ETERNAL purpose we've all been conditioned to believe in. Realizing that Heaven and Hell were fantasies and I'd never see my deceased loved-ones again was a bit difficult to cope with. I certainly wouldn't call it a "spiritual" satisfaction but I've found a great deal of comfort and inspiration over the last few years in some very poetic and beautiful things that some of the great modern atheist thinkers have said about our existence in and of the universe. I'm merging different thoughts from different people and paraphrasing liberally here, but here's my version of any "gospel" worth believing. I think it's just as beautiful and inspirational as anything found in the ancient Holy texts of Man, and happens to also have the benefit of being true:

The atoms that make us up were created in the furnaces of dying stars. We are star stuff. The atoms in your left hand likely came from different stars than the atoms in your right hand; you are the universe expressing itself as a human being for a short time. The atoms that make you up came from the earth, you were made by the food your mother consumed while you were in the womb, food which was nourished by energy from the sun; when you die your body will return to the earth and nourish other life. How arrogant must we be to behold the vast expanse of the universe and the deep wonder of life itself and contend not only that they were created specifically for us alone but to also insist that they are not enough and to expect another of each of them after we die?

Anyhow I don't know how well any of this relates to the OP's issue or struggle, I guess I'm just saying giving up faith you certainly do lose some comforting conventions - but they can be replaced with BETTER ones.
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20-11-2014, 12:36 PM
RE: dead to me
In hindsight I was eventually able to realize I never believed in God, I just believed in the people who taught me to believe in God. I still love those people even though I've broken free of what they taught me.
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20-11-2014, 03:34 PM
RE: dead to me
First, well done with that work in ER.
I have always admired ambos, SES, fireys, nurses, and other community concerned people.
As for your quandry; Christianity doesn't own the god concept.
You might find Buddhism more interesting. It is held as atheistic by many, but still has a spiritual component.
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20-11-2014, 03:40 PM
RE: dead to me
(20-11-2014 03:34 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  It is held as atheistic by many, but still has a spiritual component.

It is atheistic. Tongue

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
[Image: Schermata%202014-10-24%20alle%2012.39.01.png]
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