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Why is it so hard to admit “I don’t believe in God” ?

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posted on May, 28 2014 @ 10:58 AM
a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

Excellent observation! Most believers don't understand how a person could have good morals, a strong foundation, hope, etc., and be absolutely happy and secure, without being tied to their God. It was very hard for me to accept that I didn't believe any longer because it WAS scary. I had had this foundation in religion all my life and it was a false security.

I have never been able to see why believers would feel that way. Does that imply that the only reason they think they have morals is because of the fear of God? That without religion they would revert to being depraved animals? If anything is scary here, that is!

I have morals because I have basic human empathy. I understand how things other people do make me feel, so I know that I should treat other people in the way that I would want to be treated. It's hardly complicated, is it? Where does religion come into morality, other than inventing "sin" as a way to ban harmless behaviour?

And feeling happy and secure? I feel that way because of the REAL people and things around me now, here on Earth, not some nebulous notion that when I die I will go to a "better place". Living your entire life as some kind of "practice run" for the real reward seems a pretty mind-bogglingly stupid idea to me. How much do religious people miss out on by devoting their lives to worshipping a non-existent deity and berating those who don't share their religion, rather than making the most of the very short time they DO have on Earth?

It is such a colossal waste.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 11:48 AM
a reply to: Rob48

I was watching some old show the other day (Maybe Stargate SG1) and it struck me that all social groups that look to a "god" to regulate their behavior have a few basic things in common:

1. A supreme leader or commander (figurehead)
2. A set of rules (set forth by #1)
3. An evil counterpart that is trying to pull people away from the group (demons, devils or atheists)
4. A promise of extreme reward if the rules are followed
5. A promise of extreme punishment if the rules are broken
6. A promise of the return of #1 to exact the reward and punishment

This makes it clear to me that all religions are control mechanisms. Growing up in this environment, I was taught that people who weren't committed to the group were basically selfish, amoral, unhappy, uneducated and weak. They could NEVER be happy or GOOD without faith in the figurehead and strict adherence to the rules.

Breaking away from it made me realize that it's just a big lie. I don't need a figurehead or imposed rules to control myself and be a good person. In fact, I'm a much better person as a humanist and atheist than I ever was as a Christian.

I don't know if I'm getting off-topic as the OP covered quite a lot of ground.

edit on 5/28/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 11:54 AM

originally posted by: sk0rpi0n
You can CHOOSE to ignore it.
Do not think about a pink elephant! (The natural reaction is to have an image of it in one's mind). The same is true for what you see in the streets. You cannot undo the cognition. You cannot unring a bell.

Do you want your children to be exposed to whatever Hollywood can make a buck with? Do you want your kids to grow up in streets full of obsenities, gay or otherwise? Praising God from the top of your lung isn't going to help you help them understand right from wrong.

edit on 28-5-2014 by ThinkingHuman because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 12:08 PM

originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
I don't know if I'm getting off-topic as the OP covered quite a lot of ground.
You're doing great IMO. I am humbled because I am at a loss as to what to add. Your list of those 6 points is very insightful.

I'd be curious about how you feel about faith, given that you are not dogmatically religious. Do you agree that regardless of whether there is a God or not, there is a benefit from faith?

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 12:20 PM

originally posted by: ThinkingHuman
Do you agree that regardless of whether there is a God or not, there is a benefit from faith?

Faith in what? Something spiritual?

I have faith that my husband loves me and acts in a way he thinks will benefit me.
I have faith that the way I live contributes to the good will that exists in the world.
I have faith in a lot of things. But I don't have faith in anything religious or even spiritual. I have some spiritual beliefs, but I don't think of them as truths or anything to have faith in. I could be right or wrong with my beliefs and it doesn't really matter. I'll find out when I find out.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 12:26 PM
a reply to: ThinkingHuman why am i here is the source of our existance. who am i being humanbeing

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 01:08 PM

originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
To answer the title question, I'd have to say, "Define God" and then I can give an answer of sorts. Because I don't believe in the biblical God, but I think there's a chance that there is some kind of source.
By "God" in the title I mean the Christian God because the question is typically asked by Christians.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 01:33 PM
a reply to: ThinkingHuman

Because God is there man,

It's programmed into humanity to believe in Him,

He made us, it's the reason why every group of humans who have walked earth since the dawn of Adam 200,000 years ago has groped for the Divine,

The Genesis creation myth is a beautiful story describing how humanity lost it's innocence and we're always groping to get back to Paradise, a place where, deep down in our souls we know we belong, we know this world of death, decay and tears is not right, we know this beautiful world and amazing landscapes we see don't fit with the dismal human condition we experience on a daily basis...

Thank God you're having a hard time giving up your faith, it's not always easy to hang onto it when trudging through the mire of life,

Hang in there, your reward for faith and love is greater than anything you can imagine

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 02:26 PM
I found this blog entry very interesting. It might shed some light on why it's sometimes hard to "admit" one is an atheist. (I don't like the word "admit" here because it seems like it's something bad that one has to own up to.)

Admit You are an Atheist

What have been religion’s two main strategies against unbelief? First, proclaiming that religion has crucial knowledge so valuable that anyone and everyone must get intimately acquainted with it: read our scriptures, come to our worship places, try to follow the theological mazes – do whatever it takes to really, really, understand what’s so wonderful about what our religion is saying. Second, after all that, if you still won’t agree with us, then we will slander you with the nastiest, filthiest labels that gutter language has to offer. We will publicly humiliate and shame you until you cower in fear and never show your atheist face in public.

Religion is a master of instilling self-degradation and self-deception, and it can do that for nonbelievers, too. That’s why religion conveniently defines atheism as “Claiming to know there’s no God” so that religious people can seem much humbler by comparison. And that’s why religion shames atheism as “Having no morals or meaning to life” so that religious people can seem so ethical by comparison. Can’t you see how your mind has been infiltrated and distorted by these viral insinuations?

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 04:04 PM
This thread really caught my attention for some reason. I think because I have some sort of turmoil going on inside and always have.

I am not a Christian and I don't believe in God, at least as described in the bible.

I grew up going to church sporadically as my parents went through phases. I was baptized at 13 years old because they wanted it.

I am very much a realist and try to look at most things logically. I can't believe that some old guy lives up in the clouds somewhere and controls everything from every single raindrop to every star that burns out or is born in the universe.
Someone who knows every detail that's ever happened or ever will happen and what's in every creatures heart. It's just too much for me personally to believe in.

On the other hand Every time I say I don't believe in GOD there is a nagging feeling in my gut that it's wrong or I'm wrong. Maybe it's due to growing up being programmed to think otherwise and accept that there is a GOD.

There is too many coincidences in the world to be random occurrence, I believe and have to think on some level that there is a bigger plan in play. Somebody or something pulling the strings or guiding us.

Maybe I am not special and everybody struggles with the same confusion but I never hear anyone talk about it.

I get confused just trying to explain to you all what I feel......

Another thought I had is that deep down I DO believe in GOD but am too lazy and selfish to follow the Christian way.

Who knows, I sure as hell don't.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 05:00 PM
a reply to: mwood

I can relate. I was steeped in religion from birth. It was the center of our lives. It took me years to be comfortable with my position that the biblical god most likely doesn't exist. After all, it's what I had been taught. But the idea of the biblical god makes no logical sense whatsoever to me.

I had to get comfortable with NOT KNOWING. I mean, there is NO WAY any of us knows where we came from, why we're here, and what happens when we die. Some people tell themselves that they know, but they don't. It's a lie they tell themselves to be comforted, because as a species, we generally fear the unknown. If I can tell myself that I know what's going on and know what to expect, I can get a little comfort from that and not be so scared. I can feel that my life means something, that I have a purpose. Facing the unknown and unknowable about purpose and meaning is a huge ordeal.

I'd rather be honest with myself and admit that I don't have a clue where we came from, why we're here, and what happens when we die. I can feel comforted in the fact that I'm being honest with myself. I don't know, and that's OK. I choose every day to be the best I can, by MY standards. I can choose to love, be generous, be grateful for my life and be content in the fact that I don't know the answer to the questions of life. No one does. I'm just brave enough to acknowledge it.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 05:15 PM
You want people to mind their own business .... then my free unsolicited advice ... stay away from Alabama.

We got stuck living there for nine years or so. Every time we met someone they would shake our hand and say 'so what church do you go to'. I swear it's true. That's the first thing they'd say .. and they'd ask intensely. It's like they had to stick you in a labeled box. And if you answered they'd always say .... "oh well, why?" ... and then be pushy with "You are welcome to come with us to our church ... blah blah blah."

Every dang meeting and conversation was always the same. And of course, their church was the right one and everyone else was wrong or damned. It was ridiculous.

edit on 5/28/2014 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 05:37 PM
a reply to: FlyersFan

Ha...My uncle lives in Montgomery and is a pastor himself. I have visited on several occasions and one of the first things I noticed is that you couldn't drive a mile without seeing a church sometimes three or four.

I get along great with my uncle, but I will not talk religion with him. He will bring it up at some point in every conversation whether it is how he is studying the bible and how the wisest man to have ever lived...blah blah blah or telling me I should talk to god about the dilemmas I am facing after my fathers death. I just sort of humor him and say yeah ok. My father wasn't religious Vietnam was the final straw for him and I was never raised with religion. I am so thankful to him for that. My mother would probably be considered new age with her beliefs I assume cause she has never really talked much about it.

You are so right about Alabama though because of the times I have been there the subject with new people you meet always comes up. I was also stationed there when I was in the Army going through AIT. Good old Redstone Arsenal. I had some fun times there.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 05:39 PM

originally posted by: Grimpachi
Good old Redstone Arsenal.

We lived in Madison and went to church on Redstone.
I'm right about the 'what church do you go to' thing, aren't I?
They all say it. First thing. It's invasive and strange.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 06:09 PM
a reply to: FlyersFan

Sounds like southern Ohio Southern Baptists. LOL I can relate.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 06:15 PM
a reply to: FlyersFan

I didn't get it as much being military at the time, but it still happened. When I visit my uncle now and I meet someone it happens more times than not even though they should be able to tell I don't live there. I think they want to know what denomination I am. I have even said "sorry I don't live here" and they still press.

I want to tell them "I am a heathen now leave me be".

posted on May, 29 2014 @ 04:03 AM

originally posted by: ThinkingHuman
As far as declaring what we do believe I don't see why that is necessary. Why does it matter what I believe if it can't be proven?
It does matter (for your own benefit, even if you don't want to post it here). Your belief or belief-system is the color of your glasses, so-to-speak. Everything you think, everything you think you know, is founded on that.

You know nothing, neither do I. Examine it. Do you know when you were born? How could you, you didn’t have awareness at that time. You believe what you are told. Because it is above the bar of what you require as support in order to accept it as fact.

People have that bar at different levels. People with a high bar are more inquisitive. What about what you learned in school? Your teachers probably learned it n-th hand. But our minds are so molded that all of us refuse to throw out the indoctrinated foundation, not just those who take refuge in an old book.

posted on May, 29 2014 @ 08:02 AM
a reply to: ThinkingHuman

None of what you posted explains why any person should feel the need to declare here or anywhere else what flavor of afterlife they believe in to others.

You say it is for my own benefit. Explain why it is necessary that declaring such would be for my own benefit. Everything you exclaimed would be about being self aware.

BTW I almost didn't respond because your quote feature says you are quoting yourself.
edit on 29-5-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 29 2014 @ 08:12 AM
a reply to: Grimpachi

I don't think it's necessary to declare what I believe to others. Most of the people I know IRL aren't even aware of my specific spiritual beliefs. But here on ATS, I talk about my beliefs just to share with others and hear what they believe. It's interesting, makes me think and opens my mind.

I challenge my beliefs all the time, and they have changed somewhat, based on my experiences here.

posted on May, 29 2014 @ 08:30 AM
a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

I agree. I will share sometimes when asked or when I feel it is pertinent but even here I hesitate to exclaim I believe in X,Y or Z.

There are several reasons for my stance. One of the main ones to me is that I reserve the right to change my mind and it happens quite often.

I will say this as I get older there is less and less I find plausible concerning the afterlife.

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