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I am not an atheist by choice

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posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:08 AM
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As the title suggests, I am not an atheist by choice. I grew up in a church going family, in a very fundamentalist Christian community. I went to church every Sunday, and attended bible camps in my youth during the summer. I was even in "Awana", which is kind of a Christian Scouts kind of thing. I had always assumed faith was something that could be learned, and I had also assumed that as I grew older my faith would strengthen. But it did not. My "faith" for lack of a better word didn't exist, even as a child. I wanted to believe, truly I did. I wanted my parents to be proud of me and my community to accept me, but the faith never came. I studied the bible, reread passages, attended by Awana meetings. I could sing most hymns by heart, could quote nearly passage that was asked, and the faith never came.

I prayed every single night. I asked God "Please give me the faith that I need in you. I want to believe." I was baptized, I praised Jesus. I went through all the motions. And the faith never came.

I kept my lack of faith a secret until I was about 14 years old. By then, my mother had lost her faith as well, but for reasons I won't go into here. When I told her that I didn't believe, she was understanding, thankfully. I thought my friends would be the same way. I gathered the strength to tell them how I felt, and I was immediately ostracized. They told me I was going to hell. My best male friend cut off all contact with me, calling me a devil worshiper. Word spread through my small town that I was one of "those devil worshipers" and soon even my teachers would become terse and rude with me. My principal sat me in his office one day and asked me why I chose to be the way I am.

I told me my story, of how I prayed, studied, sang, attended camps and clubs, but the faith never came. He only nodded and eventually said "Keep trying". But by then I knew no matter how hard I wished it or prayed for it, the faith would never come. I graduated high school with exactly two people I could call "friend". Everyone else in my community either pretended I didn't exist, or gave me dirty looks when they passed by, like I stunk of unfaith or something.

Thankfully in my young adult life and into my current age, I've found people who accept me for who I am, and I've even made several devout christian friends who don't judge me because I can't believe. It was never a choice for me to atheist, I tried. I really did try. I just could find the faith.

You may say to me: Why not believe just to be safe? Pascal's wager comes to mind. The trouble with that is, even if I go through all the motions, say the prayers, attend church and sing the hymns.. Even if I did ALL of that, I still wouldn't truly believe. I would continue to be without faith. And if a God really DOES exist, surely he/she would see beyond my lies of faith and judge me just as guilty as any non-believer.

This was my story as a atheist who DOESN'T want to be an atheist. I really wish I could believe, even today. I want to have that faith, but I just ...can't. It's like I was born without some required faith organ. I feel defective, like there's something wrong with me.

What say you, ATS?




posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun


Maybe religion is not for you. Learn about spiritism. It is the core of all religions and races throughout the ages.


The different nations of the earth have formed to themselves widely divergent ideas of the creation; ideas always in harmony with their degree of scientific advancement. Reason and science concur in admitting the fantastic character of certain theories. The explanation of the subject now given through spirit communication is confirmatory of the opinion which has long been adopted by the most enlightened exponents of modern science.

This explanation will no doubt be objected to, on the ground that it is in contradiction with the statements of the Bible; but a careful examination of those statements shows us that this contradiction is more apparent than real, and that it results from the interpretation which has been given to expressions whose meaning is allegorical rather than historical.

The question of the personality of Adam, regarded as the first man, and sole progenitor of the human race, is not the only one in regard to which the religious convictions of the world have necessarily undergone modification. The hypothesis of the rotation of the earth round the sun appeared, at one time, to be in such utter opposition to the letter of the Bible, that every species of persecution was directed against it, and against those who advocated it. Yet the earth continued to move on in its orbit in defiance of anathemas; and no one, at the present day, could contest the fact of its movement without doing violence to his own powers of reasoning.

The Bible also tells us that the world was created in six days, and fixes the epoch of this creation at about 4000 years before the Christian era. Previously to that period the earth did not exist. At that period it was produced out of nothing. Such is the formal declaration of the sacred text, yet science, positive, inexorable steps in with proof to the contrary. The history of the formation of the globe is written in indestructible characters in the worlds of fossils, proving beyond the possibility of denial that the six days of the creation are successive periods, each of which may have been of millions of ages. This is not a mere matter of statement or of opinion. It is a fact as incontestably certain as is the motion of the earth, and one that theology itself can no longer refuse to admit, although this admission furnishes another example of the errors into which we are led by attributing literal truth to language which is often of a figurative nature. Are we therefore to conclude that the Bible is a mere tissue of errors? No; but we must admit that men have erred in their method of interpreting it.

-Allan Kardec

Read this book www.spiritwritings.com...


edit on 13-2-2015 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-2-2015 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:14 AM
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Yep theres definitely something wrong with you.......you should believe in unicorns.....whats the problem......

edit on 13-2-2015 by stirling because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:15 AM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

I can relate to your story.
All I can say is try Humanism --it's a big boat. All humanists die martyrs, but as long as you can handle that, you're in.

It will help you sort out which religions/operatives/ideologies are a direct threat and which aren't.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:19 AM
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a reply to: Shadow Herder

Thanks, I'll give that a read. Sounds interesting!



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: stirling

Oh I want to believe in Unicorns! I heard for the first time in AGES the theme song for the movie "The Last Unicorn", and I cried all over again. That was my favorite movie growing up!



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:32 AM
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You are not an atheist. But you do have a problem with Christianity (that's the only religion you had practice so far, I guess), I advise to search for other religion.
A friend of mine use to be an atheist, then he had a spiritual awakening that make him realize that God exist.

I have similar story.
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edit on 13-2-2015 by Abednego because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: ScientificRailgun

I can relate to your story.
All I can say is try Humanism --it's a big boat. All humanists die martyrs, but as long as you can handle that, you're in.

It will help you sort out which religions/operatives/ideologies are a direct threat and which aren't.
Some have called me a Humanist. I think it resonates well with how I operate, honestly.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

Your personal relationship with a creator should be real, or not at all. Whatever things happen in your life drive your experiences and beliefs. I wouldn't feel bad that you don't believe, I'd feel proud that you are thinking for yourself most importantly, being honest with yourself.

I do believe in a creator, and since I am free to believe anything I like, I believe he/her/it will love any soul that offers love in return. I am not a fan of religion. It's good for some folks and if they are happy, I am all for their happiness.

You seem to be an incredibly intelligent person. Trust yourself, and trust your experiences. Maybe one day, you will feel differently, but do that on YOUR terms, if at all.

But I sure hope that when this existence is over, I can meet those I car about around the all night kegger that is heaven. (and I pray I don't want to go to bed at 8pm)



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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Exactly what I went through...

An event in my life brought me back to the Lord.

To me, I despise Religion. I love my Relationship with the Lord.

The Foundation is there. You might come full circle someday.

This time it's on your terms. Not some ancient Religion designed for guilt and full coffers.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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There are many real things and people to have faith and believe in. Yourself, for instance. Spirituality is rarely a path to true belief and faith. That sort of pseudo-faith is directed towards the words of some man, and not your own.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

-What say you, ATS?

I say there are a couple of cures for atheism. I will I inform you of them, and then it WILL be your choice, because you can try one of the cures if you really want to.

The first would be a peyote ceremony at my church. You are welcome anytime.

www.peyoteway.org...

The second would be an ayahuasca ceremony in a place like Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Holland. Ayahuasca retreats are easy to find.

The choice is yours.

👣


edit on 779FridayuAmerica/ChicagoFebuFridayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: BlueMule

I have considered Peyote or Ayahuasca. I would probably be more into Peyote considering my Native American blood. Sadly, I live in Japan and cannot experiment in such things. Thank you very much for the offer. Perhaps when I visit my family in the U.S. I'll give you visit.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

I get the sense that you still want to believe in... something. But what was presented to you did not resonate with you. Instead of trying to fit into the established 'pattern' of belief that was thrust upon you, I feel like if you seek with an open mind, you will be quenched with Truth.

Sort of how it went for me, anyway.

Anyway, relax my friend. Seek and ye shall find. Preconceived notions are like blinders sometimes.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Living in JP for a while now, I've actually begun to study a little more into Japanese Buddhism. I like the concept of the spirit continuing after death, but I'm not sure about the whole praying to 神. I have visited several temples and shrines. The ones near Kyoto are especially nice. Very tranquil, an excellent place for introspection.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:53 AM
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a reply to: new_here

I'm not actively searching for anything anymore. Though I've begun to dabble in Buddhism, I haven't found anything about I really connect with, aside from the concept of the spirit living on after death.



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:54 AM
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The number one thing that makes me an "atheist" is that after really considering the matter, I couldn't find any source that could adequately explain to me exactly what I was supposed to be believing in. There was a fundamental lack of definition.

The definition people give for "God" runs anywhere from an essentially unfathomable trans-dimensional, omnipresent creator superbeing to "love," to "everything," to a human-like entity who has a strong personal interest in which side wins football games. A creator with no reason to create. A thing that is everything, but also separate enough to be distinct from everything else and have its own name.

Talking to people, what many people describe when they talk about "God" is a physical feeling of mild queasiness and euphoria, of "vastness," like you get when you stand at the edge of a cliff.

So it all boils down to this: Can you believe in something that you can't define? I don't think so.

Somebody tells you that there might be something in a box. They can't describe it, and even tell you that it might be something (if you could call it a "thing") you cannot even comprehend. They also suggest that it might be responsible for the existence of the box itself, and the entirety of reality as you understand it. But they can't give you any empirical evidence or proof of what they're saying. They will say that this thing loves you, though, for reasons that are not entirely clear.

Given that scenario, I have to give it a pass. Not really even an atheist, because I'm not even completely clear on what it is I'm not believing in. Can you even not believe in something you can't comprehend?



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun

I hear there is a branch of Santo Daime in Japan. If so you might be able to undergo an ayahuasca ceremony there.

Entheogens can cure atheism if you give them a chance. But really, there are many means of achieving altered states of mystical consciousness. If you really want to challenge your atheism, you'll pick one or more and use it in the right way and see what happens. It was Sam Harris who said if you want to test the empirical claims of contemplatives, you have to practice a contemplative discipline. He calls it "building your own telescope".

To build or not to build. That is your choice.

👣


edit on 790FridayuAmerica/ChicagoFebuFridayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: BlueMule

Should I be seeking to "cure" my atheism though? I've finally begun to understand that there is nothing really WRONG with me as it is, but is there?



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 12:00 PM
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a reply to: ScientificRailgun
I've been an atheist myself. Brought up church-going, decided that I did not really believe at the age of seventeen (in the middle of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve), came back to the Christian faith a few years later. The story of that is in my "How an atheist became a Christian" thread.

My observation on your query would be that you cannot decide whether you believe that something is true, but you can decide whether to trust somebody. That's what faith is really all about.




edit on 13-2-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




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