I was born and raised in a Protestant home. I completely abandoned religion at about the age of 18, and I then became an angry and narrow-minded
atheist for the next 15 years. Well, allow me to qualify that last statement: Like most of self-professed "atheists" out there (and virtually
of the "atheists" I've encountered on ATS), I was not
an actual atheist
; rather, I was a God-hater
, which is very,
very different from being an atheist
A true atheist doesn't even acknowledge God, the Bible, or things spiritual — theism has no part in an atheist's life. There are only about as
many true atheists in the world as there are true theists. Which ain't many.
, on the other hand, lives
to tear apart scriptures, mock those who believe, and generally behaves like an arrogant troll.
That adequately describes about 98% of the self-professed "atheists" in the world. If you eliminated the Bible and God and religion right this
Which is because hating God
is simply another religion. It's dependent
on the existence of God.
Anyway, a God-hater is what I was, although I called myself an atheist
until I was about 33 years old. It was at that time that I managed to
get myself into a set of circumstances that nearly cost me my life. Without going into detail, I ended up in a very bad situation for about 2 years,
a situation that saw me living hand-to-mouth, on the ragged edge of survival, with no relief and no assistance from any source.
It was during that ordeal that I noticed a number of rather peculiar — nay, phenomenal
— incidents occurring in my life that changed my
about the Universe in general and in theism specifically.
By the time I emerged back into a normal
life, I was (and am) convinced that the Universe is a responsive
sort of consciousness. Not
necessarily a caring
consciousness, but certainly a responsive
Intrigued with this revelation, I went back and read the Bible again, for the first time in decades, mainly to test a theory — that the
who wrote the Bible over 2000 years ago were attempting to describe the same thing
that I had discovered for myself.
I came to a couple of conclusions:
That the Old Testament was a collection of inspired folklore that was, indeed, attempting to describe a responsive
characterized therein as "God"... The Universe does provide
, it does reward
, it does punish
, and it does
impassioned entreaties... It responds to our prayers
, even the prayers of atheists and God-haters.
Granted, the Old Testament is a heavily edited and selectively compiled collection of ancient writings, which really don't make a lot of sense
inasmuch as they are incomplete and taken out of historical context. There are a number of other
contemporaneous writings that could help to
clarify much of the Old Testament, but they were deliberately omitted from the Bible (look up the
"lost" books of the Bible
for more on this).
I also concluded that the New Testament is, essentially, the story of how a guy tried to tell people
about the Universe as a
, and they killed his ass
for his trouble. Whereupon, other people tried to spread the word about the
responsive consciousness of the Universe, and they
were similarly killed, crucified, beheaded, burned at the stake and what-have-you.
As I said earlier, the Universe may be a responsive
consciousness, but it's not necessarily a caring
I mean, it's not going to come save your ass without your having faith in it and knowing how to trigger
the proper response. Even then, it's
not going to respond to a grocery list of things that you want
— more often, your underlying needs
trigger a Universal response.
For instance, if you've dug yourself into a hole, the Universe will typically respond by filling in the hole
, but it won't necessarily send
you the ladder for which you prayed.
— Doc Velocity