By your own Bible, it is impossible, because I have committed the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Originally posted by OrphenFire
why do I miss the bliss of ignorance?
Originally posted by FailedProphet
Interesting thread, OP. I can relate.
Although I no longer intellectually believe in a supreme being, I still find myself praying constantly, almost involuntarily. Like a reflex action rather than an intellectual process. It just doesn't feel right to me to tuck into a meal unless I've mumbled a few words of thanks, for example. This was engrained in me like a child and is a hard habit to break.
For a long time I fought it, but I eventually gave up an now I just roll with it. Even though I don't believe anyone is hearing my prayers, I think there is a value and a humility that comes with giving thanks for one's food, or for other good things in life. And prayer can really help relieve stress in desperate moments, which is also valuable.
Think about it: every known culture on earth has developed religion since ancient times. Even if it is not literally "true," its universal nature suggests it serves a valuable survival purpose. So I don't mind giving into it even though intellectually I no longer believe. To me, the religious impulse has value as a non-intellectual form of mental activity, in the same way listening to music is a beneficial mental activity although not a matter of logic. Does this make sense?
Originally posted by Theuniverseman
I am an atheist who still attends church to keep the peace at home and I do enjoy the feeling of community also, of course I feel like an outsider and that believers are not on my same level because atheism requires a kind of philosophical bravery on account of Pascal's wager. I also agree with you that once you stop believing in God, for me as well at least, a return to belief is impossible, not because of a lack of humility (I am the humblest person I know lol), or a lack of faith, I would have an unshakable faith except that faith is a belief in something which is unbelievable. I reject faith in things for that which there is no basis in reality on which to base that belief on (ie I have faith that atoms are real even though I have never seen or touched one, but I have faith in the science which underlies atomic theory). Finally not only does the notion of God have no basis in the physical world, I also find the question of evil the most compelling reason for me to not believe in God.
In spite of all of this I would give anything to be able to believe again, a part of me longs for my old beliefs. The fact that I cannot believe God in spite of my deep desire to want to believe actually reinforces my atheism because I do not have cognitive dissonance from choosing to not believe in God like I did when I believed. I recognize that evolution has programmed us with the ability to believe in all sorts of things, I completely understand why people believe in and worship God and I have no desire to interfere with their beliefs.