Hello everyone. This is my first topic on ATS I believe (it has been awhile since I logged in) and just wanted to voice my opinion a little bit to
hopefully hear others.
I am 19 years old and was raised Christian. Around the age of 16 I stopped going to church as often and began reading more about all kinds of
religions. This act of exposure started to dampen my beliefs, but I should point out that my father was never religious. I was fortunate to be raised
in a household where one of my parents had strong beliefs and one did not. This allowed me to learn about two sides and help me to form my own ideas.
By the time I was 18 I was pretty positive that there was no God, or at the very least, that I did not agree with organized religion. I have always
seen religion as a personal pursuit of faith in God. One does not need to go to church to listen to someone teach them about their God.
With all that said, something has recently come up in my life that has absolutely confirmed my beliefs.
I will try to keep the personal details to a minimum: My parents have been friends with this particular family since I was a child. My dad is a good
friend of this families father (I will call him Will, not his real name) and I have gotten to know him myself on several occasions.
Recently, Will's wife (alias being Lauren) was diagnosed with cancer. I cannot recall exactly where it started, but they were optimistic that they
could beat it. This is the most upbeat family I have ever been around, Lauren didn't even seem like she had cancer she was so positive. She was
attending various treatment programs and trying to avoid chemo, but no matter what they did, things kept getting worse. At this point, Lauren has
cancer in almost every part of her body. There is virtually no chance that she will be able to make it through this and her husband has been working
nonstop to pay for all the medical treatments (he is almost never at home because of it).
Lauren and Will have 3 children. They're 4, 8, and 11.
What kind of just God would let this happen to a family? I don't want to hear the response "everything happens for a reason" because there is no
reason for this. For the guilt this father will feel when his wife dies thinking he wasn't with her enough, for the pain he will feel when his kids
get older and blame him for not being around when mom was dying, and for the burden he will have trying to raise the family on his own. There is
absolutely nothing positive that can come of this that wouldn't be better with his wife still around. Nothing.
If I am wrong and there is a God, then I refuse to believe in him. I refuse to believe in an all powerful, all knowing, omnipotent God that willingly
allows this to happen, not just to this family, but many, many others. A God that sends those who do not believe in him to Hell, an eternity of
suffering. A God that allows children to die from disease and starvation everyday in Africa (a mainly Christian continent). A God that allows children
to be slaughtered in the name of war and a God that has bloodshed for him on a regular basis in the name of religion.
I cannot and will not believe in such a horrible God. If there is a God, I will have nothing to do with him. I can see what he has done all around us
and I cannot imagine someone as powerful as God allowing it to happen unless they were terribly cruel.
Why do we need to believe in a God? Why can't we just practice being decent human beings? Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
Help someone because it is nice. Don't help someone because its what your religion says is the right thing, help someone because they need help. I
have started reading more about the teachings of Buddhism because I find a lot of them to align with what I believe. I don't believe in a heaven or
hell. I believe that we live on through the memories of others. Why should we not make those memories the best we can? Fill the people around you with
happy memories, reach out to a random stranger and change their life forever. They will remember what you did. Surround yourself with your friends and
family and just be a good person for the sake of being a good person. Not so you can go vacation in Heaven for eternity.
I hope this does not seem like incoherent ramblings and that it makes sense to some people here. I would like to know what others think of my thoughts
and whether or not you share them as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a great day