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An Atheist's Desperate Plea

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posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by sorgfelt
 





The only way to maintain your identity and succeed is service to others.


That is not necessarily accurate. There are plenty of examples of enormously successful self-service. I would recommend balance between service to self and service to others.




posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


Okay, let me start this by saying that I am a practicing Christian, who was raised in a Christian home, so I can relate to the experience of realizing one day that you have to choose whether or not you'll follow/believe in God for yourself. And because of my background, I don't encourage you to meditate, and I don't claim that God/consciousness/reality is the same thing, like some members on here are doing. Those are their beliefs, but their beliefs are not mine. John 14:6 says that "Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" He didn't say that he was one way, or one truth. He said "the way" and "the truth". As in: the one and only. I believe that Jesus is the only true way. Some may disagree with that, as is their right. And they can have their say based on whatever their personal beliefs are. This is mine.


Now, onto your problem. As best as I understand it, I think you simply have trouble with having faith. Nothing unusual there. Sometimes, having faith is hard. Now, I don't know if you've done it or not, but I'd encourage you to go and visit different churches. I think that going to a church might help your apparent difficulty with faith.

If you do decide to go to a church, here's my thoughts on some of the things I think you should know. These are for everyone thinking about going to a church. Many of these are things that I think many Christians don't think about or simply don't talk about if they ask people to attend a church.

1. Dress is important. Unfortunately, some churches DO tend to judge newcomers based on their appearance. It breaks my heart that so many believers allow themselves to get sidetracked by this, but it does happens. For a new person thinking about attending church, I'd suggest maybe jeans, tennis shoes, and a presentable T-shirt. For people who have piercings (like the nose/lip/etc.) I'd suggest a small stud or something like that, not anything large or gaudy that would attract unnecessary attention. This should let you realize if dress is a problem in that church. If you notice that you are getting funny looks because of your appearance, I'd probably suggest looking for another church for the evening service or for the next week.

2. Size matters. There are different ups and downs to the size of the church. On the one hand, you may feel more uncomfortable at first in a small church. After all, a newcomer will stick out a lot more to church members in a congregation of 100 than you will in a congregation of 10,000. On the other hand, IMHO it's harder for a large church to match the family atmosphere that a smaller church can provide, and that can make you feel right at home very quickly.

3. Offering. Some churches will be cruel to people who are in difficult financial times. Unfortunately, too many people have had experiences with churches that have gotten distracted with this. This very often scares people away, and poisons their minds against Christians in general. Other churches can be incredibly supportive of people who are struggling. If money is a distraction in one church, look at another.

4. In some churches, experiencing God's presence is a very special, but not unusual, occurrence. That's good. Others can be starved of God's presence, because they're getting too distracted by other things (money, appearances, etc.). That's very BAD. God's presence is important in a church. And I think that a church with God's presence could open your eyes to see what He does in our world and open your mind and heart to having faith in Him.

5. Different denominations have different beliefs. Some place more emphasis on baptism or confession than others, some are more tolerant of gay marriage, etc. But it's important that they don't flip-flop in their beliefs, that you can learn what a church believes, and where/what the biblical basis for that belief is. If a church believes that gay marriage is wrong, they should stand firm, and someone in the church (like the pastor) should be able to tell you about the scriptures that talk about it. But don't expect them to be able to quote chapter and verse out of thin air. We don't memorize the Bible cover to cover. But they should be able to give you the general idea.

6. You may have some bad experiences with one church. But there ARE good churches out there. Keep searching and find one. Sadly, too many people give up after an experience with one church that judges someone's appearance, or is distracted by money. You wouldn't characterize all 7/11's based on one bad experience at one location. But sadly, that's what people do all too often with churches. One bad experience and they decide that ALL churches are bad, and ALL Christians are judgmental, bigoted, hypocritical, etc.


Okay, that's it. I got a little sidetracked, I know. But I don't care. God bless you.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


And you do not think most of us has/had the same twisted knawing upsidedown attempt at recognising a format of God acceptance and/or refusal of; I have believe me. All of us in some form has. You have nothing new to say to me, as Ive been through the blender slice and dice and spontainiously reappeared to then wander into the deep abyss yellow. How did I escape, as a neophyte knowing no more than the shred of knowledge that I dove in with; (no result) NOTHING APPEARED to me other than the realization that ALL THINGS ARE FALSE AS YOU PERCIEVE THEM. What is within your heart/mind is truth, look no further than your own experience (of this lifeform YOU) otherwise its a terminal rabbit hole.


edit on 28-7-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:12 PM
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I don't understand why a god is necessary to have meaning. Why does an atheist seek a divine entity in order to feel as though he has value? Is he incapable of finding value for himself?



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
I don't understand why a god is necessary to have meaning. Why does an atheist seek a divine entity in order to feel as though he has value? Is he incapable of finding value for himself?


I wonder this as well. The terminal Atheist should be complacent lying in its bed of inequities. No need to seek anything more than...just a question, "AM I OKAY WITH THIS". You would think the true Atheist is firm in its belief that "IAM" and that is all that is needed, a rubberstamp..OF SIGNIFICANCE. NO God needed. I EXIST therefore IAM God, (OOPS, that could be a boomerang).



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:51 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

Faith is many things: not just one by definition. It is by FAITH that you are seeking truth...and by the FAITH you have...that there even is an answer. Just as you expect there is. And that you KNOW it...and believe there is one. That's all.

I'd say your tank is full, the road is in front of you...and our God and FAITH will provide you the maps on how to get there. But, you have already pulled away from the curb!!!

God Bless and guide you! MS

edit on 05/05/13 by mysterioustranger because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 11:36 PM
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I think that you are thinking too much about death.

An afterlife would be nice, but my advise it to leave the afterlife... after you die.

If you continue "trying" to believe in a God then you'll just live a miserable life because you already have an understanding of Science, so you know that there is no need for a God. Your whole life you'll have your logical thoughts and your hopeful thoughts fighting each other.

But if you really want to believe then you can believe in a "Higher Being" without being religious.

You will agree with me that there is still a possibility that a "God/Higher Being" could have started life in here, and it evolved into mostly everything we see here.

Just don't try to believe in a God described by religions because, as you most likely know, it's almost impossible.
edit on 28-7-2013 by danielsil18 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
I don't understand why a god is necessary to have meaning. Why does an atheist seek a divine entity in order to feel as though he has value? Is he incapable of finding value for himself?


Ah, hello again, AfterInfinity.
I think perhaps we seek meaning that originates outside of ourselves because we are a biased party. We can create our own values, but can we validate them as true?
Just a thought.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 12:13 AM
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Pistoche,

Here's a few random thoughts:
1) I commend you on your primary desire to not be of a divided mind. I think that you realize the importance of internal consistency. I think that's a good thing.

2) I'd suggest reading some philosophy if you haven't looked into it already. One of the things that you seem to have latched on to is that while science is good at explaining how, it cannot explain why. I know that science, as an empirical, concrete, rock-solid foundation seems very attractive–at least to me. I'd like to build my houses on reason and science alone. But one of the funny things that comes about through studying philosophy (in my experience) is the realization that science is built on faith. The death-blow of science as a self-sustaining institution came about when we realized that reality, itself, cannot be validated from an outside source. We have no way of knowing that our perceptions of reality is real, but science proceeds on that assumption just the same. Without that groundless assumption, science is left floundering. At least for me, it's easier to have faith in God when I realize that I must have faith in something at some point.

[2.5) Incidentally, don't you think that it's interesting that we, as a race, seek the why as well as the how? That seems to me to point towards a need for an explanation...a desire for a reason for living, as you speak of. Do you think that need for God, if you will, is suggestive that He exists? I'm curious to hear if that makes sense or if I'm out on a limb here!]

3) I have to recommend the works of Lee Strobel. I haven't read them all, but the one I have on my desk, The Case for a Creator, is well worth the read. It's a powerful story, but perhaps more importantly, it deals with the science behind the possibilities of a Creator, and I think you would find it particularly interesting. I believe his other books are likely just as good. You can probably find them at a library (lest I be accused of selling religion
)

4) As a Christian, of course, I suggest reading the Bible. I do have to say, though, the Bible is very long, and reading random bits won't make much sense. Genesis is a good place to start, because it explains the creation and fall of mankind. A lot of the imagery in the Gospels comes from Genesis.

Please feel free to ask me questions, either here or via PM. Be warned: I don't claim to have all the answers. But I'll try.

Incidentally, I really liked your writing style. Nice going

edit on 29-7-2013 by StalkerSolent because: Emoticon problems...

edit on 29-7-2013 by StalkerSolent because: Rewording...



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


In death, all things shall become clear.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 12:40 AM
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An afterlife would be nice, but my advise it to leave the afterlife... after you die.

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear...


The biggest loss for humans is to die without finding out who they really were and WHY they were really born.

God KNOWS you are searching!

Remember that...

Keep your eyes OPEN...

He may be waiting to see how serious you actually are.



“We just don’t want to come to the end of our lives and realize that we were playing
a game." Playlist

The Creator of the universe desires your company...

Don’t keep Him waiting.

Steven Brooks heard an audible voice speak to him about this:


"At that time of the day, nobody was at the house. My family, my brothers plus my grandmother, they had all gone somewhere else, up the hill to do something. And I was spending time in one of the rooms of the house, alone, just reading my Bible, and after a while, I just laid out on the floor and was praying, and kind of reading the Bible, and I heard a voice speak to me, it sounded like a male voice, it was audible, and it said "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."

Working With Angels

It is such an awesome feeling when you KNOW God is speaking to you personally.


"God told Norvel Hayes the church is sadly lacking. We do not worship Him enough. You have to get alone in the privacy of your home and get on your knees and just worship Jesus, telling Him how much you love Him and appreciate Him. So I did. And after a few weeks, suddenly, God began to speak. After a while, Jesus began to appear to me. He would just walk in my room like an ordinary person and sit and talk to me."

Unleashing the Supernatural Power of God in Your Life



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 12:57 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


Maybe, a few questions that will help you is:

Why do you feel like you need to seek God?

Are you living a happy life NOW? If not , why?

*IF* God is LOVE, and you want to honor God, all you need to do is live in LOVE.

I think there is a bible verse saying something like this:

1 John 4:16
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 02:26 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


Pistoche,

Your predicament is one to which I easily relate. Been there, felt that, and found an unusual way of dealing with it that may be of value to you. Here I'll try to outline my approach. If you request more detail, I'll do my best to provide it.

Given your background, you must be acutely aware that there are many different god-concepts. When confronted with the logical failure of the god-concept my parents' church and chosen schools had programmed my brain to accept, I sought others. None felt right. The remaining option seemed to be science-based atheism, so I studied it and found it incapable of explaining the beginnings of the universe. Philosophers seemed mostly confused, and some of them were so intellectually narcissistic that they could not even accept the notion that the universe existed. Darwin's theories did a fair enough job of explaining varieties within a given species, but could not logically explain the transitions between species. His theories did not even apply to abiogenesis, the origin of the first self-reproducing cells.

So, what to do? Religious ideas had failed me, and science did no better. Yet, I existed, as did a planet full of other people, in a vast universe. How did that happen? And if intelligence was involved, why did that happen? There had to be a logical explanation for the beginnings of things--- which is, after all, what we seek in our god-concepts.

As a child I was an avid reader of Sherlock Holmes stories, and recalled one of Sherlock's principles, which went pretty much like, 'When you have ruled out the obvious and conventional possibilities on logical grounds, whatever remains must be the truth.' With all the known creator-concepts eliminated (for me), and science a washout, what remained but the invention of an entirely different creator-concept?

The God from my childhood was a spirit, inherently defined to be not a part of the physical universe. Yet, by definition (from basic physics) anything that interacts with something physical is itself physical. Many people conflate the terms physical and material, but they are not the same. Most of the physical universe consists of non-material forms of energy. I thought, what if "God" was physical, an undiscovered energy form?

Now it is past my bedtime, and this reply is already too long. If you or anyone is curious, I'll be happy to proceed in this direction. And BTW, the "undiscovered energy form" notion did not pan out.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 04:59 AM
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You need no god to appreciate and experience all that those who do have gods do.


So it is your claim that you can get inside my thoughts and emotions and body and know what I experience? That's pretty amazing.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 05:23 AM
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Pistoche:

All in all, I kindly request the members of ATS to provide me with some helpful words of wisdom and/or advice towards seeking out God and embracing religion.


I've not read any response you have received to your request as I prefer to concern my reply to your thoughts only.

You do seem to be in a rather confused state, having practised a faith that lost resonance with you as you got older. As you say, you cannot force yourself a 'faith' in anything, as the conjunction between mind and faith must necessarily be built on an equally accepting resonance that is both passive and directing. Faith requires a passivity of mind for the heart to accept it, and I should think (as an avowed and contented atheist) that a faith, interred and nurtured by the entreaties of others, is as resonant as a politician's pledging. Real faith does not come as a gift from others, it is discovered within oneself, by oneself, as a pearl within the folds of your own perceivings.

For me, the sands of religion have been far too coarse for my heart to shape and smooth to a resonant acceptance. My mind and intelligence are the grindstones by which I sharpen my comprehension and understanding. The only discovery I made early in my life was that the pearl of faith I thought was mine, turned out to be the subtle deposit of someone else, it was given to me along with the rosary and small leather bible that I was to carry as denotions of faith. Not once was I ever asked if I actually wanted these apparent gifts, they were foisted on me before I was of age where I could make any sort of determination for myself. My rejection was inevitable...if it wasn't my faith in the first place, it wasn't mine to believe in.

There are two kinds of faith: that which is discovered by oneself, and that which is interred by others. The former is a bloom in the heart, whereas the latter is nothing more than rote conditioning. The former is a direct connection and self-confirmation with the Divine; the latter connects merely and no further than to the priest, the rabbi, or the imam. The former isn't an opinion, the latter is.

When the time is right, it will work out just fine for you. It can't be rushed and it can't be forced. You won't find faith in the Bible, or Koran, or any other religious tome, you will only find words, meaningless and unconfirmed.
Stay true to yourself and the unfolding of your being. True faith doesn't require demonstration or argument to hold, it requires only an accepting resonance.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 05:46 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


There is a God or the power that created this Universe, runs it and will eventually destroy it.

This God is a formless God who never takes birth in any form. You can understand it like a universal intelligence. This God is pure, death-less and all-pervading.

Please go to Arya Samaj Mandir, and start studying Veda. This is where you will find peace.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 06:03 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


Belief is the chain about your neck, by which you are lead into slavery by other men.

As human beings we are capable of perceiving, and understanding - however, due to the the limitations of our senses and our minds, we are not capable of knowing objective reality, we are not capable of finding external truth and therefore all belief is unfounded.

Inside a human being is a source of infinite power, of love, of compassion and of wisdom. I think this source is not contained by the physical reality that many determine to be the limits of reality.

From my experiences, I think that information defines the limits of reality - and this information is not constrained by physical existence. For example, dragons exist - we know quite a lot about them, yet they reside outside of three dimensional reality - but are real because of the information that exists regarding them - we describe them as imaginary, which to me is simply a space associated with, or perhaps adjacent to physical reality.

If you want god, look within yourself - that is where you are - that is where a divine being resides. I say divine, not to imply some spiritual connotation - but rather that it is not constrained by physical existence, nor is it burdened by fear, doubt or despair.

To quote Jesus, 'The Kingdom of God is within you.' I have found this to be valid, regardless of the fact that I doubt that the story of Jesus has much historical accuracy.

I am agnostic, and dont like to use words like spiritual, or god or whatever, because I find them to confuse a rather simple issue - as far as Im concerned, information exists - and the limits of reality are created by the extrapolation and synthesis of the information we have available.

All I can do is relate my observations, and my understanding of them. There is a fountain of power and energy inside a human being that can be accessed by introspection and submission to a higher state of being - a state that is not 'knowing', but rather understanding.

For me, this is simply science that we do not yet understand - it is not mystical, it is not spiritual - it is simply reality that is not constrained by the usual three dimensional interpretation.
edit on 29-7-2013 by Amagnon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 06:07 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


OP, here are the facts:

1. Life is not meaningless. Please be reminded, we never die at all....When we die, it's just our soul or spirit that leaves the container......It will then choose its next body experience depending on the negative or positive energies it has accumulated in its life experience.......There are many other planets with intelligent civilizations and reincarnations are managed according to each soul's performances.......

2. There are 11th dimensions or planes of existence and your goal as a soul is to evolve to the highest realm through spiritual experience through multiple body experiences, since our souls, being products or manifestations of the Universal Consciousness are eternal and can never be destroyed by anything...What is a soul? An energy aura that has consciousness or awareness...



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


Your response resonates with me. The reasons given for the insufficiencies of science are exactly what I share. I would really love it if you could expand upon what you have already stated. Thank you as always for your reply.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by vethumanbeing
 


As an atheist it seems as if I am the only one that is seeking a truth. Religion teaches you that this one and only thing, angry baby jesus, is the only truth you'll ever need then retires you to a life of piety and idol devotion. That actually sounds like your estimation of what an atheist should do.



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