Life After God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, May 23, 2017.

  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    What happens when you spend six months or a year or five years wondering about the existence of God and concluding that there is, at best, no compelling reason to believe? In particular, what happens when you experience this loss of faith after having been born into and continually immersed in religious life? In the midst of exploring arguments for and against the existence of God I very early on began asking a question which, in my case, is far more important:What do I do now?

    To listen to some atheists, you would think that the consequences of not believing in God are on the level of starting a new job or moving to a new house. Disruptive, sure, but not too difficult. Some feel that Christians have been pretending this whole time anyway so the admission of unbelief should come as a huge relief. And for many, it does. I certainly experienced a sense of relief at no longer needing to hold together incompatible ideas that I felt mustfit together somehow. But for most there is also a deep sense of loss and lostness. Sincerely held religious beliefs are not a surface level trait that can be discarded without affecting one’s entire psyche and worldview. These beliefs are an integral part of the scaffolding of the believer’s life. In my case, my faith informed my social ethics (“forgive your enemies,” “do not lie, cheat, and steal”), my communal obligations (“you belong to one another”), my politics (we are citizens of God’s kingdom), my vision for the future (the promise of a new earth), and so much more. Removing religion and faith from my life was more like a surgical process than a snake shedding its skin. The roots run through everything including family, friends, community and neighborhood.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yearwithoutgod/2015/08/31/introducing-life-after-god/

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2017
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  3. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Throw away your crutches and learn to walk again.
     
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  5. Michael 345 Bali tonight Valued Senior Member

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    Take all the best from your beliefs

    Lead a good life

    If you're up to it start your own Religion where you are the CEO and get to make the rules

    Even if you remain the only follower you should find it more liberating

    Caution

    Overdosing on Religion results in The god complex

    If this happens you must discarded any remaining Religion

    and prey you return to a sane human being

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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    As I presently recall, the bad part of it for me was realizing my parents, family & friends lied to me so much & realizing that so many people are so deluded.

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  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I can see how that would be the worst part of it. I grew up in a religious environment/community but it wasn't really pushed on me too hard. I had to go to church until a certain age but it wasn't an evangelical environment.

    It never took on me (I was never a believer) and I quit going to church as soon as I was allowed to. I don't understand how everyone else (family) can believe that stuff but they do.

    So, I get what you are saying but your family probably didn't "lie" to you. I assume they believe in it all.

    Just be glad that you figured all this out and now it's in the past. I don't think we need to replace religious with something else. Religion can make you "needy" for want of a better word so my advice would be to just get over it.

    Some people get divorced and then have to get married to someone else almost immediately because they don't like to be alone. It's much healthier to learn to be happy when you are alone and then if you meet someone else great. Otherwise it's just two needy people.

    It can be the same way with getting out of religion. Good luck.
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I'd be surprised if anyone stopped believing in God without having first and simultaneously thought of what life means without it. Isn't that sort of the premise to stopping believing? Realizing that the world actually does tick along fine without it? i.e. doesn't that sort of precede the disbelief? Otherwise, what triggered the disbelief in the first place

    For me, the first thoughts were along the lines of 'I'm not sure God is involved in my day-to-day. I seem to manage to tell right from wrong without being watched. Surely that's what is means to be a grown up.' It was only after I concluded that life could go on without God that I realized I didn't believe in it.
     
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I was always amazed that anyone would believe this stuff. I grew up in a religious family in a small town in the South (US). It was just the culture. It's true I wasn't around evangelicals. Most of the churches around me were moderate to mild (nominally I was a Methodist).

    I'm sure it's different when the religious talk is non-stop and when it is forced on you but everyone around me was nice, everyone went to church. I had to go to until a certain age along with Sunday School.

    I just never believed it, no one my age talked about religion and when I was old enough to have to not have to continue going to church I just stopped.

    I assumed that many others did believe and that many others didn't believe.
     
  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.lifeaftergod.org

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  12. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  13. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I was raised in a moderately religious home. My siblings and parents still attend church. Even as a child I had serious reservations about the whole concept. So as a young adult I did some extensive Bible study. I came out the other end realizing that I still didn't believe it. In fact, the more I understood what the book actually said, the more ludicrous I found the idea.

    From there I ventured into a more generic God IS the universe (Bowser-esque) train of thought. But quickly realized that most people can't separate the moral and ethical baggage or ideas of salvation and redemption of their own religious background from the word God.

    I do still get a feeling that I refer to as "spiritual" when contemplating the universe and our place in it, or observing a spectacular natural phenomenon. I just accept it as the thrill of the wonder of it all.

    But I guess that since I never really bought into it, I never went through the subsequent disillusionment. I do wonder how my family and friends can believe such stuff, but each of us is on our own path to "enlightenment". It only comes up in day to day life when people try to force their beliefs into the legal or educational system.
     
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe I was never a "True Believer" at all but my experience was that I found myself saying, "You're kidding, right?" more and more often. A talking snake? You're kidding, right? Parting the Red Sea? You're kidding, right? Rising from the dead? You're kidding, right?

    It wasn't a matter of imagining life without that rubbish. It was a matter of wondering how anybody could honestly believe that rubbish in the first place.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I went through a brief period where I realized that the stories are parables. They're not meant to be a literal account of history (no matter what the guys with the pointy hats say).

    It didn't last long before I realized that parable could be expanded to include, not just the stories, but the very premise of the book itself.

    Jesus was probably a real person (or at least, a collection of real persons, kinda like King Arthur). He probably taught a lot of people how to love thy neighbor, and probably had a lot of followers.
    All of which could very well be true without there being an actual, extant God-entity in the sky.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    In my view, religion is a thinly-veiled desire to retain a parental role-model into adulthood.
    To-wit: There's always somebody more powerful, more wise, watching you, to make sure you are good. That keeps you in line.

    To me, atheism is the act of taking responsibility for your own character. I do good because I decide it's the right thing to do, not someone else. I don't mug people and steal their money - not because I fear retribution - but because I am that responsible adult figure,
     
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  17. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    IF I were to assume the bible was essentially written by an omnipotent being, I would have to conclude that it was written such that I could not possibly believe it & obviously that omnipotent being does not want me to believe it.

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  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    A YouTube comment on this video : I pray all Mormons come to the real Jesus before it's too late!
    I have to wonder whether he watched the whole video.

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  19. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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