“It may help to step into his worldview for a moment. He believes that the Bible comes from God and contains life and death information. He has acted on that information himself and believes it to work in real life. He believes that the Bible is similar to a cure for cancer, and that everyone – including himself has it.
Therefore, when he hands out bibles, acting on what he completely believes, he does so out of compassion and love for his fellow man. It’s possible that he is mistaken about it, and it’s possible that nobody wants one, but he sleeps better at night having offered. Sleep better at night in the sense of loving people, not religious duty.
Entering his worldview at least helps us to think the best of people, which we should do whatever we think about God.”
I couldn’t agree more. This is exactly how I feel but it’s so easy to get caught up in who’s right and who’s wrong and feel defensive. I plan to read this several times a week to remind myself how I really feel without all the negativity that surrounds the atheist community.
The following is actually from the comments section of my “How I Got Here” tab. (top right of your screen) Since it will get lost in that portion of my blog, because that page isn’t visited regularly, I decided to post it as a blog. I’d love to know your thoughts, so comment away!
Most, at least the way I learned in the Baptist church, Christians do not believe in ghosts/spirits because after we die we either go to heaven or hell and therefor ghost cannot exist. Even people who don’t believe in ghosts can get spooked by the power of suggestion. For instance, even though I don’t believe in ghosts, if I was with someone who did and we were alone in an unfamiliar place and that person said to me, “I feel a presence here” and then elaborated on that, I could easily start to feel uneasy and perhaps even get caught up in what they were saying. If I let my imagination go, I could even begin to see shadows or “sense” something too. I could get spooked. So, my point is, that our minds are very powerful and our imaginations can take over- when I said that I “saw Jesus” what I meant was that my mind imagined it. I never actually SAW him, like I looked up and he was standing there, but I was able to “see” him in a spiritual way. I FELT him or at least what I thought was him. I FELT that warmth come over me. I was able to “see him work” in ways that I couldn’t explain. I “knew” that he was present and real. I don’t know how else to explain it. But I promise you that I HAD the “Christian experience”. The difference between me and continued-believers such as yourself, is that I realize now that those feelings were imagined. I doubt that I can convince of any of this because, at risk of sounding presumptuous, you are blind to any other possibility. You BELIEVE. I do not. But I believed at the time and it was real to me at that time.
Since that point, I have been on a journey. I have questioned. I am a natural skeptic, always have been, always will be. I am incapable of believing in god. Even though I had those experiences and at that point in time, I believed that it was real, I eventually began to question, just as I always have.
I wanted to believe. I wanted it to be true. But it isn’t. I couldn’t MAKE it my truth. You have made it your truth and unless your mind changes there is nothing that I can say that will make you understand.
You don’t need to feel sorry for me or try to convince me that your way is the truth. I am not afraid or scared of MY truth. I am at peace.
I believe in myself and others. That is enough for me.
I understand that you believe that I need saving. I understand that you want me to go to heaven. I understand that it’s your job as a Christian to spread the word. I understand that you “love” me as Jesus taught you. I UNDERSTAND! I GET IT!
Now what you need to understand is that it doesn’t matter how much scripture you throw at me. It doesn’t matter how many questions you ask me about my knowledge of god, Jesus or salvation. It doesn’t matter how much you try to convince me that you are right and I am wrong.
Your imagination is not my reality. I do not believe in god. Therefor your scripture is worthless, you questions go no where and I will know that I am right.
Feel free to pray for me if you’d like.
QUESTION FROM A CHRISTIAN: “If there is an all-good, all-powerful God, He would never allow all this evil and/or suffering that we see in the world.”
Christian Question for the Atheist: “If there is no objective standard of right and wrong, or good and evil (such as God), then how can we even judge that the things we see in the world are evil or wrong?”
Atheists say that an all-good God would never allow all the evil we see in the world.
Yet, how are they even judging whether something is “evil”, without having a standard of good and evil to compare to?
And if they do an objective standard of good and evil to compare this world to, wouldn’t that be God?
MY RESPONSE: Humans feel joy and pain, this creates is an innate ability to know good an evil. No god required.
HIS FOLLOW UP: +Life Reason But how can atheists build their entire argument from evil against God based on an “inner feeling” of joy?
MY ANSWER: Well, evil is just a word. Because atheists don’t believe in god they also don’t believe in satan. But you don’t need either of those mythical creatures to have feelings. Feelings are what we use as a gauge to determine good and bad- or in this case good and evil.
We, as in ALL people don’t need to have a god tell us that something is good or bad. We are a thinking, feeling, deciphering species. We know that joy feels good and pain feels bad. The things that cause feelings are what I might label good and “evil”- but not in a devil-ish way
I spent the better part of last night and this morning arguing with a militant atheist about how to BE atheist. It started when I posted something along the lines of “If we want the non-secs to respect us, we need to do the same”. This led to him berating me for HOURS even though we’re on the SAME fricken team.
According to him I’m not atheist enough because I’m not ANTI-theist. Supposedly, you have to insult and shame believers into converting because they are responsible for AIDS, among other things. This is the kind of atheist I DO NOT want to be.
The thing is, I’d like to give him credit for some of the things he said, he DID make some decent points. But he was such a dick about the whole thing that I actually tuned him out and simply felt the need to defend myself– which was the whole point of the entire conversation.
I’m always up for a good debate, but you have to know when to walk away.
It ended when he told me that you have to tell Christians that they are stupid over and over again in order to get them to question themselves and their beliefs. My last tweet to him was, “w/your reasoning I should just tell you that you you’re an asshole over and over again until you believe it. would that work??”
–he did not respond.
I wonder if he’ll read this post?
and everyone else for that matter.
What if NEITHER heaven nor hell exist? What if when you die, you do just that? You just die and that’s the end of the story? Is that so bad? Why can’t life be treasured for as long as we are living and then when we die, we just…no longer exist?
Do you remember what it was like before you were born? I know I sure don’t and I’m guessing that’s about how it’ll be after I die.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the biggest reason people believe in “god” is because of death, right? They are afraid of dying and want eternal life. They have been convinced that if they don’t accept Jesus as their savior or do enough good deeds that they will go to hell. Even if they aren’t or don’t believe in being “born again”, many people still believe that there is a heaven and a hell and that “god” determines your ultimate destination.
Not to sound morbid, but I often wonder what my family would believe if f I die tomorrow. They aren’t particularly Christian, but they still hold on to the potential magic of god and fantasy of heaven. Last I heard my mom believes that god exists, everything happens for a reason and if you’re a good person, you’ll go to heaven. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m a good person, so I guess in her eyes I will be in heaven when we die. She and I will be in heaven together eating pasta and chocolate and have perfect bikini bodies. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?! Too bad it’s not true.
Unfortunately, that kind of heaven doesn’t really exist. NO kind of afterlife-heaven exists at least not the pearly gates kind. Therefore, when I die, I hope to leave behind good memories of me with the people who are still living because that’s what heaven is. Heaven and hell are only what we create on earth, during the time that we’re alive and what we leave for those who are still living. Our bodies rot, well mostly…sort of—depending when and how you’re buried, but that’s it- that’s the end. We go back to not knowing, not existing, just like before we were born and the memories of us live on- that is eternal life. Depending on the legacy you leave behind you may “live” one more generation or hundreds of generations but you won’t know a thing about it.
Going to lunch on Sunday, after church– This is a concept I have never been able to grasp and always made me feel guilty any time I went to lunch with fellow church members after Sunday service. According to the bible, Sunday is the Sabbath day, right? And we’re not supposed to work on the Sabbath, we’re supposed to go to church to worship “god” and then rest. So why is it okay for people to go out to lunch after church? So they don’t have to go home and cook or clean (work)? And instead go to restaurants and make other people do it? Does that strike anyone else as WRONG?
I live in a small town where a lot of businesses are closed on Sundays, including restaurants. While it is an inconvenience for me I respect these business owner’s beliefs enough to not make a stink about it. At least they aren’t making their employees work on what they presumably believe is a holy day. But as for the rest of church-going population, this is just one of many hypocrisies that I will never understand. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If it’s not okay for you to work, it’s not okay for the people who serve you either.
To believe “god” allows children to be abused, neglected or abandoned for a reason is absurd! I don’t care how you coat it. Children are innocent, even the bible says that (and yes, I believe there is a lot of valuable information in the bible) so why? WHY would it ever be okay for someone to harm a child? Or worse, kill a child? It’s NOT! We all know that! So why then, when it does happen, why do people say “’god’ will use this for good?” Really? I mean, R.E.A.L.L.Y? I’m left with no other reason than to believe that it just makes them feel “better” about the ugliness in the world.
If “god” is so powerful, why doesn’t he just stop the acts all together? I realize this is a common question when someone is struggling with their faith, but somehow it gets glossed over and eventually forgotten. We convince ourselves that somehow, these despicable acts will be redeemed for “god’s glory”. For instance, when someone loses a child and then starts a new organization to advocate for missing and exploited children in honor of the child who was kidnapped, abused, raped and murdered, it suddenly becomes a way for “god” to find a way to use it for “good”
Where’s the logic in that? I’m not saying that founding a new organization to help for the better good isn’t a good plan or that it isn’t an excellent way to heal, but why does it have to be because of “god’s plan”? I mean, come on! How can that be “his” plan? I just cannot for the life of me understand how ANYONE can justify any of this as “god’s plan”—
Unfortunately, no matter how many child welfare advocacy groups are established these disgusting acts will continue to happen because there are sick people in this world and sick people do sick things: Cause and Effect. It’s not a lost cause but it’s also not in “god’s” plan, so let’s be logical about this- instead of praying about it, or asking “god” why he lets this kind of thing happen, let’s educate children how to stay safe and get the psychos off the streets as best we can. And when something so heinous happens again, let’s allow ourselves to grieve and be angry and hopefully accept that what happened, happened and not look for an excuse for “why” but eventually be able to move on.