Happy Atheist Forum

I Enjoy Being An Atheist

Randy

  • Deceased member
  • ****
  • 1418
  • Gender: Male
  • Learned everything from cartoons.
    • My Comic Books
I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« on: May 12, 2020, 03:55:57 PM »
I just finished reading a thread about prayer on this very list of topics. The last one was dated somewhere in 2019 and I was going to reply to it but there was a warning about it being over 120 old. So I figured I would start a new post.

There was a lot of baggage I carried when I was a believer. I was told by my preacher that I needed to ask everyone I came in contact with if they "...accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior." The result of not doing so is being in heaven watching those with whom I did not ask (and subsequently tried to convert) burning in Hell and blaming me.

On Saturdays a friend and I would go to the street corners and preach thumping our bibles and handing out tracts. I didn't convert anyone to my knowledge but then I live in the bible belt anyway.

I came across a man alone sitting on a bench. I asked him the question if he knew Jesus. He explained that he was a former Methodist minister who no longer believed. We talked for a bit and he asked me, "Have you ever read the bible from cover to cover?" I admitted I hadn't. He responded, "Read it and then ask me again."

I started reading from the beginning that day when I got home. I don't know how far I got in how many days but I got to a book (It's been too many years for me to remember) that contradicted the previous book. The bible has an error and there's more! I couldn't reconcile the two books. I knew then it was not infallible.

I remember reading the atrocities, the violence, all sanctioned by the almighty himself and I'd look up at the ceiling shouting, "How could you?" I got silence of course. From then on I wouldn't believe in him simply out of defiance. I expected him to punish me.

No punishment. The ground didn't open up and swallow me whole. I felt relieved. However, the more I studied this god the less I could believe it. After all, the bible had glaring errors, contradictions, and atrocities that meant this god was made up. He couldn't be the good god we've all heard about if his actions are wrong. This god i was taught about simply didn't exist.

This also meant that I didn't have to witness people burning in Hell and blaming me for it. It was a load off my mind.

I began imagining a god that wasn't biblical but just wanted us to be good to each other and he'll see us when it's time. I don't know when I stopped imagining that poppycock and started living my life on my own merits. I think it was when I studied science on my own. My high school was a private Christian school which twisted science to fit the bible and anything that didn't fit was taught for accreditation purposes but was then repudiated with bible verses showing the fallacy of science. I had to re-teach myself.

Science made more sense. It was neat and the puzzle pieces fit together well. I studied physics a lot and it turned into my favorite science. I'm an amateur in the field and don't remember all the mathematics behind it nor if I could even do them. But the explanations of the working universe opened my mind up considerably. I wasn't confined to one book for all the answers, especially when the answers were wrong.

I went back and read Genesis to understand the science behind it, which there wasn't any. I didn't expect to find any either. It was a curiosity more than anything.

This got long winded. There is a whole story and I'm trying to condense it so I'm leaving out bits and pieces.

Anyway, some forty-two years later I've enjoyed the peace and tranquility that my atheism has brought me. I live each day not knowing if I'll have tomorrow. I plan on tomorrow but not at the expense of today. I have quite a happy life now.

In my mind, there were the dark ages and suddenly I found the enlightenment.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

Recusant

  • Miscreant Erendrake
  • *****
  • 7536
  • Gender: Male
  • infidel barbarian
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 03:57:40 PM »
Please feel free to ignore the 120 day notification. We've never believed in that.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Tank

  • *****
  • 33886
  • Gender: Male
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2020, 06:42:23 PM »
I just finished reading a thread about prayer on this very list of topics. The last one was dated somewhere in 2019 and I was going to reply to it but there was a warning about it being over 120 old. So I figured I would start a new post.

...

Don't worry about bumping an old post.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

billy rubin

  • humble azpirant to the throne3 of typos
  • *****
  • 3000
  • Gender: Male
  • i actually do not know what LætusAtheos means
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2020, 08:21:56 PM »

No punishment. The ground didn't open up and swallow me whole. I felt relieved. However, the more I studied this god the less I could believe it. After all, the bible had glaring errors, contradictions, and atrocities that meant this god was made up. He couldn't be the good god we've all heard about if his actions are wrong. This god i was taught about simply didn't exist.


hey randy.

lots of christian theists believe that god exists because the bible says things that they believe.

lots of non-theists don't believe that god exists because the bible says things that they don't believe.

both groups hold to the identical assumption: that the existence of god is dependent on what the bible says. could be that that god exists but the bible is bullshit. you've come across some of th eerrors and inconsistencies. in my experience, th emore you study the creation , corruption, and restoration of christian scripture, the more you realize that it is a human document.


Quote
I began imagining a god that wasn't biblical but just wanted us to be good to each other and he'll see us when it's time.

lots of non-christian gods aren't concerned with people being good to each other. in fact, i'd even say that the christian god isn't all that concerned with it either, in practice. certainly the calvinist version can be pretty dour.

i'm curious. did you ever look into any of the non-christian varieties of theism? i'm no advocate of religion, but i'm curious about your journey.


Born without a brain, doctors look inside six years later and are amazed at what they find!

Recusant

  • Miscreant Erendrake
  • *****
  • 7536
  • Gender: Male
  • infidel barbarian
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 08:34:01 PM »
Those damned ex-ministers. I tell ya, they're a menace.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Randy

  • Deceased member
  • ****
  • 1418
  • Gender: Male
  • Learned everything from cartoons.
    • My Comic Books
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 10:08:42 PM »
Quote
i'm curious. did you ever look into any of the non-christian varieties of theism? i'm no advocate of religion, but i'm curious about your journey.

I didn't. I began to study the sciences and after awhile religion just seemed so contained. My mind soared with the things I've read. I went to a bookstore a lot. I don't know why I didn't go to the library but in any case I was fascinated with the pictures of space taken by telescopes from around the world. I remembered being twelve I guess with my telescope in the front yard. I accidentally found Jupiter and four of its moons. I stared at the planet for some time.

I was a Christian for all of five years I suppose. I don't know exactly how long. I also don't recall when I broke it off. I want to say that I was seventeen but it couldn't have been much later. I think I was indoctrinated when I was fifteen so maybe I was twenty when I had my epiphany. It was so many years ago.

Other religions I'd heard about and talked with people over the years. They were surprised that I was atheist but listened to my reasoning. It was the only skill I had going for me. They would bring it up, not me. I try to avoid conversations of that sort.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

No one

  • *****
  • 2889
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 12:15:40 AM »
The real fun begins at level 13. Once you get that 666 card, you're untouchable.

Randy

  • Deceased member
  • ****
  • 1418
  • Gender: Male
  • Learned everything from cartoons.
    • My Comic Books
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 06:55:56 PM »
The real fun begins at level 13. Once you get that 666 card, you're untouchable.

Does it have to be a card? I once thought I saw a slice of toast with it burned in. It turned out I had it upside down.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 05:46:44 AM »
In the OP you pointed to  the sciences. There's two sciences that I know of that apply. The material science (physics), and the mental sciences (psychology). I use the psychological which brings in a different result. Explained at the website in the profile below. It'll give a different perspective on the works.
The only thing possible the world needs saving from are the ones running it.
Oh lord, save us from those wanting to save us.
I'm not a Theist
https://sites.google.com/site/oldseers

viocjit

  • *
  • 258
  • Gender: Male
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2020, 05:34:58 PM »
Thanks you Randy for your testimony !

Do you know Skeptic's Annotated Bible ? It is useful if a day you want to debate with a Christian.
Link to this resource : https://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

Randy

  • Deceased member
  • ****
  • 1418
  • Gender: Male
  • Learned everything from cartoons.
    • My Comic Books
Re: I Enjoy Being An Atheist
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2020, 07:26:44 PM »
Thanks you Randy for your testimony !

Do you know Skeptic's Annotated Bible ? It is useful if a day you want to debate with a Christian.
Link to this resource : https://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

Actually, I do know about it. I use it from time to time although I rarely debate anymore.

I wish I had it when I was in the hospital last month. A respiratory therapist came in to give me my breathing treatment. While he was in there he gave me a sheet of paper called "Father's Day" or something like that. Anyway, it starts off telling me that I may not know him but he knows all about me. Then it starts off preaching with bible verses throughout the story.

Since I have a trach now, speaking is difficult much less a debate. But we had a short one anyway and I ended with, "I believe in Lucky the Leprechaun because at least I can see him," and pointed to the television. He gave up on me and walked out. I guess I'm a lost cause.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg