Religion/faith?

Religion/faith?

anonymous
anonymous

April 27th, 2012, 5:10 pm #1

Over the years I have slowly given up any sort of faith I had -- I was raised Christian but quickly felt a disconnect with that. For a long time I was quite spiritual and had a more Buddhist sensibility. But over the last 8 years I have embraced atheism and it feels most honest to me. I have tried and tried inside myself to find some "higher being" but that being never has responded (I don't mean has not followed my commands, I mean...responded in any way with a feeling or anything else).

In my gut it makes no sense that any higher being could be in charge and be all powerful but allow so much cruelty to happen to the innocent in this world.

But, it's hard to find comfort in life as a 100% secularist. I am thinking of joining a Universalist church which embraces atheists...Ha!

Anyone else out there like me?

My experiences with IF have made it clear that the "feelings" and senses we get that there may be someone else in charge or that anything happens for any reason at all is pretty bogus.
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

April 27th, 2012, 5:21 pm #2

Actually, that's not quite accurate: I was a neo-Pagan for several years, but just felt as though I liked the structure and institutional familiarity of a more mainstream church. I ended back up at the UMC I grew up in, but that was more about the individual churches in our area than the denominations. Currently I'm a member of a Metropolitan Community Church, but have been attending a Baptist (!) church, as our church is too small to have a nursery, and my twins aren't old enough to participate in Sunday school. Hope to return to my home church before too long.

Yes, "it's hard to find comfort in life as a 100% secularist" really sums it up. If nothing else, the community of other people guided by compassion and positive ideals can be a big help when going through something as trying as IF.

Take care,

Maggie (in VA)
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Alli
Alli

April 27th, 2012, 6:36 pm #3

Over the years I have slowly given up any sort of faith I had -- I was raised Christian but quickly felt a disconnect with that. For a long time I was quite spiritual and had a more Buddhist sensibility. But over the last 8 years I have embraced atheism and it feels most honest to me. I have tried and tried inside myself to find some "higher being" but that being never has responded (I don't mean has not followed my commands, I mean...responded in any way with a feeling or anything else).

In my gut it makes no sense that any higher being could be in charge and be all powerful but allow so much cruelty to happen to the innocent in this world.

But, it's hard to find comfort in life as a 100% secularist. I am thinking of joining a Universalist church which embraces atheists...Ha!

Anyone else out there like me?

My experiences with IF have made it clear that the "feelings" and senses we get that there may be someone else in charge or that anything happens for any reason at all is pretty bogus.
Suffering and pain is the hardest question to answer when looking at the world. The best explanation I've heard is from Tim Keller, a pastor from Manhattan's Redeemer Pres. Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih-b0Rkg ... ure=relmfu

Its obviously coming from a Christian viewpoint, but worth a listen. He is very non judgmental, logical, and an all around great guy. The speech above is in 4 parts. I posted a link to the first.
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Christine
Christine

April 27th, 2012, 7:22 pm #4

Over the years I have slowly given up any sort of faith I had -- I was raised Christian but quickly felt a disconnect with that. For a long time I was quite spiritual and had a more Buddhist sensibility. But over the last 8 years I have embraced atheism and it feels most honest to me. I have tried and tried inside myself to find some "higher being" but that being never has responded (I don't mean has not followed my commands, I mean...responded in any way with a feeling or anything else).

In my gut it makes no sense that any higher being could be in charge and be all powerful but allow so much cruelty to happen to the innocent in this world.

But, it's hard to find comfort in life as a 100% secularist. I am thinking of joining a Universalist church which embraces atheists...Ha!

Anyone else out there like me?

My experiences with IF have made it clear that the "feelings" and senses we get that there may be someone else in charge or that anything happens for any reason at all is pretty bogus.
Sometimes I feel drawn to Buddhism and the concept of compassion for others (I'm vegetarian, almost vegan for a similar reason). But I do think Jesus existed, as did Buddha, Lao Tsu, Mohammed, etc. I think they were all spriitual teachers.

I like a lot of new age/spiritual teachings (think Wayne Dyer who has a quote about not being Christian but instead trying to be Christ-like). I beleive that there is a heaven (or paradise as they say in Islam). Aside from that, I don't know where I stand or what I will want to teach my children someday ...
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BBG
BBG

April 27th, 2012, 8:06 pm #5

Over the years I have slowly given up any sort of faith I had -- I was raised Christian but quickly felt a disconnect with that. For a long time I was quite spiritual and had a more Buddhist sensibility. But over the last 8 years I have embraced atheism and it feels most honest to me. I have tried and tried inside myself to find some "higher being" but that being never has responded (I don't mean has not followed my commands, I mean...responded in any way with a feeling or anything else).

In my gut it makes no sense that any higher being could be in charge and be all powerful but allow so much cruelty to happen to the innocent in this world.

But, it's hard to find comfort in life as a 100% secularist. I am thinking of joining a Universalist church which embraces atheists...Ha!

Anyone else out there like me?

My experiences with IF have made it clear that the "feelings" and senses we get that there may be someone else in charge or that anything happens for any reason at all is pretty bogus.
I came from a Christian background, for some portion of my childhood and adolescence was fundamentalist, then tried a variety of churches, then visited some synagogues, went to some Buddhist meditation meetings, went to a Universalist Unitarian church for a few months, even tried "goddess" spirituality until one day I thought how ridiculous it was that I had pictures of women and angels all over my room. Hmmm.

My husband is still deeply religious and I am not. It's hard, and now there is a question in my mind about the children we finally have at long last. But the process of getting them here is exactly what destroyed my faith.

I wish no offense to anyone here, but, all the various religious ideologies now just seem absurd to me and I wonder how anyone could believe them. A virgin birth? Why? The Greek influence is very strong in that story, which is why I first started to doubt it. God asking his devout follower Abraham to slaughter his only son as proof of his love for God? Why would a loving God do that? I could go on but will stop there. The problem of suffering and evil is the main issue though. All the other stuff that seems hard to believe, I could put down to man's clumsiness in trying to capture the essence of God. But a God who would stand by while people are raped, tortured, murdered, or left to die a horrible death from cancer or whatever, wars, natural disasters, pestilence, or even just the relentless crushing disappointment and pain that many people live with throughout their lives. None of it makes sense to me.

But your comment about it not being satisfactory or comforting to be an atheist also hits home. That's why I never tell people I'm an atheist and actually haven't even admitted it to myself, really. I don't want to be an atheist.

Sorry for the downer!!!! I know I will never recover a belief in God. It's just gone, along with my eggs.

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BBG
BBG

April 27th, 2012, 8:07 pm #6

The problem with the children is, do we raise them within a faith framework even though I don't believe? For DH it's an absolute, yes. For me, looks like I'm in for a lifetime of faking it.

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anon (minniet)
anon (minniet)

April 27th, 2012, 8:54 pm #7

I came from a Christian background, for some portion of my childhood and adolescence was fundamentalist, then tried a variety of churches, then visited some synagogues, went to some Buddhist meditation meetings, went to a Universalist Unitarian church for a few months, even tried "goddess" spirituality until one day I thought how ridiculous it was that I had pictures of women and angels all over my room. Hmmm.

My husband is still deeply religious and I am not. It's hard, and now there is a question in my mind about the children we finally have at long last. But the process of getting them here is exactly what destroyed my faith.

I wish no offense to anyone here, but, all the various religious ideologies now just seem absurd to me and I wonder how anyone could believe them. A virgin birth? Why? The Greek influence is very strong in that story, which is why I first started to doubt it. God asking his devout follower Abraham to slaughter his only son as proof of his love for God? Why would a loving God do that? I could go on but will stop there. The problem of suffering and evil is the main issue though. All the other stuff that seems hard to believe, I could put down to man's clumsiness in trying to capture the essence of God. But a God who would stand by while people are raped, tortured, murdered, or left to die a horrible death from cancer or whatever, wars, natural disasters, pestilence, or even just the relentless crushing disappointment and pain that many people live with throughout their lives. None of it makes sense to me.

But your comment about it not being satisfactory or comforting to be an atheist also hits home. That's why I never tell people I'm an atheist and actually haven't even admitted it to myself, really. I don't want to be an atheist.

Sorry for the downer!!!! I know I will never recover a belief in God. It's just gone, along with my eggs.
Your journey sounds like mine, especially the embarrassing goddess pics...

The theodacy part is the real clincher for me. And it started well before IF -- seeing so much pain and unfairness in my family with mental illness, natural disasters, freakily horrible deaths and pain. Stillborns, children born with diseases which will take their life in a few months...it is incredibly insulting to me when people say things are "meant to be" or that God has a plan we do not understand.

Sorry if I offend, but honestly, either God is either not very powerful (so, what kind of God is that?) or he/she is a real bastard and either chooses not to intervene or is like a child punishing people for not doing what he wants them to do. Either kind of God is pretty sucky.

Perhaps I will try the Universalist church. I DO believe in the power of love and faith (in people and love and good) and that is what draws me to such possible community.
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Hudson
Hudson

April 27th, 2012, 11:15 pm #8

Over the years I have slowly given up any sort of faith I had -- I was raised Christian but quickly felt a disconnect with that. For a long time I was quite spiritual and had a more Buddhist sensibility. But over the last 8 years I have embraced atheism and it feels most honest to me. I have tried and tried inside myself to find some "higher being" but that being never has responded (I don't mean has not followed my commands, I mean...responded in any way with a feeling or anything else).

In my gut it makes no sense that any higher being could be in charge and be all powerful but allow so much cruelty to happen to the innocent in this world.

But, it's hard to find comfort in life as a 100% secularist. I am thinking of joining a Universalist church which embraces atheists...Ha!

Anyone else out there like me?

My experiences with IF have made it clear that the "feelings" and senses we get that there may be someone else in charge or that anything happens for any reason at all is pretty bogus.
The Unitarian-Universalist Society is perfect for atheists. Depending on the company around me, I either say that I am a "non-practicing atheist" (since I do enjoy Christmas), or I say I am Unitarian. Some people really get turned off by the word "atheist." For example, I would never tell my immediate supervisor that I am an atheist.

Good luck to you.
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BBG
BBG

April 28th, 2012, 12:00 am #9

"Agnostic." It's not great if you're talking to someone religious but it's better than atheist.

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BBG
BBG

April 28th, 2012, 12:09 am #10

Your journey sounds like mine, especially the embarrassing goddess pics...

The theodacy part is the real clincher for me. And it started well before IF -- seeing so much pain and unfairness in my family with mental illness, natural disasters, freakily horrible deaths and pain. Stillborns, children born with diseases which will take their life in a few months...it is incredibly insulting to me when people say things are "meant to be" or that God has a plan we do not understand.

Sorry if I offend, but honestly, either God is either not very powerful (so, what kind of God is that?) or he/she is a real bastard and either chooses not to intervene or is like a child punishing people for not doing what he wants them to do. Either kind of God is pretty sucky.

Perhaps I will try the Universalist church. I DO believe in the power of love and faith (in people and love and good) and that is what draws me to such possible community.
I much prefer them as they are usually nicer with a greater sense of communal responsibility. But I feel like a fraud because I'm not really one of them.
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