This has been a long time coming. Recovering Catholic here. I hope I can share as succinctly as possible what finally brought me to my senses.

The "believers" out there will likely take this story as some proof that I was driven to a non theistic philosophy by being somehow traumatized by this experience, but read what I say; I am attempting to choose my words carefully to get a point across about the value of rationality vs. fairy tales.

I had a on and off girlfriend for many years. She had suffered from various significant mental illnesses. She claimed at one point paranoid schizophrenia. A possibility, but I was not there for her diagnosis.

She came back into my life last June after a extended absence (read: substance abuse. leading to violence and prison). For many years I prayed for her.

In other words, I sat on my ass and refused to rationally acknowledge what she had and what needed to be done. She had, as far as my research shows (consulting professionals) a personality disorder. Nothing magic about it; no "demons" as she had come to believe.

I had several months of bliss with her last year but was unprepared mentally - logically and rationally - to deal with her coming storm of drug abuse, depression, etc. I still sat around waiting for her to get her act together, based on my "prayers" , encouragement, and chastisements, as a good judgmental Christian would.

She ran off with some guy and got married in less than 2 months. After all my years of "believing" in some possible miracle. Laziness. If I had simply studied the scientific facts behind her issues, I believe I could have done a far better job of not only tolerating her failings due to her condition (plainly stated in the DSM-IV), I may have also been able to steer her towards the proper help.

I lost my beloved to some fool willing to blindly put up with her issues (that would be husband # 4 at 35 years old that I know of). I may have been able to help her with those issues, genuinely, with results, had I looked at all this rationally; there is much more to the story of course. That's not what brought me here, entirely.

The day after I heard of her snap marriage, I turned again to Catholic radio, listening to the story of a 4 year old with Leukemia all of his tiny life. A short horrid life of pain. And then the usual excuses. God works in mysterious ways, etc.

No. If we had spent a fraction of the money and effort we spent on propping up various theocracies in the past, say, 50 years, we would have had the ability to cure so many dread diseases, mental and physical.

I am so tired. Worn out from seeing suffering for so many years. In my family, my country, my world. A humanitarian effort based on the scientific method, given the proper resources, would be a cure for so many ills. Perhaps not a cure for mortality, but a basis for a ASSURED quality of life.

I'm rambling I guess. But when will we get together and actually assert ourselves to the point of making gains for living human beings?

I don't care about atheism as a philosophy so much. I don't care about battling theist whackjobs, or the mainstream religions.

I want results based on logic and rationality. I feel as though I am alone. Am I?

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No. Welcome to Atheist Nexus! I hope you enjoy your stay!
I'm sure we're all very glad to have you here!
Garrick,
Thanks for the warm and affirming welcome! I hope to make a difference...
It's very empowering to believe that by closing your eyes and wishing the problems of the world away, you can make a positive difference that defies logic. So when someone tells them that prayer is basically a placebo, their ego is suddenly on the line.
Yes, Objection, prayer has all the power of placebo or random chance. A certain (small) amount of cancer patients in spontaneous remission. Emotional issues driven away by the power of prayer - until the inevitable real world trigger brings them back.

Thanks for the clarity. Ego and the artifacts of anti-rational "spirtuality" trumps rationality and logic among the majority of the world. Therein is a source of great pain for many...
No your not alone, I would guess a lot of people have gone through similar situations. I also agree with you wholeheartedly that we need a system, that is based on logic and facts, not superstition to guide us.

Welcome to Atheist Nexus, hope you enjoy your stay here =)
Allen,
Yes. I expect the approach to such a system would have to be incremental, integrated in what we have now, but steering towards reality.
But where to start? I think it is incumbent on us - even if we do not succeed in our lifetime. After all, who among all would have the greatest compassion for human existence - those who wish the best and abdicate responsibility through "prayer", or those dedicated to enabling the best through results based efforts, without relying on wishes and charms?

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