I've been an atheist for most of my life. Even as a child of 10 deep down I knew that the stories in the Bible were too fastasical to really be believed. My mother and father sent me and my siblings to church for a while, and my dad, not being too good at reading used to have me read the Bible to him, so I had an early start on learning plenty about the Bible. In my teens I attended church for a while, and even fancied myself called by God to preach, but I became disillusioned with it after about 10 years. In that time, however, I studied the Bible for at least 8 hours every day, so I think it safe to say that I have a good knowledge of the Bible. After my stent as a Christian I tried Wicca, but found that unsatisfactory. From there I tried Zen Buddhism, but just couldn't buy the reincarnation and ultimate Nirvana bit. Then I tried philosophical Taoism, which I still find interesting, but untenable. My last stent with religion was clockwork Deism, but I saw the idea of a God who wound up the universe and then went away as superfluous. Now I have returned to my core atheism, and I am a confirmed and convinced atheist. It makes the most sense. I prefer calling myself an atheist rather than nontheist, but that's just me. And I'm proud to be an atheist. I belong to an atheism group on facebook, and I have an atheism blog on google blogs, on which so far I have posted 50 entries since August 5th 2012. I'm 50 years old, soon to be 51.
"It lightens the burden just knowing that." Me too Anthony. The only thing I worry about now is that my young-adult kids will live with some sadness from missing me. But then I think, life is short though, and then when they are gone, their pain will be too, and so on. I am actually trying to keep my mind from going there at all now, and just focus on happiness one day at a time!
Booklover, knowing that life is short and death is long, and that this is the only chance we'll ever have to enjoy life, gives us reason to enjoy this life to the fullest, and make the most of it that we can while we can. As for me, while I enjoy learning all I can and sharing what I've learned with as many people as possible, I have lived a life of suffering. I was born handicapped and I'm in physical pain quite often, and I've lost the most important people in my life. I still have two brothers and a living sister, and nephews and a niece (all children of my late sister), but they all pretty much neglect me. So I don't really enjoy this life all that much, and contemplate death and my final release quite often. Not that I ever consider suicide, because I still have a lot to learn and share, but the thought of death comforts me and I look forward to it. As for you, live your life to the fullest. Love your husband and your children with all your heart, and make the most of this life. Be happy, and to quote Mr. Spock: "Live long and prosper".
Anthony, I am very sorry to hear that you have had, and still have suffering and pain. I am sad to hear that your family neglects you. I have been lucky in the family department, except that my 'father' left when I was 5, choosing alcohol, drugs, and partying over his wife and kids. I was very close to his parents though. I do have a condition that my gastro calls "neuropathy of the digestive-system", which for 2 years before I found this doctor caused to me be on the couch crying for probably a week or 2 out of every month with Extreme nausea. So much so that if I didn't have kids, I would have possibly considered suicide. Then I was sent to this Dr. and he found a pill that gave me back quality of life. Not perfect, and there are break-through days where I feel really "icky" (to be technical, lol). We are still experimenting. I have some very good days too. So, I am not comparing, just saying I understand a tiny bit maybe about the not wanting to live with feeling horrible.
I'm glad you know you have a lot to learn and share. I just met you on here, and I think you're a neat guy! Please feel free to message me if you ever just want to chat about anything. The older I get, the harder I find it to be friends with people who are religious. I can't take listening to it. I much prefer my Atheist Nexus friends, and the few Atheist friends I have in "real" life.
Please post often, I like hearing what you have to say.~ Melinda
Booklover, I feel bad for you that your father left you at an early age, and I'm sorry to hear of your neuropathy of the digestive system, but I'm glad to hear that you found a medication that gives you some measure of relief. I guess we all have our burdens. I hope eventually that they find a medication that gives you complete relief from your condition. Heck, they've found a cure to HIV aids, so never give up hope. And if you want you can call me Tony. That's what everyone has always called me. When I signed up for Atheist Nexus I had to put my name, at least that's what it said. That's why my id shows up as Anthony.
Tony, you're so sweet. You know, I put my real name, which is Melinda, on here too because it said so. Then when I Googled my name, it came up! I did not know it wouldn't be private. This just made me mad that it didn't say it wouldn't be private. I really don't care if the world knows I'm an Atheist, I just am afraid of the weirdos out there! I have a really weird last name, so it would be easy to find me if someone wanted to. Not that they would want to! ha ha. So I became booklover. In "real" life, everyone calls me Mindy. You may call me whichever you'd like! I hope you never give up either Tony. :)
Mindy, I really don't care who knows my real name. I want the world at large to know I'm a proud atheist. I'm not the least bit worried about any god loving weirdos as I don't fear death. There's nothing to fear about it. I can understand your concern though, having a close and loving family. But I wouldn't sweat it too much. I take it by your id that you're a book lover. I am too. The only kind of books I don't like are fiction. All the books I purchase are for the purpose of expanding my understanding and knowledge. Not that I don't like fiction, but I get my fill on tv and dvd.
Tony, I like fiction, but I don't like science-fiction, or fantasy-fiction. I only like fiction that is like real life. Do you know what I mean? I'm not putting it very well. I love all other kinds of books too like,biographies, books that teach me things, and so on. And so far I'm sticking with actual paper-books! No Kindle for me yet.
Nice intro. My own roundabout path was similar to yours. I even got into study of tantrism and occult matters, gnosticism and the mystics. Always, just as you note, there is a fly in the ointment, a metaphysical event or rite or belief that demands extraordinary proof when there is none. Buddhism has a wonderful system of ethics, but, like you, I can no longer believe in karma and reincarnation. These presuppose error (whereas the Christian concept is sin): "That guy is such a creep he's sure to be reborn as a scorpion or snake." In all fairness, Theravada has the purest and most belief-free attitude. They make fewer claims beyond the necessity of meditating. I liked the Taoist concept of the superior man, which is what initially endeared me to Obama: you cannot flutter his feathers. The monotheisms are the worst, of course, and I pretty much got rid of them when I left home for college; it was a church-supported university and I took 12 hours of religion instead of the required six: familiarity breeds contempt. This allowed me to come to the inescapable conclusion: all religions are the same. They are bullshit. They are all designed to perpetuate a bunch of social spongers, The Priesthood, in effect, a Ponzi scheme. That Nazi cardinal is eating the finest caviar and drinking Chateau d'Yquiem for dessert every night.
Yeah James, I kind of think the new Pope might be a little bit Nazi (maybe a Nazi father and sympathizer mother) myself. After all, a lot of Nazis did flee to Argentina after the fall of the Third Reich. And I agree with everything you posted here.
Hi, Anthony. Nice to meet you! I, too, feel like I've ran the gambit before coming to atheism, though I consider myself a naturalistic pantheist as well. Sometimes we just take the long and winding road before we determine things, and that's fine and good. I think it helps us keep perspective when dealing with people who don't always see eye to eye. Glad to have you here!
Thank you Nerdlass. Cool name, by the way. I like it. I also like being a member of Atheist Nexus, glad I found it doing a web search.
Welcome and well met! I'm a newbie here myself, and have found the Nexus to be warm and welcoming. I hope you do as well!
I fondly remember the Theological Dressing Room. My personal favourite was a sorta-Wiccan, neo-Celtic paganism. I enjoyed the candle-lighting and crystals and stuff. I can't say I ever believed in the many-gods thing, but the ceremony was fun, and appealed to me in a "Wow, I'm just like my D&D characters!" sense. Too bad I enjoy truth and science too much to keep it up.