Not believing in a God seems to me to be impossible- yet I know that there are many people who do not believe in Him at all. How can this be? How can they co-exist with us in the same world? But I think the replies of our atheists have helped me to understand the place from which come their answers. It is a place of total rationality, total science, perhaps.It seems to me to be a place devoid of any wonder or other-worldly possibilities. It seems perfectly rational, and also, perfectly bleak. It is as if you exchange any doubt or non-scientific explanations for things to gain a strange peace that all there is in the whole of existence is what we can see and measure. Sounds pretty dull to me. I cannot understand how God escapes the call of anyone's soul.
Please help me to understand how this can be so.
asked 11 Aug '11, 08:33
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I do not consider myself an atheist anymore, but I was born and raised as one, so I might have some perspective about this. I was in my twenties already when I began changing my mind. My parents were atheists, as was the extended family, so when you are born into this thought system, it is completely normal to you and completely all right. You are right that it is a practical way of thought. Everything which happens is explainable and there is no wonder or mystery, only explanations. I was aware of the faith that some of my friends, teachers, neighbors had but to me it just seemed like superstition or wishful thinking. I would snicker when my friends told me about their cathechism classes, or bar-mitzva classes, or having to attend services with their families. I would snicker at the foolishness and cruelty I saw in the Bible. I was glad I didn't need that!
I did not consider it bleak really, it was just all I knew. I still saw my Grandmother do kind deeds all of the time, my family was loving and my father was a heroic police officer. I saw goodness as coming from responsible people, I didn't think of anything higher than that.
In my twenties, I started to have my children. And although I was an atheist yet and so was my husband, I looked at their little faces and wondered how they had come to me, where they had been before and etc. And oddly enough with my middle child, my daughter Crissie, she spoke in entire sentences very early. She would ask me what happened to her "other family" and her "other mother". She spoke of living on an island and using a type of shell for a hair comb and watching the dolphins play. What would a one-year old know about such things? I didn't discourage her and became interested in what she was telling me. Children of that age are not able to concoct elaborate stories such as that one so I began to believe her. Next, I became curious about reincarnation and that led me to the Edgar Cayce teachings and a whole wide universe of things I had never imagined. Thus the beginnings of my faith, which I will carry always. And my daughter doesn't remember her other life anymore, but still loves dolphins! Without faith, the universe, and the things that happen in it make no sense. I think I was barren inside previously, but I didn't really know any better! And one son is a Catholic priest, so I guess we defnitely fell short as atheists!
answered 11 Aug '11, 10:23
So where are you now? You helped so much with your answer, but what MOVED you out of atheism? What was it that convinced you that there was something <more> to this world than just what we can see? Thanks so much!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
(11 Aug '11, 12:06) Jaianniah
I will just add my response to the above comment, ok?
(11 Aug '11, 14:04) LeeAnn 1
(11 Aug '11, 23:29) Jaianniah
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Some people who look at this picture above will see an old woman - other people will see a fashionable, young woman.
Both sets of people are right.
They just have different perspectives.
The difference between this picture and your question is that there are not just two perspectives on physical reality but an infinity of them.
Everyone's right - including you.
answered 11 Aug '11, 22:06
i agree with you stingray they can experience what ever they want it is their free will.
(11 Aug '11, 22:50) white tiger
I really can't see the fashionable women in this....where is she??
(11 Aug '11, 23:52) Back2Basics
@Stingray-i agree, everyone has his own truth depending on his beliefs, so there really are 7 billion truths in the world today :)
(12 Aug '11, 04:02) blubird two
@B2B if you look at the old woman's mouth it is a necklace,her eye on the right is the left ear of the young woman. the young woman is looking away
(12 Aug '11, 20:21) ursixx
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Perhaps i may give the impression of living in a totally scientific world...let me explain.
I was raised as a roman catholic, at the age of 6 years old i went to a school where all the teachers were nuns. I religiously practiced these teachings until the age of 19 years old, at which time i realized that i just did not need to practice these teachings anymore. So i moved away from the church and went my own way.
Nowadays i prefer to place my faith in the whole aspect of nature rather than exclusively from the human religious teachings point of view. I marvel every day at the wonders of nature, listen to the birds and talk to trees...and through this i accept that there is a force at work that is far beyond my comprehension, some people prefer to name this force God.
answered 11 Aug '11, 14:48
Thank you for clarifying, blubird. Blessings,>>>>>>>>>>
(11 Aug '11, 16:43) Jaianniah
well what do you want to call that force bluebird? if i tell you that that force can talk with you do you still see it only as a force? or does it become entity? and even if you are scientific do you know that in quantum research they discover that you affect what will happen with out even knowing it or how?
(11 Aug '11, 22:48) white tiger
@white tiger-force or entity, it's all the same to me, and i do talk with this (force, entity, god...) through the trees and the flowers and ... have a great day
(12 Aug '11, 04:07) blubird two
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Very simple jai they have free will and they (atheist) believe that god does not exist. remember i told you many time before even if you believe something it does not make it true. i also told you belief and faith are not the same thing. many make that mistake. so experience and enjoy.
answered 11 Aug '11, 22:39
there is not a personal god above the top of the hierarchy,
answered 12 Aug '11, 22:33
we all r growing. i ws once a huge athiest, bt they i became a huge believer. n we all r still growing. even an athiest wants to believe in god. but nothing is able to satisfy him. the problem is that god is beyond the mind. when one transcends the mind, u will experience god. so if u try to experience when u r so much exposed to only the physical aspect of the universe, it will be tough. this is the reason y faith is needed. this is y ppl desire to see miracles to see god. another reason is exposure. the more u r exposed to spirituality, the easier it is to believe in god, coz there u hav a wide perspective of what this universe is. but if one is only exposed to the gross realities, then god becomes SUPER-NATURAL. but in reality, he has a limited vision of the universe. im not saying that n athiest is incapable in any way, atleast in the material world. but if u wnt to experience things that r beyond physical realities, u have to b open. another thing i wd like to tell u is .... having views n opinions is ok n normal, but getting too attached to OUR views leads to fanaticism. so if i believe in god, its gr8, but when sm1 doesnt, it might hurt my ego, coz i m so sure of His existence. so one needs to be more tolerant.
answered 28 Aug '11, 18:03
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but couldn't atheists turn around the statement above around, i.e. "It is as if you exchange doubt and scientific explanations for God to gain a strange peace" I am not an atheist but it just crossed my mind....
Good point..very logical thinking...and ultimately, fair to both sides of the issue, except I never heard of an atheist having a spiritual experience that could be equated with "the peace which passeth all understanding" of a theist...not that atheists do not feel peace- but there is Something inside of us which KNOWS when we have been touched by God, and I wonder if atheists just do not know it when it happens...just another thought. Thanks,>>>>>>>>>>>