gringojj, as an athiest you have a nobility in you. You chose to rise above the dumpsters, bravo. Now, you can use this as evidence that God is not needed, and I can claim that the God-spirit in you helped you rise above the animal nature. But I won't take your heroic turnaround from you, you did it! Bravo again. I do worry about your wife at times. She does need faith. I think if you find a way of accommodating her need without degrading it, you two have great potential together!
tetrapod, you sweetie! I do put myself out there on purpose. I had a similar revelation when my son first fell ill. I realized that to him, "God loves you" was an empty phrase. I had to live God because I was probably the closest he was ever going to see of the real thing. So it became, "I love you." and "God made me this way."
To know and discover. To explore and to grow. To reshape reality by design through application of the mind. And that goes for you, too. Hate to burst your bubble, you are not a dog.
Rock and roll doesn't exist without humans. You are an animal who can create art and be affected by the art of others. That is more than your dog is capable of.
You are not a dog. You are a god. And you believe in a greater purpose than your dog aspires to even if you merely believe in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. There is a distinct difference even in the fact that you can choose.
Why do so many people need to have a greater purpose? Is it easier to have hope and faith that one day things will be better? Does it make it easier on the conscience? Is it easier than facing yourself and your life? Easier than holding yourself accountable?
Well I can only speak for myself. And I believe in a higher power because of what I have experienced in my life. Do I in my heart call that energy "God" or "Jehovah"? No. I have no attachment and relationship with what people project 'God' to be. But if I am talking to a person I will use the words God or Jehovah if that is all they are able to understand (for the point of communicating).
Having a belief in a high power/energy is not easier for me. I live by my conscience (the depths of who I am) authentically and I don't think that is effected much at all by belief in a higher power. I don't do the outside-in constraint thang ... I don't need it. So there is no higher power regulating how I live my life per se. I face the depths and core of who I am every day. I look deeper when given the opportunity. And I hold myself accountable for the things I do. Every action/decision has a consequence/reaction. And I accept those consequences. But those things don't effect my belief in a higher power. They are unrelated.
Bottem line ... I have to be me and believe what the core of me says is my truth at the present time. I am open to the changes that may come tomorrow. And I in no way believe that others have to accept my truth as thier truth. At the same time I don't 'need' to believe in anything. I just accept what my core tells me and that's what I prefer to believe for that moment in time.