Any atheists here? Have you come to terms with your new reality?
Here I am. Alone, without my safety net of "God" being there to remember me when I die. After much consideration, examining science, history and using logic, I have come to the conclusion that there is no "God" at least certainly no loving, personal "God." Shortly before my final conclusion was reached, I read an excerpt from an expression attributed to Marcus Aurelius,
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
I know there is debate if he really said this or not, but the point is still valid and I believe the only way to live life. If you die and there happens to be a God, a loving God, then he should forgive you because you made an error. If you die and there happens to be a God, a loving God and he doesn't forgive you then he's not a loving God and doesn't deserve worship. Tell him to go to hell. If there is no God, well, you're dead anyways and it doesn't matter because you don't know you're dead. You're just dead. The only thing that might bother you while still living would be knowing you would leave loved ones behind and they will suffer for a while without you until their own death comes. Thus the cycle of life.
I'm content, and happy with my prospect. I feel complete actually. No more absurd religious beliefs and contradictions. No more debate. Just a simple answer to our end. It brings inner peace. I understand that not everyone has the mental and "spiritual" fortitude or intelligence to accept this conclusion. I understand that this conclusion can cause one to go insane and perhaps, religion is a necessary evil in this world for the lower intelligence humans. It gives them their inner peace. That's fine too. Whatever gets you through this life. What are your thoughts?
"Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!" - Conan, Conan the Barbarian (1982)
I believe the Norse belief system is superior to that of Christianity. The gods made us. There is no fall from perfection or need for redemption.
Honor the gods by being honorable in your own deeds. If you live an honorable life, Odin will send his Valkyries to carry you to the Halls of Valhalla upon your death. That is where the brave live forever.
Nice quote, kind of a reverse Pascals Wager. :)
I'm technically agnostic, but I tell anyone who asks that I'm atheist. I'm convinced that no god that's presented to me by another person can or does exist. That goes for any god proposed in any book written by people as well.
As to whether some kind of non-interventionist creator made the universe and maybe even has a plan for the future, I don't know and can't know. Some people call that "Ignostic" but I think there's enough confusion going on as it is without bringing in made up terms!
I feel that this has brought me closer to "truth" and I feel more comfortable now that I'm living according to my principles. If I die and against expectation, find myself before the throne of god, I will feel confident in saying "Dude, you have some seriously bad PR guys down there on Earth."
Well, though I am not willing to dismiss God entirely, I have to say that I do not believe in a personal God. One that cares about me personally.
So in the meantime, I believe in love and righteousness. People say they worship God because he is those things. Well, I try my best to follow these principles regardless of God's existence.
I'm not perfect, but when I go, I want to be able to sum it up as : Stephane was a good man.
truth_b_known , I used Conan and his god Crom in an argument on the evolution of deities with a JW relative.
The key quote is when Subatai says to Conan: "My god is the eternal sky... your god lives beneath my god."
That's all it is: The gods are just different societies playing god top trumps over time. That's why pantheons haven't survived, one god that can do everything that the individuals of a pantheon can do is stronger, more impressive.
This also explains why gods become less directly involved over time and more remote and enigmatic.
Ok, that's my theory. Now maybe someone who knows their stuff can tear it apart? :)
Why does one have to exist with any belief?
I believe in what I am sure of. This enables me to try to do things that bring positive results for me and those I know & wider society. I'm not throwing my hands in the air and expecting or waiting for someone else to affect my life for the better. It comes down to me.
Belief in the JW god disempowers a person.
I think that now I just try to control the controllables. Live a good life, do no harm, help others, etc. I'm not afraid of death, as I've been there once already, before birth.
With that said, I personally do have a struggle with loss. The interesting thing is that I struggled for my first 38 years of life or so with suicidal ideation as a JW. If I died, that might have been a relief. But now I have a life that I'm in love with, and just like the thought of losing my wife, the thought of losing my life does kind of always loom and makes me sad to think about. It's the beauty and curse of having something great in an impermanent world. I do struggle with unwanted thoughts due to that though.
I'm not far enough along in my personal journey (out of JWism) to wrap myself in the atheist mantle, but I have no issue with saying (other than to JW acquaintances) that I am agnostic. I'm pretty much content with that . I see no need in hurriedly trying to force myself to come to a definitive conclusion about it all. At my age, that may rule out ever coming to a definitive conclusion. Oh, well.....que sera. . . . Doc
I see it seems a varied system of belief but all here no longer believe in a personal God. That's a start to true enlightenment in my opinion.
For me this makes perfect sense:
silence is the language of god,
everything else is a poor translation of that silence.
This puts the onus on a god to break it's silence and start explaining stuff.
I am still waiting. In the meantime I am having a hell of a good time doing good and loving family and friends.