Become an Atheist

helpingothers

Just saw this as a comment on another blog. I think most of my readers will enjoy the thought behind it. The contributor indicated it’s a story from Hasidic literature.

A student asked the Rabbi, “Why did God create atheists?”

The great Rabbi replied. “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all; the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching.

He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his actions are based on his sense of morality. Look at the kindness he bestows on others simply because he feels it to be right. When someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say “I’ll pray that God will help you.” Instead, for that moment, you should become an atheist – imagine there is no God who could help, and say “I will help you.”

Sure beats “thoughts and prayers,” doesn’t it?

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Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

“Atheist” Is Just A Word

In general conversation, the word “atheist” is, in itself, irrelevant. A non-starter.

In fact, the only time the word comes into play is in religious discussions when it is often used derisively to describe folks who simply live life and accept things as they come — individuals who see no need to attribute events or actions to any “thing” or any “one.” IOW… people who are generally content with the idea that “it is what it is.”

No special identifier required.

Yet there are multiple blogs and other online media that carry on extensive and lengthy discussions to discredit this tangential word.

For example, it is the claim of religious believers that “atheists” are prone to ignore the glorious wonders all around them. They adamantly contend it is more than obvious that everything humans see and experience is the result of some phenomenal guy-in-the-sky. In their view, there simply is no other way to explain who we are and why we exist.

By contrast, those who refute the existence of this “celestial” entity/being are far more inclined to view life as a result of natural forces present in the Universe. And based on this perspective, they tend to live each day without expectation (or testament) of any preternatural events.

Further, the claim by religious believers that there is something beyond this life is viewed by the “atheists” as an inherently unproven event. And any tales of “near death” experiences are instinctively filed under “Fiction.”

This is why scores of non-labeled individuals find joy and happiness in their daily living. They fully recognize and accept that their presence in this world is based on a combination of circumstances that came together at an opportune moment. They feel no need or reason to either credit nor acknowledge any extraneous “source” for their good fortune.

Ironically, however, while these same folk find no substance in the claims of the religious, some have discovered the benefits of following the advice offered by a fellow named Luke:

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

champagne

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Image by Thomas Mühl from Pixabay

Desperation and God

cloverfield

A few nights ago I watched the movie, “The Cloverfield Paradox,” and while I do enjoy Sci-Fi movies that involve space travel and associated events, this one was, for me, a bit “over the top.” But that’s not the point of my post. It’s merely a lead-in to something that took place in the movie. 🙂

If you’re not familiar with the movie, here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

The film follows an international group of astronauts aboard a space station who, after using a particle accelerator to try to solve Earth’s energy crisis, must find a way home when the planet seemingly vanishes.

Naturally, as is typical for this type of movie, there were explosions, weird happenings, moments of crises, and of course deaths, as the crew works to find a solution to their situation. 

Finally, after several attempts to figure out what’s going on and to regain some sort of control, only two astronauts remain alive and (surprise!) one of them comes up with an idea on how they can get back to earth (which has now reappeared) before the space station is completely destroyed.  

OK. Now that you have a (very) brief synopsis of the movie, here is the point of my post. Please consider it carefully.

At the moment when things looked their grimmest, one of the astronauts asks if the group would mind if he prayed. Of course the group agrees. Now, while this action is not that uncommon in any crisis, a thought occurred to me in this particular instance and I’d like to share it with you.

I’m well aware that many of you reading this are totally convinced there is no god … while others have serious doubts about its existence. Yet in a moment of severe crisis — when a person is facing an almost certain and horrific death — is it so very difficult to believe that we might put our non-belief and/or doubts aside? Can any of us say in a moment of life-threatening fear that we would not utter words to the effect … “god help me!”

Putting it another way … are you convinced, in the very deepest part of your “self,” that in an extreme and potentially fatal situation you would not ask for help from an “outside force?” 

(Please note: It’s very important that you disassociate from any thoughts related to the Christian god as you consider your answer.)

I realize that in moments of comparative safety and ease, it’s difficult to “imagine” how we might act under extreme stress. Nevertheless, I tend to think many of us might do (what we currently believe as) the “unthinkable.” 

Wouldn’t It Be Great …

If we could remove belief in a “God’
from the human community?

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It has been proven time and again throughout history that God and “His” influence in human affairs has done nothing but create strife and dissension.

This is partially because the many and several individuals who are certain a “God” exists are unable to agree on what “He” wants.

  • Does “He” want a person to use beads when s/he prays?
  • Does “He” want individuals to dance in the aisle in worship of “Him”?
  • Does “He” want his followers to speak to “Him” in a strange language?
  • Does “He” want “His” believers to perform or avoid certain acts?
  • Does “He” want “His” worshippers to wear special clothing?
  • Does “He” support killings in “His” name?
  • Does “He” enjoy songs –or silence– when people worship “Him”?

(Of course I feel certain my readers can offer several other areas in which “He” isn’t clear on what “He” wants.)

Yes, the dissidence among “His” followers as related to “His” wishes and instructions is overwhelming even though each one of them is certain s/he knows what “He” wants.

Some know because they have put their confidence in a book — even though it is replete with confusion and obfuscation related to “His” wishes. Others have turned to individuals whom they believe possess (inside) “divine” knowledge. Others rely on what they call a “still small voice” to gain insight. But no matter what method is used, believers have total confidence they know what “His” wishes and desires are for each of them.

Even though “He” has never uttered a sound.

Yes, even considering all these logical fallacies, unknown multitudes of humans continue to accept –and defend– “His” existence. 

Further, anyone who rejects “His” existence is seen as confused, belligerent, self-absorbed, stubborn, ignorant, antagonistic, hard-hearted … and most of all, to be pitied.

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Now let’s consider a world where these illusions do not exist. Let us imagine a world in which humans rely on humans. Let us consider an environment where decisions are made to benefit humans rather than to please a “god.” 

 Let us contemplate courses of action that are based on acquired knowledge and intelligence. Let us ponder the idea of educational studies based on science and logic. Let us think about a world in which women are free to make choices about their own bodies (!).

The question then becomes … What would such a world look like to you?

Goodbye! Good Riddance!

leaving

OK, time for a fun blog … Sharing Your Deconversion Experience!

I know many of you have already provided your stories here and there, but that doesn’t make them any less potent. And besides, it’s a nice reminder that you made a very wise decision when you threw off the shackles of fear and foreboding about your eternal destiny.

Not only that — when you describe the events/situations/feelings that caused you to finally remove the Cloak of Guilt, it reinforces the fact that you made one of the best decisions of your life!

So tell us. What prompted you to “walk away?” Did it happen almost instantly – like a burst of insight? Or did it take weeks/months/years before you finally recognized that the so-called “joyous” way of life was most definitely not what it was cracked up to be?

I know for some people, it was a painful experience, so if you would prefer to simply ignore this post, that’s most definitely O.K.

However, if you feel it might add to your healing, I’m pretty certain you will find yourself in sympathetic and understanding company.

Finally, if you are still “in the fold” and believe, by sharing your faith and trust in a spacy entity said to exist somewhere “out there,” you will influence/affect/redirect those who have moved on to a happier and more contented way of life — Be Forewarned you may be in for one hellava ride!

So now, with all that said, it’s time for all you deconverts to GO FOR IT!