Your Final Thoughts

I read a blog post this morning in which the writer shared a story that triggered some thoughts I had not previously considered.

Briefly … a little background.

The blogger had been a Christian most of his life and dutifully raised his children in the faith. However, in 2007, his oldest son declared himself to be an atheist. As would be expected, this disturbed the family to no small degree, but it also prompted the blog writer to look more closely at his own faith.

Over the next several years, he spent considerable time reading and doing research related to Christianity and its roots. Little by little, he began his own journey toward atheism.

It was during this time that his aunt, who was a believer, faced imminent death and he went to be with her. Although she (and his mother) were both Christians, he said he managed to avoid discussing religion and simply shared past experiences.

Reading his story, a rather probing question occurred to me — and I’d like to ask it of my atheist audience who have had a religious backgroundespecially those who have been in the evangelical movement where the teaching of heaven and hell is so prevalent.

Imagine …

You are at life’s end. In mere moments, you know you will take your last breath and it will be … The End. Kaput. Finis. The Grand Finale. The Endgame.

My question: Can you HONESTLY say you would be totally free of ANY thoughts related to your eternal destiny?

While at this moment in time I can personally say with confidence that I no longer harbor any fears related to my demise, I do recognize the power of my former Christian beliefs related to life’s end. And I am forced to admit … they could intervene.

So what about you? If you know you’re at death’s door, are you absolutely certain of your final thoughts?

(Please remember — this question is for former believers. If you’ve always been an atheist, it obviously has no relevance. Further, I’m not soliciting thoughts related to any kind of “spiritual” afterlife. It’s all about “that moment.”)

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Image by doodlartdotcom from Pixabay

Are You An Atheist?

Courtesy of Atheist Alliance International

Many of my readers/followers consider themselves to be atheists … yet some define the designation by a variety of terms and/or contexts. Still others “modify” their non-religious stance with qualifiers (“I don’t believe a god exists, but if one were to actually be revealed …”).

This variety of meanings often results in some confusion and even accusations when discussing one’s position in various blog posts. So for clarity purposes, listed below are some various definitions of atheism.

  • The doctrine or belief that there is no God
  • A lack of belief in the existence of God or gods
  • According to Wikipedia:
    • In its broadest sense an absence of belief in the existence of deities.
    • Less broadly, a rejection of the belief that any deities exist
    • In the narrower sense, specifically the position that there are no deities
  • A denial of God or of “the gods”
  • Lack of belief in a “divine being”

And further, to make sure there’s no misunderstanding, the opposite of atheism is theism, which affirms the reality of the divine (and often seeks to demonstrate its existence). 

So where do you stand? Are you hardcore? Or are you a bit of an agnostic, clinging to the idea a God might exist? Or perhaps your perspective is … “unless proven otherwise”?

Oh and one more thing. As most atheists know, atheism is NOT a “religion.” But just in case you’re ever in doubt or are in need of defending your POV, here is information to prove your point.

Common Sense Atheism (on Quora)

Steve Ruis on his Class Warfare Blog just added a post that included some awesome graphics from a Quora.com contributor. I commented on one of them and he directed me to the author’s page, “CommonSenseAtheismThe Ongoing Adventures of Maude and Eugene.”

Thank you, Steve!

The graphics are soooo SPOT-ON that I wanted to give them more exposure. Besides, some of you may want to use Maude’s responses as they are perfect retorts to common Christian statements.

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NOTE: I’m not sure if you have to be a Quora member to access the page, but if so, it’s no big deal to sign up. In fact, you might even enjoy taking part and/or reading some of the Quora conversations.

Message From God?

Here we go again …

Poll: US believers see message of change from God in virus

The coronavirus has prompted almost two-thirds of American believers of all faiths to feel that God is telling humanity to change how it lives.

[…]

Kathryn Lofton, a professor of religious studies at Yale University, interpreted the high number of Americans perceiving the virus as a message from God about change as an expression of “fear that if we don’t change, this misery will continue.”

Oh dear, oh dear. We’ve become such baaad people! Poor God has had to step in –once again– to tell us to straighten up and fly right.

Gosh, people. When are we going to get the message?

Of course one can’t help but wonder why this almighty powerful entity messes around with a silly virus. Why doesn’t “he” just wipe out the human race as “he” did in Noah’s day and start over?

What? You say that didn’t work? You mean to tell me “his” all-perfect vision of things that were, are, and will be was out of whack that day? In other words, God goofed?

Well surely “he” would want to try again, right? I mean, practice does makes perfect, doesn’t it? (Or so they say.)

In any case, so long as we’re still here, maybe we should all consider doing our part to keep this virus from reaching out and touching someone we know and love by taking the recommended precautions. 

Hopefully, if we do what’s right God will reward our efforts and we’ll get to stick around a bit longer.

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Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

Preach It, Sista’!

On one of Ben‘s recent blog posts, he had a real, true-to-life Christian visitor. You knew this because every comment she made included references to God or Jesus/Christ.

Something I find difficult to understand is when a Christian visits an Atheist’s blog, why do they feel the need to preach? Especially when nearly all the posts are clearly laying out the reasons why the individual left Christianity!

Anyway, here for your reading enjoyment(?) is your religious experience for the week. No need to sit on a hard pew or take communion or get callouses on your knees.

It’s makes so sad that you’ve had such a hurtful experience with Christianity. I hope one day the whole body of Christ will actually be the body and walk as the body, talk as he talked and do as he did. Religion can be very damaging to many. I have not had this experience because I am in love with Jesus. I am absolutely amazed by him everyday. Following Jesus is hard, being different is hard, believing the impossible is hard and hearing your story is hard because it hurts my heart. I desire that you’d come to know the God I’ve come to know. Ben I think about you often and I do enjoy your posts you are talented and your thoughts are raw and real so thank you for sharing your self to all who read. I know your not trying to hurt faith you just don’t believe it and that’s your choice. You don’t offend me, who am I to be offended? it’s your story. I am listening and I care!

God sent his one and only son not religion so I’m not going to try to debate with you. I agree religion does harm but Jesus does not. That’s what I’ve experienced he’s amazing!!! ❤️

My answer is there is not one God that gave his own life for me and everyone else but Jesus the lamb of God. While everyone else can have there own beliefs and I respect that the God they believe in did not come in the flesh and die for me. Jesus did and I will proclaim his name till the end of my days!!

I am not trying to get it right I am right with God because I know and believe in his son and what he’s done for me. I am not trying to be good I am through Christ and his sacrifice. I don’t need anything else but Jesus. I don’t care if everyone else wants to follows the rules but I am going to keep my faith in what he’s done for me. He came in the flesh and died and if that’s not enough to believe then I’m not sure what is. My answer is my faith he is my love he’s changed me from the inside out. Now I will live my life for him.

Jesus is a gift and is available to all. I can’t explain faith to someone who doesn’t really care to know but only wants to prove a point. Pray and ask God for yourself he’s waiting to have a relationship with you.

There was more, but for now this is the …

End. Of. Sermon.