26 February 2009

An awkward post about god*

All of my grandparents are/were atheists. Of my great-grandparents? One or two of them may have had some loose religious ties, but really? Atheists. This wasn't some radical notion I came to when I was rebelling against my childhood. For me rebelling would probably look more like finding Jesus and jumping into corporate America.
Yes, I'm an atheist. I'm not agnostic. I don't think maybe. Science answers all my questions, I'm not bothered by the idea that nothing happens after I die, and I think that the power and beauty of human love and emotion bears no further explanation. Love is real, and it doesn't bother me that nobody created it. The odds of random chance getting us here don't seem far fetched.

I understand why people seek out religion. Occasionally, I wonder if I'm missing out on something, because I feel no spiritual void. Does my person lack some basic human element to explain and mythologize and judge? Am I flawed in that I have never felt the desire to do so? Would my life be easier if I could chalk things up to "God's Plan"?

Probably not.
Like I say, I'm not bothered.

I am bothered when I'm approached by people who think that they can/should/have the right to change me or my beliefs.

I don't judge you.

Please don't judge me.

*I don't generally feel the need to lay out my religious beliefs, but they've been being questioned a lot lately, so....sorry?

18 comments:

  1. Did someone get an awkward door knocking? LOL....I seriously wish people would get over the whole "I'm right you're wrong" thing...nobody knows 100% till they die (helllooooo, that's why they call it faith???). And unfortunately none of those bastards are talking. Sigh.

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  2. don't apologize!
    People shouldn't judge other people about a whole host of things, especially religion. If you know what you believe and are comfortable with it, more power to you.
    Besides, don't people who want to foist their religion on you realize they don't get any points in their heaven for converts. Just for living their life well?

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  3. I agree... I am not an atheist, but that is my choice and this is yours... no harsh feelings, nor akward silence.... just pure acceptance for who people are-- I really cannot stand when others try to force a way of thinking.

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  4. I feel the same way. Not about being an atheist. I wouldn't necessarily call myself that. But about people trying to shove their religion your face. There is a big difference between sharing and cramming!

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  5. I don't expect people to agree with me. I just expect them to leave me alone.

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  6. In many ways the penchant to tell other people what they should think and feel and BELIEVE that many 'religious' people have is what makes me believe that their belief is childish.

    I won't say I don't judge because judgment happens before we can stop it often, but I do try to treat people as I would like to be treated ... so if someone wants to engage in a conversation, I'm good with that ... I will not be trying to convince them to believe what I believe, so it would be great if my non-believing were treated in that same way.

    But I do draw the line at people creating policy based on their beliefs. That is not cool.

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  7. One of the fundamentals of Christian religion is that we are supposed to share our beliefs with other people, in order to give them the chance to have the joy of everlasting life. You can't blame them for feeling the way they do, if they are truly believers, they think if you don't believe in God, you're doomed, and who wouldn't want to be saved from eternal damnation?

    I will say this. Statistically, if you don't believe in God by the time you are 18, you are almost 100% sure to not believe in him ever. A belief in God is second nature. It's just there in the back of your head all the time. I also believe that if you are raised to believe there is a God, you ALWAYS believe it, even if you get angry and are non-practicing, etc.

    Because of this, I feel no true desire to "convert" anybody. Either you believe or you don't, that's all.

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  8. The topic was largely off limits when I was young. Kind of a 'find out for yourself' mentality. I never really understood that until my parents divorced when I was an adult.
    Now my mother is now a complete and passionate 'Thumper' attending 'Women of Faith' conferences and praying for my soul.
    My father is a devout atheist, and getting pretty militant about it.
    Hmmm...why didn't that marriage work out??
    I just wish both of them would STOP trying to persuade me.
    Personal. Decision. Shut. UP.
    :-)

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  9. I am an atheist, as are my parents.

    On my dad's side, his folks and grandfolks were unitarians -- that was how you could be an atheist in the first half of the 20th century without being judged. So my dad's side have been atheists for many, many generations by now (this despite having been Calvinist pilgrims a couple centuries earlier).

    My mom's mom was a Christian Scientist (who don't believe in medical treatment). She fell ill and died when my mom was ten; that cinched it for her, she's been an atheist ever since.

    I try not to yammer on about my atheism too much -- unless asked directly, because I feel just the way you do: I don't want any believers to push their religion on me, so I don't push my feelings on them. I respect their right to belief whether or not I respect the belief itself. And I leave it there.

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  10. I believe in trying to be a good person. No religion necessary, as far as I'm concerned. I've always refused to buy into any one "story" and just live and let live.

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  11. Wow. You use the "A" word down younder (Birmingham, Alabama) and they might just drag you to church, lock you up inside or something. You honestly see tents on the side of the road all the time preparing for ....hell, I really don't know what but they gather and sing. Honestly you do have to get a few miles outside the city limits to see the tents but they are there...Oh yea, they are there.

    I've always been confused with my beliefs. Wasn't raised in the church and also/ therfore looked at as a strange child growing up. EVERYBODY here takes their children to church. And that is the whole reason I go. I want my daughters to have the ability and facts to decide for themselves. That's all. Plus I have met some really nice people there but they are very different than I am.

    In sunday school they always say you need to invite someone to come to church with you. Um...NO. I want to leave people alone. So I'm with you. Everyone needs to leave everyone alone!

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  12. I can sort of relate. I wasn't raised as an atheist, but I wasn't raised within a religion either. I actually did briefly have a religious phase as a form of rebellion, but I have long since moved on. And I'm good with where I am. What skin is that off anyone else's nose?

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  13. Live and let live is a good philosophy - unfortunately I learned the hard way this week when you blog about how you feel about something you are going to get sometimes quite nasty responses. It's ironic - people get upset because they feel like you are not giving their opinion room to breathe so they lash out by cutting your opinion off at the knees. Ironic.

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  14. Lots of good responses here. Kbreints and Anna C. pretty much said what I feel more eloquently than I could've put it myself. So well done girls! Miss Grace, I like you for your sense of humor, your ability to articulate well, and your creativity in blogging. And even though I'm a believer and you're an atheist, I still consider you my pretent Internet friend! ((HUGS))

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  15. Praying for you.

    Just kidding. ;)

    I revealed on my blog about a month ago that I like going to church and my atheist readers were completely supportive of me writing about it. In fact, ALL of the criticism came from Christians on someone else's blog.

    Aarrrgh.

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  16. Good for you! I wish everyone would stop bullying everyone else to see things their way.

    I would describe myself as agnostic, in that I don't find myself qualified to declare what is or isn't beyond my sight or understanding, and I just don't think about it much while living life as decently as I can manage.

    Whatever's left in the end will be what it is, for whoever or whatever to happen or act on it, or not. Not my department.

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  17. HAHAHAH! I HATE that...."praying for you". My fiance's family is always "praying for us" and telling us about it. If you want to pray for me, keep it to yourself :-)

    Recent blog post: my friends are amazing

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