Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What a Short, Strange Trip It's Been

It's very weird reading my previous posts... my journey from "I'll never let go of the idea of God" to "I think I'm an atheist" has been remarkably brief, but it hasn't felt like it. It feels like I've been heading this direction for ages but simply now allowing myself to think about it... not wanting to leave the comfy fold of religion. Now that I'm here, it feels like it's been a whirlwind.

Yesterday I filled my Google Reader with a couple dozen atheist blogs - it's like an addiction - I LOVE reading them! And along the way, so many bloggers are pointing me to crazy conservative Christian blogs and videos and it FREAKS ME OUT that I was associated with these people!

But there's a real freedom that has come from shedding irrational beliefs. All those "God" questions are no longer vexing - they simply dissolve in the light of truth and reality. It is incredibly peaceful.

But how can God be both all powerful and all good? Simple, he can't because he doesn't exist.

How can we reconcile the fact that some prayers are answered and some aren't? No prayers are answered. There is no God to answer prayers.

Why are there so many contradictions in the Bible? Because the Bible was written by PEOPLE. No divine inspiration necessary.

Why does God seem so cruel sometimes in the Old Testament? Because those were ancient, barbaric times, and ancient, barbaric people. They're the ones who told these stories. Their God matched their culture.

I suppose I could go on all day (this is nothing new to anyone who has been out of Christianity for awhile, or never been in it.) But I actually find this fun! It's like, finally... FINALLY... my questions are answered!

And I'm no longer striving to live up to the demands of an external Being but rather trying to live well and be a good person for the sake of goodness itself. Not because God demands it of me but because I demand it of myself.

And how preposterous it is, to think that morality can only come from God! More on this later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Think I'm an Atheist Now

Everything is different.

My questioning and pushing the boundaries has led me completely out of religion altogether.

There's no god, no heaven, no hell. I don't even know anymore if there's a spiritual dimension at all. Is there anything transcendent? Is there a "divine" outside of humans? Is there an "energy" force of love and hate, or good and evil? Does it make sense to pray to "the universe"?

My favorite blogs these days are Friendly Atheist and Godless Girl.

I'm reading a very good book, Why I Am a Buddhist by Stephen T. Asma. It's worthwhile to note that Buddhists are atheists.

My biggest struggle at the moment isn't so much internal. While my evolution continues, I'm feeling fairly peaceful about it. But there's this external tension. It's how my current journey clashes with where my kids are. They're all gung-ho for Jesus, more than ever. And it's very tough to navigate.

I have already figured out that it would be a bit too scary and jarring for them if I was truthful about my own path. It will have to come with time, as they mature and are able to handle the dissonance.

Of course, I don't have any friends who've been where I am and could help me - as far as I know!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Losing My Religion

I read this book by William Lobdell, Losing My Religion, and it was a life-changer. I hated it, loved it, was completely ripped up inside while reading it and afterwards.

A few quotes:

p. 159:
...[it] was the first tangible sign that I was losing my faith. But the thought was so scary, so unwanted and so profound that it would be a long time before I actually admitted it, even to myself.

p. 160:
My long honeymoon with Christianity had ended. As soon as I'd beat back one doubt, two more would pop up.

p. 141:
Spiritual suicide infers that people make a conscious decision to abandon their faith. Yet it simply isn't a matter of will. Many want desperately to believe, but just can't. They may feel tortured that their faith has evaporated, but they can't will it back into existence. If an autopsy could be done on their spiritual life, the cause of death wouldn't be murder or suicide. It would be natural causes - the organic death of a belief system that collapsed under the weight of experience and reason.