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Goodbye Jesus

Is a life without a god hopeless?


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By Brian B.

 

What would you think of a person who came up to you, broke both your legs, and after you had wallowed in your misery for a little while, offered you a pair of crutches? Most of us would be confused and bewildered, (not to mention angry) at this behavior. Yet this is exactly what is being done to the minds of Christians everywhere.

 

One of the main things I've noticed about the Christians at my university is that they are utterly convinced that a life without God is a hopeless, pointless existence. They assume that people who lose their faith are wallowing in a pit of never-ending despair, that they have a hole in their hearts that they are trying to fill with 'the things of this world', but to no avail. Oh, if only those poor lost souls could know the tender mercy of our Lord and Savior!

 

I remember taking a writing class with a professor who loved to go off on tangents. One of the things he said struck me, because it showed me just how much Christians have this view entrenched in their minds. He said he walked by a shady masseuse parlor that promised clients "a real girlfriend experience" and that it filled him with sadness because he could see how lonely people with searching hearts might find respite there, and how it illustrated people's need for God.

 

That's right, people, if you don't have religion, you'd better start heading down to the masseuse parlor now. It's your only hope.

 

These are the type of people who think that every time you go out on Friday nights, you're not really just trying to have a good time, you're trying to fill your soul. That popping of the tab on your beer can is really the groaning of your aching heart.

 

Of course, like any other religious doctrine, the idea of life being pointless without a deity must be ingrained in you at a young age. Thus the crutch metaphor, and it goes something like this:

 

The parent is standing over his child holding the iron bar of religion over his prostrate child and begins.

 

"There is no hope in this squalid world!"

 

Wham!

 

"Ever material thing is empty and meaningless!"

 

Wham!

 

"You will never find what you are looking for down here!"

 

Wham!

 

"You are a wretched sinner not worthy of any grace!"

 

Wham!

 

And so on, until the child's legs are sufficiently crippled. Then, the parent sets the bar down and holds up a pair of crutches.

 

"But there is a big man in the sky who cares about you," he croons. "And since this world is so wicked and meaningless, you need to fix your eyes on him!" The child gratefully accepts the crutches. The parent continues, "This is the only way you can go on in this life. You part from these crutches, and you will drop dead in your tracks."

 

I really do believe that some people have an emotional NEED for there to be a god. But I believe that this need must be planted in them, that it is not naturally there. For a while, I believed I had that need. But when I tossed the crutches, I realized I could walk perfectly fine without them. And suddenly the world was wide-open and full of possibilities, and I needed not be frightened of them. I'm not saying that atheists are always happy, or that we never search for answers. But I will say this: A life without a god or religion is only hopeless if you DECIDE it is. If you decide that you can be a fulfilled person by having a naturalistic view of life, then it's absolutely possible. Hell, anything is.

 

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2007/01...d-hopeless.html

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I have a deep and profound sense of hope.

I am also an atheist.

I may still limp a bit. But at least I am healed enough to no longer need their crutches.

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Hope is desperation. The greater the hope, the greater the desperation. I am without hope, and I am content.

 

To quote Thucydides, "Hope is an expensive commodity. It makes better sense to be prepared."

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Well-put, Poonis :)

 

Those who need "hope" the most are the ones who are most desperate, I've noticed. Especially those who have been sufficiently terrified by the thought of eternal punishment - they need to believe in order to have some sense of assurance that they won't be horribly tortured for their unbelief.

 

In all honesty, it's sad to see this. People terrorizing themselves, and being duped into terrorizing others unknowingly, all for nothing. What a waste.

 

But Xianity isn't a magic cure for hopelessness. I've known many Xians who were desolate and hopeless, despite their belief, and only an improvement in real-world affairs would've helped. I was also like that; my depression came on when I was a Xian and over ten years of fervent belief did little to eliminate it or heal me of my affliction.

 

As an Atheist, I still have depression, every bit as much as I did when I was Xian. The one improvement is that today, I don't waste any more hope on gods I can't see and promises that never come through, and instead I rely on myself and my loved ones.

 

Now, I rely on real things, instead of things that aren't there.

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You keep talking about crutches, makes me think of that scene from Forest Gump.

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"...Those who need "hope" the most are the ones who are most desperate, I've noticed. Especially those who have been sufficiently terrified by the thought of eternal punishment..."

 

And that's rather curious all on its own, isn't it? This is one of the biggest problems with Xtians, this idea of infinity/eternity. Psychologically, humans, esp. non-mathematical humans, are not well equipped to deal with infinite sets. They don't really come up. ;-\

 

It occurred to me the other day that by the time you're ready to dwell for eternity in perdition, or, for that matter, in heaven, you must be an eternal being yourself, and will not understand anything the way you did when you were finite. The things you found pleasant and unpleasant will have no meaning for you any longer (...whatever "any longer" might mean...). Your regrets will not deepen with time --- deeper than _what_!? What goals would you even have, to be either achieved or thwarted? Divide-by-zero error; system halted.

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Hmmm, honestly, living without faith in a higher being has been much more different than I anticipated. The loss of faith, initially, filled me with dread. However, I have more hope than I've ever had before. Infact I feel free. Because I now realize that there is a natural balance in the universe that has nothing to do with Gods. I take solace that life will always balance itself out, and that when everything is said and done the world will keep on spinning. Overall, I think the universe and everything in it is my God.

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By Brian B.

 

 

One of the main things I've noticed about the Christians at my university is that they are utterly convinced that a life without God is a hopeless, pointless existence. http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2007/01...d-hopeless.html

 

 

yeah i was like that when i was a christian and also during the initial stages of my deconversion. I think once you become a christian you become more dependent on "God". Couldn't give you a spot-on answer why this is, maybe it's just natural or maybe it's because christianity mindfucks with your brain.

 

Now i'm through the initial pain and my life is getting better and I've finally decided to make something of my life MYSELF, without the help of a higher being.

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Life without a deity isn't hopeless or meaningless at all.

 

Xians just want it to be. Otherwise how could they sell you their product?

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