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What Has Atheism Ever Done For Me?


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Hello everyone,

 

I'm new to this forum, and thought this was a logical place to start my participation. I was Southern Baptist *shiver* for a while, and I was really into it. I had even dedicated my life to becoming a missionary since it was clear to me that spending time doing anything other than 'winning souls for jesus' was a waste of time. My then fiance (now wife) were already looking into what seminary to attend so we could start our 'true calling' in life.

 

Then the bottom fell out of my life and I had to take a serious look at what my faith was doing to my life. I found, after much soul searching, that it was destroying my ability to function in my relationship, my family of origin, and even at work. I took a break from church and started learning how to be more functional in life without spending so much time in prayer and studying the Bible (believing that these things would help me).

 

Much more recently (skipping ahead about 5 years), I started recognizing how angry I was at Christianity (and Christians by association) because of how that belief set hurt me and my family. I decided that it was time to reconcile my old faith with who I am today. I started to read a LOT about the Bible, about how it was written, by who, when, etc (by Christian and Secular sources). I also read a lot about logical arguments regarding the validity of Christian claims (i.e. apologetics) and ended up learning a lot more about logical arguments and thinking. It was only after doing this that I was finally able to let go of God and accept me, the people in my life, and everything else as it is and embrace Atheism. Well, to be more precise, I am an Atheist regarding Christianity, Islam, Judiasm, etc… I am Agnostic regarding the existence of a 'higher power'

 

So for me, Atheism/Agnosticism means living ones life under the assumption that either God does not exist or is irrelevant for living life. So, I started reading more about how to find value, meaning, etc in this world without an 'all loving God' in it. What I have found in this search is a wealth of awe, wonder, and appreciation of the world around me, the life I live, my family, etc that I never even remotely had as a Christian. I find my life is much more meaningful now than ever as I embrace the reality that this life is all that I have and it is up to me to make the most of it. The people in my life live lives that are just as valuable as mine. The world (and universe) is an incredible place where I can get lost in awe and wonderment at the immenseness of it all.

 

I have found more peace, joy, compassion, empathy, love, and meaning now than I ever did as a Christian. While Atheism did not bring me to this state of mind, it did enable me to be open to this experience as I continue to reframe my perception and understanding in an existence that is not dependent on the existence of something 'other' that may or may not have an influence on my life.

 

That's all I have for now.

 

Thranil

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Hei, Thranil! :wave: Welcome to the forums.

 

I agree that we create our own meaning, and that the short duration of life is what makes it so precious.

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