Jump to content

Atheist In A Foxhole


Margee
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Moderator

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I was thinking about how quickly I revert to a little prayer like ''Please help me with this'' or ''Oh God, Help!''

 

Right now it seems as if everybody is doing well. I don't see anyone posting about dying relatives or even mentioning a sickness that one of us may have. I do see a lot of downcast feelings about living in the world today and coping with all the responsibilities of life. I am included with that category. Feels real good just to be able to laugh every now and again. I had such a good day yesterday. I was actually laughing for the first time in weeks.

 

This morning I miss my girlfriend who died 2 weeks ago. I have to work today and I don't want to. I actually was hoping for another snowstorm! I think I even prayed for it!

 

How many of you will NOT revert to praying for a loved one who is sick or your child who is traveling on a bus on a slippery road? What about your sick spouse or what if you were given a very bad diagnoses today?

 

Does one ever really get to a 100% place where they won't 'call out to god''? I can see me on my death bed saying one last time:''If you're really there, please Jesus, save me!'' Do you see yourself calling out in a pinch?

 

Is there really such a thing as an ''atheist in a foxhole''? Would it be wrong to do this after proclaiming that you don't believe? Can you please be honest with me today about this?

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well to be safe you have to call on the names of all the pagan gods, the over 3000 hindu gods, allah, yahwe, elohim, jesus and just in case the FSM, he is after all another man made god - praize his noodliness.

 

With a deathbed conversion, at least you did not have to endure years of abuse but you already have like most of us here.

 

I highly doubt that I would be a wuss and call out to something that does not exist. If he does, there will be many "where you when..." questions he would need to answer and explain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I entered the Lager (Auschwitz) as a non-believer, and as a non-believer I was liberated and have lived to this day. Actually, the experience of the Lager with its frightful iniquity confirmed me in my nonbelief. It has prevented me, and still prevents me, from conceiving of any form of providence or transcendent justice. . . . I must nevertheless admit that I experienced (and again only once) the temptation to yield, to seek refuge in prayer. This happened in October 1944, in the one moment in which I lucidly perceived the imminence of death . . . naked and compressed among my naked companions with my personal index card in hand, I was waiting to file past the “commission” that with one glance would decide whether I should go immediately into the gas chamber or was instead strong enough to go on working. For one instance I felt the need to ask for help and asylum; then, despite my anguish, equanimity prevailed; one does not change the rules of the game at the end of the match, nor when you are losing. A prayer under these conditions would have been not only absurd (what rights could I claim? and from whom?) but blasphemous, obscene, laden with the greatest impiety of which a nonbeliever is capable. I rejected the temptation; I knew that otherwise were I to survive, I would have to be ashamed of it.
- Primo Levi, holocaust survivor
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
I entered the Lager (Auschwitz) as a non-believer, and as a non-believer I was liberated and have lived to this day. Actually, the experience of the Lager with its frightful iniquity confirmed me in my nonbelief. It has prevented me, and still prevents me, from conceiving of any form of providence or transcendent justice. . . . I must nevertheless admit that I experienced (and again only once) the temptation to yield, to seek refuge in prayer. This happened in October 1944, in the one moment in which I lucidly perceived the imminence of death . . . naked and compressed among my naked companions with my personal index card in hand, I was waiting to file past the “commission” that with one glance would decide whether I should go immediately into the gas chamber or was instead strong enough to go on working. For one instance I felt the need to ask for help and asylum; then, despite my anguish, equanimity prevailed; one does not change the rules of the game at the end of the match, nor when you are losing. A prayer under these conditions would have been not only absurd (what rights could I claim? and from whom?) but blasphemous, obscene, laden with the greatest impiety of which a nonbeliever is capable. I rejected the temptation; I knew that otherwise were I to survive, I would have to be ashamed of it.
- Primo Levi, holocaust survivor

 

My god Pockets, thank you so much.............. I can't ever imagine.............................I am speechless........... what that would have been like............................

 

I know I continue to ask silly 'deconverting' questions. The whole experience that you went through as you did - would convince a person even more... that God was not around............ I just need to get that into my brainwashed head. :Doh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Well to be safe you have to call on the names of all the pagan gods, the over 3000 hindu gods, allah, yahwe, elohim, jesus and just in case the FSM, he is after all another man made god - praize his noodliness.

 

With a deathbed conversion, at least you did not have to endure years of abuse but you already have like most of us here.

 

I highly doubt that I would be a wuss and call out to something that does not exist. If he does, there will be many "where you when..." questions he would need to answer and explain.

 

Here'nThere - you are so right.

What if we never got the right god in the first place?

When, oh, when - will I stop asking these nonsense questions!!!:banghead:

 

How in the hell did a 'god doctrine' have the ability to scare someone this bad!!

 

 

I am angry again!

And at myself at that! And.... slightly embarrassed! :die:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This issue of falling back on prayer is one that I grapple with a lot. Like so many others, it's difficult for me to just wipe it all away and pretend that at one time I didn't pray on an ongoing basis. I have decided to do my best to rid myself of this compulsion. Therefore, whenever the desire to pray enters my mind, I refuse to pray and instead spend the time thinking about the issue. My reasoning for trying to get past the "prayer life" is because I see it as a holdover from Christianity and I don't want any of that terrible religion left within my mind if I can help it. I am sure I will have this struggle for sometime to come.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm no longer tempted to utter prayers. You will get past it Margee. It's conditioning. I would feel silly now. As in, "who the hell am I talkin to?" :lmao:

 

As for when loved ones are sick, here is how my thinking has changed. When I was a christian and my child would get sick, I would kneel by her bed and pray and pray. Recently, she was really sick with a fever. Rather than praying, I made sure I had given her the correct doses and timing of her medicine. I knew everything was going to be ok. I remember lying beside her and stroking her hair. Then it hit me. I was focusing my energy on comforting her rather than wasting precious time praying.

 

When my granny was dying in the hospital, I felt no need to pray. I used that time to hold her hand and talk about the good times we had. Even though she was unconscious, it was more comforting to talk to HER rather than an imaginary friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many of you will NOT revert to praying for a loved one who is sick or your child who is traveling on a bus on a slippery road? What about your sick spouse or what if you were given a very bad diagnoses today?

I have. A long time ago.

 

My son has been in the hospital several times since my deconversion. He was seriously ill and close to death twice. I didn't pray either time. I didn't even think about it. Nor did anyone else in my family. Maybe some friends prayed, I don't know, but it never even crossed my mind.

 

 

Does one ever really get to a 100% place where they won't 'call out to god''? I can see me on my death bed saying one last time:''If you're really there, please Jesus, save me!'' Do you see yourself calling out in a pinch?

Not even in a pinch do I do it. I was almost run over by a car a few years back. And it hit me 10 minutes later that I didn't think of God or Jesus or call his name or anything like that. I thought about my family only. They're more important than imaginary friends, so why should I spend my last minute on Earth by thinking about some made up creature that only exists in my mind to satisfy some emotional needs? Nah. Family more important.

 

Is there really such a thing as an ''atheist in a foxhole''? Would it be wrong to do this after proclaiming that you don't believe? Can you please be honest with me today about this?

I don't think it's wrong. Whatever helps you get through the day is good for you. If you need to pray, do it. Don't take my attitude against prayer in my own life as a guide to how you should deal with it in your life. I believe prayer can have a calming effect on a person, kind of like meditation. Since I don't pray or feel the need for it, I have considered that maybe I should pick up mediation, yoga, or something like that. It's more about satisfying your needs and help you live a happier life. If prayer helps you do it, then do it, but perhaps you should experiment to pray to Mother Earth or something else for a change, just to see if you get answers... :)

 

Oh, and by the way, my wife lost a very dear friend just a few weeks ago. My wife spent several days in hospital keeping the friend company. The friends ex-husband is a holy-roller pastor who came in and wanted to throw out the cancer demons. Both my wife and her friend were deeply hurt by this behavior. She didn't need a prayer. She needed a friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well to be safe you have to call on the names of all the pagan gods, the over 3000 hindu gods, allah, yahwe, elohim, jesus and just in case the FSM, he is after all another man made god - praize his noodliness.

 

With a deathbed conversion, at least you did not have to endure years of abuse but you already have like most of us here.

 

I highly doubt that I would be a wuss and call out to something that does not exist. If he does, there will be many "where you when..." questions he would need to answer and explain.

 

Here'nThere - you are so right.

What if we never got the right god in the first place?

When, oh, when - will I stop asking these nonsense questions!!!:banghead:

 

How in the hell did a 'god doctrine' have the ability to scare someone this bad!!

 

 

I am angry again!

And at myself at that! And.... slightly embarrassed! :die:

 

Don't be so hard on yourself. There's nothing wrong with the question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right up to the point of deconversion, I was in a habit of saying prayers in my head all the time, and that habit didn't immediately die after deconversion, if I remember correctly. There have been times after my deconversion when I've prayed and asked god, "If you exist, please give me real proof." I've begged god for proof of his existence. Of course, that's like begging Santa Clause to give you a ride in his sleigh. But I really didn't want to let go of my belief. Too bad, I guess. :shrug: At this point, I do not see myself ever praying again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well to be safe you have to call on the names of all the pagan gods, the over 3000 hindu gods, allah, yahwe, elohim, jesus and just in case the FSM, he is after all another man made god - praize his noodliness.

 

With a deathbed conversion, at least you did not have to endure years of abuse but you already have like most of us here.

 

I highly doubt that I would be a wuss and call out to something that does not exist. If he does, there will be many "where you when..." questions he would need to answer and explain.

 

Here'nThere - you are so right.

What if we never got the right god in the first place?

When, oh, when - will I stop asking these nonsense questions!!!:banghead:

 

How in the hell did a 'god doctrine' have the ability to scare someone this bad!!

 

 

I am angry again!

And at myself at that! And.... slightly embarrassed! :die:

 

Your questions are not nonsensical. They are good ones. Your questions demonstrate that you are in search of the truth and that is a very noble thing. So don't stop asking questions and, most importantly, seeking the truthful answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great question! I am totally an atheist and I gave up praying though I wish that the New Age Spirituality stuff was true and I could call on the Energy of the Earth or some such nonsense to come to my aid. However, the evidence is in and I cannot go back. There is no God and no "Energy Force."

 

The other night, as Hubby was leaving, I got the urge to pray and so I said "Whatever is good in this world watch over my dear Hubby as he drives through the darkness. I love him so much and I need him to come home to me." Do I think it made a difference? No, your fate is your fate. But it was comforting to talk to myself and express my fears and my love.

 

Fate is something Americans don't find acceptable but I do. Acceptance of circumstances as they are is one of the keys to happiness. One lives and dies and what you make of your time on the planet in loving and seeking happiness and contentment are what count.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

usually, in my experience, when one is asking god for help with a task....if you pause instead and just focus for a moment, then the task becomes easier.

 

Prayer, I believe, is just another form of meditation. It can be used to help calm yourself. Or express fears you may have. As social beings we have a need to express that which is inside. Sometimes just talking to yourslef is all you need. Wither or not you call it a prayer to a god is your preference.

 

Personally, i've had some great conversaion with myself, that helped far more then prayer ever did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People are taught young that saying something can make it happen. We are cautioned not to say "I wish my little brother was DEAD!" because, well IF it happened you'd feel awful. How many folks "knock on wood" when something either positive or negative is said.

 

Prayer is just "saying it". You hope the good will happen and you hope that the bad won't. Putting it in words (i.e. prayer) is the just human way of urging events our way.

 

This is one fallacy I struggle with myself even though I know saying something out loud doesn't in any way affect the outcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sometimes feel the urge to pray, when I feel helpless. Usually, it happens when one of my friend's is in danger--not when I need help myself. Not sure if that's because, if something is happening to *me,* I can be in control of the situation and handle it myself, or if nothing has happened to me, yet, that would make me feel that desperate. But, there have been times where, say...a friend had a head injury, and extremely poor balance, and I was terrified she would fall again when I wasn't there, and get badly hurt or killed. I'd start flailing and feeling helpless and I'd get the urge to pray that she stays safe.

 

I consider it the equivalent of rubbing a rabbit's foot: I just want there to be something I can do. So far, I haven't given in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I watched an interesting movie today called "The Invention of Lying" with Ricky Gervias.

 

Basically goes on the premise no one can tell a lie and he discovers the ability to lie and ,make shit up and he invents a man in the sky after they heard him lie to his mother on her deathbed that she is going to a better place.

 

It is both funny and sad but ironic that the events replicate the bits of moses and his law and how once you tell a lie how many more you need to make up to cover the basic ten things man in the sky will or will not do for you.

 

There are some good undertones so I recommend to rent it and watch it.

 

As for me praying to man in the sky, I had very little success as an xian so I really didn't believe too much in it anyway, I couldn't pray fervently like some folk could and usually ended up babbling in tongues. So coming out of the kingdumb of gawd, this part of my life was no real show stopper for me. Kinda figured out that with the collapse of my business in spite of being a faithfool and big tither and attendee, he kinda was not there in the first place. The chanting of prayer is merely a placebo effect and the statements made that the prayers do not penetrate the ceiling were about the only truths concerning prayer.

 

Of course, all the lack of answers/communication were all my fault due to lack of faith or sin in my life, the usual apologetic for a nonperforming OFE gawd. Yet if we ask for ANYTHING yes folk ANYTHING in HIS NAME, he is faithful to perform it.....NOT!

 

I guess he is only capable of finding convenient parking spaces at the local mall. :shrug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My condolences for your girlfriend, by the way. Some people quote 'time heals all wounds' but I have found in my lifetime that those sentiments mean little. Losing those you love hurts like hell and some times that pain just does not go away. Do what makes YOU feel better and helps YOU to get over the hurt and loss. If it has be prayer, then pray. If it has to be scotch and talking about what hurts, such as in my case, then let it be scotch and talk to people. The source of happiness has to be what you can find within yourself to be happy. I can't tell you how to do it, the man at the grocery store can't do it. Find that thing that makes you happy and healing and hold on to it until the pain goes away. It's not wrong to pray and it's not wrong to believe in a god or something that is more powerful than ourselves. It only becomes wrong when those things are used as weapons against someone else because they do not share the same feelings.

 

Deconversion takes time. There is no quick fix to being in a cult for several years, and unlearning what was drilled into our heads day after day until the teachings become part of our everyday lives. Though I claim to be atheistic, I am perhaps agnostic because I would like to believe in a god, if there is enough evidence around to prove there is a god. And, based on my life experiences, I have not seen that proof. I gave the Christian church over 43 years of my life in pursuit of that proof and never found it. I think I've always said that proof in god does not have to absolute proof but evidence that would convince me beyond the shadow of doubt, like evidence presented in court when one Christian sues another Christian. They swear their evidence will sway a jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to win their lawsuit. That is the evidence I search for, something to persuade me beyond a reasonable doubt that any god exists. If the evidence cannot prove the claim, then it is not evidence of reasonable doubt. Faith is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt and neither is a so-called miraculous healing because many illnesses, even cancer, go into remission when no one says prayer. What will convince me is seeing someone's amputated limb grow back or having a loved one return from the dead. That would convince me beyond the shadow of doubt. Warm and fuzzy feelings are not proof. I am the 'doubting Thomas,' I have to see it to believe it. I do say 'god help me,' at times. I am not offended when someone says they will pray for me or give me their blessings in the name of their gods. That may be as nice as they can force themselves to be?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in hospital recovering from a heart attack couple years back. Near death situation but pulled through after 3 surgeries, a mixture of bad and good luck.

 

During that time, did not see bright light, or grim reaper. Did not pray, just a will to get better and hoping to see another day.

 

My BFF and staff (buddhists) prayed, visited temples, paid to monks and devotees to chant sutras for my recovery.....

 

My colleaques (catholics) went to churches, light candles on my behalf, asking the saints to spare my life

 

My christian and pentecoastal friends were praying to jesus to keep me safe,,,,,

 

My brothers and sisters and some atheists friends were just hoping me get well,,,,,

 

I got decently well, and every believers think their prayers work that I am alive to further their buddhist, catholic and christian causes,,,,, hahaha

 

praying,,,,,,,,,,, have not practise that for some time and not ready to pick up again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Margee your questions are perfectly reasonable. Go you for having the balls to ask them in the first place. I was never much of a prayer even as a christian. I learnt early if I wanted something to be done do it myself. I never expected to be excuded from the usual vissicitudes of human life because I was a christian. I could never understand why everyone else did. The years and years and years I spent watching people pray and nothing happened, why would I bother now when I don't think it really does anything?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

I know I continue to ask silly 'deconverting' questions. The whole experience that you went through as you did - would convince a person even more... that God was not around............ I just need to get that into my brainwashed head. :Doh:

 

Stop it.

Stop it right now!

Honey, these are not silly thoughts! These impulses and needs within us are, in part, the basis of religion! ALL of us are afraid, weary, depressed, unsure...at times.

 

When I was driving across five states with all of my children in the car, and my car was acting weird, and BIG ass trucks were ZOOMING by me....I felt small. And worried.

 

I impulsively switched into "God let us get home safely" mode.

Then I was like "HEY! Wait a minute! There IS no God!"

But it didn't matter. I WANTED a god. I did stop praying. It was a growing up moment for me. Objectively, I could see how I felt out of control of my circumstance. I wanted a loving parent to keep me safe.

 

that is why people spend so much time focusing on god's love. Because we all want to feel safe and secure (from all alarms?....ringing a bell?)

 

So now, I take a deep breath. And i tell myself- I am doing my best. As much as it is up to me, it will be ok. If something bad happens, I can deal with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Whatever is good in this world watch over my dear Hubby as he drives through the darkness. I love him so much and I need him to come home to me."

 

That is so very sweet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know I've felt sad at times that there is no protection to pray for. Slippery roads, travel, over night trips, work...

 

Just this past week, I was up late and frustrated and feeling alone and I had the urge to pray. I took a moment to recognize that all that "help" I got from god over the years was really me giving myself advice. Then I stopped and thought over what was bothering me and wondered what "god" would tell me to do. It was amazing... I still had that still small voice who steered me in the right direction. I patted myself on the back and went to sleep. In the past, I contributed all my moments of clarity to a god. Now I can see that my moments of clarity come from within. I'm thankful for that.

 

freedom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

This is all wonderful - Thank you my friends for these words of encouragement! :HappyCry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had urges to pray a couple times since my deconversion. Mostly to do with someone I was worried about. I tried praying but the words just wouldn't come out nor could they even come to mind. I just sat back with the grim realization that I couldn't do ANYTHING. That was painful. Very painful. At least prayer gives you the delusion that you're helping, even in a itsy bitsy way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.