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Agnostic/Atheist Support Group

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SisterMilkshake posted 5/19/2015 13:10 PM

justme1264, I am sorry, that must have been painful to have to hear. I find the people who recently find religion, or a new religion, tend to be particularly zealous. Some keep it, but most, in time, are able to learn to temper their zealousness. At least, that has been my experience with my friends and family who where "born again".

Tred posted 5/19/2015 13:17 PM

justme1264,

He obviously doesn't grasp that correlation does not imply causation. The correlation in this case (bad shit happened to you and you are agnostic) is not the cause (your wife shit on you). It has nothing to do with Jesus. People who have a strong faith in the supernatural still have bad shit happen to them. Unless Jesus is really vindictive and he is making the wives of non-believers commit infidelity.

justme1264 posted 5/19/2015 13:37 PM

Thanks everyone - I read all your responses and they helped.

Jrazz posted 5/19/2015 17:22 PM

Holy agriculture

(((justme1264)))

It's him, not you. All the way.

Tearsoflove posted 5/19/2015 19:05 PM

I stopped in for a quick look and saw Justme's post which made me back up to see what happened. So, first, I'm sorry, Justme. I hate when religious people blame atrocious things on lack of faith. "Oh, you're child died- well, you didn't pray hard enough or you don't live right." You have to wonder if they feel guilty when bad things happen to them. "Fuck you" in this case, sounds about right to me. You can't debate a zealot.

Second, whoever posted that article, thank you. I really enjoyed it. I miss the very same things about being Catholic that Harry described. I'm going to start looking for a group like that or maybe I'll start one. The books mentioned sound interesting, too. So thanks for that.

sadone29 posted 5/25/2015 12:52 PM

ccw82, I hear you about the loneliness issue. It's good that there is at least this space. But you're right, there isn't much secular infidelity support out there.

It's getting better for other types of grief. I recently lost my cat of 15 years, and found the group pet grief beyond belief. It's been nice to be able to go there knowing I won't get any meaningless prayers.

Jrazz posted 5/25/2015 13:10 PM

I'm so sorry about your cat, sadone.

Whereas I don't subscribe to the idea of a human afterlife, I do feel that we are bound by something intangible and that we never truly lose the ones we love. We make our marks on each other and become a part of something bigger. I'm sure your sweet friend affected your heart and life in a way that will remain with you always.

Sending big hugs.

sadone29 posted 5/25/2015 13:34 PM

Thank you Jrazz. I appreciate your kind words! I miss him dearly.

And really, it's not like I get upset when I hear the religious minded comments, because I do understand the sentiment! Those comments are infinitely better than the ones I have gotten from family ("I'll bring my vacuum so you can finally get rid of all that fur!" and "is a cat really worth that much?!" when he heard about the vet bill).
There's also a grief group for human loss too, of course! Just google grief beyond belief.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/17/2015 21:14 PM

I DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING. Most people, even the educated, think that everybody must "believe" something or other, that if one is not a theist, one must be a dogmatic atheist, and if one does not think Capitalism is perfect, one must believe fervently in Socialism, and if one does not have blind faith in X, one must alternatively have blind faith in not-X, or the reverse of X. My own opinion is that belief is the death of intelligence. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
This was on my FB feed today. I found it interesting. I have not heard of Robert Anton Wilson. Have any of you? What are your thoughts on this quote? I agree with at least some of this and not sure of some of it. I have to think about it some more, but I do find it an interesting quote. Would love to hear others thoughts about this.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 9:33 PM, June 17th (Wednesday)]

sisoon posted 6/19/2015 12:12 PM

Well, I think it's true that most people adopt an either/or mindset. We're taught there are 2 sides to every story, when in fact there are uncountable sides to every story. Even just a 3rd 'side' - like, 'I don;t believe either version' - seems to be too much for some people to comprehend.

I disagree about belief being the death of intelligence, though. Often it is, but often believers come up with great insights. I know lots of people who believe in God but use their minds very effectively.

Tred posted 6/19/2015 12:25 PM

That's an interesting quote SMS. I don't subscribe to the binary belief either, just way too many perspectives. I would ask Mr. Anton if he believes in science? I'm not a believer in a lot of the reasons that we as humans have concluded to explain our existence and to try and determine what happens when we die. I tend to trust in science and the laws that govern physics, mathematics, etc. At least belief in the laws of physics makes me a tad less nervous when I get on a plane. The fact that a plane can crash doesn't disprove the Bernoulli Principle or invalidate my belief system .

StillGoing posted 6/20/2015 01:16 AM

His latest: "Have you considered that the lack of fruit in your life (i.e., my ex wife's affair and me divorcing her) is the result of you losing your faith in Christ? Have you considered your responsibility in this?"

Yeesh. If incontrovertible proof of THAT god existed, I wouldn't be believing it loved everyone. I'd be wondering where I could get a goat cheap so I could offer up some Leave Me Alone blood and go back to my life of not committing major sins by definition off quietly somewhere.

SMS, I think that quote is a long way around to saying "This shit isn't either/or, and even when it is, it isn't. Also, I use the word "belief" in a context without elaborating, so you can assume I mean something like "blind faith" but the irony is that you're subjugating that concept to a belief."

sadone29 posted 6/28/2015 10:31 AM

If God existed, our existence would pretty much indicate that at the least it doesn't care or at it's worst, is a sadistic freak.

I'd rather live in an uncaring universe than in one where we're hated or tortured by some creature.

I've been reading the older atheists, like Camus which has resonated with me. I'm so not okay with this world, and have never been. I'm not sure how anyone could be okay with animals being brutally tortured and murdered just for our consumption. Or with children being raped by disgusting things masquerading as people.

But like Camus said, the answer lies in trying to live the best life we can as a way of rebelling against this indifferent place we call home (while facing reality and not trying to escape).

I agree that faith isn't always the death of intelligence, but only because many use it as just another tool in their lives. And then there are some who really are at such a loss as to how to deal with life that they give up their will entirely. These are your most vulnerable types, I think. And I happen to live with one. It's difficult to watch him blindly obey people who were complete strangers just a year ago. I don't know how to relate to him at all any more, which I guess is good, because I'm done with being vulnerable to him. I try not to get annoyed with his obvious hope that I too, will surrender and 'get high' on Jesus. He he uses these words, and doesn't see the connection with his past highs on other things.

Mostly, I'm just tired of Jesus music and talk of church. I never dated religious types because it just wasn't what interests me. I never put thought into it. I don't care what strangers do with their own time. But now I can't escape it.

Exit Wounds posted 10/20/2015 11:00 AM

Hi guys,

I am sooo new to this! I have literally just hours ago decided that I cannot believe in a God anymore. I am confused. I used to be a big believer, not a church goer, but a believer in God. Somehow I kept asking my mother why would God allow this to happen to my kids? How could he allow my ex-h to just walk away from us and leave us to fend for ourselves? Where is that "loving God?" Meanwhile my ex-h and his ultra-religious mother (my ex-mother-in-law) who magically abandoned her own grandkids after her son left us, are busy congratulating themselves on how "Christian" they are! Just unbelievable but the woman is a major player in a HUGE church, here in San Antonio, TX, a church that is broadcasted all over the world! Yet this Christian woman has not seen her biological grandchildren for years! No Christmas gifts, no birthday card...nothing!

So with all this, I am now at a place where I feel that there is no God, or if there is one, he is not interested in our lives or our pain.

I could go on for hours...but my point is, I am now here...amongst friends.

I feel safe...again.

Thank you for reading.

EW

ETA:

I found this highly interesting and wanted to share. This is about a woman who was raped and lost her belief in God. -In many cases "we" may not have been raped, (my sister was) but our health was compromised, our children were brought to a battlefield of emotions and where is/was God then?

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jessie-golem/leaving-the-church_b_4816252.html

"...I reasoned two things to answer my question about where was God, when I was in Vancouver: God either was present and there, and did nothing about it, or God was not there, and does not exist. It is easier for me to think that God does not exist, than to think that God was present and did nothing. A God who is present and does nothing is not all-powerful, and is not all-loving, and I simply cannot forgive a god who stands by and watches while people get hurt after he promised to protect people. If I had the power to stop something bad happening to someone I loved, I would do everything I could to stop it. Of all of the times in my life that I needed God, God was not there. This is where I stopped believing in God -- I would rather think that God simply does not exist, then think that God abandoned me.

Further than that, I began to think of how randomly senseless the world could be. I grew up in a safe and loving environment in a stable country with a good economy. The majority of the world cannot say the same. Where is God then? I had people ask me to pray for them in a village we were visiting in Ghana because they have no clean drinking water. Where is God then? I met a homeless person in Toronto who asked me to pray for him so he could overcome his drug addictions and find a safe place to sleep that night. Is God protecting him? Where is God in the face of natural disasters that destroy countries and leave countless numbers of people devastated? How can an all-powerful, completely loving, benevolent God allow that kind of random injustice and suffering?"


[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 10:42 AM, December 4th (Friday)]

Husburned posted 10/26/2015 15:27 PM

Just found this thread. Great stuff.

Even though I am more or less a theist, I relate to atheists and agnostics far better than I do to any structured faith.

I kind of like Buddhism, although that seems more like a philosophy than a religion.

My WW was very sanctimonious about her work with her higher power while she was fucking a pill addicted so-called Christian she met in AA.

Lovely.

Newlease posted 11/17/2015 11:50 AM

Just wanted to report that I was successful this weekend in navigating my zealous-in-your-face-with-his-religion brother at a family event. Instead of engaging in debate that would lead to argument, I walked away. Every.single.time.

I still wanted to hit him in the head with a stick, but I refrained. I'm not quite to the level where I can say, "I'm glad that gives you comfort," but I'm working on it.

NL

SisterMilkshake posted 11/17/2015 12:00 PM

That is great, Newlease. Yes, it is that time of year where we will be getting together with families and friends, so we may have to deal with others beliefs. It is hard, for me, not to debate or to call them out on, what I feel, is illogical. Yes, I need to practice that phrase, too, newlease "I am glad that brings you comfort".

Husburned and Exit Wounds, welcome to our very quiet little corner here at SI. This isn't a very active thread. I guess it is because we don't need much support in our non belief. We don't question our non belief, or at least, not as much as believers seem to be always struggling with their belief. I do see that so much, too. So many believers always questioning, always struggling with their belief in god.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 12:00 PM, November 17th (Tuesday)]

wonderingbull posted 11/17/2015 13:09 PM

I can't believe I never opened up this thread before....

Raising my hand here on the agnostics...

Raised Catholic, 12 years private Catholic schools...

I'm a scientist (geologist)... I like to think of myself as a pragmatist... Since I grew up having religion class everyday in school for 12 years, religions have always amazed me in many ways... Especially the way human/world history has been shaped due to them... Wars, prejudice, famine and holocaust type events... Humans being anything but kind to each other in the name of their god...

Almost everyone I'm related to and know are spiritual in some way and although I appreciate and respect their beliefs some have a difficult time respecting my lack of spirituality... No problem really in that I just don't engage in religious talks with people unless it's in a historical context...

I never found comfort in religious beliefs... My father died when I was sixteen and left me, my mom and a little brother and sister without him... It was at this time I questioned any and all religious beliefs in a kind, loving and benevolent god...

Glad I found this little corner of SI...

WB

SisterMilkshake posted 11/17/2015 16:58 PM

Hey, wonderingbull, welcome to the "tribe" here. I can't believe you have never stopped by either, since you've been a member since 2007!

Yes, another product of the Catholic school system here, too.

My father died when I was sixteen and left me, my mom and a little brother and sister without him... It was at this time I questioned any and all religious beliefs in a kind, loving and benevolent god...
Yeah, dude, I totally understand this.

I have a question and since some have been checking in on this thread relatively recently, I was hoping to get some feedback on a book. I was at the Goodwill store and they were having a book sale. I purchased a hardcover book called "god is not Great" by Christopher Hitchens for 20 cents. I have heard his name and I have seen quotes by him. Has anyone read this book? It sounds very interesting.

Ascendant posted 11/17/2015 18:33 PM

*Raises hand*

I own it.

It's very good, in my opinion.

It's one of a trio of books that I recommend to every atheist, the other two being "The Moral Landscape" by Sam Harris and "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.

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