A question for the atheist group ...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
A question for the atheist group ...
11
Mon, 05-23-2011 - 5:06pm

Well, FIRST of all (shall we begin this way???) ... I'm a Christian :-)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 10:58pm

my apologies. signing off!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2005
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 6:56pm

I may be a bit different than some other responses because I never believed in any God.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 9:27am
Good morning! I just wanted to post a quick reminder that this board is intended for atheist and agnostic parents to find support and share experiences. In order to avoid board disruptions, we ask that faith vs. non-faith discussions take place on the Religion Debate board: http://forums.ivillage.com/ivillage/?category.id=iv-ppreligdb

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2009
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 9:22am
I'm not an atheist. This board is for atheists and agnostics, and there is a difference between the two.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 9:09am

"The mob mentality is a dangerous thing and people can convince themselves that all sorts or awful things are OK." < totally agree!

"I also believe that life is just random and bad stuff happens for no reason. I know that is a scary thought to a lot of people and that is why religion is so popular, but regardless, of how scary a thought that is, that is what I believe." < It is a scary thought, I suppose. But I don't necessarily think we can say "It is scary THERFORE religion is popular." I would say -- to be quite honest -- that "random and bad stuff" isn't true (to me) because it has not been my experience. MOST of the bad stuff in my life has either been the result of MY bad choices ... or someone ELSE's poor choices that I ended up paying the price for! Sometimes it's the economy, sometimes it's a family member that makes a dumb choice ... sometimes it's an act of GOD (like the thunderstorm that blew the tree into my house).

Maybe this particular issue is what is at the heart of the difference in beliefs between atheists and Christians - the belief that there is a Higher Power that oversees and makes sense of our suffering and guides us - and the belief that it is simply random.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 8:58am

Hello guili! Well, for me - WHY do I believe in God ??? It is MORE than just because my parents raised me to be a Christian and to believe in God :-) I actually think it's an untrue statement to say that MOST people are Christian's just because their parents are.

It *is* true that I was raised in a Christian home - but when I left home - I went through a period of doubt for quite a while - about 14 years to be exact! To be honest, I never really doubted the existence of God ... but I *did* doubt Christianity, organized religion ... the EXCLUSIVENESS of Christianity (is Jesus the ONLY way???) - and those sorts of things. There are still certain things I'm not totally sure I'm on board with, quite honestly! And I'm living in quite possibly the most conservative town of ALL TIME (and I moved here from from possibly the most LIBERAL town of ALL TIME) ... so the churches (and doctrine) I find HERE in this small town are different than the churches I have found in larger cities.

I think we all need to "work out our own salvation" as Paul says. I suppose I have a bit of universalist leanings, but I'm definitely a Christ-follower.

I came (back) to Christ through my divorce - from a place of deep hurt and pain - where I had nothing to lean on but my friends, my faith and my church. So ... it was just irreplaceable to me, to have that in my life at that time. It became VERY personal for me! Being a Christian for me isn't an intellectual pursuit, it is a posture of the heart - and at that time, my heart was ready (where it hadn't been for 14 years prior).

Avatar for guili12737
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997
Tue, 05-24-2011 - 11:05pm

Atheists believe there is no god. I believe there is no god. Why does starvation exist? Because there is an unequal distribution of wealth in the world. Why did the Holocaust happen? Because there are evil people in the world. I personally believe that someone as evil as Hitler had something very bad happen to them at sometime to make them that way or that they are mentally ill. Why did so many people follow him? I believe that people can become united for either a good or evil force against a perceived enemy. The mob mentality is a dangerous thing and people can convince themselves that all sorts or awful things are OK.

I also believe that life is just random and bad stuff happens for no reason. I know that is a scary thought to a lot of people and that is why religion is so popular, but regardless, of how scary a thought that is, that is what I believe.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Tue, 05-24-2011 - 10:19pm

I am not a JW. I think every religion addresses the issue of suffering ... Buddhism in particular. Christianity does as well, to a lesser extent. And by that I mean specifically the question of why does suffering exist in the world, and how can a good God allow suffering. I'm imagining that in some way, in your personal beliefs, as an atheist ... you have wondered the same thing. I wonder how you address the issue of suffering in your personal logic/belief system.

Does it point you towards God? Do you blame God for suffering (there is a God but he isn't a good God)? How do you rationalize occurences such as the holocaust or starvation in your belief structure?

Avatar for guili12737
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997
Tue, 05-24-2011 - 9:13am
There are many reasons that I don't believe in God. I was raised Catholic so I used to be a believer until I was in my teens and old enough to reason for myself.
Have you read the Bible? It's full of contradictions. Have you ever read about other religions? Are you aware that they have stories similar or with the same themes as stories from Christianity? Why do you think that is? I could also sum up my reasons by stating the well known philosophical "problem of evil" paradox which is: # If an all-powerful and perfectly good god exists, then evil does not because an all-powerful god could prevent evil.
# There is evil in the world.
# Therefore, an all-powerful and perfectly good god does not exist .

Why do you believe in God?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2009
Tue, 05-24-2011 - 8:39am
Discuss? This seems like something that's getting a LOT of discussion lately. Two women came to my door on Thursday last week asking me the exact same question. They were from the local JW hall. I told them I didn't have time to talk to them (which was true) and they left a copy of the Watch Tower (or Awake?) and pointed out an article in the most recent issue on this subject. Are you JW?

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