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1/28/2007                                                                                       View Comments

If There Is A "Loving" God, I Hate Him for His Silence

By Nvrgoingbk

For me, the most heart-wrenching aspect of an Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God, was his silence.

Prayer eluded me. I never could quite understand why we had to pray at all, since we were to pray for his will to be done. Seemed to me that Christians should just say to God, "Heavenly Father, do what you want, since you're going to anyway, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

I could not relate to other Christians who just loved to bang on the doors of Heaven in effort to praise and petition their God. A "relationship" with Christ was impossible. Humans relate through their senses. That isn't our fault; it's biology. If someone wants to correspond with me or connect with me, it would take some effort on their part to achieve it, right? Well, the Christians claim that the Bible is God's way of doing that, but then how did the early believers hear from God? Was he still speaking audibly then?

No, he wasn't; people sat around telling stories to each other, playing the telephone game for hundreds of years, until a council of power hungry men decided they knew what writings were "divine" or not, compiled them together, and put God's stamp of approval on it.

This is how I'm supposed to hear God's voice? Okay, fine, I'll take it, but as I begin reading it, I am left in a quandary, finding God's will and character even more elusive than when I had never "heard" from him in the first place. He continually contradicts himself, so is it my fault that I am still left not feeling any kind of bond with him?

The next step is to pray or ask people who might be able to clear up these contradictions. Well, we all know that it's pointless to ask God anything, because he never answers back, so I might as well just go straight to the guy with the white collar or Rolex watch.

After listening to a regurgitated and oft times incoherent answer to my question, I am left feeling a little fucked up in the head. His "answer" just doesn't make sense. The next thing to do is to consult ANOTHER wise follower of the Lord...and around and around it goes. None of the answers make sense, and even the answers contradict one another.

So here I am, some sixteen years later, still trying to "know" God, to connect with him and "hear" from him. Some told me, that it was Satan hindering me. Some say it was a lack of a "want-to" in me. Some say I didn't try hard enough. Some say His voice is to be found in that still and quiet place within me ( can someone please tell me what the difference between the "voice of God' and common sense is).

Years go by, life gets harder, and God seems to become evermore distant. I cry out to Him begging Him to answer, to visit me in my dreams or to actually take me to Heaven like the others he took during 'near-death experience'. I ask him to just TALK to me in some discernible way, but He never does. I cry out from the depths of my soul with hot tears running down my cheeks, for my Heavenly "Father" to just interact with me in a personal way, but SILENCE, deafening silence, is all that rings back at me.

I have only been a de-convert since July. It was finding this site that solidified it all for me. The trauma of losing my religion haunts me some days...they made us hope. They made us believe and become dissatisfied with what we have. They made us expect more, and it's very difficult to accept less. I have read the atheist apologetic response to this. I know that many atheists feel fulfilled and plan to meet death with steady hearts, regardless of the fact that their lives essentially mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, because this world will eventually pass away, and collide with another, and thus mankind and all of his endeavors were absolutely pointless. I am not one of those atheists. I am having a hard time with the possibility that my life has no real purpose in the end. Perhaps that is vain of me. If only I could grasp the wonders of evolution than I would get it, right? Sounds like a Christian argument that goes the other way. If I could just grasp this "loving God" that will throw everyone in Hell who believed the wrong thing, than I would have peace.

Well, I don't have peace with any of it! I'm mad as Hell. If there is a God, how dare He leave us down here to kill each other over proving just which religion is right! If there is a God, how despicable of him to refuse the pleas of a child being raped or tortured? If there is a God, how low and debase an act to watch humans suffer mercilessly! If there is a God, I hate him for remaining silent (except for the occasional sighting of he or his mother in a peanut putter sandwich, the side of a building, or toilet paper).

The notion of a loving God is nonsensical when paired with all that we see and know to be true about our existence. No, a loving God that is silent can not be reconciled in my mind.

35 comments:

SpaceMonk said...

Excellent point(s).

Thackerie said...

The True Christian™ response is that:

(1) you can't blame god for awful things in the world because we sinful humans brought that on ourselves as everything was just hunky-dory before The Fall™ . (My take: If god didn’t see that coming, he is certainly NOT all-powerful and all-knowing. If he did know exactly how things would work out, then he set us up, and is certainly not all-loving.)

(2) god showed his love for us by sending jesus to earth in order to die a bloody death so those who believed in the “correct” interpretation of the story would not have to be cast into eternal suffering in hell. (My take: Since hell was created by god with the sole purpose of punishing people who don’t have the god-approved mindset about jesus, we’d have been better off without this jesus character ever having been born on earth. And, yes, bible god is a horrible monster; good thing he’s not real.)

Epicurienne said...

"Seemed to me that Christians should just say to God, 'Heavenly Father, do what you want, since you're going to anyway, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen.'"

F*CKIN' A!! That's what I've wondered ever since I was a teenager....why bother to pray?

Anonymous said...

If you are one of the non-elect,God will not reveal himself to you. So you and your blog can curse him all you want,but never will you intimidate him. He has dealt with, over the centuries,a lot meaner bastards than you people,and,in the end,He always wins. Life is unfair.Thats the way the old ball bounces.

Sarge said...

Nvrgoingback, great posts and responses.

Anonymous, how would you know, anyway? I mean provably know, not just the secondhand guesses of "common taters" and horse shit people simply made up?

I've been in combat, been wounded, been in triage. Heard people calling on their diety of choice, heard others call upon their mothers in those moments of extremity. Although unscientific, I think there was about the same rate of successful petition no matter which entity was invoked.

Odd, I heard plenty of people (some of whom looked askance at me for not doing so) saying "Thank you, god/jesus..." but I never heard anyone say "Thank you, mother..." even the ones who exclusively called on that person. Hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Having given your comments due consideration, weighed them carefully, and with respect due to them, you're a moron. You've probably always been a moron, and, since your god made you that way, you'll probably die in the same state.

Love and light

Grandpa Harley

P.S. If I meet your God I'll spit in his eye, since I owe him at least that :) GH

Micah Cowan said...

Great post, Nvrgoingbk. You make some excellent points.

Dano said...

Nvrgoingbk,
Since God is usually described as being all those omni's, he can obviously do anything,
Say, even create a billion more universes, or decree that we never even happened.

Theoretically, it could do, what we are not even capable of theorizing about, because of our limited intellectual abilities.

The system by which we have come to be the dominate life form on earth seems cruel and heartless to us, but you have to give credit to whomever or whatever designed it. It works with beautiful certainty to insure that life will be propagated, and will probably work again, even if we are exterminated as a species.

Making up gods in our own image is the best we could do till the advent, of the age of enlightenment, and modern science, but those old religious systems with their ugly dictatorial gods, threatening to slaughter us for wrong doing and promising some weird form of paradise for good behavior, are obsolete.

We as a species have evolved way to much intellectually, and morally, to still be treating the bible as some form of divine instruction book for living. We don't believe in slavery, or that women are inferior to men, and all those things that the ancients attributed to God we now know are just natural events.

Faith based religions like Christianity stifle our ability to think and reason. Just look at the incredible damage they have done to new, and free thought. We could be in the midst of making incredible discoveries in medicine now if it weren't for the old religious hang-ups and fear of a man made gods.

The force that really created us, by inventing natural selection as the vehicle for getting us to the point of being intelligent, tried billions and billions of variations and selected only those that furthered our escalation up the rungs of the evolutionary ladder

I think, like you, that there still can be a wonderful and beautiful end to our existence here and a passing over into some other form of existence where everything will be justified. I somehow, believe there is a perfect justice in the universe. It just makes sense.

In any event, once we have grown up and put mystical mythical magical, religions up on the shelf, along with Santa, and the Easter bunny, there is no going back. We must put our faith in what is real.

Life without Bible God, and Jesus is real, even more real, for the lack of them, and more worth living than when we were talking to these invisible beings. That doesn't mean we can't still cry out like William Henley did on his death bed:
(Invictus)
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Dano AGNOSTIC!

Anonymous said...

Nvrgoingbk -
Your post stuck a chord with me, as when I was in the process of my own deconversion, the question of the meaning of life, in some larger sense, was the one that haunted me the most. I felt that if God was not real, and Heaven did not exist, and I would not live forever, then why in Hell did anything matter?

You seem to be grieving the loss of the former certainty and security you had when you were a believing Christian. I can relate to that and suspect a lot of people on this site can also. That loss is real, and no intellectual balm is going to assuage it. However, having struggled mightily with this question myself, allow me to offer you some thoughts which helped me. If they do not speak to you, feel free to discard them, and your grief will (as it always does) go at its own pace.

For my part I found Friedrich Nietzsche most helpful to me when walking away from Christianity. Not only because I loved his anti-Christian bombast, but because he himself seems to have struggled with issues of meaning and value in life. He came from a line of Lutheran ministers so perhaps he came by it honestly. At any rate, he is sometimes accused of being a nihilist, but I think that is wrong. As I read him, in proclaiming the death of God he feared nihilism for just the reason we are discussing. He thought that in giving up God we might feel the entire infrastructure of value and meaing might come down with it. But he also thought this nihilism might be a salutary stage through which we must pass, one which would spur us to create our own meaning in life. Once we realize that everything is up to us, we will strive to become creators of meaning and our own purpose. He loved life passionately but did not believe any larger-than-life mythology could provide its direction or rationale; we would have to do that. He also happened to think Christianity was life-denying and wanted to create a value system that was life-affirming. His ideas can criticised on other grounds and about other things, of course, but in this I found him inspiring. His "motto" was: "say yes to life."

So how did this help? Because I realized I'd been asking the wrong question. I had been asking, "what is the meaning of my life" by which I meant "in the long run" or "in the larger sense." Philosophers call this "sub specie eternitatis": in the light of (or from the perspective of) eternity. But that was just it: there is no such thing. There is no such thing because there is no one who inhabits that realm or has that view. Therefore, life no more has meaning solely in some larger sense than (forgive the Christian example) Christmas has meaning only if Santa Claus says so. Christmas can have whatever meaniing we give it.

Since there is no larger persepctive, then ours is the only one that matters -- indeed, it is the only one that exists. Life has meaning only insofar as we give it meaning. But we can do this, and in fact we do it every day.

Consider: I have two wonderful young children (both under three). Caring for them is the most important thing I feel I have ever done. Their lives and their happiness are more precious to me than my own. Yet I know that they will be young and dependent only a short time. In a few years, they will need me less, and in just under a couple decades, they will be fully independent and able to get by without me at all.

Should I say their childhood is meaningless because it does not last forever? More generally, are short-lived things less important than long-live things? Small things less important than big things?

Of course not. What you said is true: in the long run, we're all dead. But so what? First, we won't notice; we'll be dead. Secondly, there is and will be no perspective of eternity from which to assess life's, or even the whole Earth's, value. There is only our perspective, and that is enough.

Anyway, this may or may not help. I can appreciate what you're going through. It hurts. But it is possible to build something else, something better, and I, like many on this site, have found myself happier and more fulfilled as a nonbeliever than I ever was as Christian.

Good luck,

Anonymous said...

Atheist lives do MATTER in the grand scheme of an evolving world---Is it that only God fearing, religion controlled masses are lives which matter? Clarify, as your article seems VERY perplexed. One makes a difference just by turning his head to the other side of the pillow, it's our hopes and dreams which positively guide our spirits, not prayer, not Benny Hinn or Pat Frauderson, and certainly NOT religion!

infidel666 said...

Nvrgoingback,
I know how you feel and feel that way myself a lot of the time.
Have you ever heard of an indigo person? Personally I don't know if it is legitimate or not. But I found it interesting that I had almost all the listed traits. Maybe our purpose is just what we are doing now? Blazing new trails and busting christianity in the chops.
I have also found the study of ufo's, encounters and crop circles very interesting.
But like you, I'm still searching.

Anonymous said...

People: don't be too hard on Christians who think us to be retards. Remember, some of us had his same mind frame before we deconverted. Religion is like a disease or psychosis that needs a cure. Name calling, however refreshing it might be in terms of your own enlightenment, doesn't work to enlighten others. People just have to see the light.

FellowNvrGoingBk said...

Dear Nvrgoingbk, you will have many friends here. Many who understand exactly what you are going through. And many will tell you that life will be far far more fulfilling without a god. Why should there be a "bigger" meaning in life? Why do we even want a "meaning"? Have you ever thought about that? What's wrong with here and now? What's wrong with just living your life the best you know how, sensitively, fully, embracingly, humanly, humanely, with kindness, with courage, with laugther, with joy, with tears, with pain, all the good and all the bad? Nothing more and nothing less. Isn't this enough to keep us busy and fulfilled? Trying to find "more" is a useless exercise.

god said...

i honestly don't understand the statement "my life has no real purpose in the end" and find it a very sad state of mind.

i mean, your purpose in life is what you put into it! what could be more freeing then that? You are not someone's puppet in a play, nor shoud you suffer delusions of grandeur that the world was created for you.

There is only no purpose to your existence if you put decide that there is none to be had from your miserable existence. If that's the case, why don't you just end it now I would say.

Life is full of purpose, you have a brain, there is knowledge to be accumulated, things to learn, sights and sounds to experience, goals to strive for. Millions of goals and you can choose any one or many of them. I am an artist and I can never be as good as I want to be.. always more to learn, and to always strive for that perfect creation. Put your worthless life into something worth your while, your time, energy and fortitous existence into something you love, be it learning, science, art, music, entertainment, self-discovery, charity, whatever it is.. your life lies before you, you are an empty vessel awaiting your own hands to fill it. only your desire should limit you.

do not wait for someone else, cough, god, religion, pastor.. cough, to fill it for you. i can't stand the passivity of some christians who put their faith in god.. as if they are just waiting on the sidelines for their time to die. if heaven is so great why don't they just put themselves out of their misery now.

no purpose my ass =)

remember, you are your own god.

god said...

sorry, that comment wasn't directed at you nvrgoingbk, but at that phrase in general.. i hear it so much and it's such a pathetic state of mind that i can't stand it and always have to say something!

ryan said...

anonymous, hi

I also found Fred Nietzsche helpful. Here at St Josephs's I would quote him in my papers, and piss off my catholic professors.

One of my papers was titled "Nicht ist vahr; Alles ist Erlaubt" (Nothing is true; all is permitted)That is from Ascetic Ideals, if I remember correctly. THAT went over like shit in a punchbowl.

I also liked Ayn Rand. It has been said that Atlas Shrugged is the second best seller of all times--we know what is the first. I have met many people who said that that book changed their whole way of thinking. I read just the other day that Atlas Shrugged is being made into a movie with Angelina Jolie as Dagny. Due out in '08.

And to the other anonymous; the one who talked about election. Yes, life is unfair. It is too goddamned bad that your mother was a crack whore and gave birth to a cretin like you.

Zen said...

Dear Nvrgoingbk,

We were all shocked when we knew the lie of Christianity. Felt to be cheated. Then we would be angry or fallen into depression. I call this condition as NEGATIVE effect of leaving a religion/cult.

But we can’t stay forever in this negative condition. I, myself, continued my search, tried to grasp the essence of the life, and I found that although all religions/cults are very bad but at least they have one little truth: Compassion (in the so-called Buddhism) or Love (in the so-called Christianity).

I think it is nice if we can be “compassionate” agnostic or atheist.

Below is my thought. I DON’T WANT TO CONVERT YOU OR ANYONE into my faith. Just to make you know what I am thinking about GOD, LIFE, &DEATH.

God is a LOVING FATHER? I know that I should be LOVING/compassionate FATHER to my son. I know that I should be loving/compassionate husband to my wife. It’s very simple and I don’t need agreement or approval from anyone, any scriptures, any teachers, any gurus, and any gods. I only need my conscience’s agreement/ approval.

So am I God? Yes and no. “Yes” in the meaning of “conscience”. “No” in the meaning of “Universe”.

I believe that God is “CONSCIENCE” inside me (based on my ZEN faith) and God is “UNIVERSE” outside me (based on my DAO faith).

This is the Yin-Yang concept of the so-called “God”. For me, “God” has two sides: Inside (conscience) & Outside (Universe). Being (little personal “god” inside me named “conscience”) & Non-Being (big impersonal “God” outside me named “Universe”).

I name my faith as “agnostic-Zen-Dao” or “agnostic-skeptic-pantheist”. “AGNOSTIC” because I simply DON’T KNOW the connection of Being-Inside me & Non-Being-Outside me.

I know there is energy/Chi in this Universe. Some people call this cosmic energy as God or gods but some call this cosmic energy as Law of Universe (gravitation & electromagnet?)

And I know that energy and matter often mixed/blended each other. You know from the physics that the difference between energy and matter sometimes is very confusing, for example: Is light energy or matter? Is sound/voice energy or matter? We can say light/sound are both energy and matter!

The definition of energy and matter is sometimes really absurd! Is mind matter/brain or energy? Is God matter/universe or energy? Are we matter/body or energy?

So I prefer the SIMPLE definition of energy and matter from Dao. Energy is Yang. Matter is Yin. Complemented to each other. Not enemy to each other.

God and Universe is complemented to each other. God the energy Universe the matter.

Spirit and body is complemented to each other. Spirit the energy, body the matter.

If we don’t have a body, we (our energy) never exist. And if we have a body but don’t have the energy inside us, we (our body) stop to exist.

Dao proverb: ENERGY (QI) IS GOOD AND MATTER (BODY) IS GOOD TOO.

And what is LIFE? What is the difference of LIVING animals and DEAD rocks? If you define the LIFE as the ability to grow or move, well, this earth is growing and moving too (if you study astronomy).

Can we say the EARTH as LIVING carbon or only DEAD stone?

And from biology, we know about virus; a kind of substance between living being and dead matter.

For me, the definition of LIFE and DEATH is sometimes very absurd!

So I prefer the simple definition of life and death from DAO. Life is FROM Universe and death is BACK HOME TO Universe. Life is Yang. Death is Yin. Complemented to each other.

If we never die this earth will be full with human. We die for our descendants to live.
When we were born, we were crying. Can we smile when we die?

Dao proverb: LIFE IS GOOD AND DEATH IS GOOD TOO.

Since became Daoist/Pantheist 14 years ago , I always live with abundance energy to smile and laugh. I always love to joke on everything. But in the other side, I live with abundance energy to combat religions/cults too. Sometimes I feel I am harsh enough when I attack Semitic religions/cults as well as cults in Buddhism and Taoism because I HATE cults/cruel ideologies. I use my HATE in POSITIVE way. Not to persons (they are the victims) but to cults/ideologies (the victimizers).

Buddhism says that HATE is NEGATIVE and always tries to avoid hate, but Taoism sees HATE as positive as LOVE, if we know the right way to use hate. Taoism doesn’t avoid hate because it is natural. Sometimes, LOVE is as negative as HATE if we use it wrongly, for example, broken love sometimes triggers suicide.

By the way, Zen is the syncretism of Buddhism and Taoism after I study its teaching and its history. Zen adores how to control our own mind/brain just like Tao. Zen loves nature too just like Tao.

In my opinion, Tao from Chinese people is previously more NATURAL but less SKEPTICAL and Zen from Indian people is previously more SKEPTICAL but less NATURAL. When Zen Masters met Tao Masters in Tang Dynasty in 6th century, they empowered each other, and the result was amazing: SKEPTICAL and NATURAL in the optimum level for ZEN as well as for TAO.

Skeptical thinking makes me doubtful on religious scriptures.
Natural feeling makes me awesome on beautiful nature.

I always try to balance my compassion and my reason, my heart and my brain, my Yin and my Yang.

My life is not pointless. My life has meanings.
To love my family and friends. To hate the cults.
To love beautiful Nature/Universe. To hate “holy” buildings.
To love conscience. To hate “holy” scriptures.
To love freedom. To hate slavery/oppresion.
To love humanity. To hate discrimination of gender, race, belief.
To love compassion. To hate violence/terrorism.
To love reason. To hate ignorance/fundamentalism.

This simple and positive ZEN-DAO makes my brain and heart satisfied. It works for me for 14 years but I CAN’T guarantee it works for you. I am just sharing my thinking with you. I hope you can take the good/right and abandon the bad/wrong of my thinking.

Joshua said...

Is He really silent, or is he just not saying what we want to hear. My question is what do you expect? A voice from heaven like in the old testament, a writing on the wall some sort of miracle? He spoke to people in very explicit ways for generations before us and how did they respond? Same as we do today. With a shake of the fist. God I don't like your way, I prefare my own way thank you for nothing and stomped off. The pattern was repeated over and over again. So God came up with an even more explicit way - Jesus. Jesus Christ is an undeniable historical figure but the question is not whether he lived or not but what his life meant. If he was just a great moral teacher or a religious leader or a prophet of some sorts then we really are right where we have always been - no better off. But if he is the incarnate God as he claims to be then maybe God is speaking and we better pay attention. Look at Jesus' life as we are told it in the scriptures and lets pretend for a minute that the scriptures are believable. How would a loving God treat those he loved. I believe he would be compassionate, forgiving, gentle and kind he would be sensitive of their needs and take pains to show it. He would be indiscriminate in his affection and go to those no one even knew existed. If this God was also omnipotent then he would not be limited by physical circumstances as he did what he came to do and if he was omniscient he would respond to needs that had not even been voiced. Jesus demonstrated many of these qualities amply, if you believe the accounts and more importantly died or was crucified because of his claim to be God. Was he a liar, delusional, foolish or was that claim ascribed to him after the fact along with all the "miracles"? Much as those miracle are hard to swallow in the light of our present day experience it is even harder to believe that someone as sharp and as radically different as Jesus was said to be, could have been manufactured by a bunch of 12 uneducated men who by their own admission were many times several steps behind Jesus in his teaching. Even harder to believe is that these timid fearful men who all ran away after he was arrested would perpetrate the story of his life, his claim to be God and how he died including a very explicit indictment of the religious leaders who orchestrated his death. Unless they had seen something that convinced them beyond doubt that He really was who he claimed to be. I think a resurrection could do that. Finally it is about 2000 years later and we are still talking about a man who was born in a very small town, among the poorest of the poor, who did not have any formal education, had no claim to political power or authority and died a disgraceful death at the young age of 33. Why? I think its because the things he is claimed to have said have rung true for a lot of people through out many centuries and still ring true today. Those who walked with him thought he spoke the words of God and they staked their lives on it and went to great lengths to preserve his teachings. It is not inconcieveable that some of the accounts didn't quite happen the way they were reported and it is possible that som things attributed to him maybe never happened. In the absence of CNN, breaking news with live satelite feeds and embedded reporters, we have only the intergrity of the reporters of his day to believe. But before I discount the words of someone who is willing to die for a story I'd like to know the credibility of those who say otherwise.
All this is to say that God is not silent. He is speaking as he has always done. The method is a little different now than it was for Moses. But his message is clear. His love, if read through the life, teachings and death of Jesus Christ is unmistakable. So before you give up on him let me ask again when you ask God a question or bring a request to him what do you expect to hear? Do you expect a loud thundering voice or a whisper, because he does speak.

ryan said...

joshua, if you think god is talking to you, that's fine. I used to date a girl who thought she was the reincarnation of Bloody Mary.

You are using the bible to make your points about jesus, when it is the bible that is in question. This is called begging the question.

If jesus ever lived (I doubt it) we do not know if he claimed to be divine. Any one claiming divine status among the jews would be immediately discredited. Gentiles would have gone for it--they liked that sort of thing.

You bring up the old argument about the disciples as martyrs--no one would die for a hoax. We do not know how the disciples died. We do not know anything about jesus' disciples, or if he had any.

That legend about peter being crucified upside-down. crucifixion doesn't work that way. It would be like hanging someone with a noose around his ankles.

Someone as sharp as jesus could not have been thought up by uneducated men? We do not know how sharp jesus was, and how educated the disciples were.

I have never heard xianity defended.Any defense must assume that the bible is the word of god. It is the bible that is challenged in the first place.

jim earl said...

Hi Tiff.

It's not as complicated as you suspect. "God" never talks to anyone. How could he? He only exists in the minds of men and women. His silence is understandable. I've had no problem with "gods" silence since I realized he really wasn't there in the first place. What else can I believe? That he talks to everyone else but not me? That I am not one of the elect? No, but I do know that I am one of the lucky ones that have escaped the world of fantasy and now reside in the world or reality.

Now when I hear people talk of waiting on an answer from "god", I try my best not to smile or be smug. I really want to tell them how stupid they are but I'm so happy that I have escaped that world that I simply let it go and enjoy my freedom from that mindless existence. You just need to look at the situation for what it is: Mindless beings being mindless. As long as they don't hurt me or my family, I tend to let them be.

I have lived almost 62 years and have tasted life on both sides of religion. I wouldn't wish religion on my worst enemy. Those who can't enjoy life without superstitions have my pity.

At any rate, we shouldn't let other people's delusions have any effect on our enjoyment of life. Once we gain the knowledge that it (religion) was all a delusion, then all parts of that old life should be discarded, and should never be allowed to depress us any more.

You have too much going for you in this life to allow such thoughts to depress you. You have such a talent for writing and have the ability to help countless others in their search for the truth. Your name states never going back. To me that means never going back in any way, shape or form. Later, Jim

rickyusvi said...

Nvrgoingbk wrote:
"I have only been a de-convert since July. It was finding this site that solidified it all for me. The trauma of losing my religion haunts me some days...they made us hope. They made us believe and become dissatisfied with what we have. They made us expect more, and it's very difficult to accept less. I have read the atheist apologetic response to this. I know that many atheists feel fulfilled and plan to meet death with steady hearts, regardless of the fact that their lives essentially mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, because this world will eventually pass away, and collide with another, and thus mankind and all of his endeavors were absolutely pointless. I am not one of those atheists."

I've been an ex-Christian for less than a year and a half, and while it was a relief not having to worry about hell, it's not the easiest thing to come to grips with mortality after being told your entire life that you'll life forever. For me, the shock was less than it might have been, because i was already having trouble believing that the afterlife is real. But that didn't make it any less disturbing.

I know i'm not a Stoic. I'm an ex-believer, which certainly colors my feelings about the implications of naturalism, and i think that's a key to our recovery. It was Xianity that taught us that a mortal life is a meaningless one. It was Xianity that taught us that an indifferent universe would make our lives pointless. That it was Xianity that taught us these things is reason enough to suspect that our attitudes about death and mortality might be off the mark.

Everything else they told us is wrong. They said that if we stopped believing, we would lose our sense of purpose. Didn't happen to me. They said we'd sink into immorality and depravity. I'm not in jail yet, and i only wish the sexual repression would vacate my head so that i can enjoy some "immorality." They call us fools. Well, we're not the ones clipping our own wings on someone else's hearsay.

I submit that this discomfort is just another religious delusion that will disappear as we develop our world views. When i posted this idea to another discussion board, the OP thought that i'd hit the nail on the head, so i hope it works for us as well.

Nvrgoingbk wrote:
"I am having a hard time with the possibility that my life has no real purpose in the end. Perhaps that is vain of me."

While i believe that there's no ultimate meaning to the cosmos, that doesn't prevent us from creating our own meaning. Have you ever built a sand castle or a snowman? You knew that the sand castle would wash away with the next tide, and the snowman would eventually melt away. Did that make them meaningless? You've got today; don't dismiss it just because some day you won't have tomorrow.

Nvrgoingbk wrote:
"If only I could grasp the wonders of evolution than I would get it, right?"

The wonders of evolution are that it works, and that you and i are here because of it. :) I'm also impressed that it is so explainable. I can understand, concretely, how i came to be, how it all works, and how i'm related to all life. Let's turn the tables: "goddidit" is soooo meaningless!

Nvrgoingbk wrote:
"Sounds like a Christian argument that goes the other way. If I could just grasp this 'loving God' that will throw everyone in Hell who believed the wrong thing, than I would have peace."

I know that feeling. But it's too late for that, as your handle suggests. We know too much. All we've got left is reality, which, fortunately, seems like a much better deal than delusion. Even if it can't promise us immortality.

Charlton Sheets said...

For the record: God doesn't speak, because non-existent deities don't exist to communicate. Fact.

People who claim that "god" has "spoken" to them are likely suffering from hallucinations and may be psychotic. My advice to anyone who claims to hear god is to have a friend, relative or co-worker drive you to the nearest mental hospital asap. If nobody is available, please find the nearest phone and dial 911.

That is all.

eel_shepherd said...

Another home run, nvrgoingbk. It was in the roughly two-year gap that I was not posting here (archaic text-based system that couldn't show the word-verification graphic we must quote in order to post) that you were going through the tough period, and it was frustrating having to just lurk and watch, and not be able to write anything that might have made the day/s go better for you. But I was there, thinking about you. Seems like the people who stood the hottest crucible came out of it with the most deadly accuracy of thought and a sense of humour.

Anyway, on to the points, in 3rd-person.

"...If someone wants to correspond with me or connect with me, it would take some effort on their part to achieve it, right? Well, the Christians claim that the Bible is God's way of doing that..."

Pretty thin gruel, I'd say. You'd expect more letters from home from a kid that you've sent to summer camp. Although god does seem to have done a good job of delegating others to issue the "send money" letters... The impassioned pleas by the prayerful faithful just seem like so much emotional taxes paid into the null device.

"...until a council of power hungry men decided they knew what writings were "divine" or not..."

Yeah, this would be yer basic Council Of Nicea, where they took extra care to leave in the parts about preserving slavery and making sure to render your bucks unto Caesar.

"...They made us expect more, and it's very difficult to accept less..."

So few words; and so raw.

People should not fret unduly (I should talk...) about how their old neural pathways re-assert themselves from time to time. It works for us and against us. Most of today's defaults, that you wake up with, are beneficial. Imagine what life would be like if you had to book up for an hour every morning just to remember who you are and what stuff can reliably be expected to still be true. That some misguided garbage long-term conditioning creeps in, during certain mood regimes, is only to be expected; the cost of doing business.

On other matters, I'd never heard of indigo persons, so I went to Wikipedia and came up with the following, in case I'm not the only one who ran between the drops on this one:

.............................

Indigo Children

Indigo Children: Indigo children in Wikipedia

Indigo children are supposedly a set of children having certain special psychological and spiritual attributes. The indigo child concept was first popularized by the book, The Indigo Children, written by the husband and wife team of Lee Carroll and Jan Tober1, with the contributions of medical doctors, psychologists, and parents whose essays are included in the text. The adjective "indigo" is used because it is claimed these children appear with an indigo-hued aura.

(See also: Indigo Children, What is Indigo Children, Parenting Indigo Children, Adult Indigo, Indigo Children Channeling)

................................

So. Now we know.

Joshua, I was gonna reply to some of the points in your paragraph-free extended nocturnal emission. In a way, I'm glad you flooded the market though. I'll just take it as confirmation of one of my prejudices that Josh is still on the list of bad-luck names to make sure not to saddle one's kids with.

Anthony said...

i've always said that the simplest argument against westerners' idea of a personal god is this.

they claim he is:

- all knowing
- all powerful
- all good

any remotely bright person who observed the world we live in would say that any two of these three could be feasible (if remotely), but all three together are, simply, absurd.

tigg13 said...

Hey NGB.

I never could accept the idea that life was purposeless. I guess its just my ego. (What? I could cease to exist and the universe would not come to a halt? Surely, this cannot be!)

I also took exception to the silence - its not whether or not you get a yes or a no, its that simple confirmation that someone, somewhere cares enough to a least be paying attention.

I eventually narrowed my options down to two:

1. There's no one there to reply and there really is no point to it all.

2. Whatever the truth is, it is obviously beyond our ability to perceive and comprehend it, but we are also probably better off not knowing what it is.

These may sound depressing and horribly anti-intellectual, but I have found great freedom in realizing that there are things that I don't HAVE to know.

I don't worry whether or not my life has a purpose. I simply accept that I don't know what that purpose might be, but whatever it is, it will take care of itself.

Alan said...

We have to move beyond the idea that either God exists or there is no purpose in life. Its one of the ways religion justifies itself but its a false dichotomy. Its a way of framing the question about purpose and if you put it that way then religion always wins. The reality is we create our own purpose, whether its through religion or society or individual awareness. And when you think about it, the purpose of life for a Christian is ultimately meaningless - its all about a fictitious "kingdom" that cheapens the reality that we live in everyday.

Anonymous said...

i hear from God often. i hear from him more when i worship him alone in my house. but he talks to me. the more time i spend with him the more he talks. he is a relationship God, not a religion God. I guarantee that if you are born again and spend time worshipping him he will talk.

.:webmaster:. said...

Anony,

There is not a single verse in the Bible that says "God is a relationship god."

The writer of the book of James talks about "pure religion."

You've been duped. And your so-called "relationship" is all in your head.

ryan said...

The assertion that we have a "relationship" with god came into vogue during the '60's. I came of age in those times--we talked about our lovers as our "relationships"....we would say things like "I have a new relationship" or "My relationship broke up". The so-called jesus movement of those days was a spin-off of the hippie movement and they borrowed the lingo. Long haired jesus freaks would go on about their relationship with jesus.

anonymous, that relationship shit is very recent. I defy you to find a reference dated from before 1965.

Your use of the term "born again" is a religious term. The notion of being "born again" is taken from the xian religion. You have a religion, dickhead.

Your type attempts to disguise the fact that you are following a religion. You have your holy books; you have your holy buildings; you have your priests(call them what you wish)you have your doctrines and dogmas; you have your laws; you have your ceremonies and rituals. You spend your life chanting and praying and singing and repeating your formulas. And you are silly enough to tell us that it is not a religion, it is a relationship. Bovine shit.

Look numbnuts.......we get people coming in here every day who insist that they have a relationship with jesus, and all they do is preach the xian religion. Preaching, that is all it is. Empty, idle preaching. PreachingPreachingPreaching. I am bloody sick of it. Take your religion and sodomize yourself.

jim earl said...

Anon:

I guarantee that if you are born again and spend time worshipping him he will talk.

Is that guarantee in writing, or do I take it on faith. I spent over 20 years after being born again, singing praises, worshipping, praying, hoping for a touch from God. Never happened. Never will. God is imaginary.

ryan said...

Years ago, I came across something interesting on the 'net. This was a process whereby one could summon Satan.

The idea was to sit naked on the floor of a pitch-dark room, with only a candle for light, and begin to chant this stuff about "Hail, Infernal Majesty" or something or other. As you stared into the flame and chanted, Satan would speak. It was guaranteed. Really, no shit, really, the devil would talk to you.

There is no doubt in my mind that anyone acting out this mad ceremony would hear voices. I am the sanest person I know, and after 15 or 20 minutes I would not only hear Satan, I would see him sitting on my sofa wearing Botany 500 and smoking Bensen and Hedges.

Isn't this what happens to these poor fuckers who have spent their lives reading their bibles; praying for hours at a time; cutting themselves off from normal human contacts; depriving themselves of healthy stimulation? You and I and the rest of us would begin to "hear" god. Lots of things would be taken as omens, or signs. Simple things would be taken as messages from god.

There are a lot of lonely people out there; people with fragile egos; people hurting inside. I know. I used to be one. I was a sitting duck for the first half-assed xian with a bible verse and a prayer.

Here is my sage advice for all the aforementioned poor fuckers: get a grip, fer xrist's sake; stop feeling sorry for yourselves; get some exercise; get laid; get drunk.You do not need gods. You need a life.

Nvrgoingbk said...

WOW EVERYBODY, THANKS FOR THE COMMENTS!

To Christians that posted: The apologetic arguments you were taught to repeat as an "answer" to the perplexing problem of God's silence are just as vague as your God. If I wanted a Christian perspective, I'd ask for it. I did that remember? Didn't work then, and it certainly won't work now, that I have come to the inescapable conclusion that your religion, your "book", and your Manic-Depressive-Bi-Polar "God" doesn't exist.

To Zen: I too have been very attracted to the Taoist principle's. I studied them a little in my World Religion Class when I was introduced to the concept, and it instantly struck a chord with me. It just...makes sense! I am always preaching to others about balance and the yin and yang of life. Your post helped to elaborate on the facets of these Eastern Philosophies very well. Thank you.

Jim Earl: You are always so kind and supportive of me. You are my friend. Need I say more?

Ricky: I loved the example you used with a sand castle or a snowman. Being that I am a native Floridian, I could relate so well to the sand castle analogy. It's funny, because everyone said such enlightening things, but it was your simple response that made me think the most profoundly. Thank you.

To all Athiests: Forgive me if I implied in anyway that our lives are less meaningless, simply because we have no personal God. The reality that there is no life after death has been traumatizing for me, and I don't know why that is. There are, perhaps, many reasons. For me, I find it almost a cruel joke that we are able to contemplate our existence, to experience all that makes life what it is, only to be found "resting" beneath the daisies. For those who have had lives of near constant suffering, such as a child born with a debilitating and painful disease, deformity or abuse, I find myself angry with the Universe, God, Evolution, Zeus, WHATEVER, that there is no place of rest, no sanctuary, no distant shore for them to arrive at, where there will be some type of justification given, some recompense for their life of woe, or some reward for their impoverished physical or emotional condition.

Perhaps, I will come to peace with certain concepts. Perhaps, I will come to peace with myself, with the Universe as it is, but for now, I wander. I possess an insatiable need to know, which at times can be quite debilitating. I envy all of you who have reached a point of acceptance. My "spirit" has always been restless.

One thing I know: I can never go back to a lie. Maybe, that is the "purpose" of my life. If there is such a thing, than maybe that is mine. Maybe, it is to live a life of intellectual honesty and integrity no matter what the cost. Any god worthy of worship would most certainly respect me for that. And if such a God exists I should expect Her to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Joshua said...

Hey nvrgoingbk, I am a Christian who still believes. However I understand your position and am not trying to get you back . Do you mind telling me how you became a Christian and how you came to your current position. I read your initial post and I kind of have an idea but what specifically about God put you off?

Nvrgoingbk said...

Joshua: thank you for your interest.

My "leaving Christianity" testimony can be located in the July of '06 archives. It is under the heading "Never Going Back". After reading it, feel free to comment on this post or email me at Tiffanieradcliffe@yahoo.com I do not mind corresponding as long as you do not make an effort to "get me back", as you stated. I want to save you the unnecessary energy spent on a fruitless endeavor. Being that you are a Christian and your call is to "go out and make believers of all men", I find it doubtful that you will be able to keep yourself from doing just that, but if you are interested in delving deep into the mind of someone who has been where you are and, for whatever reason, has chosen another path, I will gladly oblige.

Believer said...

Reading this was very disturbing to me. I realized just how stupid I had been...SHAKING MY FIST AT GOD AND SAYING AWFUL THINGS TO HIM.
I know you don't want someone as ignorant as myself to have any input on this site, yet, here I am!
I don't know where to begin except to say that I too had my doubts. Until after praying night and day for God to heal my daughter of cancer -- she was healed! Even her doctors called it "MIRACULOUS".

My automatic seatbelt hadn't worked in over 2 months. One day when getting into my car to start home from work, my seatbelt came around me and locked tightly into place. I thought that was odd. My boss had walked me to my car and he said, "Well look at that. I've been worried about you not having a seatbelt." On my way home I was struck headon by another vehicle. After the x-rays I was told that if I moved in the slightest I could possibly become paralyzed due to my injuries. A light skinned black male with white hair and a mustach came into my room. He approached me and said, "Jesus sent me to you." I thought, okay, here we go, a religious nut. He rolled me out of the room I was in and took me into a vacant room and said that he was going to pray for me. He prayed while moving his hands slightly over the top of my body, and I felt heat from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. It's a very long story, so I will shorten it for you. He rolled me back into the room I was orginally in. As he was leaving, my assigned physician entered. I asked him who the man was, because he had taken me out of the room and had released the straps from the board attached to my back and I fainted. I told him that I was more concerned than ever that he may have caused more damage. He didn't know the man that left my room, but he did see him. He sent me to have a CT Scan. The scan was performed twice. The doctor looked at me puzzled and said, "I know these are your x-rays when you came in and this is your results from the CT as well. Something isn't right. He asked, "how do you feel? Can you move?" I tried, and moved freely. He prescribed pain pills and sent me on my way, stating that nothing was broken as he had first thought after reviewing my x-rays.

Deeply depressed after a love affair ended, and the loss of a job that I loved, I asked God to please help me. I knew if He didn't, I would end my life.

I went to sleep and had a dream about a man that I used to work for. The next morning, I called him. I hadn't worked for him in over 13 years, but the job I used to do had become available again only 3 days before I had called. He rehired me that very day.

The person with whom I had a love affair with had hurt me worse than anyone ever had, and he didn't care at all how he made me feel. For years I couldn't forgive him. I wished him dead. I wanted to die. He was the reason for my depression. God, please hear me! Please move on his heart to ask my forgiveness, because it is the only way I can move on. I hadn't heard from this person in over 2 years. After my prayer, I had gone to bed when the phone rang. I answered to hear his voice on the other line asking me to please forgive him for what he had done to me, and asking that I not hate him for it. My list could go on and on.

Many times I have wanted NOT to believe in someone that I couldn't see or hear, but He's been faithful to me. He's heard my cries. He's saved me from disaster time and time again. He had to, because I gave up and wanted to die.

Yes, He has spoken to me! Not an audible voice, but as in a thought. I know this, because I've known things before they actually happened. Let's just say that I could write a book about all He has done for me.

I don't attend church. I don't call myself a christian. I do, however, believe that there is someone out there who is our creator. Look at how our bodies work. Take something like a watch -- all the tiny pieces working together to keep time. Someone had to create it. It didn't come from out of thin air.

I'll bet that if you look back on your life, there are many times when if God had answered your prayer the way you had asked, it wouldn't have been for your good. We aren't like spoiled children that are supposed to get everything we want. Everything isn't good for us.

My thoughts used to be that He couldn't be a kind and loving Father, or else He wouldn't make life so hard with all of His rules. If you really think about the 10 commandments they aren't hard at all -- they are to protect us from ourselves. If you break one of them, you definitely are hurting yourself, and others. You will pay for your wrong doing, so He gives us rules to live by for our protection.

Your purpose in life may in fact be to help others who also have doubts. You certainly made me stop and think. But, in causing me to think about it, that's what brought up all of the things that are inexplicable in my life. Coincidence...I think not. For one reason the odds would be astronomical to say the least.

He said that only His children would hear His voice. You obviously didn't have FAITH to begin with. Without it, you can't expect Him to be there for you. Just because you went through the so-called christian motions, didn't make you a believer. Yes, my faith has been tested. He even says that He will test your faith. You failed! He gave us all free will, because He wanted us to choose Him. He is a jealous God. Yet, He never leaves us, we choose to leave Him. I feel loved and protected by the only true Father I've ever had.

God looks at the heart of a man. Maybe you should look deeper into your own.

You do know that he said not all children will be born of Him. Maybe life seems to be better for you as a non-believer, because SATAN rules the world. I'm being judgmental. Forgive me. I never claimed to be a christian. I'm probably the black sheep of His children, but He still loves me.

PEACE! :] Love Ya!