Posts Tagged ‘Atheist’

“Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.”
Blaise Pascal

Imagine if society as we know it were to completely crumble, ravaged with war, along with our complete loss of technology. Countries would soon begin to crumble; social unrest would cause unimaginable destruction. Lets take our imagination exercise further; during all of this chaos and destruction, only 5-10% of the human population survived. All technology and anything related to it is gone, and very few things such as books, paintings, or structures remain. Being resilient creatures it is only logical mankind will slowly start to re-build.

Everything we know today would be a distant memory. Soon future generations would have no idea what “The Mona Lisa” looked like, or in some cases didn’t even know it had existed. Now imagine if the Bible and all other religious scriptures had been destroyed in the mayhem. With every passing generation the concept of religion as we know it today would have all but disappeared. It would be foolish not to factor in the 5-10% of those who survived, for arguments sake lets say there was no one dominant believe system among the survivors. The people who survived each carried with them one of our many different theological beliefs, but no religious doctrine survived.

Let us continue down this rabbit hole of imagination and say a few Greek Mythology books survived the downfall of man (Yes I am aware this can be considered theology, but I include it only because unfortunately it has been downgraded to “mythology”.) Future generations would logically begin to worship Zeus, and the many other Gods behind said “mythology” and believe this to be religious fact. Even if these books did not exist it is possible for a new generation to create a completely different religion based on the remnants from the downfall. Of course these remnants would be added to with stories passed down from generation to generation.

I feel it is impossible to have a society without the driving force of religion; whether it is to calm fears or to control the population. Religion although perverted and corrupt is a necessity; eventually new religions would be formed to meet these needs. Imagine if the book “Moby Dick” survived the collapse of man. All it would take is one charismatic individual to start preaching the “religious” lessons contained in this book, and just like that a new religion is born. In time as other books are collected they are added to the “Holy Scripture.” Let’s say “Huckleberry Finn,” “Hamlet,” and “The Lord of the Rings” also survived. These various works of fiction are then woven together in a collection of stories to form a new Bible, and out they go to preach the Word, promising life hereafter in Middle Earth.

People are hardwired to need religion in their life, if this were not the case religion would have died out long ago as man discovered science and logic, because of this primal hardwiring they would latch onto this with all their might, replacing, refuting, and stumping scientific and logical advancements. I am sure whoever put this “Bible” together would take some liberties and add their own material just like the Catholics did when choosing which books to include in the Bible. This new congregation would set out to spread the gospels of William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville, murdering all those who believed differently then they do. In time this religion and its created deities would become reality.

Now here is my question. If all of these things were to actually happened, then does the God of the Bible now cease to exist? If no one knew what a Bible even was, would the God of the Bible come down and start interacting with humans to show us he still existed? Although God made a promise he would never do it again, would he burn then flood the entire world only leaving one family to partake in incest to rebuild the world? If we look at history there have been many different religions that people have blindly followed. As time passed newer, cooler, more convenient, and better suited religions for social control became dominant. Causing all of the long forgotten deities (sorry Zeus) to be left behind and forgotten.   

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If you look out into emptiness, your world will become empty. If you look at the blessings, your life will be blessed.

I was reading some uplifting comments a few friends made about one of my recent drawings on Facebook. Despite everything I couldn’t help but smile, and feel good about myself. I started to reflect on how much my life has changed since I reactivated my Facebook account. It didn’t take long to reach the conclusion that this decision literally saved my life. It’s not actually FB that did the saving; it’s the angels I discovered within and the miracles they performed who deserve the credit. I would not be where I am today if it were not for some very special people on Facebook, because I am not sure their feelings on this matter I will not use any names, but I do hope if you are reading this you know this is dedicated to you.

I was trying to cope with a major crisis, directly caused by the only tangible person in my support system. The only friend I had to lean on lives in Arizona, which made regular communication difficult.  I felt completely isolated and alone. Prior to reactivating my FB account I took a huge leap of social faith, and started opening up to some people at work. Words cannot even describe how awkward and scary this was for me, hell half the time after a conversation I felt like I had just run an emotional mile. I would sit back just praying I didn’t ramble on, and make a complete fool out of myself. If it were not for my newly formed friendships at work, I would have never rediscovered my value and self-worth as a person. They showed me, that with a strong support group I could get through this crisis. They encouraged me to reactivate my FB account to see if I could continue to build on this newly formed foundation. I want to say thank you, for taking the time to listen, and for being nonjudgmental when I couldn’t hold it together anymore and just sobbed.

To be honest I wasn’t expecting anything to happen once I reactivated my account. I was never the social butterfly, so I was confident there would be no parade welcoming me back into the world. I decided I was going to approach FB the same way I approach my writing…with honesty. I started posting about my chaotic life and how I was doing. I included links to my blog, and posted pictures of my drawings. This terrified me! I was showing the real me, not the fool who wears masks just to be accepted. I was symbolically streaking naked across the FB landscape exposing myself for all to see.

I never imagined the outcome would be discovering I had friends that care about me. Even though I have not spoken to or seen them in ages, they made it clear they were here for me. I cannot describe this unfamiliar feeling, and how difficult it is for me to believe I am not alone. Between work, and now FB I have been more social in the last month than I have been in fifteen years.

I don’t think people ever truly realize the impact they have on others. Everyone I have had the honor and privilege of communicating with has made a tremendous impact on my life. During one conversation I learned there are actually woman out there who love comics as much as I do, and in another I had an amazing therapeutic conversation with a complete stranger who happened to be a Christian. What made it beautiful is we were on completely different belief spectrum’s, yet clicked. These are just two examples; I get excited and look forward to every future conversations.

Everyday I have certain things that I say over and over again to try and stay positive and one of them is this “The part of you that thrives is the part you feed the most.” I owe so much to those who take the time to comment on my art. I don’t think they realize the impact their words have on me, let alone the added impact of who these words are coming from. Sometimes the person making the comment means more than and enhances the comment itself.

Last Thursday I can honestly say, I experienced true hopelessness. I sincerely could not tell you the last time I was in so much emotional pain. I had given up, and I was searching for viable reasons for why I shouldn’t. I know I said I wasn’t going to mention names, but if it were not for Shawn Johnson I honestly don’t think I would be here today. All of this pain and hopelessness that was eating away at me; he took that shit away and replaced it with hope. There is no way I can repay you; besides letting you know you have a brother for life.

I don’t believe in miracles or angels, but I am at an impasse trying to find the proper definition to explain these two concepts. I don’t know any other way to describe what has happened since I have opened myself up to friends at work and those on FB besides anything less than a miracle. The only word or concept I can think of to call those of you who are here for me, even in the smallest of ways; are angels.

Thank you.

“He hoped and prayed there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped there wasn’t an afterlife.”
Douglas Adams

Is there such thing as an afterlife? Do we live on as energy, or is there a magical place we go when we die? If the answer to these questions is “no” then this means we simply just cease to exist. We burn out like a candle in the wind all but being forgotten years down the line. Questions such as these are what have been fueling my desire to find some form of divine power and intervention. For the first time in fifteen years I need my life to hold some meaning even though I know it doesn’t. I need unequivocal proof that a God exists and there are better things waiting for us when we pass. If I am not able to get this proof I desire I will continue to live my life in fear and panic over what will happen to me when I die. I will worry so much that I will forget to appreciate and cherish the present. Next thing you know death will be at my doorstep and I will be met with regret over the time I have wasted worrying.

This newfound need to enter the realm of the illogical has been plaguing me ever since my friend died. I have been haunted with the stark reality that he may no longer exist in any form. This breaks my heart, but this also stirred up a buried internal fear of no longer existing. Wait scratch that the knowledge that someday I will be void of thought scares me much more. This is freaking me out, so what do I do to try and find peace? I turn to my archenemy; religion. This once perceived almighty evil is infiltrating my life, and filling it with passed down stories of better things to come. I can no longer rely on my logical atheist ways. I have caved, but do I turn to the mightiest of faiths, or do I stay with Taoism or Buddhism?

I hope to find an answer which I feel comfortable with, because the constant anxiety and panic is overwhelming me. Here is the problem though; if I pick a religion will I ever “really” believe the teachings or will reason and logic keep me from fully committing? Will I get so desperate I just try to live a lie, and constantly need to trick myself to stay on faiths path? I remember Trey calling me a “disillusioned Christian” awhile back, but I would consider myself more as a “desperate atheist needing reassurance that my life has meaning and I will be able to continue to think until the end of time” type of person.

The thing I do not get with this quote is why anyone would want to hope there isn’t an afterlife? Isn’t it ingrained in our DNA to survive? If this is the case than our brains would be hardwired to at least hope our existence lives on. Perhaps this hardwiring in our brains and instincts is the foundation of religion. I know by experience that atheists do not believe in an afterlife, but I wonder if deep down inside part of them is at least hoping they are wrong; I know I am. I must be completely honest I sincerely admire those who are truly in acceptance with the fact that one day they will just cease to exist. As for myself I am going to sit here and hope and pray there IS an afterlife.

The one component of my mental illness I dread the most is my crippling depression. I would rather deal with my psychotic episodes (thoughts) than my depressive episodes (feelings.) This depression can get so intense I feel as if I am lost in a forest of darkness with no glimmer of hope ahead. The longer I stay entrenched in this darkness the direr the situation can become. Like my other symptoms my depression has gotten worse as I have aged, as a result my suicidal thoughts have increased when I am walking in the fog of obscurity. One of the things which keep me from following through with this act is my atheist beliefs. I fear death on so many levels, and as a result I have never had the courage to set myself free. Perhaps this is a blessing, but I sometimes view this as a curse.       

I think my belief in nothing compounded with my fear of nothing has saved my life many times. The actual concept of death doesn’t scare me and at times I welcome it. I believe once you are dead then you are dead end of story. You cease to exist, and you are either buried or burned. These beliefs bring me such comfort, yet at the same time bring me a great deal of anxiety. My primary fear is centered on the absence of thought. The reality that once I die I will no longer be able to think is mind bending and terrifying. Right now I am able to sit here and think about what I think death will be like, but once I die I will not be able to think to myself “oh this is what death is like.” There has been one never faltering aspect in my life, and that is the presence of my thoughts. The reality of losing this haunts me.

I do not think us as humans can fully grasp the concept of infinity, nor can we grasp the real concept of nothingness. Can you sit there and honestly say your mind can understand that the universe never comes to an end? If your knee jerk reaction is a confident “yes” than you have not spent enough time truly challenging this concept; everything we know comes to an end eventually. The same can be said about nothingness, everything we know is something. Even the void of space still encompasses something. Now try and sit there and wonder what it would be like if you were to never have another thought or feeling again.  I am 100% okay with the concept of never feeling again, but not okay with never thinking.

This brings me to the conundrum of what it will be like if I ever find faith. I wonder where my mind will be when I hit a deep depression if I fully believe I will go somewhere better when I die. Will I have just lost my primary motivation from keeping me from following through with it?

Tell me what you think of these songs:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise thee, we bless thee.” From Gloria Canon

“We are marching in the light of God” From An African Celebration

“Let us sing altogether to the Son of God. He is born as our saviour and redeemer. Come see the Christ child in the manger. The sweet little babe, Christ the King.” From Psallite

“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with all your glorious works. Blest are they who worship in your Holy Name. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Holy, Holy, Holy evermore the same.” From Sanctus

So what do you think of when you read these lyrics? Would you say these are religious songs? Would you come to the conclusion that perhaps these songs would be sung in a church? I come here to you today as a pissed off parent to find out these very same songs were performed by my daughters PUBLIC school choir. I was never informed and there was never a permission slip given to me asking if I thought this material was okay. I never received anything from her school. I did not find out about this until I was sitting in the stands and the program was passed out.

I was immediately outraged by this! I could not contain my emotions. I expressed my frustrations to my wife which started a separation of church and state debate in the stands of the auditorium. I am sure the parents sitting around us were either offended or amused by our banter. In my opinion this shit does not belong in our public schools. This is a clear violation of separation between church and state. You can clearly see these songs are religious based. The lyrics do not try and hide there purpose. It is just BAM in your face. I wanted to get up; grab my daughter and pull her from this performance. I will be contacting her school today. But wait it doesn’t stop there!

I was chatting with my daughter one day afterschool and she was telling me about how in social studies they are learning about Judaism. She recanted the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the plagues that came to the Egyptian people. She went on to say Moses parted the Red Sea in order to get away. She then explained how Moses reached Mount Sinai and spoke to the burning bush, and about how on the top of the mountain God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written by Gods finger on two stone tablets. They were teaching her this as if it is a fact not a religious belief. I am all up in arms over this. I was irritated when she was telling me about this, and I had to immediately correct her and explain that these events are not real facts they are a man made fairy tale. She has been my daughter long enough to already know this to be true. I think these songs really pushed me off the ledge.

I really want to call her school and confront the principle on this subject. I will try to refrain because I am not sure how articulate I will come across. Now back to the debate with my wife. She was telling me I am an extremist in my views and that I am a hypocrite because I am making such a big deal about this. I am not sure if she really gets my point. Here is my stance. I do not think kids should be exposed to religion until they hit the age of reason. At this point I am all for them seeking out faith if they so choose. If my daughter is fifteen and chooses to go to church I will support her. If she chooses to become a Muslim I will support her. If she so chooses the Tao or to believe in nothing I will support her. Of course I would love to expose her to my belief system, but that goes against what I believe is right for my children. I do not think exposing children to religion is the right thing because their minds are not fully developed and frankly they are gullible and will believe just about anything.

My youngest son (6) has been recently talking a lot about God, Jesus and Heaven. I am not sure where these ideas are coming from but I am not okay with this. He has been told this by someone and now looks at it as a fact. I mean c’mon this kid still believes in Santa Claus so that about says it all. I made a mistake with my daughter. She used to go to this Christian daycare center and was exposed to religion. Every time we talked I had to reprogram her to set her straight. I told her these things are fairy tales and are false teachings. I succeeded in swaying her away from Christianity. She really enjoyed the movie “Religulous” which makes me think she is probably an atheist. This point is where I can see I am hypocritical. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my son so I just tell him that this is something people believe, and is not rooted in any logical form of thinking. I really doubt he understands what that means, because he still believes in Jesus just as much as he does Santa Claus. I would love nothing more than to start schooling him in Taoism, but like I said this goes against my belief system.

All I know is I am pissed about her social studies class. Something should have been sent home informing the parents what they will be teaching when it comes to religion. I am also pissed because her choir teacher should have sent something home asking the parents if they are okay with this material. I am a firm believer in the separation between church and state. God has no place in our government and sure as shit has no place in our public schools.