Why I never became an atheist.

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Why I never became an atheist.

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed May 04, 2016 9:28 am

Kind of on the heel of the other threads that have started as of late, I thought I would share why I never became an atheist.

See, even though I was raised a Catholic ( Roman), it was never forced on us ( we only went to church on special days, I got baptized and had communion but was not confirmed until I was in my late 20's).
For a very big part of my life I was agnostic at best ( from about 18 to 28).
I can't say I was an atheist because I had serious issues with God and believers ( if I was an atheist I would not have any issues with God because you can't have issues with that which does not exist).
My issues were emotional and not intellectual ( and to be honest I never thought they were intellectual).
The problem of pain and suffering ( especially of "innocents"), the problem of why God doesn't intervene and save people, the problem of "natural evil", these were the main obstacles to me belief in God and in Christ.
The thing is, I never became an atheist because, quite frankly, there were far more unanswered questions in non-belief than there were in belief.
Don't get me wrong, there was lots to attract me to atheism, especially in my 20's.
I simply could not, intellectually, make that final leap from agnostic to atheist.

It dawns on me the irony that intellectually I could not NOT believe in God but EMOTIONALLY I had enough issues that I couldn't believe in God all the way, at least not a loving, personal God.

So, what happened?

One day I was with my wife to be and we were parked by a church ( in front of her old family home) and, for some reason, I went on this tirade against God and Christ to the point of saying something along the lines of:
If God can't help and fix what we screw up, of what use is He ??!?!
If he doesn't wanna help me, then I don't want HIM !!!

I recall looking at my future wife and there she was, all demure with this profond look of sadness in her eyes...
Hard to forget it..

All she said was ( paraphrasing): " You may not love Him but He loves you and I don't know why things are the way they are but I do know that He loves you and the He is the only solution to fix all this".
Now, Lisa is not that religious, She believes of course, but this was the first time EVER she said anything like this.

Well, it opened a door ( a crack really) and the rest some of you know but it doesn't really matter at this point of this thread, suffice to say that I started to listen and stopped yelling.

It was not lost on me that intellectually I could not deny the possibility of God and that it was emotionally that I had issues with Him BUT it was via emotion that I "found" Christ.

I guess that I was never able to be an atheist because intellectually I found it lacking BUT that I was able to become a believer when BOTH intellectually AND emotionally I was able to have faith in Him.

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Philip » Wed May 04, 2016 10:46 am

One thing is certain: atheism isn't a view from science - despite that claim from so many. Random chaos is not what came into instant existence. Things appeared with immense complex design and purposeful and specific functionality, both independently so and interactively so. Science is all about measuring what can be seen and has a physical reality - or that we can see that the physical reacts to it (like black holes). In fact, the scientific method would not be possible unless all things had to obey specific physical, chemical and biological laws of operation. So, atheism ignores the scientific, much to the contrary of science's abundant evidences of incredibly consistency, complex designs and marvels of functionality. Atheism MUST believe that things can self create or self exist, and can design and organize themselves with mind-blowing complexity and power. But all science is predicated upon the study of causes - and not of uncaused things. While it certainly can speculate and theorize about them, uncaused things are not in the realm of science, but are rooted in one's philosophy of belief as to how things came to be. So a rejection of God cannot be based upon something that cannot disprove it! Such rejection must come from some other place: Speculation, feelings, conjecture, etc!

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Kenny » Thu May 05, 2016 5:33 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Kind of on the heel of the other threads that have started as of late, I thought I would share why I never became an atheist.

See, even though I was raised a Catholic ( Roman), it was never forced on us ( we only went to church on special days, I got baptized and had communion but was not confirmed until I was in my late 20's).
For a very big part of my life I was agnostic at best ( from about 18 to 28).
I can't say I was an atheist because I had serious issues with God and believers ( if I was an atheist I would not have any issues with God because you can't have issues with that which does not exist).
My issues were emotional and not intellectual ( and to be honest I never thought they were intellectual).
The problem of pain and suffering ( especially of "innocents"), the problem of why God doesn't intervene and save people, the problem of "natural evil", these were the main obstacles to me belief in God and in Christ.
The thing is, I never became an atheist because, quite frankly, there were far more unanswered questions in non-belief than there were in belief.
Don't get me wrong, there was lots to attract me to atheism, especially in my 20's.
I simply could not, intellectually, make that final leap from agnostic to atheist.

It dawns on me the irony that intellectually I could not NOT believe in God but EMOTIONALLY I had enough issues that I couldn't believe in God all the way, at least not a loving, personal God.

So, what happened?

One day I was with my wife to be and we were parked by a church ( in front of her old family home) and, for some reason, I went on this tirade against God and Christ to the point of saying something along the lines of:
If God can't help and fix what we screw up, of what use is He ??!?!
If he doesn't wanna help me, then I don't want HIM !!!

I recall looking at my future wife and there she was, all demure with this profond look of sadness in her eyes...
Hard to forget it..

All she said was ( paraphrasing): " You may not love Him but He loves you and I don't know why things are the way they are but I do know that He loves you and the He is the only solution to fix all this".
Now, Lisa is not that religious, She believes of course, but this was the first time EVER she said anything like this.

Well, it opened a door ( a crack really) and the rest some of you know but it doesn't really matter at this point of this thread, suffice to say that I started to listen and stopped yelling.

It was not lost on me that intellectually I could not deny the possibility of God and that it was emotionally that I had issues with Him BUT it was via emotion that I "found" Christ.

I guess that I was never able to be an atheist because intellectually I found it lacking BUT that I was able to become a believer when BOTH intellectually AND emotionally I was able to have faith in Him.


A couple of questions; You said
there was lots to attract me to atheism, especially in my 20’s.”
What was it that you found attractive about not believing in God?
Also, when you went on that tirade with with your wife to be, did you up till that time accept God simply for what you believed you could get from him?

Ken

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Philip » Thu May 05, 2016 7:26 pm

Around about 16 or 17, I became very influenced by a friend who was an atheist. I began a period of grave doubt of my Christian faith I'd had since a boy. I began to surmise that I had bought into my parents' fairy tales, and that God was no more than a figment of their inherited superstitions. This was around the time I began to experiment with some things I later regretted. For a very short while, I began to believe that abandoning these unwarranted/factually unsupportable "superstitions" would set me free - after all, I'd be my own man, do whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and that Christian morality was one big joy kill. About 18 months later, I realized I was anything but free, and that I was burned out and felt hopeless. I'd realized if all life is no more than a Darwinian crapshoot, that I had nothing to really be confident of, and so many things to fear. This period mercifully ended when God turned His light to me back on so bright that I couldn't mistake Him! Freedom to be my own god wasn't all it was cracked up to be - fortunately!

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Kenny » Thu May 05, 2016 8:25 pm

Philip wrote:Around about 16 or 17, I became very influenced by a friend who was an atheist. I began a period of grave doubt of my Christian faith I'd had since a boy. I began to surmise that I had bought into my parents' fairy tales, and that God was no more than a figment of their inherited superstitions. This was around the time I began to experiment with some things I later regretted. For a very short while, I began to believe that abandoning these unwarranted/factually unsupportable "superstitions" would set me free - after all, I'd be my own man, do whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and that Christian morality was one big joy kill. About 18 months later, I realized I was anything but free, and that I was burned out and felt hopeless. I'd realized if all life is no more than a Darwinian crapshoot, that I had nothing to really be confident of, and so many things to fear. This period mercifully ended when God turned His light to me back on so bright that I couldn't mistake Him! Freedom to be my own god wasn't all it was cracked up to be - fortunately!

Would it be fair to say your stint as an atheist was mostly the result of a teenager rebelling against what his parents taught him?

Ken

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Kenny » Thu May 05, 2016 8:25 pm

Philip wrote:Around about 16 or 17, I became very influenced by a friend who was an atheist. I began a period of grave doubt of my Christian faith I'd had since a boy. I began to surmise that I had bought into my parents' fairy tales, and that God was no more than a figment of their inherited superstitions. This was around the time I began to experiment with some things I later regretted. For a very short while, I began to believe that abandoning these unwarranted/factually unsupportable "superstitions" would set me free - after all, I'd be my own man, do whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and that Christian morality was one big joy kill. About 18 months later, I realized I was anything but free, and that I was burned out and felt hopeless. I'd realized if all life is no more than a Darwinian crapshoot, that I had nothing to really be confident of, and so many things to fear. This period mercifully ended when God turned His light to me back on so bright that I couldn't mistake Him! Freedom to be my own god wasn't all it was cracked up to be - fortunately!

Would it be fair to say your stint as an atheist was mostly the result of a teenager rebelling against what his parents taught him?

Ken

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Audie » Fri May 06, 2016 4:22 am

Philip wrote:One thing is certain: atheism isn't a view from science - despite that claim from so many. Random chaos is not what came into instant existence. Things appeared with immense complex design and purposeful and specific functionality, both independently so and interactively so. Science is all about measuring what can be seen and has a physical reality - or that we can see that the physical reacts to it (like black holes). In fact, the scientific method would not be possible unless all things had to obey specific physical, chemical and biological laws of operation. So, atheism ignores the scientific, much to the contrary of science's abundant evidences of incredibly consistency, complex designs and marvels of functionality. Atheism MUST believe that things can self create or self exist, and can design and organize themselves with mind-blowing complexity and power. But all science is predicated upon the study of causes - and not of uncaused things. While it certainly can speculate and theorize about them, uncaused things are not in the realm of science, but are rooted in one's philosophy of belief as to how things came to be. So a rejection of God cannot be based upon something that cannot disprove it! Such rejection must come from some other place: Speculation, feelings, conjecture, etc!



Look at your last sentence. Written purely from the pov of a true believer.

"Rejection", for one. From my pov? There is nothing to reject.

Speculation? Feelings? That is how people came up with all those gods, spirits, demons,
trolls, sprites, and so forth. I dont reject trolls; they have no standing at all.

So, atheism ignores the scientific
,

What do people who believe in god-poof do, exactly? Provide data?

I certainly dont "ignore t he scientific". You are basically just making things up about people not present.



much to the contrary of science's abundant evidences of incredibly consistency, complex designs and marvels of functionality.



A person with an appreciation for science is the last one to accuse of that. People who just "read the bible" and take on simplistic, facile notions so characteristic of the yec and gappers are the ones with no concept of the real complexity about them.


Atheism MUST believe that things can self create or self exist, and can design and organize themselves with mind-blowing complexity and power.



God-believers MUST believe that a God greater and more complex than the universe.. oh never mind.

But regarding 'self create".
What does that even mean? Raindrops randomly falling on the landscape cannot
create something highly organized? Each little molecule must be directed to its specific funciton?

I wonder why you feel so confident to make pronouncements about people whose way of thinking you seem so ill-acquainted with.
Last edited by Audie on Fri May 06, 2016 6:05 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri May 06, 2016 4:51 am

A couple of questions; You said
“there was lots to attract me to atheism, especially in my 20’s.”
What was it that you found attractive about not believing in God?
Also, when you went on that tirade with with your wife to be, did you up till that time accept God simply for what you believed you could get from him?

Ken


In my 20's I was not very interested in being sexually moral, if you get my drift, I was also had no problems with the end justifying the means.
My tirade was based on what I thought/wanted God ( if He existed) to be.
Not so much what I personally could get from Him, but more what I thought He was supposed to give/offer/do for all.

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby RickD » Fri May 06, 2016 9:14 am

Audie wrote:

God-believers MUST believe that a God greater and more complex than the universe.. oh never mind.

Not true. God is not complex. I challenge you to read Jac's Divine Simplicity book. But you'll probably decline. Stating some excuse about this or that.

Give it a read. You might open yourself up to the truth. What are you afraid of Audie?
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Byblos » Fri May 06, 2016 12:25 pm

RickD wrote:
Audie wrote:

God-believers MUST believe that a God greater and more complex than the universe.. oh never mind.

Not true. God is not complex. I challenge you to read Jac's Divine Simplicity book. But you'll probably decline. Stating some excuse about this or that.

Give it a read. You might open yourself up to the truth. What are you afraid of Audie?


Alert: Content contains the dreaded 'P' word Audie. Proceed with extreme prejudice. :wave:
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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Philip » Fri May 06, 2016 12:54 pm

Would it be fair to say your stint as an atheist was mostly the result of a teenager rebelling against what his parents taught him?

Ken


Ken, I was never an atheist, but I had became, for a brief period, very influenced by such thinking. But for the first time in my life, I began truly taking a hard look at what Christianity asserted and whether or not had any credibility. It had nothing to do with rebelling against my parents' beliefs, but more so of taking a hard look at what they entailed. Of course, what I THOUGHT atheism asserted had started me to doubting - which led to my questioning. So, it's not that I ever rejected Christ, but had definitely some dangerous and serious doubts that left me wandering in a desert - and mostly a desert in which I didn't even think much about God but only how I might pursue happiness per my own instincts. But God surprised and rejuvenated my wavering faith. It's almost a period of being in a black hole, as I really don't remember much about it - except for relentless partying. But I remember having a great sense of emptiness and futility. But I also remember being 8 years old and truly believing in Christ - I had no doubt of Christ, but a child's faith, that would later be tested. But God didn't leave me in the wilderness - He allowed me to experience that period before He turned the light of the truth on for me - which happened when I least expected it.

What I can't understand about atheism isn't when people can't see reasons or evidences that might help them to belief. It's when they are very hostile to ALL views to the contrary, and when they expend so much energy upon resisting all possible evidences that could support belief. It's when I see people that DON'T WANT there to be a God - even if there is a remote possibility that He might exist. But I do see why so many of them are terribly unhappy and cynical. And unless they were raised in a positive family, they often tend to be that way. In America, the residual impact of Christianity still has positive influences amongst non-Christian families - to the point that Christian morality still has a strong presence, even amongst unsaved households.

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Audie » Fri May 06, 2016 2:09 pm

RickD wrote:
Audie wrote:

God-believers MUST believe that a God greater and more complex than the universe.. oh never mind.

Not true. God is not complex. I challenge you to read Jac's Divine Simplicity book. But you'll probably decline. Stating some excuse about this or that.

Give it a read. You might open yourself up to the truth. What are you afraid of Audie?



Weird how you guys can use "philosophy' to find out so much about something that cannot be detected or demonstrated to exist at all.

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby RickD » Fri May 06, 2016 2:19 pm

Audie wrote:
RickD wrote:
Audie wrote:

God-believers MUST believe that a God greater and more complex than the universe.. oh never mind.

Not true. God is not complex. I challenge you to read Jac's Divine Simplicity book. But you'll probably decline. Stating some excuse about this or that.

Give it a read. You might open yourself up to the truth. What are you afraid of Audie?



Weird how you guys can use "philosophy' to find out so much about something that cannot be detected or demonstrated to exist at all.

Says the one who has no idea what philosophy can or cannot prove.

We've told you time and time again that metaphysics proves God exists. So instead of studying metaphysics to learn if it's true, or even prove us wrong, you just wave your hand and ignore it.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby Philip » Fri May 06, 2016 2:34 pm

Audie: Weird how you guys can use "philosophy' to find out so much about something that cannot be detected or demonstrated to exist at all.


If it were merely philosophy and not a God Who empowers our desire to know about Him, we would not be able to. I think if you look at the hardcore Christians who have been on this site for so many years, they are, almost all, extremely logical and rational. That is why we constantly pick apart people's inconsistency in logic. So, anyone thinking such logic-minded people have simply all massively deluded themselves about God, well, they should look closer. Also, notice that we aren't a particularly religious bunch - we don't adhere to some continuous rituals or claim that keeping some rules are important to our beliefs. We don't believe we are any better than anyone else - Christian or not. We don't even claim to fully understand many things in Scripture - in fact, obviously, we have constant debates about some things. We are anything but a monolithic group adhering to some religion. This should tell people something about why we are all so different, so unreligious, find logic and reason so important, and yet we all are totally certain about one thing: Jesus!

As for Audie and others with similar views, I think it might be of value to ask themselves, IF God exists, would you want to know? Would you want to have a relationship with Him? Because if the answers to those things are "no," then I can tell you why you can't discern God. It's because, for many such people, it's the "God block filter" they've put on their minds and will. Until you at least remove those determinations and lack of desire to know the truth, for whatever reasons they might be, you'll not understand the reality of the Lord. A person just cannot know what they don't want to know/what they refuse to know/what they insist is either unknowable or if they first insist upon some absolute level of proof that is unnecessary to discern God, and which is more likely an excuse for the God filter block they currently have on their mind and will.

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Re: Why I never became an atheist.

Postby IceMobster » Sat May 07, 2016 3:53 am

RickD wrote:
Audie wrote:

God-believers MUST believe that a God greater and more complex than the universe.. oh never mind.

Not true. God is not complex. I challenge you to read Jac's Divine Simplicity book. But you'll probably decline. Stating some excuse about this or that.

Give it a read. You might open yourself up to the truth. What are you afraid of Audie?

Wait wait wait wait wait, whole this time I was reading a book written by Jac????? Or is he just the guy who found it and shared it first?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

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