Answers from an Atheist part 1

I guess either no one really reads this anymore – and can I blame anyone when I have barely been posting? Or every one who is Christian isn’t actually interested in getting to understand the other view. Or you feel like you have heard it all already.  Whatever the reason – it’s ok.  So there were not many questions but I am going to spread them out over a few posts because no one wants to read a novel here.

Q: If I’m recalling correctly, you said earlier that you *wanted* to believe. What percentage of atheists do you think feel this way? Do you still feel that way yourself (again, if I am remembering correctly)?

A:  When I say that I “want” to believe it is because it would be infinitely easier to feel that I wasn’t in control of my life sometimes.  Oh that bad thing that happened? It’s god’s plan, not my fault.  For example when Jack fell off the bench at the soccer game last year and I watched his eyes roll into his head as he passed out and I wasn’t sure he was breathing.  I watched his entire future life pass in front of me and all I could think was it was all my fault.  If he died, or had brain damage, or was paralyzed then it was all my fault because I wasn’t paying enough attention. People who believe in god seem to feel that way at first about things but then they say that it is god’s plan.  That  god doesn’t give you more than you can handle.  All those lovely phrases that to most atheists (and many christians) are insulting at the worst and insensitive in the least.

Its not that I want to believe because I think it would be better but it is more that often I don’t want to take responsibility for everything that I don’t like or to think that there is a higher power out there that knows better than I do and will make everything right.

The analogy of god as a parent really is accurate – someone who will let you fall but then pick you up, kiss your boo-boos and make it all better.  Who doesn’t “want” to believe in that?  So yeah I want to believe but I just can’t.

I still feel this way but again only when I am feeling like I just don’t want to take responsibility for what is happening in my life or when I really wish there could be a big giant daddy that comes in and makes everything all better.

As for other Atheists I know some have said they do think this too, but again only sometimes.  The problem with having this deity who is always in control is the inverse of having them take responsibility – its when god is given all the credit.

Right now I have the best single semester GPA I have ever had in my life.  I have worked hard for this and my family has  sacrificed – especially my oldest who babysits a lot so that I can go to the library and study or even just lock myself in my room to get my homework done.  This is my hard work and my success.  Not god’s.

So even if sometimes I say I want to believe – its only because I want someone else to blame when things are going down the toilet.


12 thoughts on “Answers from an Atheist part 1

  1. Hi Dy-Anne, I am still here. Honestly I didn’t know what to ask so I didn’t ask. Not that I probably couldn’t come up with something or that I think I already know every answer. It’s just such a broad open door to say “ask me anything” that it’s kinda hard to know where to begin from – like being overwhelmed with all the options.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this first answer. I don’t like those brainless comments of “it was God’s will” over tragedies either. Is God the one who caused me to be sexually abused? I don’t think so. Sometimes bad stuff happens. Sometimes I do it to myself. Sometimes others do it to me. And sometimes what I think is bad turns out to be good.
    Congrats in making the great grades! Your hard word shows. 🙂

  2. Thanks for answering, Dy-Anne – and for the thought that you always put into your posts. I have come to believe that a lot of atheists do put a lot of thought into their belief – or lack thereof. (Actually, *I* see atheism as a belief system of sorts, if you know what I mean. It’s not “disbelief,” really. It’s just believing something different.)

    At the moment, I don’t have time to devote to a full answer to your blog. I went back to teaching part-time this spring and now, kind of like you, a lot of time is not my own anymore! Hopefully by the weekend I’ll be able to write a fuller response.

    As another aside, one of my students this quarter is an atheist. I told him about your blog; thought he might find it interesting. He just did a paper for me on a statewide conference hosted by LSU’s Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics club. Made a good grade, too!

    And like Joni said, congratulations on your own grades!

  3. Hey, I wanted you to know that I am still reading too. I am sorta agnostic I guess so I didn’t really have any major questions. Well except one which I guess I could ask now right? Was it a big deal for you to inform family and friends about your beliefs or lack thereof? If it was a big deal was it fear of rejection, being harrassed or just not sure of your own beliefs?

    • I didn’t inform my family. My family is large but I don’t know most of them through much more than Facebook. My mother’s religious sense doesn’t go past sending out emails that say something like “if you love god pass this on” or “god loves you.” My dad and I have never had a religious conversation ever. I really have no idea what he believes but I know he doesn’t go to church. So yeah there really wasn’t anyone to talk to.
      As for friends I think most of the friends I have right now have only known me as an Atheist and the ones from beforeI become vocal about my lack of belief I basically lost in my divorce.

      I think I have had it easy in that regard. I know lots of people who it has been a very big deal to “come out” to their parents, family and friends as atheist and in some cases they have been disowned. These people would rather have a pedophile in the family than an Atheist 😦

  4. I’m still here too. I don’t have any questions either.. I’m pretty sure I personally asked them all before you moved away.

    Whatever God allows to happen.. or not happen.. in my life is for a reason. I expect to find out why when I get to heaven.. or maybe I won’t find out.. who knows. Nearly dying after having the girls is one experience that’s hard to explain.. I LOVE that it happened.. and I HATE that it happened. In the end, I can only see that it was what I needed to get shaken to the core.. to trust God to take care of everything.

    I still learn this lesson a few times a week.. just not in such dramatic ways. It’s both easier and harder to know I’m not in control of everything.. or anything.. especially as a former control freak.

  5. Dy-Anne,

    I’m late getting back to you on this blog as well as the others you have written. Because you were answering *my* questions, I feel that this was rude, and I apologize. As my earlier reply said, I’ve been inundated with things about returning to teaching. I had wanted to write a longer and more thoughtful reply than what I originally posted.

    That was the situation when I commented earlier; however, things are a little different now. I do thank you for answering my questions – in all three blogs. I really did – and do – want to know how you feel about things. I’m learning more things about atheists, and I think that’s good.

    But when I say that now the situation is different, here’s what I mean: I really and truly don’t know exactly what to say right to you right now. I want to share something that would be meaningful to you, but I just don’t know what that is at the moment. And maybe that’s OK – because this exchange was about your explaining how *you* feel and how *you* think about things. It’s not necessarily how *I* or other Christians feel about things.

    Almost anything I say would just sound contradictory to what you said and, frankly, I think we both agree that there’s not much point in that. I do believe that God is a merciful and loving Father who is in control of the universe and that all things work for good for those who love him. I say that based on my faith, though, not on anything totally rational (other than the fact that I believe the Bible’s ancient prophesies point to the fact that it – the book – is true, and the fact that the book says the world around us indicates that God exists even if we don’t know anything else about him).

    But, see, I don’t think that there *not* being a God is any more rational than thinking that there *is.* All the questions of the universe, all the questions that we can possibly conjure up – there is no real answer to any of them when you get right down to it. Science doesn’t get to the bottom of anything, really. It makes just as much sense for something to have always existed as to think that something suddenly appeared out of nothing. Both concepts are just too big for most people to get their heads around.

    (OK, so I was wrong! For someone who didn’t have anything to say, I’m writing a novella.)

    Also, let me point out here that I do believe in the Big Bang. I believe this is how God created the universe and that, yes, it is still expanding, etc. All of this dovetails with Genesis 1, in my opinion. And while I believe the creation story in the Bible, I don’t know that it is essential to think that it is absolutely necessary for a Christian to do that.

    Since September I’ve been in an in-depth study of Genesis – my first one – and have really learned a lot. There is so much to learn by studying the Bible in-depth. I hope that you someday have a chance to do so more fully. I’m thinking maybe that might answer some more of your questions. I remember how you said you sat in church taking notes, etc.

    I also recall you said that most atheists just want to be left alone. I hope that nothing I say bugs you in that department; I’m trusting that it won’t since you have put yourself “out there” with this blog.

    All right, that’s it for now. I’m going to re-read your other two blog posts and may comment more on them later.

    Best wishes ….

    • Sallie – I appreciate all of your comments and nothing anyone says here bothers me because like you said I have put myself out here. I still have more to say but finals is upon me. Only a few more days and I’m done til the 20th. I’ll try to post the rest of my answers to your other questions and to the other ones posed in the comments later.

      I only had 3 posts this time cause I sat and wrote them all at once. I just scheduled them out so each post wasn’t a novel 🙂

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