Among those of you who have at some point in your lives held religious beliefs to any extent, have you ever found the full acceptance of mortality since to bring with it a stronger emotional response? For instance, do you find the feeling of terror and sadness that accompanies watching a documentary about the holocaust, say, to be exceedingly more harsh since you've become disillusioned? Or do you feel a much greater need to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you? This is something that I'm experiencing, and at times it can be overwhelming. I'm not saying I remember these feelings being weak or short-lived when I was "a believer", but they feel orders of magnitude greater now. I'm curious if I'm not alone. Any comments are welcome.

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Yes, as someone who no longer answers question with "God... this or that" the world suddenly becomes much more complex, but at the same time, so simple if you don't give up on hope & true love.


There is also a difference between the disillusioned believer and the 'free spirit' so to speak. Yes, once free from the narrow view finder religion provides, If you are an empathetic person like I am, your sense of injustice, right and wrong is most likely off the scale, because their is no longer a judge who will make everything fair in 'the end.' It was another step in my mental evolution from crusader to a centered realist, and this was separate of the change from faithful to faithless.


The emotional magnitude you're experiencing is simply a result of your more aware 'awakened' state as opposed to blissful ignorance.



I can see how the tragedies of the world would be a harder thing to face without some attempt to put a happy ending to it. I don't know if this was significantly harder for me after I became atheist, though. We experience the same amount of pain and healing and/or post-trauma whether there's a smiley face at the end or not. I've heard some atheists say that when misfortunes happened to them, it was comforting to know that random things happened for no reason. I can see how this is comforting, as most of the other beliefs about why things happen end up blaming people for their misfortunes.



I feel that as an atheist, I have not become 'disillusioned', but rather enlightened and emotional experiences, even those that evoke sadness or horror, seem to ground me in the knowledge that I need to live now, to be kind, to be happy and grateful for being on this earth at this time, to share living with those I love, now, today and every day.  And, when it comes down to mortality, remember what Carl Sagan and Lawrence Krauss talk about....we are all made of stardust....atoms from the Big Bang may be residing in me even now.  To me, this is a connection to all life and matter and energy ever and forever; it is all the immortality needed (even if no consciousness accompanies the atoms).

When I was still a fundamentalist christian, I found the thought of death to always be absolutely terrifying. What if I hadn't prayed enough? What if I hadn't confessed every sin I'd ever commited? I was never actually sure I or my loved ones were going to heaven. Now that I'm an atheist I believe that when you die, you just die, and I find that to be infinitely comforting. You'd think that an ultimate end would be equally terrifying, but I'm sure when I'm dead I wont care that I'm dead. I wont have the faculties to care that I'm dead. So while death is stilly scary, the consequences of it are now considerably less so. I find that this actually allows me to make peace with my family's religousness. With a lot of things. On another note, I do feel more compelled to make the world a better place to live in and to maintain my car. Before I was sure god would hold that piece of crap together for me, now I'd better fix it before the brakes go out.




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