I'm new to this website, but I had to vent somewhere. I've been a non-believer since I was 13 and up until last year my life has had its ups and downs. Last year I got into some financial trouble and relationship problems. As it stands now I'm forced to move back with my parents since I cannot hold a job.
And you can only imagine what my family had to say. "You're suffering because you don't believe! Repent and tell God you're sorry for not believing in him."
Thing is, I know why I've had such a hard time. I hastily moved to GA without first looking for a job, lived with people who didn't have my best interests at haeart, and made poor judgement calls in bad situations. I can only blame myself for what's happened to me, not the Devil or anything of the sort.
I guess my whole spheel is about how, even though I don't believe it's real, I can't help but think that religion might make me feel better. In the same way a placebo makes a person feel good without fixing the real problem. I'm curious to hear if anyone else feels they might be better off making themselves believe in the unbelievable, not just for those around them, but for solely the benefits of believing.
Thanks for sharing your story. I hope things get better for you. We are here for you on the Nexus.
Nah -- I don't think believing in fairy tales would make things better for me.
Thing is I honestly did try to believe, but I can't do it. I appreciate you guys for letting me express my view.
As for me, I can't make myself believe anything. I either believe it or not. I don't understand pretending to believe. But you have to do what makes you happy. Nexus makes me feel better most of the time. Glad you found it.
That's were I'm at now. Maybe when I was younger they could've gotten me sucked back in, but I kept it to myself because I knew there would be trouble. I'm honestly happier with Buddhist precepts, but they would really hate that. :).
It's a touchy subject. In your case, it might be worth explaining to your parents that you take personal responsibility for the setbacks in your life, and that you intend to make the best personal effort to set aright the troubles ailing you. And if your parents or friends find joy in praying for you, tell them that you thank them for their efforts, but do not share the belief system upon which the efficacy of those efforts is contingent.
As a matter of psychology, having imaginary friends in childhood might be a useful palliative. The imaginary friend is steadfast, reliable, wise and empathetic. Sounds like god, doesn't it? Real friends have their own personal interests. They tell lies, they double-cross. They marry and no longer have time for their former buddies. They find jobs, move away, seek other social circles. But the imaginary friend endures. He is never too busy or too proud to lend an attentive ear. Religion is humanity's collective projection of the imaginary friend. And as sometimes in stressful situations it is no dishonor or cowardly retreat to indulge in the toys and games long ago left behind in childhood, so too, think analogously of the "merits" of indulging in religion. Imaginary friends are OK, provided that they don't lead to a psychosis where real friends are neglected and one's attention is monopolized by the imaginary friend. So too, perhaps, with religion. Just don't allow yourself to get permanently sucked into intellectual childhood.
That's what I've done so far, but they just keep saying that I won't prosper until I believe. Honestly I did have an imaginary friend when I was little, it was a horse named Patches. They had the nerve to tell me that Patches wasn't real and that I needed to get in touch with reality.
Now that I have they're trying to suck me right back in. Isn't that crazy?
As the others have said you can't make yourself believe. You could pretend but that isn't really true to yourself. Can you attend the social events with your family without participating in the religious parts?
I know I can't, and I've tried. But the nagging voice in the back of my mind (they'd say it was the Devil), keeps reminding me as I read the Bible that this stuff doesn't make any sense. I do go to church with them. It's funny because they think I don't listen to anything the preacher says and that I'm stuck on the bad parts of the Bible, but then I quote verses that I do like and they ask why I don't believe.
I know what a story is, and I know what's real. The Bible is just a story with some history to it, but twice as many lies and plagarisms.
Thank you. :)
Hang in there Victoria!! I admire your honesty. you seem to take complete responsibity for your decisions. Thats admirable. If you have been a non-believer for awhile, then that is part of your identity. I can only suggest that you read and study. Get religious opinions and non-theist opnions. Review your beliefs with an open mind. You cannot flip over to religious belief out of social convenience. Now if you have an intellectual change of mind, thats different. But you dont sound like a religious believer to me.
Things will get better for you and I`m rootin for you.
Well I am reading the Bible cover to cover everyday (instead of just at random), but my feelings for it are the same. It's a story that's only relevant if you want to live in the Bronze Age. Even my grandmother admitted I'd be better off as an atheist than a pretender.
Reading the Bible will arm you with more material for theological debates, and will help with understanding the doctrinal origin of believers' viewpoints. And its an excellent way to deepen one's atheism!
Try this line with your parents - and though it sounds facetious, I mean it with all seriousness: "It's just not part of God's plan for me to become a believer. If it pleases god to change his mind in his own good time, then we'll all know. Until then, I follow the path open to me".