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Post Info TOPIC: Coming to terms with atheism (long post)


High Mookish Shaman

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Coming to terms with atheism (long post)


Hi all...I'm just looking for a bit of advice, but I need to provide some history first...

I was christened into the Church of England as a baby, despite being born into a non-religious family. I was raised without much explanation of Christianity other than what I learned in school, but found myself believing in Jesus quite strongly by the age of about ten. 

I had little opportunity to go to church, but continued my faith quietly until I was eighteen, when I moved to London to study at UCL, and joined the Christian Union. From then, I attended church at least once a week, prayed a lot (in short, I was a total God-botherer), and tried at all times to think and behave in a way in keeping with my faith.

Then, when I was about twenty four, a great friend committed suicide...and I had to question the Christian belief that people who kill themselves go to hell. I didn't understand how, given that I always saw hard times as a test of my faith, God (a loving, compassionate father) could set a test for his child that he would know in his omniscience would not be passed, and then condemn him to hell for failing.

I started picking my beliefs apart, and realised that there were too many things about Christianity that just don't make sense to me. I started to wonder, then, about how the universe operates and about what happens after we die. For a while I thought that I believed that a spiritual energy found within us all was like all other energies, in that it couldn't be destroyed - for me, there was a finite amount of energy in the universe and so when we die, the energy must go into a kind of...universal spiritual soup. When a new person turns up, some of the energy enters them - like a life force, I guess.

As much as I liked that idea, I can't pretend that I believe it. I don't believe in anything. I have gone from practicing Christian to Atheist, and now I'm not sure how to deal with it.

I love being truly free to control my own life, and I love being able to feel proud of everything I've overcome, knowing that no God had a hand in creating or resolving the situations, and concluding that I'm stronger than I first thought. I love discovering who I am without having to worry about sinning, and I love the absence of fear of hell (somewhere I genuinely thought I was heading). Overall, things are a thousand times better since I abandoned my faith...but I often find the pointlessness of life upsetting.

It's not that a person can't make a difference to the world, but the human race is a tiny speck in the history of a spinning rock in a massive universe. Every person who has ever been born and who has ever died has done so on this tiny planet (side note: geneticist Steve Jones calculated, taking into account the approximate population and birth and death rates over the time passed since the exiles from Megido, that if there were to be a Christian style ressurection/judgement apocalypse, it would be attended by a ball of humans larger than Earth itself!). We have never encountered any life form that isn't found on our planet...so, as well as everything else, we may well be completely alone here.

In a way, I suppose, I feel liberated by my miniscule existence - the small decisions that used to stress me out rarely do now, because I'm aware that I'm not here long and that life is too short for stressing over insignificant things - but I'm finding it hard to deal with the feeling that someone's just whipped the carpet from under my feet. 

I don't understand why I miss religion because I believe that it does more harm than good, and also I feel as though my eyes have been opened to a different truth from which I do not wish to turn away...but sometimes I find myself feeling really empty and lost...

So, lovely Mookies...how does one cope with the total loss of a previously strong faith? If you've been through this, please tell me how you coped. If you've not, I'm still very much interested in your views. I'd like to view this issue from more perspectives...

xxx Eve

 

 

 



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A leopard can't change his own medicine...always better to light a candle than spoil the broth...not even enough space to flog a dead horse...I'll believe that when I put a sock in it.


Mookish Deity Most High

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I must admit, I feel a bit silly replying to this because I was not particularly strong in any faith when I landed on atheism. My parents are non-religious and I was not christened or baptised, but I went to a religious school and something somewhere stuck. Then, one day I looked up and felt that there just wasn't a God. Just like that. I was about six.

At first, I dealt with it very well and it didn't matter to me. Then I got angry at having to sing hymns to a God who to me so clearly didn't exist. When I was about 11, my mum had a full scale mental breakdown, and I think whilst Christianity couldn't address the loneliness I felt (I'm sure as you know you can't make yourself believe in God) the powerlessness I felt was addressed by Paganism, and I dabbled in Wicca and other sects for a while. Eventually, I just came to terms with it and stopped believing in the supernatural. I understand that it's uncomfortable, but really I feel it's something only fixed by time. There are times it might be convenient believing in a higher power, but that doesn't mean I ever really strongly wished I did, although sometimes it'd be nice to feel there's a magical celebrity carpenter who's got my back.

That was quite an incoherent ramble. Perhaps this video might help?



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Mookish Deity Most High

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I have stuff to say as a never-religious but not quite 100% athiest person. But i am typing one-handed on my mobile which is slow and tricky so I shall return.

 

EDIT: I have returned, on my laptop and minus a feeding baby :)

OK.  So both my parents are non-religious.  I wouldn't say necessarily athiest but just disillusioned with the idea of religion.  My sister and I were brought up knowing that we had no religion but should we choose to follow one that was our decision.

Our schools were non-denominational (which, until recently I thought meant non-religious so was always confused as to why we had Easter/Christmas/Harvest Services).  We learned about Christianity and I read a bible passage for an Easter service one year in Primary School.  We also sang hymns.  I remember being asked by another pupil if I was Protestant or Catholic and being told I had to be one or the other when I replied that I was neither. 

I always sort of believed in the concepts of Heaven and Hell though not that they were governed by any sort of god or higher being (something I was told I couldn't believe, again by another pupil, because if I believed in H & H then I must also believe in God). 

For a while I tried to figure out what God meant in my life but really just couldn't imagine that there could be an entity that could see all and know all.  It made me sad for a short while that other people could believe in this figure but I realised that my lack of faith in this being didn't make me a bad person.  I made choices and the consequences were my responsibility, I couldn't blame God for not making things work the way I wanted.  I also couldn't fathom why this being would really care about the minutiae of everyone's daily life.

When we studied the Easter story of Jesus' resurrection I just couldn't believe that people thought this event had actually happened.  I thought there had maybe been an event that took place but that over time had become exaggerated and misinterpreted. 

When I was in my mid-twenties I felt that something did exist.  I, like Charlie, turned to Wiccan/Pagan beliefs but although I felt some sort of attraction to the magic/supernatural side of things I still couldn't really get my head round the idea of deities. 

Now, I'm not 100% athiest because I think that we can't know for definite what does or doesn't exist (whether that existance is on our own plane of reality or if there are other levels/dimensions).  I am, however, comfortable with not having a "presence of God" or other deity in my life.  I see atrocities carried out in the name of God when really it is just human's small mindedness and unwilling to think they might be wrong.  For that reason I think organised religion is a bad thing.  Too many people blindly following some words that were written thousands of years ago when social/moral ideas were totally different to the world today.

I think having a faith and a community to be part of is a good thing but I don't think you need religion to have a community.  Mooky is a community, we share similar ideals and challenge each other's opinions (something I think religions should be willing to do more of).  I would say don't feel sad at the loss of faith, be glad that you are open-minded enough to challenge your beliefs when so many won't.



-- Edited by Spikeyfaerie on Monday 22nd of April 2013 06:20:23 PM

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Seasoned Mookster

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I've never been religous but have certainly at times felt a hole that I imagine religion would help fill. As Charlie said, it would be great to feel someone was looking out for me when things are chaotic. I've tried trying to find a religion that was right for me, i've tried creating my own spirituality but I never really believe it.

I've found just accepting that there are things I will never know helpful for me. I used to think science would hold the answer to everything, but i found that it didn't really help when I was upset or worried about something.

For me I guess I have turned to politics instead and have been looking more into what I can do to follow my political beliefs, make changes in the world I believe are possitive and finding people to debate these beliefs with.


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High Mookish Shaman

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Thank you all for replying, ladies.

Charlie, please don't feel silly replying to this - your view is just as valid as anyone elses! Thanks for the video link...I've not been able to watch it yet because I'm close to my download limit. The limit doesn't apply between midnight and 8am though, so I'll have a look later! It's interesting that you say that Christianity didn't help you to feel less lonely, as it really did help me in that respect...but I can't pretend I felt as though I was in power under the rule of Christianity - God was clearly in charge there. I don't know much about Paganism, though, so I can't comment on the difference that made you feel more powerful. 

When I first developed schizophrenia, my faith was a huge comfort to me. Of course, it raised a lot of questions with health professionals as to whether I actually believed in God or whether it was a recent delusion, but feeling as though I could, if I behaved in a certain way, make things a lot better for myself (passing this test of my faith) was a comfort. I felt as though there could be a way out...but it wasn't in my control. It was for God to decide. Then, I did something that I considered at the time to be a huge black mark on the score card - basically, I failed the test, and was convinced thereafter that I was destined for hell. I felt powerless, I felt lost, and there was little comfort in worship - I knew what was happening when I died.

Spikey, it was really interesting to read about your journey - I also went to a non-denominational primary school, and was taught about Christianity...but little about other religions. There was a group of religious folk in our school who were referred to as "the Brethren", and I knew nothing about their religion even though one of them was in my class! They were very closed about their faith, and there was no arrangement made for them - if they didn't agree with singing hymns and praying with us (which they never did) they just left the assembly hall. I had similar conversations about whether I was Catholic or Protestant. I knew I was christened into the Church of England, but had no clue whatsoever as to what that meant. 

I do completely agree with you when you say that organised religion is a bad thing...not only is there the problem of the atrocities committed in the name of God, many people are still hanging onto outdated concepts, and then putting their own interpretation into practice by deciding what is and what is not relevant. I never thought that it worked that way...e.g. a lot of Christians are okay with sex before marriage, and the vast majority don't keep slaves or stone their wives to death for adultery...and I now wonder just how many teachings were edited out over the years. Also, I would have thought that Jesus, as the son of God and the teacher of mankind, would have written a gospel of his own. How many teachers have loads and loads of information to share, but rely solely on the notes their students take?!

Poisoned Apple, I have also tried to find comfort in science, as it answers to many more of my questions in a much more logical manner...but as you said, it's no comfort when you're upset. When I'm worried, I do try to tell myself that my problems are quite insignificant in the context of all that is, was and ever shall be, and sometimes it helps me to worry less (it sounds reckless, but..."what's the worst that could happen?"), but there's little comfort in that when somewhere inside I have a longing to make a difference. Not necessarily on a large scale (although making an improvement or two to the world would be amazing), but just enough to have a positive impact on the people I love. 

Perhaps Charlie is right, and I need to give it more time. It's so strange that I see the problems with religion, and I don't want to delude myself, and yet I miss it. I don't understand how I can miss the comfort of something I strongly believe to be false.

xxx Eve



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A leopard can't change his own medicine...always better to light a candle than spoil the broth...not even enough space to flog a dead horse...I'll believe that when I put a sock in it.


Mookish Deity Most High

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I feel a bit silly replying to this too, because I'm not an atheist, and nor have I come from a Christian background, but I can somewhat relate to how you're feeling.

I recognise the problems with organised religion, but at the same time I see it as being very important to society and civilisation (not necessarily always in a good way).

I went to a primary school that for the first two or three years I attended it was non-religious, but it did eventually join a partnership with the church next door and it became a Church of England school. We had to attend church services and sing hymns in assemblies, but I never gave thought to my own religious beliefs - as I saw it, going to church was just something we had to do at that school. My three best friends at primary school were a Muslim, who was excused from attending church but still had to attend hymn practice, a Jain, who was happy to be in church (until they made her read prayers to a god she didn't believe in), and a fierce atheist. Religion just wasn't something I ever thought about in terms of myself.

When I went to secondary school, I was sent out of religious studies class for "defying authority" a number of times. This sounds a lot worse than it was - the teacher, a Christian who spent most of the lesson preaching to us, set us numerous tasks where we had to describe what we thought 'God' would be like, and every single time I would say that I wasn't comfortable talking about my religious beliefs or my concept of deity.

My mother is an atheist, and attended Catholic schools. She told me it's easy to move from Catholicism to atheism because there's too much wrong with the Catholic church to ever possibly like it, especially not when you're forced into it. Her parents are both Catholics but keep very quiet about it - I didn't even know they were religious until a few years ago. My father is possibly an atheist, but never talks about religion and I've never asked him. Both of his parents are very, very religious.

I feel lost without a religion. I feel as though I need something to be able to attach myself to, to point to and say, even if only to myself, "This is what I believe in." I want something to be able to turn to, I feel lonely and helpless. I've tried to explain this to various people in my life, but a lot of them are disillusioned with religion and can't help me, or even understand why it is I feel empty without something they see as bad.

I'm sorry for talking about myself so much, I guess I'm just trying to say I kind of know how you're feeling, although I've never had religion there for me so I can't imagine how difficult it must be to lose it.

I hope things will get better with time, as you come to terms with things, and you'll stop feeling empty and lost. I think it's good that you're not forcing yourself to believe in things you don't really agree with, even though it must be hard for you.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I was raised Christian I suppose. I was Christened, went to Sunday school for a bit when I was about 6 (not with my parents actually, with the neighbours and their kids, which makes me think they just wanted me out of the house so they could work on creating my brothers). My mother would always encourage me to pray and my primary school did all the Bible stories, hymns etc. However I never felt any connection with God in any way. I just kind of sang the hymns because that was what we were singing. When I got to secondary school and we weren't made to pray any more, I just stopped. I remember being pretty torn up in year 7 or 8 when I sat and actually evaluated what I thought about faith, coming to the conclusion that I don't believe in God. My parents were pretty upset when I told them despite the fact we were pretty casual Christians! I had a quite a few not so casual Christian friends throughout secondary school who kept trying to get me to go to Soul Survivor (Christian camp with bands and stuff) with them, I declined. I just was flat out not interested.

There was a while when I was about 15 when I would still do a bit of a reflexive "God please please do(n't) let this happen" silent prayer when I was scared or upset but eventually I just dropped it. That lost feeling just kind of disappeared when I realised that I didn't need a safety net to be happy. I have a community and people who love me, I try my best to live morally and bring about as much good as I can and I even feel that there being no afterlife is pretty freeing and wonderful. I've lost two friends in the past year and sure it would be nice to think that they're OK somewhere, but I don't believe that they're concious any longer. The friend I lost most recently was devoutly Christian and so was her fiancé. If it turns out she's right about the whole thing, she's definitely in heaven so that's cool. I don't know if I believe that being religious really helps cushion the blow of loss that much honestly. Either way he's still lost the love of his life.

Like you Eve if I think too much about how big everything else is and how small we are it makes my head spin a bit. But I know that I don't have long on this planet, so I want to make the most of it, do good, have fun and eventually I can return to the ground and fertilise plants and stuff. S'all good.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Hi Eve,welcome back! Hope you post more regularly because we've missed you!

Now,it's a very complex question you've asked,so I'm gonna type up a longer reply when I'm not half-asleep,but imo Marx was right with his "religion is the opium of the people" assertion,perhaps in more ways than he thought. Like so many things with the core of an interesting concept that have became entrenched establishment structures,religion today involves a lot of control. You have to ask how much of what the church teaches is likely to be based on the original facts,and what has been added over time by whom and for what purpose,and also what alternative interpretations can there be.

[I wonder whether Jesus would bother returning today,because if he did,and turned water into wine again,you know it'd be on YT in an hour with people saying it was a trick/faked/done with photoshop etc. We want to look behind the curtain and see if the great Oz is all that he seems ; people 2,000 years ago were impressed more easily and didn't have video cameras to record it all...]

Dave.

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High Mookish Shaman

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cowl wrote:

I feel lost without a religion. I feel as though I need something to be able to attach myself to, to point to and say, even if only to myself, "This is what I believe in." I want something to be able to turn to, I feel lonely and helpless. I've tried to explain this to various people in my life, but a lot of them are disillusioned with religion and can't help me, or even understand why it is I feel empty without something they see as bad....

...I hope things will get better with time, as you come to terms with things, and you'll stop feeling empty and lost. I think it's good that you're not forcing yourself to believe in things you don't really agree with, even though it must be hard for you.


Cowl, thank you for sharing your story, and please don't feel bad about talking about yourself here - I wanted to hear the points of view of other Mooks, and what you wrote really struck a chord with me. 

While I know I'm not going to return to Christianity, and while I'm convinced by my current atheist beliefs, feeling as though I have something to turn to in times of need makes me feel quite lonely, as it does you. I don't want to follow any religion, and I don't want to believe in things I now see as false, and I don't want to be a part of something that causes so many people to act in the most atrocious manner in the name of God,  I do feel lost.

The good news is, however, that it is getting easier - when I first came to my conclusions about religion, I would still find myself wanting to pray, and then have to stop myself and ask my self to whom I was planning to pray. That left me feeling lost and lonely, because my religion had been such a huge part of my life...but, not long afterwards, I started to notice all of the things I'd achieved during my life as a Christian and realise that I'd achieved all of those things by myself. That's an empowering thought, but "lonely" is definitely the word to describe how I feel.

Ruby, thanks for your reply. I'm sorry to read about the loss of your friends. A couple of my good friends have died in the last few years, and believing that they are now nothing more than memories is hard to take sometimes. My Uncle is very unwell, and we're not sure how long he's going to last...and last night, I really upset myself with the idea that it won't be long before all I have left of him are my memories. I have nothing but good memories of him, which is a comfort, but I hate the idea that he'll die and...well, that'll be it.

I was interested to read that your plan is simply to fertilise the plants and trees when you die - I like that idea, too. Ideally, I'd just be put into a hole near a big tree, but I'm sure there'd be some reason why I wouldn't be allowed to do that. It's a real shame, because there's a really beautiful dene near my house, and I'd like to be part of it. I also like the idea of cliff-top "burials", where the body is taken up high to somewhere where there are vultures and whatnot, cut up, and left to be eaten. I like the idea that I would nourish another living creature...but the problem with that is finding a volunteer willing to take on the lovely task of sawing me up!

Dave, thanks for welcoming me back! I'm sorry I disappeared for so long. Life got a bit crazy and got in the way of my Mooking time. It's good to be back, though :).

Yes, I too see the idea of religion being the opiate of the people as having a lot of truth in it. It seems to me that religion keeps people scared and stupid, which allows the higher-ups a lot of control over them that they shouldn't have. It scares people into believing in gods and, in the case of Catholicism,  faithfully following the direction of another human who, in reality, is no better than them and is no more qualified to organise the lifes of others than they are. Furthermore, it prevents people from asking the really important questions about life, and solving the world's problems in an effective manner - many religious people assume that the world operates in the way it does because it is a God's will that it does, when in reality the world is in the state it's in because too many human beings are really shitty to each other.

Nonetheless, I sometimes find that little thought in the back of my mind that if the Christian faith operated in the best interests of all people around the world, it would have the power to tackle enormous problems and solve so many issues - they have a huge amount of money and a huge army of people who do as they're told. If they were told to do the right things for the good of the world, there's no telling how much they could change. I guess the idea come from cynicism about the church and idealism about the world, and it is quite exploitative of people's beliefs...but if the church is going to exploit people's beliefs, they might as well do it for a good cause. 

 

xxx Eve



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A leopard can't change his own medicine...always better to light a candle than spoil the broth...not even enough space to flog a dead horse...I'll believe that when I put a sock in it.


Mookish Deity Most High

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i'm writing on my phone so my reply might be a bit rubbish. I'm just browsing mooky to pass the time in a lonely empty room where I'm sleeping tonight. I was christened at the age of 5. Not sure why. My little brother was just born so for some reason he was getting done so they thought they might as well get the two in one deal. I dont ever remember having faith. I dont think I was ever truly convinced, maybe when I was 3 or 4 i believed what my family said but i just did it because it was what you did. My mum was a proper christian when she was in her early 20s but she drifted from it over time and it seems i had a vaguely christian upbringing because its institutionalised in loads of schools. Also i think it was the only moral template she had for trying to raise nice well behaved children. I remember when I actively started to reject the idea of god quite clearly. I remember in primary school, around the age of 7 and bowing my head to pray in assembly and purposely thinking of stuff like the power ranges and cartoons I liked instead of whatever the head teacher was saying about jesus. By the time I was 11 i was pretty much an atheist. Then for some reason at the age of 14 was drawn to paganism. I think it was related to wanting some sort of comfort in something beyond the reality of reality; wanting something that was a bit marginalised to go with my teen angst; something christianity hated because i'm rebelling yo - but then i didnt want to do anything really dark or satanic (because although i love reading about that stuff, and the badassery of total rejection and revelling in sin, when it comes to who i am really i dont want to bring ill will where it's no deserved); and also i was forming my view on environmentalism at the time and respect for the earth seemed pretty beautiful and relevant to me. Eventually that just got dropped, it just trailed off and i stopped thinking about it so much. so how do i deal with the fact there is no god and we're all pointless specks in the grand scheme of things? I think its amazing we living things on earth might be the only critters crawling about in our bit of the never ending emptiness of space. I am so pointless in the grand scheme of things i can do whatever the fuck i like. But i think its also good sometimes to think of how big the world is, how important it is to us humans. We are nothing to the unforgiving infinateness but what we have here on earth is our everything. Its so tiny but so precious. People are only here for a speck of time but to me it stretches out for generations and i want to be part of fighting the injustice we have to endure. I think it makes no sense to be flexible in how you percieve existence. Sometimes things are just too huge to deal with, sometimes you realise they are tiny and you can move on. And although I dont experience a want for a higher being, i know what you mean by wanting something for comfort. But then when things are rough why cant the comfort of fellow human beings be enough. We're all in this bullshit together, muddling through, trying to work it out. We dont need some great teacher to guide our way and help us out when we're sad - we are more than capable of doing that collectively. How what i wrote makes sense. Ive been writing it in a tiny text box, its been like trying to post an essay through a coin slot.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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argh apologies for double posting to apologise for the lack of paragraphs, they were there when i was typing! Also to fix the typo: I DO believe it makes sense to be flexible in how we percieve existence. Woah this was too deep to be talking about stoned, tired and on a little phone at 3am on a monday.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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i'm writing on my phone so my reply might be a bit rubbish. I'm just browsing mooky to pass the time in a lonely empty room where I'm sleeping tonight. I was christened at the age of 5. Not sure why. My little brother was just born so for some reason he was getting done so they thought they might as well get the two in one deal. I dont ever remember having faith. I dont think I was ever truly convinced, maybe when I was 3 or 4 i believed what my family said but i just did it because it was what you did. My mum was a proper christian when she was in her early 20s but she drifted from it over time and it seems i had a vaguely christian upbringing because its institutionalised in loads of schools. Also i think it was the only moral template she had for trying to raise nice well behaved children. I remember when I actively started to reject the idea of god quite clearly. I remember in primary school, around the age of 7 and bowing my head to pray in assembly and purposely thinking of stuff like the power ranges and cartoons I liked instead of whatever the head teacher was saying about jesus. By the time I was 11 i was pretty much an atheist. Then for some reason at the age of 14 was drawn to paganism. I think it was related to wanting some sort of comfort in something beyond the reality of reality; wanting something that was a bit marginalised to go with my teen angst; something christianity hated because i'm rebelling yo - but then i didnt want to do anything really dark or satanic (because although i love reading about that stuff, and the badassery of total rejection and revelling in sin, when it comes to who i am really i dont want to bring ill will where it's no deserved); and also i was forming my view on environmentalism at the time and respect for the earth seemed pretty beautiful and relevant to me. Eventually that just got dropped, it just trailed off and i stopped thinking about it so much. so how do i deal with the fact there is no god and we're all pointless specks in the grand scheme of things? I think its amazing we living things on earth might be the only critters crawling about in our bit of the never ending emptiness of space. I am so pointless in the grand scheme of things i can do whatever the fuck i like. But i think its also good sometimes to think of how big the world is, how important it is to us humans. We are nothing to the unforgiving infinateness but what we have here on earth is our everything. Its so tiny but so precious. People are only here for a speck of time but to me it stretches out for generations and i want to be part of fighting the injustice we have to endure. I think it makes no sense to be flexible in how you percieve existence. Sometimes things are just too huge to deal with, sometimes you realise they are tiny and you can move on. And although I dont experience a want for a higher being, i know what you mean by wanting something for comfort. But then when things are rough why cant the comfort of fellow human beings be enough. We're all in this bullshit together, muddling through, trying to work it out. We dont need some great teacher to guide our way and help us out when we're sad - we are more than capable of doing that collectively. How what i wrote makes sense. Ive been writing it in a tiny text box, its been like trying to post an essay through a coin slot.

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High Mookish Shaman

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I am also on my phone and cant think well because Im so full of cold,but i wanted to say thank you for replying. I suppose i dont think much about how life seems to us or how precious it is..i just cant get my head around the pointless nothingness. Come September, Ill have been in the world for twenty eight years, and recently Ive wondered about what Ive achieved. To most people Ive achieved a lot, but the problem is that nothing matters to me...theres not much Ive achieved that seems worth it. I think that these feelings are part of the reason that having no faith is so difficult; I worry that Ill die feeling that there was no point. Ill send a better reply when I feel less poorly and can form a more coherant reply. I may also wait to use the pc...This is really hard on a phone i dont really know how to use. xxx Eve

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A leopard can't change his own medicine...always better to light a candle than spoil the broth...not even enough space to flog a dead horse...I'll believe that when I put a sock in it.


Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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This is the way I see it, but it's just my way. One thing I do like about faith (though it doesn't have to be faith in a God) is that it requires a person to feel small yet meaningful at the same time, and it requires an element of trust to have faith in something that can't be proven.

So if I said farewell to a previously strong faith, I would like to feel liberated and autonomous, but I would also like to feel a very personal sense of trust and affinity with some element of life and existence, and I would like to be able to choose this facet myself.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I used to have the 'what's the point?' mentality, but then I realised there doesn't have to be one. I make simple pleasures important in my life- that occasional lie in, that amazing kiss, that Chicago Town pizza first thing in a morning, that photo shoot that came out well -and things are feeling so much better for me. I have a big problem with dwelling on things and working myself into a circle of negativity, so focusing on the now helps take away from that. Some would see that as selfish, but as long as you do have time for other people and their problems too there is nothing wrong with that.

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High Mookish Shaman

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Thanks for your replies, ladies. Its interesting to read other peoples perspectives on this. I like the idea of faith, and told myself when i gave up my religion that the best thing in which to have faith was myself. I told myself that if I could have faith in myself, I could make a difference to a few people. I thought that the best thing to do was to be really good to others - my goal could be to make people happy - but now Ive completely exhausted myself trying to do that. I end up doing so much for others that I resent it, which wasnt part of the plan. Maybe I need to find new things that make me feel happy...but I think I spend so much time on others because I hate the idea of being remembered as selfish. Generally, I feel like a bad person, and like Im just not good enough..but helping people diminishes that feeling. I guess I dont know how to be happy without that rewarding feeling of doing things for others...and how can I have faith in myself when I cant cope with doing the one thing that makes me feel as though I have a purpose? xxx Eve

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A leopard can't change his own medicine...always better to light a candle than spoil the broth...not even enough space to flog a dead horse...I'll believe that when I put a sock in it.


Regular Crew

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My entire family is comprised of liberal, atheistic hippies, and I have not deviated from that precedent remotely, but I don't like to be a hater, so imma ask here if it's worth it to talk about religion on this ostensibly religious forum. I'm almost always cool if you is, especially IRL, but I do consider religion itself a major source of patriarchy and other evil (I frequently say the wolves can't exist without the sheep, when asked), and am willing to talk about in earnest, if no one minds. If yall think it would be too inflammatory, however, just hit me up, and I'll refrain from continuing to discuss it.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Lucas Prassas wrote:

My entire family is comprised of liberal, atheistic hippies, and I have not deviated from that precedent remotely, but I don't like to be a hater, so imma ask here if it's worth it to talk about religion on this ostensibly religious forum. I'm almost always cool if you is, especially IRL, but I do consider religion itself a major source of patriarchy and other evil (I frequently say the wolves can't exist without the sheep, when asked), and am willing to talk about in earnest, if no one minds. If yall think it would be too inflammatory, however, just hit me up, and I'll refrain from continuing to discuss it.


Yeah, course it's okay to talk about religion on here. People who post on here come from all sorts of faiths. Some of us are fiercely atheist, some are wiccan, some are catholic, some are muslim, some are without a religion but spiritual, some do not identify with any fixed faith/religion. I don't know why you've said "on this ostensibly religious forum" though based on this one thread you've found - we're not primarily a religious forum, but anybody will tell you that anything goes on here and that includes discussions about religion. I guess as long as the discussion is kept respectful, then nobody will mind and you'll find many people will be pleased to participate, should you wish to speak about your opinions on religion.  

I too consider organised religion with contempt. As an anarchist I believe that I should not uphold the hierarchy of organised religion- and organised religion is, at it's core, hierarchical as well as patriarchal (I guess that's a form of hierarchy, but the two are not mutually exclusive). I am opposed to it on a personal level and on a more general level. I live in Ireland and have witnessed all the harm that the catholic church has done in our society, and as a result I reject catholicism fully. 



-- Edited by Indigo Empress on Monday 16th of September 2013 02:38:49 PM

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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I'm not sure I can agree that organised religion is necessarily hierarchical and patriarchical. There is and have been quite a lot of different type of religions out there, they are not all structured like the three big monotheistic ones we are familiar with in our contemporary cultural sphere.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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That's a fair point, it's not right of me to generalise in that way. I'm not exactly qualified to speak about organised religion as a whole, since I don't know too much about it. I suppose in my last post I was mainly addressing the familiar big three, but failed to mention that.

When I think organized religion I think mainly about the people who suffer in conflicts relating to it. I think a lot about how the church and state are still so tied to one another here, and the negative effects that has on the people living in this country. However, it's not all negative - I know lots of people find comfort and solace in their faith, and that it gives them direction. And lots of people here reject the catholic church but still call themselves catholic. I guess you can be religious but reject the organizational level of it. 



-- Edited by Indigo Empress on Monday 16th of September 2013 03:39:56 PM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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^ I think you've hit the nail on the head there - reject the Catholic Church and assosiated wankers, but Catholisism, with a mucho imporant grain of salt, is fine. I don't think religion is the issue so much as relgious organisations' refusal to adapt to modern times and drop the old archaic values, and I think with Ireland in particular it's the fault of the government (and, to a degree, the people) for allowing the church to have so much power as it did for so long.

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Regular Crew

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i live in the bible belt, and, for the most part, nobody wants a problem any more than i do, but you best believe you gonna get kilt if you talk about atheism like some cats talk about God.

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Regular Crew

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Well were not in the bible belt here my friend. Atheism and organised religion SHOULD be questioned and talked about "like some cats talk about God."

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Regular Crew

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haha yeah, hopefully i'll have a means of leaving (preferably to Canada) before too long.

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