Florida Atheists, Critical Thinkers & Skeptics. Message Board › Hello! I'm a new member with a question.

Hello! I'm a new member with a question.

Richard
user 9731700
Orlando, FL
Post #: 3
Hello, everyone! I joined this group a few months ago, but I have yet to go to a meet up or post a message. I have recently come out as an Atheist and it has made me see things very differently. Although almost everyone has been (at the very least) respectful of my stance on religion, I can't help but feel like people expect me to have a change of heart in the near future. I also realized that there aren't that many Atheist as I thought that there would be.

My question, then, is: what's Atheism like in the long run?
A former member
Post #: 197
Richard, In my 'exalted opinion', it does require a 'mental adjustment'. And I have experienced that mental adjustment many times. Many years ago, I was a dedicated Seventh Day Adventist. 'Holy of the most Holy'. I was a religion major at an Adventist College. I preached the Wednesday Night Prayer meetings. I began to ask questions that irritated the college theologians. I dropped out of the church around 20 years old, and that required a mental adjustment with a nervous breakdown. And I spent the next 35 years searching for God. I wanted there to be a God, watching over me, walking with me through the valley of the shadow of death. At 55 I gave up and decided that, maybe, I was an Atheist, or at least an Agnostic. I lost the foundation on which I had been standing, the foundation of 'opinion' and 'searching' that had kept me going. And that required a mental adjustment. I studied Taoism, and began building a new foundation. Sprinkled on some Buddhism, and went heavy into Pantheism. And all of that required a mental adjustment. In confronting people, places, and things,,, I kept quiet. At 69 I attended my First Sunday of the Month Atheist meeting.
Thirty minutes into the meeting there were tears running down my face. I had found a home. A community. I was no longer alone. I was happy with what I had. Each step of the way, requires a mental adjustment. A letting go of the old 'beliefs', and a locking in of the new 'beliefs'.
I am a 99.99999999% Atheist, and a 100% Agnostic; because I can not prove the un-seen God does not exist. And I can not prove that the un-seen God does exist. I had become a happy Atheist.
Then I discovered Cosmicism. And now I am 'Content' with my view. There is no law in Cosmicism that requires me to prove that my chosen view is the absolute correct view. When I meet 'Faithers', I tell them to be happy with the view that they have, and I will be content with the view that I have. I refuse to argue about it.
You sound some what skittish with the route that your journey has taken. Each step requires a mental adjustment. Try attending the First Sunday Infidel 'Worship' Service with like minded people who have traveled the same journey that you are traveling. They have made the same necessary mental adjustments. Talk, mingle, exchange views, experiences and community support and perhaps you will no longer feel alone. We have Atheist/Agnostics/Non-Deist/Skeptics/Pan­theist, etc, who attend our meetings, and they are welcomed.
Then look up Wikipedia's definition of Cosmicism, and perhaps you to, will become 'Content' with the view that you have.
Jacob S.
user 84734762
Daytona Beach, FL
Post #: 1
Through Atheism you will start to see more perspectives, but in order to understand what Atheism is all about, you have to begin to research other mono and polytheistic religions. I would recommend Zeitgeist for a start http://www.youtube.co...­ Open your mind to new ideas, but remain questioning and alert. Later on you can requestion who you are and how you want to think.
After you see connections and ties to a bigger underlying picture of religion, you'll understand why non-religious are on the rise. http://www.pewforum.o...­
A former member
Post #: 22
Hello, everyone! I joined this group a few months ago, but I have yet to go to a meet up or post a message. I have recently come out as an Atheist and it has made me see things very differently. Although almost everyone has been (at the very least) respectful of my stance on religion, I can't help but feel like people expect me to have a change of heart in the near future. I also realized that there aren't that many Atheist as I thought that there would be.

My question, then, is: what's Atheism like in the long run?


welcome!

What it is like to be an atheist, can be as varied as the atheists themselves. There are no rules for being atheist, you choose your own. We have no official leaders.
My last guy was an "apatheist"laughing (had no god, and never much thought about it or cared about the topic)
and no one much realized he was atheist, he rarely spoke of it, he tolerated religious people very well, and he himself felt little, if any, backlash about his not believing in god.

Me, i am very passionate atheist, i am a bit of an atheist activist, and i do feel free to question illogical beliefs when they are posted. (online, way more than in real life). Still, especially through FB,
my inlaws, relatives, friends, neighbors, etc, became more aware of how atheist i really was!

I take a fair amount of pride in my politeness, in never going ad hominem, never. I try, to some extent, to 'represent' when i post about atheism, and i refuse to engage at the gradeschool level of hostile debate,
but,
i do LOVE discussing things in calm, rational manner. to me, that is not "arguing". I do love promoting rational thinking,
and i do love encouraging others to use critical thinking skills.


i lost some people, i did. You might, too. My es did not, as he is not very interested in atheism, so each person's experience can be different.

I hear you about, your sense that others do not expect your atheism to last,
that it is a "phase", etc.tongue

Depending on how often and how indepth you discuss your atheism,
You might get remarks like, "well, you are just angry at god"
"but, but, aren't you afraid of hell?"
and
"well, what keeps you from just going out and murdering people?"
and sometimes,
"well, does this mean you worship the devil then?"
and
questions about the origins of the universe, life after death, and how can an atheist be truly happy, etc etc, the meaning of life, etc.

i've heard them all, BUT, i do engage online and am willing to discuss such things with most anyone who asks.. Not eveyrone enjoys such discussions, but, i DO, so long as everyone stays calm and polite.


lots of questions that most of us have faced. Things are wayyyyyyyyy better now, than when i was young atheist in the pre-internet era. (shiver!)
You may find you might get asked those same questions, too. and if you do choose to answer, or not, and how indepth you discuss such things,
is up to you.

but, there can be a price to pay for being very out, for some atheists. You can lose people, who will begin to distance themselves a bit from you. It can happen, and you have a right to know that.

this can hurt sometimes.
other times, i tell myself, "People who judge, don't matter, and people who matter, won't judge."


A former member
Post #: 23
Hello, everyone! I joined this group a few months ago, but I have yet to go to a meet up or post a message. I have recently come out as an Atheist and it has made me see things very differently. Although almost everyone has been (at the very least) respectful of my stance on religion, I can't help but feel like people expect me to have a change of heart in the near future. I also realized that there aren't that many Atheist as I thought that there would be.

My question, then, is: what's Atheism like in the long run?



One more thing, i wanted to mention. I do support the other members above, who recommend you should probably consider joining in atheist groups, and atheists websites (i like "Atheist Universe.net" myself)
for support and info, etc.
and to feel you are not alone, to feel validated, especially if you do ever experience any ostracism.

You are not alone, but, yes, we godless are the minority,
but
we are the largest and fastest growing minority in the USA.
Although we atheists are hard to measure,
many surveys put us at over 20% of the population, and rising fast.
Among the young, the % is far far more, but, i've forgotten what % is godless among the young.
(in some nations, we are the overwhelming majority, but, USA is one of the MOST religious of nations).

But IF IF IF you are an ex-theist, IF IF IF you did belong to a church, and if you were pretty active in it, you can experience a sense of loss or even mild grief to lose that community feeling. That can be replaced though, through joining atheist groups, volunteer work on causes you care about, various activist groups for various causes you support, and finding other communities where you DO fit in.
for some,
that can be an adjustment. It passes. Some ex-theists i know, who do miss the church community, do enjoy the UU churches, which are Very atheist -friendly.

Also,
I want to tell you, for me, and for many others i know,
i have tapped into an amazing sense of wonder and awe
in becoming more and more tuned into science and learning more about our planet, our universe, the fascinating lifeforms on this planet, the cosmos, all kinds of things,
even more and more in recent decades.

Honestly, being a member of "Atheist Universe" was helpful to me, it was one of many keys to turning me onto the joys of learning more and more....and more.. to begin to more fully appreciate the wonders all around us, in a godfree way.

.
"god did it" was no longer the answer, and my natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge was unleashed in a whole new way.........
not every atheist experiences this, but, many do.






I also feel a joy, a freedom, an deep sense of appreciation, for being alive,
cuz this,
this right here, is all we get. For me, life did not lose meaning,
no,
Instead,
life became all the more precious, all the more valuable, all the more appreciated,
because it is just the one life we get.


i am living more for TODAY, than i did as a theist. today, right now, THIS right here,
has a beauty, a wonder and awe,
in a way it never had
when i was focused on the big party in the sky for dead people as "the big focus".


this is my FB page, (my new one, for my new life in florida)
feel free to "add" me, or msg me, if you ever need some support.
https://www.facebook....­


also, anyone can add me.

also, to the OP, feel free to further discuss your experience or questions or concerns as you transition to seeing the world
as an atheist. we are here for you.
A former member
Post #: 24
also, to the OP,
IF you enjoy the holidays,
You can still keep 'em, still indulge in them. smile
they are all stolen holidays anyway, with pagan or secular origins.


I sure do! I love the holidays, fully enjoy them. I throw "Aunt Jean's Lasagne Party" every december.
It looks juuuust like a christmas party, all the pagan trimmings all over the house, even the tree. They all know i am atheist, but, we celebrate family, love, the Solstice, etc.
One nephew once asked me if i didn't feel like a hypocrite, but, i pointed out, all these customs and decorations are pagan customs,
and actually, the bible forbids putting up a tree cuz it is SOooo pagan, so maybe he should consider taking HIS tree down, lol!! laughing
this coming december, will be my first away from family, though, and my first in a warm climate, so, maybe it will quiet down a little, ha ha!! Maybe i will build a 'family' of friends instead, who knows, to have over for my famous lasagne. laughing


(in case you were wondering, yes, if you want to, you CAN still celebrate the holidays). It's only a tiny thing, but,
some new atheists who like the holidays, wonder if they can join in,
I say, yes, yes you can if you DO enjoy it.
A former member
Post #: 25
btw, i was very touched, very touched, reading Joseph's post above,
about his first atheist meeting.

i too, experienced a very similar moment,
when,
decades ago,
after being atheist for eons, and NEVER EVER KNOWING OR EVEN HEARING ABOUT ANOTHER ATHEIST,
except Dr Ohare being pelted with eggs and mocked on the news, that was it, so far as i knew, it was just me, alone, and that lady they all hated on tv news.
(for real, you guys shoulda seen the pre-internet era of atheism) There were no well-spoken atheists on tv, there were no "meetups", there were no books actually ON the shelves, there was no facebook,
nothing.
you were ALONE,

AND VERY PHILOSOPHICALLY ISOLATED.


Back then, ohmidawg, atheists were VERY reviled, it took real courage to admit you were an atheist, cuz, you would get so much backlash, oh my.
anyway,
i can still recall meeting my VERY FIRST EVER ATHEIST,
she was my patient,
and she and i had both
never
ever
ever
met another real life atheist,
and we both wept.

hard to explain, but, we both wept. It was quite the moment.


and yes, when i created the first local atheist meetup group in my area,
(nearest one other than mine, was hours and hours away)
and i first ever experienced seeing a room full of atheists,
who could actually accept and understand that an atheist can be a good human,
wow,
THAT was a moment too.

mmmHmm.

things are better nowadays.
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