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10/4/09

ExChristian.Net Has Been X’d, part 5

Please note that this essay will now be housed in True Freethinker’s section on ExChristian.Net

6 comments:

  1. If you think atheism is consoling, have you ever been an atheist? I grew up Christian, in a loving Christian family, and only the cold hard facts staring me in the face made me stop believing. I would love to have my faith back.
    My three-year-old son died this year. I would give anything - everything - to really believe that he is in Heaven and I will be with him again someday. But please explain to me why a loving, omnipotent, just God wants me to have to explain to my daughter that her twin brother is dead.
    Please convince me I'm wrong. You have no idea how badly I want to believe.

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  2. Dear anon,

    Actually Mariano was an atheist.

    What facts made you stop believing?

    God did not want suffering for us. But we're all interconnected, sins of us all bring suffering also on those few good, innocent. Especially on them. But the same happens with love and all that's good magnified by Lord's grace.
    I always believe that God leads every one the best possible way where it comes to things that are independent from our choices.

    I'm sorry for your loss, your daughter probably feels like part of her died, poor child.

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  3. tremor,
    I've just found that I could accept the problem of evil in the abstract - when it was "somebody else's problem" - but not when it's staring me right in the face every day. Maybe I just "don't have enough faith", but I just can't see how God can be all-powerful and let things like that happen. If I'm wrong, and I do meet Him someday, I'm really looking forward to the answer. I'm not trying to be snarky, I really am. I just found this blog, I didn't realize Mariano used to be an atheist as well - I'll have to read through back posts and see if I can find what changed his mind.

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  4. I think it all comes down to freedom. And love. You can't have love without freedom. So God allowed us exercise our freedom to the point where Jesus is tortured and killed in the presence of His mother, where pain, hunger, violence, war are so common. Without freedom we wouldn't be able to love, but it also means that we can hate.
    Suffering is on the other side of the coin of love. You can't love and not to be exposed to it. Suffering or loss of someone you love hurts the most.
    When I think about my mother, I always think that I could have been a better son, much better one. That's the lesson for me.

    Let’s rush to love people, they all leave so fast
    their shoes and deaf phones being left behind
    the irrelevant only follows like a cow
    the most important is fast and even abrupt
    what comes next is silence, normal and unbearable
    like purity, easily borne of despair
    when we think of someone we are left without

    Don’t be sure you’ve got time, certainty is not sure
    it reduces our sensitivity, just like happiness does
    it comes simultaneously, like pathos and humour
    like two passions along, still weaker than one
    leaving so fast, like a mockingbird they turn mute in July
    like an awkward sound or a dry bow
    in order to see, they close their eyes
    though to be born s more risky than to die
    we love too little and always too late

    do not write about it often but always forever
    and like a dolphin you’ll be tender and strong

    Let’s rush to love people, they all leave so fast
    and those who don’t leave won’t always return
    and you never know when you talk aboutt love
    if the first is the last or the last the first
    .

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  5. >But please explain to me why a loving, omnipotent, just God wants me to have to explain to my daughter that her twin brother is dead.

    I reply: You would still have to explain to your daughter that her twin brother is dead in a godless Universe except the explaination would be something to the effect of "Dear, your little brother no longer exists. He is gone & it is pointless to 'remember him' because we will cease to exist too & our memories of him will die with us. The universe doesn't care that he is gone & in the end he & us where really just chemicals & physics & our lives have no meaning or value anyway."

    Somehow a God who takes a child's life only to keep the soul of that child in Eternal Bliss till you are reunited in the end seems less cruel than a mindless universe which doesn't care if you live or die.

    Emotional arguments are cheap & anti-intellectual(they neither prove nor disprove the existence of God) but interesingly enough IMHO the Theist has the Atheist beat hands down in that area.

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  6. Tremor,
    Thanks for the thoughtful response (and the poem (lyrics?)), it's given me something to really think about. It's things like this that make me keep trying to re-find my faith.

    BenYachov,
    I don't see why the absence of God makes it pointless to remember someone - in fact, without God it's that much more important, since we're all there is to remember them. The universe doesn't care, but that makes it that much more important that I care. The universe didn't give my life any inherent meaning or value, but that makes it much more important that I create meaning or value in it.
    I wish I could pick a belief based on which is less "cruel", but I can't willingly choose to believe a lie just because it makes me feel good.
    And finally, I wasn't trying to post this as an "us vs. them" argument, so I don't really appreciate you labeling my honest soul-searching (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of that phrase) as "cheap & anti-intellectual". If you can't see the logical argument intertwined with the emotion (It's called the "Problem of Evil", and many of philosophy's greatest works (to me anyway) have revolved around it, so it's hardly "cheap & anti-intellectual"), you need to think about it some more.
    It's things like this that make me think I'm wasting my time looking for faith.

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