If I were an atheist

Discussions about holding onto your faith and beliefs, whether by staying LDS or by exploring and participating in other churches or faiths. The belief in any higher power (including God, Christ, Buddha, or Jedi) is true in this forum. Be kind to others.
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Cnsl1
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If I were an atheist

Post by Cnsl1 » Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:25 pm

Like most of you, I've often heard people (especially Mormons) say things like "if I didn't believe in the church, I'd be an awful person" or "I don't know where I'd be without my testimony" like having a belief in the truthfulness of the gospel was the only thing keeping them from being a liar, cheater, carouser, chaser of wild women (or men), drug user, or bank robber.

Just makes me scratch my head. Really??

I'm not an atheist, but if I was an atheist, my day to day life wouldn't change one bit.

I'm pretty sure I'd even still celebrate Christmas.

Now, I should probably qualify my answer somewhat because when I stopped believing things I used to believe about the church, I did have slight changes as to what I drank and wore, and how much money stayed in my account at the end of the month, but I'm still happy to say that my dealings with my fellowmen, how I treated others, and how I lived day to day didn't change.

Also, that pleasant feeling I sometimes had that I used to call the Spirit or the holy ghost, still seems to come around about s often, if not a little more often. There's probably such a backlog in the spirit world with so many Mormons bailing, that the holy ghost hasn't got the memo that I no longer believe, so I'm getting all this free comforter service. I didn't even have to read my scriptures!

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wtfluff
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Re: If I were an atheist

Post by wtfluff » Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:22 pm

To miss-quote a famous magician athiest:
  • "I rape, pillage and murder exactly as much as I want to - which is none."
(In answer to "how do you not become an awful person without a belief in a god?)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

The Beauty of Gray

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Hagoth
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Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Hagoth » Sat Dec 25, 2021 8:18 am

There is nothing more terrifying than someone who does bad things to other people because they are certain it's what God wants them to do.

I have a difficult time even answering the question of whether I am a theist or an atheist. I am willing to believe in God as much as God is willing to manifest him/her/itself to me directly without an interpreter. If you don't think God is powerful enough to do that I don't have much to say about your theism. I feel like I have had glimpses, but what I have experienced doesn't fit any of the books or money-collecting institutions.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Cnsl1
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Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Cnsl1 » Sat Dec 25, 2021 8:41 am

I believe because I want to. I'm maybe 50/50 on my certainty, but I like the concept of a creator, a higher collective power that connects us. I love the concept of some sort of life after death, so that's what I hope for and choose to believe in. I also like the idea of prayer and/or meditation to help connect to us to something bigger than ourselves.

I also like to talk to God now and then, and every once in a while she'll answer.

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Hagoth
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Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:21 pm

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Dec 25, 2021 8:41 am
I believe because I want to. I'm maybe 50/50 on my certainty, but I like the concept of a creator, a higher collective power that connects us. I love the concept of some sort of life after death, so that's what I hope for and choose to believe in. I also like the idea of prayer and/or meditation to help connect to us to something bigger than ourselves.

I also like to talk to God now and then, and every once in a while she'll answer.
That is a great, honest response, Cnsl1. Imagine if everyone approached religion with this kind of openmindedness. It would be a very different world.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Angel
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Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Angel » Fri Jan 07, 2022 6:59 am

I've made peace with any afterlife scenario. The atheist scenario - conservation of mass and energy - it would all just get mixed back together in the end. It is the ultimate union/connection, everything and everyone mixed together in the end, life pulled from the giant mixing bowl - literally united in one heart and one mind.

If there is a God, They would need to be perfectly just and loving, the perfect teacher to pull everyone together in the end - so no worries there.

If there is some other powerful being who is not perfectly just and loving, no need to please such a being. Cast me out of the presence of anything that is not powerful enough to 'save' everyone, I won't have anything to do with them, will not participate in any hierarchies.

Perhaps there are multiple kingdoms - multiple rulers as here on Earth. We are already experienced in that so nothing new under the sun.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Hagoth
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Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jan 09, 2022 11:18 am

Angel wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 6:59 am
If there is a God, They would need to be perfectly just and loving, the perfect teacher to pull everyone together in the end - so no worries there.
Unless he really is the twisted, vengeful mofo of the Bible.

Most religions like to believe in the kind, loving, understanding God. The only way they can do that is to claim that Jesus is the same person (either via the Trinity or Mormon incarnation) and he somehow outgrew his nastier Old Testament self.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Angel
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Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Angel » Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:31 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 11:18 am
Angel wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 6:59 am
If there is a God, They would need to be perfectly just and loving, the perfect teacher to pull everyone together in the end - so no worries there.
Unless he really is the twisted, vengeful mofo of the Bible.

Most religions like to believe in the kind, loving, understanding God. The only way they can do that is to claim that Jesus is the same person (either via the Trinity or Mormon incarnation) and he somehow outgrew his nastier Old Testament self.
It seems like genuine power would only be possible with genuine love and respect. I'm not worried about any spirit who is not loving as I do not see how they could have any real power.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cnsl1
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:27 pm

Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Cnsl1 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:38 am

I used to posit that the reason the Old Testament Jehovah was such an angry badass mofo God was that he didn't know what it felt like to be human and he had no sympathy.

The New Testament Jesus is a kinder, gentler God, a one of us God, a God who knows what stickers feel like when you step on them. He's chill now.. just love everyone, folks. Love your neighbor, even the dumb ass who borrowed your truck to move his couch two blocks and brought your truck home two days later with less than a quarter tank of gas.

Great theory... until I read the D&C.

Jesus! Are you only nice when you're here? Are you like that cousin who talks crap about everyone on social media but at the reunion she's all nice and saying how much she loves everybody and how we should totally get together once a month, but then you don't hear from her again until grandpa dies?

While I've stated that I believe because I want to, I should add that I'm definitely polytheist because I believe there are multiple gods in charge of various things, especially sports related. For instance, I'm pretty sure there's a foul ball God who will nudge the occasional home run to the wrong side of the foul pole, and I think he just does this for the hell of it, cuz no praying or fasting or blessing of bats seem to effect his randomness in any way. The first down God, on the other hand, will respond to both sideline prayers and good play calling, which is how it should be of course, because faith without works is just a three and out.

Amen

Cnsl1
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:27 pm

Re: If I were an atheist

Post by Cnsl1 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:51 am

I should add that much of what I write is just for fun, and I didn't really say everything that I said.

But let's explore polytheism for a bit from the traditional Mormon perspective.

Since the traditional perspective is that we can eventually become gods (or goddesses) with our own eternal increase and worlds without number, and since most of us grew up with the assumption that "as God is man may become", and because BY addressed that natural question directly, affirming that yes indeed, God does have a God, then can't we say that Mormons are polytheists, even though current prophets avoid that issue and former prophets have said there is only ONE God with which we have anything to do with?

I kinda like the idea of a grandpa God, and a grandma Goddess, and I bet they are really cool. And I can imagine if they were allowed to give advice and influence nowadays that things would be a lot different.

Father, stop giving them Marijuana edibles! I've told them it's bad for them.

Aw, a little bit is not going to hurt them. They're only mortal once.

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