Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

God: Not needed for happiness?

I want to just clear up something about myself and my views on religion. I’m not anti-religion. I may be an atheist, but you might be surprised how I believe the same things non-atheists do. In fact most of the atheists I know have a better moral system than most Christians. They don’t condemn based on Iron Age literature, half of them are vegetarian, and they use logic and reason instead of ignorance and faith!

People seem to think that “losing faith” is also about losing happiness and losing yourself. I lost my faith years ago, but the only time I went into a state of depression or experimented with self-mutilation it was because of my inability to cope with my sexual orientation. I didn’t have God to turn to and I had yet to find myself, and so for a short while after, I experimented with different pagan religions. I was certain that the Christian God couldn’t help me, so I searched for other deities who could, but it always ended the same. I just wasn’t into it. I couldn’t bring myself to believe something that I had no proof of. Something that man invented. I settled on atheism because I knew it was the right thing for me and the closest to my beliefs, and the path was more a search for myself in an effort to achieve happiness, while Christians go on a search for God in an effort to achieve happiness.

While sometimes I may appear anti-Christian, it’s more that I’m anti-fundamentalism and anti-Creationism (they tend to go hand in hand). I don’t agree with the Holy Bible teachings as a whole, as the book is outdated and promotes slavery, racism, and sexism. When nice Christians tell me they believe that the Bible is strictly about love, I know they’ve just never read it in its entirety. Priests and ministers pick and choose the passages they read to followers to support whatever their sect believes in. There may be many verses that support the idea that God is love and that’s what Jesus promoted and what Christianity is all about, but at the same time there are many verses that God is hate and that’s what Jesus promoted and Christianity is all about, so the Lutheran church that supports the idea that God is good and people who follow him are good, and the Westboro Community Church that supports the idea that God should be feared, hates many people, and only cares about sending those who don’t obey him to Hell, are both completely correct — because the Bible supports both claims. It’s full of so many contradictions that I’m sure Satanists could use the very same book to promote their agenda in opposition of the Christian agenda. The Holy Bible was written by a bunch of people who were never present for any of the events they recorded, and it was put together by an atheist in an effort to exploit Christianity to get his people to obey him. I am completely 100% for those who want to lead good lives and rid themselves of negativity, but I don’t think anyone should rely on the Bible for that. If you believe in God, believe in Him the way you want to, in whatever way you think is going to make you a better person, or better yet, quit wasting your mind on faith and contribute to the world of science, logic, and reason!

Forgiveness is one of the biggest traits that Christians rely on. If the Lord forgives you for things you feel guilty about, it’s like a giant load off your shoulders. However, I propose something to challenge the idea: What if God and Jesus aren’t real? Then do you feel better because they forgive you or because you’ve forgiven yourself? You don’t feel guilty because you’ve verbally expressed what made you feel guilty, thought about it, thought about what you’d do differently and how to come out of that mistake to be a better person, and yes that is a huge load off your shoulders, but the key thing is that you’ve forgiven yourself for it. I’ve made mistakes in my life and done things I regretted right after, and since I’m an atheist and do not believe in God, I’ve learned to forgive myself for these things instead of relying on an external source. I do the same thing Christians do when they ask God to forgive them, only I skip the middle-man and go right to forgiving myself, and it’s just as fulfilling and therapeutic. So I do believe in forgiveness and I support people asking for it from themselves or from God, no matter what they believe.

Christians might use the idea that there is a set right and wrong as set forth by the Bible, but that’s simply not true. The Bible saying something is right and wrong might influence the moral systems of the individuals but it is still not the end-all-be-all of morality. Everything is ultimately up to the individual person to decide what is right and wrong! People might think “But can’t we all say that Nazis were wrong? Are you saying that the Nazis were right because they said they were?” No, that’s not what I’m saying, and I’m sick to death of hearing that argument! It might be said that the Nazis were “wrong” simply because the majority as a whole believes they were wrong, but an individual deciding the acts of the Nazis were right changes nothing of the opinion of the majority. If one says, “The Nazis were wrong,” they are not correct, nor are they incorrect. The statement is simply a reference to the general opinion of society, and it could be rephrased to say “Most people individually believe that the Nazis were wrong” which by any studies that could be done would be a correct statement. There is no set right and wrong. Even if your God decides what he thinks is right and wrong, that still changes nothing because we all have the free will to think the way we want to, even if it differs from the opinion of God or the majority.

I support peace and loving thy neighbor. Christians have had the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Westboro church, and many needless bloodshed in the Holy Bible. Violence may not be something most Christians today support but it is something that is a huge part of Christianity’s history and original belief system. I am still against pointless wars. I am against murder, including the death penalty. I am against unethical torture, and I am against putting people in prison to rot most of their lives in a room learning nothing and having no real way to actually rehabilitate. I see no difference between the lives of legal citizens and those of illegal immigrants, and I think they should be given an option to become citizens instead of being deported or thrown in jail, as our system of gaining citizenship is too complex and flawed, which is why they come illegally anyway.

Abortion is a different note, because people can say “But isn’t abortion murder? Isn’t it contradictory for you to be pro-choice and against murder?” To sum up my opinion, I personally don’t think anything can even count as murder until it’s far enough into the pregnancy where the abortion doctor will outright refuse to perform the abortion, and we can argue for years about the word “murder.” It’s a word, people. You criticize those who use the word murder to promote animal rights or being anti-war, but you suddenly care to use it when it involves things that don’t even have the capability to think yet? I support a woman’s right to choose when it comes to abortion, even though I myself in that situation might decide morally to birth the baby and give it up for adoption (if I was a woman). I think giving women that right is crucial, as rape and incest does happen, and in many situations, you have to do what you have to do. Many animals eat their litter for nutrition when they know they are unable to take care of them or they come out unhealthy. I don’t think its really the easiest thing for those animals to do that as they are just as emotionally attached to their children, but in the same way that they do that, we end the lives of fetuses when they are unhealthy or we’re unable to take care of them. Many, many children are given to orphanages and spend their entire childhood there as either no one wants them, or the state refuses to grant the right for those who do want them to raise them (single parents, homosexuals, etc). It’s NEVER easy for a woman to have an abortion, and something like that may haunt them forever, but it is better that they wait to have a baby until they’re able to take care of them and raise them in a healthy environment, and it’s definitely not as easy as “just having the baby and giving it up” for everyone. So I do support the right for a woman to choose, and there’s a bigger picture than “at what point does the baby get a soul?”

I do not have a problem with someone simply being Christian, nor what they choose to believe in, so long as they view all human beings as equal, including homosexuals, and promote an overall idea of self-improvement. I do have a problem with those who take a radical approach and choose to hate others.

I am an atheist, and I believe that I am a good person. The one thing that separates me from any peace-loving Christian is that I do not ask for God to do something, I take action myself, and I do not ask for God to forgive me, I forgive myself. I’m not a danger to society and I don’t bite. So don’t ever feel that because you are a Catholic or Mormon or Wiccan that I won’t like you, but at the same time, if you spark up a debate with me about deities and God, be prepared for a hell of a debate. Pardon the pun. 🙂