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Agnostic/Atheist Support Group

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7yrsbetrayed posted 5/1/2008 03:03 AM

Oh I have to share this...

I was outside with my 4yr old daughter last night. All the neighbors were out and the kids were playing together. We were hanging out on my neighbor's porch.

A guy comes up and wants to "spread the good news" and invite us to his Baptist church. I am the only atheist (that I know of) and I'm not "out" to my neighbors so I just ignored the guy. My neighbors all politely declined and after he gave his speech about Jeebus loving us all and blah, blah, blah, he moved on. My daughter walked past him, looked up, wrinkled her nose, and rolled her eyes at him, which I found highly amusing. The guy was really weird and he was ranting.

He made his way across the street and managed to corner a poor teenager. As the teen tried to extract himself the nutjob got louder and louder and was basically screaming about being saved and trying to scare the kid.

My husband missed all the fun because he was inside working.

That night at dinner I was telling him about it but hadn't said much beyond saying that a guy was going door to door for the Baptist church, when our daughter says "Yeah, Daddy, somebody SAVED him!" all dramatic like, including throwing her arms out like the nutjob had been. Even the 4 yr old knew high drama when she saw it.

My husband shot milk out his nose and I was laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath.

sss456 posted 5/1/2008 17:47 PM

i almost wish i could believe. it would sure make life easier, sometimes, to be able to blame it on the devil or gods greater plan. BUT, logic takes hold, and all the organized religion garbage starts stinkin up the place, so out it goes!!

hexed posted 5/5/2008 16:41 PM

nice to find this thread.

the first thing my new neighbors asked me when we moved into the "hood" was "have you found a church yet?"

shellsincanada posted 5/5/2008 19:49 PM

has anyone listened to the audio book by Julia Sweeney called "Letting Go of God"?

It's fabulous. It basically talks about her journey from catholicism to exploring other religions to finally becoming an atheist. It is funny and smart and really makes you think in a light hearted way about the big deep issues. It's on itunes to download.

FierceSelfLove posted 5/6/2008 08:22 AM

I'm not sure if I belong here or not, would appreciate some feedback on it, because I am VERY spiritual, but am not monotheistic. I'm American Indian, practice prayer every day (hell every three minutes sometimes) but because I'm not Christian or like I said, monotheistic, it's hard to explan that to some folks without them getting freaked out.

So, I know I"m not atheist, but what does agnostic mean?

7yrsbetrayed posted 5/7/2008 15:30 PM

1. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

2. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.

One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

"What is atheism?"

Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings.

Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Just lacking belief in Gods is often referred to as the "weak atheist" position; whereas believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as "strong atheism."

If you believe in a deity or deities in any form you are neither agnostic nor atheist.

erinlc posted 5/8/2008 23:58 PM

I have been a self-described agnostic for some time. Came a Christian family full of preaching without practice. I often find myself uncomfortable when the first thing someone asks at a time of trouble is if I have a church, religion, or pray about it. Well, if I did, what would be the need to ask me about it? Either I am or I am not, and asking me about it if I was would serve no purpose, so I figure it's their way of feeling out my beliefs and taking the opportunity to preach their beliefs at my expense.

I respect everyone's beliefs, but have trouble with the judgement that seems to be directed at those that choose not to believe in something, as if it's a requirement to be a moral person. I simply do not feel like I need to answer to a higher power to be a good person, I can be motivated by my own desire to be such.

FeistyWoman posted 5/11/2008 17:49 PM

Right there with you erinlc.

I think good people come in all packages -and beliefs. And I think "beliefs" can mean not believing in a higher power or believing that it is impossible to know.

I consider my agnostic beliefs to be very well thought out. And I think that being a good person is just as important to me as someone who might be very devout in their faith.

north of nowhere posted 5/14/2008 06:41 AM

When I discovered my Church going, praying before dinner husband is a bold faced liar, manipulator,deceiver and hypocrite, I became an agnostic. Sitting in church wondering how many of these pious people are just like him, I quit going. Anyone asks, I'll tell them.

hexed posted 5/14/2008 10:20 AM

i've been a life long questioner of organized religion. i probably fall towards the agnostic side rather than the atheist side of things. but not by much.

i've had the pleasure of working with people from around the world with a very very diverse range of religious beliefs. when i was fresh out of school, a hindu colleague of mine said "our religion is at least 3000 years older than christianity, what makes christians so sure that we're wrong?"

i thought that was great point. it didn't make me believe in god but it sure made me think about organized religions.

notworthless posted 5/15/2008 03:30 AM

I questioned organized religions, too, after meeting friends of every religion, many much older than the cristianity I was raised with.

Skye posted 5/15/2008 08:45 AM

I do have to say that questioning organized religion and not being a believer are not the same. I know many true believers who struggle with organized religion.

Lucky me, I find organized religion very troublesome and I don't believe!

PTRN posted 6/9/2008 06:10 AM

Hi everyone,

Does anyone else have a spouse who is an sex addict? I was not sure which thread to raise this topic.(Oh! I think I recognize one, actually. Hiya!) All of the literature and sites I've found so far are very 12 Step-ish, and focused on using religious beliefs as a way to heal and cope.

7yrsbetrayed posted 6/9/2008 09:03 AM

Yup, my FWH is SA and he's an atheist. He is working the 12 steps he just ignores the "god" stuff and substitutes his "higher power" which is his family and his desire to be a good person. He also found secular 12 steps online, I need to get that from him and post it. There are NO secular groups though so he just takes what he needs and leaves the rest (all the God references).

PTRN posted 6/9/2008 15:20 PM

Thanks again, 7.

What about books and resources for spouses? I can ignore a certain amount of religious reference, but jeez a pete, it seems the primary coping mechanism in much of what I've found so far.

7yrsbetrayed posted 6/9/2008 17:54 PM

Yeah, no. Since everything is patterned from AA and Al-Anon and they are uber-religious we just have to sort through it. It's frustrating. Very.

I will say again, that with the exception of the chapter specifically on the 12-steps, I found that "Mending a Shattered Heart" by Stefanie Carnes was not overtly religious in its tone and I found it extremely helpful and validating.

Oh and you'd just love my support group (note the sarcasm) I am the only one in the group who is not a Christian. It's interesting to say the least. Actually, there are a couple of women that I actually feel really bad for, they are just pinning everything on praying that God will "cure" their husbands. It's so sad to see someone so caught up in it that they can't even help themselves. They also all thought that their husbands were immune to porn, masturbation and cheating because they were such "Godly" men. One was a deacon in his church. I honestly think this might be harder for them than for us non-believers.

[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 5:59 PM, June 9th (Monday)]

PTRN posted 6/10/2008 04:30 AM

Your support group sounds like fun!

And while I can see now how porn can be a gateway, and find the exploitation of women involved very troubling, I never believed that some higher power was giving my H the ability to resist. Before all of this, I didn't care if he watched occasionally.

Being able to pin everything on a higher power has never appealed to me. I need control.

Marcia posted 6/15/2008 23:37 PM

Thank God for this Thread!

Okay, that was a tad ironic.

But I am glad to see this because I see RED when people start invoking supernatural creatures when dealing with their lives. Or dealing with our nation's policies, whatever

FWIW, I have studies Buddhism and if I had to be religious, that would be the one for me. Ironically (again), I admire the central tenets of Christianity too, but so few people even try to practice them.

Marcia posted 6/15/2008 23:39 PM

^^^ That was actually just a convoluted bump! This thread was in danger of falling off of Page 1 and I need it where I can see it! It's my crutch! Kind of like religion, you might say! Okay, I'll shut up now

Sandcrab posted 7/2/2008 19:44 PM

Can I ask where a Wiccan may belong?

sss456 posted 7/2/2008 19:56 PM

sometimes, i think word definitions get confused. i'm not sure who means what with forgiving or accepting, but what i feel, myself, on the inside, is a sort of knowledge that "they are human, and flawed, and were selfish and short sighted, and i expected more from them than they were capable of being. i don't hate him, and i'm not really angry, just sort of sorry for him, and the mess he's made of his life"

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