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There Is No Hell

I wish I could remember the name of the book I read when I was younger. It was mainly about Pagan practices and covered some things such as how many of the current “Christian” holidays were swiped from Pagan rituals and festivals. One distinctive part in that book that has stuck with me for a LONG time is simply this, “To give evil a name is to give it power.” Reading that is actually what probably started my deviation away from the belief in a God as well. From that point further, I no longer believed in the Devil or Hell. I was not about to give something “power” over me, especially since negativity wasn’t something I wanted in my life at all. I remember, distinctly too, being outspoken about this whenever asked or if Hell or the Devil was brought up to me. And most people didn’t argue with me either when I explained confidently that one sentence: to give evil a name is to give it power.

I think a lot of our society is lost in a sea of “passing the buck”. Of blaming something or someone else for the wrong-doings and mishaps that occur. I find that many people are resistant to personal accountability. I mean, most of society has been taught that it’s “the Devil’s work” about the bad things that happen in life.

Um. Well.

How about the alternatives?It was a bad choice. Or, an unfortunate timing of events. Or a result of someone else’s bad choices. Or it was part of nature. Why do these things need any other “mysterious” explanation? Why does “someone else” have to be responsible for these crappy things that happen in our world? We always tout that we aren’t perfect. And it’s true, we’re not. We’re fallible creatures that make mistakes as part of our growth process. We’re also creatures that are subjected to other things in this beautiful planet of ours that are part of nature. And we’re also subjected to the effects other people’s mistakes have on our own lives. It’s up to us to determine how we choose to handle these events that happen.

Why the need for a scapegoat?

It seems as if its for no other reason than the vast majority don’t know how to handle things that happen, that we don’t want to have happen; death, accidents, natural disasters, etc. And realistically, I can understand that. It’s hard to imagine with things like death that…that’s it. They’re gone and there’s nothing more. But, considering some of the alternatives that the Christian “afterlife” offers, is it really that bad a thing?

You can at least rest assured that they won’t burn in “Hell” because there isn’t one. And yeah, “Heaven” is touted to be this beautiful place of peace and happiness, but…well…IF there were EITHER of those places in an afterlife, it would be a body that is no longer our own. If you go to Heaven, but your significant other goes to Hell at your deaths, are you really enjoying Heaven without the presence of your significant other? For some people, isn’t that just like another version of Hell? So, would you really be in Heaven without your significant other? Or were you sent to a different kind of Hell? And what of that burning hellfire for eternity thing? I’m sure there’s something painful or unpleasant that you have experienced with some amount of frequency that the pain or unpleasantness becomes dull. So, would one not become accustomed to the hellfires? How would “Satan” amplify the punishment over the years?

If Hell were to exist, it’s one that we have created ourselves. And for many still, they live in their own Hell. Gripped by fears that make them afraid of change. Gripped by the frustrations of life and the obstacles in their way of reaching towards a better tomorrow. Born into a family with anything but respect, consideration, concern, care, or even love to encourage growth and personal development. Much of the same mantra can be repeated for each of these situations: You may have no control over what happens to you, but you do have control over how those things make you feel and how you choose to respond to them.

It’s about personal accountability. I feel we’d be a much greater nation if we quit passing the buck and made a concerned effort to take responsibility for our own actions and emotions. If we just quit praying for something to happen and instead DO something to make what we want happen, (within reason – you can’t “make” another person love you ya know 😉 ), maybe we’d be further along. Maybe we’d better appreciate others and the efforts that they have made to be of assistance to us. Maybe we’d have an easier time moving on and moving forward if we could just let go of the idea that bad things are someone else’s fault. They may be as with the effects of someone else’s bad choices in our own lives, but again, we are ultimately responsible for how we choose to handle each of life’s individual events – big or small.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Godless

 

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No, No, I’m Not Confused

Ahhh, something I didn’t see coming. I’m intelligent and “worldly” and a polite debater. I ask questions and I typically speak sense, especially on views that are “unpopular.”

Because of this, I, apparently, am just confused about my atheism. I can’t possibly be intelligent and have given the God-belief any real consideration.

I really hate to burst this bubble for some of you fine folks, but it’s that intelligence of mine that has brought me to where I’m at today. It’s that intelligence of mine that has prompted me to ask questions. To ask HARD questions. Because, the thinker in me wants to know. Because my sponge-like brain is ready for more possible answers to the why’s and how’s on the things that people do and believe.

Some think I’m too logical. And that’s okay. I’m rather at peace with how I am. I’m fully capable of being emotional, but I just don’t let my emotions lead my life. I acknowledge them and what they mean to me regarding whatever situation I may be in and move forward from there.

People remark to me that I’m one of THE strongest people they know. They admire that. I really tend to think that I’m just doing what’s necessary to keep moving forward in my life, but I’ve also been known to be a bit self-deprecating. Either way, people tend to value my opinion. That’s my general understanding of it when those people come to me to vent or to get advice about something. Shouldn’t this suggest that most see me as giving time and consideration to different aspects of things? That I think about and evaluate things on a reasonable level? That people believe my opinion is generally thought out?

I find it frustrating that people think that for some reason, I just haven’t given full consideration to my beliefs in a deity. Why would I skip over something as “important” as that?

Let’s break a few things down here.  I don’t believe in killing. I don’t believe in stealing. I believe in treating people with compassion and kind words. I believe in helping others. I believe in monogamous relationships. Aren’t these things part of the core “morals” or “values” instilled by religion? And haven’t I covered how I wasn’t indoctrinated into a religion growing up?

Please, let’s face the facts here that I am good without God. And that the only “purpose” for believing in a God is the aspect of eternal salvation, which I also don’t believe in. I don’t believe in a Heaven or a Hell. And really, my lack of belief should not harm anyone else because if Heaven is as perfect as it sounds, you won’t even know I’m not there when you get there. So, concern for my “salvation” should be left to me, not anyone else.

Religion is about recruitment in a way. One of the basic requirements for salvation is the absolute belief in God AND spreading the word of God. I’m sure that’s why so many feel the need to continuously push their beliefs and religious doctrines on others. And trust me, I do understand that for most people, it is meant with positive intentions.

But when you approach someone like me who isn’t wandering around completely lost in life; who, despite the bad things is still maintaining composure and forward momentum…when you approach me and make the strong suggestion that you know better what is going on in my own head than *I* do…well certainly I’m going to take issue with that.

So, I’m not like other atheists you’ve met. Good. Because there are MANY more like me. Perhaps most just don’t choose to publicly speak about it like I’ve chosen to do here in this blog, as well as on my Facebook page and Twitter.

In one of my previous “godless” posts, “Pit Bulls and Atheists“, I wrote:

Just as I surprised people with the information that I do in fact own pit bulls, I seem to continue to surprise people when they learn I don’t believe in any gods. Because I’m good. And it shakes their perception of what kind of person they think an atheist is, much as for many it shakes their perception of the type of people that do own pit bulls.

Just because I’m not like the atheists you’ve met in the past, doesn’t mean I’m any less of one. Sure, there are some opinionated assholes out there speaking their mind and belittling people in the process of arguing belief vs. nonbelief. I’ve seen them hard at work on the internet myself. But more often than not, fellow atheists/humanists/freethinkers/agnostics/etc. are just normal, everyday people who suffer from being THE least trusted minority in America. Seriously. We’re still people for crying out loud. We still have emotions and daily lives and families and responsibilities and are still working fervently to create a niche in this world of ours.

How are people like me, harming others? How does my lack of belief in a deity affect you? Why does it affect you? Your belief in a deity doesn’t affect me. Well, unless of course you’re physically or mentally harming others. Or if you’re making unjust accusations about people. Why is it a problem? Why do you insist that I can’t think for myself and form my own opinions if I’m so intelligent?

Like it is for many, there’s more to me than meets the eye. Remember that before taking the step out there to assume someone “needs” something. Find out first.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Godless, Hot Button

 

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