I want to belong

From Meranda F

How do you deal with people who don’t agree with you or threaten your position on life with good solid evidence? Do you just walk away defeated with a plain face? What about when you feel hurt or offended that your ideas or way of life just don't seem to stand up to theirs?

Seems like every time I take up a new position, I get beaten down for it, because it isn’t the "right" position. I used to be atheist, but there was so much negativity expressed toward it, and I just wanted to feel at peace with my decision. I knew that I didn't believe in a god, but even if there was a god, I wanted to chose how I would deal with it. I didn't want anyone choosing for me.

So I turned to secularity because it seemed to be the perfect fit for my beliefs: no religion in government, no proselytizing others, and freedom to do as I choose so long as I don't hurt others.

I wonder, is it that I really don’t believe in a god, or am I sick of conventional ideas on how to worship a god? Or maybe I’m just sick of the idea of god.

I don’t want to worship or participate in what is generally accepted as belief and worship, especially in organized religion. It would be wrong to call myself Christian because I don’t believe in the bible or its mythical characters and because it is associated with so much negatively, closed mindedness, inconsideration, domination and fundamentalism. But I want to belong to something. I've belonged to something my entire life!!!!

Are there sites out there that explain it all?

Honestly, I’m shocked when I come across atheists/secularists who hate GLBT people, who don’t understand a woman’s right to choose or who support creationism in schools. If any of you are out there, how does that make any sense? What’s worse is when they tell me I’m deluded.

Any Idea's out there!?

11 comments:

SkyEyes said...

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand. You're saying there are secularists who suppport creationism???

As far as "what you are" goes, ask yourself this: have you ever seen any objective evidence that a god (any god) exists?

If the answer is "no," then why do you/would you believe in a god/gods?

Hope this helps. I know how rough it is to go from being a believer to being a rationalist/secularist/atheist. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You, like everyone else alive, belong to two entities. The first is the human race, the other is yourself.

Humanity is a species with such capability and such potential, that they continually move forward, constantly improving on and refining their knowledge of anything they discover. True, there are things that hold us back as a species, there always will be, but you can count on intelligent and forward thinking individuals to defy them and propel us even farther into what I see as a bright and prosperous future.

Which brings me to that other incredible entity of which you are undoubtedly a member. This is yourself. You are the only person you can live for. True, in your lifetime you may have the opportunities to help others, and I hope that you take them, but you should do so because it is what YOU think is right, not because it's what some other person tells you. This isn't their life, it is your own. From birth the world of religion and of government and of every organization tells you that to live for yourself is a sin, to enjoy your life and not to sacrifice it to some "greater cause" is wrong of you, and that people who do this are evil.

But this is a lie. There are many things you may sacrifice throughout your life. Your life, the core of who you are, should not be one of them. You don't need to be a member, you need to be a person. Nobody needs to tell you how to live and how to feel and what to think, you need to figure that out on your own.

And it's difficult. People are cruel to those who live as a human being and not as a sheep. But I'm sure that with time, they will instead come to respect you even more.

Telmi said...

Meranda,

You ask: "Are there sites out there that explain it all?"

The plain answer is No.

You have to do the evaluation yourself, by reading books that are pro-religion and books that argue against religion. The Bible is a must-read for anyone who believes in the Bible God.

You can also visit sites - this site is one of them - to expand your horizon on arguments for and against religious beliefs.

Once you think you have read enough, then you can decide which is the right course for you.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what you call yourself -- agnostic, atheist, humanist, rationalist, freethinker, etc. What matters is that you are thinking for yourself. We argue amongst ourselves what we should be called, and even whether or not this perspective is a religion. Regarding wanting to fit in and not be alone, that's understandable. This is the great thing about the internet, is that it allows us to connect in a world where we might otherwise be isolated from each other. Google atheist (or other terms, such as humanist) in your area, and you'd be surprised what you can find. If you can't find a group, start one yourself. You might use a "meetup" site. Also, you might try checking out a Unitarian Universalist Church in your area...a lot of atheists hang out there. I myself attend a "Church of Freethought" here in North Texas.

The Egg-man ;-)

speck said...

Hi skyeyes,

I know how you feel. I also need to feel a "connection" on a personal level with people.

I got lucky and made that connection just recently. It is so great finding someone that has a similar background and who relates to how I think and feel at my deepest levels.

You are on the right track. Keep reading and searching the personal comments of the people posting on the various web sites.

When you read someones comments that ring a bell, see if you can make contact with them.

It could turn into something great.

CinemaNet said...

I don't think the point has ever been to belong - the point is about being honest with yourself. No matter what you call yourself, or what you belong to, there are going to be people hat ostracize you. Such is human nature; it's more evidence that we are the result of biological evolution than divine creation if anything. As for atheists that say the things you've listed . . . I had a friend. He has NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. When I still hung around the guy, he liked to talk a lot about how religion was wrong, weak, and stupid. And I certainly agreed with him. But in the same breath that he said those things, he would also talk about how he was going to learn how to harness the dark side of the Force, conjure up his Ki ala DragonBall Z, and how he was going to utilize magic powers similar to those of Sephiroth to subjugate the entire universe to his will. Yeah, he called himself an atheist. Funny, huh? But as a person with NPD, he also frequently shot down women and belittled them. So . . . maybe these atheists you're talking about aren't really atheists at all. Maybe they just want to piss people off?

But like I said, it isn't about belonging. No matter what you are, you will always belong to something. And no matter what, someone will cut you down, ESPECIALLY if you're an atheist/agnostic/freethinker/secularist/non-believer/ex-believer. Religious pople are the most insecure people on this planet, and the fact that you exist messes their little world up something fierce. It's not about having others tell you it's the "right" position - it's about whether or not the position is right for you. There are no sites, or people, that can actually explain it all. And honestly, you don't need that. You're already asking the questions for yourself, and that's what matters.

Best of luck on your journey, Meranda!

Steven Bently said...

Meranda, you belong to this planet as a reasonable and logical thinking human being to enjoys it's beauty, splinder and wonderment.

You no longer belong to ancient myths and primitive barbarian ways of thinking.

You belong to reality, it doesn't get any better than living in reality.

resonate11 said...

Meranda,

In Frank Waters' "The Man Who Killed the Deer", the elder man says that his tribe, his people, are his greater body.

I feel strongly that we humans have this powerful, basic need to belong to some group greater than ourselves. And this belonging must be something more substantial than political patriotism. It should be as intimate and as vital as our own bodies. Our group, our tribe, should be our greater body.

For thousands of years this was the truth of humanity. An individual was nourished in fundamental ways by his or her community. It was all for one and one for all. Either everyone feasted or everyone starved.

But we who live in capitalist cultures have lost, or mostly lost, those kinds of communities. So we are starving for spiritual (not metaphysical, but emotional) sustenance.

This need to belong to a community greater than ourselves is why, in my opinion, religious groups use family terms like brother, sister, and father. They are trying to create a greater family. But, I think, most fail. Plus, they just aren't based on truth.

So, Meranda, I understand your lament, "I want to belong." I am sorry that I don't have any good advice. I've been without my greater body my entire life.

eris.discordia said...

Hi Miranda,
I think I understand how you feel. To be honest, I don't consider myself an atheist. I consider myself a part of this wonderful group of ex-Christians because I am an ex-Christian. I have one son who is an Atheist and a daughter who is Pagan. Truthfully, I am somewhere in the middle. I study alchemy, ancient, Mystery-School philosophy, Rosicrucian, Hermetic, and Jungian ideas. I refer to myself as a "Truth-Seeker". NO ONE knows the answers but I find it quite fascinating to study these things!

I just had a lively conversation with a Fundie-Christian today and it was quite exhilarating for me! Nothing better than smacking some self-righteous moron around with my extensive knowledge of the Pagan roots of Christianity! Every time the poor putz opened his mouth I had an indisputable fact to counter his ridiculous claims! My kids were positively giddy with pride as we drove away!

My 14 year old son proudly proclaimed that his mom may be crazy but she sure knows what the hell she is talking about!

You should be proud of yourself for escaping the mind-controlled herd and learning to think for yourself! There is a huge world of free thought and love, honesty and compassion for it's own sake! Explore it and enjoy your freedom of thought! Be thankful that you are no longer a member of the sheeple herd!

If you get lonely for like-minded friends you can always join some off-beat secret society or fraternity that studies arcane knowledge, like I did! I belong to a local group of people who feel the same way I do about Christianity. I found them on the internet (real secret, hah?). Every city has support groups of all kinds. I found a group that reads the same weird books that I read and we are one big nutty family!

Also take comfort in the fact that with all the outreach and missionary work the fundies are doing, the churches are LOSING members left and right! The younger 20-something generation is not buying the bullshit that is religion and people my age (50) are leaving in droves! We are entering into a new era of enlightenment whether they like it or not!

So, if you don't have the ammunition (knowledge) to fight them, just walk away! They are a dying breed anyway!

Eris

speck said...

Ultimatly, we are all alone...
so sad...so true.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Don't believe the people who say that you're alone, and without religion, without an "organization" to belong to, you can never truly belong to anything. Don't let them tell you that you're all alone. You're not. We're not. That's why we have love, that's why we have friendship, that's why humanity, with its superior mind and superior needs created these things. I'll say it once again, nihilism is not the answer, making this life count IS the answer.

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