Sent in by Paul
We are all alone. Try though we may to change that, we cannot escape that state except in snatches of time with pieces of ourselves, but I believe the effort to connect is well worth it, important. I think the desire to not be alone is one of the driving forces behind belief in god. At anytime, in any situation, the believer is never alone (at least, that's the theory). That's not always great. If you like lobster and your god doesn't, there's conflict. But despite all the conflict that derives from crossed inclinations there's the accompanying notion of being loved and cared for by a god who understands completely and cares (as long as you don't eat lobster).
Some people believe in lobster hating gods, others have an adjusted god who let them eat lobster. I think those with an adjusted god are probably a bit happier, but their god loses credibility with some because of their lack of structure and standard (especially with those whose god hates lobster). If we de-convert, we gain the option of eating lobster guilt free, but lose the notion of being known and understood 100% by god. So we join a blog.
I think connecting with other people is important. It would be more honest to say, "I feel connecting with other people is important," which is really the desire (drive?) to be known and affirmed by others as being and having value. That gives purpose to life.
I have found that my former belief in god has made me more alone. I was one of those people who really liked lobster but believed in a god who considered lobster an "abomination." I was part of a community of people who also believed in a lobster hating god. Some of the people in that community really hated lobster, so they really had no problem with that particular aspect of god. Those who liked lobster simply pretended otherwise when amongst the others of the community. Some actually ate lobster in secret. I ate lobster in secret. I couldn't help myself, I was born with my love for lobster. So, I was pretty alone in that community. I knew it was 'sin' to eat lobster so I did so in secret. It wasn't always that way. When I was younger, I had dreams of eating lobster before I'd ever actually eaten one. That's how I discovered I was a lobster lover,in a dream. I was a sincere believer though, I knew eating lobster was a sin, so I mustered the courage to confess my dreams and inclination to my church. That was called "walking in the light." The idea was, if I walked in the light and confessed my 'sin,' I'd be forgiven and delivered by the lobster hating god. Some were sympathetic, others were sanctimonious. How could I possibly love lobster? I needed to just say no to lobster. I needed deliverence. But god loved me, and if eating lobster is wrong, surely god would indeed deliver me from my desire...or at least help me to resist my lobsterlust. I learned that it didn't pay to confess my lobster problem to other believers, no one really knew how to deal with it. Oh sure, many thought they had the solution and I spent many desperate years following their advice on how to overcome lobsterlust. Of course, these people had never had or even wanted lobster, so they really didn't relate or know what it meant. Turns out they couldn't really help me, I was alone. I went directly to god, but god didn't help me either. I was alone. I spent years blaming my self. I must be really depraved that i cannot overcome this lobster lust. I must be really missing it with god, not seeing something. Time and again I'd ask god, "what am I missing?" silence. Surely a god who hates lobster and loves me would provide me with a way to deal with this? It took years to admit I was still the same lobster lover that I was when I first confessed my lobster lust as a teen. So, I left my lobster hating community, and de-converted from my lobster hating god. I am left with some deconversion nuances though. I married a lobster hating woman when i still believed in a lobster hating god. I have two kids who we diligently raised to hate lobster. Not hate lobster lovers, mind you. Love the lobster lover, hate the lobster (turns out they have a hard time disconnecting the two). The wife and kids know of my lobsterlust and consider me broken at best, an arrogant rebellious sob at worst. I'm alone. Now I have to deal with the problems of living with a lobster hating family.
In my new life, away from the church, I've begun to be open and honest about my love of lobster. I've found others just like me who are lobster lovers or have other loves that the lobster hating god also disapproved of, so they can relate in many ways. I'm less alone and so are they.
My experience is that Christianity promotes division, conflict and being alone, despite Christianities claims to the contrary. Christianity attempts unity and cohesion by having a standard, but those who believe cannot actually conform to the standards (everyone falls short), so they only pretend...they're alone, divided and conflicted. They are not known by anyone as they really are, are they really "living?" They are alone.
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Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)