Fantasy worlds are always more pleasant. It would be nice if there was a magical being that was at your side to help you when times get tough and that you will rewarded for your good deeds after you die. It sounds nice. Thing is, when we grow up, we learn that fantasy worlds do not exist and neither do the magical beings. We stop believing in Oz and the wizard as we stop believing in Santa and his place at the north pole. Though not existing after death may be less appealing to the chance of being in heaven, that does not make it less true. By looking at the idea of a god from a logical perspective, I have concluded that gods simply do not exist. After seeing the little man behind the curtain, I can no longer believe that the great and powerful being is real no matter how much the little man insists. I have come to terms with my mortality. I accept that when I die, that's my end. Though I was angry at myself for believing in such a lie, I find comfort that I now know the truth. Personally, I would much rather grin knowing the truth, than smile believing a lie.
I was happy about the idea of an eternal happy afterlife in the same way I enjoyed believing in Santa Claus. I now think the universe is more complex than that. I am not unhappy with my current beliefs, but it would be nice if things were that simple right?
No matter how you play it, final death is a scary thought. All we do is basically exist, and not doing that is incomprehensible to the human mind, which, on some primal level, scares us all. Alas, I'm a secularist, and I can't bring myself to believe in something no one can really prove. So, essentially: I value a life removed of blind faith above a hope for eternal life.
Really, I was happy before adolescence. I was happier before society took it's toll on me. It played into why I rejected the concept of god, but rejecting the concept it not what made me unhappy. People made me unhappy, because I was rejected by them for no apparent reason. My understanding is that I was rejected because I was smart and shy. I had always done the right thing and now I was unhappy, thus I rejected the concept of god, because it was illogical. In a world where people are indiscriminately rewarded or punished, I simply could not see a loving god. The image that was taught to me simply did not make sense.
Of course this is all based on the Christian image of god. Redefine god in other terms and I can be persuaded to believe in it. It seems to be a loaded term that everyone defines differently, so depending on the environment, I may or not actually believe in "god"
And on another point, just because I rejected God does not mean that I rejected the concept of an afterlife. I still believe that my consciousness will be transferred somewhere else, after this mortal shell decays. I simply do not know where and to ease my curiosity, I have invented several different afterlife theories or possibilities. I actually find the concept of death to be an exciting one as I believe that the next form I take will be better than this one.
I most certainly didnt want to be a part of gods never ending plan in which he approves of horrible things such as slavery and stood against freedom but called himself perfect. I didnt want their to be a god who created our nerves and brains and decided that we would go through great pain and suffering for no good reason as he is all powerful and could have accomplished anything by any means which would mean he could have given us free will without us having to suffer from evil and mental illness and stuff. I didnt want to live forever with a god who would put us through this and put animals in the wild to rip each other to shreds for survival instead of making all plant eaters with enough vegetation to go around. F that. God if he exists has to be cruel unless he is not nearly as powerful as people say he is or all knowing. I dont want to live forever with a cruel god. I was in hell already when i believed in the bible. I spent my child hood wishing i didnt exist or that i couldnt perceive anything thanks to "god". Fyg buddy. Fyg. If god exists he is the only one who truely deserves to burn for eternity as he does this to us if the stories are true which they clearly are not.
To me, the concept of eternal life in heaven was absolutely terrifying. Eventually, you would have done everything there is to do and thought everything there is to think, and then what next? No matter how much time it takes to complete those tasks, it is just the tiniest of blips in the face of eternity. I would be bored out of my mind and driven to insanity. Now, at least I can be mostly sure that there is an end, though it's hardly more comforting. To me, the best solution would be reincarnation without any recollection of your past life, but of course I don't believe in that either.
As a kid, I was always very interested in science and thinking through things logically, I was that kid who went around telling everybody that Santa wasn't real since I managed to logically figure it out. Around middle school, I just kept learning new evidence that disproved religion and I tried to make it work in my mind, even ended up calling myself agnostic for a time before finally sitting down to read the Bible. The horrid moral atrocities committed by both God and the patriarchs of the Bible made me realize that I couldn't agree with anything in the book and finally made me call myself an Atheist.
Really, I'm a lot more happy and comfortable not having such a conflict within myself all the time. Glad I took the red pill, ignorance is not bliss.
I believed that if I broke any of god's THOUSANDS of arbitrary rules, I would be going to hell, and that there was no escape from it. Eventually, I also thought of how scary heaven was, being as an eternity of ANYTHING is bound to become unbearable. . . .
Aries, suppose you'd never heard claims of gods. Could you have felt joy at the sight of a flower? Delighted in music? Been kind to a stranger just because kindness is an end in itself? Could you have regretted hurting someone, and tried to make amends? Could you have asked yourself how to be a kinder, more decent person?
Of course you could.
Now suppose a pompous stranger came to your home and insisted that he had the secret to human meaning. "Actually, you're born sick", he insists. "Morally sick, whether you realise it or not; whether you deserve it or not. And there's an omnipotent, all-seeing power who commands that you become healthy, and I've got just the way to do it."
Would that make you happier, d'ye think? Or like the worst of TV advertising, would it just make you neurotic and dependent on packaged solutions?
And would it really give you any more tools to grow from or delight in than you were already born with, or could get from a good education?
If so, what benign action can a person of faith perform that an unbeliever cannot?
And meanwhile, how many cruel and barbarous acts are performed every day by people of faith, because they're convinced that their faith alone is privileged to know the truth?
I am 17 years old. I was raised Catholic. I have been in a Catholic School for the last five years of my life. Personally, I don't think children honestly believe in anything. They just agree to whatever their parents are saying. Only when they are older, do they start believing. I consider myself a believer of three years. Ages 12-15, are when I believed. Then, you look around and see things. You see the hate and intolerance. You see the totalitarian nature. You see the claims without evidence. You see the greedy institution hoarding its money. I thought all these things and considered them to be vile and evil thoughts. I tried to suppress them and the more I tried that, the more they kept flooding my mind. Fear of hell is what kept me in the church in my junior year (16 years old at this time). I didn't really believe in God or Jesus or the Eucharist. I was scared of hell and living life by Pascal's Wager. I hated the thoughts in my brain and would cry myself to sleep at night due to the fear. I tried to be a good wittle boy. When I listened to Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and Dennet, my confidence skyrocketed and I finally left the church. It was liberating and I'm not ever going back.
I'm already a happy person and I am a strong atheist. I think that religion is the root of prejudice against gays, women and transgender and I feel that a world without religion would make everyone happier. And anyway, if there is for some reason an afterlife, there's a place in hell for me and it's the throne.
Following the title, nor have I ever believed in an afterlife. I am 16 and have been raised in a household that believes in facts and scientific provings rather than fairy tales and a 2000 year old unproven book. I'm very happy and I'm not afraid of death at all - everyone dies in the end, and it gives us even more of a reason to live in the moment. Despite my elder grand parents believing in religion, I respect their beliefs but I do not feel the same.