My 2 Cents

The Non-Believer in Me

Posted on: July 30, 2011

I’m an Atheist.  I haven’t always been a non-believer.  I was raised Episcopal, and went to church weekly for a short time during childhood, and then gradually that diminished to holidays only.  By the time I got to high school, we weren’t going to church at all, but I still believed in God.  I was married in the Catholic church that my husband grew up and went to school in, on December 30, 2005.  Sometime, not long after we were married, I came to the conclusion that I don’t believe.  It has only been recently that I have been able to be more open with my (non)religious views.

Just because I don’t believe in God, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in anything.  Here are a few things I DO believe in: evolution, science, fact, values, morals, etc.  I also believe that when we’re dead, if we’re not cremated, we sit in the ground and rot.  I don’t think that there is a heaven or hell.  I am happy living my life believing that.

I am the kind of person that has to see scientific proof of something to believe it.  (I can’t see heaven, hell or God.)  If it can’t be proven, or there’s not a strong scientific theory presented, then it just doesn’t make sense to me. 

I also have a strong sense of the difference between right and wrong.  I feel as though I can make my own decisions by carefully weighing the pros and cons of a situation, and by taking into consideration the way I could be affecting others.  My decisions aren’t always perfect, but I do my best to make the right one on my own, without the presence or help of a supernatural being.

I don’t dislike or have less respect for people who do believe in God.  I don’t call them names, or judge them for their beliefs.  I have never wished harm to believers and I don’t want to preach to others about Atheism.  I do throw the occasional quote up on my facebook feed once in a while if I find something I think is entertaining.  (But I’ve also seen plenty of bible verses up there too.)  And, I do enjoy the occasional debate with believers about whether or not there is a ‘God’ and why I am an Atheist.

I live in the South, so I know and am friends with far more Christians than Atheists.  I can only speak from experience, but I find most Atheists to be very open-minded and accepting of all types of people.  Most of the Christians that I am friends with are open-minded and supportive of my beliefs as well.  However, I have encountered the occasional “hater.”  I once had someone tell a couple of my friends that they shouldn’t be friendly with me anymore because I don’t believe in God.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really feel that people (Atheists included) need to be more sensitive and accepting of others’ beliefs.  There is never going to be a day when everyone agrees on everything.  Why can’t we just agree to disagree?  Why can’t we listen to each others views and beliefs and try to learn from them, instead of immediately discounting them?  Instead of judging people for their views or beliefs, we should embrace them.  We all have reasons for believing the the things that we do.  Our families, experiences, culture, customs and traditions have helped shape the religious or non-religious beings that we are.  What works for me may not work for you.  Accept it, learn from it, and move on.

What are your beliefs?  How do you feel about others that are different from you?  How do you feel about Atheists?  I would love to hear what you think, and how religion or lack-of religion play a part in your life.  (Try to be honest without being nasty!)

-Melinda

Food for thought:  Did God create people, or did people create God?

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12 Responses to "The Non-Believer in Me"

…HEY!… you used my quote!!! lmao

Yeah, I stole your quote. I was going to tell you but you got here faster than I got to you! Hope you don’t mind.

Good post Melinda! I was raised Catholic, but knew I had doubts about God from a young age (I consider myself agnostic). I really don’t think that anyone can know what is or is not out there. The only thing I can do it live my life the best way that I can. For the most part, I think I am a good person. Sometimes I feel that I am more “christian-like” than Christians that I know!

Agreed Heather! Thanks for that.

Thanks Heather, I am a Christian and that last line you wrote “christian-like” is quite profound, in that, there are many that do profess the name of Christ, but the impact of that profession seems to have no bearing on who they really are…it’s like “I’m a Christian” in name only or it’s their “default” religion. I think for too long Christians have been falling back on the line, Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven, and instead of allowing God’s grace to be a safety net, almost use and abuse the grace of God to do and say anything they want. I’m praying that as a professing Christian, I will be more “christian-like” with every breath I breathe, more “Christ-like” with every step I take. Hope you have an awesome day! Danny Ray

http://www.reverbnation.com/dannyray

Hey Melinda, I just joined WordPress yesterday and your blog is the first one I came across that caught my eye. I’m a believer and have been all my life, but I just want to say that I like the way you approached this. I just recently posted something about Atheism on facebook and it may seem insensitive to Atheists. At the risk of alienating you, here’s what I posted:

“Atheists cannot accept the existence of God, inadvertently accepting the existence of godlessness, which in reality becomes the god they serve; which further leads me to believe that true Atheists, in and of themselves…are truly non-existent. May all creation know…I don’t believe in Atheists!”

I was writing this in response to the agenda of some atheists attempts to marginalize those who believe in God as totally ridiculous. Throughout history, men seem to have something inside them, that draws them to worship something greater than themselves. From my perspective, I understand the position of the agnostic, who just doesn’t know one way or the other, but the position of the atheist seems to elude me. Atheism still seems to be rooted somewhat in faith…faith that there is “not” a God or creator of the universe. So, I could be totally wrong, but to “not” believe in God still champions a set of beliefs that are held deep inside…maybe I should have phrased that as a question and I guess I’m curious as to your thoughts on this. 🙂

More than anything, I wanted you to know that this was a fine piece of writing and I appreciated how you said it. Your words have challenged me to be more careful in my approach on topics such as this, because deep down I don’t want to alienate others and I hope I haven’t you. Thanks for letting me share and thanks for sharing!

Danny Ray

http://www.reverbnation.com/dannyray

Danny, thank you for this and welcome to wordpress! In response to your comment, I don’t spend my time not believing in God. I spend it believing in science and evolution. Yes, evolution is a theory, but it is scientifically based and I feel that gives it more credibility (at least in my opinion) than the stories in the Bible that theists want me to believe.

Melinda, thanks for making me feel welcome. Not believing or not, you had a very catchy title to this! I was going to tell you that I’m a transplant from Ohio to Tennessee…I love how you referred to yourself as a northern southerner. Hope you have a great day! Danny Ray

http://www.reverbnation.com/dannyray

Min, you said that beautifully. I too, as you know, was raised the same way. And I know believe, as you do, more in science and proven facts. I dont hate on anyone who sees things differently and I dont tend to debate what they believe in. I love how you said “I am the kind of person that has to see something to believe it.” Ditto. How I feel about Atheists? I believe no one/group should be categorized or named such as Catholic or Atheist. We are all human, and we are all different. I don’t believe in “God” but I do think something had to do with all of this.

I highly enjoyed this blog 🙂

Thanks Lauren that was a great comment!

Hii Melinda,
I am Christian. But I respect people who don’t share the same faith as mine and even non-believers. I feel that if you live a life that is filled with values, and if you have compassion for human being around you then that is all that matters.
Once my catechism teacher said that non-Christians have no salvation as salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone. I was deeply disturbed by this statement and even asked her if man who is a christian leads a sinful life is entitled to salvation and if a man lives a virtuous life but not a christian has no salvation then it just seemed wrong…she had no answer to satisfy me. But I still disagree with that concept.
I believe that religion is a base for people to be categorized as belonging to a certain set. And it was formulated to give guidance for people to follow and live by so that by instilling in man a fear of hell people may be directed in doing good to his neighbor. Just like how we have laws to curb crime….a fear of punishment (hell) can sometimes prevent a man from committing an act which he would otherwise do.

Ranjeetha, very thought provoking! Thanks so much for stopping by :o)

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