Originally Posted by Rick336
Christa, Ben, Jennifer, Daniel, and Zerbie,
Thank you for your kind words and support.
I appreciate you guys.
I do want to acknowledge to anybody reading this that sometimes we new non-believers can come across as arrogant. When we first "see the light", we have lots of questions for theists like, "Why would God do that?" and sometimes that is interpreted as, "You're stupid for believing that."
The art of tactfulness is something that has to be cultivated and we don't always get it right. I do not believe however, that how I personally view the world gives me more value as a human being than those who view it differently.
I thought from the way you write things and ask (sometimes rhetorical) questions, that atheism is a new-ish vantage point for you. It all makes sense.
Rick, I like where you are. Don't change it. Just live with it and go with it. If it's supposed to change, it will change when it must.
Now, can I be allowed to encourage you, Rick? You say you're 57 and don't want to feel like you're starting over back at square 1 again. But, consider all that you've learned and all the strengths and skills you've developed in 57 years. I see every reason for you to have confidence to just present yourself as you are, beliefs and all. If other people have difficulty with it, their thoughts are THEIRS, not yours, and the problem is likewise theirs.
It's up to you to gauge whether some surface amiability with your family is more important to you than openly discussing your non-theological views, or whether openly expressing your views is more important to you than having amiable terms with certain members of your family.
Decide which is more important to you. Then go with that choice, recognizing that it was a choice having to do with priority, and accept what goes along with that choice. You can't do more. You can't BOTH express a belief that will make your family go ballistic AND have an amiable surface relationship with them while they are going ballistic. It's one or the other, whether or not you choose to go through a gradual process of letting them come to terms with your belief system, well. . . you'll be 57 either way. You can either be 57 and speak openly with your family (fights, tears, and all) or you can be 57 and keep your views to yourself. You don't have to live up to a perfect example. Just choose your priority.
I'm glad you're here and talking about the future. If things are changing, then we must still be truly alive, right?
I would rather have more atheists in this world than immature nominal Christians. You are doing just fine, and your posts make perfect sense to me. There is so much to learned from science, but also, science has so much still unknown. All the unanswered questions of modern physics and cosmology, for example. Heck, go explore all that stuff. After a while, the science will start to sound as whacky as religion. Isn't that great?
Originally Posted by stevejones
"God loves you, God loves me, He loves the drunkard down the street. He loves the woman who divorced her man and left her family. He loves prisoners and theives and those filled with greed. BUT MOST OF ALL HE LOVES THEM JUST AS MUCH AS YOU AND ME!!!!."(lyrics written by a christian brother of mine).
What a good quote. That gets to the core of things very nicely.
Of course God loves atheists.
God even loves the religious people.