Let me explain my question. I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school and prayed faithfully before meals and before bed. I never even thought about evolution or creationism. In my mind (without having read the bible) God was the creator, the bible was true, and so on. On my first year of secondary school I took a trip with my class to a museum where they talked about the first life on earth coming from giant rocks that hit the earth. On these rocks were bacteria that over time evolved into complex life forms. This made a lot of sense and it raised a few eye brows. Right away just from hearing that I dismissed the idea of Adam and Eve as well as creationism. Then, at home later on I simply asked in google if hell was real. Then, if God is real. Many people said yes to both, but many also said no. That got me thinking that logically, there could very well be no hell or no God. A few months later my dad watched a documentary on netflix called "The Unbelievers". Laurence Krauss and Richard Dawkins made a lot of sense. At this point, I wasn't yet an atheist. I think I was about 65-70% in that direction. Then suddenly, I realized I kind of liked the idea of there being no creator (I don't know why). I think I might have been a bit rebellious too and thought it might be a bit interesting to diverge from the crowds (my school community). Athough I was not full aheist at the time, I told my parents I was as I sort of wanted to be. They had no problem with this.
I was always aware from this point that there was a lack of evidence, but the fear of hell still shook me and continues to shake me to this day. Seeing all these NDEs of atheists scared me so badly that I went back to praying and fearing hell. Now I am kind of an agnostic but I still sometimea refer to myself as an atheist.
I guess I do not know exactly what to believe. My concern is that I am a bad person for kind of wanting to be atheist. I think it may be a combination of logic, rebellious thinking, and knowing that if religion is false that there won't likely be a hell.
Does this make me a bad person?
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What you crave is knowledge....... real ,verifiable facts...... and with the best will in the world...you aint going to get that from religion...and certainly not the catholic flavour.....
You;ve absorbed the catholic superstitions by osmosis.......you've been "marinated" in the sauce of dogma all your life....it's going to take an act of will to overcome the shock of the revelation that all...(and I do mean ALL) that you've been told is lies ,misdirections and falsehoods.....
for instance...do you think Peter was the first pope.....? Nope ..fraid not....this is "catholic tradition"....look it up....do not take my word for it.....there is NO evidence that the Peter character even existed....let alone lived in Rome.........
try this site....http://jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/catholi...
Its a baptist run site ...so biased....but as far as I can see...it is mostly accurate....
Why ask atheists if being atheist makes you a "bad(" person? If you are looking to have your self esteem knocked down any further then a visit to a Catholic forum might do the trick. If you want encouragement then perhaps you are in the right place. Cheer up! We all have to struggle with the opinions of others that believe we are not valid human beings, that we are without a basis for morality, that we are doomed to hell. Those idiots can simply fuck off! From your other posts it seems you have had a good deal of fear instilled in you. Fear is healthy when it is warning you of worldly dangers. Turned inward upon yourself it is burdensome. Enjoy yourself. Life is fun.
- "...In my mind (without having read the bible) God was the creator, the bible was true..."
It's interesting to hear you formulate how you believed that the god of Catholicism was our creator and that the Bible was true, without having read the Bible. It makes it so obvious how easy it is to feed ideas to the minds of children. It becomes so obvious how you would of course have "learned" other beliefs, if you had been placed in, let's say a Hindu school.
It's good to hear how your parents have no problem that you discarded your religious beliefs. Make sure you appreciate that situation, and make use of the support they can give you. There are a lot of people in similar situations, that are rightfully scared to come out to their parents and close family.
- "I guess I do not know exactly what to believe. My concern is that I am a bad person for kind of wanting to be atheist. I think it may be a combination of logic, rebellious thinking, and knowing that if religion is false that there won't likely be a hell.
Does this make me a bad person?"
In short, why would it?
The question is, what do you mean by "wanting to be an atheist"? I only say this because the word Atheism is so often used to mean different things.
To give my perspective: When I say that I'm an atheist, I mean that I've stopped believing in fairy tails and fantasies. A very, very good quote is "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence." - David Hume
(He should have said "person" instead of "man", but you get the idea)
I have no clue what could have initiated the "Big Bang" or even if it has a "beginning", so I have no problem to honestly say "I don't know". However, I believe in the Big Bang Theory to a large extent, because there is a lot of evidence to support it. If new evidence emerges that changes the theory radically, I would revise my beliefs accordingly. Holding a belief and not being willing to revise it, is dangerous and stupid.
Requiring supporting evidence for holding beliefs and not just believing blindly in some arbitrary idea without any supporting evidence, does that make a person bad?
I can't see why it would.
From a theistic standpoint you are a terrible person. Your lack of belief is abysmal......
From a human standpoint you are normal. Maybe more intelligent or at the very least aware of your existence and you strive to learn. From an atheistic standpoint you are human.
You only feel bad because you've been taught to. You're never going to be told you're a bad person here. Only in religious forums will you be told you're a bad person. I'm sure you're a great person. Don't worry so much about you being a bad person because you feel you shouldn't have to believe in nonsense.
The way the church uses fear of hell to trap young minds is evil. It's pure terrorism. When I see images of the Pope holding out hi hand for people to kiss his ring, I'm reminded of the line from Lord of the Rings.
"One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."
The Vatican is Mordor.
In my view you can look at your fear of hell in at least two ways.
1) If god exists, is as good as claimed and you do not worship him, then on your judgement day you can tell god, "Look god, I reasoned as best I could with the facts I had around me and I was honest to myself about doubting your existence. I was in fact a good person. So I don't deserve hell for just being honest."
2) If god is going to punish you just because you did not worship and fear him, he is not god. He is satan and is already torturing you in this life.
But to me you sound agnostic. Which is ok if that is how you feel and think you are. Don't "want to be atheist" look at the definition of atheist and if that fits you then wear it. If you don't know if you are then say "hey I don't know." It took me years to slowly migrate from theist to atheist.
The definition of atheism is not "belief there is no god" but instead it is "no belief in god". The first one is a belief. The second is lack of a belief. You are not trading one belief for another. Instead you are just abandoning belief in god.
If you were to hide child molesters from the law you would be a bad person. The people in the catholic church did that. They clearly have bad people in that organization.
I'm pretty new to this site, so I thought I would get my feet wet with your post. I think it's a very good question that you ask and I think a little reasoning can solve it.
The answer from an atheistic view is simple: There is no possible way that you can be a "bad person" in any objective way if you don't believe in god. The reasoning behind it goes something like this: In the atheistic view, all morality, good, bad, etc, is subjective. Meaning that it would only be a person's opinion if anything is bad. So, nope, no way for you to be a bad person, and thus, no way for anything at all to be bad -- not even the raping of children for fun.
I'll just hit on a couple more points in your post for the fun of it:
1. It is a terrible thing to believe anything (or not believe) blindly. It is equally awful to be a theist or an atheist without examining reality in the best way that you can.
2. Off the top of my head, Krauss and Dawkins are very poor philosophers. I would examine their philosophical claims carefully before banking on them.
3. I think it would be a fallacy to be an atheist based on that you want to rebellious. It would be better to make your choice on what explains reality better.
4. It would be a fallacy to think that only science explains reality. You will be led down a path that exits reality. There are other things to measure reality by: History, metaphysics, logic, etc.
You don't want or not want to be an atheist. If you believe in god or gods, you are a theist. IF you do not accept the assertion that god or gods exist, you are an atheist.