Please accept my apology for what may appear to be me bragging about myself. That aspect of this piece is not intentional.
After I retired from the USMC, I had some money set aside to use to invest in a business if I decided to go that route. As it turned out that is exactly what I did. I first embarked on a job with a commercial airline company but found that that environment was too sleazy for me to stomach. So I took a job with a bookkeeping company. That company offered me a franchise and I accepted it (bought in). I was doing very well. My investment was paying off so to speak. Then as it happens one of my clients offered me a 25% interest in a computer component wholesale company. I took the offer. I was all set in Houston. A house, a company making money, my military retirement, and income that allowed me to save a good deal every month.
Then my father started having medical issues. He had bouts with Lewy Bodies Dementia and Parkinsons. He had to stop working altogether. My mom could not take care of him. I had to make a decision. Do I just send as much money as I could to her every month or do I take an active role? I took an active role. I moved to the Dallas area in my Mom's house. I bought out the equity in that house and made the payments for everything. This gave my mother the money to finance my father's medical treatments. The part that Medicare and health insurance would not pay for. My father became increasingly worse. I had to take him to specialists all over the place. I learned what I had to do and how to do it for him. I stayed with him 24/7 working online. I listened to him hallucinate endlessly. I took him to the bathroom and cleaned him up. I gave him baths. I brushed his teeth. I cut his hair and nails. I dressed him. I fed him. I did everything he needed for over 10 years until he became so ill that he had to go to a facility for constant professional care. Even then, I visited him every single day for hours. At the same time, I had to work and provide for my mom. I listened to her frustrations, her fears, her anger.
I knew what I was giving up. I was giving up "me." I didn't bitch about it. I didn't feel sorry for myself. I have never let my mom know or feel what I have personally given up for her. That just wouldn't be right.
My father passed almost 2 years now. I sold the house, but instead of sending my mom to a rest home. I brought her with me.
I tell you all this, not to get praise, but to illustrate what being there for someone really is. It isn't prayer vigils or reading words out of a bible. Those are all superficial and don't do a damn thing for anybody. Being there for someone is a personal sacrifice without reward. Now when my Mom passes there will not be any inheritance, no reward to look forward to. In fact, I will have to pay the better part of the funeral expenses which I will gladly do.
I am not unique. Thousands of people do and have done what I do and have done every day and they do it a damn sight better than I.
But comfort doesn't come from a religion or any myth. Being there isn't some superficial jester that is really just a show. It isn't platitudes read from a book of fiction. It's effort, action, hard work. It is making a decision that you know will cost you your future, that will end all of you plans, hopes, and dreams. It is purposely changing your life, not because you have to but because other people need you to do so. It's not an obligation or a sense of responsibility, it's care. Real care. The kind of care that is automatic and without remuneration. All I get from it is that comfort in knowing I did the very best I could for my Mom and my Stepdad.
I see people like AG claim that you can't find comfort without jesus, and I know first hand that he is dead wrong. I don't know anyone that gets real comfort in believing in god or jesus. I see people claim that they do, but I sure don't see it. It really upsets me when people of religion tell people in need to seek god and you will find comfort. It is a bald-faced lie. The really bad thing about it is that they KNOW it is a lie. No one REALLY believes in a god. They HOPE that there is a god but they don't actually completely believe in a god. It is really ironic because as atheists we know what wrestling with the knowledge that there is no god really is. We know that we are ostracized by society even persecuted just for accepting reality and choosing to live our lives in that reality. Yet, all these believers suspect that the god thing is all bullshit. They struggle with it constantly no matter how devout they seem. Now I have seen people help others and they do it on a religious basis, but that is just organization. Some of them, even many make personal sacrifices and ARE there for others, but it isn't because of any god. It's called HUMANITY. And humanity never needs a god, jesus, or a bible to exist. Humanity is present in every single person. It is the very nature of being human to aid others in their time of need. There's nothing "christian" about it.
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I want to start by saying it is very nice how much you care for your family, and how much you have done/continue to do in order to support them. Just out of curiosity, were you brought up in a secular home, or did your parents raise you in a religion until you realized it didn't add up?
Anyways, I think we could take this whole thing even further. Even if there were a creator or Jesus, or any religious figure, we know prayer does not actually work. Millions if children pray everyday for comfort and starve without any comfort. I do however, totally understand your point. Currently, I am an agnostic but I was raised Catholic, and I even worked for a Catholic organization when I was younger. Although it is purely factual that prayer doesn't actually help, I can see why people think it might. I used to believe that it did too. Every time I prayed or went to Church, I got this warm feeling, and I took that to mean it was something devine. Often times, when life isn't going well or something is causing stress, people use religion or prayer as a last resort. They become so desperate that they will take anything, and I mean ANYTHING-- even if it is completely unrelated to their actual prayers. "Oh it was raining and the sun came out, that must be a sign that everything will be okay". Or "while millions of people lost their lives from this earthquake, I am okay! The prayer must have helped!". Depending on how religious an individual is, I think they condition themsleves to feel this way. It is almost like those scientific tests on people who claim to have issues which get solved from a placebo pill. Of course, prayer will not find people shelter, or company to care and take care of an elderly person. That is completely 100% the result of us and our actions. Have you ever heard a song you liked and felt these strange yet comfortable sensations in your face? I have, and I am willing to bet my money that prayer does the same thing. Take that, and even people like you said who "don't really believe" will feel the need to conform to society. No one wants to be different, so they will pray even if they know it doesn't yield any positive results.
In answer to your first question, I think that you are confused. Secular does not mean atheist.
In response to your overall statement. People that buy into "prayer" or a god are actually doing harm to themselves and everyone else. I don't think that they actually get a physical sensation from praying, like a warm fuzzy feeling. I think that they are doing one of two things.
1) Praying because it is expected and claiming that it gives them comfort,
2) Desperately hoping prayer works and then attributing things to "prayer" that were never caused or changed by prayer.
Take a person that is afflicted with difficulties in walking. Pain from arthritis or joint pain. They go see a "healer". The healer makes a huge public spectacle and prayers for the person's relief from pain. The person starts to walk seemingly without pain. Well, adrenaline will accomplish that feat but it will be temporary. I have played sports and been injured but played through the pain allowing adrenaline to carry me through.
There is no god, no jesus, and you can't get any relief from those myths. You can't provide comfort to someone by proselytizing and preaching or reading scripture. They have no validity or substance. Prayer is an act of show and usually condescending.
I'm with you on this Myk,
when I was in my early twenties my brother died leaving two lovely little girls. The family was falling apart and I gave up my burgeoning career, my nice apartment in France and travelled 'home' to a country I loathed. I then looked after the girls, comforted my grieving parents, rescued my Dads business and did that until everybody had either made up or fallen out completely. Then I could resume/start anew my career until 14 years later my Dad died suddenly leaving my mother alone and incapable (because of the skill set) of running the business. I gave up my career, house, life in a coutry a half a world away, again, and looked after her while running the business and doubling it in size, then she died. Starting anew 3 times before you are 40 years old really drains ones hope you know...but hell, them's the cards. For a while things really really sucked but now,with my partner, we have a pleasant enough retirement and good memories.
So Myk, I get it. Prayer wasn't likely to help, what an individual or community actually does makes the difference. That is what it means to "be there for someone" not sending thoughts and prayers, Not fucking wreaths at funerals, not attending a funeral, eating, getting pissed and offering a special VIP entrance into the Freemasons. It means being there. Wiping your Mums arse, watching her die in inches while mealy mouthed religiotards bleat on about "suffering" "Gods will" and other fucking bullshit.
I said there are people that did and do things that I described better than I. You just proved it.
your statements above along with that of old man shows your deep hatred of a God in this life of yours. Usually when people like you and old man use this kind of profanity its because you have anger and resentment here. I can help you by introducing and old man to JEsus the Christ Please both of you I plead with you in this new year have and work at a nicer tone .just look as events in your life having a much bigger meaning then you can comprehend .a reasoning that only God alone can explain. So in this year reform yourselves and build up your character Love Billy
Look AG, Old Man and I are far better educated and experienced than you. We know that there is no fucking god so you can quit fucking preaching. Also, you're being a fucking hypocrite. You fucking preach to me but still, you whine and cry about having a dysfunctional family and sexual problems. Go tell your fucking god all about those instead of asking for help from we atheists. You vacillate from all-out evangelical bullshit to "questioning" your faith on this forum and I for one am quite sick of it. You can grow up and quit fucking preaching or you can fucking leave, you judgemental psychopath. Did I ask for any help? NO! Did Old Man? NO! So you can get stuffed with your condescending bullshit.
I don't hate god. There is no god to hate you imbecile!
You and all your sock puppets can leave. The sooner the better. You're a fucking idiot!
@ a b/billy/keith/chuck
******Advisory to other Forum members and visitors******
Well, AB, I suppose you simply cannot help yourself, can you? That is okay, though, because every regular on here already knows you to be the slimy little weasel of a troll that you are. Even so, there may be others who simply pass through this site and are not familiar with your deplorable and inexcusable conduct. Therefore, this post is primarily for their benefit, as it would be a shame for any reader to see your post and believe it to be a sincere and caring gesture in any way. And after the past few days I have had, I do think I shall rather enjoy this....
Agnostic Believer: (@Myk and Old Man) "So in this year reform yourselves and build up your character Love Billy"
Allow me to let you in on an important fact here, you drooling little window-licker: Both Myk and Old Man each have more character in their little fingers than you could ever even dream of having in your entire puss-filled body. They are MEN who stood up and took control of their own lives, and then went above and beyond and selflessly performed vital and necessary duties for others at great sacrifice to their own plans and dreams. Meanwhile, YOU - on the other hand - I picture as some snot-nosed listless and lazy parasite still living in your mommy's house mooching off her income. All the while you sit on your scrawny ass in front of a computer all day with nothing better to do than troll around various sites such as this, being an annoying little piss-ant and taking cheap shots at people who actually have REAL lives and sincerely do try to help others. Yep, you are simply FULL of character, you pathetic cretin.
Agnostic Believer: (@Myk and Old Man) "I can help you by introducing and old man to JEsus the Christ Please both of you I plead with you in this new year have and work at a nicer tone."
For starters, they are entitled to have ANY DAMN TONE THEY PLEASE. Who the hell do you think you are? Some self-appointed tone monitor? Get over yourself already. And as far as your "introducing them to JEsus the Christ", I dare say that even IF such a character did exist, the odds of YOU ever having any sort of personal connection with the "man/god" are about as likely as my winning the lottery. (I do not buy lottery tickets, by the way.) Oh, gee, have you forgotten you have yourself listed as an Atheist on your profile? Dude, you are about as sharp as a wad of cow snot.
Agnostic Believer: "Usually when people like you and old man use this kind of profanity its because you have anger and resentment here."
So what if they do have anger and resentment? What business is it of yours? And if they do have anger/resentment, then sometimes this is a place to get it out in the open and try to solve the problem. Sometimes it is simply venting at something stupid or insulting they may have seen. And - hey - you know what? Sometimes people can use profanity without any anger at all. For instance, if I happen to refer to you as a "Fucktard" right now, I assure you there is no anger in that at all. I am simply making an observation and labeling it as I see fit. See how that works?
Agnostic Believer: (@Myk and Old Man) "your statements above along with that of old man shows your deep hatred of a God in this life of yours."
Well, I know this has been covered numerous times already, but I am only trying to be thorough. Atheists DO NOT BELIEVE IN A GOD. Therefore, it makes absolutely ZERO sense to say an atheist HATES god. That would be about the same as me telling you, "Agnost, your statements show that you hate the Tooth Fairy." (Unless, of course, you do happen to actually believe in the Tooth Fairy. And, honestly, considering your track record on this site, I would not be surprised if you do.)
So, once again, this post is not necessarily for you, AB. (As you have proven time and again you do not possess the capacity to comprehend - much less practice - reason, logic, common courtesy, and respect.) It is primarily for any visiting observers who might stumble across this thread and read your typical intrusion of a post full of your typical condescending platitudes and wildly ludicrous accusations. To those visitors I would like to extend a warm welcome to join us here in debates and discussions, as we certainly do welcome those who are here to learn and share information so that we may also learn and share in kind. Take care.
And then there's the Christian way of "being there for someone." That was exemplified by Peter three times before the cock crowed.
Typically a Christian will only be there for you if he thinks it will score him some afterlife points with Sky-Fairy plus some extra credit with his fellow delusionists.
I helped a Catholic friend once. In the same week he got mugged, his wife and kids left him, and his business collapsed. Nobody from his church wanted to know him. I organized an apartment for him, loaned him enough money to tide him over (he wouldn't take a gift), and helped him to find a job. My wife and I stood by him until he was properly back on his feet. A couple of years later he remarried and I was best man. (I learned that being best man at a Catholic wedding includes propping up a priest who'd drunk a little too much of Jesus' blood.)
Your parents are/ were lucky to have you!
Thanks, but not really. I did my duty as I saw it. There was no love on my part. Sadly, I never liked my parents, their lifestyle or their hypocrisy.
I appreciate now that in many ways they were strait jacketed into a kind of thinking and lifestyle that they thought society demanded of them back then.
At least when I was 13 or so they announced me as a lost cause and ungovernable, all true and I could make my own way. Best thing they could do for me!
Odd thing I have never really voiced this to anyone except my soul mate. Must be a comfortable place to be here!
Myk, you are a good man, and I admire you for all you have done for your family. What you wrote is absolutely correct.
Thanks to all but as you can see from OLD MAN's post there are many that have done more and sacrificed more than I ever could.
The purpose of the thread is to illustrate what real care is not to seek praise.
Oh and Thanks Tin-man for straightening out that little punk AG! Nice post!
My pleasure, Myk. I couldn't care less what the little prick says to or about me. I'll just laugh in his face. And I am very well aware that you and Old Man are very much capable of fending for yourselves, but in this particular case it sickened me to think of either of you lowering yourselves to the same level as that pond scum to retaliate. Just didn't seem right, and seemed even less right for the twerp to get away with it without some sort of reprimand.
Like I said in that post, this past couple of weeks or so have been less than pleasant. I've been having to take care of my uncle who suffered a severe stroke several years ago. Up until about a month ago, however, he has been fairly self-reliant and able to live on his own with minimum assistance. Unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse, recently. Matter of fact, just brought him back from the hospital this afternoon (had to call the ambulance for him New Year's Eve), and he will be staying with my Dad from now on. As my Dad came back into my life only within the past three or four years (he left my Mom when I was only 4 or 5), my uncle is basically the one who was my father figure while I was growing up. And while it is bad enough seeing him in such bad physical shape, he has always maintained a healthy/positive mental attitude about his condition. Sadly, after the past few days in the hospital, and with his having to now abandon his home to live with my Dad, I could see his spirit and will fading. His mental status/memory has noticeably diminished within just the past week or so, and it has been difficult for me to see him in his current condition. He was a major positive influence on my life, and he helped make me the man I am today. And having been a medic, I know his condition will only be getting worse from this point on. Suffice it to say, I am not a happy guy right now. But I can see I am rambling at the moment, so I'm gonna wrap this up now. See you all around later.
If I was near, I would give you a hug.
Have a mental one. [HUG]
Thank you, Old Man. That actually means a lot to me.
Sorry, you have to go through that Tin-man. Hang in there, buddy!
Thank you, Myk.
Nah mate, we did what we had to do, no sacrifice, no mourning. If we see suffering then as humans we must try to do something especially if the person is a relative, alone and afraid.
You are quite exceptional.
What utterly pisses me off is the moralising hand wringers. The professional religious bystanders.
And TM? Big shout out! Love that turn of phrase! " Dude, you are about as sharp as a wad of cow snot" I am so stealing that!
@Old Man Re: "...wad of cow snot..."
By all means, be my guest! Always pleased when my words can spread so much cheer! LOL
@Old Man... "The professional religious bystanders"
Wonderful phrase. Sums them up precisely.
I think your main problem is that you chose the wrong airline. After all, everything depends on the airline's strategy. Her attitude towards customers, her employees, flights and so on. I used Business Class Flights to Marshall Islands not too long ago and I have to say that online services are way better than people. From now on, I will always use the company's internet.