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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Atheist Or Agnostic?

Monday April 25th, 2011 - Fox Lake, IL

   I’m having all kinds of God issues again. Yesterday was Easter, and I’m just not feeling it when it comes to anything pertaining to religion on any level. I think it’s all a mammoth humbug. I don’t know if I’m an atheist or an agnostic, but I fall somewhere in between.

   This has only been an issue in the last few years, but it’s growing. I feel that unpleasant letdown feeling I had when I found out the truth about Santa, only this one scares me. My grandfather was pretty much an atheist, and he told me I’d eventually arrive at this point.

   I remember him taking all kinds of classes in religion at the end of his life, and reading a whole lot on the subject as if he was trying to find some magic answer to everything he had questions about. Then, at the end he poo pooed it all and said he’d take his chances.

   As a kid that really disturbed me because I loved Gramps very much and didn’t want to see him go to hell, whatever or wherever that was. He said he didn’t believe in any pie in the sky heaven or fire belching hell. He said whatever punishment he’d get, he’d accept.

   I also vividly remember my grandmother saying disappointedly in one of her last lucid moments before Alzheimers snatched her brain and never gave it back, how she too had studied religions and concluded it was all B.S. in the end. For her to say that was major.

   Grandma grew up Catholic, but left at age 58 because she said she had enough of a dead religion full of people who went through the motions. She too set out on a journey to find some answers, and hopped from church to church trying to find them but she never did.

   Those two were about as different as two married people could be, and it’s strange that they both came up with the same conclusion on religion at the end of their lives. Grandma held out hope a little longer than Gramps, but she too eventually said she didn’t believe it.

   I really don’t want to think that way, and words like ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic’ still seem to be cold and sinister sounding even now. I wish there were that kindly old man figure with a white beard in a long robe sitting on a throne somewhere answering prayers for us all.

   I’d love to believe when I die I’ll get my own mansion in heaven and have nothing to do but go to harp concerts and eat at banquets every day. Just as I believed in Santa as a kid, I believed in God too. I thought that Jesus came here to die for me so I could be ‘saved’.

   Saved from what? What a far fetched story it all is, and I fell for it as millions of others did and are. Sorry, I have a whole new take on it now, and I’m not buying any of it. It’s a bigger lie than Santa, and I feel duped. I don’t know what the truth is, but it’s not that.

   I’m not buying Judaism or Islam either. Sorry, there are holes in all of them. What’s the real truth, and why are any of us here? We’ll find out eventually, or there’s no reason and we just die and that’s it. I don’t think it’s that, but I don’t think it’s the other way either.

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Talkbacks

sandstorm | April 29, 2011 at 8:54 a.m. (report)

keep belching semantics dude.
doesn't matter.
no matter how you twist it you cannot change the definition of the word atheist.

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fvthinker | April 28, 2011 at 1:39 p.m. (report)

I don't believe in unicorns. I don't say that unicorns can't exist. I could be wrong, but with the information available, I do not believe in unicorns.
I don't believe in God. I don't say God can't exist. I could be wrong, but with the information available, I do not believe in God.

My disbelief is *not* making a *positive statement* that God cannot exist. Saying, positively, that God does not exist is equally as arrogant as saying God does exist. I know no atheists that positively state that God cannot exist.

Sorry if that is difficult for you to grasp.

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BrewCityAllstar | April 28, 2011 at 11:28 a.m. (report)

35851 atheist /eist/ Show Spelled
[ey-thee-ist]
noun
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

agnostic /gnstk/ Show Spelled
[ag-nos-tik]
noun
1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

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sandstorm | April 28, 2011 at 7:27 a.m. (report)

you're probably as fun to hang out with as Mr. Lucky.

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fvthinker | April 27, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. (report)

The subtlety is, obviously, lost on most. There is an important difference between saying "I don't believe in a god" and "No gods exist". 99.9% of atheists would identify with the former (notwithstanding lazily crafted rhetoric that make them sound like the latter). I [we] cannot, positively, say that unicorns and trolls do not exist, but I [we] do not expend the verbal capital to communicate my [our] agnosticism toward unicorns and trolls. It is the same with every other god.

After years of careful consideration and bona-fide research on the matter; I find the idea of any *theistic* deity absurd. (If you care, I find the idea of a *deistic* god presumptuous but harmless) Might I be wrong? Certainly...but I don't lose sleep over it. In fact, it weighs on my mind no more than an evangelical Christian worries that the Koran might be the true, holy book or how much sleep you lose sweating your position on unicorn existence.

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