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Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
#1

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
..but I jus can't make myself believe religion due to my (perceived) knowledge of its absurdity, irrationality and damaging facets.

Any other posters here wish, in a way, they could be a believer and part of that crew?
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#2

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Thinking on, this thread comes from a genuine place, a genuine feeling I have from time to time, yet I usually espouse an antitheist narrative and this empathising with theists might, perhaps, make them JUST LIKE US!   Hug
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#3

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Not anymore, but I used too.

I spent about 15 years of my youth reading various religious texts because somehow, I thought believing in god was normal, but like you I couldn't get through any texts without thinking it's BS. 

...and it still pisses me off that I wasted so much time on it, but it actually made me feel a bit stupid in my youth, that apparently, I couldn't understand something that had seemed so obvious to everybody else.

My wife is catholic, and aside from the religious stuff she said the one thing that made her feel comfortable is knowing that wherever she went in life, she knew she'd have community & support from other Catholics. I envy that a bit, there wasn't any athiest/humanist communities around back then.
[Image: 20220702-163925.jpg]

"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard

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#4

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 01:33 PM)Unsapien Wrote: Not anymore, but I used too.

I spent about 15 years of my youth reading various religious texts because somehow, I thought believing in god was normal, but like you I couldn't get through any texts without thinking it's BS. 

...and it still pisses me off that I wasted so much time on it, but it actually made me feel a bit stupid in my youth, that apparently, I couldn't understand something that had seemed so obvious to everybody else.

My wife is catholic, and aside from the religious stuff she said the one thing that made her feel comfortable is knowing that wherever she went in life, she knew she'd have community & support from other Catholics. I envy that a bit, there wasn't any athiest/humanist communities around back then.

Frank Zappa said (I shared the meme the other day) that "the only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own." Maybe that's mostly all that's missing, for me at least: an atheist temple/building/church/congregation....motherfucking bricks and mortar!!
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#5

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Back before the pandemic, I went to some talks organized through meetup.com. The idea discussed was that the forms and rituals and other structural elements of religion would be very valuable if they could be incorporated into the atheist community or communities. The big question was how to do that without simply aping religion.

For my part, after reading the Bhagavad Gita, I've been inspired to develop my own sort of syncretic belief that incorporates the ideas from Hinduism that aren't necessarily theistic, such as the practices of yoga and the morals in the epics, into what I am terming a secular Hinduism. I may borrow things from Buddhism, but I'm less friendly towards Buddhism.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#6

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
I think the closest thing I've got to atheism bricks and mortar at the moment is this forum...so thanks for that, admin.
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#7

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
I used to go to an atheist meetup in town on sundays when my wife & kids went to church, but then it got too political & there was too much drama, which annoyed me & I stopped going. Eventually the group broke up into like 3 different groups.
[Image: 20220702-163925.jpg]

"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard

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#8

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Ever considered joining a non-religious charity organization, one that does activities?
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#9

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 03:34 PM)brewerb Wrote: Ever considered joining a non-religious charity organization, one that does activities?

I'm yet to encounter a local charity organisation which is nominally atheist, so no.
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#10

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
That zappa quote is a time capsule.  Cults have made huge progress in the real estate market since, lol.  


Hard to miss something that refuses to go away.  Personally, though, I think it would be easier to identify with a religion than to believe in gods.  There are tons of workable religions I could easily slot into - the trouble is that too many of them are, ultimately, premised on gods - even when other premises are available and compelling.  The community building aspect of publicly held or religious belief is what differentiates it from the isolation of privately or closely held belief - cult belief.  On the one hand you have persistent evangelism and open congregations, and on the other you have secrets and mysteries and initiations and levels of access.   

I think it's understandable for people to want the former - and another tragedy of theism as practiced that so much of it turns into the latter, or never managed to become anything other-than.
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#11

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Never.  All one has to do is look at the shitheads who profess "belief" and I want no part of them.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#12

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Unlike many other atheists, I had a wonderful upbringing in my synagogue.  While we were Orthodox, we weren’t hard core.  You didn’t have to keep kosher at all times, though we all did.  Boys didn’t have to be Bar Mitzvot yet all the boys were.  No girls were, either.  I think the group pressure just kept everyone in line.

I started loosing my faith as most do, with questions, questions and more questions and never satisfied with the answers.  When I left home to go to Ohio State University, I think that’s what broke my need for the community.  I discovered I did fine without it and it’s also when I realized I no longer believed.  I haven’t looked back.  I still went to weddings, funerals, Bar Mitzvot for family and friends and while familiar feeling, I still felt no need for it.

So, no, I haven’t any desire to congregate and that includes any atheist groups.  I’ve gone to lectures or presentations but those are one off and fun….just not into regular gatherings, I guess.
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#13

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 01:00 PM)Dexta Wrote: ..but I jus can't make myself believe religion due to my (perceived) knowledge of its absurdity, irrationality and damaging facets.

You perceive correctly. So why not skip your perceptions and look at history.

Quote:Any other posters here wish, in a way, they could be a believer and part of that crew?

I am not able rightly to apprehend the confusion of thought that would provoke such a question.

Nods: C. Babbage.
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#14

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 04:47 PM)Dexta Wrote:
(05-09-2024, 03:34 PM)brewerb Wrote: Ever considered joining a non-religious charity organization, one that does activities?

I'm yet to encounter a local charity organisation which is nominally atheist, so no.

Why does it have to be atheist? I've volunteered at our local food bank(s), religion was never discussed. Maybe I'd hear an occasional 'bless you or thank god' but that was about it. Same with the animal shelters. 

Google secular charities where you live.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#15

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 07:11 PM)brewerb Wrote:
(05-09-2024, 04:47 PM)Dexta Wrote: I'm yet to encounter a local charity organisation which is nominally atheist, so no.

Why does it have to be atheist? 

Because I've already got a life full of doing good deeds and am "looking" for a real world local community of ATHEISTS. That's on the tin of this thread woof woof, aren't you hungry? Walkies?
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#16

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 04:47 PM)Dexta Wrote:
(05-09-2024, 03:34 PM)brewerb Wrote: Ever considered joining a non-religious charity organization, one that does activities?

I'm yet to encounter a local charity organisation which is nominally atheist, so no.

I volunteer with a dog rescue.  We have members who are doubtless jesus freaks but it doesn't matter.

We don't talk about gods.  We talks about dogs.  Dogs exist.  Dogs are thus far more important than fucking gods.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#17

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
If what you're looking for is a church, but atheist, then you might be out of luck. Atheism isn't the kind of statement that lends itself to community building. It's not a claim about how the world should be. We aren't united in a single moral community, or in fact any community, because we don't believe in gods.
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#18

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 07:29 PM)Dexta Wrote:
(05-09-2024, 07:11 PM)brewerb Wrote: Why does it have to be atheist? 

Because I've already got a life full of doing good deeds and am "looking" for a real world local community of ATHEISTS. That's on the tin of this thread woof woof, aren't you hungry? Walkies?

It's not in the tin or it would have said I'm looking a real world local community of atheists. You said that sometimes you crave the community of 'church'. Those are quite different.

bold: Gook luck with that. I suggest that you start with humanists, here they tend to gather in charities. Ya, ya, I know, humanist does not equal atheist.

You took it low, it's not the best of qualities. But if you want to play we can low ball each other. Let me know.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#19

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 01:00 PM)Dexta Wrote: ..but I jus can't make myself believe religion due to my (perceived) knowledge of its absurdity, irrationality and damaging facets.

Any other posters here wish, in a way, they could be a believer and part of that crew?
I used to be an all-in Christian fundamentalist (from age 6 to 36 or so ... I'm now 67). I never found a particularly gratifying sense of belonging in it. I suspect I might have done better in more liberal precincts of Christianity, but alas -- I do not miss what I never had. If you have never been a believer, you may be looking into the warm living room with the roaring fire in the hearth, and seeing it dimply through the frosted panes of glass as you shiver out in the cold. But in my experience, it's all artifice and the lack of real warmth just makes the cold even worse.
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#20

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 01:33 PM)Unsapien Wrote: My wife is catholic, and aside from the religious stuff she said the one thing that made her feel comfortable is knowing that wherever she went in life, she knew she'd have community & support from other Catholics. I envy that a bit, there wasn't any athiest/humanist communities around back then.
Jews also have a built-in belonging wherever they go, if perhaps a bit less ubiquitous (especially if you're conservative to orthodox in persuasion). Not just belonging, but identity, tradition, customs, etc. That can be very centering and I've noticed an interesting phenomenon -- sometimes people who don't feel particularly centered or anchored in the world because of some form of chaos in their childhood, seek out the (usually more conservative and structured sub-type) Jewish or Catholic faith precisely as an antidote. A friend of mind was physically abused as a child and is now a conservative Jew (more conservative than the conservative congregation he is part of actually). A college friend of my wife's with a fraught childhood converted to Orthodox Judaism, to the point that when they shared an apartment, they had to have separate dishes. I'm sure the same happens with Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, etc. -- anyone with a more structured formalistic approach to faith.
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#21

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 07:29 PM)Dexta Wrote: Because I've already got a life full of doing good deeds and am "looking" for a real world local community of ATHEISTS. That's on the tin of this thread woof woof, aren't you hungry? Walkies?

A real world local community of atheists?
I doubt such a thing even exists outside of discussion groups such as this one. I have no idea what you're looking for and I'm pretty sure you don't either but I wish you well in your quest.
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#22

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 11:20 PM)Inkubus Wrote: A real world local community of atheists?
I doubt such a thing even exists outside of discussion groups such as this one.
There was an abortive attempt a few years ago to organize such a beast. I don't recall the name of it. The movement started IIRC in the UK and spread for awhile to the US. It ultimately collapsed last I knew because of what you would expect -- there's no basis for cohesion. Leading atheists is like herding cats.

Min is on the right track. Find something meaningful to do that has nothing to do with gods or no gods. There are plenty of such things in the world. For me it's just writing software, exploring interesting problems in that realm. My wife, who has preceded me in retirement, is weighing various things: volunteering with The Reuse Center, a local nonprofit that recycles everything from clothing to construction materials; joining the Rotary Club, etc. It's a way to meet people that she has things in common with as well, and should result in lasting friendships. As a couple we're probably going to take a few classes together.
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#23

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Quote:My wife is catholic, and aside from the religious stuff she said the one thing that made her feel comfortable is knowing that wherever she went in life, she knew she'd have community & support from other Catholics.


Do you suppose Giordano Bruno felt that way?
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#24

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
A person can "crave" many things. Some of them might just "fall into your lap", some are possible with effort, and some will certainly never happen. I understand that some true-believer religious people are utterly happy with their lives. They very much desire to be told how to live because they can't quite figure it out themselves.

I know that some people desire a church connection for social/community reasons. A sense of "belonging" to a group is important. They want to be like their neighbors and fellow church-goers. The specific region may not even matter much. I mean, even the religions don't differ in "the big picture" all that much. And the various Protestant ones differ less than they realize. And I have a joke demonstrating that I can post if forced to!

And then there are people who consider religious beliefs and religious community a joke. A superstition of people with weak minds, personal insecurity, and unable to decide ethics for themselves. Those would be atheists.

I don't need a fancy building full of people all trying to believe the same thing together. I don't need a "Special Person" in some assembly telling me what to think or how to act. I don't need to be the same as my neighbors. Oh, I'm quite friendly and helpful, but I don't really care what they believe. My "community" is wherever thoughtful, knowledgable, and non-superstitious people are.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#25

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Oh man, when I was a teen I felt I had a "deity shaped hole" in me that needed filling. I deep dived into pretty much every religion there is and it just made me more atheist to be honest haha.

Since then, I've attended my mothers church a few times [normally for some occasion she is part of where friends/family can attend] and in all honesty, the god stuff aside, I actually reall enjoyed the people + atmosphere. The problem is, the "god part" is like the main part, so I just can't face it.

Nothing wrong with wanting to be part of a community/supportive group at all, just a shame most of super religious.
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