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Old 11-20-2007, 09:46 AM
 
Location: among the chaos
2,136 posts, read 3,134,394 times
Reputation: 968

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I was just posting a note on the "prayer" thread and a thought occurred to me that I hope will not be taken wrong. It is just another one of my curiosities...a thread of learning and understanding if you will. I have gained much understanding from this forum and I appreciate it when we all stay respectful...

I have felt so much love and unity from the posters in the 'prayer' thread. Most are obviously 'faith-based' individuals, but there have also been a few non-believers who have felt comfortable enough to share a thought or two, or even request support. Generally the posts are for prayer when we are in need; there is sickness, pain, a family conflict. There are also posts of rejoicing. I am a strong believer in prayer and I find so much comfort in knowing that there are others who are lifting my needs up.

My query is for non-believers, how do you deal with daily pain and conflict? Do you have a support group? People who gather around you to lift you up...to give you comfort and support. I have inquired before about the social and family lives of the atheists on this forum, but there are many new names. I have found that many atheists have family members who are Christians, agnostics, etc. In my own family, we are all Christians. We may celebrate our faith in different ways, but we all have a common belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. I find that as a Christian, I find relief in that unity.

Now, all that being said, I also realize that I have established a very good friendship with a fellow forumer who is an atheist. This person has given me support, love, and has held me close in their heart. This person has never been disrespectful of my beliefs, nor I of theirs. Perhaps, atheists support others no differently than Christians. Again, I am just looking for understanding...

PS: Before this gets turned into any kind of angry, hateful thread, please ask for clarification where it may be needed.
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:09 PM
 
7,467 posts, read 7,151,596 times
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Default The gentle care that bonds provide...

I suspect we handle everyday stresses, conflicts, and pain in much the same way that anyone else does; albiet, without prayer or reliance upon any god. I suspect that we are no less introspective, no less vulnerable, no less needy. I suspect that we find the exact same inner strength that you do, although perhaps we seek it, and thus find it, in different ways. I don't think we rely upon intellect any more than you do, but equally we rely upon what is in the heart.

If music and art have provided anything, it is the notion that separate, unrelated entities can find a way to become unified into a meaningful and sometimes beautiful whole. -And perhaps, therein, lies the secret relevance behind seemingly unfathomable, unrelated things. We are all capable of making connections. With or without a god, we are all able to find meaning and connections, bonds, with others. I suspect that what ultimately sustains the believer and nonbeliever alike are not all that dissimiliar; perhaps it is just called by different names. My lack of belief makes me no less capable of finding love or unity. --But where, and how we seek it and find it are perhaps vastly different.

Perhaps there is something about the human spirit that transcends differences in belief. Perhaps it is equally and as hard to define as "faith/belief" itself is. -But it is certainly not unknowable. We have the inherent capacity to find self-connection, empathy, and love for others. It is more difficult, perhaps, at times than others. However, once it is found, and formed, it creates that unifying bond...That whole.

And takes gentle care.
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:05 PM
 
4,437 posts, read 6,002,219 times
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Well I'm a believer but I don't really pray very often. I'll give you my own "Non Praying Believer" view..

I find myself saying "it is what it is" quite often (which little_thirsty doesn't care for). I'm a pragmatic person and I just feel that stuff happens. I can hope for things to get better or I can just do what needs to be done. I hope that doesn't sound callous. I'm not a tearful person (again..something little_thirsty gets onto me about) cause I don't see what I gain in getting emotional about things. Getting emotional for me clouds my judgement and I feel I have more clarity when I just ponder what to do. So.. I guess in my mind I'm saving up my prayers for when I really need them.. not for when I really need them to be answered.. just when I need them.

Finally as to what June said concerning empathy. I feel as though empathy might be the most difficult recognitions to achieve (especially for cautious people such as myself).
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:18 PM
 
8,862 posts, read 8,910,337 times
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I am not overly concerned with individual beliefs.

Support/friendship/empathy is part of being human.

(Sometimes God's answer is 'No'--people you love die and others make bad choices. Then you have a choice of how to respond.)

I am somewhat curious about why you wonder how non-believers cope with the challenges of life. We were given 'Free Will' and worrying about where others might choose to spend eternity is something I will not do.

Albert Schweitzer had some good ideas.
Here>>>
Albert Schweitzer Quotes


Mother Theresa had similar ideas.

Maybe somebody who has a thorough knowledge of the book of Revelations could answer your questions.
Not me.


Thomas Jefferson had some interesting thoughts on religion/faith. Felt it was a private matter and much more--thousands of people have studied his mind and can provide opinions on his beliefs.

I hate to say this, but I will--'Some' Christians seem to be somewhat lacking in compassion and rather 'unloving'.

This contributes to 'unbelief'. jmo. And then it is back to 'Free Will'.

bhs

Last edited by TakeAhike; 11-20-2007 at 04:35 PM..
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:01 PM
 
Location: The world, where will fate take me this time?
3,163 posts, read 7,850,493 times
Reputation: 1393
Love is the most powerful force in the world

The magic of love is that all of us can feel it and suffer it's wonderful effects, regardless of our beliefs.

To avoid, polluting this thread with any particular kind of belief or religion, I'll just talk about love

Love is the force that makes me feel, that there is no difference between you and I
Love is the force that makes me feel, that you and I are that energy, that love is our true nature, our true essence
Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls, families and nations.

Peace and Love for all mankind and beyond!

All you need is love, love is all you need

Last edited by Travelling fella; 11-20-2007 at 05:13 PM..
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