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Fighting against God - a staunch atheist encounters God after a suicide attempt | Article | Unbelievable

  
Via:  CB  •  last year  •  41 comments

By:   Unbelievable

Fighting against God - a staunch atheist encounters God after a suicide attempt | Article | Unbelievable
Deep down I was the most insecure person you would have ever met. I was screaming on the inside, ‘Love me!’ I want somebody to love me. I want somebody to hold me and to say, ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.’ My war against Christianity came down to the biggest things that I feared.”

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Roger Sherrer vehemently believed religion was poison. Jana Harmon shares his story of transformation here

We all have an identity based on who we think we are and what we believe is true. When someone takes on an identity different from ourselves, we often have presumptions of who they are, what they think and how they feel about things. We often presume they will never change. But, when we take the time to get to know that person, often times our perception will change of who they are and what they believe. We begin to know the person below the persona. Our presumed negative caricatures or stereotypes begin to fade.

Sometimes underneath a hard exterior and strong anti-God sentiment of an atheist lurks the unexpected, a softer side of someone who has the same human needs and desires for truth, meaning, value and love. Sometimes, people, their beliefs and identities do change against all expectations. Sometimes, staunch atheists become strong Christians.

Religion was poison

Former atheist and strong anti-theist Roger Sherrer thought belief in God was not only childish but bad and needed to be taken down. He didn't begin with this contempt. Growing up, God was simply absent in his home or among his friends. There was no negative discussion about belief. There was no reference to it at all.

When he became a teenager, he began watching YouTube videos of atheists and authors who spoke and wrote of religion as poison. Mesmerised, he found an intellectual and emotional home with the New Atheists who were verbalising what he had been thinking. Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion became his Bible. He memorised it with fervour as his "blueprint on how to argue with Christians".

He became angry at religious believers who seemed to oppose everything he was for, using the Old Testament as fodder to "intellectually flex against brainwashed Christians". Roger recalled how his atheist identity became solidified:

"Growing up I was very distant from Church and organised religion, certainly something that we did not adhere to. What started as unbelief transitioned from an agnostic, 'I don't know if there's a God. I don't really care if there's a God,' into a version of anti-theism, in which my identity was predicated upon, 'There is no God, and not only do I believe there's no God, but if you believe in God, then you have inferior intelligence. You are a weak person. You are emotionally, mentally, psychologically, intellectually subpar.' As for my identity, I was known as the community atheist."

Roger's atheism was not merely disbelief, but rather took on a form of anti-theism that was fuelled by contempt: He described his disbelief as:

"'There is no God, and I hate him.' That was my atheism. 'God does not exist. He's Santa Claus for adults, and, oh, by the way, He's a misogynistic bully, and if you believe in him, you believe in a celestial dictator.' And so I went into the level of animosity that it was a war zone. When we talked about faith, when we talked about your testimony, I was going to treat you with the disdain that I thought you deserved. I wanted to humiliate and minimize Christians."

Unexpected challenge

Roger sought to take down the beliefs of the few genuine Christians he knew. Tim attended church and sincerely lived out his faith. Aware of Roger's animosity, he asked Roger why he hated Christians so much. The list was long, ranging from perceived 'homophobia' to lack of women's rights. But Tim challenged him asking: "Why are they wrong? What standard are you using to say Christians are immoral for these actions they take?" Those questions caused Roger to begin to wonder:

"Well, wait a second, I think certain things are objectively evil and some things are objectively good, but I can't do that. I have to argue moral relativism. There's no other way out of that. I realised that I don't get to have the moral outrage that I truly feel when it comes to why certain Christians do this and why self-righteousness exists and why judgmental people exist. Without objective moral values and duties, what standard do I have? And eventually I realised, 'Well, some of this is self-evident. There are objective moral values.'"

It was a conundrum. Roger's desire to make 'real' moral judgments yet not being able to ground them in his godless perspective placed a stone in his shoe that began to open him towards the possibility of the need for God.

Unexpected friendship

One day while in a high school art history class, the teacher began showing representations of Christian art. Roger raised his hand, challenging and mocking what he saw, all the while encouraged by his friends. Unshaken, his teacher approached him after class and invited him to meet with her pastor to ask any questions he had about Christianity. The next day he sat down with Matt for two hours to ask all of his 'checkmate questions' he knew no Christian could answer. After a substantive exchange, neither were swayed of their beliefs. What was surprising was what happened next. After their conversation the pastor hugged Matt and asked him to lunch the next day. This unexpected invitation and their ensuing friendship took Roger off guard. He recalled:

"It was the first time in my life where a Christian, after I had just spent two hours decimating his worldview and telling him why he was basically an intellectual idiot, he had embraced me and said, 'Hey, let's hang out. Let's do some stuff,' and so what began was the most unlikely friendship in the history of Lebanon, Missouri, the most well-known lead pastor and the most well-known atheist. Matt became my closest friend. We never talked religion beyond debate, and I never asked for prayer. But when I needed someone to listen to me, Matt was the person I called."

Over the next few months, they spent time together watching football, arguing politics, and developing a deep friendship. Eventually, Matt was able to talk about what God had done in his life and Roger became willing to listen. Matt was unlike the 'timeshare' Christians who tried to give him a 'sales pitch' and then move on. Matt was different. He was able to "make Christianity real" through invested relationship and living out an authentic faith. Roger reflected: "Matt ministered to where I was with gentleness and respect and it opened my heart." But on the outside he remained a stalwart atheist.

Unexpected change

Outwardly, Roger fuelled his "confident, vehement, dogmatic atheist identity" with strong language and debate. But behind the facade, he carried fear and insecurity. His nihilistic philosophy which perpetuated a personal weight of no objective meaning, value or purpose in life propelled him into depression, sadness and despair. He was yearning for more than his view of the world offered him, revealing:

"Deep down I was the most insecure person you would have ever met. I was screaming on the inside, 'Love me!' I want somebody to love me. I want somebody to hold me and to say, 'Hey, it's going to be okay.' My war against Christianity came down to the biggest things that I feared."

For Roger, life became intolerable. On Halloween night 2009 he wrote out his suicide note, called the suicide hotline and passed out on his bed. It was in the midst of his regret and self-reflection that he realised "there was nowhere to look other than up because I was on my back". He woke up the next morning "as alone and defeated as I had ever felt", saying to himself: "I need to be around the one person who has loved me throughout all of this."

Looking for hope, for answers, Roger went to the church where Matt was a pastor. Hiding in the corner of the balcony, he heard Matt say: "If you lack meaning, value or purpose in your life, there is a God that wants to know you." It was exactly what he wanted and needed to hear. Clarity came. That morning he finally found what or rather who he was looking for. He found the God who knew him all along, who knew his struggles. He immediately recognised the dramatic shift:

"In that moment, something that was once artificial, something that was once flat-out fake in how I viewed it, became real. It became authentic. And in that moment, I realized, 'I'm leaving this morning as a new creation. I am leaving as a brand new person.'"

He walked out of church a different man with a new perspective and purpose for his life. Although he immediately became convinced in the reality of God through his experience at church, the curious intellectual debater in him did not wane. He went on to study the arguments and evidence for God and is more convinced than ever that the encounter he had with God was real. Now, he spends his life helping others to know what he has discovered - the God who was there all along.

If you'd like to listen to Roger Sherrer tell his full story, tune into his Side B Stories podcast with Jana Harmon. Or you can find it on the Side B Stories website at www.sidebstories.com.

Jana Harmon hosts the Side B Stories podcast where former atheists and skeptics talk about their turn from disbelief to belief in God and Christianity. She is a teaching fellow for the CS Lewis Institute of Atlanta and former adjunct professor in cultural apologetics at Biola University where she received an MA in Christian apologetics. Jana also holds a PhD in religion and theology from the University of Birmingham in England. Her research focused on religious conversion of atheists to Christianity. Her forthcoming book is entitled, Atheists Finding God: Unlikely Stories of Conversions to Christianity in the Contemporary West.


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CB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  CB    last year
Sometimes underneath a hard exterior and strong anti-God sentiment of an atheist lurks the unexpected, a softer side of someone who has the same human needs and desires for truth, meaning, value and love. Sometimes, people, their beliefs and identities do change against all expectations. Sometimes, staunch atheists become strong Christians.

This is interesting 'news.'

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
2  Hal A. Lujah    last year

I’m convinced that atheists like myself simply lack the gene that allows for honest acceptance of something that is so plainly lacking evidence or reason.  I’ve been that way since birth, despite my forced religious upbringing.  I distinctly remember a hinge point in my youth that solidified it:

It was in Sunday school after church, and the “teacher” had put all the chairs into a circle for a discussion about heaven.  Up to that point I had never gave a whole lot of serious thought about heaven, because of how boring and uniquely stupid I felt the concept of heaven is at face value.  I honestly thought that nobody really could actually believe this crap, and that “belief” must be some kind of weird show that people put on for a reason that I had yet to figure out.  At this juncture (3rd grade-ish?) it’s not like I wanted to believe in it - because I’m literally not wired to believe in it any more than I could be convinced that a fat guy in a red suit actually does deliver presents to every person in the world on one night - but I did want to understand why others pretended so strenuously that god and heaven are real.

The “teacher” did her best to paint heaven as the place where anything you want is yours.  As she went around the circle asking each kid what are we looking forward to the most when we get to heaven, I played along.  The response I got strangely solidified my nonbelief more than anything else that has happened in my life in the following decades.  My dog had just died that week, and while all the other kids were suggesting all this juvenile materialistic stuff or reuniting with their wrinkly old dead relatives, I said that I wanted to see my dog again.  I wasn’t saying that in an earnest belief that it would happen, since I wasn’t wired to believe any of this nonsense, but I was saying it just to fit in with the group by stating what I would most want in this fantasy land of ideas at this moment.  The “teacher” looked at me and said, “heaven is only for people”.

I immediately felt even more confused.  Here you want me to pretend to believe in this impossible fantasy place called heaven, but you immediately shoot down my answer because this fantasy land doesn’t allow dogs?!!  You can have anything your mind can dream up, except your beloved pets?!!  I could not wait to get away from this moron.  All this woman had to do to gain my pretend allegiance in heaven like every other kid there was say “good answer”, like she did to all the other stupid fantasy responses, but she singled out my response as if that was the one that was too unrealistic.  She has no idea that her efforts to indoctrinate my malleable developing mind actually did more to entrench atheism in my persona than anything else to come in my future.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2    last year

Wow. Genes are the cause of belief in God. Interesting.

Roger's atheism was not merely disbelief, but rather took on a form of anti-theism that was fuelled by contempt: He described his disbelief as: "'There is no God, and I hate him.' That was my atheism. 'God does not exist. He's Santa Claus for adults, and, oh, by the way, He's a misogynistic bully, and if you believe in him, you believe in a celestial dictator.' And so I went into the level of animosity that it was a war zone. When we talked about faith, when we talked about your testimony, I was going to treat you with the disdain that I thought you deserved. I wanted to humiliate and minimize Christians."
 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
2.1.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  CB @2.1    last year

Genes are the cause of belief in God. Interesting.

I wouldn’t say the cause, more like the catalyst.  It’s like there is something genetic that fuels the potential for religious belief and I just don’t have it.  Someone like this guy has it but it just took a while for the reaction to occur.

He described his disbelief as: "'There is no God, and I hate him.' That was my atheism.

Everybody knows that non-belief in god and hatred of god as a real thing are not compatible arguments.  His atheism was more like obstinance and angst than sincere non-belief.  My guess is that if he had been raised in a religious household he never would have been an atheist.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.1    last year

Forgive me, but there is a great deal of supposing in your comment. How does that square with critical thinking about this?

My reason for including the (large) quote from Roger was to point out how he utilized the 'talking points' of some atheists when speaking about religious people as a whole. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.3  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.1    last year

Now this:

Former atheist and strong anti-theist Roger Sherrer thought belief in God was not only childish but bad and needed to be taken down. He didn't begin with this contempt. Growing up, God was simply absent in his home or among his friends. There was no negative discussion about belief. There was no reference to it at all.

When he became a teenager, he began watching YouTube videos of atheists and authors who spoke and wrote of religion as poison. Mesmerised, he found an intellectual and emotional home with the New Atheists who were verbalising what he had been thinking. Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion became his Bible. He memorised it with fervour as his "blueprint on how to argue with Christians".

He became angry at religious believers who seemed to oppose everything he was for, using the Old Testament as fodder to "intellectually flex against brainwashed Christians".

I have boldened what is relevant to Roger to my mind: He had no incentive to care for any God and he was not raised in a "faith" setting. God was a null issue to him.  Ironically, it was his attempts to negatively engage believers which led to a formulation leading to a belief in God ultimately.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
2.1.4  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  CB @2.1.3    last year

He had no incentive to care for any God and he was not raised in a "faith" setting. God was a null issue to him.

That is exactly what I was referring to when I said this:

My guess is that if he had been raised in a religious household he never would have been an atheist.

In other words, he had a potential in him that does not exist in true non-believers.  It was just never coaxed out of him in his formative years.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.5  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.4    last year

That's a supposition ("My guess"). An argument from silence. Additionally, a 'No True Atheist' logical fallacy argument.  Hal you wrote this about yourself:

I’m convinced that atheists like myself simply lack the gene that allows for honest acceptance of something that is so plainly lacking evidence or reason.I’ve been that way since birth, despite my forced religious upbringing.

You had a "forced religious upbringing" and you resisted that, you feel certain, effortlessly due to a(n atheist) gene?! Roger did not have a religious upbringing-voluntarily or involuntarily, and was 'given' to an atheist worldview. Which later changed due to interaction with the other side.

How would you test/falsify your theory of Roger lacking an atheist gene?

And if you can not test Roger. . . are you just rendering a (biased) opinion right now about a supposed and unproven atheist gene?

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
2.1.6  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  CB @2.1.5    last year

I’m telling you that short of god thundering my name down from the sky, appearing in front of me out of a bolt of lightening, and demonstrating his all-powerful magic in person, it is literally impossible that I should ever believe it is real.  This guy was never that sort, he was just an angst filled loud mouth.  Do I have proof of my gene theory?  Of course not!  Why would you even ask me for that? In doing so you have dragged this exchange into a mindless, circular space.  I’m aloud to have my own beliefs just like you are.  At least mine have some potential for being proven true some day.

I’m not criticizing anyone for their beliefs, I’m just saying that if you don’t understand what I’m alluding to then you don’t understand true non-belief.  It’s as simple as how you feel about the tooth fairy.  It’s ingrained in who I am, and I have the exact same potential for being struck down by lightning, cancer, and any other lethal force as you or Roger Sherrer does regardless of what blasphemous things come out of our mouths at any point in our lives.  In some countries my inability to believe would be characterized as not just a disability, but one that needs to be eradicated through execution to protect the god fearing gene pool.  The same zealots would throw you off of a building for the religious crime of being gay.  They don’t get that it’s not a god that would be punishing us, it is man.  Their punishment is as manmade as their god.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.7  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.6    last year

Hal, there is no need to get boisterously loud with me. You questioned Roger's right to his truth of his convictions and how he came about them (from nature and nuture). I asked you the equivalent of how you know this. To which you have deflected to outrage. That is emotion. Also, let me take a moment to clear any impression that may linger: I don't believe in a tooth fairy, a santa clause, or wicked witches either.

Furthermore, you have stated that you have no proof (material evidence) for an atheist gene (theory), so I can not accept the aforementioned "theory" anymore than you accept that I have a "magical" God.

Therefore, I have to take Roger at his word about his past and present stream of consciousnesses.

Personal note. This is not about my being homosexual or celibate or even about proof of (a) God. This is a discussion about a former atheist and what he says about a material change in him.

I find Roger fascinating, because as he illustrates being an atheist is not something so unique that it is unheard of of people becoming something other than so.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
2.1.8  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  CB @2.1.7    last year

You are resorting to drama by characterizing my mildly toned half of this exchange as boisterously loud outrage.  Clearly that is not evident in my comment.  The fact is that you find Roger fascinating because he reinforces your preferred narrative that being an atheist is reversible.  The fact is that this quote sums up what really happened:

Outwardly, Roger fuelled his "confident, vehement, dogmatic atheist identity" with strong language and debate. But behind the facade, he carried fear and insecurity.

It was always a facade by a guy who didn’t need a god, he just needed a good friend.  He may as well have been the guy in the wrong jersey at the sports bar that nobody would take seriously or want to sit next to.  I know the feeling, I’m just not as bothered by it as him.  When he changed his jersey to what everyone else was wearing he found that his life was heading in the direction he desired, and all he had to do was pretend to be one of them.  Anyone who engages in Pascal’s Wager is not a true non-believer.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.9  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.8    last year

This is important:  Why can't you accept Roger's understanding about himself?

Hal, I have amplified nothing. It is you that is ascribing attributes to Roger and me. You have even failed to accept what I wrote about myself on its face.

Personal note. This is not about my being homosexual or celibate or even about proof of (a) God. This is a discussion about a former atheist and what he says about a material change in him.

Yet, you say that I ought to accept that you are 'calm, cool, and collected' here. I should accept your characterization about well, you. . . why? That said, I can and will. But, you question Roger/me!

The truth is, there are other atheist conversion stories on the planet (happens everyday somewhere on the planet), in my opinion. Also, conversion is a two-way street.

Roger's insecurities are not a testament to a lack of any gene, I would argue, his insecurity are about a need for something more than nihilism. . . that would beg the question as to why atheism possibly leads one to feel. . . desperation. 

I don't know. Because I have been agnostic and it did not lead me to feel sullen or desperate.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
2.1.10  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  CB @2.1.9    last year

I guess you need to point out the outrage then, because I certainly don’t feel outraged or see it in my comment.

The truth is, there are other atheist conversion stories on the planet (happens everyday somewhere on the planet), in my opinion.

This is an interesting statement.  First you call it truth, then opinion, offering no evidence of the narrative you want me to accept.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen an article purporting atheist to religionist conversion and still have fingers left.  Your wish thinking is strong, grasshopper.

The statement about nihilism is telling as well.  How does non-belief in gods equate to a word that basically means scepticism of everything?  Nihilism is far too strong a word to describe atheism.   We don’t even care about the thing you hold so dear, much less feel desperate about it.  If religionists would stop trying to force religious concepts on the masses they’d never even hear from us.  We are only reacting to the aggressive overreach of a belief system we see as too patently ridiculous to even take seriously.  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.11  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.10    last year
Unexpected change Outwardly, Roger fuelled his "confident, vehement, dogmatic atheist identity" with strong language and debate. But behind the facade, he carried fear and insecurity. His nihilistic philosophy which perpetuated a personal weight of no objective meaning, value or purpose in life propelled him into depression, sadness and despair. He was yearning for more than his view of the world offered him, revealing:  - Article above.

The statement about nihilism is not derived from me: The word is pulled from the article (see quote above.). Thus, its usage is contextualized in the article too.

And that goes to the presumption on your part to 'attack' me without feeling (for) out and simultaneously ignoring my motive for posting this article: Here it is (again), and 'behold' you won't have to reread the entirety of comments to search it out (as I am often told by some here to do):

I find Roger fascinating, because as he illustrates being an atheist is not something so unique that it is unheard of of people becoming something other than so.

And example of others? My intention is to hold them (up for now) in abeyance and see how Roger fares here. I must admit, I never EVER saw you as (my) protagonist and this strong rebuke (AINO: Atheist In Name Only) to a 'fellow' atheist becoming transformed.

Francis Collins is an exceptionally famous scientist who many know converted from atheism. C.S. Lewis is another converted from atheism.There are a bevy of other scientists who are bi-religious and scientists!

Why such hostility? Curious. Now that this has occurred: Why attack me? When watching movies do you EVER agree it is fair or morally right to shoot the messenger?! You could agree its appropriate, but do you?

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Masters Expert
2.1.12  al Jizzerror  replied to  CB @2.1    last year
Wow. Genes are the cause of belief in God. Interesting.

If your jeans don't fit, they can pinch your balls and you'll yell, "OH MY GOD!"

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.13  seeder  CB  replied to  al Jizzerror @2.1.12    last year

Wrong genes, Al J'r.

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Masters Expert
2.1.14  al Jizzerror  replied to  CB @2.1.13    last year
Wrong genes, Al J'r.

Yep.  I was attempting to ridicule this statement (2.1):

Wow. Genes are the cause of belief in God. Interesting.

To me statements like that are fucking ridiculous.  

Trying to Mix theism and genetics is like mixing oil and urine,

It's a pisser.  LMFAO!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.15  seeder  CB  replied to  al Jizzerror @2.1.14    last year

Hal A Lujah wrote @2 above which contains an implied assertion:

2 Hal A. Lujah   yesterday

I’m convinced that atheists like myself simply lack the gene that allows for honest acceptance of something that is so plainly lacking evidence or reason .I’ve been that way since birth, despite my forced religious upbringing.

See Hal @2 .

Just to be clear: I am not interested in the least in conversion of anybody with this article. I do think it is a GREAT article on the merits that shows the truth and diversity of US (people) and how we move back and forth through life and circumstances; and, vice-versa.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.2  seeder  CB  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2    last year
I’m convinced that atheists like myself simply lack the gene that allows for honest acceptance of something that is so plainly lacking evidence or reason.

Without evidence you propose that believers have a gene. . . do you propose the same for atheists having a gene? Moreover, if you propose that atheists (like you) can not  transform/persuade to believe, you cast 'true' atheist as people biased against those who state they have changed from atheist to believer. Bias is not a reasonable standard in this case, tell me where I am wrong.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
3  Greg Jones    last year

I also had an upbringing where church attendance, Sunday school, and vacation Bible school was not optional. It was forced upon me, and after all the effort by the parent, never really toke hold.

 It was a Baptist church, not Catholic, but I accumulated a lot guilt for my non belief along the way, but eventually, the scales feel from my eyes and I could finally see the truth....and it set me free.

 There were a series of lectures on PBS by Joseph Campbell who argued that there seems to be an innate need in people to believe in a higher power, but I wouldn't call it a gene.

 What he said made sense. And Dawkins is one of my favorite authors.  

 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  CB  replied to  Greg Jones @3    last year
I could finally see the truth....and it set me free.

What truth did you see and determine to be freeing? You did not state it.

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Masters Expert
4  al Jizzerror    last year

Because of my reputation, most people who see this post will think I'm kidding, butt this is the fucking truth.

I had a near death experience a few years ago.  It was probably caused by taking a prescription drug as prescribed.

I was alone in my beach condo because my wife had gone on a trip to the mountains for a few days.  I was sleeping naked (as usual).  I woke up on a cold tile floor next to the bed.  My whole body hurt.  I could barely (no pun intended) move. I couldn't get up or even crawl.  And that fucking voice in my head would not shut up!  It was an old lady's voice saying, "Help!  I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Since I had been sleeping, the blinds were closed and the curtains were shut.  I was in the dark.  I had no way to know how much time had passed.  I was very cold an I finally managed to reach up and slowly pull a blanket off of the bed.  I tried to roll over on the blanket, because the floor was so cold, butt I couldn't even roll over.  I struggled to get some of the blanket under my body.  I would try to roll to my left while stuffing about an inch of blanket at a time under my right side.  I repeated this struggle until I was out of gas.  I guess the effort caused me to pass out.  

When I woke up again, I was too weak to continue to try to stuff more blanket under myself.  I thought that I would die of hypothermia and dehydration.  Then, I began to experience hallucinations.  Some people believe that when you're dying, "Your whole life flashes before your eyes."

With me it was a little different.  My whole sex life flashed before my eyes.  It was in fucking chronological order.  As I laid on the floor I saw myself getting laid.  It was a lot better that listening to that bitch who couldn't get up.  One by one (except for the occassional threesomes and group sex) I saw every woman (naked of course) who i had sex with and watched myself having lots of fun.  It's a shame it was kinda like high speed (fast forwarding}.  I lost all sense of time, butt the show seemed to go on for hours (maybe days).  I wasn't aware of the pain or the cold while I watched the porn.

I was barely alive when my wife finally got home.  I was rushed to the hospital.  I only spent one day in ICU (and ten days in the hospital).

Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood. (Google)

One of the doctors told me that I had the highest level of Rhabdo in my blood that he had ever seen.  My body had been "digesting" itself.   I was put on IV steroids (and some other IV shit) for several days.  I played lots of different video games on the TV in my room the whole time.  I was told later that the TV was never turned on.

So, my near death experience involved lots of "porn" and video games.  It would have been fun, except all of the pain and suffering.  The rehab sucked too.

I'm an atheist, butt I believe in sex and video games.

I don't "fight against God" because He is non-existent. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1  JohnRussell  replied to  al Jizzerror @4    last year
I don't "fight against God" because He is non-existent. 

Although "he is non-existent" is an established and explainable position, so is "he does exist". 

It isnt possible to prove the non-existence of God, nor is it possible to prove its existence. Both sides operate on "faith". 

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
5  evilone    last year

I'm just trying to start a dialog here - What's the broader purpose of this article? What are we, YOUR audience supposed to take away from this? 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  CB  replied to  evilone @5    last year
I find Roger fascinating, because as he illustrates being an atheist is not something so unique that it is unheard of of people becoming something other than so

Thank you for the question: 2.1.7 I find Roger fascinating, because as he illustrates being an atheist is not something so unique that it is unheard of of people becoming something other than so

This is not an atheist 'put down' article and I have no agenda. I simply could not/would not/should not pass up an opportunity to share Roger's story (there are more too); it's a great story.

For those who don't accept that, I have no reason to lie about my "agenda" or lack thereof.  Some of you/us may recall that right now my faith in God is sound, but I am at odds with Christians who yet again are making this faith look ridiculous with their selective, damaging, and targeted Machiavellian attacks upon others who would love to be in this faith or who simply want to be left alone to be . . . a proper citizen living and loving life, liberty, and some productive peace.

Roger's is a great story. There is no reason not to share it and where possible discuss it.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
5.1.1  evilone  replied to  CB @5.1    last year
This is not an atheist 'put down' article and I have no agenda.

I see it more of a Christian affirmation story that leans on the idea that only through faith can one be whole.

I say that because for years we athiests have been told over and over that without faith we can't have... how is it put above?

...desires for truth, meaning, value and love.

It's a facetious argument that often includes things like this:

There is no God, and I hate him.

It makes me suspect the whole story. How can one hate something that doesn't exist? How can one learn to hate something that when above it also states:

Growing up, God was simply absent in his home or among his friends. There was no negative discussion about belief.

It's weird, but I come across it in articles like this all the time. I really don't get it. First, it is true that there are people who claim to be athiests that are very anti and make asses of themselves, just as there are Christians who do the same, so I'll discard that part of story. It has less to do with the whole. 

I'm talking more about the idea that faith has value where atheism can't. This is a fallacy. IF one finds solace, fulfillment and joy from belief that's great, but to think those of us who don't believe can't find that elsewhere in everyday life is rude. I've been to many churches of many denominations and once seriously considered joining the priesthood. I'm not bothered by religion. I do get bothered by people telling me how I must be less than (or worse) because I no longer believe. 

Again I don't think this story is for athiests, but more for Christians to show that their faith must have meaning - it saved this "lost soul" after all, right?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.2  seeder  CB  replied to  evilone @5.1.1    last year
I see it more of a Christian affirmation story that leans on the idea that only through faith can one be whole.

If that is your opinion—I can see that. However, to be clear, it is not why I posted it. I am content with living in a world where all stories can be told and provide value-added to the reader. Be as whole as you can be without faith or with it - I treat both classes of people the same. I could/should/will add that I want them to treat me the same/similarly, and stop bothering to see me through some kind of filter/screen. I am what I say I am - nothing less and nothing more.

I even don't care that conservatives stay conservative just as long as they keep their 'hands' off the liberties of liberals 99.99 percent of the time. (Conservatives do not do this, nevertheless.)

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
5.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @5.1.2    last year

How does you comment on conservatives relate to your seed?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.4  seeder  CB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.3    last year

Welcome. Please explain why I should explain my comment to someone else to you, specifically.  If you wish to address Roger's story, go for it! :)

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
5.1.5  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @5.1.4    last year

You don’t need to do anything that you don’t feel is right for you.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
5.1.6  evilone  replied to  CB @5.1.2    last year
However, to be clear, it is not why I posted it.

Not my point, of course. I was pointing to the author and these types of stories in general. 

I am content with living in a world where all stories can be told and provide value-added to the reader.

That is your prerogative - I'll keep pointing out the logical fallacy in stories that flat out tells me my life has to be empty and unfulfilled because I don't believe. OR that I must hate God and/or Christians because they do.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.7  seeder  CB  replied to  evilone @5.1.6    last year
I'll keep pointing out the logical fallacy in stories that flat out tells me my life has to be empty and unfulfilled because I don't believe. OR that I must hate God and/or Christians because they do.

Not my point! :)

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6  TᵢG    last year

In my considered opinion, quite a few people find comfort in religious belief.   It does not surprise me that a suicidal atheist would accept this comfort.   This, it seems, comes natural to our species.

What would surprise me would be a story where an atheist becomes convinced by evidence that a god exists (much less a loving god).

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @6    last year
What would surprise me would be a story where an atheist becomes convinced by evidence that a god exists (much less a loving god).

No one is convinced by evidence of God's existence as defined by science or natural resources-not even living Jews, Muslims, or Christians: "The Big Three" Abrahamic religions. As for the suicidal state of being for this specific atheist, what I will say is people come to faith in God through a variety of steps and circumstances.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  CB @6.1    last year
No one is convinced by evidence of God's existence as defined by science or natural resources-not even living Jews, Muslims, or Christians: "The Big Three" Abrahamic religions.

Agreed.   Given there is no such evidence, it would be impossible to be convinced by it.

As for the suicidal state of being for this specific atheist, what I will say is people come to faith in God through a variety of steps and circumstances.

Indeed.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
6.1.2  JBB  replied to  CB @6.1    last year

original

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
6.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @6.1.2    last year

What a great novel and movie. What is the comparison between whisky and the Bible?

The Bible is much dryer than my Rye.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
6.2  evilone  replied to  TᵢG @6    last year
It does not surprise me that a suicidal atheist would accept this comfort.   This, it seems, comes natural to our species.

In my case it was directly the opposite. I was a suicidal church goer. I was spending more time with others in the church than not, but in the end my life was lonelier and emptier with them, than without them. There was no God and no fellowship around when I was at my darkest wondering how long it would take someone to find the body. Jesus did not carry me; God did not remove my burden; the Church did not care. Not one person from the church ever reached out to me after my attempted suicide and I had been very active up until that time. 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
6.2.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  evilone @6.2    last year

Church is far more interested in what you leave in the collection plate than you.  Although, there is some truth that the two concepts are directly proportional.  Mo money, mo attention, fo sho.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
6.2.2  evilone  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @6.2.1    last year
Church is far more interested in what you leave in the collection plate than you.

Some churches are better than others when it comes to charity, but like every other area of life there is too much grift going on. We have our local soup kitchen that feeds the homeless every day and then we have the preacher's kid and youth paster arrested for getting too close to one of his under age partitioners and the church caught trying to cover it up.

I guess the point at the heart of my story is we are just people. I'll condemn the bad and praise the good. 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
6.2.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  evilone @6.2.2    last year

My MIL got sick and had to go into a nursing home.  We had her mail forwarded from out of state to our house.  She died months ago and still gets more mail than my wife and I combined.  Her church is still looking for her donations.

 
 

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