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post #21 of 34
FWIW, I've heard the First Cause argument stated as "Everything which has a beginning has a cause". An eternal God is thus exempt from the principle, as He never had a beginning.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
FWIW, I've heard the First Cause argument stated as "Everything which has a beginning has a cause". An eternal God is thus exempt from the principle, as He never had a beginning.
I'm not sure that works, since the argument was developed by the ancient Greeks, particularly Aristotle, and they didn't think the universe had a beginning in time. But they still thought that there was a need for a logical first cause.
post #23 of 34
I assume it's a more modern variant?
post #24 of 34
Read "Home With God in a Life That Never Ends" by Neale Donald Walsch. He has written many books that are channeled material from Higher power. It will give a complete understanding of what happens when we die, as well as clarify what is happening in life.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I assume it's a more modern variant?
I guess so. I do find people put a lot of emphasis on the time aspect of this argument, because we take it so much for granted that the universe does have a beginning. But that is really such a recent idea, even in modern science: it's only since the Big Bang theory became popular that it has become common.
post #26 of 34
I consider myself a religious supplicant. It's the closest word I've ever found to describe my own religious search and also its limitations.

I was raised in a suffocating, homophobic, fire-and-brimstone Presbyterian church. My dh was raised in a similar Catholic church. He has abandoned religion and seems happy with that choice. I cannot do that. I originally joined the Unitarian Universalists, because I like their focus on joining people from various faiths together in worship and study. However, I am now committed to a very progressive United Church of Canada congregation and I think I've finally found my spiritual home. Possibly forever.

I have the same fears you do, OP, particularly around the "in love with my children" part. And I don't think I'll ever believe just one god is the way to salvation. So I guess I can't technically call myself Christian (though maybe someone can correct this)? But I think the human drive towards worship is about more than the fear of death and I think it can be a positive force. I love prayer and worship and the search for God and I love connecting with others in that search. I have found peace in this, in that the ultimate goal for me is no longer whether or not there actually is a God/are gods/goddesses. I believe the search is a meaningful part of the human experience in and of itself and I have felt moments of genuine faith when I worship and explore in this way.
post #27 of 34
A few years ago, I was facing the prospect of basically being a hospice nurse to a family member. One of the resources I came across was a book by a hospice nurse called, "Final Gifts." Reading that, as well as various other interviews by palliative physicians, basically reassured me about dying. Regardless of the person's faith (or lack thereof), nearly all reported seeing family members who had predeceased them, etc. You might find comfort in reading end-of-life and near-death experiences.

I know this doesn't help you with regards to your doubts about God. I guess for me, I look at a leaf... at a flower...at pretty much anything, and I know that it's too perfect to be random. DH is an ophthalmologist--and has thousands and thousands of pages in books on just the retina... a tissue thinner than the human hair which makes vision possible. I guess for me, science/medicine reaffirm my faith rather than detract from it.

I've also experienced some amazing answers to prayers. Spooky almost. So that helps.

In my teens, I was an atheist. I remember praying to God saying... "I don't really believe in you... but if you do exist... then please help me to believe." It wasn't an overnight answer... but it definitely did become an answered prayer.

I hope you find peace.
post #28 of 34
In a bit of a different direction - I had a really hard time when my son was about 10 months through 2 years with fears of death and although I am religious, I could not feel the joys and comforts of my religion. Finally I realized that for me, what was going on was more akin to PPD and anxiety than any sort of loss of faith. I began treating myself well nutritionally, getting sunlight and exercise daily, and doing some mental exercises to calm my brain down. I was able to get it back under control. It was much easier to cope with when I realized fears of death are very normal in the adjustment to motherhood, even if they manifest later than you might expect.

I do hope you find some peace. That is really tough place to be.
post #29 of 34

Advise on how to overcome the fear of death is a tough one. I have BTDT when I was about 6 years old. Every night I thought that I would die and I would need reassurance that I would wake up the next day. In the end, it just took time to come to terms with the fact that I will die. I felt that I had faced my fear and that I was not scared anymore. Having been faced with death a few times now, I can honestly say that I had no feelings of fear whatsoever. The best way to describe it is that it felt matter-of-fact.

 

I don't really see why you cannot be spiritual anymore. But, that depends on your definition of spiritual. Mine is an appreciation and gratefulness of life and the material world around us. In a sense, when you know that you are going to die and you can be OK with that, it provides a state of being in which you can be full of wonder and appreciation of all the beauty that this life on earth has to offer. This can range from watching fall leaves be taken up by the wind to having this powerful love bond with your children. So many years onward, I really do think that it is all about the present moment that we have. We can choose to cherish it or not.

 

I too have trouble with the God/heaven, guide, love-source idea of what life is really like. I think /read about these things when I like to philosophize. It amuses and interests me more than anything at this point in my life. I have learned about philosophy (a while ago, so I won't be bringing any arguments to the table, although the polemic of the pps is fun to read!). I have come to the conclusion that in order to live my life the way I want it to be, I need to believe and concentrate in the 'goodness' of it all and it is my imperative to teach this to my child. I also see no difference between a human death versus any other living being's death on this earth. It is just all part of the cycle of life and our energy will be taken up and used again. Energy doesn't die!

post #30 of 34

This is something I used to struggle with. I'm an atheist (I don't believe in any gods/goddesses) with buddhist beliefs, on the path to becoming full-fledged buddhist. I believe in reincarnation, but it's really like believing in nothing, because if it's real, you don't carry any memories with you, so you (individual you) don't truly exist anymore. I also realize I'm probably wrong, and that we just go into the ground and that's it. However, I don't find that remotely sad. I've had loved ones die, and while it's very hard, trying to force myself to pretend I believe I'll see them again makes it harder. Death, whether there's an afterlife or not, means the end of pain/suffering. Plus, I've ALWAYS (even when I considered myself Christian) had huge issues with the thought of existing forever. It causes me insane amounts of anxiety, and it wasn't until I decided I didn't believe in heaven that I lost my insane fear of death. It's sad knowing I'll never see certain people again, but it's not like I'll be cognizant of that fact after I die.

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaylaBeanie View Post

This is something I used to struggle with. I'm an atheist (I don't believe in any gods/goddesses) with buddhist beliefs, on the path to becoming full-fledged buddhist. I believe in reincarnation, but it's really like believing in nothing, because if it's real, you don't carry any memories with you, so you (individual you) don't truly exist anymore. I also realize I'm probably wrong, and that we just go into the ground and that's it. However, I don't find that remotely sad. I've had loved ones die, and while it's very hard, trying to force myself to pretend I believe I'll see them again makes it harder. Death, whether there's an afterlife or not, means the end of pain/suffering. Plus, I've ALWAYS (even when I considered myself Christian) had huge issues with the thought of existing forever. It causes me insane amounts of anxiety, and it wasn't until I decided I didn't believe in heaven that I lost my insane fear of death. It's sad knowing I'll never see certain people again, but it's not like I'll be cognizant of that fact after I die.

This is what I struggle with, too, but it's a bit different for me.  I haven't looked too deeply into Buddhism, but I feel that I might believe in that way if I were to study it a bit more.  I was raised Christian (Lutheran) but have felt more agnostic than anything as an adult.  I like the idea of reincarnation and have always felt great anxiety at the thought of an ETERNAL life in Heaven, even when I was a child. I still have insane amounts of anxiety/guilt about the way I believe now...I don't even think I believe in Hell, but my Christian background keeps telling me that I'm going there just for the way I currently believe. It's hard to cope with!
 

post #32 of 34

Maybe what I say will help restore your faith. There is evidence of the afterlife and the existence based upon the millions of near death experiences that have been reported. Please check out this link which describes an amazing story of a man choking to death and was saved by following the loving voice of God which first told him it was not his time to die and also gave him instructions on what to tell someone where to hit him on the part of the back that would stop the choking. http://www.nderf.org/robert_d_nde.htm . After reading that experience click on the top left corner where it says homepage or current ndes. I assure you after browsing the site you will be comforted that God exists and you will live forever and also when it is your time to die you go joyfully into the beyond because there is only pure love and joy there and you will be assured that your surviving loved ones will be fine. Ultimately there is no seperation of anything because at the core of our being we are all one. The best thing you can do is don't worry about anything and simply enjoy your life as best you can. You came here just like the rest of on a mission and when completed you will return to your true home which is where we all come from.

post #33 of 34

You don't have to believe in God to believe in an afterlife. Do you just not believe in an afterlife? Or just God? Or the whole thing?

 

I used to feel this way. But then things happened where things changed about how I feel. Maybe if you read stories from people about angels and the afterlife, maybe that would help. 

 

(((hugs))))

post #34 of 34



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xekomaya View Post

In a bit of a different direction - I had a really hard time when my son was about 10 months through 2 years with fears of death and although I am religious, I could not feel the joys and comforts of my religion. Finally I realized that for me, what was going on was more akin to PPD and anxiety than any sort of loss of faith. I began treating myself well nutritionally, getting sunlight and exercise daily, and doing some mental exercises to calm my brain down. I was able to get it back under control. It was much easier to cope with when I realized fears of death are very normal in the adjustment to motherhood, even if they manifest later than you might expect.

I do hope you find some peace. That is really tough place to be.


I have to second this. This is precisely where I'm at right now. After weeks of anxiety and depression over these big questions, I am coming to the realization that the fear surrounding the "answers" has more to so with my PPD than with anything else. I have, however, always struggled with these questions, though the struggle never felt as difficult and impossible to overcome as it does now after the birth of my second. I am being treated for PPD (therapy, supplements, etc.) and hope that once the underlying hormonal/chemical imbalances get ironed out, I will be in a much better place to address these fears. I was raised Catholic and abandoned the faith once I was confirmed in my late teens. I am now realizing that I feel lost without a spiritual connection to the world around me and have started searching for something that can connect me back to God. I just started attending a UU church and have found it to be a warm and safe haven for my journey at the moment as they are so supportive of helping your find the spiritual path that is right for you.

 

Hang in there, I am right there with you. If you would like to chat more about how your feeling, feel free to PM me. We can commiserate together :).
 

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