I'm simply a nonbeliever and have been forever. ... I'm interested in saying, 'Let us discuss the existential question. We are all going to die, that is the end of all consciousness. There is no afterlife. There is no God. Now what do we do.' That's the point where it starts getting interesting to me.
You're better off believing in God they'd warn you, just in case. Because you'd hate to arrive at the gates of heaven a nonbeliever and find out the Christians had been right all along. It was a pretty ingenious line of thinking. It almost made me want to go to church. Not enough to actually go, but still.
I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.
Here is my challenge. Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. And here is my second challenge. Can any reader think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? The second question is easy to answer, is it not? The first - I have been asking it for some time - awaits a convincing reply. By what right, then, do the faithful assume this irritating mantle of righteousness? They have as much to apologize for as to explain.
Awakening as a moment of now Awakening as an experience Awakening as a moment that is the same - today, yesterday or tomorrow Awakening of a Hinduist, of a Buddhist, of a Christian of a believer or a nonbeliever Awakening that lives within every single cell Awakening within no qualities as emptiness of Consciousness as direct contact with love and light and life experienced with every breath Awakening as resting within true nature as acting from the true nature as Remembering Awakening as opening to the possibility of Now
Natasa Pantovic Nuit
I fear no hell, just as I expect no heaven. Nabokov summed up a nonbeliever's view of the cosmos, and our place in it, thus: 'The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.' The 19th-century Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle put it slightly differently: 'One life. A little gleam of Time between two Eternities.' Though I have many memories to cherish, I value the present, my time on earth, those around me now. I miss those who have departed, and recognize, painful as it is, that I will never be reunited with them. There is the here and now - no more. But certainly no less. Being an adult means, as Orwell put it, having the 'power of facing unpleasant facts.' True adulthood begins with doing just that, with renouncing comforting fables. There is something liberating in recognizing ourselves as mammals with some fourscore years (if we're lucky) to make the most of on this earth. There is also something intrinsically courageous about being an atheist. Atheists confront death without mythology or sugarcoating. That takes courage.
If the gospel isn't good news for everybody, then it isn't good news for anybody. And this is because the most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to convert people and convince them to join. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display. To do this, the church must stop thinking about everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or nonbeliever. Besides the fact that these terms are offensive to those who are the "un" and "non", they work against Jesus' teachings about how we are to treat each other. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, and our neighbor can be anybody. We are all created in the image of God, and we are all sacred, valuable creations of God. Everybody matters. To treat people differently based on who believes what is to fail to respect the image of God in everyone. As the book of James says, "God shows no favoritism." So we don't either.