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Blog reader Caitlin writes:

II don’t know what story im replying to but that’s not why I am here. I need to ask questions, I need to know. What is it like to be an athiest? How can you feel fulfilled? i am a 14 year old girl, and never ahve felt so strongly in God in my life. I was always brought up as a catholic bbut I still didnt feel special because I really hadnt become serious about God. Then 2 years ago my life became more stressed and I had to face God Myself. I thought I’d “give it a shot” and talk to God. I was skeptikal because I believed a prayer would be wasted. But I prayed to God, and as minutes past and I continued to spill my problems to him, I suddenly felt lighter, my heart began to lift. I could’nt explain it I just felt like soemone lifted my head up as to say “I am listening.” And I kept talking to god all night long until I fell asleep finally. I wake up and I feel the same joy I felt last night. It felt like a dream, but It was so very real. I then relieazed I was happy. I felt fullfilled, because I was sincere about my relationship with someone and something. Over time I became stronger and to this day I feel the joy I felt that one night very morning when I wake up. I know it was the act of God because my life has been filled with only true acts of god. Recently my dad was deployed to Iraq, has been there for 6 months. He’s doing great and absolutely has had some protection from above.This Summer eevry time I think about my dad and bow my head for a quick desperate prayer, I feel a breeze against me. I just know it. God Exists. It seems that hes always listening.
Wouldn’t you want that?

(*sigh* I feel like I’m writing an antithesis of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”…)

Dear Caitlin,

Of course I would want a relationship with God. For that matter, I’d love to go to Heaven.

The problem is that I don’t think either is an option. When I think about God and the afterlife, my reasoning leads me to believe they don’t exist.

Part of the reason I put the eBay auction up and went to churches was because I wondered if there was anything I was ignoring. Did my own logic miss something obvious? I haven’t found that something yet, but there are more churches to come…

You said you felt happier, fulfilled, and stronger when you finally spoke to God. Strangely enough, I only had those feelings when I stopped believing. The God I believed in before was not an angry God, but I did think there were parts of my life that were out of my own control. When those feelings turned around, it changed my life for the better.

Discovering that I had the power to think about the world and figure out how it works on my own was a thrill. Our knowledge came through human insight, not divine scripture. I could do the research. I could perform the experiments. I controlled my own destiny. When I had problems, I had to work on fixing them myself. When accidents happened, they may not have been anyone’s fault. I realized we were mortal, so we needed to enjoy this life and not stop others from doing the same.

It’s not to say my life is perfect. Sure, there are problems. You mentioned that when you talked to God, your spirits were lifted. Anytime you can talk to a person you trust about problems eating you up inside, you’re going to feel better. It happens for me when I talk to close friends and family.

I’m glad your dad is safe and I hope nothing changes that. I don’t know your situation, but I always look first for natural explanations. Is your dad somewhere where he has protection? Does he have experienced colleagues? Is he in danger zones? Those answers may explain his safety. The breeze can be attributed to… well… wind.

I wonder if when you say your life is filled with the good acts of God, do you also consider God to be the cause of the bad parts as well?

None of this is to say you’re wrong. But I hope you can understand that even without God, I can have similar feelings and joy. I’m not any emptier when God isn’t with me.



[tags]atheist, atheism, God, Iraq, Catholic, eBay[/tags]