Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


FAITHEISM - reclaiming my only true power: owning myself

Mission Statement

To realise you are self-created and entirely self-owned. That is your identity and you affirm it by sharing the truth and your joy and your good deeds with others and thus find meaning in your life in a universe without a higher power. You are the only god you will have and you must be a god to yourself and to them. We offer method not doctrine or ideology.

The Serenity Affirmation

“I aim for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. I aim for the courage to change the things I can. I aim for the wisdom to know the difference. I am grateful that I alone have made myself the kind of person that is capable of all this.”

Atheism is Faith in the Human Heart

Atheism is not a view but a summary of views.

Only five atheistic attitudes are essential in life. It is wisdom to keep atheism simple and not go beyond these points.

- Nature is not about me and is a threat to me even if it is not bothering me now so defiance is necessary. I define myself by my defiant choices.

- If I have free will, any action of mine is in some way entirely my own creation and has nothing to do with God. I own my acts and I alone. I own myself.

-If I have free will, I cannot be judged as bad for misusing it. Misuse is merely a mistake.

- I affirm that I must do good acts instead of praying - action is to be the replacement for and opponent of prayer to any deity or higher power. I must be so good in the sense that if God hypothetically told me not to feed the starving baby that I would still help.

True confidence in human nature demands that you act for the other not pray and that you find the suggestion that you need prayer offensive.


Every denial has a positive side. To oppose praying for help is to affirm that you can and will try to take care of it yourself. To oppose divine commands is to affirm that we will do the right thing for it is the right thing and not because we are told or commanded. This is not about mere defiance but about self-affirmation and self-compassion.

As you deny the power of prayer and deny any duty to obey the divine, you affirm that it is up to you to be god or goddess to others and work for human wellbeing. The positive side of the coin is what this book is all about. Help - don't pray.

- Atheism in its essential form is being independent of what any God thinks or commands. It is intentional defiance even if there is a God after all.

It's justification is that no divine being can have the right to command us. Wants and needs are different things. Rights are based on what you are owed because of your needs. Wants give grounds for privileges and gifts not rights. A being with magic power can have no needs and therefore has no rights. And it should not need obedience from us. Not only should we ignore divine rules but we should find the very concept objectionable.

- Moral outlooks are unavoidable. If you say there is no morality then you end up arguing that its immoral to say morality is real.

We deny that moral right and wrong are mere opinions. They are real and real to us in our heads so we will suffer if we try to fight the real for the real does not care what we think and should not care. It does not matter why love and justice are right and good. What matters is that we have to go along with them. Arguing that you need to believe in God to know why you must be loving and just denies that truth and is paradoxically proof that the argument is anti-moral.

Atheism is really faith in human potential without the need for an outside higher power or magical force or supernatural/paranormal being. This amounts to saying there is no God but we prefer to use a more positive and encouraging definition of atheism. There is something within you that can help you to be patient when you cannot cope or gives you hope when you are in unspeakable suffering. It is okay to not cope but what is not okay is to do anything to make it no better or to make it worse.

To sum up, we advocate atheistic self-actualisation - I put my choices in the place of God and discard God for that reason. I dethrone God and that means I enthrone myself. Let us sum this up, “Nobody owns me or makes me but me.”

Born that way?

Atheism is innate to human nature. Even the most religious in fact cannot erase the fact that they think and act more independent of God than anything else.

God is that which we need a relationship with. But many of us do not need such a relationship or want it and that is the way we are human so being forced to do religion or God in any way is inherently against our dignity.

Atheism is needed by human nature. We are innately atheist and our needs demand atheism as well.

The atheist identity then must unapologetically receive and demand respect and affirmation for it is not easy to be your own god. Support and respect for your true identity is necessary for your inclusion and integration in society. It must fuel a care model. Who says it is up to professionals to look after you? You need better than that.

Honour yourself by honouring your mind by thinking for yourself

Think for yourself for if you don't, you are letting someone or someone else develop you. You may get it wrong but you are you which is why you remain the best judge of what is right for you. If you love yourself you will. If you suspect that others are better than you and that you are less lovable than they then you won't. Your mind is yours and nobody else's - treat it accordingly.

Think outside the box - open your mind eagerly and widely. Don't dismiss anything as mistaken. Listen first and then decide. If you do this you prevent attachments to ideas. Attachment can cause problems. For example, don't vote a party just because your parents do. That is really putting habit before considering what is best for you and your country.

Assess the behaviour of others but do not judge it

Assessing is a morally neutral way of looking at people. Judging is about criticising a person for not fitting our standard of morality and not being what we think they should be. It risks leading to hate - hate is when you refuse to be good to another person because of what they are or what they have done. It can be simmering hate in its own right.

When somebody does something you have to assess it. But you do not have to judge it. The difference is that assessing is about what something is. It is not about it being good or bad. Assessing is not about how we think things should be. Judging is about how we think things should be.

Some think that thinking what another should do is fine if it is based on the thought that you would like to see the person do what is best for them. But you and they think differently. They might disagree. So respect that.

Healing the hurt done to you by others

Suggestions for healing include forgiving, mourning what the person has done and confrontation.

Forgiving means judging the person as having done bad or being bad and being good to them anyway.

Letting go of ill feelings and anger towards another person is healthy and sets you free. That is not forgiveness. It is emotional healing. It is releasing it. There is no obligation to release it. You have to let it happen at its own pace. Making it into a law or rule will not help but hinder. You cannot force yourself to heal and by trying to you only make things worse. Just allow, don’t force.

We oppose anybody who says we have a duty to forgive. We do not. It is for me to decide if it is my duty not God or anybody else. Duty however is not necessary or relevant. Mourning what a person has done to you instead of forgiving may help. Mourning takes care not to make the pain worse but involves seeing the pain so that you may end up stronger than it. You work through the pain and either live with it or overcome it.

Forgiving is fine as long as you do it without being told or commanded and do it out of generosity.

Many find confrontation helpful.

The power of your thoughts

If a thought is too negative, it becomes dangerous if you think it could be true or worse, that it is true. To say you have to disgorge it is to give it power. You are telling yourself that it is probably right and that you must resist it for that reason. So you are believing what it says. Going to war against it will not help and will only add to your fears and distress and frustration.

Do not push out a negative thought and replace it with a positive one. See if it has a point. Otherwise explain to it why it is wrong. Always be thankful for the negative thought. Remember you are simply thanking how your thoughts are trying to warn and protect you. You are thanking you.


It is best to find yourself in an optimistic state through not really trying than to keep trying to get an optimistic attitude and keep it. The problem with trying is that it shows you are trying to convince yourself against your will. You feel reality is against your optimism. You feel it is nonsense or half-nonsense.

We need to realise that problems like feeling down and feeling ill only happen so that we may find a way not to make the best of it but to try to make the best of it.

Be optimistic yes but cautiously so.

Self-Confidence - Seek it First

Self-confidence has to be worked for. It is so precious and we want all to have the opportunity to say YES to it. The person who truly values herself or himself will be valued by others too. Proper self-confidence inspires good works. It enables a person to engage in outstanding works of self-sacrifice. You can only sacrifice what you value.

Self-confidence is the only thing that matters. It is the root of all good. We boldly assert that self-confidence is of supreme importance and that it is just as important that we cultivate it in ourselves.

Some therapists may disagree and say:

Do not work too hard on your self-confidence for that is too self-absorbed and you risk seeing how powerful the lack is and can end up no better than before or even worse. Sometimes when we feel low and unhappy, we need to stop thinking about what is wrong in our lives. We need to get our mind off ourselves and find productive things to do and productive relationships to build. We need to focus on helping other people. If we do that, our worries can disappear just through neglect.


That is mostly true. But it is vital that we have the self-confidence to do what they advise. It takes confidence to direct your concern to interests other than your problems. You have to trust yourself that you will be safe to do so.

If your self-confidence is very low, you will find that it is hard to get your problems out of your mind no matter what you do and you will feel that nobody would want to be your friend. The therapists need to remind you of that. Otherwise, their advice can sound unsympathetic and judgemental.

At times we need to stop thinking about developing self-confidence and self-esteem in order to develop them. Yet even then it is self-confidence and self-esteem that gets us there. Even then we have to have the confidence in ourselves to be willing to stop thinking so much about it. We are not saying you should forget about yourself. Our suggestion is that you could let yourself be confident instead of trying to go about it the wrong way. You must always want self-confidence and intend it. Then you put the intention out of your attention, you put it in the back of your mind. But it is still there. Then it will develop and grow.

It takes greater self-confidence to think of others and not yourself than it does to think of yourself all the time. The same is true if you think of work or something non-personal rather than of yourself. Nobody wants to be hurt. If you forget yourself it follows that you are opening yourself to hurt. You are not watching out for yourself all the time. This shows immense trust in yourself. Plus you win the trust and admiration of others and this reminds you and shows you how great and correct your sense of self-confidence is.

If I give my life to save two children drowning in a pond, I do it because I am confident that it is the right thing to do. In other words, I do it because I am confident in me and my judgement. I value myself because I give myself for them.

True self-confidence means you are not afraid of truth but that you welcome correction.

True self-confidence means you never let what other people think control what you do. You might feel awkward about being like this but you have to. And the feeling will pass.

Self-confidence is more important than self-esteem. Without self-confidence you cannot have self-esteem.

God believers with self-confidence may have the false confidence that comes from self-deceit. Have real confidence and hold on to it.

Trying to help somebody is still helping even when it does not benefit them. There is no such thing as failing to help for trying is helping. Helping is not about how something turns out but about trying.

The Key to Transcendence is Virtue

Transcendence here is the feeling you can take whatever life throws at you. You can avoid going down to the bottom and if it happens you know it cannot last. Virtue will be your method and the method will empower you.

Virtue is about the kind of person you are. Virtue is what you do naturally as if by habit for you are a person of virtue.

If you hold on to virtue you are guaranteed to be treating yourself the best way possible even under the most dreadful of circumstances. Never do this for yourself only but do it as a light for others as well. Doing it for others helps make it more powerful.

Here are the seven virtues.

Knowing you as you are - not thinking you are better or worse than what you are. If you are not made by God or a subject of God you need to know.
Warmly helping others and thinking them of them as vulnerable people and not as good or bad people.
Being in charge of your appetites instead of them being in charge of you.
Being dedicated in doing what needs to be done in your life or in your ethics.
Be patient as in respecting the freedom of others to grow.
Showing compassion out of kindness for we are all in a sense in danger and need it.
Do not treat others as mere sexual objects.

Don’t just act in a good way, be good

If you are bad inside, it is better to act as if you are good though you are not. It is better still to really become good. Don’t act good but be good.

Why waste time and energy faking?

If you pretend to be good, you will lose your appreciation for goodness and good people will be unable to make you happy.

You risk people seeing through you.

You fear them seeing your true colours.

You degrade yourself by not being you and asking for yourself to be respected as you.

It is easier to be good if you really are good. The goodness will come naturally.

You understand the beauty and value of goodness best when you do it for others.

Doing good for yourself and not others will not bring you happiness for you don’t want others to ignore you.

You believe best in the goodness of others when you practice goodness yourself. You need to experience being a good person in order to appreciate good people properly.

We must not do secret harm or indulge in secret vindictive thoughts. They might seem to hurt nobody but they do. They distort the way we see the world and consequences will come. People may sense that there is something sinister about us. Avoid secret ill-will for it is not harmless at all. It is very harmful. It will stop you enjoying the trust others place in you. You will feel they trust not you but what they think you are. Keep the heart pure and you will find that the people that matter will trust you.

Affirm yourself with Positive Action

To affirm yourself as a good person, to feel it better and to have better faith in yourself you cannot affirm it by telling yourself how good you are. That only works if it is true so you can only affirm it by taking action. Why say it when you can do it?

For example, if you give money to the poor you are making an affirmation that you can do something to keep money coming to you so that you are not going to go without. You are sure enough of this to give. Your action is an affirmation that says you are a giving person and a wonderful person who draws others to care for you should you fall on bad times.

The meaning of the affirmation is what matters not any words used or the way the affirmation is done.

Affirmations do not work alone. They need to work with and through evidence. That is why you must do affirmations by doing good for others - you are giving yourself affirmations indirectly. You are also giving then affirmations when you help them.

Happiness

Happiness is a sense of wellbeing. It is not a mere feeling but knowing you and your life are reasonably well.

You need to be well tuned into reality in order to get the best chance at happiness. Why? Because it protects your happiness from the fear that you might be deluded. Unwholesome or wrong beliefs can block you from seeing the real picture and the big picture. Truth does not care what you think so you have to get it right to work and live in line with it. Protect the truth and you protect yourself.

Happiness is a state of being. Do not say that God or any person is your happiness. They do not give you happiness for happiness comes with serving others. Serving does not give it to you. Happiness, and the potential for further happiness, just comes with it.

Now you understand why having wonderful things cannot make you happy. They cannot change the kind of person you are. Only you can do that. Happiness then works because it gives you a sense of control. Even the things you don’t control cannot force you to react to them in the way they want. You control how you will let them affect you.

Gratitude - there is always something to be grateful for!

Gratitude is simply rejoicing in the good things that come to you.

People think that if you don’t believe in God then when you want to thank him you have nobody to thank. This overlooks the fact that we can rejoice in good things even when we think they come to us as a result of random forces. We are grateful to our cars for starting up.

Gratitude is actually fundamentally atheistic for if God is working with a complex ultimate plan it may be that the good or bad you get are not intended but only happen as part of the outworking of the plan. To be grateful then implies you are taking ownership - you alone. If you take ownership if there is a God then you can do it if there is no God. It is about you.

I feel grateful. That feeling comes from my relationships with other people. I do not need to be grateful to God. The relationships and the way I see others are my work so gratitude is more about me than it looks.

Harm is not a person or thing - it is faulty goodness!

We reject judgemental magical frightening talk about evil. There is no evil in human nature. We replace such talk with talk about mistakes. When we do good we aim right and when we do wrong we miss the target. We attempt good the wrong way.

You have power over harm and it is your power alone and you must own that power. Harm does not exist in the sense that it is not a power.

What gives you that power is knowing that good is the real thing. Harm is only a lack of good or a flaw that good has got. It is a distortion of good. Harm then cannot be equal in power to good and by appearing has sealed its own destruction. It is internally weak which is why it tries to fight back with more harm.


Bipolar disorder is good brain chemicals being in the wrong place.

Suffering is the power to feel good or okay having gone wrong. In other words, it is the feeling that your existence is valueless. Suffering is not pain. Suffering is what happens in your head when you let the pain get to you and make you wish you do not exist anymore.

Love is real. Hate is not the absence of love. You love the thing you hate and something about it is seemingly against you so in that sense hate is a distortion of love.

It is better to hate than to not care at all for if you hate you must care about the person to some level. They wouldn't be able to get to you if you didn't. Indifference is the real absence of love. Love is real. Hate is less real for it is lesser love and distorted love. Indifference is not a power but the absence of love.

The insight that good is a power and harm is not and that good is the right state and harm the wrong state is an important one. It helps us see the good in all things and gives us meaning and courage and strength when we have to face the forces that threaten harm. Because harm is just a distortion of good and then necessarily weaker than good it cannot survive forever. As harm is parasitic on good and contains good it contains the seeds of its own conversion.

The observation that good is the only force there is, is true whether there is a God or not. Even if there were no God, the absence of life would be good in the sense that there is no suffering. The observation has nothing to do with God. It is superior to God for even God cannot change it.

The principle is more important than God. If you have a choice between it and faith in God choose it. It proves God cannot be supreme.

Rights and responsibility

With rights comes responsibility. Responsibility requires that you be honest and compassionate. This takes courage. You must be fair to the truth, to yourself and to others. You must take ownership of what you do and omit to do. Responsibility then is not a thing but a number of things. One cannot be left out. You need them all.

Rights are based on needs. Anything extra is a privilege not a right. Freedom from discrimination.

Free will

The subject of whether free will is real is controversial.

If it is an illusion then my decisions are not really decisions but just the way I have been programmed. Some think though we feel fully free we are only really semi-free.

If I accept the reality of free will, then I do so in recognition that my choices are mine at least up to a point and not entirely down to programming. Some suppose there is no programming involved at all.

I must make up my own mind. But whatever I believe about free will, I believe it to honour myself. It is not for God or anybody else.

The notion that I have free will to decide between holiness and sinfulness is suggesting I have it for that reason and not for myself. God supposedly gave it to me for me to use it wisely instead of sinning - going against him. I have it for myself.

Free will should not be about God which is why I will not accuse human beings of bringing evil into the universe so that I can hold God is innocent. Innocent until proven guilty. If free will should not be about God so evil is his fault if he makes it about him. If it is not real then evil is also God's fault.

There is no free will to be evil. Evil is misplaced good and so is best described as a mistake that cannot be tolerated. The person doing wrong is attracted by the good results he or she thinks will happen.

Suffering

Suffering is essentially a sense of worthlessness for you can be in great pain and still be happy. So suffering is really in the mind.

Suffering is the only true evil.

Suffering is, strictly speaking, a set of sufferings. Suffering is really sufferings.

What you do is if you suffer you oppose the suffering in the right way which is allowing a situation to happen which brings good out of it in spite of it. This does not make suffering in any way a good thing. It makes it loud and clear that it is not to be tolerated.

There is no point in doing good for people if you regard suffering as a good or okay thing.

Being good

Belief in goodness more important than goodness for there can be no real goodness without it. To really intend something to be good I must have reasonable grounds for thinking it will produce more good than bad. If I do something without knowing what I intend it to be, I intend both bad and good. Neutral means I intend both bad and good for to intend neither is to intend both!

It is for the sake of goodness, that I must form my opinions and beliefs with great caution. I must do my best to be sure they are actually correct. And I must stand by them no matter who pressures me to abandon them.

I don’t need to believe in God to believe in being good.

All relationships require vulnerability and a lot of it. Thus it is cruel to encourage people to become vulnerable for a God who may not exist. Relationships should be based on real people and what you know about them.

Those who say they are believers may try to confuse people into thinking that you cannot really believe in right and wrong unless you believe in God. They endeavour to hide the fact that you don’t need God to be a good person.

Does God have a good reason to let us suffer?

If you can be good because of faith in God (its an if remember!) then you can be better without faith in him. To say an all-powerful and all-good God lets people suffer for the sake of a purpose that makes it worthwhile perhaps in a very long-run is to assume God decides what goodness is not us so he can justify letting us suffer terribly. The doctrine is evil for even if the universe were full of suffering forever with nobody well, believers still say it can fit the existence of a loving God!

Is causing pain to a baby bad because it hurts the baby or because God forbids it? If we care at all, we will decide the matter on how it hurts and degrades the baby and nothing else.

When you see a child suffer horribly, the proper response is compassion. That matters and not thinking, “Somehow God is right to let this happen.” Compassion is not mere sympathy but doing all you can for the child. You should be so compassionate that you will be God to the child instead of hoping there is a God for the child. Thus God is irrelevant when somebody suffers. All criticism of the worship of God in the face of evil must be expressed in a tone of compassion, both for those who suffer and for those who cannot see that they are condoning a God who lets evil happen and who does not help.

I will not tell anybody that God loves them. I will be God to them and love them - show them love. It is cheating to tell them that somebody that may not exist loves them. I will do the right thing and love them myself instead.

To say you are made to love God and others is to treat you as a means not as an end. You are made for you and not for anybody else. You do not love others to fulfil the purpose for which you were made but because you gratuitously wish to do so. Atheism has the answer.

I must dismiss God to be good

Christians say that God is infinite in all perfections. He is perfect without putting it to any use. He doesn't even have to create unless he chooses to. He would still be perfect. This is rubbish. God might be perfect in his own way. But what about other kinds of goodness? Imagine a mother and child could exist by chance and without being made by God. Surely her love for her child would deserve more praise than God's for it exists by chance and she continues it? She creates it. She creates it against the grain. Love produced without the assistance of God is the best love of all. Love against the grain is the most authentic love. Atheism no matter what flaws it has or how much it is abused or misused by atheists, alone opens the door to real goodness.

Those who say they believe in God, are dismissing him when they do good.

Sin - a religious/spiritual crime

The wrongdoer needs encouragement and help not an accusation of sin!

Sin is an offence against the law of God meaning it cannot go unpunished. But it can be forgiven if you rehabilitate. A law that does not try to force you to obey at least with the threat of punishment is not a law at all. Sin is a threatening doctrine and nobody has the right to say they or anybody else needs to be treated by God like a law-breaker!

Tolerance: putting up with

Tolerance is wrong when it means putting up with somebody bad. Accept that person but ask them to rethink the things they are doing that are harmful. The good thing about tolerance is that it requires that you respect those you have differences with but in such a way that they can learn from you and overcome their errors if they wish. Real tolerance tackles evil and error so that the truth may emerge and glow and inspire. This paradoxically is a way of accepting the person doing evil or erring. Time is the best teacher of truth but you must give it a helping hand and put no barriers in its path.

Cowardice masquerading as tolerance is the enemy of tolerance - tolerance has to be real if it is to do any good.

Tolerance is not the same thing as approval. It is putting up with what you think is wrong. True tolerance does not urge people to agree that all points of view are equally valid or truthful. Nobody can live out that kind of belief. Some views do harm and others don't. And many points of view are mutually contradictory. If tolerance requires that we pretend that all beliefs are equal and true then tolerance is really intolerance and bigotry. It will lead to hypocrisy for we know fine well that some views are right and others wrong.

It is important for us to be good as human beings. Religion needs to be abandoned for there is enough around to demand tolerance without it.

Instead of religious tolerance, we represent the view that it doesn’t matter what you believe. This needs explaining. What a person believes now is right for them now. It may be wrong in itself but it is right for them at the stage they are at. But nevertheless we must let the truth shine forth - all must get the opportunity. We must give all the chance to get interested in the truth and be vitalised by it. We must remember that those who reject the chance now may not do so in a year’s time. People have the right to see what the truth can do for them. Social interaction is all about getting people interested in new things and new information.

Perhaps you should love your mistakes for they only happened to bring you to the right way? No the challenge to them did that! Love the challenge!

We are all forced to be intolerant towards something. We have to be a bit intolerant to be able to live. We don't tolerate brain surgeons who think they should use a hammer and chisel during surgery! Libertarians tend to be intolerant of stricter people. But it is obvious that strict people are more intolerant than libertarians! It is a matter of choosing the most tolerant position. That requires abandoning religion and ignoring its message.

Be eccentric if you want to be - you are only being different.



The importance of principle



Principles are sadly seen as mere rules. They are not. They are about protecting the truth, servants of the truth and genuine respect for others and yourself. They are about the kind of person you are.



A bad principle is an error and error leads to lack of confidence and more error.



A bad principle is when you open the door to the bomb factory. People can get in but even if they don’t take the bombs and use them they can. You are still responsible if they do.



Whatever is bad in principle is always bad. Bad in principle means it is bad in itself regardless of how good it makes people feel and how harmless it may appear.



All evil actions and violence start off with the appearance of bad principles. It only takes one bad principle, especially one that seems relatively harmless, to be the seed of others and to overwhelm and discredit good principles. The mustard seed though hardly visible can become the biggest tree.



A bad principle is bad because it is an error. Error breeds error and makes life harder and we need truth. Truth is important in itself no matter what we think about it.



A bad principle affects us badly though the effect might be subtle.

A bad principle affects us subliminally as well.



A person with bad principles is dangerous if they get the power to put them into practice. A person without the power is dangerous inside.



A bad principle is never harmless - that is why it is bad.





Error harms for it robs you of the change to be wise. But some errors harm more than others. The servants of error support each other in error and give bad example. We are always more influenced by others than we realise. In this way religion sends “spiritual” power to its members that can harm them.








Acceptance



If you have low self-esteem, you are going to notice it a lot. People with healthy self-esteem do not think much about how well they esteem themselves. The person with poor self-esteem is more self-absorbed than the person with healthy or high self-esteem. The person feels selfish and that makes her self-esteem far worse.

I can have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can. I can have the wisdom to know the difference. I can accept them and I do.



Say that to yourself several times a day. It is the most important thing you can do.



Feelings are just feelings. Do not think that it is better for you to love than to hate. Do not think that it is better for you to be full of peace than for you to be angry. Do not judge yourself. Not judging yourself means you think it is as good for you to love as to hate. Accepting yourself means you think it is as good for you to experience feelings of peace as feelings of anger. Accept yourself as you are and soon you will find that you accept others as they are too.



I must tell myself that and tell it often. I resolve to keep checking how I am progressing in making it happen.



Having a sense that life is too big for you and you are losing control is the root of all misery. Consent to whatever happens be it good or evil and you will be in control. Then nothing can happen to you without your consent. This is the most basic thing you need to do. You need to do this and then there will be no God in your life but you.



If instead of resisting the suffering and pains of the present moment I say, "I accept this," I will never need to be part of a religion. To say anything else is refusing to feel more in control. It is nice to feel that by accepting suffering I make it easier and I feel free. To not accept is to judge and judging makes painful situations stay painful longer and perhaps even more painful.



Until you learn to be happy not because of death and suffering being around the corner, but in spite of them you make life and goodness harder for yourself. Using a crutch such as religion or prayer or magic or fortune-telling to face them, proves that you can face them but are going the wrong way about it.



“I feel sure that I will handle it. I feel sure that I will feel surer.” Telling yourself that and believing it and feeling it, is all you need.



Feel you create yourself. This gives you the best chance of learning acceptance of what you cannot change. It alone is self-acceptance. Believe there is no God in your life but yourself.



Feeling lucky as much as possible is to be your goal.



One helpful way to learn acceptance is to look at the proof that it is possible. People who suffer terrible loss, often do get over it and show that their happiness is, generally speaking, able to return because they learn to make it independent of what happens to them. Pleasures do not make you happy because if you are unhappy you cannot enjoy them.



Risk Taking - It's Important to Take Chances



We are afraid of taking risks.



We often fear change for it upsets the safe little life we are used to.



We are afraid of putting effort into something that goes wrong.



Break up the risky task you want to do into smaller tasks if you can.



Then you are able to tackle the smaller risks and soon you will have the courage to make the risk-taking bigger.



Change will happen no matter what we do to avoid it. You are taking a bigger risk by preferring things to stay the same. You could be heavily disappointed. Is it not better to seek out risks that are worth taking and take them? There is less to fear if you take control of what risks you will face instead of letting risks take control of you!



When possible, try to take at least one risk a day. It must be a real risk. Putting a few cent into a fruit machine is not a risk! Real risks require courage. Real courage is not foolishness. For example, if you see you have a reasonable chance at surviving when you try to rescue a drowning person you can be courageous. If you don't see that then trying to help is foolishness.



Asserting Atheist Rights


You learn something but do not forget that other things you think you have learned can destroy your learning. These things must be “unlearned”



We expect and demand an apology from believers for promoting violent scriptures.

Your human virtue is greater than any danger within you or without you.



Keep trying – even if a little is fine if it is all you can do. Resolving to do this for yourself and as an example for others is what gives your life meaning and is the one essential. Even in the worst moments good is present in you and new good can be created by you.

Never complain that somebody disrespects your beliefs. Belief does not deserve respect but the holder if the belief does.

The most important thing for each person is to find a way at the deepest level to cope with and struggle through whatever disaster happens and enjoy whatever good comes.

I have the fundamental human right to be looked after without wondering if the person is just doing it for approval from God or a reward.

I have the fundamental human right to be looked after without wondering if the person is just helping me for God or mainly for God.

I have the fundamental human right to talk to other people in the knowledge that we all care about truth.

I have the fundamental human right for people around me to decide things that affect me and to decide on a purely natural basis.

I have the fundamental human right not to be prayed for as I don’t want people feeling that God may have to hurt me or let harm be done to me for one of his purposes.

I have the fundamental human right to be part of a society that gives no approval of any kind to the evil things that happen – no ideas about God being right to let things happen please!


Challenging religion is self-defence for the atheist.





Transcending Time and Space with Love



The notion that God is our ultimate end our goal implies that we are wrong if we feel fulfilled even for a time on earth.

It implies that having children and being good to each other and eating and drinking and everything we do is a means to some end. They never take us to that end.

Why do we need God then? Because we crave permanent and indestructible love and the peace it brings.

It does not follow from the fact that many of our needs can be fulfilled that our ultimate need will be fulfilled. Or even that it can be fulfilled.

The desire to make another’s life better transcends the limits of time and space and even life itself. You can sense this. Take a few quite moments a



Try to sense how you love others. See and feel that in some way it does not matter about time and space. Love is bigger than them. Sense this as often as you can. The habit of seeing that love alone will comfort you when you and your loved ones are separated in life or by death.



Every moment of your life, is real. You may leave a moment to walk into the future but it still happened and nothing not even God himself can change that.



If you lose a loved one, there is a sense



Is there a real past and present and future with our perception able to perceive the immediate past and present and future in what we call the present? Is there a past, a present and a future?



There is undoubtedly a past and a future. But is there a present as such?



The present is not different from the past and future. It is just a mixture of past and future.



Imagine the past is red paint. Imagine the future is blue. Mix them together and you get green, the present.



When the present is the past and the future together this is a mystery we cannot understand. But it proves that death cannot be the end of life - another mystery. How could you cease to exist when the present is both past and future? You need to cease to exist and it becomes past giving way to a future without you. But there is no moment in which this can happen. Everything gives us consolation.



You will simply find yourself outside the body when you die. Death is not the end of life but only the end of your current earth life.



It is accepted that time exists but is dependent on a state called eternity or timelessness. Eternity is like one present moment that never had a past or a future. It is unchanging. Einstein's theory of relativity verified the concept. Time is a part of eternity though it is different. Each moment of time is present in eternity. It shows that even when we die and are buried on earth, our life is still present in eternity.



The body is the reason why we have a sense of things passing by. When the body dies this filter is taken away. The mind dies too but experientially it does not realise this. It



Time proves that though you are destructible your experience is eternal.



Take peace in this knowledge. Those who have gone are still with you in that sense. It is as real as ever.



Understand that when your body breaks down it will be recycled by nature as will your consciousness.



We cease to exist at death. But the life experience still exists. Dying does not mean that the moments of life are not preserved somehow.



If I were to transfer my faculty into you, you would know no different. The faculty is the same in all of us even if the consciousness in each of us is separate from the rest. If you get my eye, you get the faculty of sight though it is a different eye and you may not even notice any difference or know of it.



We never experience death but only life!



Everybody forgets that you cannot experience death (if we assume death really is non-existence and that there is nothing that lives on and survives it). You are aware or conscious one moment and then next you are not. All you experience is life.



I cannot be expected to die in spite of my life being worthwhile. I die because it was. No matter how useless somebody’s life may appear to others, the fact is that if the whole universe existed just so that that person could live makes it worth it.



I live in such a way that I will be at least sort of happy when my life is extinguished. Say, “I have lived, eaten and been merry and I have done great good for others. I know death is the end. I am happy to go because my life was worthwhile. Do you not see that the person who lived the best and most fulfilled life they could while believing hat death is the end is more mature than the person



I allow my life to be extinguished forever so that I can make way for others. I give my place in life for another to take it and enjoy it. There is no waste and I will return to nature to nurture.”



Death is the end of my existence. There will be no reincarnation or resurrection. I don’t want there to be for I am glad I lived. I am not going to be greedy. There will be no spirit world waiting for me. I make my loved ones happy on earth so that I will not need to hope to meet them again in a blissful afterlife.



When I die nobody or nothing can ever hurt me again. I rejoice in there being not even the smallest chance that I might suffer in Hell forever. It is better for there to be no life after death for anybody than for there to be life after death and for even one person to endure Hell forever.



My life will go out like a candle flame. But experientially, it will be as if my life has not ended. My life ends but my experience is eternal. I am eating that heavenly pie. I am playing with my pet. I am swimming in the beautiful lake. I am in awe of that spectacular sunset. I am celebrating my birthday. What experience becomes eternal and everlasting?




The Humanitarian Principle



What comes first? Persons or their happiness?

Some "moral" systems put persons, that is human life, first. But that implies we must keep persons alive forever even if they are in a state of everlasting unbearable torture. Some imply happiness first. Both systems have value. Sometimes we put life first. Other times it is happiness. It has to be our own choice. In other words, we have to be our own God.



If there is a good God looking after things, nothing happens unless he lets it happen. Thus it can't be that bad if we refuse to put human life first. It is minor enough then to kill somebody. True humanitarianism must deny that there is a God who is better than us. True humanitarianism puts us in the place of God.



To ever put the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people first is to deny the place of God. We would have to put the greatest happiness of the greatest number first in our hearts even when we can't do it in practice. It has to take the place of God in our hearts.



Religion and faith must be formulated within the boundaries of what is best for people. No religious authority, that is, no God, pope, prophet, Church or Bible must ever be put before human needs. Supposing authority should exist, it should exist for people not people for authority.



The Simplicity Principle: how simplicity is a source of blessing



There has to be a true faith that is best for all people. It has to be a faith that anybody can defend and understand and see to be true. There are forms of religion that have a long scripture like the Bible. The Bibles runneth over with ideas that are hard to make sense of and hard to interpret. The religions have a complicated hierarchical structure running them. All this complexity disproves the claim of these religions to be the true religions. Complicated religion is not inspired by God. It is a human product and has no right to its claim to authority.



Blessed are those who cherish simplicity and spurn lofty doctrines for they offer the same glory to rich and poor alike.



Blessed are those who love the faith of simplicity for they don’t have to waste time studying and arguing when they could be doing kind deeds.



Blessed are those who build their happiness on a faith that is full of simplicity for they understand it and they cannot be deceived.



Blessed are those who build their happiness on a faith that is full of simplicity for they are free from the religious deceptions created by humankind and nobody can make fools of them.



Blessed are those who build their happiness on a faith that is full of simplicity for there is no arrogance in them and they cannot be puffed up by their great religious knowledge for the child in rags is equal in faith and knowledge to the professor.



Blessed are those who take the simple approach to faith for it is when things are made complicated that it becomes easier to deceive and they are blessed with integrity.

Blessed are those who keep things simple for in the midst of conflict and division they are the ones who will create unity at the end and pave the way of peace.



Blessed are those who worship in the Temple of Simplicity for they serve what most people need. Is not life worth more than complicated dogmas just as the body is worth more than clothes?



Those who build their temple on the house of simplicity build it on a rock and because it is firm they are happy and sure and no storm can dent it.



Those who have gone live on in our hearts and memories - literally!



We are never alone. We are always blessed with good yet invisible company.



Atheists and humanists console the bereaved that those who have died live on in our hearts and memories. It is common for the bereaved to feel that those who are gone are still alive and as real as ever. They feel that the relationship has not changed. What has changed is that those people are no longer visible and we can't audibly hear their voices any more or touch them.



But the trouble is, atheists and humanists deny a real life after death. For them, the dead living on in our hearts and memories is a metaphor. So they should say we only imagine they live on for they don't. There is not much comfort in that idea.



We hold then that it is literally true that those who depart live on in our hearts and our memories. If we enjoy our lives, we are doing something for them literally. They literally benefit. You are looking after yourself and that indirectly honours them because you are doing what they want you to do.



Nobody must be pressured to enjoy themselves after a loved one dies. The loved one's grace will assist them in getting to that place and it may take a lot of time. Never speak of something having loved you. If they are dead their love is still present. It is now not then.





Communion



Try to feel that those who love you are with you in spirit. This needs to be a frequent daily exercise. Do it often and as a result, you will continue to feel this link with them if their lives end. You create a link across time with them.

Remember countless good people made you. They do not want to be alive for you so much as for you to take care of yourself in their honour remembering and delighting that you are part of them. Look after yourself as a favour for them. Celebrate for them.

Yes but none of us is really individual and we are part of a human community, a society. A community is based on confirming and altering beliefs. If we alter people's beliefs, why should we stop if it is religious beliefs? Why should they get special protection from criticism? To give any belief special treatment is bigotry unless the belief is so clearly true that no honest person would challenge it.

The best way to remain motivated and willing to help others even to the extent of greatly risking your health and life is to try and see the big picture. Try and see how many can benefit from and be inspired by your actions. If you see yourself as helping only a few, your motivation will not be very strong. Do not see just how many will be directly helped but think of the indirect benefits too. Perhaps the leper you treat will be able to find a wife and raise a nice family. Think also of the opportunities you are making - you give those opportunities to others even if they do not available of them. What matters is that you gave.



Your Bosom will burn with joy within you



The Witness of the heart bestows the knowledge of the consoling truth upon you and your bosom shall burn with



Our message of peace, confidence, comfort, undefiled wisdom and love calls on you to perform an experiment. Do not believe a word of it until you test it and put it into practice. Then you will learn that it is true. Force your belief on no one. Resent no one for rejecting it. There was a time you rejected it too. Whoever does not have the message is not for the message.



Study it in your mind. Do good works to show its light to the world.



Understand how it could make you feel and how it can fulfil the highest human needs like nothing else can. To do this you must associate and be friendly with those who live it.



All the love and kindness make up a Fountain of Love that is in your heart waiting to be poured out. Ask the Fountain of Love to give you an emotional testimony that these things are true. Your heart will burn within you telling you that it is true. You will have the burning in your bosom. You will have a great sense of peace. This is your testimony. Your spirit bears witness to you that the message is true and that the Fountain of Love reposes in your heart. The Fountain of Love is telling you that the message is true and filling your heart with peace to prove it.


You will feel a burning the bosom by which you will know the message is true. But you will say that not every such burning in the bosom can be true. People of different faiths all feel their faiths are true. The answer is that when the Fountain of Love gives light and sets the bosom on fire and passion for doing acts of love there is no mistaking. We cannot explain how we know that we sense the colour green. We know that even if it is an illusion we still see green. All knowledge is mystical. It is just that the mystical origin of much knowledge is often overlooked.

The meaning of life is that whatever happens can be fixed. When you realise that you see that the journey is more important than the goal.

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aphorism discussion point


Gratitude is only rational and proper and real when given to a being who knows what it is doing and can do nothing for you or do harm for you but does good instead. Gratitude is recognition and imputation of free will.


If somebody is truly grateful to God that means they do not believe he really is capable only of good. If they think they are convinced he is good and has no potential to do bad they are deluding themselves. That could explain why believers in God attach to systems of faith such as Christianity and Islam that celebrate past violence or condone it and produce new forms of violence in the name of faith.



Nobody is irrational. They are reasoning but reasoning badly.



Moral principle says if you have no idea of what is objectively moral or what it means then it is objectively moral to make an attempt. You need objective morality and the concept is forced on you even if you say morality is relative – such a saying is unnatural and forced and warped. It is better to guess and live the morality you have for errors will show up in time if it is wrong or needs fixing. Guessing and testing is more important than grounding it or caring or knowing why it is morally correct. Practicing what you understand to be objective morality is a principle and the most foundational and important and basic moral principle of all. If you have to guess the best guess is that morality is about maintaining the well-being of others and yourself.


When people read these truths they will see that they already agree with them



Atheists regard people as the highest beings because they have faith in the human spirit.



Atheism is for those who see that what people need to hear is not always what they want to hear.



The Bias Problem



You will be told by some that if believers in religion are biased, non-believers are biased too. If that is so, we must reduce the bias as much as possible. We need our outlook to be challenged. The person who desires the challenge is the one whose deserves the most respect and admiration for her or his beliefs.



You can be biased in your belief and it can happen to be right. All bias is bad and if we see good effects these happen in spite of bias not because of it. It has nothing to do with making the bias good. If we are all biased, we must ask ourselves which bias might seem to be the best and the wisest to have under the circumstances. But at all times, we must strive for the freedom that being unbiased brings.

Rather than talk about good and evil we must talk about good and mistaken good. This is less frightening and more centred on reality. Whoever does what we call evil always offers reasons for why he or she thinks it is right. They are mistaking the wrong kind of good for the real kind of good.

Reality Bites



Truth is whatever is real and correct. Thus it is not about you. Truth cannot be changed just because you try to change it or don’t want it to be true. Turning away from the truth is intrinsically degrading for the mature person faces the truth and deals with it. Everybody needs to take the chance. Fear of reality only leads to more fear if not today then tomorrow. The fear is not going to help at all.

If you compromise the truth you always end up with falsehood and lies and open the door for people to create even more lies.

There are key beliefs that everybody needs to know in order to liberate the inner powers that bring them salvation. All the damage people do on earth ultimately comes from incorrect ideas concerning the things that truly matter.



No matter what I do or believe, great suffering can and might overcome me. The so-called gods among humankind also suffer and die. I must be realistic. If suffering will come, I will only make it worse by having the attitude that it can’t happen to me.



People have tried magic and still suffered horrifically and died young.



People have tried prayer and still suffered horrifically and died young.



And people have done neither and still suffer horrifically and died young.



Random troubles will come.



You cannot stop them.



Sometimes all you can hope for is the ability to get through it or at least not to make things worse for yourself.




Being Positive but Realistic



Positive thinking means being realistic but pointing out that the best can happen not that it necessarily will happen. It is not fair to encourage false hope. The wise person does not tell the person fighting cancer that they will get well but that if they work hard they have a chance. People need encouragement to overcome the terrible things that may befall them. The wise person is not encouraging faith but practicality.

Life can be fraught with danger. All you can do is recognise the dangers and prepare to face them. Then you will be able to minimise the suffering and pain they will bring you. You can often prevent yourself from suffering unnecessarily. This book offers you the tools to feel as well as you can no matter what happens. The book does not promise to solve your problems but to give you a new way of looking at them.

Expecting that the best will probably happen is fine but you need to base the expectation on evidence and on your willingness to walk away from situations that put you in danger of harm or unhappiness. You are prepared for bad things to happen but you are not trapped in dread. If the evidence says the worst will happen then admit it will and you will find that this can make it less fearful. If it does not reduce the fear know at least you have not made it any worse. Knowing what is to come empowers your to arm yourself.




Neutrality



People claim they can be neutral. If I act as if evil is nothing, then I actually enable and encourage others to engage in it. If I try to be neutral, I forget that neutrality means you agree with evil as much as you disagree with it. I need to explain to people that I cannot enable evil and that this is about self-respect and trying to respect others. That way I will not antagonise them if I have to take a stand against or work against the harm they do.


Core Attitudes

My attitude runs deeper than what I know or believe so I give myself the gift of attitude.

I reject the existence of a God who owns me and would reject him if he existed. I do this in order to own myself. Atheism is about me not God.

I wish and decide to be God over how I respond to everything that happens bad and good and that alone really matters.

I have hidden reserves so I will always hope.

If the worst happens, I may have to settle for being open to at least not letting it get any worse.

I will never fear truth but face it with courage for the truth belongs to nobody and I have to face it.

I will always be open to learning and correcting what I think because I wish to avoid contradicting myself so that I can be true to myself. To accept things just because I feel they are true or because others say they are shows a lapse in respect to myself and my autonomy. I need the truth so I can make real choices. Errors lead to more errors and help people to lie to me.

This the only sensible faith, the atheist's faith.