I didn't know where to put this, the Rants section may have been a better place to vent frustration, but the Anything section seems to be a better fit for my post.
Anyway, here it goes. I'm an atheist. I've been an atheist for about a year. Until that point, I wasn't religious. You see, I had never been to church, my family wasn't religious. But, I believed in god, the one who wears the white robe and sits in a golden castle in the clouds. I also believed that good people, regardless of religion, went to heaven, while killers, rapists, etc., went to hell. That was about it. My family never said grace, real the Bible, or anything.
Over last year's summer, I researched Christianity. I was frightened, to say the least. This god wasn't the one I had imagined. He was cruel, sociopathic, and cold. He threatened those who didn't believe in his existence with eternal damnation. In the Bible, there are countless acts of God killing and advocating the murder of millions of people; children, women, babies.
I was absolutely stunned. My family would be among the billions of people who'd burn for eternity. It was horrible.
That summer, I extensively researched Christianity of all forms. Some sects gleefully spoke of how those who didn't subscribe to their dogma, would burn, and how we needed to be saved. Others were more liberal, basically "worship with us, have fun". These churches tolerated different religions and lifestyles, promoting the image of a truly loving god that was in my mind in the first place.
I was ready to go to one of the U.U. or Episcopalian churches, but after researching the Bible, my mind changed. The Bible was the Bible, I had to take it literally, or else. I also read that Catholics and more liberal denominations would be spewed (yes, literally), out of God's mouth for being to lukewarm.
For the next few days, I continued to research Christianity, in fear of my Atheist and Jewish friends, along with my family being roasted. Although I read more comforting things such as judgement based on good deeds and even limbo (compared to eternal torture), the sects of Christianity that took the Bible as the whole truth held firm that it was their way or no way.
I decided to look up atheism. Before I learned about Christianity, I thought that Atheism was just made up of spiritless people and that they over looked Pixie God (I was very ignorant to say the least). Needless to say, after reading a few Atheist forums and websites, it started to make sense. "Who created God?" "Why won't God heal amputees?" "Evolution makes sense." "How can a virgin give birth."
After reading retorts from Christian "Science" websites, my atheism was solidified. Just about every answer was "Look in the Bible" "God has his reasons" or "You're going to hell!"
I was happy with my atheism. Although I didn't have my Pixie safety net anymore, I was delighted to know the truth. I was okay with no afterlife as long as I made the most out of this one. No one would fry in Hell.
Here's where I ran into my problem however.
After deciding for sure that there was no Pixie, at least of the Abrahamic variety, I started to feel empty. I felt disenchanted. Sad, in away. This feeling, however, didn't effect me daily. It came up once every few weeks. No big deal, it was just an effect of believing something for so long.
Recently, the feeling has grown worse. It now comes up every two or three days. It doesn't help that I am on/off OCD.
The reason this feeling comes back isn't because I worry about the after-life or out of guilt, but rather out of shock. You see, I wanted my Santa Claus/The Giver mash up in the white robes back. I wanted to feel safe and know that there was someone watching my back.
Also, I recently moved to an area with a large number of Baptists and other Christians. They looked so happy coming out of church. There was recreation, camaraderie, and tranquility. The feeling of being on a mission and knowing that you weren't alone, coupled with all of the rec sports and missions, made me feel empty.
With that being said, I looked into other religions. Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and even Catholicism. They all fell short. Either they didn't have the same stigma as Christianity or they were completely B.S.
I don't enjoy having this recurring feeling of emptiness. Christmas has lost its magic, to some extent. My outlook on humanity has fallen a great deal (as it should). The world has lost its mystique for some reason.
I'd be perfectly happy converting to Deism and going to a U.U. place or being a Cafeteria Catholic, but it doesn't work that way. When I go with a religion, I have to go to an extreme. And, honestly, I don't want to go to the Fundamentalist Christianity. I'd have to drop most of my logic, deny evolution, and not tolerate alternative lifestyles and beliefs.
I feel as though I have grown so much since I looked into religion. However, I feel empty without it in some shape or form. If I go back to being religious though, I'll be taking three steps back.
What I'm trying to ask in this post is, how do I deal with this?
PS: To make up for this serious post, here is a picture of a "special" pig...