If you Atheists had a spiritual awakening, would you change your ways ?

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Hello world. Spiritual Awakening. Many people have experienced this before. OK. Let’s pick an example. Let’s
say that you Atheists, had a vision about Hell. And here you
were, in a dream state, but highly conscious about what
you were doing, inside your vision. Your senses are aware
of your surroundings. You can, touch, taste, see, hear, and
feel. And you see this lake of fire and brimstone. And a past
relative, who is deceased, approaches you. And says this.
You had better, get right with the Father. Or it could be too
late for you, like me. I am forever doomed, do you wish
to be here, and be tormented as I am ? And then you are
very afraid, then you wake up, in a cold sweat. What do
you do ? If you had a spiritual awakening, would you Atheists,
change your ways ? Simple question. Enjoy…..
A vision has more substance, than
a dream……
Hello TWIST. Your question is flawed….. There is no way you
can actually prove, that The Father,
does “not” exist. But because of
Him dwelling inside human beings,
that is the biggest prove one can
have. For one man or woman, to go
through such a change is beyond
logic. To not have so much as a
sinful nature, as one did before.Spirituality is powerful. Science
cannot explain this phenomenon.
They never have, and never will.

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shannon b

YES THEY WOULD

icarus62

Would I change my rational views because of a nightmare? I can’t see why I would. There is no reason to believe that dreams are anything other than the products of our imaginations.

Ben M.

No.
Tell me of a dream that didn’t feel real while you were in it. A character that has been in your life appearing in a dream doesn’t make the dream any more real than it is, it just meant that you remember him and still have longing to meet him.

tawaen, Incarnatrix of Evil

Sorry, I’ve had sleep paralysis before. So dreams and visions aren’t going to change my mind.
I want something verifiable. Not a psychological episode.

Skalite

Hallucinations are not spiritual, they’re signs you’re under-medicated or over-intoxicated.

gary 7 infiltrator - AM

You are asking a very important question, for a couple of reasons, so I am going to give you a very thorough answer. I hope you’ll take the time to read it all, because it may enlighten you about atheism and about the minds of most people who describe themselves as atheists. 🙂
First, your question is important because it operates from the assumption that no person who presently calls himself or herself and atheist has ever had a “spiritual awakening” before. This is a false assumption, and I’ll go into it later.
Second, your question is important because it assumes that the only kind of spiritual awakening a person can have is one that’s associated with deities (thus “changing an atheist’s ways.”) I’ll also address this later.
First, though, I want to talk about the way most atheists think. Not all of us think this way, but most of us are atheists *because* we think this way.
We are very logical people, who have a strong tendency to look for natural (and therefore not supernatural) explanations for everything we encounter in life. This includes experiences that, at first blush, feel supernatural to the human mind. We (as a species) have learned much about our own brains, including the fact that the brain is not really capable of perceiving its own functions. Our brains fill in data so that we experience normal brain functions as forces outside our own skulls. We hallucinate, in short, to make the firing of electrical impulses inside our heads “make sense.” Once you understand that about the human brain, it’s very hard to take supernatural experiences as truly supernatural.
We know that information is stored in our brains, and that it can be recalled at random by normal (or sometimes abnormal) brain functions. Information includes memes (units of inherited or passed on cultural information, such as religious mythology).
So if I had a vision of Hell, as you suggest, in which I dreamed that I could feel the heat of the fires, taste and smell the sulfur, hear the screaming; and my dead father approached me and said, “You’d better get right with the Father! Or it could be too late for you, just like me! I am forever doomed! Do you want to be here, just like me?” And then I woke in a cold sweat…. Well, I’ll tell you 100% honestly what I’d do.
I’d gather my wits, catch my breath, lie back down, and consider how strange it is that even though I don’t believe in Hell, the common Western idea of Hell is still imprinted in my brain, and my brain can create such a real Hell experience for me when the right electrical impulses fire in the right way.
I’m not saying that to be defiant, either. I know myself very well, and that is exactly what I’d think. Back when I was a Christian, I’d probably think it was a true dream of Hell. But my brain works differently now. I’ve retrained my thinking and my emotional response to better suit logic, because rationality makes sense, while irrational behavior such as religious belief does not make sense to me, and living in a nonsensical way makes me very uncomfortable with myself. I know this from experience.
Now, to address the first two fallacies with your assumption.
Most atheists were once religious people. This is simply a “numbers game” – there are more religious people in the world than nonreligious people, so it makes sense that a good many atheists were raised in religious families, or experimented with religious belief. Many of us were very devoutly religious, and many of us, including myself, have had several “spiritual awakenings.” I was a born-again Christian for several years before I became an atheist. I understand what it’s like to have a Holy Spirit-style experience. I also now understand that this is a normal biological function of the human brain. So it’s unfair to assume that atheists never had any strong religious experiences in the past. I know that it’s common for some religious people – especially some Christians – to claim that you were never *really* religious if you later became an atheist, but that is simply untrue. I literally felt the strength of God in my heart when I was religious. I would often weep with the overwhelming sense of awe I had when contemplating God. If that’s not a truly religious person, I don’t know what is! 🙂
You also assumed that a spiritual awakening must involve a Western idea of religion. My husband is an atheist and he has recently had a spiritual awakening of sorts involving the teachings of Taoism. This has made him a more conscientious person who is more careful in the way he treats people and nature. Not that he was careless before, but he’s now even more concerned with the well-being of the whole planet than he was before he found Taoism and awakened this caring nature within himself. He and I have studied Taoism together and I, too, found it to be a strongly awakening experience that has attuned me to parts of myself that I never understood before.
Many atheists DID have a spiritual awakening, and that is why they are now atheists. As much awe as the idea of God struck in my spirit when I was a Christian, that awe has been magnified a thousandfold now that I am an atheist. When I look at the world around me and try to understand how rare it is that life should exist at all, let alone at the level of complexity we see it; when I consider the many people who could have been born in my place, yet I am privileged to live this one short life; when I see my pregnant sister’s belly and feel my nephew moving inside her and marvel at the collation of DNA that leads to a new life; when I look at the stars and consider the lightyears it takes for each point of light to meet my eyes; I am filled a wonder and awe that the concept of a god could never reach within my spirit. I am shaken to the core of my being by the wonder of a godless universe. I tell you truthfully that I have shed more tears in wonder at the fragile beauty of a godless universe than I ever did at the idea of a personal God. When I consider that it is likely that intelligent life exists elsewhere, and wonder if we will ever meet, I feel a welling of hope and mystery within my heart that is greater than any touch I ever received from the “Holy Spirit.”
To me, and so many other atheists like me, there is no greater spiritual awakening than atheism. It has caused many of us to find our paths in life, to appreciate and care for the world much more than we ever did before, and to love life more deeply than we ever could have loved it with a God.
I hope this helps you understand atheism better. Peace to you! 🙂

Yuck Fou

there are no spirits..*spiritual* awakening is a silly term

A.Mercer

I might just call it a dream.
I dream about all sorts of different things, that does not make them real.
About you comment to Twist:
He said
“If you were convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the bible is a work of fiction, full of contradictions, historically and scientifically flawed and the work of men – WOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR WAYS?”
He was not saying that he could prove that a god does not exist. He was saying that he could prove that the bible has flaws, errors, and contradictions. There are many sites on the web that point these out. Since the only understanding of god that christians have comes from the bible, then being able to say that the bible is confirmed and factual needs to be true. However, the bible is not. It is flawed and has errors. It also depends on too many stories that cannot be verified. There is no evidence to back up the creation stories. There is no evidence to back up Noah’s Ark. Heck, Egyptologists will tell you that the depiction of Egypt in the bible is wrong. It seems more evident that the bible is just a collection of stories written and inspired by man.

Phoenix - Vixen

Who says I’m not already spiritual?
Or that my realization that gods aren’t real WASN’T my spiritual awakening?
Hmmmmmm?

Gandalfâ„¢

I’d change my medication.

The Wag

A personal experience is not proof of God.

Dharma- nator

I had a dream that seemed absolutely real where I walked into my brother’s bedroom and had my leg bitten off by a crocodile. It was so realistic that even as an adult I woke up screaming in terror. Was that an awakening telling me that I need to install anti-crocodile defences in my house?
EVERYONE, change your ways – the invasion of the bedroom crocodiles is coming!!!!!!

X Theist

Change our ways? You mean we’ll stop burning people at stake?
Nah…

Jeff S

I DID have a spiritual awakening and because of it, i’m atheist.

Captain Atheism

I had a dream last night that myself and an ex-girlfriend had a tearful reunion, and got back together.
When I woke up, reality set back in, and I remembered that we don’t like each other anymore, at all, and she is married with a child.
Reality is different from dreamland.

Blue

Most likely not, some may depending on if they can fully belive it was just a dream or not.

Loki

What you described is called a delirium. It is a dream….NOT REAL!
Are you telling me that you base your faith on a dream?
What is amusing, and more than a little sad is, You’re steadfast refusal to accept ANY of our opinions or any data that contradicts your narrow view of reality. Your comments on science show your total lack of understanding. I’m glad you have faith. Please stop acting as if that makes you superior

BIrdy (R.I.P)

Yes, so It beggars the question, why do I never get one?
Does Jesus not want me for a sun beam?

FearEmbodied

You’ve got it backwards, atheism is the awakening.
If I all of the sudden realized that all the Abrahamic dogma mythology is in fact real then I was never an atheist to begin with.

Nichole

I’d like to give an awakening to the fundamentalist internet preaching community about how maybe 2 percent of the population ever responds to disrespectful tactics of conversion.

Nea

Last night I had a dream I could fly….. in reality, I cannot.
And to answer your question, no. I would not accept jesus just to avoid hell. I could not worship such an immoral being as bible god.

Lucky Fokker

I had an awakening that got me out of religion, how do you explain that one?
And if your god has to work through wacky ways like that, he’s not very super

Rose AM - VT

My dreams are very very real to me.. In my dreams when I fall, I feel like I’m falling. If I dream of the lake of fire, I would imagine it was because I was watching a horror movie. If I dream of it tommorrow, its because I read this question.

jonjon v2.0 (censored)

I HAVE had a spiritual awakening. It just didn’t involve the “Christian” concept of “God” as a blown-up Freudian father-figure with a chip on His shoulder.
What you’re describing is sheer psychopathy and superstition, and your childish fear-tactics won’t work on people less abject and ignorant. I’m sorry, but I find this kind of thing absolutely despicable.

Morey000

I do believe that people have ‘visions’, but I don’t consider them empirical evidence. The mind is a complex organism that has the ability to dream, hallucinate, wonder, imagine, etc.
As long as I retain my cognitive abilities, I don’t see that I would take such a nightmare as any kind of proof of the hereafter.

"V" for Vengeance! AY

No.
Just the simple act of awakening alive each morning is test enough for me.

amanda c

no. i’d think of it as a nightmare. thats what it would be. besides this wouldn’t happen to an atheist because our nightmares revolve around our actual fears and atheists don’t fear nonexistant torture chambers created by gods. bees, on the other hand scare the crap out of me!

Still Monkeys

I had a dream several times where I was sitting motionless in a chair, in the parking lot of a store, while all of the bad things in the night were in a circle around me. It didn’t make me “change” then, and I doubt the same experience would do it now. I know the difference between sleeping and waking, dream and reality.
I will never give in to the dream when reality is so much more exciting.

ɹɐǝɟsuɐs (One of the Rest)

Thanks Zulu, interesting question…
I couldn’t do it. Even if I was convinced that hell existed.
Simply put, I can’t worship a God who is capable of eternal torture. I would be tempted to do it, but the fact that my children and parents and siblings, weren’t given the same vision, and that many of them would end up in hell because of it, would stop me from being able to honestly worship a God like that.
I don’t understand people, who can worship anything capable of eternal torture, it is incredibly immoral, and when you think about your mum and dad or kids or brother and sister, burning in extreme pain FOR EVER. How can you worship a God who chooses to do that to them?

Twist

This question has been asked countless times here (MILLIONS probably). I have always been honest and said “yes” I would convert and change my ways if provided any evidence.
But…
Let me ask you a similar question, lets see how honest you can be.
If you were convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the bible is a work of fiction, full of contradictions, historically and scientifically flawed and the work of men – WOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR WAYS?
Please answer this question. I have answered yours.
Atheist (former christian)

jathgnos

Beats me. I don’t think so, I mean.. The Bible makes a lot of claims that are really not in sync with reality.

Bajingo

I’ve had many spiritual awakenings, and yes I changed my ‘ways’ (beliefs).
I am always open to new suggestions…and I will always run them through my honest appraisal…
All my visions had the substance of my mindset and cultural immersion…at the time.
I concluded that the mind is a powerful place for suggestibility…and maybe more.
EDIT:
Wow..I just read ‘Gary 7 Infiltrator’s response..
That is one of the most wonderfully complete, candid and honest answers I’ve yet seen on R&S..yet people thumb it down…
Some religions harden hearts and make people mean … for sure.

martatim666

what your talking about is a dream and I dont think much of dreams because they are not real. They are images brought on by my subconscious not some divine being

Walker NA

I would know I was drunk again last night and had a bad dream.

Ria L

Ever heard of night terrors/sleep paralysis?
You have all your senses, and it feels like you are awake- but this does not make it real (I experience it a couple of times a year). I would just put it down to one of those.
But lets say there was something that did convince me of hell-I would have to say that there must be a God- I would then spend the rest of eternity wondering how I could destroy it, because anything that created hell (a place of infinite punishment for finite sins, where people go simply for not believing) is the biggest evil there is.

mshoward100

I would fix myself a cup of coffee and hope the dumb dream doesn’t come back 🙂

Diagoras

Um…. I don’t think you understand what dreams are. They are not messages from otherworldly places or entities. They completely exist inside your mind and are constructed using schema’s of your subconscious mind. So if you experience fear of hell in your waking life, chances are at one time or another you will have a dream about being in hell. I would not call that a spiritual awakening. I can guarantee you, someone who has never been exposed to the thought of god or, angels, demons, the devil, hell or heaven or any other mythical concept would ever dream about these things.

guason12003

First of all, is not a simple question.because what you are trying to do is to project your fears into us and used as a tool to convert.
Second, dreams are mostly based in subconscious activity, since we don’t believe in hell, I hardly doubt that hell would make it’s presence in our dreams.
Third, it doesn’t sound like an awakening, it sounds more like a bad dream produced by eating a bad clam, or a plot for a movie of the week.

newplasticsmell

I had a dream last night that I met Chris Makepeace, the actor. I had wanted to meet him when I was growing up, I idolized him. And now I met him in my dream. It was so real. So dreams come true!
The “lake of fire” thing? Well, after you wake up, you realize there’s no lake of fire and you really didn’t meet Chris Makepeace, so no.

just some nut

A bad dream is just that and nothing more. Do you think the man in this video really visited hell or had a nasty nightmare? Watch this and the related videos for yourself.
I had a spiritual awakening of a sort. It came when I started to think rationally. It woke me up to the “fact”, the boldest word I know how to use, that Hell is all a crock of shit based on fear and intimdation.

Loud and Proud

I wouldn’t change my beliefs over a dream. That would however make me think about it more.
If something substantial happened in a awake state while I was not dreaming, then yes that would change my beliefs.

Deviant

¬_¬ are you saying my relatives are in hell….
But no, I doubt I would change my ways just because of a dream. I’d need more proof than a bit of oogly-boogly.
And someone changing their ways isn’t so spiritual that science can’t explain it, people can change 180 degrees every day. It doesn’t mean there’s something all mighty and beyond comprehension inside them.

purple_kathryn_ni

Wow
what a sick and twisted person you are
Thank you for affirming my atheism
I’d loathe to be someone like you

mrpride00

first; everyone would be nude.

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