My Religion | Teen Ink

My Religion MAG

By Anonymous

I have a magnet on my mirror stating, “Life is not about finding yourself – life is about creating yourself.” This is the statement I live by.

Many people do not believe me when I say I am an atheist. They don’t understand that I simply do not believe in any sort of god or afterlife. I also do not believe in the devil, in angels, or in souls. I believe in myself and the strength I have gained through the help of my parents, teachers, and friends – and my own hard work.

I am not going to try to dissuade anyone from his or her own opinions either. I know that people enjoy having religion in their lives; some need their faith to help them through hard times. And some do not want the responsibility of their misfortunes weighing down on their shoulders.

I do. I abhor the idea of fate – that everything is already planned out and you have no control to change anything. If you believe in fate, when bad things happen, it is not your fault; it’s just fate. When my life is not going well, I know that it is no one’s fault but my own. When I do well in school, when I fall in love, it is not fate and we are not soul mates. I worked hard and paid attention and did the homework. My love and I simply love each other – that is all it is, and for me that is all it needs to be.

For some, life is overwhelming. How can anyone be successful and happy in such a difficult, horrible world? They need someone to help them, someone to guide them, and someone to have faith in to make sure things get better. Placing my success and happiness in another’s hands breaks my heart. I need to be successful because of my efforts. I must be responsible for my own happiness. That is what I need from my religion.

Who will ever know what the truth really is? All I know is in the same way that some have full faith and trust in God to give them hope, I need to believe I am on my own to be truly happy – for how can I create myself if I spend my entire life just looking?



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This article has 762 comments.


Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 3:30 am

Please, can we just agree to disagree?

besides, I'm an atheist too, but the big bang and evolution is "crud" when everyone's trying to use it to convert you.


Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 3:28 am
I am sick of all these commentors trying to convert others. I don't mind stating your opinion, but telling others "Save yourself! Satan is lying to you!" or "God doesn't exist! Snap out of it!" is just stupid. Can't we just respect each other and agree to disagree? (I'm sorry, I'm a hypocrite. I made a few conversionalistic atheist comments on this page, but I can't find them.)

Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 3:26 am

Sarah, there are hundreds, if not thousands of atheists out there who could say the same thing to you. "Sarah, I want you to be saved from mindles, blind faith based on a book written by man, not God." We believe in our cause just as strongly as you believe in yours. This author is just living their life, day to day, trying to make the most of their existence before death. We're doing the same.

 Just because we don't believe in God, it doesn't mean we go around sinning all the time. We have moral compasses too, even if we aren't guided by the Ten Commandments. Just because I don't believe in God, it doesn't mean I can use that as an excuse to harm others. Besides, even devout Catholics have done harm in God's name (e.g. the Crusades).

Besides... I sort of believe in heaven. Sort of. I think that everyone's heaven is different, so if your blissful place is above the sky, singing with Angels, that'll be your heaven (if you have a good heart, of course).

That's what I believe, anyway.


Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 3:10 am

Sarah, there are hundreds, if not thousands of atheists out there who could say the same thing to you. "Sarah, I want you to be saved from mindles, blind faith based on a book written by man, not God." We believe in our cause just as strongly as you believe in yours. This author is just living their life, day to day, trying to make the most of their existence before death. We're doing the same.

 Just because we don't believe in God, it doesn't mean we go around sinning all the time. We have moral compasses too, even if we aren't guided by the Ten Commandments. Just because I don't believe in God, it doesn't mean I can use that as an excuse to harm others. Besides, even devout Catholics have done harm in God's name (e.g. the Crusades).

Besides... I sort of believe in heaven. Sort of. I think that everyone's heaven is different, so if your blissful place is above the sky, singing with Angels, that'll be your heaven (if you have a good heart, of course).

That's what I believe, anyway.


Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 2:51 am

Well, I think that destiny itself is the choices we make. Like, if I lose my job (I don't have one), I can't say, "fate says I can't have a job, so I won't go looking for another one." For all I know, Fate could go in millions of directions. If I give up, I'll end up homeless and miserable. If I go find another job, I'll become happy again... and so on.

I read a series called the Alvin Maker series. I didn't really enjoy the story, but one character is a "torch"; a person with the ability to see the future. But she doesn't see the future set in stone. It's more like, she sees the different paths leading to the person's future. She doesn't know which one he/she will take, but she knows how each different choice will affect their lives.


Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 2:45 am

I agree with you. I never really believed in God. When I heard about Jesus, I asked my mom, "Mom? Why did that man get himself killed?" She said, "He carried the sins of our people and died for them." So I scratched my head and said, "But what did he accomplish? Nothing changed except the fact that now a bunch of people say are using God as an excuse ("God will make my friend come back and apologize." "The Kingdom of God will come before the sea levels rise." "God will let me win the lottery, so I don't have to work.")"

Of course, faith is good. It keeps you going when all hope seems to be lost. But using God as an excuse is a sin in itself.


Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 2:39 am
The author isn't depressed. She/he just takes pride in their own achievements, but also takes the blame for misfortunes in their life. I feel sorry for those fanatics who don't give themselves any credit for their accomplishments ("I GOT MY DIPLOMA! THANK YOU GOD!") and blame God for their misfortunes ("MY WIFE LEFT ME BECAUSE I CHEATED! WHY DIDN'T YOU KEEP ME FROM SINNING, GOD?! YOU SHOULD HAVE SENT A SIGN!")

Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 2:35 am
Plus, if God is so selfless and powerful, I don't think he should have sent his son to carry everyone's sins. That's almost the opposite of selfless; saying to your kid, "Hey, would you mind if I send you to Earth with the sole purpose of being a martyr and being prosecuted before dying in sheer agony? Okay, thanks." I think that if he was really that great, he should have taken the burden upon himself.

Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 2:31 am
Plus, the "slave to jesus" part. I think that an actually benign ruler would not want to make his people crawl for him. 

Steph0804 said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 2:29 am

I don't want to be rude or anything, but I'll tell you my point of view about how this world was made "perfect" for us to live in (ignoring global warming and rising sea levels and whatnot).

Do you know the book, "The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time"? It's mostly ridulous and senseless, but there was a little analogy that I found quite intriguing.

So, once upon a time there was a puddle, inside a hole in the sidewalk. It looked around itself and said, "Gee, this hole is so snug and it fits me just right. Therefore, it must have been made for me!" So he sat comfortably in his hole for the whole day. Then, the sun got unbearably hot and started to evaporate the puddle. He clung on to the hole, desperately thinking, "This hole was made for me, so whoever made this hole will surely keep me from being sucked away."

The puddle got sucked away.

So, the first part of that story is about how humans emerged with the concept of, "Gee, I have fruits to eat, animals to hunt, a nice cave to live in... this world must be made for me! Well, then who made it? ...well, around here, I'm the only one who makes anything. I make axes, hammers, and other tools. So, a bigger version of me must have made this world! I'll call him God and worship him so that he gives me more."

And the last part of the story, when the puddle drains away, has to do with faith (I think). It's good to have faith; it keeps you going in hard times, keeps you standing even when everyone's trying to knock you down. But don't rely on faith. You have to work yourself, too. You can't just sit there and say, "God will fix this, so I don't have to do a thing."

So, faith definitely is a good thing, but don't use it as an excuse to escape from life's hardships.


on Aug. 10 2011 at 1:37 am
BorderlineGenius777 SILVER, Lewiston, Idaho
7 articles 0 photos 80 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most would be content to take their own and depart."- Socrates

also, i believe that if you put too much into your religion, it can poison your thoughts and destroy relationships and other things in your life

on Aug. 7 2011 at 2:03 pm
itchyriver PLATINUM, San Diego, California
27 articles 5 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
That's either snow or a bunch of white flowers.

If you don't believe in evolution, would you care to explain dinosaurs, and pretty much all of prehistoric life? I respect your opinion but you can't discredit the fact that science has actual evidence while faith has an old book. You would consider me mad to worship a fairytale such as Snow White and take it literally, but that's exactly what you're doing. I feel if anything should be taken from the Bible etc it should be morals and ethics. Of course, so many of those are horribly warped simply because of the time difference and how society has changed.

Emmy88 BRONZE said...
on Aug. 1 2011 at 8:07 pm
Emmy88 BRONZE, New Rochelle, New York
1 article 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."-Wayne Gretzky

This was a lovely article. I'm glad you don't put down people when you wrote it. I am an atheist and I always get weird looks. This article is sheds light on a subject that is controversial to some.

on Jul. 27 2011 at 3:18 pm
andromeda13 SILVER, Barrie, Other
8 articles 0 photos 174 comments
i agree. Too me i would rather Believe in my family and friends then a "God" who might or might not even exist

on Jul. 27 2011 at 3:16 pm
andromeda13 SILVER, Barrie, Other
8 articles 0 photos 174 comments
i completely agree with this article, im an athiest too. i did not choose not to be religious, it just seems silly too me. I also strongly think that every one has a right too their own beliefs 

on Jul. 21 2011 at 9:56 am
Nathaniel PLATINUM, Huntsville, Missouri
36 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." --William Shakespeare

The point of life if indeed there is no afterlife is to live each day like it's your last. In consequence, you have a greater appreciation for the things around you and the people in your life knowing that nothing is forever: life--a one time occurance-- is but temporary. Ironically, I believe in the book of James it states, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

Grant it, I have used this scriptual quip for my own maniacal ends, but it works. The quality of life is not hindered by lack of a second one; rather, it actually might be increased! I find that some of the best movies I've watched have no sequels.


on Jul. 20 2011 at 8:07 am
SammyGirl BRONZE, Morgan, Utah
3 articles 5 photos 9 comments
So what's the point of life then?

on Jul. 20 2011 at 12:50 am
ZeeBYoung BRONZE, Coatesville, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 72 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away from them, and you have their shoes. :)

No, our body rots and decomposes into the ground.

on Jul. 19 2011 at 9:25 pm
SammyGirl BRONZE, Morgan, Utah
3 articles 5 photos 9 comments
just wondering.... if there is no afterlife then do we just evaporate when we die?

on Jul. 19 2011 at 4:58 pm
chamomile SILVER, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
8 articles 1 photo 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
She makes it through her day, but doesn't just “make it” through her day. She holds within her at all time the faith that she belongs, even when she doesn't belong. She belongs to the world; she belongs in her life; her heart and mind and soul belong

Just because you believe in everything you have just said does not necessarily make it true. She is not alone, I'm sure she has family and friends and love, and she does not need any god to feel happy. Thank you.