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  #31  
Old Dec 8, '09, 7:39 am
prodigalson12 prodigalson12 is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

RCIA is actually open to anybody that wants to learn, regardless if they join the faith, it's an excellent jumping off point to get you to understand what the Catholic church is about. I suspect though, you will likely follow it through to the end and this will mean becoming Catholic in the process.

Don't take offense to my stance here, we have many threads that have been terminated because charletons would post similar stories as yours, so it's natural skepticism in play, nothing personal against you at all and you would be doing the same thing as I, if you experienced what I have on these boards.
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  #32  
Old Dec 8, '09, 9:53 am
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Langdell Langdell is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Pi314 -- Sorry I'm late to the discussion. If it's any help, I was an atheist for many years before returning to Catholicism earlier this year.

As someone else said above, God is calling you. He calls everyone, but some people tune Him out. I tuned Him out for decades. But finally (and fortunately!), He caused or allowed certain things to happen in my life that made me pay attention to His call.

I've been studying and praying steadily since my "reconversion," and I feel as if my experience of life has completely changed.

God bless you!

__________________
O-O-O
Give me neither poverty nor riches (Prov. 30:8)
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  #33  
Old Dec 8, '09, 10:09 am
Student09 Student09 is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

By the way, I don't know if you are interested in philosophy at all, but you might check out St Thomas Aquinas, who is a Doctor of the Church from the Middle Ages. His writings really helped me to see that faith and reason are compatible (in fact, I don't think I even knew what reason was until I started reading his writings), and they are interesting as well. Read his 5 arguments for the existence of God in the Summa Theologica - I recommend a book of his selected original writings called "An Introduction to St Thomas Aquinas," published by Modern Library, which has his arguments for God near the beginning. You will see that there ARE indeed rational arguments for the existence of God! Many of St Thomas' arguments rely on the acceptance of Biblical revelation, but his arguments for the existence of God do not - they rely only on nature.
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  #34  
Old Dec 8, '09, 12:12 pm
Musician Musician is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

To the OP:
Take baby steps. "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief."
My husband was agnostic for many years. He is also a science person. He needed empirical evidence to believe in God. It is there if you look.
I believe God is calling you. My prayers are with you.
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  #35  
Old Dec 8, '09, 1:51 pm
Pi314 Pi314 is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Quote:
Originally Posted by prodigalson12 View Post
Don't take offense to my stance here, we have many threads that have been terminated because charletons would post similar stories as yours, so it's natural skepticism in play, nothing personal against you at all and you would be doing the same thing as I, if you experienced what I have on these boards.
Okies. I took it personally before, but yeah, I guess if fakers happen often enough you get suspicious.

I actually just found a book (I'm in the library to study so I don't fail organic chem). It was mis-shelved and was in with the chemistry books, it's called the Language of God and has DNA on the cover (which is maybe why it ended up in the wrong spot? I dunno). From what I read on the back cover it's about God and science, so I checked it out of the library. I'll probably start reading it tonight.
I tried finding the Thomas Aquinas book, but our system for the library isn't working right, so that will have to wait.
Started reading the blog, and it's awesome.
I might start looking for RCIA, but I'm not sure that I want to jump into it yet. I'm still a bit on the fence.
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  #36  
Old Dec 8, '09, 2:05 pm
Lief Erikson Lief Erikson is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pi314 View Post
Okies. I took it personally before, but yeah, I guess if fakers happen often enough you get suspicious.

I actually just found a book (I'm in the library to study so I don't fail organic chem). It was mis-shelved and was in with the chemistry books, it's called the Language of God and has DNA on the cover (which is maybe why it ended up in the wrong spot? I dunno). From what I read on the back cover it's about God and science, so I checked it out of the library. I'll probably start reading it tonight.
I tried finding the Thomas Aquinas book, but our system for the library isn't working right, so that will have to wait.
Started reading the blog, and it's awesome.
I might start looking for RCIA, but I'm not sure that I want to jump into it yet. I'm still a bit on the fence.
One step at a time . If I were you, I'd be praying now, though, that if God exists He'll guide you along the way of life He wants you to walk and keep you securely on it. Just a recommendation! God bless!

~Lief
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  #37  
Old Dec 8, '09, 4:01 pm
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lakotak lakotak is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lief Erikson View Post
One step at a time . If I were you, I'd be praying now, though, that if God exists He'll guide you along the way of life He wants you to walk and keep you securely on it. Just a recommendation! God bless!

~Lief
I agree with Lief Erikson. One step at a time and prayer. With prayer, God will find you where you are now with Him, you won't have to worry about finding Him first. Even in science, a scientist or doctor has to make that leap of faith, to believe, that his/her theory is right and that a proper diagnosis has been made. They have to look at the facts, but a theory or diagnosis only comes with a decision that is faith that he or she comes to the right conclusion with all the evidence at hand. The whole universe reveals the evidence of God's existence, but faith is when you are willing to make that one small step forward to establish a personal relationship with Him. Take small steps, every journey begins with that first step and what a fantastic journey it will be. Be open to God, and He will come to you.
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  #38  
Old Dec 8, '09, 4:31 pm
psalm139a psalm139a is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pi314 View Post
I actually just found a book (I'm in the library to study so I don't fail organic chem). It was mis-shelved and was in with the chemistry books, it's called the Language of God and has DNA on the cover (which is maybe why it ended up in the wrong spot? I dunno). From what I read on the back cover it's about God and science, so I checked it out of the library. I'll probably start reading it tonight.
I actually read that book a few years ago. It didn't really prove a watertight case for why everyone should absolutely believe in God (not that any book can)... but it did tell an interesting story of how Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome project (which mapped the sequence of human DNA), went from atheism to Christianity, and presented a case for why belief is NOT in conflict with reason/scientific thought.

And, as a side note, most atheist-scientists are biologists (e.g. Richard Dawkins). The percent of atheists in other fields (e.g. physics, chemistry) are lower. My theory is that it all goes back to evolution... some Christians rejected it, so Christianity was seen by biologists as unscientific (which the evangelical Protestant view of creation is). But there's no conflict with Catholicism, which doesn't reject evolution. Just because some religions are irrational doesn't mean all are.
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  #39  
Old Dec 8, '09, 5:34 pm
tgm21234 tgm21234 is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

THE HOUND OF HEAVEN IS AFTER YOU.
If you do someday becomea believer and a Catholic I believe that you (like St.Paul) will be on fire for the Lord.
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  #40  
Old Dec 8, '09, 6:06 pm
usemelord usemelord is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

I, too, am a late contributor to this thread, but better late than never I suppose. An earlier contributor quoted G. K. Chesterton. Let me quote, rather paraphrase, something from C. S. Lewis who described an atheist's search for God akin to a mouse searching for the cat. God is right there in front of everyone, only if they care to acknowledge and admit His existence. As a 65 yr. old geezer who will celebrate his fifth year as a Catholic convert next Easter, I can attest that becoming Catholic was by far the most significant event of my life. I constantly try to expand my scope of knowledge and understanding of the faith which includes inspirational conversion stories of others. I would encourage you to read Thomas Merton's autobiography titled "The Seven Storey Mountain." Not only is Merton an incredibly gifted writer, but he also wrestled with the same doubts and fears as you are experiencing right now. It's a great read and will open up your mind in ways that you will only appreciate later. So, for now I pray for your openness to God's calling and also pray that you will stay blessed.
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  #41  
Old Dec 8, '09, 6:12 pm
GwenL GwenL is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Pi, or should I say 3.14159265...

I was where you are not too long ago. I have a science background (B.A. in paleontology, now finishing up an MS in geology, after a 26 year Air Force career). I was an atheist/agnostic my entire life. I've always drifted along with the thinking: if you can't apply the scientific method, and devise a testable hypothesis, it cannot be proven and therefore cannot be known as true. Faulty thinking, and lazy and shallow to boot. If the hypothesis is: "there is a God," then what is the test? How could there be a test of a being greater and more powerful than we can possibly imagine? The hypothesis obviates the need for a test. Another way to look at it, is: how do you use the scientific method to prove/disprove love? Could be God's love for us, or love of a spouse, etc. Can't be done. This is a realm meant for other methods of validation and justification. Science is great for examining the natural world. It's useless for understanding the purpose behind the natural world.

Real immersion in science--specifically, being outside and doing detailed field work, using a mass spectrometer to figure out the ages (up to 3.6 billion years old) of zircon crystals, thinking about the building of mountain ranges over millions of years--is what led me to really thinking hard about God. You cannot look at the incredible beauty, complexity, and harmony of the natural world and believe that it all happened by chance. This is one of the main points of Collins' book, at least IMHO.

Something to think about: look at the "experiement," step 4, on the conversion diary blog. http://www.conversiondiary.com/2008/...n-5-steps.html

I strongly recommend that you join an RCIA program. There is absolutely no committment involved, until (and if) you freely make a decision and commit. It is a great place to learn, get your questions answered, and probably meet some people who are struggling with the same issues as you. Nobody is going to pressure you to convert. I was pleasantly surprised--Catholics just don't seem to be that way. I guess they figure that if you are open to the truth, you'll see the truth and be converting sooner or later.

Here is another website with many answers to questions about faith and Catholicism: http://www.beginningcatholic.com/
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  #42  
Old Dec 8, '09, 8:18 pm
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Dear Confused...I just want you to know that I empathize and hope you keep searching and asking questions. My mom, an aetheist and a product of a long line of Masons (pretty anti-Catholic), took it personally when I became Catholic. She's pretty much resigned to the fact at this point so if you decide to take the leap of faith, I imagine your true friends will too...you'll get a lot of questions, though! It helps to understand that faith and reason aren't opposed. They reinforce each other. My first step was to understand that belief in God wasn't an irrational thing or a crutch...many highly educated, well-rounded, and mentally-balanced people do believe. (Read "Darwin's Black Box"...written by an aetheistic journalist who wanted proof against God from the scientists he went to and got anything but.)
Another thing...many Jewish people believe that Moses probably wrote the first 5 books of the Old Testament...would have had plenty of time as they wandered in the desert for 40 years. Writing over 1,000 years before Jesus was born, the only things he would have considered as light sources would have been the sun, moon, stars, and the campfire, right? So when he was writing the first chapter of Genesis, about the creation of the world (Note: the Jews thought the word "day" might mean 24 hours or a period of time...Like,"In my day..."), why did he write that God said, "Let there be light.." on the first day and that the sun, moon, and stars were created on day four? That makes no sense unless the God who started the Big Bang on Day 1 had inspired him to write that. Also, about 800BC the prophet Isaiah (Chapter 54, verse 10) wrote, "...For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth..." That's evaporation! Another God inspired science moment. And if anybody brings up the fact that Galileo was persecuted by the Church? Not so. He was censured, but it's tough to judge historical events from a 21st Century perspective...if you went outside for several days and watched the sun travel through the sky, wouldn't you think the sun was moving around the earth? Anyway, he wasn't persecuted, just asked to be quiet until he had proof. He didn't listen.
Jesus is real...historians and Jews wrote about him.He said he was God, which is a pretty amazing claim and the reason they crucified him. The options are that he's a liar, a lunatic, or Lord.So, read one of the Gospels...Matthew and Luke are my favorites. And the New American Bible is written in a beautiful way to our ears. Look at exactly what Jesus says and you'll have a hard time believing he was a liar or a lunatic. He has taught me how to forget about myself...how to love and forgive the people who hurt me. If mankind was going to invent a story, I'm pretty sure they would have invented a less demanding kind of God. And I don't think 10 of the 12 apostles who were later martyred for their faith would have done that for a liar or a lunatic, either.
Finally, go with your intuition and stay with the Catholic Church. There are other less demanding ways to go, but if you're going to become a member of a Church, don't settle for less than the real thing. EWTN is a Catholic TV network. One of the shows that may help when you're ready is The Journey Home (Mondays at 8pm). It's the story of how people struggled to become Catholic and how they wrestled with different teachings of our Church on their way. A lot of them are former pastors, so they also left their jobs behind in the process.
I'm going to pray for your perseverance. It won't be easy, but you'll find real peace. My wish is that you end up loving God with you whole heart. It's the only thing he really needs from any of us. God bless you.
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  #43  
Old Dec 8, '09, 8:35 pm
Desert Catholic Desert Catholic is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Confident non belief is really a lot easier. It just doesn't fill the hunger in the soul.

Years ago I would suggest you go to a Catholic Church and sit quietly and listen to you heart. Jesus is there and he would love the company.

Listen quietly
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  #44  
Old Dec 9, '09, 5:39 am
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Default Re: I'm a confused atheist

Dear Confused,
I apologize for making a mistake in my response to you last night. I suggested a book, "Darwin's Black Box", which is good for debunking evolution...written by a micro-biologist...but it wasn't the one I'd meant to suggest. The aetheistic journalist I'd mentioned, Lee Stroebel, had a column in the Washington Post, I think, and made a bet with one of his friends. Being fed up with religion in general, he bet his friend he could get enough evidence to finally disprove the existence of God. After interviewing well-respected scientists in 6 different fields of study...also hoping to get some material for his regular column....he became a believer and wrote several books. The one I meant to refer you to is "The Case for Christ".
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  #45  
Old Dec 9, '09, 9:31 am
MichelleMarie MichelleMarie is offline
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Thumbs up Re: I'm a confused atheist

If you are confused and you are having this "feeling of spirituality" You can just be assured that God has his sites on YOU. You need to have a good grounding on the "goundless belief system of atheism", which is based more on an emotional basis rather than a rational basis. Here are some very good books for you to read and re-think about the "so-called rationality" of atheism. Here goes.....1. There is A God (How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed the World. (The atheist being Antony Flew) by Antony Flew

2. World Net Daily Bookstore has two books on Atheism, one written by Vox Day and
the other is written by Ray Comfort called You Can Lead an Atheist To Evidence
But You Can't Make Him Think! Incidentally, Ray Comfort challenged Richard
Dawkins, one of the most noted scientists to a debate and offered him $10,000.00
to openly debate him. Richard Dawkins refused, but then called Ray Comfort "a fool
and an idiot!" If Richard Dawkins is SO adamant and has every possible argument
against theism down pat, then WHY won't he debate Comfort? We all know that the
self-proclaimed "country boys" are many times more brilliant than the so-called
expert scientists!

3. Read the Legal and Historical arguments for Theism and Christianity by the summa
cum laude graduate/author Josh McDowell called Evidence That Demands A Verdict
and his second book, More Evidence that Demands A Verdict. Also, read the book
by a lawyer, who was an atheist, who wanted to legally provide arguments to disprove
the Resurrection called More Than A Carpenter, Who Moved The Stone!

4. YOU need to be true to your "gut level instincts" because gut level instincts have a
100% accuracy in pointing you to the reality of the situation! Gut level instincts are
what Christians call, the moving of the Holy Spirit within that individual!

ALSO......the very best book to challenge your arguments both philosophically and rationally is Thomas Aquinas book Summa Theologica!

If your question is honest and NOT a joke or sham...these books will get YOU to think that Atheism was NEVER a logical argument but rather a emotional argument to justify a person's belief system in setting him/herself as the "center of the universe", justify a spirituality that is based on the "feel-good" ethic and the absolute justification of the empty rational/ethical system of "relativism!"

YOU need to move elsewhere and try to search out YOUR real identity while you are sorting out the evidence for Theism and the groundless rational arguments posed by atheism? Also, check out the belief systems of McKay (a famous microbiologist) and Fred Hoyle (astronomy/physics). These two scientists has the intestinal fortitude to defend their beliefs in God rather than go with the majority of scientists who are atheists! Both scientists wrote books or articles and I think that might be covered in You Tube!
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