Does God lay off from atheists because he knows if he sends trials and tribulations to atheists it will not bring them closer to him since atheists do not believe in God? On the contrary with believers, trials and tribulations will most likely bring the believer closer to God and so believers have harder lives than atheists. From my limited perspective atheists do in indeed seem to have easier lives.
I don’t think this is necessarily true. Atheists don’t necessarily have easier lives than religious people. They will often have a better time in society because they aren’t holding to views and values which are contrary to popular opinion, so they’ll make friends easier with the progressive kind than religious usually will, but tragedy, heartbreak, and scarcity still happen to atheists just like they do to religious people.
My Priest says there are very few real atheists. Most who claim atheism are agnostic.
Agnosticism is a phase on the journey home to God.
What brings people to God is prayer and receiving the Holy Spirit and Eucharist, most hardships in life are our own making.
Atheists have their troubles too, more so given they don’t know the Joy of meditation or the blessings and graces poured out at Mass etc so I think we have it pretty good compared to them.
I like this quote from the late Marcus Borg; I like atheists because atheism is very good at pointing out the worst of religion.
I would say that atheists provide a very necessary counter to our own hubris. Without challenge, our faith would remain rather fragile.
Married to an atheist.
He was abused in his youth AND in his adult life.
He struggled with depression and anxiety when I met him.
In no way has his life been ‘easy’.
That said, I know Christians who have left the faith after trials and tribulations because they become angry with God. So… I think your theory has flaws just based on my own experiences.
Someone mentioned they have an easier time in society but that’s not necessarily true. We often think we’re so hard done by but the reality is atheists feel the same way.
It’s so funny to me but I grew up being picked on by atheists and my husband grew up being picked on by Christians.
So he feels that socially he has to keep his mouth shut about his beliefs and I feel the same way! But we have entirely different beliefs.
I honestly don’t know how they cope when a loved one passes away and they don’t think they will see them ever again I don’t know anyone lives with that . I have been to two humanist funerals and l found them much ‘worse’ and sadder than a religious funeral
Maybe in some categories: like not feeling guilt for doing wrong or having to make less popular choices, but I imagine they are overall sadder- on the inside at least. Any who dies is gone. Forever. When they die they’ll be gone. Forever. Life, in the huge scheme of things, has no point. Everything and everyone has no point to exist but was just chance. To me, that is a much sadder reality to live in, and certainly much harder than believing in a God. We can walk away from other who mock and seek comfort in God. They cannot walk away from their own minds and have no higher power to find comfort in.
A simple look around at the very rich and famous confirms this. Hollywood: endless sex, drugs, drinking, spending to find meaning they will never have without God. Even TV shows today reflect this with bojack horseman and Ricky and Morty. Whether intentionally put in or not, it shows how empty life is without purpose, without God.
So while that may seem to have an easier life, the truth is they only have barren lives. Make sure to keep them in prayer.
Hi @Nap66 we spoke before on other threads, seems like a long time ago with so many things that happened in the meanwhile.
Well, I’m not a theologian but I have carefully read some of your writing. I can give my own limited personal perspective, the more I grew in knowledge of the faith the more answers I found that actually helped me - yes, I know I have grown closer to the truth and altogether closer to God at different moments. And I don’t think that is my doing, I think it’s gratuitous Grace and divine Providence that for some reason gave me this privilege of being called.
When I happen to feel and think somewhat like you now in the OP, one of the things that helps is reminding myself of those that don’t have anything to eat, don’t have a place to live, have really bad health problems and so on…Then, I’m taken not to think so much that I’m being “wronged” or not receiving a “just temporal reward” (as I figure it) for living to some extent in accordance with the commandments. But I am taken to think how lucky and privileged I am to have health, a house, a livelihood, and so on…
And yes, the temptation to look at others (especially those that wronged us) and think of the justice that they are perhaps somewhat better of is there, it’s a temptation, a comparison that’s almost to close not to be made. Then it’s also good to think that God loves each of us, and that we have a unique personal relationship with Him in the person of Jesus.
And I know it can be really hard sometimes.
the devil is not picky and atheists are easy to manipulate.
One of the most famous atheists of our times, Stephen Hawkings, had many years of suffering with ALS.
The atheists I know say we just go “poof” and so be it. They don’t seem disturbed at all by death of a loved one. Just another day for them before they go “poof.” Atheists don’t need to reevaluate their lives, live better lives, be nicer to other people or feel empathy for others because why?? As a Christian when bad things happen to me I feel empathy when it happens to other people. I feel what Jesus felt during his time on this earth. Atheists feel only for themselves. Does make it easier to live and to disregard other things.
I know God is telling me (through my life experiences) to become a better person, do better, be better. Atheists don’t have such proddings. They can do what they like when they like, and all others be damned. Does God prod atheists, or does he leave them alone? Free will and all that.
Atheists don’t have a unique personal relationship with God or Jesus and it’s understood that God loves atheists just as much as those that believe in him. When we all die will atheists be in heaven with God along with believers? Probably.
So then, maybe it’s not that atheists have an easier life, it is that they can focus only on themselves and still receive the eternal reward of heaven while making no changes in their lives on this earth. It’s all about them and them alone. Maybe atheists have the same problems as others but they don’t care about them because it’s only a mistake that they are living here in the first place and in the end “poof.”
Balderdash. Empathy is a natural human response, thank goodness. Almost all humans feel empathy, whatever their religion or lack of religion.
I know quite a few atheists, and none of them have an “all others be damned” attitude.
I sometimes wish I was an atheist. I could do anything I wanted, whenever I wanted to.
But if you’re an atheist (as many have tried to convince me) you believe that there is no heaven, no hell. Nothing after death. We just die and that’s it. How miserable must they all be?!
Of course, this is just one aspect.
Yep, I’m really sorry there’s no hell.
And being an atheist doesn’t mean having no morality, you know.
Happy birthday, @Nap66.
If what you’re saying is accurate, you know some really weird atheists. I don’t know any who wouldn’t be disturbed by the death of a loved one, or who would refuse to feel empathy for others.
I don’t know any atheist who believes this either.
Having no belief in a god doesn’t equal no care for others at all. It’s always strange to me when I see people suggesting it.
And Pope St. John Paul II, one of the most famous of Catholics of our times suffered from Parkinson’s. What’s your point? What’s anyone’s point in this thread besides spiritual haughtiness?
I was under the impression God sends his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (Matt 5).
All I can figure is that people who say these things either don’t know any atheists; or maybe do know a few, but refuse to pay attention to what they really think. Might find out their prejudices are wrong!