What do you do in a crisis if you don't believe in God?

How do you handle crises if you don't believe in a higher power? What if you experience something paranormal, do you trust your eyesight? What if you are given a serious prognosis by a doctor and you prove him and other doctors wrong? What do you put it down to when strange things happen in your life and you can't explain them? Are you an atheist because you really don't believe or are you simply angry at God for not giving you help in something you wanted? Just curious. Patti Sydney, Australia
Atheist Answer: 


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Logic, Common sense and

Logic, Common sense and science.
Faith in magic is just plain silly.

How atheists handle crises.

If an Atheist went into a crisis, he wouldn't have a god to pray for help. An Atheist is on his/her own, when they are in trouble. They are mentally strong, and don't need an abstraction known as God to help them. If an atheist is in a life or death experience, they dont pray. Atheists accept the fact that they die some day, and are ready to be disappointed if there is no life after death. I'm not really sure if this is general Atheist thinking, but this is just my reply.

If a Theist prays, they will feel a loss of identity, and a sense of presence. This is not really because of god. It's because their brain simulates the feeling of a divine being, that doesn't really exist. That's what Atheists think.

What about things I can't explain? Well, just because I don't believe in god, doesn't mean I don't believe in miracles. Miracles can happen, I am very sure of it. It propably has something to do with human minds that science can not yet explain. Maybe if human minds could cure diseases and make miracles? I don't know, but maybe it's possible, maybe not.

I don't trust my senses. The brain can generate alot of strange and amazing things (dreams, lucid dreams, near-death experiences, schizophrenia etc). These things are infact so amazing, that for thousands of years they have been explained as the existence of god. I don't believe in god, because it's an irrational abstraction created by human minds. Nothing more.


How do you handle crises if you don't believe in a higher power?
- think over the situation you are in - what made it happen? what does it do? what can be possible solutions? maybe asking some other person for help... many things you can do and there is no need for a god or two

What if you experience something paranormal, do you trust your eyesight?
- eyes can be decieved cf. optical illusions - just because something looks funny doesn't mean it is "paranormal"

What if you are given a serious prognosis by a doctor and you prove him and other doctors wrong?
- a doctor is not per se an ultimate expert - he can make mistakes, why not? he's human after all - problem is: can he admit he made a mistake?

What do you put it down to when strange things happen in your life and you can't explain them?
- coincidence, accident... dunno, depends on the "strange thing" - i know i cannot explain everything that happens to me, but this does not imply there's something "higher" that does it

Are you an atheist because you really don't believe or are you simply angry at God for not giving you help in something you wanted?
- i simply do not believe in gods

I'm really quite envious of

I'm really quite envious of the believers in God. In times of need and torment they have a shoulder to lean on for support, an ear that listens.
I often think that the most frightening time of our life will be when we approach the biggest unknown event, death, and belief in God will help you deal with it.
But just 'cos it helps doesn't make it right. God doesn't prevent the fearful and tormenting events. I think, at some basic psychological level, we have a need to be taken care of, to be guided in life and to be punished for our wrongs. God delivers all of this.
Personally, I deal with my problems myself, or with friends and family. I accept responsiblity for my actions, good and bad. It's not as good as having God, but at least it's real.

What do I do...

To answer your first question, why would an irrational belief in a non-existent deity be of any use in a crisis? I handle them by calling upon my own abilities to solve the problem, or make the best of it. What would anyone else do?

Secondly, if I were to experience something I couldn't explain, I would seek to find the rational, scientific explanation for what happened. I don't presume that something unusual is "paranormal", whatever you actually mean by that.

Thirdly, if my body and immune system were capable of beating the odds, why would I ascribe that success to an irrational belief in a non-existent deity? That doesn't make sense.

Fourth, your world view seems to lead you to believe that "strange things" equate to "caused by a supernatural force". This is not rational. Should I also ascribe to an all-powerful deity the causation behind why it never rains on Tuesdays that eat kippers?

Last, I really don't believe. Why would you think I'd be angry at something that doesn't exist?


crisis control

Your question makes the assumption that we are incapable of handling crises on our own. Enough said on that point.
Secondarily, being an atheist does not mean you are assuming you know everything. Nor do doctors or anyone else. When we see things happen that we don't have an explanation for, why is that not enough? If I experienced something "paranormal," I would simply consider it something that I do not have enopugh information to understand, yet. That doesn't mean "god did it." If a doctor gave me a bad prognosis and I recovered anyway, good for me. Doctors are not infallible.
Frankly, being an atheist doesn't have anything to do with god. If we were all angry at god for something, then we'd be theists.

devil lies

this site is the devil lies and he is real and the devil like to kill people day and night and he won't and you should now that creation and more thing is that god could wipe out if god decide that and you guys should start believe in god and if you do sue me being christian to you and thats why god put his son to suffer your worst pain of death and died on the cross and after three days and jesus forgive people sin and think about real careful what you say to me

My faithless journey

I honestly think that the majority of Christians can not accept or understand the fact that someone might not believe in their deity. They assume that we all believe in it and are angry at it for some reason. I remember the moment I "came to my senses" about this deity. It was like waking from a dream.

A Christian once asked me "wasn't there a void in your life". My simple answer was that I recalled a time when I was constipated, when the relief finally came I felt a very invigorating void. It was great to be rid of all the "S__T" in both cases.

Lots to answer.

In a crisis, I accept that I'm not going to get any help from a god who doesn't exist (I might not even consider it at the time) and I try to work out what I myself can do to get everyone through it. The inner strength that people pray for in such times? I recognise that it comes from within them, and they externalise it to allow themselves to use it. I just get to work and drag it out of myself.

If I experience something apparently paranormal, I look for an explanation. As an atheist, I don't have a default explanation (God) if I can't find the real one, so if I come up empty I regard it as unsolved and leave it that way. I don't enjoy not knowing, but I maintain hope for a future explanation.

If my body proved a bunch of doctors wrong, I'd accept that they were wrong and be happy I was alive. Then I'd volunteer to help them find out WHY they were wrong. Humans are fallible, even really smart ones.

I'm an atheist because I don't believe in any god. People who are angry at God himself are not atheists because they think there is someone there to hate. Atheists may be angry at religions, their adherents and their actions, but you have to acknowledge a god to be angry at him. We don't do that.

I personally am not often angry at any of the above anyway.

- LX

What do you do in a crisis if you don't believe in god?

I grew up with mainly Catholic beliefs passed down from my parents. Although we didn't go to church like my mother's parents did, my mom still passed on, consciously or not, that religious mentality. I did a lot of searching, attending a Vipassana meditation workshop, reading the Bhagavad Gita, reading the New Testament, experimenting with a couple of psychedelics, etc. and I finally decided that there was some higher power that was protecting me but that I didn't know what IT was.

Immediately after the birth of my child I stared at that miracle of creation and thought, "How can anyone have a child and NOT believe in God?". It seemed so obvious to me that something larger and magical was at play here.

THEN! As I began to raise that child as a single mother I realized how much those biblical teachings have been used to harm women and children and all beings of "lesser" strength and power. I decided that the Bible was written by misogynist males who were trying to extinguish ancient goddess religions. University classes in Sociology and Philosophy opened my mind even more to the point where I thought that believing in a "skydaddy" as you put it (I love that!) was foolish.

Still, I have seen spirits and other beings from other dimensions and have chalked up my 35 years of life experience to ... "I honestly don't know". I do enjoy pondering what I call the "Beautiful Mystery". Although I do not want to believe that there is an avenging guy in the sky who sees me picking my nose and being short with my child and has a grand plan for the chosen ones who will go to Heaven and play lutes while I burn for eternity, maybe there is. I don't know.

So my question to the Athiest, who is so comfortable with saying "I don't know", is

"Can you honestly say that you do not know for sure that god does not exist?"


Yes, I can honestly say that I do not know for sure that God does not exist. As you put it, I don't know.

That doesn't take me far. I also don't know for sure that there's a booby trap in my office drawer which will explode and kill me when I go to work tomorrow. Nevertheless, I'm going to open it and put my lunch in there. Just because I can't be sure something isn't there doesn't mean I should assume it is. Atheism isn't a belief in absence (that's "strong" atheism). It's just a lack of belief.

Not to diminish the joy your motherhood has given you, but what part of the birth was a miracle? You've watched your unborn baby grow from the first ultrasound, according to the DNA code we all have. Before that, you know where the egg and the sperm came from. The birth itself was a muscular movement and a medical procedure. Understand that I agree a baby is a wonderful thing, but what part of its development or birth would have been impossible without a god?

Actually considering the process, Caradawn, is one way someone can have a child and not believe in God. The question is not rhetorical.


The magical part came long before the birth and the ultrasound. It was when I KNEW that I conceived the night that I did.

No, I was not following any rhythm methods or ovulation charts or anything like that. I was not consciously aware of where I was in my cycle except that I knew there was a full moon.

I guess you could attribute that knowledge to woman's power and not god's.

Nail on the head.

You've hit the nail on the head, actually. Even if somebody proved a miracle beyond doubt, there's no way to attribute it. The chance of any particular supernatural being existing, given that there are an infinite possible number and most of them are mutually exclusive (for example, Zeus and Jupiter can't both exist), is one in infinity, even if there's one at all.

The identities we bestow on any higher powers which might be out there are very likely to be our choice alone and nothing to do with what they're actually like.

i chalk that up to

shit happens...i dont beg my imaginary friend to help me ...as that is just stupid...honestly...

i have never and will never believe in any form of a "god"

the things you ask have no real merit at all , if a doctor says im ill and i prove him wrong ...i say ...HA! im not ill..thats pretty simple...

AND WHEN I HAVE A CRISIS ...i deal with it ...like any other sane person does...

are you so weak that you cant handle everyday life ...as that is how it sounds....

When in crisis

You deal with it, whether you pray for strength, Gods intervention or what ever first is pretty much irrelevent. YOU deal with it, or ride out the storm.

I'd turn that question round tho and ask what a theist does when they are confronted with a crisis? Pray for God to interevene? Pray for strength to get through it? Well, surely the all powerful God put the crisis in your path in the first place, so why ask him for help? Surely he already knows what you need, so how does prayer help you, except to give ur mind time to reflect on the next course of action perhaps. Or to beg God to get you thru something that he put you through in the first place? This is assuming an omnipotent, omnipresent power of course.

I'd need an example of a paranormal event to work with, but I'd first go to Skepticsdictionary, and James Randi's websites and see if there is any presendent for it, is there an explanation that I simply don't know about?

Odd things happen in the world, and I do not know every thing, I'd like to, but I never will, so I can happily say that there are things that I can not explain, and will never be able to. To chalk it up to god does not answer the question, it is simply saying I DO NOT KNOW, but using different words.

Doctors make mistakes, and disease remition is a widely recognised, documented fact. This is nothing new or unusal. I won't even go in to the placebo effect here. When told of miraculous healings, I would need proof of the initial condition, and proof of the spontanious healing. Then I may take it seriously. If a faith healer could repeatedly cure people with PROOVEN illness, then I'd consider converting to what ever religion they were from, and worship that super natural power. As yet, this has not happened. I'd consider that evidence tho, after careful consdieration and review of the actual facts.


What if you set your house on fire and can't find a dog?

If you have a [911]crisis and can't find a dog[same as god], then you should blame an animal such as a cat or a pig. If you crash your car and don't have a god handy then tell the police that a pig ran out in the road or something similar.
If there is a house fire and a dog can't be located through prayer to pee on it then you should water the blaze your self.
And, if you really aren't a total dog that makes the boys all sick to look at then don't go to the church at all or ask for them because they are all dumb dogs that don' know what to do in a crisis.
*Ute Indian Cheif Shitting Bull

Atheism in a foxhole

It has been said that there is never an athiest in a foxhole. Certainly, it is easy to see why. Like Camus' protagionist in The Stranger, one looks up into the benign indifference of the cosmos, and, who is there to call upon when you find yourself beset by all forms of woe?

I rather believe that long ago we invented gods and hoped to propitiate these invented personalities in order to deal with droughts, ravenious beasts, hostile alien tribes and other difficuties. As we came to also believe that these spiritual beings were rational, then we suppossed that they could be placated, appeased and even given over to assisting our primitive ancestors. In time, stories about them in the form of myths and legends developed as did rituals and practices designed to formalize our manner of approaching them. So,certainly, we needed them because, without them, the world was a dark,cold, hostile place.

Now, however, as we move into the 21st century, we must seek the fullness of our growth as a species such that we take responsibility for ourselves and the difficulties in which we sometimes find ourselves. Maturity for rational beings is just that, of course, the stage of growth in which one assumes responsibility.

Where does an atheist go when he has a terrible disease, or is faced with overwhelming grief, however, is the direct question?

It might offer relief to retreat to the warm, but, imaginary womb carved out for us by our primitive forefathers. It is easy enough to do, of course, because of the tradition and longstanding social acceptance which christianity, for example, is able to offer, but, it isn't real. It isn't genuine. What is real is one's self, one's own rationality, one's own inner strength. These are the real fruits of a meaningful and productive life from which one may draw strength. One may hope too for a oneness with a rational universe, that there is perhaps an interconnectedness to which we are all part. Consciousness is a a phenonomen of great mystry and awe. Without believing in gods, demons, and mythological spiritual forms, there is profound mystry in the cosmos and to which we can all know we are a part---and that may certainly provide comfort of a more authenic kind. That is where the mature rational man must retreat when he is overwhelmed with the tribulations of existence