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Cognitive Impairment and Belief

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For as long as I can remember I have been the object of ridicule, scorn and abuse as a result of a birth defect that was certainly no fault of mine. As a child I remember teachers making fun of me in front of my classmates; as a teen I hid my defect as best I could; as a young adult I tried to "fit in" in a culture that is unforgiving of nature's diversities; and now, in middle age, I demand my right to exist on an equal level with other, "normal," people.

Although my defect has been a curse, it, and the resulting discrimination, has shaped my outlook on freedom, individuality and morality. It has been the major influence in the development of how I relate to others in society and how I conduct my personal life and relationships. It is my firm belief that every individual has the right to the respect and dignity bestowed upon us by the words "All Men are Created Equal."


The Holy Fable by Jack Flash

My Birth Defect: I was born an atheist! This is what my experience tells me. I have no memories of ever believing in a god. I have searched the world of knowledge and the depths of my mind only to find: NOTHING. There is nothing within me that can relate to the concept of god.

The first traumatic memory I have of discrimination is of a teacher's statement in about the fourth grade: "You don't believe in Jesus? What's WRONG with you?" I've been called a worm, an enemy of America, and a whole host of expletives. I've been told that I can have no moral values without believing in god. Countless numbers of people have told me they will pray for me, indicating that atheism is a defect needing Divine intervention. Even at the age of 62 I am still patronized, insulted and ridiculed for this defect that I did not choose for myself.

In this nation where individual rights and religious freedoms are espoused, those who do not believe in the Christian god are considered "defective." We are outcasts in our own country, often blamed for the social ills that have no ready explanation. The entire nation is being punished by god due to my defect of being born with no belief in him. Godless people are told to feel shame for being born "faithless," and "guilt" for bringing god's wrath upon America.


Atheist Logo by Jack Flash

As I am entering old age I am beginning to realize that I do have Faith. I have Faith that "All Men are Created Equal." I have Faith that each individual has the right to respect and dignity regardless of their beliefs. I have Faith that everyone has the right to express their opinions and beliefs. I have Faith that my opinions and beliefs are just as valid to me as theirs are to them. I have Faith that I treat others as I wish they would treat me, a golden rule that Christians would be wise to adopt.

This was written in response to someone telling me that everybody is born with a link to God and therefore belief is innate.

 

At 63, I've lived through 12 Presidents, 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans and I'm pretty liberal in politics and in life. I grew up in Georgia, graduated from high school, spent 2 years on a Navy ship then began my life. During the late 60s and (more...)
 

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We are not born with our belief in God.  We a... by Jack Flash on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:14:51 AM
and perhaps especially they, should logically beli... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:51:55 AM
Well said Jack!We are not born with a link to god ... by David Ruhlen on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:16:47 PM
of the original post.  Well said Jack.And I a... by Tom Lewicki on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:43:50 PM
I as well cannot remember I time when believi... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 12:53:09 PM
There HAD to be some force that blasted this vast ... by Donald on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 3:29:37 PM
Donald, I was troubled by your comment earlier, b... by Jack Flash on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 10:04:26 AM
The notion that something had to precede the Big B... by Gary Williams on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 2:12:02 PM
I too have never in my life felt any compulsion to... by Stu Sass on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 4:11:59 PM
"Persons who had a dogmatic belief in religions an... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 11:23:18 AM
I particularly hated the preacher screaming about ... by Odyseus_97 on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 4:28:28 PM
No matter what anyone believes, it is based on pur... by Jack Flash on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 4:39:47 PM
With more or less reasoning behind. However, the... by BFalcon on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:48:56 PM
BFalcon, I have no opinion as to whether the Comm... by Jack Flash on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 12:19:34 AM
Conscience implies that there is some "objective g... by BFalcon on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 6:16:16 AM
Sorry BFalcon, but conscience has nothing to do wi... by Jack Flash on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 7:40:44 AM
There is no objective reason to define good or bad... by BFalcon on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 8:02:20 AM
Cultures define "good and evil," "proper and impro... by Jack Flash on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 9:07:29 AM
Why should individual, if their interest is comple... by BFalcon on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 8:14:02 PM
There is no satisfactory answer to your quest... by Jack Flash on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 12:02:35 AM
First, I believe that if a person does not agree t... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 12:45:46 AM
I am a citizen of the United States and the county... by Jack Flash on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 1:40:34 AM
And I appreciate them a lot. Honoring laws and mor... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 2:00:54 AM
Sorry, Bosnia was just a handy example of any othe... by Jack Flash on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 2:56:35 AM
There is a distinct possibility that there are "tw... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:09:56 PM
A particular species of ants "hunts" together in a... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 2:06:18 AM
This is a new one for me.  I've read a f... by Jack Flash on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 3:28:34 AM
My wife often finishes my thoughts but I am not al... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:22:35 PM
I would submit that the human mind can only percei... by Jack Flash on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 1:14:13 AM
And if this commander of yours had decided that th... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 11:51:36 AM
The offer was not related to moral values of South... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 7:57:02 PM
VOLUME 122, No. 1"[H]istorically people have appea... by Gary Williams on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 12:05:18 AM
I don't talk about certainty or certitude of any p... by BFalcon on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 12:14:51 AM
Do you not suppose that an atheist cannot know wit... by Gary Williams on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 12:42:59 PM
That nobody can know with certainty. But what yo... by BFalcon on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 8:32:43 PM
I've been following this as best I can. BFalcon, ... by Jack Flash on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 1:03:07 AM
In no way implies that anybody knows it or has the... by BFalcon on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 1:53:16 AM
Believing, or wanting, something does not make it ... by Jack Flash on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 3:49:33 AM
You defined it best: "I would argue that the only ... by BFalcon on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 4:34:05 AM
I recently was presented with a quantum physics th... by Jack Flash on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 5:16:29 AM
"I think it is rational and reasonable for everyon... by BFalcon on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 5:26:25 AM
I've been wanting to write an article on Belief fo... by Jack Flash on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 5:55:45 AM
Coming back to our "self" it has been argued that ... by BFalcon on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 4:36:29 AM
I agree about the ants. I have read some research... by Jack Flash on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 5:35:12 AM
"Conscience implies that there is some "objective ... by Gary Williams on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 1:45:12 PM
Conscience is a subjective sense of right and wron... by BFalcon on Sunday, Sep 4, 2011 at 8:44:02 PM
...if he exists, and you can do without God as wel... by aberamsay on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 5:33:12 PM
During the last 30 years right-wing zealots who ca... by E. J. N. on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 7:44:09 PM
J Nunn, If we talk about religion in general, I&n... by Jack Flash on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:11:13 PM
"the Bible paints a picture of a God who would tor... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 5:56:17 PM
The profound sense of *knowing* associated with th... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 3:26:55 PM
A shortcut to graduation from Divinity School can ... by Jack Flash on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 4:08:11 PM
I have asked many Christians why the are Christian... by Donna Sims on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 8:00:57 PM
"it's a strange fish that knows water" ...somethin... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 6:34:01 PM
Some choose to subscribe - others choose not to su... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:17:28 PM
Doc, There are 2 areas of respect.  first is... by Jack Flash on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 12:40:36 AM
I think, if I can put words in his mouth, that he ... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 7:00:45 PM
Your thoughts are most welcome addition As you c... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:34:27 PM
As a baptized Catholic, later to become a vaguely ... by jaydo on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 1:07:09 AM
Our Natives never had to have ''the good news'' tr... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 4:50:59 AM
You state "Our Natives never had to have ''the goo... by Jack Flash on Friday, Sep 2, 2011 at 8:19:44 AM
When you have thoughts of God (or no-God, not-God,... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 4:13:00 AM
Since God has never once graced my humble home wit... by Jack Flash on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 5:34:12 AM
Yes, and this is why the 'flash (of consciousness)... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Sep 3, 2011 at 6:52:03 AM