Any atheists here who were once believers?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by wegs, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Balerion Banned Banned

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    That's a ridiculous comment.
     
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  3. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    And, you understand communism from those events, how exactly? I lived in the Soviet Union for a year.
     
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  5. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps, you should try learning something, then. I can't help it if it is irritating to be ignorant.
     
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  7. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    Try and get back to the thread topic please.
     
  8. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Hey

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    I feel myself leaning in this direction, honestly. None of us know the answers, really. None of us can say with certainty God exists or he doesn't. Thank you for clarifying. I noticed the 'sticky' in this section, have you read it? Talks about the distinctions with theism/atheism/agnosticism? Pretty helpful.

    Okay, thank you, again for chiming in.

    Bolded for emphasis by me...yes, I agree. When I was practicing my faith (church-like)...I was pretty pious. lol I thought I was happy. But, there were ALWAYS nagging doubts. But, God while he has been a source of comfort...I always felt a sense of angst. A sense of unworthiness. And for a long time, I justified that feeling as humility. God would want me to feel unworthy. Really? God would want me to feel unworthy? Why?

    I think for everyone who has believed in God, and followed a religion for a long time and has doubts, those doubts take many forms. My doubts have run the full gamut...from scientific reasoning...to my own personal, deep rooted doubts. No two people follow faith for the exact same reasons...no two people who have been immersed in the faith will leave for the same reasons, if they so choose to. I judge no one. Life is a winding road, and no one knows anyone else's inner being. For the past few years, I've doubted so much, and now...I just wanted to live free of those doubts. Free of those nagging questions. Finding answers has been both scary and serene. But, it'll be worth it, when I'm living authentically. I enjoy your posts, elte. You don't say a whole lot, lol but when you do...it hits home.

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    I can see that, and this is well said. I'm tired of that inner struggle.
    I said this earlier in the thread. I no longer view atheists as really 'choosing' to reject the idea of God. I see it very differently now, feeling the way I do...going through the nagging doubts, and questions the way I have. I think I've justified for a long time, to myself anyway, my beliefs. It's hard to do something that doesn't make sense, so we must 'give' ourselves reasons. Frankly, if you do something long enough, it will be automatic. If you read lies long enough, they don't seem like lies anymore. Thx for your words here, today.

    Agree...in fact, as we know, the Bible even has passages of instruction, ''follow the Lord like a child, not questioning.'' Hmmmm!

    I don't think my friends are doing 'bad things,' per se...but I hear you. They just tend to judge. Perhaps, on some level, whether we realize it or not, fleeting thoughts of judgment enter our minds every day....but, the type of judgment I'm speaking of, deals with a condemning type of judgment. I had to sever my friendship with a friend recently, because she railed constantly about gay marriage. Over time, we just had too many debates to where I finally asked myself, why am I hanging onto this person as a friend? There have been so many moments I could point to, like that, that would cause me to question my faith. Not because she is Christian, and a 'Christian' shouldn't behave this way, but more of what I valued. And how Christianity, whether I wanted to admit it or not...promotes bigotry. It does. The Bible is filled with it, and justifications for it. That is really when I had to take a long hard look at what I valued in my life. I no longer value the Bible, and if God exists...who is he now that I no longer go by a ''holy book'' to intstruct me? That is where I'm at, if that makes sense.

    Being taught to believe in things that in many ways, don't edify anyone. There's no turning back now for me though. Thanks (Q).

    I knew your evolution thread would come back to haunt me.

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    Jan, I will always believe that science and faith can coexist. But, I'll say that you can't follow the Bible and also believe in the authenticity of science. Those two schools of thought are opposing. We've discussed this though at great length, you know my views.

    And not even loosely anymore.

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    The Bible God is really a conconction of man. It's sad really, because when I do think of God, of the concept of 'a god,' I think of a being that is unfathomable. Not one that can fit nice and neat into a book of parables.

    ha, good points!
    I like how you said that. Interesting, indeed.

    If God exists, he doesn't need anyone to write ...anything. That's what I believe. The desire to write down stories, and pass them along to the next generations, is a man made conconction. Why should I listen to what someone ELSE thinks about God? Ok, do this and this and this and this...and THAT will get you into heaven. Even if the Bible has snippets of truth to it, it's probably so watered down over the ages that it is little more than a game of spiritual 'telephone.'

    haha I see what you did there.

    If you've followed Jan's evolution thread, then the comment would make sense. haha

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    I greatly appreciate you letting me share this here, and without you judging me. :m:
     
  9. geeser Atheism:is non-prophet making Valued Senior Member

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    Then why do they still have a religious community, the Russian orthodox church never died out in the 74 years of communist rule, so it wasn't oppressed much was it. Why are there still north Korean Christians. because the communist state they have had for 68 years isn't that oppressive to them. And what of China there Christianity is thriving, they have been communist for about the same as N Korea.
    If religion was such a pariah, then why is it still prevalent today. it would be non-existent in those countries if it were so frowned upon.
    You are not making your case very well.

    I'm not religious never have been. I'm a humanist, I've seen both sides of the coin first hand, up front and personal. Some of my work takes me to such places. Oppression is just a term the Christians like to use, to deter people from noticing all the atrocities they have committed and are still committing, and to bastardize everybody else..

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I'm going to purchase the book, ''Hope After Faith,'' by Jerry DeWitt. True story of a pastor who went from his faith in God, to atheism. He explains how the religious community, ''shunned'' him. It seems like an interesting read. And ironic. How the faith community shunned him, simply because he no longer believed what they did. And what's sad, is that those people probably thought that is what God was asking of them.

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  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Over the years, I have had an up and down 'relationship' with my faith. But, I'd say over this past year...my eyes have been opened. And what you say here, I can't disagree with. Unfortunately, God has become a commodity to be marketed through various religions. To me, that is more of the problem than the mere concept of 'a god' existing. That's why there's so much strife even within the religious communities with one another. No one is on the same team, it seems...different churches and religions fighting for the 'rights' to God. But, again...that is religion...the packaging, marketing and selling of God. Someone should change the definition of religion to exactly that, for that is what it is. It's big business, actually...lots of money to be made by 'selling' God. If all the religions were told that they could no longer make money off 'evangelizing,' you might see religion become extinct.

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    Thx for your thoughts, geeser.
     
  12. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    Just curious, when you have faith in God, you have a strong sense that everything has a purpose, that even your suffering is for a reason. So what happens to atheists when bad luck hits hard (and it can hit very hard). What do atheists do? Do they give up and hang themselves? Just wondering...
     
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah..religious folk are real good about finding purpose in random events. "Dear Lord what did I do wrong to deserve this"? Or, "Thank God he spared our house during the tornado while destroying the others down the street". It's always a big frigg'n purposepallooza for the lambs of Christ. So what do atheists DO when they suffer bad luck? Make the best of it and move on.
     
  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This is ironic you should ask this. I was chatting about prayer with my boyfriend (he's an atheist, never been a believer) over the weekend, and he said that when he hits hard times, he looks at the cause. Sometimes, the cause has been him. Sometimes, the cause is other people. Sometimes, it's 'just life.' He said that (he feels) in religion, people don't accept responsiblity for the actual action if they have caused it...instead they chalk it up to sin. Or if only they had prayed enough, some such disaster wouldn't have occured. He also said, when bad things happen...like cancer...(he feels) that religious people tend to beg God to intervene to save the person. He said...that's fine, but death is part of life.

    He said that when you stop looking at an invisible being for hope, you start getting busy to make your world better.

    I have mixed feelings on his thoughts, to be honest. He is a very logical, pragmatic thinker. But, that's what how he thinks.

    When he and I were 'just' friends, there was a day a few months back, that he had to go to the dentist. I told him recently, that I prayed for him that day. He laughed and said...prayed for what? I said...that your appointment would go well. He said...and if it didn't, would that have meant God wasn't listening? We laughed and then he said...if there is a God, he doesn't want you worrying like this.

    He considers religious prayer to be a sign of worry.

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    I've never heard prayer described that way, before.
     
  15. river

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    Wegs

    Your maturing
     
  16. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Worshiping and obeying is a strong purpose? :bugeye:

    LOL. Yeah, at the first sign of trouble, we hurl ourselves off the tallest building or cliff we can find. Hilarious.
     
  17. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    There ya go, you just provided examples of Christianity teaching and commanding good people to do bad things, "condemning type of judgment... railed constantly about gay marriage... promotes bigotry" - perfect examples of Christianity causing conflict in the world.
     
  18. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Try and mind your own business.
     
  19. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    It won't be only Christians that are against gay marriage. Is it?
     
  20. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    I did so what are you moaning about?
     
  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    when you're 'immersed' in it, you justify it. you justify it as a good thing. that you are learning restraint, and humility. and frankly, it's religion that teaches about obedience and all that jazz. i was a pretty pious religious person when i was going to church, and all a few years ago...but, religion is one of those things that when you start asking questions, you might not like the answers

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    Well...if you don't mind me asking, how do you handle difficulties without a prayer life or 'a god' to turn to? A life without that remember, is foreign to someone like me.

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  22. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Indoctrination is a powerful tool, used to get folks to believe in things, like gods and religions. When one is "immersed" in religion their whole lives, their brains don't develop properly and they lack critical thinking skills, reason, rationale, etc., and instead use belief systems, which like indoctrination, don't require any thinking, just believing.

    So, when things go awry, one simply uses their minds to reason and rationalize solutions to whatever problems arise. Since the indoctrinated believer doesn't have these skills, they tend to pray to their gods to do the thinking for them.
     
  23. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    It's funny, but there was a thread here whereby the topic was about if atheists are more intelligent than religious people? I can't remeber the title now, but that was the gist. I was very offended, as you can imagine.

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    But, I can understand why some think this of religious people. The guy I'm dating is a brainiac...but, he tells me that he never thought that about religious types. He said rather he has always thought they don't take ownership of their own lives. He gets me to reason more now, than I used to. I came to him with a problem I'm dealing with at work, and he helped me 'reason' it through. Whereas honestly? Before him? I'd just pray about it and hope for the best. Not to say I don't reason things through at times, I do. But, my tendency when faced with conflict or difficulty, is to pray over it, and not come up with a solution.

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    I can't speak for all people who have followed God or religion, but, that is just my experience. That could be where my angst always came in. For many years, I'd pray, and never feel settled. That's because I wasn't taking action, I was 'relying' on God to handle the situation.

    I can't explain how it feels to realize this...and be okay with it. I'm finally feeling ...settled.

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    edit to add...and I agree about indoctrination. Another thing I used to be offended by, when said to me. lol But, yeah. I guess I was, to a degree...earlier in life. As an adult...over the years...I had educated myself on my faith, but that 'indoctrination' built the foundation, dare I say. The indoctrination I speak of...is fear.
     

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