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A Closet Christian
Posted: 11 February 2012 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello All.

As much as I have tried it has been impossible to eliminate the Christian mindset that was programmed into me. Logically, I know the non-existence of God, however, illogically, the idea of God persists. With the suggestion of a famous atheist I have compartmentalized the God meme but at times of distress (like the herpes virus) an outbreak occurs and there I go again believing in something greater than anything and everything.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m ready to forum!

Radically yours,

pbdq

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I’ll never die—I’ll just forget who I am.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome to the CFI Forum, pbdq. Many have remarked on the human brain’s propensity to find agency (personhood) in everything, from bumps in the night to illnesses to earthquakes to the motions of planets. It’s something hardwired in us, since back in the dangerous savannah a false positive only produced superstition, while a false negative could get you killed. We had to be on the lookout for people and animals out to do us harm.

That said, there are undoubtedly things exist that are greater than all of us: the solar system, the galaxy, not to mention the universe as a whole or the laws of nature. So long as one doesn’t view them as ‘persons’ I don’t think one does any damage to the truth, insofar as we recognize that truth.

Anyhow please feel free to jump into the discussions!

Cheers,

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 11 February 2012 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Recognizing you have a problem is the first step to recovery. wink

We all have some types of thinking programmed into us. I can go camping alone in the woods and not get spooked. Put me alone in a house in the woods and I’ll get the creeps at every little sound. Go figure.


Welcome to the forums pbdq.

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“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Welcome, pbdq.  Doug and Darrons have given good responses.  I’d add that your situation is exactly what gave rise to the saying. “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  We all tend to revert to our earlier thinking when we are under stress.  However, the evidence seems to show that over time those earlier ideas gradually fade away.  So, don’t be upset when you slip back into your prior views.  As you go on, I believe your early mind will become more and more comfortable with the reasoning you’re using and you’ll have fewer occurrances of sliding back.

Occam

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Posted: 12 February 2012 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It takes a while to overcome the indoctrination of religion, which is sometimes mentally abusive and traumatizing.  Various aspects of religious dogma, esp if you were born into religion, can hijack different areas of development.  Doug and Darron did give good responses, but it also takes time to recover, esp if you were born into it.  It does get better though.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 18 February 2012 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It takes a while to overcome the indoctrination of religion, which is sometimes mentally abusive and traumatizing.

And indoctrination…not education…is what it amounts to. All those threats of hellfire and eternal damnation go a long way towards discouraging rational inquiry. (Which of course, is the whole idea!)

The real trick is to get past that problem.

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Question authority and think for yourself. Big Brother does not know best and never has.

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Posted: 18 February 2012 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It’s funny, I always had the opposite reaction. ever since I could remember as a young child, in church or catechism, or confession, I always had the feeling that it was all bull. I have always been bewildered by the beliefs in the supernatural that people have.

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Posted: 18 February 2012 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Welcome pbdq,

Peace of mind can be attained with confidence in one’s own morality. Theists are taught from the beginning that man is inherently evil (original sin) and that our frailties are the punishment from a higher authority. IMO this higher authority can be yourself. If you are your own master and if this master is just, fair, and compassionate, you will experience a certain inner peace and confidence.
With confidence comes the ability to handle uncertain situations and the ability to forgive yourself and others for past mistakes. This is critical in negotiating life’s trials and tribulations.
I replaced the concept of “there but for the grace of god go I” with “I fretted about having no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet”

As I understand it a great percentage of people carry the herpes virus, which manifests itself more often in some than others. I understand that this is related to stress and the ability of the body’s immune system to keep it dormant. Again, mental confidence and inner peace will help in keeping the body’s immune system functioning at maximun efficiency.

If i am wrong in this, I am sure some of the medical people here will correct me.

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

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Posted: 18 February 2012 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Savagemalloy, I agree.  Although I wasn’t exposed to church, I had religious relatives and schoolmates, but I never seemed to see it as making any sense other than as a fairytale.  However, if one is young enough when the brainwashing starts, I’d guess that no one would be immune.

Occam

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Posted: 21 February 2012 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi Closet,
  You can never completely override your initial programming.  It will always be there – hampering you reasoning – but in many ways making you feel better – so that in times of stress you can survive – while the atheist may perish.  So suck it up, live with it, and be glad that you have this dual awareness.
Have a nice day,
TT.

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If your belief is true, the data will confirm it.  If your belief is false, then you need faith to believe it.
Religions that demand respect the most - are the religions that merit respect the least.
If you are offended by attacks on your religion, then your religion has programmed you well.

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Posted: 22 February 2012 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Humor can help.  One of my favorite books is “Small Gods” by the fantasy author Terry Pratchett.  It’s about the Great God Om and how one day he finds himself stuck in the body of a tortoise and unable to change back.  It turns out that the priests of his religion have gone on their merry way without him, and the only way he can get back is by hanging on a novice monk, the only person who still actually seems to believe in him.  It’s a very funny book on any number of levels, and it helps you to see how absurd the idea of gods really is.

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Posted: 22 February 2012 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Welcome to the forum.  I have no easy answer to you concern.  All I can suggest is to look at the words of Buddha.  Doubt everything, seek your own light.

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Posted: 22 February 2012 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Quoting Ted Tyler:

so that in times of stress you can survive – while the atheist may perish.

  I don’t know how you got that last, Ted.  I’m quite certain that in times of stress I’m not going to have any greater chance of perishing than a theist would have.  In fact, I believe I’m much more able to handle stress than the average theist is.

Occam

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Posted: 22 February 2012 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Occam. - 22 February 2012 07:02 PM

Quoting Ted Tyler:

so that in times of stress you can survive – while the atheist may perish.

  I don’t know how you got that last, Ted.  I’m quite certain that in times of stress I’m not going to have any greater chance of perishing than a theist would have.  In fact, I believe I’m much more able to handle stress than the average theist is.

Occam

I certainly would not waste my time in prayer for divine intervention, but would use that time trying to find a way out of the predicament.

[ Edited: 23 February 2012 02:11 AM by Write4U ]
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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
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Posted: 23 February 2012 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Hi Occam,
  I’m just trying to say here that sometimes the “power of positive thinking” helps. 
TT.

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If your belief is true, the data will confirm it.  If your belief is false, then you need faith to believe it.
Religions that demand respect the most - are the religions that merit respect the least.
If you are offended by attacks on your religion, then your religion has programmed you well.

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Posted: 23 February 2012 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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pbdq - 11 February 2012 07:16 AM

Hello All.

As much as I have tried it has been impossible to eliminate the Christian mindset that was programmed into me. Logically, I know the non-existence of God, however, illogically, the idea of God persists. With the suggestion of a famous atheist I have compartmentalized the God meme but at times of distress (like the herpes virus) an outbreak occurs and there I go again believing in something greater than anything and everything.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m ready to forum!

Radically yours, pbdq

Not to worry, PBDQ. What is your faith background? Have you heard of the CANADIAN (and American) PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY (CPC) movement? Many members of the United Church of Canada (UCC), and of its clergy, are members of CPC. The UCC and CPC welcomes people who do not want to leave their brains at home when they attend gatherings, including Sunday church services.
My interest in the ideas now advocated by the CPC started years ago (1947-1951), when I did my basic studies for the UCC ministry, at Mount Allison University http://www.mta.ca  (Affiliated with the UCC)  I, along with most of my fellow students at the time, became convinced that Jesus was born a Jew; that he lived a life devoted to promoting justice and peace rooted in agape-love, for all, and died as a truly human being. No doubt he lived, and advocated that we all live, a very HUMANE kind of life guided by the principle we call the Golden Rule. What was later called Christianity came into being under the leadership of Paul (Acts 11:26) much later. As indicated above, a minority of my fellow students were very conservative. Some of them even campaigned to get the Geology Department closed because it did not teach creationism. Their campaign failed, thank all that is G-0-D. Unless you have already read what I write about it in another thread, remind me to tell you why I use this acronym rather that the noun ‘God’, later. 

FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE CPC, CHECK OUT
http://progressivechristianity.ca/prc/?page_id=6

From the book
HOW JESUS BECAME A CHRISTIAN
Interestingly, a former Christian who married a Jew, over 30 years ago, and became one, Professor Emeritus, Barry Wilson of York University, Toronto

shows that the most significant development in this synthesis occurred 60 years after both James and Paul died and was accomplished by the unknown author of the Book of Acts (part of the Gospel of Luke).

This new “take” on Jesus was so credible that, as Wilson puts it, “we tend to think of Paul’s Movement as just another form of early Christianity. It wasn’t. It was a brand-new religion entirely.” It was thus what Wilson terms “Paulinity” – “a Hellenized religion about a Gentile Christ [and] a cosmic redeemer” – rather than the Jewish-inspired religion of Jesus, which was embraced by the Gentiles of the Roman world in the period from the second to the fourth centuries.

The New Testament is not a neutral document. The Gospels and other writings are arranged in a particular order to give weight to Paul’s interpretation of the link between the Jesus and the Christ Movements. Moreover, it was not sufficient for authors of several Gospels to distance Christianity from Judaism, they had to vilify it: Jews became equated with Satan. According to Wilson, this made the cover-up complete. The devastating result was religious anti-Semitism and the perpetuation of the accusation that the Jews killed Christ.

In fact, it was only one Jewish sect, the Sadducees, who turned against Jesus. They wanted to maintain the status quo with the Romans and feared that Jesus’s preaching about a Kingdom of God and altering the world was dangerous. Once the Romans accepted Christianity, it was not possible to blame them for Jesus’s death, so the Jews were identified in the Gospels and later Church decrees as the true evil murderers of the Son of God. Centuries of persecution followed.

One major reason, Wilson notes, for the hostile reaction to The Da Vinci Code was “its suggestion that Jesus was human.” And that criticism was leveled at a novel. Wilson’s firm belief that Christianity must refocus on the human and Jewish Jesus and accept the truth of the cover-up is sure to generate an even greater controversy.

In my opinion, Jesus got into trouble with the authorities, not just because he asked people to love one another, but because he was seen as a political and economic threat to corrupt power held by the rich and powerful—Romans and the Jews, especially the Sadducees, who collaborated with them.

FOLLOW THE MONEY AND THINK ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE MONEYCHANGERS—not readily understood
Pay close attention to the story of the moneychangers—they were really money debasers—and the “cleansing of the Temple”—John 2:13 (at the start of his three-year ministry); Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15 and Luke 19:45. (all at the end of his three-year ministry). 
References:
================================
http://digital.yorku.ca/issue/19025/39
http://www.yorku.ca/yfile/archive/index.asp?Article=10051
http://www.jesusdynasty.com/blog/2008/05/04/how-jesus-became-christian/

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