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Tell your story: Were you once a Christian who has now become secular
Posted: 28 August 2016 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’d like to hear stories from those who have adopted attitudes toward living that have been fully satisfying for them and were once Religious. The more religious the better.
Tell your story.
If selected for an interview, you may be asked permission to put your story in a book form.

As a thrice published academic in human systems and conflict management and finance, we can get that done though the idea is yet to be fully accepted it is in process.
I’m not posing this as a business deal but like all life, money is an integral important part.

For now, just say as much as you like for the betterment of all of those interested.

Jim

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Posted: 28 August 2016 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I probably should not answer because I always had doubts and never really considered myself to be religious though most everyone I grew up around claimed to be.  That being said, I don’t care if others think of themselves as being religious. I ask only one thing of them, please don’t try to force your beliefs on me or anyone else for that matter.

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Posted: 28 August 2016 09:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Jim can you share a link to some of your work?

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Posted: 29 August 2016 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m more interested in those moving from liberal/progressive Christianity to secularism, since that’s what I did. So I probably don’t fit your “more religious the better”, although “more religious” could mean a lot of things. I started a blog about a year before I declared my atheism. At the time I was thinking more along the lines of changing the church from within, but I realized I could do more from outside. This entry is the week I realized that.

I understand the difficulty of leaving church when it is your entire world, your family and friends, but that’s becoming more rare because other cultures invade everything now. Progressive churches have become a landing place for people who want to leave their parent’s religion, but aren’t ready to leave religion entirely. In many ways, it is harder to move on from them because they are so welcoming, so accommodating and they are more acceptable to the secular world. They lie just as much, whether intentionally or not. They can be even worse for supernatural beliefs if they allow for dream workshops or astrology or who knows what.

So, that’s my story.

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Posted: 29 August 2016 09:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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JSmith - 28 August 2016 09:34 AM

I’d like to hear stories from those who have adopted attitudes toward living that have been fully satisfying for them and were once Religious. The more religious the better.
Tell your story.
If selected for an interview, you may be asked permission to put your story in a book form.

As a thrice published academic in human systems and conflict management and finance, we can get that done though the idea is yet to be fully accepted it is in process.
I’m not posing this as a business deal but like all life, money is an integral important part.

For now, just say as much as you like for the betterment of all of those interested.

Jim

I was raised a Catholic. I pretty much went along with the religion and didn’t really think about it much, until my late teens, though when I look back on it I did have doubts about the fantastic (and unbelievable)!story Christianity is based on. As I reached my 20s and had started reading philosophy and authors, like Bertrand Russell, who gave up on religion, religion started to look more and more bizarre. It was not a quick or easy transition because I had a kind and loving father who was a true believer who tried to guide me with all good intemtions toward embracing the religion he loved very much. Eventually, I just couldn’t pretend any more. I started by assuring myself that I still believed in god, just not Christianity, but I finally realized that even god was a myth and became a full-fledged atheist and religious skeptic by my early 20s.  When I fianlly gave up religion, I started immediately to feel less burdened and happier with my choice and it’s been a wonderful feeling ever since. It has been a natural progression toward rationality and away from pretense. I realized I didn’t need the myths of religion to have a full and rewarding life. I feel truly freed from the shackles of religion. I have never missed whatever comforts it’s supposed to provide. I raised four children without religion, and they are all fine, moral, upstanding, educated, successful adults who have never regretted not being shackled to religious belief. They never drank to excess or took drugs nor have they ever been in trouble with the law. Three sons are happily married (my daughter is now happily divorced) and have children they are bringing up without religious indoctrination. None has ever expressed any regret that they did not have religion. They are sensible adults and anyone would have a very hard time putting anything over on them.  They are all good with their finances, are interested in and knowledgeable about government and politics and give to and work for several charities.

Lois

[ Edited: 13 November 2017 09:16 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 31 August 2016 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Lausten:
It sounds like a great story. Thanks for responding.

My “the more religious the better” may or may not be the best approach, certainly many of the religious world are moderate. These moderate “un-conversion” stories could have great impact since so many may be able to relate. Also, “the more religious the better” is not meant as exclusionary by any means but more an invitation for open to all.

How about, “No matter how mainstream or fundamental” your story.

Have you ever shared it, with friends or others. This board is probably a risky place to share such things as real life journeys.

Jim

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Posted: 31 August 2016 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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LoisL - 29 August 2016 09:07 PM
JSmith - 28 August 2016 09:34 AM

I’d like to hear stories from those who have adopted attitudes toward living that have been fully satisfying for them and were once Religious. The more religious the better.
Tell your story.
If selected for an interview, you may be asked permission to put your story in a book form.

As a thrice published academic in human systems and conflict management and finance, we can get that done though the idea is yet to be fully accepted it is in process.
I’m not posing this as a business deal but like all life, money is an integral important part.

For now, just say as much as you like for the betterment of all of those interested.

Jim

I was raised a Catholic. I pretty much went along with the religion and didn’t really think about it much, until my late teens, though when I look back on it I did have doubts about the fantastic (and unbelievable)!story Christianity is based on. As I reached my 20s and had started reading philosophy and authors, like Bertrand Russell, who gave up on religion, religion started to look more and more bizarre. It was not a quick or easy transition because I had a kind and loving father who was a true believer who tried to guide me with all good intemtions toward embracing the religion he loved very much. Eventually, I just couldn’t pretend any more. I started by assuring myself that I still believed in god, just not Christianity, but I finally realized that even god was a myth and became a full-fledged atheist and religious skeptic by my early 20s.  When I fianlly gave up religion, I started immediately to feel less burdened and happier with my choice and it’s been a wonderful feeling ever since. It has been a natural progression toward rationality and away from pretense. I realized I didn’t need the myths of religion to have a full and rewarding life. I feel truly freed from the shackles of religion. I have never missed whatever comforts it’s supposed to provide. I raised four children without religion, and they are all fine, moral, upstanding, educated, successful adults who have never regretted not being shackled to religious belief. They never drank to excess or took drugs nor have they ever been in trouble with the law. Three sons are happily married (my daughter is now happily divorced) and have children they are bringing up without religious indoctrination. None has ever expressed any regret that they did not have religion. They are sensible adults amd anyone would have a very hard time putting anything over on them.  They are all good with their finances, are interested in and knowledgeable about government and politics and give to and work for several charities.

Lois

Lois: That is a wonderful experience of growth and becoming fully autonomous and mature.

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Posted: 31 August 2016 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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JSmith - 31 August 2016 07:09 AM

Have you ever shared it, with friends or others. This board is probably a risky place to share such things as real life journeys.
Jim

It’s on a blog. On the internet. It’s banned in China, but yeah, the rest of the world is welcome to my exciting life story.

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Posted: 31 August 2016 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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JSmith - 31 August 2016 07:13 AM

Lois: That is a wonderful experience of growth and becoming fully autonomous and mature.

Except she’s not autonomous since everything is pre-determined. wink

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Posted: 31 August 2016 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Well, this is always fun.

I was raised Catholic, and went to Catholic schools until sophomore year in high school.  I was an altar boy, and became one in the old Latin days.  Those were the days of high masses, novenas, swinging censers emitting incense, Latin hymns, etc.  That changed soon enough, and the Church became one of guitar masses, and priests with chalices made of artillery shells and such.  By then, my altar-boying was done.  I was never sexually assaulted by a priest, though.  I must have been an ugly child.

I’m uncertain I ever actually believed Church doctrine.  I was impressed by the ceremony and ritual, and the old Latin rite, and the music.  It was more an aesthetic appreciation than anything else, perhaps.  I still think fondly of those old days.  I stopped attending mass long ago, but never had much more than contempt for the tepid ceremony and insipid liturgy that replaced what had been.

Since I was not much of a believer to begin with, I had no dramatic break with Catholic Christianity.  I read, and still do read, the history of the ancient West, mostly Roman and Hellenistic history, and so became aware that Christianity was largely derivative of the religions which preceded it, e.g. the ancient mystery religions which it assimilated which featured baptism, a savior-god who died for our sins and who, if believed in, would assure salvation, communal meal, combined with Judaism and a hefty dose of Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics.  It’s rather hard to think of Christianity as anything special as a result.  Also, the vastness of the universe makes it seem rather silly to think God is intensely interested in us humans, came to live among us, inspired us to write special books, and is especially concerned with our sexual conduct, eating habits and such things.

I don’t know that I’ve become entirely secular, as I’m not sure what that means.  Nor do I know if I’m irreligious.  I’m sympathetic with the Stoic view, which is a kind of pantheism.  Some religious views are less unreasonable than others.

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Posted: 31 August 2016 08:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Perhaps your lucky to have just been, safe from the abusers for whatever reason…and never given to the stupornatural.
I’m wondering what you thing of this welcome home campaign of the Catholic Church.
Do you have friends who have been “welcomed home”? I know about this from some family members, newly Catholic, and visits from their friends…OMG. I was never Catholic so I’m safe from that.
What type of former catholics actually do return…and why?

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Posted: 01 September 2016 12:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lausten - 31 August 2016 08:49 AM
JSmith - 31 August 2016 07:13 AM

Lois: That is a wonderful experience of growth and becoming fully autonomous and mature.

Except she’s not autonomous since everything is pre-determined. wink

That’s true. Everything I’ve said was determined, just as your comment was.

tongue wink

[ Edited: 08 October 2016 03:24 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 01 September 2016 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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JSmith - 31 August 2016 08:29 PM

Perhaps your lucky to have just been, safe from the abusers for whatever reason…and never given to the stupornatural.
I’m wondering what you thing of this welcome home campaign of the Catholic Church.
Do you have friends who have been “welcomed home”? I know about this from some family members, newly Catholic, and visits from their friends…OMG. I was never Catholic so I’m safe from that.
What type of former catholics actually do return…and why?

Scared ones, of course.

LL

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Posted: 01 September 2016 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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JSmith - 31 August 2016 08:29 PM

Perhaps your lucky to have just been, safe from the abusers for whatever reason…and never given to the stupornatural.
I’m wondering what you thing of this welcome home campaign of the Catholic Church.
Do you have friends who have been “welcomed home”? I know about this from some family members, newly Catholic, and visits from their friends…OMG. I was never Catholic so I’m safe from that.
What type of former catholics actually do return…and why?

I’m willing to accept the possibility that some of what is called supernatural or paranormal may have an explanation that isn’t wholly based on personal belief or experience.  I think there’s still a lot we don’t know about the universe.  I think the best way of extending our knowledge is by application of intelligent inquiry, though, rather than through revelation or doctrine.  And, I think the fact that we undoubtedly feel certain things rather than arrive at them by reasoning doesn’t mean that they should be disregarded.

As to the “welcome home” thing, I think the current pontiff is remarkable in many ways and that his efforts to make the Church less intolerant than it has been are admirable.  I suspect that former Catholics who might be inclined to return will be those who abandoned the Church because of its intolerance, because of its refusal to modify doctrine in recognition of the fact that doctrine is antiquated or those who fear punishment in the afterlife (the latter type have always been around though, I think).

As for me, the efforts being made won’t tempt me back because it seems clear to me that it’s impossible to be Christian without believing in Jesus’ divinity and all that follows from that belief, and I think it’s clearly unreasonable to honestly hold that belief.  I might check out an old Latin mass sometime, but that would be because I’m nostalgic or just find it pleasing as I would a concert.

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Posted: 08 October 2016 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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What each of us who were ever involved in a major transition away from religious belief to humanistic limits of knowledge, ever extending through growth and acceptance, is a change of identity, a change in what we call environment and presence of mind.

Some may feel bewildered and others free.

No matter which, filling in the gaps and re configuring perspective and kind rational thought and feeling is work and worth it. However, it is the group belonging which becomes much more challenging for the purpose of irrational belief may well be a loyalty test. Will one give up some measure of autonomy of thought and reason, however small, for the opportunity to affirm or join others in mass or group identity, thus incurring these benefits.

Of course may will and the most sly and rational will fake the belief while incurring the benefits.!!! Yum Yum. Need we list names in history of those so exposed as just the tip of the cold-hearted yet ultimately wise ice burg?

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Posted: 08 October 2016 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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LoisL - 01 September 2016 12:34 AM
Lausten - 31 August 2016 08:49 AM
JSmith - 31 August 2016 07:13 AM

Lois: That is a wonderful experience of growth and becoming fully autonomous and mature.

Except she’s not autonomous since everything is pre-determined. wink

That’s true. Everything I’ve said was determined, just as your comment was.

tongue wink

I should have added that pre-determined is different from determined. Pre-determined, to me, implies some entity doing the pre-determining. Determinism is the idea that our genes and environment determine our actions moment by moment and determining influences change every moment. Determinism doesn’t mean anything is set up beforehand. It means our decisions are detemined by determining factors in operation at the very moment an action is carried out.

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