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Tell your story: Were you once a Christian who has now become secular
Posted: 10 October 2016 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Short story- I was raised Free Methodist and Church of God.  In my mid-teens my mother (who was born again 3xs when I was between 7 and 14) took me to the Lutheran Church and then when I was a young adult to I was almost 40, I was Episcopalian.  After I went to college and got a bachelor degree in Psychology I became a humanist, losing whatever little belief I had by also studying science (biology and chemistry mostly, besides neuro-psychology), religions (Hindu, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Gnostism, Judaism, Shintoism), mythology, and philosophy. It’s hard to believe when your world view gets busted through education.

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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: 11 October 2016 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Mriana - 10 October 2016 07:31 PM

Short story- I was raised Free Methodist and Church of God.  In my mid-teens my mother (who was born again 3xs when I was between 7 and 14) took me to the Lutheran Church and then when I was a young adult to I was almost 40, I was Episcopalian.  After I went to college and got a bachelor degree in Psychology I became a humanist, losing whatever little belief I had by also studying science (biology and chemistry mostly, besides neuro-psychology), religions (Hindu, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Gnostism, Judaism, Shintoism), mythology, and philosophy. It’s hard to believe when your world view gets busted through education.

Nice story.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 11 October 2016 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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LoisL - 11 October 2016 12:40 AM
Mriana - 10 October 2016 07:31 PM

Short story- I was raised Free Methodist and Church of God.  In my mid-teens my mother (who was born again 3xs when I was between 7 and 14) took me to the Lutheran Church and then when I was a young adult to I was almost 40, I was Episcopalian.  After I went to college and got a bachelor degree in Psychology I became a humanist, losing whatever little belief I had by also studying science (biology and chemistry mostly, besides neuro-psychology), religions (Hindu, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Gnostism, Judaism, Shintoism), mythology, and philosophy. It’s hard to believe when your world view gets busted through education.

Nice story.

Thanks.  I think education is a big key to removing the “God Delusion”.

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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: 12 October 2016 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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deros - 28 August 2016 02:52 PM

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.

Unfortunately the ones who try to force their beliefs on others are convinced that they are doing good by doing it. Most Christian evangelicals, for example will say they are obligated by their god to bring other people into it their religion.  Many truly think they are saving people. It’s very hard to get through to people who think they have THE ANSWER. This is also true of people who think their politicsl theories are THE ANSWER. They are truly dangerous. The worst of all are those whose politicsl theories are driven by their religion. This combination is the root of most terrorist acts and causes the most devastating damage to people and societies the world over.

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Posted: 25 October 2016 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I’ve come to reluctantly realize the mainstream media is far more “religious” than we are encouraged to realize or believe.  It almost monotonously promotes a “luciferian” consumerist/egomaniacal disbelief in God or Religion of any kind agenda which promotes crass consumerism and an arrogant society that is easy to pull around by the “nose” of egomania.  It helps promote the power of prescription drugs.  In other words.  Opiates Not Religion are the Opiates of the Nation.  Check out Alan Watt (no not Alan Watts).  Most people today believe mainstream entertainment and its superficial materialistic bent is just randomly dictated by the market.  It never ever was the case is what Alan Watt proposes and his analysis is pretty powerful.  I will provide quotes if I don’t get utterly attacked.

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Posted: 25 October 2016 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Welcome SanFran. This is a “skeptics” forum, scientifically based. Just saying.

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Posted: 25 October 2016 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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SanFranChica - 25 October 2016 04:33 AM

I’ve come to reluctantly realize the mainstream media is far more “religious” than we are encouraged to realize or believe.  It almost monotonously promotes a “luciferian” consumerist/egomaniacal disbelief in God or Religion of any kind agenda which promotes crass consumerism and an arrogant society that is easy to pull around by the “nose” of egomania.  It helps promote the power of prescription drugs.  In other words.  Opiates Not Religion are the Opiates of the Nation.  Check out Alan Watt (no not Alan Watts).  Most people today believe mainstream entertainment and its superficial materialistic bent is just randomly dictated by the market.  It never ever was the case is what Alan Watt proposes and his analysis is pretty powerful.  I will provide quotes if I don’t get utterly attacked.

Long ago a much younger me used to read some Alan Watt, so know I who you’re talking about.  Though I don’t have time for that now, busy days don’t you know.
How about trying to explain it, in a few succinct sentences.  Which Alan Watt insights you think are important to making your point.  Though your paragraph doesn’t actually make much of a “point” - it’s more like tossing out random stuff to see what sticks.

But, okay, you’re on.  Here’s back at you, let the discussion begin   smile

It almost monotonously promotes a “luciferian” consumerist/egomaniacal disbelief in God or Religion of any kind agenda

That’s a mouth full, but I have no idea what you mean with it.  At least in so far as it deals with our own day to days.

There are many Opiates out their, religion, opiates/drugs/alcohol, lust for money/power, boob-tubes of every variety.  Just saying.
What’s your point?

That religion thing?  I sense that you think it’s a precious thing. 
Should that be the case, may I ask:
What’s the good of religion and superstition based communities that reject sober objective assessment of our Earth and it’s systems that we depend on for everything?

These religions are all about understanding the God Almighty.  Is that correct?
I’ve spent six decades trying to understand God Almighty and her universe, seek and ye shall find as they say.
I look around and find an awful lot of people how believe they understand God, in fact they feel free speaking for God.

SFC, do you think a human is capable of comprehending The True God?
Or, do you believe such a thing is beyond human capabilities - and that we are confined to touching/sensing only fleeting hints of The True God?

Or to put it another way do you believe Religious Truths are Universal Truths
or do you believe Religious Truths are Personal Truths, deserving of respect but certainly not kowtowing?

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Posted: 25 October 2016 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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SanFranChica - 25 October 2016 04:33 AM

I’ve come to reluctantly realize the mainstream media is far more “religious” than we are encouraged to realize or believe.  It almost monotonously promotes a “luciferian” consumerist/egomaniacal disbelief in God or Religion of any kind agenda which promotes crass consumerism and an arrogant society that is easy to pull around by the “nose” of egomania.  It helps promote the power of prescription drugs.  In other words.  Opiates Not Religion are the Opiates of the Nation.  Check out Alan Watt (no not Alan Watts).  Most people today believe mainstream entertainment and its superficial materialistic bent is just randomly dictated by the market.  It never ever was the case is what Alan Watt proposes and his analysis is pretty powerful.  I will provide quotes if I don’t get utterly attacked.

Please define the mainstrem media and,also, let us know who you think is controlling it.

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Posted: 25 October 2016 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I think it’s interesting to note that most people who describe theselves as atheists, humanists and free thinkers are Jews and former Catholics and Christian fundamentalists.  Anyone have any idea why?

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Posted: 25 October 2016 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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LoisL - 25 October 2016 11:25 AM

I think it’s interesting to note that most people who describe theselves as atheists, humanists and free thinkers are Jews and former Catholics and Christian fundamentalists.  Anyone have any idea why?

I have no idea as to Jews or Christian fundamentalists.  As to Catholics, I may have a better idea, but can only address my own experience. Mother Church has had for many years a certain regard for education, knowledge and intellectual achievement, and encouraged them.  But in doing so it necessarily undermined acceptance of some essential aspects of its doctrine, which seem to have no rational basis.  It’s become harder and harder for people to simply believe, to have faith, in that doctrine merely because the Church claims it must be accepted.  So, some become “Cafeteria Catholics” and pick and choose what parts of doctrine they can tolerate but insist they remain Catholics, and some just give it up altogether.

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Posted: 25 October 2016 08:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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ciceronianus - 25 October 2016 02:19 PM
LoisL - 25 October 2016 11:25 AM

I think it’s interesting to note that most people who describe theselves as atheists, humanists and free thinkers are Jews and former Catholics and Christian fundamentalists.  Anyone have any idea why?

I have no idea as to Jews or Christian fundamentalists.  As to Catholics, I may have a better idea, but can only address my own experience. Mother Church has had for many years a certain regard for education, knowledge and intellectual achievement, and encouraged them.  But in doing so it necessarily undermined acceptance of some essential aspects of its doctrine, which seem to have no rational basis.  It’s become harder and harder for people to simply believe, to have faith, in that doctrine merely because the Church claims it must be accepted.  So, some become “Cafeteria Catholics” and pick and choose what parts of doctrine they can tolerate but insist they remain Catholics, and some just give it up altogether.

It’s similar for Jews. I have no idea about Christian fundamentalists except that some finally realize how much of themselves they have to give up to keep believing impossible things. Many of these never admit a complete break from religion, even to themselves. It’s a good indication of how indoctrination takes hold and won’t let go.

LL

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Posted: 26 October 2016 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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LoisL - 25 October 2016 08:02 PM
ciceronianus - 25 October 2016 02:19 PM
LoisL - 25 October 2016 11:25 AM

I think it’s interesting to note that most people who describe theselves as atheists, humanists and free thinkers are Jews and former Catholics and Christian fundamentalists.  Anyone have any idea why?

I have no idea as to Jews or Christian fundamentalists.  As to Catholics, I may have a better idea, but can only address my own experience. Mother Church has had for many years a certain regard for education, knowledge and intellectual achievement, and encouraged them.  But in doing so it necessarily undermined acceptance of some essential aspects of its doctrine, which seem to have no rational basis.  It’s become harder and harder for people to simply believe, to have faith, in that doctrine merely because the Church claims it must be accepted.  So, some become “Cafeteria Catholics” and pick and choose what parts of doctrine they can tolerate but insist they remain Catholics, and some just give it up altogether.

It’s similar for Jews. I have no idea about Christian fundamentalists except that some finally realize how much of themselves they have to give up to keep believing impossible things. Many of these never admit a complete break from religion, even to themselves. It’s a good indication of how indoctrination takes hold and won’t let go.

LL

I thought it would be similar for Jews, as I understand there’s a similar emphasis on learning.

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Posted: 04 November 2016 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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JSmith - 31 August 2016 07:09 AM

Lausten:

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

I fit this category. I was a moderate turn liberal turn atheist.

I was from old-Calvinist denomination with female clergy, semi anti-abortion (certain conditions are okay, my mom had twice), semi anti-gay (they are the first in the country to being open to the discussion). They are sort of secular. I read MxM manga as a teenager and felt guilty for doing so. One day, I decided to stop this sinful behavior. I prayed 5 times a day and read the Bible daily. I rarely go to church though, because it is no fun. Most teenagers picked the more fun charismatic church. Thank cthulhu, I didn’t.

Everybody likes the Jesus Christ facebook page. Naturally, I didn’t want to miss the trend, so I check the page. I was horrified because it was full with hell fire and brimstone. I have many Buddhist and Muslim relatives and friends, so it is simply unacceptable for me. I wasn’t sure they would go to heaven, but these people were so judgemental. So, I tried to find a page that represented my belief better and I found liberal Christianity. There’s almost no liberal in my country, it is a taboo word. But I found them closer to what I imagine Jesus like. I started to support gay right and then abortion right.

Soon, I called myself a Christian agnostic.  I was still afraid, but not really. I just think that if God was good, he would be okay with not believing in him. What better way to prove God’s goodness than by being a non believer!

I started learning philosophy until I stumbled upon the problem of evil and turned atheist. That’s my story.

Basically, I don’t care whether people consider me as an atheist, agnostic or christian. I’m a humanist, though.

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Posted: 05 November 2016 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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ciceronianus - 26 October 2016 09:16 AM
LoisL - 25 October 2016 08:02 PM
ciceronianus - 25 October 2016 02:19 PM
LoisL - 25 October 2016 11:25 AM

I think it’s interesting to note that most people who describe theselves as atheists, humanists and free thinkers are Jews and former Catholics and Christian fundamentalists.  Anyone have any idea why?

I have no idea as to Jews or Christian fundamentalists.  As to Catholics, I may have a better idea, but can only address my own experience. Mother Church has had for many years a certain regard for education, knowledge and intellectual achievement, and encouraged them.  But in doing so it necessarily undermined acceptance of some essential aspects of its doctrine, which seem to have no rational basis.  It’s become harder and harder for people to simply believe, to have faith, in that doctrine merely because the Church claims it must be accepted.  So, some become “Cafeteria Catholics” and pick and choose what parts of doctrine they can tolerate but insist they remain Catholics, and some just give it up altogether.

It’s similar for Jews. I have no idea about Christian fundamentalists except that some finally realize how much of themselves they have to give up to keep believing impossible things. Many of these never admit a complete break from religion, even to themselves. It’s a good indication of how indoctrination takes hold and won’t let go.

LL

I thought it would be similar for Jews, as I understand there’s a similar emphasis on learning.

I’m sure that is also a factor.

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Posted: 15 July 2017 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I was born into a family with a near cultish evangelical protestant religion - The Plymouth Brethren - and was led to believe in a whole zoo of imaginary beings from infancy.  Summer bible camps and frequent testimonies of conversion experiences are part of my earliest memories.  During my teens faith in the truth of the more absurd beliefs of my elders began to weaken somewhat, but the general belief structure remained.  At about 17 or 18 I read Russell’s “Why I am not a Christian”, which introduced me to the idea of rational discussion about religion, and over the next few years I began to claim agnosticism, which was in itself a huge relief - the feeling of having being freed from superstition - but over the next decade or so I came to realize that the only thing which was keeping me agnostic was a deep rooted fear of denying the existence of god.  It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I was able to say to myself and others that I really did not believe in the existence of any kind of supernatural being and that I was agnostic about god in the same way as I was about Santa Claus.  Can’t prove they don’t exist but I sure don’t believe that they do.  The last forty years have been free from all superstition and my children regularly thank both of their parents for never loading onto them the kind of religious termoil and fear which so many of their friends are experiencing.

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