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Tell your story: Were you once a Christian who has now become secular
Posted: 15 July 2017 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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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

q

Not PRE-determined, which implies a determiner. Everything is determined by events, experiences and genes, but the determining factors change every moment. No one can predict where things are going. It’s a lot like evolution. There are millions of factors, most of which we are unaware of, that affect the ongoing result. We have no control over what happens next, even though we want to.
We have a need to think we are in charge of our lives, and we live as if we are, but we’re not. When events are determined for us, we tend to say, “Yes, that’s what I wanted all along. I made it happen.” It’s a post hoc argument we have with ourselves every moment.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 15 July 2017 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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I became an atheist around 16 or 17. No idea why, I just started doubting the existence of god for some reason. Before then I happily believed in god even though I wasn’t brought up particularly religiously.

I don’t think atheism has really affected my life in a good or bad way; it is a small part of my personality overall.

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Posted: 16 July 2017 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Like other members above, I was raised Catholic in a very casual manner.  We went to Mass on Sunday, never talked about it any other time.  When I was a teen I converted to surfing.  Our church was a half block from the beach.  You’d be sitting in Mass listening to the great waves you were missing through the open windows.  No sermon ever given can compete with breaking waves, so…

I have a very complicated relationship with my Catholic heritage today. 

I’m not much in to the Jesus and Mary thing at all never was really, and not at all impressed with the Catholic clergy structure and all of that, never was too interested in the ceremonies less so now etc. Haven’t been to Mass in a full 50 years, and so on. Not really Catholic at all anymore, but…

I find I am INCURABLY interested in the kinds of topics Catholics like to think about and discuss.  I’m kind of genetically Catholic in a way that is beyond choice.  You know, centuries of Catholic genes up my family tree expressing themselves, whether I like it or not.  I’ve spent a lot of time on the Catholic web, mostly as a wild eyed rebel, but still, there I am, on the Catholic web. It mostly annoys the hell out of me, and I get banned all the time, but still, there I am, participating.

There’s a lot more to Christianity than the god claims forum atheists enjoy rejecting.  God claims are like the tip of the iceberg.  That said, I would agree that one doesn’t need to be Christian to explore deeply human topics, and cultures in other parts of the world have probably gone deeper.  You know, Judeo-Christian culture is about 3,000 years old, whereas say, Hindu culture is two or three times that old.

One of my pets rants is the claim that the big apparent divide between theists and atheists is really just a fantasy fraud perpetrated mostly out of ignorance and social competition agendas.  As I see it, both religion and atheism are faith based ideologies.  Religion knows that it is a faith based ideology, atheism hasn’t figured that out about itself yet. 

Religion is like an aged grandfather who has matured, becoming more sophisticated about the human condition over time.  Atheism is like a twenty something who, having been an adult for only a few years, is sure that they already know everything.  Energetic, confident and superficially clever, but not very deep.

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Posted: 16 July 2017 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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I’m new to this forum and surprised at the degree of tolerance for religion which seems to me something noxious.  I’m glad to know there are people who don’t feel very negatively affected by their past belief in the supernatural, which is not surprising since some of them don’t seem to have given up those beliefs yet.  A majority of people all over the world apparently believe in a reality which is determined or at least influenced by imaginary beings.  Their children are sincerely told by the adults who raise them of imaginary beings both loving and horrible.  To suppose that such a massive deception foisted on the world’s children by people whom they most trust can simply be shrugged off seems imprudent.

The notion that atheism and religious belief of any kind are equally matters of faith is silly.  On the one hand atheists have thoroughly demonstrated the improbability and lack of evidence of any super being interacting with us or our solar system while the religious have never shown any evidence whatsoever in support of their notions of super beings.  It certainly requires a lot of faith to suppose that there is any kind of god, but it requires none at all to point out the total lack of evidence.

Don

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Posted: 17 July 2017 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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donmartin500 - 16 July 2017 04:01 PM

I’m new to this forum and surprised at the degree of tolerance for religion which seems to me something noxious.

“Religious” is a category which includes billions of people.  And using the sloppiest of reasoning, you’ve lazily slapped the highly simplistic label “something noxious” on the whole thing.  If members are feeling tolerant of religion perhaps it’s because they are intelligent enough to understand that religion is not a single thing, but a universe of things which include both the best and worst of what human beings are capable of, and everything in between.

  A majority of people all over the world apparently believe in a reality which is determined or at least influenced by imaginary beings. 

And another large group of people believe that human reason, the very poorly developed ability of a single half insane semi-suicidal species in one of billions of galaxies, is qualified to deliver meaningful conclusions on the very largest of questions about the fundamental nature of all reality, the scope of god claims. And not only is there no proof at all of such a wild claim, such believers can not even define “all of reality”, nor do they typically even realize that is necessary.

Their children are sincerely told by the adults who raise them of imaginary beings both loving and horrible.  To suppose that such a massive deception foisted on the world’s children by people whom they most trust can simply be shrugged off seems imprudent.

Prove your claim that it is a deception.

Prove YOUR CLAIM.

Prove it.

But of course you can’t, and you won’t, and you could likely care less, because for you reason is all about debunking other people’s faith based beliefs, and never your own.  In other words, you don’t even realize what reason is, confusing it with ideology.

  It certainly requires a lot of faith to suppose that there is any kind of god…

Agreed.

...but it requires none at all to point out the total lack of evidence.

“Lack of evidence” is a reference to the processes of human reason.  Please observe how you take it to be an obvious given not requiring examination or questioning that human reason is qualified to address the very largest of questions (scope of god claims) in spite of having exactly no evidence whatsoever that such a thing is true.

God is a theory about the fundamental nature of all reality.  Before you proceed to offer some counter theory, please define “all of reality” in the most basic manner, size, shape etc.  Illustrate that you are in a position to make credible claims about the arena you are addressing by at least defining that arena.

I propose to you that your atheism is likely nothing more than a self flattering pose of fantasy superiority.  The notion that you, or any of us, know enough about the largest of questions to come to any kind of credible conclusion is just as much a wildly speculative statement as any claim about “imaginary beings”.

What you are experiencing is the human condition, not the religious condition.

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Posted: 17 July 2017 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Ha ha.  I suppose we could trade claims about whose reasoning is sloppy, but of course, I wasn’t reasoning at all.  I was just expressing my surprise as I thought this was a forum for rational humanists but obviously it includes people like you as well.  Perhaps you’ll think more about your superstitious beliefs as you age.  There are certainly lots of good books written on the improbability of any kind of god in case you’re interested, and I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better if you are ever lucky enough to lose your religious beliefs.

Don

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Posted: 17 July 2017 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Tanny - 17 July 2017 09:12 AM

I propose to you that your atheism is likely nothing more than a self flattering pose of fantasy superiority.  The notion that you, or any of us, know enough about the largest of questions to come to any kind of credible conclusion is just as much a wildly speculative statement as any claim about “imaginary beings”.

 

Your challenges have been responded to multiple times. You are asking unanswerable questions and all you can do is point out that they unanswerable. Big deal.

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Posted: 18 July 2017 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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donmartin500 - 17 July 2017 02:11 PM

Ha ha.  I suppose we could trade claims about whose reasoning is sloppy, but of course, I wasn’t reasoning at all.  I was just expressing my surprise as I thought this was a forum for rational humanists but obviously it includes people like you as well.

Ok, sorry to kick your ass, my bad.  I was too wound up in my last posting.  So let that be your excuse for completely dodging the challenges to your world view presented in that post.  grin

Perhaps you’ll think more about your superstitious beliefs as you age. 

Which superstitious beliefs have I expressed? 

There are certainly lots of good books written on the improbability of any kind of god in case you’re interested, and I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better if you are ever lucky enough to lose your religious beliefs.

Which religious beliefs have I expressed?

My post above was not attempting to sell you religion. 

It was attempting to sell you reason.  Where is the evidence that you, or anybody, is in a position to know whether there is a god or not?  Reason requires you to present the very same challenge to your own perspective as you reasonably apply to that of theists.  I’m calling upon you to become loyal to your own chosen methodology.

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Posted: 18 July 2017 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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ciceronianus - 31 August 2016 12:43 PM

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.


Secular means without religious influence. A secular government is one that has no established religion and which governs without recourse to any religion or religious teaching.

Either you believe in religion influencing your decisions or your government or you don’t. If you don’t you are secular. I don’t know how you can be not entirely secular. That’s a lot like being not entirely pregnant. either one is or one is not.  There is no gradation of secularity or pregnancy. You either allow religion to influence you or you don’t. One can’t be a little bit secular any more than one can be a little bit pregnant. If you allow religion to influence you in any way, you are not taking a secular stance.

[ Edited: 18 July 2017 05:41 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 18 July 2017 09:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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LoisL - 18 July 2017 05:39 PM
ciceronianus - 31 August 2016 12:43 PM

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.


Secular means without religious influence. A secular government is one that has no established religion and which governs without recourse to any religion or religious teaching.

Either you believe in religion influencing your decisions or your government or you don’t. If you don’t you are secular. I don’t know how you can be not entirely secular. That’s a lot like being not entirely pregnant. either one is or one is not.  There is no gradation of secularity or pregnancy. You either allow religion to influence you or you don’t. One can’t be a little bit secular any more than one can be a little bit pregnant. If you allow religion to influence you in any way, you are not taking a secular stance.

This much rigidity is unhealthy.

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Posted: 18 July 2017 10:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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donmartin500 - 16 July 2017 04:01 PM

I’m new to this forum and surprised at the degree of tolerance for religion which seems to me something noxious. 

Hey there’s hope for this one.  cool smile

I hope you stick around, after that intro I’d love to hear more from you.  grin

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Posted: 18 July 2017 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Beltane - 18 July 2017 09:30 PM

There is no gradation of secularity or pregnancy. You either allow religion to influence you or you don’t. One can’t be a little bit secular any more than one can be a little bit pregnant. If you allow religion to influence you in any way, you are not taking a secular stance.

Yeah. 
Ever heard anyone arguing for a two month long,  6 million year old Creation?

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Posted: 18 July 2017 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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donmartin500 - 16 July 2017 04:01 PM

The notion that atheism and religious belief of any kind are equally matters of faith is silly.  On the one hand atheists have thoroughly demonstrated the improbability and lack of evidence of any super being interacting with us or our solar system while the religious have never shown any evidence whatsoever in support of their notions of super beings.  It certainly requires a lot of faith to suppose that there is any kind of god, but it requires none at all to point out the total lack of evidence.

Don

The extreme religious person believes in god and will refuse to acknowledge anything that questions that belief.
Rejecting all doubts is a goal in itself and a matter of great pride.

Where as I’ll bet most atheists have an attitude open to ‘proofs of God’.
It’s just that two thousand plus years of nothing has given us a fairly high degree of confidence in our conviction that God is the figment of an over active EGO.
But, hey, heavens be, if someone’s got some “proof” of God, let him in.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Tanny - 18 July 2017 03:37 PM

[

Which superstitious beliefs have I expressed? 

Which religious beliefs have I expressed?

My post above was not attempting to sell you religion. 

I’m calling upon you to become loyal to your own chosen methodology.


But you are attempting to sell religion to me and to everyone in the thread.  You have expressed in your postings the following religious beliefs:

“I’m genetically catholic in a way that is beyond choice.”  You probably know that your genes have not actually been changed by the religious beliefs of your ancestors, but either way you are clearly claiming to be Catholic which as many people will recognise as a variety of religious belief.

“There is a lot more to Christianity than the god claims forum atheists enjoy rejecting.”

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Posted: 19 July 2017 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Tanny characterizes humans as a “half insane semi-suicidal species”.  And he claims that we simply can’t come to any conclusion whatsoever on the “largest of questions about the fundamental nature of all reality”.  Therefore, according to Tanny’s logic, the guesses made thousands of years ago by people who assumed that rain simply fell through holes in the roof of the sky must be every bit as good as ours are today, even though we do understand a lot more about the nature of reality than they did.  Oh, but this is not a superstitious belief or a religious belief on his part, because he says it isn’t.

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