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Tell your story: Were you once a Christian who has now become secular
Posted: 19 July 2017 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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donmartin500 - 19 July 2017 06:30 AM

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.

Ok, this is an understandable point of confusion, and I take responsibility for not making what I was saying in that post more clear.

I’m not an ideological Catholic. 

I’m a cultural Catholic, which means…

1) I’m interested in the same kinds of topics Catholics like to discuss.

2) I tend to discuss such topics in a manner that is very familiar to Catholics, because I share their genetic heritage, their family background, their upbringing.  As example, Catholics are very much “living in one’s head” type of people, as am I.  That is, people of Catholic heritage (whether believers or not) tend to intellectualize everything, including their religion. 

3) I was raised Catholic, and come from centuries of Catholics.  I can’t fully walk away from that influence, and guess what, neither can you.  Catholicism dominated western culture to a degree unimaginable today for 1,000 years.  A 1,000 years.  All of us are Catholics to some degree or another.  Atheists tend to reject Catholicism using the very values pummeled in to the heads of western culture by Catholic clergy over a centuries.  I can walk away from the ideology, and have done so.  But neither you nor I can fully walk away from a cultural influence of that scale.  You seem to think you can.  If so, you think poorly on that particular topic.

You should know that I tend to get banned or ignored everywhere I go in Catholic land.  Few practicing Catholics would recognize me as one of their own, for to them, my views are very extreme. 

As example, I would get rid of the Vatican and the trillion dollar real estate empire.  There’s no support in the New Testament for any of that.  So even if one accepts the New Testament as the word of God (which I don’t personally), spending billions upon billions on fancy church buildings that sit empty most of the time has to go.  Jesus was a carpenter, and he showed exactly no interest in constructing church buildings.  Catholics do not appear to appreciate me reminding them of this over and over again, which is understandable. 

I do the same thing with Catholics that I do with atheists, call up them to be loyal to their own stated principles. 

donmartin500 - 19 July 2017 06:30 AM

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

This isn’t “selling religion”.  This is just a statement of obvious fact.  I’m not suggesting that atheists should become Christians, only that if they wish to be people of reason, they can be more credible by trying to understand that which they are rejecting. 

I’m not selling you religion. 

I’m selling you reason.

You’re all geared up to fight the same old theism vs. atheism battle using the same old memorized dogma slogans already heard a million times.  My interest is not in defeating either theism or atheism, but in pulling the rug out from under that entire debate.  I don’t care whether readers are theists or atheists, to me there is no substantial difference between the two, just different flavors of the same ice cream.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Tanny - 19 July 2017 08:21 AM

You should know that I tend to get banned or ignored everywhere I go

Well, there’s hope then

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Posted: 19 July 2017 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Tanny, you said,

You should know that I tend to get banned everywhere I go in Catholic land.

Perhaps that is because you tend to make unwarranted personal attacks that have nothing to do with topics under discussion.  In the few days I have been on the cfi forums you have accused me of being lazy, using sloppy reasoning and being simplistic.  You have claimed that my atheism is a self flattering pose of fantasy superiority and that for me reason is all about debunking other people’s faith based beliefs.

As it happens by some accident only the first part of my previous post was submitted.  I detailed many more statements which you have made revealing that you are a person of Christian conviction, and even in this last post you say that you would get rid of the Vatican and the trillion dollar real estate empire because there is nothing in the New Testamant about it.  That puts you not only into the protestant camp, but into the fundamentalists, so called because they wanted to go back to the New Testament fundamentals.  You should check out the Plymouth Brethren or groups like that - at least you would agree that the Vatican should be got rid of because it isn’t in the New Testament.

I would just like to point out that I have never before tried to use reason to debunk other peoples faith based beliefs except with a few personal acquaintances.  I certainly didn’t come to this thread with that expectation.  As I mentioned in previous posts I was quite surprised to find a religious believer on this non - religious cite in a thread which explicitly asked to hear from people who have lost their religious beliefs.  It would be much easier to suppose that it is you for whom reason is just used for debunking atheism, except that you have not so far shown much familiarity reason.

I’m not sure how to ignore you yet, but if it seems that the kind of things you have so far posted is all that you are likely to post, then I’ll soon get around to figuring it out.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Perhaps that is because you tend to make unwarranted personal attacks that have nothing to do with topics under discussion. 

It’s true that my reasoning skills are better than my social skills, ie. I’m a nerd, like most of us here.

In the few days I have been on the cfi forums you have accused me of being lazy, using sloppy reasoning and being simplistic. 

I’ve accused you of that because that’s what you’ve been doing in the posts I’ve read. 

You have claimed that my atheism is a self flattering pose of fantasy superiority

I should have made that claim more inclusive, to include everyone on forums waving the atheist ideology flag.  The insults you personally immediately began tossing at the religious are indeed just a self flattering pose of fantasy superiority.

and that for me reason is all about debunking other people’s faith based beliefs.

So far, this seems true.  I’m sure you have other uses of reason as well.  In this thread, I’ve addressed what you’ve been doing in this thread. 

I detailed many more statements which you have made revealing that you are a person of Christian conviction, and even in this last post you say that you would get rid of the Vatican and the trillion dollar real estate empire because there is nothing in the New Testamant about it.

You WANT ME to be a person of Christian conviction, because that would make our debate comfortable and familiar to you.  You already have a pile of arguments memorized for that debate.  I apologize, but if you should choose to engage with me, it’s going to be more work than perhaps you’re used to. 

It’s simply a fact that there’s nothing about church building construction in the recorded words of Jesus the carpenter, and stating that fact that doesn’t make me a person of Christian conviction any more than you saying John Gotti was a mob boss would make you a gangster.  I specifically said I don’t accept the New Testament as the word of God, so how does that make me a person of Christian conviction??

Are you starting to get it?  If you don’t work harder this is going to be a publicly embarrassing experience for you.  I invite you to work harder, as I’m sure you can do better, and would welcome that. 

As I mentioned in previous posts I was quite surprised to find a religious believer on this non - religious cite in a thread which explicitly asked to hear from people who have lost their religious beliefs. 

Um, you left out your previously stated insults in this sanitized retelling of the tale. 

I’m not sure how to ignore you yet, but if it seems that the kind of things you have so far posted is all that you are likely to post, then I’ll soon get around to figuring it out.

Go for it, your choice of course.  Most baby forum atheists run and hide or go all emotional upon encountering the unfamiliar territory of my perspectives on the theist vs. atheist debate.  You just haven’t decided which of those to choose yet apparently.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Tanny - 19 July 2017 01:49 PM

Most baby forum atheists run and hide or go all emotional upon encountering the unfamiliar territory of my perspectives on the theist vs. atheist debate.  You just haven’t decided which of those to choose yet apparently.

You mistake slowly backing away and making sure you stay calm and in your own world with running away and hiding.

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Posted: 19 July 2017 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Tanny - 19 July 2017 08:21 AM

2) I tend to discuss such topics in a manner that is very familiar to Catholics, because I share their genetic heritage, their family background, their upbringing.  As example, Catholics are very much “living in one’s head” type of people, as am I.  That is, people of Catholic heritage (whether believers or not) tend to intellectualize everything, including their religion. 

Wow this is an unusual description!

I’m from one of the most catholic regions of the US and have noticed the opposite…...catholics are some of the least intellectual people on earth ime.

Medieval scholasticism is one thing, the attitudes of rank-and-file catholics is quite another.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Tanny - 19 July 2017 08:21 AM

2) I tend to discuss such topics in a manner that is very familiar to Catholics, because I share their genetic heritage, their family background, their upbringing.  As example, Catholics are very much “living in one’s head” type of people, as am I.  That is, people of Catholic heritage (whether believers or not) tend to intellectualize everything, including their religion.

I’m from one of the most catholic regions of the US and have noticed the opposite…...catholics are some of the least intellectual people on earth ime.

Yes, we understand, somebody said something, so you feel incurably compelled to slam down on the reply button to say the opposite. And this too is a very Catholic quality, one which I share.

I was listening to a story about the recently deceased Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia a few days ago, who as I imagine you know was a very conservative and very Catholic justice.  The story explained how he specifically hired a liberal clerk to argue with him, and challenge his opinions from that direction.  When he met new people he would often say something like, “tell me where you disagree with one of my decisions so we can debate it”.  He was clearly very conservative, very religious, and very adamant, but he seemed to welcome vigorous debate of anything and everything with an enthusiastic good natured spirit.  Very Catholic.

My Catholic family wasn’t conservative or really that religious, but my upbringing was dominated by enthusiastic debates with my Dad that routinely went on and on and on in to the wee hours.  But for me, it’s deeper than just family upbringing.  It’s centuries of genetic heritage compelling me to come to forums and do the debate dance, a process I no longer even believe in. 

Where I would agree with you is that many Catholics are not up for a truly open ended debate like Scalia or my Dad.  Most Catholic communities I’ve discovered online seem dominated by fear, and a defensive circling of the like minded wagons.  But to be fair, atheist forums are little different.  But even within such fear based communities, it’s still very much a head trip.  Check out CatholicAnswers, which appears to be the largest Catholic forum.  Yes, they will ban you the first time you burp incorrectly, but it’s definitely a major head trip.

The head tripping started with the Jews I think, and was inherited by their cultural children the Catholics.  And then the Catholics dominated western culture for 1,000 years, and stamped the head tripping upon the entire western world.  We’re all Jews and Catholics to a degree, in a way that is beyond choice.

By “head tripping” I mean a relentless focus on thought, the concepts in our head.  All experience gets converted in to a concept, an idea, a doctrine, a philosophy, and these symbolic structures become all important. 

As example, a key Catholic doctrine is that God is ever present everywhere in all times and places, that is, God is proposed to be the essence of the real world.  But where do Catholics typically look for God?  Not in the real world, but in their heads, between their ears, in thought.

So, you can observe how I am challenging the primacy of thought in Catholic culture with a long thought intensive post.  Very Catholic.  grin

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Posted: 20 July 2017 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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I sense that we tend to over estimate the degree to which we choose whatever philosophical flag we are waving. 

As example, this thread asks “tell us how you once were Christian who then became secular”.  Who really “chooses” to convert from religious to secular?  Isn’t it more the case that a person finds they can no longer believe in their religion, even if they want to?  You know, what devoutly religious person has the power to always remain that way, or to flip a switch in their mind and turn it all off?  And what atheist could wake up one day and just decide as an act of will to really believe that Jesus is their personal savior?

Most of us are probably here on this forum because we’re compulsively philosophical and our real world friends don’t want to discuss these topics all day long every day like we do.  If true, did we choose to be compulsively philosophical? 

I sense we’re more like waves upon the ocean.  It looks like we are marching towards shore with the intention to crash upon the beach, and we may become entranced by that illusion and come to believe in our individual separate agency, but what we think of as “my philosophy” is probably much more a case of riding larger cultural and family forces far beyond our control.

If a person was Christian and then became secular (or the reverse) it’s probably more a case of what happened TO THEM than it is what happened by them.

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Posted: 20 July 2017 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Tanny - 20 July 2017 04:18 AM
Tanny - 19 July 2017 08:21 AM

2) I tend to discuss such topics in a manner that is very familiar to Catholics, because I share their genetic heritage, their family background, their upbringing.  As example, Catholics are very much “living in one’s head” type of people, as am I.  That is, people of Catholic heritage (whether believers or not) tend to intellectualize everything, including their religion.

I’m from one of the most catholic regions of the US and have noticed the opposite…...catholics are some of the least intellectual people on earth ime.

Yes, we understand, somebody said something, so you feel incurably compelled to slam down on the reply button to say the opposite. And this too is a very Catholic quality, one which I share.

I was listening to a story about the recently deceased Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia a few days ago, who as I imagine you know was a very conservative and very Catholic justice.  The story explained how he specifically hired a liberal clerk to argue with him, and challenge his opinions from that direction.  When he met new people he would often say something like, “tell me where you disagree with one of my decisions so we can debate it”.  He was clearly very conservative, very religious, and very adamant, but he seemed to welcome vigorous debate of anything and everything with an enthusiastic good natured spirit.  Very Catholic.

I’d chalk that up to being a lawyer in a politically diverse environment rather than to any catholic heritage.

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Posted: 21 July 2017 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Beltane - 20 July 2017 07:53 PM

I’d chalk that up to being a lawyer in a politically diverse environment rather than to any catholic heritage.

Yes, you would, because you have the incurable Catholic itch to say the opposite of whatever the last person who spoke said. 

But Scalia himself was very strongly invested in being Catholic, and very much saw his intellect and passion for debate as being part of his Catholicness.

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Posted: 21 July 2017 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Tanny - 21 July 2017 05:55 AM
Beltane - 20 July 2017 07:53 PM

I’d chalk that up to being a lawyer in a politically diverse environment rather than to any catholic heritage.

Yes, you would, because you have the incurable Catholic itch to say the opposite of whatever the last person who spoke said.

Lel, I’m not catholic.

But Scalia himself was very strongly invested in being Catholic, and very much saw his intellect and passion for debate as being part of his Catholicness.

Perhaps that was nothing more than his Italian-Catholic chauvinism.

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Posted: 21 July 2017 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Beltane - 21 July 2017 03:28 PM

Lel, I’m not catholic.

There’s only so much of one’s heritage and culture one has the power to walk away from.

I do understand that you don’t currently adhere to Catholic doctrines, same for me.  But here we both are, talking about god all day every day.  That interest didn’t just magically appear on it’s own, it comes from somewhere, eh?

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Posted: 22 July 2017 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Beltane - 15 July 2017 04:20 PM

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.

It probably leads you to think rationally. Atheism is a product of rational thinking.

LL

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Posted: 22 July 2017 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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LoisL - 22 July 2017 12:22 PM
Beltane - 15 July 2017 04:20 PM

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.

It probably leads you to think rationally. Atheism is a product of rational thinking.

LL

Well, sometimes.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Tanny - 21 July 2017 04:27 PM
Beltane - 21 July 2017 03:28 PM

Lel, I’m not catholic.

There’s only so much of one’s heritage and culture one has the power to walk away from.

Agreed. Genetic heritage is impossible to get away from, cultural heritage is close to impossible to escape; it’s a mistake to think Catholicism is in the genes, though. An intellectual bent is probably genetic, curiosity is probably genetic, religiosity might be genetic, but not a particular religion itself.

I do understand that you don’t currently adhere to Catholic doctrines, same for me.  But here we both are, talking about god all day every day.  That interest didn’t just magically appear on it’s own, it comes from somewhere, eh?

To be clear I wasn’t raised catholic. As far as “god talk” is concerned, it’s not a favorite topic of mine anyway.

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