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Posted: 23 October 2017 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m the (as far as I know) lone heathen in my neighborhood, and even in my house (my wife is Mormon).  I took my screen name in honor of my dad, who would cheerfully describe himself as “the neighborhood heathen” to any missionaries unfortunate enough to show up at our door.

We’ll talk later.  I’m still fumbling my way around, so I’m not sure what else to say at this point.

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I believe that the goal of a truly moral life should be to relieve suffering and promote happiness among living beings in the real world.  By contrast, I believe that much of religious doctrine . . . glorifies suffering and condemns happiness as sin, in favor of some abstract reward in a non-existent afterlife.

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Posted: 24 October 2017 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I sympathize with you, NH.  I grew up in a family of Southern Baptists myself.

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Posted: 24 October 2017 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yeah, my dad was always an atheist, but my mom started us kids out Catholic (I don’t even think she’s that hardcore anymore).  Now I’m in a mixed marriage myself, where religion is a non-issue.  Your family still religious?

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I believe that the goal of a truly moral life should be to relieve suffering and promote happiness among living beings in the real world.  By contrast, I believe that much of religious doctrine . . . glorifies suffering and condemns happiness as sin, in favor of some abstract reward in a non-existent afterlife.

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Posted: 25 October 2017 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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They sure are.  Well… varying degrees.  Most of them are the kind who would answer a poll saying they go to church every Sunday although in reality it’s more like very third Sunday.  On the other hand my older sister noticed that the dogwood blossoms last spring were a little bit redder than normal, and wondered aloud if it was a “sign”.  But I didn’t have the advantage of a role model like you did.

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Posted: 25 October 2017 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Advocatus - 25 October 2017 06:23 AM

But I didn’t have the advantage of a role model like you did.

Actually, my dad stayed out of our religious upbringing—by prior agreement, as my mom recently told me.  Looking back, I’m sure there were times he had to bite his tongue bloody, but he managed.  (Hell, he even came to my first communion, poor guy.)  I didn’t actually realize he was an atheist until after I’d already turned on my own.

As it happens, my oldest sister is the only one in my family who’s still seriously religious, too.

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I believe that the goal of a truly moral life should be to relieve suffering and promote happiness among living beings in the real world.  By contrast, I believe that much of religious doctrine . . . glorifies suffering and condemns happiness as sin, in favor of some abstract reward in a non-existent afterlife.

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Posted: 26 October 2017 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Neighborhood Heathen - 23 October 2017 07:57 PM

I’m the (as far as I know) lone heathen in my neighborhood, and even in my house (my wife is Mormon).  I took my screen name in honor of my dad, who would cheerfully describe himself as “the neighborhood heathen” to any missionaries unfortunate enough to show up at our door.

We’ll talk later.  I’m still fumbling my way around, so I’m not sure what else to say at this point.

Welcome to CFI. I do wonder though, with such a view of religion—at least two generations of it—how you managed to wind up with a Mormon wife and how she wound up with a “heathen” for a husband. That must be an interesting story.

[ Edited: 26 October 2017 03:40 AM by LoisL ]
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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 26 October 2017 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Neighborhood Heathen - 23 October 2017 07:57 PM

I’m the (as far as I know) lone heathen in my neighborhood, and even in my house (my wife is Mormon).  I took my screen name in honor of my dad, who would cheerfully describe himself as “the neighborhood heathen” to any missionaries unfortunate enough to show up at our door.

We’ll talk later.  I’m still fumbling my way around, so I’m not sure what else to say at this point.

Welcome.  I too have been called a heathen and even by myself come to think of it.  I am fortunate in that I did not grow up with Bible thumping parents and I am so thankful.

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Posted: 26 October 2017 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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LoisL - 26 October 2017 03:38 AM

I do wonder though, with such a view of religion—at least two generations of it—how you managed to wind up with a Mormon wife and how she wound up with a “heathen” for a husband. That must be an interesting story.

You had to ask!  (Not that you did, exactly.)

In the first place, we’d been friends for several years before we got together, so by the time we realized we were in love I can’t think of anything that would’ve driven a significant wedge between us (and I wasn’t too fanatical at the time anyway).  But in fact at the time I happened to think SHE was an atheist (due to her saying things like “There is no God.”).  It wasn’t till several years later, during a period of great stress and weirdness in our lives, that she suddenly started going back to church.  That’s when she told me she’d always believed, but she’d been angry at the church as well as at her parents (basic teenager baggage), so she’d rejected the faith to punish them.

I saw that getting back into church made her happier, calmer under stress, and generally healthier, besides improving her relationship with her parents (great people, by the way!), so how could I not want all that for her?  She’s one person I know for whom religion actually works!  For her part, she knows I’m a loving, moral person, so what does it matter how I spend my Sundays?  Also, we were older when we hooked up, so we don’t have any kids together, and the subject has never happened to come up with her grown kids, but I doubt it would be a thing.

I have since become less complacent in my atheism, following an ugly incident in my own family, and officially set the record straight with the Catholic church, but, like I say, within our marriage it’s a non-issue.

Sorry you sort of asked?  grin

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I believe that the goal of a truly moral life should be to relieve suffering and promote happiness among living beings in the real world.  By contrast, I believe that much of religious doctrine . . . glorifies suffering and condemns happiness as sin, in favor of some abstract reward in a non-existent afterlife.

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Posted: 26 October 2017 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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deros - 26 October 2017 03:51 AM

Welcome.  I too have been called a heathen and even by myself come to think of it.  I am fortunate in that I did not grow up with Bible thumping parents and I am so thankful.

I hear you!  Striking choice of word, though, “thankful”.  I’m not criticizing your word choice, because I’ve had the same feeling when fortuitous things have happened—and then looked around and there was no one to thank.  “Thank you, dumb luck?”.  Strange feeling.  Funny how religious bias is built into our very language, isn’t it?

[ Edited: 30 October 2017 05:37 PM by Neighborhood Heathen ]
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I believe that the goal of a truly moral life should be to relieve suffering and promote happiness among living beings in the real world.  By contrast, I believe that much of religious doctrine . . . glorifies suffering and condemns happiness as sin, in favor of some abstract reward in a non-existent afterlife.

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Posted: 27 October 2017 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Great story NH. I’m in a “mixed” relationship too. We met at a very liberal church and got married at age 40. Same thing, events led her to be “more spiritual” and I went the other direction. Politically we’re still the same as well as morally, just different in how we express it. It’s not all wine and roses, but I think we’re stuck with each other.

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Posted: 28 October 2017 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Lausten - 27 October 2017 10:02 AM

I think we’re stuck with each other.

Happily, I trust.

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I believe that the goal of a truly moral life should be to relieve suffering and promote happiness among living beings in the real world.  By contrast, I believe that much of religious doctrine . . . glorifies suffering and condemns happiness as sin, in favor of some abstract reward in a non-existent afterlife.

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Posted: 02 November 2017 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Welcome to CFI Neighborhood Heathen.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

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