Page 1 of 8 [ 115 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next

CrinklyCrustacean
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Mar 2009
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,284

02 Jul 2011, 4:53 am

For those who've changed from believers to agnostics or atheists and vice versa, why did you change?



anna-banana
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Aug 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,682
Location: Europe

02 Jul 2011, 6:33 am

I was born an atheist just like you and every other human on this planet. then my catholic family tried to use the fact that my underdeveloped brain was naturally easy to influence, and tried to make me believe in all kinds of weird stuff. when I was skeptical, they'd scare me with hell, satan, and the eternal fire.

thankfully that phase didn't last very long and eventually I realised that adults are full of s**t and what they say is irrelevant.

fin.


_________________
not a bug - a feature.


ryan93
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,315
Location: Galway, Ireland

02 Jul 2011, 7:27 am

I thought it was hilarious that people believed in God by the time I was six. I actually rated the existence of Santa as being more likely, because he seemed to perform tangible acts, unlike God. I stopped believing in Santa at seven, but I maintain that it is a more justified belief than in a do-nothing judge-a lot sky sadist.


_________________
The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists - Erwin Schrodinger

Member of the WP Strident Atheists


YippySkippy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Feb 2011
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,986

02 Jul 2011, 8:21 am

Christian to atheist - Religion seemed like wishful thinking backed up by no evidence.
Atheist to agnostic - Realization that, since even everyday life continues to surprise me, I can't hope to understand the universe and whether a God or spirit world exists.



Philologos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Age: 77
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,987

02 Jul 2011, 8:36 am

YippySkippy wrote:
Christian to atheist - Religion seemed like wishful thinking backed up by no evidence.
Atheist to agnostic - Realization that, since even everyday life continues to surprise me, I can't hope to understand the universe and whether a God or spirit world exists.


Very close here.

Starting out blank [one who has never thought about it is not in any reasonable usage theist nor atheist nor agnostic] as soon as I reached an age to think about it and thought about it I was atheist "Religion seemed like wishful thinking backed up by no evidence" pretty much summed it up. The church I was compelled to attend filled with puzzlement provided no clues, assuming no doubt that my parents were doing what was promised at my baptism. My mother never tried to explain anything - pure authority-based Socializer.

Later I vacillated between atheist "Ain't no sich a critter" and agnostic "Quien sabe?" [sorry I give only one ?, Hispanics or purists]. YippySkippy's "Realization that, since even everyday life continues to surprise me, I can't hope to understand the universe and whether a God or spirit world exists" fits here very nicely.

Later still I was presented [I have given a basic account elsewhere] by no human agency with evidence of a nature and strength to move me to a theist and specifically Christian position.

Today, recognizing more and more that nor YippySkippy nor I can hope to understand the universe, I hold strongly that the universe and God and whatever else are not comprehensible [the small are free to laugh at the sound, the great will smile at both sound and sense].



Vexcalibur
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,398

02 Jul 2011, 9:10 am

I was raised Catholic and also due to influence of my parents was into all sort of things. I mean, paranormal, Aliens, prophecies, Nostradamus, etc. I went to a Catholic private school which in this dark hole of the third world turned out to be very liberal, because I learned about evolution in there. We actually read fragments of the origin of species in there. Because of this I always fought with Christian fundamentalists that actually think creationism is worth teaching in schools as science. Another thing about growing up in a third world country is that here you can't take a disease not being around for granted, so vaccines are a must if you want to survive.

I spent a good time in sites about those topics. Learned about a lot of other crazy things like talking to spirit guides. Found out about alt med. Kept reading prophecies. Etc.

But as I was there, I learned that some of those believes were utter bull and actually caused you to be a nut job. That was also a time in my life where I thought I had AS (Nope, I don't, I ended up with a different diagnosis). Which made me spend time in this site where I learned about those freak conspiracy theories about vaccines. So, as a combination I was lucky to get introduced to skepticism which I used as a tool to get my paranormal topics fun without falling into the dark hands of the most BSitty beliefs

What happened then was a huge mess. Swine flu appeared and naturally some of the people in those sites started to bombard the sites with complete lunacy about vaccines being a mass evil conspiracy. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but the small sketicism seed that I planted a couple of years before this event had grown up quite a bit, so I researched and researched by myself and ended up here: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/ . Unlike the sites that proposed the anti-vaccine BS, that site actually backed up its claims and it introduced me to a world of facts about how anti-vax people are frauds and are VERY harmful to all of society. I really liked the people in some of the prophecy sites that I frequented, and to be honest I fell in love with one of the psychic girls in there, so I was ready to fight this anti-vax lunacy to protect people from it.

Unfortunately*. It didn't work, it turns out that anti-vax lunacy comes with the complete package of being into paranormal stuff, natural med stuff and conspiracy theories. I had tons and tons of opposition because of my attempts to stop those dangerous, life-threatening beliefs about vaccines. I ended up getting banned because I was rude to a member who kept flooding the site with that BS.

It made me rethink tons of things. It also fed my skeptic part to huge grounds. To me, anti-vax conspiracy theories were definitely a bunch of horribly made-up, fraudulent, evil, life-threatening BS. Because I did do my research on that topic. It was inevitable that I ended up thinking, "if those guys at prophecies.us can believe in this sort of BS, what guarantee do I have that the other stuff they believe in isn't utter BS?". From that on I became more and more of an skeptic in tons of topics. I discovered a pattern that made me believe in horribly wrong things for which there is no evidence and that those beliefs were not helpful at all in my life, and felt very stupid for having believed in them.

What really surprised me was that then this skepticism virus took me to my Catholic beliefs which turned out to be built on the same pattern. I ended up dishing Christianity as a whole.

As of now, I am sort of a theist, mostly a pantheist and I actually pray sometimes, but I dunno. It may change soon. I cannot help but agree with atheists on most topics and this seems to be getting worse, so I am kinda like an atheist right now.

*Actually 'fortunately'. I will forever be thankful with prophecies.us for giving me the gift of my skepticism. I mean, teaching me how harmful can beliefs made out of thin air really be. And directing my life to one in which I don't have to believe that the world is ending next year. I noticed great improvements to my life once I had to stop relying on psychic readings to do stuff. Heh.


_________________
.


anna-banana
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Aug 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,682
Location: Europe

02 Jul 2011, 9:23 am

Vexcalibur wrote:
I was raised Catholic and also due to influence of my parents was into all sort of things. I mean, paranormal, Aliens, prophecies, Nostradamus, etc.


it's funny how many catholics are into alt med and the paranormal, considering that the church forbids it as demonic. in my very fundamentalist family, it's the ones that are the most extreme in their faith that are also the most into all of that BS. funnily enough, they use pretty regular catholic ju-ju like the "holy" water or toast with the image of Virgin Mary alongside radiesthesia and homeopathy :lol:


_________________
not a bug - a feature.


jrjones9933
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2011
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,144
Location: The end of the northwest passage

02 Jul 2011, 9:32 am

After meeting an athiest for the first time, in high school, it took me about a year to give up religion. About 10 years later, I realized I didn't really believe in athiesm either.


_________________
"I find that the best way [to increase self-confidence] is to lie to yourself about who you are, what you've done, and where you're going." - Richard Ayoade


AceOfSpades
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,754
Location: Sean Penn, Cambodia

02 Jul 2011, 10:03 am

I was raised Christian and became an atheist in my teens. I had the same reasons as any other atheist but it was mainly because there was nothing I could really give God credit for. A lot of so called miracles are either freak occurrences with perfectly logical explanations, coincidences or unexplainable at the moment. If it is currently unexplainable, God wins by default. I find religion nothing more than a cheap excuse for social engineering through the means of dogmatism and submission to an ideal made out to be bigger than man. People can always find something else to start wars over if it isn't religion, but religion is a very effective means of social engineering.

I am an atheist and I am dead certain no God exists. I know religious folks might be offended by what I wrote, but I don't think religious people are stupid. Religion is just one manifestation of dogmatism so it doesn't reflect entirely on a person's intelligence. The politically correct line of thinking that is prevalent these days is also a sacred cow that you don't dare to question or beg to differ from.

Beside the obvious reasons for disliking religion, I don't take too kindly to its paradigm of human nature either. We apparently lack intrinsic motivation to be moral so religion gives us the carrot and stick treatment under the pretense of a higher purpose. Religion breeds just-world fallacies and makes justice out to be more than just a concept that is socially enforced. Looks a lot like I'm taking a jab at capitalism too right? Well actually I think both just world fallacies and victim mentalities are both bad since neither perspectives see accountability as a mutual thing but a one-sided affair. Religion might breed just world fallacies but politically correct thinking breeds victim mentalities which makes them two sides of the same coin in terms of dogmatism (but religion is still worse when it comes to everything else). We are motivated by a carrot and a stick to some extent, but it is no substitute for intrinsic motivation towards a higher purpose.



ryan93
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,315
Location: Galway, Ireland

02 Jul 2011, 10:38 am

jrjones9933 wrote:
After meeting an athiest for the first time, in high school, it took me about a year to give up religion. About 10 years later, I realized I didn't really believe in athiesm either.


Atheism isn't necessarily a positive disbelief in God; Atheism is the catch all category for all those who do not actively believe in a God. Even the supposed "Supreme Atheist" Dawkins doesn't rate the probability of God existing as being zero.


_________________
The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists - Erwin Schrodinger

Member of the WP Strident Atheists


AceOfSpades
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,754
Location: Sean Penn, Cambodia

02 Jul 2011, 2:59 pm

ryan93 wrote:
jrjones9933 wrote:
After meeting an athiest for the first time, in high school, it took me about a year to give up religion. About 10 years later, I realized I didn't really believe in athiesm either.


Atheism isn't necessarily a positive disbelief in God; Atheism is the catch all category for all those who do not actively believe in a God. Even the supposed "Supreme Atheist" Dawkins doesn't rate the probability of God existing as being zero.
I think the underlying assumption is that an atheist may or may not feel dead certain about God existing, but there isn't any ambivalence about it.



anna-banana
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Aug 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,682
Location: Europe

02 Jul 2011, 3:49 pm

AceOfSpades wrote:
ryan93 wrote:
jrjones9933 wrote:
After meeting an athiest for the first time, in high school, it took me about a year to give up religion. About 10 years later, I realized I didn't really believe in athiesm either.


Atheism isn't necessarily a positive disbelief in God; Atheism is the catch all category for all those who do not actively believe in a God. Even the supposed "Supreme Atheist" Dawkins doesn't rate the probability of God existing as being zero.
I think the underlying assumption is that an atheist may or may not feel dead certain about God existing, but there isn't any ambivalence about it.


you can be an atheist about all known gods (i.e. all religions, mythologies etc) and be ambivalent about a "creator" in general. still an atheist imho.


_________________
not a bug - a feature.


raisedbyignorance
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Apr 2009
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,225
Location: Indiana

02 Jul 2011, 5:59 pm

I had a brief stint with Christianity in high school when I was part of Student Venture and FCA, I gave it up because I was under a huge amount of stress and was very upset that I wasn't meeting up to the church's standards of evangelizing enough people. The biggest problem with these teen religion organizations WASN'T the things they were teaching but rather the extreme pressure they put on teenagers to go covert, evangelize, and harass others to spread a message and awareness that many were already aware was out there but have simply chose not to follow or are already associated with another church. That was the most frustrating part of the whole thing for me. Every sermon ended with "I challenge you to spread the word" and something like that. And soon it felt like a competition where the more popular Christians in the organization were the ones who were Evangelizing or converting the most people. I became extremely frustrated that I couldn't convert one single person.

Over the course of the next year after leaving the church I had a mental breakdown and a lot of guilt over the decision to leave but the stress got to me. I was frustrated that everyone I knew (including my boyfriend back then) was spending their summers going out to the Myrtle Beach conference or doing missionary projects while I was stuck in summer school retaking classes I failed during the school year. The guilt of leaving the church, piled on with the stress of senior year (applying for colleges, prepping for SATs) became too much with barely getting through my classes on top of it all and eventually I lost it. The mental breakdown eventually led to my AS diagnosis which all in all made it a good thing because the AS explain why I was such a failure as an Evangelical Christian...I didn't have the social skills for evangelizing. But then again I don't have the social skills for squat.



Gwenwyn
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 94

03 Jul 2011, 11:30 pm

I was raised in a sub-sect of christianity that often got called a cult (Christian Science, if you've heard of it). What people think it is, isn't what it is. Its pretty nice. More like buddhism than people might think. Anyway,

I had a super depression a few years ago, came out of it, started dating a guy who was evangelical. Going to his church scared the hell out of me (haha, right?). So many people there HATED Islam. My best friend growing up was islamic! And they condoned this hate? So I turned away from that and back to C.S.

I worked for a summer in Boston where the Mother Church is. C.S. felt like it was nice, but I discovered 'true adherents' were just as bigoted as anywhere else I'd seen. I didn't follow their version of what C.S. was, so I was basically shunned.

So I've dropped organized religion. If there is a hell, I'll be going there with most of the people on the planet. Thats where I'd rather be anyway: with those who suffer, to offer condolences, companionship, or at least commiseration. Why should I fear suffering after what I've been through on Earth? If there is a God, one that I could believe in, I doubt I'd be in hell - or that any but the most truly abhorrent would be.

So I'm... I'm not sure... agnostic? If you've read left hand of darkness, you've learned sometimes you just have to know the questions you can't answer.

To be specific: The people, not the philosophies (for the most part), turned me from religion.



Last edited by Gwenwyn on 04 Jul 2011, 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

pree10shun
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 May 2011
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,659
Location: Everywhere

03 Jul 2011, 11:47 pm

Mines a reverse story... I was born into an atheistic family and I was the only believer when I learnt religion in school... I attended a catholic school...But a class on Buddhism caught my interest and I went in that direction.. My mom then became interested in Buddhism when I discussed it with her and she became a believer..



Last edited by pree10shun on 03 Jul 2011, 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 45,401
Location: Stendec

03 Jul 2011, 11:48 pm

CrinklyCrustacean wrote:
For those who've changed from believers to agnostics or atheists and vice versa, why did you change?

None of the promises uttered by religious leaders has ever come true. This is why I do not trust religious leaders or the religions they lead.


_________________
TRE45ON!!
Anyone attempting to argue in defense of Donald Trump automatically loses the argument.