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nathan-51
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07 Jan 2007, 3:27 am

I thought I might start a discussion on what, if any, religious and/or spiritual lives any of us here with autism or Asperger's has. And on what impact our conditions may have had on our faith(s). Even a discussion on how anyone here who has no religious background and could never see themselves being a member of any faith, either because of the way they were brought up, or with their ASD as a possible factor, or anything. Try not to take it personally, anyone. For the record, I am open to ALL perspectives here.

Alloe me to kick off this discussion with my own experiences on this matter. I am a nondenominational Protestant Christian, was raised in such a household, and continue to grow in my faith to this day. I've always known I'm different from most everyone else around me, and I know God made me this way with a specific, clear reason in mind, although I may never know why. In fact, I have often been stronger in my faith as a result of my Asperger's, depending on God mroe than most others my age have because of my special needs. And I know God is always there for me, even when the odds are all against me. I struggle to connect with others of my faith because of ym Asperger's, but I never give up hope, and it is my hope that eventually Asperger's and autism will get much mroe attention from religious people, leaders, and organizations, just as these conditions deserve.



Tim_Tex
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07 Jan 2007, 3:30 am

I was Lutheran from 2002-2006. I stopped attending church when my pastor, whom I had a cult-like level of respect, moved out of state. His successor has a spotty attendance record.

Tim


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SteveK
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07 Jan 2007, 3:32 am

Well, I early on ABANDONED religion. I tied to get back into it, primarily as I saw it as a way of making new friends, but that was a failure. Knowing I was dealt some jokers I didnt know about, I have LESS of a reason t believe.

Steve



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07 Jan 2007, 3:35 am

I think my higher-than-usual sex drive has eroded a lot of my spirituality (because of the rules against premarital sex).

Tim


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Zerloch
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07 Jan 2007, 3:37 am

I'm very stubbornly agnostic. I believe in a supreme being, but i also believe that any attempt by humanity to explain any detail of it are fundamentally flawed and subject to every bit as much sensationalism and inaccuracy as a TV news broadcast. I also believe in evolution, which is what led to me believing there is a supreme being at all.



Tim_Tex
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07 Jan 2007, 3:43 am

Zerloch wrote:
I'm very stubbornly agnostic. I believe in a supreme being, but i also believe that any attempt by humanity to explain any detail of it are fundamentally flawed and subject to every bit as much sensationalism and inaccuracy as a TV news broadcast. I also believe in evolution, which is what led to me believing there is a supreme being at all.


I guess I consider myself "spiritual, but not religious".

Tim


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Emettman
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07 Jan 2007, 8:13 am

My thinking in this area has shifted appreciably since getting a late diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome. The critical factor here being that it is now much clearer why I never locked into, derived benefit from, the sense of "belonging" which is very powerful for many in a religious/church setting.

I was raised to go to church, when that was the normal local activity.
It didn't take me long as a teenager, if not earlier, to see the inconsistencies in the message and the behaviour.
At university, however, I was challenged that what I had rejected wasn't "real" Christianity, and that I should re-think. I'd already seen some of the difficulties of science alone as a philosophy and became convinced. I was an active, committed Christian for at least fifteen years.
It was in trying to get my Christian belief and practice right: studying the bible, researching its history and that of the church... that problems arose.
It took me years to reluctantly conclude that, at core, Christianity isn't what it claims to be.

While I was struggling with this, of those at my (bible-believing) church that I could trust enough to approach on this I discovered that about one third did not believe, but valued the community, the belonging, so much that they would do and say whatever was required in order to keep belonging. That, for me, wasn't an option.

I'm now a firm atheist, only maintaining that technical level of doubt which is appropriate to *any* statement. (Akin to whether the sun is going to rise tomorrow)

Reasons and details... Now that would take a lot of space. (edited: spelling)



Last edited by Emettman on 07 Jan 2007, 1:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

SteveK
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07 Jan 2007, 8:56 am

Emettman,

you just described MY religous life!

I guess you described my current level of belief appropriately also.

Steve



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07 Jan 2007, 10:28 am

I haven't been to church regularly for years, but I do have a belief that there is something more to this universe than just what we can see with our own two eyes.

That belief wavers sometimes, but most of the time it's strong.


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MrMark
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07 Jan 2007, 10:28 am

Life has been difficult, and so I have struggled for answers. I've studied most of the world's major religions. I see these different belief systems as the collected wisdom of humanity. They are attempts to explain things that we are not adequately evolved to understand through symbols which we can understand. I think extreme believers should not take these teachings quite so literally, and extreme non-believers should not be so rigidly logical and certain about their view of the universe.


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onefourninezero
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07 Jan 2007, 10:45 am

I'm a staunch athiest. When I was younger I contemplated faith and religion and decided against it.



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07 Jan 2007, 10:49 am

I am keeping an open mind about religion. My gut instinct tells me that the teachings of traditional religions are best taken as metaphors and symbols relating to the life of the soul and the spirit because they cannot be fully understood by the conscious mind. They are 'bigger than that which can be comprehended by the ego' is the way I personally understand it.

Having said that, I respect the teachings of Jesus, and the Buddha. I have not studied any other religions but expect that in them there will be the admonition to try to do good by our fellow creatures. I try to live like that because it makes sense to me, from a philosophical standpoint rather than a religious one.



madpeasant
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07 Jan 2007, 11:07 am

I have gone from being a Titheing, Bible Thumping Believer, to an Millitant Agnostic, to what I am now, i.e. a Druid. Now let me explain. Druids were the wisemen of the Celtic Tribes of ancient Europe. They basically studied/worshiped nature and sought out wisdom, where ever they could find it.
There is very little extant knowledge about the Druids because their traditions and beliefs were kept orally, very little if anything was written down.
A friend has introduced me to Buddhism and its thoughts. The center concept of Buddhism is if something goes against your ability to reason, your intellectual concept of a fact, then you have to reject it. Faith is what every con artist in the world trys to instill in their Mark before they take them for being the sucker they prove to be.
Since discovering my Aspie side, I have delved deeper into the studies of the mind, and evaluation of what I really believe. I feel that Aspies have problems with keeping their/our focus on the here and now, which I believe explains why we are so lousy in social situations. I have heard it called mindblindness. If you are concentrating your mind of some far off diety and future, then you are stealing time from your own life to placate some con artist; cosmic or mortal.
Buddhism teaches meditation, which gives you time to talk to yourself about what you believe and what's happening in your life, it gives you a chance to hear your own voice/spirit, instead of focusing on some time in the future that you may or may not attain.
As a Druid, and I use that term only in the context of my Celtic DNA (Irish/German), I look at my "religion" as seeking knowledge and trying to lighten my impact on a wounded planet. No tithes to pay, no churches to build or attend, no boring sermons to listen to, and no guilt about things that are out of my control.



mummadisaster
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07 Jan 2007, 11:19 am

I was raised a Catholic, and although I only go to Church sparingly, my faith is still very strong. Saying that, I keep this part of my life private, and most people who know me would not even guess.

I have not questioned the Bible, the Catholic Church, nor have I considered a life without God, as it would be too awful to contemplate.



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07 Jan 2007, 12:26 pm

I was born Catholic but I have no interest in the church what-so-ever. I'm actually a little bit skeptical over God's existence and i'm more likely to believe that we all go to a spirit world when we die, not heaven or hell.


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07 Jan 2007, 1:11 pm

Zerloch wrote:
I'm very stubbornly agnostic. I believe in a supreme being, but i also believe that any attempt by humanity to explain any detail of it are fundamentally flawed and subject to every bit as much sensationalism and inaccuracy as a TV news broadcast. I also believe in evolution, which is what led to me believing there is a supreme being at all.
QFE.