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Mitch8817
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08 Apr 2007, 4:45 am

I was just wondering if anyone who is an athiest or agnostic now was once a Christian, or just belonging to an organised religion in general. What made you turn away/renounce your beliefs/stop believing etc?

No need for a Bible bashing, I'm just curious. You hear about people getting converted, but what about the anti-converters?


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Chupa-Thingie
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08 Apr 2007, 5:18 am

For me, I started thinking about all of the horrible things that go on daily, and have throughout history. Everything from the Holocaust to my sister dying of cancer when she really only wanted to live long enough to see her 2 year old son grow up. Then I decided that a kind and loving God would not allow these things. That and all of the crap about religion being a social construct that I heard and dismissed in college started making a lot of sense.

I was Catholic, and the Pope taking care of Bernie Law sealed THAT deal for me.



Mitch8817
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08 Apr 2007, 8:34 am

How can you will yourself not to believe in the God you once did? Anyone? Just curious.


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ASPER
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08 Apr 2007, 2:09 pm

Chupa-Thingie wrote:
I was Catholic, and the Pope taking care of Bernie Law sealed THAT deal for me.


this is what is in their minds,lazy thinkers,take religion as what other people do instead of the SYSTEM itself written in texts,LAWS that are there for those who want to use them,they,the unbelievers take the side which the people in that side suits his feelings best,dont search for other belief systems and try to find the spiritual truth but just quit because someone in their "religion" did or does something wrong.

become one with God. religion has many meanings, people,rituals,system,beliefs,laws....its so not black and white.

if God gave you a book with rules why would u leave the system because some of its "high ranking" members did something wrong? or because there has been lots of massacres in the name of God? then you will leave God because of them?

u need a heart to see God not eyes.

peace



Griff
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08 Apr 2007, 2:51 pm

Mitch8817 wrote:
I was just wondering if anyone who is an athiest or agnostic now was once a Christian, or just belonging to an organised religion in general. What made you turn away/renounce your beliefs/stop believing etc?

No need for a Bible bashing, I'm just curious. You hear about people getting converted, but what about the anti-converters?
1) It was making me insane. Literally. I was experiencing nervous breakdowns. I already have a loose connection with reality, and the last thing I need is something that intensifies this. Most people who "get religion" do so in order to assist in deep thought. For me, this is already like breathing. Sometimes I just stare up at the sky, and I get a sense of its vast expanse; I feel myself being lifted up and have these intense, vivid daydreams. I'll experience this sense of motion, sometimes whirling or tumbling. Even once I come back down to Earth, I can stay in a dazed fugue for hours following it. The thing that religious people spend years searching for is part of my daily life. I was raised Methodist, but everything just went crazy from there. I would see things from time to time. I'd end up so drugged up on my own juices that I couldn't function. I'd just walk around like some deranged stoner or just sit in one place for hours staring off into space. I didn't need that.

2) To tell you the truth, it's kind of stupid. Sorry.

3) I tend to find religious people to be mentally unstable, inconsistent, and somewhat immoral. Sorry.



DejaQ
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08 Apr 2007, 4:42 pm

As I stopped going to church, I decided that religion was a method to spread certain ideas as ways of living, but I had gradually forgotten this and became too focussed on living out the holy book word for word to please the supernatural. I decided that I had a core set of morals built into my mind, and that I could live as a good person even without some kind of goal or fear of eternal damnation.

I suppose reading a bit of Douglas Adams helped me become an atheist as well. :P


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Griff
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08 Apr 2007, 4:50 pm

DejaQ wrote:
I suppose reading a bit of Douglas Adams helped me become an atheist as well. :P
lol Douglas Adams roxx0rz your s0xxorz!!!11.



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08 Apr 2007, 4:53 pm

Mitch8817 wrote:
How can you will yourself not to believe in the God you once did? Anyone? Just curious.


It's not a matter of "willing yourself" to not believe. For me, it was a matter of seeking truth, something with a solid foundation. In church, all they had was traditions. In school, my Humanist teachers were giving me an internally consistent worldview. When I went for confirmation at 13, the priest said, "Now's the time for you to think of what this all means to you." I objectively thought about it. I told the priest, "I just can't get confirmed, because I just can't see anything to it." He replied, "Well, if you ever change your mind, come on back." The top religious authority in my life didn't even try to defend his religion! I stopped going to church right then. My father and sister joined me the next week.

I had forgotten what had happened ten years before....
I was living in Saudi Arabia in an American enclave in Dhahran. They held a secret church service in the movie theater, against all the laws of Saudi Arabia. My family went on vacation in Eritrea, Asmara. As we were going, we flew over the Red sea. Nothing to look at. I thought about this church service that people went to, despite the fact that it was legally unacceptable. "May be there is a God," I thought. I bowed my head and prayed my first prayer, "God, if there is a God, I sure would like to know." I went back to looking out the window of the plane. Suddenly I noticed a black cross on the side of a cloud. My hackles went up and I thought, "I believe!" I was the most pious little kid, but being Aspergers, I didn't tell anyone about it. Over time, the memory faded...



Griff
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08 Apr 2007, 5:22 pm

#4

TimT wrote:
It's not a matter of "willing yourself" to not believe. For me, it was a matter of seeking truth, something with a solid foundation. In church, all they had was traditions. In school, my Humanist teachers were giving me an internally consistent worldview.
Some people feel more comfortable when one thing fits and works properly with another. They feel more whole.



skafather84
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08 Apr 2007, 5:29 pm

i evolved. religion is for those who still need faith to get through the day and through life. through the fear of dying. make everything seem worthwhile as opposed to just being for nothing in the end. everything isn't for nothing but it's not in the way that religious people will have you think. there's no eternal kingdom, just nothing. the important thing for when you die is ensuring that the world for everyone after you is a better place.


the christian regieme of the 1950s through to today have no ensured a future and i'm at the point where i'll be facing a horrible future and decline of our country's greatness. and that decline has come thanks to christianity and the evangelicals. it's their fault that the world that i'll live in when i'm 40 will suck. because they didn't take care of anything because god would take care of the country.

the initial path for me, though, was first just separating from christian church. i couldn't stand the bigotry, intolerance, and hypocrisy there. condemning others to hell because they were born gay. i found nothing to support why homosexuality is wrong and so it must have been the church that was wrong and the authors of the bible. then i started looking into these guys more and how things developed the way they were. that's when i just decided to forget about religion and just call myself agnostic. i started getting into satanism because the core principles intrigued me. i still don't believe in magic or any of that crap but i think there's a good point in the core ideals and a positive point....though it's presented in a defiant manner (anton lavey was kinda theatrical). i think the most important pillars are to shun igorance and always persue knowledge and to not allow yourself to just be one of the crowd.

what's interesting is that though lavey was against abstinance, he also was against the hippie free love movement and didn't like promiscuity. a point i also agree with.



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08 Apr 2007, 5:38 pm

I climbed a top a mountain and yelled "God prove to me you are real". A bolt of lightening came from the sky and hit some near by pile of rocks. Upon inspection I found some stone tablets that were written in Latin but translated to "there is no god deal with it" :)



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08 Apr 2007, 5:54 pm

Griff wrote:
#4
TimT wrote:
It's not a matter of "willing yourself" to not believe. For me, it was a matter of seeking truth, something with a solid foundation. In church, all they had was traditions. In school, my Humanist teachers were giving me an internally consistent worldview.
Some people feel more comfortable when one thing fits and works properly with another. They feel more whole.


We Aspergers live in a crazy, "NT" oriented world. Two choices. Either give up on truth and self-medicate or seek what truth there is, in order to get a handle on life.

As a Humanist I focused on general science as being the best source of 'truth' I could find. I still have some interest in general science and engineering (I can fix just about anything), but science is only what we know so far. In the next century, today's science and technology will be looked at with contempt just like we look at science a century ago with contempt. Some foundation of truth. :?

I focused on learning human nature in order to be able to deal with society. I studied subliminal persuasion, body language, hypnosis and advertising. I could act normal most of the time, but it was very stressful. And eventually, NT's would look at me funny and stop associating with me.

Humanism sure turned out to be a false god. I mean what was so hot about humanity, considering how they treated me? The foundation to Humanism was nihilism; everything is worthless, pointless and useless -- so serve Humanity. Wait a minute. how does point A lead to point B?!?

Finally, I self-medicated with Bacardi 151 & Coke, the occult, cigarettes and porno. I didn't get into anything heavier because I had a federal license I could lose.



Chupa-Thingie
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08 Apr 2007, 8:06 pm

ASPER wrote:
Chupa-Thingie wrote:
I was Catholic, and the Pope taking care of Bernie Law sealed THAT deal for me.


this is what is in their minds,lazy thinkers,take religion as what other people do instead of the SYSTEM itself written in texts,LAWS that are there for those who want to use them,they,the unbelievers take the side which the people in that side suits his feelings best,dont search for other belief systems and try to find the spiritual truth but just quit because someone in their "religion" did or does something wrong.

become one with God. religion has many meanings, people,rituals,system,beliefs,laws....its so not black and white.

if God gave you a book with rules why would u leave the system because some of its "high ranking" members did something wrong? or because there has been lots of massacres in the name of God? then you will leave God because of them?

u need a heart to see God not eyes.

peace


That was one of the reasons I left the Catholic Church, not so much that I left religion.

I'm happy that Religion gives you solace, peace, hope - but it just doesn't work for me. I have tried to go back, but it is not right for me. Perhaps some day it will be, I'll have an epiphany of some sort, I guess we'll see. But today isn't that day.



Elemental
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08 Apr 2007, 8:31 pm

I was raised Catholic, but I never felt a great connection to the faith. For me, it was another set of arbitary, peculiar rituals that needed to be followed--like a lot of other areas of life when you have AS. In the end, I didn't want to fake it any more. I figured that if God did exist, he wouldn't be happy with me simply going through the motions. I also figured that if I did good deeds and didn't believe in God, he would forgive this lack of faith if he turned out to be real. If God judged me solely on my professed belief rather than my deeds, then he wouldn't be worthy of my worship anyway.

I haven't dismissed the possibility that Catholicism (or any religion) may have something to offer. I think faith is a good thing, and can motivate people to bring out the best in themselves and others. However, I also know that every religion is vulnerable to perversion by humans, either through fanatical belief that causes harmful behaviour, or through cynicism when the will of God is used to excuse somebody's personal failings.

I try and work the beneficial teachings of various religions into my own life, without subscribing to a single faith. I also try and find common traits in all faiths and try and learn from them. Perhaps one day in the future I will find religion again, and will be able to honestly have faith.



Chupa-Thingie
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08 Apr 2007, 8:36 pm

Very well said.



Griff
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08 Apr 2007, 9:39 pm

TimT wrote:
In the next century, today's science and technology will be looked at with contempt just like we look at science a century ago with contempt.
We still revere the great scientists of the past, though.

Quote:
I could act normal most of the time, but it was very stressful. And eventually, NT's would look at me funny and stop associating with me.
Personally, I just hop around in circles on one foot, humming a merry, little tune, and keep plenty of belly laughs in reserve for those who run away. I am truly alone if I am immersed in a sea of faces that reject who I am. At least, as a solitary bird, I can have the sky. I find love, though.

Quote:
Humanism sure turned out to be a false god.
I never took up greatly with that. I just try to hold everything together, best I can. Why? Why does the sun burn? It does, though, and rays of light shine from above. I am at peace.

Quote:
Finally, I self-medicated with Bacardi 151 & Coke, the occult, cigarettes and porno. I didn't get into anything heavier because I had a federal license I could lose.
You can't lose your license for believing in the demons of Satan, either. Sorry, but I really don't see the huge difference.