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Whale_Tuune
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27 Apr 2018, 6:05 pm

Hi. I'm a girl with Asperger's.

I grew up in an Atheist house, identified as Atheist until recently. But my special interest was religion and I was always inclined towards spirituality, sooo... Now I'm considering becoming an Orthodox Christian.

A lot of Christianity appeals to me, about loving your neighbor and how Jesus is your friend, because making friends is hard for me. I feel kind of like the saints are my friends. I'm so weird. I have just had a really hard life and religion helps me through it. I give thanks to God for making me happy. I guess that's normal, though I suspect I am more serious about Christianity than the cradle Christians I know.

But it's also a special interest. With exception, I try to make all my projects surround religion. I am known in my class as "the religion nut" because I am very knowledgeable and go off about them. I have to do a sculpture for art class and I want to do one that focuses on the evolution of "Alleluia" to "Hallelujah", also touching down on Jesus's original name(s), "Yeshua" and then "Iesus", as well as the Arabic and Hebrew names for the Canaanite storm god, "El" or "Il", or "Elohim" and "al-Ilah", (which became Allah)...well, and other stuff. I am excited about it but I don't want my classmates to make fun of me. My interest goes from being a normalish, strong interest to a very obsessive interest and everywhere in between, but my faith since I picked it up has stayed constant.

So I think my religiosity comes partly because it helps me cope, because of God, and partly because of my obsessive interest. I have a gifted IQ and scored well on my SAT and everything, I am smart but I know religiosity is associated with being dumb. I also feel like as my peers are becoming less religious, I am becoming moreso.

I feel self-conscious. Couldn't my SI be like computers or something? Also, on a sidenote, does anyone else's special interest fluctuate in intensity? Like, never go away, but be more intense sometimes? Or am I weird?



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27 Apr 2018, 7:36 pm

You sound pretty aspie-normal to me. Through much of history your interests would have been considered quite normal, and you probably would have become a theologian. (And you may yet.) Prior to the modern age of science, I suspect a lot of theologians were aspies (and a fair number of saints, too).


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27 Apr 2018, 9:43 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
Hi. I'm a girl with Asperger's.

I grew up in an Atheist house, identified as Atheist until recently. But my special interest was religion and I was always inclined towards spirituality, sooo... Now I'm considering becoming an Orthodox Christian.

A lot of Christianity appeals to me, about loving your neighbor and how Jesus is your friend, because making friends is hard for me. I feel kind of like the saints are my friends. I'm so weird. I have just had a really hard life and religion helps me through it. I give thanks to God for making me happy. I guess that's normal, though I suspect I am more serious about Christianity than the cradle Christians I know.

But it's also a special interest. With exception, I try to make all my projects surround religion. I am known in my class as "the religion nut" because I am very knowledgeable and go off about them. I have to do a sculpture for art class and I want to do one that focuses on the evolution of "Alleluia" to "Hallelujah", also touching down on Jesus's original name(s), "Yeshua" and then "Iesus", as well as the Arabic and Hebrew names for the Canaanite storm god, "El" or "Il", or "Elohim" and "al-Ilah", (which became Allah)...well, and other stuff. I am excited about it but I don't want my classmates to make fun of me. My interest goes from being a normalish, strong interest to a very obsessive interest and everywhere in between, but my faith since I picked it up has stayed constant.

So I think my religiosity comes partly because it helps me cope, because of God, and partly because of my obsessive interest. I have a gifted IQ and scored well on my SAT and everything, I am smart but I know religiosity is associated with being dumb. I also feel like as my peers are becoming less religious, I am becoming moreso.

I feel self-conscious. Couldn't my SI be like computers or something? Also, on a sidenote, does anyone else's special interest fluctuate in intensity? Like, never go away, but be more intense sometimes? Or am I weird?



I must confess, I find it intriguing that the Bible seems to be the only book where a hero (Jesus) died for the villains (the unsaved). There had been people trying to kill Jesus since he was born and yet, when they crucify him (which wasn't fun, as that's where the word excruciating came from), he asked God to forgive his attackers.

I also looked up who Samaritans were. They actually were directly the people of the Northern Kingdom but were mixed breeds of the Assyrian Gentiles and the Northern Kingdom. I think the real trouble started with Sanballat, who was an early hybrid Assyrian/Israelite or at least from that region and Assyrian. He gave Nehemiah loads of trouble and that started the bad feelings between those who returned from the Southern Kingdom and the ill will spread from there. That's why the story of the Good Samaritan and His treatment of the woman at the well were so controversial for his time.

The man saved by the good Samaritan, had he met his previously, probably would have called him a dog and avoided him and never done such a thing like that for him. Yet the Samaritan saves the guy, pays for his bills, and then leaves, not even expecting repayment or so much as a thank you in return.

Considering that the Jews walked around Samaria, even if it meant going out of the way, as they had such bias against the region, yet Jesus went and spoke to a woman who had such a poor reputation that even her own people shunned her (most people wouldn't get water during the hottest part of the day.)

Also, there is the Prodigal Son. Looked that up. You weren't supposed to get your inheritance usually until AFTER your father had passed on. That the Prodigal would demand it then showed that he wanted the money more than his father being alive and basically had said, in a way, to his father "You're worth more to me dead than alive." Yet, despite that, he let his son have the money and go and make a fool of himself. But when his son went, he was waiting for him and had guys sent out after him before he even fully got home and had a banquet for him, rejoicing that he was back. (That was very unusual for parents of the time. Most would have either stoned the Prodigal for such blatant disrespect and dishonor ("He who curses his father or mother, let him be put to death."), disowned him, or, at best, taken his offer to merely make him a hired servant.

Jesus is the most interesting religious figure I've ever heard of and I believe His claims of being God Himself to be true.



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28 Apr 2018, 1:55 am

Thats interesting about Elohim becoming Allah. Didn't know that.


But anyway....

No none of that is anything to be ashamed of.

Folks go both ways. Leave religion to become atheists, or leave atheism to become religious. Or leave one religion for another.

And both aspies and NTs can have passionate intellectual interests -interests that may go with the grain, or against the grain, of their beliefs. We had a thread here on WP some years ago about that. Someone said that "I am Jewish, but I am fascinated by the history of the Popes", and another person said "I am fascinated by fossils, and by evolution, even though I am a YEC who doesn't believe in evolution". In your case the interest and belief just happened to go in the same direction instead of contradictory directions.



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29 Apr 2018, 12:14 am

I think you are just fine.

As to the intellect of the faithful, I like how Father Brown revealed a thief disguised as a priest: “You attacked reason. It’s bad theology.”

Look up G. K. Chesterton sometime. I’m not Catholic. But Chesterton was, and his Father Brown stories are commentary on Catholic apology. They’re a good read. My son, who is 10 years old and wants to be a scientist, absolutely adores the show on BBC, which is how I got interested in the original books. I do believe that faith and reason go hand in hand. Don’t fall for the naysayers who talk nonsense about faith being intellectually dishonest. The kalam cosmological argument is powerful and well-developed. It’s not without criticism, of course...but I find counter arguments to be quite weak in comparison.

Personally, I’m more in the transcendental vein. See, people are going to make up their minds as to what they believe or disbelieve. People who seek God will find God. People seeking no god(s) will only find no god(s). To say “there is no God,” one MUST fall back on a huge assumption about that supposed truth statement. One cannot prove that there is no God, and yet to assert “there is no God” is to make a truth statement that requires evidence. The atheist argument is rooted in question-begging and therefore cannot possibly be a correctly drawn, valid conclusion. It is therefore absurd, and to continue saying “no God” means the atheist is being intellectually dishonest.

Of course, you could say that I’m committing the circular reasoning fallacy no different than the atheist. There are a number of problems with this, though.

First of all, I know that I’m right. So why would I condescend to their level and start by accepting their premise that there is no God and proceed to build a case for God? That makes no sense. Christians build airtight defenses and get frustrated when anti-theists break them with simple one-liners. Duh! Accept an anti-theistic premise and they’ll beat you every time.

Second, ALL arguments are ultimately circular and self-defeating. Here’s an excellent example: faith is not the enemy of reason; empiricism is. Empiricism is demonstrably wrong. Empiricism holds that EVERYTHING must be proven with evidence. The problem with that is the senses themselves, the observational powers of the scientific method, do not get a free pass. You cannot prove your methods by the very methods you’re trying to prove. That is circular reasoning and fallacious. Scientists accept that the scientific method offers the most explanatory power and they leave it at that. They have no choice but to accept that one circularity. They are technically wrong, but are there better, stronger alternatives? Probably not even most scientists hold to hard empiricism, btw. Too many logical problems. Science, in order to work, readily accepts its own method. There is no need to prove its effectiveness because it is foundational to the entire scientific world. Well, faith only requires ONE assumption, and that is that there even CAN be a God to believe in at all. Anti-theism is built on a host of assumptions. Any guesses on which one I find more parsimonious?

Finally, the existence of God is axiomatic to faith. We don’t HAVE to prove that God exists. We already know and accept that as truth. So if an anti-theist wants us to believe otherwise, that’s his problem, not ours. Of course, the anti-theist will predictably say “you can’t prove a negative.” The heck you can’t! Of course you can prove a negative. That’s a flimsy excuse, so don’t let them get away with that. Of course, the real reason why in the case of God you cannot prove the NON-existence of God is because it’s untrue. The only option left to the anti-theist is to accept the premise that God DOES exist and proceed to build a case against Him, which is, again, impossible for reasons I’ve already mentioned. First, God DOES exist, and second, you can’t build a case against anything if you’re required to accept the opposing premise as true. It’s highly unlikely you will catch an anti-theist in this trap. It’s kinda like playing chess and getting a checkmate in 2 opening moves, yet it is possible and good if you’re watching and prepared for it.

So...I think I’ve demonstrated a couple of ways that Christianity is definitely not anti-intellectual. And that’s really the tip of the iceberg. The idea that faith is anti-intellectual on the mere fact that it is FAITH is itself PSEUDO-intellectual and dishonest. Christian faith is much deeper than that. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Best wishes to you on this journey! I hope things go well for you. Feel free to PM me regarding this matter.



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29 Apr 2018, 3:11 am

Honestly, I find Christianity a bit weird and I was raised Catholic, but no longer follow that belief.

However, I think it is healthy to have steady approach to human spirituality and this can be expressed in a wide range of ways.

As for contemplation of a God or multiple Gods, that can also have many different approaches. Sometimes people move to something more basic like Pantheism or something with more flexibility like Unitarian Universalism.



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30 Apr 2018, 9:29 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
Hi. I'm a girl with Asperger's.

I grew up in an Atheist house, identified as Atheist until recently. But my special interest was religion and I was always inclined towards spirituality, sooo... Now I'm considering becoming an Orthodox Christian.



I lived in a Greek Orthodox monastery for two years. It was a good experience but ultimately it wasn't for me. These days I am not very religious. If I got to church, its usually an unprogrammed Quaker service.



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30 Apr 2018, 10:42 pm

I think you're perfect just the way you are. I think it's great that you have a strong, personal relationship with God. We're each perfectly knitted in out mothers wombs and this is the way that you were knitted.


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01 May 2018, 12:23 am

If you're religious, that's just the way you are. Nothing wrong with that.


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01 May 2018, 11:31 am

Nothing wrong with that. I have ben getting heavily into spirituality myself over the past months, if not religious.

I do have one question, in your post you only mentioned Abrahamic religions. Does your special interest cover other religions like Hinduism or Buddhism?


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Whale_Tuune
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01 May 2018, 7:52 pm

It's just a personal preference. Abrahamic religions are rich in stories and biographies.

I also like Sikhi, though I haven't researched it as much lately. One aspect of Orthodoxy that I find appealing is the positive view of material creation, which most religious traditions, East included, don't have.



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02 May 2018, 7:31 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
It's just a personal preference. Abrahamic religions are rich in stories and biographies.

I also like Sikhi, though I haven't researched it as much lately. One aspect of Orthodoxy that I find appealing is the positive view of material creation, which most religious traditions, East included, don't have.


I am an Orthodox Christian. You're right that the material creation is both good and important, and the saints are witnesses. Careful, though. It is easy for us on the spectrum to make Orthodoxy a special interest for all it's history and exoticism, ritual and outward practice. It all has to be reflected in the inward life. Feel free to PM me.



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03 May 2018, 1:58 pm

Cash__ wrote:
Whale_Tuune wrote:
Hi. I'm a girl with Asperger's.

I grew up in an Atheist house, identified as Atheist until recently. But my special interest was religion and I was always inclined towards spirituality, sooo... Now I'm considering becoming an Orthodox Christian.



I lived in a Greek Orthodox monastery for two years. It was a good experience but ultimately it wasn't for me. These days I am not very religious. If I got to church, its usually an unprogrammed Quaker service.


Oh yeah. I am a quaker. It appealed most to me, due to it not being so literal when coming to the bible and actually not judging people. I ask myself though why Orthodox Christianity appeals to OP.



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10 May 2018, 8:28 pm

Most people think they can become religious experts usually after they've witnessed a suffering or greater loss of life.
Usually once a loss has begun, and several more follow you unfortunately lose hope and faith that the greater good of humankind, is or has been if ever acknowledged.
You sound theological enough to me, so maybe try out a bible scholarship early on, before a loss or personal hindrance occurs.



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14 May 2018, 10:17 pm

Although non-religious and never had any desire to become one, I always looked at the bible with great interest. Although it is NOT a history book, you CAN deduce some historic dates and facts out of it with the help of existing archaeological and genetic findings. Personally I don't believe in god, because I believe in the power of man.

BTW, you got it wrong, Hallelujah was the original word in Hebrew, which means "praise god". It was later translated into Greek, the language of the New Testament (which a lot of people mistakenly think was written in Latin when it was in fact not the case).

In all 3 Abrahamic monotheistic religions, god doesn't really have a singular name.

In Islam Al-lah means simply "the god". It has 99 names and the 100th is "hidden", nobody knows it.
In Judaism god is plural as "Elohim" is the plural form of god and the hebrew bible does refer to it in many ways, "the spirit of god" , or sometimes as a "he", but even then there are many names, just like Islam.

In Christianity well, Jesus is also refered to in many names. It makes since really because both Christianity and Islam are direct offshoots of Judaism, with the difference that muslims claim the bible was a lie while Christians believe in it but claim there is a Chapter B.

For all intents and purposes if you are religous don't be afraid of it and of your pursuit after knowledge. Prejudice will be there anyways so why care about what people think? no matter what you do you'll get response. And as to why, maybe you should ask god :D ? haha