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Old 09-14-2013, 12:59 AM
 
243 posts, read 389,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will307 View Post
The atheist experience show on Youtube turned me super atheist in the blink of an eye, also reading the bible and learning more about science and other religions helped too. What did it for you?
I grew up Christian, but chose only to believe in the nice things like heaven and miracles. I never had a serious belief in the creation myth or Jonah, etc. Church was uncomfortable because most of them believed the Bible to be a literal account, and I just didn't fit in. Still, I hung in there and tried my best.

Then, same as you...watched some videos by chance on YouTube, and overnight I was unquestionably done with religion. I realized it was ok to let go of this thing that had become a burden and a source of unease in my life, and I wasn't a bad person for it. I read some books and some forums, and now I'm a godless heathen like the rest of you lot.

Last edited by Ohio Hello; 09-14-2013 at 01:24 AM..
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:32 AM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,826,195 times
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Because the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster told me so and I was touched by His Noodly Appendage. I do not question His Noodliness.

Pasta Be Upon Your Plate.

RAmen
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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I was indoctrinated into fundamentalist Christianity at the age of 5. Deconverted gradually between the ages of about 22 and 42, largely because the fundamentalist abstractions leaked too much -- the cognitive dissonance between fundyworld and the real world were too painful. After a few years out of the fundamentalist reality distortion field I realized there were no better alternatives on the theist side of things, and woke up one day realizing I didn't believe in any god(s) at all.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:51 AM
 
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It's interesting how some easily shrug off the religious thing and for others, it is a long and often traumatic struggle. Some never really manage to kick it.

Like about half on a long ago poll in a forum far way, I was born atheist (like everyone else) and, despite wrestling with a lot of rival religion claims, I never actually ceased in unbelief. From what pope Frankie has to say, I guess I was right to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
"Made me?" Nothing made me become an atheist. I decided to go that way because I thought all those atheist street gangs were cool. I wanted to belong, I wanted to be cool, I wanted one of those badass club jackets.
Was it? I suppose in the seventies, going around dressed like the Fonz with that odd looking atheist badge that is always mistaken for a anti -nuclear -campaign badge might have looked cool, but being atheist wasn't...I don't know if it ever will be, but it seems to becoming fashionable.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:06 AM
 
51 posts, read 307,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
It's interesting how some easily shrug off the religious thing and for others, it is a long and often traumatic struggle. Some never really manage to kick it.

Like about half on a long ago poll in a forum far way, I was born atheist (like everyone else) and, despite wrestling with a lot of rival religion claims, I never actually ceased in unbelief. From what pope Frankie has to say, I guess I was right to do so.



Was it? I suppose in the seventies, going around dressed like the Fonz with that odd looking atheist badge that is always mistaken for a anti -nuclear -campaign badge might have looked cool, but being atheist wasn't...I don't know if it ever will be, but it seems to becoming fashionable.



It was struggle for me too, but a very short struggle. As a atheist now I sometimes still have problems with it.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: NJ
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My assumption is how difficult or easy it was to shrug off religion had a lot to do with how much one was indoctrinated as a child.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post


Was it? I suppose in the seventies, going around dressed like the Fonz with that odd looking atheist badge that is always mistaken for a anti -nuclear -campaign badge might have looked cool, but being atheist wasn't...I don't know if it ever will be, but it seems to becoming fashionable.
Actually back then atheism and communism were still pretty much fused as anti-American.

I was forced to attend Catholic schools, I can recall becoming suspicious of a lot of Catholic doctrine as early as 6th grade, but my transformation took place between the ages of 14 and 15. I read a great deal of history outside of the school assignments and I discovered that what was being presented to me in Catholic classes was a shameful pile of lies and omissions. I started applying adult logic to the religious doctrines I was supposed to believe and they all fell apart. I first rejected Catholicism, then I rejected the concept of all organized religion, and finally rejected the entire notion of spiritualism.

By the time I started my sophomore year at Catholic high school, I was ready to make trouble in the religious instruction classes we were forced to attend, and I did. I challenged everything and kept derailing their dogma instruction classes by turning them into debates rather than just propaganda presentations. They hated me except for one of the Christian Brothers called Brother Leon who eventually disclosed to me that he was actually a closet atheist himself. He said he stayed a Brother because he enjoyed the intellectual atmosphere of the life, but encouraged me to keep giving the others....well, hell. Brother Leon got bounced from the community the following year, I guess they found out.

In my Junior year, I came very close to my goal of getting kicked out when I brought a consecrated host to religion class to use as a visual aid in making a point about belief in the Eucharist. I actually was told that I was a goner, but a few hours later they changed their minds. I never found out what went down, but I assume that what "saved" me was the fact that my grandfather and my father were both well connected big wheels in the Miami Catholic community. I can't imagine that the incident wasn't reported to my parents, but they never said a word about it and I never confessed since there appeared to be no need.

They got their revenge right at the end. There was a seniors award banquet just before graduation each year with "Highest Achievement in Math...Highest Achievement in Science..awards etc. I was a mortal lock for the Social Studies award, there wasn't anyone remotely close. I had represented the school at every single outside Social Studies event, I had perfect grades in the subject and I had even been asked to take over teaching my senior year history class for two weeks when they had to fire the coach who was teaching it and couldn't find a replacement right away.

The practice was to slip word to the winners in advance so that they would be sure and attend. The word was slipped to me and I showed up with my parents in tow and was all set to get my award when it was announced...and instead it went to another student.

I later talked with Brother Andrew, who while not an atheist, was always friendly toward me. He told me that the whole thing was a set up to embarrass me, engineered by Brother John Thomas, the principal of the school. He had not forgotten the business with the consecrated host and had been biding his time.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
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I was born an atheist and never really believed any of the stuff the nuns and priests told me. It just took me years to say it out loud and not worry about what others thought or whether they'd accept how I felt.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
My assumption is how difficult or easy it was to shrug off religion had a lot to do with how much one was indoctrinated as a child.
Probably this is the largest factor.

Based on my own experience and that of my wife with the four children we had between us, whether religion has any initial appeal seems to be a function of whether the child is by nature the sensing / feeling type or the introverted / thinking type. The latter seems to get no traction whatsoever. The former tends to flirt with it and ultimately dismiss it. All four of our children are unbelievers despite them representing all the combinations of the above:

1) Introverted / thinking, indoctrinated in fundamentalism = never bought it.
2) Introverted / thinking, left to his own devices = never bought it.
3) Sensing / feeling, indoctrinated in fundamentalism = explored it, rejected it in late teens.
4) Sensing / feeling, left to her own devices = explored it, rejected it in late teens.

The introverted / thinkers happened to both be male and the sensing feelers both happened to be female but I don't think gender is the determining factor.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Iowa, USA
6,553 posts, read 3,285,673 times
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It started when I was a senior in high school. I actually went in Christian, and came out agnostic. An English teacher started teaching in a way that I was less familiar with: he taught us how to think. Most lit classes were just 'read this, tell me what it's about' but this guy made it into a 'read this, tell me the underlying philosophical message.' Rather than just reading and following a plot, it was more thinking about what I read, which turns out helps a lot.

So, I started questioning things. I looked into other religions (including ancient ones, like Greek Mythology). I started asking things like 'why does there need to be a god?' or 'how do I know this is the right god?' Naturally, I turned to the Bible expecting to fully see why the Bible is truer than the other books. Didn't quite work out that way. I didn't like nearly any of what I read; the New Testament had some nice bits. It in the end didn't make sense to me, so I chose to now follow it. Still like Jesus and I firmly believe all religion has some value to teach, you just need to know what that value is and how to teach it constructively.
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