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Old 01-08-2014, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Southeast Arizona
3,282 posts, read 4,438,706 times
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I suppose it was a matter of time before I ever posted about this, but here it goes. I hope this can stay a civil discussion.

When it comes to the topic of Religion and/or God, I have never been comfortable of it. I come from a Mormon and Southern Baptist background. My dad left the church a long time ago, and my mom is a dyed in the wool evangelical. I didn't care much for going to church as a kid. I consider myself a "Christian" but really have never done anything with it.

When I was younger there was a feud between my Grandma and Mom over which religion I would be raised in. My grandma would send missionaries over to our place, and my mom would go all "holy roller" on them and chase them off. Mom is very intolerant of LDS teachings. So I grew up Southern Baptist and Mainline Baptist throughout most of my life, and I was kept out of Mormon circles until just roughly 2008. My dad's side chipped apart and are by-and-large no longer Mormon, in fact most of my cousins on both sides are criminals. It's jaded me.

After I got to watch firsthand my Mormon grandmother dying slowly of Alzheimer's it just shook me up ever further, I questioned God more than anything else at that point. I won't call myself an atheist, don't think I ever will. But maybe I've just become indifferent to it.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:58 PM
 
Location: COS > DEN > ATL
3,971 posts, read 3,275,285 times
Reputation: 3542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
I suppose it was a matter of time before I ever posted about this, but here it goes. I hope this can stay a civil discussion.

When it comes to the topic of Religion and/or God, I have never been comfortable of it. I come from a Mormon and Southern Baptist background. My dad left the church a long time ago, and my mom is a dyed in the wool evangelical. I didn't care much for going to church as a kid. I consider myself a "Christian" but really have never done anything with it.

When I was younger there was a feud between my Grandma and Mom over which religion I would be raised in. My grandma would send missionaries over to our place, and my mom would go all "holy roller" on them and chase them off. Mom is very intolerant of LDS teachings. So I grew up Southern Baptist and Mainline Baptist throughout most of my life, and I was kept out of Mormon circles until just roughly 2008. My dad's side chipped apart and are by-and-large no longer Mormon, in fact most of my cousins on both sides are criminals. It's jaded me.

After I got to watch firsthand my Mormon grandmother dying slowly of Alzheimer's it just shook me up ever further, I questioned God more than anything else at that point. I won't call myself an atheist, don't think I ever will. But maybe I've just become indifferent to it.
You know, I was in the same place as you. Like a year ago, mine was just pentecostal instead of southern baptist. Here's my knowledge I've picked up along the way: 1. live as though you would still have a fulfilled life if all it is is lights out at death, and 2. the truest way God will be pleased in you his creation is in how you treat the rest of creation -- God is works only, faith doesn't please Him, 3. Make 1 and 2 agree.

Take a break from it all for a while, then come back to it (trying to understand spirituality) when you think your mind is free of religious clutter and ready to tackle it.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:01 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
49,480 posts, read 14,934,812 times
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I am a lifetime atheist, and I approve this message. I can add little to Phil's excellent post. Other than to say that one can step back from organized religions but still be religious. You can still believe in God. You can still pray to God. You can even do it in a Church. You can even attend church services.

But you can say: 'This is not what it's about. The wrangling between sects and within sects is not what it's about. The evil that men do is not what it's about. Organized religion is not what it's about. God is what it's about. Churches and hymns are just a way of creating an environment that is conducive to feeling at one with God.'

I will not deceive you; this suits the atheist agenda very well as it is the first steps to irreligious theism, and irreligious theism leads to agnosticism, and agnosticism is the basis of the atheist rationale.

But, that said, you might find that stepping back from man made religion and just thinking about God might relieve you of a lot of the doctrinal tensions.

Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:34 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 5,666,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
After I got to watch firsthand my Mormon grandmother dying slowly of Alzheimer's it just shook me up ever further, I questioned God more than anything else at that point. I won't call myself an atheist, don't think I ever will. But maybe I've just become indifferent to it.
It sounds like you have a lot of baggage related to other people trying to indoctrinate you early into their religion(s). Difficult baggage to ditch.

I would start by simply not worrying about what to call yourself. Whether you call yourself Mormon, christian, Atheists, whatever.... who cares. Labels are just ones attempt to conform to the expectations of others.

Ditch all that and simply ask yourself who you are. Not who others want you to be, or who you want to tell them you are. Just who you yourself think you are.

An obvious place to start is to forget about atheism or mormonism or christianity. Instead simply explore the question of whether you personally think there is or is not a god and what does that answer mean to you and your life, and how you plan to live it.

No baggage. No expectations. No religion. Or as Van Morrison would say "No Guru, No Method, No Teacher". Just a simple question for you to explore for yourself.

As for indifference... perhaps you are on that road.... but the simply fact you made this post suggests you are not quite the whole way there _just yet_.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
9,310 posts, read 10,463,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post

I will not deceive you; this suits the atheist agenda very well as it is the first steps to irreligious theism, and irreligious theism leads to agnosticism, and agnosticism is the basis of the atheist rationale.


Aha! the old Slippery Slope!
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:02 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
49,480 posts, read 14,934,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
Aha! the old Slippery Slope!
In fact we pretty much agree on the way the Desert kid might profitably go. As to the 'Slippery slope', I know that it is not an event that can be used in argument, but in actual fact, slipperly slopes - escalations, emergences (and emergencies) and indeed progressions do actually happen.

In deconversion, doubting religion OR the claims made in the Bible can lead to irreligion, Deism, agnosticism and in the end atheism. This is a fact. Is has happened, repeatedly. It has happened to people on this board.

If I mentioned it, it was not to suggest that this was the way to go, but if anything to warn that I could have an agenda, and to bear that in mind if paying attention to the suggestion I made.

It is called Intellectual honesty. Theists might try it sometime.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-09-2014 at 08:48 AM.. Reason: need a 'to'
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Southeast Arizona
3,282 posts, read 4,438,706 times
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Like I said, I don't think I'll ever call myself atheist.

I don't think religion is evil, it's just the way my family has handled it.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:15 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 5,666,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
Like I said, I don't think I'll ever call myself atheist.

I don't think religion is evil, it's just the way my family has handled it.
Then as I said, start from square 1 yourself and work from the ground up. Start by exploring the concept of god and whether you think there is one. Then use that answer to explore the implications that answer has on your own life.

From there you can decide if any religion(s) match the conclusions you have reached and go from there. If not find your own path.

I make it sound simple... but its a long journey to start from square 1.... but it sounds like where you need to go.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:41 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
49,480 posts, read 14,934,812 times
Reputation: 5772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
Like I said, I don't think I'll ever call myself atheist.

I don't think religion is evil, it's just the way my family has handled it.
Then the suggestion we made, that you draw back from the man - made difficulties in religion that bothered you and just think about God, may be a good solution. Mr 5150 seems to suggest the same thing.

As to slippery slopes, perhaps I was exposing my agenda for myself rather than for you. It is up to you how you deal with your problems and doubts, and if you stay just where you are, much less never go as far as calling yourself 'atheist', I (we) am absolutely cool with that.

P.s Nozz'zzss last post reminded me - if it helps, you are more than welcome to chat and question - with believers and goddless bastards alike.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
19,415 posts, read 14,978,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
Like I said, I don't think I'll ever call myself atheist.
I don't think religion is evil, it's just the way my family has handled it.
Hi Desert Kid,
I am not an atheist...why? Because I have had my socks blown off with experiences
of the Divine, God, Spirit, whatever...books, religions, others' testimonies might
inspire one to seek 'the Unseen', shall we say. Great.
But they are only fingers pointing...have your own personal relationship or
experience of the Creator, I say.
Abandon religions, doctrines, books even...after you have a direct expererience of
the Divine Presence all around you and in you.
If you are indifferent, fine. Enjoy yourself, be happy and kind to others.

When you want to go deeper into Truth, to know yourself...who you are, why you're
here, where you came from and what is this life, Who is this so~called, God?
Then, look at all the fingers pointing ...and choose your Path...my 2 cents.
Miss Hepburn

Phil, I have to disagree on God is only interested in works. I could be a quadripeligic,
I could be a monastic in silence for decades...God is interested in your heart...and faith is a gift given,
when accepted and held "He" LOVES it. He loves our love, period.
(This is not some book learning, I hope people here know by now...)
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