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can you help me out with an assignment?

Posted by on Nov. 7, 2011 at 4:02 PM
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I have an assignment for a social & religious course that I'm taking and we are briefly discussing athetism this week.

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share how you came to become an atheist.  What led you to where you are today?  Secondly, what has been your experience with other religions, especially Christianity and Christians, and what has caused you to reject other religions, specifically Christianity?  What do you find unattractive about Christians, the Bible, etc?

I moved recently and don't have any friends here yet so I would really appreciate any answers you could give me.  If you would prefer to PM me or have me join the group that is fine too.  I plan to delete this post in a few days.

TIA!

by on Nov. 7, 2011 at 4:02 PM
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FrogSalad
by Susie K-M on Nov. 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I was raised in a non-practicing Christian household (dad=lapsed Catholic, mom=Protestant).  For all intents and purposes, I was ignorant of religion until I was 8 and my older sister started taking me to a hellfire-and-brimstone church where they literally scared the Jesus into me.

Thus began a decade-long war within myself over Pascal's Wager (I didn't know there was a name for it then).  Was I really believing in God because he was real, or because I was afraid I'd go to hell if I didn't.  But since God would know that I wasn't sincere in my belief, I'd go to hell anyway for being a liar and a hypocrite.  Catch-22. 

I was afraid to label myself as an atheist for many years because of the negative connotations associated with the word but eventually, I had to admit to myself that I simply didn't believe there was a god --- or any gods --- it just doesn't compute in my brain.  How could the Greek and Roman gods be quaint ancient beliefs to explain nature and human nature, yet Yahweh really truly exists?  Do gods die when no one worships them any more?  Why is Krishna not a real god according to Christian theology? Etc., etc.  The question of suffering and the infuriating lack of any satisfactory answer to why god does/allows what he does. 

For me, Occam's Razor explains life's mysteries better than twisting my brain into a pretzel in order to keep god's omnibenevolence untarnished.  (This goes for all gods, not only Allah/Yahweh/Jesus.  I reject them all because the existence of all of them makes the same amount of non-sense to me).

As for the Bible, I've always thought it was deadly dull and boring although I think that in Western culture it's beneficial to know the stories because the the themes are interwoven throughout literature and film.  The majority of Christians in my life are wonderful people, although in the past it's been a fear of mine to tell them of my disbelief because I'm afraid they'll shun me or try to convert me; online it's a mixed bag of what I think of as pushy Christians and laid-back Christians.

There are certain aspects of Christianity that I think have merit (some of Jesus's teaching, for example), just as I find aspects of Islam and Wiccan and Buddhist beliefs attractive.

That's all I can think of at the moment.  Hope it helps.  If I've been unclear about anything, feel free to let me know and I'll try to clarify.


ashellbell
by Bronze Member on Nov. 7, 2011 at 8:59 PM
Bump. I'll answer on my laptop!
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3JuJu3
by on Nov. 7, 2011 at 9:37 PM

I grew up as a Baptist, but I became an agnostic at 12 and an atheist at 14.  I like to think that when I was able to reason and be independent I became an atheist.  My first spark of doubting was because I learned about the Greek myths in 5th grade.  The logical reasoning was if these people thought that their religion was true but it obviously isn't, then what's the difference with Christianity or any other religion.  I read a lot of philosophy in my teen-aged years, including Ayn Rand's Objectivism, which helped me on my path to atheism.  Now, as a mature adult, I don't follow her philosophy because I believe that she was influenced by her circumstances, but I am still a secular humanitarian  who "believes" or follows the scientific method.  I am now 38 years old so I have been an atheist for the past 24 years. 

ashellbell
by Bronze Member on Nov. 7, 2011 at 11:33 PM


Quoting Mrs.Salz:

 

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share how you came to become an atheist.  What led you to where you are today? there are so many things that brought me here. i turned to god when i was around 13 years ago. my mother had died when i was 12 and someone told me i'd get to see her again one day. those are very appealing words for when one is going thru that situation. i started to go to church and found out that i had a maker and he'd always before there me. he'd walk me through the hard times, and i just so happened to be going thru a traumatic time. jesus was cool and i had an outlet to see me through my shit storm of a life. i was physically and emotionally abused as a child and i knew god would save me one day. i ended up getting away from my abusers and that's when i knew for sure god was real. then, one day, a simple statement was said to me...a statement that implied the story idea of jesus had been represented in many many religions before mine. it shocked me because  i thought christianity was the oldest religion...the only real one at least. and it just couldn't be possible. so i started researching about this. the results i found floored me...there were so many of the same stories in each religion....names and locations changed, but the important parts were the same. i started to feel a little lost at that point. each research lead me to more and more proof that the god i believed in wasn't real. it just stopped making sense. then i realized what a sense of relief this was. i spent so much of my life being sorry and feeling not worthy in my life. i worried about my eternal damnation...what kind of god offers this type of punishment to us? why did i worship this guy? i started reading things on evolution and the big bang to learn and i just made sense. the evidence...it made me just really shake my head about my belief i once had. there i was thinking that creation by god was amazing, when there's an even greater true story that's out there. the fact that we are some random cosmic collision is an awesome story. that we evolved and what we evolved in to is such a mind blowing journey to take. i had no need for god or religion after all this. i no longer cared about religion. truth worked better for me.

 Secondly, what has been your experience with other religions, especially Christianity and Christians, and what has caused you to reject other religions, specifically Christianity? what do you mean my experience? i attended church regularly when i was a believer. Or are you asking my experience with them as an atheist? i find that most other religions are more accepting of atheists than christians are. in my experience christians show a lot of wrong ideas about atheist. i've been accused of being a devil worshipper, being told that i have no morals because you can only get those from god, told i'm damning my daughter to hell...but i've never had a muslim or a pagan or a buddhists say it to me. my experience is that christians are the most intolerant.

 What do you find unattractive about Christians, the Bible, etc? hhmmmm...there's a lot lol. one of the things that irritates me the most is their unwillingness to discount evolution. they always ask for proof that is there...it just doesn't register with them. they need more. they need a missing link, there is one but it's not acceptable to them. there's always that christian "scientists" that "debunks" the story...sigh...if it debunked the theory of evolution it would be the biggest news ever...but it's not becausn't it doesn't. they cry for proof but believe an insane story about a virgin birth, people living until they're 700, angels humping humans producing giants, a boogey man who leads us it to temptation...it's just crazy.  i also dislike the intolerance of homosexuals that comes from this religion. the arrogance it produces.

I moved recently and don't have any friends here yet so I would really appreciate any answers you could give me.  If you would prefer to PM me or have me join the group that is fine too.  I plan to delete this post in a few days.

TIA!


be thankful you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptious desire for a second one.

jenpickering
by Bronze Member on Nov. 8, 2011 at 8:27 AM

I thought I was a believer (Christian - Methodist) until I went to college. One reason was because I didn't really know that NOT believing was an option. Everyone I knew was a Christian. When I went to college, I became more comfortable with the idea that I could question what I had learned and come up with my own conclusions. Later in life, I realized that I never was a "true believer". I had no "crisis of faith" as many do during their journey into atheism. It was just not a big deal for me to one day wake up and say "yep, don't believe". It hasn't really effected my life much until moving to small town Texas 7 years ago. NOW it's a huge part of my life because I am in the middle of the Bible Belt. I never was bothered by Christians much until moving into the middle of them. I haven't "experimented" with any other religions. I know things about them and can find something good in every single one of them, but as a whole, don't like any of them. Christianity, however, is ripe with inconsistencies, fallacies, etc. It's the ideal religion for hypocrites -you can act however you would like and just have to "repent" at the end of the day. And most, not all, but most Christians are soooooo self-righteous. Christians want to impose their religion on everyone, but cry "persecution" if anyone suggests the idea of coexistence. I don't know many folks of other religions, but my experiences have given me the impression that they are much more accepting than Christianity. My dad is the ideal Christian - believes but keeps it to himself. He doesn't try to change my mind, doesn't try to save my soul, doesn't tell me I'm a bad person, and has never accused me of being a devil worshipper.

Hope this helps! Good luck with your assignment.

Mrs.Salz
by on Nov. 8, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Thank you, that's very helpful!

Quoting FrogSalad:


Mrs.Salz
by on Nov. 8, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Thanks :)

Quoting 3JuJu3:



Mrs.Salz
by on Nov. 8, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Thanks for your response!  Which story are you referring to here?

Quoting ashellbell:


Quoting Mrs.Salz:

 

angels humping humans producing giants



Mrs.Salz
by on Nov. 8, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Very helpful, thanks!

Quoting jenpickering:


ashellbell
by Bronze Member on Nov. 8, 2011 at 9:58 AM
1 mom liked this
Genesis 6:1-4. It speaks of "the sons of god lusting after women". They mated and giants were produced.

ETA- angels are also referred to as the sons of god in job also.


Quoting Mrs.Salz:

Thanks for your response!  Which story are you referring to here?

Quoting ashellbell:



Quoting Mrs.Salz:


 

angels humping humans producing giants





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