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The Lobby => Introductions => Topic started by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 10, 2020, 05:01:32 AM

Title: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 10, 2020, 05:01:32 AM
Hi Everyone.
    Thank you admins for accepting.  I hope to make some friends here and have some good intellectual conversations with the other users.  Brief history.

Growing up as a child, my father would occasionally take me to church. We would bounce from church to church, all general protestant churches (Lutheran, Baptist...etc)  So there right off the bat, i was getting confused how there were different models of Christianity among different churches, all pronouncing the same faith.

As i grew into my teen years, I was sent to church as punishment...yah, you read that right. Bad grades - go to church.  Trouble at school - Got to church.  Disobeyed mom - Go to church.  It even got the point where i explored Paganism (yes, i went there to), and when my parents found out, i was sent to church....

Fast forward, I met my wife in High-school and she and her family were devout Christians, going to a Church of Christ. I became involved with the church, had lessons with the youth minister, and even got baptized.

Fast forward to my career as a Police Officer, my views of the world began to change.  I began to understand that faith and reason did not go hand in hand.  I wanted evidence and I wanted proof.  I then, quietly, began coming out as Atheist (and truthfully not really fulling understand what the mean, but just not believing in God).  I began reading some of the books (Currently reading Atheism: The Case Against God, by Smith) 

But overall, i have become more secure in my belief (or lack of) and am ready to explore it publicly.  I personally do not condone the mockery and distaste that many Atheist have towards theist, as I believe everyone has their right to their own belief. My wife is aware of my change and she supports me, just as i support her in hers.

I am 32, a little late to the party, but want to attend nonetheless!

Cheers everyone - I hope to learn more here !

Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Cassia on September 10, 2020, 06:12:26 AM
Welcome. Being surrounded by theists, I do not mock their beliefs in person, however it sure is a nice release valve do do some 'online mocking' on a site for atheists. Theists are always "praying" for me or warning me about my destiny of perpetual fire or blessing me for every sneeze and I just take it. Even my money has religious symbolism on every note and I must suffer a small sermon just to participate in my city's council. Throw in the vast ignorance of basic science and the prevalence of new age mysticism and a multitude of 'conspiracies' and at times it feels like I am stuck on a ship of fools. So here I will post what I like and the visiting theists can bugger off if they don't like it.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 10, 2020, 06:18:25 AM
I do get what you are saying.  I just hope to never feel that prejudiced against that I have to vent as such.  But your right....you even made realize that even the dang money is faith bound.  You just added another tick to my list of daily life that affected by religion.

Thanks for the comment and acceptance.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: aitm on September 10, 2020, 09:31:21 AM
Welcome to our little place of sanity.....for the most part. And occasionally an off the cuff remark will have some exploding like a California wildfire. Fair warning. 🤫
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Mike Cl on September 10, 2020, 09:41:01 AM
Not really late to the party--at 32 you just have a good start at life. :))  Welcome.  We all have our stories of our battle with belief/faith and what that all means.  You are in good company.  Hope you stick around for awhile.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Baruch on September 10, 2020, 09:57:28 AM
Welcome also.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: SGOS on September 10, 2020, 10:36:52 AM
Once the US Supreme Court declares the US a theocracy, you'll be sorry you didn't mock theists when you had the chance.  My struggle was similar to yours.  Like you, my main issue is that I could find no evidence for a higher power, and it wasn't for lack of trying.  At one time I actually prayed for faith and evidence be damned.  In fact, in my late teens, I had a warm fuzzy feeling that I chose to accept as proof of God, but it only lasted a couple of days.  I was psychologically unable to trump reason with faith.  And today's evidences pandered by Christians that come in the form of images of Jesus on pizza dough, coastal flooding, or tornadoes always have simpler explanations.  Such bullshit needs mockery if ever there was a reason for it.  I'm insulted being preached to with this sort of nonsense.  There are Christians that don't preach to me, and I respect that part of them, but belief in the supernatural is just another form of mankind's innate dumbfuckery.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Blackleaf on September 10, 2020, 05:16:28 PM
Yeah... Your parents fucked up using church as a punishment. They basically trained your brain to consider religious activity to be unpleasant. But it kept you from drinking the Koolaid, so worked out for you.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 12, 2020, 12:28:12 AM
Visual way of putting it, yes!  We all know that religion is something statistically passed from generation to generation...so i have no hard feelings that they did what they though was right. 
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: SGOS on September 12, 2020, 10:32:45 AM
As per the thread title, "Ready to Commit," I was just thinking that I never committed to atheism.  It was something I accepted in my life.  I came to terms with it.  By definition atheism as well as general skepticism seems like the opposite of commitment.  Since they require evidence, it means that you remain continually open to evidence.  It's the opposite of theism.  Lutheran confirmation was a commitment that I made at eleven, but I was at an age when I didn't really understand commitment, logic, or reason, and I certainly did not understand atheism.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Baruch on September 12, 2020, 10:57:45 AM
Once the US Supreme Court declares the US a theocracy, you'll be sorry you didn't mock theists when you had the chance.  My struggle was similar to yours.  Like you, my main issue is that I could find no evidence for a higher power, and it wasn't for lack of trying.  At one time I actually prayed for faith and evidence be damned.  In fact, in my late teens, I had a warm fuzzy feeling that I chose to accept as proof of God, but it only lasted a couple of days.  I was psychologically unable to trump reason with faith.  And today's evidences pandered by Christians that come in the form of images of Jesus on pizza dough, coastal flooding, or tornadoes always have simpler explanations.  Such bullshit needs mockery if ever there was a reason for it.  I'm insulted being preached to with this sort of nonsense.  There are Christians that don't preach to me, and I respect that part of them, but belief in the supernatural is just another form of mankind's innate dumbfuckery.

The Jesuit shape changing Pope won' allow that ;-)
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 12, 2020, 11:23:16 PM
As per the thread title, "Ready to Commit," I was just thinking that I never committed to atheism.  It was something I accepted in my life.  I came to terms with it....

Very well stated.  I guess by stating i am ready to commit,  I am ready to defend my position and not be deemed something of a nuisance or phase.   I am at a spot where not only do i believe in my lack of belief...lol, but I am ready to defend it and am able to articulate some of the key appoints of Theist.

So yah, 'Ready to commit' still stands in my understanding, because I am finally able to say it out loud.  There is not a god or gods.

Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: PickelledEggs on September 13, 2020, 12:41:45 AM
Atheism isn't a choice to "commit to". You either believe or you don't.

In any case, welcome. I hope that mental abuse as a kid was something you were able to recover from.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 13, 2020, 01:05:40 AM
Absolutely its a choice...You cannot make a conscious decision to not believe in something, if first you aren't exposed to it or know about it.  I.e.  If we never heard of God, then we would not need the terms Atheist and Theist to articulate the terms of belief in him/them. 

Choice is everything.  And within every choice is the level of commitment in defending that choice.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Hydra009 on September 13, 2020, 01:35:06 AM
Non-belief is a default state, and therefore requires no active decision-making.

In fact, viewing atheism as a conscious rejection of God is a common theistic argument - nonbelievers have somehow spurned God (very thin skin for an almighty) and therefore are presumed to deserve eternal punishment in retaliation.  The logic behind such reasoning is very thin and falls apart in a few places, but it was only a facade anyway, merely a rationalization of outgroup hostility.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 13, 2020, 01:44:40 AM
Non-belief is a default state, and therefore requires no active decision-making.

In fact, viewing atheism as a conscious rejection of God is a common theistic argument - nonbelievers have somehow spurned God (very thin skin for an almighty) and therefore are presumed to deserve eternal punishment in retaliation.  The logic behind such reasoning is very thin and falls apart in a few places, but it was only a facade anyway, merely a rationalization of outgroup hostility.

Agree 100%.  But when you've grown up saying there is the big man in the clouds, to exit that thought, you have to make a choice to disregard what you've be taught. I realize that I am new to this and am probably biting off more than I can chew.  But the some-odd 97% of the worlds population is Theist.  That's a hard thing to set aside.

That's why cannot yet just bash on Theist...we (most of everyone who is now Atheist) came from Theism.  I imagine ( i do not know the statistic) that there aren't historically, many children brought up Atheist.  While i think this will soon change, i do not see it yet.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Blackleaf on September 13, 2020, 03:02:31 AM
I find it funny that God is the only thing we're expected to believe in by default. If someone says they saw an alien spaceship, you say, "Pics or it didn't happen." If someone says ghosts are real, you say, "Prove it." But when someone says there's a god, suddenly it's the skeptic's job to justify his position. It also plays into the way we do labels. If you don't believe in leprechauns, nobody is going to call you an aleprechaunist. Because not believing in superstition without evidence is, in every other circumstance, the default position.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 13, 2020, 03:13:42 AM
I find it funny that God is the only thing we're expected to believe in by default. If someone says they saw an alien spaceship, you say, "Pics or it didn't happen." If someone says ghosts are real, you say, "Prove it." But when someone says there's a god, suddenly it's the skeptic's job to justify his position. It also plays into the way we do labels. If you don't believe in leprechauns, nobody is going to call you an aleprechaunist. Because not believing in superstition without evidence is, in every other circumstance, the default position.

I go back to what we are taught as kids.  And in America, the default is most likely the Christian God.  BTW - Leprechauns aren't real?
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Baruch on September 13, 2020, 09:40:11 AM
I go back to what we are taught as kids.  And in America, the default is most likely the Christian God.  BTW - Leprechauns aren't real?

Or you aren't Irish ;-)
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Mike Cl on September 13, 2020, 09:50:21 AM
I think atheists should not use the word 'belief' or it's stronger cousin, 'faith'.  Why?  For example, I have been asked several times by theists something like this--You do have beliefs--you believe the sun will rise tomorrow.  I answer that I don't 'believe' the sun will rise tomorrow, I think it will.  And if it does not, then I will change my thinking.  Plus, a 'rising sun' is a short hand way of knowing the earth is actually rotating and that rotation makes the sun appear to be moving, but it isn't really.  I don't have any beliefs.  Either I know something is correct, incorrect or I don't know. 

It is also used this way--I believe in you.  No, I either trust you, don't trust you or I am undecided. Theists like to use belief and faith as clubs--'see, you do have beliefs and you are simply choosing to not believe in god', as though god is the default state and you are simply rejecting that state.  I'd suggest, as has been stated often on this site, that nonbelief is the default state.  Do we chose to not believe Paul Bunyan is factual?  Maybe there is a bit of a choice there, but it is obvious he is not real.  I view god the same way.  I don't think he/she/it (god) is real--it is a fiction.  I have not seen any proof otherwise.  I think Jesus is the same--a fiction.  There is much more proof that he is indeed, a fiction than that he is factual.  I don't chose not to 'believe' that Jesus was real or not, I look at the facts and then go with the side that has the most data to support that view.  So, Jesus is a fiction.  I think that is correct, but if new evidence shows up that proves me wrong, then I will change my thinking.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Mike Cl on September 13, 2020, 10:01:57 AM
I go back to what we are taught as kids. 
I was not taught there was a god.  My mom would take us (5 boys) to church if we wanted to go--and we did, off and on for several years.  We did not discuss much of what we heard, but I do not remember being taught by my parents one way or the other.  I only found out what my mom's views were when she was in her 70's.  I was also taught by my parents that Santa and the Easter Bunny were real.  I don't remember how, but it slowly dawned on me that neither were real.  I did not chose to believe and I did not chose not to believe.  It simply became evident that neither were real.  The same with god, for me.  I spent most of my life in search for god, finally it became evident god is a fiction.  I did not chose to understand that--it simply became evident the more I searched for answers. 

Choice is interesting.  It is a very important word in our lives.  Everything hinges upon our choices.  Yet, I don't think, at this point, I could force myself to believe in god.  I could say I did, act like I did, but still not actually think that way.  I know gravity works, I cannot chose to believe it doesn't.  Why is that?  Because all (and I mean ALL) of the evidence points to god being a fiction and no matter how sincere I believe that, it will not change that.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Blackleaf on September 13, 2020, 12:29:42 PM
I think atheists should not use the word 'belief' or it's stronger cousin, 'faith'.  Why?  For example, I have been asked several times by theists something like this--You do have beliefs--you believe the sun will rise tomorrow.  I answer that I don't 'believe' the sun will rise tomorrow, I think it will.  And if it does not, then I will change my thinking.  Plus, a 'rising sun' is a short hand way of knowing the earth is actually rotating and that rotation makes the sun appear to be moving, but it isn't really.  I don't have any beliefs.  Either I know something is correct, incorrect or I don't know. 

It is also used this way--I believe in you.  No, I either trust you, don't trust you or I am undecided. Theists like to use belief and faith as clubs--'see, you do have beliefs and you are simply choosing to not believe in god', as though god is the default state and you are simply rejecting that state.  I'd suggest, as has been stated often on this site, that nonbelief is the default state.  Do we chose to not believe Paul Bunyan is factual?  Maybe there is a bit of a choice there, but it is obvious he is not real.  I view god the same way.  I don't think he/she/it (god) is real--it is a fiction.  I have not seen any proof otherwise.  I think Jesus is the same--a fiction.  There is much more proof that he is indeed, a fiction than that he is factual.  I don't chose not to 'believe' that Jesus was real or not, I look at the facts and then go with the side that has the most data to support that view.  So, Jesus is a fiction.  I think that is correct, but if new evidence shows up that proves me wrong, then I will change my thinking.

Language changes meaning depending on the context. Christians will switch between multiple definitions when convenient for them, hoping you won't notice, and to try to make us appear to be contradicting ourselves. One time I was talking to a Christian, and we were using the courtroom analogy (because of course that came up) and I said that a juror has to remain objective when trying to make a decision. The Christian replied, "But you said you don't believe in objectivity." No... I said that I don't believe in objective truth. It's not the same thing. Objectivity is making decisions based on facts and evidence rather than something subjective like intuition. Objective truth is a concept that cannot be questioned. You just have to be prepared to call them out on their shit when they try to play these word games with you.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: PickelledEggs on September 13, 2020, 04:37:54 PM
Absolutely its a choice...You cannot make a conscious decision to not believe in something, if first you aren't exposed to it or know about it.  I.e.  If we never heard of God, then we would not need the terms Atheist and Theist to articulate the terms of belief in him/them. 

Choice is everything.  And within every choice is the level of commitment in defending that choice.
I don't think you understand what belief and non-belief is.

Hopefully that changes during your time here

Almost smells fishy, that response.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: SGOS on September 13, 2020, 06:13:32 PM
Almost smells fishy, that response.
It does sound like a theist pretending to be a teetering atheist, but keep in mind that many of us newly enlightened atheists came to the table with a lot of theist baggage.  Even after we are convinced about the lack of evidence for God, there are still many theist memes hidden away in our heads.  It takes time to analyze each of those logical errors of thought and correct our perspectives.  Many of these errors don't leave just because the light came on.  Each of those fallacious memes, all of which support the idea of a god, were carefully ingrained in us by our parent's and Sunday school teachers.  The psychology of religious indoctrination and apologetics is complex.

I'm interested in learning more about this fellow.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 13, 2020, 06:26:28 PM
It does sound like a theist pretending to be a teetering atheist, but keep in mind that many of us newly enlightened atheists came to the table with a lot of theist baggage.  Even after we are convinced about the lack of evidence for God, there are still many theist memes hidden away in our heads.  It takes time to analyze each of those logical errors of thought and correct our perspectives.  Many of these errors don't leave just because the light came on.  Each of those fallacious memes, all of which support the idea of a god, were carefully ingrained in us by our parent's and Sunday school teachers.  The psychology of religious indoctrination and apologetics is complex.

I'm interested in learning more about this fellow.

Thank you for putting that in words that to couldn't.    I am an open book if anyone wants to help me be more articulate in what I try to convey.  Again, I make no hidden statements about coming from theism.  If it's 30 some odd years of my life, there will still be that history in my head.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Blackleaf on September 13, 2020, 06:47:51 PM
I remember some of you guys thought I was secretly a theist too when I first joined. Anyone still doubting me? lol
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: trdsf on September 13, 2020, 10:36:00 PM
Hey, I was 40 before I finally shed theism in all its forms (raised Roman Catholic, practicing Pagan from my early 20s).  As long as you get there in the end, right?

And welcome!
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 14, 2020, 03:26:41 AM
Hey, I was 40 before I finally shed theism in all its forms (raised Roman Catholic, practicing Pagan from my early 20s).  As long as you get there in the end, right?

And welcome!

That's the goal. 
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: drunkenshoe on September 14, 2020, 05:35:42 AM
AFactNeedingPerson,

It seems to me that -correct me, if I'm wrong- you feel like you need to behave in a certain way, say/do certain things to be included and accepted to a certain group because you have changed your world vision. This is OK. In my personal opinion this could be some remnant of a form of religious behaviour. This is OK too. And it is also OK, if you do not want to do anything at all. Because nonbelief is the neutral world vision of an informed individual. There isn't anything negative or positive in itself. Positive thing is getting rid off bullshit and toxic stuff which is again about your personal interactions in your personal life. (There are religious people doing the same.) You're not expected to be/do/say anything. Countless atheists in the world do not engage with anyone or say anything about the matter of nonbelief/belief their entire lives, an overwhelming amount of people use the word nonbeliever instead of atheist on purpose. 

(But something...The thing with nonbelievers is that we are not counted and registered while believers all around the world are.  Because nonbelievers do not make money, they're not open to profit from abuse or some sort of con. Religion makes money, religion makes politics, it imposes norms and tell people they're special. That's its power in a nutshell; acting as 'the City Hall' so it is always profitable to push the numbers up. I don't put theists in a different basket personally, if you think you were created by a supreme being, you think you are one...goes down teh hill from there. (For example, esp. in Middle East countries -where I live- there are masses of deists, agnostics and strong atheists -growing as we speak- completely ignored because people are automatically recorded at birth with the name of the main religion in the region.) 

Atheism is not a belief system and you shouldn't pay any attention to its definition further than 'lack of any belief to any deities or gods'. Full stop. But you'll meet people who call themselves 'nonbelievers' of any kind... with beliefs in horoscopes, quantum something, sending energies...all kind of mumbo jumbo,lol. So get ready to that.     

About bashing or making fun of theists or believers because of their beliefs... See, this is not really what it seems because atheists do not care about what individuals believe. Their problem is ORGANISED, INSTITUTIONAL RELIGION. Because it shapes society, human behaviour, even human life and death. It's harmful to human societies. And it relies on being institutional; brainwashing at a very young age. 

Anyway, there is a lot to say about related to all that but this is enough for now I guess... Welcome.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 14, 2020, 06:18:04 AM
AFactNeedingPerson,

It seems to me that -correct me, if I'm wrong- you feel like you need to behave in a certain way, say/do certain things to be included and accepted to a certain group because you have changed your world vision. This is OK. In my personal opinion this could be some remnant of a form of religious behaviour. This is OK too. And it is also OK, if you do not want to do anything at all. Because nonbelief is the neutral world vision of an informed individual. There isn't anything negative or positive in itself. Positive thing is getting rid off bullshit and toxic stuff which is again about your personal interactions in your personal life. (There are religious people doing the same.) You're not expected to be/do/say anything. Countless atheists in the world do not engage with anyone or say anything about the matter of nonbelief/belief their entire lives, an overwhelming amount of people use the word nonbeliever instead of atheist on purpose. 

(But something...The thing with nonbelievers is that we are not counted and registered while believers all around the world are.  Because nonbelievers do not make money, they're not open to profit from abuse or some sort of con. Religion makes money, religion makes politics, it imposes norms and tell people they're special. That's its power in a nutshell; acting as 'the City Hall' so it is always profitable to push the numbers up. I don't put theists in a different basket personally, if you think you were created by a supreme being, you think you are one...goes down teh hill from there. (For example, esp. in Middle East countries -where I live- there are masses of deists, agnostics and strong atheists -growing as we speak- completely ignored because people are automatically recorded at birth with the name of the main religion in the region.) 

Atheism is not a belief system and you shouldn't pay any attention to its definition further than 'lack of any belief to any deities or gods'. Full stop. But you'll meet people who call themselves 'nonbelievers' of any kind... with beliefs in horoscopes, quantum something, sending energies...all kind of mumbo jumbo,lol. So get ready to that.     

About bashing or making fun of theists or believers because of their beliefs... See, this is not really what it seems because atheists do not care about what individuals believe. Their problem is ORGANISED, INSTITUTIONAL RELIGION. Because it shapes society, human behaviour, even human life and death. It's harmful to human societies. And it relies on being institutional; brainwashing at a very young age. 

Anyway, there is a lot to say about related to all that but this is enough for now I guess... Welcome.

Thank you!  I hope to engage with you more.  Something about your wording syncs with me.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Cassia on September 14, 2020, 06:56:28 AM
My reaction after finally completing my mid-life, multiple year intellectual investigation into the validity of Catholic dogma, the Bible and the entire Christian doctrine that was forced on me (because of tradition) was one of anger. Who enjoys being "duped" or "pranked"? When President Bush Jr comes on TV and says "Gawd" told him to invade Iraq or "thoughts and prayers" are the cure for the gunning down of school kids I still get angry and frustrated.

The very idea that one may transfer responsibility for transgressions to a scapegoat human sacrifice to avert infinite punishment from a slave-master you MUST love... is selfish, immoral, cruel, and fortunately does not align with anything in the real and natural universe of science. Christian claims over the "golden rule" are bullshit.

So, AFNP could you explain if this makes you just a little bit angry?
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: SGOS on September 14, 2020, 07:07:40 AM
One thing I noticed after I finally stopped trying to believe in a god was that friends I had known for years had been atheists all along, I had gone hiking with them, sailing with them, skiing with them, worked with them, and they never said a word about it, even when I was struggling to find evidence.  You would think one of them would have told me to give it up, and just accept the world as ugly as it is,  or at least as real as it is.  Nope, they were neutral in the way drunkenshoe describes.  They didn't care about making points, comparing notes, debating, or explaining.  They weren't interested in pushing the boulder up the hill.

Many theists are like that too.  They don't push or deny or discuss.  They just live.  On both sides of the issue, individuals come in degrees, and the loudest are the people that shape the perceptions.  The religious right in their arrogant self righteousness push and struggle to make you think the way they do.  Most Christians are not like that.  Apparently, most atheists are not like that either.  Then there are the atheist forums, where people like us like to talk about it in public, and where theists are not automatically excluded by banning.  In fact theists are invited to share their thoughts and openly debated.  They come here to convert, end up in debate, and eventually leave.

I think many of us here are like me.  I started searching out atheist forums at the end of my religious quest, when I was about to abandon the futile search for the Great God, Enigma, and I was trying to make sense out of the rabbit hole that led to Alice's Wonderland.  I felt lied to, like I had been played for the fool, and I was trying to understand why the majority of people could believe in a God, but had no reservations about rejecting the Easter Bunny outright.  Why could they be absolutely sure of one and look at the other with disdain?  I came to the conclusion that they are afraid to not believe the fairy tale.  But maybe I'm projecting, because I was afraid of not believing too.

At first, I shouted my atheism whenever the chance allowed me.  I think it's human nature, at least for some humans. Many theists that show up here, seem like they are fresh off the boat and caught up in their most recent epiphany.  I get it, but it will pass.  Either that or they become radicals.  Today, there is nothing special or new to me about atheism.  I hang out here because some of the people are thoughtful and intelligent.  And I like comparing notes.  Theists and trolls are here too, although they contribute nothing to discussion, nothing at all.  They just take up space.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: AFactNeedingPerson on September 14, 2020, 04:48:29 PM
One thing I noticed after I finally stopped trying to believe in a god was that friends I had known for years had been atheists all along, I had gone hiking with them, sailing with them, skiing with them, worked with them, and they never said a word about it, even when I was struggling to find evidence.  You would think one of them would have told me to give it up, and just accept the world as ugly as it is,  or at least as real as it is.  Nope, they were neutral in the way drunkenshoe describes.  They didn't care about making points, comparing notes, debating, or explaining.  They weren't interested in pushing the boulder up the hill.

Many theists are like that too.  They don't push or deny or discuss.  They just live.  On both sides of the issue, individuals come in degrees, and the loudest are the people that shape the perceptions.  The religious right in their arrogant self righteousness push and struggle to make you think the way they do.  Most Christians are not like that.  Apparently, most atheists are not like that either.  Then there are the atheist forums, where people like us like to talk about it in public, and where theists are not automatically excluded by banning.  In fact theists are invited to share their thoughts and openly debated.  They come here to convert, end up in debate, and eventually leave.

I think many of us here are like me.  I started searching out atheist forums at the end of my religious quest, when I was about to abandon the futile search for the Great God, Enigma, and I was trying to make sense out of the rabbit hole that led to Alice's Wonderland.  I felt lied to, like I had been played for the fool, and I was trying to understand why the majority of people could believe in a God, but had no reservations about rejecting the Easter Bunny outright.  Why could they be absolutely sure of one and look at the other with disdain?  I came to the conclusion that they are afraid to not believe the fairy tale.  But maybe I'm projecting, because I was afraid of not believing too.

At first, I shouted my atheism whenever the chance allowed me.  I think it's human nature, at least for some humans. Many theists that show up here, seem like they are fresh off the boat and caught up in their most recent epiphany.  I get it, but it will pass.  Either that or they become radicals.  Today, there is nothing special or new to me about atheism.  I hang out here because some of the people are thoughtful and intelligent.  And I like comparing notes.  Theists and trolls are here too, although they contribute nothing to discussion, nothing at all.  They just take up space.

Thank you, very informative and insightful.
Title: Re: Lifetime off/on Religious - Atheist, Ready to commit.
Post by: Baruch on September 14, 2020, 05:24:41 PM
We have had people, who were never raised religious, and who since childhood were never attracted to it.  Much of the storytelling is people who were raised religious, who at one time were attracted to it, but have since left it behind.  Useful anecdotal evidence to be sure.

In my case I was almost never exposed to religion (aside from movie culture) ... but came to it as an adult thru marriage.  Entirely different circumstances.  My religiosity has continue to mature over the last 35 years, and the discussions here have been part of it.  If religion comes up, my only problem is poor arguments on the part of drive by theists, and weak arguments on the part of atheist regulars (who are usually very sharp).

I wish you continued success on your journey.