Author Topic: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?  (Read 1149 times)

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Regenesisxxl

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How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« on: September 16, 2008, 08:01:34 AM »
I was wondering how you all leaved Theism.I am curios about the motiv.

This is how I gave up Christianity:

About 4 months ago,my girlfriend was caught in the woods on night when she was comming from her uncle,and 3 men raped her,beaten her,and left her there to die.This caused me much pain and I cried a lot(I still do sometimes),and I also realized that according to christianity,most peoples go to hell.And she would have gone there too,because she was deist.And this is condamned in the bible.

She was always happy and had a good soul,so I found it unfair that she will go to hell just because she didnt recodnized Jesus as savior and lived a spiritual life.

Then I started to read the bible and to also check atheist sites,not just christian ones.I found out that I was lied a lot by all the Christians.God is very cruel(especially in Torah)and I also found how many things are contradicting each other.

After I read the almost all of the bible books,I realized that science contradicts a lot of those things.Also there are many really stupid things.

This how I choosed to be atheist.(My girlfriend believed in a deist god,but I think atheism is a safer bet.Anyway,I dont really care if atheists,deists,or pantheists are right,as long as the biblical God does not exist)


Offline gonegolfing

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2008, 08:46:56 AM »
I was wondering how you all leaved Theism.I am curios about the motiv.

This is how I gave up Christianity:

About 4 months ago,my girlfriend was caught in the woods on night when she was comming from her uncle,and 3 men raped her,beaten her,and left her there to die.This caused me much pain and I cried a lot(I still do sometimes),and I also realized that according to christianity,most peoples go to hell.And she would have gone there too,because she was deist.And this is condamned in the bible.

She was always happy and had a good soul,so I found it unfair that she will go to hell just because she didnt recodnized Jesus as savior and lived a spiritual life.

Then I started to read the bible and to also check atheist sites,not just christian ones.I found out that I was lied a lot by all the Christians.God is very cruel(especially in Torah)and I also found how many things are contradicting each other.

After I read the almost all of the bible books,I realized that science contradicts a lot of those things.Also there are many really stupid things.

This how I choosed to be atheist.(My girlfriend believed in a deist god,but I think atheism is a safer bet.Anyway,I dont really care if atheists,deists,or pantheists are right,as long as the biblical God does not exist)



 >:( I certainly hope that proper justice was served out for this horrific brutality. I'm sorry about your loss.

Mine came in finally having the courage to think for myself. In doing this I was then free to make a judgements on the failures and inaction and indifference and morality of a supposed intervening and promise keeping, living and loving god.

In doing so, the need for religion and belief in the supernatural and superstition dissipated. There was some resistance at first, but in the longrun faith was powerless and no match for reason.

Again, sorry for your loss.
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline bahramthered

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2008, 08:58:44 AM »
I won't cheap your experience by trying to apologize. Here's my story:

I was introduced to god via my mom. She read use bible study books from some source and asked us (me and my brother) the questions at the end from maybe 4 to 8.

Then she made the core mistake. She sent us somewhere we could ask questions, instead of being told to reread the chapter till we got bored and said we understand. It took me 5 minutes (admittedly not the first 5 Minutes, we had a meet and greet, and art class, lunch, and then...) with a preacher (note the generalization, I do not know what to call him since his title, denomination, name has faded from my memory).

He proceded to launch into a god speech. I do not remember this other than a basic "god is good argument".

I do clearly remember that he told me god answers all prayers Yes, no, maybe where his answers. It took me milliseconds to determine that was all possible answers where his answers. So the incredible stories I had grown up with where in doubt. A child's logic demanded answers.

In less then a minute of hearing that I was an atheist, log before I even knew the word.

But on the plus side I learned I liked painting and biology that summer. Painting from the art class, biology from the crayfish in the stream behind the church.

I'd say positive gain. I shred a false religion (minus one desperate attempt to believe in teens) and learned two life long intrests. Thanks church!

Offline ;)

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2008, 04:21:54 PM »
Wow, that's a really horrible story :(
I hope they got what they deserved.

Anyway ...

As for myself, not such a sad state of affairs to be honest.
I've just always listened in R.E lessons in school and tried to understand what i was being told.
Such un-backed claims were appearing, and the thought of believing and worshiping such things eluded me.

Basically, i've always thought logically about what i've heard, and chose that it sounded silly.
Not very exciting, really :D
Our freedom's consuming itself.

Offline Goodkat

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2008, 04:48:29 PM »
I was raised a southern baptist, at school I was forced to memorize a verse every week. By the time I was 15, you could safely call me brainwashed. During school bible study, we started on the topic of original sin. I was dumbfounded by the idea, I have always had a very strong sense of justice, and original sin was in direct violation of it. I thought to myself "why don't we get the same chance as Adam, if god is truly just"? That was the seed of doubt, and as I studied certain aspects of the bible more(the flood, the genocides, and other atrocities), I began to perceive god as a malevolent tyrant. I stayed depressed and very angry with god for about 4 months, until I took a look at the other major religions. I realized that the reasons their followers used for believing were all the same, so why should I believe christianity over any other religion? At that point I renounced christianity, but continued in my belief in and hatred of god. That all changed when I started researching the fields of science my school had neglected to teach me. It became apparent to me that I had no reason left to believe in god, so I quit. Now I am a happy, content, empathetic person who doesn't have to worry about offending some all-powerful PMSing god.

Offline Vynn

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2008, 10:05:53 PM »
My story is on the internets in several places, now, but here's one link.

http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php?topic=41.msg260#msg260

Let me know if you can't get there for some reason or other.

Offline Former Believer

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2008, 10:16:33 PM »
My story is on the internets in several places, now, but here's one link.

http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php?topic=41.msg260#msg260

Let me know if you can't get there for some reason or other.
I enjoyed reading your story, Vynn.  I always enjoy your insightful posts, as well.
Faith unsubstaniated by the facts equal foolishness

Offline Alkan

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2008, 12:20:51 AM »
Theist- Faith at first, then logic purely, which rekindled faith.

Offline spider

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2008, 12:40:50 AM »
I don't even remember how I deconverted.  I think I went through many stages.  I think.  I just remember that in the summer holidays after graduating from high school, I still considered myself religious, and in the first year of uni I was a deist, I gradually became an ignostic, then a neopagan and then a militant agnostic atheist. 

How could I forget how it happened?  I don't get it.

Offline Irish

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2008, 12:55:52 AM »
"The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief--call it what you will--than any book ever written."
     -A.A. Miline (creator of Winnie the Pooh.)

I pretty much did some of this. I read select parts of the bible and then did a lot of personal logic and searching.  In the end I realized I could live my life without God and go on feeling and acting the same way and be the exact same person.  I did have a few moments early in my self-deconversion, where I was depressed, lonely, and withdrawn.  I felt weird for not believing in God when all my friends, family, teachers, and my entire town believe in God. Ultimately I read more and more and embraced my atheism as a better choice. And through readings by Madalyn O'Hair, Richard dawkins, David mills, and Sam Harris, I found religion is delusional and completely unneeded. I don't hate theists and I would never want to take away any persons beliefs but religion to me is completely unnecessary and full of complete hypocrisy.
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Regenesisxxl

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 10:16:08 AM »
My story is on the internets in several places, now, but here's one link.

http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php?topic=41.msg260#msg260

Let me know if you can't get there for some reason or other.
Your story is great.Really
Only one think I have to disaprove.Life sucks.Its not great.But its much better then with hell blowing in our ass.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 10:40:04 AM by Regenesisxxl »

Offline gold_digging_ants

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2008, 05:06:30 AM »
I was raised in a fairly liberal church (the Uniting Church- it doesn't exist outside of Australia- it's a mixture of Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist), which is typically outspoken on things like refugee's rights, and at one point was considering giving blessings for gay couples in church (same-sex marriage isn't even a debate here- no one talks about it).  They do consider homosexuality immoral, though, they just think we're all sinful and we shouldn't punish some people for it more than others (and better a 'joined' gay couple than one that's not, I suppose). 

I was bullied quite badly during primary school, and retreated into myself, including my belief that Jesus was a friend that I could talk to (I was diagnosed with depression at age 12, but it likely began when I started school).  I started going to a Christian school (officially non-denominational) at the beginning of year 6 (my public primary school wasn't doing anything about the bullying and it had gotten to the point where most of the boys in my grade would gather around me in a circle and throw rocks at my head).

This Christian school wasn't as bad as they come, but it was pretty bad.  It was one of the last schools in Australia to get rid of corporal punishment (public schools got rid of it in the early 80's, this school held onto it until 1996).  We memorised a Bible verse a week (I was told by some students that I wasn't "Christian enough" because I didn't know the ones they'd memorised in previous years) and we all said grace before lunch, a prayer of thanksgiving before class every morning (and before most exams).  All of our classes were tied to Christianity, and while my friends at other schools were learning about comparative religion, I was engaging in Bible study.  We were encouraged to pray instead of study (God had more answers than we did).  There was a policy that only people who could prove they were active members of their Christian church could be hired (I remember hearing a story that a Catholic woman volunteered for the uniform shop and she was sent home in disgrace because of what she believed.  Catholics "weren't acceptable", and the school "really deteriorated" while I was there, because heaven forbid, some Jewish children enrolled).  I was diagnosed with depression when I was 12 and the school were horrified when I was medicated (rather than praying to God for forgiveness), and I was told countless times (mostly by my classmates), that I'd been possessed by a demon.  I came to believe that I'd done something wicked in a horrible life and I was in hell (the way I felt when I was in my early teens is not something I like to think about much, but I'd rather die than go back to that)

I was there for four years.  During my last year (year 9- I was 14), two things happened.  First of all, the school had to follow the horrible government's instructions and teach us about EVILution (which involved a two second straw man and the rest of the class with the watchmaker argument.  After that, one of the disruptive students in our class would claim in most science lessons that he'd heard a really persuasive argument for evolution, and we'd get more fallacious arguments.  By the time I changed schools, I was so far behind in my scientific knowledge that I never caught up).

But, more painfully, I had my first relationship- with a boy in my year.  I was pretty immature and did some silly things, but he started to hit me.  Just bruises (once or twice he pulled my hair so hard it fell out), but bruises that lasted for months in some instances.  They did counsel him- on what, I'm not sure- but they counselled me on temptation.  How girls, following in Eve's footsteps, can be responsible for boys doing bad things and how we have to be particularly careful in our behaviour or they'll hurt us and themselves.  These meetings (they went on for months) usually ended with me and the counsellor praying for my forgiveness, and, in my opinion, helped perpetuate the cycle of violence.  (At the end of the year, largely due to my relationship and the school's reaction, I moved to an elite private school, which was nominally religious, but only ever involved 'religion-lite'- "be good because Jesus wants you to be good" and not moving far past that)

But my religiosity didn't begin to waver or fade until I was eighteen. Until then, I assumed it was all my fault and I must be a terrible person.  When I was eighteen, I went to university- and a whole new world opened to me.  Among the things that I discovered in my first month or two at university was that I was attracted to women (as well as men).  At first I tried to repress it- it's a sin, it's a misfiring of your brain, anything I could think of.  But the feeling wouldn't go away- and it made me feel really good.  Free. It was on that basis that I began to question why Christianity would say it was wrong- I couldn't see that it hurt anyone, and it was certainly helping me.  I began to think that the Bible had been mistranslated, that emphasis had been placed on the wrong bits (I figured that the translations could have been less favourable to women in the past than they are now).  I started to distance myself from church, and read the Bible more.  It took about three years (I went through calling myself a "spiritual Christian" who was against "religion" for quite some time, and gradually discounted more and more parts of the Bible as false or the product of another era), but I came to the point where the label "Christian" didn't mean anything anymore. 

This was informed by dating a Mormon, and them trying to get me to join their church.  I realised that some of the things I found so abhorrent about Mormonism were present in the liberal Christianity I desperately clung to, and that there wasn't any way to justify it without removing elements of Christianity that seemed to be important for maintaining the whole.

My belief in Jesus had been reduced to nothing more than a search for goodness and truth, and a fear of the 'abyss' of not having a religion.  I still search for goodness and truth, and there was no abyss.  In fact, the burden of my "sinful nature" has been lifted from my shoulders, I no longer feel judged (except by some Christians, but I can just put that down to them being bigoted, sheltered, and/ or arseholes), and I feel free to be the very best person I can be, and to value the life that I do have.

I wish it were more rational, less self-centred, or more insightful, but there it is.

(Edit: left a very important bit out, sorry)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 05:15:35 AM by gold_digging_ants »
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Offline GotMooo

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2008, 12:06:35 PM »
Great story!  And at least you know you can always talk to us about anything.   :)

Offline singlecrochet

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2008, 02:30:46 PM »
Mine is also a very long story (and my humblest sympathy to Regenesisxxl for your loss.)

I became a Christian when I was 5 years old.  It was a loooooooooong unraveling, deconversion process that started when I was about 15ish and wasn't completed until about.....a year ago, at the age of 37.

I can't think of ONE thing that did it for me.  It was one thing after another that just kept piling up and caused me to have to readjust my opinion of Christianity.  First I had problems with the notion of hell.  I sure wouldn't send anyone there, why would God?  What does Adam and Eve's sin got anything to do with me?  How does Jesus' death save me?  And from what?  His death wasn't even that spectacularly nasty.  People continue to die, much more horrendous deaths.  The Bible is just a book, written by men, full of evil, horrible deeds and confusing contradictions.  No omnipotent God would have written such a bunch of balogne.

Add to that the study of anthropology, psychology and history and it all became quite clear.  It's just a human invented notion and hasn't helped solve any major problems; but instead has created quite a few.

I did go through a VERY brief period of feeling blue and lost (about a month to be exact) before realizing I was, and still am, the very same person I always was just minus the belief in this silly God/Christianity thing. 

It's wonderful, actually.  Having access to all my intelligence and logic just can't be beat.
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Offline searchinwithnoagenda

Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2008, 09:16:48 PM »
Not sure I am an atheist yet.  Share similar strong Christian (USA) upbringing as other posts above.  My journey along life’s road includes decades of silent observation trying to reduce life/religion/etc. to it’s simplest form and would like the input of others to the following: 


At or near the highest level of abstraction; to what degree is the Christian religion merely a social club whose message is one of material prosperity through organization, conformity and uniformity?

Organizing resources (people, time, materials, attitudes, beliefs, etc.) to achieve various accomplishments/creature comforts (cars, housing, food, air conditioning, etc.) that any particular individual cannot accomplish on his/her own in order to increase the PHYSICAL (aka cloaking/hiding the desire for more physical creature comforts for ones self/family/group to which the individual belongs in/behind a religious construct) comfort level of each individual in society and that of the collective whole of human society/experience (i.e. a rising tide lifts all boats).


Offline Hermes

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2008, 12:53:47 AM »
Welcome to the forums ...

Not sure I am an atheist yet.

The term atheist is often misunderstood.  I posted a poll that spells out 21 different categories of belief or lack of belief.  For most people, they are mainly in one category but are also (depending on circumstances) in a few of the other categories as well -- even when those categories would seem to be contradictory if they were not put in context.

What is your religious position?
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=833

Share similar strong Christian (USA) upbringing as other posts above.  My journey along life’s road includes decades of silent observation trying to reduce life/religion/etc. to it’s simplest form and would like the input of others to the following: 

At or near the highest level of abstraction; to what degree is the Christian religion merely a social club whose message is one of material prosperity through organization, conformity and uniformity?

I think that the GIIVideo (below) nails this quite well for Christianity, though the same can be applied to many other regions where one religion dominates a society.  In sum: Most people are Christians (publicly) because they are scared of what other Christians will do to them.  This does not either invalidate or validate Christianity, but it does give a base motivation for Christians to be Christians.

Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus?
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-slAgzJmdU[/youtube]

While I am not a Christian, I do think that there is room for reform and correction to improve the ratio of good to bad in Christianity.  It is not necessarily fatally flawed and necessarily negative, but as it is now I think it can be demonstrated to be a net negative.  Unfortunately, like nearly all other religions, Christianity is founded on supernaturalism/superstition.  As that core leads to lying to cover up problems with supernaturalism.

Organizing resources (people, time, materials, attitudes, beliefs, etc.) to achieve various accomplishments/creature comforts (cars, housing, food, air conditioning, etc.) that any particular individual cannot accomplish on his/her own in order to increase the PHYSICAL (aka cloaking/hiding the desire for more physical creature comforts for ones self/family/group to which the individual belongs in/behind a religious construct) comfort level of each individual in society and that of the collective whole of human society/experience (i.e. a rising tide lifts all boats).

Not sure where you're going with the above. 
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline xphobe

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2008, 01:20:14 AM »
Organizing resources (people, time, materials, attitudes, beliefs, etc.) to achieve various accomplishments/creature comforts (cars, housing, food, air conditioning, etc.) that any particular individual cannot accomplish on his/her own in order to increase the PHYSICAL (aka cloaking/hiding the desire for more physical creature comforts for ones self/family/group to which the individual belongs in/behind a religious construct) comfort level of each individual in society and that of the collective whole of human society/experience (i.e. a rising tide lifts all boats).

Not sure where you're going with the above. 

I got that churches help improve people's lots by acting as a group in ways that individuals cannot.  I could be wrong though...

I wonder what people would do with their spare time if churches simply vanished.  Join more civic groups?  Help out at homeless shelters or food banks?  Build more houses?  Think of all those extra hours not occupied by church on Sundy morning, or not studying an ancient book.  Think of all the cash that could be put to better use instead of donating $1000 to the local well-off RC church so they can build a bigger building.  Oops.  Got a little carried away there...
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Offline GotMooo

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Re: How did U became atheists/deists/theists?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2008, 01:33:42 AM »
Well I have no problem with churches when it comes to helping others.  That is a wonderful thing, no doubt.  And there are churches that have certainly proven to be good places to do these things.

However, I do not like it when churches use helping others as a way to hide their corruption.  What corruption?  I am talking about self-interests like greed.  When the pastor is making loads of money and living a lavish lifestyle, I think it's non-productive.  The bible backs this up too.

I certainly don't like it when pastors/churches cheat the tax system, by using church assets and money for taxable businesses.  It is certainly unacceptable, and it is money that the church goers could put to better use.  Any church/organization, such as Kenneth Copeland Ministries, that has a problem with showing us where their money is going, I wouldn't want to invest in.  I wouldn't invest into these organizations by volunteering, giving resources like money, or anything else.

Other corruption can include molestation and any kind of abuse.  Just because a church/organization is helping people, doesn't mean they aren't hurting people at the same time.