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Offline MMcNeely

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New to this Atheism thing
« on: September 20, 2011, 05:44:25 AM »
Hello everyone.  I have recently converted to Atheism from Christianity.  Thankfully it was a transition that my wife and I made at basically the same time, and almost independently from each other. 

I really enjoy reading, and sadly most of the books on my shelf (which I'll probably burn this weekend) are the "Jesus is Lord" type.  No Bueno...  I was wondering if there were any books/movies/documentaries that you guys could recommend for the "Prodigal Son" (As my family now calls me.)  Thanks.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 05:56:59 AM »
Welcome and congratulations!

I've mid-way through Penn Gilette's "God, No!" which I'm enjoying a lot.  You have to know and like Penn & Teller though!
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Omen

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 06:59:35 AM »
Congrats.. Did you receive your customary baby eating utensils in the mail?
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 07:40:50 AM »
Hello everyone.  I have recently converted to Atheism from Christianity.  Thankfully it was a transition that my wife and I made at basically the same time, and almost independently from each other. 

I really enjoy reading, and sadly most of the books on my shelf (which I'll probably burn this weekend) are the "Jesus is Lord" type.  No Bueno...  I was wondering if there were any books/movies/documentaries that you guys could recommend for the "Prodigal Son" (As my family now calls me.)  Thanks.

Actually don't burn those books. No, No ,No. Learn to recognize logical fallacies. A logical fallacy means an argument is based on flim flam and heartstring pulling. Learn the fallacies, then read those books, the fallacies will pour off the page. It will make you realize what religion is based on.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 07:50:11 AM »
Hello everyone.  I have recently converted to Atheism from Christianity.  Thankfully it was a transition that my wife and I made at basically the same time, and almost independently from each other. 

I really enjoy reading, and sadly most of the books on my shelf (which I'll probably burn this weekend) are the "Jesus is Lord" type.  No Bueno...  I was wondering if there were any books/movies/documentaries that you guys could recommend for the "Prodigal Son" (As my family now calls me.)  Thanks.

Welcome.

My complete move to the atheist position began 6 years ago. The very first thing i did was to bring myself up to speed with the modern atheist writers to understand what the current arguments refuting the god hypothesis were saying. At the same time and equally important was to bring myself up to speed on the intelligent(nonreligious)scientific material and how its findings have changed our world and the ways that it has refuted religious claims.

After getting up to speed I then began to go back and look at the enlightenment authors and even further back to the Greeks and Romans. Good stuff and sometimes tricky to follow, but fun to read and watch the evolution of knowledge and thought.

Right off the bat, Darwin: On The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man

Carl Sagan:--The Demon Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark. And: The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God

Dan Dennett: Freedom Evolves

Richard Dawkins : The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker

Also C. Hitchens, S. Harris and Dan Barker for other moderns.

Here's a little gem from the 20's Chapman Cohen: Theism or atheism: the great alternative  <---absolutely fucking brilliant that one...He utterly demolishes religion and the god hypothesis...Loved it  ;)  (It's free online as well).

It's always extremely informative and thought provoking to read these great works, but, always remember mate, that we must be in the atheist position of our own volition and because of the simple fact that in our own deepest integrity we simply cannot accept as true the baseless claims of religion and the absurdity of the god hypothesis when we see zero hard and tangible evidence to prove its truth.

Read on !!

Cheers mate.
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 07:54:18 AM »

^^^^^ Good advice Hatter  ;)
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline plethora

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 08:46:21 AM »
Hello everyone.  I have recently converted to Atheism from Christianity.  Thankfully it was a transition that my wife and I made at basically the same time, and almost independently from each other. 

Hi and congratulations!  8)

I would phrase it slightly differently and say you deconverted from Christianity. You see, being an atheist is simply not believing in the existence of any god(s). You can say 'atheism' but keep in mind that in and of itself it is not really an '-ism'. There are no doctrines, tenets, rules or ideologies to follow. So no need to capitalize "Atheism".

That said, please come on in and make yourself comfortable. Help yourself to some spit-roast babies and goat's blood.

Quote
I really enjoy reading, and sadly most of the books on my shelf (which I'll probably burn this weekend) are the "Jesus is Lord" type.  No Bueno...  I was wondering if there were any books/movies/documentaries that you guys could recommend for the "Prodigal Son" (As my family now calls me.)  Thanks.

If you want to be angry as fuck at religion I suggest you watch the documentary "Jesus Camp".

I've read several of Daniel Dennett's books... I suggest "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" although I also enjoyed "Consciousness Explained" and "Freedom Evolves".
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline Irish

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 09:59:16 AM »
Hello everyone.  I have recently converted to Atheism from Christianity.  Thankfully it was a transition that my wife and I made at basically the same time, and almost independently from each other.

Hello, and welcome to the other side of the fence.

Quote
I was wondering if there were any books/movies/documentaries that you guys could recommend for the "Prodigal Son" (As my family now calls me.)

I have several I recommend.  One is Atheist Universe by Davis Mills.  And of course The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

For books on evolution I recommend the originator On the Origin of Species by Darwin and Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer.  Some others are The Greatest Show on Earth and The Blind Watchmaker, both by Richard Dawkins.
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline Benny

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 03:57:35 PM »
Hello and congratulations!  There are some kittens on the grill over there, help yourself.  It tastes best if you start at the ears and work your way down.

As you can see, we have a very strange sense of humor here.  We, as you know, are a part of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy that the Christians have made up.  Just ignore us when we talk about eating kittens/babies/goats.  That's all part of the joke ;)

In reality, we are very nice, kitten-loving people.  I'm currently reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.  Irish mentioned it, but I need to say it again: it is a must-read, no question.  Read this book, read it again, and study it.  Pretty soon, you'll really start thinking  :D
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Offline albeto

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 04:49:30 PM »
Hi! I'm still pretty new to this as well, having just realized my deconversion was complete early this summer.  I was surprised to find I have a bbq preference for babies.  I never thought I'd enjoy the flavor so much but the celebrations can't be beat.  I also enjoyed Dawkin's "God Delusion" but have been on a bit of a Sam Harris kick.  He's a neurologist which hits home for me because my son is really fascinated with the field and so it clicks for me.  I finished "The End of Faith" and found it compelling.  I'm reading "The Moral Landscape" now and I have to read slowly and with care because I'm not so clever, nor do I have any attention span worth speaking of.  One of the things he has really impressed me with is the superior moral code once religion is rejected and people are treated with real dignity, something I thought was evidence of god's existence. 

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 05:13:52 PM »
Welcome to ya.
This is a great place to vent and blow off steam when you have had it with the silliness of the supernaturally-disabled.

One thing that many of us here find interesting is that the US is the only technologically advanced countriy where the population is highly religious. And the way fundamentalist religion, esp. Christianity, influences politics is almost unheard of in western Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada.

In those places people seem to apply rationality to social problems instead of being distracted by ancient magic spells. They have no problem with science including evolutionary theory. Sex education and other medical related issues are not as much in dispute. They have universal health care and are willing to pay taxes for it. With the exception of heavily Catholic places like Ireland and anomolies like Romania, abortion has not been that big a deal, either.

So, being an outspoken, or even openly atheist person is more of a challenge in the US. In some areas of this country, mainly the rural south, you could face real problems at work, school, in your neighborhood if people know you as a "godless heathen". So, sites like this are a real support system for those of us in the backward land of ignorance and megachurches. :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Chronos

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 08:12:38 PM »
Since you are now an atheist, I would recommend reading Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris.
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline MMcNeely

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 08:16:48 PM »
Wow, thanks to everyone for all the recommendations.  I really feel like I'm starting from scratch with my understanding of the world, and honestly don't understand the basic concepts of evolution.  I was "born and raised" by Christian parents, went to a Christian school, and attended a Christian college.  All of which were very much lame...

Here's my school:
My mom is actually the teacher at 1:30... the bitch disowned me (before I [de]converted to [a]theism... thanks plethora) because I married someone she didn't 100% approve of... and if she doesn't approve of her, "then God doesn't either!"

Here's the college I went to:
While I didn't graduate I was in my Junior year of a Bible major... such a waste of time and money.

So, yes I am pissed of at religion... I was angry at God for a while, but then I realized that being angry with God is like shouting at a brick wall.  I look forward to reading each of the books recommended here, and I'll start with Darwin's Origins

Offline jetson

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 08:37:55 PM »
Since you are now an atheist, I would recommend reading Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris.

Second that!  Excellent read, and a devastating blow against U.S. Christians and their delusion.

Offline Chronos

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 09:49:38 PM »
I was "born and raised" by Christian parents, went to a Christian school, and attended a Christian college. 

Can I just say that (tongue in cheek) I thank god that I didn't have to go through that shit. My mother once told me that she had considered having a child so that my aunt could have one (aunt and uncle couldn't reproduce), and I am so glad that my mother didn't do that because I could have been the one -- not because of all the psychological or social implications that such an act could entail, but rather that my aunt and uncle were fairly fundamental in their Christian beliefs. I would have ended up in the same position as you, though I doubt that I would be disowned because I married someone they didn't approve ... they weren't quite that far into outer space. However, knowing how my brain works and knowing my naturally fiery attitude, the whole scenario could have turned very ugly.


Those videos ... ugh ... just show normal people doing mostly normal things. Christians think that their depictions of their behaviors are just that much better than everyone else's behaviors. My ex wanted our daughter to go to a private school, which I was vehemently against so it wasn't going to happen. However, I humored her and we visited various private schools, all of which were religious schools to some degree. My very pro-feminine[1] ex saw the circumstances of most of these schools and concluded on her own that a private school setting lacked a lot. I think the tipping point came when we went to the Adventist school and the principal showed us that "all the upperclass boys play basketball and all the upperclass girls are cheerleaders" (the school was K-12 with a max of 50 students), which was the extent of the extra-curricular activities available. So, she realized that her daughter would lead a limited life if the zenith of her educational experience was that of a cheerleader.

There is no question that our daughter has been far better served by the public school system than by any private school that we visited.

 1. If you are wondering how very pro-feminine and a desire to enroll in a religious-based education seem inconsistent, you are not alone. There's baggage there.
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Offline Yellowjacket

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2011, 01:14:54 AM »
of course everyone knows THIS is the movie that started my path away from Xtianity:



It's a pretty hilarious 90 mins.
"Now I want you to get out your dollars and we're gonna give money tonight to Kill a Commie for Jeezus" - Marjoe Gortner, 1972

Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2011, 05:54:30 AM »
Hello everyone.  I have recently converted to Atheism from Christianity.  Thankfully it was a transition that my wife and I made at basically the same time, and almost independently from each other. 

I really enjoy reading, and sadly most of the books on my shelf (which I'll probably burn this weekend) are the "Jesus is Lord" type.  No Bueno...  I was wondering if there were any books/movies/documentaries that you guys could recommend for the "Prodigal Son" (As my family now calls me.)  Thanks.

Welcome and you have been freed to be out of Christianity. It is a pity more religions won't free themselves of their madness. Atleast the people here know what they are talking about (well some atleast are anyway). Enjoy your time that you exist.
"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."
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Offline Fiji

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2011, 08:45:09 AM »
... because I married someone she didn't 100% approve of... and if she doesn't approve of her, "then God doesn't either!"

Since you're new to this atheism thing ... the above is a textbook example of SPAG
Self Projection As God
In short SPAG is this: Since your mom's god exists solely in her own head, he'll agree with her on anything and everything. This works even if she were to change her mind on some issue, since she'll then 'realise' that (her) god wanted her to think this way all along and she just got it wrong until now.
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

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Offline Irish

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2011, 09:29:28 AM »
I was angry at God for a while, but then I realized that being angry with God is like shouting at a brick wall.

Somehow this is lost in translation when I explain to the uber religious that I can't possibly be angry at God.

Quote
I look forward to reading each of the books recommended here, and I'll start with Darwin's Origins

Great choice.  ;) Though my opinion is to avoid the chapters on geology, as they're extremely dry and boring.  Darwin was a biologist/naturalist, not a geologist.
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2011, 04:36:20 PM »
of course everyone knows THIS is the movie that started my path away from Xtianity:



It's a pretty hilarious 90 mins.

I just read up on Marjoe Gortner. Pretty wild sh!t there. And although he comes out and explains the psychology of it, people are still getting away with it. As he says in this article[1], people believe in faith healing and so forth because want to believe and even skeptical people can be made to "fall out in the holy spirit" with the right emotional encouragement.

It is no wonder that we hear so many stories of people raised around Christianity, who say, "I was an atheist and snorted 16 pounds of used kitty litter a week/murdered 59 girl scouts/raped 134 pandas and then, when I was at my lowest point, choking on with someone else's vomit[2]in a muddy gutter/Mexican prison/Pat Robertson's sex dungeon, desperate for an answer, Jesus came to me. He spoke his words of wisdom and I fainted. When I awoke, I was saved! Praise the lord!"

We rarely (never) hear of some girl in rural Oklahoma, out in the woods happily shootin' some squirrels for supper, falling down in a faint and waking up worshipping Eshu Elegba.

On the planet Zibugi the people are attributing their healing from the evils of sisiglualp addiction to the great Fingle of Frut. All hail the great Fingle.

I just had a great idea! Why not go to a Christian revival service and go through the whole deal and faint and wake up speaking in tongues-- about the wrong god! Imagine some guy in the room shaking and screaming and praising the Seventh Sikh Guru or Quetzacoatl the feathered serpent or something. Hilarity, people, hilarity.
 1. http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/marjoe.htm
 2. Spinal Tap ref.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Yellowjacket

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2011, 10:53:37 PM »
of course everyone knows THIS is the movie that started my path away from Xtianity:



It's a pretty hilarious 90 mins.

I just read up on Marjoe Gortner. Pretty wild sh!t there. And although he comes out and explains the psychology of it, people are still getting away with it. As he says in this article[1], people believe in faith healing and so forth because want to believe and even skeptical people can be made to "fall out in the holy spirit" with the right emotional encouragement.



 1. http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/marjoe.htm

He rocks my world.  What he coyly never mentions in that article is the sexual magnetism employed by any dynamic alpha male placed in a leadership position.  he was so frikken hot.
"Now I want you to get out your dollars and we're gonna give money tonight to Kill a Commie for Jeezus" - Marjoe Gortner, 1972

Offline Chronos

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Re: New to this Atheism thing
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2011, 04:47:27 AM »
We never hear of some girl in rural Oklahoma, out in the woods happily shootin' some squirrels for supper, falling down in a faint and waking up worshipping Eshu Elegba.

/sigh/  Isn't it a shame that someone could be so immersed in the general culture (which in America means that god is always the Christian god) to the point that they cannot realize that it should be possible for another god to talk to them in their moment of need?  In fact, other gods probably do but the Christian god always gets the credit. It's easier to be a member of a popular club than an unpopular one. I'm sure that in a place like Indonesia that is majority Muslim, whenever god speaks to someone, Allah gets the appropriate credit. That club is more popular there.


Religion is just another club. They have funny rules, funny rituals, mediocre food and fees. Jeez, that sounds like a condo board meeting.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.