Author Topic: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing  (Read 5106 times)

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Offline mackdown

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #87 on: February 08, 2012, 11:25:13 PM »
...yes... still.  After almost 5 years, I don't feel any more resolved about it.  There are just too many years of programming going on in my head, and most of it is programming I did on myself.  It comes back to me in unexpected ways.  I find that, though I now have much more evidence that religions are inventions of man, I could still debate better from a Christian standpoint even with its weaker arguments.  I watch Matt Dillahunty on YouTube, awed by his logical grasp of any situation, yet I somehow feel compelled to call in some day and plead for him to stop endangering his immortal soul.  Insane?  Yes.  Patently insane.  Yet I could still do it, using thinking I don't even subscribe to anymore.

Here's something even more insane; I think I finally have figured out at least one reason why I'm rather unwilling to label myself an atheist.  For most of my Christian years, I had a knack for running into people who would try to convince me that I wasn't a "true" Christian, for reasons which varied with every episode.  Why shouldn't I be just as worried that people will now say that I'm not a "true" atheist?  I think they could easily make a case.  It might not be the best case, but it might be at least temporarily compelling, and it would separate me even further from this, this, uh... well, can we even call it a community?  It's not a religion, that's for sure.  It supplies none of the amenities religion once supplied me. 

I'm not as bad off as I was in 2007; I don't need actual professional help.  But I thought by now I would have reached a point where I would be glad to have divested myself of faith.  I don't feel glad.  I feel like I did something which will keep me feeling broken and empty for the rest of my life, and that I should have held onto my delusions tighter.  It's too late now, though.  It's gone. 

As much as I despise using the Christian imagery, it fits.  I feel lost.  I feel like I'm right back at that point where religion found me all those years ago, but that there's no "saving" me this time. 

(I'm sitting here reading my own thoughts, and it occurs to me that I'm actually rarely this negative.  It's not that I've typed lies - I mean this stuff at this moment - but I think I'm exaggerating my despair because of fatigue and recent disappointments.  I'm going to post it simply as a document of my thoughts, if for no other reason than to point out that not everyone is unconflicted about their non-belief.  Is it possible that others experience these conflicts?)

I think you have issues that cannot be resolved with a belief system. You need to change something else you are doing or not doing in your life and focus on some sort of constructive activity in your life. I was a believer at one time as well and it left me feeling empty because I was using that as a replacement for constructive activity whether it be exercise, reading, writing, making music whatever. Being happy in this life is all about what you do or do not do with your time.  Not about what you believe. Doing charity work for example will give you a warm feeling of purpose and fulfillment whether you attach a deity of some sort to it or not. Get out of your head and go do something.

Offline wright

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #88 on: February 08, 2012, 11:32:37 PM »
Doing charity work for example will give you a warm feeling of purpose and fulfillment whether you attach a deity of some sort to it or not. Get out of your head and go do something.

Welcome to the forum, mackdown.

That's good advice. I've found volunteer work helps a lot with my depression.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline architect

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2012, 06:34:22 PM »
there's really nothing to it. god simply does not exist. 90% of what's in the bible contradicts itself, and largely defies logic and reason. not to mention it promotes misogyny, racism, slavery, genocide, and hatred.

Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #90 on: February 12, 2012, 07:39:21 AM »
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To be fair I do think a "feeling" can be a justification for certain kinds of knowledge.
Really? What kinds and how?
Example below
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If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.
And Jenna shows that she loves you.  Your feeling is based on evidence. Not just a feeling. 
What is an objective way to show someone loves someone?

Behavior.
what kind of behavior.

What behavior will allow me to know that Jenna loves me?
Quote
Or do you take the word of the abusive husband?

I do not. there are certainty other things that that interrupt my feelings on issues.

Interestingly. I'd be unlikely to take the word of an individual whom I knew was abusive to his wife about anything, even something he was objectively an expert in. mostly because I feel bad about him

Offline rickymooston

Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #91 on: February 12, 2012, 09:35:46 AM »
yet I somehow feel compelled to call in some day and plead for him to stop endangering his immortal soul.

Emotions lag logic. This is normal. I wouldn't sweat it.

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Why shouldn't I be just as worried that people will now say that I'm not a "true" atheist?

I think, when you got into the "furry fad" you were onto something. By definition, you are a true atheist but that doesn't mean that much. It simply means you disbelieve in God(s). You disbelieved in Zeus your whole life and that was a similar non-accomplishment.

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I'm not as bad off as I was in 2007; I don't need actual professional help.  But I thought by now I would have reached a point where I would be glad to have divested myself of faith.  I don't feel glad.  I feel like I did something which will keep me feeling broken and empty for the rest of my life, and that I should have held onto my delusions tighter.  It's too late now, though.  It's gone.

I've seen snapshots of your children's vids and you have musical talent. Spirituality is natural and you seem like a pretty spiritual person. As to your delusions, I've no idea whether you believe weird things.

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As much as I despise using the Christian imagery, it fits.  I feel lost.  I feel like I'm right back at that point where religion found me all those years ago, but that there's no "saving" me this time. 

Christian imaginary is ingrained in our culture as greek imaginary got ingrained into the Christian culture. Again, embrace it.

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(I'm sitting here reading my own thoughts, and it occurs to me that I'm actually rarely this negative. 

Have you considired channeling your passion into a limrick or your music or your children's stories?

Do they have Hagaan das in the US? The next time you feel this way, the moose recommends you try some of that or something harmless (not alcoholic of course) that make you feel good food wise or watch a film.

I'll confess, I have my share of depression. I don't think you should feel depressed about the non-existance of God(s) but life happens and emotions happen.

At the end of the day, you seem like a good person with more than his share of talents.

"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Schizoid

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #92 on: February 12, 2012, 11:34:51 AM »

Emotions lag logic. This is normal. I wouldn't sweat it.

Interesting, I rather like that thought.  Emotions are more entangled in our brains, psyche, and self to the degree reflected by our life experience.  It makes sense that it takes longer to untangle the emotions.

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Christian imaginary is ingrained in our culture as greek imaginary got ingrained into the Christian culture. Again, embrace it.

Yes, the culture here in the U.S. is overwhelmingly Christian so when it comes to imagery it helps to speak the language that most clearly understand.

I'm an older duffer now, be 60 this year.  I was raised in the Christian culture here, became a Christian, read the Bible and believed then gradually came to doubt and came out the other end as an unbeliever.  I'm not bitter about things and I am what I am.  I try not to over-think things ("try" is the operative word) and I'm not obsessed with putting a label on everything.


Offline atheola

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #93 on: February 12, 2012, 08:41:36 PM »
I recall vividly fighting with what i did and didn't believe. When I finally decided I still had times I wanted to go back, but the very exact same happened whenever I broke up with various broads I had gotten into relationships with. The worse was a stripper I  was dumb enough to marry many years ago. Now the offspring of that mairage are grown m
adults and their kids call me grandpa and I take care of them every night. They have no clue their biological grandmother even exist...just like a deity..
It all passed into some vague memory of someone I once believed loved me.
Truth be told I was in love with being married to a hot woman with great knockers, but the person in them was just a shell of a person.. God is much the same... The idea sounds great, but it's a hollow shell.
I'm in no way opposed to great knockers, but marrying them is off the table for me these days.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 08:50:51 PM by atheola »
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Offline learnin

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #94 on: February 13, 2012, 12:07:52 AM »
Here's a problem I still struggle with.   As having been a Catholic all my life, I see this performer come out on the grammy's tonight with a complete mockery of Catholicism.  I see her grabbing her breasts, writhing like a snake on the stage and looking quite....well, dare I say it....possessed.  Acting as if she is possessed and having altar boys and priests dancing around on stage.  I think I've settled this thing in my mind and then I see something like this and it makes me wonder.

This was the same person that was on the super bowl half time show and gave the audience the finger.  As far as I'm able to determine, this person is someone I wouldn't want my grandchildren around and I ask myself why she feels the need to mock Catholicism in such a manner on a public stage.

Every Catholic, and probably Christian in America, is going to come away, tonight, with their faith even more confirmed.  They read where their founder was mocked and made fun of and then they see this.

Offline atheola

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #95 on: February 13, 2012, 12:14:48 AM »
Don't worry...if she had spontaneously become pregnant then delivered a real baby with a huge bright star in the sky they woulda been pissed too.
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Offline learnin

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #96 on: February 13, 2012, 12:22:57 AM »
No doubt.   But why the need for the lewd to mock?

Offline fishjie

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #97 on: February 13, 2012, 06:27:25 AM »
I have a slightly different problem.    I've been a nonbeliever for about 4 years, but I was already struggling with my faith for far longer, so its obvious to me the christian religion is man made, as are all other religions.

However, what bothers me is that I really miss the church.     It helps that the churches I went to were not filled with bible belt rednecks (I live in seattle), but rather fellow asian americans who were humble, kind, caring, overachieving doctors, lawyers, and engineers, and who happened to be able to compartmentalize their faith from their otherwise intelligent and rational selves.    guys like newest NBA superstar Jeremy Lin.    in sunday service, bible studies, retreats, and mission trips, we would support, encourage and uplift one another.    this is what I loved about christianity.   it was a wonderful time, and it did a lot of good in my life.   of course, its completely made up.   but i don't think i could ever go back, even though at times I badly want to.     

I'm lucky that I have lots of atheist friends and hobbies, but at the end of the day, its not quite the same as the church.     personally, i suspect most people in church are more or less agnostic, or consider the bible to be mostly just stories, and quietly push aside all their nagging doubts, so that they can have access to this wonderful and motivational social club.

i would love to attend a "church" of fellow ex christians, who i would be able to relate to and understand, and who still have that same positive, loving, and optimistic attitude that their faith once instilled in them.    too many atheist meetups i've been too the apostates have become really embittered about it all (i was too for a long time), and that was too much negative energy for me.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #98 on: February 13, 2012, 10:35:02 AM »
what kind of behavior.

What behavior will allow me to know that Jenna loves me?
rather sad that you either don't know or find the need ask a question like this to delay the inevitable.


My husband shows me he loves me by his actions, he helps me, he makes me laugh, he holds me when I'm sad. 
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #99 on: February 13, 2012, 10:51:24 AM »
Quote
Quote
To be fair I do think a "feeling" can be a justification for certain kinds of knowledge.
Really? What kinds and how?
Example below
Quote
Quote
If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.
And Jenna shows that she loves you.  Your feeling is based on evidence. Not just a feeling. 
What is an objective way to show someone loves someone?

Behavior.
what kind of behavior.

What behavior will allow me to know that Jenna loves me?
Quote
Or do you take the word of the abusive husband?

I do not. there are certainty other things that that interrupt my feelings on issues.

Interestingly. I'd be unlikely to take the word of an individual whom I knew was abusive to his wife about anything, even something he was objectively an expert in. mostly because I feel bad about him

There appear to be a number of behaviors that would be able to convince you that an abusive husband is indeed abusive and worthy of your distrust.  Are there not behaviors that would convince you that a husband is indeed loving and worthy of your trust?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #100 on: February 13, 2012, 11:16:08 AM »
I have a slightly different problem.    I've been a nonbeliever for about 4 years, but I was already struggling with my faith for far longer, so its obvious to me the christian religion is man made, as are all other religions.

However, what bothers me is that I really miss the church.......  bible studies, retreats, and mission trips, we would support, encourage and uplift one another.    this is what I loved about christianity.   it was a wonderful time, and it did a lot of good in my life.   

   personally, i suspect most people in church are more or less agnostic, or consider the bible to be mostly just stories, and quietly push aside all their nagging doubts, so that they can have access to this wonderful and motivational social club.

i would love to attend a "church" of fellow ex christians, who i would be able to relate to and understand, and who still have that same positive, loving, and optimistic attitude that their faith once instilled in them.   

I would suspect that many share your problem issue. I for one, definitely do. While reading your post the thought that immediately came to mind was that of chartering an organization 501c(3), non profit of course, and calling it The Church of Reason.  http://www.churchofreason.org/pri.htm  I googled the title and unfortunately it has already been claimed. At first glance, it even sounded somewhat intriguing, then as I read the "fine print", I found it to be rather, cultish and weird.

But seriously, this idea is something that I believe could have legs. We should look into it and find ways to make it into a replacement for the Sunday church activities that many of us were at some point in our lives a part of. The social interaction and personal encouragement would be a positive thing.
In addition to the social benefit aspect, we could go all "church" and take up voluntary collections and use the funds to help out our communities. We could get together to feed the poor, clothe the needy, and take in the homeless. We could even offer private education the way many faith-based institutions do in order to put forth a spiritual curriculum they believe in. Instead of doing that, we place a heavy focus on critical thinking, the sciences, world history, etc.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 11:30:55 AM by Truth OT »

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #101 on: February 13, 2012, 11:31:45 AM »
I have a slightly different problem.    I've been a nonbeliever for about 4 years, but I was already struggling with my faith for far longer, so its obvious to me the christian religion is man made, as are all other religions.

However, what bothers me is that I really miss the church.     It helps that the churches I went to were not filled with bible belt rednecks (I live in seattle), but rather fellow asian americans who were humble, kind, caring, overachieving doctors, lawyers, and engineers, and who happened to be able to compartmentalize their faith from their otherwise intelligent and rational selves.    guys like newest NBA superstar Jeremy Lin.    in sunday service, bible studies, retreats, and mission trips, we would support, encourage and uplift one another.    this is what I loved about christianity.   it was a wonderful time, and it did a lot of good in my life.   of course, its completely made up.   but i don't think i could ever go back, even though at times I badly want to.     

I'm lucky that I have lots of atheist friends and hobbies, but at the end of the day, its not quite the same as the church.     personally, i suspect most people in church are more or less agnostic, or consider the bible to be mostly just stories, and quietly push aside all their nagging doubts, so that they can have access to this wonderful and motivational social club.

i would love to attend a "church" of fellow ex christians, who i would be able to relate to and understand, and who still have that same positive, loving, and optimistic attitude that their faith once instilled in them.    too many atheist meetups i've been too the apostates have become really embittered about it all (i was too for a long time), and that was too much negative energy for me.

I've always wondered if it were feasible for a non-believer to take advantage of the communal aspects religion.  Ultimately, I think such action would lead one to personal dissatisfaction - while it is true that people can, in general, function just fine with explicit cognitive dissonance going on in one's head, my (limited) experience tells me that it become more and more difficult as time goes on.  You basically find that you are lying to yourself more and more.  Knowingly lying to yourself hurts substantially more than knowingly lying to others.

That being said, I'm not sure a 'church' of fellow ex-christians is what you'd be looking for.  That would seem to entail more of the functions of a support group rather than a community exemplifying the more transcendent aspects of the human experience.
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Offline Iamrational

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #102 on: February 13, 2012, 11:35:24 AM »
My motto has always been, "Just add an O."

This whole mess would be fixed and we could all be included if we would just add an O. It would then be called, "The Church of Good."

Easy enough. That fixes the issue of still coming together for a greater purpose. We could meet and bounce ideas off each other. We could still contribute money to societies problems. We could live for each other instead of made up deities.

This is the big difference. Right now church goers live for God. They mostly do good things. They give money, raise awareness, help needy, and treat each other with respect. There isn't a reason why we still can't do those things based on our moral belief to help each other because it is the right thing to do. I want to help others. I want to take care of someone who is need. I would do these things because I would want the same thing in return, if I ever needed it. Church of Good is just a reason to be social and have strength in numbers. It would solve the desire to still be in a church setting but not be attached to dogma.

At least this is what I joke about to religious friends all the time.

Offline fishjie

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #103 on: February 13, 2012, 03:29:09 PM »
Glad to see I'm not alone.    Yeah a church of Good would be great.   One of the things I liked most about church was the humanitarian missions trips, which are one - two weeks in length, perfect for me because i work a fulltime job.   It felt good to help others, but I want to do that without poisoning minds with dogma and religion obviously.

Peacecorp is basically an atheist version of a mission trip, but I can't commit a year of my life.     I'd love to join fellow humanists in making the world a better place!

Offline ILOVEYOU

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #104 on: February 15, 2012, 03:35:05 AM »
...yes... still.  After almost 5 years, I don't feel any more resolved about it.  There are just too many years of programming going on in my head, and most of it is programming I did on myself.  It comes back to me in unexpected ways.  I find that, though I now have much more evidence that religions are inventions of man, I could still debate better from a Christian standpoint even with its weaker arguments.  I watch Matt Dillahunty on YouTube, awed by his logical grasp of any situation, yet I somehow feel compelled to call in some day and plead for him to stop endangering his immortal soul.  Insane?  Yes.  Patently insane.  Yet I could still do it, using thinking I don't even subscribe to anymore.

Here's something even more insane; I think I finally have figured out at least one reason why I'm rather unwilling to label myself an atheist.  For most of my Christian years, I had a knack for running into people who would try to convince me that I wasn't a "true" Christian, for reasons which varied with every episode.  Why shouldn't I be just as worried that people will now say that I'm not a "true" atheist?  I think they could easily make a case.  It might not be the best case, but it might be at least temporarily compelling, and it would separate me even further from this, this, uh... well, can we even call it a community?  It's not a religion, that's for sure.  It supplies none of the amenities religion once supplied me. 

I'm not as bad off as I was in 2007; I don't need actual professional help.  But I thought by now I would have reached a point where I would be glad to have divested myself of faith.  I don't feel glad.  I feel like I did something which will keep me feeling broken and empty for the rest of my life, and that I should have held onto my delusions tighter.  It's too late now, though.  It's gone. 

As much as I despise using the Christian imagery, it fits.  I feel lost.  I feel like I'm right back at that point where religion found me all those years ago, but that there's no "saving" me this time. 

(I'm sitting here reading my own thoughts, and it occurs to me that I'm actually rarely this negative.  It's not that I've typed lies - I mean this stuff at this moment - but I think I'm exaggerating my despair because of fatigue and recent disappointments.  I'm going to post it simply as a document of my thoughts, if for no other reason than to point out that not everyone is unconflicted about their non-belief.  Is it possible that others experience these conflicts?)
Wow...
Sounds like a bit of a struggle between your "heart and your mind".... Could you imagine a life w/o a conscience...? Sounds like you still have one. Thats a good thing. Funny place this world is. Born into a world for a moment, then it's all gone w/o a trace. Like yo never existed....
I don't think so but that is just my opinion. I respect yours.

Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #105 on: February 15, 2012, 04:52:34 AM »
My motto has always been, "Just add an O."

This whole mess would be fixed and we could all be included if we would just add an O. It would then be called, "The Church of Good."

If it's just a matter of spelling, then does it really matter?

Certainty the christian church has specific teachings that the great majority of you here despise. but concerning theism. what if the practical difference between believing in good, and believing in a personification thereof?

How does it make the world worse if we call good "her" rather than "it"?

Offline velkyn

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #106 on: February 15, 2012, 10:22:57 AM »
If it's just a matter of spelling, then does it really matter?

Certainty the christian church has specific teachings that the great majority of you here despise. but concerning theism. what if the practical difference between believing in good, and believing in a personification thereof?

How does it make the world worse if we call good "her" rather than "it"?

It's not just a mtter of spelling. IMO, it really does matter since the delusion that there is some god that approves of one group's actions leads to harm.   People excuse all sorts of horrible actions by claiming they are *good* because some *god* approves of them.  The personification has all of the faults of humanity,  just writ large.

Most people have a similar definition of "good", somethign that helps but does not harm them or that which they care about.  From my observations, good suffers when god is brought in.   
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Offline Schizoid

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #107 on: February 15, 2012, 11:32:25 AM »

However, what bothers me is that I really miss the church.     

I take it by this and the rest of your post that as an ex-believer you miss the fellowship and the friends of church.  As an ex-believer myself of many years ago I have an advantage in being a schizoid because my greatest desire is not to be around people.  I am alone, but not lonely and the last thing I want to do is to fellowship even with like-minded others.  That was difficult enough when I was in a small church and now so many years later and set in my ways closing in on 60 I am quite content with things as they are in my life.

Offline atheola

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #108 on: February 16, 2012, 03:13:47 PM »
It's a bit like I want to believe that Democrats are the good guys and the rubes are the big bad wolf, but nothing is ever that black and white. You pick sides often based on that warm, fuzzy Hostess Twinkie feeling even when all evidence suggests this shit never rots...
The moral to the story..go eat a twinkie and get drunk I guess.
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Offline Historicity

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #109 on: February 22, 2012, 09:11:21 AM »
My motto has always been, "Just add an O."

This whole mess would be fixed and we could all be included if we would just add an O. It would then be called, "The Church of Good."

I saw Ayn Rand say something very similar in her interview on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show in 1979:




I am not a Randian nor do I take her overall as right but I did cherry-pick a couple pieces of good advice from it, including the above thought.


Offline Iamrational

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #110 on: February 22, 2012, 11:31:00 AM »
First off that lady scares me.

Secondly, she kicks ass.

The interviewer was nice. He seemed sympathetic to her opinions. He was also gentle with his questions and open to the answers.

Now she is great. She doesn't mince words. She doesn't beat around the bush. I could never explain myself as well as she does. She offers a matter of fact way to live. Great advice all around. My favorite but of knowledge is she states her way of thought has zero faith involved, as in she takes nothing on faith. That essentially is being objective or reasonable. That main premise will go into the by laws of The Church of Good.

Rule #1: Take nothing on faith. No idea is this life is immune to scrutiny. 

Offline Boots

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #111 on: February 22, 2012, 11:18:45 PM »
Onesimus, question for ya: did you have any "moments" in your growth?  That is, definable turning points away from the shackles of theism?

I had a couple big 'uns, and it helped me to reflect on them as I journeyed from contemplating Catholic priesthood in my late teens, to drifting away from the church in my mid-20's, to drifting away from Catholicism in my late 20's, to drifing away from theism in my early 30's, to finally gaining the courage and confidence to openly state "I'm atheist" in my late 30's (I'm 40 now).

If you had any "moments" that you'd like to share, I'm sure we'd love to hear 'em (and they may help remind you of your journey thus far, who knows).
* Religion: institutionalized superstition, period.

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Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #112 on: February 25, 2012, 05:06:14 PM »
what kind of behavior.

What behavior will allow me to know that Jenna loves me?

My husband shows me he loves me by his actions, he helps me, he makes me laugh, he holds me when I'm sad.

So if someone does this they love you?

If they don't do it, they don't love you?

Both?

Offline velkyn

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #113 on: February 27, 2012, 10:47:59 AM »
what kind of behavior.

What behavior will allow me to know that Jenna loves me?

My husband shows me he loves me by his actions, he helps me, he makes me laugh, he holds me when I'm sad.

So if someone does this they love you?

If they don't do it, they don't love you?

Both?

ROFL oh my that's funny!  It's so nice to see you this desperate, Lorax, again evidently trying to find secret messages in my posts.  What do you think my answer will be, from my post, Lorax? 
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #114 on: February 27, 2012, 07:18:08 PM »
what kind of behavior.

What behavior will allow me to know that Jenna loves me?

My husband shows me he loves me by his actions, he helps me, he makes me laugh, he holds me when I'm sad.

So if someone does this they love you?

If they don't do it, they don't love you?

Both?

ROFL oh my that's funny!  It's so nice to see you this desperate, Lorax, again evidently trying to find secret messages in my posts.  What do you think my answer will be, from my post, Lorax?

You know, there have been several posts on this board over the past few months (and probably more since the board's inception) that have eventually boiled down to someone asking 'how do you know love is real' or somesuch.

Which has got me thinking...do a lot of religious people have some weird, strange, twisted idea of love that *completely* segregates the human experience from it?  I dunno - in my mind at least, love is an experience and an expression.  Saying 'I love you' is pretty damn vacuous if that is all that entails love.  Hell, I had a virus a good number of years back that said 'I love you'.

Love is a state of mind; love is behavior; love is action.
How do you know you're in love?  Your state of mind is 'being in love'.
How do I know you love me?  WHEN YOU SHOW IT TO ME.

How do I know Adam loves Steve?  When I see Adam showing expressions of love to Steve.  If Adam says 'I love Steve', I would be inclined to believe him because, in my experience, people generally admit to love when they genuinely feel it.  If I see Adam constantly berating Steve, or putting Steve in his place, or constantly ignoring Steve, or hitting Steve, or doing any number of things that I generally don't associate with acts of love, well hell, Adam is probably lying and in fact does NOT love Steve.  If, on the other hand, I see Adam treating Steve as an equal, valuing his opinions, involving him in his life, that would further vindicate my initial belief that Adam does in fact love Steve.

The problem seems to be that I've wrapped some conditions around 'love' that would come into conflict with the idea of 'unconditional love'.  I don't not accept the idea of 'unconditional love', because that doesn't make a lick of sense to me.  Love requires some conditions - for example, for Adam to love Steve, there is at least one minimal condition that I can think of - that Steve is actually Steve and not some other person.  Otherwise, the concept of 'love' is as empty as the concept of 'blagonoplus'.  It's just some word.

Maybe I just need a better working definition of 'love'.
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #115 on: February 27, 2012, 08:05:39 PM »
No, jdawg, that makes perfect sense.  I've had that argument with some Chistians before when they touted "unconditional love", pointing out that if love for you is unconditional, then it necessarily has nothing to do with "you".  Because nothing about you actually merits the love.  If it did, then that would be a condition.

They thought I was being awful for it.  Go figure.
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