Poll

Which of the following best describes your situation?

I was raised Christian and later became atheist.
38 (88.4%)
I have been an atheist for as long as I can remember.
5 (11.6%)

Total Members Voted: 43

Voting closed: June 10, 2012, 01:28:00 PM

Author Topic: Atheists raised Christian?  (Read 3654 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2012, 08:15:46 AM »
Reading through these responses reinforces to me what I have long suspected: going to church in the USA seems to be very much a cultural, traditional thing and has little to do with a genuine faith in God. You're not surrounded by Christians, you're surrounded by tradition. My friend recently moved from Australia to one of the southern states and told me they had to go to 6 churches before they found one which seemed even vaguely focused on the cross.

No, Joe is correct. You are pulling a "true christian" card. The word I bolded is the smoking gun
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 magicmiles

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2012, 08:47:00 AM »
I guess you're right. Actually I was just discussing this on the phone with my atheist friend who believes in God but not the bible.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2012, 08:48:34 AM »
I guess you're right. Actually I was just discussing this on the phone with my atheist friend who believes in God but not the bible.

You made a typo there. I fixed it.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2012, 08:51:11 AM »
I guess you're right. Actually I was just discussing this on the phone with my atheist friend who believes in God but not the bible.

Now you are playing semantic games. If you said "Any" instead of "Genuine" you would have at least a leg(however weak) to stand 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.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2012, 08:52:30 AM »
I thought it was quite a clever comment. Dang it. Foiled again.
It's good to know the door can still be open wide.

Offline naemhni

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2012, 08:53:35 AM »
my atheist friend who believes in God

There is no such thing as an "atheist who believes in God".  That's a contradiction in terms, like a bachelor who has a wife or a vegetarian who eats beef.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #35 on: March 14, 2012, 09:00:20 AM »
my atheist friend who believes in God

There is no such thing as an "atheist who believes in God".  That's a contradiction in terms, like a bachelor who has a wife or a vegetarian who eats beef.

He was attempting to draw a parallel to his "no true Scotsman," even though I proved there wasn't one
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.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Grimm

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2012, 09:04:25 AM »
Magic -

I'm going to agree with you.  I do think that, here in the states, going to church is a cultural thing - witness the 94% of Catholic women who gladly state they use or have used birth control.

However, I don't think that church itself is a 'cultural thing'.  The preachers that run the place, the Deacons that handle church business  - or those analogues in whatever denomination - certainly do believe, and their devout followers fill their coffers each month out of a sense of faith.  It's a complex question, and like most complex questions it can't be reduced to simple answers.

I do think the actual percentage of nonbelievers in the country would be much, much higher if people were honest about faith, but I still don't think atheists and nonbelievers would be anything close to a majority. 

.. .personally, I see it more as a fully invested meme - most people are never presented with any significant reason to doubt their faith, and so faith is easy.  Thus, there are lots and lots of faithful out there reinforcing the idea of being faithful.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2012, 09:24:00 AM »
Throughout the US, the common pattern is people are indotrinated as a child, reduce their faith to a nebulous little corner in young adulthood, then have kids(or go into the military) and fall back into the habit, because of the paradigm "that is what adults do" and fall off a bit, then get back into again in their twilight years. Few at, any point, will think of themselves as without faith. They actually DO genuinely believe in Jesus and Yahweh, the whole time, however weakly.

The habit takes them time and time again into a venue where the leaders are adamantly faithful, and their thought pattern will generally conform to them in the typical group polorization phenomenon studied by anthropologists and psychologists.



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.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #38 on: March 14, 2012, 10:07:47 AM »
Reading through these responses reinforces to me what I have long suspected: going to church in the USA seems to be very much a cultural, traditional thing and has little to do with a genuine faith in God. You're not surrounded by Christians, you're surrounded by tradition. My friend recently moved from Australia to one of the southern states and told me they had to go to 6 churches before they found one which seemed even vaguely focused on the cross.

as has been noted, the good ol' TrueChristiantm argument.  Let's see:  the requisite claim of how MM only has a real "genuine faith in God".  That other Christans are only going to "church" (which is indeed often true, but MM seems to think he's a psychic to know what their intentions "really" are).  I'll rewrite that last sentence to what it really means "My friend recently moved from Australia to one of the southern states and told me they had to go to 6 churches before they found one that agreed with them."
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #39 on: March 14, 2012, 11:24:32 AM »
I grew up minimally catholic until age 13 when I was forced into CCD class and regular weekly mass.  I did my very best to be a good catholic.  I believed and was constantly on the lookout for miracles.  I considered becoming a priest.   However, I never bought into some of the trappings.  While catholics are not biblical inerrantists, I never believed in most of the OT stories I knew, though I did not know many. I also had a hard time with the whole idea of confession and what things were actually sins.  That masturbating was something that bothered god to the point of eternal damnation never made any sense to me.  Contraception was another point where the church was obviously out of touch with reality.

When I went to college I started to put 2 and 2 together.  I suspected there might not be a god, so I went to look for evidence to shore up my belief.  I took several philosophy of religion courses.  I got to see what other religions had to say, and it made matters worse.  Finally I took a course on the bible.  Two weeks in all doubt was removed.  I was positive the bible was absolutely false and the god of abraham, isaac and jacob was fiction.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #40 on: March 14, 2012, 12:13:52 PM »
I was raised Catholic, but, honestly, don't remember a time that I took it seriously.

I loved fairy tales when I was little, but knew they were make believe. Santa Claus was always presented (consciously or not on my parents' part) as more of a cover-story for what I knew was my parents giving me presents. Ditto for the tooth fairy and other such characters. I just automatically lumped Bible stories in with the rest of it, and was actually quite disturbed when I found out that grownups actually believed that stuff.

Once I got old enough to really think it through, probably around 11 or so, I guess I ended up as more or less an agnostic deist, figuring that if so many people so much older and wiser than I was were believers, there could well be something to it, but mostly I tended to be skeptical and tried to find or come up with my own explanations of how much fact there was behind Jesus' existence and so forth. I guess I more or less thought there may have been some sort of supreme force or being or whatever, but never gave any credence to the notion that Christians were the ony ones who got the puzzle right. If anything, I figured there was a big picture out there which various religions might have gotten a glimpse of truth into, but that no one had come close to really figuring it out. Buddhism seemed to come the closest.

Other than a very brief flirtation with trying to truly "find" Jesus when I was about 30 (one would have thought an infinitely loving creator would have glommed onto that and given me signs that I was on the right track), it's been mostly a steady slide into shedding more and more of the remaining "woo". I haven't managed to completely shake the hope of there being some sort of afterlife (well, at least one which does not involve hell, anyway), but I seem to be getting there.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Atheists raised Christian?
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2012, 02:51:32 PM »
I was raised Catholic and played along with that for 18 years, but always had a lot of doubts and unanswered questions. The skeptic was always there.
"A resurrected person who is also the son of a virgin could still be talking nonsense. There's no logic that says he must be right. " Christopher Hitchens