Author Topic: Confessions  (Read 846 times)

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Offline Truth OT

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Confessions
« on: August 27, 2012, 11:34:15 PM »
I realizing that the depth of the faith I once had benefited me greatly at times. It, and all the SPAG associated with it helped keep me grounded. In the absence of that faith, what I am finding is that I have some deep sociopathic tendencies that have been repressed for decades. I wonder how different a person I would have been had I not been a participant in the mind control that is religion?

Offline Nam

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 11:42:05 PM »
We all have our individual issues. Religion is either a catalyst or just benign.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline natlegend

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 12:13:38 AM »
Can you be more specific about these sociopathic tendencies?
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2012, 08:05:54 AM »
... keep me grounded.

What do you mean by that?  I hear people talk about being "grounded", but I never know what that really means.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 08:20:08 AM »
I wonder how different a person I would have been had I not been a participant in the mind control that is religion?

There are so many variables with this kind of thing -- not to mention which, psychology is not a hard science in any event -- that it's difficult to say.  One thing I have noted about human nature, however, is that when it comes to doing things wrong, most people are restrained by having one or more of these characteristics: 1) a conscience; 2) a fear of being caught; and 3) a sense of empathy.  Adherence to any kind of superstition, religious belief, or the like is not a factor for most people.

There are, to be sure, some exceptions to that.  I've seen people on discussion boards who have explicitly and openly said that they are extremely evil and hateful people, that the only reason they refrain from killing people and doing other things like that is that they're afraid of what God will do to them, and that other human beings should therefore hope like hell that they never become atheists because if they do, we're dead.  This type of psychopathy, fortunately, appears to be pretty rare.  (I guess it would have to be, else the human race probably wouldn't exist.)
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 10:16:24 AM »
I wonder how different a person I would have been had I not been a participant in the mind control that is religion?

I wonder about this myself. I think every single moment in time we encounter helps form our identity. It's hard to say what would happen if we only removed one aspect with out considering what experiences would be in it's place. Would you instead be raised to form morals based off of societal guidelines? Would you have more rational morals because you weren't basing it off text in a book? What books would you instead use? We all follow the basic principles of someone/something. We don't typically have original ideas.

I forget where I read it, prob this site, but it was about the "short cuts" our brain creates. Basically when looking at questions of morality religion is a pre-programmed shortcut. It's easier to use this short cut to rationalize our morals instead of having to use critical thinking skills to create them. I can understand how it would be easier to commit crimes if after deconversion one never took the extra time to critically think through their morals. But the risk/reward is still there even with out religion. The consequences, albeit shorter term, are still there. I don't personally think we need eternal torture to behave.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 04:31:39 PM »
... keep me grounded.

What do you mean by that?  I hear people talk about being "grounded", but I never know what that really means.

For me this "grounded-ness" acted as an inhibiter to potential inhibitions. Religion greatly influenced me to make consistant efforts to "die to self" and not focus on my own happiness and self development in ways that would have been meaningful to me. For the entirety of my life, I had conditioned myself to put my wants on the back burner and I am bitter about it now!

I have always known that I am a control freak with somewhat of a God Complex. My previous religious faith helped me deify a god as opposed to focusing on living my life in ways that would put me in positions of power and influence. Religion taught me to place my hope in the "next life" and not to love the world or the things it offered because it was all fleeting and doomed to pass away. This thought process shielded me from developing passions for achievement and self actualization. I became the guy that would always say to myself, "If I really wanted to do this or be that, and the pursuit of those selfish goals wouldn't conflict with my faith based convictions, I would be the best so and so to ever walk the damn planet," but I would rarely ever act or pour myself into anything. I became the person who had ideas that he never acted on, the person that would not commit to any endevours, and a guy that was content with half-assed effort from both myself and those around me because in my mind, nothing in this world beyond one's faith and family was worth "pouring" oneself completely into.

I have grown weary of being a damn pawn. Being average and just like everyone else never sat well with me, but I always accepted it because to pursue "greatness" was selfish and ungodly. Now, a absolutely HATE the idea of being an insignificant part of the whole. I have a desire to be more and to influence my will, my visions, and my way upon those who would be even a cursury part of my life. I do not want to play games where the rules for the game were invested by others without my having a voice in the rule making process. I would prefer not to have to deal with other people's shit, but knowing that I must, I want the freedom to be able to deal with others my way without being forced to comply with the whims on non-me's in my dealings.

I guess all that's just a part of my "Megatron Complex" I'm finally looking squarely in the eye angry that I'm trapped in a life situation I would not have chosen had it not been for the outside religious influence imbeded in me from youth. I wish I had a mulligan.................

Offline Chronos

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 04:52:02 PM »
Religion is just a social club with a leader that never appears. The socializing with others is what "grounds you" -- if you lacked social interaction, you wouldn't know how to act or respect others and you wouldn't have any particular direction to follow in life. But, you can get the same by joining a club that is, itself, more "grounded". Join a club that has a leader who actually shows up. Clubs are great ways for control freaks to lose their way, and for non-control freaks to learn how to deal with those who are.

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 Kimberly

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 05:57:25 PM »
Truth OT,

Is there something you can change about the life you are living now? What obstacles are in your way that need to be removed so you can make the change? Do you have a timeline of when this change could be implemented?

Those are all rhetorical questions. Basically in my life I practice the serenity prayer, minus the prayer part.

Something like: "Through my efforts, I gain the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”[1]

It's very simple to put in to practice and helps remove the type of emotional backfire I feel in your post.

On a side note; I've noticed over the years that I grow tired of the people in my life. I really feel like a twisted person when I think about how much I resent having to put on a pretty smile and be who other people want me to be. But I need certain things out of people so I have to give them what they want.

Such as at work. I work in a corporate environment in customer service. I'm one of the highest levels of escalation so I get to deal with a lot of angry people all day long. In particular here lately one man that I'd really like to tell to fuck off. I really don't like this guy, he gives me the creeps, he duplicates my workflow, and just generally makes my job as unenjoyably as possible. But I need my job to provide for my family. I need my boss to be happy with my performance so that I can keep my job. But I'm also not a whipping boy. This person crosses the line and I can't be walked all over. So, I play the game. I report the problems up the corporate channel and we formulate a plan that should in theory put this person in line. I will still have to work with this person but their leash just got shorter.

In my personal life I'm surrounded by people who have higher emotional needs than I do. This one person in particular finds it necessary to whiplash her sarcasm around every time something doesn't go her way. I find it hard to hold back my tongue with her because I feel like she should speak to me with more respect. But I really like her son and he means a lot to me. I don't want to tarnish their relationship and therefore my own relationship with him so I watch her behave like a 2 year old and move on. I'm sure I could express how I feel in a politically correct fashion but the risk/reward isn't worth my personal investment. Which, and this is the kicker, then makes me just as responsible for when she behaves this way. I can't blame her for the way she talks to me when I've yet to tell her it upsets me.

I consider myself to be a very selfish and controlling person. But I also have to work with in the confounds of the relationship dynamics. If I want to get what I want out of the situation I have to invest in to what the other party wants. Failure to do so means my needs aren't met. I like it when my needs are met, so by default I like meeting other people's needs. I admit to getting a little worked up over the process at times but I've yet to find a loop hole that doesn't alienate and isolate me from the rest of the world.
 1. http://sereneatheist.blogspot.com/2009/10/secular-serenity-prayer.html
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 05:59:42 PM by Kimberly »
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2012, 06:21:34 PM »
I realizing that the depth of the faith I once had benefited me greatly at times. It, and all the SPAG associated with it helped keep me grounded. In the absence of that faith, what I am finding is that I have some deep sociopathic tendencies that have been repressed for decades. I wonder how different a person I would have been had I not been a participant in the mind control that is religion?
I've spent a good deal of the past few years in a similar meditation of wondering what kind of person I would be now if I had a different upbringing.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, the only answer that ever satisfies me is that I would simply have been just that - a different person.  Better?  Worse?  I don't know, and I can't know.  The person I associate with 'self' is the totality of my experiences, integrated over time, and added with a constant of my genetics.

If what you are asking yourself is if you would be a better person with a different upbringing, it means that you've, at least to some degree, visualized what 'better' means, and it is in your power, as the person you are right now, to try to become that person.  But to evaluate the person you might have been as being 'better' or 'worse' is an exercise in futility, creating more personal demons for you to fight with.  Believe me.

Mayhaps I'm reading too much into your post and the above is inapplicable.  If so I apologize for needlessly sounding like a bad self-help book.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 12:02:26 PM »
Check this out. It's a text message I received today from a friend of mines who still goes to my old church.

Quote
Christians, use freedom as a tool for life of joyful service. We must not seek to indulge our own desires; instead, we should reach for the best God has for us. Let your freedom sing of power, joy, and love. Accountable to God, devoted to others.


Today's Reading 1 Peter 2:16

16)Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.

It ties right into the mindset that I have been ranting about in this thread.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 12:18:52 PM »
Truth OT,

Is there something you can change about the life you are living now? What obstacles are in your way that need to be removed so you can make the change? Do you have a timeline of when this change could be implemented?

For me Kimberly, change is almost not an option. I have made committments to people based on the theistic view of the world that I had etched in my mind from my youth and I cannot in good conscience spurn those promises. I have a family, a mortgage, and all the obligations that come with being a husband, father, and provider for those I love that depend on me. So at least until my 3 year old reaches manhood, I'm tied to a lifestyle that I no longer feel suits what makes me tick.

Had I known as a youth what I know now and had I had the worldview I now have, my passion would have driven me in a direction other than dreaming of being a husband and a father at a relatively young age. I would have travelled the world, studied and worked in the sciences, accumulated wealth and make it my goal to build a legacy that would endure far beyond my time on this Earth. I would not even had considered settling down until I was at least 40 or older.

What i struggle with now is the fact that I love my family, but I all but hate my life situation. I feel trapped in a lifestyle that isn't, ME. I ain't Mr. Suburbia, but that's who I feel I have to be because that is the committment I made.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 12:45:36 PM »
I was afraid that was the direction you were headed. I'm truly sorry for your situation. It seems like you were robbed of your true identity. I don't think it makes you a sociopath to resent that. I can't fathom how you feel because I always wanted to be a mother. I do often times feel overwhelmed with being a working mother. I feel like I can't be both fairly. I often feel pulled between the two and feel like I sacrifice both my professional and personal goals for some outcome that leaves both my professional and family life compromised.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2012, 01:01:45 PM »
I was afraid that was the direction you were headed. I'm truly sorry for your situation. It seems like you were robbed of your true identity. I don't think it makes you a sociopath to resent that. I can't fathom how you feel because I always wanted to be a mother. I do often times feel overwhelmed with being a working mother. I feel like I can't be both fairly. I often feel pulled between the two and feel like I sacrifice both my professional and personal goals for some outcome that leaves both my professional and family life compromised.

Mothers have so many hats they must wear effectively. Being a mother is truly a job that deserves honor and is so often underappreciated.
I too always wanted to be a father and I made myself into the kind of man I thought I should be in order to be good husband material. What I have found is that the stability that role usually demands is something I feel is a contraint and a hinderance to living life. Luckily I am blessed enough to have a beautiful, intelligent, and loyal wife that makes dealing with this situation more than tolerable.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2012, 01:40:40 PM »
I'm glad to hear that your wife helps you out. You may have mentioned it previously but I don't recall... Is your wife supportive of your atheism? Are you able to speak to her as candidly about this situation as you do here?
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2012, 09:04:28 PM »
I'm glad to hear that your wife helps you out. You may have mentioned it previously but I don't recall... Is your wife supportive of your atheism? Are you able to speak to her as candidly about this situation as you do here?

She tries to ignore my lack of faith for the most part. Not dealing with it has been her coping mechanism. For her, belief in a higher power that loves, cares for, and has a bright future planned out for her helps her stay at peace and cope with life's disappointments and difficulties. I respect her feelings and understand her need for a coping mechanism no matter how irrational provided it doesn't interfere with her ability to function productivity with me and in society as a whole.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2012, 11:22:54 AM »
Well, that's better than the alternative I suppose.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline writerstephen

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2012, 01:19:59 PM »
TruthOT:

I'm new to the board, and I think we can all identify to a certain extent with the "what if things had happened differently" scenario. Yes, it sounds like you're sort of stuck where you are, but maybe you can use what you've learned in your parenting. Teach your children to think critically, to not automatically swallow the dogma they are fed, to follow their dreams and instincts. Perhaps you can have the joy of helping to shape your kids' lives into the kind of powerful existence you might have had for yourself--if that is what you want for them and what they want for themselves.

If you haven't already thought of that. Best of luck to you.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2012, 01:33:49 PM »
Welcome to WWGHA writerstephen! I like your thinking! :D
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline writerstephen

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2012, 01:43:38 PM »
Thank you Kimberly! I got here from the excellent "God is Imaginary" site and I'm loving it so far.

One question (since I see "Forum Guide" in your profile): How does one add a picture to one's profile?

Thank you!

Offline Samothec

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2012, 08:53:07 PM »
Truth OT,
There is a psychopath test but I don't think it's needed to show you that you are not a psychopath. Yes, you supressed your other desires/interests because of your religion. So now you have some frustration and resentment towards your current life. But in spite of those feelings, you stay in your life because your wife and kid(s) need you. A psychopath has no empathy and would have had no problem walking away from them - or throwing them out with nothing. While you describe it as a commitment, psychopaths aren't concerned about commitments.

Could you have some traits we associate with psychopaths? Sure - lots of people do. But I doubt you'd score above 15 on the test[1] - I don't know you well but I have not made note of your posts as lacking empathy. I have made mental notes about others but none of those mental notes has been speculation about psychopathy.[2]
 1. out of 40 - psychopaths score from 30 to 40
 2. Not that I'm a mental health professional - just an amateur
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2012, 08:20:32 PM »
Thank you Kimberly! I got here from the excellent "God is Imaginary" site and I'm loving it so far.

One question (since I see "Forum Guide" in your profile): How does one add a picture to one's profile?

Thank you!

I sent you a PM with the instructions.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Confessions
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2012, 09:19:55 PM »
Truth OT,
There is a psychopath test but I don't think it's needed to show you that you are not a psychopath. Yes, you supressed your other desires/interests because of your religion. So now you have some frustration and resentment towards your current life. But in spite of those feelings, you stay in your life because your wife and kid(s) need you. A psychopath has no empathy and would have had no problem walking away from them - or throwing them out with nothing. While you describe it as a commitment, psychopaths aren't concerned about commitments.

Could you have some traits we associate with psychopaths? Sure - lots of people do. But I doubt you'd score above 15 on the test[1] - I don't know you well but I have not made note of your posts as lacking empathy. I have made mental notes about others but none of those mental notes has been speculation about psychopathy.[2]
 1. out of 40 - psychopaths score from 30 to 40
 2. Not that I'm a mental health professional - just an amateur

I have that book The Psychopath Test - A Journey Through the Madness Industry  by Jon Ronson, it was pretty interesting
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.