Living in the world as I have , yes I more than likely have base assumptions that I live my life by and make decisions by. Putting these aside may not be possible for me, But I am willing to try.Telling you that I know I can refrain from allowing my beliefs to shadow new information would be untrue. because at this time , I truly don't know..
This is a good start. More importantly, it's an honest start.
As for having a conversation with people that I believe may have more education than myself. I feel that whatever I bring to the table is something that you will feel is totally unfounded so a waste of time to deal with. I guess I just don't what to feel stupid.
That is always a possibility whenever you bring any idea out into the public sphere where it can be criticized. And trust me, any idea that gets tossed out on this forum (irregardless of religious or non-religious affiliation) will
be criticized. We all risk looking and feeling stupid everytime we open our mouths (or type on the keyboard in this case). Any ideas you voice that are seen as stupid will certainly be pointed out as such, but the one thing that I think you'll learn quickly if you decide to stick around here is that most of the people here don't really mind stupid all that much. We all do and think stupid things on occasion.
What is far more likely to get you ridiculed and pounded on is being dishonest, avoiding legitimate points, and using fallacies in your arguments. Intellectual honesty tends to be a very important thing to a lot of atheists. It's also the thing that is most likely to lose/gain you respect from a lot of the people here. No one is implying that you should agree with everything that is said, or adhere to the same viewpoints as the group. Merely that whatever conclusions you come to should be reached for the reasons of rational inquiry and critical thinking, not willful ignorance/blindness.
Plus I have read alot of the post on here , to a normal guy like me , High school. first year of college. the things I have read does not sound to friendly. Many of the post seem to just be putting down people that believe and making fun of them ,, that in itself is intimidating , so just coming here in the first place took some guts.
Keep in mind that a lot of the theists who come here do so only to preach. Out of the ones that don't, most of them are essentially parrots, repeating spurious claims over and over without providing evidence or anything to back themselves up. Then ignore the arguments that are made against them and make the same claims. Once they can't use the same claims they then move onto another idiotic and unsupported claims and try to portray this as making an actual argument or rebuttal. Like I said, that
sort of behaviour is what's going to cause people to have no respect for you, as opposed to if you just say something they think is stupid.
And keep in mind that people like this are a daily occurence for us. That's why I make it a policy to always speak bluntly with the people who come here. I actually used to make a lot of effort to be especially nice to the new theists that come through here. The irritation and frustration from holding back when faced with people like that started to drive me over the edge into out and out hate and despise for all theists. So I realized that rather than putting in so much effort towards being the nice guy to people like that I decided that it was much better for my piece of mind to simply come out and speak what I really wanted to say. Which is why if I think someone is being an idiot I never hesitate to tell it to them.
So if you want me to bow out and leave your site. I will but want I just wrote is more honest than I have been in years. All I can do is try my best. Your Call.
Whether you leave the site or not is up to you.
I will say this however. We get very few theists that come here with a genuine desire to actually hold a legitimate conversation. The ones that do most of us are glad to have around because the debates are more interesting. The debate being one of the main reasons for this site to exist. With the ones that aren't going to contribute to a conversation there's essentially nothing else that can be done except make fun of them. You can't have a reasonable conversation with someone that is unwilling to use reason. As I said before, the category that you fall under is going to be entirely up to you.
But....this is a rough crowd, we like to fight and verbally roughhouse. Not just with theists but with each other as well. The criticism you get here is likely to be harsh on occasion. Not because of your beliefs, because that's simply how we roll. It's what gets us to the truth.
understanding that I may have to learn how to learn.
As a final sidenote, yes, you really do need to learn how to learn. Fortunately this is a very good place for that, if nothing else. Your ideas will be picked apart and people will point out when you're making mistakes in your reasoning. My advice is to listen to them when they do.
My first piece of advice is to listen to yourself when you type. If you have to start something with "I assume" or "I believe", that's a very good general sign that you should reconsider what you are about to say.
Also I would suggest learning about logical fallacies. The entire purpose of logic is to subject your thoughts to critical analysis so that you can avoid fallacious thoughts and conclusions.