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kaziglu bey

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I realize that the OP by Philosopher_at_Large is a little old, but as a former Catholic, I can sympathize with your current position. I found this post to be very impressive. Not saying that I agree with a lot of the things that you believe or say. But I found that you explained what you believe and your reasons for it well, without having to refer to preaching and nonsense, a very high quality post fro a theist, and with a lot of stuff that can be seriously discussed.

As I said, I was raised Catholic. I was pretty involved in the church and activities there, was part of the youth group, was confirmed, and became a minister of the alleged body and blood of Christ (one of the people who hand out the Eucharist and wine to the congregants). Ironically, the latter was during the time that I started to question my faith. I thought that perhaps by such service, I would find answers to my doubts. I thought that by being part of administering a sacred act, I would become closer to God.

This was also when I started college. I took Intro to Philosophy my first semester. My professor was an atheist. It was interesting to me to see someone else asking the same kinds for questions and coming to the same answers as me. It really helped to shatter the wall for me. My transition began at that point, although I couldn't say that it was an immediate switch. I first moved towards a sort of deism, or perhaps maybe pantheism, a sort of Spinoza look at things. It also happened that I developed an interest in Satanism, but it seemed like too much of the same type of BS as was present in Christianity. An occasional bit of something worth pondering, but mostly propaganda and silliness.

I began to try to figure out where I stood. I thought about and wrote about a lot of the different ideas I had about life after death, spirits/souls, gods, the purpose of life, etc etc. But all of this time I was still studying philosophy, and obviously some of that entailed studying the different arguments for God, i.e. cosmological, fine tuning, ontological arguments etc, and seeing that they are very, weak and unconvincing, and appeal very much to ignorance and incredulity, and need a serious shave with Occam's razor. It was inevitable that by the time my first semester was over, I was an atheist. Certainly not as well informed or studied as I am now, and not as passionate. The last 5 years or so have really made me anti religion.

And inevitably I have really come to despise the Catholic Church. I suppose one might reasonably say that I hold a grudge against them, because in a sense I do. I was never molested or anything, but the sick and cruel way the Catholic Church operates, the guilt, the shame, the fear, the intimidation, the need for confession, the oppression of sexuality, and so much more, really shaped the way I was raised and viewed the world because it was all I had ever known.

It's also hard to ignore that the Catholic Church is pretty much the single greatest purveyor of evil the human species has ever known. I submit that if one had a way of assessing every single crime and atrocity and act of wickedness the Catholic Church has committed, it would take at least an entire lifetime to record them all. The Catholic Church has, gleefully and self righteously, oppressed women, encouraged poverty, enforced slavery, overseen genocide and massacres, systematically hidden child predators, supported Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, shuffled ex Nazis out of Europe into South America, campaigned against all forms of contraception and abortion, made saints out of murderers like Thomas More and evil sadists like "Mother" Theresa (Agnes Bojaxhiu), slaughtered their fellow Christians in Constantinople, encouraged and oversaw massacres in Rwanda,and told people in Africa that condoms increase the risk of AIDS. In 2010, when Haiti was utterly devastated by an earthquake, and their former arch-bishop killed along with over a quarter million others, Catholic leaders, standing amidst the ruins of the cathedral, told these despairing people that "“For anyone who has turned away from God, now is the time to return.” and "“God had something to say and he said it here. He did it because he wants Haiti to become a new country.” What kind of thing is that to say to millions of people who have just had their lives completely destroyed? That's just sick, and it's typical of the condescending, holier than thou attitude of the Catholic Church. There are so many other things wrong with them that it would be impossible for me to list them all here.

You do seem to be in a sort of deist type of state right now, but you seem easily capable of crossing the bridge of reason into atheism soon. Really consider the arguments for atheism. Read forum posts by high rated members like Screwtape, parking Places , quesi, nogodsforme, and kcrady, (the top 5). Watch videos of Christopher Hitchens, we have a thread with quite of few of them. You'll find that life is much more precious when you are not having to worry about pleasing Big Brother.

It's no good being Catholic though that's for sure. They are like a kind of super villain evil empire, willing to bleed and extort anyone in order to fatten their own coffers and expand their power. Secular values have managed to reign in a lot of their more directly harmful actions, such as burning people alive for imaginary crimes and treating women like property, among others. And the Catholic Church has been fighting this progression all of the time and still grudgingly maintains some very stubborn and obsolete positions.

13 years ago I was on the same path as you are now. It's worthwhile to hurry down that path towards it's natural end, which is that of non-belief in all forms of superstition.
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