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Community Zone => Testimonials => Topic started by: curiousgirl on February 06, 2012, 05:08:44 PM

Title: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 06, 2012, 05:08:44 PM
I know that I have not been posting on here as much as I did last year, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you on how becoming an atheist has truly had a positive impact on my life.

When I first came to this forum last summer, I was in crisis. Due to my deconversion, I found myself in the middle of a deep depression where I would drag myself through my day, and I had such a hard time getting much sleep. You guys were here for me. The members of my (former) megachurch had convinced me that life away from Christ was desolate, empty agony. I even believed at one point that I would rather die than give up God. However, upon conversing with some of you, I realized that it was possible to live a fulfilling life without any kind of god at the center of it.

Today, I am a much healthier person, physically and psychologically. I lost 10 lbs (yay!) because I was able to stop abusing my body from eating too much junk food (as a Christian I had thought that only the afterlife truly matters). I was able to deal with my depression and anxiety (runs in my family, and was triggered by childhood abuse that I suffered) without any medication anymore by taking control of my own life. No longer did I have to deal with the intense pressures and worries of trying to fit into the mold of "God's plan" or "God's will," so I was able to just be myself and figure out how to be comfortable in my own skin. I realized that although I love taking care of my husband and son at home, that I did not have to limit myself just because I am female, so I went back to school.

In retrospect, I realize how much Christianity truly hurt me throughout my childhood and early adulthood.  It limits your potential to grow emotionally, intellectually and socially as a human being due to its prejudices and traditions. Atheism did not turn me into a devil-worshipping, baby-eating witch. Honestly, I have more mental clarity as an atheist than I ever did as a Christian.

I think the world would be a much more loving and fair place if there were less Christians in it. Although I have reached a point where I am not angry at Christians or threatened by them unless they get in my face, I do think that, ironically, the words of Jesus actually apply to them: "they know not what they do." A Christian has to cherry-pick Bible verses and be (at least somewhat willfully) ignorant of ones that do not make sense in the real world. That being said, I do generally have compassion for them (unless they pick a fight or do something outrageous or unfair) because they are like fearful children clinging to their belief in Santa Claus. I do not say that in spite, because I feel a great sense of peace regarding my deconversion, and my bitterness toward Christians has faded. I will, however, express my disgust for that fictional character called "God," and anyone who does terrible things in his name.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Nick on February 06, 2012, 06:28:03 PM
Thank you for that Curiousgirl.  That is why this site and others are so important.  It is criminal what some Christians do to others especially if they question or escape like you did.  And to take control of your life both physically and emotionally...GREAT JOB!!!


(PS - may I point out just how good a fresh baby is...but lets keep that a secret.) ;)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 06, 2012, 07:01:15 PM
Hooray for you cg, and thanks for helping give rational thought a good name. I've been doing this atheism thing for many a decade, and your little spiel here helps me to understand a little better what the current crop of deconverters are going through.

Your ability to not hold a grudge against religion speaks legions for how well you've adjusted. And your lack of bitterness also demonstrates that you're a bit more mature than me.  ;D

You stay, girl. Atheist, that is.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 06, 2012, 08:12:32 PM
Thank you for the kind responses!  :)

Nick, I agree with you about Christian behavior in that Christians can get really ugly with their behavior toward deconverters. I lost almost all of my Christian friends in my former megachurch because they saw me as a threat to their faith once I deconverted. Honestly, I would rather not have their company if they are that closed-minded and threatened by reason.

Anyway, I do hope that my story will help someone else who is thinking of deconverting. It really isn't the end of the world when you lose faith in something that does not even exist.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Tero on February 06, 2012, 08:54:41 PM
Can be difficult in those younger years. Religion played no role for me from 16 to 30, it just was never an issue. In the hippie years we were so fucking tolerant! There was not nearly as much hedonism as the movies show. I thought drugs were risky never did much.

But back to you. Google the It Gets Better site if depressed again.Its for gay lesbian youth but the intolerance is the same.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Brakeman on February 06, 2012, 09:36:16 PM
Funny thing about the anti-gay intolerance.. At work I share an office with a highly educated gay woman who is nearing retirement. She has told me stories about having to deal with prejudice and coming out of the closet. Yet when a current event came into the discussion that mentioned atheists, she let go a theistic tirade. She doesn't know I'm atheist. So being part of a victimized group doesn't slow some down when they get the chance to victimize. Though, personally I think religion is so very very stupid, it doesn't hurt me inside at all I just quietly laugh.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: jetson on February 06, 2012, 10:03:21 PM
Funny thing about the anti-gay intolerance.. At work I share an office with a highly educated gay woman who is nearing retirement. She has told me stories about having to deal with prejudice and coming out of the closet. Yet when a current event came into the discussion that mentioned atheists, she let go a theistic tirade. She doesn't know I'm atheist. So being part of a victimized group doesn't slow some down when they get the chance to victimize. Though, personally I think religion is so very very stupid, it doesn't hurt me inside at all I just quietly laugh.

Damn.  Thanks for reminding us that hypocrisy is alive and well!  I think it's important to remember things like this.  Generally, I find homosexuals to be fairly tolerant of pretty much everyone (except rapists, serial murderers, thieves, and child molesters, of course).  But yeah, pretty much a "live and let live" attitude.  But it is good to keep your wits up when religion comes knocking. 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: albeto on February 07, 2012, 02:04:25 AM
I'm glad you shared this cg.  I think we don't really realize just how much we're trained to suppress ourselves as Christians until we no longer buy the story.  I'm glad you're standing strong and taking control of your life. 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on February 07, 2012, 02:21:56 AM
Honest feedback, your experience doesnt sound typical. I'm glad  you take your life more seriously but i really think it has more to do with you than your former/current beliefs.

As for depression, glad thats fixed. I hope the fix is permanent. Some of the causes of depression in some people are physical as you well know. Don't be ashamed of taking medication if you have to; my cousin is a vice president of a medium sized american company and she takes meds for depression.

You've mentioned abuse? I hope you are dealing with that in a postive way; e.g., joinging a peer group or getting some counceling.

Best luck on going back to school and with your family.

When I first came to this forum last summer, I was in crisis. Due to my deconversion, I found myself in the middle of a deep depression where I would drag myself through my day, and I had such a hard time getting much sleep. You guys were here for me. The members of my (former) megachurch had convinced me that life away from Christ was desolate, empty agony.

Wow, that is excessive.

Quote
I even believed at one point that I would rather die than give up God. However, upon conversing with some of you, I realized that it was possible to live a fulfilling life without any kind of god at the center of it.

If I had a company, I' hire your mega church for my marketing team!!! They are apparently very good at selling b.s.

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Today, I am a much healthier person, physically and psychologically. I lost 10 lbs (yay!) because I was able to stop abusing my body from eating too much junk food (as a Christian I had thought that only the afterlife truly matters). I was able to deal with my depression and anxiety (runs in my family, and was triggered by childhood abuse that I suffered) without any medication anymore by taking control of my own life.

Depression/anxiety has a variety of causes. Everybody gets both to some extent.
If yours doesn't require medication that's great.

Quote
No longer did I have to deal with the intense pressures and worries of trying to fit into the mold of "God's plan" or "God's will," so I was able to just be myself and figure out how to be comfortable in my own skin. I realized that although I love taking care of my husband and son at home,



When I was in church, I didn't notice too many people getting "stressed" by the God's plan thing. In fact, my former church was pretty supportive. However, you

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that I did not have to limit myself just because I am female, so I went back to school.

Again, that doesn't ride with my experience. Your church must have been particularly backward. The church I went to had women who were Phd's, managers and successful accountants.

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In retrospect, I realize how much Christianity truly hurt me throughout my childhood and early adulthood.  It limits your potential to grow emotionally, intellectually and socially as a human being due to its prejudices and traditions. Atheism did not turn me into a devil-worshipping, baby-eating witch. Honestly, I have more mental clarity as an atheist than I ever did as a Christian.

I wouldn't blame Christianity here per se. Lots of Christians live perfectly ordinary lives without being stuck with stone age values. That said, perhaps your church and/or your family were particularly conservative.

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I think the world would be a much more loving and fair place if there were less Christians in it.

This would be true if your experience were universal. It isn't.

Truth is, there are lots of very informed Christians who lives very fullfilling lives and some of their women are even successful.

Quote
Although I have reached a point where I am not angry at Christians or threatened by them unless they get in my face, I do think that, ironically, the words of Jesus actually apply to them: "they know not what they do." A Christian has to cherry-pick Bible verses and be (at least somewhat willfully) ignorant of ones that do not make sense in the real world. That being said, I do generally have compassion for them (unless they pick a fight or do something outrageous or unfair) because they are like fearful children clinging to their belief in Santa Claus. I do not say that in spite, because I feel a great sense of peace regarding my deconversion, and my bitterness toward Christians has faded. I will, however, express my disgust for that fictional character called "God," and anyone who does terrible things in his name.

I think you should get out more and meet more people.

No offense but some Christians are rather normal. For the most part, there isn't a huge difference between Christians and atheists in the US as far as I know.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Tero on February 07, 2012, 07:35:30 AM
I have a longer bit, but here is my 2008 blog on Meaning.
Quote
The Meaning of Life

No, I have no secrets. If there were an all powerful supernatural being, would you want the meaning of your life to be to glorify such an, apparently egotistical, being? I give you your own purpose, make it up.

Life means whatever you want it to mean. I you think it is meaningful to be a kindergarten teacher, be one.

If you believe in God and your purpose is to spread his message, then do that. You might help a few down and out people. You have at least proved there is altruism in man.

If you believe your goal is to seek truths, then seek truths. Record progress, so that someone else can continue your work.

If your goal is to raise a few kids to be good citizens, do that.

We ourselves provide meaning for our lives. If you alone can't do it, form relationships with other people. But, in general, nobody else will do it for you.

Life is here. Enjoy it, this is not just a waiting room, and probably this is all there is.

Have fun.
I thought it worthwhile to post to young folks. (I am 58)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Tykster on February 07, 2012, 08:27:32 AM
I have a longer bit, but here is my 2008 blog on Meaning.
The Meaning of Life

[snip]
If you believe in God and your purpose is to spread his message, then do that. You might help a few down and out people. You have at least proved there is altruism in man.


That's not altruism. It's still doing the bidding of your Invisible Magic Person ( phrase courtesy of Kcrady, thank you. ) with the expectation of being looked upon favorably.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 07, 2012, 11:07:41 AM
Ricky, perhaps it is true that my church was particularly backward. However, the Bible itself is particularly backward, and if Christians choose to live by what it says, that can cause problems for them, especially in this day and age.

If you had a different experience with church, I respect that. Not all Christians are fundies, and I can even get along with some of them because they don't put me down. I realize that there are more liberal Christians. However, history has shown that Christianity has lead to (and in severe cases, it still does lead to) oppression of atheists. I feel that it was unreasonable for most of my friends from church to basically turn their backs on me because I expressed polite disagreement with their beliefs.

I'm not going to say that my opinions are objective reality. They are my opinions based on my individual experiences and my attempts to use reason, and it is totally fine for others to disagree. Ironically, I have reached a point where I feel more humble than I was as a Christian, to where I realize how much I have to learn, especially at such a young age. That being said, I respect that your experience and opinion is different than mine. I may have a strong opinion, but I'm not trying to make others feel like their experiences are invalid.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: velkyn on February 07, 2012, 12:03:43 PM
This would be true if your experience were universal. It isn't.
Truth is, there are lots of very informed Christians who lives very fullfilling lives and some of their women are even successful.
Yes, that's true, but many many of us have had the same experience as CG.  Those Christians who are tolerant, etc, are not followign their bible and they have essentially created another religion.  I've also noticed that Christians are much nicer when not in a herd.  it's harder to be an ass if you don't have someone supporting you.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on February 07, 2012, 06:17:40 PM
Well, I';ve experienced the rejection thing too.   :-X That part of your testimoney I can relate to.

I've encountered the view that morality comes from God too but was surprised by that causing you depression. The depression part certainly sounded beyond christianity to me ...? I'm happy you conquered that. Depression can be very scary when it gets out of hand.

A girl I liked eventually rejected my marriage when I told her I wasn;t a christian any more

I wasn't just talking about liberal Christians or tolerance but you seemed to have experienced more than just intolerance if I understood your testimoney well

For example, you mentioned "getting an education" as a woman. I know tons of fundie women with educations and careers. Indeed the girl who rejected me socially was very well educated. She's not a liberal Christian but she's certainly an educated one.

Anyway, many of the aspects you rejected sounded like more than conservative christianity but ultra conservative. I do know there exist conservative Christians who believe women should be barefoot and pregnant but I'd not experienced those people as the majority of  conservative christians.

It should be noted however that I'm Canadian and Canada is socially to the left of the US.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: thunderridge on February 07, 2012, 08:04:52 PM
cg-  Have you come across where does your moral standard come from question yet?  And if so how did you respond? 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Tykster on February 08, 2012, 08:58:41 AM
cg-  Have you come across where does your moral standard come from question yet?  And if so how did you respond?

Please excuse my interruption here, but so far, for me, the best response to the morality question is courtesy of the late Hitch, simply; that morality predates religion. It gives them something to ponder...
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: thunderridge on February 08, 2012, 11:30:38 AM
Thanks Tykster.  I did not know of that Hitch quote.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 08, 2012, 05:35:38 PM
I view morality as subjective because it changes with time and cultures. It even changes from one part of the Bible to the next because of SPAG.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 08, 2012, 05:55:26 PM
Ricky, let me give you an example of the backwardness of my former church. They said that you HAVE to obey your husband (as long as his commands don't contradict Scripture). That means if he says no school or work, the wife can forget about being outside the home. If he says to be pregnant, she is supposed to either pray to God to change his mind, or she has to get pregnant.

I was lucky that my husband deconverted before me, and he is not the type to order me around anyway. I am happy that he views me as an equal. However, I had been so brainwashed as a Christian that I still thought that being a subservient housewife was the best thing in God's eyes.

Also, other women are not so lucky. The church tells them that if their husbands are cruel, or addicts or abusive, to pray for them but not to divorce them. So many women endure years of psychological and/or physical abuse because they are taught that they can only divorce if their husband cheats on them or deserts them.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Nick on February 08, 2012, 06:21:25 PM
Ricky, let me give you an example of the backwardness of my former church. They said that you HAVE to obey your husband (as long as his commands don't contradict Scripture). That means if he says no school or work, the wife can forget about being outside the home. If he says to be pregnant, she is supposed to either pray to God to change his mind, or she has to get pregnant.

I was lucky that my husband deconverted before me, and he is not the type to order me around anyway. I am happy that he views me as an equal. However, I had been so brainwashed as a Christian that I still thought that being a subservient housewife was the best thing in God's eyes.

Also, other women are not so lucky. The church tells them that if their husbands are cruel, or addicts or abusive, to pray for them but not to divorce them. So many women endure years of psychological and/or physical abuse because they are taught that they can only divorce if their husband cheats on them or deserts them.
Can we all say, "Tailban"
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 09, 2012, 01:21:17 AM
Well, the scary thing about my former church is that members tried to dress stylishly and put up a front that they are cool because they can be into some modern trends (social networking, imitating popular styles of music to make Christian songs for services) but underneath it all they follow archaic Biblical teachings like what I mentioned in my earlier post.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Tero on February 09, 2012, 07:28:35 AM
Just don't get no husband anywhere there. Move to a comfortable distance when able and get a life there.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on February 12, 2012, 09:39:18 AM
Well, the scary thing about my former church is that members tried to dress stylishly and put up a front that they are cool because they can be into some modern trends (social networking, imitating popular styles of music to make Christian songs for services) but underneath it all they follow archaic Biblical teachings like what I mentioned in my earlier post.

So you are saying the woman in your church were all barefoot and pregnant?  :?

There were no female accountants, business woman, politicians, or other professionals in your church? All of them were slaves to their husbands (a bad thing) and good moms (a good thing of course)?

I do acknowledge Christianity is not a tolerant religion and every Christian should apparently believe the world is going to hell. That does objectively suck.

However, you mentioned some many other things here.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 12, 2012, 12:48:57 PM
No, Ricky, I think you missed my point. While I did not claim that all the women were barefoot and pregnant, I did mention that the women were taught to obey their husbands (if they were married).

The unmarried women had more jobs and independence, but they were told not to have sex AT ALL until they were married. So there were women who wanted to stay unmarried into their 40s and 50s, but they complained that they had not had sex in years.

Many other women who chose love and sex got married and lost their independence. A lot of the wives stayed at home and had kids because they felt that God wanted them to or because their husbands wanted them to.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on February 13, 2012, 01:56:46 AM
Thanks for the clarifications.

No, Ricky, I think you missed my point. While I did not claim that all the women were barefoot and pregnant, I did mention that the women were taught to obey their husbands (if they were married).

I see. Obeying your husband certainly is in the bible but most Christians, including many fundies seem to take that with a grain of salt.  ;)

You were married before you converted; how did your husband adjust so well?

Quote
The unmarried women had more jobs and independence, but they were told not to have sex AT ALL until they were married.

Fair enough; this was the case in a liberal church I went to as well. I don't necessarily
see this as a disadvantage although I did have sex before marriage. The advantage of waitng, for both men and women, is a reduced risk of STDs.

My grandmother didn't have sex until 2 years after being married.

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So there were women who wanted to stay unmarried into their 40s and 50s, but they complained that they had not had sex in years.

I see. If they complained, why did they stay in the church? I mean, if they believe the no sex outside marriage thing, why complain?

Quote
Many other women who chose love and sex got married and lost their independence. A lot of the wives stayed at home and had kids because they felt that God wanted them to or because their husbands wanted them to.

Were the majority of married women in that church thus stay at home moms or the minority?

It should be noted, when its voluntary, I see advantages and disadvantages to having a stay at home parent; notice I didn't specify the parent has to be the wife. Its dangerous if a relationship is abusive of course and for some people its too contraining or its too expensive.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Tero on February 13, 2012, 12:47:55 PM
There's not enough comedy here. I will quote Zappa from Helsinki set, 1975: If you are Christian, you get pussy.

May be on You tube. Its called Room Service.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 13, 2012, 02:16:11 PM
Ricky, my husband certainly did deconvert before me, and it initially strained our marriage. When I decided to use reason rather than just believing what the Bible said or what the church taught, I deconverted as well.

For some women, waiting for sex until marriage works. For many, it does not because they want to be sure that they are sexually compatible with someone before they are married. Also, for some it takes years to find the right spouse and they would rather just have sex with a boyfriend until they are sure he is "the one". So some women have sex before marriage and are called evil for acting normal. I disobeyed my church (discreetly) and had sex when I was engaged. If women ask men to use condoms, that decreases the risk of spreading STDs or having unintended pregnancies.

However, there are the in-between (unmarried and conflicted) women that I mentioned earlier who were older and still abstained from sex, because they did not want to be seen as evil by God or anyone else. Yet they truly wanted to have sex and maintain their freedom to where a man could not order them around. I honestly think they complained and stayed because they feared going to hell if they left the church. I certainly feared hell when I first left the faith and the church. I had even feared hell when I had sex before marriage, and I got married soon after.

Most of the married women were stay-at-home moms, including myself. Having a child with your husband was seen as the second biggest blessing for a woman (the first biggest blessing was salvation through Christ). Even though I had my son at a young age (he is 3 now) and it was hard, I am still glad that I had him because he was always wanted. However, I did not want to feel like I had to stay home just because the church taught that women are supposed to serve their husbands like they serve Christ. I had a mind of my own, and I wanted to think for myself. I like to take care of my husband and son, but I can get a degree and go to work. My husband even told me that I can boss him around.  ;)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on February 25, 2012, 04:09:39 PM
Ricky, my husband certainly did deconvert before me, and it initially strained our marriage.

I see. And as a believer he forced you to be barefoot and pregnant? Or was that decision really just the one that suited you both at the time rather than a perceoved directive from God?

For some women, waiting for sex until marriage works. For many, it does not because they want to be sure that they are sexually compatible with someone before they are married.

Unsure why you said women instead of people. Obviously, some men will have issues with a perceived lack of "sexual compatibility" as well.  :-X

I agree sexual compatibility can be a problem but honestly, I suspect the main factors that lead to divorce are other things. Different priorities, different views of how money should be handled, etc, etc, etc. I honestly believe, if two people want to make sex work they can. I'll confess that some sex acts may excite one partner and gross out the other though. I also confess some people may turn out to be infertile or have low libido or at least differing libido.

Another advantage of sex before marriage is in theory, you should get better at it with experience. On the con side, it becomes more routine with practice too. And a last one is rushing into marriage because of overall mutual desire to have sex.

I had sex before marriage. I did so because I wanted to and my partner did.

However, the advantages of waiting include:
- lower probability of sexual diseases
- less comparison with other people.

Quote
Also, for some it takes years to find the right spouse and they would rather just have sex with a boyfriend until they are sure he is "the one".

Sure and quite frankly some people enjoy having sex without being tied down.  :police:
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on February 26, 2012, 10:09:53 PM
Ricky, as I mentioned earlier, "I had been so brainwashed as a Christian that I still thought that being a subservient housewife was the best thing in God's eyes."

I said "women" in an earlier post because we were talking about women earlier.

Anyway, I respect your opinions. However, I am confused as to whether you are being inquisitive or contrary. I mean no offense with that comment. However, I am trying to figure out exactly where this conversation is going.  :)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: monkeymind on February 27, 2012, 04:39:22 PM
Quote
Anyway, I respect your opinions. However, I am confused as to whether you are being inquisitive or contrary. I mean no offense with that comment. However, I am trying to figure out exactly where this conversation is going

Don't feel bad, I wonder this about nearly every one of Ricky's posts.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: GodlessHeathen on March 01, 2012, 02:31:24 PM
I can completely relate to where you are coming from. I too experienced a deep depression once lack of evidence shattered the fundamentalist Christian beliefs I had clung to for 18 years. Ultimately, I realized that the Christian beliefs had done more harm than good, because the Christian faith teaches that an individual is completely worthless all because some guy allegedly ate a piece of fruit from the wrong tree. I came to believe so blindly that I was nothing more than a worthless, filthy sinner in God's eyes and that the only since of worth I could ever possibly have could come only from trusting in some guy who offered a human sacrifice to appease this God that my entire sense of self-worth and independence became almost entirely replaced by a total dependence on the crutch of Christianity. While I was a Christian, I thought that I was totally at peace, that Jesus had "made me worthy", etc. After my crisis of faith, I came to realize that I have worth on my own, apart from what some imaginary deity might think of me and that I do not need belief in said imaginary deity to have peace.

I am totally and completely at peace with where I am now and have no desire whatsoever to go back to Christianity.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: velkyn on March 01, 2012, 02:39:00 PM
welcome to the forum GodlessHeathen.   :)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: GodlessHeathen on March 01, 2012, 04:38:12 PM
Thanks, velkyn!  :)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on March 03, 2012, 03:03:51 PM
Ricky, as I mentioned earlier, "I had been so brainwashed as a Christian that I still thought that being a subservient housewife was the best thing in God's eyes."

But you concede, had you remained a Christian, you could just as easily have met liberal minded working Christian women and been converted to changing your mind on that without disbelieving in God ...?

That is, it sounds like your path to disbelief lead to your path to no longer being a housewife but that may say a lot more about you than it does about Christianity per se.  :o

Imagine if, I took a course in automechanics and hated it so much that I became a chef. I could make a post against automechanics leading to cooking. Now, its true automechanics are often viewed as "he men" (and tough women) where cooking isn't always associated with the profession but I'm sure a careful investifagation would reveal that many automechanics in fact cook and enjoy cooking.


Quote
However, I am confused as to whether you are being inquisitive or contrary.

That would have to be taken on a point by point basis. We come from different backgrounds and are engaging in a dialog.

Without the conversation being complete, its rather hard to know where it may lead.

[/quote]
 I mean no offense with that comment. However, I am trying to figure out exactly where this conversation is going.  :)
[/quote]

No offense has been yet taken.

Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on March 07, 2012, 04:44:17 PM
To answer your question, Ricky, there were definitely liberal-minded working women at my church. However, as I mentioned earlier, those were typically the ones who did not want to get married or else they would have felt compelled to obey their husbands/be subservient. Since I was already married, I subscribed to the church's idea (which they repeated over and over again during church services) that a woman must serve her husband like she serves the Lord. A woman was supposed to have these as her top priorities, according to my church: God, her husband, and her child(ren). Women who had kids were considered more blessed somehow by God, and work or school was considered something more worldly. So I don't think I could have thought more liberally without my deconversion, since I had heard that sort of stuff since I was a little kid.

I think that what I experienced says a lot about my church's brand of Christianity. Different churches have different interpretations of scripture, and what I mentioned earlier is what they taught me. Some churches ignore scripture, and end up using their own SPAG (rather than the SPAG of Biblical authors) to guide them. I feel that any type of SPAG is potentially dangerous because it is simply a person's way of justifying doing whatever they please. For example, in the OT, a father is to be payed in silver shekels if his virgin daughter is raped, and she must marry her rapist. That sounds to me as if the Biblical authors wanted women to be treated as property, so they hid behind the "authority" of their God to justify that.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on March 07, 2012, 04:47:25 PM
Welcome, GodlessHeathen! And good for you for realizing your own self-worth!  :)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: GodlessHeathen on March 07, 2012, 05:31:04 PM
Welcome, GodlessHeathen! And good for you for realizing your own self-worth!  :)

Thanks! Glad to be here!
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: aspiringAnimator on March 17, 2012, 06:56:31 PM
I see where you are coming from. I had always been taught to follow this god, but without any proof of him, their words had become increasingly hollow. I'm glad you had been getting better from that depression, though! Times like that are hard.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on March 18, 2012, 02:51:21 AM
Fair point about yiur church and thanks for it. The churches that I went to were perhaps lot less conservative than yours.

Even the Chinese church I went to while conservaticve in many ways had married women working ...

I believe the wife of billy graham in fact had a job for example. Could be wrong.

Some churches ignore scripture, and end up using their own SPAG (rather than the SPAG of Biblical authors) to guide them. I feel that any type of SPAG is potentially dangerous because it is simply a person's way of justifying doing whatever they please.

That is the theory yes. I'm unconvinced that its totally true. Certainly rhere is some truth to it.

Putting things in perspective, in theory atheists, not being bound by scripture can be morally bound to whatever they please. So once the churches have left the SPAG of the biblical authors, they are. O more or less scary than atheists.


Quote
For example, in the OT, a father is to be payed in silver shekels if his virgin daughter is raped, and she must marry her rapist. That sounds to me as if the Biblical authors wanted women to be treated as property, so they hid behind the "authority" of their God to justify that.

Certainly this sort of thing is played out in Muslim  countries sometimes. I think most modern countries would reject this as not being in spirit of what Jesus was conveying.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: qwan_lee on April 03, 2012, 05:49:06 PM
I know that I have not been posting on here as much as I did last year, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you on how becoming an atheist has truly had a positive impact on my life.


I ___________strongly___________ suggest you "convert" back to being a Christian. Heaven and hell are BOTH free. Jesus paid the price on the cross for your sins. Asking Jesus for forgiveness and asking Him into your heart(Revelation 3:20) is how you become born again. Jesus cannot change you from the outside but when you ask Him into your heart(soul) then will you be fit to be in heaven.

Look at the numerous NDE videos on youtube.com about heaven and hell. They are all saying the same thing accept the free gift of salvation or accept your free fate of hell. Don't think that you know more than NDE people who HAVE experienced EXACTLY what the bible says happens to believers and non-believers.

Here is an excellent video of a NDE:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Spiritlessons?v=MA7mtcJ748U
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Emily on April 03, 2012, 07:13:04 PM
Look at the numerous NDE videos on youtube.com about heaven and hell. They are all saying the same thing accept the free gift of salvation or accept your free fate of hell. Don't think that you know more than NDE people who HAVE experienced EXACTLY what the bible says happens to believers and non-believers.

Here is an excellent video of a NDE:


and here's an awesome picture of dogs playing poker:

(http://www.paintings2enjoy.com/assets/Paintings/BoldBluff.jpg)

Cool, isn't it. Dogs actually do play poker. There are numerous pictures out there of similar things (that being dogs playing poker). So it's true: dogs do play poker.

/sarcasm


Do you believe dogs can play poker? If not, seeing things in visual form, without evidence, shouldn't lead towards believing, now should it?
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Historicity on April 03, 2012, 07:30:05 PM
As for NDEs:

70% of people die from lack of blood oxygen.

Consciousness of the external world lasts about 15 seconds after loss of oxygen.  The cells can go on for some time on stored chemicals like glycogen.

The brain shuts off the voluntary muscles first.  This gives the appearance of death but hearing and sight continue tho the victim can't respond.   The brain centers that sense body position are shut off and the victim doesn't know the position of their body.

Blood flow to the eyes is mostly the mass of blood vessels refreshing the fovea (focal area) of the eye.  The rest of the eye, less so.  The outer parts of the vision are lost first and the central part last.  This narrowing of vision is tunnel vision.  This is the "moving thru a tunnel" phenomenon.

Loss of oxygen produces a strange irrational state.  As an example a boy who was a competitive swimmer was about to swim under a pool.  He took several deep breaths to clear CO2 from his lungs and fully oxygenate his blood stream.  Well, not fully.  But friends at the pool were saying things that made him laugh and he started over and over.  He had deep breathed at least 7 times.  Then he dove and swam.  And swam.  And swam.  He never reached a point where he had a painful urge to breath.  He did reach a point where he had an urge to breath -- not bad -- but he started to breath in water.  Why not? 

This irrational state is because the frontal lobes shut down before the rest.  The victim knows they are dying but it doesn't bother them.  That would require linking things into an if-then-therefore-and-then sequence.  That's logic and the frontal lobes do it.  So the victim gains a sense of serenity from the lack of logic.

Then blackness.  Then the loss of oxygen causes an epileptic fit across the brain.  In parallel with this, but not controlled by the brain the body may convulse and even breath a last breath with the larynx relaxed.  This is the death rattle.  As an internal sensation the victim sees memories fire off.  Unlike a dream state it's all old stuff. 

If the victim is revived the pupils are dilated even tho sight has returned.  This means there is an aura around objects they see.  One woman remembered seeing her husband.  You're thinking late husband.  Nope.  Living husband.  He was there in the operating room. She reported the glowing figures in white as angels but they were just the doctors and nurses seen with pupils dilated.

Are the Youtube videos in Hindi?  What I mean is that in his seminal book on this, Life after Life , Raymond Moody noted that Hindus saw the same things, Plato told of a Greek soldier who nearly died on a battlefield who had the same thing and a Jew who saw a bright figure waiting for him did not report it was Christ but an angel.

So:

  1)  All the NDE phenomenon are produced by loss of blood oxygen.
  2)  As the saying goes, "All religions say the same thing."  That is, the NDEs do not validate any particular religion.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: qwan_lee on April 03, 2012, 09:01:07 PM
As for NDEs:

70% of people die from lack of blood oxygen.

Consciousness of the external world lasts about 15 seconds after loss of oxygen.  The cells can go on for some time on stored chemicals like glycogen.
...

You greatly belittle the LIFE CHANGING event of NDE. You make it sound like they got knocked out like a boxer. These peoples
lives where changed forever! What happens to these people after they visit hell? They accept the free gift of salvation Jesus
provides to those who ask for foregiveness.

All religions ARE NOT the same. All religions _except_ Christianity think they can save themselves by being good moral upright
citizens. Christians realize every man has sinned and need foregiveness through Jesus.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".[Romans 6:23]
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God[Romans 3:23]
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: qwan_lee on April 03, 2012, 09:03:40 PM
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Emily,

Well, I guess you certainly proved me wrong there! (chuckle) All that's left now is to see who's right when we die.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Alzael on April 03, 2012, 09:12:49 PM
All religions ARE NOT the same. All religions _except_ Christianity think they can save themselves by being good moral upright
citizens. Christians realize every man has sinned and need foregiveness through Jesus.

You don't know very much about other religions, obviously. Certainly not enough to be making any claims about them at any rate.

Case in point:Aside from the Abrahmic religions, the idea of being "saved" is extremely rare in other religions that exist now and in the past.

Christians realize every man has sinned and need foregiveness through Jesus.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".[Romans 6:23]
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God[Romans 3:23]

So then your god condemns every baby and child to hell simply because they are not old enough to know to accept Jesus. As well as anyone who lives in a place where they were never taught about him in the first place. You are also, apparently, completely ok with this.

Not to mention the obvious implication that your version of god is punishing people for the actions of people who lived thousands of years ago.

I could go on, but I think we've pretty well established by now that you are a truly horrible person. No need to belabour the point.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Historicity on April 03, 2012, 09:17:01 PM
You greatly belittle the LIFE CHANGING event of NDE.  You make it sound like they got knocked out like a boxer.
Yep. I told the truth about it.  But I did not say it was the same phenomenon as a concussion.

Quote
These peoples lives where changed forever! What happens to these people after they visit hell? They accept the free gift of salvation Jesus provides to those who ask for foregiveness.
So?  How does that prove they didn't make a mistake?

Quote
All religions ARE NOT the same. All religions _except_ Christianity think they can save themselves by being good moral upright citizens. Christians realize every man has sinned and need foregiveness through Jesus.
I didn't say that.   What I said was that people of all religions have reported the same NDE phenomena which you think is only Christian.

I put the "All religions say the same thing" in quotes because a reasonably intelligent person would know it was a joke to repeat that cliché.  And just to make it less likely to be misunderstood I couched it in "As the saying goes".

Quote
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".[Romans 6:23]
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God[Romans 3:23]
Totally irrelevant to the matter at hand.


EDIT: Removed insults.  I apologize for the display of temper.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: JeffPT on April 03, 2012, 09:27:57 PM
You greatly belittle the LIFE CHANGING event of NDE. You make it sound like they got knocked out like a boxer. These peoples
lives where changed forever! What happens to these people after they visit hell? They accept the free gift of salvation Jesus
provides to those who ask for foregiveness.

I think what he was doing was giving you an alternate explanation for the phenomena of NDE's that soundly defeats your "It really was the afterlife! PRAISE JEEEEZUS!" stance.  You're response here is nothing more than an emotional appeal on your part that stands as hard and fast evidence that you have no capability of analyzing what he said with the logical side of your brain. 

His argument uses reasoned, documented, scientifically proven phenomena to describe what occurs during an NDE and your response us 'Look at how much they've changed!  They really had a super special experience!"   

His argument is better than yours.  Sorry.

All religions ARE NOT the same.  All religions _except_ Christianity think they can save themselves by being good moral upright
citizens. Christians realize every man has sinned and need foregiveness through Jesus.

Who cares?  It's just one more nutty tenant of one more nutty religion.  Do you think the uniqueness of this statement has some sort of special meaning?  As if it HAS to be true just because other religions don't say the exact same thing?  It doesn't.  It's still fake. 

I, personally, would prefer that all of you think you can save yourselves by being good, moral, upright citizens.  That would at least make you responsible for your actions.  As it is now, if you do something bad, all you have to do is ask your invisible friend for forgiveness and everything is fine.  Haven't you ever heard the joke about the bike??? 

"I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness."

I'm just glad I don't believe in your Jesus.  I don't know how I could look at myself in the mirror every day. 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".[Romans 6:23]
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God[Romans 3:23]

Thanks, but most of us have read the book already.  It's fiction. 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Historicity on April 03, 2012, 09:46:24 PM
I forgot to give my source on those medical facts.

The are from a Gerry Woerlee (http://www.woerlee.org/) an anesthesiologist in Holland who had written peer reviewed papers on the phenomena.   I read it in his book, The Unholy Legacy of Abraham (http://www.unholylegacy.woerlee.org/).  I downloaded it when he offered it for free.  He has now put it behind a $6.95 pay wall but it it worth that much.  That was in a fictional context.

Here are some of his articles:
Near Death Experiences (http://www.neardeath.woerlee.org/).        That covers the same material I used above. 
Pam Reynolds Near Death Experience (http://www.neardeath.woerlee.org/pam-reynolds-near-death-experience.php)
CSICOP -- Darkness, Tunnels and Light (http://www.csicop.org/si/show/darkness_tunnels_and_light)

One item above that was not from him was when I looked for advice on underwater swimming on the internet.  They used to have underwater swimming contests but they had near-drowning incidents like the guy who kept on swimming at the end of the pool instead of turning for a lap and he slammed his head into the concrete.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: jaimehlers on April 03, 2012, 10:34:40 PM
You greatly belittle the LIFE CHANGING event of NDE. You make it sound like they got knocked out like a boxer. These peoples
lives where changed forever! What happens to these people after they visit hell? They accept the free gift of salvation Jesus
provides to those who ask for foregiveness.

All religions ARE NOT the same. All religions _except_ Christianity think they can save themselves by being good moral upright
citizens. Christians realize every man has sinned and need foregiveness through Jesus.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".[Romans 6:23]
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God[Romans 3:23]
So, how do we confirm that they did indeed visit hell, instead of having a delusion brought about by oxygen deprivation in the brain, like Historicity said?  That's the key point that you don't seem to understand.  The very fact that you have to claim that we'll know once we die is a critical logical error, because it makes it impossible to prove the claim true or false.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Brakeman on April 03, 2012, 10:48:56 PM
You greatly belittle the LIFE CHANGING event of NDE. You make it sound like they got knocked out like a boxer. These peoples
lives where changed forever! What happens to these people after they visit hell? They accept the free gift of salvation Jesus
provides to those who ask for foregiveness.

How do these people know that they are dying? That sounds like a simplistic question, but follow this. People know that they are cold by neurons from their extremities sending a signal to the brain. The brain is the sensing center of the body, (not the Heart, sorry mr. bible), so when the brain is malfunctioning about monitoring and controlling the body, how could it work perfectly to follow and relay a video message from the other side?

You know LSD and other drugs can modify the brains logic at will, so how can you assume that the NDE message is clear when the brain is dying? It makes no sense.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Hatter23 on April 05, 2012, 03:19:29 PM
I want to say atheism in and of itself has done nothing for me. It is, however, the consequence, of something that has done a great deal for me. Logical Skepticm. A system of making sure what I think is internally consistent, and consistent with fact. That has made all the difference in the world. I can tell when someone is making a reasonable argument, and when someone is not making a reasonable argument.  I can actually make decisions in line with reality! Including, when someone is telling me I am wrong, to see if I do need to modify my beliefs to be even more in line with reality.



Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Ice Monkey on April 05, 2012, 03:57:39 PM
Thank you for that Curiousgirl.  That is why this site and others are so important.  It is criminal what some Christians do to others especially if they question or escape like you did.  And to take control of your life both physically and emotionally...GREAT JOB!!!


(PS - may I point out just how good a fresh baby is...but lets keep that a secret.) ;)
I was gonna mention that, but saw that she had lost 10 lbs., so...
I don't want her blaming my recipes if she puts it back on.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: MonicaLynn on April 05, 2012, 09:52:51 PM
It is good to hear that someone has made progress in their life no matter how it came about ( so long as not immoral of course).  I have found recently hat my relationship was bettered with my husband when following the verse in Ephesians about being submissive. I don't like tha interpretation, so I dug further. I found other interpretations to say " be subject to" which I like because I think of loyal subject, and if we are both being that to each other, how great is that? We are arguing less. I trust him more, and the happieness in my house has gone way up. Funny enough though, the literal translation from the original Greek text says " and wives, also to the husbands, as to the Lord " . There is no action verb. It just means to me that we should love and respect each other in a way that cannot be put into words :)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: DumpsterFire on April 06, 2012, 03:56:45 AM
All religions ARE NOT the same. All religions _except_ Christianity think they can save themselves by being good moral upright
citizens. Christians realize every man has sinned and need foregiveness through Jesus.

This little (well, actually HUGE) detail is the biggest failure of xtianity, IMO. It essentially posits that if a horrible person (the usual go-to guy in these situations is Hitler, of course) on his death bed sincerely repents and accepts Christ he will be forgiven and happily accepted into heaven, while a non-xtian who has led an exemplary life will burn in hell. This is utter and complete horse shit, and how you can think that it somehow makes xtianity "special" and/or better than other religions is both a mystery and kind of frightening to me.

It is especially infuriating that most xtians seem to have the view that atheists must be totally immoral without god, yet proudly espouse this ridiculous hunk of dogma which clearly states that how one behaves does not matter to god for salvation.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: velkyn on April 06, 2012, 09:23:02 AM
Monica, 

Immoral?  I wonder how you define that.  If one goes with the bible, it's immoral to think that it is a pile of mythical nonsense. 

I love how you can decide that you don't like an interpretation so you just make up your own.  Wow, how great is that to make up a religion for yourself and a god that agrees with you?  I am not a subject to my husband.  I am an equal partner.  I love my husband and he loves me.  And we know that by what we do.  I see no evidence that your god loves anything or anyone. 

My atheism helped me greatly, much like Hatter said.  It made me think about things skeptically and now I'm much happier since I am not afraid of any mythical bogeyman, that I know my actions are important, and that doing things here and now are all the chance I'll get, like loving a man I would have been too shy to approach. 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: MonicaLynn on April 06, 2012, 09:36:05 AM
I don't make up my own. Don't recall writing that. I simply consult different interpretations to see who got the real point, and gauge that in comparison to love. To simply submit to someone or something is not love, it is ignorance. God didn't give me a brain not to be used. I always consult the literal translation from the original texts. I find these more meaningful usually.

Also, my actions are very important. I don't think God is going to welcome me into His house if I act like an ass out in the streets.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Hatter23 on April 06, 2012, 09:40:08 AM
Monica, 

My atheism helped me greatly, much like Hatter said. 

Actually, I said it has done nothing for me. It is the consequence of Logic, which has made my understanding on nearly everything, vastly more clear.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Alzael on April 06, 2012, 09:40:34 AM
I don't make up my own. Don't recall writing that. I simply consult different interpretations to see who got the real point, and gauge that in comparison to love. To simply submit to someone or something is not love, it is ignorance. God didn't give me a brain not to be used. I always consult the literal translation from the original texts. I find these more meaningful usually.

That's what she said. You're effectively making up your own interpretations.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: velkyn on April 06, 2012, 09:41:49 AM
what is "immoral", Monica?

You don't have to write that, Monica. I can see that you do make up your own interpretations.  Each theist does and looks for something that agrees with what they have declared themselves as the "real point".  Fred Phelps (the God hates fags guy)  is just as sure as yuo are that he has the "real point" of what your bible says. 

and which "literal translation" do you use, Monica?  There are quite a few bibles that claim that their way is the only "literal translation". 

and yes, hatter, I know I wrote that wrong.  Atheism, which I found through skeptical reasoning, is just a thing, but it keeps me on the straight and narrow because it shows me that I was so wrong before in my religious days.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: MonicaLynn on April 06, 2012, 09:43:58 AM
I get the translations from language interpretation resources. Not bibles.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: velkyn on April 06, 2012, 09:49:29 AM
I get the translations from language interpretation resources. Not bibles.

I assume you've read the bible.  Which one do you use?  and it seems that you are trying to claim that you go back to the earliest copies of the bible books that we have?  Do you?  Andwhat resources are these?  Do you mean to say that you read Aramaic and Hebrew?

what's "immoral" Monica?  I've asked you a question. 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: qwan_lee on April 09, 2012, 09:09:18 PM
You greatly belittle the LIFE CHANGING event of NDE. You make it sound like they got knocked out like a boxer. These peoples
lives where changed forever! What happens to these people after they visit hell? They accept the free gift of salvation Jesus
provides to those who ask for foregiveness.

How do these people know that they are dying? That sounds like a simplistic question, but follow this. People know that they are cold by neurons from their extremities sending a signal to the brain. The brain is the sensing center of the body, (not the Heart, sorry mr. bible), so when the brain is malfunctioning about monitoring and controlling the body, how could it work perfectly to follow and relay a video message from the other side?

You know LSD and other drugs can modify the brains logic at will, so how can you assume that the NDE message is clear when the brain is dying? It makes no sense.

Tell me why these people with NDE's afterwards undergo dramatic life changing commitment to Jesus? Please point me to where LSD or other hallucinogens does this?

[I edited my prior comment.It was inflammatory..sorry.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: albeto on April 09, 2012, 09:29:45 PM
Tell me why these people with NDE's afterwards undergo dramatic life changing commitment to Jesus? Please point me to where LSD or other hallucinogens does this. CMON, I mean dude step back into reality. It's as if I am arguing with children.

Calm down. 

People who undergo dramatic life changes do so apart from conversion to Christianity.  It is clear the religion isn't the variable at work here, it is simply one motivation by which people can be inspired to behave. 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on April 09, 2012, 09:31:42 PM
Tell me why these people with NDE's afterwards undergo dramatic life changing commitment to Jesus? Please point me to where LSD or other hallucinogens does this. CMON, I mean dude step back into reality. It's as if I am arguing with children.

Hi Qwan, please to meet you.

1. They cause people to change because the people experiencing them feel subjectively that they are real. This doens't mean the NDE's are real or that they really "go to heaven or hell or whatever". It just means they think they do
2. I met a former alcoholic who firmly believed his saw Jesus and Jesus talked to him. My suspicion is, he experienced the DTs.
3. There are many documented cases of people who firmly believe they were abducted by UFOs. These halicinations were life changing experiences for some.\

As for your assertion that you are "arguing with children", perhaps you should consider taking children more seriously.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: qwan_lee on April 09, 2012, 09:33:47 PM

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The bible is NOT fiction and has predicted and will continue to predict ACCURATELY into the future. I can tell you with certainty
according to KJV bible that everyone will be forced(or offered) to take the mark of the beast which will be on either your right hand or forehead. No one will buy, sell or trade without this mark. Also, look for the antichrist to sign a seven year peace treaty with Israel. Keep in mind these biblical predictions have been known for thousands of years!

BTW, the Obamacare crap program was scheduled to have US citizens implanted with a RFID chip on March 23,2013.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Historicity on April 09, 2012, 09:39:15 PM
Tell me why these people with NDE's afterwards undergo dramatic life changing commitment to Jesus? Please point me to where LSD or other hallucinogens does this?

There were lots of them in the 1960s who declared they had a life changing revelation under LSD. 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Alzael on April 09, 2012, 10:08:39 PM
The bible is NOT fiction and has predicted and will continue to predict ACCURATELY into the future.

Ok. I'll bite because I could use the amusement. Name one accurate prediction made by the bible.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Zankuu on April 09, 2012, 10:22:45 PM
Ok. I'll bite because I could use the amusement. Name one accurate prediction made by the bible.

Alzael, I'll wager 50 quatloos qwan mentions the Euphrates river drying up.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Alzael on April 09, 2012, 10:26:50 PM
Ok. I'll bite because I could use the amusement. Name one accurate prediction made by the bible.

Alzael, I'll wager 50 quatloos qwan mentions the Euphrates river drying up.

You're on.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Aaron123 on April 09, 2012, 10:48:58 PM
Also, look for the antichrist to sign a seven year peace treaty with Israel. Keep in mind these biblical predictions have been known for thousands of years!

Let me see if I got this straight.  The bad guy in the story signs a peace treaty.

This is a Bad Thing... how?


Quote
BTW, the Obamacare crap program was scheduled to have US citizens implanted with a RFID chip on March 23,2013.

*citation needed*
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: JeffPT on April 09, 2012, 11:11:21 PM
The bible is NOT fiction and has predicted and will continue to predict ACCURATELY into the future. I can tell you with certainty
according to KJV bible that everyone will be forced(or offered) to take the mark of the beast which will be on either your right hand or forehead. No one will buy, sell or trade without this mark. Also, look for the antichrist to sign a seven year peace treaty with Israel. Keep in mind these biblical predictions have been known for thousands of years!

Fiction.   
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: orpat on April 10, 2012, 02:57:20 AM
I know that I have not been posting on here as much as I did last year, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you on how becoming an atheist has truly had a positive impact on my life.

When I first came to this forum last summer, I was in crisis. Due to my deconversion, I found myself in the middle of a deep depression where I would drag myself through my day, and I had such a hard time getting much sleep. You guys were here for me. The members of my (former) megachurch had convinced me that life away from Christ was desolate, empty agony. I even believed at one point that I would rather die than give up God. However, upon conversing with some of you, I realized that it was possible to live a fulfilling life without any kind of god at the center of it.

Today, I am a much healthier person, physically and psychologically. I lost 10 lbs (yay!) because I was able to stop abusing my body from eating too much junk food (as a Christian I had thought that only the afterlife truly matters). I was able to deal with my depression and anxiety (runs in my family, and was triggered by childhood abuse that I suffered) without any medication anymore by taking control of my own life. No longer did I have to deal with the intense pressures and worries of trying to fit into the mold of "God's plan" or "God's will," so I was able to just be myself and figure out how to be comfortable in my own skin. I realized that although I love taking care of my husband and son at home, that I did not have to limit myself just because I am female, so I went back to school.

In retrospect, I realize how much Christianity truly hurt me throughout my childhood and early adulthood.  It limits your potential to grow emotionally, intellectually and socially as a human being due to its prejudices and traditions. Atheism did not turn me into a devil-worshipping, baby-eating witch. Honestly, I have more mental clarity as an atheist than I ever did as a Christian.

I think the world would be a much more loving and fair place if there were less Christians in it. Although I have reached a point where I am not angry at Christians or threatened by them unless they get in my face, I do think that, ironically, the words of Jesus actually apply to them: "they know not what they do." A Christian has to cherry-pick Bible verses and be (at least somewhat willfully) ignorant of ones that do not make sense in the real world. That being said, I do generally have compassion for them (unless they pick a fight or do something outrageous or unfair) because they are like fearful children clinging to their belief in Santa Claus. I do not say that in spite, because I feel a great sense of peace regarding my deconversion, and my bitterness toward Christians has faded.
Can't say anything else, except Hats off to you. It takes courage to do what you did. My respects.
Quote
I will, however, express my disgust for that fictional character called "God"

If by "God", you mean the Christian god or Islam god, I'm okay with that.
But by "God", if you mean every imaginable/unimaginable concept of God ever created/not created by humans, then sorry, I am not quite okay with that.

Anyway, enjoy your life anyway and have fun.  :)

Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: sun_king on April 10, 2012, 03:04:03 AM
If by "God", you mean the Christian god or Islam god, I'm okay with that.
But by "God", if you mean every imaginable/unimaginable concept of God ever created/not created by humans, then sorry, I am not quite okay with that.

What is the difference Orpat? What makes the trinity and the singularity acceptable and all others not okay?
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Hatter23 on April 10, 2012, 07:14:39 AM
The bible is NOT fiction and has predicted and will continue to predict ACCURATELY into the future.

Name three accurate specific predictions it made accurately. No you may not use it predicting itself. Until you do so, you statements are absolutely indistinguishable from the ranting of any lunatic.

Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: orpat on April 10, 2012, 08:16:58 AM
What is the difference Orpat? What makes the trinity and the singularity acceptable and all others not okay?

I think you misinterpreted/misunderstood/misread/mistook/misquoted my earlier comment.

Or did I miss something?



Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: velkyn on April 10, 2012, 08:39:50 AM
yawn, more lies from Christians.  How many times has it been now that some idiot has said "it'll happen *this* time, trust me" and who has failed.  Qwan lee, you are ridiculous.  and such amusing inept lies about other people and the health care program.  It's so nice to see Christians demonstrate that even they don't really believe since they have no problem telling such petty lies and thus putting their supposed immortal souls in danger if their magic book is true.  Poor things, what will happen to these Christians who masturbate so hard to their fantasies of harm to those who dare disagree with them when their fantasies don't come true? 

and Orpat, tell us what you did mean.  It seems that you are are okay with the delusions about a trinity or a singularity but no other similarly ridiculous claim.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Alzael on April 10, 2012, 08:48:13 AM

If by "God", you mean the Christian god or Islam god, I'm okay with that.
But by "God", if you mean every imaginable/unimaginable concept of God ever created/not created by humans, then sorry, I am not quite okay with that.

Fair enough that you feel that way.

However, any god that exists is, at the very least, guilty of doing nothing while great evil and atrocities are committed that it could very easily prevent. Many of them in the name of god/gods. So any existing god is powerless to stop such things, wants them, or doesn't care. If such a god is powerless then you wouldn't really call it god, would you? So that leaves us with any existing god either wanting such things or not caring. Either way, the god is disgusting.

Do you have an alternative god to posit that would not be considered objectionable or disgusting? Because as it stands your implied contention that there is such a thing as a god that isn't disgusting stands very much in doubt.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: sun_king on April 10, 2012, 09:12:06 AM
I think you misinterpreted/misunderstood/misread/mistook/misquoted my earlier comment.

Or did I miss something?

I thought it was so obvious.

Trinity = Christian God
Singularity = Islamic God.

That was what you wrote, I don't think I misinterpreted/misunderstood/misread/mistook/misquoted your earlier comment. The question is why? Why you are okay with two fairy tales and dismiss the other 4 million[1]

As of now you are 99.999% atheist!

 1. Random estimate, need not be accurate
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: orpat on April 11, 2012, 05:41:22 AM
I thought it was so obvious.

Trinity = Christian God
Singularity = Islamic God.

That was what you wrote, I don't think I misinterpreted/misunderstood/misread/mistook/misquoted your earlier comment. The question is why? Why you are okay with two fairy tales and dismiss the other 4 million[1]

As of now you are 99.999% atheist!
 1. Random estimate, need not be accurate

I am not quite sure what you are questioning me about.

Are you questioning me why i accept the holy trinity or the singularity as the truth

or why i am okay with her being disgusted with the god of the bible or the quran?

Are you questioning me why i am dismissing the others as false

or why i am not quite okay with her being disgusted with the other random  4 million[2]?

How am i 99.999% atheist?

 2. As you stated
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: orpat on April 11, 2012, 05:49:42 AM
Fair enough that you feel that way.

However, any god that exists is, at the very least, guilty of doing nothing while great evil and atrocities are committed that it could very easily prevent.

Lots of questions. What is absolute good or evil? What is great evil and atrocity? How do you distinguish between good and evil? How do you know one act is absolutely good or absolutely evil?
Does good or evil even exist?
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: sun_king on April 11, 2012, 06:17:40 AM
How am i 99.999% atheist?

I had expected that you would be capable of understanding the question the first time. If two detailed clarifications are not helpful, then I presume that you dont want to answer the question. Not surprising.

About the 99.999%: We atheists deny the existence of all deities. You are pretty much the same, deny all deities except two (trinity and allah). Do the math, you will find that you are 99.999% similar to an atheist, definitely more if you can actually count the total number of gods people believe in.

Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: sun_king on April 11, 2012, 06:27:08 AM
Lots of questions. What is absolute good or evil? What is great evil and atrocity? How do you distinguish between good and evil? How do you know one act is absolutely good or absolutely evil?
Does good or evil even exist?

There is a point when hinding under the skirts of dull wordplay loses the charm, Orpat. This happened in another thread. Quit it, terribly boring. You have been given excellent answers, if you cant comprehend what was conveyed, I would suggest you try something more suitable for your intellect, like following bread crumbs or fetching the ball.

Asking the same question again and again doesn't present a formidable argument. It just shows the depths of ludicrousness.

Yeah, ask again, "What is good and evil"?
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: orpat on April 11, 2012, 06:29:47 AM
How am i 99.999% atheist?

I had expected that you would be capable of understanding the question the first time. If two detailed clarifications are not helpful, then I presume that you dont want to answer the question. Not surprising.

About the 99.999%: We atheists deny the existence of all deities. You are pretty much the same, deny all deities except two (trinity and allah). Do the math, you will find that you are 99.999% similar to an atheist, definitely more if you can actually count the total number of gods people believe in.

I won't blame you. You obviously lack reading ability. Your inability to understand my point is beyond belief. Now go.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: orpat on April 11, 2012, 06:34:05 AM

There is a point when hinding under the skirts of dull wordplay loses the charm, Orpat. This happened in another thread. Quit it, terribly boring. You have been given excellent answers, if you cant comprehend what was conveyed, I would suggest you try something more suitable for your intellect, like following bread crumbs or fetching the ball.

Asking the same question again and again doesn't present a formidable argument. It just shows the depths of ludicrousness.

Yeah, ask again, "What is good and evil"?

If we can't/don't come to a conclusion of what  exactly is good and evil, how could we point upwards and ask why someone is not doing anything to stop that?
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: DumpsterFire on April 11, 2012, 08:15:17 AM
I will, however, express my disgust for that fictional character called "God"

If by "God", you mean the Christian god or Islam god, I'm okay with that.
But by "God", if you mean every imaginable/unimaginable concept of God ever created/not created by humans, then sorry, I am not quite okay with that.

Anyway, enjoy your life anyway and have fun.  :)

Guys, I think I may be able to explain the misunderstanding to which orpat keeps referring. When I read the above quotes, I understood it to mean he agrees that the xtian or muslim god is fiction, but he's not so sure about other concepts of god. Please clarify if this is incorrect, orpat. Of course, you could have provided clarity as soon as the misunderstanding became apparent instead of becoming combative, but c'est la vie.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: orpat on April 11, 2012, 08:38:41 AM

Guys, I think I may be able to explain the misunderstanding to which orpat keeps referring. When I read the above quotes, I understood it to mean he agrees that the xtian or muslim god is fiction, but he's not so sure about other concepts of god. Please clarify if this is incorrect, orpat. Of course, you could have provided clarity as soon as the misunderstanding became apparent instead of becoming combative, but c'est la vie.

You got that right  and alzael got that perfectly right too. And it's because you just took the time to read it. It's simple.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Alzael on April 11, 2012, 10:19:42 AM

Lots of questions. What is absolute good or evil? What is great evil and atrocity? How do you distinguish between good and evil? How do you know one act is absolutely good or absolutely evil?
Does good or evil even exist?

None of those questions are actually relevant to what was asked. You were asked to posit a god that could not be considered disgusting given the obvious state of the universe and its obvious unlimited power to fix the problems of said universe.

Questions of good and evil need not filter into it. So I'm waiting for you to posit such a god.

 
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Hatter23 on April 13, 2012, 12:11:18 PM


The bible is NOT fiction and has predicted and will continue to predict ACCURATELY into the future.

We are still waiting for you to provide proof of the assertion.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Astreja on April 21, 2012, 01:09:11 AM
I ___________strongly___________ suggest you "convert" back to being a Christian. Heaven and hell are BOTH free.

It is not free if it is coerced under threat of eternal torture.

Quote
Jesus paid the price on the cross for your sins.

And I do not consent to having someone else pay My debts.  I pay My own.

Quote
Jesus cannot change you from the outside but when you ask Him into your heart(soul) then will you be fit to be in heaven.

If heaven and hell exist, I have no interest in being in heaven if even one individual is being tormented in hell.

I choose hell, because I consider it immoral to choose heaven.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: jeremy0 on April 21, 2012, 01:42:21 AM
^^ makes a perfectly honest and pure point on your religious fallacies and monstrocities..
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Ice Monkey on April 21, 2012, 12:50:52 PM


The bible is NOT fiction and has predicted and will continue to predict ACCURATELY into the future. I can tell you with certainty
according to KJV bible that everyone will be forced(or offered) to take the mark of the beast which will be on either your right hand or forehead. No one will buy, sell or trade without this mark. Also, look for the antichrist to sign a seven year peace treaty with Israel. Keep in mind these biblical predictions have been known for thousands of years!

BTW, the Obamacare crap program was scheduled to have US citizens implanted with a RFID chip on March 23,2013.

Baloney.  The bible is incredibly devoid of any practical information, were one to assume it was the word of an all-knowing entity.  Jesus himself couldn't even make an accurate prediction.  You're making blatant yet typical errors in thought.  The bible is no more accurate than Nostradamus, or the tea leaf reader down the street.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Poseidon on May 03, 2012, 09:04:27 PM
CG your story is compelling. Your former church must have been a really hardshelled outfit steeped in ignorance and chauvinism.  Decent people should not have to endure that kind of evil. And evil it is when a  human being is forced into subservience, fear, and emotional stress by dint of ill concieved, superstitious, ignorance.

Grandfather Poseidon hopes that you will succeed in addressing the certainty that we are mere mortals and that life will eventually end. And that is all there is. That is not so bad to contemplate is it? Life is good, go out and look at a beautiful sunrise or sunset, enjoy the gratification of motherhood, the wonders of nature, the comany of true and caring friends, and the marvelous bounty of the earth. We live and eventually we die and that is the sum total of existence. The notion of the hereafter is for weak people. Because you are here we can not count you as one of the weak ones. Embrace the last two lines from William Henly's poem, Invictus;
 I am master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on May 12, 2012, 08:54:28 AM
CG, I should add I'm glad you developed in a positive way and the manner in which you disbelieved in god is part of that development.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Aceluffy on May 25, 2012, 01:16:05 PM
I have to say. Atheism has helped me greatly as well.

Ever since I let go of my religion, which of course being indoctrinated to me in my youth, I somehow gained lots of motivation to learn more about multiple different subjects because I realize that I don't really know much of anything.

Geology, Geography, history ( yup, even theology history ), Antrophology, a little bit about philosopy, debating techniques, medical knowledge, technology, its scientific discovery and advancement, and so many other knowledge that I wouldn't even have an inkling of interest had I stayed religious since I will always think that I already have all the answers.

Humans have so many hidden potential when their mind is freed. I would know, since that's exactly what happened to me.

It's a little depressing seeing my religious families, relatives and friends being oblivious of this reality :(
But hey, that's why I have you guys here in this nice forum :)
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: jeremy0 on May 25, 2012, 06:13:53 PM
Ever since I let go of my religion, which of course being indoctrinated to me in my youth, I somehow gained lots of motivation to learn more about multiple different subjects because I realize that I don't really know much of anything.
<snip>
Me too!  I instantly gained motivation to learn as much about the generics of science, without diving into a lot of detail, as soon as I started to even question religion (this happened years ago).  My conclusion was hanging on a thread, until I came to this site.  Then the last remaining part of religion was torn to shreds for me.  It was wonderful - I felt liberated - like a free man, finally. 

It didn't change my activism, though - because I was already an activist.  It just changed the scope and manner of that activism.  But yeah - entirely motivating and reinforcing to become an atheist, er, rationalist...
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on May 28, 2012, 08:43:48 PM
I have to say. Atheism has helped me greatly as well.

Ever since I let go of my religion, which of course being indoctrinated to me in my youth, I somehow gained lots of motivation to learn more about multiple different subjects because I realize that I don't really know much of anything.

Geology, Geography, history ( yup, even theology history ), Antrophology, a little bit about philosopy, debating techniques, medical knowledge, technology, its scientific discovery and advancement, and so many other knowledge that I wouldn't even have an inkling of interest had I stayed religious since I will always think that I already have all the answers.

Humans have so many hidden potential when their mind is freed. I would know, since that's exactly what happened to me.

It's a little depressing seeing my religious families, relatives and friends being oblivious of this reality :(
But hey, that's why I have you guys here in this nice forum :)

So you are claiming your religious relatives believe they have all the answers snd that none of them has any deep knowledge of science, history, etc, etc?
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: Aceluffy on May 29, 2012, 08:39:30 AM

So you are claiming your religious relatives believe they have all the answers snd that none of them has any deep knowledge of science, history, etc, etc?

Yes, that's what I said. I'm sure I know my families and relatives much better than anyone else, since I spend so much time in my youth with them. None of them encouraged me to pursue further knowledges beyond their religious belief. They kept telling me how this world started and what will happen when we die. All of them only contributed in my basic educations, that's all.

All my schools are Christian schools, starting from kindergarden all the way though college. Christianity WAS the only truth known to me in my youth, everything else is false. My parents and relatives confirmed all those when I asked them. So in that kind of environment, I have no motivation to learn anything more beyond practical skills and knowledge to earn a living. If this isn't indoctrination, I don't know what is.

I'm not 100% sure if any of my families and relatives have more knowlede than me regarding science, history, etc. But I do know one thing for sure, ALL their answers are always so heavilly influenced by Christianity. Whenever they can't answer my questions, they always resorted to " Human can plan but it's God who decides " or " It will happen if it's God's will/plan " or something else along those lines of thinking.
So, yes Ricky. I can say that I have more technical knowledge regarding science and history than them because my mom/dad don't even know how or when Christianity started or that Christianity have more than 33.000 different denominations and still counting.

My cousins don't even know the meaning of "Jehovah", so there, even among their own religious knowledge, they're ignorant or maybe don't even care to pursue more knowledge, just BELIEVE.

I'm sure you have a point when asking me this. So, what's your point ?

Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: rickymooston on May 29, 2012, 09:06:38 PM
Science tackles lots of questions unrelated to religion.

What do your parents do for a living?
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on July 17, 2012, 01:45:00 AM
I may have a strong opinion, but I'm not trying to make others feel like their experiences are invalid.
You may be one of the younger people on this forum but your statement above is one of the most mature statements I have read.
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: willwgp86 on August 14, 2012, 10:43:43 AM
I don't know where the adventure goes from here but I'm glad you've come so far in your journey!
Title: Re: How Atheism Has Helped Me Greatly
Post by: curiousgirl on August 14, 2012, 11:12:21 AM
I'm thankful to all of you for the positive comments, as well as the interesting discussions that this thread sparked.