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-   -   Where are you now? (http://www.creedfeed.com/community/showthread.php?t=10527)

uncertaindrumer 02-19-2006 10:35 PM

Where are you now?
 
What current religious/spirtual beliefs do you hold, but more importantly, how did you get there? And are your beliefs extremely important to you, mildly so, or easily changeable?

Just curious what a lot of people's experiences are.

Lunar Shadow 02-20-2006 05:50 PM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Well as if no one knows at this point I am an Atheist


I grew up in a Christian home my father who is a DR in theology and ordained minister. My mother a missionary kid also pretty much a fundamentalist. I have 3 siblings one of which is an Atheist thinker, and 2 who are on the fundamentalist Christian side of things.

I grew up a Christian never questioning anything regarding Christianity all the way through high school. I got married at the age of 18. A couple of years ago I did something that you shouldn't do if you are a Christian, and that was Reading the bible and studying church history. I did that and found many many things that make Christianity not only improbable but rather impossible. Since them I have spent most of my time reading all the scientific literature I can get my hands on (this is aside of spending time with my wife and 2 kids). I have gone back to school to further my knowledge in sciences and math.

The place I have come to on my long road was not an easy path but a path I am glad I traveled. I feel happier and more at ease than I can ever recall feeling in my life time. I would have to see some major evidence for any of my views to be swayed at this time because I am a pretty skeptical person. My stance on god/s has been formed through great study and thought and I find the existence of any deity to be virtually impossible.


thats pretty much it in a nutshell.

Ana4Stapp 02-20-2006 07:39 PM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Something 'bad' happened in my life some years ago that stopped definitely my faith in God...
:(

Not sure why Im saying it...here...

uncertaindrumer 02-20-2006 11:43 PM

Re: Where are you now?
 
That's interesting. I find it funny (not literally funny, mind you) that something "bad" would ever stop someone's Faith in God, but anarkist's story seems to make sense, though I knew much of it. Did you never read the Bible when you were younger though? That part confuses me, since if your parents are so fundamentalist I figure they would be beating you over the head with the book.

Ana4Stapp 02-20-2006 11:56 PM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Yeah...maybe losing a child is something 'funny' and nonsense...or maybe its just a little bit of bitterness...i really dont know... :(
sorry...

Lunar Shadow 02-21-2006 04:31 AM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncertaindrumer
anarkist's story seems to make sense, though I knew much of it. Did you never read the Bible when you were younger though? That part confuses me, since if your parents are so fundamentalist I figure they would be beating you over the head with the book.



Yes I did read it much as a child but never really paid attention because I was terribly dyslexic and I so when it came to reading I fought my way through as much as I could but in the end the comprehension was not very good so I wouldn't spot the inconsistencies

but in my late teen years I took a course that thought the brain trick to over come the dyslexia and I hit the ground running and I actually found I could remember what I read it was amazing so anything I learned from reading I learned really since I was 17ish but because of that I dropped back in to High school did my 4 years in 1 semester and got a 4.0 GPA (something I was never able to do with the reading problem.


Yeah I know that this is a long explanation but thatís the history.

RalphyS 02-21-2006 05:48 AM

Re: Where are you now?
 
I wrote this a while ago for another forum, always thought it would be handy to safe.

My road to disbelief and militant atheism.

As you can see Iím from The Netherlands, a country historically split between Catholic (under the great rivers, Rhine-Meuse) and the Protestant religion of the royals above the rivers. As Iím from the southernmost point of Holland all my surroundings are/were basically Roman Catholic-oriented. But in the meantime the dechurchification of our country is in such an advanced state that we are one of the more secular countries in the world, which was proven by the Purple government in the 90ís (A government without participation of the Christian Democrats, who were in there always before that, which was able to pass laws in favor of euthanasia as well as homosexual-marriages, thank God J).

Back to my personal circumstances, both my father and my mother come from the same little village nearby and went to a school led by nuns, in their upbringing years Catholicism was still a very strong powerbase and I can remember my mom telling me the story of how the pastor would come to their home, when her mother (my grandmother) wasnít pregnant within half a year of delivering a baby. Thatís why the generation of people of my grandmotherís age all have lots of children around here. Catechism was very strictly taught and enforced at school as my parents told me and overall church attendance was enforced on my parents too on Sundays. If I ever complained as a kid about religious teachings I was told by my parents that I should be glad I didnít have to learn and do all the stuff that they had to do.

I think because they were force-fed religion in such a manor, they were very loose towards me about it. We only went to church at Easter and Christmas. Ofcourse I went to a Catholic school (as if there were any others around here), but not one led by nuns. I have to mention that this grade-school was an all-boy school and that the girls of my age did go to a school in a convent led by nuns. Just after I graduated the school got mixed by the way and nowadays there is only one school in this town. In school we used to pray in the first couple of grades at the start of the day, we went to mass (in the convent) once a week, in the fifth grade the chaplain came by on Friday morning to teach us religion (nowadays there are too few priests around here and there are no more chaplains) and his boss, the pastor did the same in the sixth and last grade.

At home I remember having a nice bible with beautiful drawings of Adam and Eve surrounded by animals in the paradise, the Ark of Noah and so on, the drawings were the most appealing part and letís be honest, the stories of the O.T. are nice fairytales for a child. I do have to add that in opposition to what Iíve read around here a lot, there was never a fear of hell installed in us as children, we were all good children, who would inevitably go to heaven.

Ofcourse there were also the common Catholic rituals as a child, baptism I obviously donít remember, because it happens weeks after your birth, in second grade there was our first communion, a remarkable event because a)it was the only time we did something together with the girlís school and b) it triggered a 3-day feast at my home, at which I got lots and lots of presents. In 5th grade there was also confirmation, in which a 10-year-old has to confirm his baptism and thus state that he truly believes in the Christian God, like he now really understands it all. L I must admit that I had a phase sometime during my grade school years that I was really interested in the concept of Jesus and God and I even asked my father to attend mass with me for a couple of times, but after a few visits that became boring very soon. Catholic mass is basically a mind-numbing experience.

After grade school came high school, also a Catholic one, originally also founded by nuns or friars or something like that, but basically at that time just a good school. Secular schools werenít available and neither me nor my parents didnít care about the foundation, it was a school for the brighter children opposed to the schools, who taught you a trade and that was the important thing. The religious aspect of the school consisted of a mass at the start of the school year (Remarkable anecdote about that: I once got sick (that means I had to vomit) during one of this opening masses, and as I was sitting just beside the altar, I had to go through the entire church to get out. I wasnít ill before it or after it, it could have been the insense (sp?), but I really didnít feel sick until I started to throw up??) and religion lessons.

During these religion lessons all the 4 major religions of the world were explained, with a short text book (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism) and this was really my first inclination that not all people believed in the Jebus-story. The religion teacher, who is deceased by now, was a strict guy, who aborted his education to become a priest, before being ordained. I wonder whether it was doubts about the Christian faith or the hardships of becoming a priest (the celibate etc.) that made him quit. School played an even bigger part in my deconversion, ofcourse there were the history lessons (my favourite subject) in which you learned about religious wars and all the other stuff that happened in the name of God during history, which raised some questions, but still a good Catholic boy as I was believed in God, nonetheless, although we still only visited church at special occasions.

But there was one subject I always had trouble with during high school, physics, no matter how hard I studied, somehow I didnít quite understand it in such a manor that I could make the tests satisfactory. To understand better you have to know that I was a real study geek at that time, high grades were normal, getting home and doing your homework before doing anything else was normal, and a bad grade was in my own little world a terrible and horrific thing and my parents would surely punish me badly for it, so I thought. (I had and have the most loving parents, who did praise me for getting good grades, but they would have also loved me if I tried and failed). Than once again a physics-test was coming up and I studied and I studied and I knew all the facts, but I just couldnít combine the logic to get the good results for the questions I tested myself with. I was desperate and what do you do as a Christian, if all else fails, you pray to God to get you out of this mess. Surely He would help me, after all, I had given it my all and now He would help me. What can I say, I failed the test, the revelation, which I expected to happen in which all the answers would become clear didnít occur, my prayers were unanswered and this invoked the thought in my mind that if God couldnít even help me with such a small thing (although it was a very big thing for me at that time), what use was He? Better yet, it raised the question whether there was this big sky daddy that listens to everything you ask for, at all. So this was my first real epiphany, basically about the uselessness of believing in and praying to God. Well I wonít say I became an atheist at that point, it wasnít much later that I told my parents that I didnít want to go to church anymore even at X-mas and Easter, it was both boring and useless in my opinion now.
I think they still forced me to go at the holidays for a couple of years, until at one point I flat out refused to go on holy night, big discussion, screams, but I held my ground and ever since it was clear I wouldnít go, although my father still nudges me quietly sometimes to come along. They still went to church at X-mas, but abandoned Easter, and later X-mas too. Meanwhile they only go at funerals and weddings and stuff like that.

By the way I basically invented my own sort of religion than, I used a bit of Hinduism and Buddhism and combined that with what they had told me at physics, that energy cannot disappear and in my own warped logic I concluded that the energy of a living person thus also couldnít disappear and that therefore reincarnation was the logical conclusion. Gods were out of the picture, since prayer was useless, and I could also not understand why an omnipotent and omniscient being would require for us to pray and adore him, he has it all, so how could he wish or desire something, and the 3rd thing was the fact that I in the meantime had learned about all the atrocities committed in the name of religion, John Lennonís ďImagineĒ best describes that feeling of thinking the world would be better off without religion.

After that religion really was not an issue in my life, it rarely comes up in every day life, because there are no fundies in this area, there is only one broadcast station which tries to Ďspread the gospelí, but they have limited broadcast time and can easily be avoided. I was real glad that the Christian Democrats were voted out of the government in the 90ís and that some of these laws mentioned above could be introduced without some religious mindset blocking them. I have to admit that this Christian party is not a fundie party, but still on all issues like abortion, euthanasia and such they take the so-called pro-life hardline. On homosexual marriages even they have led up. So since graduating high school my life became religion free basically. And in a period of about 15 years I tried to avoid anything to do with God or religion which in my own life was reasonably easy, but ofcourse the news of religious wars/struggles in places like the middle east and Ireland was utterly amazing to me and basically, letís be honest, you get pissed off as a non-believer if you hear about people killing in the name of something that you donít even think exists.

RalphyS 02-21-2006 05:50 AM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Part 2:

At one point I became more convinced of my atheism and even a militant defender of it. It all started with music, more specifically, the music of Creed. Around 1998/1999 the internet dawned upon me and with the help of a friend I had started a website about modern (rock-oriented) music (still maintain it http://RalphyS.tripod.com) and for it I wrote CD reviews and one of the CDís I reviewed was Creedís ďHuman clayĒ. I really loved that album and I went to their official website to look up some stuff and also found a forum there. As we probably all know their music is very spiritually oriented and on that forum was also a Faith/Religion Forum. First I started reading stuff about how the band was supposedly a Christian band or not, but eventually I started vending out my own opinions against the death penalty, weapon restrictions and about my disbelief in God. I got the usual fundie reactions as well as some more moderate ones from more liberal Christians, but most amazing I found the discussions between atheists and theists. The logical reasoning of some atheists (I especially admired a guy called SanDiegoSciFiGuy) crushed the theology of the believers and some of them would react in a very angry and mean manor. Tolerance wasnít big on that board, nonetheless I really loved the discussions and I became kind of an addict to these discussions. The closed-mindedness of the theists on that board, you know the basic Ďfaith is better than logicí-crap, made me angry and especially afraid. I mean if people like this get the upperhand in the most powerful country in the world and impose all of their morals that are coming from an ancient fairytale book on us the world would be much the poorer for it.

Since than I have been confirmed that the atheist-view I had was the right one, I discarded the belief in reincarnation, and am now a full fledge militant atheist. Not that I go out in the streets and throw protest flags in peopleís faces, in this highly secular society I would be considered some kind of (anti-)religious nut, but when it comes up I discuss the reasons why I donít believe and around here were religion is more tradition than an actual act of faith, people sometimes listen with an open mind and even agree on a lot of things. For instance my mother always says it is very hard to believe that an all-loving God could let all these bad things happen in the world, not that she now is a non-believer, but a bit of doubt is spread. But Iíve been most active spreading the word of reason on several bulletin boards over the internet, challenging the absolutists, the conservatives, the fundies, to an open discussion, others read along and are sometimes influenced or at least I hope so, to throw away their sheep-status of following the herd without question. And this is were I am now in my life.
Happy with my status as non-believer, but terribly afraid that the religious right will come to power (even more than with the already very frightening Dubya) in the only remaining superpower nation and hoping to reason against that.

uncertaindrumer 02-21-2006 09:21 AM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ana4Stapp
Yeah...maybe losing a child is something 'funny' and nonsense...or maybe its just a little bit of bitterness...i really dont know... :(
sorry...


I said not "literally" funny. I just find it interesting that something "bad" happening makes you not believe in God...

Quote:

faith is better than logic

There does seem to be that conception. Maybe it is true with most. I know that the reason I am Catholic is because of logic. It makes the most sense. Obviously, Faith plays a big part. But if your Faith is illogical, that is a bit... ah... strange.

Rocketqueen 02-22-2006 01:14 AM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ana4Stapp
Something 'bad' happened in my life some years ago that stopped definitely my faith in God...
:(

Not sure why Im saying it...here...

yea sad but 9 times out of 10 thats what makes theme stop they dont realize the entire time one would bitch one would cry GOD TAKES EVERY breathe with,em and bitching right there with,em GOD Always Suffers A Soul In Which That He Loves, i think 99 percent of majoritys and followers and believers They Like See THE STERO TYPE GOD Find God Find Happiness when the bible tells you thats is not so if one would study and separate happiness and sadness and what it means To God the word love means to endure enduring follows suffering for it was written if we stand fast with God he will stand fast with us, some where in there and those who sew in tears shall reap joy,

Rocketqueen 02-22-2006 01:24 AM

Re: Where are you now?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncertaindrumer
What current religious/spirtual beliefs do you hold, but more importantly, how did you get there? And are your beliefs extremely important to you, mildly so, or easily changeable?

Just curious what a lot of people's experiences are.

Well i will share the only way i could explain it Uncertain one is that it was like the movie waynes world 2 When wayne Kept Getting A Vison Of an Indian And Jim Morrison saying book theme and they will come which i did,nt have waynes vison it was a more complicated so thats why i wish not to share you know Like Garth Said To Wayne You Better Leave The Thing About Jim Morrison And The Indian Out , A Wise Tounge Shall Utter untill one seeks and asks,


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