Epiphany of sorts?

rdklep8
atheistScience FreakSuperfan
rdklep8's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: 2009-11-10
User is offlineOffline
Epiphany of sorts?

I was brought up in a strict Roman Catholic setting for my entire life.  Full on Italian family who values God and his followers more than anything in the world.  At about 14 years old I stopped praying, with the concept that I didn't need a sit down with God to ask for something because a) I'm not that special and b) He already knows.  By 15 I was strongly questioning his presence, and about a year later, I dismissed it.  I've been anti-theist for a while now, but never really looked into it too much.  I haven't really said anything about my beliefs or lack thereof in god, except to my girlfriend, who kind of flipped a little bit.  It doesn't help that the college I go to is the most apathetic place I have ever seen... so conversations of that nature barely ever arise.

What drove me to look around at atheist materials was about two weeks ago I messed my knee up pretty badly.  Before the MRI, my dad said, "Just pray to God that nothing is torn... if you even believe in him" (He's had his doubts for a little while) To which my mom responded, "Of course he believes in God, what type of person would he be if he didn't"

That exchange had an effect on me, in that I realized my parents would respect me less due to something that is so trivial in my eyes.

There was such a negative connotation around atheism that I thought of it more like some sort of cult of anarachists (that word had a huge negative connotation in my childhood as well)... I've been reading posts for about a week, and have been floored with the amount of concepts I share with the majority of people here. 

Basically what I want to say is hello to everyone, I like it here, and I think I'll stay awhile.


Renee Obsidianwords
High Level DonorModeratorRRS local affiliateSilver Member
Renee Obsidianwords's picture
Posts: 1388
Joined: 2007-03-29
User is offlineOffline
 Welcome rdklep8!I hope you

 Welcome rdklep8!

I hope you find this site a place you can visit to step away from the apathetic environment of your college, and cozy up to your computer screen and enjoy some reading (and hopefully participation too).

I have to ask: What was your response to your parent's conversation? Did you comment in any way?

 

 

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


Big E
Big E's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: 2009-11-05
User is offlineOffline
I've known about this place

I've known about this place for a while and was a member under another name and forgot what it was, that's how frequently I logged in. I've only recently begun posting. So from one new kat to another, WELCOME!


rdklep8
atheistScience FreakSuperfan
rdklep8's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: 2009-11-10
User is offlineOffline
Actually I didn't say

Actually I didn't say anything... my dad just said to my mom, "Well I was just wondering" and then my mom told me dad, "How could you ever think that."..

So... I was spared from actually having to say anything... I guess you could call me a "closet-atheist"?

 

 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3686
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Welcome to the forum,

Welcome to the forum, rdklep8!

rdklep8 wrote:
To which my mom responded, "Of course he believes in God, what type of person would he be if he didn't"

That's an interesting question. Well, I suppose, if you were an atheist, you'd be a puppy torturing, narcissistic, Satan worshipping sociopath who enjoys having sexual orgies with five year olds. Good thing you're not an atheist.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Welcome, rdklep8. I'm sure

Welcome, rdklep8. I'm sure you'll find that atheists can be just like anyone else, except they lack a god belief. Some are anarchists, but few, and I don't take them very seriously. The most confident atheists tend to be the rationalists and science-minded types, since they have strong defenses of their atheism, after years of thinking about it. Along with that, they also develop pretty sophisticated worldviews based on evidence rather than faith. So, it can be a big self-education to find a group of like-minded atheists and discover what they all know. Hope you enjoy it here!

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
I felt I experienced what

I felt I experienced what really could be described as an 'epiphany' back in 2000.

Despite having always being pretty much an atheist, thanks largely to having a skeptical dad, I guess I always had this thought lurking in the back of my mind that there was still something about the God idea that deserved some hint of respect.

I had just been on a marvelous SCUBA-diving holiday in idyllic conditions in Vanuatu, where I had actually had a few interesting and relaxed conservations with another tourist about belief, where he gave it much more respect than I did.

I think his comments must have resonated with that lurking meme about belief, and triggered some internal mental wrestling match between it and my 'surface' attitude of strong atheism. It kept popping into consciousness and I organized my standard arguments against it.

Finally, something 'gave'. On the way home in the taxi from the airport I experienced this wonderful feeling of having broken free in some final sense of this last vestige of sneaking respect for religious belief. Combined with some wonderful memories of many magic moments on the holiday, it had to have been something equivalent in intensity to what the Theists describe as communicating with God or whatever. I love to make that comparison to them.

I have had one believer express sadness that I as a non-believer would never know the 'sublime' experiences they get when communing with God or Jesus or whatever. I didn't have time to get around to recounting my personal experiences back to him.

Enough of me - Welcome!

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Waiting for Oblivion
Waiting for Oblivion's picture
Posts: 229
Joined: 2007-10-22
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:That's an

butterbattle wrote:

That's an interesting question. Well, I suppose, if you were an atheist, you'd be a puppy torturing, narcissistic, Satan worshipping sociopath who enjoys having sexual orgies with five year olds. Good thing you're not an atheist.  

Since when did we became /b/?

 

Oh, and by the way, welcome to the forums.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Welcome aboard, I like your

Welcome aboard, I like your posts so far.  How's the leg?

Based on your story and your pursuit of knowledge I think you might get something from this clip, which I'm not sure you would've come across...

 

http://www.margaretdowney.com/catholic_mother_yells_at_son_who_tells_her_hes_atheist_explicit_language

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:Welcome

butterbattle wrote:

Welcome to the forum, rdklep8!

rdklep8 wrote:
To which my mom responded, "Of course he believes in God, what type of person would he be if he didn't"

That's an interesting question. Well, I suppose, if you were an atheist, you'd be a puppy torturing, narcissistic, Satan worshipping sociopath who enjoys having sexual orgies with five year olds. Good thing you're not an atheist.  

 

Wait a second, you know he's not a puppy torturer and you didn't suggest banning him?  What kind of atheist are you?

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


rdklep8
atheistScience FreakSuperfan
rdklep8's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: 2009-11-10
User is offlineOffline
Actually my dad's praying

Actually my dad's praying was good for just about nothing.  My ACL is torn, surgery TBA.  I'll check that link out but I'm in class as we speak so I won't be able to. 

 

Thanks to everyone for the welcomes.


rdklep8
atheistScience FreakSuperfan
rdklep8's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: 2009-11-10
User is offlineOffline
.

.


rdklep8
atheistScience FreakSuperfan
rdklep8's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: 2009-11-10
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:I felt I

BobSpence1 wrote:

I felt I experienced what really could be described as an 'epiphany' back in 2000.

Despite having always being pretty much an atheist, thanks largely to having a skeptical dad, I guess I always had this thought lurking in the back of my mind that there was still something about the God idea that deserved some hint of respect.

I had just been on a marvelous SCUBA-diving holiday in idyllic conditions in Vanuatu, where I had actually had a few interesting and relaxed conservations with another tourist about belief, where he gave it much more respect than I did.

I think his comments must have resonated with that lurking meme about belief, and triggered some internal mental wrestling match between it and my 'surface' attitude of strong atheism. It kept popping into consciousness and I organized my standard arguments against it.

Finally, something 'gave'. On the way home in the taxi from the airport I experienced this wonderful feeling of having broken free in some final sense of this last vestige of sneaking respect for religious belief. Combined with some wonderful memories of many magic moments on the holiday, it had to have been something equivalent in intensity to what the Theists describe as communicating with God or whatever. I love to make that comparison to them.

I have had one believer express sadness that I as a non-believer would never know the 'sublime' experiences they get when communing with God or Jesus or whatever. I didn't have time to get around to recounting my personal experiences back to him.

Enough of me - Welcome!

 

 

 

 

I had a similar feeling myself.  For me, I just felt free when I had my epiphany.  I was always torn because I was brought up Catholic, and I had a good upbringing and I think my parents are good people.  However, it was tough for me because my dad is a very literal Christian who blindly dismisses other gods (he hates Islam with a passion), and is also intolerant of gays.  Having the "my dad is a superhero" complex growing up, I had trouble with the same concepts.

With my full realization that I was an atheist, I realize I can take the core values that my parents have and share them with them, and I am also free to feel how I want about other aspects that the Catholic church frowns upon.  I guess I just felt free from the burden of having to follow rules I didn't believe in... So I can relate to how you felt.


Adroit
atheist
Adroit's picture
Posts: 92
Joined: 2008-03-20
User is offlineOffline
Welcome to the forums!

welcome!

I'm not necissarily new to the forums but im new to being an atheist, it hasn't been 2 years yet.

My parents are devout catholics, and they took it pretty hard, but if you ask me it was definitely worth it.

This website serves all kinds of purposes for me, I'm not that knowledgable so i really don't post much but i have learned a lot.

and at sometimes this section of the forums has been a support group for me. while people IRL would point me towards the church.

If your experience here is anything like mine, it will be worthwhile.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10348
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is onlineOnline
Welcome! It sounds like your

Welcome!
It sounds like your dad is in a similar position, but either doesn't want to make waves or just doesn't have the knowledge and/or confidence to express it. Your mom probably won't take it well, but I don't think your dad will be a problem should you decide to reveal your true position.
I know I would have had a lot to say under that circumstance, but then I've never had a religion or belief in god. Neither are my parents devoutly religious. Though if they were, I know there would have been a lot of conflict between us. Possibly enough to stop speaking to each other. I'm glad they aren't. My sympathies are with anyone who has religion driving a wedge through their family.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


geirj
geirj's picture
Posts: 719
Joined: 2007-06-19
User is offlineOffline
rdklep8 wrote: There was

rdklep8 wrote:

 

There was such a negative connotation around atheism that I thought of it more like some sort of cult of anarachists (that word had a huge negative connotation in my childhood as well)... I've been reading posts for about a week, and have been floored with the amount of concepts I share with the majority of people here. 

Basically what I want to say is hello to everyone, I like it here, and I think I'll stay awhile.

ANARCHY!

Just kidding. Maybe. I mean, what's wrong with a little anarchy?

But you're right, we're more or less in the range of normal humanity around here. We just don't believe in invisible beings in the sky.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
A couple thoughts. 1)

A couple thoughts.

 

1) Welcome!

2) Don't expect much consensus within this community, or any atheist 'community'.  The problem (or advantage I guess) of atheism is there is no unifying doctrine so you get a lot of chaos.

3) I have a lot of sympathy for your story.  I am 25 now and have been a apathetic theist for a long time, and a agnostic for a couple years, then an atheist for the last fuor or five years.  I still won't tell my parents I don't believe in God, I am perfectly happy to let them die without ever having that conversation.

4) Your ACL was not healed because you didn't believe hard enough, obviously.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13396
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
rdklep8 wrote:I was brought

rdklep8 wrote:

I was brought up in a strict Roman Catholic setting for my entire life.  Full on Italian family who values God and his followers more than anything in the world.  At about 14 years old I stopped praying, with the concept that I didn't need a sit down with God to ask for something because a) I'm not that special and b) He already knows.  By 15 I was strongly questioning his presence, and about a year later, I dismissed it.  I've been anti-theist for a while now, but never really looked into it too much.  I haven't really said anything about my beliefs or lack thereof in god, except to my girlfriend, who kind of flipped a little bit.  It doesn't help that the college I go to is the most apathetic place I have ever seen... so conversations of that nature barely ever arise.

What drove me to look around at atheist materials was about two weeks ago I messed my knee up pretty badly.  Before the MRI, my dad said, "Just pray to God that nothing is torn... if you even believe in him" (He's had his doubts for a little while) To which my mom responded, "Of course he believes in God, what type of person would he be if he didn't"

That exchange had an effect on me, in that I realized my parents would respect me less due to something that is so trivial in my eyes.

There was such a negative connotation around atheism that I thought of it more like some sort of cult of anarachists (that word had a huge negative connotation in my childhood as well)... I've been reading posts for about a week, and have been floored with the amount of concepts I share with the majority of people here. 

Basically what I want to say is hello to everyone, I like it here, and I think I'll stay awhile.

You are a horrible person for not believing in magical super brains with no brain, no body, no cerebellum, no neurons, that floats around in the cosmos everywhere and nowhere at the same time who meddles in human affairs. YOU ARE A DICK to suggest such an absurdity doesn't have merit. What's next? Are you going to suggest that Thor doesn't make lighting! You are such a fucking killjoy!

Just accept that the moon is made of cheese and no one will hurt you.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37