Hello, my name is Matthew :-)

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Hello, my name is Matthew :-)

Hello, my name is Matthew and I am an atheist.  I figured I would make my first post here.  I have been lurking on the forums for a while.

Anyway, a little more about myself:

I am 28 years old and live in Oklahoma.  I really wish I lived somewhere else: somewhere less conservative!  I used to be a Christian.  The transition from Christianity to atheism was slow, yet steady, and took several years.  However, I finally realized I was an atheist around 2004, and have only become a stronger atheist in the past 6 years. 

I was raised in a very Christian home, although my family very rarely went to church and was always "nondenominational".  Of my immediate family, only my younger sister and I are atheists.  My sister actually became an atheist before I did, but I would not describe her as the reason I myself became atheist later.  My dad is the most religious person in my family, and very often talks about religion (even though he claims that it's a relationship with Jesus and not a religion, lol).  My mom and older brother are also very religious, but don't talk about it as often.  My younger brother is less religious, and he almost never talks about it at all.  Everyone in my family knows I am an atheist, mostly because I am not very good at keeping secrets.  They are, not surprisingly, very disappointed.  Fortunately, they don't usually make a big deal out of it, and treat me virtually the same as they did before.  My parents and older brother are also extremely consersative politically, and are young earth creationists who are opposed to evolution.  My younger brother seems to be much more liberal and also seems to accept evolution.  He keeps his religious thoughts completely private, so for a while I thought he might possibly be an atheist (even though he had a religious wedding).  However, when I was reading "The God Delusion" he made some negative comments about it ("the author sounds deluded&quotEye-wink and was offended that I brought the book into his house.  Perhaps he just wants everyone to think he's a Christian so that our parents will not be bothered, I don't know.

I personally almost never talk about religion with anyone outside of my family.  I wish I could, but I hate confrontations, and I don't know anyone in real life, besides my sister, who shares my views.  Maybe someday I will join an atheist club or something.  I have no close friends, and very few friends at all (144 facebook friends don't count, lol).  I also almost never date or have romantic relationships.  I almost certainly have Asperger's.  It would be awesome to have real people to talk to about my beliefs and frustrations, though.

Why am I an atheist?  Well, I was definitely not converted by any individual or group.  I also rarely had any obviously atheist professors in college (even the few I have had rarely talked about it).  No one ever sat me down and tried to convince me to become an atheist.  However, I have had several people try to convert me back to Christianity, to no avail.  My dad often goes on rants about Christianity, possibly in an attempt to convert me.  Although lately, he seems to realize that won't happen.  When I was little, I sincerely believed in the Bible and Christianity, although I was a teenager before I finally read the entire Bible cover to cover (the Protestant version).  Yet, even then, I had some doubts.  I even realized the similarities between other myths and the Bible (thinking, "it's kinda cool that we believe in myths&quotEye-wink.  I hated it when they talked about evolution in school or on TV.  By the late '90's, however, when I was in high school, I began to accept evolution and the big bang.  But, I was still a Christian, and attempted to rationlize this contradiction by saying that the Bible wasn't really literal and that God guided evolution and such.  Eventually, though, I couldn't truly reconcile science with religion anymore, and I also couldn't accept all of the evils and contradictions of the Bible.  Plus, the so-called morals just seemed foolish to me.  The last vestige of Christianity that I held onto was heaven and hell.  For a while, I just couldn't accept the thought of nothingness after death.  Now, however, I find that to be rather calming and peaceful, and I am no longer afraid of death.  I am a true, complete atheist.  I do not believe in anything whatsoever that is supernatural.  I am also very skeptical and need evidence to believe in almost everything.  I'm even skeptical of science when I don't understand it, or it is new.

So, I became an atheist almost exclusively through my own logic and reason.  I realized that Christianity was just as ridiculous as all of the other religions I was tought were false.  And since all religions are contradictory and exclude each other, I knew that it was impossible for all religions to be correct.  However, they could all be wrong.  The world makes much more sense from an atheist point of view.  There are no mental contradictions to rationalize.  Evils no longer need justification.  In the rare situations that science doesn't have an answer, it's ok to just say "I don't know."  I feel much more free as an atheist than as a Christian.  There is less guilt, more clarity, and even more inner peace.  There is also much less doubt and fear.

In the process of becoming an atheist, I have also changed my political views.  I was once, like most of my family still is, extremely conservative and also voted Republican.  Even as recently as 2008 I voted for McCain (although I was actually happy that Obama won).  According to the Political Compass Test, I am far to the left of any politicians currently in power.  Apparently my views (according to their chart) are closest to Nelson Mandela and Mohandas Gandhi, which would have shocked me a few years ago.  Therefore, even though I can't stand the Republicans anymore, I also still don't like the Democrats either.  I also find Communism and some aspects of Socialism and Libertarianism to be distasteful.  It really bothers me when my dad says ignorant things like how he thinks I must be a communist because I am an atheist.  Of course, he says all kinds of ignorant, idiotic, and insane crap all of the time, and I'm sick of it. 

Anyway, that's my story.  I'd say more, but this most is already really long.

--Matthew


Gauche
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Tits or

Tits or GTFO...

 

 

 

 

...nice post.


Ken G.
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Mahaco wrote: I have changed my political views .

   Welcome to the machine . Anyway glad to hear about your switch to atheism,and I'm also glad to to hear that you left the Republicans. read about anarchism or participatory democracy check out Noam Chomsky work here www.chomsky.info and  Z Communication.org

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Mahaco
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Ken G. wrote:   Welcome to

Ken G. wrote:

   Welcome to the machine . Anyway glad to hear about your switch to atheism,and I'm also glad to to hear that you left the Republicans. read about anarchism or participatory democracy check out Noam Chomsky work here www.chomsky.info and  Z Communication.org

Thanks.  I think I have mostly liberal views (especially socially liberal views).  I also still have a few possibly conservative views (e.g. I support the death penalty for murder).  I also have some libertarian and socialist views.  Overall, I feel that everyone should have the freedom to do whatever they want as long as they don't harm others or infringe on the rights of others.  It's just that simple, to me.  Plus, government should exist to help its citizens.  Corporations should be heavily regulated.  The individual is most important, although society as a whole is still important as well.


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Hello, Matthew. Welcome to

Hello, Matthew. Welcome to the forum.

 

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


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butterbattle wrote:Hello,

butterbattle wrote:

Hello, Matthew. Welcome to the forum.

 

Thanks! Smiling


cj
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hi

I think most people who used to be theists but are atheists now mostly thought it out for themselves.  We may have had a conversation, a video, or a book that caused us to start thinking.  But then we had to make the long slow letting go of christianity on our own.  Each of us had to find the way back to rationality largely by ourselves.

Those who were raised in agnostic/atheist homes and managed to miss out on being converted to christianity while they were young and impressionable are the really fortunate ones.  They missed out on worrying about errant thoughts - was that sinful or not?  They never had to waste a perfectly good Sunday or Wednesday in meetings.  Able to read Harry Potter (or similar witchy books) or Dawkins or Darwin in front of their parents and family-maybe even encouraged to!

I don't think I was ever as into christianity as some.  I was raised "god exists, but religion is a waste" - or non-denominational if you prefer.  I tried to get into religion a couple of times in my life.  But it never really stuck.  And I could never stop questioning.  So letting go was fairly easy for me, I only had to get over the "what is wrong with me I can't believe?" and then I was free.  See my signature.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Mahaco wrote:I thinkI have mostly liberal some libertarian and -

  - socialist views.   Well the type of anarchism I'm talking about is what defeated the fascist in Spain in 1937.A libertarian is an anarchist with money.Read Michael Albert's thesis " Participatory Democracy ".

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cj wrote:I think most people

cj wrote:

I think most people who used to be theists but are atheists now mostly thought it out for themselves.  We may have had a conversation, a video, or a book that caused us to start thinking.  But then we had to make the long slow letting go of christianity on our own.  Each of us had to find the way back to rationality largely by ourselves.

I agree.  Atheists don't usually go out and try to convert anyone like so many theists do.

Quote:
Those who were raised in agnostic/atheist homes and managed to miss out on being converted to christianity while they were young and impressionable are the really fortunate ones.  They missed out on worrying about errant thoughts - was that sinful or not?  They never had to waste a perfectly good Sunday or Wednesday in meetings.  Able to read Harry Potter (or similar witchy books) or Dawkins or Darwin in front of their parents and family-maybe even encouraged to!

Yeah, those who grew up in atheist homes are lucky.  That is why I want to raise my own children (if I ever have any) as freethinkers.  I didn't waste much time growing up going to church.  I did, however, waste time praying (mostly for forgiveness of "sins" since I realized long ago that praying for anything specific was futile).  My parents eventually made me stop trick-or-treating at Halloween because they thought that was a "Satanic" holiday.  They were also against things like decorating for Halloween in class or participating in Tai Chi (I had a teacher in 4th grade that tried to get us to do that).  Sometimes they were against pop music or Dungeons and Dragons (I'd have probably enjoyed that, but I never knew anyone who played anyway).  In recent years they have become less strict about a lot of things, fortunately.

Quote:
I don't think I was ever as into christianity as some.  I was raised "god exists, but religion is a waste" - or non-denominational if you prefer.  I tried to get into religion a couple of times in my life.  But it never really stuck.  And I could never stop questioning.  So letting go was fairly easy for me, I only had to get over the "what is wrong with me I can't believe?" and then I was free.  See my signature.

I never got "into" religion either (besides attempting to join a pathetic Christian after school job).  The occassional times I went to church were always very uncomfortable for me, and Sunday school was even worse.  I also never felt right about the idea of being overtly Christian in public, especially school (e.g. wearing Christian themed shirts and such), even though I felt I was supposed to.  Also, I was always considered highly intelligent and "gifted" in school, so I was very curious and always questioning as well.  So, letting go of Christianity was rather easy for me as well.  I feel free now, as well. 


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Ken G. wrote:  - socialist

Ken G. wrote:

  - socialist views.   Well the type of anarchism I'm talking about is what defeated the fascist in Spain in 1937.A libertarian is an anarchist with money.Read Michael Albert's thesis " Participatory Democracy ".

What do you mean "defeated the fascists in Spain in 1937"?  I thought the fascists WON... since Franco ruled Spain until he died in 1975, and I'm pretty sure he was a fascist.  I do not support anarchism at all, since I think that the government needs to be strong enough to protect citizens from corporations and terrorism and to provide basic services (including universal health care and free college education).  As for participatory democracy, I feel most people are far too ignorant and/or stupid to be able to or allowed to participate.  I am somewhat of an intellectual elitist (but the opposite when it comes to finances, i.e. being rich or poor shouldn't matter, only abilities and intelligence). 


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Glad you stopped lurking and

Glad you stopped lurking and jumped in!

Welcome  Smiling

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


Jeffrick
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Welcome.

 

 

 

                 Its nice to have another atheist even if they come from Oklahoma -just joking. I'm from Canada myself.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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Welcome aboard to the

Welcome aboard to the forums, I don't think anyone can convert anyone, you must either want to convert or like you said you just come to that conclusion on your own.


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latincanuck wrote:Welcome

latincanuck wrote:

Welcome aboard to the forums, I don't think anyone can convert anyone, you must either want to convert or like you said you just come to that conclusion on your own.

I totally agree.  You can't just decide to believe either, which is why Pascal's Wager is such BS.  I really wish my family could understand that.


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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

                 Its nice to have another atheist even if they come from Oklahoma -just joking. I'm from Canada myself.

I've always wanted to visit Canada.  Hopefully someday.  I will be moving out of Oklahoma someday, I hope soon (if I can get a job teaching English in Korea this year, that is).


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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

Glad you stopped lurking and jumped in!

Welcome  Smiling

Thank you! 


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Pleased to meet you, Mahaco

 

I agree with you. I was raised fundamentalist and deconverted over time and everything does just make more sense as an atheist. The whole god-thing is downright mental.

The convolutions the godly have to go through in order to believe are hilarious. Why can't they admit they don't know?

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote: I

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

I agree with you. I was raised fundamentalist and deconverted over time and everything does just make more sense as an atheist. The whole god-thing is downright mental.

The convolutions the godly have to go through in order to believe are hilarious. Why can't they admit they don't know?

It boggles the mind, doesn't it?  And why can't they keep their religion to themselves? Why must they attempt to force it on everyone else through laws and so on?


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Welcome! 

Welcome!

 

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