Do you really believe that theology can ever be cured?

Keith526
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Do you really believe that theology can ever be cured?

As a newbie to this site I am grateful for the existence of such a place as this and warn that I am a new atheist and may still harbor some spiritual fear/feelings, so please be kind with me. As my mind clears from the fog of at least 50 years of begging Jesus to help me, forgive me and give me, I am left with little reasoning for the grip of power that held me to my prayers for 50 long years. It could be that I’m just not that bright… I don’t think so, but then I could be too stupid to know just how dumb I am. However I’m out now and ready to deal with all my wasted years full of faith in the lord Jesus. So here is both my rationalization and my question; There must be some physiological psychology of being human that requires theology. A child is a sponge for theology more so than education or enlightenment this is very clear to me. Once theology is embedded removal is difficult, as difficult as a mutating virus given time and the disease is back. So my rationality for my own inability to break free is that I had a disease. My question is what can atheist ever hope to accomplish? Religion is fear driven people will always be scared and always seek comfort in religion. Sad thought but my character flaw of the last 50 was no easy fix.


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There is hope

Welcome.

Consider Western Europe where religion's hold over people is dying and has been for some time.

It's difficult to deconvert strong believers, but what seems to happen in educated societies is that many people become 'spiritual' or apathetic nominal believers instead of literalists.

Each subsequent generation dilutes the poison and eventually one sees churches being sold to be converted into blocks of flats.

It is a lot more difficult in third world countries of course.


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Welcome to the website.

 WELCOME, GLAD YOU MADE IT.

  You got me curious because of your repeated used of the word 'Theology'. I have heard many people give similar 'testimonies (forgive the term)' but I havent heard the word used like this. It makes me wonder if you spend any significant time learning 'Theology', if you could you tell us more about your background.

   http://www.rationalresponders.com/stories_about_overcoming_religion

 I know Tony touched on the Fear of God and hell  weigh heavy in the process of going from one place to another. When faced with one's own mortality usually that is when people start getting religious, a lot of it is fear . .  . . 

 

  ** Typeo

 


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Welcome Aboard

Welcome aboard and don't be hard on yourself for taking so long to deconvert from religion. Pat yourself on the back for having the courage to shake it off. I know a lot of people in the church that I grew up in that no longer believe in god and have not for quite some time. BUT, they simply are clinging to the faith in the ridiculous fear that they might be wrong and are afraid of eternal hell. No one has ever explained to them the fallacy of Pascal's Wager.

As for your other inquiries. I recommend reading : God Part of the Brain by Mathew Alper, Religion Explained by Pascal Boyar and the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins for starting points. I think the cultural memes of religion are very strong, but like the previous post mentioned, the god belief and the religious meme are slowly dying.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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First of all, welcome.

First of all, welcome.  Rest assured, you are not dumb.  Intelligence is a subjective measurement of someone's knowledge of a certain subject.  I stopped dividing people into smart/dumb, intelligent/stupid a long time ago.  I think we are the sum of our ability to invest time and focus towards certain "topics".  What those "topics" are decides how "intelligent" we are relative to whatever we are measuring against.  (that's my spiel on intelligence)

As for your physiological psychology, I'm guessing you're referring to the the theory that our brains are wired for religion.  I would have to say that our brains are wired for explanations, my little ones ask why? 1000 times a day.  I'm not sure if religion (or theology) is a superior, or more attractive explanation.  It is usually enforced by people that do not encourage critical thinking.  Every time my children ask me about Santa, or what created the world, I ask them what they think.  This may not seem important, but it makes them actually search for an answer as opposed to automatically taking my answer for granted.  If I were to always tell them GOD did it, then I would guess their little minds would close a little.  At the very least they would not think critically. 

As for atheists accomplishing anything... I'm not sure we're out to do that.  Atheism, to me, is a reality check.  I'm not smarter, or more intelligent then theists, I'm just more aware.  I have better critical thinking skills.  I'm like that guy that stays on the side of a charlatan's card game, and can see that he's cheating.  The reason I frequent these forums is to challenge myself, to find a crack in my own paradigm, lest I become closed minded.  I want for something to challenge my atheism, I am actually actively searching for it.  

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Thank you Bronze,

Good point about the evolution of earth’s educated societies. I was only thinking from my perspective and life window of time. I could have been hanged for my new found enlightenment perhaps a generation previous or two, so the future looks pretty bright for a free thinking world when you put it that way.


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Thank you danatemporary

Hmm not sure why I used “Theology” as much as I did… Yes I think it’s because is the last few years post Christianity I sought refuge in the arms of many belief systems, from main stream to what would be considered darker groups looking for something to connect my “inner person” to something, anything. I found nothing, nothing at all and now I consider all religions to be the same. “Theology” just kind of sums it all up for me. Term “religion” or more specifically Christianity sortof means I could just try another one if I have a bad experience like I will get a Toyota this time.

My inner person (the real me) can be fearful of the world I live in and at times longs for a God. This longing now disturbs me as something wrong or flawed about myself as a human and makes me a sucker for a God plan no matter what stripe. Atheist seem to be free from this impediment.
Thank you again I will follow your link!


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thank you harleysportster

Hmm I don’t think I was ever afraid of a hell. My relationship with God was much more real-time than most. I mostly feared pissing off God this morning and paying for it this evening. I connected moment to moment events to God’s mood with respect to me. I was a black Christian we grow-up spiritually “hand to mouth” it was never “big picture” for us it was God do this for me now or thank you God for my new job or house, or rationalizing if something bad happened all real-time hot topic issues very little long term stuff. God was like overeating; we eat food at funerals and we eat food at celebrations, eat when happy eat more when sad. I’m gonna take a look at “God part of the brain” that sounds precisely like something I was looking for.


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Welcome

Keith, first off welcome.

As to the question can theology or religious belief be cured. Probably not.

There will always be some that are so weak minded that they rely on fantasy and invisible friends. Hopefully the numbers keep decreasing as people become more edcucated.

You are like Neo in Matrix, just now discovering the real world. Take time to look at what reality is about. It's actually a really great place.

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


Keith526
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Ktulu

Interesting yes I am not quite sure where I am right now but I do know where I have been. After many years growing up Christian I searched for a challenge to my Christianity, now after years of wandering as an agnostic I am now very much against all forms of theology. Not just because I don’t believe in their product but I think much of my life was harmed by such things. I think all religious groups feed upon my brain being “wired for God”. Yeah I’m not quite sure what my point was about being dumb it’s an over simplification to be sure and perhaps a bit of a martyrdom from my Sunday school days. Your spiel is well taken. However Santa belief support in young children is accepted up to a certain age but Jesus/God I along with many took into my fifties to get my heart broken when I should have dropped it at 8 years of age. You children are fortunate.


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Nice to meet you

Keith526 wrote:
Hmm not sure why I used “Theology” as much as I did… Yes I think it’s because is the last few years post Christianity I sought refuge in the arms of many belief systems, from main stream to what would be considered darker groups looking for something to connect my “inner person” to something, anything. I found nothing, nothing at all and now I consider all religions to be the same. “Theology” just kind of sums it all up for me. Term “religion” or more specifically Christianity sortof means I could just try another one if I have a bad experience like I will get a Toyota this time. My inner person (the real me) can be fearful of the world I live in and at times longs for a God. This longing now disturbs me as something wrong or flawed about myself as a human and makes me a sucker for a God plan no matter what stripe. Atheist seem to be free from this impediment. Thank you again I will follow your link!

 

Hi, Keith

(See the quote button at the bottom of my post?  It lets people know which post of yours I am responding to.)

I think it is just being human to long for god/s/dess (I'm an equal opportunity atheist).  People want to be comforted, they want to be loved just the way they are, they want to be protected and cared for.  Yes, we are all supposed to be adults and give all that up and be self sufficient.  But we never stop longing for rescue and that special relationship. 

If we have a real relationship that is truly loving, then I think there is one less reason to cling to a god/s/dess.  If we have a strong personality, certain of our ability to face what life brings us, then we may have one less reason to long for god/s/dess to come rescue us.  And if we can find social activities and hobbies that are satisfying outside of the church, then we are less inclined to rely on church for social wellness.

I think there is something to the idea that some people are more inclined to faith in god/s/dess.  I was church-going, trying to be christian for years, but it just didn't fit.  I always had a little reservation or two in the back of my mind.  Giving up the church 30 or so years ago, then giving up faith completely about 25 years ago, was fairly easy for me.  As my signature says, it really was a relief to just be an atheist and quit working at believing so hard.

My sister, on the other hand, believes.  You would think growing up in the same family she would be as rational as I am.  (Well, most of the time I am rational, LOL)  She converted to Jehovah Witness when she was 16 and still fervently believes now that she is 58.  We used to have theological discussions, until I finally told her she was not going to get me to convert to JW, that I thought her religion was wacko.  And she could either accept me as I am and stop trying to convert me, or we could stop speaking to each other.  Amazingly, she left me alone after that and we still talk to each other - but not about theology.

So I think there is something physical, something in the hard wiring of the brain that predisposes some people to religion.  It isn't anything to be ashamed of, it is just an "is" thing.  Some of us may have not been wired that way from birth, some of us may not have received the childhood environment that encouraged the wiring, some of us may not want to rearrange our brains.  You have taken on a major reworking of your brain - it takes time for that to settle in.

Welcome to the forum and post often.

 

Oh, I recommend 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P. Harrison.  The author states each reason then gives rational rebuttal(s) for not using that reason to persist in the belief in god.  My husband had claimed to be agnostic for the 26 years that I had known him at the time we read the book.  After he finished the last page he set the book down and announced, "I'm an atheist."  I was amazed.

 

-- 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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Hi Keith - welcome to the forum

 

A lot of us have had somewhat similar experiences with the early indoctrination and the begging jesus to save us from the horrors of being judged by an unmerciful god. It's not a religious book by any means but I recommend Carl Sagan's beautiful book Cosmos. It's old now and a lot of the data has been updated many times but the man communicates such a sense of awe and privilege at existing in the universe as a sentient being that you can't help embrace a different perspective on what it means to be human in this place. Life has challenges and mysteries enough without us inventing silly monsters to run away from.  

Bigger feelings and thoughts have mostly usurped the threats and insults of my evangelical christian past but it's a journey with a long transitional period. I don't know how you feel about this but acknowledging my agnostic atheism was what made me into a complete human. Vulnerable, alone and endlessly wondering. From the sounds of the self honesty you're projecting here I think you'll be OK. Do some reading, get comfortable with understanding fallacious and irrational arguments. You'll be surprised when you find the core 'proofs' of christianity are unsupported and if not entirely, then very arguably, irrational. 

Embrace the words "I don't know". Equate certainty with naked assertion. Refuse to accept truth claims without multiple objective proofs. And never entirely accept anything as proved true - including the nature of truth itself.   

 

 

 

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


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Keith526 wrote:Hmm I

Keith526 wrote:
Hmm I don’t think I was ever afraid of a hell. My relationship with God was much more real-time than most. I mostly feared pissing off God this morning and paying for it this evening. I connected moment to moment events to God’s mood with respect to me. I was a black Christian we grow-up spiritually “hand to mouth” it was never “big picture” for us it was God do this for me now or thank you God for my new job or house, or rationalizing if something bad happened all real-time hot topic issues very little long term stuff. God was like overeating; we eat food at funerals and we eat food at celebrations, eat when happy eat more when sad. I’m gonna take a look at “God part of the brain” that sounds precisely like something I was looking for.

I know exactly what you mean. I grew up in a very strict Catholic household and remember ferverently praying, reading the Bible, and attending mass every morning. I was just like you. I lived in terror of god's wrath and was always afraid for the well-being of the less fortunate members of my family. I can clearly remember being on my knees and begging god to forgive them and punish me instead if need be. I can remember ferverently praying to god to save certain family members and even bargaining with god.

When my grandfather was dying, I remember the one thing that I loved to do was play guitar (and I was extremely good at it). I gave the guitar away and promised god that I would never play again if he let my grandfather live. Needless to say my grandfather died and I have never been able to pick up a guitar, even to this day, without being reminded of that and feeling ill.

Long story short, for both intellectual and personal reasons, I began to question my faith. I began to question a LOT of things. When I realized that I no longer believed, everyone in my family turned their back on me and left me stranded.

I had enough money to rent a room above a garage from this older biker dude. He taught me how to ride and introduced me to a new lifestyle.

Well. I had time to think. I had always dressed and behaved the way that it was dictated to me. I had never even paused to think : "What do I like ?"

I started growing my hair long, started getting inked up on my arms, and felt true freedom.

I still believed in god, but no longer believed in the churches. I searched for god in that new-agey spirituality,flirted around with buddhism for a little while, chased ghosts and paranormal stuff, and finally came to the conclusion that it was all nonsense. (My entire deconversion took me from the time I was around 23 to about 25 or 26).

In every type of spirituality that I tried, I found the same thing, a bunch of people that were hoping to find some sort of "ultimate" answer.

In a bizarre twist, I stumbled across writers Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. (Hitchens became my new hero).

I have been a proud Atheist ever since and never looked back.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Keith526 wrote:  However

Keith526 wrote:
  However Santa belief support in young children is accepted up to a certain age but Jesus/God I along with many took into my fifties to get my heart broken when I should have dropped it at 8 years of age. You children are fortunate.

 

    I became a fundamentalist, protestant Christian at age 15.  I didn't deconvert until I was aged 40.  Funny thing was is that at the time I had no desire to abandon my faith, I simply investigated the claims of my religion too closely and finally realized that it was a massive farce.  It was still emotionally painful to lose my religion, though.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


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Can theology be cured?

Can theology be cured? Depends on what context. On an individual level, certainly. Most of us here were at some point believers of all sorts of labels.

But in evolution, no. I wouldn't leave it at theology, humans have always had the capability to believe false things because it "feels good". This can extend to political ideology(worship of a state), superstitions like vampires, voodoo, and worship of a celebrity. Humans will always have a wide variety of weird beliefs because we did not evolve to always be rational. The only goal of evolution is to get to the point of reproduction.

I think though with the explosion of mass media and cell phones and the internet, it is becoming much harder for people to make claims without challenge. In that context, humans can at least have some way to keep fascism at bay.

But as far as having lingering feelings, many here can attest to that too. When I first got on line to find other atheists in 01 I did wonder if I was doing something "evil" and fear of judgment of others did give me pause for a while. But now, I have no fear of a fictional god, and I have not been afraid of the judgment of others for a long time.

Welcome

 

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hey keith,i applaud your

hey keith,

i applaud your courage.  most of us here dropped our baggage at less than half your age.  to admit a foundational belief you held for so long has no basis in reality, and to face that realization head-on, i imagine is a much more difficult task than most of us here could ever know.

at the risk of sounding politically incorrect or insensitive, are you by chance african-american, or are you from a country other than the US?  i can't help but ask because the african-american community, according to many of its self-proclaimed spokesmen (television personalities, politicians, and clergymen), is almost completely "free" of atheism and thus has a very hostile attitude to it.  i recall the scene in "a raisin in the sun" when the old mother slaps the daughter across the face for saying she doesn't believe in god and forces her to say she does.  if you are african-american, did any of this kind of cultural baggage play into your experience? 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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Welcome! Don't feel bad or

Welcome!

Don't feel bad or stupid, many exceptionally smart people have been taken in by religion. Some of the greatest human minds believed in gods.

I don't think theology itself is the issue, I think it is a desire for comfort and stability. A belief in god can be very comforting. Religions are also generally the most stable organisations in human history. No commercial or government entity has lasted as long as many religions have.

So I think that belief in religion isn't necessarily the psychological push, but a desire for comfort, stability, and community. Religion just happens to provide all this in one neat little package.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Some numbers

Keith526 wrote:

Good point about the evolution of earth’s educated societies. I was only thinking from my perspective and life window of time. I could have been hanged for my new found enlightenment perhaps a generation previous or two, so the future looks pretty bright for a free thinking world when you put it that way.

Getting precise numbers on this is difficult. I remember seeing some on this forum in the past, but I was too lazy to do a proper search.

These will have to do for now:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Europe#Religiosity

European countries have experienced a decline in church membership and church attendance.[6] A relevant example is that of Sweden where the church of Sweden, previously the state-church until 2000, claimed to have 82.9% of the Swedish population as its flock in 2000. Surveys showed this had dropped to 72.9% by 2008.[7] However in the 2005 eurobarometer poll only 23%[8] of the Swedish population said they believed in a personal God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_attendance#Participation_statistics

Gallup International indicates that 41%[1] of American citizens report they regularly attend religious services, compared to 15% of French citizens, 10% of UK citizens,[2] and 7.5% of Australian citizens.[3]

However, these numbers are open to dispute. ReligiousTolerance.org states:

"Church attendance data in the U.S. has been checked against actual values using two different techniques. The true figures show that only about 21% of Americans and 10% of Canadians actually go to church one or more times a week. Many Americans and Canadians tell pollsters that they have gone to church even though they have not. Whether this happens in other countries, with different cultures, is difficult to predict."[1]

Also, on reflection, my statement that this is due to education is probably a bit simplistic. It depends on exactly how one defines education.

 

It is a long battle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment or Age of Reason) was a cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe and the American colonies. Its purpose was to reform society using reason (rather than tradition) and advance knowledge through science. It promoted science and intellectual interchange and opposed superstition,[1] intolerance and abuses by church and state.

 


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Welcome Keith.

                   Unlike other people here I never did believe in a god/jesus. I did attend catholic schools for 4 and a half years but I am hearing and reading about jesus and god at the same time that I'm reading Dick & Jane, Cinderella, the tooth fairy and Santa Clause. I'm ten before I realized some people thought the god thingy was real,  I never took any leap beyond reality.  I'm  13 before I hear the word 'atheist'  my mother, with all the charm of a drill sergeant was yelling it at a nun, my mother was religious she just didn't like nuns.  My 6 siblings are wishy washy on religion if any of them mentions believing in front of me I quickly ask about the last time they were in church outside of a wedding or funeral [their teen years and baby brother is 47] that puts an end to the religious discussion.                  My wife's family is 50/50 on religion, those that bother with religion are devout Hindus but they never try to recruit new members; that seems to be a christian/muslim thingy.                     I live in Canada near Toronto, and spend a lot of time [this week etc.] in Guyana, where do you hail from?  

 

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Fix humans so they aren't

Fix humans so they aren't idiots and/or assholes? I'd sooner bet on teaching roaches how to build a spaceship. Our intelligence didn't develop because evolution wanted us to be logical, it developed solely because it's a handy weapon for beating the other organisms. With that in mind it's no surprise we have asinine psychological baggage like racism, nepotism, theism etc. If making an organism see reality more clearly means it becomes less "fit" by evolutionary standards, then evolution will instead program it to believe in bullshit, as evidenced by the gazillion retarded qualities of human psychology.


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Theology/religion is just a

Theology/religion is just a weak attempt to explain why shit happens:

http://www.gnu.org/fun/jokes/shit-happens.html

I think you were just a victim of the shit happening. I wouldn't be bitter about it, welcome to planet earth.

I would say going forward, all you can do is support the application of science and reason to reduce the amount of shit happening in the world. This would reduce the amount of theology/religion in the world.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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It's less like a cure and

It's less like a cure and more like an immunization.

Those people who are so wrapped up in their religion that they'll threaten violence if you try and criticize it?  No, we're not going to convince them anytime soon.

But as atheism becoms more and more common, more and more people will grow up atheist.  It will become ever harder for the fundies to block exposure for their kids, and ever easier for those kids to recognize that their paretns are just nuts.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Some more numbers

This has probably been posted before, but I'll post it here in an attempt to get similar information in the same thread.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/signs-that-religion-is-waning-among-americas-youth/

Basically, the youngsters in the US are still quite bonkers about religion, but significantly less so than previous generations.


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Atheistextremist wrote:A lot

Atheistextremist wrote:

A lot of us have had somewhat similar experiences with the early indoctrination and the begging jesus to save us from the horrors of being judged by an unmerciful god. 

Yeah, this was sort of the case for me. I stopped believing fairly recently in my life (within the last two years), and the process itself probably took about two years. I'd say the last six months or so, I didn't really believe anymore, but I couldn't bring myself to admit it. It took about six months until I stopped worrying that I was going to get tortured for infinity years for coming to the wrong conclusion.

Really, the system sets itself up fairly well to try to keep people from falling out of line. First, they try to keep you from thinking about the right questions (indoctrination), then they try to make you think it's natural to have those questions (doubt is normal. Just have more faith...), then they threaten you if you keep up with those questions (If you turn away, there's no coming back!). As much as I hate it, looking back on it, I can totally see why a lot of people can't or won't make it out of those three steps.


Atheistextremist
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Yeah

RobbyPants wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

A lot of us have had somewhat similar experiences with the early indoctrination and the begging jesus to save us from the horrors of being judged by an unmerciful god. 

Yeah, this was sort of the case for me. I stopped believing fairly recently in my life (within the last two years), and the process itself probably took about two years. I'd say the last six months or so, I didn't really believe anymore, but I couldn't bring myself to admit it. It took about six months until I stopped worrying that I was going to get tortured for infinity years for coming to the wrong conclusion.

Really, the system sets itself up fairly well to try to keep people from falling out of line. First, they try to keep you from thinking about the right questions (indoctrination), then they try to make you think it's natural to have those questions (doubt is normal. Just have more faith...), then they threaten you if you keep up with those questions (If you turn away, there's no coming back!). As much as I hate it, looking back on it, I can totally see why a lot of people can't or won't make it out of those three steps.

 

I think the christian propensity to insult curiosity, to insult openness, equating it with sin and evil is a key, too. I had a Hans Kung book on my lounge when my fundamentalist mother came around recently. Kung's a moderate christian with a scientific bent of mind, who argues science and spiritual belief are not incompatible. I don't agree with him but I like him. When Mum saw the book she bridled and called him an apostate, not a real christian, a strange man. 

It rather makes you wonder whether monotheists actually have the courage of their convictions. Given their hysteria in the face of honest inquiry, you'd have to say not. Welcome to the forum, Robby. Good to hear that another battery has unplugged itself from the matrix. 

 

 

"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 think the christian propensity to insult curiosity, to insult openness, equating it with sin and evil is a key, too. I had a Hans Kung book on my lounge when my fundamentalist mother came around recently. Kung's a moderate christian with a scientific bent of mind, who argues science and spiritual belief are not incompatible. I don't agree with him but I like him. When Mum saw the book she bridled and called him an apostate, not a real christian, a strange man. 
Yeah, my sister-in-law told me recently when she grew up, their youth group would participate in services of other religions/sects, appearing to be open-minded. Then, they'd reconvene and discuss why that other religion/sect was wrong. So, I guess faux-open-mindedness.

My wife is sort of in the middle. She's still Christian, yet is totally fine with evolution and the Big Bang. She's also a huge fan of Rob Bell. She's open to throwing out most of the Bible if she ends up with the god she wants, but she still gets kind of weird about omnibenevolence, free will, suffering, and what-not.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:
It rather makes you wonder whether monotheists actually have the courage of their convictions. Given their hysteria in the face of honest inquiry, you'd have to say not. Welcome to the forum, Robby. Good to hear that another battery has unplugged itself from the matrix. 
Thanks! Yeah, it was probably the hardest thing I've done, but at the same time, it's the most liberating. I've enjoyed these last two years a lot more than the two years prior!


 


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The only cure is to

The only cure is to eliminate faith in a falsehood.

 


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Atheistextremist wrote:  I

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

I think the christian propensity to insult curiosity, to insult openness, equating it with sin and evil is a key, too. I had a Hans Kung book on my lounge when my fundamentalist mother came around recently. Kung's a moderate christian with a scientific bent of mind, who argues science and spiritual belief are not incompatible. I don't agree with him but I like him. When Mum saw the book she bridled and called him an apostate, not a real christian, a strange man. 

 

 

 

nice to see another kung fan.  i highly recommend his trilogy of surveys of the abrahamic faiths to any atheist.  despite being a christian of sorts, i think he comes closer to being objective about the "big 3" than any other author, theist or atheist, i've ever read.  he and i follow the same philosophy: let's turn down the volume, turn down the hyperbole, turn down the hysteria, or we'll never accomplish anything.

i don't give a shit if he's "with the enemy": i truly believe he's one of the most admirable human beings in the world today.  over my desk in the english department office at school i have four little pictures tacked to my bulletin board: spinoza, confucius, norman borlaug, and kung.  kung is the only one still living.

btw, your family's catholic, right?  because i can't imagine 99% of protestants having any idea who kung is.  i'm actually surprised a lay catholic does.  it's amazing to me how terrified they are of this cordial, soft-spoken, unassuming man, who doesn't even aspire to any power within the church or without.  i sometimes think that if the church hadn't started rolling back vatican ii reforms before john xxiii's body was even cold, kung might be in ratzinger's place today.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Hi iwb

iwbiek wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

I think the christian propensity to insult curiosity, to insult openness, equating it with sin and evil is a key, too. I had a Hans Kung book on my lounge when my fundamentalist mother came around recently. Kung's a moderate christian with a scientific bent of mind, who argues science and spiritual belief are not incompatible. I don't agree with him but I like him. When Mum saw the book she bridled and called him an apostate, not a real christian, a strange man. 

 

nice to see another kung fan.  i highly recommend his trilogy of surveys of the abrahamic faiths to any atheist.  despite being a christian of sorts, i think he comes closer to being objective about the "big 3" than any other author, theist or atheist, i've ever read.  he and i follow the same philosophy: let's turn down the volume, turn down the hyperbole, turn down the hysteria, or we'll never accomplish anything.

i don't give a shit if he's "with the enemy": i truly believe he's one of the most admirable human beings in the world today.  over my desk in the english department office at school i have four little pictures tacked to my bulletin board: spinoza, confucius, norman borlaug, and kung.  kung is the only one still living.

btw, your family's catholic, right?  because i can't imagine 99% of protestants having any idea who kung is.  i'm actually surprised a lay catholic does.  it's amazing to me how terrified they are of this cordial, soft-spoken, unassuming man, who doesn't even aspire to any power within the church or without.  i sometimes think that if the church hadn't started rolling back vatican ii reforms before john xxiii's body was even cold, kung might be in ratzinger's place today.

 

The family are all protestant evangelicals but this has led them to the church of england in more recent times. It's the only way they can get a fix of literal - IOW 'real christianity'. I agree you on Kung's downward adjustment of the tone transistor. I have to confess to a ferocious confirmation bias in these matters and I'm so pissed by god people I can barely read their opinions without wicking up. But I can read Kung, who's position is one of toleration, balance and love first, argument later.

Just when Kung pisses me off with some appeal to complexity, he'll back down into a position of almost agnostic christianity. The book Mum saw was Science and Religion, The Beginning of All Things. But I've also read What I Believe, Islam and Why I am Still a Christian. I'd not want to pretend the dichotomy he presents with his first cause stuff doesn't bug the shit out of me. But the man is widely read across multiple disciplines and he understands the secular position better than any christian writer I've read. 

Some people are religious and this will ever be. I wish all christians and muslims and hasids held Hans Kung's soft theological position. 

 

 

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Just when Kung pisses me off with some appeal to complexity, he'll back down into a position of almost agnostic christianity. The book Mum saw was Science and Religion, The Beginning of All Things. But I've also read What I Believe, Islam and Why I am Still a Christian. I'd not want to pretend the dichotomy he presents with his first cause stuff doesn't bug the shit out of me. But the man is widely read across multiple disciplines and he understands the secular position better than any christian writer I've read. 

Some people are religious and this will ever be. I wish all christians and muslims and hasids held Hans Kung's soft theological position. 

 

 

 

 

kung's hold on christianity seems to come from his very understandable disillusionment with the modern age and the so-called "triumph of reason," which culminated in wwii and the hydrogen bomb.  he appeals to kant's critique of pure reason a lot and says that reason alone is no guarantee of a better world, based on its track record.  honestly, i agree with him. 

this is a guy who grew up with the nazis scratching at his back door and clearly placed a lot of hope in vatican ii as sort of a light in the dark world of the cold war (which i'm sure you noticed in why i'm still a christian), only to have it thrown back in his face by a succession of popes, each more reactionary than the last.

i think that people should be required to read his islam before they start mouthing off about it, either positively or negatively.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen