Hey all

skiminal
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Hey all

Hey all. I've gotta leave for class in like 10 minutes but I wanted to make an intro topic before I left. Um yeah, I'm Skiminal. I found this site through a friend's friend's Myspace page.

Brief history of beliefs:

I went to a Church of Christ for about 18 and 1/2 years. I'm gonna make the statement now that I believe I am a better person for having been a Christian at one point in my life. About 17 years into it, though, I really started questioning things. I decided to turn to the Internet for an answer. I joined a couple debate forums, and, within a couple days of readign articles, declared myself an athiest. this view wouldn't last, however. In retrospect, I realize that I was going through my teenage rebel days, and wanted there to be no God. Even thuogh I didn't want to, I still went to Church. Sometimes I went just to silently try to find things wrong with the preacher's lesson. One day I found a saw an article written in response to something called Universism. I got online to check out this Universism thingy. Reading the info on their website (now non-existant) I liked what I saw. For those of you who don't know what Universism is (not to be confused with Universalism) it's a "religion" established by Ford Vox. it's basically the belief that all we know is that we don't know. It's a quest for the ultimate Truth, whatever that Truth may be. The idea was great, unfortunately the community wasn't. So many close-minded people, religious and non-religious. Instead of seeking the Truth, they declared they knew the Truth. Instead of looking at the facts and saying "Ok, here are the facts we know, let's try to find some more and gradually start to uncover the Truth" many just said "Here are the facts this is the Truth." Also, with the mindframe of "I don't know", it was hard to establish a position on key issues. Universism had grown to about 2,500 members when the forum was shut down. Ford Vox's reason for shutting it down was because he wanted Universism to exist outside of the Internet and to expand. He felt like we sheltered ourselves on the forum, like an exclusive club. I felt he was right, but that he just did it prematurely. Universism needed more time to grow and to define itself. It needed a gradual transition into becoming existant outside of the Internet.

So yeah, the Universism movement is pertty much dead. Most of the dedicated members lost contact with each other with the sudden destruction of the forum. I still consider myself to be a Universist. I'm hoping I can better define what Universism stands for better, and maybe someday try to rebuild the Universist forum. Whatever the future lies, though, I'll still cling to not only the Universist beliefs, but to the morals and such that Christianity tought. There are so many good ideas that Universism and Christianity have, it's just a shame that they were corrupted.

So yeah, gotta go to class now I'll be on tonight with a couple thought provoking questions I'd like some feedback on.


GodStoleMyFriends
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Just a quick question. Do

Just a quick question.

Do you believe that a person who has never been a part of the Christian faith, a person who was raised in an atheist family, can have the same morals and be just as good as a person raised in Christianity?

"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank."-Woody Allen

"Atheism is life affirming in a way religion can never be."-Richard Dawkins


skiminal
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GodStoleMyFriends wrote:Just

GodStoleMyFriends wrote:
Just a quick question.

Do you believe that a person who has never been a part of the Christian faith, a person who was raised in an atheist family, can have the same morals and be just as good as a person raised in Christianity?

Possibly. In that case, it would be based upon your parents and friends. I think all 3 of those things are the biggest factors in shaping your morals, along with Law and media.


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I agree with you somewhat. I

I agree with you somewhat. I believe even if the parents of an individual not brought up in religion weren't very positive it still would not be a hopeless situation. Yes, it helps. However, I believe a person can become a morally strong human being on his own if he works very hard at it. Is there anyone with more expertise in this area who can back me up or shoot this idea down? Smiling

However, I do not think the good that may come from a life in Christianity out weighs the negative effects it can have on a human being. I was a Christian for 19 years before I began to realize everything that is wrong with Christianity and religion in general. That was enough time to brainwash me to a point in which it took a very long and difficult journey for me to completely escape it's grasp. In fact, I am still suffering from the side effects of long-term exposure.

It's fact that one does not need Christianity at all to become a morally strong person. Some people have a very hard time abandoning religion after long term exposure and I believe it is just too risky for one to be subjugated to years of religion just to gain something you can find on your own terms without it.

"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank."-Woody Allen

"Atheism is life affirming in a way religion can never be."-Richard Dawkins


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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GodStoleMyFriends wrote:I

GodStoleMyFriends wrote:
I agree with you somewhat. I believe even if the parents of an individual not brought up in religion weren't very positive it still would not be a hopeless situation. Yes, it helps. However, I believe a person can become a morally strong human being on his own if he works very hard at it. Is there anyone with more expertise in this area who can back me up or shoot this idea down? Smiling

I haven't seen my parents in @ 20 years. I grew up in a household of xtian southern baptist KKK members. They also hunted and we ate what they brought home. I am vegan now. I didn't strive to turn against everything that I was taught. I just decided to make my own decisions at a young age. I hated people telling me I had to think the way they did.

I don't believe upbringing is a huge factor in who a person becomes if that person wants to change.

I hate racism, religion, and insensitive animal consumption. (I don't preach veganism unless someone brings it up and asks me why. And I heard on another post somewhere on here that veggie people act like they are better. I agree somewhat but I seriously don't do that. We have barbiQ's with friends and they bring all the bloody stuff they want). Sticking out tongue


skiminal
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GodStoleMyFriends wrote:I

GodStoleMyFriends wrote:
I agree with you somewhat. I believe even if the parents of an individual not brought up in religion weren't very positive it still would not be a hopeless situation. Yes, it helps. However, I believe a person can become a morally strong human being on his own if he works very hard at it. Is there anyone with more expertise in this area who can back me up or shoot this idea down? Smiling

However, I do not think the good that may come from a life in Christianity out weighs the negative effects it can have on a human being. I was a Christian for 19 years before I began to realize everything that is wrong with Christianity and religion in general. That was enough time to brainwash me to a point in which it took a very long and difficult journey for me to completely escape it's grasp. In fact, I am still suffering from the side effects of long-term exposure.

It's fact that one does not need Christianity at all to become a morally strong person. Some people have a very hard time abandoning religion after long term exposure and I believe it is just too risky for one to be subjugated to years of religion just to gain something you can find on your own terms without it.

It's kind of hard to talk about, because a definate moral system doesn't exist outside religion. Yeah, the basics are there, such as don't kill and such, but there are a lot of other issues that aren't definate, such as cussing and sex outside of marriage. If you don't consider things like that to be immoral, then when you do them you don't consider yourself an immoral person ya know?

And as far as your second paragraph, I believe what I said about hte positives outweighing the negatives based on the Church that I grew up in. It was exactly what a Church should be. No one had a self-righteous attitude. They didn't try to manipulate the Bible to make it say what they wanted it to. Outside of the preacher's income (around $30,000 I think) and building expenses, the rest went to doing good work. Heck, they even questioned themselves. And, probably what you guys would like most of all, they didn't go around posting flyers about themselves everywhere. I'll admit, I miss the feeling of community and sense of being surrounded by pure people.


GodStoleMyFriends
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Quote:It's kind of hard to

Quote:
It's kind of hard to talk about, because a definate moral system doesn't exist outside religion. Yeah, the basics are there, such as don't kill and such, but there are a lot of other issues that aren't definate, such as cussing and sex outside of marriage. If you don't consider things like that to be immoral, then when you do them you don't consider yourself an immoral person ya know?

Those aren't very good examples as they are not immoral no matter what any religion says. Sex is ok whenever you are ready and curse words are just words.

Better examples would be bigotry of any kind and kindness towards your fellow human beings. These two definitely exist outside of religion and are far more important than when you have sex or how many curse words you say.

Quote:
And as far as your second paragraph, I believe what I said about hte positives outweighing the negatives based on the Church that I grew up in. It was exactly what a Church should be. No one had a self-righteous attitude. They didn't try to manipulate the Bible to make it say what they wanted it to. Outside of the preacher's income (around $30,000 I think) and building expenses, the rest went to doing good work. Heck, they even questioned themselves. And, probably what you guys would like most of all, they didn't go around posting flyers about themselves everywhere. I'll admit, I miss the feeling of community...

I'm not saying you do, but if you consider sex before marriage and cursing to be immoral than you have been brainwashed by religion no matter what you want to believe. I believe there are certain situations in which cursing is not appropriate, however, overall it and especially sex before marriage does not make you a bad person.

In fact, in the words of Penn and Teller, waiting until you are married to have sex on moral grounds is bullshit. Simply because it is not immoral.

Now, let's say what I just said does not apply to you and you escaped religion without any side effects at all. Well, I must say that even though you are fine, others are not so lucky. Everyone has a different reaction to religion, my own story is proof of that. Therefore I still believe it is too risky to be exposed to religion over a long period of time to gain something you can find without it.

Finally, your last few sentences praising Christianity make me very curious about your intentions here. Are you upset about how the RRS runs things? I read you concerns in another thread regarding this subject, however, I must ask you if you think we are wrong?

Also, you are speaking of your good experience with Christianity as if everyone else is just as fortunate. Familes are torn apart due to the negative effects Christianity can have on people. Listen to the show in which Sapient discusses what has happened between he and his mother due to religion.

Many Christians teach hatred for homosexuals and atheists, believing with all of their heart that they are evil and completely immoral. Some fundies welcome the end of the world by human means because they believe it will jump start the apocalypse of the bible and Judgement Day. The Christian Bible is hateful. The Christian God is a jealous, petty and cruel old white man who sits in the clouds unfairly passing judgement over his highly imperfect supposed creations. I firmly believe to worship such an evil deity is immoral.

One may have positive experiences with Christianity, for the most part I have nothing but good things to say about the people of my former church. They are good people and many had a positive effect on my life outside of religion. However, this does not mean religion as a whole is good. I stand by the fact that the negatives of religion far out weigh the good.

Quote:
...and sense of being surrounded by pure people.

I really don't like this statement. I'm sure there are many, many people on this board and among the many atheists of the world who are just as pure as the Christians you encountered.

"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank."-Woody Allen

"Atheism is life affirming in a way religion can never be."-Richard Dawkins


BarkAtTheMoon
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skiminal wrote:It's kind of

skiminal wrote:

It's kind of hard to talk about, because a definate moral system doesn't exist outside religion. Yeah, the basics are there, such as don't kill and such, but there are a lot of other issues that aren't definate, such as cussing and sex outside of marriage. If you don't consider things like that to be immoral, then when you do them you don't consider yourself an immoral person ya know?

A definite moral system doesn't exist inside religion either. Ask a thousand Christians about their morals and you'll get a thousand different answers. Ask a thousand Buddhists, ask a thousand atheists, whatever you'll get different answers. Religious people claim that definite morals can only come from God/Bible/religion, but the facts don't support that claim. There are things like killing, stealing, etc. that are with a few exceptions generally always considered wrong across religions & cultures. But the others, like pre-marital sex, drug use, abortion, etc. are all personal morals. Sure, they're influenced by a number of things like parents, teachers, religion, culture, your own opinions, but they still are ultimately personal decision on whether you feel they're moral or not, or even if morallity has anything to do with them in general. Plenty of religious people will do any and all of those things and usually not feel guilty about it.
Quote:

And as far as your second paragraph, I believe what I said about hte positives outweighing the negatives based on the Church that I grew up in. It was exactly what a Church should be. No one had a self-righteous attitude. They didn't try to manipulate the Bible to make it say what they wanted it to. Outside of the preacher's income (around $30,000 I think) and building expenses, the rest went to doing good work. Heck, they even questioned themselves. And, probably what you guys would like most of all, they didn't go around posting flyers about themselves everywhere. I'll admit, I miss the feeling of community and sense of being surrounded by pure people.

I grew up going to an Episcopal Church. Similar attitude and in general it was more positive than negative, but it really wasn't about the religion or the bible or God or any of that. It was, as you feel, about the community and the decent people. Once you realize that none of it has anything to do with faith, you'll find that you can meet good people and enjoy the same type of feelings in countless other situations without having to go to church or believe in God. I can get the same feeling from the friends I have and playing with the teams I play on and we can go out and get drinks after the game instead of sitting in a stuffy church. Sports for the win over God.

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
- Eric Idle, from The Galaxy Song