What did you feel when you were Theist?

Cpt_pineapple
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What did you feel when you were Theist?

A lot of people here were former Theists, so I'd like to ask

 

What emotions towards God did you have?

 

Like my other topics, this is just a poll and I just plan on reading the answers and not partacipating.

 

 


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That would be fear and love

That would be fear and love intertwined. 

"I promise that I love you..Please don't kill me" !

A bit like a battered woman actually.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


The Doomed Soul
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Pineapple, whats with all

Pineapple, whats with all these open-ended, highly annoying questions, lately?

 

huh? answer that!

What Would Kharn Do?


Cpt_pineapple
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The Doomed Soul

The Doomed Soul wrote:

Pineapple, whats with all these open-ended, highly annoying questions, lately?

 

huh? answer that!

 

I've been intensifying my study of nature as of late and am currently undergoing a belief renovation. I am re-thinking many of my beliefs. A spiritual quest if you will.

 

My studying is ranging from psychology to Quantum Mechanics. [unfortunately for my last topic,  protein folding wasn't on the list]

 

Just trying to get different perspectives.

 

 

[edit spelling/grammar will come after Quantum Field Theory ]

 

 

 

 


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Some fear, but mostly

Some fear, but mostly confusion.  I was quite young when I was a believer (Baptist) and I didn't understand how everyone else couldn't see the obvious paradoxes or answer for them honestly.

"I've yet to witness circumstance successfully manipulated through the babbling of ritualistic nonsense to an imaginary deity." -- me (josh)

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pauljohntheskeptic
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When I was a child I

When I was a child I remember feeling intimidated but loved. As I went to a Lutheran parochial school I was constantly exposed and tested on the Bible, doctrine and morals on a daily basis. This added to the intimidation turning it more into fear. I remember feeling all gooey over Jesus but sacred to death of the Father. I became an altar boy when I was old enough. After several years I started to realize it was me that generated the feelings of fear and the intensity of awe I would experience in church. This caused severe disappointment and a sense of loss. I tried a new direction and became a Catholic because I felt more in touch with God for a while. In college I added to my knowledge of the Church and began to suspect god wasn't real. I remember feeling lost for a time and by the time I went to grad school I was more concerned about the real world and put belief in god on the back burner. I remember going to mass and thinking everyone there were just automatrons and clueless. The intense feelings pretty well were gone but a desire to understand replaced the belief. 

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"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

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I don’t really recall

I don’t really recall “feeling” anything, just accepting what I was taught. There was a slight bit of superiority since I was raised Mormon and Mormonism is basically founded on the story of Joseph Smith praying to God and asking which church was true. God came and told him that none were true and he should start his own. So, as Mormons we all believed that we were the only ones who “had it right.” Of course I began to question everything around 16 and it took me almost 4 years to completely admit to myself that I didn’t believe in God. So I guess I could say that most of my feelings as a Mormon, was a constant struggle and justification of how it could be true. Things like saying “I believe in God, but this part and that part are bull shit…” or “I believe God created all but used evolution to do it…” etc. After a while, I came to terms that I didn’t really believe any of it. Needless to say, breaking away was a scary process so they definitely succeeded in putting the fear of Hell into me.

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I went through several

I went through several phases of belief in my life. The first was a low grade, juvenile acceptance of the general theory of a god. I remember at one point thinking that you could use prayer to rack up wish points with god, but I'm not sure where that belief came from. I remember reading various religious tracts, ranging from Chick comics to old Watchtowers, so I'm sure it was generated from that. At this time, I don't remember any concrete feelings towards god.

Eventually, my father reverted from whatever weak form of atheism he had come up with back to traditional Catholicism. He dragged the family into it. I was made to go to classes to get my first few sacraments, and until we moved away from my grandmother's influence, I played the part of the typical Catholic teenager. I remember developing a low level fear of god and hell at that point, but I mostly ignored it.

We moved, and I was able to break out of the Sunday Catholic mold for a time. My parents waffled about enforcing their religion, and eventually my father became quite involved in apologetics. Not knowing a damned thing, his arguments made a dent. I began to feel guilty and scared. When I started college, I took the required philosophy course, in which the teacher used the book "Between Heaven and Hell" by Peter Kreeft, basically as an introduction to Catholic apologetics. I was caught up in the appearance of logical proofs for all of this stuff, and I began to go back to church. Looking back, I'm sure that there was some longing for a deeper relationship with my father tied up in this, too. At this point, I was still fearful, but also getting enamored with the high that comes from winning an argument.

When I moved onto a four year college, I became deeply involved in the apologetics study at the local Catholic center, and tried to embrace an almost monastic lifestyle. My religion, along with other personal issues, were so prevalent that it really distracted me from my studies, and I almost flunked out. At this time, I was very openly Catholic, making a point to pray Rosaries before my classes and spreading around Miraculous Medals(look them up, such a stupid idea). However, as I was in another town from my wife, my sex life was non-existent, and I struggled with what I perceived as an addiction to pornography. So, my feelings at this point were a combination of shame, rage at my own failure and a massive fear of god and hell, supplemented by profound moments of elation and peace when I managed to hold back my proclivities for any length of time. I was in the habit of calling the local priest for face to face confessions during the week, because I would look at porn sites, masturbate, then get so worked up with guilt that I couldn't wait, fearing that I would die before I could get to confession and end up in hell. Sandra Otterson was going to send me to hell Sad

Eventually, I became a dad, graduated from college, and sank into a cycle of sin, guilt and fear, and repentance. I figured that this would just be a war of attrition for the remainder of my life. Well, a couple of events came together to cause me to rethink my beliefs. I began to realize that I was guilty of the same logical failures and irrational leaps of faith that I fought in my frequent apologetic rants. At the same time, my father decided to begin converting to Eastern Orthodoxy. This double shot knocked me down. I had no problem attacking my father's new beliefs, but I began to realize that, aside from the logical issues, my arguments were being motivated by emotions. I realized that I could not evaluate the choice between Orthodox or Catholic by assuming either, so I tried to look at it from a completely objective point of view. I was already attempting to rebuild my faith after my initial revelation of self deception, so this was just another component of that. At this point, I was radically fearful, not only of a fear of god at this point, but a fear of the unknown as well.

Well, needless to say, my quest for a rational religious basis failed. It became clear that there were deeper problems with Christianity than the fairly superficial breaks between Catholic and Orthodox, and I finally admitted that I no longer believed. I kept it quiet for years. During this transition, I lost my fear of god, and my lingering feelings of guilt were also evaporating.

Now, I'm quite comfortable as an atheist. I find my earlier infatuation with apologetics replaced by a fierce love of science and a desire to remedy the gaps in my schooling. I still enjoy arguing about the same subjects. I just tend to fall into a new camp now.

So, Cpt, in a nutshell, it was a rollercoaster ride of alternating fear, guilt and elation.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


Hambydammit
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 Quote:What emotions

 

Quote:
What emotions towards God did you have?

I never felt love.  I tried to convince myself that I did, but something about loving someone that never did anything for me never sat right with me.  Preachers, etc, would tell me that god made the whole universe for me, and gave me a chance to live, and stuff like that, but even my young indoctrinated brain could figure out that a sweep of the hand could do that for everybody -- it was nothing particularly special for me.

I was taught that God was personally involved in every Christian's life, so I always had an alternating sense of anxious expectation (When is God going to show me his personal presence?) and bitterness (I'm being a better Christian than all these other kids who are drinking and smoking and having sex.  Why isn't God rewarding me?) to downright depression (This really sucks that everyone else is feeling God's personal presence, and for whatever reason, he chooses to ignore me).

I also felt palpable fear.  I believed that various acts, some of them beyond my immediate control, could literally cause me to be possessed by demons, which would alter my brain so that it would be next to impossible for me to understand Jesus' love, which would mean that I'd go to hell.  I was terrified of a lot of things because I'd been warned that they were gateways to hell.

I felt a lot of anger.  At times, I was angry at lots of other people for not seeing the love of Jesus.  I believed they were evil, stubborn people who were bent on enjoying their sin at the cost of bringing God's wrath upon America.  It was hard for me to look at them as fully human, in some ways.  Of course, I had no idea what "fully human" meant, so there is that...  I also felt angry at god an awful lot.  I wondered why he had given me the intellect to see how little sense Christianity made, and how hard it was to live in a way that seemed contrary to everything we want.  Why did he make me with an intellect that could see the problem but not the solution, so that it was very, very hard for me to love him?

(Of course, I could see the solution, but it took removing several layers of brainwashing before it made any sense.)

I can't tell you how much more at peace I am since abandoning Christianity.  The universe makes sense.  Humans make sense.  My own emotions make sense.  I don't have to find someone to blame for everything anymore.  The lack of "ultimate purpose" is very freeing for the mind -- at least for mine.  It makes it a lot easier for me to get around to my own purposes and get real work done.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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When I was a Christian in my

When I was a Christian in my youth, it didn't mean a whole lot to me. I read the Bible and knew some basic theology, but there was no real lasting significance in my life. So it wasn't a bid deal for me to become an atheist. For the years that I was an atheist, I enjoyed the freedom from religious belief and rituals (as I still do). I enjoyed not thinking about salvation and Hell and eschatology (also as I still do).

I changed my mind about God last summer. Believing in God is so different for me now, it's very difficult to describe. I saw God in the love, forgiveness, peace and hope that I found throughout the world. I worked in a school in Magdalena, Guatemala. Teaching those children was like catching a fleeting glimpse of God. It was as though the footprints of God existed everywhere in that town, and I just had never seen them.

I'm well aware that no one will consider this evidence (as you should). I don't think it's possible to reason oneself to God. I'm with Kant on that one. I believe that God is something we can experience through love of all, service of strangers, forgiveness of out enemies and gratitude for every second of life.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

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I certainly was

I certainly was superstitious as a child. But while attending church, I was more interested in the sermon ending and going home to watch football. I "believed" much like I listened  to popular music, or began smoking, because I saw other people doing it, and I wanted to fit in.

In retrospect it wasn't so much that I really believed, but more along the lines that I thought that "it worked for others" so if I do the same thing, I will get what they have.

But, I was superstitious. When I was a kid I literally had a platoon of stuffed animals surrounding my body, while laying in bed at night to prevent the boogieman of the dark, getting me.

I felt like if I didn't do the god worship, because of what society was telling me at the time, I felt like I would be an outcast.

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When I was 18 I got "saved"

When I was 18 I got "saved" and was a southern baptist. My girlfriend at the times father was a preacher. A couple years later his daughter and I got married. The night I got "saved" was very emotional for me. Both of us had gotten busted out on premarital sex, drinking and a ton of other stuff. Needless to say her mom and dad were pretty upset with us. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest and I felt a joy I had never known before. I quit smoking, drinking..... smoking weed. You know all the fun stuff except the premarital sex heehee.

Everyone I came into contact with I tried to convert because I wanted them to experience the same delusion I did. I honestly felt like god really was there and changed me. However, I started to slowly go back to my old ways and just didn't have enough faith to hold on to my new beliefs. I quit the church after a night of binge drinking and on a few occasions decided to go back into the fold, but it was never the same. I decided to research more into a logical reason to believe in god but found only more questions than answers. The god I believed in as loving and merciful turned into a god of wrath and vengence and that's where I stand today.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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The closest I ever came to

The closest I ever came to an emotion for a god was anger at the fucker taking all my hockey friends on Sundays. That was of course before I delved into the whole religion thing and gained an educated perspective on it. Then I was angry at churches.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Ashamed of it as I am, I was

Ashamed of it as I am, I was a devoted Baptist as a child. I read the Bible, went to church, and tried to love god. I was in about 6th or 7th grade when I started forming my beliefs. I attended church, and tried to answer my growing concerns about life with "God." It was at this point that I became very confused. There were too many contradictions in the Bible, and they greatly concerned me. (God killing people, then telling us not to do so, for one.)  Then from there I started to worry I was getting tricked by the devil himself. How could all those adults I trusted my whole life be wrong? Am I going to hell? What does it take for Jesus to love me? If more people are going to hell than naught, why is Christianity such a dominant religion?

These questions racked my mind constantly, causing much anxiety and confusion, adding to the problems of puberty. I tried to be good and convince myself I wasn't going to be eternally damned for questioning. When I was taught evolution, I fully embraced the concept of god making it happen. I was a liberal Christian after that, and then I was introduced to philosophy my Sophomore year. All that questioning I did, it all made sense. There was no god, and those who still believe are either in constant fear of hell or not questioning their beliefs. 

However, my new inner peace has brought about a whole set of new problems. My parents begrudge me for deconverting, calling it "teen rebellion," and forbiding me to tell anyone else, especially my sisters. They also force me to pray and have threatened me with Christian private school. Oh, and before anyone asks, I do live in the Bible Belt, and I'm not one of those rebellious kids. I just can't stand to be ignorant.

tl;dr 

I felt great anxiety, confusion, and fear as a thiest, and I'm all better now because I'm an athiest, even though my parents give me grief about it.

 


Vastet
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I don't generally like

I don't generally like giving out advice, because what I would do and am willing to accept responsibility for is significantly different from someone else. However, if I were in your shoes, I'd tell my sisters. Then I'd tell everyone else. Too bad if mom and dad don't like it, they're the ones with invisible friends.

Of course, I am the rebellious sort, so this probably won't work well for you. Sticking out tongue

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Vastet wrote:I don't

Vastet wrote:

I don't generally like giving out advice, because what I would do and am willing to accept responsibility for is significantly different from someone else. However, if I were in your shoes, I'd tell my sisters. Then I'd tell everyone else. Too bad if mom and dad don't like it, they're the ones with invisible friends.

Of course, I am the rebellious sort, so this probably won't work well for you. Sticking out tongue

Oh don't worry, people know. I refuse to pray except in the presence of my Grandparents. (Don't want to give them a heart attack) My parents have given up nearly all hope of me reconverting in recent months, and I am secretly preventing my littlest sister from going through what I went through. The local Church is very aggressive in their preaching. I try to avoid religious talks as much as possible in school, but it's hard to avoid with nearly everyone here being Christian.

 

And by rebel, I meant stupid teenage rebel with no real clue or evidence to back what they believe. That seems to be the stereotype nowadays. 


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Quote:I've been intensifying

Quote:
I've been intensifying my study of nature as of late and am currently undergoing a belief renovation. I am re-thinking many of my beliefs. A spiritual quest if you will.

Always just one more brick to lay down before you can reach that rainbow, eh?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Cpt_pineapple
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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
I've been intensifying my study of nature as of late and am currently undergoing a belief renovation. I am re-thinking many of my beliefs. A spiritual quest if you will.

Always just one more brick to lay down before you can reach that rainbow, eh?

 

Wow a Wizard of Oz reference. I'm surprised you didn't go for Alice in Wonderland.