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Losing my Religion

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posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 07:26 AM
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a reply to: SuperFrog

well i have had plenty of similar opportunities over the years at ats, and have found that if i work really hard at it and provide plenty of corroborating evidence, it always ends the same way it does when i don't work really hard at it and don't provide plenty of corroborating evidence. so if i feel like it, i do, and if i think the person i'm talking to will just continue to insult me, i typically just give an explanation of it in my own words. i don't really want to link and post and write up stuff for you at this point, cause you're kinda rude to me and that's usually a sign that things will not be any better even after i've put as much effort into it as you require. i'll think about it, but at this point, i really don't have anything to prove and want to have a nice day.




posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 07:45 AM
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a reply to: undo

Wait, questioning you putting things together that are CLEARLY very different, bending and modifying stories to fit your views of word that are pre-made based on holy books full of illogicality and invalid statement, that can't be taken as historical book, but more like fiction book is BEING RUDE?!

I really don't care what you believe, but you posting something like this of course will rise questions about evidence, that you clearly don't have.

We know that ancient civilizations not only had contacts among each other, some were in wars with each others, but still, stories of origins of life are very different, depending at what place and what time you look at. Let's for example look at Minoan civilization that is from given period. Their civilization was destroyed by Thera, but from what we know so far, they worshiped primarily goddesses, and their culture has been described as being based on a "matriarchal religion."

Or just for fun, let's look at some African tribes story of origin that include Rainbow Serpent.


The Rainbow Serpent or Rainbow Snake a common deity, often a creator god,[1] in the mythology and a common motif in the art of Aboriginal Australia.[2] It is named for the obvious identification between the shape of a rainbow and the shape of a snake.[3] Some scholars have suggested that the link between snake and rainbow suggests the cycle of the seasons and the importance of water in human life.[4] When the rainbow is seen in the sky, it is said to be the Rainbow Serpent moving from one waterhole to another, and the divine concept explained why some waterholes never dried up when drought struck.[3] There are innumerable names and stories associated with the serpent, all of which communicate the significance and power of this being within Aboriginal traditions. It is viewed as a giver of life, through its association with water, but can be a destructive force if angry.[5] The Rainbow Serpent is one of the oldest continuing religious beliefs in the world[6] and continues to be a cultural influence today.

en.wikipedia.org...

It is clear that all cultures try to explain how everything came to be, but without knowledge about world, history, all they could do is to create stories such as those heard here, or in bible or any religions of old that today we call myths.

Bashing science and intelligence with mixture of stories that supposed to be taken for granted and prove Bible or those mythological stories as you can see does not stand well, but again, I would love to see some real sources, that are not biased. I always enjoyed fiction and science fiction.
edit on 22-4-2015 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 07:52 AM
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I feel you, OP, and I'm glad you have found a paradigm you feel is more congruent with your evolving worldview. I had a similar experience and, since you asked, will share how I got through it.

If you think having your religious beliefs challenged and reshaped is bad, try losing belief in absolutely everything. No higher power, no spirit, no meaning to life whatsoever, and no relevance to anything we feel or do in life. That's what I experienced for close to ten years until recently, in what some have told me they view as an example of the "dark night of the soul."

While never religious personally, I had my own brand of spirituality, central to my sense of meaning in life. As I aged, became exposed to greater and more empirical knowledge, and began asking myself difficult questions, I found myself gradually being confronted by the very real possibility that not only were by beliefs erroneous, but that none of this means anything at all.

If you go purely with what is falsifiable, provable, and empirical, and do not permit anything below that standard to persuade your beliefs at all, the picture of our existence is quite bleak and nihilistic indeed. There is evidence we lack free will, as thought of in the traditional sense. There is evidence for the possibility that our very existence is a cosmic accident or happenstance. There is evidence that all of our behaviors - everything we care about, feel, and assign value to in life - are little more than evolved tendencies and unconscious emergent behavior that are intrinsically meaningless on their own. And to top it all off, there is evidence for the possibility that not only is there nothing after our corporeal lives end, but that one day the universe will grow cold and dark, and not one iota of our civilization, lives, memories, or deeds will be retained anywhere in the universe at all.

As you might imagine, confronting these possibilities is extremely disturbing. And painful, because of how disillusioning the process can feel. I struggled with these feelings and thoughts for nearly a decade, unable - try as I might - to find any assurance that any of this means anything. There were possibilities to the contrary, sure. There are always possibilities. But I wanted proof. I needed some assurance that would assuage my existential terror. (Which is one of the mechanisms many believe is the entire reason and basis for human spirituality in the first place - the need to replace existential terror with something else, because as human beings we are uniquely aware of our mortality and impending demise.)

Finally, one day deep in thought, I had a bit of an epiphany consisting of a twofold realization. The twofold realization was:



  1. Everyone, no matter how empirical-minded or skeptical, engages in BELIEF in things for which there is not necessarily empirical evidence. Examples include: the unconscious tendency to ascribe meaning to the emotions we feel toward our loved ones, children, etc. even though all empirical evidence available tells us these are merely evolved behaviors and chemical responses. We subjectively FEEL as though they are more. Another example is morality. Unless one is completely amoral, which some are, most people, even ardent skeptics at least embrace some modicum of morality, even if only limited to the position that, say, the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or that we should be trying to improve ourselves and our children's' lot in life beyond our own, etc. Something. Perhaps the most ubiquitous example though, is that most people - unless profoundly depressed and/or suicidal - don't simply lay down, stop moving, eating, and drinking, and wait for death. They get up every day and live, despite every suggestion from the empirical universe that there is absolutely zero intrinsic meaning or purpose in doing so. In short: if you CARE about ANYTHING, in a universe where no positive proof exists that anything is worth caring about at all because it may all be meaningless, then you BELIEVE in some baseline of meaning or purpose despite that lack of proof.
  2. The subjectivity of reality. No matter how much we strive for objectivity, no matter how empirical or resolved the measurement (be it with our own senses or with highly sensitive scientific instruments,) we can never perceive a fully objective snapshot of reality, be it local or cosmological. Absolutely every perception we are capable of extracting from the universe around us is an ABSTRACTION to one degree or another. When I look around my room, I'm not seeing what that room "really looks like." Firstly, I'm limited to the spectrum my human eyes can see. Secondly, my brain is assembling an abstraction - a REPRESENTATION - of that information, not a wholly objective, 100% fidelity picture. The same is true of scientific measurement. We can get extremely accurate measurements and readings, even at the subatomic scale, but those readings too are ultimately abstractions. In fact, it is entirely possible that, ontologically, there ISN'T such a thing as the "single, ultimate, REAL reality" underlying all of those representations and abstractions we see, because it would appear that observation (and interaction) between disparate elements of space and time are intrinsically linked to the STATES of whatever element of space and time we're trying to perceive. It is thus arguable that it is and will forever be IMPOSSIBLE to acquire a 100% objective perception of reality.


So what does this leave me with? The inescapable conclusion that with very few exceptions, everyone - no matter how skeptical and rigorous - believes in and/or perceives things, concepts, ideas, and perceptions which are not 100% objective or evidence-based. And that it is OUR NATURE to create meaning. It is something we need. It is intrinsic to, whatever we are and whatever that means or doesn't mean, us as a species to require at least an illusory sense of purpose, and continuity.

Thus, the source of my existential terror, in addition to knowledge of my impending mortality, was also, I reasoned, my resistance of that nature. My unwillingness to simply, in effect, give in and accept that my nature requires some measure of meaning in life in order to find any semblance of inner peace. So, I'm a skeptic. I'm an agnostic skeptic who does not know, and would never assert, that there's any such thing as "the spirit," or any objective value in "being spiritual." Let alone religion.

And YET... I am an agnostic skeptic who prays, meditates, and engages in his own spiritual paradigm, because my nature demands it, and because this renders me no more subject to potential self-delusion than most anyone else on the planet. In short, we all labor under potential illusions. I will not denigrate anyone for theirs, nor will I deprive myself of my own. We need them, or so it would seem.

So, do I have beliefs now? Yes. But only insomuch as I delineate between belief and knowledge. My skeptical agnosticism is rational and allows me to continue saying, "Ultimately, I don't know." Belief, is the act of experiencing concepts internally even in the absence of proof, while knowing that absence of proof exists. Otherwise it wouldn't be belief.

The alternative is simply, "We're all going to die and none of this will mean anything," anyway. So I doubt I'll care that I "wasted my time" once I'm gone.

That is how I dealt with the process. Peace



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: SuperFrog

just to be clear, i will post whatever i want. and i will respond to whoever i want. and i will spend energy answering the questions of people who insult me for believing differently than them, when i want, if at all. comprende' senor?



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:23 AM
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I dont know how to thank everyone for their outpouring of LOVE that I have received from my friends here. I didnt expect such a huge response. I think this reevaluation of Religion, in light of historic facts, is happening to a vast amount of people.

I truly thank the Christians who have courageously stood up for their faith, even though it was not popular for them to do so. Yes, I have tried Jesus, and although I admire your commitment to your faith, I can not ignore the Historical facts that I have been forced to examine. I will not judge you one way or the other, as I realize that "Faith" itself covers a multitude of errors.

I also, am very grateful for the links and information that has been shared with me. I will be sorting through it, and learning what I need to help me on this journey.

So, again, thank you everyone for taking the time to reach out to me. One thing I do realize, there isnt one true pathway. I think with our diversity of belief systems, that we are all where we are meant to be.

But, for now, all I really know, is that all faiths teach Love. So, I will focus on Love. If I tithe it will be to put shoes on a neighbor kid, and not give it to a church. I know tithing is a made up religion thing, but, all religions teach us to help others. The bible actually says "Pure Religion is helping the Widow and Orphan". So, if I do feel like getting religious again, I will focus on helping the single moms and fatherless children and will never support another "Church" of any kind. As I think they are all teaching falsehoods.

God is within us. I will walk in the light as I see the light. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it isnt a train. lol

From my heart, I thank everyone. Except that one JW, you honey, need to get a life.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:30 AM
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originally posted by: undo
a reply to: SuperFrog

just to be clear, i will post whatever i want. and i will respond to whoever i want. and i will spend energy answering the questions of people who insult me for believing differently than them, when i want, if at all. comprende' senor?


Only person that does not 'comprende' here is you, because everything you post is subject to be validated and argued/discussed. Whole idea of forum is to talk about those things, and provide evidence and arguments behind what we think. I provided evidence that Egypt had different stories of origin, you picked one, modified it and made it serve your purpose, something not done first time, but again, very wrong and unscientific. But again, as you have right to post whatever you want, we have right to comment it, don't we?

I never said you can't believe, it is your own thing, believe all you want. Some people believe Elvis is still alive, sure...

EDIT: Also just occurred to me that no, we can't write everywhere we want everything we want. We have to stay close to topic... and both of us are far from topic. I am surprised mods allowed this much of room for discussion, and I thank them for that.
edit on 22-4-2015 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:34 AM
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originally posted by: misskat1
When I came to ATS, I was looking for answers to what is really going on in the world. But, in the process, I have had my Religious Belief Systems challenged. For the past few years, I have experienced a Deprogramming of False Belief Systems. This has been a painful experience. Believe me when I tell you, its pretty depressing to find out what you have lived and made life decisions on for 50 years is nothing but BS (Belief Systems). I found out that these belief systems were installed only to control me. They had nothing to do with the truth.

Im still deprogramming, It might take another 50 to undo the brainwashing. So, Ive spent a vast amount of time wallowing in emotions that just suck, Fear of Gods reprisal if I question what I was taught, guilt and shame for thinking I could think with my own brain about it, ANGER for wasting sooooooo much time etc. I vacillated between putting my fingers in my ears and la la la dont want to hear it, and barely hanging onto the Hem of Jesus garment. I fervently clung with all the faith I could muster, regardless of the truth that was hitting me between the eyes like a hot iron.

Im sure Im not the only one on ATS that has either gone through this, or is currently going through this. My personal experience in deprogramming was from false Christian Beliefs, but I am sure there are those of all faiths who are questioning the validity of what their church teaches vs THE TRUTH.

So, below I have listed some links to stuff that has helped me in this process. And I hope others will give their deprogramming testimony and share what has spoken truth to their heart.

Warning to Christians who are content in your BS (Belief Systems). You might want to keep your fingers in your ears and stay in a state of La la la on this one.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi Gnostic Texts, Ancient Roman Historic writers like Josephus. Most of these can be found at www.sacred-texts.com...

I found the teachings of Professor Robert Eisenman, on the Dead Sea Scrolls, James the brother of Jesus and the Nag Hammadi's to be one of the most important resources. He teaches at California State University Long Beach, his classroom lectures are on-line. www.youtube.com... www.youtube.com... www.youtube.com...

I found out who, and what the "Apostle" (apostate) Paul was. www.youtube.com... This will link to other interesting views about Paul.

The connections between Jesus and Mithras and a bunch of other ancient Gods. There are numerous documentaries available, www.youtube.com...

The Pagan Origins of our celebrations, Christmas and Easter. There are so many documentaries on this I couldnt pick just one, so I recommend a google search.

I still believe in a Higher Power, and I am only beginning to grasp that IT can not fit into a Religious Box. But, the truth shall set you free!!!!!

What has helped you get through this process?


I hear you and feel for you.

I was raised in an evangelical home until I was 18. My family is still mostly evangelical. There was speaking in tongues, talk of demons, constant church-going. A positive of all of this is that my Mom made me read the Bible and religious literature all of the time. Combined with later cross-cultural religious and historical studies, I came to know a great deal about religions.

However, I also came somewhere in my late teens to no longer find Christianity in it's fundamentalist sense palatable. Young Earth, condemnation and original sin, hell for non-believers even though nobody can reach supposedly God's standard, etc. It all seems wrong. Moreover, for the past 10 years when I do randomly go to church the teaching and vibe do NOTHING for me.

I now lean more eastern, having a more mystic and yoga-based viewpoint. Basic spirituality, interconnectedness of all beings and nature, going within and being centered, etc.

However, it is painful. It is hard to not believe in nor be able to follow the religion of our youth. There are social, familial, and community consequences. This is part of integrity, and I think that it is wrong to just keep up religion and religious pressure just for cultural reasons.

The mother of my child and her family do not accept me as her partner, which is why we broke up, because I wasn't religious enough for them, i.e. their brand of fundamentalist Christianity. That, is very painful too.

There are real actions and consequences that come out of all of this.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:35 AM
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originally posted by: misskat1
When I came to ATS, I was looking for answers to what is really going on in the world. But, in the process, I have had my Religious Belief Systems challenged. For the past few years, I have experienced a Deprogramming of False Belief Systems. This has been a painful experience. Believe me when I tell you, its pretty depressing to find out what you have lived and made life decisions on for 50 years is nothing but BS (Belief Systems). I found out that these belief systems were installed only to control me. They had nothing to do with the truth.

Im still deprogramming, It might take another 50 to undo the brainwashing. So, Ive spent a vast amount of time wallowing in emotions that just suck, Fear of Gods reprisal if I question what I was taught, guilt and shame for thinking I could think with my own brain about it, ANGER for wasting sooooooo much time etc. I vacillated between putting my fingers in my ears and la la la dont want to hear it, and barely hanging onto the Hem of Jesus garment. I fervently clung with all the faith I could muster, regardless of the truth that was hitting me between the eyes like a hot iron.

Im sure Im not the only one on ATS that has either gone through this, or is currently going through this. My personal experience in deprogramming was from false Christian Beliefs, but I am sure there are those of all faiths who are questioning the validity of what their church teaches vs THE TRUTH.

So, below I have listed some links to stuff that has helped me in this process. And I hope others will give their deprogramming testimony and share what has spoken truth to their heart.

Warning to Christians who are content in your BS (Belief Systems). You might want to keep your fingers in your ears and stay in a state of La la la on this one.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi Gnostic Texts, Ancient Roman Historic writers like Josephus. Most of these can be found at www.sacred-texts.com...

I found the teachings of Professor Robert Eisenman, on the Dead Sea Scrolls, James the brother of Jesus and the Nag Hammadi's to be one of the most important resources. He teaches at California State University Long Beach, his classroom lectures are on-line. www.youtube.com... www.youtube.com... www.youtube.com...

I found out who, and what the "Apostle" (apostate) Paul was. www.youtube.com... This will link to other interesting views about Paul.

The connections between Jesus and Mithras and a bunch of other ancient Gods. There are numerous documentaries available, www.youtube.com...

The Pagan Origins of our celebrations, Christmas and Easter. There are so many documentaries on this I couldnt pick just one, so I recommend a google search.

I still believe in a Higher Power, and I am only beginning to grasp that IT can not fit into a Religious Box. But, the truth shall set you free!!!!!

What has helped you get through this process?


This online community is a great forum for people going through the exact process you are going through. Have you checked it out? new.exchristian.net...



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:40 AM
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originally posted by: misskat1
a reply to: boymonkey74

I was defending my religious faith one time, and a good friend said "Arent you glad you were born into the right religion? I feel really sorry for those who were born into the wrong religion".

That simple statement started the whole examination process.


And this is one reason among many that the theological construct of condemnation for non-Christians in Christianity is false.

During my social psychology studies, my professor went over the studies about how something like 95% of people across the world do NOT change religions, if they continue any religion at all. This is due to the very strong power of culture and community on religious psychology and perception of the world. Quite literally, your average person cannot see beyond the culture that he or she grew up in.

Hence, how can someone be condemned by God for not accepting Jesus if the research shows that most people from other cultures simply "can't get it." If psychology has that much love and understanding for people, and realizes that most are not purposefully staying the way they are, then any true loving God will too.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

I really appreciate your candor, as you echo what I am feeling. I have come to terms that I am a person that has to believe. Because, the clutches of despair over the nothing of it is too hard to imagine. This is probably due to my earliest childhood programming. But, regardless, I have had a few experiences that makes a higher power undeniable for me. I can not define what or who it is. But. for me its real.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:48 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

You had me laughing this early in the morning. Now if I can condence what you said into a single sentence, it would make my life a bit easier.

I have a lesion on my eye that extends to the optic nerve. It sometimes wrecks havoc on what I "think" I am seeing. It can be downright hilarious, especially when I focus in on the negative space of an object, instead of the object itself. It can take me sometimes, close to minute for my brain to decide what it wants to make of it. This can cause some puzzling responses from those around me, because they don't see what I am seeing. I have not yet found that one response that puts them at ease without a long detailed explanation.

I sometimes wonder if there is much more choice about what we see in the world. We accept what we have been conditioned to see. We assume there is a consensus on what that is, and we assume we are all seeing the same thing.

What if we don't? What if what we see is similar enough for us to agree, but we are seeing completely different things?

I guess that is where the magic is in our world. It is in the possibilities.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I saw God yesterday,

He was about 3 years old and was hiding in my great great nephew. He came running up tugging the hem of my dress, saying Aunt Kat, Aunt Kat, I got you something. I looked down and he had picked me the most beautiful dandylion. His face was beaming like it was a bouquet of Red Roses. His eyes were soooooo full of love for his old aunty. So, pure, no motive. Just love. He wrapped his little arms around my legs, and said, I love you, your funny aunt Kat.

Im beginning to see the Spirit of Love all around me. I dont need a religion to see and experience Love. And at this point I think Love might be the only truth there is.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: misskat1
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

I saw God yesterday,

He was about 3 years old and was hiding in my great great nephew. He came running up tugging the hem of my dress, saying Aunt Kat, Aunt Kat, I got you something. I looked down and he had picked me the most beautiful dandylion. His face was beaming like it was a bouquet of Red Roses. His eyes were soooooo full of love for his old aunty. So, pure, no motive. Just love. He wrapped his little arms around my legs, and said, I love you, your funny aunt Kat.

Im beginning to see the Spirit of Love all around me. I dont need a religion to see and experience Love. And at this point I think Love might be the only truth there is.


awww. i love those kinds of moments.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: SuperFrog

i apologize for getting testy. just gun shy and tired.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 10:42 AM
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a reply to: undo

I appreciate your insights, its mostly way over my head, but enjoyed them anyway.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: misskat1
a reply to: undo

I appreciate your insights, its mostly way over my head, but enjoyed them anyway.


thanks. i think we were discussing comparative religious research or something like that. that's one of my interests. i made the case there were 3 different gods (supposedly), one in egypt, one in sumer and one in the bible, who all basically start off their stories with a reference to the chaotic abyss, 2 of which raise mountains of creation up from the waters of the deep, and one reference which says the waters of the deep, drew back to reveal dry land, which i would guess gives the same impression of something emerging from water. i found it relevant. and i theorized the first name on the sumerian kings list, alulim, was known as atum/adam in egypt, and elohim later in mesopotamia, and how moses solved the problem of telling the story in the least confusing way possible.
edit on 22-4-2015 by undo because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: boymonkey74


May I introduce "Lilith" (chronologically She would be the world's first "Lee Harvey" and Judas running a close second...

judaism.about.com...

witcombe.sbc.edu...

namaste



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: undo


No apology necessary, I did not get offended with any of your posts.

I apologize if I offended you with my persistence.


@ misskat1 - please find and read Hitchen's book 'God is not great'. It summarizes some points we posted here, and it goes into details how he become atheist once he started asking questions, and how simple thing made him wonder, as nun's comment that God created nature in colors that are easy on our eyes, where this made kid wonder what about Kids in Africa who's colors we could find very hard for our eyes...
edit on 22-4-2015 by SuperFrog because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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I love this story. How a Missionary became atheist.

Its really a great story. And a true story. You must read the whole story.

The Pirahã: People Who Define Happiness Without God




But as I started working with them, really paying attention to this, I realized: What do I bring to them? What is the message that I’m supposed to be giving to these people? That they’re lost? They’re not going to feel lost. I mean, my evangelism teacher in bible school said, “You’ve got to get them lost before you can get them saved.”

ffrf.org...





posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: boymonkey74
Many here feel the same towards religion.
Still believe in a God but shes my god and no one is sharing
.
By that I mean I don't need to preach about my personal relationship with her and such.
Religion sucks....
It's another mans version of the truth when you should be finding it yourself.
Lazy really, or just plain brainwashed, poor kids eh? brainwashed from birth and they don't even know it.
Good for you though escaping those shackles.


Why she? Are you doing this to make a point about gender equality or is your higher power female? I'm curious, you rarely see that. If I had a higher power I'd imagine it would be beyond gender. But I don't, so I'm asking about yours



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