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Anatheism or when an atheist chooses to return back to God

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posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 07:06 PM
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I am an anatheist. I was an atheist in my 20's and then became a staunch theist and God proponent as I got older. My path has been a rather strange one. After arguing for the virtues of atheism over Christianity in my 20's I then became bored. Arguing a pro-atheist position was just way too easy. So I decided for a personal challenge to start arguing for the theist position against atheists. A funny thing happened along the way. After around 10 years of trying to convince atheists theism is a better position I began to believe in my own arguments!

It turns out I am not the only anatheist!!! So here is a very fascinating video on Rupert's Sheldrake's journey in becoming an anatheist:



When you return to God and become an anatheist, after being an atheist, you somewhat become a student of all religions. You become a student in the field of comparative religions because you do not have one you hold above any others. I spent a lot of time studying the works of Joseph Campbell. Here is one of my favorite videos derived from his works in the field of comparative religion:



If there are any atheists out there I encourage you to take up the challenge and start arguing the theist position. Maybe it will only take you 5 years to convert. Or if you are really stubborn it may take you 15 years to convert. Good luck!


edit on 25-2-2019 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 07:58 PM
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Question: Were you ORIGINALLY an atheist, or were you schooled in religion and rejected it as you got older? I've known many people who were, for example, 'raised a Catholic,' rejected it as they got older, and after they got REALLY old, embraced it again. I'm one of those people who never received any sort of religious education or training. No Sunday school. No church attendance. That's a fundamentally different sort of background than someone who was raised in a religion and rejected it. Which path have you followed?



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015


Which "god" did you go back to?

If it was the Christian god, does that mean that you now/again embrace the virgin birth, the resurrection and that Jesus is the one and only savior of the world?



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

I grew up on Bible cartoons. It was a very good source of brain washing:



Here's a thread on my story:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 08:22 PM
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originally posted by: Sookiechacha
a reply to: dfnj2015

Which "god" did you go back to?

If it was the Christian god, does that mean that you now/again embrace the virgin birth, the resurrection and that Jesus is the one and only savior of the world?



Uh, no. Sorry. But this song sums up my feelings about Jesus:



I read and spent too much time with Eastern religions. I recently spent three really hard weeks studying the Tibetan book of the dead. This book guides a person who has recently died as they transition to their next phase of life. I think it best represents what happens to us when we die. Essentially, the demons of our life will torture us in the afterlife unless we take the proper steps to attaining absolution from God. If you are forced to reincarnate and continue the endless cycle of death and rebirth, you go to Hell and are reincarnated in the body of a person living in New Jersey:



And this one took forever to get through:



Recently I spend a lot of time on this video:



I think in all my studies Taoism is the one piece of work I liked the most. But I've been warming up to the Western religious idea of having a vision of a Heavenly Jerusalem as a way of providing meaning in one's life.


edit on 25-2-2019 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 08:40 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
You were never really an atheist, or you wouldn't be a believer now.



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 08:42 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: schuyler

I grew up on Bible cartoons. It was a very good source of brain washing: Here's a thread on my story: www.abovetopsecret.com...


So there you are. You grew up Christian, rejected it for awhile, and came back to it. You never got rid of the brainwashing. You just took a little break from it. The only way you can call yourself an anatheist is to forget to mention that first part. Although I respect you for all the studying in various philosophies you've done, you're still brainwashed.


originally posted by: Klassified
a reply to: dfnj2015
You were never really an atheist, or you wouldn't be a believer now.


Nailed it. Beat me by two minutes.
edit on 2/25/2019 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015



Originally posted by dfnj2015
When you return to God and become an anatheist, after being an atheist, you somewhat become a student of all religions. You become a student in the field of comparative religions because you do not have one you hold above any others.





This is absolutely the right way to go imo…i.e. As much comparative study of all religions as possible. The more questions, debating, thinking and contemplating as many perspectives as one can…the more one realizes that “the truth" is not all neatly wrapped up in any one complete book.

The problem though…is that many theists haven’t done much comparative study either, and are therefore stuck in their current theistic position…

- JC



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

If you truly wanted to find a God...any God period..THE GOD if you will.....

You would realize that religions offer zero insight.....AT ALL.

It is more than a waste of time...going backwards hopelessly while feeling some joy at the purported.."Discoveries".



posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 11:36 PM
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originally posted by: Joecroft
a reply to: dfnj2015



Originally posted by dfnj2015
When you return to God and become an anatheist, after being an atheist, you somewhat become a student of all religions. You become a student in the field of comparative religions because you do not have one you hold above any others.




The problem though…is that many theists haven’t done much comparative study either, and are therefore stuck in their current theistic position…

- JC




Not all of us. I was raised fundamentalist Christian. In adulthood I rejected it, then became downright hostile to it, studied through other religions and belief systems, tried to be an athiest, wandered through New Age crap. Then rejected New Age crap and went neutral. I felt that there was God or Creator or some universal force, but that "it" didnt require what "religion" requires. And that there was no Hell.

Then a string of circumstamces had me looking into Christianity again. Slowly, I began to believe in Christianity again, to my horror. But as I investigated more and more, I became convicted of it. I now believe in Jesus Christ in a real way. With conviction (and gratitude) that I never, ever had growing up, with my 3 times per week, every single week upbringing.

So, there are some of us out here who did our homework.

As a side note- I don't attend church.
edit on 25-2-2019 by KansasGirl because: Broke up long ass paragraph into 2.



posted on Feb, 26 2019 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
If you had been on ATS at the time, you could have read the thread on my own experience.

How an atheist became a Christian

P.S. "Anatheist" is just a double negative, meaning not-not-theist. I'm not sure that I see the need for it.

edit on 26-2-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2019 @ 05:04 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: dfnj2015
If you had been on ATS at the time, you could have read the thread on my own experience.

How an atheist became a Christian


Yours is the same as his. You grew up in the church, were appropriately brainwashed, then rejected it. But lo and behold the brainwashing kicked in again and here you are a Christian. It's a typical pattern. You never were an atheist; you just had a brief lapse, just like OP.


P.S. "Anatheist" is just a double negative, meaning not-not-theist. I'm not sure that I see the need for it.


You've got the translation wrong. It's not a double negative at all. It's Greek: ana = again, so "again God" or "once again, God." or perhaps "returning to God." That's how the scholars who are into this sort of thing appear to be using it.

edit on 2/26/2019 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2019 @ 06:15 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
You never were an atheist; you just had a brief lapse, just like OP.

Being someone who did not believe in a god, I was an atheist.
People on the other thread kept coming up with this "not a real atheist" line, and I've never accepted the logic.
It's the exact equivalent, in reverse, of the line taken by Calvinists, that someone who lapses can't have been a real Christian in the first place.

I tend to regard the theory as the pyschological defence mechanism of atheists unconsciously insecure about their atheism;
"If it's possible for atheists to change, and become believers, then that could happen to me. Oh no! I don't want that to happen! So I must disallow the possibility that athests can change, which means disallowing the possibility that people who have changed were atheists."



posted on Feb, 26 2019 @ 09:16 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: schuyler
You never were an atheist; you just had a brief lapse, just like OP.

Being someone who did not believe in a god, I was an atheist."


You grew up in the church, listened to all the sermons, sung the songs, etc. It's only later that you rejected this. I read your original story. That's what you said. You listened to that stuff from childhood. When you grew up enough to think, you rejected this and BECAME an atheist. But it was too late because now, guess what? Here you are again.
edit on 2/26/2019 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2019 @ 10:32 PM
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a reply to: KansasGirl



Originally posted by Joecroft
The problem though…is that many theists haven’t done much comparative study either, and are therefore stuck in their current theistic position…




Originally posted by KansasGirl
Not all of us. I was raised fundamentalist Christian. In adulthood I rejected it, then became downright hostile to it, studied through other religions and belief systems, tried to be an athiest, wandered through New Age crap. Then rejected New Age crap and went neutral. I felt that there was God or Creator or some universal force, but that "it" didnt require what "religion" requires. And that there was no Hell.




Originally posted by KansasGirl
Then a string of circumstamces had me looking into Christianity again. Slowly, I began to believe in Christianity again, to my horror. But as I investigated more and more, I became convicted of it. I now believe in Jesus Christ in a real way. With conviction (and gratitude) that I never, ever had growing up, with my 3 times per week, every single week upbringing.


But what really changed though…Because surely you must have also studied Christianity…back when you were studying other religions...so what changed…?

- JC



edit on 26-2-2019 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2019 @ 09:19 AM
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a reply to: schuyler
I'm convinced a percentage of atheists are actually disgruntled theists. An atheist would have to willfully ignore an ever growing mountain of evidence to convert to any theistic belief system. That brainwashing must be overwritten or it is ever present the rest of your life.


edit on 2/27/2019 by Klassified because: is



posted on Feb, 27 2019 @ 06:20 PM
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originally posted by: Klassified
a reply to: schuyler
I'm convinced a percentage of atheists are actually disgruntled theists. An atheist would have to willfully ignore an ever growing mountain of evidence to convert to any theistic belief system. That brainwashing must be overwritten or it is ever present the rest of your life.


Agreed. I believe the Catholic Church openly says that if they get you up to six years old (I've also heard 12 as the number) they've got you for life. That's certainly been my observational experience. Turns out everyone on this thread who has professed to be an atheist turned Christian had a religious upbringing BEFORE they decided they were atheist.

That kind of "conversion" is not impressive. I'm much more interested in the person who was never tainted with religion who suddenly believes Jesus is the only way to heaven and how they came to believe.



posted on Feb, 28 2019 @ 12:28 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

When you return to God and become an anatheist, after being an atheist, you somewhat become a student of all religions. You become a student in the field of comparative religions because you do not have one you hold above any others.

That also seems to happen when you become a witness of Jehovah, although for different reasons and with obviously different conclusions. Skipping past the subject of personal research and available information about other religions and people's beliefs in the 'Watchtower online library' (or published articles, or at study meetings designed around the preaching work which requires background information about people's beliefs and reasoning), just imagine going from door to door and talking to people of all sorts of backgrounds and religions several hours each month. You get to hear all sorts of beliefs and accompanying argumentation or reasoning that are present in your community (and you'd be surprised how multi-cultural those can be in a Western community, let's say Europe or the US for example; personally, I've ran into Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, lots and lots of agnostics or what is called "Ietsism" in my country, which means something-ism, atheists, all sorts of denominations in Christendom, those into witchcraft and wicca or new age philosophy, Hare Krishna, those into voodoo or African religions involving ancestor-worship, etc. Can't say I've had long conversations with all of those listed there though, sometimes there's also a bit of a language barrier if they haven't been in the country for very long and don't know English). You also often end up researching every question or argument that is raised in these conversations (unless you've already heard them and responded to it right away). Sooner or later, the expression: 'I've heard it all before', becomes quite appropiate (especially concerning those who spend 60 hours or more per month on talking to people of other mindsets, and have done so for many years).

Should You Belong to a Church?

‘I DON’T have to belong to a church or go to church regularly in order to believe in God!’ That is how many people feel about membership in a church or in any religious organization. In fact, some say that they feel closer to God when enjoying nature outdoors than when attending a religious service in a church. Today, it is a commonly held opinion that affiliation with a religious group or denomination is not a prerequisite for belief in God.

Others, however, sincerely feel differently. They contend that church membership and attendance are necessary, even vital, if one is to have God’s approval. So the question of whether religious affiliation is really necessary is more than just a matter of statistical or academic interest. In any case, since our relationship with God is involved, would it not be logical to find out God’s view on the matter? What, then, can we learn from his Word, the Bible, on this subject?

How God Dealt With People in the Past

...
These examples clearly show that in the past God has always dealt with his people as an organized group. The few individuals with whom God had dealings personally​—Noah, Moses, Jesus, and others—​were, in fact, used by Him to communicate with a closely associated group. There is no reason to believe that God deals any differently with his servants today. Of course, this gives rise to another question: Will affiliation with just any religious group suffice? We will consider this vital question in the next article.

Which Religion Should You Choose?

‘DIFFERENT religions are simply different roads leading to the same goal. After all, there is only one God, is there not?’ That sentiment is shared by many who feel that although religious affiliation is important, it does not really matter which religion one chooses to follow.

At first glance, this argument may seem plausible, since it is true that there is only one God, the Almighty. (Isaiah 44:6; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:5, 6) However, we cannot overlook the obvious differences​—even contradictions—​among the many religious groups who claim to serve the true God. They differ greatly in their practices, their beliefs, their teachings, and their requirements. The differences are so great that those belonging to one religion or group find it difficult to understand or accept what the others teach or believe.

On the other hand, Jesus said: “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) Does worshiping God with truth allow for a range of contradictory ideas about who God is, what his purposes are, and how he wants to be worshiped? Is it logical to believe that it is immaterial to Almighty God how we worship him?

True Christians Then and Now
...
The Benefits of Right Association

The psalmist David once asked: “O Jehovah, who will be a guest in your tent? Who will reside in your holy mountain?” That surely is a thought-provoking question. David provided the answer: “He who is walking faultlessly and practicing righteousness and speaking the truth in his heart.” (Psalm 15:1, 2) An accurate understanding of the Bible will enable one to identify the religion that meets those divine requirements. Then, by associating with that group, one will enjoy upbuilding fellowship with people who worship God in unity and “with spirit and truth.”
...
An Invitation to Those Seeking

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If you want to please God, religious affiliation is vital​—but not with just any religious group or denomination. You need to base your choice of religion on accurate Bible knowledge, not on unproved dogmas or hearsay. (Proverbs 16:25) ...


edit on 28-2-2019 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2019 @ 03:29 AM
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It may seem that there is someone that can return to or leave god....... but that 'someone' is an illusion.

Nothing is separate to god..... god is the ground of all being.

God is now and nothing is separate from now.





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