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When Did You Decide to be a Non-Believer?

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posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 09:35 PM
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As I see it atheists, agnostics and secularists can be split into two types: those who never received any early childhood religious instruction and those who were trained to be religious but discarded that faith and adopted the views of the non-religious.

Although my parents were raised Catholic, they never exposed me to any religion. My mother used to read me a wide variety of mythology and fairy tales from library books starting when I was three, and she taught me to read at the same time. When I was seven, my aunt chewed out my father because he was buying me comic books, and they hadn't sent me for religious instruction. He said, "I don't care what he reads, as long as he does."

She bought me a child's bible for Xmas, and I loved it because it was a whole new set of characters in a whole new set of fairy tales.

When I was twelve I learned the word "atheist" and decided I was one. When I was fourteen I got strongly interested in the basic reasoning of the scientific method and realized that, logically, since I couldn't disprove the existence of god I should be an agnostic.

When I was in my first year of college, my girlfriend (much brighter than I) asked, "Do you believe in Santa Claus?". "No." "The tooth fairy?" "No, what are you driving at?" "Well, you believe in the Easter Bunny, don't you?" "Of course not."

"Do you believe in god?" "You know I'm an agnostic because the existence of god cannot be proved or disproved."

"Then why aren't you a Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, and Easter Bunny agnostic?"

I didn't speak to her for a week, but I've been an atheist ever since.

Occam
======
So, When Did You Decide to be a Non-Belliever?




posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 09:58 PM
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Being an atheist makes you a believer in atheism.
Atheism is your religion and atheists tend to be the most ignorant when
it comes to the subject of religion. They firmly believe there is no God.
Therefore they limit their minds and lack openmindedness.
Openmindedness is only for those of superior mental faculties who
base their lives on what they discover and experience not on the
received concepts fed to them externally.
Atheists depend on external phenomena for their mental peace.
They do not know how to meditate or be curious in their lives.
They are closeminded and have made up their minds based on a
bunch of concepts. How retarded to live life with a closed mind and
a lack of curiosity especially about wisdom.
I don't believe in god nor do I disbelieve.
It's never been proven or disproven. And god is subject to interpretation.
God doesn't always represent the dumb cliche of a man with a
white beard on a cloud and that whole pathetic schtick.
That interpretation will never be proven because it's so limited.
Therefore God always depends on interpretation.
Some people interpret God as non-duality.
Atheists have no idea what enlightenment is.
I have never met one or heard one who could describe enlightenment in an intelligent manner.
Atheism is for those who have weak mental faculties.
I feel sorry for their lack of curiosity and their mental poverty.



posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 10:17 PM
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In terms of the amount of time I have been Atheist it is about the same amount of time I have been a member of ATS. Although the two are not related . I was never exposed to organised religion as a child. Atheist are not believers we are rational and logical thinkers but there is no telling people of faith or anyone else that.

It is of course possible for a person of faith to support secularism.



posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 10:33 PM
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You proved my point. You believe in logic and rationality that is your religion.
It means you are closed minded to the irrational where a lot of art and music comes from.
You are closed minded to Deja vu and dreams which are irrational but absolutely wonderful experiences. Surrealism is an art form based on the irrational. I love it. Creating a dichotomy between rational equals good and irrational equals bad is weakminded. Nonduality is how this universe operates.
Night doesn't oppose day. there is day and there is night-as it is. The tide goes in the tide goes out. Waves go up and waves go down, the up wave doesn't say I believe the down wave doesn't exist. The rational and irrational exist.
Irrationality exists. Why not be open to it? The discoverer of DNA had his discovery in a dream. I had a dream where I drove my truck into my swimming pool. I checked the brake fluid the next day and it was almost completely dry.
Irrational dreams are such a wonderful part of life. Being stuffy and closed-minded to the full expression of the universe is so pathetic. How many dimensions are there? Face facts with your logical mind-you don't know.



posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 10:49 PM
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I decided to become a non-believer about about 15 years ago. I denied it until I couldn't fool myself any longer. I with Gods help removed the blinders from my own eyes and he made me see...he made me see him everywhere and in everything.

I understand the atheist because I was one...not an angry fundie militant athiest but I stopped believing.

There is hope for everyone!

Blessings!



posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 10:52 PM
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Here we have an awful lot of ignorance on display.


Originally posted by Electricneo
You proved my point. You believe in logic and rationality that is your religion.


I'm not a Vulcan I do have hobbies and interests for pure enjoyment sake rather then anything else. If logic and rationality were my religion I wouldn't bother posting on the boards because those two things are usually in short supply.





You are closed minded to Deja vu and dreams which are irrational but absolutely wonderful experiences.


Where do I start with such a statement since most of my dreams when I sleep at night are surreal to some degree its not a personal choice. Some of my dreams are indeed wonderful experiences but morning comes around soon enough.



Surrealism is an art form based on the irrational. I love it. Creating a dichotomy between rational equals good and irrational equals bad is weakminded.


And the irrational leads to an awful lot of deaths and other such things that have happened on this plant.
If you admit to subscribing to a system that isnt rational why should I bother replying to your posts ?




Irrationality exists. Why not be open to it?


I have plenty of imagination but I have enough sense to know what I might have a chance of achieving. If someone thinks that realism and rational thinking is pathetic there is nothing I can do for them other then hope that no harm comes of them because of there beliefs.



Face facts with your logical mind-you don't know.


You mean more ideas not backed up by proven facts there is enough of those spreading around as it is. lol



posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 12:38 AM
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I remember exactly when I realized there was no god.

I was 16 at the time, and my grandpa (moms dad) was dying of lung cancer. He had been treated some three years prior, and was deemed "cancer-free" after radiation, eventhough he wasn't. Not my opinion, fact.

Anyway, he was living by himself till Jan. 07, at which point he became really bad. In the last 3 weeks of his life me, my mother, father, aunt, and uncle spent damn near every night with him in the hospital/nursing home.

We weren't there when he died in April, but he fell trying to get out of his bed, which might have led to his death. I don't see how a loving and caring god would allow for something like this to happen to an innocent person. Why would a loving and caring god allow diseases like cancer and aids to exist?

After his death, I don't think I didn't believe in a god, somuch as I was uber pissed at it/him. Now I'm a year older, and I can say withouta doubt, a god doed not exist. If he does, he can kiss my ass.

I don't want to associate with something/someone that would inflict someone with cancer, aids, etc.



posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 10:54 AM
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I grew up as a child who was taken to church every Sunday. I even had a bible that I had resolved to read every page of. I do not know exactly when I lost my faith, I suppose I always knew in my heart there wasn't any deity out there.
Just because I became an atheist, did not mean I had lost my ability to be spiritual. I meditate and seek to expand my consciousness. Although I admire science highly, I have a greater love of the arts and culture. I am often inspired by people, not some god. Although it sounds wrong to some people, I call myself a Spiritual Atheist. Take it or leave it.



posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 06:33 PM
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I'm going to go with sometime about 6th grade, at about the age of twelve, though I questioned the Roman Catholicism I was raised to before that time.
And I want to point out that the first post by Electricneo was just one long flame. Well done justifying irrational-ism.
and this icon just cause it's awesome.


[edit on 13-1-2008 by TheCrimsonKing]



posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 06:40 PM
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18 years of age. i was not a believer before that...i always leaned towards the atheist side but never really gave it much thought. i had my son when i was 18 and shortly after that i hurt my back. cut to 12 years later and i still suffer. i can not do certain things with my son. i am in constant pain. there are procedure after procedures that i go through.
there are meds i have to be on that hurt other parts of my body.

i just don't think a loving, caring god would take away my career and my ability to do certain things with my child.

this is around the time i started reading and started to feel that being religious was NOT for me. if there is a god, he is not the kind of god i want to follow



posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 06:44 PM
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I used to think that if I prayed for things I would get them. After many unanswered prayers and false hopes I kind of lost interest in a christian god. I wouldn't exactly say I'm a non-believer, more agnostic really. I don't picture god in the same sense as a christian.



posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 10:22 PM
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I was raised catholic, went to catholic school for 12 yrs. and was even an alter boy, and participated in prayer groups. I started questioning christianity in around 6th grade. When I started reading the bible. This book made no sense to me, I saw it as badly written fiction. I had questions that no priest or teacher could answer. So I found the answers myself through pure thought and science.
Through 6th grade to 10th grade I simply followed the motions to make my mother happy. I prayed and said the rosary everyday and never getting a response. well cant say I did not try.

I am happy today to be myself in this wonderful universe without a personal god



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 05:59 AM
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why is it that we non-religious folk have the common courtesy to stay out of the "When Did You Decide to be a Believer?" thread and yet the believers don't have the courtesy to stay out of our thread?

even a mod seems to lack this courtesy..

and somehow MajorMalfunction managed to be banned...

how did i start with a digression?

anyway, i became an atheist between the age of 15-16.. can't remember exactly when. it started when i read the bible for the first time at age 14, i renounced catholicism and became an agnostic. then i went on a journey to find the "right" religion. i looked at every religion i could find, went to a service single denomination of christianity within a reasonable distance of me, visited services for other religions, read every religious text i could, and kept looking and looking

then i settled on a mystic form of buddhism...
but i ended up realizing that i really didn't believe the reincarnation, karma, and nirvana stuff and then i realized that i was just saying i was a buddhist because people ask curious questions to buddhists and angry questions to atheists. then i finally admitted to myself and the world that i am an atheist.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 11:52 PM
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Reading these posts proves that atheists are indeed the most weak-minded.
They don't understand the concept of dichotomy. They think god and no god
beliefs are at war with each other. Belief is a conceptual prison. Atheists can't
even realize that they are trapped in their concrete concepts. Go back and read
my threads and try to understand with your inferior mental faculties that I am
saying that there is no dichotomy/war/duality between belief and non-belief or
rational or irrational. Come on! You atheists are so close-minded that you can't
hold two concepts simultaneously? Read and understand what I am saying in
my threads. Don't just react like Republicans without understanding.
I never said that rational was pathetic. Rational and irrational exist -be open to both
simultaneously-that is what I said. What is pathetic is not being openminded
to the non-duality of it all. INSTEAD OF BELIEF THE BEST MINDS DISCOVER WITH AN OPEN MIND
AND DO NOT FORM BELIEFS UNTIL DISCOVERING THEN REALIZING.

Concepts are like sticks -I throw the concept stick out there
and atheists chase each concept/ stick like a dog. Instead of realizing the thrower of
the concept/sticks which is the mind. Atheism equals inferior mental faculties or
the inability to remain openminded and base one's reality on what one discovers and
experiences.

The Madnesss in my soul dude-you dropped Buddhism because you are not anywhere
near an enlightened level. You do not understand what enlightenment is.
Okay what is it? See be honest you are deluded.
You formed your opinion before realizing what enlightenment is.
Hah, you give the lamest excuse for your weakmindedness this
side of Zeta Reticuli. You are at such a low kindergarten level it is laughable.
HA HAHAHA



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by Electricneo
 

So what?
I believe there is no god; you believe in a god. Thats it.

Like a catholic or muslim aren't "trapped in their concrete concepts"? Isn't that sort of what religion is? Concepts and beliefs?

Every religion has their own beliefs, that its followers believe, does that make them close-minded? Their belief that a supernatural being created the earth in 7 days, and tossing away evolution, makes them close-minded?

I don't bash your "beliefs" or lack there of, don't bash mine. I consider myself an athiest, and I think I'm smarter than the average bear, thank you very much. Not believing in a god doesn't lower my ability to understand algebra, read a book, graduate from high school or drive a car.

If you are so close-minded that you cant handle the fact that some folk dont believe in a god, do all of us a favor and stay out of the threads that have "non-believer" or "athiest" in the title, capicse?

Why don't you go back to thumping your bible, and I'll stay home on Sunday watching football.

[edit on 15-1-2008 by jtb2008]

[edit on 15-1-2008 by jtb2008]



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by Electricneo
 


You say we are weak and closed minded. I think you have it backwards. You appear to be the one with a closed mind. I have been a christaian and was open minded enough to find answers in science and nature and compare this to what I was being taught in school about creation. I simply followed the evidence. How does this label me as having a closed mind?? You on the other hand have never looked at any other information or data presented that did not support what you think is the truth. These are the acts of a mind that is closed and locked.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by Occam
When I was in my first year of college, my girlfriend (much brighter than I) asked, "Do you believe in Santa Claus?". "No." "The tooth fairy?" "No, what are you driving at?" "Well, you believe in the Easter Bunny, don't you?" "Of course not."

"Do you believe in god?" "You know I'm an agnostic because the existence of god cannot be proved or disproved."

"Then why aren't you a Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, and Easter Bunny agnostic?"


I always believed agnosticism was wiser than a total denial. But I have a question, and it is just a question. I'm not going to criticize your beliefs in any way but it seems to me your girlfriend's logic is flawed. Did the people who founded the Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, and Easter Bunny legends ever die for what they believed like the apostles, early church fathers, eye witnesses, and of course Jesus Himself? One man might be insane or deluded enough to die for something they believed was true but I have a hard time believing dozens of men and women collectively got together and were persecuted for something they knew was a hoax. According to recorded early history, death was the fate they met for their faith.

Unlike that UFO cult (Heaven's Gate? I can't remember), they took their deluded leader's testimony at face value and died for what they believed was true. But the early church founders saw the "proof in the pudding" so to speak with the crucifixion, resurrection, miracles, and ministry with their own eyes. We know people will die for something they believe to be true (The Heaven's Gate Cult for example) but I have a hard time imagining multiple people would endure torture and death without ever wavering in what they saw. Heck, torture often produces false testimonies but they still wouldn't budge an inch.

I'm just pointing out something I noticed and won't reply to this thread again even if I see others replying to this comment. I don't wish to start a debate or anything but felt the need to point out the error between figures like the Tooth Fairy and actual historical figures recorded in history.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 10:17 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 

See that last part in your last paragraph? The one where you feel the need to point out the "error" of comparing the Tooth Fairy and "actual historical figure" Jesus Christ"
The thing you're not getting is that we don't believe there was an "actual historical figure" Jesus Christ.
Who says he existed?
The Bible.
Who else?
Not any credible source being taught in schools.
Just wanted to shine a little light on that argumentative fallacy.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by TheCrimsonKing
Who says he existed?


Darn me and my big fat mouth! I knew I said I wouldn't reply but I had a sneaking suspicion this question would subsequently surface. Who says he existed? Not including New Testament References:

Cornelius Tacitus, Gaius Seutonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, Celsus of Rome, Lucian of Samosota, Mara Bar Serpion, Josephus, Excerpts from the Talmud, Clement of Rome, Ignatuis of Antioch, Quadratus of Athens, Aristedes of Athens, Justin Martyr, Hegesippus, etc.

I'm not going to into all the ins and outs of all the references as I think it is disrespectful to the O.P. but I didn't want to be rude and ignore you, either. Yes, there are real historical references by real historians. We could also include the eye witnesses of the New Testament just for fun or the impact left behind but I'm not going to debate His existence here- just wanted to answer your question real quick. It's really none of my business if anyone believes He existed or not and I'm not going to barge in on a discussion between unbelievers as I don't think it's fair. Just wanted to respond to the fairy tale reference.

[edit on 1/15/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:39 AM
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Polite reminder on topic: The "why aren't you an athiest" thread is just down the hall- or if it's not you can create it. This is the when did you decide to be a non-believer thread.

As for me: I was born that way. Then my parents talked me out of it by the time I was 6 or 7. Then my parents accidentally talked me back into it when I was 12 by making some bad choices. Then some friends talked be back out of it in highschool. Then I got really into Christian apologetics and kept running into gaping holes in the logic, which really ticked me off because I pride myself on my ability to win debates. About that same time there was this series of events involving a preacher's daughter... so when I was 17 it was pretty much Athiest, final answer. I'd gave Christianity a look a couple of times since then, but it never seems to stick.

It's the eternal battle between the desire for things to make sense and the allure of "conventional wisdom".

God doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense to the human mind- even his book pretty much admits that. But "everyone knows" there is a God it seems, going back for thousands of years, so it's hard to stop revisiting the question.



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