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When Did You Decide to be a Non-Believer?

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posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by The Vagabond
 


well, it's not really that hard when you realize that there are amazonian tribes that are completely atheistic, having no concept of spirit, soul, or deity. death to them is a simple end... they've lived that way, unchanged, for thousands of years as well...

 

i remember the very first time i pleaded a case for atheism. it was in my 6th grade social studies class, i was a practicing roman catholic at the time. it was the initial stages of our study of civilizations, having just completed geography, and the definition a civilization stated that religion was a prerequisite.

so i just raised my hand and questioned it... for some reason sympathizing with those who didn't believe what i did...
turns out that i can trace my doubt of god(d) quite far back...to around the age of 8
but i always thought it was bad to question it... that i was somehow a horrible person for even thinking that there might not be a god...
now i realize that there is nothing wrong with it




posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 03:32 PM
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While growing up in a culture that never even thought there might be a god would certainly take away the "common knowledge" pressure of it, it seems it would also steal some of the liberation from atheism.

I have to admit that one of the major selling points of atheism, in my mind, is that it doesn't argue that I was created to serve or follow rules "just because". In fact, depending on the philosophy one chooses, the "purpose" to the extent that there really is one, may well be to play out all possible scenarios- in other words, if I may poison my own well with the words of Aliester Crowley- "Do what you will".

This is important to me because I didn't jump straight to atheism. The existence of a God, in the abstract, is, in my experience, the last religious tenet to fall in the move to atheism

First I questioned the perfection of the Bible. Revelations warns not to change Revelations, essentially admitting that the Bible can be changed. Then there are the disputes over which books should be included in the bible, and finally one even begins to acknowledge the weakness of responses to contradictions within the Bible.

If the Christian God is real and the Bible is not perfectly accurate, then a question arises of how we know God is really such a nice guy, or all powerful for that matter. That makes Genesis a really weird book to read, especially in regard to "lest man become like US" and the dubious claim that God created his own enemy with full knowledge of what would happen. Now you've got one of two things: Either God is a drama-queen who is making people miserable with this little Reality TV show he calls Humanity, or else God is not the one all-powerful source of all things- in the later case one must conclude that God, if not God by virtue of creation, is God by force- a tyrant.

So I made my first stand against God in the belief that I would probably go to Hell- though I really had no way of knowing whether hell would be fun, lonliness, torture, or nothingness (I would have been OK with 3 of the 4, and the one I wasn't OK with is the least likely anyway, being a relatively modern embellishment of Greek ideas).

As more Christian apologetics began to lose hold though, the idea that there was a God remained but the idea that it was the Christian god became increasingly remote. I reasoned that the true God, if he had a religion at all, would have made himself known at the dawn of mankind, left traces near the cradle of civilization, and wouldn't have let himself be forgotten. Unless one makes the argument that Judaism is based closely enough on Sumerian mythology to be one in the same, there isn't really a good contender out there. Hinduism would be closest, but doesn't quite meet the standard.

Which leaves a god who doesn't have a religion. Agnosticism and Deism were the two major options at that point.

And finally, for a Deist, God is readily replaced by science.

The fun part of that is that the spirit of resistance to God leaves one with a general sense of defiance to social norms, which in and of itself ads a meaning to life perhaps as potent as religious meaning- the conviction that ones actions are a product of his freedom adds significance to little things. Telling dirty jokes does for me what singing songs of praise does for Christians.

So considering that, I think I prefer being a "born again atheist" to being a "natural" atheist.

Any minute now someone will say that I have proven Atheism to be a religion. I suppose it would be if I had adopted this from someone else and not come up with it on my own. But since there is no doctrine or dogma to be taken on faith, merely the conclusions one draws at any given time, no code of conduct nor rituals, merely what you choose at any given time, etc, it seems very unlike the traditional concept of religion, and if my atheism is indeed a religion, then it could be argued that a set of dice practices religion by taking whatever action the influences acting upon them dictate. The next challenge is obviously that I have reduced myself to a cog in a cosmic machine. Perhaps I am. But if I am, then what does that make the person accusing me?



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 04:39 AM
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Came from a non-religious family but studied in a roman catholic school when I was young, was about to be one in the teenage years when I got majorly pissed with people trying to preach christianity where ever I went.

Even some of my friends who were christian/catholics got approached by these people. My friends were already in that religion, yet they got preasured into going to another church instead of the ones that they frequant.

I looked deeper into these incidents and found out that these were christian cults, their goal was money and the chance to brainwashed more people into it.

After that I began to look closer into religion and discovered that there was something seriously wrong with some of them that I have never noticed before. (the brainwashing part mostly)

Worship - Total Complete faith/obedience/trust in the Idol.

Pop stars, religious cult leaders, rulers etc. can do, take, demand and control everything and anything from/of their worshipping, willing, idolizing subjects with no reistance or doubt. Ultimate control and dominace.

Much better to have a willing slave than a forced one. The worshipping slave does not question or stray but the forced one will.

"Worship me or die." Literal meaning, If I can't have you nobody else will........

Only one thing matters to them, obedience. To surrender one's will over to them.

I am not an Atheist, (although I seem like one as I tend to agree with them more often) I believe in the existance of benevolent and malevolent spiritual forces, beings and deities, but I believe that the ones who are mostly in control here are not the benevolent kind.

The benevolent ones' help us without wanting anything in return.

The malevolent ones' mostly play God.

(madnessinmysoul, not refering to you in your "I am God" thread)


[edit on 23-1-2008 by ixiy]



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