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Have you had conflicting beliefs with what you were taught as a child?

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posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:20 PM
So I'm just wondering how many people (surely I'm not the only one) who as they have gotten older had to deal with questioning things they were taught as a child. This certainly can include religious teachings, but would not necessarily be limited to just that. I would also think subjects like the paranormal or most anything else we discuss on these forums could be included.

None of us want to think the people who we loved and respected as children (and who we know loved us and raised us the best they knew how) were wrong or misled in some way in their beliefs. However, I am the kind of person that needs some basis in FACT. Not everything I was led to believe as a child can be supported by fact and lots of questions have developed. Perhaps some will say my "faith" is not strong enough. I respect your response, however I prefer to think that my desire for knowledge is strong and I do seek the truth about many things.

I think what you are taught as a child does play a very large role in who you become as an adult. However, at some point you have to decide to either continue to follow those beliefs because that's just the way you were conditioned...or you question the reasoning behind certain teachings and seek facts.

I don't necessarily want this thread to turn into specific teachings or a religious debate (or any debate, really) but I would like to hear from people who have gone through, or are going through, the process of accepting the fact that what you stood for growing up may not be what you can support anymore.

Has this been hurtful or disappointing to you? It would be great to hear stories or wisdom from those who've been through this journey of seeking truth which may conflict with everything you've ever been taught.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:23 PM
I absolutely have a completely different set of spiritual beliefs now then what was taught to me as a child. Totally different. You can't even compare.

I hold no grudge about spiritual matters that were 'passed on' to me as a youth. Parents and teachers can only teach from what they know. They did their best.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:33 PM
I believe that with age and maturity a lot of things change as far as what we see as truth. I know that I am not the same person that I was say 5 years ago. I think it is important that we seek out our own truths rather than just take someone elses word for things be it religion or just life in general.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:40 PM
reply to post by Coach Knight
One or two, but mainly religion and the paranormal. My mother packed me off to Sunday School until I was around 6/7. It's left me with a predisposition to believing there's a God. Convincing myself there is no God, leaves me feeling a little guilty. I hover betwixt atheism and agnosticism and believe there is no need for religion. Despite that, I'll still pray for people I love when they have a hard time. I think prayer can work in the sense of it's an internal dialogue that can be productive and positive. Motivational in an objective, psychological sense. That's pretty conflicted, but not in any sense that impacts on mental health

The paranormal interest has been put to bed by my education in Psychology and reading academic studies. Still, on a sleepless night it can occasionally raise it's irrational head! A lot of things happened in the house I grew up in that I can't explain. Several of them were a shared experience with family and others which makes it even more difficult to explain. Still, I'm almost entirely lacking in paranormal beliefs.

The benefit of these conflicts is an open mind and a willingness to find out for myself. I try and explain to my mother why psychics aren't real, but it's harmless and she isn't out spending money on fraudulent parasites and conmen. Each to their own unless they come to a forum like ATS and start insisting that they are right and beyond included.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:48 PM
Having been reared by people who were Mormon's and Jehovah's Witnesses, my indoctrination was intense. Yet even as a young kid I questioned much of what they taught me. I can remember learning in school about dictators and thinking that the things they taught me about God were the same as what dictators did. Basically my way or straight to hell!

I have never been one to accept things at face value. After the rebellious years of my teen days I gave another try to both of these religions, with disastrous results.

I have a strong belief in a creator that is a loving and benevolent being, not one to create spirits and then banish them to a burning hell for eternity.

In fact just about everything in my life is vastly different from my upbringing. My family is a very conservative and rigid bunch with tones of terrible racism through and through. I have been blessed with an independent spirit, thank heaven.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:03 PM
my parents weren't religious but they did teach me loads of crazy hippy psudoscience which i've had to work through and evaluate on my own terms.

Much of what i was taught about meditation, thoughtfullness and mindfulness has inspired me in my own study of esoteric brain functions but i have had to shrug off much of the mysticism as 'hopefullness' - sure it would be nice if some magic force for good was guiding all things, alas my knowledge of history and my understanding of the world today have shown me that this just isn't the case.

The Gaia world spirit however has helped me understand how the world works, how chaos and maths helped form a world as great as this. through science and philosophy, literature and history i have pieced together my own world view using parts and concepts from my parents fused with universal wisdom and my own two cents.

While me and my parents no long agree on many things we still hold most of the same views, that is to say while we understand things differently we often reach the same conclusions.

My parents have always taught me to think for myself, never tried to press any opinions onto me -they've explained things too me from my perspective but accepted if i choose to see it another way. I don't know if we'd be so close now, or if i would be the same person had they tried to force some out dated religious doctrine onto me.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:12 PM
Thanks for the quick replies. Hopefully many more will add their wisdom and experiences as well.

To redhead57: My wife was raised Mormon and she started questioning that religion right before we met as teenagers. Of course, being raised in another religion, I was blamed for "corrupting" her and to this day (over 2 decades later) her family still hates me even though I did nothing to cause her to question what she was taught. She was doing that when we met. And while we did have discussions which were enlightening for both of us, her parents just couldn't believe she'd come to the conclusion that their teachings were false on her own.

I also like this statement you made: "I have a strong belief in a creator that is a loving and benevolent being, not one to create spirits and then banish them to a burning hell for eternity." Being a parent makes you look at things a little differently also I think. Like how can a loving creator punish for eternity it's own creation (children)?

To Kandinsky: I, too, feel a little guilty about some things also that I have come to the conclusion of...funny how that upbringing becomes ingrained in you, and even when logic tells you one thing, you still have the emotional connection to your early conditioning.

[edit on 18-1-2009 by Coach Knight]

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:21 PM
The biggest one is as follows. "that you make your own life".

This is utter bollocks. Anyone that knows me, in real life knows my life was ruined by mind control, and non stop monitoring 24-7 since 1992. I cannot do anything in my life in peace or in secret like many others think there life is. being mind raped 24-7 you learn how stupid the world is and how stupid the people that run this world are.

Anyone that thinks that they make there own life, and there ois no mind control, is living in fokkin cloud cookoo land. Mind control is a fact and is real, and effects all of us.

Just getting people outside my circle to understand that is amazing impossible. They have all been lied too, about our lifes, and it makes me sick that people especially females cannot think for themselves.

the world is just sick. At least the internet brings some sort of sanity sometimes.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:38 PM
After recalling many bizarre things from my childhood, I think many things are still in doubt, especially what I now recall from childhood. So, I do think many of us have been misled and I don't really blame my parents for something they may have thought was right at the time.

I'm still glad I had certain holidays anyway as special memories as-if more normal and common. As hopefully magical as the christmas tree was, I didn't really ever feel satisfied with what I ended up with. I don't recall believing in a real santa though. My childhood was filled with daydreams and fantasy anyway. Reality was usually just plain boring. Snacks, sitcoms and cartoons was my preference also. I don't recall doing much if any homework.

I also knew my dad hated to go to work and came home miserable. So I guess I grew up on some confused gut feelings and messages about life and responsibility as an adult.......and school as-if prepares us for work as an adult.

I already knew adult life was no bowl of cherries for my familiy. Religion was my mom's thing and her escape for friends. For my dad it was being a workaholic.

Now that he's gone, every dream of him is still working on some project.

So, yeah, I guess I've always been conflicted.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:43 PM
I also have mature when it comes to my free will to decide for myself what I should believe in and what I should not.

I grew up between two completely religions, on Saturdays I had to attend my fathers church as a fundamentalist seventh day adventist and on Sundays I had to attend my mothers church as she was Catholic.

Do you know what that does to a child?

Right now I don't believe in organized religion and I relegate Christianity as nothing but folklore and lore.

I made very clear to my husband that our children will be free to decided what religion to believe and what church to attend as I would never force any on them.

As young adults now they have made their mind on what they has chosen and I am very happy with their decisions.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:54 PM
I was "indoctrinated" into religion too as a youth.

That lasted approximately as long as it took me to get out and living on my own, and realizing that life is many shades of gray and religion just doesn't cut it unless one is using it as an escape system.

i do not hold any anger against my parents for that, though sometimes their beliefs still frustrate me when the time comes to apply them. I recognize that they were doing what they thought was right at the time.

Neither do I try to "wake them up." I beleive that would be no better than them trying to indoctrinate me. I beleive letting religious folks go on with their beliefs, provided that they arent' actually hurting anyone, sets an imporant example and helps to decimate that "us vs. the world" mentality that fuels so much religious fervor.

Other than that I would say I hold much of the same core values, other than a couple of things, just for different reasons. I started judging morals based on how they effect the people around me rather than what a book is interpreted to mean.

"Deprograming" was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life, but I can honestly say that I feel more spiritual, and closer to 'god', than I ever did when I was pursuing organized religion.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:55 PM
Certainly, most things other than the basics of how to treat and respect people is different for me now, ironically I was brought up to be open minded and my parents hoped I would believe similar to them but it made me realise a lot of the assumptions they made and taught me were just that, assumptions.

I was raised Christian by school and my Grandparents, the morals I was brought up with match Christ's teachings to a great extent but I later realised my belief was not true it was only there because my family wished it so. My morals didn't change as such I just realised they weren't there because of some God but through a respect I hold for the struggle of life everywhere, its a mutual thing.

As I was raised to ask questions and be open minded it upset me at the time when I realised that I couldn't ask certain questions as some things were seen as "sacred" by my family, it seemed so closed minded and hypocritical, but then people will believe what they will and it seems lots of people believe they are open minded and preach open mindedness but they always leave space for things that they wont even consider...

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 02:14 PM
That is one of the problems I faced as a child and young teen, in my house my fathers words were the law, even when my mother and father didn't share the same church I was never to question my elders.

That is the way it was and when you are child in which the father figure is he bigger than life, even think getting away from such power is just unthinkable.

finally I did and while I was never allowed to question my elders once I broke out of the strong hold of my home I started to ask questions and looking for answer by myself.

My parents are still alive and well, my mother succumbed to my father wishes a few years ago and became a born again Christian leaving her roots behind.

Now I can no hold a conversation about religion with my father without going into arguments occurs as a adult now with my own children all that resentment that I hold inside that is not actually directed to my father but more to his believes can not stay bury inside.

I love him very much but I don't agree with everything he believes.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 02:38 PM
reply to post by asmeone2

I just want to thank you for a very insightful post. I truly enjoyed your viewpoint and feel much the same way, especially regarding organized religion.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 02:46 PM
reply to post by CuriosityStrikes

it is amazing to me how so many people are so close-minded about things that don't go along with their belief system. There are so many who will not even remotely consider any possibilities other than what exists in their narrow field of view. And yet they would consider themselves "enlightened", but to me they seem almost afraid to consider anything outside their little "box".

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 04:48 PM
I was not raised in a particularly religious home, but later was attracted to a particular religious group (fundamentalist/charismatic) when I was about 20 or so. The thing I did not understand is that these people have the ability to love you to death as long as they think you are a "sinner" that need "saving", but once you have been with them a while the rug starts to get pulled out and you find yourself in an increasingly surrealistic experience where love is talked about, but not so often put into practice. Further, these same people who claimed to follow a savior that taught people to love even their enemies could at times be the most hateful, mean-spirited people you'd ever want to run into. It reminded me of the old 70's song "Smiling Faces" by the Undisputed Truth (ironic name for that group).

Anyway, it took me far to long to realize that the Bible really seemed to incorporate the teaching and records of between three and five distinct and sometimes conflicting religions:

1) The ancient religions that predated the time of Noah - possibly the religions started by the Annunaki (if you believe the ancient Babylonian tablets and Sitchin's writings) - mostly reported in the early chapters of Genesis, much of which is a highly condensed rewrite of earlier writings.

2) The Jewish religion, in the days of Abraham and thereafter. Ruled over by a god that demanded strict obedience and that had no problem destroying his "children" when they did not follow his instructions to the letter. Even some "bad" parents today would have more compassion for their children than this god seemed to have for his people.

3) The religion (really I should say anti-religion) taught by Jesus in the four Gospels. His father in heaven does not seem to be much like the god of the old testament, and one wonders if the only reason Jesus allowed anyone to tie the two together was because he was trying to be culturally relevant to the Jews (he was a Jew, after all) and not offend them by saying anything against their god. He still managed to offend the religious leaders greatly! It is worth noting that about the only people he really condemned with the most vitriolic language he dared use were the religious leaders of his day.

4) The religion of Paul. I really have my doubts whether Paul should have been considered as the 12th apostle, or whether his writings should have carried any more weight than, say, Billy Graham's. He was basically just a leader of a particular sect of Christians. However, when Biblical canon was decided about 400-500 years later, they loved Paul precisely because his teaching advocated hard line control rather than freedom (was he really a REFORMED Pharisee?) and the church has always wanted to control their followers (and kill those they could not control).

5) The writings of John in the Book of Revelation. John (we don't know for sure WHICH John) was imprisoned on the Island of Patmos. Some have said that "Magic Mushrooms" grew freely on that Island, so we don't know for sure what inspired his writings nor how to interpret them. What we do know is that some people are very caught up in the study of Revelation and the future.

After I finally figured this out (ironically about the time I was praying to be shown the truth), it really started to open my eyes. So in the last ten years my beliefs have changed very dramatically. In particular, I no longer attend a church or depend on clergy to tell me what to believe, and I feel free to question things now without worrying that I might burn in hell if I disbelieve some church teaching, or question the validity of some "fire and brimstone" preaching by an evangelist, or don't believe every word of every writing that was included in the Bible by "Christians in name, pagans in belief" nearly a half century AFTER the time of Christ. I suspect others have had similar epiphanies.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 05:16 PM
I too was indoctrinated (mind controlled) in the Christian religion, my mother was a die hard fundamentalist, who believed to her dying day that there was brimstone and fire awaiting for anyone who did not follow Christ. As a young man, driven to books like no other human i have ever met in my years, I one Sunday had a few questions for the minister. "Go home, son, and read your Bible," he said, "all the answers are in there." So, I did. Over the next two week i read the entire KJV Bible, cover to cover. Of course what I returned to church, I had about 100 questions to ask, instead of just a few! I was then told not to ever question the "Word of God," like God wrote it. Getting into quite a big argument over this, I was politely asked to leave, and never to return. I was also warned not to go into the occult, for that is the direct was to Hell, you know. For many years I had no hunger for religion of any kind. I have always had supernatural experiences, and have been seeing the dead since I was a child. In 1985 I was in a horrible semi truck crash (rollover) and was on my back for two years recovering. My good son would go to the local library and get me books, and in the back of them I would see other titles that I wished to read, and he would then order them for me on the inter-library loan program. I soon discovered why the preachers didn't want me to study occult things, for I found out the preacher, priest, or whatever is not necessary to talk to God/Goddess and any other being not one this plane. I discovered many things, and would not take a million dollars for my learned knowledge. Now I do not cast spells, or even do rituals anymore, but I am a lot smarter now. Religion is mind control, nothing more or less. Better off without it. when someone asks me what my religion is, I say I am a Wiccan, for lack of a better word. also, it tends to put off over zealous Christian types who are determined to save my soul fro their Hell.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 05:32 PM
Coach Knight:

Thank you. It is something I have thought a lot about. There was a time when I thought I was betraying my parents but eventually I realized that I can be respectful and loving but I do not owe my parents a certain opinion or beleif system just because they raised me.

Marg 6043:

My familial situation growing up was similar although it was my mom who was the real Bible-Thumper.

I truly beleive that most religious people follow their system because they are not strong enough to see the world as anything other than black and white.

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