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How an atheist became a Christian

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posted on May, 28 2012 @ 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by Lazarus Short

Originally posted by PerfectAnomoly

Originally posted by Lazarus Short
Thank you for that testimony, Disraeli! I was also an atheist for about ten years, under the influence of Ayn Rand. When I was 24, I began to pursue a career in medical technology. Well the career turned out to be just a series of jobs, and I'm lately retired from it, but it did get me in contact with a fellow student who invited me to a creation vs evolution debate, an instructor who told me about Old Testament history, and a co-worker who introduced me to a group of Christians whose religion made a difference in their lives. I've been a follower of Jesus since about 1977.
edit on 28-5-2012 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah


Lazrus... I for one would be very interested in what was presented at the "creation vs evolution debate" that made you decide the way you did? Must have been important information? Care to share?

Also, while I'm here, religion has a positive effect on nearly every single religious person I know.... but it also severely blunts their overall understanding of the universe and what we see around us.... I would find it very difficult to live a life with so much wonder and intrigue all aorund me, while simultaneously being told I am not worthy to understand it, let alone question it....

PA.


Perhaps I should have gone into more detail. I attended the debate as a confident atheist, but was impressed that the creationist kept up with the evolutionist. The debate itself did present me with some new ideas, but that was 35-odd years ago, so I don't remember any specifics. It was rather like the fellow who was teaching me urinalysis, but spent most of his time putting the Old Testament "on the map" for me - I was presented with a whole "universe next door." When I began to meet Christians who were so different from the pew-warmers I had known growing up, or so I had thought of them, I began to see that it could make a difference. My world seemed so sterile, and theirs was so alive. Fact piled on top of fact, but a commitment to "Jesus" was something I held back from for a long time. In time it did happen, and at my baptism, my father testified that he he prayed for me for years, but got no results until he got his own life square with God. That was just when things began to happen in my own life.

Two things have happened in my life that make my faith unshakable. First, I discovered the mathematical codes underlying the text of the Bible, also known as the heptadic codes (not ELS codes). These were found to some extent in centuries past, but they were elaborated in their fullness by Ivan Panin, who produced a numerical Bible running (so I am told, it's a rare book and I've never seen it) to thousands of pages. The things to remember are that the Bible is a single, unified document from one end to the other, and that the codes are too complex to have been written by a merely human intelligence. Second, God has spoken directly to me when I was awake and conscious - you just don't forget that.

As to the blunting of understanding, I don't buy it. I stand before the universe in wonder, and don't think that my religion limits me in any way. Good research is being in both the creationist camp and the evolutionist camp, and many prominent scientists have been, and are, Christians. We have, after all, an eternity to study and learn...


You may enjoy this website: Reasonable Faith .

I really enjoy watching Dr.Craig's debates. He's debated some of the most prominent names in atheism (the late hitchins being one particularly interesting debate).

There are many of his debates on youtube. Here is one you may enjoy:



Craig is a Christian that believes in evolution and science, but contends that this was initiated and guided by God. I tend to agree with him




posted on May, 29 2012 @ 01:59 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI

No it doesn't. By the definition of the word, it requires only belief in God.
Concise Oxford Dictionary; "Theism; belief in existence of a god supernaturally revealed to man and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures".
You are still in the game of forcing a case by inventing private definitions.

I went from unwillingness to believe in a God, to a willingness to believe that God was there.
In other words, a genuine change from atheism to Christianity.

edit on 28-5-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)


Well no – not all beliefs in some kind of god are the same, the best the average atheist might manage is a belief in some kind of deist god


Deism - belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation or belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.


which is a totally different thing to a theistic belief such as the Christians have

I think that to go from atheism to some kind of theistic belief such as Christianity would in nearly all cases require exposure to the Christian faith when the atheist was very young



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by racasan
the best the average atheist might manage is a belief in some kind of deist god

Your logical right to be dogmatic even about the average atheist is a little dubious.
There is certainly no rational reason to deny the possibility of a change of viewpoint, from atheism to theism.
It is no more strange, as I've said before, than turning a corner and catching sight of a building for the first time.
It is no more strange than making a new acquaintance, and then getting to know him well enough to become friends with him. (In fact, on reflection, developing a relationship with a new acquaintance is probably a better analogy than the one I was using before).
Whereas you, and the others taking this line, are putting forward an argument which is the equivalent of "It's quite impossible to become friends with a new person, one that you've never met before. If you find yourself liking someone, that must mean that you've known them all your life".
How on earth do the self-proclaimed champions of rationality manage to manouevre themselves into such a non-rational position?
As I've suggested before, I think we must look to psychology. The idea that an atheist can be shifted from his atheism provokes an unconscious fear- "If it can happen to him, it can happen to me". Therefore the very possibility of it must be denied vigorously. I suspect that it was exactly the same unconscious fear of being changed that launched Saul of Tarsus into his early career of persecuting Christians.
"Methinks the atheist doth protest too much".



posted on May, 30 2012 @ 02:58 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI

Originally posted by racasan
the best the average atheist might manage is a belief in some kind of deist god

Your logical right to be dogmatic even about the average atheist is a little dubious.
There is certainly no rational reason to deny the possibility of a change of viewpoint, from atheism to theism.


Oh I agree – I just find it highly unlikely and I have a problem in that the theistic faith you happened to think is correct just also happens the be the one you where brought up in – if you had truly got rid of your childhood conditioning and then investigated other theistic religions the likelihood of picking the old religion should have had the same odds as picking any other religion – since you did go back to your old religion it does raise the possibility that deep down you didn’t really get rid of your old conditioning


As I've suggested before, I think we must look to psychology. The idea that an atheist can be shifted from his atheism provokes an unconscious fear- "If it can happen to him, it can happen to me". Therefore the very possibility of it must be denied vigorously. I suspect that it was exactly the same unconscious fear of being changed that launched Saul of Tarsus into his early career of persecuting Christians.
"Methinks the atheist doth protest too much".


Well I don’t doubt that you would like this thread to be seen as that – but it’s more likely that any sceptic types reading this would see it as the typical ‘lying for Jesus’ thing and that they are to polite to say so or are giving you the benefit of the doubt

And here’s why i think that

It is no more strange, as I've said before, than turning a corner and catching sight of a building for the first time.
It is no more strange than making a new acquaintance, and then getting to know him well enough to become friends with him. (In fact, on reflection, developing a relationship with a new acquaintance is probably a better analogy than the one I was using before).
Whereas you, and the others taking this line, are putting forward an argument which is the equivalent of "It's quite impossible to become friends with a new person, one that you've never met before. If you find yourself liking someone, that must mean that you've known them all your life".
How on earth do the self-proclaimed champions of rationality manage to manouevre themselves into such a non-rational position?


To me this suggests the mind set of the faithful who only see people as either accepting your faith or rejecting your faith like some kind of binary bit that flips on or off, when the reality is that there are many faiths/none faiths and who know what else

And another thing I found odd is you posted that you went to a talk about evolution/creationism and that you only remember that whoever supported the creationist view did a good job of putting that case but you say you don’t remember what the argument was – a sceptic/atheist or whatever would be more likely to remember the argument put forward and not who put the argument - sceptic/atheists see personal testimony as the weakest kind of evidence

None of that is damning but it does make the possibility that, you are ‘lying for Jesus’ (but that’s ok because you are saving souls) or you are mistaken about having being an atheist, much higher



posted on May, 30 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by racasan
And another thing I found odd is you posted that you went to a talk about evolution/creationism and that you only remember that whoever supported the creationist view did a good job of putting that case but you say you don’t remember what the argument was –

I have never posted anything of the kind.
You're addressing this at the wrong target altogether.

...the typical "lying for Jesus" thing...

You can't imagine what a massive compliment you're paying me here, a compliment both unintended and unwilling, which is the most sincere kind. The implication of your charge is that my story is so valuable to the Christian cause that it would have been worth inventing, if it had not really taken place. I would not have rated it so highly, but I appreciate your candid assessment.

In fact now that you've started querying the truthfulness of the story (a fairly desperate expedient), I'm on very safe ground indeed, because I was keeping a full diary which offers all kinds of corroborative detail. E.g that sentence in the OP about "finding myself having coffee one afternoon" is actually condensing a narrative which spreads over more than two hand-written pages of a large notebook. I was a student of history, you see, and an inner complusion to record things as they happen goes with the territory. Presumably you think I was lying about having been an atheist at one stage of my life, so I had better focus on that side of things in selecting my extracts;

A couple of years previously, at the beginning of my university life, I went to the “Freshman Fair” and reported (9th October 1970) ;
“Undoubtedly the most persistent and most numerous of the persuaders were those of the Christian Union, I had a ten minute argument with one when I told him that I was an atheist”.

I thought it more appropriate, instead, to attach myself to the local Humanists (28th October 1970);
“After dinner I went to a meeting of the Humanist group in [Y College]. I looked around for the room and was on the point of going out of the Lodge when I saw a notice directing people to the right place. It was in fact a group almost wholly of adults. Somebody gave a talk on the social responsibility of scientists, followed by a discussion which only became an argument when the issue of animal vivisection came up. This had a strong lobby against those who thought human welfare was at least their first priority. Afterwards, instead of merely joining, as one girl did, I waited until the organiser was free and asked him if he could tell me anything about the activities of the group. He explained that this was really the town group. Apparently the university group is rather moribund at the moment. A meeting on Sunday on the theme “Sex; Procreation or Recreation?” had been attended by no-one, not even the expected speaker. I had thought of going there myself, but the Tiddlywinks meeting had lasted too long.”

I had better spare you the long argument, lasting until four o’clock in the morning, between myself and my Agnostic room-mate (25th November 1970), the second of two such arguments. Suffice it to say that his main point against Atheism was as follows; if faith is represented as a line running from Zero to a maximum, an Atheist would have to be someone standing at Point Zero. But a point has no dimensions, so it is not large enough for anyone to stand on, therefore nobody can stand at Point Zero without having his feet at least partway along the “line of Faith”, therefore nobody can be an Atheist. (He was a mathematician, of course- are you there, Malc?)

A few months before the final events there was an oddly prophetic conversation at a party (29th January 1972);
“I also had a strange converse when I first came into the room, and someone called Robert asked me if I was the person who went around putting up stickers on doors and walls. This seemed a weird kind of accusation, but apparently it was just a disinterested, curious inquiry- he was talking through an alcoholic film of his own. He then hoped I didn’t mind a personal question, but did I find that coming to [X] had made me more of a Christian than before? No, I said. Less? No, it had no effect at all. I wasn’t one before, and remained so. That’s good, he said, I’m pleased. He confessed himself very concerned about the greater ideological and promotional pressure put on by the Christians at [X].”



posted on May, 30 2012 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by racasan
 

[Previous reply continued]
I can also describe what turned out to be my final rendezvous with the Humanists (3rd May 1972);
“On Wednesday evening I went to the first meeting of the re-organised Humanist Society. There were two speakers. One was Professor Ayer, who who gave us a historical account of the origins of the Humanists, and the other gave us an account of the policies the Humanist Association was attempting to pursue now. One aspect of this, the attempt to have religious education in schools replaced by some kind of “moral education” was disputed in some of the questions afterwards, when it was asked what form this substitute would take, and what they would want to do if it was resisted by a majority of parents.
One questioner near the back brought together two aspects of the earlier speeches and asked whether, in view of the Humanists’ avowed aim to make sure that people had a life which was as comfortable as possible, and in view of the pollution crisis which would possibly tend to make life more unbearable, it would not be most in accordance with their policy to find a humane way of exterminating the race. It was an ingenious question, but Professor Ayer made the best reply possible, saying that if the majority of the human race really did want to commit suicide he wouldn’t try to stop them.
A Germanic-sounding person sitting behind me also had a paradoxical sense of humour which made him almost incoherent with laughter as he expounded his paradoxes.
Professor Ayer’s own attitude towards Christianity was made clear when someone at the back, presumably a Christian herself, asked him whether he would allow any place for the importance of religious experience. He said that nobody minded the “wishy-washy” Christianity of visiting the sick and so on and if Christianity were to be reduced to that they would have nothing to argue about. Similarly there was nothing to object to in a feeling of awe in the universe, or a sense of communion with it, if that was what she meant, but surely the essence of Christianity was the dogma (a word heavily emphasised and repeated) and this was what he objected to.”



posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI

Professor Ayer’s own attitude towards Christianity was made clear when someone at the back, presumably a Christian herself, asked him whether he would allow any place for the importance of religious experience. He said that nobody minded the “wishy-washy” Christianity of visiting the sick and so on and if Christianity were to be reduced to that they would have nothing to argue about. Similarly there was nothing to object to in a feeling of awe in the universe, or a sense of communion with it, if that was what she meant, but surely the essence of Christianity was the dogma (a word heavily emphasised and repeated) and this was what he objected to.”


As usual, people of this ilk (love that work, "ilk"!) want a God who is distant, or at least, inoffensive - a God of vague feelings, but not a God of Lordship, to Whom one must answer.



posted on Jun, 16 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Klassified, I was interested in your use of the word "awareness", as you didn't say awareness of faith, teaching etc., you said awareness of God. Did this disappear at one point, and did your interest in a fundamentalist style relate to an attempt to find out what had happened? That style focuses a lot on experiences and feelings. I don't know if that's right - would like to know more details of what process you actually went through. I agree with part of the Calvinist idea but not with another part - if someone has faith and then loses it, I'm willing to accept that they had faith, if they say so, but think that doesn't mean God lets them go, and if that person allows themselves to be open to possibilities, they are quite likely to find some sort of faith again eventually, although it may not "feel" the same as it did before. This seems to have been the case with some people I know.

Looking at all of the posts in this thread, it strikes me that a lot of people are looking only into intellectual arguments about faith, or aspects of it. Intellectual understanding, experiences, religious practice and feelings are all valid parts of it but they can't be relied on, on their own. Generally, they help to confirm faith, rather than producing it. I get that from what the OP has written, as well. There is quite an intellect there, as you can see particularly from his Revelation thread, and this girl doubtless didn't have equal intellectual prowess even though she argued with him. What she did do was to give him enough of a motive to read a popular book which, perhaps, she knew could put things forward in a way she was not up to articulating. He has really said that it wasn't the argument alone that led to faith, but it was a more integrated process in which no experience or understanding up to that point could probably be discounted, and the element of actively taking to heart the invitation towards God, if you like, which was put forward in the book she lent him.



posted on Jun, 16 2012 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by Anthony2
 



Klassified, I was interested in your use of the word "awareness", as you didn't say awareness of faith, teaching etc., you said awareness of God.

Hi Anthony, Awareness in the sense that my parents both believed in the Christian God, and talked about it openly, but didn't force it on me. They were of the opinion that each individual has to make up their own mind whether or not to "follow God". So I was aware of the bible, and the belief system from a young age.



Did this disappear at one point, and did your interest in a fundamentalist style relate to an attempt to find out what had happened?

For the first part of the question, see above. For the second part, I really didn't have an interest in fundamentalism, that was just the group and type of church I found myself in after being "saved". Did it relate to the above? Probably in some way. Even though I rejected the notion while young, nevertheless, our parents beliefs do have an impact on our lives.



That style focuses a lot on experiences and feelings. I don't know if that's right

Fundamentalism is very legalistic and rigid in some aspects, and very liberal in others. Yet it does have a focus on personal experience with God. Feelings however, are treated differently. Fundamentalists are taught to experience their feelings, but not to live by them.



would like to know more details of what process you actually went through.

You'll have to define better what you're asking here. I'm not sure which part of the process you are referring to.



I agree with part of the Calvinist idea but not with another part - if someone has faith and then loses it, I'm willing to accept that they had faith, if they say so, but think that doesn't mean God lets them go, and if that person allows themselves to be open to possibilities, they are quite likely to find some sort of faith again eventually, although it may not "feel" the same as it did before. This seems to have been the case with some people I know.

If by Calvinist you mean, someone who loses faith never had it to start with, then I disagree with that as well. The idea that God doesn't let them go necessarily is definitely a fundamentalist teaching, though not exclusively. Speaking to faith in general, I have come to believe that life itself is a walk of faith whether a person realizes it or not. A belief in God isn't necessary to see that humans live their lives by faith. We trust in many things, not all of them worthy of that trust.



Looking at all of the posts in this thread, it strikes me that a lot of people are looking only into intellectual arguments about faith, or aspects of it. Intellectual understanding, experiences, religious practice and feelings are all valid parts of it but they can't be relied on, on their own. Generally, they help to confirm faith, rather than producing it. I get that from what the OP has written, as well. There is quite an intellect there, as you can see particularly from his Revelation thread, and this girl doubtless didn't have equal intellectual prowess even though she argued with him. What she did do was to give him enough of a motive to read a popular book which, perhaps, she knew could put things forward in a way she was not up to articulating. He has really said that it wasn't the argument alone that led to faith, but it was a more integrated process in which no experience or understanding up to that point could probably be discounted, and the element of actively taking to heart the invitation towards God, if you like, which was put forward in the book she lent him.

Religion takes advantage of, and builds upon what is innate in us. We are creatures of faith. Which is not necessarily a bad thing when it is tempered and balanced. We are also creatures of intellect and reasoning, not a bad thing either, but also needs tempering and balance.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Lazarus Short

Originally posted by DISRAELI

Professor Ayer’s own attitude towards Christianity was made clear when someone at the back, presumably a Christian herself, asked him whether he would allow any place for the importance of religious experience. He said that nobody minded the “wishy-washy” Christianity of visiting the sick and so on and if Christianity were to be reduced to that they would have nothing to argue about. Similarly there was nothing to object to in a feeling of awe in the universe, or a sense of communion with it, if that was what she meant, but surely the essence of Christianity was the dogma (a word heavily emphasised and repeated) and this was what he objected to.”


As usual, people of this ilk (love that work, "ilk"!) want a God who is distant, or at least, inoffensive - a God of vague feelings, but not a God of Lordship, to Whom one must answer.


That's because they don't like being told what they can and cannot do. if they want to commit abortion and murder an unborn baby, they want to do it free of conscience. If they want to bang 50 women in 1 week, they want to do it free of conscience. If they want to do a line of coke, they want to do it free of conscience etc.

People just want to do what they want to do, regardless of the consequences to the people around them. Yeshua warned against this kind of thing, although he called it "casting stumbling blocks". What people do effects the people around them, like throwing a rock in a pond, their actions have a ripple effect that echoes even across time and space, but they say "Oh i'm not hurting anyone but myself" but theyre wrong. They do hurt the people around them, much like a drug addict hurts his/her family by doing what they do and they devolve into some degenerate that is willing to steal their dying mother's last nickle to support their habit.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by Anthony2
Looking at all of the posts in this thread, it strikes me that a lot of people are looking only into intellectual arguments about faith, or aspects of it...
and this girl doubtless didn't have equal intellectual prowess even though she argued with him.

I would want to protest against that second part, but that would be a complicating side-issue.
It has to be said that I would not have been an easy person to evangelise, and patience would be required. I remember throwing into the conversation the observation that the prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, were valuable sources of information about the foreign policy of the kingdom of Judah, and I think that elicited another deep sigh.

I'll repeat a couple of things which back up your point that this is more than an intellectual issue.
Firstly, as I pointed out originally, there was also the question of making a moral choice; the intellect can go astray here, and originally did.
Secondly, I later mentioned the impact of hearing about her spiritual experiences (perhaps I should include that report as well, for the sake of balance).



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


F&S. Great post! Your story in many ways mirrors my own journey from atheism back to faith. I was actually a very big contributor on atheism pages on FB. I got in many arguments and debates with religious people and was constantly sought out by other atheists for help in debates.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by shaluach
 

Thank you for coming forward.
Obviously your experience was more recent, if you were still an atheist in Facebook days.
Perhaps we can persuade you to tell your own story sometime.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I gladly will. It's rather in-depth. I have work today but will try to share soon.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by lonewolf19792000
reply to post by schuyler
 




I probably know more about the Christian religion than the majority of people who call themselves Christian. Yet I remain unmoved.


This is because you may think you "know" but you do not understand because you lack Christ's spirit in you. You have eyes but you do not see, you have ears but you do not hear. This is not to say that you cannot take anything away from his teachings, but you are going to miss the majority of what he is saying.

The hubris that caused you to make what i quoted is what hardens your heart and keeps you from hearing his voice. I was the same way, i went to college and thought i was King Sh*t of Turd Mountain. I found out a little over a year ago i didn't know as much as i thought a did and i couldn't stay agnostic anymore.


I was making a technically accurate statement. At an intellectual level I am quite familiar with Christianity. If we take a quiz on religion, I'll get a 95 and religious people will get 60. (There's a link on here somewhere. I'll see if I can dig it out.) That's a fact. If you think that's hubris, that's fine with me. Given your position I would expect you to say something like that. Emotionally, I'm not there. I do not understand how you can believe that stuff is true. I'm not saying that in a negative way. I'm not angry or upset that you believe; it's just that you haven't explained WHY.

OP hasn't explained either. He says he "wasn't affected" by the "programming" during his first seven years. I say he was and it's obvious. He wasn't in charge of his first seven year's worth of experiences. To me the reason he came back to the church was because he never really left it. He left it intellectually for a little while, but the comfort he gets from believing is greater than the angst he got for not believing, so he returned. The Church says if they've got you for the first 6 years (sometimes the story is 12 years), they've got you for life. You've been programmed, programmed the same way you were programmed to speak English so that you will never ever speak Chinese without an accent. The neurons that would have allowed you to do that have disappeared because they were never used in time to save them.

It's very frustrating to encounter so many vague answers as to why people believe. I would have thought particularly someone who converted as an adult without the programming would be able to articulate WHY they changed their minds, but all I have ever heard is vagueness, like your story above. All these road to Damascus stories seem to say, "I didn't believe, then I did." They leave out the middle part.

I've seen this happen in person. I had a colleague at work, a summer job, who came to work one day all happy. We asked him why he was so happy, and he said, "Last night I prayed to God and he answered my prayers, and now I'm a Christian!"

"What did He say?" we asked.

"He answered my prayers," the guy said.

"Did you hear His voice?" we asked. "What, precisely, did He say?" we asked. "What words? What was the issue? How did you know?"

Our colleague could not or would not answer these questions. He kept repeating this extremely vague answer that God answered his prayers. He couldn't even tell us what his prayers were about.

And we see that here. You can say statements like, "You have ears, but you cannot hear!" which sounds kind of cute and clever and has a vaguely philosophical ring to it, but is essentially meaningless. There's supposed to be some esoteric data here, some secrets that only those who "believe" can know. I suspect that it's not so much that you will not articulate the issue, but that you cannot. It's an emotional feeling you simply are incapable of putting into words. If you could, you would, but you can't. I'm not sure you know you're not doing it. i.e.: I don't believe you are being intentionally obtuse.

To an outsider like me it looks very much as if you have been mesmerized. When you espouse your statements of belief, there's no difference in your words or demeanor compared to a Muslim calling out "Allah Akbar" as he blows himself up knowing FOR SURE that he gets 72 black eyed virgins or talking to a Hare Krishna when he is telling you how pigs eat stool. Do YOU believe the Hare Krishna guys? Do YOU believe the Muslim jihadist?

Well, you sound just like them.



posted on Jun, 18 2012 @ 01:49 AM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


How many Muslims have you talked to right before they blew themselves up? I looked at his response and I don't see how you can even make that comparison. That just seems like a cheap shot you are taking at him, by comparing him as a believer with a Muslim extremist.



posted on Jun, 18 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by schuyler
OP hasn't explained either. He says he "wasn't affected" by the "programming" during his first seven years. I say he was and it's obvious. He wasn't in charge of his first seven year's worth of experiences. To me the reason he came back to the church was because he never really left it. He left it intellectually for a little while, but the comfort he gets from believing is greater than the angst he got for not believing, so he returned.

One minor point first. I did not say "seven". This goes back to the first page, where you misread the word seventeen. This was in a paragraph where I was talking about my last years at school, which should have been a clue.
Firstly, the religious teaching I got fell well short of indoctrination. It was part of the classwork at school, along with the multiplication tables and the battle of Hastings, and it did not give me any sense of commitment or involvement.
Secondly, there was no angst whatsoever in the fact that I had abandoned it. My diary, when Christians decided to "have a go" at me, contains many complacent expressions of confident independence. In fact, psychologically speaking, going "freelance" fitted in perfectly with my very strong independent streak. I've always been something of a lone wolf, and if I had been consulting my psychological comfort, I would have stayed with that independence instead of giving it up.
I quote; "That a large portion of mankind seems to need some kind of spiritual crutch says nothing about the validity of the supposed spiritual power. I myself take pride in standing on my own two feet in the universe, awesome though it be". Whatever you decide to call that, it certainly isn't "angst".

You've tried to switch on the psychological spotlight. Let me turn it back on you.
Why is it so important to you that people who convert to Christianity should not be offering reasons that you find adequate? Why should conversion experiences be so interesting to you that you dedicated a thread to asking people to describe them?
I think you're looking for re-assurance. When you hear about people becoming Christians, you are secretly and unconsciously anxious that you might be drawn in the same direction, which you don't consciously want to happen. Therefore you are relieved, not disppointed, when you examine someone's reasons critically and you get the reassurance that nothing in those reasons is going to induce you to follow in their footsteps.
"That one doesn't work. I'm safe, then. That one doesn't work either. So I'm still safe".
Examining people's reasons for becoming Christian and finding them wanting is your way of denying your secret inclinations towards Christianity, just as Saul's persecution of the Christians was his way of denying the fact that Stephen's last speech had already convinced him (I think this is what was meant by "kicking against the pricks).
I look forward with interest to the end-result of this process.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 10:01 AM
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Apologies for jumping in and just tackling this one point, but it did stick out for me a bit, as it seems to be that several people here are doing it.

reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


Originally posted by PerfectAnomoly
I would argue vehemently that being an Atheist is a considerably harder life to lead... to believe that the universe is governed by chaos and random actions takes courage my friend... to know that after death there is nothing takes courage my friend... and to work things out for one's self takes patience and logic.


As Disraeli has repeatedly quoted, the definition of atheist involves belief or lack of belief in god/s and NOTHING ELSE. People here are going on about how "Real Atheists" wouldn't do this, "Real Atheists" are rational, logical beings, etc., when this simply isn't true. Real atheists are just like every other human on the planet, except in the small case of belief in god/s.

The reason I particularly quoted you, PerfectAnomoly, is you brought up a point "the universe is governed by chaos and random actions", which while not having anything to do with atheism at all, isn't even really verifiable true. I'd say the universe is governed by causality. Things happen because of what happened previously. I release the ball from my hand, it'll fall on the ground. It won't fly up into space, go back in time and whack Mother Teresa in the face. Yes, yes, quantum mechanics, but quantum mechanics isn't any more unpredictable. It just becomes a matter of analysing orbits or waves instead of singular paths.

The point being you could argue Determinism vs Nondeterminism/Free Will, etc., but that really has nothing to do with atheism at all. I've seen atheists on both sides of that debate.
edit on 19-6-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 07:39 PM
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Simply a mind blowing read. Things like this with open debate and questions are one of the reasons i enjoy the internet. To peek into someones life and growth and see honesty and goodness really restores my faith in us as a race.

Thanks for the read.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by theChristianatheist
 


Ding! First star!


I owed you one from your intro anyways... plus i like giving first stars

Welcome to Ats bro






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