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I Converted A Catholic To Atheism

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posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 



Summing up my entire belief system, at least what drives my actions, is "teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime" and "love one another."


That fish quote is an enormously important tenet in my personal brand of atheism. You could call it a "tent pole".


The reason I asked what a god is, is because I tend to explore these things quite a lot and one of my reasons for questioning the popular nature of the world's most common deities is this:


The reason I ask is because we humans seem to expect a gaudy and extravagant being when we think of gods. But perhaps we're looking in the wrong direction as a result of what we wish we could be. We have a notorious difficulty appreciating that which is flawed or imperfect, so I can't say that we're in any sort of position to determine what a god should or should not be. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate your input regarding what you feel would qualify as a godly being; however, I cannot help but question our comprehensive abilities to effectively predict what is truly godly due to difficulties such as the one I have described above.

Perhaps we should be thinking in terms of simplicity, rather than grandeur. One is not made great by having power, but by what they can understand and do without it. One who has the power to reshape a galaxy is rendered helpless should they inexplicably find themselves powerless. What sort of god are they then?


It seems for being such devout followers, most people have no idea what to expect in a god. Just like people in the 1950's would have expected a LHC type deal for the computers we have now, complete with levers and obnoxious clicking and whirring noises, smoke and lights and gears and all that good stuff you might find in an H.P. Lovecraft factory.

And yet...we have tablets that can fit in a backpack, with room left over for sandwiches and beer. Or even another tablet or netbook, if you were so inclined. Cutting boards with brains and a screen. Simplicity.
edit on 17-6-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 



I dont think atheism in and of itself is anything but an individual manifestation of the variety present in the universe. As such, I feel that on its own, it will do nothing except perpetuate the same cycles we have witnessed for thousands of years because the *core* issues still remain intact.


What are these core issues? I feel I should be aware of the dangers lurking in my personal approach.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by Serdgiam
 



I dont think atheism in and of itself is anything but an individual manifestation of the variety present in the universe. As such, I feel that on its own, it will do nothing except perpetuate the same cycles we have witnessed for thousands of years because the *core* issues still remain intact.


What are these core issues? I feel I should be aware of the dangers lurking in my personal approach.


In truth, you will have to answer this for yourself. Though, I can give my own perspective as it applies to me.

The danger is in weakening others and denigrating them. When done on a mass scale, I feel that this enfeeblement greatly holds us back. We are not working as a team, we are fighting over who is going to be on varsity, and everyone else is relegated to the "lesser" teams.

Inherently, I think we all feel our own approach is correct and that it is incomprehensible (literally) that someone else may have valuable input. We simply cant approach it from a perspective other than our own, and instead of leading to one set of perspectives being the "right" way, it can also indicate that massive amount of simultaneous perspectives is only indicative of the true enormity of the universe we reside.

By truly attempting to learn anothers perspective, even if it is through my own filter, I find that I grow as well as those who are open to it in the specific exchange.

So, a lot of words, but I think it can be whittled down to;

We all perceive things through our own filter, but there are billions of other filters doing the same thing. When we combine them as a cohesive unit, instead of advocating which subjective filter is "best," there is a good chance we can start to see the bigger picture (at least as it pertains to us).



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



What is a god?


Let's go with what we do know. "God" is a word and idea. That's the extent to which it is known to exist. In the end, God fearing religions are built upon the metaphysical assumption that the proposition "God exists" is true—an ideal. This ideal is what is prayed to, revered and deified above other ideals.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 



The danger is in weakening others and denigrating them. When done on a mass scale, I feel that this enfeeblement greatly holds us back. We are not working as a team, we are fighting over who is going to be on varsity, and everyone else is relegated to the "lesser" teams.


This is precisely what I seek to prevent, and precisely what I see happening in most major religions. Denigrating ourselves to appease our flawed and limited comprehension of what we feel can be called "perfection". We are unworthy. We are imperfect. We are blessed with existence but for the arrogant and condescending regard of our chosen deity, because we are the scum of existence and a smelly stain on this beautiful ovular formation we call Earth. And for this self-determined honor, we now owe ourselves to such deities lest they decide to change their respective minds and lay waste to us all.

I fail to see how this cultures a well-founded basis for a healthy and productive future. If anything, it holds us back because we will always be afraid of that which causes us great pause for reasons we have given ourselves out of poor comprehension and idiot dogma. But again: this is my opinion. I mean no offense - I address the practice and not the practitioner.

edit on 17-6-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



What is a god?


Let's go with what we do know. "God" is a word and idea. That's the extent to which it is known to exist. In the end, God fearing religions are built upon the metaphysical assumption that the proposition "God exists" is true—an ideal. This ideal is what is prayed to, revered and deified above other ideals.



I think the most interesting part about that is that given our small window of perspective into the world around us, our idea/l of a God is unquestionably limited.

If a religious person claims they know how to define God, they are in fact limiting something which their teachings state is without limit (at least to many common/popular religions). Quite an interesting quandary, imo. Whatever concept of God the human mind may contrive, it is inherently incorrect and limiting.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Let's go with what we do know. "God" is a word and idea. That's the extent to which it is known to exist. In the end, God fearing religions are built upon the metaphysical assumption that the proposition "God exists" is true—an ideal. This ideal is what is prayed to, revered and deified above other ideals.


I don't think we should stop there. It has never been the idea itself, but how we understand it, that has caused problems. A gun is not a killer. It's the unstable mind guiding the gun that is the killer. And so with any deity, it is how we understand that deity that leads us to our actions concerning said deity. Our understanding stems from how we define such a being, which is why I ask what a god is and how one might identify or qualify a being as a god. Because that determines everything of how we approach the possibility of interactivity with or because of that deity.

A word is just a word until meaning is attached. Meaning has been attached. What is that meaning and why? Why was that particular meaning ascribed? Perhaps if we know how gods came to be defined as they are today, we can understand the mechanisms behind that process and come to terms with the reality of the idea of deities. I think that is an excellent place to start with both religiosity and atheism.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 


See my above post. I think you'll find our ideas are rather closely related in interesting ways.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I agree, at least insofar as one perspective can agree with another!

I think its a problem that all of these divisive groups present their way as the only way. And yet, I dont think the "way" we choose individually is even of relevance beyond how we interact with others.

All of these dogmas preach division and superiority. Each one just has a different basis.

Very, very few have even considered that maybe, just maybe, we are approaching the issue from an ineffective direction. Most just continue to bash their head on the opposing wall, hoping for it to break eventually.

I am seeing more question this though, and that is very encouraging to me. It isnt even so much about finding the "best" way to work as a team, but actively attempting to do so that I think will bring true progress.

For the most part, it is "you are either with us or against us."



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
I don't think we should stop there. It has never been the idea itself, but how we understand it, that has caused problems. A gun is not a killer. It's the unstable mind guiding the gun that is the killer. And so with any deity, it is how we understand that deity that leads us to our actions concerning said deity. Our understanding stems from how we define such a being, which is why I ask what a god is and how one might identify or qualify a being as a god. Because that determines everything of how we approach the possibility of interactivity with or because of that deity.

A word is just a word until meaning is attached. Meaning has been attached. What is that meaning and why? Why was that particular meaning ascribed? Perhaps if we know how gods came to be defined as they are today, we can understand the mechanisms behind that process and come to terms with the reality of the idea of deities. I think that is an excellent place to start with both religiosity and atheism.


I think we like to shift the focus to avoid uncomfortable confrontations within ourselves.

We do have similar concepts, and seemingly different contexts. In that, I find beauty. Perhaps you do as well. Sadly, most find hate, aggression, and conflict in it instead of a learning opportunity.

Perhaps more will start to realize that this isnt working. Maybe its a false hope, but it is one that I will hold until my death.

I think that when technology reaches a certain point, that we will have to face the issue point blank and either destroy ourselves completely or learn to grow and thrive. It seems like such an obvious choice, but it is not within our current cultural story.

I think its about time to write our own story, instead of sticking with what we know. That is science, to me.

edit: Also a big thanks to both you and Les for not just assuming I need to be educated on "how it really is." I freely admit that is the most frustrating part about these conversations to me, as evidenced in another thread I am participating. Everyone just repeats the basics, because if you dont understand it like they do, you MUST be ignorant, right?

edit on 17-6-2013 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Why was that particular meaning ascribed? Perhaps if we know how gods came to be defined as they are today, we can understand the mechanisms behind that process and come to terms with the reality of the idea of deities. I think that is an excellent place to start with both religiosity and atheism.


I think it's safe to infer that deities were/are placeholders for where we don't understand. The sea, animals, the weather, death, the sun, the stars—all used to be deities until man understood them better. Now, the judeo-christian god is no longer seated in the clouds, but outside the universe as the first cause. Gods live only in places the senses and mind can not yet travel.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Why was that particular meaning ascribed? Perhaps if we know how gods came to be defined as they are today, we can understand the mechanisms behind that process and come to terms with the reality of the idea of deities. I think that is an excellent place to start with both religiosity and atheism.


I think it's safe to infer that deities were/are placeholders for where we don't understand. The sea, animals, the weather, death, the sun, the stars—all used to be deities until man understood them better. Now, the judeo-christian god is no longer seated in the clouds, but outside the universe as the first cause. Gods live only in places the senses and mind can not yet travel.


Thats an interesting way to look at it. "God" is used to help give definition to things that are beyond our perspective whether that is due to scale, knowledge, spirituality, etc. In math, infinity is used in much the same way. Our actual perception of infinity just defines the very edge of our own individual perspective.

To me, if a God exists in "true" form, he would encompass both the known and unknown. And yet, it is not even relevant to how we treat each other, and what the best way is to actually work as a team.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 




I think it's safe to infer that deities were/are placeholders for where we don't understand. The sea, animals, the weather, death, the sun, the stars—all used to be deities until man understood them better. Now, the judeo-christian god is no longer seated in the clouds, but outside the universe as the first cause. Gods live only in places the senses and mind can not yet travel.


Do we have enough data to state for a fact that there is an "outside the universe"?



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:51 PM
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Some of you may be pleased to know that my friend who has made this transition from Catholicism to atheism intends to post his own statement on this thread sometime today. It has taken him a while as he wasn't prepared to take such action, and has difficulty typing anything (let alone the arduous process of speech-to-text and using an on-screen keyboard due to technical difficulties) but I have convinced him to personally speak to the forum.

Don't expect him to practice anything close to the vigilance I have demonstrated regarding this thread, as again, he is having both technical and medical difficulties at this time. Nothing too severe, just enough to pose an inconvenience for a task such as this one. I hope you will treat his post with the respect and dignity befitting a member of this website, as he is a registered member but an infrequent poster.

Just a heads up for those of you who were awaiting just such a development as this.
edit on 17-6-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I am of the mind that if such a place exists, it would not be within the constraints of space-time. Rendering the meaning of "inside/outside" irrelevant.

Perhaps our universe is like a bubble within some non-space-time cheese. But, the difference would be the "non-space-time" would contain it, but also pervade it. Making distinction quite difficult for systems (humans, in this case) whose physical perceptive faculties exist entirely within the fabric of space-time, movement, and progression as we know it.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 



I am of the mind that if such a place exists, it would not be within the constraints of space-time. Rendering the meaning of "inside/outside" irrelevant.

Perhaps our universe is like a bubble within some non-space-time cheese. But, the difference would be the "non-space-time" would contain it, but also pervade it. Making distinction quite difficult for systems (humans, in this case) whose physical perceptive faculties exist entirely within the fabric of space-time, movement, and progression as we know it.


All of which is purely speculative, including any beings that may originate from within such places.
edit on 17-6-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
Some of you may be pleased to know that my friend who has made this transition from Catholicism to atheism intends to post his own statement on this thread sometime today. It has taken him a while as he wasn't prepared to take such action, and has difficulty typing anything (let alone the arduous process of speech-to-text and using an on-screen keyboard due to technical difficulties) but I have convinced him to personally speak to the forum.

Don't expect him to practice anything close to the vigilance I have demonstrated regarding this thread, as again, he is having both technical and medical difficulties at this time. Nothing too severe, just enough to pose an inconvenience for a task such as this one. I hope you will treat his post with the respect and dignity befitting a member of this website, as he is a registered member but an infrequent poster.

Just a heads up for those of you who were awaiting just such a development as this.


Imma poke him in his lil interwebz eyes right off the bat.

Then we'll be cool though.




posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 



edit: Also a big thanks to both you and Les for not just assuming I need to be educated on "how it really is." I freely admit that is the most frustrating part about these conversations to me, as evidenced in another thread I am participating. Everyone just repeats the basics, because if you dont understand it like they do, you MUST be ignorant, right?


You are entirely welcome. I am doing my best to keep this thread moving smoothly, and so certain courtesies must be observed.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
All of which is purely speculative, including any beings that may originate from within such places.


Agreed, it is speculative. At least for now.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 03:15 PM
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hello all, i am the friend afterinfinity has been speaking about. Nice to meet you.

I wonder if you believe my friend Afterinfinity when he tells you that I have converted from a Catholic to an atheist. Well I really have converted from a web of contradictions, called the Catholic church, to an emotionally healthier way. After decades of life as a bewildered and confused religious, I'd just about given up, then I met AI. We have known each other a couple years, and you see this guy really put things in perspective. This guy comes along with a simple layman's explanation on church dogma and how it obviously is not providing me the answers I am looking for in life. we have spent much time discussing religion and the occult and many esoteric and philosophical subjects, delving into ideas i had never really considered. I told him after a final hour long chat with him on the subject that I was now embracing atheism because it’s long overdue in my life after many years of research into all the other world belief systems. And it is the only logical conclusion after this research. My awareness in the matter has led me to this decision, and I believe it is the best choice for me.

If you have any questions, please keep them simple and I will be happy to answer as well as I am able.

edit on 17-6-2013 by anthonycooper because: (no reason given)




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