A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
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13-11-2015, 04:49 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
(13-11-2015 04:43 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's going through this. It feels very isolating.

I went through the same thing. I held onto religion out of fear of hell, it was the last thing that kept me hanging on. The first mainstream non-Christian book I read was the Skeptic's Annotated Bible by Steve Wells. You can access it online, but I think it helps to have it in print. Wells really does a good job at pointing out all the ridiculousness, violence, misogyny, and inconsistencies in the Bible.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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13-11-2015, 05:09 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome rwallacetx19. Your our favorite type of people. A rational thinker. Don't be afraid of asking questions. Questions lead you to answers. Your going to find a lot of people here that are or have gone threw what you are.

For a short time I went threw the whole what if I'm going to hell phase. How I came to terms with it was this line of thought.

If there was a god, he created hell. A place for "evil" people. I do not count myself as an evil person. People I know do not count me as a evil person. But if this being that's suppose to be all knowing, all powerful, as well as all present it would know that I was a good person that should not be sent there. But it has been said those that don't believe (insert religious faith here) you will be doom to hell. So when it comes time for me to be introduced into the after life he would shrug his shoulders say sorry I can't help you if you didn't figure out my complex puzzle. And doom me to a place of eternal punishment. Well he's not all that powerful. Or kind. Or knowing to not see I looked, or tried. To over look all the "good" I've done in my life over a simple question. When he saw me wavering why didn't he step in.? Why would he make such a horrible place? But then I starting thinking about my soul. Would i feel pain? Could I feel pain? I would have no nerves. And essentially i'd be immortal if i lived an eternity in the after life. Wouldn't I just get used to the torture after a while. If I was sinful in gods eyes, and the devil hates god wouldn't he be happy that I showed up? Would he really torture me if I was banished from god side. Would I really want to go to heaven I don't have any references for what the after life feels like.

Eventually you realize that there are more questions then answers or facts. If a god can't take the time, or effort to conclusively demonstrate it's existence to me. Then why should I make the time and effort on it.

Please don't hesitate to share more of your story. We'd all love to hear it.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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13-11-2015, 05:14 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
(13-11-2015 05:09 PM)Commonsensei Wrote:  Welcome rwallacetx19. Your our favorite type of people. A rational thinker. Don't be afraid of asking questions. Questions lead you to answers. Your going to find a lot of people here that are or have gone threw what you are.

For a short time I went threw the whole what if I'm going to hell phase. How I came to terms with it was this line of thought.

If there was a god, he created hell. A place for "evil" people. I do not count myself as an evil person. People I know do not count me as a evil person. But if this being that's suppose to be all knowing, all powerful, as well as all present it would know that I was a good person that should not be sent there. But it has been said those that don't believe (insert religious faith here) you will be doom to hell. So when it comes time for me to be introduced into the after life he would shrug his shoulders say sorry I can't help you if you didn't figure out my complex puzzle. And doom me to a place of eternal punishment. Well he's not all that powerful. Or kind. Or knowing to not see I looked, or tried. To over look all the "good" I've done in my life over a simple question. When he saw me wavering why didn't he step in.? Why would he make such a horrible place? But then I starting thinking about my soul. Would i feel pain? Could I feel pain? I would have no nerves. And essentially i'd be immortal if i lived an eternity in the after life. Wouldn't I just get used to the torture after a while. If I was sinful in gods eyes, and the devil hates god wouldn't he be happy that I showed up? Would he really torture me if I was banished from god side. Would I really want to go to heaven I don't have any references for what the after life feels like.

Eventually you realize that there are more questions then answers or facts. If a god can't take the time, or effort to conclusively demonstrate it's existence to me. Then why should I make the time and effort on it.

You'll also eventually find out that hell wasn't added until much later in the history of Christianity. And it concepts changed drastically threw the years.

Please don't hesitate to share more of your story. We'd all love to hear it.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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13-11-2015, 05:15 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome to the forums! You will find a lot of people here and everywhere else who had difficulties of all kinds coming out as an atheist. I am sure that once you try to get to know any of us, whether you just hang out in the non religious parts of our forums, or just start a conversation with someone- you will feel more at home here and be able to stick around for a while.

If you have any questions regarding things we as individuals believe in, any questions about our pasts or what we think on X issue-just ask!


My Youtube channel if anyone is interested.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEkRdbq...rLEz-0jEHQ
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13-11-2015, 10:31 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Hello! Big Grin

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Welcome!
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13-11-2015, 11:09 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome and kudos for taking the Blue Pill Thumbsup

As for your family be nice to them, tell them you love them and try to avoid confrontation.

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“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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16-11-2015, 11:25 AM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
(13-11-2015 04:17 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  I've let the anti-christian snark fly a couple times on FB. It happened the most around the time the Noah movie came out. I made a snide remark about how god loved us so much he wiped out all mankind with a flood. A friend replied that he was a loving god who only had the best for us or something to that effect. I said if you found genocide loving, have at it. We didn't speak for a while.

Great to have you on board. Snide remarks about self-conflicting stupid BS are welcome here.

The thing about hell is that being a christian isn't enough to keep you out as there is massive disagreement among christian sects about what it takes to make it into heaven. Heck there is even disagreement about what hell is or whether it is even everlasting.
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16-11-2015, 11:43 AM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  Hi everyone! I thought I would get my introduction in here and perhaps a plea for help. I'll give a little background for you so you know where I'm coming from.

I grew up in a VERY small town (3,000ish people) in west TX. I was raised primarily by my great-grandmother until I was 8 years old. We belonged to the First Baptist Church. I remember it as a pleasant childhood. I would go to her Sunday School class and charm all the old ladies out of their lifesavers! Smile I never doubted God loved me.

I remember when I discovered Egyptian mythology. It was really the first time I had learned about other gods. Soon after, I obsessed with Egyptian mythology and Greek/Roman mythology. It was fascinating! In a way, it was my gateway drug into the sci/fi realm. My grandmother was concerned about my new love for mythology. I think she was afraid (and rightly so) that I would start to question my own religion. At the time, that wasn't an issue.

It wasn't until I was out in the world after graduation that I started having doubts. They were gradual at first. I would brush them away. "The devil's doing" was all I thought. I of course NEVER said anything. I don't like to rock the boat. Instead of getting away from religion, I got even stricter. I became a huge proponent of the Patriarchal movement. Thankfully, my dad wasn't having anything do with it, even though it upset me at the time.

When I turned 27 I converted to the Catholic church. I thought maybe THEY had the answers. I happily worshiped for about 2 years. My friends from the church are all well-educated. They're the ones I'm most afraid of debating once I admit I am becoming an atheist. Obviously I didn't find the answers there, and I think that's about the time I started REALLY having doubts.

A few years ago things really came to a head. Any time I read the bible, I questioned everything. I debated my mother about god's existence. She REALLY doesn't like it when you question her beliefs! I came to realize the OT god was a very angry childish god who thought genocide was the answer for everything. I would joke that the NT god must have gotten a better PR person because suddenly it was all rainbows and butterflies.

My biggest fear and concern is hell. I think that turned me off from religion more than anything. It's about the only thing that keeps me tethered to it as well. I think of god as a child, happy when you love him, but oh, heaven forbid you don't get SAVED or stop believing in him. The idea of a "loving" god throwing you in a pit of fire is a BIG turnoff! But it has scared me into staying a christian too. But I think another turnoff is this: if you lived in a different region of the world, were brought up in another religion, you're going to hell because you aren't believing in the RIGHT god? I wonder if they think the same way (I know muslims do, just not sure of others).

Over the last few years I have tried to reach out to other atheists for support. I would always withdraw my request before anyone could say anything, though. Also, I would join Meetups in the area, but just before I would meet them, I wouldn't unsubscribe from their site. I would delete my whole damn profile! My social anxiety has a part in this, but I really want to meet some likeminded individuals. I just need to get up the courage.

I know this is turning into a novel, so even though there is more to my story, I'll stop there. Thanks for listening. And hey, if there's any of you in the DFW area who would like to go for a coffee and talk, please private message me. Thanks!

Welcome! Remember, the only difference between religion and mythology is time...

I am glad you found us, let me know if you need anything, have any remaining doubts, or questions about religions. I have been at this for awhile now and if I don't have the answers, there are plenty here that do. There are a plethora of resources here. Check out the atheism subforum, there are sticky threads at top with several resources threads and debate techniques for you to peruse. Knowledge is power, and the more you learn, the more confident you will be.

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"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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16-11-2015, 02:54 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2015 02:58 PM by Stevil.)
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  I never doubted God loved me.
What is love?
How can "someone" that never interacts with you, never talks to you, never spends time with you, how can this "someone" be exhibiting love?
Sure the bible asserts that "god is love". But love isn't an assertion, love is an experience.
If your husband or wife behaved like this, you would be left feeling alone, wondering what it means to be married (if your relationship with your husband/wife is no different to your relationship with strangers that you have never met).
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  My grandmother was concerned about my new love for mythology.
Yes, competing myths to the Jesus myth. None of them have any evidence, it's all about faith and belief, now which one to pick?

(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  I think she was afraid (and rightly so) that I would start to question my own religion.
I love my children. As a parent I see it as my job to teach my kids how to think for themselves. I teach them to question everything. I lie to them (on small matters) and they learn to question me. They learn ways to assess truth from fiction. They learn that people don't always tell the truth. I am helping them to develop life skills, skills to become their own person, to make their own judgements, to come to their own conclusions. There are no right and wrong answers. I am not giving them answers, I am equipping them with life skills.
Question everything.
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  "The devil's doing" was all I thought.
An unsubstantiated assertion. A tool to keep you on the straight and narrow, a tool to stop you from questioning, to stop you from thinking for yourself. Fear!
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  My friends from the church are all well-educated.
Theology isn't really an education. They are well trained rather than well educated. They are taught to propagate the position and memes of the church.
Your friends may very well have high intelligence however they have allowed themselves to become the church's trained monkeys.
Anyone who thinks "transubstantiation" is a thing, is a person who is trained rather than educated. An educated person would ask, how can we know that this bread has become the flesh of Jesus? What tests can we do?
When they find out that there are no tests that can be done to validate the assertion, then they ought to question, so why do we claim that it is Jesus' flesh? Where does that claim come from?
And when they are told that it is from an interpretation of a passage in the bible then they ought to know that this interpretation merely represents an assertion and assertions need to be challenged, and verified otherwise they are worthless.
The Church's claim that they are divinely guided does not allow you to verify that this is the case. They cannot offer a signed decree from god, you cannot ask god yourself. The church could very well not be divinely guided but just making a false claim. How can you tell the difference?
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  A few years ago things really came to a head. Any time I read the bible
Seems a lot of atheists that used to be Christians, lost their faith once they took the time to read the bible themselves rather than just to listen to certain passages read to them by their religious leaders.
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  She REALLY doesn't like it when you question her beliefs!
No, she may see it as a personal challenge against her. She might feel offended, she might feel persecuted. she might consider that the devil has led you to approach her with questions. She has been trained well not to allow anyone (including herself) to question her faith.
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  My biggest fear and concern is hell.
An extremelly severe consequence in order to offset the extreme unlikelihood that hell actually exists. The punishment is so severe that you will be sufficiently motivated to do whatever it takes to avoid this from happening.
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  The idea of a "loving" god throwing you in a pit of fire is a BIG turnoff!
Viscous dictators may behave this way. But if god does it then it must be perfect, just and loving??????
(13-11-2015 03:33 PM)rwallacetx19 Wrote:  But it has scared me into staying a christian too.
No-one has ever been to hell. So where did these stories of hell come from? The imagination? Why heaven and hell? If you are good you go to heaven, if bad you go to hell. Sounds like childish coercion. Doesn't it?
How would people react if their government decided to torture people who didn't profess their love of the leader?
Is this leader a loving leader or a monster?
Don't worry, god isn't a monster. There is no god. No invisible being floating around watching and judging us, no angels, no demons. No invisible creatures, made of nothing, that have magical powers. It's a fantasy.
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16-11-2015, 03:10 PM
RE: A Christian Working Her Ways Towards Atheism
Welcome aboard! Smile

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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