A question for former believers on here
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03-06-2015, 07:29 PM
A question for former believers on here
I grew up Catholic but was bored most of the time in church and the moment I wasn't required to go anymore I stopped. After college I started looking into whether this whole Catholicism was legit and came to the conclusion that I didn't believe and never really did.

When I talk to theists I usually get the response that they have a personal relationship with God/Jesus and they feel their presence. I never came remotely close to having an experience like this which is probably why it was so easy for me to walk away.

For any former believers on here did you ever feel like Jesus was present in your life/God answered your prayers? Obviously you walked away from your faith so what do you think it was you were feeling in those moments when you truly believed? I remember getting really excited as a kid thinking about Santa and the Easter bunny. This is the closest I can come to the feeling believers claim they are experiencing. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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03-06-2015, 07:41 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
(03-06-2015 07:29 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  I grew up Catholic but was bored most of the time in church and the moment I wasn't required to go anymore I stopped. After college I started looking into whether this whole Catholicism was legit and came to the conclusion that I didn't believe and never really did.

When I talk to theists I usually get the response that they have a personal relationship with God/Jesus and they feel their presence. I never came remotely close to having an experience like this which is probably why it was so easy for me to walk away.

For any former believers on here did you ever feel like Jesus was present in your life/God answered your prayers? Obviously you walked away from your faith so what do you think it was you were feeling in those moments when you truly believed? I remember getting really excited as a kid thinking about Santa and the Easter bunny. This is the closest I can come to the feeling believers claim they are experiencing. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

When I first read your post, I thought you said that you always got "boned" in church.

Actually, I went through a period when I really tried to believe, but my experience kept telling me that there was something fishy about the whole idea of a virgin giving birth to the son of god. I tried to pretend I believed but always felt hypocritical. I even studied preaching for about six months.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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03-06-2015, 08:32 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
Quote:When I talk to theists I usually get the response that they have a personal relationship with God/Jesus and they feel their presence.

The term for those people is "delusional fuckwits."

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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03-06-2015, 08:34 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
That's exactly what my brother told me. He has a personal relationship with god. We were raised the same but he's the only one of us four kids that has this personal relationship with god. Why? I figure it's because he wants it badly. I never did.
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03-06-2015, 08:36 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
(03-06-2015 07:29 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  For any former believers on here did you ever feel like Jesus was present in your life/God answered your prayers?

I started losing my faith when I was twelve. But as a boy, there were moments when I certainly felt like I wasn't alone or unheard.
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03-06-2015, 09:02 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
When I believed I told myself all kinds of stuff. Like god wanted me to call ticketron to get the Rolling Stones tickets, by sending me a sign, at just the right time.

Sad but true. I used to have feelings that I attributed to god all the time.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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03-06-2015, 09:35 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
Former Catholic here, never really thought hard about my belief, just regurgitated what I was told and would get chills when I would hear someone say something "blasphemous" because I was told god could smite you or send you to hell. Now I relish saying shit like "Jesus Fucking Christ," and laughing at people who get the chills like I used to get.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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03-06-2015, 09:51 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
When I believed, I used to attribute pretty much anything to being the presence of Jesus in my life or God's will. Lost my car keys and found them God led me to them. Get in a car accident when I was in dire financial straights, God has a plan for me. Didn't get a new job my rational was well God didn't want me to get that job, and if I did get the job the first thing I would do is of course thank God. Basically everything I did I attributed to God/Jesus being with me in my life.

Hell even the set of circumstances that eventually led up to me meeting my best friend I attributed to God even though it was sheer coincidence.

In short it was all emotionally driven, I would feel happy/euphoric when I attributed things to God.

Yeah I was pretty damn deluded.

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan
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03-06-2015, 10:11 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
No I never did and I desperately wanted to. I used to look for signs in everything. I was really feeling abandoned and worried that I had done something terrible for God to ignore me like that. When I was 7 years old I had the onset of Tourette's Syndrome and I would be sitting in church saying god damnit and I hate you God under my breath so no one could hear me. I couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. I was petrified I would go to hell. I can look back now and laugh about it but at seven it was very, very scary.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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03-06-2015, 10:14 PM
RE: A question for former believers on here
Yes, for me I had a very deep personal relationship with God and Jesus- I heard voices in my head, had long conversations, felt a deep spiritual presence, the whole bit. I felt God was my best friend, somebody I could talk to (and I often did in my own head, and God would answer me back).

Eventually I came to the realization that I had in fact come up with a very complex way of interacting my own conscience inside my head- I was talking with myself. Still not wanting to loose this aspect of friendship with myself (because religion beat the self esteem and self confidence right out of me and made me terribly depressed), I now still have these talks with my conscience, and in a way I haven't lost my best friend- but I understand that that friend is a part of me that I've helped create.

Being aware of this, I've now begun to mold my conscience into an image I can relate to, instead of the one that's been foisted on me all those years. I train in Ninjutsu, so now I imagine my conscience as "Sensei" and use guided meditation to interact with it. Complex, yes. Needless? Probably- but I am not entirely willing to let go of this "friend" yet- we all need stepping stones on our journey, this is probably mine.

One day, I may not need a complex way of conversing with myself, but until I'm ready to let go all the way, or even if I need to really let go all the way (who knows, constructing your own conscience sure is fun as long as you're aware that what you're doing is talking to yourself), "Sensei" and I will continue to have our talks.

In this case, imagination may prove to be a useful tool for self development.
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