Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
02-01-2016, 09:07 AM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
(02-01-2016 08:22 AM)Anjele Wrote:  
(02-01-2016 07:38 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I think it was a combination of aha moments and then slowly working through the doubts. My first aha moment was being told god answers prayer. I had a back condition that I had to have surgery for, I had to have an answer to the prayer for my healing before the back surgery.

So the entire church prayed for me, my family prayed for me, and absolutely nothing happened. This situation put a specific time limit on whether the prayer was answered, so "wait" was not an answer.
Also this wasn't like cancer which sometimes goes into remission, this was a back curvature, a physical condition that would not reverse itself unless it had miraculous intervention or surgical intervention.
Since everyone in church was praying for me, the accusatory excuse of failed prayer, not having enough faith, wouldn't work either.

So with all of these excuse-generating mechanisms nullified, prayer; and god, failed the test. That left me as a teenager to struggle with why it failed, I continued in the faith for about 30 years, but I dropped out of church about 5 years later.

After working through the problem of suffering and realizing, and witnessing other people in church not getting answers, but generating excuses for why they didn't get answers, I realized it was BS, a con job that generated excuses and not answers. A way of looking at the world with god goggles and constantly telling yourself you're getting answers, yet never able to repeatably demonstrate that claim.

I rejected the idea of prayer working, I realized you had to view things in a falsifiable manner and not generate excuses when it fails. After dropping out of church, I slowly reasoned through the creation and flood myths, I reasoned they couldn't have happened the way the bible said, I dismissed the creation myth as metaphorical, yet still thought god in some deistic form still existed.

Fast forward about 30 years, I had a heated exchange with my mom trying to get me to "get back in church", I answered with a resounding "no way!".

This was my second "aha moment", delayed thirty years, at this point, I had already rejected major points of the bible and claims made by the bible. I simply said to myself that it was time to resolve the question, so I finally picked up books written by atheists for their perspective.

I had harbored doubts for decades, but I never systematically put everything together to tear apart the god concept, when I picked up John Loftus' book Why I Became An Atheist, I was ready to listen. That book helped organize and clarify my doubts while providing further points I never considered before.

It provided a starting point and the entire house of cards that was my faith, collapsed.

Yes, the prayer thing. As a kid I prayed and prayed for god to stop the abuse that went on at home. I really wanted him to help me like I was told he would. As is typical of someone who is abused I then figured that I wasn't worthy of help. No matter what I did I wasn't good enough for god to stop the violence. As I got older and was more exposed to other people and issues I finally realized that god simply didn't answer anyone's prayers. The little bit of belief I had started to fall away until there was none left.

Religion/prayer = false hope.

I am glad you finally found a peace in knowledge. I know for many it takes a long road. I can't even imagine the process of doubt and pain. Glad you're here. Smile

[Image: dnw9krH.jpg?4]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-01-2016, 09:09 AM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
(02-01-2016 08:22 AM)Anjele Wrote:  
(02-01-2016 07:38 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I think it was a combination of aha moments and then slowly working through the doubts. My first aha moment was being told god answers prayer. I had a back condition that I had to have surgery for, I had to have an answer to the prayer for my healing before the back surgery.

So the entire church prayed for me, my family prayed for me, and absolutely nothing happened. This situation put a specific time limit on whether the prayer was answered, so "wait" was not an answer.
Also this wasn't like cancer which sometimes goes into remission, this was a back curvature, a physical condition that would not reverse itself unless it had miraculous intervention or surgical intervention.
Since everyone in church was praying for me, the accusatory excuse of failed prayer, not having enough faith, wouldn't work either.

So with all of these excuse-generating mechanisms nullified, prayer; and god, failed the test. That left me as a teenager to struggle with why it failed, I continued in the faith for about 30 years, but I dropped out of church about 5 years later.

After working through the problem of suffering and realizing, and witnessing other people in church not getting answers, but generating excuses for why they didn't get answers, I realized it was BS, a con job that generated excuses and not answers. A way of looking at the world with god goggles and constantly telling yourself you're getting answers, yet never able to repeatably demonstrate that claim.

I rejected the idea of prayer working, I realized you had to view things in a falsifiable manner and not generate excuses when it fails. After dropping out of church, I slowly reasoned through the creation and flood myths, I reasoned they couldn't have happened the way the bible said, I dismissed the creation myth as metaphorical, yet still thought god in some deistic form still existed.

Fast forward about 30 years, I had a heated exchange with my mom trying to get me to "get back in church", I answered with a resounding "no way!".

This was my second "aha moment", delayed thirty years, at this point, I had already rejected major points of the bible and claims made by the bible. I simply said to myself that it was time to resolve the question, so I finally picked up books written by atheists for their perspective.

I had harbored doubts for decades, but I never systematically put everything together to tear apart the god concept, when I picked up John Loftus' book Why I Became An Atheist, I was ready to listen. That book helped organize and clarify my doubts while providing further points I never considered before.

It provided a starting point and the entire house of cards that was my faith, collapsed.

Yes, the prayer thing. As a kid I prayed and prayed for god to stop the abuse that went on at home. I really wanted him to help me like I was told he would. As is typical of someone who is abused I then figured that I wasn't worthy of help. No matter what I did I wasn't good enough for god to stop the violence. As I got older and was more exposed to other people and issues I finally realized that god simply didn't answer anyone's prayers. The little bit of belief I had started to fall away until there was none left.

Religion/prayer = false hope.

Your story breaks my heart because as a child no one should be made to feel unworthy because of the indoctrination and lies of others. I'm so sorry you had that experience. Hug

[Image: dnw9krH.jpg?4]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-01-2016, 09:38 AM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
I did have a kind of ah-ha moment but not about beliefs, rather about believers.

Around the time I was beginning to be more politically active with atheism and separation of church and state one of my best friends was dealing with the onset of Parkinson's disease. She's religious, her husband is an elder in their church and had recently become a pastor but she seemed even more obsessed with it, I think as a comfort for her anxiety of dealing with her disease. We had on occasion talked about the bible but she never managed to offer anything I couldn't shoot down.

One afternoon we had lunch at her home and were setting around visiting and the subject of dinosaurs came up, something in the news I think. Now, she is a very smart person, well educated and a real critical thinker in all other areas of her life so I always had a jumble in my head about why she was so religious. While we were discussing the dinosaur discovery I made a remark, "How can you follow the bible and believe in dinosaurs? Do you believe in carbon dating or do you think the world is only 6000 years old?" It sort of all tumbled out at once.

She looked at me for a few minutes without saying anything. I thought maybe I'd crossed the line challenging her but nope, she said, "I choose to believe." She smiled at me. I said, "Okay then."

That was it. We never discussed religion again, it's been 8yrs or so. My respect for her grew that day. Not because of her delusion or dishonesty with herself but because she admitted she made a conscious choice to believe. I have noticed one thing as her disease has progressed, it has taken a terrible toll on her body partly because she subjected it to a whack-a-do Botox treatment that backfired, she is obsessed with science. And as a result she has left a lot of her religion behind now.

I haven't said anything about it but I think she has left far more of it behind than she's willing to admit to anyone, especially her family. I get a knowing look now and then but I won't bring it up until she does. Her daughters are not church obsessed, though one of her SIL is, he's an obsessive prayer and definitely in the "worthy for god's answers" believer category.

I think some day she might even admit it's BS but I would not steal what comfort she might get by pushing it. This was when I came to terms with other peoples beliefs as a comfort aspect and not just a delusion. I feel there are many out there who use it as a comfort or crutch when they really don't in their heart of hearts believe it.

[Image: dnw9krH.jpg?4]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Heatheness's post
02-01-2016, 09:46 AM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
It was small ah-ha moments threw out the life. I was surrounded by people, eather peers or adults that whole hardely believed in it. We we're prompted to ask questions but which I recall have a great deal of them. But the answers to the question that I was give never felt satisfying. I recall sitting in CCD and asking "I want to prove that Jesus existed, outside the bible where can I find this information?" The answer was my heart.

I had a science teacher in high school that had a lesson on the different time periods of earth. I had no idea that the earth was billions years old. It challenge my thinking what I was taught at CCD that the earth was only 6,000 years old. I tried to think rational that maybe gods time and our time is different. How could such a large mistake be made?

In college I felt regrets for not going to church. But at that point I had never really read the bible. But I assumed everyone else had learned the same things I had threw life. I was mistaken. Many people we're way more passtionit about their faith then I ever was. And it was a shock to my thinking. I had spent a lot of time contemplating how god would let so many mistakes in reasoning continue. Why wouldn't he just set the record straight?

After College I learned about cults, and how they indoctrinate people. Normally threw innocent means. It made me look at myself and think about the religion that I was raised in.

I was 29. I had made the same prayer every night for as long as I had an interest in girls. I wanted a relationship. The few that I had to that point never lasted more then three days. The one that lasted the longest was a catfish. Heartbroken. I realized that the only reason the pray never worked, was eather because god didn't care. or he wasn't there. It made the most sense to me that he wasn't there. To that point I had called myself an Agnostic Theist. That day forward I was an Atheist.

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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Commonsensei's post
03-01-2016, 06:20 PM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
(27-12-2015 08:02 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  As a never-believer I'm a bit fascinated about how theists came to leave their faith behind. The struggle from indoctrination and fear of rejection from others is sometimes long and arduous and sometimes an epiphany.

Did you have an "Ah ha!" moment? Or if not then how did you come to your reason.

I had already severed 90+ percent of my social ties due to unrelated subjects. Not so much "ah ha" moment as, "hmm I guess I'm an Atheist, what to do now?"

The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Spooky's post
08-01-2016, 02:00 PM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
Definitely no "aha" moment. Earliest recall of thinking "what the hell" was in hebrew school and being told the story of Noah's Ark. I did ask, "How..." to everything. I remember getting picked up by my father, and the teacher was down in the line with me saying to my dad "You have a feisty one here." I was about 6. I was also being sent to a christian school during the week, so, not a lot added up anyhow.
All through school and college, I went to churches, synagogues, mosques, spoke to EVERY "holy man" I could get my hands on (figuratively now... ), and always got the same bullshit final reply... "well, that's a matter of faith... " .. or, "you have to make the leap of faith". Very very unsatisfying when you are vying for my very soul! When my wife and I (of 28.5 years now) got "married", nobody would do it for us! She is a Roman Catholic, and is to this day, and her church wouldn't have the ceremony. My parents Rabbi wouldn't do it either... (I, like I said, thought is was all bs, but wasn't putting my emotions on my sleeve just yet, so, suffice to say, I wasn't a regular attendee at synagogue...). So, we were married by a Cantor (Jewish singer in synagogue) at a country club. To this day, my wife's church in PA doesn't recognize us as married, and only very recently did her church here in MD finally say we were... thank goodness! I'd hate to think we had two sons and adopted a daughter in COMPLETE sin... My complete coming out moment was after I had taken my last "bible studies" class (after taking 2 years of theology studies as well) and thinking... enough is enough. If that's the "aha" you're looking for, that was it. That was about 15 years ago. In the bible studies class, I was the questioning one. The priests ALL knew who I was, and one actually welcomed the constant incessant pounding of questions. After the last class, he actually approached me and said "This isn't for you." I told him the entire reason for my taking the classes was to undertstand, suck as much knowledge as possible... and I did. The Sister at the church was busy finding me a sponsor, telling me I was ready... which also goes to show how blind they actually are. It's interesting that Seth always says he asks where you were born and what faith your parents held. I would ask that as well, ever since I was a child, because I was adopted. Sadly, I didn't find out the easy way, I found out by mistake and was made fun of for it until I had the chutzpah to ask my mother.
What faith were you born? Clearly, at an early age, I realized there was no easy answer, because I didn't know my biological parents. So, the "What faith were you born, that's your religion" people are completely and utterly full of shit. No questions asked. The only true and sensible answer is "None". I have asked for the last 20 years, "What faith were you indoctrinated in?" and get called rude, crude and socially unacceptable. Tough. It's the truth.
My wife is still a Roman Catholic, her church still thinks I'm Jewish (they joke about the Jew bringing all the Christians to church to worship the Jew) even though they know I'm not. One of my brothers passed away in July from stage 4 cancer, and I was asked to do the eulogy. I did. His rabbi pulled me aside and told me how beautiful it was, and could he obtain a copy. And, oh, by the way, how come he hadn't seen me in synagogue? My wife QUICKLY replied "He's an Atheist." ... The rabbi asked me what faith my parents held and if I was Bar Mitzvah, and I told him I was and that they practiced a very reformed Judaism. He poo pooed his hands and said, "No, you're Jewish..." ... uh, no.
So, the SHORT answer is (after all the crap above ^^) ... I have never held a true affinity towards any religion ever. I tried to find a "walk with god" several times, but it just never took! To be bold enough to tell others.. that, unfortunately didn't happen until I approached about 40. Here we are, I'm 52, STILL happily (un)married and plowing forward every day! Smelling the daisies and happy I'm not pushing them, just yet! Smile

"I never let my schooling interfere with my education."
Samuel Clemens

"The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it."
Robert G. Ingersoll
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like ReistLaxCoach's post
09-01-2016, 01:33 PM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
Absolutely. I think I had a few, actually.

First when I was 16. We watched a film in class about North Korea. The way the people had blind devotion to their leaders and wouldn't hear anything against them. Even the way they bowed to their portraits like we bowed to our icons. It first made me think - am I being brainwashed?

Then I watched this episode of the 6th season of Doctor Who called "Praise Him". It's about an alien in a hotel. The people in the hotel who have faith will begin saying "praise him", and their devotion to the alien grows and grows - this alerts the alien of their presence. They find the devotion they have to the creature comforting and soothing, and soon as their devotion grows, they are so happy and content. The creature finds them and kills them, but at that time they're so happy to be with the one they're devoted to that they're happy to be killed. This put some thoughts into my mind about religion and my relationship with its figures.

Then also when I was 16. I realized with the help of a therapist that I didn't actually believe in religion, I was just using it as an excuse to remain celibate so I wouldn't have to confront my own issues with body image and how those relate to my identity as a gay man.

The second was when I had returned to Church after leaving it for the first time at 18. Father's homily was as usual - the world is a terrible place, we are all terrible, we can do nothing good on our own and need God, and people who don't believe this are truly dead inside. My "ah, ha!" was me thinking "this is a load of sh*t". This really surprised me. Since that Sunday I haven't been able to go to Church consistently, and I'm very much the better for it.

The third happened in May of 2015 - just before I joined this forum. I had been reading up on Buddhism (thinking it was for me since nothing else seemed to be). I went to a meditation meeting, and the leader told me they didn't believe in god. "How ridiculous" I thought. "There must be a god. These silly people."

Then I had the thought - God doesn't exist, and this is all made up. I think this thought was floating around in my head for a while, but I only uncovered it at that moment. I thought about what this meant for me and my life.

I went back and forth between religions looking for now answers, but now I feel I'm satisfied and happy that there are things I know, things I don't, and that's okay.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes FreeThinker1994's post
09-01-2016, 02:09 PM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
I sort of did. I wasn't raised religious, and when I was young (maybe 6ish?) my brother set me straight. I learned three things at once: The neighbour spilled the beans about Santa Claus (I was already suspicious, but mildly upset anyways), then my bro leaned over and whispered, "oh yeah, and God? ...same shit different pile."

What stuck with me most was that wonderful phrase, "same shit, different pile." I use it to this day.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Stark Raving's post
09-01-2016, 02:22 PM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
(09-01-2016 02:09 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  What stuck with me most was that wonderful phrase, "same shit, different pile." I use it to this day.

Here we say "Same shit, different day." but I like yours better. Big Grin

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
09-01-2016, 03:19 PM
RE: Ah Ha Moment, did you have one?
(09-01-2016 02:22 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(09-01-2016 02:09 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  What stuck with me most was that wonderful phrase, "same shit, different pile." I use it to this day.

Here we say "Same shit, different day." but I like yours better. Big Grin
Reminds me of a guy I used to work with thar looked like Huey Lewis and always responded, "ah same old shit"

But the real ahha moment dealing with him was seeing how masterful a person can become at the raised eyebrow hello

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes ClydeLee's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: