Analyze a Theist/Catholic
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05-02-2012, 05:46 AM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
I have never been christen or had any deep religious beliefs.
I’m here out of the concern of our continuing freedom to choose.

But here I have a problem, as far as I’m concerned there is no god.
But I have friends who do believe that there is, one who is loosing his faith as he ages and grows to understand that the world can be a cold, uncaring place.
But he was born into it, he had no choice in his religion just as he had no choice on his nationality.

What I have learnt from him and others is that most where born into it and every day had this reinforced by prayer and/or other techniques.
The constant threat of purgatory/hell would scare any young child to “tow the line” as well and the system is set up nicely to answer any questions with “god did it” in a calm measured tone with some miss interpreted part of the bible to ether muddy the water further or gloss over the whole incident.

Not an easy thing to escape, and the longer you’re there the harder it is to break not only the indoctrination but also the family bonds.

So what we have is often an intelligent thoughtful person who because of conditioning can’t allow his belief system to be compromised as all he has he has because of god.
That is what he has been told from a very young age.
All his talents, his intelligence and every chance he has had have all be “god given”
If he turns his back on god, they can be taken from him.

And to add to this all his friends and family are for the most part in the same religion as him, and they could, and as he has seen from others often do abandon those who dare question the church.
Odd that the very institution that says we have free will won’t let you use it without condemning you.

If I had been born into the same system where every facet of your life is controlled by god or the fear of what’ll happen after you die maybe I would be the same as them?
And to those who have gotten out of it, how hard was it?
How many years did it take you to make the jump, and how long did it take to sever the last thread of your old life?

It is a deeply ingrained physiological wall to hold you and milk you for your money and the money of your children when they grow and start working.
And they will do it because you took them along for the same treatment you had…

As a business plan it is just amazing, they sell nothing and people are paying for it in weekly instalments.

They have been duped, it started when they where young and it continues on now.
Personally, I would find this the hardest part to accept, that for all those years I was being lied to and swindled.
Maybe this is why a few are here, not to save us but to try and shore up their own evidence to plaster over some of the cracks?
By convincing us they convince themselves?

As for those who find it later in life…
Well, you can fool some of the people all of the time…

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. Friedrich Nietzsche
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05-02-2012, 07:54 AM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
(04-02-2012 09:32 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  It really is about cognitive dissonance. And Chas, you're nice enough to point out that anyone can fall prey to this. I say that because I spent a lot of years as a True Believer, putting my brain's ability to compartmentalize to it's extreme limits.

Erx, can you talk some more about the compartmentalizing? In your believer days, did you have any awareness of it? Did you discuss it with other believers in any way, and if so, how or in what way (what language). Were you aware of doubts while still in full believer mode, and how did you dismiss them?
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05-02-2012, 08:06 AM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
(05-02-2012 07:54 AM)Jeff Wrote:  Erx, can you talk some more about the compartmentalizing? In your believer days, did you have any awareness of it? Did you discuss it with other believers in any way, and if so, how or in what way (what language). Were you aware of doubts while still in full believer mode, and how did you dismiss them?

This is the emotional attachment. There is also a social attachment and a need to fit it, or said as a fear of not being shunned by your social group. Sometimes atheism is a lonely place, this site is one of many outlets where the "lone atheist", some attending church today with the families, can openly discuss their opinions.

It is an anazing situation that most people consider atheists insane and immoral for not having a religious world view.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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05-02-2012, 08:15 AM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2012 08:35 AM by Jeff.)
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
(04-02-2012 09:32 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  The particular theist answering questions can only give us his own personal view on each question.

Yes, agreed

(04-02-2012 09:32 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Aren't the people asking questions looking for an answer that represents more than a single person's opinion?

No, when I question KC or Nagoda I'm very much aware that I'm just getting their particular delusion. That's what makes it so interesting to me. Think of it this way - they can create whatever belief system they want - a nearly infinite number of variations - so each believer's particular brand is like a window into their psychology. For example KC sees himself as very ineffectual, and compensates for it with the self-importance of being selected by god to go to heaven. Note his name - chosen by the king. He's not going to heaven because of his good acts or life, he believes he was selected prior to being created. It doesn't matter how he lives his life - he's passive and his actions are meaningless. He believes he does not have free will, nor can his actions alter his course to go to heaven. He thinks everyone is pre-determined, yet he still prosletyzes - preaches - knowing that he can't change anyone or their outcome (heaven/hell). So what's the point of the preaching? What's the point of coming to an atheist forum when he believes no one can be saved? It's just to tell people that he's going to heaven and you're not. He's entirely missed the meaning of Jesus as a philosopher, yet still thinks of himself as a christian.

I have less data on Nagoda so far but early indications are that he's your basic "one from column A, one from column B" believer, picking and choosing according to his own whims. This is your basic narcissistic believer type - "I'm good by definition, so I will pick the beliefs that fit with my own tendencies and nature, and define that as the religion by which I live my life, which of course can change over my life as my various beliefs and tendencies change, and this will take me to heaven. "

(04-02-2012 06:03 PM)Ben Wrote:  KC had a strong emotional experience that was so powerful it utterly convinced him God was real. Starting from that assumption he came to a theology that has far fewer contradictions that your average religion. Unfortunately the only way he could get away with so few contradictions was by basically making God a selfish dick who for some reason came up with a plan that involves torturing billions infinitely just so he could give his bored son something to do.

Yes, a pithy analysis, well done. His god really is a dick.


(05-02-2012 01:18 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  I consider myself to be a conservative or Dominican (yes, the inquisition guys) catholic. I hold most of the traditionalist views. Although I am leaning towards some liberal views on monotheism ( at least in the strictest sense) and I don't believe in a god's plan theology. other than that I will defend to the death my church. so ask away. the only thing that offends me is blatant ignorance.

Please consider creating an "Ask a Dominican" thread. We'll ask you questions there, and analyze your delusions here.


(05-02-2012 05:46 AM)Karl Wrote:  So what we have is often an intelligent thoughtful person who because of conditioning can’t allow his belief system to be compromised as all he has he has because of god.

Karl, excellent post, thanks for sharing it.


(05-02-2012 08:06 AM)Thomas Wrote:  There is also a social attachment and a need to fit it, or said as a fear of not being shunned by your social group.

Great point Thomas. I'd be interested to know if you have severed your believer social group attachment, and what/how you replaced it.

Perhaps there is also a third dimension, which is to not be punished in a business/financial context for being an atheist. So the full believer to "out" atheist would need to conquer three dimensions:

1. Overcome the indoctrinalized beliefs

2. Replace the social group attachment

3. Avoid being penalized in business/career
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05-02-2012, 12:08 PM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
Jeff... my name is derived from the fighting game Tekken. Yes, it's from a video game.

Nice try, though.

I don't blame you for your ignorance, but I do blame you for assumptions. Next time ask. Besides, I have said a couple of times where my username came from.

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05-02-2012, 12:52 PM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
(05-02-2012 12:08 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I don't blame you for your ignorance, but I do blame you for assumptions. Next time ask.

I'm not familiar with the game Tekken, but my guess is that there are a lot of different names used in it, and you could have chosen any other name, or any name from any other game, or even your real name. The fact that you selected "KingsChosen" is indicative of your psychological state. It literally is your belief - you've been chosen by god the king. It's not an assumption I've made, because an assumption would be about why you think you chose it (or from your belief system, since you have no desires of your own, why god chose it for you). It's like a "tell" in poker. I'm not going to ask about it.

Also, you seem like a nice person, and you've been very good about answering questions, and I do have some discomfort discussing you in a forum you cohabit. However given that this is an atheist forum, I can't avoid what I consider to be a very interesting question, which is analyzing believers. I consider your beliefs to be a serious psychological delusion with no basis in evidence, facts or logic. I think you went through a severe psychological crisis of some kind, and developed your belief system as a coping mechanism. My hope is that you will one day see the silliness of god myths and go on to lead a fuller life - one where you have your own desires, make your own decisions, and are responsible for your own outcomes. There's no little man watching you, helping you get better grades while allowing millions to starve. If there was, he'd be known as satan. I hope you can understand my position and that we can still be friendly.
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05-02-2012, 01:17 PM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
(05-02-2012 01:18 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  I consider myself to be a conservative or Dominican (yes, the inquisition guys) catholic. I hold most of the traditionalist views. Although I am leaning towards some liberal views on monotheism ( at least in the strictest sense) and I don't believe in a god's plan theology. other than that I will defend to the death my church. so ask away. the only thing that offends me is blatant ignorance.

Why do you believe there is a God?

Why do you believe there is the God you believe in and not some other(s)?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-02-2012, 03:55 PM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
Karl, for someone who says he doesn't play well with others, you certainly display a compassionate side toward those who struggle with overcoming indoctrination. I read your post saying, "Yeah, that was me. How'd you get in my head?"

Jeff, my understanding of my own cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization is a work in process. I can give a few examples, though, I think.

Last night I watched a documentary from Nova called The Bible's Buried Secrets. It's very well done and I actually plan to watch it again. While I watched it, I had the thought, "I wish I had seen this years ago." But right away I knew if I had, I would have dismissed much of it. There really wasn't much in it that I didn't already know as a pastor. There was newer archeological information, but much of the concepts about debunking the Bible were not new to me. Reverend Erxomai would have picked out the information indicating that there was a real King David and King Solomon and there were real cities that were destroyed, but I would have ignored the speculations that there was never an Exodus, that the Israelites were really just displaced lower class Canaanites that had rebelled against their city states. I would have ignored the idea that perhaps when Moses said he came from YHWH, he was referring to the Town of YHW in Midian. (And actually, I still remain skeptical since it's just conjecture right now).

So, EVEN if it's true that the Exodus didn't occur the way the Bible says, my Faith Meter would kick in to keep Homeostasis in my mind. God inspired the writers of the Bible to tell those stories so we can learn something, blah blah blah. I seriously can't do it anymore, but I remember doing it quite well throughout college and seminary as I learned about the more "liberal" views of Biblical Scholarship.

Another example:
As a True Believer, I rejected stories about Catholics with stigmata, seeing Jesus on toast, the Shroud of Turin, Faith Healers, Pentecostals speaking in tongues, Demon Possession, God helping you find a Parking Spot--With my strong faith, I still knew all of these things were too fanciful to really happen. Yet, when my preacher dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and bone cancer left him paralyzed from the waist down and he had six months left to live yet regained the ability to walk and lived another 5 years cancer free, well this was a bona fide God-certified miracle. I didn't believe "goofy things," but when it was something that affected my life, then I was willing to call it a miracle.

Just about every Bible contradiction you can find listed on this site, I could have said, "Yeah, but..." and the answer would always boil down to, "My God is big enough to deal with that question."

Karl said it extremely well when it observed, "[T]he system is set up nicely to answer any questions with “god did it” in a calm measured tone with some miss interpreted part of the bible to ether muddy the water further or gloss over the whole incident."

But it's taken me years to overcome the delusion. In fact, I actually turned my brain off for about 7 years. I dealt with my cognitive dissonance by choosing to no longer deal with any of it any more.

I resigned from my job as a pastor 8 years ago last month. When I left, I was still mostly a True Believer (although the foundations were shaking), but I quit talking to people about religion. I wanted nothing to do with it. I didn't want to read the Bible or any spiritual books. I quit listening to Christian music. Church attendance and prayer declined. But I didn't want to talk about any of it. In fact, I still don't want to talk about it with any of my Christian friends or co-workers or family. It wasn't until the past year that I came to the realization that not only had I become a de facto agnostic, but in reality, I had become an atheist. I was in therapy for two or three months before I even started talking about how I was finally willing to admit that I was suicidal because my religious upbringing had fucked me up so severely that I was clinically depressed and anxious.

I look at someone like our good friend KC and I can only pray that he sees the light before he gets himself and his family as fucked up in the head as I was/am.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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05-02-2012, 05:32 PM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
(04-02-2012 06:09 PM)Chas Wrote:  I gained a fresh appreciation of the cognitive dissonance present in believers of all stripes - not just the theists. Belief without evidence is bad enough, but belief despite evidence is just appalling.

Some of us still have some doubt about the relevance and credibility of our evidence.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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06-02-2012, 11:16 AM
RE: Analyze a Theist/Catholic
Jeff, you are free to discuss my position or me anytime. It has happened a good bit here (since I'm the most outspoken theist on the board), and I usually won't respond unless it's a direct question to me.

The only time I intervene is if inaccurate material about me is being discussed. Other than that, discussing your view of my views doesn't bother me.

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