Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
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31-08-2011, 09:09 AM
 
Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
The “Atheist is a tainted word” thread got me thinking. What percentage of Atheists are those who were never religious and what percentage was seriously religious, with real belief, and then later on realized how irrational their belief was?

Is this Forum mostly a 'Religious Anonymous' kind of community for recovering victims?

Just curious.
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31-08-2011, 09:16 AM
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
I've always been one to accept that there are things I don't understand which is I suppose admitting to be religion prone, however from the beginning I have been rather anti-human so the religions didn't stand much of a chance of convincing me =p

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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31-08-2011, 09:20 AM
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
Recovering victim here. I was raised southern baptist and later dumped my beliefs because they did not make any sense any longer.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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31-08-2011, 09:25 AM
 
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
I guess I should answer my own question: I was raised in an officially atheist society and my parents' feeble attempt at introducing me to christianity wore completely off by the time I was 11. Never even been tempted since, but only recently started hating everything about it, seeing what it does to people's minds and lives.
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31-08-2011, 10:19 AM
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
I was raised in a more or less secular house hold... religion never really came up in discussion. We only prayed before meals on important holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving (In which my dad accidentally said, 'Thanks for OVER LOOKING us, God,' instead of saying 'looking over us'). My grandparents were religious, and I occasionally went to church and sunday school to appease them... but it never really 'got' to me.

I was briefly religious for a short time while I was a teenager, but even then I was a very liberal Christian.

Most of my life I've been unconcerned with religion, .... I guess the term would be mildly theistic.. I believed in a god, but a non-denominational god, who was generally unconcerned with human cares.

It was when I joined the military that I became an atheist, although I've just recently been more 'outspoken' with it.

So I guess my religious 'addiction' has been akin to a social smoker or drinker who for health reasons became a non-smoker/sober.

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31-08-2011, 10:44 AM
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
My mother is a semi-devout Catholic, but my father is an anti-religionist Freemason, and he isn't shy about his lack of love for the Catholic church. I despised going to church and not eating meat on Lent Fridays, and I went through first communion and confirmation due to pressure from my mother, grandparents and school (private Catholic). Mom tried to get me to ignore Dad's occasional rant, but I couldn't. I liked his disdain for the church. I wanted to be free from it like he was. I also didn't take "just because" or "because I said so" for an answer, ever. My dad picked up on this and started to talk to me about skepticism, yadda yadda, and I became an atheist before I knew it. Dad still believes in a creator being (deist) but he says he understands why I came to that conclusion, and that it's cool.

To sum up, I wouldn't say I "recovered" from religion, since I wasn't really influenced by it, but I can say that I'm free from it. I had to wait until I knew I could make a choice for that to happen though. "Free will" my ass.

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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31-08-2011, 10:58 AM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2011 11:05 AM by Peterkin.)
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
Immune is maybe overstating my own part in resisting religion.
I was introduced to - but never force-fed - two different flavours of christianity in childhood, and liked both. In adolescence, i flirted with other beliefs (Canada was very good for a wide choice of religious experience at minimal cost) but married none. All had some emotional, aesthetic and social appeal, but none worked at the intellectual level. (Knox Presbyterian in Toronto came closest: fine building, great organ, damn good choir, but what i liked most was the tone: simple, confident, upright: the minister addressed God as one would a good father - with respect, not fear.)
I remained interested enough to read mythology, anthropology, etc. The stories of ancient peoples are both more insightful, instructive, emotionally satisfying and entertaining than the verbose European philosophers and more relevant to daily life. Religion is a part of our cultural heritage; it's had an influence on our rites of passage, language, law, customs and costumes, art, literature, even international relations. It's not something i can dismiss from my environment, even though i don't personally practice any form of it.

I think spirituality could - and should - be beneficial to human societies, but in civilization has been politically corrupted - very possibly to the point of no redemption. Every couple of centuries, organized religion goes ballistic and wreaks all kinds of havoc. This is one of those flare-up periods. So now, i have no option but to oppose all religion.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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31-08-2011, 11:33 AM
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
Former fundamentalist minister here, left it 27 years ago because I actually noticed what the Bible said verses what I'd been told it said.

It actually amazing how many times a person can read the same words and not really see what they are saying. For example, you can read the story of Abraham offering Isaac as a man who doesn't withhold anything from god, or as a crazy old man who tries to murder his son because he hears voices. I always saw the first and never noticed the second perspective before.

I'd say that I'm pretty damn immune to the god virus now. I haven't heard a new argument in favor of one in 20 years so I feel pretty confident that I've heard it all.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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31-08-2011, 12:23 PM
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
(31-08-2011 10:58 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  I think spirituality could - and should - be beneficial to human societies . . .

I'd like to hear your further thoughts on this, because spirituality is a subject that leaves me in a quandary. If I don't believe in god--which I don't--can I still be a "spiritual" person? People have asked me this, and I don't know what to say because I'm not sure what the word means.

Does being spiritual imply believing in a soul, some kind of personal identity that survives death? Then I'm not spiritual. But people often seem to use the term in a less defined, vaguer way, as if it were simply the opposite of crass materialism. If that's what spirituality means, then maybe I am spiritual. I look at the pictures from Hubble or the birds that come to my back yard and I'm filled with wonder and joy. When I listen to great music I'm sometimes moved to tears. On rare occasions I've briefly felt something I can only describe as a visceral sense of being connected to all living things, but it doesn't last. Does any of that qualify me as spiritual?

Need some help here.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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31-08-2011, 12:58 PM
RE: Are you immune to religion or have recovered from it?
I'm still recovering from P.R.E. (post religious embarrassment)

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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