Deep Scars
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12-02-2017, 01:28 AM
Deep Scars
So, I have a question, what is the deepest scar you still have about your religion to this day?

For me, it's the fear of Hell. Let's be honest, we've all touched ourselves down there, and enjoyed it. However, for those of us who have been forced into this mindset of Hell fire. While our rational brains tell us this won't happen to us at all, or tells us 'why would a being punish us for being human'. The deeply rooted fear we are still pulling up serves as the brain side that just won't go away.
It seems like every time I try something new that my mom says is 'sinful' AKA listening to heavy metal or swearing on God's name. There are still times I have that fear of Hell fire in the back of my mind taunting me.

Now that it's off my chest, I want to know if anyone else still had this deep scar of fear that still rears it's ugly head to them.

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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12-02-2017, 05:09 AM
RE: Deep Scars
I guess the deepest religious-related scar I have is the feeling that at the core, I'm a worthless and disgusting person. When I was a child, this was presented to me as God's rightful view of me and tied into original sin, but I can't completely blame religion for it. It was more an expression of my mother feeling trapped and enraged by motherhood. I was the first child, so I was the number one thing to blame.

No amount of therapy or adult perspective has eradicated this feeling, but I have chosen to live as if it's not valid.
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12-02-2017, 05:16 AM
RE: Deep Scars
I grew up as a Catholic in a country that was still deeply religious in the late 60ies, early 70ies. I never was that much intio religion and my parents only mildly encouraged it. Far as I can say, they weren't very religious also. Easter and Christmas catholics so to speak.

Yet there's one instance that still sticks out like a sore thumb in my memory. It was at school and we were something like 6 or 7 years old when a priest said the most despicable thing imaginable. He said, if we are doing wrong, if we sin, god will take what's dearest to us. So many of us started worrying over the wellbeing of our parents or siblings, even our pets. This was nearly 50 years ago, but I still can't shake this ingrained feeling of guilt at times. I would call what this priest did child abuse on a verbal level.
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12-02-2017, 05:56 AM
RE: Deep Scars
Absolutely horrible, I feel deeply for everyone who has been hurt by religion Sad Surely it's about time that things that are well known to be harmful (such as poisoning a mind with threats of hell) are termed child abuse.

I was lucky enough not to be religiously indoctrinated, although my father did his own form of indoctrination to make me feel utterly worthless and incapable. Just like with religion, the effects plague me even now at 40 years old and I have to mentally overcome them. They have waned though, and the more I've fought them, the easier it's become to believe in myself again.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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12-02-2017, 08:13 AM
RE: Deep Scars
For me, it was the threat of hell as well. I remember as a child seeing my cousin playing with a Ouija board (it was the 80's) and being terrified because I was told that they were devil as opposed to Parker Brothers. I was in my early to mid twenties before I could finally let go of the fear od hell. It was the final step in deconverting and by far the hardest.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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12-02-2017, 09:58 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2017 10:18 AM by jennybee.)
RE: Deep Scars
Yes, hell was a scary one for me as well during my deconversion. What helped me was learning about biblical history from a scholarly point of view. It's hard to be afraid of something when you know where it comes from.

The hell in the Old Testament is different from the hell in the New Testament. This is because Jews/Christians adopted the idea of light/dark and good/evil from the Zoroastrians (a neighboring group of people who had their own deity and religious beliefs). The Zoroastrians were very skilled at conquering things, which is why Christians adopted some of their beliefs. The idea was that if the Zoroastrians are such skilled conquerors, they must have the right deity/set of beliefs.

Richard Carrier explains this further. At the 2:45 mark...





A great documentary on the devil/hell at 4:45 mark for origins in Zoroastrianism and Greek mythology:





Jewish version of hell (OT) different from Christian version (NT):




"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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12-02-2017, 10:42 AM
RE: Deep Scars
To the OP, I know exactly how you feel. Being raised in a fundamentalist baptist home and church, hell was a hot topic (pun intended).

Hell was a scar, a fear I thought I would just never overcome. I would have nightmares that I was being sent to hell, where eternity was about to begin. I remember waking up, shaking, with thoughts of hell. I honestly thought I would never get over it.

With time, and just continually reading, and deep study, the fear actually started to subside, and eventually it progressed to the point where I didn't think about it much. I dismiss it now, as I would dismiss the possibility that Joseph Smith dug up golden plates in his backyard.

I feel that, if I could get over the fear of hell, almost anyone could. My suggestion, go to amazon, look for some great books from well known atheist. Anything from Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens. I find Richard Dawkins to be my favorite personally.

Do I still have scars? Yes, my upbringing had me closed off to any outside friends that weren't apart of my church's denomination and beliefs. I still struggle with mental scars of being told you are worthless, and that everyone is evil and wrong that does not share the beliefs the church does.

Hang in there, keep studying, and question everything.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" ~Carl Sagan
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12-02-2017, 11:39 AM
RE: Deep Scars
For me, it was realizing my mortality, what death entailed, that I was not going to 'live' forever.

It sorta hit me like a 1000 ton freight train and as a result, I have an anxiety disorder. My fear has more or less morphed into a fear of the panic attacks themselves (cuz let's face it, they suck), and to a lesser degree, the process of dying (which will probably suck too).

I'm probably stuck with this, so I would consider it a 'scar.'

In addition, I feel like I was deprived a proper education. About 4 years of my school life was spent either in homeschooling using the Beka program, or at a Christian private school. Not as bad as some people, but I still feel shafted. I suppose a good part about it all was that it was arguably one of the main reasons I deconverted, due to what I was supposed to believe about Christianity and science kept changing, so I decided to do the research myself rather than believe what my peers told me without question.

I still wish I'd had REAL biology, astronomy, ethics, and history classes. I pretty much had to teach myself, especially for biology, but thankfully it also made me a skeptic, and eventually, a (soft) atheist.

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

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12-02-2017, 11:53 AM
RE: Deep Scars
(12-02-2017 01:28 AM)Ruby Crystal Wrote:  So, I have a question, what is the deepest scar you still have about your religion to this day?

For me, it's the fear of Hell. Let's be honest, we've all touched ourselves down there, and enjoyed it. However, for those of us who have been forced into this mindset of Hell fire. While our rational brains tell us this won't happen to us at all, or tells us 'why would a being punish us for being human'. The deeply rooted fear we are still pulling up serves as the brain side that just won't go away.
It seems like every time I try something new that my mom says is 'sinful' AKA listening to heavy metal or swearing on God's name. There are still times I have that fear of Hell fire in the back of my mind taunting me.

Now that it's off my chest, I want to know if anyone else still had this deep scar of fear that still rears it's ugly head to them.

Ruby, I grew up with freethinking parents so I had no god concept as a child and didn't know who the hell Jesus was until I was about 10. Anyway, I came across the website of a de-converted evangelical preacher just now...like 10 minutes ago.... and thought I'd post it for you.

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/funding357924.shtml

He has other links to various things on a side bar which I haven't checked out yet but I find his reasons for deconverting really interesting.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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14-02-2017, 04:03 AM
RE: Deep Scars
Yes, hell is the big one for me. I know it's been only a little over a year since I officially ditched the faith once and for all -- but it's done some serious damage to me. I know everyone's experience is different, but I feel so pathetic for having learned the history and everything, but still being scared. It comes back and hits me full force and just... ugh, it's the worst fear I've ever felt.

(And literally gave me a fear-induced eating disorder, while spiking up other previous mental problems -- thank you so much, indoctrination)
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