Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
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17-10-2014, 10:35 AM
Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
It certainly changed me.

Having been an unbeliever since I was 10, I never labeled myself as atheist. Nobody I knew ever did. My many friends over the years all never mentioned religion, and that is likely why I picked them.

I come from a different time and place than most people here, in my parent's time atheists were totally closeted or they would lose job and family. There was no outlet, no internet, no groups, no lectures, nothing. You just kept your secret and took it to the grave. Both my parents didn't come out as atheists until they refused the priest on their death bed. As their very last act, they took a stand.

Me, I didn't even worry about it, we never discussed religion at home at all and I never did until I came here. I never discussed it with my first husband at all, religion wasn't mentioned. We did marry in Catholic church for relatives, and had a civil ceremony with friends. That was mostly because our friends and our relatives didn't mix very well. Tongue

My second husband - I asked "religion?" and he shook his head. That was it for over 30 years until he went into a long rant about phony religious people - on his deathbed.

The events after his death are what caused me to look online for some place to vent about religion. It still felt weird and forbidden to search for "atheist".

That was going on 3 years ago. Since then I have come out to a number of people, learned a lot about religion and gotten very comfortable with the label atheist.

So now we have lots of teenagers here who want to come out but can't because they fear their parent's reaction. So they have to wait a couple of years... sure beats having to wait until you are on your death bed.

Society has changed a ton during my lifetime, and so have I. But likely one of the biggest changes happened after I joined TTA.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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17-10-2014, 10:54 AM
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
Thanks for sharing, Dom Smile.

Have I changed....If anything this place has hardened me a little. The more I'm around you guys the less polite (or maybe passive) I seem to be getting...the more forward I seem to be getting. I care less and less about being different, or having a different opinion. I've been bottled up all my life having thoughts I was too scared to say to anybody. Here I try to say them. Even though some members, as has always been my fear, vilify me a bit when I don't agree (which generally I don't care too much online, except when I do care for or respect the person who does it). At least I can learn to deal with it here. Slowly, I'm learning it's okay to not be liked by everybody, and it's also okay to not care so much when somebody dislikes you.

This new "courage" bleeds over a bit into my "real life" where I'm able to open up to others more, and worry about being judged a little bit less. This may just be my natural process of "growing up" as I age. But I do feel like this place has been a catalyst for change.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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17-10-2014, 11:01 AM
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
Nice post Dom.

Yes, it has in ways I cannot begin to express.


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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17-10-2014, 11:16 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2014 09:02 PM by grizzlysnake.)
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
Well, I didn't know people actually believed that dinosaurs and people lived together. Thank you so much for teaching me about creationists and ID....Facepalm
But seriously, this community thing you got going on, I like it. I never had that, I'd love to talk about religion and stuff in rl, but I see that going pretty much downhill. I tend to back down when family is in the mix. Here I'm free to say whatever I want without people assuming the worst.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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17-10-2014, 11:20 AM
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
I'd say that I picked up most of my snark from a gaming forum that I frequent. That posting style definitely flowed through, here.

One of the best things I've gotten from TTA is just the large number of conversations. I've learned to better articulate how I feel about things and why I feel that way. I've learned what types of arguments don't work and which to avoid. Chas has repeatedly mentioned when not to give an inch in terms of assumptions. Sure, you can have conversations about the morality of God, or whatever, but if that's not the topic, don't let others steer the conversation with a bunch of presupposition.
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17-10-2014, 11:52 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2014 06:16 PM by Anjele.)
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
I have learned that there are certain people that I can disagree strongly with on certain issues but not have it ruin that friendship. That has always been the biggest reason I don't seek people out IRL. Too many people can't move past a difference of opinion. There are still a few on here that I tread lightly around - yeah, I bet you don't believe that, but I am getting better at speaking up regardless of anticipated response.

I have also learned that there are some people who still behave like they are in middle school, no matter how old they are. Bragging, bullying, playing the whole 'you can only be friends with the people I like' game is something I thought people grew out of.

Also, I have learned that people from all over the globe are more alike than they are different, and I like that a lot.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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17-10-2014, 01:12 PM
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
I was a big fan of The Atheist Experience podcasts before I discovered The Thinking Atheist, but the forum has been a fantastic way to sharpen my arguments, increase my knowledge (thanks goodwithoutgod, Buckyball and others) and even vent.
I have gained more confidence in my ability to articulate my skepticism.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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17-10-2014, 02:00 PM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2014 08:51 PM by Losty.)
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
Great thread Dom! TTA has changed me so much in the last year. More than I could ever express. I learned to embrace atheism here instead of fearing it. I found myself buried under years of religion and abuse. A real person. I made friends for the first time in so many years. I love this forum more than words can say. I love all of you! Well...except A2, he is my mortal enemy I would fight him any time any place, but he's too chicken. Heart

Swing with me a while, we can listen to the birds call, we can keep each other warm.
Swing with me forever, we can count up every flower, we can weather every storm.
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17-10-2014, 02:04 PM
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
Not really, I was already there when I got here. But it has taught me about communicating with my fellow humans.
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17-10-2014, 06:24 PM
RE: Did TTA change you, and if so, how?
Thanks to TTA, I am a lot more open about my disbelief and I tell others about it too.


My Youtube channel if anyone is interested.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEkRdbq...rLEz-0jEHQ
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