Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
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12-09-2015, 01:17 PM
RE: Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
Starting thread with we should smacks of arrogance. I don't care for what we should, I will do what I think will be best for me.

Apart from should thing I've never heard someone talking about losing religion so this thing which we should do looks like a solution to problem which do not exists.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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12-09-2015, 01:22 PM
RE: Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
(12-09-2015 07:33 AM)invisiblefriend Wrote:  How should we frame the discussions of people becoming atheist? It is very important that we NOT frame this in the way that the religious would like it framed.

We need to stop saying that someone "lost their religion."

This is the way that religious groups want their members to see it. They want their members to believe that if they stray from following the religion, that they are losing something. This is particularly powerful to people who are in the religion, but have doubts. Doubters may find the job of holding on to their beliefs to be a big struggle. As you already know, you can't force your self to believe something. So these people have a palpable fear of losing something.

But they don't lose anything. They gain .... something.

If Joe was addicted to cocaine, and then got over the addiction, we would not say "Joe lost his addiction to cocaine." (Maybe if we look around a bit we can help him get it back!) Instead, he recovered from the addiction. But in the case of religion, many people always were religious, so "recovery" is a tricky word.

We might say "Joe is free of his addiction" and we might use the same when talking about people who are free of their religion. e.g. "I gained my freedom from religion when I was xx years old."

We might say that someone "grew out of their religion" which would frame the whole discussion that religion is a step in gaining true consciousness. You don't really gain an understanding of the universe until you move beyond religion. Is that pretentious? I don't know.

Maybe someone "finally let go of religion". As if it was something you cling to even when you know it is not true. Describing it this way might really encourage those on the edge to take the step in the way that "losing something" never will.

One thing I know is we need to stop describing new atheists as people who have recently "lost their religion". It is very negative, particularly to the faithful. It is what the preachers would like us to say. Instead, it needs to be described in a positive, inviting way; one that recognizes the internal and external struggle you have to go through, and the triumph over those. Nothing is lost, and everything is gained.

I had a discussion on this topic with Seth Andrews when he was in San Jose, and unsurprisingly he agrees. He says he has stopped using the term "losing religion" however he did not have a definitive suggestion of what to use in its place. I don't think we have a consensus in the atheist community about how to describe this appropriately.

Deconversion, we are all born atheist. Religious belief is a learned and sometimes forced belief system.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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12-09-2015, 08:11 PM
RE: Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
I find the terms "decoupling" or "uncoupling" to be good conversation starters, when asked about my spiritual/religious experiences of the past.
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12-09-2015, 08:54 PM
RE: Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
It's all context. I lost my religion (REM did too Tongue ). That's exactly why I'm an atheist, I decided to look for my faith, to find exactly what it was that nailed me to that cross and made me a decided follower of Jesus. I had it in my youth, and it was always there when I didn't need it. Once I needed it, I frantically searched for it and couldn't find it.

I lost my religion. The day I accepted that fact is one of the most terrifying, yet relieving and satisfying days that I can recall. I have no qualms with that.

That being said, for what the OP is saying I agree that for everyone else that doesn't get it, maybe that particular way of phrasing it is counterproductive. I smell what you're stepping in, for presentation purposes, but for me personally, I'm okay with the loss.
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16-09-2015, 09:59 AM
RE: Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
(12-09-2015 07:33 AM)invisiblefriend Wrote:  How should we frame the discussions of people becoming atheist? It is very important that we NOT frame this in the way that the religious would like it framed.

We need to stop saying that someone "lost their religion."

This is the way that religious groups want their members to see it. They want their members to believe that if they stray from following the religion, that they are losing something. This is particularly powerful to people who are in the religion, but have doubts. Doubters may find the job of holding on to their beliefs to be a big struggle. As you already know, you can't force your self to believe something. So these people have a palpable fear of losing something.

But they don't lose anything. They gain .... something.

If Joe was addicted to cocaine, and then got over the addiction, we would not say "Joe lost his addiction to cocaine." (Maybe if we look around a bit we can help him get it back!) Instead, he recovered from the addiction. But in the case of religion, many people always were religious, so "recovery" is a tricky word.

We might say "Joe is free of his addiction" and we might use the same when talking about people who are free of their religion. e.g. "I gained my freedom from religion when I was xx years old."

We might say that someone "grew out of their religion" which would frame the whole discussion that religion is a step in gaining true consciousness. You don't really gain an understanding of the universe until you move beyond religion. Is that pretentious? I don't know.

Maybe someone "finally let go of religion". As if it was something you cling to even when you know it is not true. Describing it this way might really encourage those on the edge to take the step in the way that "losing something" never will.

One thing I know is we need to stop describing new atheists as people who have recently "lost their religion". It is very negative, particularly to the faithful. It is what the preachers would like us to say. Instead, it needs to be described in a positive, inviting way; one that recognizes the internal and external struggle you have to go through, and the triumph over those. Nothing is lost, and everything is gained.

I had a discussion on this topic with Seth Andrews when he was in San Jose, and unsurprisingly he agrees. He says he has stopped using the term "losing religion" however he did not have a definitive suggestion of what to use in its place. I don't think we have a consensus in the atheist community about how to describe this appropriately.

I think Michael Stipe is to blame for this

(22-08-2015 07:30 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  It is by will alone I set my brows in motion it is by the conditioner of avocado that the brows acquire volume the skin acquires spots the spots become a warning. It is by will alone I set my brows in motion.
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16-09-2015, 10:02 AM
RE: Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
I think Octapulse is to blame for not letting this thread die the quiet death it deserves. The OP shot his wad, hit himself in the eye, and left. Tongue

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16-09-2015, 11:04 AM
RE: Framing the Discussion of becoming an Atheist
Just call me the reanimator Evil_monster

(22-08-2015 07:30 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  It is by will alone I set my brows in motion it is by the conditioner of avocado that the brows acquire volume the skin acquires spots the spots become a warning. It is by will alone I set my brows in motion.
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