Greetings from Aussieland
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29-07-2017, 08:22 AM
Greetings from Aussieland
Hello all! I'm Ben from Queensland, Australia.

So, my story, like most others, is quite long, so I'll try to shorten it. Be advised, it is still short essay length.

I was born into a protestant family in Ireland, and while I have always had an inquisitive mind, I pretty much lapped up all of the indoctrination I was fed. I always had a very good knowledge of the bible, and was always the one given sweeties for the right answer. My parents raised me to be Young Earth Creationist, and I didn't really look back from there.

I became so indoctrinated that by the time our family moved to England I believed that dinosaurs couldn't have existed, because their timeline was outside that of the bible. I suppose it's good that I saw the disparity. My father brought me to the Natural History Museum, and lo and behold, I admitted that dinosaurs were real. We simply skipped all of the exhibits on evolution. I mean, there's no way that could be true, right?

When we moved to Australia, I was very strong still in my faith. I went to a private baptist school. I suppose it should have been a sign of poor science teaching that my science teacher didn't believe in the Milky Way because it's not in the bible, and that I had to teach her about it. When we did biology, we simply skipped over evolution.

I moved to a catholic school, mostly because the baptist school was just too small. During religion classes, my protestant friend and I objected when the teacher advocated for a non-fundamentalist look at the bible, where one sees it as mostly metaphorical. To be honest, I think that if my parents hadn't raised me to be so adverse to the idea, I might still be a christian to this day. Alas, we argued, and both of us agreed that the teacher was wrong, and that evolution obviously didn't happen, and that the bible is literal.

That was year 12. The Dunning-Kruger effect was well at work in my understanding of science, because it wasn't the facts of evolution that turned me off it, but my own strawmanned idea taken from creation magazines and AIG and sermons by my pastors.

When I went to university, I made quick friends with both a self-identified agnostic and an atheist (still not sure whether he'd identify as a strong or weak atheist...). Of course, my little christian self couldn't keep up with arguments for everything - from their argument that the flood of Noah didn't occur, to their judgement of god as evil. I didn't know what to say.

It was around that time that my dog died of cancer. It's an interesting feeling losing an animal that you love, but my prayers to god for just a bit of comfort, as he claims to do in the bible, were met with silence. For the first time, I think I began to honestly question whether the voice of 'god' was really just my conscience. I began to notice how every christian had a different idea of god's morality. I went back to university, and for two weeks I did little other than read the bible. It all seemed to fall apart, what I had kept together with the glue of cognitive dissonance. It was at that point that I first identified as an agnostic.

It didn't take long for me to change again. I went home for the holidays, and I told my parents. My father took it coolly, but my mother took it with anger. While I was driving one day, she asked what exactly I believed, and I told her, and upon not understanding, she hit me. The act of hitting has been completely forgiven, but it was a stark reminder of exactly what lengths one would go to in order to defend their god, even as far as killing. If that's what defence of a god does to people, I wanted no part of it. I officially decided to identify as an atheist, and over the next year and a half so far, I am learning things that would put a year and a half ago me to shame.

Nowadays, I tend to haunt facebook debating groups (I know, the pinnacle of conversation...) and comment sections debating with theists. I hope to enjoy this forum, and connect with many other atheists.
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29-07-2017, 08:30 AM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
Welcome.

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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29-07-2017, 08:48 AM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
G'day!

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29-07-2017, 09:02 AM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
G'day mate, and welcome to the forums. Smile

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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29-07-2017, 11:18 AM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
(29-07-2017 08:22 AM)LawOfTheSeas Wrote:  I hope to enjoy this forum, and connect with many other atheists.

Yours was a very interesting story.

You are now in the right place.
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29-07-2017, 12:30 PM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
Welcome. I have a feeling you're going to like this place as much as I do!

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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29-07-2017, 04:08 PM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
Howdy, thanks for sharing your story.

Quote:...my prayers...were met with silence. For the first time, I think I began to honestly question whether the voice of 'god' was really just my conscience.

I wonder why this isn't more of a clincher for believers. When you pray, you're not just supposed to be doing all the talking, right, you're supposed to be getting something back, some guidance, comfort, the answer to some passionately asked question...why can't more people just be honest with themselves and say damn, what I'm hearing in my head sounds very similar to what nothing sounds like.

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29-07-2017, 04:34 PM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
(29-07-2017 08:30 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Welcome.
Thanks! Glad to be here.

(29-07-2017 08:48 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  G'day!

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(29-07-2017 09:02 AM)SYZ Wrote:  G'day mate, and welcome to the forums. Smile
Aha! Are those Aussie greetings I hear? Very nice!

(29-07-2017 11:18 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(29-07-2017 08:22 AM)LawOfTheSeas Wrote:  I hope to enjoy this forum, and connect with many other atheists.

Yours was a very interesting story.

You are now in the right place.
Thanks. 'Interesting' is a double-edged sword. The histories of war-torn countries are 'interesting'. But, I am glad to be here amongst friends.

(29-07-2017 12:30 PM)outtathereligioncloset Wrote:  Welcome. I have a feeling you're going to like this place as much as I do!
Thanks! I certainly hope to!

(29-07-2017 04:08 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  Howdy, thanks for sharing your story.

Quote:...my prayers...were met with silence. For the first time, I think I began to honestly question whether the voice of 'god' was really just my conscience.

I wonder why this isn't more of a clincher for believers. When you pray, you're not just supposed to be doing all the talking, right, you're supposed to be getting something back, some guidance, comfort, the answer to some passionately asked question...why can't more people just be honest with themselves and say damn, what I'm hearing in my head sounds very similar to what nothing sounds like.
I know, right? I think it's a combination of wishing there were a god and delusion, though I think one causes the other pretty succinctly. Of course, I love the Darkmatter2525 video which I can't remember the name of, but it outlined the very nature of christian prayers being answered, or 'god's will' being done. In the video, it showed a number of scenarios surrounding a boy who was shot. In the first, he came out unscathed, in the second, he had minor injuries, in the third, he had major injuries that caused permanent damage, and in the fourth, he died, and in each one, it was seen as god answering prayer. When you believe that every action that occurs is simply god's will, it becomes a lot harder to think that god does not answer prayers or doesn't even exist.
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29-07-2017, 05:53 PM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
Welcome!
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31-07-2017, 02:12 PM
RE: Greetings from Aussieland
Welcome to the forum, Law. Smile

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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