Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
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15-06-2011, 10:57 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Before you read too far into atheist philosophy make sure you understand that the words "I don't know" are not an admission of helplessness. Being able to clearly define that there is something you are unsure of is vastly important to your rational strengths. Not knowing is a great form of knowledge in the fact that you aren't held back by a false belief.

I hope that helps you in your journey.

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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15-06-2011, 11:19 AM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2011 11:33 AM by Lion of the Netherlands.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Because I had posted my reply before I included the quotes I wanted to respond to, I will continue my reply here:
(14-06-2011 07:37 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  So, you've noticed so far that the holy word of god, as written down in the bible, shows a few problems and holes. Great! I'd suggest going further along that path. Some of us took the time and effort to refute the bible and list its atrocities. Might as well take a look at those links and feel free to consult your own bible to see if it's correct. You'll most probably find out that the loving God isn't quite the nice guy you tought him to be and that the holy scriptures are fallacious.

The christian values of the Bible aren't unique in the world. Many religions have values that can be considered good to today's standards. Since you're a christian, I'd like to point out that alot of biblical values are despicable when you look at today's society. the bible can't be used as a guide for contemporary problems.

I''ll definitely continue reading about contradictions and antrocities in the Bible, and it was really an eyeopener when I realized that I had mainly been presented the 'good stuff' that's in the Bible, while the 'bad stuff' wasn't read at all or the antrocities were just ignored.

(14-06-2011 07:37 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  Oh, and about your friends and family. Be careful with that. You're still a minor and religious people can get really upset when their beliefs are tampered with. I would ask critical questions from time to time and see how they react to it. If they get completely bonkers when you say you read something about evolution, it might be best to shut up until you're in a safer position. I wouldn't want to be partially responsible for you being kicked out of the house.

I'll ask some critical questions, but when it comes to my dad, I will still be carefull, because he isn't open to other views than his own. And the thing that popped up in my mind when I started to learn more about evolution, was that we always laughed at it when he heard something about it on television, and that I was never exposed to what the scientists are really saying about it. It isn't the plan of my parents and me that I will leave the house between now and a couple of years, so I'll be safe about that for a while, although my dad could make my life a living hell if he wanted to...

(14-06-2011 07:52 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  First of welcome, and second of all, congratulations on having the bravery to examine your beliefs. The truth never has anything to fear from inspection. A really common question within atheist communities is how to deal with coming out to parents as an atheist(particularly in teen years) and it's an extremely hard question. Luckily for you, your confession wouldn't be as bad, just admitting you doubt the bible. Following what I heard before, I would not go to your dad, but your mother. It also might be a good idea not to tell everyone you're doubting until after the fact too. Examine some more things, study a little bit more, and after you made up your mind(this can take years from what I've heard), then you can come out to everyone as whatever else you may be, or you can laugh about during Christmas as a Christian. Wherever the evidence takes you.

Following your advice I won't openly express my doubts(besides asking some questions), untill I have finally decided what I believe or not. And I will definitely keep researching.

(14-06-2011 02:01 PM)The_observer Wrote:  I suggest you leave your parents opinion for what it is now Lion. You need to dig into the matter yourself first. Just listen to what they have to say, accept it but think what you want to think. Your thoughts are free, certainly don't let them pull the "emotional blackmail" card.

I can recommend the 3vid3nc3 series on youtube. I think his story is much similar to yours. The story is layed out in a strong narrative and a gentle way.

Courage Lion!

Thanks for telling me about the 3vid3nce series, I will definitely watch it.

(14-06-2011 02:38 PM)daemonowner Wrote:  I wouldn't tell anyone you know that you are questioning christianity, it may be hard to keep your doubts in, but there may be serious consequences. Your parents may flip simply at an admission that you are questioning the bible. Often parents will make their kids lives a living hell in trying to make them believe again. They may make you go to church more often, read the bible, and some will even see the internet as a bad influence and restrict it or take it away entirely. That is a possibility, so that isn't necessarily how your parents would react. Some are ok with it, but not usually fundamenalist christians...

I would suggest in the time being, go to Iron Chariots (Wiki) and christian apologist websites to look into the arguments for and against christianity (or other religions), and to continue reading and learning. Even if you would come to the conclusion that God exists, you should still question and learn. That is the only way to find what is true.

I can definitely imagine my dad trying to make me believe again, be telling me to read the Bible more, and telling me to pray more, because he's quite fundamentalistic, although I luckily wouldn't have to fear such things from my mother because she will be more okay with it. I've heard about the Iron Chariots wiki, and had been there once, so I will read more on that wiki.

(14-06-2011 02:39 PM)gamutman Wrote:  Hi. I'm a full on atheist which for me means I don't believe there is a God of any description. However, I would like to point out that there are many Christians today (including the current pope) who recognize that the young earth story is not plausible. These people find a way to reconcile the reality of evolution with their belief in a supreme being who controls the natural universe. Perhaps you might be comfortable parking there for a while. It might also give you the freedom to further examine topics like evolution openly without feeling like you have betrayed your friends and family.

It's a good idea to be a theistic evolutionist if i'm convinced of evolution, so I can still do further research, although i'm sure my dad won't be happy with such ideas if I would tell him about it, so it's still safer for me not to tell him about it.

(14-06-2011 02:38 PM)daemonowner Wrote:  Even if you would come to the conclusion that God exists...
(14-06-2011 02:45 PM)The_observer Wrote:  ...Come and tell us... We'd love to know how you did that...

I'll definitely tell you guys about it if I would be convinced of the existence God in the end of my journey.

(14-06-2011 09:45 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Until you are pretty certain that you aren't a christian there is no real reason to dump christianity. Many christians are very secular people who follow a small portion of christianity. It's not wrong to be in this group (though most of us find it illogical =p). You are looking for your own answers, so for now focus on the fact that this is about you. If you go to ask your mother ask her about something don't emphasize that you doubt it. My personal belief is that you should only push a belief if you feel it is very rational, so I don't tend to discuss a lot of my beliefs unless asked.

Definitely check out evid3nc3, and read the greatest show on earth. Those are great first steps for the answers you're seeking. I've yet to read the anti god books, but I feel those put you at risk of being seen as anti god for reading them. I'm also not sure if a book focusing on refuting your beliefs will be helpful to you. The greatest show on earth addresses creationism, but it is done in a scientific manner with mainly rational rather than emotional statements. It also explains evolution very comprehensively.

I also noticed that I disagree on quite a few things with my dad, because he is quite homophobic, while I'm okay with same sex marriage, so I don't agree with all the things that are in the Bible. I'm not sure if my parents would allow me to read 'the greatest show on earth' because my dad doesn't want to read or hear other views than his own(so he also doesn't want me to be exposed to them), but I might be allowed by my mother to read it, although asking it could be a sign of my doubts to her.

I'll keep you guys updated, and I'll definitely ask questions if I have them.
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15-06-2011, 11:27 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Mention to your mother that the book is endorsed by a priest. It is not simply a book written by an evolutionary biologist, it was peer reviewed by a christian. That might make a good difference for the outcome of your chat with her. If she knows Dawkin's name (probably not but who knows) she would probably at first be very wary of you reading from him. You can also go to your library at school and check the book out then read it at school. That way there's no need for approval. I'm not suggesting you undermine your parents authority, but don't let them limit you from finding your own beliefs.

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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15-06-2011, 11:29 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(15-06-2011 10:57 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Before you read too far into atheist philosophy make sure you understand that the words "I don't know" are not an admission of helplessness. Being able to clearly define that there is something you are unsure of is vastly important to your rational strengths. Not knowing is a great form of knowledge in the fact that you aren't held back by a false belief.

I hope that helps you in your journey.

Thanks for telling me about this, because I have learned that creationists like to use the argument from ignorance, which is a logical fallacy, because they claim that God has caused certain events or phenomena we can't fully explain. I know that reasoning that way can be comforting for a lot of people, but I now see that it isn't a sign of weakness to say that you don't know something.
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15-06-2011, 11:34 AM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2011 11:41 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Glad to have helped, this is a point that we don't explain fully often enough when discussing views with others.

Also make sure to read the post "an atheist's critique of the bible" by Buddy Christ. http://thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thre...-the-Bible
It should give you an interesting perception of the books that I'm sure your family won't mind you reading.

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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15-06-2011, 11:59 AM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2011 12:15 PM by Lion of the Netherlands.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(15-06-2011 11:27 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Mention to your mother that the book is endorsed by a priest. It is not simply a book written by an evolutionary biologist, it was peer reviewed by a christian. That might make a good difference for the outcome of your chat with her. If she knows Dawkin's name (probably not but who knows) she would probably at first be very wary of you reading from him. You can also go to your library at school and check the book out then read it at school. That way there's no need for approval. I'm not suggesting you undermine your parents authority, but don't let them limit you from finding your own beliefs.

Thanks for telling me that, because she will more likely approve of me reading it if I tell her that. I'm quite sure she hasn't hear of Richard Dawkins before, and I think that if my mother approves of me reading it, I can just read it in the evening, because my dad only works on evenings, so I have enough days in a week when I've got some 'safe hours'(not that my dad spies on me when i'm in my room, but I still have a better feeling when I don't have to be afraid he walks in). I'll first do more research online(on evolution and other topics), and when I'm ready to read 'the greatest show on earth', I'll try to get my mother's approval.
(15-06-2011 11:34 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Glad to have helped, this is a point that we don't explain fully often enough when discussing views with others.

Also make sure to read the post "an atheist's critique of the bible" by Buddy Christ. http://thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thre...-the-Bible
It should give you an interesting perception of the books that I'm sure your family won't mind you reading.

Thanks for sharing that post with me, and I'll definitely read it.
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15-06-2011, 02:04 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
that post also commonly refers to the Skeptics Annotated Bible which can give you a lot of background knowledge to verses that may confuse you. There is a wealth of information discussing the bible's legitimacy for those who seek it. Remember to always use your Baloney Detection Kit, that something sounds nice is not really a reason to follow it. This is a big difference between christianity and agnosticism/atheism. As a christian you seek knowledge by gaining faith in Jesus. As an agnostic/atheist you seek knowledge by study and insights from others. Chrstian knowledge is faith based while agnostic/atheist knowledge is well... knowledge based. You'll start to see what I'm talking about soon enough if you haven't already (sounds to me like you have).

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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15-06-2011, 05:05 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Lion - wow, that must be some heavy stuff to go thru at 17. Here's a site: http://www.ex-christian.net/

I found it a few weeks ago in my never-ending quest to understand how xtians can ever believe what they do. There are lots of 'recovering from religion' sites & they might prove useful. I have always been non-religious, & I can't imagine the difficulties inherent in having all your family & friends be appalled at your news. Getting stories & advice from others who continue to live with pressuring family would be helpful.

Telling your parents...It's hard to say from my chair here so far away. But there are some points to consider. You're 17; are your parents getting ready to pay for your college? Would they go so far as to withhold funds if you tell them you don't believe in god? I recall a story of some guy out came out gay to his fam & his mother took all his childhood toys, pictures, report cards - everything, & made a giant bonfire in the front yard. Ok there's a woman with issues. Your mom sounds like she could be ok but I'm only going on your word here. Can you just have a conversation with her? Like, "do you ever think some of the stuff god does doesn't make sense?" What does she say? Does she express doubts too or does she make a lot of excuses & insist it's all true & it's a sin to doubt? If you're going away to school soon, then you could choose to avoid any major announcements or confrontations & just not go to church, & get your jollies out online. You don't have to announce you're a non-theist. You can just be it.

Definitely read the many sources of info refuting the bible, & learn about the wider world of non-belief. In the US, for instance, it's quite commonly said that atheism is so awful, after all Hitler was an atheist. In fact he used religion quite freely in his work. You need to know enough to push back.

Finally, remember that adolescence is a time of extreme changes. People that age, of both sexes, are afflicted by mightily changing levels of hormones & other brain chemicals. It's a time of intense emotions & deep mental explorations.

Every time you say you don't believe, Jesus rips the wings off a fairy. - SkepticalParenting.com
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16-06-2011, 06:27 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2011 07:12 AM by Lion of the Netherlands.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(15-06-2011 02:04 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  that post also commonly refers to the Skeptics Annotated Bible which can give you a lot of background knowledge to verses that may confuse you. There is a wealth of information discussing the bible's legitimacy for those who seek it.
Remember to always use your Baloney Detection Kit, that something sounds nice is not really a reason to follow it.

Thanks for sharing those websites with me, and for 'sceptics annotated bible', I already came across it once, so I know what it's about. One of the differences between me and my dad is that he doesn't want to critically read the Bible and rationally think about his beliefs, because his beliefs sound nice to him, while I'm more concerned about finding the truth. I don't know if anyone of you can confirm this, but I think it has to do with the fact that he was born-again when he was an adult, so he wasn't raised with Christianity, and my 'theory' is that people who where born-again as an adult aren't open to the idea of thinking rationally about their beliefs, and reading the Bible critically. Again, this is just a 'theory' and I'm only asking if someone can confirm this.

(15-06-2011 02:04 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  You'll start to see what I'm talking about soon enough if you haven't already (sounds to me like you have).

I have already seen that a while ago, so you are right about that.

(15-06-2011 05:05 PM)EvilMomLady Wrote:  Lion - wow, that must be some heavy stuff to go thru at 17. Here's a site: http://www.ex-christian.net/

I found it a few weeks ago in my never-ending quest to understand how xtians can ever believe what they do. There are lots of 'recovering from religion' sites & they might prove useful. I have always been non-religious, & I can't imagine the difficulties inherent in having all your family & friends be appalled at your news. Getting stories & advice from others who continue to live with pressuring family would be helpful.

Thanks for sharing that website with me, I already came across it once, but I will start reading more on it about dealing with a religous family.

(15-06-2011 05:05 PM)EvilMomLady Wrote:  Telling your parents...It's hard to say from my chair here so far away. But there are some points to consider. You're 17; are your parents getting ready to pay for your college? Would they go so far as to withhold funds if you tell them you don't believe in god? I recall a story of some guy out came out gay to his fam & his mother took all his childhood toys, pictures, report cards - everything, & made a giant bonfire in the front yard. Ok there's a woman with issues. Your mom sounds like she could be ok but I'm only going on your word here. Can you just have a conversation with her? Like, "do you ever think some of the stuff god does doesn't make sense?" What does she say? Does she express doubts too or does she make a lot of excuses & insist it's all true & it's a sin to doubt? If you're going away to school soon, then you could choose to avoid any major announcements or confrontations & just not go to church, & get your jollies out online. You don't have to announce you're a non-theist. You can just be it.

I'm going to college next year, and my parents are willing to pay for me, and I don't think they would withold funds if I don't believe the things they do anymore. I think it's really horrible that a mother could do to her own son what has happened to the guy you're talking of. I'm not sure if my mother would be completely okay if I would come out as an athiest,(it isn't that far yet, but who knows what the future will bring) but she would definitely be okay if I have some doubts, because she isn't like my dad who(even this morning) said he can't doubt his beliefs, because he experiences a lot of peace(from his personal relationship with Jesus Christ). My mom has expressed some doubts before, so she doesn't have blind faith, and she is much more willingly to think about the Bible and her beliefs than my dad, so I don't think she sees doubt as a sin. I don't want you to get a picture of my dad as a bad person, because I really love him, and he is taking good care of me and the rest of the family, it's just that you can't reason with him that well, because he's fundamentalistic and close-minded.

(15-06-2011 05:05 PM)EvilMomLady Wrote:  Definitely read the many sources of info refuting the bible, & learn about the wider world of non-belief. In the US, for instance, it's quite commonly said that atheism is so awful, after all Hitler was an atheist. In fact he used religion quite freely in his work. You need to know enough to push back.

Finally, remember that adolescence is a time of extreme changes. People that age, of both sexes, are afflicted by mightily changing levels of hormones & other brain chemicals. It's a time of intense emotions & deep mental explorations.

I'll definitely keep reading more about the criticism people have on the Bible, and here in the Netherlands atheism isn't commonly seen as awful, because we are a quite secular country, altough I would definitely like a program such as 'the atheist experience' to be broadcasted here in the Netherlands. I also understand that the massacres commited by the communists in the 20th century weren't done in the name of atheism, but in the name of communism, so atheism can't be blamed for massacres, while there are enough killings troughout history that can be blamed on certain religions and holy books.
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16-06-2011, 10:38 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(15-06-2011 02:04 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  This is a big difference between christianity and agnosticism/atheism. As a christian you seek knowledge by gaining faith in Jesus. As an agnostic/atheist you seek knowledge by study and insights from others.
Wow... that's one nice formulation Lilith...

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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