Growing up without religion
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21-05-2014, 01:57 AM
Growing up without religion
I grew up without religion. There was never any talk about God in our household. In fact I never even had to consider myself an atheist until recently because I was never faced with religion. That also meant I never had to learn about religion or learn about what it's about. I never went to church and I never really read the bible, think i've only opened it once and read like the first 5 words. I feel kind of left out. Not left out of religion but having a basic understanding of it. Even most atheist today have a basic understanding of some religion but not me. Living in a very religious country (US) I feel foreign. Like living in France and not knowing French. Am I better off lacking basic knowledge of religion or would it have been better for me to have been exposed to some religion in my early years to have a better understanding today?

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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21-05-2014, 02:36 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
I think that you're better off, compared to many atheists who were beaten over the head with religion while growing up.

There is something to be said for experiencing a religious framework in a cultural sense, IMO.
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21-05-2014, 04:28 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 01:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  In fact I never even had to consider myself an atheist until recently because I was never faced with religion.

So, what happened, that made you realize you are an atheist?

Were you talking to a Christian who explained to you that you were an atheist???

With your wonderful situation, doesn't it seem weird that your designation is with respect to something that you do not believe in - and not something that you do believe in?

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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21-05-2014, 04:43 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 02:36 AM)Juv Wrote:  I think that you're better off, compared to many atheists who were beaten over the head with religion while growing up.

There is something to be said for experiencing a religious framework in a cultural sense, IMO.

Maybe, but it'd be nice to not have to google everything and when someone quotes a verse from the bible or chapter from the Quaran, not have the urge to say "I'm sorry, I speak English".

(21-05-2014 04:28 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  
(21-05-2014 01:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  In fact I never even had to consider myself an atheist until recently because I was never faced with religion.

So, what happened, that made you realize you are an atheist?

Were you talking to a Christian who explained to you that you were an atheist???

With your wonderful situation, doesn't it seem weird that your designation is with respect to something that you do not believe in - and not something that you do believe in?

Exposure to the internet, getting old enough to understand that religion is a big part of this country, reading about it online. I don't want to believe in it, I just want a basic understanding of it so when it comes to arguments and debates I don't look like an idiot.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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21-05-2014, 05:02 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 01:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  Am I better off lacking basic knowledge of religion or would it have been better for me to have been exposed to some religion in my early years to have a better understanding today?

My growing up experience without religion is similar to yours, except, I had the misfortune to attend Sunday school with an aunt when visiting, and I also visited my grandmother who banged out gospel songs on the piano while working out her salvation with God for her weekend sins (quite a gal my grandmother Angel.

Although these visits were short, I caught onto the idea of hell, and it scared me. I began attending church when I was in my early 20s, quit a couple of years later and resumed in my late 20s then stayed with it for 8 years. I really acquired a good working knowledge of the Christian bible along with a personal experience and do not regret it.

Yes, I do believe that having knowledge of religion and how it works in and on society and the individual will show you it's consequences.

Taking a class at a community college would be a great place to start; a comparative religion class will provide you with a good foundation to build on. Sociologists say religion makes the world go round: politics, social contracts, philosophy, even sex.

If you want to go deeper join a protestant church or go Catholic, something mainstream, believe what you hear, stay 5 years and then try to get away Yes. Then you will have personalized experience with religion.

While I don't regret my experiences with Christianity, I would like to see it as you do.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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21-05-2014, 05:07 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 05:02 AM)Dee Wrote:  
(21-05-2014 01:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  Am I better off lacking basic knowledge of religion or would it have been better for me to have been exposed to some religion in my early years to have a better understanding today?

My growing up experience without religion is similar to yours, except, I had the misfortune to attend Sunday school with an aunt when visiting, and I also visited my grandmother who banged out gospel songs on the piano while working out her salvation with God for her weekend sins (quite a gal my grandmother Angel.

Although these visits were short, I caught onto the idea of hell, and it scared me. I began attending church when I was in my early 20s, quit a couple of years later and resumed in my late 20s then stayed with it for 8 years. I really acquired a good working knowledge of the Christian bible along with a personal experience and do not regret it.

Yes, I do believe that having knowledge of religion and how it works in and on society and the individual will show you it's consequences.

Taking a class at a community college would be a great place to start; a comparative religion class will provide you with a good foundation to build on. Sociologists say religion makes the world go round: politics, social contracts, philosophy, even sex.

If you want to go deeper join a protestant church or go Catholic, something mainstream, believe what you hear, stay 5 years and then try to get away Yes. Then you will have personalized experience with religion.

While I don't regret my experiences with Christianity, I would like to see it as you do.

We could switch Laugh out load I'll take your experiences and you can have my lack of experiences.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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21-05-2014, 05:29 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 01:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  I grew up without religion. There was never any talk about God in our household. In fact I never even had to consider myself an atheist until recently because I was never faced with religion. That also meant I never had to learn about religion or learn about what it's about. I never went to church and I never really read the bible, think i've only opened it once and read like the first 5 words. I feel kind of left out. Not left out of religion but having a basic understanding of it. Even most atheist today have a basic understanding of some religion but not me. Living in a very religious country (US) I feel foreign. Like living in France and not knowing French. Am I better off lacking basic knowledge of religion or would it have been better for me to have been exposed to some religion in my early years to have a better understanding today?

My experience was similar, hang out here, you will be surprised what you learn. Most christians haven't read the bible. They only know the happy clappy stories.

I keep thinking of that quote (I think its Hitch) " Religion poisons everything." The less of it in your life, the better off you are.

I think you can be culturally aware of how religion can affect people (cult like behavior, guilt, control, oppression), and how it controls our government without studying passages. For example, I can understand how global warming affects our planet, and the consequences, and the pieces that are connected without taking a class on meteorology and chemistry. Will it add to my knowledge....yes, but is it required to understand...eh, not really. Unless you have plans to dig deeper into that particular area. Do you have plans to debate christians?

I prefer to avoid poison. I have escaped it all these years, I know its awful, I don't feel the need to experience and study it. YMMV.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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21-05-2014, 05:44 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 05:29 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(21-05-2014 01:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  I grew up without religion. There was never any talk about God in our household. In fact I never even had to consider myself an atheist until recently because I was never faced with religion. That also meant I never had to learn about religion or learn about what it's about. I never went to church and I never really read the bible, think i've only opened it once and read like the first 5 words. I feel kind of left out. Not left out of religion but having a basic understanding of it. Even most atheist today have a basic understanding of some religion but not me. Living in a very religious country (US) I feel foreign. Like living in France and not knowing French. Am I better off lacking basic knowledge of religion or would it have been better for me to have been exposed to some religion in my early years to have a better understanding today?

My experience was similar, hang out here, you will be surprised what you learn. Most christians haven't read the bible. They only know the happy clappy stories.

I keep thinking of that quote (I think its Hitch) " Religion poisons everything." The less of it in your life, the better off you are.

I think you can be culturally aware of how religion can affect people (cult like behavior, guilt, control, oppression), and how it controls our government without studying passages. For example, I can understand how global warming affects our planet, and the consequences, and the pieces that are connected without taking a class on meteorology and chemistry. Will it add to my knowledge....yes, but is it required to understand...eh, not really. Unless you have plans to dig deeper into that particular area. Do you have plans to debate christians?

I prefer to avoid poison. I have escaped it all these years, I know its awful, I don't feel the need to experience and study it. YMMV.

Never plan to but I liked to be prepared but I may in the future now that i'm actively an atheist.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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21-05-2014, 05:52 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 05:44 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  
(21-05-2014 05:29 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  My experience was similar, hang out here, you will be surprised what you learn. Most christians haven't read the bible. They only know the happy clappy stories.

I keep thinking of that quote (I think its Hitch) " Religion poisons everything." The less of it in your life, the better off you are.

I think you can be culturally aware of how religion can affect people (cult like behavior, guilt, control, oppression), and how it controls our government without studying passages. For example, I can understand how global warming affects our planet, and the consequences, and the pieces that are connected without taking a class on meteorology and chemistry. Will it add to my knowledge....yes, but is it required to understand...eh, not really. Unless you have plans to dig deeper into that particular area. Do you have plans to debate christians?

I prefer to avoid poison. I have escaped it all these years, I know its awful, I don't feel the need to experience and study it. YMMV.

Never plan to but I liked to be prepared but I may in the future now that i'm actively an atheist.

You will be surprised what you can learn here reading the threads. I actually learn more here than I ever would reading the book itself. Bucky Ball, Mark Fulton and many others know the history of the regions, the people of the time, styles of writing, and the various opinions of the scholars who study this in depth. They share all of that here- you won't get the 'behind the scenes' context just by reading the bible itself.

Have fun reading it, but be sure to check out those threads because that is where the useful info is.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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21-05-2014, 06:08 AM
RE: Growing up without religion
(21-05-2014 01:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  I grew up without religion. There was never any talk about God in our household. In fact I never even had to consider myself an atheist until recently because I was never faced with religion. That also meant I never had to learn about religion or learn about what it's about. I never went to church and I never really read the bible, think i've only opened it once and read like the first 5 words. I feel kind of left out. Not left out of religion but having a basic understanding of it. Even most atheist today have a basic understanding of some religion but not me. Living in a very religious country (US) I feel foreign. Like living in France and not knowing French. Am I better off lacking basic knowledge of religion or would it have been better for me to have been exposed to some religion in my early years to have a better understanding today?

The answer depends on how you want to frame the question.

In my view (a view of potential weapons), we who have had little to no experience in religion as youngsters are at a little disadvantage to those who were at the least attempted indoctrination victims: after all, on a tactical level, they have more weapons that we do which can be brought to bear on their former theist compatriots due to their experiences.
On the plus side, we never had anything even remotely close to hell-fire stuck to our grey matter and we generally lack nostalgia or good-will to former sects so I (in my infinite bias) like to think we would be a tad more objective and 'bigger picture' about the entirety of religion.

Additionally, we can easily make up for our lack of experience with simple, raw knowledge gained through study and observation.

There is no real better or worse in this instance, mind; what you do with your circumstance is what matters.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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