How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
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01-11-2013, 03:10 AM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(30-10-2013 08:41 AM)guitarist Wrote:  (Or any other religion). I just don't know why. My mom was a Taoist who converted to Christianity around her late teens. Her sisters went invited her to church and so on. But just why? I don't get it. They're not impressionable like kids or anything. Not to offend those who were in this situation. Anyone can give me some insight?

The reasons would be almost as varied as the people. All of the reasons supplied thus far and probably a whole lot more.

Some people do actually experience either some improbable event or some subjective experience that they attribute to a God and they subsequently convert.
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01-11-2013, 08:40 AM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(30-10-2013 09:49 AM)guitarist Wrote:  
(30-10-2013 09:27 AM)RaisdCath Wrote:  As my screen name says, I was raised roman catholic.....

My ideas/surmizes.....
1. all folks are impressionable; some more openly than others.
2. the roman catholics have the whole enchilada. A very long and rich (in both the sense of diatetic and monetary) history. They have all the rules and regulations. They have the mysteries (kind of like a whole passel of great ghost stories); they have the sites, sounds, and scents; they have the cerimonies and outfits; they even have the media (think of all the xmas, easter, and epic movies); they have community and large numbers of members; they have "signs" (sign of the cross among others), in short...they have the real, actual, and to be felt "gravitas".
3. That sort of stuff adds up to a powerful complete package that is difficult to resist when you don't have anything existing to refute it.

Question: did your mom hang out with other Taoists on a regular basis? I've noticed that most free thinkers don't really socialize. I'm not sure about Taoists, but I'll guess it's the same.
Even on this site, most of the posting is done by a few. And much like other sites, the posts become personal battles and invectives as opposed to rational discussions.

Just my thoughts.....

... She went to a fundie church instead of catholic though, the same one I ended up going for the first 14 years of my lie before becoming an atheist. The church could only claim humble beginnings and being true to the bible and what not. The way I see it, Catholicism was people controlling others with bullshit and Protestantism were Catholics who took the holy text too far and believed in the bullshit too much. Am I right?

"Catholicism was people controlling others with bullshit...."
Well, certainly the catholic faith was people controlling others with, as you so delicately put it, "bullshit". Most christian sects have leaders, and those leaders attempt to control those who follow (ain't it wonderful how the doctrine of hell can be used to control followers?). The catholics put forth the dogma that the pope, when speaking (or writing) "excathedra" (about religion) cannot make a mistake. Further, they use an alleged statement from jesus to the effect that the pope can make laws all on his own (Mathew 16: 18-20). If that ain't power, I don't know what is!

"...Protestantism were Catholics who took the holy text too far and believed in the bullshit too much."

Well, yes, Protestants were catholics first. Martin Luther was a German catholic monk who was educated and could read latin. Remember: at that time, there was no printing. All books (including the bible - in all its many versions) were done by hand...by scribes....mostly monks...and in latin....which 98% of the people could not read and had to depend on priests to read it to them.
Luther was pissed at the pope because the pope was robbing the German people by selling "indulgences" (you give money to the pope, he give you a piece of paper letting you know that your time in purgatory had been lessened, or that your loved one, who'd just died, was let out of purgatory and was now in heaven). Luther also said that folks ought to be able to read and interpret the bible in their common language thereby doing away with the need for a priest to read it to them. Talk about an attempted userpation of power! So Luther got into a pissin' contest with the pope, was eventually excommunicated by said pope (a very VERY big deal at that time), and began what eventually came to be called "Lutheranism"; other "Protest"ant sects spread out from there.

Sorry to go on so much....but there's a lot of history in back of the catholics, protestants, and jews....lots!

It kind of comes down to this: if there was no creation as the bible has it, then there was no adam and eve. No adam and eve means no "original sin". No original sin means no requirement for any kind of savior. No savior means no jesus, no crucifixtion, no resurrection. And with none of these.....no basis for catholocism, protestantism, islamism. The only "faith" that would remain standing would be the Jews. But take away god....and there's no basis for Judaism either.

Fancy that, huh?

"People don't go to heaven when they die; they're taken to a special room and burned!" Evil_monster
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01-11-2013, 10:02 AM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(01-11-2013 01:02 AM)sporehux Wrote:  Some people cant reconcile guilt and regrets in life.
Jesus forgives them when they are unable to cope.

Haha your dp makes you seem suspicious...

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01-11-2013, 10:21 AM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(01-11-2013 01:17 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  Overly and/or hyper-active limbic systems. The Limbic system is believed to be responsible for emotions: formation, regulation, emotional memory etc.
Religion in general plays on emotions rather than reason (as I am sure we have all surmised individually). To my knowledge, few religious groups can do this as well as the faiths under the Christianity umbrella, which seems to specialise in the religious world as a supportive religion; helping the downtrodden and unstable by forming tightly-bound surrogate 'families', communities, charities and so on. (as opposed to the domineering of Islam and strict Judaism)

Now that I think about it, christianity is the only 'supportive' religion (that I know of). It has become clearer to me that she has not really 'found the truth' as she states, but has found a more comforting substitute of the truth. I too, somewhat miss the 'family' feeling of the church, even though I was not really involved.

Quote:It seems perfectly reasonable to me to assume that people who convert to religions from non-religions may be falling victim to their Limbic system acting up in response to the emotional stimuli which is generally engineered by the Church to attract new and hold old converts

Interesting... Is the limbic system prone to acting up?

Quote:(and thus rake in more monies)

I remember before the cash collection, the worship leaders would say something like
'do not tithe if you are not a born-again baptized believer and do not understand the meaning'. I don't know, taking the bullshit too seriously or a ploy to get more money and make converts feel special?

Quote:Of course, I cannot really test this hypothesis

...MRIs or something on volunteers?

Thanks for summarizing the limbic system, too many complicated terms on wikipedia to understand it. Love your hypothesis, got me thinking.

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01-11-2013, 12:07 PM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
Depends on the situation. Some people fall on hard times and use religion as a crutch to cope, others use it as support for overcoming an addiction (more the social aspect than the religious doctrines), and others don't understand the world and want to have a solid "answer" and turn to religion because it confidently proclaims an answer. The fact that the answer is wrong escapes them because they don't have the critical thinking skills (or desire to use them) needed to discern truth from fiction.

To be completely honest, there are a lot of things I miss about being a Christian, one of which was the weekly opportunity for large social gatherings. I don't have that as an atheist, aside from attending a UU church (which accepts everyone, but I have a hard time being around people that believe in ridiculous things, which is also common there). I wouldn't ever reconvert because of it, but there's still a draw. Then I remember about how a lot of the conversations are steeped in ridiculous nonsense and realize that I really just want an opportunity to gather with like-minded people. That doesn't exist with atheism (herding cats) though. Yes, I've tried MeetUp groups, but they're still 10-20 people and sometimes very awkward. I got creeped out by one guy that started sending me messages about being a sperm donor so lesbians could have kids after meeting him at a MeetUp group NoBlink.
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01-11-2013, 01:02 PM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(01-11-2013 08:40 AM)RaisdCath Wrote:  
(30-10-2013 09:49 AM)guitarist Wrote:  ... She went to a fundie church instead of catholic though, the same one I ended up going for the first 14 years of my lie before becoming an atheist. The church could only claim humble beginnings and being true to the bible and what not. The way I see it, Catholicism was people controlling others with bullshit and Protestantism were Catholics who took the holy text too far and believed in the bullshit too much. Am I right?

"Catholicism was people controlling others with bullshit...."
Well, certainly the catholic faith was people controlling others with, as you so delicately put it, "bullshit". Most christian sects have leaders, and those leaders attempt to control those who follow (ain't it wonderful how the doctrine of hell can be used to control followers?). The catholics put forth the dogma that the pope, when speaking (or writing) "excathedra" (about religion) cannot make a mistake. Further, they use an alleged statement from jesus to the effect that the pope can make laws all on his own (Mathew 16: 18-20). If that ain't power, I don't know what is!

"...Protestantism were Catholics who took the holy text too far and believed in the bullshit too much."

Well, yes, Protestants were catholics first. Martin Luther was a German catholic monk who was educated and could read latin. Remember: at that time, there was no printing. All books (including the bible - in all its many versions) were done by hand...by scribes....mostly monks...and in latin....which 98% of the people could not read and had to depend on priests to read it to them.

Note: The printing press existed in Germany (c. 1450) before Luther was even born (1483). The Gutenberg Bible was printed c. 1454.

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01-11-2013, 03:44 PM (This post was last modified: 01-11-2013 03:49 PM by Free Thought.)
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(01-11-2013 10:21 AM)guitarist Wrote:  Interesting... Is the limbic system prone to acting up?

Everything else in the human body can 'act up' as it were; random pains, muscle spasms etc. and none-existent Lord knows the brain is simultaneously the best operating and the most prone to failure piece of equipment humans have, every other neurological system can be overly active or unusually inert (thus 'act up') at random times, so the emotional system is probably prone to the same failure potential.

(01-11-2013 10:21 AM)guitarist Wrote:  ...MRIs or something on volunteers?

Thanks for summarizing the limbic system, too many complicated terms on wikipedia to understand it. Love your hypothesis, got me thinking.

MRIs might work, but it'd probably be difficult to gauge stimuli responses past normal (for me at least).

Thanks for the response, I appreciate it.

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01-11-2013, 06:45 PM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(30-10-2013 10:36 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(30-10-2013 08:41 AM)guitarist Wrote:  (Or any other religion). I just don't know why. My mom was a Taoist who converted to Christianity around her late teens. Her sisters went invited her to church and so on. But just why? I don't get it. They're not impressionable like kids or anything. Not to offend those who were in this situation. Anyone can give me some insight?
Good question. My mother grew up without religion and then became Catholic as an adult. This happened long before she was married so that wasn't the reason. My best guess is it's similar to how people get sucked into cults. They are emotionally needy for whatever reason and religion fills the need.

In the case of my former sibling (and I quote verbatim), "I've never met so many single women!"

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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02-11-2013, 08:35 AM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(01-11-2013 06:45 PM)Thinkerbelle Wrote:  
(30-10-2013 10:36 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Good question. My mother grew up without religion and then became Catholic as an adult. This happened long before she was married so that wasn't the reason. My best guess is it's similar to how people get sucked into cults. They are emotionally needy for whatever reason and religion fills the need.

In the case of my former sibling (and I quote verbatim), "I've never met so many single women!"

"former sibling"? Huh

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-11-2013, 08:40 AM
RE: How and why do non believing grown ups convert to Christianity?
(02-11-2013 08:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(01-11-2013 06:45 PM)Thinkerbelle Wrote:  In the case of my former sibling (and I quote verbatim), "I've never met so many single women!"

"former sibling"? Huh

I have former siblings. It comes from a cycle of divorce and remarriage. My dad's on his third wife. I'm betting there will be a fourth in about two-four years.
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