How has this forum changed you?
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21-11-2012, 06:02 PM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
I don't feel like this forum changed me during this year but I found new friends which is something I have great problems with. I am very happy about that!

Basically this forum brought me back to myself. I was always a person that considered every opinion and I reflected a lot. I reconsidered and changed my opinions based on information. I lost that for a while and I think that this forum kinda brought me back to that. Which is good.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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21-11-2012, 06:22 PM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
Since I've been here, I've met some great people whom I'd like to have a
beer with. I've relaxed considerably in regards to religion. My
critical thinking has definitely improved, though most of my posts are
still on the not-so-serious threads. That's just how I roll...

Lots more to add, but right now I need to take a nap.

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21-11-2012, 09:35 PM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
I'll be honest. Mixed feelings.

Before anyone freaks out and thinks that's bad. I'll explain why.

When I first started dabbling on the internet about my struggle with my faith at the time, I found a lot of different forums. Each forum I went to was either overrun with immature teenagers who just spent 24/7 insulting anyone who came onto the forums that was of any diferent belief, or idea, or lack of whatever. I had an insanely hard time finding like minded people.

And though I technically was an atheist at the time, I had not really found any other people to talk to about it. So I felt rather wandered off, off in my own little world so to speak.

I actually spent a lot of my time on my own listening to Hitchens debates, reading his books and reading up on Dawkins. This was the phase I went through that I call "the nail in the coffin phase" where I was relearning everything I missed out on as a kid. Evolution, physics and the things I enjoyed as a teenager and a kid, but was told they were bad and horrible things. It was time to relearn them.

During this time, I actually got into contact with my old biology teacher. Odd as it sounds, I apologized to him about my thick headedness and asked him if he could point me in the direction of evolution and where to learn more about it. He gave me resources online, pointed me to books and EVEN some of the lessons he taught his students. I picked up quite quickly and relearned things. It was in that time frame that I had pretty much dropped my beliefs altogether. Nothing really coincided with the book, at least, not unless I wanted to cherry pick and find ways to "make" things fit. I sat down and reread "the good book" one last time to try and figure out if there was any way I could skeptically and honestly read it without having to make shit fit and I couldn't. That was it for me.

It was about this time I started watching "The Atheist Experience" over time and watching their show. I felt pretty drawn to it because Dillahunty had so many awesome things to say and didn't take any shit for it. It helped me solidify and be comfortable with the fact that I had accepted that I was definitely an atheist.

One day after watching some of The Atheist Experience, I came across a video podcast from The Thinking Atheist. I googled it, insanely curious because Seth had a voice that was friendly, understanding and he talked about all the shit I had gone through and that I assumed so many others have and are as well. I found the forums.

When I got here though, I had already been on so many other forums. It was because of those forums I found the debates and the talks from the atheist experience and ultimately TTA in the first place. But the forums I found them on didn't exactly excite me, they were too "in your face" - too abrupt. Realistically, life isn't like that all the time. But when I got on here and actually engaged in conversation I learned very quickly that so many of us see things on a very different scale. Some see morality different. Some see politics different. Some want different governmental factions. Some hold ideas very different to mine, and others different to theirs.

It is how I learned very quickly that just because someone is an atheist, it doesn't make them necessarily like minded. It is how I adopted my attitude of "the only thing we agree on is necessarily a stance on a lack of belief in a god." and while it is very likely that because of our common ground of this there are things we will statistically agree upon, it isn't certain. At first, I was disappointed, but I've come to realize that it is very beautiful that so many people have so many different ideas. Because instead of being tossed into a basket or a bunch like I felt when I was religious, there is no one telling me what to think. There is no one speaking from a point of authority saying, "Hey, god wouldn't want this or that. So you should do this if you're a good person." and of course everyone who sees that person as a point of authority carries that, thinking it's the right thing to do.

So I realized it really does carry with it the tag "Free Thinker" for a reason. It's brought with it my ability to appreciate different ideas more. I'm far more skeptical, but I'm open minded and willing to entertain ideas, hear things out, try things on. So long as I remain realistic, rational and logical on it. I find there are people who say things SO far out there I say nothing in response because even though they say "I'm a free thinker" they're bull headed. There are others who I feel are great free thinkers, people I even look up to on these forums. People who do their homework before responding. There are all flavors of free thinkers on here. No one idea is the perfect or best idea.

So thanks to everyone in this great community. Don't stop being you.
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22-11-2012, 12:43 AM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
How has it changed me?

I am much more depressed.

I look back at post #31 on this thread and it's one of the early ones I posted when I was just starting to get used to the whole forumy-thing.

I see a post there that could have been written by someone else. I hardly recognise it.

I was obviously attempting to be witty, articulate and original.

Now all I can muster are short, snarky one-liners.

I blame Erx and Chas!

You have ruined me.

Sad

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22-11-2012, 12:44 AM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
(22-11-2012 12:43 AM)DLJ Wrote:  How has it changed me?

I am much more depressed.

I look back at post #31 on this thread and it's one of the early ones I posted when I was just starting to get used to the whole forumy-thing.

I see a post there that could have been written by someone else. I hardly recognise it.

I was obviously attempting to be witty, articulate and original.

Now all I can muster are short, snarky one-liners.

I blame Erx and Chas!

You have ruined me.

Sad
I still like your posts Smile
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22-11-2012, 12:49 AM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
(22-11-2012 12:44 AM)Logisch Wrote:  
(22-11-2012 12:43 AM)DLJ Wrote:  How has it changed me?

I am much more depressed.

I look back at post #31 on this thread and it's one of the early ones I posted when I was just starting to get used to the whole forumy-thing.

I see a post there that could have been written by someone else. I hardly recognise it.

I was obviously attempting to be witty, articulate and original.

Now all I can muster are short, snarky one-liners.

I blame Erx and Chas!

You have ruined me.

Sad
I still like your posts Smile

Cheers dude. Now I'm slightly less depressed.

Your journey (described above) was very similar to mine insofar as the resources you discovered and the sequence of discovery. Perhaps our start point was not the same but we both ended up here.

Happy to have met you.

Thumbsup

(it's still Chas and Erx who I blame)

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22-11-2012, 12:52 AM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
(22-11-2012 12:49 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Happy to have met you.

Thumbsup

(it's still Chas and Erx who I blame)

Awwww forum manhug! (nohomo)
Hug

But in all seriousness, you too. I greatly enjoy your posts, Erx and Chas. Some of my favorite posters on here. Bearded guy too!
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22-11-2012, 12:57 AM
RE: How has this forum changed you?
(22-11-2012 12:49 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(22-11-2012 12:44 AM)Logisch Wrote:  I still like your posts Smile

Cheers dude. Now I'm slightly less depressed.

Your journey (described above) was very similar to mine insofar as the resources you discovered and the sequence of discovery. Perhaps our start point was not the same but we both ended up here.

Happy to have met you.

Thumbsup

(it's still Chas and Erx who I blame)
Damn, Erx, he's on to us. I think it was the 'Uranus' posts. Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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