I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
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27-11-2013, 06:35 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
Let us help push you over the edge here. If you know what DNA is then you have no choice but to reject the virgin birth story. If you know what rigor mortis is then you have to reject the death story.

There is nothing scary about being an atheist other than some of the reactions people give you when they find out. But you will not be smote or smite or smitten and atheists don't barbecue kittens. If you know you won't be struck by lightening caused by Thor, and you can accept that Poseidon doesn't cause hurricanes, then it should be easy to reject the god you were sold as easily as any other god claim you currently and rightfully reject.

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27-11-2013, 06:37 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
(27-11-2013 06:35 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  ...atheists don't barbecue kittens.

Says you. Dodgy





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27-11-2013, 06:45 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
(27-11-2013 06:37 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(27-11-2013 06:35 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  ...atheists don't barbecue kittens.

Says you. Dodgy





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Shut up, we cant let our secret out, Ray Comfort is watching us masturbate.

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27-11-2013, 06:50 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
(27-11-2013 06:45 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  
(27-11-2013 06:37 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Says you. Dodgy





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Shut up, we cant let our secret out, Ray Comfort is watching us masturbate.

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27-11-2013, 07:05 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
I am going to echo several other poster's thoughts.

(27-11-2013 02:52 AM)erick Wrote:  I have come to the conclusion that evolution is real and this contradicts the bible. I'm not sure if i believe what it says in the bible but i do believe in evolution. I'm not sure if this makes me an atheist or not.

As Dark_Light said, atheism is not believing in any gods. You can still technically be Christian and believe in evolution and support gay marriage. My wife is this type of Christian. That being said, if you do choose to remain Christian, make sure you question your beliefs. If something doesn't make sense, ask why. It is very good that you went out of your way to look for dissenting points of view. This level of open-mindedness is only a good thing and will hopefully lead you to reaching conclusions that you are comfortable with and did not have forced upon you.

Also, welcome to the forums! Big Grin
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27-11-2013, 09:35 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
(27-11-2013 02:52 AM)erick Wrote:  ... I also only watch lesbian and solo porn....

I applaud your taste in porn, sir. You can't be all that bad.

...
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27-11-2013, 10:03 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
(27-11-2013 02:52 AM)erick Wrote:  I'm not sure if i believe what it says in the bible but i do believe in evolution. I'm not sure if this makes me an atheist or not.

I know this isn't a question but i would appreciate any feedback or thoughts. Thanks.

Eric,
As the others said, welcome to the forum! I applaud your honesty and courage. The surest way to find out if you want to remain a Christian or not is to read the entire Bible and then ask yourself the question.

Out of curisioty, what denomination did you grow up in? It's OK if you don't want to reply.

Doc
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27-11-2013, 10:31 AM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2013 10:38 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
(27-11-2013 02:52 AM)erick Wrote:  So this might be a weird question on an atheist forum since i don't consider myself an atheist, but i would appreciate some feedback as i always get biased answers from other christians. It is a long story but i think it is important to describe how i got to my current mindset.

I have grown up in a very strict christian family and only had other christian friends growing up. I was home schooled so i didn't have much interaction with other non-christians, so i guess you could say i was very sheltered. Anyway i recently started university this year and it was my first time living away from my parents, and i could make my own decisions. I met new christian friends but obviously most of the people i met were non-christian. At first i judged most of these people for how they lived their lives, like how they would get drunk and have sex etc. But when i got to know them i realized that a lot of them were really nice people and i consider some of them my closest friends.

One big issue that arose while i was at university was that issue of gay marriage. I always believed that homosexuality was wrong and i opposed gay marriage. I had discussions about this with some of my friends but i always stuck to my beliefs and never really listened.
I have watched porn for quite a while and although i know it is a sin, i continued to do it anyway. All my christian friends (the guys) watched porn aswell so i didn't feel like i was doing anything wrong and it was just normal. I also only watch lesbian and solo porn. I never really thought of it as hypocritical until i realized that i deny 2 women the right to get married but then i go home and get off to 2 women having sex. I was feeling guilty about this so one day i actually listened to one of my friends and he explained that just because i don't agree with gay marriage that doesn't mean i have the right to push my views onto other people. I realized that it was wrong of me to oppose gay marriage.

This lead me to question my own beliefs. I realized that my trust and belief has been in the church and my family/friands because that is how i have grown up and all ive ever known. It has been more of a lifestyle for me than an actual faith. My friends at university have also explained to me about evolution (something i had very little understanding of before) and i even started researching about it myself. I have come to the conclusion that evolution is real and this contradicts the bible. I'm not sure if i believe what it says in the bible but i do believe in evolution. I'm not sure if this makes me an atheist or not.

I know this isn't a question but i would appreciate any feedback or thoughts. Thanks.

There are several definitions of the word "atheist" floating around out there. What you're doing qualifies you, at most, for the definition of "ungodly" used mostly by Christians to describe people they disapprove of and almost never used by atheists when they describe themselves. (And many Christians wouldn't use that definition for you either.) As so many others here are saying, all other definitions of atheism are entirely about whether or not you believe in the existence of zero or more gods. (At least, it is when we don't let the more extremely religious make the term mean whatever they want it to mean, and really, we shouldn't. If we do, then atheism is apparently synonymous with communism and Naziism. And yes, that IS ludicrous.) Atheism is about whether or not you believe that particular factual claim is true or false, not about whether you believe other factual claims (such as those of evolutionary theory) are true or false, or what your lifestyle might be. You haven't said anything about whether you believe some sort of god exists, so we can't tell you if you're an atheist.

There are also a whole host of definitions of what it means to be a Christian out there. Typical definitions are about believing that the god and the stories of the Bible are true to some degree (especially Christ's resurrection), and committing yourself to those two figures in some manner, often with certain rituals and/or membership in certain churches. Most loosely, it means you can kinda believe that Jesus was a respectable figure who offered some good advice that you should follow, even if you don't believe the story or the god are true. (Hey, people can derive codes of conduct from a story, even if they think that story is false. Just look at Aesop's fables.) Most narrowly, it means being a member of Westboro Baptist Church. (Because according to them, they are the only true Christians out there. Also, anyone who dies was never a Christian to begin with? I think? I try not to stare at the crazy for too long.)

So, yeah. Stay away from labels for a bit. Figure out what you believe and don't believe, what you do and don't do first. That's the important thing to do. Only then get into the navel-gazing of what to identify as.

All that said, if you're not an atheist now, you're on the road to becoming one. You're asking questions. You're abandoning blind faith and holding up the Bible to critical scrutiny, and discovering just how short it falls. You're realizing that some of the things your faith demands of you, as part of its code of morality, are wicked rather than good. I've spent my entire life as an atheist so I can't attest from personal experience, but one or more of those ingredients are at the root of almost every deconversion story I've ever heard. I understand it can be a rocky road, but the stories that have been shared with me are overwhelmingly positive in their endings.

Some recommendations:

First, reconsider what you see as sin. Make your primary question, "does this harm anyone, myself included?" If the answer is no, lose any guilt, self-loathing, and neurosis over the activity. Does watching porn harm anyone? If all people involved are consenting adults who know it's going to be published? Likely not. (Granted, there's some considerable, if highly debatable, arguments about how it affects our views of gender roles and body types that might be worth a ponder.) Same question for your other sexual activities, including any masturbation. Same question, for being accepting of gay marriage. Same question, for whether Christian kids should be allowed to bully kids who are (perceived to be) gay. Same question, for being friends with atheists. Same question, for contraceptives. Same question, for donations to this or that cause. Same question, separation of church and state versus inserting religion into the governmental process. The model of sin is often psychologically harmful to those who hold it, and often to those they interact with. "Does it cause harm?" is simplistic, but a good thing to start with when replacing the laundry list of "thou shalt not"s.

Second, look at your own epistemology. This is the branch of philosophy that, instead of asking "What is true? What do we know?" instead asks "How can we tell what's true? How can we know that we know something?" Spend a few days asking how you came to believe what you believe. Is it what you were taught by your parents? Is it based on sound logic? Are there holes in the logic? Is it something you believe is true because it's a comforting thought? Is it based on evidence, and if so, is it a mass of solid evidence or a flimsy array of circumstantial evidence? How reliable is this method of knowing?

Third, if you are trying to figure out where you are on this road and where it might be leading, listen to a few deconversion stories. I can recommend those of Evid3nc3 and Prplfox, both on YouTube. Approach atheists to find out what they think about this or that topic. This forum's a good place for that (though be mindful that there are Christians here as well, some nice, some nasty). See if your college has a Secular Student Alliance, and approach them as well. (To be welcomed, make it clear that you're asking questions rather than peddling answers. Extended harassment has made most of us weary of proselytizers.)

Fourth, you're in college, and that's a GREAT place to be for finding stuff out. Sign up for some relevant coursework as an elective. Good choices are a course in introductory logic, or introductory ethics, or general science, if you haven't taken any of these already. MAYBE a course on religion, but be sure you get a professor who is willing to cover the topic neutrally. I'd also point you towards Ingersol's "Mistakes of Moses" and Paine's "Age of Reason", both available as public domain audiobooks on YouTube. (Bear in mind that Paine was a Deist, which is only an atheist under one of the broadest definitions of atheism.)

And fifth, consider whether you should or shouldn't talk about your thoughts and realizations with your family. There's four big factors to be considered here. First, how are they likely to react? Will they still be accepting and loving, understand your questions and provide you with their answers for them? Will they try to redeem you by ratchetting up the pressure non-stop so that the question of your belief dominates your entire relationship with them? Will they kick you out of the family in three seconds flat? We don't know them. You're the only one in a position to gauge this. Second, related to the first, how dependent are you on them? Third, will they leave you free to continue your explorations, or will they impede them by forcing this or that or some other argument on you every ten minutes? And fourth, eventually, "living a lie" becomes psychologically damaging as well, for most people who do it. Atheists talk about being "closeted" or "out" the same way that gay people talk about it, and for the same reasons: Fear of persecution from friends, family, and community, versus the desire to be open in who they are.

In any case, welcome to the forum!

TL;DR: You're not an atheist yet, semantics, telling you to avoid semantics, talking 'bout deconversion, lots of advice, welcome!
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27-11-2013, 10:54 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
You've already gotten tons of excellent feedback (aren't these folks the best ?), so I won't add anything. I just wanted to say welcome, and I really hope to see you around. I think you'd be a great addition here. I mean look at you, only one post and you've got a rep point already! Thumbsup
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27-11-2013, 11:12 AM
RE: I don't know if i want to be a christian anymore?
(27-11-2013 02:52 AM)erick Wrote:  I know this isn't a question but i would appreciate any feedback or thoughts. Thanks.

Hi Erick. You seem like a fairly thoughtful guy so, maybe it's a good idea that you've turned up here. There are a lot of interesting conversations that go on here so, don't be hesitant about jumping in. If you find yourself turned around in circles from whence you came then, chances are you've learned something about yourself. I would count that as a good thing.

Give yourself time; identity is a continually growing part of the self and it only reaches a stopping place when you die. Yea, bummer - but if you realize this early on, you can have a wonderful and fully enriching life.

As for "what you are" ... I can't tell you... that would be your job. I can tell you: you are questioning and you are curious which are definite signs that you are... human.

Welcome to the forum. Smile



ps. ignore those few who may wish to eat you - they're odd that way.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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