I'm surprised by the de-converted
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09-06-2013, 08:37 PM
I'm surprised by the de-converted
I have known nothing else but atheism my entire live. I've only been in two churches in my life. Really! In reading through this forum and others like it, I'm struck by the amount of guilt, anger and internal turmoil most of you have gone through and still suffer from. It's really quite stunning to me as it's something I've never experienced. Reading through some of the posts, though enlightening, is hard for me to relate to. It's as if most of you lived in a different country then defected and came out speaking a different language.

This isn't much of a topic for a thread, it's more of an observation than anything else but I really wanted to express how sorry I am that so many of you had a two-ton anvil of religious guilt dropped on your head every day. I don't know how you all survived it..............maybe some of you haven't.

I'm so glad my parents let me think for myself.

Shakespeare Insult 13 – Henry IV Part 1
“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”
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09-06-2013, 08:49 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
Well, welcome to TTA!


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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09-06-2013, 09:23 PM (This post was last modified: 09-06-2013 09:28 PM by ridethespiral.)
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
I am hoping to give that gift to my kid...

The internal stuff gets better with time in some ways and in my case I wind up converting all the fear that they hard wired into me into anger targeted at the church. The guilt just needs to be ignored unless there is a damn good secular reason for it. The 'god shaped hole' is filled with actual knowledge of the stars and an awe of nature that feels a little like deism sometimes.

I also think we tend to be the guys crawling through the bible searching for contradictions and watching debates because even though I'm quite sure that god is a figment of the imagination reminding myself of that every once and a while with a good Dawkins book, or a podcast or whatever does the subconscious good, reminds me that I am the sane one, etc.

We also tend to be the people that wind up having to deal not only with the annoying pundit preachers and preacher quarter backs like everyone else but also our families who are generally still religious and if that family is somewhat large like mine you may find yourself going to church far more often than one would like (baptisms, communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals), you may find that every meal is proceeded by awkwardness ("..from thy bounty through christ our blah blah blah")....My family has even found a way to add an extra religious verse to 'Happy Birthday.'

Lastly it not even just the brainwashing, often it's really hard to escape, even once you have cut the mental chains you still have to navigate an interpersonal minefield for years. My parents where relentless on the issue, there was screaming and the pain of that process still lingers. I can only image what the Mormons and the Amish and those types have to go through.

PS. I would expect to see a correlation between Anti-Theism and having been indoctrinated at some point, does anyone have the data to confirm/deny?

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09-06-2013, 09:53 PM (This post was last modified: 09-06-2013 11:57 PM by kim.)
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(09-06-2013 08:37 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Reading through some of the posts, though enlightening, is hard for me to relate to.

Yep, my time here has been an eye opener as well. I'd seen a few extreme things on YouTube in past years but, just thought they might be flukes from the fringe element... out there. Since coming to this forum and visiting a couple of others, I've found such extreme experiences confirmed as common and quite mainstream in the US.

It is encouraging to know pockets of atheists are out there and the ranks of support are growing. Maybe rampant religious extremism will abate with atheist people becoming connected and coming more into the open. Thumbsup

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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09-06-2013, 09:59 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(09-06-2013 08:37 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  This isn't much of a topic for a thread~

It's a great topic for a thread. It's positive affirmation for people when others recognize their traumas and, it's just generally a kind thing to do.

Welcome to the forum!

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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09-06-2013, 10:01 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(09-06-2013 09:59 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(09-06-2013 08:37 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  This isn't much of a topic for a thread~

It's a great topic for a thread. It's positive affirmation for people when others recognize their traumas and, it's just generally a kind thing to do.

Welcome to the forum!

Agreed. Thanks dance! And welcome. Smile

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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09-06-2013, 10:18 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
(09-06-2013 09:23 PM)ridethespiral Wrote:  PS. I would expect to see a correlation between Anti-Theism and having been indoctrinated at some point, does anyone have the data to confirm/deny?

Very good query. Since I was never indoctrinated, this is in fact, why I personally have felt and have even stated - it's not my fight. I can certainly empathize but there's a lot of personal anger there that I will simply never really know.

Frankly, I think I came to this forum with the simple intent of seeing what all the fuss was about. Since being here, I've become a teeny bit more... aware, maybe. Aware that there is indeed, something worth fighting over. I don't know; maybe I'm getting there, too - activism, certainly - I don't know about anti-theism... yet.

I'd like to see how the data lines up on that, too. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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09-06-2013, 11:08 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
I agree, between the forum and the podcast I realize I'm kind of a spoiled atheist, in that I've never had to struggle with deconverting. I feel I've still going through all the mental examination of religion and physical research anyone who is deconverting has ever done, but not from the point of view of someone realizing their whole world view and belief system is flawed. And the social ramification of addressing that openly. I've done the same work studying religions and arguments for and against it, only from the point of view of trying to understand how anyone, let alone so many, could possibly believe such things. I've never had the weight of it on me.

The most I ever carry is when someone brings up belief in one form or another, and I have to question wither this is the time I want to get into it or not, but when it comes down to it it's not a feeling of guilt. It's usually more like, I just met you and maybe I want you to get to know me before you judge me, then we can get into it if you want, after you realize I'm a decent person. It's mainly been a hindrance at beginnings of relationships in which religious belief matters to them but not to me. It doesn't usually matter that I don't mind that they are believers, but usually my lack of belief will simple be the end of it for them right there. Makes dating difficult sometimes. I actually think I'll start a thread on that to explain what I mean better. I do wonder what people have to say about it, and I don't what to hijack this thread.

But Kim, I also feel that same way. There was never a purpose for me to be active about being atheist because I don't even feel like 'atheism' should even really be considered a thing. After all if it weren't for something else to compare not being that to, it wouldn't be a thing at all. The idea of being active about being atheist always seem counter to what I thought it meant. After all I don't announce to random people that teddy bears do not come to life in the middle of the night as we sleep, and go on secret adventures, returning before we wake. (I don't have a teddy bear, by the way. I'm an adult) But the more I see how theist taught is infecting America, the schools, science, politics, and other people's civil rights, the angrier I get. Plus I am now dealing with it very personally from one particular person in my life. This last point wouldn't be a big deal as most people I know are religious, but this person has such an extreme view, fundamentalist. For the first time I can see first hand what others must struggle with. It still doesn't effect me personally, from this person I mean other than being an annoyance, but it's like I feel I need to stop this person, and I struggle with balancing that. I'm not trying to proselytize, like I hate that they do. And I also feel that all these religious nuts need to be stopped as well, and even the moderates who just don't see the danger of the fundamentalist and allow them a pass. I don't feel a personal need to tell people teddy bears do not come to life at night, but 77% of American's don't belief that, and make serious social, personal, economic, moral, or environmental decisions based on such a belief that will impact the world and societies for centuries to come. But religious people do, and we may not survive them to still have people to even populate the earth centuries from now.

(Speaking of the danger fundamentalist, I recently found a great documentary on Netflix, "Waiting for Armageddon". Highly recommend)

Even having not come from a place of struggle with my atheism, or with theism I am feeling more and more driven every day to try to actually make a change, and not just hope people get smarter where it comes to religion.
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09-06-2013, 11:16 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
My son is a spoiled atheist. So is my husband his parents never cared much.

I had issues. My family has pretty much alienated me. Eh...it's ok tho.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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09-06-2013, 11:25 PM
RE: I'm surprised by the de-converted
Certainly in my case the obsession with why religion is a total fuck up is directly down to indoctrination as a kid. I've tried to let it go, but when the whole society where you live, you parents (not my brother, mercifully) and a large number of your friends (including ex-girlfriend) are highly religious... and not afraid to be in your face about it... you have to learn some defense.

Nowadays when someone says they'll pray for me or God be with you or anything like that (as a friend did recently)... I don't know... I usually walk away from any sort of confrontation (although I try to make it clear in a non-confrontational way that the sentiment is not appreciated), but I'm surprised at the levels of anger that I sometimes feel.

The basic content of the message I hear is "You're not competent to determine what's true or false yourself, so I'm going to tell you". It's insulting.
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