In regards to former Atheist.
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27-04-2015, 06:01 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(25-04-2015 12:44 PM)Commonsensei Wrote:  I've have had a few discussion with people that say they used to be Atheists. Most of the time I find this hard to believe. The more I talk with them I feel that either they just don’t know what Atheist means. Or that they are simply say this because they want to make you think “Oh if he found god maybe he knows something I don’t. I should go back to believing.”

Has anyone had these feelings?
Has anyone ran into similar situations?

Or is there any Theists that are just that. A person that was a former Atheist. Maybe you could elaborate?

Here's the analogy.

A "non drug user". Individuals in this category can have a completely different concept or understanding of drugs and its affects. So you can have two main groups.
1. A person that has never done drugs. They might not know much about it, or care about it. They might not be around it. They might not be educated about it
2. A person that has done drugs in the past. They have been addicted to it, they understand what it does to the person. Or even if they have not tried it, they understand the negative effects it has.

This is the same with atheists. It's the same type of category.
1. A person that does not understand religion, or has nothing to say about it. They might not be around theists, they might have not studied it, etc...
2. A person that is informed about religion or theism. They have been part of it, or are close to someone that is in it. They learn about it. They see what it does, and why people are attracted to it, etc...

You almost never go from group two to theism. It's typically group one to theism. The only way I think a group two person goes to theism is for emotional reasons. They simply just want that to be true. It's very comforting to some, and it can be addictive. Almost the same as when past users relapse and start using drugs again.
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27-04-2015, 06:44 AM (This post was last modified: 27-04-2015 06:49 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(26-04-2015 03:17 PM)Dom Wrote:  Are you sure that religion didn't just take a backseat for a while? Or were you walking around shaking your head about what believers said?

No, I didn't really get religion as a child, so it was fairly easy not to believe in it. It never really made sense, and life just seemed to operate too recklessly to believe in a benevolent God. To me religion was just a sort of comfort blanket for those trying to get be.

I did lack the sort of animosity towards religion, like many atheists here do. I didn't think disbelief was a solution for anything, or religion was the cause for much of the world's problem. In a world absent of any rhyme or reason, religion seemed to be a needed way for some to cope with it. And no, I didn't shake my head at believers, or walk around all smug about not believing what they did. I didn't need a particular ego boost, nor some abstract concept to despise either.
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27-04-2015, 07:16 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(26-04-2015 02:26 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(25-04-2015 12:44 PM)Commonsensei Wrote:  I've have had a few discussion with people that say they used to be Atheists. Most of the time I find this hard to believe. The more I talk with them I feel that either they just don’t know what Atheist means. Or that they are simply say this because they want to make you think “Oh if he found god maybe he knows something I don’t. I should go back to believing.”

Has anyone had these feelings?

Has anyone ran into similar situations?

Or is there any Theists that are just that. A person that was a former Atheist. Maybe you could elaborate?

Isn't atheism just a lack of belief in God? If so, sure I'd say that I was an atheists for sometime in my early 20s.

Athiesm is a lack of belief in god(s). But what most religious people don't realize is that a lot of atheists who grew up with a religious background didn't just wake up one day and say "hmm, I think I will be an atheist today." For a lot of atheists, it was a long, slow, painful process. It wasn't something just taken lightly. It took research. It took education. It took reading... A LOT of reading. Connecting with others. Watching documentaries. ACTUALLY reading the Bible. Thinking for ourselves. Lots of soul searching (for lack of a better word). And even after all of that, telling family and friends who love God that you no longer believe what they believe was also an extremely hard thing to do (at least it was for me).

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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27-04-2015, 07:41 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 06:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-04-2015 03:17 PM)Dom Wrote:  Are you sure that religion didn't just take a backseat for a while? Or were you walking around shaking your head about what believers said?

And no, I didn't shake my head at believers, or walk around all smug about not believing what they did. I didn't need a particular ego boost, nor some abstract concept to despise either.

Who said anything about smug or despising something?

When I shake my head about it is because I just cannot understand how anyone can believe all that stuff. I suppose it happens mostly when encountering fundies whose entire learning has been controlled by their religion, and it makes me wonder how far evolved we really are... generation after generation re-telling ancient tall tales to our children... that's evolution gone awry. I suppose it made lots of sense when people were teaching their kids about poisonous plants and dangerous animals etc. - passing down knowledge necessary for survival. It has become unnecessary to pass on such info, what we need for survival changes rapidly now and children should instead be taught to keep up with current research to stay healthy.

I find it a bit offensive that you would choose to perceive my remark as hostile or smug or despising someone.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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27-04-2015, 08:06 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(25-04-2015 12:44 PM)Commonsensei Wrote:  I've have had a few discussion with people that say they used to be Atheists. Most of the time I find this hard to believe. The more I talk with them I feel that either they just don’t know what Atheist means. Or that they are simply say this because they want to make you think “Oh if he found god maybe he knows something I don’t. I should go back to believing.”

Has anyone had these feelings?

Has anyone ran into similar situations?

Or is there any Theists that are just that. A person that was a former Atheist. Maybe you could elaborate?

I think Christians feel that it legitimizes their beliefs if they say they used to be a heathen or pagan or atheist before they were "born again" but the problem is, I suspect, that they define any time in their life before they were "born again" only after they were "born again."

What I mean is that they look back to who they interpret they were before this event, and then apply a label to it that they never would have applied to themselves at the time. So, a person who becomes a "born again Christian" after being raised in a household that wasn't particularly religious, interprets that as them being atheist and then converting. Which is complete bullshit. That would be an example of someone who was not particularly religious, or didn't identify with a specific religion, changing and now identifying with a religion.

non-religious =/= atheist

Plenty of those in the "nones" category would still call themselves spiritual or use the phrase "spiritual but not religious" or some other such drivel.


tl;dr: They only identify as atheist when they think it is convenient for them to gain some sort of credibility.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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27-04-2015, 08:21 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 07:41 AM)Dom Wrote:  I find it a bit offensive that you would choose to perceive my remark as hostile or smug or despising someone.

I apologize. I don't know you well enough to say anything exclusively regarding you. It was more or less a general response.
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27-04-2015, 08:25 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
I'd guess that many were more in the "apatheist" category where they just didn't think much about it either way. They lived their daily lives without any thoughts of god and would now consider that being an atheist.

On the other hand, it is all too easy to fall into the "no true atheist" fallacy. If they say they were atheists then fine. The main question is what evidence convinced them to become theists and why should that convince me. If they can't produce the evidence then I remain an atheist. What they used to be doesn't matter and if they are using it as an emotional lever to try to get me to listen then it failed.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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27-04-2015, 08:26 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 07:16 AM)jennybee Wrote:  Athiesm is a lack of belief in god(s). But what most religious people don't realize is that a lot of atheists who grew up with a religious background didn't just wake up one day and say "hmm, I think I will be an atheist today." For a lot of atheists, it was a long, slow, painful process..... And even after all of that, telling family and friends who love God that you no longer believe what they believe was also an extremely hard thing to do (at least it was for me).

I understand that, that many atheists went through a painful loss of faith period. I didn't have any of that. It was a fairly seamless transition, like no longer believing in Santa. Nor did I lose, or enter into conflict with any of my family or friends, who for the most part new I didn't believe, and just left it at that.
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27-04-2015, 08:31 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(27-04-2015 08:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-04-2015 07:41 AM)Dom Wrote:  I find it a bit offensive that you would choose to perceive my remark as hostile or smug or despising someone.

I apologize. I don't know you well enough to say anything exclusively regarding you. It was more or less a general response.

Because atheists in general are the above? Still offensive. You really need to look at people in general as individuals. Religious or not, we are all different.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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27-04-2015, 08:42 AM
RE: In regards to former Atheist.
(26-04-2015 05:33 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(26-04-2015 03:23 PM)jockmcdock Wrote:  Sorry, Tomasia. I stuffed it up. No excuses. i stuffed it. My sincere apologies.

Thanks for pointing it out, GM.

Don't apologize to it. It feeds off weakness.

Nah, if I fuck up, I own up to it.
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