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17-01-2013, 10:55 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
I am a 19 year old male living in Missouri and currently attending Le Cordon Blue.

My favorite genre of music is instrumental. My favorite foods are tortilla soup, pineapple, oranges, chocolate, rice, and bacon. I am a RPG gamer and an anime nerd.
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17-01-2013, 11:24 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
Welcome DavidW, welcome NoSuicide.

Jump right in and have a good time.

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17-01-2013, 11:34 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(17-01-2013 11:24 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome DavidW, welcome NoSuicide.

Jump right in and have a good time.

I'm a big fan of no suicide yet. ... I'm also a big fan of suicide when.

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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18-01-2013, 12:10 AM
An Atheist's Testimony! Praise...nothing! ;)
Hi everyone! Smile I am a 39 year old former evangelical Christian who converted when I was 28. I moved from the east coast of Canada (where religion is more in the background) to Alberta, a province in Canada's Bible Belt. The pressures of being away from friends and family in a strange city resulted in an impulsive visit to an evangelical church (I went there to find a boyfriend...thankfully, that didn't happen). That one visit ate up the next 5 years of my life. I went from being a non-believer who dabbled in fortunetelling to being one of those annoying people who listen to sermon tapes nightly and who talked about Jesus to EVERYONE (whether they liked it or not). I listened to Christian talk radio, threw out all of my occult books and replaced them with (expensive) Christian books. I converted friends (most of them are, sadly, still Christians). After being told my infant baptism was invalid, I ended up getting baptized in a frigid Albertan lake. I thought I felt something spiritual at the time, but looking back, it was probably exposure. Wink

I met a few nice people, but met mostly crazy people when I explored the more charismatic denominations. Eventually I found myself in a Bible study with a group of self-proclaimed "prophets" who I recognized immediately as fortunetellers with a Jesus stamp of approval. When I brought this up (nicely) I was told I was uneducated in the ways of God and that I needed to just shut off my mind and believe.

I was introduced to a lot of other crazy beliefs, some I believed wholeheartedly, while there were other beliefs I had serious doubts about but TRIED to believe. I watched Kent Hovind's entire series on creationism, I studied Hal Lindsay's books on demonic oppression, and I tried - TRIED - to read the Left Behind series, but the writing was so appalling that even my faith couldn't force me to read past book 3.

I wasn't entirely sucked in - there were some things I knew were complete crap. I watched a bunch of guys from a charismatic church attempt to drive a demon out of a homeless man, and I remember thinking, "This is a farce and it's embarrassing." I saw a female preacher at a "tent meeting" who was scheduled for a speech who ended up "laughing in the spirit" the whole time she was on stage like she was drunk. I walked out, angry, because it exceeded my tolerance level for bullshit.

My Christian friends later criticized me for walking out and accused me of having a weak faith (and a demon living inside of me). Just TRY to convince people you're not demon possessed when you're not. It's impossible. I'd say, "I'm NOT POSSESSED!" and they'd quietly whisper, "Get thee behind me, Satan, that's not her talking!" I caught one of them actually trying to whisper an exorcism behind my back! When I got upset and yelled at him - well that was just my demon manifesting. LOL!

I always had doubts, but I pushed them aside and attributed it to having a weak faith. I later fell into a deep depression as I started to have more serious doubts, and came to believe that my personality was somehow broken because I had trouble blindly believing, because everyone else around me seemed to be able to do this happily and with ease.

There was no one catalyst that drove me away from the church - it was a series of things that eventually germinated the seeds of doubt in my mind. My doubts started with the Apostle Paul's teachings about women and how we don't really have any evidence about what really happened during Christ's alleged life, but I eventually began to analyze the crazy behaviour, crazy beliefs and the horrific teachings in both the Old and New Testament. The more I read, the more I realized how evil this God really was. I mean, how fair is it to penalize EVERYONE for the dumbass mistake of two people? How loving could this all-knowing God be if he created us knowing we'd sin? Why create us in the first place? What's up with all the tests and mind games and jealousy? I analyzed the salvation plan and thought, "Damn, I could have come up with a better plan than THAT!"

I felt abused by my Christian friends, who were always telling me that I "thought too much," and that even QUESTIONING God's goodness meant I was arrogant and "in rebellion." My non-believing friends were so much nicer to me and kept telling me I shouldn't feel guilty or sorry for asking questions - that the problem was with the faith itself, not me.

In 2 to 3 years that followed, I was in a bad state - I wasn't yet a non-believer, but I still couldn't bring myself to believe - and I had left most of my closest friends and social network (Christians) behind, so there was no one around me who truly understood what I was going through. My non-believing friends didn't understand why I felt so horrible about my apostasy, and my Christian friends kept trying to re-convert me (or harshly criticized me for my "rebellion").

I prayed fervently, asking Jesus to give me a sign - and surprise surprise, there was silence in the heavens. I lived my life feeling like a hell-bound heathen. Every time a negative event happened in my life, I attributed it to God punishing me for "falling away." If there is a "hell," it is that horrible place between belief and non-belief, where you feel condemned and guilty for having the audacity to question God's existence.

One evening I finally got up enough courage to type in the most dreaded word in all of Christiandom into Google - "Atheism." I found videos by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Thunderf00t, The Thinking Atheist, as well as Kenneth Humphreys' website, jesusneverexisted.com. I can't express how much these resources have helped me to gain sanity in my life. I honestly thought I was crazy for NOT believing.

They say religion brings freedom, but that's nothing more than a marketing technique to suck you in. I've been a solid non-believer for about 3 years now, and I feel free to be who I am without guilt. It's nice to be intellectually honest and to feel free to question things again. I have a newfound love for science and wonder that I never really had before.

Anyway, sorry to write so much (I'm a writer. LOL!). Smile I lack the "short introduction message" gene apparently. Wink
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18-01-2013, 01:34 AM
RE: An Atheist's Testimony! Praise...nothing! ;)
(18-01-2013 12:10 AM)Marmalade Wrote:  I honestly thought I was crazy for NOT believing.
Welcome Marmalade Smile Very nice post. This is the bit that gets me - I have felt similar emotions. When *everyone* around you is madly religious you really do start to wonder if you've got a screw loose. It feels a bit like arrogance to claim 'I'm sane and the whole world is mad' - yet that is the case. The entire fabric of society is permeated with these age-old crackpot ideas which should have been abandoned at the time of the Romans.

Fortunately most of the Christians I know, while a bit loopy, basically just get on with their lives and throw out a prayer or two when the going gets tough. Nowhere close to as bonkers as your crowd with the exorcising homeless people etc.
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18-01-2013, 02:42 AM
RE: An Atheist's Testimony! Praise...nothing! ;)
(18-01-2013 01:34 AM)morondog Wrote:  Welcome Marmalade Smile Very nice post. This is the bit that gets me - I have felt similar emotions. When *everyone* around you is madly religious you really do start to wonder if you've got a screw loose. It feels a bit like arrogance to claim 'I'm sane and the whole world is mad' - yet that is the case. The entire fabric of society is permeated with these age-old crackpot ideas which should have been abandoned at the time of the Romans.

Fortunately most of the Christians I know, while a bit loopy, basically just get on with their lives and throw out a prayer or two when the going gets tough. Nowhere close to as bonkers as your crowd with the exorcising homeless people etc.
As I was reading your reply, specifically the "I'm sane and the whole world is mad", I was reminded of this christian school I went to back in 2nd to 6th grade. Now that I look back on it, it was funny how much drugs and sex defined that school... every time I went into the locker rooms people were either high or getting it on (or both).

Anyway, that line reminded me of one time when one of the older students got super excited during the required Wednesday morning church service. I thought he was having some type of super religious connection moment with his 'creator', however I found out later that day he was wasted on mushrooms...

And from then on I couldn't tell the difference between the real believer and someone out of their mind. Of course, it still took 7 years for me to truly escape religion and I couldn't be happier.

BTW: Hello everyone!

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18-01-2013, 02:52 AM
RE: An Atheist's Testimony! Praise...nothing! ;)
(18-01-2013 12:10 AM)Marmalade Wrote:  Hi everyone! Smile I am a 39 year old former evangelical Christian who converted when I was 28. I moved from the east coast of Canada (where religion is more in the background) to Alberta, a province in Canada's Bible Belt. The pressures of being away from friends and family in a strange city resulted in an impulsive visit to an evangelical church (I went there to find a boyfriend...thankfully, that didn't happen). That one visit ate up the next 5 years of my life. I went from being a non-believer who dabbled in fortunetelling to being one of those annoying people who listen to sermon tapes nightly and who talked about Jesus to EVERYONE (whether they liked it or not). I listened to Christian talk radio, threw out all of my occult books and replaced them with (expensive) Christian books. I converted friends (most of them are, sadly, still Christians). After being told my infant baptism was invalid, I ended up getting baptized in a frigid Albertan lake. I thought I felt something spiritual at the time, but looking back, it was probably exposure. Wink

I met a few nice people, but met mostly crazy people when I explored the more charismatic denominations. Eventually I found myself in a Bible study with a group of self-proclaimed "prophets" who I recognized immediately as fortunetellers with a Jesus stamp of approval. When I brought this up (nicely) I was told I was uneducated in the ways of God and that I needed to just shut off my mind and believe.

I was introduced to a lot of other crazy beliefs, some I believed wholeheartedly, while there were other beliefs I had serious doubts about but TRIED to believe. I watched Kent Hovind's entire series on creationism, I studied Hal Lindsay's books on demonic oppression, and I tried - TRIED - to read the Left Behind series, but the writing was so appalling that even my faith couldn't force me to read past book 3.

I wasn't entirely sucked in - there were some things I knew were complete crap. I watched a bunch of guys from a charismatic church attempt to drive a demon out of a homeless man, and I remember thinking, "This is a farce and it's embarrassing." I saw a female preacher at a "tent meeting" who was scheduled for a speech who ended up "laughing in the spirit" the whole time she was on stage like she was drunk. I walked out, angry, because it exceeded my tolerance level for bullshit.

My Christian friends later criticized me for walking out and accused me of having a weak faith (and a demon living inside of me). Just TRY to convince people you're not demon possessed when you're not. It's impossible. I'd say, "I'm NOT POSSESSED!" and they'd quietly whisper, "Get thee behind me, Satan, that's not her talking!" I caught one of them actually trying to whisper an exorcism behind my back! When I got upset and yelled at him - well that was just my demon manifesting. LOL!

I always had doubts, but I pushed them aside and attributed it to having a weak faith. I later fell into a deep depression as I started to have more serious doubts, and came to believe that my personality was somehow broken because I had trouble blindly believing, because everyone else around me seemed to be able to do this happily and with ease.

There was no one catalyst that drove me away from the church - it was a series of things that eventually germinated the seeds of doubt in my mind. My doubts started with the Apostle Paul's teachings about women and how we don't really have any evidence about what really happened during Christ's alleged life, but I eventually began to analyze the crazy behaviour, crazy beliefs and the horrific teachings in both the Old and New Testament. The more I read, the more I realized how evil this God really was. I mean, how fair is it to penalize EVERYONE for the dumbass mistake of two people? How loving could this all-knowing God be if he created us knowing we'd sin? Why create us in the first place? What's up with all the tests and mind games and jealousy? I analyzed the salvation plan and thought, "Damn, I could have come up with a better plan than THAT!"

I felt abused by my Christian friends, who were always telling me that I "thought too much," and that even QUESTIONING God's goodness meant I was arrogant and "in rebellion." My non-believing friends were so much nicer to me and kept telling me I shouldn't feel guilty or sorry for asking questions - that the problem was with the faith itself, not me.

In 2 to 3 years that followed, I was in a bad state - I wasn't yet a non-believer, but I still couldn't bring myself to believe - and I had left most of my closest friends and social network (Christians) behind, so there was no one around me who truly understood what I was going through. My non-believing friends didn't understand why I felt so horrible about my apostasy, and my Christian friends kept trying to re-convert me (or harshly criticized me for my "rebellion").

I prayed fervently, asking Jesus to give me a sign - and surprise surprise, there was silence in the heavens. I lived my life feeling like a hell-bound heathen. Every time a negative event happened in my life, I attributed it to God punishing me for "falling away." If there is a "hell," it is that horrible place between belief and non-belief, where you feel condemned and guilty for having the audacity to question God's existence.

One evening I finally got up enough courage to type in the most dreaded word in all of Christiandom into Google - "Atheism." I found videos by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Thunderf00t, The Thinking Atheist, as well as Kenneth Humphreys' website, jesusneverexisted.com. I can't express how much these resources have helped me to gain sanity in my life. I honestly thought I was crazy for NOT believing.

They say religion brings freedom, but that's nothing more than a marketing technique to suck you in. I've been a solid non-believer for about 3 years now, and I feel free to be who I am without guilt. It's nice to be intellectually honest and to feel free to question things again. I have a newfound love for science and wonder that I never really had before.

Anyway, sorry to write so much (I'm a writer. LOL!). Smile I lack the "short introduction message" gene apparently. Wink
Hey Marmalade Smile

That could've been my story (sans the occult and the possession and the more crazy stuff). But the gradual questioning, the depression, the praying not to lose your faith (ugh), the sense of immense freedom after finally throwing off the shackles. Nothing like it (the last one, not the other stuff), right?

Welcome and don't worry - anything crazy you may say, will be blamed totally on you and not on Satan Tongue

And now, to the most important question - what marmalade? We had a bit of citrus-worshipping tiff recently, so a lot may depend on your answer Dodgy

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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18-01-2013, 10:18 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(18-01-2013 12:10 AM)Marmalade Wrote:  If there is a "hell," it is that horrible place between belief and non-belief, where you feel condemned and guilty for having the audacity to question God's existence.

Ha! I'm a life long non-theist and have never cared if someone believed anything spiritual or not; I saw no point in "choosing sides". A few years ago, I started noticing that many around me were choosing sides and seemed to be demanding I do so as well. I looked into this odd little bitch fight and found some festering concerns surrounding believers. Though it's rare I step into the ring with a believer, I at least have actively come to the arena to observe. I've learned an enormous amount.
Truth be told; I really don't give a shit about any of this stuff. If someone came up with factual evidence which proved even to believers that a god belief was a made up thing, I'd probably just go about my life as I normally do. The same would happen for me if a god would make itself known to all humanity. Though I suppose I do err on the side of reason, belief is just as irrelevant to me as non-belief.... and the same way round. As I said, I've learned an enormous amount and knowledge has a way of informing action. So, Marmalade...

Welcome to Hell the forum. Smile

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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18-01-2013, 10:34 AM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(18-01-2013 02:42 AM)yumeji Wrote:  BTW: Hello everyone!

Hello Yumeji! - 7 years is a long time to shed the religious skin! Good that you made it out and I'm glad you found your way here. I like your signature - especially the atomic A - what do the asian characters say?

Welcome to the forum. Smile

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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18-01-2013, 12:55 PM
RE: Introduce Yourself HERE!
(18-01-2013 10:34 AM)kim Wrote:  
(18-01-2013 02:42 AM)yumeji Wrote:  BTW: Hello everyone!

Hello Yumeji! - 7 years is a long time to shed the religious skin! Good that you made it out and I'm glad you found your way here. I like your signature - especially the atomic A - what do the asian characters say?

Welcome to the forum. Smile
Thank you. Thumbsup

無神論 means Atheism.

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