Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
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19-09-2012, 11:32 AM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
My parents are Catholics so I guess they weren't quite so religiously strict in nature. Since I was young they were pretty accepting of my non-belief, regardless of whether or not they really understood why I think the way I do. Either way, I was deluded into believing (at a young age) that everyone was so accepting of my atheism like my parents were. Although I do wish my parents had made more of an effort to educate me, like those who were former theists, deeper in religion. Not necessarily to get me to believe, but just to understand more of what makes me disbelieve and make my arguments better. I guess I could always do that these days, however I feel I'm just intolerant to it.

"I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse."
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19-09-2012, 12:12 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
I have read a lot on religion, from Aquinas and Spinoza to Karin Armstrong. I have read the bible (quite a lot, but not completely) and the koran (also quite a lot but not all), as well as a lot of buddhist texts and a bit of the baghavat gita. I have spoken to many theists from many religions but I've never understood their need to believe. To me, it is very difficult to just believe something that makes little to no sense to me. It makes it hard for me to talk to theists in a way that is not just purely rational because the emotional component is missing on my end.
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19-09-2012, 12:37 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
Yea, I'm not certain why the seemingly desperate need for something so outside one's self, to provide emotional content - I never have understood that completely.

I kind of equate it with that odd approval we seek from our parents as a child - it seems like a security thing. As we grow up, we find our parents didn't know everything. So why then, the need for their approval beyond a certain point, as some do continue to seek? Is it just to continue the relationship or is it because it's easier than making life up one's own way?

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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19-09-2012, 12:57 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
If you imagine theism to be an infection, then once your immune system (brain) has fought successfully against it, it becomes more resistant against further attacks. Consider

(19-09-2012 08:22 AM)ABC Wrote:  What do you think? Does being a former theist make it easier to talk to theists?
No, at the very least not for me. Even when I was a theist, I wasn't even nearly as ignorant and uneducated as all those fundamentalists.

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19-09-2012, 01:19 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
Despite being a prophet, I never quite made it to theist. There's one simple reason for that. I question shit. That's the great divide between the stereotypical theist/atheist. Is it better to have been unquestioning?

No. Easy-peasy.

And as a prophet, no one questions my faith. What the atheist should take away from such a pronouncement, is that "god" becomes a function of identity. To be blatantly "god does not exist" with a theist you wish to associate with, is fail.

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19-09-2012, 03:59 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
(19-09-2012 01:19 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  What the atheist should take away from such a pronouncement, is that "god" becomes a function of identity. To be blatantly "god does not exist" with a theist you wish to associate with, is fail.

Yea, it's kind of ironic that Theists are quick to accuse Satanic possession when they so easily assume another identity. Seems to be ok for them.

They hate when you point that out. Dodgy

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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19-09-2012, 04:36 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
(19-09-2012 12:37 PM)kim Wrote:  I kind of equate it with that odd approval we seek from our parents as a child - it seems like a security thing.

I think this is pretty close. Security and safety, reinforced by fear of anything else. Not even the conscious level but also the subconscious, where the delusion and denial lay.


(19-09-2012 11:10 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(19-09-2012 09:30 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  This might be like asking, 'would it have been sweet to experience the dark ages?'. As much as the dark ages fascinate me, it sucks that my family thinks I'm a witch. Ha ha.

(Today's religions do fascinate me, it's an disgusting part of our species story.)


Fixed.

No, no fixing Smile It is ALSO disgusting, but it's still amazing. The imagination it takes to create mythology is a gift. We may not see it now, but I look at greek gods and it's all awesome.

(19-09-2012 09:35 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(19-09-2012 09:30 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  it sucks that my family thinks I'm a witch. Ha ha.

That explains why it feels like you've cast a spell on me. Heart
Careful, might actually be a curse. Tongue



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19-09-2012, 04:56 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
I think... both. I was a Christian, and I really wish I could take all those years back and live them as an atheist instead. However, there are benefits to being an atheist when discussing religion with theists. I think I have empathy, and I also carry a lot of knowledge about what the bible says. Seriously, would I have read the bible if I had never been a Christian? I'm doubtful -- it's so very boring.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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19-09-2012, 04:59 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
Having been a theist first, I have to say that being a former believer gives you a deep insight into religion that is quite useful when talking to theists. Not only that, but being a former theist has made me a better person.

When I was in my teens, my parents made me attend a Southern Baptist church. There I was taught to distrust and hate others based on nothing more than the fact that they didn't believe in God, or believed in a different God. I was also taught to hate human beings because of their sexual orientation. I still have memories of me going around from door to door, or in the mall, telling strangers that they were going to suffer hell fire and have their skins burned off their bodies for eternity unless they accepted Jesus. I remember telling gay people that they were an abomination, and that their sinful behavior was the chief cause for the decline of Western civilization. I know what it is like to be a hate-filled religious monster, one who felt good deep inside every time he said something hateful to a stranger simply because his beliefs or lifestyle were different from mine.

Now that I'm no longer a believer, there are nights where I can see the faces of some of those whom I hurt with my religious intolerance, and I cry at the pain that my words must have caused to these people. I can never forgive myself for the hateful things I said, but I have used these experiences to help me become a better person. I know first hand what religious hatred feels like, which is why I now support gay marriage and oppose any religious groups who attack gays and lesbians. By the same token, based on my past experiences I now think that I have an understanding of what it must feel like to be a victim of racism, so it has helped to segment in me a deep abhorrence to anyone who preaches hatred and intolerance of others because of who they are.
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19-09-2012, 05:30 PM
RE: Is is better or worse to have never been a theist?
(19-09-2012 04:36 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  
(19-09-2012 12:37 PM)kim Wrote:  I kind of equate it with that odd approval we seek from our parents as a child - it seems like a security thing.

I think this is pretty close. Security and safety, reinforced by fear of anything else. Not even the conscious level but also the subconscious, where the delusion and denial lay.

That's why ya gotta go in there after it. Subconscious should be subordinate. If not, problems. Undecided

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