Is it normal to relapse?
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19-11-2015, 03:21 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 02:20 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  I want to believe truth, even if it is uncomfortable. I just wish people would understand that.

Some of us do. Have you looked for a local atheist meetup or other ways to get some social interaction without god being pushed every other sentence?

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19-11-2015, 03:21 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 12:59 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  Tell me, is relapse normal?

People sometimes tell me I should just make up my mind. If only it was that simple!

I have no idea as I have always been an atheist. Consider

However, when you say, "The next day, I went to church. I said the prayers, ate the wafer, and felt good. I felt like I was connected to my heritage, and that I was doing something I knew my culture approved of." that should be a big flashing sign of a strong reason you might.

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19-11-2015, 04:20 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 02:20 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  Thank you all very much.

I was thinking, and I also wanted to share that I'm offended when religious people tell me "I could never choose to be an atheist" when reacting to my atheism. I don't feel I have a choice. I can only believe in what I see as objective truth. I really wish god was real, and I wish there was a religion that offered some kind of salvation after death.

I want God to be real so much that sometimes I break down into tears over it. But my wanting a God doesn't make it so. I want to believe truth, even if it is uncomfortable. I just wish people would understand that.

Hey how's it going?
Not too good by the sounds of it.

Having never believed in these obviously man made deities I have a few questions. Forgive me as I am a bit hung over from drinking two Japanese beers and over medicating last night. Long story...

1. Why do you want there to be a god?

2. Why do you break down into tears?

3. Is it death that scares you?

4. Which of the many gods do you do you or did you follow?

5. Do you expect heaven, hell or hades if there is an afterlife? or perhaps another?

6. Do you read much?

7. Have you read the bible in full?

8. The koran?

9. Homer?

10. What is it you need from a god that you cannot find yourself?

Cheers. D.

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19-11-2015, 04:50 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
It appears to be a "normal" part of coming to terms with the whole de-conversion experience. I've observed a bit of back and forth from people trying to get away from faith. It seems to be a slowing roller coaster once one realizes it's just a ride. It's really up to you when you get off.

Take it easy on yourself - the only commitment you have is to yourself. That might be difficult for some who aren't used to it. Shy

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19-11-2015, 06:06 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
Sure, religion is like a drug, so it would have the expected effects of a drug.

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19-11-2015, 06:40 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 06:06 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  Sure, religion is like a drug, so it would have the expected effects of a drug.

Religion uses brainwashing, fear, guilt, and community support/shunning. Because of all of that, it is very easy to fall back into religion even once you free yourself from it.
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19-11-2015, 06:59 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 12:59 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  I had another instance where I felt like going back to religion. I'd really like to tell you all about it.

My crisis these last few years has been about my own identity, and going through identity confusion, trying to resolve who I am, what I want, and who I want to be. In terms of social work theory, this is totally normal and expected. Also in terms of faith development, I'm where I should be (according to Fowler's theory). My "Human Behavior and the Social Environment" textbook has actually been very helpful in my quest to understand myself - I love my field because it marries psychology and sociology so very well.

I went antiquing the other day with a friend of mine, a transgender woman converting to Judaism. She gave me her rationale for believing in God, and her philosophy went way over my head.

I left that conversation feeling like I don't know what I'm talking about, and that there must be a god because people wiser than me think so.

When we went into one antique store, I couldn't help myself and bought this old Portuguese photo of one of the apparitions of the virgin mary my grandmother told me about when I was little. I find that religious objects are very triggering for me.

The next day, I went to church. I said the prayers, ate the wafer, and felt good. I felt like I was connected to my heritage, and that I was doing something I knew my culture approved of. I put a picture of the sun rising behind the Church up on FB. I posted a comment that went something like "God better be real, because I got up at 5am to be here this morning". My friends all liked it, people posted "glad you went", and I got tremendous approval from my friends and family.

I spoke to my (totally irreligious) mother on the phone. I told her that I just wasn't sure God was real, but that I didn't think I could ever know, to which she enthusiastically replied "Oh, he is." I wanted to throw my phone at the wall.

I'm really struggling. I like the approval I get from others when I identify as religious. But as always, I don't actually believe any of it. Even though sometimes I really want to, I don't believe it. Any of it.

I'm so frustrated with myself. I'd been "clean" of religion for so long. I began to think about what it would be like to lead a religious life, to go to a religious school for grad school, and things like that.

Then I began to slip backwards. If this is absolute truth, then I must believe in it, whether I like it or not. I must be celibate (I'm gay), I must join a religious order and be a monk so I'm not lonely, etc.

Then I thought myself out of it. I don't actually believe in it, but I like identifying with religion because it's culturally significant to me. But that leads to confusing places for me right now.

If only my community wasn't so uncomfortable at the idea of atheism and so affirming of religion.

Even with my new position (working in grief counseling), I had to pretend to believe in God because my supervisor is religious and constantly talks about God.

I am an Atheist. But I like to think of myself as Awake. I don't ever want to fall asleep again - but I almost did.

Tell me, is relapse normal?

People sometimes tell me I should just make up my mind. If only it was that simple!

The last time i had to rethink religion is when I went thru a period of Alcoholics Anonymous and was told if I wanted to get off I had to believe in God. I tried UU and it seemed to fit and I was able to get off alcohol and then drifted away from even that innocent religion again. Hang in there Try the Book 'Why Religion Doesn't Get You. The Third Basic Instinct." It may help.
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19-11-2015, 07:06 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
Quote:I left that conversation feeling like I don't know what I'm talking about, and that there must be a god because people wiser than me think so.


People who are stupider than you believe in god too. So what?

People can come up with all sorts of rationalizations for believing in utter horseshit. Just look at the Republican nomination process for a real-world example.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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19-11-2015, 07:32 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
......

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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19-11-2015, 07:55 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
Everyone needs a community. The sooner you find one outside of religion, the sooner you'll be free of it's trappings, and appreciate what it was in it you really valued.
How about a UU community, or a Friends group, a book club, a volunteer group ? Whatever.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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