Just a thank you.
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09-09-2013, 07:13 AM
Just a thank you.
I've been lurking here for a few years. I've enjoyed reading the discussions on all matters both serious and humorous. I introduced myself on the big long introductions thread, but I needed to say this.

When I first discovered TTA, I was in the beginnings of my apostasy. Seth's words and his story shook me. I was hearing my own thoughts and feelings coming from a man I had never met. I quickly consumed every video and podcast he produced. This thank you is not for Seth, though. I sent him an email years ago telling him how much his work has meant to me.

This thank you is for you.

I've recently been lurking on these forums and I have been moved again. Reading your stories of apostasy and coming out. Reading about the fear and the eventual liberation that comes from it has given me hope to move forward and live my life for me. I've been slowly coming out as an atheist to more people and although I get mixed responses, the feeling of relief has been overwhelming. Knowing the varied responses that you all have had has been a great education for dealing with the responses that I am getting.

Thank you all. Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts. Thank you for sharing your pain and your joy. Most of all, thank you for sharing your knowledge and your wisdom.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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09-09-2013, 07:33 AM
RE: Just a thank you.
Sure.

No problem.

To where do we send the invoice?

Smile

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09-09-2013, 07:50 AM
RE: Just a thank you.
Well, you don't hafta do it alone. Thumbsup

'Cept for Gwynnies. Find yer own Gwynnies. Tongue

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09-09-2013, 09:42 AM
RE: Just a thank you.
(09-09-2013 07:13 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  I've been lurking here for a few years. I've enjoyed reading the discussions on all matters both serious and humorous. I introduced myself on the big long introductions thread, but I needed to say this.

When I first discovered TTA, I was in the beginnings of my apostasy. Seth's words and his story shook me. I was hearing my own thoughts and feelings coming from a man I had never met. I quickly consumed every video and podcast he produced. This thank you is not for Seth, though. I sent him an email years ago telling him how much his work has meant to me.

This thank you is for you.

I've recently been lurking on these forums and I have been moved again. Reading your stories of apostasy and coming out. Reading about the fear and the eventual liberation that comes from it has given me hope to move forward and live my life for me. I've been slowly coming out as an atheist to more people and although I get mixed responses, the feeling of relief has been overwhelming. Knowing the varied responses that you all have had has been a great education for dealing with the responses that I am getting.

Thank you all. Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts. Thank you for sharing your pain and your joy. Most of all, thank you for sharing your knowledge and your wisdom.

You are welcome. Here.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-09-2013, 12:08 PM
RE: Just a thank you.
First, thank you all for your welcome. I hope to get to know many of you better.

Second, I posted this originally in a thread about why atheists know more about religion than the religious. After writing it and posting it, I felt it would be appropriate to post it here with my introduction. So without further ado: The story of my apostasy.


(27-03-2013 05:20 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Because learning more about religion is precisely what causes many deconversions. Wink

This. My turn from faith was exactly because of this. I was raised in a devout christian household. Unquestioning, unexamined faith was expected. I went to VBS, Christ Camp, Church 3 times a week, etc.

In my teens, something strange happened, I met an atheist that I became good friends with. Up until this point, all atheists were to be shunned and prayed for. I started having friendly debates about religion with him. (seriously, there was never any name calling or shouting) I got my ass handed to me regularly. Every time I'd recite some talking point my pastor had fed me, he had a rebuttal that I couldn't refute. I decided it wasn't because he was right, it was because I didn't know enough about the Bible to properly argue. So I prayed and began studying the scriptures in earnest. I was convinced that all I needed to win him over was more knowledge and the power of God behind me.

This is when things really started to fall apart. I studied and researched as much as I could find. The internet was still new then, so I read every book I could that supported Christianity. I found almost nothing new that supported Christianity. I'd heard all the "good" arguments that were pro-religion. All of the new information that I did manage to find either contradicted itself or was terribly faulty logic, hearsay, or "testimonial".

I felt my faith slipping. I felt the seeds of doubt germinating in my head. I prayed. I prayed until I cried and then I prayed some more. I begged God to remove this evil that had rooted in my brain. To cleanse the terrible shame that my doubt had placed on my soul.

More knowledge. I knew I needed it. I had been told so many times that only true knowledge comes from God and that gaining knowledge would only strengthen my faith. My pastor even gave me some resources to read. I poured over them, re-read the Bible cover to cover, attended more religious events. My faith continued to decline.

I thought I was broken.

It was several years later while I was doing more research that I caught myself actively refuting the arguments in favor of God. It was a kick in the face. I literally sat there stunned, thinking "Do I even believe in God anymore?" Even more stunning was the fact that I was no longer mortified by simply forming the question. I didn't feel guilty about questioning my faith as I had in the past. For the first time, I could be honest with myself.

I could feel the cognitive dissonance evaporating, like a cloud in my mind that was beginning to dissipate. I began to see the wonders of the universe in a different, clearer light. No longer was the filter of "God's Majesty" coloring my thoughts. I could pose questions I once thought would bring God's wrath down on my head. No longer did I fear judgement by a divine being.

I wish I could say that it was that moment that I completely turned from religion, but indoctrination's grasp on me was strong. I struggled for several years after that, dabbling in different denominations and churches. In the back of my mind there was still the part of me that needed religion.

I can't put an exact date or time on when I finally fully accepted myself as an atheist. I can't point to a single episode that finally removed the last bit of superstition. All I know for certain is that a sunset is ever more beautiful now that I know that god didn't do it.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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09-09-2013, 11:34 PM
RE: Just a thank you.
No, it's you! Welcome to the forum!

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