Keep returning to Religon
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27-11-2014, 03:27 AM
Keep returning to Religon
Hi,

I need some help, I'm struggling on why I have the need to keep returning to religion. I became a Christian in 2008 but after a couple of years of investigation into the history etc, decided that it was untrue and seemed to be a method of control and myth. I identified myself as an atheist but I still feel a calling back to Christianity. Logically I can understand the reasons why I don’t believe and turned away from religion. Despite this however, I still feel the need to continue the search and seem unable to rest in the thought that there is no god.

I’m wondering if there’s anyone else who has similar experience of longing to find the answers to life through religion.
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27-11-2014, 06:17 AM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
(27-11-2014 03:27 AM)JohnAB101 Wrote:  Hi,

I need some help, I'm struggling on why I have the need to keep returning to religion. I became a Christian in 2008 but after a couple of years of investigation into the history etc, decided that it was untrue and seemed to be a method of control and myth. I identified myself as an atheist but I still feel a calling back to Christianity. Logically I can understand the reasons why I don’t believe and turned away from religion. Despite this however, I still feel the need to continue the search and seem unable to rest in the thought that there is no god.

I’m wondering if there’s anyone else who has similar experience of longing to find the answers to life through religion.

Sounds familiar. I first stopped considering myself a Christian in the summer of '08, but I bounced back after a few months, then lost it again a few months after that. For years after that, even though I considered myself an atheist, I was actively trying to find a way back into Christianity (or, failing that, some other religion). It wasn't until the beginning of this year that I finally felt able to stop trying to be religious and feel more "set" in my worldview.

Family played a big part in it for me. I'm married to a Christian, so I felt obligated to keep trying to return to faith in some way. I probably would have given up sooner if it wasn't for that. I'm not sure if anything like that plays a role in your case.

Another thing that helped me was switching the kinds of stuff I was reading. Instead of reading things that were merely countering the claims of religion, I started looking for things that supported the case for naturalism, atheism, and secular humanism on their own merits. Once I started doing that, it eventually 'clicked.' Everything I wanted to find in religion could be found outside of it, and without needing any sort of mental gymnastics or intellectual dishonesty on my part, which was always my hangup when I'd get close to becoming religious again.

I'm just thinking out loud.
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27-11-2014, 06:39 AM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
(27-11-2014 03:27 AM)JohnAB101 Wrote:  Hi,

I need some help, I'm struggling on why I have the need to keep returning to religion. I became a Christian in 2008 but after a couple of years of investigation into the history etc, decided that it was untrue and seemed to be a method of control and myth. I identified myself as an atheist but I still feel a calling back to Christianity. Logically I can understand the reasons why I don’t believe and turned away from religion. Despite this however, I still feel the need to continue the search and seem unable to rest in the thought that there is no god.

I’m wondering if there’s anyone else who has similar experience of longing to find the answers to life through religion.

Can you identify what it is about Christianity that 'draws you back'?

And why Christianity? Why not Buddhism? Or Islam?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-11-2014, 06:45 AM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
I 'tried on' a few different belief systems when I was in my 20s because I thought you had to believe in something. The more I looked into it, the less it made sense. Finally I realized that belonging to a faith or philosophy wasn't required so I let it go.

Growing up around believers I just didn't realize that I had a choice - no one ever told me that I had a choice in the matter. Once I got past that concept I was able to just stop searching for what I knew I wasn't going to find.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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27-11-2014, 07:00 AM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
(27-11-2014 03:27 AM)JohnAB101 Wrote:  Hi,

I need some help, I'm struggling on why I have the need to keep returning to religion. I became a Christian in 2008 but after a couple of years of investigation into the history etc, decided that it was untrue and seemed to be a method of control and myth. I identified myself as an atheist but I still feel a calling back to Christianity. Logically I can understand the reasons why I don’t believe and turned away from religion. Despite this however, I still feel the need to continue the search and seem unable to rest in the thought that there is no god.

I’m wondering if there’s anyone else who has similar experience of longing to find the answers to life through religion.

In reading my response please do not take this as a personal slight, but an explanation as to how your psychology and brain work and what may be affecting you.

When humans are born they do not have god thoughts in their brains, those things get fed to them as they grow up. You were sold a hero concept and the appeal of a protector is no different psychologically as having a parent protect you. You also can be fearing pain and emotional harm and be looking to something as a way to avoid that. Fear of death also can be a factor as to why someone can buy into ANY religion. A sense of belonging to something also can be a factor as to why someone buys into a religion or god claim.

Other factors that can play into that feeling of needing "something" can also be a product of things like depression, PTSD from abuse, addiction, bi polar disorder. Again not as a slight, but matter of not understanding how our brains work and what can affect our perceptions of reality.

What you are going through is completely natural, but understanding what you are going through can be done without inserting old myths and gap answers of non material beings.

The bottom line is that humans are unaware of how intense their biology and brains work and can fool them, and are unaware of how easily our perceptions of reality can be flawed.

There are tons of natural factors to why humans come to bad claims and produce god claims, and all sorts of non religious woo and superstitions to fill in gaps.

The biggest factor as to why god claims exist is indoctrination. Most people end up at birth being sold the religions and god claims of the societies they are born into.

1. Argument from tradition all religions argue.
2. Argument from popularity is what all religions argue.
3. Appeal to authority, like the priest, Imam, Rabbi or Buddhist monk. Again, does not work.

4. Circular reasoning. Quoting a book to prove a book. All of them do this too.

It is still gap filling and an appeal to emotion.

It is ok to fear pain and suffering and normal to want to fill your life with meaning. But that "meaning" is not about fitting in or belonging to a group because you see them enjoying themselves or coping with adversity or helping others.

If you are feeling bad or feeling down, that is in you, and everyone ever born or living to different degrees will go through that. There is no magic to life and no bearded man or guy with a pitchfork battling over the neurons in your brain.

Ups and downs and good and bad and depression and fear are all normal parts of life. But to cope with those things, accept them as the reality they are, not the comic book claims or woo others sell you.

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27-11-2014, 08:52 AM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
(27-11-2014 03:27 AM)JohnAB101 Wrote:  I’m wondering if there’s anyone else who has similar experience of longing to find the answers to life through religion.

I never believed and never experienced any longing for anything to do with religion but I have heard that same sentiment expressed by many ex-believers. It takes time to let go of anything that has been a big part of your life and it appears that the deconverted often go through a kind of grieving process for what they think they lost.

You will eventually see that you have gained the entire universe as your schoolroom and you have gained control of your life and your future.

I second the earlier post that suggested reading. Seth Andrew's book about his deconversion and similar books by people like David Smalley and Dan Barker might help. I also suggest you find a local meetup group or maybe even a "sunday assembly" if there is one close to you so that you can talk to others who have gone through the process. You'll also find lots of sympathetic ears here from people with many different backgrounds.

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27-11-2014, 11:19 AM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
You just bought a new pair of shoes.

The old shoes were well worn, with holes in the toes and the sole of the left one was coming loose. But they were comfortable, so comfortable.

The new shoes pinch a bit, and they're stiff. But they do keep your feet warm and dry.

Keep walking in the new shoes. Soon, they will become comfortable, too. And when you're tempted to shuffle around in the old shoes, remember that the more you wear the new shoes the more comfortable they will become.

As with any change, time works in your favor.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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27-11-2014, 06:39 PM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
Is it Christianity that is drawing you back or the church you attended. There can be comfort in the fellowship along with familiarity.
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27-11-2014, 08:27 PM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
There are all kinds of reasons people stay in religion : community, music, art, a job etc.



Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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27-11-2014, 09:31 PM
RE: Keep returning to Religon
(27-11-2014 03:27 AM)JohnAB101 Wrote:  Hi,

I need some help, I'm struggling on why I have the need to keep returning to religion. I became a Christian in 2008 but after a couple of years of investigation into the history etc, decided that it was untrue and seemed to be a method of control and myth. I identified myself as an atheist but I still feel a calling back to Christianity. Logically I can understand the reasons why I don’t believe and turned away from religion. Despite this however, I still feel the need to continue the search and seem unable to rest in the thought that there is no god.

I’m wondering if there’s anyone else who has similar experience of longing to find the answers to life through religion.

Maybe focus on exploring your questions... there'll always be questions. Learn to ask some really good ones. Really good questions will help you create a wonderful life. That's pretty much what everyone wants. Right? Also, good questions will create more questions.

You will find life to be so very precious.


That is... without god.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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