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06-12-2011, 09:32 AM
New to the group
Hey all, I'm new to the group. I'm pretty new to the "atheist" identity, I have - until recently - been a rather staunch fundamentalist. My life experiences and political views have recently taken me to the point where those religious beliefs are no longer who I am.

I still have a hard time not thinking it's a bad thing. I still sometimes feel like I'm being provocative even by such menial actions as visiting atheist websites or listening to Seth's podcasts. I'm sure I will overcome that in time.

My wife is struggling with similar realizations, though I think she may still have some searching to do for herself. Her family makes it difficult as her brother attends the über-fundamentalist Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO.

Anyway, I thought I'd go ahead and say "hi" since I've been reading what everybody else is saying. I really do appreciate this group and what it does.

~ themanchicken
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06-12-2011, 01:35 PM
RE: New to the group
Reading about other people's struggle is often helpful.

To broaden your own perspective, one approach is to look into other christian doctrines and christianity as practiced in other time periods. They're not all the same; don't prohibit and punish the same behaviours; don't promise heaven for the same virtuous actions - yet are equally certain of their rightness in the name of the same saviour. From there, move on to judaism and islam, which have different interpretations of the same god. And then other religions and mythologies. Comparison will help you become more objective and to distance yourself from the inhibitions instilled by one sect: it's only one of so many!

Also, as long as you're on youtube, there are a couple of good comic takes: Ricky Gervaise on catholocism and Mr deity http://www.mrdeity.com/ on the whole shebang.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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06-12-2011, 01:37 PM
RE: New to the group
Glad to have you here.

This is good atheist support system, so if that's what you're looking, you've come to the right place.

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06-12-2011, 01:40 PM
RE: New to the group
Welcome welcome. It's ok to feel that you may have made a bad choice. That's how you know you made one lol. Anyways lot's to talk about and do here so dig in.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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06-12-2011, 02:08 PM
RE: New to the group
One of the things I'm struggling with is the general morality concept. Not where morality comes from so much as how much of my understanding of morality is based in religious beliefs that I no longer hold.

I'm finding myself re-examining boundaries on things like what is and isn't appropriate for my young children, my own thoughts on their relationships and how I would structure rules - a subject I'll have to deal with in about ten years.

So much of what I've thought on this subject until now has been based on the violent God and his top priority: what we do with our genitals. I feel like I'm starting from the ground up again when it comes to this particular subject.

I would appreciate your opinions on where I could go with this line of thought where it wouldn't feel like I'm just holding on to moral norms from Christian doctrines would be awesome.

~ themanchicken
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06-12-2011, 02:14 PM
RE: New to the group
General morality isn't based on a religious concept. It is based on empathy and governed by societal norms. For whatever reasons, staunch fundies have latched onto to this "you can't me moral if you're not a Christian" concept. It is completely false and even unbiblical.

Don't feel bad about having morals.

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06-12-2011, 02:19 PM
RE: New to the group
(06-12-2011 02:14 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  General morality isn't based on a religious concept. It is based on empathy and governed by societal norms. For whatever reasons, staunch fundies have latched onto to this "you can't me moral if you're not a Christian" concept. It is completely false and even unbiblical.

Don't feel bad about having morals.

It's not that I feel bad for having them so much as I feel bad that I don't know why I have which ones I do have... and more importantly, which ones I need to be rid of.

~ themanchicken
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06-12-2011, 02:22 PM
RE: New to the group
(06-12-2011 02:19 PM)themanchicken Wrote:  
(06-12-2011 02:14 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  General morality isn't based on a religious concept. It is based on empathy and governed by societal norms. For whatever reasons, staunch fundies have latched onto to this "you can't me moral if you're not a Christian" concept. It is completely false and even unbiblical.

Don't feel bad about having morals.

It's not that I feel bad for having them so much as I feel bad that I don't know why I have which ones I do have... and more importantly, which ones I need to be rid of.

Why would you rid yourself of morality?

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06-12-2011, 02:25 PM (This post was last modified: 06-12-2011 02:29 PM by germanyt.)
RE: New to the group
(06-12-2011 02:19 PM)themanchicken Wrote:  
(06-12-2011 02:14 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  General morality isn't based on a religious concept. It is based on empathy and governed by societal norms. For whatever reasons, staunch fundies have latched onto to this "you can't me moral if you're not a Christian" concept. It is completely false and even unbiblical.

Don't feel bad about having morals.

It's not that I feel bad for having them so much as I feel bad that I don't know why I have which ones I do have... and more importantly, which ones I need to be rid of.


IMO all morals are subjective and all are derived from human empathy. We generate a set of morals and laws designed to stop people from hurting other people. If you back over a dog with your car and feel bad about it, it's not your set morals that make you feel bad. It's your sense of empathy. You feel bad for having hurt another. That hurt defines what you call morals and majority morals are what create laws.

I struggle with the thought of raising kids too. I have a 21 month old daughter. I haven't figured out yet exactly how I will raise her but I'm pretty sure that's normal. Noone is an expert at raising children and especially not with the first child. I'm fairly certain that I'll continue to be a realist and not expect impossible things from her. I know that kids have sex, and drink, and some do drugs. I know they curse when no around adults, don't wear seatbelts all the time, adn might even steal something from the outlet mall one day. I intend to love her and educate her to the best of my abilities while keeping her in a slight fear of what punishment might come of her actions. I just hope that I'm the kind of dad that can 'talk' to her to get her to understand right from wrong instead of a more physical approach. I dont' want to have to spank my kids.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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06-12-2011, 02:31 PM
RE: New to the group
(06-12-2011 02:22 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Why would you rid yourself of morality?

Not all morality, just the ones which aren't exactly moral. Telling a 13-year-old not to kiss girls because that leads to - "God" forbid - sex, which would be a sin. Withholding information about sex from young people because it's inappropriate for such young children to know of those things.

I guess much of this line of thought came from the inevitable question from my almost-four-year-old of "where do babies come from." I used to think I had an answer for that, one that promoted heterosexual marriage as the extent of acceptable moral human sexuality, and it's feeling strange to re-think that.

~ themanchicken
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