Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
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10-10-2012, 01:58 AM
Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
I have posted a time or two, but never made a proper introduction to you all.. so here goes.

At the moment I really want to dump.. read if you like, but I will put a tldr at the end.

I was raised hyper-conservative 6000yr old earth evangelical Christian. Like.. Methodist, Quaker stuff. My parents divorced when I was ten, and my mom took the us kids back to her former, more moderate protestant beliefs. I started to see the problems with 'choose your own interpretation' Christianity in my teen years, and ended up moving out to go live with my dad, who was an Orthodox Christian by then. I then made a mistake - despite my misgivings, I made the mistake of trusting that this version of Christianity had it all together. They certainly solve most the mistakes of Protestantism, except the real core part about believing in a virgin-born God-man risen from the dead.

Fast forward 15 years, and I have finally finished college and been out in the working world for 4 years now. My hyper-conservative beliefs have fallen, one by one. Learning more about science debunked that 6000 year BS quite quickly. Natural selection seems quite obvious, although it took me 10 years to get to the point of swallowing evolution (damn programming.. its obvious as the nose on your face once you look at the evidence, but so hard to see past your programming to even look at the evidence at all). Even though I have tried to be 'good' and follow all the sexual taboos of the church, some of their positions clearly made no sense (homosexuality, masturbation, etc.. victim-less 'crimes' somewhat less harmful than eating desert). There was a watershed moment in my Ethics class (that instructor deserves great credit for me coming to my senses 5 years later) when I realized that the abortion debate really was a DEBATE, and that no compelling argument could be presented that did not rely on a Christian worldview.

Finally, I managed to challenge my own core belief in a God. I started on Wikipedia, of all places... bless the people who put the 'Existence of God' page together. They did an excellent job presenting arguments for both sides, with counter-arguments and rebuttals. As I went down the list, every argument I had ever seen or used is there, and several that I hadn't ever heard of. I quickly noticed the trend of increasingly complex and desperate explanations attempting to maintain belief in God. Some of the arguments I could throw out immediately (cough-ontological-bullshit-a-middleschooler-can-see-through-cough), some took longer to process. But none of them.. not a single one... resolved strongly in favor of God existing. Most of them resolve ambiguously, and several resolve pretty strongly in favor of atheism. I fought with this for a couple months.. but eventually I decided that I would be true to my own commitment to believe what there are the best reasons for believing.

So now, I am an atheist.

I have nearly managed to destroy my marriage in this process, since my wife still adamantly believes in God. I love her, and I don't really want to force her to give up her imaginary support. I don't know if it would be worth it for her.

That was 3 months ago now. This struggle is new to me; pretty much everyone I know are all Christians. There have been a few people, mainly coworkers ironically, who have been very supportive. I am not a terribly social person in the first place, so staying in contact with people is difficult for me. Life is difficult in general right now. I am still reeling somewhat, trying to rearrange my views of life, the universe, and everything.

The ambiguity is difficult. I suspect that morality, love and beauty are not objective at all. Perhaps morality is at least as objective as pain is, or the concept of harm, but I doubt that there is any 'ultimate' such as I imagined before. Death, frankly, is a depressing thought and a very difficult thing for me. I work in healthcare and see death and dying on a daily basis. I understand on some level how many people must believe in an afterlife in order to cope with reality. I suppose that I am depressed right now, but I think it is temporary.

On the other hand, the world is opened up to be in a whole new way. Nothing is 'forbidden', there is only what is good to do and what is bad to do. I am my own judge. My life is my own. Life itself is sublime wonder, a thing beyond any valuation. I cannot comprehend what could be better than life, or what could be worse than losing it. But in a weird paradox, people who have lost their lives... don't care any more. I am still very much grappling with these complex ideas.

TLDR; Recently became atheist, struggling with adapting to the major changes in thought, dumping all this on wonderful people I likely will never meet, for support.

Thanks for reading.
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10-10-2012, 04:21 AM
RE: Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
So, you've been here a month and by now you know what this place is like.
It would appear that you have come to the right place.

Your marriage has survived and that says a lot about both of you.

Thumbsup

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10-10-2012, 06:52 AM
RE: Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
From the limited involvement I've had with quakers they seem pretty socially accepting. It sounds to me like you kinda went down the rabbit hole further and further into crazy christian. Having a place to get things off your chest will help quite a bit. When I first came here I was trying not to become violent due to the onstant berraing god messages I hear all the time. I hope religion becomes something not brought up so much with your wife, it can work but don't push anything.

Once you wrap your head around things ok life will pretty much be the same, you'll just notice cons more easily and maybe keep more of your money.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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10-10-2012, 08:20 AM
RE: Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
Welcome!

This is a great place.

[Image: vjp09.gif]
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10-10-2012, 08:29 AM
RE: Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
Welcome, I hope you enjoy tour time here. Hopefully you and your wife can continue to work things out. If you can get to a place of mutual acceptance you should be ok. Either of you trying to force their point of view will most likely fail.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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10-10-2012, 08:37 AM
RE: Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
(10-10-2012 01:58 AM)J0ren Wrote:  I cannot comprehend what could be better than life, or what could be worse than losing it. But in a weird paradox, people who have lost their lives... don't care any more. I am still very much grappling with these complex ideas.

I am not so sure that losing life is so very bad.

Of course it depends on circumstances, but sometimes shedding the malfunctioning body is a relief. It was that for my mom, dad, and also my husband, all atheists.

All three were welcoming death when the time came. All three enjoyed life, fought for it while it made sense, and let go peacefully when it became obvious it would be impossible to keep that body functioning.

Personally I think atheism allows you to deal with your own death more peacefully, it becomes a relief and not an anxiety driven thing where you wonder about heaven and hell and if you made the cut...

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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10-10-2012, 08:50 AM
Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
Thanks for sharing your story, J0ren. As others have said, you've certainly come to the right place. Smile

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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10-10-2012, 09:43 AM
RE: Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
Thanks for sharing. I can understand some of that, other parts are hard for me to imagine. I always had doubts, and I think by the time I was about eleven I was agnostic, by fourteen I was an Atheist. My wife was a "I'll play along" Christian, but was an Atheist for certain well before we married. It is hard for me to imagine being so dependent on such a life-altering belief and then having the rug pulled out from beneath me, but this is a great place to socialize without constantly being antagonized and annoyed simply because you were brave enough to use logic that refuted what you had been involuntarily indoctrinated into. Hopefully you will find this place to be a safe house of sorts. It seems to me that your still trying to find out what it is that you believe, and what you dismiss. I will warn you, don't be to quick to dismiss or accept any ideas. The only thing that all Atheists universally agree on is that there is no good evidence to support the existence of a God/dess or Gods/Goddesses. Use your best judgment. If you have any questions about any subject, please feel free to ask. I hope you can find some peace at home, best of luck with your family.

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11-10-2012, 02:05 AM
RE: Newer Atheist, with a little dumping
Thanks for the replies and support, everyone.
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