No idea how this happened
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20-01-2012, 08:47 AM
No idea how this happened
I'm not even sure where to start exactly. Just a bit of background here. When I was young, maybe 7 or 8 years old, I started to really believe in the god of Christianity. That was basically how it was for the nest ten years or so. I believed with that came all the usual fear of so much. Yet at the same time there were also questions. So many more questions than most others would bother to ask, even if they did wonder themselves. I reached my teen years and started to ask the hard questions. The kind that no one has an answer to. Of course that led me to new conclusions. Finally I decided that religion was flawed and without logic in the modern world. By the end of my teen years I was certainly no longer Christian. Into my 20s, I knew that I was a spiritual person with little idea what god was. But all along there was a god in my mind. There had to be.

Very recently though, over the last few months really, though in retrospect I realize it was surfacing for awhile now, I've begun to question again. Questioning logic and science and most of all my own mind and pattern of thoughts. I've begun to question why there needs to be a god up there somewhere. To my utter shock, I realized not long ago at all, that there really doesn't. Why should it matter if there is or not. Either way humanity is doing alright in terms of survival. The Earth is farmed in a way that it sustains life perfectly well. The stars stay in the stay. The moon has never fallen from orbit. Why does it matter how it all came to be. The fact is it did.

This morning I woke up and for some baffling reason the question in my head was 'why would god create so many people who are by society standards less than others?' I would have had different answers to my own question at different times in my life, but this morning all of a sudden it made no sense. It holds more logic as a random event than an 'act of god,' for a child to be born disabled or a family to live and die poor, than it seem the will of something loving that created everything. And the strange fact of it is this morning and all other times in the past months and weeks that I've come to such conclusions, I'm perfectly okay with it.

I believed for several years since leaving Christianity in the idea of reincarnation. Before that of course I believed in heaven and hell. Suddenly though the thought of living life after life for endless centuries on end trying to get it right, just seems like endless drudgery and frustration. I used to wonder from time to time is it was all a lie and then I would think with fright of the idea of dying and of simply not existing anymore. All of a sudden though, and this was only in the last couple of weeks, I've come to think that maybe simply ceasing to be might be like finally finding peace after a life of running around and trying to survive for all it's worth. For so many years, I considered myself open minded, but one thing I could never imagine being was an atheist. I never had anything against it, even in my days of religion in the church. I've always felt that any person could and should believe as they wish and it should be permitted. I just didn't get it myself. Now though strange as it seems for me, I'm finding myself admitting that I'm agnostic. I have no idea if there's any sort of god or not and it doesn't really matter anymore. Of course having come this far, atheism seems only a couple of steps from my current belief system, and for the first time ever I can see it as a possibly.

This post wound up way longer than I intended and I am sorry for the long post, but I suppose I needed to write it all out somewhere, even if only to get it straight for myself. I wonder if it was all so strange for other people. Is it common to just wake up one day and suddenly realize that everything you believed may not have been right, and then just considering for a while calmly before getting up to get on with your day? I always imagined after hearing people's stories of realization that it must have been shocking, but the most shocking thing for me is that I don't mind if there is no god.
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20-01-2012, 09:00 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
actually it sounds like your more of an Deist agnostic.

Theism deals with a question if you beleive there is a god and if that god has a clear definition. It sounds like you think there may be something out there but it doesn't really grab you one way or another. Many Deists are classified as being "spiritual". There are also Atheists who lack belief in any gods and Theists who claim that theirs is a real god.

Gnosticism deals with the question of knowledge. Is it possible to know for sure that there is or is not a god? The vast majority of people are in the Agnostic category on this question and say there is no way to have absolute knowledge of this question. There are also Gnostics who claim that there is a definitive way to know there is a god.

Hope that helps.

Also just to complicate the matter more you can ask the question of individual gods or specific religions and may have your stance change per question. For example while I am an Atheist Agnostic in general when it comes to the question of "Is Zeus real?" I take a Gnostic stance.
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20-01-2012, 09:04 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
I think your conclusion is logical. On the Dawkins scale, a 1 or 7, IMO, is devoid of rational thought. Humans are flawed, and a 1 or 7 implies omniscience, maybe not in everything, but certainly in one belief. I don't think absolute certainty can even be obtained due to our finite capacity to understand and to think; therefore, a 1 or 7 should never be claimed.

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20-01-2012, 09:26 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
(20-01-2012 09:04 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I think your conclusion is logical. On the Dawkins scale, a 1 or 7, IMO, is devoid of rational thought. Humans are flawed, and a 1 or 7 implies omniscience, maybe not in everything, but certainly in one belief. I don't think absolute certainty can even be obtained due to our finite capacity to understand and to think; therefore, a 1 or 7 should never be claimed.

Damn, I agree with KC again.Dodgy

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-01-2012, 09:33 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
i never really believed in any specific religion. mainly because i couldn't agree with most of the behavioral rules of organized religion and i could never comprehend why silly things like not eating meat and milk together should even matter to a god instead of - for example - are you leading a good life?
however, i did hear about the possibility of a god about the time when i was 4-6 years old and i remember liking the idea that there is a magical being out there looking up for me and able to grant me wishes. (it was kind of like a real life fairytale really).
so i spent a lot of years believing in my own kind of personal god. for me it was someone i could talk to when i was having a hard time and yes i did ask it for things and didn't always get what i asked for but i never asked for anything too big of course...
eventually i came to understand that i was really just talking to myself all that time and giving myself advice about whatever it is that troubles me, and that a belief in any kind of god isn't necessary for this to work.
it was hard at first to give up on something in which i believed for so long, but once i understood how unnecessary god is for everything to be the way it is i just didn't have any reason to go on believing in it.
i hope my story helps answer some of your questions and i have a question of my own: who said a god needs to be loving anyway? and why only love the humans? why not the animals? aren't they his\her's children too?
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20-01-2012, 11:29 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
(20-01-2012 09:26 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-01-2012 09:04 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I think your conclusion is logical. On the Dawkins scale, a 1 or 7, IMO, is devoid of rational thought. Humans are flawed, and a 1 or 7 implies omniscience, maybe not in everything, but certainly in one belief. I don't think absolute certainty can even be obtained due to our finite capacity to understand and to think; therefore, a 1 or 7 should never be claimed.

Damn, I agree with KC again.Dodgy

It was bound to start happening.

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20-01-2012, 11:34 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
No need to apologize to me for a long post; rather I apologize for the world's one minute attention span.

I can't do the right thing - like KC says, I'm devoid of rational thought - but you're doing the right thing. Asking questions.

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21-01-2012, 03:55 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
(20-01-2012 08:47 AM)AstralMystic Wrote:  Very recently though, over the last few months really, though in retrospect I realize it was surfacing for awhile now, I've begun to question again. Questioning logic and science and most of all my own mind and pattern of thoughts. I've begun to question why there needs to be a god up there somewhere. To my utter shock, I realized not long ago at all, that there really doesn't. Why should it matter if there is or not. Either way humanity is doing alright in terms of survival. The Earth is farmed in a way that it sustains life perfectly well. The stars stay in the stay. The moon has never fallen from orbit. Why does it matter how it all came to be. The fact is it did.
That's right, I mean, that there doesn't have to be a god. Other than that, humanity is not really doing well for survival right now. The ecosystem is a fragile thing and we're damaging it immensely for imaginary money that banks can create endlessly.

(20-01-2012 08:47 AM)AstralMystic Wrote:  This morning I woke up and for some baffling reason the question in my head was 'why would god create so many people who are by society standards less than others?' I would have had different answers to my own question at different times in my life, but this morning all of a sudden it made no sense. It holds more logic as a random event than an 'act of god,' for a child to be born disabled or a family to live and die poor, than it seem the will of something loving that created everything. And the strange fact of it is this morning and all other times in the past months and weeks that I've come to such conclusions, I'm perfectly okay with it.

I believed for several years since leaving Christianity in the idea of reincarnation. Before that of course I believed in heaven and hell. Suddenly though the thought of living life after life for endless centuries on end trying to get it right, just seems like endless drudgery and frustration. I used to wonder from time to time is it was all a lie and then I would think with fright of the idea of dying and of simply not existing anymore. All of a sudden though, and this was only in the last couple of weeks, I've come to think that maybe simply ceasing to be might be like finally finding peace after a life of running around and trying to survive for all it's worth. For so many years, I considered myself open minded, but one thing I could never imagine being was an atheist. I never had anything against it, even in my days of religion in the church. I've always felt that any person could and should believe as they wish and it should be permitted. I just didn't get it myself. Now though strange as it seems for me, I'm finding myself admitting that I'm agnostic. I have no idea if there's any sort of god or not and it doesn't really matter anymore. Of course having come this far, atheism seems only a couple of steps from my current belief system, and for the first time ever I can see it as a possibly.
Besides reincarnation (thanks lord for not remembering potty-training of a hundred past lives), ceasing to be is a fine possibility. I always imagined it as getting asleep into a dream that I don't remember and don't wake up from. We aren't afraid to let our consciousness go when we get asleep.
Obviously, for you believing in reincarnation is superfluous. You have no experience that would make a necessity out of it. There is basically no need to believe in reincarnation. You just need to know what to do if it turns out to be true. I mean, things like not staying around haunting places, because you're afraid that if you leave, there would be a true non-existence or a true hell or heaven. Read a book by Robert Allan Monroe and you'll know what to do Big Grin

(20-01-2012 08:47 AM)AstralMystic Wrote:  This post wound up way longer than I intended and I am sorry for the long post, but I suppose I needed to write it all out somewhere, even if only to get it straight for myself. I wonder if it was all so strange for other people. Is it common to just wake up one day and suddenly realize that everything you believed may not have been right, and then just considering for a while calmly before getting up to get on with your day? I always imagined after hearing people's stories of realization that it must have been shocking, but the most shocking thing for me is that I don't mind if there is no god.
I suppose it's shocking for you because believers imagine god as something very close by that they interact with frequently in prayers. A deistic god might just as easily not be there.
Yes, it is quite common, although it's not always about god. It may be just as well about self-image, self-worth or what we imagine or overlook about other people, on marriage and other social relationships. People can have great illusions about these things and losing them is not less shocking.
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21-01-2012, 08:27 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
(21-01-2012 03:55 AM)Luminon Wrote:  That's right, I mean, that there doesn't have to be a god. Other than that, humanity is not really doing well for survival right now. The ecosystem is a fragile thing and we're damaging it immensely for imaginary money that banks can create endlessly.


This is very true, and I thought of course my statement could be taken that way, and certainly rightly so. Humanity is indeed in a position to easily harm or even destroy itself and/or it's ecosystem. The thing is though that we go to this point at all. Granted we are throwing it all away and that's awful. So many thousands of years of evolution into what we are today, and modern humans have decided that money is the most important thing, above even the health of our planet. We're still alive though where several species failed over the course of the life of Earth. If mankind does become extinct, I think it stands well to reason that we would have caused it ourselves, and if the natural course had been fallowed, we might have gone on and on...and on.
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21-01-2012, 11:29 AM
RE: No idea how this happened
(20-01-2012 08:47 AM)AstralMystic Wrote:  I'm not even sure where to start exactly. Just a bit of background here. When I was young, maybe 7 or 8 years old, I started to really believe in the god of Christianity. That was basically how it was for the nest ten years or so. I believed with that came all the usual fear of so much. Yet at the same time there were also questions. So many more questions than most others would bother to ask, even if they did wonder themselves. I reached my teen years and started to ask the hard questions. The kind that no one has an answer to. Of course that led me to new conclusions. Finally I decided that religion was flawed and without logic in the modern world. By the end of my teen years I was certainly no longer Christian. Into my 20s, I knew that I was a spiritual person with little idea what god was. But all along there was a god in my mind. There had to be.

Very recently though, over the last few months really, though in retrospect I realize it was surfacing for awhile now, I've begun to question again. Questioning logic and science and most of all my own mind and pattern of thoughts. I've begun to question why there needs to be a god up there somewhere. To my utter shock, I realized not long ago at all, that there really doesn't. Why should it matter if there is or not. Either way humanity is doing alright in terms of survival. The Earth is farmed in a way that it sustains life perfectly well. The stars stay in the stay. The moon has never fallen from orbit. Why does it matter how it all came to be. The fact is it did.

This morning I woke up and for some baffling reason the question in my head was 'why would god create so many people who are by society standards less than others?' I would have had different answers to my own question at different times in my life, but this morning all of a sudden it made no sense. It holds more logic as a random event than an 'act of god,' for a child to be born disabled or a family to live and die poor, than it seem the will of something loving that created everything. And the strange fact of it is this morning and all other times in the past months and weeks that I've come to such conclusions, I'm perfectly okay with it.

I believed for several years since leaving Christianity in the idea of reincarnation. Before that of course I believed in heaven and hell. Suddenly though the thought of living life after life for endless centuries on end trying to get it right, just seems like endless drudgery and frustration. I used to wonder from time to time is it was all a lie and then I would think with fright of the idea of dying and of simply not existing anymore. All of a sudden though, and this was only in the last couple of weeks, I've come to think that maybe simply ceasing to be might be like finally finding peace after a life of running around and trying to survive for all it's worth. For so many years, I considered myself open minded, but one thing I could never imagine being was an atheist. I never had anything against it, even in my days of religion in the church. I've always felt that any person could and should believe as they wish and it should be permitted. I just didn't get it myself. Now though strange as it seems for me, I'm finding myself admitting that I'm agnostic. I have no idea if there's any sort of god or not and it doesn't really matter anymore. Of course having come this far, atheism seems only a couple of steps from my current belief system, and for the first time ever I can see it as a possibly.

This post wound up way longer than I intended and I am sorry for the long post, but I suppose I needed to write it all out somewhere, even if only to get it straight for myself. I wonder if it was all so strange for other people. Is it common to just wake up one day and suddenly realize that everything you believed may not have been right, and then just considering for a while calmly before getting up to get on with your day? I always imagined after hearing people's stories of realization that it must have been shocking, but the most shocking thing for me is that I don't mind if there is no god.

If I were going to type up my story, it would mirror yours, just damn near to the the T. Grew up believing, 7 or 8 started getting into it, teenager started questioning and stopped going to church, leave high school and go to college, stop saying I am a chrisitian but I am spiritual, believe in reincarnation, begin questioning my own beliefs, realize I replace crazy crap A with crazy crap B, discussed it with friends, woke up one morning and asked myself the one question I had avoided for 10+ years..."Do I really believe in God?" and I remember saying out-loud "No."

So, yeah. Some people do just wake up and realize they are atheist. I had probably been one for a few years but was to afraid to ask that one question, and even after I realized it, I did not want to use the term because it has such a negative connotation attached to it, especially in the Southern US where I was at the time (and where I grew up)

And I'm not exaggerating about the similarities either, really interesting but not all that surprising. In fact, I have come to realize that my story is not really that unique at all, and that initially made me sad that I wasn't a special and unique flower, but later I realized that meant I had other people to talk with who knew EXACTLY what I went through. A very comforting thought indeed.

You still identify yourself as agnostic you say? Ask yourself that question and see what your brain tells you deep down.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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