Questions for Former Theists
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10-11-2017, 03:21 PM
RE: Questions for Former Theists
1. Which religion did you follow before following the Atheist mind set?
Catholicism

2. Was there a reason to leave your chosen religion?
Long story. In brief, I was on my way to possibly becoming a priest, but also started a relationship with a girl in college who was already set to transfer to another college in another state at the end of that year. I knew it was coming, but it was devastating anyway when it happened and my faith seemed to go with her. I was confused about how my faith could vanish so easily and, for the first time, took a really honest look at what I had been believing in. I quickly saw the holes regarding diseases, natural disasters, LGBT issues, the problem of evil, bible atrocities, etc. and realized there was no going back.

3. Did the religion you followed actively promote anti-LGBT subjects?
I don't remember any active promotion, but I clearly knew where the church stood.

4. Did your chosen religion actively promote anti science based subjects? (anti-Evolution, anti-big bang theory, etc)
Not anti-evolution, but yes to anti-big bang theory.

5. Do you regret any of your time with your former religion?
Most of it (see #6 for why not all of it). What a collosal waste of time.

6. Have you taken any positives from your former religion?
The educational value of understanding what it's like to be indoctrinated.

7. Overall, has the Atheist mind set been a positive or negative to you personally?
There's an atheist mindset? Consider Definitely positive. I'm especially glad to be able to see all people as people instead of Catholic, non-catholic, homosexual, heterosexual, etc.

8. What would you say to others thinking of joining a theistic lifestyle?
I would encourage them to thoroughly explore what is being taught and whether it makes sense before making the leap.

9. What would you say to those thinking of leaving a Theistic lifestyle?
Congratulations! Do it... now! Laugh out load
Seriously, I would ask them if there is anything I can do to help with their decision and/or transition out.

Things I don't miss: Wasting an hour in church every Sunday and holy day, boring sermons, wasting time praying frequently, wasting money on church donations, fearing hell, sanctioned bigotry. Now if we could only get religious meddling with politics and laws on that list. Dodgy
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10-12-2017, 11:16 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2017 11:47 AM by Catharina de Aragon.)
RE: Questions for Former Theists
1. Which religion did you follow before following the Atheist mind set?
Roman Catholic


2. Was there a reason to leave your chosen religion?
It is a very long story involving catholic apologetics(which I still like o read), oceanic feelings, arguments and anxiety attacks. The final part of it would be me moving to Utah with my boyfriend at the time.
Of course, as you guys know, mormonism is batshit crazy, but even though it is, it really really REALLY bothered me when people in my circle, my boyfriend specially, dismissed mormons as idiots, or made comments along the lines of "how could anyone believe this s#"#t""This is sooo ridiculous"etc....
Don't take me wrong, we got ourselves a book of Mormon and I had as much fun reading it as the next guy. Yeah, it was nuts and obviously fake, and yeah I totally made fun of it with my friends, but the point at which they moved from mocking what the book said(like the extremely sensual angel with no underwear) to mocking the people who believed it...Well, I tended to go ballistic at that point. It really bothered me! It was hypocritycal, it was cruel, and arrogant, and... I could go on all day. They didn't seem to think so though, apparently "if you are an idiot you deserve it", so I got into the habit of reminding them how much insane stuff the Bible or the catholic dogma had, whenever they started acting all superior about how "idiotic" someone had to be to believe in the book of mormon (yeah, I was religious at that time, but my religious education was good and I liked apologetics so I knew my stuff well enough). I also took into defending the mormon position when they mocked it, and quite often they could not come up with any reason to dismiss my äpology"that did not apply to their religion as well, and that usually got them to at least fake some respect for mormon believers. Initially, my attitude was along the lines of "yes, this is fake and our religion is true, but you can't say mormons are idiots because honestly, just from the superficial approach most people make to either one they aren't that different, if you had been born a mormon you'd probably believe this". After a long time doing that...eventually I realized that both didn’t just “sound similar at the beginning”, but were literally the same thing. It was not a rational thing(which is one of the reasons why I oppose the connection between atheism and reason). Rationally I already knew most of the bible was a forgery, I was taught that at church, but somehow that did not affect my categorization of it until that strange emotional “click”in which something in my brain recategorised catholicism and it lost all it’s aura in a blink. With that went my ability to take catholicism seriously, and all other flavours of religion went right after it.
PD: I must have been a very convincing mormon apologist, of that group I know two of them lost faith for the same reasons as me, and a third person seriously considered mormonism.

3. Did the religion you followed actively promote anti-LGBT subjects?

Against most people's view, no.
But.
With a big catch.
You know, right?
People was seen as being born gay, it was not their fault and it was not a matter of praying, it wasn't something they were told to hide, and certainly they weren't rejected from the community. However, marriage shall happen only for reproduction purposes, and sex shall only happen in marriage, so if you are LGBTQ you can't marry anyone you can't have biological children with, so you can't have sex ever. It is "your cross to bear, like we all have our own", kinda like being born poor, or disabled, or having anything that causes suffering happen to you. So, it isn't frontal opposition, but in a way I argue that it makes a more insidious type of harm to LGBTQ people.

( I must give them credit for being consistent with their view on non-reproductive-sex though, that is why contraceptives are not allowed for heterosexuals either and why priests can't have sex, they get to claim that the norm is an across the board monstruosity, not an anti LGBTQ esception )

4. Did your chosen religion actively promote anti science based subjects? (anti-Evolution, anti-big bang theory, etc)


Not at all.
Actually, the first person that explained the big bamg theory and deep space to me was a priest, during a religion class at..I believe I was 8?9?
He was explaining that time in the Bible doesn't make literal sense and that god exists beyond time and space, and used the Big Bang and deep time to illustrate how time flows differently for god and for us.
He laso explained why Science can't prove God's existence, by definition, and why if we ever hear such argument is total bullshit. That guy rocked XD
The science-denial they engaged in was about very specific things, not big paradigms: preservatives don't fully protect from VIH, posession cases are documented and confirmed by psichiatrists...things like that. Again, not as bad as other things, but in a way more insidious.

5. Do you regret any of your time with your former religion?
I regret the anxiety attacks I got thanks to them, yes, but I actually like the background I got in catholic theology. For one thing, I loved it then and I love it now, even as an atheist. It is the story of the first attempts we made to connect with reality beyond our society and ourselves. Plus, I think I’d be incapable of understanding most of European history without the understanding on both christianity and the subjective religious experience I got from that time of my life.

6. Have you taken any positives from your former religion?
A lot. First of all how credulous I am and how superstition works and how emotional blackmail works (I’m not kidding, either religion, superstition, charismatic people...they are going to get you eventually if you have the natural credulity that I have XD so better that it was a group big enough to have critics working against it) Also, as I mentioned, going through it and overcoming the tendency to mix facts, emotions, language and reality has made me able to turn those worldviews on and off at will most of the time. I think that helps me be empathetic and make sense of stuff that I thought I understood byt I never really did (like why the heck were circular orbits so important!)Being able to flip the religious-frame on and off also lets me “experience” several worlds simultaneously! That is kind of great Smile

7. Overall, has the Atheist mindset been a positive or negative to you personally?
It wasn't a choice, so I don't think I can evaluate it.

8. What would you say to others thinking of joining a theistic lifestyle?

Again, I don't think it is a choice. If that's what you think is true, the drive to follow through isn't optional. I'd argue about the truthfulness of the premise though, whichever it is.

9. What would you say to those thinking of leaving a Theistic lifestyle?

back home: “Cool! Welcome! Please try not to become an arrogant asshole…”
Where I live now: I'd offer help and listen, and I'd probably try to reassure them that they are not a bad person because they don’t believe
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11-12-2017, 02:31 AM
RE: Questions for Former Theists
Filling kid's heads with this stuff really annoys me, because of all the false promises. It's like being told you're going to get billions of pounds and a mansion when you get to age 40, and having that idea being reinforced at every turn by everyone around you. Then one day you stop and wonder how this could all be. You start asking questions, poking around for evidence and such, and find out it was all nonsense. You've now "lost" all that money, whereas without all this crap, you'd never have expected it in the first place.

I appreciate most religious parents really do believe what they are telling their children, and think it's for the best. It's just a shame they won't agree to hold off until their kids are grown up enough to evaluate the ideas properly instead of just soaking it all up without question. If they all did this, of course, the current religions would instantly die out with the parents. Are the parents aware of this, on some level?

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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11-12-2017, 11:52 AM
RE: Questions for Former Theists
Yeah, it is sad...I kind of understand though. It makes sense to hold until they are older if you think belief will give them a reward. But if you really believe they may risk an eternity of hell you (I) would lock them in a tower for life if that is what it takes to keep them safe . Also, some faiths (catholics)would count you not telling them right away as a sin on your part, and a big one.
Religion has it's reproduction all figured out XD
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17-12-2017, 07:30 AM
RE: Questions for Former Theists
1. Which religion did you follow before following the Atheist mind set?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon/LDS)

2. Was there a reason to leave your chosen religion?
Any one specifically, no. It was a collective of several claims that had no basis in fact or reality.

3. Did the religion you followed actively promote anti-LGBT subjects?
Yes, absolutely. Ironically, it is now seemingly a hot-button issue within Mormonism.

4. Did your chosen religion actively promote anti science based subjects? (anti-Evolution, anti-big bang theory, etc)
Yes, absolutely. To be committed to Mormonism means taking the Bible literally, as well as the Book of Mormon and other doctrines which directly counter modern scientific theories. Literal truth of 6-day creation, Biblical flood, Israelite tribe as ancestors of Native Americans, and God lives near a star Kolob, it is all very anti-science.

5. Do you regret any of your time with your former religion?
Yes, most of it. The depth to which I was involved is hard to cope with in my adult life, although if there is anything to take from this, it was that I was forced and pressured into it instead of living it by choice.

6. Have you taken any positives from your former religion?
To claim, as an atheist, that there are absolutely no positives from religion is misleading and at best, disingenuous. I believe that there are good things from religion, as far as charity, art, *some* culture, and the communal feeling of being a part of something. However, I don't believe that a religion or even a god is necessary for this to be given those same ideals. I feel that all of the above is attainable simply through community.

7. Overall, has the Atheist mind set been a positive or negative to you personally?
It has been a positive mindset, for the most part. I can think freely without fear of repercussion, and I am not bound by the fear of a god striking me to hell. Personally, it has been great, however, the social suicide and disfellowship that resulted from my leaving faith has been extremely hard to bear.

8. What would you say to others thinking of joining a theistic lifestyle?
Research. Please. Make a rational decision. If you still join a religion, maybe it's just you longing for that sense of spiritualism that you cannot seem to get elsewhere.

9. What would you say to those thinking of leaving a Theistic lifestyle?
Research. The more you know, the easier it is leaving it all behind, and the less guilt you will feel. That is the hardest part, guilt.

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
--Mark Twain
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18-12-2017, 04:05 PM
RE: Questions for Former Theists
1. Which religion did you follow before following the Atheist mind set?
Orthodox

2. Was there a reason to leave your chosen religion?
My family wasn't very religious, we never talked about religion at home. My grandma is very religious however and she was the one taking us to church and forcing us to do all that annoying crap this entails (receive communion, observe Lent etc.) So I was never very religious myself.
I became agnostic at a very young age after realizing how silly the idea that our dead loved ones are watching us was. I was probably around 11 when it hit me, I was walking home, thinking about my other grandma who had died years before and suddenly thought "Wait, is grandma also watching when I poop?"
I had also started exploring my sexuality and the thought of my grandma witnessing all that sounded absurd.

That thought was such an epiphany that I still remember the exact spot on the road I was walking on. I hadn't heard of the term "atheist" but one day I read an interview of Monica Bellucci where she was asked if she believed in God, to which she replied that she was agnostic. So I searched for the term and found a nice little label for my new worldview. It was many years later that I called myself an atheist. It was all gradual, after slowly dissecting religion and realizing it all makes no sense.

3. Did the religion you followed actively promote anti-LGBT subjects?
Yes and it still does. All its spokespeople, especially those on the highest ranks, constantly appear on television wishing LGBT people all kinds of terrible stuff.

4. Did your chosen religion actively promote anti science based subjects? (anti-Evolution, anti-big bang theory, etc)
The Church is quite powerful in my country, which means governments are always submissive to them, which means they never want to upset the Church when planning what children are taught in schools. The Big Bang theory is never mentioned in books and we skipped the part in our Biology books that talks about evolution (teacher said it was "out of the curriculum"). The subject of Religion (subject of how the Orthodox Church is the one true religion, really), coincidentally, is taught as history and fact.

Other than that, the Orthodox Church is generally anti-science but they usually keep it to themselves here.

5. Do you regret any of your time with your former religion?

I was a kid, so it wasn't much time, really. I do regret letting people convince me I was a sinner and that I had to confess though. I remember it felt terrible. I had to think of all the bad things I'd done and I remember thinking "What the fuck? I haven't really done anything that bad." I was just a kid after all. I ended up confessing that I sometimes curse and that I once laughed when my little sister fell off the upper bunk bed and hurt her head.

6. Have you taken any positives from your former religion?

Nope. Unless we count the holiday traditions. Family gets together, we sing at the church on Easter, it's fun.

7. Overall, has the Atheist mind set been a positive or negative to you personally?
100% positive. I don't believe ignorance is bliss. My thirst for knowledge, my love for philosophy and my interest in astronomy and science in general could never be satisfied with a religious mindset. Knowing I have one life drives me to make the best of it.

8. What would you say to others thinking of joining a theistic lifestyle?
I'm not sure I understand this question. If someone is an atheist and decides to become a theist, I suppose they never were an atheist to begin with. If they were undecided and finally decided to choose a theistic religion, well, I tend not to interfere much, but I would at least ask them why they need it and urge them to carefully think about it first.

9. What would you say to those thinking of leaving a Theistic lifestyle?

Don't be afraid. You're not alone in this. There is so much you'll discover on the way and you won't regret it. Ask for help if you need it. Question. Think. Don't give up.


I should have probably left this for tomorrow. I'm not feeling that articulate today. Sorry if stuff doesn't make sense.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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18-12-2017, 04:21 PM
RE: Questions for Former Theists
1. Which religion did you follow before following the Atheist mind set?
I was Baptist.

2. Was there a reason to leave your chosen religion?
Lots of hate sugar coated with false love and appreciation. Ignorance, racism, etc. I eventually grew up, I started thinking for myself and my transition was an easy one.

3. Did the religion you followed actively promote anti-LGBT subjects? No.

4. Did your chosen religion actively promote anti science based subjects? (anti-Evolution, anti-big bang theory, etc)
I feel like, in the community I was a part of, people weren't oblivious to those subjects, but people surely didn't talk about/touch upon the subjects. They were basically avoided for the most part.

5. Do you regret any of your time with your former religion?
No, because as a child it was a safe haven for me, and it gave me a little hope that things would get better. When I got older, I realized only I could make things better for myself, and sure I had a lot of people to rely on and a lot of people that helped me open my eyes, but not one of those people was God. I took my own steps from there.

6. Have you taken any positives from your former religion?
From the Baptist environment? No. From a Christian environment? Yes. I think there are a handful of positive aspects I inherited from Christianity influence, but I no longer really credit Christianity for them anymore. Just be a decent person. You shouldn't go by a book to dictate if you're a decent person.

7. Overall, has the Atheist mind set been a positive or negative to you personally?
I feel it's had a very positive influence on me. A lot of my personal beliefs about individuality, self expression, LGBTQ, interracial relationships, BLM and feminism clashed with the religious superiors and environments I used to surround myself with. Becoming an Atheist, I feel I have more control over my own life. I have control over my own beliefs without feeling guilty about them.

8. What would you say to others thinking of joining a theistic lifestyle?
Do what you want. Do what makes you happy, I won't stop you. I like learning about differently religions, but I am simply entertained by the knowledge, not the worship. But I would never share an opinion that would deter someone from making a decision of their own. Just educate yourself. Enter Theism with an open mind, and never force yourself believe something that doesn't sit well with you. Never hold your tongue and bury your beliefs for someone else. That's why I strayed from Theism, but maybe that same reason is why someone would be attracted to Theism to begin with.

9. What would you say to those thinking of leaving a Theistic lifestyle?
Don't be afraid. You have one life, take the risks to become a happier person. Challenge yourself. If you're experiencing doubt, challenge that doubt. Accomplishing that alone will bring your incredibly far. Never hesitate to take a new step.
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