Struggles or Plain Sailing?
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07-06-2016, 06:54 AM
Struggles or Plain Sailing?
I'm sure this question has been put forward on this forum before, so please excuse me, if it has.

Were you a theist as a child and made the transition to atheism, or were you atheist from the onset? Also, if you were a theist as a child and discarded those beliefs, was it an easy mental transition, or did you struggle with any kind of internal conflict? Or, was it 'plain sailing' making that mental transition?

On top of that, are there any atheists here, who were atheist from the onset, who may have had doubts and maybe had the idea there was a God, gods, supernatural, afterall, due to maybe an experience, which may have been comparable to what some record as a 'religious' experience.

Hope that makes sense. Smile
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07-06-2016, 07:07 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
when i was a child i just assumed that everything adults said was true, especially my old and wise grandparents that dragged me to church a few times.. then i quickly realized that adults could be wrong. those early years of assumption were the only reasons that i swallowed the god shit.
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07-06-2016, 07:12 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(07-06-2016 07:07 AM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  when i was a child i just assumed that everything adults said was true, especially my old and wise grandparents that dragged me to church a few times.. then i quickly realized that adults could be wrong. those early years of assumption were the only reasons that i swallowed the god shit.

Sounds a similar story to my own, but didn't shake off the God stuff, until around my early to mid-twenties and even then, replaced it with other trains of religious and spiritual ideas, which lasted a few more years. I was pretty much 'clean' by my early thirties. Haha! Big Grin
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07-06-2016, 07:17 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
I was raised in an extremely religious environment, and I fully bought into it for pretty much the whole time. I had doubts, but I viewed those doubts from the perspective of a believer, and never actually considered the possibility that there was no God/my religion was wrong. I remember distinctly trying so hard to fight against the things that were leading me "away from my faith" so that I could be more in line with what God wanted; that was the primary reason I gave to convince myself to break up with my high school boyfriend (he was either agnostic or just less religious than me). I didn't let go of my faith until college, when I was finally exposed to other world views for real, rather than just the straw man versions that were presented to me in church and Christian school. I developed a huge sense of guilt surrounding that realization, but with quite a bit of therapy I've been able to overcome most of it. I considered myself, if not completely happy as an atheist, certainly much happier than I was when I was religious (even though that hasn't been very obvious to those around me, since I'm now much more open about the things that I'm struggling with rather than simply denying their existence for fear of being called out on the sin of discontentment).
Hopefully that answers your question. Sorry if I got rambly Smile
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07-06-2016, 07:25 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
I was a theist as a child (Southern Baptist, mainly, although my father at one point tried to start his own denomination). My father was first a part-time pastor and then a full-time missionary for the bulk of my childhood, so my home and social lives were saturated with religion. I was taught that Satan was an always-lurking force and behind any of my doubts. Despite all of the attempts to choke off thinking, by the time I was in my teens I had noticed that Christianity didn't seem to make its practitioners into better people than they had been before, even though they claimed this was the case. Having read the Bible cover to cover at least 10 times and having studied and analyzed it with other Christians and on my own, I noticed that the god of the Bible's statements of benevolence and love towards his creations were flatly contradicted by his actions. By about age 16 I had decided it was immoral to worship such a being. I wasn't yet able to let go of the idea of a god at that point, so this was a difficult time period for me.

I went far, far away to college and while there read and studied about other religions and also took courses in theology and philosophy and history of religions. I became convinced that all gods were manmade. I was very relieved that I was no longer in the position of having to suffer the consequences of opposing the immoral Judeo-Christian god. My position eventually became one of agnosticism regarding whether some force that could be called "god" started the universe, and atheism regarding a personal/interventionist god.

There was some emotional turmoil that came with the decision, but that was mostly because I had made some great friends who were Christians while I was in college, and I was afraid that our friendships would suffer if I no longer believed. Fortunately, that wasn't the case with my college friends. I wouldn't say it was an easy transition, but it wasn't gut-wrenching, either.
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07-06-2016, 09:31 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
I was a theist when I was a kid. I wanted it to be true. But if it is not true then it is not true. What I want is not relevant.
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07-06-2016, 09:53 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
i think one of my earliest realizations that christianity was man made was when i discovered the ancient greek and egyptian mythologies. i thought they were really cool, then found out that people use to actually believe this silly stuff. now here i was, watching kevin sorbo as hercules fighting these cool looking monsters, and a whole lot of people thousands of years ago use to believe this shit just as passionately as people today believe in christianity. what made those people wrong and what made my current local religion correct? never got an answer for that. the other day i was wondering how long it will be before theres a badly acted cheesy tv show depicting jesus wandering around beating the shit out of romans and foiling satans schemes. too bad i wont be around to enjoy it.
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07-06-2016, 10:00 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
Never was a theist, never will be. Father left when I was young and Mother, if she is a Christian, never really showed it. Never went to church or anything so religion was never brought up or an issue growing up.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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07-06-2016, 10:28 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(07-06-2016 07:17 AM)debna27 Wrote:  I was raised in an extremely religious environment, and I fully bought into it for pretty much the whole time. I had doubts, but I viewed those doubts from the perspective of a believer, and never actually considered the possibility that there was no God/my religion was wrong. I remember distinctly trying so hard to fight against the things that were leading me "away from my faith" so that I could be more in line with what God wanted; that was the primary reason I gave to convince myself to break up with my high school boyfriend (he was either agnostic or just less religious than me). I didn't let go of my faith until college, when I was finally exposed to other world views for real, rather than just the straw man versions that were presented to me in church and Christian school. I developed a huge sense of guilt surrounding that realization, but with quite a bit of therapy I've been able to overcome most of it. I considered myself, if not completely happy as an atheist, certainly much happier than I was when I was religious (even though that hasn't been very obvious to those around me, since I'm now much more open about the things that I'm struggling with rather than simply denying their existence for fear of being called out on the sin of discontentment).
Hopefully that answers your question. Sorry if I got rambly Smile

I remember having the guilt feeling, when questioning things inside my own head, at a very young age and I think I pretty much repressed those thoughts and thought I would be punished by having such thoughts. I thought the thoughts were coming from the Devil somehow. I wouldn't say it was a smooth transition for me either and felt a conflict and later on, saw the old 'religious' believing thinking as a habit.

I've always been inquisitive also, so that aspect pulled me out from all of it. If I wasn't inquisitive, I think I would most likely be a brainwashed believer now. I still get the odd twinge of guilt from time to time, from not being a believer, but realise it's just on old 'program' popping up from my mind and being a nuisance, like a remnant of a computer virus interfering with my updated computer operating system. Haha! Big Grin

You weren't rambly. Smile I'm interested in others' experiences with this. Smile
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07-06-2016, 10:36 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
Other forum members are sick of hearing this but I had no idea who the hell Jesus was until I was around 10. Religion was nonexistent for me. I had no idea what a church was for. We lived in a cabin in the woods up in the Tahoe area with no tv or radio. I had a fabulous childhood. It was just the most fun ever.

Religion is sick.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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