Struggles or Plain Sailing?
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11-06-2016, 07:08 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 07:06 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  
(11-06-2016 07:02 AM)Anjele Wrote:  I was raised Catholic. But it was more going through the motions than anything else. I wasn't ever really a believer in the fantastical stories and concepts. Mass on Sunday, no meat on Friday, Catechism classes till my Catholic school days, first communion, confirmation...it was all just going through the motions.

There was never really any talk about religion in the home when I was growing up. I think mom was raised Methodist but was really more atheist or agnostic and dad was raising us Catholic for business reasons - all his clients were Catholic and he didn't want to buck their beliefs.

I had minor struggles in that in my early 20s I really thought you had to believe in some sort of god story. I did some reading and researching until I realized that I didn't have to follow or buy into any of it, of any flavor.

Since I have, in all the decades that have followed, not seen or heard anything to convince me differently...I do not struggle with my non-belief.

I hate to hear the stories about people who lose family and friends when they leave a life of faith or about those who feel the need to live a lie to not have that happen.

I think I have been surrounded by weird people in my family. My mother said she didn't believe in God, when I was a kid and so I thought she was an atheist, as opposed to my father, who was/is a believer. Just recently, I found out that my mother is a believer now and defends Christianity, although I think it has more to do with 'keeping up appearances'. Big Grin

'Keeping up appearances' is a perfect description of my Catholic upbringing. It was all show.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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11-06-2016, 07:15 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 07:08 AM)Anjele Wrote:  
(11-06-2016 07:06 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  I think I have been surrounded by weird people in my family. My mother said she didn't believe in God, when I was a kid and so I thought she was an atheist, as opposed to my father, who was/is a believer. Just recently, I found out that my mother is a believer now and defends Christianity, although I think it has more to do with 'keeping up appearances'. Big Grin

'Keeping up appearances' is a perfect description of my Catholic upbringing. It was all show.

Maybe Narcissistic Personalty Disorder is more prevalent among believers of religion. I did note as a kid, while at church, this seemed to be the case for many - to be 'seen' as being a good religious soul. Also, which I find interesting, which is these days, the most popular political ideaology, seems to attract the same - 'look at me - I am so good and accepting of everybody - aren't I fantastic!'. Haha!! Big Grin
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11-06-2016, 07:19 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 07:15 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  
(11-06-2016 07:08 AM)Anjele Wrote:  'Keeping up appearances' is a perfect description of my Catholic upbringing. It was all show.

Maybe Narcissistic Personalty Disorder is more prevalent among believers of religion. I did note as a kid, while at church, this seemed to be the case for many - to be 'seen' as being a good religious soul. Also, which I find interesting, which is these days, the most popular political ideaology, seems to attract the same - 'look at me - I am so good and accepting of everybody - aren't I fantastic!'. Haha!! Big Grin

Yes, the families who always made sure that they paraded up the center aisle of the Basilica so they would be seen by everyone as they made their way to one of the front pews.

These were families led by parents who spent their weekend nights guzzling down the drinks I served them and playing grab ass with each other. Showing up in their Sunday finest and throwing some coins in the collection plate absolved them of all that though. Dodgy The hypocrisy so thick you could cut it with a knife.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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11-06-2016, 07:23 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 07:19 AM)Anjele Wrote:  
(11-06-2016 07:15 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  Maybe Narcissistic Personalty Disorder is more prevalent among believers of religion. I did note as a kid, while at church, this seemed to be the case for many - to be 'seen' as being a good religious soul. Also, which I find interesting, which is these days, the most popular political ideaology, seems to attract the same - 'look at me - I am so good and accepting of everybody - aren't I fantastic!'. Haha!! Big Grin

Yes, the families who always made sure that they paraded up the center aisle of the Basilica so they would be seen by everyone as they made their way to one of the front pews.

These were families led by parents who spent their weekend nights guzzling down the drinks I served them and playing grab ass with each other. Showing up in their Sunday finest and throwing some coins in the collection plate absolved them of all that though. Dodgy The hypocrisy so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Yes, right - the hypocrisy. That winds me up so much! It's ironic really, as most of the atheists I know, have hearts of gold and are almost more Christian than the Christians themselves - as in the good virtuous stuff.
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11-06-2016, 07:29 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 06:57 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  You have reminded me of something, which scares the shit out of me, which is this: what if we are part of some kind of virtual reality program, which was created by a theist? And what would happen if during that program and our lives, Jesus, Mohammed, or whoever, came back and we suddenly find ourselves in this world where it was all true, according to the virtual reality program and we're all going to burn in oblivion because of it.

After successfully disproving the existence of hell I became a government sponsored nutbag. Which is pretty much the best one can do for conclusive evidence in these matters. Wink

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11-06-2016, 07:32 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 07:29 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(11-06-2016 06:57 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  You have reminded me of something, which scares the shit out of me, which is this: what if we are part of some kind of virtual reality program, which was created by a theist? And what would happen if during that program and our lives, Jesus, Mohammed, or whoever, came back and we suddenly find ourselves in this world where it was all true, according to the virtual reality program and we're all going to burn in oblivion because of it.

After successfully disproving the existence of hell I became a government sponsored nutbag. Which is pretty much the best one can do for conclusive evidence in these matters. Wink

That will do and if we are part of some kind of game programmed by a sadistic theist. When we all go to hell, hopefully the batteries will run out for the game system at some point! Big Grin
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11-06-2016, 07:41 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
Anxiety about hell/death/oblivion occurs when the inner monkey gets at the simulator. One of the prime functions of the human mind is to run simulations, but we are figuratively a natural animal - conscious being duality. The conscious being runs future simulations derived from past data, in areas where the data is non-existent or pure speculation, the conscious being often steps away from the simulator. Then the monkey slips in, flipping levers, spinning dials - what will happen when I die and there's nothing? Monkey starts subtracting things that are known, society, light, confidence; trying to simulate nothing as the absence of thingness. That is made of fail. Last time I was afraid of the dark I imagined Monkey at the controls and sent him packing with a swift kick to the backside. Haven't had a problem since. Wink

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11-06-2016, 07:45 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 06:51 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  I can certainly identify with what you say on the first bit. I put it down to conscious conflicts with old programmed belief systems, although it doesn't take away the emotional turmoil, some may go through.

Agreed. It's probably the reason a lot of believers have doubts, but ultimately come back. There are a lot of layers of belief you have to fully break out of. If even one snags you, you will likely remain a believer, with or without doubts.

It's why the Lord "works in mysterious ways" and that Satan is "the great deceiver" and you shouldn't trust his lies, and that God's foolishness is stronger than our wisdom. The Bible very explicitly tells you that if none of this makes sense, at best, you shouldn't worry about it, and at worst it's your fault.
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11-06-2016, 08:00 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(07-06-2016 06:54 AM)Dramamask Wrote:  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

Been heathen all me life.

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11-06-2016, 08:14 AM
RE: Struggles or Plain Sailing?
(11-06-2016 07:41 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Anxiety about hell/death/oblivion occurs when the inner monkey gets at the simulator. One of the prime functions of the human mind is to run simulations, but we are figuratively a natural animal - conscious being duality. The conscious being runs future simulations derived from past data, in areas where the data is non-existent or pure speculation, the conscious being often steps away from the simulator. Then the monkey slips in, flipping levers, spinning dials - what will happen when I die and there's nothing? Monkey starts subtracting things that are known, society, light, confidence; trying to simulate nothing as the absence of thingness. That is made of fail. Last time I was afraid of the dark I imagined Monkey at the controls and sent him packing with a swift kick to the backside. Haven't had a problem since. Wink

Yes, that fucker of a mind or that bloody monkey chatter, is a right royal pain in the arse. Funnily enough, as you may already know, they use the monkey in a similar characteristic way in some Buddhist thought. Also, which may seem coincidental, or even spookily supernatural, I bought a book by Steve Peters called 'The Chimp Paradox', which is a recommended read. I can tell you this - my chimp is out of control and it likes to smoke, drink, eat cakes and all the rest, along with some of the thoughts you mentioned in your post, pestering away, for hours and days on end. My chimp has also got me into countless numbers of trouble! Haha!! Big Grin
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