Subconscious Battle
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04-01-2016, 12:01 PM
Subconscious Battle
Dear Readers,

            Hello, my name is Matthew and I am in a subconscious battle. This is a battle I honestly do not know how to win. I have been fighting it for weeks now and it’s been quite a perdition. First, let me give you a little background about myself.

 I grew up in a traditional Christianity family being in the bible belt (Alabama). We went to church every Wednesday and Sunday. There was always that angry sounding preacher saying we needed to be better Christians and the choir always used hymns along with the piano playing. The “Holy Ghost” would always make people dance funny and make people cry. It was an interesting thing to watch as I had always wondered why they would do that when I was a child. My mother used to wear skirts all the time as so did my sister.
As a child, I never had strong faith in a supreme being, I had to force myself to believe. I’ve even been “saved” 3 times. I would have strong emotional feelings for the short 10 minutes. After that, I felt the same.

Things have changed a lot since then, my mother now wears jeans and a shirt. So does my sister, but they still have their faith. Heck my sister studies the bible and takes notes. She still goes to church and invites me every Sunday.

I go sometimes, but I feel like that I have to put on a mask. You see, my subconscious battle is like an atheist arguing with a Christian. My old childhood self is trying to convince this new atheist part of me that God still exists and he hasn’t abandon us. There is still a fear of hell that I managed to contain, but if there’s no God then none of that” Lucifier was cast down” stuff happened right? What if I’m wrong though?

There’s a reason why it’s all still there, the religious part.

My sister’s boyfriend, his family is very religious. So religious in fact that they believe that their family has a special gift. Her boyfriend could see demons as a child and apparently his mother talks to God directly. As I proof read that, I can see how ridiculous that sounds. I believed it at first, but as “part atheist” I couldn’t even think of any profound evidence for any of that. The religious childhood part of me believed it 100% of course.

I want to tell my family, but literally all my family is Christian. Some more than others. I’m so scared of the downfall and I don’t want to be shunned as a devil’s disciple. I feel as though I will be cast as an outsider and no one will ever talk to me again. That would be devastating due to the fact that I am 17 and still living with my parents obviously.

So my questions are:

1. How do I fully convince myself there is no hell?

2. How do I let everyone know?

3. Do I wait to let everyone know?

4. Since most of the girls here a religious, do I just lie and tell them I’m a Christian when it comes to dating? Or do I wait until I am older and find another non-believer?

5. Would you consider me an atheist?

 
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04-01-2016, 01:09 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
(04-01-2016 12:01 PM)GuruMatt Wrote:  Dear Readers,

            Hello, my name is Matthew and I am in a subconscious battle. This is a battle I honestly do not know how to win. I have been fighting it for weeks now and it’s been quite a perdition. First, let me give you a little background about myself.

 I grew up in a traditional Christianity family being in the bible belt (Alabama). We went to church every Wednesday and Sunday. There was always that angry sounding preacher saying we needed to be better Christians and the choir always used hymns along with the piano playing. The “Holy Ghost” would always make people dance funny and make people cry. It was an interesting thing to watch as I had always wondered why they would do that when I was a child. My mother used to wear skirts all the time as so did my sister.
As a child, I never had strong faith in a supreme being, I had to force myself to believe. I’ve even been “saved” 3 times. I would have strong emotional feelings for the short 10 minutes. After that, I felt the same.

Things have changed a lot since then, my mother now wears jeans and a shirt. So does my sister, but they still have their faith. Heck my sister studies the bible and takes notes. She still goes to church and invites me every Sunday.

I go sometimes, but I feel like that I have to put on a mask. You see, my subconscious battle is like an atheist arguing with a Christian. My old childhood self is trying to convince this new atheist part of me that God still exists and he hasn’t abandon us. There is still a fear of hell that I managed to contain, but if there’s no God then none of that” Lucifier was cast down” stuff happened right? What if I’m wrong though?

There’s a reason why it’s all still there, the religious part.

My sister’s boyfriend, his family is very religious. So religious in fact that they believe that their family has a special gift. Her boyfriend could see demons as a child and apparently his mother talks to God directly. As I proof read that, I can see how ridiculous that sounds. I believed it at first, but as “part atheist” I couldn’t even think of any profound evidence for any of that. The religious childhood part of me believed it 100% of course.

I want to tell my family, but literally all my family is Christian. Some more than others. I’m so scared of the downfall and I don’t want to be shunned as a devil’s disciple. I feel as though I will be cast as an outsider and no one will ever talk to me again. That would be devastating due to the fact that I am 17 and still living with my parents obviously.

So my questions are:

1. How do I fully convince myself there is no hell?

2. How do I let everyone know?

3. Do I wait to let everyone know?

4. Since most of the girls here a religious, do I just lie and tell them I’m a Christian when it comes to dating? Or do I wait until I am older and find another non-believer?

5. Would you consider me an atheist?

 

Hang in there young man. No need to make a declaration immediately. Go along to get along etc...
And as I do I would advise you to study the Bible. That is what did it for me. Read it and try to see if you can possibly believe it. Sutdy it with sis and point out the ridiculous parts such as "Sis, aren't you glad dad did not sell you as a slave as it suggests in the bible. etc...
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04-01-2016, 03:00 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
First off --- those "magical people" who "Talk directly to God" ------- there's a scientific term for those kind of people.....

"Whackadoodle"....

......

Relax... Always keep in mind -- that if all of religion is made up -- fictional --- (and it is...) -- then there's no rush to deal with it.

An empty refrigerator doesn't have food spoil.....

Take your time, reflect - and don't worry too much about it.

In the meantime - you can learn much from the people here -- about the realities of religion. Much of what you were told by the "devout" simply is revisionist history, twisted truth, and outright lies.......... Lots of the people here have gone through - or are going through - just what you are now. A better support group, you couldn't find.


...

Welcome to the forum.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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04-01-2016, 03:56 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
Hi Welcome to TTA Smile

1. How do I fully convince myself there is no hell?

I would recommend reading The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels.

2. How do I let everyone know?

Tell them in your own time and when you want to or feel the time is right. There's no rush.

3. Do I wait to let everyone know?

If you feel more comfortable doing that--then I would say yes, go at your own pace.

4. Since most of the girls here a religious, do I just lie and tell them I’m a Christian when it comes to dating? Or do I wait until I am older and find another non-believer?

No, don't lie to about your nonbeliefs. That's no way to build trust in a rship and will only cause problems as your rship grows.

5. Would you consider me an atheist?

Atheists don't believe in hell or the devil. What do you consider yourself to be? It's not up to others to give you a label.
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04-01-2016, 04:01 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
#4. Definitely let the religious girls know you are lacking faith. They will wet themselves at the chance to reform you, even going to the point of spreading their legs for Jesus. Enjoy it while you can!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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04-01-2016, 04:37 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
Right on, Jennybee!

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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04-01-2016, 04:47 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
(04-01-2016 12:01 PM)GuruMatt Wrote:  I grew up in a traditional Christianity family being in the bible belt (Alabama). We went to church every Wednesday and Sunday.

I’m so scared of the downfall and I don’t want to be shunned as a devil’s disciple. I feel as though I will be cast as an outsider and no one will ever talk to me again. That would be devastating due to the fact that I am 17 and still living with my parents obviously.

As Jennybee already explained, it's not about labels. Apply your own labels to yourself, and in your own time. Never believe (or disbelieve) on behalf of others.

That said, I grew up in southeast Georgia and southwest Louisiana, in an extremely Christian fundamentalist family and environment. I feel your pain; when I came out to my family as being no longer Christian (didn't even consider myself an atheist, yet) at the age of 17, I was ejected from my home... or rather, I was given a choice of leaving or going to their church anyway. I left. It took nearly 10 years before I fully re-established contact with my family, and my siblings have never forgiven me for what they see as abandoning the family. It breaks my heart even today.

I would advise you to seek out freethinker groups in your area--yes, they exist even in Alabama--and to read a lot of books, starting with the Bible. There are many excellent books (those written by non-fundamentalist scholars, which don't start with the proposition that the Bible MUST be the truth) on the history of how the Bible was written. Jennybee's recommendation of Elaine Pagels is a great place to start. When leaving a fundamentalist environment, I think it's critical to know the facts... it was discovering how much my church had lied to me about science and history that allowed me to finally free myself of the emotional chains in which they had bound me. Today, and every day since I left, I have felt more free-- not because my personal behavior has changed much, other than church activities, but because my mind need not filter every piece of information, every thought, every emotion through the filters of dogma that they placed over my mind.

Read all that you can. I personally recommend the book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, which is less about religion and more about training yourself to think rationally. Learn all that you can about the faith-tradition you grew up in, viewed from the outside, in order to gain both knowledge and perspective. You will need it if you choose to leave, when others demand that you explain yourself.

If, in the end, your studies lead you to accept that Christianity is real (and just badly practiced in your personal church), then great. But if you feel at the end of your studies that another faith is right for you, or none, then "this, above all, to thine own self be true", as Shakespeare put it. Do not be dishonest, not even to yourself. It's not worth the price.

Meanwhile, whatever path you take, we're glad to offer you what support we can.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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04-01-2016, 05:19 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
1. How do I fully convince myself there is no hell?
-- time and experience; many people have trouble getting over the fear of hell and it can take a while because the early indoctrination is strong. Keep reading, find a local meetup and/or hang out here, and evaluate the evidence and the claims being made.

2. How do I let everyone know?
-- why do you want to? I don't mean to sound flippant but you're still questioning and searching so maybe it makes sense to hold off until you are more comfortable in your new mindset. When you are it will come more naturally.

3. Do I wait to let everyone know?
-- if you are financially dependent on your parents and there is any chance they will hold it against you then I'd wait; it may feel dishonest but you need to take care of yourself first. You know your situation best but you may want to start slow with some questioning rather than just blurting out "Hey mom, I'm a heathen now".

4. Since most of the girls here a religious, do I just lie and tell them I’m a Christian when it comes to dating? Or do I wait until I am older and find another non-believer?
-- basing a relationship on a lie will never work so if you want something more than revolving door relationships you need to be yourself; again, you may not need to be totally honest, and hopefully you can find someone for whom it at least isn't a constant subject; find some secular activities to get involved in so that you meet them outside of the church setting and have something else to talk about. You may even find another closeted atheist.

5. Would you consider me an atheist?
-- How would you answer the question "does a god exist?"
If "Yes, I think that's probably true" -- you are not an atheist
If "No, I don't have any reason to believe that" -- you are an atheist
If "I really don't know" -- you are still an atheist in that you don't have an active belief but as somebody already said, use whatever label you are comfortable with.
Many of us use "agnostic atheist" because we don't believe but also don't claim that we know that nothing that could be called a god exists anywhere. We just say that all the god claims made so far don't meet the burden of proof.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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04-01-2016, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2016 05:55 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Subconscious Battle
Usually subconscious battles are not expressed consciously. Like by definition.

(04-01-2016 12:01 PM)GuruMatt Wrote:  So my questions are:

1. How do I fully convince myself there is no hell?

Oh make no mistake about it, there most certainly is a Hell. I been there and back many times.

(04-01-2016 12:01 PM)GuruMatt Wrote:  2. How do I let everyone know?

Know what?

(04-01-2016 12:01 PM)GuruMatt Wrote:  3. Do I wait to let everyone know?

Know what?

(04-01-2016 12:01 PM)GuruMatt Wrote:  4. Since most of the girls here a religious, do I just lie and tell them I’m a Christian when it comes to dating? Or do I wait until I am older and find another non-believer?

Can't help you. Never been on date.

(04-01-2016 12:01 PM)GuruMatt Wrote:  5. Would you consider me an atheist?

I'm not sure what to make of you yet.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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04-01-2016, 08:38 PM
RE: Subconscious Battle
(04-01-2016 03:56 PM)jennybee Wrote:  5. Would you consider me an atheist?

Atheists don't believe in hell or the devil. What do you consider yourself to be? It's not up to others to give you a label.

So true. Well said, Jennybee!
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