The Pain Of Deconversion
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28-11-2012, 06:01 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.

Onedream,
I feel for you. I really feel for you. I felt similarly when I deconverted, but my path was of fear. Fear of an eternal punishment that might befall me if I chose the path Of intellectual honesty and naturalism that I have now been traveling on for a while.


Now, I am going to try to attack main points of your posts and dissect them. Your point about dying is a very valid one, and I think that it is a huge reason why people first invented religion in the first place, the mystery(fear) of death.


Ignorant, primitive humans once thought that once you die, you go to another place, and you never come back. It was sensible at the time. Now, most people believe in the eternally unjustifiable dogma of heaven and hell. What I am about to say is purely my opinion, and you should think about it and see if you agree. I do not find it good that eternal happiness should be a reward of ignorance, blind faith, and persecution in the name of their God. I do not think that eternal bliss should be a reward for finite deeds. I also do not think that eternal punishment should be given out for those that need evidence, that need a good reason for following. I do not think that eternal punishment should be given out for finite deeds, no matter how heinous.


Now, onedream, I think that not being afraid of death is stupid, but I think that fearing death enough to disregard all evidence to the contrary and cling to the dubious claim of an eternal afterlife is pitiful. Art of the reason people dread death is the fact that they are leaving their family members behind, and will never see them again. While an afterlife might solve that problem, you must get INTO heaven to definitely see your family. Hell will never allow it, seeing as that would be a further way to punish you. Now, lets say you die, and your wife, or the person you love the most dies before you, and she didn't convert to Christianity because she is an atheist. You know for certain she is going to hell.


There are two ways it might go down:


One, you will not see your wife or whoever in heaven, seeing as she is in hell. Without her, or whomever, would it be really a paradise? Would you have eternal happiness without your wife? Would your stay in heaven be perfect without the person you love the most in the world? How can it be the perfect paradise if your wife isn't there?

Two, you will see your wife in heaven. This is confusing because you know she is not a believer, and yet here she is. Heaven wouldn't have allowed a nonbeliever in heaven, so that means the person in heaven is not your real wife. She is an illusion, and she is not real. While this is least likely, it is a possibility. Either way, even if she is there or not, you might not be happy. You might even be angry. Just because you are in heaven, doesn't mean all the family members you see are also in heaven, it could be heaven fucking around with you just to make you happy.

This is a good dilemma to go through, as either way, heaven can't really be a perfect afterlife.

What I am saying is that heaven, nor hell might be favorable in certain circumstances.

I am not sure about what is out there after you die, but I HOPE with every fiber of my being it is not HEAVEN or HELL. I like just dying. It is simple, no punishment for finite deeds, no possible lies. No anything. It is poetic in the sense that everybody is equal in death, from president to terrorist.

Deconverting is painful, but you need to understand that if you believe just to believe, or just to run away, wouldn't your God know that, and know your belief is not sincere?

I suggest listening to Hitchens, he got me throw my pain by making sense, and by being a badass.

Sorry I couldn't say much.

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30-11-2012, 12:49 AM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
I've lost grandparents. And this pain is comparable.

(26-11-2012 11:18 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(26-11-2012 06:27 PM)onedream Wrote:  How did your deconversion come about?

By the way...you're right. It DOES feel like someone I love died. I hate it.

You're an older person than me, so someone you love probably has died. I find it difficult to relate though. The pain of losing Jesus is this bad ? I don't recall ever feeling love for God that deep.
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30-11-2012, 12:56 AM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
Great response. Thanks for taking the time. I just had this conversation with my wife tonight about eternal punishment for finite evils.


(28-11-2012 06:01 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.

Onedream,
I feel for you. I really feel for you. I felt similarly when I deconverted, but my path was of fear. Fear of an eternal punishment that might befall me if I chose the path Of intellectual honesty and naturalism that I have now been traveling on for a while.


Now, I am going to try to attack main points of your posts and dissect them. Your point about dying is a very valid one, and I think that it is a huge reason why people first invented religion in the first place, the mystery(fear) of death.


Ignorant, primitive humans once thought that once you die, you go to another place, and you never come back. It was sensible at the time. Now, most people believe in the eternally unjustifiable dogma of heaven and hell. What I am about to say is purely my opinion, and you should think about it and see if you agree. I do not find it good that eternal happiness should be a reward of ignorance, blind faith, and persecution in the name of their God. I do not think that eternal bliss should be a reward for finite deeds. I also do not think that eternal punishment should be given out for those that need evidence, that need a good reason for following. I do not think that eternal punishment should be given out for finite deeds, no matter how heinous.


Now, onedream, I think that not being afraid of death is stupid, but I think that fearing death enough to disregard all evidence to the contrary and cling to the dubious claim of an eternal afterlife is pitiful. Art of the reason people dread death is the fact that they are leaving their family members behind, and will never see them again. While an afterlife might solve that problem, you must get INTO heaven to definitely see your family. Hell will never allow it, seeing as that would be a further way to punish you. Now, lets say you die, and your wife, or the person you love the most dies before you, and she didn't convert to Christianity because she is an atheist. You know for certain she is going to hell.


There are two ways it might go down:


One, you will not see your wife or whoever in heaven, seeing as she is in hell. Without her, or whomever, would it be really a paradise? Would you have eternal happiness without your wife? Would your stay in heaven be perfect without the person you love the most in the world? How can it be the perfect paradise if your wife isn't there?

Two, you will see your wife in heaven. This is confusing because you know she is not a believer, and yet here she is. Heaven wouldn't have allowed a nonbeliever in heaven, so that means the person in heaven is not your real wife. She is an illusion, and she is not real. While this is least likely, it is a possibility. Either way, even if she is there or not, you might not be happy. You might even be angry. Just because you are in heaven, doesn't mean all the family members you see are also in heaven, it could be heaven fucking around with you just to make you happy.

This is a good dilemma to go through, as either way, heaven can't really be a perfect afterlife.

What I am saying is that heaven, nor hell might be favorable in certain circumstances.

I am not sure about what is out there after you die, but I HOPE with every fiber of my being it is not HEAVEN or HELL. I like just dying. It is simple, no punishment for finite deeds, no possible lies. No anything. It is poetic in the sense that everybody is equal in death, from president to terrorist.

Deconverting is painful, but you need to understand that if you believe just to believe, or just to run away, wouldn't your God know that, and know your belief is not sincere?

I suggest listening to Hitchens, he got me throw my pain by making sense, and by being a badass.

Sorry I couldn't say much.
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30-11-2012, 12:57 AM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
(26-11-2012 05:15 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  
(26-11-2012 03:04 PM)onedream Wrote:  I'm about two years into a process of what I am almost sure (Barring divine intervention) is my de-conversion from Christianity.

It started 2 years ago when I e-mailed Seth (The thinking atheist) some doubts I had about Noah's Ark. He sent me his answers and since then, I've been searching the scriptures off and on for reasons to continue believing.

Seth and I have been close friends for almost 20 years. He was my first radio program director. And he's been kind of like a big brother to me in my career. He told me a few years ago that he was an atheist. The day he told me, I went home and wept and prayed for him for an hour. I called a fellow friend of ours and told him what Seth had said to me. And together, we prayed for Seth for another 20 minutes. This friend of ours is a Pentecostal minister. And this minister had a "word" from God for me that day. He said "Don't worry. God is going to snap him back like a dog on a leash. God will get Seth's attention and he'll be more on fire for God than he's ever been."

I was comforted...temporarily. But my heart ached for Seth. And I believe now that this "word from God" was bullshit.

Fast forward 4 years. The last year has been an especially study-filled time in my life. I began reading the scripture in-depth to try to find answers to my questions. And all I've found are more questions and doubts. I've read the books by Lee Strobel and have come up dry. He gives no proof for Christ at the end of the day. On the contrary, the books read like propaganda to help Christians feel "scientific" about our faith. But at the end of the day, it's just faith. That's ALL it is. On the other hand, Richard Dawkins' book "The God delusion" is sitting on my bedside table and makes perfect sense.

I've come to a conclusion. If I'm going to remain a Christian, it will have to be for one reason: "Because I want to."

That's IT. That's the only reason I can find for faith. "Just because it's comforting and I want it in my life."

This process has been painful from the beginning. Fear, terror, deep sadness, desperation & a strange sense of exhilaration have all been components. But today I'm feeling pain. The more I realize that I really don't have faith, the sadder I become. The thought that the party is over when I die is deeply grieving. The prospect that Jesus (whom I have loved with all my heart) will not be there to greet me in an afterlife tears me apart. It's like losing a loved-one. And that grieving process is something I never anticipated as part of this. I'm sad, people. And I wonder, if you're in my situation, how YOU have dealt with this.

Please help. Thanks.


Hey Onedream.


Considering the feelings you are describing; I say good on ya.
I never went through this myself, so I might not be of much help but I think I've got an idea about what is going on. To me, in my totally unprofessional opinion, thee feeling you are getting are a resurgence of sorts. Indoctrination has that sort of effect on the brain; it colours everything inside with itself and the mind does not let the training go easily and inadvertently set upon itself this kind of mental torture while attempting to reassert itself as dominant.


I wonder, have you watched any of Evid3nc3's videos? during his Deconversion series, he lightly touches upon what (I think) you are feeling near the end, they are a good resource for learning anyway.


Makes me somewhat sad that I cannot really do, say or recommend anything for you. All I can do is offer my basic explanation, and give somewhat synthetic sympathies.


Though there is a great quote from Christopher Hitchens (probably one of my favorites from him) regarding you comment about the party being over:


Quote: It will happen to all of us, that at some point you get tapped on the shoulder and told, not just that the party’s over, but slightly worse: the party’s going on — but you have to leave. And it’s going on without you. That’s the reflection that I think most upsets people about their demise. All right, then, because it might make us feel better, let’s pretend the opposite. Instead, you’ll get tapped on the shoulder and told, Great news: this party’s going on forever – and you can’t leave. You’ve got to stay; the boss says so. And he also insists that you have a good time.
Thanks. I'll check it out.
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30-11-2012, 12:59 AM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
To everyone else who responded. I appreciate each of you. thanks.
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23-11-2013, 03:25 PM
RE: The Pain Of Deconversion
I feel some pain in my life right now too. It's like I wish I could either go back to believing in Jesus or that I could continue to something else that makes sense. I am stuck in a transition right now.

My current project is explaining why many things in this world are irrelevant to me.
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