The Underlying Effects of Religion
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30-08-2010, 05:23 PM
 
The Underlying Effects of Religion
The more I live without god, the more I realize how I allowed fallacies to direct my life. I wonder how many christians out there are suffering the same needless pain?

I left relationships under-developed because I believed I had an eternity to spend with my loved ones.

I didn't always take care of my body because I felt I had a "do over" when I died.

I didn't always respect the planet I live on or its co-inhabitants because I believed mankind was the pinnacle of creation and that god would restore anything I left damaged.

I became complacent and willing to let god work on my problems for me instead of working hard to solve them myself.

I felt bitter because prayers were never answered and evil never was never lessened instead of realizing that chance has no agenda.

How has religion affected you?
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30-08-2010, 05:36 PM
 
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
I gave up being a Christian in high school. I pretended to be an agnostic because it was the politically correct thing to do. One must, after all, believe in the fundamental equality of all belief systems.

Then as an adult, I came to my senses and saw that liberal complacency like mine helped to perpetuate the problem. I now see religion as filling a psychological need for a species who needed structure to explain scary things 2000 years ago. Only inertia and power structures have sustained it. I also see it as a side effect of the creative human impulse to tell stories. If we don't have religion, we replace it with aliens, or tarot cards, or crop circles, or being able to see Russia from your porch.

Aside... I grew up in a half Mormon half Presbyterian family. My grandparents all spent a great deal of time insisting they had true belief, that they were right, and above all else fear Catholics because they eat grapes or something like that. I don't remember when I became skeptical, but I do know that I have spent the last thirty years studying religious history, philosophy and other world explaining stuff in a roundabout effort to figure out what I believe.

Then I picked up a book by Sam Harris. Why had I been avoiding reading about atheism? Perhaps it was because I already thought the things he said. He just articulated them so well. And, after that I've read many more books by many other authors. But that was my transformative moment. I never believed. I only wanted to.
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30-08-2010, 08:56 PM
 
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
Thanks for sharing, Puck. I wish I could say that I never believed, but on some level I did. I just didn't believe enough to stay satisfied.

My transformative book was "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. If I was going to call any living thing god, it just might be him. Tongue
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30-08-2010, 11:00 PM
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
First-I am not sure of the difference between reply and quick reply unless it has to do with one version quoted inside a post and the other not.

I went to Sunday School when I was young. Even at the fifth grade level I was listening and sifting through the stuff I was being told and just knew it was not true using simple logic skills. It all seemed so outlandish and it all happened when it could not be recorded. I did not argue the point-I simply stopped going. Great to hear your story,
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31-08-2010, 08:23 AM
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
(30-08-2010 11:00 PM)Dave005 Wrote:  First-I am not sure of the difference between reply and quick reply unless it has to do with one version quoted inside a post and the other not.

Quick Reply lets you type your message in the box at the bottom of the page. A standard reply brings up more options for formatting your post. Pressing the "Reply" button on a post will take you to the standard reply page with the selected post quoted for your convenience.

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- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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31-08-2010, 10:47 AM
 
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
I can't think of a time when I actually believed the monotheistic mumbo-jumbo I was asked to swallow. Hence, I can't claim any "epiphany" regarding the erroneous beliefs that monotheists use to manage their lives, but it seems to me that a philosophy that provided some comfort to Bronze Age "civilizations" is now dangerous to us all. Consider the effect of barbaric religious intolerance and hatred when armed with modern weapons!
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01-09-2010, 05:50 AM
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
(30-08-2010 05:23 PM)athnostic Wrote:  The more I live without god, the more I realize how I allowed fallacies to direct my life. I wonder how many christians out there are suffering the same needless pain?

I left relationships under-developed because I believed I had an eternity to spend with my loved ones.

I didn't always take care of my body because I felt I had a "do over" when I died.

I didn't always respect the planet I live on or its co-inhabitants because I believed mankind was the pinnacle of creation and that god would restore anything I left damaged.

I became complacent and willing to let god work on my problems for me instead of working hard to solve them myself.

I felt bitter because prayers were never answered and evil never was never lessened instead of realizing that chance has no agenda.

How has religion affected you?

Much of the same goes for me. Also things like not planning ahead... at all really because it had gotten into my head so often that the rapture was only about three years away (always about three yeas away =P). I also knew how I felt about my sexuality, but I knew that God hated that, so I let myself be miserable and tried to change myself and hoped that when I was resurrected God would "fix" me and let me be a girl. =P

I was really quite deluded, I remember crying on a regular basis about how worthless I was in the eyes of God and about how he did something so painful to save me. Thinking back, it really DID have all the traits of an abusive relationship. I even let my faith get in the way of many of my friendships.

In hindsight, I'm so glad I found out I was wrong all my life. I'm so glad I'm not that far down that path anymore.

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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02-09-2010, 12:15 AM
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
The thing about religion that bothers me the most is that it keeps trying to aquire more power and if it does, it will abuse this power and many will suffer. I know it doesn't need much religious power to cause suffering, but the suffering "seems" to increase logarithmically as power increases. In the United States there is a big struggle by religious people for political power. If they aquire the power they seek they will make many negative changes which will affect us up in Cananda and maybe even affect much of the rest of the world. I think we need to stop worring about large asteroids and start worring about religious power.
An asteroid will kill us swiftly and mercifully. Religion will make it slow and extremely painfull.
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03-09-2010, 07:18 PM
 
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
@ No. J -- I agree, the politically active religious scare the crap out of me, whatever their particular persuasion might be.

@ Levi -- Sorry to hear about your struggles. It's good to know someone out there gets both the pain of suffering through self-loathing for the sake of a mythological belief and the uncomfortable separation that happens when you're honest with your loved ones about who you really are. Despite all that, it feels great to be free.
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14-12-2010, 08:08 AM
 
RE: The Underlying Effects of Religion
i grew up in a large extended family that spent every holiday and weekend together, then my uncle aunt and grandmother became jehovah's witnesses. despite the rest of us telling them they were in a cult and were damaging the family with their cults beliefs it never did any good , til one day years later they saw something on TV that convinced them to leave their cult. so even from a young age i saw first hand the hypocrisy of religion and the effects it has on others around it. sadly the same way it creeped into our family its creeping into our government and will have the same effects that it did on my family. it will divide our nation despite its claim to bring people together.
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