Poll: Were you once religious?
Yes, I used to believe once.
No, I never did.
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Were you once a believer?
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14-03-2011, 10:22 PM
 
RE: Were you once a believer?
I grew up in a household where we (I say we, but I mean just my mother, sister, and I) went to Church every Sunday. There was never that pressure that you feel in some families where if you miss a Sunday, you're going to burn in the lake of fire or some nonsense, we just kind of went. My mother had me dedicated when I was too young to even remember it, then tried to have it done again when I was a bit older. Something came up at the last minute though, and it never happened. We were always one of those families that went to Church, but never did anything else outside of Church relating to the beliefs. My mother claims to be a believer, and always tells me to pray when things go badly, but she never set with me and read the bible, quoted scripture of dogma to me, or forced me to go to Church when I was old enough to make my own decisions. My father never went to Church, as far back as I can remember. I don't even know what his beliefs are, in fact. However, as I got older, I started to read for myself and go to different functions (church related) with friends from school. I just realized that none of it was for me, and that I couldn't stand behind their beliefs. It was when I got to college that I really understood why I felt the way that I did.
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15-03-2011, 01:37 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
Even though I was not made to go to Church on a regular basis as a child, I was led to believe God was real and that either Heaven and Hell were waiting for me when I died. After I got to high school and started to learn about Greek Mythology, it didn't take long for me to realize we had just replaced some old fictions with some newer ones. And as I had also bought the whole Santa Claus story until I was about nine, I realized an entire society could be complicit in telling a grand lie to it's children. I was from that point on astonished that anyone with a working brain could believe in any religion without incontrovertible proof. I still can't understand how it isn't plainly obvious to every other adult in the world that it's all a fairy tale.

The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eye of Reason. - Ben Franklin
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27-03-2011, 11:23 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I'm the product of two very different, yet equally Italian families.

On the one hand, we have my father. I can't say for sure that he believed in the Catholic God (That the rest of his family was very enthusiastic about), but from what I understand he was a very spiritual person. It's unfortunate that I never really had an opportunity to discuss religion or philosophy with him. He died several years ago while I was still in high school.

My mother, on the other hand, was never particularly invested in the idea of God. Her father was an atheist, and her mother was somewhat religious. As a result, she went through the motions (going to Church, celebrating religious holidays) but not out of her own faith, but because it made her mother happy.

My parents sent me to a Catholic grade school. Mind you this decision was not made based on the school's religious slant, but because the curriculum was much more challenging than the nearby public school. So I went through my entire grade school career listening to the nuns and priests lecture the students about God's unconditional love for us, Jesus dying for our sins, the whole nine yards.

One day (I believe it was after 9/11) I approached my theology teacher and asked "If God is all good, why did he create evil?" The answer she gave was so unsatisfying, it pointed me down the road of skepticism. What she told me was "God did not create evil, humans did. Evil comes from humanity turning away from God. The first evil act was Adam and Eve choosing to disobey God by eating the forbidden fruit."

I was dumbstruck. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. You mean to tell me that God, the all powerful, all knowing supreme being that is responsible for the creation of the universe and everything in it, did not create evil? If God created everything, and evil exists, how can it be that he did not create evil? I asked her this and she explained that "Evil came forth as a result of Adam and Eve choosing to go against God. God did not create evil, humanity chose it."

No! That answer does not adequately explain to me why there is evil. If God is all knowing and infinite, he would have known beforehand that if he created humans, and plopped them in the middle of his garden, they would eat his fruit. Furthermore, why would he plant a fruit baring tree in the middle of a garden if eating the fruit would result in creation of evil and the downfall of mankind? And where did that damn snake come from? God made that snake! How can you go about proclaiming that God did not create evil, when it's so evident that, according to your own literature, he did?

At this point the teacher ended the conversation with a very dismissive "You'll understand after you study more theology."

So I took this discussion to my mother, and she told me something I will never forget.

"I don't know what God is thinking, why there is evil in the world, or if God exists, but I want you to always remember to question what people tell you. Don't listen to what people say and immediately accept their answer as being true. Ask them to explain, ask them to clarify. If their answer doesn't seem to fit, you don't have to believe what they tell you."

Now, that was a lot for a fourth grader to take in, but I've kept that mentality my entire life. I've constantly asked religious figures questions, and I've examined their answers carefully. Their answers left me unsatisfied.

It wasn't until my sophomore year in high school that I really took the stance of "I am an atheist." This stance was further compounded by some things said to me by religious figures after my father's death, but I'm not going to get into that in this post.

Oh boy, that was a rather long introduction post.

Hello everyone, I'm Mike and I hope to be an active member of this forum.
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28-03-2011, 12:39 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
You have a very wise mother, Michael.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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29-03-2011, 10:17 PM
 
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was extremely religious. I got many people "saved", in fact, I am the person responsible for converting my entire family to Christianity. Oh the irony.
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29-03-2011, 11:43 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
(29-03-2011 10:17 PM)AgainstZombies Wrote:  I was extremely religious. I got many people "saved", in fact, I am the person responsible for converting my entire family to Christianity. Oh the irony.
Oh no!
Will they be allright?
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30-03-2011, 12:46 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
You could always re-un-convert them.

I'd imagine that to be a rather awkward conversation:

"Thank you so much! Jesus has really come into our hearts and opened our minds! We can't thank you enough for showing us the light."

"Yeah about that..."

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one
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30-03-2011, 03:16 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was a believer, but there was always something strange with a whole story. I was raised as a Christian and went to church as a kid, but it never felt true, not even while I was a kid. When I grew up I realized it could all be because I actually don't believe in those tales. Then I was completely neutral for a few years, and now I'm here...

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I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
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30-03-2011, 11:16 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
(30-03-2011 12:46 AM)Michael Wrote:  "Thank you so much! Jesus has really come into our hearts and opened our minds! We can't thank you enough for showing us the light."

"Yeah about that..."
LoL Big Grin

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31-03-2011, 09:59 PM
 
RE: Were you once a believer?
Yeah, it's weird. They don't know that I'm not a Christian anymore.
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