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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17-11-2012, 06:48 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
Well, I suppose I must have been once! I used to attend Sunday school, went to a Church of England primary school, thought I saw god's face in the clouds once and was in the church choir, admittedly for the money! We used to get 2/6d for each service and 5/- for weddings and funerals.

But it was around this time (before my voice broke) that I started to have doubts, brought about mainly by the behaviour of the congregation. It wasn't so much "I'm here to be a good christian and help others", more "look at me in my finery, see how much I'm putting in the collection plate"!

By the time I was in my late teens, I knew that god and religion, of any colour (with the possible exception of Buddhism), was bad news. How many people had died in the name of their god, sometimes the same god on both sides? How many people had died in natural disasters as a "punishment" from god. What kind of a sick, twisted individual was this god who could do such things to his created subjects? What kind of god was so fickle about who his chosen people were? How could he she or it allow them to be treated the way they were?

But I think it wasn't really untill I discovered podcasts like Seth's and the Atheist Experience, within the last couple of years, and I'm now in my 60s, and through them my introduction to people like Ricard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens that my thoughts about theism have crystalised.

Thanks guys!

Paul
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21-11-2012, 01:52 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was in my teens, I was invited to Boys' Brigade when I was 9 and I never questioned christianity till I was 19, I like to give the credit to the comedian Jimmy Carr who started the ball rolling in my mind that religion is a load of garbage

"The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance - Benjamin Franklin
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21-11-2012, 09:43 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
My family would go to church sporadically. My mother was pretty agnostic, but willing to let us explore reglion for ourselves. When I was 11, my friend and I came upon this man preaching in a community center, and I ended up being "saved". The people were god and kind, and I went to church every Sunday, sometimes twice, along with the Bible camps and other meetings.

The church I went to was very plain, nothing on the walls except Bible verses. Women had to have their heads covered and couldn't speak or lead prayers in the morning service. Sunday School was fun, and stressed learning Bible verses and lots of reading.
My family moved to another state a couple of years later, but I still kept in touch with them, and went to church and Sunday School and from time to time would visit them and go to camps and conferences. I was happy.

In college, like many young people away from home for the first time, I felt lonely and vulnerable, and met with a group that seemed loving and kind, but told me if I didn't get baptized in their church, I was going to hell. I was sad and confused, but I stopped seeing them.

That seemed to be the start of the break for me. Yes, I always had questions about faith and God, but just accepted things on faith. I truly loved the people who brought me Jesus. The fellowship with them was wonderful, but I started my journey. In particular, the treatment of women bugged me.

Over the years, I read more, and believed less. While my faith comforted me, knowing that this life is the only one I have and to live it well made me feel freerer than ever.

I'm an atheist now. I'm never going to be balls to the walls hardcore like Dawkins or Hitchens or Ricky Gervais. I don't believe you can change anyone by calling them stupid, but to each, their own way.

I'll always will love my Christian friends, and I will never be able to purge myself of the hymns and Bible verse and knowledge that I have, nor do I want to.

Glad to have found this forum.

"Nothing good is true unless you find out for yourself." --Neil Finn
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08-12-2012, 07:22 PM
Re: Were you once a believer?
Definitely, was even on the worship team and a youth group counselor. After 30 years of telling myself that if it doesn't make sense then it's not for me to judge God's ways, I finally started thinking about it rationally. I came to the realization that if the Christian god is omnipotent and exists outside of time, then creating a flawed creature and then making rules that will ensure the eternal suffering of those creations because of the flaws you built in is a dick move.
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09-12-2012, 02:40 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
Yep I was once a believer!
I was actually a Mormon for my whole life up until about a year and a half ago, when I realized (after much contemplation) that it didn't comply with science. I was actually a Mormon missionary when I became a non-believer, which made life pretty difficult. I finished my mission as a non-believer, and things are great now, because I can freely speak my mind on subjects of science and religion!
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09-12-2012, 10:42 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
Yes. Until one day I started thinking about it. Then I just stopped
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10-12-2012, 03:45 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was told that there was a god that he was all-watching and all-knowing, and I wanted to believe it. Why? Partly because I wanted to please my family and the people in the church, and because I was afraid to disappoint them if I questioned the idea. I fooled myself thinking that it was real, and made a fool of myself in elementary school trying to convince an atheist friend that god existed. I remember feeling shocked at my own behavior, harassing this kid because she couldn't just accept that what I said was the truth while having no proof, no evidence to support my claim. I wanted my best friend to believe because I felt lonely with my imaginary friend, God.

When confronted with my brother, who was being naughty and breaking things around the house, I used "God" as a means to make him behave. "God is watching you" I remember saying, and he gave me a look that I would never forget. He made me doubt myself, and I recall feeling awful, behaving like I was using power that I didn't deserve. I was pretending to be superior to him, being self-righteous. My brother and I were raised as twins (we're born a year apart) and equality, fairness was very important to us. Religion somehow managed to bring imbalance and create conflict where it didn't belong.

There was never one instance when I would credit god for anything that happened when I thought I believed in it. When happy things occurred, I found reasons for them and knew why they happened. When something bad happened, however, god was easily blamed for it. It made sorrow and pain more simple to manage which, as a result didn't help me overcome certain issues like social rejection, bullies, lack of communication in the family. When I was a kid and got sad, I told myself: "God wants me to be sad."

And so I was sad and now I realize that it's done some damage. Unsure
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10-12-2012, 06:53 PM
RE: Were you once a believer?
I was a believer until about a year ago. Really, I
was never a hard core Christian and found it hard to have “faith” since I
couldn’t observe it or even feel it. I always felt awkward during prayer or
worship. I got more answers and comfort from philosophy, science, and people in
general than from faith or an all loving God. I’m agnostic now and I feel more
free and alive than I have ever been.


My goal is to become a physicist and learn about the
universe. The universe is as awesome (if not more) than any God. It is beyond
comprehension but the big difference is that it exists, and my mind can ponder
its mysteries until the day I die! Smile

A humanist is a person who believes that it is possible to lead a good life without either the promise of a reward or the threat of punishment after you are dead. -Kurt Vonnegut
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12-12-2012, 08:10 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
(10-12-2012 06:53 PM)Pham Nguyen Wrote:  I was a believer until about a year ago. Really, I
was never a hard core Christian and found it hard to have “faith” since I
couldn’t observe it or even feel it. I always felt awkward during prayer or
worship. I got more answers and comfort from philosophy, science, and people in
general than from faith or an all loving God. I’m agnostic now and I feel more
free and alive than I have ever been.


My goal is to become a physicist and learn about the
universe. The universe is as awesome (if not more) than any God. It is beyond
comprehension but the big difference is that it exists, and my mind can ponder
its mysteries until the day I die! Smile
Or until the day they solve all the mysteries and you're left without a job.

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12-12-2012, 08:18 AM
RE: Were you once a believer?
(12-12-2012 08:10 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  
(10-12-2012 06:53 PM)Pham Nguyen Wrote:  I was a believer until about a year ago. Really, I
was never a hard core Christian and found it hard to have “faith” since I
couldn’t observe it or even feel it. I always felt awkward during prayer or
worship. I got more answers and comfort from philosophy, science, and people in
general than from faith or an all loving God. I’m agnostic now and I feel more
free and alive than I have ever been.


My goal is to become a physicist and learn about the
universe. The universe is as awesome (if not more) than any God. It is beyond
comprehension but the big difference is that it exists, and my mind can ponder
its mysteries until the day I die! Smile
Or until the day they solve all the mysteries and you're left without a job.
Yeah, like that's gonna happen any time soon. Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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