What helped you deprogram from religion?
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31-05-2017, 07:30 PM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
In all seriousness, realizing the Judeo-Christian God as described is an asshole. For some reason an invisible asshole sounded more improbable than an invisible sky dad.

And it was all downhill from there.

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01-06-2017, 02:00 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
Whilst I've never had religion in any sense, I grew up in a very "christian based" community. Living in England, even though it's a huge deal, a lot of people still have religion. For example I had to pray and sing hymns at school, so I've always been around it.

For me, I just came to realise that Christianity is just one of many religions, that all basically have the same rough outline. There is a god or gods, they have their rules, and a book to read. Barring that there is nothing special about them at all. The idea that you would base a society around any religion just seems strange to me.

As mentioned, I've never believed at all, but learning more about Christianity in itself, and all religions generally showed me that that are all similar, if not mostly the same, and that it's fine if you want to believe...but why bother? Then came my interest in science and space/physics, and the mere concept of a creator just gets further and further from my mind.

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01-06-2017, 06:59 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
(31-05-2017 02:16 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(31-05-2017 01:34 PM)barkingdog25 Wrote:  As someone who used to be a Christian, I was interested in what other ex-religious people here thought helped them think for themselves and deprogram when first questioning religion.

In addition to the fact that many religious claims are just absurd at face value, the various contradictions and absurdities within the Bible helped me start to ask questions. The Bible is such a self-contradictory book that the supposed god depicted can't keep his own commandments in it: http://see_the_truth.webs.com//sinning_nazarene.html

What else helped you personally? I find that understanding my own process of deconversion has helped me a lot in debating religion with others.

Grew up reading science and science fiction books. Realized what my church was teaching about evolution and physics was simply not true, and based on outright dishonesty in presenting what science actually claimed. Decided to learn more about science and history, and found my previous position/education was totally bunk. For the first time in my life, right as I turned 17, I allowed myself to ask the question, "What if everything these people have been teaching me is wrong?"

Having grown up being taught Christian apologetics, specifically of my fundamentalist (Southern Baptist) church's position, which included "how to defeat all the wrong religions out there"... which included some pretty good skepticism of the claims of other religions, including Catholicism, which they consider it a false version of Christianity, like Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses. Once I turned the same weapon I had been applying to all the other faiths out there on my own faith, it (as the late great Douglas Adams put it) "promptly disappeared in a puff of logic".

Wow, that first paragraph could have been written by me. I was raised RC.
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01-06-2017, 07:13 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
(01-06-2017 06:59 AM)kemo boy Wrote:  
(31-05-2017 02:16 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Grew up reading science and science fiction books. Realized what my church was teaching about evolution and physics was simply not true, and based on outright dishonesty in presenting what science actually claimed. Decided to learn more about science and history, and found my previous position/education was totally bunk. For the first time in my life, right as I turned 17, I allowed myself to ask the question, "What if everything these people have been teaching me is wrong?"

Having grown up being taught Christian apologetics, specifically of my fundamentalist (Southern Baptist) church's position, which included "how to defeat all the wrong religions out there"... which included some pretty good skepticism of the claims of other religions, including Catholicism, which they consider it a false version of Christianity, like Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses. Once I turned the same weapon I had been applying to all the other faiths out there on my own faith, it (as the late great Douglas Adams put it) "promptly disappeared in a puff of logic".

Wow, that first paragraph could have been written by me. I was raised RC.

> Did you have the misfortune of being "educated" by nuns and priests?
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01-06-2017, 07:36 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
There are a lot of de-conversion stories here: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...sion-story

For me, I read the bible at age 10 and decided it was a fairy tale and belonged with the Grimm's fairy tales.

I did go to school with the nuns though - that didn't take after having read the bible.

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01-06-2017, 07:41 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
As someone who didn't need to deprogram, I would think valuing the truth would be useful.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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01-06-2017, 07:51 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
(01-06-2017 07:41 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  As someone who didn't need to deprogram, I would think valuing the truth would be useful.
Inherently what you must deprogram from, unfortunately, is NOT valuing truth. Considering religious faith far superior to truth, or to skepticism, or empirical investigation. Considering "doubt" to be taboo, and in fact a terrible sin -- perhaps ultimately, the unpardonable sin.

At least with the Abrahamic religions, this is very much the nature of the operant conditioning.
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01-06-2017, 09:35 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
Sites like this where I can post with other people who don't scream bible verses back at me helped, as did many podcasts and YouTube videos.

It also helps to hang around non-Christians or at the least Christians who aren't evangelical and literalists. Getting away from the echo chamber of church and very conservative church people really helped.
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01-06-2017, 11:57 AM
RE: What helped you deprogram from religion?
For me, as for most, it's been a long process. And the wounds of a religious upbringing haven't fully healed yet. The fears and the hurt from the fundamentalist, isolated upbringing isn't easy to shake, and I still often get panic attacks when faced with this brand of religion. I still need the support of other atheists who have been through leaving religion and from people who speak out against religion. Childhood indoctrination and isolation from outside influences is a powerful force.
I've always been curious and questioning, and I've never been one for inconsistencies. And I've always been fascinated by science. So even from childhood I've been fighting doubt, but I always believed that it was me who was wrong for having doubts, not the religion that was wrong, so I was always scared of Hell. Anyway, what got me started on the path out of religion was when I got to High School (the Danish equivalent. The students start 1-2 years later). This was the first time I went to a school that wasn't Christian, so it was the first time I really got to know people who weren't fundamentalist Christians. So here I started to learn that non-Christians weren't depraved, bad people. They were good and caring and they all had different thoughts and opinions and the ability to reasonably defend them. This got me started. My love for science also grew (except chemistry. Chemistry sucks! Big Grin ), and this taught me a new way to think about the world and look for answers. The scientific method. Other classes taught me to think and evaluate critically and different philosophies of thought. It was a bright new world!
However, I didn't finally leave religion until I started university. I finally managed to leave the religious community (including the horrid man I got married to at age 19) and I started studying science seriously, first nanotechnology, then I switched to astro-physics (less chemistry Wink ), so university I was faced not just with teenagers, but with adults, who were almost all outspoken against religion. Scientists, who were trained in critically and skepticism, and who really knew what they were talking about and challenged me to defend my religious views. At this point I finally said the word "atheist" about myself. I hadn't really believed in God for a good while, but I had tried hard to. I stopped trying and embraced who I really am.
Now it's almost been ten years of freedom and growth. Smile

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01-06-2017, 01:08 PM
What helped you deprogram from religion?
Parents weren't through with indoctrination so leaving the faith wasn't hard when I thought about it for a moment.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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