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Getting started New to atheism or still in the process of removing those final theistic indoctrinations?

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  #1  
Old 12th March 2013, 04:29 PM
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Default Letting go

I would like to know about people's experiences of letting go of religion - not a coming out story, but the final moment when you freed yourself.

I'm just wondering what the last straw (or series of straws) was. And how did it feel when you finally let go?
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Old 12th March 2013, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

I have spoken about this in a previous story. I think pretty much the last straw for me, the logic of it having been covered off, was the idea that I lacked faith because I did not have enough faith so if I had more faith then I would have faith. "That is bloody silly", I thought, to answer your part about how did it feel.
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Old 13th March 2013, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

I imagine "this is bloody silly" is a not an uncommon feeling when letting go of religion.
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Old 18th March 2013, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Letting go

I actually found the whole process of going from believer to atheist quite traumatic, as did my cousin. Hence why it's hard for us to not be angry about child indoctrination.

However, finally letting go was quite a peaceful thing, it was almost unbelievable, realizing that I was not a dirty sinner who was going to hell for doing things I enjoyed and for loving people. It was a revelation, if you like.
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Old 24th March 2013, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

I have to back a long way to remember what it was like "Letting go" of Christianity, but I can still recall what a relief it was. I give thanks to Bertrand Russell, (but not on my knees), for my release.

Mind you religion did not have that much of a tenacious grip on me, but I was convinced that I was destined to keep Beelzebub company, because I was certainly a miserable sinner. I can emphasis with Emmy about this and am bemused by those that claim to be "saved", that almost seem to wallow in there sinful state, as they go about there lives with smiles welded to their faces.

Last edited by Sten; 24th March 2013 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 24th March 2013, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

I have to admit to wracking my brain a bit over this one, simply because I've always been sceptical about God from a very early age (I even used to hide when it was time for "RI" classes in primary school - but one day the buggers found me and made me attend ) so I don't recall any great feeling of escape or atheist "revelation" as such.

I just felt the whole thing was a big con job and was happy I didn't have to have anything to do with it (beyond those crappy IR classes at school)My parents weren't religious, so they didn't mind in the least.

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Old 5th June 2013, 12:35 AM
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Post Re: Letting go

The final letting go for me came many years after realizing Christianity was bollocks. I was living with my wife-to-be whose friends were all Catholic (though she wasn't very religious at the time) and they all got together on a regular basis and had bbqs etc. They would talk a lot about religion and having a degree in theology and knowing it was all bollocks, I felt I should not say anything to question their faith as I still romanticized faith a bit and thought that causing their disillusionment would be a bad thing, even though it had been marvelous for me.

I believed in the "psycho-spiritual" power of the Christ myth, which is how I justified still calling myself Christian, and one day one of them asked me what I believed about god. I started telling them that I was a panentheist and that I beleived that god was the universe and was in the universe and blah blah blah and part of me was listening to myself gob on with drivel and thinking "you utter wanker. Why the f*%k do you bother with this shit anymore?" So the feeling was kinda disgust at myself and shame at my own pretentiousness, but that was the moment I realized I didn't believe in god anymore.

I then went for a few years thinking I was agnostic until I watched a Hitch clip on "God is not Great" and realized I was an atheist. This moment was very different. I felt uplifted and excited and almost "born again." It wasn't just that I realized I was an atheist, but that it was OK to be unapologetic and even brazen about it and to acknowledge that disillusionment was actually a really good thing. Brings a tear to my eye now remembering this in a time when Hitch is no longer with us. He is the only "celebrity" whose death has actually moved me to tears and still does. We miss you Hitch. I feel robbed that I never got to meet you. I almost hope hell is real so I can get a chance to meet up with you there later...
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Old 5th June 2013, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

Quote:
Emmy said View Post
I actually found the whole process of going from believer to atheist quite traumatic, as did my cousin. Hence why it's hard for us to not be angry about child indoctrination.

However, finally letting go was quite a peaceful thing, it was almost unbelievable, realizing that I was not a dirty sinner who was going to hell for doing things I enjoyed and for loving people. It was a revelation, if you like.
+1

This is exactly how I felt as well, it was not an easy transition.
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Old 5th June 2013, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

I think my transition was going on a while due to inherent delinquency, happily transmitted through my dad. But I sure gave Christian discipleship my best shot, for an embarrassing number of years, through my mum's genes expressing in me.

Doing Social Sciences at Deakin made me have to wake up quick and demonstrate critical thinking, or fail. Applying that to the doctrines of Christianity one night, it all fell down like a house of cards. I had studied theology at the Wesleyan college in Melbourne.

Listening to Philip Adams' 'Late Night Live' each weekend on Radio National 621AM, driving 90 minutes was an enormous help to me.
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Last edited by Strato; 5th June 2013 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 6th June 2013, 12:22 AM
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Post Re: Letting go

Quote:
Strato said View Post
I had studied theology at the Wesleyan college in Melbourne.
What was that like? My experience of theology at ACU was that in the subject of theology they taught a level of scholarly integrity equal to any other uni I've been to (Sydney and Macquarie since then). They demanded evidence and reason in all assignments and would follow both wherever they lead, even if that meant admitting no archaeological evidence for the exodus or King David, and their biblical criticism lecturers were well-versed in both the history of the field as well as the latest findings. Several of them were fluent in ancient Greek and Hebrew and I found the experience of studying there devastating to my fundamentalist beliefs.

Yet when I speak to others with degrees in theology from biblical colleges, they say stuff like "archaeological evidence proves the bible is historically accurate" and give dates for the books of the NT which are farcical at best. What I'm curious about is whether they even hear about names such as John Dominic Crossan or Burton Mack, or whether these types of scholars are completely ignored? The only "scholars" they seem to study are fundy twats like N.T.Wright who has all the scholarly credibility of a creationist.

Was Wesley College like this? If so it bugs me that these institutions are allowed to hand out bachelor degrees. It should be disallowed unless they show some level of scholarly integrity.
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