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

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  #21  
Old 11th August 2013, 11:05 PM
Bryce Bryce is offline
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Default Re: Letting go

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JediVerse said View Post
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 too thank Hitch for his good work.

As for my experience 'letting go'.. A detailed account here - you can see how ridiculous my views were. As a student in an Anglican school surrounded by Christians day in day out.. I was 'in the deep end'. What I mean by that is you could prove or disprove anything to me and I would not let go of that faith. One example that comes to mind is my discussion with a Christian mate about creation: "How do you know God didn't create the universe 6 thousand years ago with all the evidence that suggests an older universe already in place." Simply farcical.

The 'letting go' bit was horrible. I swayed this way and that, struggling to come to terms with changing my life again. I had spent all my schooling life thinking about these issues, but of course with the strong bias toward religion (The biblical studies teacher showed us a photo on google maps of some big ruined ship that he thought could have been the Ark.)
The climax of my schooling was my conversion to Christianity, not the awesome lets get pissed schoolies party it should have been. (I still went to Fiji and got wasted ) I had a feeling that I was ready to take on the world, only to have it crashing down when I started to doubt more and more. As I mentioned in my other thread, it started with not going to church because of work, and watching youtube debates instead. (I was always more interested in logically proving religion rather than what the bible told us to do.) Lennox was my first port of call, and eventually I found Hitch. I don't know if others feel the same, but every single video of his just resonated with me and drilled into me the need for critical thought.

You should not have to make excuses for your belief, which is what I was doing time and time again throughout this letting go period. Its like weeding a garden, or killing a virus. Like a mental chemotherapy, tearing apart your deeply held views so that you might think freely again. A terrible process, but oh, so worth it.

Unfortunately that process isn't really over, because I haven't said clearly to my friends with whom I went to school and church with that I am atheist (Anti-theist..). So for the time being, I avoid them and any awkward situations where this would come to light and that moment dawns where they all think less of me.

Luckily I have other awesome friends who like me for me and not because I worship a sky-fairy.

EDIT:
I don't think the true scope of my anger came through.. I need to say: I feel robbed of every second I wasted on religion. I feel as though I could relive the highlight of my teenage years and do so much better. As I watch the latest video in the youtube thread about all the terrible things religion has done, I am getting hot with anger... The worst part is the church think they do the best thing by people. They are an infection that we need to eradicate! Sure its a place for less fortunate to feel they matter, but is running away from reality the cure? I think not. Go to a real charity, where the help is real and they wont ask for donations once you've got money so they can buy a fancy new sound system.
People need to stop lying to themselves and get over the illusion! Stop torturing minds with fear and hate. Fuck the cultural custom that says we should respect religious views. We should laugh in the face of the fool who thinks I ought to be sorry for living the way I do.
Dam.
/Rant

Last edited by Bryce; 11th August 2013 at 11:40 PM.
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  #22  
Old 12th August 2013, 07:18 AM
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Good rant at the end there, Bryce.
I think anger is a perfectly valid, logical response.


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  #23  
Old 12th August 2013, 04:07 PM
Jenny Jenny is offline
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Default Re: Letting go

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Bryce said View Post
Unfortunately that process isn't really over, because I haven't said clearly to my friends with whom I went to school and church with that I am atheist (Anti-theist..). So for the time being, I avoid them and any awkward situations where this would come to light and that moment dawns where they all think less of me.

EDIT:
I don't think the true scope of my anger came through.. I need to say: I feel robbed of every second I wasted on religion. I feel as though I could relive the highlight of my teenage years and do so much better. As I watch the latest video in the youtube thread about all the terrible things religion has done, I am getting hot with anger... The worst part is the church think they do the best thing by people. They are an infection that we need to eradicate!
People need to stop lying to themselves and get over the illusion! Stop torturing minds with fear and hate. Fuck the cultural custom that says we should respect religious views. We should laugh in the face of the fool who thinks I ought to be sorry for living the way I do.
Dam.
/Rant
I told a couple of my old school and church friends that I am an atheist on the weekend. I couldn't help it, they kept going on and on about church this and god that. So I told them that I thought that the whole thing was a scam along with some of the historical reasons for my new beliefs. As I predicted, they had never heard this stuff and didn't believe me. I suggested that they check out some books on the subject and one of them said, "I don't read, I don't even read the bible." So I have to ask, what hope is there?

By the way, I to feel robbed of all the time and money I wasted on this rubbish . Note to scientists: I'm waiting for that time machine you've been promising us all these years!
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  #24  
Old 14th August 2013, 01:22 PM
ANOMALY ANOMALY is offline
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Raised as a Baptist preachers child I can't recall the exact moment or feeling that I had when I finally threw in the towel. I do know that the death of my father was the catalyst that set me on my journey. At first I questioned how this god of love that I had been indoctrinated into could make such a devastating mistake and allow this to happen to our family after all we were, as I was persuaded by all those around me, living in god's favor. At first I was angry at god and I began to withdrawal from the church and the people we associated with in the church. As time went by my anger turned to simple confusion and I returned to the church seeking the answers as to how this could have possibly happened. I got nothing more than dogma and chastisement for my lack of faith. So I traded my anger for shame and left the church again, this time for good. I never lost my "faith" during this time although I recall not feeling the same sense of comfort with the god I still convinced myself was real.

As time went on and I began to make new and different friends and a whole new world opened up for me. In this new world I found my self defending my christian upbringing to people who were not Christians. I realize now that it was simply in an effort to defend my fathers integrity, I mean the last thing I wanted to face was that I had been deceived by my father. Alas in my attempt to prove to myself that he had not led me astray I wound up proving to myself that most likely he was wrong. As I studied more and more on my own I discovered the truths that have dismantled the fundamentalist ideology for me and in doing so have found a greater sense of peace than I ever had when I was living my life the way I thought god wanted me to. The shame is gone, the fear is gone and for me the most liberating of all is the feeling of insignificance that came with what I now realize was a life of servitude has vanished. The exact moment of my full realization I can't recall but I do know that a slow evolution has brought me to this point of greater self awareness and a level of inner peace that was never there for me in Christianity.
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  #25  
Old 14th August 2013, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

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ANOMALY said View Post
Raised as a Baptist preachers child I can't recall the exact moment or feeling that I had when I finally threw in the towel. I do know that the death of my father was the catalyst that set me on my journey. At first I questioned how this god of love that I had been indoctrinated into could make such a devastating mistake and allow this to happen to our family after all we were, as I was persuaded by all those around me, living in god's favor. At first I was angry at god and I began to withdrawal from the church and the people we associated with in the church. As time went by my anger turned to simple confusion and I returned to the church seeking the answers as to how this could have possibly happened. I got nothing more than dogma and chastisement for my lack of faith. So I traded my anger for shame and left the church again, this time for good. I never lost my "faith" during this time although I recall not feeling the same sense of comfort with the god I still convinced myself was real.

As time went on and I began to make new and different friends and a whole new world opened up for me. In this new world I found my self defending my christian upbringing to people who were not Christians. I realize now that it was simply in an effort to defend my fathers integrity, I mean the last thing I wanted to face was that I had been deceived by my father. Alas in my attempt to prove to myself that he had not led me astray I wound up proving to myself that most likely he was wrong. As I studied more and more on my own I discovered the truths that have dismantled the fundamentalist ideology for me and in doing so have found a greater sense of peace than I ever had when I was living my life the way I thought god wanted me to. The shame is gone, the fear is gone and for me the most liberating of all is the feeling of insignificance that came with what I now realize was a life of servitude has vanished. The exact moment of my full realization I can't recall but I do know that a slow evolution has brought me to this point of greater self awareness and a level of inner peace that was never there for me in Christianity.
Thanks for the great post ANOMALY, it is a good read. Interesting that your experience of loosing your father led you to question your gods love, and then his existence, where as we here so much of Christians claiming adverse happenings strengthen their faith.
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  #26  
Old 14th August 2013, 05:44 PM
EvilDRMike EvilDRMike is offline
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Quote:
Sten said View Post
Thanks for the great post ANOMALY, it is a good read. Interesting that your experience of loosing your father led you to question your gods love, and then his existence, where as we here so much of Christians claiming adverse happenings strengthen their faith.
Great intro post. Good to have you here.

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  #27  
Old 13th February 2014, 06:41 PM
chrisstavrous chrisstavrous is offline
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Default Re: Letting go

The main reason I left christianity was when I started to study other peoples arguments in defense of my faith.
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  #28  
Old 13th February 2014, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Letting go

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chrisstavrous said View Post
The main reason I left christianity was when I started to study other peoples arguments in defense of my faith.
Yes, christian apologetics is rather anaemic. They should just give that away, only shooting themselves in the foot, as in the case of failing to satisfy the grounds of reason for you, by appealing to that in the first place.

What were some of the absurdities, contradictions?
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  #29  
Old 12th May 2014, 05:17 PM
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Stewatheist Stewatheist is offline
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Default Re: Letting go

Looking all these post makes me feel even less alone in my endevour. My loss of faith and gain of reason was hard. The idea of a god was so ingrained and malignant it was hard to let go. At my brothers wedding in a catholic church, about nearly a year after I was firmly calling myself an atheist, I found myself automatically crossing myself when the priest prompted it. I stood stunned for a second and thought these bastard's dogma doesn't wash out easy.
I had abit of a hard time as a teen through the years (drugs, alcohol, self harm, depression, bullying and petty crime etc. etc. Someone call Dr. Phil type stuff) but I held on to the idea that this was gods plan and was I failing at it. Things will get better if I keep trying.
At age 18 whist in an alcohol induced stupor on the roof of my dads 8 story apartment building I found myself looking over the edge and thinking do it man, just do it and go to God. I knew suicide was a sin but hey god will understand, He's freaken god. But then the other part of me said what if you jump and fall straight through ground and plummet right into hell.
I couldn't leave this horrible life for an eternity of my flesh being seared from my bones so I collapsed in a heap crying and rocking back and forth(I repeated that a couple of times through my teen years). Indoctrination was one of the worst things that ever happened to me, it tortured me psychologically for way too many years. Letting go was definitely the hardest thing I've done for fear of what god might think if he really did exist.
Reason and logic paved a path of self trust and confidence that religion could only dream of offering.
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  #30  
Old 12th May 2014, 06:28 PM
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Chiropterous hominid Chiropterous hominid is offline
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Default Re: Letting go

*Wipes tear from eye*

I know your pain, friend. I too was indoctrinated from a young age. I have been a rationalist now for more than a decade, perhaps close to 15 years. The flesh is indeed weak. I have had moments of mental weakness where I pretend to feel God's presence. I know it is my imagination. I still struggle with the remnants of the indoctrination in the back of my mind sometimes.

I find that what works is temporarily closing your mind to ALL emotions. Sit and stare at something like a clock face, preferably not an interesting painting. Stare at it for ten minutes and feel nothing. Think nothing. This will rest your mind and you should have clarity with a little practice. When you begin to think again, concentrate on thinking logically.

DO NOT concentrate on not thinking of God. DO NOT even think anything of spirits. Focus only on that which you do want the think about. Give it time and practice and it will become easier. I cannot promise that you will ever be completely rid of the harmful effects. I have not achieved that yet, though I can easily manage it. All the best.
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