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Old 26th May 2014, 10:09 AM
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LachieMck42 LachieMck42 is offline
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Lightbulb A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

This is my story of how I became an atheist. It's gonna be a long one, so I apologise in advance for people who don't like reading long posts.
My journey towards atheism was a fairly interesting one for me. I have always been taught to question things for myself and to ask difficult questions, and as such, as a Christian I always tried to understand things academically, and to analyse information logically.
However, I always had what I call barriers. There were things which, unknowingly, I would not pursue in my questioning, such as how an all-loving God can use infinite punishment for a finite crime on a person He predestined to commit the crime. Originally, I was a young earth creationist (yay for stupidity!), although as I progressed through high school and studied more and more science, I eventually became a theistic evolutionist. That was I think the first barrier in my mind that I got through, which allowed me to further pursue my interest in science without contradicting myself.

I think what started to erode my faith was the examples of blind faith I saw in my friends. I was a leader in a local youth group, and effectively filled the role of the youth group's local science student and academic. However, the other leaders (with the exception of my brother) were all young earth creationists, and believed really out there stories, such as where one person would have repeated encounters with angels, and personal relationships with some of them. I found myself more and more outspoken on issues such as creation, and the nature of the supernatural. Conflicts with certain members of that leadership team is probably what drove me to be on the edge of being able to become an atheist.

I final straw to make me an atheist would have been when a friend showed me the "Why People Laugh at Creationists" series by Thunderf00t. This series pointed out to me the open truth of the absurdity of theism. Mixed with my tolerance to other people's views, this slowly eroded any faith I had, and to cut a long story short, I slowly but surely became to identify as an atheist.
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Last edited by LachieMck42; 26th May 2014 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Just fixing some grammar and layout.
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Old 26th May 2014, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

Interesting journey, congratulations for being brave enough to follow the evidence.
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Old 26th May 2014, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

Thanks. I was lucky in that the members of my family and church were overall rather supportive and didn't judge.
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What...is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
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Old 26th May 2014, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

Quote:
LachieMck42 said View Post
Thanks. I was lucky in that the members of my family and church were overall rather supportive and didn't judge.
You were lucky there Lachie, and thanks for you OP - a good read.
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Old 26th May 2014, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

Thanks for sharing your story. It was an interesting read.
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[odd]The immenseness of the universe - and Jesus sitting on the outside worried whether a species, that happens to be alive during a blip on the timeline of existence, is masterbating or not. Priceless.
[Goldenmane]To put it another way: I can be charitable without dogma, and if you preach at me as a condition for accepting your help, then you can fuck off.

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Old 28th May 2014, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

A rule by Leslie Orgel states that "Evolution is cleverer than you are". After all, the organisms alive today have to have had ancestors that survived everything the environment could throw at them for the last ~3.8 billion years. The origin of life is not an easy subject either. Add an ignorance of biology, and being a creationist is not really that dumb.
We inherit religious woo from our parents and communities, long before we learn to think. So don't be too hard on yourself. Young people often accept things from adults on trust, and it is not the child's fault that trust has been betrayed. For the parents, in turn, assumed their parents were giving them truths to live by. Or at least some form of explanation. Once we are aware that these religious "explanations" are anything but, it is hard not to feel foolish.

But don't feel so. We are social animals, born helpless, and so genetically programmed to soak up the knowledge of our parents and community. We are saturated by our cultures, and the results are not uniformly good.

Welcome LM, and thanks for sharing your experiences!
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Old 31st May 2014, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

Quote:
LachieMck42 said View Post
I was a young earth creationist (yay for stupidity!)
Its not stupidity, Lachie. The necessary knowledge and reasoning skills had been withheld from you.

As for a long post, you woos! I have seen posts that just ramble on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.....
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"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government".
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Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

History isn't written by the victors. It's written by the people with the time machines.
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Old 31st May 2014, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

..... and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on until its obvious the author just died of a heart attack after finally pressing the submit button, leaving a vast wall of text as their epitaph.
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"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government".
-Thomas Jefferson

Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

History isn't written by the victors. It's written by the people with the time machines.
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Old 31st May 2014, 01:09 AM
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DanDare DanDare is offline
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

Quote:
LachieMck42 said View Post
...and to cut a long story short, I slowly but surely became to identify as an atheist.
See that was your mistake right there. You could have dragged that out for pages.

Seriously your story is fascinating. I never got stuck with belief so its like reading a good sci fi novel reading someone else's biography of their inner journey. Thanks heaps for sharing with us.
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"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government".
-Thomas Jefferson

Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

History isn't written by the victors. It's written by the people with the time machines.
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  #10  
Old 31st May 2014, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: A Slow Degradation of Mental Barriers

Hi LachieMck42,

You were fortunate not to have suffered too much resistance, coercion, deterrence to independent thinking. Do hang about.
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