Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 78 (8965 total)
66 online now:
AZPaul3, DrJones*, jar, Meddle (4 members, 62 visitors)
Newest Member: javier martinez
Post Volume: Total: 873,105 Year: 4,853/23,288 Month: 1,758/1,286 Week: 72/353 Day: 19/53 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Share your history of belief/disbelief
Shield
Member (Idle past 1313 days)
Posts: 482
Joined: 01-29-2008


Message 1 of 16 (498451)
02-10-2009 2:19 PM


Hello EvC members.

Long have i been wondering about the members of EvCs beliefs, and story of beliefs.

So this is the post to share just that. Perhaps we could all learn something, or atleast get a better understanding from each other. I'll start;

I grew up with a christian family. Not very serious about it though. We were typical of the people of my country, Denmark. We did not go church except on Christmas and didnt really think about christianity that much.
When i was about 11 or 12 years old, my family had some trouble, or atleast, thats how i percieved it. I thought my parents were going to get at divorce, i started realizing the atrocities that happen every day all over the world etc.

So i actually started to pray. I started thinking about god.
I did not however, know anything about christianity, so i prayed to every biblical person i could remember with a prayer i made up my self.
This went on for year or two.
Then i became 14. It was time for my Confirmation. I was at this point, very much in doubt about religion. I doubted i even wanted to get this Confirmation.

So i read the Bible. Old & new testament.
That did it for me. Religion, or atleast christianity was terrible. It was just a bunch of nonsense stories. Besides beeing a horrible collection of hatred and intolerance, it contradicted it self, and just made no sense.

So at that point i lost all faith in the christian god, i ended having the Confirmation any way, as that the only way my parents were going to throw me the huge party that follows the Confirmation.
Though i had given up organized religion, i was still 'spiritual'.
I believed all sorts of nonsense, rubbish really.

I went to India for a short while while i was 16. There i learned about the Bahá'í , which i then pretty much my mirrored my faith with.
Time went on and about two years later i was a beginning skeptic. I doubted much of my previous beliefs but i still could not shake the belief on some kind of creator of the universe. I began reading about ID, which facinated me for a while, untill i realised it's fallacies.

After hat followed a period of internal battle. Atheism won.

I realized that there really were no evidence of anything supernatural. No clues from a creator left in the creation. There was nothing. So the only rational thing i could come up with were that there simply are no reason a god would exist.

Theres nothing pointing that way.

So that's where i am now.

As an extra point, the thing keeping the 'spiritual' those years, were the thought of having to die. Of existence ending for me.

It's only in the last few days i have come to peace with that. After reading Mod's thread, i started thinking about it, and i really do not want to have eternal life. I am fine with having to stop existing.

Now it's your turn.

Share!

Edited by rbp, : Spelling errors


Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Larni, posted 02-12-2009 1:28 PM Shield has not yet responded
 Message 5 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 02-12-2009 2:41 PM Shield has not yet responded
 Message 8 by Modulous, posted 02-12-2009 5:08 PM Shield has not yet responded
 Message 9 by iano, posted 02-12-2009 5:36 PM Shield has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12657
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 2 of 16 (498624)
02-12-2009 8:46 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1786
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 3 of 16 (498628)
02-12-2009 9:04 AM


Not a particularly coherent story
You know, it's always bothered me slightly that so many other people seem to have clear and coherent stories progressing from faith to disbelief, or vice-versa, whether through gradual realisation or sudden conversion. My beliefs have changed too, but I don't have any memory of the process.

I was raised Catholic, but not in a particularly strict family - my mum's side were Catholic, while my dad's are of the branch of vague and adoctrinal Anglicanism which leaves you baffled as to whether they actually believe in God and, if not, why they consider themselves Christians. Given that mum cared about her religion more; and that my maternal grandparents would probably have believed I'd burn if hell if not baptised Catholic, Catholicism it was (a role may also have been played by the fact that the best state school in the area was Catholic - I have a little cousin who's Catholic but with Anglican parents, for the same reason).

I'm fairly certain I did once believe in God. I probably still did at the age of 11; as I remember declaring the strength of my faith in God at a Confirmation meeting (I was even an altar boy!). I also know that I was going through a militantly atheist phase by the age of 14, and have gone through various stages of calling myself an atheist and agnostic since - though this is mostly just philosophical quibbling over an essentially unchanged position. I don't remember how or when my beliefs changed so dramatically, though.


  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3991
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 4 of 16 (498640)
02-12-2009 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Shield
02-10-2009 2:19 PM


I was brought up in a lapsed xian household (my mum was xian) but my dad never mentioned it. My mum would invite in any old religious types to the house (I never understood why) and they would have pretty books that looked (I remember thinking this thought vividly) 'kind of gay' (blokes in dresses and so on and so forth).

I was taught at a C of E school where the local Canon would visit and described how his god was great and so was Jesus. We also had assembly every week where we would sing hymns to the xian god (woe unto those who were not allowed to attend by their parents).

All along though, xianity never really seemed that interesting to me. I was much more interested in Buck Rogers that Jesus (what with the space ships and so on and so forth).

I guess xianty never had anything to offer me: why would I want to feel bad about myself? It seemed to me that if you did not believe in the xian god (or in fact any god [although if I had to believe in a god it would be Enki]) you would not need to worry about the things xianty says that you should worry about. I've always felt religious types are hoist by their own petard in that respect.

What finally erased the youthful indoctorination was the realisation that the world runs perfectly well without a divine influence (just like Athas - but without the danger of catstrophic climate change...oh wait a minute...).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Shield, posted 02-10-2009 2:19 PM Shield has not yet responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1552 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 5 of 16 (498642)
02-12-2009 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Shield
02-10-2009 2:19 PM


Well just a little bit about my religious journey.

I am a son, granson and nephew of ordained independent Christian Church (protestant Restoration movement independent "non-denominational" churches akin to the Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ churches) ministers. My grandfather was an ordained Christian Church minister in Georgia up until he passed away in 1982. My father was ordained before he served 21 years in the Air Force. He also served as an elder and as a part-time interim pastor at several different churches while I was growing up. Nearly all my family both immediate and extended (except my little brother), including myself, attended Bible colleges i.e. Atlanta Bible College, Ozark Bible College, Cincinatti Bible College, Roanoke Bible College, Kentucky Christian College and Milligan College.

I was baptised at the age of 8 by my grandfather and again when I was 22. I attended a Christian Liberal Arts college where I was taking pre-med in preperation for becoming a doctor. Ever since I was baptized at 8, I had wanted to become a missionary doctor to either South America or Africa. My heroes in life were (and some still are) Dr. Albert Schweitzer, theologian-philosopher-doctor-missionary in western Africa and Jim Elliot, missionary to the Quichua and Huaorani Indians in South America who was killed by some of those same Indians in 1956.

My parents worked as dorm parents at a "Christian" children's home when I was going to college in Tennessee and my dad was going back to Bible Seminary. However, due to the rampant immorality and lack of oversite I felt stressed out and had to get away from that situation, so I enlisted in the Navy. My parents left the children's home within a year after me joining the Navy.

I got stationed on a ship in Hawaii and soon after got recruited into a Christian cult-like church movement called the International Churches of Christ (ICC). I was baptized in the movement and was involved for nearly 5 years. I became a Bible study leader, invited people to church on a daily basis and even witnessed to and baptized several friends on the ship I was stationed on in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I prayed, had quite time with "God" and read my Bible on a daily basis. I was through and through a devout Christian.

However, the more deeply I got involved with the Church the more hypocricy, lying, deception, self-righteous bigotry, greed and other immoral behavior I saw in much of the leadership of the church, not just the local church but the church leadership around the world. This was not a small movement, it was actually the fastest growing Christian movement in the world at the time. Needless to say after much research I confronted some of the leadership, many who were my personal friends who I loved dearly, and layed out the evidence before them of the corruption in the church. Unfortunately they were brainwashed into thinking that I was decieved by Satan and I left the ICC movement that very same day. I also lost my girlfriend who was also a member of the Church. If you want to know details of the deceipt, lying and other hypocritical behavior in the church I can give you details. I was a Christian and attended Church for the next 6 years after I left the ICC including independent Christian Churchs, Churches of Christ, Southern Baptist, Independent Baptist and Methodist churches and had seen much of the same type of behavior in many other churchs in my 25+ years as a Christian. It is not isolated to 1 church or 1 movement but is endemic to the Christian belief system as a whole. I am not bitter about my experiences, I am just saddened about the hypocricy and fabrications that are both adopted and distrubted by many people (like I once was) of this religion (and many other religions as well).

After much soul searching and research in both history and science in the last 5 years, I have resigned myself to the fact that the Christian religion is not any different than the tens of thousands of other religious faiths out there. IMHO, it is only through critical thinking and education that humanity can improve our condition not through blind faith and adherance to a failed religious belief.

BTW, please do not comment and say I was never a TRUE Christian or didn't really know "God". Look at yourself and ask why do I believe what I believe, do I have evidence to back up this belief.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Shield, posted 02-10-2009 2:19 PM Shield has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by dwise1, posted 02-12-2009 4:22 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4050
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 6 of 16 (498654)
02-12-2009 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by DevilsAdvocate
02-12-2009 2:41 PM


Out of curiosity, DA, with that pre-med background, did you strike for HM?

After decades of experience in the creation/evolution "controversy" (I still maintain that that "controversy" is itself a creationist fabrication), I've had to arrive at the conclusion that Christianity's major failing is that it creates an environment that is conducive to and protective of fraud, deception, and hypocrisy. It isn't that the religion itself nor even the churches themselves (yes, I had to swallow kind of hard on that one) are hypocritical, but rather that they allow hypocrisy to flourish. Specific cases I have encountered which support this view are believers in YEC to whom I had proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that a creationist had deliberately lied, such that they admitted that that that creationist had lied, and yet they adamantly refused to even consider confronting that creationist about it in any manner (it was a local creationist advocate whom they knew personally). They swore that it is not their duty to warn a brother who is sinning, even though it's their duty ot zealously denounce non-believers' "sinning" and be very in-their-face about it. They couldn't care less that their brother was placing his soul in mortal jeopardy of eternal punishment, even though they "care" oh so much for the souls of non-believers.


But that's not my story. My family was nominally Protestant. Even though we did not attend church as a family, in early elementary school (late 1950's) my mother had enrolled me in the Released-Time Religious Education program (which I'm surprised to find to be much older than I had thought -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Released_time) and regularly enrolled me in Vacation Bible School. I attended Protestant church with our neighbors and when I was about 11 years old, was baptized there in the wake of a Billy Graham revival.

About a year later, I decided that I should get serious about my religion and start learning more about it. Proceeding from the naïve assumption that I was supposed to believe what was in the Bible, I started to read it, from the beginning. I read it in a naïvely literalist manner -- I don't know, but I'm pretty sure remembering back that my church was more mainstream and not literalist; I don't even know what denomination it was nor can I ask anyone since it no longer exists. Anyway, I found what I was reading to be incredibly unbelievable, until I finally had to conclude that I simply could not believe it. And since I could not believe what I thought I was supposed to believe in order to be a Christian, then that meant that I couldn't be a Christian. So I left at about the age of 12. That turned out to have been the right choice, even though it was for the wrong reasons.

In high school (late 1960's), my reading exposed me to some of Christianity's bloody history, which reinforced my choice. Then around 1970 the "Jesus Freak" movement hit Orange County. Many of my friends converted and I became something of a "fellow traveller". The biblical literalist approach just made no sense to me whatsoever, but the Chick Pubs pamphlets were hilarious to read. It was also at that time that I was first exposed to "creation science", mainly in the form of a general claim that the evidence supported Noah's Flood, that C-14 tests showed live clams to be thousands of years old (the truth of which I found years later), and the claim of a NASA computer having found "Joshua's Lost Day". That last one just proved to me that those claims were bogus and I rejected creationism out of hand. Then a decade later when the ICR's road show came to the university in the town where I was stationed, I was intrigued, thinking that if they're still around, then there must be something to it after all. So I started to study "creation science" and very quickly learned that the whole thing is a deception and its claims are nothing but lies.

I have described myself as a "confirmed atheist", since I had become an atheist 45 years ago around the traditional age of confirmation. I'm not anti-religion -- many of my friends and co-workers have been fundamentalist and evangelical Christians and we get along just fine. I respect others practicing their own religion, but I insist that they extend the same respect to others, which is why I feel very strongly about any religious group's attempts to gain political power and/or to subvert the "Great Barrier that Defends the Rights of the People" (a much earlier and more original description of the "Wall of Separation"). I also strongly urge them to be true to their faith and to its teachings; ie, I am opposed to hypocrisy.

Philosophically, I am agnostic, in that the supernatural is unknowable. I would even describe myself according to a bumper sticker: "Militant Agnostic: I don't know, and neither do you!" While I do not exclude the possibility that the supernatural might exist, I do not believe that any person can know anything about it, especially not to the degree of detail that religions claim to have knowledge of. I view all gods as being human inventions, attempts to describe and think of something that we cannot describe nor think of. Even YHWH (AKA "God") is a human invention and would still be even if some supernatural being like Him were to exist; He would still just be a human invention, an inherently failed attempt, to try to deal with the idea of that real supernatural being. When we speak of whether or not we believe in God, that begs the question of what "God" is -- shades of ignosticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignostic). The gods I do not believe in are the ones created by Man, which includes the gods of Christianity. I remain skeptical of claims regarding the supernatural.

The history of my father's side of the family might be of interest. It wasn't until I had reached adulthood that he even spoke of religion. The family started in the US in the 1850's when a Southern German (presumably Catholic) married a girl from Ireland (Eire, definitely Catholic). Most of the people who married into our line were also Irish and Catholic, until my Scottish mother. My father's father wasn't much for religion, until in one town he suddenly got religion and joined the local Protestant church. In order to keep the family together, the rest of the family also converted -- this was before my father's confirmation. Then the church leaders swindled my grandfather in a business deal and he lost interest again, but the family remained Protestant. My father attended church until he was 21, mainly for his mother's sake, since over the years he was finding the hypocrisy he was witnessing increasingly intolerable. As soon as he had turned 21, he didn't go back to church. Though for no reason he could fathom, in the Navy (he was a Chief Carpenter's Mate in the SeaBees, WWII Saipan) the chaplain latched onto him as a drinking buddy when they'd go out on liberty.

Edited by dwise1, : minor cleanup


{When you search for God, y}ou can't go to the people who believe already. They've made up their minds and want to convince you of their own personal heresy.
("The Jehovah Contract", AKA "Der Jehova-Vertrag", by Viktor Koman, 1984)

Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the world.
(from filk song "Word of God" by Dr. Catherine Faber, http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/WORDGOD.HTML)

Of course, if Dr. Mortimer's surmise should be correct and we are dealing with forces outside the ordinary laws of Nature, there is an end of our investigation. But we are bound to exhaust all other hypotheses before falling back upon this one.
(Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles)

Gentry's case depends upon his halos remaining a mystery. Once a naturalistic explanation is discovered, his claim of a supernatural origin is washed up. So he will not give aid or support to suggestions that might resolve the mystery. Science works toward an increase in knowledge; creationism depends upon a lack of it. Science promotes the open-ended search; creationism supports giving up and looking no further. It is clear which method Gentry advocates.
("Gentry's Tiny Mystery -- Unsupported by Geology" by J. Richard Wakefield, Creation/Evolution Issue XXII, Winter 1987-1988, pp 31-32)

It is a well-known fact that reality has a definite liberal bias.
Robert Colbert on NPR


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 02-12-2009 2:41 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 02-12-2009 7:38 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Nunquam
Junior Member (Idle past 3169 days)
Posts: 8
From: New Jersey, USA
Joined: 02-10-2009


Message 7 of 16 (498657)
02-12-2009 4:27 PM


Hey everyone -

This is my first post on this forum, and I think this thread is a good way to introduce myself.

I'm 19 years old and I guess I would be what is considered a "weak" atheist. I see no evidence that a god exists, so I have no reason to believe that one exists. The concept of faith makes no sense to me.

I haven't always been this way, however. In fact, it's only been within the past five years that my transformation from strict theist to atheist has occurred. And believe it or not, this message board actually helped push this transition along.

I was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family. How strict? They currently attend a pre-Vatican II style Mass, which is said entirely in Latin. They pray the rosary every night. I was home-schooled so the public school system wouldn't corrupt my mind and make me actually think for myself. My parents wanted me only to know what they taught me, and open-mindedness was greatly discouraged. If anything or anyone so much as questioned their faith, they would run the other way.

Unfortunately, I had the same line of thinking. Except there was one difference between me and them: they hid from anything that threatened their faith, whereas I did not. I considered this religion to be truth, and any ideas that contradicted it had to be wrong. I sought out to disprove these ideas, and evolution was one of them.

The idea that people “evolved from monkeys” seemed ridiculous to me (I later learned we share a common ancestor). I thought these pesky scientists would come up with any crazy idea to disprove God. But this one had to be the craziest. So I went online to research this theory and try to find holes in it with which I could prove once and for all what a giant hoax this theory was.

For a while, I thought I was successful. Citing sources such as “Answers in Genesis”, I had a million different ways to tell people how evolution was wrong: the obvious holes in the fossil record, the second law of thermodynamics, you know the drill. You guys have heard these things countless times.

I eventually stumbled upon this message board. I figured that I hit the jackpot and I could talk to other people who shared the same religious ideas as me. Boy, was I ever wrong.

What I found was an intelligent group of people that wasn’t on my side. They made point after point and shot down any creationist argument in an instant. A decent percentage of Christians on this forum would post things like this:

quote:
hi I beleive there is a god becuz I read the bible and cmon we dont evolve from monkeys how come you stil see monkeys then???

After about three years of reading up on evolution and seeing comments like this, my viewpoint eventually changed. I went from questioning my religion to calling it nothing more than a fairy tale. And I’d like to thank the members of this forum for helping to get rid of my delusion. I appreciate it. :D

I just joined this forum because I feel I should start participating instead of just reading what other people have to say. I’m also interested to hear other people’s stories, so please keep posting them.


  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 555 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 8 of 16 (498662)
02-12-2009 5:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Shield
02-10-2009 2:19 PM


A (brief) history of beliefs
I've told my story here a few times, and if someone would care to go through all the details, they'd probably find several different versions of the story. That said here is a broad history.

My parents were Church Of England, mildly practicing (more my mother than my father). My grandparents were strongly practicing C of E (as strong as that gets anyway - that is they went to church every week and all that).

However - my father works in oil and his job took him around a lot of places including the Middle East, the Caribbean and now, Louisiana. So there were lots of ideas flying around when I was a kid. My first school was a 'Gospel School' (I was the only white boy in the whole school :) ), and my leaving present was the Good News Bible with a picture of the island the school was on.

So lots of religion. I simply took it for granted that God was up there and was looking over me and out for me. I often had dialogue with him.

My first clash came when that common childhood fascination with dinosaurs and my insatiable appetite for facts came into confrontation with the first page of the aforementioned Good News Bible. When I brought it up with my parents they explained the basic Theistic Evolutionist position. It took a few months, but I managed to massage the cognitive dissonance away and so it remained until I was about 11 or 12 years old.

It was at this point that I first learned that there were other forms of Christianity, lots of them, and I was told outright that I was 'Church of England'. It seemed a little odd to be told what I believed in this way, and it seemed odd that there could be so much disagreement about things.

So I picked up the Good News Bible again and started reading. I realized that the book was very very boring. I didn't care who begat who! Why should I? I put the book down and shelved my concerns under 'Things other people have figured out'.

Over time, doubts still continued to gnaw at me. Why was I so sure my beliefs were the right ones, what if someone else had it right? Every time I felt these things I was crippled with guilt. I felt myself either being told off by the Holy Father or simply that feeling you get when your mother says, "I'm not angry, just dissapointed.", the feeling was terrible.

So I started comparing other people's beliefs. My Grandmother, though a dedicate Christian had a veritable library of strange and esoteric Eastern religious concepts with strange New Age stuff. So I read about Lobsang Rampa, and everything ever written by Betty Shine. There was more besides - and these ideas resonated with me so much more than the Christian belief did.

At first I tried to merge them together so that I need not throw anything out, but that became more and more difficult.

Eventually, I realized that I wasn't sure what religion I was, but it definitely wasn't Christian and it was oriented more towards the East. Then my parents started talking about a Confirmation ceremony and I realized that I didn't understand what 'vow' it was that I was supposed to be 'renewing' and that I didn't feel comfortable making a promise that I didn't really understand.

I was also at this time reading other books in my Grandmother's awesome library, including books on British Law. One such book said that a child has autonomy to choose their religion when they reach the age of 16. This I did on my 16th birthday, advising my parents that I no longer wished to identify as a Christian - I went on to say that I didn't wish to receive gifts at Christmas etc, but they told me that they would be giving them to me anyway.

I wandered about the map as far as definitive alternatives. I played with some form of Buddhism or another, including a long period in Zen, a long period of New Age Healing/spiritualism nonsense, and then a longer period self identifying as a 'sannyasin' via the cult leader Osho.

When I was about 18, a few friends of mine were talking about how they were having combat on the Astral plains and how they were engaged in a spiritual war with various people and melding that with some kind of neo-pagan stuff. It seemed so transparently silly to me, but I realized that my own beliefs were also pretty silly when I held them up to the very same scrutiny. So I went through a confused period once more.

Then I had a divine revelation which lead to me throw away all of the previous beliefs and follow a supernatural variety of pantheism, which was gradually stripped down to straight atheistic pantheism with a brief peculiar blip of believing in Islam (actually it wasn't really Islam, it was a fake version of Islam).

I self identified as pantheist for a few years, but that seemed to lead to confusion, and then Dawkins started the Out Campaign and I realized that the most unambiguous description for my position with regards to religion was 'atheist'. Still people get confused - I've had friends say disparaging things to me/about me, family members are mostly supportive but with some clear signals of distaste. I generally point out that as a positive position I am a humanist - the atheism is just an incidental fact about me.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Shield, posted 02-10-2009 2:19 PM Shield has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 9 of 16 (498670)
02-12-2009 5:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Shield
02-10-2009 2:19 PM


Blowing the dust off this one...
iano writes:

Hi there...

Was looking around for a toe into the site and tripped across here. Seems like as good a place to begin as any.

There's probably a label that can be attached to the views I held before conversion to Christianity... but I'm not sure what it would be. I didn't think about God, didn't think about where the world or all the things in it came from, didn't think about my nominal Roman Catholic 'faith'. Neither did I care. Iano was Iano and lived his life as he saw fit. The prime thing that concerned me, was me. And that was, by and large, the view that seemed to be shared by people I came in contact with - so there was no reason to think there was anything inappropriate/invalid about it.

A constant throughout my life had been a tendency to live it intensely. As a kid it was the string of hobbies; entered into with relish, then developed to deep levels. Not for me, the casual picking up and discarding of interests once the initial novelty had worn off. Additional to a strong drive to seek fulfillment and enjoyment however, was a parallel companion called boredom. Whatever it was that gave initial satisfaction would eventually (even if it took years) loose it's lustre and I'd start to see the activity as being...well, a bit pointless really. There was always a void behind the surface satisfaction and pleasure. Something that remained untouched - no matter what I tried to fill it with: childhood hobbies, juvenile delinquency, drugs, sex and then when I came to my senses a little, university, work, success-seeking, homebuilding.

Satisfaction-seeking had, for me, the characteristic that I needed more as I went along. Yet for all the new thrills I could access, they never even approached the peaks of childhood ones. The shiny new motorcycle I could now easily afford, not a patch on the beat up old Suzuki I scraped my pennies together for. Neither did anything ever seem to pan out as expected. The promise always had a downside. The bosses, to think of one example, I had so respected for their confidence/abilities/power, were the same folk who had non-marriages/70 hour weeks /no relationship with their kids - once I had climbed high enough to get a view of things myself.

I couldn't have vocalised it so at the time but to me, life had to be about something and everything I looked at for meaning was transparent. They weren't substance - just beautifully packaged illusions.

Mild disillusionment with it all set in at 30. By the time I passed my 38th birthday that disillusionment had cranked up to despair. I was trapped. I had tried innumerable things to fill the void and although there were things as yet untried, logic told me that the results could only be the same. The itch was getting worse, the attempts to scratch it more desperate and damaging. I was an object moving in a straight line and no exterior force was having any effect. And the only direction I could go in was down.

It was at that point I turned to an unseen, unbelieved and unknown God and cried for help.

He did...and I haven't looked back since.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Shield, posted 02-10-2009 2:19 PM Shield has not yet responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1552 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 10 of 16 (498687)
02-12-2009 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by dwise1
02-12-2009 4:22 PM


dwise1 writes:

Out of curiosity, DA, with that pre-med background, did you strike for HM?

Good question dwise. Actually, when I first went to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Center) I asked for HM. However, they told me the wait for HM (Hospital Corpsman) was over 6 months. I had to get out of dodge now, now, now so I asked what else they had open. They showed me a bunch of other rates and I picked Operations Specialist because it sounded cool and I would work with radar and computers. Now I am an OSC (Operations Specialist Chief Petty Officer) with 16 years in the Navy.

I still have a love for biology and anatomy though I think if I ever became a doctor I think would become a medical researcher vice a clinical practitioner. However, I think I am too far in life to start over on such an intense career. My other love is computer science which is what I am currently pursuing and will probably go into after my Navy career.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by dwise1, posted 02-12-2009 4:22 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1153
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


Message 11 of 16 (498906)
02-15-2009 6:46 AM


A boring story.
Not very exciting really, but here goes. As a child one of my biggest interests was mythology, I loved the ideas and stories of greek, aztex, norse, mesopotamian and celtic (especially of my homeland) mythology. I never actually took them seriously, I knew Zeus and the Dagda were not real. However the main thing about the stories were how passionate they were, they summed up the worldview of a whole people.

At the same time there was a place called "mass" that I went to with my parents. I didn't really pay attention, however I eventually realised because of classes in school that mass was about a new set of myths I'd never looked into. "Cool!", I thought. So I went to look at the book of these myths, the bible. I started to read it, but I found it very boring. It was drained of passion and adventure and seemed to be more a moral didactic. However instead of giving a moral lesson through a story it literally just had the god say "Do this" or some guy say "Do this". The New Testament was literally about love and friendship it seemed to me and was still a very "neutered" piece of writing.

I did like Yahweh, because his attitude and general manner of speech reminded me of Enlil and the other Mesopotamian gods. Even to this day I love that way of talking.

So I asked the priest in my local area, who used to come to my school, why we listened to these boring myths (looking back this must have been very awkward for him), instead of using the better ancient myths. He then told me some stuff, which combined with talking to others brought me to this conclusion:
"People actually believe this stuff like the greeks believed in their gods!"

I had just assumed humanity had grown out of it. The reality of it just seemed impossible to me. I couldn't get over thinking "Nobody has ever seen Yahweh and some of the stuff in the Bible is so ludicrous, how could people think it happened?". However in truth it wasn't anything specific, but the whole general "feeling" of the Bible seemed totally impossible.

Eventually I asked some people about this and got answers that were very similar to what I'd read about the greeks and the hindus defending their beliefs against athiests.

So eventually I said to myself that I had to understand some people just think this stuff, even if you don't get why and its what they like.


Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Holyfire23, posted 03-05-2009 11:40 PM Son Goku has not yet responded

  
Holyfire23
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 16 (501398)
03-05-2009 11:40 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Son Goku
02-15-2009 6:46 AM


My father was raised Catholic and my mom Protestant. When they were married they were not very serious about their faith. When I was three years old my mother got saved. About six months later my father was saved. I was little and God ,to me, was just a word. I didn't really think about Him much. However, when I was seven years old I went to a church party and they had a little trailer there. I went in and we watched a short video on the Christian faith and then they asked if we would like to become saved. I said yes. I prayed the sinners prayer and that was it for me. After that I still didn't think much about God. When I was fourteen years old, I re-commited my life to Jesus at a youth conference. Since then I have been fascinated with the subject of Apologetics and Theology. I know I am kind of the odd man out on this forum, but that is fine with me. I just like to discuss and debate with other people with the same interests. That is why I'm here.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Son Goku, posted 02-15-2009 6:46 AM Son Goku has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Stile, posted 03-09-2009 10:45 AM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1402 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 13 of 16 (501399)
03-05-2009 11:53 PM


My parents were Catholic but not very pushy with us about it.

I loved science and found all of the answers I had questions for in it, and saw religion as modern-age mythology.

I've been in and out of college for various subjects and have not gotten a degree on any one thing yet, but I soon will finally accomplish this.

I think science is the new way for humans to connect with their universe/planet/environment. What was once only achievable through faith and belief I believe we can accomplish with a deep knowledge of science and nature.

I honestly don't see any need for religin or faith. I think one is a false institution and the other a false necessity.


"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


  
Sarawak
Member (Idle past 3929 days)
Posts: 47
Joined: 03-07-2009


Message 14 of 16 (501794)
03-07-2009 7:20 PM


I think that God (whichever one you wish) is directly a function of the existence of humans. God did not invent humans. Humans invented God.

Without humans or their equivalents or betters elsewhere, inhabited worlds would chug along just fine and without problems. And, yes, I am confident that there are many (probably billions) worlds inhabited by living things.


  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 15 of 16 (502019)
03-09-2009 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Holyfire23
03-05-2009 11:40 PM


Holyfire23 writes:

I know I am kind of the odd man out on this forum, but that is fine with me. I just like to discuss and debate with other people with the same interests. That is why I'm here.

If you are here to learn (as your message seems to imply) then you are definitely not the "odd man out" in any way. Welcome to the board, and have fun. There is much to read, and discuss :)

As for my story:

-Mom's a practicing Catholic, Dad's a non-practicing Protestant who goes to church with my Mom every week because she likes it when he does that.
-I went to Catholic school, had 1st Communion (grade 2), got Confirmed (grade 8), thought it was all just "the way things are."
-Found out through education that when most teachers told me things were a certain way, I can ask "what if it isn't really this way?" and there'll be an answer in some book (or person) somewhere explaining exactly why it actually is that way.
-Found out through experience that when some people tell me things are a certain way, I can ask "what if it isn't really this way?" and sometimes it turns out that the person was completely wrong and it, in fact, isn't necessarily that way.
-One day I asked this question about religion, and I've yet to find any answer that supports religion as "an answer" in any satisfactory way (where objective, verifiable information would be satisfactory).
-Ever since then, I've been trying to learn whatever I can to understand why some people believe so strongly in something that could quite possibly just be "not true."

That is why I'm here :)

Oh... and my selfish reasons of being here... entertainment, curiosity and testing of certain ideas.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Holyfire23, posted 03-05-2009 11:40 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020