Welcome, Members! What's your story?

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Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby invisible chzbrgr » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:41 pm

Hello everyone, and welcome to all and all are welcome.

This is the kind of intro thread which cuts right to the juicy bits! Please share as little or as much as you feel comfortable. It’s conversion/deconversion story time!

What is your story? Are you a believer or a nonbeliever, or is it ongoing? What are you now? ;)

If a believer, were you ever atheist, and what changed for you?

If atheist, were you ever a believer, and why did you stop? Do you have a worldview you can share?

Have you always felt how you feel now?

If there is too much for one post, feel free to begin another thread. If people have a lot of questions of others, it might become necessary.

Also, why are you here at this forum?
I still think you're sweet, but you do give me the horrors. -Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby invisible chzbrgr » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:43 pm

I was born and raised in a very passively religious home. I knew what church we would go to if we were to go, but we never did. It was Congregational, but I’d actually have to wiki it to find out what that means! I suppose it’s a fairly liberal type of church.

My mother sometimes says (jokingly I think!) that she regrets not sending us to Sunday school, because neither my sister or I grew up with any solid belief. But, she remembers how much she resented not going outside on a Sunday to play football with her brothers, and never made us go.

I think I tried praying once around age 5 or 6. I must have seen kids doing it in movies right before bed. I have a vague recollection of praying that my parents never die.

Other than weddings and one confirmation (where I scarfed the bread and grape juice as soon as I had it in my grubby little hands – oops! Didn’t wait for the right time… how embarrassing…), we did not attend church nor did we talk about attending church, nor did we read the bible. So by high school I was pretty much an apathetic agnostic, and that went all the way through til my mid 20s.

I dipped my toes into paganism… it was a very appealing and beautiful sort of worship where you pick whatever aspect of the divine you wished, whatever relates to you. It made so much sense! Nothing was right and nothing was wrong, as far as methods or beliefs. I did meditation, tarot, astrology, exercises from a witch handbook (Wiccan witch, of course), kept a journal and an altar, to direct my practices. After a couple years of earnest wishing and searching, I discovered this wasn’t for me, and there wasn’t any basis other than wishing to cause me to continue. So, back to agnosticism for me!

Last year I read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins—not even sure why I picked it up, I think it might have been on a sale table at Borders or something. Anyway, I remember hearing about it on NPR and feeling uncomfortable listening to an atheist! It seemed so extreme to me. LOL such a silly person I was.

After reading, I discovered that I’m not a wishy-washy agnostic unwilling to commit to a nonbelief; I am an atheist after all. I embraced this, and began to read all kinds of things such as Dennett, Hitchens, Mills, Harris, Loftus, Barker, Gould, Ali, and began to pay attention a little better to the creation/evolution debate occurring IRL and on YT, at least here in America.

A lot of self-confirming literature, to be sure! But it’s also opened my eyes to interest in science beyond just going to a science museum and pushing buttons or going to the planetarium to watch the pretty lights. It has also led to a burgeoning interest in debate and logic and epistemology, to a degree. It’s been enlightening and educational in a big way.

I am here to keep learning; about opposing viewpoints, about confirming opinions, about other people and places, about myself and what I really think.

Long post again, sorry! Thanks for being patient. I am looking forward to reading your stories too.
I still think you're sweet, but you do give me the horrors. -Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby tetropods » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:36 pm

I was raised in a Congregational home, we went to church when we felt like it, my dad never went and i never wondered why (turns out he's an atheist :D). But i'd go to church and sunday school, most of my friends were catholic and i had no idea about some of the stuff they talked about, silly Catholics and their rituals :mrgreen:

but around the age of maybe 10 i got into science, man did i get into science. i started to read tons of magazines about different things, animals and national geographic (i looked at the pictures) but i also was exposed to the other religions of the world, that's when i started to wonder who was right, i mean if all the religions of the world claimed to have the word of god and have the only key then all of them must be lying.

At 13 i found YT and all my religious beliefs were no longer necessary, i sprung it on my mom she was a little mad but got over then i told my dad and he didn't care. :D everything worked out great.
A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights. :)
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby MistahTom » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:42 am

Born into a church-less home. My mom always found ways to show us how religion was unnecessary. Never actually believed in god, but when I was really young, I thought the god concept was what made a coin land on heads instead of tails. Such silliness. :FSM:

Was practically always an atheist, even as a child.
As I grew more aware of the people in charge's ulterior motives, I became a stronger atheist. I would say I'm atheist (if asked) starting in middle school.

Became a full metal Atheist when I moved to southern california to go to school. The area east of Los Angeles might as well be a fucking red-state, and that is one way to get turned of to religion.

Full metal being if asked in real life what I believe, I will tell them I am Atheist AND I will defend myself if necessary. Feelings be warned. :twisted:
For the same reason you reject other gods, I reject yours.

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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby Eve M. Faith » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:12 am

In a nutshell...
mother is a professed catholic. pops, well he just never said.
Me and my sister were a late inning oops. 12 years after they "stopped" having kids.
I have little doubt that if my parents were of lesser means we might not be here.
We went to catholic services and Sunday school and all that. My sister stopped going at about 6 or so, wanted to study? never understood that one. Who wants to do that?
I kept on until I got kicked out ("removed") for asking the wrong questions and making inappropriate comments. Stuff like insisting that Jezebel got a bum wrap and god was a jerk for letting satan torture Job just to prove he was right (and then getting angry because god gave Job a brand new wife and family to replace...like that made it better) Kid stuff, you know.

Well, after I was removed I refused to go even to regular services because i thought "those people were mean" At some point around 13 or so I decided that organized monotheistic religions invalidated each other 9by their claims to all be the ONLY...) and turned to wicca and other forms of nature and "universe" schools of thought.

Eventually I realized that I didn't feel any external force or energy or influence because there wasn't one. All my feelings of "oneness" with whatever were internal. they were coming from myself for myself. A beautiful thing to be sure despite, or perhaps because, it doesn't require gods or spirits.

I have decided that agnostic ("god (s)" are inherently unknowable) atheist (inclined to think there aren't any) is where I fit.

I told my parents and got two completely different reactions.
My mother said that I was as bad as my sister and refused to speak more on it.
My father just said "welcome to the party and behave yourself"
(I have no idea how to take either)
Sorry it was so long, i have a tendancy to be long winded sometimes :oops:
Thanks for your patience :)
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby TheBlueFalconX » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:43 am

Wondering if I should do one. And should I, which one?
I guess it takes a firm belief in the invisible magician to properly sell a gun online. Who knew?-Shawna
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby Eve M. Faith » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:49 am

TheBlueFalconX wrote:Wondering if I should do one. And should I, which one?


Which story?
I would recommend a funny one, they're the best!
There was a young man from Glenglozle
Who found a remarkable fossil
He deduced from the bend And the wart on the end
'Twas the peter of Paul the Apostle
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby PanFreethinker5 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:36 am

Well, my story began when I did my second youtube channel, which was badjoker1. At first, it was to comment in music videos, and in other things, like games and other stuff. I began then my interest in religion, and wanted to know them quite a bit. I began my studies with Satanism. I wanted to know the religion, as when I was a Catholic, I was told the basics of such thing. Some things were true, others were false. My knowledge in Satanism began to be quite good, and began to categorize symbols. I began to be a conspirator, which I still am. I began to analyze the Conspiracies. I reject many of them, except the New World Order, the 9/11 inside Job, the Bin Laden CIA, and the Illuminati. The others, which are from Nibiru, and alien conspiracy was rejected. Anyway, I turn away from Catholicism, and turn into an Evangelical Christian. I began to defend the Theist God in videos of Awesome God's videos.

While debating, I encounter myself with an Atheist video of gogreen18(Laci), and began to hear what she said. I knew she was quite right in some things; however, I denied other things. I began then to hear about Creationism, which I had never heard before, as I believed in Evolution, and the Big Bang. In the past, I believed that God's creation began with the Big Bang. I even defeated my aunt that is a Creationist when I was only 8 years old. LOL! Funny, isn't? My knowledge with physics and biology had always been good. Anyway, I began to hear other atheists videos, which some I deny, and others I reject. I saw that my Christianity was even insulted by other Christians. I began even to debate other Christians, and as well Atheists. I began the feeling that something was wrong.

Then I saw a video that explain why atheists began to consider Christians deluded. I began to ask myself my own beliefs. I then rejected the Trinity, and the divinity of Jesus. I began to ask myself everything. At last, I debate a Creationist. This creationist opened my eyes of why they believed in Creationism. I turn Deist, as I began to think that God gave us reason, and that He didn't interfere in anything. However, I began to ask the Deist God's existence. I knew that I had no evidence. I then turned agnostic, and began to search for my own belief. First, I check out Islam. Of course, a friend began to show me what happened in the Middle East, and turn away from Islam. I no longer believed in the cosmological God.

In my agnosticism, I check out Scientology. Yes, it's bullshit, but the name attracted me. I rejected it quickly, though I began to believe alien created us; however, I waked up from that bullshit. Anyway, I checked out Buddhism, which I consider the best religion; however, reincarnation didn't convince me, and turn away from it. However, I still admire it, and even practice many Buddhist techniques. I began to call myself Atheist; however, I was still lost. I didn't felt that Atheism was my philosophy in life, as I was very spiritual, and had an admiration toward the nature. I then find the videos of Windham666, about Scientific Pantheism. I didn't knew what was Pantheism, until I began to hear it. I began to like it, and began to feel more pantheistic. I search on pantheism.net, and began to know that Pantheism was for me. Plus, my hero was a Pantheist, which is Albert Einstein. I began to love physics, and began to research about it. With 60 videos about physics, I knew that Pantheism was for me. I turn into a Pantheist. :mrgreen:

Conclusion:
Creationism can turn you away from Christianity. :lol:
Science can help to define your beliefs, or philosophy about life. ;)
:P
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.- Albert Einstein.
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby Komadori » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:14 pm

invisible chzbrgr wrote:Hello everyone, and welcome to all and all are welcome.

Sou desu ne, "Irasshaimaaaasu!"
et "bienvenue!"

This is the kind of intro thread which cuts right to the juicy bits! Please share as little or as much as you feel comfortable. It’s conversion/deconversion story time!

What is your story? Are you a believer or a nonbeliever, or is it ongoing? What are you now? ;)


I am a seeker! I do have a sense there is something alive about our world, our universe, but I do not think any of really has the authority to name that. "Nature" or "Divinity" or "Universe" is quite fine enough a title, without deifying or humanizing the wonders in our life. I don't know if that makes me a believer or non-believer. Frankly, I don't care. I think you have a right to believe or not, as you may, so long as you don't shove your personal beliefs on others. I think it is equally disappointing and sad, when people reject obvious advancements for the betterment of our people and our Earth as well as cold, hard facts that don't fit their worldview.

I believe religious freedom should be protected by the law, but not legislate the law. When someone's beliefs interfere with another's, use common sense to deal with the issue. If you are islamic and someone criticizes your religion, then use rebuttal. Don't go crying to the authorities that the mean, bad infidel is making you upset. :roll: And if you are christian, and you don't believe in stem cell research, then don't use IVF, because GUESS WHAT: your frozen little "babies" who don't get implanted are going to die, someday, whether or not they help SAVE other lives. :roll: And, as I've heard from Whoopie Goldberg: If you're against gay marriage, then don't marry a gay person! *sigh* So, yeah. I'm all for people having their own beliefs, but it ticks me off when their beliefs inhibit others' rights to believe differently or help society.

Oh! But getting back to the question... Well, I was raised southern baptist, as a child. I was very, very christian. I was "saved" at age eight, and I believed the best way to lead people to christ was to walk the walk and not talk the talk. I even helped a couple of others return to their faith, merely by having a very loving, christian attitude in everything I did.

When I went to college (the first time... LOL), I remembered abuse at the hands of a childhood friend, when I was little. I realized she was acting out, but I had a difficult time working through the realization that I wasn't a virgin, and I gave up on waiting until marriage, as a result. Also, I became apprehensive around gay women (but I was alright around gay men).

About a year later, I had my first major episode of sleep paralysis, though I didn't know there was such a thing until years, years later. It would be the turning point of my faith, as I began to seek answers. I thought that a demon was perched just aside to my head, next to the wall. I could not move and I had this overall sense of evil intent upon my person and my soul. It "left" when I called upon Jesus, in my heart, to cast it out. So, you would think that would have strengthened my faith, and in many ways, it did. However, when sharing what happened to me at church, everyone just changed the subject. Only my parents were supportive of me.

I had friends who considered themselves spiritualists, so I sought to learn from them how to defend myself, if it should happen again. I then began learning about mysticism and Wicca. I ended up meeting an Asatru in my painting class, when I transferred colleges, and we talked about paganism and christianity a lot. I still considered myself christian during this time, but I felt a real connection to paganism as a whole, and Wicca seemed to make sense as a modern construct for the beliefs entailed.

When I found that my baptist literalized viewpoint of the bible and paganism were incompatible, as well as the history of how christianity became more pagan and less judaic over the course of time, I decided that the pagan elements meant more to me. Plus, I had a dream of a pentacle rosary window. I thought that was my sign from god that it was alright to search this new path.

My father died over the year and a day of my dedication to Wicca. As a final goodbye, I also said goodbye to my faith as a christian, by placing a small cross necklace in the casket with my dad. That was in 1997...

Christmas of 1998, I came out of the broom closet to my mother, and then to my brothers and my sister-in-law. I'm prettysure my extended family knows by now, but we don't talk about it. I accepted that since my family is christian (95% or so), then being quiet about my beliefs would allow for a more peaceful and calm environment, which is important to me.

I never chose a pantheon, though I did dream of a goddess figure once. I was never keyed into any faith. My favorite mythology is Aztec, which of course, is waaay too brutal to be seriously considered by anyone sane. You'd at the very least need to allow for blood letting, even on an "unleaded" version. Why bother, at that point?

Plus, I just don't dig using a thorny vine to induce hallucinations. Ew...

I recently had a wreck, and since then, have been reviewing my life, in total. I consider myself a pantheistic pagan, at this point. Some here see me as theist, some as atheist. I'd say there's a fine line, but considering I see the universe as divine, that makes me a theist.

If a believer, were you ever atheist, and what changed for you?

Nope. As a pagan, I always endeared the atheistic person as a wonderful anchor to reality. It is very easy for any spiritual and/or religious person to get wound up into their beliefs, and even a pagan can become fundamental, believing in fairies and high magicks. Such things have been viewed by many of us, not just myself, as dangerous on many levels.

I'd like to note that since moving back in with my parents (my mother remarried in 2001), I had to quell my beliefs to where I could only talk about them online or at the uni with other pagan friends. I think, due to this, my spiritual side of my beliefs, calmed down for a good while. I have had spikes, experiences which "remind" me of the divine nature of the universe. I try not to spend too much effort on such things, however, since they do not impact the overall life I lead. (For instance: De ja vous happens to me a lot, like this morning... but it never ever has been something important. Annoys the hell out of me!) Better to nod, and note it was a spark of connection, and go on with things. I've seen "A Beautiful Mind" and seriously, if ever there was a reason to question the experiences people have, I hope that movie brings people to do so.

Also, why are you here at this forum?


Because you guys rock and I missed you!! :D
The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science.
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Re: Welcome, Members! What's your story?

Unread postby Seppe Cools » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:49 pm

Hi everybody,
my story:
I was raised as a moderate christian.
At the age of 12 my religious belief grew pretty fast and i even started praying.
At the age of 13 i started to think for myself and at the age of 17 i became one of the most Atheistic human beings that you will ever find.

Since then i started to fall in love with science and it will require a true miracle to ever convert me back into a believer.
Every year i learn more and more, and so my Atheism is also growing every year.

There is only one topic where i'm pretty oppossite to most Atheists and that is my Atheistic reincarnation story, but i'll leave that for another day :lol:

My ultimate dream is to build a truly working Artificial Intelligent machine that exceeds the intelligence of the human brain. How hard can it be ;)
Last edited by Seppe Cools on Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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