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The Atheist Experience


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As many of you know, I used to be a hardcore Christian. I had many battles with people on this board. Husker X was my atheist nemesis. I told people they were going to hell if they didnt believe. Then..I found this show. Matt Dillahunty was practicing to be a preacher before he became atheist. He knows the bible inside and out. I watched some of these as a theist and it got me questioning. Once you start to question one thing, you start to question all things. I am no longer a religious man, more agnostic and spiritual and my life is better for it.  I am more of a humanist now as I want the best for everybody in this one and possibly only life we get. I can focus on this life and try and do the right things not because God tells me to but because I want to. Heres to others finding their freedom from the shackles of religion. Enjoy!

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Is this thread going to be post after post of you talking about atheism to yourself? 

As many of you know, I used to be a hardcore Christian. I had many battles with people on this board. Husker X was my atheist nemesis. I told people they were going to hell if they didnt believe. Then

As an agnostic, it frees me up to believe that life is beautiful, intricate and mysterious, and perhaps I'll never have answers to its biggest questions, but I never assume I was owed that.  

The final nail in the coffin for my religious views was reading the Bible cover to cover. Two and a half year exhaustive Bible study. I had done dozens of Bible studies throughout my life, but there were tons and tons of it that I hadn't read. Going through it all, it became so clear to me that these were no different myths than from any other religion of the time. It's completely normal god stuff for the times those people lived in. 

 

Yesterday I drove by a guy with giant blingy letters on the back of his car that said, "Jesus is coming soon." It reminded me of the hundreds of times they told us that at church. Celebrated it every Easter. But "soon" kinda means something sooner than 2,000 years. That's what? 80 or so generations between Jesus' death & now?  "Soon" for who? 

 

At some point it just became clear to me that I'd been lying to myself about this absent god that was never coming back - just like all the other gods of the Bronze Age. 

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13 minutes ago, knapplc said:

Going through it all, it became so clear to me that these were no different myths than from any other religion of the time

 

Pretty much how I feel.

 

The messages and ideals portrayed in various religious texts across the world have morally sound principles, but people can ascribe to those without the fear of god hanging over there head. At the end of the day, individuals should, hopefully, live their life to the fullest and try to leave the world in a better place for future generations. I have an extremely hard time justifying why I need to have something reinforce these habits on a weekly basis - especially when such entity serves as an instigator of major global conflicts, preys on vulnerable, and continues to coverup heinous crimes committed by representatives. 

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17 minutes ago, knapplc said:

The final nail in the coffin for my religious views was reading the Bible cover to cover. Two and a half year exhaustive Bible study. I had done dozens of Bible studies throughout my life, but there were tons and tons of it that I hadn't read. Going through it all, it became so clear to me that these were no different myths than from any other religion of the time. It's completely normal god stuff for the times those people lived in. 

 

Yesterday I drove by a guy with giant blingy letters on the back of his car that said, "Jesus is coming soon." It reminded me of the hundreds of times they told us that at church. Celebrated it every Easter. But "soon" kinda means something sooner than 2,000 years. That's what? 80 or so generations between Jesus' death & now?  "Soon" for who? 

 

At some point it just became clear to me that I'd been lying to myself about this absent god that was never coming back - just like all the other gods of the Bronze Age. 

Think of how long the Jews have been waiting, and they still have 200 years to go...

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1 minute ago, ZRod said:

Think of how long the Jews have been waiting, and they still have 200 years to go...

 

Reminds me of Fiddler on the Roof, when the village is being purged and Motel asks the Rabbi about the Messiah:

 

Quote

 

Motel: Rabbi, we've been waiting for the Messiah all our lives. Wouldn't now be a good time for him to come?

Rabbi: I guess we'll have to wait someplace else.

 

 

There are so many "nows" in the last two millennia where it would be a good time for a loving god to intervene and bring everyone up to heaven but... nothing.

 

Just the past century alone of horror and unjust death: the killing fields in Cambodia, the purges & famine in the Soviet states, the millions killed by the Japanese in China and Pacific nations, the Holocaust, the half dozen "ethnic cleansing" episodes throughout Africa, the Turkish ethnocides, both world wars, European imperialism throughout the world (but especially the Congo & Ethiopia). 

 

But all religion can show when a god is needed is empty hands. Everyone has to wait someplace else.

 

After enough of that, people start to realize, that "now" is never coming. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, knapplc said:

The final nail in the coffin for my religious views was reading the Bible cover to cover. Two and a half year exhaustive Bible study. I had done dozens of Bible studies throughout my life, but there were tons and tons of it that I hadn't read. Going through it all, it became so clear to me that these were no different myths than from any other religion of the time. It's completely normal god stuff for the times those people lived in. 

 

Yesterday I drove by a guy with giant blingy letters on the back of his car that said, "Jesus is coming soon." It reminded me of the hundreds of times they told us that at church. Celebrated it every Easter. But "soon" kinda means something sooner than 2,000 years. That's what? 80 or so generations between Jesus' death & now?  "Soon" for who? 

 

At some point it just became clear to me that I'd been lying to myself about this absent god that was never coming back - just like all the other gods of the Bronze Age. 


I dont think many Christians have actually read the bible front to back or even researched it. I am guilty of that also when I was a believer. If they did, they would probably be like you and leave. There is so much freaked up s#!t in that book. From advocating for slavery to genocide. 
 

This show was eye opening for me. I learned so much about the bible I didnt know before. Things like we dont even know who the authors are. For my whole life, I actually thought the gospels were written by people named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Nope, not the case. And these books were written hundreds of years after Christ which essentially makes them an extrememly long game of telephone. If I told someone something today and that person told someone and so on, they story probably wouldnt be the same 10 days from now. Just imagine decades and generations. That is why I linked this specific video. I hope people will watch more and if youre a theist and watch these and still believe, then thats awesome! But everyone should question and find the truth on their own and if you feel the truth is already what you believe, then more power to you. 

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4 minutes ago, Frott Scost said:


I dont think many Christians have actually read the bible front to back or even researched it. I am guilty of that also when I was a believer. If they did, they would probably be like you and leave. There is so much freaked up s#!t in that book. From advocating for slavery to genocide. 
 

This show was eye opening for me. I learned so much about the bible I didnt know before. Things like we dont even know who the authors are. For my whole life, I actually thought the gospels were written by people named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Nope, not the case. And these books were written hundreds of years after Christ which essentially makes them an extrememly long game of telephone. If I told someone something today and that person told someone and so on, they story probably wouldnt be the same 10 days from now. Just imagine decades and generations. That is why I linked this specific video. I hope people will watch more and if youre a theist and watch these and still believe, then thats awesome! But everyone should question and find the truth on their own and if you feel the truth is already what you believe, then more power to you. 

 

The lack of known authorship of the Bible is pretty freaky. Think about waging wars and living your lives based on a series of previously loosely-related books written by people you don't know. And then, not until about 500 years after Jesus, some of these books - but not all of them! - were compiled by church leaders into what we today call the Bible. Some books were left out, some were modified, some were super similar to the ones we know today but different enough that the council opted to leave them out.

 

And this text is what we're told is the unerring word of god. That's nonsense. It's just myths written down by people decades, and in some cases centuries, after the events. 

 

There are some great ideas in the Bible. But to use that text as the basis for a religion is Scientology level stuff. 

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If people find being an atheist beings them inner peace that’s great.  If people find that believing in a higher power brings them inner peace and sense of well being that is awesome too.  I think what @Frott Scostwas getting at if I read correctly was a ‘to each his own, whatever helps you achieve inner peace’ concept which I would agree subscribe to also.

 

Others here who try and denigrate religion to help fulfill or justify their own beliefs are pretty disingenuous in my opinion.  Same goes on the flip side for those who actively try and convert someone to a religion.  I feels it okay to preach a religious belief, but not ok to force it down someone’s throat.  It’s one reason why my wife and I have introduced religion to our kids, but let them have their own free choice on whether they want to continue to pursue their own religious journey.  

As far a Catholicism specifically goes, I have a problem with how the ‘Church’ has handled various crises in my lifetime though I believe in the actual basic teachings and how one should live their lives.  

 

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33 minutes ago, Archy1221 said:

If people find being an atheist beings them inner peace that’s great.  If people find that believing in a higher power brings them inner peace and sense of well being that is awesome too.  I think what @Frott Scostwas getting at if I read correctly was a ‘to each his own, whatever helps you achieve inner peace’ concept which I would agree subscribe to also.

 

Others here who try and denigrate religion to help fulfill or justify their own beliefs are pretty disingenuous in my opinion.  Same goes on the flip side for those who actively try and convert someone to a religion.  I feels it okay to preach a religious belief, but not ok to force it down someone’s throat.  It’s one reason why my wife and I have introduced religion to our kids, but let them have their own free choice on whether they want to continue to pursue their own religious journey.  

As far a Catholicism specifically goes, I have a problem with how the ‘Church’ has handled various crises in my lifetime though I believe in the actual basic teachings and how one should live their lives.  

 


Pretty much. All my family is religious and I have no issues with religious people for the most part. I do have issuse with some and the way they treat people. I will be the first one to tell you I was a bigot and looked down on say, gay people. I told people they were going to hell, etc. 

 

I think everyone should do their own research and find their truth. Like I said above, if they watch some of these videos and still believe, thats great! Me, personally, I couldnt anymore. I tried lying to myself for a long time after questioning also, but eventually couldnt do it anymore. I wouldnt say Im 100% atheist though, more agnostic and spiritual. I tend to believe there is a higher power, but I dont think it is any of the religious Gods. I probably dont have good reason to believe this either, as there is no evidence, but Id like to think there is more out there than just this Earth. 

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7 minutes ago, Frott Scost said:

Me, personally, I couldnt anymore. I tried lying to myself for a long time after questioning also, but eventually couldnt do it anymore.

 

This is me, too. And that process took a LONG time. I started doubting as a child, but would never honestly look at my doubts. In fact, I dove deeper into church culture and rose higher in the ranks at my church. Bible study leader, lay preacher, church council, all that stuff.

 

It was very difficult breaking away from something that I had held onto for so long, but once I allowed myself to step back and examine it without the predisposition of "this has to be true," it was very freeing. 

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On 3/30/2021 at 7:26 PM, Frott Scost said:

As many of you know, I used to be a hardcore Christian. I had many battles with people on this board. Husker X was my atheist nemesis. I told people they were going to hell if they didnt believe. Then..I found this show. Matt Dillahunty was practicing to be a preacher before he became atheist. He knows the bible inside and out. I watched some of these as a theist and it got me questioning. Once you start to question one thing, you start to question all things. I am no longer a religious man, more agnostic and spiritual and my life is better for it.  I am more of a humanist now as I want the best for everybody in this one and possibly only life we get. I can focus on this life and try and do the right things not because God tells me to but because I want to. Heres to others finding their freedom from the shackles of religion. Enjoy!

To your point about there being lots of misinformation and misunderstanding about God, yes I agree.  There's LOTS of misinformation and misunderstanding.  But that just proves how small and ignorant man is.    

 

As for the existence of a higher power, just look around you at the magnificent system of life on earth.  Would you, as an atheist, have us believe that all these incredibly complex, interacting systems of life came into being and multiplied through happenstance and random mutations?  

 

There are around 9 million different species of animals on earth and 400k species of plants.  If you had a planet with ideal conditionsor even a billion planetshow long would you have to wait until the conditions occurred to produce one cell of a plant or animal?  A billion years?  A trillion years?  Who knows?  And if that one cell somehow did come into being, how could it reproduce?  How could it cooperate with other cells to form a simple plant or animal?  And how could that simple plant or animal evolve on its own to create what we have on earth today?    

 

I amuses me that some people pooh pooh the difficulty of creating lifeplants and animals.  It's really, really hard.  Certainly it's far beyond the capabilities of mankind.  We (all of mankind) could devote all the collective resources of the world to this problem for a 100 years and we couldn't create one simple creature from scratch.  Yet many would have us believe that life was created by a lightening strike in a swamp.  Heh. 

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8 minutes ago, NUance said:

As for the existence of a higher power, just look around you at the magnificent system of life on earth.  Would you, as an atheist, have us believe that all these incredibly complex, interacting systems of life came into being and multiplied through happenstance and random mutations?  

Yes. That argument is circular logic because the only way we could have this discussion is if the events that led to us existing have already taken place.

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