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  #31  
Old 12-13-2009, 04:59 PM
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greenearthal greenearthal is offline
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I had an experience at a young age where my caretaker took me to her Baptist church on the end of our block to get saved. And I ran screaming from that whole deal. They also put the "fear of God" into me about how my mom was going to hell for being an atheist.

But after a few brief moments of doubt (erm, doubting my doubts I suppose) I returned to pretty stable diet of rational skepticism(atheism).

I spent most of my life with a gut feeling that something was wrong, in that, people who liked to praise Jesus had a place to go and share fellowship and network and build strong communities on a weekly basis and atheists did not. That seemed like we were willfully accepting a power imbalance and I would occasionally joke about starting an atheist church when I grew up (and sometimes embellish the joke by doing my charismatic leader routine where I would charismatically preach the gospel of not listening to anything that I have to say)

To my absolute and utter astonishment, a woman that I fell very deeply in love with, introduced me to the UU church, where many atheists gather alongside many people of other faiths. Coincidentally she introduced me to polyamory at about the same time, and all of the first polyamorists that I met were UUs so the two became oddly coupled in my mind for a while.

So anyway, that's the story of how I became a church going atheist. My own church here at home totally rocks.
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  #32  
Old 12-13-2009, 08:16 PM
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She would tell me that my lack of belief would have me spending eternity in hell. I know she truly believed all of this and was concerned, but it bugged me that she believed that her god was going to torture me for all of eternity because I never found proof of God.
I'm sorry that you had to put up with that, too. I'm sure lots of people who question the existence of a god have had to. The thing is, their god wouldn't torture you because you never found the proof; it's the blind faith that they want. Absolute faith without proof in the strictest sense. Which seems a tad absurd to me, because what happens to those in parts of the world that never were presented with the idea of a god? Do they go to hell for not having the fortune of hearing about this god that many choose to believe in? That doesn't seem like the will of a just and loving god to me.


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My guess is that biologists deal with evolution, which seems to be a hot issue for science/religion.
I've spent a while studying evolution, and I don't think religion and evolutionary biology are mutually exclusive. If there is a being capable enough to create our complex systems and everything we see in our world, I imagine s/he would make us so that we could adapt to changes in our environment so that we would survive. I think this is probably the view a lot of evolutionary scientists-- those that choose to believe in a god-- take.

This is all just my opinion...
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  #33  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quath
My guess is that biologists deal with evolution, which seems to be a hot issue for science/religion.
I am not a supporter of the fact that just one being said hey i'll make this and this and wham-bam thank-you-mam it happened. I'm all for evolution. I just think there is room for both and you can say that some force be it a god, a goddess, hell even an alien petri dish, whatever, but say that they started the evolution. Reason why is that it just seems to me that yes after countless generations we eventually adapt to our surroundings, but it must take a lot of energy to do so, enough that its just out of human reach [for right now].
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  #34  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:40 AM
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Reason why is that it just seems to me that yes after countless generations we eventually adapt to our surroundings, but it must take a lot of energy to do so, enough that its just out of human reach [for right now].
Actually there can be evolution after just one generation if the population isn't in equilibrium. Not major changes like gaining wings or losing limbs, but minor changes can occur that can accumulate to eventually lead to these landmark changes-- even in humans. A good example of evolution in humans that's happening now is antibiotic resistance.

I typed more of an explanation, but figured this isn't the thread for it and that most people probably aren't as interested in the sciencey jargon as I am, and restrained myself.
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  #35  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:49 AM
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Well yeah the small stuff is just that small stuff.

But I mean like apes turning into humans...or fish into land creatures. It was a series of small events, but even those small events were big leaps for creatures like that.
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"I don't long for a gender-free society, but I would dearly love one that wasn't gender-*stupid*."-- Elise Matthesen (in alt.polyamory)

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  #36  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:42 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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Originally Posted by BloodGamers View Post
I am not a supporter of the fact that just one being said hey i'll make this and this and wham-bam thank-you-mam it happened. I'm all for evolution. I just think there is room for both and you can say that some force be it a god, a goddess, hell even an alien petri dish, whatever, but say that they started the evolution. Reason why is that it just seems to me that yes after countless generations we eventually adapt to our surroundings, but it must take a lot of energy to do so, enough that its just out of human reach [for right now].
Yeah, the compromise position is theistic evolution. That can either mean that God is more of a deist deity who set it all up and let the chips fall where they may (and he knew where it would lead). Or it can mean that God nudged evolution for humans along. The second interpretation suffers from lack of intelligence in human design. Like the eyes in humans are not "designed" as well as in a squid (which would imply that God worked on the squid more than humans). We should also see places where humans seem to advance more than probability would allow.

When I was Christian, I accepted evolution. But it was not easy because where does the garden of Eden fit in? Did God just pick two humans out of the mix and put them in a zoo? Some of this made me start to rethink my theology.
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  #37  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:16 AM
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Since this is the spiritual thread...

I've always wondered why someone feels the need to 'prove' what they thing spiritually. No, I take that back. I once used to be a "rabid atheist". Once I realized that it is I was doing, I started to resent it.

Why does someone have to knock someone who believes differently, just because it's different? As long as someone isn't forcing their beliefs (i.e. Christians enacting into law "moral" sexual practices) unto me, I have no problems with them. Why rag on someone for finding their peace or happiness?
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  #38  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:04 AM
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R's parents are very zealous Christians who try to convert everyone to their denomination. When they started in on our kids, we drew the line.

The end result is: They're only allowed to see their grandkids as long as they don't mention religion to them in any way.

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  #39  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine View Post
Why does someone have to knock someone who believes differently, just because it's different? As long as someone isn't forcing their beliefs (i.e. Christians enacting into law "moral" sexual practices) unto me, I have no problems with them. Why rag on someone for finding their peace or happiness?
I came from the other direction. I use to be an "apathetic atheist." As long as people did not try to push their beliefs on me, why should I care?

What changed me was my grandmother sending me all sorts of Christian apologetic material. I started to read more about religion and it greatly bothered me.

It is easy to see why I should speak out against the extreme issues. Some of these are laws and treatment of gays. Pedophilia in the Catholic Church. War in the name of religion (not so much of a cause but a rallying point). Horrors of history from the Crusades to killing people for not being the right religion to ritual sacrifice to killing children for being witches.

But then I saw some lesser issues. I saw that Christianity could support slavery (as well as support freeing of slaves). So any Christian can take any side in an issue, quote the Bible, and say they are morally good for doing so. I saw that someone could do something bad, and yet feel good about themselves because they could claim they are doing the Lord's work.

But the lines between the extreme harm and the minor harm seems to get blurred. Anti-gay laws rely heavily upon moderate, mainstream Christianity. This was the same pattern for people being against interracial marriage. Science is rejected and bad mouthed due to mainstream religious beliefs.

In the end, extreme religious fanatics are empowered by the moderates. They can point to them and saw, "See! We all believe in the same God. I just follow the holy book to the letter while they pick and choose willy-nilly what they want to believe." Any critique of the far extreme of a religion has to cover a critique of all of the whole belief system.

If we lived in a world where the extreme fanatics did not exist and everyone was a moderate who was ok with a secular government, I would go back to being an apathetic atheist again. Until then, I feel I must speak out while I still see injustice done in the name of religion.
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  #40  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:40 PM
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I guess I'm a sincerely identifying 'nothing'. Not becuase I have ambiguous beliefs (such as a true agnostic) but becuase I have found that every single group I got involved with has the same desire to hold on to power and bash other groups.

Christians hate athiests, who think pagans are naive, who think buddahists worship nothing (a remarkably legitimate accusation, and yet so ignorant to make.), etc, etc, etc.

Frankly, I got sick of the BS.

I believe in mother and father god. I believe we all make our own universe and realities. I believe we are all powerful creatures. I believe that the only sin is when you impose your will on someone else's/ knowingly violate someone else's will or property. I believe children are sacred, as they are the closest thing to God/Goddess we can see with our human eyes.

For these reasons, my politics are all over the map. For example; I'm avidly pro-equality, but very anti-femanist as all as male supremist. I'm against anything that enslaves any group of people, but becuase I believe we are all powerful, I'm against any thing that grants special help or favors to one particular group. (anti-welfare.) I'm pro-capital punishment and anti-taxes becuase I believe my money is MINE as long as I did the work for it. I'm pro-life becuase I don't think one person should be able to choose to 'terminate' another because that person is inconviniant. (Admittedly though, abortion is a very compliated subject with many exceptions to the rule for me.)

So... yeah... that's my religious map... lol
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