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How I view religion and how I got here.
06-09-2011, 10:18 AM
Post: #1
How I view religion and how I got here.
The 'Christadelphian' posting almost rattled me right out of making a submission. That kind of faux-piety really puts me off.

My early years were somewhat Christian, but I don't remember attending church services before I was 7 years old or so. I've been reading a lot that mentions inculcation of the young and I'm actually glad that my parents had enough tumultuous things going when I was young (seperation and divorce) that church attendence wasn't prevalent in my younger years.

By the time my mother and step-father converted to Mormonism, I was old enough to question everything. Thankfully, I did. I began by thinking critically and believing for the longest time that I might be part of a very slim minority of atheists/agnostics. The internet has helped me immeasurably over the last few years. The more confidence I gain in my atheism; the less clouded my view of Christian doctrines has become.

Anyway, I am happy to call myself an atheist and honestly wonder now how people can't see through religious dogma (or refuse to see through it). I've always considered it an albatross and even at 40 years old, I struggle to make sure that it's fetters don't weigh down my perceptions of the world.

Religion is a drug. And apparently one that the world will never completely kick. Sadly, that is what I believe now. For all the 'good' that religion/theology does, it does just as much harm. I remember hearing a quote, but forget from who, "Religion fills hospitals as quickly as it builds them."
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06-09-2011, 02:57 PM
Post: #2
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
Thats kind of similar to my story, my parents got divorced when I was 1 or so, and my mother was 21. (People really shouldn't have kids when they are still kids themselves.) So I don't know if we went to church then or what, but I went to a private Christian school from 1st grade till half way through my freshman year, and hated every moment of it! Science taught that the earth was six thousand years old, there was 'Bible Class' where you read and memorized the bible instead of learning something like math or humanities. (Although bible class kinda paid off now, because I usually can quickly recall a verse or chapter that contradicts whatever someone brings up.) Although I would have preferred chemistry or physics, we had neither.

For a while, I was a pretty secretive atheist because I thought I was alone. The internet and the new books that have come out recently have really helped me get over this 'fear'. Although I have lost a few friends and some family members will say nothing more to me then "I'll pray for you" while they shake there heads.

I know people that think religion will be mostly wiped out in the next 20 to 40 years, but I think it will be hundreds and it won't be wiped out but perhaps the percentages will swap, having less then 20% or religious people.

That Christadelphian post is odd, I thought it was a joke, as I have heard many of those points before but usually as satire. I'm waiting for the reply, it seems like it may be a setup to get whoever debates it to take an obvious stance. Kinda like when someone gets you to agree that perhaps some alien thing seeded earth with life, then they switch it with why can't that be God.

Thanks for your story. I really want to hear from someone who was an Atheist by choice (not just because they didn't go to church when they were young) and then chose to be religious.

Nice quote too, I hadn't heard that one. It reminds me of Steve Weinburg's
Quote:"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
and George Carlin's,
Quote:"Thou shalt not kill. Murder. The fifth commandment. But if you think about it religion has never really had a problem with murder. Not really. No, more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason. All you have to do is look at slavery, the Middle East, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and the World Trade Center, and you'll see how seriously the religious folks take "Thou Shalt Not Kill". The more devout they are, the more they see murder as negotiable … it's negotiable. It depends, you know? It depends on who's doing the killing and who's getting killed"

My personal #1 reason that I don't like religion is because I like knowledge! And Religion suppresses knowledge; not just the knowledge unfortunately, but it suppresses the entire drive to understand.
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06-09-2011, 05:43 PM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2011 05:45 PM by Garrett Fogerlie.)
Post: #3
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
Talking about early indoctrination, I came across this bible lesson for children.


Quote:http://ministry-to-children.com

Children’s Church Lesson: Jesus Battles The Devil

Text: Matthew 4:1-11

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, children will demonstrate knowledge of the three temptations of the Devil used against Jesus … by choosing them from a list of possible answers.

Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th
Items Needed:
Marked Bible for this passage. Prepare the copy in advance by highlighting the significant points to emphasize. Underlining words or ideas that will need additional explanation. I typically make small notes in the margin.


Explanation: This passage is often overlooked in children’s curriculum. But it is a great chance to show the importance of memorizing scripture. It also shows the how weak the Devil is compared to Jesus.


One Page Teaching Plan
Hook
Who was the first person the Devil ever tricked? What happened? What was God going to do about it? Remind the children that when Adam sinned it brought death into the world. It made all of Adam’s children (that’s us) to be enemies of God. But God was sending Jesus to save sinners. So the Devil was trying to trick Jesus more than anyone else – ever!

Book
Active Listening: Say, “Today we are going to learn about the time Jesus battled the Devil. This story is from Matthew 4. I want you to listen carefully for the three tricks the devil tries to use on Jesus and how God’s Son fights back.

Read (and summarize) Matthew 4:1-11. (Read with emotion and pause often to engage the children with the reading.) Remind the children that Jesus knew his special mission to die on the cross. But if Jesus fell into sin he could not save us! So Jesus always had to obey God. Be sure to emphasize the three tricks you asked the children to listen for:
1. Stones to bread – not trusting God, not waiting for God.
2. Jump off the Temple – wanting to get famous.
3. Get all the kingdoms by worshiping the devil – wanting to get power.

Ask for reports. The children should be able to repeat back the three points you emphasized. Say, “This story shows us how Jesus used his fighter verses (memory verses) to fight against the Devils tricks.”

Matching: Match Jesus response to the right temptation. Read the response Jesus gave and have the children recall which trick he was fighting.
You shall worship to Lord your God and him only shall you serve. #3
You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. #2
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. #1

Test: Ask the children to stand up if the tricks you read were the one’s that Jesus had to battle in the story. If not from the story have them cross their arms.
Turn these stones into break.
Turn this water into wine.
Jump off the temple.
Do not obey your parents.
Get power over all the kingdoms by worshiping the Devil.

Look: Ask the children to think of some tricks the Devil might use on people they know.

Took: How can they fight against these tricks?
Use fighter verses
Ask Jesus for help, he already beat the Devil

This is teaching children not to question God and with a bit of abstraction, faith!

My personal #1 reason that I don't like religion is because I like knowledge! And Religion suppresses knowledge; not just the knowledge unfortunately, but it suppresses the entire drive to understand.
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08-02-2011, 08:05 AM
Post: #4
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
NotSoMightyGod Wrote:The 'Christadelphian' posting almost rattled me right out of making a submission. That kind of faux-piety really puts me off.

I find there is an interesting trend with atheists. They make assumptions without really understanding what they are talking about. I doubt you have really investigated as to what the Christadelphians believe and i doubt even more that even if you do know what they believe then you have investigated the Bible to test what they are saying is true!

It takes a life time of study to really gain a limited understanding of a particular field in science. This is why i am so perplexed that the new atheists claim they know about Evolution. When i was in University many years ago, i never once knew of a lecturer that claimed to understand everything about their own field. What i generally heard was how little they knew and how much they didn't understand. This is exactly the same with Evolution.
For example - A palaeontologist who studies fossils will have a certain amount of knowledge in that field. He will certainly not claim to know much about anything else to any depth.
So my point is, which i will reiterate, is that before assumptions are made about a certain field you know little of, it is best to avoid mentioning anything about it.

NotSoMightyGod Wrote:Religion is a drug. And apparently one that the world will never completely kick.

Yes it's amazing how God is imprinted on so many hearts. He loves those that diligently seek him.
I find it is Evolution that is the modern drug but one that the world willl completely kick, maybe not in our life time but sometime soon. However the one true God who created all will carry on with his purpose towards a kingdom he has planed for anyone that diligently seeks him and loves him.
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08-06-2011, 02:02 PM
Post: #5
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
(08-02-2011 08:05 AM)fxmikey Wrote:  
NotSoMightyGod Wrote:The 'Christadelphian' posting almost rattled me right out of making a submission. That kind of faux-piety really puts me off.

I find there is an interesting trend with atheists. They make assumptions without really understanding what they are talking about. I doubt you have really investigated as to what the Christadelphians believe and i doubt even more that even if you do know what they believe then you have investigated the Bible to test what they are saying is true!

It takes a life time of study to really gain a limited understanding of a particular field in science. This is why i am so perplexed that the new atheists claim they know about Evolution. When i was in University many years ago, i never once knew of a lecturer that claimed to understand everything about their own field. What i generally heard was how little they knew and how much they didn't understand. This is exactly the same with Evolution.
For example - A palaeontologist who studies fossils will have a certain amount of knowledge in that field. He will certainly not claim to know much about anything else to any depth.
So my point is, which i will reiterate, is that before assumptions are made about a certain field you know little of, it is best to avoid mentioning anything about it.

NotSoMightyGod Wrote:Religion is a drug. And apparently one that the world will never completely kick.

Yes it's amazing how God is imprinted on so many hearts. He loves those that diligently seek him.
I find it is Evolution that is the modern drug but one that the world willl completely kick, maybe not in our life time but sometime soon. However the one true God who created all will carry on with his purpose towards a kingdom he has planed for anyone that diligently seeks him and loves him.

It's kinda funny how God had to wait until about 2,600 years ago to start imprinting his existence on human hearts. Before then, humans worshiped all kinds of other gods of nature and the sun god Shamash or Marduk or the Lord god, Ahura Mazda or Ba'al... I guess it depended on where you lived. If you were a Canaanite, you likely worshiped El and his #1 son, Ba'al. If you were a Midianite, you worshiped El and his wife, Asherah and the rain god, Ba'al. If you were Egyptian, you worshiped the Lord god, Amun, along with Ra and Isis and their divine son, Horus.

So many gods, so little time. So Yahweh god waited for hundreds of thousands of years of human existence to make himself known about 3,200 years ago to a handful of escaped slaves and no one wrote about it until 2,600 years ago - a likely story if ever I heard one.

That was when the story really got kinky. With the return from Babylon, the elite of Zionism called themselves Israel and the people who were left in the land during the exile of the elite, to fend for themselves while the elite were gone, they called gentiles on their return. Pretty neat trick. However, modern genetics have shown that the Palestinians were just as much Israelite as the returning "Jews".

Another strange thing happened too, God no longer interfered or intervened as he had in former days - so Israel was never an independent "nation" again until 1948 AD and wouldn't be today if not for the power of the United States and Great Britain. However, the state of Israel is not Israel at all but a Zionist state of the descendants of the former Zealots of long ago who were enslaved by the Romans after the Jewish wars. While the Zionists played political games, the real Jews were murdered by Hitler's "final solution".

People may not be able to tell the difference, there is a difference between Israel and Zionists, between Judaism and Zionism. The Zionists still believe (along with Christadelphians and some other Xians) that Israel will one day rule the world - all because of some failed prophecies of 2,600 years ago.

Faith is disdain for evidence, dismissal of reason, denial of logic, rejection of reality, contempt for truth.
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08-07-2011, 12:01 AM
Post: #6
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
(08-02-2011 08:05 AM)fxmikey Wrote:  
NotSoMightyGod Wrote:The 'Christadelphian' posting almost rattled me right out of making a submission. That kind of faux-piety really puts me off.

I find there is an interesting trend with atheists. They make assumptions without really understanding what they are talking about. I doubt you have really investigated as to what the Christadelphians believe and i doubt even more that even if you do know what they believe then you have investigated the Bible to test what they are saying is true!

I think NotSoMightyGod was refering to your post, not your religion in general. You said thinks like:

fxmikey Wrote:Why is our blood red? only the Bible will tell us. Why do our bodies extract the requisite nutrients from our food and turn the rest into corruption? Only the Bible will tell us. Why must we die? Only the Bible will tell us.
...
Books have been written about the Bible showing how it was very much ahead of its time in matters medical and scientific. All washing was to be done in running (Hebrew living) water, but it is only just over 100 years ago that running water was considered essential because of germs in stagnant water.

Job 26:7 states that 'the earth hangs on nothing' but nobody in the ancient world knew that the earth was a sphere hanging in space, so how did Job know.

Isaiah 40:22 speaks of the heavens being spread out, yet it had only recently been discovered that we are in an expanding universe. Jeremiah 33:22 says that the stars are countless yet it was some 2,000 years later before science found that out.

1 Corinthians 15:39 speaks of man and creatures having different kinds of flesh. Yet it was not until modern times that science discovered the distinctiion between human cells and those of other creatures. How did Paul know?

It should be pointed out that Scripture is not a scientific textbook. It is a book of redemption dealing with the purpose of God, but when it does mention scientific matters, it has never been proved wrong.

And like I said in my reply to it, I thought you were joking. Seriously some of this is just wrong, and bordering on crazy.

My personal #1 reason that I don't like religion is because I like knowledge! And Religion suppresses knowledge; not just the knowledge unfortunately, but it suppresses the entire drive to understand.
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08-07-2011, 01:03 AM
Post: #7
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
(08-06-2011 02:02 PM)Corky Wrote:  It's kinda funny how God had to wait until about 2,600 years ago to start imprinting his existence on human hearts. Before then, humans worshiped all kinds of other gods of nature and the sun god Shamash or Marduk or the Lord god, Ahura Mazda or Ba'al... I guess it depended on where you lived. If you were a Canaanite, you likely worshiped El and his #1 son, Ba'al. If you were a Midianite, you worshiped El and his wife, Asherah and the rain god, Ba'al. If you were Egyptian, you worshiped the Lord god, Amun, along with Ra and Isis and their divine son, Horus.

Exactly! Not only revealing himself only 3000ish years ago, but doing it to just a few people, in a manner that creates deviations that have led to horrible wars, death, and atrocities.

My personal #1 reason that I don't like religion is because I like knowledge! And Religion suppresses knowledge; not just the knowledge unfortunately, but it suppresses the entire drive to understand.
http://www.EvilTheists.com
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08-07-2011, 08:57 AM
Post: #8
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
(08-07-2011 01:03 AM)Garrett Fogerlie Wrote:  
(08-06-2011 02:02 PM)Corky Wrote:  It's kinda funny how God had to wait until about 2,600 years ago to start imprinting his existence on human hearts. Before then, humans worshiped all kinds of other gods of nature and the sun god Shamash or Marduk or the Lord god, Ahura Mazda or Ba'al... I guess it depended on where you lived. If you were a Canaanite, you likely worshiped El and his #1 son, Ba'al. If you were a Midianite, you worshiped El and his wife, Asherah and the rain god, Ba'al. If you were Egyptian, you worshiped the Lord god, Amun, along with Ra and Isis and their divine son, Horus.

Exactly! Not only revealing himself only 3000ish years ago, but doing it to just a few people, in a manner that creates deviations that have led to horrible wars, death, and atrocities.
Just as a little aside, the traditional belief that Noah's ark landed on Mt. Ararat has a reason. Mt. Ararat is a volcano that was active about 10,000 years ago and that was where the people of the area (Semites and Aryans) worshiped their gods and received their "divine" laws from the hands of the gods themselves.

That reminds me of Moses on "Mt. Sinai", with the fire and thick smoke, receiving the laws from the hands of Israel's god.

The ancients who worshiped the sun god (whatever his name might be) also worshiped volcanoes as the sun god's son.

Faith is disdain for evidence, dismissal of reason, denial of logic, rejection of reality, contempt for truth.
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09-29-2012, 10:40 PM (This post was last modified: 09-29-2012 10:42 PM by sarahlin.)
Post: #9
RE: How I view religion and how I got here.
Jerry loved gangster movies. When a new one came out, he would go to the theater and watch the new movie three or four times. Then, when it went to video, Jerry would buy the video at Barney’s Video Store. Jerry had a home collection of over 1,000 gangster videos. Old ones, new ones, color, black and white, English, Spanish, Japanese--he loved them all. He could tell you the name of the movie, the director, the stars, and the plot. Did you say you liked “Pulp Fiction”? Well, Jerry would rattle off all the details of that movie. And then he would invite you to his place to watch it some time. He was a nice guy.


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