Saturday, September 18, 2010

From Christianity to Atheism Pt. 13

After having left the church one of the things I found most amazing were the stories that were circulating around the church about me, I left and pretty much nothing changed about me except that I had eliminated God from my life. I continued doing what I always was doing which was basically taking care of my wife and family and working for a living, I never was into the street scene or hanging out or doing drugs or other illicit activities. My only vice that I still have till this day is beer, I enjoy my occasional beer from time to time at home with my wife. Yet some that knew me, specifically my brother in law said that I started drinking since I left the faith not knowing that I have been drinking beer since my last two years of high school.

When I joined the church of course I stopped drinking and smoking cigarettes, but when I left I picked up drinking on the weekends again but I never returned to smoking cigarettes. It has been 20 years since I last smoked a cigarette and I plan to stay this way since I find smoking a little bit repulsive, the very smell at times nauseates me. As I stated before religious beliefs are mostly fear based and I got my good dose of warnings and even so called prophecies about how bad things were about to get for me if I left the Lord. In fact, the total opposite happened; when I left the Lord and took back charge of my life things started to get better for me. Within a few months I was at a great job and ended up staying there for 7 in a half years. I was making good money and had a lot of perks that came with the job such as free access to books on all sorts of subjects before they even hit the market.

I recall one incident where I ran into a young man about my age after I left the church and it just so happened that when he saw me on the bus I was reading Darwins 'Origin of species'. He greeted me and he had his bible in his hand and the first thing that he asked me was what church I had been attending, I told him that I had become an atheist and that I no longer attended church nor had an interest in doing so. His reply was the standard trash about what a terrible thing it was to have known god then to have turned your back on him etc. Then when he glanced down at my book he said: " It is because you read trash like that that you have been lead astray". I immediately went on the attack and told him it is because you read and believe in your myths and fairy tales that you can't cope with reality. With that he seemed to get angry and walked away from me and that was the end of the conversation.

A couple of years later I ran into an old friend from the church on the street and when he saw me his face went pale, he called me and came running to me and gave me a huge hug. He told me that he had heard that I was dead and could not believe that I was still around, the rumor in the religious circles that knew me was that I had become a drug addict. Some even claimed to have seen me standing in various street corners nodding off on my feet as would someone addicted to heroine. It's almost as if for them to be able to validate their beliefs they wish you the worst to be able to demonstrate what happens to someone who turns his back on God. I grew tired of hearing from theists on the street that I met randomly after they heard my story would right out start with the death and hell threats etc.

I found that when I broke free from the fetters of religion that I was truly happy. I felt so free since I found that religious life for me was oppressive. Without god my thoughts and feelings are my own. I don't rely on fairy tales and myths to guide my life I rely on my own common sense and abilities to adapt to any challenges I face in my own personal life.

15 comments:

  1. What you have written so infuriates me. They totally throw out the 9th commandment about not bearing false witness. Gossiping, rumors, out-right lying. You shall know them by their fruits. Fundamental Christians have an agenda as you illustrate. It is all about making them look good. Why would I want to be in heaven with such deceptive people?

    One thing I have noticed since I have become an atheist is my morals have improved. I say the truth that is inside of me. I don't have to live up to some stupid religion. My insides match my outside. When I was a believer that was rarely the case.

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  2. Ah, beer - as a homebrewer myself, welcome back!

    Beer and wine are in the bible, aren't they - and not necessarily considered bad - except through circumstantial reasoning? As a former catholic that never fully read the bible, I'm clueless. BTW - I did try to read it a couple of times - but I quickly become frustrated and can't deal ridiculousness of it all.

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  3. Drunkenness is not allowed in the bible but drinking with moderation is fine.

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  4. Hi, Chatpilot. Hey, I found reading your journey quite interesting and insightful. You have obviously really thought things over, and it's a shame that you seem to have met a lot of people whose religious tendencies really put you off.

    I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind me asking . . .

    One is, if you have now concluded that Christianity is a load of myths and fables, why do you devote so much time to trying to prove it wrong? Why not walk away and spend life focusing on the things that now matter, and forget about it?

    The other is, are you absolutely convinced beyond a doubt that the Bible is untrue? ... or is there still a minute chance it might be? Could it be that you just got involved with a bunch of "Christians" who had a legalistic interpretation of the Bible? ... and that an interpretation that lends itself more to a grace view of the Bible, actually creates true freedom?

    Just curious ...

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  5. Hi Chat, I can honestly say that letting people know that you are an atheist or now a nonbeliever, leaves a person in a lonely world, although I will never go back to believing the bb
    Christians will openly ostracize you and try to punish you by what you describe as being mean spirited towards you.

    Christians have these little feeler words that they throw out to people to see their reactions, if they do not respond to those feeler words as they expect another christian would respond, they hate you and despise you, although they may not openly express their hatred towards you but they basically have been taught to hate nonbelievers, a lot of christians are two-faced backstabbing hypocrites.

    This is what christianity teaches, religious superiority and elitism, to me a very dangerous philosophy.

    I know this is basically what you wrote, but I'm trying to tell anomyous what a mess he/she has himself/herself has gotten themselves into.

    To anonymous, you must realize that every person is born as a nonbeliever, you, me, Chat, were indoctrinated into belief, indoctrinated, do you now what effect indoctrination has on a person? It's a hypnotic effect that is not natural, it is brainwashing and I doubt seriously that Chat spends as nearly as much time now trying to convince people that the bible is false as he did as a christian.

    And if he does spend more time now trying to convince people the bible is false, I'm sure he is getting a lot more personal satisfaction out of it than he did trying to convince people a bunch useless ancient insane nonsense that you have been indoctrinated (brainwashed) to believe as the truth.

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  6. @ Steve Bently
    My questions to Chatpilot were meant to just be taken at face-value - they weren't intended to be loaded. From what I've read, Chatpilot seems happy enough to discuss the issues without getting personal ... and for the record, I personally don't hate or despise atheists. I actually respect people (atheist or Christian) who look at the facts and think about what life is about.

    Yes,a lot of "Christians" are hypocrites, as you say, but I don't think that this has any bearing on whether Christianity is true or false. Hypocriticial Christians discredit themselves, not Christ. In fact the Bible shows that both Jesus and God don't have a lot of time for hypocritical, "religious" Christians either.

    The indoctrination argument is interesting. Personally I've just looked at the Bible and the world around and chosen to believe in God. Others have looked at it and chosen to disbelieve, I guess. I can see how some people might feel that legalistic wings of "Christianity" actually indoctrinate people, but it's not necessarily the case with everyone.

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  7. Anonymous - to answer your questions from my point of view.

    Your first question (why devote the time?): A belief system based on faith (no evidence) does affect the actions of people. It can be seen in "little" things like no meat on Friday, all the way through discrimination against homosexuals and flying airplanes into buildings. So I truly do think it is important for non-believers to stand up and call people on their publicly held beliefs and say "present the evidence that shows interracial marriage should be outlawed" - a previously long held belief by churchies that finally caught up with secular morals.

    On your second questions (is there any chance it is true): Yes, there is an extremely small chance that it is true. But from a quantum physics perspective, there is also a extremely small chance that I could walk through a solid wall. What many rational people will say is that almost all things are possible, but there is overwhelming evidence for some positions and none for others - so I will always go with the overwhelming evidence. Now, as someone who works in the sciences, if new evidence if brought to light, I am more than willing to change my view.

    The part about not being a part of a church that presents the "true" bible - you are getting way too far ahead. First evidence that a god exists must be presented, then that the bible is inspired by this god (and not hindu, islamic, mormon, scientology texts), then which version of the bible is accurate, and then which interpretation of the bible is accurate (literal or the personal interpretation - which is usually just discarding the parts that conflict with your own personal moral standard).

    hope this answers your questions

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  8. Anonymous asked me: "if you have now concluded that Christianity is a load of myths and fables, why do you devote so much time to trying to prove it wrong?" "The other is, are you absolutely convinced beyond a doubt that the Bible is untrue?"

    To answer your first question, I don't try to prove it wrong I just lay out the facts and let you decide for yourself. I do think religious beliefs have serious effects on ones mental health and creates all sorts of unreasonable prejudices based solely on dogma.

    Yes, I am sure the bible is absolutely false! Taking in the history of religion and religious beliefs, I am sure that they are nothing more than a history of mans search to understand our universe, planet, and our own origins. There are literally thousands of religions predating Judaism by thousands of years as well. What makes you think that out of those thousand or so religions yours is the right one?

    Regarding your question of interpretations of scripture that is one of the most weakest aspects of your religious beliefs. The fact that it is open to mans own interpretation means that it lends to confusion as to whose interpretation is correct. Take a look at a book on how many Christian churches or sects are out there and you will see what I mean.

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  9. Chatpilot

    Just to clarify something - do you know or believe the bible is absolutely false? I think in the strictest sense there is the 0.00001% (made up number) probability it is correct - but to live your life based on that low of an possibility would be absurd.

    As an example, I know every time I get into a car, there is a good possibility I could die in a crash, so I take the necessary precautions of wearing a seatbelt and not driving like a lunatic. If the probability of dying in the car was 0.00001% I would likely surf on the hood while my 3 year old drove. This same example can be applied to religion, why wear the bible as a seatbelt if the possibility is so low that any of it is true?

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  10. Dennis I know the bible is 100 percent bullshit, I feel the same way about all religions and so called holy texts. I am convinced that religion is 100 percent the creation of mans fertile imagination.

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  11. Okay - I would state that I believe it is bullshit, but would qualify that I know it is 99.9999% bullshit :)

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  12. I don't give it not even one percent possibility of being true. What I mean by true is in the sense that it was God inspired; it was not. It is full of myths and ancient traditions and even some falsified history. I don't believe in one word that comes out of that trash heap called the bible or any holy texts from any other religion.

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  13. Anomymous wrote,

    "The indoctrination argument is interesting. Personally I've just looked at the Bible and the world around and chosen to believe in God. Others have looked at it and chosen to disbelieve, I guess. I can see how some people might feel that legalistic wings of "Christianity" actually indoctrinate people, but it's not necessarily the case with everyone."

    I'm not sure you're being quite honest with us here, because had you never heard of, or never been exposed to a bible, you would not have any indication as to what to believe in.

    In other words, had you never heard of a bible god,(through indoctrination), you would not think it necessary to believe in any supreme being.

    Thus whether you want us to believe that you just happen to stumble upon a bible and therefore decided to believe it based upon what you happen to read in it, none the less you were given access to a bible, either by another believer who seen to it that you were exposed to it's contents, therefore you were indoctrinated (or lets say infected) by another bible believing fundamentalist and they are somewhere kicking their heels up on high for having introducing you to ancient superstitious nonsense, thinking that they have just added themselves brownie points for jesus.

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  14. Chatpilot - you disagree with my version of the truth! I bestow upon you the atheist version of damnation - I shrug my shoulders!

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  15. "I bestow upon you the atheist version of damnation"

    Too funny Dennis thanks for the laugh. It would be nice to have those holy cursing powers wouldn't it? I would curse religion out of existence if I had them.

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