YoBuckStopsHere,
@YoBuckStopsHere@lemmy.world avatar

My parents didn’t think I was religious enough so I was forced to go to Catholic school. Thus became even more atheist. Also, religious people are the most hateful and dishonest people on the planet based on my experience.

someguy3,

Such as easy thing to do when you have God on your side huh.

frokie,

At one of those bible study after church things, I asked the priest if when I die and go to heaven, I’ll get answers to things I’ve always wondered, like how many stars there are, or since I’m outside of time then, be able to observe historic events like building of pyramids or the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs , or supernovas, or how technology would be in the future.

… he said that I wouldn’t care, I’d be too busy being astounded by the face of god for all eternity.

Which I thought was the lamest way to spend eternity, and what’s worse, would mean that my main trait at the time, curiosity, wouldn’t be part of me when I’m in heaven. Then would it really be me up there?

Act 2. I eek out the “why does a loving god allow souls to be tortured and burnt for all eternity” question to a different priest and got some answer like hell is just the absence of god. Which, I can understand why to him that’s torture but for me… it seemed more like a “ok you don’t want to stare at my godly face for eternity? Be elsewhere then with your fellow non believers “. Which from my pov, it’s like ok no big deal then?

And from there the shadow of doubt grew enough and now I understand this is all there is so we just gotta make the best of it, and try to push the envelope for humanity in any way we can.

MadMadBunny, (edited )

deleted_by_author

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  • ani,

    That sounds pretty heartbreaking, I’m sorry you’ve gone through that. Hope you’re in a better place today. If you’re OK with me asking, were your parents under chronic stress to both have developed such psychological traits?

    dhorse,

    This was a long time ago, but I had to go to the methodist version of confirmation. It was not any one thing that made me stop believing, but many little things. What I could not get over was the “virgin” birth of Jesus. They talked for weeks about this and the “miracle” got more and more ridiculous over the lesson. Joseph got played.

    OpenStars,
    OpenStars avatar

    The funny part is how that word supposedly may translate better as "maiden" than "virgin", as in "young girl" rather than someone who has not yet had intercourse. I wonder how many people have been beheaded for asking about such things.

    Jesus Himself hated such over-religiosity - "Want religion that is pure and blameless? Take care of widows and orphans!!" - but sadly it seems the natural human condition.:-( The extreme irony is how He went to LARGE efforts to just constantly and consistently give the religious fruitcakes of His day the middle finger ("thou shaltest say to every Karen, fuck ye off"), which ofc got Him killed just like everyone else who tried it previously. So like... was Jesus one of the early atheists then, if you think about it like that...? :-D /s

    But I mean, in all seriousness, the gist of Jesus' message seems to me to be to ignore the fruitcakes and just do the right thing, regardless ("the worker deserves his wages..."). So like, wtf does His teenie sexed-up mommy have anything to do with anything?! But Karens gonna Karen, I guess, and get all worked up about whatever drama they can either find or invent.

    Addv4,

    Ex-Christian here, I was in a pretty easy going division of Christianity, main thing was that we didn't believe in hell and were "metaphysical" (hippie way of saying we didn't strictly adhere to the Bible). I would often look after the smaller kids in Sunday school, and one day we put on the veggie tales version of Noah's ark, and I actually watched it while watching the kids, and somewhat considered the idea that if there was a flood, inevitably quite a few children would have been caught up in it and died, which in my mind a kind god would not have even contemplated. The level of cognitive dissonance I experienced kind of made me think about listening to atheistic opinions to double check I wasn't completely off the mark with my beliefs. So I listened to Dawkins, Hitchens, and Carl Sagans arguments then actually sat down and read the Bible. Not gonna say I accepted it overnight, but that is what eventually led me to where I am today as an atheist.

    BrianTheeBiscuiteer,

    Not a lemming per se, but I stopped judging people based on the reasoning, “because God [supposedly] says so.” It takes effort, it really does, to hate things and people. It’s draining. I don’t know how so many religious people can be so focused on hatred, all the while forgetting the adage, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” You can easily cut yourself off from good experiences and relationships if you focus on staying “pure”. It’s lonely up on that pedestal.

    I’ve been Christian-lite since before Trump was President but the rise of MAGA and strengthening of religious influence in politics has made me even more happy about my decision to step away from regular attendance or association with specifically religious groups. For them, righteousness trumps any amount of human suffering, and for some, suffering is a requirement of righteousness.

    HelixDab2,

    “Lemming” is used to refer to people that use Lemmy (lemmy.world, lemm.ee, etc.). Give that you have to have an account to post, you are def. a lemming.

    BrianTheeBiscuiteer,

    🤦

    Sarmyth,

    It was slow, but I remember a major crack occurring watching Stephen Fry being interviewed when he paraphrased David Hume, paraphrasing Epicurus.

    If God is unable to prevent evil, then he is not all-powerful. If God is not willing to prevent evil, then he is not all-good

    Things start to fall apart from there. All the other Bible stuff can be explained away as being recorded by imperfect beings, but the core notion of a good God worthy of worship ends with the trilemma.

    NorthWestWind,
    @NorthWestWind@lemmy.world avatar

    Not really formerly religious, but I do want to talk about this.

    SCHOOLS NEED TO STOP SHOVING IT INTO MY FACE.

    It’s very tiring studying in a Christian school, but there’s no choice. In my region, it’s either religious schools or bad schools.

    My secondary school (equivalent to grade 7-12) is insane about Christianity. Every Friday it’s like a horror game to escape from the teachers who try to drag you to fellowship. Oh you want to go to spring camp? Half of the time in camp is spent listening to Christian talks.

    Here’s another dumb policy. The school cannot do anything on Sunday due to church stuff. There was once a pretty big table tennis competition, but it was on Sunday. The school would NOT allow the responsible teacher to bring the school team to the competition just because it was Sunday, and that sparked a pretty big news within our region.

    This is like YouTube adblock blocker backfiring, but for Christianity.

    Dadifer,

    … you’re complaining about the religion… at your religious private school?

    NorthWestWind,
    @NorthWestWind@lemmy.world avatar

    Yes, and it’s not private btw. It’s one of the best ones locally (and there were only really 2 competing)

    Drivebyhaiku,

    Technically I was raised in a completely non-religious household so I was never myself properly religious but I always found the reasons why that was a thing really interesting.

    My grandfather on my Dad’s side did a stint in WWII protecting the Vatican as part of the Canadian forces. He never spoke about what actually happened there (because he wasn’t allowed to) but it shook his Catholic foundations to the marrow and was never able to reconcile what happened with his faith. When he returned home he had a massive row with the priest at his church that he left. Half the family disowned him for leaving the church. My father never particularly went to church though his mother remained an Anglican.

    On my Mother’s side my grandparents made an enemy of the local diocese when they and a bunch of their friends conspired to run a priest out of town for being a complete asshole to children publicly and a child molester privately. My grandmother basically swapped to playing organ at another smaller church but the rest of the family became very agnostic and really didn’t want to expose their kids to the faith.

    So I basically wasn’t raised with faith because three generations back everybody in my family had a religious crisis… And I am SO glad you have no idea.

    electric_nan,

    The contradictions were too glaring by the time I turned 12. God is love but hell is eternal and full of millions of objectively good people who just practiced the ‘wrong’ religion? Those things can’t both be true.

    TheBlue22,

    It was a long process, I suppose, not one event. When younger I was always fascinated by science, and as I grew older, I suppose I started seeing less and less sense in god fitting into the equation.

    I think the turning point of the whole thing was when I was in a religious camp for my confirmation and the last day, we had this… party? It was called Slávy in my language, and it was basically a concert with religious songs, which was so intense that people were fainting, “feeling god,” and whatever.

    When my classmate fainted, and everyone was saying, “Oh it’s okay, she’s just feeling god,” and shit like that, that fucked me up. Not only because she fainted, but because I saw right through the bullshit. The loud music, the aroma, and the darkness of the place were overwhelming, but not because of any religious or supernatural reason.

    That night, I understood truly and fully that religion is nothing but smoke and mirrors, and I’ve been becoming more secular and, lately, even more anti-religious (because of current events) by the day

    afraid_of_zombies,

    Went to Jesus camp and got assaulted by a counselor pretty badly, was harassed into keeping silent about it. Would rather not discuss it too much, I did have to go to the hospital. My faith died at that point and I was just going through the motions for years. I was planning on a theology degree of some sort but decided my heart wasn’t in it. Went for engineering instead. Hit a low point right before graduation and was really hoping to feel literally anything, felt nothing.

    2018 sat down one night and decided that I was done pretending I was just lapsed, that I was being a coward. I was going to look at the evidence and see where it went. Been an atheist ever since.

    rtxn,

    If you mean a belief in a supreme being, I’ve been agnostic for most of my life, leaning towards atheism. That hasn’t changed.

    Organized religion is a completely different thing, and in my opinion, comparable to nationalism. I’ve seen way too much inhumane shit being done to other humans in the name of some ideology or other, and I decided not to be part of it. No gods or kings, as far as loyalty goes.

    blujan,

    I realized I had to make an effort to continue believing, so I stopped.

    prunerye,

    Of the things that kept me a Christian, least important to me was the historicity of the Bible, even though, to this day, I still have a high regard for the Bible as a historical document.

    The second most important was the evidence of the effect of God in the lives of the people around me at church.

    But the most important, beyond anything else, was the subjective experience of “the Spirit”. I wasn’t pentacostal, but I was all-in as a Christian; It sounds so woo-woo, but I don’t know if most people are aware how convincing a truly “spiritual” experience is, even most Christians, since most Christians seem to be cessationist about the most basic interactions with the Spirit (not just healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc.), even if their theology says otherwise. For example, whenever I had a big decision to make or something I was anxious about, I would find a place where nobody could hear me, sing a few hymns, read a few Bible verses picked totally at random, and pray-- not about my decision, just prayer in worship of God-- and without ever actually addressing my issue, within a short time, I almost always had a profound peace about which choice to make, even when that decision went against my insecurities, my rational thought, my will, my perceived abilities, or all of the above. I didn’t know or even care the degree to which praying for “stuff” affects the outside world, but I knew prayer affected me and made me a better person.

    There are even little “tests” you can contrive out of the Bible to experience “the Spirit”. There’s a verse, 1 Corinthians 12:3, that says that nobody can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Spirit. (Obviously, anyone can say the literal words, but to actually mean it is harder.) Anyway, I know some Christians who take this literally, and taught me to pray the words “Jesus is Lord”, and when I did, something deep inside always responded, “Amen!”. Romans 8:16 could be used the same way, i.e. “I am a child of God”. Really, any Bible verse or anything I knew with 100% certainty would elicit the same response. But trying the same experiment with any other phrase would only leave me feeling gross inside.

    Anyway, I started to have doubts in the mid 2010s. First was the realization that other people’s testimony of their spiritual experiences wasn’t terribly reliable. For example, I once went to a prayer meeting while visiting friends in a rural, less educated town, and, while for the most part I had a good time, I was rather culture-shocked by the fast and loose way the Christians there used (and meant) the word “miracle” to describe positive but entirely mundane life events. Like I’m glad your brother-in-law saw an incremental improvement in his cancer this week, but, I mean, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike; it seems more superstitious than spiritual that you credit his improvement entirely on last week’s prayer meeting. But whatever, it’s a small thing and it doesn’t really matter.

    But then I noticed a similar trend in the Christians I looked up to. This isn’t a spiritual example, but my church was politically mixed, and while I didn’t care too much that my friends were supporting this candidate or the other, there was a definite uptick in cognitive dissonance from the 2015 political realignments, leading to people convincing themselves of viewpoints they didn’t even remember they disagreed with just last week. The ability to rewrite history en masse with no knowledge it was ever rewritten was something I’d never experienced so viscerally prior to that. (I get that people have a tendency to believe whatever they want to believe, but I’d never seen it at this scale and to people so mentally stable and intelligent.) I finally started to understand how so many secular Bible historians could agree that the early disciples of Jesus genuinely believed they witnessed Christ die and rise again yet completely discount the story as inaccurate. Mass hallucinations don’t work that way, I always thought.

    Then it happened to me too. Now, I recognize that any impression or feeling or answer to prayer from the Spirit is going to be, in many ways, ambiguous. With the exception of those moments of profound peace, you kinda just get a pretty good idea of what you “heard” from the Spirit and accept that there’s always the chance you misunderstood. But it was the former, moments of profound peace, that caused me, for example, to turn down work that would’ve pulled me away from my congregation at home to another town further away, despite already being out of a job at the time. This was a bad move, financially, and eventually I ran out of money and got evicted. Now, the Bible doesn’t make that many concrete, single-variable, testable promises about what’s supposed to happen to a Christian walking with God, but one of the one’s that’s strongly implied is that if you “seek first the kingdom of God”, your basic needs will be provided (Matthew 6:31-33). I get that there are going to be exceptions to this, and I’m not trying to imply a prosperity Gospel, but I don’t live in a third world country and I wasn’t being persecuted and there was no reason to be struggling financially in my position short of irresponsibility. I was genuinely “seeking first the kingdom”, and the result was personal failure. And whether or not I’ve taken the Bible too far to contrive a promise that isn’t actually there doesn’t really matter, because the Spirit said it was a promise, or so I thought. Clearly, I misunderstood.

    The problem is, if I misunderstood the most obvious, unambiguous things that the Spirit told me, nothing is trustworthy.

    The other problem is that I had been noticing that it didn’t seem like I was spiritually growing as much, despite staying out of sin and following the Bible to the capacity I was able. Christianity clearly had made me a better person from the moment I converted from atheism until several years after, but it seemed like whatever character flaws I still had after five to ten years were just “stuck” in place, and, in fact, this seems to be the normal Christian experience. My pastor mentioned to me a book he had been reading-- I wish I could remember an author or title-- that mentioned that the average Christian is good for about seven years, and then they become a warm body for the rest of their lives. He meant it as an admonishment to continue walking with God, but seeing as I thought I was walking with God, I looked around the church and was horrified to slowly realize that this characterization matched my experience of the Church. It’s still the same God; He didn’t change. So what changed? Some of the best people I ever knew I knew from church, but they still had rough edges that were never addressed. If anything, the congregation was just getting more cult-like and rigid (“rigid” in a religious way, not in any actual adherence to the Bible) over time.

    Eventually, I found myself overwhelmed with doubts. I started running little spiritual experiments. Once, I was taking a shower, and I started doing the “Jesus is Lord” experiment, except that I found that with a little mental gymnastics, I could coax the same response from random objects; like, I could say “shampoo”, and something inside would say, “Amen”.

    After that, the idea that “the Spirit” was all in my head seemed more plausible than the existence of God. So that was basically the end for me.

    charlytune,
    @charlytune@mander.xyz avatar

    This was a really interesting read, thank you.

    AgnosticMammal,

    Same here too, these realisations must have been very surreal for you.

    KevonLooney,

    Well that was wild. I think the best thing to remember from this is that religion is not going to give you “advice” like a friend would. The Bible doesn’t know whether you should get a different job. It’s not logical, it’s emotional.

    If a loved one dies or you have to make a tough moral decision, that’s where it can help. Same with any philosophy. You wouldn’t ask Immanuel Kant some boring question, so why ask God? No He doesn’t care about your football game. Sorry.

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