1. Standard memberknightmeister
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    17 Jul '08 16:42
    Just curious....how many atheists are there out there who have NOT been brought up to believe? It seems to me that many of the Atheists here have been brought up in churches or Christian families.

    This is not to say that this discredits their position per se , but it's an interesting fact that many of them seem to be consciously / unconsciously rebelling against something that was chucked down their throats years ago and often bears little resemblance to real Christianity.

    Is it a pre-requisite of being an Atheist that you went to Sunday school?
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    17 Jul '08 18:39
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Just curious....how many atheists are there out there who have NOT been brought up to believe? It seems to me that many of the Atheists here have been brought up in churches or Christian families.

    This is not to say that this discredits their position per se , but it's an interesting fact that many of them seem to be consciously / unconsciously reb ...[text shortened]... eal Christianity.

    Is it a pre-requisite of being an Atheist that you went to Sunday school?
    I was brought up in a Jewish household, but we were not very religious at all and I never felt like my disbelief was rebelling against anything.

    My family has a mix of religious observances from orthodox to atheist. None are really derided for their beliefs, although most in my family are very secular.

    Usually people get over the rebellion phase after a while and settle on what they really want. Sometimes that's something other than the religion they were brought up with and sometimes it is the religion they were brought up with.

    I think it would be a mistake to portray atheism as just a rebellion against an upbringing.
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    17 Jul '08 19:12
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Just curious....how many atheists are there out there who have NOT been brought up to believe? It seems to me that many of the Atheists here have been brought up in churches or Christian families.

    This is not to say that this discredits their position per se , but it's an interesting fact that many of them seem to be consciously / unconsciously reb ...[text shortened]... eal Christianity.

    Is it a pre-requisite of being an Atheist that you went to Sunday school?
    Thanks for that penetrating analysis and insight, but I think my atheism has more to do with what I see as a lack of evidential weight for theism.

    Did you get "you better watch out, you better not cry..." chucked down your throat when you were little, KM? I ask because it seems like you are consciously/unconsciously rebelling against Santa and his elvish helpers. I see this quite a bit. Alas, if your parents had only introduced you to the true nature of the elvish....
  4. Donationbbarr
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    17 Jul '08 19:31
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Just curious....how many atheists are there out there who have NOT been brought up to believe? It seems to me that many of the Atheists here have been brought up in churches or Christian families.

    This is not to say that this discredits their position per se , but it's an interesting fact that many of them seem to be consciously / unconsciously reb ...[text shortened]... eal Christianity.

    Is it a pre-requisite of being an Atheist that you went to Sunday school?
    I had conservative religious beliefs forced upon me when I was very young, but these beliefs were pernicious and even then I saw no reason to think of them as anything other than a way define a community. I also had progressive democratic liberalism inculcated in me when I was very young, but I have not jettisoned those political beliefs.
  5. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    17 Jul '08 19:522 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Just curious....how many atheists are there out there who have NOT been brought up to believe? It seems to me that many of the Atheists here have been brought up in churches or Christian families.

    This is not to say that this discredits their position per se , but it's an interesting fact that many of them seem to be consciously / unconsciously reb ...[text shortened]... eal Christianity.

    Is it a pre-requisite of being an Atheist that you went to Sunday school?
    This is a very myopic analysis.

    Suppose you had been raised in a Muslim family. Would you then be a Muslim today? Or if you had later turned to Christianity as an adult, would it have been out of rebellion against Mohammad rather than due to having good reasons to believe that Christianity is true?
  6. Standard memberblack beetle
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    17 Jul '08 19:56
    Hi KM et al;

    My mother is a good Christian and my father, who died on 29, Feb. 2008 was a dedicaded atheist (I 'm an atheist too but for quite different reasons than my father, and from times to times we enjoyed a good debate over our opinions). Our family was always standing firm regardless the difficulties we were facing, and all of us (I have a sister too) we were constantly supported and still support each other. You may have your questions fully answered by Christanism, I prefer to handle my life using a tool known as philosophy.
    I feel not the Energy the way a Christian may feel it. I need no temples, no priests and no ceremonies, I don't want anybody messing in my heart and in my brain. I prefer to be in touch with people who respect Life and avoid their egoism, no matter if they have a religion or not, I try to be open minded and I know that each one has his own unique opinion and personality, which I respect in full no matter if disagree with them. For example, here I joined the clan FHL -almost all of them Christians!- just because them guys were extremely kind from the very first time that I came in touch with them; finally, I stand for each one's right to have and express his own opinion no matter if I agree or disagree.

    Have a good time and best regards;
  7. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    17 Jul '08 19:581 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Just curious....how many atheists are there out there who have NOT been brought up to believe? It seems to me that many of the Atheists here have been brought up in churches or Christian families.

    This is not to say that this discredits their position per se , but it's an interesting fact that many of them seem to be consciously / unconsciously reb ...[text shortened]... eal Christianity.

    Is it a pre-requisite of being an Atheist that you went to Sunday school?
    I was brought up by atheists. My Mom's bias was purely emotional - she hated the Catholic Church because she had a horrific childhood to abusive Catholic Irish parents. She also hates Republicans because she's an old liberal hippy, and Republicans are tied in with the religious Right.

    My Dad doesn't talk about it much; he says "science proved there is no God" but that "he'll probably be praying on his deathbed", presumably out of superstitious fear that he might be wrong.
  8. Standard memberknightmeister
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    17 Jul '08 20:001 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Thanks for that penetrating analysis and insight, but I think my atheism has more to do with what I see as a lack of evidential weight for theism.

    Did you get "you better watch out, you better not cry..." chucked down your throat when you were little, KM? I ask because it seems like you are consciously/unconsciously rebelling against Santa and his elv ...[text shortened]... ite a bit. Alas, if your parents had only introduced you to the true nature of the elvish....
    All I'm saying is that sometimes it seems as if the "Atheists who were once Christians or brought up in a church environment" are over represented around here. It just makes me suspicious.

    It's human nature that we like to think we are more objective than we actually are. Many Atheists seem to think that Christians have emotional reasons for being so whilst atheism is seen as "objective". But what I sense much of the time is a lot of disproportionate anger at Christianity. It leaves me wondering where it comes from. Even you seem indignant at the very suggestion of this. Why?

    BTW- I don't call myself an a-santa-ist , nor do I spend anytime on forums attacking those who love Santa , it's just not on my radar.
  9. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    17 Jul '08 20:02
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    All I'm saying is that sometimes it seems as if the "Atheists who were once Christians or brought up in a church environment" are over represented around here. It just makes me suspicious.

    It's human nature that we like to think we are more objective than we actually are. Many Atheists seem to think that Christians have emotional reasons for being ...[text shortened]... ondering where it comes from. Even you seem indignant at the very suggestion of this. Why?
    Children brought up in religious households are overrepresented everywhere. You're focussing on atheists, so you see the pattern with respect for them, but really, you guys have your claws in most little kids' upbringing.
  10. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    17 Jul '08 20:041 edit
    Originally posted by bbarr
    I had conservative religious beliefs forced upon me when I was very young, but these beliefs were pernicious and even then I saw no reason to think of them as anything other than a way define a community. I also had progressive democratic liberalism inculcated in me when I was very young, but I have not jettisoned those political beliefs.
    Religious beliefs defining community, I think, is a HUGE factor in why there are so many self-reported Christians, Jews and Muslims in the world (and probably other religions too). I know, have met, and have chatted with quite a few people who call themselves "Catholic" or "Jew" or "Christian" or whatever but are willing to admit they don't believe in God.

    It reminds me of that Sex in the City episode where one of the main characters starts hanging out with lesbians because she likes the bonds of sisterhood and all that. But then one of them says to her:

    "If you don't eat P***y, you're NOT a dyke!"

    And if you don't believe in God, you're no Jew, Christian or Muslim.
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    17 Jul '08 22:09
    In spite of the perceived clumsiness of the original query, I'd like to say that I appreciate what is being shared by the non-believers. I'm never going to say that an athiest is wrong to believe (or not, as it were) as they do, just that I believe differently. What I believe works fine for me and I don't feel a compelling need to declare others wrong just because they don't agree with me. Instead, as with this thread, I only look to understand those that see existence differently than I do. 🙂
  12. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    17 Jul '08 22:291 edit
    Originally posted by Badwater
    What I believe works fine for me
    Do you think beliefs are generally better formed on the basis of pragmatic reasons or evidentiary reasons?
  13. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Jul '08 23:16
    I grew up in a middle-of-the-road Lutheran household: church and sunday school about as far back as I can remember. I didn’t (don’t) see it as having been forced down my throat: just a process of acculturation and conditioning, inculcating certain a priori parameters on how/what to think. Although I moved them about a bit, I pretty much stayed within those parameters (though later as an Episcopalian) for most of my adult life—it was only relatively late that I really began see and to critically examine those parameters themselves.

    Quite frankly, it sometimes seems to me a bit like identifying “post-hypnotic suggestions”, and working to release them (that’s intended only as a loose analogy). A hypnotic suggestion may or may not contain the truth, but one cannot decide that if one is not aware of it: until then, it influences how/what one thinks without one thinking about it at all. Whether or not one can identify and unravel all such suggestions, I don’t know: I just keep plugging away.

    What I think is the outcome of that ongoing process.
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    17 Jul '08 23:44
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Do you think beliefs are generally better formed on the basis of pragmatic reasons or evidentiary reasons?
    Interesting question. Better formed? I think one would find any number of believers in any belief system that lean one way or the other but probably none that believe one way at the complete exclusion of the other, hmm? If anyone has experienced differently it would be interesting to me to hear how they think they've come to that perspective of self-awareness.
  15. Standard memberblack beetle
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    18 Jul '08 07:39
    edit: "But what I sense much of the time is a lot of disproportionate anger at Christianity. It leaves me wondering where it comes from."

    Dear KM,

    Even today religions -and of course Christianism- are used mainly for manipulation and power games; the crimes of the so called Christians against Humanity are well known, so I don't wonder why so many people don't want to be associated with this religion.
    I feel even worse with Islam -these guys are living in another dimension, they 're not tolerant at all (in case you have a different opinion they cut your head, period) but that's another story;
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