1. tinyurl.com/ywohm
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    27 May '08 19:10
    spiritually or anti-spiritually? I hear people who have a religion often say it's because it was passed down by their parents, and often atheists say the same. Yet my siblings and I only had a brief childhood introduction to religion and then in later years religion was put down but the alleged parent we lived with. Nevertheless, each of us ended up with some religious experiences as adults (i.e. joining churches, etc.). Our journeys certainly have not been straight lines.

    What about you?
  2. Subscriberduecer
    anybody seen my
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    27 May '08 19:551 edit
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    spiritually or anti-spiritually? I hear people who have a religion often say it's because it was passed down by their parents, and often atheists say the same. Yet my siblings and I only had a brief childhood introduction to religion and then in later years religion was put down but the alleged parent we lived with. Nevertheless, each of us ended up w ...[text shortened]... ining churches, etc.). Our journeys certainly have not been straight lines.

    What about you?
    I have always been a searcher. I practiced a number of different denominations as well as buddism before settling into methodism
  3. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    27 May '08 21:40
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    spiritually or anti-spiritually? I hear people who have a religion often say it's because it was passed down by their parents, and often atheists say the same. Yet my siblings and I only had a brief childhood introduction to religion and then in later years religion was put down but the alleged parent we lived with. Nevertheless, each of us ended up w ...[text shortened]... ining churches, etc.). Our journeys certainly have not been straight lines.

    What about you?
    My childhood was mercifully free from religious indoctrination and consequently I had little use for it. I remember some relative giving me a children's illustrated bible for Christmas one year and thinking that it was even worse than getting socks as a gift. In high school I finally connected all the dots and concluded that god's probability was very, very remote. So I've been an atheist since about 16 years of age.
  4. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    27 May '08 22:18
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    spiritually or anti-spiritually? I hear people who have a religion often say it's because it was passed down by their parents, and often atheists say the same. Yet my siblings and I only had a brief childhood introduction to religion and then in later years religion was put down but the alleged parent we lived with. Nevertheless, each of us ended up w ...[text shortened]... ining churches, etc.). Our journeys certainly have not been straight lines.

    What about you?
    I'm a pagan. Just this weekend I painted my face like a skull, donned some deer antlers and sodomized several pig carcasses in the hopes of calling some rain down from the Gods. No rain yet, but, I'll keep you posted.
  5. Joined
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    27 May '08 22:21
    For me I was 16 years old with nowhere to stay and a church group kinda took me under there wing and told me what the bible is about and what they belive. Since then I have stopped going to church and not all that sold on any of it. But if there is a God he has been good to me.
  6. weedhopper
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    27 May '08 22:36
    I've been "in church" my entire life and have been a Christian since I was three years old. I feel fortunate that I had godly parents to thank for a solid foundation in the faith.
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    27 May '08 23:06
    In retrospect I don't think I ever truly believed 100%. I remember saying I believed because everyone around me seemed to believe and I didn't want to be different.

    I just never felt the faith that everyone seemed to think I should.

    I did go through periods where I was extremely depressed and I did try to "find god" in a number of ways, but he is too damned good at hiding apparently.

    Since I got out of multiple depressions through non-religious and for other reasons I just never felt any reason why I would need to believe in god.
  8. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 May '08 07:49
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    spiritually or anti-spiritually? I hear people who have a religion often say it's because it was passed down by their parents, and often atheists say the same. Yet my siblings and I only had a brief childhood introduction to religion and then in later years religion was put down but the alleged parent we lived with. Nevertheless, each of us ended up w ...[text shortened]... ining churches, etc.). Our journeys certainly have not been straight lines.

    What about you?
    I grew up in a normal Australian household - religion wise that is. Which is to say that I was raised as an Anglican, but not in any particularly overt way. I went to church, was baptised and confirmed. I guess I did it because my Mum made me. Later in my teens, I did it because of the girls that went.
    But I just lost interest over time.
    Later as I grew into my twenties I developed an interest in the variety of religions and began to read a bit about many - variations on christianity, judaism, islam, buddhism, for example.
    I came to realise after a while that I just didn't believe in the notion of a supernatural god.
    More recently, becoming a father and some of my work situations have led me to think more deeply about spirituality and such, but I'm pretty convinced in my atheism now.
    My Mum still goes to church, sometimes taking my kids with her. My kids do Religious Instruction as part of their schooling - it's commonly found in Australian schools (we don't have the big issue about separating church and state that some of you do.) I don't really mind about all this - I think there's much value to be found in thinking about religion and the moral and ethical viewpoints that spring from it.
    I don't particularly mind about my kids becoming religious either - if that's a decision that makes sense to them as they grow up.
    But I remain an atheist.
  9. Cape Town
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    28 May '08 07:58
    I was brought up in a Christian family (but well educated - my grand father was a professor of physics). At about the age of 12 or 13 I figured out that God didn't exist and have remained atheist since then. I think I had heard about atheists but never to my knowledge actually met one till I was much older. This site is the first time that I have really ever talked to any other atheists. Almost everyone in Zambia is Christian (or claims to be) but I did have some Hindu friends. I remember in grade 8 having long debates about religion with a creationist friend. It consisted largely of me challenging him with some evidence for evolution and him returning the next day with something he got of his pastor. Thats when I first realized that people will believe anything their pastor tells them however nonsensical if it helps them quell their nagging doubts about their beliefs.
  10. Joined
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    28 May '08 13:32
    i was presented with the notion of god from my parents, my grandparents, my uncle(he is a kind of extreme orthodox-doesn't drink, swear or stuff like that) school etc. thankfully i was never pressured into anything. i was never forced to go to church(which i hated since it was too crowded and hot and boring), i was never told that the bible comes before science and religion classes were just story telling(from the bible of course) and debating.

    So i guess that i was lucky not to have been brainwashed into a strict dogma(orthodox religion is not nearly as scary as catholicism). Now I believe in God and Jesus, i believe in "be nice to people" and that's about it. The rest of my morals and beliefs i base on common sense and hard facts.
  11. Cape Town
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    28 May '08 13:59
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    Now I believe in God and Jesus, i believe in "be nice to people" and that's about it. The rest of my morals and beliefs i base on common sense and hard facts.
    Are you semi agnostic or do you think that God and Jesus just don't require excessive seriousness? You just come across like you think it doesn't matter very much.
  12. Joined
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    28 May '08 14:22
    god is something abstract like "that which exist beyond everything and the creator of all". Jesus is awesome as an idea: A being that sacrificed and suffered(even for a short amount of time compared to eternity) to set an example. Basically, the lesson of Jesus is that since life is pain, you might as well strive to make it less painful for the people around you and hope they have the decency to do the same for you. Even if Jesus is not the son of God, the idea of Jesus is still worth believing in. And if when i die i will be proven wrong, no biggie as i will not care(being worm food) and the life i lived as a result of me believing in let's say the idea of jesus would not have been wasted.
  13. Standard memberSunburnt
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    29 May '08 01:14
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    sodomized several pig carcasses
    You nasty ****.
  14. Standard memberSunburnt
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    29 May '08 01:23
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    spiritually or anti-spiritually? I hear people who have a religion often say it's because it was passed down by their parents, and often atheists say the same. Yet my siblings and I only had a brief childhood introduction to religion and then in later years religion was put down but the alleged parent we lived with. Nevertheless, each of us ended up w ...[text shortened]... ining churches, etc.). Our journeys certainly have not been straight lines.

    What about you?
    I spent the first 10 years of my life with my father and around his family. They were devout Jehovah's witnesses. I think I am fortunate to have been exposed to such a zealous religion. They are heavy on recruitment because they truly believe they are doing the right thing. My last 9 years at home were spent with my mother, who believes in God and creation but did not attend church. She was excommunicated by the JW when she divorced my father. She only joined because of the marriage and not out of any real devotion.

    I think my experience in church and in religious classes/gatherings were like other children's experiences. Nothing major. Just boring most of the time.

    Since I was about 9 I have not believed in God. I just don't buy it. Any of it. I study Buddhism sporadically for peace of mind and meditation purposes, but that's about it. I cannot find the discipline or passion for full commitment to anything spiritual. I just have my own ideas about how things happen, what they mean and the price to pay for my choices.

    I still find religious extremists interesting from a psychological point of view. I think most organized religion is a waste of time.
  15. Cape Town
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    29 May '08 07:06
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    god is something abstract like "that which exist beyond everything and the creator of all". Jesus is awesome as an idea: A being that sacrificed and suffered(even for a short amount of time compared to eternity) to set an example. Basically, the lesson of Jesus is that since life is pain, you might as well strive to make it less painful for the people aroun ...[text shortened]... lived as a result of me believing in let's say the idea of jesus would not have been wasted.
    I suggest you get hold of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. He puts forward some good arguments for not believing in God. If you don't really believe in Christianity but believe it is OK to pretend that you do, while really just believing in the morals and teachings etc then I think you should read that book and think about the issues he brings up. It changed my perception of religion (though not my atheism).
    One of the biggest issues is that you may pass on your beliefs to your children, but they may not see it the same way you do and may be fooled into taking it a lot more seriously - possibly to the extent of suicide bombers. If there were sects around the world that recruited believers in Santa Claus and sent them on suicide bombing missions you would think twice about pretending to your child that Santa delivers his presents at Christmas. And suicide bombing extremism is just the worst aspect of religion, it is not the only bad thing about it, there are many others not least of which is segregation.
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