Deconversion questions

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Aupmanyav
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Post by Aupmanyav » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:51 pm

I did not deconvert. Though I could not find any evidence of Gods and Goddesses of hinduism nor any satisfactory explanation of the problem of evil. It took me some courage to give up the idea of God as well as 'soul'. But since there is no central belief in hinduism other than observance of 'dharma' (fulfillment of duties and engaging in righteous action), I continue to be a hindu, although an atheist one.
'Sarve khalu idam Brahma'
All things here are Brahman (physical energy).

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:03 pm

Here are some stories from ex-Muslims:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterflies ... r-stories/

Clivedurdle
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Post by Clivedurdle » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:59 pm

I have moved to the rational side, but interestingly the emotional "force" is still strong with me.

I wonder if this is entirely a result of how our brains work - Jaynes comes to mind - but more recently this might be important
This book argues that the division of the brain into two hemispheres is essential to human existence, making possible incompatible versions of the world, with quite different priorities and values.

Most scientists long ago abandoned the attempt to understand why nature has so carefully segregated the hemispheres, or how to make coherent the large, and expanding, body of evidence about their differences. In fact to talk about the topic is to invite dismissal. Yet no one who knows anything about the area would dispute for an instant that there are significant differences: it's just that no-one seems to know why. And we now know that every type of function - including reason, emotion, language and imagery - is subserved not by one hemisphere alone, but by both.

This book argues that the differences lie not, as has been supposed, in the 'what' - which skills each hemisphere possesses - but in the 'how', the way in which each uses them, and to what end. But, like the brain itself, the relationship between the hemispheres is not symmetrical.

The left hemisphere, though unaware of its dependence, could be thought of as an 'emissary' of the right hemisphere, valuable for taking on a role that the right hemisphere - the 'Master' - cannot itself afford to undertake. However it turns out that the emissary has his own will, and secretly believes himself to be superior to the Master. And he has the means to betray him. What he doesn't realize is that in doing so he will also betray himself.

The book begins by looking at the structure and function of the brain, and at the differences between the hemispheres, not only in attention and flexibility, but in attitudes to the implicit, the unique, and the personal, as well as the body, time, depth, music, metaphor, empathy, morality, certainty and the self. It suggests that the drive to language was not principally to do with communication or thought, but manipulation, the main aim of the left hemisphere, which manipulates the right hand.

It shows the hemispheres as no mere machines with functions, but underwriting whole, self-consistent, versions of the world. Through an examination of Western philosophy, art and literature, it reveals the uneasy relationship of the hemispheres being played out in the history of ideas, from ancient times until the present. It ends by suggesting that we may be about to witness the final triumph of the left hemisphere – at the expense of us all.
http://www.iainmcgilchrist.com/brief_description.asp

I was brought up pentecostal, born again, spoke in tongues (baptised in holy spirit). I also read scifi and am good at maths. Religion didn't stick. Maybe it is about how we use our brains - going first with thought or emotion.
If you don't eat your meat you can't have your pudding, how can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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Rome
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Post by Rome » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:22 am

It seems like the difference between Kirk and Spock.

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Barefoot Bree
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Post by Barefoot Bree » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:39 pm

In addition to COAS' "Salvation Story" (can't have too many plugs for that), I'd also like to recommend Rich Lyons of Living After Faith. Rich was a minister with the United Pentecostal Church in Texas for twenty long years before he deconverted, losing his entire family and way of life in the process, going through a living hell (and neither he nor I use the term lightly) including - still - suffering from PTSD, and an attempted suicide. Rich and his new wife, Deanna Joy (an aptly named woman if ever I heard of one), produce a podcast called Living After Faith, which you can reach through iTunes or at the above blogspot link, which tells not only of his deconversion and recovery, but has many guest speakers talking about their own journeys. Their goal is to reach out and help others struggling with the pain and loss of deconversion. (I know I sound like a paid advertisement, but I swear I'm not.) If you or anyone you know is going through that now, or if you want to understand how psychological damaging religion can be, please do tune in. The first half-dozen episodes of the podcast are some of the most powerful, tear-inducing stories I've ever heard - and I've heard hundreds of such stories.

(Cross-posting with my Podcasts thread.)
Last edited by Barefoot Bree on Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lanakila
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Post by Lanakila » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:16 pm

http://castroller.com/Podcasts/TheInfid ... on%20Story

I forgot about this. It's my deconversion story.

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kennyc
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Post by kennyc » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:00 pm

[quote=""Lanakila""]http://castroller.com/Podcasts/TheInfid ... on%20Story

I forgot about this. It's my deconversion story.[/quote]

Thank you for sharing that!
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Lanakila
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Post by Lanakila » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:17 pm

[quote=""kennyc""]
Lanakila;272168 wrote:http://castroller.com/Podcasts/TheInfid ... on%20Story

I forgot about this. It's my deconversion story.
Thank you for sharing that![/QUOTE]

That was done about 7 years ago now and as I listened again it brought tears to my eyes. I've moved a few times since then winding up here in Montana, and I feel I've matured in my atheism quite a bit. I also noticed I've lost the southern accent that was so pronounced in the interview living up here in the northwest.

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Barefoot Bree
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Post by Barefoot Bree » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:22 pm

PZ Myers in his Pharyngulablog has also been posting deconversion stories from his readers. Look for posts titled "Why I am an atheist". I'd especially like to call your attention to this entry, by Erin Breda, who details how religiously-induced sexual guilt pressured her into an early marriage - on the morning of her senior prom, after which she AND her new husband returned to high school like nothing had happened - and much more pain and anguish besides.
There's no such thing as "political correctness". The phrase you're looking for is "Common Decency".
"Said" it? Sink me! She almost SANG it!

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:47 pm

[quote=""Barefoot Bree""]PZ Myers in his Pharyngulablog has also been posting deconversion stories from his readers. Look for posts titled "Why I am an atheist". I'd especially like to call your attention to this entry, by Erin Breda, who details how religiously-induced sexual guilt pressured her into an early marriage - on the morning of her senior prom, after which she AND her new husband returned to high school like nothing had happened - and much more pain and anguish besides.[/quote]

I've been following some of those.

BTW I liked this comment on some Christian troll who tried to jump on Erin:
This seems to be a xian ritual of “Witlessnessinng”. Driveby, drop off some dumb goddist garbage, and run away. They get brownie points towards their ticket to heaven that way.

trendkill
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Post by trendkill » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:25 pm

"Witlessnessing", that's great.

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Rie
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Post by Rie » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:38 pm

I Deconverted the moment I first thought 'Hmm. What if it didn't happen?'
"You understand?" said Ponder
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diana
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Post by diana » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:42 pm

Hi, gang. There's some good stuff here. We've needed a deconversion story thread here for a while, I think.

I'm reading Infidel at the moment, a story by Ayaan Hirsi Ali regarding her deconversion from Islam. It's simple, clear, and powerful; I highly recommend it. (For my friends here who've wondered what the hell happened to me, this is part of it: since I graduated again, I've been reading a lot of professionally written stuff for pleasure what a concept, and generally been rediscovering what makes me tick. Oh, and I waste a lot of time on Facebook, of course. :) )

Back in May, a friend (recently deconverted) asked me about my deconversion, and I wrote what is probably the most detailed explanation of what I went through on my blog (here: i was led astray by satan). (For those who don't know who the fuck I am, here's a quick overview: I'm a fundamentalist preacher's daughter, and despite that have become a strong atheist, gotten quite an extensive formal (and informal) education, and become a contributing member of society in ways that don't involve being some man's barefoot-and-pregnant bitch. I'm an officer in the US military, currently stationed in Izmir, Turkey, and am very open about my atheism and my lesbianism. Click the linky if you're curious what sort of journey would produce such an unlikely human concoction.)

Also, a friend asked at the end of that blog entry if I'd ended my journey, so I wrote another entry to respond to her question: so i'm an atheist. now what?

d

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JSpades
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Post by JSpades » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:40 pm

Well, I'll have to sign up under the uninteresting story category. It seems like I've always questioned everything, to the extent that my mom has told me she wasn't sure if I ever believed in Santa. So trying to figure out what was up with the whole weird Christianity thing led pretty quickly to my becoming non-religious. Especially since my family was far from fundamentalist, and only vaguely Christian to begin with. I wouldn't consider myself that vocal an atheist, though, these days; just generally interested in religion for the curiosity it is.

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crazyfingers
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Post by crazyfingers » Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:34 am

I never deconverted as I was never a theist in the first place.

But I'm pretty sure I was one of those pesky atheist that Lanakila mentions. Back in the day on Christianforums :)

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:50 am

Diana, many thanks for the link to your blog. I was very interested i what you said about education:
Aside from the fact that a good education will not teach you what to think, but teach you how to think and what to question--which can be devastating enough--psychology and the history of western civilization were probably the most individually destructive to my understanding of the world. It's hard to miss the psychological investment of religious belief and how it perpetuates itself, once you've studied psychology. Then when the history course introduced Jesus, it hinted that the story has never been historically substantiated. The book said, "according to tradition..." or "it is said." It was polite, but all the same implied that the historicity of Jesus was in question.

This struck me as odd, to say the least. Of course there was a historical Jesus! What did the textbook writers mean by suggesting otherwise? I didn't have time to look into at the moment, and life moved on. I would return to this question a couple of years later.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:11 am

This thread seems appropriate for our new SL&I forum, so I'm moving it there.

CincyJim
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"sin"??? What "sin"?

Post by CincyJim » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:42 am

1) There is NO fact(s) of any god. No FACT = NO god.
2) Sin is a violation of a god's rule(law).
3) No god = NO sin.


FACTS are liberating, eh?

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Dofgnid
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Post by Dofgnid » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:33 pm

My realization that religion was a crock of crap came late one night on a bus ride home from a Christian rock concert in Lubbock. As I gazed out the bus window at the sky full of stars, I thought about the insignificance of humankind in the big scheme of things. It just didn't make sense to me that there was any god necessary to explain everything. I went with a good friend to this thing because I was a 16 year old kid seeking something I thought they were all experiencing, something I was missing out on. I don't think I had ever really believed in any of the Christian theology, but I wanted it to be true.

I had witnessed some crazy shit at that concert, speaking in tongues, swaying and hand-waving, etc., but figured out a lot of it was just for show when that friend of mine was speaking in his fake Spanish that he often used to make us laugh when others burst out in their gibberish. He claimed he was filled with the spirit, that Jesus made him speak in tongues. I thought he was filled alright, filled with bullshit. After that I ceased being more than casual acquaintances with the members of my friend's church and him, for that matter, and was so reluctant to go to church that my parents gave up trying to make me.
I'm probably being facetious.

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kennyc
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Post by kennyc » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:39 pm

[quote=""Dofgnid""]My realization that religion was a crock of crap came late one night on a bus ride home from a Christian rock concert in Lubbock. As I gazed out the bus window at the sky full of stars, I thought about the insignificance of humankind in the big scheme of things. It just didn't make sense to me that there was any god necessary to explain everything........[/quote]

check this out one of my favorites:

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(View video on YouTube)
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justme
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Post by justme » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Well, I had to take off from home, to get away from the religous lifestyle. For mr it was the fact that these people seemed to be living in a fishbowl looking at the rest of the world through a gas mask filled with ideology and claiming the rest of the world was vile. I saw what was out there as a starving man sees a banquet from the cage that others placed me in from birth.

The door was only shut by my own fear of the unfamiliar and I finally got tired of fearing what others had told me to fear. They slammed the door behind me and called me unclean. They are not to talk or eat with me, until I beg them to place me back into that cage and put back on that mask.

They've waited 30 some odd years for that. I hope they haven't been holding their breath.

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Rome
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Post by Rome » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:31 pm

Bullies for parents aren't parents at all.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

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Post by Vial » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:44 pm

[quote=""Lanakila""]
At the end I prayed that God would show me the errors of what I had been studying.

He didn't because quite frankly he either doesn't exist or is a deist type god that doesn't care or isn't involved in any parts of our lives.
[/quote]It appears that your mind was already made up before your last prayer. It also appears that you've finally found some peace of mind. Good for you.

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Lanakila
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Post by Lanakila » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:44 pm

Actually no it wasn't. I didn't know he wouldn't answer. In fact I sort of expected some type of mini-miracle that would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was real. It didn't come and I never felt any type of god speaking to my heart again after this.

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Barefoot Bree
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Post by Barefoot Bree » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:17 am

I was recently reminded of another part of my story, which I'd forgotten about. I was a slightly precocious reader, reading big grownup books in my very early teens. I was about thirteen, I think, when I discovered James Michener. For those of you who don't know him, he wrote big, sprawling books like Texas or Poland that quite literally began at the dawn of time with a description of how the landscape itself formed, then slowly went through all of human history in the area, telling the story of its settlement and development through several fictional, intertwined families.

Anyway....

I first picked up his The Drifters - which isn't important except that it led me to his other books. And the one that made the deepest impact on me was The Source, which basically told the story of Judaism itself, from its earliest beginnings as a primitive fertility cult in ancient, ancient prehistoric times, all the way through to the 1960's. Although it was a novel, and the archeological dig site it described was fictional, everything he wrote about does have backing in the real world of archeology.

And it slapped me across the face: god, and religion, are man-made. After that I had no doubt that religions evolved as people evolved, slowly becoming more "sophisticated" and "ineffable", changing from the now-silly slightly-superhuman figures of primitive gods to the current "all that is" that translates just as easily to nothing.

God - any god - is just the reflection of the believer's own mind.
There's no such thing as "political correctness". The phrase you're looking for is "Common Decency".
"Said" it? Sink me! She almost SANG it!

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