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About darwinfish

  • Birthday 09/27/1977

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I'm hiding one in my closet

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  1. Yeah, my experience with the devote follows the pattern. Them:"I think X is true. If X is true, that leads to a conclusion Y." Me: "Well, there seems to be no evidence that X is true, and there seems to be a lot of evidence that X is most likely not true." Them: "I'll pray for you." I read S. Pinkers book, The Better Angels of our Nature. I really enjoyed it. I haven't read D. Dennett. But, I probably should. I've heard good things about him. I suppose I've always been an outsider, even within my own family. So, that may play a part in my lack of a strong tribal nature. I've never really understood tribalism in others. But, I can see how that would be a survival instinct. I appreciate everyone's input. Its given me a lot to think about.
  2. Thanks, guys. I guess for me, the hardest thing to understand is why evidence means so little to so many.
  3. I grew up with a steady diet of indoctrination. My family was Catholic, with Jewish ancestry. Although, there was some respect for Jewish traditions, Catholicism was our religion. At least, that’s what I thought. My mom had other plans. I can’t possible explain what my mom was thinking, but she seemed to have wanted to leave the Catholic church for years, but was reluctant because she didn’t want to face her parents. She waited until I finished my 1st communion. And, then very shortly after that we began to attend a Baptist Church. There was no explanation for me. My mom was never one to talk about things like that. One day I was Catholic, the next I’m Baptist. And, I never really felt comfortable with my Jewish background either. I never even knew other Jews. As I had been told about being “Jewish”, you’re considered to be a Jew if your mom is a Jew, not your dad. It follows the maternal linage. But, that’s not necessarily true, either. It’s not like genes or DNA. Whoever came up with these rules, wouldn’t have known about DNA. So, you can also be considered a Jew if you convert. And, if your mom converted before you were born, then you are a Jew. So, how far back in my ancestry is it before I find the woman that converted to Judaism? So, if it’s not DNA, then it’s nothing more than an identity. An identity that someone else chose for me. I didn’t choose it. And, I don’t associate with it. So, am I really a Jew? Perhaps, not. But, my mom still considers me one. I suppose, I never really understood what made me a Catholic or Baptist, either. I didn’t choose to be Catholic or Baptist. Those were my families religions. At 13 I prayed the sinners prayer, like a good little Baptist. And, if you asked me what I thought I was at the time, I would call myself Christian. That is what Baptists and Catholics call themselves. And, that, to me, seemed the best description. I was never “anti-Catholic”, but many Baptists are. And, I suppose that works the other way around. But, I was just trying to understand what religion was all about. And, I never really doubted it, I just didn’t understand it. I think my first real effort to understand it was just after I was married. I read apologetic books, I read through the Bible cover to cover. I listened to sermons on the radio. I did everything I could to make sense of all of this. But, in the end, I only had more doubts. In fact, it was the only time that I began to truly doubt it. I read atheist books, to understand what others had to say about religion. And, after several years of this, I had to admit to myself that I no longer believed any of it. My beliefs are based on what evidence I have available to me. The fact that I never really investigated religion growing up, meant that I never really had evidence for it, but I accepted it. Mainly, because I was indoctrinated into it. But, that wasn’t enough as an adult. I had to have real reasons why we would think these things are true. And, the more I read, and the more I researched, I realized the evidence that exists, personal stories, isn’t enough to support these kinds of claims. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to believe. It’s that I couldn’t believe, not without evidence. So, I’ve explained this as best as I can to my wife, my former pastor, my Christian friends. And, to this date, not one of them sees this problem that I have been seeing. Beliefs without evidence, or weak evidence at best, is non-nonsensical. That’s essentially how I see it. The responses I get confuse me, “I don’t care about evidence.” “The evidence comes only after you believe.” “I prayed something happened. It’s a miracle.” “I prayed something didn’t happen. It’s a God telling me something.” I would try to explain that these sorts of things would never convince these same people to believe in some other religion, or anything else for that matter. So, why are these the reasons they give for believing in their religion? I believe these people are influenced by culture and family, just as I was, and, perhaps indoctrination as well. But, what’s unsatisfying with those sorts of answers. Is that it wasn’t enough for me. So, why is it for them? It just leaves me confused.
  4. I don't really think I fall into the group of people with ASMR.
  5. Looks like there's a local Maker Faire in Aug. I'll keep an eye on the Facebook page for any gatherings. I certainly think the whole family would enjoy going.
  6. Sorry, that some of your stress has returned. I'll think more about the meditation. I imagine I'll use counseling again at some point. My anxiety isn't too bad these days. My real issue is just that I feel mostly isolated in a sea of Christians. And, when I've tried reaching out to local atheist groups, my inability to connect has kept me from making any real social relationships. It's something I just have to keep working at.
  7. Yeah, I've talked with therapists. The one I saw locally tried pushing meditating on me. I told her I didn't like the spiritual stuff in what she was giving me and she told me to ignore that, but all the material she gave me really pushed the spiritual. I stopped seeing her. I tried online counseling, which did help. I was doing online counseling at the time this anxiety attack happened. I stopped that more for financial reasons than anything. But, I still don't think that anything truly positive came of it. When I talked about my social issues, she wanted me to go to the gym more.
  8. A Maker fair sounds interesting. I'll see what's in my area.
  9. Yeah, I don't know how much of an extrovert you may say I am. But, I do have a need of social interaction. I'm just not very good at it. But, I would say that there's plenty of times where I do need more solitude.
  10. Oh yeah, it was definitely a panic attack. It got worse the next day. There was a Christian concert/4th of July celebration I agreed to go to with my wife and kids. I expected it to be super religious, but with my anxiety already on edge, when I was in the stadium surrounded by everyone, my anxiety was again triggered, but this time I couldn't leave because this was a part of the 4th of July celebration for my family. So, I just endured it. I have resolved never to go to something like that again.
  11. Most of my interests are in science and technology. I have a degree in electronics. I enjoy philosophy, science fiction, some fantasy. Last year I started playing golf. I do have anxiety, and that's contributed to an extent. Last summer I was invited to a poker game at someone's house. I didn't really know anyone, and in the middle of the game I was overwhelmed with anxiety. My hands were visibly shaking, and I felt like I wanted to leave as soon as possible. I ended up losing my chips quickly, and left. That sort of thing doesn't always happen. I'm not sure why it did that night. But, I felt embarrassed.
  12. I know that pretty much every deconvert goes through a period of feeling isolated. I've been an ex-Christian for about 7 years. I've tried various Meet Up groups, I've never really connected with. I tried a new one today, I was the only one there under 60. I'm almost 40, myself. I feel like I'm falling into depression. My family is all religious, including my wife and kids. I don't know how to change this. I've always had a hard time connecting with others.
  13. Why are politics so religiously motivated

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. florduh


      For the religious, religion is the motivation for everything.

    3. bdp


      There's power in the faithful.

    4. sdelsolray


      Religion has been a dominant political force throughout human civlization. It is only in recent centuries that this power has begun to wane, and then only in certain socieities.


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