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Everything posted by Samuel

  1. The age of atheists: how we have sought to live since the death of god. by Peter Watson
  2. It’s funny I’ve come to appreciate how a growing number of gay guys aren’t letting Christians determine the religious narrative. This surprised me. I think there are a lot of gay guys like myself who had deeply emotional religious experiences. I just think of how many gay men must have been the writers of the Bible. Leviticus I attribute to the heterosexual men. Psalms, and so called prophetic books to the gays guys. Ive even come to appreciate that my way of interpreting the Bible heaven and hell and all else was not religious after and it took a lot of time to see that what I was experiencing was my brains amazing ability to translate meaning using the language of religious text that I had available (aka that was forced on me). As I’ve gained coping mechanisms, life experience, grown up etc... and actively taken an interest where I needed to push myself, I’ve been able to see the superstitious mythology that shrouded my sense of self and reality fall away. The only thing I regret is not having had a real parent or someone who offers you guidance through life. I’ve experienced a lot of things before I had the coping mechanisms and psychological framework and endurance to hold the weight of the tasks that life and my brain were being forced to confront. Deconversion is an extraordinary weight. When my brain can carry certain things it mythologizes them or redirects attention, among other things. This is a lot of pain, pain which forces me sometimes to abridge my aspirations while I focus on smaller things that I often don’t see as important or fulfilling, or that I sometimes see as beneath me. This makes me sad, frustrated at having been robbed by religion. It also makes me impatient sometimes.
  3. Ok, so I don’t know where this is going or why this was important to me, but it provoked some questions... I was deliverying for postmates (a part time job which sucks, and do not recommend it) and I had a delivery of alcohol. The lady who I was delivering it to texted me and asked me put it in a bag because she didn’t want her kid or kids to see. It made me curious about modeling behaviors of parents and children. I know for all sorts of reasons as a gay man kids won’t happen unless my life is really extremely well put together. So I more or less take myself out of the equation when it comes to this question at this point in my life. However since this is something that’s not on my mind often, I don’t ask myself the question of how I would behave in that circumstance. To further complicate the situation, having become an atheist allows me to step out of religious and social norms. So I was trying to put myself in the shoes of this lady and I was just blown away by how complicated such a circumstance would be for me. This idea of being one thing and then modeling other behaviors to your children was hard for me to grasp. I have questions ladies, men. Does modeling behaviors impinge on your personal development? Does modeling socially acceptable behaviors lead you to wonder why the fuck am I modeling this shit? Especially if you are surrounded by religious sorts of people. Also the lady getting the alcohol made me feel like I was supposed to be in a position to judge her and model some sort of shame or acceptance (which was by far the least desireable thing to me because it made me feel complicit in things which I don’t care about or at least havent figured out what I care about, and which I don’t want to take responsibility for —like hundreds of situations in life do at the moment—)
  4. Not cool to damn their children and friends to the same hell they create for themselves :(( But yeah.
  5. I picked up a book at the library. One of the things that always interests me is the chronology of when our species began deciding and understanding broadly that god is dead. This book is helping me to piece some of that history together. The religion I was raised in actively magligned and tried to whitewash the chronology of scientific and philosophical progress. This for me was very tough because my brain depends on a well ordered understanding of when things transpired. So much of leaving religion just depended on getting the facts straight: The Who said what when. Its important to me because all of the philosophical things eventually become denuded of their time stamp and then slipped into a regurgitation of religion as if the Holy Spirit was speaking or whatever. For children like myself being being raised in religion is like being raised in a distopia like 1984 where the information is wrongly sorted and categorized. I first noticed this in some of the passages in the Bible written by Paul. They made a lot more sense once I studied the philosophy of the time. This helped to de-mystify what I was being told were mysterious speakings and revelations from god and I was able to see, oh this dude was basically just rehashing his philosophical education and then saying “because Jesus” at the end of it. Not that sorting out chronology is everything, but for me it has been important in leaving religion and something I’ve been able to slowly appreciate. The good in religion mostly comes from social and philosophical advancements. Theres no no way to say that the teachings in the way that they are given in religion aren’t basically well crafted lies, lies which are often delivered ignorantly, but none the less very frustrating to people who were lied to. A real mind fuck. The frustrating part comes from the people who will continue to tell those lies even after they read and understand the epistemology of the beliefs. There must still be a naive part of me that believes of people just got the chronology correct they would reject religion. Ugh... people are always stranger than I give them credit for.
  6. Oh that’s cool! I’m in that area so I’ll have to check it out!! Thanks for the post
  7. I don’t know if anyone else has the experience of being very used to the customs and norms of religious employers. Maybe it’s cause I just grew up around religious people and haven’t completely become accustomed to non-religious. I’ve got my BA in business and I’ve done all the billing for a small IT company using quickbooks etc... but I feel somehow I just gravitate towards the religious employers kinda like a codependent relationship. If it’s just me that’s ok, weird me.
  8. Wow, that’s crazy. That’s can’t be legal lol. But Newport, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, that’s my area right now. I’ve been thinking about moving to Nor-Cal though.
  9. I’ve been finding it hard to re-evaluate my insterests and job search criteria post religion. I was wondering if anyone out there had to reconsider their interest in the work world after or while deconverting.
  10. Honestly for me it was more about being self centered and not realizing it. Closing my mind to the outside world as if it didn’t exist.
  11. Thanks everyone, sometimes you know it’s the right way forward but it still sucks.
  12. One of the reasons that I feel deconversion is so hard is that there is no road map. I didnt find a perfect psychologist to answers my questions. You might, some others might, I didn’t. I didn’t find perfect family and community right away to ease the hardships. Others might. (I didn’t have a good enough understanding of my own needs and psychology to make choices that would have saved me a lot of pain.) I didn’t have the resources either to make for a painless journey. Others might. I wonder all the time whether people have found easier ways, or whether I could have found easier ways. I don’t think so myself, and in fact trying to find the strength to break unhealthy ties is so hard, in and of itself, that I don’t think I had that luxury. The times I stopped because I was sad were often opportunities for family just to tell me how wrong I was to make me feel bad and to gaslight me (make me feel as if it was all in my head) about my reasons for breaking free. No one gaslights like a parent. I mourn all the time. Some of the scar of breaking free has become me as much as the real freedom to be and learn who I am and who I want to be.
  13. Yeah, the church/org I was apart of was based on some pretty retro thinking by some Chinese guys in the early 20th century. One of them wrote a book called “the breaking of the outer man the release of the spirit”. It’s been a while since I looked at anything that I once read or had to read but there is some real lonacy here. And honestly I’m embarrassed to even share some of the religious material. I once told people these things were real and held the deepest truths. My family still does. When I look back I am struck by how specific the loonacy got. That’s what is uncanny for me. I don’t like thinking that people can come up with such specific shit about supposed mythical explanations for things. It kind of scares me to realize how convinced people can get and as kids indoctrinated you don’t have any frame of reference. You don’t know that it’s somewhat normal for human minds to create this array of conviction about things. Society broadly accepts nonsense for centuries.
  14. Hi Honeybib, Glad you’re here with us. I’m going through some depression as well. Right now it’s a combination of breaking out of the world view that my family and community put me in and learning the personal skills I need to be the human being that I want to be every day.
  15. Gosh, I was a true believer so I didn’t feel weird, but I was fucking weird. I was also pretty insecure so thinking there was a god behind everything gave me a kind of courage that I hadn’t really earned and which I am stilling trying to grow into. Nothing like the false religious shit to make people who have no reason to be confident speak as if all the mysteries of life and the universe were known to them alone. I mostly feel ashamed of the people I feel I gaslighted into believing there was something supernatural beyond, which they were either too ignorant or incapable of understanding. I feel the pain of this now still as I deconvert and find my “real”.
  16. Yeah, this seems to be the perennial advice from religious leaders. Basically what they were saying to me now that I have persepective was we don’t know but don’t fuck up our religion because you have real world problems.
  17. There are these verses in genesis that talk about Jacob putting polar branches in front of livestock and that causes the livestock to have spots that indicate the animals that Jacob is able to keep for himself. To me it’s clear that the writer believed this to be how it worked, and the readers also believed this to be true. We know today that looking at poplar branches cannot change an animals offspring’s colorings. So within the Bible there is this clear evidence of ignorance. It should be an instance where people say this is bullshit, ok this book is not really a good source of information. Period. Instead we have what needs to be described as lies from religious. This passage was explained to me as of course that doesn’t work like we know about genetics... duh. But... (and here comes the lie) we know that god was just letting Jacob believe that he was in control while making him succeed supernaturally the whole time. But it was a revelation to me to realize, fuck, that writer thought that this was true, and for thousands of years the readers took this literally. I would bet they even tried poplar branches on their livestock. This is a crucial context that really just fucking makes me angry: Christians who dismiss their own history and their own previous understandings.
  18. Damn, I’ve always looked at marriage as how lucky those straights are because I was closeted and really emotionally hopeless as far as the possibility of being happy relationship-wise and romantically/sexually. Ugh, Christianity sucks.
  19. I’m sorry, that really sucks. I know the feeling though. I’ve struggled to get away from it completely. There was always that bit of cheese that my parents seemed to leave out saying well we’re not big enough just to give it to you but we are emotionally competent enough to know how to use it to hurt you. I think it took me a lot longer to realize that I just need to grow as a person and the stuff they like to put on the table is just a waste of time. As for claims of “love” fuck that. I’ve always had a hate for the way parents use love as a sort of legal coverall statement. The truth is that love is specific, individual, and if you’re not feeling it, it’s probably not there or they’ve forgotten the meaning behind the word.
  20. Thanks truthseeker, I’m just taking it one day at a time. One of the things that is crazy is that if felt like they sensed I was getting over it, and just ratcheted things up and made it harder for my deconversion etc... They’re definitely not my allies. And that’s really hard because there’s this kid part of my brain that I have to explain this to.
  21. It’s weird my parents will actually help but only if I am willing to let them feel like saviors. Its been hard for me to see that as not help. Its been hard hard to get over the fact that they use this as an excuse to tell friends and family sure we’re willing to help. Most recently I’ve been homeless, they know this, they kicked me out of the house because I wouldn’t engage them about being gay or a wide range of other things. While they were clearly able to make the fact that they were kicking me out known, they failed to provide any options. They’re not poor people. They have a house in Orange County CA but live full time in Scotland as religious “missionaries” because the Scottish must be convinced of the new Christian truths their cult leader revealed about the world ending in Europe. They sent an evicition threat through certified mail, and I left by the date demanded. I didn’t have anywhere to go, they know that. Im in the tough position of needing help, them knowing I need help, and knowing that under no circumstances am I willing to let their religion back into my life again. And there’s just this cruelty factor where I don’t feel like I can talk to friends or family because they would all say your parents are willing to help you just have to talk with them. Because that’s the truth, they are able to help, it makes no difference to them, but they just have that narcissist self centered manipulative truth with a Christian face. I don’t seem to be able to explain to people that it’s not as it seems. thanks for this article.
  22. Wow, such a great article. All these things are true. I think it’s hard to express all this and get help for it too. I don’t even know what the help looks like and I’ve been to codependents anonymous meetings for just this reason and broken off contact with my parents before I was ready, and when I still needed help from them. It was always the lure of help that might come if I stuck around. I just didn’t have a choice emotionally and for my well being and the boundaries that I drew. I think about it and really realize how much I hoped that they would come to their senses before I had to cut the remaining ties and take on challenges in my life I wasn’t ready to take on alone.
  23. Hey guys, I’ve found all the comments super excellent thanks. I reread them and have thought about them again several times and have been working through more of this deconversion along those lines. I added hearts to the comments. Neverhealed52years really put a point on something I had forgotten and just made me recall: the complete arrogance and assholery of being told that your fucking being talked to all the time (I recall the smug and confident bastards in positions of power who solemnly affirmed this to me and many others) and it’s just your fault for not hearing. WHO THE FUCK tells that to a kid!!!! You should be hearing voices that don’t exist and if you don’t hear them you are evil, bad sinful etc... I was really looking for more healthy framing/seeing the experience and I think I got that a bit more.
  24. The thing I have the biggest issue with is that I really do find it to be an immoral book. Even a lot of the teachings of Jesus, especially when considered from a higher point of view of morality outside religion. Jesus was petty, didn’t actually say that much, and people have to admit that a lot of the things are just down right not very useful for life. There’s nothing about how to live a good life, why something’s are the way they are, as in there is no rational for the body (human body) the kinds of thing a creator would know intimately. If Steve jobs or Jonny Ives were showing off a product they would be able to talk about the inspiration behind it. No explanations for the human brain, how to work it, why it works the way it does. A creator would be able to elucidated these things, not shroud them. Real inspiration and understanding and explanation has come from psychology and sciences, things that make us say Aha. The brain has a lot of limitations, can you imagine the kind of insight a creator would be able to produce, a sort of users manual. Jesus was not a demonstration of any of these things, he was as merely human as you get. He didn’t go above or beyond anything that a person couldn’t expect to see on any day of the week from someone with charisma and solemn gravitas. Ironically charisma and solemn gravitas don’t have anything to do with truth. It’s human, so human to like these things, human to uplift them. We like to feel like we are being led by heirarchy, that’s human/ape-like behavior. Everything demonstrated by this book is proof of how clearly it is a product of man especially by way of its lack of imagination.