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Some Thoughts Needing To Be Sorted Out..


hudsonrw
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Hello everyone,

 

I just want to jump right into this post. Forgive me if it's unorganized or cluttered. Early this morning I had to call 911 for my grandmother. She's had a history of heart and medical problems. As I waited with her for the ambulance I listened to her pray. I recently gave up Christianity. I was in so much of a shock during the whole situation that I said in my head, "god if you exist, or whoever the F**k you are, help my grandma!" After I settled down I realized that even that that I had thought could count as a prayer. And though I've not been away from my religion for that long (almost a year), why did I do that? What does that say about me? I don't believe. But why did I think that in my head? I didn't relapse. Was that just the hidden code imprinted in my brain? And if so, religion is so so deep in our heads? I don't know really what I'm asking. Maybe I'm looking for comfort. I really want to dissect myself here in the public. Does anyone have any advice or experience with this happening?

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Fear not, troubled son! 'Tis normal!

 

Sorry about Grandma - hope she gets through it alright.

 

I think under stress you defaulted to a conditioned response. Religious brainwashing can take years to dissipate completely. In time you'll find yourself praying to Zeus, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or NOBODY!

 

Hang in there, Cincy.

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I think under stress you defaulted to a conditioned response. Religious brainwashing can take years to dissipate completely. In time you'll find yourself praying to Zeus, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or NOBODY!

 

 

Hey, I issued a threat once.

 

Was a passenger in a plane back in 2005 landing in Athens Greece in the middle on a thunderstorm. It was scary as hell. Tension in the cabin was THICK....then the plane....dropped.

 

In my head, all of a sudden was "Don't you DARE! Don't you DARE take me out you asshole!"...and I was physically ready to kick someone's ass.

 

They closed the airport right after our plane landed. There was clapping and cheering when we got on the ground safe.

 

Florduh is right. You defaulted to primary conditioning under stress. It doesn't "mean" anything. It doesn't make you "christian in your heart" or any of those other cliche's designed to make all the world "secretly true christians really deep down".

 

Think about those old cliche's for a minute. It should piss you off that any group would try to claim patent rights to your very thoughts and emotional responses. And you got upset because you KNOW they would go there if you'd told one of them about what happened. It's your head. It's your heart. And most important....it's YOUR GRANDMA! I hope she is doing okay.

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My grandma died recently. I was a pall bearer. When we were about to put her in the ground, I put my hand on the coffin and 'prayed' a very similar 'prayer' to the one you prayed. "If you are real after all, and this Jesus stuff is real after all [the priest had been going on and on about how she'd done all the necessary steps for salvation], then I trust she's in your hands." She'd always been fairly devoutly Catholic.

 

I didn't think much of it after that.

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Thank you everyone for your responses. I was struggling thinking about this. I have a degree in psychology and could not see that it was a conditioned response. I think it's easy to see that in other people's lives but so hard to see it in your own. Kinda like a doctor operating on himself. A difficult task!

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It's interesting that Christians like to use that preconditioned response to claim that there are, "no atheists in foxholes." As if, because in the midst of desperation you resorted to a desperate response, it means that you have a deep-down belief in god. I have to constantly remind myself NOT to pray, that it's pointless (I'm about 6 months post-deconversion). I hope that habit fades with time.

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How's your grandma?

Your response sounds so normal, so "from the heart" as a concerned grandson.

Hang in there and hope she's doin ok!

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I think your response was perfectly normal and not a sign that you still believe or something. I think this is just a response that's been culturally ingrained in society by the pervasive Christian culture. It's sort of like how sometimes people cross their fingers when they hope something will/won't happen. It doesn't mean that you believe crossing your fingers changes the situation. It's just something that's culturally ingrained in us.

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Guest Abby84

I agree with everyone here about it being ingrained in our brains. I still catch myself saying little prayers here and there. I think that if I had been raised to believe all my life that the fairy godmother was ruler and goddess over everything, I would be calling on her in times of crisis.

I hope your grandmother is ok, that's a scary thing to go through.

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My grandma is doing a lot better. It was a mild heart attack. But she is already home and doing much better. I want to thank everyone for your support and encouragement. It was just such a shock to me that the indoctrination is so embedded in us. It's literally like a drug. It had me worried at first because I thought, if this is so embedded, what else is hidden in my mind? But many seasoned atheists have insured me as well as you have that it is just a response.

 

Once again thank you everyone. This discussion has helped me relieve a lot of stress. This online community is priceless!

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It was just such a shock to me that the indoctrination is so embedded in us. It's literally like a drug. It had me worried at first because I thought, if this is so embedded, what else is hidden in my mind?

 

Was Social Psych part of your degree program? That turned out to be my favorite class with Physio Psych coming in second.

 

Little tidbits for the non-psych folk (this really is interesting stuff!):

 

Normative Social Influence - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normative_Social_Influence

 

Bunch of interesting Links with Conformity as Focus - http://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu...cconformity.htm

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I remind myself not to pray all the time but I still find myself doing it occasionaly. Its not that I think it will work, its just a habit. After being taught to pray for every damn thing for so long its pretty natural.

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Yea I took social psychology as a part of my course work. I loved the material. I recommend it as a subject for others to read and research. I do catch myself praying as a habit like before I eat. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who still catches their self with that habit.

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I always used to mutter little prayers like "Jesus please help me!" right before I wrote exams. I caught myself doing it for several months after my de-conversion. I still feel tempted to sometimes. As everyone said, you are totally normal. :grin:

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