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Choosing Religion After Christianity


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Hi,

I am in the process of deconverting from Christianity. That said, i don't know if i will ever move on to a new religion or not, but I am curious how you guys chose to move on to your new religion, and how you were able to make the decision of which one is right for you.

 

Thanks for the help

-Kristy

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Hi Kristy,

For me it was simply a result of trial and error, and lots of thinking. Plus, I already held some of the values found in Paganism: respect for and finding joy in nature, tolerance, willingness to experiment, etc.

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Eh, I figured I'd just drift into non-religion. My brain got all bent enough out of shape as it was doing the mental gymnastics required to remain a Christian for so long. Why go through another round, even if it would be nowhere near as much of a headfuck?

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For me personally, even when I was christian I had a fascination with other religions. I have not practiced any rituals or spiritual stuff since abandoning Christianity. I have come to the conclusion it's all a crutch. I am a strong enough person in myself to not need to trick myself in believing I am exercising my spirit or soul or receiving divine intervention to get through life's challenges. To do so would be to cheat myself. I get through things and accomplish things because I am strong enough and smart enough to do so, not because some omnipotent being gave me something I do not have or did something for me I am not capable of doing.

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I have come to the conclusion it's all a crutch.

 

I am curious, have you ever tried sleeping without a bed for a year? As in on a thin mat or the hard floor?

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I went straight from Christianity to paganism (Wicca at the time to be exact). It was something I needed and I am very glad I did. I needed to undo a lot of the damage of Christianity and take back my personal power (self esteem w/e you want to call it). I wanted stability and balance in my life with a male/ female divinity and calming ritual. It served as a door to a much larger world view, rebuilt my morality, reconnected me with nature. I am more atheistic now, not believing in actual gods or goddesses, but the symbolism carries great meaning for me personally. For instance, the various full moons have different meanings - not because the moon in October is actually different than the one in November, but I can choose to make it meaningful in my life. If I were to invoke the goddess Artemis, it is really the desire to be more self reliant and brave that I personify as a person, and not an actual being. I am sure it is unnecessary for most people, but I think it can be worth looking into if you feel a void in your life. Its always a process, and its changed a lot for me in the past 6 years since leaving Christianity. Its different for everyone. If you are interested, just browse different religions. If something seems interesting, study it further. I kept a journal (3 actually) during my process and that helps immensely. I also took a world religions and philosophy class. Or if you are content as you are, very good then! :).

 

Hope any of that helps. Good luck to you and welcome to the boards

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I have come to the conclusion it's all a crutch.

 

I am curious, have you ever tried sleeping without a bed for a year? As in on a thin mat or the hard floor?

 

Never gone a whole year, but a few months. At least an entire summer one year and well into the fall.

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I looked into and studied some Buddhism after leaving christianity - I had been attracted to some of it prior to my deconversion, so it was a pretty logical step. Now, however, I don't subscribe to any religion - I still meditate, but that's because I've found it useful for calming my mind and organizing my thoughts in addition to relaxing. I'm not out for enlightenment or anything along that line.

 

For me, I realized I could be strong enough to not need the crutch of religion. Some things, ideas, and values I've integrated into my outlook, but it has little to do with the religions themselves.

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I echo Midnight-wanderings thoughts about liking the Wiccan/pagan way, but seeing the deities as more archetypes than literal beings. Many in the New Age path see these beings as representing personality types and various character strengths that can be called upon, with the underlying idea that we are part of the source energy of life that contains all these strengths at once.

 

I'm new to the whole thing, but that is how I understand it at the moment. I see it as spirituality without religion, or recognizing that there is more to us than meets the eye. It is very easy for me to think from an atheist viewpoint also, but I am experimenting and journaling to see what I can derive from this way. I haven't had a super impressive religious experience in this path, but I've encountered enough interesting things and people to make me pursue further. In short, I'm having fun with it. It doesn't have the burdens that religion had.

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I get through things and accomplish things because I am strong enough and smart enough to do so, not because some omnipotent being gave me something I do not have or did something for me I am not capable of doing.

 

See, that's what Paganism taught me.

 

Not all religions are about having someone "save" you. Artemis kindly kicked my ass before I hauled that baggage too far.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it depends greatly upon your reason for leaving Christianity. My reasons, at first, actually lead me to Judaism. I love ancient Judaism, it's history, it's culture, the frankness of their Rabbis and the cute little ways they taught their children things. I love how their relationship to their God was so real (post-temple). My husband even mused to me that I could fit so well into Judaism.

 

But, it's still a religion. There's still doctrines that I can't accept. I love their culture, sure, the language, the holidays, the history... but the doctrines I can't entirely accept. The idea of their Torah is marvelous, but I dunno. If I did join Judaism, I'd become the same as the Christians I hate. The Xtians that say "my understanding of Xtianity is the real one." There's many Jews that practice a Judaism I don't believe in. So I can't become the kind of fool I hate.

 

So I guess, as people in such a short time here on these forums helped me understand, I fit into Deism with a healthy splash of agnosticism.

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This going to contradict previous posts of mine claiming atheism, and that's because as much as I'd like to be an atheist, and have tried to convince myself that I am, I know I'm only lying to myself.

 

In order to be a true atheist, I would have to deny my terrifying experiences in two haunted homes I have lived in. Atheists don't believe in ghosts. And as much as I've tried to "skeptic" my experiences away, I can't. They are what they are, and I do believe in ghosts.

Just as a matter of definitions, ghosts are not gods, so that does not rule out atheism.

 

Many atheists have ideas about spritualism, spirits, and mysteries, although the typical atheist is something of a fuddy-duddy about the supernatural.

 

Also, when pressed, atheists cannot by definition exclude all possible god-type things, so technically most are agnostics, but for practical purposes they behave and think as atheists.

 

I'm rambling.

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A person's dreams seem 100% real at the time they are experienced to the dreamer.

Believing in one sort of spook but not another seems superficial. Why ghosts and not Thor or Odin?

Ghosts necessitate a belief in a soul, so you're back to an afterlife. May as well follow Pascal and ask the sky-spooks blessings.

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That said, i don't know if i will ever move on to a new religion or not, but I am curious how you guys chose to move on to your new religion, and how you were able to make the decision of which one is right for you.

It's hard to say if you're going to end up in a new religion or not. Personally, I did not. I figured, there are just as many problems with other religions as it is with Christianity.

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Hi,

I am in the process of deconverting from Christianity. That said, i don't know if i will ever move on to a new religion or not, but I am curious how you guys chose to move on to your new religion, and how you were able to make the decision of which one is right for you.

 

Thanks for the help

-Kristy

 

 

I did, but it was very long and complicated process and I am not honestly sure I can explain it to anyone.

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Nice attitude. silverpenny013Hmmm.gif

 

No attitude, just honest.

 

Furthermore, believing in a soul or afterlife does not mean you have to believe in some revealed god-being.

 

Hunh? An after-life with no one in charge? A big soul playground? How's that work? Wendyshrug.gif

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Hi,

I am in the process of deconverting from Christianity. That said, i don't know if i will ever move on to a new religion or not, but I am curious how you guys chose to move on to your new religion, and how you were able to make the decision of which one is right for you.

 

Thanks for the help

-Kristy

 

It took me 3 years of studying other religions to finally settle on the path that I'm on.

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Furthermore, believing in a soul or afterlife does not mean you have to believe in some revealed god-being.

 

Hunh? An after-life with no one in charge? A big soul playground? How's that work? Wendyshrug.gif

 

Sure, it's possible to imagine afterlife scenarios where Gods are not directing the process. Buddhism has one, for example. There are God and demi-God type beings in Buddhism, but although they live so long they think they are immortal, they are not. Nor are they enlightened. Gods can reincarnate as people or in one of the other "six realms" of beings in Buddhist cosmology.

 

The thing that keeps this all going is karma, which operates independently, almost mechanically, and is not directed by any of these beings. Only those who achieve enlightenment escape the wheel of never-ending rebirths.

 

Take away the Gods, keep the mechanical karmic soul-migration idea, and you've got a godless afterlife scenario.

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I've reached a point in my deconversion that I don't buy any religion at all. All I have ever heard are what people accept on faith, in any religion there is faith that ignores sound reasoning skills. How is one religion acceptable and others are not? You have to have mindless obedience to the religion to believe it and if you cannot believe it then you may as well leave it. If you want a religion that grows with people's attitudes then check out an open-source religion such as www.yoism.org.

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Hunh? An after-life with no one in charge? A big soul playground? How's that work? Wendyshrug.gif

 

KatieHmm.gif

 

Do you know what Deism is?

 

I do, but that requires faith in an even more unseen gawd than xianity. I'm not trying to be condescending, it just seems to me that your OP is like a drug addict saying" finally, after years of tryiing, I've finally kicked heroine. What drug should I try now?"

As HZ said above, all religions require a blind faith that I personally am no longer capable of. If you find one that floats your boat, more power to you.

Good luck.

 

Edited: I meant the OP

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Hi,

I am in the process of deconverting from Christianity. That said, i don't know if i will ever move on to a new religion or not, but I am curious how you guys chose to move on to your new religion, and how you were able to make the decision of which one is right for you.

 

Thanks for the help

-Kristy

Why exchange one set of superstitions for another? I gave Buddhism a try after Christianity but it was just lame. The whole spirituality stuff is just bullshit when you can no longer believe in the fantastic as real.

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And if for some reason I were forced to choose a belief system, it would be Deism, so we're really not that far apart. smile.gif

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