Jump to content

Intellectual Or Emotional?


Vomit Comet
 Share


Recommended Posts

Now that I have done this poll it seems my reasons were slightly more emotional, although intellectual reason were those which helped to make the final step: when I started to read science and I realized I don't have to fear Hell and stuff, because most likely it's all a big lie. Until then I struggled emotionally for a long time but fear held me back. On the emotional side it's all true to me:

 

- People disappointed me (the judgmentalness and narrow-mindedness of Xtians, which I found alarming and scary).

 

- The Hell doctrine.

 

- It made me depressed.

 

- It mad me crazy. (Totally!)

 

- It made me feel lame or weird.

 

- I felt trapped and wanted to be free. (Totally! Oh, and it's not that I wanted to be "free to sin". No! That's not it. I wanted to be free to think and free of fear and guilt.)

 

These were all a factor to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest I Love Dog

To me, "Intellectual Christian" is an oxymoron.

 

Sure, there are Christians who are intelligent(I often wonder why this is so!). but as intellectuals they would never make the grade. An intellectual person to me is someone who can look at something placed before them and consider it at the deepest level and make a decision about whether it is an acceptable truth.

 

I am intelligent, although having dropped out of formal education at an early age. An intellectual I am not. I do know some people who are intellectual, one being a member of MENSA, the others being highly regarded by me as being of that level.

 

I look at available evidence regarding anything in life. If someone wants me to invest my life savings in a scheme then I need evidence that my savings are not going to disappear in the mire.

 

If I am to invest my LIFE itself, then I need something more than faith. Christianity can supply nothing in the way of supportable evidence as to why I should invest my LIFE in its faith-based organization.

 

The origins of Christianity and its god are easily researched, beginning with the belief of donkey nomads(Hebrews/Canaanites) that one of their gods(Yahweh) was to be the ONLY god, because HE had commanded them to be so.

 

The Romans, masters of hype, marketing, control and fear, looked at the unrest throughout their kingdom, and saw the opportunity that awaited. Create an "official" religion, one only "official" god. Design the package, force it upon the Empire on pain of death for not accepting it. Anyone who doesn't believe is an heretic and shall be put to death.

 

Total control that has lasted for 1800 years.

 

If I can see this, as someone who is merely intelligent, then intellectuals can surely see the truth as it is. There is no god as proscribed. Christianity is a sham that deserves to be exposed for what it really is. A control mechanism that keeps the "old boy" network going whilst preying on the fears of those who are in need of some sort of reassurance that their struggles through this life are not in vain and that something special and beautiful awaits them on their point of death.

 

Christianity may well serve a purpose, but what a total delusional and hypocritical scheme to foist upon the human race.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was both.

 

attempts to control my sexuality.... emotional

denial of evolution... intellectual

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it started as being emotionally fueled, you know, typical pushing thirty single waiting around on god... Then the logic came and made sense of the pain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure. It wasn't intellectual reasons in the same way that my partner's were. I didn't read the bible or get into science and see all the flaws and lack of logic and reason. I did however study religion and anthropology, including the history of the church, at university and I am a philosopher by nature, so I instinctively drew parallels between the various religions and questioned much about the church, it's origins and it's institutional structure. But I did all these things whilst still believing.

 

Emotionally, it was the control and manipulation I experienced at the hands of the church, and my hate of authority and being told what to do which gradually pushed me over the edge.

 

I withdrew from regular 'sunday morning' style church long before I lost my faith.

 

I think that the emotion and the intellectual reasons were pretty even and connected and hard to separate one from the other.

 

I answered 'other' for the kind of church I was part of because I moved around a lot because non of them ever felt right - which at the time I thought was because they weren't 'biblical', looking back now I realise it was a sign of my issues of christiantity in general.

 

I went to a methodist church, a fundy charismatic youth church, a Pentecostal church with some bat shit members, and then nearer the end of my christian life I was part of a salvation army church and a liberal - wishy washy, hate institutionalised church - universalist group, and then finally a low key house church that was very liberal in it's format/practise but quite conservative in it's theology.

 

I am still friends with and occasionally meet up with the liberal universalist types because they couldn't care less if I was an atheist, gay, 'living in sin' taking drugs or eating babies!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Emotionally, it was the control and manipulation I experienced at the hands of the church, and my hate of authority and being told what to do which gradually pushed me over the edge.

 

 

This. Plus I finally came to see that my depression got worse the more I listened to these idiots. I had reached a point where staying amongst them would lead to my suicide. I chose to live, and in the fourish years I have been away from them my depression has improved off the scale. Funny that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Valk0010

For me it was mostly intellectual in that, I saw christianity finally no different then any other religion, in its basis and also it stopped making logical sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first realization that Christianity wasn't logical and the final decision to leave completely were intellectual, but the impetus to keep questioning was mostly emotional.

 

I don't think that there's a clear line between intellectually and emotionally rejecting Christianity after you've been a Christian yourself, because a lot of the "proofs" of Christianity are internal. There's no physical test for whether someone does or doesn't have the Holy Spirit. It seems that some of the functions of tHS can be imitated with emotional frenzy. OTOH, tHS is supposed to be a person and not just a spiritual force, and I don't have any questions in my mind whether the human people that I come in contact with are really there or really speaking to me.

 

If I had ever sensed the Holy Spirit in a personal way, if I saw Christians demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit in their lives, if I saw unity in the church, and if I saw supernatural answers to prayer, I would be more inclined to believe or to take Christianity seriously, even though those things can be subjective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, there are Christians who are intelligent(I often wonder why this is so!). but as intellectuals they would never make the grade. An intellectual person to me is someone who can look at something placed before them and consider it at the deepest level and make a decision about whether it is an acceptable truth.

 

I was a couple years into my PhD by the time I deconverted. Let's just say I reconciled the two things by compartmentalization. I'm a social sciences/humanities type of guy, so I figured as long as I didn't do any research that might hit a little too close to home, there would be no conflict and everything would be groovy. I wasn't about to try and use research to bolster the church or my faith, either. I knew better than that! I mainly knew that whatever I found would not be too encouraging. Even the Barna Group was always releasing dismal statistics about the Christian divorce rate and shit like that, and they're an evangelical research organization. I always gave them props for telling the truth.

 

I never was afraid to piss people off if they had a stake in the areas that I did research. It's just that I went out of my way not to "go there" when it came to Christianity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kept moving from one Christian group to the next trying to "find god". For years, I was in the emotional Christian camp. I tried home church, went back to emotional Christianity, got tired of the futility of that and went the fundamentalist route. It took me a few years to realize that emotional Christianity and the highs and mountain top experiences had kept me happy and unquestioning in my faith. When the emotion was gone and all that was left were the rules and I went and really READ the rules... I was fucked. Rules centered Christianity made me batshit crazy and depressed. I had many negative experiences with other fundies that sent me over the edge to really explore my faith or lack of faith. I credit one woman with the "needle that broke the camel's back" she forbid her child from playing with my child (even though we were all Christian ( and uber Christian at that) and the hypocrisy and the exclusion sent me into a tailspin that I never recovered from.

 

 

I spent six more months questioning my faith, studying, researching and finally made the intellectual decision that none of it made sense. The questions were always there but I never explored them fully until I quit looking for the "next" Christian group/movement that was going to make everything better for me.

 

I think most of my questioning came from an emotional place but I was finally able to be set free from Christianity because of intellectual reasons. If I had not had the courage to really research and look into all my questions, I think I would have just found another variety of Christianity to try.

 

freedom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The breaking point for me was emotional (some idiot youth leader claimed I was possessed and implored our prayer group to lay hands on me and cast the demon out). But this resulted in freeing me intellectually to understand Christianity was the wrong path for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine was definitely mostly emotional. Even when I was trying to be a stupid fundie baptist, I never bought creationism or anything, so that wasn't my hang up. My problems were hell, the "worm theology" shit, guilt guilt guilt, being female, blah blah, all adding up to one giant insane neurosis and depression and attempt at suicide.

Then I read the bible for answers. I found, in Genesis 3, a god that lies to his creations, seems to suffer from a mean complex where he's scared of them becoming like him (maybe better), and is basically a total fucking dick. I HATED the fucking bastard! I got enraged that anyone would tell me to follow such a complete asshole of a deity. He didn't deserve my chewed on leftovers, much less my undying praise. I threw the bible across the room and spit on Abraham's god.

I was definitely bothered by my peers at the fundie school buying things I knew were silly, like creationism and poor sex education (I was trying to accept abstinence, because it would please Jeebus, but denying that condoms work and keeping girls from knowing simple things like HOW THEY GET PREGNANT seemed...dangerous), etc ad nauseum, but they weren't the reasons I left. I left because I found Abraham's god downright insulting. Still do.

I now have "intellectual" reasons for not buying christianity, or showing that it's not "the truth", but my main sticking point is, and always will be that Abe's god does NOT deserve worship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Then the logic came and made sense of the pain.

 

Sums that up nicely for me Randi!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine was largely intellectual. Once I started paying attention to my doubts it all went down hill from there. There was some cognitive dissonance there with my struggle of maintaining "sexual purity" but that just led me to try and understand everything. I soon noticed that there were naturalistic explanations to everything and that there were many philosophical problems with Christianity. All in all I left because Christianity was false. It's only afterwards I now can see some of the emotional damage that it did to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine was largely intellectual, although I suppose one could argue that some of the things that really bothered me (such as the role women were "supposed" to have) were somewhat emotional, but I would dare to say that those emotions were largely based on the simple fact that it made absolutely ZERO logical sense.

 

Emotionally, I didn't have a reason to leave, other than the fact that I always felt suppressed as a Christian, primarily because I am a female, and who and what I am did not jive at all with what I was taught/brainwashed to believe I was supposed to be...I always felt like I was rowing upstream, and it got exhausting. I just couldn't understand how all these other women were perfectly happy to just sit there and smile letting men tell them what they could and couldn't say, what they could or could not do, and how they were supposed to act. It simply did not compute, and being that I am certainly not that kind of person on the most basic level, it went against every grain in my body.

 

However, that didn't cause me to deconvert, but it did prompt it. The reasons I deconverted were entirely logically/intellectually based.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What got the ball rolling for me was the Intellectual issues, my family had switched churches to something closer to home after an interim pastor we really liked left. The new church idk what the right word to use for me is, but it seemed like it dumbed down the word of god, or maybe because i was more used to an older style of English and it lost some of it's luster for me...if that makes any sense. That got me to really read and research Christianity and other religions, and they all pretty much fell flat to me and invalid.. the philosophy class i was also taking around the same time im sure didn't help my cause of staying any. (tried to talk to my mother about it once, but that didn't go so hot, i was a bad person for suggesting the word was to dumbed down there, and the only real solution was to try new churches and that didn't go to hot either.)

 

In more recent times i know it's become much more emotional for me though. I see how much they really messed me up mentally, morally, and emotionally and it drives me crazy damn near every day. That and i see the hypocrisy of so many of the people i would consider close to me in regards to the church and that wrecks me even more. (Is there no consistency of integrity except for maybe a few hours here any there on like a Sunday, Wednesday or whatever..)

 

It's been a process for me, i guess a combo of both though.

 

...but the beat goes on...i guess..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mostly intellectual. I am a strongly pattern-seeking animal, and Christianity provided a wonderful framework for seeing patterns and connections in everything. I was encouraged in this pattern-seeking by other christians (especially parents) who still honestly believe that the only intellectually satisfying answer to life is jesus.

 

Leaving Christianity was a combination of realizing that my beautiful patterns were completely incompatible with the real world, and the hypocrisy of all the people who insisted that Christianity was intellectually satisfying but freaked out and got mad at me when I asked questions that I had meant to use to make myself a better Christian. It was also a shock to go to college and for the first time in my life meet real people, smart people, who hadn't come to the "obvious" conclusions about jesus.

 

I didn't realize how fucked in the head Christianity had made me until after I left, so I really don't count that as a reason for deconverting. Many of the emotional things came after deconverstion, not before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine started emotional, and ended up intellectual.

 

Initially I was just pissed off at how after being a Christian for so many years, Christianity still seemed all so confusing and nonsensical.

 

Then I started looking at things intellectually and it started making more sense.

 

Well, what made sense is that it didn't make sense because it really was nonsense :HaHa:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My last day in church was a prophecy conference-- it was horrible. I literally decided that I would rather go to hell than have to deal with this again. The next day, I met with one of our church pastors as one last attempt to see if I really wanted to quit church. I told him that I had a really hard time with this hell and brimstone type of preaching because it scared and depressed me. He told me to see a psychatrist. I left the church that day and never came back. Noone ever called me or tried to get me back into the fold. I had been a pentecostal so it took a while for me to start wearing pants and cutting my hair, but over time, I ended up fully entrenched in the "world". I have only entered a church for weddings, and one other time when my daughter begged me to come with her to a non-denominational church. I only went to make her happy and was uncomfortable the entire time.

 

I had many questions about things in the bible that did not strike me as accurate, so I have studied up a bit. I have also studied evolution, our solar system, and other things that seem to contradict what I had learned in church, so for me, it has been both emotional and intellectual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, the deconversion process was entirely intellectual. It began with kernels of doubt that led to deeper questions which led to studying the Bible, philosophy, science, anthropology, religion, and history. And all those intellectual endeavors pushed me further and further away from religion of any sort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say it started off entirely emotional, I was deeply trouble by the hell doctrine.

 

However, in time it became intellectual to an extent as well, the 3 things that troubled me the most

 

1) The problem of evil and suffering.

 

2) The disunity between professing Christians.

 

3) The dishonesty of apologists, professing an all loving, all knowing God and side stepping questions asked of them, or giving answers that make no sense whatsoever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.