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I've Made Up My Mind To Come Out


blackpudd1n
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So, a moment ago, as I was making a cup of tea, I was trying to work out, once again, that now I have deconverted, what exactly I am. It was a part of the reason why I have put off coming out- I was just trying to work out my position, and I wasn't comfortable with the word "atheist".

 

I have concluded, though, that I am an atheist- an atheist with a soft spot for paganism, might be more accurate. Of course, neither of those are going to go down well, and the combination is sure to horrify many. But this is what I am, and I don't want to live a lie anymore.

 

So my plan is to come out on Facebook, state my case, and request respect for my views, as I will respect their right to a religious belief. And then I'm going AWOL for a couple of days lol

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So my plan is to come out on Facebook, state my case, and request respect for my views, as I will respect their right to a religious belief. And then I'm going AWOL for a couple of days lol

 

Hey that is fine and all. Just don't go expecting the religious to respect your views. Let the few who do surprise you. They are the exception. Don't be surprised when the vast majority won't. You also don't need to state your case. You can but you do that as a courtesy to those who are curious. You are under no obligation to them. And if a few of them demand to climb inside your head just so they can confirm that they don't like what they find there - feel free to tell them off. It's none of their business. Most of them are too deluded to understand a good case anyway.

 

Be strong

 

 

MM

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hey MM,

 

Yeah, I get that. I was one of them, I know what to expect. I also know what I dished out too, so really it's just karma lol.

 

I just figured Facebook was the best way to do it, because I could come out and say it, and then just not log on for a couple of days, and avoid any phone calls. A family member/friend becoming an atheist is a very emotional thing for them to have to deal with. They do actually experience some form of grief, because they believe they will not see you again, once they die. it's very scary for them, so I think breaking the news from a distance is a good idea, because then I'm not going to have to deal with quite the extreme reaction caused by shock if I told them to their face. They may not like or accept the idea, but at least a little distance may stop things being said in the heat of the moment that could cause irreparable damage. That may happen any way, but I think doing it this way may diminish the chances of it happening.

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So, a moment ago, as I was making a cup of tea, I was trying to work out, once again, that now I have deconverted, what exactly I am. It was a part of the reason why I have put off coming out- I was just trying to work out my position, and I wasn't comfortable with the word "atheist".

Why do you have to define yourself in your view now in order to say you no longer can follow Christianity? In all honesty, that's a beginning point of all your future self-discovery. You don't just say "I was that, now I'm this". What that 'this' is will be a long process. I used the term atheist for a time as it was a way to say I no longer accept that literal understanding of myth, that God is some external person that is really big and is watching out over me and handing out wishes to the good boys and girls of the world. But that's a pretty narrow term and I eventually dropped it. In today's culture when they hear the label atheist they hear "anti-god", but if you say you embrace aspects of neo-paganism, then you really aren't that. You just understand it more symbolically of some internal spirituality.

 

I guess I'd be careful in allowing anyone to take the easy path of just giving you some label, as at that point you've almost given them permission to just stick you into a box and shut their minds off. Let this be an opportunity to lead them to ask questions everyone else may be having as well, and just push away from themselves for fear of being branded a negative and dismissed by their own peers. Maybe say, "I moved into an open space of possibilities". I like that. :)

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pudd, 5 stars for being brave..***** But get prepared for the shitty comments that are going to come your way.......

 

Right now, I classify myself as a 'non-believer'......sounds 'softer' for some reason and people seem to understand that just a tad bit easier.

 

Best wishes to you. Let us know how it goes?

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My advice is not to tell anyone what you are, it kinda makes you seem attention-whorish. I'd just remove whatever religion it says on your FB page, and let the questions come. Perhaps post a few videos on why christianity is fucking retarded from time to time. No reason to announce to the world your new views when you're not yet entirely sure what they are.

 

Your views will never be as concrete as when it said "Christian" to put another view in there probably won't ever seem exactly right, unless they have a thing for "evolving".

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\Why do you have to define yourself in your view now in order to say you no longer can follow Christianity? ,,, I used the term atheist for a time as it was a way to say I no longer accept that literal understanding of myth, that God is some external person that is really big and is watching out over me and handing out wishes to the good boys and girls of the world. But that's a pretty narrow term and I eventually dropped it.

As a practical matter you have to be sure of what exactly you believe and embrace at the moment in order to come out as not embracing what those around you expect that you embrace. That's not to say you won't evolve from there but personally I want to know where I'm at so I can remain centered within myself in any conversation that ensues.

 

As for the "atheist" label, or any label (agnostic, pagan, etc) if the label is properly defined and understood and it applies, I have no problem using it. Personally I identify as both an atheist and an agnostic but resist using those labels in talking to Christian family members as they have very distorted ideas about what those things mean, and lack the capacity to intelligently discuss what they mean, or to handle the truth about them.

 

Personally I never did come out to my extended family. By the time I was ready to do that my parents and oldest brother were already dead and my children had already come out themselves. Only my two surviving brothers remain and I have just let it come up on its own. With the one, I've had the conversation and it was no big deal, but I never used either of the "A" words. With the other, he would not handle it well and I think he senses where I'm at and we just have a "don't ask, don't tell" thing going on. I see him less than once a year and it works for us.

 

If I were coming out in the FaceBook age and I had a lot of extended family that actually cared one way or the other I would probably just quit engaging / agreeing about religious topics, remove any religious identifications in my profile and let the questions and concerns come and address them individually, but that's just me.

 

--Bob

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\Why do you have to define yourself in your view now in order to say you no longer can follow Christianity? ,,, I used the term atheist for a time as it was a way to say I no longer accept that literal understanding of myth, that God is some external person that is really big and is watching out over me and handing out wishes to the good boys and girls of the world. But that's a pretty narrow term and I eventually dropped it.

As a practical matter you have to be sure of what exactly you believe and embrace at the moment in order to come out as not embracing what those around you expect that you embrace.

Why? Can't you know you don't believe or can't accept what you used to believe without necessarily knowing what you believe instead? To make a statement "I am an atheist", that is a positive assertion "I believe no god(s) exist". You have made a belief choice at that point. An agnostic would say "I don't know", and that is hardly saying you have a belief now. You simply know you're not comfortable with certain ideas about God, or that any God or lack thereof is a beyond question and you are uncommitted in any belief about that. I don't believe saying 'I don't believe this', necessitates the adoption of some new belief first.

 

That's not to say you won't evolve from there but personally I want to know where I'm at so I can remain centered within myself in any conversation that ensues.

Personally, I think it benefits you as well to not do what you just said. The reason is as you self-identify with a label, it will in fact define parameters for you in your own reasoning and exploration. Why is it necessary to have a label at all? If I was to use a label myself, "Open" would be the best. "Explorer" works as well. What you need to center yourself within is your own inner dialog, rather than external definitions. Those are so artificial and in fact non-human realities. We are so much more that this group here or that group there. That is an old way of looking at the world. It is self-identification via group-identification. That is what defines "being Christian", as well as "being atheist". Each are equally limiting.

 

How about this label for you? "I am Bob". I like that much better! smile.png

 

As for the "atheist" label, or any label (agnostic, pagan, etc) if the label is properly defined and understood and it applies, I have no problem using it.

If you're happy being pigeon-holed. Honestly, I think we are far too complex for any mere group-identification.

 

Personally I identify as both an atheist and an agnostic

Which of course it the problem with labels! GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif This is mutually-exclusive. It's contexts, baby. smile.png I am an athiest-theist, Buddhist-Hindu, all religions-no religions, believer-unbeliever. There reaches a point in time that these labels are meaningless, and in fact a straight-jacket hindrance to mind and spirit.

 

but resist using those labels in talking to Christian family members as they have very distorted ideas about what those things mean, and lack the capacity to intelligently discuss what they mean, or to handle the truth about them.

Exactly, and it even applies to you using them on yourself.

 

If I were coming out in the FaceBook age and I had a lot of extended family that actually cared one way or the other I would probably just quit engaging / agreeing about religious topics, remove any religious identifications in my profile and let the questions and concerns come and address them individually, but that's just me.

 

--Bob

I agree with this. I would just eventually start talking from where you are at sharing what is exciting and new you are moving into. The term atheist honestly is a negative one. It says to family members and friends "I reject YOUR God". That puts people on the defensive as these are cherished beliefs to many people. You can simply have taken a different view and express that, without sticking your face into their and saying "You're God doesn't exist!!". See my point? I think the possibility for people being more open to others who are seeking something for themselves who may differ from them is higher, as opposed to those who define themselves as "Not your God! Your God doesn't exist!".

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Hey puddin (laughing cause that's what we call my younger sister) I'm with Margee, great job on the courage to be yourself. Coming out takes quite a bit out of some we like to encourage and hear the journey. Venting is welcomed.

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Can't you know you don't believe or can't accept what you used to believe without necessarily knowing what you believe instead? To make a statement "I am an atheist", that is a positive assertion "I believe no god(s) exist". You have made a belief choice at that point.

 

I disagree with your definition of "atheist". For me, an atheist simply has no god-belief and does not assert anything, positive or negative.

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Can't you know you don't believe or can't accept what you used to believe without necessarily knowing what you believe instead? To make a statement "I am an atheist", that is a positive assertion "I believe no god(s) exist". You have made a belief choice at that point.

 

I disagree with your definition of "atheist". For me, an atheist simply has no god-belief and does not assert anything, positive or negative.

 

I'm surprised AM made this statement. Surely you understand that Ro's definition is pretty much the mainstream definition around here AM?

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You have all raised good points here, but perhaps I should clarify myself here.

 

From my understanding, the term "atheist" simply means "I am not convinced by your arguments as to any god's existence." And as for the term "agnostic" it simply means, "I do not know". As humans, none of us can ever know if god exists, but I am of the thought that I am not convinced. As for the soft spot for paganism, well, I was kind of moving into it. When I actually deconverted, though, the concern for me was that I was merely trying to replace one god with another, one form of religion for the other. I understand much about pagan thought, belief, and worldview, and I like the Wiccan Creed; however, in light of what I now know, I am not totally convinced there either, and I think it's important for me not to jump boat simply because I need a belief system. I think it's more important that I focus on learning to stand on my own two feet first and develop my ability to think critically for myself before I formally commit to jumping ship.

 

That being said, I wasn't planning to actually use the word "atheist", not to begin with, anyway. I was going to say something along the lines of, "I no longer believe in the Christian God as I am not convinced by the arguments, nor the bible, in light of my recent research, as to his actual existence." I only actually have my sister and two friends on Facebook who are Christian; this is more for my sister's sake than anyone else's. I am going to be seeing her for her graduation in April, and was initially planning to come out then; but upon further reflection I felt that that was quite possibly unfair to her, and I felt that I should give her some time to adjust to the idea, instead of allowing it to come up at such a momentous occaision that she has worked so hard for. The other point I am going to include is that I respect everyone's right to a belief system, and that I do not intend to actively convert anyone to my way of thinking.

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Brace for impact. :)

You have all raised good points here, but perhaps I should clarify myself here.

 

From my understanding, the term "atheist" simply means "I am not convinced by your arguments as to any god's existence." And as for the term "agnostic" it simply means, "I do not know". As humans, none of us can ever know if god exists, but I am of the thought that I am not convinced. As for the soft spot for paganism, well, I was kind of moving into it. When I actually deconverted, though, the concern for me was that I was merely trying to replace one god with another, one form of religion for the other. I understand much about pagan thought, belief, and worldview, and I like the Wiccan Creed; however, in light of what I now know, I am not totally convinced there either, and I think it's important for me not to jump boat simply because I need a belief system. I think it's more important that I focus on learning to stand on my own two feet first and develop my ability to think critically for myself before I formally commit to jumping ship.

 

That being said, I wasn't planning to actually use the word "atheist", not to begin with, anyway. I was going to say something along the lines of, "I no longer believe in the Christian God as I am not convinced by the arguments, nor the bible, in light of my recent research, as to his actual existence." I only actually have my sister and two friends on Facebook who are Christian; this is more for my sister's sake than anyone else's. I am going to be seeing her for her graduation in April, and was initially planning to come out then; but upon further reflection I felt that that was quite possibly unfair to her, and I felt that I should give her some time to adjust to the idea, instead of allowing it to come up at such a momentous occaision that she has worked so hard for. The other point I am going to include is that I respect everyone's right to a belief system, and that I do not intend to actively convert anyone to my way of thinking.

 

Replacing one god for another is not necessarily a bad thing. The bad part is where you allow others to tell you what your god is thinking or wanting for you. That is the toxic control aspect. And like you are expecting, knowledge can be a two-edged sword. It is liberating to let the world know your beliefs, but that knowledge can be used against you. Because I am not broadcasting my belief system to everyone they aren't quite sure what they might be able to say or not say around me. Some people think I am still a xian and when they mention (on rare occasions) something xian in nature, I just nod and laugh (or vommit) inside. I used to talk a lot of Buddhism and Hinduism so some people think I'm Buddhist. That's fine. Only a couple people know I'm a magickian and I'm good with that.

 

Whether you come out or stay in the closet, the xian wankers are going to continually wank on about xianity and Jebus. No matter what your belief is, the xian's job is to continually annoy us with their crap. They can't help it. They know not what they do..haha. And while I'd love to tell them all that their religion has them f*cked in the head, it is better of me to be tolerant of their beliefs. Even if their belief is totally retarded...lol

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Can't you know you don't believe or can't accept what you used to believe without necessarily knowing what you believe instead?

I suppose we never know 110 percent what we believe, plus it will usually not completely align with any particular label, and even if it does it may only align with our understanding of that label, not someone else's. Nevertheless it's helpful to me personally to have a good grip on my feelings and beliefs at any given point in time to the point that I can think and talk clearly about it with someone else. As well as have a sense of how it differs or is similar to another person's point of view. That is the basis for intelligent discussion -- or at least the potential for intelligent discussion.

 

I don't believe atheism and agnosticism are at all mutually exclusive -- in my understanding of the terms. A-theism is a lack of belief in a god; a-gnosticism is a lack of knowledge about something. My lack of belief is based in large part in the fact that verifiable information about god(s) is "unobtanium". I realize that some people frame it a little differently and simply see atheism as complete certainty and agnosticism as some varying degree of certainty about the non-existence of a personal god. At some point however there is no practical difference between the two. If I think there's a 99% chance there is no god then how different is that really in practice from a 100% chance? A 1% possibility of god is not going to be any motivation to order my life in any significant way against that minute probability.

 

Finally I'd say that labels are limiting only if you take them seriously / literally. They are just tools to me, not actual boundaries and not static. And as far as other people go, they're going to label me anyway whether I like it or not, so I will have to engage them in terms of their understanding of their labels [shrug].

 

I guess I understand your concern however ... if considering my worldview as atheistic meant that I limited myself to atheist organizations, causes, books, etc and adopted it as some kind of final, "correct" view of reality, that could be a problem for me. I don't, however. I am interested in all credible data that presents itself, even data that I am uncomfortable with.

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Can't you know you don't believe or can't accept what you used to believe without necessarily knowing what you believe instead? To make a statement "I am an atheist", that is a positive assertion "I believe no god(s) exist". You have made a belief choice at that point.

 

I disagree with your definition of "atheist". For me, an atheist simply has no god-belief and does not assert anything, positive or negative.

 

I'm surprised AM made this statement. Surely you understand that Ro's definition is pretty much the mainstream definition around here AM?

I think what I was speaking to is the context of making a declaration of change of belief; I was a Christian, now I am an Atheist. The problem is that in today's culture the word atheist is not the 'easy definition' that Ro-bear uses, or that I myself used to say exactly the same thing. Atheist when people hear that word is big "A", Atheist. It doesn't simply mean I don't believe in external gods, no matter what belief or religion, it is the militant face that proclaims a positive Atheist belief, that all religion, all beliefs in god(s) are bad and should be gotten rid of. That is in fact not just simply a lack of belief, or a disagreement with the belief, but a fully positive position. "No-God" is the 'true God' sort of deal.

 

I dropped the atheist term because, besides it being in fact limited to beliefs in external gods as the definition of God, but because in fact it is a charged word because of the militancy of the neo-Atheists which I frankly never was anything close to in my position. Atheism to me was a little "a" atheism, and that being in the context of not accepting the external, mythic-God views. That was valid in that context, but I see more than that now and the term was self-limiting - as I talked to Bob tonight with that whole limiting power of labeling yourself this or that.

 

As far you as believing that the atheist views that Ro-bear expressed (that lower case "a" atheist), being the mainstream around here, maybe it has become that and folks like you are now dominating. That would be nice. I'm so sick of this "woo-woo" name calling crap. It's so "religious", upper-case A Atheist, my beliefs are the True Beliefs™, flip-side of Christian fundamentalism.

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I'm so sick of this "woo-woo" name calling crap. It's so "religious", upper-case A Atheist, my beliefs are the True Beliefs™, flip-side of Christian fundamentalism.

I'm with you on the militant Atheism thing. It's always seemed less than credible to me. I have trouble with people like Dawkins who seem to take pleasure in ridiculing the beliefs of others, yet can't see how that's every bit as impertinent and disrespectful as the religiosity they decry. If you want to demonstrate that a thought-system is superior it seems like you would take the high road and show some contrast. Some otherwise smart people seem to actually think that the way to get religious people to quit being assholes is to act like an asshole. I've never gotten that.

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Hey Blackpuddin

 

I recall you saying that you were hoping to preserve some sort of relationship with your sister who is still trapped in Fundyland?

 

Probably easier and beet on Facebook to just state your opinion on various political and moral posts as they appear rather than make a specific statement. Once you label yourself, you allow the fundies to attach their own meanings and beliefs to whatever label you have chosen, rather than hearing your opinions on various issues.

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Hey Blackpuddin

 

I recall you saying that you were hoping to preserve some sort of relationship with your sister who is still trapped in Fundyland?

 

Probably easier and beet on Facebook to just state your opinion on various political and moral posts as they appear rather than make a specific statement. Once you label yourself, you allow the fundies to attach their own meanings and beliefs to whatever label you have chosen, rather than hearing your opinions on various issues.

 

I have a problem with this idea, simply because it is not quite honest. It tip-toes around the issue. And I am a very honest person- I hate lying unless it is for a damn good reason, or it is for a surprise. And that is the person my friends and family know. They always know where they stand with me- for me to start beating around the bush would only be weird. Also, I have enough faith in my sister and our relationship to believe that we will weather this storm. My sister and I have always been polar opposites and hold many different views. But only the two of us know what we went through as kids. And while I am the younger of the two of us, I have always lead and she has always followed, and without my honesty that would not be possible. My decision to cut our mother out of my life gave her the courage to do so, too. My honesty about my life makes her feel safe to talk about her own personal stuff, that she could never raise with anyone else because it would not be becoming of a christian. So you see, I must be honest. I must be open. There may be a storm to weather. But my honesty may be her only chance at freedom. She needs to know that she can talk to me about her doubts. And for some reason, my actions give her the freedom to think a bit.

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I just wanted to add, that I was glad today that I sorted out where I stand. They may be labels, but they concisely describe where I am at, in a way I can expand upon. I say this because I met a woman today, who is a pagan. I wear a pentagram around my neck which has a lot of personal and symbolic meaning to me. This very intuitive lady picked up that I was not a pagan per se, and asked me straight out why I wear a pentagram if I don't follow the belief system. I simply told her that I considered myself an atheist with a soft spot for paganism, and she was satisfied with that response. As a symbol that holds a lot of meaning to her, she seemed to think at first that I was merely wearing it for the hell of it, and was quite upset by that. Understanding that I know what it represents, and explaining further its personal meaning to me as well, she had no problem with my wearing the pentagram, and no longer felt I was being disrespectful to her belief system.

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To add a couple thoughts to this about labels, as much as I don't think people should ultimately define themselves via group-identities, but as part of a process of self-discovery it can be a useful tool. I identified as atheist myself for quite a few years as it was closer to my views at the time in relation to the mythic-literal understanding of God that was part and parcel with most of Christian thought. That was my focus at the time. Breaking free from Christianity it allowed me to lay claim to rationality over mythic-literal thought. So for the time, it in fact was a positive label. But just like being a Christian had its inherent limits as you try to self-identify under that group-identity, so too the whole rationalist-materialist and other themes that are common with the self-identification of atheist created boundaries that limited.

 

I sometimes joke in trying to label myself, I am a post-Christian, post-Atheist. I said that very thing to the head of the our State's Atheists association whom I know, and he instantly walked away from our conversation at the moment. He was done talking with me. I apparently had nothing further to say he would be interested in hearing. What does this say? Apparently I don't have the Truth? Wendyshrug.gif

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To add a couple thoughts to this about labels, as much as I don't think people should ultimately define themselves via group-identities, but as part of a process of self-discovery it can be a useful tool. I identified as atheist myself for quite a few years as it was closer to my views at the time in relation to the mythic-literal understanding of God that was part and parcel with most of Christian thought. That was my focus at the time. Breaking free from Christianity it allowed me to lay claim to rationality over mythic-literal thought. So for the time, it in fact was a positive label. But just like being a Christian had its inherent limits as you try to self-identify under that group-identity, so too the whole rationalist-materialist and other themes that are common with the self-identification of atheist created boundaries that limited.

 

I sometimes joke in trying to label myself, I am a post-Christian, post-Atheist. I said that very thing to the head of the our State's Atheists association whom I know, and he instantly walked away from our conversation at the moment. He was done talking with me. I apparently had nothing further to say he would be interested in hearing. What does this say? Apparently I don't have the Truth? Wendyshrug.gif

 

I don't believe that I will ever be able to call myself a bona fide atheist. To do so I feel would be disrespectful to the valuable lessons and world view that I have learned from paganism. Pagan thought did play a role in my deconversion, and opened my eyes to other points of view. From my understanding, the point you are trying to make is that atheism can be just as extreme as fundamentalist christianity. As a former fundamental, I am aware that old habits die hard, and that quite possibly I am still prone to extremism, should I put my lot in with another belief system or even atheism itself. So I opt to be an anomaly and sit on the fence, and for now these two labels describe me best, but I am open to change. Like I said before, to me an atheism simply states, "I am not convinced". And I'm not convinced, by anything, at this point in time. But I like pagan principles. And so, I may sit on the fence for the rest of my life, if I feel like it. I feel it allows me greater objectivity, and I don't care if it annoys people. After so many years in christianity, I'm not quite willing to give up my independence just yet. Due to pagan worldview, pagans will probably understand where I am coming from better than atheists; but I don't really care too much either way. Independence of thought is my main priority :)

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From my understanding, the point you are trying to make is that atheism can be just as extreme as fundamentalist christianity. As a former fundamental, I am aware that old habits die hard, and that quite possibly I am still prone to extremism, should I put my lot in with another belief system or even atheism itself.

This is a tremendously valuable insight. To me deconverting isn't simply switching ones belief systems, but an entire shift of ones vantage point altogether. You don't just change what you believe in, you change how you approach what you believe in. There can equally be literalists in Paganism as well, fundamentalists if you will. Things must be thus and so for them to be valid practices. The gods are really real, and all the like.

 

I like to relay a story of a good friend of mine (somewhat at his expense here). He and I were graduates of Bible College together in the same class. We hadn't seen each other in years following graduation. We ran into each other by pure chance one day and have been friends since. Both he and I went the same path of deconverting. We went out to lunch together and started talking and he exclaimed, "I'm so glad I have the truth now!" I chuckled at him and said, "I remember you saying that exact same thing when we were zealous young Bible students together." He responded in earnest, "Yeah, but the difference is now I really DO have the truth!"

 

It's the same mindset. It's not changing how you see truth, but simply what you call truth. For me the term I like, and perhaps you may like it as well, is integral aperspectival. That means that you do not hold to any one point of view as absolute truth or *reality*, but instead glean from multiple perspectives in an integral way into your life, expanding your understandings and appreciations for how we see and interact with the world, making them part of the richness of your own experiences. That, is deconverting from the cause of fundamentalism: black and white thinking.

 

Independence of thought is my main priority smile.png

Amen.

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What does this say? Apparently I don't have the Truth? Wendyshrug.gif

 

Maybe it says he did not consider you a promising prospect for his organization. Maybe he is looking for someone who is willing to self-identify as an atheist and commit himself to the goals of the organization.

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I have a problem with this idea, simply because it is not quite honest. It tip-toes around the issue.

Does it? It's a fine line, I suppose. I admit that part of the fundy mindset is to buy into the fiction that the Christian life is wonderful by making nice with friends and family members, having a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" policy in discussing doubts, fears, negative emotions, or anything that goes counter to the gospel according to happy-clappy songs like "Life is a victory, since the Man of Calvary, turned my discord into song, now I'm singing all day long ...".

 

Combine this with the fact that I am a pleaser type anyway, and I'll confess, it's hard for me -- or at least, unnatural and grating -- to offend other's sensibilities.

 

That said, aren't other people entitled to their illusions until they're ready to let go of them? And aren't you entitled to pick your battles? Is it your mission in life to save your sister or anyone else? Ultimately they can only save themselves. I guess what I'm saying is, to the extent I may be carrying fundie conflict aversion forward into my post-Christian existence, you may also be carrying a fundie Jesus complex forward into your post-Christian experience. Likely, the truth -- or at least the balance -- is somewhere in the middle. We grouse a lot here about fundies having the impertinence to think we need saving -- if so, do we have the right to think THEY need saving?

 

These questions are entirely rhetorical and do not presuppose what you ought to do. You're clearly an uncommonly intelligent and thoughtful and caring person and you know your sister far better than anyone else. I'm just playing devil's advocate a bit ;-)

 

--Bob

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