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AtheistSailorDude

Opening My Eyes For The First Time

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I recently saw my whole world shatter before my eyes, but behind the clouds and remnants of what I thought I knew, I glimpsed reality.

 

I had grown up in a Christian family. We regularly went to church until we moved to Rigby Idaho, then the regularity slowly deteriorated into a sort of non-commital relationship. I didn't go to church for about two years. After some time, I felt lost, like my life held no meaning. Being a naive 15 year old, but with a good heart, I turned to my church again. For the next three years I was that on again off again church goer typical of the judeo Christian faith. I thought I finally had a grasp on the real world. My faith was my guide that influenced my decissions, and I felt almost positive that this was the way it was supposed to be. Almost.

 

There had always been that nagging doubt in my head that questioned everything I was being told by the church. I wanted it all to make sense, but it didn't. Since my parents had given up the church life, I was never indoctrinated by someone who wanted me to think like them. So I was essentially a free thinker, but a very inexperienced one. As I grew older and took more college level courses throughout highschool, I gained a better understanding of the world, and with that, a more logical and rational thought process. I graduated highschool and went on for months with my blind faith in Christ, desperately wanting to believe it was all true. I held on to my faith, but I could feel it slowly but surely slipping away. I had so many questions. Why did god claim to love us, but condemn us to eternal suffering for simply being skeptical about his plan? And do I even need to mention the fact that I was supposed to believe in talking snakes, Jews walking on water, that man was made from dirt and women were made from a man's rib, and that Jesus rose from the dead? The list goes on and on. The longer I went on believing this, the more I ignored the voice in my head that says this all contradicts science. But science was backed by evidence, proven through relentless testing. My faith was backed by hand me down stories told by ancient uneducated religious fanatics.

 

It was such a sudden realization, an epiphany that hit me like a ton of bricks; I've been lying to myself. I wanted to believe in Christ and God, but I couldn't anymore. I finally admitted that it wasn't true, and it felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I could breathe again! I wasn't constantly in fear of an eternity of misery in hell. I didn't have to constantly repent and ask for forgiveness for simply being human! It was at that moment of sudden realization that I opened my eyes for the first time. God didn't exist, he was just some made up explanation for things that science had not yet discovered. Made up by early humans who had no grasp on evolution, or such subjects as quantum mechanics, or the derivation and integration of calculus. I'm sure that God was a very reasonable answer for natural phenomena back in the stone age. But we as modern day humans are almost infinitely more intelligent than those prehistoric God creators.

 

I can now give myself credit for my achievements, not some self righteous God. I got myself to where I am today, without the help of religion. And it feels so good to finally say that. I'm glad that I've come to this realization at such an early point in my life. I'm a new person because of it.

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I apologize for posting this four times, I blame my terrible internet connection! It would be greatly appreciated if someone could enlighten me on how to delete my extra posts.

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Welcome! Once you get to 25(I think) posts you have editing privileges, although the moderators may be able to delete them for you. I can totally relate to having your eyes opened to the falseness of christianity in a single moment. I can almost pinpoint my deconversion to the hour (18 months ago now). Studying the bible and christian history, along with evolution and science did it to me. It is very unsettling at first, and also exciting (well it was for me) as the world is more amazing than you thought it to be. And the end times are not neigh, that is always a positive ;)

 

You seem to be taking it well. It can be a shock to many. I wish you all the best with your journey.  

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Welcome!

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Our dark lord is pleased with your turning to the "dark" side *creepy laugh*

 

Welcome to reality, take a deep breath and enjoy the remaining 7 years of your life.

 

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From one sailor to another, now you are truly free to navigate your life to wherever you find the favorable winds! Welcome.

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Indoctrination is an amazingly effective and relatively simple way of controlling people and it’s scary how easy it is to indoctrinate people….even highly educated people.  Once a person relinquishes control of their mind to another human being they essentially become their puppet. Religion could not survive if it were not for indoctrination.

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Welcome ASD!  We do seem to be the questioners and thinkers of the world!  It amazes me endlessly when I hear the non-questioners repeat inanities like "It's all in god's hands" or "Everything is in god's time" or "god is always there for all of us."  Those things mean nothing and prove nothing.  I am still saddened over the post a friend of mine on Facebook posted about her mid-20's cousin's recent death, a young lady with small children at home, and my friend posted, "I am sad at her death, but she is in a better place now."  I have no idea what the cause of death was, but I am very very very confident that she is NOT in a better place now.  The only place a young mother with small children should be is with her children, indeed, that is the better place for her.  But "she's in a better place now" is what xians are supposed to say when someone dies, so that's what my friend posted.  I'm confident that the bulk of xians don't actually think about what they are hearing or saying beyond "if we believe the bible we all go to heaven; if we don't believe we go to hell."  If the choice was that simple, and true, and the bible was concise and factual and logical, that would make perfect sense.  But to us thinkers and questioners, the choice is not that simple because heaven and hell are not clearly defined or even proven as real in the bible, and the bible is certainly NOT concise, factual or logical.

 

Questioning and thinking are most definitely not supported by church leaders, and for the bulk of the believers, that's fine as they are not thinking anyway.  But it really does leave us questioners and thinkers out in the cold, doesn't it?  They threaten us with hell if we question and don't trust god with no good answers or proof.  Then one day we realize there is no proof of hell at all, and next to no actual mentions of it in the bible, and no agreement on hell's parameters in the bible, and it's like, "Oh!  This is all made up!"  At that point I was "Done and done!" with religion.  In my opinion, the church leaders want to to stay in church out of fear of hell, to not question, so that they can keep collecting their tithes and offerings.  It's a business for them and they are selling us a solution to a problem that they made up, at a great profit for themselves.

 

For those of us who do question and think, it's just the way we are, and we can't stop it like the church leaders (and sometimes family members) would like.  We do throw a monkey wrench in their business, don't we?

 

It's very pleasant being out of the church and their ridiculous pretezel-logic that discourages questions and fears thinking!

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Thanks for the tip Wanderinstar! I guess I better get postin' eh? :)

 

Geezer: I agree with you that indoctrination is an incredibly powerful method of influencing ones entire life in general. I've had the misfortune of arguing with my Mormon friends, probably the most indoctrinated of all religions, about the existence of god. They refute my claims with imbecilic statements to the effect of "it all comes down to blind faith in something that's never been proven". There is simply no winning with them. They don't have the capacity to use their reasoning over their faith.

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^Arguing with hardcore believers is pointless, since they won't listen anyways. Indoctrination and gullibility are a really bad combination, and you're right, you can't win with them. I don't think they're even capable of listening, since their capacity for rational thinking and reasoning is basically gone. That's probably why they're so vapid half the time.

 

I desperately wanted to believe it was all true. I wanted to believe. There were people at the last church I visited who seemed so sure of themselves, so strong in their faith, they seemed to have it all. I didn't just admire them, I wished I could be like them. Months went by, some shit went down, and my illusion of them was completely shattered, along with what was left of my own faith. It was a very painful realization to come to, and it tore me up inside.

 

The good news is from here on out, you get to live your life by your standards instead of by a bunch of age-old folk tales. You get to define spirituality for yourself if that's an avenue you wish to continue with. If not, then that's perfectly acceptable too. Religion isn't the be-all, end-all. You can heal from this. It'll take some time, but it's doable. :)

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Welcome to Ex-C!  I'm glad you were able to get yourself somewhere good and don't have to credit religion with it!  Thankfully!  Some of us here, myself included, got ourselves where we didn't want to be and can't totally credit religion for it but it did definitely shape some decisions. Glad you are here and glad your parents weren't too forceful with the whole church thing.  I remember early in college, I met a girl who was upset her parents stopped attending church after she turned 18, like just flat out didn't feel like going anymore. It used to upset her so much and I used to feel bad for her but now, I think, she really missed out on an opportunity.  And maybe her parents just never took it that seriously anyway.  I don't know, people are weird. 

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"Indoctrination is an amazingly effective and relatively simple way of controlling people and it’s scary how easy it is to indoctrinate people….even highly educated people. Once a person relinquishes

control f their mind to another human being they essentially become their puppet. Religion could not survive if it were not for indoctrination." Geezer

 

Absolutely true, although it sees incredible that we (people) are so vulnerable. In the younger years

it's easy to understand because children think adults know a lot more about religion than they do.

Particularly preachers and such.That is the surprise, that preachers don't know anymore than anybody

else about whether there is a god and if so what is his/her/it's nature.

 

But it is not only children who are vulnerable. Sophisticated adults can be fooled also. Such is the

power of fear and guilt. bill

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You're right, Bill. It isn't just kids and the barely literate that can be duped, the more educated aren't immune either. It's all about vulnerability (with pre-existing fear and guilt thrown in), and the snake oil hucksters knowing where to find their targets.

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I desperately wanted to believe it was all true. I wanted to believe. There were people at the last church I visited who seemed so sure of themselves, so strong in their faith, they seemed to have it all. I didn't just admire them, I wished I could be like them. Months went by, some shit went down, and my illusion of them was completely shattered, along with what was left of my own faith. It was a very painful realization to come to, and it tore me up inside.

 

This was my exact experience too. Eerie similarities. "Some shit went down." That's putting it mildly.

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So glad you are here, ASD. I have discovered that not attending church is one of the most certain methods of someone realizing how absurd it is. Without the weekly indoctrination, Christianity loses all its luster.

 

The fact that people can't go seven days without the need to be re-convinced or reassured says an awful lot about the Christian faith. 

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I apologize for posting this four times, I blame my terrible internet connection! It would be greatly appreciated if someone could enlighten me on how to delete my extra posts.

 

The lord knew that what you had to say was very important and that people needed to hear it, so he reached down his mighty hand and touched your internet connection and caused it to go all fuckity.  Don't apologize; we are witnessing a genuine miracle!  Now, if you'll excuse me, I just came across a potato chip that looks exactly like the virgin mary and I have to get it posted on ebay before it starts to go stale.

 

Sarcasm aside, I extend my sincere welcome to you.  You are among friends here.

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This was my exact experience too. Eerie similarities. "Some shit went down." That's putting it mildly.

 

 

Eerie is right. More than that, it pisses me off knowing behavior like this is standard-issue for churchies when push comes to shove. Anyways, ASD, you deserve a life free of cognitive dissonance. Your achievements are your own. Your abilties are your own, not some "god-given talent," no matter what some churchie has to say about it. I hate that phrase to no end, btw.

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Thank you Milesaway, It's really encouraging to hear that from others, and not just myself.

 

And thank you all for welcoming me to the Atheist/Agnostic community! I take comfort in the fact that there are hundreds of other people in my shoes, experiencing my same dilemmas.

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I always say "welcome aboard" to new members, but since you're a sailor, it seems especially appropriate. (Works for railfans, too!)

 

Anyway, congrats on figuring it out while you're still young. That, and not having to worry about what your parents think is really a plus for your life!

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Welcome to Ex-C! I pray that the Spook of Kryasst who is also somehow magically Him will magically bless you! Congrats on finding your way out of religion at a young age. Enjoy your time here. You are among friends. Glory! :)

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Welcome, sailor dude! I hope that by now you have poked around some of the other threads and your mind is just swimming with new ideas and perspectives. Remember that no question is too silly here, and no emotion or dilemma is too strange for us. We'll listen and help if we can. Ask, spill, or just read to your heart's content. Glad to have you along!

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Welcome :) I'm new too :)

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Welcome to you too Austere! From a fellow West Australian. smile.png

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I remember the feeling of finally saying that I was deconverted. Welcome and congrats! I hope you find your new journey to be fruitful and free!

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What a wonderful story. And welcome :3

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