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FreeAtLast

Finally Free

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Welcome!  I understand the feeling of drawing away from people who have a simpler outlook with all the answers. Sounds like you are doing well and good luck on the journey!

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Yes, welcome.  Pull up a chair, participate in conversations and enjoy your growth.

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Welcome!  I understand the feeling of drawing away from people who have a simpler outlook with all the answers. Sounds like you are doing well and good luck on the journey!

 

Thanks! I hope I can find out the truth. With this step I feel one step closer.

 

 

Yes, welcome.  Pull up a chair, participate in conversations and enjoy your growth.

 

Thanks! *pulls up chair*

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Without meaning to pry (but quite possibly succeeding), are you still living with your parents or do you otherwise rely on them for financial support?  If yes, do you think it is more likely than not that they will threaten/limit/terminate your living/financial security if you completely disclose your rejection of their religious beliefs?

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Without meaning to pry (but quite possibly succeeding), are you still living with your parents or do you otherwise rely on them for financial support?  If yes, do you think it is more likely than not that they will threaten/limit/terminate your living/financial security if you completely disclose your rejection of their religious beliefs?

Yes I am still living with them, but its very unlikely that they will kick me out. I have fully disclosed my views on what they believe, and although they do not like it they have over time come to accept it. They're good people, just misguided. 

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Welcome to ex-c FAl! So glad you found us and thank you so much for sharing. I could relate to si much. Looking forward to hearing more from you .

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Yes I am still living with them, but its very unlikely that they will kick me out. I have fully disclosed my views on what they believe, and although they do not like it they have over time come to accept it. They're good people, just misguided. 

 

That's a good environment.

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Welcome to ex-c FAl! So glad you found us and thank you so much for sharing. I could relate to si much. Looking forward to hearing more from you .

Thanks! I am glad to have such a warm welcome. :) 

 

 

That's a good environment.

I guess, compared to what I have heard from others.

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It is good to have you aboard. I like your statement, "I do not believe in a god [as traditionally defined], but I acknowledge the remote possibility of his existence" -- that pretty much describes how I feel about the subject.

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It is good to have you aboard. I like your statement, "I do not believe in a god [as traditionally defined], but I acknowledge the remote possibility of his existence" -- that pretty much describes how I feel about the subject.

 

That would describe how the vast majority of us here at ex-C feel, I think, and as FreeAtLast said, it describes agnostic atheism. 

Welcome, FreeAtLast!  I hope you become a regular visitor and contributor. You've clearly figured things out in a logical and coherent manner, which will make you a valuable ex-Christian, equipped to help others going through the deconversion process.  Glad to have you!

 

TABA

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Life was a lot simpler before. I was a Christian, who hung out with my Christian friends. I was always religiously supported by my parents (one of whom is Christian, the other goes along with it.) I lived in a Christian community (Young Earth and fundamentalist). All of my friends were Christians whose parents believed as I did. I was taught this by clever Christian teachers at my Christian school, who seemed so adept in the purest forms of sophistry that it seemed they could answer almost all my questions.

 

Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains. Only now do I realize the true gravity of that statement.

 

I had no reason to doubt. Life was hard, but I only allowed that to convince me that God was testing me, and that he was going to “bring me through the storm.” That in the end it would all be worth it, because I was going to Heaven. Me. Yes, out of all the religions ever conceived, mine was right. And by the purest accident, I just happened to be brought up in the right faith, while others were brought up on faiths that would lead them straight to hell.

 

But one day, I was reading the news and pulled up a story about a child sex trafficking ring that had been uncovered. The details were horrific, and I went to bed (I read the news before bed, I know, not the smartest thing ever…) with that on my mind. I was furious, sad, and horrified all at the same time. The one question I had was, how could God allow something like this? For children, innocent children to be subjected to sexual torture and mutilation, and eventually death? For the parents who suffered because their child never came home? The parents who cried out for god to just save their child, which seemed to me like a decent request. I never found an answer, and I doubt I ever will.

 

That instilled the first seeds of doubt in me. I began to doubt whether God was really good. So, with a reluctant heart, I began to read my Bible to look for answers.

 

Now I don’t remember exactly how I got into philosophy, but for some reason I was so intrigued that I bought a Socratic dialogue, Gorgias I believe. It was great, and I recommend it to anyone interested in philosophy, if not for the topic discussed then just for the Socratic Method that Socrates employs. It’s come in handy during the many debates I’ve had.

Well, with my love of philosophy growing, I went out and bought The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. My mother, the devout Christian out of the two of my parents, would never have let me bought it if not for my father’s insistence that I be allowed to read what I choose. What I found from Thomas Paine was enlightening, it changed the course of my life forever. I still, from time to time, read a few pages of the Age of Reason, just to refresh myself.

 

After that, I threw out my Bible and all the dogma I had in my room. I replaced it with philosophy books, which I can attest have been far more beneficial to me. I became a Deist, and was hungry for more philosophy.

 

By this time, my mother began to worry about me. She set up meetings for me with different pastors in the area, and I felt intellectually outmatched. But I would not give in. I began to browse YouTube and watch atheist speakers and debaters, like Hitchens, Dawkins, Dillahunty and the rest. I read David Hume, Plato, Voltaire and other intellectual giants. I took notes from them, and went over and over again in my mind what they said and how they said it. I began to speak to my parents about it, and question them, but they would hear none of it. They would take my privileges away and attempt to censor my queries. They would also force me to go to church. In response to these things, I began to argue more and more violently, and now I regret that.

 

But a few months ago, I began to ask myself this question. Is God even necessary at all? Do I need a God to explain the universe, or is there a simpler explanation? You see, the concept of God began to raise more questions than it answered. Sure, it answered the cause for our existence, but it left me with questions like, “If God created the concept of time, does that mean he existed before time? How could he move if there was no time?” or “If God is infinite (which he must be, according to the Cosmological Argument), does that mean he exists everywhere in space, or outside of space, or outside of that?” or “what does it mean to have no beginning and no end (immortality)? How could something have no beginning at all?” Also, as David Hume pointed out, the argument from design is a poor one. If we conclude that things are designed because they are complex, then God to must be designed because his mind must also be infinitely complex. This would progress ad infinitum, so I began to question if there really was a God at all.

Plus I now realize that many of the arguments I employed were just arguments from ignorance. I would look around at all the mysteries of the universe, and appeal to a bigger mystery (god) to explain them. Only now do I realize this error.

 

Because I could not answer these questions, I became an agnostic-atheist (I do not believe in a god [as traditionally defined], but I acknowledge the remote possibility of his existence). I remain so today, and I’m glad I finally can identify as a ex-Christian. I can think for myself finally, instead of groveling before my imaginary friend for pre-prescribed morals and opinions. Good bye, grand delusions. Hello reality.

 

I got chills reading this. I haven't gotten to read all that you have yet. My parents told me I was giving weight to the "secular world that had rejected god," so I'm late in the game on amazing books and actual science.

 

Welcome to our community, I'm looking forward to your future feedback and perspective!

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It is good to have you aboard. I like your statement, "I do not believe in a god [as traditionally defined], but I acknowledge the remote possibility of his existence" -- that pretty much describes how I feel about the subject.

 

Glad to be here!

It appears to me the most probable and reasonable position to hold. 

How long have you been an ex-christian?

 

 

I got chills reading this. I haven't gotten to read all that you have yet. My parents told me I was giving weight to the "secular world that had rejected god," so I'm late in the game on amazing books and actual science.

 

Welcome to our community, I'm looking forward to your future feedback and perspective!

Thanks for the welcome!

If your open to recommendations (and assuming you have some free time), I definitely recommend David Hume, Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Paine (Age of Reason) and of course any Socratic Dialogue. Well worth your time (totally changed the way I saw the world.)

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Glad to be here!

It appears to me the most probable and reasonable position to hold. 

How long have you been an ex-christian?

Thanks for the welcome!

If your open to recommendations (and assuming you have some free time), I definitely recommend David Hume, Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Paine (Age of Reason) and of course any Socratic Dialogue. Well worth your time (totally changed the way I saw the world.)

 

Lol, for someone with limited time and a long "to-read" list, did you rank this by favorite?

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Glad to be here!

It appears to me the most probable and reasonable position to hold. 

How long have you been an ex-christian?

 

Well, I always had my doubts, even as a child. (I was born in 1960.)  So I was never a "true believer".  But I didn't stop going to church until 2013. I enjoyed singing the hymns, and the church people that I occasionally palled around with were actually pretty nice. Only a few people knew that I had problems with the whole "fundamentalist point-of-view" and Christianity / religion in general. It was good to make a complete break from the whole goldang'd thing, though.

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Lol, for someone with limited time and a long "to-read" list, did you rank this by favorite?

Yes lol sorry for the long list

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Well, I always had my doubts, even as a child. (I was born in 1960.)  So I was never a "true believer".  But I didn't stop going to church until 2013. I enjoyed singing the hymns, and the church people that I occasionally palled around with were actually pretty nice. Only a few people knew that I had problems with the whole "fundamentalist point-of-view" and Christianity / religion in general. It was good to make a complete break from the whole goldang'd thing, though.

I can understand that. I also had my doubts as a child, but at that young age threats of hellfire kept me quiet and submissive. I can also understand liking the hymns people sing, and and having some good church freinds. I enjoyed the songs too, even was in my churches youth band for a brief stunt. I also did (and still do) have great church friends. Its hard to break from all of that, but it feels good.

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Good to see you like real football.

 

Do you think the more liberal parent helped you break free? You say they allowed you to read what you want but both were upset at you declaring yourself a non believer. However they accept you now. 

 

 

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Good to see you like real football.

haha whos your team?

 

Do you think the more liberal parent helped you break free? You say they allowed you to read what you want but both were upset at you declaring yourself a non believer. However they accept you now. 

Absolutely - being allowed to read different books to engage my mind and challenge my beliefs definitely helped me break free.

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Greetings, FreeAtLast, and welcome to the community.

 

I'm out of likes for now, but I'll try to remember to come back and give you one when I can.

 

It's great that you've been able to see through it at a young age. My eyes didn't begin to open until I was 29.

 

Anyway, good luck as you move forward in life. Enjoy the journey ahead of you.

 

 

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It's great that you've been able to see through it at a young age. My eyes didn't begin to open until I was 29.

 

Haha, I guess 'young' is relative. I was 50 myself, kiddo.  Talk about a slow learner...

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Haha, I guess 'young' is relative. I was 50 myself, kiddo.  Talk about a slow learner...

 

Haha, very true. I'm guessing he's younger than I was, though, since he lives with his parents. I just wish I had figured this stuff out before I had structured my whole life around Christianity, entered the wrong field and started a family, but it could've been worse.

 

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