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So I'll spare you all my usual intro and cut to the chase: For the past six months, my entire life feels like a movie that should be called "Cognitive Dissonance: The Musical" or something....I sing a lot. I feel exactly how I did when I was first deconverting without the terror of hell, where I was having to sift through opinions I'd made based on god versus my OWN opinions and it hasn't really gone away. Because I'm a philosopher type, already prone to indecision, and I tend to be (at least try) fairly objective.This has led to some really fucking frustrating mental chatter! Allow me to elucidate: It has really hit me the past few months just how sure everyone is of their own view point. I was personally VERY confident, amidst my doubts, when I was a Christian that I had it right. My beliefs, assumptions, etc.....man was I just so right and boo on everyone else for not getting there yet. Now that I'm a year and a half further in my journey of deconverting....I have that same confidence sometimes, albeit tenuously less than I did originally. But I am ALSO aware of just how unsure I am all the time. I simultaneously don't give a fuck about anyone and give a fuck about all people. I simultaneously try to step forward with strong opinions and....feel very insecure in my own ability to even fucking think at all. Even when I was 5 I would wonder why the sky was blue and not another color or ask "why" a million times, but the past 6 months have been a "you think you know shit but you don't" kick in the 'nads. Is there a way to just not care about settling on any sort of opinion? If so, is a succinct way to communicate this to people? Is there a way to just....not give a fuck about issues? I'd love to not give a shit about politics or the meaning of life or what we as a society should or shouldn't do....I WANT to be the kind of person who loves to learn as opposed to "decide on an opinion," but I love the idea of persuasion and I don't know why. Not sure that I even want to persuade.  If I sound crazy, it's because I feel this way.

 

I'm not asking for advice on what to do, per se, I was just wondering if others have gone through this as they deconvert? I love to just think, I will spend hours wrestling with any given issue just for funzies. I question myself, others, motive, sources, "evidence," etc, I get frustrated at making up my mind because I can see objectively what at least one counter argument could be. I love the challenge, but it's also relatively meaningless since I acknowledge there isn't really a "right and wrong answer" So....does anyone else feel this way or am I nuts? Do you ever come to terms with longing to have an opinion and never settling on one? Find peace? *sigh*

 

If uncertainty is a sign of intelligence, I'm a goddamn genius. If it's a sign of insanity, I'm a fucking nuts lol.

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Hey Ag

 

I'm pretty much the same. I think people who keep discussing politic are nuts... and since I keep discussing politics, well... nuts!

 

I sometimes wonder if I take the opposite side of an argument just to have a big discussion about it. Talking with people who agree with me on everything I find boring.

 

However it probably is just a phase of de-conversion. You and I are at fairly similar stages, and we can't expect to come out of years of religious life without any struggling in just a few months, or even a year or two. The one thing I find is the more I learn and know the more I realise I know nothing (To quote from GoT).

 

I actually have 'arguments' with people inside my head about issues... no I'm not crazy... I think its just the way I process through difficult issues. For example reading the abortion thread, with my fundie family deadest against any abortion I was having a right old argument with them in my head going over the various issues. So don't panic.... either we are both sane.... or "fucking nuts" Either way we're in good company :D 

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Youve had a rough go of things recently I recall. 

I think you are ok and this is possibly a mix if stress, maturing, decinverting, etc., etc. 

 

I say this because I struggle with some of these things when life has been tough gor a stretch of time. 

 

Youre smart and tough. Just hang in there and dont stress too much?

 

*hugs*

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@ag_NO_stic

 

I'm indecisive and in deep (not too deep because I lack the capability) thought all the time too. I'm hoping that's a sign of our ability to grasp the concept that we could frequently formulate a more accurate or appropriate opinion. Always looking for more information and processing said information is a GOOD thing! "I know I said that yesterday but, since then, I have found compelling information to the contrary."

 

Mrs. MOHO,  by contrast, formulates very strong opinions and does not waver. This is because she views opinion changes as a sign of weakness. "I will drive the car off of that cliff because I have made up my mind that this is the direction I should go!"

 

Those are stark contrasts and, in the second example perhaps a little embellished, but you drift my get. Now which would you prefer to be?

 

As far as your question if others experienced this as part of the deconversion process (is that what you meant?) I've always been the type to think and get more info but, yes, the pondering has increase 3 fold since  I began to question xanity. 

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5 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

However it probably is just a phase of de-conversion. You and I are at fairly similar stages, and we can't expect to come out of years of religious life without any struggling in just a few months, or even a year or two. The one thing I find is the more I learn and know the more I realise I know nothing (To quote from GoT).

 

What phase of deconversion is that again? Are you two only a couple years out of christianity? I ask because you both seem to have been out longer than that. You both have quite a broad range of knowledge outside of christianity. This is sort of a wake up call as to how f-ing fast people can go through stages of deconversion these days with the advantage of the internet and websites like this one. 

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1 hour ago, Joshpantera said:

 

What phase of deconversion is that again? Are you two only a couple years out of christianity? I ask because you both seem to have been out longer than that. You both have quite a broad range of knowledge outside of christianity. This is sort of a wake up call as to how f-ing fast people can go through stages of deconversion these days with the advantage of the internet and websites like this one. 

 

I'm closer to a year and a half....crazy how far I've come too.

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5 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

I'm closer to a year and a half....crazy how far I've come too.

 

Crazy, you're weighing in against people who've been out of their churches for much longer than you, and taking some of those people to task in the process. You seem to be doing really good from my view. I guess it just boils down to having the ability to learn and digest info rapidly, but then having to still endure a lot of the back and forth emotional issues that tend to plague a lot of people after dropping religion. Intellectually you're there. Emotionally there's more to it. But in any case, your mind is very sharp. Don't think I haven't noticed or that I'm not impressed by it. 

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1 hour ago, Joshpantera said:

 

What phase of deconversion is that again? Are you two only a couple years out of christianity? I ask because you both seem to have been out longer than that. You both have quite a broad range of knowledge outside of christianity. This is sort of a wake up call as to how f-ing fast people can go through stages of deconversion these days with the advantage of the internet and websites like this one. 

 

My 'anniversary' of the very moment I stopped believing in God and didn't consider myself a Christian was May 2016... I joined this site around September 2016 by which time I had gone through most arguments and evidence for God and found them wanting. Further conversations and reading here simply consolidated that process.

 

"Phase" loosely speaking, but I think its one where you've de-converted but still doing a lot of thinking and research surrounding the subject and discussing with Christians.

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@ag_NO_stic Sounds like you're becoming sane to me. A friend of mine said "If you not sure you're sane that's reason to believe that you are sane."

 

The world is a really uncertain place and I think part of the deconversion process is learning to cope with that, instead of lying to yourself of holding on to mythologies you barely understand. And about struggling to care/not-care I totally understand. I think in the long run you should absolutely care... but it helps to resolve in detail what's worth caring about. I think I'm trying to care less about correcting people who are wrong, and am trying to care more about engaging in conversations where I can actually make a difference. 

 

I think I've gone through what you're describing, and in some way still do. Keep on Trucking!

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You have all the tools one needs to get through the process. I have faith in you. 😈

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15 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Do you ever come to terms with longing to have an opinion and never settling on one? Find peace? *sigh* 

 

Sure, but it's not permanent. At times I'm fairly apathetic about holding several contradictory opinions about something. At other times I may be driven to resolve some of the conflicts.

 

Life is mostly grey and fuzzy anyway. To be certain about something complex is to dismiss valid concerns. To gain useful understanding about something is a matter of weighing different points of view.

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The cliché, "the more you learn, the less you know," or, "the more you know, the more you know you don't know," to quote Aristotle, tends to resonate with people who value learning. It's application is not limited to sacred beliefs.

 

This passage from “Ainsi Soit-Il, Ou Les Jeux Sont Faits” by André Gide comes to mind:
"I resist giving advice; and in a discussion I beat a hasty retreat. But I know that today many seek their way gropingly and don’t know in whom to trust. To them I say: believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it; doubt everything, but don’t doubt of yourself. There is more light in Christ’s words than in any other human word. This is not enough, it seems, to be a Christian: in addition, one must believe. Well, I do not believe. Having said this, I am your brother."

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I can certainly relate to this. As you know,  I've had some of my own struggles over the last little bit. It does get easier with time, but it also gets harder. Mostly, I think,  it just gets different. 

 

There's not much I'm sure about anymore,  but there are a lot of things that I care about. My mind is usually a quagmire. I might give the illusion of clarity,  but usually it's safe to assume that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. Sometimes I defend opinions that aren't mine just to see if I can. 

 

I don't know if uncertainty is a sign of anything other than uncertainty,  but I've got it in spades. 

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16 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Hey Ag

I'm pretty much the same. I think people who keep discussing politic are nuts... and since I keep discussing politics, well... nuts!

 

It just feels dumb to me because most of time it has nothing to do with god anymore. It's the constant struggle to find peace/truth in a sea of opinions when I just.....can't. Ever. *sigh*

 

16 hours ago, Jeff said:

*hugs*

 

It DEFINITELY feels like maturity, just so very exhausting. Thanks for the encouragement. ❤️ *hugs*

 

15 hours ago, MOHO said:

As far as your question if others experienced this as part of the deconversion process (is that what you meant?) I've always been the type to think and get more info but, yes, the pondering has increase 3 fold since  I began to question xanity. 

 

I think it might be because there was a time when I felt peace, albeit a peace mired in ignorance.....but comforting all the same. I don't miss the faith, but the "everything will okay" feeling was nice.

 

9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Crazy, you're weighing in against people who've been out of their churches for much longer than you, and taking some of those people to task in the process. You seem to be doing really good from my view. I guess it just boils down to having the ability to learn and digest info rapidly, but then having to still endure a lot of the back and forth emotional issues that tend to plague a lot of people after dropping religion. Intellectually you're there. Emotionally there's more to it. But in any case, your mind is very sharp. Don't think I haven't noticed or that I'm not impressed by it. 

 

So, you're saying in your experience that the "emotive" bit starts to die down? I don't know, Josh, you're a man. My raging estrogen might fuck me for life. :) :P Thanks for the encouragement, for real, it's nice of you.

 

2 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

@ag_NO_stic Sounds like you're becoming sane to me. A friend of mine said "If you not sure you're sane that's reason to believe that you are sane."

 

Hmmm...I might be in the grey area between sane and insane. :P 

 

2 hours ago, florduh said:

You have all the tools one needs to get through the process. I have faith in you. 😈

 

Now, Florduh, have you learned nothing on this site? Faith is unfounded, devoid of evidence, and leads to very bad things. :P

 

1 hour ago, ToHellWithMe said:

 

Sure, but it's not permanent. At times I'm fairly apathetic about holding several contradictory opinions about something. At other times I may be driven to resolve some of the conflicts.

 

Life is mostly grey and fuzzy anyway. To be certain about something complex is to dismiss valid concerns. To gain useful understanding about something is a matter of weighing different points of view.

 

Well I don't like grey and fuzzy life, now what. I still feel better that you identified with it at least a little, makes me feel less crazy. :)

 

57 minutes ago, TrueFreedom said:

The cliché, "the more you learn, the less you know," or, "the more you know, the more you know you don't know," to quote Aristotle, tends to resonate with people who value learning. It's application is not limited to sacred beliefs.

 

This really comforted me, thanks for this. Guess we decided on the fucking genius part then, huh? :D  

 

39 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

I can certainly relate to this. As you know,  I've had some of my own struggles over the last little bit. It does get easier with time, but it also gets harder. Mostly, I think,  it just gets different. 

 

There's not much I'm sure about anymore,  but there are a lot of things that I care about. My mind is usually a quagmire. I might give the illusion of clarity,  but usually it's safe to assume that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. Sometimes I defend opinions that aren't mine just to see if I can. 

 

I don't know if uncertainty is a sign of anything other than uncertainty,  but I've got it in spades. 

 

I do this too sometimes. You and I track a lot though, so guess you can join the fucking genius club. :P But....now that we're talking about it, I'm less certain. It's a grey area. x'D

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7 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Well I don't like grey and fuzzy life, now what.

 

Oh, but even if it's a truth about life it's not all of it. There may be times to gamble your life on what you determine to be the best course of action. Either because you see a chance or because you simply must. No time for second thoughts then. Only steeled resolve. Everything will seem crystal clear and you will have no patience for anyone stalling you with sophistry. You will bulldoze them and their opinions out of your way.

 

It's an incredible high. If you haven't done the necessary brainwork beforehand you may also accrue incredible losses 😂

 

So do battle your internal demons if you have the luxury.

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     Holy shit.  You (and LF) are just little toddlers.  I hadn't realized.  Aren't you both just so cute in your deconversions. :)

 

     When you get to be old and cynical teenagers then you'll stop caring since you will think you know it all like all us teens do. 😛

 

     I sort of remember how I was a couple years out.  I was still on a bit of an emotional roller coaster.  I still was big into researching all sorts of shit.  I got really angry if people tried to call me out for not me a True Christian and all that jazz.  I occasionally had some doubts but never really anything significant since I don't really think that way.  They would be more along the lines of maybe I missed something and so I'd dig deeper into research and not so much what if, in spite of what I know, it's all true?  Or something like that.  I more cared about what I knew as opposed to what I didn't so I made sure to know all I could.   I didn't want to load up on whatever anti-xian apologetics are or just turn to some "experts" since that just seemed like the same crutch from a different angle so I thought I'd take it upon myself to do some studying.

 

     If you look back at my posts (if that's possible) you'll see I started reading ancient history from as far back as possible (in English translations...my attempts at learning other languages were failures) and worked forward through time.  I read a mountain of history over years (and would take even longer now since even more is available and I occasionally browse through these new ones and re-read things). I eventually stopped around the first centuries because there was just too much to read.  I was never going to get through it all.  And remembering it?  Unfortunately, I've forgotten the vast majority.  It helped me at the time though and if you need to do something like this then I might suggest it.

 

          mwc

 

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7 hours ago, mwc said:

If you look back at my posts (if that's possible) you'll see I started reading ancient history from as far back as possible (in English translations...my attempts at learning other languages were failures) and worked forward through time.  I read a mountain of history over years (and would take even longer now since even more is available and I occasionally browse through these new ones and re-read things). I eventually stopped around the first centuries because there was just too much to read.  I was never going to get through it all.  And remembering it?  Unfortunately, I've forgotten the vast majority.  It helped me at the time though and if you need to do something like this then I might suggest it.

 

          mwc

 

 

I'll look through some posts of yours when I'm not on my phone, but this well describes where I am. My even bigger problem is that I don't feel like there's enough time in the day to devote to just education what with being a multiple job holding wifey with bills to pay and shit to clean and what not. I can't even fathom children holy shit lol. I've recently settled in listening to audio books in my office job.

 

Any suggestions for books? My history and science could use a lot more work. It seems Jesus/my homeschool parents couldn't put a sin spin on math and logic lol..

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41 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

...

Any suggestions for books? My history and science could use a lot more work. It seems Jesus/my homeschool parents couldn't put a sin spin on math and logic lol..

 

Here's one suggestion:

 

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne.  This is an excellent++ book.  

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Second the Jerry Coyne recommendation!   He also has a blog with a wide spectrum of posts -- from science/evolution to current news to cat humor.  He travels frequently and shares a lot of those experiences too.  You can also sign up for emails.  

 

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/

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I'm also kinda person, who is uncertain of many things. Uncertanity is really annoying. Hope that You ag_NO_stic will find a way out of this and Your struggle will go away!

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You don't have to know all the right answers but you damn sure need to know the wrong ones. 

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To weigh in gingerly (as the newb here), I think it’s been alluded to already that being less than 2 years out means that you’re doing great Ag-no!!  I’m 13 years out (holy FUCK I can’t believe I just put that down on paper!), and I think I just stopped being angry less than 2 years ago...and I change my mind hourly on what I believe ;)  (although I am quite firmly a non-theist).

 

bravo to all of you for your great support here, love the sense of community!!

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I am in the same boat. I go back and forth about how I feel about my leaving the faith, what I think about things and the certainty of uncertainty. I press on because I know I can't go back. TrueFreedom nailed it on the head and expressed what I was thinking too. The more you know the more you realize you don't know. Its a paradox for sure. But I would take that over Christianity and its black and white thinking and its "gotta have all the answers" mentality. You're doing well. Keep up the good work!

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On 7/21/2018 at 9:16 AM, ag_NO_stic said:

 

I'll look through some posts of yours when I'm not on my phone, but this well describes where I am. My even bigger problem is that I don't feel like there's enough time in the day to devote to just education what with being a multiple job holding wifey with bills to pay and shit to clean and what not. I can't even fathom children holy shit lol. I've recently settled in listening to audio books in my office job.

 

Any suggestions for books? My history and science could use a lot more work. It seems Jesus/my homeschool parents couldn't put a sin spin on math and logic lol..

     I overlooked your post.  I was being ran through the healthcare system while I was doing my homework so I had lots of time on my hands (drug roulette is another reason I don't recall everything so well).  I just looked up the oldest written histories, created a bit of a timeline, found translations of whatever I could and read them all from oldest to newest (as best I could).  I wanted to see how things evolved and how everyone influenced one another.

 

     I'll have to go back to see if I can dig out any specific books.  I tried to avoid modern books unless it had translations in it since I didn't want to have someone tell me what they said I wanted to read what they said for myself (even though it was a translation).  If you're looking for something short try reading the Myth of Er.  It's part of Plato's Republic (you might want to read this whole thing actually).  But the story of Er is interesting in and of itself considering when it was written.

 

          mwc

 

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Oooh okay, if you’re wanting to know about this stage of things, yes, this is one stage of the process. I think many religions are born out of a human nature need to seek finite conclusions for cosmic unknowns. 

Its unsettling to not have answers and our brains don’t like that, especially so for those who had always had concrete *facts* for so long while we were subscribed to a dogmatic reality. 

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