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wadori

Recovered "Bible Boy"

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I grew up along the coast of Maine. My father took me to church (Christian and Missionary Alliance) three times a week and I grew up believing (as much as any intelligent person can believe) in Christianity and the Bible. I took it very seriously and was the "Bible boy" in my high school. (Oooh, it hurts to admit that!)

As I went through my twenties I got married and divorced, and my religion more-or-less went along with my marriage. I tried for a while after the divorce to search around and try to find my way in "God's plan", but such was not to be found, so by the time I finished my twenties I no longer held to religious beliefs. I was searching for reality. There was no reality to be found in god or Christianity.

In my thirties I went back to college and after a long, long ordeal finally got a degree in biology, which has been pretty much useless in terms of finding work or establishing a career. I did, however, gain a better grounding in science, and, even though I don't work as a scientist, if anyone asks how I would describe my belief system now that I am no longer religious, I describe myself as a "scientist", not because of my degree, but simply because I believe that we arrive at knowledge and understanding of the world and the universe (and ourselves, to a large degree) by rational investigation and systematic study (i.e., science), rather than by some kind of supernatural revelation.

Some people would refer to me as an "atheist", which is perhaps accurate, since I don't believe in god, but I don't particularly like the word "atheist", since it only tells you what I don't believe, i.e,, that I don't believe in god or gods. It doesn't tell you what I do believe in. "Scientist" tells you what I do believe in.

On the subject of science, this is perhaps the worst effect of living under religious dogma.  I didn't take science in high school.  Why not?  Because I didn't need to.  You know, when you have the creator of all of it as your "buddy" why do you need to study that stuff.  After all, my "father" made all those rules that scientists are struggling to figure out, right?  What I am saying, basically, is that religion squelched my curiosity.  I didn't feel the need to search and try to come to actually understand things.  Jesus was "the answer".  That was all you needed. Taking away a child's curiosity (in science, in philosophy, in history, in whatever) is perhaps the worst thing you can do to him. It stymies his development for the rest of his life. It's hard to go back late in life and "catch up" if you failed to ask questions when you were younger. (At least that's my experience.)  I still feel much at a loss in many ways because of this gap in my development.

Now I live in Oregon, in a city that is less religious (75% religiously nonaffiliated) than the "least religious" city in the U.S., which is also in Oregon -- Portland, 42% religiously nonaffiliated according to recent studies.  (Apparently we as so bad that we aren't even considered part of the U.S. anymore!)  I am focused on writing these days, just published a book of religious parody and am trying to finish up one more.  I look forward to talking with the people in this group.

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Welcome wadori, glad you found this site. You will find a lot of relevant information & likeminded folk here. I enjoyed reading your story.

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7 hours ago, wadori said:

I grew up along the coast of Maine. My father took me to church (Christian and Missionary Alliance) three times a week and I grew up believing (as much as any intelligent person can believe) in Christianity and the Bible. I took it very seriously and was the "Bible boy" in my high school. (Oooh, it hurts to admit that!)

 

That's ok wadori, the water boy was just as serious. 😂

 

7 hours ago, wadori said:

Some people would refer to me as an "atheist", which is perhaps accurate, since I don't believe in god, but I don't particularly like the word "atheist", since it only tells you what I don't believe, i.e,, that I don't believe in god or gods. It doesn't tell you what I do believe in. "Scientist" tells you what I do believe in.

 

Some people don't like the atheist tag, even though by lacking positive belief in god(s) they are the very definition. Sounds like you're telling us that you're an atheist scientist, simply put. 

 

Welcome to the forums! 

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Yes, welcome to this little corner of the internet.  I lived in Eugene for many years and moved to Portland quite some time ago.

 

I like your insightful observation that the term "atheist" describes something you do not believe in, not what you do believe or know.

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Welcome, @wadori, and hello from a fellow scientist ;) I'm glad you're here, and I'm glad to hear you're proliferating religious parody so as to invite people to take theocratic authoritarians less seriously.

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On 10/20/2018 at 1:46 AM, wadori said:

On the subject of science, this is perhaps the worst effect of living under religious dogma.  I didn't take science in high school.  Why not?  Because I didn't need to.  You know, when you have the creator of all of it as your "buddy" why do you need to study that stuff.  After all, my "father" made all those rules that scientists are struggling to figure out, right?  What I am saying, basically, is that religion squelched my curiosity.  I didn't feel the need to search and try to come to actually understand things.  Jesus was "the answer".  That was all you needed. Taking away a child's curiosity (in science, in philosophy, in history, in whatever) is perhaps the worst thing you can do to him. It stymies his development for the rest of his life. It's hard to go back late in life and "catch up" if you failed to ask questions when you were younger. (At least that's my experience.)  I still feel much at a loss in many ways because of this gap in my development.

I know what you mean. Luckily, the church wasn't able to squelch my curiousity. It tried really hard, and I'm glad I didn't acquiesce in the face of that pressure. I was discouraged from studying environmental science, although that and biology were my favourite subjects along with history in school . Environmental science was for tree-huggers who did nothing but protest (protesting anything was a sin, like protesting god's will).

I gave in on that front, and I do regret it now, but I was able to go on and study history, although there was the implication that I was going to be one of those people who got a useless humanities degree (only a business one counts apparently, lol).

There is time now, so just keep learning, and stay curious. On another note, that reminds me, I was at a workshop last week where we learned about this awesome website where you can take free courses from universities around the world - EdEx https://www.edx.org/

 

Welcome to Ex-C!

 

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On 10/19/2018 at 10:46 PM, wadori said:

but simply because I believe that we arrive at knowledge and understanding of the world and the universe (and ourselves, to a large degree) by rational investigation and systematic study (i.e., science), rather than by some kind of supernatural revelation.

 

BINGO!

 

Some refer to this as the Vulcan approach but, really, what else do we truly know for sure outside of what can be duplicated in a laboratory?

 

@wadori wrote...

"Apparently we as so bad that we aren't even considered part of the U.S. anymore!"

 

I'm in Roseburg and I can attest that Eugene is part of this great nation. In fact, that's pretty much were I and the fams do most of our shopping. Oh and are docs are almost all there too. 

 

Welcome to Ex-C.

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

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Regarding the Atheist tag.

 

I use it to explain why I dont' attend the weekly fundy fest and if asked directly about my beliefs. Other than that it tells little about me, but the chritty crowd are certain that it says it all. 

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Hi Nice to meet you and I am happy for you all to be here.  I have some ideas that may help you and this is a great point and place to discuss this problem.

 

First of all good for you for getting away from the Church in one piece. 

 

I have stories there to tell also, this is where the real meets the believed and possibly less tangible.

 

You said this which is great:  ".... Some people would refer to me as an "atheist", which is perhaps accurate, since I don't believe in god, but I don't particularly like the word "atheist", since it only tells you what I don't believe, ...."

 

God is the grouping you use for all things you DO NOT KNOW.  You "Lift Them Up" to God.

 

Atheists (Many do, and show it, or they might..) have weak points as follows:

 

1) Lack of proof does not prove lack of object.  Theists work this HARD.

 

2) They have a proxy as Jesus and Church do, and that is with onus and burden to prove.

 

And this is how I solved that problem.

 

And in that the God Hypothesis is falsifiable.

 

And Pascal's Wager is wrong, there is a cost, a large one in fact, for belief or faith in God.

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