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Have you had a major change of belief?

 
 
aperson
 
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 09:35 pm
As some of you may know, I see-sawed quite rapidly in my beliefs for a year or two, from Christianity to Atheism to Agnosticism to Buddhism to Deism. I have now been settled on athiesm for quite a while (relatively), and I am extremely strongly convinced of my own beliefs, and don't see myself, by any stretch, changing. Then again, a delusional person is unaware of his own delusions. Perhaps not the best metaphor, but the point is that I might one day look back, as a preist dedicated to faith, and wonder at the certainty I previously held.

This brings the question, have you had a major change of faith that you never would have anticipated?
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 2,472 • Replies: 36
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OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 01:56 am
@aperson,
I can remember 1 incident, in point:
at age 13, I was considering the possibility of some petty theft,
as I walked toward a bus stop one morning on my way to school.

As I walked, abruptly and unexpectedly, a strong feeling welled up inside me (an epiphany ?)
in which I felt the loathsomeness of larceny; that stayed with me for years.





David
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 09:35 am
I grew up as a Lutheran. As I remember my childhood, I was pretty devout about praying, loved the Bible stories I learned in school, and, if pressed, would probably have agreed that the Bible was the word of god. I also would have agreed to the standard hedges that liberal Lutherans make against too literal a reading of the Bible. (I'm talking about hedges like, "there's that translation error between the old testament and the new, so "the virgin Mary" actually means "the young woman Mary".) I chose to be confirmed in the Lutheran faith at the age of 14, and to become my cousin's godfather at age 19.

Toward the end of high school, I did one things that proved fatal to my Lutheran faith, and faith in general: I read the Bible. Unlike in confirmation class, I read it unfiltered, cover to cover, without abridging anything. I didn't even abridge the very boring stuff -- "and A begat B, and B begat C, and C begat D ...." That quickly made me realize three things: First, it's pretty clear from the organization and the tone of each book which ones were meant to be read poetically, like the Psalms, which were meant to be read as historic non-fiction, like Genesis, and which are meant as positive law, like Leviticus. Second, some factual statements in the Bible contradict each other, others are atavistic and inhumane in their moral implications. Third, the authors of the non-fiction books clearly meant what they said. Theological hedges along the lines of "this is all just a metaphor" seemed unconvincing and desparate to me.

So, over a couple of years, I decided I was not a Christian. A brief look at other religions was that their creeds were just as implausible. So my faith in god dissolved, and I am now what Americans seem to call a secular humanist.

So my answer to your question is, yes, I did have a major change of belief.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 09:45 am
@Thomas,
I was a fervent Catholic as a child and teen, was even accepted as a postulant in an order of nuns at one point, though I didn't go through with that (had a crush on a guy..). I didn't read the whole bible as Thomas did, got stuck in the begats.
I worked my way through some theological arguments going on when I was in my early twenties, and one sunny day decided I didn't believe any of it: I suddenly found it all overwhelmingly contrived. That was a long time ago and I haven't changed my mind. So, another secular humanist here.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 10:11 am
@aperson,
At the age of 13, I was sweetly approached by Joyce,
a blue-eyed blonde girl in my class, descended of the Austrian aristocracy,
with superbly elegant manners and excellence of dress.
I grew obsessed by her mindblowing beauty n charm.

I deemed her more than obviously a high angelic being,
better than solid gold, thru n thru.
22 years thereafter, in retrospect, alas, I perceived the error of my belief.
My emotions toward her were the worst mistake that I made in that school.





David

0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 02:35 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Strangely enough, I have never had an epiphany of any kind. I tend rather to have slow realisations.
cjhsa
 
  0  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 02:39 pm
I used to have no issue with homosexuality. But now that the gays and lesbians are forcing their lifestyle on the rest of us (think about reading Dick and Dick in 1st grade), I have a major problem with it.
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 02:43 pm
@Thomas,
I had a similar, but no where near as large experience, which contributed to my atheism. When I was still see-sawing, I read here that someone turned to the scriptures for peace, so I decided to have a go at reading the Bible. I didn't have the persistance to read the whole thing, but I read Genesis and part of Exodus, then skimmed through the rest. I was pretty shocked. It was, instead of the perfect, holy book I had expected it to be, boring, poorly worded, nonsensical, contradictory (even within chapters) and most importantly, on no stretch of the imagination metaphorical.
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 02:44 pm
@cjhsa,
cj, I'm not going to argue with you. I'm not even going to try.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 03:22 pm
@cjhsa,
Well, heterosexuals have been forcing their lifestyle on homosexuals quite some time, from what I understand.

Forcing their lifestyles....hmmmm......

As a hetero woman, I would feel a hetero man would be forcing himself and his lifestyle upon me if he wanted me to blow him.

I've never had a lesbian try to get me to go down on her.

Must be that some gay guy tried to force his lifestyle on you.

I mean, quid pro quo.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:29 pm
@aperson,
I stopped being christian, just like that, at 14.

Read "The Way of All Flesh", and "Julian" and thought.

Poof! Gone.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:02 pm
@aperson,
Quote:

Strangely enough, I have never had an epiphany of any kind.

Over the course of my life,
I 've only had around 2 or 3.




Quote:
I tend rather to have slow realisations.

Thay r much more plentiful.





David
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:09 pm
There seem to be a lot of religionist to atheist changes. Any of the opposite kind?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:12 pm
@cjhsa,
Gays and lesbians can be among the people
u meet in your life, some of whom are good friends.

I have donated cash to the "Pink Pistols" who are homos fighting
against gun control; (tho at the time, I thought it was a female group).
Its really a private n personal matter.
Years ago, a very talented trial attorney of my acquaintance
married a very corpulent, woman of misbegotten appearance.
I was shocked, but his preferences are none of my business.
I 'd strongly dislike it, if his preferences became my business.





David
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:21 pm
I have told my tale in several threads, how I never believed in God and religion, but spent several years trying to force myself to. I tried by day, but at night, I would have a monolog in my head ("If there was a God, he would not let Mom suffer so." The preacher had said, "Morality comes from God." At my tender age, I knew he was wrong "It comes from where -?" Finally, I heard a voice within myself. "Inside," it said, in answer to my question. Morality is inate. No need of a God there, either.) I remember the night I fully accepted my atheism, I had to face the fact that upon the event of my death, it would be the end of me forever. It was frightening, but I faced up to it and from then on, I had no further problems re religion. I was at that moment, religion free and have never had cause to reconsider.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:28 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

Well, heterosexuals have been forcing their lifestyle
on homosexuals quite some time, from what I understand.

Forcing their lifestyles....hmmmm......

As a hetero woman, I would feel a hetero man would be forcing himself
and his lifestyle upon me if he wanted me to blow him.

I've never had a lesbian try to get me to go down on her.

Must be that some gay guy tried to force his lifestyle on you.

I mean, quid pro quo.

Well, thay DO approach u, in the street; total strangers.
After thay ask for directions, instead of following those directions,
thay follow U. I have found it necessary to be rude to them
in order to get rid of them; loud and rude.

Someone told me that he coud not get rid of some of them
without slugging them; I have not found that to be necessary.



David

P.S.
Please don t anyone ask me about shooting them.
I am ABSOLUTELY OPPOSED to that.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:35 pm
@aperson,
aperson wrote:

There seem to be a lot of religionist to atheist changes. Any of the opposite kind?

Yes; several that I know of,
e.g. a college professor who described himself as having lived a
good and happy life as an atheist. He said that he got sick,
and died in a hospital. He described a hellish experience
after death, until he yelled for help from the Good Guys,
which was effectively forthcoming. He thereafter changed
his mind about his atheism. This instance is representative of others.





David
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 07:00 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
David- This guy described his experience AFTER he died?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 07:15 pm
@Phoenix32890,
Phoenix32890 wrote:

David- This guy described his experience AFTER he died?

Yes; on Oprah, maybe ;
one of the talk shows.


David
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 06:45 pm
@Phoenix32890,
I think Dave is trying to say that the guy was medically dead for a period of time.

Is that right, David, or are you trying to make some other point which escapes me?
 

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