Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 06:26 pm
My family was never religious as I was growing up. We were a military family and we moved around a lot not really getting a chance to establish ourselves in any one parish. We attended the non-denominational services on base and I frequented sunday school regularly as my parents tried to be baptists. In my teen years, I developed a keen interest in science and began to investigate my interests more in depth.

For a long time, I didn't believe in God and yet there was no real good explanation for some things, so I was what I would consider a theistic agnostic. I had no use for any religion but I could not quite get the teachings of my youth completely out of my mind. As my interests in science grew, my faith in God decreased steadily. At least in the God of any religion that I knew of. I have theories about energy being "god" in that the amount of energy in the universe is steady...

Anyway, as I grew older and became a biology teacher, I decided I would finally be true to my heart and I became an atheist. It is easier to teach whatyou believe than to teach what you don't. Evolution played quite a role in altering my beliefs growing up. The few sticking points are still there, but no one has a good answer for those anyways. I still had a hole in me the wasn't being filled so I did some further investigating and discovered Buddhism which I have been practicing since.

I still do not believe in a God of traditional faiths, but neither do I doubt others beliefs.

So, what's your story?
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joe1949
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 06:44 pm
I was not brought up in any faith, but I do belive in god. My faith is be true to other as well as yourself and treat others as you would like to be treated. I grow up with a drunking father, who could never be true to anyone except his self, it was always me me me with him. That is why I think the way I do.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 06:48 pm
I had a religious upbringing. At a young age I changed enviroments drastically and while it was also religious and also of the same religion I had to actually think.

Everything I'd been taught was being contradicted by others.

So I had to think for myself.

I remained a theist for some time. But this time disregarding everyone else's preaching.

After a while I became a "just in case" theist.

After more thought I became an atheist.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 06:54 pm
I had a couple of no-longer-religious parents, who described themselves as athiests -- they both harbored a lot of resentment for their religious upbringing. (My mother had a specific reason for that which is very topical these days...)

So there was a lot of anti-religious (and especially anti-organized-religion) sentiment in my background; I am agnostic but don't have that same kind of baggage. (I see the positives of religion, too, though I don't happen to believe in any gods myself.)
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 06:55 pm
I was baptised went to catholic church until I was about 5. I never went to sunday school or communion. I love church architecture, but never could believe in a supreme being. I have only had academic interest in reading religious texts.

I see McGentrix and I share a common theory about energy. For the exact same reason. Odd.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 07:07 pm
I inherited my atheism.
0 Replies
 
K e v i n
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 08:31 pm
I really dont quite know what to think. I dont believe in predestination, but I do believe that there was some sort of supreme creator. My mother was brought up very religiously, she was a volenteer councillor at a church and a church summer camp. Lately her conviction seems to be faltering and she has stopped going to church. I dont know where i stand on this issue now. When i know more about myself and the world around me, I will be able to make a more informed opinion.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 08:37 pm
I realized I was an agnostic as a young man -- and have stuck with it.

I honestly cannot think of a good reason to become a theist or an atheist.

But I want to go on record that I know many, many fine, intelligent, decent humans who are theists -- who are atheists -- and who are fellow agnostics.

I also know jerks in all three categories also.
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 08:43 pm
My parents left it up to me what religion I would follow. When young I just didn't care so I never really thought about it. As a teen I got interested in the topic purely out of curiosity. Read the new testament, about half of the old testament and the koran. Didn't really do anything for me. Dabbled with agnosticism but again didn't do anything for me. Decided to start calling myself an athiest fairly recently. I'm fairly layed back about it though, more than anything I just don't care. There's more important things to think about than where you go when you die and who you meet when you get there.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 10:23 pm
My family never discussed religion, although my step father did say (after I called a church member "brother") "You'll never see the day I call one of them 'brother.'" I attended church for a few years. Coming out of the experience still an atheist, I began reading Buddhist literature. I love the Buddhists. I attended Scientology services a couple dozen times. There are a lot of contradictions there, but, also a lot of truths. In the middle of it all, I became enamored of the thought of Philip Wylie. Today, I am a straightforward atheist. I still think highly of Wylie and also Bertrand Russell, but I essentially go my own way.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 10:51 pm
McG, it is nice to see another side of you.

I grew up in a fanatical (mel gibson) catholic type family. My fathers family; one grandfather converted to catholicism from moravian after he married the niece of an austrian bishop. The other grandfather was an anglican minister. His wife and his daughter(my grandmother) converted to catholicism. Imagine the gossip.
My grandfather studied to become a priest, then married my grandmother and together the set up a catholic commune in England amid the two great wars. My grandfather moved the family to S. Ireland after WWII and after ten hard years, they emigrated to canada. One son became a priest and my aunt was a nun.
My mother was a N. Irish catholic, with three hundred years of memories...
As I have said before, I spent a lot of time in a church. One sunday, the priest compared us, the congregation to lambs. I had heard many a parable before, but this was different. This time I thought about what it really meant. Lambs...unthinking - pack mentality, led to slaughter yada yada.
I was an aha! moment. From that moment on, I gave up on it, played lip service 'til I was old enough to leave. Tossed religion pretty much aside. I'm not really sure what I believe, so I don't judge what other do or don't believe either.

I haven't read enough on buddhism, but from what I've read, it appeals to me.

Edited, because spelling was never my strong suit.
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2004 11:11 pm
Re: An actual atheist discussion
McGentrix wrote:
My family was never religious as I was growing up. We were a military family and we moved around a lot not really getting a chance to establish ourselves in any one parish. We attended the non-denominational services on base and I frequented sunday school regularly as my parents tried to be baptists. In my teen years, I developed a keen interest in science and began to investigate my interests more in depth.

For a long time, I didn't believe in God and yet there was no real good explanation for some things, so I was what I would consider a theistic agnostic. I had no use for any religion but I could not quite get the teachings of my youth completely out of my mind. As my interests in science grew, my faith in God decreased steadily. At least in the God of any religion that I knew of. I have theories about energy being "god" in that the amount of energy in the universe is steady...

Anyway, as I grew older and became a biology teacher, I decided I would finally be true to my heart and I became an atheist. It is easier to teach whatyou believe than to teach what you don't. Evolution played quite a role in altering my beliefs growing up. The few sticking points are still there, but no one has a good answer for those anyways. I still had a hole in me the wasn't being filled so I did some further investigating and discovered Buddhism which I have been practicing since.

I still do not believe in a God of traditional faiths, but neither do I doubt others beliefs.

So, what's your story?


You're a biology teacher? Sweet! I love biology. Kudos, and may you never have to deal with being forced into teaching creationism.

Also, shouldn't you know better than being atheist? You should know that (in science) you need proof for non-existance as well as existence.

I am agnostic out of my knowledge of Biology and my experince with logic. My father is also very intelligent and an agnostic (logically.) He does dabble in Zen Buddhism, though.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2004 06:02 am
I have mentioned before that i believe that most people hold their beliefs unexamined. My exposure to catholocism assured both that i would reject theism, and that i would reject dogmatic thought. I was five years old when i decided that it was supreme hypocricy for nuns to teach us that god had created us "to know him and love him in heaven," and that we must love god in order to be loved in return--by the expedient of physical violence. Didn't feel like love to me, and i questioned, even at that tender age, why someone whose ostensible stock in trade was love would employ such hideous, cruel creatures to deliver the message. Getting older simply refined the terms of my scepticsim. When i reached the "rebellious" stage as an adolescent, i cut a deal, trading my good behavior for the suspension of the requirement to attend the mass. I remained agnostic for a long time, but eventaully came to the conclusion that whereas i don't subscribe to obviously silly superstitions (Santa Claus, little people, monsters under the bed) because the thesis is preposterous, that this would apply to the consideration of a deity as well. I considered it intellectually dishonest to avow disbelief for the unproven, the unprovable and the simply absurd in other arenas, but to place theism in some sort of special category requiring the suspension of disbelief.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2004 06:04 am
Setanta- You explain stuff so much better than I do! Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Turner 727
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2004 06:47 am
born and raised catholic. Went to Catholic school for 8 1/2 years.

About three years after leaving Catholic school, I started reassessing my beliefs. I realized I was a believer, but not in the traditional sense. Through experimentation and thought, I have come to believe in a mix of buddist/zen/indian beliefs. During the 'birth' of this religion is where I learned to hate christianity. Now, there's a fine contradiction for you! Sorry, I'm not here to bash christianity. Not anymore, at least.

So while I find that I'm very sympathetic with agnostics/atheists, and generally argue on thier side, I'm more of a believer than a non-believer.

Just another contradiction in my life. . .
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2004 07:49 am
You don't have to believe in deities under agnosticism, just the general concept of g-d. Because deities were said to impact a specific time and place in a certain way which can be disproven, yada yada yada.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2004 08:12 am
From a pair of old Calvin and Hobbes strips I keep around...

Quote:
C: Since September, it's just gotten colder and colder. There's less daylight now, I've noticed, too. Oh no! That can only mean one thing! The sun is going out! In a few more months earth will be a dark and lifeless ball of ice!

H: Well, gee, now I don't feel so bad about not setting up an IRA last year.

(next day)

C: Dad says the sun isn't going out. He says it's colder because our hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. He says winter will be here soon... Isn't it sad how some people's grip on their lives is so precarious that they'll embrace any preposterous delusion rather than face the occasional bleak truth?
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2004 08:40 am
I was baptised Anglican, and went to Sunday school 'til about the age of 8 or 9. (And the odd church service). Was forced into scripture lessons when I was at High School, basically because I wasn't smart enough to realise that I could get out of them. I never thought strongly about my beliefs until my late teens when I realised that I just couldn't reconcile what I'd learnt about religion with the world around me. It just didn't add up. I didn't recieve any formal education in evolution until I started uni 2 years ago, but I suppose that really solidified all the doubts that I had. But I don't ever remember ever having any strong beliefs re a divine creator, a son of god, resurrection etc.
0 Replies
 
Turner 727
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2004 12:54 am
Portal Star wrote:
You don't have to believe in deities under agnosticism, just the general concept of g-d. Because deities were said to impact a specific time and place in a certain way which can be disproven, yada yada yada.


See, I don't even believe in the personification of a higher power. The concept of God/Allah that Jews/Christians/Muslims have I find ridiculous.

I guess why I side with atheists/agnostics is that I don't know. I believe in what I believe in, but knowledge is seperate from belief.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2004 01:09 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Setanta- You explain stuff so much better than I do! Very Happy
Wow, count me in that group as well.
0 Replies
 
 

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