A former member
Post #: 10
Since the "deconversion story" Meetup is full, I won't be able to attend. So, for those of you who "deconverted" from being religious, what's your story? Did you ever fully believe, or was there always some doubt? Did you discover the "outside world" on your own, or did someone push you into it? (I'll venture a guess and bet that for most, it was a personal journey. No one likes being told what to think, which is why I think going around saying "I'm right, and you're religious and stupid!" does more harm than good by making people more rigid). Anyway, I'll tell my story later. It gets complicated.

What's your story (Morning Glory) wink ?
Rafiq M.
RafiqMahmood
Bogor, ID
Post #: 1,054
Well, this is my (almost) contemporaneous account of my anti-epiphany: A Long Night - correspondence with a friend

As you can see, it takes some time to finally extricate, even then ("I still believe in God and the power of prayer...").

Of course you are right. It has to be a personal discovery. I am still furious that it took so long. Of course there was always doubt, although the social pressures induced me to overlook them. The sense of belonging is so powerful.
Mark T.
user 4783078
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 571
No one likes being told what to think, which is why I think going around saying "I'm right, and you're religious and stupid!" does more harm than good by making people more rigid).

Straw man alert.

Also, "No one likes being told what to think"...

Which is EXACTLY what purveyors of religious dogma do, is it not? And all too often it is those at a very young age who are told exactly what to think, and are verboten to think beyond the dogma which they are force-fed.

Otherwise, great idea for a thread. My story is pretty boring- used to be more of an agnostic atheist I suppose, now more overtly atheistic after realizing that the logic used in support of the agnostic position comes a-tumblin' down very easily. Do carry on with more compelling tales! :)


Rafiq M.
RafiqMahmood
Bogor, ID
Post #: 1,057
Actually people do like being told what to think, especially if it comes with a comfy and supportive group. We just like to think that we don't. That is how the Emperor's New Clothes works. We like to think that we are smart enough to figure out the meaning of the sacred texts as well as the man with the big hat does...
A former member
Post #: 11
No one likes being told what to think, which is why I think going around saying "I'm right, and you're religious and stupid!" does more harm than good by making people more rigid).

Straw man alert.


Touche. Although haven't you noticed that on occasion?


Mark T.
user 4783078
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 573
Jenny,

Do you mean notice that we "go around" saying to people, "You're religious and stupid!"...or do you mean notice that people clam up & become more rigid when their views are directly challenged?

If it's the first one, which raised straw man alert, then no. Direct insults to theists do occasionally happen on our private (but publicly visible) forums, and sometimes they are very justified (such as calling the Rev. Pat Robertson a moron for saying that God caused the devastating Haiti earthquake because of a previous pact with the Devil) and other times they are not. However, these are on our private, paid-for forums, and hardly the equivalent of "going around" insulting theists.

It is common, however, for today's atheists & agnostics to use the adjectives "stupid", "absurd", "ridiculous", etc., to describe religion, or certain nonsensical/outrageous claims borne of religion, out in the public sphere. There IS a difference here, even though many theists view it as one in the same (an insult to their religion is the same as a personal insult). This we cannot help, due to the very nature of religious belief. And many of us cannot bow to the "special shield from criticism" that religion has enjoyed for too long. It is subject to scrutiny & criticism, just like any other element of human culture.

If you mean the second one- then yes, but certainly not always. I have noticed more "increased rigidity" when a person's political views are directly challenged (especially hardcore conservatives) than when a strong challenge to their religious views is presented.



A former member
Post #: 16
Mark,

I suppose I should've clarified in that when trying to talk to hardcore religious people, if one argues with them, they're likely to become more rigid and less likely to consider secularism (thusly doing more harm than good) than if one tried the "soft sell." So, if the goal is, "open their minds to science," flat-out arguing with them wouldn't work. It's human nature. Saying "Have you tried looking at it this way?" would be much more effective.
A former member
Post #: 26
Mark,

I suppose I should've clarified in that when trying to talk to hardcore religious people, if one argues with them, they're likely to become more rigid and less likely to consider secularism (thusly doing more harm than good) than if one tried the "soft sell." So, if the goal is, "open their minds to science," flat-out arguing with them wouldn't work. It's human nature. Saying "Have you tried looking at it this way?" would be much more effective.
I've been advocating that approach with the general public. Most people aren't in that mindset though which is fine since we're all from "different walks of life" and have different skill sets. Josh posted a short video that was a pretty good introduction to talking with the religious. I think it was at TAM '11 or '10, and the woman speaking was the director of communications for either the CFI or FFRF.
Mark R. O.
MROrel
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 99


If it's the first one, which raised straw man alert, then no. Direct insults to theists do occasionally happen on our private (but publicly visible) forums, and sometimes they are very justified (such as calling the Rev. Pat Robertson a moron for saying that God caused the devastating Haiti earthquake because of a previous pact with the Devil) and other times they are not. However, these are on our private, paid-for forums, and hardly the equivalent of "going around" insulting theists.

I guess you can define occasionally as ten to twenty times a week.

It is common, however, for today's atheists & agnostics to use the adjectives "stupid", "absurd", "ridiculous", etc., to describe religion, or certain nonsensical/outrageous claims borne of religion, out in the public sphere. There IS a difference here, even though many theists view it as one in the same (an insult to their religion is the same as a personal insult). This we cannot help, due to the very nature of religious belief. And many of us cannot bow to the "special shield from criticism" that religion has enjoyed for too long. It is subject to scrutiny & criticism, just like any other element of human culture.

As a former atheist and current agnostic I do not use
these adjectives. would you mind supplying some
data that would support your claim?

If you mean the second one- then yes, but certainly not always. I have noticed more "increased rigidity" when a person's political views are directly challenged (especially hardcore conservatives) than when a strong challenge to their religious views is presented.


I agree, I just think it equally applies to liberals.
As anecdotal, I would say it applies more to liberals
than conservatives. In my experiences.



M. Orel
A former member
Post #: 21


I agree, I just think it equally applies to liberals.
As anecdotal, I would say it applies more to liberals
than conservatives. In my experiences.
M. Orel

In your experiences. In mine, it's generally been conservatives, but that's just me. Everyone's had different experiences.
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