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Re: [atheists-331] Penn Jillette youtube video

From: Mark P.
Sent on: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:20 AM
Based on my memories of a very devout childhood, right up until college, where I genuinely wanted to be a minister when I grew up, and studied the Bible (oops, now I'm atheist), prayed, attended church many times per week, spoke in tongues, and "led others to Christ" I would say that we're not missing some code to which we're not privy.  It's just groupthink delusion.  It's very much along the same lines as your not supposed to tell a parent that their baby is ugly.  Sure everyone's thinking it, and part of you hopes everyone's thinking it, but it cannot be said!  When I "spoke in tongues," I knew I was just wording gibberish, but everyone seemed so satisfied with what I was saying, and I just figured they all had some connection to the Holy Spirit that I didn't have, yet.  If I kept going through the motions, He would come and change my gibberish into a real "spiritual language."  Little did I realize that everyone else was making up theirs too.

I'm fairly certain that not many take it as seriously as they appear, but they feel they must act and talk a certain way to fit into the community, so they say the right things and do the right things.  That's the only "code."  It's not a mysterious ability to genuinely reconcile what is thought to what is said; it is just a willingness to do what it takes to be part of the group.

Atheism, to me, in a way, is really just a certain kind of bravery that allows a minority of individuals to say "No, this is bullshit. I can't be dishonest with everyone and myself just to fit in."

And speaking of Asperger's...didn't I hear they were doing away with the diagnosis in the new DSM, and making Autism into a spectrum on which we all fit to different degrees?  When Phil says he feels he has some parts of him that look like aspects of Aspergers, and don't we all, I think he's right, and that's why the professional community is trying to change the way we think about The Spectrum.

From: Paul R <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, May 5,[masked]:41 PM
Subject: [atheists-331] Penn Jillette youtube video

I was talking about this at group Wednesday. Valerie posted it on our Facebook group a long time ago, but I only saw it recently.
[Our facebook group is
There are not officer titles any more :( ]

I feel the same way as Penn in this video.
But unrelated to politics, I remember back in CCD after elementary school when other kids shared examples of prayers being answered, I thought "other people are speaking in a code that I have not been given the key to."
And it was troubling to me being an outsider. All throughout middle school and high school, fitting in was a major goal (and failure) for me. (Or does everyone feel that way as a teenager?)

When I learned about Aspergers Syndrome eight years ago, I thought that was the explanation for not having the key to the code (and failure fitting in).
But as time goes on, that does not seem like a satisfying explanation for religious parts of my life.
And I haven't found any evidence that Penn has Aspergers.

-- Paul

P.S. The book I couldn't think of was Slaughterhouse V. So it goes.

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