What "turned" you?

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BubbleWrap
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Post by BubbleWrap » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:51 pm

In answer to the original question, both my parents were atheists and freethinkers, so I naturally became one myself. Except I prefer to state I'm a Humanist.
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:12 pm

BillyH wrote:In answer to the original question, both my parents were atheists and freethinkers, so I naturally became one myself. Except I prefer to state I'm a Humanist.
Just out of curiosity, what makes you choose the term 'humanist'?
BubbleWrap
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Post by BubbleWrap » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:00 pm

bipedalhumanoid wrote:Just out of curiosity, what makes you choose the term 'humanist'?
Short story... Up until 14 years ago I always referred to myself as atheist, but never felt easy with the title. It felt negative and anti everyone who had a belief. Plus you are immediately pigeon holed with the term.

Then I heard about the Humanist Association and discovered that they had the same belief system I had. I found myself amongst a group of people where it is very comfortable talking about your non-beliefs and your dislikes of religion, as well as everyday matters, social, philosophical, and whatever.

Plus we meet on a social basis for informal and formal events. Have non-religious life ceremonies, of birth, marriage and funerals, and have a world-wide organisation of like-minded people.

Check out: http://www.humanism.ie
and
http://www.iheu.org
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:12 pm

BillyH wrote:
bipedalhumanoid wrote:Just out of curiosity, what makes you choose the term 'humanist'?
Short story... Up until 14 years ago I always referred to myself as atheist, but never felt easy with the title. It felt negative and anti everyone who had a belief. Plus you are immediately pigeon holed with the term.

Then I heard about the Humanist Association and discovered that they had the same belief system I had. I found myself amongst a group of people where it is very comfortable talking about your non-beliefs and your dislikes of religion, as well as everyday matters, social, philosophical, and whatever.

Plus we meet on a social basis for informal and formal events. Have non-religious life ceremonies, of birth, marriage and funerals, and have a world-wide organisation of like-minded people.

Check out: http://www.humanism.ie
and
http://www.iheu.org
Thanks for sharing. It's funny, I had the opposite impression. I thought that humanism was too much like a religion so the term humanist made me feel uneasy. It seemed to me to be a place for non-believers who would prefer to be believers... ie. those non-believers who seek to replace a religion with something else. I ultimately decided to join the HAI when I realised they also doubled as a political lobby who closely represent my views.
ucantcmeimsmilin
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Post by ucantcmeimsmilin » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:40 pm

I would like to know is how we "turned", as I like to call it, from God to Atheism.

I decided I did not believe in god as a result of a lot of reading and thinking. I was also lucky to have open minded parents (one a believer the other a non-believer) so I got to hear both sides of the "is there a god" discussion. Unlike some stories there was no horrible experiences, just a slow rational realisation that the judeo-christian god was not possible. I became an agnostic, but this still troubled me.

Ironically enough, Occam's razor (Occam was a franciscan friar) that convinced me I was an atheist
"All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one"

The simplest solution is there is no god. I remember waking up in my bedroom during a school holiday and a weight was off my shoulders. I simply did not believe.

Summary of my conclusion, unchanged for some time (fairly common for people who would be scientifically minded):
I cannot disprove the existence of god, but as I do not know of any scientific evidence to show that there is one, I do not believe that there is one.

In the Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" scale I believe it is 6/7?
(I would check in my copy of my book but it is out on loan...)
Also at what age?
Agnosticism from 14, atheism, a couple of years after that.
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:53 pm

bipedalhumanoid wrote:
BillyH wrote:
bipedalhumanoid wrote:Just out of curiosity, what makes you choose the term 'humanist'?
Short story... Up until 14 years ago I always referred to myself as atheist, but never felt easy with the title. It felt negative and anti everyone who had a belief. Plus you are immediately pigeon holed with the term.

Then I heard about the Humanist Association and discovered that they had the same belief system I had. I found myself amongst a group of people where it is very comfortable talking about your non-beliefs and your dislikes of religion, as well as everyday matters, social, philosophical, and whatever.

Plus we meet on a social basis for informal and formal events. Have non-religious life ceremonies, of birth, marriage and funerals, and have a world-wide organisation of like-minded people.

Check out: http://www.humanism.ie
and
http://www.iheu.org
Thanks for sharing. It's funny, I had the opposite impression. I thought that humanism was too much like a religion so the term humanist made me feel uneasy. It seemed to me to be a place for non-believers who would prefer to be believers... ie. those non-believers who seek to replace a religion with something else. I ultimately decided to join the HAI when I realised they also doubled as a political lobby who closely represent my views.
I'd claim the same position 6/7. weak atheism. I also was liberated at age 14 but I didn't turn to agnosticism at that age. I went straight to atheism. Someone convinced me that agnosticism was logical at about age 22 but I never liked the term because it was too ambiguous. When I discovered the term 'weak atheist' I realised it described my position more accurately than agnosticism.
mkaobrih
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Post by mkaobrih » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:18 am

For me it was when at 10 I discovered that Santa was invented by parents.
It was a big shock and then I just no longer believed in god, as he didn’t give me presents every year and I had more reason to believe in Santa than god. Also at that time I stopped being scared of ghost or monsters and the dark as well.
Johnnnnn
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Post by Johnnnnn » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:51 pm

For me it was the lack of any evidence of a god.

The concept of god always seemed a bit hypothetical. Seen as God was supposed to live up in the sky, this meant that the god hypothesis was inaccessible to proof or disproof. I never came across any evidence that I considered valid to support the god hypothesis. Praying felt like trying to make myself talk to an imaginary friend that I knew did not exist and I never liked it. Also the god hypothesis seemed to be an over-simplification because it leads to the question of how could a god have originated.

As for religion, it took religion to use the god hypothesis as the premise on which it claims authority and power and promotes its own agenda.

The church declares a belief in a god, which it then regards as fact. However, the church did not seem concerned about evidence for a god. Some of the arguments used by religion to support the belief in god seemed to be based on a type of circular logic by referring to the bible as if the bible was fact, but likewise the bible fails to provide any valid evidence to support the god hypothesis and other claims within it.

For me I found that science gives a much more satisfying explanation to the working of this world and universe without the need of invoking a god. Whereas the explanations given by religion only seemed to confuse my understanding of the world around me.

It is great not to be bamboozled by religion.

I am delighted to be atheist.

Science illuminates where theology obfuscates.

For those who claim that there is a god, the burden of proof lies with them.
peadar
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Post by peadar » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:36 pm

I'm not really sure. I'm not actually sure i ever really believed in God. I remember being genuinely baffled as a child - i was convinced the grown-ups were having a laugh. A pivotal moment for me was when i asked a fellow 7 year old in the school playground if he really believed in God. I remember the gunk i got after his puzzled "yes, of course!"

I guess there were a few years where I went along with things more wholeheartedly, before adolescence brought along a whole bunch of new issues....and 'my going along with it' became laced with seething resentment.

But I'm not sure i have ever experienced a genuine deep belief in 'God'. Existential bewilderment, hubris of the Self, fear of extinction - all the things that ram people's minds into 'God' - but never what i'd call a 'belief'.

Maybe I can ask that playground question again: did you ever really believe in God?
ravenflag
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Post by ravenflag » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:44 pm

I firmly belived in god until the age of about fifteen,so much so that aunts and uncles thought i would be a priest :lol: ,sorry to disappoint.

It just seemed to be a natural progression,no major incident or trauma involved,i just started to think about it instead of blindly accepting what i had been told for all those years.
Over time the more i thought about it the less sense it made until one day it was gone, never to be seen again.

Looking back its the best event (i wont say decision because it cant be a decision) that happened to me.
I would not change a thing,(well cheaper beer would be nice). :D
By all means lets be open minded,but not so open minded that our brains fall out.
Richard Dawkins
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