Did you ever believe in God?

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Dev
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Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Dev » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:17 am

I always knew that Santa wasn't real and quickly deduced it was my parents leaving presents under my tree. That said I always wanted to believe in Santa. I figured God was similar to Santa but for adults.

I remember once when I was very young I dropped my brothers bike in to a river that he got from Santa. I started crying and praying and told god I would give him a hundred quid if he got it back to my brother. My dad fished it out of the river and I never gave god that hundred quid.

Other than this one admittedly odd occasion I have never believed. I assumed this is the case for most people on this forum. Am I right in saying most people here are in their late teens/early twenties and were skeptics from word go, are there any who believed in a God but as they got older it became apparent they would become atheist?
Alexis
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Alexis » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:12 am

Dev wrote:I have never believed.
Never believed? What, never believed in anything? Like Life? Love? Are you sure you're not still a brainwashed Catholic :shock:

I believe in LOTS of things, which includes the belief that the Catholic Church, aka The Vatican, is an EVIL empire.

Fuck the Catholic Church :twisted: and all its brainwashed products. :lol:
Feardorcha
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Feardorcha » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:56 am

Dev: Am I right in saying most people here are in their late teens/early twenties
I wish.
I believed in relgion when I was at school and began to doubt in my twenties when I started taking an interest in the world, politics, girls etc. Then I made the intellectual leap and from that point the nonsense of it all came as a great relief. It was like dropping a heavy haversack that I had been carrying for years. But that was all a century ago.
Beebub
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Beebub » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:02 pm

I always knew that Santa wasn't real
What?? I have a 5 year old who nearly wet himself with excitment last Christmas at the prospect of Santa coming. I know it'll be the same or probably even more exciting for him this year. I think Santa is a great idea, kids should have some make believe in their lives. Are you saying that at the age of 5 you didn't believe in Santa? If that true, that's really quite sad.
Am I right in saying most people here are in their late teens/early twenties
If only saying it made it so!

To answer your question, I have been thinking about this recently and I think I never believed in god. I remember as a kid being in mass and seeing people bow their heads in quiet contemplation at certain points in the ceremony and I always wondered what they were thinking about. I never knew what I was supposed to do at that point and so just copied everyone else and thought about football or TV or sweets, occassionally taking a peek with one eye to see if it was now acceptable to look up.

I went to a Jesuit school for 10 years and attended mass there regularly, received probably daily religious instruction of some sort, including a bleedin' prayer before each class. :roll: But again I never really got it. By the time I was a teenager, mass and god was just way too cool for school and so the only thing to do was to go to mass at a time my parents didn't and stand outside (god, I was such a rebel!).

By late teens early 20s the whole abuse scandals were coming to light, including one who I knew very well (not too well you understand) and that was Ivan Payne. He was the curate in my local church and as teenagers we genuinely joked about not being on our own with him (half in jest...) . It was all a big laugh, but clearly people knew what was going on. The revalations about his evil acts and the cover up involved really made my blood boil (and still does). But even then, I think my godlessness was well and truely established long before these revalations came out.

I'm pleased to say that both my parents are now atheists (my father signed his resignation letter from countmeout.ie on the same day as me). Ivan Payne certainly had a hand in their Damascus moment.

So, in short, no I don't think I ever believed in god!
shanetuohy
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by shanetuohy » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:11 pm

It's an interesting question.

I suppose for a lot of people, including me, back when I was younger, religion was just a part of life. You did what your parents and teachers told you, and took as given they were right with what they said.

It was really only when I reached secondary school when I started to think about it, and over a period of a few years, culminating with reading Dawkins et al, I became an Atheist.

Since then I've become gradually more and more opposed to religion, to the point where I rate about a 6.5 on Dawkins' 7 point scale.
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by GoldenRule » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:29 pm

I suppose I did believe what I was taught, do you remember when the priest came into the classroom to test us on our knowledge of the questions- ie
''what is the holy spirit?;;
answer, ''the holy spirit is...''
''what is original sin?''
ans, ''original sin is...''- When I think of it now it is so brain washing and controlling and I will certainly not be allowing my children to be brainwashed.

I began questioning in my teens perhaps and was always interested in the topic of religion, I find it fascinating to be honest. I went on to study Philosophy and Theology and it really opened my mind. Now I keep getting hung up on the whole epistemological argument of never truly knowing anything so I wonder whats the point of claiming to believe anything. It doesn't stop me from still being very interested in the topic though.
Ygern
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Ygern » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:26 pm

Ah yes, that Little Red Book of Catechism. Even as a young child I suspected there was something odd about a book that posed questions, provided the answers and expected you to learn then off by heart.

I could never get past page 2 to my credit. I've never been able to regurgitate reams of memorised cant. Not one of my talents, alas.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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Beebub
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Beebub » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:09 pm

do you remember when the priest came into the classroom to test us on our knowledge of the questions- ie
''what is the holy spirit?;;
answer, ''the holy spirit is...''
''what is original sin?''
ans, ''original sin is...''
Can't say I had that in my school. I went to a local national school up to the age of 8 and the a Jesuit school from 8-18 and never experienced anything like the above.
Little Red Book of Catechism.
The what?? Never heard of that either. Maybe before my time?? In fact, I remember religion classes as a young child being pretty ok. For example, Jesus, assuming that he or someone like him existed and said at least some of the stuff he's quoted as saying in the bible wasn't a bad bloke. He had some pretty decent things to say. 'Love on another' 'Turn the other cheek' and all that jazz. I certainly don't remember being taught fire & brimstone stuff form the Old Testament.
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Hobbesian World View » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:01 pm

Did you ever believe in God
Good question. Yes I believed totally as a child. I swallowed the whole thing, hook line and sinker. I became very pious with statues in my room, holy water, rosary beads etc.

I had my first doubts, at the age of 13, when I heard that there were other religions, and billions of people around the world were equally convinced that their completely different story was the truth. The whole thing started to feel, not quite right. But I persisted with praying until I was 19, thinking my doubts were because I wasnt working hard enough at connecting with God. The priests at school and my parents were encouraging this approach, and would not tolerate any critical questioning.

But then, at 19, I read Dawkins, and immediately I knew that religion was all wrong. Over-night I became vehemently anti religion and felt that I had been lied to. I starting hassling my catholic friends with all the obvious flaws of christianity.

Seventeen years of atheism later, and I still feel some bitterness that adults lied to me and forced me to participate in it. But glad, at least that I found Dawkins books and managed to escape the cult. The cult that so many people wasted their whole lives serving.
Alexis
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Re: Did you ever believe in God?

Post by Alexis » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:44 pm

Beebub wrote:So, in short, no I don't think I ever believed in god!
Beebub, you (like SO many Irish people, and Catholics the world over) make the mistake of thinking that being an adherent to organised religion is the same as believing in God. I know, its just a three-letter word, but the word "God" to me, if it means anything at all, means LOVE - i.e., the evolution of Humanity. The Catholic Church is the absolute antithesis to Love, to the evolution of Humanity itself!

So, what exactly are you talking about, Beebub :?
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