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Poll: What faith were you raised in before becoming an atheist?
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Presbyterian
0%
0 0%
Lutheran
5.26%
1 5.26%
Episcopalian
0%
0 0%
Catholic
26.32%
5 26.32%
Methodist
15.79%
3 15.79%
Baptist
15.79%
3 15.79%
Evangelical
5.26%
1 5.26%
Charismatic/Pentecostal
5.26%
1 5.26%
Non-Christian Religion: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism,
5.26%
1 5.26%
Other (please share)
21.05%
4 21.05%
Total 19 vote(s) 100%
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Faith Before Atheism
#51

Faith Before Atheism
(05-18-2024, 11:50 AM)Brian Shanahan Wrote: Stating you hold a belief position doesn't indicate whether you believe of not, without elaboration.  It's simply a statement that you have insufficient evidence to know.

What sufficient evidence would you require from theists to know?
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#52

Faith Before Atheism
(05-18-2024, 11:58 AM)brewerb Wrote:
(05-18-2024, 11:50 AM)Brian Shanahan Wrote: Stating you hold a belief position doesn't indicate whether you believe of not, without elaboration.  It's simply a statement that you have insufficient evidence to know.

What sufficient evidence would you require from theists to know?

Any
Factio Republicanus delenda est!
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#53

Faith Before Atheism
(05-18-2024, 01:25 PM)Brian Shanahan Wrote:
(05-18-2024, 11:58 AM)brewerb Wrote: What sufficient evidence would you require from theists to know?

Any

Have you seen sufficient evidence to date?
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#54

Faith Before Atheism
Newby here! I joined specifically to answer Kathryn's questions because there are some that were oddly worded coming from an atheist. I'll point those out.

What was your faith/denomination/religious/spiritual upbringing before atheism?

I was raised as a Methodist. I still have a soft spot for the church especially considered recent events.

How long were you a part of this faith or denomination?

That's the problem. I didn't really have faith. I was growing up and learning about the world around me when at the age of 20, I needed to know whether god existed or not. I hadn't thought about before then.

What were your opinions growing up within this faith or denomination?

I had no opinion because I hadn't examined it.

What age were you when you became an atheist?

It's not so much I became an atheist but that I concluded god didn't exist - and realized that made me an atheist - I was 20 years old.

What was the reaction of others? Did you receive or find support for your decisions or not?

I kept it a secret because I knew that there were people who would harm atheists, just because they were atheists. So I told people when it was appropriate. To this day, my brothers and sisters do not know. My parents never did.

What were the main reasons for why you became an atheist (like top three)?

I went searching for a sign that god existed and what I got was a sign that he didn't.

Why did you choose atheism vs agnosticism or another religion?

This question bothers me. It is asked like a theist would. You don't choose to be an atheist. You realize you are one - either slowly or suddenly. It isn't a choice.

Was there ever a time you considered yourself agnostic before becoming an atheist?

Yes. For about 2 weeks I considered myself an agnostic because I couldn't prove that god did not exist. However, it only took those 2 weeks to realize that while I couldn't logically prove it, all the evidence pointed to it and none against.

Did you try to believe in or practice another religion?

No.

If so, which one and why?

N/A

Are there other forms of religion or spirituality you like an appreciate?

As I said, I have a soft spot for the United Methodist church. The others range from mild amusement to downright disgust.

If so, what are they?

N/A

Did you come from a more conservative or more liberal household?

Liberal.

What were your interests growing up (math, science, art, dancing, etc)?

Music, science, car racing. Math was just something I was good at and was useful in science. Later in life I became interested in history.
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#55

Faith Before Atheism
Kathryn's question contains several ambiguities:

"What faith were you raised in before becoming an atheist?"

Firstly, she needs to specifically define what she
means by the term raised.  Does this mean
chosen, by oneself, to follow a religion?  Does
it mean one was indoctrinated by religious parents?
Or perhaps attended a (say) Catholic school where
religious instruction was a compulsory part of its
curriculum?

The question also presupposes that one actually did
follow a religion, before adopting atheism - which of
course is a non sequitur (in my opinion).

I'm not sure either that Kathryn fully understands what
it means to describe oneself as an atheist.  It's simply a
state of mind, like being happy or sad or in love.  There's
no particular blueprint.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#56

Faith Before Atheism
(05-18-2024, 01:53 PM)CapriMark1 Wrote: Newby here! 

Welcome to the discussion new entity.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#57

Faith Before Atheism
(05-19-2024, 11:01 AM)brewerb Wrote:
(05-18-2024, 01:53 PM)CapriMark1 Wrote: Newby here! 

Welcome to the discussion new entity.

Thanks, but call me Capri.  "New Entity" sounds so ..... ah ....... impersonal.
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#58

Faith Before Atheism
(05-19-2024, 11:34 AM)CapriMark1 Wrote:
(05-19-2024, 11:01 AM)brewerb Wrote: Welcome to the discussion new entity.

Thanks, but call me Capri.  "New Entity" sounds so ..... ah ....... impersonal.

I picked something very generic because I/we know so little about you. Can I interest you in to creating an 'Introduction' thread without resorting to barking at you? Tongue
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#59

Faith Before Atheism
(05-19-2024, 09:42 AM)SYZ Wrote: Kathryn's question contains several ambiguities:

"What faith were you raised in before becoming an atheist?"

Firstly, she needs to specifically define what she
means by the term raised.  Does this mean
chosen, by oneself, to follow a religion?  Does
it mean one was indoctrinated by religious parents?
Or perhaps attended a (say) Catholic school where
religious instruction was a compulsory part of its
curriculum?

The question also presupposes that one actually did
follow a religion, before adopting atheism - which of
course is a non sequitur (in my opinion).

I'm not sure either that Kathryn fully understands what
it means to describe oneself as an atheist.  It's simply a
state of mind, like being happy or sad or in love.  There's
no particular blueprint.

"Raised" seems to me to mean "taught" and probably by parents and/or a church.  

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "state of mind, like being happy or sad or in love".  Those seem like emotion issues.  I don't think about atheism emotionally myself.  To me it is more of a deliberate thought-process.  A matter of evidence and lack of it.  

i am always interested in how some others decided they were atheist.  For me, I never wasn't.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#60

Faith Before Atheism
(05-20-2024, 09:55 AM)Cavebear Wrote: ...I'm not quite sure what you mean by "state of mind, like being happy or sad or in love".  Those seem like emotion issues.  I don't think about atheism emotionally myself.  To me it is more of a deliberate thought-process.  A matter of evidence and lack of it.  

I am always interested in how some others decided they were atheist.  For me, I never wasn't.

It's hard for me to put my definition of the state of personal
atheism into words.  I was trying to illustrate that atheism
is something that defies any grammatical definition.  Nobody is
able to define love for example.  Happiness and sadness occur
spontaneously and subconsciously in the human brain. People
can't quell fear—it's an uncontrollable hormonal response.  The
classic "flee or fight" response.

I don't believe that anybody actively decides to "become" an
atheist—it's more a case of them walking away from religion
if anything.  I never made a conscious decision to "become"
an atheist; it just happened without my awareness.

(Sorry, all that probably makes no sense LOL.)
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#61

Faith Before Atheism
(05-20-2024, 10:55 AM)SYZ Wrote:
(05-20-2024, 09:55 AM)Cavebear Wrote: ...I'm not quite sure what you mean by "state of mind, like being happy or sad or in love".  Those seem like emotion issues.  I don't think about atheism emotionally myself.  To me it is more of a deliberate thought-process.  A matter of evidence and lack of it.  

I am always interested in how some others decided they were atheist.  For me, I never wasn't.

It's hard for me to put my definition of the state of personal
atheism into words.  I was trying to illustrate that atheism
is something that defies any grammatical definition.  Nobody is
able to define love for example.  Happiness and sadness occur
spontaneously and subconsciously in the human brain. People
can't quell fear—it's an uncontrollable hormonal response.  The
classic "flee or fight" response.

I don't believe that anybody actively decides to "become" an
atheist—it's more a case of them walking away from religion
if anything.  I never made a conscious decision to "become"
an atheist; it just happened without my awareness.

(Sorry, all that probably makes no sense LOL.)

Actually, I understand. I never "decided" to become an atheist. I just realized one time that (about 12) i was. I didn't even have to "walk away from" religion as some people do. I just never had one. I was an early no Santa, no Easter Bunny, no Tooth Fairy kind of a kid. "No deity" came naturally after that.

Some people have to struggle away from religion and I have learned from their posts over many years how difficult that was. But I was never a theist and somewhat grateful for my easy journey to atheism.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#62

Faith Before Atheism
(05-20-2024, 10:55 AM)SYZ Wrote: ......... I was trying to illustrate that atheism
is something that defies any grammatical definition........

Sorry, but I sort of disagree.


I think there is a perfectly good definition:  Atheism is when a person doesn't believe in any gods.

That's different than "believing that gods don't exist".  That second one is just on the other side of that "believe" line.

But if you were trying to point out that the first and the second phraseology are both used as definitions, then Yes! that sorts of does defy grammatical definition.

And what does it mean when someone says the "know" gods don't exist.  What is meant by "know"?  Is it the same as "convinced"?

And this seems to be a problem that theists just don't have.  

Except:  What do you call someone who hasn't really explored his "beliefs" and is just a passenger on the belief train.  I suppose he's a theist, but the word doesn't fit very well.

OK, this is what I love about exploring the fringes of words and language.  What makes it even more interesting when someone shows up that is ignoring these odd quirks and insists that other people are confined to definitions that they don't fit in.
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#63

Faith Before Atheism
(05-20-2024, 05:16 PM)CapriMark1 Wrote:
(05-20-2024, 10:55 AM)SYZ Wrote: ......... I was trying to illustrate that atheism
is something that defies any grammatical definition........

Sorry, but I sort of disagree.


I think there is a perfectly good definition:  Atheism is when a person doesn't believe in any gods.

That's different than "believing that gods don't exist".  That second one is just on the other side of that "believe" line.

But if you were trying to point out that the first and the second phraseology are both used as definitions, then Yes! that sorts of does defy grammatical definition.

And what does it mean when someone says the "know" gods don't exist.  What is meant by "know"?  Is it the same as "convinced"?

And this seems to be a problem that theists just don't have.  

Except:  What do you call someone who hasn't really explored his "beliefs" and is just a passenger on the belief train.  I suppose he's a theist, but the word doesn't fit very well.

OK, this is what I love about exploring the fringes of words and language.  What makes it even more interesting when someone shows up that is ignoring these odd quirks and insists that other people are confined to definitions that they don't fit in.

I think you have it "mostly" right.  But you have to be careful about "atheist" and "belief".  To my personal understanding, atheists don't actually "believe" in anything regarding religions.  It isn't an active disbelief, just a lack of one.  Sort of like about unicorns.  Agnostics seem to consider that there might be a deity, but it is "unknowable" if it is exists. Theists, of course believe, through faith, that there is one only they have correctly understood.

Another way to look at it is that atheists don't sit around wondering if the are any deities, agnostics wonder if there is one, and theists are certain there is.  Atheists see no evidence of one, agnostics insist there "might be" one (because "who knows"), and theists are certain they know the only one true deity and there are books that tell them so.  

Without theisms, there would be no atheists.  The concept of atheism wouldn't exist without the initial claim of a theism.  It would be like some guy around a campfire suddenly stood up and said "There are no Glorps".

I don't have to disbelieve in Glorps.  I just ignore the idea as a matter of daily reality.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#64

Faith Before Atheism
(05-20-2024, 10:55 AM)SYZ Wrote: I was trying to illustrate that atheism
is something that defies any grammatical definition.  Nobody is
able to define love for example.  

It's actually grammatically clear. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods. That's rather different than asking someone to define love. I know love when I feel it (in one of its many permutations) without having to define it. I also know that I don't believe in claptrap that has no evidence.

I don't ask for evidence of love, because I experience it. I ask for evidence of gods because I haven't seen seas part or crucified folk resurrected lately. Small niggle, I know.

Comparing the two is essentially a category error. I cannot deny my feelings. I can examine the evidence -- or its lack -- for any god I claim exists.
On hiatus.
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#65

Faith Before Atheism
(05-21-2024, 07:22 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(05-20-2024, 10:55 AM)SYZ Wrote: I was trying to illustrate that atheism
is something that defies any grammatical definition.  Nobody is
able to define love for example.  

It's actually grammatically clear. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods...

Nope.  That's not correct because it presuppose and legitimises
the notion that God or gods could exist.  It's identical to saying
you don't believe in unicorns.  Both gods and unicorns are simply
fantastical, imaginary entities.

I actually describe myself as (technically) ignostic—but people
seldom know what I'm talking about, so for convenience I call
myself an atheist.

I don't like the word atheist anyway, because it implies that one's
position is the antithesis of being a theist—which it's of course not.

Atheism (so-called) has nothing to do with religion.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#66

Faith Before Atheism
(05-21-2024, 02:25 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(05-21-2024, 07:22 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: It's actually grammatically clear. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods...

Nope.  That's not correct because it presuppose and legitimises
the notion that God or gods could exist.  

Acknowledging the existence of a concept is not the same as granting it possible existence. Gandalf exists as a concept, but he doesn't exist in real life.

I am indeed correct in the meaning of the word atheist, your demurral notwithstanding.

Additionally, you didn't address my point about your inapt analogy.
On hiatus.
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#67

Faith Before Atheism
I have to disagree with your over-simplistic definition.
This is typically what theists say, and it totally misses
the point of what it means to be an atheist...

Quote:An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods...

As an "atheist", I do not disbelieve in gods.  You
may well do so (as do many other people), but I don't.

(I'm guessing at this point it's time we agree to disagree,
otherwise this toing and froing could go on forever LOL.)
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#68

Faith Before Atheism
Dear Kathryn,

What was your Atheism like before you started to believe in a god ?

Everyone you know, from your parents to your priest had no belief in a god at some point in their childhood, then abruptly they were introduced to the concept of a god and more than likely taken to a church.

Luckily for me, no one in my family nor extended family was ever really religious. We said grace on Thanksgiving and Christmas and that was the extent of our religious exposure.

Unfortunately, many others around the world are fully exposed to a religion, like the trauma of seeing an old pervert expose himself to others. Many call such a pervert a Priest.

I have always remained an atheist throughout my life. I've never believed in any gods and very thankful to my parents for the very limited exposure that I did have.

I'm sorry you had to endure the religion of your parents. I hope you're able to heal from all that life long trauma
Insanity - Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
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#69

Faith Before Atheism
(05-21-2024, 02:25 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(05-21-2024, 07:22 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: It's actually grammatically clear. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods...

Nope.  That's not correct because it presuppose and legitimises
the notion that God or gods could exist.  It's identical to saying
you don't believe in unicorns.  Both gods and unicorns are simply
fantastical, imaginary entities.

I actually describe myself as (technically) ignostic—but people
seldom know what I'm talking about, so for convenience I call
myself an atheist.

I don't like the word atheist anyway, because it implies that one's
position is the antithesis of being a theist—which it's of course not.

Atheism (so-called) has nothing to do with religion.

I will repeat that the "a" comes from "not or without" from Greek. so "atheist" simply means not having a theism.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#70

Faith Before Atheism
(05-22-2024, 06:11 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(05-21-2024, 02:25 PM)SYZ Wrote: Atheism (so-called) has nothing to do with religion.

I will repeat that the "a" comes from "not or without" from Greek.  so "atheist" simply means not having a theism.

Which is precisely why I invariably describe myself as "ignostic"
because I'm a bit wary of the word atheist—as it kind of gives
a modicum of credence to the word theist and its definition...
Quote:A person who believes in the existence of a god or gods,
specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.

It's of interest that the unicorn is mentioned several times in the
Bible, as per:

Quote:Psalm 92:10;   But my horn shalt thou exalt like the
horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

   Note the singular, "horn" and "the horn".

And contrary to the theist's desperate claims to the contrary,
the unicorns thusly described, as the biblical re'em, were
not  "wild ox", "wild bulls", or "buffaloes".

   As this proves...

Quote:Isaiah 34:7;  And the unicorns shall come down with them, and
the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with
blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#71

Faith Before Atheism
Originally Southern Baptist. Migrated to Methodist to get away from extremists, but then Methodists became too extreme for me. Read too many books. Learned too much about religion. Slow transformed into an atheist. Now I'm pretty solidly anti-theist as well. I don't pursue people but if someone asks, I'll explain why religion is nonsense and a waste of time.
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#72

Faith Before Atheism
(05-24-2024, 12:16 PM)The Paladin Wrote: Originally Southern Baptist.  Migrated to Methodist to get away from extremists, but then Methodists became too extreme for me.  Read too many books.  Learned too much about religion.  Slow transformed into an atheist.  Now I'm pretty solidly anti-theist as well.  I don't pursue people but if someone asks, I'll explain why religion is nonsense and a waste of time.
That pesky ol' book learnin' will do it every time.
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#73

Faith Before Atheism
(05-25-2024, 10:05 PM)mordant Wrote: That pesky ol' book learnin' will do it every time.

As a boy of seven or eight years old, one of the first questions I had once I fell in love with reading about dinosaurs is why they aren't mentioned at all in the Bible. I'd learnt about Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, and the denizens of them. But this dude God didn't seem to know about iguanasaurs or ceratopsians or even mention any of these critters. You'd think our Benefactor would at least warn us about raptors or allosaurids.
On hiatus.
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#74

Faith Before Atheism
Were there numbats, platypuses, and koalas on the Ark?

   —Just askin' LOL.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#75

Faith Before Atheism
(05-26-2024, 02:31 PM)SYZ Wrote: Were there numbats, platypuses, and koalas on the Ark?

   —Just askin' LOL.

Apparently Australia was permitted by God to float above the waters but was undiscovered by Noah. For HIS own personal reasons... Big Grin
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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