Atheist unite!!

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
I feel stupid for feeling this way about a cat.

Do NOT, and I mean it, do ABSOLUTELY NOT feel stupid about this. Your feelings are valid. Your attachment to Ferdinand is valid.

You think you have to feel stupid because of the way society has tried to condition us. "It's just a cat". Yeah, nope, it isn't.

Because vvv

But I wish I could explain how he was more than just a cat.

It's valid. It's a real thing. There's actual f*cking scientific studies backing that up.

And I know we often can't openly speak about this in particular because ... ^^^ *society ... but you have safe spaces among people who understand.

Maybe it says bad things about me

Nope, it doesn't.
I remember reading somewhere rather recently (your diary?) that SRW thinks you may be autistic and while you yourself don't know, you agree that you do display at least autistic traits.

You know what is really f*cking common among autistics? A very deep, otherwise societal unparalleled, love for and connection with animals.

Feel free to explore this further, if you want. It's a thing.

I'm not autistic (afaik, but like you, display traits), but neurodivergent as ADHD, and I found a lot of understanding upon reading this within the ND community. Because I too often encountered a lot of lack of understanding from others

I've never really lost a beloved human. But this hurts so goddamn much.

Yep. Animal (pet) deaths hit me harder than humans. Sometimes I wonder if *that* tells you a lot about *me* and what's *wrong* with me (as in: why am I apparently not able to build such deep connections with other actual humans?), but again, there's actual scientific studies providing support that it's valid. It's just frequently hushed within society because it's not "allowed" to be like that. I've definietely been shamed for this before...
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
Wondering ... how many of us atheists here chose to be atheists? Were any of us raised to check the "None" box under "Preferred faith?"

This is an older question (somehow the thread didn't pop up in my feed for a bit, or I just missd it in my own sheer craziness that were my last few months), but I still wanted to answer it, just in case anyone actually cares.

I was raised without any religious doctrine or conditioning, and to date any ideologies I have been exposed to simply haven't convinced me.

This.

I wasn't raised religious.
I wasn't raised non-religious, either.

It just never was a topic in my family.

My parents and both sets of grandparents aren't religious. My uncle (converted as a young adult) and his family, though, are. My one grandma also frequently volunteered in the church community. We would attend church weddings, Christenings etc. I definitely learned about the religious meaning of Christmas and Easter etc.; I feel like I even had a "Children's bible" at some point. We would also vacation in more religious regions etc.

When traveling, we would visit churches all. the. time. Because they're friggin awe-inspiring. Architecurally. Remember, I'm from Europe.

In school (from elementary all the way through middle~), when the religious kids had "Christian Class" (or whatever it's called), the non-religious kids (me) had a separate class where we would (amonst other things) learn in depth about all the different big religions, including Christianity. Without judgment.

So, I really wasn't raised either way. It wasn't encouraged or discouraged by my parents. It just wasn't of any importance in our daily life - either way. I wasn't shielded away from religion. But like bell, I also just never encountered anything to convince me otherwise. And I do have friends who grew up non-religious and converted later, and yeah, it still causes lots of questionmarks for me.

I personally have major respect for people who were raised religious and chose atheism later. Not being raised religious is a privilege that I personally recognize (and am grateful for).
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
My parents were very disorganized about religion and more or less went from new Age to Buddhism to Evangelism then back to Catholicism with pseudo Shamanic incursions. What a mess. But I guess what has stuck with me were my grandparents that were raging communists and i remember all the Christmas things being very bizarre, really for me it made no sense. I like the colours a lot though.

Later I was brought to Christian educations classes at school and my repeated failed attempts at understanding any of it made me be branded as evil. It was just too late for me I guess.

However I have met Christian people who really weren’t judgemental at all and in whom I found much more kindness, understanding and intelligence than in many atheists. I don’t align with religion and on the total I find it quickly becomes an oppressing system but that nun was the only one who took time to talk to the feral creature I was, and she never tried to convince me of anything, at the maximum she’d speak for herself.

I don’t think it’s something strictly tied to religion but sometimes I feel since Atheism is generally more embedded in a Marxist background, or at least some revolutionary one, it tends to express itself more vehemently and doesn’t promote much patience. Something that I also do agree with, don’t get me wrong, I’m not very much of a patient person and moments I’ve been I sometimes regret it.

But there is something from that nun about taking the time to sit and understand without any sort of judgement because that’s what good means that I don’t think have ever came across in other conditions. I don’t know I’m a bit puzzled on this one. I also met lots of terrible clergy. At the end people are people.
 

Sideways

Moderator
But there is something from that nun about taking the time to sit and understand without any sort of judgement
Not being judged, and not feeling judged are 2 different things.

For this person, it may be quite easy to sit and listen patiently and empathetically. Doesn't change that their belief system is: you were born with a damned soul, and it will remain damned eternally unless you jump through specific protocols.

You've been judged by the religion that she committed her life to. Before the conversation even started. And you remain judged long after you walked out. And judged pretty durn harshly at that. The fact that she could make you feel as if you weren't being judged? Is her personal skill, and nothing to do with her religion.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
The fact that she could make you feel as if you weren't being judged? Is her personal skill, and nothing to do with her religion
we are christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus, going on before.

God gave her that skill, she owes it to him to use it. Where it does the most good, where it will get the greatest effect, on children. Predator for god. What a job description.

They get you while you are young or they don't get you. Or, sometimes during that time between facing death and experiencing it. In between? getting rarer and rarer.
That whole bit about holding two conflicting ideas in your head at the same time? Yeah, it must enable them to feel loved by a god that will throw them in hell if they don't love him back. But even then, it sucks when the two conflicting ideas are that they are a damned sinner and helpless without religion, but they are better than anyone else that doesn't feel that way about themselves because they have religion.

That nun was skillfully doing her job, as she saw it, in her oddly constructed mind.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
I have met Christian people who really weren’t judgemental at all and in whom I found much more kindness, understanding and intelligence

That is an experience I share. I've met - even am friends with - the odd deeply religious person who are some of the nicest, kindest, most open and tolerant, intelligent people I know.

The more it irks me that the same people would *still* follow their religion, including all the astrocities said religions stand for and to this day practice.

How can someone who is pro-LGBTQ, pro-choice, pro-whatnot, and a heap of other "progressive" topics continue being a Catholic, for example?

There is a difference between being a Believer and following a religion. And some, while technically being the former by heart and thoughts, continue choosing the latter.

And that doesn't compute for me. And leaves a bitter taste.

sometimes I feel since Atheism is generally more embedded in a Marxist background, or at least some revolutionary one, it tends to express itself more vehemently and doesn’t promote much patience.

Offering a different view.

Most of the most radical, outspoken, intolerant atheists I've met have been raised religious and chose atheism later in life, usually as late adolescents or in early adulthood. I think it's due to the dogmatic black- and white-thinking they've been raised with that is such an inherent part of pretty much all religions, that they just can't help themselves, just don't know differently.

Most non-religious people I know that weren't raised religious? Like me, don't actually identify as atheist but as agnostic. And don't necessarily have a beef with the religion per se but with the patriarchal structures. Which probably brings it back to your "Marxist background" point.

Or as I like to call it: decency and humanity.

I’m not very much of a patient person

I genuinely try to approach every person from a point of kindness, at least politeness, and make it an (granted, not always successful) effort to listen first and judge second.

But, I have zero patience nor tolerance for hate and lack of respect for actual living beings. And I don't think we should. I truely believe that precisely that, too many people trying to have patience for things that don't deserve patience, or worse, turning a blind eye because they are afraid of conflict, is a root cause for all the problems with have with (radical) religious people.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
I genuinely try to approach every person from a point of kindness, at least politeness, and make it an (granted, not always successful) effort to listen first and judge second.

But, I have zero patience nor tolerance for hate and lack of respect for actual living beings. And I don't think we should. I truely believe that precisely that, too many people trying to have patience for things that don't deserve patience, or worse, turning a blind eye because they are afraid of conflict, is a root cause for all the problems with have with (radical) religious people.
Yep, them radicals ruin it for all of them. I have known some very smart religious people, BUT, to quote a famously outspoken anti-theist:

"that shit they believe has got their minds all shut"
-FZ
 
Most of the most radical, outspoken, intolerant atheists I've met have been raised religious and chose atheism later in life, usually as late adolescents or in early adulthood.
This is true.

It also holds true for religious folks - if you were converted later in life, you're probably going to be a bigger zealot than those who are born into a belief system.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
"that shit they believe has got their minds all shut"

This is the fundamental basis of pretty much all religions. That you don't have to think for yourself. You have someone else do it for you. And inherent as well as taught lower cognitive/critical thinking abilities aside, it's a pretty comfortable position to be in and that's why many people choose it. Because it means they don't have to deal with the uncomfortable thoughts. Let someone else have the frustration, maybe even misery, mulling over all the controversial and awful and uncomfortable shit, and once they've come to a conclusion/end result, you can just easily take it from their without the hard mental work.

It also holds true for religious folks - if you were converted later in life, you're probably going to be a bigger zealot than those who are born into a belief system.

Yep. It's like both of them - late atheists/late religious ~ seem to have this need to constantly convince themselves and everyone else that they reaaaaaallly truely are atheists/religious. To me it either means they're compensating for years if not decades of the other extreme, almost in an attempt to 'redeem' themselves, or they're just really truely not actually comfortable with their "choice".

That being said, I don't think being raised non-religious instills quite the same magnitude of black-and-white thinking, as being raised religious does.
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
Not being judged, and not feeling judged are 2 different things.

For this person, it may be quite easy to sit and listen patiently and empathetically. Doesn't change that their belief system is: you were born with a damned soul, and it will remain damned eternally unless you jump through specific protocols.

You've been judged by the religion that she committed her life to. Before the conversation even started. And you remain judged long after you walked out. And judged pretty durn harshly at that. The fact that she could make you feel as if you weren't being judged? Is her personal skill, and nothing to do with her religion.
That’s actually a very fair point, but as me not believing in God therefore not much worried about being a damned soul, the direct help I got from her doing her job trying to save me or watch the world or whatever she felt invested in, was more beneficial to me than if she didn’t. This might sound somewhat cynical but, at the end of the day things happen one over the other, and it hasn’t much sense or reason. As long as she isn’t secretly planning to burn me alive by luring me in, I don’t really care if she judges me to be a lost soul that will be damned.

For some context this happened in religious raising, and I faced quite a lot of bigots (what to say, my dad managed to be a monk, and I really do not carry the orders in my heart to say the least) and that specific nun wasn’t like that. I am also not quite agreeing that in her mindset she was judging me; knowing her, only God can judge and she told me "I do not have the breadth and the understanding to judge things and people, and I shall not insult the future and the Lord by having that presumption." Being judgemental goes pretty much against the scriptures (but hey, not many religious people actually bother to follow them).

I often joke to myself that if Jesus’ story was true along with the existence of God, many Christians wouldn’t find themselves in a good position given all the blasphemy and the vanity they keep applying every day.

I guess what I liked in her attitude is that she precisely was capable to identify I’m a damned soul, I do not believe stuff that she does, but that still doesn’t break communication and it still doesn’t break benevolence. It has limitations but there are well understood. That is someone you can interact with even if you disagree.

Another priest who decided I was Satanic and would go to hell? That was pretty much of an angry, awful, dangerous person who would work his way through to f*ck you over because that idiot has the pretension to think he knows better.

I completely share the reactive irk of Atheists raised in religion. More often than not, it truly makes me sick. Religion as an institution is not an environment that generally allows for understanding, apart from a few people invested in it in that very specific way, and it happens that it rubs the institutions in the wrong way. I also won’t go to masses because that’s not my place to be. My presence literally is spoiling it, and it makes me feel desperate. No reason to inflict that to anyone.

But how many Atheists I’ve seen using their so-called Atheism as a blanket to be racist, dismissive towards the existence of sexism, [place some problem here] and have their own form of bigotry... More or less as many as I’ve seen believers do. The matters might not be the exact same and the dynamics also vary, but at the end there is a form of group thinking in human beings that when it decides to be disruptive and selective lands on similar behaviours. At some point I think it’s not so much a matter of belief but more one of general human mehness to terribleness.
 

Sideways

Moderator
As long as she isn’t secretly planning to burn me alive by luring me in, I don’t really care if she judges me to be a lost soul that will be damned.
This is a luxury that some of us have.

Unfortunately, for millions of folks around the world, "God says you're damned/a sinner" is the justification for atrocities and human rights abuses against them.

While it's nice to meet someone who is both religious and has the capacity to be kind to non-believers and other heathens, it's by no means the norm. Particularly with the Catholic Church. And tbh, the fact that she could turn a blind eye to that? Tolerate it in her everyday (because she must, by necessity, having chosen to be a nun)? It's nice that didn't rub off in her dealings with you, but it's still very much a part of who she is, and what she's chosen to do with her life.

If just being supportive and good ear was her thing, she could have chosen to be, say, a counsellor or social worker, and not been a structural part of an institution that... (fill the blanks in the appalling human rights abuses that her denomination is responsible for), you know?
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
If just being supportive and good ear was her thing, she could have chosen to be, say, a counsellor or social worker, and not been a structural part of an institution that... (fill the blanks in the appalling human rights abuses that her denomination is responsible for), you know?

This reminds me of Mother Theresa.

Who, growing up in the 90s, was somehow always this glorified selfless remarkable revered figure being brought up as a poster child for "good deeds" by religious and non-religious people alike.

It's more recent that people have actually started talking about all the human rights violations and abuses she actually did commit...
 
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