Reading a Holy Text you weren't raised with

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mwtech
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Reading a Holy Text you weren't raised with

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Post by mwtech »

I became an atheist a little over 2 months ago, and it has been a bit of a culture shock. Literally my entire life was based around the fact that there was a god who cared what I did. Since I accepted that I didn't believe it was true anymore, I have been trying to learn everything I could about logic, and reason, and atheist and theist arguments. I suppose it is sort of an attempt to undo the brainwashing and give myself a new perspective clear of any bias that may have been ingrained in me.

As part of my search for knowledge, I decided to read the Koran today. Oh my goodness, every few verses was some sort of absurdity or completely laughable or just atrocious. I imagine that seeing these ridiculous passages full of arrogance and bigotry and seeing them as not having a chance in a million years of being true...that must be what it is like for someone who was raised as an atheist to read the Bible. I really wish I could see the Bible through the same lens that I view the Koran. I'm afraid I never will be able to see it at face value because I have heard every apologetic there is to hear about what it "really means". I can't even sort out in my head what the Bible actually says and what people have told me it says. But I know if the way I see the Koran is the way non-christians can see the Bible, I feel much more strongly about the need to keep it out of schools and away from our poor children until they are old enough to understand it as myth. It worries me to have my future kids around my parents for fear of them desensitizing my children to the absurd atrocity the Bible really is.

So for those of you who didn't have the misfortune of being indoctrinated as a child, is this what it is like to look at the Bible?

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Re: Reading a Holy Text you weren't raised with

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Post by Divine Insight »

mwtech wrote: So for those of you who didn't have the misfortune of being indoctrinated as a child, is this what it is like to look at the Bible?
For me it wasn't necessary to start out as an atheist.

In the early going I believed the Bible was the word of God because this is what I was taught to believe that it was. So when I first began reading it I made every effort to try to justify everything that it had to say. After all, if this was the way things were unfolding it must be true because this is the "Holy Bible" and it is the word of God. Or at the very least it is a history of how God interacted with humans, and when it claimed that God is saying something of course I had to believe that this came from God himself.

Just the same I had questions I needed answer to. After all I was planning on preaching this stuff to others, so I had to prepare myself to answer all their questions as well. So I began to seek out answer to these most difficult of questions. Not as a skeptic, but because I needed to have rational answer to give to others who would ask these questions.

As time passed I began to realize there are no answers to these questions. Moreover, the more I searched for answer the more questions I had. Every time I tried searching for the answer to one question I would just come away from that experience with no answer and more questions. The questions became more and more profound over time, and the answers became impossible to find.

Eventually I realized that these stories cannot be the word of any God and they really can't be anything more than superstitions of men. Once I fully realized this, then reading the Bible did become as hilarious as you suggest reading the Qur'an is. I then realized that men where making all this stuff up and I could even see their devious motivations behind it. It was hilarious because I would immediately think to myself, "You've got to be kidding! Do you think anyone would actually fall for that?"

But actually I had been falling for it myself before my eyes were opened.

Now when I read it I can see that it's absurd, and actually quite underhanded in many of the things it claims.

It's laughable in terms of how utterly silly some of this stuff is, but at the same time it can sometimes make me quite angry to realize just how ruthless and immoral these authors actually were to use this religion the way they did.

I'm convinced that the men who wrote some of the Old Testament stories proclaiming that "God commands that you stone people for this and that", actually knew full well that there is no God behind them and they were simply trying to convince their readers to do their dirty work for them.

There is no greater power than to have a civilization police itself under the belief that some God had commanded them to do it. It's the ultimately political scam.

So while it's hilarious in terms of realizing that no actual God would have ever done or commanded these utterly stupid things, it's actually quite sad and depressing that men would claim to the masses that some God commanded them to kill heathens, for example. Not to mention condoning their male-chauvinism, in the name of God, etc. That kind of stuff actually ticks me off big time.

But yeah, I was raised to believe that the Bible was indeed a "Holy Book" that is the "Word of God". And now I see it clearly as nothing more than a political scam.

I can see the naked truth now.
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Re: Reading a Holy Text you weren't raised with

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Post by Zzyzx »

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mwtech wrote: I became an atheist a little over 2 months ago, and it has been a bit of a culture shock. Literally my entire life was based around the fact that there was a god who cared what I did. Since I accepted that I didn't believe it was true anymore, I have been trying to learn everything I could about logic, and reason, and atheist and theist arguments. I suppose it is sort of an attempt to undo the brainwashing and give myself a new perspective clear of any bias that may have been ingrained in me.
You have joined the increasing number of people in educated / technological societies who have come to the realization that what they have been told / sold about supernaturalism cannot be shown to be true or accurate.

Undoing brainwashing / indoctrination can be difficult for some (and not for others). Reading and/or debating here can provide insight into the difference in thinking of Theism vs. Non-Theism.

The term Non-Theism (as opposed to Theism – belief in gods) avoids, for me anyway, necessity of labeling one's self as Agnostic or Atheist. Ignostic is another sub-set of Non-Theist (with a position "We cannot intelligently discuss gods until provided with a firm definition and description of what we are to consider").

mwtech wrote: I really wish I could see the Bible through the same lens that I view the Koran. I'm afraid I never will be able to see it at face value because I have heard every apologetic there is to hear about what it "really means".
That ability may come in time. Again, debate here may accelerate the process.
mwtech wrote: It worries me to have my future kids around my parents for fear of them desensitizing my children to the absurd atrocity the Bible really is.
That can provoke real divisiveness in families – and divisiveness is a primary characteristic of religions "Us vs. Them" mentality – "Believe as I believe or go to hell after you die." There may be limited chance to handle it gracefully in a family or social setting.
mwtech wrote: So for those of you who didn't have the misfortune of being indoctrinated as a child, is this what it is like to look at the Bible?
I can answer as one who rejected indoctrination as a child by refusing to accept or believe the claims and tales of religion (Catholicism). I did not develop any reverence for the bible or any emotional attachment to the religion – much to the dismay of my devout mother.

From that perspective, now matured for seventy-five years, I look at the bible as a hodgepodge of fanciful tales written by emotional storytellers attempting to promote certain gods and worship groups in competition with other gods and groups. The stories and claims are incredible (not credible) and appear to be designed to further an agenda.

Even as a child I knew that animals do not converse with humans, that storms do not abate on command, that people don't walk on water, that people do not fly through the air unaided. I learned later that virginity and childbearing are not compatible, that the Earth was not flooded "to the tops of mountains", and that the Earth did not stop rotating ("Sun stood still" for a day).

I also learned later that the revered bible (available in may differing versions) is nothing more than writings of unidentified religion promoters who cannot be shown to have witnessed anything about which they wrote – and who wrote decades or generations after the claimed events and conversations (with supposed complete accuracy – to the word) and that the revered writings were selected by committees of churchmen under direction of Roman emperors. The selection process (voting) reflected the agendas of certain branches of early Christianity and the agenda of Roman government. Conflicting writings were omitted (and/or destroyed).

The presence of tens of thousands of Christian sects, denominations, cults, splinter groups gives evidence that the supposed "word of god" can be "interpreted" to mean whatever a group or individual wants it to mean. There is no general agreement within Christendom about what the bible "really means" and which people and groups are "REAL Christians."
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ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

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Re: Reading a Holy Text you weren't raised with

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Post by McCulloch »

mwtech wrote:I became an atheist a little over 2 months ago, and it has been a bit of a culture shock.
For me a better description of this event would be that I discovered that I was an atheist. Unlike some religions, no one really consciously decides, "I'm going to become an atheist." Usually, through investigation of the evidence, and deep thought about what one believes, we come to the realization, "I don't believe this stuff anymore." This realization can be quite a culture shock, but also it can be very liberating. No more trying to contort reality to fit into the text of the holy books, no more pretending to believe what is irrational.

There is another more deliberate step. In a society where faith is prevalent, there is the step of coming out. This is in many ways analogous to the coming out of those with non-traditional sexualities. There is in some corners, a deep prejudice against freethinkers and atheists. In some cases, you may be tempted just to keep quiet and go along with the crowd.
mwtech wrote:I really wish I could see the Bible through the same lens that I view the Koran.
As the great Scottish poet Burns pointed out,
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion!
You should read the Book of Mormon and the Urantia Book next.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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