Your "Ah ha" Moment

Getting to know more about a specific belief

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Your "Ah ha" Moment

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Post by Miles »


What was the "Ah ha" moment or the accumulation of evidence in your life that made you choose your present belief, be it Christianity, a specific branch of Christianity, some other religion, OR no religion at all?

Mine was having read Bertrand Russell's book

........ Image

........ when I was about 18 or 19.


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Purple Knight
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Re: Your "Ah ha" Moment

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Post by Purple Knight »

I... didn't have one. My family was Unitarian and I sort of always knew I didn't buy any of it. But I didn't see it as dangerous and I guess I genuinely believed I would be doing wrong to rob people of the stories they loved. It was around that time that somebody asked William Shatner a stupid technical question at a Star Trek convention and he flew off the handle and said it wasn't real, and I had the thought, yeah but... it's still being a you-know-what to say that. I connected that to being dragged to church and went along with the stories people loved because I thought it was right. If those stories help people be good people, then it is right.

There was a different sort of moment, and that was at 15 when I learned that Alcoholics Anonymous was a cult. They made me attend, not because I'd done anything wrong but because I had two severely alcoholic family members. This idea that only God (they say, "a higher power" but it's basically the Christian God) can save you from alcoholism, but that it's your fault if you fail, so then you have to beg God for forgiveness... That was what started me calling myself an atheist. That was what got me to see that religion can be a powerful force for wrong, that it's not some innocuous stories that people love, for which there is every reason to go along with and not upset people. Christianity in particular can be a force for good, and almost always is, but it has some problematic doctrines that mean it can be a force for horrible wrong, too.

Original sin, genetic guilt, universal guilt and the need for forgiveness... This is kind of the heart of it. The idea that a nose-picker or horndog is as bad as a murderer is harmful to society, and to the nose-pickers and horndogs (though it probably helps the murderer, but tbh, IDC). Pacifism hurts too but it works in the unlikely case that everyone is a pacifist.

Faith too. Once you have a faith doctrine - the idea that the one who preaches cannot be questioned - it allows all sorts of bad people to preach, and prosper. I also always knew that the "trust me or you're a bad person" people were bad themselves, and that people would be better off if we ousted the idea that trust is free and you can get offended if you don't get it, but I didn't connect this to religion until I heard what went on in AA.

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