I married young in the church. It was a mistake from the get go (should’ve listened to my atheist brother) but three kids and 6 years later we divorced. She left for me an old boyfriend and she went party crazy for the next 30 years. At 26 I married again in the church. I was very active and dedicated to the lord. He ran my life. But she was a “raging-bitch-lunatic- foam-at–the-mouth-kinda gal and I just couldn’t take another year. 17 years of mortal hell. I was done. Against the clergies council I filed for divorce. (I helped un-answer many prayers during my departure). Two Mormon women. Sealed to me for time and all eternity. I married a 3rd woman 10 years ago who I love and will be with til the end. She gave being Mormon a try, but since then the two ex-wives have gotten active and have strayed back into the church. I walked away from religion a few years ago with my wife and today we are atheists. Problem is the other two still think I’m going to be their husband in the next life if they stay faithful. They both have even told my current wife “we’re going to be Jim’s trio” in heaven. (Me NOT pictured below)
My wife had a good laugh (while I was having brief thoughts of suicide). We were never temple sealed and thank Prometheus I got out when I did.. Lord Jesus Hear My Prayer!! NO THANK YOU!!! Thought you could all use good laugh today at my expense as I dodge the imaginary bullet of eternal “Big Love”.
When I commented the other day on a blog comparing the fallacy of atheism compared to Christianity, the guy fired back that I sound like a disciple of Dawkins and Ehrman, and then he blocked me. But the truth is, I have never read either of them. If the reasons I left faith are the same as they’ve written about, I guess you can figure it out on your own using you good old fashioned brain, minus what’s lacking in religion with sugarcoated faith. Prayers don’t get answered. Ever! But you all know the excuses. “God knows best”, or “he’s just testing your faith” or ” you pray in our time, but god answers in his time”. B frickin S! Then the scripture is an elastically moral fraud that demands ones full attention and years of endless debate and conjecture. The unsolvable religious Rubiks’s cube. I gave it my full attention. The reason I left is simple. Things never added up the way they were supposed to. Nothing made sense unless it was explained over and over. Then someone would explain the explanation so the explanation made sense. But in the end it is a charade that people believe only because they want to. They feel the need to. If you have a quiet few days you can figure this out. Looks like I need to buy some Dawkins and Ehrman? I really got a lot from John Zande’s 2 books and am science and physics fan. What should I read next as a relative newbie?
Mom died a few years back, and at 80 years old my dad remarried. His new wife is a very devout Mormon and her testimony is so powerful. She said, “I just know what I know. I don’t know why, but I just know this church is the true church, and when I know something I just know it”. Let me tell you something else this big, bright, child of god knows because she learned it at church. She knows that “gay men are closet arsonists”. That’s right. Arsonists! “They may not always start fires, but they want to, and that’s why they’re called “flamers”. LDS Relief Society teaching manuals may not carry the message, but it may even be worse that the faithful can have these ideas and beliefs on their own! Big problem with belief vs fact and reason. So, what do you call a fat pompous know-it-all bigot? Well, sometimes you call her mom. Everyone has someone in their life don’t they?
Many of you have started sharing input to Isabella for her research on atheism vs religion. Due to time lag and the nature of WP threads it gets a little monotonous. If each of you would share right here one of your best arguments for atheism it could simplify this process. Choose any topic you like and feel free to include even just one small favorite. Every little bit helps. We’ll try to keep comments to a minimum. Thanks
I have laid low these past few years since my deconversion. My mind works like a good stew, and then it’s ready to go. I generally take my time with things, especially after being controlled by those I thought I could trust for so long. Essentially duped by the duped. Funny now, but wow! Having just finished a couple of good books by John Zande these past few weeks, my mind has been working out a concise summary of what struck me profoundly. So without giving too much away, here is one point I have milled in my mind to a chiseled point. Every element from hydrogen to uranium, every molecule and atom, every cell and creature is in a naturally constant state of anxiety. Each one is desperately trying to stay together, to hang on for another day. It is this drive and desire that pushes to new boundaries. Defenses continue to mount and stretch the elements ability to cope and survive. To grow. To evolve. Every bit if matter has this inherent drive to hang on. Hope is the card that religion plays. And they play it well. Hope for eternal life after death. Hope to continue on. Hope things get better. But hope is something we already have. It is in us already. So why do we need to buy it? Fear. Abrahamic religions attach fear to something that is natural and unavoidable. Then they offer the solution. Meanwhile everything in this state of panic is dying and death, struggle and change, and anxiety. Pure, perfect evil if you would. And when you are done with this struggle for existence you die. Miserably decomposing and holding on till another day, but the final outcome is without question. When we observe this creation it is fair to assume the mind and disposition of this perfect creator. If there is a god and this is his doing, then he is enjoying the suffering and delights himself in the misery of all of the elements. Including man. I choose not to believe in deities. The evidence is compelling that no good god would have done this. He is either incompetent or he is malicious. There is much, much more to be taken from Mr. Zande in these two books, and I highly recommend these for every avid learner that wants to challenge what he thinks he knows. It is a fresh look that flies in the face of “god is good”, and has compelling evidence and good supportive reasoning and science. But the conclusions will be left to you.
True believers as defined by Eric Hoffer have personality types that need something or someone to latch onto. About 35% or more of the population craves someone else make decisions and rules for them to live by. We spot religion 35 points before tipoff! Here below is a telling statement about religion, and this quote is not even about religion, but personality types.
“True believers are not intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but are those craving to be rid of an unwanted self. They are followers, not because of a desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy their passion for self-true believers “are eternally incomplete and eternally insecure.”(1) Well if that doesn’t just about nail it.
He continues with this-
Before ending this section, I want to talk about the people who are most susceptible to conversion and joining mass movements. I am convinced that at least a third of the population are what Eric Hoffer calls true believers. They are joiners and followers … people who want to give away their power. They look for answers, meaning and enlightenment outside themselves.
This personality type will always be with us. They look for some sort of spiritual leader, whether it’s religion, multilevel marketing groups, or the Jidda. Some place they can shed their burdens or gain acceptance in a group. Even a mythical one.
“In my years of conducting seminar trainings, I have constantly run into true believers. All I can do is advise them to seek the True Self within, where meaningful personal answers will be found. I teach that the basics of spirituality are self-responsibility and the attainment of self-actualization (being compassionate, while also accepting others without judgment, expectations, blame or attempting to control.) But most of the true believers just tell me that I’m not spiritual and go looking for someone who will give them the dogma and structure they desire”.
So maybe Atheism should be a belief system. Do we need a mantra and some chants and promised salvation to tap into this untapped resource? Nah.
Believers sq + need x acceptance is congruent to Religion. I love math!
Any scientist welcomes criticism of his ideas, theories, and experiments. They expect it to be challenged. Even the late philosopher scientist Karl Popper was hesitant to have anyone believe him. He once taught a university class and I quote ” the aim of criticism is to eliminate our errors”. He not only expected it, he welcomed it! His scientific process went like this P1 >TT >EE > P2. Most science originates with a problem, then the scientist addresses it. That’s problem 1, or P1. Attempting a solution is TT, or tentative theory. EE is eliminate errors which brings us to fix any issues that arose in problem 1, and now we have P2, or problem 2. Little by little you find less and less problems with your going around in circles and come up with a sound solution. Sometimes the process is very slow, but the answers become real and tangible. Also his falsification methodology tried to prove everything false first and foremost. When I have an idea I like to bounce it off a few people I know are straight shooters to validate my ideas. Can we get the same from religion?
The other approach is the authoritarian approach. In the Mormon faith which is my area of de-expertise goes like this. “Do not speak evil against the lords anointed”. Church members that speak out about the hidden histories and falsehood that were propagated by the church are excommunicated. Even criticizing church leaders with known facts about doctrines and practices are excommunicated. Protesting for LGTB community and opposing any church doctrine openly will get you excommunicated. The only book that is fair game in the mormon faith is the inconsistencies in the Bible. Old prophets you can question. Current leadership, not so much. It’s a big problem all churches have- claiming infallibility. They all have the one authoritative source that is taught with that mindset. As if any church that is a “bible church” has a leg to withstand any scrutiny at all. And Popper finishes my day with some good wisdom. “We shouldn’t try to educate experts, but we should try to educate people who can distinguish between a charlatan and an expert. But I think that we have singularly failed even in this”.