I'm beginning my journey as a "deconverted" person.  Any suggestions on how to transition from a life of preaching, praying, and speaking "Christianese"?

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Hi Carla, so pleased for you. I have no experience of preaching and praying etc with any real conviction because when I was agnostic I was essentially indifferent. Richard Dawkins the god delusion was my catalyst to really acknowledge the absurdity of religion and god. I don't know if you have read Dawkins, Dennett, Harris & Hitchens but I feel this'll aid your transition painlessly.

I've read "Godless" by Dan Barker, and have 2 Harris books in the works right now.  I've read Dawkins and Hitchens in the past but just wasn't quite ready for them yet.  So, I will revisit them also.  The only really painful thing about the transition is the intellectual alienation from most of my friends and family members.  It's kind of a lonely place.

Sorry Carla that you feel on your own. I can promise you that there are tons of ways to meet up with people and not just online (though online forums are a good start). You can be sure that in any community and on any college or university campus there are groups on all sorts of intellectual topics as well as lectures etc where all are welcome. The internet is good not just for chatting online but also hooking up with like minded people and finding events and then meeting up in real life. If you'd like me to look into it for you in your area or give you some links I'd be happy to do so :)

I'm just south of Indianapolis and I'd be happy to hear about what's going on in my area.  Thank you!

Kris-Thank you!  You're right...I drifted from prayer to meditation a long time ago. But I do think the universe "listens" in the sense that the energy and vibrations we send out have some effect.  I love to send positive energy to my grown children and people who come to mind, across time and space.

Your advice to be accountable to my own conscience and reason brings me comfort that I'm on the right track :)

Hold you head proud and high. You've come to this site, seek others for conversation and to try and fill the intellectual vacuum you have now with a new and real array of true intellects.

I'm excited in the hopes that I will be able to connect with people who really will have conversations with me without becoming defensive or judgmental! Thanks!

Hi Carla, Yes it can be a lonely place at the start, especially when you are surrounded by believers.

I would suggest that you do not get into too many debates with Christians just yet. Wait until you have developed your own understanding as to why you are an Atheistand what that implies for your worldview. Theists will not argue about matters of faith with you. They will want to talk about Evolution, morality, The Big Bang etc and will bring all their misconceptions about such things to the table. If you are not able to debate the “right side” of those topics then they will claim victory in the debate and you will feel frustrated.

If you sense a debate is going wrong just say you would like them to explain their belief to you and that you would like to consider it in your own time by getting them to write it down as per this old post of mine. I should update it. It can make for interesting results.

Bear in mind that some of your closest friends and family will seemed annoyed with you for “rejecting god”. However what is really happening is that they are feeling confused and this is making them agitated. It is because they know you well that they are left to wonder what happened to make you become an Atheist. They will be wondering if there might not be something to it as you have not grown horns from the sides of your head. That can happen on Good Friday btw :-) If it “happened” to you then it could to them too!

When they come in groups they will be aggressive towards your Atheism as it will give them confirmation bias to bolster their own faith. It only one ask you then it is most likely out of curiosity.

There are plenty of posts on TA covering topics for people new to Atheism. Welcome to the world of free thinkers.

Thank you. I don't plan on getting into debates with believers, as my temperament is to live and let live.  As a pastor I realized that many Christians were in the church because they were afraid and needed certainty to ground them.  Until people are ready to let go of that certainty, there isn't much point in having a debate.

And though I don't espouse an external God, I do believe that we are connected in a way that's spiritual in some way--beyond our bodily connections.  I also am wondering how many atheists believe that life after death/before birth is real.  I believe that because of the conservation of matter, everything that exists has always existed and will always exist, but will change forms many times.  Because of that, I consider reincarnation a very real possibility.  Thoughts?

I am still coming to terms that atoms that make up my body were created when stars exploded. I agree that all earth life is connected in many ways, some yet to be discovered.

We are stuck with the word "spiritual", however the god believing 'know-it-alls' can never experience the real awe that our universe can inspire.

Hi Carla,

All TA members have one thing in common - we all reject the notion of supernatural beings  -gods, angels, fairies, unicorns, leprechauns, etc. Beyond that we all have our own personal speculations about our mortality. When we convert back to dust, er stardust if you will, upon our death I think that is the end of the story. There is no magical recombination of those atoms-matter that was once me into a new form of existence. Game over. But I will admit it is a romantic notion -reincarnation. And welcome to TA!

Not all TA members, we have Dr. Bob, resident Catholic and a few others who come and go

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