Well, to start with, INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Tell us about your faith and what you want to learn about atheism
I'm an Evangelical Atheist who has committed himself to undoing the damage caused by the Weapons of Mass Irritation, the four horsemen and the ilk of new atheists. In other words, we're here to welcome you in a civil, non-threatening environment where you can ask questions about how we think without being pilloried and abused. Here to proselytize, no problem, see the deconversion thread. This is where we will try to convert each other (please confine all arguments and proselytizing to that thread).
And please introduce yourself below and lets have some wholesome fun.
Rules? A couple.
Respect of a belief system
No inflammatory language
No personal attacks
No ad hominen stuff
All debates in the deconversion thread
All debates of the form argument-response
Ok, that's too much already :-)
I'm sorry to hear all this is going on. I can only say I'm sure it will get better and work out. Nobobdy likes to kill a discussion in which posters dedicated their time and effort to building it, but it is your discussion and I understand if you felt it was necessary. In fact, I did much worse by deleting numerous discussions of mine last year. But I, too, had a good reason. So, it's cool.
Hello ladies and gentlemen,
My name is Milos Cakovan, and I am a life long atheist. I have never been baptized, and I have never believed (not due to my lack of trying).
As I have mentioned in other forums here, I grew up in the Socialist Federalist Republic of Yugoslavia,
so religion was never a big issue for me growing up. My love for history and mythology drove me to
learn about ancient, and modern religions, and finding out that Santa is fake at a very young age,
helped strengthened my unbelief.
Since coming to Canada in 1996, I have had many encounters with conversion attempts, and that is what pushed me to be more active with my atheism. Seeing the way the religious conducted themselves was a shock to me, and it did not sit well.
And now I'm here.
Great story, thanks. I think people don't realize that when your born into atheism religion really does strike one as a strange set of beliefs, not in a disparaging way, just alien to our experience.
I wasn't "born into atheism." It was just one of the many options I was given. My family never pushed any religion on me. I was free to pick whatever suited me. My father is sort of religious, and my mother, in her words "doesn't give a shit." So, I had the option of finding my own answers, and religion failed to prove itself real to me.
Also, the more I studied ancient mythology, the more I found connections to modern religions... Just more reasons to not take it on "faith."
I guess there is a difference there, even though atheism wasn't pushed on me it was the default presumption, I think.
Tell us about your faith
Spent the first half of my life (I'm now 35) interested in "spirituality" but not "God". So I considered myself a devout atheist although I was never a philosophical materialist, even though the two are sometimes conflated. Looking back, I see my strong aversion to considering "God" as part of my quest for spiritual truth to have been based much more on the condition of my heart than anything else.
I now consider the words and works of Jesus as setting him completely apart from any other (alleged) prophet, sage, guru, religious teacher, enlightened one, etc., that this world has ever seen. My heart now rejoices in gratitude at the message that He died for me, because I see that I am a really bad guy and that trying to wash myself with my own dirty greasy hands only makes matters worse; I need a spotless Savior to come and rescue me from the outside.
Theologically, I see certain things like trust in Jesus as the Son of God and sin-bearer to be absolutely essential, but within that umbrella itself I think that various faith-traditions have strengths and weaknesses, with no single organizational "church" (like the RCC) or "movement" (like evangelicalism) having total ownership of "the true" Christian faith.
and what you want to learn about atheism
I came to this site in response to a question explicitly being posed to Christians, and wanted to contribute, but won't pretend that I'm looking learn about atheism. I do love truth and earnestly desire to have any of my false beliefs exposed and corrected, even if that is a humbling experience that requires an inconvenient reorientation of directions in my life that have been heavily based on my faith (e.g. if I had to admit that my time spent as a missionary was counter-productive). However, I consider theism itself to be axiomatic in the quest for truth and ultimate reality, so that, for all practical purposes, the limits of my "open-mindedness" don't extend beyond theistic alternatives. Belief systems that I would reckon to be even remotely possibly worthy of consideration, in order:
In particular, atheism, especially the philosophical materialist variety, isn't even on the list. You could at least try to sell me on an "unknowable God", for example, but as far as the idea that there is "nothing more out there" other than a bunch of sub-atomic particles bouncing around is something that I consider to simply be sheer spiritual blindness. I totally love science, BTW, but it's not the end of the story.
Thanks, great story