I am still learning can you give me some insight?

I kinda fell into this site from one of my friends bc some how religion came up and well I am curious. I am not sure what I believe any more. I think all religious books are just stories but why do I have this energy over me that feels like I am doing something bad still? Or someone is looking over my shoulder like I am doing something wrong...when I know I really am not.

In short I am torn. I am not 100% sure I call myself atheist or am I? I definitely don't believe in gods or goddess. But why do I still feel so torn! I hate this feeling is this normal? And by torn I mean like with my family. They are mostly catholic.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thank you

Daph

Views: 3

Comment by Kate on December 11, 2008 at 5:41am
Hi Daphne.

Well interestingly enough I am in the same boat. Ironically this site actually nudged me over the edge to admit to myself that I was atheist. (mostly watching videos rather then reading) So perhaps you will find some sort of direction here. I am glad who ever your friend was that told you about the site.

Like i said I am in a similar boat with my family. They are really hardcore theists nuts. catholics to boot. (interesting how firefox wants catholics with a capitol letter WHICH it DOES NOT deserve to be.) I am still on the fence how I am going to tell them I am atheist. They would totally disown me(trust me they are crazy nuts) Think about Harry potters step parents but worse. Anyways your torn feeling is a natural feeling. A good example a friend told me about was when neo from the 1st matrix movie was told what reality was. The feeling that it can't be true but reality sinks in. It will take time to adjust. People here are really nice and everyone respects you with dignity because for the most part we all have been there and have had similar experiences and can relate.

I would check out the video section. If you have any other questions let me know. We are all here to help you threw this process.

Remember no one can show you the path to atheism. You have to find it your self. But once you do the feelings you get are amazing. Morgan (he created the site) said that to me once and its truly words to live by.

Hope you have a good morning Daphne
Comment by Frink on December 11, 2008 at 2:18pm
Take it slow. It can be quite a process at times. At any rate, you don't have to be 100% sure that god doesn't exist to be an atheist, so don't worry about trying to figure it all out right away. I think it's fair to say most of us are agnostic towards the possibility of god's existence to some degree, though we tend to find it extremely unlikely. But then, knowledge and belief are two different things.

In regards to feeling like someone's looking over your shoulder--just remember, many western iterations of Christianity are heavily reliant upon guilt--guilt can be a powerful tool. If you come from a Catholic family, you're probably more cognizant of and sensitive to this than most.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We don't bite.
Comment by Cara Coleen on December 11, 2008 at 8:52pm
Hi there :) I'm only just a little further along than you, but once you get past a certain point, all you feel is liberated. It's religion that has ingrained guilt into you. I mean, even the Bible says that guilt is not of the Lord, right? So, it can't possibly be him anyway! Ha ha.

The further you research and uncover all the lies that have literally imprisoned you, all your questions will be answered. I know that may sound almost cliche or something, but the most exciting thing for me has been the fact that THERE ARE ANSWERS. What pushed me away from the Church initially was the fact that they kept telling me to not ask questions... as though they had something to hide. According to Nietzsche, "Faith means not wanting to know what is true" which I completely agree with.

Good luck to ya. Lemme know if you have any questions. I'd love to help you!!!
Comment by Daphne on December 12, 2008 at 7:31pm
Wow guys and gals! Sorry I am just getting back to you all on this. I am quite impressed with your responses. That's intresting to know about your parents. Perhaps we can talk more about it. Ill check up out some videos. Thanks Kate.


I'll agree with the both of you reno and cara about this whole guilt stuff :( Its really is a shitty feeling :(

Reno thanks ill be sure to take things very slowly as this is quite a transition I feel I am undertaking.

Cara I also started asking way to many questions in church and thats why I am here... I really like that quote you have "Faith means not wanting to know what is true" very intresting perspective. Thanks guys, for your feedback!

I suppose one of my questions are how do you really deal with friends and family. There is this whole stigma that atheists are bad for some reason... How do you all over come this problem?
Comment by Frink on December 12, 2008 at 10:41pm
I'm not dependent upon my family for money, shelter, etc., so telling them was actually pretty easy. I didn't make it a point to "come out" in dramatic fashion, because I thought it was tacky and conveyed the impression that I was admitting to something bad. When the topic came up, I upheld my views, and the rest of them just "got it." I'm sure there are people in my family that have no clue, and they probably won't know until the topic comes up. It's not about hiding it--unlike the fundies, I don't throw my beliefs in other peoples' faces.

As for the stigma surrounding atheists, I was recently recommended for publication on a final paper I just turned in. I was thinking about posting it here, perhaps in shortened form or in sections. The stigma of atheism is addressed thoroughly.
Comment by Liam on December 27, 2008 at 4:31pm
As a fellow (ex) catholic I understand what you are going through. It is very hard to go against everything you were told as you are being raised. My parents are catholic and I went to a catholic school and it took me a while to face up to the fact that I didn't believe in any of it.

I remember the moment I first had doubts. I was quite young, still in school and I was watching a documentary about nuns and there was a scene where they were making the communion hosts. Now I had been led to believe that these were sacred and the body of christ and here were these nuns making them like pancakes! It was an epiphany! It basically started a "well if that isn't true or divine, what else isn't true" cycle for me.

My process of coming out to my family was a slow one that coincided with my coming out to myself, so it wasn't so bad. I started to skip mass, but pretended to go. I'm sure my mother knew I was skipping it. Then I stareted asking questions. But my parents are old fashioned catholics (just believe...don't ask) so they couldn't answer. Then I just stopped going to mass althogether. By then it was clear to all I had lost my faith.

It still took a long time after that for me to admit to myself that I was an atheist and longer still to be able to say it out loud. Such was the brainwashing that I had undergone.

But as Cara rightly said, it is a liberating experience. Totally.

So take it slow, ask as many questions as you can think of, read books (I would reccommend Carl Sagan : Demon Haunted World) and come back here often.

I wish I had this available to me when I started to lose faith in faith.

And good luck.
Comment by Mike on December 30, 2008 at 7:54pm
I just want to speak toward the feeling you're having of doing something wrong. Likely you've grown up in a religious household and have been conditioned to self-check yourself to see if you're sinning. And also likely, that sin would inevitably lead to guilt. We all know that religion promotes that not believing is in itself a sin. So basically, the reason you may feel such guilt is because you've always been trained and told to.

When you throw on top of all that the loss of a god-like figure in your personal beliefs it can be overwhelming. I know i have had much the same feelings and still to this day will occasionally wonder if im right or wrong on all of this. But you see Atheism allows to doubt and not be punished by some higher power. Anyway, hope that helps.
Comment by Daphne on December 30, 2008 at 9:51pm
I can't thank you guys enough! I really appricate all of you putting your feedback! Liam your part really hit home. & mike I like that sentence, "But you see Atheism allows to doubt and not be punished by some higher power. Anyway, hope that helps." It does!

Really, it makes me feel good inside to read your responses! I have been lurking the site a bit more...
Comment by Flip on January 14, 2009 at 11:34pm
Grew up in the same situation... Don't worry about a thing Daphne
Roman Catholic is one thing but... being an alter boy at one of the Old California Historical Missions
is quite another... Not only was I taught there early in childhood but my family was involved with the church.
Knights of Columbus for my Uncles and my own father is currently a Eucharistic Minister for that same hundreds of years old mission. I was actually a believer growing up... reading the bible with the intent of understanding for lunch in highschool.... for example.
SO I've dealt with "stuff" on my path towards becoming a man and standing upon my own two feet ... realizing that "there in all probability isn't any "GOD" as described in the bible" and that the church is full of BS.
(Heheh* my mother still curses the fact that "they sent me to that Damn University" but that's another story)

anyway....

If I can do it... I'm sure that you can!
walking on your own two feet may be scary at first
but after you know how to walk without the crutches (that church made you feel needed )
you'll find a world that is much richer and more awe inspiring than the cheap ersatz any church can offer.
There are others here to help!
Comment by Scadilla on January 28, 2009 at 4:15am
Like Mike said, I don't think you ever stop second guessing it all even after years of being an atheist. Very rarely I too will find myself wondering whether I made the right choice. Atheism is probably more complicated than any established religion, because there is no texts or professionals to rely on for comfort. There is no hive-minded agreement that you could share. It's a very individualistic belief in not believing. Whatever conclusion you come to make sure you come to it on your own accord.

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