Your Story: How I Became a Freethinker

jamaluddin
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Re: Your Story: How I Became a Freethinker

Postby jamaluddin » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:55 am

JamesH wrote:HOW I BECAME A FREETHINKER

I am very interested to learn how members of this forum arrived at their particular religious stance. I am interested in your philosophy on how you became an atheist, freethinker, humanist, agnostic, Christian, Buddhist, and Muslim or however you might describe yourself.

Some points I would like for people to touch on are:

When did you first know or start to form your present philosophy?
Did you grow up in a religious home or not?
Are you from a long line of freethinkers or are you no longer welcomed at Christmas dinner?
I am interested in anything you think influenced your present philosophy or epiphanies you may have had during your life.

This is an experiment just to find out our similarities and differences. There maybe other people out there that may have similar feelings, thoughts or experiences and may not know there is other freethinkers in the world.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Thanks for your participation.

James Hubbell


Alhamdulillah now I am a Muslim. But I was a Hindu just 3 years ago. However I was surprising by watching worship of Hindu religion! Please dont think I am trying to spread propaganda against Hindu religion but I am just telling my won history.

However I am from Indian and my family is conservative Hindu. When I saw some contradictory systems in Hindu religion then I started thinking broadly. Suddenly one of my friend informed me about Dr. Jakir Nayek. He was at that time in India. I joined in his speech and thanks god I got all of my answers and converted myself from Hindu to Muslim.

However even though Jakir Nayek helped me to get the right direction but I am not an emotional person. I red Quraan many times now I do believe everybody should read Quraan if they want to learn about Islam. Without reading Quraan nobody will be able to understand Islam properly.

This is a very short description of my life story. PM me if you want to know more.

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Re: Your Story: How I Became a Freethinker

Postby Cherryj » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:09 pm

Philosophically, I am a humanist; irrational dogma is pure evil. But then again, how can pure evil exist without dogma? As a professor of History of Christianity once told me, beware of excessively convenient theology; it can morph all too easily into self-righteousness. I consider myself Christian, but I’m not so sure Christians consider me the same. I think it’s absurd to assert that after thousands of years of human history - sometime around 1900 B.C.E. - following many centuries of allowing humanity to futilely worship literally thousands of false gods, God suddenly decided to start talking. And, when at last He did speak, He chose to speak exclusively - not to His creation at-large - but to Abraham and his small band of descendants alone, and in nearly two thousand years of trying, He somehow managed to make His few followers objectively morally no better than any other. And somehow, too, He didn’t happen to get around to actually redeeming anyone for the strangely-inherited sins of their long-forgotten ancestors for many centuries yet to come. And then, just as suddenly as He had begun, fell totally silent again by 33 C.E., not to be heard from again but by the odd snake handler and raving Pentecostal babbler. Supposedly, preachers tell us, He only began to take an interest in a wider group of people than just a few neurotic, pork-averse legalists in the final few years of His historically-brief period of theophany – and today those who claim loudest to speak on His behalf would have us all believe that He somehow favors mostly just conservative American gentile suburbanites; His original followers be damned. Conveniently, of course, such folk strongly resemble the ones doing the preaching. I sincerely doubt, however, the concept of Grace was either invented by or is excluse to Jesus of Nazareth.

Kathy O.

Re: Your Story: How I Became a Freethinker

Postby Kathy O. » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:13 am

My story - well I will try not to ramble. I'm 67, and that means a lot of time to cover and 67-year-old people tend to ramble.

My mother was Catholic and believed although she seldom went to church. Her life as very hard; and, at the end, she was so desperate for a sense of hope that she feel under the spell of the 700 Club. However, she backed me in the path I wanted.

Fourth and fifth grade were spent in a Catholic school as I sought God. I went bowling with the Y-Teens. The nuns did not like that, associating with Protestants. In fifth grade the nuns asked for money for missions to Darkest Africa. This was urgent. If these Africans died without knowing the true faith, they were doomed to hell. That just didn't seem fair to my young mind. I was still at the age where fairness was a given. I protested. The nuns sent a note home to my mother about the heresy I uttered. My mother backed me and sent me back to public school.

Public school was another spiritual crisis. The nuns did get to me quite a bit. If a person dies with an not-confessed mortal sin on his or her soul, straight to hell. Participating in Protestant prayer or reading the Protestant King James Bible was a mortal sin. We had assembly everyday. The Protestant form of the Our Father was prayed, and the reading was from the King James Bible. I literally would sing songs in my head to block these "sins" out.

Then things happened, and this is way too long to cover. Suffice it to say I was in spiritual crisis. I was desperately seeking God or Jesus - was God Jesus or Jesus God or what was going on. Why didn't God respond to me. I must be awful. So if I am so awful, then I just need to quit. Life went on, but the old stuff nagged me all the time. During desperate times, I prayed and prayed and nothing. I tried different churches, nothing.

About 25 or so years ago I happened to watch Bill Moyers interview Joseph Campbell on PBS. The interview was about "The Power of Myth." I felt free! I ordered that book and several others by Campbell. I taped several of his programs. I ordered similar books by other authors. One book (sorry I cannot remember the name of the author, just that he was a renowned British historian) was "In Search of Historical Jesus." His point was to pay attention to what Jesus said, not what the apostles wrote as comments. He felt that what Jesus said was probably close to what is recorded. I also ordered "Christianity Betrayed" published by an atheist group. I don't know if that book is still available, but I consider it excellent. So I decided to read the Bible.

Now my mind's questions are: are "Christians" reading the Bible; are there really Christians; would Jesus be a Christian today." So much of Christianity is based on Paul, not on Jesus. So little is known about Jesus. After the Sermon on the Mount, I don't understand the rush to base a religion on Paul. That's just me. I don't think Jesus would be a Christian were he alive today. The religious right and evangelicals and perhaps mainstream Christians would reject him. I listen to their rhetoric and cannot associate so much of it with what is actually in the Bible.

So where am I today? My children are in their 30s, and they do not go to Church or belong to any religion. I got two terrific, compassionate, moral, intelligent children.
I am comfortable spiritually. I pray. To whom, I am not sure. Is an entity listening? I do not know, and I don't think it matters. Perhaps I am just talking to my inner self. Maybe I am meditating. The pray is a comfort when things are rough, when world problems are so horrific and I have no way to help. Pray is a way to say thanks for good things. I just accept all that.

As for life after death and salvation: I cannot accept the idea that a moral person could be damned forever for not believing. Is church attendance and professing deep believe just a way to get points with God? Does it come from a sense of morality or self-preservation? I guess my favorite passage is in Matthew where the sheep and goats are divided.

But back to life after death. Once during a crisis, I felt the presence of my father-in-law who died several years before. The feeling was strong. I was in emotional turmoil. So was he there? Did my mind conjure up that feeling to give me relief? I don't know and don't know that it matters. It worked. During several bad times I have suddenly felt overwhelming relief. I just accept it. Where did that come from? I have no idea and do not know that it matters.

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I came to west central Arkansas in 1977. The intense "Christianity" of the South has totally shocked me. I find it to be on a par with the nuns of the 1950s, perhaps worse. It suffocates me. I keep my mouth shut when I am bombarded because I fear the shunning or even retaliation. We once had to call the Sheriff because a minister kept bothering us. My husband told a co-worker he was Catholic to shut that person up. He is not Catholic; he is of a similar mind to me. The co-worker said - then you don't believe in Jesus. So my husband's soul was up for saving. So we just shut up and nod. That is probably the wrong thing to do. The religious right (of any religion) terrifies me. Their grab for political power needs to be stopped, but I do not know how; and it is certainly not Christian.

Thanks for listening.

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Re: Your Story: How I Became a Freethinker

Postby Doug » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:49 am

Kathy O. wrote: I don't think Jesus would be a Christian were he alive today.


“If Jesus were alive today, the last thing he'd be is a Christian.” -- Mark Twain

“If God were alive today, He'd be an atheist.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
"We could have done something important Max. We could have fought child abuse or Republicans!" --Oona Hart (played by Victoria Foyt), in the 1995 movie "Last Summer in the Hamptons."

Igor

Re: Your Story: How I Became a Freethinker

Postby Igor » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:26 pm

Baby, I was born this way.


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