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For those in secular recovery...were you ever once religious?

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For those in secular recovery...were you ever once religious?

Old 07-01-2009, 08:17 PM
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I know I exist…I know my opinions exist…I know the things I like/enjoy exist. What I do not know is if anything supernatural exists.
I really like this quote. There is much truth in it. There are times when I still share the same beliefs, even today.

One of my dear friends, a Unitarian, shared this belief with me and explained there is nothing wrong with it. At the time I was a kid who had spent some time in a religious cult and very confused. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:18 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Overman View Post
@ Bam
Lacking a belief has nothing to do with faith.

Sure it does. If you consciously 'lack' or deny something then you have a degree of certainty about it. This certainty is a vague form of 'faith'.

Lack and deny are two different words with two different meanings. You are using them interchangably to make your point but they do not have the same meaning so your position is not accurate. Example: If you 'lack' knowledge that ice is cold then that doesn't mean you 'deny' that it is. You have just never felt ice so you don't know if it's cold or not. Do you see what I mean?


And who says I don't have something worth believing in?

So you do have 'faith'...just not in celestial beings and invisible, imaginary friends. Thats my point; you still have faith in something...and atheism is faith in something, even if that something is nothing.

So are you saying that nothing is something? So if I have nothing in my hand do I really have something in my hand? I'm confused.


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Old 07-02-2009, 11:23 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
It actually means lack of theism...nothing more. It does not make assertions as to what exists or doesn't exist.



Does anyone here believe in the Tooth Fairy?

If you don't, does it take faith to not believe in the Tooth Fairy?

What are my personal thougts? I have not seen any testable evidence to indicate that anything supernatural exists. So I don't believe in the supernatural.

If some evidence were to come along that wasn't anecdotal and showed beyond a reasonable doubt that the supernatural exists, I'd be one of the first people to raise my hand and say, "I believe".
That is exactly how I feel. Exactly.

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Old 07-02-2009, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Overman View Post
@ Bam
Lacking a belief has nothing to do with faith.

Sure it does. If you consciously 'lack' or deny something then you have a degree of certainty about it. This certainty is a vague form of 'faith'.
No, it certainly is not. The whole thing about faith is that there is no certainty, no proof, nothing but . . . dare I say - fantasy. I lack a T-bone steak right now. I *believe* the sun will rise tomorrow. That's not "faith," it's plain ol' reality. Overman, do have a boa constrictor coiled around your head right now? If not, does it take any *faith* at all to say so?
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:53 PM
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I love how this thread has devolved into a "debate" about the existence of God.

Thank you all for sharing your stories. This is a topic that hits home for me big time.

Starting in childhood, I was a devout born-again Christian. And I mean devout. The all-encompassing, delusional, scary kind. The "God told me to kill, so what choice did I have?" kind. (Thank you, God, for never telling me to kill...)

After years of struggle and denial, largely thanks to an early interest in 18th-century Enlightenment philosophy, I rejected all of that delusional nonsense. That was almost ten years ago.

It is not an easy thing to come to terms with the notion that everything you thought you knew about everything was based on a HUGE fabrication. That you have based your life on a falsehood, however briefly.

Today, I am a nihilist. Thank you for reading.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:35 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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I can relate to all!

Being in a really god base marriage i do beleive in god, but not how i use to see him. The way i use to see him was i am totaly going to hell because there is no way i can live up to the expection of what i thought he was, then i started to realized i am not perfect in no way i am a addicted trying to get sober. thats when i saw god for what he really is! He does love use for who we are and for not who the world wants use to be. Thats why i beleive everyone must search out there own soul salvation..... Right now for me i do beleive and with his help and the help of all of u guys, i will overcome. i took a new look at things and started to forgive myself for thinking i let everyone down. i am taking it one day at a time. i fall i get up, see for me now i see him as my strenth to help. it takes me to be delivered. regardless of what i do i feel he loves me. and i think we are all his children :ghug now matter what we believe.

OH it i die and go to hell i will try to come back and let ya all know whats up!!!!
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:39 AM
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Nope. My mom had to drag me away from Japanese B movies that came on tv sunday morning for church. Mothra, Starman, Godzilla were much more exciting.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:41 AM
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Never religious, only spiritual. It's with recovery that I've actually been able to define myself as an agnostic: I don't believe and I don't disbelieve. I simply don't worry or care about it. I am more concerned with my life in the here and now and living a good honest decent life. If there's something else after I go, then maybe I'll actually gain access from living a good life! But that is not what drives my actions in the here and now. Interestingly enough, it's through recovery that I've been able to define an HP of my understanding... and it has nothing to do with the supernatural.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:39 PM
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@ Bam
Atheism is not “faith in nothing“. Again, faith requires belief. Atheism is lack of belief…complete absence of belief.

Atheism exists mainly as a social response to theism. As such, it requires 'faith'...or belief w/o proof, as you say...that theism lacks evidence to sustain 'belief'.

Can you think of any cultures throughout the history of the world that did not have some form of god/gods?

Again, atheism isn't a passive absence of faith/belief...it is active. It requires a degree of certainty. This certainty is based on faith in something...your ability to reason, if nothing else.


Atheism makes no claims. Atheism has no doctrine.

Then you are describing something that isn't "atheism".


I know I exist…I know my opinions exist…I know the things I like/enjoy exist. What I do not know is if anything supernatural exists.

There you go. You "do not know", a statement ripe with 'certainty', that something "supernatural" exists.

You seem very certain that you are uncertain.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:40 PM
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@ KariSue

Nothing is something. If it only exists as an idea, and not a material object, it is still something.

I thought there were some Buddhists in this forum? They could explain the concept better. Or maybe they can't.


@ misty
No, it certainly is not.

Are you certain about that? lol


I lack a T-bone steak right now. I *believe* the sun will rise tomorrow. That's not "faith," it's plain ol' reality.

Reality requires a certain amount of faith as well. Your 'belief' in the sun rising tomorrow is because you've seen it happen time and time again...you developed a sense of certainty (and faith) in your ability to predict such things with your reasoning faculties.


Overman, do have a boa constrictor coiled around your head right now? If not, does it take any *faith* at all to say so?

Of course it takes 'faith' to say so...because I possess a degree of certainty that it doesn't exist.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:42 PM
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As far as I can tell, faith = wishful thinking. Overman, you are stretching the definition of the word to suit yourself, which is fine for you if that's what you want to do for yourself. Your definition does not suit me, nor does it work well with any dictionary definition that I've ever seen.

Once again: Faith does NOT equal certainty. You are confusing those two words. At any rate, I'm finding this discussion to be tedious and in no way enlightening. Good bye, Overman.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:31 AM
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Overman...are you positing that all beliefs/lack of beliefs are equally valid? If so, I care not to discuss this with you further.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:26 PM
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Absolutely! I went to private, parochial schools, from pre-school through my junior year of high school (I switched to a public arts school my senior year of high school to study the arts). My parents brought me to Sunday Mass each week and I attended an additional Mass each Tuesday through school until I was 14 years old. After that, in high school, we celebrated the Holy Days together at Mass. As a youngster, we celebrated all of the religious holidays at school and said prayer each morning before class - before the Pledge of Allegiance, even!

We also said prayer before eating lunch, if I remember correctly.

I was involved in a lot of service work through my church and many positive activities. I have nothing but fond memories of my childhood and feel that the stability and rituals of religion were a comfort to my over-active mind.

As an adult, I find that my abilities to reason outweigh my abilities for magical thinking - thank goodness, or I would have never been able to kick my addiction or to continue to maintain sobriety.

Religion and addiction seem very comparable, to me. They each involve certain amounts of "magic" and ritual.

There is safety in the known, I suppose.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:26 PM
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I used to be a Roman Catholic and a believer (due to my parents' upbringing), but became an atheist in my early twenties. I only took an interest in readings the philosophical arguments for and against belief last year, but have not wavered at all in my opinions on the matter.

My parents are still religious (my mum very much so), and I'm seen as sort of a black sheep in my family due to my naturalism.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:13 PM
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never was religious. my mom dragged me to church and i kinda enjoyed it as a small child but then i discovered that all those cool japanese B movies came on all sunday morning. how can a boring presbyterian preacher compete with Godzilla, Mothra, Starman, The Mushroom People, etc?
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:06 PM
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ok...well... i actually think (just my opinion) that I get what overman is saying....bottom line...i'm not out to try and change anyones mind at the moment so no need to get into all that..it's pretty deep stuff and I think the words i have are certainly not up to the level of others here...i don't do well with dictionary definitions...never have

I just cant be bothered with arguing today and it feels kinda nice
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:34 PM
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Respectful disagreements are disagreements that still allow the other person their own opinion. Discussions are showing an interest in understanding why another feels a certain way. We listen intently as they explain themselves and are free to admit any error in our own ways of thinking. A discussion is a cooperative effort and seeks resolution resulting in a peaceful end even when there are disagreements. Discussions help all to gain a better understanding of both sides of the issue.
We aren't here to convert anyone to our way of thinking. We are here to share and possibly learn from each other. Beliefs are so open and personal that it is pointless to pick apart another person's post and then challenge it. Let each person do their own picking in the garden of your vast experience.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:33 PM
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I was raised in a christian home. My mother was a christian, and my father sort of went along with it. I’m sure he believes in god, but I really wonder if he doesn’t secretly loathe the dogmatic tenets and doubt the claims of miracles.

I went to baptist churches, pentecostal churches, nazarene churches, lutheran churches, catholic churches, I attended a christian school for a few years, I went to christian kid’s camps, my mom had bible study meetings at our house…you get the idea.

When I was 12 years old, I stood up and walked out of the middle of a sermon. I walked home. All I really remember was that I didn’t want to be so involved in the christian religion. I went to the bookstore and bought a book about meditation. I started to meditate.

When I was a teenager, I met a guy who had a nice house, a good job, a beautiful wife, and because I was so impressed by his life, I decided to start attending youth groups at his church. I was formally converted once again to the christian religion.

I think I just had too many questions.

If god is love, then why do people burn for all eternity? That doesn’t sound like love to me. Who wrote the book of genesis? …In the beginning, god created the heaven and the earth…so, what happened before the beginning? god was just kind of hanging out? Who wrote that? How did they know that? So, the reason why the plagues were inflicted upon innocent people and their crops was because the lord hardened the pharaoh’s heart, and the pharaoh would not let the Israelites go out of his country? Why did the lord do that? What happened to free will? I thought that was why Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden. Why didn’t he just let the pharaoh exercise his free will? The pharaoh was kind of a jerk anyway, he probably would not have let the Israelites go, even if the lord hadn’t hardened his heart. Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights? Now… this doesn’t sound terribly plausible to me. Further, many of the points are metaphors which are open to interpretation, and could mean anything to anyone. Do you see what I mean?

I started to read Jean-Paul Sarte, Erich Fromm, and Ayn Rand. I appreciated Rand ’s work the most, but instead of referring to myself as an “objectivist,” when people asked me about my spiritual orientation I called myself an “existentialist and a humanist.” So, with regard to religious matters, I decided that the application of “existence precedes essence” ultimately led to a more agnostic philosophy which required little discussion, since the consideration of reality takes precedence over speculation about its origin.

I decided that the best way to handle the kind of religious zealots that we have all come to deal with would simply be to say “I am not a Christian.”

I also studied Einstein, da Vinci, and Benjamin Franklin with an appreciation of scientific deduction, intuition and pragmatism.

Ultimately, I struggled with the inherent conflict between faith and knowledge. Between supernatural and metaphysical. Why should anyone study the laws of nature and physics, but have reservations because we’re not sure whether there is a omnipotent being which could violate the laws of nature and physics? How can anyone escape uncertainty and confusion under this circumstance?

Wow. Someone needs to grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. To me the only way to do this is to operate on the very realistic observation that there is no omnipotent being. Everything just falls into place for me after that.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:26 AM
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Freepath...thank you for your share.

When I discovered the great expanse of free thought in the public libraries ...unequivocally I was changed...never to return to the religion of my childhood. Enlightenment comes at a high price...eternal peace. Peace from concrete, static mythologies from a time of long lost beliefs burred in antiquity. Is this a true liberation or a calling to construct a new mythology? I know not nor wish to find out. Yet I strive to find a middle ground that honors disbelievers as well as the believers. A construct that transcends the shadow of doubt into the realm of reason and beyond. Its a quest that calls a upon the greatest thinkers of all time. One of a mission that will never reach an end.

Gather ones doubt here and find peace in the unremitting quest for ultimate knowledge .
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:17 AM
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I'm sure you all have discussed this to death over here but I am asking not only for myself but also my sponsee. I do not believe in "God", nor does she.

I have heard the statement made many times "if you don't believe in a God or a higher power, you're never going to stay sober." I think that's a bunch of hooey. I've reassured my sponsee the same.

So for all of you non-believers, how much time do you have? I have almost two years now, WOO HOO!!!!!!!

BTW, I don't pray, I meditate and have heart to heart talks with myself. I believe that as long as I'm honest with myself, I know the answers within myself.

Any input? Thanks in advance.
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