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Discussion thread for those without a HP recovering from substance abuse

Old 08-07-2006, 06:14 PM
  # 61 (permalink)  
alconaut
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Originally Posted by aloneagainor
I love the interplay of ideas here. It was your words that originally sparked mind in that response. Peace.
Oh, gainor! I didn't mean it was you (or anyone else in particular) who couldn't/wouldn't/didn't read between the lines. Aargh! I really need to work on my vocabulary! Sorry if there was a misunderstanding buddy. I really do appreciate the time and thought you put into your response. Very well conveyed!
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:16 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by windysan
good times
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:36 PM
  # 63 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 2dayzmuse
Perhaps a perfectly timed wrong number throwing off the entire cosmic event would be more in order.

Muse! Do you mean to say you're one of those who dials and drives?

Thanks for you concern Autumn. I hate thinking that I was being a hard ass in my beliefs, but that was then.
Well, thanks for yours too darlin'.

I didn't intend to imply you were a "hard ass" by any means. On the contrary. I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but there was a period of time where your posts and the messages in them had taken on some monotonous, unanimated, dry qualities. Like pushing a button on a phone and getting pre-recorded, automated responses. Honest Muse, I used to think all the time (with a real kind of sadness and sense of shame), "She's gone forever."

Then I was soooooo happy to read the thread (post) you recently submitted in the Stories of Recovery forum! I'm really glad you're here Muse. You're a great gal. I just think you were bored much of the time.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:44 PM
  # 64 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BSPGirl
I'm reading this all but I really have nothing to add as I tend to keep my beliefs private. But no, I don't believe in a God at all, or a Higher Power, it lies within myself.
Hey Marte - I have some questions. Did you ever believe in god, or were you ever spiritual?
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:07 PM
  # 65 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Autumn
I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but there was a period of time where your posts and the messages in them had taken on some monotonous, unanimated, dry qualities. Like pushing a button on a phone and getting pre-recorded, automated responses. Honest Muse, I used to think all the time (with a real kind of sadness and sense of shame), "She's gone forever."
Yikes!

Your probably right about me being bored, or at least I hope so.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:35 AM
  # 66 (permalink)  
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I never wanted to become an Atheist!

Has anyone here ever converted from religion or spirituality to Atheism? Equus?

I'm discovering that it isn't a very pleasant process. I'm not even making a huge leap, because I was never religious in the first place. I guess I'm just not ready to close the door.

My whole objective was simply to set aside unneccessary or frivolous beliefs in an attempt to more effectively or efficiently utilize logic. I didn't want a whole lot of conflicting or irrational ideas working their way in.

I guess my attempt at conversion left me feeling somewhat distraught, even empty.

It's fair to say that I was happier with a more spiritual perspective, and even felt more open-minded.

Good grief.
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:28 AM
  # 67 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Autumn
I never wanted to become an Atheist!

Has anyone here ever converted from religion or spirituality to Atheism? Equus?

I'm discovering that it isn't a very pleasant process. I'm not even making a huge leap, because I was never religious in the first place. I guess I'm just not ready to close the door.

My whole objective was simply to set aside unneccessary or frivolous beliefs in an attempt to more effectively or efficiently utilize logic. I didn't want a whole lot of conflicting or irrational ideas working their way in.

I guess my attempt at conversion left me feeling somewhat distraught, even empty.

It's fair to say that I was happier with a more spiritual perspective, and even felt more open-minded.

Good grief.
Yep, I am a born again athiest. A highly painful, confusing, experience. Pschic pain - lots of.
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:40 AM
  # 68 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Five
Yep, I am a born again athiest. A highly painful, confusing, experience. Pschic pain - lots of.
Why? Can you elaborate?

Btw J, the "i before e" rule isn't carved in stone.

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Old 08-08-2006, 05:14 AM
  # 69 (permalink)  
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I think I know what you're getting at.

But it seems to me that anyone who feels an enormous amount of pain while experiencing a life change of this magnitude might experience some severe psychological damage.

You don't squeeze it 'til it bleeds.

Something isn't making sense. Perhaps you can shed some light. If it's because of what you experienced as result of the programming and then the de-programming of AA, then I understand and there's no need to explain.
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:37 AM
  # 70 (permalink)  
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Has anyone here ever converted from religion or spirituality to Atheism? Equus?
YEP!! You got me in one!! I actually found it a very peaceful process, far less painful than trying to make a belief in god match reality around me.

Once I stopped trying to MAKE things fit what I wanted (which by the way I never got!) there was a period of doubt that slowly drifted away from faith. I think the final death knoll to my time as a believer was a documentary on a genetic condition where victims blister in response to touch - most (at that time) dying in early childhood. I think it was the ultimate cruelty to not be able to have a hug through pain, or eat or drink without pain. In terms of genes I could understand and accept - nature is lovely, beautiful but not moral, nature can be cruel but not with intent, consciousness or desire. In terms of a governing force it was simply the last straw, on it's own possibley it would have had less affect but these pieces of evidence weren't isolated and belief in a cruel god seemed utterly ludicrous.

I think I was about 19, I've never really looked back. In the first years I was wary of getting caught up in religion and returning to painfully trying to make life fit, but over time that faded and now I'm quite curious about ancient texts and religions. It's simply become less and less of an issue, where as LIFE, MY LIFE, learning and being has grown and thrived.

I'm 35 now, I enjoy whatever ideas I want, love the freedom to chose, adore secular reasoning, have affection for some very religious people, and am still very much an aitheist!
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:45 AM
  # 71 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Autumn
I never wanted to become an Atheist!
Has anyone here ever converted from religion or spirituality to Atheism? Equus?
No, I am not Equus, but I qualify as Anyone, I think.

I actually (more or less) converted from religion to spirituality to atheism. Of course that's the condensed version.
I was once a strict Christian. Not a bible thumper by all means, but very set in my ways. Firm in my belief. Proud too (at least I thought so). But, questions were asked, things were wondered about. Ideas, feelings, all sorts of things simply weren't adding up. I became uncomfortable with my position.

I saw something (many things) in religion that bothered me. I rejected it, but remained spiritual. (at least I claimed to be).

Eventually I discovered I was agnostic. I believed in something and accepted that I didn't understand it and I was okay with it. I needed to have that 'something' though. The idea of nothing was extremely frightening to me. I wanted something looking out for me.

At some point, probably late twenties, I kinda removed myself from the equation as I continued to consider things. Upon doing that, the lack of my emotional responses allowed me to see what I was seeing much clearer, which basically was nothing.

Of course there is a great deal of philosophy behind my conclusions, but in a nutshell, I decided to believe in what I could understand. Once I did this, it was incredible the way things began to make sense, the way questions I always had were beginning to get answered to some degree, if not completely.

Accountabilty is at the heart of atheism. Personally I like the idea of adopting values and morals based on good verses bad. I like the gratification that comes with my living up to my own standards, as well as standards that others have helped me with. Being an atheist has lead to, or at least helped, with my feeling - to some degree - proud of myself. I like that.
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:53 AM
  # 72 (permalink)  
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Going from one extreme to another, and surfing on a wave of betrayel (well, it felt like that to me) was very painful. For me though, I do want to emphasise that.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:45 AM
  # 73 (permalink)  
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((Autumn)) too funny...I completely understood what you meant in "reading between the lines" and received it directly as you intended. So now I apologize for my distorted response that confused you. Genuinely I do appreciate the interplay of ideas. Words!!!

Originally Posted by Autumn
I never wanted to become an Atheist!
Has anyone here ever converted from religion or spirituality to Atheism?
Bobby4444 neatly summed it up for everyone who's so far responded to your inquiry, "I decided to believe in what I could understand." Seems every one of your respondents has held with conviction previous beliefs, that with equal fervor and conviction have moved on to understanding based on reason. Er, well, I'm still working on a purely reason based mode of thinking, getting past the second incarnation of conclusive thinking (first religion, then drugs, now, not Athiesm so much as it's some form of Naturalism...but that's not God-directed, it's nature directed...so does that count as close enough to factor into your question?) Actually, I think the Naturalistic understanding has been in me all along, I just didn't recognize it through the distortion of Christianity and the haze of drug use. It's at once painful and beautiful to peel away the layers to see what's at the core.
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Old 08-09-2006, 04:40 AM
  # 74 (permalink)  
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Thanks to everyone for your most generous and thoughtful replies! One thing I notice as a common theme in your posts is that the switch was a mostly a matter of self-evolution. That really stands out to me.

While most spiritual or religious people might not view it as self-evolution, I do, simply because you do! As beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'm not one to say who's wrong or right. It's amazing and admirable that one can look at the universe and not even second guess how he/she conclude things came to be - religious or not.

I thought I looked into soulless eyes once. If they weren't soulless, I don't know what they were..... just not on my plane, that's for sure. It could be that what I was seeing was pain, but if I saw pain then I wasn't on the receiving end of evil..... I don't think evil is unintentional. There's a whole world of difference between someone who inflicts pain as a result of being in pain and someone who inflicts evil as a result of having a soul PLUS a mind without conscience.

Gee, I'm really knotting myself up here.

If I experienced evil, then I saw someone without a conscience who has a soul. If I experienced pain..... then what? Yeah, I can definitely say I have experienced the difference between having been hurt and having been a victim of evil. One could surmise that this individual was simply mind without conscience. All I can logically infer is that a person without a conscience is evil, because ironically, most persons of a sociopathic nature that I have observed are extremely intelligent. Supposedly there's little hope of a cure for the sociopath. A person of intelligence should be able to cure themselves, or render conducive to cure.

...

(Now I'm dotty Eq.)
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:59 AM
  # 75 (permalink)  
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OT, but how can anyone support the death penalty?

Speaking of sociopaths.....

I have always had some interest in crime and punishment. I have personally never supported the death penalty, if for no other reason than I just wouldn't want the responsibility of having flipped the switch on my conscience (beside the DP being inhumane).

I never really gave a whole lot of thought to why others may or may not support the death penalty.

If Atheists don't believe sociopaths who murder are evil, then they must believe that they are mentally ill. Therefore, an Atheist wouldn't support the DP. It just dosn't reason that a person can just one day casually decide to kill, head on back to the office, swill some coffee, scarf down a bagel and hit the meeting by ten. All without breaking a sweat, mind you. That just wouldn't be HEALTHY.

If Christians believe someone can be evil, but one of the 10 commandments is 'Thou shalt not kill', how can they support the DP?

Hmm.

Who supports death penalty then?

Unreasonable people?
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:24 AM
  # 76 (permalink)  
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If Atheists don't believe sociopaths who murder are evil, then they must believe that they are mentally ill.
Do I have to have a belief about sociopaths? I need to make decisions I'm faced with based on the best information I can get but there's no purpose served to me by deciding on the morality of a group of people which fit within any particular label.

When big court cases are on the news and people ask what do I think should be done with him/her, my response is always that I don't know without access to all the available facts of that individual case.

It makes more sense to me to show an interest in ethics, to listen and learn carefully about the process of law and understand as much as possible how these decisions of judgements are made (so I know who to vote for etc!!) than to spend time trying to form an assessment of 'these people'.

I don't agree with the DP because I think it devalues life and justifies killing - that in turn I feel makes murder more likely within a culture. MANY criminals who have committed apalling crimes REALLY DO believe they were justified, in other words what isn't acceptable can become acceptable given justification. Of course there's a place for justification, empathy, and justice but when it comes to the taking of a life (excluding self defence) I believe we should draw the line and argue for NO JUSTIFICATION.

I don't have to judge a sociopath, I neither have the skills or knowledge and it doesn't prevent me in the slightest from labelling the BEHAVIOUR as deeply wrong.

Does that make sense?
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:29 AM
  # 77 (permalink)  
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Right on Eq.
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:41 AM
  # 78 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by equus
MANY criminals who have committed apalling crimes REALLY DO believe they were justified.....
Yeah - that's insane. Even an extremely low I.Q. doesn't "justify" murder. There are people with very low I.Q.'s who are perfectly docile.

I remember seeing some interview footage of Jeff Dahmer, when he said "God will forgive me."

Horrors.
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:50 AM
  # 79 (permalink)  
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Yeah..... I say lock 'em up and throw away the key.

I mean, here in the States (though not all), we execute individuals so that it's virtually painless - though I believe one state does actually have a firing squad still, and a couple the electric chair. Maybe one that hangs? I'm out of the loop..... wow! Hahahaha no pun intended!

Actually, it is less expensive to house a prisoner for life than it is to execute, due to the lengthy and multi-tiered appeals process.

I just can't believe we're still doing this in the States. We're the last of organized nations that still performs this atrocity.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:01 AM
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I love these kind of discussions tho! I used to post at a crime and punishment type message board and I really miss it. Man, those mods have it rough. Talk about stress. I mean, you've got people from all over the world, of different cultures, religions and beliefs, battling it out over law and order. Very stimulating.

But not somewhere to join if you're trying to learn to be nice.

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