Author Topic: When you were a theist.....  (Read 2793 times)

Ali

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When you were a theist.....
« on: February 17, 2012, 05:03:43 PM »
I was just thinking this morning about a conversation I had with my 12th grade science teacher.  To set the scene, I was 17, and I had already concluded that I did not subscribe to Christianity, but I still believed in god and an afterlife.

We were talking about the ethics behind cloning in my biology class, and I remember feeling very strongly that it was wrong because "those people wouldn't have a soul."  I said this outloud to my science teacher who literally reacted like "SOUL?!?  Ali thinks that science should halt its progress because she believes in a soul!!!!" *sneer*  Or anyway, that's how I remember it.  At the time I was furious that he would just completely dismiss my beliefs, but thinking back now I'm kind of amused and embarassed. 

For those of you that used to be theists, do you have any funny or embarassing memories like that?

Tank

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 05:30:58 PM »
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Davin

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 05:32:28 PM »
I've had many moments were I was publicly shown that I was incorrect because of what I was taught at home about religion and in church. Though, I can't remember a specific one right now, they were enough to make sure that I only accept things that I both understand and have evidential support for.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Amicale

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 06:56:31 PM »
Here's one embarassing tale. In my defense, I was naive, and 14 years old. We were asked to create a poetry anthology of our own. Our poems could be about anything, on any subject, they just had to have a theme generally running through the entire anthology. Some students chose love, others death, others science, sports, hobbies, you name it. I picked... yup, you guessed it, religion. Although I'd already started to have some issues with the Catholic faith I was raised in, I was spending a lot of time around Protestants, and I'd even joined the "Christian club" at the school.  (Ack, I know.) Soooo... my little poetry anthology was very, very cheesy. It rhymed sickeningly, it was preachy as well as cutesy, it utterly lacked imagination... in short, when I got it back, my teacher informed me of all the above, and I was properly mortified.  :D

I feel so, so sorry for this man now. He was one of my favourite teachers, brilliantly smart and funny, and I knew he was a skeptic with maybe a bit of Taoism thrown into his thinking, but I was actually dumb enough to think that my stupid poetry would 'help him see how awesome Jesus is'. I imagine he rolled his eyes and engaged in a good bit of longsuffering when it came to me!

Years later I wrote him a letter, while I was partway through university, and told him how my views had changed and how, looking back, he'd helped to change them by exposing me to philosophers I'd never heard of. He responded with a very kind letter, saying that most adults never bother changing the views they held when they were 14, and he was damned glad I had.  :D





"Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb we are bound to others. By every crime and act of kindness we birth our future." - Cloud Atlas

"To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is to never die." -Carl Sagan

Ali

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 09:04:26 PM »
Amicale, that is too funny.  How awesome that you let him know that your thinking changed and he had something to do with it.  I would love to talk to my old bio teacher again and tell him that I grew up to know better. 

It's stuff like this that makes me snerk (okay, a lot of things make me snerk) when Christians complain that "nowadays our kids get brainwashed in schools" or whatever.  My hubby is a teacher and he has to be so careful to be sure not to offend anyone's religious sensibilities, to the point to refusing to even answer direct questions from the students about his own beliefs, but meanwhile back when we were growing up teachers were allowed to roll their eyes and tell you that your poetry sucks and it's ridiculous that you believe in souls.  LOL

Crocoduck

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 05:22:21 AM »
I'm so jealous of people who have these ""Teacher who changed my life" stories.

I had bio at a Christian school and remember the teacher making disclaimers to not blame him if things he taught conflicted with our Christian beliefs.   
As we all know, the miracle of fishes and loaves is only scientifically explainable through the medium of casseroles
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Amicale

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 05:49:56 AM »
I'm so jealous of people who have these ""Teacher who changed my life" stories.

I had bio at a Christian school and remember the teacher making disclaimers to not blame him if things he taught conflicted with our Christian beliefs.   

Ironically, if he taught a decent biology class you probably ended up thanking him rather than blaming him.


"Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb we are bound to others. By every crime and act of kindness we birth our future." - Cloud Atlas

"To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is to never die." -Carl Sagan

Crocoduck

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 01:06:59 PM »
I'm so jealous of people who have these ""Teacher who changed my life" stories.

I had bio at a Christian school and remember the teacher making disclaimers to not blame him if things he taught conflicted with our Christian beliefs.   

Ironically, if he taught a decent biology class you probably ended up thanking him rather than blaming him.
I don't remember anything he said challenging my beliefs that
1 We were created and not evolved.
2 The whole world was around 6,000 years old.
3 Dinosaurs never existed and fossils were either planted by godless men or Satan to trick weak Christians.
 
As we all know, the miracle of fishes and loaves is only scientifically explainable through the medium of casseroles
Dobermonster
However some of the jumped up jackasses do need a damn good kicking. Not that they will respond to the kicking but just to show they can be kicked
Some dude in a Tank

Crocoduck

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 01:08:43 PM »
I'm sorry Ali this is a great topic I didn't mean to spin it off topic.
As we all know, the miracle of fishes and loaves is only scientifically explainable through the medium of casseroles
Dobermonster
However some of the jumped up jackasses do need a damn good kicking. Not that they will respond to the kicking but just to show they can be kicked
Some dude in a Tank

Ali

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 02:17:12 PM »
No problem!  It's so interesting to me to hear what different people were taught as they were growing up.  So Crockoduck, when did you start believing in evolution and dinosaurs?

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 05:03:37 PM »
When I first met my husband and he told me he was an atheist, my first reaction was "But he's too nice to be an atheist!"

I also had a sociology professor that flat-out told us that to be a good sociologist you have to be an atheist (he was like the Dr.House of sociologists). I was pretty offended at the time, but I see his point now.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Crocoduck

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 05:19:36 PM »
No problem!  It's so interesting to me to hear what different people were taught as they were growing up.  So Crockoduck, when did you start believing in evolution and dinosaurs?
Ah don't make me say...it's not been long. :-[ I can't remember when I first thought dinosaurs had to be true or that Noah ark story was crap.

I'm not a dumb person but I spent most of my life believing the dumbest things.
As we all know, the miracle of fishes and loaves is only scientifically explainable through the medium of casseroles
Dobermonster
However some of the jumped up jackasses do need a damn good kicking. Not that they will respond to the kicking but just to show they can be kicked
Some dude in a Tank

Crocoduck

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 05:23:41 PM »
When I first met my husband and he told me he was an atheist, my first reaction was "But he's too nice to be an atheist!"
Yessssssssssssssss atheists could not ever be nice...
As we all know, the miracle of fishes and loaves is only scientifically explainable through the medium of casseroles
Dobermonster
However some of the jumped up jackasses do need a damn good kicking. Not that they will respond to the kicking but just to show they can be kicked
Some dude in a Tank

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 05:33:10 PM »
When I first met my husband and he told me he was an atheist, my first reaction was "But he's too nice to be an atheist!"
Yessssssssssssssss atheists could not ever be nice...

Well, I obviously disagree now!
And, to be fair, it was the first time I had ever met someone who openly called themselves an atheist.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Tank

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Re: When you were a theist.....
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 05:34:44 PM »
When I first met my husband and he told me he was an atheist, my first reaction was "But he's too nice to be an atheist!"
Yessssssssssssssss atheists could not ever be nice...

Well, I obviously disagree now!
And, to be fair, it was the first time I had ever met someone who openly called themselves an atheist.
And he brought you to the dark side, good man!
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.