Are you still in the faith you were raised in?
Yes
31.3% (30)
31.3% (30)
No
68.8% (66)
68.8% (66)
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Poll: How Did You Get To Where You Are With Faith?

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I was raised as a theist, but I began to have serious doubts about a year ago. So I read like 50 books last year on history, philosophy, and theology and earlier in the year (March) became an agnostic before later (August) inevitably having to become a theist/Christian again for similar reasons that caused Antony Flew to stop being an athiest. That is, I believe I followed the evidence to where it led me, right back to theism (and Mr. Flew believed that the evidence led him to deism).

I'm an apatheist. God might exist. Gods might exist. The flying spaghetti monster might exist.

I'll never find out, and it will never affect my life in a meaningful way, so I don't give two shits.

I feel I'm in a weird place with my faith. I'm a Christian, and I take my faith in God quite seriously. But for the past few years I have been met with a few challenges I wasn't really prepared for. I was raised in a non-denominational military church, so a lot of traditions of certain denominations are lost on me. Anyway, I've been reading a lot of different thoughts on religion and notice a pattern of people not really being very receptive to others' thoughts on either side. Even my friends of faith are arguing amongst themselves about certain moral choices and the meaning of certain texts and whatnot. I've also taken a deeper interest in science and philosophy. And, I admit, all this information is almost too much for me to take in, but not enough to make me completely dismiss my faith; just reevaluate it and dig deeper into my own reasons for believing.

My rationale for keeping the faith that I have in God isn't something that I can explain. I see a lot of people who have suffered because many churches are spiritually abusive. You walk in seriously wanting to seek God, and you leave worse off than when you came in because the leaders aren't interested in developing you as a person. They're interested in building their own empires for monetary gain, or simply for the power trip. It's historical.

I'm all for believing in someone who is bigger than myself, especially in these times. I've had every reason to give up what I believe for something else, but I can't. I've seen too much good in the midst of the evil.

Fisher321:
Born and raised Christian, and always have and will be one. I can honestly say I see a big difference in people between those who know Christ and those who don't. Argue with me all you want, its not going to change anything.

Now that's just stubbornness and bad habits. Don't you think you should be able to look at valid arguments and let reason and logic influence your choices/views?

OT: I was raised religious and am now not religious. I'd like to say homosexuality hasn't affected me very much, but it is likely the reason I renounced my faith. Going to church and hearing an adult you love and trust condemn your feelings can be traumatic. Religion as a whole isn't bad, perse, but it can definitely be a source of ignorance and hate (perhaps more so than a source of purpose or compassion).

vgmaster831:

Fisher321:
Born and raised Christian, and always have and will be one. I can honestly say I see a big difference in people between those who know Christ and those who don't. Argue with me all you want, its not going to change anything.

Now that's just stubbornness and bad habits. Don't you think you should be able to look at valid arguments and let reason and logic influence your choices/views?

OT: I was raised religious and am now not religious. I'd like to say homosexuality hasn't affected me very much, but it is likely the reason I renounced my faith. Going to church and hearing an adult you love and trust condemn your feelings can be traumatic. Religion as a whole isn't bad, perse, but it can definitely be a source of ignorance and hate (perhaps more so than a source of purpose or compassion).

Okay convince me that there is no God using logic and reasoning. I've tried it, looking at all the things God has done and thinking how illogical and irrational it is. Then I realized all the personal things he's done for me and the way he affects people. Don't say I am stubborn or practice bad habits because I'm convinced that Christ is real. And to answer your question I have let logic influence my decision, and logic points to Christ.

Fisher321:

vgmaster831:

Fisher321:
Born and raised Christian, and always have and will be one. I can honestly say I see a big difference in people between those who know Christ and those who don't. Argue with me all you want, its not going to change anything.

Now that's just stubbornness and bad habits. Don't you think you should be able to look at valid arguments and let reason and logic influence your choices/views?

OT: I was raised religious and am now not religious. I'd like to say homosexuality hasn't affected me very much, but it is likely the reason I renounced my faith. Going to church and hearing an adult you love and trust condemn your feelings can be traumatic. Religion as a whole isn't bad, perse, but it can definitely be a source of ignorance and hate (perhaps more so than a source of purpose or compassion).

Okay convince me that there is no God using logic and reasoning. I've tried it, looking at all the things God has done and thinking how illogical and irrational it is. Then I realized all the personal things he's done for me and the way he affects people. Don't say I am stubborn or practice bad habits because I'm convinced that Christ is real. And to answer your question I have let logic influence my decision, and logic points to Christ.

Well, believing in Christ isn't a bad habit. Getting stuck in an opinion to the point where nothing would change your opinion is a bad habit. Alas, it is an easy one to fall into. I have a huge problem with it.

As an aside, it's not exactly good logic to assume God did everything, considering that the existence of God is, itself, in contention. However, I would rather not derail the thread just yet. I mean, I just started posting on the Escapist. I wouldn't want to incur the wrath of our benevolent overlords.

vgmaster831:

Fisher321:

vgmaster831:

Now that's just stubbornness and bad habits. Don't you think you should be able to look at valid arguments and let reason and logic influence your choices/views?

OT: I was raised religious and am now not religious. I'd like to say homosexuality hasn't affected me very much, but it is likely the reason I renounced my faith. Going to church and hearing an adult you love and trust condemn your feelings can be traumatic. Religion as a whole isn't bad, perse, but it can definitely be a source of ignorance and hate (perhaps more so than a source of purpose or compassion).

Okay convince me that there is no God using logic and reasoning. I've tried it, looking at all the things God has done and thinking how illogical and irrational it is. Then I realized all the personal things he's done for me and the way he affects people. Don't say I am stubborn or practice bad habits because I'm convinced that Christ is real. And to answer your question I have let logic influence my decision, and logic points to Christ.

Well, believing in Christ isn't a bad habit. Getting stuck in an opinion to the point where nothing would change your opinion is a bad habit. Alas, it is an easy one to fall into. I have a huge problem with it.

As an aside, it's not exactly good logic to assume God did everything, considering that the existence of God is, itself, in contention. However, I would rather not derail the thread just yet. I mean, I just started posting on the Escapist. I wouldn't want to incur the wrath of our benevolent overlords.

Yea the admins can be a bit dogmatic sometimes. Some times they have double standards when it comes to certain things. Such as curse words and derogatory terms. Just try not to insult anyone and you will be fine.

If you're counting agnostic as a faith, then yes. In the home I was raised in, had I not left the house, I might not have knowing what religion is.

Raised secularly, which makes my brother and I unique among our extended family, and I remain that way. I suppose, having read some Greek and Egyptian mythology, I kind of thought of religion like that - they were stories, except, you know, less interesting, because there were less gods. Not sure when I actually thought about religion qua religion, but at most it was by 10, with an existential crisis and all. I basically waver along the Agnostic line, but I've never, and almost certainly will never, believe in in any specific organized religious doctrine. Discounting the Euthyphro problem, which has additional dimensions when dealing with conversions and revealed religions, there's always been a simple and obvious quandary.

Point 1: All religious institutions are operated by people.
Point 2: All religious texts are printed by people.
Point 3: People can lie.
Point 4: People can be wrong.

I mean, obviously there's many ways in which that can be circumnavigated, but in terms of practical, everyday life, it's yet to fail me.

Fisher321:
Okay convince me that there is no God using logic and reasoning. I've tried it, looking at all the things God has done and thinking how illogical and irrational it is. Then I realized all the personal things he's done for me and the way he affects people. Don't say I am stubborn or practice bad habits because I'm convinced that Christ is real. And to answer your question I have let logic influence my decision, and logic points to Christ.

I cannot convince you that there is no God, but can you convince me that it is the Christian God? And if you can, can you convince me that the texts and teachings of... whatever Christian denomination you believe in, are what He intended, in spite of thousands of years of mistranslations, corruption, schisms, and the multitude of other spiritual and philosophical traditions? And then, if you can do that, can you convince me why I should ignore my judgement of what is right and wrong, and replace it with obedience against my conscience?

And if you cannot convince me, how have you convinced yourself?

Poindexter:
How did you get to where you are with faith? Diests and non-diests alike. I'm rather curious. I'm a naturalistic humanist that before coming to that conclusion taught Catholic Sunday School. Started pulling at threads at 15 or 16 and my faith unraveled. I'd probably be ignorant and in your face as an Atheist if I didn't also discover Bad Religion about this time. It taught me I could be articulate about my doubts. What about you folks?

Amusement at your "ignorant and in your face as an Atheist" and your odd focus on Deism vs non-Deism, but that is neither here nor there.

I was raised Catholic, tried out a couple things and recently settled on Pandeism. Short version: Pantheism + Deism. I'd explain more but I'm tired and that's what wikipedia is for.

I have no idea what I should answer in your poll. I'm an atheist and have always been, and I do not consider it a belief, it is an answer to a question: Does God/Gods exist ? - No.

I read a lot of Greek/Roman and old Scandinavian myths. I thought that t was good stories and I was 10-12 before I realized that some people actually believed in (any) religion.

Zen Toombs:

Poindexter:
How did you get to where you are with faith? Diests and non-diests alike. I'm rather curious. I'm a naturalistic humanist that before coming to that conclusion taught Catholic Sunday School. Started pulling at threads at 15 or 16 and my faith unraveled. I'd probably be ignorant and in your face as an Atheist if I didn't also discover Bad Religion about this time. It taught me I could be articulate about my doubts. What about you folks?

Amusement at your "ignorant and in your face as an Atheist" and your odd focus on Deism vs non-Deism, but that is neither here nor there.

I was raised Catholic, tried out a couple things and recently settled on Pandeism. Short version: Pantheism + Deism. I'd explain more but I'm tired and that's what wikipedia is for.

I'm simply attempting to say that I would have been the stereotypical sixteen year old ankle biting atheist with no rhyme or reason beyond, "God is stupid, man," if I hadn't dug any deeper. There are hordes of unthinkinging in your face atheists out there. I wanted to be informed on my non-belief.

I was raised as a left wing, liberal, atheist. Now I am a right wing, conservative agnostic who believes in Christian moral values. Funny how things turn out.

GriffinStallion:
I was raised as a left wing, liberal, atheist. Now I am a right wing, conservative agnostic who believes in Christian moral values. Funny how things turn out.

You didn't mention, are you still an atheist?

Cette:
Raised in a strongly Atheist household and moved on to Paganism after a bit of life experience.

Thats really interesting. Its rare to see someone go from non-believer to something else.

Smiley Face:

Fisher321:
Okay convince me that there is no God using logic and reasoning. I've tried it, looking at all the things God has done and thinking how illogical and irrational it is. Then I realized all the personal things he's done for me and the way he affects people. Don't say I am stubborn or practice bad habits because I'm convinced that Christ is real. And to answer your question I have let logic influence my decision, and logic points to Christ.

I cannot convince you that there is no God, but can you convince me that it is the Christian God? And if you can, can you convince me that the texts and teachings of... whatever Christian denomination you believe in, are what He intended, in spite of thousands of years of mistranslations, corruption, schisms, and the multitude of other spiritual and philosophical traditions? And then, if you can do that, can you convince me why I should ignore my judgement of what is right and wrong, and replace it with obedience against my conscience?

And if you cannot convince me, how have you convinced yourself?

My answer, if I were a believer (and the answer given to me by those): Faith is a feeling, and it is not based on evidence. Evidence is per definition unnecessary for faith. So the reason I have faith is because I can feel God's presence. I hope you I can make you feel the very same presence, because it fills my life with meaning, purpose and joy. And why wouldn't I want to make others feel the same?
So I can only convince you by making you understand that you are loved by God, and important to God, and that you feel this too. I feel this, and thus I am convinced.

GriffinStallion:
I was raised as a left wing, liberal, atheist. Now I am a right wing, conservative agnostic who believes in Christian moral values. Funny how things turn out.

Unless you by 'Christian moral values' mean things like 'No gay marriage' and 'no sex before wedlock', most of us tend to agree, since they have largely influenced our Common-Sense-Morality as it is.

Realitycrash:

Smiley Face:

Fisher321:
Okay convince me that there is no God using logic and reasoning. I've tried it, looking at all the things God has done and thinking how illogical and irrational it is. Then I realized all the personal things he's done for me and the way he affects people. Don't say I am stubborn or practice bad habits because I'm convinced that Christ is real. And to answer your question I have let logic influence my decision, and logic points to Christ.

I cannot convince you that there is no God, but can you convince me that it is the Christian God? And if you can, can you convince me that the texts and teachings of... whatever Christian denomination you believe in, are what He intended, in spite of thousands of years of mistranslations, corruption, schisms, and the multitude of other spiritual and philosophical traditions? And then, if you can do that, can you convince me why I should ignore my judgement of what is right and wrong, and replace it with obedience against my conscience?

And if you cannot convince me, how have you convinced yourself?

My answer, if I were a believer (and the answer given to me by those): Faith is a feeling, and it is not based on evidence. Evidence is per definition unnecessary for faith. So the reason I have faith is because I can feel God's presence. I hope you I can make you feel the very same presence, because it fills my life with meaning, purpose and joy. And why wouldn't I want to make others feel the same?
So I can only convince you by making you understand that you are loved by God, and important to God, and that you feel this too. I feel this, and thus I am convinced.

Um... that didn't address what I was saying. I'm not asking for proof of a higher power - everything you say could apply to me, feeling the presence/love of the divine, blah blah blah, but that doesn't answer any of the questions I posed - namely #1: Why should I believe it's the Christian God, #2: Why should I believe Christian teachings reflect the will of the Christian God, and #3: Why should I submit my will to the Christian God? I can be in a state where I believe 100% that there is a Divine Power, and not know the answer to any of those questions.

And if your response would be 'it's not about evidence, it's about faith', I would respond (aside from that still not addressing the questions) that I'm not even necessarily asking for evidence, just a reason (slight difference), and if no reasons are possible, then I don't see how you could ever justify your belief to anyone else, or convince anyone else. People do things because they have reasons. It motivates all human action. They don't have to be good reasons (i.e. 'Because I felt like it'), but they do have to be there.

Realitycrash:

GriffinStallion:
I was raised as a left wing, liberal, atheist. Now I am a right wing, conservative agnostic who believes in Christian moral values. Funny how things turn out.

Unless you by 'Christian moral values' mean things like 'No gay marriage' and 'no sex before wedlock', most of us tend to agree, since they have largely influenced our Common-Sense-Morality as it is.

One must remember though that the Bible was not the original source of these common sense moralities either, many of the better moral lessons like the Golden Rule were essentially ripped off from older philiosophers.

Outside being baptised and going to Christian day care as a young child, my parents decided it was best to let us children find God out own way and so we weren't "raised" with any particular religious influence. We're all atheists though, so maybe they should have tried harder :P I applaud them for not indoctrinating us though, which let us examine the evidence more critically.

Smiley Face:

Realitycrash:

Smiley Face:

I cannot convince you that there is no God, but can you convince me that it is the Christian God? And if you can, can you convince me that the texts and teachings of... whatever Christian denomination you believe in, are what He intended, in spite of thousands of years of mistranslations, corruption, schisms, and the multitude of other spiritual and philosophical traditions? And then, if you can do that, can you convince me why I should ignore my judgement of what is right and wrong, and replace it with obedience against my conscience?

And if you cannot convince me, how have you convinced yourself?

My answer, if I were a believer (and the answer given to me by those): Faith is a feeling, and it is not based on evidence. Evidence is per definition unnecessary for faith. So the reason I have faith is because I can feel God's presence. I hope you I can make you feel the very same presence, because it fills my life with meaning, purpose and joy. And why wouldn't I want to make others feel the same?
So I can only convince you by making you understand that you are loved by God, and important to God, and that you feel this too. I feel this, and thus I am convinced.

Um... that didn't address what I was saying. I'm not asking for proof of a higher power - everything you say could apply to me, feeling the presence/love of the divine, blah blah blah, but that doesn't answer any of the questions I posed - namely #1: Why should I believe it's the Christian God, #2: Why should I believe Christian teachings reflect the will of the Christian God, and #3: Why should I submit my will to the Christian God? I can be in a state where I believe 100% that there is a Divine Power, and not know the answer to any of those questions.

And if your response would be 'it's not about evidence, it's about faith', I would respond (aside from that still not addressing the questions) that I'm not even necessarily asking for evidence, just a reason (slight difference), and if no reasons are possible, then I don't see how you could ever justify your belief to anyone else, or convince anyone else. People do things because they have reasons. It motivates all human action. They don't have to be good reasons (i.e. 'Because I felt like it'), but they do have to be there.

I think I would have to use the same answer for all three: Because I can feel it is right and I can feel God's presence. That's why I believe in Jesus Christ, that's why I believe the teachings reflect the will of Christ, that's why I should submit.
All those are reasons. Not very strong reasons, but reasons none-the-less (Given we accept a Humean Theory of Motivation).

Arakasi:

Realitycrash:

GriffinStallion:
I was raised as a left wing, liberal, atheist. Now I am a right wing, conservative agnostic who believes in Christian moral values. Funny how things turn out.

Unless you by 'Christian moral values' mean things like 'No gay marriage' and 'no sex before wedlock', most of us tend to agree, since they have largely influenced our Common-Sense-Morality as it is.

One must remember though that the Bible was not the original source of these common sense moralities either, many of the better moral lessons like the Golden Rule were essentially ripped off from older philiosophers.

True. Still, it preaches stuff most of us think are pretty damn obvious.
Don't steal, don't murder, be respectful, etc.
In fact, Golden Rule covers pretty much all of that.

I was christian until about age 7 when my brain matured enough to realise that god was santa claus was the tooth fairy etc. Something i would never see, could never prove and as such could not claim to believe in. I've been without religion ever since and not once have i thought joining god club would answer any questions for me better than myself.

My faith changed into self belief which is far more practical and usefull within society.

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