A fall from faith.

So I have a friend I would say he is a "best friend" and he was what I thought of as very religious yet not harmful or bigoted and he has since became an atheist which I though would be a far more major change than it is, not that it is a bad thing but going from a man that wanted to be a preacher or minister to an atheist I just thought there should be more of a change than what he has shown witch to say he no longer holds back in drinking nor swearing if his church friends are present.

So on to the question, have any of you gone from faith to no faith and how do or at very least how do you think it effected you.

Cat_loves_Dragon:
So I have a friend I would say he is a "best friend" and he was what I thought of as very religious yet not harmful or bigoted and he has since became an atheist which I though would be a far more major change than it is, not that it is a bad thing but going from a man that wanted to be a preacher or minister to an atheist I just thought there should be more of a change than what he has shown witch to say he no longer holds back in drinking nor swearing if his church friends are present.

So on to the question, have any of you gone from faith to no faith and how do or at very least how do you think it effected you.

I'm an atheist and it sounds like your friend has suffered from a crisis or such. I would say he has realized he was lied to probably and feels anger and resentment. I stopped believing the lies of religion when my grandmother died and it also had to do with the cynicism i gained from high school. When a person start to really question their religious beliefs and stops accepting the lies that the church or religion gives them a lot of resentment and anger comes from that.

I don't know your friend but that just from my experience. I hope your friend doesn't let the alcohol control him or let his anger get the better of him.

Nah, I've never been religious personally and the Atheists I know either weren't either or switched before I got to know them. None of the religious people I know have switched, so I couldn't say.
That said, I don't find it particularly surprising he didn't change all that much. He's still the same person, basically; unless religion is at the very core of your identity, people normally have much more going on that defines them than just their belief in gods or lack thereof.
By the way, I hope "no longer holds back in drinking" refers to still reasonable amounts. Otherwise - being at risk of alcoholism - would be a very big change.

Cat_loves_Dragon:

Going from a man that wanted to be a preacher or minister to an atheist I just thought there should be more of a change than what he has shown witch to say he no longer holds back in drinking nor swearing if his church friends are present.

So on to the question, have any of you gone from faith to no faith and how do or at very least how do you think it effected you.

Burn the witch!

OT: If he's dramatically changing behavior, it's more than just a change in beliefs. If he's not, than it makes perfect sense that it isn't a major change. I'm not quite sure if you meant he was acting differently or wasn't. It seems more likely to me that the change in faith and the change in behavior are symptoms of the same thing than causing one another.

At any rate, I'm sure the many atheists here will agree that losing faith in God does not turn one into a foul-mouthed devil.

Probably just exploring his new mental freedom for the first time. He'll balance out, no worries.

Shit, man :( What have you got against punctuation?!

His newfound atheism may be causing some dissonance. It's hard to go from believing in an overriding, all-encompassing deity who cares about you and will see you through your struggles, to having that disappear completely. It may just be a stage of coping, in a way.

I've 'fallen from faith' when it comes to my previous Ethical Philosophy and world view, which is pretty much as serious as any religious view, but no, not from any belief in God.

I stepped away from pseudo-belief in God for a good many years. I realised I never really believed, and made a good run of being an Atheist. And then I dove into believing in God and have never been more comfortable with my beliefs, and myself. It provides a good perspective on things, I feel.

Cat_loves_Dragon:
...he no longer holds back in drinking nor swearing if his church friends are present...

I had a very similar downward spiral when I finally decided that I didn't believe in God. And, frankly, it's hard to argue against "I can do whatever I want!".
For all the talk of "Religion does more harm than good!" I see, belief in God in and of itself is a powerful motivating force to live what many believe to be a good life. Without that force, some people don't live good lives. I'll speak for myself here: I was a drug addict, a straight up abuser of women, a liar, a thief and a general asshole to anyone and everyone.
The message that was driven into children, at least when I was growing up, was "Don't care what others think", "Live for today, and fuck tomorrow!" and "If it feels good, do it!". And I lived and breathed that crap. Of course, no one explains that it has a singularity - and it certainly isn't everyone holding hands and ascending into a world of peace and harmony.

Most likely, much like myself, your friend probably always wanted to do whatever he's currently doing. He wanted to go out and have a few too many beers, have drunk sex with a good looking stranger and then sit around later and tell the story to his friends amid cheers and high fives.
Most of the world's prominent religions teach "self-denial"; without that belief, he's off to do whatever he wants, good or bad. And like I said, it's hard to against "I can do whatever I want". Because from any perspective, it's the truth. It's a freedom we all have. But, like me, some of us don't exercise it very well.

Once I accepted God, and my beliefs, I stopped all of the bullshit. It wasn't "Oh no! God will GET ME!" that made me change. With God, I finally understood things like empathy and doing the right thing for the sake of it. All that touchy feely "rubbish" just clicked. Without that belief in God, I would've ended up like most of my friends - in prison, or dead of an overdose.

My advice: give your friend some room to breath. He's stretching his legs, so to speak. But, wherever possible, try and be the voice of reason. If that fails, just be there to help pick up the pieces.

Just my 2 cents.

When I was 14, I was in a dilemma about wanting the Christian god to exist and having no good reason to believe he did. I resolved the dilemma by dumping the wishful thinking. I stopped wasting my time with defences of mythology, defences of out of date moral philosophies and church in general. I didn't really change as I was always cold, analytical and rationalistic but I guess you could call it growing up.

Well, i once believed in god, but i do not anymore, so i guess im eligible to answer. Belief system is just that, a belief system. it does not define your personality. thus his change in belief will not make him a different person. He will still have the same personality, and thus you wont see a shift you want.

I went from a Catholic School for 8 years to an Athiest in my second year in a Public High School. It wasn't so much a sudden change as it was me realizing that my education was jeopardized because my principal (An old-school nun who wasn't afraid to hit me with a ruler for writing with my left hand), felt that certain parts of the curriculum were harmful to our faith.

As a result, we had to take mandatory classes studying scripture, skimmed over genetics, evolution and cell biology and largely focused on the Renaissance period. Hell, we skimmed over the several centuries of the Roman empire because of her bias. So I became an atheist, simply because I feel the faith has done more to harm then good for me.

How has it effected me? Well its strained the relationship between me and my folks, who kept listing me as a Catholic on tax and government papers until I was old enough to correct it, but other then that, nothing much. It was never a deep faith to be fair though.

I'd have to have a platform of faith to first fall from. Technically I was raised Christian, but I'd say I'm really more of an agnostic now. I'd like to say that I want to believe, being that I think the basic Judeo-Christian structure sounds good, but I honestly have no idea what's out there, be it God, Odin, The God-Emperor, or the Force.

I stopped believing in God while I was in 5th grade (primary school). I went to a religious school at that time and I thought about it really carefully during "religion class" one day. I thought about how humans had the same organs and internal systems as every other animal seems to have. I thought about how the Earth was one of possibly trillions of planets among the billions of solar systems in the hundreds of millions of galaxies. How in the grand scheme of things the Earth was miniscule and not of any particular importance. It was likely not even unique considering somewhere out there there must exist another planet which supports life (even if not as complex, or far more complex!) and it just stopped making sense.

God kind of broke down at that point. Prayers never came true with any sort of reliability. Even when the hundreds of people in my parish prayed for the same thing, the outcome was seemingly random. There wasn't any logic to it. I started reading the Bible cover to cover that summer before 6th grade and it really, really broke down at that point. It was all so inane and I couldn't stand it. I felt nothing when I tried to "talk to God", or when I prayed. I burned a Bible in 6th grade and I felt nothing in particular. I destroyed some Eucharist in 7th grade, and nothing happened. I looked at all the hundreds of religions out there. I looked at the hundreds of millions of people subjected to abject poverty by rampant corporatist abuses of humanity. From companies run by theists, usually Christians. I looked at the violence and bullying fueled by Christianity.

Once I thoroughly rejected God everything made sense. People became my religion. I have faith in my fellow man, and it's a lot more fulfilling. I do political activism, running Food Not Bombs (and Brew Not Bombs to discourage fraternity membership at the local university) and a Prison Books Network. Doing prisoner solidarity projects, and helped ex-cons find stable work, housing, and community. I find that these guys getting out of jail (after decades locked up for a drug offense in the 80s) do better without rejoining an organized religion. The ones who go back into "the power is outside yourself" thinking usually end up back in the judicial system within weeks. Those I can keep out of religion have been clean and reformed for years now. Not a single lapse of over 100 at-risk ex-convicts.

But now I'm rambling. Faith can s mah d.

Blindswordmaster:
I'd have to have a platform of faith to first fall from.

I'd have to concur. It's more like a step up, at least in most cases.

Although, with your friend it sounds different. As someone above said it sounds like your friend is/has been through a crisis of some sort.

Cat_loves_Dragon:
So I have a friend I would say he is a "best friend" and he was what I thought of as very religious yet not harmful or bigoted and he has since became an atheist which I though would be a far more major change than it is, not that it is a bad thing but going from a man that wanted to be a preacher or minister to an atheist I just thought there should be more of a change than what he has shown witch to say he no longer holds back in drinking nor swearing if his church friends are present.

So on to the question, have any of you gone from faith to no faith and how do or at very least how do you think it effected you.

I'm just curious why you think there would be such a major difference in your friend before and after his "Fall From Faith" - most atheists I know who are moral people act and speak in much the same way as the Christians I know who are moral people. (That is, they're kind to others. The treat others how they wish to be treated. They volunteer their time and income to the less fortunate.)

Those traits are fairly universal traits showing empathy and a love for humanity be you an atheist or a Christian, Muslim, Jew, or "other" ... :)

It seems to me that there one of two explanations for this change in your friend. One, your friend is over correcting, doing the opposite of what he used to do previously. The other thing I can think of is that he is going through some sort of mental distress. What were the circumstances behind your friends loss of faith, because it could be something has happened in his life that has both broken his faith, and is causing him something that has really shaken him to his core, so that could be a explanation.

Nah.

Katatori, before he left/wasbanned can't remember, put it rather well for people who are/were like me. "Religious" just cause we went to church, no sort of real belief, but we just identified with the group cause we were told to (I was a kid so yeah, I was *catholic*.

When I just swapped to atheism for no real reason other than I never believed and I got sick of going to church on weekends and holidays, it wasn't some sort of major shift for me. My family was pretty cut and rude about it, but fuck them.

I can't say that I really fell from religion. I was baptized as a child, grew up in a catholic family, but religion has never been a driving force for anything that I've ever done. Our family hasn't ever say prayers before dinner or done anything particularly religious for the longest time. I guess it was just natural progression at that point. It was never directly taught to me or reinforced in any major way so when I did decide for myself that I was atheistic nothing meaningful really changed for me.

I do of course respect people's right to believe in what they want. I don't tell people my religious beliefs unless asked. My religion had never really meant much to me and neither does my lack of religion. If that makes any sense.

 

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