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zrs70
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Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:33 pm

Have you or someone important to you converted to another religion? What was the journey like?
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Superfly
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:30 pm

The few I've known went from a normal person to a yapping nut that couldn't stop talking about their religious beliefs.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:25 pm

I've gone from unofficial Catholic (I was baptized but a certificate was never signed) to passive atheist. Simply put, when I was in grade school (more towards 8th grade and this is Catholic school) I noticed inconsistencies among people. How could we be scolded by a teacher for going as a group to see an R rated movie and yet during finals day (for those who had to be here for graduation rehearsal but not take any exams) be shown an R rated horror movie and be told (by the same teacher) "that's where the action is."?

Going to 9th grade I was determined to be a good follower, but here's where it all fell apart:
1. Students are forced to attend a retreat (essentially a paid grade). The weekend I was there I met many people from my grade and we became good friends...until Monday when apparently we didn't know one another and people were once again their snooty self.
2. The whole premise of religion is "believing without seeing". So I had to question why this applies to a deity and not to me. I wanted to continue the process of the Sacraments but I needed to have a baptism certificate. I told the authorities of my situation (the priest who performed the rite travels and is never in the same place for long) and they said that without proof I could not proceed.
3. I began to question a lot of things. Why aren't women more active in the church? Why do religious groups protest some things but not others (a politician is for gay rights, he must be demoted; a priest is shown to have a mansion and luxury vehicles, nary a peep).

And so I have concluded that religion is a farce and that I will no longer participate in such. True, atheism is not a religion but I abandoned religion altogether, so it IS a conversion.

The other known case I've seen of conversion (the closest anyway) was my grandmother who went from Catholic to Jehovah's Witnesses. Still under Christianity, just under a different denomination. She likes the change so she's very happy.
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oly720man
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:44 pm

No, the ones I have known have gone from being taken/dragged along as kids to, at best, paying lip service as adults.

One person, the black sheep of the family, nominally Christian, married a Jewish man and became Jewish (out of convenience rather than any conviction..... yes I know that's not the way, but hey that's folks for you) and then visited other religions (and health fads and diets and,,,,) like bees visit flowers. Apparently on one occasion her son was heard to cry "but I want to be Jewish" as his mother dragged him to some other calling she wished to pursue.
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FlightShadow
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:22 pm

I have had the privilege to know many people going through various stages of religious conversion. Notably, none of them have been, or have turned into, a

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
yapping nut

One good friend I know who lives in YXY had been raised Catholic but harbored some questions that Catholicism didn't answer for her. She began investigating other religious denominations later in life and started asking questions among her close friends. She was eventually intrigued with a particular friend's denomination, and I was able to be there as she asked some of her unanswered questions and finally began to understand things she'd been confused about for most of her life.

With her, it was like a lightbulb suddenly went on. It made her really happy and she told me she had never before felt that amount of peace and understanding. She eventually chose to become a member of the denomination.

After she made her decision public, she faced a wave criticism from other friends and colleagues. For my friend, this criticism was disconcerting and troubling, but its end result was strengthened resolve in her decision to move forward with her plans to join the church. (She asked me to sing a duet at her baptism ceremony, which I did, and I assure you that my part in the duet was emotionally scarring both for myself and several members of the audience.)

To sum it all up, my friend told me that her conversion, though challenging, was meaningful and intensely rewarding for her. It answered some long-unanswered questions and brought her a lot of peace. And I was thrilled because I could tell that she was happy.

Outbursts of criticism towards religious conversion from friends and family members are not uncommon, in my experience, and I have even been disappointed on occasion by those in my own congregation who do the same to those who choose to leave or express differing beliefs. Such criticism and other less-than-pleasant aspects of human nature are by no means unique to religion, and religion has not, should not, and will never be a place for perfect people. But it still bugs me when that sort of criticism happens.

[Edited 2014-11-24 11:24:48]
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photopilot
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:25 pm

I've gone from Roman Catholic to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster......... I'm a Pastafarian!!!  http://www.venganza.org/images/wallpapers/noodledoodle1024_768.jpg

About

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while having existed in secrecy for hundreds of years, only recently came into the mainstream when this letter was published in May 2005.

With millions, if not thousands, of devout worshippers, the Church of the FSM is widely considered a legitimate religion, even by its opponents – mostly fundamentalist Christians, who have accepted that our God has larger balls than theirs.

Some claim that the church is purely a thought experiment, satire, illustrating that Intelligent Design is not science, but rather a pseudoscience manufactured by Christians to push Creationism into public schools. These people are mistaken. The Church of FSM is real, totally legit, and backed by hard science. Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental.

Further

Pastafarianism is a real religion.

Most of us do not believe a religion – Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianiasm – requires literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment. That is, we can be part of a community without becoming indoctrinated. There are many levels of belief.

By design, the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. That is, there are no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense. Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes.

To outsiders it makes us hard to define, but here are some general things that can be said about our beliefs:
» We believe pirates, the original Pastafarians, were peaceful explorers and it was due to Christian misinformation that they have an image of outcast criminals today
» We are fond of beer
» Every Friday is a Religious Holiday
» We do not take ourselves too seriously
» We embrace contradictions (though in that we are hardly unique)
 
WestJet747
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:34 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
Have you...converted to another religion?

No, but not for lack of trying by the JWs who like to knock on my door.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
The few I've known went from a normal person to a yapping nut that couldn't stop talking about their religious beliefs.

I have several cousins who went from being normal, well-adjusted Christians to being these "yapping nuts" who make every attempt to impart their beliefs on others.

The rest of the family has theories on what made them go from 0-60 so quickly, but none of us really know for sure. Needless to say, they aren't active in our family get-togethers much anymore.

Interestingly enough, my grandmother went the other way. She was a devout Christian in her youth, but over the years lost interest in organized religion, and now doesn't refer to herself as a Christian or own a Bible. She still believes in a God and Heaven, but it's more of a spiritual thing it seems.

Quoting photopilot (Reply 5):
I've gone from Roman Catholic to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster......... I'm a Pastafarian!!!

"With Him, All Things are Pasta-Bowl." ProvHerbs 3:35
Flying refined.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:43 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 5):
To outsiders it makes us hard to define, but here are some general things that can be said about our beliefs:
» We believe pirates, the original Pastafarians, were peaceful explorers and it was due to Christian misinformation that they have an image of outcast criminals today
» We are fond of beer
» Every Friday is a Religious Holiday
» We do not take ourselves too seriously
» We embrace contradictions (though in that we are hardly unique)

Every trip to an Italian restaurant is a religious experience!
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allrite
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:54 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
The few I've known went from a normal person to a yapping nut that couldn't stop talking about their religious beliefs.

We were raised as atheists but one of my younger brothers went off and became a creationist. I partly blame the mind rotting that happens in Central Queensland and partly because it allows him to act sanctimonious and superior. As an aside I know one waste of space who loves to lecture and quote from the bible when it comes to things like relationships, but it's him that's had the affair.

The ultra annoying born again Christian is a well known phenomenon, but also notice how it's often been born again Muslims who committed terrorist acts in the West (and presumably make up a fair portion of those fighting elsewhere in the world) and who are often the ones complaining the loudest about discrimination? Similarly with those that have "discovered" other belief systems (supposed cultural heritage, science fiction series, chosen airline affiliation...).
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Maverick623
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:19 am

Quoting allrite (Reply 8):
Similarly with those that have "discovered" other belief systems

There's a proverb to that effect:

"There's no zealot like a convert".
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photopilot
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:11 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
The few I've known went from a normal person to a yapping nut that couldn't stop talking about their religious beliefs.

  

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 2):
And so I have concluded that religion is a farce and that I will no longer participate in such. True, atheism is not a religion but I abandoned religion altogether, so it IS a conversion.

  

Not only are all religions a farce per se, but they are a multi-billion dollar business. The whole process of collecting "donations" and in many cases, an actual defined tithe of 10% of their gross pay is given to their church. I sometimes think it's pay, pay, pay instead of pray, pray, pray!!!
 
Pyrex
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:38 am

One thing is to follow a religion because you were indoctrinated that way as a kid and never gave it much thought. But if you actually go through the effort of thinking things through and instead of "this idea of an all-seeing, all-powerful being up above is nuts" your conclusion is "no, this concept actually makes total sense, it is just that the all-seeing all-powerful being up above should be a different one" then that is a sign your critical reasoning skills aren't up to snuff.
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zrs70
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:58 am

Sounds like many posters here have a fairly limited understanding of religion. When people convert to Judaism, they are taught that questions are more important than answers. They are encouraged to question everything, to think outside the box, etc.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:00 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
The few I've known went from a normal person to a yapping nut that couldn't stop talking about their religious beliefs.

Sounds like what happens sometimes when people change political parties.
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Superfly
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:53 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 6):
The rest of the family has theories on what made them go from 0-60 so quickly, but none of us really know for sure. Needless to say, they aren't active in our family get-togethers much anymore.

Well they're still your family an you shouldn't exclude them just because you don't agree with them. I know of a few religious zealots in the family but no one get's offended by their beliefs. Don't let it bother you.
I don't get offended that easy.

Quoting photopilot (Reply 10):
The whole process of collecting "donations" and in many cases, an actual defined tithe of 10% of their gross pay is given to their church. I sometimes think it's pay, pay, pay instead of pray, pray, pray!!!

To be fair, it's not like they kick you out for not paying. The money given is voluntary unlike with government where your money is taken from you - some times by force an could include imprisonment.
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ElanusNotatus
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:55 am

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 12):
that questions are more important than answers.

To most people religion means adhering to the idea that there is a supreme being that has set down a path to follow and has given us the freedom to choose which path to follow. Those who choose the right path see their burdens lightened while those who choose the wrong one create a debt to be paid, either in the present life or in the hereafter.

This spirit of enquiry that you point to is so different to what many understand to be religion that it might almost be described as philosophy. But in questioning everything and thinking outside the box, does one arrive at a point where not only is the nature of God disputed but the very existence? Can one convert to Judaism while still proclaiming the non-existence of God?
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PlanesNTrains
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:14 am

Quoting photopilot (Reply 10):
Not only are all religions a farce per se, but they are a multi-billion dollar business. The whole process of collecting "donations" and in many cases, an actual defined tithe of 10% of their gross pay is given to their church. I sometimes think it's pay, pay, pay instead of pray, pray, pray!!!

Uh, ever heard of free will?

We tithe, and are happy to do so. We also pray, and are happy to do so. You are welcome to do neither, even in our church. FWIW, many, many people at our church don't tithe. That's their choice.

You talk about the billion dollar business. We go to church for worship, instruction, fellowship, classes, events, etc. The building isn't free. The materials aren't free, The power isn't free, The furnishings aren't free. Paying modest salaries to the staff isn't free, of course. We provide to the community in many, many ways. And yes, of course funds go to supporting missionaries and organizations.

I suppose instead of being a Christian I could just worship my body and join LA Fitness. There I could worship myself, get instruction, friendship, take classes, etc. The building isn't free. The materials aren't free. The power isn't free. The furnishings aren't free. Paying modest salaries to the staff isn't free, of course. No one is putting a gun to my head to go there. And yes, they do come around to our business, drop off a "Hey, come check us out" card and smile and act like my best friend. So?

Free will. It's a wonderful thing.

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Superfly
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:22 am

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 16):

  
Excellent analogy.
LA Fitness sales reps are more aggressive than Mormon missionaries.
Also Greenpeace activist are extremely aggressive. They even demand your credit card number on the spot.
Environmentalism is a religion as well and they can be extremely obnoxious. What's worse is they have more political clout than all the other religions.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:46 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):
The few I've known went from a normal person to a yapping nut that couldn't stop talking about their religious beliefs.

My Sierra Leonian Ex, who turned from a moderate, common sense and rather secular Muslim to a fundamentalist evangelical Christian.
At some stage she wouldn't make a decision before having asked her pastor for his opinion.
The conversion was one of the reasons why I went for a divorce.

Jan
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:54 am

It took a while but eventually the blatant inconsistencies/absurdly unscientific stories in the Bible started to take their toll... only after that did the whole concept of it all and the (lack of) morality settle in. Looking back, I don't think I could be religious again... what is wrong is wrong, I am not going to do mental gymnastics to make an ancient myth make sense or just settle with the "it's a metaphor/allegory" excuse.

That is just my journey though, I harbor no ill will towards those who still believe. As long as they are good people and don't push their beliefs on me, we can have a good conversation or simply coexist
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:57 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 12):
When people convert to Judaism, they are taught that questions are more important than answers. They are encouraged to question everything, to think outside the box, etc.

What if I convert to Judaism and question their traditions? Why is it necessary for males to be circumcised (how does that make a man a better Jew)? Why is pork off limits? Why is a kosher diet essential (how does what I eat affect my connection to a deity)?

Odds are that thinking outside the box will strongly be frowned upon, as it is in many religions. Very few religions/denominations have been known for getting with the times and being more liberal. That's one thing I like about Pope Francis: he understands that the stances taken by his predecessors are no longer valid in this time and is slowly bringing about the church into a modern era.
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WestJet747
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:51 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
Well they're still your family an you shouldn't exclude them just because you don't agree with them. I know of a few religious zealots in the family but no one get's offended by their beliefs. Don't let it bother you.

Oh absolutely! I should have been more specific...it's my cousins who choose to not involve themselves with our get-togethers anymore. They are still always invited.

I guess they just don't want to hang out with a bunch of "heathens" like us  
Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
LA Fitness sales reps are more aggressive than Mormon missionaries.

In Canada we have Goodlife Fitness, which is basically our version of LA Fitness. The sales people treat Goodlife like a religion, and they even have a book written by the founder that they hand out to everyone (not even kidding). You feel victimized after 5 minutes with these people.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 12):
Sounds like many posters here have a fairly limited understanding of religion. When people convert to Judaism, they are taught that questions are more important than answers. They are encouraged to question everything, to think outside the box, etc.

I can introduce you to some Orthodox Jews who disagree...and will spit on you or push you around in the process.
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zrs70
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:53 pm

Quoting ElanusNotatus (Reply 15):
Can one convert to Judaism while still proclaiming the non-existence of God?

Yes (though I speak for the progressive movements in Judaism). Connection to the community is much more important than belief. And when it comes to belief, there are so many ways to think about God within Judaism anyway .... There are many schools of thought.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 20):
What if I convert to Judaism and question their traditions? Why is it necessary for males to be circumcised (how does that make a man a better Jew)? Why is pork off limits? Why is a kosher diet essential (how does what I eat affect my connection to a deity)?

Great questions! I would be worried if these things weren't questioned. Though I would also wonder what the desire to convert is.

Circumcision does not makes you a "better Jew." How could it?

Kashrut is an interesting one... Perhaps it teaches that we have choices in life - and that we should think before doing anything. But it was once explained to me that what comes out of our mouths is more important than what goes it. That said, keeping kosher won't necessary bring you closer to God. But it might bring you closer to your community.
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zrs70
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:46 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 21):
I can introduce you to some Orthodox Jews who disagree...and will spit on you or push you around in the process.

Fortunately, they don't speak for Judaism as a whole.
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SmithAir747
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:45 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 16):

Quoting photopilot (Reply 10):
Not only are all religions a farce per se, but they are a multi-billion dollar business. The whole process of collecting "donations" and in many cases, an actual defined tithe of 10% of their gross pay is given to their church. I sometimes think it's pay, pay, pay instead of pray, pray, pray!!!

Uh, ever heard of free will?

We tithe, and are happy to do so. We also pray, and are happy to do so. You are welcome to do neither, even in our church. FWIW, many, many people at our church don't tithe. That's their choice.

You talk about the billion dollar business. We go to church for worship, instruction, fellowship, classes, events, etc. The building isn't free. The materials aren't free, The power isn't free, The furnishings aren't free. Paying modest salaries to the staff isn't free, of course. We provide to the community in many, many ways. And yes, of course funds go to supporting missionaries and organizations.

The church being a business has always been a problem--ever since Jesus made His whip and overturned the money-changers' tables in His Father's temple.

I am perfectly fine with people giving 10%, or whatever amount, from their income to their church, as long as it is their own conviction. However, I do have a serious problem with any religious authority demanding 10% of gross from their people "or else God will get you in some awful way". This has happened ever since the institutionalisation of Christianity.

Never mind Paul's admonition (in the NT) to give voluntarily, as you are led by God to give, and as you can afford to, not under compulsion.

There are churches/pastors who demand tithes and offerings--Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches, evangelical churches, etc. I have seen it most in my Baptist tradition (both IFB and regular Baptists). In the Mormon (LDS) church, there is actually a mandatory auditing system run by the bishops, called "tithing settlement", in which each person or family is audited (just like an IRS audit) to make sure they have done the mandatory tithing. I hope Baptist preachers don't get any such ideas from the LDS!

This goes far beyond giving--the church has indeed made itself a lucrative business, monetizing every aspect of religion that can be possibly monetized--see the bookshops, cafes, fees for religious services/ceremonies/indulgences/you-name-it.

Pope Francis rightfully condemned the phenomenon of parishes being run as businesses--it's not only a Catholic problem, but is universal in Christianity.

I have seen it quoted somewhere that Christianity became an institution in Europe, and eventually became an enterprise in America.

SmithAir747
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steman
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:21 pm

My whole family, Mother, Sister, Brother-in-Law, went from common Catholic (what you are if you are born and raised in Italy) to being Jehova´s Witnesses in the 90s, when I was a teenager.
I tried it too but it didn´t work for me. They, like the Catholics, don´t like gays (though they don´t try to kill them like the Catholics in Uganda do).
Eventually I lost any interest in religion altogether and now I really despise organised religions, whichever they are. I think religion is a brake to human evolution, something that prevents us to reach a higher level of civilization.
But of course I respect individual choices. My mom doesn´t push her beliefs on me and she respects my lifestyle and I don´t talk bad about her religion with her. It´s something good for her and I´m glad she has many friends in her community. I don´t agree with their beliefs but I know many of them and they are all nice people, honest and gentle.
 
CplKlinger
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:51 pm

I went sort of like this: Christian (non-denominational) - Atheist (not hardcore, like some of the folks in this thread) - Buddhist. I like where I ended up a lot. I don't have to go out and prosthelytize to the masses, shame my family for not converting or anything like that. We're just who we are. It's been a bit odd for our child, as Buddhists in the midwest, especially when you're a white kid is weird, but we make do. I just had to find something after the whole atheism phase because I couldn't identify with the hardcore atheists pushing no god over the Christians pushing theirs.

Don't get me wrong, I think that any religion pushed in the face of another, or used to feel that one is superior to another isn't a good one. But I've come to believe after a lot of thought that a lot of the atheists have replaced whatever religion they did have with the religion of not having one. Denying God (in whatever form) is their God. They use it like some religious folks use their church, as a way to isolate themselves from the rest of society, and in some measure feel superior towards it. Heck, when you see atheists holding un-babtism ceremonies, you know they've crossed that line.
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:05 pm

Quoting CplKlinger (Reply 26):
They use it like some religious folks use their church, as a way to isolate themselves from the rest of society, and in some measure feel superior towards it.

Not all atheists are like that. You apparently got mixed with aggressive atheists (the ones who actively prove that there is no deity). I'm a passive atheist and take a kumbaya approach (I question your god but don't seek to convince you otherwise. Don't push your beliefs on me and I won't push mine on you).
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:24 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 27):
I'm a passive atheist and take a kumbaya approach (I question your god but don't seek to convince you otherwise. Don't push your beliefs on me and I won't push mine on you).

Ditto.

Although according to one member here, I'm not actually an atheist, because I'm not active about it.

Quoting CplKlinger (Reply 26):
Buddhist

If I were going to pick a religion, it would be Hinduism or Buddhism. Both of those have always seemed more spiritual than religious, and I'm somewhat spiritual, so I can appreciate that.
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AR385
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RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:54 pm

My parents couldn´t give a crap about religion. Though my grandmother on my father´s side was a religious nut, and took it upon herself to educate me in Catholicism. Thus I was baptized. But I did not take communion. I haven´t to this day.

Going to church as a boy felt awkward and strange, as my parents never took me, I knew nothing of the going ons and my grandmother was bat crazy and kept scolding me in the pews in front of everybody and telling me what an embarrassment to God I was. One time I peed myself in the pews out of sheer stress.

Those were my early experiences with the Catholic Church. Discovering later in life my Grandmother had Borderline Personality Disorder and was ACTUALLY a nut did not help.

So I basically ended up hating the church and avoided going like the plague.

But then as an adult I read the gospels, and actually found them very interesting. So I did an about face. I believe in a higher power. Wether it be God, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whomever you want to call it. And since I am already a Catholic, I´ve decided to stick with that. I don´t go to church except on very special occasions, I don´t take much stock into sermons whenever I hear one. I don´t preach to anyone and I don´t bother anyone else who does not think like me. The way I see it I have my own relationship with God and he and I have an understanding. I also believe he has an excellent sense of humor, the way my life has gone.

I have many questions, sure, but given my spiritual status quo, I´ve made my peace with them. I don´t think I´m stupid or less scientifically literate by believing in a supreme power. I also think during my years fighting alcoholism and since then, in my recovery years, that particular belief has been very important and helpful.

To each his own and long live free will.
 
CplKlinger
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:05 pm

RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:25 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 27):
Not all atheists are like that.

On that you and I can agree. The bad thing for atheists, like most other religions, is the crazy ones get all of the attention.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 28):
If I were going to pick a religion, it would be Hinduism or Buddhism. Both of those have always seemed more spiritual than religious, and I'm somewhat spiritual, so I can appreciate that.

Buddhism definitely is a much more spiritual thing. Gods exist, but not as creators or leaders, more as those who've become completely enlightened. Technically speaking, a god isn't even necessarily a good thing to become as you've nowhere to go from there!
 
WestJet747
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:43 pm

RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:21 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 23):
Fortunately, they don't speak for Judaism as a whole.

Perhaps not, but like Christianity and Islam, you've got a lot of real whackadoos flying your flag and doing a lot of harm in the process.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 27):
I'm a passive atheist and take a kumbaya approach (I question your god but don't seek to convince you otherwise. Don't push your beliefs on me and I won't push mine on you).

  

Quoting CplKlinger (Reply 30):
The bad thing for atheists, like most other religions, is the crazy ones get all of the attention.

They sure aren't doing atheism any favours, but unlike the crazies in various religions, the extreme atheists aren't hurting or repressing anyone in the name of their beliefs, so I find it difficult to condemn them too much.

Bill Maher is a notable example. He is one of the most aggressive atheists in the world (literally), but his views have never actually done any real harm beyond a couple of hurt feelings.
Flying refined.
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6199
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:45 am

The only religious conversion that makes sense is from any of them to rationality.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
CplKlinger
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:05 pm

RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:32 am

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 31):
They sure aren't doing atheism any favours, but unlike the crazies in various religions, the extreme atheists aren't hurting or repressing anyone in the name of their beliefs, so I find it difficult to condemn them too much.

I can agree with that to a point. You still get some that like to waste other folks time and money in court, but then again, that's the American way for a lot of groups (like the Westboro Baptists). It's too bad that you don't often see folks in those cases calling the others out for the d-baggery.

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 32):
The only religious conversion that makes sense is from any of them to rationality.

One mans rationality is another man's irrationality.
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 9524
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:49 am

Quoting SmithAir747 (Reply 24):
"or else God will get you in some awful way".

I'm so thankful that I've not encountered all the people that those on A.net have over the years. Certainly some people are doing more harm than good, but overall I am shocked at what others seem to have encountered with people of faith.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 27):
Not all atheists are like that.

Not all [fill in the blank] are like that. Nonetheless, we all get lumped in as if we ourselves are responsible.

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
ElanusNotatus
Posts: 720
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:48 am

RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:50 pm

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 32):
rationality

Religion and rational thought are not necessarily exclusive. Indeed the history of relious thought has shown various strands of thought that have striven to expound religion on a rational basis rather than relying on either revelation or dogma.

From arguments that sought to establish the existence of God through what was believed to be the orderedness and variety of nature, to discussions of the essence, nature and attributes of God, we see structured arguments that went beyond faith and were based in reason.

Whatever shortcomings modern readers may find in the writings of an Aquinas, Ibn Rushd or Ibn Sina and others, it would be difficult to dismiss them all as "whack jobs".
Crawl, walk, fly into the future
 
CplKlinger
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:05 pm

RE: Conversion To Another Religion

Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:07 pm

Quoting ElanusNotatus (Reply 35):
Whatever shortcomings modern readers may find in the writings of an Aquinas, Ibn Rushd or Ibn Sina and others, it would be difficult to dismiss them all as "whack jobs".

Indeed, often the "whack jobs" that some rail against are those that misinterpret the words of their chosen faith, either out of naivety, or out of the quest for power or money, or whatever other reasons. One only has to look at the extremists of the Muslim faith or the far fringes of Christianity to see that in action. They choose to use the words of their faith in such a way as to promote their own agenda. They beat the idea of blind faith into their followers who stop questioning, and so it goes. The lack of questioning is the problem, rather than the faith. A friend of mine in college that was Jewish once told me that when reading the Torah, if you weren't questioning things or picking it apart, you weren't doing it right. One of the reasons I thought about converting myself (but I love bacon too much, so there's that).

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 34):
Not all [fill in the blank] are like that. Nonetheless, we all get lumped in as if we ourselves are responsible.

I have no problem with anyone of any persuasion, as long as they're sane about it. Even Boeing fans are welcome in my home if they're not nutty. I only try to call out the nutty ones.

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