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Paranoid Android

My deconversion story

108 posts in this topic

Welcome back, PA!  I am happy for you to have found your own path.  

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56 minutes ago, Paranoid Android said:

 

P.S - I still believe in a creator, though, so there's a fair way to go before I get to the atheist phase that I'm sure at least some of you are hoping I get to ;) 

I am a new regular so I don't know you much. I have to wonder if you are ready to consider a more eastern/New Age view of who you are. My position is that the old energy (Christianity) needs to move on to a newer stage of understanding. Between the traditional debate of Christianity versus Atheism, the best answer may be 'neither of the above'.

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Nice to see you back, PA, and what a return story to bring!  Let's just say I can relate very well to your experience..

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Good to see you PA. I will always have respect for you young man. No matter what your beliefs are.

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3 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

I am a new regular so I don't know you much. I have to wonder if you are ready to consider a more eastern/New Age view of who you are. My position is that the old energy (Christianity) needs to move on to a newer stage of understanding. Between the traditional debate of Christianity versus Atheism, the best answer may be 'neither of the above'.

I've got a strong sense of who I am, thanks. Eastern ideas are fascinating but not where I really want to head. Your point on the "traditional debate of Christianity versus Atheism" is well taken, though. I didn't intend to imply that at all. It's a bit of a non sequitur when the debate gets to that kind of thing. I was simply referring to some of my old sparring partners (whom I've seen posts of since coming back - they know who they are :ph34r:) who have sincerely hoped that I might take the leap away from a creator of any kind.

4 hours ago, glorybebe said:

Welcome back, PA!  I am happy for you to have found your own path.  

 

3 hours ago, ChrLzs said:

Nice to see you back, PA, and what a return story to bring!  Let's just say I can relate very well to your experience..

 

1 hour ago, Kismit said:

Good to see you PA. I will always have respect for you young man. No matter what your beliefs are.

Thanks guys, it's good to be back. It's been a long journey but well worth the effort. 

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Welcome back, PA. look forward to running into you again. 

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Hey PA, good to see you back. It sounds like you're rather saying that it's the dogma  of organised religion - sin and the insistence on having to believe that Jesus was the Saviour, whatever that might mean exactly - that you're rejecting, rather than a belief in the existence, or at least the probability of, a God? Do you still feel that Jesus is at any rate a figure to emulate as far as possible, even if you don't believe all the "saviour" baggage that's accumulated around him?

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Hiya, welcome back :st

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1 minute ago, Manfred von Dreidecker said:

Hey PA, good to see you back. It sounds like you're rather saying that it's the dogma  of organised religion - sin and the insistence on having to believe that Jesus was the Saviour, whatever that might mean exactly - that you're rejecting, rather than a belief in the existence, or at least the probability of, a God? Do you still feel that Jesus is at any rate a figure to emulate as far as possible, even if you don't believe all the "saviour" baggage that's accumulated around him?

I'd definitely still say that Jesus is worthy of emulation in many ways. His teaching was revolutionary for his day. One of the great forward thinkers. However, the message of the Bible is one that I cannot hold to. It's the dogma of the Bible, organised religion is a different entity altogether, one which even in my past I never adhered to. 

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8 hours ago, Paranoid Android said:

Hello hello, one and all. It has been a long time between posts, and I have to say I've missed you all, and missed this place. Some of you old timers around here are probably surprised to see my name in a topic, it's been two years or more since I last was here to offer anything substantial. And those same old timers probably are curious and/or surprised by the title of my thread. As you all know I was well known for defending most things Christian here at UM. And while I still WILL defend a lot of the arguments against Christianity as I do believe that they are unfounded or exaggerated or simply plain misunderstood, I am no longer a Christian. I moved away from Christianity about a year ago now. I'll try and tell you guys my story, and hopefully as concisely as possible.

It was actually a long process, with several curves along the way, but I'll skip that and get right down to the final bit. I've been dealing with self-esteem/self-worth issues my whole life. I felt like a broken person, and I thought this was normal. Everyone must be broken, right? So the message of Christianity really rang true to me - we are broken by sin and need Jesus to save us because we can't save ourselves. This core belief led to a lot of negative behaviours, one of those being alcohol addiction. Which is what I have been working on for the last number of months.

One of the therapy sessions I had included a handout on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. In it was a line along the lines of "this is why I always say it is most important to have a good quality relationship with yourself first, because if you can get that right the rest usually falls into place". Taken on its own this statement makes a lot of sense, but it also contradicts the core tenets of Christian theology - a good relationship with Jesus first and then the rest falls into place. At this point I came to a realisation - unless I can learn to love myself I will never beat my addiction.

So I had several choices:

  • 1- Radically alter my views on Christianity and argue that the Bible doesn't teach anything about sin and brokenness in humanity.
  • 2- Go the complete reversal and treat Jesus like an addiction in itself, devote absolutely everything I am to him and forget what everything else says.
  • 3- Choose to see the message of Christianity as flawed, move on to my own set of beliefs on the universe, where I am a valuable human being who deserves to be loved and respected (from myself as well as from others).

This is a simplistic generalisation but roughly explains why and how I came to choose option 3, and spent the last 14 months building myself up from the ground up. It ignores a large part of the lead up events that led me to question my faith and settles on just the final straw. But regardless, today I sit at the keyboard writing to you all as someone who believes in themselves, someone who has a strong sense of identity, is self assured, valuable, and in no ways broken by the things that have happened to me throughout my life. I am a strong and independent ex-Christian. And I needed to let you guys know that. I'll be around here and there to check on things and post around the place, so I'll catch you all around at some point in the future.

~ Regards, PA

P.S - I still believe in a creator, though, so there's a fair way to go before I get to the atheist phase that I'm sure at least some of you are hoping I get to ;) 

I always had the impression you were questioning; I am not shocked that your questions have led you to new truths. For me, it never mattered what you believed because you came off as a man of integrity and goodness who was always honest and authentic. 

I am so pleased you have found peace, you deserve to know yourself as we see you as a worthy, confident, competent person who matters and I for one look forward to sharing thoughts with you  as you are an intelligent man. 

You have been missed. 

Did you get married? 

Edited by Sherapy
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Welcome to the dark side, PA.

* Passes cookies *

 

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Christianity made no sense to me... until I discovered Gnosticism.

I am now a Christian Gnostic.

http://gnosis.org/gnintro.htm

Edited by TruthSeeker_
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Glad to see you back and doing well, PA :)

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7 hours ago, Tiggs said:

Welcome to the dark side, PA.

* Passes cookies *

 

Wow, where have you been Tiggs!

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17 hours ago, Paranoid Android said:

I'd definitely still say that Jesus is worthy of emulation in many ways. His teaching was revolutionary for his day. One of the great forward thinkers. However, the message of the Bible is one that I cannot hold to. It's the dogma of the Bible, organised religion is a different entity altogether, one which even in my past I never adhered to. 

There is more to christianity than the Bible, though. Early christianity was so vast and the Bible is merely one book voted by a group of men during the 4th century. There is a whole other tradition, where Jesus is a man (altough an enlightened one) where the resurection is understood metaphorically, one that really speaks more of Self–knowledge and inner experiential understanding as the core of Jesus' teaching than any miracle or dogma. But these guys were stamped out by the orthodoxy. Yet, some of their writings remain, as part of the Nag Hammadi Library.

Edited by TruthSeeker_
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4 hours ago, TruthSeeker_ said:

There is more to christianity than the Bible, though. Early christianity was so vast and the Bible is merely one book voted by a group of men during the 4th century. There is a whole other tradition, where Jesus is a man (altough an enlightened one) where the resurection is understood metaphorically, one that really speaks more of Self–knowledge and inner experiential understanding as the core of Jesus' teaching than any miracle or dogma. But these guys were stamped out by the orthodoxy. Yet, some of their writings remain, as part of the Nag Hammadi Library.

The writings of the Bible are the earliest and most accurate of early Christianity. The other traditions come from later times and do not reflect the earliest believers, in my opinion. Which is not to say that they can't be valuable texts, they still tell us about early Christian views. Just not the earliest, as I see it. 

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4 hours ago, Tiggs said:

I've been taking a long sabbatical from internet forums to unravel semi-primes and build video games -- until I felt a disturbance in the Force that led me back here.

Great to see you back!!!!

Are you still in Ca.?

Edited by Sherapy
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Congrats PA.

I told you that you would come out of it one day, and I never tell anyone that. I will not go into details, but you were in it for far to many faulty reasons.

Being a deist at least unanchors the brain a bit. ;)

Some can positively free themselves of the HDG, but some cannot. :o

 

4a1fa100e28f0c2f304cc054b0c58514.jpg

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Welcome back, PA. I'm glad to hear that you're doing well, and especially glad to hear that you've moved past Christianity. Thanks for sharing your story!

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On 10/31/2017 at 8:57 PM, Paranoid Android said:

Hello hello, one and all. It has been a long time between posts, and I have to say I've missed you all, and missed this place. Some of you old timers around here are probably surprised to see my name in a topic, it's been two years or more since I last was here to offer anything substantial. And those same old timers probably are curious and/or surprised by the title of my thread. As you all know I was well known for defending most things Christian here at UM. And while I still WILL defend a lot of the arguments against Christianity as I do believe that they are unfounded or exaggerated or simply plain misunderstood, I am no longer a Christian. I moved away from Christianity about a year ago now. I'll try and tell you guys my story, and hopefully as concisely as possible.

That was rather concise PA.  My story is very similar to yours, and you may remember me from an earlier time when I was a staunch defender of Christianity.  Like you, I also no longer consider myself one, and had a very positive and life changing experinece in AA myself.  

I know how difficult it is to examine one's one beliefs, and be open to consider the fact that what we have held so dear for so long, and that worldview that actually seemed to help us exist in this crazy world was misguided or incorrect.  It is also very difficult to discuss this kind of thing publicly.  

I do consider truth to be worth the effort, so congratulations to you and thank you for sharing your story.  

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Welcome to the dark side, Guyver.

* Passes cookies *

 

On 11/1/2017 at 11:39 PM, Sherapy said:

Great to see you back!!!!

Are you still in Ca.?

Yep. Still in CA :)

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PA!! You're back.  Lets see, 2 years,  I think had a name change, from Darkwind, to GreenmansGod. to Grampa Greenman.   Great to see you back. I've changed a lot in my religious beliefs over the years. Nothing wrong with change, as one learns and grows it becomes inevitable.  I made peanut butter cookies today, y'all are welcome to a darkside cyber cookie.  

 

 ae7dcf29-dd85-447b-8384-00ca4ad2fe95--Fo

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Welcome back P.A

Now you have "seen the light"  we need to sort out this creator thing. :D only kidding(ish).

You chose well....number 3 :tu:

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