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What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheist?

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What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheist?

Postby Scepcop » 20 Jun 2010, 22:17

Now, I don't think anyone is born an Atheist. Usually we all believe in God when we are children, and that there are "magical" or supernatural forces in this world.

So I'm wondering, what event in your life turned you into a skeptic or an atheist or both? What was your Eureka moment?

I have a theory. Many skeptics become that way due to some tragic event in your life, which you blame God for, and then you retaliate by denying God and starting down the path of atheism, denying all supernatural things in the universe altogether. But few like to admit this though. If this was the case with you, can you share your story?

Was is a slow process or an instant one? What caused you to doubt the supernatural and God? Was it skeptical literature? James Randi? Or an angry hatred toward God?

Just curious.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby NinjaPuppy » 20 Jun 2010, 23:31

I don't consider myself a skeptic or an atheist but I am very skeptical about any organized religion. Reason being, the basic beliefs don't make any sense to me.

IMO, Christianity is an adaptation of paganism. Organized religion's definition of "God" and the variables that are associated with each different religion is the single most reason.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby ProfWag » 21 Jun 2010, 20:26

Scepcop wrote:Now, I don't think anyone is born an Atheist. Usually we all believe in God when we are children, and that there are "magical" or supernatural forces in this world.

So I'm wondering, what event in your life turned you into a skeptic or an atheist or both? What was your Eureka moment?

I have a theory. Many skeptics become that way due to some tragic event in your life, which you blame God for, and then you retaliate by denying God and starting down the path of atheism, denying all supernatural things in the universe altogether. But few like to admit this though. If this was the case with you, can you share your story?

Was is a slow process or an instant one? What caused you to doubt the supernatural and God? Was it skeptical literature? James Randi? Or an angry hatred toward God?

Just curious.

Which, specifically, are you asking about? It sounds like you're making the assumption that in order to be a skeptic, you are an atheist and vice versa. These are two very different subjects and I have different reasons for both.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby Scepcop » 22 Jun 2010, 04:48

ProfWag wrote:
Scepcop wrote:Now, I don't think anyone is born an Atheist. Usually we all believe in God when we are children, and that there are "magical" or supernatural forces in this world.

So I'm wondering, what event in your life turned you into a skeptic or an atheist or both? What was your Eureka moment?

I have a theory. Many skeptics become that way due to some tragic event in your life, which you blame God for, and then you retaliate by denying God and starting down the path of atheism, denying all supernatural things in the universe altogether. But few like to admit this though. If this was the case with you, can you share your story?

Was is a slow process or an instant one? What caused you to doubt the supernatural and God? Was it skeptical literature? James Randi? Or an angry hatred toward God?

Just curious.

Which, specifically, are you asking about? It sounds like you're making the assumption that in order to be a skeptic, you are an atheist and vice versa. These are two very different subjects and I have different reasons for both.


Well you are free to present your reasons for both.

As you know, the CSICOP and JREF crowd are usually atheists, besides being debunkers of the paranormal. They go hand in hand, like golf and being one of the corporate elite. lol j/k
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby ProfWag » 22 Jun 2010, 05:27

Scepcop wrote:Which, specifically, are you asking about? It sounds like you're making the assumption that in order to be a skeptic, you are an atheist and vice versa. These are two very different subjects and I have different reasons for both.

Well you are free to present your reasons for both.

As you know, the CSICOP and JREF crowd are usually atheists, besides being debunkers of the paranormal. They go hand in hand, like golf and being one of the corporate elite. lol j/k

As for being a skeptic, I had family members who wasted thousands of dollars on psychics. They have spent money on advice that turned out wrong that caused them financial and emotional harm. The moment that set me over the top, however, was watching Sylvia Browne tell Shawn Hornbeck's mother and father that he was dead. I just can't imagine why someone could do that to a family. She is obviously a fraud, and until I can find someone who is genuine, then I will do what I can to ensure nobody does something so disingenuine again. Research into the world of psychics based on that story has led me to research into all other paranormal issues and to where my beliefs, for the most part, rest today.
As for being an Atheist, while at war in the Middle East 5 years ago, one of my many jobs was to notify the home-base Commander of fatalities and wounded. I saw first hand the horrors of war, especially religious wars, and came to the conclusion that there could not be a good, all-knowing God who would let this happen to his world. So, I dusted off my old-Bible and started trying to make sense out of it. The more I read and the more I researched, the more pissed off (can I use that term?) I got as to how I was duped into believing that crap for so long. Christians have come up with some lame excuses, but the bottom line is that the New Testiment offers different names for Jesus' 12 apostles in different books. The Old Testiment has a different set of commandments. I mean, those are two of the most important works in the Bible and these "writers from God" couldn't even get that right?
As for being a golfer, well, what can I say, I enjoy being outside, walking through freshly mowed grass than couped up in front of a computer trying to figure out some new conspiracy. But hey, that's just me.
Last edited by ProfWag on 23 Jun 2010, 02:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby Indigo Child » 22 Jun 2010, 13:02

These are common reasons Prowag is giving for skepticism and atheism. They are,
however, nothing more than generalizations based on a few negative experiences in life.
So a few psychics one has met have been bad psychics, so therefore this means all psychics
must be bad and in fact there is no such thing as psychic powers. This argument is as good
as a racist who has had a few negative experiences in life from a certain race, then concludes
everybody in that race must be bad.

The same goes for the problem of evil. Atheists argue that there cannot be any god, because
there is evil in the world. Well, guess what there is also good in the world. If there is hate,
there is also love; if there is greed, there is also charity. If there is violence, there is also compassion.
However, again they base their argument on a generalization based on a few negative experiences
in their life and conclude that the world is evil.

You are right Winston that nobody is born an atheist. In fact we are all born with an innate concept
for the divine and the supernatural, mystical and spiritual. It is obvious looking at a child who believes
in the magical and the early human who believed in gods. Atheists are made that way, not born that way.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby ProfWag » 22 Jun 2010, 17:16

Indigo Child wrote:These are common reasons Prowag is giving for skepticism and atheism. They are,
however, nothing more than generalizations based on a few negative experiences in life.
So a few psychics one has met have been bad psychics, so therefore this means all psychics
must be bad and in fact there is no such thing as psychic powers. This argument is as good
as a racist who has had a few negative experiences in life from a certain race, then concludes
everybody in that race must be bad.

The same goes for the problem of evil. Atheists argue that there cannot be any god, because
there is evil in the world. Well, guess what there is also good in the world. If there is hate,
there is also love; if there is greed, there is also charity. If there is violence, there is also compassion.
However, again they base their argument on a generalization based on a few negative experiences
in their life and conclude that the world is evil.

You are right Winston that nobody is born an atheist. In fact we are all born with an innate concept
for the divine and the supernatural, mystical and spiritual. It is obvious looking at a child who believes
in the magical and the early human who believed in gods. Atheists are made that way, not born that way.

I find this post to be rather rude towards me. Who the hell are you to tell me what I should and shouldn't believe based on my life experiences? You have no idea what my life is about. A few negative experiences led me to do research, NOT formulate an opinion based on one or two experiences. As for the evil in the world, Indigo, I rather doubt you were anywhere near my shoes in the experiences I encountered so for you to discredit my current opinions based on my experiences is hypocritical from someone who claims to be so "spiritual." Again, it was my research that has led me to my conclusions.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby Indigo Child » 22 Jun 2010, 20:44

Again, it was my research that has led me to my conclusions.


What kind of research leads to the negative conclusion that god and the paranormal
do not exist? You are interesting in that you demand the universe in evidence to establish
them positively, but for the negative conclusion of their non-existence you accept just about
anything.

If you had genuinely researched the paranormal, god and religion, you would at least be agnostic about
these issues, not fundamentally opposed to them as you are. I simply said what you said in your post
you had a few bad experiences with psychics and bad experiences facing the horrors of war(my sympathies
are with you on this) and from that you arrive at the negative conclusion that all psychics must be frauds or
psychics do not exist at all and that god does not exist. These are generalizations based on a few negative
experiences. I see no research here.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby ProfWag » 22 Jun 2010, 20:48

Indigo Child wrote:
Again, it was my research that has led me to my conclusions.


What kind of research leads to the negative conclusion that god and the paranormal
do not exist? You are interesting in that you demand the universe in evidence to establish
them positively, but for the negative conclusion of their non-existence you accept just about
anything.

If you had genuinely researched the paranormal, god and religion would at least be agnostic about
these issues, not fundamentally opposed to them as you are. I simply said what you said in your post
you had a few bad experiences with psychics and bad experiences facing the horrors of war(my sympathies
are with you on this) and from that you arrive at the negative conclusion that all psychics must be frauds or
psychics do not exist at all and that god does not exist. These are generalizations based on a few negative
experiences.

I would be a pseudoskeptic if I watched Sylvia Browne tell Shawn's parents their son was dead (when he was in fact alive) and then consider all skeptics to be frauds. I am hear to find the truth and when evidence is presented, I feel it is my duty and responsibility to be critical of it in search for the truth. I have never said that parapsychology will never be proven, I have said that as of now, it hasn't. Believe me when I say I wish it were real, but I am not the type of person that will believe something just because someone tells me so.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby Indigo Child » 22 Jun 2010, 21:18

I would be a pseudoskeptic if I watched Sylvia Browne tell Shawn's parents their son was dead (when he was in fact alive) and then consider all skeptics to be frauds. I am hear to find the truth and when evidence is presented, I feel it is my duty and responsibility to be critical of it in search for the truth. I have never said that parapsychology will never be proven, I have said that as of now, it hasn't. Believe me when I say I wish it were real, but I am not the type of person that will believe something just because someone tells me so.


I never said you said that parapsychology will be never be proven. I am not saying you should believe it is real, but what I am
saying is you need to engage with the evidence in parapsychology. To say there is no evidence is a lie and you know it is, considering
decades of research in the field. If you continue to say this, this is when you will clearly show yourself as a pseudoskeptic.

By the way you identify as an atheist. This means you believe in the non-existence of god. If you were genuinely skeptical, you
would be at least agnostic.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby ProfWag » 22 Jun 2010, 21:30

Indigo Child wrote: To say there is no evidence is a lie and you know it is, considering
decades of research in the field. If you continue to say this, this is when you will clearly show yourself as a pseudoskeptic.

By the way you identify as an atheist. This means you believe in the non-existence of god. If you were genuinely skeptical, you
would be at least agnostic.

I will voluntarily leave this board for one week if you can show me where I said "there is no evidence" of parapsychology. You are saying this is a lie. I am asking you to show me where I said that.

As for your comment about me being agnostic, yes, you are absolutely correct. I am not skeptical of God. I am an Atheist in that I believe there is no "all-knowing" deity.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby Indigo Child » 22 Jun 2010, 21:43

I will voluntarily leave this board for one week if you can show me where I said "there is no evidence" of parapsychology. You are saying this is a lie. I am asking you to show me where I said that.


Well, as I have no interest in having you leave the board for one week, I am not about to sift through past post history trying
to catch you out. My point is clear though, if you are going to actually engage with the evidence, then you are practicing proper
skepticism. Otherwise you are not.

As for your comment about me being agnostic, yes, you are absolutely correct. I am not skeptical of God. I am an Atheist in that I believe there is no "all-knowing" deity.


Well there you go then, you are pseudoskeptical in this area of thought. You believe in the non-existence of god, in other words you are not even open to the possibility that god exists.
However, if we look at this critically, god has always been innate to the human. In fact it has now been proven that humans are born naturally with the propensity to believe in god, and
obviously we know in the past all cultures around the world believed in god. So your non-belief in god is nothing more than a rebellion against a natural concept of humanity.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby ProfWag » 22 Jun 2010, 21:50

Indigo Child wrote:
I will voluntarily leave this board for one week if you can show me where I said "there is no evidence" of parapsychology. You are saying this is a lie. I am asking you to show me where I said that.


Well, as I have no interest in having you leave the board for one week, I am not about to sift through past post history trying
to catch you out. My point is clear though, if you are going to actually engage with the evidence, then you are practicing proper
skepticism. Otherwise you are not.

As for your comment about me being agnostic, yes, you are absolutely correct. I am not skeptical of God. I am an Atheist in that I believe there is no "all-knowing" deity.


Well there you go then, you are pseudoskeptical in this area of thought. You believe in the non-existence of god, in other words you are not even open to the possibility that god exists.
However, if we look at this critically, god has always been innate to the human. In fact it has now been proven that humans are born naturally with the propensity to believe in god, and
obviously we know in the past all cultures around the world believed in god. So your non-belief in god is nothing more than a rebellion against a natural concept of humanity.

Two things. First, no, I'm not letting you slide on this. You called me a liar and unless you either apologize or at least admit your error, then I will continue to hound you about it. That is my credibility and I've worked too hard throughout my life to have it gone because Indigo Child says so.
Second, I would be VERY interested in reading the report that proves "humans are born naturally with the propensity to believe in god." I'm not saying it's not true, it very well could be, but I would like to see where you learned that.
Thanks.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby ProfWag » 22 Jun 2010, 21:59

ProfWag wrote:Second, I would be VERY interested in reading the report that proves "humans are born naturally with the propensity to believe in god." I'm not saying it's not true, it very well could be, but I would like to see where you learned that.
Thanks.

Disreguard. I found it. It's in a book by Dr. Bruce Hood. Just to clarify though, he presents evidence to suggest your point. "Proven" is such a harsh word.
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Re: What event in your life turned you into a Skeptic/Atheis

Postby Indigo Child » 22 Jun 2010, 22:16

Two things. First, no, I'm not letting you slide on this. You called me a liar and unless you either apologize or at least admit your error, then I will continue to hound you about it. That is my credibility and I've worked too hard throughout my life to have it gone because Indigo Child says so.
Second, I would be VERY interested in reading the report that proves "humans are born naturally with the propensity to believe in god." I'm not saying it's not true, it very well could be, but I would like to see where you learned that.
Thanks.


Like I said I have no desire to see you leave for a week or to go sift through your post history to undermine you. I have nothing to lose, so I will be humble
and retract my statement. However, don't take people on this boards to be fools, it is pretty clear what your views on the paranormal are and your sincerity
in engaging with research on it is also very clear in every thread where you have "discussed" it.

As for the report, here you go:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/commen ... 823229.ece
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... god-belief
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... laims.html

What is being said here is pretty obvious. It is a known fact that all early human cultures believed in gods. It was proven by
early philosophers that the concept of god is a natural a priori one we are born with.
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