Sorting out my thoughts on Fatima, help?

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Cognostic's picture
The human brain is designed

The human brain is designed to make connections. Think about it. Random stars in the sky are turned into constellations and myths are formed around the random groupings. Move to another planet in the solar system and everything you know about astrology is fucked.

We have early sympathetic magic, still practiced here in Korea as superstitions. A pregnant woman can not wear anything that ties; sashes, shoes with laces, etc... If she does, her baby will get tangled up in the umbilical cord.

For a shop owner, the first customer of the day is extremely important. If he or she buys something the day will be a good day, but if he walks out of the store without a purchase, the day will be ruined. (Slippery Slope in Action)

It's bad luck to stick your chopsticks in a bowl of rice, straight up and down. If you do this. someone you know will die. (This is because the chopsticks are placed that way in a bowl at funerals for the dead.)

Sympathetic magic and thinking is everywhere. People making connections where there are no connections. Prayer can turn the mighty storm. Bullshit! Just because religious people prayed and the storm took out the neighbor's house. who was also praying by the way. does not indicate prayer did a damn thing.

The brain is a tool. You use it. Don't let it use you. You exercise it by using logic and reason and testing these inane assertions and connections that it makes.

David Killens's picture
Accept nothing at face value,

Accept nothing at face value, challenge every assertion, be eternally skeptical.

Mikhael's picture
Need to get this tattood man

Need to get this tattood man :p but for real, that's why I'm here. Surround yourself with good thoughts and ideals

Tin-Man's picture
@Mikhael Re: "Need to get

@Mikhael Re: "Need to get this tattood man :p"

...*chuckle*... Funny you should say that, because a tattoo may actually be a pretty good idea. (Okay, just so you know, if tattoos aren't your thing, then feel free to disregard everything I am about to say. I understand... *grin*...) Anyway...

Granted, I would not recommend getting that statement David made as a tattoo. Sure, it is a great piece of advice, but not exactly something I would want permanently etched on my body. However, if you are an artist/designer, then you should easily be able to compose an illustration that could serve as a reminder of when/how/why you were able to break free from the chains of your religious indoctrination. That way, whenever you are having doubts, you will have that tattoo there to look at and remind you of why you no longer believe in all of that nonsense. I am telling you this because I happen to have multiple tattoos I have collected during my life, and each and every one has a story to go with it. Some of the tattoos tell stories that are very "deep" and hold great personal meanings to me, while others are simply fun reminders of events/places I want to remember that made a lasting impression upon my life. All in all, though, every single tattoo I have helps bring into focus a particular time and place within my life. And depending on the time and place that is recalled, I can either find the strength that allowed me to get through a particular event, or I can remember the dumb/stupid/careless shit I may have done that I never care to repeat. So, hey, who knows? Maybe getting a tattoo of a personal design depicting a meaning only you will know could be beneficial to you in your journey.... *shrugging shoulders*... Just something to consider. But, of course, like I said, I know tattoos are not for everybody, and that is cool. No offense taken if that is not your thing. Reminds me of a little "joke", actually. What is the difference between people with tattoos and people without tattoos?... People with tattoos do not care if you do not have tattoos... *chuckle*...

(Side note: Hmmmm.... Dang... Now I am starting to think about a design for a tattoo for me to get relating to my escape... lol...)

David Killens's picture
Just practice that Mikhael,

Just practice that Mikhael, eventually it will become a permanent habit.

Mikhael's picture
Hey everyone

Hey everyone

My weekend runs Sunday and Monday and it's been a fairly restful one. I'm still a little keyed up but I'm trying g to put things on the back burner and just power through this flare up. Gotta try and treat it like eczema or some shit; it pops up, treat it, leave it alone and let it run its course.

Today scrolling through Facebook a cat named Fatima greeted me, and instead of full on dread it was like 30% dread and 70%, "mikhael there's only so long you can stretch this shit out because it's a place and a given name and you're only noticing it now because you have anxiety".

So all in all, an improvement

David Killens's picture


You are still coutning the hits and ignoring the misses.

Every day we meet and encounter many people. For some if can run into hundreds. I am sure if you did a rough count you have met over twenty people. So even with that very low number, we are talking 20 to 1.

Keep up the good work, you will train yourself to break free and ignore this shit.

Mikhael's picture
Def gotta. Not gonna lie, it

Def gotta. Not gonna lie, it's kinda embarassong feeling like this and coming around into an atheist forum, like I ought have my shit more together :p

Tin-Man's picture
@Mikhael Re: "'s kinda

@Mikhael Re: "'s kinda embarassong feeling like this and coming around into an atheist forum, like I ought have my shit more together."

Dude, no reason for you to be embarrassed. One of the main purposes of this site is to help others who are going through the often difficult transition associated with leaving behind a lifetime of religious indoctrination. I have gone through some of the same things you are experiencing, and I tried to handle it by myself for several months before I ever joined this site. To put it lightly, it was not working. After I finally got up the nerve to join the AR, however, I began to realize it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Yes, it was incredibly awkward and unnerving for me at first. I felt like an alien on a strange planet. But the longer I was on here and the more I learned about things I had never been aware of, the easier it became to put over forty years of dread and doubt behind me. Just hang in there. You are doing great. Remember, it is a process, not an event. One step at a time. Little by little, those nagging doubts and annoying bouts of panic will become a thing of the past. You've got this...

Mikhael's picture
I'm definatelt hoping for

I'm definatelt hoping for that too. I'm not glad that anyone else has gone through this kind of terror but it's comforting to see people who can relate. Right now I think I'm struggleing with the "I don't know" bot yet explained things. As a pagan it was easy to take the supposed miracles signs and coincidences associated with organized religion and just attribute it to "idk, any god but Yahweh" but bow that I am doubting my beliefs in any sort of higher power there isn't that fall net, and my anxiety tells me that Yahweh is the only answer *frustrated Muppet flailing*

Tin-Man's picture


Please allow me to share with you my general mindset on the whole god/bible/religious nonsense. Keep in mind, not every atheist shares the same reason(s) of why they are atheists. And what I am about to tell you is just one of many reasons I now classify myself as an atheist. Hopefully, though, it will be a little something to help you along the way...

Now, as I may have already mentioned to you, the whole bible/god/Jesus/heaven/hell stuff never made much sense to me even when I was a little kid. So, I guess in some ways I had a bit of a headstart in being able to see through the nonsense as I got older. (Still took over forty years to escape, though... *grumble*...) Anyway, for the sake of argument, let's pretend for just a moment that the god in the bible along with Jesus and all the stories that go along with it are actually true. Generally speaking, that would mean:

* God is perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-forgiving.
* God created EVERYTHING with a PERFECT PLAN for everything.
* NOTHING can ever alter God's perfect plan. (Whatever the hell that may be... *rolling eyes*...)
* God knows everything about you (EV-ERY-THING), and knew these things eons before you ever existed. He/she/it even knows exactly what will happen to you and where you will go after you die.
* (And here is the important part...) This omniscient and omnipotent god knows EXACTLY what it would take to convince ANY AND ALL individuals that he/she/it is real, and is totally capable of making that happen for every single individual on this planet who has ever lived or ever will live.

Yes, there are many more attributes to the god in the bible, but these are just the highlights of what I was taught during my youth. (With the exception of that very last point.) Yet, if you pay close attention, you will notice many glaring contradictions and inconsistencies within just those few reported characteristics. (I will allow you to pick them out for yourself, as self-discovery is more beneficial to the learning process. However, if you need assistance, please feel free to ask.) So, with just those few general examples, here is how I would view the whole thing even if it somehow turned out to be true...

1. If the god in the bible TRULY wants me to believe in it and worship it as it claims, then it knows exactly how to make me believe it exists. (Of course, whether I choose to worship it or not is another matter altogether.)

2. If the god in the bible has a perfect plan that cannot be changed, then that same god knows EXACTLY what I feel and think even as I sit here and type this post. Matter of fact, that god KNEW eons before I ever existed that I would be sitting here on this exact day at this exact time typing what you are currently reading. Therefore, it stands to reason that what I am doing at this exact moment is all part of this god's PERFECT PLAN. And there is nothing I can do about it one way or the other.

3. According to the bible, people such as myself and other atheists are to be sentenced to an eternity of unimaginable torture in the burning lake of hell for not believing in this "all-loving" and "all-forgiving" god, even though this god is (once again) totally capable of demonstrating to us he/she/it is real.

4. (And this is just my own personal little quirk/belief.) Any person/being/entity that DEMANDS to be worshiped wreaks of egotistical and narcissistic insecurity and low-self esteem. It is even worse when this individual has unlimited power and control. Therefore, even if this god were actually real, I would have practically ZERO respect for it, much less any desire to worship it. (I'm not much for worshiping anything in the first place, truth be known.) Personally, I know I would HATE for anybody or anything to ever worship me. The whole concept just seems too incredibly demeaning.

Granted, there are many, many other things involved in why I do not believe in any god(s), but this general outline is pretty much my base/foundation of what allowed me to finally escape the insidious grasp of the religious cult. Hope this helps you. And if you have any questions or need any clarification on anything I have said, please feel free to ask.

Cognostic's picture
@Everyone who has ever

@Everyone who has ever learned anything has taken the time to learn.

You don't just hop on a bike and start riding. You don't just sit at a piano and begin to play. You are not going to be free of the crap that was shoved into your brain over night. You want to be more critical and more skeptical, it will take some time. To learn new shit, you have to risk falling on that bike, you have to risk sounding like an armature on the piano, and you certainly have to risk criticism to post in a forum like this. NONE OF US IS EXEMPT. The great thing about a forum like this is that when you risk in here, you will be ready for life out there. "EMBARRASSMENT" means you are learning. It's the idiots who run away that do not learn. It's the idiots who spout nonsense over and over and over, without embarrassment that come in here and don't learn a damn thing. No one thinks less of you for your beliefs or your questions. The only time that would happen is if you began insisting your beliefs were the only correct beliefs and we should all share them with you. (He he he.... At that point, the shit would hit the fan. The poo flinging would begin. Tin Man would begin to boil. Old man would put on his little red hat with the spinning police light on it and start making woooooo wooooooo noises like a siren. The Cyber storm would roll in. The Butterflies would hit you from every direction. Captain Jack would sink your battleship and Cranky would get even more cranky than he already is. NO ONE CRITICIZES ANYONE MAKING A REAL EFFORT TO LEARN.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Probably your best post ever

Probably your best post ever Cog.....5*

David Killens's picture
Please never feel embarrassed

Please never feel embarrassed. Personally, I have an incredibly high opinion of you for that very reason, that you are willing to improve, and leaning on others for support.

I am not some super coach, but I have mentored a lot of people in very serious sim racing, the platform real life Formula One drivers and other very talented people compete in. And one very important tidbit I give everyone is this .....

"the only dumb question is the one not asked"

Cognostic's picture
@Mikhael: RE: "Yahweh is the

@Mikhael: RE: "Yahweh is the only answer"
I seriously recommend this lecture by Bart Erhman - "How Jesus Became God"

There are 3 parts. This is part 1. Who is this Yahweh character you are speaking of anyway? You think he is a god? You think he has answers? Why? Where did he come from? (Do you know Paul worshiped Jesus as an Angel? Paul never knew Jesus was a real human being with a ministry on earth. ) Education is the enemy of religion.

Bart was once a devout believer; he now calls himself an atheist.

Mikhael's picture
Thanks for the additional

Thanks for the additional input guys, itbreally is a different feeling here than I've seen on other atheist boards.

Cog, I actually just started up that lecture this past week, and need to pick it back up (was listening at work and has to turn it off since it required more attention than I could give then). I definatelt don't want to come here spouting off beliefs as doctrine, especially when half the time I'm not t sure what I believe myself, vs what I/want/ to believe or what I only "believe" out of fear

Tinman, I can't see it any other way than that, honestly. Christians would often pick on modern paganism as terrifying because they worship "violent and merciless" gods but damn yall, most Neo pagan traditions don't believe in omnipresent gods sending people into eternal hell like theirs does. For me and my fear logic though it always came back around to what was always thrown around in church; reality is reality and god is god wether you like it or not or think it's fair or not.

Honestly, and this could be my ptsd talking, it's hard for me to accept positive things as true. I could have ten sources telling me a good thing and one telling me a bad, and I believe the bad. Course this is also Catholic doctrine on Willful Ignorance and the probability of sin. There is whole complicated gymnastics for how many theologians to consult or opinions to ask before you can "safely" perform an act that could have the slightest chance of being sinful. It is absolute horse shit and it's torture. It puts a burden of academia and certainty on people who may just not be ready or equipped for that.

To hardcore Catholics you are obligated to research and research and be sure, beyond what is reasonable, to eliminate all doubt, and the more I think about that the more I realize that's a lot of the issue. My church demanded certainty but it's criteria for that was impossible

Tin-Man's picture
@Mikhael Re: "Christians

@Mikhael Re: "Christians would often pick on modern paganism as terrifying because they worship "violent and merciless" gods but damn yall, most Neo pagan traditions don't believe in omnipresent gods sending people into eternal hell like theirs does."

Just so happens my wife is Pagan. She also is a practitioner of witchcraft. She has two major altars (one in our bedroom and one in our entryway foyer), and various pagan pictures and statues and other items all about the house. I even built her a customized shelf desk specifically for her witchcraft paraphernalia. Suffice it to say, I have learned a great deal about Paganism and witchcraft over the past few years... *chuckle*...

Now, for one, you may be asking how I feel about my wife's beliefs. My answer is (obviously) I am perfectly okay with them. Matter of fact, her assorted Pagan items within our home actually give me a feeling of peaceful calm. To take things a step further, if any of Pagan gods were actually real, I would have far more respect for them than I do for the god depicted in the bible or koran. As the Pagan gods are far more " honest" and more "humanistic" than the Christian or Islamic god. (Yes, I am using singular "god" on purpose.) Granted, I still would not worship any of them, but I suspect those Pagan gods would actually understand and appreciate that even more. And, fact is, my wife is one of the major factors that allowed me to finally escape my religious bonds.

Next, it is important to note how many "Christian" holidays and practices have been "stolen" from Paganism. Christmas and Easter are the two MAJOR events that come to mind. Then there are birthdays. How many Christians do you know who celebrate birthdays with a party and cake where the guest of honor blows out the candles? Pagan ritual practiced by millions of faithful Christians every... single... day. And pretty much all of them are completely unaware of that fact. There are many more examples, of course, but you get the idea.

Bottom line is, if there are even one or two things about a system that are questionable/suspect/totally false, then that puts the remainder of that system in complete doubt. In the case of Christianity as depicted in the bible, there are too many contradictions and inconsistencies to even count. Therefore, why give ANY of it any credence whatsoever and allow it to make your life a miserable mess? There are far too many fascinating things to enjoy in this world, and we have an undetermined amount of time to enjoy them. Why waste time being miserable because of what some ignorant desert dwellers scribbled on a scattering of parchment scrolls several thousand years before modern society and technology developed? It just ain't worth all the worry and headache.

Mikhael's picture
There are honestly still many

There are honestly still many aspects common to paganism that are a driving force for me today even without actively worshipping. An acceptance if the rhythms of life, dealing with the inescapable and unchangeable circumstances around us, and a passion for ecology and earth friendly living. It's just the spiritual aide I've been letting go of slowly for some time. Some people stay pagan and that's great, but it's often religious weaning for people coming out of the abrahamic religions too.

I've been thinking on that today, how calling some stories or theology into question makes everything else more unstable. What s frustrating is how I know this, I kbow the contradictions and pagan origins and the evolution of Satan and Zoroastrian influence, I just learned all this /as/ a Catholic with ready made responses taught along side, and I just need to work on reprogramming those faith based logical errors


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