Long Story Short
July 18, 2015 at 7:40 pm #870
Was Agnostic through much of my youth, but had to attend Sunday School — stopped paying attention after hearing Jesus said to love one another. In high school explored so-called astral projection and studied a form of yoga that included invisibility and other BS. After HS, the same, except for one summer I spent as a saved Christian after eating way too many pot brownies and actually having a bad trip and almost going insane.
From there drifted into a mishmash of Buddhism, New Age reincarnation, etc., finally into Shamanism, which got me more into nature, which got me more into really learning about nature and science. I have always been a science geek and my dad bought lots of cool books about dinosaurs, astronomy, etc., when I was a kid.
Then I was visiting with my daughter and son-in-law (a molecular physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory) came across his copy of the Carl Sagan book, A Demon Haunted World — I was off and running, questioning every foolish thing I ever believed and enjoying the freedom that comes with dropping belief in imaginary beings.
I’m both amused and disturbed by how so many people accept the science when it lines up with their viewpoint, and drop it like a hot rock when it intrudes upon their little fantasy world, e.g., We have got to do something about this climate change! Then in the next breathe, No GMOs, no vaccines, no nuclear or whatever their anti- issue of the day is.
Sigh.July 18, 2015 at 7:49 pm #871
P.S. I’m anti-theism, not necessarily anti-theist — except for those who try to force their religion upon us or otherwise act like asshats.July 19, 2015 at 3:58 am #904
Hi McSkeptic. I was forced to go to Sunday School as well. Actually it was Wednesday night caticism. A Catholic thing. I don’t think I EVER really believed any of it. Maybe….at the same time I believed in Santa Clause. I tried. I just couldn’t force myself to believe in such a ridiculous fairy tale.
I pretended for years to believe in front of others and still do to a certain extent. Only close friends know I’m athiest.
I’m going to look for the book you speak of. Sounds like it’s right up my alley.July 19, 2015 at 4:07 am #906
Welcome to Atheist Zone, McS.July 19, 2015 at 6:29 am #919
Welcome!!! Do you live in NM?? I’m from there…my ears perked up when you mentioned Los Alamos national labs…Love the hot springs down there! Anyways…welcome! 🙂July 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm #943
Originally from, and currently live in Michigan (and expect I will for the rest of my life), but lived in the Southwest (Phoenix, San Diego) for about 12 years, and the Northwest (San Juan Islands) for about 12 years. We get out to NM every couple of years for a few weeks at a time.
-MickeyJuly 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm #945
-MickeyJuly 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm #947
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is widely available, shouldn’t take long to find. Any decently stocked bookstore, brick or online, should have it. I consider it a must read for anyone who was raised to believe in anything supernatural, e.g., Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny (the gateway drugs to Jesus), the Tooth Fairy, or any number of gods and imaginary beings, and is climbing out of that abyss.
I was raised in a fairly liberal Presbyterian church (on the side of science when it comes to things like stem cell research), no fire and brimstone, no talk about us being sinners and the like, also my dad was Agnostic, so I had grew up with some balance.
-MickeyJuly 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm #949
Hi, Mickey! I did the New Age thing too – Shamanic journeying and the like. I was also involved in energy healing, first as a Christian and later as part of my pagan practices. I was told that I was particularly gifted as a healer, but I stopped when it was apparent that it wasn’t doing anything to help my mother with cancer. (She initially got better, but when they changed her chemotherapy due to side effects, she became much worse and later died. There is no doubt in my mind that the chemotherapy was responsible for her improvement and that stopping it led to her death. My woo-woo efforts didn’t do shit.) I still do yoga and meditation, although I no longer do them for spiritual reasons. Instead, I use them for joint flexibility/strength and to relax. (Sam Harris is a proponent of meditation for secularists and has some guided meditations on his website which are great for stress reduction. http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/mindfulness-meditation )
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