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November 02, 2007


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I stopped going to church when I was thirteen. I realized it was all a load of bull when my youth group leader told us that masturbation was wrong.

I quit going to church (Episcopal) somewhere in high school, but I would have quit a long time before that, given the choice. I, too, mainly remember the crushing boredom. That's why I became an acolyte (aka altar boy). It gave me something to do during the service.

Actually, I always liked the sermons best; I mean, whatever the priest was saying, at least he was saying something, and I could mentally agree or disagree. The rest of the service was always reading and repetition, practically the same thing every week with no variation except different hymns and different bible verses. More than anything, the rote nature of church service helped make it irrelevant to me.

do not buy “smart” clocks !!
eat your breakfast and grow up !

I was sent to Sunday school for a while when I was quite young, but my dad one day asked me if I liked it and wanted to keep going, and when I said no that was the end of my formal religious training. I'm sure it was before 2nd grade. I don't think my father was ever a believer. My mother was, but never tried to indoctrinate me. I consider myself very fortunate.

Wow, I didn't know that churches start so early! Guess it shows how much I've been to church. No Loss.

Well, since this seems to be a theme for the comments on this entry...

I was asked by my grandparents' church to stop attending when I was 9. I used to spend my summers up in Ohio with my dad, and my grandparents insisted on me attending church (neither my dad nor my mom ever bothered with church, for which I love them dearly).

When I was 9 I discovered the word atheist in a dictionary, and realized that you were actually allowed not to believe in God. Up until then it had honestly never even occurred to me that it was an option, but seeing that word freed me a lifetime of wasting my life on silly, silly nonsense.

When I started to spout these newfound ideas to my Sunday school teachers every chance I could get and question everything they told us, I guess they just wrote me off as a lost cause.

Hey skeptico, i don't recall if i read this on your site or not...

About natural foods being healthier/less healthy for human consumption:

Evidently there's scientific evidence to suggest that naturally (read: no pesticides) grown foods have way more mutagens than normal foods


Link to the video i found on the topic. Sorry if this is OT from the OP, i don't know how to email you. Delete if you'd like!

The family gave up on church (except on holidays) when I was about 14. I slid into agnosticism a couple of years later and into true atheism only about a year ago.

I've never understood why we quit going, but I have never missed it.

Just to be the devil's advocate here I'll argue that there are positive aspects to attending church. Feeling part of a community is good for you. Forget about the supernatural fairy-tales all you need is to get people together. Then again you might get exactly the same benefit from attending a football game.

Then again you might get exactly the same benefit from attending a football game.

It's cheaper, too.

I used to know a guy who bought the whole religion/community thing, but one day had an eye-opening (he was watching some televangelist get led off to jail on TV) and decided to take his kids away from it. So instead, each sunday, his family would do something interesting - like go on a nature walk, or to a museum, or cook something, or build something, etc. After a while they started inviting other neighborhood kids along. Pretty soon it became a weekly rotating neighborhood community thing - vastly more educational, stimulating, interesting, and physically and mentally healthy than going to church.

I helped out once and it rocked - taking your family to help Habitat For Humanity build a house, while everyone is inside trembling in fear of "god" - it can't be beat.

What a strange thing to do, vilifying a man for taking part in an institution he loves; one that probably does a great deal of good within his community. Who are you? Does your experience with the church speak for all of us? Then again, who am I to discredit your love for the institution of disbelief, what with its goal of ending intellectual poverty?

1. Who's vilifying? We're only of the stance that it seems foolish to attend a lecture on something that doesn't exist. There's nothing villainous here.

2. How does attending a lecture at an arbitrary time help the community? Why not just spend that time productively, or resting so that you can spend some later part of that day being slightly more productive?

3. The "Who are you?" question is an irrelevant subject change. Who cares who we are? We're presenting arguments. Arguments are what matters. Arguers seldom, if ever, do.

1.1 Apologies, mocking would have been a better word choice. However, implied in the post was the notion that the parents were neglectful of their child's needs. Is that villainous?
1.2 The lectures I've heard delivered at church were overwhelmingly concerned with love, which I've found to exist in various forms.

2. Service activities are often involved in during that "arbitrary time."

3. Yes, this has no space in the conversation unless you were to infer, as I was intending, that my will/prejudice/intellect v. your will/prejudice/intellect often ends with nothing gained. As is the case now.

Apparently some people need to be told to believe in God and to love each other every week. The rest of us can figure out how to get along on our own.


The only time i've ever been in a church and heard them talking about love was during a wedding or a funeral...

As far as jewish temple is concerned, it was more about how to act towards people and treat your family.

These are not proof of anything, i'm just saying.

I've oftentimes been asked the question "how do you know it is immoral to kill someone?"

To which i often reply (this is stolen from SciFiDucky) - "It's really more of a non-moral issue".

We started saying that in our ethics class, because as we saw it, NOTHING is a moral issue. Either you act in a fashion that allows people to decide to like you more easily, or you do whatever you want and reap the consequences. (simplified)

"Nothing is more provoking, when we are arguing against a man with reasons and explanations, and taking all pains to convince him, than to discover at last that he will not understand, that we have to do with his will."
-- Schopenhauer

Skep asserted that the father subjected his family to "[lies] by a clergyman"; assumed a universal "church experience"; failed to pose an argument; recounted his own childhood boredom; pointed out that sometimes humans deprive themselves of one thing in favor of another thing. There was no argument against religion/spirituality.

People hinder their ability to argue when they disrespect the opposition's position. What follows devolves into "preaching to the choir."

Skep was simply pointing out that enjoying a leisurely breakfast with your family, one that allowed time to talk to each other and generally enjoy each others company, was probably closer to the spirit of Christian family life and love than hustling them out of the house without breakfast and rushing them off to hear somebody give a lecture.
Kinsley - think back to when you were a kid.How much did you understand of the Sunday morning sermon? Did you always enjoy Sunday church? Each Sunday morning, did you always feel the overwhelming love of Christ touch you when you were sat in that pew listening to the prayers and sermon?
Wouldn't you rather have spent that time doing stuff with your parents and siblings?

Sophia8 - I appreciate the dialogue.

I didn't always enjoy being at church. Sometimes I would have rather spent that time doing other things with my mother, dad, brother, sisters.

Let me see if we agree with what is being argued. (hypothetically)

1. The spirit of Christianity is best served by enjoying others company.
2. It is difficult to enjoy others company when one is stressed and hungry.
3. Therefore, one should enjoy the spirit of Christianity in an atmosphere that relieves stress and hunger.

That is fine. I agree; let's remedy this with an open buffet, table wine(seriously, why not?) It should be open to the public.

But Skep wasn't making an argument to remedy this man's situation. His message was very clear: Look how foolish this religious person is, rushing his family to lies and boredom. How strange these religious people are. While this message reflects a set of values that numerous people approve of, it is no different from some of the Bible-thumping that I'm sure would send Skep into hysterics. And rightly so, posturing is no fun.

Stop the proliferation. Check your own reasoning before you attack others.

If you mean to say that the set of circumstances that lead to this religious persons choice in prioritization is particular to the idiocy of religion, fine. Let's hear reasons why you believe this is to be true. Lies and boredom are not exclusive to people who practice religion.

Alls I'm saying is that the post was not an exercise in critical thinking.

I am at a point where I view religion as a dividing and inhibiting force in our modern society, rather than the opposite. There are many social benefits from belonging to a group engaged in good works - but I would pose that this experience is secondary to "religious" services.

In the book Corruption of Reality - by John Shumaker - the author connects religion with a dissociative practice akin to psychopathology and hypnosis. The ability of the human mind to accept the irrational is played upon for good and ill.

The post was, Kinsley, a comment stemming from Skeptico's philosophical position on religion.

"The post was, Kinsley, a comment stemming from Skeptico's philosophical position on religion."

Thank you, Citizen. I think everything I posted acknowledged as much.

Given the subject of the post, it seems that Skep would have suggested reasons why a person's proclivity to religion cause him to do idiotic things. He would need to explain why skipping breakfast is idiotic within the realms of the example, and how it proves (more or less) that religion is harmful.

Had the post offered analysis, we would be talking about that, not rhetoric.

I don't doubt that we are seeing this whole thing entirely differently, despite our attempts to use an objective lens.

Citizen -- I meant to say that your first two paragraphs posed interesting thoughts. I will check-up on them. Thanks.


Thanks for the kind words. Shumaker's work is very interesting - a serious analysis of the psychological and neurological connection we humans share with religion.

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