[quote author=“HappyHeathen”]Hey all. New member here - Aaron is my name.
Just stupidly sent a request for advice to Sam Harris himself before finding the forum. Think he’ll answer?
It took the End of Faith and God Delusion to sort of finally turn me, after a years-long period of introspection, into a full-blown atheist. It’s wonderful finally feeling totally free from any religous shackles.
There is the excitement of an ambivalent person like me finally truly believing wholeheartedly in something that makes sense, without a shadow of a conscious doubt. (Sometimes I still have that conditioned “godthink” state where I think someone is listening and accounting for my thoughts and when I speak aloud to myself. That’s been a challenge to cut out, but I’m glad to keep catching myself at it.)
My excitement around the atheist cause (or, more aptly, the idea of religion being harmful) grows daily. I also feel angry at the world, and don’t know where to begin. I love my friends and family, and don’t want to alienate them, but my tolerance for religion is near zero. My mom loves synagogue (Judaism is something she re-claimed in the last few years) and even dragged me to services when i visted a couple of years back. Never again.
I feel the excitement that comes with finally having the blinders fully removed. I understood almost every word in Harri’s book (Dawkins is a bit of a more difficult read for me), but, not being an intellectual, I have a difficult time re-articulating what I understand to others.
I am a composer, and one think I’d like to do is somehow, without being tacky, compose as my doctoral dissertation piece (in a couple of years) a tribute to this cause. That would be how I could best be heard, I suppose.
Thanks for giving me the space. I’ll stop for now.
Apologies for quoting the whole post, but it just sounded so familiar. A lot like myself. Welcome to the forum, Aaron!
I only stopped short on the phrase “believing wholeheartedly”, and only because I’ve recently grown a tad hyper-sensitive to the word ‘believe’. As one great contributor to this site, Ted Shepherd, pointed out to me (well not to me personally, but within one of his illuminating posts), the word ‘belief’ clearly implies doubt. We don’t have to believe in the natural world, in things that present clear evidence of their existence to one and all in near identical fashion. We can know it, see it, hear it, taste it, and share it, without concern that they can’t see the same world we do. I almost never use ‘believe’ anymore, and catch myself when it slips out, unless I’m speaking about something I’m genuinely uncertain of. Believers have to use it, they can do nothing but believe, because they cannot know.
And I believe (;)) that I know what you mean, about how the echoes of old fears can still be heard in our heads sometimes. It happens to me, too. Some here would like us to think that it’s God’s voice we’re hearing in those moments, that he’s calling us back to the fold. But I now know it’s nothing more than stubborn remnants of some bloody brilliant indoctrinization, just childlike fears that religious proponents are all too eager to exploit.
The good news is that the ‘flashbacks’ gradually decrease in frequency and intensity, so just hang in there and keep feeding on reality. Faith is a nasty drug, and I for one am real happy for you, getting off it.
Looking forward to hearing that composition someday.
p.s. I have a big monster crush on Oregon, and hope to eventually relocate there. Do you like Eugene?