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sleeepygirl

An interesting post on Reddit's Atheism forum

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Delilah

Redditors can get pretty sarcastic or obnoxious (I'm tired of the tips fedora thing), but fortunately the commentors on this post are being civil. One said to not consider the post to be troll-ish since the person is just naive, and it's a lack of exposure talking, not malice. It seemed like the group was trying to be supportive of this kid's first steps into researching why some people are nonbelievers.

Sleepygirl, what is your favorite subreddit? Mine is "Explain Like I'm Five".

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DGayle

I didn't know atheism existed until I was 17 or 18. And even when I found out, I thought the guy who told me was kidding. It really can happen that someone doesn't know.

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sleeepygirl
Redditors can get pretty sarcastic or obnoxious (I'm tired of the tips fedora thing), but fortunately the commentors on this post are being civil. One said to not consider the post to be troll-ish since the person is just naive, and it's a lack of exposure talking, not malice. It seemed like the group was trying to be supportive of this kid's first steps into researching why some people are nonbelievers.

Sleepygirl, what is your favorite subreddit? Mine is "Explain Like I'm Five".

I'm a big Disney fan, so any one of the Disney subreddits keep me entertained, although I really enjoy Historyporn and TheWayWeWere for the photos and history. Explain like I'm Five is great too.

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eri
I didn't know atheism existed until I was 17 or 18. And even when I found out, I thought the guy who told me was kidding. It really can happen that someone doesn't know.

Conversely, I honestly didn't believe that adults believed in God (till around high school when I found out my fellow atheist friend had religious parents). I thought all the Jesus and Bible talk was figurative, like Santa.

Adolescents can be pretty ignorant in general--Especially if not properly exposed to a particular belief.

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Meh
Cactus

Conversely, I honestly didn't believe that adults believed in God (till around high school when I found out my fellow atheist friend had religious parents). I thought all the Jesus and Bible talk was figurative, like Santa.

Adolescents can be pretty ignorant in general--Especially if not properly exposed to a particular belief.

I, too, was astonished to discover that adults still believed in God - I was raised non-religious and went to a Catholic high school. I knew virtually nothing about Catholicism (or religion in general, to be honest) and attending Mass for the first time was a real eye-opener. I found myself wondering why adults were praying, thinking it was only something children were told to do and that they would grow out of it eventually. :?

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Mama Mia
I didn't know atheism existed until I was 17 or 18. And even when I found out, I thought the guy who told me was kidding. It really can happen that someone doesn't know.

And I was that age when I found out that there were real people who didn't believe in evolution. :lol: I was raised in an extremely liberal Christian church. I was shocked at 18 when a roommate said he believed the God created the world in literally 6 days. I had no idea people like that existed.

That's the thing that irks me when people on the internet act like anyone who doesn't share their knowledge base or belief system is a troll. There is just a gigantic range of what is considered " normal" by people,

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Satisfied
church_of_dog

I was raised in an atheist household. I can't say that I was astounded at any point to realize that people believed in God, because I was pretty much aware of that all along, but it certainly did baffle me any time I really stopped to think about it.

But what really did astound me at an adult age was to realize that some of those with religious beliefs had just as strong a belief in Satan. To me Satan is just a caricature, or some kind of symbolism for evil (or a typo for Santa :lol: ) -- but there are obviously people who believe in Satan in the same manner/form as they believe in God.

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Dizzy
Grimalkin

And I was that age when I found out that there were real people who didn't believe in evolution. :lol: I was raised in an extremely liberal Christian church. I was shocked at 18 when a roommate said he believed the God created the world in literally 6 days. I had no idea people like that existed.

That's the thing that irks me when people on the internet act like anyone who doesn't share their knowledge base or belief system is a troll. There is just a gigantic range of what is considered " normal" by people,

Don't feel bad I was in my thirties when I discovered that there were adults that didn't believe in evolution. When I realized they were not kidding I was like "What???? That's crazy talk!"

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Hilarious
nomoxian
I didn't know there were other planets.

That is educational neglect. :angry-steamingears:

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eri
I was raised in an atheist household. I can't say that I was astounded at any point to realize that people believed in God, because I was pretty much aware of that all along, but it certainly did baffle me any time I really stopped to think about it.

But what really did astound me at an adult age was to realize that some of those with religious beliefs had just as strong a belief in Satan. To me Satan is just a caricature, or some kind of symbolism for evil (or a typo for Santa ) -- but there are obviously people who believe in Satan in the same manner/form as they believe in God.

What are you talking about? As atheists, we are fastidious devil worshipers.

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August
I didn't know atheism existed until I was 17 or 18. And even when I found out, I thought the guy who told me was kidding. It really can happen that someone doesn't know.

Were you homeschooled?

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Vivi_music

As someone who was raised by a very ''spiritual'' mother (I have really no other words to describe it), this makes me so grateful. I was encouraged to think about faith, beliefs, deity, higher-power and even the meaning of life at a very young age. I had many phases. I wasn't raised religious but I asked my mom to be baptized Catholic at the age of 6. My parents didn't initiate it, I wanted to do it and they accepted it all. I later did my first communion. Then in high school, I dropped faith completely and became a staunch atheist for a few years.

Now I'm an agnostic. But I'm just so happy I was able to explore without ever feeling left out or rejected from my family. I was so surprised when I met people in college who told me they never even questioned their faith until they were 16-17. Before that, they just never wondered if it was a possibility that there was no God. They never even questioned little parts of the rituals, beliefs, etc. Of course, I didn't snark on them. I knew that my surprise was probably a consequence of my upbringing. And considering they were my friends and I was just happy they were sharing their doubts with me.

There's no age really to start questioning, wondering, etc.

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nomoxian

Were you homeschooled?

When I was in public highschool, I took a 10th grade keyboard (piano) class with someone who was being raised Jehovah Witness. She was really surprised that I was an Atheist. I tried to explain to her "I don't believe in God or Jesus or Heaven or Hell" and it was a totally foreign concept to her. She didn't seem shocked in the "you're a heathen" sense, but rather like "How could someone really believe... that?!"

It doesn't surprise me that someone, especially if they were homeschooled, would not encounter an Atheist person until they were well into their teens.

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realist51

I, too, was astonished to discover that adults still believed in God - I was raised non-religious and went to a Catholic high school. I knew virtually nothing about Catholicism (or religion in general, to be honest) and attending Mass for the first time was a real eye-opener. I found myself wondering why adults were praying, thinking it was only something children were told to do and that they would grow out of it eventually. :?

I had a stunningly eye-opening experience in my FORTIES! I, too, had always assumed that most religious people considered the stories about the magic man and the magic book to be metaphors and that only fringe fundamentalists believed they were real. I got into an argument with a friend about it, and we agreed that I would poll 20 well-educated adults to find out whether more took it literally or more took it figuratively. It turns out I was wrong, and I began to question the sanity of the adults around me. It was a really interesting conversation when I found out that my HUSBAND literally believed that Jesus was a "God."

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August

I had a stunningly eye-opening experience in my FORTIES! I, too, had always assumed that most religious people considered the stories about the magic man and the magic book to be metaphors and that only fringe fundamentalists believed they were real. I got into an argument with a friend about it, and we agreed that I would poll 20 well-educated adults to find out whether more took it literally or more took it figuratively. It turns out I was wrong, and I began to question the sanity of the adults around me. It was a really interesting conversation when I found out that my HUSBAND literally believed that Jesus was a "God."

I doubt they actually truly think it's real. It's more likely they know what they're supposed to say for continued acceptance in their social circle or have never really given it serious thought. I can guarantee you that if you actually gave them a test of actions, they'd show they don't believe.

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Mama Mia

When I was in public highschool, I took a 10th grade keyboard (piano) class with someone who was being raised Jehovah Witness. She was really surprised that I was an Atheist. I tried to explain to her "I don't believe in God or Jesus or Heaven or Hell" and it was a totally foreign concept to her. She didn't seem shocked in the "you're a heathen" sense, but rather like "How could someone really believe... that?!"

It doesn't surprise me that someone, especially if they were homeschooled, would not encounter an Atheist person until they were well into their teens.

I went to public school, and I think religious belief just doesn't neccessarily come up a lot. So just as some people are surprised someone could be an atheist, others ( like me) can be surprised someone is a young- earth creationist. It's really just two sides of the same coin.

Except for one elective comparative religion course I took in high school - I really can't recall much discussion of religion, certainly not of individual students beliefs. Generally the only way you knew someone's religion is that the Jehovah Witness kids wouldn't participate in birthday cupcakes or the pledge of alligence or Valentines Day card exchanges ( which broke my 8 year old heart when the boy I crushed on didn't take Valentines :lol: )

It sounds like it's different in some areas, where " what church do you go to" is a common public discussion topic . But for me, I knew a few close friends religious affiliations, but that's it.

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realist51

I doubt they actually truly think it's real. It's more likely they know what they're supposed to say for continued acceptance in their social circle or have never really given it serious thought. I can guarantee you that if you actually gave them a test of actions, they'd show they don't believe.

I don't think it was an issue of fitting in. We lived in a large, liberal west coast urban area. There was no pressure to "believe" in anything. As for social circles, these were people in MY social circle. I asked this question of my friends. Again, there was no pressure to claim any religious belief system.

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busdrivingmom

And I was that age when I found out that there were real people who didn't believe in evolution. :lol: I was raised in an extremely liberal Christian church. I was shocked at 18 when a roommate said he believed the God created the world in literally 6 days. I had no idea people like that existed.

I am Catholic, but went to public school until high school. So I thought there was only Evolution and the story in the Bible, which Catholics are taught may or may not have truth. So when I got to Biology at the Catholic high school, the school had decided they were going to teach every theory they could find. We covered quite a few, I don't remember the exact number now, 23 years later.

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eri
As someone who was raised by a very ''spiritual'' mother (I have really no other words to describe it), this makes me so grateful. I was encouraged to think about faith, beliefs, deity, higher-power and even the meaning of life at a very young age. I had many phases. I wasn't raised religious but I asked my mom to be baptized Catholic at the age of 6. My parents didn't initiate it, I wanted to do it and they accepted it all. I later did my first communion. Then in high school, I dropped faith completely and became a staunch atheist for a few years.

Now I'm an agnostic. But I'm just so happy I was able to explore without ever feeling left out or rejected from my family. I was so surprised when I met people in college who told me they never even questioned their faith until they were 16-17. Before that, they just never wondered if it was a possibility that there was no God. They never even questioned little parts of the rituals, beliefs, etc. Of course, I didn't snark on them. I knew that my surprise was probably a consequence of my upbringing. And considering they were my friends and I was just happy they were sharing their doubts with me.

There's no age really to start questioning, wondering, etc.

As I understand it (spirituality is of course very very subjective so we prob don't agree), agnostics are different from atheists because they are ~50/50 on the spectrum of theistic probability--whereas atheists are ~99.9+% God does not exist, while acknowledging a small possibility.

I'm curious, is this definition of agnosticism true for you--do you believe that God existing is as probable as not? I'm curious because my past discussions with agnostics so far have been vague on the matter.

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realist51

As I understand it (spirituality is of course very very subjective so we prob don't agree), agnostics are different from atheists because they are ~50/50 on the spectrum of theistic probability--whereas atheists are ~99.9+% God does not exist, while acknowledging a small possibility.

I'm curious, is this definition of agnosticism true for you--do you believe that God existing is as probable as not? I'm curious because my past discussions with agnostics so far have been vague on the matter.

I don't think one can have this discussion without first defining what "God" means.

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Eater of Worlds

When I was in grad school, I was having lunch with some friends. I don't remember how the conversation started, but the guy we were having lunch with was utterly shocked that I don't pray. I think probably it was because we had an undergrad in my lab (in the bio department) who didn't believe in macroevolution, only microevolution and we were talking about how it makes no sense to believe in microevolution but say macroevolution doesn't exist. We were most likely talking about our own religious beliefs and I think I was the first atheist this guy was personally aware of. When he said "don't you pray?" I responded, "To what?" and that blew his mind.

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Vivi_music

As I understand it (spirituality is of course very very subjective so we prob don't agree), agnostics are different from atheists because they are ~50/50 on the spectrum of theistic probability--whereas atheists are ~99.9+% God does not exist, while acknowledging a small possibility.

I'm curious, is this definition of agnosticism true for you--do you believe that God existing is as probable as not? I'm curious because my past discussions with agnostics so far have been vague on the matter.

Well, from what I have gathered by talking to other people who identify as agnostics (totally not scientific*), there are actually many types of agnosticism. There are agnostic theists, atheistic agnostics, apatheists and more. It really is a personal definition. For example, I met a person who was a atheistic agnostic. To resume what he believes in, he could say: ''Well, I can't prove there is a God or not, so I can't confirm atheism is true. But I think there are more possibilities deities don't exist. I simply can't prove it''.

Often, it is believed agnosticism is a third alternative. Something between atheists and believers. But again, it isn't as simple as that. For me, agnosticism refers to the impossibility of knowing with regard to a god or supernatural being. In that logic, because we can't prove it, I feel like people who are believers might be right, or atheists might have the right answer too. Because it's not provable, in my mind, all beliefs (or no-beliefs in that matter) can be considered. In the end, I don't think I'll ever know. Of course that is my personal definition and probably not the same for other agnostics. I don't know if it's clear or not?

As for organized religions, well I studied in social sciences and history. If you dig into the history of beliefs and religions, it's clear that they are all made and created by humans. My opinions on faith and God certainly involves a God that is different than the one we find in religious texts, that is more abstract. I don't know if I'm very clear. I often have a hard time putting my thoughts in words, especially in regards of religion. :embarrassed:

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