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Featured Biggest benefits of leaving a religion

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Israel Khan, May 25, 2020.

  1. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    So, this doesn't only apply to religion, but can also apply to any other group if they don't promote freedom of thought, even an atheist group, and also might not apply to all religions. And it might not even apply to all people who are religious as I know there are religious people on this forum who it does not apply to.

    But this is from my experience. I wonder if anybody else has had similar experiences.

    For me the biggest and most cathartic benefit of leaving religion is freedom of thought and self expression.

    I am free to change my mind at will, based on evidence provided.
    I can be honest with how I think and feel without being told that my way of thinking and feeling is wrong.
    I can be honest with myself and what I actually belief and do not feel pressured to belief certain specific things.
    I can honestly explore other viewpoints honestly, thoroughly and openly without feeling like I am being a traitor.
    I can honestly listen to critique about my viewpoints without feeling uncomfortable or attacked.
    I don't assume that others who don't believe as I do are inherently wrong or misguided.
    I don't have to feel I need to villainize those who are opposed to my beliefs.
    I don't have to feel I need to refute scientific theories.
    I can genuinely be interested in all religions and explore them without feeling like God will condemn me for being a traitor.
    I don't have to engage in logical fallacies and mental gymnastic to defend views that I honestly do not believe in.
    I am free to recognise and admit to when I am wrong and am totally comfortable with it.
    I can "travel along the route" based on where the evidence leads me.

    Any thought?
    Any religions that you would apply what I experienced to?
    Any disagreements?
     
    #1 Israel Khan, May 25, 2020
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  2. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg World Citizen
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    You can be in a Faith and have most of those thoughts, without predudices.

    In the end, one accepts the faith, as they beleive in what is being taught and would like to live their lives in such a way.

    Regards Tony
     
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  3. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    This is the reason why I like Baha'i as a religion.
     
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  4. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg World Citizen
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    They are kind words, I do see many tying to live without those predudices.

    I see many Faiths have the same teachings, but I see the biggest issue is over time man tends to take hold of them to have powers over others.

    That would support your suggested situations, when to move away from such a faith, may be the best move and if all Faiths were like that, not to have that any faith would be more beneficial.

    I have no tolerance for men that want to dominate others and rule as tyrants. It is hard to find any movies these days where the main theme is not to have a tyrant win most battles.

    All the best, regards Tony
     
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  5. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    The best thing we can do is try :)

    The problems are not just the people themselves though but also the policies of the religion as well as the culture which occurs because of those policies as well as the teachings.
     
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  6. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    Yes. The first was when I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, in 1971, at the age of 23. Military authority had become stifling. Then again, in 1976, when I was 28, my girlfriend and I were asked to leave the community that we were members of because we would not submit our relationship to "headship", i.e. community authority. And finally, when I left my girlfriend, six months later. LOL!
    Divorce and leaving almost any previous relationship with any place, person, or thing that one has invested so much attention, time, and energy in is a difficult challenge and scary as hell at first, somewhat like diving out of an airplane or bungee-jumping, I suspect. Doing it seems hard. But, IMNO, the hard part doesn't really come until the jump is over, you realize you survived, and the next thing that you face is answering the question: "What do I do now?"
    Not until you said you like the Baha'i religion.

    Mazel tov and bon chance!
     
    #6 Terry Sampson, May 25, 2020
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  7. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    The military is a good comparison to my OP. Apparently they break a person down mentally and rebuild them into the image they want and to rely on the authority of the institution. Did you experience that at all?

    I know many religions that ask people to leave because they won't submit to headship. That way of thinking often is a problem because they can suppress criticism using that excuse.

    LOL on leaving the girlfriend! :D

    Yes it is difficult. For me to actually make the realisation that I couldn't be in the group anymore was difficult, but once the realisation hit leaving was easy and I am a very unusual case in this regard because of my personality. I realised a certain core doctrine was scripturally wrong, and since I was only in the group for believing that its core doctrines were true, I left. But indeed it is very much like bungee jumping. It took me a year to actually find myself again as separate from the group and to think clearly, but I think that was more the result of indoctrination rapidly unravelling my mind. And even though I felt great being free "What do I do now?" wasn't necessarily a problem rather than the answer changed quite often because of the unravelling.

    Do you dislike them for religious reasons or ethical ones?
     
  8. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I left the Baptist Church over 30 years ago to become a Baha’i. It wasn’t a negative experience and on the whole very positive. The main issue then is the same issue now. The exclusive “We’re right and everybody else is wrong” and “Christians are the only ones that can be saved. Not just any Christian but the right kind of Christian.” I could have stayed and hung out around the fringes. The Baha’i Faith acknowledged clearly the validity of the main world religions.
     
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  9. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Baptists can be very black and white in their views. And their view of predestination is that those who are the true Christians have been predetermined by God, so nobody else has a chance. A very weird view. It is also no use hanging out on the fringes because these types of beliefs require a person to be all in to attain salvation.

    It is never good to hang out on the fringes because that is basically admitting to yourself that you know you shouldn't be there. Rather follow a belief that you actually belief in your heart.

    But that being said, my I have had positive experiences with baptists and our scriptural discussions have always been intense as I agree with their interpretations quite a bit.

    So what was your experience when leaving the group? Was it difficult?
     
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  10. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Being with the Baptists was very good for learning about the Bible. When I left a few people told me what a huge mistake I was making. However when they started criticising the Baha’i Faith it became clear they had little or no understanding of it. When I corrected their misunderstandings it became clearer they had little or no interest in trying to understand either where I was in my journey or the Baha’i Faith. The interest in maintaining contact rapidly diminished from both sides.
     
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  11. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I left Christianity aged 14, that break came at a very important time in my development. At about the same time I was diagnosed with dyslexia and remedial optical devices prescribed that allowed me to see words clearly. Within two years I went from class (and church) idiot to passing exams that meant i could go to college and then university.

    Although the two, leaving church and diagnosis work together i really do not think i would have been of such an enquiring mind if i had remained with the church.
     
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  12. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    A big problem with those types of religions is that the adherents often time criticize other faiths not seeking to understand them, but to find dirt on them. So they will constantly be focusing on flaws. I see this the most in muslim apologist and Christian apologist interaction in which the opposing side looks at the other scripture through a surface lense rather than research the different interpretations throughout the ages or various other views. They also refuse to view the religion from its own premises and narrative which just causes more problems. these people aren't genuinely trying to understand other religions for the most part.
     
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  13. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Which church did you belong to?
     
  14. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Asinine, socialist-leaning, puerile filth
    Premium Member It's My Birthday!

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    Which is perhaps why I hardly had/have any issues involving religious belief as I never really felt part of any religious community, and also why I am so opposed to some of the ways that religious education is taught, when there might be pressure to remain or feelings of some loss of purpose.
     
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  15. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Church of England.
     
  16. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Same as my mom. The Anglicans don't seem staunch to me.
     
  17. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    I'm not sure which, I just think it's Über-supercessionist.
    Prime example:
    • Me: I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus.
    • Baha'i: So do we.
    • Me: Really?
    • Baha'i: Yeah, we say it's a metaphor. The Bible is filled with metaphors and allegories.
    • Me: ???
     
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  18. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    I think this is probably most true of more fundamentalist versions of religion or ideology, where black-and-white thinking abounds. You're an ex-JW, and as someone whose dad is also an ex-JW, I can sympathize. He told me a story once about how he was preaching one day from Revelation, and thinking to himself as he was giving the party line of how to interpret certain passages, "How in the world did we get this teaching from what this says?" Thus began his exploration of other versions of Bible belief.

    I also credit him with giving me a degree of intellectual freedom to read the Bible myself and come to my own conclusions about it, despite being raised in an otherwise quite conservative Christian tradition.
     
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  19. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I think it depends on the congregation. Generally (the bigger churches) they pay lip service, attend church occasionally and enjoy the social scene. Then there are the rural conservatives who are very traditional. Church every sunday, arms and head covered, full blown battles over who will arrange the flowers next week.

    Of course this was nearly 40 years ago, many of the rural churches have been sold off to become second homes for the rich and shameless
     
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  20. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    Back to the OP and benefits:

    Less cognitive dissonance :)

    I feel I have a fairly simple, clean philosophy, that leads to mostly simple ethics and morals.
     
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