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  1. #11
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?

    14. Was having problems with depression and identity, and my previous religion was not helping me or giving me the answers I needed. I began to examine my religion, other religions, and my perceptions of the world. My perceptions and religion started to conflict with each other. I was faced with constant cognitive dissonance.

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?

    Perhaps, but I can't say for sure. My family stopped going to church regularly when I was about 15. And we only went once a month or on holidays when I was 11.

    I never fit in at church. I hated Sunday school because I didn't like memorizing scripture or talking about current events through a Jesus-filter. I didn't like sermons because I felt the preacher was often being too general and was just telling people to blindly follow whatever example he gave that day. I felt like I was just too weird to fit in at school and WAY too weird to fit in at church. That said, I enjoyed some of the stories told just as stories.

    The community always treated me kindly, so how I was treated on a personal and general level wasn't a problem.

    Maybe if I had felt more comfortable at church at a younger age I would have stayed, but I really don't know.

    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?

    I feel more at peace with myself and that I have gained a greater understanding of the world and the complexities of it. I have no regrets.

    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had?

    My father was a little incredulous when he found out. My brother doesn't really care and doesn't really bring up religion since it is a very subjective subject and he deals better with objective facts and theories that can be factually backed up. My mother still believes it's a phase I'll grow out of. Aside from that, nothing bad happened. Their reactions didn't change how they felt about me or treated me. I'm still just as close with my family as ever. My friends were never very religious or cared what religion any of I was if they were.

    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?

    Nothing structured. I still maintain many of the commandments from the Bible, as they are common sense ideals to abide by in regards to treating other people well and not getting in trouble. I try to maintain a scientific view of the world: skeptical but open-minded. I'm more likely to say "It's possible" and not feel uncomfortable about it. I'm still very spiritual because I cannot deny that there is something bigger than everything; I just have no idea what it is and try to accept that I could never know what it is.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  2. #12
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Interesting that so far, it is all INFs that have responded! I think that they in particular need to know the whys before they will be satisfied to follow a way of thinking and that is a perfectly reasonable expectation.

    If you don't mind me asking, how old are you now?

  3. #13
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Interesting that so far, it is all INFs that have responded! I think that they in particular need to know the whys before they will be satisfied to follow a way of thinking and that is a perfectly reasonable expectation.

    If you don't mind me asking, how old are you now?
    22.

    And yes, Why? is a big question with me.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  4. #14
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Interesting that so far, it is all INFs that have responded! I think that they in particular need to know the whys before they will be satisfied to follow a way of thinking and that is a perfectly reasonable expectation.

    If you don't mind me asking, how old are you now?
    I'd expect "belief" issues from INT's, and well T's in general. With that said the two atheists I know are both E_F_'s. My two former Catholic to New Age friends are INFJ's as best as I could tell. I'd expect "appropriateness" or "is this the right moral system and how do we know?" issues from INF's, not factual validity issues.

  5. #15
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    What criteria do you think INF would use to determine that?

  6. #16
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    I think it depends on how wide your worldview is. If you start off with a small worldview, naturally you will change it as your view expands.

    But it seems to me that there are only three places from which to start expanding your worldview. And these three places correspond to the three civilizations extant today.

    And the three civilizations extant today are the Chinese civilization centred on Beijing, the Indian civilization centred in New Delhi and the Western civilization centred perhaps in Chicago.

    And our worldview grows as our education grows. In primary and secondary education we are learning what our culture is. And then in tertiary education we learn to transcend our very own culture.

    So first we learn our culture, then we transcend our culture, and then we can see our culture anew and we can refresh and recreate it.

    So it is a normal part of a good education to change your worldview as you grow and develop and become educated.

    And then you can contribute to the growth and development of your own culture.

  7. #17
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?

    I was 20ish. My own philosophical journey lead to philosophical, global skepticism ending in nihilism. However, I found nihilism impossible to maintain. In order to maintain integrity, I was forced to accept certain transcendental, foundational arguments for the authority of reason as a test for meaning, making knowledge possible, and ending in the necessity of the existence of God.

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?

    The religion I was raised in was secular humanism, and I'd argue that it, as a worldview, is inherently meaningless. It didn't "take" because it's rationally untenable. I stopped believing its doctrines long before I became a Christian.


    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?


    I feel "hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

    But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christóthe righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead, (Phil 3:7-11, NIV).
    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had?

    My mother seems to have re-discovered her faith. The rest of my family thinks I'm wrong. (The nice thing about secular humanism is its tolerance.) My best friend from high school has also converted, although I had little to do with that. All of my other friendships atrophied because I no longer share anything in common with my old buddies.


    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?


    Orthodox Presbyterianism.

  8. #18
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post

    1. What prompted you to make such a drastic change and how old were you?
    Discovering things that I previously did not know, and alot of anger about the things that I did. I was in my late twenties at the time I chose to leave the faith.

    2. Do you think that if your faith had been presented in a different manner by your family or your church/synagogue/political system/science/etc it would have prevented you from choosing to leave? If you didn't buy it yourself, why do you think it didn't "take"? Was how you were treated a factor?
    Yes, I mean I'm glad it was presented in the way it was presented to me, otherwise I might still be a slave to it all now, but I do believe that if it had been presented in a more modern light, and without all of the harshness attached to it, I might have been able to live a life long delusion trapped in that belief system.

    Originally the way I was treated under it, was my main driving force when I left it, since it was experiencing first hand the effects of many of it's archaic rules regarding women, but once I gained some distance, I was able to strip it apart on it's contradictions and claims to science, so now it's a combination of both that keeps me away from it.


    3. How do you feel about it now? Are there any regrets? What have you gained?
    I still feel surprise sometimes, I thought I would be a muslim for life because it was so much a part of my identity from a very young age, so it's a pleasant surprise on those moments where it hits me "Oh yeah, I'm free now" and it makes me very happy. Gives me a sense of peace that I never had when I was a believer.

    The regrets I have are that I had to lose so many people along the way because they see me as a traitor, people who should have cared about me the person, and not me the muslim. That's the thing that still gives me sadness occasionally. Also that I didn't wake up sooner, that one brings me great pain because I feel I lost so much trapped in ignorance.

    I gained alot more though, originally my path ahead of me in life was one straight road, through a desolate wasteland, trying to make the best of a bad situation and limited choices. Since I left I feel like I am walking through a lively forest, there is no man made path, just me, a compass, a bag on my back and the luck of the irish in my pocket.

    4. How did it affect your relationship to your family and also impact the social circle you had?
    As I mentioned above, my relationship with my family is non existant now, when there is communication it is very strained.

    I have also had to make new friends so my social circle is completely different now. Fortunately it consists of fellow ex muslims like myself, and non muslims who don't care about stuff like that to start off with.

    I'm happier without the need to constantly seek my family and the wider communities approval anyway, so inspite of the sadness, I carry more happiness about it.


    5. Has anything replaced your old faith?
    No, I think once you see how hoodwinked you were under one system, it makes it alot harder to look at another belief system and see some kind of absolute truth in there.

    I have my own faith, in my own self, and that's good enough for me.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

    Berb's Johari Berb's Nohari

  9. #19
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Do you feel that your religious community was inextricably intertwined with your ethnic/cultural community? Did you lose both, or just the religious community? Does this change affect your ethnic or cultural identity? What would you teach your kids regarding matters of "faith" (or the lack thereof)?

  10. #20
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Do you feel that your religious community was inextricably intertwined with your ethnic/cultural community? Did you lose both, or just the religious community?
    Yes, the religion and the community are so intertwined that it's always a loss of both when you ditch one.

    Does this change affect your ethnic or cultural identity?
    No, not for me anyway. I can seperate what is islamic from what is just moroccan, and embrace the moroccan side of it.

    What would you teach your kids regarding matters of "faith" (or the lack thereof)?
    I teach my kids about all of the religions, and about atheism, I try very hard not to add my own bias to certain things, but I find myself failing because I really fear my children sacrificing their freedom to embrace that faith.

    The pressure for them is going to be immense when a time comes to choose, for they will also be excluded from a large part of their family if they choose to follow in my footsteps.

    Still it's going to be their choice, it is my hope that I give them enough information about every world view, and hope they make the same connections I did, or value the freedoms they have.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

    Berb's Johari Berb's Nohari

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