critiacal christian upbringing, scientific educated and now struggling

RELIGION and SECULARISM ( and introduce yourself) With great interest I’ve read works of religious and some non-religious theologians and great minds and free thinkers like Mr Dawkins and many outed a-theists and the likes. From early age I remember discussion with my late father who followed the ideas of Theilhard Du Chardin (alfa and omega) which for me at least was close to the principles of science, evolution and even Big Bang theory and for that also perfectly coherent with humanism. I do carry the load of not fully being able to be an atheist but cowardly accept the lable searching agnost with religous upbringing. Our unique conciousness and feeling we have for more ( or is it the more) than just science and everything (in our known uninverse) being able to be reduced to laws that we can deduct by observation and reproducability bothers me. I don’t now if others in the quest for thruth and knowlegde have this thoughts too? I incline to the idea that even this consciouness could have an evultionary basis but I can’t fully find it. I deaply respect the real good relgious person that actually ‘preaches’ the same as any humanist does; be good. It would be utopic to reach this in every human without the need for religion;


I just wondered if there are other people with the same struggle or that have been through the same struggle on this forum: not being able to escape the thought that there could be something more. ( I know some will answer that they don’t care, but some perhaps do)



Welcome Stevenazt!

This atheist is not able to believe the world had a creator. All I can say with confidence is the universe exists. That it seems to have begun by a process called Mtheory. I cannot prove that, neither can anyone else as far as I am aware.

To say therefore “God did it” is facile and shallow in my opinion. Also a logical fallacy, “god of the gaps”. The fallacy finds its Genesis in an argument of ignorance. IE: “I lack the knowledge, imagination and the wit to think of anything else and my dogmatic certitude will not allow me to say I don’t know”.

I do carry the load of not fully being able to be an atheist but cowardly accept the lable searching agnost with religous upbringing.
Be who makes you happy. That's all that matters. Not what god(s) you do or do not worship or believe in.

@stevenazt I don’t think there is anything wrong with being an agnostic. In fact, there is nothing wrong with questioning your religious upbringing, with a scientific view. I think it is necessary to question religion, because if we don’t, we could very well get stuck in believing something that has no truth to it, because religion is just mythology rewritten. There is also things in the Bible that are not even true- ie the Bible calls a bat a bird. I don’t think there is any Xian who believes that today. So if you are questioning the beliefs you learned as a child, agnostic is a very good starting point, especially if you continue to question it.

thanks for the many answers. @blaire and widdershi; i don’t believe that the bible or the image of god is anything more than a written antromorphic image and codes given by a thinking nomadic group of people. I do believe that historic people like Jezus and many others tried to show the way to a humane and good society. The PR machine ( eg Paulus and many others) gave it a twist and bad people used it to domniate the toughts and actions of more simple people (as is still the case today). Intrinsic relgious people are good (sometimes for the wrong reasons). Areligious people are sometimes bad and as a-moral as fundamentalistic fanatic religious people. We do need moral values that we can agree upon and I admit that some simple amoral people refrained from serious crimes out of some fear of hell or devine wrath. I don’t apload that nor do I need any deity to do good and follow the evolving morals of our modern society


So no,I don’t believe in any humoid form of deity but simply get stuck in the consciousness and non-scientific wonder of it all, and wrestle with this in the pure scientific world. ( perhaps that is just a time waster)


kind greetings,



Nobody, regardless of their belief system, is intrinsically good or bad. In fact, there are no purely good or bad people and never have been. It’s a spectrum for all of us. Adolf Hitler, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Donald Trump, all of these people we think of as being “bad” because they were on the extreme end of the scale. But I guarantee you each and every one of them has done things which would be considered “good” or “nice” many times throughout their lives. Just not as many times as “normal” people.

Gaining a belief can change some things about you. But who you are as a person tends to remain unchanged. I’m the same person at my core now, as an atheist, that I was when I was a Pentecostal. Perhaps a little more of a realist and a lot less of an idealist, but that comes with age, not belief. My dad joined the Pentecostal church and quit smoking overnight. He was still a dick until after his first heart attack, which I’m told often changes a person profoundly. We are who we are. Religious beliefs don’t change that because we incorporate the beliefs into ourselves, not the other way around. We don’t rebuild who we are around our beliefs, we build our beliefs around who we are. Occasionally acquiring a belief system can profoundly change a person and make them really want to be better (or kill themselves so that they can get on the spaceship hiding behind Hail Bop). But that’s not the norm.

Our unique conciousness and feeling we have for more ( or is it the more) than just science and everything (in our known uninverse) being able to be reduced to laws that we can deduct by observation and reproducability bothers me. -- @stevenazt
I had to read that a few times. I think you're saying that you have some feeling of something larger than yourself, or even larger than everything you can know and comprehend; that somehow just us having consciousness is an indicator of there being something other than the physical world. I agree that is part of the human experience. I grappled with it for a long time.

I have maintained relationships with 4 former pastors. One of them pointed out that I was still living what he would consider a Christian life, and that my values were informed by my 17 years as a Christian. He had a point. That church had a big impact on me. I was not one of the ones who was abused by the church, in fact I was enriched by the experiences. It was more when I tried to rise up through the ranks when I found that you can’t get anywhere without increasing the amount of beliefs you must profess. That’s when I realized how bankrupt the narratives are. So, enough about me.

Go ahead be agnostic, it won’t kill you. There is also something called agnostic atheist that you can look up. I’ve discussed it too many times to bother regurgitating it. Your path might be different, but what I ended up realizing is there are “other ways of knowing” and they serve us in a variety of ways. Many great scientists will tell you about their experiences of inspiration, of sudden realizations. They will also tell of the long journey to describe their theory precisely, to do the math, to show their work, to experiment and see if their inspiration matches reality. In many cases, they have to adjust their original thinking. Stephen Hawking’s life work is a good example of this.

Thank you<b>. </b>i die some works of Hawking. Recently read brilliant layman synopsis by Brian Cox,the human universe. You eloquently wrote “that somehow just us having consciousness is an indicator of there being something other than the physical world. I agree that is part of the human experience. I grappled with it for a long time.”.

It is exactly this human experience,as part of the universe, that keeps me grappling and being unable to fully deny, even if science so blathently shows the way.


My apologies for my ( lack of) autocorect and English not being my first language




No problem with the language barrier. I can understand you.

Just to clarify, when I wrote, “that somehow just us having consciousness is an indicator of there being something other than the physical world.”, I was paraphrasing what I think you were saying. I don’t think that. Maybe I did at one time, but not now.

Thank you again, also dit your kind words


The questions were also influenced nu recently losing 2 very dear people. So sad.i Remember, when i was deeply religious i did find comfort in some of comforting ideas and feelings you get in believing.a bit like a child, happy with the idea of Santa Claus, dreaming of lovely presents. Miss this comfort now in my agnost state of mind


Any one else here and what gave you strength


Begin by asking what you want this “extra something” to be. What does it need to be in order to fill your curiosity?

For me, as ex-bookkeeper and sci-fi fan I like the concept of a mathematical universe, where all the causal laws are of a mathematical nature. This perspective, if true, does away with a whole lot of doubt about a lot of things .

In the course of my profession, I was often impressed by the awesome power of mathematical functions. Mathematics is a whole lot more than 2 + 2 = 4

And to see and recognize mathematics as the underlying geometry of the universe is an awesome insight. Mathematics is a branch of Logic and it is obvious that the Universe has a logical aspect to it.
The Fibonacci sequence can be found all around you. A natural self-organizing pattern. Its absolutely wonderful how natural selection has selected this as the most efficient growth pattern in many plants as well as in spiral galaxies. Because it offered the greatest numerical efficiency and physical stability in vertical growing plants.

Hence our belief in a conscious creator agent. It all looks intelligent.

But Mathematics also fills the same purpose as a Universal Logical organizing agency, this apparent Universal consciousness is a mathematical quasi-intelligent “guiding principle”.

Max Tegmark has written several papers on this.
In fact, he has an interesting Youtube video about the probability that “consciousness” is a mathematical pattern.

This stuff makes you think.

I lost my grandmother, when she was 94- about 14 years ago. I still miss her. I was her only grandchild, but she was old and I knew it would happen eventually. Thinking about her physical state of being at that age- lost an eye and basically, physically falling apart, made it a bit easier for me. Death is not the end, if you think about how we return to the earth and give it nurishment, giving back what we took from it when we were alive. Life is a rose garden, thorns and all.

Just because you don’t believe in a deity, doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the awe and wonder nature has. Death is part of nature and I think that’s where some of the religious beliefs came from, but they anthropomorphized a lot of it, just as early humans did, but the thinking has become a bit more complex.


I find it interesting that people are very OK with science looking for and finding answers to so many questions over thousands of years but they don’t accept that the discovery of God might take time as well.

Science can be wrong for centuries - in fact the best current science has always been proven wrong by more current science - and people think it humorous. How could they have actually believed the Earth was flat or that it was the center of the universe or that the Milky Way was the only galaxy?

Nope, they insist that all religious thought must be totally logical and complete and without any possibility of error or they say we must throw it out without further investigation. Basically, they say that if any part of it was wrong then it must be wrong now and will be wrong forever. It seems they believe the only mind that can be considered an open mind is a scientific mind. Is that really open minded?

I was raised partly in catholic religious institution, and it gave me a comprehensive view of Church. My parents were not very religious and could be very distant with religion, but they took us to office every Sunday.

The fist blow was the death of my great great mother when i was 10. I cried.

During last week of high school, before university, the priest in charge of religious teachings came to talk to us.

He reminded us that the church forbade sexual relationships out of a religious wedding, but added that he knew that sometimes the flesh is weak.

Then he reminded us that the church forbids contraception and that was an absolute.

Next he came to the subject of pregnancy. As he was modern, he told us that he was not advising wedding as it would mean the unhappiness of three people, the parents and the child, divorce being excluded.

Last he explained that the solution was to give the baby to a religious institution.

I was disgusted. 50 years later, i am still more disgusted knowing what was done to children in some of theses institutions.

But that is not the reason of my loss of faith .

I think that the first manifestation was boredom during the rites, as they did not mean anything for me. In fact, i had lost faith, not sure why.

One of the reasons was my understanding that the scriptures tell myths and falses stories, no more no less than Egyptian or Greek mythos. From that i concluded that there is no reason one religion be more true than the others ones.

Deciding that the idea of gods is an illusion, I think that i am an atheist.

I am not sure that I am a pure materialist.

I don’t insist that religious thinking must be complete and flawless. No work of man can be. But I think that there is no reason for a god to exist. Therefore, there is no reason for a religion be true.

Sometimes i dream that animism and pantheism have some truth.

Pantheism not an array of gods but as the idea that we have in us a part of a universal cosmos spirit, which is not a god, has no intention and so.

My daughter is not baptized and is not an unbeliever. When she was young, i told her the classical ancient mythos and some bible stories, set at same level as fiction. She went to my born again sister house for holidays and was catechized. It did not caught.

[quote=“ibelieveinlogic, post:13, topic:7511”]

I find it interesting that people are very OK with science looking for and finding answers to so many questions over thousands of years but they don’t accept that the discovery of God might take time as well.

Where are you gonna look? One discovers only that which already exists.
Like the mathematics of the Universe. Those are all around you.

I see no evidence of anything that could only be explained by the existence of a god.


I think what you really mean is that so far in your life you have been able to come up with what you consider a reasonable explanation for even the strangest events you have experienced.

Many believe UFO sightings are either aircraft, atmospheric anomalies or weather related oddities and will never consider that they might really be evidence of ET or his friends. Others might think some are evidence of a fault in the cosmic fabric. The question becomes how do we establish criteria for a cause of an event which we do not understand and cannot repeat.

Who can judge whether a work of man is complete and flawless? What ever is done is complete in itself. It is history. There is no extra anything that can be done to complete any event.

Is there any reason for man to exist? Is there any reason for any individual man to exist? Philosophers tell us we cannot even prove that we do exist.

What is true? The standard answer is that truth is what we accept it to be. If we and what we do are flawed then how can know that what we accept is the right thing to accept?

It is said that nothing is certain (except death and taxes). I suggest one other thing, history. I suggest that history has only one course. I accept that everything that has happened has happened only once and in only one way and at only one configuration of the Universe. This means to me that there is one absolute truth and that truth is history. To me, the truth is not dependent upon my understanding of it and, indeed, I may never know it. But, believing that it is there provides me with a point of reference for establishing everything else I may believe or accept. True or false, it grounds me, it gives me a place to stand and say I am.

We statistically left the Common Era 21 years ago. The whole world acquired a lot of baggage during the CE.

We should respect what others have told us (unless you specifically know a person was trying to mislead you) they were trying to pass on what they were taught was the truth.
In the meantime, it is incumbent on all of us to learn for ourselves

I believe that philosophy is the biggest reason humans fail to make progress in almost every really important area of our lives. For those who believe we are more than just our physical body can there be anything more important than discovering what that “more” is? Of course, there are those who believe we are just biological machines and there is nothing more. I find it interesting that they seem to believe that a machine could “believe” anything and especially interesting that a machine could make a choice of what to believe.

I doubt if anyone would suggest that we should “learn for ourselves” about our physical environment and disregard what the science community has discovered over the centuries. And yet when it comes to consideration of the non-physical many will throw away centuries of thought with arrogant abandon. I would expect an intelligent machine to learn from the experiences of other machines in order to avoid re-inventing the wheel. Maybe we just aren’t as intelligent as we suppose.

Nothing more than a biological machine.

My aren’t we humans full of weird expectations. Our body is about the most incredible invention ever, and it took a good four billion years to achieve the one we live in. But, that’s doesn’t offer enough Cheap Trills, so we gotta turn stars into cartoon characters to fill our fancy.

Well, we’re certainly proving that in spades these days.

1 Like