I Wasn’t Born An Atheist. I Was Born A None. I Came to Atheism and The Journey Took Too Long.

What inspired this discussion?

What inspired, or fomented, it are the claims I’ve seen here that some were born atheists.

Why so impossible a claim?

Were they wanting to be among the first to board a metaphorical train?

Okay, claim away, and take a seat in a metaphorical first class coach.

For the rest of us, coming to atheism is a personal journey.

Something else inspired it too, an essay by a Chris Reeve titled Science Is A Personal Journey.

More to come. In the meantime, what say you?

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A baby, crying, communicates in his or her language. The parents learn the child's language until the child learns the parent's. 

My great-granddaughter is talking to us all the time in our language, but it is not yet understood. Too often, I say that I can't understand and would she please tell me again. With a smirk that would toast the toes of toads and a hand on her hip, she repeats her statement, irritated by our inability to understand her perfectly articulated thoughts. 

Oh dear! 

Re the peach seeds, Joan. Do the two  ‘appendages’ grow from particular places on a seed, such as one from the rounder end of the seed and the other appendage from the more pointed end?

Curiosity is another vice I enjoy.

It seems my response did not publish; I will try again. 

I don't remember the details of those appendages. However, later opportunities arose for me to learn these details. This early experience, and my being at the elbow of Dad, Grandma Denoo, and Grandma Whitehead in their gardens seems to set me on a course that I followed my whole life. 

No, Tom, I gave you a shot rather than a compliment. Are you familiar with the distinction between connotations and denotations?

If not let me put it in a way that you will understand. You were being a dick for no reason. There is a context in which such criticism of language is apposite. But an informal debate is not the place for it. Stick to the merit. And if you don't have anything to say about the substance of a comment rather than its form keep it to yourself. 

Frankie, if you will list your linguistic attainments, I might feel chastened.

Tom you are incorrigible. 

Instead of saying nothing, apologizing, or addressing the substance of my comment you deflect. 

Frankie, I considered addressing your post’s substance, and even wrote several lines, but lacked some info. I asked for it and you provided it; my linguistic attainments at least rival yours.

Some of what I’d written:

I have used mouse traps and saw your remark that I took the cheese as saying a trap had failed. I revisited the relevant earlier posts, saw no trap, and decided you were doing what poets must do: using language creatively. You do that well, even enthusiastically.

I then wrote that informality reveals what formality may conceal.

If you are of the male persuasion, your use of “dick” suggests to me that you may have a problem with maleness. You perhaps saw the posts Bert and I exchanged.

Now, adding:

“...being a dick for no reason”? You might not see reasons for my “dickiness“; I’m 87 and may someday see them.

As to a comment’s form, I will borrow from the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and say form follows function. A post’s substance and its form are related.

Cheers.

Postscript, Frankie.

I had a reason for asking you to list your linguistic attainments.

I needed to know if your asking if I knew how connotations and denotations differ was a tactic I sometimes use: bullying. Your reply told me it was.

The thought of religion has to exist in order for the thought of atheism to exist. It is a not word or thought until religions speards its poison and then one has to not believe.

So yes we do not believe at birth. We must be taught a concept before we can qualify or dimiss it.

Compelled, that is the way I see it. 

I did not grow up in a religious family, and religion had a significant influence on the beliefs of my parents. "Spare the rod and spoil the child." "Women's place is subordinate to men's." "It was not possible for a man to rape his wife." "Obedience to father, husbands, community, have value." Disobey the elements of society, and one goes to hell." "There are heaven and hell." "We will see our loved ones when we die if we go to the place they went." "Sex is dirty." "Abstinence is the only contraceptive allowable." "Children born outside of marriage are 'bad.'"

A little bit of college, encounters with life, things I learned as a child seemed to create problems that my childhood teachings failed to solve. Some experimentation, a little exploration, a bit of rebellion, sometimes feeling doomed, and other times gaining strength in my new understanding. At 82 years old I am now ready to stand as a mentally healthy, mature, adult, speaking with my voice. 

 We are born without theist beliefs. Theiest beliefs must be taught to us. We can then choose to accept claims without evidence or reject those claims without evidence. I would argue that we born not believing in in concept that has not been introduced to us. I dislike the notion that we are born atheist as it infers (wrongly) that we reject an idea at birth. We know that is a misnomer, but those outside and often inside the community often buy into this notion.

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