Disagreements with my partner made me think about individual differences in how ex-christians become atheists and what defines their morals.

I think that there are primary and secondary christian beliefs. Most atheists agree on having discarded the primary christian beliefs of the existence of a god, an afterlife and the circumstances of life and death of a guy called Jesus as told in the bible.

But there are also secondary beliefs defining how good christians have to be, to behave and to think. These secondary beliefs can be summed up as the precept to give and to sacrifice more than to receive and to expect and to suffer more than to harm others. This precept makes perfect sense when derived from the primary belief in an afterlife and rewards by a god after death. But it makes no sense for atheists whose life ends at death.

Unfortunately the immersion in a christian culture and a christian upbringing sometimes has the effect that those secondary beliefs and precepts are taken for granted as the only possible way to be. Therefore some people become cognitive atheists, but in their morals they remain christians.

Only by overcoming also the secondary beliefs someone can become a full apistevist with morals derived from the principle of fairness and justice, of a balance of giving and receiving, of living according to Epicurus’ principle of not harming and not being harmed.

This can lead to the absurd situation that a christian atheist claims to be morally superior to an apistevist.

Has anybody experienced something like this?

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You have my sympathy but at least you got out of it and you gained full awareness. My partner seems also to struggle with problems of self-esteem, self-confidence and self-acceptance. But he does not like to talk about it. It seems too painful for him.

Thanks, and that also my point; the road from escape to awareness is painful and long, I know I spent years thinking of other things and giving myself rest from old traumas. Growing and changing also happens in silence while you're busy with other things. That might be the case for your partner too. I don't know at which point on the road he is but he needs to travel in his own way. The only thing you can do then is enjoy your life together and not discuss too much, only in small doses.

Full awareness? I know where I started, not the end.

What is an Apistevist? 

A person who does not use faith to know things-especially in the religious sense

Submitted By: Daved Wachsman - 08/09/2014

The most difficult change I made after realizing I could not affirm the teachings from the pulpet and lectern, were the values I internalized as a christian, i.e. that I could have sex with only one man, marriage is for life, wives submit to husbands, even brutes, suffering is living in imitation of the crucified christ, and I will be rewarded in heaven because of my suffering. 

These ideas, created by man, male, to support male supremacy made as much sense as racism. The Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s opened my thinking, making racism and sexism tools for oppression and lawlessness.  

Your example confirms thtat it is even more important for women than for men to overcome all christian beliefs, also the secondary ones, to become completely free from religion.

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