Recovering from Religion


Recovering from Religion

Unless you were raised by atheist parents, you probably had some recovering to do when you left religion. The purpose of RR is to provide a landing place for people when they jump from religion. With local support groups throughout the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, and real-time resources accessible to everyone, RR is where to turn when faith has lost its luster.

Location: International
Members: 541
Latest Activity: Dec 3, 2016

Discussion Forum

Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS)

Started by Steph S. Jun 8, 2015. 0 Replies

This is a good website for help in recovering from religion of Religious Trauma Syndrome:• Cognitive: Confusion, poor critical thinking ability, negative beliefs about…Continue

In what way are you still recovering from being brought up religious?

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Richard C Brown Aug 30, 2014. 57 Replies

I was brought up in a fundamentalist family.Anyone still dealing with any issues from religion?Do you fear the result of coming out Atheist to your family?Any thoughts are welcome.Continue

Catholic Family / Atheist Wedding - HELP

Started by Megan. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 31, 2014. 4 Replies

Any one else out there still recovering from Catholic guilt??I come from an extremely Catholic family/upbringing. In 6 days I will be the first person in my entire extended family not to marry a Catholic in a Catholic Church.My biggest source of…Continue

Anyone still deal with anything like this?

Started by Starland Seay. Last reply by Matt Skaggs Aug 26, 2013. 27 Replies

One thing I have noticed is a tendency to "doubt" my new path in life. I still want to reach for the Bible sometimes. I still hesitate somewhat when someone mentions Pascal's "Wager"...LOL! Even though I know that science teaches this and that no…Continue

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Comment by Rich Goss on September 7, 2009 at 6:16pm
I forgot the Youtube link for the Dawkins/Lennox debate. Very information and educational. You hear both sides. There's about 12 videos, above is the promo.
Comment by Rich Goss on September 7, 2009 at 5:54pm
Mariana, let’s switch to the “It’s a Race” discussion above. We’re getting off the track of Recovering from Religion. Just a thought, depending on how you and Darrell feel. I don’t’ know if our conversation is what he had in mind.

Let me tell you, I feel like I’m reading Anne Frank in your posts for some strange reason. You are about the same age as she when she wrote her diary and you have a similar precocity and objectivity.

and that there are lots of religious scientists who manage to amalgamate their belief in God with evolution.

This actually happened to me when I was teaching bio. The other biology teacher was as pious and orthodox as can be. My attitude was, “how the hell can you study biology and not believe in evolution. The teach bio is to tell the story of evolution.” He somehow “amalgamated” the two ideas and got away with it. I don’t even think he even thought about it.

Actually, I did some research on this, years ago. Pope John Pope II wrote a papal bull stating that evolution is okay with Catholics as long as they concede that God intervened. Remember the Sistine Chapel painting where God holds out his finger and “inspires” Adam who is holding out his finger as they nearly touch. The idea is, man- (and woman-) kind evolved from lower life forms but along the way God infused a soul, and the early hominid became Homo sapiens. (What a misnomer. In my book Mirror Reversal, mankind is Homo vacuous.)

To me, what a cope out. Why doesn’t the Bible say anything about this? Talk about biblical prophesies, why the heck doesn’t the good book make any predictions with some teeth—like the JFK assassination or the Protestant Reformation. All we get are vague statements that future bible writers can fill in after the fact.

As a side note, I share the opinion that scientists should no longer publicly debate creationists-- it only reinforces the idea that it's a viable alternative to real science.
I think they should debate, how else are we going to change things. Here’s a great debate between Dr. Dawkins and a hard-headed Irishman (aren’t they all?), John Lennox, who holds that Christ is the answer. We can discuss it, if you’re into philosophy.
Comment by Rich Goss on September 6, 2009 at 12:15am
"I cannot believe someone as intelligent as yourself doesn't believe in God."

Mariana, your father messed up the line above. Actually, Ayn Rand said this to the archconservative, William F. Buckley, “You are far too intelligent to believe in Gutt.” (She had a bit of a Russian accent.)

The Blind Watchmaker and Climbing Mount Improbable both try to explain to believers (non-believers of Darwin) how so much complexity as modern animals and plants can evolve given ages of time. The Azoic Age was 500 million years. That’s the period of time with no life at all on the planet. A lot can happen in a half billion years. JWs can’t seem to understand the power of time and the evolutionary algorhythm. Simply put, it’s variation of a googol of gametes, (eggs and sperm), which are selected naturally, and then somehow retained. Even Darwin never fully understood the retention process, (he called them factors) but the Evolutionary Synthesis of the ‘20s confirmed Darwinism with the onset of the new science of genetics. Picture this little program running over and over for four billion years. Variation, Selection, Retention.

A JW kid knocked on my door last year and he was very interested in evolution. We wound up having several conversations over the next few months and I think I might have opened some doors in this thinking. I haven’t seen him in a year, but I think I might have saved his life.

He fed me the whole "atheists are dogmatic" shtick and even used the word "Darwinist."

The above is very wrong. The word “dogmatic” means referring to dogma or doctrines. Tell your friend atheists don’t have any doctrines. We just don’t believe what clergypersons are telling us. It’s the churches that have all the infallible doctrines.

I read a post on Pharyngula recently about ignorance being considered a virtue by some people

This statement speaks for itself and doesn’t need any comment. Fear of knowledge is a sad thing. To me it’s closing the door on life and trying to be safe and content in a mental cage.

Mariana, I would suggest not getting into discussions or arguments with doctrinaire people. You’re a very bright girl, so use your brain to make yourself independent through education. Once you’re able to live your own and take care of yourself, you’ll see how friends and family will have much more respect for what you say and who you are.

As the old Yiddish singer named Fanny Brice (Funny Girl) liked to say: you gotta use all the brains ya got.
Comment by Rich Goss on September 4, 2009 at 8:32pm
Fun post. The fundagelicals have such weird beliefs it's fun to think that our disbeliefs are equally as strange to them. I think having so many co-believers has a lot to do with their certitude.

I get a laugh out of Copernicus’ book coming out in 1550. The Revolutions of Orbs had to be the most radical, revolutionary book ever written until The Origin of Species. Picture what the population could have made out of some crazy Polack telling them that the world was really spherical, not flat. It must have blown their minds. All you have to do is open your eyes to see he was wrong. It proves that common knowledge doesn’t make it so.

On the micro/macro controversy, the idea is preposterous. Fundagelicals (I like that word) say that okay, there’s microevolution. Species can evolve inside a genus but not jump from one genus to another. Dogs can change according to their niche— grow larger, stronger, or more ferocious so we get cocker spaniels, Pomeranians and pit bulls.. But a dog cannot evolve into a buffalo or elephant—sorry that’s macroevolution.

This concept shows a gaping ignorance of the concept of Darwin’s theory. Nobody says that dogs evolved into elephants or humans evolved from present-day apes. Evolutionary theory states that humans and apes, dogs and elephants, have a common ancestor. If we go back in time and descend the phylogenic tree, we’ll find a creature who parented both. Not at once, of course, but over thousands of years.

There is cogent proof for this. Check out the first paragraphs of one of my blog posts, the part about hemoglobin. The molecule is thousands of atoms long and is exactly the same as in all mammals.

Mammals have the same organ systems: same digestion, reproduction and elimination, etc.. I can’t see how the God believers can dismiss this as coincidence.

As far as your differences with you family goes, I’d suggest not getting into arguments with them. They’re not going to change at their age. The conditioning and indoctrination runs too deep. Also, religion has built-in defense mechanisms which are quite dangerous to outsiders. They associate apostates and heretics as children of the devil.

That’s why Darrell’s movement is so important. Deprogramming is a slow long-term process.
Comment by Darrel Ray on September 4, 2009 at 8:16pm
Mariana: I have been watching with curiosity the discussion that you have started. Thanks for sharing your experiences. The thing that impresses me is the depth of your knowledge and study, and yet you were raised in such an insular environment. You have really done your homework. As the founder of Recovering from Religion, I love to hear the stories of people who escape religion. In some of our groups we have a few ex-JW people. Sometimes, I think their stories are among the most heartbreaking since it disrupts normal family relationships so profoundly over an imaginary being.
Comment by Rich Goss on September 4, 2009 at 2:54pm
Mariana, isn't this wonderful technology that we can openly discuss religious matters that once were taboo to even speak about.

First of all, I haven’t read much of the authors you cited. I am a little familiar with Darwin’s Black Box but I put it down after a few minutes. I taught biology quite a few years and rejected Behe’s argumentum ad ignoramtiam, God exists because there’s no evidence that he doesn’t.

My teachers and relatives used to argue from personal incredulity. “I just can’t believe that there’s no God, therefore he exists.”

I’d be glad to discuss evolution with you, if you have any questions or uncertainties. These writers say there’s no macroevolution, only microevolution. Utter nonsense, and shows an deep ignorance of Darwin, genetics and national selection.
Comment by Kristi Leitholt on September 4, 2009 at 11:00am
Way to go, Mariana. I've heard it can be extremely difficult to break from the Jehovah's Witnesses...once they've got you, they want to keep you. Stay strong and I hope you are able to find some like-minded people nearby who will help you along the way.
Comment by Rich Goss on September 4, 2009 at 10:18am
Good for you Mariana. You escaped from a mental cage that wouldn't have controlled every aspect of your life.

Please don't have any qualms or regrets. When you’re young the conditioning runs deep and can never be totally exhumed from the subconscious. Now you’re free, so try not to ever even think about going back in the cage just because you’re family is there.
Comment by Darrel Ray on August 13, 2009 at 1:39am
We will soon welcome our 16th Recovering from Religion meeting in the US. I am amazed to get emails from out of the blue from people wanting to start a group. About half who contact me follow through. Which seems like a pretty good ratio to me. Wrath White of Las Vegas has started an outreach effort to the African American community. Please take a look at his powerful essay, The Invisibility of The Black Atheist and his new site

Help us get the word out to people who may be interested in starting or attending an RR meeting.

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