It has been about three weeks since I was inspired by some unknown force (that I do not call god) to involve myself in the freethought/new atheist movement.  It began when I returned from my vacation to Northern California.  My husband and I drove from Northwestern Oregon to San Francisco, and I realized that I noticed the natural beauty in a way that I never had before.  Somehow that inspired me to google "atheist" when I arrived home.  Since then, I can't get enough of The Thinking Atheist, The Atheist Experience, blogs, books, etc.  Who knew?

Coming from an evangelical home (not quite fundamentalist), I was subject to childhood indoctrination.  I had a vague knowledge of the way this impacted me, but since increasing my connection with the community, I am overwhelmed by the impact.  I am stunned.  I am embarrassed.  I am saddened.  The primary impact that I had been aware of  previously was the chronic sense of guilt, the fact that I had married only to get heavenly permission to have sex, and a generalized difficulty making my own decisions.

Having immersed myself in atheist material, I am very troubled.  I realized that in addition to the guilt and indecisiveness, that I have never been taught to think.  I consider myself a relatively intelligent person.  I have a doctorate in clinical psychology and a thriving practice.  I love what I do and have some evidence that I am relieving some of the world's suffering one person at a time.  However, somehow I made it through my entire educational experience without ever having a class in critical thinking or logic.  I have never been education how to challenge any idea held by another person, or even recognize when someone is feeding me a load of bullshit.  I've not been given one of a parent's most wonderful gifts to children, a bullshit meter.

The way the brain shuts out uncomfortable information is amazing.  I have lived in a fog.  Even after de-conversion, I have lived in a fog.  I suppose that a godless for is an improvement over a religious fog, but I want to come in to the clearing now.  I want to learn how to think clearly.  I believe this is why I have so enjoyed watching and listening to The Atheist Experience.  Even when they are responding to irritating trollers, I get a great deal out of it because I hear them identifying and calling out the logical fallacies that I never learned how to recognize.

I have been even more shocked at the recognition of an even more shocking omission in my education. I was never taught about evolution.  I knew that the theory of evolution existed, but I did not know anything about it other than that it was an attempt to refute god by the godless heathens.  

The list goes on.  I know nothing about the historical evidence of biblical times.  I know nothing about women's studies.  I know nothing about the stance of the founding fathers on separation from church and state and god.  I know nothing about cosmology.  I know nothing about philosophy and how we discover what is true.  How can this happen?  How can I be a doctor of clinical psychology and not know these things?

I attended a religious university. 

I have some work to do.

Views: 199


You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by cbenhamcox on August 30, 2013 at 12:13am

Thanks, Matthew, for your comment.  I've spent the last several weeks learning about a community that I never knew existed, and am feeling incredibly grateful for that!

Comment by cbenhamcox on August 27, 2013 at 12:26am

Thanks so much for your comment!  I have found all I've encountered here to be cordial and kind, and am so glad to have discovered ways to start building a community.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 26, 2013 at 11:55pm

Welcome to the legion of people who have not understood evolution, or the Big Bang, or feminism, or gay rights, and on and on and on. There is so much healing needed and so little time. This is a great place to explore ideas, get feedback, and experiment.

Don't be surprised as you express yourself there will be some who accuse you of complaining or whining, or being negative. Part of the process is getting a tough skin and taking risks. So we make mistakes in judgement, or offer old bromides thinking we have discovered something new, but in the long run, we are all in this together, we support each other, we challenge each other and have one wonderful time in the process.  

© 2019   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service