My Life Unplugged: “Losing My Religion and Finding Myself”
I lost my religion and faith addiction in 2006 after going to college. However, I don’t know if I should be called a just an atheist as this is too limited to define my disbelief. Thus, I am best described as an Axiological atheist: (Ethical/Value theory Reasoned and Moral Argument driven) Atheism, Anti-theism, Anti-religionism, and Secular Humanism I also value Ignosticism or igtheism.
My college classes on religion removed my faith, replacing it with facts showing religion should not be trusted. The two college books that helped me learn where:
I was raised Christian and lived my whole life in believing the Christian faith. I could have never been touted as a holy person or a true follower of the Christian rules. My life more often resembled the sinner than the saint. However, I truly believed what was taught to me about Christianity was the truth. Though, I nitpicked and had qualms with some of the philosophy, I still wholeheartedly was a believer and felt I was born again.
The beginning of the change was getting a bachelor of arts in Psychology, grasping critical thinking, rational analysis, universal ethics, and the need of proof. However, the true starting point was Biology. In essence, learning that we all begin as female and it takes specific processes to turn into a male. But what fully made me “change” was two classes on religion the first comparative religions the second understanding the bible halfway through that class I stopped believing. So if woman was created first! If the Bible starts on a lie, how can it ever find truth? I started using a new rationale to analyze the Bible and not accepting it as truth outright. I thought how positive would we view a parent who puts a 2 years old child next to a cookie jar and tells them not to eat any cookies. Then not only punish them for the rest of their life but to every generation to the end of time for an action they did not understand. No parent would be seen as just. Even the Bible says we should forgive after 7 years and how can it be justified to punish everyone who is guiltless for the action of one even if they did understand. That would not be convictable in any court anywhere in the world. Yet, we are taught to praise a god who did just that. I could go on and on about my negative views on the Bible and Christianity, well all gods and religions really. The Bible touts that the most important thing is faith the word. The word (bible writings claiming an inspiration or revelation from the religion’s god) is so important that God himself is claimed to author the Ten Commandments on stone with a lightening finger. Yet, we are to believe that Jesus comes to earth and does not write a word. Was he illiterate? If he was, how could he be God? Jesus never asked anyone to write anything more in the Torah. Maybe he just forgot since he was so busy or maybe he was not God. He had 12 disciples; why did not all of them author a book on his behalf? Instead they too are silent. If Jesus and his disciples were silent, maybe he was not God. Of if he was God, maybe he was silent because the Torah was already perfect. That would make the Christian Bible heresy. I will end with saying I believe in no gods, goddesses, or religion mythologies that are true. I simply believe in universal ethics and an aware humanity, no god required. I would also say I am a born again hedonist and I follow my own life doctrine. I will write a book on morality I will title fallen Morals Uplifted Ethics about what I call, “TRUE”…The Rational Universal Ethic.
Unplugged from the Control Matrix?
The matrix is all the biases, values, morals, stereotypes, beliefs, judgments, and requirements that society and religion mythologies force upon us. The matrix tells us how to act, think, and behave, what is right or wrong, and good or bad. The matrix is the heartstring of every culture. It forces upon us what it feels as right and never caring about what we really need. The matrix binds us and confines who we really are.
The first and most crucial element that must be grasped and lived wholeheartedly to be removed from the matrix and stay unplugged is the unilateral valuing of women, the way they think, and their gift of being to the world. Without this understanding of women, one can never be removed from the matrix. The matrix is male dominated in its width and breath and in the movie “The Matrix” all the agents were men. When women rule everyone has rights and when men rule only men have rights. If you have a country or people who allow or support torture, I will show you a country that women are not equal or valued and are oppressed. The greatest unused asset occurring in the world that is untapped and could help solve the world’s problems are women. Another key aspect is to remove all religion. I started to unplug myself when I removed my indoctrinated religion mythologies and replaced them with human compassion/kindness and ethics. An ethics persuasion removed from religious morals and sin. I no longer have morals which are personal judgments and sin that condemnation built on a religious otherworld men pseudo-reality judgments. I no longer follow good or bad handed down by some deity, culture, or family value, but it’s truer axiological value. I strive to do what is healthy and pleasurable mentally as I tend to live in my mind and their is just no way to escape that for any long period of time, but sweet relief is indeed possible, not that I am always the best at utilizing this. I strive to not do what is harmful or causes pain try to be thoughtful of everyone around me and beyond. In this endeavor, I do not claim perfection. I am but a traveler and seeker of ethics, justice, and pleasure.
One of my life long struggles, is My Addiction?
I was sneaking drinks as far back as I can remember. But conclusively, I would say at the age of 13 was the first time I got shit faced drunk. This would be a new behavior that I would indulge in until my stopping at 17. I first tried marijuana at 14 and excessively added that to my repertoire. By the age of 15, I had tried almost every drug but heroin and had become a crack addict. Cocaine would come and go in my life but what would stay are other drugs and alcohol. Some people have a drug of choice; mine was the sensation of getting high. At 17, I quit all drugs and alcohol on January 24, 1989 and I have been clean and sober to this day. I have been through drug rehab around 45 days of inpatient as well as attended NA for 2 years and AA for 17 years until I realized that I did not want to follow that religion anymore it gave me a lot but I am no longer struggling with addiction I am trying to live life. I have been to years of individual, group, and marriage counseling, read sober, self-help as well as inspirational books, and worked excessively on myself. I do not believe I have removed my addiction; only found new ways to manage and control my behavior. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, I believe in complete and utter abstinence. I believe there is nothing so bad a drink or drug cannot make worse in my life. I help confronted and comforted myself with poems that lifted my inner self again and again even when things looked lost, feeling the freeing feeling that words the voice of my lived emotional experiences contained in now forever in my first book “Taste Your Emotions” where the heart strings of my life and my inner feelings spanning the beginning (17 years old) into my late sobriety (35 years old, I am now in my middle forties). The poems it contains were written about what I felt and saw in my world, an ever changing one. They were not written a one time but over a 10 years period as they were being experienced. On January 24, 1989 I was admitted into a addiction rehab against my will I had just withdrawn from drugs and alcohol and I was faced with a barrage of suppressed emotions. Were the emotions good or bad is not the question. The poems are expressions of how I was feeling at that moment of time. These emotions are an honest account of my reality, which was ever changing. I had realized what I had missed of life by suppressing my feelings. For the first time in my life, I started to be willing, listening, and acting on the advice from others. These actions created such intense emotions that I had never experienced before. I had masked my feelings and emotions with a life full of chemicals and anger. The poems have helped me to clarify by identifying my emotions. The poems broke through my stagnant existence of detachment. These poems released my inner self so I could see my hidden pain and find the inner truth. I have become the person I have always wanted to be by the enlightenments expressed in the poems in Taste Your Emotions.
Will you take the mental walk through the darkest and brightest journeys in my life. If you do, you will hear my cries of agony, feel my pain and joy, and experience my hope.
You may see no value or benefit in atheism as I see no value or benefit in the myths of gods or religion. This does not mean your values are equal to my values or benefits as in assessing this difference in value. I will say faith in myths is like addiction in relation to sobriety is myth free. You may think sobriety is foolish, however that is not evidence of anything, only a misunderstanding of the benefit of living addiction free. I am as an atheist who is sober from the addiction of myths and you may dismiss the benefit of living myth free, which in no way removes its value. Do not get me wrong, I am in a sense not against myths depending on how they are used. Myths are great for movies and fantasy books, however, when they become disruptive or even potentially harmful and when they are taken as fact and used as the main worldview. Even worse is when they are kept as fact in the face of real validated facts or reliable contradictory proof. Then myths change and become abusive as well as corrosive to a free rational mind or a non-biased critical thinking mind. Any belief you protect from scrutiny is already like a virus eroding your human spirit. I hypothesis that faith is fiction in the face of fact and can be understood as a nonadaptive byproduct of evolved mechanisms that malfunction when intending to solved adaptive problems among our primitive ancestor. Adherents to faith in myths of gods or religion can and are susceptible to a great many and fantastic non-natural notions. Using axiological awareness to assist in argumentation: I hear some saying that the universe does not care and thus no one matters. However, the universe is not aware to make any thought or judgment of any kind. Just as a tree or rock, not understanding love does nothing to devalue love. Therefore, the universe not caring about humans is an invalid argument because it cannot be said to assess humans’ value. Because of this fact, it is disqualified to provide any valid rebuke of value or what matters. Let me make this clearer, the universe can make no assessment at all and this means nothing to the truth status of anything, such as I could say the universe does not know I exist but that expresses nothing about me existing or not. But, that I don’t matter to the universe, does itself not matter.
I strive for the understanding that Disciplined-Rationality can give to go beyond only seeing the faith addiction and not the faithful victims it is oppressing them is somewhat leaving me a bit and I am starting to see it as truly more than just a sad and cognitively foolish which could be somewhat nature and not only nurture. It seems some people may have an innate insecurity or are somewhat incapable of a myth free reality and thus feel a need to seek out myths to bye into no matter it is true. Therefore, some people may contain a hyper maladaptive tendency to desire myth as a way of thinking or myth as a way of life.
Things such as politics, culture, and religion are self-motivating and habit forming social capital (the collective value of social networks). Only religion seems to have the elements to resist seeing itself as addiction, even if it is a toxic habit forming thinking and is excused as devout thinking or that the addiction-thinking problem can be alleviated by yet more religion. Rituals and keeping traditions are deliberate introduced dogma addictions; religion like one’s societal culture becomes habitual and thus addictive behavior. Religious thinking and sacralized faith doctrine become addictive substances. All religion can become addictive not because they are real or offer a truth but by their very nature which is disconnected from reality and are. Thus, to be believed in the face of superstition free actual reality would require and benefit from dogmatic beliefs, which then have the potential to become addictive. Thus, all religion may be more prone to or encourage ways of thinking that are conducive to addiction or toxic habit forming thinking. In general, the common denominator helping to further the non-reality addiction that is offered in holy books, religion, or superstition is you such as wishing for access to fantasy powers that are often more appealing than the actuality of realities powerlessness. I would never support removing the rights to freedom of religion from adults but would express concern with its overuse with children. I do value secularism and support the freedom of religion; however, I also believe that there should be freedom from religion. In most of the holy books, I see religion and the non-reality addiction offered as valuable when in fact are valueless and tainted, even in its most watered down forms.