Rejected Religion
For Emotional Reasons
Katie Terrell

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Katie Terrel"
Subject: Re: personal witness testimonial
Date: Friday, April 20, 2001 7:58 PM

Katie,

Thanks for your letter.

Emotional upheaval can cause someone to reexamine their philosophical position, and adjust their world-view according to what they think is true. Any decision made purely on emotion will not last -- we must at least try to justify it intellectually in order for the change to stick.

Religion, I think, is as close as we come to a purely emotion-based outlook decision. Because most expressions of religion cannot stand on their own accord, adherents must return week after week for an update of their faith, exposing themselves to other like-minded individuals. An outlook that is discovered through reason, I think, is a viewpoint which is much more likely to remain intact without the need to continually "brainwash" oneself as to its truthfulness. Its truthfulness is self-evident, and needs no help to stand up.

Your letter makes strong indications that this is the process you have undergone: you appear to have become upset at what you saw, and this emotional upheaval prompted you to reexamine the facts. As the result of your examination of the facts, you changed your outlook.

This is almost identical to what I went through: I became very upset that the Bible world that I thought I lived in did not pan out as described, and that the Christians I knew were more shallow even than the drunks I'd met; they didn't hold a candle to regular, unimpaired secular people I knew. I was later able to compare, intellectually, what I believed in the religion with what I saw with my eyes. The two did not line up, so I tossed the religion out with the bath-water, so to speak. Although an emotional situation started the ball rolling, my decision was verified by intellectually examining my decision. In fact, had I not examined it intellectually, I stood the risk of reverting to the faith. It is the intellectual examination which now keeps me free from faith even in the face of current emotional upheavals which might otherwise drive me back into religion.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule
Added: May 9, 2001

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Katie Terrel"
Subject: Re: personal witness testimonial
Date: Monday, April 23, 2001 2:16 AM

I respond to this one by showing that they are asking me to already believe something to be true in order to find out whether or not it warrants my belief in the first place!
 

No, just mistaken. Lying involves either deliberately saying what you know is not true, or saying something is true without knowing either way. But if you think something is true, if you've had a religious experience or the like, even though your interpretation of that experience may be false, you are not lying.
 

I disagree. I've seen dogs and cats miss their dead brothers and sisters and sit on the grave in the back yard.
 

Religion can do strange things to people's minds. We don't have to understand it, we just do well to acknowledge that drugs and religion can do strange things to people's heads.
 

My folks moved to Southern Utah where everybody believes in God simply because the land is so beautiful.

-- Except my parents, anyway:

Mormon Temple tour guide, after showing the exceedingly coercive presentation video: "Do you have any questions?"

My Father: "No."

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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