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Many of us that grew up in religion had to unlearn what we had been taught. I came to this later in life but it must have been the right time because it wasn't difficult for me. I think I was lucky with that. What about you? Did you find it difficult to unlearn all your religious beliefs and behaviors or were you ready... open to change?

By BeeHappy9
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1

Well when I was religious I was by definition not as open to change as when I left it. However, religion is not without perceived benefits and sure I was resistant to letting go of long-held thought patterns. Particularly since I was preloaded with a bunch of operant conditioning about all the terrible things that would supposedly happen if I ever so much as questioned my beliefs of origin.

It's a bit flip to tell people that if they are resistant to change they aren't "open". It isn't as simple as just deciding to be "open".

I think I demonstrated sufficient "openness" by spending years prying fixed beliefs out of my head with a crowbar. That it took years doesn't mean there was an easier way to go about it.

mordant Level 8 Jan 26, 2019

I wouldn't dare assume to tell anyone that struggles with change that they aren't open. We each define it for ourselves and it takes however long it takes. We all get through it best we can. ?

1

I was raised that christianity was the default value. We were christian because we weren't jewish or muslim or anything else. So I grew up with the idea that when you died (unless you were a horrible person) you went to heaven. And all those who died before you were there in heaven waiting for you. My mom died when I was 14, and I lost a baby when I was 26. The thought that my baby was in heaven with my mom was very comforting. After baby died I became a really good Xian, well educated for a lay person. I had trouble with the notion of a loving god as I went along, the bible is full of crappy stuff. Years later when I came to the conclusion that religion is bunk I went through a period of mourning for the loss of belief, and it was like losing my mom and my baby again. I know that their atoms are all around, they are part of the universe, but it isn't as comforting.

3

The learning was effortless. The unlearning took a little work. The relearning almost killed me.

skado Level 8 Jan 26, 2019

I can see how it can be like that. For me once unlearned, the hard part for me. Relearning was much easier. I wanted to soak up all that new stuff... still do. ?

@BeeHappy
Did you learn, unlearn, and relearn religion,
or learn and unlearn religion, and then learn non-religion?

@skado the latter.

4

Started unbelieving in third grade so it's been easy.

Marine Level 8 Jan 26, 2019

That's early, took me quite awhile longer to see the light.

@BeeHappy The important thing is u got there.

@Marine Yep!?

4

I was around religion, we had weddings, Baptisms, communions, confirmations... all the usual Catholic traditions... and I’m not nessasally apposed to tradition. Although many around me were certainly religious I just took it as culture. I never believed any of it was meant to be taken as gospel, lol.. tradition is a way of remembering where you came from but it need not dictate where you’re going.

True enough.

3

Through my teens the questions and the doubts became louder in my mind. At the time I was deep into my religious education. It took of a period of searching , getting real answers, for me to leave it behind.
It was the emotional connection that I had to my religion that made the change arduous. My rabbi was helpful in the transition, more than once giving his time and knowledge to help in my quest.

AmiSue Level 8 Jan 26, 2019

Your rabbi must have been quite a guy to help you like that.

@BeeHappy He was! I loved him.
Rabbis are professional questioners after all.

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