View Full Version : Atheist ADDF Community thread.


Abi
11-15-11, 10:20 PM
A thread for ADHDers to discuss how atheism/agnosticism have helped them with ADHD, comorbid conditions, and life in general.

pechemignonne
11-15-11, 11:44 PM
I think that not being fatalistic helps. Like if I believed that there was a God who had a plan for me, who made me have ADHD, or if I had chosen to have ADHD in this incarnation, it would have made me angrier..

Instead, I just kind of have a sh-- happens philosophy about it.

Apart from that, I also tend to try to find solutions within myself and in this world, and actively, instead of looking for (or just waiting for) external (spiritual) support.

I don't know that being an atheist helps, necessarily. But it doesn't hurt, either.

KronarTheBlack
11-15-11, 11:46 PM
Logic and Science > Theism at an infinity to zero ratio.

ginniebean
11-16-11, 12:14 AM
Logic and Science > Theism at an infinity to zero ratio.


it helps you by allowing you to feel superior?

Spacemaster
11-16-11, 12:26 AM
I guess reason and logic keep me on the right track. They are the rails for my crazy train. I'm not sure how it all fits into my ADD, I didn't blame God for it because at the time when I still believed, I didn't know I had ADD. Now I just say "Oh well, I lost that genetic lottery".

Logic and reason are precious to me. I feel lucky to have a decent grasp on both. My ADD brain can mess with my emotions and though process, but at least I have an anchor.

Abi
11-16-11, 12:49 AM
Spacemaster,

You sum up my feelings on the matter perfectly.

Great post.

sarek
11-16-11, 03:11 AM
I guess I am at a stage, at least as regards to grand questions of life and existence, where reason/logic on the one hand and spirituality in the broadest sense on the other begin to form a synthesis of sorts and are no longer in opposition.

βĩο₱Ħعℓĩᶏ
11-16-11, 04:02 PM
so... what about ignosticism? is it included?

pechemignonne
11-16-11, 05:17 PM
Do you mean agnosticism?

βĩο₱Ħعℓĩᶏ
11-16-11, 07:15 PM
no, i mean ignosticism...

atheism doesn't suit me -- no way to test that there isn't "god."
agnosticism doesn't suit me -- i don't know if one can or can't know anything about "god," to say one does or doesn't know something about "god" means that an opinion about "god" has been formed...and because it can't be tested (except through, perhaps, personal experience -- which wouldn't cut it for me, if it was YOUR personal experience.)
ignosticism suits me better -- "god" is so loosely defined and understood through out time, cultures, and individuals that discussion or hypothesizing about "god" is meaningless, even if there were a testable claim and verifiable answer, so... it seems reasonable, to me, to hold off on any opinion of "god"...

Living in the gray...

mildadhd
11-16-11, 10:22 PM
no, i mean ignosticism...

atheism doesn't suit me -- no way to test that there isn't "god."
agnosticism doesn't suit me -- i don't know if one can or can't know anything about "god," to say one does or doesn't know something about "god" means that an opinion about "god" has been formed...and because it can't be tested (except through, perhaps, personal experience -- which wouldn't cut it for me, if it was YOUR personal experience.)
ignosticism suits me better -- "god" is so loosely defined and understood through out time, cultures, and individuals that discussion or hypothesizing about "god" is meaningless, even if there were a testable claim and verifiable answer, so... it seems reasonable, to me, to hold off on any opinion of "god"...

Living in the gray...

Do you mean griy?

Marzipan
11-16-11, 11:08 PM
I don't know how much believing in a god would affect anything, but I think not believing in the concept of a "soul," such as the lack of distinction between the mind and the soul or anything like that, perhaps makes dealing with meds that change your neurochemistry a very different experience.

Spacemaster
11-16-11, 11:31 PM
So is our god Seth, the egyptian god of chaos??:cool:

mildadhd
11-17-11, 06:59 PM
So is our god Seth, the egyptian god of chaos??:cool:

If there was no god,

would god need to be replaced?

What could god be replaced with?

What might be the purpose of god?





I tried to have a god,

but once I became this,

then I wasn't that.


And that doesn't work for me.


I need everything equal to one.



GBYR






I need that freedom to function.

mildadhd
11-17-11, 07:29 PM
A thread for ADHDers to discuss how atheism/agnosticism have helped them with ADHD, comorbid conditions, and life in general.

I find this thread liberating Abi thanks.

The first day I started taking medication.

Something about the world changed when the medication worked.

For example,

In the lyrics from the song written by Bob Marley, "Running Away".

"You must have done something wrong ,

Why can't you find out where you belong?"


I always took those lyrics as me doing something wrong.

And that I was the problem.

Guilty?

When in actual fact.

Many of my problems where caused by my ADHD impairment.


Because we didn't know I was ADHD.

my father and mother and I's relationship was not always nice.

I would always work physically extra hard helping him when exam time came.

And over time, my parents never got mad at me anymore.

They didn't even wake me up for school in high school.

But I still went.

I loved the word hypothesis.



It was nobody's fault because nobody knew what was ADHD.

My father never physically spanked me more than anybody else at the time.

But if we knew what we knew now life would have been much different for sure.


I wonder what we will know tomorrow?

Try all choose good-Haile Selassie I


Tough and Love are like Water and Oil, they don't mix.-Dr.G.Mate

pechemignonne
11-17-11, 08:14 PM
no, i mean ignosticism...

atheism doesn't suit me -- no way to test that there isn't "god."
agnosticism doesn't suit me -- i don't know if one can or can't know anything about "god," to say one does or doesn't know something about "god" means that an opinion about "god" has been formed...and because it can't be tested (except through, perhaps, personal experience -- which wouldn't cut it for me, if it was YOUR personal experience.)
ignosticism suits me better -- "god" is so loosely defined and understood through out time, cultures, and individuals that discussion or hypothesizing about "god" is meaningless, even if there were a testable claim and verifiable answer, so... it seems reasonable, to me, to hold off on any opinion of "god"...

Living in the gray...
Interesting, I had never heard of ignosticism. I thought it was a typo. I looked at the Wiki page, too.

You learn something new every day.

I actually really identify with being an atheist, nonetheless. I am very certain that I don't believe in a God. I'm a spiritual atheist, though. More of an indigenist atheist, I guess, if you want to be precise.

Either way, I think that accepting myself as I am and knowing that there are real scientific reasons for some of my problems is part of how I deal with my ADHD.

Spacemaster
11-17-11, 08:15 PM
Ha I dunno Geronimoo, I was just making a funny:o There's another Bob Marley song that comes to mind, the lyrics I'll post later, because I have to fly!
Company stopping by, and guess what?? I have to do the mad dash around the house, picking up any embarrassing rubbish lying about.

aeon
11-17-11, 08:33 PM
I’m 50% apatheist and 50% ignostic, but I do have a spiritual framework of understanding based upon my life experience, including curious participation in entheogenic sacramental rituals from a number of the world’s perennial wisdom traditions.


cheers,
Ian

mildadhd
11-17-11, 08:47 PM
Ha I dunno Geronimoo, I was just making a funny:o There's another Bob Marley song that comes to mind, the lyrics I'll post later, because I have to fly!
Company stopping by, and guess what?? I have to do the mad dash around the house, picking up any embarrassing rubbish lying about.


:D

Seems right,:rolleyes:

Your worst enemy might be your bestfriend and your best friend your worst enemy.-Bob Marley

might be more efficient to leave it for one mad dash.

Less travel distance than if the work was done all separately.

Or even worse have to do it twice.:rolleyes:


Talk about methylphenidate helping me,

before I could not stand working with myself or anyone else.


Its nice to enjoy working,

and working with other people.

I find working with other people impossible without medication.

Because they can't understand my ways of keeping organized and I feel like it is a constant fight against them to work in my way/order.


Outside of work I can get along with anyone.



I don't blame anyone.

The topic haunts me.

foggedup
12-03-11, 04:40 AM
I actually really identify with being an atheist, nonetheless. I am very certain that I don't believe in a God. I'm a spiritual atheist, though. More of an indigenist atheist, I guess, if you want to be precise.

Pechemignonne, what exactly is a spiritual atheist? Spiritual but nixing the god concept?

Wikipedia told me this:
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality;<sup id="cite_ref-0" class="reference"></sup> an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”<sup id="cite_ref-1" class="reference"></sup> Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.<sup id="cite_ref-2" class="reference"></sup> Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.<sup id="cite_ref-3" class="reference"></sup> It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.

So lots of the def is a belief in the unprovable and imagined, not unlike a god concept. I can grasp the "essence of one's being" idea and values/meanings idea, but I struggle with how one take this understanding and makes it "spiritual."

Gonna ramble for a second... I took a soft-skills test/training at work a long time ago that ranked your answers to questions on a graph, not unlike a spiderweb. Each point of the web was a core life competency, and they defined say 8, such as family, friends, work, exercise, spirituality, learning, etc. They plotted your answers on the lines of the web to display your "balance." The ideal was a nice fat symmetrical spiderweb. My diagram was more of a lopsided, blown-out web and the biggest hole was spirituality.

I toe the water with AA because I need to keep reminding myself where I've been, but I haven't been able to really get into the program because it's a ..... spiritual program!

I feel like I'm missing out by not being spiritual in some way. I don't get how to do so without believing in imaginary bs. The phrase 'I don't believe what I can't see, and only half of what I do' is my motto.

Long way to ask...how does one be spiritual and an athiest at the same time?

Not sure if this even relates to adhd, maybe it will when I figure it out ;)

StoicNate
12-03-11, 12:21 PM
I'm an Atheist. I never believed in a god/goddess. I think believing in a god/goddess is nonsensical.

pechemignonne
12-03-11, 04:27 PM
Pechemignonne, what exactly is a spiritual atheist? Spiritual but nixing the god concept?
Exactly.

Wikipedia told me this:
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality;<sup id="cite_ref-0" class="reference"></sup> an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”<sup id="cite_ref-1" class="reference"></sup> Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.<sup id="cite_ref-2" class="reference"></sup> Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.<sup id="cite_ref-3" class="reference"></sup> It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.

So lots of the def is a belief in the unprovable and imagined, not unlike a god concept. I can grasp the "essence of one's being" idea and values/meanings idea, but I struggle with how one take this understanding and makes it "spiritual."
Really? It's pretty simple to me.

For example, as an article of faith, I believe that every person has the capacity to do good. I believe in the interdependence of all life. I believe in mutual aid. I believe in the existence of extraordinary human capacities. I believe in the value of all life.

None of these ideas necessitate a concept of deity.

None of these things are necessarily provable on a rationalistic, scientific basis.

On the other hand, the more scientific knowledge that I acquire the more I find that my beliefs are validated and inspired by scientific information. That doesn't mean that I am unable to recognize that I am applying a particular moral lens.

My own moral lens, however, does not include any idea of spiritual forces (good or evil) that exist externally to us.

Gonna ramble for a second... I took a soft-skills test/training at work a long time ago that ranked your answers to questions on a graph, not unlike a spiderweb. Each point of the web was a core life competency, and they defined say 8, such as family, friends, work, exercise, spirituality, learning, etc. They plotted your answers on the lines of the web to display your "balance." The ideal was a nice fat symmetrical spiderweb. My diagram was more of a lopsided, blown-out web and the biggest hole was spirituality.

I toe the water with AA because I need to keep reminding myself where I've been, but I haven't been able to really get into the program because it's a ..... spiritual program!

I feel like I'm missing out by not being spiritual in some way. I don't get how to do so without believing in imaginary bs. The phrase 'I don't believe what I can't see, and only half of what I do' is my motto.

Long way to ask...how does one be spiritual and an athiest at the same time?

Not sure if this even relates to adhd, maybe it will when I figure it out ;)
AA is not only spiritual, but there is a specifically deistic basis to the core philosophy. "Let go and let God" and "Higher Power" and the Our Father are not "spiritual", they are religious- Christian, in fact.

I also found the "spiritual" (I would call it religious) aspect of AA (or Al-Anon in my case) hard to deal with, and as a part of that I took issue with what I feel is a lack of personal responsibility in their philosophy of recovery- again, "Let go and let God", "Higher Power", etc.

I bring this up not to debate about AA, but to say that it is possible that your confusion is caused by the misuse of the term "spiritual" by some people and organizations. Non-denominational is not the same thing as spiritual.

Abi
12-03-11, 05:52 PM
Peche me mignonne!

Where were you?

Kunga Dorji
12-04-11, 12:48 AM
Abi,
I really think that agnosticism is the only respectable point of view.

I know I reference Buddhism a great deal, but do you think that I formally "believe in" reincarnation or past lives?

This is a serious question, and is meant in the most friendly and open way.

However the analysis behind it is dead serious.

I hate people "telling me what to think". Who do they think they are that their judgement of the best possible thought or action from my "locus of reality" is better than mine.

They are not standing in my boots. As a rule they usually just talk over me when I try to explain myself.

However I am aware that I am wandering from my point here- back to the key point: Do you think that I formally "believe in" reincarnation or past lives?

Look carefully at all the words and the grammar here. This is a subtle but powerful point.

Kunga Dorji
12-04-11, 01:11 AM
Exactly.


Really? It's pretty simple to me.

For example, as an article of faith, I believe that every person has the capacity to do good. I believe in the interdependence of all life. I believe in mutual aid. I believe in the existence of extraordinary human capacities. I believe in the value of all life.

None of these ideas necessitate a concept of deity.

None of these things are necessarily provable on a rationalistic, scientific basis.

On the other hand, the more scientific knowledge that I acquire the more I find that my beliefs are validated and inspired by scientific information. That doesn't mean that I am unable to recognize that I am applying a particular moral lens.

My own moral lens, however, does not include any idea of spiritual forces (good or evil) that exist externally to us.


AA is not only spiritual, but there is a specifically deistic basis to the core philosophy. "Let go and let God" and "Higher Power" and the Our Father are not "spiritual", they are religious- Christian, in fact.

I also found the "spiritual" (I would call it religious) aspect of AA (or Al-Anon in my case) hard to deal with, and as a part of that I took issue with what I feel is a lack of personal responsibility in their philosophy of recovery- again, "Let go and let God", "Higher Power", etc.

I bring this up not to debate about AA, but to say that it is possible that your confusion is caused by the misuse of the term "spiritual" by some people and organizations. Non-denominational is not the same thing as spiritual.
Good point.

How do you define "spirituality"?

I ave a quite formal definition, based on the work of Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell and Kurt Godel.

To me "spirituality is "meta-organisation."

What are the defining principals that decide what we do, and what we do not do?

Why is "your" interpretation of my behaviour as "procrastination" invalid?

Simple answer: "I" am responding to a different hierarchy of priorities to "you".

All of us organise our priorities according to a hierarchy of importance- whether that hierarchy is as explicit as mine or as implicit as the most disorganised undiagnosed ADDer.

You quote this

For example, as an article of faith, I believe that every person has the capacity to do good. I believe in the interdependence of all life. I believe in mutual aid. I believe in the existence of extraordinary human capacities. I believe in the value of all life.
as the key organising principal (the "rosetta stone") of your behaviour.

The interesting thing is that THAT is EXACTLY my "rosetta stone".

The only reason I adhere to "Buddhism" is that to me, the system of thought called Buddhism actually represents the most systematic exposition of that idea and the most thoroughly refined means of transforming that idea into a way of life.

That is all- I do not need to believe any of it.

All I need to do with the material I am working with is to try it and see what happens: suck it and see.

In fact- with a little digging- THAT is the attitude that this path recommends.

Back to mathematics.

Russell struggled all his life to demonstrate that is was possible to have a system of mathematics that was totally internally consistent, and relied on no first principal, no article of faith.
He failed. He and Wittgenstein were contemporaries and were friendly and wer working at the same problem. i recollect that he believed Russell was wrong- but the detail escapes me.

Godel, I understand, proved mathematically that Russell's struggle was futile.

We all have to believe in something- even if it is only believing in skepticism.

Affirmation of belief in the scientific method is actually a form of faith.

Faith is inescapable!- how interesting is that?

It is said that "The fool who persists in his foolishness will eventually become wise".

Strangely enough, my rigorous application of Abi's skepticism led me right to the place where I now live- the place of my heart.

How odd is that?

Now regarding all the mystical/mythical stuff-
this is interesting.
I find that acting as though I believe in reincarnation and the whole Buddhist cosmology- leads me to a happier existence.
It makes me more deeply thoughtful about what "considerate" behavior might be.

I do not actually need to "believe in it"- all I need to do is act as though I believe I did- and do a little research to assess the likely ramifications of doing that.

Equally- when I do things well- it does not feel like me doing it at all- it feels like "it being done" through my agency. I think this is what the Christians and the AA crowd mean by "Grace".

It does not happen all that often- but it is noticeable when it does.

APSJ
12-05-11, 09:29 PM
Please remember this section's guidelines when posting:

This section is here to offer a place for members to discuss meditation and spirituality as a means of treating and/or managing their ADHD or other disorders.

Our goal is to offer a safe, supportive atmosphere for all members. We are a diverse group, coming from many different cultures, religions and backgrounds. It is important for us to remember and respect that. Therefore the following guidelines apply:

*The bashing of other religions, groups or individuals is not permitted.

*Evangelism is not permitted in this section. Share what has encouraged you, don’t sell it.

*There is a Private Debate Forum (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18251) if you are interested in a more in-depth exchange of differing opinions. (emphasis mine) http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34038

As the above guidelines indicate, this section of the forum is not intended for general discussions of theology, but rather the use of spirituality and meditation to manage ADHD. It is specifically *not* for touting the merits of one belief system over another generally, and posts of this nature will be removed.

This thread has drifted away from discussion of atheism as it relates to the management of ADHD. Please ensure that future posts in this thread are in keeping with the section's guidelines.

foggedup
01-09-12, 12:13 AM
Ok revisiting this 'cuz I've been searching tirelessly for the root of what ails me emotionally. I've made some progress, amassed books (now I gotta read 'em!) on topics that could be tweaked to make sense to me, talked to Christian friends, talked to burners (usually new-agey), and heard folks in AA with their "higher power."

One thing I notice is those with religion and higher powers, when they choose to exercise them, can obtain SERENITY.


Serenity: the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness.
examples: <the serenity="" in="" the="" aftermath="" of="" tornado="" was="" remarkable="">
- the serenity in the aftermath of the tornado was remarkable
- his serenity calmed those around him
<his serenity="" calmed="" those="" around="" him="">
Serene:
1. calm, peaceful, or tranquil; unruffled: a serene landscape; serene old age.
2. clear; fair: serene weather.

antonym: the choas in my mind. :)


These folks tap into their beliefs to achieve a state of mind. For my christian friend, it's the belief that her god loves her. She fills herself up with that love and that gives her serenity for whatever situation. For my agnostic and/or new-agey friends, they meditate or otherwise tap into their beliefs (usually involving energy) to keep things in perspective.

I can focus on the negative quite well. If this is just "rumination" or if it's "hyperfocus" I don't know. But for the quest of serenity (which I believe is of the output of spirituality), I've found some hopefuls:


Psychology and thoughts - a CBT workbook that gets the reader to first recognize the knee-jerk thoughts which create knee-jerk feelings, then gets the reader to catch and change those knee-jerk thoughts. (and that's as far as I've gotten in the book)

Self-worth - not quite attachment theory, but how my childhood experiences really define my sense of self and influence the dynamics of my intimate relationships. (took some digging and self-honesty)

Self Honesty - not pulling my defense mechanisms on myself because what I have to admit to myself is embarassing (ok, so I can overreact...now that I've admitted it I can do something about it)

Forgiveness - not beating myself up for self-honesty or things done in the past. Not continuing to allowing prior hurts to continue hurting me by dwelling on them. Maybe take this a step further and work on some self-love, not of the sexual kind.

Acceptance - If I didn't cause it and can't control it, it's dumb to give it power or real-estate in my mind (I'm 'dumb' in this sense quite a bit)

Control - closely tied w/ Acceptance; acknowledging when I'm not a player and just letting it go

Letting go - releasing any attachments to a person/place/thing/event


No clue how to do any of this yet, hence the books. I did find a meetup that might help explore some of this, it's tomorrow.</his></the>

pechemignonne
01-09-12, 12:17 AM
Letting go - releasing any attachments to a person/place/thing/event
Are you really talking about releasing *attachment*, or are you talking about releasing negative emotions associated with person/place/thing/events?

foggedup
01-09-12, 03:39 AM
Nailed it! About releasing the negative emotions associated with person/place/thing/events. Or possibly about releasing my desire to use these negative emotions as self-protection mechanism, to build up my 'case' for past wrongs or perceived future threats to myself. Brutal honesty in why it matters, to find out why I'm making a 'case' in the first place... In the end, it's all in my head anyway!

I think a big part is going to be staying in the 'now.' Get my head out of the past. Stop predicting the future. I think becoming aware of my thoughts will help this, to see when I'm headed down one of those time-traveling roads.