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    • Hi @rachel15,   I too have struggled with mental health issues (bipolar II), and this was one of the reasons I delayed deconverting. I was scared that my anxiety would skyrocket and I wouldn't be able to cope with the fallout. In a nutshell, I had anxiety about having anxiety!   The first few weeks after "coming out" were awful. There were many arguments with my husband, he still thinks that Satan is deceiving me. However I was suprised how quickly my guilt and fear subsided, and was replaced by a feeling of profound relief. I no longer feel like I am under constant surveilance from god, and his demands for perfection have fallen silent.   I am fortunate to live in a country with a good public mental healthcare system, and access to affordable pharmaceuticals, which helps immensely. Mindfullness has also helped me, I think it's roots are in Buddhism.   In his book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins explains clearly how we have evolved from single cells.   Hopefully you will gain the confidence to steer your own life without the need to rely on a sky-fairy.    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" ~ Douglas Adams
    • Ironhorse: "Gifts of the spirit are not open to personal opinions by teachers, pastors, or believers. "The scriptures admonish us to "test the spirits" and to rightly divide" the word. "The scriptures also warn that false teachers will appear and deceive many. "I do not want to imply that all people involved in these gifts today are evil. No doubt many have been mislead..."   Ironhorse, are you sure that you aren't one of the "many" that are being misled about this stuff? You seem to rely on your teachers, pastors, and other believers. Have you ever thought about reading the Bible, without the footnotes and reference and commentary, and making up your own mind?   Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. You seem to think that God's power petered out when Peter petered out.    
    •   Hi @rachel15    You are most welcome. It's great being able to give back and help people as I was helped by this very community over a year ago.   Regarding evolution: Is your difficulty with the life from no life process, or just with the whole evolutionary process? If its life from non life, that is not evolution, its abiogenesis. We don't yet know how that process resulted in life. Evolution only deals with the process once we have self replicating molecules.   You rightly point out that the popularity or numbers of people believing something does not make it right. Might I point out that 6 billion out of some 7 billion people believe that in some sort of god with no good evidence whatsoever?   However you mention scientific theories believed for years until proved wrong. That is true. That is the process of science, and scientists to their best to undergo rigorous research and testing etc in order to ensure their findings are as accurate as possible with the information and data available at the time. Evolution could easily be turned on its head - start finding human fossils with dinosaur fossils and the theory of evolution hits a big snag. However this hasn't happened yet and the mounting body of evidence only confirms evolution.    "but not how life can have evolved in such a creatively organised and  complex manner from the same starting point without some outside intervention. "   Many people fall into this trap, and its exactly what MOHO was pointing out above. If you believe that life cannot have occurred without "outside intervention" then you have to apply that same reasoning and explain how a being complex enough to create complex life exists. Simply saying such a being just exists and doesn't need an explanation is special pleading wherein you are saying that this phenomenon (life) requires and explanation, but your solution (creator) doesn't require an explanation.     Why not cut out the need to have an unexplained explanation? We know life exists, we do know it evolves. We might not understand how it first arose, but instead of making up an ad hoc explanation its better to say we don't know... lets try and find out.   Let me approach this from a completely different angle. Lets say you are right. So the big bang occurs some 13.8 billion years ago, presumably the creator deity sets it off. Then for billions of years it just lets the universe form, clumps of dust accrete into rocks, rocks into planets. Gas clouds condense and form into stars. The sun is born, then the earth. Then some 700 million years after earth forms this creator thinks... ooh I'd like some self replicating cells. POOF the first cells now begin to evolve until we come along and have this discussion... . . . What the heck is this deity doing all this time? Is it watching us on earth? "Oh look a whole village just got wiped in a flood... haha reminds me of the time that asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs.... oh look millions of them are dying from plague." See when you follow even a deist entity back to its conclusion it just doesn't make any logical sense.   Anyway I've no doubt given you much to chew on.   If you'd like resources that might help you understand evolution and cosmology better let me know.    
    • Waaaaaaay to much hand wringing and "knashing of teeth" for an imaginary place.   Instead, everyone, please "go forth", enjoy this world, and relish whatever brings you joy.
    •   hi @LogicalFallacy,   Thank you for taking the time to reply and give further explanations  - in answer to the highlighted question - I'm finding it hard to let go of the notion of something that created us, at some point - because I find it difficult to believe that we could have evolved from random cells and although the theory of evolution is accepted by most people - in the past there have been scientific theories believed for centuries until eventually proved wrong, but of course I don't know that we have a creator or creators.   I'm not disagreeing totally with evolutionary theory - and again, maybe to others this will sound way off, (all I can say is forgive me, I've had my head stuck in the bible for many years), but I can see how species can adapt and evolve to fit into their environment as it changes, but not how life can have evolved in such a creatively organised and  complex manner from the same starting point without some outside intervention. 
    •   http://www.tarrdaniel.com/documents/Ufology/lunar_spaceship.html   Maybe this is the sister ship of the crashed UFO found by the secret Apollo 20 mission?      
    •   Hi @MOHO, yeah, I was told that God was outside time, so in a sense in a different reality that was beyond our comprehension.  So the idea of a divine being outside of the universe that must be more complex, does perhaps seem a little childlike to believe.  What if there are 'gods' that have evolved from within  the universe, that are creating? 
    • Not quite aliens from outer space, but still very interesting.   https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/99090131/first-confirmed-object-from-another-star-was-cigar-shaped-400-metres-long-and-a-bit-red