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  1. 12 likes
    A strange thing has happened over the past few weeks - and I think it's a good sign: I haven't felt the need to logon to ex-christian.net EVERY SINGLE DAY... Don't get me wrong, this site is AMAZING. It has played a huge role in processing my deconversion experience, finding my new worldview, growing in confidence in what I believe and why, finding freedom from all of the fears Christianity had gripped me with. Everyday for nearly 3 years, I signed on - eager to hear another extimony, hoping people shared their thoughts about the issues I was facing - and they did. I had to RE-HASH everything over and over to deprogram myself from all of the indoctrination and to get over the fear. I needed to be SURE that I was on the right path. I'm sure now =) I've reached a really fantastic place in my mind - I have peace. I love the person I am now so much more than 4 years ago when I was still a Christian. Honestly, I was an anxious, chauvinistic, self-righteous, judgmental, authoritarian who preached grace and had very little... I have peace as an agnostic. NOT having all of the answers is a much lighter load to bear than claiming to know them all and having to square reality with my “certainty”. I live now in the present - eager to suck every drop of joy and goodness from each experience - whether that is a conversation with my wife, helping one of my patients, or taking my oldest daughter out for a plate of her favorite Vietnamese noodles (like I did tonight) and watching her gulp them down with sheer delight. I derive deep satisfaction from helping the hurting – supporting causes that improve the lives of orphans throughout the world, etc. I love getting to look at amazing creatures and just marvel at how they came to be. I don’t have to feel confused about why God created them with defense and attack structures if they were just all vegetarian. And it doesn’t cause me anxiety when their evolutionary relatedness is apparent. I can just appreciate it! I used to feel the burden of trying to make it all make sense with my worldview… I love not having to used convoluted explanations to defend the Christian worldview to my daughters. I am so proud of them for their bright, curious minds and I am thrilled to no longer be squashing their precious curiosity with “the truth” that I’ve already arrived at. Facing the coming death of my wife’s mother (she’s in her final weeks of life), my oldest asked me, “Why would God make us so that we die?”. Great frickin’ question! Four years ago, I would have said, “he made us to live forever, but we sinned, and the punishment for sinning is that we die.” Now, I can say “That’s a GREAT question. I don’t know. What I do know is that death is a normal part of life and not something to be afraid of. Flowers die and animals die. What death makes me do is focus on how precious each day is and live it to the fullest!” [I would like to tell her why her great question is actually evidence against God’s goodness/existence, but I’ve agreed with my wife not to go there…]. FINALLY, my marriage is beginning to heal from the ways that Christianity has screwed it up, bigtime. IF you take the Bible literally, like I did, verses like these absolutely WILL impact how you view your wife: “3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” And “9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.” And “…For this is how the holy women of the past adorned themselves. They put their hope in God and were subject to their husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord.” And “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” Is it any wonder that my wife resented me for treating her like someone who needed to be under my authority/headship? Who should “obey” me just like Sarah obeyed her husband?? After all, that is how “holy women” acted… The irony is that most modern, educated women do NOT want to be treated this way, even if they revere a text that says they should. Pity the fool (aka ME) who tried to live that out. Finally, though, we are seeing healing. My wife is beginning to revive – to define her own identity as distinct from me – which is so healthy. We are no longer “complementarian” in our marriage, but “Egalitarian”. And it is great. I don’t spank my girls any more – haven’t in four years. Nor do I want to. (OK, maybe once in a while it’s tempting when they’re being total punks…=)). But now it is completely offensive to me and just plain wrong. And I feel awesome about my position on that. I spent 3 years being afraid of my old church friends “finding out” about me… especially because it would get back to my wife’s brother and cause chaos in the family… well now, most of the friendships have dwindled to nothing anyway – and I no longer care who finds out what. I’m not afraid any more of what I believe and why. Fundamentalist belief is so much like a computer virus – it hogs all of your system resources to the point that the computer can barely function. Well, when a mind is preoccupied with constantly trying to make a round world fit into a square worldview-hole, constantly feeling guilty about normal behaviors and short-comings, always wondering if your faith is genuine enough, if you’ve given away enough, if you’ve shared the gospel enough… then that mind is not free to run like it’s supposed to – to live, to work, to love, to experience, to share… Now the virus has been removed and my computer runs fast and free… And as I’ve come out “the other side” of this deconversion process, my existence is no longer defined by the struggle / the processs / the sorting-things-out. I’m actually living my life now on the other side. I suppose this site is much like a rehab facility for substance abuse: you should come and stay while you are sick, get the treatment you need, then get out and live a meaningful life. Some people will stay back as volunteers and help the newly-sick. Some will relapse and show up every now and again. And some will just ride into the sunset. I’m not sure which one I’ll be, but I’m pretty sure I’ve completed my treatment program. =)
  2. 11 likes
    You won't be around here very long before you hear people refer to deconversion as a process, rather than an event. It hardly needs saying that making the transition from being a True Christian to being an Ex-Christian does not happen overnight. Looking back at my own deconversion journey so far, and learning about the similar journeys taken by others among us, as well as seeing new members show up here "dripping wet" and frightened or in shock at realizing that they are in fact on the way to being Ex-Christians, I wanted to share why I think it is so important to "complete" the deconversion process, and also to show you - if you are new to this - some of what you can expect as you go through it for yourself. Getting stuck in the deconversion process is not a happy situation to be in. You have already seen some of the problems with Christianity, with the Bible, or the supposedly all-loving, all-powerful God that it serves. That's why you came to this place. But you may also be racked with fear: fear of Hell or the fear of getting it wrong, fear of living without a Heavenly Father, without a god-given moral law. That fear can keep you from moving forward and leaving Christianity behind you. It can dominate you, paralyze you, make you miserable. Yet you can't go back either because, deep down, you know it's not true. We who have already taken the journey can assure you that it does get better as you continue onward. Our archives probably contain many records of such journeys, but I wanted to point out one testimonial that was shared recently by one of our newer members, DarkBishop. I hope you will read his post before continuing... DarkBishop's experience highlights two things that happen in the later stages of deconversion: The feeling that you have reached a 'Point of No Return' with regard to Christianity. Experiencing the benefits of living without religious dogma or theology. A successful deconversion means that at some point you realize there is absolutely no going back to Christianity. You realize that you have seen enough, that you couldn't possibly believe it again even if you wanted to. It's not a case of God "changing the locks" when you leave the house, it's more a matter of realizing that faith is not a sound guide to what is true. Christians have it, Jews have it, Muslims have it. You once were sure the Muslims and Jews were mistaken, now you realize the Christians are too. Some people, early in the deconversion process, worry that they will one day realize that they were wrong, that Christianity is actually true, but it's too late to go back. It doesn't work like that though: realizing you're past the point of no return happens when you're convinced, as sure as you can ever be, that it's not true. Dark Bishop shared some of the rewards that appear in this stage of the deconversion process. He says it better than I could, so I hope you read his post above. Does this sound like somebody who has "no purpose in life" as they like to believe about us? It sounds to me like a man who has a renewed purpose, a renewed energy in life, without trying to satisfy an imaginary (and often contradictory) god and a one-size-fits-all-times-and-all-people moral code handed down from the clouds. So if you are early in the deconversion process and you're fearful and unsure, be reassured, the road ahead is often lonely (Dark Bishop also talks about the challenges of being an Ex-Christian in a world of believers) but it does get better and you can reach that point of confidence, joy and peace. So how do you get to that point? Some of it is just the passage of time. But there is plenty of help available here in this community. Old and new discussion topics, lots of testimonials from various stages of the journey, suggestions for books to read, blogs and podcasts to follow. When you first hang out among us unbelievers, the talk may sometimes seem foreign to your ears, used as you are to being immersed in Christianity, but a funny thing happens over time: there comes a point when you realize that it is the Christians who now sound strange and rather nonsensical. Guess what: you're just about there, starting to feel the benefits of the journey you've taken. Soon YOU will be eager to welcome and offer a confident hand up to the new arrivals. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, it is going forward in spite of your fear. You will get lots of enCOURAGEment from this community! TABA
  3. 9 likes
    All my questions about Christianity have already been thoroughly researched and answered. That's why I'm here now.
  4. 8 likes
  5. 7 likes
    Hi sight. You sound just like the type of person I would like to hang out with. Most people are beneath me here on Ex-c. (but I can't tell them that of course!! ) They struggle financially and mentality, wear second hand clothes and most can't afford teeth. And they don't have much education either. I stay here cause I feel so sorry for them. I am very rich financially. And I am also very beautiful and a genius. I can barely go outside for the media chasing after me to put me on front pages of magazines. My house is an 11 bedroom mansion. I also have a 70 foot swimming pool in my backyard. I throw parties every month for 100 high society people of my caliber. My car, a Rolls Royce is brand new because I would never consider having a one year old car. It is parked in one of my four garages by the private helicopter. But this is my secret to how I got rich. I am a phony full time preacher who manipulates the flock of naive people out there in the big world to give me tons of tithes and money blessings. The church is the best way to get rich. (except politicians, CEO's, etc...they also are high manipulating people and know how to get rich) But the church is still the easiest way. I don't really believe in god but I pretend to. Of course, I give the poor and middle class people in my church a good sermon to give them hope that god will really look after them too. (It's only fair?) Yes, they think god will bless them.... but I know better. It's a great job..... and I didn't even have to use the law of attraction. And if you can be especially magnificent in your preaching, you can become famous and travel the whole world for free!! And all I had to do was preach from a silly 2,000 year old book. I also like sex 4 times a day. Bless you on your venture and welcome to Ex-c! (hug)
  6. 7 likes
    Yup! I confess to feeling a bit of pain whenever I have to watch my kids fail at something, or even just struggle, but I remind myself how important that is for their overall mental health. My son's teacher recently told me that during an activity that led to other kids falling apart and crying when they couldn't do it, my son, when he also made a mistake, just smiled and said, oh well, that's a learning experience! Yes!
  7. 7 likes
    So much for this verse: New International Version ''Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.''
  8. 7 likes
    My job is fulfilling to be fair and I as I say, I do quite like it..... But life is so so short. The Universe is over 13 billion years old, if we are lucky we get about 75-80 years on average. Its nothing, we are gone like a blown out candle and 100 years after we die no one will remember us. Sometimes I will watch an old movie, or parts of one. The actors and actresses were big big stars at the time, yet those who lived and died decades before are barely recalled. Nancy Caroll was an American actress, a huge star, an A lister who was swamped with fan mail. If you could bring her back she would be unknown....ah , all is vanity. The Universe doesn't care if we live or die and given how brief "our wings" flutter in the sunshine, I am determined to spend far more time with my family than with my co workers.
  9. 7 likes
    Most recent presidents have been worthy of impeachment proceedings. Party politics decides what happens, not facts, justice or reality. That ain't how it works here.
  10. 7 likes
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistparenting/2017/04/breaking-five-unhealthy-friendship-habits-fundamentalism/?ref_widget=related&ref_blog=unfundamentalistparenting&ref_post=leaving-fundamentalism-is-like-moving-away "The biggest problem with friendships in fundamentalism is the inability to see people as human beings rather than an agenda. When a person’s eternal destination is of urgent priority, the nuances of their personality and humanity pales in comparison. This is the kind of baggage some of us may bring to adulthood and into parenting." I thought this this article was a good read.
  11. 7 likes
    Well extremists of course always need to get a life... no matter what they're extremists for/against
  12. 7 likes
    So America can either take care of its citizens or maintain a bloated military industrial complex budget, but we can't do both? Really? If our public lands and national parks are sold to the highest bidder, if our health is secondary to corporate profit, if we turn back the clock and resume polluting our land, air and water, if we gut education and encourage religious schools, if we hobble scientists and reporters, eschew the arts and culture ......... exactly what the fuck do we have worth "protecting" with the largest and deadliest military machine ever envisioned on this planet?
  13. 7 likes
    I read a really old book once (from the 1960's) - and Spider-Man totally kicked the shit out of the bad guys! See, the thing about antiquity is that it's not only damned-near impossible for anyone in the 21st century to validate or invalidate claims made back then - it was also nearly impossible for people to do the same in the 1st century - I submit it was even harder. Want to hide a dead body? All they had to do was go out under cover of night in any one of a hundred directions from whatever village they were in - guess what was RIGHT OUTSIDE the gates? WILDERNESS. WILD ANIMALS and shit. You could go hide someone or something ANYWHERE back in those days, and it would be impossible for anyone to discover what you had done unless they caught you in the act. In one of my first posts here nearly ten years ago, I told a stupid fundy 'evangelist' that no, we can't find the bones of Jesus, but we also can't find the bones of my great-great-grandmother's horse back in Poland, either. It must, then, stand to reason that the horse resurrected and flew away into the sky. You'll never find the bones of MILLIONS, no, BILLIONS of people who have ever lived - and, conveniently enough, that's totally in favor of the Christ cult. Now, if they had to defend his actual existence, that's different - there are still (some) competing opinions along a spectrum - so they'd have to come up with some evidence, and apparently there is some. Logic and reason, however, dictate that if there is no otherwise unbelievable answer to a question, the first believable one will suffice unless proof to the contrary is presented. See how that works? You'll never find the bones of Jesus - for the exact same reason that you'll never find the bones of LOTS of other people who are not the 'son of god'. In other words, quit wasting time and energy trying to figure out how someone in a probably-fictional story did something that was already nearly impossible at the time. The chances of anyone surviving a crucifixion would have been slim to none - the Romans were not in the business of discipline for show - if you were sentenced to death, it was dead you would be.
  14. 7 likes
    Atheism must be the Truth, otherwise why would anyone be willing to die for it?
  15. 6 likes
    That's fine, but I'm somewhat surprised that you'd give a response phrased that way about what convinced you that Christianity is true. In essence, you have admitted that what convinced you is actually not very convincing. Perhaps you should ponder that for a bit. Perhaps another thing you should ponder is why in the world you came on here to act like you can answer all our questions when the very foundation of your own belief is highly subjective and flimsy. Besides, this is an EX-CHRISTIAN site, so most of us have already been in your shoes anyway. It's not like you'll have much to offer that we haven't already heard before a gazillion times. Many of us did NOT want to leave the faith, but we had no choice in where the evidence led us. As I said in my first post in this thread, I have not turned my back on Christ any more than you've turned your back on Santa Claus.
  16. 6 likes
    As someone who lives in Manchester, within walking distance of the M.E.N, where the attack took place, i can say with confidence that this was a Islamic terror attack. What's really sad though, is it was an attack on children, who are not caught up in religion and politics, they have no agenda, they are not liberals or conservative, they were just children having fun, who unknowingly got used as pawns in a adult world of religion, politics and hatred.
  17. 6 likes
    A person's character is more often surmised from their actions and not their words. Don't take ownership of other people's dysfunctions.
  18. 6 likes
    Trump is mentally ill regardless of whom he may be working for, if anyone. He seems bent on dismantling the rule of law while giving the finger to the American people. He has no idea how our government works. Some of the American people can't or won't see what's going on, so unless they open their eyes he will probably stay in office long enough to do irreparable damage to us. He is an infantile wannabe dictator who needs to be stopped. It has nothing to do with conservative vs. liberal dogma. He's incompetent and dangerous.
  19. 6 likes
    Thanks for the great advice! I shelved all my Christian books and reworked my social media feeds. My point of view is changing day by day- all for the better! I am lucky to be in a place where I have some support in place who love me for who I am, and not just because I am a fellow believer. I think you nailed the process above- you realize there's no going back, mentally. And you also see the benefits. I think I've been stuck in a slow process of losing my faith for so many years that it is an amazing load off my shoulders to suddenly be done with it. And to not have to constantly make the Christian narrative work in my head while going about my daily life. I am so much more grateful for the world, now that I don't have to be. And I am happy for how hard things have been because I know I wouldn't have left the faith without it. All this time, I've been trying to convince myself, as a good Christian, that I was rejoicing in my sufferings. Lol. But now I actually am! It's also really freeing to see all religions as methods of control. I was starting to feel the need for interfaith meetings as I became more of a progressive christian. And while I think people of different faiths need to be able to work together, I am now happier thinking of them all as a bit nuts(rather than trying to see the good in all). :-)
  20. 6 likes
    Hello Stevie I know what you are going through because I went through it and I am still not over it. Thanks to the cool people here though, they are helping deal with this phobia of hell. You may have read the following in the other thread but I thought I'd post it here just in case. Hell is not once mentioned in the entire bible. Not once. Gehenna is translated hell in the NT. Gehenna is Greek for Ge Hinnom and Ge Hinnom is an actual rubbish tip that was located SW of Jerusalem. The rubbish tip was kept burning (interestingly enough sulphur was used to keep the fires burning) and convicted/executed criminals and animal carcases were thrown into this rubbish tip to be destroyed. Jesus used this rubbish tip as an example of what would happen to sinners after judgement. Nobody there listening to Jesus would have believed in eternal suffering because those familiar with the burning rubbish tip knew that anything thrown in, was destroyed. Eternal Punishment: It is the judgement that is eternal not the suffering, it is the sentence that is eternal, not the suffering. Death is eternal, separation from God is eternal. We are clearly told (Romans 6:23) that the wages of sin is death, that the lake of fire is the second death, that those who believe in Jesus will not suffer eternal torment, but will perish, the eternal fires of Sodom and Gomorrah were an example (Peter) of what would happen to sinners. Sodom and Gomorrah were utterly destroyed and their 'eternal' fires are no longer burning. It's metaphor. In Thessalonians Paul clearly says wicked (2Th 1:9) will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction. The Greek meaning of the word destruction means just that, destruction, destroyed, annihilated, oblivion. Gone. In the OT Psalms (37:20) says the wicked perish, and in Peter (2 Peter 3:9) it says God doesn't want any to perish. The Greek word perish means to 'destroy fully' (#622 Strong's Concordance). The prophet Ezekiel wrote (twice) that “The soul that sins, it shall die” (18:4, 20). Matthew (10:28) says to fear God who can destroy both soul and body in hell (i.e. in the grave). Destroy. It doesn't say "who can punish humans forever in hell". Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire. If the lake of fire is a real place, how can a state (death) and a place (the grave: hades/sheol = grave) be thrown into it? It can't be done because it is all symbology; a major part of the Book of Revelation is symbology. Again, Revelation (20:14) tells us the lake of fire is the second death. Hel is an archaic word meaning covering. There is an old English word that was used; helling potatoes. Helling potatoes simply meant covering the potatoes with earth or placing them in the cellar. A helmet covers the head. Hell is the earth covering the body. When Jesus went to hell for three days he went to, the grave. The OT never mentions a fiery hell, and Jews today do not believe in a fiery hell of eternal torment. The idea of hell first entered into Christianity after the Jews returned from Babylon. It was in Babylon where they first encountered ideas of an eternal punishment in the afterlife. The OT tells us that (Ecclesiastes 9:5) the dead know nothing and (Psalms 146:4) their (the dead) thoughts perish Fire is used in Scripture for utter destruction, sometimes purification, but never for preservation in torment One last thing Jeremiah 7: 31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Jeremiah 32: 35 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin I find it hard to accept that God would send his children to burn in agony forever, when killing children by burning them is seen as an abomination to God and the idea did not even enter his mind.
  21. 6 likes
    When most of your populace acts like the Marx Brothers. Cultural Marxism
  22. 6 likes
    Based on my experience and the number of posts about this issue on this site, I would have to rate understanding the Bible as one of the most, if not the most, perplexing problem those leaving the faith have to deal with. This was certainly a major issue for me and I found the answers I was seeking by reading historical critical scholars. It’s their job to dissect scripture and place it in context. John Dominic Crossan, a noted Bible scholar and former Catholic Priest wrote, “My point once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.” I’ve read a small library of books written by historical scholars that focus on the origins and evolution of both the Bible and Christianity, but I recently found an author. David Fitzgerald, that sums up the problems with the bible nicely and then explains in plain easy to understand English where the gospel story (there was only one gospel) came from, in other words how it was created and why. His books deal with Jesus and why he was undoubtedly a literary figure, not a real person. His other book(s) deal solely with the Bible such as who wrote it, when was it written, and why was it written. He also deals with the Apostle Paul, also a literary figure, and his Epistles. If you read his books I doubt it would be necessary for you to read anything else. So, if readying volumes of books about Christian history isn’t your thing then this should solve your problem. The first book is NAILED, Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All His other book is JESUS: Mything In Action (Volume I & II) If the Bible continues to be a problem for you, and you still fear going to hell, then I suggest these books are a must read for you.
  23. 6 likes
    I have found that the best way to tone down my fundy mom is to ask her why she doesn't trust her own faith (and her own god) when it comes to me. This is pretty easily accomplished with her because she believes in predestination. Therefore I am a robot following god's ultimate plan for me anyway. That aside I SO agree with comments that you are not responsible for the reaction of others. You have one life to live. Don't waste time deliberating how to ensure loved ones will react to your sane decisions. Set limits while remaining kind and loving. The more they see that they can control you, the more they'll attempt to do so. (Thats my 2 cents anyway).
  24. 6 likes
    My wife and I were talking in the car the other day, it was in reference to someone else being pushed into going to church. But she said that she liked the way we were concerning religion. That she still believes but she doesn't want to change me and I don't want to change her. She did follow that up with she felt like we needed to take the kids to church because our two younger one have asked to go. I let her know she is more than welcome if she wants, but I'm not going to promote it. It is like the Santa clause thing. I don't want to teach my kids lies. I referenced some of the points from the Bart Ehrman book I've been reading along with the archeological studies I found. But like I said I know she is a believer so if she wants to that's her prerogative. After talking for a few minutes about it she actually admitted the possibility by saying that, "if that's all true then its a huge disappointment", because her grandfather lived the Christian life his whole life for nothing. To which I replied, "Now you know how i felt when i first started seeing this. It felt horrible like i had lost everything. But to him it wasn't for nothing, it was what he believed and he was a very good man. There is nothing wrong with that. He died a happy, faith filled man." We kind of left it at that, but for her to admit the possibility of the bible being anything other than the infallible word of God is a big step. I think the gears are turning. I'm not pushing but when the subject comes up I throw a couple more things I've learned in the mix. Just thought I would share that. Best regards, Dark Bishop
  25. 6 likes
    There is certainly a good bit of overlap, but be careful not to conflate the two. I used to be a conservative Christian, but I've never supported white supremacy, and I still know a lot of conservative Christians who don't support it.
  26. 5 likes
    Dear Exers, Many of you are aware of, if not actively participating in, the discussions and exchanges surrounding the faux debate between myself and DarkBishop, who gallantly offered to stand in for @Jon, a typical Christian coward. You may also have been aware that just after my initial post in the debate, I developed a nasty viral stomach issue - it went through my whole family. I had the fewest negative effects overall, and I am glad to say that I am all better. My wife, however, developed an infection in an artery. She has a very, very rare congenital physical anomaly (she was born with a really rare weird physical thing) in her abdomen and it made the infection worse and harder to deal with. In short, the infection she developed was life-threatening. I am relieved to say that she is on her way out of the woods - more medication and lots of monitoring - and MIGHT not need surgery some time soon. Time will tell. We lost a week's worth of her income (a VERY sizable portion of our family's living resources). OK, I said; I would just go try to get some more work myself (I am self-employed; more on that in a minute). The day before she was due to be released from the hospital, I was out with two of my children running errands. Our family van (a 12-year-old Toyota with 200K miles) began to stall out in low gear. To make a long story short, the van stalled one last time on a very busy highway. We called for a tow truck, then noticed that the engine compartment had begun to smoke. My children and I got out of the van and away from it, and less than a minute later, it burst into flames. The van was completely destroyed. My children and i were unhurt. I paid $6,000 for that van three years ago; what began as a week where I dealt with doctors and hospitals and then with potentially-scary diagnoses and a couple-hundred dollars' worth of lost wages turned into a week of nearly losing my wife, then nearly dying myself, and now dealing with the prospect of overcoming thousands of dollars in lost property and wages that I will not be able to earn without my transportation. My wife has a car, a 16-year-old economy sedan with its own 200K miles and its own problems, like tires that are showing the metal belts. Another few hundred dollars we won't have any time soon. As I mentioned, I am self-employed; that's almost by default, because I have physical disabilities which make most "regular" jobs impossible to do OR to get - my state's employment law makes 99% of the jobs "at-will employment", meaning that an employee or employer can terminate their working relationship at any time for any reason, or no reason at all. That also happens to mean that employers don't have to give reasons why they DON'T hire someone in the first place. As long as no one says "we're not hiring you because you have an obvious physical deformity in your body and we don't want to accommodate your limitations", they can simply refuse to hire me, which has happened many, many times. So, anyway, I work for myself as a musician, music teacher and other odd jobs like driving friends or acquaintances to airports, etc. Yes, I would love to drive for Uber or similar, but our van was too old and it had too many issues. All that to say this: I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, and I have the responsibility of seeing my wife through this latest challenge to our family's stability and well-being. I will be by to read from time to time, and I may post a comment here and there, but my involvement here at Ex-C is likely to be much more infrequent now that I have so much on my plate. Through all this, I am being reminded by people that this was either the "will of God" or that "God allowed" these things to happen. It's very difficult to listen to such talk calmly on an average day - it's especially hard when I'm hearing how God either allowed or caused events that nearly killed almost my entire family. Thanks for reading; be well, please. I've attached a picture of the highway incident and a couple of the van in the aftermath.
  27. 5 likes
    no you are not fighting satan! You are fighting knowledge, truth, science, common sense and reason. They are religion's worst enemy! You are brainwashed .... your subjective mind has fed itself only on what it wants to see and from sources within the safety of that subjective eggshell. You will never see the truth until you get outside the safety of that shell. That is YOUR call ... we cannot do it for you!
  28. 5 likes
    Empathy doesnt require a deity or morality. Just self awareness and being able to put youself in their shoes mentally.
  29. 5 likes
    I don't think they ever left. If it does wind up being extremists, just shows how poisonous religion is that you kill others in the name of an imaginary friend.
  30. 5 likes
    You should be asking us questions. I guarantee we have more to teach you than you us.
  31. 5 likes
    Sorry you are in such a dark place. I am truly vile and toxic and need to be contained in my own solitude. This does not need to be a permanent state of being. Therapy is a good start.
  32. 5 likes
    Another comparison is Neo in the Matrix. Reality didn't change, just your perception of it. Like us, you saw through the lies and removed the pretend framework from your life. You currently feel adrift since what used to anchor your mindset was removed. But before you lies a big world to explore, and you have incredible potential for growth and to become what you would like to become. Every day you have a powerful ability in your choices to become better at whatever you choose to be. Or those same choices can take you in circles. As Jeff said above, it takes time to adjust. But now there is no god to please, no demons trying to deceive, no church to obey, no calling on your life except what you create (and you can change it if you please). I wrote a LOT after deconverting, and found that it helped a lot just to get my thoughts and rants out onto the computer. I didn't publish anything, but it sure helped clear my mind. I did write a book, but didn't publish. I find it helps me to spend time in nature, letting the rain fall on me, listening to the birds, feeding them, getting my hands into the soil, planting things and watching them grow, smelling the scents of dirt and flowers. It reconnects me to being part of life on this planet. I also took singing lessons, trying something I'd never done before that was creative and challenging. Getting up on stage the first time was a huge deal, but life-changing for me. The local jazz singing community gives me some friends and activities to enjoy. I also started working out again, following a modified P90X program (mostly pushups and body-weight stuff). That helps me feel better about myself, and the improved body gets me attention that I enjoy. The power for change is in your choices. But do give yourself some time to adjust and adapt to reality. You will create your own "meaning" by what you love and do daily.
  33. 5 likes
    Look, you lost a huge part of your daily purpose and identity with a group. Thats a big hole to fill, but if you are handling this in a healthy manner, you will end up ok. Grieving takes time. Growth takes time. Finding a new purpose in life takes time too. So be patient with yourself and just ride it out and get help when you need it. Youre gonna be ok in time. Oh, and the analogy is spot on I think.
  34. 5 likes
    No you shouldn't, but people do. You also face an uphill hurdle of the negative connotations associated (wrongly) with 'atheist' I tend to acknowledge that I am an atheist by the definition of the world, but it's not how I describe myself. At best I think I'm a sceptical naturalist. Sam Harris has some interesting things to say about the label atheist and whether people should use it as an identify label rather than a descriptor of belief. Sam is of the opinion that as a movement for a worldview people should drop the label atheist. His argument is that you are no an afariest, aunicornist, therefore why should you label yourself an atheist. When someone asks do you believe in God, instead of saying I'm and atheist, you should simply reply no I don't believe there are god/s. Or if you prefer a positive phrase, I believe there are no god/s. To your opening post: The key to realising why this happens is to understand that god is all in the imagination (You can hear the screams of Christians right now!) If one studies the bible one realises something: God evolves... like everything else. He goes from a material inept planner with genocidal tendencies who is always regretting he did stuff, to a loving god who foresaw all the future and came down in human flesh, to today the Christians have stolen the Islamic idea of an unknowable god that you can't describe. Why might this be: because if your god is immaterial, not understandable by the human mind, and works in ways you can't understand you can reject, without any due consideration, any argument against that God! So god has gone from a physical manifestation in our reality to transcending all reality. Why? Because as we become smarter and can identify what is true and what isn't we discover the claim of a material god to be false, forcing the believer to reinvent their god. This has been going on for at least 40,000 years.
  35. 5 likes
    Well long story short...... I like my job, I really do, but I like being at home more. So I asked to go part time and it was granted there and then. No drama, no fighting for it, the manager was really helpful. Im dropping my time at work by about 30 percent. The time is what matters to me not the money. I will lose about £4000 ($5048) per year and I will be so poor I will actually drop out of the tax bracket, but I can and will live within my means. Ultimately time is what is so important. Very few people get to the end of life and wished they spent more time at the office. Does anyone else work part time.
  36. 5 likes
    Hello. It has only been a short while since I have rejected Jesus, Jehovah and the holy spirit. In the process I lost all my friends, family and all my respect, but I now just don't give a damn. In a sense God has taken everything from me but giving me nothing, because he still has these people in their heads. It all started in 1997 when a young Christian book sales man sunk his teeth into me, pissing all over the silly beliefs I have to swap out his own. Every Christian I had met from then was totally screwed up, every one. I should of headed the warning sings, but the theology of eternal damnation got me good. It sad to step back and watch the current day believers tear each other apart over their beliefs, I get no pleasure in it at all. Not to worry though, it seems that Christianity is in a death spiral, and what we are seeing is it's last gasp before of their great God Jehovah.
  37. 5 likes
    Mark 16:17-18 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Now the first verse is easy: Whatever you want the devil to be it can be thus making it easy to cast out. Speaking in new tongues is also easy - we can all do it... babies are very efficient in it. Verse 18 though is somewhat problematic as it involves testable verifiable claims: To fulfil Mark the Christian needs to do the following: 1) Pick up a King Taipan, Cobra, Mamba etc, let it bite you, don't take antidote: survive. If you make it past one proceed to 2: 2) Drink a cup of cyanide. If you survive go to 3 3) Pray for an amputee and record their limbs growing back. If you can do all three, congrats, go collect your 1 million from the James Randi foundation - you just proved supernatural occurrences
  38. 5 likes
    The first thing I thought of after reading this story (beyond the obvious stupidity of the pastor trying to walk on crocodile-infested waters) is that the surviving congregation is going to have quite the interesting time rationalizing what just happened. Of course, I'm sure plenty will dismiss any doubts with 'He just didn't have enough faith' or 'Who are we to understand God's will?', but I suspect that at least a few will be introduced to cognitive dissonance, perhaps for the first time. The article portrayed the pastor as a man totally dedicated to showing God's power to his church, and if the man had actually managed to pull off a successful water-walk, that would no doubt have been a huge boost to the congregation's faith, perhaps on the level of the Pentecost story reported in the book of Acts. God seems more than willing to strut his stuff in the pages of Scripture, so why not now? Even if he wasn't willing to perform the miracle because he hates to be 'tested,' why wouldn't God at least rescue the pastor who took such a major step of faith, instead of letting him get ripped apart by crocodiles? This story reminds me a bit of the classic tale of Daniel in the lion's den, where God sent an angel to shut the mouths of hungry lions to rescue the faithful Daniel. Perhaps all the angels were on a coffee break when this pastor tried to walk on water, or maybe none of them had experience shutting the mouths of crocodiles? You'd think that there'd be at least one who got a little practice with baby Moses floating in the Nile River...
  39. 5 likes
    The more important question is indeed... if drumpf gets kicked out, who'll be invited in? Motherfucking PENCE? If so, nothing won. Nothing.
  40. 5 likes
    Yes. Completely out = GOOD! My take is that we can "leave the door open". That is to take the approach or attitude that, by all means, if a god shows up and demonstrates, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this being is, in fact god or a god, then accept it. Until then - no preying, talking to "god", relying on a make believe entity to help you cope with life. And, certainly, no vises! No replacing xianity with progressive xianity, or hinduism, or islam, or budhism, or that extra creepy witchcraft bullshit, or the flying spaghetti monster. I am also beginning to doubt how healthy it is to cohabit with fundy family members - including fundy spouses - if they are stark-raving, over the firgg'n top, militant evangelical types, after one deconverts.
  41. 5 likes
    Yep, they're all about serving their party and personal interest, truth be damned. Every dictator cleans house so nobody will shine a light on the crap they're doing. True for Democrats and Republicans alike. The more they play politics the less they serve the people. Fuck 'em all.
  42. 5 likes
    Greetings, SW! The fear of hell is common and threads like this pop up fairly regularly. The line about choosing to go to hell is ridiculous. If it was really as simple as being given an option between alleged eternal bliss and alleged eternal suffering, who would choose the suffering? Also, the bit about increasing in understanding is simply a cover for doctrines evolving. Anyway, it seems that what helps most people dealing with the fear of hell while leaving the faith are time and learning about how the doctrine of hell evolved over time. Others here could explain some of the pagan influences on the Christian understanding of hell, but I'll share something a wrote several years ago (an excerpt from a long letter detailing a lot of the reasons why I no longer believe in Christianity) dealing with the issue of hell. Now, I didn't come from a Catholic background, but this specifically deals with how the concept of hell evolved in the Bible. I hope it helps, so here it is: The Lake of Fire The Bible says that "the beast" and "false prophet" will be "cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev 19:20), and that "the devil" will also be "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone" and that they "shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Rev 20:10). After that we read that "death and hell" and "whosoever was not found written in the book of life" will be "cast into the lake of fire," which it also calls "the second death" (Rev 20:14-15). Though it doesn't specify here, one would assume that this implies that everyone thrown into this lake of fire would also be tortured forever, just like it says will happen to the beast, false prophet and devil. Granted, Revelation is highly symbolic, so one could argue that this is not meant literally, especially given the reference to a "second death." For the sake of this writing, though, I will treat it literally, as traditional Christians tend to do. As a side note, many confuse "hell" with the eternal "lake of fire." However, as can be seen from the statement that "hell" will be "cast into the lake of fire" (Rev 20:14), they are technically not the same thing in the Bible. "Hell" here is the Greek term "Hades," which was used for the grave, the nether world, the realm of the dead. But, since most people think of "Hell" as the lake of fire, from here on out that will be what I am referring to when I use the capitalized word "Hell" in quotes. So, let's move on and take a closer look at the concept of eternal torture and what the Bible has to say about "Hell." To hear Christians talk, "Hell" is one of the most important topics in Christianity. Indeed, what we supposedly need saving from is "Hell." Yet, if "Hell" is such a hot topic (pun intended), and burning eternally is the final punishment for the wicked, then why is the concept of the lake of fire completely absent from the Old Testament? Sure, the word "hell" is found in the KJV Old Testament, but it is the Hebrew word "Sheol," which means the grave, the underworld, the abode of the dead, a pit. Though there are several places where the Old Testament refers to "fire" symbolically, there is no place in it that says anything about eternal torture in fire (when preachers use Old Testament verses to prove "Hell," a quick look at the context always reveals that they mean something else). In the Old Testament, the punishment for wickedness is said to be death (Eze 3:18-19; 18:20,24; 33:8-14; Psalm 37:20; Prov 2:22). Beyond that, Isaiah says, "They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise" (Isa 26:14). Daniel contradicts that by saying, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Dan 12:2), but though it doesn't fit with most of what we see in the Old Testament, even this verse doesn't say anything about torture. There is a significant Old Testament verse to mention, though. Jeremiah says, "Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter" (Jer 19:6). In this verse, "The valley of the son of Hinnom" in Hebrew is "gay ben Hinnom," or "gay Hinnom" ("The valley of Hinnom") for short, and is the basis of a later Greek word "Gehenna" that referred to a valley south of Jerusalem where they reportedly burned trash, dead animals and at times the corpses of executed criminals. This "Gehenna" is translated "hell" in the New Testament. So, for clarification, there are two Greek words commonly translated "hell" in the New Testament. "Hades," as mentioned previously, refers to the grave or the netherworld. "Gehenna," on the other hand, was the city dump where refuse was burned. (The Greek word "tartaroo" is also translated "hell," but it's only used once in the Bible and its meaning is comparable to "Hades.") Now let's look at a few uses of "Gehenna." When we read, "Whosever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matt 5:22), that "hell fire" is referring to the burning dump south of Jerusalem. So is the statement, "It is profitable for thee that one of thy members (body parts) should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell" (Matt 5:29-30). When we read, "Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell" (Luke 12:5), that is again using the burning city dump for imagery. In addition we read, "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:43-44). This is an often cited passage about "Hell," but let's dig deeper. Not only is this using the imagery of "Gehenna" discussed above, but it is based on an Old Testament quote that says, "And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched" (Isaiah 66:24). What is being talked about here is clearly not eternal torture, but simply mounting corpses. The worm not dying out is meant in reference to constantly having rotting corpses to eat on. Whatever "fire" may be referring to here, it is clearly not depicting the "Hell" that Christianity teaches. Again, if "Hell" was such an important topic, then why would God avoid making mention of it throughout the entire Old Testament? Why repeatedly warn of death as punishment if eternal torture was really the punishment? With the complete absence of "Hell" in the Old Testament, and the idea growing out of the imagery of a burning city dump south of Jerusalem called the Valley of Hinnom in the New Testament, isn't it quite clear that "Hell" is merely a doctrine that evolved over time? Beyond that, what about the ethics of "Hell"? How can justice be served by inflicting infinite torture as punishment for finite infractions? How is being burned forever a befitting discipline for mere mortals? What loving father would ever do such a thing? Would any good judge ever issue such an unfair sentence? Jesus supposedly said that "whosever believeth" in God's "only begotten Son" will "have everlasting life," and that "he that believeth not is condemned" (John 3:16,18). In Christian theology, that condemnation is "Hell." However, what about all the people who die having never heard about Jesus? What about people raised in different cultures far removed from Christianity, those who are indoctrinated with other views (through no fault of their own) to the point that that they cannot believe Christianity when presented with it? What about the many, many people throughout the ages who simply never had the opportunity to believe in Jesus? Some Christians try to weasel out of that dilemma by suggesting that God is just and will deal fairly with those other people. They may even cite the judgment based on deeds that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:31-46. While that may seem to be a noble thought, it is flat-out contradicted by the very quote from Jesus listed above, that "he that believeth not is condemned" (John 3:18). If one doesn't believe, then he's condemned, with no recourse. Besides, there are other logical problems with this argument. Since it indicates that belief in Jesus really isn't necessary for salvation, then what's the point in evangelizing and sending out missionaries? That's commanded in the Bible, of course, but it would be rather pointless if it was true that God would judge everyone justly anyway and that believing in Jesus really isn't necessary for salvation! In addition, what about other people, such as myself, who know the story of Jesus quite well but study Christianity and honestly conclude that it is without merit? With regard to us, as well as the aforementioned people who never heard of Jesus or who were already indoctrinated with another religious view, how could a loving God condemn such people to eternal agony when God himself has refused to show himself? If the all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing God of evangelical Christianity existed and wanted to have a relationship with every person, then there would be no question that he is real and Christianity is true because he would make it clear! Yet the majority of people in the world have not been convinced of such. Where is this Christian God who is supposedly reaching out to everyone? Another common Christian response is to bring up the quote, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). Thus, it is argued, nobody has an excuse for not knowing, because "the creation" around us is proof. But is it really? If this verse was true and the natural world we see clearly depicted the Christian God, then everyone who looks at nature would automatically be convinced of the Christian God! Yet, throughout the world there are varying cultures with different religious views, and many of those people look at the exact same nature and see evidence of their gods! And other people look at nature and see no evidence of any god at all! How could this be if "creation" was so clear regarding the Christian God? Obviously, this argument from "creation" is simply false. Think about this. You were raised in a Christian culture that convinced you that Christianity is true, but in the same way people raised in a Muslim culture are convinced that Islam is true, and people raised in a Hindu culture are convinced that Hinduism is true, and so on and so forth. The fact is that people's religious beliefs are primarily dependent upon demographics instead of logic, reason and indisputable evidence. You cannot believe Islam to be true because you were programmed to believe Christianity. But the opposite is also true: Those who are programmed to believe Islam simply cannot believe Christianity. Put yourself in their shoes. What if you had been raised and indoctrinated with Islam, and therefore you could not believe Christianity? That would be no fault of your own; it would simply be the result of being raised in that culture. Would it then be fair to torture you in "Hell" forever and ever and ever, with no mercy and no relief, simply because you did not believe something that you had no ability to believe? Do you not see the absurdity and injustice in that? Do you really believe that a righteous, loving God would do that to his creation? You've heard about "cruel and unusual punishment." Indeed, when someone commits a crime, we expect them to be punished, but we expect the punishment to be in accordance with the crime. However, how could any criminal deserve being tortured forever and ever and ever? We are mere mortals with a very limited life-span, so how could anything one does be worthy of unending agony? Such torture would be "cruel and unusual punishment"! And, again, the idea of issuing such punishment for a lack of belief by those who can't believe is even more problematic. Clearly, any God who would torture people like that would have to be sadistic and unjust, because only a sadistic monster could be so cruel! To call any such God "good" is ridiculous, and is an insult to all that is good. Given that the unjust nature of the doctrine of "Hell" is incompatible with the idea of a loving and just God, and given the way the Christian doctrine of "Hell" evolved out of the imagery of a burning city dump outside Jerusalem, it becomes quite clear that "Hell" is not something revealed by God, but merely a morbid myth that developed over time and became useful for scaring people throughout the ages.
  43. 5 likes
    You need a clean break. As hard as it may be you have to not browse the websites, stop the communications and just focus on your own happiness. Dwelling on the past just keeps it fresh and stops you from fully letting go. I suggest finding your joy, fill your life with activities that keep you happy and busy. Learn a language, learn an instrument, take up a martial art, write a book, whatever lets you focus on yourself without bringing your past into the picture.
  44. 5 likes
    If by xian principles you are referring to slavery, then maybe you could make a case, but the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, etc... were founded on the principles of the Enlightenment, which was a clean break from the dark xian ages.
  45. 5 likes
    That is a rock and a hard place you find yourself between for sure. It would have been better to not have come out the first time and just have "back slid" out of church without them knowing why. They are surprisingly more accepting of that. Especially if they are the once saved always saved variety. That being said, what's done is done and that's not gonna work for you now. I understand your feelings toward not wanting to upset your mom. I'm the same way. My mother and I are close. She wants me to go back to church (preferably theirs as they will have a higher spot in heaven because they are the "true" church) but I just can't. I can handle an every once in awhile visit (which I tend to make sure they are having dinner if I go because church food is still good lol) but I don't want her to ever know I don't believe anymore. I truly think it would cause her similar problems like your mother. So I know this sounds horrible but in the long run it may be beneficial. In my area there are churches everywhere of all different denominations. I don't know how it is there but maybe you can fake it. Let your mom think you have accepted Jesus again but later on decide you want to try another.... "more relaxed" denomination. Then gradually go to church less and less. Then If your mom finds out your not going to church just tell her your trying to find another church you like better or (if she will accept this) you don't believe you have to go to church to worship God. You could always get up, get ready, and go to your favorite coffee shop or pub instead right? Lol. Maybe a two hour stroll in the park just enjoying nature or reading your current (input athiest author) book. I know I may get a little rebuff from this suggestion, but its the only way (I can think of) to get out of church without causing your mom some severe mental trauma. It sounds like she is deeply indoctrinated and that she loves you immensely, other wise she wouldn't be having the reaction she has had. The thought of not being able to see her child in heaven is to much for her. I hope this helps...... sorry man wish I could think of something better. Dark Bishop
  46. 5 likes
    Yet another case of Allah not being able to handle the blasphemer himself. I can't imagine being in this guy's position. It's clearly horrible. There are definitely more nonbelievers in Saudi Arabia, but most won't voice their views out of fear of this kind of retaliation. It's sad to see such cruelty, and it's a shame that the USA is on friendly terms with such a corrupt government.
  47. 5 likes
    The best advice I could give to conservative Christians would be to deconvert and join us here so we can help them through the transition! 😈 Seriously though, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have all either encouraged or provided cover for slavery, ethnic cleansing etc. Theism can't be fixed, it needs to be abandoned.
  48. 5 likes
    Someone in my life told me that my problems and my lack of progress in dealing with those problems are the work of "the enemy", namely, the "devil". I told her I don't believe there's an invisible spook trying to curse me or mess up my life. She backed off and said, "OK, let's not look at this from that perspective". I call bullshit. You can't "un-say" things like, "there's an invisible bad guy trying to cause you trouble and keep you from fulfilling the will of an invisible deity who lives in the sky". I mean, you can say you're willing to allow someone the freedom to believe whatever they want, but if YOU have decided that your belief vis-a-vis the magical Sky Daddy is the correct way to understand things, then it doesn't matter what I think or what anyone else thinks, now, does it? The problem here is not the emotional neglect and abuse I suffered for years that caused (and still causes) major anxiety and self-loathing and self-sabotage in nearly every area of my life. No, the problem is not the abuse I suffered and the stupid, self-destructive things I've done to medicate and fool myself into thinking that I could drink or eat or fantasize the hurt away. Goodness, no; the problem here is that there are INVISIBLE MEN WHO LIVE IN THE SKY SOMEWHERE - THEY COME DOWN HERE AND MESS WITH PEOPLE'S MINDS AND SCREW UP OUR WORLD. Yeah, that must be it. This is the problem I'm facing - no matter what I choose to do with my life, my beliefs (or lack thereof) or my journey to emotional and mental well-being, I am going to be in very, very close quarters with a person who believes against ANY evidence (except when something coincidentally works to 'prove' their worldview) that the source of my issues is spiritual - a battle in the heavenlies between the good spooks and the bad ones. See, I can believe that there is a purple gorilla living in the tree in front of my neighbor's house, and that said purple gorilla eats clouds and shits jelly-beans. Fine; whatever. As soon as I tell someone ELSE that their problems stem from their LACK of perspective, and that they need to accept the works of the bean-shitting purple gorilla, we have a problem. We have a problem because, first, there's no damned way to prove that this pastel primate which eats vapor and defecates candies even exists. We have a problem, further, because now, no matter WHAT other reason someone gives for their successes or failures, my BELIEF in this magical gorilla beats every bit of logic and reason that would explain people's circumstances in any other fashion. In this person's mind, if I continue to have the issues I have, it's going to be, at least in very large part, due to my resistance to the "truth" that there's a Bad Guy chasing me around and interfering with my "true purpose", which must be to obey the Invisible Sky Man. No, not the bad one; the GOOD one. They've told me that they do not expect me to believe what they do - but they tried telling me their beliefs precisely because they wanted me to think the same way they do about these issues. We're at an impasse; this person's mind is made up - their belief in their god and the requisite "devil" means that they KNOW what my problems REALLY are - and thus CAN'T really be trusted to want what's best for me... can they?
  49. 5 likes
    At last I found measurable evidence that Christians do not measure up to their own standards. For the last several months I've been spending time on a question-and-answer board Quora. It's for all topics but I read and write a lot for the religion and atheist section. Christians keep asking crazy stuff like: Atheists, have you read the entire Bible before dismissing it? Over a hundred people answered. LINK Finally an atheist asked: Christians, have you read the entire Bible before accepting it? Only eleven people answered and half of those said they don't understand the Bible. The reasons they gave for embracing it were emotional. A philosophy prof, who should have the intellectual skills to understand the Bible if anyone does, admitted to fanciful interpretations of the Nicene Creed rather than accepting the Bible. Wow! I conclude that if anyone is genuinely seeking the truth of life, the universe, and reality, it's atheists and exChristians--NOT the followers of Christianity regardless of breed or brand.
  50. 5 likes
    I first became an atheist when I was about five (although I later on had a "born again" experience and went back to church for two rather lengthy periods, but that's another story). One of the reasons I couldn't believe in God was because I was asked to draw Jacob's ladder leaning against a cloud, which I knew was impossible (because my dad had allayed my fears of thick fog by saying it was exciting -- like walking in a cloud), and the other reason was because when my dog died I was told that dogs don't go to heaven, and only people go. How could it possibly be heaven then? I decided not to believe in a god because I didn't want to go to this heaven place anyway. I'm sure I would have been told dogs don't go to hell either. Only one species of all the millions on species on this planet goes to either place. And at what point in evolution did that change occur? Was there a point in time at which the parents didn't go to heaven or hell because they weren't human enough but their children did because they had crossed some invisible evolutionary line? It's all rather ridiculous and quite simple: neither place exists. They were invented for the purpose of controlling people.