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ThereAndBackAgain last won the day on May 7

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About ThereAndBackAgain

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  • Gender
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    West Virginia
  • Interests
    Life, the Universe and Everything
  • More About Me
    From childhood Catholic to lukewarm conservative Christian. But now the spell is broken. I've come to realize I was probably always an atheist by nature.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. @Bibler, I know that's what you want to believe. That's what I wanted to believe when I was a Christian. But Hebrews 6, as pointed out by BAA, says that those who have fallen away and cannot be restored "are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace". And you explain this by saying that these are dead people doing this. There is absolutely no implication that these apostates are dead. These are the kind of mental gymnastics that I too engaged in to make scripture and Christianity make sense. It's a relief not to have to do that anymore. In any case, whether it's backed up by scripture or not, most of us here reached a point in our deconversion process when we knew there was no going back. Our member Joshpantera describes it as having Intellectual Immunity to Christianity (and theism in general). So you have your work cut out for you. I'm just sayin'.
  2. Dang? Dang?!? That's no way for an ex-Christian to talk. I can see you've got some deprogramming still to go... Damn!! Fucking goddamn!!
  3. So, you are saying that we cannot be "fallen away" until we have died in our apostasy? That, no matter how much we have rejected Christianity, no matter how much we may work to undermine it, we can still repent as long as we have breath in our bodies?
  4. Bibler, you have drawn the attention of bornagainathiest, the Great and Terrible. He is perhaps the fiercest Lion here in the Den. You better have your shit together.
  5. Well said, sdelsolray. My childhood indoctrination ran deep and took me many years to reverse. Rather than be angry at the past, I prefer to take satisfaction from the reversal and to look to the future, by supporting causes like Camp Quest (god-free summer camps), and by encouraging members here who want their kids to be raised without religious indoctrination.
  6. Take your time. Family comes first. Glad your wife is doing well.
  7. Don't you see? Satan has clearly rewarded you with sinful pleasures and the illusion of happiness and safety, all the better to lure you further away from the protection of the Good Shepherd. If, on the other hand, your deconversion had been accompanied by misery and bad fortune, that would have been clear evidence of the inevitable wages of sin and apostasy.
  8. You have been given very sound and wise advice by Florduh and Daffodil. All I can do is reinforce some of their points. You don't want to drive either your husband or your kids deeper into Christianity by an angry or demeaning approach to religious faith. Anything you can do to steer him - and especially your kids - toward as liberal as possible a version of Christianity should lessen the effects of indoctrination. While indoctrination is bad, exposure to different religions and gods is very important. It helps them see the various gods as the cultural constructs that they are. They should learn how in ages past people came up with god beliefs to explain the world and they should be aware that those beliefs are receding in the modern world. Anyway be thankful at least that your husband is relatively laid back about religion. Who knows, if he sees you as a happy unbeliever who has peace and purpose without a god, he just might end up deconverting too. It happens...
  9. I very strongly disagree with restricting speech. The same argument could be used (and is, every day) to persecute atheists in Muslim countries. Freedom to speak should include freedom to say things that the majority find abhorrent, even hateful.
  10. Welcome to our community, ag_NO_stic! I'm glad you decided to reveal yourself to us: we have strength in numbers! Of course it's also very typical to "lurk" for a while before announcing yourself; we pretty much all did that for a while in the beginning. I'll take a stab at answering your questions, though it's not in my nature to be as concise as Jeff! Why do we feel so strongly when we deconvert? Why do we feel so strongly about a god that we don't believe exists, as Christians like to ask us? Well, when you've believed in that god for decades, and believed that everything in life revolves around that god, and then you conclude it's not true, that is a Big Hairy Deal. Especially if you were indoctrinated into that belief as a child (as I was), it is natural to feel strongly about it when the indoctrination starts to lose control of your mind and you realize the enormity of it. Even if that indoctrination was done with the best, most loving will in the world, it is only natural to feel some degree of anger at the way your mind was manipulated. Our minds, our brains, were 'hacked' by religious indoctrination. I can say that for most of us though, the initial anger gives way to relief as we feel our minds emerging from the fog of faith, from the false 'knowledge' that was implanted in them. As for why we care about others, as a species we evolved a sense of empathy with others, not just with other humans but often with non-human animals too. We often make sacrifices, not just for our kin, but for strangers whose suffering we share in some way. Other advanced species, like elephants, whales and dogs, seem to share this empathy. Humans are capable of great compassion and great cruelty (both of which are often expressed as doing the will of a god). As a species we are neither inherently good nor inherently evil. We just are where evolution brought us, just as whales ended up with finger bones inside their fins and with vestigial leg bones buried inside their bodies. So I hope I kind of answered the questions you asked. Even if I didn't, I do want you to feel welcome here and I hope you will be an active part of our community! All the Best, TABA
  11. Oh man, I am so sorry for all you've been through recently! I hope you know that you have a group of people here who care about you. I know, that and $1 will get you a cup of coffee at McDonalds, but I hope it helps in some way. Since most of us here have never met and likely never will, emotional and moral support is the best we can offer. At least you won't hear any BS from us about it being part of God's plan for your life... I hope things start looking up for you, brother, I really do.
  12. The theistic command that as humans - the one species that is perpetually 'in heat' from adolescence onward - we must limit sex to monogamous marriage to a member of the opposite sex, remaining so for life - that is the true perversion, in my opinion.
  13. Hi SeaJay, Some thoughts about certainty: we can very rarely be 100% sure of anything. In fact the only thing I am 100% sure of is that I have consciousness. Everything else could conceivably be an illusion projected onto my consciousness from within or from without. One of the keys to a happy and peaceful mind is accepting uncertainty without anxiety. I get on a plane without certainty but with a high degree of confidence that it will not crash, and therefore without anxiety. I was previously a Christian without being 100% sure it was true, and now I'm an atheist without being 100% sure that it's not. Are you familiar with the "Dawkins Scale" for evaluating degrees of belief and unbelief? It can be a helpful way to think about your position while in the deconversion process. Although some Christians claim to be at a 1 on this scale and some atheists say they're at 7, most people fall between 2 and 6. And of course the scale can be applied to different kinds of god beliefs: when it comes to the god of the Bible, I'm a 6, but regarding the existence of some intelligent being behind the universe, I guess I'm a 4. From what you've said in your various posts, it sounds like you're a 5 with regard to Christianity, SeaJay. Would you agree? I don't want to pressure you to be anything, I just think it helps to evaluate where one stands. Those of us who have deconverted can describe our journey down this scale from the belief side to the unbelief side. I was never a 1 except maybe as a child, and I was often closer to 3 than 2 as a Christian. I don't remember being a 4 much (people tend to lean one way or the other), but when I joined this community I was a 5, inclined to disbelieve. After reading and thinking (and some praying) I arrived at 6, which is where I expect to remain, still open to NEW evidences, but satisfied that Christianity is untrue and I live my life accordingly, without any God-belief, without prayer (although interested in meditation), without worrying about sin and without fear of Hell. SeaJay, I hope that being a member of our community is helping you. It has helped many of us, immensely. I hope you will continue to hang out here, to read and to comment. And I hope you have means of relief from whatever anxiety you may experience. Hobbies, exercise, sex, art, music, all these are part of the joy of being a living, breathing human animal in this amazing universe. I hope you get to enjoy them fully.
  14. I'm going to go straight to your last point first. Maybe others (or myself if I get time) will respond to your other concerns... I'm no scientist but I believe that science has not yet been able to explain what "caused" the Big Bang. Christians of course will say that God must have caused it. But then what caused God? Christians might say that God. by his very nature, did not need to be caused. But can't we save a step and speculate that the laws of physics did not need to be caused and that these laws led to the universe we live in? There seem to be at least two possibilities here: (1) The laws of physics just ARE, with no intelligence behind them, no need for a god. The laws of physics are the closest thing there is to an intelligence behind the universe. This is what I tend to believe. (2) The laws of physics are "fine tuned" so that they must have been "designed" by some intelligent entity, which might be called "God". The problem with this is that such a creator would itself have to be more complex than the laws it created, and if - as Christians would argue - it did not need to itself have a cause, why do the laws of physics have to have a cause? Either possibility (or any other option, such as the multiverse idea) is simply mind-blowing to a mere human like me. And while it's fascinating to think about, none of this makes a difference to my atheism or to how I live my life. Why? Because even if such a Great Designer existed, it clearly is unwilling or unable to communicate clearly with us, given the garbled mess of god-beliefs that have sprung up on this planet alone, all with equal certainty. In any case, even if it could be proven that an intelligent being was behind the universe, it is a VERY big step from there to Christianity. The problems with Christianity (as with Islam and Judaism, etc.) are so profound and so wide-ranging that I (and most of us here) have confidently rejected it: there is no Father, no Son, no Holy Spirit, no Sin, no Salvation, no Heaven and no Hell.
  15. I was inclined to vote for Johnson until Evan McMullin became a candidate, then I went with him. I would have preferred Libertarian Austin Petersen above all of them though. But Petersen is an atheist so probably couldn't get elected in our Christian Republic. Interestingly he only referred to himself as 'agnostic' during the campaign.