ThereAndBackAgain

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ThereAndBackAgain last won the day on April 28 2016

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About ThereAndBackAgain

  • Rank
    Apostate
  • Birthday September 24

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    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.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    None

Recent Profile Visitors

298 profile views
  1. Thanks for sharing your train journey with us, Older! I worked in China in the late 1980s and remember taking an overnight train from Beijing to Shanxi Province. This was at the dawn of China's rise to power, and it was another age. My train was as different from yours as could possibly be. I did travel first class, in a private compartment, but the train, like everything in China at the time (except for a couple of hotels in Beijing), was shabby and decrepit. I can only imagine what it is like today! Thanks for providing a glimpse!
  2. We survived eight years of Barack Obama. We'll survive Trump too. Keep Calm and Carry On.
  3. I'm curious as to what aspects of morality you are inclined to let go of without religion. Many Christians seem to think that their faith is the only thing keeping them from a life of crime, but most of us who have deconverted find we are no more inclined to murder, rape or steal than we were before. Sexual morality does tend to change, but that's to be expected since only deities really care what consenting adults do in private.
  4. I hadn't heard of this movie. Thanks for telling us about it. We'll probably watch it when it's available to rent on iTunes. BTW, you'll probably get more views by posting this in a different forum; although Critic's Corner seems like the best fit, I don't think it's visited that much. I rarely if ever look here...
  5. I don't think you'll get much shit for this around here. I'd like to think we don't just see everything in black-and-white. There's a reason Lewis is one of the most successful Christian apologists: he speaks to the spirit, or to the heart if you prefer, while guys like McDowell and Strobel try to make an intellectual case for Christianity, which is more and more a losing proposition. So, I assume you were still a Christian when you read A Grief Obseved. Did it contribute to your deconversion, or did it keep you in the fold a while longer? Do you think a non-believer would find solace in this book?
  6. Hi Goose, First of all, welcome to our community! I hope it will help you to share your experiences with us. We have all kinds of people here, many who are much more knowledgeable and much wiser than I am... You are certainly in a difficult position here. I don’t think you can either reconvert yourself on the one hand or be open as an outright unbeliever on the other, if only for the sake of your boys. Maybe you can advocate a more liberal version of Christianity, a less-than-literal interpretation of the Bible. To convey that, for you, Christianity means loving God and loving your neighbor, and that you’re not inclined to sweat the details. There are a couple of Christian writers I would recommend you look into: Peter Enns and David Dark. You might want to read one or two of their books, not to draw you back to a kinder, gentler, less doctrinaire version of Christianity (although it seems like that would not be a bad thing for your happiness), but to help you “learn the language” of a less rigid version of the faith. Yes, you would be misrepresenting yourself somewhat, but I think this would be a loving approach to take. Instead of having a Mom who is a believer and a Dad who is not, your boys would have parents who interpret Christianity in different ways. It would also be of benefit to your boys to see alternative visions of their religion. You are by no means doomed to live a lie for the rest of your life. At a certain age, probably by high school , your kids will have their own beliefs anyway, which may or may not line up with either of their parents. By then maybe you will have been able to evolve from a façade of liberal Christianity to open unbelief. Certainly by the time they are adults you should feel free to be yourself; you have that right, and your adult children and your friends will owe you the courtesy of respecting it. I hope that what I’m suggesting here makes sense. I actually did an accelerated version of this during my own deconversion: even when I privately concluded that I was no longer a Christian or even a theist, all my wife knew was that I was questioning the traditional, literal interpretation of Christianity. She gave me the space to do that, thankfully, without quizzing or pressuring me. For a while I actually thought that the Peter Enns version of Christianity might work for me. When I finally revealed my total deconversion after a year or two, it was much less traumatic for both of us than a cold-turkey deconversion announcement might have been. So I hope this helps. Just knowing you have a community of supporters here will help you in some way, I think. I certainly hope so. I hope you will stick around and be an active member. All the Best TABA
  7. Hey DB, you might find this book to be of value: Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion, by Marlene Winell: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BD5ILAW?ref_=r_sa_glf_b_0_hdrw_ss_CAGQAAA I haven't read it myself, but the Amazon reviews are very good.
  8. I think we're in full agreement, Shinobi. Since my deconversion, I have become increasingly convinced not only that theism is unsound, but that it's positively harmful to humankind. By the way, welcome to our community! Youve only been active a short time but you've contributed a lot already.
  9. Hi Shinobi! No, I didn't mean to suggest that the Bible should be banned; that would be hugely counterproductive. I agree with you that our goal should be a world where this and other scriptures are treated as fascinating parts of human history, products of a purely manmade theology, like the system of Greek and Roman gods, I think that goal may be reached in the distant future. I guess what I was trying to say is that the Bible (and Koran) currently have the potential to do far more harm than good and that if I had my way, they would magically disappear without trace in the memory of humans. Touching on something you mentioned earlier, I believe that in he world today, Islam is causing much more harm and human suffering than Christianity. That might not have always been true in ages past, and might not always be true in the future.
  10. I think there are some good reasons to want to throw the Bible out. If the Bible were just treated as a collection of ancient literature, it would be one thing. But billions believe it is inspired by God, and hundreds of millions believe that every single word of it is the literal word of God. I fear that as long as this Holy Book is around, there is the potential for extreme groups, even cults, to seize upon it and who knows what harm might be done. It's the same with the Koran: Iran and Afghanistan were modernizing countries as recently as the 1970s, with women and girls enjoying unprecedented freedom. But now it's all gone backward through much of the Muslim world, thanks to scripture being used to justify a return to medievalism. And it's all God's will.
  11. Geezer if you ever want to discuss Joseph Campbell, our friend Joshpantera is a big fan. I've started watching Campbell's 'The Power of Myth' interviews with Bill Moyers. Fascinating.
  12. After Josh mentioned Joseph Campbell a few times, I learned that he (Campbell, not Josh, haha) did a series of interviews with Bill Moyers on PBS in the 80s. You can watch them here: http://livelearnevolve.com/joseph-campbell-power-myth/ Just be aware this site has the first two videos switched around. You can find a full transcript of each episode here: http://billmoyers.com/series/joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-1988/ I've watched one and a half episodes and it's very thought-provoking. Even at this early stage of my exploration, I'm starting to see how spiritually shallow and one-dimensional Christianity seems.
  13. It's very common to have some bumps along the road like this. Our minds were immersed in religion for years. Don't be surprised that aspects of it rise to the surface, especially in your more vulnerable moments. I think you'll find this will diminish over time. Don't let it bother you.
  14. You're in your thirties, right, DB? It's easy to forget, in that decade when you know the first flush of youth is past, how young you still are. Yeah we wasted a lot of time with Church and all, but I was past 50 when I deconverted and I still feel excited about the horizons opening up now that the indoctrination has been mostly reversed and I feel truly myself for the first time! I dusted off the weight machine in the basement and it feels so good, physically and spiritually, to feel and see my body 'come alive'. It's good to see the plans you have: I can sense the awakening you're experiencing. So go forth and conquer, young feller!
  15. I was Church of Christ too, brother! Was even a deacon for a while, and quit as a deacon when I sensed that I really belonged on the dark side. Don't you think that there's some appeal to believers in embracing such a narrow path to salvation? How blessed they feel when the door is so narrow and the vast majority fail to pass through.