Citsonga

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Citsonga last won the day on September 4

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About Citsonga

  • Rank
    Rationalist
  • Birthday 05/03/1973

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Pennsylvania
  • Interests
    Music, biblical criticism, logic, freethinker dialogue
  • More About Me
    I was raised in Christian family & was a devout Christian until age 29, when I began questioning things due to ongoing Bible study and mounting problems with it. I now fully realize that Christianity is mythology (and presumably all religion, for that matter). I consider myself an agnostic with atheist leanings.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Fresh salsa. Mmmm, good!

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  1. I don't get it. Why would anyone think that because we recognize that astrology is laced with superstitious nonsense automatically means that it couldn't have been an influence in the development of a religion millennia ago?
  2. I've never heard that one before. It's usually based on 1 Corinthians 11:5, which says that women who pray or prophesy with their heads uncovered dishonor their heads (which appears to refer to men; see the context, especially verse 3). Still weird, of course.
  3. Ditto here except for the late 30s part.
  4. Weird things I used to believe: 1. The Bible is divine and inerrant. 2. The universe and all things on earth were created in six days. 3. Three persons are one god. 4. Dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time. 5. Scientists who aren't creationists are just trying to rationalize god away. Regarding music and intent, what about gospel music performed by irreligious people simply to sell a product to a specific demographic? My dad used to play a George Jones gospel album a lot, but I thought it was a bit off-putting because he was apparently a big drinker and didn't seem to be a true believer.
  5. Decrypting Daniel

    Indeed, because if you'd used the correct calendar, then you would've arrived at the correct time because the Bible is always correct.
  6. Hurricane Irma

    Deva, Florduh, Burnedout, and anyone else from Florida, I hope all goes well for you, both in terms of personal safety and property preservation. Good luck!
  7. 16 Maps that look diffrent than you think

    That's all based on the rectangular world map, which is by default a misrepresentation. I've always preferred a globe, which gives a much, much better representation of land size and position. For flat maps, the rounded versions are better than the rectangular one, although they're still not as good as a globe.
  8. Opinions on transgender

    No, you're wrong. Depression is sometimes from mental illness, but sometimes it's purely situational and has nothing to do with mental illness. I went through depression as I was deconverting from Christianity, but it was all because of the situation I was in. It had nothing to do with chemical imbalances, and it went away as I came to grips with reality. My son went through depression as he was dealing with the transgender issue (and Christianity), but it was all situational. It had nothing to do with chemical imbalances, and it went away as he became more accepted by himself, his family and other acquaintances. People whose depression is a mental illness do not have their depression disappear just because circumstances change.
  9. They'll blame anything and everything they can as long as it's not the very thing that's really the issue, which is the fact that the religion is bullshit.
  10. Opinions on transgender

    As far as related issues, here are my current thoughts. Bathrooms - This is probably the most difficult one. Most of our public restrooms are gender-specific, so where transgender individuals go to the bathroom is an understandably sticky issue. Though I agree with what others have said about how we technically shouldn't be bothered by who's in the stall next to us, it is certainly understandable how some would feel uncomfortable by having it be a transgender person. Although I would hope that people could reach a point of seeing past that, as it stands I would say that their feelings on bathroom comfort are just as important as the transgenders' feelings. I don't see any easy solution to this, but my own transgender child tries to avoid gender-specific restrooms as much as possible. He prefers to find a single gender-neutral restroom or a port-a-potty, or holding it until getting home when he can. It would be great to have more gender-neutral public restroom options. One thing, though, that often gets brought up with regard to the bathroom issue is the alleged potential for a pervert to pose as transgender in order to use bathroom access for sexual assault purposes. That is an understandable concern, but to me it also seems to be a misplaced concern. If a pervert is bent on attacking someone, then that pervert obviously doesn't care about the law, so bathroom laws will not be a deterrent. He'll find a way to do what he wants to do regardless of what laws are in place. Thus, that particular issue doesn't seem to me to be a warranted concern when grappling with bathroom laws. Military Service - I don't see any reasonable grounds for discriminating against transgender people who want to serve their country. As long as they meet all the readiness requirements, they should be allowed in. On the other hand, I'm fine with not having the Pentagon pay for reassignment surgeries, because that's not what the military is there for. Athletic Competitions - Though I'm not into sports, I can see the concern here. Some transgender people would undoubtedly have an unfair advantage in gender-specific competitions. As much as I don't like discrimination, perhaps it would be reasonable to have limitations here. Though I don't really like that option, I'm not sure what good options would be possible.
  11. Opinions on transgender

    What would you expect for people who are constantly belittled and marginalized by society? If you were constantly being harassed and mocked and told that you aren't supposed to be the very person you are, being bombarded with that over and over and over again, wouldn't you be a bit depressed, too? Who knows, under those conditions you may even consider suicide yourself. Suicide and attempted suicide rates go down substantially among those who are in more supportive environments.
  12. Opinions on transgender

    Thanks for these comments. A while back I posted my son's story in another thread, and I'd like to post that story again for this thread. It originally followed questioning about parental influence on transgender children, so that's what the account starts off dealing with. Here it is again: At the time that our transgender child came out to us, my wife was still opposed to it and resisted it for a while. Even though I had already changed my mind on the issue by that time, I had never talked about it with our child, nor with anyone in the family, for that matter. It hadn't come up and I didn't want to start any unnecessary controversy within the family. I also didn't want to put any ideas in our child's head. Even though in the back of my mind I had wondered for a long time if "she" would have rather been a boy, I figured that if that was the case, then it would come out on its own. I did not want to instigate with our child an issue that is severely stigmatized in our society. There was a long process that led to his coming out when he was almost 14. Going back to the beginning, she (I'll use the terms "she" and "her" when referring to the time before coming out) had always been a tomboy. Of course, there are plenty of tomboys who aren't transgender, so that was of little significance by itself, but it is a piece that fits in this puzzle. Even as young as probably around 3 or 4 years old, she would refuse to go in the girls' toy aisle when we were in stores. It was too embarrassing for her. Whenever we'd get Happy Meals at McDonald's, she always had us order for a boy so that she would get a boy's toy instead of a girl's toy. When she got big enough for a gender specific bicycle, she insisted on getting a boy's bike. She refused to even get on a girl's bike. The tomboy in her continued, and we had no problem with it. It wasn't a big deal, but it also didn't automatically mean anything more than that she was a tomboy. When she was probably around 11, she started going through a time of depression, and at one point my wife caught her getting into the medicine cabinet to try to find something to overdose on. I quickly bought a chain and a lock for it. She also started cutting a lot, but she would hide it by always wearing hoodies, even if it was really hot. At some point when she was 12, she told us that she liked girls. My wife wasn't thrilled about it but didn't press the issue, seemingly thinking that it would probably just be a phase. I just told our child that it was OK; it didn't matter to me whether she preferred boys or girls. I figured that that was what the depression had been about and that things would get better now that she'd gotten that off her chest. There was even a time when she said that she didn't want to ride a boy's bike anymore and even wore a dress or skirt a time or two, so at that point I thought that my unverbalized question about her wanting to be a boy had been answered. However, the depression continued, and a little while later she became anorexic and started shedding weight quickly. It was confusing to me because she was such an intelligent child who excelled beyond most of her peers. I couldn't wrap my head around how someone that smart could fall into such a clearly irrational disorder, but it turns out that that's not uncommon. We tried to talk to her to find out what was really going on with her, but as with many children that age, she didn't want to open up to us. We did inform her, though, that if she kept losing weight, then we'd have to get her into therapy. Well, that's what ended up happening. After going to a couple counselors, we ended up having to admit her to a full-time eating disorder center a couple hours away. It was a very painful period, but we didn't want to lose our precious child. We got to see her once a week for about an hour, but otherwise it was just a phone call each night. After a few months she was still struggling, but she'd made enough progress that they released her to an out-patient facility. There she had to go to their program five days a week and then she was off for the weekends (but still had to log what she was eating). Though this facility was closer than the other one, it was still a little over an hour away. During this time my wife and I (and often our other child) took turns staying with her through the week at the Ronald McDonald house close to the clinic, and then we'd all be together for the weekends. After a couple months of that, she had improved a little more and they released her to go home as long as we continued other local therapy a couple days a week, which we did. It was still a struggle, but she made strides because she didn't want to have to go back into the eating disorder facilities. Then one evening when I was painting our outside picture-window frame, our child came out and told me that we needed to talk. I agreed and asked what she wanted to talk about. After some hesitation, he finally came out and said, "Dad, I'm not a girl." This was just a few weeks before his 14th birthday, and it was the first time I'd heard a clear indication that he was in fact transgender. I really didn't want that to be the case because of how prejudiced much of society is, but I was very accepting and reaffirmed my love and support no matter what. Eventually he explained to me that the time in which he had tried to be more feminine, it was because of an online Christian friend trying to get him to conform to his birth-gender, as well as what he was hearing at church (when he still went with my wife and daughter) and from some family members, including even my wife and our older daughter. As our child attempted to be feminine, it just didn't work for him. The whole bout of depression, suicidal thoughts, cutting, and anorexia all stemmed from trying to suppress who he is and grapple with issues pertaining to his gender, society's perception, and religion. It had all come to a head and it was just too much to bear. Now that he's out as a guy and being accepted by us (my wife did eventually come around) and accepted or tolerated by others in the family, he's doing much better. Of course, breaking free from religion and getting some ferrets also helped his morale. It was so great once we finally, after a couple dismal years, started seeing him be more alive, chipper, happy, laughing and carrying on again. The difference between the depressed years and now are like night and day. It's great to have our child back, even if he's not the same child we thought we had for many years. I can say with confidence, though, that if it hadn't been for the accepting environment that we created for him, there's a good chance we would've ended up having to bury him. I really think that he would've eventually ended it, and it's painful for me to think about that. I tell you, I am so glad that I have a living son instead of a dead daughter.
  13. Opinions on transgender

    As the father of a transgender child, I strongly disagree. My transgender son is not bonkers by any stretch of the imagination. He's a normal guy with better-than-average reasoning abilities. He simply doesn't have any female thoughts or feelings, just like me and possibly you. Most of us are born with physical anatomy that matches our gender identity, but he simply wasn't as fortunate. That's all there is to it. You and I could just as easily have been born with female parts and have society telling us that we need to look, act, and talk like women and be attracted to men. I don't know about you, but my mind couldn't do that. That's not a mental illness; it's simply reality. Having a gender identity that doesn't match one's physical anatomy is not an illness; it's being trapped in the wrong body. Most of us have probably been around transgender people at times without even realizing it.
  14. If you're interested in helping out with Hurricane Harvey relief but want to do so without ties to a religious organization or through the Red Cross with its inflated CEO salary, then you may want to consider Humanist Disaster Recovery through Foundation Beyond Belief. https://foundationbeyondbelief.org/civicrm/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/contribute/transact&page=CiviCRM&reset=1&id=6
  15. Thoughts

    If a random thought popped into your head that wasn't something you intended, then don't you think that an omniscient being would, by definition, know that that was not your intent? Any all-knowing deity would know that a stray thought is not the same thing as something you actually think (i.e., hold to be true).