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  • Our picks

    • My attached short essay on Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins was published last year as an Appendix in The Christ Conspiracy Second Edition by DM Murdock (Acharya S).  (4000 words)
      I helped Dr Robert M. Price to edit this new second edition. This book was quite controversial when it first came out in 1999, with its uncompromising presentation of the hypothesis that the myth of Jesus Christ arose as a personification of the Sun.  I agree with this argument, and consider that it presents a complex and coherent perspective on religion.
      Before her death in 2015, Acharya began editing her planned CC second edition, aiming to remove some of the more contentious material and present her main arguments more clearly. I had worked closely with her on some areas of her analysis of astrotheology, so was pleased to be able to help with this work, and enjoyed going through the book in detail to edit it. 
      My own long term theological interest is in this topic of Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins, which I consider provides a compelling scientific explanation of many of the perspectives that Acharya presents. This idea helps to explain the role of conspiracy in Christianity, firstly among the secret Gnostic mystic philosophers who first developed the Christ Myth as allegory, and secondly in the orthodox church, as they systematically rewrote Christian origins to exclude its founding natural cosmology and pretend that the events described in the Gospels actually happened.  
      As a hypothesis, the precession hypothesis raises such controversial material that it is difficult to discuss. The essential argument is that Jesus Christ was deliberately invented as avatar of the zodiac ages of Pisces and Aquarius. I think this idea should be of interest to ex-Christians, as a way to help excavate the abiding truths that are hidden beneath the supernatural rubble of Christendom. 
      I would welcome any questions or critique or conversation about the ideas in this paper.
      Thanks
      Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins by Robert Tulip, published in The Christ Conspiracy Second Edition.pdf
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      • 82 replies
    • Ecclesiastes 12:13 and the Meaning of Life
      Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV): The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
       
      To which I ask: That's all you've got?
       
      I've never set goals. Really! Oh, I did finish college (after changing my major 3 times), but I've always lived my life a day at a time. And I've always found my "meaning" in my responsibilities. I have work, I have family, and I have things to do. What more meaning do I need? Well, I know what's going on in the world and have discussions about it, and contribute to causes and organizations that I feel are important, and I vote -- so there's more meaning. I'm thinking more and more about how I'm going to be able to retire and I should have made that more important many years ago, but even now I wouldn't call it a goal. I need to get as much put away as I can, but I don't really think I want to retire. I just know that I'll have to some day.
       
      The meaning in life just comes along. I have grandchildren and I love to spend time with them. I love having grown-up conversations with my kids and their spouses. I enjoy spending the evenings with my wife, even when it's boring, because we're together. I enjoy listening to music, but not as much as I used to. I listen to podcasts in the car while commuting every day. All of that stuff is just there, but it has meaning.
       
      Largely, this day-to-day attitude that I was either born with or picked up somehow has meant that I never thought about Heaven or Hell, and certainly never imagined what they would be like. Apologists sometimes say that without eternity, life is absurd. Maybe that's so, but eternity is absurd, also. How can sitting in front of a throne worshiping a deity forever and ever be meaningful?
       
      "Meaningful" is making things work, getting things done. Meaningful is enjoying a good meal. Meaningful is enjoying a fast-food meal. Meaningful is laughing with your friends and family. Meaningful is laughing at a TV show or a movie. Meaningful is experiencing anything -- a relationship or a story or anything -- that brings out emotion, happy or sad or just deep. Meaning and purpose are found in the everyday tasks and entertainment and relationships we experience. No ultimate goal is required. In fact, believing that there's an ultimate goal takes away from the true meaning, which is found in the everyday.
       
      And after life is over? Meaning is for the living who remember you.
       
      Maybe you're young and don't have some of those things, but you still have a 24-hour day that's full of meaning. Over time, the meaning changes, but it's there already, every waking hour.
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    • What follows is just a trace of the essence of a thought I've been having lately,  so forgive me if it's not terribly coherent. Feel free to critique,  disagree with,  or otherwise challenge what follows. I'm just trying to approach making sense. I want my thinking to be stretched on this, so please challenge me.
       
      I have often heard it asserted that something cannot come from nothing. I've also heard it asked (usually in a tone of voice which suggests a certain profundity) that something cannot come from nothing.  Now,  there are various possible responses to this,  and I've engaged in a number of arguments here and elsewhere regarding this assertion. In general,  I think a great deal turns on what one means by "nothing". But this is by the by, at least for now.
       
      Recently, on these boards, I have asserted that I've heard it said that something can emerge spontaneously from the quantum vacuum. But also, that I've heard it said that the quantum vacuum is not nothing. And further, that arguments have been made to the effect that no other kind of "nothing" is possible. Well, this is all very nice, but it does still leave the layperson pondering the original question: why is there something rather than nothing? And how does something come about from nothing?
       
      These are questions that deserves to be taken seriously. But they are also questions which demand that we take them seriously. That is to say, the subject and the content of the questions matter a great deal,  but so do the presuppositions of the questions. So if we are to move forward here, it seems to me that we must proceed with caution.
       
      To put it very bluntly, the question "why is there something rather than nothing" seems to me to presuppose that there ought to be nothing, but nevertheless, there is something. I think that if we think about this for more than a minute,  we will all realize that this is nonsensical.
       
      When have we ever experienced nothing?
       
      Could we ever experience nothing?
       
      It seems to me that the very nature of experience is that it is of something. But this is to say, we have no reason, and can have no reason to think that nothing is even a possibility. 
       
      To put this another way, try considering the original question in reverse. Why is there something rather than nothing, and how did it come about? No. Why might there be nothing rather than something, and does that even make sense?
       
      I think you'll find that it doesn't make sense. Or so it seems to me right now.
        • Like
      • 100 replies
    • A load of reasons why myself and others should deconvert
      Here are my reasons for deconversion. It's more to do with the reasons why, rather than telling my story, after all that's what matters. Some of my points are from great minds other than myself, and I do not appologise for this as these people have inspired myself and many others to lose faith. I started losing my belief with the 1st scenario below. To me this is ENOUGH proof that Bible god is NOT real
       
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 15 replies
    • Christianity and Politics
      Why do you think so many Christians identify more with Conservatism than Liberalism?  I used to attend the Catholic Church, and the number of pro-Trump comments on some Catholic forums is shocking.  I thought it would be 50-50, but it's not even close.  Is there something about Christianity that makes people more conservative?  Is it just a Catholic thing?
      • 84 replies
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  • Recent Status Updates

    • fishlady

      I was involved in the Baptist Student Union at James Madison University in Virginia between 1977 and 1981. I began de-converting during that last year and subsequently became agnostic, as I still am today. If anyone else on this forum happened to be have been involved in that fellowship during that period, I would find it very interesting to compare notes and memories. 
      · 0 replies
    • Astreja

      is trying to figure out (for the nth time) how meditation works.
      · 1 reply
    • YakRider

      "Speaking Truth to Evil." Isn't that what we are doing everytime we talk to a christian?
      · 1 reply
    • YakRider

      "Nunc Id Vides, Nunc Ne Vides" --I think it's apropos of religious doctrine: it was there while they said it, but the moment they stopped talking, it wasn't there. It never really existed at all. Sort of like a coin in a circus magic act.
       
      Mebbe that's the best motto for religion: "Now you see it, Now you don't"
      · 0 replies
    • TheRedneckProfessor

      How many light bulbs does it take to change a person?
      · 4 replies
  • Recent Posts

    • One time I decided to test the supernatural by using the mantra “satan” whilst meditating. Nothing unusual happened, just the same normal deeply relaxing feelings.   Occasionally while meditating I have what best could be described as an out-of-body experience. Our brains can do wacky stuff.
    • No offence taken, you are correct. My ex did not address his issues with a psychologist, he just prayed instead. He weaned himself off his medication far too soon and became impossible to live with.
    • I never thought of rocking to be so powerful. I thought that extreme sleep deprivation was the reason for my trance-like state with my newborn!   When I was in Jerusalem I noticed the jews rocking while praying next to the wall. For me, praying inside the eastern orthodox church in Jerusalem was hypnotic, almost intoxicating, due to the incense, the singing and the chanting. Of course this pleasant feeling was confirmation of my belief.
    • Lostinparis, did I offend you in any way?  I didn't mean to do so.  You have some good insights and ask some great questions. The last sentence was a statement of typical treatment done with the mentally ill today.
    • I had an aunt that was the "perfect" Christian.  People couldn't believe how steady and continually upbeat her mood was, even though she lived in a difficult situation.  She always saw the bright side of things.  In some ways she functioned like a robot.  But she eventually had a psychotic break and was hospitalized for weeks.  They medicated her, she went back to church, and although her husband was an SOB, she  was the perfect wife and smiling Christian until she died.  It was later learned that she was abused from an early age.  The way to survive was through being  "perfect."  Obeying husband and god.   My observation is that predisposition doesn't "cause" psychosis.  It almost always takes some kind of extreme fear early in life to eventually develop.  Somehow a sense of capable "self" doesn't develop, leaving them dependent upon hero preachers and higher beings.  HA! This seems to happen to a lot of people, even though psychosis doesn't develop.   It sounds like your X and my aunt never had their early abuse issues, that drove them to psychosis, addressed.  Just load them with medication and send them home.
    • Hmm, that average can be misleading. There was a high infant mortality rate, so that means many die before 7 years old, but many live to over 70 - that was the norm at least in my great grandmother's village, which was almost without any modern technology or medicine at the time. Plus, wars killed a lot of young people from time to time. Famine and plagues also. What I mean to say is that average of 30-40 does not mean that without modern medicine people do not live to over 70. They frequently did, minus the periods of war/plagues. Old age was a common thing. Not as common as now, because many people of my parent's generation had two children or less. Like if you survived to 7 years, your chances to get old increased dramatically. What also increased is the level of chronically morbid old people whose lives is prolongued in agony for many years sometimes - I personally I do not really support that. Quantity of life without quality of life is some sort of mini version of Hell eternal living but in suffering. That's another question though, but one close to my heart because my grandmother of 87 is living her last years with advanced Parkinsons, unable to take care of herself, needing constant supervision. Her Parkinson meds and also antidepressants are also affecting her mind a little. I in no way have tge right to decide for her, but I would not want that on myself. I am.a supporter of right to die.      By the way if you want apocalyptic style plagues in America, see what happened to the native americans when europeans arrived there.
    • I used to repeat it hours and hours, sometimes all the time. Especially during my trips to monasteries.  I learned several ways of doing it. Pretty psychedelic effect sometimes. My moment of surprise with is when I learned that name repetiton is common also in Islam, Buddhism, and others probably. That is also when I discovered the hypbotic element of short repetitive phrases. I mean even modern self help uses affirmations. Like you, I started to think it could a purely biological thing, nothing supernatural.     And I would add to trance inducing tehniques "rocking" movements like traditional Orthodox prosternations, which you can also see in Islam and Buddhism also has an effect in the brain. That is why mothers have an instinct to rock their babies when they are upset. And that type of traditional Byzantine chant. Basically the whole Church service is an array of choreographed trance inducing tehniques . And I think the teaching has the same quality. That is why I think many religions are hard to get out of your system besides the habituation. It is the trance.
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