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  2. I also used to struggle fiercely with the idea of going to Hell. Beyond just... looking into other religions and seeing they also had their own ideas of the afterlife, I felt it also helped to consider the nature of the god I believed in at the time. For me personally, I believed my god was all-powerful, all-knowing, and the epitome of goodness in the universe. If all of those aspects were true, then he'd have the power--and the desire--to do what's best for everyone. An all-good person would never torment anyone for any length of time, much less for all of eternity. Even if you disagreed a
  3. Another way to consider this point is that regret about the past involves sorrow about our mistakes, understanding what we did wrong, why and how things we and others did were wrong, and how wrong action and belief causes bad effects. It is true that we can't change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Understanding the past better is essential to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. The past continues to live in the present.
  4. · While I am sympathetic to that view, it is important to regard Christianity as originally developed as Buddhism for the west, and to analyse how this enlightened vision was overtaken, corrupted and suppressed by the depravity of western culture. The apocalyptic problems of depravity facing the world can’t be fixed by the methods of spiritual detachment promoted by Buddhism, but require the direct confrontation between good and evil proposed in Christianity.
  5. · The Bible itself suggests that separating good from bad can be approached on the model of separating wheat and tares. The issue here is that interpretation of the Bible has been corrupted by Christendom, by what the poet WB Yeats called ‘twenty centuries of stony sleep’ with the untrue theology of orthodox faith. Yeats’ idea that the world could wake from this bad dream involves a recognition of the original authentic origins, separating the wheat and tares at harvest time
  6. · I am trying to develop a scientific historical understanding of the most probable origins of Christianity, and as a result to ask how Christianity today should reform to reflect its real origins rather than the supernatural emotional fantasies of church tradition. · Obviously you are right that this agenda includes a lot of complicated analysis. However, it also can be boiled down to see some very simple stories, reflecting the steady emergence of science as the basis of ethics. · Only mechanics need to look under the hood to see how a car works. Most people o
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  8. I am not "coming at it as Christian Atheism", rather, I am saying that my views seek to represent the original ethical meaning of Christianity, in which language about God is seen as symbolic rather than literal. Perhaps I need to change my "Christian Atheist" description, although I still like atheism as an ethical movement focused on evidence and logic as the highest values. My sense is that atheists regard talk of God as meaningless, lacking real reference, whereas my view is that talk of God is entirely meaningful as long as it sees God as an imaginative construct
  9. I don't know if I'd like to go back in time and change things to being a non-believer from birth. I probably wouldn't, actually. Growing up in belief and then questioning and moving to non-belief gives me insight into the world that I would not have likely attained otherwise. So I'm good with accepting everything the way in which it unfolded. I'd rather have the more well rounded experience than otherwise...
  10. That sounds like a good suggestion. The interpretation OF christianity and it's origins seems like it could be a type of Buddhism. Reclaiming the religion for it's alleged Buddhist roots. And possibly mass appealing to the western Buddhism movement. There's not such a big stretch here for western thinking, christian raised, Buddhist converts. And in fact, it comes off as validating their choice to become Buddhist's. To where people can identify as both, if they wanted to. Instead of hard edge angle of coming at it as christian atheism, it could just as well be christi
  11. I do have a few regrets, mostly decisions rooted in being brainwashed with Christianity. I was bitter about it for a while, but I was able to move past that and just try to live the best life I can now. Sure, I still occasionally wonder how life would've gone if I'd done some things differently, and I can't help but think that in some ways I'd be better off, but don't dwell on it, and I also realize that I have it better than most people throughout history. I try to keep that in perspective.
  12. Jeez, Redneck, I haven’t really seen this side of you before. You’re mellowing in your old age. Letting your inner Buddhist come out.
  13. It will be neither good nor bad. It will simply be.
  14. Yeah, I've hit the point where I've realized I dwell far too much on these imaginary future conversations between actual conversations we have about these topics. I'm going to have to spend some time "reprogramming" what I think about, I think. Maybe when it gets warmer and the pandemic situation gets a little better I'll get lost in nature a little more. It's rough, because... I mean I was a die-hard Christian for 25 years, and knowing the way my mind works I'm always like... trying to decrypt how I finally pulled myself out of it so I can feed those thoughts back through my fr
  15. There is a difference between living in the present and being present in the moment. The present will never come; but the moment is already here, now, and you are either present with it, or you are off somewhere else making plans and preparations for a present... that will never come. Here is an exercise that may help: go find a tree and be present with it. What do you normally do when you look at a tree? You think things about the tree, right? "I wonder how old this tree is." "Those leaves are a pretty color." "I could use some firewood around the house." As soon as you s
  16. I don’t think it’s a waste of time to have regrets. As long as we don’t DWELL on the past, using regret to change direction makes sense. I suspect a narcissist like a major politician I know has few if any regrets about anything.
  17. I didn't say dwell on the past. Or, fret about the past. If tacos gave me indigestion, then I would be wise to avoid tacos. That is learning from experiences in the past. Look, if you prefer allowing unchangeable past decisions to afflict you, that is your free choice. I was just suggesting that there are other choices. I apparently erroneously assumed you were interested in resolving some issue or another. My apologies for the assumption. Respectfully....
  18. I'm late to the party, but when I saw your post I had to comment. I too am a scapegoat. My mother is a narcissist and I was emotionally and psychologically beaten for many years. My father also disapproves deeply of me. Unlike you, I was unable to separate their abuse from my truths, and these things fused in my person. As a result, I've been in and out of therapy, over the years, but I finally have a therapist who does EMDR and somatic processing. It's intense but it finally gets at the root causes of my general forked-upness. Do keep us posted!
  19. As you said, this article and its perspectives are those of theistic scientists concerning multiverse possibilities. As such they push their ideas concerning both science and religion. And I agree that their rationale concerning fine tuning doesn't seem valid. A primary reason for proposing multiverse theory was to solve the so-called fine-tuning problem that doesn't exist in the first place IMO.
  20. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m also a pastor’s kid. I imagine there are many of us.
  21. I’d suggest there is more wisdom in the surviving writings of Marcus Aurelius than in the Bible and Quran combined.
  22. A friend directed me to Marcus Aurelius' writings a few years back. I sent him an email a few months ago, thus- Marcus Aurelius: "areadyGone, you're doing it wrong!" alreadyGone: "which part?" Marcus Aurelius: "All of it!" alreadyGone: "what should I do?" Marcus Aurelius: "Change it!" alreadyGone: "which part?" Marcus Aurelius: "All of it!" ________________________________________ His response: "Yeah, but he had slave girls. Full-time, in all of his 12 houses."
  23. I was too quick to reply.. "strive to learn from the past".. I could be seen as putting too much energy/time/focus on exactly that. And to the point of that M. Aurelius quote, if so then I'm acting at that point to the detriment of my own self-interests. But to learn from the past, your own or not, you must first gain understanding. In discussion of this sort though, is the component that holding tightly to what you believe to be the best within you means that a portion, sometimes the greater and major portion, is entangled with the past in ways that just...
  24. There are two points from this article that deserve further inspection. And multiverse theories do not eliminate fine-tuning; the multiverse would still need some parameters to be fine-tuned to produce fruitful universes. This is false. Throw a bucket of coins into the air often enough and eventually all of them will land face up. There is no fine tuning or design involved in this result. The exponential multiplication of universes caused by inflation is more than adequate to produce many, many life-friendly universes. No fine-tuning needed, thank you very much!
  25. Thanks, Professor, I had a feeling M. Aurelius might creep in here somewhere. Live long enough and you see how totally and evidently true is that quote. I'm not laboring under the delusion that the reality is different in my case.
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