Jump to content

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Past hour
  2. Thank you for your testimony Jane. I to have struggled with telling Christians details about why I left the church because I do worry that they will lose their faith as well. We all know how bad it hurts to realize that basically your whole concept of reality was actually a tale of fiction. While some would probably prefer to open their friends eyes, I think that the journey we all have made here is one of personal enlightenment. It's not something that they will see anyway unless they are likewise having questions and seeing the fallacies that are in the bible. Live and let live, right? Unfortunately there are always those few christians that think they can keep thumping the bible on your head and make you believe again. But that just isn't the way it works. DB
  3. Today
  4. When your friends support your efforts to get clean...
  5. Thanks RNP - that's a great example my temptation is to say "Sorry you didnt get the position", but it looks like you made peace with it quickly. You have a fantastic outlook/perspective. Thx for sharing.
  6. Thanks Margee! I totally agree - Ecclesiastes is on to something... Thank you for the encouragement and reminder to change it up / break out of the rut. I really appreciate it.
  7. I posted more in response to what Bhim had said about deism a couple posts back and the tangent that launched. It wasn't to say that Paine was at the convention. It helps to shine some light on what folks of the time who engaged in deism likely believed and, that being the case, it also shows that it is different from how we tend to think of deism. It would seem that, depending on the person and their interpretation, you could wind up with both xian and non-xian deists. Paine, of course, disliked xianity, so he would be non-xian deist but not atheist as some believed (as was pointed out in what I quoted). mwc
  8. Bears. Not the brown ones, the Grizzlies. You need to be afraid of them. But rather the black ones that inhabit the mountains where I regularly hike. The more I learned about them the less afraid I became. Yes, I respect them and am not dumb enough to get between a mother and a cub. But I've had them in my camp and had them lope across the trail in front of me, and now that I know how to deal with them I get a kick out of seeing one in the forest. (You probably think I'm nuts....)
  9. Thanks. I'm well-aware of Paine's religious views, but since he wasn't present at the 1787 Convention, he is outside the scope of my question. The Edward Herbert quote I was unaware of. I like that.
  10. Great post, but I thought you may want to know that the term is actually "run amok."
  11. Yesterday
  12. Ohh I missed this thread while I was away. I would say most of the time the process is more gradual than instant. To instantly change a core belief would require a pretty huge piece of evidence to the contrary. For example say they found Jesus's body, and verified it was him, well upon reading that you might instantly lose your belief that Jesus rose from the dead, but usually it's a slower process. Yep I think that was us in a thread on woo way back when. I am an agnostic atheist - what do you make of that? Remember agnostic merely is the state of not knowing for certainty - not a frame of mind where you can accept or reject belief's on a whim. No. If I accept something I usually have good supporting reasons for it. (I hope) I don't go - oh a guy did telekinesis on TV, Yep I believe. Personal opinion: No I don't think so. For instance right now try and truly, honestly believe that I am God. Did you truly believe? I doubt it. Ok now try and stop believing something you accept as fact - say the spherical earth. Do you suddenly think the earth is flat? Like really honestly believe that? Again I doubt it. I don't think beliefs can be switched off and on. I think they are more things you become convinced of.
  13. This is a topic that I think about a lot, and which Josh and I and some others have discussed from time to time. I think there are growing signs that humans as a species are beginning to move away from theism. That's a tall order, giving up age-old beliefs in deities. But the hits have been coming for centuries now and are accumulating faster just in this new century. The rise of science beginning in the 17th century, the understanding of evolution by natural selection in the 19th, advances in anthropology and archaeology in the 20th and the rapid spread of information and ideas in the 21st. All combined with an increasing rejection of old moral codes associated with religions, especially related to what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms, and especially among younger people. The new atheists were good at making the intellectual case against gods, but they seemed to think that once the evidence was produced, atheism would spread inexorably. But a simple lack of belief in gods isn't enough to fill the vacuum left by religions that guided people in so many aspects of their lives for better or worse. What I find very encouraging now is the growth - mostly in best-selling books or on social media - of schools of thought that DO guide people in living better lives but without any mention of or reliance on the supernatural. I see people, who might be called Life Coaches, gaining large followings, and what they teach covers a broad spectrum with guidance on physical, mental, emotional and "spiritual" health (many of these personalities seem to pop up on the Joe Rogan podcast sooner or later, by the way). The common factor I am seeing is that, while few if any of these movements are explicitly atheistic, god, prayer and complex moral codes are notably absent. So they are tailor-made for those who are inclined to reject the god-beliefs. Among these new influencers are people like Ryan Holiday and other promoters of the philosphy of Stoicism. I'm also noticing an uptick in articles and books on a modern form of Epicureanism. Both these ancient philosophies are often misunderstood because of stereotypes associated with them, but the huge growth of interest in them is one of the hallmarks of our time, it seems to me. And there are many others, some pretty new-age-y, others quite down to earth. Philosophies like Stoicism are not incompatible with theism or even Christianity, and they can appeal to the godly and the godless alike. This can allow them to wean some people away from theism if they can see that the good stuff is in the philosophy and way of life itself, internal to the human being, no deity needed. Making theism obsolete rather than attacking it head-on. So it's likely that a religion like Christianity will be replaced, not by any one philosophy or movement or religion, but by a splintered range of "movements", philosophical schools etc that appeal to various kinds of people. I can even see the social aspects of religions being replaced by regular gatherings of like-minded people, with motivational speakers, classes for kids - and of course food and drink! So I guess what I hope and expect to see flourish goes beyond mere atheism, to the rise of positive life-philosophies that leave theism behind. I think that's the key.
  14. How about Festivus for the rest of us? Put up your Festivus Pole and celebrate.
  15. That's another issue with god's "morality". Every "sin" carries equal weight. Murder is no different from stealing a paperclip from the office. And, worse still, Hitler and Pol Pot will endure the same eternal hellfire as our ten-year-old sex slave. How could our sense of justice, inextricably linked to our sense of morality, ever have come from such a monstrous fiend?
  16. I've always felt that Christmas is such a big cultural event that you can make it as religious or secular as you want. Just concentrate on havin' a good time, dagnabbit!
  17. Lesser offense, same mentality. I think of that poor women who came here a while back posting about her abusive father. Depraved lunatic. The torture he put her through. And it's no different than a lie, cheat or thief. Never mind, the imaginary being will sweep it under the rug until next time. Then sweep it under the rug again. And kick the can right on through a given life time. If left unchecked and unchanged. As a society, I do hope we can mature into mass identifying the problem here. Put the heat strongly on theistic thinking. Box it into a corner. Eradicate the problem. While at the same time elevating an actual sense of human morality and decency as it's happening and provoking social evolution. According to how we perceive human morality and decency in the contemporary period, at this time. Rather than towing along these bronze age myths full of indecent and immoral acts of both god and men, and parading it around as, "good." End, please try and follow along closely.
  18. So where did that morality come from? god had nearly 30 years to say, "yeah, I was serious about that whole 'thou shalt not lie' thing"; but he never did. I had the power of the holy spirit, which was supposed to convict me of sins; but I never felt so much as the slightest pang of conscience. It happened one Friday afternoon, after work. I had stopped by a local "mom 'n' pop" shop to buy bacon and such for a good, hearty country breakfast for Saturday morning. The little old lady rang up my groceries, bagged everything up; and I went to hand her my debit card, only to find out that they did not accept cards, only cash or personal checks. I went to start putting the food back onto the shelves; but the little old lady stopped me. "John, we've known your family for years; you just go ahead and take that stuff, and you can pay us next time you come through these parts." That moment struck me hard. It was the first time in my life I ever understood how it felt to be trusted. I took the food on home, drive back into town to get cash from an ATM; and paid the bill Saturday morning before ever bacon touched pan. That's how it happened for me, without god's, angels, saints, or sinners.
  19. Here's the thing: I wasn't necessarily a horrible person as a christian. I wasn't out secretly molesting kids or murdering crack heads for fun. But I was extremely dishonest, both intellectually and interpersonally. I would lie, manipulate, steal, cheat... it didn't matter; because I could get jesus to forgive me without ever having to apologize to my victims. After my deconversion, I suddenly realized, "people need to be able to trust me; but they can't!" This was several years after deconversion. I started monitoring my own words, thoughts, and actions. Wow! What a shock. I now teach my sons that honesty is when my words, thoughts, and actions all agree with each other; and integrity is when I force them to agree, though they'd (sometimes) rather not.
  20. I know something of that feeling. But you see the purpose of dancing IS NOT dancing, the purpose of dancing is pleasure of some sort. All these answers above amount to that actually, pleasure of different kinds. Getting into heaven is also pleasure. We are pleasure seeking beings that much is obvious. I disagree about the whole you make your own purpose thing. In a sense yes but we live in a community and kind of need common goals. If not , a nation of individuals seeking their own thing is going to be replaced so easily by something like Islam with a certain central authority. Or china. Meaning is also about order. We do not like chaos, at all and seek order. Our pattern seeking abilities attest to that. A religion providrs basic world structure. A basic map of reality. As saud by TEG many turn to some of non religious buddhism and /or modern physics. We are by nature religious and have basic myths that drive our life. One modern one is human rights. Many fight for that but it is as abstract and lacking in solid facts as many religious claims. The Us Constitution is a myth making entity the we consider self evident that people have certain inalienable rights stuff. It is as self evident as the existence of God. We have a huge symbolic side to our nature which needs tending and us as important as our logical side. Carl Sagan is just a modern mythmaker because guess what? That is how our minds work. In grand narratives. I am pretty sute evolution is just that a replacement myth. We make sense of the world and interact with it in a combination of symbols and logic. Some people may have a stronger need for transcendent meaning. Idk.
  21. According to the scriptures! I'm waiting for the next Christian to tell me that they will pray for me .... I shall remind them of Matthew 6.6: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." I'll not remind them that the last bit won't happen.
  22. @Bhim @Blood Here's a passage from "The Faiths of the Founding Fathers" (David Holmes) p.46: mwc
  23. Working on it . . . . PENDULUM | | | | I hate all things | I’m still sort of christian! | a believer. | --- | | --- I’m over it.
  24. Fortunately, wifey doesn't force me to put up the outside lights any more. No matter how you stow them away, the light fairy comes in July and tangles them up mercilessly, and blows out at least 1/4 of the bulbs. So now we're done with that. Ditto the tree. For a couple of years I had to put lights on a potted plant by the dining room window, but she's backed off on that, too. But no matter how hard I try, she won't let me sleep in late as we have to get across town to the grandkids' house. They're fundies, but they don't push it off on us and we all get along great. We watch the kids open and play with their new stuff and we eat too much.
  25. My roommate was knocked into a pool by a big Pyrenees when he was young and almost drowned, and to this day he can't be around bigger dogs. Small dogs are on pretty thin ice. I used to have a weird one I can mostly manage now after exposure, but I used to be absolutely terrified of aliens. It was those silly big eyed grey aliens from sci fi that everyone uses on shirts and merchandise, I would get sick to my stomach whenever I saw one and have to either turn it away or turn off/walk away from whatever was on that had them. Since they've gotten so much bigger in pop culture I've had to acclimate but if I see one and I'm not expecting it I still get a little nauseous.
  26. Edgarcito, also consider that there are primitive tribes who never heard of "our" God, but are very peaceful, moral people. Read about the Hadza tribe in Africa. Where did their morality come from? Rational, critical thinking people can figure out what is in their best interest. It seems there needs to be a concern for others, as well as a concern for self. Empathy. I see you are visiting the forum, but not addressing these posts. I hope our input is helpful. Along these lines, also consider that the doctrine of original sin is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you are inherently evil, or incomplete, and need an infallible deity to guide you, then you will likely act that way. But if you believe you are an important, equal part of a whole, and believe you have reasoning ability, just like everyone else, you will be more likely to think and act in ways to benefit yourself, and the whole of society.
  1. Load more activity

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.