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  2. Probably the old chestnut "god is testing us". You can cover all sorts of horror with that phrase.
  3. Probably have non-advertised gatherings in the middle of nowhere on Easter.
  4. It's a personal revelation my brother. Until you have been thrust upon you will never understand.
  5. You never were a true sorcerer. (haha) Well, she is obviously invisible because we cant see her...(logic, my friend - lol). Being pink, not sure. Did she leave a pink paint transfer behind when her horn ...ummm....nvm.
  6. From an outsider's perspective, it is quite fascinating. One of the very main practices of Christianity is gathering together. And, due to the coronavirus outbreak, they will not be able to gather in churches on their most holy day - Easter Sunday. If I were a believer still, this would have caused me to doubt God's existence. Why would he allow the events of the universe to result in Christians NOT getting to go to church for a couple of months, including EASTER of all days?!! I wonder what they will say... maybe they will praise the advent of the technology that enables them to "meet" remotely... But it's all really odd right now if you are a Christian, right?! And it's also really odd that most of them won't even think twice about it...
  7. This is a mega church situation, and it looks like the pastor is cash motivated. The Sheriff had two religious leaders back his move on arresting the con man. They quoted verses and spoke of why they oppose "testing" jesus at a time like this, basically. You hit the nail on the head. That's what it was like being raised in an end times denomination like SDAism. I have memories of being 3 or 4 years old looking up at posters with depictions of the various beasts of revelation. Everyone convinced that going into the 80's the end was right in front of us. Any time the pope spoke, or we had a new president someone had some crack pot theory that it had something to do with the 2nd coming. But you're right. They were leaning on a sense of security from thinking that they "know" what's going on. Very keen insight. And then as children, we found security in thinking that the elders knew what was going on. We depended on them having it correct. But that's where they lost me, when I began to identify just how incorrect they all were about so many different things. My parents along with everyone else. That was the big change. I could see how petty and desperate it was. Endgarcito, sorry. Don't let me spoil any beliefs you may have about revelation being true. Proceed if you will.
  8. Today
  9. It's not so cut and dry. Magick is closely tied to your own consciousness and sub conscious mind. I don't know if you broke into all the threads midnite and I have going about magick and it's relation to the persons consciousness and sub conscious mind in the spirituality section. Scientific study of magick and that sort of thing. So when you think that you know of a gods existence because of spells that worked, you don't actually know that. The stronger bet may be that it's been you yourself making it work. And has nothing to do with any gods or goddesses carrying out wishes or commands. But that's a talk for the spirituality section. Lot's of links, videos and citation there concerning these sorts of magick issues. And explanations that are lesser known. And this part goes towards some of the debate forum discussions as of lately. "Know" is a foggy word around here, as it turns out. By "know" you seem to mean having certain, firm, concrete and truth oriented knowledge about the existence or non-existence of god. As is the case with the context of most god related, gnostic or agnostic claims. Meaning specifically, knowing or not-knowing whether a god exists in terms of certainty. Not knowing in some other way, or figuratively or something else. So if we set aside any out of context meanings of the words know or knowledge, the yes, no one "knows" absolutely if there is or isn't a god. You're correct and these are common thoughts to have. And that's also a big point here. No one does. And atheism isn't so much about "knowing" that god doesn't exist. It's about lacking the positive belief, which, is common with both atheists and agnostics. Neither have absolute knowledge of whether or not a god exists. I questioned gods existence. I entertained the possibility that it may not be true. Even though I was raised believing what I was told about god absolutely existing. There were things that weren't adding up. My pastors couldn't hold a good strong argument when challenged. And finally the mythological nature of the bible started starring me in the face. I stopped believing it. It no longer made any sense to believe it. To be honest, it would be nice to think it's all true. And that despite anything I've done, I'm still loved and favored by a supernatural deity watching over me all the time. But I can't go backwards. I'd be pretending and fooling myself if I tried. I just don't believe and can't believe it any more. If some being suddenly appeared in front of my face and everyone else could see it too, I'd wonder what in the world this alien being is doing here on earth? You know why? Because anything that could appear in front of us and that we could look at as fixed object would be a "finite" object that it's possible to look at. An advanced life form of some type, not an infinite and eternal god, which, by definition would be beyond viewing directly. God as some absolute reality, gets caught up in the whole span of existence itself. With a presence all over, everywhere - omnipresent. The whole universe and beyond. What most people do is think of a finite representation of something that they claim to believe is beyond any finite representation. It's way of thinking about or imagining something that would have to be completely beyond thinking about or imagining. Because it's infinite and eternal. In the end, a god as something infinite and eternal places it as existence itself. Whole and totality oriented. Which then brings it close to home because we are existing beings. Whatever is infinite and eternal IS us. We a part of it and it is the totality that we actually are in reality, at the base of everything. I'm not afraid of that. Nor should you be either. It's our own inner essence and existence. Everything else is just politically motivated mythological stories. Which can't really do anything for anyone aside from take them down a rabbit hole or path leading to where I just took you now. If they look into it far enough. Once you grasp the infinite and eternal god as the totality, you're there. You've arrived. And then everything starts falling into place. These questions about the existence of god can take on a different perspective entirely. When you travel outside of the box christianity had you placed in. It's set up a series of contradictions about a god. None of which are resolved easily. And lead to confusion. Such as the question you're asking. But it's possible to look beyond all of that.
  10. I think in a crisis many people, as a coping mechanism, cling to false explanations and narratives just for the false gratification of feeling like you "know" something and therefore have some kind of a "handle" on the situation. It's really tempting for many people to even believe in a cruel god and a horrifying apocalypse if it helps them feel like they "know" what's going on. I think it's a petty and desperate place to derive a sense of security from, honestly. People really have a hard time just coping with the fact that we don't know what's going to happen. Honestly? Given recent events it makes sense it's a struggle.
  11. A couple of sentences with a young lady....the standard rhetoric....she didn't need organized religion to know what was right/wrong. I asked her what standard she used for her assertion. She replied evolution. Jump a couple days forward, driving home....thinking about her response. So every observation that I might consider evolution, to me, doesn't point to a change through intent. Which brings questions to my mind. How did evolution manifest organisms with intent/choice? Once these organisms exist, is evolution capable of acting on the entity in the same capacity it had before? Does choice override evolution? Sometimes? Always? Is morality even associated with evolution at this point? Pardon the ignorance, just mental masturbation on the way home....I might read in the interim....no promises.
  12. Ouch. Don't be so hard on yourself! Btw theres a big connection in growing up brainwashed in xtianity, essentially being told you're a worthless peice of shit and need Jesus for redemption, and the messages and self talk that people give themselves throughout life. Many of us exit xtianity with terrible self confidence and little idea of who we really are. And this negative self talk is definitely influenced by the pattern of negative messaging we have received. One book I'll tout again that goes into this in great detail (and helps you come to terms with this messaging and heal yourself) is Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell.
  13. This sentence makes me wonder how many "Christians" will "forget" to donate. Perhaps those pastors who won't stop the services are worried about cash flow.
  14. Tonight's news reports that Tony Spell of Baton Rouge, who we have discussed on one of the virus threads here, has also been arrested. He remains defiant. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/31/us/louisiana-pastor-arrest-tony-spell/index.html
  15. We did personality tests a while back for fun. You're among many introverts! INTJ's and INFJ's and similar variations. Chin up!!!!!
  16. I'll add that good people will worship the good aspect of a god, while assholes will worship the bad aspect of the same god!!! Because the god is presented in ways that are both good and bad for people. Bringing it back around to the loving god treating women as inferior through his, "inspired" staff......
  17. Agreed on knowledge as the most likely effective cure. The rest is just a hypothetical about possible curve balls like this running wild. Things could change very fast. Much faster than anything expected given an odd set of circumstances. I guess that possibility just became more real and up front in my mind recently due to this pandemic. They arrested a mega church preacher the other day in the Tampa area. He was telling people things like no one who attends services will get the virus. The Sheriff came down hard on it. I'd say that the religious people do seem more religious right now due to the pandemic. But of course these churches are mostly made up of older folks who are inclined to grasp towards religion during hard times. With a con man at the helm trying to exploit the situation for monetary gain.
  18. This is just a hypothetical. What's your take here, End? Does it look like revelation being fulfilled in your opinion?
  19. If your experience was supernatural then you can't trust your perceptions. If your experience was ordinary, then you can trust your perceptions. /s I've tried. Nothing happened. I know, I know, I'm not doing it right, much like I just didn't have enough faith blah blah /s However, I can confirm that the Great Invisible Pink Unicorn exists. I've prayed and its answered my prayer - within half an hour. I can prove it. So there's that. How do I know she's pink if she's invisible? Well I've had the great horn thrust upon me so now I see clearly.
  20. Yesterday
  21. Welcome to Ex-C! I think the hot dog analogy is dead on. To further the analogy I can say I know some people who know how the hot dog is made but choose to keep eating them because they are tasty and comforting. Speaking of Bible students, it was as I studied the Book of Revelation at Moody it finally all came together for me - "This is a crock of shit!"
  22. I think the best I ever read was The Demon-Haunted World: Science As A Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan. It piqued my interest in science and critical thinking.
  23. The ex-Christians here seem pretty convinced that the Bible God most certainly does not exist, in fact can't exist. Many are a little less certain that some other type of god/creator doesn't exist and many dabble in Deism just to keep the supernatural door open a crack. The possible reality of those other creators/hands-off gods is a separate discussion.
  24. Because we are Ex-Christians. Were we Ex-Muslims we would be talking about how bad Allah is. And no, I don't hate or hold grudges against fictional characters. Imagine if during a discussion about The Lord of the rings, and we were discussing how evil Sauron was, and I came out and suggested that people harbored grudges and hated Sauron. It's a bit silly really. To answer the question of the thread: Am I really sure I don't believe? Yes, I'm quite sure. The one thing I can be sure of is what I do and don't believe. This is how I know Christians are speaking utter bullshit when they say I know in my heart that God exists, that I just deny him because of xyz reason. It's horseshit. I don't like Trump, but I acknowledge his existence. If I believed God was real, even if I didn't like him, I'd acknowledge his existence. But the one thing I know is that I know that I don't know if god exists, and I know that I don't believe any gods do exist.
  25. If your experience was supernatural then you can't trust your perceptions. If your experience was ordinary, then you can trust your perceptions. /s
  26. I left the Christian church about 20 years ago. (Well, now I go to a Unitarian Universalist church but mainly for the sense of community. They're accepting of atheists, agnostics and free thinkers.) For years afterward I still feared hell. Sometimes I prayed, "If You want me to believe again, You have to give me good reasons. It's not fair to send me to hell for unbelief, if You didn't provide evidence." But as the saying goes, the heavens were silent and Christian apologetics didn't convince me. For example, Lee Strobel's Case for Christ seemed completely one-sided. Over time, my fear of hell has diminished but it is stubborn. It's like the claws of religion, digging deep into you. It's not rational, but over time and with thought and reason it gets better. I agree with MOHO: baby steps.
  27. Or both with high confidence in the same lifetime? edit: I'm not really that confident about it. Kind of apathetic, for the most part.
  28. @freedwoman, As @florduh pointed out everyone has undergone differing levels of indoctrination. Not sure if we all respond to the same stimulus the same but I'm sure you can find the answer to that on the interwebs. Just keep in mind that your fear and angst are the result of said indoctrination (professional speak for brain washing) and it can be undone. Keep reading/posting here. Read from the myriad of authors on the subject - the works of many of whom are offered here, and stay the hell away from anything that will reinforce the B.S. We're talking church, churchy friends who cannot stop talking about jebus, xtian music, fundy spouses (Yes, I leave the room when she starts churching out!) , and abscessing about hell. Once the indoctrination begins to wain you will start to realize how stupid and man-made all the fundy crap is. Baby steps, Free. Baby steps.
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