The bulk of science does not support belief in a deity, or does it? This is an open discussion area to hone your skills at supporting and understanding the various positions. Feel free to post any links of value in this important topic.
I got nostalgia about an old friend who helped me leave religion behind. I remembered during that time, I used to visit this forum a lot. I met amazing characters here and I'm grateful for their help in a time of pure uncertainty. I hope to return the favor.
It is very interesting on that note how certaib mustics try to "see " the more pantheistic God in the Bible. A lot of mental gymnastics were and are necesary. But christianity just seems to me - i am not an expert - like a soup of very different ideas which do not really belong together.
I am sorry but your answer denotes a total lack of knowledge in psychology and the psychology of religion/ cults in particular.
What you feel is obvious might also be wrong. Many people fimd it obvious that God exists and would have the exact same answer of well all atheists would agree to theism if they were honest enough. You should study the overwhelming cult / mind control literature done by psychologists and neurologists on how choices can and are influenced. By the way thinking that everything is just your choice is an extremely CHRISTIAN idea, and is really frowned by modern neuroscience. Read and hear robert sapolsky, atheist neuroscientist. It also called fundamental attribution error in social psychology.
You seem to think you are a free thinker and invulnerable to group think. You are not. If you are then you are probably a psychopath with neurological problems unable to emotionally connect with others and be influenced by others.
Please get down of your high horse and join us mortals with faulty reasoning and biases all around. But maybe you think you are one of the chosen who has acces to absolute truth and all others are weak and/ or stupid not to see it. Well then...who else has simplistic absolute certainty with a dash of self importance? I wonder.
No offense to you as a person, but your line of thinking is demeaning and demonstrably wrong.
I do not know what you SHOULD do. How could I? I do not know your situation. My answer was that influencing people is possible and can be worthwile. If this was not the case then there would be no exit counselors for cults, and there are many. And if you read my answer carefully , I do say having a craft in doing so is essential. Could I start building a bridge? No. Could a bridge engineer along with a team and equipment? Yes.
Even in your case maybe and expert psychologist could do the job so that your parents feel grateful and happy. How are you so sure the result would be terrible? Based on what expertise?
I admore your desire to not do harm. And so if YOU TRIED BY YOURSELF it would be harmful. But if you tried surgery on them it would also be harmful. Just because we cannot do it does not mean it could not and should not be done.
Thanks so much for the warm welcome everyone, It's good to meet some REAL,people, Not those phony asshole hypocrites in church.
Drinking Ayahuasca definatley helped set me on this path, If anyone is interested in learning about it I would be glad to share.
I do indeed feel like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, I can be whoeve,r I want to be now.
Instead of going to church on sunday mornings, I can do something much more useful and productive, Like....Mastubate!
I was never a big believer to begin with, It was just something my parents forced on me as a kid.
I would have gotten out long ago, But the fear of hell kept me locked in, Now I don't give two shits.
Just be sure to put a shotgun and a chainsaw in my casket with me so I can kick some demon ass [Doom reference i'm making here]
I've been listening to my two favorite bands alot lately, Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull which just happen to be some of the most anti church bands in history, and It's really helping me stay positive.
Thanks again everyone!
I am not at all surprised by the quoted defense of the doctrine of hell as the writer expressed it. Since I left Christianity, I have continued exploring the Bible and, in particular, the four Gospels. What I have seen is that at least by my reading, is that the common Christian concept of hell does not match the actual words in the Gospels. Hell is not that important in the Gospels, though many Christians definitely focus on it, especially certain preachers who use it to scare people into becoming Christians to avoid such described punishment.
The Gospel that stands out the most to me that does not speak of eternal punishment is the Gospel of John. Take one of the most well known verses of the Bible, John 3:16.
”For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Now, let’s look at the obverse of that verse. It would be something like this:
”For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whosoever does not believe in him shall perish and not have everlasting life.”
In other words, the result of not believing in Jesus is not eternal torture in hell, but, instead, Jesus will not call nonbelievers from the grave so that from that point forward they will live forever like he will with believers. See John 6:40 (“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”)
This reading of John requires reading John separately from the other Gospels and truthfully searching for the meaning of that Gospel and that Gospel alone and not allowing the other Gospels to bleed over into it.
Bottom line is that the Gospel of John does not have hell, but only eternal life or eternal death (but no hellish torture).
A buddy of mine came out of a toxic pentecostal group "Maranatha", a college campus cult. The pressure to perform was intense and he finally broke mentally, went manic for weeks and didn't sleep because he "didn't need to, Jesus is my strength", thought he was going to win North Korea for Jesus as a warrior of God, was committed to a hospital and injected with rather a lot of sedative and finally slept for a long time. Then he was broken again when he realized he'd "failed" again. He was as fragile as I'd ever seen a man.
Eventually, he settled into Catholicism for its quiet meditative path. I don't mess with his beliefs, or tell him what I think about Jesus horrid non-kind statements. We just focus on the kindness parts and have a beer. This gives him a spiritual path that brings him calmness and a promise of a better future while freeing him from expectations of others.
A word of advice: if you haven't already, read up on the intellectual arguments against Christianity (reading other people's extimonies won't be enough - you need to familiarize yourself with what apologists might throw at you to make you doubt).