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  1. 7 points
    Funny how god could create Adam from dust and Eve from a rib; but he had to impregnate another man's fiance to become human himself.
  2. 6 points
  3. 5 points
    One may certainly pretend there is a god yet refrain from doing all the horrible things we can attribute to Abrahamic religions. A problem still remains, though, when magical thinking trumps rational thinking and personal responsibility gets outsourced to imaginary beings. Real world issues such as disease have been and continue to be addressed by science; not prayers, spells, holy water and other such appeals to the nonexistent. One might think that by the 21st Century we would have had enough experience with reality that we would have outgrown superstitious beliefs, but sadly that's not the case. Continued belief in magic may not always cause immediate damage, depending on the specific belief, but all such belief contributes to and strengthens the general mindset of the world that the power to change things lies beyond human capability.
  4. 5 points
    Almost to a person, the anti-theists are former members of one of the cults, primarily Christianity around here. It's a crucial difference. Anti blacks have never been black and don't have any facts or experience to work with. Same for anti Jewish and Islam haters. Anti atheists have likely never even been atheist but rather spend their life in pervasive religious indoctrination that paints non believers as enemies. Again, anti-theists have been there, done that and understand the mindset and dangers posed by believers. Christian theology preaching Hell to children is child abuse. Even as an adult the doctrine causes sometimes irreparable damage. The concerted effort to rule a secular society by their religious dogma is anathema to most of us, yet they persist despite our Constitution. Granted, many who carry the believer label are not personally involved in trying to write our laws and their sect may not even emphasize eternal punishment. However, they add to the strength of the religious movement and they still expect everyone to respect their beliefs (not necessarily them, their beliefs) and often find opportunities to try to persuade others to join them in their superstition. A real world with ever escalating real problems needs clear heads and logical minds rather than magical thinking. Belief in gods and religions has caused, and continues to cause, the lion's share of strife in the world. Belief in gods at best does nothing to further our progress and at worst brings on human rights abuses, war and wanton destruction of our natural resources. One needn't look far to find reason to be anti-theist these days.
  5. 5 points
    I hate to say it, but if there's any chance that some radical fundie church could fall into disarray over a magick spell, meh, fire away!!!! If it works, let's please do the global conference of seventh day adventist's next. And the Church of Christ while the momentum is going....
  6. 5 points
    Warnings about the depravity of nonbelievers is nothing but a scare tactic. Several secular societies have less crime and are more humanitarian than Christian ones. There is no proof that athiests/agnostics have more out of wedlock sex than christians. From my observation, there is no difference. Read about the HADZA tribe in Africa. No Christian God for thousands of years, but a very peaceful group. The doctrine of original sin is a self fulfilling prophecy designed to keep people in submission, and give the religious police job security. And in some cases make themselves rich. The campus crusade is a cult.
  7. 5 points
    Well, if you don't sin, then jesus died for nothing.
  8. 4 points
    This tells me you don't know much about firearms. The absolute best home defense weapon is a shotgun. Not a short one either. Semi-auto or a pump action. Eight rounds. They are basically idiot proof, easy to clear, clean, and maintain. It has a lower chance of penetrating walls, floors, and ceilings at lethal velocity. Meaning it's difficult to shoot a family member in another room or a neighbor and accidentally kill or injure them. The spread means it has a wider effective area. With a handgun you have to be on target, with a shotgun you don't need to be nearly as "on target" to be effective. They are also much easier to configure to be less lethal by changing ammo. A typical "home defense" loadout is birdshot, birdshot, buckshot, birdshot, buckshot, buckshot, buckshot, buckshot. The first shell is intended to be a warning shot, but you want something that puts lead out in case you're firing at someone who is charging. The reason for this is that birdshot is less likely to be lethal, but will still stop someone in their tracks. That's your deterrent shot. Buckshot will drop a target. It's relevant because the entire point of assault rifle bans isn't really to remove something that is more dangerous than other weapons. It is a foothold to justify larger bans in the future, an incremental step. Banning assault rifles is pointless, because other perfectly legal weapons can do the exact same thing, literally. Assault rifle bans are political grandstanding intended to set up further bans in the future. So, yeah, it actually does impact gun control. There are no "gun free zones" anywhere in the world by that standard. The police have them, the military has them, criminals have them, etc... Argument from extremes. Nuclear weapons are internationally regulated, but there's no reason a citizen shouldn't be able to own an armored transport or even a modern tank. That doesn't mean they can just drive one on the highway or around town either. Just like you can't drive a bulldozer or a steamroller wherever you want just because you own one. Also, yes, that would mean that Law Enforcement would also be able to have them. Because the US Military as it currently exists would not wage war on the citizens of the country and many would join them. There would be a sizeable force that would remain loyal to the government, but much of the military would very much have a problem with being deployed against their own country. There's a reason Rome didn't station their legions in areas where they were from. They always deployed them away from their homes, so they would remain loyal to the empire in the event they were needed against the regions they were stationed in. Don't forget that the US military is made up of citizens. You also have the National Guard, and that's kind of the point of the National Guard. You're making the assumption that the entire government would turn against the people, and that there wouldn't be Governors, law enforcement, and local elements that support the people against them. None of those elements on their own would be good enough, but together is another matter. Also, let's not ignore the possibility of foreign invasion. Just because we're "too strong" for it today, doesn't mean a thing to what might be in the future. We can't plan for the world to exist exactly as it does now forever. Safeguards are for when the status quo changes. Being secure right now isn't the issue, it's so we have a backup when things aren't so secure and stable anymore. That's what the second amendment is for. It's not intended for prosperous and peaceful times, but for when those times inevitably end. We can't "shelve" it now because things are good and expect to be able to roll back if something comes up.
  9. 4 points
    Another thing which isn't clear from the teachings I've heard, is whether God would punish people who are ignorant of his existence. The classic example would be an African tribesman who has never met a westerner. He knows nothing of Christianity, the bible or Jesus, so when he dies he would not be a believer and would not have Jesus in his heart. Does the "no one gets to God except via me" line mean that the ignorant tribesman will burn in hell for his lack of belief? Or would Christians go with that being unjust and there is no way a merciful god would do such a thing? If god doesn't punish the ignorant, so the African tribesman would get into heaven, then entry is not purely based on belief, so maybe the mans works will be considered? Or perhaps he gets to gain belief after physically meeting the chaps in heaven? If the ignorant can enter heaven, then teaching Christianity would be the thing that damns souls to hell. Prior to knowing they could not choose to reject god, it is only after being taught about it that you are not ignorant and become hell bound. That would mean burning all bibles and closing all churches would save souls...
  10. 4 points
    "Lord, please bless this food. Though I assume sanity food preparation protocols were used in producing what we're having for dinner tonight, we realize sometimes feces, hair and other foreign material can be introduced into , say, those delicious "looking" mashed potatoes. I'm sure these will be fine though because of your blessing them. Amen." "Lord Jesus, please bless our food...and bless the democrats for [some current legislation]. Please also bless each and every member of the LGBTQ community. Give the gays your love Jesus, for they surely need it , just like every individual at our table needs your love. Let your hedge of protection surround and protect all of the black people and black protesters in the Black Lives Matter movement as they strive for equality. Let us remember that in this great great country of ours we have been afforded many freedoms....(pause for possible amens) ... including the freedom to worship and believe however we choose. Or to not worship at all. In the name of Jesus, I , an apostate and atheist, pray for these things."
  11. 4 points
    Would they help you perform a witchcraft ritual? I bet not. Would they enjoy watching some Matt Dillahunty on youtube with you? If not, then you get to pretend you are hurt by that so they can understand where you are coming from. You didn't hurt that person by not praying with/for them. They have been programmed with a kooky idea. Dont feel bad or guilty because they have a kooky idea. You are not obliged to share in their kooky idea and most especially NOT their trying to guilt you over it.
  12. 4 points
    The past does not define your present unless you want it to. It's all good, just try to enjoy your freedom.
  13. 4 points
    If Schrondinger's cat was radioactive... ...then it has 18 half lives.
  14. 4 points
    It's fascinating to me the number of situations in which two scenarios could have been possible - a scenario that could ONLY have been possible if God/the Bible were true (we'll call these "scenario 1") OR the scenario one would expect if God/the Bible WEREN'T TRUE ("Scenario 2"). In each instance, we always find the second scenario to be how things actually are, yet there exists a Christian doctrine to explain why reality is this "unexpected way"... For example, given divine inspiration of scripture, there are 2 possibilities of how reality could have been regarding divine PRESERVATION of scripture. Scenario 1: god could have miraculously preserved scripture from copy/transcription errors (which would ONLY be true if god/bible were true) or Scenario 2: there are errors in copying/transmission. The second scenario is exactly what we'd expect in a godless universe (and what we do, in fact, find), but it is *theoretically possible, though odd-and-unexpected* in a bible-is-true universe. So, Christianity came up with its "doctrine of inspiration" that only applies to the original autographs and not the copies - to accommodate the unexpected scenario... Over and over, this pattern repeats itself and christianity finds itself constantly explaining why the reality we live in (in every case) is ALWAYS made up of "scenario 2s" - the realities we'd expext if the bible wasn't true, even though Christianity can be deformed to accommodate that scenario. Never do we find "scenario 1s" to be the case. Other examples: the universe could have been found to be only 8,000 years old (a "scenario 1"). Instead it's been shown to be billions of years old (a scenario 2 finding). Amputees could have been healed instantly by prayer (s-1) or not (s-2). Children of Christians could be divinely spared being raped and murdered (s-1) or not (s-2). Demons could still obviously roam the earth and demonic possession could be a court-acknowledged defense for killing someone (s-1) or not (s-2). There could have been unity in the church (s-1) or 34,000 denominations (s-2). Internal consistency in the bible (s-1) or not (s-2). Christian apologetics boils down to explaining why the reality we find looks not at all like the world we would have expected to find if the bible were true. It also means that Christianity never gets to claim a victory (by claiming a true "scenario 1"); rather, it simply avoids defeat by justifying how it can exist in a world of "scenario 2s"
  15. 4 points
    I realized recently that even though my deconversion process happened 14 years ago, there are aspects I'm still grieving. I've learned in therapy that if I ignore the parts of myself that are sad, it will eventually come back and bite me. So, I decided to write a letter to my deconversion process, as if it were a person. I was really surprised at what I wrote: I want to thank you for coming into my life at a time when I needed you but didn't want you. I was clinging to poison. Dysfunction felt like home to me. I was not grateful when you showed up. I was sad and scared. I thought you just came to take away everything I loved. I was angry and I felt alone. I was mad that you ruined my carefully planned future, my sense of purpose, my safety, my community, my friends. There were a lot of days I wondered if it would ever get easier. And there was so much to learn! You dropped me in the middle of the unsheltered real world and I had to play catch up. But I had courage and grit and I could learn! You gave me new friends, a new purpose. You gave me professors who cared and a library full of books. You gave me Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, a new online community. You revealed who my real friends were. You gave me space. Silence. Emptiness. Choices. So much room to run and question and demolish and create. Opportunities without judgment. You gave me new music! Bowling for Soup, Augustana, Gavin Degraw, remember the monthly CD club? You gave me rejection and pain and it hurt like a bitch. But afterward, there was hope. You gave me Fight Club. Rent. Marjoe. The God Who Wasn't There. Prple Fox videos. You gave me panic attacks and friends who supported me through the panic attacks. You gave me stress and the means to deal with stress. You gave me everything I love about my life. I didn't know how strong I was until I had no other choice but to be strong. I didn't know what I could do until I lost my support system and had to do things myself. I just assumed I couldn't swim until you dropped me in the deep end and somehow, miraculously, I kept my head above water. All this time I thought you were the villain in my life story. Now I see you were the hero. You saved me. As I wrote this letter, it dawned on me that my deconversion wasn't a tragedy that I somehow survived. It was the actual mechanism that saved me from a life of judgment, fear, dependence, and black and white thinking. If you wanted, you could even call it a blessing.
  16. 3 points
    Since I deconverted I've often wished that there was an alternative word to "spiritual" for those of us who do not believe in gods or the supernatural. A word that captured the sense of awe I feel beneath a starry sky, or the joy I feel when hiking in the woods, or listening to music or poetry that moves me. Maybe the Greeks have a word for it - surely they do - but I haven't found one in English that fits perfectly. In the context you've used it, maybe "emotional" comes closest. It's not physical, it's different from the intellectual part of us. Even without a better word to use in its place, if somebody were to ask me about my spiritual well-being, I think I'd answer that I am in better shape "spiritually" than I have ever been before, even without religious beliefs. I feel a sense of peace with who I am, even while I have things I want to improve. I no longer have the cognitive dissonance that often came with being a Christian, and I feel blessedly (another quasi-religious word!) free of dogma. I feel able to explore ideas and philosophies that were often restricted by my former religious faith. But enough about me...
  17. 3 points
    Speaking of anti-theists, I'm a long confirmed atheist but not an anti-theist. I do like it when people see the light concerning the non-validity of religions in general, but I believe in the principle of live and let live in that I think that everyone has the right to believe whatever they want as long as no one could ever be harmed by that belief, not even the persons themselves. I have seen much good as well as harm caused by religious beliefs but I am not confrontational concerning assertions of belief, only when people are being directly hurt by such beliefs and I am present. But after explaining to them the error of their ways they want to fight, I will usually flee with haste (run ).
  18. 3 points
  19. 3 points
    Hello there, everyone. I just finished week 6 of a 10 week EMT program. Before the pandemic hit I had just started a warehouse job but had to leave that since mom is high risk(50s, overweight and diabetic) but am getting unemployment payment. After I pass my program, I plan to take the national exam, and then send in my paperwork and documents to get my license for where I want to work. The city I'm looking to relocate to is ~3 1/2 hours away from where I currently live at home, and my reason for wanting to escape is due to exasperation and frustration with family drama that's been going on for years. Now I'm really not close to my mom or dad(they are divorced and he lives elsewhere). They had a VERY dysfunctional relationship throughout me and my sister's childhood especially in my adolescence. Around 3 weeks back, my mom was saying that it hurt that I'm distant and irritated around her, and brought up her signing over one of her two cars to me(I didn't ask, but she had considered it since I was a HS senior) and me still living at home. And yes, with both my parents I don't really talk to them, can be easily irritated when talking to them and even my relationship with my sister is up and down. But a few weeks back, she was talking on the phone to someone downstairs and was talking about that conversation. She then went on to tell the person(likely my grandma) about a time where I referenced frustration with my parents' mess growing up, and she said that was me ''getting upset over a hair out of place'', ''that I should go see what it's like living in the hood', etc. Now we are black, but she's an RN so we've always lived in a decent middle class area. Yes we always had some presents at Christmas, never were starved or malnourished, had cable etc. But none of that changes that there was some messed up things that occurred in my upbringing(again, much of this was in middle/early-mid high school): -Parents had loud shouting matches with profane language to rival Adult Swim characters. Dad once told Mom her fat ass smelled like shit due to not being able to clean herself without squirting water. Add in some physical altercations with him shoving her, her scratching him, death threats from my old man, having told my mother at least once he would break her neck. Once told me he didn't like me because I was weak and said no girls would want me(I was 13).Speaking of which... -My sister(3 years my junior) over the last few years has had problems with mood swings, anger and depression. While some of it had to do with some school drama the family mess was definitely a big factor. She has tried to run away or commit suicide by walking to an overpass to jump off, once trying swallowing Window Cleaner or Nyquil, and last summer the cops were at our house 4 times(within 2 months) because of she and my mom fighting physically and her pulling a piece of my mom's hair. The 4th time she actually swallows various pills and is rushed to the hospital and stabilized. Parents start their blame game crap right there in her ED room and I tell them both to shut it, Dad takes off belt and says he will''break my neck/beat my ass'' and Mom calls for security. Just around two weeks before that incident me and him had spent some time together and he had been giving the whole apology speech and all that, which wasn't even the first time. -During middle school, we were even exposed to their accusations at each other of cheating. My dad had even gone to our old church, and had me come out of youth group to tell me my mom allegedly ''had condoms in her car''. He actually has a girlfriend now that he is engaged too but I'm not invested in another train wreck. So that gives you at least some idea of what I've been through. I'm not in any physical danger, but it was just stressful to deal with all this shit. Aside from standard corporal punishment(black family, so this could include face smacks rarely) they have never starved, bruised, burned, scarred or done any real physical harm, but they have left me just feeling burned out with this situation, especially with my mom not only saying I still need to try to forgive and have a relationship with my dad, but she's also homophobic, accused me of being gay for never having a girlfriend and saying ''it's not normal even with what's going on in the world and my job training. Plus there's her telling me and my sister to have 4 kids each one day(in case some are gay, so her blood passes on). I'm not cool with that, or her telling me I'm going to hell earlier during the pandemic(end times craze.) But even being aware of all this there is still a part of me trying to wonder if things were really that bad, but the other wants to move on to better things, and get back on track with college education(financial aid through vocational rehabilitation department, due to autism) and focus on that and building myself up for my career(game warden or park ranger) so that if I start a family one day I won't have to put them through similar BS. But I don't plan on telling them when I move out, and I'm unsure of if I permanently cut contact, or at least till I have some clarity? Thoughts? Thank you.
  20. 3 points
    Has anyone considered... lower case 'g'?
  21. 3 points
    Have you ever considered that your personal experience may have led you to irrational beliefs and unconscious motivations. Science and looking at evidence is an attempt to sort out what is rational and real. Be glad you live in a society that allows you to follow your beliefs, as long as it doesn't harm others.
  22. 3 points
    I actually thought of a better one where you lead with, "Lord Jesus bless our President Trump and continue to guide his hand as you have for the last 4 years, let him continue to do your will as he has for this great country....(and once you have em sucked in, continue with) and Lord bless Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and AOC as you have guided them to do your will... bless all our republican and democratic leaders ....blah blah blah. fun stuff. lol
  23. 3 points
    That bears repeating.
  24. 3 points
    I know it's easier said than done and each person has a special set of circumstances, but continuing to attend services after proclaiming disbelief emboldens your family's convictions and does little to encourage others to break free. Do it, @Lerk! Do it! Dot it!
  25. 3 points
    It's definitely a one way respect thing. They expect you to respect their beliefs and yet you know they would never offer the same courtesy if a Muslim asked them to thank Allah out of respect for their beliefs. A respectful Christian won't ask, a respectful atheist won't interrupt.
  26. 3 points
    It's likely your religious programming and need for emotional support. Christianity often partially or completely deprives people of their own agency and ability to handle their problems and find confident support in fallible humans. It's difficult to acknowledge the reality of there being few to no constants in this world. Religion also rewires our brains and strengthens the neuron-pathways to produce endorphins upon this sense of comfort. It's also a belief that formerly defined your world view. Religious beliefs are powerful enough to cause intense cognitive dissonance. Your world view was changed and you can no longer ignore the falsies in the bible however your brain is still addicted. I've experienced the bouncing back and forth. I could feel the changes in headspace despite the fact I wasn't capable of the cognitive dissonance. My advice is to let go and find peace without the bible and Christianity. Instead of searching for a belief in a god, find your own purpose and seek relationships outside of those believer's. Leaving a religion can make you feel like your world has shattered but believe me, once the process of de-conversion is over, there is this sense of peace and clearheaded-ness. You evaluate the world with your own mind and truths and can finally stand on your feet. My mind finally felt free of fear, suffocation, and ignorance. Even if you still perhaps believe in a god out there, maybe consider moving on from Christianity and actively trying to undo your programming. You might just find a freedom that could never exist within religion's boundaries.
  27. 3 points
    I am going through a fed up with theology phase. Precisely because of those types of "arguments" and "evidence"
  28. 3 points
    I think you are thinking of the Galaxy:
  29. 3 points
    Losing your faith and probably all or most of your church community AND your marriage is really a lot to process. Don't be too hard on yourself if your grieving and recovery takes longer than you think it should or you feel like you have setbacks in the way you are processing all this. Everyone is different and trying circumstances that are apparently easy for some people to work through and move on from can effect others much more deeply. Two years may be too little time for you to process all these changes. If I were you I would be not afraid that a good resolution would not come but rather trust myself that I will find the answers I need in time. When we are in a longer more difficult process it can be hard to know exactly where we are in the process so if you feel like you can allow yourself space from time to time to just be, and trust your subconscious self to resolve everything you might find comfort in that letting go and even help yourself with your process.
  30. 3 points
    Another key issue here is forgiveness, both for yourself and for those who hurt you. But forgiveness is often a highly misunderstood subject, especially among the indoctrinated. Forgiveness is not an offer of absolution for those who hurt you; nor is it an acceptance of their behavior toward you. Forgiveness is you setting yourself free from the anger, hurt, resentment that they caused you. You choose not to live in that prison, or drink that poison, anymore. Forgiveness has nothing to do with them; and everything to do with you. Often, also, in cases like this, it is necessary to run forgiveness in tandem with boundaries. There is nothing wrong with forgiving someone; but also keeping that person at arm's length in the future. Because forgiveness doesn't mean you accept their behavior; rather, you reject it, and, if necessary, you reject them along with it.
  31. 3 points
    It's not too unusual to swing in and out of the anger. Find a constructive way to express it, and let it out. I found writing about it helped. Like the professor said, "this too shall pass." Some day you may, like I finally have, come to have pity on the others, and myself. You are simply being human.
  32. 3 points
    I spent the first thirty years of my life suppressing subconscious resentments, anger, and outright hatred that stemmed from the constant manipulation, coercion, and brute force of my childhood indoctrination. When I finally realized that anger is not a "sin", but rather, a perfectly normal, and sometimes even useful, human emotion, I absolutely reveled in it. Anger is not an unreasonable response to what I went through; and I allowed myself a season of freedom to experience it (well, to squeeze the very marrow out of it, would be more accurate). As the years have passed, I've slowly learned how to harness my anger and direct it into positive purposes. This is not to say that I don't still have the occasional flare-up of post-indoctination angst. I certainly do; as any survivor of abuse will. Only now I can recognize it for what it is: a largely negative and useless predilection towards living in a past that I can not change. I can attempt to reconcile myself to the past; perhaps even embrace it. But, only the present is mine in which to live. You are rebuilding your life; and so have I, many times over. This, too, shall pass.
  33. 3 points
    To me as a gay man in my later twenties, living as a fully believing Christian, eventually God as depicted in Christianity seemed more and more unjust. It would be one thing if I had some unique defect, but for God to set up a world where there were millions of LGBT people and forbid them to find the kind of relationships that were allowed to straight people seemed unjust. Then, when I realized more and more how NT promises about prayer were false, I started to wonder why I believed in the whole system. Eventually the reasons for belief drained away. I probably would have reached disbelief eventually, but I would have had more "temporal" advantages to remaining Christian as a straight man, I think, than I did as a gay man. So I reached the critical questioning point earlier than I probably would have had I been straight - and, if I'd been straight, I may well have built up a life in which more powerful attachments would keep me at least giving lip service to the cult.
  34. 3 points
    It isn't a simple one size fits all when it comes to abandoning or losing one's faith. There are a number of common themes you can find here on our site. Some do leave as McDowell claims over wanting to free themselves from christian morality (think premarital and/or LGBT guilt free sex for examples), some leave due to a search for the truest possible christianity (that perfect denomination) which leads them down a rabbit hole, some become completely disillusioned because of hell with its monumental immorality of eternal punishment for a crime so disproportionately small (Hell creates a sadism beyond human comprehension.), some leave after reading the entire Bible on their own and becoming completely disgusted by the immorality and/or horrifying capriciousness of the god portrayed there, some leave after being crushed by or simply empathetically crushed by any number of the devastating nightmares that that innocent humans might be unlucky enough to be forced to endure, and there are many other good reasons to be found here on ExC. But what I mostly wanted to bring up is the primary reason I, and a significant group of others on this site, were unable to hold on to our beliefs. It would probably surprise someone like McDowell who does not think deeply or selectively does not think deeply on certain topics due to cognitive dissonance that many leave because they believe wholeheartedly that christianity is true beyond any possible doubt. They are absolutely certain that christianity and its bible are unassailable. They drink up every word that is spoken at the pulpit. Everything christian is and must be completely reasonable and logical because it is true. For them the church and church life become top priority because what could be a greater good or more perfectly clear life mission than supporting their creator god and fulfilling what clearly is the best possible path. Then one day a tiny inconsistency or seeming contradiction catches their attention. The do not wisely put this item away in a box on a high shelf because there is no need. There is nothing whatever to be afraid of because they are safely wrapped in god's armor of truth so they take another step without any preconception and examine the confusing bit of information in the full light of reason certain that the truth will out and god will reveal the trick of the mind or the lack of complete information that has caused our needless distraction. We look as we know god wants us to look but rather shockimgly we do not find the support we were so sure we would find. God is silent as the confusion becomes a question which becomes a burning question followed soon after by another question that becomes a burning question. Probably every one of us true believers who find this happening to us ask god for help fully expecting that help to come. But only silence comes, silence and one burning question after another until one day typically years later we look for our faith and discover (very often shattered by the discovery) that we have no faith left.
  35. 3 points
    I remember reading The Case for Christ years ago. And what it did was illustrated to me the how frail the historical existence of jesus actually was. Prior to reading that, I didn't know about the minimalist's and mythicists. As he was outlining the positions he mentioned full myth. I just assumed that there had always been court records and that jesus was well documented at least as a man who was executed. In both jewish and roman records. Then I started seeing some of the mythicist books. Strobel literally sent me down that rabbit hole just by trying to refute the mythicists. Hell's a myth. It evolved in evident, human constructed stages over time. Not only is no one going to hell because of sex, no one is going to a place evidently invented by human minds in tell tale stages of development. Jesus is a myth, too. Regardless of any fractional aspect of the myth which contains some history. Myth is myth. Myth is metaphor and allegory. You have to take it all down to the base level. We shouldn't act in socially determined moral ways because we're afraid that a mythological story is real. We should do so out of empathy for others and because our social evolution sets forwards standards of conduct deemed acceptable by everyone else. Those morals change through time. Slavery was acceptable, then it wasn't. Duels were acceptable, then they were not. Premarital sex was not acceptable, then it was. Society, not gods and devils from mythology, determine these things. When you understand all of this, apologist's make no sense at all. I understand wanting to debunk them. But it boils down to debunking a lot of evident nonsense.
  36. 3 points
    Dang. So much for my degrees... McDowell is a liar and knows that he is so. He didn't set out as an agnostic to disprove Christianity, he was already a believer and used his marketing ability to sell books and speaking engagements. All the documents he references are after the cult was well established, so they prove nothing at all but that the cult existed and people wrote about it. The epistles are full of the same black and white, nearly racist approach to unbelievers being dogs that eat vomit, pigs that wallow in filth, weeds fit only to be torn up and burned, while the believers are pure, shining like lights in the darkness, blah blah blah. How many believers do you know that fit that description? It's like reading KKK pamphlets about blacks and Jews. Paul makes arguments that nature itself teaches that the bible god is real, which it does not at all. But he wrote as one who was himself indoctrinated from childhood, so of course he repeats the same lies. And "wouldn't die for a lie" is an insane claim. People believe lies all the time, even bizarre ones, and then die for the beliefs. The comet cult Heaven's Gate is one recent example. That they believed it was true didn't make it true. And to top it off, the claims that the gospels are eyewitness accounts is false just by reading them and looking for what they say that they could not have witnessed. The story of the wise men and Herod; the conversations between members of the Jewish leadership; the conversations between Pilate and the Jewish leaders; and so on. Plus we know from actual history about how the various writings about Jesus were selected while others were rejected. Names of authors were not preset and were added later to make it seem authoritative. Then there are the many cosmological errors, such as Jesus ascending "up" into the clouds (and then into Heaven, which apparently is above the clouds). We fly airplanes there all the time, and have spacecraft that go far beyond. Earth is a speck of dust in a vast cosmos, and all the tyrants and messiahs of history were on that speck.
  37. 3 points
    Interesting. Mostly seems to try and define Appalachia than talk about the actual traditions. Magic in the church goes back a very long way. Even Jesus did odd things like spit in the dirt and rub it into a guys eyes. The old testament has peculiar stories about genetics being altered by having sheep breed in front of stripped branches. The story of Elijah has him float an axehead on water by tossing in a stick. The Jews brought back the symbol of the Star of David (nothing to do with David) from Babylon, where the priests learned occult traditions and symbols. The myth of the golum was a demon/servant that a rabbi could conjure to help fight against oppressors. In medieval times, things like bindweed were buried in front of homes as protection against the devil (he would get stuck in the tangled branches). All kinds of Christian charms involving red thread or yarn wrapped around nails were sold to invoke the power of the crucifixion against evil curses or sickness. Catholicism tended to incorporate as many traditions as possible while Christianizing them, to further acceptance of the new faith. The craft itself of plant cures and such is some of the most basic knowledge of surviving sickness in the woods, far away from doctors. Things that worked got passed down. The mountain witches I know are deeply in tune with nature, plants, and the cycles of life. They add to that the teachings of vibrational energies, and divination via tarot and Lenormand decks.
  38. 3 points
    Human relationships are hard enough without the make-believe world that is OH SO IMPORTANT to believers. It adds so many levels of absolutes that aren't really absolutes, mortal dangers that are completely imaginary, and a wonderful loving psychotic bloodthirsty daddy who will fix everything but won't really and it's all your fault even though he changes you forever. AIEEEEE! It is good that you recognize the trauma. I hope you can find some good relationships to take the place of the toxic ones, though that is hard to do during COVID.
  39. 3 points
    I don't know, but it was a nice casket. The Heisenberg model, I think, though I'm somewhat uncertain. Heisenberg, Schrodinger and Ohm are in a car. They get pulled over. Heisenberg is driving and the cop asks him “Do you know how fast you were going?” “No, but I know exactly where I am” Heisenberg replies. The cop says “You were doing 55 in a 35.” Heisenberg throws up his hands and shouts “Great! Now I`m lost!” The cop thinks this is suspicious and orders him to pop open the trunk. He checks it out and says “Do you know you have a dead cat back here?” “We do now, asshole!” shouts Schrodinger. The cop moves to arrest them. Ohm resists.
  40. 3 points
    Isn't there also a cat involved?
  41. 3 points
    That would be "The Donald"
  42. 3 points
    ( flings the door open) Mooom! daaad! I’m hoooome! ( studio audience applause) OMG it’s been 6 years since I last visited the ExC Forums! i see some old faces: Margee, Florduh, Redneck Professor! You guys were part of the ExC generation that raised me. Seriously, I started here in like 2007 as a terrified young adult who had just left Bible college and could barely find my vagina with both hands! You guys were with me through awkward virginity losing and coming out to the family and my 4-year “ let’s date a Christian” phase. I took a long break because I was in a really healthy place, comfortable with life as an atheist and just didn’t need the extra support anymore. now I’m returning at age 33 because I’m in a weird place spiritually. Atheism was perfectly fine for 14-ish years and it gave me a great life but I’m moving into more of a non-Christian spirituality now. I’m planning to hang out in the ExChristian Spirituality forum. Join me if you want to talk weird stuff!
  43. 3 points
    Funny story. At the local shopping centre there's a new age spiritual shop that has a psychic reader everyday. When the covid 19 virus hit our town and everything shut down, that new age shop continued to remain closed well after the other stores reopened. So when it eventually did reopen, I wandered in there with a big smile on my face and said in a loud voice "Interesting none of you saw the covid 19 coming."
  44. 3 points
    I am finally ready to share my story. I read many testimonies on here in the beginning of my deconversion that really helped me feel less alone. Maybe my story will help someone too. I grew up in a relaxed Christian home. My mom was very involved in the church, but we didn't live out our faith at home. My childhood was normal and I didn't become a devout Christian until I was in college. We attended church reguarly, but our Pastor didn't really preach from the Bible. He would throw a verse into his sermons now and then, but every service was more of a feel good, God loves you sort of thing. Fast forward to my last few months of college. I was depressed. I hated what I was going to school for, had zero friends, and felt like I had ruined my future by racking up college debt for a degree I hated. After several months of misery, I remembered how good church used to make me feel. I had a part-time job that prevented me from going to church, but I loved to read. I felt so silly for not turning to the Bible earlier! I had a giant love letter from God!! That night I opened my Bible eager to be encouraged... Well as everyone here knows, the Bible is NOT a big self-help book. It's got lots of wrath, Hell, genealogy, and prophecies. When I realized this, instead of running in the opposite direction, I became angry. Not at the Bible, but at my church for not teaching me the real word of God. I felt like I had been lied to all these years. I now wanted to learn who God really was... I got "saved" and found a church that taught the Bible verse by verse. It was actually a good time in my life because I went from depressed to madly in love with Jesus. I was so happy and deeply devoted to God. It was a big non-demonanital church with loud music and a welcoming atmosphere. I learned about sin for the first time, but also learned how much God loved me. It was actually a decent church. Fast forward a few months later and I met my husband. He was exactly what I was looking for faith wise. He also became a Christian as an adult, and was so passionate about God that he did street evangelism, taught adult Sunday School, and was working to become a church deacon. He was a member of a little county Baptist church. I loved my church, but the first time I went to his, I was in love. Not only did his church teach from the Bible, his pastor was not afraid to preach about Hell and God's wrath. I felt like I was finally learning what the Bible actually said. No more feel-good sermons, you left feeling convicted! Just like everyone else at his church, we were married a few months after meeting. I couldn't wait to begin my life like everyone else at the church. I envisioned my life as a devout Christian wife with a couple kids that we would homeschool. I would bake cookies for church, make friends with the other church women, do Bible studies with my husband daily, fall more in love with Jesus, it was going to be a wonderful amazing future.... Yeah that didn't happen....What happens when you marry someone you barely know just because you're both Christians and love eachother? You argue...A LOT. And guess what also happens when a shy awkward person tries to join a group of people with strict beliefs and ideals? They recede further into their shell. And what happens when someone who was told at 17 they only had a 5% chance of getting pregnant? Jesus doesn't magically heal their infertility! And guess what happens when you combine all of this with NON-STOP preaching about Hell? Well, let's just say anxiety ensues!!! I gave up everything for Jesus. I missed so many family events and functions because they happened on a Sunday. I refused to go for Jesus.. I also continued to have no friends. I didn't fit in with the other church women because my marriage wasn't blissful, and I didn't have kids to homeschool. I felt so alone and couldn't understand why God wasn't helping me. I'll fast forward through all the drama but I had a really rough 4 years. Long story short my husband got so involved in the church we didn't have time for anything else. I didn't have a single friend at the church so I was alone during church 100% of the time (we couldn't even sit together because he had lots of responsibilies during the service). I eventually asked to switch churches, which caused more arguing but finally we left after 4 long years... When we left that church, I was still a believer. Which actually made things more difficult because I couldn't understand why God wasn't making life easier for me. I had done EVERYTHING I was supposed to, but my life was still a mess. I truly thought I wasn't saved. I also thought God was punishing me for making my husband leave his church home. I honestly kept waiting for something horrible to happen to me as punishment. We church shopped for a while, and eventually found somewhere that we both liked. We agreed to only attend services for the time being until we healed from the damage caused by being too involved in our old church. But slowly, our attendance began to waiver... It was a combo of our work schedules, and a fear of getting overly involved again. Then I broke my ankle and it made going to our church (lots of stairs) nearly impossible. After 3 months of no attendance, I started allowing the questions I always had about the Bible to start playing in my head. I really hated the idea of Hell. And the main one (that I NEVER let myself think as a Christian), an eternity worshipping at the feet of Jesus didn't sound like fun. It actually didn't seem fair. I didn't ask Jesus to die for me, so why do I have to spend eternity bowing down to him? A few months later after doing some research, I nervously broke the news to my husband that I didn't believe in the Bible anymore, and questioned if there really was a God. I had no idea what this would do to our relationship. I was worried he would drag me back to church and it would be a nightmare.... But to my SHOCK, he admitted he didn't believe anymore either, but was too afraid to tell me!!!! It's now been 5 months since we officially said we don't believe anymore. Things are getting better and I now love learning about all the errors in the Bible! Thanks for reading, hope this encourages someone.
  45. 3 points
    I'm with Midnite on this one. Leia is attempting to express some of her new, post-christian spirituality; and this is the proper forum for her to do so. She is not attempting to preach, convert, or otherwise proselytize her newfound beliefs. Whatever our personal views on the subject, this forum is a safe haven for spiritual expression. This forum is not for debate; and objective evidence for subjective belief is not required here. Carry on.
  46. 2 points
    I don't know what the hell is going on here. But I do know that I'm an atheist, and not just "pro no god". Seriously, this anti/pro thing seems to me to be a false distinction. If you're for 'x', then you're "pro x". If y is diametrically opposed to x, and you're "pro y", then you are, by default, "anti x" as well. There's no need to make more of this than what it is.
  47. 2 points
    Good luck in your studies. My cousin is into Messianic Judaism, without going on a long discord, you will soon see the Bible doesn't perfectly match up with their beliefs either. Nothing in Paul's writings would indicate gentiles are required to adhere to the Old Testament law - matter of fact, he argues vehemently against it. Paul's writings were the first documentation of Christianity, gospels and especially the ones advocating a Messianic Judaism were written 30+ years later. Messianic Judaism tries to tiptoe in both worlds, they do some OT stuff, Sabbath, dietary laws, etc., but then find excuses not to do all of it. Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself. There is nothing wrong with exploring your options, but I would recommend reading some material that shows the Bible and its claims are often questionable.
  48. 2 points
    I made the same observation. It makes perfect sense to me given the mainstream attitudes of the cult.
  49. 2 points
    I've often wondered if Schrodinger had an open casket at his funeral...
  50. 2 points
    Hello @confused00. Thank you for the open hearted letter and the vulnerability you showed, and trusting us to read and respond. I think you need to trust your instincts, and how you feel about the matter. I think you're thinking something along the lines of "How can these beliefs be so cruel? Am I not understanding something? Do they not know what it means?". I'm going to straight out say something that took me decades to realize and internalize: The cruelty is the whole point. You are understanding it correctly, and the implications are overwhelming. The long-term believers, pastors, and "spiritual-leaders" of the type know exactly how cruel it is and they revel in it - don't be fooled by their false posturing and lip-service to kindness. You don't have to take my word for it - in fact I prefer that you don't, and that you figure this out yourself. Trust yourself. Trust your intuition about the cruelty these beliefs imply, and their incompatibility with the kindness with which we need to live to be a decent person. Truthful people aren't afraid of you thinking for yourself and coming to your own conclusions. Believe me, I know how you feel. I was very hurt and conflicted - even for a decade after my deconversion. I have one additional advice: Your "white christian friends" are probably not your friends (unless they're secretly harboring feelings of conflictedness such as yourself). Be very weary of them, and please look elsewhere for new perspectives and different kinds of people. You might be surprised at the depths of friendships you can find outside the white christian community. Sincerely, -DT


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