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  1. 4 points
    Awhile back, I crashed my car. My whole life was thrown into a tailspin because of it. I had to find alternate transportation to work, and I nearly lost my job over it. But, things are better now. I believe Jesus allowed me to crash my car so that I could learn to better appreciate the things I have. Just the other day, I had to take my car on a long trip through the big city. I nearly got into a huge wreck when a truck driver forgot to hit his breaks. The truck came about six inches from smashing right into me. I really believe that Jesus caused the truck's breaks to work just a little bit better than they normally would have. I'm sure that my car would have been totaled and I might have even died... But, Jesus saved me from crashing my car! Hallelujah! A long time ago I tripped on acid, and I really believe that Jesus spoke to me in a vision while I was tripping. He was so real and so kind. Because of that wildly spiritual acid trip, I came to the realization that Jesus is real. I really believe he worked through the acid trip to reveal his true nature to me. Thank you, Jesus! About a month ago I smoked a little bit too much weed. I got too high and started freaking out. Within minutes, I was having a full blown panic attack. During that time I swear I could feel the devil's angels trying to rip my life away from me. I started frantically praying, and Jesus calmed my spirit. It was almost like I could hear his voice speak to me telling me that everything was going to be alright. He showed me that day that drugs are bad, and there is no place for them in his beautiful world. Now, I'm going to do my best to make sure no one ever touches the devil's lettuce again! Praise his holy name! A few years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to help a young Ethiopian girl out of poverty. She came here with a missionary, and we volunteered to let her live in our home. Jesus used us to keep her from living a life of poverty, pain, and misery. She is now going off to college here in the U.S.A. She is going to become a minister! Isn't Jesus great? Two years ago, I saw a video that showed thousands of poor Ethiopian children who were on the brink of death by starvation... I knew there was nothing I or anyone else could do to help them. I said a prayer for them and turned the television off. I guess Jesus just allows those things to happen so that we can appreciate the blessings he's bestowed upon us and our beautiful country. It's really a shame, but sometimes we've got to be able to see the bad to appreciate the good. Can I get a witness?! A year ago, an entire town was wiped out in a tornado. Over 100 people died. It was such a terrible tragedy to witness. However, I know there was a reason that Jesus allowed it to happen. Since the disaster, I've heard that so many people have given their lives back to him. They probably wouldn't have had the disaster never struck their town. But, thanks to the efforts of the church and Jesus' wonderful grace, those people have been able to find a true calm after the storm. About six months ago, a tornado swept by the town I live in. The weather forecaster said that had the wind direction been just a little more to the south, our town would have been wiped out for sure. Thankfully, it didn't. I really believe that Jesus spared our little town. I mean, what would we have done? Praise him for his eternal mercy... Two weeks ago, my grandpa died from lung cancer. He was such a good man, but I guess it was his time to go. My family and I prayed for him day and night, but I guess Jesus was ready for him to come home. I know he's not in as much pain now, and I know he's in a better place. The craziest thing about it all is that unbeknownst to any of us, grandpa had a secret inheritance of a million dollars that he left behind for us. Now, my family can afford to do all of the things we've always wanted to do. It turns out that Jesus knew the whole time what we really needed even when we didn't. Five days ago, my aunt Lorraine came home from the doctor and told us that she was officially cancer free. We were all so happy and overjoyed. I know in my heart that Jesus worked through the doctor's hands and the drugs to bring about a miracle recovery in her life. Isn't Jesus great? He truly is the great healer! Eight months ago, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary. We each drank a bottle of wine, and we had the most romantic and fun night of our life. There was candlelight, dinner, plenty of dancing, and lots of lovemaking afterwards. What a memory! That night revealed to me just why Jesus didn't mind turning the water into wine every once in awhile. Praise Jesus, the true vine and the creator of real mirth and joy! Four months ago, I met a poor sap who had a drinking problem. I invited him to my church recovery group, and now he is clean and sober. Jesus really did a miracle when he delivered that young man from the demon spirits that surround alcohol! A few weeks ago, I experienced a real miracle. I went to my mailbox and found a letter that was addressed to me with no return sender. I opened it up, and it contained five fresh one hundred dollar bills. It was the exact amount of money that I needed to pay my electric bill. I was so overjoyed. I'm so glad I told the members in my church to pray for my finances because Jesus sent me just the amount of money that I needed to keep the lights on. That day he showed me that he truly is the Giver of Light! Glory! Two and a half weeks ago my neighbors had their electricity shut off. I hated to see it happen to them, but in my heart, I understood why. The father of the family of four has been backsliding for some time now. He hasn't been to church in nearly a half a year. He can't really expect Jesus to reward him for that kind of behavior, now can he? I'm sure that Jesus is using this bad experience to teach him a lesson. Maybe he'll get his life right and come back to church! I'll be praying for him regularly - you can count on it! I looked in the mirror today and realized how strong and healthy I am. Jesus sure has taken good care of me. I know that I'm going to need my strength and health to participate in all of the work he has for me to do. For example, next week I'm helping to build our wonderful pastor a brand new house! Thank Jesus that I have the strength and the know-how to accomplish this huge task. I know that I couldn't do it without him. Yesterday, I ran into one of my old friends that I used to go to the gym with. I hadn't seen him in awhile, and I was shocked by how terrible he looked. He told me that he had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and his health and strength was fading fast. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I gave him a big hug. I know that Jesus is using this terrible turn of events to teach him a lesson that he needs to learn. Maybe he needs to learn to not be so prideful? Or maybe he needs to learn to rely less on himself and more on Jesus? Either way, I'm going to be there for him because that is what Jesus would want me to do! ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* In case you missed it, the moral of this story is that Jesus didn't have a thing to do with any of the things I mentioned above. For many people, Christianity is nothing short of a live action role playing game in which each participant makes up the rules and the explanations for things as he or she goes along always being sure to fit the miraculous and powerful interventions of Jesus in when applicable. Now, to be clear, I'm not trying to make the point that a god, a higher power, a higher order, or a collective consciousness etc. doesn't exist. I don't claim to have enough knowledge to make those kinds of assertions. Maybe science will eventually figure it all out... or maybe not. It really doesn't matter. What I do know is that Christianity is a mind control game that saps its participants of their intellect, their common sense, and ultimately, their ability to clearly see the true nature of the lives that they lead in this world. There is nothing holy, sacred, or miraculous about any of it. Thanks for taking the time to read!
  2. 4 points
    Thanks, to you all. I am encouraged by the honest struggle. There is life, I find, in the discovery of ourselves and of the world. Once, I felt as though I lived on the cusp of a revival. At that very moment, resting firm, upon the first glimmer of a glorious dawn. The promise of a universal Christ-like awakening. Now, I feel as though I walk the rings along the edge of the known universe (think saturn). A narrow bridge precariously perched on the event horizon. With the light behind me, propelling me forward, over the edge... into eternity. That is my freedom. Truly, it is /OUR/ freedom. To enter the darkness of the unknown, and choose a path, to forage and forge, a future from the void. Indeed, and perhaps /our/ purpose as well? To discover, and than make those choices which would impart meaning to our seemingly pointless existence. I think it a telling factor of our reality, that more often than not we find purpose in freedom. This is actually a vice of Christianity upon culture, which convoluted the idea of freedom for the oppressed, and/or, intellectually underdeveloped. For example: the drug addicted. Those in drug addiction desire freedom from their addictions. To do so, many feel they need something outside of themselves to get freedom, because they themselves, got themselves, into this addiction. In steps Christianity. Promising freedom, by becoming a bondsman. Power, by self induced slavery to an ideologue. Wisdom, by doing that which the 'world' would deem 'foolish'. In the literal sense, much like going to a hypnotist for a type of mental and psychological medication, they willingly brainwash themselves with the help of others to get freedom from their drug addiction. However, now we see Christianitys vice upon itself, and a reason I'm sure many of us left... None of their promises come true! (by this i mean it's a crock of fairie poo and woo-woo)! They cannot fully eradicate this drug addicts problems. In fact, beneath their still only surface level of brainwashing, our hypothetical dug addict discovers that there exists a behemoth. Of infinitely damning proportions it schemes, and which; if not combated by more layers (new neural pathways being entrenched deeper, criss-crossing over the old "druggie lifestyle" pathways, still in fact, using some of them, to further aid in the drug addicteds new self induced slavery and confusion.) of brainwashing, will consume and destroy the addict all over again. Thus, they indoctrinate, and self medicate, never becoming free, just exchanging an old addiction for a new one, but never fully escaping from their old addiction either. BUT, don't worry, they'll be free once they die, and will be happy in heaven. All is well. I could talk about the childhood indoctrination as well, which truly disgust me, but I will save that for another post as I have rambled enough. All in all, I am truly happy, and thankful for you all. You are an encouragement, and an insight. I hope to serve you all in the same way!:) -figures
  3. 3 points
    Hello, I am Figures. I am decidedly indecisive (oxymoron), and much of my current life feels like I'm making oxymorons out of life choices. If that makes sense, than perhaps you can sympathize, or maybe even empathize with my plight, and recognize something within my struggles as running a parallel path to your own. I feel happily sad that I am breaking free. Because I am free, but at a cost I'm a peacefully mired in the confusion. Becoming grounded in who I am and what I think, while my world around me falls apart. I am hopefully despondent. Believing that there is a better way, in fact knowing that I am learning it, simultaneously discovering that for those around me it will most likely not be the same. I am Figures, and through both speech, and action, thought, and discovery, I hope to find some semblance of objectivity to base my logic upon, and ultimately help others to do the same. I am tenatively excited as well. My purposeful intent, will not be dismayed by fear, or by feeling, but rather be endorsed by a sound mind, built by reason and logic. I look forward to growing with you all, With hope, Figures
  4. 3 points
    Not at all. Again you are not reading properly. Muslims have faith, they find yours unreliable, and you find theirs unreliable despite faith for both of you having the same definition. Belief in something without evidence. You have yet to demonstrate something was created by your God Mere assertion - back it up without using circular reasoning Some Christian scientists disagree with you, They find god in science - what is your response to them? No, faith is belief without requiring evidence. Science provides evidence for its explanations - no faith required. You are starting to build a straw man of my position regarding science - you should resit the temptation. You don't even need belief in science, you accept conclusions based on evidence provided. I think you are confusing knowledge with deeply held beliefs. Basically if you can't show it, then you don't know it. And having words in a book is not knowing. That's believing. Strong belief to be sure, but you don't know. Science does not say God does not exist. What it does do is say this story in this book doesn't match what we see in reality. One can then form the conclusion that one of them is wrong. Either reality is deceiving you, or the book is. And since claims in the book cannot be backed up with evidence its more rational to accept reality I admit, that was cheeky of me, but I have posted that challenge time and again to Christians and the excuses flood in... so I pre-empted you there. I apologise, I somewhat poisoned the well. I will reissue the challenge without the bit at the end - please respond: "On the other hand your evidence is faith, which you cannot demonstrate even to a fluid degree. Try this one for size: "I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew) and nothing will be impossible for you." Nothing Stranger, nothing impossible for you. So video yourself moving a mountain and you will have a mountain of evidence I will believe...."
  5. 3 points
    I didn't intend to wade into this conversation, because I see how futile it is. But I have just one question for @Stranger Why is it so difficult for you to just admit that your presupposition in this whole thread is one which follows dogma, that God must exist, that Jesus must exist, that all the teachings of Christianity must be true, and therefore any other perspectives are secondary and of no consequence. You got halfway there with insulting all of the information Citsonga provided. This is what people have been talking about when they talk about having bias. Btw I'm not only posting this for you Stranger, but for all the lurkers out there who are following this thread. Don't start an intellectual conversation when you refuse to even consider the points of the other side.
  6. 3 points
    Having had a long relationship with the Church of Christ & being indoctrinated into believing every word in the Bible was put there personally by God, it was a pure black & white issue for me. In other words it was either true or it wasn't. Dr. Bart Ehrman's books quickly convinced me that the Bible isn't true. And when I discovered that my faith quickly evaporated. Fundamentalism is clearly the problem but, like I noted, the Bible & Christianity, in all it's various forms, is either true or it isn't & my years of research has convinced me none of it is true. I see see no purpose or value in worshipping theological myths or allowing them to rule my life.
  7. 3 points
    It gets more depressing daily. The upside is that it is just this kind of demonstration of "faith" that serves to instruct lurkers on what the religion does to people. It rots their brain.
  8. 3 points
    *doesn't visit the board for two days* *comes to visit this thread and sees ten new pages* Holy shiiiiiit. This is some of the most ignorant, incomprehensible crap I've ever seen. I agree with Florduh's earlier post. This is freaking depressing if this is your true mindset and way of looking at reason, Stranger.
  9. 3 points
    @DarkBishop, @Margee, I fully understand the sensitive thing. I cannot read news stories were anything happens to the little ones - especially the unspeakable things some monsters do to them. I cannot read news stories about how Muslims torture and oppress their own countrymen, even their own kin, at all, but especially for the jerk-off, ass-hat reasons they give. I cannot read the names of fallen soldiers - even though I know we need to never forget. I do not know if I would be able to squeeze the trigger if an intruder came into my home (if they approached Mrs. MOHO with the intent of doing harm - that's a different conversation!) She says I'm an overly sensitive weenie but, could you imagine what the world would be like without a few overly sensitive weenies?
  10. 2 points
  11. 2 points
  12. 2 points
    I understand this because I am guilty of it. I accused family members of becoming distant and ruining our relationship when they left the church. I was immune to their pain, it was ALL about my pain. I cringe when I think of how incredibly self-centered and callous I was, in the face of all their pain. The upside of this: I know what's coming.
  13. 2 points
    I'd bet good money -- thousands of dollars, in fact -- on the premise that your faith can't actually do anything tangible in the real world. Perhaps it makes you feel special, and causes you to fear death less because you think you have a spot in heaven. I rather doubt that you could bring someone back from the dead, or restore a limb to an amputee. As such, your idea of faith "working" is weak sauce. Nevertheless, you are inexorably fated to lose your faith at the moment of physical death. As soon as your heart stops and your brain ceases functioning, you will fall into unconsciousness and not even know that you no longer believe anything. I predict, with 99.999...% certainty, that you will never see heaven no matter how fervently you believe or how much you pray.
  14. 2 points
    Upon demonstrably showing my friend that the Christian God is a myth: "...You just gotta believe anyway." Please. You insult my intelligence.
  15. 2 points
    Atheists tend to be more rational and skeptical than other people in terms of analyzing supernatural claims. I haven't found this trait to extend to any other area with many atheists. In particular, most people will hold their political and cultural views as strongly as though it's their religion. As for atheists or Christians being more or less likely to let you down, I don't hold one to be better than the other. Personality traits are more important than religion. I do find that people who constantly praise god or talk about what good Christians they are while making financial agreements are far more likely to screw you over than people who don't mention their religion. Atheists will definitely try to screw you over too, they just have different tells.
  16. 2 points
    I hope this topic will continue until I get home next week. I am trying to read and type from my phone at the campgrounds and it is so frustrating. I can relate to so many of you and what you are saying and feeling. I just want to tell you all that it does get better. I went through such anger that I am surprised I didn't have heart attack. I never wanted the members on this board to know how angry and depressed I actually was because I was scared they would ask me to leave. I hide my depression well. But I have also learned how to manage it. Learning to live without god has been the single worst issue I have ever had to work through. So I completely understand what everyone goes through. It is one hell of a ride forming a new world view and we are all doing it together. Luv to you all. You guys are the reason I am making it in life right now. I always thank the members of ex-c from the bottom of my heart . (((Hugs)))
  17. 2 points
    @Margee Yes I believe you are right. I am glad I back slid for a few years before I found the studies that led to my deconversion. I was in a state of spiritual depression I guess when I was back slid. I had so many unanswered questions I was trying to sort out in my head about the bible. My last church was very adamant about the bibles inerrancy. But I saw so many issues that had to be errors or just plain myths. I was to a point that I felt and told people that "I know God and Jesus "love" me. But I don't think they like me." It was a pretty depressing feeling. I thought I may have messed up to much to recieved salvation so they just let me go. Then my deconversion happened and I still felt like I had lost my best friend even tho I didn't think he liked me anymore. And I guess I will probably always feel like there is a bit of a whole where that fire used to be when I first believed. It was an intense feeling as a young christian. All of this is one reason I get SO PISSED if a christian tries to say that I was probably "never saved in the first place if I don't believe now", yeah whatever. Wait till this brick wall slams into your face buddy and see how you feel. DB
  18. 2 points
    I think it's a time thing. I'm about as cold to it as I've ever been. I'm not kidding, I'm Pluto ice cold about the passion. And it's because of knowing to the detail that it's fictional and what goes into it as far as the death and resurrection of the sun, organic life and all of that. How it played off of popular death and resurrection myths as another version. I'm more moved by Star Wars and the Matrix than the passion story. There'll all based on the Hero's Journey, but only one of them has been used to manipulate and lie to mass audiences as a means political socialization for centuries. So I'm particularly unmoved by said version of the Hero's Journey. It's nothing but a disgusting waste of our time in my eyes. And I know there's symbolic meanings associated, but I'm still pretty flaccid about it altogether. But immediately after deconverting, maybe for several years, yeah, I'd feel sad feelings still for a while if I watched a passion play. But I'd snap out of it. All of that faded out with time....
  19. 2 points
    I remember never being able to watch any movies that showed Jesus being nailed to a cross. Too graphic for me!
  20. 2 points
    DB, please consider reading 'The Highly Sensitive Personality'as suggested by @TruthSeeker0. (I also have the book ) It will help you to understand yourself so much better. Some people will make fun of you if you make this claim. Pay no attention to those who might do that. Only those with a highly sensitive personality will understand how hard it is to be overly sensitive. (Hug )
  21. 2 points
    If that's the way you want to put it. You keep believing in a book that's clearly wrong then. The fantasy gives you comfort. Let us not take that from you. No it's not. If your faith is reliable you would be able to show it. That you can't shows its not reliable. That's demonstrable not an assumption. You clearly have comprehension problems. My grandfather reminds me of me, but I don't do EVERYTHING he does. But he still reminds me of me, and you remind me of me WHEN I was a Christian. Saying I don't remind you of me is pointless. You could remind me of a pink daisy, and saying "no you don't" is pointless because you do. Understand? Happy now? I did ignore evidence... for 32 years. Then I found out that ignoring evidence was ignoring reality and dishonest. I value honesty and integrity so I searched for evidence the bible is true and found none. If faith is ignoring everything to believe in a fantasy then I don't want faith, and you just proved that faith not being a reliable path to truth is not an assumption. Its fact. I would have never guessed... I really thought you were coming round and understanding what we are saying. *Sigh* Stranger, you need to working on reading comprehension. I just told you I don't trust or expect science as final conclusions. You saying that I do trust science as final shows how arrogant and asinine you are. *Wall please* Thank you. Show me where I said the book is imaginary. Your reading comprehension is shocking! We can't even have a simple conversation.
  22. 2 points
    Yes, it is unfortunate that religion can ruin friendships and families. This is not the fault of the one who does not believe. Read that again. Some people, family members or even a spouse, may be in a toxic and virulent form of fundamentalism. There is no way a rational person can make that relationship work. You may lie to technically maintain it, but it doesn't work as a real relationship. People who won't accept anyone with a differing opinion are not worth having in your life, in fact they are detrimental. I have plenty of Christian friends, and yet there are a few I can never have any sort of relationship with. It's all up to them.
  23. 2 points
    I am actually going through the dark side of that. In an effort to distance myself from Christianity, I struggle now with regaining empathy. It's not that I would ever hurt people, but because I gave so much of my life for the church and people around me, I have to remind myself that there is worth in just being a good person. Sometimes I just get so apathetic to life that I unknowingly act selfishly. The cross became a point of anger for me. Everything was about the cross this and the cross that. It made me almost completely numb to it all. Once I stopped trying to 'please God' and just thought about everything logically, I grew to hate the cross symbolism. It represents everything that once ensnared me. The idea of the cross sounds almost completely asinine to me now. 'God placed a tree filled with temptation and allowed Satan to tempt his children. When his children (who didn't know any better) fall to said temptation, God kicks his children out and allows centuries of suffering. At one point, he even wipes out all of humanity with a flood. The only way to fix the mess HE allowed to happen is to send his son to face excruciating torture to clean it up. And we are supposed to be grateful for that. Yeah, no thank you. But I do see where you're coming from. The Christian idea of Jesus' death and rise is beautiful. When applying thought to it though, it just enrages me completely.
  24. 2 points
    @Margee, I few short years ago I marveled at mankind's ability to think beyond his current situation and either make improvements or abandon, altogether, that which is not in the best interests of the masses. THEN Mrs. MOHO began moving from casual xtian to all-out, in your face, bable-thumping, knowledge vilifying, throwback to the 1600's, fundamental, religious fanatic. I realize now just what you said in your post. Some of us are still in the dark ages. And they LIKE it!
  25. 2 points
    Good thinking, why not just create the sun? The real answer is that Genesis was taken in large part by borrowing from an older myth, the Enuma Elish. And in these old myths there was the notion that light existed independent of the existence of the sun, moon, and stars. They thought that the sun, moon, and stars simply occupied the area of sky just above the earth, one going over head during the day, and the other going over head during the night. And during the night the sun went below the earth. Egyptian mythology outlines the sun's journey through the underworld each night. All of this playing off of the notion that the earth is a flat round disk with a dome overhead. Well here, here's a link about this very thing: http://contradictionsinthebible.com/god-creates-the-heavens-and-the-earth/
  26. 1 point
    Life was a lot simpler before. I was a Christian, who hung out with my Christian friends. I was always religiously supported by my parents (one of whom is Christian, the other goes along with it.) I lived in a Christian community (Young Earth and fundamentalist). All of my friends were Christians whose parents believed as I did. I was taught this by clever Christian teachers at my Christian school, who seemed so adept in the purest forms of sophistry that it seemed they could answer almost all my questions. Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains. Only now do I realize the true gravity of that statement. I had no reason to doubt. Life was hard, but I only allowed that to convince me that God was testing me, and that he was going to “bring me through the storm.” That in the end it would all be worth it, because I was going to Heaven. Me. Yes, out of all the religions ever conceived, mine was right. And by the purest accident, I just happened to be brought up in the right faith, while others were brought up on faiths that would lead them straight to hell. But one day, I was reading the news and pulled up a story about a child sex trafficking ring that had been uncovered. The details were horrific, and I went to bed (I read the news before bed, I know, not the smartest thing ever…) with that on my mind. I was furious, sad, and horrified all at the same time. The one question I had was, how could God allow something like this? For children, innocent children to be subjected to sexual torture and mutilation, and eventually death? For the parents who suffered because their child never came home? The parents who cried out for god to just save their child, which seemed to me like a decent request. I never found an answer, and I doubt I ever will. That instilled the first seeds of doubt in me. I began to doubt whether God was really good. So, with a reluctant heart, I began to read my Bible to look for answers. Now I don’t remember exactly how I got into philosophy, but for some reason I was so intrigued that I bought a Socratic dialogue, Gorgias I believe. It was great, and I recommend it to anyone interested in philosophy, if not for the topic discussed then just for the Socratic Method that Socrates employs. It’s come in handy during the many debates I’ve had. Well, with my love of philosophy growing, I went out and bought The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. My mother, the devout Christian out of the two of my parents, would never have let me bought it if not for my father’s insistence that I be allowed to read what I choose. What I found from Thomas Paine was enlightening, it changed the course of my life forever. I still, from time to time, read a few pages of the Age of Reason, just to refresh myself. After that, I threw out my Bible and all the dogma I had in my room. I replaced it with philosophy books, which I can attest have been far more beneficial to me. I became a Deist, and was hungry for more philosophy. By this time, my mother began to worry about me. She set up meetings for me with different pastors in the area, and I felt intellectually outmatched. But I would not give in. I began to browse YouTube and watch atheist speakers and debaters, like Hitchens, Dawkins, Dillahunty and the rest. I read David Hume, Plato, Voltaire and other intellectual giants. I took notes from them, and went over and over again in my mind what they said and how they said it. I began to speak to my parents about it, and question them, but they would hear none of it. They would take my privileges away and attempt to censor my queries. They would also force me to go to church. In response to these things, I began to argue more and more violently, and now I regret that. But a few months ago, I began to ask myself this question. Is God even necessary at all? Do I need a God to explain the universe, or is there a simpler explanation? You see, the concept of God began to raise more questions than it answered. Sure, it answered the cause for our existence, but it left me with questions like, “If God created the concept of time, does that mean he existed before time? How could he move if there was no time?” or “If God is infinite (which he must be, according to the Cosmological Argument), does that mean he exists everywhere in space, or outside of space, or outside of that?” or “what does it mean to have no beginning and no end (immortality)? How could something have no beginning at all?” Also, as David Hume pointed out, the argument from design is a poor one. If we conclude that things are designed because they are complex, then God to must be designed because his mind must also be infinitely complex. This would progress ad infinitum, so I began to question if there really was a God at all. Plus I now realize that many of the arguments I employed were just arguments from ignorance. I would look around at all the mysteries of the universe, and appeal to a bigger mystery (god) to explain them. Only now do I realize this error. Because I could not answer these questions, I became an agnostic-atheist (I do not believe in a god [as traditionally defined], but I acknowledge the remote possibility of his existence). I remain so today, and I’m glad I finally can identify as a ex-Christian. I can think for myself finally, instead of groveling before my imaginary friend for pre-prescribed morals and opinions. Good bye, grand delusions. Hello reality.
  27. 1 point
    How do you know this though? One "holy book" says Jesus rose from the dead, the other "holy book" says it was a trick. How can I tell without using reason against both?
  28. 1 point
    Look, I've been sarcastic with you and I'm sorry for it. You have frustrated me deeply with your circular logic and, what appears to be, a complete lack of consideration for what we say. In my mind, christian or not, these types of discussions should include deep reflection on other peoples' viewpoints and, when it seems like that doesn't happen, it feels disrespectful. But I was a bit snarky back and I apologize for that. Your responses are reflecting a growing defensiveness that is unnecessary and will hinder progress for us both. There are actually many people here who will likely disagree with me on this, but I don't think belief in "god" and belief in "christianity" is mutually exclusive. You keep talking about a character that actually could exist in some form, but it is specifically christianity's god that I take issue with. Have you considered looking into the god you believe in versus how he is actually represented in Scripture? Could it be possible that something is out there, it's just not the man-made written narrative? Can you just acknowledge that this could be true? I don't think you have to stop believing in a god, it's really taking a harder look at christianity's history and mythological influences. If a god does exist, he (or she) could feasibly do whatever he/she wants and I couldn't say shit about it. But this christian god is peddled as all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, all-justice, all-mercy.....the antithesis of evil. The behavior as recorded in the bible doesn't match up. What are your thoughts on this? You seem to think that we have made "science" or "reason" or "intellect" our "idol" but this isn't the case for everyone. When I was initially deconverting, I told myself that I was glorifying god by using principles of rationality and reason that he'd created. I was using the brain he gave me, my inquisitive nature created by him, to look for better answers to defend and glorify him. I don't understand, since I have told you that faith can be a good thing, why you so fiercely disapprove of "intellect." You use your intellect to defend your beliefs, why should we not do the same?
  29. 1 point
    I started counting the number of bald/mere assertions poster Stranger has made in this thread. I stopped at 100 and I was only about one-half way though the thread. He's made many more since then. Poster Stranger is a Mere Assertion Peddler™, with side salads of irrationality, denialism, vacuousness, intellectually bankruptcy, cowardice, sanctimoniousness and disingenuousness. Put more simply, poster Stranger is full of himself and full of shit, which is pretty much the same thing.
  30. 1 point
    Congrats on the "final step", @ConsiderTheSource !! Being from the same area I know what you mean by 80% of the locals being of the mind-fucked persuasion. I am constantly bombarded by their irrational thoughts and propaganda. I began ignoring them a few months ago but feel the temptation building up inside to begin pushing back. This approach does not exactly lend itself to personal peace but, if we all push back, maybe most of them will let up. Anyway, good on 'ya, Consider!
  31. 1 point
    I am willing to say, "Stranger could be correct about Jesus, the bible, religion." I mean really, he could be correct. I just choose not to accept his religion because I think it's false, and run by fear. But I am willing to verbalize the possibility that I am wrong. I would actually value Stranger's words if he could at least verbalize that he may be wrong. Someone who is never wrong, be it Stranger or Jesus, is suspicious and I don't put my trust in them. Turn or burn doesn't sell it to me. It's like a used car salesman telling me, "Check out this baby. She runs like a top!" Yeah, right. There's always something 'wrong' with something. We've ALREADY worshiped Jesus and we discovered along the way lots of things that were wrong with Christianity. We've been on both sides. The non-belief side is better. Here's a fun cult link to compare and contrast Stranger's interactions so far, or your own experience with the Christian organization (where you see the words 'group/leader' , replace that with Jesus Christ): https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/Cult-Education/Cult-Warning-Signs/
  32. 1 point
    *sigh* As opposed to sky wisdom? Is there any other kind of wisdom? You know your book is "of the world" written by "fallen men?" Right? As for telling you how much you remind us of our old selves, hell no we aren't going to stop saying it. Just because you can't see how similar it is and how we've moved on from it doesn't mean you aren't like us. Even at the very least, if we're wrong and going to hell and you are right and never abandon the faith....you still remind us of how we used to be. We have just become fallen heathens, apparently. You can't eliminate bias completely, no, but you can face it and attempt to reject it as opposed to using it as an excuse to stay mired in irrational, dense, and uncritical thinking. Finally, you assume we "trust" science. I, as an agnostic, find science to be just as unreliable sometimes. Formal logic doesn't really change, it's been the same for a loooong time now. Irrational thinking and logical fallacies are still a thing, bro. *double sigh* I'll just drop the sacrifice thing, it seems you are never going to come to terms with this. Nothing was sacrificed, nothing paid the price for anything. He doesn't love you and likely doesn't exist. I suppose a 40 year sentence for "many frustrations" makes sense to someone who also sees hell as reasonable. Good luck with that. Then I guess he shouldn't tell us not to lie if he compels it. How does anyone know the truth from a lie if god could make someone lie at will? Free will my ass. Sure I did, if you want to behave immaturely about it. I told you there are way bigger issues I would "argue about" and you did the same shit I called you on earlier. You ignore the main point, that there are WAY HUGER problems in the bible worth arguing over, and you picked an inconsequential point and did the whole "you started it" bit. I told you this. This is likely how you read the bible and further demonstrates how unreliably you exegete the biblical texts. You're continually missing my whole goddamn point. WHY must I pick a verse out of the NT? Why? What has changed about God from the Old Testament? You are trying to force me to focus on newer gospels that try to explain away the old gospels, but if God commanded it in the OT, what changed? I will not "follow your rule" and only pick from the new testament, because god is unchanging, according to your bible, and would therefore still be pleased by it today. I guess that just depends on you definition of command. Deuteronomy 20:10-12: "When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city." The verse goes on to talk about how all the men are to be put to the sword and how the women "may be taken for themselves." How nice of god. I realize you may notice that this chapter has to do with war, but we don't take current civilians as slaves during war, so what gives? The "2+2" reference was me pointing out that, while both verses are ultimately wrong because "2+2=4," you have verses that directly give two different answers that cannot be misinterpreted. So, for one example (of many): 2 Kings 8:26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king... 2 Chronicles 22:2 Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he became king.... I am sorry to be an ass, but this is such a pet peeve of mine. "Irregardless" is just not a word. It negates itself since "regardless" means "without paying attention to the present situation," so irregardless would mean exactly the opposite of what you are trying to say.
  33. 1 point
    I can attest to THAT! Yet another Mrs. MOHO reference to follow: I pointed out to her a few years ago that immediately disliking someone due to their differing opinion was, perhaps, a knee-jerk reaction that should be mitigated. Her reply was that her dislike of anyone different than her, or with differing opinions, means that she is a strong woman and that she finds this trait a positive one. As someone who has learned to listen (not necessarily agree with) someone who presents a differing opinion in a respectful, constructive manor, my feeling is that anyone who cannot do so is displaying a touch of immaturity. Others seem to feel that if they do not go in to a discussion 100% full throttle and "shut the other side down" then they are displaying sings of weakness.
  34. 1 point
    I agree that they are being discussed, but you are completely ignoring anything reasonable because it contradicts your faith. Even though what you place faith in has contradicted itself many times over. Don't talk about reason until you are willing to look at a viewpoint other than what you have been taught to believe.
  35. 1 point
    These are frustrating times in a no-mans land. To have a compulsive liar, manipulator, incompetent opportunist as head of the free world while we all wait for the system to slowly squeeze him out of office is mental torture worse than any medieval limb stretching apparatus. But it needs to be done and done well so that the indecent sabotage of a democratic system by a totally inept candidate and his cash hungry minions can't happen again. instead of doing his job he's holding a fundraising campaign for reelection in 2020 in his hotel tonight. Hard to imagine anything more disgusting lmao... Puke and repuke
  36. 1 point
    This is being overblown and presented as if it vindicates Trump of all wrongdoing, proves all the past allegations and what is under investigation false, and shows that everything was a lie. It doesn't, as much as some might wish it would. The reality is that it was just one story, published recently [June 22], that suggested that an ally of Trump's [Anthony Scaramucci] had ties to a Russian Investment firm. CNN is being sued by Scaramucci for Libel to the tune of $100m. Rightfully so I might add. I'm not defending them. This is especially bad because it gives Trump's attacks on the media credibility. It was an incredibly stupid thing for them to do, especially given the current level of trust the public has in the media. It will hurt all news outlets, including legitimate sources. I don't totally disagree with Trump's take on the MSM, but I also understand that news is an important part of our democracy and how our system works. Creating the level of distrust for news outlets that Trump is trying to create is dangerous for all of us. Though, again, the media itself had a large hand in that as well. This is very good for Trump, and not so good for the rest of us. Though, again, it's not a problem Trump caused and has been a long time in the making. As I've said before, this is the fruits of the Telecommunications Act, which badly needs to go away. However, the idea that this somehow makes the whole Russia-Trump thing completely false and makes it all go away is not actually true. This really shouldn't have any impact on any active investigations. They were not based on this story as many are claiming.
  37. 1 point
    This HSP thing is definitely a blessing and a curse. And @Margee is right, I think the deconversion probably takes longer for these kinds of people, and it presents different challenges. My challenge is not on an intellectual level but it relates to having a deep level of empathy. My greatest fear is not that I will believe but that I will cave in to family pressure due to the level of suffering. I know deep down that the Bible is a book written by humans, a kind of historical record, and nothing more. I've read enough now to see that. Even if I somehow still believed there's the slimmest chance that any of it is true, or God exists, I have opened my eyes to the petty injustice and evil that is the core of original sin, and I can't accept it. I know something like the movie would definitely affect me and pull at my emotions, but hearing the passion in a pastor's voice now just makes me incredibly sad, that they are so deluded and they are pulling along others with them. It helps just to know that one is an HSP and know that you are overly empathetic, but that this does not mean that you should put your life on hold to please others. Knowing this about myself is what has helped me make the decision that my life is mine and mine only and I can afford to be selfish enough here to live my life as I see fit because I only get one shot at it.
  38. 1 point
    Welcome, Figures! That was a beautiful introduction, especially the idea of your self becoming more concrete while everything else is destroyed. I am new to this site and my own deconversion as well and completely understand this notion. Though I am building up the concept of myself each day, the beliefs I once held onto are being destroyed at the same time. But this just means I can live for myself now, not for the borrowed ideas of an antiquated culture. Glad you found the site and hope to see you around!
  39. 1 point
    I attempted to go to the movies and see this and I had to get up and walk out of the theatre. I personally believe that deconversion is very hard and takes longer for really sensitive persons. This doesn't mean that it's not hard on the normal sensitive person, but to me, I think a highly sensitive personality is a bit like having a disorder even though the author does not say it . A lot of anxiety and depression comes along with this type of personalty and we must learn how to manage it.
  40. 1 point
    Believe me I was VERY hesitant to talk about this issue. I've been doing fairly well with the de-conversion process and I didn't want any of my EXC friends or lurking christians think I still had one foot in the door of the church and one out. Because that's just not the case. I am very confident with my deconversion. It would literally take God himself taking the time to actually show up and prove all of us wrong for me to believe again. And even then he would have to fart lightening bolts out of his arse for me to believe it was actually God lol. When you said this: "All my life I have felt like an overly empathetic person who's always the first to be pointing out unfair treatment and BS, in my mind if nowhere else. We are just highly tuned to the situations around us, and we also have what seems like too much imagination" it describes me to a T aswell. I'm always pointing out the huge difference in preferential treatment our company gives office workers as opposed to production workers. When I read a good fictional novel it plays out like a movie in my mind. I have a great imagination, (both a blessing and a curse) It also makes me paranoid with my children.... especially my daughter. I lost site of her in a water park one time and about lost my mind. I was imagining all the creeps that could be lurking in the area targeting children. as a christian it made me a very passionate christian and preacher. I often wondered why when I preached sometimes others weren't affected like I was. It makes more sense now. I didn't realise Highly Sensitive personality was a thing until today. I guess maybe they were just normal. Hearing the story so many times it had gotten old....... brings a new perspective that I need to study into to understand myself better ? which is awesome. I'm glad I decided to share what was going on. Dark Bishop
  41. 1 point
    No, I have opted to stop ignoring reality in favour of a book that can be so easily shown to be wrong. If you can't show your faith to be reliable then its not! I'll quit saying you remind me of me as soon as you start engaging in proper conversation, actually read and think about what people are saying, and stop engaging in pointless circular reasoning. Balls in your court. But perhaps you may end up being like me? There is hope. Once proclaiming the bible is true and ignoring all reality, in the end the evidence against it was such that I could not honestly ignore it. I never said we could eliminate bias. I said "Everyone has biases, that is true, so once aware of what biases are one can take steps to eliminate, as far as possible, the effect biases has on ones beliefs." Several things wrong with this statement: 1) You assume you know what I expect out of science. You are wrong. I don't ever expect to get anything final out of science. This is because, as you state it is always learning. 2) You infer here that because science is always learning and updating it is therefore wrong. Instead you propose that the final conclusion is a 2,000 year old book shown to be wrong in so many ways. 3) You show a typical Christian fear of the unknown. Science updates and changes and people don't like change or uncertainty. So they cling to a book because it doesn't change and it gives them a rock to ground their life in. To them it matters not that the rock is imaginary because it gives them comfort. For me I prefer reality even if it provides some discomfort of unknowing: "Better to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable" Carl Sagan
  42. 1 point
    Look this is the Lion's Den, so I'm not going to whine about how ridiculously insensitive and stupid that is to say. We'll all get over it. But if you read even a paragraph, before assuming you know what it contains, you'd see how personal it is. No, it's not "google" and yes, "he knows what it says." Can you the say the same of the your bible?
  43. 1 point
    When your life is based on something, it's not easy to lose the feelings that come with that thing. I was a musician, and I wrote and recorded quite a few songs for the church back when I believed. Sometimes I still listen to them, and my heart aches. There was a lot of sincere feeling there, and sometimes those feelings come back. I'm at the point now where I can feel the feelings and appreciate them in a similar way to how I sometimes feel moved by other fiction. But that took a while. Also, I don't think it's weird or strange to be moved by stories of sacrifice. These are stories that are specifically created to induce these feelings. It would be a little weird if we weren't moved by them from time to time.
  44. 1 point
    Lol my wife says I'm more of a woman about things then she is sometimes lol. But I think that's one reason she loves me too ?. DB
  45. 1 point
    You are speaking nonsense christianese gibberish. If God was going to "feel bad" about making man, but he knew it was going to happen because of "omniscience..." then why do it at all? I bake cookies and cross my fingers that I don't burn the shit out of them....but me being omniscient and knowing that I am going to baking disgusting tasting, burned cookies and that don't even remotely resemble the shape they are supposed to be....I would either choose to bake them correctly or NOT DO IT AT ALL. Why not netflix it up if I know for 100% I am going to regret it? What I'm seeing in this chapter is god flip-flopping around all over the place like a human would. He says "They're wretched, I'ma kill em." "Ok, nevermind, I changed my mind" all throughout the bible. I thought he was patient, kind, and "slow to anger." "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29b) Jesus said that, by the way. "Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it." (Deuteronomy 12:32) "Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar." (Proverbs 30:6) You are adding to his holy word, Strange, be careful of this. The "Thou Shalt Not Kill" does not say "unless you are in war, following my command to kill someone, or sacrificing to me." It says don't kill. So why should I rejoice is dashing my little ones against rocks? What does that even mean? Definition of grace, according to Romans 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace." Moses absolutely was not saved by grace, it was absolutely through works. Romans 4:4 "Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due." James 2 and Romans 4 are literally refuting one another point blank. There is no way around this. Paul says it was always grace, James said it was always works. I have nothing to say about this to you, the verses say two completely different things. You can try to explain it away, but you just can't. So....at what point does "progressive revelation" go from "marry the rapist and stone the girl getting raped who doesn't scream loud enough" to "avoid all sexual immorality and repent of it." Unless of course you don't think rape is sexually immoral, in which case fuck you. I'm assuming that you personally find slavery and rape to be wrong, even though God condones it?
  46. 1 point
    Well, if they're playing with that silly app, that's 2 hands they can't use to wave a sign in front of a clinic.
  47. 1 point
    There's an app for everything. Many of them don't work, and some are downright dangerous.
  48. 1 point
    ok everyone here in the peanut gallery. The last segment has been posted. It is very lengthy and is probably not the angle that you were expecting. I hope this opens up some minds to other possibilities other than God or Strict Darwinian theory. With this one I believe that I can finally say that I am done with this debate. And I do believe it will be awhile before I try my hand at another. And next time Im not playing Yahweh's advocate LOL. Dark Bishop
  49. 1 point
    Welcome figures! Your introduction is very poetic. I like it. It resonates with me as well. Like Geezer said. Most of us understand what you are going through and exactly what you are describing. Good luck with your deconversion. DB
  50. 1 point
    "This world doesn't make sense at all. Not even remotely." It's when you realize that, that it does start to make sense. The fact that there's nothing behind it, no "plan" as it were, no grand scheme and no ultimate authority, means that what chaos there is, and what order there is, what good and what bad, all make sense, because it's all the result of a complicated system that nobody is in charge of. Some of the order is the result of the laws of physics and biology. Some of the order (and the disorder, as well) is the result of humans who do have control over small bits of the whole. In other words, the world is exactly what you would expect. I'll tell you what, once I realized that I pretty much quit being afraid of anything, quit worrying about anything. There are some miserable things in my life right now (I don't like where I'm living and my grown children have moved off, taking my grandchildren with them; my sister is very ill and may not live long, and my mother is becoming very feeble; my wife suffers from depression, and has since before I ever met her), but there are other things that are good (I have a good job and have managed to get out of debt in the last 6 or 7 years, and think I may be able to retire at least by the time I'm 67 (10 years away).) But I think just the fact that I know that there's no mystical cause of anything, that it's all natural, allows me to do that thing that Christians try so hard to do and fail, and that is to change the things I can and accept the things I can't. For a Christian that's impossible, because they always think their god should be doing something. For an atheist, it's simple. Even death doesn't bother me in the same way. I miss my dad terribly, and I shed a few tears this morning, but he was so tired and miserable the last few years, even though he still had his mind. So now he doesn't exist except in memories and photographs. And I'm happy he was my father, and I'm happy that he's no longer suffering, and I don't care that he's not somehow living in "paradise". He lives in our memories, and when everyone who knew him is gone, he'll be gone, too, I suppose (as will we all), but the world goes on and babies are born and there's happiness and sadness and everything in between. I just want to leave some little piece of the world in better shape than I found it. I want to leave behind happy memories. I want to send money to places where it will make someone else's life a little better, someone I don't know and whom I'll never meet. "This" world does make sense, after all. I suspect that there are other worlds out there, too, and wherever intelligent life is found, situations are probably much like situations on this world. Because it makes sense.