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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/19/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
  2. 2 points
    Dear Friends, As you all know I consider myself an ....... I dunno agnostic or more accurately in my own mind an Agnostic Pantheist. I am so glad that I found this site and that I deconverted from Christianity. While I may not have given up all of my thoughts of the supernatural I am so glad that I no longer believe in the rubbish that the bible portrays about whatever may be out there. I've been experimenting lately. My wife is still a believer and to help with the situation that we now find ourselves in Post deconversion I have been attending church with her from time to time. If you had told me last year that I would be "happy" to attend a church again I would have probably laughed you to scorn. But I go with a different perspective now that I know the truth of the bible and it's origins. In my mind now these ancient people were just doing what they could in most cases to explain the cosmos and the environment around them. I can now sit in a church service and dismiss all the rubbish that comes from the pastors sermon and glean some useful thoughts that I can apply to my life. I see all religions now as just mans way to connect to whatever it is that connects us all to the universe. I have grown somewhat in my Karate experience and am enjoying developing a meditation process with the forms that I am learning. I find that it clears my mind focusing on the various moves I need to make and as they become more second nature I am able to let my mind drift. I plan on taking Tia Chi after I "hopefully" get to black belt b/c the move in it are more fluid than in Karate. But even now if I slow it down it helps. I've been contemplating things lately. I considered for awhile just being fully atheist but can't bring myself to do it. There are still so many questions in my mind that science isn't able to fully answer. There will always be the nagging question of, " well how did that come to be"? The big bang was the start of the universe? Ok well where did the materials for the big bang come from? Or if you believe in multiple big bangs how long has this been happening? Or one of my favorites, if panspermia is possible where did those life forms come from? The list could go on and on in my mind so being atheist isn't an option for me. I feel like we are all connected to the universe in some weird way. Maybe I'm wrong I don't know. Science will never be able to tell me for sure. If we could time travel then I suppose that it could but I believe that is beyond our capabilities. So what is it out there in the cosmos that connects us all or is it just all of us that are somehow connected to each other? I don't believe in one deity or another as those are just man made and full of mans flaws. We created God's after our image. Not the other way around. I don't know what it is but I can say that I am glad that I can feel connected to all of you. Maybe we don't all agree at times. (especially on politics) But you are all my brothers and sisters and I hope you all have wonderful life experiences while we live on this little spec of cosmic dust we call earth. And if this all was a random chain of events than I am glad I had the opportunity to have the plethora of experiences that come with life on earth. What is after this life I wander? Nothing? reincarnation? some type of other dimension? I don't know and I will never pretend to have the answers to those questions. Just a hope for what May be. best wishes to you all, Dark Bishop
  3. 2 points
    I've found ideas like this useful to consider but useless to trust much. It's too optimistic and arbitrary. We have needs we must fulfill. We have ways to cope, self-deception being one of the strongest, but there's probably a limit. The more you have been neglecting your needs the worse they will hit you one day. That or you lose it. Not to dismiss the entirety of your point. Just saying that you have to be prudent.
  4. 2 points
    I think I'll start a campaign to raise awareness of this issue. We want Christians to read the Bible, so we can make more Atheists.
  5. 2 points
    @TrueScotsman, To correct you I said I would try to make a reply last night but I was at work and we'll see. Also I tend to go slower when someone either 1. tries to rush me , and/or 2. tells me to do something. Not everything mind you but I am on my own time and you don't tell me when I need to do something. Unfortunately my work environment has changed dramatically and I only have short spans of time here and there to catch a break. It's basically 12 Hrs of hell at times. I would like to mention that I really liked @LogicalFallacy reply to the OP. It was very objective and left politics out of it. He gets two thumbs up from the ole Bishop here. Here are my thoughts on the original article in the OP. 1. Our culture preys relentlessly on boys weaknesses. While I think he goes overboard on all of these subjects I am going to try to bring out some good points from a secular prospective. I personally don't really care about his points on the porn industry as he probably indulges in a bit of porn himself from time to time. I think the bible's sexual oppression is Toxic. I don't try to stop my boys from looking at porn. Here is the point that came out to me on this section of the article however. I can't blame anyone male or female for ogling someone who is showing off their body. There are clothes that are made to be modest and there are clothes that are specifically made to attract the attention of the opposite sex. Yet it seems that when it comes to men looking at women in scantily clad clothing we suddenly become labeled a "pervert" . We are only doing what our DNA (as @mymistake mentioned) is telling us to do. I think that our society is using a double standard when it comes to that issue. If a woman or a man is going to put their body on display they may as well expect to be looked at, because that is what those clothes are designed to do. Remember I mentioned men too in this. When a guy goes to the gym in a tight muscle shirt or NO shirt and is working out I'm pretty sure he is wanting to show off his body. I know I would if I had the body for it :-) Edit: I forgot to mention that this of course does not in any way imply permission to touch or make rude offensive gestures. 2. There is a catastrophic lack of male role models. Lets throw out all of the spiritual head of the house bullshit right off the bat. And get down to the good points. I have to agree with him that there is a lack of male role models in today's society. I had a real dad who wasn't worth a damn and I had a step dad who became my adopted father when I was eight. He is a wonderful man and a very good role model for any child. I believe that a male child is going to look up to whatever male role model he has available to be his example for his own life. Women and men are not hardwired the same. I don't think we can debate that. We both have our equally good attributes but we are definitely different. I'm not going to say "strong" male role model. But I believe a "good" male role model is very important in the lives of developing boys. How many studies can we site concerning the probability of an abused child becoming an abuser? Or a child who's parents were addicted to drugs becoming an addict themselves, or even the cigarette user, statistically their parents or some other role model probably was a smoker. To his point about the african american community and their lack of strong role models I have heard that from multiple sources. I would like to see a study on african american families who had father figures compared to those that didn't to see how many of the children grew up to be dead beat dads in each circumstance. I have a feeling that the statistic would be that the men who had a good male role model, probably have better chances of also becoming good male role models for their children. I think it is important for a boy to have a good male role model to live as an example to his son on how he should treat women, others, and in general how to be a productive member of society. The children usually follow in their parents footsteps and I believe that boys need both male and female role models. I know that probably gets tricky when it comes to same sex marriages. I would like to see some studies on how children have developed when being raised by same sex couples. I know that there is usually a "male/female" role even then. I am not saying I'm against it. I would just like to see studies concerning the subject as I wonder if it ends up working the same. To answer Logicals thoughts on how it would have been in ancient times when men were at war for years at a time I would have to say that they were so entrenched in dominant male beliefs at the time that the women probably even taught their young sons to follow the existing status quo. 3. the school system was designed for girls. I just think that is probably all just a bunch of blather. I can't see any good points there. My boys both have ADHD and the schools now have gone above and beyond making IEP's that work for them. Now they are both honor students. 4. masculinity is denigrated I gotta say he has a point. I even do it. It is a perception thing. I have a little girl (before you say it, yes i was the same way with the boys when they were young) and even I worry about some sicko (in my mind a man) picking my daughter up in the drive way, at walmart, or my personal nightmare, while at a theme park. I about lost my mind when I lost track of her at a water park one time. But I think that is also an instilled fear because of statistics. I think statistically there are more male sexual abuser than female. I can't agree with Walsh that it is wrong tho. I feel bad when I notice someone obviously being suspicious of me around their children but in today's society I can't blame them. I do it as well. It is always good to be cautious. I would never harm a child but I know that they don't know that. Just as I don't know that they wouldn't. To say the least we can't even trust the preacher anymore right? Just saying. In this part of the article he also mentions a pet subject on this site. Toxic Masculinity. I think that this word is up for debate. I would also like a true definition of what "toxic" masculinity is. The only thing I can think of as toxic would be being denigrating toward women, abusing women, Using them, being homophobic, etc. But I think that under a liberal perspective I would probably be considered toxically masculine even though i dont fall in the above category. but I can't say for sure as I don't know what the true meaning is. If I am toxically masculine I will gladly accept my merit badge now. :-) In the same token I think that our society is also filled with Toxic feminism. If I really need to elaborate I will but surely we can all agree as I stated before that the extreme of anything is bad especially for developing children. Best Regards, Dark Bishop
  6. 2 points
    Daffy, Tell Dr. Duderonomy whats going through your head when you feel like you've done something dirty. I'll understand, I promise. Also, your browser has a private window, or an "incognito" window that you can open, and when you close that window it erases the cookies and it's own history for you. Or so I've heard. Just trying to be helpful.
  7. 2 points
    Lots of people might buy the bullbull, but do they read the bullbull in it?
  8. 2 points
    A study of early Christianity would help here. In the early days it was a fledgling cult that competed with other religions. It grew more powerful, but received its big break when Emperor Constantine adopted the new religion and made it the state religion. The Christians then systematically destroyed other religious centers and built churches over their shrines. In many countries it was convert or die. Also in many countries was the penalty of death if you denied God existed or the trinity. That's very brief, but the claim that it was spread only by peaceful means and the holy spirit is not only wrong, someone say so is either ignorant or intentionally deceptive. Islam was spread by violence as well. Judaism was also violent. Welcome to the Abrahamic religions.
  9. 2 points
    You’re not alone. I do too, like I’ve done something dirty, and I always erase my history afterward and tell myself I will never do it again. It may be religious residuals or just the fact that it is so divorced from emotional intimacy, but that’s the way it is for me.
  10. 2 points
    The cause could be the same. Psychological conditioning caused by religious belief. A lot of newly deconverted people don't realize just how psychologically manipulative their former faith was until they have some distance and can look back at it objectively. It could also be that you're just not watching the right kind of porn. If I watch gay porn, I feel "yuck" too. I wouldn't call it "disgust" really. Just that I find it unappealing. It's kind of like my relationship with brussels sprouts. I don't like them to the point that trying to eat them sets off my gag reflex, but don't mind at all if other people eat them and completely understand why they would. Someone could eat them while sitting right next to me and I wouldn't be bothered a bit by it. I'll even cook some up for them if I'm making a meal and they are available. I just don't want them on my plate. Maybe try watching other types of porn, or even try something less graphic? Porn is weird like that. Not everyone likes hardcore stuff, or have or dislike certain fetishes. It could just be that you haven't found your particular niche or are diving in a little too deep.
  11. 2 points
    One of the best pieces of wisdom I ever read was "If you feel guilty about something you do, either stop doing it or stop feeling guilty about it."
  12. 2 points
    Hmm, according to my research... As Porn use goes up, instances of sex crimes go down... https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/28803/title/Porn--Good-for-us-/ On the other hand... Women in relationships with men who frequently use porn are often unhappy, probably due to self esteem issues, even though the men are largely faithful... https://www.livescience.com/20684-porn-relationships.html It's also probably an unfounded fear in women, because studies have shown that porn doesn't really impact anyone's real life sex life much... http://www.gurl.com/2013/04/26/does-watching-porn-affect-your-sex-life/ Watching porn is linked to depression, but it may have just as much to do with the fact that a lot of porn watchers are single and not sexually active... https://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/a19535325/porn-debate/ Porn use can mess with short term memory...however the study shows that it only occurs while someone is actively viewing porn, and doesn't cause any permanent damage... https://www.livescience.com/25543-online-porn-affects-memory.html Probably due to... https://www.livescience.com/19755-porn-shut-visual-brain.html The brain is simply using less blood due to arousal, and this has no permanent impact on mental health. It's simply resource allocation. Porn is not addictive for the vast majority of people... https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-who-stray/201307/your-brain-porn-its-not-addictive Also, the study you seem to be citing has been widely criticized for issues like not having a proper control [it used only "addicts"], and overzealous claims and conclusions based on the results. It is also a misleading title, as it -does not- suggest that brain activity is similar to brain activity during drug use. The impact is actually more similar to the reaction of an alcoholic seeing an advertisement for alcohol, or a drug user meeting their dealer. I would also point out that people can become "addicted" to clipping their toenails and drinking glasses of milk. Addiction is not necessarily caused by the focus of the addiction, but often simply has to do with the psychology of the addict.
  13. 1 point
    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or in testimonies, but seeing as this is my first post I'm opting to post it here. My apologies if this isn't the place for it! This site, therapy, and new friends have helped me battle guilt and anxiety the last few years since I left my former church and my faith in an all loving God behind. I've read testimonies on this site off and on and only recently decided to create a profile. I enjoy writing and being reflective, but for some reason, typing out the chronological sequence of events that led me from skepticism, to being fully submerged in a non-denominational liberal church for five years, to my completely unexpected de-conversion seems exhausting. At the same time, I long for the type of fellowship and connections that I had in church. Connections that felt unmatched because of having a shared purpose in and understanding of something that's not even tangible and in retrospect is absolutely ridiculous to me now (the kingdom of heaven, a righteous battle for souls, a loving, all knowing, and all powerful maker). The only way to make connections is to share part of your human experience so here's a little of mine. It's been three years since I've known in my gut (a term I now use loosely and a concept I don't really trust as I've realized guts are often at the mercy of emotions) that I'm no longer a Christian. I loved my church, I loved my perception of God and the feeling of being completely known, cared for, and loved by him. I loved my lifestyle, the activities, sense of purpose, and the ways my anxieties were allayed by my beliefs and the support of my close Christian friends. In the time I was a Christian I rediscovered old passions and "gifts" as they were called (singing and performing in a group), found new ones (playing an instrument and writing songs), created new neural pathways for unhealthy coping mechanisms that had plagued me for over a decade. And I felt connected to my late grandma who's belief in God left an early imprint on me. I thought a relationship with Jesus was a big love story and things had come full circle when I finally gave my life to him at 24. And I felt the exact same way when others gave their lives to Jesus and it was never not on my mind to share the love of God in non-pushy subtle ways. I regularly looked for opportunities to pray with people (and now realize that prayer gave me a sense of control where there was often none and helped me to feel helpful in uncertain times). I always had an affinity towards non-believers who had a hard time grappling with Christianity logically. I related to them because I too had a really hard time believing in my early twenties. I didn't really question faith in my teens, wasn't active in any church, and just accepted Jesus as the son of God. It took me being in a very vulnerable place in life feeling scared, sad, helpless, and living across the country from my family to give God a real try. My current boyfriend of four years was the straw that broke this camel's back. A former Christian and also a musician who was previously heavily involved on worship teams, I felt that God had brought him into my life so that he'd recommit and we'd both worship and lead people to Jesus through our music and marriage. It makes me blush to write that. It makes me blush to remember a lot of things that I used to believe and just accept as reality and truth. Long story short: I'm the one who had my eyes opened, reluctantly, and painfully over the course of about a year and a half. There were things that I just couldn't deny, inconsistencies, and tough questions that I never found satisfying answers to in the bible or through leaders at church. Premarital sex and dating someone unequally yolked were also factors. The cognitive dissonance became too much as I was on "leadership" (something I always felt ill-equipped for as I never studied the bible comprehensively) and involved in leading a connect group and the worship team. So I eventually stepped down and gave myself some breathing, praying, and thinking room. I remember being in a hotel and saying to God, "If you're there, you better intervene, because I can tell this going to go south ("it" being my faith which I had previously been convinced I'd never loose, especially not for a guy-I was steadfast and my faith was stronger than my flesh)." I like my current life. I know that I'm better off and feel more like myself (even though I used to say the same thing after becoming a Christian lol). I've paid off a lot of debts that I accrued while giving my church tens of thousands of dollars over the years that could've gone elsewhere. I have more time to spend doing things that actually matter to me and building the life that I want vs the life I feel called by God to. I've learned to address my emotions and work through stressful situations in more constructive practical ways than praying and speaking things into existence, quoting scriptures, or rebuking the devil. And I now have new friendships and can relate to people in ways that I couldn't have if I still had the same convictions that I did while in church (like laughing and talking about sex outside of marriage or other "sinful" things). I'm glad that I'm no longer a Christian, but I still miss it and occasionally feel like I've done something wrong. I think I miss the people more than I miss God. I can accept and genuinely believe that the likelyhood of the God that I believed in to be highly unlikely and it's hard to miss someone you don't believe actually exists. But friends are real and something will always be missing in my conversations with old Christian friends now, unless they also de-convert which is a unique and trying transition. What made our connections feel so meaningful doesn't exist and we have differing beliefs about that. Loosing my former best friend was the hardest thing. She was my rock, my favorite human, someone who inspired me and that I confided in about absolutely everything and vise versa. I never imagined something coming between us. I used to feel much more guilty and like I traded her in for my boyfriend. But I didn't know how to allow myself to change around her in the ways I knew I was changing, because she was my doorway to Jesus, and I was exiting the building so to speak. She hated how critical my bf was of Christianity and that I eventually lost my born again virginity to him. I understand that she was also struggling and was entitled to go on her own emotional rollercoaster. I recently wrote her a long email, she responded, and we both apologized for any hurt we caused one another. But five years have still been lost and I'm not sure what will become of us as friends. Something happened recently that's been on my mind and likely influenced my visiting this site again and writing this. I went to a baby shower for friend's of my former church community and was talking to a couple of friends. They're both educated and generally thoughtful individuals. One is a social worker, the other works for a non-profit, and they're both tolerant of non-Christian views. The latter is from New Zealand and was commenting on something he'd recently read about there being many Christ-like themes in Aboriginal religions. He said that there's accounts of stories of a virgin birth etc. etc. What caught me off guard was both of their reactions. They were in awe of how God in his infinite love, knowledge, and timelessness, before Jesus was even born, was laying the groundwork revealing himself in so many different regions through "Christian narrative." I was astonished and dumbfounded. My brain's automatic reaction wasn't awe but instead, "Yeah, quite simply that means that the bible isn't very original and it's authors borrowed themes from pagan religions." I didn't say anything though. Nor did I nod in agreement. Luckily the noise at the party was a nice buffer for my apparent indifference. I didn't feel as uncomfortable as I would have three years ago. There's a lot that I don't know and many critical thinking skills I've yet to foster, but I do know now that I'm not being deceived by the enemy and that my thinking and pliable mind isn't a hindrance. Thanks for reading and for also sharing your stories.
  14. 1 point
    Christians, why do you take sexual advice from a man who was a virgin all his life. Jesus never experienced a sexual relationship, so how does he know as a human how to relate to those who are in those types of relationships. He talks a lot about how to act appropriately in marriages, how to view women, what's sexually moral and immoral, but he never tasted that side of life.
  15. 1 point
    Swarms of tiny oceanic organisms known collectively as zooplankton may have an outsize influence on their environment. New research shows that clusters of centimeter-long individuals, each beating its tiny feathered legs, can, in aggregate, create powerful currents that could potentially mix water over hundreds of meters in depth. This effect could potentially influence everything from distribution of ocean nutrients to climate models. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ebn6qyJAeY
  16. 1 point
    I see a few problems here. The first is this: "God" is not well defined. With respect to any particular theistic "God" that can be named, one may be able to properly be a gnostic atheist. But, since "God" is not well defined, one cannot fully be a gnostic atheist, since there may yet be something (a cause of the universe, a designer, a source of morality, whatever) out there, and this thing may be called "God" by some. This is why ignosticism is an appealing position. Another is that various theistic positions are specifically designed to be tautological. Christianity, for example, may be true. It specifically purports to appear as foolishness to those who are lost. Well then, if it is true, then it makes perfect sense that those of us who are lost would find it absurd, and use reason to conclude that its God does not exist. This reaction is predicted by the religion. So, if it is true, then it must seem like it is false. Ergo, we can't actually conclude it is false with certainty. (Disclaimer: the preceding is not a valid argument that Christianity is true. But it could be.) Another is that we are quite justified, in my view, in questioning whether we can really know anything at all for certain. I'm going to take flak for this, I know. That's fine. But what is knowledge? What is reason? What is logic? How do we know that we can trust these things? These are valid questions. If we are to seriously discuss knowing whether or not God exists, then they are questions that need to be answered.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    Then you've become immune to christianity. That's probably one of the best ways of knowing, to be honest. Like a drunk gone sober being able to walk into a bar and appreciate the scenery, without risk of being sucked back into alcoholism. I hear you on the ToT issue, Mark and I had a discussion about not getting into politics due to it distracting from the task at hand of helping deconverts. And he was probably right. I'll likely honor that discussion by backing out of it completely myself, as Mark suggested. What the hell. Thinking about this more, I'm just going to do it. I'm going back to completely apolitical again starting now. I'm more interested in science and religion anyways....
  19. 1 point
    Hey Dark Bishop, Glad to hear that you're happy with your deconversion and with this community. I too am very glad I made the journey away from faith and also that I found this group of fellow-apostates. I do feel a special kinship with the people here, which is one reason I generally stay away from the TOT section and the outright hostility that flares up there. There are plenty of platforms to fight over politics and culture (although I’ve been avoiding those too lately), but not many where I can hang out with Ex-Christians! I've also been going to church with my wife - we go most weeks - and I actually enjoy it, even as I have become more comfortable with my unbelief (I am an agnostic atheist) than I ever was in the faith. Sound strange? Maybe, but there are a few things I should clarify... We attend Catholic Mass now, not the fundamentalist Church of Christ where we were members for more than twenty years. We were both raised (indoctrinated) Catholic, so I guess there is that comforting familiarity. There is something moving and calming about the sheer beauty of this particular church, with the paintings, stained-glass windows, statues and organ music. Just stepping inside the building has a soothing effect on me. I do recite the prayers along with everybody else, and I like to sing the hymns. When it comes time to recite the Creed though, I stay silent throughout since I don't believe a word of it - it's my personal, semi-private, profession of my unbelief. I also don't go forward for Communion, and I notice a few other husbands/boyfriends who never go either. I wonder what their stories are - are they atheists, theists or just Protestants? (The Catholic Church asks that only Catholics take Communion). Would I still go to Mass if my wife didn't want to go? Probably not, maybe once in a great while. In spite of everything I've said, there is a part of me that would like to go an extended period, a year at the very least, with no contact with religion whatsoever, just to further cement and affirm my deconversion. But this works for me, it works for my wife, so it's good. If I had young kids, would I take them to Church on any kind of regular basis? No way: I would want them to learn about the many gods and religions - all the better to be skeptical - and maybe experience some religious rituals, but no more than that. I know that attending Church like this could be an occasion for serious Cognitive Dissonance, which most of us Exes are familiar with. But for me, at this advanced stage of my deconversion, there is none: I don't believe: period, end of story, case closed. Which leaves me free to enjoy this religious ritual in much the same way that I might appreciate a Buddhist or Hindu ceremony or the beauty of the mosques of Istanbul or Isfahan. I mentioned reciting the ritualized prayers; for me these are more like familiar mantras than prayers. In fact I have been very satisfied to see that even in my most stressful times, I no longer have any desire to pray. It's not that prayer is such a bad thing: I know that even without anything supernatural going on, prayer can have benefits. It's just that it’s important to me that my religious indoctrination be reversed completely, and losing all desire to pray to a deity is an important part of that. So outside of that one hour each week, my life is happily godless. So is my churchgoing a spiritual experience? Not the way most people think of 'spiritual'. It's more like how it feels listening to beautiful music, or how I feel being in the great outdoors, or maybe even a bit like sex. I wish there was a better word for something-like-spiritual-but-with-no-supernatural-aspects. Maybe 'transcendent'? It's good for those who may fear leaving gods and religion behind to know that practices like martial arts, Tai-Chi and meditation can enrich an ex-Christian life, as they do yours, DB. I've been learning and trying to practice Stoicism and meditation myself. I feel like I've discovered my true self since leaving Christianity. Looks like you have too, DB, and I hope many others follow.
  20. 1 point
    I usually get inspired to rant when I come across videos or comments that really grind my gears. I can go a year without posting then something gets stuck in my mind and it feels good just to work through it.
  21. 1 point
    I like to say that even if there are such things as gods, none of the ones that people believe in are real, especially the god(s) in the Bible. And the one god that Christians believe in isn't the only god that the Bible in various places says is real! The Bible starts out with multiple gods (The Most High and his sons), transitions to a place where one of those sons (Yahweh/Jehovah) is the god of Israel and way better than his brothers, then later to his brothers not being real and there being only one god, and finally to a place where there are three gods who are somehow actually part of the one god. If people understood that, they wouldn't believe in the Bible.
  22. 1 point
    I never understood that. If you believe its the word of god then wouldn't reading it be the most important thing to do?
  23. 1 point
    Ok I'm going to flash my toxic masculinity achievement badge here a bit but. It Doesn't take a big guy to be an alpha with humans. It probably does help. But it is more of a complete persona of Dominance or confidence. There are men and women alike that are just naturally submissive to the more dominant men and women. lets take high school "clicks" for instance. There is usually an obvious leader of the group that the others follow. Male and female. That is the Alpha. It can change back and forth with us tho depending on life circumstances. Some prevail to stay on top there whole lives. Usually in a field of study or area of interest that others might be a part of. These are just personal observations but I bet it could probably be verified through science if it hasn't already. After all we are just animals. Just a bit more intelligent than our primate cousins.
  24. 1 point
    It is in my DNA but not for everybody's. I stopped feeling guilty about it when I left Christianity.
  25. 1 point
    I dont really like to "label" myself. But I do agree with them on a lot. But there are other things I don't agree with. I'm more of a third party in general type of person. I don't like either of the two major parties but you already know that. And I kinda gotta laugh at ya on the beta thing. If you haven't notice Alpha and Beta within the human race you really need to open your eyes and observe. But that's for another discussion. DB
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    Yup. Buy an impressive-looking one, carry it to church, never open it, take it home and put it back on the shelf until next Sunday.
  28. 1 point
    It is divorced from emotional intimacy. Porn is purely physical. That's kind of the point. It's a good idea to get it into your head that there's nothing wrong with that. You shouldn't have to tell yourself that "I will never do that again". The biggest benefit is stress relief, and that kind of thinking takes away from the best thing about it. I would say that it is "dirty" but in a more literal sense. Chances are you're going to have to clean something up when you're done. I dunno that I'd say it's something you should be flaunting publicly and announcing to the world, it is a private thing, but not a shameful thing.
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    Yeah, I'm basically in the rage of libertarian. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative. I agree with most of their platforms.
  31. 1 point
    I've heard that the often quoted stat of the bible being the best selling book is not giving the whole picture. It is not the regular public who buy it in vast enough numbers but rather church groups that buy bulk to give away. For example groups like the gideons buy large quantities and donate them to hotels. I believe if you actually compare the number of people who open their wallet and choose to purchase a copy then it is out sold most years by the top fiction novels.
  32. 1 point
    Exactly. If you find porn (or any other thing) intruding into your thoughts and find that you need to watch it like all the time or super frequently ... then it's an addiction. Otherwise, it's not. I have a relative who mentions Jesus as much as possible. I think it's an addiction.
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    There are also studies that have said that sugar stimulates the same pathways that cocaine does. Our brains were designed to respond to certain stimuli with pleasure. We could vilify almost any pleasure-inducing stimuli if we wanted to, but it really is an individual thing. Some people can drink alcohol every day and never have it negatively impact their lives. Others start drinking and can't stop and it ruins their lives. There are certainly plenty of ways that porn can create problems - the over emphasis on the male's pleasure (I'm guessing more men than women watch porn, so that is more of a market response than anything else), the unrealistic beauty standards, the lack of any emotional involvement which divorces sex from relationship, etc. That's just the negatives I've noticed from my own viewing, but whether or not it is a problem depends on how it affects your life and your relationships, just as with alcohol.
  35. 1 point
    I loved a cigar each evening. But when my lover had a mini-stroke and had to stop things like smoking, I did too. Somehow, never looked back. I still like my three glasses of wine an evening, though - and sometimes a bit more.
  36. 1 point
    Perhaps it would be better to learn to not feel guilty. If you could learn to not feel disgusted with yourself then you wouldn't have to try to stop yourself from doing things you enjoy.
  37. 1 point
    I was working on this a while ago, in a discussion about atheism. The dictionaries generally give a double definition for atheism, listing both agnostic atheist and gnostic atheist views by defining atheists as those who lack belief in gods, or those who believe that gods do not exist. So atheism is generally defined as either agnostic or gnostic atheism. I came in behind that and suggested that (and largely due to all you've listed above) instead of squabbling about whether atheism should be defined only as agnostic and bounce the gnostic definition, as the atheist organizations have wanted to do, we may as well embrace gnostic atheism all the way until we reach it's 'stopping point', and then simply embrace agnostic atheism the rest of the way. You may be thinking, "what do you mean, 'stopping point' for gnostic atheism?" It doesn't matter how much knowledge we have about gods being mythical and man made. You technically can't claim to have knowledge out to infinitely beyond observation and / or the ability to know. This is a general limitation of knowledge and knowing itself, which therefore applies to all aspects of knowledge and knowing, including gnostic atheism. We can not claim to know 100% what may or may not be out there, somewhere. This is the stopping point and abrupt limitation for gnostic anything, including gnostic atheism. So that's why agnostic, anything, always has the ability to go beyond it's gnostic counter parts. You don't claim to know, that which is impossible to claim to know, in other words. You admit that you don't know, you're agnostic about this or that. We simply can't know 100% that gods do not exist somewhere out there. So we shouldn't claim to know, that which can not be asserted to be known. So we can be gnostic as far as knowledge can take us, and then agnostic the rest of the way beyond that point. Such as knowing that mythical gods are man made, across the board, due to scholarship, research, discovery, and common sense. But not knowing if some unknown gods may exist out there somewhere beyond our ability to know that. But at the same time, not believing that gods do exist somewhere out there beyond our ability to known, without some credible evidence to suggest that they do. You can be a gnostic and agnostic atheist all at the same time, in keeping with the way in which dictionaries tend to double define it. Depending on whether we're talking about that which can be known, or that which can not be known.
  38. 1 point
    The beliefs, I still went to church for year's later. Going to church for that time played a big part in my deprogramming, it was a way I confirmed to myself that their beliefs were based on nothing. It's strange how the people of this God is supposed to in rich your faith, but it really hangs you out to dry. One of the pastors I met weekly was so sure of his belief's that nothing I objected to hit base, that was also a sign that these type of believer's were close minded. After that I finally broke free and left it all behind, it's been almost a year so far.
  39. 1 point
    A lot of Christians today love to point out that God is working in the lives of people, but it's a process. Yes, you can be healed but it will take some time. Like God needs anytime at all to heal someone of anything. There are many Bible verses that point out that Gods healing was instantaneous, and the subjects were healed whole.
  40. 1 point
    I once met an American Fundie Christian over here in the UK. He told me that their leader had a bad car crash and broke "every bone in his body". The elders of the church gathered around his bed and prayed all night ... in the morning he was able to walk out of the hospital completely healed. Praise the Lord! A miracle! I also witnessed a man, wheelchair-bound for 15 years, being healed ... within 30 seconds! He got out of his chair and danced around the church. Praise the Lord! A miracle! (They then passed the collection pouch around the congregation ... with "plants" theatrically putting large denomination notes into it ... to encourage others to do the same). A preacher came on and told the congregation that soon one of their number would become President of America (this was in 1998) and he would use the American military to eliminate all other religions ... starting with the Buddhists!
  41. 1 point
    Oh yes, there is blame to go around. No one is blameless. There are two sides to every story. But, I think in some cases one side clearly holds more blame than the other. In this case, yes, Jewish beliefs and preachments doubtless prompted some of the Nazi vitriol. But there's reacting and overreacting, to put it mildly. As you say though, we still need to be on the outside to try and make these kinds of adjudications. The politically incorrect point is very well taken though. We shouldn't try to pretend that things happened in a way they didn't, even if it's fashionable to do so.
  42. 1 point
    One thing about this statement is that it doesn't start at the beginning. It makes more sense starting from the beginning and then seeing how it unfolded into the eventual holocaust. 1) Jews existed which hold to a belief system of racial superiority - the first genetic humans beings out of which all other races, branched off, and perhaps digressed away from. The Jewish attitude towards, "gentiles," is a glaring factor at the foundation of all of this. 2) Jews, holding racial superiority complexes via their religion and historical views, settled in Europe, including Germany. 3) Hitler, a Roman Catholic knowing of the Jews claims and ideas about racial superiority, took a common christian bias against the Jews and he ran with it. This was taken to claiming the Jews as sub human, not racially superior. As a response to the initial claims of Jews thinking they are superior. 4) This led to building a competitive claim to racial superiority based on the Aryan race, rather than the Jewish race, as the master race. It involved historical revision. 5) After rising to power and first attempting to ship Jews off to new locations, mass killing Jews began taking place. The holocaust is the result. So from this perspective, the Nazi's were a reaction to the initial action of Jewish people believing they're superior to gentile peoples. But this still shows that on their own terms, the Nazi's would have seen themselves as justified. There's still a problem with trying to justify this, in any case. But because the Jews were hunted down and slain, in large numbers, it's politically incorrect to acknowledge their fault in all of this. There are, in this instance, clearly two sides. And both are mistakenly wrong, each in their own ways. And the collective result of chasing a racial superiority complex led to complete mayhem.
  43. 1 point
    Nothing really to argue with here. The only thing I'll say is that Nazism, like religious moral systems, was not designed to stand up to outside criticism. These are not things that are supposed to be consistent. They're just demagoguery. They are meant to be convincing only to those who want to believe them. Outside criticism is usually simply dismissed by demagogues. So, looking for hypocrisy and inconsistencies may be helpful to us on the outside, but it is very rarely either helpful or convincing to those on the inside.
  44. 1 point
    I could be wrong but I took that phrase to mean "look for the hypocrisy". Nazism, social-darwinism along with similar ideology with heavy racism components, all fall apart under academic examination because racism is subjective. It's really just a trick that a demagogue uses to rile up stupid people in a population. "Blame it on that (insert minority group)!" But in one country the minority getting blamed might be the majority demographic some other demagogue is trying to rile up in a different part of the world.
  45. 1 point
    Obviously there are limits to the somewhat post-modern perspective I took above, but I think the easy answer to Nazis is that they wouldn't want someone who believed themselves superior to them to seek to exterminate them. The logical flaw in extreme social darwinism generally is that virtually no one is going to view themselves as being inferior and at the bottom of the food chain so to speak.
  46. 1 point
    Well, there was that one time that Jesus made the guy confuse people with trees...
  47. 1 point
    Christians make a variety of bald claims, typically laced with apologetics. Deconstructing them usually reveals the claims' and apologetics' flaws.
  48. 1 point
    To continue to believe in magic one must somehow shoehorn inescapable reality into the belief. God answers prayer, but sometimes the answer is "no." God works in mysterious ways. Your political leaders are put there by God Himself, unless that leader happens to be a Democrat.



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