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  1. 3 points
    Something that a lot of us have observed is that it is incredibly hard to demonstrate to a committed Christian that there are many critical flaws in their belief system unless they are at a point in their lives where they are willing to critically examine their faith. First just think about the average Christian. To consider that their faith might be wrong means: - letting go of their cherished belief in an afterlife for themselves and their loved ones/ having to face the reality of death - admitting they wasted many many years and a lot of money on something that was false - likely catastrophic effects on their marriage and relationships with family siblings children parents Etc - lost friendships So even just the average Christian has a lot of reasons to plug their ears and Shout lalalalala to all of the perfectly sound logical arguments you present to convince them why they're wrong. Now let's think about a pastor. In asking a pastor to consider that their faith might be wrong, in addition to all of the barriers the average Christian faces in considering this, the pastor would also have to be prepared to: - walk away from their job, their source of income - transition into the secular world where they likely have no marketable job skills and only church service on their resume - admit to themselves and their congregations that they've been spending their whole life teaching a lot of misinformation - break the heart of a spouse who likely married a pastor as part of their own personal calling One last thing that makes it really hard to convince pastors: unlike the average Christian they've already heard a lot of these arguments and they've already rationalised them away effectively locking the doors to the reasoning parts of the brain
  2. 3 points
    It might be helpful to realise that we don't 'have' to believe in anything. You are right when you say below that you don't know. If you don't know you don't know. At that point you don't need to jump to any explanation that is not supported and believe that because you have to believe in something. You might be confusing two different but interrelated subjects here: Belief and knowledge. From a certain standpoint we can't know anything for 100% certainty, so one might be tempted to say we can't know anything. However I think this is a false position to hold. IN our reality as we observe it there are things we can know with a high level of certainty. For example if you pick up a ball and let it go it will fall. 100% of the time. Thus we can say that we both believe the ball will fall and we know it will. On the other hand I believe some natural process started off life, but I don't know that, nor do I know what the process was. Like JP I am an agnostic atheist - I don't know no gods exist, but I don't believe any do. To find out if you believe any gods exist just ask yourself that. If your answer is no, congrats, you are an atheist. You might be like JP and I - agnostic atheists, or maybe you might be a gnostic atheists - that you know there are no gods. Hmm I don't think so, and that's a difficult position to backup. A true observation, and probable inference. I agree. At this point you are inferring intention to something for which I'd argue there are no grounds for inferring. It's like a puddle of water in a hole. Did the hole intend to be filled by the water so perfectly - or did the hole just happen to come about and the water that fell filled it due to entirely natural processes? Here I and some of our other members might start differing. The odds of life are exactly 1 as we know it. Why are the odds 1? because we define life, we include ourselves as life, and we are here discussing the odds of us discussing the odds of.... yeah. That sounds like pantheism I think. Our spiritual members are better here if you wish to explore it. For me, my personal philosophy is not to try and explain hard to answer questions with 'magic' but just say I don't know, and I try and only believe that for which there is evidence to substantiate the claim. Also of help might be getting used to not knowing, because believe me what we don't know personally is far more than what we do know, and that's just for this planet, let alone the universe.
  3. 3 points
    Maybe, maybe not. We just don't know. That's good footing. A lot of people end up agnostic atheist. Basically from thinking the way you are right now and understanding that in ultimate terms, we just don't know. We don't lie to ourselves and pretend to know. We don't know. But, do we believe in some abstract unknown god anyways, that's where the atheism comes in. If no, than it's some type of agnostic atheism. If yes, then it's something different altogether. It could be agnostic theism, not knowing but believing anyways despite not knowing. These are some ideas to explore. See if any of it seems to fit. Maybe, maybe not. The intention thing is complicated. Because I could see arguments for it and against it. I've looked at naturalistic ideas that would involve some intention being ingrained into nature. These haven't brought me into any theistic conclusions, though. If you want to go off into one of these directions and read and watch videos, I'll leave you a link below: Don't be shy to read and jump into one of these conversations about consciousness with your own thoughts. I'm sure several people would appreciate you joining in and participating in the discussions. Not enough people do. And it's very interesting to consider. It's a shame so few participate in exploring these more speculative areas. Put it this way, I'm an agnostic atheist but I still wonder about the things you're wondering about. I don't see how it makes me any less agnostic atheist. I don't necessarily see a conscious universe as a god, more like the possibility of nature itself being an awareness in it's own right, as a whole. It's speculative, but it could be the case.
  4. 3 points
    Yeah. You're an atheist -- or in other words, a rationalist. Because we're primitive animals, we think we need to worship something, so we invent silly, primitive stories about gods. For thousands of years, people thought plagues were caused by God as punishment. But once secularism replaced supernaturalism in science, we realized that plagues are naturally occurring phenomenon. And once we realized that, we figured out how to stop plagues. Millions of lives have been saved. Religion was the major impediment to that happening. It still is an impediment. I don't think the universe itself is conscious, but I could be wrong. The universe is too bizarre to understand very well.
  5. 2 points
    If you were god for a day, with absolute power, knowledge and love, what would you do to make the world a better place? I would start by wiping out fatal diseases that kill otherwise perfectly healthy people (aids, ebola, plague, degenerative diseases, cancers, malaria etc), I would remove parasites (worms, ticks, mossies etc) making sure to replace with a benign insect if other animals rely on them for food. I would inspire an energy breakthrough to give humanity a clean, almost unlimited source of power. I would settle the tectonic plates to stop volcanoes and earthquakes. I would turn off the gene to grow wisdom teeth. I would make all psychotic killers have a stroke and drop dead. With unlimited power there would be no issues that could arise that couldn't be easily dealt with. God hasn't even made earth as good and safe as our limited imagination can. I could understand that from an uncaring deist type god, but not from an all-loving Christian god.
  6. 2 points
    I think, due to the ahhhhh fiery nature of the ToT it's restricted? Not sure, you'll have to ask @SkipNChurch or @Joshpantera My advice is if you want in, then be prepared to read stuff you don't like and deal with it reasonably rather than getting upset and complaining. Just my 2 cents. On the up and down arrows in the Question forum - yes they are for voting the "best" answer to the question. All other boards here use like symbols rather than voting. So you can like, laugh, sad or confused other posts. Apparently you can't be angry, or dislike it
  7. 2 points
    "TOT" is Totally Off Topic, which is one of the subforums on this board. It's the only place here that political threads are allowed. If you want to check it out, be forewarned that some of the threads there can get a bit nasty. There are a few people who don't know how to play nice, and it really shows there. It's easy to find. Just click the ex-christian.net banner at the top of this page to get a list of the subforums that you can go into. For convenience, I'll also provide a direct link to Totally Off Topic here: https://www.ex-christian.net/forum/14-totally-off-topic/ Also, yes, the arrows are for voting on the replies in the Got Questions subforum. Readers can choose to sort the replies by votes or by date.
  8. 2 points
    Excuse me, you are offending my belief in the great invisible pink unicorn! It's my God. Blasphemy. Apologise.
  9. 2 points
    What you're feeling sounds pretty normal to me. Many, if not most folks that leave their religion have similar experiences. I examined Progressive Christiamity and then Deism before I accepted that I was an atheists. Looking for a substitute for God seems like a normal part of the deconversion process. This too, shall pass.
  10. 1 point
    You can take the woman out of religious patriarchy, but you can't take the patriarchy out the woman, at least not very easily. That's what I've learned in the last two years. I want to speak about this topic, because I've considered myself a liberated woman (even before I left religion, as ironic as that is). But sometimes, you don't see the ropes, until there's another mind shift, and only then do you see the ropes that were tying you down. I want to speak in particular to any women out there, particularly those of the ex fundamentalist variety. Maybe they might benefit in some small measure by this insight. The patriarchy is so invisible sometimes, that even we women don't recognize it, or how it works. In particular, it's difficult to see if it has been upheld in some ways by the women around you, who have played a large role in your life. I have a relatively forward thinking mom. She always impressed upon me that it was OK to desire the best of both worlds, a career, a husband, and a family. However, even if it wasn't said, it was taken for granted that every woman in the church wanted a husband and family. You were abnormal somehow if you expressed another wish. I was one of the ones that actually wanted a husband and family, so I never struggled with that issue. I always struggled more with what I wanted in building a career. But I excelled in education and I loved learning and would have continued down the academic path as a career, if things hadn't become so challenging on some levels. Anyway, fast forward to my mid 30s, and deconversion, at which time I started to pick apart the patriarchy on a whole other level, and recognize how religion had influenced and ordered my life. One of the first things I did relatively soon after escaping the church was join the dating world. That can be summed up in one word: disillusionment. A few people close to me questioned this. Didn't I want to find out who I was without religion first? Why didn't I take some time? I myself figured I was doing it because, well, I could (dating outside of the church was outlawed and I had no interest within the church). Well, fast forward one year later, and another mind shift, and I can tell you guys, I'm unsure how many fetters of the religious patriarchy are left to tie me down, but some clearly were. It's so difficult to recognize how deeply we have internalized all the messages in religion, culture, the surrounding world around us. I somehow thought I was immune to all the messaging in the church that a woman is less/diminished without a man in her life, but no, I had internalized that on a deep level, and the first thing I wanted to do after getting the hell out of the church was find myself someone, and prove that I was an equal to all those women (and the system as a whole) that had made me feel less than. In hindsight, it's so easy to recognize this motivation. But, I've only been able to recognize it now that I've made a more conscious decision, because I really want to, to exit the dating scene and focus on my own life and finding my own happiness. It really doesn't matter how much of a liberated woman you tell yourself you are. You're only liberated when you begin to truly believe that your value isn't tied to any other person, or relationship. And the patriarchy, particularly the religious variety, will have you think otherwise.
  11. 1 point
    People are allowed to complain, and get upset as well, about dickheaded behavior. Or any behavior for that matter if they don't like it. Free speech y'all, since we're so into it and have had so many conversations about it. Just my opinion. PS yes your "reasonably" set me off there. Cus I get ticked at the implications there, sounds too similar to all that "only those who can take the heat here end up staying" philosophy.
  12. 1 point
    Obama eliminated the House and created legislation by Executive Order. That bypassed the entire legislative process and eliminated checks and balances. What goes around comes around. Trump will also eliminate the house and get what he wants by executive order.
  13. 1 point
    Well...shit. Guess I’m atheist. Wow. As a Christian and even before I was a Christian, I don’t think I could have ever envisioned utteirng those words. I’ve been struggling with this since July! I think I never had a true understanding of what atheism meant until today when I got my thoughts down on paper so to speak. Anything is possible now. For me to go from what I beleived in to what I am now...holy shit. Oddly enough, being atheist (or agnostic atheist) doesn’t take away my sense of awe and wonder about life like I thought it would. It just means I don’t have a fucking clue why life exists and I don’t have to assume god anymore. Thank you all again. I’ll continue to read through further answers and comments. Whether or not I’ve disagreed with people here or has tantrums, I’m so appreciative of this community.
  14. 1 point
    This could be a stopping point. Or a temporary stopping point on the way to something else. Is dancing around shit a bad thing? If so, why? If you are unable to answer what you believe in , nothing bad is going to happen. I don't know either. Maybe he could post a message and let us know. Otherwise, if he's not going to directly communicate then he may as well not exist. That's a good answer. You might feel stupid because you were fed a load of BS for 19 years. Part of that BS was the false notion that you had to have a strong conviction about believing in something that never communicates nor appears nor makes itself known to any of the senses. Really truly , it's ok to not have an answer ... or to not know.
  15. 1 point
    Oh Pushaw! We've all been there. We think therefore we are confused sometimes. So, do we KNOW that pink unicorns do not exist? Well not for 100% certain. But we know to such an extent of their non-existence that a reasonable person would say that they don't exist.
  16. 1 point
    Hey P.L. When I first admitted that xianity (well...all religions for that matter) are man-made BS I wanted to convert the world and prove to Pastor Ass-Hat they he needs to stop fucking with people's psyches. I still want to but I will not initiate the conversation for the reasons listed by others here. I will, however, be prepared if/when that conversation takes place. That said I DID have a convo with him a couple years ago wherein I pointed out a few inconsistencies and inaccuracies and down-right unbelievable things I had read in the Bible. First he told that I was a poor reader (BS in CS From Columbia, Summa-cum-laude) and that I needed to re-read those chapters - only this time with the "lord in my heart!" Then he proceeded to say that "You just need to believe." and that "Disbelief is a sin!" At this point I'm thinking the whole deconversion of others or "taking them on" is a waste of time but simply being myself and showering them with love and understanding and allowing them, if it happens, to think on their own, is my plan of action. Sorry PL. Was that too wordy?
  17. 1 point
    It's different from other religions, therefore......put money in my plate!
  18. 1 point
    Well we talked about it last night and he said since he's indifferent on it I can do what I want. So, I guess I'll do that lol l
  19. 1 point
    Ditto for me Fuego. I immediately bypassed the morning phase and went straight to anger. 8 years later I have calmed down greatly. But those first couple of years were pretty consumed by anger, both at them, and myself for not figuring it out sooner. I no longer feel it neccessary to "flip off" every church building I go past (not that there is anything wrong with doing this). But, it was excellent therapy at the time. Time does help heal stuff. I can spit tacks thinking about all of those wasted years. So, instead, I focus on making the most of every single remaining day of my precious existence.
  20. 1 point
    I appreciate your reply,it makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure how the information would have affected me just a few years ago. I just want him to stop talking or more accurately, I want to stop going to church. Another topic for another time.
  21. 1 point
    I would say leave it but unless it is a cathartic exercise for you. It's like poking the facebook hornet's nest for me when I see a friend or relative post something incomprehensibly stupid, I'll correct them, not because I think any good will come of it but it makes me feel just a tad better. And I NEVER read the replies. Ok, I sometimes read the replies. But in general, just don't.
  22. 1 point
    I'll just toss this out there, though I do not regard myself as remotely qualified to comment. I'd go with the flow, however that flow most easily goes. As a kid, the most exciting part of Christmas for me was, of course, the presents (and ugh, I'd always get CLOTHES as presents... my parents were monsters ) and seeing the decorations. The kids love the spectacle and the break up of the normal routine. So I'd say decorate in whatever way seems fit. I hope lights aren't pagan implements because those were always my favorite and the different colors they cast onto a room. And when giving gifts, remind the kids of YOUR love for them (and not the sky daddy's). I don't know, your milage may vary. But that's what I'd do. Kids don't really understand the politics of the situation. Just the spectacle of it.
  23. 1 point
    It’s definitely subtle,but the messages are all through it and can’t possibly be missed. Pluggedinonline and similar Christian websites mention its many good points but caution parents to keep their eyes open and be ready to answer questions or have talks on the ride home.
  24. 1 point
    Hi, I don't want to duplicate the great responses the others have given, I will just say that giving human characteristics to natural occurrences (to anthropomorphize a thing) is very common. Things that we don't understand we automatically assign human qualities to. Where does rain/lightning/babies/wind/tides/life etc come from? If we don't know then god or at least a superior intelligence is surely the answer. Its god of a gaps for natural phenomenon and it retracts each time our knowledge increases to show the natural cause. Lightning could be Zeus or it could be particle physics in the clouds. The tides could be Neptune or it could be the effects of gravity on water. The gaps for god to fill have reduced to just the most distant and hard to answer questions such as where did the universe come from? With a 100% track record of god never being the correct answer, I would suggest that there was a natural process for that too.
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    Nah, they'll just say Snopes is funded by "the Jews" and therefore wrong. All right wing philosophy revolves around the basic idea that "the Jews" secretly control everything.
  27. 1 point
    Deconverting is a slow process that takes time. My advice is to keep inspecting the rope so to speak. The rope would be the Bible and all its bullshit. Hell is a man made concept. It keeps you trapped in fear and prevents you from thinking for yourself. You’re experiencing a hangover from religion. It’s going to take some time. What helped me was to continue to search out and debunk fallacies from the Bible until I could clearly see it was straight bullshit. It’s pure mythology just like Zues and all the other gods man invented. If there is a God we are all waiting for the unveil. Until then, just enjoy life. Take care
  28. 1 point
    @theyownyou33, That's GREAT news that Mrs. OwnYou is thinking and having doubt. I wish Mrs. MOHO would READ the Bible and not just look up passages to comfort her or to use to counsel (control) others. You should not, under any circumstances, feel any guilt whatsoever. The Bible was thrown together, by men, to control men. It has been redacted, changed, modified, and generally fucked with for centuries with the intent being to hone its impact on the human psyche. It sounds like you and the Mrs have made inroads into surviving your enlightenment. We have too but it's on-going. Just this weekend I had to learn that allowing my contempt for fundies has had more of an impact on our relationship than I realized. That realization came at just the right time to save the marriage. It sounds like you two have gone through similar challenges and have come out stronger for it. Kudos to you both on that one. Your path out of the mind control is the correct path and you are to be commended for not only finding your way out but for helping others to at least think about their situation.
  29. 1 point
    After years of indoctrination (emotional manipulation, being taught to make excuses for god when promises are ignored like "he has a better plan", being taught to behave like an abused spouse over the violent temper and sadistic torture that the Bible god has for those that don't love him enough while having the audacity to call himself Love, etc) it takes time to undo all of that programming. Our minds are constructed in a way that things at a survival-level-fear are not easily overridden. Religion often plays off of such fears, as you are now experiencing. But the threats are no more real than saying Spiderman is pissed about your life. There never was a real threat, and the Bible is a collection of non-historical stories constructed to woo you into a cult "These things were written so that you might believe". I hope that you and your wife find the freedom that is naturally yours without religious programming, and that you still have solid common ground together.
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    I've found (to my surprise) that I can get revved up in a second when talking about it to someone else, and I need to really stay calm and almost detached to not get too angry about it. The sarcasm flows quickly and freely, and I find myself wanting to download my entire experience into the other person so they can understand it all. Slowly, slowly, slowly, and bit by bit is the better approach. But I don't get down about it, I don't miss it at all, and resent that I lost so many years to the cult.
  32. 1 point
    I'd just admit I'd bolloxed it all up to start with and quietly wipe out the entire planet out of sheer embarrassment
  33. 1 point
    Excelent advise in the 2 posts (and others) above. Some call it a "self fulfilling prophecy". A declaration, that if believed, helps itself to come true. So religion convinces you that you are too stupid to figure out things for yourself, and if you want to be "saved", you have to do as they say. (A little sarcasm) "Oh yes, before you leave the building, please give us a contribution so we can keep on convincing people of their stupidity, and their need for us."
  34. 1 point
    first things first. Id get some random volunteers to write down my desires. Id need to create an eternal fiery hell for anyone who didnt do exactly what my various followers infer that I want from everyone.
  35. 1 point
    Indoctrination, programming, brainwashing. That shit is real and it takes time to get over it. Hang in there and don't beat yourself up for having old habits that are hard to break; they were designed that way.
  36. 1 point
    I like agnostic because I can waffle a bit. Atheist sounds too final and has a bunch of connotations that I find hard to separate from the "lack of belief in gods" definition. You're probably accurate though. There's no named supernatural personality I pray to or believe in (most of the time). I'm a 5 on the Dawkins scale out of 7. But I am fascinated and do have a fairly high level of belief/acceptance of an impersonal and immaterial power ... like a universal consciousness. Not that I practice a belief system like that as a regular regimen in my life. I hold in high esteem Zen, Advaita, non-dual awareness and teachings to that effect. If I AM THAT, then there's nobody to pray to. Nobody, period. lol. I have a mid level of belief/acceptance of other woo like magic, ESP, distant mental influencing, a low level of belief in some other woo, and a 'that's bullshit' level of belief in others. Mage? Sure. A lazy mage. lol. I don't really choose many labels ... maybe because then I feel like I'm owned by that label and have to live up that label. I kind of felt like that when I got into the meat of Dawkins' God Delusion book...thinking to myself, "If this is what atheism means, umm, pass." Then again, I'm sure there are atheists here who probably think Dawkins' version of atheism is lunacy. TL/DR - Agnostic Atheist Mage - 70% in agreement with that.
  37. 1 point
    You are arguing a point I never made. Takes me back to the days of arguments with Christian apologists.The year something is discovered is not relevant. What is relevant is that Newtonian physics essentially got it right a long time ago. Right enough that it works time after time ever since. Failed superstitions that are thousands of years old seem an anachronistic throwback. Physics is not a belief. Beliefs - physics, not comparable in any sense.
  38. 1 point
    No, just wondering about the 21st century part of your reply. You seemed to indicate that magic was an outdated idea, even though Newtonian physic is about 400 years old and Plato is 2400 years old and yet we still seem to find those things relevant. So just because something is old doesn't mean it has no value. Unless it's something you dont personally care for. "I realize that unlike many with a Christian belief nobody is trying to persuade me to conduct my life according to the stars or do a card spell on my kitchen table or heal my headache with magic crystals. But why would anyone else believe such things in the 21st Century?"
  39. 1 point
    Why do we still accept Newtonian Physics... that shit is from the 17th century. Why do we quote stuff from the Greek Scholars from 400 B.C. ?
  40. 1 point
    I was raised by agnostic atheists so I have a strong foundation of "woo is bullshit." But as a teen I found I was really drawn to a variety of woo/magick (lol) /new age stuff. My parents did not MAKE me follow any particular atheist or agnostic format of thought, they just heavily discourage me from Christianity. When I got married to a Christian I 'chose' to start believing because she did and it sounded like something neat to do. It turned out not to be that neat. I didnt deconvert because I 'couldn't believe' in it. I quit because it was pissing me off. I didnt initially believe in Jesus. I had little faith. Over the years my faith grew as I was constantly exposed to Jesus in church and church activities. I had bouts of being on fire for Jesus but was most of the time kind of lukewarm...lukewarm in a Pentecostal church might be considered 'on fire' in some liberal church. I was drawn to witchcraft a decade ago. It just sounded interesting and there is a lot to explore there. I choose to believe in magick woo for the purpose of casting a spell because it is something I like to do. One of the tenets of Chaos Magick is that you can use any belief system 'temporarily.' You only need to have belief long enough to cast the spell. Which is good. My default belief is agnosticism. I could be a Roman Catholic for 30 minutes to 'get something done' , do an Enochian working next week, and invoke Captain Kirk or some personal magical deity of my design as time goes on. I hope the concept of temporary (30 minutes) belief doesn't mess with your minds too much. (haha) I know most think that a belief system has to be some long term concept that must be deeply held for years. The left brain will ALWAYS come in and say, "Midnite, you know this magic stuff is bullshit, right?" So I take a few bong hits or achieve gnosis/raise power in some way where the left brain takes a little nap. http://www.spiralnature.com/magick/gnosis/ Then cast my spell while the rational mind is buried. So if one subscribes to the idea that magic might be possible (but still has doubts), and believes that by temporarily suppressing the left brain it can pass a message to a very powerful subconscious, then I don't really have to have a strong belief at all. Just enough to think I can get er done. Even a philosophical materialist can do this. Answering LF's question TL/DR: I choose to believe magic is real (and my left brain poo-poos the idea quite a bit).
  41. 1 point
    As with Christianity the burden of laying out the case is with those making extraordinary claims. And it's not a case of being against it anymore than it is being against Santa Claus. Just tell my why you think Santa is real. Perhaps the reason is your parents told you and you trust them, perhaps you stayed up on Christmas Eve and saw him with your own eyes, or maybe you found hoof prints and sled marks on your snowy roof. Personally I can't find that believing in Santa as an adult just because you want to or it feels good is compelling. I realize that unlike many with a Christian belief nobody is trying to persuade me to conduct my life according to the stars or do a card spell on my kitchen table or heal my headache with magic crystals. But why would anyone else believe such things in the 21st Century? We have run into many such topics in the Spirituality Forum, but I think the thrust of the forum is or should be spirituality as opposed to bizarre woo beliefs and practices. Most people, religious or not, atheist or not, experience what some call spirituality. Awe and wonder at nature and all that. The feeling that we are all in this together whether it's obvious or not. The suspicion that there just might be something for us after death, just maybe. Though a spiritual side to existence can't be scientifically proven this is worth discussing as it is common among almost all people. Is it worth exploring? Do we need any gods to go there? Many have a feeling or sense of knowing there is "more." Let's explore that. IMO, discussing Druidism, Ancient Gods, Satanism or the efficacy of the Tarot is counterproductive as such topics will always come with requests for further explanation and evidence.
  42. 1 point
    Alright you bunch of magical woo people, you are in the lions den now! No safe spaces, bring your claws and Armour or get out! Nah, just joking, I love ya'll even if I don't understand you. So leading with JP's last question: Is there a pressing issue (i.e. problem)? No, and I don't think anyone particularly thinks its a problem. I read about a bunch of witches casting a hex on Kavenaugh. I also read Christians were sending the spirit of Christ of combat it. I had a good laugh - it's all a bunch of hokus pokus. My only concern was that people may now view atheists in the same camp as those witches which makes conversing difficult. But overall I don't give a shit that some witch is placing some hex on someone. There is no evidence that it will do anything - well nothing more that the spirit of Christ does. So (Bear with me, its 11pm, I've had a bad day and I've been thinking about this all day so stream of consciousness coming) I have no problems with people who use the word spiritual to mean something like finding a deep meaning in something, or along those lines. I possibly get a bit like this when out in nature - a deep reverence, wonderment etc. Where I guess I don't understand the other mindset is where people have an understanding of spiritual as if it affects or is part of reality. Verbosity was talking about nature magic, and ok I'm not entirely sure what shes meaning when talking about magic, but she did use the phrase to the effect that it must be magic or spiritual because we don't know what else it is. Of course I tried to point out that even with a belief in the spiritual, that's still a flawed way of thinking about things. @midniterider Said he believes because it makes him feel good. Now I'm not entirely sure what he believes, but this idea of believing because it feels good is an anathema to me. I can't do it, and that's part of the reason I left Christianity. As much as believing like Jesus loved me and I'm going to heaven sounds nice I couldn't believe it because I didn't believe it. So I guess my question to Midnite is how do you do it? Do you truly believe in the spiritual or magical, or do you just believe it because you want to. If so, how? I was trying to see if I could line up whether people who were more feelings based were more inclined to accept the spiritual, but so far from my observation, this doesn't hold out. JP is similar to me in personality (So thinking trumps feeling... no not that trump!) Yet I have a friend who is very much a feeling person but has the same outlook as me on spirituality... I think. I should ask direct to confirm. So whether or not one falls to materialism on one side, or spirituality on the other doesn't seem affected by personality type. Ok thought stream ended. I'd be interested in others opinions, and please just because I'm asking why you believe that, or what's the evidence etc doesn't mean I'm attacking you. It's just the way I think... though I'm sure all participants have that figured out by now.
  43. 1 point
    Excellent! There is a saying that the unexamined life is not worth living. Finding out what you are about, what makes you resonate, is key to enjoying life. I've seen women leave husbands after years of marriage because they had married out of expectations. They said that they needed to explore who they really are inside. One lady discovered she was gay, another is straight but needed a new direction in life that her previous husband wasn't part of. The church is so big on ROLES, but that is such an antiquated view of life. We have so many options available today. So here's to you finding yourself!
  44. 1 point
    I like the ideas that come from chaos magic authors that say our subconscious is all-powerful, or nearly so, but that you just have to correctly tap into it. So, yes I think we are all part of a universal consciousness. It's just fun to pretend we aren't. Magic practitioners say belief is an important component so whether you pray to Osiris or employ a pseudoscientific explanation about how your magic works, you have that base covered. Emotion and an altered state are two other components. And of course, 'focus'. Magic can be done without a deity. [Not sure if this is relevant but it popped into my head ] If Randi is wrong and magic is real then I believe it is a talent like other arts. One argument against magic I've heard is "If it's real, then everyone would be doing it." Well, playing the piano is real, welding is real, singing is real, but not everyone has the ability to do these things. Or they may have limited talent. The other part of my rebuttal (edit: knocking down my own strawman -haha) is if you feel magic is BS , please tell me how many years you have practiced it? None? I cant play the piano either ... never taken one lesson though. Part of a serious magician's tools is to document a magical working and then document the result. Another 'tool' is actually casting the spell instead of just thinking about it or thinking to himself, "But would it work? Nah, I don't think it'll work." Some of the pagans I have spoken with aren't necessarily hardcore believers in deity. A variety of books I've read on the subject indicate that the magical power is inside you, though your practice may include a deity. The deity is you. The power is you. The universe is you. The magic is all about you. I think consciousness is primary and creates everything moment to moment. A number of scientists feel that way as well. Something to consider is that if you feel drawn to materialism you can find a bunch of books on that subject to bolster your conviction that everything has a material explanation. And if you feel drawn to magic you can find a bunch of books on that subject that will bolster your conviction that magic is indeed real. It all depends on your interest. The world still seems to spin no matter what my philosophy is.
  45. 0 points
  46. 0 points
    This morning I tried to lay down some rules about privacy and personal boundaries with a family member, by telling them that those are important to me, and that I'm not likely to forget the time when I started receiving get well cards from people whom I hadn't said a word to about my health conditions. Apparently though, the fault is with me, and I can't accept people praying for me etc, because I don't believe in god. Thus, if you believe in god, the logic goes that you also accept boundary violations and people talking about your personal health conditions.