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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/28/2018 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    All of the above plus he'd have to stop causing children to die of horrible, painful diseases and quit allowing some of them to be born with horrific defects.
  2. 3 points
    Keep in mind that it is a mixture of profound thoughts, nice poetry, and dangerous myths passed off as reality. Profound thoughts are a good part of philosophy, but disconnect them from the idea that the god of the Bible had anything to do with them. There is also a LOT of non-history passed off as history. Most of the Old Testament is made up. Genesis never happened. The Exodus never happened since "the Jews" were never captive in Egypt. The Babylonian captivity happened, which led to interesting mixes of theology, Jewish sorcery, and the "star of David" which wasn't part of his life. Some of that may have come during the time of Solomon. It does mention historical places and people, but it is like saying Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter. Mentioning Lincoln doesn't mean there are vampires or that he hunted them. Mostly I find that philosophy isn't about being moved emotionally, but what motivates me to become or to be a particular way. Weeping at profound thoughts is one thing, but do I embody them? I find that when I am most angry that my motivation changes to one of self-interest at others expense, but then I realize the violence that I am about to embody and instead choose to behave kindly. My choice is therefore the most powerful thing I have, and when I put kindness into action my anger sees the result of the kindness and learns a bit from it. (An interesting flip-side to that is, sometimes it is the right thing to choose what is best for you regardless of what another person wants. Sometimes you may need to divorce, sue, kill an intruder, demand payment, not put up with freeloaders, etc.)
  3. 3 points
    It's true that most of us on this site don't believe in bible god (or any gods for that matter). The reason we are here discussing these topics is that there are many people, such as yourself, who do believe. Many believers aren't aware of how immoral the bible is, or the problems and contradictions in the bible. Why is it important for us to point these out? We are hoping that good people will realize that what they've been taught or assumed isn't always accurate and will begin to think for themselves. Several of us ex-christians became ex-christians because we did start studying the bible without blinders on. Why do I care whether people believe in the god of the bible? One reason is that bible believers often try to push their beliefs onto others as voters and elected officials or even as terrorists. Good people have done bad and evil things because they think their bible or god wants them to and I would like to see that come to an end.
  4. 3 points
    Can there be a "good" answer for genocides commanded by god and Jesus (The Father and I are One)? If you think so, then you may be falling for the anything-god-does-is-good ploy. If that's the answer you get from your teachers, or the god-works-in-mysterious-ways answer, then it's really not worth discussing since those arguments claim that your god is above morality. The god of the bible is big on killing children and I think one of the worst stories is when Pharaoh has decided to let the Hebrew slaves leave Egypt, but bible god hardens Pharaoh's heart and makes him decree that the Hebrews can't leave. This is a big setup so bible god can show his awesome power and send an angel of death to kill all the firstborn children of the Egyptians. That's just pure evil. You asked for verses where bible god (and by extension Jesus) orders genocide so here are a few... Deuteronomy 2:32-34 Deuteronomy 3:3-6 Deuteronomy 13:12-15 Deuteronomy 20:16-17 Numbers 21:2-3 I Samuel 15:2-3, 7-8 Numbers 31:7-40 (not quite full genocide - god told them they could keep virgins as sex slaves) Joshua 6:21 Joshua 10:28-40 seven genocides in these verses Jeremiah 50:21 There are so many cases that it becomes mind-numbing and you have to remember that if all these stories are true they are accounts where not only were adults wiped out, but innocent, terrified children were as well. These were children who, as you pointed out, the bible says god knitted in their mother's womb. If you believe that god is all-knowing, then he knew when he knitted these children that he would soon be ordering "his people" to kill them. It's sickening.
  5. 3 points
    You can make a decision concerning watching the video, though. Should you choose to watch it, you could make further decisions concerning how to get around the issue with your speakers. For example, your local library will likely have internet capable computers with functional speakers; you could watch it there. Your local Best Buy would, no doubt, sell you a new set of speakers. You might even have a Geek Squad somewhere nearby who could fix your speakers. But it all starts with you determining if you have the courage to watch the video. If you really want to watch it, you'll make a way; if not, you'll make an excuse.
  6. 2 points
  7. 2 points
    As others have said, it's a mixed bag of good and bad things. I used to hold it dear when I believed it to be true, and it still had major importance to me in the first few years after I realized it's not true, but for the most part I've moved on. Other than when discussing Bible issues here, I rarely read it anymore, though in the past I have read it far more than most Christians do in their entire lifetimes. There are definitely some good concepts there. I do disagree with the notion of speaking in tongues, prophecy, or faith moving mountains. That's superstition. However, exalting love above all else is noble. Interestingly, the God of the Bible doesn't fit many of the attributes of love listed there. He is not always kind, he's a jealous God, he's self-seeking, he's easily angered, he keeps a record of wrongs, he does not always protect, and he does fail people.
  8. 2 points
    I view the bible as works of literature and myths that represent the cultures in which they were written. I also view the bible (and any other holy book) as among the greatest threats we have that are counter-productive to living in a peaceful, egalitarian society. As long as they are viewed as holy books and the word of god, they have the power to pit people against each other and divide and conquer.
  9. 2 points
    The point being made here is that Christianity is a meme - one that can spread wildly. It also tends to dull the rational and logical thinking abilities of humans as they take everything on blind "faith" - and that can have disastrous consequences. How many people in America are currently throwing their hands up in the air saying "god elected Trump, therefore what he's doing is god's will." Personally, I know quite a few of them.
  10. 2 points
    Heal at least two of my dozen physical problems. I am not asking for much...just when I pray for something that the human body can't heal itself and Doctors can't fix, then God, if he is really Love like religion claims, then fix it dammit!
  11. 2 points
    I dont believe we used the word much while I was being raised by non-believer type parents, so I didnt use it much as an adult ... except maybe as a teasing word when someone fell down... Then I learned the Christian definition that you already know. I never really used the word very much before, during or after being a Christian. But even as a Christian I didnt dwell much on being a sinner who needed grace ... In my definition it is neither a good thing nor bad thing because I rarely use the word. We probably used other words like 'love' when I was growing up. Parents love their kids even when it is unmerited or unwarranted and they rarely ever stop loving their children. Nor feel their kids ought to suffer in eternal damnation (unless they are psychotic parents). The grace of Jesus appears to be limited and conditional. Jesus gives unmerited favor only until death, if you love him. Otherwise, the grace period ends but then Jesus goes one step further and sends you to the lake of fire. That step is unnecessary. The unmerited favor (grace) part is fine, but the draconian punishment for not 'loving' someone is evil. Human love (or grace) seems much more advanced than the biblical concept of grace. A 'supreme' being ought to have a concept of love/grace even more advanced than human love (or grace), imo. If I was created in the image and likeness of the biblical God then why am I unable to understand or be on board with his policies and procedures?
  12. 2 points
    I have removed myself far enough away from my fundamentalism and religion that I am seriously horrified I once taught this trash. It's unbelievable that people are living (and wasting) their lives controlled by some words in a book written thousands of years ago, which happened to survive and was convenient for the early church, so they could gain control of the masses. Sometimes I just want to scream 'wake the hell up!' when I deal with my own family.
  13. 2 points
    The Bible is a collection of theological myths that reflect the beliefs of the cultures that produced them.
  14. 1 point
    An evangelical friend of mine posted on social media during the last election that voting for a pro-choice candidate meant the christian god would hold you accountable for the "murders" of fetuses due to that vote. That's some twisted logic, to say the least - what about any sins committed by the pro-life candidate if they are elected via your vote, etc? But, it made me start thinking that the christian "pro-life" (I prefer to call them pro-government-forced full term pregnancies) folks are thinking short term here. If you believe that fetuses have souls and If you believe that all aborted fetuses are going to heaven (most fundamentalists believe this from what I can tell and the Catholic church has recently issued statements affirming this over fetus purgatory) and If you believe that many, if not most, born humans are going to hell (Narrow is the gate...) then, the smartest behavior- the behavior that leads to the most souls in heaven - would be to vote for pro-choice candidates and to stop trying to prevent women from making choices about their own bodies and having abortions when they decide it's the best alternative. And, following the twisted logic of my evangelical friend, if you vote for pro-life candidates, or do other things to prevent abortions, you will be held responsible by the christian god for every soul who would have been aborted and gone to heaven, but instead, was born and then died "without Jesus" and went to hell. Just to be clear, I don't believe fetuses or post-fetuses like me have souls, I don't believe in the christian god (or any other gods) and I believe women should have control over their own bodies.
  15. 1 point
    Greetings everyone! Wanted to introduce myself and my work. I blog and speak to raise awareness about healing from the psychological abuses of religion. I'm working on developing a training manual on healing indoctrination for helping professionals. Before I transitioned out of religion, I was a Pentecostal Christian minister preparing to become a missionary to India. I studied Bible at the Evangelical Christian Wheaton College and obtained my Master of Divinity from Princeton Seminary. Religion was my life’s passion, but I suffered greatly from anxiety, depression, and guilt about my sexuality. I began to realize that the Bible’s teachings were the cause of my psychological distress. After a slow, painful process of awakening and denial, I quit my ministry job, left religion, and moved to California to start my life over. I began to study religion from the perspective of trauma. In my journey, I found healing through secular humanism, meditation, entheogens, and sexuality. I am a clinical psychologist in training at California Institute of Integral Studies. My writings and interviews can be found at http://www.lifeafterdogma.org/. I love to write articles, record podcasts, and work with people to heal from religious abuse. Reach out to me if you're interested in this work. https://lifeafterdogma.org/2018/12/20/is-god-the-devil/ - "Was the Bible Inspired by Dark Spiritual Forces? Why does God demand human sacrifice and spirit possession of his followers? Is God the Devil? " (Spiritual terminology used in this article as a literary device to highlight abuse) Reclaiming Sexuality from Religion Talk:
  16. 1 point
    The God character of the Bible not only kills fetuses but grown ass folks as well. Bunnies, kittens and puppies as well. He does not hold life sacred. And goddammit, you know exactly what I'm referencing.
  17. 1 point
    First, demonstrate that the god of the Bible has reverence for human life. It wouldn't appear so.
  18. 1 point
    If god believes that i deserve the same punishment as Hitler, then god is neither just nor right.
  19. 1 point
    I think the bible is a mirror on what some humans thought in the past. It shows how some people tried to explain things they didn't understand, how some people tried to control others, and in some places it shows the best of human aspirations and dreams. As others have said, I think it is, in general, a horrible basis as a guide or instruction manual for living your life, but that doesn't mean that some parts aren't poetic or even inspirational. Even christians don't try to follow many of Jesus' sayings. They just aren't practical, even if they sound "good". Why would I turn the other cheek when someone is beating me? Lots of battered wives have suffered unnecessarily by trying to follow that misguided advice or the prohibition against divorce.
  20. 1 point
    That's what the Southern Baptists (my denomination) taught - any child, before they reached the "age of accountability" would go to heaven when they died. I've heard that consistently from other fundamentalists I've discussed abortion with, but I'm sure there are some who believe otherwise - god seems to have a hard time making his plans and will known in a clear way that everyone can understand. Since Catholics get to make stuff up as they go along, my understanding is that for a long time they taught that the souls of aborted fetuses went to purgatory, but have recently said basically "Who knows? For all we know they probably go straight to heaven."
  21. 1 point
    I think there is a difference. With Humanism, you don't have a supernatural override, but you can with religion. A good Humanist could say it's not good for me to fly a jet full of people into a skyscraper. A good religious person might think the same thing, but then say, but I think god is telling me to - he wants me to sacrifice my life for him and get rid of people who don't believe the right things about him or who have offended him. Think about the story of Abraham - a great man as far as the bible is concerned - who knew better than to kill his son, but who decided to kill him anyway since he thought his god was telling him to. Same thing can happen with topics other than murder. A good Humanist might say, I'm not a homosexual, but I think homosexuals should have equal rights and leave it at that. A good religious person might generally believe in equal rights, but then their bible tells them that god doesn't like homosexuality and even has ordered that homosexuals be killed. A few might advocate killing homosexuals based on that, but a large number of them have voted (at least in America) against equal rights based on religious beliefs. Religious voters have also opposed mixed marriages, equal rights for women, and have supported slavery all based on their religious beliefs. I fully agree that bad people can be religious or non-religious. It's the supernatural override aspect of it that concerns me and that only exists if you think that you are in contact with a god one-to-one or via his book and that god can tell you to do things - especially when those things like religious discrimination or religious terrorism are described in the book that is supposed to be a god's instructions.
  22. 1 point
    Huh. Is this really the majority belief? (maybe it is) In my circle of fundamentalism, back in the day, some people proudly floated the possibility that all unborn children go to hell and were created for the purpose of suffering for God's glory. If you had a problem with that it's because you were an ignorant human whose understanding is clouded by sin. That's what my memory says at least. Then again they were never consistent and changed their interpretation/view based on what was most convenient for them at each moment in time.
  23. 1 point
  24. 1 point
    Man, I remember the prayer walks! I always felt super awkward, but felt that it was due to lack of faith and confidence in "the spirit." Ugh!!!
  25. 1 point
    The Bible is undoubtedly the most important book ever written. If viewed as the word of God, it's silly and useless. But if you see it as a book, written over hundreds of years by dozens of people, it's pretty cool. And there is some really great stuff in it.
  26. 1 point
    One of my relatives was forced to go to church but his Mother said he could quit church when he reached a certain age. He chose to leave at that age. lol. And never went back.
  27. 1 point
    This is from a comic series called the Sandman. On this page, Lucifer talks to the Sandman about humans.
  28. 1 point
    Never, Can't find any restrictions to your account nor problems with Board. Fuego's advise good place to start. What browser are you using? kL
  29. 1 point
    Church is a boredom factory, when i was a kid and forced to church, all of us in the same age group did not want to be there.
  30. 1 point
    In addition to the great points raised by Insightful in response to this, I'd like to also recommend that you take the time to read Numbers 5:11-31 and really think about what it's talking about.
  31. 1 point
    @Dexter The Bible is a collection of literary works. That said, yes, sometimes there is good advice in there but most of it can be regarded as general common sense and/or a kind of innate survival guide - not directives from a deity. I'm uncomfortable with so many folks speaking of "Biblical morals" . I think, as a nation or a world, some of these morals would be more readily adapted if they were not associated with the Bible or any religion for that matter.
  32. 1 point
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grace I'm not trying to be an ass, but words have actual meanings. My thoughts on what "grace" means aren't really that relevant, unless we're talking about what God's Grace might look like, but you said you weren't interested in the Christian definition, so...
  33. 1 point
    That's a loaded word because it has religious connotations therefore I don't even use it. I believe in forgiving people where it's deserved and being kind to people in general.
  34. 1 point
    Dan Barker has done a great job of cataloging and commenting on the hundreds of bible verses that show the christian god to be evil and mean-spirited. If you've ever wanted a handy reference book to use when rebutting a "god is love" christian, this is the one! Dan also brought into focus something I hadn't really understood before. If you believe the New Testament states that Jesus and God are one and have been from the beginning, then sweet Jesus is as much to blame for the ordering of genocide and sexual slavery in the Old Testament as his white-haired father.
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
    He only "heals" what the body can fix naturally, or what can fixed with modern medicine. How convenient....
  37. 1 point
    Isn't it strange that the invisible man can heal the stuff we can't see, but he appears to have difficulty with amputated limbs, disfiguring scars, etc.
  38. 1 point
    Nice that they can cherry-pick what's a "civil law" and what's "god's law". Reminds me of a time I asked a fundamentalist Xian about all the genocide that was condoned in the bible, and the reply was "In those instances it was a good thing because God commanded it!".... as if most civilizations that commit genocide don't think God is on their side...
  39. 1 point
    From Sciencemag do org: Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’ ..snipped from article source via above URL kL
  40. 1 point
    6:00 to 7:00 "If you had a soul you wouldn't need a brain. " If 'utility' is the big picture then I might say that I don't really need a universe either. Seems like a waste of energy. Yet there is one, for some reason. Maybe no reason. I can step onboard with a Godless universe. Godless, as in without some gray bearded guy looking down on me with a scowl because I said a bad word. But prefer to think that consciousness is primary and matter arises from it. No god needed. "If you had a soul you would have a full functioning mind all the time." I guess this is a biblical notion. He seems to be black or white. You can either have a brain or a soul but not both. Maybe the universe did not get the memo from scientists about how it should be functioning. Maybe consciousness is neither the result of brain activity nor a deity given soul.
  41. 1 point
    I demonstrated the limbs lengthening trick to some friends in a restaurant after we had watched a Maranatha preacher do it. One was still convinced her back was better... I deconverted after 30 years of ardent faith, the last 9 of which were spent promoting a guy from the Pentecostal branch of the church who claims some outstanding miracles in his mission in the remote areas of Mexico. Some of them were 21 people raised from the dead, every body part healed or regrown, driving his truck under water across a river (others in his group have tried it and lost their trucks), accidentally driving a motorcycle over a cliff and being transported down to the street by his home, praying over dry crops and having them bear peppers, and a thousand other stories. He's a great storyteller, and I believed him because he seemed genuine. He didn't do a lot of self-promotion, dresses in blue jeans and boots, and seems to work very hard. I collected audio and video of him preaching in various churches around the world and made those available for listening on my website. People began sending me tapes from other states and countries where he was preaching. One day I got a set of videos from Germany and watched them. Standard Pentecostal services with him telling long stories of healings, followed by the invitation to be prayed for, and people line up and get prayer and fall down or take off running, etc. The only thing that was different was that his preaching was being translated into German, but the translator had trouble with the preacher's Louisiana accent and was unable a few times to translate, which clearly frustrated the preacher. I then watched a video from Kansas (I think) where he described what had happened in Germany. He went into a long involved story about a coven of witches that showed up to challenge the power of God. He described the lead woman, the decorations she had woven into her hair, her smug attitude, and that because of them his translator had trouble keeping up and was eventually unable to speak. He said that he finally had enough and jumped down off the stage and confronted them. There was an intense power battle where they all shook violently until the woman was thrown several feet into the thick glass doors of the sanctuary and was knocked out with all her followers. Afterwards during the prayer time, she and her followers crawled up and begged to be born again! The Kansas church ate this up like it was their team winning at a football game. I sat there stunned and turned off the tape, realizing that he'd made up the whole story from his imagination after his translator couldn't understand him. I quickly realized that all the other amazing stories I'd heard were also from his imagination. I'd always figured that his fellow missionaries would have called him out for lying if they hadn't actually happened, but then realized to my chagrin that in any cult with a charismatic leader like him, everyone wants to be close to the leader. So they not only agreed with him, but had stories of their own. A couple of times I had talked briefly with some ex-missionaries who had left his group after describing abusive treatment from him, but discounted them as "in sin" in some way. Now I realized that I'd been promoting a cult for 9 years. I had watched and studied cults for years, learning about how they work, and wondering why anyone would believe such crap. The irony didn't escape me. It took me a while, but I eventually asked myself "I wonder what else I've believed that is a lie?" That is what led to me asking questions and finding this website, and completing my deconversion from the cult of Christianity.
  42. 1 point
    Huzzah! Anyone who slipped out of the control of their religious authoritarian parents and managed to get quality college education on top of it is a hero in my eyes! (and anyone who made it possible)
  43. 1 point
    I saw this meme on Facebook this morning.
  44. 1 point
    and the world still have amputees
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    I don't know, but just about any other context of suggesting a relationship with an imaginary being would be viewed as off the wall insane. The special pleading for christianity is over the top. I mean talking to yourself, either inner dialogue or externally is considered a virtue. Hobo on the side of the road debating himself, throwing hand and arm gestures, bat shit crazy. Anything from religious leaders up to a christian politicians or presidents speaking out loud to an imaginary being in the sky, perfectly sane behavior.
  47. 1 point
    I was exposed to the same thing. The obvious problem being how does one have a personal relationship with something that's invisible and doesn't communicate in any discernible way? The complete lack of evidence for God, or God's, including Jesus, would indicate these are imaginary Deities to anyone that hasn't been indoctrinated/brainwashed by religion. If Jesus and God are real, and they are all powerful and knowing, why do they need Christians to be their hands, feet, and source of income? Instead of "Calling" a Christian do go off in some other country to be a missionary, why doesn't Jesus just fix the problem? Isn't he all powerful and isn't he here, there, and everywhere at the same time? The obvious answer is that imaginary Gods need humans to do the actual work. Oh yeah, I see that you're new to the board. Welcome aboard. I think you'll find this site helpful.
  48. 1 point
    I was 15 years old when I became an atheist. My mother asked me to study religions, but to her dismay I studied all world religions and after about a year of study I came to a eureka moment. You know what, I said to myself, all religions are nothing but BS. My mother found out that I was an atheist, but I never let her know that her prodding for me to study religion was the reason I realized it was all BS. So if religion was 100% BS then science must be correct, I thought. So by the age of 15 I also had gone through most of the major ideas and fields of science and also came to Eureka conclusions. The theory of evolution, for instance, I concluded was as solid as compressed lead. Maybe some of its hypothesis could be wrong, but its primary tenet, natural selection was a certainty IMO. Chemistry was a perspective of reality but based upon good theory. Modern physics, also IMO, was all f***ed up, and totally wrong in almost every way, theory, and hypothesis. Classical physics, on the other hand, has a great foundation. So at that time I became a confirmed atheist, and a contrarian theorist in physics and cosmology, and continued this through my college studies and my adult life. This was about 60 years ago. "Do you know there is no god or do you not know if there is no god?" Luckily I never had to go through the religious struggles that most here had to endure. The bet: My immortal soul against a six pack of beer that there is no god, the creator of the Universe, the Earth, mankind, and the other life on Earth.
  49. 1 point
    I noticed something odd about some mainline scholars. I sense some kind of PC issues with them that I haven't noticed with scholars that traditionalists label as radicals. Traditional scholars seem to me to go out of their way not to "harm" believers faith. I've noticed this with Ehrman & also with the Yale University YouTube videos. The Yale Peofessors inform their students that Yale University isn't a church & therefore they teach religion from the historical critical perspective, and they hope that doesn't harm any of their students faith. Religious scholars that have been labeled as radical do not seem to be bothered about harming anyone's faith. They seem content to lay out the evidence & let the chips fall where they may. I've noticed mainstream religious scholars seem limited on how much truth they are willing to expose. It seems to me there are lines they fear to cross because they could lose funding & professional prestige if they cross those forbidden lines.
  50. 1 point
    For me, consciously it was a done-deal once I knew the Bible was not true, and its god was dependent upon those words. My mind though had spent 30 years in superstition and conditioning, and peeling those layers off took some time. I had already left church about 5 years previous due to the politics of filling pews and becoming a cog in the religion machine to generate money for a new building. There was no separation anxiety, just lovely silence and a clear view with no more goggles of superstition (well, none that I am aware of currently). I said to myself something that I still ask, "I wonder what else I've believed that is a lie." I now look at my loved ones who are staunchly fundamentalist and find myself trying to find ways to plant seeds. I know damn well they each have doubts and disappointments with the faith that they cover up and push down out of dedication. I want to find ways to make those questions and doubts surface, since only they can free themselves. I want to find ways to demonstrate, beyond facts, that our god is no more real than Spiderman, and all of the self-punishment and hard-nosed dedication is misplaced and harmful instead of leading to salvation through death of self. They each have brilliant minds, but they are also stubborn as mules. They have to realize deeply that they were tricked, lied-to, misinformed, and be willing to admit it and embrace the actual truth that their own choices guide their lives, that they have already been doing without Jesus, and that freedom is preferable to a cult.

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