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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/15/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    This is the fundamental question of the human condition. There isn’t a perfect answer. In religion, there are doors to open, but they don’t lead anywhere. Outside of it, there’s only the sky above your head, but you’re free to find your own purpose. Time helps. Relationships help, but it can be hard to find the same sense of community outside of faith which is more self-organizing. What satisfies you is going to be individual. It may be an intellectual pursuit or just a set of comforts and distractions. It’s okay, because it’s yours, and that growing, unapologetic identity will become one of your biggest anchors. Looking back, you’ll realize ways that your old worldview was small, and there’s just no going to it even if the new perspective is more challenging. If you’re still working free of the wreckage of your old life, definitely give it time. Work on living for this life instead of in spite of it.
  2. 3 points
    To be honest, I never felt a void, as such...I was a little overwhelmed at the prospect of having more freedom than I had in the church. Freedom from the fear of burning in hell for some stupid little transgression...freedom from the dreary ritual that is the cult...freedom from a bloodthirsty, tyrannical god-figure that says "love me or die"...just freedom.
  3. 3 points
    I've found that purpose is what I make of it. There are character qualities I want to embody, and some that I don't. Sometimes I have to choose moment by moment, but it is something that I want to do, not to please some bloodthirsty deity, or to make a church-goer happy with my conformity. Helping other humans is approved by all faiths, so kindness is a good thing to embody. Self-direction can be hard at first because we were used to being given "answers". And part of self-direction is also cutting yourself slack when you aren't 100% going after your goals of being. What do you enjoy doing? I like to sing, so I regularly meet with singer friends of mine to listen to them, and they come to hear me also. That helps to form community, and friendships. Joining with others makes us feel like part of something bigger, especially if there are noble goals added to the mix. If travel is your thing, learning languages can be a way to meet up and practice. Most animals don't seem to ponder meaning in being, they find their food, try to get a mate, feed their young, squabble with each other, and eventually die. Humans make a big deal out of there needing to be some overarching meaning. But I think that finding meaning and making meaning is what works best, rather than knowingly embracing myths and insisting that they are true. And it does take time to change old habits of thinking, and especially the programming of faith and religion. They get hooks into our brain's survival software, and that makes the malware harder to remove. It's taken 12 years for me to get over some of it, and there are days where songs from the past pop into my head. I enjoyed those songs at the time, but now I see how they were part of my old programming, and contain false information.
  4. 2 points
    The thing I found helped the most with depression was to keep my mind active. Negative thoughts only surface when you sit and dwell on them, but a busy brain doesn't have the time to focus on anything thats not right in front of it. Find things that you love (or new things to try), anything will do from sports, hobbies, games or fitness. I took up martial arts, learnt a language, wrote a book, joined a gym and I've always been an avid gamer. Find your joy and embrace life.
  5. 1 point
    Look on the bright side, you now no longer have to worry about "sin" and "going to hell" . When you die, you are just gone, no big deal. I imagine it will be just like before you ever existed. You no longer have to carry guilt around with you about anything. As long as you obey the laws of the land ( or if not, don't get caught), you are good! There is no hidden superpower watching every move you make. I find this part of being an exCh. very liberating to be honest. I no longer feel the instant eye upon me when I watch some violent movie, cuss, drink too much , lie about something, wish something bad to happen to someone I dislike, and so on. I no longer have to worry about stuff like my kids turning out gay or trans or whatever ( they are not, but when they were teenagers I worried about what I would do if they were, pointless worry) . I no longer am required to give a portion of my income away , nor am I required to "do good works' . I can help whoever and whenever I chose, or not.
  6. 1 point
    Good advise above. It takes time. I held on to the humanity found in Jesus (and others before him, if he actually existed) teaching about loving neighbor as self, golden rule, etc. Promoting the wellbeing of mankind more or less became my purpose, and I joined American Humanist Association, and support some other humanitarian efforts. If you miss being part of a group you might try the Unitarian Universalist "church" (in quotes because it is using the word loosly). And in some metropolitan areas there are humanist, agnostic, and atheists groups. Congratulations on diving into making your own way! P.S. The thing I miss the most is the distance it created with some family members.
  7. 1 point
    I'm by no means an expert but I believe I've read cosmologists who argue that big bang cosmology doesn't actually say anything about a "before", or really anything about the singularity. The theory and all of the data are extrapolations back towards a kind of asymptote, but not an attempt to say anything about what could exist (or not exist) "before the big bang", as it were. The real work is trying to explain conditions at time T0 + δ for increasingly small (but not 0) deltas.
  8. 1 point
    Yes, and some of us have both elation and a sense of loss. For me, and I guess for many others, the feelings are complicated or mixed because I have a partner who is still in the system. I want to support that. That's probably why I call myself a non-theist which allows me to reject the concept of god whilst acknowledging that others create their gods from their imaginations and these gods are real for them - which is ok so long as they respect my beliefs. My partner fully understands and supports my position. So, my attendance occasionally at church has two purposes: support for my partner and touching base with old friends. It works for me although it is sometimes a bit stressful to have to sit and listen to stuff I have rejected.
  9. 1 point
    Is this turning into another fuck ya, nah fuck ya match?
  10. 1 point
    Hi @Man welcome to Ex-C The first thing to realise is that everyone is different in how they handle deconversion. Some feel a great sense of elation and freedom, others feel lost and empty. Christianity (And many other religions) do indeed provide a person will the complete life if you will. It gives you community, meaning, and the way of how to live. You don't have to worry about building your own life. But its all built on false hopes, bad evidence, and wishful thinking. However I think this is a poor way to live. As Carl Sagan said, "better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable". I went through a gut wrenching stage as I realised that my entire worldview was based on bad reasons and unsupported assumptions. But I fairly quickly got over this as I realised it was important to live the one life we have. I think generally the feelings do leave if one works on building a community and interests in life around them. All the best LF
  11. 1 point
    RC this probably reflects the wider state of things right now in society regarding politics, ideas, etc. We've reached a state where there are very important issues to talk about as a society but everyone ends up screaming over each others heads and labelling others and nothing gets done. Then people get sick of the din and so they crawl into the proverbial 'hole' in cyber space where they hang out with people who agree with them and occasionally pop their head out to see what's going on. A big problem imo. Sorry to hear about your relationship with your friend. I'm sure most of us say or post stuff then later wish we hadn't.
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    I got about a third into Dawkins Delusion and gave up. He, in the end ISTM, is attacking one section of Christianity and does himself no service. And too strident for my liking. As for formally defecting from the RCC....you will know best what to do. But it reminds me of an incident at the birth of one of our children (many years ago). The local Anglican priest visited her during which visit she told him that she was a Congregationalist. His reply was revealing: 'Never mind, dear'. An aside (is it?!): just read about a man being raised from the dead and another having 17000 demons cast out of him in a pentecostal meeting. You see? What craziness and manipulation some churches are into.
  14. 1 point
    Thanks @Weezer! I'll give your testimonial a look. I'm thinking similar things more and more every day. Like tonight for instance. Apparently there used to be a formal process to defect from the Catholic church and formally become an apostate. That is until 2009 apparently thanks to Pope Benedict XVI who put a stop to it. I think do to the people applying for it en masse to protest various scandals but for the reason that PBXVI says was weird marriage situations. I made the mistake of posting on the catholic answers forum on the not catholic subforum to discuss and learn about the canon law surrounding this and if anyone had ever done it/what their experiences were. To put it bluntly, people are starting to show themselves. I thought officially having it on the record that I wanted to distance myself from the RCC would be cathartic, give closure, and possibly put me in a better light as far as history is concerned.
  15. 1 point
    I have to agree with the above. The presuppositionalism is a dead end road. It's not evidence based and can't prove anything. The gigs up, basically. 5 pages of opportunity to come in strong with hard evidence should have left plenty of opportunity to do so. But no hard evidence was provided. Newbies, lurker's and whoever else can read through and contemplate the whole thing. If some new apologist comes forward and wants to continue on where Luth has failed, then I will hear them out unless they too devolve to mindless trolling and trying to aggravate members.

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