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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/30/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    I’m thankful not to have been involved with anything violent... but I was homeschooled with a few other kids in a church program. Some classes were at church with the other kids and others were at home with my mom and periodic supervision from a church official. That plus church services 4 times a week was pretty much the first 18 years of my life. We weren’t allowed to go to the movies, listen to music in head phones etc. at 18 I sold everything I had and left. I racked up about $800 and a car literally held together with zip ties and duct tape. The doors didn’t even work lol, I had to climb in the sunroof a couple times. I lived in that car for about 3 months and drove it completely to the other side of the country before it broke down and I went broke... then I bounced around a bit. Got a few jobs, traveled with a carnival business, stayed a while in a girlfriends parents rv... I eventually upgraded to a pretty sweet camper van which I live in now lol. I still have a long way to go but my credit score is getting pretty good, I’m almost finished with my MBA, and I got a pretty cool job. I was never and would never be threatened or anything like that. My parents pretty much refused to let me leave but I went anyway and actually have an okay relationship with them now. I haven’t told them I’m an atheist. I honestly don’t know what they’d do if I did... the hardest thing for me was leaving everything I knew. Literally all my friends and family were in that church. It’s really terrifying to leave everything and become homeless in an unfamiliar world, but that’s sometimes the only option for people like me who want to get out at a young age. Most people won’t ever leave what’s familiar to them even if they know it’s wrong. The fear of being shunned by everyone you know is horrible... and it’s that much more horrible because the idea of hell lingers in your mind even after you’ve left the faith. I’m glad there wasn’t any violence or physical threats, but I’m still trying to get over the mental trauma I’ve gone through and am still going through.
  2. 2 points
    Sure. They say having money is bad and what you need to do is send it to them. Wertbag has some excellent advice. You need to start NOW setting aside money for retirement. You have just under 20 years to take care of this. There are lots of misconceptions about Social Security. It is not and never was intended to be a retirement program. It exists only to keep retirees from starving. Social Security will not cover all your expenses in retirement. The key is to put aside a certain amount of money each month in an interest bearing vehicle of some sort. Do it with automatic payments so you don't forget. And never, never withdraw from this fund until you are retired. Increase your contributions as your income increases; if you get a raise, consider putting it all into this fund if you are living fine without it. As your fund grows to perhaps five figures, contact a certified financial planner who is independent and thus is less inclined to sell a specific product. He or she will help you create a diversified plan. You will not regret this. Some folks say that this is all good and fine but they just absolutely can't afford to do it. Well, if you can't pay your bills now, how will you pay them when you are retired and have no income? This is not to say you need to live like some sort of ascetic. But as Wertbag writes, many folks fritter away money in ways they don't realize. (Example — I have a friend who ate lunch out every work day for 40 years. A sack lunch for most of those days would have saved him tens of thousands of dollars. And what about paying money for a bottle of water — something that you can get for free? The list of examples is a long one.) And this does not mean that you are being selfish. To not take care of your own needs is a form of selfishness as those needs will eventually fall upon others.
  3. 2 points
    First off I would say you need to be selfish to a degree. That is to prioritise your needs before giving anything away. Make sure the basics are covered, rent, food, expenses and cut anything like donations until you are in a good place. You need to consider your shopping habits from a need verse luxury view. Do you spend on anything you can do without? Movies, music, dvds, smoking, drinking etc. You don't have to cut it completely but that stuff is low priority and should be a rare treat rather than constant expense. What are your eating habits like? Do you eat out, eat junk or snack constantly? Easy to forget how much we spend on food and massive savings can be made with a bit of effort. Run a food diary for a week or two and make sure you have a clear idea of those costs and potential savings. Sit down and work out a really basic budget. Income on one side, rent, expenses, bills, average monthly costs on the other. Once you have a clear understanding of the amount you have to play with, you can figure out savings verse entertainment. One simplistic method is divide in thirds. One third for rent/mortgage, one third for expenses and one third for saving, spending and the unexpected. This method can work in certain places, but not so much in big cities or high cost areas. Another suggestion is to talk to your bank. Many have advisory services that will help structure your accounts, sort out debt repayments, and make sure what you have is working the best for you. Debt is the other big pitfall. If you have any ability to avoid debt (eg don't take international trips if you have to borrow to do so) then stay debt free. If you have to borrow then make sure you shop around to compare interest rates and fees, especially with the smaller dodgy loan companies, they will aim to ruin you. Make sure that if you are going to use a credit card that you pay it off in full before the interest period.
  4. 1 point
    You mean my bit of mockery was exactly as how I had intended? How do you think that happened? mwc
  5. 1 point
  6. 1 point
    Listening isn't enough. Go out there and read some credible sources. Read and keep on reading. When I deconverted I suspended my own judgement and beliefs and preconceptions for months and decided I would just read several authors and a lot of books and absorb the information. After I did that, Christianity and fear of hell didn't stand a chance. In particular they don't stand a chance when you're able to peice together how the concept of hell evolved. And that was simply to control people and the flow of resources towards the church.
  7. 1 point
    Same social security number ...different cells.
  8. 1 point
    When your book gets published, I want to read it! I wish I could have done something this dramatic, in fact I used to fantasize about it, but for me it was more gradual. But the same outcome in the end.
  9. 1 point
    I thought this video song was a good insider condemnation of what the church has become in many places. It isn't just mega-churches, but lots of little ones are toxic also. Guy has a great blues voice. I like that some believers are speaking up about it. Some believers really do try to embody kindness over religion, as I am trying to do more and more. https://vimeo.com/317388866?ref=fb-share&1
  10. 1 point
    If a cybernetic copy of my consciousness was programmed and installed in an android body, would I still be me? And would it matter if I wasnt? Have you watched that show Altered Carbon? What if only my biological brain was installed into an android body? If we could replace failing parts of the biological brain, would you still be you after all your parts were changed out? Or would you be someone else? If, after downloading my consciousness (whatever that is) into a computer brain and giving it a test while my original consciousness was still running in the biological brain, which me would be me?
  11. 1 point
    Ah but then it's hardly like other countries had a recent history of peace and rainbows and unicorns is it? *cough* world wars in Europe *cough*... shouldn't we Germans above all others have developed a love for violence then?
  12. 1 point
    Want to read a story of creation you probably have not heard? And of peaceful, egalitarian humans who figured out how to live peacefully with no powerful God, or Jesus, or official "government" to guide them For thousands of years? I don't know how to do a link, so go to Wikipedia and look up the HADZA TRIBE. National Geographic also did a story about them a few years back. Sadly they are being squeezed out of existence by modern "progress". They seem to get along peacefully when people leave them alone. How did they achieve (socially) what the word is looking for today, without the guidance of god and Jesus? LOL, It almost looks like they are remnants of the "garden of Eden". But God is no longer there. This also ties in with another thought. That when humans "progress" beyond basic existance, and no longer have to worry about "tomorrow", they start worrying about meaning and purpose.
  13. 1 point
    If you have a shot to make some money than go for it! I was (and am) in a similar situation. I was homeschooled in a Christianity that taught everyone to basically put god first, the church second, and everything you want third. It’s incredibly freeing to throw those first two out and just think about what makes you happy for a little while. There’s nothing wrong with having financial goals and working to make Your vision come true. Just make sure your happy and doing things you enjoy along the way. The Bible does rightly warn about the harm greed and envy can do, but there is nothing at all wrong with wealth itself. I think it’s important not to make money your #1 priority, instead think about the family time, vacations, retirement etc. that you want the money for. When asked “when will you have enough money” Bill Gates said “never.” I think that’s a mindset we should try to avoid. If you’re an American, own a car, and have a full time job, your probably among the worlds wealthiest 1% already! That’s something to think about. Make tons of money and buy awesome stuff if it makes you happy. Help out charities if it makes you happy. Just work for the sake of work if it makes you happy... whatever you do, you don’t have to listen to pastors or the racist, sexist, slave holders that wrote much of the Bible.
  14. 1 point
    First of all, you ought to read the link before trying to respond to it, Jane. I know you probably feel ganged up on as the thread is aimed at trying to hammer out some other arguments you and LF were having elsewhere. So when Pantheory post links and raised the issue of global cooling in contrast to global warming, you just assumed that he was arguing with you, when he actually wasn't. Then when I reposted an old thread about ice core sample and looking at the big picture charting out the last 65 million years of global temperature variations, you assumed that I was talking about "what happened 65 million years ago," instead of an unbroken record of ice core data starting 65 million years and running through to today. It's also to do with the cooling trends, showing how temperatures were a lot warmer in the past than they are now during the natural variations in temperature, and other relevant data graphed out in charts. And then taking a closer look a chart based on the last 10,000 years: The over all trend is a cooling trend, which, relates to what Pantheory was calling attention to. Now to the right of the chart you'll see a small red line. The red line is an upswing in temperature. That's the beginnings of an upswing in temperature during the modern industrial revolution heading towards the current era. In the past 10,000 years there have been warming periods (Minoan, Roman and Medieval) illustrated on the chart which were much warmer than today. The overall take away from the data has been that our modern warming trends do coincide with the industrial revolution, but at the same time represent small spikes in temperature during the course of a larger scale downward temperature trend. The down ward arch's on both charts describe the bigger picture. Now if we narrow the focus down even further from 65 millions years of temperature, then zoom in to 10,000 years of temperature, and then zoom in again down to a smaller focus on just the area to the right of the above listed graph, we find this general trend: Some of the arguments from the larger scale data perspectives and science (setting politics and special interest group propaganda aside) has been that the warming that has been experienced and documented is within a natural variation. And further, considering the larger trends and climate data from the ice core samples, it's entirely possible that future cooling can happen. And the down ward trend could continue despite the small spikes in temperature that are evident if we narrow down to 100 year period or so. But predicting the future is always a tricky business! Whether from science or religion. There's too many unknown variables at play in order to hammer down solid predictions at this time. Predictions depend on the input. And a lot of the input seems to have erred on the dramatic side. Temperatures have risen, but not to the extent that many over dramatized models have predicted. Maybe I'm wrong. This is just something of an off the cuff take on putting it all together at the moment. If we only focus in narrow (100 years or so) time scales then we still see temperature rise. Not as dramatic as predictions have alleged. But it's spiked up during the industrial revolution. It's still arguable whether or not it's within natural variation. And the bigger trends have shown small spikes and drops in temperature, as the general trend has been an overall decrease in temperature where the ice core samples are concerned. And we've seen melting ice reports in recent years followed by conflicting reports of ice gains. Both in the arctic and antarctic. The Greenland Ice sheet has shown both increase and decrease: There's a hell of a lot going on with this issue if you toss aside the political glasses and only look at it as a scientific issue. Hopefully the above explanation clarifies what we were actually talking about.
  15. 1 point
    Christians get upset because their children deconvert...not because they think bible god is evil by the possibility of sending their adult child to hell, but because their child isn't kissing God's butt to avoid hell. How could you love something that ordered your child to burn forever? That is really a major mind twist.
  16. 1 point
    Yes, in his opinion he looks around and sees inconsistency between and within all religions. Simple deduction, there is no universal religion. People are all over the place and wishful thinking looks to be at the base of it. It looks as though religion is little more than science fiction that people actually believe in. In your opinion (the tinfoil-hat example) the devil (a preassumed belief on your part) has deceived your religious opponents and christian peers who have failed to agree with your specific theological beliefs (dear Abby confessions...) and only you and those who believe and think exactly like you are the "true christians." This little science fiction of yours is the "absolute truth." Two opinions. 1) The former, rather sensible and well thought out opinions to consider. 2) The latter, pretty nonsensical and glass house EGO driven and superiority complex driven opinions. That's my opinion any way.......
  17. 1 point
    @TEG, Good topic. Sorry for my juvenile previous response. Did not mean to marginalize your post. I used to ponder this a lot but all but gave up doing so after deciding that there very likely is nothing in existence along the realm of spirituality and the like. That's just a label we've placed on our conscious thoughts. That may sound arrogant but, so far, science has explained so many of the forces acting on our universe that it is justifiable to disregard any thoughts of spirituality or beings in other dimensions etc. I may find out otherwise after expiring but there is no reason to believe that we would be a part of anything esoteric at that point anyway so no need to ponder beyond entertainment purposes.

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