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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/15/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    In my browsing, I've recently seen quite a few Christians who assert that atheism means you fit a whole load of other beliefs into your world view. The most common seems to be "You don't believe in anything supernatural, therefore you must believe in a natural universe". Obviously wrong as atheism says nothing about the supernatural, only about god. There are several atheistic religions which believe in spirits, reincarnation, energy flow and all the related woo, without believing in a god behind the scenes. There are Christians who take it a step further and say "because you are an atheist you must believe in the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution" (although the Ham's and Hovind's of the world often jam all of those separate subjects under their definition of "evolution"). In reality the most common answer to the hard questions like where did the universe come from? or where did life come from? Is simply, we don't know. Some Christians will act like thats a gotcha moment. You admitted you can't explain the universe once you remove god and therefore prove your whole belief system is wrong. This argument sounds solid from their viewpoint but is meaningless to an atheist. Atheism isn't based on these questions, and regardless of what process turns out to be the correct one, it doesn't change the fact that right now there is no good evidence for god, satan, angels, heaven or anything claimed by the heavily debated bible. You then have the offshoot of this argument, which comes up in discussions about morality "as an atheist you must believe everything is pure matter, and one pile of matter is no more special than another, so there can be no value justified for anything. And with morals being purely subjective, it is impossible to say there is right and wrong". Even just from a gut instinct level this will feel wrong, even if you haven't considered it deeply. How do we know right from wrong? It is taught to us by our parents, by our educators, by our peers and by society. We are told what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, and are aware that our negative actions will be punished in various ways. There is no sign of any instinctive morals, with every society and every age changing what they see as acceptable. For the Romans, it wasn't just public executions but a show you would pay to see. Nowdays the practice is considered barbaric. No god given morals stopped those events, and no supernaturally given instincts reined in the inquisition or genocides committed in gods name. There's at least a couple billion atheists in the world, and trying to shoehorn everyone into little boxes is never going to work. The only thing we share is a lack of belief in god, everything else is up for grabs.
  2. 3 points
    Art: Read Myrkoos and Nontheistpilgrim's posts above again. And when you are done, read them again. Here's your script: "Friends, I thank you all for the opportunity to serve as a worship minister here. I've enjoyed making music with you during the last five years, and I want to thank you for all the love and help you have given me during that time. It is time for me now to move on to another phase of life, so Sunday the 26th will be the last Sunday I'll be able to worship with you. So I thank you again and I wish you all the best in the future." If they badger you, just repeat the above. You do NOT owe them an explanation. "Thanks for your concern, but I have decided to move on to another phase of life." Period. And don't show up after the 26th. As Nontheist writes, after you have left, you'll never hear from them again. (My wife, although not in a leadership position, recently left her church (yay!). She had many "friends" there. Guess how many called to see what happened to her? Zero.)
  3. 3 points
    They have caricatures of atheists as we have caricatures of them. The difference is, and I can't stress this enough, as Ex-Christians we used to be in their shoes but they were never in ours. It follows that we likely understand them better than they understand us.
  4. 2 points
    Most Christians are good and decent people. You can be appreciative of their concern for you while being firm in your determination to follow your own path. As for that path, there is more help available now for people leaving religion than there ever has been before. Check out our Recommended Books section. Hopefully most of these books are available as e-books in Russia through Amazon. In addition to a lot of good books that show how the Bible is the work of human minds, not divine, there are some good ones on coping with the deconversion process and on how to live a good and fulfilling life without religion, for example "Leaving the Fold" by Marlene Winell. There is also a lot of good material here in our Forums and Blogs dating back for several years. Chances are that whatever challenges you face have been faced by somebody else here at some point, so take some time to browse through the various forum sections, especially the "Testimonies of Former Christians" and "Ex-Christian Life" sections. Finally, if it would help you to chat one-on-one with somebody about anything, please feel free to send me a private message. We're here to help each other out!
  5. 2 points
    I had this in mind when I was debating with Luth-ifer. I knew which direction he'd take. So I made sure to voice early on that christians don't know how the universe came about, they only have this creation myth in Genesis, which, is myth and doesn't disclose anything about the actual origins of the universe. His move was to point at me and claim that I don't know. To which I happy admitted and then hammered home the fact that no one knows, and that's the point! Not science, not religions, not anything. It's an ongoing mystery which neither science nor religion has "solved" or made "known." We're literally actively seeking out true answers for origins. And there wasn't anything he could do with it. He was stuck where I placed him from the beginning. In order to get out of where I placed him, he would have to prove or substantiate, with credible evidence, that he does know exactly the mystery of origins. The book of Genesis is not capable of substantiating such a claim. So he's dead in the water. All he can do keep pointing out that we don't know either, which, is nonsensical because we're arguing on behalf of an agnostic position. The christian can only prove the agnostic position correct over and over again as they wiggle around trying to escape it.....
  6. 2 points
    And what Wertbag writes is the reason I avoid saying I am an "atheist." I prefer to say I don't believe, or that I'm not religious. As I've written on this site before, the term "atheist" is often used as a pejorative by Christians and I don't want to give them an opening for inaccurate claims about my world view.
  7. 1 point
    I once went through a checkpoint in Belfast and the Gardai asked for my religion. I stated that I was an atheist. Their response: Right, but is it the Catholic god or the Protestant god you don't believe in?
  8. 1 point
    This is the reason that I self-identify as non-theist - which means I do not believe in a god but want to respect those who have created their gods from within their imaginations and who find them helpful. This morning I had to provide an answer to a person who had a tick box for 'religion'- she had none for non-theist, so I explained what it means, how important it is to me and agreed that she put me down as atheist (no-one else will see it and I'd rather it went into her statistical analysis as 'atheist' than anything else).
  9. 1 point
    Understandable, but I prefer to be openly atheist so that people are exposed to real people living good lives. Just being in contact with someone who is happy, doesn't swear, doesn't drink, has a nice happy family and a good job is often a clash with the image that preachers try to claim. I also like to answer surveys and census forms as atheist rather than jedi, non-religious or other, cos it gives a better indication of the actual size of atheism. To many religious those other terms just mean non-denominational, or a believer but not belonging to a certain church. At least atheist makes it clear that many people disagree with their beliefs.
  10. 1 point
    "You atheists have the ridiculous view that everything just sprang into existence from nothing!" "oh? What do you believe?" "That everything sprang into existence from nothing!" "Isn't that the same?" "No! Cos god dun did it!"
  11. 1 point
    I think these people are demonstrating how little faith they actually have. They are coercing you to stay on, while also exploiting your talents, when they really should be trusting that god will provide, with or without you. In the end, it's god who wants to be worshipped; isn't it his responsibility, not yours, to provide the means and wherewithal for that worship? And, if your ministers really believed that god is all he's cracked up to be, they'd have graciously let you go a long time ago in order to give god the space to work mightily in their presence. The fact that they have to manipulate you into staying demonstrates that, deep down inside, even they suspect that god is bullshit. They ain't never going to admit it, though; so you'd best just go on about your business.
  12. 1 point
    Off-topic: I feel so sad and still do not understand how Christians, who put so much store on relationships, do not practice what they preach. I just don't get it. But it's true. Sadly. Perhaps I will come back on my own experience which is a bit different. But I am in my eighties and with a fairly tolerant personality. Back to you all.
  13. 1 point
    I reward myself every day for staying alive by eatlng a piece of unsweetened dark chocolate!
  14. 1 point
    One thing I've recently heard of is "Orthorexia", that is a hyper focus on healthy eating to the extent that it begins harming your well-being and quality of life. It is believed to be a form of OCD, just taking those natural tendencies to get obsessive and directing those towards dieting. The description I found: WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF ORTHOREXIA Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels An increase in concern about the health of ingredients Cutting out an increasing number of food groups (all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat, all animal products) An inability to eat anything but a narrow group of foods that are deemed ‘healthy’ or ‘pure’ Unusual interest in the health of what others are eating Spending hours per day thinking about what food might be served at upcoming events Showing high levels of distress when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ foods aren’t available Obsessive following of food and ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on Twitter and Instagram Body image concerns may or may not be present Some people seem to think it is bringing maths into the issue that takes it from a subjective consideration of food to an objective panic over small variations. We've never had the ability before to measure every last ingredient to the gram and being able to scan barcodes on your smartphone to get the numbers instantly in hand. A lot of detail is being overlooked in broad statements like "sugar is bad". Is fruit sugar as bad as sucrose? Is lactose absorbed as much as glucose? Are sweeteners really a good replacement or do they create other issues of concern? I worry that it is easy to get focused on the complexity and either lose quality of life, or just scare off people who will see dieting as too hard to do.
  15. 1 point
    I'm sure my doctor also would have said NO to keto had I asked, but I just did it on my own and after six months I was off cholesterol meds, much to everyone's surprise. Of course I had high cholesterol but no heart issues going in, so as I said, keto should be good for MOST people. Obviously there could be specific medical conditions where keto might be contraindicated. Good luck!
  16. 1 point
    It could be that when you leave the congregation you discover something that many ex-christians in the western world have discovered....you never hear another word from your christian friends; no enquiries about your welfare, no moves to get you back, just silence. It's sad, but it happens frequently and more so, I suspect, amongst fundamentalist christians. It may even help you to confirm to yourself that you did the right thing. All the best on your journey.
  17. 1 point
    Hey, Art...you need to do what's best for YOU, my friend...don't keep trying to please the people in the church. Constantly doing stuff for other people (especially if they're unappreciative) at the expense of your own happiness isn't worth the aggravation. I suggest that you get out now. Good luck.
  18. 1 point
    Ok, you are being asked to help sustain and propagate what you think is a lie. Let me put the situation in a different perspective. Al qaeda, the terrorist organisation, needs a musician to play their "bomb america" songs and because you had a very good friend who is now their captain they ask you to play. Would you do it? Probably not. Another question. Would any of your church community accept to hindu chants praising krishna just because some friendly neighbours asked them to for a birthday party ? Probably not. So the answer is clear. They are asking you to betray your conscience. THAT is immoral. And they are asking you to do things that they would not do so there is no reciprocation. They should feel guilt and shame not you. Plus they did not care enough about their God to learn music for him so consider your leaving as just punishment for their lack of devotion. The problem of morality could be put if, for example, you left religion and then decided to abandon your little children who still believe it and who are dependent on your for food and shelter. But your community is not any danger of basic survival needs being unkept if you leave. And by the way, pentecostalism seems to me of the more manipulative / emotionally draining of all christian branches. Even mainstream christians think they are out there.
  19. 1 point
    I wish I could go on the Keto diet. That's right up my ally. I love meat and dairy more than bread. I've seen pictures of keto plates. My mouth waters every time. But the heart doctor already said NO on that one. LOL. it isn't good for the cholesterol at all. They want me to do the mediteranean diet. I know i spelled that wrong. sorry. But thank you for the encouragement. I'll get the lbs. off. db


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