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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/06/2020 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Hi Zen, Parents aren't perfect and often they say stupid shit (kidding or not). My advice would be to consider her comment a silly remark and ignore it. Plus keep doing what you're doing (therapy, planning to move out, etc). And, just for the record, there are plenty of guys who have had no girlfriends by 19 years old and well beyond that age. Relationships will happen organically. If you feel no partner is needed in your life right now, don't bother seeking, especially for the sake of someone else. Best to you!
  2. 3 points
    No problem, I don’t think anyone took offense. We’re a bunch of godless heathens so we’re mostly pretty thick-skinned...
  3. 2 points
    Tell her you really just want to focus on dating jesus right now.
  4. 2 points
    I’ve come across a few “agnostic” Christians like this, including in debates with atheists, although some of them may shy away from the “agnostic” label. Their position might be summarized as “I know there are serious unanswered questions, I know there are moral dilemmas, but at the end of the day I choose to believe because it makes my life better”. That’s a position I can respect and coincidentally these people tend to be respectful of atheists too: those of us who wrestled with the same questions and came to a different conclusion. One example of this is Justin Brierly, host of the podcast “Unbelievable?”. He routinely hosts atheists on his show and he treats them with respect and even friendship. It’s actually the kind of respectful dialog that first exposed me to credible arguments against Christianity and theism, and led me down the path from unquestioning theism to agnostic theism, and ultimately to agnostic atheism.
  5. 2 points
    It sure doesn't help when people make comments like that, regardless of whether they are serious or just kidding. Regular readers here may be tired of seeing this from previous posts, but I think you might like it, so here it is again: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe
  6. 2 points
    WOW! Is this the first documented occurrence of Ex-C married couples both finding their way out of the mind-control? I envy you, @PSR!
  7. 1 point
    An interesting discussion point which I'm keen to delve into is how exactly we are define knowledge. From what I can see these definitions are why some people are happy to use the term gnostic while others deem the gnostic position an impossibility. There seems to be 4 common definitions that I've considered, all valid but different but perhaps there are others? Firstly the philosophical definition which seems to be that knowledge doesn't exist because you can never know everything and therefore cannot ever know anything for sure. The scientific version which is said in quote marks with disclaimers attached. A theory being the confirmed and validated facts that we can say we "know" with cavets attached that such knowledge is not an absolute and subject to change. Then we have legal usage which seems the most common definition which is "beyond reasonable doubt". We understand that there will always be unreasonable counters for any subject, but to ever reach a conclusion you eventually have to make a limit. Then theres the day to day definition which is simply any information you can reasonably be expected to hold such as "do you know the time" or "do you know who John is talking to". In this day to day usage there is no validation, just an acceptance that the answer given is something they should reasonably "know". It would seem by the day to day, legal or scientific definitions that a claim of being gnostic would be fine. If you can accept the standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" then it would be straight forward. If you have a absolute view then you can say the gnostic position is impossible. But surely if knowledge doesn't exist then both gnostic and agnostic are equally valueless, as any positions related to knowledge would be irrelevant. Of course I've only used high level generalisations for the definitions, so readily accept there will be better ways to state those positions, but I guess the questions I'm looking at is which definition you use, why that particular one and do you use different definitions depending on the subject?
  8. 1 point
    Hi, after many years of questioning my Christian faith, last night I became an atheist. I've 40 years of god and religion to undo in my thinking. My brain is on overdrive and feels like it's about to explode. It's all a bit scary at the moment.
  9. 1 point
    This was me! It actually started in church one morning when I realized that nobody in the building believed what Genesis 3 said. (Hint: It's an ordinary snake!) I knew, like you, that liberal Christianity didn't treat the fables as facts, but also like you, I couldn't find anything that made me think I should believe anything in the New Testament. If the Bible starts out as myths, transitions to legends, and then to embellished history, at what point am I supposed to start believing that the magic is real? That was 8 years ago. I'm 60 years old now. Unfortunately, I'm still going to church and keeping my mouth mostly shut. But I'm going less and less often, and hoping to see a way to quit altogether.
  10. 1 point
    Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV): The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. To which I ask: That's all you've got? I've never set goals. Really! Oh, I did finish college (after changing my major 3 times), but I've always lived my life a day at a time. And I've always found my "meaning" in my responsibilities. I have work, I have family, and I have things to do. What more meaning do I need? Well, I know what's going on in the world and have discussions about it, and contribute to causes and organizations that I feel are important, and I vote -- so there's more meaning. I'm thinking more and more about how I'm going to be able to retire and I should have made that more important many years ago, but even now I wouldn't call it a goal. I need to get as much put away as I can, but I don't really think I want to retire. I just know that I'll have to some day. The meaning in life just comes along. I have grandchildren and I love to spend time with them. I love having grown-up conversations with my kids and their spouses. I enjoy spending the evenings with my wife, even when it's boring, because we're together. I enjoy listening to music, but not as much as I used to. I listen to podcasts in the car while commuting every day. All of that stuff is just there, but it has meaning. Largely, this day-to-day attitude that I was either born with or picked up somehow has meant that I never thought about Heaven or Hell, and certainly never imagined what they would be like. Apologists sometimes say that without eternity, life is absurd. Maybe that's so, but eternity is absurd, also. How can sitting in front of a throne worshiping a deity forever and ever be meaningful? "Meaningful" is making things work, getting things done. Meaningful is enjoying a good meal. Meaningful is enjoying a fast-food meal. Meaningful is laughing with your friends and family. Meaningful is laughing at a TV show or a movie. Meaningful is experiencing anything -- a relationship or a story or anything -- that brings out emotion, happy or sad or just deep. Meaning and purpose are found in the everyday tasks and entertainment and relationships we experience. No ultimate goal is required. In fact, believing that there's an ultimate goal takes away from the true meaning, which is found in the everyday. And after life is over? Meaning is for the living who remember you. Maybe you're young and don't have some of those things, but you still have a 24-hour day that's full of meaning. Over time, the meaning changes, but it's there already, every waking hour.
  11. 1 point
    The burden of proof is customarily placed on the party making an assertion. Believers tend to accept apologist arguments as “proof” while rejecting science, history, cosmology, logic, and reason as evidence because they are believed to have human origins. Whereas, believers are convinced the Bible has Devine origins. This deep divide makes debating religion pointless because there is no common ground or mutually acceptable authority.
  12. 1 point
    Yeah. You know I have thought about the belief in a god or gods and the whole concept seems antiquated and easily tied to humans needing a mommy or daddy to take care of us and make everything alright. It would stand to reason then that god would makes it's way into religious dogma/doctrine as those making it up/using it sought to control the masses. Give them what they think they want - similar to politics around the globe.
  13. 1 point
    I agree. I stated a variety of knowledge definitions which anyone could rightly hold to and build their definitions from. If there is no single definition, or if the definitions themselves are a grey area then it is impossible to say someone using the gnostic label is incorrect, only that they are potentially incorrect under certain viewpoints. Of course the big requirement is a definition of god. I would say the Christian god is impossible based on the characteristics assigned to it and based on the bible. However if the definition of god is the apathetic, uncaring deist god. One who lit the fuse on the big bang then left, having no further contact with the universe, then that being would be outside of any claim of knowledge on both sides. If the god in question is nothing, does nothing and doesn't communicate in any way then the person claiming it exists has no basis for it, and the atheist would mostly be basing their position on the emptiness of the claim. You could never be gnostic to an irrelevant god. I had one gnostic atheist I talked to say they described it from a courtroom viewpoint. Before the trial the judge and jury are agnostic, having heard no arguments and seen no evidence either way. Both sides then present their strongest case, and both sides give rebuttals of the other, with the final goal being to convince, beyond reasonable doubt, that your side is correct. The Christian god has been tried, the apologetics have been heard and they have had thousands of years to provide evidence that their claim is true. At the end of that trial the atheistic position wins. He therefore said he as a gnostic atheist as long as knowledge is defined as beyond reasonable doubt. Using this definition does have great utility, in that a gnostic atheist is one who has researched both sides, and through cumulative evidence came to the final conclusion. This is distinct from an agnostic atheist who could say the burden of proof is with them and that's all, or who is ignorant of the argument or is apathetic to the subject. I know we will never get agreement on such definitions, but I can see value in using categories that are easier to use and fit a lot more people.
  14. 1 point
    These types will never play the "60 second non-believer game' with me. It's really messed up to be so afraid of your "loving" God that you can't even entertain the idea for 1 minute that he might not be real. Or maybe they've already played that game on their own and scared the crap out of themselves. Maybe that's why they visit this site.
  15. 1 point
    In my debate with Luth-ifer I was asking him to just be honest and admit that he believes in a god that he can’t possibly know exists in any absolute sense. He resisted that type of honesty to the end. Because he knows, as a Christian, that anything short of positive belief defaults him out. And couldn’t live with an agnostic term being placed in front of his theism. Agnostics and atheists cross the line in the sand of heresy. I attended the funeral of a well known agnostic theist Dr. from our community. The pastor said, ‘he was a heretic, but he loved his church family and made many contributions...’ He was only a heretic because he was honest with everyone, including the pastor, that he didn’t pretend to know whether or not god really exists. This is the man that my father held in high regard and decided to be an agnostic theist because of. The Dr.’s reason for this agnostic heresy is that he was well read. He understood that there’s contradiction and problems with scripture. Historical inconsistency. And man made finger prints throughout the Bible. But he stayed in church and believed that under it all there must be a god up there anyways. The assumption that there must be a designer, despite all of these flaws with the Bible and His religion.
  16. 1 point
    My guess is that your mom means well, but consider that she was brain washed years ago and doesnt know better. You are on the right track from what I see, and I would recommend tolerating her comments until you can get out on your own. Don't be mean to her, but tell her that you will keep what she said in mind, but there are some things you need to figure out for yourself, and that you are working on it. Best wishes!
  17. 1 point
    LOL, A narcissistic, capricious God??? Like the one in the bible?? That was proposed to me seriously by a guy a few years back.
  18. 1 point
    Yes, Watts is great. That's kind of where I'm at. Reality does seem orchestrated. I dont think BibleGod orchestrates it, though. Labels are kinda silly. I agree. Separation is an appearance only.
  19. 1 point
    I'm definitely in the middle ground. I go along with Alan Watts' belief that the universe is intelligent, that it is not possible for something intelligent to evolve from something unintelligent. The earth is not just a dumb rock. Without eardrums vibrations might exist, but not sound. Without eyes, energy waves might exist, but not light. We exist in relation to everything else and so it seems this is orchestrated. However, I dont know that there is a "who" behind the orchestration. So I don't think of myself as a theist. I still consider myself agnostic. But then again, I don't really see the point of labels.
  20. 1 point
    Welcome PSR To quote Obi Wan "You have taken your first step into a larger world" It sounds like you have an immediate support crew in the form of your husband - indeed a good thing to have. Try not to rush things - 40 years of religion does not go away overnight. You have our support here - if there are questions, things you wish to discuss simply post away.
  21. 1 point
    A lot of great replies that I'd love to delve into. I think I'll take LF's suggestion and open two separate threads, the topics are quite distinct: How do you define knowledge and is someone who is unsure of their belief put into the atheist category? Interesting discuss points if anyone wants to join in.
  22. 1 point
    It seems to me if someone says there's not enough evidence to decide if there is a god or not, then they do not have a god belief and are therefore atheist. But I'm just a simple guy.
  23. 1 point
    Okay, I'm convinced. I'm now a gnostic apatheist. I know that I don't give a flying fuck if a god exists or not.
  24. 1 point
    Welcome to the community of apostates, PSR! Always a pleasure to welcome a new member... I’m guessing that not many of us can pinpoint a specific date when we became atheists: in my case, there was a period of at least several months from when I knew I was no longer a Christian to when I acknowledged I had arrived at atheism (agnostic atheism, as we are discussing in another current thread). You’re right: there is a lot of mental shifting and reprogramming that occurs during and after a transition like this. Hanging out here at Ex-Christian.net helped me a lot and I’m sure it will benefit you too. Let me ask you, have you been reading (lurking, I guess) here for a while now, or did you just find us today? I and many others did a lot of silent reading here as part of the deconversion process, before introducing ourselves. Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing more about you and your journey, to the extent you want to share. And again, the warmest of welcomes to you! TABA
  25. 1 point
    TEG nailed it. Do you understand now why it's up to people making positive claims to prove their own claims, as opposed to people who simply don't believe the unproven claims of others to have to prove anything at all in order not to believe someone else's unproven claims? If not, then what do you still not understand about the burden of proof?
  26. 1 point
    Not to steal WalterP’s thunder, but, the burden of proof is on the one making the assertion. As in, “god exists.” Someone who does not believe it does not have to prove their position; the person who is saying god exists does. I will guess that you do not believe that there is a race of ancient humans living beneath the surface of Mars. So, what if someone came along and demanded that you prove that those people do not exist, then said that they must exist because you cannot prove that they don’t. That is what believers are doing when they demand that nonbelievers prove that god does not exist.
  27. 0 points
    What do you suppose we'd find if we could pass through a black hole?

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