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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/25/2020 in Posts

  1. 7 points
    One of my colleagues from work saw me and Ms. Professor at the grocery store this past weekend. He did not say "Hello", or try to speak to me at all. His reasoning was, "I figured since you never want to talk to people at work, you probably wouldn't want to outside of work either." Reckon I'm more adept at this social distancing thing than I realized.
  2. 7 points
    Christianity has rules. When you leave the faith, no more rules. No label is required. No belief in this or that is required. There is no requirement that you 'stick to' a certain particular way of thinking either. 1. Being unsure about the existence of gods is fine. 2. Concluding that there is not enough evidence to believe in a god is fine. 3. Concluding there are no gods is fine. 4. Believing in 'something else' is fine as long as you are it's master. Dont kow tow to any belief system nor label.
  3. 6 points
    I lived about 20-years of my life as the "perfect christian". I followed ALL of the rules, I taught Bible Study, I was a counselor for teens at a christian camp for many years, I oversaw the junior high youth group, I was on the worship team, I helped lead retreats, I baptized some of those junior high students, I went on mission trips, I did, I did, I did, in order to please god, follow his plan, be an example, earn his favor. I just realized yesterday that I was probably attracted to Christianity, at 16-years-old, because I was a rule follower - I strived for perfection - in everything I did. And having that set of rules aligned with who I had already become. But what happens when you do all of that and god doesn't show up when you need him the most? When you've seen some of the worst of humanity, when you've lost everything, when you can't believe anymore that he is a "good, loving" god? I became very angry... I have been angry for probably a dozen years or more. I am working through this with a therapist, and as I do that, I'm on here just looking, trying to find answers, seeking to figure out what I need now. I am clear that I am not perfect, and that is okay, but what I'm not clear about is that there are all kinds of promises in the bible that require us to essentially be in a transactional relationship with god but where do turn when you figure out that you're the only one participating in the transactions?
  4. 6 points
    I suppose the point that I (and others) have tried to make is that having already lost so much of your life to this cult, why are you so determined to keep devoting your life to them? It's like you haven't really taken off the shackles; you've just turned them around in the opposite direction and called yourself free. But, you're not free. You're still enslaved. Your anger at them has you just as imprisoned in your behavior, thought, and emotion, as they had you. I sincerely wish you the best; but I will say no more.
  5. 6 points
    There is a sentimental notion and cognitive bias that is regularly stated –uncritically—by most who have been adversely affected by religious notions. It is stated variously as “God has a Plan,” “God has a Plan for your life,” “Everything that has happened is part of God’s Plan,” “Every part of your life is within God’s Plan,” “Nothing happens that is not a part of God’s Plan, and many similar statements that carry a single idea: Everything that happens in anyone's life is all a part of "God’s Plan." The “believers” in this notion are beginning to shift uneasily in their seats about now because their unswerving belief is that whatever has happened in your life and the lives of every other human who has existed and is existing was and is a part of “God’s Plan.” Needless to say, this is a very dangerous bias to ensnare one’s mind. Here’s a brief sampling of plain examples of this bias in day-to-day action. Every adult reading this who was abused physically –beaten, locked outside, starved, tortured, those who as girls and boys who were incested, molested, raped, beaten, maimed, threatened –it was and is all a part of God’s Plan. "God" 'planned' these events. Every child who had parents who were/are alcoholic/addicts and repeatedly subjected them to neglect, abuses and abandonment over the course of years since infancy through childhood –it’s all a part of God’s Plan. "God" 'pre-planned' these events. Every child who is orphaned, whose parents and siblings are killed as a part of local terrorism –drive-by shootings, police violence, external terrorism –it’s all a part of God’s Plan. Every person, infant, child, teen or adult who is starved, tortured, or who has their family members tortured or killed in front of them –Again, inescapably, it’s all part of their God’s Plan. In every one of the horribly true and frequent events listed above, "God" had this in mind and executed a 'plan' to be sure these events occurred, and to the person, who we can we can refer to in this context as a target or, more properly, a victim. Luckily, in the human world, this form of planning and action are categorized as "premeditated crimes" and as such,, as the believers assert, these crimes are perpetrated by their "God." What is required for an onlooker to simply say, “that’s not a good plan” and, of course, “the planner is clearly sick, twisted, demented and malevolent”? At what point will every reader of this who doubts or dismisses this truth face the real reason they are unwilling to attempt to live in honesty and let go of their bias –their fear? At what point will someone simply say “I’m not going to remain in denial, and I will take action that this “God” cannot and will not take, and I will take responsibility for improving the lives of those around me and do whatever I must to help others to reach the same decision. These are free persons, and good. Those who retain the bias will continue to give their Great Torturer a pass, bow their heads to it and pray for it to continue its sick, twisted, demented and malevolent “Plan”, all the while nursing their private fear and hope it won’t notice them and exact its “Plan” on them. These persons are enslaved, in fear, not to be trusted. Voltaire categorically clarified this sordid state of human affairs in several documents and letters. Here are a few: “La nôtre [religion] est sans contredit la plus ridicule, la plus absurde, et la plus sanguinaire qui ait jamais infecté le monde.” “Ours is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world.” (of christianity) “Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste” Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. “Quoi que vous fassiez, écrasez l'infâme, et aimez qui vous aime.” “Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you” (the “infamous thing” = superstition) “L'homme est libre au moment qu'il veut l'être.” “Man is free at the instant he wants to be.” Who, then, Will Choose To Be Free?
  6. 6 points
    Yup. Spring is the best time of year. Nice photo, Taba. Don't we wish the blossoms on the trees would last for months rather than weeks? Here's something from the advice column in today's paper that seems quite true: Dear Amy: Responding to the current COVID crisis, I’d like to share the following observation: I think people are becoming “more so…” If they were kind and thoughtful and inclined to be loving before, now they are “more so.” And those of us who were angry and scared and suspicious before, sadly, are now “more so.”
  7. 6 points
    Is anyone else amazed at how clear their mind is since deconverting? When I was a Christian, I was always praying in my head, apologizing to God for thoughts that weren't Christ-like, remembering scriptures...It was exhausting! Ever since I quit believing in God, I feel so much better! Anyone else experience this?
  8. 6 points
    Many of us, myself included, went through a part of our deconversion where we thought of ourselves as Deists. Meaning having a belief in some supreme but impersonal intelligence, as opposed to a deity who takes an interest in the lives of humans. After giving up belief in the God of the Bible, it can feel like too big a step to not believe that there is anybody "in charge" of the universe. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. Or maybe the closest thing to somebody being in charge is the existence of the laws of physics. In any case, the Deist and the non-Deist both have to live their lives the same way in these respects: we have to derive our own meaning in life and we have to figure out our own morality (usually with a lot of help from our culture). So Deism isn't much to hang your hat on, so to speak. That's why most of us (I think) move on from Deism to simple agnostic non-theism. I hope that makes sense...
  9. 5 points
    The god of the Bible was created in the image of the monarchs ruling the area at the time. They made their god a king, and kings of that time and place were often ruthless and their misdeeds, as we'd see them today, were largely forgiven and understood as necessary to maintaining the society. This is the Abrahamic god. Because of that the religions have barely moved past the Bronze Age in their thinking.
  10. 5 points
    When prayers are answered it’s God being a loving father. Where prayers are not answered it’s God testing his children, or teaching them valuable lessons. This is the only way to explain a world which looks just like a world where there is no god intervening at all.
  11. 5 points
    This part gives me a lot to think about Lost. Since you did have and enjoy this relationship with someone who was a mismatch and seriously problematic in a number of different ways I find it hard to believe that you weren't created for relationships. I think it's more likely that the problem is with the kind of men you are attracted to. Opra Winfrey had a program in the 90's about how inescapable are the choices we make as adults choosing partners based on our experiences growing up but in particular how we interacted with our parents. A friend shared it with me recently and I'll find it and leave it here for you should you want to check that out. The good news is that no matter how very powerful these destructive urges (that are actually subconscious attempts to resolve or recreate childhood problems) are they can be overcome with conscious recognition and working out a plan to avoid the self sabotage and instead seek relationships that can fulfill your desire for long term companionship. Maybe if after thinking about that you decide to give finding a relationship another try an internet dating site could help you target characteristics you are seeking and avoid those that are problematic. Also I think your description of a normal life with "beloved one and kids" is unnecessarily restrictive. Going from living alone to living with a beloved one is a big change and why not take a look at that by itself as having the potential to be satisfactorily fulfilling for your future. I see having children as greatly over hyped as a need for fulfillment for example how biblical women who can't conceive are called barren and the implication that this barrenness encompasses the entire being. It is possible as a separate endeavor to have wonderful meaningful relationship with children that are not raising in our own home but nevertheless prove to be fulfilling and even possibly last a lifetime. In the same way living alone with a few nice friends can be wonderful and fulfilling but it's up to us to be strong enough to define ourselves and recognize happiness when it comes our way in maybe an unexpected situation. Humans are amazingly adaptable. Thank you for sharing with us again. https://omny.fm/shows/oprah-s-supersoul-conversations/07-190-make-love-last-022520-w-alt-header
  12. 5 points
    The title might raise eyebrows but hear me out. I'm not trying to apologize on behalf of fundamentalists or evangelicals as I've never been one and even then don't speak for all of them, but do hear me out. Like many of you on here, I was raised Christian. Unlike many of you, I was not raised Fundie-homeschooled-not-part-of-the-world style. I was raised fairly casually Christian, in that I don't recall much church growing in earlier childhood and that became more of a dedicated habit around middle school. I actually got into religion more on my won, though over time my mom did push me into the youth choir and such but I began to not mind that much and got into some volunteering and trips, etc. Growing up I could watch just about any cartoon or movie(Dad took me to see the horror film Splice on my 10th birthday lol), and thanks to my non-religious uncle got away with watching Adult Swim before and up to early adolescence. I don't say this as a way to mock anyone, as I know unfortunately that many of you had the opposite experience with strict dress codes, feeling shame over sexual feelings/sexuality, homeschooling and isolation from peers, and strict and in alot of cases dysfunctional and abusive parents and famly. And do not get me wrong, having a ''Christian-lite'' upbringing did not mean that was off the table for me. I was a premie(born around 2-3 months early) and while I'm overall pretty healthy, I was born with Asperger's Syndrome. Thus, for me growing up I was very socially awkward, having issues with body language and social cues, being aware of boundaries and appropriate topics of conversation, and basically had far more ''trial and error'' compared to neurotypical kids. And it is kinda embarassing to admit that in middle school I actually would do Legos and stuff with the younger kids in the neighborhood and didn't really have friends my own age and was kinda the weird kid in middle school due to my tendencies. On top of that, my parents always had problems and middle school was the worst of it, with physical altercations between them,verbal arguments (with insults and profanity that far outdoes the likes of Family Guy and Robot Chicken) being smacked and shoved by my father, told I'm not the son he wanted, accusations of them cheating on each other, and me and my sister having our own altercations similar to my parents. This made youth group actually a safe haven for me in terms of having some sembleance of a social life and an escape of such a dysfunctional environment. Although, my old man(who had once said he was ok with me killing myself at 13) once took me out of youth group(not literally, but came into the room and asked me to step outside) to accuse my mom of carrying condoms in her car(I was like, around 14). My family is mostly African Amercian, so both of my parents were raised religious but more in the black family ''praise the Lord'' kind of way. Despite this, cue the shitty, dysfunctional marriage and the cheating accusations. They are also fairly homophobic, as I remember years ago my dad said he wouldn't really talk to a gay person, talked down about a boyfriend my sister had who was bi, and my mom has said we need to have 4 grandkids just in case some get sick and die or are ''confused'' which is what she uses to refer to a distant LGBT southern cousin. So between all of this, I had more work cut out for me in terms of social development and have come to envy people who ''won the lottery'' in comparison. And I had my own ''wolf in sheep's clothing'' in the form of Zimba, a kid I had befriended in my neighborhood who's family were the more conservative Christian type(No HP or LOTR, Spongebob or Johnny Test, stay locked in on Halloween) who I did bond with and had common interests, but over time he used and manipulated me more and years later I found out he allegedly assaulted my sister, and it tore me up at the thought of my only real friendship being for nothing and letting that kind of person into my life, especially given my other circumstances. And Christianity, while not a direct cause, was a hindarance in that the whole idea of a God having a plan for you, that you have a special role to play was very appealing to a lonely, autistic teenager and t left me with a sense of complacency when attempts at friendships and goals didn't work out, figuring God had everything under control. Point is, even if my experience wasn't exactly the norm on here, I definitely can relate to feeling of wasted time and lost opportunities. While others are moving ahead in life and enjoying things, we have to put in more work as the harsh hand we were dealt left us with emotional scars and trauma that held back or even fully robbed us of a proper childhood and adolescence, leaving only baggage that we must carry into adulthood unlike our peers who were given a better starting point. It definitely sucks, but as more of us learn from our experiences and see the truth, there's hope to break such a twisted cycle.
  13. 5 points
    Hi. I'm 32 years old, and I've been a Christian for....most of that. I grew up in a house where religion was life. Everything revolved around church, god and the works. I was homeschooled and indoctrinated from an early age. I prayed the sinners prayer at 5 or 6. Clearly, I did not understand it. Theres absolutely no way, but that's what I was supposed to do. I grew up, involved in church. Youth group. Had a best friend who was a super christian. Met my wife, my friend didn't approve of her so he made her feel not good enough and unvalued. We, obviously, had a falling out. It was at this point I began questioning everything, living my own way. Smoking. Having sex without being married. Things that were a huge deal. It became a big issue with my parents. Eventually I got married, my wife became a Christian and we lived for several years like so. That brings me to the last couple years. I have decided within the last year I'm done. Done with god, jesus and religion. I've read several books about athiesm and nothing has ever made more sense. It addressed all the questions I've always had but never been given answers. I feel freedom I never had before. I have several issues. The inconsistency of the bible and origin of christianity. The judgement of Christian's I know. The scientific evidence against the bible and the fairy tales in it.but most of all the idea of hell. I learned about hell as a young child and knew people went there. It terrifies me and still does. The idea that this loving god created everlasting eternal punishment is unfathomable and evil. It's nothing more than a scare tactic to convert people and get 10% of their income. I cant believe in our worship a god that would do that. And if god is all-knowing and all-powerful but created hell then I see too options. 1 he is evil 2 he is not all-knowing or all-powerful where he can prevent it The freedom I feel from walking away is amazing. I have not talked to my parents about this. Honestly it's such a pain in the ass. I have a cousin who is a lesbian and it's a huge issue of concern to my parents who treat her terrible because of it. My wife had enough one day and said that as long as she was happy it's ok. My dad cut her off to tell her why she was wrong he was incredibly disrespectful and I lost respect for him over this. But he felt it was justified because...you know god trumps everything. Things with my family is complicated. My dad is not open minded, he will never listen to my reasoning or feelings. He will only preach. Fuck that I dont need it. My sister is a single mom of 3, lives off my parents but is super religious and fearful. Shes a conspiracy theorist, her new thing is end of the world stuff. Covid-19 is an end of the world thing. Mark of the beast stuff. It's crazy. But overall I'm happiest and more confident than I've ever been. I'm a better person. I'm continuing to learn, and I'm excited for the future. Thanks for reading
  14. 5 points
    Welcome! You are discovering that sometimes family ties are toxic and will continue to poison you and others you love, all justified by religion (and narcissism even in non-religious families). Some families are great, some of sort of meh, others are best cut off like cancer. It sounds like you have sorted out your own concepts and seen through the programming. Now instead of subjecting yourself to unbending, unreasoning religious fanatics, find joy and peace without them. Some of my own family are about as religious as I once was, and right about the time I rejected the beliefs they became distant. That worked out fine for me. We also had several families of immigrants to whom we had grown close, but our only real tie outside of that closeness we formed was the faith. When we rejected that, our common bond was broken and we rarely see them now. That hurt, but there are a few toxic ones in their family group that make it icky, and since their whole world is utterly steeped in non-stop Jesus, we didn't want to make things awkward for them or for us and split. We saw them recently at a funeral, and 95% of them were wonderful and we expressed love to each other, but the toxic few were there with no smiles, no greetings, and were clearly being the "holy warriors" they imagine themselves to be. Meh. Find new friends and circles, though that is difficult during this quarantine time. For me, nature provides a steady diet of quiet beauty and a feeling of connection to life in general, apart from the odd abstractions of "meaning" humans keep trying to stick on things. Music is another kind of beauty I enjoy. and most of my circle of friends post-church are musicians. Most of them are not religious, or are social believers. When you stop allowing your relationships to be poisoned, you get to explore just being you and being together. And it takes time to decompress from the toxic relationships. When we are around it long enough, we expect to be beaten emotionally. But that is horrible. So I suggest distance and a new way of being, day in and day out. Choose to find the beauty in life.
  15. 5 points
    I thought this would be a good image signifying being quarantined.
  16. 5 points
    TruthSeeker0 writes: ____ I've been assuming this isn't going anywhere quickly. It is sobering hearing from people whose parents died, and others who are in hospital fighting for their lives. And of healthcare workers and people in their prime of life who had it, barely made it through, or didn't make it. I'd rather look at my walls and be here at the end of all this. ____ And Florduh writes: ____ But..... the rest of us need to be pragmatic and realize we can't stay at home indefinitely. We need to slowly and judiciously start living again because it could be years before we have vaccines and cures for this. … For most people, hibernating is not a long term option. ____ Two divergent positions. I’m stuck in the middle. This is the most difficult issue I have ever faced. At what point to accept the risk? I have family on the other side of town. We have not seen them but for a few front porch visits since the end of February. And we are a close, huggy family. It is near impossible to be with them and not hold hands or wrap our arms around each other. The little kids want to have another sleepover. They want to climb in my lap and be read to. When you love someone you don’t really understand the pain of separation until you have to deal with it. On the one hand, my user name will tell you that I’m already in the demographic that would be seriously affected by this. Add to that a serious underlying condition that has compromised my immune system, and the odds of surviving an infection are against me. More on the negative side is that while our community case numbers are low compared to many other areas, the number of new cases per day is increasing. And a significant number of community members are ignoring the safety recommendations; the closures will end soon. One more is that a member of our family is working in a place with high public contact and the owner apparently is not concerned about the virus and has not provided a shield between customers and staff, and apparently does not require staff to wear masks. So even if that family member is careful, he could pick up the virus from a coworker and bring it home. And if we visit we would be exposed. On the other hand, however you crunch the numbers our community is not as bad as many others. Mrs. Older and I are not venturing out beyond the market and a few necessary medical visits. Our contact is limited to our family. But our family is young and they cannot modify their life for us. At some point they may rejoin their wider community. They have to move on and we do not expect otherwise. So do we remove ourselves from their life, and them from ours, for the year or two that it might take before this situation subsides? How long do we wait? A month? Six months? We’d like to be able to see our family today, tomorrow and for as many years forward as we can. I could certainly enjoy another ten. And life is full of risk. A stroke could take me out in a heartbeat. We get in our car and chance getting wiped out by a drunk driver. The list is endless. Yes, we want to see every sunrise we can. And we also get up each morning knowing that our lives are one more day closer to the end than to the beginning — the drunk driver could take us out tomorrow. A couple of the kids are tweens. And in a year a couple more will be there. And too soon they will have moved on from overnights with Nana and Grampa, won’t be entertained by me squirting whipped cream into their mouths, won’t giggle when I tickle them, and won’t be interested in sitting with us on the couch to watch a movie. So do we roll the dice, take an increased risk of death, and enjoy life today, or do we hold back and miss out on important parts of our family’s lives now to increase by an unknown amount the chance that we’ll be able to be in their lives later? Mrs. Older is willing to take the chance. But I’m the one with two strikes on the board, so the decision rests with me.
  17. 5 points
    I am a very different personality type from you freedwoman but I would avoid a situation like this because it will almost always yield no positive results while posing a more real risk of hurt feelings on one side or another especially if the topic is faith or religion. Why do you like face to face debates so much and what is it that you are looking for as a result of "winning" such debates? I just wonder if there might not be a better way to get whatever it is that you're looking for.
  18. 5 points
    Are we talking informal settings? My advice is, don't. Have conversations, not confrontations. Informal debates are not organized, and don't have clear rules. They tend to fall apart very quickly, and often lead to people getting hurt. Also, formal debates exist more for the benefit of the observers than the participants. Informal, in person debates generally benefit no one in my experience. Have conversations. Listen to what people have to say. Disagree with them politely if you think they're wrong, but be prepared to just let things go. People who eagerly engage in debates usually just want to hear themselves talk. That's not a particularly good look for anyone, in my opinion.
  19. 5 points
    I'm not really into the fierce debating that goes on here at times. What I would like to tell them when they come here is to; first, pray to their God that they will be able to discern the truth about religion. Second, read the whole bible. Third, do an in depth study of how we came to have the Bible. Forth, do an in depth study of the history of all gods and religions. Fifth, study about the moral evolution of human beings. Sixth, if they still want to debate, come back and do so.
  20. 5 points
    Thanks for posting that. It pretty well parallels my observations. There are no easy answers to our situation. May cool heads and rational thinking prevail.
  21. 5 points
    One benefit of working from home (I go in to work one day a week) is being able to enjoy the beauty of the Spring season, whether walking the dogs at lunch time or just taking a quick break from my desk in the basement and looking out the window or stepping out into the backyard. The other day my badly-behaved dogs stood still long enough for me to take this picture in the neighborhood. These scenes are everywhere in April-May where I live.
  22. 5 points
    If god was looking out for you, wouldn't you expect to not catch it in the first place? God seems a bit of a dick, gives you a crippling illness, horrible accident or injury, then claims to be a good guy for returning a portion of your previous quality of life. Maybe its a miracle that He didn't kill you like He did to so many others? Thanks psycho for picking a different target!
  23. 5 points
    Thank you for the kind sentiments. I'm embarrassed to say I had one too many a drink before my last post. Things are actually winding down in my neck of the woods (for now). . . .Its my grandchild, in particular, that I miss seeing and holding. But I consider myself lucky. Others have a lot more to worry about. I guess the good news is there's a lot less attention on "thoughts and prayers," and much more focus on the science. Stay well everyone!
  24. 5 points
    We can't do it in person but here's a cyber hug for you: (( )) There is no way anyone outside of healthcare could understand what you and your colleagues are going through, but you are appreciated. Most of the images, still and video, we see are of talking heads — we're not getting the tough stuff that should be seen by some folks who don't understand the severity of this. Here's something I've posted on this site before that I've found useful in times of stress. Perhaps you'll also find it helpful: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe
  25. 5 points
    The real kicker here, folks, is where those of us who left "the cave" came to understand that there's another cave outside of the smaller cave we crawled out of!!!! The christian cave is but a small niche within the wall of a much larger complex. The larger complex being material existence and physical reality. We don't have a clue what it actually is. But we know and understand that we don't know exactly what it is. We know that our senses are limited. We know that we are not perceiving reality as it actually is, we're merely perceiving representations within our minds that represent whatever the external world actually is. We may refer to that as cave complex #2. Now here's the thing, christians. We are not rabid towards the possibility of breaking through cave complex #2. Nor are we in denial that we exist within cave complex #2, having already broken the confines of small cave niche #1. And we aren't pissed off at the possibility of 'anyone else' existing in a cave complex #3 for that matter! It's more a case of good on any one who may be able to get there. Excellent job!!! Let's hope that we all get there to greater and greater understanding someday. Meanwhile the ego freaks of small cave #1 represent the smallest of available human mind sets and comprehensive ability. Close minded, cut off from exploration and cut off from seeking adventure and advancement forward towards greater understanding. Content to sit in the dark acting 'as if' there's no further discovery to be made and rabid towards anyone who may suggest otherwise. Always looking to try and put down anything that suggests otherwise. Transparent as the day is long, from a psychological perspective. The truth is that we have no idea how many cave complexes exist out there. If we shut down and stop trying we'll never know the extent of it. Luckily for humanity, organized political oriented religion is in rapid decline. Leaving humanity a good sporting chance at advancement. Free and clear of the usual ass hurt ego's who would stop all advancement given the chance.......
  26. 5 points
  27. 5 points
    In other words, you don't understand it, so it must not be true. In other words, you don't understand it, so it must not be true. In other words, you don't understand it, so it must not be true. In other words, you don't understand it, so it ... must be true?
  28. 5 points
    Why do Christians think their “beliefs” should be respected? Do Christians respect Mormon beliefs, Muslim beliefs, Hindu beliefs, Scientologist beliefs? I don’t think so, but they expect their beliefs to be respected and accepted by people that don’t share their beliefs. Why is that? I can respect a persons right to believe whatever they want, without respecting their beliefs.
  29. 5 points
    I briefly considered a deist God. Then I realized it was simply God of the gaps so went straight into atheism. Also a deist God is an unfalsifiable proposition. A god set everything off with a big bang then let it roll, and doesn't want to be found? Might as well not exist as far as we mortals are concerned.
  30. 4 points
    Hello Leia. I hope you won’t mind my relating a true story to you. The story is true because its my story. Many years ago, I was betrayed by someone who was a very good friend and close confidant. His act of betrayal hurt me terribly and had very bad consequences for me on personal, familial and financial levels. I’ve never spoken to him again and I avoid all contact with him, even though we still live in the same area. Fast forward five years and I was working in a department of local government and I had access to confidential records and information about tens of thousands of people living in the area. One day the thought came to me to use my access privileges and interrogate the computer system about my ex-friend. Acting on a malevolent impulse I called up his details and covertly wrote them down in my pocket diary. “Perhaps I can (mis)use this data in some way to pay him back and hurt him as much (or more) as he hurt me?” I thought to myself. I made no changes to his data on the system and since I was allowed to access this kind of data, none of my colleagues or superiors were suspicious. Leia, by doing this I had become the very thing he was – a betrayer of trust. I had broken the Official Secrets Act, several Data protection laws and betrayed the trust placed in me by my employers. I’m not proud of this, btw. I’m ashamed of myself. Now let’s fast forward another five years. My marriage was going through a difficult time and my wife and I used the services of counselors, both separately and together. In one of my solo consultations my counselor Karen asked me if there were any baggage (secrets or burdens) from my past that might be weighing upon me and affecting my marriage. We dealt with several and then, on my last solo session with Karen, I put a piece of paper on her desk. This was the page from my diary with the stolen data about my old enemy written on it. I explained everything to her and said that I wanted to unburden myself of it. She understood and promised me that she would destroy it without looking at its information. I’m relating this story to you Leia, not to lecture or judge you, but to offer you a gentle warning about the effects that revenge can have upon a person. There’s an old Chinese proverb that goes something like this. “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig TWO graves. One for your enemy and one for yourself.” I sincerely and genuinely ask you to not walk down the road of revenge. Please do as I did and turn away before its too late. Turning away doesn’t necessarily mean forgiving or forgetting. I haven’t forgotten what was done to me, nor have I really forgiven him. But at least I’ve chosen not to repay the harm he did to me by hurting him back. There are other ways. Please reconsider your plans before you come to harm. Thank you. Walter.
  31. 4 points
    Yes, replacing one unsupported belief with another doesn't fly with those who left a religion due to critical thinking.
  32. 4 points
    Moving out will be challenging financially ZenP but it's probably the only way you will get some clarity in your life. The amount of emotional capital you invest in your family members seems to be too high. You need to shift your focus onto your own needs and generally get to know yourself better as a person who is separate from his family. You seem to be doing well with looking out for your future career wise and I think the paramedic goal is very good. It doesn't sound to me like you need to just disappear as opposed to openly planning your move and then just moving. If you get some physical distance once you find your own place I think you won't be troubled with excessive family involvement unless you pursue it. You may have more of a difficult time letting all that family attachment go than you imagine so you'll need to be deliberate in finding new ways to redirect all that energy in a positive way when you start living your own life away from home.
  33. 4 points
    I came across a fair amount of that "damned if you do; damned if you don't" mentality myself. If it works out, it was god's will, you were obedient and faithful, and now the saints rejoice. If it doesn't work out, you got in the way, didn't have enough faith, had hidden sin in your life. Fuck that. Now, if it works out it's because I worked my ass off to make it happen. If it don't work out, it's because I worked my ass off to make it happen and sometimes it just don't work that way. But I'll be god damned if I don't try again.
  34. 4 points
    No. Being in need and realizing god ain't gonna do dick-all about it is why we turn away from christianity.
  35. 4 points
    The odds of any brain function after death are crazy low. Related to this there was a good sized experiment done in a hospital where a shelf in a cardiac surgery room 000was placed just high enough that no one could see what was placed on it. Then different objects were placed on the shelf before every surgery to see if any near death patients might identify what was on the shelf as they floated out of body and watched from above. Not one correctly identified the object on the shelf. Accidents have shown that when various parts of the brain lose function all associated behaviors cease. There is zero evidence for any type of eternal object or being and zero for any eternity.
  36. 4 points
    Hi lost. I'm so happy to see you back at EXC but I am so, so sorry that you are here under such sad circumstances. I am so sorry to hear of the death of your very special man friend. Sudden death is like the biggest punch in the stomach that one can ever experience. Don't be too surprised if your mind is in a bit of trauma shock. Honey, lots of people get involved in what can be a messy relationship. We are all human. You had some things that you shared together that were special. These are what I call the bittersweet relationships. Whether these relationships are right or wrong, you can learn many lessons from them. It sounds to me as if you learned from him and you probably taught him a thing or two. And you cared for each other even though the flaws were all there. Try to remember all of the nice, lovely times that you had with him. At some point you will know the reasons why you were in this relationship. As it was already mentioned here, take your time with the grieving and grieve anyway you want. Some days will be better than others. But we are here for you to help you through this if you need us. One thing that I have learned in my life, having an addictive personality myself, is that we addictive personalities never mean to harm. We use substances, eat too much, shop too much, gamble, take drugs, drink too much, smoke too much and I have discovered that we are all trying to fill a vacuum that is inside of us. Sometimes life is very hard and we use 'things and substances' because we think it will help us cope better. We turn to these things for comfort even though we all know they aren't good for us. Most of the alcoholics and addicts that I know are some of the most beautiful people on this earth even though the behaviour has such negative consequences. Again, I am so sorry but you are going through this. Just know that EXC is here for you. I give you the biggest virtual hug in the world tonight honey. It's going to be alright, you wait and see. It's just going to take some time. Be gentle with yourself.
  37. 4 points
    Anyone else notice a positive personality change in themselves after leaving Christianity? Our pastor always told us we should be the best worker at our job. Something about having a good testimony for Christ... I've always been a good worker, but was afraid to share my ideas (if they contradicted someone else). I didn't want to risk upsetting someone and hurt my testimony by speaking my mind. Every since I stopped believing a few months ago, I've slowly started allowing myself to become more bold. My shy, timid personality is being replaced with confidence in my ideas and abilities. It's a little scary lol, but it's great to have my voice heard!
  38. 4 points
    I’m disappointed it’s not you in your house being instructed in cooking from your animal teachers. Sigh. Back to the topic...The biggest change for me is feeling free to spend my time how I wish guilt free. I no longer feel guilty for not spending every waking moment “in the Word.” I spent so much time studying it but when I was pursuing creative things I wanted to do - even if I was making something for someone else - I felt like I was doing something wrong. I was weighed down with guilt and shame over things like attending a craft event and enjoying it! I enjoy & appreciate life SO much more now!
  39. 4 points
    If you are being called a coward, and stupid, you need to find other people to be around. Also, if you are an adrenalin junkie, have you tried karate, or other self defense? Or other sports? Find something that helps you feel alive and useful, and drain off some of the energy. Or put the energy to positive use. Also attempting to debate religious people might leave you even more frustrated. HA! Nobody ever wins a debate with them.
  40. 4 points
    Tough decisions we all have to make!!! I'm 78, had type I diabetes for 52 years, and 3 mini strokes. But on the up side, overall I have been the healthiest person in the famliy through the years, never being hospitalized, not remembering when last had a cold, or flu. BUT, HOW MUCH DO YOU CHANCE IT?? We have family and friends over, and go to their places, but stay outside and keep distance when eating, etc. But like older said, not touching, especially little grand kids is difficult. We get our groceries using all the precautions during "old peoples" hour. We do some yard work, take drives, and the dog gets more walks than ever before in her life. Being retired is definitely handy. I feel sorry for those dependent upon work for their existence. Wife and I are "having words" now about whether I should do an Enduro ride with some friends. Traveling separately, camping separately, taking most of our own food, only getting food at a drive through (hoping someone in the kitchen didn't sneeze on it) and not touching each other, and keeping our distance when riding, cleaning hands after pumping gas, or using gloves or plastic bags on our hands, etc, etc. And wife says, "are you going to quarantine yourself for 10 days after getting back home? What if you have a wreck?" A LOT OF BIG "WHAT IF'S"!! HA! Haven't I heard somewhere that if it don't kill you, it will make you stronger?
  41. 4 points
    The wealthy, the big corporations and Wall Street are pushing hard to get everybody back to work right away. The wealthy always benefit more from everything, and this is no different. But..... the rest of us need to be pragmatic and realize we can't stay at home indefinitely. We need to slowly and judiciously start living again because it could be years before we have vaccines and cures for this. I will start going back to the open wildlife areas to take photos but I'm not planning to go to a crowded restaurant other than perhaps for one with sparse outdoor seating options. Touching contaminated surfaces and then your face is still the best way to contract the virus, and we can train ourselves to be cautious with that. A mask doesn't keep you from getting sick but it puts others at ease for some reason. Hand washing and sanitizing is still the best defense other than hiding in your home for a couple of years. For most people, hibernating is not a long term option.
  42. 4 points
    I just can't anymore. When I was going to church, there were many there (possibly everyone there) who greatly admire Donald Trump. I was regularly admonished that it is "your duty as a Christian" to support Donald Trump. If they are so blind that they can't see that Donald Trump is a bad man, I can't be part of their group. If the blind lead the blind, then both will fall into a pit. I just can't. I just can't be part of that anymore. I prayed for years that the church would see the truth, but it is just like praying to a stone. A really really deaf stone. Praying to a stone would be better because at least I can see the stone. I can't see God anywhere. My wife doesn't know and I'm not telling her. She knows I don't go to that church (or any church) anymore and she knows it is because of their blind faith in the orange gilded idiot idol. She doesn't need to know that I don't know if God exists or not. I just can't anymore. Can't anything. Also, I'm a bit depressed.
  43. 4 points
    The notion of "god's plan" is what ultimately destroyed my faith in god's plan... which might have been part of god's plan.
  44. 4 points
    I'm an RN. I feel like a leper. I'm an introvert, but I find myself wanting a damn hug. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself, but. . . .plain and simple. . . . I'm depressed.
  45. 4 points
    I retired almost 10 years ago and I don't think I'm getting any dumber.
  46. 4 points
    You are so right on MOHO!!! Those CIA keep wanting to stop my movie review or else it's Kevin Shipp and his gang. I tried to post again. There is A LOT of blank stuff in it but hope the review got stuck in there somewhere. Can't trust anyone anymore! Who really runs this ExC site and what is their agenda (sex trafficking?).
  47. 4 points
    I know I'm late to this posting but I just found you all this past weekend and am reading through as much as I can. Margee, thank you so much for the lead on Marlene Winelle - looking up her online courses will be my next step. I hope the OP was able to find the help they were looking for. This is such a tough process...
  48. 4 points
    I encounter something mind boggling every day now, but this story will probably retain first place for a long, long time. Sorry for using so many words, but it's worth the read if you like to chuckle and shake your head at the same time. Being pollen season I was sad to see that the car washes had all been closed for my protection. I'm talking about the automatic car wash, the one where you never leave your car. Never even roll down the window. Select the level of wash, insert cash or card into the kiosk and drive forward. The car goes into a track that pulls it through the automatic brushes and sprays. Never any human contact. None. I noticed a car coming out of the wash a couple of days ago so I decided to go get my pollen yellow car back to the original black color. There was a bottleneck at the entrance. A young lady was approaching each car with a tablet and after a couple of minutes the cones were removed and vehicles inched forward. The attendant came up to my window and asked if I was an "essential" worker. I asked why. She said they were only allowed to let essential workers wash their cars. She then informed me that she "wasn't the FBI and if I wanted to change my answer..." So I said, Yeah, I'm essential, just ask my wife. With that she handed me the tablet with instructions to fill out each field for the county government. They wanted name, phone, email and asked if you had been tested, etc. I just read it over and handed it back to her as I politely declined. I assured her I understood this was not her doing. I was allowed to leave without incident!!! So for everyone's safety they made everybody interact with another person through a car window rather than just let us go through like always - with zero human contact. And why can only "essential" workers get their car washed? An automatic car wash is the only place I know of where you can get service without getting near other people. Florida be crazy. Thanks for reading.
  49. 4 points
    Official Gold Stars to everyone who can continue with this. I'm getting too old and cranky to spar with some mindsets. I'll just watch from the peanut gallery. Have fun!
  50. 4 points
    Hi Georgia! I assume you just happened across an ex christian site and became intrigued. This isn't exactly the same as most atheist sites. It's atheist dominant, but from the perspective of christians who consciously made the switch to atheism, eastern philosophy, neo-paganism, or just plain independent thinker status in general. Part of that journey often includes lacking belief, for research and study oriented reasons, in things like the christian concept of god the father and son. We sometimes have people who left christianity simply out of rebellion with no strong intellectual reasoning behind it. But that seems to be the rare exception in this community. In this community, even the rebellious are generally very self educated about the theist and atheist philosophical debates, the history of monotheism, how christianity relates to world mythology and how christianity reused pagan motifs for their own purposes. And more importantly, it's very well known around here about how shaky a path it is to assume that the new testament stories are historically accurate, or even historical at all. There's little room left for belief in either (1) The Father or (2) a Messiah when all of this has been laid bare. As you can see already, this isn't a community well suited for christians to come along trying to proselytize and reconvert. Most of us are way too far beyond any of that. We know too much about the topic to fall for such things. And ultimately, it's just plain silly for anyone to come here trying to do that. But, we have this Lion's Den forum where christians are allowed and welcome to try. You can carry on if you'd like. But you've been warned of the local landscape. Have fun!

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