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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/16/2021 in Posts

  1. Hey everyone, Well I like to check in from time to time. I really should be more active but I do good to keep up with my ever changing life the past couple of years. This ones gonna be a bit of a bummer. As you all know Lady Bishop and I have had a rocky road of things, especially after I deconverted. The past two years we have dealt with major illness, deaths in the family, and of course covid 19 like everyone else. We are officially filing for divorce. Its not all because of our religious differences but its probably one of the biggest issues in recent years. It set us apart on a
    5 points
  2. It does happen, so you cannot beat yourself up too much. I do not know if it will be the same for you, but a big part of me deconverting was re-orientating myself to think differently. That does not mean I became a super skeptic and simply dismiss everything out of hand, but I did have a change in paradigm where I am only willing to exert belief, or rather, mentally commit to something probably being true if there is sufficient evidence to support it. If there is not sufficient evidence, then I do not think it warrants belief. I will give you a recent example: I kept seeing posts,
    4 points
  3. Read the Bible It was my experience that reading the four gospels in one sitting back to back to back to back is what started me down the path of deconversion. They don't mesh well, John especially. Also, go back and look at how different god is portrayed in the Old Testament v. the New. An unchanging god sure did have a change of heart. Throw down the gauntlet and force the biblical records to accord with themselves and count the number of times it requires special pleading, incredible out of context interpretations, and ask why a perfect book for salvation
    4 points
  4. "In a little while, you will have forgotten everything; in a little while, everything will have forgotten you." ~Marcus Aurelius
    4 points
  5. Did my sense of morality change when I left Christianity? In some ways yes, in some ways no. As a non-theist I no longer accept the concept of Sin, which might be defined as anything that is offensive to God. When I was a Christian if something was sinful it was wrong and if it was wrong it was sinful. Now I no longer regard as wrong many things that are generally regarded as sinful by Christians. Chief among these would be what I’d call Victimless Sins: any sexual activity involving one or more consenting adults, for example. Straight, gay or bi. To be honest, some things
    4 points
  6. This one pretends to be all "sciency" and stuff. How quaint.
    3 points
  7. I've come to believe that a lifetime monogamous relationship is an unrealistic expectation for most humans - yet Christianity (and other religions) demand it. That dictate may have served its purpose at some point in our history, but it creates anguish now for a lot of people who still aspire to it. I could go on and on about this, but I don't want to derail things. Good for you for taking a healthy step towards a happier future. I wish I was as brave!
    3 points
  8. Hey DB, glad you checked in. Hard to believe it’s been four years almost since you introduced yourself here. If I recall, your deconversion started when you looked into the historic basis for the Exodus and found it to be seriously lacking. I know that was just the start of a lot of reading and learning that led you out of Christianity and placed your deconversion on a very firm footing. The kind of firm footing that leads you to say that in spite of the pain and heartache that have been involved, you would not want to go back. I trust you will be able to say at some point that you gained
    3 points
  9. DB, I'm sure you remember my nightmare divorce followed by a nightmare engagement the following year. It's hard to see out from the pit of despair. But I was right around the corner from something better that works well and makes more sense. I would suggest that going forward you try and put the time into finding someone who has at least similar views to yourself. Open to agnosticism. Open to pantheism. Understanding the problems with organized religion. The most ideal ex christian situation, actually, are two people who are ex christians and completely understand one another's lif
    3 points
  10. An actual god would need nothing. Superstition and science, who would've thunk it?
    3 points
  11. That's why it's called the Roaming Catholic Church.
    3 points
  12. This may not be what you want to hear, but the problem I see here is your inability to accept that some people have views you strongly disapprove of. It’s one thing to be upset by the views of family members, but these are total strangers you are getting enraged at. This is not healthy, it’s corrosive to your well-being and you risk somebody punching your lights out, or running you off the road, in response to your outbursts. There are 7 billion people on this planet and many millions of them hold views that I hate. But it’s both Not My Job to change their minds and futile to
    3 points
  13. Thanks for this Pantheory. However, my prime reason for selecting the Den isn't the hope that I will find any Christians there willing to defend this argument. If they rise to challenge, fine. If they don't, no matter. Should the Mods judge my input worthy they might pin it there, waiting for any future Christians to tackle it. No, the main reason why the Den is the best place is because this argument plays a HUGE role in current Christian apologetics. Therefore, this topic is not just about science. It's about how science is used and misused
    3 points
  14. All of which means: "this makes me feel good, so I believe it". Your argument here is the exact equivalent to that which I have heard too many times: "Other believers have it wrong. Me, I've read the Bible, cover to cover, twice. I can tell you that what it really means is... " Do you believe simultaneously that the Bible is the inerrant word of God handed to us for the purpose of providing spiritual enlightenment and knowledge and at the same time believe that the true meaning is buried in allegory and double-secret deeper meaning so esoteric that only the select few
    3 points
  15. It seems Satan isn't done growing in power amongst the faithful. It's interesting how this figure is almost now the mirror image of god in power. Modern Christianity has clearly accepted a dualism theory, whether they want to claim that mantle or not.
    3 points
  16. By default, believers think that literally everyone on the planet knows that the Christian god is the only real and true god, but everyone is in rebellion against this knowledge because they prefer to sin. This is of course utterly absurd, but they don't bother to consult reality or ask people, they only go back to the cult's writings (scriptures) that tell them this concept in many ways, particularly the writings of Paul in the New Testament. He argues that even nature teaches people that Christianity is true, but failed to recognize that he had been indoctrinated since childhood in Judaism a
    3 points
  17. Excuse my interjection, but isn't Christianity without Jesus like water without the hydrogen component? Isn't the Jesus character kinda fundamental to Christianity? The whole basis of Christianity is that Jesus was Gods son who died to take away the sins of the world and save us all. Take Jesus away and you haven't got Christianity. You've got... I dunno another philosophy? Like if you take hydrogen away from water you just have oxygen left, but you can't then call that "water". St Paul and apologists alike state that without Jesus dying and rising Christianity falls apart. I agree
    3 points
  18. Hi all. I don't think I've told my story in full here, so now is as good a time as any. It's fairly long, but thank you for reading in advance and I hope it helps somebody. My Story - From a pastors kid to an atheist. Religious History I was a Christian from birth for 32 1/2 years of my life. When I was born my parents were in a non denominational church which followed the teachings of a Pentecostal (Ex Baptist) divine healing preacher. Several years after I was born my parents left the church over doctrinal disagreements and started house meetings. This continued for some yea
    3 points
  19. What is the past? The sum total of your life is this moment in time. Nothing more. You can be present, here, now, in this moment; or you can miss your life entirely trying to live in moments that are no longer yours to live. The same is true for the future.
    3 points
  20. Not easy. There's no use regretting the past, in my opinion. For me, it's about looking for the positive. I was a Christian for 60 years, most of those in Christian ministry. To illustrate .... at the end of my basic training as a soldier the corporal came into the room, sat us all down - this was going to be the time that we learned where we were to be posted - and said 'Before I read out the postings I need a volunteer to go to Aden. Ouch! I was a fundamentalist christian who strongly believed in putting others first (after god, of course!). I volunteered. I still believe that was
    3 points
  21. As a general rule, it's not always easy with family, whether it be politics, religion, or differing ideas on raising children. Dynamics do change over time, as Joshpantera has alluded; but the constant often seems to also be the toxic. It isn't, really; but human nature tends toward the negative. My own family has been through hell these past two years. Some parts have been broken; others healed. It's been painful. I've let go of a lot of the drama. The hard truth is, I can neither change nor control anyone other than myself. I can communicate my own grievances. I can set
    3 points
  22. Perhaps it is time to stop trying to help them see what you see. The conflict makes it in your face all the time. Their imaginary view of reality is something they share with others and they feel like they belong to something bigger and more important than themselves, perhaps even with inside information on the super secret invisible warfare of angels and demons blah blah blah. Scams have been successful for centuries because people want so much to believe that they have found the answer to paradise, riches, fame, sex, etc. Once people have taken the bait and are on the hook, they are the forc
    3 points
  23. No. The first step is, or should be, figuring out what to believe in so that you don't believe in the wrong shit and end up in hell anyway. Pay attention, son.
    2 points
  24. You should look into Hierophants book suggestion. This is a good learning experience, whatever the case. So you sort of believed or entertained a false prediction. So what? It happens. In the process you learned something about critical thinking. Which can apply to all aspects of life from religious, to political, philosophical, and scientific. His advise is very good. Start with evaluating the evidence. You've been burned before, that should make you more keen on not being burned again. The only thing I can add is to also use caution and not turn into a "pseudo-skept
    2 points
  25. Just do it. Not necessarily stop caring about your parents but definitely let go of the political climate. Focus on your life and making it what you want it to be. Get that better job. Get your own place. For the next two years politics has been decided. No use dwelling on it. And this is coming from a trump supporter. At least I was until he lost the election. After that I wasn't pleased. Since I no longer embrace the teachings of the Bible. As an American I embrace the constitution. You and your parents have a right to your political beliefs, values, and affiliations. Let those
    2 points
  26. well there goes to show that the simpsons are full of shit
    2 points
  27. Are you sure that offered is the right word? I need some help understanding how a rigged game contains a valid offer. Another appropriate term for a rigged game is a trick; less charitably, fraud. You should care greatly if your god has created a rigged game. These types of schemes are by design unjust. We are unsuspecting, unwitting, and unwilling participants in a game where the actual, unchanging outcome was known ahead of time and the one who set it in motion received no input from those it affects - us.
    2 points
  28. If it isn't obvious, I personally have a dark and dim view of humankind. I'm the sort who sees great beauty and even majesty in the entire spectrum of things man has achieved to drag ourselves out of the primordial ooze to the present time. Better ways to produce food and improve health-care, mechanized travel, powered flight, and making machines which can work for us to provide what we all need to live. At the same time, I see.... everything else. Some of you are just ugly creatures, by nature. (that isn't addressed to anyone here you understand...)
    2 points
  29. If god has a plan, and everything happens according to his plan, then it is not possible for humans to have free will.
    2 points
  30. Thanks Josh for drawing my attention to this thread. As we have discussed, the four function of myth proposed by Joseph Campbell – awe, reason, ritual and education – are enduring factors in human existence. My view is that these functions make religion necessary for healthy societies, but religion will evolve to become compatible with the scientific world view, and will remain an important enduring feature of social organisation as a way to convey our highest values. That means the idea of God will become more like Santa Claus, a nice story for children which everyone with a m
    2 points
  31. Boy, do I relate to this statement. Its kind of like being an evangelical atheist, though. I still engage with my brainwashed mother once in awhile, who has unfortunately influenced my kids. Unlike you, I have never been brave enough to label myself as the "A word" - with her. I did it for the first time at work and it felt like I was "coming out," a bit awkward. The responses have been anything from indifferent to incredulous. In any case, its my belief that being a good and kind human, living a joyful, confident life grateful for what we have, as well as maintaining a state of equanimi
    2 points
  32. No reason there couldn't be separate threads in two different forums. We generally don't like to waste bandwidth on duplicate threads; but having two different approaches to the arguments, as would be offered by the respective forums, might be beneficial for our ever-present but unseen audience of lurkers. Just a thought, take it for what it's worth.
    2 points
  33. Hey Josh! I may have something in the pipeline that would fulfil that brief. The fine-tuning of the universe is a much beloved argument oft used by Christian apologists and bloggers. However, I think I've detected a fatal flaw in their (mis)use of it. It was BAA's work from several years ago that started me thinking in a new direction, btw. Rather than posting the thread in the Science vs Religion area, I was wondering about putting it in the Den? (When it's ready to go, that is.) The reason being that this argument is a
    2 points
  34. Christian Chat, I’m afraid I can’t detect your point. You quote 2 Cor 5:16, but is your aim to say that Christ existed or did not? The verse considered in isolation just suggests that literal historicism was a mistake that Paul and his readers have replaced with a purely spiritual understanding. The most informative writer I have encountered on these topics is Earl Doherty, who provides a systematic analysis of the Pauline epistles against the heuristic that Christ was invented. I encourage all to read Doherty’s great essay Christ As "Man": Does Paul Speak of Jesus as an Histori
    2 points
  35. In discussing with a friend and thinking about it, if someone wants to, he can rationalize anything. Especially in trance states these " prophets" are often in. When/if not just blatantly bullshitting, I think their brain slips into a trance dream state. I once heard than dopamine in excess can produce visions. The belief system/practices of some forms of Christianity can, espevially for people with an already overactive imagination, bring them to visions. It is like some people have a natural sensitivity to carbs, and they get fat easily with naturall full grain sourdough bread, and others ca
    2 points
  36. This has actually come up a lot over the years. Many people find themselves more moral after backing out of christianity. And that makes a lot of sense. Because we don't have a sense of feeling like repenting to an imaginary being washes away transgressions anymore. You're stuck with what you do. It doesn't wash away. You have to live with yourself. And live with how others perceive you and your actions. The other issue is that much of what christians think of as immoral, really isn't. And what they failed to perceive as immoral, actually is immoral. We could be talking about cons
    2 points
  37. I have similar problems, except they don't outright ask me - it's more passive aggressive. "We miss you in church". "Well if you came to church you'd hear about xyz" And so on - this is after 5 years, many discussions, and a firm understanding that I don't buy into their crap. I haven't tried this, but if I get pushed far enough I will. When asked why don't you believe in Jesus have you ever thought of responding with "Well lets sit down and I'll tell you why your fairy tale is utter bullshit? I am certain that after 10 minutes they will not ask you ever again. There's stuff they d
    2 points
  38. I wouldn't be doing it over without a theological belief, but with the belief I have now I would have done a lot of things differently. It was through a church-related job that I eventually got the job I have now, which I've had for years and which is very good, so it's hard for me to say that I'd have been better off without taking that church-related turn in life. Still, my present philosophy would have made me take a different stance on some things, making myself----and possibly others----less miserable.
    2 points
  39. Forgive me if I am being redundant, but I like to boil things down to their simplest common denominator. Isn't it possible that Jesus existed, believed he was the son of god because he was conditioned to believe that, felt compelled to do what he could to better mankind, was a bright, charismatic young man who studied religion and philosophy, possibly under the Essenes, and preached the wisdom of those who proceeded him, which in simple form is the golden rule? Concern for "WE", as opposed to "ME". Why couldn't a movement be started based simply on the wisdom of the ages, very
    2 points
  40. I do have a few regrets, mostly decisions rooted in being brainwashed with Christianity. I was bitter about it for a while, but I was able to move past that and just try to live the best life I can now. Sure, I still occasionally wonder how life would've gone if I'd done some things differently, and I can't help but think that in some ways I'd be better off, but don't dwell on it, and I also realize that I have it better than most people throughout history. I try to keep that in perspective.
    2 points
  41. It will be neither good nor bad. It will simply be.
    2 points
  42. Yeah, I've hit the point where I've realized I dwell far too much on these imaginary future conversations between actual conversations we have about these topics. I'm going to have to spend some time "reprogramming" what I think about, I think. Maybe when it gets warmer and the pandemic situation gets a little better I'll get lost in nature a little more. It's rough, because... I mean I was a die-hard Christian for 25 years, and knowing the way my mind works I'm always like... trying to decrypt how I finally pulled myself out of it so I can feed those thoughts back through my fr
    2 points
  43. I don’t think it’s a waste of time to have regrets. As long as we don’t DWELL on the past, using regret to change direction makes sense. I suspect a narcissist like a major politician I know has few if any regrets about anything.
    2 points
  44. I’d suggest there is more wisdom in the surviving writings of Marcus Aurelius than in the Bible and Quran combined.
    2 points
  45. There are two points from this article that deserve further inspection. And multiverse theories do not eliminate fine-tuning; the multiverse would still need some parameters to be fine-tuned to produce fruitful universes. This is false. Throw a bucket of coins into the air often enough and eventually all of them will land face up. There is no fine tuning or design involved in this result. The exponential multiplication of universes caused by inflation is more than adequate to produce many, many life-friendly universes. No fine-tuning needed, thank you very much!
    2 points
  46. You really need to stop worrying about "saving" anybody. Just do your best to live your own life, free of hindrances, especially religious ones. You can still pall around with family if you want, but you probably shouldn't do it too often.
    2 points
  47. Yes. Thank you. I discovered it is one episode of a string of videos regarding world religions. I watched a couple more and found them very interesting and informative. And they aren't new, I just hadn't heard of them. Some interesting tidbits; Australian Aborigines creation myth is more in line with the big bang theory. Hindu story has the creation of physical world before the creation of gods. And I had never made the connection before regarding reincarnation, but Hinduism is more human-being friendly. Instead of going to heaven or hell at death, you
    2 points



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