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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/19/2020 in Posts

  1. 7 points
    I was engaged to a christian once. It didnt work out... Also, she was psycho.
  2. 7 points
    My moment of clarity came while watching a documentary aboard a plane. The documentary was on the Greek gods. Stories I've read many times before. A documentary I've probably seen before. But for some reason, on this flight, I was suddenly struck with the realization that my God was no different than any of the other Greek gods. But why did it click this particular time? I've been thinking about that question. Here's what I came up with. First of all, I don't think it was as sudden as it seemed. It was more like opening a new pickle jar. You struggle, adjust your grip, tap the lid, double down on your grip and eventually it suddenly opens. The process is slow and difficult. There's nothing really sudden about it. So in simple bullet points, I'm going to try to list those things that worked on loosening my jar (so to speak). I course questioned many things as a child. It's hard to believe in my current reality, but I am naturally inquisitive and sceptical. However, there was some point where I stopped critically question my faith and the Church. These bullets will start about ten years ago when I went from a delighted devout Catholic to something different. The first crack was when I asked myself the question, "If Christ welcomed everyone, why did we have a closed Communion?" I met and friended several gay people. They were all awesome. Not a one was an evil person. I spent hours debating the Bible with one a lesbian friend. She was an ex-Christian due to the way she was treated because of her homosexuality. After that summer, I began to struggle reconciling my church's teachings with my own sensibilities and notion of love. I sought out spiritual direction to help me with my inability to "reconcile my inside world with the outside world." I converted to Orthodoxy in hope of finding peace. Obama became president and I saw Christians accuse him of being a Muslim, a non-citizen, wearing a tan suit, and putting fancy mustard on his hamburger. Then Trump was elected. I saw Christians throw away everything I thought they held dear just to elect a Republican. ThisChristians began to say Trump was sent by God. The previous two points helped me begin to see that Christianity was more about building boxes and walls and ways to say "we're good because we're not one of them" than actually living like Christians. It was an old boys club. I saw the divisions within Orthodoxy...divisions based on culture, race, and politics. Moscow stopped recognizing the EP, and so on. I converted back to Catholicism in hope of finding peace. Discussions with a good friend (an atheist) helped me begin to see that even my special brand of Christianity shared similar origins to the others. He also helped me see how religion can be a harmful force and how the recent election proved it. Rational thinking was replaced with mob thinking. My son told me he didn't believe in God because "It just doesn't make sense." I put on a documentary about the Greek gods. Pickle jar opened. It seems clear to me now that I was, for those ten years, unsettled because I was trying to do the impossible. I was trying to reconcile rational thinking with religious belief.
  3. 5 points
    It's been a coupe of months since my last update, I figured I would fill everyone on current happenings. Something that I deemed a lost cause occurred, I've shared this with some of you one on one but I've never made a post about it. When I first deconverted 7 1/2 years ago, I had an atheist friend who'm I could be as open and intellectually honest about any topic. The taste of mental freedom that she gave me was a major factor towards my loss of faith and for that I'll always be grateful. However, due to the the worst aspects of my nature (that many of you no doubt have experienced) combined with my "angry atheist" phase drove her away and she never wanted to speak to me again. She is a resolute person and this was all but inevitable and final. Though I got over it and moved on to other like minded individuals, it is something that had lingered in the back of my conscience for years. Due to some unlikely circumstances, I was in fact able to reconnect with her and slowly start to rebuild that friendship. I will say, forgiveness by someone you care about especially years after it weighing on you feels much better than what god ever offered when confessing my "sins". The message I want to get across is hold yourself to a higher standard in how you treat people you care about. You may not get the same opportunity that I did and it's easy to lash out at everyone when you're in an angry period in your life. I look in disgust at the type of person that I've been over the last few years, seeking conflict just for the sake of conflict, being unyielding in my views. Inner peace has taken over since I've abandoned that. Furthermore, I've discovered that life seems more meaningful when I help others. It doesn't have to be some grand cause or anything, small acts of kindness here and there. These can be listening to someone and give advice while sticking with them through a difficult period. It can also be using your abilities and talents to help them and in term, they will help you. This is the way it should be, it is far more fulfilling than coming home from work and just indulge in selfish pleasures/pursuit night after night. Maybe I'm just incoherently typing sentences at this point so I think I'll stop. This is where my life and thoughts are at the moment.
  4. 4 points
    Slavery is fine, menstruation not so much. Genocide is fine, and so is rape, but not prostitution. Telling pagan priests that their god should defend himself against blasphemy makes sense, but then slaughtering those priests in the name of Yahweh somehow makes sense and isn't hypocrisy. Having goats mate in front of stripped bark to make them striped isn't witchcraft because we said so. Building a tower that reaches high into the sky really pisses off the almighty creator of stars and galaxies, even though he didn't say not to, and even though we build skyscrapers and fly airplanes and spacecraft today with no language difficulties. Eating pork also makes him angry, because he doesn't want to compete with bacon (he would SO lose). It's a cult, built on old tribal taboos, and carries ooga-booga threats that modern people still fear as real, despite truckloads of real evidence that show it is just another cult. It should have no influence on our society and laws, but is still given default respect and honor instead of being laughed at and ridiculed openly. I think it is because Judaism still has such a huge following here, and if you've never seen the Hasidic believers parade in their gang affiliation garb based on minutiae of interpretations of tribal taboos, you've missed how completely stupid otherwise intelligent people can be.
  5. 4 points
    Good luck but it appears to be a losing battle and here's why in my opinion: in America the Christian religion is still seen as the "norm," in particular among white people, a great many of whom have an interesting take on American history: that they and their norms (white Protestant middle class) are what makes America great, and that anything different (and true equality with others) is dangerous. Trumpism involves white evangelicals much more than black and for a good reason. I just watched The Great White Hoax, which examines why divide and conquer has worked in America historically, and why it's working now. Under such a system, how do you create change? Tell the people who their enemies are and the uneducated, dissatisfied, ignorant ones (there's a lot of them) will run with it, in particular when they are religious. It all explains why the current leader of the White House is where he is and why secret organizations such as The Family are rejoicing in that. The way I see it is that Americans are involved in an ongoing battle about what it means to be American: progressive multiethnic multi-religious, diverse society of equal rights and privilege (many whites refuse to see how white privilege operates) vs some version of a white Protestant 1950s style America as normative, that in it's most dangerous form is explicitly racist and has no shame about it. One only needs to watch Trumps campaign speeches from the last election to figure out which side of this battle he has appealed to.
  6. 4 points
    Just wanted to give a little update. The therapy and medication is definitely helping me stay positive. The intrusive religious thoughts seem to be getting less frequent and extreme. Unfortunately, I just had an argument about religion with my sister. The conversation started with us just trying to understand each other and get along better, but it ended up turning to religion. I tried really hard to be respectful, but she started using the same tired old apologist excuses, and it just went downhill from there. It would be really nice to get along with her better, I just don't know. Religious fundamentalists genuinely freak me out. On the plus side, I didn't have a major panic attack after the conversation like I would have before I started therapy. That does not change the fact that I still have a really strong negative reaction towards religion.
  7. 4 points
    Although it helps, life is more than excitement and entertainment. We need to feel worthwhile. That takes each person doing something that helps them feel worthwhile. And being around people that contribute to the feeling. Others can help you in the process, but no One can give it to you. What do you have to offer to the world that would help you feel worthwhile? Helping people leave oppressive beliefs on this forum helps me feel worthwhile. Giving my kids and grandkids a good foundation to build their lives on helps with the feeling. But I can't give it to them. They have to complete the building themselves to feel a sense of accomplishment, and being worthwhile. And it takes more than just feeding your own wants. You do not leave yourself behind, but it takes getting outside of self and doing what you can to make this a better world to live in. What do I do for excitement and entertainment? Ride an Enduro motorcycle across country off road, or on back roads. Look "outside the box". Find something you are good at and enjoy. Even if others think it is crazy, like my wife and some relatives, GET OUTSIDE THE BOX OF YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES. Use good judgement, but take what others want you to do with a grain of salt. By the way, you may never consider it, but riding isnt just for men. I occasionally ride with 2 women who are in their 50s. I am telling you this because the your options are almost limitless. But you will have to open your mind and get off the couch to find them.
  8. 4 points
    A few days ago I engaged a believer in another guy's thread on FB. He kept repeating how they were ready for a revolution, a violent one they were willing to die in to protect their freedoms, how they are well armed and will protect those rights. I called him out on his violent attitude and lack of love, saying he was playing right into Putin's hands by wanting America in a civil war. He replied "Violent? I never said anything about violence. Putin? You people are weak." I replied with line after line of his statements about armed conflict, killing, and dying. Then I said "Those are your own words. You seem far more interested in shooting someone than in loving your neighbor." He actually toned down a lot after that, but a lot of believers across the country have become militarized since the 1980s. They see it as reclaiming their "heritage" of the pure white days of prophets Ozzie and Harriet (that was sarcasm, but they really do have a view of America that is idealized and idolized). They WANT someone to take a shot at the president to justify unleashing a bloody civil war against everyone that isn't like them. They WANT violence, not caring for the poor and needy. They eat up old testament stories of God giving victory in battles. They ignore all the words of Jesus in favor of stories like those. The military has strong groups of evangelicals that force recruits into church activities, and you won't get promoted without belonging to the cult. That is why the current president is their wet dream of power, boldness, brashness, acting more like a king than an elected representative. They worship a dictator king who demands absolute obedience, not that they give it other than what they want to give. But the power...they get off on the power. On the flip side, there are millions of us that want things exactly not like what they want, we look forward to the next election and hope that it isn't already too rigged. But my hunch is that if he retains power, we are on the brink of a new kind of fascism with all the tech in their control. The Oregon Republicans openly refuse to even allow a vote on subjects they hate. They literally get up as a group and leave the building, driving into the next state to prevent a quorum. Fucking cowards. Expect that in the federal level if they lose the next election. If they lose widely enough, it won't matter if they leave. It may devolve into violence and renewed open hatred of those who are different. The shot heard round the world could just as easily be at the dems, giving the right a signal to "go". Most days it all feels like we are pawns watching our people being ruined by those in power, and only being given a facade of choice, and the useful idiots who think Jesus is behind it all will push a crackdown on all the "witches and fags" who bringing god's judgment on us, and themselves as the warriors of GAWD upon whom he smiles. I suppose it's possible that there could be a hat-trick and the people at large get fed up with the shitstorm of corruption and do something about it daily. I hope that is still possible.
  9. 3 points
    If an idea has worth, it does so on the merit of the idea. Whether or not it ever passed the lips of someone called Yeshua is utterly irrelevant.
  10. 3 points
    This is very good. I think that's how it should be framed at christians and other people who try and repeat the tired mantra's of claiming that without god, there's no reason not to go around raping and murdering until your hearts content. It's foolish for very specific reasons. And those reasons boil down to natural selection and it's shaping of human social interaction and the rise of moral codes and standards - such as things like, "thou shalt not kill." That literally exists because some guy wrote it down in the bible. Some guy wrote it down in the bible because it had already become a standard of social interaction and he documented it in writing. It had become a standard of social interaction because it's beneficial to the survival of the species not to go around murdering each other. Natural selection is at the base of it, not a supernatural god who is all good. There's plenty of evidence for natural selection but not for a supernatural god.
  11. 3 points
    One difference between a Christian and someone who has never been one, is the never-been-one doesn't really think about purpose. At least I didnt...nor do I now (as an Ex-c). I was brought up as agnostic and to just enjoy the present moment. That's all we really have. You can certainly make goals for yourself if you are a goal-oriented person... If you deny this life's enjoyment in favor of some vague afterlife, then I think you're missing the point of being alive (personal opinion of course). ... Does being atheist mean you can't have an afterlife? Maybe there is a godless afterlife. I wouldn't stress too much about it, though.
  12. 3 points
    You'd think that god would tell us beforehand who was going to do this, and actually protect the child. But no magic...
  13. 3 points
    I dont know about other branches of the US military but you have to take a test in the Air Force to promote through the enlisted ranks past E4. E1 thru E4 are just time-in-service promotions. My son who separated as an E5 three years ago didnt seem to mention Jesus. Granted, there are churches on military bases and there are definitely factions of high ranking evangelicals and I bet there are even some people 'pretending' to be evangelicals to get some good performance reports from their evangelical boss.
  14. 3 points
    Why was life more exciting? I think you need to examine why. What emotional high did xtianity give you? Did you leave socially as well if all your friends were xtian and that is part of it? Did it affect your relationship with your family? These things can be replaced with other enriching things, it takes time, energy and perseverance and most of all awareness of what is missing in your life and a plan to improve it.
  15. 3 points
    Wow Wertbag. How freighting coming suddenly from out of the blue for such a young person and then that prognosis with possibly only a few weeks left, so unfair! I'm very very sorry to hear this and wish there was something do or say. I hope you are able to enjoy this last bit of time with your brother and the closeness this kind of situation can bring with your family and friends. Thank you for the updates and for generally keeping us in the loop. Like all the others here I wish you the best possible in this difficult emotional time.
  16. 3 points
    In this post I want to explore in a bit more detail the question of how epistemic truth is generated. Recall that the axioms I started out with include the assumption of consciousness (I am capable of thought, as are you). As these are axioms, they are assumed without proof. However, I think that the assumption of consciousness is self-justifying in a way. I mention this because there are those who maintain that consciousness does not really exist at all, and that it is merely an illusion (Daniel Dennett comes to mind). This seems inconsistent to me for the simple fact that if consciousness is an illusion, then it consciously seems to me that I am conscious. But if it consciously seems to me that I am conscious, then I am conscious. I must be conscious if anything at all is to consciously seem to me to be the case. So the admission of the very possibility of illusions precludes the possibility that consciousness might be one. Or at least so it seems to me. So we are conscious. We've seen so far that this fact, together with the fact that the natural world exists, allows us to form beliefs, generate knowledge, and even create truth. There is a crucial point here, though, that I want to emphasize: we are only able to create epistemic truth because of the existence of underlying brute facts about the world. Again, we assumed axiomatically that the natural world exists and that things in the natural world have definite properties etcetera. It follows directly from this assumption that ontological truth exists. In order to get to epistemic truth, however, we also require consciousness. Fortunately that we are conscious itself seems to be an ontological truth. A question which remains is whether consciousness, together with the assumption of ontological truth, is sufficient to explain epistemic truth, or whether something more is required. When I first developed the notion of epistemic truth in this thread, I relied on the existence of language. It seems to me to be fairly straightforward that language is required for epistemic truth, but I think more than even just consciousness and language are required. Epistemic truth exists at the level of societies. Therefore, if we are to really explain how epistemic truth comes about, we will first need to explain how societies come about. In order to do this, I think we need to develop the idea of collective intentionality. Collective intentionality is a term that was coined by John Searle around 1990, but the idea is not a new one. Intentionality is the ability of a mind to be directed at something. If I think about going to Walmart, my thoughts have intentional content: I am thinking about something (going to Walmart). If you also happen to be thinking about going to Walmart at the same time, then our thoughts have roughly the same intentional content. However, our intentions to go to Walmart are separate in this example. Clearly we don't intend to engage in the joint action of going to Walmart. I intend to go and you intend to go, but our intentions are seperate. Suppose, however, that I call you on the phone and we make a plan to go to Walmart together. This is clearly different from the previous situation. We now not only both have the same intention, but we specifically intend it together. This is a simple example of collective intentionality. Once we have language and collective intentionality, we can do all kinds of things. We can form social groups, hierarchies and classes, governments, laws, and so on and so forth. This has direct bearing on the question of how epistemic truth is created. I've been saying all along in this thread that the fact that money is valuable is a matter of epistemic truth. It is; however, it is not the case that for any one person to think that it is valuable is sufficient to make it true. Collective intentionality is required. When enough people collectively believe that money is valuable, then it really is valuable. I want to be very careful to point out that there are limits to the power of collective intentionality to generate truth. If we all collectively believed that the earth was flat, it would not become flat. That it is round is a matter of ontological truth. However, we have seen that epistemic truth can become ontological truth over time. That Washington was president of the United States is an ontological truth. It's a matter of historical fact. It wouldn't matter if everyone stopped believing that he used to be president. But that Donald Trump is president now is an epistemic truth. If everyone stopped believing it, it would no longer be true. So collective intentionally today can generate epistemic truth today, and ontological truth in the future, but it can't generate just any ontological truth. There remain certain brute facts which simply in no way depend on intentionally, collective or otherwise. I want to look at the problem of free-will at some point, but that's all I have time for right now.
  17. 3 points
    Me too. He wasn't a bad sort. Sure people got frustrated with him, but seriously is there any Christian that we won't get frustrated by? Most of us have probably been hearing arguments over and over depending with how much interest we follow the 'god debate'. But many of these Christians have never studied the arguments for and against and think that this is the first time we've heard about how their personal experience proves god. I can't remember the last time I heard a Christian argument and thought "well that's completely new". Even 'new' sounding ones are often rehashes of older ones. Most of them break down into one of the major fallacies. (God of the gaps, incredulity, ignorance etc)
  18. 3 points
    I'd say one is a product of the logical mind making a conclusion, the other is the product of the survival mind and is a product of programming. I never realized how separate they were until this last summer when I started having anxiety attacks (PTSD) based on the behavior of a neighbor acting oddly and then aggressively. I had to spend weeks trying to understand why I was reacting so strongly to something that in reality was just an annoyance, not a run-or-be-killed situation. I realized eventually that I had been raised with a single solution to any such situation: shoot her. Not that we ever did, but my family wasn't the most functional and mature folks. We loved firearms and had plenty, and loved Rambo and Terminator type films. The solution to any issue of an "enemy" was then to shoot them. Again, we never did, but that was the programmed response verbally and emotionally. I've been around long enough to know that shooting is only valid if I am in clear and present mortal danger. The neighbor was just being aggressively noisy with her music, sometimes at 3am just to annoy me. Not a threat at all, but I really had no emotional training to deal with it. So my emotional basic mind responded with "I have to shoot her, but I can't do that. I'm trapped, therefore must flee the danger." It really came down to that stupid conclusion. But I reacted with full body shaking terror anytime I heard her subwoofer. Then at work, even an HVAC system turning on had a low thrum sound that I'd react to that. I was stuck in fear by a part of my mind that was trying its best to protect me from perceived danger. It took weeks of purposefully examining the situation with my logical mind, talking to my primitive mind that was in terror, every time I'd hear something that triggered me. I'd ask it "Is this danger, or just an annoyance?" and wait for a response. Over and over again. It eventually learned through repetition that this was just an annoying thing, not a real danger. I taught myself a new response and got to the point where subwoofer sounds were easy to ignore, and I stopped being triggered. The mind really is segmented more than we usually realize, but the pieces can work together through training it. The same sort of thing is true of those who have an irrational fear of hell. It makes no logical sense, but the terror is quite real and will remain so until the mind is taught to see through repetition that it isn't a real danger. I've read articles that say this is backed up by current knowledge of how the amygdala learns. So yes, one can be an atheist and still have fear of hell, and that fear can be overcome through purposeful confrontation of the triggers and re-training the amygdala to see that it was lied to originally and that there is nothing to fear.
  19. 2 points
    As a behavioral and social scientist I have mulled over this concept for years. Here is where I am at this time in my life. The words attributed to Jesus, "love your neighbor as yourself", (a.k.a. the Golden Rule, predating him by centuries) is a valid "truth", or philosophy, recognized by ancient thinkers, that is the "salvation" of humanity. Salvation, meaning the maximizing of human wellbeing, not a home in an afterlife. It is found through a balance of concern for self and others. Loving (taking care of) self, and doing what we can to help others do the same. A concern about WE. Not just ME. When we lose that balance, we have problems. Yes, there are times when it comes down to survival of self, but we are social creatures and need each other. We need that balance. For me, that is a valid "spirituality" for today. Comments?
  20. 2 points
    Thanks for sharing your story and particularly this aspect of your story regarding the more significant events that led to your realization of disbelief. You ran into some very independent thinking friends along the way whose opinions you allowed to have weight which is to your credit. I'm so glad your son's admission of not believing didn't make you feel like you needed to dig in your heels and become all the more christian in response. So many families are torn apart when children don't buy into their parents beliefs. With time I think you will be much more comfortable with this choice of not believing (I know I am) because it does not take effort and you are free to spend the time you previously dedicated to making christianity seem plausible and functioning to moving forward with life and discovering our world and our lives as they actually are playing out. It does seem to me that in this case you have to work so long and so hard to open that pickle jar only to discover that there aren't any pickles inside. That's the true story of christianity of course. It's really good to have you here and thanks for leaving those much appreciated responses like the one above.
  21. 2 points
    Yes. We would also know that he is a she
  22. 2 points
    This one time I had a really big onus on me but my brother saw it and whacked it with a two by four. Knocked out three of my teeth, it did. They was all rotted anyway. That's when we lived in the cabin.
  23. 2 points
    Hey, @AcrobaticDetective, Thanx for posting your extimony. It's helpful, not only to the poster, but for those who might read this and realize they are not the only ones who see tones of B.S. in the doctrine and how man has utilized religion throughout history, to control the masses. Yes, it is scary to see how politicians exploit religious fever. It's also scary to see how they exploit hatred of anyone who has more than they (the voters) do and how replacing one form of nationalism with another will resolve all issues. I understand your quest to find peace. I was raised LDS and, feeling anxiety over it's exclusionary rules, looked to the charismatic Christian religion to try to find peace. Then we jumped head long into an exclusionary flavor of fundamentalist xanity here in Oregon that immediately turned me off. Mrs MOHO, however, found home with these people. I expressed a desire to find a more welcoming and open church and what came next helped me to realize that it there were, in fact, a number of differing versions of the religion. Mrs. MOHO said "You had better find a church and version of xanity that you can live with!" Waite! What ?! Anyway, story on it's own. Thanx again for the post. - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)
  24. 2 points
    I agree Josh, and thanks for posting this. The main reason I started (and am carrying on with) this thread was to try to present a completely a-theistic, and accessible, account of as many common crucial philosophical issues as possible. I've reached a point in my own journey where discussing Christianity as such is just boring to me. It's just obviously incorrect. Still, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered from an ex-Christian point of view. My goal in this thread has been to try to present a framework from which an ex-Christian will be able to answer many, if not most, Christian objections. The issue of morality is one that was particularly important to me in my initial deconversion, in no small part because of the arguments of WLC (and CS Lewis as well). @WalterP has basically destroyed Craig's cosmological argument. I think that what I've presented here, together with my previous morality thread, essentially dispenses with his moral argument. If so, that's two of his five favorite arguments which have been soundly refuted. I'm hoping that members here will find this to be of some value.
  25. 2 points
    What about the purpose of living life to the fullest, having as much fun as possible while you're alive, and being the best person you can be, just because?
  26. 2 points
    But, unfortunately, not in the House or Senate. It could be argued that the Speaker of the House and the Senate leader have more power than the president. Yes, the pres has the nuclear codes but lots of other kinds of damage can be caused by the legislature.
  27. 2 points
    I didn't know where else to put this to get the most attention. If you are interested in the separation of church and state, you need to be aware of this "movement". They are the ones who put on the NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST each year, and are viewed by many, especially some Evangicals, to be God sent. They are very powerful and have the ears of some of the most powerful people in the world. In the name of Jesus, they are out to take the world for God. They are backing Trump and are determined to make the USA a christian nation under God. For an interesting overview of how they got started, the tactics they use, and just how powerful they are, watch the Netflix, 5 part series, THE FAMILY. There is also a book by the same name written by Jeff Sharlet. It is much more detailed than the Netflix series. They are a very shrewd, sly, group, and masters at flying under the radar. They are male, authoritarian oriented, and initation of young men is by invitation only, and remind me of initation into elite fraternities and the Marines. They believe they have been called by God, and are totally committed to their version of "Jesus." They have studied the leadership tactics of powerful people, including Hitler, and say God had used imperfect men through the ages to accomplish his goals. Trump comes to mind. They are to be feared!! Their tactics are very effective.
  28. 2 points
    I'm glad I exited a belief system that was chronically worked up over some future apocalypse. At least, I think I did . lol.
  29. 2 points
    What Fuego writes is, I think, very true. I just saw the movie 1917, and the line that stands out most in my mind is when one of the soldiers said, "Some men just want to fight."
  30. 2 points
    Here's one of the local GOP extreme Christian terror supporters: https://www.columbian.com/news/2020/feb/20/legislator-suspended-from-republican-caucus-to-emcee-local-gop-event/ And a link to his manifesto of Biblical war: https://www.spokesman.com/documents/2018/oct/25/biblical-basis-war/
  31. 2 points
    Many prisoners who get released find a way to go back to prison. The issue is that they got so used to the regimentation they never had to make and choices or decisions on their own. It's too big a transition for some people to make without professional help. I see many people who leave the church in the same situation; Who will tell me what to do? Who will tell me the approved activities? Who will tell me what to think? If you can't handle the sudden freedom and autonomy and are overwhelmed by having unlimited choices, perhaps some professional help is indicated. It's not a unique situation. Good luck.
  32. 2 points
    I have had the same thoughts. I just finished the book, and except for being too detailed in some places, it appears well researched. I highly recommend it. The latter part of it is about the Evangelicals in general, which I found very interesting. Some on the far right are really scary, believing the ends justify the means. It helped me understand why some professed Christians are so militaristic, and some back Trump. And how they so easily forgive their fallen leaders. One thing we can do is to push for teaching critical thinking in our education systems, a broad (liberal) education, and fight school vouchers. They are big on indoctrination of children. And part of their manifest destiny is to get rid of unbelievers.
  33. 2 points
  34. 2 points
    That is the attitude of the bible god towards his people as well. And it helps explain why many believers are unwilling to even question. They fear that God will hurt them for questioning. https://articles.exchristian.net/2009/07/god-of-abuse.html
  35. 2 points
    Biblical Submission is indeed abuse. Wives must submit to their husbands in EVERYTHING. No exceptions Including beatings, rape, and emotional abuse. Wives must even submit to non believing husband's. He has all authority and say so. No where in the Bible does it say abused wives can divorce abusive husband's. Just read about poor abused abigail. She is respected by Bible thumpers for putting up with her husbands abuse like a saint. If the wife is not submissive enough beat her into submission. Or if the wife is being abused she should rejoice! For she is taking up her cross and is suffering for Christ like an abused slave would to his or her owner! The LORDS fist is poised and ready to strike. They all cower. They have become like women. Christ is the husband of the church. Christ disciplines those he loves. So can human husband's discipline his wife! The Bible condones violence against women period. Lots daughters. Judges 11 and 19. All the raping, pillaging, taking wives of enemies. https://www.gotquestions.org/wives-submit.html https://biblehub.com/1_peter/3-6.htm https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+25&version=NIV&interface=amp https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/association-of-biblical-counselors/abused-wives-called-to-suffer.html https://biblehub.com/matthew/16-24.htm https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+5%3A3-5&version=ESV Matthew 5: 1-11 https://www.openbible.info/topics/the_bride_of_christ https://biblehub.com/revelation/3-19.htm https://biblehub.com/nlt/isaiah/5-25.htm https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+51%3A30-32&version=NLT&interface=amp These verses supports violence against women too. https://biblehub.com/judges/19-24.htm https://biblehub.com/nlt/isaiah/19-16.htm https://www.christianity.com/bible/bible.php?q=Judges+11&ver=nlt https://www.christianity.com/bible/bible.php?q=Judges+19&ver=nlt Sorry for the long read.
  36. 2 points
    Well freedwoman, I'll start by throwing in my 2 cents for what it's worth. Lol What you posted is very true, unfortunately. The bible was written by men for men. That's the way it was. Because of their physical strength, they thought they were superior. All of the books lead us to the conclusion that women’s voices were silenced and unwanted by this superior man society. We were the inferior species (according to Genesis, we were just a mans 'helper') and these powerful men could do what they wanted including having concubines and basically doing what they chose. For instance, take the Adam and Eve account, the story of the concubine raped and killed by the Benjaminites, and other 'texts of terror' for women, there are glimpses of women being blamed, raped, and killed throughout the 'holy book'. The male authors of these stories typically show little or no compassion. And now in 2020, the famous saying goes, 'women’s rights are human rights'. Women are entitled to all of the same rights as a man. But still, almost everywhere around the world, women and girls are still denied them, often simply because of their gender and religion. Woman have been fighting for a long time to get these rights. Lots of woman have died trying to free woman. For some men and woman it has caused 'war' between the sexes. I believe it's why tons of relationships don't work anymore. Woman are speaking up, not afraid to leave a bad relationship and are becoming independent knowing that we can now in this day and age, make it on our own. Lots of men are happy for us and lots still aren't. I don't blame men for any of this.Things have just really started to change for woman in the last hundred years. Hopefully men will evolve alongside the woman. I understand that some woman have taken it too far and are actually man haters now. This causes it's own set of problems. My hope is for us all to learn from one another. Most men are (mostly) logical but can also be emotional.... and most woman are (mostly) emotional but can also be logical. We can't help that either. Study the brains of men and woman.The brains are different. We are both men and woman 'wired' differently. Neither can you men help that you are physically stronger than us and have a stronger sexual desire to populate the world. Most woman lose this after baby making time. It is what it is. Blame god.. Hopefully, we can all talk to each other, evolve and learn what it's like being a woman and what it like being a man without any dynamite blowing us both up. Lol
  37. 2 points
    Hi ZenPaladin. Glad that you are back and doing therapy to improve your life. Zimba is a taker and doesn't seem to have ever been capable of being a friend worth having. I'm sorry you got into that relationship when you were too young and inexperienced to realize what was happening but good for you to have started looking out for yourself. Stay on this good path you are now traveling down and I'm sure your future will be much brighter. I'm sorry for all the trouble you're going through but really glad to hear your doing what you can to protect yourself from Zimba.
  38. 2 points
    Thank you for the welcome! Yeah, the subtle lies about contributing to the church are some of my favorites. Worse than tithing, I think, is how the church goes about doing charity. Particularly the LDS. There is always a horrible string attached that doesn't exist in other well-meaning non-profit charities. My folks had a rough time recently and they had to get grocery and bill help from the church. To the church's credit, they pulled my parents fat out of the proverbial fire, but only after making my Army Veteran and "never been unemployed a day in his life" take "Self-Reliance Classes". In theory the idea could actually work. Giving a fishing pole rather than a fish, so to speak. But my father is one of the most responsible men I know and a man with a back-breaking work ethic and yet because he got screwed over by capitalism when he was unceremoniously laid off the church seems to think he has done something wrong. And worse yet? They have my dad believing it. I tried to tell him that he has done an amazing job and he's all "no I should have done this or that" and it's garbage. It's subtle guilt-tripping and mind-control and in so many words is basically a way to get people to think they need the church and they need God to be happy and successful. And when my folks are back on their feet? 10% of their income, before taxes, goes straight back to the church. This. Is. Not. Charity. It is an investment. When I was going through my own rough patch (which has been basically my entire adult life in financial terms buts let's just focus on the last two years, lol) they tried to get me to do the same, knowing that I was no longer a member. I adamantly refused because I knew what it would entail. Frankly, I'd rather be living out of my car eating ramen packets than getting help from the church and I, like my father, have never been unemployed except for a brief five-week window when I was laid of from my tech support job (the entire business went under). That rant went places I wasn't expecting, lol. Back to your last paragraph, I really appreciate the kindness you have shown. I consider myself reasonably intelligent, but that mostly manifests in being able to admit when I'm too uninformed about a particular topic. As far as life experience, well I have my own batch of experiences as everybody does and we all process this world of ours in different ways. Makes us special in a way. But enough platitudes, lol. Thank you!
  39. 2 points
    @Wertbag! I just read about your brother. (Been inactive for a couple months). I am very sorry to hear this. At least he has a caring brother in his time of need.
  40. 2 points
    Hell is basically a form of religious trauma. Imagine being taught from a young age to be afraid of going to literally the worst place imaginable for minor mistakes and being routinely told that if you ever lose your faith you will definitely go there. And with it being something that we won't know with 100% certainty until after we die, it remains untestable. I consider fear of Hell to be an irrational phobia that comes from this trauma. It's not something we can control. You could liken it to otherwise rational people who have a mild fear of ghosts or the supernatural but I would argue it's actually closer to people who get out of abusive relationships and still have night terrors about their abuse. Anybody who says "you can't be an atheist if you still fear hell" might not be operating with that same level of psychological abuse that religion brings. While the intent is probably not malicious, I would say the statement smacks of telling somebody they should be ashamed of their emotions. I sometimes have the fear of Hell, but the truth is for me it is just the fear of nonbeing and the unknown of what, if anything, comes beyond death masquerading as the boogeyman of Hell. Even coming from a religion that doesn't teach a fire and brimstone hell, and one that is very hard to get into properly (Mormons believe in a tier-Heaven and then "Outer Darkness" which is only for the absolute worst of the worst) I still have the occasional flare up. As far as general advice for anybody who still suffers from this, you can present all the usual arguments of the literally thousands of flavors of Hell that are preached about by various world religions and the impossibility of safeguarding against all of them. But logical arguments don't fare so well against emotions. That's why I think the statement is both foolish and somewhat irrelevant.
  41. 2 points
    Yes, you call be an atheist and still fear hell. I'm the kind of atheist who doesn't only lack the god belief, but who actively thinks that there is no god. The same goes for hell. As such, I have no fear of hell. I really believe that no such place exists. But it is very possible to be an atheist and simply lack the positive god/hell beliefs. Such a person may very well think it's possible that they could be wrong, and thus be afraid. This isn't even necessarily an irrational fear. It's a bit like being afraid that a plane you're on might crash. It's not something you think will happen, but you know you might be wrong, and so you can still be afraid without being irrational. And of course, as others have pointed out, it's also possible to just be irrationally afraid.
  42. 2 points
    The lizard brain is a quirky thing. I suppose with enough indoctrination using the Hell tactic, one could have that deep fear crop up after deconversion. A lifetime atheist without the brainwashing would never fear Hell.
  43. 2 points
    Yes I think you can be an atheist and still fear Hell. We have all had irrational fears on occasion. A few years ago, I visited the CN tower in Toronto with my wife and son. On the observation deck there’s a glass floor where you can stand and look down at the ground, a thousand feet below. It’s thoroughly unnerving and most people have great difficulty stepping out on to the glass. I did, even though I was completely confident that it was as strong as the opaque floor nearby. I’m lucky that I have not had a fear of Hell since I deconverted. But then I was very skeptical about Hell even when I was a Christian. But I know there are quite a few people here who had trouble with this fear, even when they were intellectually satisfied that neither gods nor Hell exist. I think that for most Ex-Christians, the fear of Hell, if any, diminishes as time goes by. But it’s not fair in my book to question their atheism while that fear still lingers.
  44. 2 points
    I struggle with depression as well. And this journey into atheism is very new to me. I have had been thinking a lot about purpose. Specifically, I have been thinking "without an afterlife, what purpose do I have?" I would be lying if I said it hasn't affected my motivation in a negative way. But it got a little better today. What has given me comfort is thinking about being a very young child. I didn't have any real concept of God, death, or an afterlife. I just enjoyed life for what it was. I enjoyed playing in the dirt, laying in the grass, climbing trees, playing games with my friends, buying candy with the change I found, and so on. It's freeing to me. To allow myself to live in the now. I also see much to find meaning in still. Family, taking care of the earth, helping eliminate poverty, protesting against war, etc. I hope that is helpful.
  45. 1 point
    Well looking at the poll results it's hard to gauge how many actually took part but the results show that there is more support for having discussions than for running Christians off. 5 of you think Christians are intruders should be discouraged outright. The rest of the answers lean towards discussion of some form with 3 wanting to convert them, 7 not caring, and the rest enjoying a discussion. So the question then becomes how best to engage with our Christian guests... which we've already discussed.
  46. 1 point
    Christianity ruined my brain too and my mental health. I’m so glad you can finally enjoy life and do all the things you want to do with a passion! It’s tough fighting the way through to be free from it completely. I’m still on the journey of deconverting and what really sucks to me right now is to see Christianity and things influenced by Christianity everywhere. Trying really hard to find more non-Christian things literally everywhere.
  47. 1 point
    Although not exactly about religion I would recommend 1984, As i'm sure you will be able to draw the parralells between God and Big Brother, As well as the party and the church. The control of information, The manipulation of facts, The indoctrination and brainwashing, And the complete destruction of individuality and independent thought. The resemblance is uncanny.
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    If it's technology then presumably it is built of components which are parts of, and operate under the laws of, the natural world. So no, it's not supernatural. Technology seems to me to be natural more or less by definition. Whether or not we should expect to be able to understand everything which is natural is a question that I find interesting. It seems very plausible to me that there might exist an advanced technology (or even just a feature of the universe) that we not only do not understand, but cannot understand. But this still would not be supernatural. It would just be beyond our comprehension. Why on earth should we expect to be able to understand everything that exists in nature?
  50. 1 point
    I've never properly thanked you guys and this site for helping me to deconvert. Deconversion is best for people who are mentally ill. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for having patience with me. I haven't had one manic attack since I spoke to you last. At this stage I am fully deconverted. Christianity seems like a fairytale to me now. I have read many books by sensible non christian writers that gave me a new perspective. I am glad this site still exists. It is indeed valuable to many individuals. Anyway, my best wishes to all of you.

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