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  1. Also, our immune systems are much better equipped to handle bacteria, fungi, and parasites than viruses. The DNA that codes for our immune systems came mainly from Neanderthals. They were exposed to a lot of bacteria et al. in their environments; but were not exactly the most social of creatures, so viral outbreaks might only kill off a small group of them, without decimating entire populations. So, their genetic code evolved to handle the bigger threats: bacteria, fungi, and parasites. From Neanderthals, we inherited immune memory, which is the ability to recognize an invader from previous infections and produce the antibodies to combat it. Hematopoetic stem cells, produced in our bone marrow, can differentiate into any kind of immune cell the body needs; and there is a "catalog" of every infection the body has ever been exposed to. So, when the immune system sees a specific invader, it can produce specific cells which will produce specific antibodies which will specifically attack that specific invader. To combat viral infections, though, our immune systems are pretty much limited to NK cells which simply attack other cells they don't like. So, our bodies fight bacteria with effective and strategic attacks on specific targets. But the fight against viruses is more like carpet bombing in the hopes of killing one or two bad guys. It usually ends in a lot of civilian casualties and no discernable advantage.
    3 points
  2. Welcome Indigo. I know sharing all of that was difficult; and I commend you for having the courage to get it all out. I was around your age when I left christianity. I experienced much of the same neglect and mental/emotional abuse from my parents as you describe here. Addiction is a natural byproduct of such childhood trauma. And I feel like my entire life before age 35 was a complete waste. Yeah, I was angry for a long time. But, I decided I didn't want to waste the next 35 years of my life. I went back to college, got a degree, and started turning my life around. I got into programs to overcome my addictions and started to work through and deal with the effects of my childhood. It hasn't been easy. I've had to face a lot of ugly truth about myself. But I keep after it every day; because I deserve to be a better person than I was raised to be. I deserve to have a better life than I was raised to have. The anger and such will never fully go away on its own. It may or may not lessen; but you have to be the one to deal with it. Same with the long-term effects of your childhood trauma. I know you think you're in a really bad place right now; but this is the best place for you to get started.
    3 points
  3. So first of all, I hope this is the right section for me to post this. I just wanted to start a discussion on progressive Christianity. What it is, how it is viewed, by ex Christians like myself and by still current Christians who may be progressive or otherwise. I’ve really only seemed to come across fundamentalist evangelicals on here, but liberal progressive Christians, if you’re out there on here, hey I guess come on out. I’ve come across a few articles and testimonies on here that address more progressive Christianity by ex Christians, and I agree with their general premise that progressive Christianity often seems to be a gateway to a complete exit from Christianity itself. I guess a definition for progressive Christianity would be helpful? It seems to have different meanings to different people though. You start with being okay with gay people as Christians, then not believing in hell. Then only believing in Jesus and the good things he did, then believing that the Bible can have errors. But it just all seems to fall apart to me. Maybe it’s how I grew up, but granted I think most of us on here were taught that: being gay is a sin, that hell is real, that God is good, and that the Bible is the infallible word of God. And I think most Christians on here believe those things as well. So it’s a bit confusing to take those things out of Christianity, what do you have left? I know the Bible has been mistranslated here, and rephrased to say this there, and that we have copies of copies, not even the originals, but if you don’t believe in hell, if you don’t believe being gay is a sin, if you don’t believe God is good, what do you have left? Seems to be missing some steps to me. I just can’t wrap my head around progressive gay clergy’s or Christians who don’t feel the need to evangelize. When they only focus on the good deeds of Jesus, do they just forget that if they believe in the trinity Jesus was responsible for horrible things in the Old Testament as well? Or if they don’t believe in the trinity, then they worship multiple gods or versions of gods? I just don’t understand at that point why you would still call yourself a Christian. When you’re aligning yourself with Unitarians (which I have seen some progressive Christians do) , why even call yourself a Christian still? What’s the point? My take: believing in Jesus still brings them comfort and they aren’t willing to let go of that. Jesus is a comforting disguise that God wears to try and convince people that he’s good. But he isn’t and he never was. My relationship with Jesus was one of the last things that I had to let go of in Christianity. And it was something I grieved. Because for so long it was real to me. And I think for a lot of us exes on here it was too. That doesn’t make it objectively real and looking back I know that’s not what it was and there were reasons why I was feeling those things in my “relationship with Jesus” but it still felt real to me at the time. And I think this has been said before but I think that’s what’s happening to a lot of Christianity. People are tired of being shamed and guilted into their “salvation”. They want to be able to live their identity. Their lives. They don’t want to believe in a horrible hell for people who think different than them. But they still want the comfort that they think Christianity gives them. So I guess this is where Progressive Christianity comes from? I know many Christians believe in annihilation versus hell anyway, and many biblical scholars say this too, but it just scrambles my brain a little bit when I see Christians going to seminary, talking about how being gay is fine, that hell isn’t real, that rapture anxiety is bad, and that the Bible is riddled with errors. But they still call themselves Christians. It just confuses me. I know these people are far more likely to be lovely and kind than their fundamentalist counterparts, but they confuse me nonetheless. Like if you think the Bible has errors, how do you still chose to believe in it? I know all Christians pick and chose what they believe in from the Bible, even if they won’t admit it, but most aren’t that up front about it. It’s such a watered down version of what most Christians would call themselves that I don’t see the point in calling it that? Why not just call yourself someone who agrees with some things Jesus said and you like to communicate with an idea of a spirit or higher consciousness sometimes? Plenty of people do or believe similar things without tying it to Christianity. You can believe Jesus is good, and that being gay is fine, but if you still call yourself a Christian I can still show you in the Bible where God was specific about shellfish and fabric but was silent on most rapes and all racism. How slavery is justified. That‘s your God. That’s your Christianity. Take it or leave it. Take him or leave him. That’s where I’m at with it. I know most fundamentalists (hey guys) HATE progressive Christians because they’re “twisting the Bible” but are also generally nicer people. So if you guys are out there, Christians, any type of Christians, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And fellow ex Christians, what is your experience with this? Do you know or have you known Christians like this? Or were you one yourself before you fully left? Thanks! Hope you guys are all doing okay! If this has already been brought up in another section or this one needs to be moved, no problem!
    3 points
  4. As an ex-fundamentalist, your appraisal sounds about right. Jesus is a culturally familiar "teacher" and people are familiar with going to a church and hearing the name of Jesus, so they tend to focus on the nice things and ignore the rest. Even popular "pastors" from the 60s like Robert Schuller emphasized positive thinking and psychology instead of sin. My first Nazarene pastor was the same way, all about having a great marriage and positive everything. That stuck in my craw as a new believer, but the years of marriage advice really did help me in the long run! Others in our culture have no problem rejecting Jesus as part of the church, and especially in the 60s began embracing other religions from the East, not realizing that although the concepts were new, they were still religions with plenty of corruption. Baha'i also became popular in some circles, but again has someone regarded as a prophet. As an ex-believer I find the concepts of generosity, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and a general goal of kindness to be a healthy and inclusive way to help everyone benefit. This way seems better than tacking on a petulant whiny impotent god that wants blood or other signs of obeisance.
    3 points
  5. Finally admitted this week to myself and to my church that I can no longer call myself a Christian. Been a few years in the making and was a huge sense of relief when I just admitted it to myself; daunting to admit it to others though. The lockdown here in the UK during covid and the separation from going to church gave me the space I needed to see what is important to me. Seems the answer after two years of not praying and only reading the Bible where it crosses my interests is that what is important to me isn’t God. More a case of being interested in religion rather than being religious. Any attendance at church has been more about peer pressure for a few years now than actually a desire to be there. Feels somewhat like breaking up a relationship though when thinking of the people I know. Not exactly bouncing with joy about it, but convinced it is the right decision Currently tutoring some people on the Greek of the New Testament. Luckily both groups decided to stick it out when I told them and gave them the chance to drop me. All friends have been really good so far, so that is a relief. Family aren’t religious so no issues on that front. Anyway, I hope the use of a reformed theologians name as my username isn’t a sign of apostasy from my reluctant agnosticism
    3 points
  6. I'm glad others are open minded and willing to question whether animals can ponder after life scenarios. It's something only they know. It's like the age-old argument whether someone can prove that another has a soul, or whether an individual can prove to others they themselves have a soul. Humans. The notion that animals are beneath us and do not have souls and cannot think is a paradigm derived from the bible, starting in Genesis. It's spiritual poison. I hate it. Using the word hate here, about a paradigm. No living thing wants to die. It's encoded in all living things. Who are we to say that only we can wonder on these things? We are bacteria on a speck of dust in a vast, I would say living universe. What's more, we do not have the largest brains among life on this speck of dust.
    3 points
  7. This man makes some interesting points..
    2 points
  8. Somewhat the same reason you don't use field load to kill a mountain lion. Different beasts all together. Bacterial infections are pretty easy to vaccinate against; and fungal/parasitic are even easier. This is because single cell and multicellular organisms mutate much slower in the evolutionary scheme than viruses. Viral infections are considerably more difficult because of their ability to rapidly mutate and stay ahead of our efforts to kill them. Traditional vaccines against bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections often target specific membrane bound protein chains on the cell surface of the invader cells. These antigens, as they're called, generally remain the same, even if the cell mutates to become more virulent or airborne or whatever else. Viruses are nothing more than protein chains, themselves. Amino acids and such. They cannot replicate on their own and need a host cell to survive and reproduce. As a result, our immune systems do not recognize them as invaders because they are hiding out inside of our own self cells. Hard to kill what you can't see. Harder if you don't even recognize it as an enemy. Honestly, being from Texas, I figured your daddy would have taught you a thing or two about hunting and killing and such.
    2 points
  9. Hi, everybody...it's been a while I noticed that nobody mentioned the movie adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand"...I guess it's not about a "struggle of faith" as you put it because the good and evil sides are pretty much polarized from the beginning. But it absolutely drips with religious overtones and "preachiness". I actually liked the movie despite the preachiness...but hey...it's Stephen King
    2 points
  10. This is why getting children in the church is so critical.
    2 points
  11. Playing in the theists' sandbox (i.e., assuming all or certain parts of the Bible are true for discussion purposes) is often a tortuous and muddied path. Sometimes it is much easier to simply call it poorly written fiction/mythology/literature, be done with it and read other things that are not poorly written.
    2 points
  12. Hi Indigo. I'm so sorry to hear about all the trauma in your life and how Christianity has complicated that. As you can see from RNPs reply, unfortunately what you describe is not uncommon, so at least know that you are not alone. You asked for advice, so I'm going to offer my two cents: please seek out a counselor, a non-religious professional who has experience with people who have been sexually traumatized and with people who are/have been substance users. In this day and age, especially while experiencing a pandemic, it has become commonplace to go online for support and advice. While that can be very helpful, there are limits to online support. Seek out someone who has the expertise you need, and can sit down with you, one-on-one, giving you the undivided attention you deserve. Best wishes to you! I hope you keep us posted.
    2 points
  13. I was raised to be "all or nothing at all" about the lord. I imagine it was the same for many fundigelicals growing up in Sunday schools and youth groups. Anything less than being completely radical and on-fire for the lord jesus was seen as almost sinful with the backsliding and the lukewarmness and the spewing you out of my mouth. In the early stages of my deconversion, it wasn't about realizing that the bible is flawed or that theology was illogical. For me, it was more about realizing that I had been lied to by the church I grew up in and that the version of christianity they believed was completely false. I may have been open, at that point, to trying a more liberal, progressive version of religion; but the "all or nothing" approach became a double-edged sword. Why believe some but not all? Why keep certain parts but not the whole? There are a few aspects of christianity that are worth practicing; but none of them require jesus. They can all be practiced from a secular, even humanist, perspective. Love your neighbor as yourself? That's awesome; but you don't need a cosmic flower child for that. Forgive your enemies? Hell, yeah; but, again, no zombie god-man is required.
    2 points
  14. It is natural for a human without very serious psychological issues to fear death. Maybe without this, suicide would look too attractive too often for us to make it as a species. Who knows, but I think the problem you have is focusing on things you have no control over. You fear death as you should so this is not a problem. You can't predict the exact moment or cause of your actual death so why mix this in with your health concerns. What if you eliminate this link between the two by aggressively pursuing whether medical science in it's present state finds that you have a real health problem(s) or whether it is that you are overreacting to minor common everyday pains and feelings. I'm sure you know that pushups and running are not the most effective ways to diagnose bodily sensations. Email you doctor with your concerns, all of your concerns so you can get an informed medical opinion. If you have reason to feel your doctor doesn't take your concerns seriously enough get another opinion(s) but resolve the issue(s) completely to your satisfaction. Isn't that honestly the best a person can do? Moving beyond is probably moving into hypochondria. You're not responsible for knowing tha death has made a surprise appearance on your doorstep. Being hyper sensitive to interpreting feedback from your body so as to somehow intervene before an organ failure causes your death shouldn't have any significant place in your thinking as a healthy human. Face your medical concerns directly and seriously but listen to what you hear from the best sources available and move on when you have the best answers and treatment (if necessary) you could reasonable expect to find. At some point you must make peace with the fact that you can't prevent death from staging a sneak attack.There are so many things that are completely or mostly in our control and wouldn't it be better to keep your focus on those things and take pride in dealing with those things while recognizing that very very much is not in our human control. Actually it's a relief once you accept that even though you are intelligent and can solve problems you have responsibility only when your actions can realistically effect the outcome.
    2 points
  15. For me, the most salient aspect of the deconversion process has been the discovery, and subsequent acceptance, that my life truly is my own. I was taught from a very young age that god had a plan and if I didn't follow it bad things would ensue. It had a lot of negative effects on both my youth and my adulthood. From the constant anxiety of making mistakes outside of the divine destiny to the ease with which I could be manipulated with the idea that such was god's will, I think this idea, foisted upon innocent children, borders on abuse. Never knowing that I had a choice led to years, even post-church, of bad decision-making. Living my own life has been a skill I've had to learn on-the-fly, as it were. I have no regrets; but I think it would be more accurate to say that I've come to accept that living without regrets is simply easier than living with them. Welcome to our humble home, friend.
    2 points
  16. I can't speak to what others are reporting, but in my experience as an RN who works in both a nursing home and a hospital (including covid unit), I have never encountered anyone who has been able to prolong their hospital stay due to "fake symptoms" for covid. If vital signs are stable, bloodwork is negative, xrays are okay, etc. you're going home. On the other hand, there are a lot of "social admissions," people who are deemed "unsafe" to discharge from the hospital even though they are medically stable, but this has nothing to do with covid and has always been a long-standing problem. There is the occasional patient who does something or knows what to say to extend their stay, but that it is pretty rare (again, in my experience). I don't find that there are many people who are asymptomatic, testing positive and going to the hospital merely because they test positive. I'm sure there are a few anxious folks who might do that, but most people (outside of health care workers) who get tested are doing so because they have symptoms. Of course, this is all anecdotal. If anyone can point to some real data collection or research on these topics, that would be interesting to look at. As for the spikes and dips in reported cases, deaths, etc. I gather this is due in part to delays in reporting data or as the CDC website explains "Due to potential reporting delays, data from the most recent 7 days . . . should be interpreted with caution. Small shifts in historic data may also occur due to changes in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Provider of Services file, which is used to identify the cohort of included hospitals." https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html
    2 points
  17. "interestingly I still feel that a lot of what Christianity says makes sense. For example, I don’t believe it teaches an eternal conscious torment view of Hell, nor do I believe it even attempted to teach about science. I just realised that I don’t actually truly believe it, even if it makes sense to me. That is likely to be an interesting part of this process as I look back over time. I recall discussing my changing view of Hell with my dad and cheerily saying I don’t believe in eternal conscious torment, but that it is really the death penalty. I said this with no hint of concern for him, just a happy assertion of what I now think the text says. That was a big catalyst for change for me… if I really believe in it, then how could I not feel a joy of concern about it." The "nuggets of wisdom" (e.g. Golden Rule) people can find in the Bible are not original concepts, and believers of every degree and dogmatic bent always cherry pick the hell out of that old book to make it say something they're comfortable with. Not really a useful book, IMO. A Humanist is just an atheist who doesn't want to offend anybody. Humanism says, "I don't believe in a god, but I believe in you!" Kinda puts a positive spin on the negatively perceived lack of belief in everyone else's God.
    2 points
  18. There is also the problem of hospitals being full and people having to travel to find an open spot, some not finding one. I'm not sure if the reporting happens when someone finally finds an open spot and the hospital handles the reporting or some other way.
    2 points
  19. But that’s the problem, isn’t it: what does Christianity “say”? Does it say salvation was necessary because the Fall was a literal, historic event where Adam and Eve disobeyed God and thereby ruined it for all their descendants? Or does it say that salvation is needed because everybody sins? Does it say that the death and resurrection of Jesus saved every human, or does it say that only those who believe are saved? And what exactly must they believe? Must they be baptized also? Does it say that nonbelievers endure eternal punishment or are they simply annihilated? Or is it only Satan and his angels who experience the ultimate punishment? All these questions had definitive answers during the millennium when the Catholic Church was synonymous with Christianity. They controlled the narrative, the interpretation. All the questions were answered in the Catechism. But once Rome lost control, once the Bible became accessible to the many, from them on the answers were in the eye of the beholder. That Pandora’s box can’t be closed again. It’s clear that Christianity has few unambiguous answers. It speaks with the many voices of men, not the authoritative voice of a deity.
    2 points
  20. The standard Christian view of an afterlife consisting of Heaven or Hell is absolutely wrong, I have no doubt about that. Some kind of existence beyond the grave is of course possible, though I've seen no evidence. I like the Alan Watts take on "spiritual" matters, it seems reasonable and even makes sense in its own way, though again, no evidence. As I said in SeaJay's thread, I see two possibilities: 1) Die and just cease to exist and there is no one around to realize it, no problem. 2) We are an expression of All That Is and the real us can never die. Again, no problem. Being the only animal with a sense of mortality has its perks and drawbacks as well! Being in my 70s with a Stage 4 cancer I can relate to the concept of mortality. Honestly, it doesn't bother me because I had a great life. Everything must die, so how big a deal can it be?
    2 points
  21. Weird how so many of these later-in-life conversion stories center around some kind of physical, natural, or emotional disaster. It's never, "I was just driving along I-85 southbound near Spartanburg when suddenly jesus himself appeared and was seen by 17 passenger cars, 3 tractor trailers, a crew of inmates cleaning the shoulders, and one highway patrolman who was hiding in the median." No. Instead it's, "Well, I was out back humping the dog when I heard a big 'whoosh bang' and when I looked up a tornado had took my house away. So I called sister down at the strip club to tell her but her sugar daddy had beat her and left her for dead. And as I sat there beside her in the hospital, struggling to breathe, a preacher man showed up and led me to jesus. Now I know I'll see my sister again in heaven; and that preacher man even married me and the dog so we're no longer humping in sin."
    2 points
  22. I guess that's about it for hurricane season. Now for fall and winter cold fronts! The first of which looks to hit late week into the weekend. Surf looks be up on both coasts.....
    1 point
  23. At this point this seems to be the case. I will admit that when I first heard about the vaccines, way back at the start of all this, I was wary. It seemed like the whole thing was going to be rushed and we the people were just going to be guinea pigs. I had visions of thalidomide babies running through my head. Then I did a little reading and learned that they were really just building these vaccines on decades old research and adapting it to this latest Covid-19 virus. It was really already finished tech but not rolled out for previous SARS virus threats and with all the Covid-19 patients they could run all the protocols in parallel instead of serially. I realized my fears were unfounded and the vaccines were the safer path compared to an infection. mwc
    1 point
  24. Also, I would wonder how long after their second vaccination the people who died got sick. It takes at least a couple of weeks to have full immunity, but maybe much longer for people with a compromised immune system, if at all. With underlying serous health conditions like you mentioned, the people might have died instead from the underlying conditions. If in a autopsy they test positive for COVID, their death would likely be attributed to COVID according to state reporting rules https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-after-the-second-dose-of-the-covid-vaccine-are-you-immune
    1 point
  25. I went back to college when I was 35, after over 10 years in the electrical trade. I got my degree in biotechnology and went into the pharmaceutical industry. It's had its upside and downs, and I also walked away from a really good company because of new management making work more stressful than necessary. But it was well worth it.
    1 point
  26. I seem to remember seeing a statistic saying that the average adult changes careers something like five to eight times during their professional life. Doesn't seem to be unusual.
    1 point
  27. Cheese can become chalky if the acidity is too high. The proper pH is critical during the curdling phase of the process; because the goal is for just the right amount of calcium bonds to degrade for the curds to form. If too many bonds degrade, then the proteins will not break down properly and the end result will be overly acidic, chalky cheese. Science, bitches, keeping your cheese separate from your chalk.
    1 point
  28. Guessing several arguments will end up in the court system....thx.
    1 point
  29. Aren't all religious beliefs subjective anyway? If so, then there is no objective stance for the religious to take. On anything. Let alone an exemption from vaccination.
    1 point
  30. These aren't exactly what you mean, but stood out to me: A Buddhist version of this is The Razor's Edge, although it is more a realization that his faith should be lived in normal life out among people instead of a monastery where he had been staying. He is up on a mountain freezing and ends up burning the scriptures to keep warm. That's where the change from religion to life happened. A horror version is 30 Days Of Night where a woman facing a vampire exclaims "Help me God!". The vampire pauses, looks up at the sky and then at her. "No god". Munch. It really annoys me how many horror films are based on Christianity being true. The Exorcist, Hellraiser, and a zillion others that can't let go of the Devil/Christian God paradigm. A sci-fi film Prometheus shows how an android watches his human creators and develops a disdain for them and their creators (the Engineers). When he sees an engineer die, he says "Mortal after all". A subtext to this part of the Alien series is that Jesus was planted here by them, and that the Engineers are a blood cult that worships an alien whose blood let them breed again after having engineered their own genetics too much. The alien they worship is shown in art in a crucifix pose, and they were heading to Earth to destroy it because we killed Jesus. The movie makers left out 90% of that.
    1 point
  31. Chapter Three, A Plausible Jesus is Not Necessarily a Probable Jesus, begins by comparing mythicism to the Reza Aslan thesis of Jesus as a zealot, a violent revolutionary. Carrier’s point is that Aslan is considered more respectable than mythicists, but his arguments have far less coherence and intellectual weight. That is a paradox, only made possible by the non-existence hypothesis being ruled out on emotional grounds. Real historical method tries to find the most probable explanation of available evidence. It does not start with a conclusion (Jesus existed) and then bend the facts to justify it. And people who accuse mythicists of that deceptive tactic are just engaged in psychological projection and ad hominem apologetics. Real historical method is alert to the need to examine assumptions and prejudices. Carrier explores this by assessing Aslan’s argument, which apparently requires that the Gospels are an incoherent collection of random oral lore. Such a view is simply refuted by reading the text, which suggests everything in the Gospels is included for a coherent purpose. That purpose, Carrier argues, is to construct an imaginary fictional Jesus who fulfills scripture. The events of Holy Week could not have occurred without Josephus mentioning them, since triumphant entry into Jerusalem as King of the Jews and Son of David, followed by the cleansing of the temple, trial and crucifixion are far bigger historical stories, if true, than many things Josephus did include. And they could not have occurred anyway, for a host of reasons. Carrier explains that the temple square was ten acres in size and guarded by a battalion authorised to kill troublemakers on sight. These stories are brazen and ridiculous as history, but as scriptural allegory they make perfect sense, with every element adapted from known texts. Given the abundant mythology in the Gospels, such as drowning a thousand pigs, the range of impossible miracles and the holy spirit descending from heaven like a dove, our default assumption should be that the whole story is all mythology. Claims to the contrary should have to carry the burden of proof. The fact they don’t is a function of institutional power and emotional charge, not historical credibility.
    1 point
  32. Well praise jesus! Seriously, what in the hell were your parents thinking??? I would have beat his ass right there on the spot, no questions asked, if I saw him with my kids pants down!!! I was lucky enough to stay clear of these pedophiles while I was growing up, but they were always around. My pastors father-in-law was never seen without street boys that he would take in and give a home to. He was a pastor as well. What finally got him jammed up was a habit of taking kids swimming in the lake behind the church. He stuck his hands down one of my younger brother's friends pants. The boy didn't let it go, he reported it. Then years of bs started coming to light. We had an ex SDA pastor using a storage shed that my employer owned. The ex pastor hadn't payed his bills for a long time so my employer told his son and I to go clear out all the contents and take it to his house. As we started loading things up shit got strange. I first found piles of nudist community magazines. With lots of naked kids illustrated. Me and the other guy started making jokes. Then we started finding shit that was ultimately turned over to the states attorney. Turns out he was uploading porn at home and the whole thing blew up in his face. I was glad to have contributed to his demise. Christianity tends to foster a wide variety of fucked up characters. Under the banner of righteousness. I'm sure you realize that the reality is that christianity has been false all along. And all of the characters, fucked up or otherwise, are simply people who are deluded into believing it's true. We represent those who pushed past the delusion and overcame it for one reason or another. Lot's of people here either experienced this sort of sexual abuse or were witness to it happening to others. It's common across the board of christian denominations. Check out some of the stories of abuse in the Amish communities. It's all over the place. So you're not alone, that's for sure. The other issue is that you'd get stories like this from any religious community. Because the sexual abuse problem transcends religions and is a human problem at it's core. Religions just happen to create an environment full of children which sexual deviants tend to take advantage of. Whether they actually believe the religion is hard to say. I bet a lot of them don't. I'm sure some of them think they can 'pray it off' and repeat the offenses over and over again. It just tends to help with perspective to span out and see these kinds of problems on large scale and acknowledge that they are ultimate human problems that involve all types of people from all types of beliefs. And in that sense you are really not alone! It's all over the world.
    1 point
  33. Found myself at the weekend listening to some things on humanism. Think I need to ban myself from looking into any systems of thought for a while. Danger might be jumping from a Christianity to something else to just fill the gap
    1 point
  34. Cultural evolution of acceptable ideas about religion is like genetic evolution, but much faster, exhibiting steady response to selective pressure. The historicist position as you describe it is a rational attempt to reconcile the cognitive dissonance between science and religion. But as Carrier proves, the anomalies in the paradigm of conventional faith are so severe that the seemingly reasonable step of excluding everything that is implausible, like with the Jefferson Bible, just doesn’t work. The selective pressure in this case is the compelling evidence that a complete paradigm shift is needed to accept that the entire Gospel story is fictional. Carrier’s account of the cultural evolution of the Jesus story begins with pure spiritual revelation in Paul, through to sacred allegory in Mark, with insistence on literal belief emerging in Luke and John, through to the full-blown ear-blocking intolerance that gradually evolved in Christendom.
    1 point
  35. Welcome to ex-C.net. Glad to have you here.
    1 point
  36. It can be scary, because it is a huge step to admit that what you have based much of your world view on is not true. anyway, welcome.
    1 point
  37. I'm not sure why Christians find it unacceptable to sincerely call God out on stuff that makes no sense if he were in control and cared about us. Just sincerely ask him why? And when there is no answer they have to make up something about why there is no answer.
    1 point
  38. I'm agnostic. There may be a God. I just dont think he/it necessarily aligns with the loving personality of the God as described in the bible or Christianity in general. Yes, we still have murder, rape, child sex trafficking, seemingly under the watch of what Christians say is a loving God. How does that work? It reminds me of Epicurus: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” ― Epicurus If his claim to good fatherhood is null, is he worthy of praise? If he allows innocents to suffer or die, is he worthy of praise? If he 'loves' us but never communicates, is he worthy of praise? Why or or why not? If God lets his creations burn in hell , is he worthy of praise? If he lets good people who dont believe in him burn in hell, is he worthy of praise?
    1 point
  39. What happens after you die? Lot's of things happen after you die - they just don't involve you. ~Louis C.K. This sentiment used to be my biggest hang-up concerning death. The idea that things would be happening without me being aware or experiencing seemed intolerable. I like knowing the whole story; not just the end, but all the little details that interweave to move the characters along. For the past XX years, I've been one of the main characters in the story as it is told in my experience. But I've never been the main character. I've shared that role with siblings, girlfriends, sons, friend and foe alike. Antagonists have come and gone; and sometimes it has felt like motherfucking Samuel L. motherfucking Jackson has been motherfucking narrating several motherfucking episodes in a row. The story will someday go on without me; but it will go on. And the role I've played in the story will always be there, even after I'm gone. Whenever the story is told, I'll be there. Sometimes as the hero; sometimes as the buffoon. I'm one of the main characters now; and the story wouldn't be the same without the roles I've played. I'm okay, now, with somebody else taking over the story when it's my turn to exit, stage left. Because whoever takes it will always be part of my story; and I will always be part of theirs.
    1 point
  40. As I've all too gradually come through the process(es) of de-conversion, I've found greater peace in the realization that belief in any human spirit is speculation on the same level and of the same nature as belief in a god. After all, isn't it the same thing? I could be wrong of course, there may exist some part of us which lives and exists outside the physical temporal self. But as near-universal as is such belief I don't believe that anyone who lives now or has ever lived has had any real reason to believe in such a thing. It truly seems to me that people believe in a human spirit because they want to. To believe in a human spirit enables belief in the possibility we can forever know and commune with those close to us. It allows us to believe that the things we hope to learn and experience may yet be learned, those experiences yet gained, even when we do not do so in our present lives. When I believed in a God and the promise of eternal life, I sometimes imagined planting an endless hardwood forest and then watching it grow. There is much, very much I love about this life. Given a choice I would live forever. I see and believe in infinite possibilities for my human self, given time and physical viability. The list of things I would wish to do, to create, to learn and experience seems infinite. But time, the limits of this physical body, and the never-ending contention with other humans is what it is. We can wish it away, deny it, or hope for better, but we will all meet our end and eventually decompose into dust. Whether there is anything more we will all discover one way or another.
    1 point
  41. If you're not too busy, I could use some new wooden teeth.
    1 point
  42. Over the past year, I've started dabbling in woodworking. It started out small--little keep boxes and display shelves and such. But lately I've made a few things that I'm really proud of. I've made chess sets for both the boys, a shoe rack for Ms. Professor, a table from my grandma's first pump pedal sewing machine... These will all, I hope, become family heirlooms; and I will live on and be remembered as they are passed down. This newfound hobby has also given me a new sense of patience, perspective, and creativity. I don't use store bought kits to make things. I do it all from scratch and imagination. I also don't use a lot of power tools beyond a planer, sander, and miter saw as needed. Instead I do everything by hand, using different hand saws, chisels, a hand planer, a rasp or two. This seems extreme; but it is deliberate. Not only does this force patience and zen; but it also puts me in touch with the long standing tradition and techniques of woodworkers from years long gone by, before there were tablesaws and a rotary jig for every kind of scroll or cut. It forces me into the moment with the reminder that time marches on. I like being there.
    1 point
  43. It's been some time now, but I remember a documentary that interviewed several people, maybe 15 or so, and they were all over 100 years old. All were in reasonably good health, some rather active and even dating. All were eventually asked the same question, "How long is too long?" Every damn one of them said 90 should be the limit; all your friends/family are dead, you've done whatever you intended to do in life, and living just gets old.
    1 point
  44. I didn't think this was as loaded a question as it is. The thought hadn't occured about being ready to just get it over with because of a rough life or body aches and pains. Well It did with the aches and pains. But I was thinking like extreme pain and suffering from cancer or something. But yeah as much as I hurt sometimes now. Im Sure it will be rough 30 years from now. And after I lose some close loved ones. I guess it gets hard to stay motivated. My great uncle passed a couple months ago. He had alzhiemers real bad, and had already lost his son and wife. He was beyond ready to go. He started refusing his rehab treatments and stopped eating. It wasn't long after that. I actually inherited his masonic memorabilia. My mom was worried that he might not be "saved" because he never went to church. But he was a good man. And I know he believed in something at some point. Not that it really matters. I know he isn't suffering in hell. I'm sorry about all the suffering you go through everyday. I had no idea. (Guess that's that's point huh?) Well you have definitely done your part in spreading kindness toward me and bringing a smile on my face. Ever since my first post you've been nothing but kind and probably even had to bite your tongue at times to stay kind lol. So.e of my views can be controversial lol. Thank you Margee for being you. Well I hope you have many more years to come. Yeah stuff happens. But we can't plan for that stuff. If that happens it'll probably be over before I know it anyway. No time to really think about it other than a quick, "oh shit!!" Or "Fuck didn't see this one coming". I'm more concerned about the long progress of old age and terminal illness. Your thoughts when you know time is short. I really hope you find some happiness to live for. In the great scheme of things your 60s seems young to wish for death. Maybe that's because my mom is in her 60s and I would hate for her to die. Im a bit of a mommas boy. At the same time I'm not in your shoes. I have all of my family still. I would probably have trouble myself if they were all gone. DB
    1 point
  45. Thanks for asking. It was a weird case and impossible to catch early so I am just "managing" it for as long and comfortably as possible. I have no interest in being only technically alive so we'll just see how it goes. Hell, my oncologist could die before I do!
    1 point
  46. That’s a good saying. I like it. Exactly my own fear. I couldn’t care less about actual, dead in the ground death. My fear stems from the actual process of dying/losing control/leaving this mortal realm/letting go. I do similar. I meditate on dying, from start to finish, possible pain, the terror, the nothingness, and even the trip to the mortuary, funeral parlour, funeral, and in the coffin. The lot. I know what you mean.
    1 point
  47. Some of us have been members here for years, and it's easy to forget to update your e-mail address here if/when it changes. Maybe you're not still on AOL... Do yourself a favor and check/update it under Account > Account Settings. Only takes a minute.
    1 point
  48. "Hell is... other people". - Sartre "... is a metaphor"... Yeah, every portion of the bible is the inerrant word of God. Except when any given passage is a metaphor. And of course, it's on the believer to understand and discern which is which. With your "eternal soul" in the balance, God plays mind-tricks and word-games with the truth. I've been a fool all my life. But at this stage of life, I'm no longer quite foolish enough to follow that line of totally subjective 'reasoning'.
    1 point
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