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  1. 11 points
    ...I could not reconcile that a god could make something perfect only to have it rebel and suddenly is not perfect. How can a perfect entity suddenly be not perfect? Makes zero sense. That was when I started researching, even more, then one day the question hit me..."Where have all the gods gone?" It was at that point I realized that the truth is far from true! From then on, I smelled the stench of man, not the hand of a god in writing that book. So, after much thought and research, I came to the conclusion that I had to admit there are no gods. We have so many religions because we have so many people with their own understanding of why we humans even exist, but we all wonder why we are here. And it is that very wonder that has moved some people to offer up their own answers, even to the extreme of forming a religion behind it. Some are sincere, some are not and have had ulterior motives for their doctrines, but the bottom line, not a single god has come forward and saved their creations from themselves. NONE. Humanity is the same now as it always has been. Nothing has changed but the humans involved. Dare I say, I found the truth to be that humans who sincerely just want to know the truth have been played by their fellow humans. If you really want to know the truth of a matter, go looking and you will find it, but be prepared for the answers you might not want to hear.
  2. 9 points
    Hello, My name is Jerry, I am a closet atheist, and recovering Christian. It isn't that I'm ashamed of being an atheist. I'm proud of myself for realizing the lies that I've been spoon fed over the years, and for coming out of the dark ages. I must remain closeted in fear of losing my family, friends, even my job. You see, my wife is a still a practicing, and enthusiastic, Christian. I must go through the actions and pretend to believe what she does in order to retain my family. As terrible, and deceitful, as that is, it's the life I've created for myself. I first began to question the very existance of a god several years ago. The whole god narative didn't match what I knew to be true from science classes, books, and common scientific theory. The more I learned about the world around me, its history and the history of mankind, through evolution, the more I realized the lies I had been told for almost forty years. I must admit however, it was difficult to give up on god. I was taught that we were nothing without him. I truly believed that without his "guiding hand" my life would spiral out of control. Regardless of my common sense, telling me that it was all a hoax, I was actually relunctant to step away. Then, one day I just stepped away, quit praying, stopped looking for his presence, basically just stopped believing. After two years of being free from religion, at least internally, I'm still fine..and a lot happier. I feel as if I can accomplish great things by myself, and feel free to relish in my achievements. Nothing is the work of an invisible man in the sky. However, it is the work of humanity. I'm glad that I escaped the hand of religion and the hatred it breeds. I am glad to be free from its sexist, abusive demeanor. I'm proud of being wise enough to decipher fact from fiction.
  3. 8 points
    That sucks; and I won't pretend to know what you're going through. I did have a fiance dump me because I wasn't as "holy" as her; but that's not entirely the same. It rocked my world too. Time and distance will help heal you, though I know that offers little consolation right now. You want to know "what you could have done differently" or "what you did wrong". The answer to both is "nothing". This was a glitch in his matrix, not yours. If you loved him the best you could, then count yourself fortunate for having the capacity to love like that, and for having the experience. In time, you will find that capacity again, and another experience.
  4. 7 points
    Overcoming Religious Indoctrination: 6 Steps Towards Sanity David Nicholls Religious indoctrination is real. It is a traditionally-based process of all cultures. Its power is such that peoples so affected have a ‘belief’ they have chosen their particular ‘faith’ above the many on offer throughout the planet. All religions work on the principle of exposing each new generation to a single worldview, to the exclusion of all others, in a repetitious and authorative manner. Doubts, as to the veracity of such ‘teachings’, are not encouraged, indeed, are not tolerated. Once learned, the information so gained is retained for life, allowing it to take on an instinctive mantle in later years. As with all acquired knowledge, such as learning to ride a bicycle or rote remembrance of mathematical time’s tables, once taught, unlearning is not an easy option. This is not to say that the results of such methodology are not practically overcome-able. Youthful brains soak up information with little effort, establishing permanent neuronic pathways. Older brains require considerably more effort to alter this situation. There are many Atheists to attest to this. In fact, it is the rule rather than the rarity that most Atheists were raised from infancy under some religious regime or other. Even the most intense religious indoctrination can be overcome. Here is how it is achieved: First, one must become acquainted with and become used to the correct terminology pertaining to religious indoctrination. Even though the religious are quick to point out that others have been brainwashed (such as communists, other religious adherents and even Atheists), it is they who have succumbed to this process. Brainwashing/inculcation/indoctrination is one in the same word in meaning. These words are used in reference to promoting a one-sided opinion as being truthful, without allowing access to other ideas and with no reservation in calling it unjustifiably, the ‘truth’. Considering the adverse ramifications of such methods and results of brainwashing, this is nothing less than mental child abuse of the worst kind and one day it will be viewed that way. Just seriously think about this for a moment. If you are religious or harbour religious thoughts, it is more than most likely the result of being abused and mentally used as a child. There is no escaping this fact. That the abused can then go on to abuse others in a likewise fashion is near enough to proof positive of the reality of the situation. Under the guise of a good for humanity, the fear of death and/or eternal damnation is instilled into the pliable and susceptible minds of children and continues into adulthood. Sprinkled with tales of eternal life, temporal wishes supernaturally achievable, the unworthiness of humans and the existence of a ‘good’ and an ‘evil’, sets the mental scene for subservient confusion. Second, after recognising one has been abused and brainwashed against their will and without their knowledge, if escape is required, then effort to combat this negative outlook must be more intense and prolonged than the unwanted religious input. A good start is to fully appreciate that all religious people of the thousands of religions that have and do exist, have been similarly abused, with them considering that they have the correct religion and all others are wrong. Even religions under the same name can state unequivocally that their counterparts have it incorrect. As an example, fundamentalist Christianity classes the Pope as the Anti-Christ and Catholicism a heresy. Third, take a proper look at Earth. 50,000 Iranians have been recently killed by earthquake, 3,000 many-denominational people died in the Twin Towers, 6 million Jewish people died in the Holocaust etc etc. Where were their respective gods? They were remarkably silent as they have been throughout history in humanity’s darkest hours. Look at the system that sustains life on our planet: Every life form preys on another life form to exist. Some of this in such brutal and horrible fashion as to totally exclude the idea of a ‘loving’ god as the creator. Look how the dice of life favours some and is more than wretched to others. Look how natural disasters and pathogens kill and maim indiscriminately. Fourth, it must be consciously recognised that books and ideas of old came from ignorant times, and were written and passed on by ignorant men living by the malleable rules of all-encompassing superstition. Fifth, and most importantly, it must be remembered that religions have held sway since consciousness arrived many tens of thousands of years ago. It is only in the last few hundred years that science has leapt onto the scene, and in doing so, has began to devour the very pillars holding superstition aloft. Although it is not fully accepted yet, the one part of science that will eventually be seen as the most profound is the principle of evolution. Not only has science found no evidence for a supernatural realm, it has shown that evolution requires no such thing to sustain it. Sixth and lastly, it therefore has to be asked as to why a super-being or thing would initiate a universe with us as only an infinitesimal dot within it. The Universe works on definite laws in a rational manner. Even if quantum structure appears not to be so! Such a rational creative force would hardly expect us to accept the irrationality that is religion especially as it is introduced in the heinous form of child abuse. An all-loving god with control over every particle in existence, that chooses to allow immense suffering, cannot exist. An all-powerful god incapable of creating perfect happiness for its creation is an oxy-moronic concept. An all-knowing god that cannot see the inherent goodness of humanity and does not nurture and aid its creation in a fair and equitable manner is a god of immeasurably immoral proportion. These thoughts and similar must be the constant companion of the adult psyche wishing to escape the foolishness of religious mind control. Victims of child abuse can overcome the strong hold it has on them and in doing so can benefit greatly from the conflict. The brainwashing will always remain but in its subjugation it will eventually be replaced with feelings of pride of accomplishment.
  5. 6 points
    It was not the sermon. It is him, and the Evangelical programming/Mind Fuck. When it comes to Evangelicals, is always about them. ALWAYS. By making you "less than" is all about him. Get far away from any relationship where the other party lacks empathy.
  6. 5 points
    I was raised in a Christian home, Lutheran Missouri Synod, in the United States' Midwest. I was baptized as an infant, attended Sunday school, did my years of Confirmation on Sundays on Wednesday nights and was Confirmed into the Lutheran Church as a teenaged boy. My family and I went to church every Sunday and read daily devotionals. I went to a public school, where during my elementary years, we said the Pledge of Allegiance daily, reminding me that we were one nation under god. My high school curriculum didn't involve any sort of nonsecular teachings, ie. Creationism, but it didn't include much mention of evolution either. I guess that was my school district's idea of taking the high road on that debate. Most of my friends growing up were Christians as well, either Lutheran or Catholic, as these were the only churches in our community. We came from a long line of Lutherans, on both sides of my family, and it was a huge part of our identity. As I grew up, moved out, started my own family and became involved with my own life, religion continued to play a huge part. In my 20's I moved to the Southeastern US, married a Southern Baptist girl and subsequently started attending her church. While the service, and experience, was very much different than my childhood in the Lutheran Church, I quickly became accustomed to it and became active in the church. In my early 30's I was "born again" and was baptized, again, alongside my children, in our Baptist church. I remained active in church activities up until my late 30's when something miraculous happened. Somehow, a book ended up in my possession, a very remarkable book, that changed my life. It was The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond. It introduced me to the very interesting discovery of evolution. I really have no idea how I came to possess this book. It was just there one day. Regardless, I read it and for the first time, had my eyes opened to a whole new, intriguing world of science, anthropology and human evolution. I was mesmerized. I went on to read several more books about biological evolution, genetics, DNA sequencing, anthropology, archaeology and a variety of other scientific disciplines, and had my world turned upside down. Still holding on to my Christian "teachings" I nonetheless felt very confused. I had almost 40 years of Biblical study and education that told me one set of stories and a newly discovered world around me that told me another. However, the world of science had proof. It contained a fossil record, archaeological evidence and other proof to support its claims. Religion only had faith. Regardless, it was difficult to break away from my religious background. If my adulthood in the Baptist Church had taught me anything, it was that I was worthless without god. I was taught that, everything good that had happened in my life was god's work. It was because of his grace that I had anything, or accomplished anything. And, I owed all thanks, glory and honor to him for blessing me with so many wonderful things, relationships and abilities. On the other hand, anything bad that happened to me was of my own doing. It was brought about by my straying from god and trying to do things my way and not his. As foolish as it sounds, I was afraid to take any steps in my life that may essentially piss off god. I tried hard to remain a faithful follower of Christ. Praying harder than ever before, I asked god for help overcoming my weakness and doubt. Of course, nothing changed. Then, I went to my pastor, who was also a close friend at the time, and asked him for his assistance. This is when I really began to realize the truth. I told him the whole story and he immediately started reciting Bible verses about the dangers of knowledge. He belittled me for falling in to Satan's trap of human, worldly knowledge and basically recommended that I refrain from learning anything that wasn't in his sermons. His exact words were, "you don't need any knowledge to get through this life other than what I preach from that pulpit". As far as he was concerned, that was the end of my dilemma. He thought I was cured by being told to remain stupid and only listen to him. Of course, this wasn't a suitable answer in my opinion. As I continued to struggle with my faith, I looked online for answers. I was overwhelmed with the huge amount of evidence against Christianity. As I learned more about the religion that had stolen its best stories from other mythologies, I found that I was becoming less and less dependant on god. All the while, continuing my church pew appearances. However, I did "retire" as a church Deacon at around this time, citing a busy work and home life as my excuse. Of course, I had to uphold my Christian persona around the house too. As my internal struggle continued, I found more and more information that refuted my religious upbringing. Then, I decided to conduct an experiment. I decide to go one week "without" god. This included no praying, no saying the blessing, no living in fear of his punishment. One week turned in to two, then, a month, a year and so on. My life wasn't spinning out of control without a supreme being, like I was told it would. If anything, I had broken away from Christianities chains. I started to realize my self worth, as well as the worth of others. Finally, one day I came to the conclusion that what I had spent most of my life practicing and believing wasn't even true. Thank you Jared Diamond. LOL. Now, in my late 40's I am basically free from religions stranglehold. While I still have to remain a closet atheist at home, in my own mind I know the truth; and it's amazing. It's like knowing a secret that no one else is privy to. It's refreshing. I'm a better person for breaking loose from Christianity. I know that because I was told that just the other day. I no longer judge people based on their denominational preference, or lack thereof. Nor, do I chastize people for not believing the "good news". I'm free!
  7. 5 points
    Person in a cult asks another person in a cult which cult he belongs to
  8. 5 points
    Hi! After 60 years as a Christian I realised that I could no longer make sense of GOD (I'd given up on church some years before that but had stayed as I felt I was getting somewhere in trying to bring about change). After reading (David Boulton, Karen Armstrong and others) I adopted non-theism. Within this philosophy I can accept that the beliefs of my friends are real for them and I can respect them, although this doesn't mean that I need to accept that I cannot challenge them if they will allow this. Which is the crunch, I have found (more later). For most of my working life I was in some form of Christian ministry; a minister in both UK and overseas and a Christian community worker. My Christian life began in fundamentalism and slowly moved to liberalism and radical Christianity. Then to nontheism. I am not on a crusade but I miss my old fundamentalist friends. They cannot seem to get beyond the stage of telling me that they are praying for me to return: they will not engage with my (written) reflections on my journey, they don't seem to have 'grown' since the fundamentalist days of their / our youth. Having just found this Forum, I would like to ask folk here what authors / writings / books they might recommend to someone who is sad about the loss of friends and, secondly, writings that might help me to understand my own journey. When I adopted nontheism I was 'surprised by joy' and that has stayed with me although I still don't fully understand what has happened (and still is happening as I become stronger in my nontheism). Thank you.
  9. 5 points
    I read something recently which touched on this general topic and I've lost the link But something like: the world is really complex, and we generally can achieve only a fairly limited understanding of a great many things with the info available to us. So, it's almost always possible for intelligent people to find ways to manipulate their working theories of the world to account for inconvenient facts while preserving the core of their beliefs. It's a form of rationalization. We probably all do it to some extent: it's easier to try to tweak our views than to have to reject our entire framework wholesale. With religious beliefs being so central to most people, there's a lot of incentive to do that. A lot of Calvinist theology and the machinations people come up with to make it all seem coherent always reminds me of that. I wonder, for people who deconvert slowly (most of us?) I wonder if there is still that a-ha moment when you finally really decide to cease believing. Even when it's gradual there's still like an inflection point, and I wonder if that is because of that difficulty with finally rejecting an entire paradigm of thinking, so to speak.
  10. 5 points
    I am so sorry you are hurting. The mind fuck of religion is so strong that I actually was the one to cause the pain, heartbreak, and suffering on a 17-year-old marriage that was wonderful..... except the fact that he would not go to church with me or 'accept the lord''. So I left thinking god wanted me to be 'equally yoked'. (well, that's what the preacher always preached!) I still pay for that mistake to this very day because I am not the type of person who likes breaking someone's heart....and I did and I have to live with that. When one is brainwashed by this doctrine, it can cause much suffering. Cry your heart out that you got mixed up with a man who got, (righteous) ''religion'', don't blame yourself and move on to someone who shares your values. So sorry hon you have to go through this. Big (hug)
  11. 5 points
    Yup, Has all the qualities of your typical narcissistic, deviant, self-serving, lying, cheating, philandering, sociopath preacher. Not saying all preachers have these traits but enough that it would seem to be a profession of choice for persons with those traits.
  12. 4 points
    It's been a five year journey into de-converting from my beliefs in Jesus. I really believed at the time that Jesus was going to bring me into a right relationship with him, but the more I held onto that hope the less actually happened. I remember as far back to my teen year's of hanging out with the Christian youth group in my area and feeling so alone. I always had little doubts about Christians, but I pushed those doubts deep down inside. As I got older I went from church to church, from one bible study to another looking for the right people I could feel comfortable with. (But I always felt on edge when I was around them) I used to feel awfully anxious when I had to pray in front of other believers. They could never see the pain I was going through, and even though they all believed they had born again eye's they never saw my real heart. I hated them for that, and that made me start thinking that if Jesus was real why can't they perceive my thoughts like he did? I got into a bit of TV evangelism, but most of the time they made me so angry. I'd get up early in the morning to watch them so I could yell at the television. I eventually went online looking for some believer who actually had evidence, but I found nothing but the old arguments repackaged from the 80's and 90's. Then one night I thought I'd serach in YouTube "Real miracles" but it was mostly testimony and fake reports. From here I had nowhere to go, there just didn't seem to be anything true to my beliefs anymore. So I started to research the evidence against Christianity and what I found made my stomach churn. But I didn't run away, I kept researching until I was satisfied it was all bullshit. It took five year's to wake up out of my religious comma, and it hurt. I'll never go back now, well I can't can I.
  13. 4 points
    @Christforums , @LogicalFallacy and other interested people: I will create a topic in the Lion's Den entitled "What Makes @Christforums Special?" for responses, proselytizing, explanations, etc. People who may be in the early ages of deconverting don't need to see any of Christforums' (or any other really true believer's--doctrinally sound or not) posts in this subforum. When our people, those for whom this website was created, are ready, they'll venture into the Lion's Den. In the meantime, they can rant about believers knowing that believers won't be allowed to tell them they're wrong, misguided, doctrinally unsound, or anything else. Thanks a bunch. buffettphan Moderator or Rants and Replies ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ETA: Here's the link to the Lion's Den thread:
  14. 4 points
    That doesn't actually answer the question, though. If you are both examining the same evidence, being led by the same holy spirit, all of which is being supervised by the same omniscient and omnipotent god, how could you both draw such radically different conclusions?
  15. 4 points
    Serious question, though, if the bible really is the perfect revelation of a god who is both omniscient and omnipotent, how could two people come up with two such radically different revelations from it? I could see something small, such as disagreement on whether Adam had a bellybutton or not; but whether jesus is god or not? That's a pretty big deal. And not being able to find an agreeable answer when both parties are reading the exact same text, as well as being (supposedly) guided by the same holy spirit, seriously undermines the credibility of both the book and the god who inspired it. Lurkers, note this disparity and ask yourselves if this really is the best your religion can offer.
  16. 4 points
    First, I would like to see there actually is an increase in autism itself, not just the reporting and diagnosing of it. I doubt it's possible to conclusively show an actual increase from a time when diagnosis, definition and record keeping were so different to today with its new methodology and rules. Assuming there is an increase in autism, or anything else, I would point to things such as the rise in lung cancer coinciding with nuclear testing rather than the smoking that has gone on since the beginning of time, I look at our diet and the increase in diabetes and obesity, pollution in general would have to take a toll on our health, the immediate quick fix of pharmaceutical solutions for everything from a simple headache to gas, and the increased stress that defines modern society for so many. Causation and correlation get tricky, especially when trying to compare and contrast what was assumed to be the case in the distant and essentially undocumented past and current conditions that are so thoroughly reported, studied, defined, redefined, discussed by laymen on social media and beaten to death by statisticians. Maybe it's because we took God out of our schools...
  17. 4 points
    Liberal Christians can be just as fervent in their belief in God as fundamentalists are. Just sayin. There are just different challenges in deconversion for the two. Liberal xtians have a hard time because of a tendency to rationalize and get new agey; and fundies have a hard time because of the social immersion and rigid dogma.
  18. 4 points
    I need a purification ceremony ... in ummm... the Bahamas. And some grocery store needs to pay for it.
  19. 4 points
    Well Zeus is just something someone made up....
  20. 4 points
    Thanks everyone. I very much like the look of you all! Please hold on while I try to navigate around this ship - not easy for an old 'un. I found and dipped into the Testimonials area and so much resonates. I received what I think must be a 'private message' from Weezer: thank you, I am grateful but have no idea, yet, about how to reply. That will come. For now, thanks again. Joshpantera: yes Armstrong on GOD is a great read.. I have seen a lot about 'Leaving the fold' but I'm not sure that it would be a good buy for me. I will look into Robert Price. I'll think about writing something more of my story but it might be more comfortable for me if I let it out slowly. I am not a well known person but Google finds me very quickly if the right words are input! Thanks again and I look forward to chatting and learning.
  21. 4 points
    Deeply held beliefs are , well ... deeply held. Emotional attachment keeps them that way. A Christian told me (when I too was a Christian) a good reply to someone trying to hit me with an anti-Christian argument is, "That's nice, but I choose to believe in Jesus." So, just summarily dismiss whatever a non-Christian was trying to hit me with, regardless of whether it made sense. I think the key is not to allow yourself to even consider it...because critical thought Satan will get into your mind like that. It's interesting that my Christian friend had to consciously suppress critical thought to give me his advice about supressing critical thought. I guess it gets easier with practice. I had some trouble being a Christian as it was antithetical to common sense , which was how I was raised. But I still managed to allow myself to be programmed somewhat.
  22. 4 points
    There is a lot of bullshit coming from the pharmaceutical industry. However, in this case, the results of certain populations refusing to vaccinate are showing up and it ain't pretty. There is no link to autism and that has been thoroughly established for years. We do know better but the conspiracy mindset is a hard nut to crack despite in your face evidence. It's not unlike religion or political entrenchment.
  23. 4 points
    It sucks. I was on the receiving end of something similar in my christian days. I was dating a girl and thought things were going great. She said nice things about me and how great things were between us......etc....... Almost overnight she told me that god told her to dump me. The words were nicer but this was the implication. I don't know how all this works. I was devastated. In looking back this was the beginning of the end of my faith. I tried and some women tried, but I could never get close to another christian gal again. I am now glad she did what she did and I am happily in a relationship with some one that accepts me.
  24. 4 points
    It is a difficult thing, but you are seeing him for what he is right now. I was absolutely driven by my beliefs for 30 years, doing things that make me cringe now. Many Christians are liberal or have no problem with sex and such. But most of us are here because we were fundamentalist or Pentecostal types that finally saw through the crazy-making stories and beliefs. Time and another love were the best healers for me each time I lost someone I loved. I never found any other help but these, except maybe seeing in retrospect how very bad a couple we would have been because of various reasons that I willingly overlooked because she was so attractive. In your case, avoiding the hell of living every day with a True Believer is actually a good thing, which you can see by reading the posts of those who have to live with the crazy behaviors and attitudes created by religion.
  25. 4 points
    If you've been around here for a while you may have heard people refer to the Faith Virus. Religious faith can take over part or all of a person's mind, short-circuiting normal reasoning and creating an alternate reality. At its worst, it can make people fly airliners into buildings and celebrate the deaths of thousands. Or burn heretics at the stake. Hopefully this man won't go that far, but I'm sorry his particular version of the faith virus has caused you such pain. It sucks, I know. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of this relationship and it will slowly get better over time. Meanwhile I'm glad you've been helped here and I hope you'll stay around! All the Best TABA
  26. 4 points
    Girl, count yourself lucky. You do not need that patriarchal crap and yes, that's what you would be getting, even with the most loving of men, if they are religious. In other words, you would be beneath him in every way that matters because his christ is above him and he's above you. You don't want that. You need an equal. Let him go and go after better things.
  27. 4 points
    @momabear, Consider yourself fortunate that this happened now instead of 20 years into a marriage. Well, to be clear, I'm the one who changed. I had an epiphany at that point and realized religions are man-made and rejected the lot of them. In my defence I likely would not have given a RIP if Mrs. MOHO had not gone head over heels involved in the funnymentalism. - (MOHO) Mind Of His Own
  28. 4 points
    I fully agree. Perfect moment for the red pill, blue pill question. NO. I would not go back. Uh, "lean [yea] on my own understanding" is soooo much better! Cognitive dissonance is bad for humans. At the very least it causes significant stress and makes us do crazy things.
  29. 4 points
    Welcome! Your story is very similar to mine. I have been out almost 30 years, and still have to bite my tongue at times to keep quiet around many people. My patience was tested again just a few minutes ago while writing this. My wife asked what I was doing, and when I told her I was posting on this site, I got a snide remark about thinking I have all the answers. A path we have been down numerous times, and I won't go into details here, but maybe this will help you in your situation. She will not read the essay I wrote explaining step by step how I "studied" my way out of religion over 20 years. She never reads her Bible, or goes to church, but for some reason is too insecure to even look at the issue. I guess I am telling you this to show that some people are too insecure(?) Hard headed(??) To even consider other viewpoints. We have been married almost 51 years, and overall she is a very good person, but there are some quirks. She would tell you the same about me (having quirks) We look at some things very differently, and at 75 and 77 years of age, it likely will not change. HA! With senility it may get worse! Being agnostic can be lonely at times, but I could never go back. I have to be true to myself.
  30. 4 points
    My parents pulled the same shit with my education. Went to christian schools through high school and then they shipped me off to bible college to become a preacher. I went back to school many years later and got a degree in biotechnology; but, in many ways, I'm still quite ill-prepared for life. The analogy I often use is: imagine you were told that 2Lx2W was the only formula you'd ever need, as it would solve every problem; then you get the exam and there are triangles on it. I learn new formulae all the time now; sometimes because I fail the exam, sometimes not.
  31. 4 points
    Jesus turned water into wine. Jesus picked a fight in the temple once. Jesus loved the prostitutes. Who the hell needs myrrh? Jesus said that if people didn't hate their families, get rid of all their stuff, and follow him, they wouldn't get into heaven. Seems like this guy isn't too far off...
  32. 4 points
    I think he'd make a fine preacher.
  33. 3 points
    Y'all. I have said this a million times outside of this forum. To most of my conservative friends, I sound like a crazy liberal and to many of my liberal friends, I'm often called conservative. I'm trying desperately to stay away from labels in general, but.....I brought it up because I don't see how can anyone view the content of this video as a "side." It is my opinion that we should all be coming together to denounce this behavior. We have seen this shit before in history and it always ends with violence and even genocide. This is truly unbelievable to me. Depending on how you define a cult, I think it is arguable that radical SJW ideology (which I believe is demonstrated in this video) is the beginning of one. The canoe meeting in this video was textbook cult programming, as I understand it, they even had a mind-altering group "denunciation" thing. I got chills when, later in the video, whites were not allowed chairs until all the POCs got to sit and were still put in the back. We are seeing history begin to repeat itself in the name of "justice." We are seeing extreme behavior and thought control, emotional manipulation, threat of force. Even the Guardian, which is pretty liberal, states the following things to be careful of with a cult. Please note similarities in the religion we have already left: • Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. • No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. • No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement. • Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions. (for example, systemic racism or sexism, "homophobia" or "transphobia") • There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. • Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances. (not in this video, but "members" who are turned on later report feeling like this.) • There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader. (this is highly arguable, but I know many conservatives who argue that the democratic party is has done this to POCs) • Followers feel they can never be "good enough" (ie, allies w/ white guilt or "all white people can never not be racist", "heteronormativity," or even people walking on eggshells to avoid being turned on. Another good example of this are feminist athletes in the news being torn to shreds for disagreeing with their views on trans athletes.) • The group/leader is always right. • The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible (this is directly in the video, as I perceive it) Google defines a "cult" as "a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object." Based on this definition, the "group think" identity politics, the "us vs. them" mentality, and perceived oppression in the absence of facts are all historically significant factors in considering this behavior. We can also look at Cult Checklist 101 and see some disturbing trends. Per Christopher Hitchens, "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." Thoughts?
  34. 3 points
    This thread is to continue the questions/answers between @Christforums and @LogicalFallacy that were previously posted in the Rants subforum.
  35. 3 points
    There is no way to checkmate a christian, it can't be done. they always find a way to get out of thinking their king is cornered. I don't know what it is, most of them are smart enough to see the logical fallacies in their beliefs, but they just downright deny how their beliefs really are.
  36. 3 points
    Bah, MWC doesn't believe NZ exists, therefore he probably doesn't believe you exist, therefore he's been arguing with himself. Now with that astounding line of reasoning I am off to bed
  37. 3 points
    I don't know anything about Istanbul; but here's a nice picture of me and Redneck Jr. in Constantinople:
  38. 3 points
    Now I'm confused. Is he on a horse, or an ass? There are clearly two possible readings here. Who has the one, correct, inspired interpretation of this text?
  39. 3 points
    Got it. You have no evidence that doesn't derive from circular reasoning.
  40. 3 points
    I'd like to add that it may not be the best goal if your desire is to "checkmate" any believer of a religion. The bigger picture might be one trying to prove people wrong, no matter the topic. If one does desire such things, then I hope the person can ask themselves why they desire to prove Christians or believers of religion wrong. Are you in your attempt being truly altruistic? Or maybe your motivations are based on your own stance, rather than saving them from theirs. We all want the truth I suspect. Personally, I do believe that in the end, all we have left is the truth, and I find that quite acceptable. "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."
  41. 3 points
    I made my account almost a year ago, but social anxiety is real even on the internet. It's been comforting for me to even just know that this community is out here, and that I can come and read testimonies of other people who've left Christianity and feel less alone. I've started to realize recently how very damaging religion was and how much my mental health has suffered because of something directly related to religion; late's better than never, right? It seems like the right time to try to join a community of people who understand and have been through similar traumas. The first time I went to church was when I was two weeks old, and missing a Sunday between then and when I left for college was extremely rare. I was raised General Baptist in a very small town, and I'm not sure exactly when I was pushed to start singing for the church but I was doing it before I really have any solid, conscious memories--one of my first is my mother asking me if I was going to sing "Jesus Loves Me" or "Whisper a Prayer" that week. By the time I was ten I was leading the singing. By the time I was twelve I was the church piano player. My father is a deacon and my mother is the church secretary. Church was my entire life until I got old enough to start asking questions that no one could give me a good enough answer to. Obviously I was punished for asking them in the first place and I learned to keep my mouth shut, but I never learned to stop wondering. My issues with Christianity and the ways that I still struggle because of it could probably fill a whole novel, so I won't get into it here. I've been happily free for over a decade at this point, but it still impacts me every time I look down and keep my mouth closed when someone starts talking about church instead of being unashamed of the fact that I don't believe. Then, of course, there's the fact that church is still my parents' entire life... it's amazing how hard it is to actually escape.
  42. 3 points
    First off, Pilgrim, welcome to our community! I think and believe you'll find this to be a welcoming place with plenty of people who "get" you in a way that your fundamentalist friends never could. One book that I personally have not read - but which I keep seeing recommended by others - is Marlene Winell's "Leaving the Fold". One that I CAN personally recommend highly is "The Reason Driven Life" by Robert M Price. Price is best known, especially among non-theists, as an outstanding Bible scholar. He has written a lot of books dealing with the Old and New Testaments. He is able to effectively dismantle Christianity - especially Fundamentalism - but he does it gently and with humor that is quite different from some of the better-know atheist writers. The book I am recommending though is a bit different from most of his work: it's a rebuttal of the bestselling "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. Although I get why he titled it the way he did, it should have a subtitle that says something like "How to have a life of Meaning, Purpose and Joy without any god-belief". I'm only part-way into it but I have really been enjoying it. I think it would help any ex-Christian become more comfortable in their non-theist skin. Again, welcome and I hope you'll be an active member! TABA
  43. 3 points
    There are two important differences between these two propositions: The amount of time over which we are measuring the possibility of some outcome occurring and the difference in specificity between "living" and "non-living" as categories of matter and "alive" and "dead" as states of an individual. But really there's close to being the same difference. So, the odds of abiogenesis taking place over some short period of time in some specific place (say 3 days in Jerusalem :P) is vanishingly small, but we have a lot more than 3 days and a much wider possible context, and the processes involved aren't expected to be at all similar to what one would imagine a resurrection would look like, because abiogenesis is not about changing the state of a pre-existing complex organism, it's about the possibility of slowly increasing complexity over a long period of time.
  44. 3 points
    I think the cause you’re looking for is called “Brainwashing”. And it’s been proven to be extremely effective. Evidence indicates higher education has no effect on it either. Once the God virus infects a brain it becomes almost impossible to extract it. And it is contagious too.
  45. 3 points
    That really blows, @PurpleLilac. You know I'm in much the same boat but we have, more or less, worked things out. I don't go to church, we don't talk religion, and I don't chuck a wobbly when she writes that check to the entity that has created so much strife in my life. She is, however, pouring over those little Satan pamphlets and "researching" that topic in the Bible. This is the topic of her latest Bible study and the fear factor is the most powerful thing the fundies have. And they use it! We're talking about a woman who has had absolutely NO logic or science training so everything the Bible says is the absolute truth. In addition those pamphlets are written by xtians so they too are the unquestionable truth. I can only hope that she will ask me some questions based on some cognitive dissonance some day. Even someone who does not appreciate the scientific method should have doubt about the crap in the holy books. How many relationships have been ruined by fundamentalism? How much safer and happier would the human race be w/out fundamentalism? I hope the counseling improves your situation and, how knows, maybe if he listens to your logic and reason he'll head down the path that we have regarding religion.
  46. 3 points
    I’m in my early 40’s with a teenager. He’s late 30’s. We are both divorced. The brainwashed side of him is such a headfuck. You are right, if he can change just from one sermon and stay stuck in that guilt induced state for days then he’s not stable. I’m still in the middle of all of it and it hurts. Reading these boards makes the most sense to me. Time and another love?!!!! Ugh.
  47. 3 points
    Reason number 1 I will never date anyone of any religious persuasion: all of them can turn into monsters overnight if they fail to use logic and reason. Yes, even the most kind and loving of them can do awful, horrific things if they lack those faculties or don't know how to use them.
  48. 3 points
    Yes. The debates used to be sponsored by the League of Women Voters. But, as you note, the big two didn't like what happened, so they wanted conditions on the debates that the League would not agree to. So the two parties created their own commission on presidential debates, effectively shutting out any other candidates. What we need are multiple parties, proportional representation, a limit on campaign spending, and a defined time (such as 90 days) for campaigning. But in the end, it is and always will be, an oligarchy — as are most governments — regardless of what is done.
  49. 3 points
    I have no use for a God I have to obey. I want a God that will obey me! Casey
  50. 3 points
    Nope I think once you see all the information against Christianity like you have there is no believing again. 2 things still boggle my mind. 1. How did I get sucked so deep into a belief that is an obvious lie for so long. 2. When believers are faced with what we now know. How can they keep believing? Or not at least consider the possibility. When I was first seeing all of this I was very open with my wife. She heard everything I was seeing myself. But she is still a believer. Amazingly it is what she saw in her grandfather that keeps her faithful. Not really anything based on fact or proof. Just that she saw what all he lived through and remained faithful. For me someone else’s faith isn’t proof but whatever. It makes her happy, that’s all I can say about that. DB