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  1. 9 points
    Hey everyone, Since the last time I shared my back story in detail was probably years ago, I suppose a little summary is in order before I share what went on today. I'm in my mid-forties, adopted, raised in a fundamentalist Christian household. I got in a lot of trouble as a kid, did very poorly in school, and was never very good at typical good Christian Behavior. As a young adult, I moved out of my parents home and began to pursue a career as a songwriter and professional musician. I spent a couple of years actually paying the rent and feeding myself playing music and not having any other job. It was of course, not glamorous, but it was exactly what I wanted to do with my life, even after I had heard all the speeches about how unlikely it was that I would succeed at such a choice. I had a few opportunities to take giant steps forward in my music career, but for reasons that I am only just now beginning to understand, I undermined and sabotaged my work by not following through. Fast forward to my mid-twenties. I got married to a woman that I had known since I was a child, and had dated for almost seven years previous to our marriage. I decided, in a misguided attempt to conform my life to what I imagined my parents wanted from me, to quit playing music and settle down, or so I thought. I moved to the southeastern United States and went to Bible College, with an eye toward a degree and a position as a preacher or evangelist in a church somewhere. I involve myself in contemporary Christian music, on the local church level and also in an experiment to see whether my chops and experience would translate to the kind of thing that the Christian music industry recognizes as Talent. Lots of ups and downs, a few Church changes and more than a few struggles and arguments. What I did not realize, at least not to any real extent, was that I had attempted to conform myself to the imaginary standards of a god, and to the pressures and expectations of religious community, all for the sake of building some false sense of security oh, so that I would not have to fear testing my potential at the things I was really good at. I came to realize recently, after two bouts with severe, crippling depression, that I could no longer pretend that I believed or even tolerated the nonsense that had come to Define my wife's daily activities and inner life. Anyway, fast forward again, this time to this morning. Over the last couple of weeks, I had a sudden Resurgence of creativity after years of writer's block and near-total disinterest in my musical creative processes. I knew that I had to pursue this flow of creativity, and I had to be free of the self-doubt and fundamental self mistrust that typifies Christian religion. I told my wife this morning things that we had already discussed, things like the idea that we love one another, but are no longer in love, because we both silently understand that our lives are inevitably going in, and are meant to go in, two very different directions. I explained to her that it did not matter whether she was willing to continue to imagine that we still had a married relationship. Ultimately, I knew that her adherence to the Bible as the word of a god mint that regardless of how she tried to ignore it, her religion dictated that I am an outsider, failed, sinful, and Bound for hell, because I do not believe there is a God, let alone the Christian one. I told her that we needed to accept that, practically speaking, we were always going to have this huge difference between us, and that clinging to these beliefs is what has been helping her, while letting go of these beliefs is what has helped me. In short, we have reached the place where we both understand that if I continued to pretend that I can tolerate insinuating myself into her Social Circles, exclusively Christian people, which are the only friendships that she has, there would sooner than later, time when my attitude and our relationship would implode. I recognized, and told her as much, that I now understand my propensity for Bridge burning, and I wanted this to be an understanding, not a destruction. I want to be able to move forward in positive ways, and I want her to value the community and friendships that she has, that she will continue to have even if I am out of the picture. For all of their sincerity and conviction, none of the people that we are surrounded by have been inspired by their spirit to ever contact me, asked me to spend time together, pray for me, or in any other since be anything but friendly and smiley on Sundays. In other words, there's no reason for me to expect that this community of Christians is good for me, but that does not at all mean that I want to disabuse my wife of her beliefs, in so far as her involvement in the Christian world seems to be a source of comfort, safety, and worldview that she can be comfortable with. I am finally free, in the most honest sense, from any obligation to pretend that those beliefs and that environment needed to be meaningful to me at all. I have had the first important conversation about it with her. The next conversation will have to be with her and my children together. Then, there will be the conversation with the pastor of our local church, who admittedly has been compassionate and a good listener, even welcoming questioning, doubting, critical topics of conversation concerning the Christian religion and Church in general. I know this has been a long post. I wrote it to encourage anyone in a similar situation to embrace honesty about what they believe, or don't believe, rather than trying to handle the weight of how it is going to affect others. If, in fact, you really do not believe these things, you can be completely honest about it without having to scream, without having to blame, and without any expectation that the other people in your life are going to follow you down that path of thought. It's not necessary for anyone else to be convinced of your rightness... It is only necessary that you are honest with yourself and everyone around you, so that the cognitive dissonance and pressure of forced conformity do not bring about ugly, destructive, and scarring consequences. Thank you all for reading. Please feel free to comment or ask questions as you see fit. I'm sure I may have left out a detail or two in trying to explain this journey, and I'm more than glad to talk about it.
  2. 6 points
    Indoctrinated into the Southern Baptist variant at an early age, I finally walked away a few years ago. Reason and truth mean more than delusion. I now feel better about myself, others and this one life we know we have.
  3. 6 points
    Before I get started with explaining my situation, I first want to thank @LogicalFallacy, @TruthSeeker0, and @disillusioned for helping me out in the ex-C Discord the other day. I was going through a very rough time and your advice and encouraging words helped me to get through it, when I had already begun to think that there was no way that I could. As you guys know, I have been struggling with major mental health issues for a while, such as severe depression that included suicidal thoughts and feeling like I was worthless and without hope. I also had to deal with the feeling of being angry, all the time. It was like it never went away, even when I tried to distract myself from it. It has led to me experiencing intense moments of rage, which resulted in me lashing out at people, both at work and in my personal life, and I am on the verge of losing my job over it. I even had to be hospitalized last year for this and I was getting dangerously close to having to go there again, before I decided to come back here. The biggest factors at play here have been stress at work, being surrounded with toxic people and not knowing how to get away from them, losing my mom two years ago, and other personal issues that I have struggled with my whole life that made everything else worse. As a coping mechanism, I went back to religion, but not Christianity. I still knew deep down that the old religion is harmful and just plain wrong, so instead, I ended up worshiping the imaginary devil known as Satan. For a while, I had managed to convince myself that it was all real and could feel what I thought were demons trying to possess me. Now that I have come back to reality, I realize that none of it was real. I don’t feel like I saw or heard anything out of the ordinary, so I don’t think I was hallucinating, but I experienced physical sensations that made me think it was happening, similar to how Christians think the holy spirit does things to them when they are at church. It also made things worse that I sought help from religious-minded individuals who tried to push their religion and crazy conspiracy theories on me, because at my worse moments, I was vulnerable enough that those things were able to stick and make me paranoid. It likely would not have gotten so bad, if I would have come back here a lot sooner, to get a nice, big dose of logic. Trying to bottle it all up and deal with it on my own was the worst thing I could have done, but that is what happened. Now, after having said all of that, I do want you all to know that I am doing a lot better than I was the other day, when I ranted about all of this in the Discord server. I am seeing a very good therapist, who I first started seeing after all of the devil-worship BS happened, to help me sort through all of the underlying issues that I have been dealing with. Unfortunately, any progress I made with her help was slowed down drastically by not getting rid of the stupid people around me, who were putting so much stress on me in the first place. I finally got to the breaking point where I was sure everything was going to fall apart, but somehow, I came back from it and found myself back here again. I still haven’t yet found a medication that works yet and I have seen two psychiatrists, but they haven’t diagnosed me with anything, so I feel a little lost there. It feels like they just want to throw pills at my problems, to make them go away, but I haven’t had any success with them. The only thing that has really helped in this case, is smoking weed when I need to (Marijuana is legal where I live now, praise the Lard!). On the plus side, I am through with trying to please everyone. I know I can’t do this because it is impossible and I’m going to start cutting people out of my life. It won’t be too hard to burn those bridges when they are already weak and on the verge of falling apart anyway. Even though I had felt the need to debunk all of the conspiracy theory BS, I don’t see any reason to burden myself with that, when there is no need to try and change anyone’s mind about it. I tried to explain all of this as clearly as possible. It’s been a very difficult time and I feel like I have hope again, which is a huge step forward from a few days ago. I don’t need to “get right with God” like the nutters said, I just need to be at peace with myself and get the negativity out of my life for good. I actually feel like that is possible now. It’s been a long time since I have posted here, but it’s good to be back again.
  4. 5 points
    Then you are letting your anti-theist attitude endanger your loved ones. There are plenty of good Christians, plenty who are respectful and decent people. To fail to ask for help and instead rely on a known offender is a terrible decision to make. Even if you are worried about indoctrination, that takes months if not years of repetition to become fixed in a mind. Your child coming into connect with religion isn't like a disease they can catch.
  5. 5 points
    I think teaching kids to be atheists and god-haters is quite likely to be counter-productive. Teaching kids about the various religious claims, and above all teaching them to become critical thinkers, will likely have the desired results.
  6. 5 points
    I'm going to continue cause I got a few more words to say if you don't mind. We spend our whole childhood and adolescence being brainwashed by parents, friends, teachers or whoever made 'suggestions' to us like you have to be a really good boy and don't do that - don't do this - or people will think ''such and such about you''. Everything was done so you looked exactly like the neighbors in your town or city. We were ALL ''Stepford Wifes'.' So we tried to be perfect. We tried to get along with everyone in the school. If we got in a fight and were angry cause someone called us a name, we were shamed. Shame on this school mark. Shame on your loud voice. Shame on you that you are shy and can barely speak to someone. Shame on your anger. Shame on you touching your body. Shame on you for the way you talked to that lady. Shame on you that you touched that girl or guy and got caught by your parents. Shame on you for trying smoking, toking, alcohol, etc.... Shame on you for being born such a sinner. Jesus, we suffered guilt for all of this, so shame was taking us on a fucking journey to perfectionism. And that included trying to please every person in our tribe. So their duty back then was to try and 'perfect' us and brainwash us to the way they thought it should be. And all this time......god, himself was watching you.... and you might just go to his hell. If this isn't enough to make you crazy as a child and adolescence. No wonder so many of us get hooked on jesus. If we please him and he takes all our sin away, we are free, right? But we kept messin' up. Kept sinning. Fuck ups we were. Not even good enough for god. Failure. The nails in his hands did not work. I say this tonight to you so can hopefully learn to be completely comfortable in your own skin. This is so important. Be you...it's all inside you. If people don't like you then let them go. You only need a friend or two for good support. I personally do not want a lot of people in my life. I like being by myself also. Don't let the approval of other people stand in the way of you becoming comfortable in your own body. And you don't have to be mean about it. You can be kind. Try not to hurt anyone in the process. Be easy on you. You're human. You need to survive. Drop all perfectionistic expectations that you have bound yourself up in and expect of yourself. You are too hard on yourself right now. You have to learn how to do this slowly. That is why I say, ''take your time''. Hang loose for a change. Break free, my friend from the squirrels that are running around in your mind. Go fishing. Lift weights. Read a book. Post here. Take pictures. Rest. Once you get all of this, you will be a truly free man. And take your time. The grass is not always greener on the other side. But sometimes it is. So don't do anything right now. Think this all through. *Then you can move away if you want *you can stay at your job and smile and not feel like a traitor (remember, you are working for them - they give the paycheck and you can't help that you don't believe the same things as them.) Hush for now until you know exactly what you are going to do. If you have to bow your head and sign a paper and it's a white lie, be OK with that if you're going to stay. god is not going to punish you. *You can do anything you want. florduh made a few good suggestions. *This is your life I'm sorry for my ramblings tonight. But I finally got free after 10 years on this site and I want to share what I have learned. (hugs) to all of you for helping me.
  7. 5 points
    Our minds evolved enough to give us a great edge on the other creatures, but they don't always work very well for finding the truth. Even when we developed rules of logic over the past few thousand years, most of us never bother to learn the rules or to recognize when logic is violated. We tend to focus on how someone/something makes us feel, and we get suckered rather often by manipulative people. And the flaws in our thinking are almost as well documented as the rules of logic. For example, "magicians" exploit how humans focus on things that seem important to hide things that are actually important, and can even do so in front of a large live audience. I watched a master slight-of-hand guy do some amazing things, but from an angle where I could see what he was actually doing, and how the others couldn't detect his technique. Fascinating. Magician James Randi pointed out how mentalist Yuri Geller was able to whip up an audience to the point where he could bend a spoon manually in front of them even while denying that he was doing so, and they emotionally couldn't see what happened and attributed it to psychic power. We tend to see what we want to see, and ignore red flags to the contrary.
  8. 5 points
    I just read through this thread. Here's what I have to say. It appears you want to be the Knight in shining armor and save this lady. My take: youre creating more pain for yourself by spending time together in an impossible situation. I speak as a woman who was a fundie deeply infected with the god virus. There is nothing you can do at this point. She is brainwashed and indoctrinated. When they tell her you're Satan, trust me she believes it. Do you think you stand a chance in that kind of scenario? No. The best thing for you would be to walk. There are some people you just can't save unless they are willing to save themselves first. The good news is that whether you want to give it a try or not at this point in time, there are plenty of matches out there that stand a better chance when religion doesn't stand in the way. Don't fall for the "there's only one person for me" romantic fairytale crap, ok? If you find someone with similar values, hobbies and interests and you get along well, in the long run your relationship will survive the initial intoxication, which eventually hits and must square with reality if it's going to survive.
  9. 5 points
    She's a religious nutter. You're not. You should strongly consider using intellect, reason, practicality and simplicity over emotional tugs, hormonal urges, wanting to get laid and wishful thinking. Move on. Really, move on.
  10. 4 points
    As I often tell the younger guys, you may not believe me but I guarantee the day will come when you don't give a shit about what others think, and you will also have occasion to sit on your own balls. Believe it or not.
  11. 4 points
    I think this is a main point of disconnect. Many or most Christians are indoctrinated into thinking there is only "Jesus" and "Not Jesus" and you're either with him or against him. Logical, alternative and neutral positions are simply not recognized; you are doing Satan's work. The neutral act of not indoctrinating a child into the Jesus cult is seen as active evil.
  12. 4 points
    Sorry that really sounds like a Christian line not an atheist one. Atheists don't say "god haters" because we don't believe He exists. You don't hate the non-existent.
  13. 4 points
    So far no reaction at all from the SIL. Of the two posts I've made, one said "Thanks for educating me" and the other said "That's terrifying". Meh, it's a start.
  14. 4 points
    I see. Now I'm wondering if epilepsy isn't actually demon possession. Abrahamic theology really fucks with people.
  15. 4 points
    If you had a time machine, you'd probably be shafted from ever finding jesus at all. You'd probably find a slew of various jesus's around that time, none of which fit the model of the gospel character in full, only different jesus's fitting different parts of the story, and from different timelines.
  16. 4 points
    If there is anything I have learned in my 38 years of being on this planet, it is that there is a lot I do not know. There are many pressing issues that face humanity that I am ill equipped to answer or to figure out a solution. One example would be climate change. I have heard arguments on both sides: those that state it is a real, scientifically backed issue, and those who say it is just an agenda being peddled to coax people out of their money. I am more inclined to think this is not a giant hoax to get rich, especially when so many scientific organizations back it, but at the end of the day, I cannot know for sure. I am not a scientist in general, let alone a scientist who specializes in paleoclimatology. I mention all this because it always reminds me of a real hangup I had with the Christian faith, and that was why I could never get God to weigh in on issues that I found to be completely out of my ability to know, understand, or do something about. Going back to climate change, if the Christian God is everything Christians say he is, then he not only knows what the issue is, but he has knowledge of how to fix it. That being said, if people like me are in position to not really understand the issue, or know how to work towards a solution, but really beseech God for an answer, why the silence? I think it is a humble request (especially recognizing your own limitations) and is nothing more than what Solomon asked for. And if God found that request from Solomon to be remarkable, would the same metric not be applied here? This is especially true when I was a practicing Christian. I would constantly be in conflict about what the right answer was for such a wide array of topics, starting with theology. I spent years reading, researching, and asking questions of clergy because I really wanted to know what I was supposed to believe, and what I was supposed to do. I came to a point where I realized I was not equipped to make any real judgements on what a collection of writings from 2000 years ago was supposed to be telling me, especially when 30000 different denominations cannot agree on it. Realizing my inability to draw any real conclusions with a high degree of certainty, I would fall on my knees and beg God to reveal himself to give me an hour of his time to tell me what was orthodoxy and orthopraxy. In the midst of this dilemma, I was faced with many more on a daily basis. What should I do about that homeless person begging for money at the intersection? Does he really need money, a meal, or something more to really make an impact in their life. I am limited in my knowledge of what that person really needs, or any person I may run across. I would ask Jesus for true knowledge of what would have the most beneficial impact in that persons life. Naturally, nothing was provided. Questions kept burning: What is the best way to tackle world hunger? How can I personally make an impact that effects real change, not just throwing money at it so I feel better about my first world condition? What should I do about various social issues? What should I do day to day to please Jesus and have a meaningful impact? I was attracted to Christianity because I thought it was going to provide answers to my burning problems. I was promised it was going to provide the solution for not going to hell. I could count on God as a loving father to guide and direct my life. I was told God wanted the best for me, and so on and so forth. Initially it was all pretty easy to get down, but when you get into it, I mean really get into it, you start to realize there are way more questions than answers. Nothing you were told at the beginning really holds true anymore, it was a bait and switch to get you to convert. My conclusion was that if God would not honor my simple request for knowledge and understanding of orthodoxy and orthopraxy, if he was not even willing to put in a fraction of the effort I was, then the Bible is definitely not true on multiple occasions regarding God's character; and that God either does not care, or is not there. If God does not care, then why should I, and if he is not there, then it is a mute point.
  17. 4 points
    Just one of the many many examples of how fear and indoctrination can negatively impact society. Churches need to be licenced and audited to ensure they are not systematically destroying lives. Learning institutions need to offer classes on avoiding mind control and group think.
  18. 4 points
    I'm so sorry you are going through this L.B. But I do think that time apart could help you both figure out which direction to go. How do you feel right now? It just blows me away how the horrible doctrine of christianity and hell can have such an impact on not just marriage, but in every aspect of life. So, so sad. I got my fingers crossed for you.
  19. 4 points
    One would think that there would be more deconversions based on the complete lack of response by a god to endless prayers for knowledge, healing, food, and so on. Promise after promise that sound so great when read, but which fell flat when we finally asked, and asked, and asked, and... then other believers make excuses, make up reasons, anything to fill the silence with evidence that they still believe even if this guy is doubting. It is a cult, entirely unworthy of any respect or nostalgia. Our culture gives it default honor and acceptance. The county jail has a Christian chaplain, piles of books to hand out to try and convert the inmates. They'd be better off with a secular psychologist to help them get a handle on making good choices instead of trusting an invisible fake friend in the sky.
  20. 4 points
    Your honesty with your wife it is excellent - and whatever the outcome is I believe that Honesty will serve the both of you best. And I think it's so healthy for you to have had the courage to express your thoughts and desires. I couldn't tell by what you wrote - do you feel like this is the beginning of the end of your marriage? Or do you see your marriage continuing on but just looking a little different? I'm married to a believing wife and for a good 5 years after me announcing my unbelief I did not think we were going to make it. Finally during year 6 we have turned the corner. Our marriage definitely looks different than it once did. And that Gulf that you describe is always there. But somehow it's gotten smaller has our relationship has gotten better. The more she knows and is convinced that I still love her and I'm still committed to her and that I'm not going to run headfirst into a life of "sin" the more it gives her a chance to come out of that defensive reactive place and just forget about religious belief for a while and be in the moment enjoying one another and enjoying our lives. All the best to you.
  21. 4 points
    "I love Christ first [before my daughter]" Messed up priorities.
  22. 4 points
    I echo Florduh, believers have one objective, submission to Jesus. Counselors that have a Christian label will think of their work as a "calling" by the Imaginary One to base everything they say on the scriptures, as though they have a magic cure in them. There is no magic. In a relationship, there is compromise as you work together to form a household. But if you are pulling in very different directions, you need to reevaluate the point of being together (although being together lets you act as a faster reality check for the kids who have to deal with his crazy-making). Considering the other things you've posted about your husband, he has some serious behavioral issues around the kids. It's a hard situation.
  23. 4 points
    You are a masochist.
  24. 4 points
    When emotions run strong it is hard to separate lust from love. Margee's experience is not unique. Many of us thought we were in love but discovered with time and distance that we just had the hots for each other.
  25. 4 points
    I am not ethically bound to accept advertising. For example: I have a DVR. When the commercials come on I skip over them. I have no ethical issue with this even though it is the business model of the various companies in question. Sony was sued over the Betamax because of "time shifting." The studios didn't want people to watch shows at times and in ways that they did not control. It went to the Supreme Court and Sony won. As a result we can time shift which includes skipping the advertisements. I can also skip the ads in newspapers and magazines. It's really no different. Tech just allows for tighter control to push ads but that really doesn't change the ethics just the business model even though it feels like the other way around. With tighter controls it feels like we're doing something wrong when we try to circumvent those controls to accept something we don't really have to accept. Like the well-known scene in A Clockwork Orange when his eyes are forced open to make him watch the movie. It seems wrong to utilize that sort of control over a person to make them watch something but technology accomplished the same thing in more subtle ways and people go along with it and even find it quite ethical. mwc
  26. 4 points
    God needed 10 and you did it with one. Brilliance. Shear, unadulterated brilliance!
  27. 3 points
    I get this mental image whenever I hear a Christian say Jesus is coming back, a bachelor desperately waiting by the phone. They had one date with God and thought things went well. At the end of the night He said "yeah, it was great, I'll call you". After the first generation or two with no call the Christian started making excuses "well He's just busy, He has a whole universe to look after" and their atheist flatmate just shook his head. A few centuries later and their social life has suffered, no longer willing to even talk to other gods and bitterly jealous of others who claim a good relationship. The atheist flatmate puts his hand on his shoulder "come on mate, it's been a thousand years, Hes not going to call. How about you and me go out tonight? Plenty more religions in the sea." "No" he shouts "He said He will call, it just takes time" He starts sending Him prayer text messages. "Hey God, me again. Just wanted to know what you are up to. Haven't heard from you in a couple of millennia, hope you haven't forgotten me." Finally the flatmate walks out "sorry dude, I can't watch you pining over this guy anymore. I'm off to explore the universe, why don't you come with me?" The last thing he hears as he closes the door is the sobbing "Hes coming back..."
  28. 3 points
    Philosophy is questions that may never be answered; religion is answers that may never be questioned.
  29. 3 points
    As a general rule, atheists and agnostics tend to encourage their kids to be freethinkers, circumspect, and draw conclusions based on evidence and logic. These are different than the tactics often employed by the religious: coercion, manipulation, guilt, shame, and sometimes even physical punishment for expressing skepticism. Thus is why atheists, as a general rule, do not consider themselves guilty of indoctrination.
  30. 3 points
    I've found myself holding my tongue rather a lot lately. Many of my pagan and non-Christian friends on FB are mystified at the anti-abortion laws being passed in the Bible Belt, and are asking a lot of questions about the male-dominated views. I've kept from responding for a while, but today decided to start giving some insights into the mindset of believers (invisible kingdoms of angels and demons and such). My sister-in-law is going to notice and likely chime in about my words. I really can't be silent about it any more when people are trying to make sense out of what they are seeing, and they really have no clue how bizarre the personal worldview of believers is, and how much it affects the laws and culture of our country. My motivation for silence has been to be an influence on my young niece and nephew, but they are in their teens now and I rarely see them. I want to educate people about the mindset of serious believers, and why it is important to understand why they do what they do. This is one way to start unplugging the undeserved default respect and honor that church has in the culture.
  31. 3 points
    My father passed away Friday evening. He started breathing heavily and passed out on the couch not breathing and without a pulse. Emergency services had me doing CPR on him while the paramedics arrived but my efforts and theirs were in vain. In a very short span of time I saw him embrace oblivion, which perhaps is the only mercy this indifferent universe gives us in the end since he was constantly in pain the last few years. There is no comfort of seeing him again, I do not subscribe to ideas that consciousness transcends our brains nor will I delude myself due to the current situation. Also, it's not the dead that trouble me at the moment but the living. My brothers are nowhere to be found, they'll only find out about our father's passing the next time they show up wanting something. I don't feel compelled to track them down as they couldn't be bothered when he was in the hospital multiple times. My mother is too hysterical to deal with the aftermath of the situation. Both of them were irresponsible financially and did not prepare for this situation thus the costs and burden of the funeral home will fall solely on me. I can't even afford to stop and feel anything at the moment. We're just a sliver of consciousness in an infinite void of oblivion that extends before our birth to the beginning of the universe and after our demise to the heat death of the cosmos. We waste that sliver on mostly meaningless garbage, be it religion, politics, or some other worthless pursuit. We can't just be direct and say what we mean, we carry things unsaid to our death beds. At least the void of nothingness will wash us of our regrets in the end...
  32. 3 points
    Matthew 23:9 9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. So? I think a name change is your only option.
  33. 3 points
    A logical argument that is based upon a faulty assumption can only lead to equally faulty conclusions. Your initial assumptions are a) that jesus existed, b) that he was all that the bible cracks him up to be, c) that he indeed rise from the dead, and d) that John (among other witnesses) supported the purported messiahship of jesus. Until you can demonstrate that these assumptions are not faulty, you cannot assert that faith in these claims is logical. Your assertion remains unfounded; as did your assertion based on the faulty assumption that I believe faith to be a blind wish.
  34. 3 points
    Every single post from you, that I have seen, does nothing more than attempt to ridicule, belittle, and demean. You are not interested in an open discussion. You are not interested in an exchange of ideas. You are not even interested in defending Christianity - or anything for that matter. You are either a very angry person or just incredibly immature. Whatever your game I am not interested and will no longer respond to your posts. Have nice life (assuming you have one) and please seek professional help.
  35. 3 points
    I want to thank everybody for your encouraging words. I knew this would be a place where I can tell this story and find not only acceptance, but honest feedback. As to the question of whether I feel like my marriage is over, I'm not sure. I still feel like no matter how I feel about her as a woman, as a mother to my children, as a wife, the issue is that as a fellow human being, she is choosing to live her life based on the illusion that she, and I, are fundamentally flawed in and of ourselves. As far as I can see, it doesn't make any difference how much we compromised on her having her beliefs and me living rationally. The big hurdle, if it's ever going to be surmounted, is that idea that even if we love one another and want the best for one another, the sources of our individual life goals, encouragement, strength, and inspiration are two completely different things. I am never again going to spend a minute believing that I need some extrinsic Force to forgive me before it even begins to help me, or that this Force had been either directing or hindering everything I had done in my life. My wife says that she is willing to not think about or not talk about that conflict. I understand, because I know her so well, that her saying that is partly a defense mechanism against being alone. She's a people pleaser, and she knows it and will tell you so. Ultimately, however, I know in my heart that the time will come when some decision is going to come down to whether or not one of us believes that God or a god is in control of a situation, or whether she can allow herself to make or accept a choice that is in absolute conflict with what she believes is a holy book. I've already asked her how she can justify continuing to believe in a religion that says that my rejection of God automatically destines me for wrath and hell. It's not that I want her to quit her beliefs, I just want her to live consistently with them. If she listens to the crap about hell and eternity and resurrection and all, and she believes it's all true and applicable to everyone, then we will never be truly right together, because I categorically reject that thinking, but she believes that fate is mine, and is sealed, unless I repent and accept the zombie man. If she doesn't believe that, then I don't understand why she would constantly listen to such teachings and surround herself with friends who believe such a thing.
  36. 3 points
    Parents who grudgingly stay together solely for the sake of the kids do a great disservice to themselves and particularly their children. In the midst of a toxic marriage is no place for kids to grow up and learn how to adult.
  37. 3 points
    Welcome back! Wow, he's controlling, manipulative, passive-aggressive, crazy-making, gas-lighting, blame-shifting, and you are so very much better off without him or anyone like that in your life. I only had to deal with a housemate like that. He used to go through my stuff, looking for porn I think, and justified it by being "my brother's keeper" when he really just wanted wanking material and didn't want to pay for it. I once set up booby-traps in my room when I went on vacation, he set them off but never mentioned it. He had actually gone so far as to remove the insulation from the walls trying to see if I had hidden anything (I didn't have any to hide). He stored junk mail that came to me for months and demanded that I come get it. I told him it was junk mail and to toss it. He whined about it not being his responsibility to manage my mail (I'd already put in a change of address and all my actual mail was changed, but not junk mail). He would threaten violence with a smile, like he was something to be reckoned with, but was sickly, went around in a bathrobe all day unless a woman he was manipulating happened to come over. He scammed businesses out of money by selling them outdated computer hardware he picked up for pennies and billed them for thousands.
  38. 3 points
    That is essentially what happened when i moved out. The attempts to fearmonger and regain or reassert control continued for a little while, but then tapered off to just....nothing essentially. We occasionally talk about movies or television, but since i have un-enmeshed myself (somewhat) my tastes are diverging from his, greatly, and we have less and less to talk about. I don’t even think he sees or understands how emotionally manipulative he is, that’s just how he functions. and thank you! im amazed at how i responded, because even a year ago i would have been a wreck knowing that i was causing him pain. that would have *mattered more* to me than my own health and sanity and so its almost shocking to have had this exchange and go on with my day, totally fine. His emotions aren’t my responsibility and i know that, and live that now. there is hope, fellow ex-fundie co-dependant kids!
  39. 3 points
    One thing I’ve recently realised is that the need to force a god into the gaps in our knowledge occurs at two separate levels. First there is the human knowledge level. We don’t know where lightning, pregnancy, seasons, tides or disease comes from, therefore some unseen superpower must be making it happen. With our knowledge expanding we see this retreating to ever more challenging questions such as where life or the universe comes from. The second level is at the individuals understanding. People walking into an ancient cathedral will be struck by the grandeur and with no understanding of how humans could have achieved something so grand, they give praise to a god. That surgeon studied and practiced for 20 years, to carry out a 12-hour surgery, to remove a brain tumour and save your life? It is too immense for a mere mortal to have done; his hands must have been guided by His noodly appendages. If you watch a documentary on the building of a cathedral and see the plans written up, the land flattened, the stone quarried, the calculations required for the supports and the dome. The decades of hard work, the skill of the stone masons, the individual artists working on the paintings and sculptures. You get a very real world understanding of the effort that goes into such a project. Now when you walk into such a building your wonderment is directed towards the immense effort to achieve such a spectacular sight. You can marvel at how tight the stonework is, how smooth the marble floors are, how back breaking the painting of the ceiling must have been. It brings it all back down to earth. I was sitting here looking at my keyboard. A relatively simple part of the computer system but consider it from a raw material standpoint. Some dinosaur dies and is buried, millions of years of immense pressure converts its biological material into oil. We extract that oil and refine it, extracting the compounds that can be made into raw plastics. Through chemical processes we colour, shape and texture that plastic into the form we require. That’s step 1 and its simply amazing. I guess it’s a different perspective. When I look at a masterwork painting, I think “Wow, how did they create such a beautiful thing? What processes, techniques and skill was required?” but that same painting to a religious person would be written off at an almost surface level as “god did that”. I think if you can understand what we are capable of you are less likely to give the praise to the wrong being.
  40. 3 points
    Belief without supporting evidence is simply an opinion. Christianity requires faith precisely because there is no historical evidence that even one word of it is true. The world operates on the laws of science and physics not on faith. And those laws confirm the nonsense found in the Bible is simply not possible. That is why religious faith requires deep indoctrination to obtain it. Surely you you have better things to do than waste you time here.
  41. 3 points
    Christians have historically “interpreted” scripture in ways that confirm their own groups beliefs & traditions. Some versions allow female pastors/ministers by interpreting scripture that prohibits female preachers as “cultural” rather than a command from God. There are versions of Christianity that openly accept gay members & Pastors. I assume they have “interpreted” scripture in a way that allows them to be receptive to the gay community. Christianity is nothing if not flexible. Cherry picking scripture is as old as Christianity itself. If a person can’t find a version of Christianity they like, then they really haven’t put much effort into their search.
  42. 3 points
    In some situations, turning the other cheek is wise, as long as what's being done is not significantly harmful to you. Suppose you insult me. It may be the case that by just ignoring you I will accomplish more than by dignifying you with a response. The same may be the case if you push me, trying to pick a fight. If I just stare you down and walk away, the result may be better than if I immediately shove back. There's definitely a line though, and I'm not talking about being a pushover. My default is "I'm not fighting", but if you force the issue, understand that you're going to lose.
  43. 3 points
    Yes, but near as I can tell SB's post seems to assert that Christianity is allegory, and then take the allegory literally. As I said, not terribly coherent. SB, please elaborate.
  44. 3 points
    BUT... caring and being able to do something are two different things, and there is nothing you can do.
  45. 3 points
    ^ ^ ^ She has told you in no uncertain terms that it's not going to work. The best thing you can do is to not ever contact her again. Get into some activities that will occupy your brain. Sign up for a course at the local community college. Join a hobby club. Volunteer for some community project or political campaign.
  46. 3 points
    A lot of protestants are raised to believe that the catholic church is the whore of babylon, pope being the antichrist, number of the beast going back to the papacy, etc., etc. It's a very common delusion that I'd expect most ex-protestants around here are very familiar with. And we're also quite aware of what complete bullshit all of it is, too. All of it. Anyone claiming that revelation is about the contemporary period will fail miserably when pressed to substantiate the claim. Miserably. I was raised on that shit as an SDA. Spoon fed the mark of the beast is sunday worship, led out worldwide by the roman catholic church. It's total and complete horse shit nonsense, all of it. The evidence squarely points to the writer of revelation referring to the contemporary period of his writing. Making direct reference to Rome, the Caesar, and what was happening at that time and what he expected to take place, soon, at that time. That time has long since passed........
  47. 3 points
    Just to muddy the water a little more. Apologist generally date the Gospels from AD 50 to AD 90. Historians favor dating the Gospels from sometime after AD 70 to AD 125 + or - a few years. Pauls’s Epistles were not “discovered” until the second century by Marcion. That has led to speculation that Marcion was the author of Paul’s Epistles. Historians know for certain that Marcion and Simon Magus created a Gnostic version of Christianity that was the most popular version for quite some time; and many present day denominations continue to embrace that concept. Believers that favor salvation by faith thru grace not of works prefer Marcion’s theology. Since no writings prior to the second century have apparently survived that has opened the door to a lot of speculation. It also must be considered that there were other stories about dying and rising God/men that came to save their people, long before the Jesus story appeared on the scene. The Jesus story wasn’t unique.
  48. 3 points
    Yes religions in general, including Christianity, are some of the most ridiculous beliefs of our time, and of all past times. Still, I believe we must be fair about this stupidity so I wish to address the points of your Rant one by one. 1-The Bible is rife with contradictions. Yes, nearly all bible scholars agree with this statement. 2-Evidence for Jesus outside of the Bible is very thin. Tis true, but this statement may not go far enough. Many or most bible scholars assert that there is no historical evidence for the Jesus of the bible at all. 3-Prayers are not answered This is a subjective statement. Some people swear that their prayers have been answered. Of course they are delusional but still we till can't prove that their prayers were not answered. It could be considered strong evidence for an individual that their prayers were never answered. But as a general statement no evidence for it can be found. 4-Christians cannot even agree with each other on Salvation. This is true but it is not evidence against any particular sect of religion. One religion could be correct and the others wrong. Yes, impossible but still it is not a good point of argument against Christianity. 5-Even breaking one rule is akin to breaking them all, stole a bottle of wine when you were 20, you are the same as Hitler. This statement is not true for any Christian religions that I know of. Catholics, for instance, generally break it down to two categories: venial and mortal sins. Venial sins are the small stuff and Mortal sins are breaking one of the ten commandments in a severe way: i.e. killing a few people, baring false witness where someone goes to jail for a crime they did not commit, and you somehow benefit from this. Maybe you were coveting his wife and now can act upon her in his incarceration, etc. 6.- God knows all from beginning to end, we can do nothing to earn Salvation yet somehow we are still responsible for it. Yes, this is a good argument against all Abrahamic religions. 7-Looking at someone lustfully is the same as sleeping with them and must be punished after death with forever fire. Yes this is a fairly good argument IMO but religions can vary significantly on this matter. 8.Rape victims are complicit in being raped and must be punished, either with marriage to their rapist or death. Very few, if any, Christian religions of today believe in this interpretation of the Old Testament. 9-God , the author of love, mercy, goodness and justice personally killed people in the OT and plans to roast them in the afterlife. Yes God killed and instructed the Jews to kill many people according to the Old Testament. But generally no Christian religions of today believe that God is responsible for "the joke of" Hellfire. So the argument that God knows all beforehand and allows one to go to hell is a fairly good argument against many Christian religions. 10-Loving your wife who supports you is wrong, yet loving an invisible, mind reading serial killer who lives in the sky is right. This statement is too sarcastic and runs contrary to most Christian religions. It is not a good argument against religion IMO. But it is totally consistent with a Rant, and this is the category for it-- so congrats OK, you've made some good points but you would still need to refine some of your points to get out of this Rant category. Yes, all the world religions past and present are a complete and absolute joke, but some very brilliant people still believe in this bullshit so logic and respect must prevail when trying to show logical flaws of a religion to a religious person, right?
  49. 3 points
    I don't know and I suspect no one else does either. It would certainly be difficult to quantify, measure, poll or analyze without significant rigor in the analytical methodology. For example, one person's coincidence may be another person's correlation, or another person may claim actual causation. I have spent some time attempting to learn to distinguish the differences among and between non sequitur, coincidence, correlation and causation. I've noticed that many folks tend to elevate the two events at issue to a level above what they actually are, and that tendency to elevate is correlated with (perhaps caused by) the person's infection with confirmation, expectation or other biases. Conversely, other folks tend to do the opposite.
  50. 3 points
    I really enjoyed reading this post. Welcome to the forum, I am really excited to see more of your content! As for a response, I only ever wondered why god could be jealous and we couldn't. I also always wondered why hell was even necessary, it seems cruel. It's only now that I see how many contradictory behaviors there are! "Perfect love casts out fear..." unless you're god and use fear to get people to love you. Apparently it is patient, doesn't envy or boast, not proud. It's not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs....except for if you're god and you keep a record of every wrong, lose your shit over an apple, create beings to boast your own glory, and will send these beings to eternal torment for not finding this behavior acceptable...Where is the patience and the self control and the forgiveness?



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