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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/12/2019 in all areas

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 5 points
    Person in a cult asks another person in a cult which cult he belongs to
  4. 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:
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 4 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.
  8. 3 points
    This thread is to continue the questions/answers between @Christforums and @LogicalFallacy that were previously posted in the Rants subforum.
  9. 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
  10. 3 points
    I lost my relationship with jesus.
  11. 3 points
    I don't know anything about Istanbul; but here's a nice picture of me and Redneck Jr. in Constantinople:
  12. 3 points
    @Christforums this deserves your attention. LF's question should be addressed. How do you know that your version is the correct one? What makes you so special?
  13. 3 points
    There has never before been such a concerted effort to persuade people to avoid vaccines, and on the absurd grounds it gives you autism. That claim came from one debunked "study" so there's a beginning to the movement here. Organized and effective, the movement has done so well as to prompt some pediatricians to not serve unvaccinated patients in order to protect other patients. Pockets of vaccine resisters have had outbreaks; this is not a mystery. The pharma industry (as well as other giant industries) does some shady shit, primarily by keeping out competitors, fixing prices and such by virtually buying off lawmakers. I think it's impossible to honestly believe that vaccines haven't been effective, changed the world and saved countless lives. Giant corporations have their problems, but beware going full conspiracy mindset. On this issue, as with all others, there are some facts, figures and studies available is you care to dig a little.
  14. 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?
  15. 3 points
    Got it. You have no evidence that doesn't derive from circular reasoning.
  16. 3 points
    Church buildings are for housing casserole dinners and bingo.
  17. 3 points
    Seriously? Are you actually trying to save my soul on an ex-Christian forum? I have been fully persuaded in my own mind for years thank you very much. With all due respect, you don't want to draw your sword on me of all people.
  18. 3 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.
  19. 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."
  20. 2 points
    All you horny, nipple-obssessed people need to just get laid and call it a day, goodness me.
  21. 2 points
    The inherent problem with censorship is that it tends to grow and expand. We have seen that here in the U.S. with “political correctness”. An actual social judicial/punishment segment has been created. Say the wrong thing and a person’s life can be literally destroyed. Its out of control now because it has evolved into a form of mob rule and there doesn’t seem to be a way to control it, much less end it.
  22. 2 points
    You two guys and your uh-piss-duh-mual-oh-geez! The pink unicorn, I'll have you know, is the "sacred phallus"; he whom penetrates the six nippled one. And it is she, whom, must lay in submission. In fact, in the presence of the pink unicorn she may not speak, unless spoken to, when celestial men are talking! Is it not written in your law; 'she whom remains coward down while men are speaking, shall remain glorious in the eyes of the almighty phallus?' And if it is written thus, why then shall it not be so among you?
  23. 2 points
    You blasphemous heathen! You will float away forever on the fluffy pink clouds of the Pink Unicorns magnanimity to spend eternity pondering your vile ways! May the great horn poke thee!
  24. 2 points
    Too late. I already prayed to the Six Nippled One (Glorify Her Name) as soon as christfuckems announced he was moving. If the move goes well, it is She who will receive the Glory for it. All those who do not Glorify the Six Nippled One shall be devoured in everlasting digestive acids and gastric juices.
  25. 2 points
    I may have under-emphasized the actual internal struggle that I went through. Years of being commisioned to "look to god" for the answers was extremely difficult for me to overcome. I truly believed that praying was somehow helping me overcome difficulties and obstacles in my life. In hindsight, I was actually talking out my problems, and ultimately finding solutions, all by myself. Or, I guess you could say that I was talking out my problems with my imaginary friend. Regardless, I came to realize that I had the capability to navigate through life all along. I still cannot figure out why religion leads one to believe that they're incapable without a higher power guiding them through troubled times. I really think that is the most costly effect of religion; the fact that it takes your individuality, creativity and self assurance away from you. It taught me that, not only was I incapable without god, but I was less of a person. I needed him, in essence, to perform the most mundane things. The entire time, not realizing how amazing I, and others, were all by ourselves. I was often demoralized by my sins, by what I couldn't do without god, with how worthless I was on my own. I don't know how others reacted to the "you need god" theory but, it made me feel incomplete. However, when I tried to break free from this phenomenon, I kept coming back to it. I was literally caught in a vicious circle of trying to escape religion by turning to religion for the answers. Thousands of unanswered prayers later, I was finally able to free myself. However, it wasn't as easy as I made it sound in my original post. My experiment failed several times, with me praying for signs, help, answers. Forty years of brainwashing had commisioned me well. I was certainly hooked. However, the truth of the world around me was always there nagging at me. I knew religion was fake. I knew it was nothing more than mythology. Still, I couldn't break its chains. I struggled with this for years. Religion is a very powerful form of brainwashing. Even when I could deduce that it had no real meaning, no actual power, and contained very little, or no, truth, I continued to look to it for guidance. If anything, I had become irrational with Christianity. Even when I knew it wasn't real, I, for some reason, defended it to myself. It had me to where I couldn't function without god, even though I had full knowledge that he didn't exist. It's scary to think about religions' power to make someone feel this way. Luckily, common sense eventually won out. But, it was a long battle.
  26. 2 points
    If you were exposed to Adventures Odyssey growing up,the Christians were kind and well-mannered,honest people. The non-Christians were rude,dishonest and rationalized immature,selfish decisions with phrases like “if it feels good,do it.” That taught me to avoid anything that felt good (is it any wonder Pentecostals lost their mind during worship in an effort to Feeeeeeel Something?) My parents always hired Christians to fix their house,babysit their kids and anything else they needed. I did the same thing up until a year ago because all that brainwashing convinced me Christians were safer. Catholics were a tossup but at least better than those lost non-religious people. I remember telling my parents in my early twenties that the family I nannied for were so kind and good to me but not Christians and “that’s really surprising to me!” My parents looked *worried*. And now their worried faces make sense in a twisted,terrible way. Once a fundie gets a glimpse of good,kind people outside the cult,they are a step closer to getting free.
  27. 2 points
    I still enjoy chatting with all of you, my imaginary friends, so I won't reason you away...yet. mwc
  28. 2 points
  29. 2 points
    Hmmm... I had you pictured as an Old Fart, yelling at kids to get off his lawn...
  30. 2 points
    Thank you all for your support and kind words. I appreciate a community, albeit an online one, where I can share my story, read about others journeys and realizations and not be afraid of its risks. I have seen so many testimonials, that are in many ways very similar to mine, at this site. I never realized what a costly burden religion, especially Christianity, was to a person. I knew Christianity's ability to diminish ones self worth was terrible. However, I kind of thought that only a few select people, including myself, felt that way. After finding this site, I now know different. As far as my marriage is concerned, I've often heard my wife ridicule atheists, and religious people who were connected to them. She has even made the statement that she would NEVER "be with" someone that didn't believe in god. Or rather, her god...the Christian god. Obviously, I love my wife, and our two children, regardless of either of our beliefs. I've kind of drawn the conclusion that, for the time being, I'll just wait it out. Some day, perhaps, the timing will be right to come clean on my freedom from religion. Again, thank you to everyone for your support and kind words. I appreciate it more than I can show you on a screen.
  31. 2 points
    The autism angle began with the now thoroughly debunked 1998 study. Eventually social media and a couple of misguided celebrities made it their cause. I remember as a child hearing about some kids whose parents wouldn't let them get vaccinated due to religious reasons, but the organized anti vaccination movement never took off until vaccinations were blamed for autism in 1998. Rather than a religious statement, it is now a political statement and rage against the machine thing for those who need a cause to set them apart from the "brainwashed masses." Most of you probably aren't old enough (my age or older) to have ever known anybody with polio. That's because the vaccines eradicated it. Measles, mumps and chicken pox were experienced by virtually every kid when I was in grade school. Long before we had widespread vaccinations we also had kids with what they are calling "autism" today. They were the slow kids, antisocial kids, troublemakers and oddballs. https://www.livescience.com/64909-measles-vaccine-not-linked-to-autism.html
  32. 2 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.
  33. 2 points
    Welcome Jerry! It's great that you found us. Timing of telling friends and family is tricky, and obviously varies a great deal from situation to situation. If it's not the right time, it's not the right time. Living a lie is hard, but, as you know, there are real risks involved with coming out. At least you're free on the inside. I think you'll find lots of people here who can relate. Dive right in.
  34. 2 points
    Sorry -- really my fault here.
  35. 2 points
    I do, as it turns out. But I think all this talk of happy endings and slapping saddled asses belongs in the sex forum.
  36. 2 points
    I knew a bunch of hippie-believers ( a small cult) that were dead-set against buildings due to the amount of money a building takes to create and keep in good condition. The first church we joined near Portland met in a school auditorium and gave a large portion of their money towards missions, so we were happy to be there. That didn't last long, and soon they wanted to be in a strip mall, then needed bodies in the seats to pay for all of that (and the pastor's newly constructed house), so then they needed a church-building scheme to get people in seats. They purchased a program that created a cult-like situation where they would train trainers who would be over small groups, and who would train others to be devoted to being at the building for becoming disciples blah blah blah. They said that this way the Spirit of God would more easily fill people. I saw that as backwards, that if you want genuine followers, they need more than a purchased church program to be that, it had to come from within. They felt they could create that. We didn't stay around much after that. Buildings are because so many believers don't have a clue what to do in life besides become pastors to spread the cult. Buildings are for making money, for making the cult more visible, for making centers of indoctrination (especially children), for giving a pastor/priest a feeling of god's blessing them, for spreading their particular twist on the beliefs. There are so damn many of them popping up locally I started the acronym AFC - Another Fucking Church. They are like mushrooms spreading bullshit spores that enslave minds. It is frustrating to see so many. I long to be a part of inoculating humans against the flaw in our minds that allows religion to seem reasonable instead of being a dangerous cult.
  37. 2 points
    But the reformed, the reformed such as yourself are the bees knees yes? You have the true revelation? Like I've said before - there is no way to distinguish, out of all these groups, who has the truth. My father thinks he has it so you can add him to the line up of people like yourself proclaiming truth. Serious question: What makes you special? Why should anyone here pay any more attention to what you say over and above what any other Christian says?
  38. 2 points
    So @Christforums you say you are not here to evangelize. What then do you hope to accomplish? I still think you don't understand the premise of this website. We were all fervent Christians at one point; many clergy and lay leaders among us, and many with a deep knowledge of theology. What exactly is it that you think you're telling us that we have not already crawled our way out of through logic and reason?
  39. 2 points
    Ironic that a christian would bring up confirmation bias.
  40. 2 points
    What if.... hold onto your seats... I'm about to suggest something radical, but what if it's all bullshit made up by humans who are very good at bullshitting - especially to themselves?
  41. 2 points
    I hate to break it to you but Satan doesn't exist. Satan (and demons) are mythological figures. And oddly, you claim to know what Satan thinks. That's a little strange. Are you sure you're thinking straight?
  42. 2 points
    I hereby ‘like’ this post. Evidently there is no ‘like’ button for posts made by our administrator @webmdave. I wish there were, especially since you’ve been ‘coming out of your shell’ and commenting more lately!
  43. 2 points
    Perhaps the "Enemy" suggested he log on and be naughty here.
  44. 2 points
    True this. I find in constructing an argument, if I am saying something and it sounds wrong or I can't back it up I know I don't have a good argument and need to do a rethink. That's happens quite often during discussion. As far as changing minds go there are a number of resources on this topic, but most agree that it's very rare for two interlocutors to change each others minds. What does happen though is that some in the audience may change minds, which is why, despite people thinking I was mad, I'd bring BO up on points I thought were wrong. I never expected to actually get BO to agree, even when empathically shown he was wrong, but if someone who thought as BO did came across my post they might stop and at least wonder about their position. This is the same reason I'll debate Christians etc - I never expect to change the particular persons mind... but ya never know what can happen.
  45. 2 points
    Wow... so here in NZ we have an outbreak of Measles... after being declared all clear. Why? Because some muggin didn't vaccinate! So one of our media commentators is giving his opinion of anti vaxxers and he is not holding back.. and Duncan is usually a fairly polite calm fellow. This time round he rips the morons for all they are worth https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/03/duncan-garner-anti-vax-murderers-shouldn-t-get-access-to-the-welfare-system.html Incidentally I pretty much agree with what he says. If I had children they'd only be associating with children that have been vaccinated.... we'll let evolution take care of the ones gunning for Darwin's award. (PS this is not a harmless belief like the earth is flat, 9/11 was an inside job, or the moon landing was faked - this anti vax movement has real life consequences, and not just for them and their children, but for the rest of us.) Dr House in the TV show House said it well (Of course Doctors can't actually say this... except in TV programs)
  46. 2 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...
  47. 2 points
    Well Zeus is just something someone made up....
  48. 2 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.
  49. 2 points
    The “Universalist” part of UU means “everyone goes to Heaven.” Originally just the Unitarian Church, they were not Trinitarian... didn’t believe in the separate Father/Son/Holy Spirit. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams were Unitarians, having been Quakers before switching. Today, they don’t really have a creed. Lots of pagans attend UU churches, and lots of atheists, too. They celebrate everyone’s holidays! Never been to one — it’s just something I’ve read up on.
  50. 2 points
    I get the positive message they are going for and respect the attempt at showing love and empathy but my first thought is they are speaking for a whole group of diverse people and in any large group complete agreement on all subjects is unlikely. I would think it should read "our preacher wishes all of our congregation held these values". The bigger the group the less likely there will be agreement on all subjects. The generalisation of the statement just doesn't sound right to me. Most of the values listed are human rights and empathy issues, but climate change is a unusual subject to include in that list. I would also have trouble with the "no one is illegal" message. Just purely from a definition point that can't be correct. If there are immigration laws in place that you have broken, then by definition you are an illegal immigrant. You can't choose to opt out of the law. You could say "all immigrants are due respect, love, compassion and aid" which fits the tone of the whole message.