R. S. Martin

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R. S. Martin last won the day on September 23 2017

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About R. S. Martin

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    I do my own thinking

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    https://sarahbowmansite.wordpress.com/
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    Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    learning why people believe what they do and normal stuff like birds, dogs and music
  • More About Me
    Born in a horse and buggy Mennonite community. Unable to find the intellectual stimulation I needed, at age 40 I broke with tradition and got myself a university education. This resulted in alienation from family, friends, and the only lifestyle I knew. I am now trying to find my way in "the world."

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I have yet to see the evidence

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  1. Originally posted under Sarah Bowman here. Q. Why are so many Quora users antagonistic against Christians? Answer: Because Christians keep asking us. If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask. Questions like this assume that Christians should be “respected” for their “faith.” They are like needles and they cause resentment. We resent the attitude that Christianity should be given special status. We resent that Christians oppress (mock, call to account, fire, refuse to hire) anyone who does not worship their god. Oh, it’s more subtle than that but we know why you no longer need us, or why we didn’t quite make the grade. We resent that you don’t believe our honest answers to your “give an account” questions. We tell the truth when asked for answers to questions like this. But you don’t believe us. Many atheists in the West were born or converted into Christianity. Only with much anguish did we manage to break free, only to be persecuted by Christianity for our efforts. Then Christians ask us question like: What will atheists do if they find out on the Day of Judgment that God is real? Do you really think we haven’t thought this through? Please stop needling us and you won’t get these antagonistic answers. Sound good? I think so.
  2. R. S. Martin

    QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTS

    Horse and buggy Mennonite for the first forty years of my life. Mennonite Brethren is a "car" Mennonite denomination that has all the modern technology but is fundamentalist in theology if I'm not mistaken.
  3. R. S. Martin

    QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTS

    Your story sounds very similar to mine. The others "know" I have a screw loose, maybe a couple more than one. They are forever strategizing on how to bring me back to where they can manipulate me to be what I "should" be. I've basically distanced myself so far from my bio family by now for the sake of my own well-being that they find it hard to simply tolerate me--I'm too far away. But that was the case for many decades. When I moved to a new address two years ago, I refused to give it to them. I also set other definite boundaries because I could no longer tolerate their "mere tolerating" attitude. I should add that much of this goes way back, long before I deconverted. It's a negative family dynamic that only got worse when I left the faith. You may never have to take the drastic measures I did.
  4. R. S. Martin

    QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTS

    Not a Christian apologist here. Atheist with a Masters Degree in Theology, to be precise. I read the other responses. The one about the truth really hit home. I'm not the only one in my family who left the traditional horse and buggy community. Two of my sisters left, too, so I thought they might be more open-minded. I showed them Ken R. Miller's DVD Evolution: Fossils, Genes, and Mousetraps (https://www.hhmi.org/order-materials/holiday-lecture/evolution-fossils-genes-and-mousetraps), which is a simple scientific introduction for Christian high school students on what evolution is and how it works. Since we were schooled in a church school with only eight grades with basically zero science, I figured my sisters might benefit from this simple introduction. They are evangelical Christians now, so I figured an intro that allowed for belief in God might be helpful. I have also tried talking to my sisters about other things. One day, I got this response: I have the truth. I don't know why I keep looking elsewhere. I was dumbfounded at such a blatantly narrow-minded comment. She made it with such conviction, with such disgust at the thought of acquiring more worldly knowledge. I think her response qualifies as an apologist's answer because she is considered (or considers herself--I'm not sure which) some kind of minister or preacher in the group she associates with.
  5. R. S. Martin

    Argument against evolution

    Thanks for explaining about "word salad." Thanks for explaining. That makes a lot of sense. I never thought to put it that way. I wanted to believe humans with brains and education were better than that. But what you say agrees with the arguments I've seen on William Lane Craig's forums. It's really sad.
  6. R. S. Martin

    Are atheists happy

    To answer the question in the title: Are atheists happy? I feel happier and freer now that I don't have to somehow relate to an invisible intangible unknowable entity. It takes too much energy to have the "right feelings" of respect, love, worship, and thankfulness toward an entity whose existence one can't perceive somehow with the senses, intellect, or emotions--let alone trust and have faith in this entity. As for feeling connected with the people around them, that is a matter of choice. I find there are atheists who don't want community. I myself want community but I'm very particular what kind of people I "connect" with. It has taken me a very long time but I have made connections. I feel deeply connected with the people who really are true friends, some atheist, some deeply religious, others never mention their beliefs so I don't know.
  7. R. S. Martin

    Argument against evolution

    First of all, those paragraphs are not word salad as defined by Google, i.e. a "mixture of random words and phrases." They are intelligently strung together to make an argument, albeit using language normally not encountered outside doctoral dissertations and the like. It's an argument I've seen many a time when on William Lane Craig's forums. I'm guessing the author is one of those students who went on to get a PhD in science for the specific reason of debunking evolution. I know people were doing it. On Craig's forums, the argument was expressed in ordinary English. It's been quite a few years since I was on there, and it seems they have made the argument more sophisticated to sound more scientific. High brow words don't make it scientific, however, anymore than arguing in a language no one understands makes you right. Others have addressed the actual argument. I tried "translating" it but it delves too deeply in ontological philosophy and Intelligent Design theory. Intelligent Design theory I can handle--or could the way it was expressed years ago, but not the Ontological Argument of philosophy. I tried learning it in a philosophy course but never could get my head around it. It seems to have something to do with proof of God's existence as it related to reality and/or being. I'll leave it alone.
  8. R. S. Martin

    I'm Still Alive

    I'm very well, thank you. I think that's why I no longer get around to posting here. Come on over to Quora. They want writers who have lots of life experience and insight on every topic under the sun--from parenting to healthcare to computers to gaming to education to American presidents to... Anyway, professors post there, doctors, lawyers. So do a lot of nut cases but Quora enforces strict Be Respectful Be Nice policies that get your posts collapsed if you're not civil. That keeps the nut cases under control. Different kind of moderation, though. Everyone is a mod, and can report anything, then Quora decides whether or not to take action. The Quora staff sits in California, maybe in Silicone Valley, improving the site. I strongly suspect the "moderator" who handles reports is a machine, AI. Based on what I've read about Quora, it's a tech startup that caters to big business. Some people here might know what ad impressions are. Somehow or other, when businesses post ads on the Quora site, these ads interact with the questions people post. But only a certain kind of question. These interactions are called ad impressions and earn money for the Quora company. Quora's Advertisement to Businesses: Long story short, it's not a discussion forum but an information site. I like the academic atmosphere and enjoy the teaching aspect of answering questions with educational information. I learn a lot via the online research I do for some of the answers. Roman Empire, history, science, and many other topics are things I've learned about. There are a couple professors I follow. I think you'd enjoy reading some of the answers, too.
  9. R. S. Martin

    I'm Still Alive

    Here's the link to my profile and posts. https://www.quora.com/profile/Sarah-Bowman-28 Wasn't thinking straight when writing the post. Should have included it there. Feel free to visit.
  10. R. S. Martin

    I'm Still Alive

    I see there's still a lot of old-timers posting. Just popping in to say I'm now posting under the name Sarah Bowman on Quora, which is basically an information site formatted in Question and Answer style. More on this below. I looked at my profile here and I see I posted my age as forty. Must have been a while ago. I also said I was trying to find my way in "the world" after coming out of the horse and buggy community. I feel like I have found my way by now. ExChristian was a big part of that and I'd like to acknowledge that for all the newer folk here who don't know me. I was a basket case and a half when I arrived. Like good humans do, the exChristians took me in and nursed me back to health. It took years and years, a lot of patience on the part of staff and moderators, and hard work for everyone. But here I am today, feeling like a new person, forever indebted to these forums. I recommend them to everyone I meet that seems in need of this kind of support. Back to what I'm doing on Quora. Here are the main topics I write in: Alzheimer's Disease Atheists Belief and Beliefs Bible Christian Theology and Philosophy Creative Writing Culture (social science) Dogs (pets) Family Relationships and Dynamics Narcissistic Personality Disorder Personality [Myers-Briggs Personality Type] Using Quora [See also my blog on the topic, TIPS.] You may have to sign in to read but there's no strings attached that I'm aware of.
  11. R. S. Martin

    How to be saved

    Here's some more friendly stuff, quoted from memory, might contain numerous errors: Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. In all things be thankful for he lets his rain and sun shine on the just and unjust. The peace of God shall fill thee. God bless thee and protect thee and let his face shine upon thee. Do all these things that thy life may be long in the land of they fathers. Philippians 4:8-9 King James Version (KJV) This verse proved a good guide to keep my thoughts positive: The following verse was concrete evidence to me that the Bible doesn't work. Because, after obeying all the rules for decades, I still lacked greatly in the "peace of God," or inner peace as I translated it. The peace of god came only after I disobeyed every rule in the book.
  12. R. S. Martin

    Very Important Church President

    I tried to tune her out but it was hard. All of us were in the doctor's waiting room. The blue veins sticking our from the bottom of the very important church president's Capri pants weren't quite a dark as on the calves of one or two other women, and her age wrinkles were made up to make her appear like a chubby doll. To her neighbour she recited all the very many things she, as church president, must do on a Sunday. The waiting room was packed; every chair taken. She spoke just loud enough to be clearly heard by all. I wanted to say, "Tell them (those people who are making you do all that stuff) that Sunday is a day of rest." I didn't. I had a bad feeling about saying it. Finally, the woman beside me asked if her congregation was quite large. No, it wasn't! It's not as big as she would have wished! No one responded. "Morningside!" she said, as though everyone would be impressed. Maybe that's the name of her Very Important Church. No one responded. Suddenly the Very Important Church President quit responding. I would have liked to poll the general non-belief in that room.
  13. R. S. Martin

    Professor said Moses did not exist

    Thus, the prof who said Moses did not exist was not debunking the Old Testament and all its contents per se. I didn't watch the video but that's how it works. Profs say one specific thing and the masses run with it, claiming a prof said a whole lot more than he actually did. That's the value of education--you learn how to isolate specific details based on very specific and obscure data. However, these details and data make no sense without the education to give it foundation; education is merely information, and the knowledge how to use it. Denigrating education is a harmful waste of time and energy. The person who, for whatever reason, cannot acquire a post-secondary education is better served by self-educating. However, do NOT depend on the internet for this self-education. The real knowledge is stored in books on university library shelves. To the best of my knowledge, public citizens who are polite and respectful of property are welcome to use university libraries. You can't take books out, but you can sit and read in the library. Present yourself as a person seeking information on a specific topic, or by a specific author, and they will probably help you find it. Be willing to answer any security questions. NOTE: You do not say, "I'm an atheist seeking to debunk religion." You say, "I'd like to read Bertrand Russel."
  14. Lost? I was born into it. Things were taken before I could claim them: self-respect, identity, freedom to be who I am, the list goes on. *I* was demolished before I could form an identity. It's taken sixty years to re-grow myself from scratch. Some parts are irreplaceable and the scars will never heal.
  15. R. S. Martin

    Professor said Moses did not exist

    The Babylonian Captivity and Jeremiah are also historical to some extent, correct? Likewise, I would expect to find evidence for the existence of Christian communities at some of the places referenced in the New Testament.