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Geezer

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Everything posted by Geezer

  1. You are correct Blindfaith. The one thing organized religion excels at is socializing. They are great at building social net works and if you’re new in the community going to church will provide you an immediate list of potential new friends and contacts.That is because they have a recognized time and place to meet. Just show up and you’ll be warmly welcomed. Non-believers have a difficult time getting a significant number of like minded folks together at a specific time and place for a specific purpose. Therefore, their social networks, such as they are, tend to be loose and disorganized. Sites like this are helpful though.
  2. I notice that after the fairly recent board changes that a few long time members have disappeared. I ask because the thing they seem to have in common was their often sarcastic and inflammatory posts. They did tend to be irreverent and somewhat aggressive, but we’re all adults here and should be able to handle that or at least ignore them. I’m just wondering why they all seemed to disappear about the same time. Anybody got some info on that?
  3. Your experience is pretty normal Blindfaith. I was Church of Christ. Shunning is just part of who they are, so our social structure disappeared when we left. Our situation is similar, I’m in my 70’s now and a non-believer but my wife is still a Christian. She’s a member of the Methodist Church now and they are pretty liberal and definitely not dogmatic. She has accepted my apostasy and it isn’t an issue any more. I haven’t made any effort to rebuild my social structure, because I live in the Bible Belt too so I know what that’s like. I’m retired and have no trouble finding things to keep me occupied. There are atheists groups everywhere if you want to find some likeminded folk.
  4. Evangelizing is all about pleasing God and obtaining Brownie points for the Final Day of Judgement. Just like Prosecutors in a criminal proceeding, the Evangelist is really only interested in putting another notch on his Spiritual gun-belt. Whether they succeed in bringing their prospect to Christ or not isn’t the point. The point and goal is to try to win the prospect to Christ. Making the attempt is what really matters.
  5. Everything has to evolve and change in order to survive. Christianity has survived because it has evolved with the times and culture. Mega Churches are part of the current evolution. Services are more like a Christian rock concert than a traditional service. Preaching on sin is out, it’s all about love, grace, & community now and it seems to be working. Jesus, of course, is still the focus but he’s been updated and repackaged. Even so, Christianity is still showing declining numbers. I think the internet has proven to be religions biggest challenge. Their secrets are no longer secret. Their traditions and dogma is now being effectively challenged with facts and evidence. Christianity will be with us for a very long time into the future but it’s numbers and power will steadily decline.
  6. Brainwashing is not restricted to religion. It is prevalent in many aspects of society. The problem with indoctrination and/or brainwashing is that the victim is unaware that they have been brainwashed. If they were aware then they would take steps to reverse that process. This site is an obvious example that demonstrates religious brainwashing can be reversed. The process requires the victims willingness to acknowledge facts and evidence and to reject beliefs that are not supported by evidence. Unfortunately many deeply brainwashed people cannot do that.
  7. On a positive note, religion in American is slowly becoming less popular as evidenced by declining Church membership across all denominational lines.
  8. When people will not accept, or even consider, verifiable evidence and facts that challenge their “beliefs” it becomes pointless to engage them.
  9. I’m sorry for your loss and the difficult situation you are now facing. We lost our DIL to cancer a year ago next month. Our family is still mourning her loss. The separation from those we love is the most difficult aspect of death, even though we know our loved ones suffering has ended.
  10. It is scary to think about how easy it is to indoctrinate people, and how many people on this planet are hopelessly brainwashed already. And how many of them are really dangerous people that are willing to kill others in the name of their god.
  11. I’ll give Jesus all the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say his ordeal began the night before he was crucified and the Bible says He hung on the cross for approximately six hours. I’ll give Jesus 24 hours of torment, stress, & physical pain. Truthfully, Jesus execution was suffered by thousands of other people that hung on the their cross much longer. A horrible way to die, no doubt about that, but that method of torture was common and many people suffered it. Because sin supposedly put Jesus on the cross to be crucified, sinners will be tortured forever. How is that fair?
  12. However oil is made it would seem that the process continues to create more oil. Just think about how much gasoline is consumed around the world in one day, and then think about how long we have been extracting oil from the ground. Now add in all the other things we use oil for. Mankind has consumed a gargantuan amount of oil since we figured out all the things it can be used for...or maybe God just keeps on making more oil for us. And only God knows how much oil the Devil uses to keep the fires of Hell burning.
  13. 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.
  14. Geezer

    Helllo

    Nope, we get it. Been there done that ..... got the tee shirt. Welcome, consider this your new home. Leaving your faith is one of the most difficult things anyone will ever do. Lots of help and good information here to help re-enforce your doubt. Most of the folks here know more about Christianity, and it’s false teaching, than those faithful Christians that fill up the pews every Sunday. Take some time and just read the board. So much good information on this site but it takes some time to absorb even a little bit of it. Many of the folks here have been studying and researching the origins and evolution of the Bible and the Christian faith for years. Some are former Preachers, Elders, Deacons, Bishops, & Christian educators with graduate level degrees in theology. Welcome aboard, so glad your found this site.
  15. 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.
  16. Dr. Robert M.Price, Hermann Detering, David Fitzgerald, & Dr. Richard Carrier convinced me that it is more likely, rather than less likely , that both Jesus and the Apostle Paul were literary figures not real people. I also found sufficient evidence that convinced me the Gospel Story itself was fictional. After years of study and research it became obvious to me that Christianity is a manmade religion and the Bible is simply a collection of theological myths. Therefore, no version of Christianity appealed to me. Atheism was my only alternative.
  17. This site contains a lot of information, but it’s difficult and confusing to navigate and find what you are specifically looking for. If that is true for folks that have been active on this site for years, it must be a nightmare for folks that are new to the site. But then again I’m an old fart and not particularly computer savvy. There is an amazing amount of good information on this site though and I’m continually finding new stuff.
  18. The question that begs an answer is what was the original source for these oral stories? Dr.Richard Carrier, IMO, makes the best case that I’ve heard for the Gospel being a mythical story. In other words somebody just make up the Jesus story and it caught on and then became an oral tradition. That isn’t so far fetched because there were already numerous dying/rising God/men stories already in circulation. The Jesus story could easily have been a modified version of anyone of these other existing stories.
  19. The purpose for the doctrine of a final Judgement day is to scare the hell out of the faithful and to make sure they understand it simply isn’t possible to do enough or give enough to make it to heaven,...but that doesn't mean they shouldn’t do more and more and more hoping they might squeeze enough good works in to barely make the final cut.
  20. The Church of Christ, that I was unfortunately a member of for way too long, interprets the Bible as literally as possible. Tithing was Old Testament Law, but Christians are under the New Covenant because the Law had been nailed to the cross. Tithing is OT Law the New Covenant says to give as you have prospered. In the c of C that was interpreted to mean give as you believe God has blessed you financially (In other words 10% is the bare minimum and does not reflect giving as you have prospered). No one actually said that, but people understood that’s what it really meant.
  21. 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.
  22. In Dr. John Dominic Crossan’s book, The Birth of Christianity, he concluded oral tradition could not possibly have been accurate for a long list of obvious human characteristics and flaws. Even though great effort was made in ancient times to memorize stories they become flawed and inaccurate over time due to normal human frailties.
  23. I’m sorry MOHO, I sincerely wish that was not true, but something registered with us and we were able to turn on our brains back on....so there is hope.
  24. Anyone ever play the game of Telephone? That might shed some light on how accurate oral tradition might be. Now add decades, even centuries, of transmitting these stories orally? It’s likely any resemblance to the original story would be an accident. Even written copies are subject to changes, edits, and redactions over time as well as being lost or destroyed.
  25. Religious indoctrination is so good and effective believers simply do not see the things you’ve listed. The indoctrination process has effectively turned their critical thinking skills and their brains normal cognitive dissonance responses off. And it’s difficult, to the point of being almost impossible, to turn their brains back on. Group think now controls them. They have essentially become programmed robots.
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