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Joshpantera last won the day on July 22

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About Joshpantera

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    I'm a 30-year deconvert as of 2021. I've gone off exploring a lot of science, religion, philosophy, biblical criticism, archaeology, eastern mystical content, and comparative mythology, religion, and esoteric content. I'm atheistic about gods and mythology with a pantheistic spiritual side about nature and the cosmos.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I don't believe in god(s)

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  1. Yeah, that's about it. I'm not found in churches much at all. Some funerals. I can't manage to sit through any sermons. The ignorance involved annoys me and I can't deal with it. Some guy up there who doesn't understand the first thing about the bible preaching to other people about what they should be doing according to the bible? And then I start thinking about what's the more pathetic, the guy who doesn't understand shit about anything trying to lead everyone or the people who blindly follow behind the guy who doesn't know shit about anything??? This is the sort of atheism that you don't see examples of conversion associated with. People who see it as bullshit and understand what's wrong with it generally don't convert to it, because they already know better. It's the variety of people who don't already know better that we find in these various atheist to religious conversions.
  2. The article is very interesting. It's not surprising to see the declines that have happened between the start of this century and now. The declines fall in line with the technological rise in the internet and eventually smart phones. And I think a lot of public debate that has followed has helped people get to the point of becoming a "Don't." Don't know. Don't care. Don't believe.
  3. That's exactly what I see when these apologists show up with some new insight. The double-slit, quantum jesus is a good example of a viral mutation. Trying to mutant to survive and remain relevant in the modern world through the mind of that particular adherent. And trying to branch out and affect the minds of others if it were possible....
  4. This I agree with. You've mentioned elsewhere that you think that the bible will be regarded as Greek mythology soon enough. Because it's too ridiculous not to end up that way. One thing that has to happen is that people like this sample of so called atheists have to become familiar with the fact that none of these examples equal god. As people claim that it does equal god and other people argue that it doesn't, the word will spread around. Someone had a near death experience, so god is real. No, that's actually one of the weakest explanations given an entire set of explanations. So while is too ridiculous to argue about, it's going to have to be argued anyways by those willing to keep the arguments goings. Or else no one's learn anything that they themselves can't conceive of or muster up on their own. Those who are blinded by religion depend those who are not in order to gain any sort of chance at beating it. I'm atheist now mostly because I had a debate with an atheist that I could not win. When I realized I could not win I was extremely angry. But then the anger led to accepting the truth of his argument. And then as it worked out subconsciously, my belief went away and I realized that all of the praying and everything else was merely internal dialogue the entire time. But it took arguing with an atheist to get that response.
  5. That's exactly what Dr. Kirby Surprise has been dealing with through patients for years. You are expressing textbook synchronicity issues. Especially concerning the "signs" issue. You should go through his book and read about some of the case studies and the general content of the book: Synchronicity by Kirby Surprise | Audiobook | Audible.com
  6. If these beliefs could be worked into a movement, I think that a good name could be the, "Next Stage Movement." Based on positive beliefs and illustrating good intentions, while critiquing organized religions including christianity. Toward the benefit of making the next evolutionary move forward away from the ancient need for organized religions. They may have served a purpose in the past, which, is becoming increasingly outdated now. NSM
  7. Yes, you see where I'm going with this. It tends to keep coming up with some of the apologists who have been here recently. Usually in the form of claiming that we have faith in science or we have faith that god isn't real or something like that. So I took off for the weekend of the 4th pulling my new pontoon with my F250 Diesel. It has a rebuilt engine that I'd only been using for about 3 weeks. I get about 45 minutes down the road on the way to the keys and it starts shutting itself down. My wife was pissed because this is the third time the truck has had engine problems on a trip. I coasted with the momentum of the truck and boat over to a turn around median. Called the the guy that I bought it from. He sent a wrecker to pick up the truck and hitch the trailer. I didn't get mad, I just went to thinking about how I can get down to our paid vacation anyways. No rental trucks were available. So I got a U-Haul Van, hitched up my boat, and went to the keys anyways. The guy who sold me the truck is trading it out for a different one off the lot, a year newer model. So perspective is one issue here. It was better off breaking down there where the truck could be towed back to the lot within the same county, instead of breaking down way out of anywhere in the everglades which is where it could have broke down. I made the most of the situation through positive thinking instead of going into subjective rage fits over a bad situation. It has the same makings of a religious, "everything happens for a reason." Because that always boils down to perspective and shifts or changes in perspective. Things can always seem as though they happened for a reason, if there is no fixed reason behind it. It just seems that way based on perspective. In a bad situation, I was lucky enough to make the most of it and get through ok. Because of my mindset, perspective, and keeping to positive thinking oriented problem solving. My wife was ultimately happy that we got to our paid vacation despite the road blocks along the way. And was proud that I handled it very level headed and didn't just blow a fuse and go off into subjective based ranting like her ex husband would have done given the same situation. And he IS christian. Of little faith I assume..... But some else with a christian view would have probably stood up front at church the next week and given a testimony to everyone about how god saved their family trip. Stretching the truth and appealing to emotion while doing it. It could have been so much worse, but god saved the day! Except there is no god, he didn't save the day, and my truck breaking down wasn't part of any preplanned agenda or destiny, shit just happens! I believe in myself and have faith in myself to navigate (impromptu as times) the shit that does happen!!!
  8. You're being very logical and objective with this approach. Yes, if there is an all knowing god, then the all knowing god would already know what you believe or don't believe before "the creation of the earth," as it were. Not just before you were born. Always. And then, what's more, is that this same all knowing god would have seen through you being born knowing full well that you wouldn't be truly believing this bit about christianity. And still created the world, still had whatever hand such a god has in anyone, including you, being born. I don't if this helps or not, but some of us have had very similar thoughts and have gone through the same general logical deductions you're going through now. I've heard several people express that even if there were such a god, they'd have no interest in groveling around and worshipping it. Because the god comes off as some type of cosmic ego who wants non stop praise all the time. And the scenario makes people out to be bowing, groveling, subjects and who wants to spend an eternity praising some ego anyways? Imagine being put on Cuban shores and having bow and sing and praise forever and ever to Castro for all of eternity. Because all of this praise is pleasing to his delicate ego. That's literally a parallel to the scenario presented in Revelation. And does anyone really want that anyways???? Another way of looking at it could be that a god exists but no one religion actually understands it or has it all right. All are merely struggling towards understanding something that they don't or can't possibly understand, including the biblical narratives. In this case, holy books don't carry much weight or matter very much one way or another. They aren't literally accurate, so it doesn't matter very much. And whatever any of them say about the afterlife can't be literally true either, as they don't or can't actually understand the truth of any of it. That looks to be a do your best, live and do good in life, and go off into death believing whatever you will about it and take it for whatever it may be, because no one really knows what to expect. I've thought about another scenario too. What if this is all a big test? And christianity is a deception? This isn't left field. There's a lot wrong with christianity and a great many deceptive lies found within the bible and the religion itself. What if only those who can 'detect the lies' are those found worthy in the end? And the groveling lot of lowly subjects bowed down for eternity who don't question anything or use their minds are a way of "weeding out the wankers?" I'm dealing in terms of fiction here, this idea is a very fictional way of putting a creative twist on the issue. But it can cause a pause for thought. There's something honorable about having a mind of your own. And not just falling in line with what the crowd is doing, or jumping off a cliff because everyone else in the majority is doing it. If the majority are christian, so what? That only illustrates how an entire majority can be this wrong about something. That's not left field either. We've had countless illustrations throughout history where a majority of people have dead wrong about something or another. It's no different now where christianity is concerned.
  9. I suspect that a hell of a lot of ex christians have plenty of faith, even though they may not look at it that way. And there's nothing wrong with having it or admitting as such because nature seems to have ingrained within us a sense of believing in ourselves and having faith in our ability to navigate a given lifetime. My dad as remained an agnostic theist through life. He survived a pretty bad covid complication this year. He knows that the bible isn't literally true and has inaccuracies and problems. But he thinks that there's a god and that people just don't really understand who or what the god actually is. He thinks this, in large part, because of all of the things that have worked out for him over the years. Especially thinking he was near death in the hospital and this mystery god kept him alive. The mystery god, of course, has always been himself. His unwavering belief and faith while focused on an unknown god up there somewhere, has been driving the coincidences, happenstances, and the general consistency of things working out more so than failing. But I don't think he'll ever see it that way. And I'm not going to get into it with him. I've decided to just leave it be and let him think whatever he wants about it.
  10. I need to make another thread dedicated to faith which corresponds to the separate issue I've started about belief. Because I have a lot of thoughts to put down on being ex christian, not religious, not theistic - but at the same time managing through life with both belief and faith nevertheless. There is more to belief and faith than merely the usual religious definitions and generally accepted ideas about the two. Since we've had apologists coming through trying to game towards making us confess that we "believe" in things and have "faith" in things, I decided to try and fully explore of those avenues a little bit. With an open invitation here in the Den for any christians to try and do whatever they think they can do with what I will be claiming. It's no secret that I have different views than some people about faith. In the religious sense, I see faith as very misguided and agree with popular atheist arguments against faith from that perspective. But from the mundane, non-religious, secular world of day to day life I think that faith plays a strong role in the scheme of our existence as evolving animals on this given planet. Once the religious direction is removed, there's still faith to consider. It doesn't just vanish. Which has led me to believe that faith plays a much more central role beyond religions that have popped up in recent years on an evolutionary scale. They are taking this natural, evolution and survival oriented faith and they are misguiding people using IT as a tool. I'll explain more. Recent introspections have led to a need to express this publicly and put these initial thoughts on the chopping block. I was going through facebook and I saw a post from one of my SDA cousins. It was about how hard it is for the man to be the spiritual head of household and how appreciative she is to her husband, and basically calling attention to the usual BS about biblical roles of the male and such. But it sent me off into a rabbit hole of contemplation. Growing up my father played that role. But what it amounted to, was that everyone was gathered around the common "belief" and "faith" that god, no matter what, would provide. And that my fathers strong faith in god was the axis of all good luck, favorable coincidences, and general positive outcome concerning financial problems or whatever else. At the core, I'm looking at a social structure of a nuclear family of evolved great apes where everyone puts "belief and faith" into an alpha male figure geared towards the means of survival and prosperity. Take the blinders off, and we're animals behaving in these certain ways, for certain reasons. Now this should NOT apply only to male figures, of course, but in the biblical sense it does. That's one of the misguided aspects in my opinion. It can apply to whoever is out front making things happen and carrying the larger weight of it. So then I look at my current family, stripped down to the core reality, and it's still the same thing minus the bible and religion. My wife and the boys don't doubt that I'll pull it off all the time and make things happen for us. Even when there's no clear indication as to how or why. Based on a history of making it happen all the time, they've developed "belief and faith" in my ability to make it happen for everyone. Now I could be female and doing the exact same thing. Sex doesn't matter from this secular perspective. It's just that in my house it happens to be a male leading the way in the more or less traditional sense of income and such. Minus the religion! Minus religious faith and belief! And to be honest, the fact that they do believe in me and have faith that I'll keep them provided for, drives a burning ambition to meet that standard and never fail them. In the past, all of the things that I've managed to do and manage to pull off on a weekly and monthly basis would have been considered the result of a god in conjunction with strong faith and belief on my part in that god. Just as it was for my father back then. But the glaring reality is that it never was god bestowing things on my father in the first place. It was all him. He was making these things happen. Whatever he was doing that may at times seemed miraculous or from divine intervention, it was just the natural result of some guy who believed and had faith 'in life' that he'd over come adversity, provide, make ends meet, etc., etc. There never was a god involved in it. Or spiritual realms of helping entities guiding things along. Because I'm doing everything he ever did now, minus religion, minus theistic belief, minus theistic faith. Same general results though. Same structure of a family believing and having faith in me to keep things going. And it all has to do with survival! When things are really challenging, that's when it seems to ramp up and really kick in. I have unwavering faith in my ability to navigate this life and land feet down in any given situation that life presents. Because what else? What is my alternative? I have to live this life experience all the way through to it's natural conclusion. Which involves providing for a family. And the survival of us all. I can sit back at age 45, 30 years outside of church and belief, and see that I have always had "faith and belief" within me the whole time, from a natural and nature based core. Religion, then, while I was still a small child, perverted and misguided this natural set of survival instincts towards a direction of self interest for the denomination in question. They require that your "faith and belief" be directed to a set of PRESUPPOSITIONAL claims, which, are never first established as true to begin with. And from there, natural, nature oriented "faith and belief" in life and survival that likely come from birth are misguided and misdirected towards a fallacious set of claims! So what happens then, is that people think that it's this misguided version of "faith and belief" which is giving them all of these results towards their survival. Blessings from above. But it isn't. And the fact that godless people like me can do everything they do and more sort of firms this up. They aren't doing anything in life that atheists can't also do. In terms of placing "faith and belief" on god and a particular religion, versus placing "faith and belief" only in mundane, secular, and essentially natural and nature oriented directions. Who thinks what about this topic, and why??????
  11. So what I did in the OP is something akin to the above example. I was thinking about what positive beliefs can be stated with pretty firm certainty behind each belief. Where ample citation can be provided for each positive belief. Mostly because I look around and see various groups who have belief statements which are ultimately weak and easily refuted. It can be christian denominations, or new age beliefs, or just about anything. Very few, if any, have anything powerful backing the individual positive beliefs. And as ex christians and the generally non-religious we all tend to put a lot of focus or attention on what we do not believe, as opposed to putting more attention on the things we do believe in. It's a safe space. And rightfully so. No one can knock you down when you're not espousing positive beliefs. So it makes sense to gather around firmer, safer ground where religions and belief are concerned. But what if the ground were just as firm from a positive belief perspective? In order for that to be the case each positive belief would have to be tried and proven one by one. To where it would impossible or at least extremely difficult for a naysayer from opposition to refute the stated beliefs. The one's I posted seem firm enough, but they need to be scrutinized by christians and others to be fully tried and proven. The WPM is line by line pretty good. There's some opinion in the statement of beliefs, but I see where the opinions have citation that can be brought in to back them up. It looks like a pretty solid set of 9 beliefs for the most part. And my 10 ex christian oriented beliefs would apply to a much bigger audience as far as that goes, including probably a lot of pantheists in the process of applying to larger scale audiences.
  12. This is just for an example, but I'm looking at the world pantheism movement where a set of beliefs or principles are stated to establish the group purpose: Principles of Scientific Pantheism – World Pantheism We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present and future. It is self-organizing, ever-evolving and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power, beauty and fundamental mystery compel the deepest human reverence and wonder. All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, celebration, meditation, empathy, love, ethical action and art. We are an integral part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We acknowledge the inherent value of all life, human and non-human, and strive to treat all living beings with compassion and respect. All humans are equal centers of awareness of the Universe and nature, and all deserve a life of equal dignity and mutual respect. To this end we support and work towards freedom, democracy, justice, and non-discrimination, and a world community based on peace, sustainable ways of life, full respect for human rights and an end to poverty. There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united. We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of “afterlife” available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature. We honor reality, and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of science’s unending quest for deeper understanding. These are our best means of coming to know the Universe, and on them we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality. Every individual has direct access through perception, emotion and meditation to ultimate reality, which is the Universe and Nature. There is no need for mediation by priests, gurus or revealed scriptures. We uphold the separation of religion and state, and the universal human right of freedom of religion. We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.
  13. Very good point Even when you understand the fundamental level of uncertainty and lack of knowledge, that still doesn't mean that science shouldn't be trusted over religion. Sure, we may not even understand exactly what matter or the material universe actually is, but we're observing something or another and we call it matter. It behaves in certain ways and follows certain universal laws. If someone takes the position that science is still way off and doesn't understand everything, that says nothing to the credibility of religion. In fact, the only place that they can go is to set up a situation where science doesn't know everything, and religion knows even less than science! And that's where I would have taken this particular apologist if he continued posting. Religion is always back there behind where ever we decide to place science on a knowledge scale. For the reasons you've mentioned and more. Trying to cut down science or push it back, only serves to set the stage for placing religion even further back than that......
  14. Yes, that's the question. And the only logical answer that I see on the table right now as you do. What else could it reasonably be? And yet, the most logical answer is the very thing these apologist's are opposing tooth and nail. It's interesting because they take something as illogical as a string of domino assumptions based on a major presupposition at the foundation (supernatural god did it), and then parade it around as the only logical conclusion. When out of a selection of conclusions it's actually one of the most illogical to choose from.
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