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Bhim

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Bhim last won the day on April 11 2019

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About Bhim

  • Rank
    Jesus-hating idol worshiper

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    USA
  • Interests
    Religion and religious discourse, Hindu/Christian interactions, Christian proselytism, astrophysics, President Trump.
  • More About Me
    I suppose I'm somewhat unorthodox as far as ex-Christians go. I was raised Hindu. In college, specifically in 2004, I gave up my "heathen" ways and converted to evangelical Christianity. Six years later, in 2010 I realized the extent of my foolishness in being a Christian, and returned to Hinduism.

    I am a scientist with a PhD in astrophysics, but have defected from academia to industry. I am also a Trump voter.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Hindu God/gods

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  1. @ficino @TheRedneckProfessor regarding hatred of Muslim people as opposed to their religion, you both made points which I seemed to miss earlier. I think this is worthy of some exploration. The idea of "love the sinner, hate the sin" is of course something we all learned from Christianity. Now, I am not so disconnected from logic and reason as to reject a proposition simply because Christianity teaches it. However, I do think that this is a fundamentally untenable position. If someone does something that negatively affects an individual or society, there will be some level of antipathy towards that person. On a related note, I firmly believe that a person's professed beliefs are an excellent grounds on which to judge them. If I made the same statements with regards to black people, Germans, hermaphrodites, etc., I think you would have a legitimate grounds to object. However, here we have a group of people who publicly claim to believe in horrible doctrines, and I deem them horrible people on the basis of those professions. I wouldn't want to live near people who believe such things, insofar as I can help it. I'm not certain what is the objection here. To recap, Muslims are people who believe that we are going to eternal conscious torment in the same hell where Jesus would be sending us (if he were real). They believe in a pedophilic prophet. They believe in enacting a theocratic state. They believe in banning alcohol and pork within said state. They believe in killing you if you engage in homosexual sex. They believe in restrictive dress codes for men and women, and in enforcing those codes via the power of the state. They believe in using the power of the state to punish people who draw or blaspheme Mohammad (swine urine be upon him). These are things that I can recall without even having to reference the Qu'ran, and I'm not nearly as familiar with that text as I am with the Bible. Is this a religion we should respect, or whose followers we should respect? I find no redeeming traits whatsoever in Islam. Were it not for the personal losses I have suffered from Christianity, I might find this religion the more detestable of the two (though let's not argue between bad and slightly worse). These are not good or wholesome beliefs by any measure that people here can agree to. Nor are these merely intellectual positions; these are things that can affect your life personally. If you enjoy dressing immodestly, having sex with someone of the same sex, or simply having an evening beer, you should be mildly concerned about having Muslim neighbors. And because none of us are Christian conservatives, we are not beholden to defending a religion with teachings similar to that of Islam. If someone holds to beliefs that are bad, does this not make him a bad person? Does that not mean that given the choice of allowing or disallowing him into your home country, you should decline? The second question is a matter of practicality, I admit, but both prudence and the fact that immigration into the United States is not a civil right compel one to ban such people. I might dare call it a Muslim ban. But - one might object - there are plenty of good Muslims. Granted. When I go to India, half of my drivers are Muslims, and they are all friendly and helpful people. I expect that they aren't out to ban alcohol or anything of the sort. Sometimes I even see the same people at a bar. On the other hand, there is a whole host of Episcopal Christians who don't believe in eternal conscious torment in hell for non-Christians. Their existence doesn't stop me from hating Christianity and those who practice it. Personally, I do not know why there are Christians who don't believe in Christianity or Muslims who don't believe in Islam. It seems as absurd as a Republican who believes in large government or a vegan who supports factory farming. I think it is unhelpful (at best) to take up the label of a set of intellectual propositions which don't actually define you, alas in the case of religion people do this for cultural reasons. Show me a Muslim who doesn't believe in any of the tenets of Islam, and I'm happy to say that I don't hate that person. But if you tell me you are a Muslim, then given no other knowledge, I will assume you believe in Islam, and I will hate you for your beliefs. And to those of you who morally object to the teachings of Islam (which I assume is everyone here), I would suggest that you should hate Muslims too. Hatred is the proper feeling towards those with awful beliefs.
  2. Sure, not all people who say they are Christians are horrible people. But surely you would agree that simply going to a church on Sunday doesn't make someone a Christian in any meaningful sense of the word. It's the belief, the buy-in to the fundamental theology, which makes one a Christian. I think most here would concede that if you believe the punishment for shoplifting should be eternal conscious torment in hell, then you are a bad person. I simply use the same metric with Muslims, i.e. I judge these people by their professed beliefs. As an Indian I of course know a lot of Muslims. Sure, most of them seem decent on the surface, as long as you don't talk about Indian or Middle Eastern politics. If you broach such topics, they espouse some views that you would find morally questionable at best. If you don't believe my anecdotal evidence, see the survey from the Pew Research Center in 2017 which asked Muslims in various countries if they support making Sharia the law of the land in Muslim countries. In Pakistan 84% said yes, and in Bangladesh it was 82%. These are countries whose populations were part of India just a century ago, and who were inculcated into the religious pluralism of a Hindu society. Yet they wish to live like barbarians. I believe that referring to such individuals as horrible people is justified here. Even if there is to be some debate on the topic though, I would ask: why take the risk when we are all agreed on the basic negativity of Abrahamic religions? Given the choice of allowing Muslims into the United States and not allowing them, why not choose the latter? No one is entitled to emigrate to a different country, so why voluntarily grant them this privilege at potential risk to ourselves?
  3. You're free to comment on my propositions of course, but I did ask a specific question in order to understand your position, which you didn't address yet. Do you want more Muslims or less Muslims (or alternatively, no change in the number of Muslims)? This isn't a question about implementation. I'm trying to figure out what you believe makes Muslims valuable or worth having as your neighbors.
  4. It seems to me that the threat of mainstream Islam - not fundamentalist Islam, but the variety practiced by the average Dearborn, MI resident - is a fairly severe threat to American culture. These people threaten my right to practice my religion, and your right to not practice any religion. If the government shuddered the doors on my local temple, I might become angry, but I don't see myself becoming a terrorist. If there exist people who resort to violence when the exercise of their religion is curtailed, then perhaps those people don't belong here to begin with. A person who will strap on a suicide vest just because I take away his Qu'ran is a person who should receive a free one way ticket to literally anywhere outside of the United States. As to the precepts and foundation of America, I'm very much a fan of said values. However let's step back for a moment and accept the reality that our collective rejection of Jesus is not something of which any founding father would approve. I'm not even sure Thomas Paine would celebrate the depth of our apostasy. So is this a place you really want to go? I realize there's an oversimplification involved in binary choices, but it's worth asking why exactly you want more Muslim neighbors (feel free to reject my premise). I hate to quote far-right European politicians, but do you want more Muslims or less Muslims? Could you at least agree with the proposition that we should make efforts to stop bringing people into the country who are known practitioners of the Muslim faith? I'm honestly trying to understand your position on Muslims. Muslims seem to me like generally horrible people who don't belong in civilized society. I fully accept that Western democracies afford individuals the right to be horrible, but it seems to me like immigration checkpoints are a logical place to select against horrid attributes.
  5. This isn't a failure to understand. I understand your point, and I disagree with you. I contend that Muslims should be forced to stop practicing Islam. Sincere question: do you concur that two individuals can fully understand one another's opinions without adopting said opinions? If not, we may have reached an impasse.
  6. At this point in the national discourse, I'd be honored to be labeled a white supremacist if only for the irony (since I'm not remotely white, in case anyone has forgotten). Sorry, but I cannot relent from my position that the practice of Islam should be banned within the United States.
  7. I've expressed a belief in the past that churches should be burned down by the government (without the people inside). I still believe that, but I don't press the point too often because the large number of Christian's in Western nations makes it infeasible. I think if we talked about this a bit more, you may object to my view. On the other hand, if we talked about what I think should be done with Muslims in more detail, you may find that you don't object. To be sure, I do believe in discrimination against Muslims. But discrimination isn't necessarily wrong. We already discriminate against people who might be violent or who might be heavy welfare users...unless they're Muslim. I think this is worth talking about if you are interested.
  8. Others have stated this a bit differently, but I do agree there should be some areas of the forum reserved for ex-Christians. That said, I enjoy debating Christians and am interested in attempting to deconvert them. As long as they are in the Den or other allowed forums, I'm content to let them say whatever they wish, provided that we have the unobstructed right to denigrate their faith and challenge their most dearly held beliefs.
  9. It's curious that no one one here expresses such pity concerning my hatred of Christianity. Granted, everyone here (myself included) has a specific motive for anti-Christian hatred, but it seems to me like your fundamental qualm isn't an opposition to a lifestyle of hatred...
  10. @Joshpantera, we've discussed in the past how religion may be an evolutionary adaptation, and thus is something that can't be entirely eschewed by most people in the short term. Since I'm the guy who makes everything about Trump, I'll venture into forbidden territory: do you think that far-left ideologies like Climate Justice (note that I did not say climate science) are replacing religion among Western atheists? About a decade ago when I was in grad school, noted climate skeptic and physicist Dr. William Happer gave a colloquium at my physics department. As you know I did my doctoral work at a mainstream public university, staffed almost entirely by atheists. So obviously he was severely heckled, and I think the department invited him in the interest of encouraging debate, rather than due to any endorsement of his alternative theories. I should also state that I don't personally agree with his projections regarding climate change (mostly because I am not sufficiently familiar with the literature to criticize the projections of climate scientists). But in his talk, he had a slide entitled "why do the nations so furiously rage?" Being a Christian at the time, this of course caught my attention. He pointed out that climate change was becoming a sort of secular religion among many non-religious people. Even one of my staunchly atheist friends expressed sympathy for this point of view. I didn't give it much thought at the time. But now in 2020, in the age of Trump and of Trump Derangement, I'm giving the notion of secular religion a second thought. I am surprised at the number of scientifically-illiterate people who not only express vociferous support for political agendas based on climate change, but who dedicate much of their life to the Climate Justice movement. As an astrophysicist I recognize that one must have a strong familiarity with mathematics, statistics, and the relevant literature in order to be conversant in my own field, and I know that the same is true of climate science. That's why I hesitate to form opinions on climate science, and generally accept that the published, peer-reviewed science is correct. Yet there is a large number of people who espouse support for Climate Justice and who make claims that are not supported by climate scientists, including the belief that the world is ending in ten years and that it is necessary to abstain from beef. The latter is interesting because I abstain from beef (indeed all meat) out of a religious adherence to Hinduism. The Climate Justice adherents have replicated my practice via an entirely different belief system. The former is interesting because it is reminiscent of evangelical belief in the rapture. I used to challenge believers in the rapture to sell me their houses at a fraction of the cost of purchase. I could just as well offer the same challenge to Climate Justice believers. If you believe that President Trump is ending the world in ten years via climate change, you should sell me your house for whatever reasonable price I am willing to offer you, since you won't be needing it for very long. It seems to me that the human need to believe in gods has resulted in the pseudoscientific Climate Justice movement. I don't see how those of us who are committed to secularism can treat it differently than we do evangelical Christianity. The latter has caused us more personal harm and loss. But the former harbors the same potential for political and social persecution. It even has its own indulgences in the form of "carbon credits" (note: I realized this analogy independently before I heard it stated by conservative commentators). Let me be clear in that I don't see Climate Justice advocates torturing men in dungeons as the original inquisitors did. But they do often seek to economically harm dissenters by terminating the employment of anyone who doesn't believe in an imminent apocalypse or substantive lifestyle changes. It seems to me that for Western atheists, Climate Justice offers a reasonable alternative to Jesus Christ for those who crave a religious paradigm.
  11. I don't recognize this news source, but the story aligns with other, more credible accounts I have read and heard of the status of Islam in Pakistan. Apologies for getting political, but this is a good case in point as to why Muslims should be banned from entering the United States, whether it be for immigration, employment, or even academic conferences. Everyone who crosses the border should be required to deny that Mohammad is the prophet of God. Having said that, it might be surprising that I will advise @Citsonga that travel to the UAE is perfectly safe. My wife is from the UAE (obviously she is Hindu, but her parents were guest workers there when she was growing up). I've visited there several times. There is no freedom of speech and you can't criticize any religion, whether it be Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, etc., nor can you publicly eat food during Ramadan. But if you're just going there for vacation it's actually very safe, is populated by English-speakers, and has enough Western-style infrastructure that you can freely transit from one place to another without any issues. It pains me to say this, since I am someone who openly hates Muslim people, but based on my experience in the UAE, it's actually a nice place to visit.
  12. Thanks for the tag Josh. I think we are in fact seeing what you are observing. Back when I was a fundamentalist Christian (and ironically, politically left-wing), I would have found the idea of a non-religious right to be absurd. I have now found that with a small number of exceptions (not even including abortion and gay rights) the political right in the West has very little basis in Christianity. Indeed, it was the election of the very un-Christian Donald Trump who made me realize that one can be politically conservative without being remotely Christian. I have noticed the emergence of a non-religious right in the West, and I look forward to its evolution.
  13. Hi OF, I was fairly certain we overlapped for at least awhile! Like you said, I was born and raised Hindu, and converted to Christianity. Fortunately, my six years in this religion was short enough that I was able to resume my former life. I even reintegrated into my family's religious practice and got an arranged marriage to another Hindu, so all in all I was not as profoundly affected by this terrible religion as others have been. However hard it is to talk about the problem of Christianity, you have at least stated the problem directly: Christianity teaches that if you do not intellectually assent to the belief that Jesus is your savior from eternal hell, you will be consigned to that hell forever. Your flesh will burn and your body will be in utter agony for a million times your earthly lifespan, and then when that torment is over, you will suffer a million times even that length of torment. When that is over, your punishment will still not be complete, since eternity is forever. Christianity successfully invented a punishment that a rational mind would not wish on even Hitler. A religion that teaches such things is disqualified from making any moral pronouncement whatsoever. This was essentially the quandary that I encountered as a Christian. Believing in hell is easy when every member of your family is also a Christian and is going to heaven. It becomes easy to believe in hell with an intellectual detachment. But when one was raised by and lived among people whom Jesus would consign to hell, it becomes necessary to confront this vile philosophy, and I found that the rational mind cannot withstand the conflict with what the Apostle Paul might call "the law written on our hearts," i.e. the human conscience. Even if I took issue with no other teaching of Christianity, the teaching of hell would make it impossible for me to believe in this religion.
  14. I have different favorite verses (as a non-Christian), but you are quite right. In my opinion the New Testament is unenlightened garbage. But once you can recognize that the Old Testament is a.) not written by Christians, b.) does not support the notion of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, and c.) was written by fallible humans who were not divinely inspired, it is possible to recognize there's a lot of wisdom and introspection to be found here. Just as there is in any ancient literature whose popularity has endured into modern times.
  15. Welcome back sir. Thank you for eloquently stating what I also believe. You joined this site around the same time I did. I believe you were a couple years earlier than I, I'll need to check my join date. After leaving Jesus I also found the doctrine of eternal conscious torment in hell for nonbelievers to be a detestable and vile belief, and to be one of the most awful things that Christianity teaches. I thank you for recognizing how false and deceptive this belief is, and for pointing it out so directly. Like you, I too have left Christianity and never turned back. A lot of my ideologies have transformed over time. I've returned to the Hindu religion in which I was raised, and adapted my religious beliefs in light of the Christian "values" I left behind. I've figured out how to be religious without believing in anything resembling Jesus. I've transitioned from an academic scientist to an industry sellout. I've even joined the American political dark side (yeah, yeah, I joined team Trump, but let's not go there right now). But one thing I never did was reconsider my lack of belief in Jesus. Jesus is impotent to save anyone from the imaginary hell of fire. However intellectually diverse this community is, we all share a common belief that Jesus is no god at all, and that is an important common unifying principle. In a culture that is dominated by the Christian religion, it's important to associate with a group of like-minded individuals who know that Jesus is not just a false deity, but an outright evil individual who poisons the human soul with a manufactured fear of hell. I'm glad you've reconnected with ex-C; I look forward to many great conversations.
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