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Storm last won the day on February 19 2016

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About Storm

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    Trying to Figure it Out
  • Birthday May 22

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    Music, Sports, Family, Cognitive Psychology of Religion.
  • More About Me
    I was a Christian for the majority of my life. I became really frustated by the church and its "teaching". I was a blind follower for a long time. I have realized many truths and they weren't found in the bible. I am learning a lot about myself and how I hope to live the rest of my days. Its a lot of hard work, but I am enjoying it for the most part.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    My wife. She makes humans.

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  1. In an even more ironic twist, the only "scriptures" that existed at the time this verse was written was the Old Testament...
  2. The thing that started me on the journey out of Christianity was: Tithing I had never been a thither. I did tithe for short periods, but it just gnawed at me and I hated giving my money away. I feel shallow and "scrooge-like" saying that, as I usually try to be generous with my money when it comes to legitimate needs for friends and family, but tithing just never sat well with me. I started researching it because I started thinking about how I was taught that the old law was no longer in effect since Jesus' death on the cross, because of the new covenant of Jesus' death. I realized that there is no mention anywhere in the NT after Jesus' death about tithing. Paul mentions giving, but not tithing. I started to research tithing and I found a Master's thesis that someone wrote about tithing and it was very eye opening. I learned that there is actually more than one tithe (there are three) that the Jews were required to pay and that essentially, they all actually had to pay 23.333% of their income and not simply 10 percent. Not one pastor ever mentioned this stuff, indicating to me that they never bothered to study it, and were merely just mimicking what they were taught. This was a problem for me. As I started to realize that tithing was nothing more than a sham, I also started seeing that, just as I mentioned before, they simply picked something from the OT that benefited them and made it "still a law" so that we needed to keep doing it in order to please God. But this made no sense because if it was beneficial in OT times and its still beneficial now, why would this not be the case for all of the other aspects of the law that we don't bother to follow? Shellfish - bad then, good now? Tattoos - bad then, good now? Stoning people for trivial stuff - good then, bad now? If God never changes, and his law is perfect, why is most of it no longer applicable today? And secondly, what formula do you use to determine which OT laws still apply today, and which no longer apply? All of this simply became too much for me to reconcile and the cognitive dissonance was too great to overcome that I ended up on my path out of Christianity. edit for run on sentences
  3. Storm

    I Just Realized That I Don't Want to Be a Christian...

    Welcome to Ex-C! You have certainly learned a lot of profound truths. The journey out of Christianity is a difficult one at times. But it is so worth it. There is a lot of wisdom here in these forums. Spend time reading the posts and learning from the other members. Many of their stories are relatable and you can learn a lot from them. Post here, ask questions, get involved in discussions and stretch and grow as a person. I look forward to seeing what else you have to share. Good luck! Storm
  4. Storm

    Netflix: Lost in Space

    FWIW, I've watched the entire first season. There is more bad science, but I found the show entertaining. Lots of shows have plot holes and bad science, but are still entertaining.
  5. Storm

    Tolerance vs intolerance - where is the middle ground?

    Kudos to you for making the time to learn about the people you were taught were lazy and helping yourself understand them, so you could treat them with respect. You are certainly better for it. As far as your challenge to force myself into that uncomfortable zone, I have done so. I have friends and acquaintances who are Gay and Lesbian. I enjoy their company and I see past their sexual orientation to know who they really are as people. I could have avoided them, but I choose to embrace them as friends and I am better for it. Who they have sexual relationships with isn't really my business and I don't let it affect my relationships with them. But I don't have to be comfortable with what they do to be understanding and to enjoy a relationship with them and to treat them like normal humans, which they are. I am capable of being uncomfortable and being ok with it. I am also perfectly comfortable with not knowing lots of things. That doesn't diminish my ability to live my life as best I can in this world. Could I do more to understand and know about them better? I could, but truthfully, its not that important to me to understand all the intricacies of being LGBT. I can respect them and know them in spite of my lack of knowledge.
  6. Storm

    Tolerance vs intolerance - where is the middle ground?

    I am a fan of your attitude and the beliefs you hold in wanting to champion that the world be tolerant of everyone. Please continue to be that voice, no matter what. That being said, sometimes we all need to be reminded that part of being human is the notion that we all need to be part of a group. And once we become part of a group, we instantly become part of an out group for other groups. There will always be people who do not agree with us and we will often disagree with those people, sometimes just for the sake of disagreeing. In the case of LGBT stuff, it causes a lot of discomfort for a lot of people. I admit that it does for me. When people are uncomfortable, they often speak from that discomfort and, many times, that discomfort doesn't necessarily produce rational and tolerant words and actions. Which is a shame. We should all be able to disagree with each other, and I don't think anyone here is arguing that we all agree all the time. And while I may be uncomfortable with the thought of LGBT stuff, I am not interested in taking away someones right to be who they are. I understand that love is love and no matter who the people are who are giving and receiving the love, they should give and receive it to/from whomever they like. I am not sure there is much middle ground in topics that are as volatile as LGBT stuff. Is there a case where both sides get to learn to be comfortable with their discomfort? I honestly don't know. If each uncomfortable with LGBT person accepts their discomfort and make no effort to stop LGBT persons from living their lives and being who they are, what discomfort do the LGBT people experience in this scenario? Maybe the knowledge that there are those who are uncomfortable with who they are? I just don't know. I am trying to be genuinely honest here about my thoughts. In this case, we have an either or situation. Either the LGBT person gets to live their life or they don't. There isn't middle ground. I am ok with my discomfort. I can live with it and I support LGBT people because I care about them, as I do all other humans. But, I have biases and prejudices just like everyone else. I admit that I am uncomfortable with the unfamiliar, whether that be Gender, Race, Religion, etc. Maybe that is the key: Simply admitting what makes us uncomfortable and being genuinely honest with each other about it. We can all grow as people when we have nothing to hide. Food for thought. Edit: for grammar
  7. Storm

    Trying to understand

    For me, the world just is what it is. There are bad people and good people and all sorts in between. Bad things happen and good things happen and the mundane happens. Sometimes those things just happen by chance and for simply no explainable reason, and other times we know why they happened. I don't personally feel the need to have some sort of explanation as to why these things happen. They just do and I live my life regardless. I have come to believe that the world exists exactly as it would if there is no God. As far as Paul goes, if he was not in the bible, I don't think much of what he says has merit in this world. He is just an average Joe like you or me.
  8. Storm

    Trying to understand

    I am interested to see what you think regarding the rest of my original post, but I would like to address your two responses. Your response is indicative of someone who has accepted the Christian Worldview. While that is fine if you want to accept that, but what needs to be pointed out is that this view is often hindered because you don't look at it critically. Many of us here eventually did that and it helped us realize that Christianity's answers weren't sufficient enough to continue to believe them. Take for example your statement "But Paul's main theme is he tells us what completes a human being. And as a completed human being if there is no knowledge of that completion your no different than you were (your worse off)." What does it mean to be a complete human being? You have to remember something here. Paul is simply a human and he is sharing what he believes to be true. You might think that he is sharing something that is divinely inspired, but you have no way of knowing this. In the Christian worldview, humans are broken and we need a God to fix us. But for those outside of the Christian worldview, this "broken" nature doesn't really make sense. While all humans have flaws and we all make mistakes and do things that hurt others and ourselves, I don't think that makes us broken or imperfect. What does a perfect human being act like or do? I don't think its possible for a perfect human being to exist because each person has unique qualities that make them react and respond to situations differently. What one person might consider a benevolent action, another person may see as a hurtful action. In all of the different personalities and traits that we exhibit as humans, I just don't see how there could be a perfect human. So when I read your statement about a completed human, I don't know what that means. Even as a Christian, I struggled with that concept. No matter how compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic, kind, happy, or whatever positive characteristic you want to describe that I can become, I will always be capable of doing damage in some way. This isn't a bad thing, per se, but its simply reality. I don't want to hurt anyone, but I do because it is simply a part of being human. I am all for self improvement and continuing to try and be the best person you can be. I will give Christianity credit in that it does advocate for improving our lives and the lives of others (at least the part of Christianity I was involved with did), even though I think the motivation for much of it is misguided. But, I don't believe that there exists a completed human. As TruthSeeker basically stated in response to your post, religion is also a coping mechanism for life. Its tough to accept that people do intentionally hurtful things to others. As humans, we often want to know the reasons behind their actions. But sometimes those reasons are tough to accept. Its much easier to accept that there is some evil entity behind those evil actions rather than the thought of someone just being purely bad and hurtful. I don't want to admit that I have hurt someone else, because if I do, then I am faced with the reality that I am potentially a "bad" person. I don't want to think that about myself, so I will accept that I was tricked by the devil and I feel better about myself. Thus, I have coped with my failure. But this is not only for evil acts, but for death as well, whether it be our own or the death of someone we love. We all want to believe that we will live forever or that we will once again be reunited with a loved one. There is comfort in that thinking. Of course, once we die and our belief isn't reality, we're dead and we don't know, so there's no problem anymore.
  9. Storm

    Trying to understand

    Having read through this thread, I think I would like to share a few thoughts that seem to be relevant to this discussion. Christianity is essentially a prepackaged worldview. Its seems plausible to the average person because it attempts to explain things that people don't want to spend copious amounts of time trying to figure out. Our brains like to be as efficient as possible and tries to limit the amount of energy spent trying to figure out things. Because Christianity (and other religions) have spent the time and energy "working" through these issues, it makes sense that humans would be prone to accept what Christianity (or other religions) offer. Truth be told, I would rather spend my time doing enjoyable activities and having fun than contemplating the meaning of life or some other complicated issue. Religion eliminates the need for that. But some people are not content with the "answers" that religion provides (in this case Christianity). Indoctrination is a common theme among the many people who frequent this site. Its a powerful tool for developing Christians and is likely the primary reason most people become Christians. When you are young and looking for answers, Christianity provides answers, but they aren't necessarily the "correct" ones. But as a child, you don't generally know any better, and you trust that the people who are helping you and have no reason to doubt what they are telling you. So you grow up simply accepting what you were taught as a child, only to find out later that it wasn't true or wasn't quite as true as you thought it was. This is a problem. As humans, we have a long maturation period until we are adults and some scientists believe that, due to this long maturation time, and due to our need to rely on someone else for our survival for the first several years of our life, this mechanism (our reliance on others) that is innate in our minds only continues into our adulthood. It brings comfort to us when we think that a cosmic being is still caring for us and that it still has some control over our lives. Religion uses this already intuitive process and applies it to what already is natural for us to believe. Its like a match made in heaven. Its why religion in general is so prevalent through the world. So, the powerful combination of prepackaged worldview and our own limitations as humans makes for the perfect canvas for religion to paint itself upon our lives. As to your comment about the people on this thread being the same as Christians, I think I understand what you were referring to, and you're right to some degree. One of my favorite quotes is this one: This statement perfectly summarizes what humans do. Whether it be political views, sports views, religious views, cooking views, etc., we all want to be right and we want others to agree with our view. When others believe as we do, it creates a sense of community and thus a group is born. Churches are, for the most part, social clubs for like-minded people. When we realized that Christianity wasn't all it was made out to be, we all of the sudden lost our community and we were the outcasts among the people we thought were our friends. This website provides us with a new community of (generally) like-minded people who have all come from the same basic place. Christianity has no more of a claim to humanity that Atheism or Paganism, or whatever religion you want to mention. We are all human first, then religious second or atheist second. As someone mentioned up thread, we as humans tend to look at the world in black and white, but in reality, its really a lot of gray with some black and white. In regards to this: I think it might be beneficial to first sit down and think about what an "inspired" book from a Deity would say. List some criteria that you would expect to be in a book that was inspired by the person who claims to be the one divinely inspiring the book. Ask questions like "Do I think a book inspired by a divine being would hold universal, eternal truth?" "Would a divinely inspired book have contradictions?" "Would a divinely inspired book provide special insight into the world we live in, which can provide us with valuable information regarding how we should live, how we should treat illness or disease or how to prevent them?" "Would a divinely inspired book teach us that we are all the same and that we are equal as humans and that we should treat each other with that in mind?" Answering these questions first should provide you with a good framework of criteria upon which to judge the Bible or any other divinely "inspired" text. As others have pointed out, the bible (and Christians) make a claim. That claim needs to be validated to be true, not the converse claim of it not being the claim that is true. The default isn't "God is Real, the Bible is True". The default is "I don't know if God is real or that the Bible is True", how can I confirm this? In order to get as objective an answer as you can, you have to be as objective as you can be when you seek the answer.
  10. Storm

    I'm Still Alive....and a STILL Deconvert

    Looks like he touched you with his noodly appendages! Glad to hear that you are ok and alive. Here's to a speedy and thorough recovery!
  11. Storm

    Shapiro & Harris

    Why is it that religions are often considered the source of morality? What if religions simply hijacked something that already existed? Religions are primarily reactionary in terms of what society deems ok and what it doesn't. Slavery used to be a part of normal society, until it wasn't, and religion (in this case Christianity) was slow to react. Killing people for trivial things such as disobeying their parents, working on the sabbath, etc. lost its place in society a long time ago. Women have always been subjugated to second class in the Abrahamic religions, but only in the last 100 or so years, have they enjoyed increased equality in Christianity and in the US, however, they still have a ways to go (Islam and Christianity's obsession with Patriarchy). Racial interbreeding and interracial marriage was frowned on for a long time, now its ok. Divorce was frowned on, but now its just a part of life. On and on we can find examples of how religion adapts its morality to whatever society deems to be acceptable or unacceptable. Why then, does religion have the audacity to claim it has the upper hand on morality when it is primarily reactionary?
  12. Storm

    Pentecostals are a Cult

    For the record, all of Christianity is a cult. Not just the pentecostals.
  13. Storm

    Hell no

    Emotions are neither good or bad. They are simply responses to our situations. Its not "bad" to be angry or sad or disgusted. its not "good" to be happy or joyful or excited. While I do concede that I would rather be happy than angry, neither of these emotions are good or bad. The "negative" emotions oftentimes lead us to take action. If someone I love dies, I should feel sad and use that time to grieve and work through my thoughts and feelings about the person I loved. If I am angry about a wrong that has been done to me or someone I love, I am (or should be) moved to take action to rectify that situation. Jesus demonstrated this when he engaged the moneychangers in the temple. Most Christians would classify what he did as "righteous" anger. If I am disgusted about something, again, I should be moved to take action to either remove myself (for protection) or to do something to make the situation better. So, negative emotions serve just as healthy a purpose for humans as the "positive" ones. But as mymistake pointed out, God clearly isn't entirely in control of his emotions. If my daughter picked up the most valuable thing I owned and she knew it was wrong, my first reaction wouldn't be "kill her". But God killed Uzzah for the same reason (once again, he's "all powerful", there's no reason to think he couldn't come up with a better punishment or a way to keep the ark "clean" for his purposes). Wiping out most of humanity in the flood was a blatant overreaction if I ever saw one. Wiping out the Ninevites because of their sin or wiping out Sodom and Gomorrah or Tyre or any host of other places God chose to destroy would (IMHO) be an overreaction to those situations.If God is truly all powerful, he would have the power to change the lives of those people without destroying them. Instead, he simply gets angry and flies of the handle and goes on a killing spree pretty much all the time. That is the mindset of a tyrant, not a loving God. Secondly, your statement "God wanted to spare us knowing bad/negative emotions" flies in the face of the whole suffering happens because God supposedly wants us to build character and help us to grow. That is why he uses discipline, etc. You seem to live in a utopian world where its all rainbows and unicorns and daisies. We should experience negative stuff, if only for the reason that it helps us appreciate the positive stuff more. But when I learn from negative experiences, I become a better person. That's a good thing.
  14. Someone who is a member of a Facebook group I am a part of posted this letter he wrote. Its a good one and I felt that it was worth sharing. The whole Old Testament vs. New Testament thing is what ultimately led me to leaving Christianity. A few points that really made me start the whole deconversion process was the whole how can you simply choose which OT laws applied to you and which ones don't? Is there an objective way to make these type of decisions? I couldn't find one. I was so blind to this as a Christian, but now that I am out, I see it so very clearly. Add to that, the fact that Judaism and Christianity are completely different religions and there really isn't any way (in my mind) that Christianity is a "completion" of Judaism (as I was often taught by the church). It all falls apart the more you look at it, and the more you look at it, the more absurd it gets.
  15. Storm

    Hell no

    This was exactly my point. Emotions are just emotions. They are neither right or wrong, or perfect or imperfect. They are simply our bodies response to situations. Even if someone has an emotional disorder, it doesn't make the emotions bad or good, the disorder is simply a malfunction of how the body reacts. I think Thumbelina has some sort of Platonism thing going on in which she thinks that God's emotions are pure and perfect since he's God, and ours are imperfect since we are fallen, but the bible simply demonstrates that his emotions are no different than ours. I don't see any distinguishable difference.