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About Insightful

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    orange county CA
  • Interests
    Learning, Loving
  • More About Me
    38 year old male
    3 year crisis of faith
    Ended early 2015 with shift to agnosticism

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. Welcome Jonathan! Wow, I'm so sorry for all that you endured at the hands of your father. Thanks for sharing your story, Insightful
  2. Insightful

    “Why isn’t God helping you more”

    Hi QO, Yes don't be alarmed by the sudden loss of Hope. I agree with truth-seeker - all of your hope was placed on one thing, which you no longer Trust. You will find new purpose and meaning and your life will have satisfaction and hope again! Hang in there.
  3. Insightful

    How many people have fully read the bible?

    I tried many times! It was my perennial new years resolution. I always got to about 1st or 2nd Samuel... Anyway I always find it interesting when pastors and Sunday school teachers joke about the pages sticking together in Leviticus... Basically admitting the obscure, inane, total irrelevance of part of the book that they are saying is the single inspired revelation of God to humankind. Isn't it odd that the one and only revelation of God would have large sections that no one in their right mind would ever even want to read? even people who think it is his word?
  4. Insightful

    Did you ever email your former pastor?

    Something that a lot of us have observed is that it is incredibly hard to demonstrate to a committed Christian that there are many critical flaws in their belief system unless they are at a point in their lives where they are willing to critically examine their faith. First just think about the average Christian. To consider that their faith might be wrong means: - letting go of their cherished belief in an afterlife for themselves and their loved ones/ having to face the reality of death - admitting they wasted many many years and a lot of money on something that was false - likely catastrophic effects on their marriage and relationships with family siblings children parents Etc - lost friendships So even just the average Christian has a lot of reasons to plug their ears and Shout lalalalala to all of the perfectly sound logical arguments you present to convince them why they're wrong. Now let's think about a pastor. In asking a pastor to consider that their faith might be wrong, in addition to all of the barriers the average Christian faces in considering this, the pastor would also have to be prepared to: - walk away from their job, their source of income - transition into the secular world where they likely have no marketable job skills and only church service on their resume - admit to themselves and their congregations that they've been spending their whole life teaching a lot of misinformation - break the heart of a spouse who likely married a pastor as part of their own personal calling One last thing that makes it really hard to convince pastors: unlike the average Christian they've already heard a lot of these arguments and they've already rationalised them away effectively locking the doors to the reasoning parts of the brain
  5. Insightful

    What has happened to me?

    I agree with MOHO - it's a really interesting thought. The familiar phrasing and word structures give subconscious credence to the ideas... How could anything that starts with "truly, I say unto you..." be false?! Even "lean not on your own understanding" sounds like truth because of the familiar words and structure - and how I felt when I first learned it. It *feels* right....
  6. Wow! Thank you so much for posting that. I had not seen that before. I loved it. I love her honesty and authenticity and courage.
  7. Insightful

    Unequally Yoked

    Thanks Florduh. I agree - it's fantastic! Spot on. I'm a husband to a believing wife and this video totally hits at a key point in our struggle - that my unbelief came as a result of genuinely seeking to know truth. And the reason I told her was to be as honest and open with my life partner as I could be. But she still sees it as a choice I made - or at least the result of choices I made to entertain non Christian arguments which began the downfall... She recently told me that later in my life I will look back and be filled with regret for all of the ruin and destruction I caused my family by not believing anymore...
  8. Insightful

    Jesus-free and loving it

    Hi HeartforTx, Welcome! Thanks for sharing your story. I totally experienced the "leftward shift" as well. (Of course we welcome ex-c's of all non-hateful political perspectives!)
  9. Insightful

    It's getting a lot easier to tell old friends...

    That's a really good point I hadn't thought of. (You are more insightful than Insightful himself, haha!). I have definitely rebalanced socially to where any fallout is negligible. I've taken for granted the privilege I have being financially independent of the Christian world. How tough it must be when one's income/food/shelter are tied to having faith (like being the stay at home parent or a clergy member).
  10. Hi everyone. It's been just over 5 years since I officially told my wife (the first person I told) that I no longer believed in the tenets of evangelicalism... Man, it's been a ride. In the beginning, telling my Christian friends was excruciatingly painful. I would have severe anxiety in the days leading up to the event, tremble as I spoke, and feel messed up for at least a week after. I just emailed a very dear friend "D" who didn't know where I was at. I've laid low for 5 years - in part because he is close to my brother-in-law "H", someone I did not want to find out about my unbelief. Once my brother-in-law "H" found out a few months ago, I felt free to reach out to "D" as I miss his friendship. It was SO easy to tell "D". Almost ZERO anxiety. I honestly don't care what anyone thinks about me on this issue any more. And I LOVE that. It took a long time to have confidence enough in what I believe and why and not to cower internally when others find out. I think it was because at the time MY WHOLE WORLD knew me as this strong believer. It felt like my very survival was threatened (which makes sense when you are conditioned to believe your "group" is everything and outside your "group" is only danger/peril/destruction). Also, I was conditioned to "lean not on my own understanding". I was taught that my reasoning is faulty at best... deceptive most probably. The messed-up-ness of it all really runs deep, doesn't it? Can anyone relate?
  11. Insightful

    De-converting was crazy

    Great post, Aaron! Welcome. I totally relate to so much of what you wrote. 37 was how old I was too when I realized I no longer believed.... Looking forward to getting to learn more from your experiences.
  12. Insightful

    No Police brutality- No Racism=No Problem?

    Wow, so much can be said here. First off, I appreciate everyone's genuine attempts to be civil and respectful of one another. Second, I wonder if this should be moved to "off topic". It's an important discussion, but I'm not seeing the tie-in to the ex-Christian experience; both the original post and responses could offend people unnecessarily. This topic is beyond loaded with all sorts of straw-man arguments (in general). I hope we can all agree that: 1. Not all police officers are racist persecutors of black people 2. Some police officers have indeed displayed excessive and unwarranted brutality against black Americans that does indeed appear racially motivated or influenced. 3. Not all black recipients of police brutality were innocent and complaint martyrs 4. Many black recipients of police brutality were being compliant and/orwere falsely suspected of having a weapon, etc. 5. In the vast majority of cases police officers are honorable men and women, Heroes of our communities who risked their lives for the public well-being. Their lives are valuable. 6. Black Americans have intrinsic dignity and worth by virtue of their Humanity. It is imperative that they be afforded the full consideration given to humans of other races. Their lives are valuable. I hope that everyone regardless of which side they land on can agree with these basic principles. Now I'll add my subjective opinion: As a non-black person, which I also assume Geezer is (am i wrong?), I would definitely refrain from weighing in on what the most important issue is to the black community. I think we non black people do best to listen and learn from the black community and Trust their own opinions regarding what issues matter most to them. I do not have a lot of black friends, but I do have some. And this issue of police brutality is very important to them. Just like as a non gay person, I would have no business saying that the fight for marriage equality is not the most important issue in the gay community. Ultimately I don't think it's about the NUMBER of people killed by police brutality versus the number of people killed by black on black crime. It's about the outrage that any American would be treated differently based on the color of their skin - especially by those committed to upholding and enforcing Justice. Everyday crime is indeed sad, unfortunate, and problematic. But Racial Injustice is an affront to the essence of America.
  13. Insightful

    My Tongue Is Sore From All The Biting.

    I couldn't have said it better! Exactly what Daffodil said. I'm in the same situation (christian wife, 2 girls) and there are so many opportunities to foster critical thinking in ways that stay under the radar. Critical thinking is a gift you can give your chilren that will protect them against all kinds of wrong ideas!
  14. Insightful

    Video: What Happens When You Die?

    Well said Joshpantera! I've often thought that if the seemingly-very-rare event of me popping into existence could happen once by chance, why not twice or more? I agree with you: all scenarios are speculative. "Unknown" is the wisest stance. My gut (unreliable as that is!) suspects one-and-done, but we'll all soon find out!! (or not!)
  15. Insightful

    Video: What Happens When You Die?

    Maybe it's just my way of coping with the sucky parts of death - or the romantic in me - but I think we "live on" in quite significant ways through the ways we've touched the lives of others and made their life experiences richer. The wisdom and joy we spread can ripple outward and impact many people who may never know us by name... True, once the universe dies, so do all of our ripples (at least so it seems), so it does seem to be ultimately useless/futile... But I don't feel like it's as bleak as Geezer was expressing (with love and respect to Geez!). Once we've accepted that we can't do too much about the lengths of our lives (and their finitude), we can turn to maximizing the amplitude/fullness of our journey...