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About Insightful

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    orange county CA
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    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 SuperBigV - thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry about the health issue you are battling right now. I understand what you mean about that existential anxiety. I definitely experience that from time to time. Something that helps me a little bit is reminding myself that Christianity conditioned me my entire life to be fearful of death - as that is a big selling point of Christianity. If we can be convinced that death is scary and bad then there is more impetus to follow Christianity and it's solution to the "problem" of death. I try to remind myself that it is completely normal and nothing to be afraid of. I just try to focus on each moment and the miracle of being alive. I can't remember who but someone was quoted as saying I didn't mind being not alive for all of the millenia prior to my birth so I likely won't mind being not alive again... I imagine that we simply cease to exist but I'm also fascinated by the remote possibility that we could re-emerge again somewhere, sometime. I figure if the odds were greater than 0 that we would have ever existed at all, maybe they are greater than 0 that we might exist again... Or not... I wish you all the best - for good health and peace of mind.
  2. Hi Physicslady! Welcome to ex-c. I loved your post - I think much like you do and left Christianity for many of the same reasons... and felt the same feelings too! I'm impressed at how much processing and deconstructing you've done in such a short amount of time! Were you wavering for some time or 100% all in and then, bam it all fell apart? Like you, I'm a graduate level science nerd - a master's in biochem and a doctorate in optometry. It takes a lot of courage to follow the evidence - especially when it means letting go of those warm fuzzy thoughts like having a personal God who is listening and orchestrating everything... But the clear-headedness of not having to bend reality to fit the worldview is soooo nice. I'm so much happier now and healthier emotionally. My Christian wife was devastated and my defection almost destroyed us... But 7 years later, we're still married and doing better than ever. She remains a believer, but not too seriously and not fundagelical anymore. Practically, she is a very liberal Christian and it has been easier and easier to raise our girls together. I wish you all the best! Be patient with your beleiving friends - like the QAnon folks, the more you show them evidence that counters their beliefs, the more they will double down on their deluded state. As Mark Twain rightly observed, it's a thousand times easier to fool someone than to convince them that they've been fooled...
  3. This story is just heartbreaking. This poor child was: 1) Born with Down Syndrome 2) Survived leukemia last year 3) Died from COVID-19 this month These were the kinds of stories that made it impossible for me to believe in Providence - the idea that there was this all-good, all-loving hand guiding the universe... You have to do some seriously jacked-up mental gymnastics to think that there is someone working things out for good... And hers was a church-going family... she sang in the choir... No special protection granted for having faith... https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/20/us/kentucky-student-cancer-covid-trnd/index.html
  4. Hey Ghost - thanks for your introduction and welcome! I can't say that I have any advice to add, but just wanted to wish you well as you build a new life for yourself.
  5. Hey TABA - I totally hear you about being at a church where you can be anonymous while deconstructing - that was super helpful in my case. We attend an Evangelical Free Church - which is basically baptist with a band and a coffee shop. Even though it's less ideal than the mass you describe, at least it large and we can just drop in and then take off... I'm glad that "no church attendance" has been a silver lining to the pandemic for both of us.
  6. Hey TABA - we are unequally yoked and have stopped attending since mid March. I won't lie - it's been amazing. Sundays are so restful, peaceful, and enjoyable. I really dont think my wife misses it at all - but she'd never say so. I have no idea what will happen when things start to improve with covid. I would be a good sport and go back with her - but I'm hoping we never return... How about you?
  7. It's fascinating to me the number of situations in which two scenarios could have been possible - a scenario that could ONLY have been possible if God/the Bible were true (we'll call these "scenario 1") OR the scenario one would expect if God/the Bible WEREN'T TRUE ("Scenario 2"). In each instance, we always find the second scenario to be how things actually are, yet there exists a Christian doctrine to explain why reality is this "unexpected way"... For example, given divine inspiration of scripture, there are 2 possibilities of how reality could have been regarding divine PRESERVATION of scripture. Scenario 1: god could have miraculously preserved scripture from copy/transcription errors (which would ONLY be true if god/bible were true) or Scenario 2: there are errors in copying/transmission. The second scenario is exactly what we'd expect in a godless universe (and what we do, in fact, find), but it is *theoretically possible, though odd-and-unexpected* in a bible-is-true universe. So, Christianity came up with its "doctrine of inspiration" that only applies to the original autographs and not the copies - to accommodate the unexpected scenario... Over and over, this pattern repeats itself and christianity finds itself constantly explaining why the reality we live in (in every case) is ALWAYS made up of "scenario 2s" - the realities we'd expext if the bible wasn't true, even though Christianity can be deformed to accommodate that scenario. Never do we find "scenario 1s" to be the case. Other examples: the universe could have been found to be only 8,000 years old (a "scenario 1"). Instead it's been shown to be billions of years old (a scenario 2 finding). Amputees could have been healed instantly by prayer (s-1) or not (s-2). Children of Christians could be divinely spared being raped and murdered (s-1) or not (s-2). Demons could still obviously roam the earth and demonic possession could be a court-acknowledged defense for killing someone (s-1) or not (s-2). There could have been unity in the church (s-1) or 34,000 denominations (s-2). Internal consistency in the bible (s-1) or not (s-2). Christian apologetics boils down to explaining why the reality we find looks not at all like the world we would have expected to find if the bible were true. It also means that Christianity never gets to claim a victory (by claiming a true "scenario 1"); rather, it simply avoids defeat by justifying how it can exist in a world of "scenario 2s"
  8. Thanks for sharing... And Welcome! I'm sorry for all that you endured - especially all of the judgment for leaving an obviously unhealthy marriage. I, too, first lost faith in Providence. I always believed IN SPITE of all of the mounting inconsistencies i kept observing within the Bible and between the Bible and reality. But I chose to keep trusting despite my doubts. Once my faith in providence crumbled, i no longer had reason to rationalize away my doubts in order to sustain belief... I am a happy agnostic - fortunate to not be angry. Something that helps me not be angry at "God" is that i am now 99.9999% sure that if some version of God exists, it's not the fundamental-evangelical-bible version that let me down - that god does not exist, so there isn't anyone to be angry at... I hope that made sense. Anyway, glad you are here. I hope that, with time, your anger can pass - so that you can more fully enjoy this precious but fleeting existence. Maybe in a reply you can talk more about the details of your anger - get it all written out. It can be healing.
  9. Well written! Sorry you didn't receive any replies back in November. Thx for sharing
  10. Welcome ZP! Thanks for sharing your story. Glad that you are finding your way - sounds like you have a strong, clear mind.
  11. Totally! I still miss the music - and I've been out for seven years... Granted that some of it is really bad music, I still long for the songs that I grew up with - either because I like them musically, or they bring back good feelings and memories. I still listen to some of my old favorites every now and then. Just a couple of days ago, I was making breakfast and wanting to listen to "Colored People" by DC Talk - so I pulled it up on You Tube. And I still really like the Beyond Belief album from Petra. I wore out 2 cassettes of that album as a teenager, listening to it hundreds of times a year on my walkman - so it's pretty etched into my being... Of the many kinds of Christians out there, I still find myself drawn to the ones who are Christians because they honestly want to live a life that is noble, good, and worthwhile. I get that they are wrong in what they believe, but I share their values of wanting to live a good/true/noble life - even if we totally disagree on what that is. So I find a sort of odd comfort with the genuine yearning for truth and goodness that SOME Christian artists display... Maybe this means I'm a messed-up ex-Christian? haha!
  12. Wow - that's crazy. I wish his ignorant defiance didn't cost him his life... Hopefully others will observe and learn, though, sadly, probably not. Thx for passing that along.
  13. And... 30 minutes ago the governor of Florida just declared that religious gatherings are exempt from the stay-at-home order because they are "essential". Just. Wow. No words.
  14. From an outsider's perspective, it is quite fascinating. One of the very main practices of Christianity is gathering together. And, due to the coronavirus outbreak, they will not be able to gather in churches on their most holy day - Easter Sunday. If I were a believer still, this would have caused me to doubt God's existence. Why would he allow the events of the universe to result in Christians NOT getting to go to church for a couple of months, including EASTER of all days?!! I wonder what they will say... maybe they will praise the advent of the technology that enables them to "meet" remotely... But it's all really odd right now if you are a Christian, right?! And it's also really odd that most of them won't even think twice about it...
  15. ^This!! At least for me. I'm married to a believer as well and for the first 2 years, i thought she was angry because of my BELIEFS, but it was the impact on her social life that was the main issue... It's awkward/shameful in that world being the one married to the unbeliever...
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