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TABA

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Everything posted by TABA

  1. That’s my First Commandment too! The Second is like it: Be kind, because you never know what people are dealing with in their lives.
  2. Leaving religion behind can leave you feeling like you lack a replacement platform on which to base your life, for sure. Something to provide a compass, you could say. Becoming an atheist means no longer having not just the god but also a lot of doctrine and a source of guidance for how to live your life. For me, the ancient Greek/Roman philosophy of Stoicism has helped fill that gap. Stoicism was around for hundreds of years before Christianity and will likely be around long after it becomes a dead religion. Because it's simple, and it works. For those who need the comfort of a loving father-god figure or the prospect of eternal life, it doesn't provide those things, I admit, but for those of us who can do without those things, it does provide a good guide for living. As Christianity and other religions decline, Stoicism has seen a big resurgence in interest in recent years. I should point out that the word "stoic" has come to mean a pretty grim, fatalistic outlook on life, but that's not what the philosophy of Stoicism really is. I'd recommend a few books if you're interested in looking into it: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine Any of the books by Ryan Holiday The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance and the Art of Living I hope this helps. It helped me!
  3. This is timely: a brand new debate between WLC and Roger Penrose... https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Sir-Roger-Penrose-and-William-Lane-Craig-Debating-God-and-the-Universe
  4. My main response would be is that it’s important to distinguish between people who just drift away from Christianity and theism without explicitly rejecting the theology, and those of us who thought long and hard before rejecting it. The former group might be retained or drawn back with the right kind of music, fellowship, etc, but not the latter.
  5. Welcome Moonobserver! (Fun Fact: ‘astronomer’ can be rearranged to read ‘moon starer’ ) While I’m personally neither a Theist nor a Deist, your version of Deism seems much more appealing than theism or most religions for sure. Being free of dogma is a big plus. Anyway, welcome and I hope you’ll tell us more about yourself and your deconversion process - assuming you were once a Christian.
  6. TABA

    Good news

    I’d love to think that people were leaving Christianity - and other theistic religions - because of critical thinking which they would be expected to carry over into other areas of their lives. Like the fine people who inhabit Ex-Christian.net. But I suspect that’s not the case often enough.
  7. Hi Danny, Welcome to our community: I'm glad you introduced yourself. I'm so sorry for the anguish and heartbreak you've been through. It breaks my heart when I see two people, who by all rights should be together, forced apart by religious dogma. I see it again and again, and it's all so unnecessary. You've seen how being immersed in religious faith can make a person resistant to reason and evidence. We've often referred to the Faith Virus: it really does take over part of the mind and keep a person from evaluating religious claims the same way they would evaluate other things. As well as the emotional ordeal you've been through, you've also been on quite a journey intellectually. Your arrival at atheism (most of us consider ourselves agnostic atheists) is very typical, and I'm convinced it is almost always the eventual outcome when religious claims are evaluated with an open mind. I know it will be a good while before you are over the pain, but I think your life will be better for having made this journey. I hope you feel at least a bit better after having shared your story here. You are certainly among friends: this is a very supportive group of people. Again, I'm so sorry for what you've been through. We're here for you, and I look forward to hearing more from you. All the Best, TABA
  8. I don’t think I saw any arguments that were new to me, but then I’ve encountered a LOT in the past six years or so, through my reading, podcasts and being around here. Some arguments I was uncomfortably aware of even when I was a Christian. I learned a lot more during my deconversion process, and still more since then. All part of the process of gaining intellectual immunity to Christianity. I’ve wondered why they let you go on for so long, and then why they stopped you when they did. I’m sure they were taking flak for allowing you on in the first place. Maybe they thought God would give them the tools to reduce you to a slobbering mess, or to reconvert you, or at least make you go away. The wide range of arguments that you presented must have been alarming. Plus you didn’t fit the stereotype of the venom-spitting atheist. I honestly can’t see the upside for them in allowing it. Again, good work!
  9. TABA

    Hello to all.

    PMFJI, but isn’t it still generally accepted that the universe had a definite beginning, i.e. the Big Bang? “The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the observable universe from the earliest known periodsthrough its subsequent large-scale evolution.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
  10. TABA

    Hello to all.

    Also regarding our friend @bornagainathiest, according to Christians he is now either burning in Hell or has simply been annihilated because of his “rebellion”, depending on which Christians you ask. And yet, strangely, his words have been allowed to live on to inspire and motivate the rest of us to carry the torch, encouraging others along the same path. Seems careless of a deity, if you ask me.
  11. I’m up to page 30 of 46 so far. Given limited time, I had to skim through some parts, especially the scripture passages offered to you by the believers. I have to say Well Done, Spectrox; I doubt that anybody could have done a better job than you did. I admire the care, energy and time you took to read and respond to the great many posts, and your consistency in following your own rules of conduct. I do think the people who hang out in those forums are the ones most resistant to any questioning of their beliefs, however, so I wonder how much good you were able to do. I think the broader population of less committed theists would be much more inclined to listen to and think about objections to Christianity, especially when presented as politely and respectfully as you’ve done here. If nothing else though, you gained the grudging respect of some of the Christians, possibly the first time some of them have had dialog with an atheist, and that helps all of us in some way. Anyway, good work and I look forward to reading the rest of it! By the way, I hope you’ll engage with Christians in our Lions Den sometimes. Not to deconvert them but rather to keep the arguments against Christianity front and center for our ever-present audience of lurkers. Cheers, TABA
  12. Indeed. As @Joshpantera in particular has often pointed out, Christianity in general, and Protestantism and Fundamentalism in particular, offers a particularly weak and ultimately unsatisfying form of spirituality.
  13. TABA

    Hello to all.

    Hello WalterP and a warm welcome to our community! I think you’re going to be a valuable addition to the group and I look forward to hearing from you on a regular basis! I’m GLAD your introduction is as long as it is: I love it when new people join us and especially when they tell us about their background, both in Christianity and their journeys away from it. It also occurred to me while I was still in the faith that the benefits of being Christian or theist were indistinguishable from effects that can be created entirely within the human mind. Believers do good and believers do bad, just as non-believers do. Believers succeed and fail, just as any human does. There’s no doubt that theistic faith has motivated people to achieve great things (also horrific things, needless to say), but I concluded as you did that it’s all faith and no God. I wish I had known BAA as well as some of us here were fortunate enough to have known him. But how fortunate we are that the thoughts of this mortal atheist are still available after his death to you and me. There really is a form of life after death. I’m interested in science and cosmology too, but I’m not nearly as well-informed or as articulate as some others around here. Anyway WalterP, welcome again, congratulations on the journey you’ve made, and thank you for joining up and sharing with us!
  14. I think we’re going to see a lot of drearily familiar stuff from the Christians as we read on. I shake my head when I think about how easily impressed I once was by some of these arguments. So far I’m pretty impressed by how Spectrox is conducting himself. I see the influence of Street Epistemology at work here , as taught by Peter Boghossian and Anthony Magnabosco. Good stuff.
  15. Hi Spectrox! I don’t believe I’ve seen any of your posts before and I’m glad to make your acquaintance. Thanks for sharing your experience over there - I’m looking forward to reading all about it! I really like the rules you set for yourself. It’s important that believers see us as not conforming to their prejudice of atheists in particular. My own deconversion began in earnest when I listened to a series of talks between a Christian and a respectful atheist. His approach slowly opened me up to the possibility - and eventually the conviction - that he was right. You never know the seeds you might sow...
  16. TABA

    Howdy

    Hi @TinkerGrey and welcome to the community! Looking forward to hearing more about you and about your deconversion story. Been an atheist myself for about five years now, since my early fifties.
  17. Are you referring to Christforums.com, or some other Christian forum?
  18. I’d say leave it alone too. If they are open to questioning Christianity in any way, knowing that you no longer go to church may lead them to ask you questions of their own accord. If they are not, they likely won’t, and might even resent you bringing it up. But most likely they aren’t open to questioning so they’ll either not bring it up or they’ll try to bring you back to the Lord. Best thing you could do, in my opinion, would be to bear silent witness that you are good and contented without religion.
  19. God to You: Why didn’t you ever make the Haj to Mecca like I commanded? Oh, you didn’t read THAT book? Too bad!
  20. You can also get Ehrman’s books for free at public libraries.
  21. Jane, I think you’d appreciate the books of Bart Ehrman. I just read one of his latest, “How Jesus Became God”. Absolutely fascinating. It’s a great read and I think it would answer some of your questions.
  22. Reminds me of one of my favorite memes: ”They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski - and have you ever seen a sad person on a jet ski?”
  23. First of all, welcome, Christopherhays! I hope you’ll share your story with us in due course, but since you started with a question, I’ll give it my best shot. No, I don’t think you should try to deconvert your family, as much as you - and I - would love to see them follow in your footsteps. We can’t deconvert anybody. Lots of people come here and we do help them through the deconversion process, but that can only happen when they’ve taken the first steps themselves and have begun to question things. If a believer does not have some openness to reasoned arguments, then any deconversion attempts are likely to fall on deaf ears or even to drive them deeper into faith. What you can do, depending on the situation, is quietly and politely defend your unbelief and answer questions. Do not be patronizing and adopt an “I was so stupid for believing too but now I know better” approach. And above all, Don’t be a Dick (my personal First Commandment). When a Christian has a loved one “fall away”, one of the things they have to deal with is the idea that he or she is now heading for Hell. That is likely to challenge anybody’s faith to some extent at least, without you having to say a word: could a loving god really send/allow Christopherhays to burn in Hell simply for not believing in Him? It helps if you don’t fit the common Christian stereotype of an agnostic or atheist: somebody whose life enters a downward spiral of drugs, alcohol and depression because that’s what happens when you turn away from the Lord, right? So you should take care of yourself, get comfortable with your new world-View and let them see that you are just as happy (hopefully happier) without Jesus as you were with him. That will make people wonder. And if at some point somebody takes you aside privately to ask you questions, you'll be ready to explain your journey. Just my take. Good luck and keep us posted!
  24. The main, overriding, paramount, tip-top purpose of this community is to help and support people who have deconverted from Christianity or who are somewhere in the process of deconverting, and generally provide a place for Ex-Christians to hang out. We generally don’t favor anything that gets in the way of that ‘mission’. Arguments over politics have been known to do that and very rarely a member is shown the door because they don’t follow the rules. We have a ‘Controversy and Conflict’ forum section that would be the place to debate/argue/fight over politics, but I think it’s now confined to premium members who contribute financially. Political and other off-topic subjects not related to religion, Christianity and Deconversion Should only be posted there. As for your politics, you would be to the right of most members here, very likely. Some atheist groups do seem to demand conformity with a rather left-wing set of views. I’d say this community is not that way, in general. In any case, ‘right’ and ‘left’ are not always as clear as they used to be. There’s no reason why leaving Christianity requires anybody to adopt a particular political position, but people do tend to align with one political tribe or the other, for better or for worse. It’s important to be open to differences of opinion. Whether it’s religion or politics, I think it’s important to know why we believe what we believe, not just going along with the majority view. So while I would discourage you from starting political arguments because it’s a waste of time in my opinion, that’s your choice. If you break rules, you’ll most likely be warned rather than kicked out. I think highly of the administrator and moderators here and I think they’re fair and reasonable. I hope that helped!
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