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Everything posted by TABA

  1. I hope you and Mrs Geezer stay healthy and safe!
  2. Some informative reading for your isolation... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_and_crescent
  3. I honestly did know this off the top of my head... Because Venus orbits between the Earth and the Sun, we see phases, just like we see phases of the Moon. When Venus is on the same side of the Sun as the Earth, its day side is mostly facing away from us, so we only see a crescent Venus, or maybe a quarter-phase. When Venus is in the furthest part of its orbit from us, it's on the other side of the Sun, so we see its sunlit side, a "full Venus". Venus is very reflective because it is completely covered in clouds. So a distant "full" Venus is brighter than a nearby "crescent" Venus.
  4. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (one of the very best in the world) has now made its amazing Digital Concert Hall available free for 30 days. https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/home
  5. Oh man, I’m so sorry! I hope it’s some consolation that he’s no longer suffering.
  6. SJS, I wonder if you’re aware that the concept of Hell as most Christians know it today did not exist in the Old Testament. It evolved as Christianity emerged and only reached its final form with the publication of Dante’s “Inferno” in the Middle Ages. Here’s a new video from the great Bart Ehrman on the topics of Heaven and Hell:
  7. Also, here’s a timely reminder: boost your immune system the fun way...
  8. It remains to be seen how his ideas get translated into reality. Just the stock market plunge alone is likely to lead to a recession. Hopefully I’m wrong, or it will be brief and mild at least. Josh, I hope the best for your particular business and livelihood!
  9. I posted this to my Facebook page yesterday: If we’re going to prevent tens of thousands of deaths in this country from this virus, we’ll have to get serious. Meaning no spectators at indoor sporting events, all the way from big-time to grade school. Staying out of theaters, concerts and maybe even restaurants. The “social distancing” we’re starting to hear about. Some of these measures will probably cause a recession. But it’s a choice we have to make. The economy will come back, the dead won’t. Some people responded with “it’s just a hoax to make money for Big Pharma” but most responses were positive. It looks like many countries are belatedly taking this seriously.
  10. But I think most of us did when we were Christians. I did.
  11. Same here. It takes a while to make the mental shift from hating atheism to accepting and even embracing it.
  12. I really don’t think you’re offending anybody. We’re not easily offended people here (unlike most of the population in 2020, it seems). Also, keep in mind that all of us here, even the most hard-core atheists, used to be Christians. Lingering fear and guilt is a thing sometimes. We’re not entirely rational creatures, as Mr Spock would remind us. But I think that as we see more and more people growing up without having ever believed in god, fear of Hell will become much less common.
  13. I just think you have a somewhat more restrictive definition of “atheist” than most of us here do. That’s OK, there’s no Atheist Vatican to enforce conformity. And at the end of the day any word only has the meaning a majority of people give to it. Personally I consider an atheist to be anybody who has thought about the god claims and rejected them. I would even say that somebody whose belief in any deity is somewhere below 50% is an atheist. But that’s just me.
  14. I’ve come across a few “agnostic” Christians like this, including in debates with atheists, although some of them may shy away from the “agnostic” label. Their position might be summarized as “I know there are serious unanswered questions, I know there are moral dilemmas, but at the end of the day I choose to believe because it makes my life better”. That’s a position I can respect and coincidentally these people tend to be respectful of atheists too: those of us who wrestled with the same questions and came to a different conclusion. One example of this is Justin Brierly, host of the podcast “Unbelievable?”. He routinely hosts atheists on his show and he treats them with respect and even friendship. It’s actually the kind of respectful dialog that first exposed me to credible arguments against Christianity and theism, and led me down the path from unquestioning theism to agnostic theism, and ultimately to agnostic atheism.
  15. No problem, I don’t think anyone took offense. We’re a bunch of godless heathens so we’re mostly pretty thick-skinned...
  16. TABA

    New athiest

    Even better: it’s great that you’re on the same page now. Relationships can be challenging enough without religious differences to deal with. Works better for some than for others. Do you have kids? Maybe your husband can come back and rejoin us for a while!
  17. TABA

    New athiest

    Welcome to the community of apostates, PSR! Always a pleasure to welcome a new member... I’m guessing that not many of us can pinpoint a specific date when we became atheists: in my case, there was a period of at least several months from when I knew I was no longer a Christian to when I acknowledged I had arrived at atheism (agnostic atheism, as we are discussing in another current thread). You’re right: there is a lot of mental shifting and reprogramming that occurs during and after a transition like this. Hanging out here at Ex-Christian.net helped me a lot and I’m sure it will benefit you too. Let me ask you, have you been reading (lurking, I guess) here for a while now, or did you just find us today? I and many others did a lot of silent reading here as part of the deconversion process, before introducing ourselves. Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing more about you and your journey, to the extent you want to share. And again, the warmest of welcomes to you! TABA
  18. I don't know who has been calling agnostics cop-outs or cowards. That's not an attitude I've seen around here to any significant extent. Most of us here - myself included - consider ourselves to be both agnostic and atheistic. I'm an agnostic atheist because I have no reason to believe that a deity exists, but I can't be certain, hence the agnostic qualifier. I don't believe in gods in the same way that I don't believe there is life on the Moon: I could change my mind but I doubt that the evidence to make that happen will ever be found. You may find this interesting... https://thisonevsthatone.com/agnostic-vs-atheist/
  19. So sad. "And that's the only thing that can get us through, 'cause we know it was God." If faith helps them to cope with this tragedy, who would want to deprive them of that consolation?
  20. I definitely recommend the books of Bart Ehrman. If I had to pick only two of his, I’d suggest “Forged” and “How Jesus Became God”. You’ll never look at the Bible the same way again.
  21. Fwee!! You’re back!! Where the HELL have you been?
  22. Wealth CAN actually be created: people can become wealthy without stealing from others. I spent a year in the UAE and didn’t see any signs of poverty. I get the impression the oil wealth has been pretty well distributed in the Emirates and other Gulf countries - in stark contrast to another oil-rich country where I spent time: Nigeria; disgustingly corrupt, a small sliver of high placed government types skimmed off the riches and left it a true third-world country. So the existence of wealth doesn’t mean somebody is getting screwed. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. You do an injustice to the UAE.
  23. Yes I think you can be an atheist and still fear Hell. We have all had irrational fears on occasion. A few years ago, I visited the CN tower in Toronto with my wife and son. On the observation deck there’s a glass floor where you can stand and look down at the ground, a thousand feet below. It’s thoroughly unnerving and most people have great difficulty stepping out on to the glass. I did, even though I was completely confident that it was as strong as the opaque floor nearby. I’m lucky that I have not had a fear of Hell since I deconverted. But then I was very skeptical about Hell even when I was a Christian. But I know there are quite a few people here who had trouble with this fear, even when they were intellectually satisfied that neither gods nor Hell exist. I think that for most Ex-Christians, the fear of Hell, if any, diminishes as time goes by. But it’s not fair in my book to question their atheism while that fear still lingers.
  24. I voted “Other”. I’d say the benefits of us engaging with Christians are threefold... Some “inexperienced” ex-Christians can learn new arguments against Christianity from observing the more experienced ones take on the believers, and so gain needed confidence in their deconversion. Those of us who are confident ex-Christians can exercise our counter-apologetics muscles in debating so we can become more effective in debunking Christianity. Fence-sitters, the lurkers who are teetering somewhere between belief and unbelief, will likely encounter solid arguments against Christianity, and against the idea that religious faith is a sound way of knowing what is true. The more civilized the discussion, the more likely it is to be useful. I often feel sympathy for the Christian who ends up alone against the group, trying to respond to multiple lines of opposition. It’s not surprising when they get defensive and combative. I agree that LMTO handled himself pretty well. I see references to him in the past tense: has he departed from among us?
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