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Everything posted by TABA

  1. I just started it. Evidently you don’t have to be an Exalted Super Moderator like the Prof to do that...
  2. Let the new debate begin! Only Hierophant and PittsburghJoe should post here. Others will be moved to the Peanut Gallery.
  3. Well I think Joe’s last response to @Hierophant is more enlightening than just about anything he’s said the whole time he’s been here: he is receiving special revelation from the Holy Spirit and that’s it. You may be surprised to hear that he has not moved me to return to Christianity. The Holy Spirit seeks to have chosen an especially incompetent messenger. Thanks for teasing this out, Hierophant!
  4. I will say that the main secret of Christianity’s success is that it can be all things to all people. You can make out of it whatever you want. Don’t have to be true. Don’t have to be real. Don’t have to make sense.
  5. Well said Dave. Even as I agree with Walter in most respects. Different Strokes. I do admire @Hierophant’s tenacity and patience in engaging with Joe. It’s more than I could do.
  6. Here’s a good one where he talks about his book “Heaven and Hell”
  7. Can you explain the terms Gnostic and Docetist for the Irish among us? Gnostic in particular has a couple of distinct meanings.
  8. We’re trying to persuade the Prof to quit his day-job to become a standup comic.
  9. I understand. I’m just saying that your views on this may change. That’s why you shouldn’t do anything to close off your options for the long term.
  10. Hey ZenPaladin, I’m always impressed by how smart and articulate you are and how you’ve got a “good head on your shoulders” as they say. You’ve given a lot of good reasons to not have kids. But as mature and self-aware as you are, you are still very young at 20. The human brain is still developing until around the mid-20s. That doesn’t mean that you’ll feel differently about kids in a handful of years, probably not, but that - plus circumstances - might make you feel differently when you’re in your 30s or 40s. I know 40 sounds OLD to you now, but plenty of men have their first kids when they’re over 40. So I’m seconding @freshstart’s advice above, and I would add this: DO always use birth-control, whether it’s a hookup or a committed relationship, unless you’ve both decided to become parents. Don’t assume or even believe that the woman is taking care of it. DON’T get a vasectomy until you’re at least in your mid-30s. This surgery can sometimes be reversed, but often not.
  11. Jesus evidently thought he was the herald of a new Messiah (or maybe was the messiah himself) who would establish God’s kingdom on earth, overthrowing Rome and all evil forever, in the lifetime of his followers. It didn’t happen. He was deluded. That’s all assuming he actually existed at all.
  12. You’re describing Heaven here. It allegedly exists, so it must be possible for the absence of sin to be compatible with free will. Either that or there is no free will in Heaven, or sin is present there.
  13. Hi PhysicsLady and welcome to the ranks of the deconverted - and especially to this community! That one quote above well summarizes the various aspects of reconversion. Emotions that we’ve all experienced along the way, good and bad. And you probably realize that deconversion is a process, not a discrete event: that moment when you first say “I no longer believe it”, as significant, scary and exciting as it is, is really just the end of the beginning. There remains a long (maybe months, maybe years) process where your way of thinking evolves and where you come to terms with your new way of looking at the world. I’m not the most “insightful” person in the world (to borrow another member’s handle) but I can often tell a lot about how a particular person’s journey is going to go by their first post. And I think you’re going to be fine: in spite of the challenges and maybe heartache involved, you’re already able to see some of the joy that comes with letting go of inherited dogma. My three friends above have given you very good advice along with the warm welcomes. Around here we’re generally in agreement about the importance of not trying to deconvert others. I’m reminded of the saying “Never try to teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and it annoys the pig”. Not equating believers with pigs in any way: I’m rather a fan of swine. But most people are not cut out to deconvert. It’s that simple. Being married to a believer has its challenges (I know first hand but my marriage is thriving, I’m glad to say) but I’m hopeful because of how you describe your husband. Anyway, I just wanted to add to the welcome. You’re among friends here and I look forward to getting to know you better! - ‘TABA’
  14. Epictetus: better than Jesus, and he wrote his own stuff.
  15. Joe, I think you’re a good and sincere person who really fears that we apostates are Hell-bound. We’re not worried. We have thought about God, Satan, Heaven and Hell far more than the average person and we became convinced that these are all mythical concepts, developed over millennia in an attempt to explain how the world and human beings work. We were Christians once so we know what it is like to believe as you do, through faith. We have concluded that religious faith is not a sound method for knowing what is true. I never imagined that I would leave Christianity and become an agnostic atheist, but I can tell you that the world makes more sense to me now and I am happy in the knowledge that this life is very likely all there is; in fact life has become more precious, more rich than ever before. I know that’s hard for you to believe. You sincerely want me to turn to your God so that I will not burn. I sincerely invite you to apply skepticism, reason and critical thinking to your god-belief, in the hope that you will gain what I have gained. Sincerely TABA
  16. Along with what remains of you and me! Annihilation for all! See, we’re not as different as you thought...
  17. Joe, there’s a new idea you can run with when you’re tired of Quantum Waves as Proof of Sin: scientists say that as the Sun ages it will eventually swell and engulf or incinerate the Earth. This is clear proof of Hell, don’t you think?
  18. You keep referring to Satan but you must know that we don’t believe that Satan exists. A reading of the Old Testament shows how this mythical figure grew and grew over the centuries, from a mere agent of God to an evil demigod almost on a par with God himself. The tempter in the garden was merely described as a serpent, and it was only centuries later that the serpent was retroactively treated as an incarnation of Satan. Early in Jewish history a “satan” was an agent assigned by God to test humans, as in the book of Job. The satan operated only within limits set by God. It was only in the couple of centuries BC that the modern concept of Satan as the source of all evil emerged. The Jews were struggling with the fact that they suffered defeat and calamity even when they obeyed God, not just when they turned their backs on him. So the idea of Satan as a powerful rival to God emerged, a rival acting in opposition to God and tormenting His people in spite of their righteousness. The idea that an all-powerful loving god would allow this was difficult to accept, so the idea developed that God would only tolerate this state of affairs briefly and would soon overthrow evil once and for all and establish his kingdom of righteousness right here on earth. Jesus, if he existed, evidently thought he was the herald of this new kingdom, which he promised would occur in the lifetime of his disciples. Of course that didn’t happen and evil still exists. It’s just not caused by an evil supernatural being. The stories of Satan and Hell (which is also a later invention) though fictional, have tormented generations of adults and children alike, sadly.
  19. Although I’m not likely to be won over to @Robert_Tulip’s vision of Christianity, I readily agree that it is superior to existing versions of the faith. And I appreciate that Robert takes disagreement in his stride and is always gracious and patient. I’m glad you’re a member of our community, Robert!
  20. For most of its history, Christianity had control over the public discourse: dissent was suppressed. And voices of opposition found it difficult to be heard even into our own lifetimes. I remained a Christian well into my adult life because I was never exposed to counter-apologetics. They were out there to be found but I wasn’t highly motivated to go look. But that all changed in the 21st century. The arguments against the faith could no longer be ignored. I rather quickly became an ex-Christian. There’s many more like me.
  21. Hey DB, glad you checked in. Hard to believe it’s been four years almost since you introduced yourself here. If I recall, your deconversion started when you looked into the historic basis for the Exodus and found it to be seriously lacking. I know that was just the start of a lot of reading and learning that led you out of Christianity and placed your deconversion on a very firm footing. The kind of firm footing that leads you to say that in spite of the pain and heartache that have been involved, you would not want to go back. I trust you will be able to say at some point that you gained more than you lost. Always nice to hear from you: I hope you’ll be able to participate more in due course because your experience has a lot to offer to others. Meanwhile, hang in there: the rough times will pass.
  22. This may not be what you want to hear, but the problem I see here is your inability to accept that some people have views you strongly disapprove of. It’s one thing to be upset by the views of family members, but these are total strangers you are getting enraged at. This is not healthy, it’s corrosive to your well-being and you risk somebody punching your lights out, or running you off the road, in response to your outbursts. There are 7 billion people on this planet and many millions of them hold views that I hate. But it’s both Not My Job to change their minds and futile to get angry with them. You can move away from your family, your city, move to a blue state, leave the country even, and this problem will remain. If it helps you to vent non-violently, then vent, but at some point you’ve got to tackle the rising of your anger in the first place.
  23. Jeez, Redneck, I haven’t really seen this side of you before. You’re mellowing in your old age. Letting your inner Buddhist come out.
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