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Ellinas last won the day on March 12 2017

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About Ellinas

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    Greek language; archaeology; books; musing about life, the universe and everything.
  • More About Me
    Former Christian, now (for want of a better description) Hellenic pagan; married into a fundamentalist Christian family, and increasingly fed up with being told what to believe.

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

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  1. I'd like to add my own note of caution here. Upstairs, in my study (the smallest bedroom - contains a desk rather than a bed) I have, on a shelf, a small plastic Dougal. The dog off the Magic Roundabout. It was given to me many years ago when I was a small child by a teenage girl that had been talking to my mother on a bus. I can just about recall the event well enough to picture it. Years later my mother informed me that this girl had, subsequently, suffered severe psychological problems. She had gone to a group practicing with a Ouija board. Whatever happened had turned her head, so to speak. Now, I know that is no medical diagnosis. Nor is this hearsay tale evidence of the dangers of psychic practice. Certainly, it says nothing of whether it has any basis beyond quackery - even a lie, taken seriously, can have severe consequences. But, I tend to think that those best qualified to get involved are either not going to take it seriously at all or are of a mindset such that they can best be described as being a bit of a b*stard. Anushka - by all means do as you see fit. But tread carefully, make sure you know why you are doing this and that you are mentally prepared for the results - regardless of whether they are fakery. You need to be satisfied that you are able to maintain your own mental balance against all events.
  2. Ellinas

    Meditation advice?

    I tend to go for concentration on the rhythm of breathing. As thoughts intrude, just acknowledge the, dismiss them and get back to being conscious of the rhythm. If you found a mantra worked in the past, make a new one. It doesn't have to have an religious connotation - it's only a repetitive sound or phrase upon which to concentrate. Try and find something short with meaning to your current life - someone's name, or a short description of a favourite pastime. "Walk in the park" could be a perfectly good mantra.
  3. Ellinas

    New Game: Fun with a Fundy

    "You are telling me that the Bible is the only true Word of God? Muslims say the same about the Q'ran. Could you please speak to the local Imam, decide between you which one is talking bollocks, so that then I can listen to the other one?"
  4. Ellinas

    Facebook.... (sigh)

    I know little about Facebook or how it works, as I've never joined it and have no intention of so doing. But, if you are tempted to walk away but cannot because of private, work connected groups, cannot you simply unfriend/unfollow/set to ignore/delete with maximum prejudice anyone who is not in those private groups? I certainly wouldn't worry about throwing over Facebook friendships - if they are that problematic, they are hardly friends. And it's always worth remembering the Christian only views you as a friend if you are a Christian as well, and only calls you "friend" out of hypocrisy when you appear to be a candidate for conversion. In short, be ruthless.
  5. I long for the day when religion is a purely personal matter, not to be rammed down someone else's throat, and when a Christian could hop into bed with a pagan and no issues arise. We're a long way from that. I'm married to a Christian fundy woman. Less fundy, more common sensical than many acquaintances, and occasionally quite rebellious. But that is all rather inconsistent. She can say things today that make me wonder if she's about to throw over the whole shebang, and things tomorrow that hint she's after me to get back to my previous involvement in the church. I was married to her before any issue arose. She would not have looked at me had I not been a Christian at the time. But, frankly, I would be very careful, were I single, of chasing the churchgoer. Christianity and tolerance are rarely hand in hand, and even more rarely so for any length of time. But, that's me. You must judge for yourself.
  6. If an all powerful and all knowing god created a race he was not obliged to create, knowing even before he created that race that the vast majority of them would scream in hell forever, how does he have the temerity to expect to be called a god of love?
  7. Depends on the family dynamic. For me, this issue relates to my wife rather than my parents (neither of whom now live anyway). My approach with Mrs E is a gradual withdrawal to the absolute minimum of church involvement that I can achieve without walking out altogether. She seems to have accepted that. I have avoided being confrontational because she has deep social, familial and psychological ties to the place, and I am not inclined to distance myself from her. With parents, moving away may be an option
  8. You beat me to it. I was going to say: "They don't. They square reality with their belief of what the Bible states".
  9. Ellinas

    The universe may be conscious.

    Regarding my expectation of not getting beyond speculation, I rest my case. Until the confirmation bias can be excluded, and there is some agreement of what we're looking for, the only people anyone will convince, one way or the other, are themselves.
  10. Ellinas

    The universe may be conscious.

    I've been saying that consciousness goes beyond our brains for years. But I would be amazed if anyone manages to produce anything beyond speculative thought on the matter.
  11. From where I'm standing, and looking back, I conclude: However long it takes, it's seeing past the bullshit that counts; I am what I am because I was what I was; It is pointless regretting my past beliefs because that would make me a different person then and now; Either way, I have no idea what sort of person I will be tomorrow - I only know that today will be the stepping stone that gets me there. So, accept you made mistakes by all means, but move on and don't agonise over it. We've all done a lot of stupid things in hindsight - as long as we learn from that, so what?
  12. Ellinas

    Magic Key

    Not entirely sure I follow it - perhaps because I've not sat down and thought about it - but I suppose it would tend to confirm the nonsense of bible code type claims. Patterns can be found anywhere...
  13. Ellinas

    Inappropriate Funeral Sermon

    Older, there is nothing that I can say that can help that situation, nor anything that can express how contemptible is the misuse of a child's death as a vehicle for evangelism and doctrine. I'm very sorry to hear of this.
  14. Ellinas

    Inappropriate Funeral Sermon

    It's standard practice among fundies round here. In fact, the last funeral I went to was of one of their own number who had specifically requested the funeral take that form. They seem to think that telling the grieving that they are going to hell will somehow make them well disposed to the sovereign god they think brought the life of the deceased to its' end. I'm usually torn between anger at the effrontery and pity at the stupidity.
  15. To be honest, I've had various views of morality over the years, but fundy Christianity dictated the idea of a morality that was determined purely by what god defined as good (not that he ever provided me with a dictionary). Now I doubt the very concept of morality. Rather, I consider that the only question is one of responsibility. You face up to the consequences of your own actions and accept that you, and only you, carry the can for them, whatever they may be.