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Everything posted by Orbit

  1. Taken as a philosophy, much of what Jesus says about caring for those less fortunate, not judging others, etc. provides a good set of ideas on how to live your life. As you are noticing, the religion that has been built up around Jesus no longer reflects those values. This is one of the things that led to my deconversion. I think you'll find that you don't need these sermons that you're listening to in order to live a good life; in fact they are counterproductive and just cause stress and anguish. You might feel better giving the whole thing up and just living your life.
  2. I have heard transgender activists say that forcing everyone to display their pronouns is actually a bad thing as it forces transgender people to deal with coming out when they may not be ready to be public about their gender identity.
  3. In the US, church affiliation is declining, but that doesn't necessarily mean belief in a God is declining. A growing number of people in the US describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious".
  4. That's a bit personal, but in general terms one involved a deep understanding of the need to accept people as they are. Another related to deep insight as to the nature of love. Insights are relative to an individual and their circumstances and life history. What is an insight to me may not be an insight to you, but that doesn't make it any less important to me.
  5. The reason for altered brain states doesn't matter. What matters is what you take away from the experience, and the meaning that it has for you. I've had profoundly meaningful psychedelic experiences with insights that stayed with me for decades. They are no less meaningful for being drug-induced.
  6. Bart Ehrman thinks he was a person who got mythologized; Richard Carrier thinks he was a myth entirely. It doesn't really matter because either way it ends up myth. You can find some youtube videos that explain it, but I don't think it's worth worrying about any more than stressing about whether Zeus is mad you didn't sacrifice to him this week.
  7. We have a tree, give presents, and cook good food. To me, it's a folk holiday based on winter solstice, and it's really easy to leave the religious stuff out of it.
  8. I can, for argument's sake, adopt a position I do not hold in order to try to see someone else's point of view. That doesn't make me a temporary believer imo. Woo? What is that, even?
  9. Hey Bird- I'm glad you came back. Hang in there, and let us know what you need...
  10. Most of what contemporary Christians believe about Hell is taken from a medieval work of fiction called the Inferno, by Dante. What gets translated as Hell is the Hebrew word Gehenna, which referred to a trash dump, always burning, outside of Jerusalem. Think about it logically for a minute. If you don't have a body after you die, how can you burn? Fire requires combustible material, and the burning stops once everything is burned up--there is no such thing as eternal fire. Hell is a folktale that got out of hand, a threat used to keep people following the rules.
  11. Personally, I think the idea of a soul, like the ideas of reincarnation and the afterlife are just manifestations of the human fear of death.
  12. This book talks about precisely how a universe could arise from nothing: https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468/ref=sr_1_1?crid=139BNFA18ZVI1&keywords=a+universe+from+nothing+by+lawrence+krauss&qid=1571586707&sprefix=a+universe%2Caps%2C196&sr=8-1 You might find it interesting. He does it from the perspective of physics; not much about consciousness in there but a good read on how the universe could have sprung from nothing.
  13. Levity aside, the question of where "consciousness" begins is an interesting one. If it's the simple ability to react and respond to environment, plants have consciousness. But that kind of consciousness isn't very advanced. Animals are self-aware, which is consciousness--chimps are at the mental level approximating a two-year old. But two year olds can be pretty impressive. But does a two year old engage in any kind of reasoning that we would say counts--most of us would call it rudimentary. I think it makes the most sense to say that consciousness is a spectrum. Humans probably think we're the pinnacle of consciousness but we probably aren't. I could talk about some DMT-induced forays into the perception of consciousness itself, but that probably wouldn't be helpful. Nevertheless, I find it a fascinating topic.
  14. You're in the right place to get the help you need. Hang in there!
  15. I tried to post on Crazyguy's therad and got this: [[Template forums/front/topics/topic is throwing an error. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]]
  16. People with fundamentalist beliefs can be toxic when it comes to mental illness, because they see it as demon-possession, or "the dark side" trying to get you. It is neither; it's a misfiring in the brain that can be controlled with medication and therapy to deal with the very real trauma that comes from frightening psychotic episodes. Have you reached out to your doctor? Sometimes suicidal ideas can be side effects of some medications and you might need to try a different medication. Or, perhaps your anti-depressant isn't working as well as it needs to and you need a new dosage or type. Whatever you do, don't give up hope. See your doctor, talk to a therapist, talk to us. You can work through this.
  17. Do you think a fear of death has anything to do with your soul beliefs?
  18. Yeah, sadly this is what we go through, and it's really painful to realize that there's no one there to hear those prayers. Hang in there, it gets better with time.
  19. I always wondered why if Christians have better morals, why are most of the people in our prisons Christian?
  20. So @Christforums you say you are not here to evangelize. What then do you hope to accomplish? I still think you don't understand the premise of this website. We were all fervent Christians at one point; many clergy and lay leaders among us, and many with a deep knowledge of theology. What exactly is it that you think you're telling us that we have not already crawled our way out of through logic and reason?
  21. Got it. You have no evidence that doesn't derive from circular reasoning.
  22. So you are what I would characterize as "fundamentalist". You might not like it, but it's good enough for me. So let's get down to basics. What evidence do you have that God exists? The Bible does not count as evidence, that is begging the question (a logical fallacy where the conclusion is contained in the assertion). In other words, no circular reasoning allowed.
  23. I hate to break it to you but Satan doesn't exist. Satan (and demons) are mythological figures. And oddly, you claim to know what Satan thinks. That's a little strange. Are you sure you're thinking straight?
  24. How is Reformed Presbyterian different from Presbyterian Church USA? Just curious. Are you more of a Bible literalist? More of a predestination view? Calvin on steroids?
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