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About Portobella

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    Pathology, entomology, violin, hiking, growing chillis
  • More About Me
    I love insects, birds, plants, good cider, my xbox, fruit, playing violin, and science. I'm currently a biomedical research student. Very much an ex-Christian, and thankfully so. Life and personal relationships mean so much more to me now than ever.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
  1. My parents say this word for word all the time. Now I know where they got it from...
  2. I agree with many of the points you've raised - I do feel it is my moral obligation to challenge religious 'truths' when I see them being spread or passed along, and I also agree that one's beliefs do not exist in isolation. I do consider myself anti-theist, and I am passionately against indoctrination and brainwashing. But I don't want to be the atheist equivalent of a preacher up at the pulpit foaming at the mouth and dictating what everyone should believe. While the temptation to speak up is incredibly strong, I prefer to ask questions and encourage others to think for themselves rather
  3. Ten years ago I probably would have agreed with such sentiments. Not once in 18 years of church did I hear the word "consent", and yet they consider their stance on sex and marriage morally superior. puke.
  4. I practiced classical violin and piano 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, from age 4 - 18. Yet nobody ever considered the time, the dedication, the whacks over the fingers with a wooden spoon, and the tens of thousands of dollars in music lessons and instruments - it was always just "Let us praise god for the gift he has given you". At a young age, this mentality of attributing all positives to god set off alarm bells... probably the first seeds of doubt ever planted in my mind. This guy has a lot of good points, but god riding on our coattails stood out to me too.
  5. I work extensively with Crispr-Cas9 genome editing in the lab - with regular cell lines though, not embryos - so I think this is a really fascinating development if successful. Really hope this goes ahead. Being able to successfully correct point mutations implicated in disease will be revolutionary.
  6. You aren't incoherent... you are always incredibly eloquent, rjn Your comment about sense of purpose and community really stood out to me in your post. Are there any casual get-together groups you would be interested in joining? You're probably familiar with this already, but most cities have casual meetups for various hobbies & pastimes, which can be a wonderful way to feel connected if you're interested in meeting people. Also wanted to ask if you've sought medical advice recently for your depression & OCD, and if so, whether you feel your mental health is being managed effectiv
  7. Thanks for sharing, older. I enjoyed reading this... I'm prone to being blunt (insensitive) so this advice has been useful for me
  8. I reside in one of Australia's major cities, and ignorance here is rife. My city is teeming with hipsters who tend to come in two flavours - it's either "be tolerant - all beliefs are equally valid" or "ugh, religion. science disproves all religion." Either way, many young people identifying as educated and progressive demonstrate a profound ignorance or misunderstanding of science. It drives me insane. I visit smaller cities regularly also, where fewer and fewer students are finishing school, and fewer still are going on to seek tertiary education. I find that in places like this, people
  9. I was pretty young, but hopefully this counts. At 12 or 13 I obtained unlimited, unmonitored internet access. Being interested in all things science, I stumbled upon criticisms of creationism, and from then until 16 I was a godless little heathen. At 16 I was whisked away from my friends, family and home to live overseas with my parents who had just taken over as pastors of a church. I was incredibly upset about having to move... I stuck out like a sore thumb, couldn't speak the language, and was left to get around by myself which was unsafe and very unwise. I was vulnerable in several wa
  10. I have never been successful in having a civil discussion on religion with my parents. In my situation, it was best to avoid debates, and stick with small talk so as to preserve my relationship with them. I don't bring up religion in conversation - why bother when they never listen - and on the rare occasion they try to bully me into a debate, I state my opinion and l leave. Unfortunately, until your parents are themselves ready and open to having a civil discussion with you, it will not happen. I do hope it works out for you... it's hard being unable to honestly share your personal convicti
  11. Our studies of the human brain and consciousness indeed suggest - as Mythra put it - that we are our brain, and this is what I believe. Of course, science cannot definitively determine the absence of a soul. As such I think it is perfectly reasonable to state "one cannot know if there is an afterlife" - however, as an adjunct, it is definitely important to understand that the odds of there being an afterlife appear to be, well, unfavourable.
  12. I must say, Tough Mudder looks like one epic challenge. Wishing you all the best for your goals, and all the best for 2016
  13. You just finished your VCE, right? Or am I making crap up lol. Do anything for schoolies?

    1. GoldenWolf


      Yeah I finished VCE, don't know if I'm doing schoolies, don't know if my parents would let me if I said "schoolies." Cause of all the shit that happens every year. But I do plan on catching up with friends and I'm also doing a gap year before i decide whether to do uni or not.

    2. Portobella


      Great to hear VCE exams are over! Don't worry lol, catching up with friends is where it's at :D

  14. Sorry to hear of your grandfather's passing, Lilith. I definitely suspect that religion was originally born from inability to accept the seeming finality of death. I also think that Christianity is so popular because of the sunny picture it paints of death. Promises of eternal life help some come to terms with the loss of a loved one, but as you've mentioned, it is particularly devastating to realise you've been force-fed false hope. And false hope can indeed be destructive, especially when somebody is ill. During Christian funerals, I find the inevitable guilt trip into believing to
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