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Everything posted by Lyra

  1. This series is amazing! Enjoy! (I didn't make it or anything, just found it.)
  2. He existed by God's holy spirit in invisible ghost form, and then flowed into Mary's womb with no human father or scientific process. It was God's magic.
  3. I'm into other girls, and the "you'll go to hell" stuff messed me up with REALLY BAD anxiety as a kid. I shouldn't have had to spend ages 10-13 paranoid about going to hell as if I had secretly murdered someone. Religion sucks.
  4. Throughout the Bible, the Christian God's motivation has always been his own huge ego. In the Old Testament, entire cities and civilizations (full of plenty of innocent people too) got ravaged and burned to the ground because they "displeased Him." In the Abraham/Isaac story, he gives a kid PTSD by having his dad almost murder him, then says "nevermind, I just wanted to test your obedience," and it's seen as some kind of benevolent and loving sacrifice. If a parent made their kid kill a pet to test their obedience to the parents, people would be making reports, because that's ABUSE! Later, in the New Testament, God's "Good News" and "loving sacrifice to save us from hell" consists of believing that His son is Himself, because if you don't have that much blind faith, then He won't forgive you for all the "evil" you've done by being a normal, flawed, ordinary person not perfect enough for Him. (I'm capitalizing Him because that's how narcissistic abusers see themselves -- superior to everyone else.) And if you commit the grave sin of not being perfect enough for Him, which no one is, then you're deemed evil trash worthy of eternal torment. Like, he can't just be benevolent by deciding to forgive, or judging based on more sensible factors (like whether or not you're hurting other people). No, you have to believe that he is the son of himself, and that if you believe that then he'll spare you from the eternal hell that he created, and if you follow his dictatorship accordingly then his mercy makes you a hero. This is some Stockholm Syndrome shit right there. And then, when we have world problems even today, like starving kids in Africa and human trafficking victims in Thailand and people who spend their lives since birth in prison camps in North Korea, people defend it with things like: "God is just using them to highlight His glory, since it gives His followers a chance to help them and set an example!" What kind of person would allow horrible, long-term torture and suffering of millions of innocent people, just to prove a point that's ultimately about glorifying their own ego? What kind of person hurts others to make themselves look good? A narcissistic abusive asshole, that's what kind. Please debate.
  5. End3, 1. Why would a perfect, just, all-good God allow a person to be born in a North Korea prison camp, live their whole life there and die there, without knowing anything other than depravity and torture at the Auschwitz level, because their grandparents rebelled against the government? 2. Even if we were to accept that the horribly deformed baby posted by BornAgainAtheist was the result of sin (assuming perhaps that the parents' "sin" led to it), why would an all-just and all-good perfect God make the innocent baby forced to live the life of nothing but suffering, instead of punishing the parent who sinned? Children are not just objects/extensions of their parents; they are sentient people of their own, so why would punishing a baby for the parents' sin be the action of a god worthy of worship? People here have circled around the 10 commandments and petty definitions, but little has been said about these core issues. Thanks, Lyra
  6. Remember that many of them are also conditioned to believe that dying for faith, if necessary, is the right thing to do.
  7. In the Bible, as I recall, God is the one commanding all the disasters and mass deaths (deaths of all the first-born innocent baby boys in Egypt, flood of Noah's ark, etc. etc.) But what does Satan actually do that's anywhere near that catastrophic? For example, here are some of Satan's main scenes: - Tempting Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (to eat fruit/get knowledge/have sex? Who really cares? It's not like he's telling them to slaughter the animals or kill each other) - Tempting Job to not have faith in God, after God is the one to destroy his life and kill his presumably-innocent wife and kids - Temping Jesus in the desert (whereas God is the one who requires this awful bloody sacrifice of an innocent in order to satisfy his bloodlust for other people's punishment) Please tell me if I'm wrong, but as I recall, there was no Bible story where Satan actually inflicted murder, torture, rape, slavery, etc. on anyone. The God/Yahweh character was doing those things, and the "worst" thing Satan did was try to get people to question authority. Even his supposed start, getting kicked out of Heaven for rebellion against God, could be seen as healthy free-thinking and benevolent protest. This would be like if your teenage kid mouthed off to you and snuck out to party, and in response you banished them from the family forever and had them exiled from town and gave them a reputation as the most horrible person in the world. Remind me again what exactly makes Satan a horrible, fearsome villain?
  8. In Christianity, when people have terrible traumas/tragedies in life, it's generally compared to Job and accompanied by statements like "God is making things harder for you now but they will be so much better later." Examples cited are often things like...you lose your job but it leads to a better one, or there's a family tragedy but then it brings the whole extended family together, or you come from an abusive childhood but then are inspired to a career of helping others, and so on. But in those examples, there's typically the assumption that the people involved are able to someday have mostly good lives despite the pain: living in a wealthy free country, having decent health (or a handicap they can still live happy lives with), having opportunity to move forward, etc. But what about the people who are truly born into terrible, hellish lives? For instance: people in North Korea who spend their entire lives in Auschwitz-like prison camps because their grandparent rebelled against the government. Or the victims of human trafficking all over the world. Or the Untouchable castes in India where someone is socially ostracized and forced to work jobs like cleaning inside the sewers, with little to no hope of escaping that fate. Or the starving kids in 3rd-world countries with horrible deformities and no resources to cure them, etc. We always hear of inspirational stories of people who came from awful backgrounds of hardship, and it's wonderful that those people could overcome it. But many can't. And for the ones that will never have a chance or who will never find comfort or happiness, why would an "all good God" sentence some people to being born into lives that are worse than having never been born?
  9. Given the pros and cons of the internet, would we think that the sharing of information, the normalization of humanity, would enable us to see the evidence that religion isn't real?
  10. Lyra

    Ask a Christian

    Why have no Christians responded to my thread with my questions asking for answers from Christians?
  11. Lyra

    Ask a Christian

    Could you take a shot at the questions in the thread I started the other day?
  12. The premise of orthodox Christianity is boiled down to the following points: 1) that we are all destined -- and fully deserve -- to roast in Hell for all eternity, because in the eyes of a "all good and perfect" Creator, telling small lies or stealing a candy bar is just as bad as killing millions of people and therefore we're doomed just by being alive; (In some denominations, this goes even further by saying that the reason why we're all evil is because two people ate a magic apple, and now their genetic sin is our problem) 2) That somehow the above scenario is justified because "God is so perfect that even a small sin is infinite," and although he lacks common sense and compassion he is somehow still perfect and to be worshipped; 3) that the ONE and ONLY way to avoid our fully-deserved fate of Hell is to believe in a story written in an ancient book 2,000+ years ago, and to fully believe that the supernatural and bizarre events described (God came down as a person, was born to a virgin, sacrificed himself for a blood sacrifice that's never explained why it's needed, he rose from the dead, etc) are actually real. 4) That God's sacrificing his son was a benevolent thing to do. Think about it -- if your neighbor committed a horrible crime and was going to prison, and the only way to bail him out was to have your own son crucified, would you do that to your child to pay for someone else's problems? Any decent parent and person would say hell no!! How can you take this seriously? First off, points 1 and 2 and 4 show how morally wrong the whole premise is, and how unethical and evil this religion's portrayal of God is. And point 3 is basically saying that the way to be saved in the afterlife is to believe an unbelievable story - like trying to force yourself to believe in Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy, long after you've hit the age of critical reason (around age 7) where those types of childhood magic characters are no longer believable. When I was 7, I grew out of believing in Santa. I wanted to believe, but I simply couldn't buy it anymore. So if an adult has this reaction to the Bible story, they deserve hell, and this lines up with a benevolent God? Please explain how this is: 1) Ethical, in way that lines up with God being the all-good and all-loving being he's claimed to be and 2) Logical/rational as something that is likely to be real
  13. Does anyone know of good books, or other types of stories that could promote philosophical discussion (like movies, shows or story-rich video games) that could plant seeds of doubt to get someone to start questioning their religion? I don't mean books like "The God Delusion" or "Why Religion is False" that are so obvious they'd make any believer refuse to crack the cover. I mean ones where the message is subtle enough that they'll read it, but will get them on that logical path. For example, George Orwell's "1984," or any other story about totalitarian mind-control government, like "The Matrix." You could read/watch it together, start off a discussion about governments who brainwash their people, and then transition into "But what if this applied to religion too?"
  14. Hey y'all, thank you for responding. Sorry it took me so long to write back. Faithfulless, what you said was especially spot-on. I write novels and also volunteer on an anti-abuse hotline because I identify with that drive to make an impact on the world. I guess it's common for that to go hand-in-hand with anxiety. I hung out with my aunt last weekend. It was fun and cool and she didn't say a word about the dryer, probably because she doesn't give a shit about that conflict anymore. My parents mailed me a children's Bible coloring book for my 25th birthday. Isn't that strange? I have no problem with gifts that aren't the best fit, and I was able to say thank you and be polite (like i would if it was a sweater I didn't like or something). But even being Christian, who sends a kid's coloring book to a 25 y-o-?? I haven't lived with them since 17 when I finished high school, and I've been financially independent since I landed my first job at graduation time. Definitely not a kid by any stretch. I like art, but a children's Bible coloring book? Does anyone else find that supremely weird? I'm not sure what to think it means. Also, during a phone conversation with my dad, he asked if I'd found a church yet in my new city. I said "I'm going to a Unitarian church that I like a lot and have made great friends at," which is true (I'm not religious but I do believe in spirituality and a higher-power, just not Biblegod), and he just said "Find a good Baptist church" as if he didn't give a shit about what I'd just said. This kind of thing drives me fucking NUTS. I wish they would just accept that it's my life, and stop trying to force their religion down my throats. Those examples aren't relevant to the anxiety, in that they don't make me feel anxious. They just make me feel annoyed. I'm very emotionally distant from my parents because of this type of stuff - I feel like they aren't genuinely interested in knowing me as a person, and instead just want to mold me into what they think I should be. I do have other family and friends who I feel like I can be myself around, though.
  15. Thank you so much for your responses. I'm feeling much better now. I do totally realize that I probably have anxiety, and agree that therapy would help.
  16. You can be part of something larger and help others without The BuyBull having anything to do with it. For the past 2-3 years I've volunteered on an anti-abuse hotline, and helped save lots of people. I get a tremendous sense of purpose from that.
  17. When I was little, my parents raised me with the Baptist-style mentality. They weren't too batshit nuts -- I got to go to normal school, read Harry Potter, listen to rock music, go to school dances and do other normal things -- but the religion had that vibe of "God loves us, and it was a huge altruistic act of Him because we're so deeply flawed we don't deserve it, blah blah." I remember when I was like 7, being taught an analogy about burnt cake, and how people are like a cake that got burnt and deserve to be thrown away because we're a gone-wrong creation because God stepped in and saved us. That kind of shit. My parents genuinely thought they were teaching me the right thing, and were amazing in other ways (like encouraging me to do well in school and have ambition). But still, I always had this constant sense of anxiety and guilt, from early childhood until I was a teenager and started realizing I didn't believe anyway. This sense of guilt was even before I figured out that I prefer other women, or that I didn't believe the bullcrap. It went beyond the more commonly-described feelings of shame surrounding issues like sexuality and disbelief. I remember being like 9 or 10 years old and constantly being worried that I was having too much fun with my friends and being not "wise and discerning" enough (as if having fun with friends is a bad thing?), and I was always scared that my faith wasn't strong/genuine enough and I would go to hell. I remember one time, I was watching the movie "Hercules," which is a G-rated animated Disney kid's film based on the Greek gods, and I was so paranoid about what if I was evil for watching it because it depicted other gods and was sinful. Stuff like that was a constant issue for me. Now that I'm almost 25 and have been religion-free, I find that I still struggle with anxiety, over-thinking, irrational magnification of issues, and constant guilt. Here are some recent examples: 1. Recently, my aunt got mad and blew up at me (understandably so) because when I was staying at her place, I was careless and accidentally put too big of a load in the dryer and caused it to get messed up, despite having been warned about it. I've had extreme guilt about that for the past 3 weeks, and have been feeling like a terrible person and worried that she's going to legitimately hate me forever as a human being. I know it's fucking batshit insane and out of proportion, but that's how I feel right now. 2. I moved into a new place about 3-4 weeks ago, and have been making really awesome progress on my new apartment (scored high-quality antique wood furniture from thrift stores for cheap, got lots of art and plants, really coming along on making my place feel like home) but still have some areas that are messy and not unpacked properly. I've been feeling horrible, like I'm living in squalor and there's something wrong with me for it. As if I'm a homeless crack addict with their bags of trash strewn everywhere or something, which is far from the case. 3. I smoke VERY occasional weed -- like maybe a couple of puffs every few weeks on special days or something. When I get a teeny, tiny amount (what most people could blow through in a weekend) it sits in my bookshelf drawer and lasts me for months. I'm not anywhere near being a daily/chronic user (although I don't judge people who are). But sometimes when I smoke, I get this internal sense of disapproval like I'm "using drugs" as if I was a heroin/meth addict or something, and then I start to think I'm a horrible person at large. Ultimately, it's not just about those issues. Those are just the examples that have been eating at my mind lately. At different points in time, it's been different things. Like if I'm at a party and make a joke that could have been offensive or come off the wrong way to someone, but i didn't realize it until after the fact, I'll feel like shit about myself for days/weeks whereas most people would just brush it off in the moment. Or I'll rehash random memories of doing something wrong or inappropriate -- even if it was done YEARS ago or when I was a kid -- I'll randomly think of it again and again and feel guilty. Does anyone else struggle with this kind of stuff? I realize that it's mostly a secret and internal battle, but sometimes I do really wonder if everyone hates me. Which, going by the facts, obviously isn't the case.
  18. So he's your father and your lover at the same time, but will condemn you to torture if you don't obey him? He sounds like that creepy incestuous Wildling cult leader from Game of Thrones. The one who had dozens of daughters with whom he made more kids with, and sacrificed the baby boys to the ice zombies. Y'all know who I'm talking about here.
  19. How do you upload a picture as an attachment? All I see is the option to insert a link, but I have some funny atheist memes saved as attachments on my desktop and don't know how to share them.
  20. Hi ChilledMilk, What if you were to start off by gently asking your wife about the parts of the bible that aren't exactly Christian-friendly? You don't have to live a lie, but you also don't have to start off with dropping a bomb by telling her "I'm an atheist." You could start by asking her, "Hey my love, there's some things in the Bible I felt kind of weird while reading, and I wanted to see what you think of it." Then show her any of the not-often-talked-about stories that show Biblegod as a giant asshole: like having 42 bears eat the kids who mocked the prophet, or allowing the rape of Lot's daughters, or killing the innocent Egyptian first born kids, etc. Just present it as something like "You know, I really want to have full faith that God is good, but sometimes I feel tested when I read things like this." She can still think you're Christian at this point, but by doing this, you can start planting seeds of doubt. Then, repeat this process maybe 1-2 times a week. In addition to questions about the odious parts of the bible, you can also show her science discoveries that disprove Bible claims. By doing it gradually like this, several things can happen. For one, you'll be able to help gage her reaction, to see whether she's kind about your issues with faith, or whether she blows a gasket and goes nutso on you. This will give you info to help you determine how to go forward. Also, you'll be able to introduce the idea of you being a nonbeliever slowly and gradually. She may figure it out on her own and be able to expect it and be prepared, since by that point she'll have suspected for a while. This will get rid of the "shock factor" so it won't be a huge blowup that effects the kids and everything (I grew up as a kid in a tense household between parents who fought a lot and gave each other the silent treatment, I spent time in therapy as an adult and it damaged my long-term relationship with both parents). Also, best-case scenario, in addition to minimizing the fallout, you may be able to get HER to have seeds of doubt too! And wouldn't that be awesome. The "slow approach" can be the best approach, because you're being honest, but you're also doing it in a more strategical way to prevent an all-at-once explosion. In my experience, most of the fallout horror story reactions (screaming, flipping out, etc) come from shock, so if you can do it gradually, you'll minimize the shock and have a much easier time.
  21. I think another way to approach it, is by dropping very subtle hints that imply you *could* be an atheist, without actually making it clear that you are. Like Astreja said, once it's out it's out, and there's no going back. But on the other hand, if you "test the waters" so to speak, you could gage their reactions to help see how they might react, and then make your decision based on that. For example, you could say things like: "I was talking with [someone you can reference, but a person that your parents would never talk to, like maybe an old friend of yours from high school] and she/he said they don't go to church anymore. What's your take on nonbelievers?" or, "I don't think lawmakers should make restrictions based on religious morals. Belief is a good thing, but the government shouldn't use it to legislate morality on issues where no one is hurting anyone." or, "But what about all the people who are Hindu/Jewish/etc because their parents raised them that way, their whole community follows that religion, and they truly believe it's the right one? I don't believe they would go to hell simply for having a different understanding, despite being a good person." The beauty of these types of comments is that they don't out you as an atheist, but they do help you gage the subject. Your parents might respond with something shockingly fundie and intolerant, or they might surprise you and be more rational than you thought. If you decide, based on their reaction, that coming out as atheist is a bad idea, you could say something like "No, I still love Jesus, I just had a different opinion about XYZSubject, but all Christians have issues they see differently at times" or similar. But if you do decide to tell them, then it may serve as an easier transition. Also, you might not even want to drop a "bombshell" like "I'm an atheist," but if you give hints like that enough on a regular basis, they may figure it out on their own, in a way that's gradual and not based on an explosive confrontation or big scary confession.
  22. Or, you know, making it so that the problem of starving kids doesn't exist at all. Or human trafficking, or women being treated as property in backwards countries, or the concentration camps in North Korea, or people in Africa being hacked to death by machetes in genocide, or natural disasters and diseases that kill people for no reason at all. But, you know, at least god found some time to help out with theme park parking and ice cream flavors.
  23. Awesome!! Good on you for letting her take the lead and not pushing the issue. Now that she realizes the Bible isn't credible, it's really likely to just fall apart from here. It's normal to want to have faith in some type of higher spirituality, so she can still be an Ex-C and believe in a God at the same time. Would it work to maybe check out some alternative spirituality together?
  24. I am really really hopeful that as the current generation (the people who are currently small kids) grows up, this "men are this way, women are that way" crap will be gone for good, and people will see other humans as individuals instead. We're almost there, I think, but one more generation will smooth out the last remaining bumps.
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