Regular Member
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

38 Good

About Loopylou

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Science, philosophy, lots of others
  • More About Me
    I'm an ex-Christian and have vacillated between belief/unbelief in the past. I've no idea what god is, so can't say I don't believe in it exactly, so I guess I should call myself an agnostic.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No, unless you include nature

Recent Profile Visitors

387 profile views
  1. Hello

    SeaJay, I don't think you need to worry. If a God exists, then that God is love. So, if you leave Christianity completely and then at a later stage want to go back, God will accept you. Otherwise God is not love. Jesus is said to have come to save sinners. He is reported to have said that not even a sparrow falls out of the sky without god knowing and caring about it. And therefore if you leave the fold and later want to return, Jesus will accept you, otherwise it is false that he came to save sinners. If he cares about sparrows, he must surely care about you. You can't force yourself to believe something you just don't believe anymore. (I know. I tried so hard to do that.) You can pretend to believe. You can try to believe. You might even convince yourself you believe. But if the belief is gone, it's gone. If there is an invisible sky god, then that god gave us a brain, an intellect, and a will. What was the point, if we are condemned to burn in some mythical hell unless we are robots with no freedom to think for ourselves? It's all BS as far as I'm concerned of course, and there's no going back for me this time. But if you are wavering and scared, you don't have to worry because you are still covered by the promise that if you later regain your belief you will be accepted back into the fold like the Prodigal Son. You have to be true to yourself first. That's why I'm here really. I was in a church that had us reciting the Nicene Creed every week. I would recite it and know that I didn't believe a single word of it. I was living a lie and that ate me up. What does this god want? People who live a lie and pretend to believe something they don't, or people who are true to themselves? 'This above all: to thine own self be true.'
  2. Hello

    I think @DanForsman makes a valid point there and perhaps that is at least a temporary answer for you. I've never heard anything preached in churches I've belonged to about hell, even though they may have believed in it I suppose. I suspect you might be in a pentecostal or other evangelical 'happy clapper' church. Maybe you might feel more at home in the Church of England maybe? The Quakers?
  3. Ain't no Rest for the Wicked

    This tells me you're probably in the US, as it certainly doesn't apply in most Western countries apart from the US. Few Americans seem to realise how weird their country is in its obsession with religion. I believe the latest figures are that 85% of Australians don't go to any church, so the religious families are a small minority here. It certainly makes it easier for us to leave. I don't really understand how religion or faith in non-existent gods are necessary to counteract the mess the world is in -- in fact it seems to me that religion is behind a lot of the mess. You can get your moral code from anywhere, and if you're going to try to get it from the Bible you're going to have to be extremely picky. As for the fear of hell, I'm not sure if this is a fundamentalist/pentecostal thing or what, but I went to three different denominations (Lutheran, Anglican, and Uniting Church) and I can't remember hell even being mentioned. It certainly wasn't drummed into us that it was something we should be afraid of or worry about. Where does it say this, exactly? (And if it does say exactly that, how do you know that the writer, writing almost 2000 years ago, knew what the hell he was talking about? Remember they thought the Earth was flat and hell was a fiery place beneath the flat Earth.) Again, where exactly does it say that etc.? The fundamentalists who condemn homosexuality on the basis of Leviticus 20:13 are hypocrites because they ignore the second part: 'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." (NIV) Also, since you're not a man, you would seem to be in the clear. Great idea! And good to hear. If you want to be a good atheist and know the truth, read the bible from cover to cover. When I first became a Christian the first thing the minister did was to warn me against it! I soon realised why as I kept reading it. It's full of inconsistencies and some really weird and sick stuff that never ever gets preached about in any church. Look at Judges 19 for example, where the mob demand access to a male guest so they can rape him. The master of the house refuses and gives the mob his daughter and concubine to pack rape instead. The latter is raped and beaten to death, and the master chops the body into 12 bits and sends a piece to each tribe of Israel to show how faithful he was to God and to demonstrate he'd done the right thing in protecting his guest. There's a similar passage in Genesis 19. So, according the bible pack rape and murder is fine, as long as the victims are women. But a loving relationship between two men is an abomination and they should be executed. There's actually no reason why you can't keep the teachings of Jesus (the good ones at least), along with the morality teachings of other great preachers whose ideas resonate with you. You don't have to stop loving your neighbour just because you've stopped believing in an invisible god in the sky. In fact your morality can be on a 'higher plane' than the morality of someone who is moral just because they're afraid of a hell. I hope you find some like-minded people you can meet face-to-face, but I'm finding this site is a really good place to be.
  4. Fear of hell

    I first became an atheist when I was about five (although I later on had a "born again" experience and went back to church for two rather lengthy periods, but that's another story). One of the reasons I couldn't believe in God was because I was asked to draw Jacob's ladder leaning against a cloud, which I knew was impossible (because my dad had allayed my fears of thick fog by saying it was exciting -- like walking in a cloud), and the other reason was because when my dog died I was told that dogs don't go to heaven, and only people go. How could it possibly be heaven then? I decided not to believe in a god because I didn't want to go to this heaven place anyway. I'm sure I would have been told dogs don't go to hell either. Only one species of all the millions on species on this planet goes to either place. And at what point in evolution did that change occur? Was there a point in time at which the parents didn't go to heaven or hell because they weren't human enough but their children did because they had crossed some invisible evolutionary line? It's all rather ridiculous and quite simple: neither place exists. They were invented for the purpose of controlling people.
  5. Hello

    Maybe because it is crazy in parts? So why keep the Old Testament? And what kind of a plan is it to send all those rules, knowing already (since the god is supposedly omniscient) that they wouldn't work, and then send Jesus to be tortured and murdered to make it all right again. How this plan makes sense is beyond me, but if it does make some kind of sense why not send Jesus earlier (maybe instead of Moses?) and save all the rigmarole and heartache, a lot of which is still going on today? It seems to me that either God is not omniscient or he's incompetent.
  6. Hello

    Hello SeaJay I'm new here too, so welcome. I've been lucky in not having suffered any trauma in leaving the church and becoming an Ex Christian, but I'm learning here just how traumatising it can be for many people. Sorry you've been exposed to the idea of such a frightening future after death. I must admit it was never something that cropped up in churches I went to, so it's not a fear I share. Have you read Robert Wright's book The Evolution of God? I recommend it as it helped me to see more clearly how the religions have evolved. I think we're all seeing little bits of this evolution in action in our own lifetimes as well. I remember when God disapproved of women leaders for example (and the church I recently left still does) but now many churches preach that God doesn't mind at all. I remember God disapproving of women not wearing hats in church. And I remember when God needed good Catholics to eat fish on Fridays, and then apparently thought better of it. About 30 years ago God stopped being frugal for a while and wanted people to be rich, and Christians (in America mainly) were told that if they wanted a yacht or a luxury car they should pray for them as God wanted them to have such things. Then along came recessions and economic downturns and then God seemed to shut up about that. Now God's attitudes to homosexuality are changing. Except they're not of course -- society is changing and it takes a while for God to catch up (and for Christians to find verses to back up their new positions perhaps). Either God's a slow learner, we're more socially evolved than God, or it's all a human construct. And if it's a human construct then of course we can change the God to suit the changes in society. Hell is made up too. It was invented by people who thought the Earth was flat and that heaven was a literal place above it and hell was a literal place below it. It made perfect sense to them and it was a useful concept because it kept people in line. It doesn't exist any more than God does. The Bible is full of things nobody takes any notice of any more, such as all the animal sacrifices and whatnot in Leviticus and elsewhere. We've evolved beyond that sort of thing in most civilised places. I think we've also evolved beyond--or are in the process of evolving beyond--the concept of hell. PS. A bit off-topic, but did you catch the letter to Dr Laura that circulated a few years ago? I hope you're not offended by it, but it doesn't mention hell. It does illustrate very well though how you need to take great care about interpreting anything in the bible literally. Link here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/3/25/850561/- but wrongly attributed. It was actually written by Kent Ashcraft, according to Snopes.
  7. Is it even possible?

    Good questions Daffodil. We probably have all the answers we need, but we need some benevolent dictators to put the answers into place. Maybe God will come down and help us Or not. I share your doom and gloom I'm afraid, but I try to be positive. The way I see it is that I can't fix the world, but I can fix my own little bit of it. So I've cut my consumption and waste to the bare minimum and simplified my life considerably because overconsumption is almost as massive a problem as overpopulation, and that ball's in our court. I have solar panels and solar hot water, a tiny fuel-efficient car, I give money to educate girls in the Middle East and other basket case countries, and I'm learning permaculture, and that's about all I can do as an individual. What gives me some hope is that largely what we have to do is just change our minds, and that can happen almost overnight as we saw a few decades ago in the collapse of the Soviet Union. If a critical mass of us decide to really tackle all the problems instead of bickering and fighting and calling each other names all the time we could fix it. If it was an asteroid coming at us from space we'd soon get together as a human race to fight the danger. That's all we have to do really. If we don't fix it, nature will, but that won't be pretty.
  8. Is it even possible?

    Just putting my 2 cents in here. I think the science went out the window some time ago with climate change. Scientists (I used to be one, but not in climate science) don't have debates -- they have hypotheses, which if they're well supported by the evidence eventually become theories. They don't take sides, they don't call each other names like deniers or alarmists, and they don't ever say "the science is settled". We hear these things all the time, which is my point -- we're no longer looking at science, we're looking at groupthink and a belief system, and it's one that's masking the real problem. You can tell exactly where in this "debate" people stand by simply looking at the scale of their graphs. Those who "believe" in the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis have graphs with scales of hundreds of years. Those who are "deniers" have graphs with scales of thousands of years (to include the Little Ice Age and Medieval warm period), or hundreds of millions of years to demonstrate the fact that the current period is actually an interglacial warm period within an ice age. The funny thing is they're all correct. We live on a planet with a variable climate and it has varied from much, much hotter than today to much, much colder. Does that mean we're not affecting the climate at all? No. But the climate will still be changing long after we're extinct, and the idea that we can "sign off" on 2 degrees is simply ridiculous. Does that mean we shouldn't do anything about CO2 emissions? No. We need to move to more sustainable technologies regardless of climate change. We also need some breathing space to deal with the real problems. The problem isn't climate change at all. Humans have survived much hotter and much colder temperatures and so has the planet as a whole, but there wasn't an elephant in the room before, and there is now. The elephant is a massively exploding human population that lives unsustainably. There are 85 million more people every year than there were the year before, and they all need to eat, and almost all now depend totally on an agricultural system that is viable only in a very narrow range of climatic conditions. If the climate moves out of that narrow range we're stuffed. What we need to do is use more sustainable technologies, but at the same time tackle overpopulation and develop more resilient methods of feeding ourselves than our current reliance on massive corporate monocultures sustained out of drums. My 2 cents has now run out.
  9. Truth seeking

    It is rather a mind-blowing experience to read the whole thing isn't it? When I became a Christian the minister was horrified that I'd started to read the bible at page 1 and he tried to convince me to stop. I soon understood why he was so horrified. I think you're right that when all these oral stories, mythologies, parables and other sorts of literature were written down, they were fixed in history. Had the bible stories continued to be passed down orally they would have evolved over time. Have you read 'The Evolution of God' by Robert Wright? I recommend it. Anyway, welcome to the forum. I'm new myself, but I'm enjoying snooping around here.
  10. Christianity might be true

    I think we've both derailed it, but I hope others enjoyed the song too. It just made my day. Thank you.
  11. Christianity might be true

    Thanks for the help, but my Settings page only has email address, password, Facebook and Twitter, and I've looked through all the other options. It's no big deal though.
  12. Christianity might be true

    I can't find a way to create one. Perhaps because I'm using Opera, or maybe there's some secret I haven't figured out yet.
  13. Christianity might be true

    The plethora of problems is an interesting one. When I first became a "born-again" Christian I went to church and introduced myself to the minister as a new convert. He asked me what I was doing about it and I said I was reading the bible. He asked where I'd started and I said page 1. He then looked horrified and said I mustn't read it like that and gave me a list of books I "could" read, starting with Mark, then Luke, then Corinthians. I wasn't "ready" for John, Revelation or any of the Old Testament. Being an ornery sort of person, I continued with my reading from page 1, as well as reading the things he'd told me to read. It wasn't long at all before I understood his horror at the idea of a new Christian reading the bible! This is why Christians don't read the bible, just bits of it.
  14. Elite Gender Inversion-is it true?

    Some babies --obviously.
  15. Elite Gender Inversion-is it true?

    I'm afraid I couldn't watch it either because of the presentation methods, but I've long believed that what we view as "gender" is actually a spectrum and not a simple male/female dichotomy. I used to work in a biochemistry lab, and among the most urgent tests we did were those trying to determine what gender to assign to babies whose gender was ambiguous. It surprised me how often this occurred. Babies are born with both sets of genitalia and some are born with no external genitalia. Some have ovaries and testes. (Even DNA tests show aberrations like XXY, XYY, XXX, deformed X and Y, etc. etc.) The tests we did were urgent because the parents were stressed out not knowing how to dress their baby, how to hold it, what to call it, and so on, in other words, they didn't know which box to try to fit the kid into. Children born with no obvious physical gender ambiguity can also have psychological ambiguity -- girls who feel like boys, boys who feel like girls, "tomboys", and "effeminate" males. I was always a tomboy and am far from being ultra-feminine. I now have a niece who used to be a nephew, but we could tell by the age of three that he was going that way and would end up being a transvestite, effeminate homosexual or transsexual. (His/her uncle is the latter and great uncle the former -- so in his case it looks like it's caused by a gene on the X chromosome). We should stop labelling people and putting them into boxes, and just let them be who they want. It shouldn't matter a damn. This was one of the reasons I finally had enough of the church, after discussions with the minister, who was absolutely convinced that my niece (and others like her/him) was a "sinner" who should repent, and of course had no right to love someone else or marry the person of their choice unless they were both in the "right" boxes.