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Everything posted by Quark

  1. I've put a lot of thought behind this concept. I think I first heard Damon Lindelof refer to it that way when talking about the Leftovers (a show I highly recommend, especially if you have any history with basically any kind of faith). It's something I try to keep in mind whenever I'm not sure why I'm angry, and then I'm able to more quickly figure out what's wrong and can often self-correct. Now I just want to get to the point where I can prevent it entirely. I feel like I'm improving, but it's a slow and steady kind of progress.
  2. Living in the thick of the Bible Belt, it's rough feeling like the only sane person around, whether it's true or not. Avoiding the specifics of politics, I can relate to getting angry at it all. I'm not proud of it, but I feel that way regardless, and it's something I'm trying to figure out how to come to terms with. I don't get angry while driving, but since I have a very physical job I can catch myself "venting" through that. I don't think it's particularly healthy. Like others have said, ideally it's best to accept that people believe differently than you and move on, but I have a hard time
  3. I also used to struggle fiercely with the idea of going to Hell. Beyond just... looking into other religions and seeing they also had their own ideas of the afterlife, I felt it also helped to consider the nature of the god I believed in at the time. For me personally, I believed my god was all-powerful, all-knowing, and the epitome of goodness in the universe. If all of those aspects were true, then he'd have the power--and the desire--to do what's best for everyone. An all-good person would never torment anyone for any length of time, much less for all of eternity. Even if you disagreed a
  4. Yeah, I've hit the point where I've realized I dwell far too much on these imaginary future conversations between actual conversations we have about these topics. I'm going to have to spend some time "reprogramming" what I think about, I think. Maybe when it gets warmer and the pandemic situation gets a little better I'll get lost in nature a little more. It's rough, because... I mean I was a die-hard Christian for 25 years, and knowing the way my mind works I'm always like... trying to decrypt how I finally pulled myself out of it so I can feed those thoughts back through my fr
  5. I've only one good friend I feel comfortable talking with about my grievances as an atheist, but--even though they'd say they don't mind--I'd feel like a pest if I ranted to them every time I felt the need. I'm in a situation where I still have to rent a room in the same house as my devoutly religious parents. It's frustrating as a grown-ass adult, but what are you gonna do. I'm out as an atheist, so we generally try to keep our beliefs to ourselves. My dad and I, however, get together every week to eat lunch and discuss our differing beliefs. In the midst of the election, it's become incre
  6. Where's the discussion in that? Besides, I don't want to avoid them. What's that going to accomplish? This kind of stuff is damaging. I've seen my parents time and time again take "prophetic words" they've received from friends and people in their church and made life-altering decisions inspired by them. Beyond my own family, you hear all the time about people refusing to take medication or visit the doctor because they believe God has healed them, and in the most extreme cases people have died because of this. Avoiding someone you care about because they're delusional is pointless, because it
  7. I mean that's easy to say when they're not your family.
  8. I've attended many churches where people claim they've received "words of knowledge" or "visions" from God about the future or things they couldn't normally know. The prediction/word is often very vague (usually unintentionally so) and as a result gets applied to the first significant thing that seems to line up with it. Many of the predictions, usually the more specific ones, never pan out at all. Furthermore, the most significant visions I've seen people point to are ones they've almost completely forgotten about until a significant event makes sense of it. These same people, however, comple
  9. Welcome Jess, I hope this site will be of as much use to you as it has to me. I'm more or less on the tail end of disconcerting myself, but am an "atheist in the closet" as it were, amidst a family of fundamentalist Christians. And comedians are always fun, I've actuallky been listening to a lot of Tim Minshin recently who has a lot to say about religion. I'd also recommend listening/reading the works of Christopher Hitchens if you haven't already. His book "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" really went a long way to help me deconvert.
  10. Oh my God atmosflat... of course. What else could they call it if the Earth isn't a sphere? Part of me wants to see this nutjob succeed, though I wonder if he's the type who'll be honest with his discovery-should it ever get that far.
  11. Hello SFA, welcome to ex-c. I hope you make yourself at home here. I'm still pretty new to the community, but it's been a good experience so far. It helps knowing there are others who have either left Christianity or are struggling to let go of it. I can relate to a lot of what you're saying here; I really understand that pain of feeling drawn back to Christianity--feeling almost guilt-driven to do so, especially when I have so many friends and family who are still so ardent about it. Geezer mentioned this is a result of indoctrination, and he's right. At a young age we were instil
  12. As a closeted atheist amid an extremely religious family, I can relate to that feeling of hypocracy. My best suggestion is to support your group with as much practical non-religious advice as possible, only engage in prayer if it's asked for, and even when you pray focus on the idea that people gather strength from themselves and each other and not from a higher power. It's the whole "God helps people who help themselves" idea (which is just a clever way of saying God doesn't do anything). Also, in such groups it just helps to have someone listen to you, so just be there to let them vent their
  13. I've had this same thought, it's a little frustrating. I remember there being that big panic on facebook of Christians sharing that story that people would be required to implant these chips without choice, but I'm glad someone before me shared the Snopes link pointing back to the satirical news site that perpetuated it. I feel like all Christians, and I suppose by extension former Christians, should look into the theory that the whole 666/616 part of Revelation was referring, in secret, to Nero. It makes a lot of sense when you read about it. It was a sneaky way to tell people who
  14. I think the best thing to do, in addition to what "God" said earlier, is to foster critical thinking in your kids. Encourage them to question what they're taught, to try to see things from other points of view. I see people like my sister try to teach their kids Christian dogma and told to just accept it, but if the kids were instead trained to learn from a place of understanding instead of just "fact" memorization, the truth will naturally point against the validity of religion and superstition.
  15. It's important for any viable theory to be falsifiable. If there are testable ways you can disprove your theory, and yet it doesn't get disproven, then it only strengthens the theory. Evolution is certainly falsifiable, but it hasn't been proven false. I found this page recently that shows what it would take to disprove evolution: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Falsifiability_of_evolution It also goes into what kinds of predictions evolution makes, which I think is worth a read. I understand and probably relate to what SeaJay might be feeling with these supposed problems
  16. Eh, he's my cousin. It's hard for me to give up on him and I keep hoping that he'll see reason. You're probably right, though, it's just... hard for me to quit on him.
  17. The discussion we had was about evolution, it went on for quite a while, and I brought up what I felt were plenty of excellent pieces of evidence... but he said something to the effect that neither of us will change our minds no matter what the other says. He is stuck in believing that carbon dating isn't accurate (even though i showed him examples of how other dating methods corroborate it), that species only evolve within "kinds" (Which to him are any creatures that can still breed, but he failed to acknowledge the example I gave him about the greenish warbler being unable to breed with othe
  18. Oh yes, I agree. I get frustrated by what they do on his behalf, when they say they know what his will is, or when they make huge, destructive life decisions based on their faith. I think that's why I usually want to lean toward sympathy before frustration--but even as I say that, I'm reminded of a rather frustrating discussion I had with a believer friend not long ago. I'm mostly saddened by how thickly-rooted his confirmation bias is (ignoring evidence in favor of selecting/quote mining small things that support his pre-existing stance), and how his moral high ground mentality has inflated h
  19. Thank you. I'm definitely learning a lot from Dawkins, and the parts that go over my head often prompt me to research and figure them out elsewhere. I've read the God Delusion, the Greatest Show on Earth, and am currently reading the Blind Watchmaker. As for Hitchens I've only read God is Not Great and Mortality (freaking heavy stuff), but I'm interested in reading more by him as well. Your response brightened my day yesterday, thank you. I wanted to be a writer when I was younger, and wrote about a book and a half, but never got anything published. I might still dig back into i
  20. Thank you, that means a lot to hear. It definitely wasn't easy getting to this point, and took a hell of a lot of time. I think part of what helped me reach this understanding was when I got into an argument with one of my friends (one of the online ones I mentioned in my first post). When we were done, I realized just how fucking terrible I was being: I was entirely in the wrong. I had this incorrigible, gluttonous NEED to be right, even though I knew I wasn't. I realized that... kind of everyone in my family had the same problem, and quickly found out it was more a problem with Christianity
  21. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. I skimmed a few threads of this site before deciding to post this, and I liked the vibe of the place, but I'm still relieved to see the positive reaction. I feel like I've been programmed to expect the worst when saying such things, and it's a breath of fresh air to see my view accepted and not shot down. I mean just recently I revealed that I believed in evolution, and tried to convince some people that it didn't conflict with the idea of God, but it still went over pretty poorly. I somewhat regret that, haha Someday I might feel comfortable coming out
  22. Where do I even begin. I guess I should start by saying hello, so... hello. I'd introduce myself, but since I'm still a closeted atheist I'm not sure that I should give out my real name just yet, so you can call me Quark. I was born and raised in the thick of something between Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. The Church of God denomination, if you must know (though there are many denominations that go by this title). My parents were (and are) the model Christian couple, not without their faults but adhering rather strictly to the moral guidelines laid out by the Bible. Despite that
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