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About freshstart

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  • Location
    Upstate NY
  • Interests
    Traveling, new music, exploring new ideas, trying new things . . .
  • More About Me
    I'm a former Christian in search of more like-minded free-thinkers

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. I really appreciate your perspective, Weezer. That gives me food for thought. Just like mental health is on a continuum, so too (IMHO) is the rationality of Christian belief, especially in the face of so much contradictory (or lacking) evidence. I imagine for some Christians, the mental gymnastics that rational, logical, mentally healthy people have to do in order to maintain their beliefs creates such an internal struggle that it is bound to turn into some form of mental illness until or unless that struggle is resolved. Thus begins a path of either suppressing those thoughts and doubts or exploring them. Both are painful paths. But if God gave us a brain, he should expect us to use it. Furthermore, anything or anyone that demands our full devotion and submission should be able to stand up to scrutiny. Its no wonder some Christians come here angry, defensive, or attacking. Ultimately, its a belief system that seems designed to cause suffering, rather than alleviate it.
  2. Just curious, SV . . .do you trust medical science (which is also ever-changing)? Are you the sort of Christian who only believes certain sciences are to be trusted or do you shun science altogether because all if it is ever-changing as new discoveries are made?
  3. That is adorable. He called you a "dog." It must be exhausting for SV, always trying to carefully control thoughts and words in order to please an imaginary friend.
  4. This coming from someone who has failed to defend his magical mythological beliefs with any credible evidence.
  5. I saw first hand, growing up in the deep south how this statement couldn't be farther from the truth. I have so many personal examples (friends, neighbors, teachers, etc.) of this that this post would be way too long if I listed them all. However, when I moved north, and as time passed, as a white adult, I started to believe that things were better. Until I got to know, work with, and be friends with many black people in the last 3 years. To be honest it is even worse for black women. Even in casual conversation. . .when no statement is being made. . . "systemic racism" is apparent: being pulled over at Christmas time - in 2019 - (new TV in the box in the back seat for xmas gift) and the cop asks my (black) friend to show the receipt. She acted like this was a normal request. Another (black) friend's daughter (college student, no record) - in 2019 - is pulled over for insurance lapse in her vehicle, was thrown in jail, strip searched and traumatized. Again, she seemed to think this was not an unusual consequence for letting your insurance lapse. Intimate partner violence is an epidemic among black women (among the population work with), but most just live with it and don't bother to call the cops (I can only speculate as to why). And I personally know at least 1 cop who is openly racist now -and always has been. Even in the face of systemic racism, my black friends recognize that "hood mentality" is a problem in the same way that I recognize "fundamentalism" is a problem. But my guess is they are more likely to be seen and labeled as belonging to a particular category of "black," whereas I am more likely to be seen as an individual. That in itself is "systemic racism."
  6. Over 60 covid-positive staff in my health care facility. We desperately need more bedside help. Rioting and looting has destroyed buildings near where I work. There is a clear dichotomy between those who are being violent and those who do not condone this behavior among people of color. Unfortunately the looters and rioters who are black are seen as representative of the entire race (by many white people). However, white extremists like the kkk and anarchists are seen as outliers and not representing the majority. So frustrating. . . .
  7. If ever there was a time for a strong, independent, moderate party. . . .it is NOW.
  8. I do understand how this is an attempt to alleviate anxiety, but how can one mentally prepare for what is unknown? If an afterlife seems plausible, maybe explore all beliefs about it before trying to prepare? https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/how-major-religions-view-afterlife
  9. Sure, I could agree with this statement. But that was only step one in my journey. After awhile, applying some critical thinking and investigation, it became clear that Christianity does nothing to meet anyone's needs. People meet people's needs. Period.
  10. I'm sorry to hear this prof. There is still a good chance that he'll do just fine. Hopefully everyone will come out of this trying just a bit harder to be a bit healthier to reduce the risks they can control. (Not saying this the case with your colleague, but if it is, hopefully he'll come out of this with new resolve after he's recovered).
  11. I became much more open-minded (especially politically) and far less judgmental of others and other lifestyles, also started enjoying things that I would not allow myself to previously enjoy (from the smallest things, like a dirty joke) to more adventurous things. I've allowed myself to explore things I previously thought I should not venture towards (like reading erotica, or eastern philosophy, or other spiritual explorations) -without guilt. It has come with a price, but for the most part, I continue to try to enjoy this journey.
  12. This is why I find Eastern philosophy (of which I am certainly no expert yet) so attractive. LOVED the Times article posted by Dave (thank you) and the 2 paragraphs in particular (below). “The Plague” isn’t trying to panic us, because panic suggests a response to a dangerous but short-term condition from which we can eventually find safety. But there can never be safety [from death] — and that is why, for Camus, we need to love our fellow damned humans and work without hope or despair for the amelioration of suffering. Life is a hospice, never a hospital The doctor works tirelessly to lessen the suffering of those around him. But he is no hero. “This whole thing is not about heroism,” Dr. Rieux says. “It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency.” Another character asks what decency is. “Doing my job,” the doctor replies.
  13. Thank you for the kind sentiments. I'm embarrassed to say I had one too many a drink before my last post. Things are actually winding down in my neck of the woods (for now). . . .Its my grandchild, in particular, that I miss seeing and holding. But I consider myself lucky. Others have a lot more to worry about. I guess the good news is there's a lot less attention on "thoughts and prayers," and much more focus on the science. Stay well everyone!
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