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About freshstart

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    Upstate NY
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    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 think some people merely want to remain curious and open to possibilities. Is that a bad thing? And in what way does such speculation have to be "relevant?" A lot of things we do in life have no relevance. Some things are just fun to think about or fun to do. Clearly the human race has gravitated towards a belief in the existence of something more powerful and more intelligent than humans. Perhaps there is an evolutionary reason for that that remains to be discovered? I don't believe in specific deities. But I do find it hard to believe the "universe" (for lack of a better term) lacks any intelligence, particularly when it produces intelligence, even if it took billions of years to do so.
  2. Why not? Why not be open to the possibility of something more? If we don't dare to imagine that something (currently) inconceivable exists, then we won't pursue it in earnest. That's how discoveries start. . .with a hunch.
  3. I actually get what you're saying here. Perhaps we have to trust that there is something out there that cannot be described in a way that we can understand. I certainly allow for that. But I also allow that my preconceived ideas about what/who "God" is are likely very primative and so, not to be trusted. I am open to possibilities that there exists a "higher power," but I have to trust that, if it exists, that higher power will somehow figure out a way to communicate with me. If we want a dog to learn algebra, it is not up to the dog to figure out how to do that.
  4. This comment misses the point. This is not about a father allowing kids to endure some hardships in order to allow them to mature. This is about a "heavenly" father allowing unspeakable suffering to innocent children. For a god to allow this when he is supposedly capable of preventing it, . . . . is sickening and despicable. Luckily I dont believe this asshole god exists, but for those who do, why they choose to worship such an evil being is beyond comprehension.
  5. So there is no happy medium? Its either free will and allow all hell to break loose or its no free will and we're completely restrained? As a parent I figured out how to give my kids free will - within certain boundaries. I allowed them to do what they wanted and to learn from their mistakes within reason. I sure as hell didnt let them do whatever they wanted, especially if it was guaranteed to cause harm. So I'll rephrase my statement: Not only am I morally better than your Bible-God, I'm a better parent.
  6. Well, then, that makes God an accomplice to Satan's evil deeds and morally worse than Satan. How do you find it possible to worship such a sadist? If I were god, I would have never allowed that. I guess that makes me more compassionate than your bible-God.
  7. So if you believe in a God who has no needs and you believe that you benefit from "acting out through love," again I ask, what is your purpose here? How is it that YOU are acting out through love? You believe you benefit in what way?
  8. Ok, so on what authority do you know the origins of the Bible? Who wrote the books of the Hebrew bible (i.e. Old Testament). Yes. On what authority do you make that claim? What are you calling "direct evidence?" Responsibility. Mat 12:36 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment." So how is it YOUR responsibility to do anything to interfere with what you believe to be God's judgment? Yes, I was a Christian. And you need to understand that I am not trying to deconvert you. Unlike you, I am not unwaivering in my beliefs. I am open-minded and perfectly willing to accept that I do not have all the answers to life's questions. But after a critical examination of Christianity, unless the Christian God identifies himself in a crystal clear way, I am completely unable to believe. I feel the same way about Big Foot, unicorns, Loch Ness monster, etc. A lot of people believe in these things, but I just can't. I don't see the evidence.
  9. This isnt about spoon-feeding. Nor is the course intended for naive freshman. This is about learning the origins of the bible which you are clearly not willing to learn. If you want to keep your head in the sand, that is your prerogative. But don't try to argue that "history, psychology, and sociology" prove that God is real. You have no evidence for that. All of those disciplines demonstrate that many humans believe in God. Their belief in God is real, but it doesnt prove God is real. If you are not willing to learn from anyone here, then what are you doing here? What is your purpose?
  10. My guess is that your neighbor said he saw the dog. You in turn, said something like, "prove it." Perhaps, after all, his eyesight was bad and it might have been a coyote? The thing is, should he choose to pursue it, there are scientific instruments that could prove a dog did in fact pass through his yard. I'm assuming if it said in the bible - using "intentional double symbolism in prophecy," of course - that a dog would one day pass through his yard - then you would believe that as "proof."
  11. My, my. Why such an emotional response? I guess I'll spell this out: Parents passing on their faith to their children are not proselytizing. They are indoctrinating. There is a difference. Christians do both.
  12. How is it that the first century Christians taught you? Have you ever looked into how the bible actually came to be written? There are open source courses available online via Yale University: https://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-145 https://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152 If you choose to live by a particular faith, and make life decisions based upon that faith, then don't you think it deserves serious scrutiny? It seems to me you are having trouble processing that any ex-Christian could have been a "real Christian." For you, it does not compute as possible. You are searching for answers (other than what you are told by ex-Christians) as to how this could happen and trying to convince us that it was ignorance that led us here - instead of a critical examination of our faith and/or the bible. You are assuming that thousands of people - many of them Bible scholars, ordained ministers, theologians, and missionaries - misunderstood the Bible. Think about how arrogant that sounds. It was an open mind and open heart that led us to reject Christianity in the same way you reject Greek mythology. An ex-Christian is not necessarily anti-Christian by the way. A lot of my family members and friends are believers. I don't try to convince them of my beliefs. Hell, they don't even know I'm atheist! Why? Because, in my experience, it is Christians who I have seen hassle atheists about their beliefs (or non-beliefs) - not the other way around.
  13. A miniscule amount of rational thought? Really? Proselytize: to convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another. Except when someone is attempting to marry into a family with orthodox beliefs, I've never known any Jews to try to convert someone to their beliefs. Defend their beliefs when someone else is trying to convert them? Yes. But attempt to convert others, especially strangers? No way. "New members" are sustained in many religions by passing beliefs down through generations. Where are all the Jewish missionaries? Where are the Menonites shouting on the street corners? Where are the Wiccan televangelists? What's wrong with admitting that Christians are out there trying to save souls way more than any other religion? Although. . . it is kind of weird that an all-powerful God needs humans to do his bidding. I wonder why he can't . . .er. . .I mean he won't just to talk to people on his own.
  14. Seems to me the refugee population is the most persecuted of all groups and they represent a wide variety of religions, ethnic groups, etc. https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/refugees/
  15. Did I miss something? Was anyone suggesting that Reiki be used as a cure for disease? It is an entirely harmless adjunct to traditional treatments. Its effectiveness in relieving subjective symptoms like anxiety and pain is to be judged only by the recipients. If Tylenol doesn't cure my headache, what's the harm in trying Reiki? If my headache is due to a brain tumor, I dont think anyone is suggesting Reiki as a cure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24105356 https://www.livescience.com/40275-reiki.html https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/integrative_medicine_digestive_center/services/reiki.html
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