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About freshstart

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    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. Dear Georgia, What leads you to believe that ANY of the atheists here have not read the bible? This is an ex-Christian website which means MANY of us have not only read the bible, but studied it with such intensity that it no longer held up to careful scrutiny. None of us hate God any more than we hate Santa Claus. And most of us felt we "knew God" or made a long and earnest attempt to do so. But tell me, how does anyone "know God?" What does that entail compared to "knowing" a fellow human? What evidence do you have to support your assumption that most of us "just believe what we've been told by other non believers?" Do you have any idea how arrogant it is to make these kind of assumptions? There are former pastors, missionaries, theological scholars, and ex-Christians of EVERY denomination and non-denomination here. If an atheist, Jew, or Muslim becomes a Christian, I doubt you find yourself questioning whether they were ever a "true atheist, true Jew, or true Muslim." Perhaps it is frightening to think that it is possible for people (who were just like you) to reject a belief that they once held as the solemn truth. This may not apply to you, but for some Christians it is too painful and too scary to admit the possibility that many folks have come to reject Christianity as a result of studying the bible -not ignoring it. These Christians try to insert their own narrative into our stories in order to make sense of something that seems unfathomable. Please don't make that mistake.
  2. Well in the above-posted video, only those who rebel against God will go to hell. How does one rebel against something that doesn't exist? I don't rebel against god, or rebel against unicorns, mermaids, big foot, Zeus - or any other product of human imagination. I guess I'm safe! What I really want Pastor John to answer is how my mother - an ardent Calvinist - will enjoy heaven for all eternity knowing that her daughter is roasting in hell.
  3. One way I like to remain open-minded is to consider that our ways of knowing may be very limited at this point in our evolutionary stage. The scientific method as we know it may be very primitive compared to other ways we may develop for discerning truth, as we evolve. Even the idea that we have to string along alphabetical characters in long redundant patterns, in order to convey our thoughts in speech and writing, seems a primitave and cumbersome task. At the same time, we have instinctively "known" as a human species, how to regulate our own body temperature and acid-base balance, how to regenerate our own blood cells, digest our food, grow our hair, procreate, etc. If you think about it, these are different ways of "knowing." In most instances where humanity took huge leaps in understanding better how the world works, there was a willingness to think outside of the proverbial box. Its interesting to me that there is no real authority on how to draw the line between thinking "outside the box" versus "outside the realms of reality."
  4. I empathize with you in many ways. I understand what it is to be secretly terrified that if you don't behave in a certain way among those you love, you might not be loved in return. And I can tell from your post that you tend to think deeply about things, perhaps over-think. (I recognize this in myself as well). You more-or-less conclude that you like the idea of "finding solace not in knowing, but in not knowing" and you are trying to "give and let go of experience" and to see "emotion, thoughts, ideas, opinions as just that" without getting caught up in what it all means. It sounds to me as though you might benefit from delving into serious meditation practice. Perhaps you are already trying this? I have found that the Headspace app, although a little pricey, has been a very practical way to approach things like anxiety, stress, over-thinking, insomnia, etc. It draws upon eastern philosophical principles without incorporating any theology. Perhaps trying something along these lines this might help to declutter your thoughts?
  5. I have no idea where any of my bibles went. I prefer the online versions which I can search and refer to when needed (which isn't often). I am tempted to get an old one and make a collage of all the contradictory verses.
  6. ^^^ This, this, this! Problem is, your parents don't realize thats what they are doing. But you do. I have found the fastest way to silence my mom is to tell her to just trust that God will show me whatever he wishes to show me, according to his divine purposes, so she just needs to rely on her own faith and trust that God has the perfect plan. God knew this would happen to me. If he chooses to intervene causing me to believe differently, so be it. If he doesn't, well, either way, god is allowing things according to his perfect will. . . . .Pretty much shuts her down every time.
  7. Hmmm, let's add up the snarky insults hurled by the self-professed Christian towards someone he does not know: My open mindedness caused my brains to fall out? I might benefit if I felt enough conviction to kick some dogs? I reek with cowardliness? Gird my loins and speak up like a man? So much for freshstart? I praise and side with people who caused me damages? Wow, @Christforums when I thanked you for coming here to defend your beliefs (thus reinforcing my own beliefs), a simple "you're welcome" would have sufficed. Just for the record, it is people like YOU who "cause damages." And I hold people like YOU wholly responsible for helping me - and hundreds of thousands of others - to see how destructive and hypocritical Christianity is. Your continued ranting and attempts to insult and hurt others is music to my ears, proof that the healthiest and sanest thing I've ever done is to leave the Christian myth in the dust. Please keep it up! And again, THANK YOU for reinforcing my atheism!
  8. @Christforums As twisted as this may sound, I want to thank you for coming here and doing your (presumably) best to defend your beliefs. You have helped me to put yet another nail in the coffin of Christian mythology. If your beliefs are worthy, they should withstand any test. I am hopeful that one day you will allow yourself to put your beliefs to the ultimate test: open-mindedness.
  9. "You devious, slithering snake." - LuthAMF That . . .is fucking hilarious. . . .You GO Harry Potter! Sorry . . . I'm a li'l bit drunk.
  10. I was very moved by this. Thank you for sharing.
  11. Well its all hypothetical for now anyway. My dad was a tyrant when I was little, but became a teddybear as a grandfather. Sometimes you can let your kids be the judge of what they can tolerate. Perhaps they will see grandpa's views as silly, rather than frightening. Hopefully, you'll never be faced with this dilemma.
  12. I really hope it doesn't come to that. I am worried that my kids may do the same to me if dare to share my atheist beliefs with future grandchildren who will surely be raised as Christians. I think its good to expose kids to all sorts of beliefs and let them critically think it through at home with your guidance. Sheltering them does not give them the chance to do that. I want to respect my kids choices about raising their kids as believers, but I also don't want to be dishonest if and when little ones ask me questions about my beliefs. It is a fine balance. In the end, hopefully love wins.
  13. This is an emotional subject for me. I have never actually said "I am an atheist" to anyone in my family, though I have certainly elaborated on my extreme doubts about most anything the bible has to say. I suppose its akin to saying, "I prefer the company of women," rather than just stating "I'm a lesbian." In any case, my obvious doubts have made it impossible to mend a decades-long rift with my mom, because the conversation always goes back to God. So my relationship with her feels blocked, for lack of a better word. And now my oldest daughter does not confide in me nearly as much as she used to because I no longer support her brain-washed rationale for some of the huge life decisions she is making. Its as if everything I say is taken with a grain of salt or an eye roll. I feel no longer respected so I guess that is what I've lost. It has been implied that I am foolish and/or rebellious for rejecting much of what the bible has to say.
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