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Fuego last won the day on December 14 2017

Fuego had the most liked content!

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About Fuego

  • Rank
  • Birthday 03/18/1964

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Vancouver, WA
  • Interests
    singing, writing, computer geekery, cooking, science experiments, foreign languages, photography, gemstones
  • More About Me
    Was an "on fire" Christian for 30 years, now I lean more towards a pagan-ish bent. I have been in transition since October 2007, so I doubt that I've stopped changing just yet.

Previous Fields

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

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  1. Fuego

    I’m now one of you

    Congrats on finding your way out! You are in a difficult situation, but I've found that most believers (even pastors) have things that bug them about god, church, the bible, failed promises, ineffectual prayers, etc, so there is always hope.
  2. Fuego


    I think you have analyzed your fear and understand where it comes from. The next step is learning re-train your emotions based on reality. I grew up with a lot of irrational fears, and find that I still have roots of them (which surprised me). My parents were loaded with fears about people and finances and politics and more. I'm realizing how much their unspoken fears shaped my own mind. But I'm also facing each fear as I encounter it and talk to myself about what I'm feeling and why. This is a practice called mindfulness. It is paying attention to what I feel, and asking myself what is the cause of the fear (or anger or excitement, etc). I can talk myself through things and try to balance what I consciously have decided to do with what I'm feeling. Often with anger, it is a trivial matter that merely annoys me and I can choose to let it go and not let others actions define who I am. With fears, the more I experience reality and take steps forward into the plans that I make, the less I am living in imagination. Fears are trying to help me survive by giving me warnings about what may happen, but if they are misprogrammed, they warn about things that are not possible or real. When I was a child, I was terrified of monsters. There are no monsters, but movies made them seem real. I was afraid of the dark because it seemed like ANYTHING could be there once the lights were out. But that isn't true. The same room contents are there if I close my eyes, and if the lights are out. Over the years I learned that this was true and the fear passed. If your fears are keeping you from progressing in your life, you may want to talk with a secular counselor. That person may help give you techniques to reprogram your mind so it isn't hindering you. I hope you find the freedom and enjoyment of life that you desire.
  3. They're more zealous than Jesus...showing him how to do it right.
  4. Fuego

    Why be good if there is no God

    Attached a picture of Penn Jillette answering "Why don't I rape as much as I want?"
  5. An appropriate last name for such a story... (Malarkey)
  6. Fuego

    How can I answer this Christian?

    All of this reminds me strongly of the 1980s infatuation with Josh McDowell and his "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". None of the documents he references are from the lifetime of Jesus, only long after talking about the cult of Christianity that was spreading. Nobody from the lifetime of Jesus wrote about him, and there are a lot of documents from the time he was alleged to have lived. Nothing about his triumphal entry to Jerusalem, nothing about miracles of healing or feeding thousands, nothing about people rising from the dead after his crucifixion, nothing. Just like Mormonism spread throughout America while being an entirely fabricated religion, the same is true of Christianity.
  7. Fuego

    Does Math REALLY Exist?

    Chemistry is a similar thing, in my mind. We use a model to describe how stuff works and why, test it, and further refine the model. Right now it works pretty darn well. I was told my a math grad that 2+2 may equal other things in different models of math where numbers can have small or large values of 2. I have no idea what he meant, but I know that in some areas of physics things don't work by the same Newtonian models we use in daily life. Johannes Kepler once had a model of the solar system which was a complex set of spheres inside other spheres (where we get the term "music of the spheres", when they would rub against each other...). It worked for some predictions, but he was way off from the elliptical orbits that actually happen. There was a tendency from the Greeks (Pythagoras and onward) to see circles as a divine form, so naturally orbits would be circular in that mindset. I've been told that some of the old scientists figured they would see the hand of God at work as they discovered such things, so they inferred a lot from how they thought God would do something. They actually figured out a lot with that mindset, though each discovery confirmed the concept of deities to them. I seem to recall that the telescope of Galileo showing pits on the moon was a shock to church leaders, who assumed it must be perfect and smooth being in the heavens. But sometimes I do wonder if we have assumed things that led us to miss a ton about reality. Surgeons recently figured out a new part of the lymphatic structure in the human body they had missed for decades due to how they took tissue samples. It was simply deflated of liquid after cutting the flesh. Part of my deconversion from Christianity was when I asked myself "What else have I believed that is a lie?" Still a good question.
  8. Fuego

    Don't drink the coffee in Kali!

    One judge has this power? How about overturning his ruling?
  9. Very well stated! I like that you included who you are now, your character and behaviors that are loving and gracious.
  10. My sister-in-law thought this video (on Facebook, have to be logged in to see it probably) was great. It is pablum for making believers feel good about themselves. Link to video Here is my detailed reaction to the video: 1. The video says that numerous scholars accept his historicity as true. That is an appeal to authority rather than a fact. To date there is still not a single non-Christian historical source that verifies any of the stories of the gospels (miraculous birth of Jesus, wise men from the East, Herod's slaughter of the innocents, the many public miracles of Jesus, the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the many people who rose from the dead at the time Jesus died, and the resurrection.) There are many other scholars that don't believe that Jesus was historical but was a mixture of other pre-existing gods with a semi-Jewish coating. 2. The only basis for any understanding of what his disciples believed is in the 4 gospels. Historically, the gospels were anonymous books to which names were later applied (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Most critics I've read seem to think "Mark" came first and did not include a resurrection until years later after the other books were circulated. The stories are said to be eyewitness accounts, but include conversations between people they did not witness (angels talking to shepherds, Jewish leaders and Pilate, Herod and the wise men) or the prayer of Jesus in the garden (when they were all asleep) indicating clearly that these are not eyewitness accounts but simply stories written to convert. Typically, we question strongly the writings of any cult because they tend to embellish their leaders. For example, most Christians reject the stories of Joseph Smith and the golden plates as non-historical evangelizing even though millions of Mormons believe it and publish supporting writings. Most cult writings are intended to create converts. Recall the verse "These things were written so that you might believe..." (John 20:31)? 3. There is no evidence from secular sources that Paul existed either. Recent critics seem to think that his epistles were created long after the cult had become established. The primary purpose was to solidify teachings that countered the Aryan teaching of a non-physical resurrection. 4. James the brother of Jesus is just another character in the stories. 5. The tomb story is a story from the same cult, completely not substantiated or even mentioned by any non-Christians of the time. None of the "facts" from this video are facts. No Roman, Jewish, or other non-Christian writings back up the existence of any of the gospel characters (including Jesus) or any of their actions. Nor do any of the writings back up the claimed actions of known historical figures (Pilate, Herod, etc). The "conspiracy theory" of the resurrection also relies on the anonymous writings of the cult to establish the veracity of the other writings. "But the disciples went to their deaths defending their claims" We really don't know how they died other than legends. But regardless, cults lie about their leaders all the time. I closely followed the preaching of a missionary and promoted him for 9 years on the Internet. He seemed legit, as did the many outstanding miracles he claimed. His closest men backed up his claims of miracles. Eventually, I caught the guy making up long detailed stories about events that never happened. I had videotapes of the churches where he claimed these events happened, and they clearly didn't. It was quite a slap in the face to me emotionally, but stuck with me. But the guys that work for him became even more insistent that all the miracles are real and started insulting me for asking questions. They are "in" with the guy they adore, that's all that matters to them emotionally because they are convinced he's the "man of God" even though they know at some level that it isn't real. These guys would willingly die for him. "Science hasn't disproven miracles". This was a particular poorly done part of the video. Various brances of science help us describe reality through demonstrable and repeatable evidence. Claims of miracles (the overriding of natural laws) are simply claims without evidence. Most religions claim miracles of some kind, but none demonstrate them. Science requires evidence to prove something is real, so claims that something that conflicts with those observations will need quite a lot of proof, not just a claim. This is how science stands against the likelyhood of miracles, and awaits repeatable proof. Additionally, a single occurance of something unusual should be considered unexplained rather than assuming it verifies all the non-historical stories and beliefs in a religion. "Why have I never heard this stuff before?" Seriously? This was written by believers pretending to give arguments from non-believers. The real arguments are those that I gave above. Here are the short versions: 1. No historical corroboration whatsoever of the characters (other than secular leaders like Pilate and Herod) in the gospels, nor of the many allegedly public miracles. 2,3,4,5. Cults (like the one I promoted) always embellish stories about their leaders, and so their writings are not considered trustworthy. Could there have been a rabbi who challenged entrenched leaders about hypocrisy and called them back to spirituality? Sure. But in the case of Jesus, nobody mentions him outside of his anonymous cult authors. All of the "Evidence that demands a verdict" points to later writings of people dealing with Christians, not about Jesus or the disciples, so none of those writings offer any verification of the claimed existence or actions described in the gospels. There are rather a lot of ex-Christians like myself who have lived through conversion, and faithful dedication to Jesus for decades. Some were pastors or missionaries, or lay-people that had questions that needed real answers and got nothing but silence from God and exhortations from believers. Others came out by comparing the Bible with actual history, or reading the whole Bible and finding that the God of the Bible wasn't at all love, but a narcissistic psychotic with a taste for bloodshed. He's more like an abusive husband beating his wife and blaming her for it, and expecting her to agree and submit until she finally "dies to self". This time of year, believers are out in force trying to convert others, and typically don't want to hear any of the above. "Why don't you just shut up and keep your beliefs to yourself?" That statement cuts both ways. I haven't responded on FB. Technically, I'm still cloaked. This would de-cloak me rather substantially, and still not have any effect on her family (the kids would never be allowed to see it). But that day is coming sooner or later.
  11. Got too greedy. Could have retired on a beach somewhere for life. Not that I condone any of the theft.
  12. It is interesting to read the reviews on Amazon for all such books. People are clearly entrenched, even those who are archaeologists. Believers are convinced it is all true and look for things that verify it. Atheists are convinced it isn't real, and present their findings only to have believer archaeologists dismiss their findings and quotations of other unbelievers as "an agenda", and state categorically that their own findings are fact.
  13. Fuego

    This Site Exhausts Me

    I see the bickering and change the channel. I see the same trolling going on in news articles where people are allowed to comment. Any well-thought out comment is immediately pounced upon by snarky abuse. Any good thought is immediately countered by abuse and rudeness. Like you, I used to try to counter the trolls, but quit because - what's the point? I read an article and skip the comments. Even if I want to comment I ask myself why, what point would my comment make that wouldn't be vomited on by idiots that relish sticking people with pins to watch them flinch? Not sure if it is just me, but it seems like the whole snarky troll thing has advanced about 1000% in the last year. I block some things, and hide FB stories where people are just sniping at each other. Political arguments are all heat and no light, so I choose instead to be introspective and provide a comment here or there (usually on FB) if I have a personal experience, otherwise I ignore most politics. I wish this site were more about just ex-C stuff and less about all the peripheral stuff. Plenty of other sites for people to bicker about politics and "how things ought to be".
  14. Fuego

    Non-Christian Spirituality Podcast

    Very cool GG! I enjoyed that, and like your analysis.
  15. Fuego

    Former Fundamentalist, Present Progressive

    Welcome MHLillie! Like you, I've found value in some concepts from the faith, though honestly I think those concepts (for me) transcend faiths and are mostly a matter of kindness and generosity. I found so much poison mixed in with the religion that I couldn't stay with any labels tying my to a particular faith (such as "he who looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery" - not.) But I find great value in pondering what makes life better for us, what makes me a better being, what kind of character traits that I want to embody (and not embody). Looking forward to meeting you more around the forums.