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ContraBardus last won the day on December 7

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2,300 Holy Cow!

About ContraBardus

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    Gainesville, Fla.
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    At the moment, not dying, video games, books, movies, and getting well enough to get another job so I'm not stuck at home all day.
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    I don't like stuff that sucks.

    My dog is awesome.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Shilling, someone I know can lift a curse
  1. It might be worth pointing out that one does not have to become an Atheist to leave Christianity, or any organized religion really. You don't have to bounce from one religion to another to keep spirituality. Spiritualism doesn't really need an organization. Deism is a thing, as is Agnosticism, Ignosticism, informal paganism, humanism, or whatever. There are even forms of Buddhism that don't believe in Gods but still have spiritual elements. I'm not claiming I personally believe in any of that. I think all of it is crap, I'm just pointing out that Atheism is just one possible outcome and pretty much the most extreme possibility. This is not an everything or nothing situation.
  2. "All Right Geezer" gets British Man Arrested

    On the upside he was acquitted on appeal. Claims he didn't know the whatever was trans and that it was an isolated incident and not repeated harassment as the "victim" claims. Never should have gotten anywhere near that point to begin with. Since when is being called something you don't like a criminal offense? I really can't see how this would warrant anything but a "fuck off" from the offended party to begin with. If I was a cop and someone came to me with a complaint like this, my immediate response would be "piss off".
  3. Did you actually read this? It's basically one big special pleading fallacy. It pretty much says "religion has all the elements of delusion, but it's not because I want to differentiate it." Religion does contradict irrefutable evidence on a regular basis. We've just been conditioned to accept it as a society. Hell, it regularly contradicts itself. There are numerous contradictory passages in the Bible, known scientific errors [4 legged bugs, stars will 'fall from sky'], and straight up myth [talking snakes, giants, dragons, etc...] There isn't blood in that cup at a Christian service, it's grape juice or wine. Aunt Marge did not need divine intervention to find her keys. Jesus did not whisper the lottery numbers in Jimmy's ear while he was sleeping when he got five numbers right in Powerball that one time. Everything about this article is wrong. It's just trying to use snark to put religion on a pedestal to justify special treatment so that it doesn't get lumped in with other mental disorders where it belongs. This is a fluff article and its only purpose is to pat people on the head and say "It's okay, your delusion is special and doesn't count. So don't feel bad about it."
  4. Yeah. No. The all knowing, all powerful, lord of the Universe did not get their message wrong. An omnipotent and omnipresent being would have no trouble communicating with any individual in the absolutely perfect manner. It would know just what to say, how to say it, and how to communicate in a manner that we could not mistake for anything but divine contact. If any of this was remotely true, we would not be unable to not hear it or ignore it. This is wrong for the same reason that multiple different translations of the Bible and hundreds of different denominations of Christianity wouldn't exist in a world where such a God existed. To say nothing of entirely different religions altogether. If Christianity was truly divinely inspired, it would be one unified religion, the Bible would have one clear translation that everyone would understand the same way, and the message would be universally the same. That isn't the case. The fact that it has fractured the way that it has and that there are so many differing interpretations and translations is extremely strong evidence that humans made the whole thing up.
  5. We don't have to prove there is no God, no one does. You can't prove negatives. It's an unreasonable standard to suggest that anyone needs to prove that anything doesn't exist. I can't prove that there aren't magic pink unicorns that make marshmallow fluff on the dark side of the moon. Not even if I photograph every inch of the surface of the moon and find no evidence of their existence. That doesn't prove that they don't exist. Maybe they're just really good at hiding and very clean? My inability to prove a negative is not evidence that they exist. "God exists" is a positive claim and needs to be proven true, not the other way around. Being happy in delusion is still being delusional. Delusion is harmful to a person, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, but it always has a negative effect. Also, your claim that "it could be worse, I could be an addict or sexual deviant" doesn't hold water. That could have happened anyway. I see no reason to think that you being Christian had anything to do with why you didn't do things that make you uncomfortable and aren't good for you. I'm not even really sure why you seem to think so. From what I know of other Christians, it doesn't really do anything to stop them from doing stuff like that anyway. If anything the lack of the concept of "divine forgiveness" makes people less likely to do stupid selfish things. It does away with the mentality that one can just ask God for forgiveness after the fact. To someone without faith, there are no do overs, you have to get it right the first time and are held responsible for your own actions with no way to take them back. In my experience, the more "faith" someone has, the less trustworthy and more selfish they actually are.
  6. If she says it's the latter she's full of it because she's repeatedly said that she can't justify, defend, explain, or rationalize her beliefs. That ship sailed several pages ago.
  7. I know you can't, that's kind of the point. You literally have no defense or explanation. That is strong evidence that you are wrong. You can ignore it all you'd like, but at the end of the day you have no explanation or defense for your beliefs. That, coupled with the fact that your claims about your beliefs are literally and repeatedly contradicted by the source you claim to derive them from, which suggests that there is a serious problem with your beliefs and the only real conclusion you can draw from that is that you are wrong. I would also point out that according to you, the penalty for screwing this up is Hell. Which may or may not be temporary according to you, but again, you can't defend or confirm the claim that it might be, so it seems like a stupid risk to be taking. As for a lot of people "believing the same thing you do", that doesn't matter. The number of people who believe something wrong does not make it less wrong. It is completely irrelevant if its three people or five billion people. It's just a lot of people being wrong. The world did not magically become a globe because more people were convinced it was round, and it wasn't flat before then just because more people thought that it was. That's not how it works, and this is literally what you are arguing by bringing up how many other people believe this provably incorrect and 100% contradicted by the Bible philosophy regarding Christianity. You also don't "know" that you're not wrong at all. Refusing to accept literal proof that has been pretty much been beaten over your head repeatedly is not knowledge, it's just willful ignorance fueled by obstinate stubbornness, and that's not a good thing. That kind of thinking is harmful. You're basically smoking cigarettes to keep yourself from sucking your thumb. It might work, but that doesn't mean it isn't doing greater harm in the long run. Delusional thinking is harmful and causes bad judgement, which leads to poor decisions and life choices. You keep acting as if acknowledging this is an explanation or excuse for some reason and that it somehow nullifies it all and makes it okay. It's basically admitting that you know you're wrong, that what you're doing is harmful, and you are acting as if shrugging your shoulders and going "oh well, it could be worse" somehow excuses it. Like I said, it follows the same logic as a serial killer saying "Well, I know I raped and murdered a bunch of people, but at least I didn't eat them, so it's okay because I could be much worse".
  8. You know, I actually do like Jesus as a character, but I don't know that I'd want to hang around him or anything. I don't believe for a moment that he was the son of God, and in fact the one in the Bible is likely nothing like the real man [if there was such a man at all, but that's another topic], but as a character in the Bible he was less dickish than most, but also a cheeky and sarcastic bastard with his apostles, who were comically inept and stupid at times. Pontius Pilate is another such character. There are actual contemporary writings about him from people who actually knew him and surviving Roman records regarding him, and how he acts in the Bible is definitely not how he would have really behaved. Jesus was not without his flaws and was a very human character. Like the time he called the Cannanite woman a Dog. Which is not only a rather nasty insult culturally speaking, but was also something of a nasty racial slur regarding Gentiles at the time. A lot of apologists try to talk their way around this, jumping through all sorts of hoops, but Jesus was being a bit of a dick to someone he didn't view as an equal. He helped her, but not before he rubbed her face in the dirt and made her beg for it. That's not the only incident where he was less than divine, but it's a major one. Anyway, the segment you've posted goes to show the contradictions in the Bible that have been previously mentioned, because most of the Bible says the opposite. That words and belief alone are not enough. If you actually read this and understand the context of it, Jesus is basically teasing them for asking for specific things to do that would provide them favor with God. They were essentially asking for a shortcut or something easy they could do over and over that would make God like them. Here, Jesus is telling them that's not how it works. Mostly the Bible rectifies this by way of directly tying faith to works. A true believer will act, where as a false one will only speak or even stand aside and do nothing. A false believer will misunderstand teachings like "turn the other cheek" and take that as permission to do nothing at all, when it doesn't really mean anything of the sort. You seem to be trying your best to separate faith from acts to justify your beliefs about being passive and doing little or nothing. What you posted here is a perfect example of cherry picking to justify yourself rather than actually adhering to what the book actually says. You should really look into Eastern Religions, it seems like a much better fit for your philosophy. When I said that you've basically taken Taoism and Buddhism and have just slapped a Jesus sticker over the face of Buddha, I wasn't kidding. Also, I do question whether or not such beliefs are really "harmless". Faith is often used to make major life decisions, and faith based on falsehoods creates a faulty world view that can lead to many poor decisions in life and bad reasoning that can have a negative impact on someone's life overall. Also, a passive mindset where someone doesn't question anything has a severely negative impact on critical thinking skills. Making people vulnerable to manipulation and getting scammed. This is how televangelist make their living. Just because it's not as severe as getting addicted to drugs, doesn't mean it's good for you. Cigarettes don't have the immediate negative impact on someone's health that heroine does, it can take decades before any negative health issues arise due to smoking, but that doesn't make them good for you either. I also find it very telling that you'd use extreme examples such as substance abuse in regard to not having faith. I've met quite a few junkies, worked with a few, and have done some volunteer work that put me in contact with them, and all of them talked about God and Jesus constantly. Never have I met any other group who would ask me if I've been "saved" more often. I also fail to see what exactly is wrong with being "promiscuous" on it's own, or what it has to do with being religious or not. It can be done responsibly and safely, doesn't necessarily mean not ever having a long term relationship in which one is faithful, and doesn't even really mean sleeping with anyone who is willing. It just means having sexual relations with more than one person over a period of time. Most people who are not in a relationship and actively trying to find one are somewhat promiscuous. In fact, studies have shown that being highly religious causes a lack of proper sex education and contraception use, and the general stigma of anything sexual actually leads to more teen pregnancies, increases the spread of STDs, and puts more young people at risk. All of these things have much lower rates among the non-religious because they aren't so ignorant about or ashamed of their sexuality. There's plenty of harm that can be caused by religion. Just because you aren't living at the bottom of societies barrel, doesn't mean it hasn't had a negative impact on you. The way you tried to tie a lack of faith to drug use and basically prostitution makes it pretty clear that it's feeding your ignorance at the least, and that's not a good thing. An "at least I'm not..." attitude doesn't really justify or excuse other bad things. If a rapist and murderer says "at least I don't eat my victims" it doesn't negate the negative impact of raping and murdering people. The fact that something is not worse than it is doesn't make it any better than it is either.
  9. You seem to think a lot more of Saul than I do. He contradicted Jesus a lot, and adapted Christianity to the Romans rather than the other way around. Anyway, even Galatians doesn't agree with you: Galatians 6:1: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. You're confusing pacifism and being passive in regard to confrontation with laziness. It also sounds more like Zen Buddhism or Taoism than Christianity. Especially in regard to how it focuses inward towards self reflection. Maybe you should check out Buddhism or Taoism? It is a lot more in line with your worldview and spiritual philosophy than Christianity is. Whatever it is you're practicing, it's not really Christianity and certainly isn't based on the philosophies of the Bible. Just seems to be a sort of Buddhism or Taoism philosophy with Jesus's name slapped on it in order to make it more appealing to westerners. Anyway, back to the subject at hand, Grace requires acts, it is not made up of happy thoughts. Jesus himself directly states this, and there's a reason the books after his death are called "Acts". The sort of self centered laziness you're claiming is a part of your faith is not promoted by the Bible. In fact, the book directly admonishes such behavior. A bunch of times the Bible directly disagrees with what you are saying: Matthew 7:21: Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. James 2:14: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 1:23: For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 2:18: But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 1 John 3:18: Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. Colossians 3: 23: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 2 Peter 1:5: For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. James 4:17: So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. 1 Peter 1:13: Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. James 1: 22: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Ephesians 6:10: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, ... 1 Timothy 6:18: They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. Daniel 11:32: He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. Titus 1:16: They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. Ecclesiates 9:10: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. Matthew 7:20: Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Proverbs 6:6: Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. Proverbs 3:28: Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. 2 Chronicles 31:31: And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered. Luke 10:33: But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Hebrews 6:11: And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Romans 12:6: Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Matthew 20:28: What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Proverbs 27:23: Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, Matthew 25:31: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, ... Psalm 146:6: Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. John 21:15: When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” Ezra 10:4: Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it. Matthew 7:24: Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 2 Corinthians 9:8: And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. Isaiah 3:10: Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. 2 Peter 1:10: Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 2 Thessalonians 3: 6: Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. Finally, the "Golden Rule", Jesus's only true commandment, directly contradicts your rather eastern sounding spiritual philosophy. Its entire basis is actions, not words. Matthew 7:12: So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. You've got no leg to stand on in regard to what you're promoting as "Christian". It's actually at odds with pretty much everything about the religion's teachings. Seriously, you're basically a Zen Buddhist who has swapped out Jesus's name for Buddha's. Even then, your philosophy would be considered somewhat lazy.
  10. Once again you're saying stuff that is directly contradicted by the Bible multiple times. Every time you talk about your religion, you show that you know less about it, and more importantly, the basis for it. You seem to be under the impression that you don't have to do anything and that Jesus will do it all for you. Nothing in the Bible supports that, no denomination teaches it, and there's no justification or support for that supposition at all. In fact, it's actively taught to be untrue and false by every type of Christianity. The Bible very clearly states that you can't be lazy and expect God and Jesus to do all the work for you, that there is no easy path and it takes a great deal of effort and work to get into heaven, and that what you're suggesting would simply not cut it no matter how you look at it. You sound like you think you're Jesus's trophy wife or something and that you're set for life and won't ever have to do anything but think nice thoughts about Jesus and be passive. Even among Christians that's delusional. If Christianity is even remotely true then I'm afraid the final destination of your path is pretty clear...
  11. You don't know, you believe. They are not the same thing. If you can't prove it or apply it, you don't know it. Actually, you can prove that your stomach hurts. It's usually more trouble than it's worth, but it's a physical thing that can be proven. It's just not an uncommon claim and most people are willing to take you at your word for it. Euphoria is also not uncommon. Some sects of Christianity teach that it's some special thing that is proof of God's presence, but the reality is that they just use well documented psychological tricks to get people excited and then claim God did it. I got euphoric when I went to see the Force Awakens. Does that mean that Luke Skywalker is God or that the Force is real? I can only base this on what you've posted, but it's enough that I can come to some reasonable conclusions: You're wishy-washy and non-committal. I have a hard time believing you actually really believe what you're posting. At least not seriously. You'd like to think that you do, but can't commit to it. It seems more like you're trying and failing to talk and rationalize yourself into believing more and don't want to let go because it's scary, but instead are talking yourself out of it more and more. You're floundering and refuse to take a firm stance, keep falling back to dog whistle phrases that are meant to reinforce but are actually just nonsensical Pavlovian triggers, and are trying to flow around obstructions and are instead just getting dammed up by them. Based on your posts, you want to have it both ways and are desperately avoiding commitment. Unfortunately that's not sustainable and you'll have to go one way or the other sooner or later, and you might not have a choice about which way you end up going. I do think you really still do believe at least some of what you're saying, but your faith, if you even really have it anymore, is weak. Weak faith can't sustain belief for long. Eventually they'll collapse in on each other and that can be a bit messy emotionally speaking.
  12. That's not knowledge. Again, knowledge is something you can apply, prove, or provide a sound basis for. You cannot do any of that for anything you've posted. Subjective and personal means it's an opinion at best, and opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one.
  13. That only sounds good because you don't really understand the concept of "immortality". Not so much the literal definition of the idea, but rather the scope of what it actually means. Eternity, even in paradise, sounds horrific to me. Humans aren't wired to live forever, we'd eventually go insane regardless of how nice our surroundings were. You can make up platitudes about how we'll be "different" as souls, but that's baseless conjecture. You don't know anything, and no one in this world knows enough to teach you any differently. I also couldn't find any comfort in the idea of spending an eternity hanging around the thing called a God in the Old Testament. Also, again, no being deserves eternity of punishment for any crime. Not even Lucifer himself would deserve that. No matter how long he's been wrong or evil, it's a finite amount of time and eternal infinite suffering does not fit the crime as a just or fair punishment. I much prefer the idea that we're finite beings. What I've seen personally supports that. I know more about being dead than most because I've been dead, twice actually. Once in a hospital bed and once during surgery. Nothing about your "comforting" afterlife is really all that comforting. It's wishful thinking that only seems like a good idea as long as you don't think about it too long. I much prefer the idea that we just end to the idea that some will suffer forever while a handful of others get to selfishly live in paradise forever, which would eventually become a kind of hell of its own. Just being a good person is not enough for God by the way, and the bible directly says, so a great many good people will be cast into hell and suffering. John 10:1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that enter not by the door into the flock, but climb up some other way, is like a thief." Translation: You can't just be a good person and get into heaven. This isn't an interpretation, it's made clear that is exactly what it means by this passage: John 10:9 "I am the door, by me if any man enter, he shall be saved and go in and find pasture." In fact, most people won't get into heaven no matter how "good" they are, so it's actually less likely that your relatives are there than it is that they are. One or two might have made it, but the odds are against them according to the Bible. Also, if you've spent your entire life raping, pillaging, and murdering, you can get into heaven if you just accept God at the last second, while people who have lived entirely virtuous lives are cast into hell. Again, this is directly stated as absolutely true by the Bible. How is that in any way just, merciful, or good? Luke 13:23-24 and 28, “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able ... There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” I find it weird that anyone would find comfort in a system where most people are left to suffer for eternity, while only a few are "saved" from this fate. That's pretty selfish really, and really begs the question of why exactly you think that you'll personally be worthy when most of the rest of humanity isn't. Then there's this: Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” I'm not really seeing an upside here or any reason to think of the Christian concept of the afterlife as comforting to be honest. The odds are drastically stacked against you no matter how you look at it. I also fail to see what is so merciful or good about a God who set up a system where the majority of humanity is doomed to fail and end up eternally damned. I much prefer the neutral idea of simply not existing, which my own personal experience backs up as the reality of death. Whether you get a good end or a bad end for the rest of eternity is entirely based on a crap shoot in your case. Not just that you've chosen the right religion, but also betting on whether you've even gotten the right denomination within that religion. Your beliefs just don't line up with what is actually written in the Bible. I doubt you've ever really read it because what you believe is not really supported by what is written in it. I'm sure you're familiar with commonly used passages and assigned reading for reflection and study, but I doubt you've ever really sat down and actually read the entire thing as one normally reads a book. If you had, you wouldn't be making many of the claims and statements about your beliefs that you've made in this thread. You're pretty clueless about your own religion to be honest. It's a stretch to say that you believe in something you don't really know much about. Based on your posts in this thread, you don't really have any strong beliefs regarding faith, you just don't question what you're told much and simply parrot it when pressured. It's also dangerous assuming your beliefs about your religion and the afterlife are true. How do you know you're following the rules and guidelines if you don't know what they actually are? Aren't you risking eternal damnation by simply going along with things without question? Isn't it clear that your chances of getting into eternal paradise are already low enough as it is? Isn't it in your best interests to study and find out exactly what you're supposed to be doing and be aware of every little nuance? Should you really be putting that much trust in clergy to do your thinking for you when you have your eternal soul riding on it all? I don't even mean they would deliberately lead you astray, but should you really rely so completely on them to save your own soul if you really believe what you've posted about what is actually at stake? If what you're saying about the afterlife is true, you ought to be able to recite the entirety of the Bible from memory and be terrified of knowing so little yourself and being reliant on others to get you into the very exclusive and prohibitive membership that the Bible itself says the Christian afterlife is. Another important question is which particular translation of the Bible do you use? It's not a matter of which one you simply like best. Which translation is your favorite shouldn't matter much when your eternal soul is on the line. They all word things differently and can lead to completely different interpretations of "God's Laws". Which is very strange if you consider that the Bible is supposed to be God's Word and inspired by a divine being. Still, you need to make sure you've got the right version of the book that has all the instructions worded properly so you don't screw up. Not sure exactly how you figure that out, but it's your soul, so I'd think it's important enough that it's worth figuring out somehow or another. If you really and truly believe what you've been posting regarding your own beliefs and faith, you've really got a lot of work ahead of you. The Bible makes it pretty clear that there is very little room for error, so "good enough" isn't going to cut it.