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Shyone

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Shyone last won the day on August 28 2010

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About Shyone

  • Rank
    Materialist

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Midwest
  • Interests
    Archeology, Ancient history, Medicine and Music
  • More About Me
    Physician, 56 years old, atheist for 20 years+

Previous Fields

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

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  1. !!!! Welcome back. It's great to hear that you are both alive and well. You were missed, and fretted over, a bit. :)

  2. I'm alive and well, living the quiet life and enjoying a little free time.

  3. Shyone, where art thou shyone? We haven't seen you on this site for so long. Are you ok? We miss you. I hope you are ok. :)

  4. Thanks very much -- I will definitely do that. I always found it odd how people have used drugs or other special stimuli to deepen their spiritual contact or experiences. Drugs, sweat lodges, etc... I can understand primitives believing in them, but today? I've even met Christians who said they'd always pray while taking a bubble bath with some aromatherapy candles lit. I guess incense kinda falls into that category of sensory stimulation, too. On a personal note, I remember trying Adderall a few years back and I was excited because I actually wanted to go to church, sit there, and soak it all up again. I really felt a renewed excited about God, and it kinda gave me a spiritual kick start. It didn't take me long to face that what I was feeling wasn't real -- it was just my system interacting with the med (in a good way, but not in a supernatural God way). Interesting! I forgot to mention that fasting also can cause brain malfunction. And it's good for ejecting certain types of demons. (Matt. 17:21 - Interesting that this isn't found in the NIV, but it's in the King James)
  5. I've seen some studies on the "God part of the brain" or various stimuli that duplicated the experience of experiencing God for the religious. Drugs, magnets, and other physical stimuli have been used. Look up "Neuroscience and God" for more information.
  6. My god, this hits so close to home for me. Thanks very much. In the end, similar situations were exactly what did me in. It's not just that loved ones die, or even die horribly sometimes. It's the whole emotional yo-yo of thinking your prayers are being answered (along with the prayers of thousands of others for the same situation), just to see the situation suddenly plummet. People rejoice that healing has taken place, and it turns out to be anything but. It made absolutely no sense to me at all that God would allow those things to play out that way. Either say "yes" or "no", but don't toy with us in such a cruel way, ya know? At first I was extremely angry at God, but then had to realize that I might as well be angry with Santa Claus. Thanks again for sharing your story. As I've gotten older, I have questioned the meaning of prayers for healing. Life doesn't seem to be the goal of Christianity in the first place, so why would Christians expect someone to live longer if they ask for it? Why even bother to ask? The OT and NT are all full of healings, promises for wishes prayers to be granted (if you do it just the right way), and even blessings of a more pecuniary nature, but why? I'm sure some Christians have come against this wall as well. If you're a Christian, the only thing that would make sense is if death were not such a big deal. So God slaughtered a bunch of people? People dying of malnutrition? Diseases? Earthquakes? No biggy if life is unimportant. But that's the problem with Christianity like that - it degrades the value of life and sees death as the start of an eternal trip. Why go to doctors or take care of yourself, and, more to the point, why help anyone else if death is a blessing?
  7. Check the dates of the posts. This is a "resurrected" post (pardon the pun). It was after this that she started berating people and saying they're all going to hell, sitting in darkness, worshipping Satan etc.
  8. You write well, and I'm looking forward to "the rest of the story." The first part is a real cliff-hanger. My parents too separated and divorced. There were some very trying times, but in the end it was for the better. It's hard to see that growing up though.
  9. It's probably a good thing you didn't meet any Muslims while you were sorting things out. Their single unitary Abrahamic God meets the criteria you describe above pretty much (if I understand the Koran - which I believe contains the first five books of the bible in it). In any case, I have a question: Did you consider yourself a Jew at this time, or more of a deist? P.S. Thanks for sharing this. I know this was difficult to write, and I imagine difficult to decide to share.
  10. Through science, we can learn more and more, but there are an infinite number of truths with only a finite number of finite minds to try to comprehend those truths. We'll never know an ultimate truth. Personally, I'd rather admit and accept that I cannot know the truth than to accept a fairy tale as its substitute. While there may be some real psychological benefit for some to think their life has some special meaning granted by a creator, such assurance is ultimately no good if it is false. A cold truth is no less true for being cold. I remember feeling horrible when I came to the conclusion that the fairy tale I had accepted my whole life was just a fairy tale. Since then, I've learned that life has whatever purpose and meaning we decide to give it. Since then, I've become as happy as I ever was as a christian. But even if life could have no meaning - even if truth ultimately sucks, it is still the truth. The rational part of your mind seems to have grasped the truth about christianity, while the emotional side of your mind cannot let go. When the rational and emotional parts of your mind are in conflict, let the rational part win every time. Beside, you can now only really pretend to believe in christianity. You know you can't wish god into existence any more than you can wish that 2 + 2 = 5. Can the emotional part of your mind ever really be at peace if you pretend to believe in a christian god when the logical part of your mind knows better? Is trying to fool yourself and others any better for you than accepting reality for what it is? We may not know any "ultimate truths" but we can sometimes spot a lie.
  11. I mean that they identify themselves as atheists because they don't go to church and don't have an active belief in god, regardless of whether or not they were raised in xian homes. To them, lack of belief in god provides more freedom and ease to live the lifestyles they do because they don't have to worry about breaking any rules. I do know what atheism is, and so do they. But they just sort of grew up without believing in god because they didn't feel a need to believe in him, and it was easier that way, and less limiting. "Not feeling a need to believe in him" sounds like such a strange way of saying it. It's true that atheists don't feel that need, but that would either be due to lack of exposure of conscious weighing of the evidence or reasons. The only thing easier about atheism is that an atheist has to take responsibility for his/her own actions and the consequences of those actions rather than putting the blame on a nonexistent being. Actually, that might be harder. Hmmmm. I personally have never met an atheist (or had a discussion with one) that chose atheism as the easy way out. When people say that, they seem confused. It's similar to saying atheism is "being angry with God." It makes no sense. "I'm not going to believe in God because it's easier"? Who thinks like that? Who can believe something based on it's convenience? Like my example above, I couldn't believe it's a sunny day when the weather is storming just because it's easier. My ears hear thunder, my skin feels wind and rain, my eyes see clouds and darkness, but I'll believe it's a sunny day? Perhaps for someone with no exposure to religion, one can be skeptical simply because of lack of exposure. If it doesn't go any deeper than feelings though, it wouldn't take much to make them theists. "The atheists were mean to me, and the Christians were nice, so I'll be a Christian today and believe everything they believe."
  12. I am reminded of a relative that absolutely adores velvet paintings of Elvis and dogs playing poker. I don't like them, but I respect their choices. I am not critical, but I do feel that I have no responsibility to tell them their art work sucks. I don't see that as being selfish however. Wow. I can't even imagine that. And I thought I had it bad. Lamentably, it seems to be a recurring theme on this site...best of luck to you. ;( I'm slowly coming to that realization as each day passes. I find myself particularly encouraged when I find an article debating the validity of some claim in the bible and realize that I can't refute it from a xian perspective, or when I find it's been refuted skillfully by a nonbeliever. I don't know any people in my life outside of ExC that have deconverted, and most of the atheists I know are simply atheist because life is easier (besides, everyone else is doin it 'n u get to haz lawts uv SECKS!!1!!2!1!!!!!111!!ONE!). And the level-headed ones I encounter have a history of being complete and total assholes. I'm hoping that going to college in just two weeks will start to dispel some of the preconceptions I've got, and prove that people aren't only being civil here because that's the whole point of the site. Time will tell, I suppose. ;P I'm getting a certain vibration that you don't know what atheism is. Let me put it this way: If the weather is bad outside, you can't simply believe the sky is blue "because it's easier." Comprende? If your friends claim to be atheists "because it's easier", then they don't know what atheism is either.
  13. There are very few things in life that can be proven with 100% certainty. That's why we don't operate in real life demanding 100% certainty in all we do. For example, you can't be 100% certain that you won't have a car accident while driving to work. But you still drive to work everyday and make sure you have insurance on your car. But of all the things that can never be proven with any real certainty is a negative. Instead, we don't demand that negatives be proven, but rather we demand that the positive assertion be proven to be correct to a reasonable degree of certainty. Therefore, rather than demand that there be 100% certainty that Christianity is a false religion, you should demand that positive evidence be adduced proving to a reasonable degree of certainty that Christianity is true. If the evidence fails to reach this level (which it does) then move on. Look at it this way. If the claims of Christianity were true, then surely god would at least be able to meet his burden to prove to a reasonable degree of certainty that the claims of the bible are true. There are some negatives that can be proven. Claims that violate the laws of logic can be dismissed with certainty. Examples Taking the supposed properties of God by their literal meaning, a being cannot be omnipotent and omniscient at the same time. If the future is known and unchangeable (since change would mean that the future was not known), then the being is not able to change it, and therefore not omnipotent. (law of the excluded middle) Also, given the totality of the bible, there are examples where God is depicted in contradictory ways. Too many to list, but basically saying something like God is cruel and also God is all good violates the law of identity. That only leaves wishy washy gods that aren't all powerful, or aren't that smart, or aren't that good. And that's not the Christian god.
  14. I agree with Citsonga and Overcame Faith. I had read the bible through at least twice, and somehow the evil nature of their acts seemed noble and glorious. I couldn't see the bad side of anything. I've come to realize as I've grown older that there are just some things that have a good side and a bad side, and it is important to recognize this to avoid hurting yourself or others. It wasn't until I decided to consider whether what I was reading was good or bad that I realized that by any criteria, slaughter or innocents was bad. There just isn't any escaping that. And, if I could judge the acts of the Hebrews and God by reasoning, then morality was not from God. Then, when I figured out that God was from pagan superstitious roots, the whole scheme fell apart. Now I can even look at a passage like, "Blessed be the poor, for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven" and see that this isn't an encouragement to try and better their lives, or for others to help them, but essentially a really nice way to say, "They should know their place while they're alive." It is the consequences of the beliefs in this life, and not the afterlife, that should guide our actions.
  15. Welcome to Ex-C! I think there is good logic behind naturalistic medicine and good dietary habits. I think this stems from evolution. We (humans) are well adapted to a rough life, and our bodies can handle a lot of challenges - provided those challenges can be found in nature. We can do will with mild to moderate dehydration, for example, walking berefoot, and a varied and unpredictable diet (of naturally occurring foods). Problems arise from several areas where we are exposed to circumstances our ancestors were not prepared for (and neither are we): 1. Fatty diet - too much of a good thing 2. Lots of sucrose 3. A variety of chemicals a. Petroleum products (including benzene and derivatives) b. Medications ("unnaturally" occuring chemicals) c. Synthetic perfumes d. Organophosphates and other insecticides e. Lots of others 4. "Conveniences" that allow us to be lazy and not "exercise" Fortunately, we do have some adaptive mechanisms that allow us to deal with even unfamiliar chemicals (most of the time), but excesses of anything can take their toll. That would probably explain why, in an age when our bodies are getting fatter, weaker and more diseased, we are actually living longer - or at least those who avoid the really nasty environmental insults. But, then, we all "shuffle off this mortal coil". Someone commented about old folks in nursing homes "dying of nothing." So, in a zest to prevent death, don't forget to live.
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