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older

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Everything posted by older

  1. You had the best of intentions. Any mistakes that you made were not intentional; you did what you thought was right at the time. Read Margee's wise post again.
  2. I agree with Astreja and Sdelsolray. Tangible, testable, understandable, independently verifiable evidence. If the messages of the alleged Christian god are as important as Christians say they are, and if said god is as powerful as claimed, then he would not hide from his subjects, and would make his messages abundantly and perfectly clear, and not fill them with contradictions, logical fallacies and non-sequiturs, or couch them in riddles and mystery.
  3. Just because A precedes B does not mean that A causes B. Our neighbors have chickens. Every morning, without fail, the rooster starts to crow yet it is completely dark. After a while, the sun comes up. But the rooster's crow is not what causes the sun to come up.
  4. Welcome, WWOAC: You aren't the first one to be in such a position. You could start by giving us a little history; where you were and how you got to where you are now.
  5. There wasn't one core piece. There were many pieces. 1. When I was about ten, thinking that I hadn't done anything wrong so how can I have sinned? 2. About the same age, sitting in church in uncomfortable clothes, being bored out of my mind and wondering why one of my two days of freedom each week was spoiled by this. 3. When I was about 12, wondering how there can be only one god yet there is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. How can one be three? 4. A few years later, realizing that none of it makes any sense. 5. Finally, when sitting at a picnic table with friends and, in the middle of a conversation about something else, one friend made a rather out-of-context comment that he was an atheist. It suddenly dawned on me. Holy shit! So am I. No more nervousness, no more guilt, no more lingering doubts. Freedom.
  6. How can you blaspheme something that doesn't exist?
  7. I once read, but have been unable to verify, that Einstein thought the universe was a mobius sphere. (Is that correct?) Thus if you left a given point and travelled long enough you would end up where you started. While a mobius band is easy enough to make (Just take the belt off your pants, turn one end over 180 degrees and reattach. Trace along with your finger and you'll go over both "sides" of the belt and end up at the starting point. But the belt now only has one side.), visualizing a mobius sphere is something that doesn't work for my limited brain.
  8. ^ ^ ^ And at some point, the fear and guilt will go away and you'll feel a great weight lift from your shoulders.
  9. My daughter and son-in-law are fundies and, fortunately, reasonably tolerant ones. They have adopted five kids with disabilities from a country where those disabilities are looked upon extremely negatively. They all were abandoned at birth and would have ended up in the gutter or in the sex trade, without a doubt. While it pains me to have them brainwashed with Christianity, they are well adjusted, smart and capable and a joy to us all. Considering the alternative, being brought up in a fundie home in America will be much better for them than what would have happened if they had remained in their country. The parents know I'm an atheist but we all get along and I get to spend oodles of time with the kids as they live on the other side of town. We just don't discuss religion or politics.
  10. Glad to see progress. I hope your neighbors will all band together with you and appear at the same time. You can anticipate that she'll just point to you as the problem unless you have some backup.
  11. I agree with Walter’s hypothesis; that there are different ways of thinking and that cross communication can be difficult or impossible. Just this week I was thinking about a book written back in 1972 titled “Fire In The Lake” by Frances FitzGerald, which is a history of Vietnam and America’s involvement in it. She makes the same point: that the world views and thought processes of two different peoples, in this case Americans and Southeast Asians, were so different that it was impossible for them to communicate, and certainly impossible to accept the viewpoint of the other. And what I read in this thread goes to the definition of what truth means to each different party and the difficulty of finding some common ground for understanding. While this is an interesting issue to discuss, I would suggest that the problem for those of us who are not Christian is that part of the Christian truth is to push their view onto others. Personally, I have no issue with anyone holding something true that does not match my truth. I do, however, have a problem when someone tries to push their notions onto me. And just as America’s self-righteous attitude did not work in S. E. Asia, Christianity’s self-righteous truths do not work for many people everywhere. One of those self-righteous truths is Christianity’s insistence that it is right and that everyone should follow its precepts, and its tendency to force those precepts upon others, through brute force, the force of law, or overt or covert social pressure. ' In short, have your own truth, just leave me alone with mine.
  12. Hi KD: Glad you've contacted a secular counselor. One of the things that counseling does is to show you that you are not alone with this; and that in itself is a big help. It's hard when your rational mind and your emotional mind go in different, conflicting directions. All of us have those conflicts; it just depends on the specific issue and the severity of it. You will beat this.
  13. Well, at least you will get some rest for a few days. Unfortunately, when she is "stable" she'll be back. Yes, do pursue the restraining order. What are the other neighbors' positions on calling the cops and/or getting restraining orders? Can you get them to back you up on the record?
  14. That really sucks, Fuego. I'm surprised that the lawyers aren't encouraging. I would think that you could get a restraining order on this nutcase. In the mean time I hope you're collecting evidence, photos, videos, recordings, etc., in case it gets to the point where you have to find a lawyer who will work with you. Sometimes I think the only answer is to buy 140 acres and put the house right in the middle. But then I suspect that true assholes would still find a way to annoy us. When traveling in rural areas I totally get it when I see fortress-like gates and big signs warning of serous consequences for trespassers (My Pit Bull Can Make It From The House To The Fence Line In 14 Seconds. Can You? Or This Property Protected By Smith & Wesson).
  15. One issue in understanding other cultures is the bias, intentional or unintentional, that arises on each side of the cultural divide. (Another of those issues is that the history of a conflict is written by the victor.) I'd recommend two books as providing some insight as to this bias. One is An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. This is not a fun book; it's a look at the history of this country from a perspective not taught in K-12 schools, and the story is how one culture was essentially wiped out by another. Another is A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn. Again, much of what is in this book is not in the traditional histories. I think what one learns from reading these books is how one culture can overwhelm and dominate another, and that Western culture, and American culture in particular, is one of those that is filled with hubris and thinks that its way of being, doing and thinking is the best way and should eagerly be accepted by everyone else.
  16. ^ ^ ^ Good advice. And you are right in wanting to talk to someone. While we can listen and encourage you, you need some instant, one-on-one feedback. Hang in there. It does get better.
  17. X2. International travel is one of the most educational and worthwhile things a person can do. And that travel should be individual and not within packaged tours which tend to keep you within your group and comfort zone. Meeting people from other cultures and discovering how they think expands one's world view and teaches that there are many ways of thinking and being, all of which are valid, and none of which is particularly superior to another.
  18. I like the guilt part of that cycle. Christianity is big on guilt.
  19. As LF wrote above, you are programmed to see that. (Like LF, I bought a Subaru. I hadn't seen many of them around but since I bought mine, I'm shocked by how many folks have seen me driving around and then gone out and bought one. Amazing. I see them everywhere. I should get a commission from Subaru. ) Jump over to this thread and scroll down to LogicalFallacy's post about ten posts down. He makes a great argument that might give you some things to think about:
  20. You are making an unfair generalization about indigenous cultures. All cultures have their positives and negatives including Christianity. For example, while Christians don't practice head hunting, many of it's practitioners support capital punishment. And I'm not aware of Asian cultures sacrificing virgins. And from what I know so far I see much in the Native American culture that is superior to Christianity. For example, their attitude about their relationship to the earth. And the concept of total war was brought to Native Americans by white Christian men. And while I can't find my source for this, I once read that Lewis and Clark returned to Washington with an Indian chief who was surprised to see poor people on the streets. The chief said that in their culture no one goes hungry, while in America today, according to a story on CNN, there are 13.1 million households where children go hungry. Yes, I acknowledge that these cultures have their negatives, but I can't agree with the notion that Christianity is superior. Such an attitude is part of the problem I have with the religion.
  21. Here is a rebuttal posted on the Friendly Atheist website. The author makes some good points: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/10/28/blaming-blowhards-for-why-were-not-a-christian-nation-misses-the-point/
  22. I've mentioned before on this forum a distant relative who went to a Greek island to build houses, after which they went around handing out Bibles. In telling us about this, he said, "And some of them threw them at us," and he chuckled. What an idiot. All these folks just don't get it.
  23. I just read a column by Jay Ambrose, a conservative columnist, about Attorney General William Barr's recent speech on religious freedom. Ambrose repeats the claim that Christians are being persecuted, and goes on to write: "Christianity has been a major force in giving us science, universities, liberty and the values that still instruct to at least some extent the values of many nonbelievers." Christianity gave us science? Liberty? Values? Are you kidding me? Anyone who spends two hours studying the history of science and religion knows that Christianity has been anti-science for 2000 years. The father of modern science, Galileo, narrowly escaped death for demonstrating heliocentrism and was sentenced to life of house arrest; and at least one other person was burned at the stake for it. And Christianity has fought against science ever since; even today with significant numbers of Christians insisting that the universe is only 6000 years old, denying evolution, and more. As to liberty, for centuries Christians used horrific brute force to impose their religion on others, and they continue to pursue such an imposition through legislating their beliefs, and through overt and covert social pressure. Finally, the notion of "Christian values," is a commonly heard but specious claim. Most of the values Christians self-righteously label as their own are, in reality, universal values shared by many cultures. The only values that can rightfully be labeled "Christian" would be those that are not found anywhere else, and I have yet to hear a single one that is that exclusive. I urge you to read Ambrose's column. It's yet another mind-bending screed from someone who knows little of history and who follows the real Christian values of defying logic, ignoring the facts, and denying reality. https://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-tns-bc-ambrose-column-correction-20191025-story.html
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