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I Don't Want To Pull The Rug


Neverlandrut
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I don't want to pull the rug out from under anyone. I understand the comfort that comes from believing god loves you and forgives your sins and keeps you alive after you die. Human beings have an innate sense of curiousity about their world in all it's beauty and horrors. It's beauty inspires us and makes us feel apart of something bigger than just ourselves. It's horrors terrify us and send us scrambling for something to comfort us and tell us it will all be okay. We are aware of our own fragility and mortality. We are aware that our survival and well-being are dependent upon forces beyond our control. We crave comfort and a sense of control over these forces. We don't want to be scared by them. We crave simplistic explanations for these forces, these forces that seem to have personalities (we have a biological tendancy to anthropomorphise things). It's not hard at all to imagine why ancient humans developed the idea of gods. We are born dependant on our parents (our first gods). Once we become self sufficient, we realize we are dependent on nature. It makes sense that humans tend to ascribe personalities to natural forces, because our earliest sustenance came from persons (our parents). It makes sense that we still want a sense that we are watched over, taken care of, and cared for even in our adult lives. I see modern Christianity as a continuation of these very human tendencies. Many people are filled with guilt and crave absolution, so the idea that god will forgive them if...is a very simplistic transactional way for them to come to peace with their failures. I completely understand that feeling. I was a pationate Christian for over 20 years, after all. I think the healthier thing for anyone to do, though, is to internalize that feeling of comfort that their parents gave (or should have given) them. It is better to learn how to forgive yourself and make things right with the people you may have hurt. That's what people are actually doing when they ask god to forgive them; they are finding a way to forgive themselves. We all have to deal with our fragility, mortality, failures, and uncertainties. I feel like we are much better off when we look reality in the face, and accept the uncertainty and make the most of what we have. The religious sentiments are comforting, yes, but there is no rational reason to think they are actually true. But for me it's okay, because I'm still breathing. I'm still here with a life to live. I'm still healthy for now. I still have family and others who love me. I'm still doing just fine without believing in god. But I understand why many find it near impossible to let go of the comforting beliefs. Most Christians I know, when pressed, will admit that it may not all be true, but that they choose to believe it because it gives them peace and hope. I completely get that. Everyone's beliefs or lack there of must be the result of their own journey. I don't wish to actively deconverted anyone. I enjoy debates in the lions den like many of you, and have no problem calling out the absurdities of faith based beliefs when Christians insist that they are true and want to tell use why they think so. But I don't ever want to try to destroy someone's sorce of comfort and peace, so long as they don't use it as a platform to hurt others or infringe on their rights. Those same beliefs used to comfort me. Losing a source of comfort and having to start from scratch is traumatic. I don't want to pull the rug out from under anyone.

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I agree… except when they use their 'blankie' to infringe on others rights. Then… all's fair, so to speak.

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There was another thread on this recently. I see so much damage done in the name of Jesus, demons, etc, that I want to unplug the faith whenever I can. I can think of lots of exceptions, and I wouldn't probably make the first strike, but generally I will try and make people think. If they can see their way out, that is a good thing. Exclusion is usually done by the believers, not by us.

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I agree with you, NLR. I know how traumatic this process has been for me, and I cringe at the idea of doing it to someone else.

 

BUT, in the end, I am thankful to be free of that poisonous way of thinking, and I'm grateful to the people who helped me to "see the light" even if I didn't realize what they were doing at the time.

 

Religion is a disease that is transmitted from person to person, often before the individual is old enough to have built any type of defenses. The process of healing from disease is often painful and exhausting, but in the end you are much better off. I'm glad that I had enough inoculations of truth to finally fight back the disease of Christianity. The final "healing" was the hardest part, but I'm emerging now and finally realizing what life can be like when you're not anchored down with the weight of that sickness.

 

No one said you have to be an in your face atheist, just being an example of someone who has escaped Christianity and is leading a happy, HEALTHY life is enough to make them think about their position.

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Personally, I don't think that the believers who come here are that firm in their beliefs to begin with. They are all doubting, or questioning their faith. Perhaps grappling with certain issues, such as inerrancy of the Word or the omni-ness of God. I don't feel bad for speaking my mind here or anywhere else on the site. If a believer is truly offended, they can hit the report button. If they are lurking, good for them.

 

Most of the time, the believers refuse to engage in actual discussions anyway. So it really doesn't matter what you say or how you say it. They will either dodge the question, give simplisitic apologetic answers, point you towards bs references and source material, quote scripture or refuse to answer. Or they run off after they finally figure out that no one here is going to fall for their usual bag of tricks.

 

I don't give a damn how much someone loves God or how geniune their faith is. Say what you mean, mean what you say and if you don't like the heat, GTFO the kitchen and stay out.

 

All that said, I try to avoid being callous and cruel. I don't do mockery and I find it easier to ignore believers and fencesitters these days. If they are sincere, they will ask questions and wait for answers and discussion.

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I agree with not wanting to actively deconvert anyone.  I view it in much the same way as christians trying to convert others.  I've had enough of other people trying to shove their beliefs down my throat to ever try to shove mine down theirs. 

 

With that said, though, if they bring their rug to my doorstep, then I'll sweep it out from under them like so much rubbish.

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I likewise have no desire to interfere with anyone else's spirituality or lack thereof.

 

While acknowledging the validity of your position though, what does one do when the stated goal of evangelicals is to destroy your very way of life via the evil of mission work?

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I have no mercy for abrahamic religions, nor their followers who try to make me, or people like me into lesser beings because of their bullshit. Anti-gay bigots, misogynists, and buybull thumpers I hold no quarter when it comes to blowing holes into their blankie, and binky.

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I have felt the same thing about not wanting to pull the rug out from under any of my friends. However I also have such a strong desire to share truth (something I believe was instilled in me through christianity) that it makes it difficult to not say things that I know will be offensive of start an argument. I really care about the truth and it pains me to see my close friends believing in lies that now seem so obviously false and often hurtful.

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I don't want to pull the rug out from under anyone.

 

I dont have the motivation or interest to deconvert anyone. Nobody bothers me in real life about converting so there's no problem there. If someone does try to convert me I may throw some logic back at them though. Or if I read some religious BS on FB I might counter it with some logic, but really, it's just not that important that someone thinks MY way.

 

The Den, however is great debate entertainment. :-)

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I'm torn on this one myself.  Probably a case-by-case thing.  In general though, I think it's good for the human race to have traditional forms of Christian faith either softened or eradicated.  Think about how many evangelicals' beliefs have evolved on birth control, women, and hell?  Or Catholics on slavery, torture, and capital punishment?  They have kept the comfort of faith while the faith itself has taken on a less hateful form.

 

Plus you have the whole thing about someone getting more strident about their faith when it's challenged...

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Neverlandrut: Very well done. I have the exact same sentiments. When I first deconverted I was angry

and wanted to force Xtians to explain themselves. It had been such a exasperating experience, trying to be a real Xtian who had satisfied all doubts. All those Xtians who acted so positive and satisfied

made me furious.I was convinced that virtually every one of them was aware of Xtianity's weaknesses

and had deceived me.Now I think many of them were fully brainwashed, rather than frauds.I am sure there were frauds, too, but I'd never be able to be sure which were which. for sure, although I still

strongly suspect that the ones who get the most rewards from their "faith" in the form of money,

publicity and power are the phonies. But I choose now to get along with my Xtian friends and not to

challenge them as to their beliefs.If they leave me to believe or not believe what I want, I will do

the same for them.

 

The Lutheran church my wife attends has a sensible pastor who told the congregation recently that there are many who attend their church that have doubts about the literal truth of Xtinanity. He said

no one knows the truth for certain and the doubters are welcome. That view may not tell the full truth, but it is a step in the right direction. Thank you for your very excellent post.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm coming to a place where I want to find common ground with people and, if I can, help them where they are, religious or otherwise. As I said, I do enjoy debate. And I do get angry at the irrational, immoral, and hostile beliefs of many Christians. If we see oppression (in any form), I think we have a moral duty to speak out against it, religious or otherwise. For the believers who insist that they have evidence for their claims and want to engage in conversation, being it on. I don't shy away from such challenges. But for those religious people who live their lives respectful of others, and find their faith to be their primary sorce of comfort, peace to them. For the believers who find themselves distressed by their beliefs (as I eventually did), get the hell away from that non-sense and get real help! To them I say well done for thinking about what you believe and having the courage to recognize how much sense it doesn't make rather than ignoring it. Continue to question and search for truth. Demand real coherent answers to your questions, and don't be satisfied with the poetic anecdotes and emotional appeals that have no logical or evidential basis. I want to help people, and do good to them, because that is important to me. Regardless of what they believe or don't believe, I share a common humanity with them. I share with them the same desire to live and live well, to love, and to find productive and meaningful ways to spend our time and energies. I want to build up, and only tear down where it is necessary to build anew.

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I likewise have no desire to interfere with anyone else's spirituality or lack thereof.

 

While acknowledging the validity of your position though, what does one do when the stated goal of evangelicals is to destroy your very way of life via the evil of mission work?

I've been trying to come up with an answer for you since yesterday, Bhim.  I'm afraid I've fallen short. 

 

At first, I thought about the plight of the Native Americans and the Natives of Central and South America.  Certainly their entire way of life was destroyed, but it wasn't just religion involved, there was also social and political conquest. 

 

I then tried to apply your question to the Irish under Britains regime.  Oddly, while Ireland came into British hands by the will of the Catholic Pope, Catholicism was eventually outlawed for a time.  While Britain had a tremendous impact on Irish life, I wouldn't say that the Irish way of life was destroyed by it.  Again, however, social and political conquest were involved, not just religion.

 

In the case of India, I wonder if British Imperialism is what has made evangelical influence more readily acceptable; and, if so, to what extent?

 

In truth, I think Americans would like to see the Islamic way of life destroyed every bit as much as Muslims would like to destroy christianity, but we've, yet again, been able to mask this desire behind politics.

 

These are just some thoughts.  I'm sorry I don't really have an answer to offer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

I've been trying to come up with an answer for you since yesterday, Bhim.  I'm afraid I've fallen short. 

 

 

At first, I thought about the plight of the Native Americans and the Natives of Central and South America.  Certainly their entire way of life was destroyed, but it wasn't just religion involved, there was also social and political conquest. 

 

I then tried to apply your question to the Irish under Britains regime.  Oddly, while Ireland came into British hands by the will of the Catholic Pope, Catholicism was eventually outlawed for a time.  While Britain had a tremendous impact on Irish life, I wouldn't say that the Irish way of life was destroyed by it.  Again, however, social and political conquest were involved, not just religion.

 

In the case of India, I wonder if British Imperialism is what has made evangelical influence more readily acceptable; and, if so, to what extent?

 

In truth, I think Americans would like to see the Islamic way of life destroyed every bit as much as Muslims would like to destroy christianity, but we've, yet again, been able to mask this desire behind politics.

 

These are just some thoughts.  I'm sorry I don't really have an answer to offer.

 

 

Fair enough Prof, but I do thank you for acknowledging the problem.  This is far more than many non-Christians, even ex-Christians, are able to do.  Most non-Christians I talk to about this view missionaries as well-intentioned people who happen to be preaching intellectually vacuous claims.  My observation, however, is that the objective truth or falsehood of Christianity is second to the fact that missionaries destroy families and cultures by trying to convince individuals that the rest of their community is destined for eternal conscious torment at the hands of Jesus after death.  Missionaries, in my view, are the scum of the earth who practice a sort of cultural genocide via their work.

 

I hope that people will, at some point, cease to view the propagation of religion as a noble but misguided effort, and instead recognize it as propagation of hatred.  Missionaries should be classified in the same group as religious cult leaders, the KKK, and others who inflict harm.

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