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Shinobi

Concerning Belief

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Belief is important...  Yeah, I know.  Some of you are probably thinking that I'm about to write a testimony where I go completely off the rails.  But, before you jump to conclusions, just hear me out.

 

The reason I state that belief is important is because I'm nearly 100% convinced that it's true.  The Bible doesn't have a lot of good advice, but that doesn't mean that everything written in it is completely wrong either.  For example, the book of Proverbs is full of practical life advice, and not every teaching of Christ is completely without merit.  Of course, that's not to say that everything in Proverbs falls into the category of sound advice or that everything Christ taught is to be admired either.

 

Now, with that being said, I am going to attempt to make a larger point using an old Bible verse that many of you are probably familiar with - a point that helped me out tremendously during my deconversion process.  My hope is that it will benefit you as well.  After all, what better way to get mental revenge on the system that held you down for so long than to use its own teachings to further a cause that is contrary to everything it stands for?

 

In the book of Proverbs chapter 29 verse 18 the author states, "Where there is no vision the people perish; but he that keepeth  the law, happy is he."  I only want to focus on the first half of the verse because, as far as I'm concerned, the second half of the verse can be thrown in the garbage disposal (laws should only be admired and respected when they don't interfere with basic human rights).  The truth in this verse is simply that a person needs to have a vision or a hope for his or her self because if he or she doesn't, there is a good chance that he or she might lose the willpower and ambition needed to be successful in life.  Part of having a vision for oneself is believing that it will somehow come true whether it be through a combination of willpower, hard work, and a drive to succeed or something else.

 

So, what is a good vision to have for oneself outside of the archaic and misleading teachings that are found throughout most of the Bible?  Or, what is it that one should believe in if he or she has given up on the psychologically and emotionally torturous tenants of organized religion?  That is a very good question that does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.

 

For some people it might just be a belief in oneself.  For others, it might be a belief in the power of love.  And still for others it might be a belief in a higher power or a higher order that exists outside of man-made organized religion.  None of these answers or belief systems are bad.  In fact, I am going to say that embracing some sort of belief system is integral for a person to live a happy and fulfilling life.  Some of you might disagree with me, and that is okay.  I'm not here to change anybody's mind about anything.  I am simply stating a personal truth that I discovered that helped me fill the hole that religion had left behind.

 

For a few years right after I deconverted I was lost and vulnerable.  The anchor of religion that I had relied upon for so long to keep the ship of my life steady was suddenly nowhere to be found.  For awhile, I drifted aimlessly.  I found that I would act out in situations where it was completely inappropriate for me to do so, and I found that my emotions were about as unstable as a dilapidated barn in a wind storm.  I could be wrong, but I'm almost sure that there are some of you who are reading this who can relate.

 

It wasn't until I started searching for some truth that I could truly call my own that I was able to finally find something resembling peace of mind.  I started studying a mixture of science, eastern philosophy, and pantheism - subjects that are as different as night and day.  Nonetheless, I found that these subjects gave me peace and hope in different ways - peace and hope that was much greater than anything Christianity had ever given me.

 

Some of you may not feel the need to follow a similar path, but I think there are others of you who just might.  I have always tried to keep an open mind about life, the universe, and everything.  I believe in science, but in saying that, I'm pretty sure that the scientific discoveries that are made over the next couple of hundred years will make the scientists of our day and age look like primitive cavemen.  For example, it wasn't all that long ago that respected scientists and doctors believed that cutting a person open and bleeding the disease out of him or her was a legitimate way to treat illness...  Thank Zeus, Thor, Osiris, and mostly science that doctors do not engage in that kind of ignorant and archaic behavior anymore.

 

Anyway, the point I'm making is that the universe is full of unknowns and those unknowns can be a source of hope and expectation.  Just because we have given up on Christianity does not mean that we have to throw in the towel and give up on our hopes, dreams, and our imaginations.  All are beautiful things.  At one time, the skeptics would have scoffed at the idea that a man or a woman could instantly communicate with another man or woman on the other side of the world through a magic little box we call a cell-phone.  What would they think if they could see the world we live in today?  Isn't it great that somebody believed that such a thing was possible?  So, you see, the power of belief and the strength of imagination is not something any of us should let go of.

 

Albert Einstein had this to say about imagination, "Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."  In my humble opinion, this is something that is worth believing in.

 

I just basically wanted to leave some advice for any of you who might be wondering where to go after your deconversion from Christianity.  For some of you, atheism might hold the answers you are looking for.  However, for others, an alternative path of spirituality might be more appealing, and that is perfectly okay.  No matter what belief system you choose to embrace for yourself just make sure that you keep an open mind.  None of us have all of the answers, and anybody who claims to is lying.  The universe is much too big of a place for any of us humans to ever truly comprehend.  NASA has this to say about the nature of the universe, "It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy.  Dark matter makes up about 27%.  The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe" (NASA, 2017).  Those statistics should make you stop and really think for a minute (or a lifetime).  There is so much we just don't know...

 

In conclusion, I just want to say this.  I don't know if there is an afterlife.  I don't know if reincarnation is real.  I don't know a lot of things.  However, I can say with confidence that I do know that the Bible is not the grand source of all truth that it claims to be.  I found peace in simply coming to the realization that no matter what does or doesn't await me beyond the grave will take care of itself if I just focus on living this life the best way I know how.  I try to be open-minded, I try to show compassion to those who need it, and most importantly, I always try my best to be honest with myself and others about everything.  If there is a God, I can't see how he, she, or it won't respect that.  If there isn't a god, I can at least go to the grave with the knowledge that I took full advantage of life while I had it and didn't live it with regrets.  For me, that is the only belief I will ever need.  

 

Well, that is about all I have to say on the matter.  I truly hope that what I've written here helps somebody out there.  Thanks for taking the time to read this! :)

 

NASA (2017). Dark energy, dark matter. NASA. Retrieved from https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy

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It would be dishonest not to acknowledge the good things religious people have done, but that does not nullify the negative things they are guilty of either. All religions have human origins & members & humans are well, human.

 

I recognize there is a pretty big difference between fundamentalists & liberal versions of Christianity. It's the Fundies that tend to be bat shit crazy. Maybe that is because liberal versions of Xianity don't generally interpret the Bible literally, so they seem less likely to run off the rails. 

 

The fundies tend to view liberal Xians as little more than religious social clubs & they kind of are. I have no interest in either group & I try to keep my distance from them.

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It would be dishonest not to acknowledge the good things religious people have done, but that does not nullify the negative things they are guilty of either. All religions have human origins & members & humans are well, human.

 

I recognize there is a pretty big difference between fundamentalists & liberal versions of Christianity. It's the Fundies that tend to be bat shit crazy. Maybe that is because liberal versions of Xianity don't generally interpret the Bible literally, so they seem less likely to run off the rails. 

 

The fundies tend to view liberal Xians as little more than religious social clubs & they kind of are. I have no interest in either group & I try to keep my distance from them.

Hi, Geezer.  You bring up a lot of valid points.  I tend to be in complete agreement with you.  It is a shame that there are so many religious people out there who refuse to acknowledge the vast amounts of damage that their religion has caused in the world. Like you, I don't have much interest in the Bible anymore unless it is in the context of historical, academic, and general research.  The Bible is an imperfect literary work that was clearly created by flawed human beings, and it is no more "holy" than The Lord of the Rings.


Regardless of what belief system a person chooses to embrace, the real problems occur when the person in question forgets how to draw a clear distinction between fiction and reality.  Just ask anyone who has been a victim of religiously fueled Islamic terrorism.  And, it almost goes without saying that Islam is not the only source of terrorism in the world.  Christianity has played just as large of a role in the world of terrorism (if not larger) as Islam has.  Now, with all of the end-of-the-world Christian cults floating around, Christianity could very well be used once again to justify random acts of insanity that may or may not include terrorism.

 

Wouldn't it be nice if people everywhere just started doing what they could to make the world a better place without the aid of religiously fueled compulsion?  I mean, why not just be a good person and influence others to do the same because, ultimately, that is the kind of world you want to live in?

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I have a friend who has suggested that I look at Christianity as Christian Mythology and has suggested I become familiar with the works of Joseph Campbell. I am just beginning to investigate his books. Campbell teaches there is great power in myth if it is interpreted correctly. Myth of course being a story or symbols with a deeper often hidden meaning. He isn't promoting religion he's encouraging people to seek the deeper meaning of life.

 

I am not normally interested in that sort of thing, but since a lot of his stuff is historical in nature I have read excerpts from several of his books and watched some youtube video. What I've read has pique my interest enough to continue researching his material. At the very least he is interesting to read.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Shinobi said:

Belief is important...  Yeah, I know.  Some of you are probably thinking that I'm about to write a testimony where I go completely off the rails.  But, before you jump to conclusions, just hear me out.

 

The reason I state that belief is important is because I'm nearly 100% convinced that it's true.  The Bible doesn't have a lot of good advice, but that doesn't mean that everything written in it is completely wrong either.  For example, the book of Proverbs is full of practical life advice, and not every teaching of Christ is completely without merit.  Of course, that's not to say that everything in Proverbs falls into the category of sound advice or that everything Christ taught is to be admired either.

 

 

You are very right here. Too many atheists simply want to throw the bible out, instead of looking at it as ancient literature of peoples musings - some of it true and wise... some of it terribly wrong. Fault this set of versus from Paul if you can:

 

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

 

That could come straight out of a modern day inspirational quote - it was written 1800-2000 years ago.

 

If you could pull all the good bits from all religions, and discard the rest you'd have a pretty good system by which to live by.... which is why it's worth studying many religions.

 

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1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

You are very right here. Too many atheists simply want to throw the bible out, instead of looking at it as ancient literature of peoples musings - some of it true and wise... some of it terribly wrong. Fault this set of versus from Paul if you can:

 

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

 

That could come straight out of a modern day inspirational quote - it was written 1800-2000 years ago.

 

If you could pull all the good bits from all religions, and discard the rest you'd have a pretty good system by which to live by.... which is why it's worth studying many religions.

 

I agree with you 100%.  As far as the passage of the Bible you've quoted is concerned, it would be hard for me or for anyone else to find any real fault with it.  Nonetheless, like you said, there are other passages of the Bible that are nothing short of criminal.  For example, consider the story found in Judges chapter 11 verses 30-39.  In this story, Jephthah promises God that he will offer up as a burnt sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house if he returns home victorious from from his battle with the Ammonites.  In other words, if God grants him victory, God gets a sacrifice.  As luck would have it, his daughter is the first creature that comes out of his house to greet him after he victoriously returns home from battle  True to his word, he offers up his daughter as a burnt sacrifice...  Any sane person should be able to look at this story and realize that the Bible is not an epitome of holy wisdom or even a very good guide for everyday life.

 

In my humble opinion, the Bible should be likened to a sugar coated poison apple - on the surface it looks appealing, but within its pages lies a recipe for death of the heart, soul, and mind.  This may sound extreme to some, but I really think that any person who wholeheartedly decides to live his or her life according to a literal interpretation of the Bible risks becoming a threat to his or her self, his or her family, and society in general.

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7 hours ago, Geezer said:

I have a friend who has suggested that I look at Christianity as Christian Mythology and has suggested I become familiar with the works of Joseph Campbell. I am just beginning to investigate his books. Campbell teaches there is great power in myth if it is interpreted correctly. Myth of course being a story or symbols with a deeper often hidden meaning. He isn't promoting religion he's encouraging people to seek the deeper meaning of life.

 

I am not normally interested in that sort of thing, but since a lot of his stuff is historical in nature I have read excerpts from several of his books and watched some youtube video. What I've read has pique my interest enough to continue researching his material. At the very least he is interesting to read.

 

 

 

Geezer if you ever want to discuss Joseph Campbell, our friend Joshpantera is a big fan.  I've started watching Campbell's 'The Power of Myth' interviews with Bill Moyers.  Fascinating. 

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1 hour ago, ThereAndBackAgain said:

 

Geezer if you ever want to discuss Joseph Campbell, our friend Joshpantera is a big fan.  I've started watching Campbell's 'The Power of Myth' interviews with Bill Movers.  Fascinating. 

 

My friend Agricola over at ex-Church of Christ.com is a big fan too. She recommended Campbell but I didn't follow up until JP mentioned him in a post I read today. I've spent a good portion of the day watching his videos on YouTube & reading excerpts from several of his books. 

 

He is interesting but I haven't formed an opinion yet. 

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4 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

You are very right here. Too many atheists simply want to throw the bible out, instead of looking at it as ancient literature of peoples musings - some of it true and wise... some of it terribly wrong. 

 

 

I think there are some good reasons to want to throw the Bible out.   If the Bible were just treated as a collection of ancient literature, it would be one thing.  But billions believe it is inspired by God, and hundreds of millions believe that every single word of it is the literal word of God.  I fear that as long as this Holy Book is around, there is the potential for extreme groups, even cults, to seize upon it and who knows what harm might be done.  It's the same with the Koran: Iran and Afghanistan were modernizing countries as recently as the 1970s, with women and girls enjoying unprecedented freedom.  But now it's all gone backward through much of the Muslim world, thanks to scripture being used to justify a return to medievalism.  And it's all God's will.

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11 hours ago, ThereAndBackAgain said:

 

I think there are some good reasons to want to throw the Bible out.   If the Bible were just treated as a collection of ancient literature, it would be one thing.  But billions believe it is inspired by God, and hundreds of millions believe that every single word of it is the literal word of God.  I fear that as long as this Holy Book is around, there is the potential for extreme groups, even cults, to seize upon it and who knows what harm might be done.

Hi, ThereAndBackAgain.  I understand why you have formed such an opinion.  There is always a danger that people will do stupid things with the information they freely have access to.  However, I really don't believe that censorship is the answer.  If we want to stop people from believing that the Bible is a Holy book, then we need to start educating people in every way we can that it is nothing more than a collection of ancient literature.  Logic, rationality, and education is the key that is needed to solve the problems you speak of.

 

Consider this.  There are very few people in the world today who believe in the Greek pantheon.  We didn't have to ban all literature that mentions Zeus to achieve this mindset in the masses.  Eventually, people will probably look at the Bible in the same way.  It would be a shame to lose all of the history contained in the Bible because we decided that the common person shouldn't have access to it anymore.  I do not believe in banning books of any kind.  Fahrenheit 451 does not represent the kind of future I want for my kids, grand kids, etc.   I have found that banning a person from information only makes him or her desire to access it that much more.  If we all start acting like the Bible contains information that people shouldn't have access to, then there is a good chance that people will make an even bigger deal about what is contained within its pages than they already do.

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Hi Shinobi!  No, I didn't mean to suggest that the Bible should be banned; that would be hugely counterproductive.  I agree with you that our goal should be a world where this and other scriptures are treated as fascinating parts of human history, products of a purely manmade theology, like the system of Greek and Roman gods,   I think that goal may be reached in the distant  future. 

 

I guess what I was trying to say is that the Bible (and Koran) currently have the potential to do far more harm than good and that if I had my way, they would magically disappear without trace in the memory of humans. 

 

Touching on something you mentioned earlier, I believe that in he world today, Islam is causing much more harm and human suffering than Christianity.  That might not have always been true in ages past, and might not always be true in the future. 

 

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3 hours ago, ThereAndBackAgain said:

Touching on something you mentioned earlier, I believe that in he world today, Islam is causing much more harm and human suffering than Christianity.  That might not have always been true in ages past, and might not always be true in the future. 

 

Hey, ThereAndBackAgain, I completely get what you're saying, and I tend to be in agreement with you.  I'm not sure what we can do at this point in time to get people to wake up...  It took me years to finally open my eyes to the truth, and I actually consider myself to be an intelligent person (I've made excellent grades in nearly every course I've taken in college).  Unfortunately, in the realm of brainwashing, intelligence isn't always a safeguard against falling for ideas that are false.  When nearly everyone around you believes in some version of Christianity and a good portion of society is built around the ideals taught by that belief system, it is nearly impossible to break away from it without a little bit of outside help.

 

In the case of Islam, the damage caused by brainwashing is even worse.  Most of the governments in the Middle East are built on ideas that are mirror copies of the tenants found in the Koran.  The religious situation over there is a lot like what I envision it might have been like for people living during the Middle Ages in Western Europe.  For example, in Saudi Arabia, the king rules by the will of Allah and all of his decrees are based upon tenants found in the Koran.  That is exactly how it was during the Middle Ages in Christian Europe only the kings and queens were believed to rule by the divine will of the Christian version of God. 

 

Last semester, I had to complete a huge group project in an intercultural communications course I took.  One of the members of my group was from Saudi Arabia, so my group decided to focus our project on what it would be like for an American to live and work in Saudi Arabia.  We figured we would get a good grade because we could use him as a firsthand source of information.  After spending an extensive amount of time talking to him, learning from him, and working with him I came to the realization that it might be hundreds of years before the people of that region experience the kind of intellectual liberation and freedom that we enjoy here in the United States.

 

So, yes, I think you are right when you say that Islam is causing more harm in the world right now than Christianity.  Nonetheless, under the right set of circumstances, Christianity, if left unchecked, could once again become the societal menace that it once was.

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8 hours ago, Shinobi said:

So, yes, I think you are right when you say that Islam is causing more harm in the world right now than Christianity.  Nonetheless, under the right set of circumstances, Christianity, if left unchecked, could once again become the societal menace that it once was.

 

I think we're in full agreement, Shinobi.  Since my deconversion, I have become increasingly convinced not only that theism is unsound, but that it's positively harmful to humankind.  

 

By the way, welcome to our community!  Youve only been active a short time but you've contributed a lot already.

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On 3/21/2017 at 1:32 AM, Shinobi said:

Belief is important...  Yeah, I know.  Some of you are probably thinking that I'm about to write a testimony where I go completely off the rails.  But, before you jump to conclusions, just hear me out.

 

 

I agree with you 100% on this. I think I said this before in my testimony but I came across one of my friends that was a pantheist (once was an athiest) and I didn't know it. He actually goes to an episcopal church because it is one of the most liberal of Christian churches, but he doesn't view the bible as literal at all. He holds a pantheistic view that God is in everything and everything is God. 

     I told him what had happened to my faith and he shared his views with me. He told me that he hopes I never stop believing in something because athiesm is a lonely place to be. While his sentiments on athiesm may not resonate with everyone here I'm sure that most have recieved structured their lives with various goals to fill the void that belief has left behind.

     I think it is very important to believe in something even if it is just yourself, like you said. My leanings are probably that of dualistic panthiesm. I have personally seen and felt what I thought were ghosts or spirits. Which was one issue I had with biblical teaching because it didn't really leave room for a spirit other than the holy ghost to reside on earth. When we died we either went to heaven or hell, or alternatively to the grave to await resurrection. Depending on who was interpreting the bible. So I still believe there is some for of consciousness outside of this existence. And I have expressed my hope that at the very least reincarnation is real. If so this time around I left organized religion in my mid 30s. Maybe next time I'll start figuring stuff out sooner. 

     I also can't believe this earth or any other life bearing planet just spontaneously happened. I think that whatever spiritual energy is out there is what manipulated life giving cells to organise this planet as the life support system that it is. 

     While my beliefs won't be shared by any of the more athiest leaning members of this site at least I can say they are my beliefs and not what I was told to believe. 

     But to get back to your point. Yes some form of belief is important for our human existence. Even if your belief only in tales you setting goals for yourself to reach throughout your life. It gives you a since of purpose and a since of fulfillment when that goal is reached. Right now I have a goal to build a house by paying cash to have it built in 4-5 years. If I reach that goal next it will be to build a garage for said house with a loft apartment, also with cash. I want to be virtually debt free before I retire so that I can have peace of mind financially in my final years. I mentioned before I want to build a Zen Garden as well to focus my own spirituality and meditation. And I have a more urgent goal between now and then to get my body into shape so I can enjoy this life longer. Because just in case I am wrong I want to drag this one out as long as possible because if nothing else I do have a love for life and all the experiences that come along with it.

      Thank you for posting this shinobi. And I'm glad that you found belief in your life after deconversion as well. 

 

Best regards,

            Dark Bishop

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3 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

 

I agree with you 100% on this. I think I said this before in my testimony but I came across one of my friends that was a pantheist (once was an athiest) and I didn't know it. He actually goes to an episcopal church because it is one of the most liberal of Christian churches, but he doesn't view the bible as literal at all. He holds a pantheistic view that God is in everything and everything is God. 

     I told him what had happened to my faith and he shared his views with me. He told me that he hopes I never stop believing in something because athiesm is a lonely place to be. While his sentiments on athiesm may not resonate with everyone here I'm sure that most have recieved structured their lives with various goals to fill the void that belief has left behind.

     I think it is very important to believe in something even if it is just yourself, like you said. My leanings are probably that of dualistic panthiesm. I have personally seen and felt what I thought were ghosts or spirits. Which was one issue I had with biblical teaching because it didn't really leave room for a spirit other than the holy ghost to reside on earth. When we died we either went to heaven or hell, or alternatively to the grave to await resurrection. Depending on who was interpreting the bible. So I still believe there is some for of consciousness outside of this existence. And I have expressed my hope that at the very least reincarnation is real. If so this time around I left organized religion in my mid 30s. Maybe next time I'll start figuring stuff out sooner. 

     I also can't believe this earth or any other life bearing planet just spontaneously happened. I think that whatever spiritual energy is out there is what manipulated life giving cells to organise this planet as the life support system that it is. 

     While my beliefs won't be shared by any of the more athiest leaning members of this site at least I can say they are my beliefs and not what I was told to believe. 

     But to get back to your point. Yes some form of belief is important for our human existence. Even if your belief only in tales you setting goals for yourself to reach throughout your life. It gives you a since of purpose and a since of fulfillment when that goal is reached. Right now I have a goal to build a house by paying cash to have it built in 4-5 years. If I reach that goal next it will be to build a garage for said house with a loft apartment, also with cash. I want to be virtually debt free before I retire so that I can have peace of mind financially in my final years. I mentioned before I want to build a Zen Garden as well to focus my own spirituality and meditation. And I have a more urgent goal between now and then to get my body into shape so I can enjoy this life longer. Because just in case I am wrong I want to drag this one out as long as possible because if nothing else I do have a love for life and all the experiences that come along with it.

      Thank you for posting this shinobi. And I'm glad that you found belief in your life after deconversion as well. 

 

Best regards,

            Dark Bishop

Hi, Dark Bishop.  I am so glad to meet someone else on here who I feel I may have a lot in common with.  I'm not 100% what it is that I believe in (it's complicated), but I don't mind looking into the many possibilities.  I have nothing but respect for atheists because, in my mind, they seem to have a real knack for looking at everything in the most objective way possible - I have gained a lot of insight over the years from listening to atheist perspectives.  Nonetheless, pure atheism has never been a good fit for me which is why I identify as an agnostic and probably will until the day I day.  In saying that, I absolutely don't believe in any of the monotheistic deities of any of the world's major religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, etc.).  

 

My girlfriend is begging me to watch the next episode of Arrow with her right now, so I probably better go.  I hope we can chat more in the future! 

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Shinobi, I got an even BETTER one for you:

 

"Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' (1 Samuel 15:3)

 

At work, I look at some of our customers with the most beautiful kids and I wonder how "god" could be so sociopathic. :-/

 

-Andrew

New Living Translation

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9 hours ago, Abrooks2007 said:

Shinobi, I got an even BETTER one for you:

 

"Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' (1 Samuel 15:3)

 

At work, I look at some of our customers with the most beautiful kids and I wonder how "god" could be so sociopathic. :-/

 

-Andrew

New Living Translation

Yeah, Abrooks, the Bible is full of scriptures that prove how "loving and humane" the Judeo-Christian God is.. Check this one out:  "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." - Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (NIV).  Apparently, the punishment that God prescribes for rape is that the guy who committed the rape has to marry the girl and pay her dad a sum of money.  Oh, and he can't divorce her which subsequently means that the girl who got raped is legally stuck with a psychotic abuser for the rest of her life all because she was unlucky enough to catch his eye.  The "purity, justice, and holiness" exhibited in these verses is almost more than I can comprehend. Wow... just wow.  Smh :/ 

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48 minutes ago, Shinobi said:

Yeah, Abrooks, the Bible is full of scriptures that prove how "loving and humane" the Judeo-Christian God is.. Check this one out:  "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." - Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (NIV).  Apparently, the punishment that God prescribes for rape is that the guy who committed the rape has to marry the girl and pay her dad a sum of money.  Oh, and he can't divorce her which subsequently means that the girl who got raped is legally stuck with a psychotic abuser for the rest of her life all because she was unlucky enough to catch his eye.  The "purity, justice, and holiness" exhibited in these verses is almost more than I can comprehend. Wow... just wow.  Smh :/ 

 

Yeah, that is one of the verses that led me to believe, even as a child, that ol' Jehovah was a quite a jerk. (And nonexistent...)

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@Shinobi, thank you. I needed this! 

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"I don't know if there is an afterlife."

 

Any child could figure it out. Magic is not real therefore a magical 2nd life is impossible.

 

 

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I think that the evolution of Islam is following the evolution of Xianity, only its 500 years behind and the world has evolved too.

so instead of knights going on crusades we have terrorists with missiles, bombs, tanks etc.

 

it is possible to trace the growth of Islam as following the growth of Xianity. Criticism of Mohammed is blasphemy as was reading a bible in English. Jihad is crusade or witch hunts. Sunni, Shi-ite, Wahabi etc to mimic Catholic, Protestant, Methodist etc. Extremism is evident in both cases.

Unfortunately Islam has modern technology to help its struggles and modern weapons of mass destruction to aid its battles.

However the opposite is also true. Modern technology also allows greater use of education to open the minds and eyes of followers of Islam. 

We are in trouble if the religious extremists prevail.

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