Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
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16-06-2014, 08:53 AM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
And Jerry ruins everything again. Very inappropriate, Jerry, as well as plain old fucking arrogant.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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16-06-2014, 09:45 AM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
I have never believed although I grew up in a very religious family. I remember at 4 or 5 sitting in church and thinking this crap cannot be true. I went through a very angry stage too when I announced my atheism to everyone in my family's church. One Sunday when I as 14 years old, I was in church with the family and I decided I'd had enough. The entire church was on their knees doing some prayer before communion when I stood up, turned to my father who was next to me, and said loudly, "I've had enough of this pagan bullshit. I'm outa' here." I walked out and later my very abusive parents beat the crap out of me. They also threw me out of the house and I went to live with my grandparents. My only regret about that whole thing was that I didn't do it earlier when I was 10 or 12 years old. It sure as hell cleared the air for me. I eventually reconciled with my parents but my atheism was unshakeable.

I'm 67 now and I've been married for 45 years to my also atheist high school girlfriend. Our kids and grandson are also atheist although we never pushed them to it. [Our son has a Master's Degree in "Comparative Religions" from GWU. He used to be fun to talk to about religion but now he's just full of bad news. He tells us that even though atheism is growing, in 500 years there will still be a huge population of fucking believers.]

My wife and I are no longer angry about religion and haven't been for many years. We meet a group of highly educated people almost every night at Starbucks and they are also atheists. That is a big part of getting over the anger -- having a group of people you respect who also enjoy an evening that often includes some mockery of theists.

You, young friend, have that group right here. It doesn't do you, your kids, or your wife any good to fight over religion. You can still easily love a woman who believes in the bullshit. Hell, my closest friend is my little sister and she goes to Mass almost everyday. My wife also thinks she is the greatest thing since sliced bread despite that she has one little flaw -- she believes in God and the divinity of Jesus Christ. I accommodate her belief by never saying, "Jesus Fucking Christ," when I am around her. I still say, "goddamn," a lot but I can't be expected to give up everything. Big Grin
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16-06-2014, 10:54 AM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
(16-06-2014 08:16 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Men like C.S. Lewis realized something that you have yet to realize or acknowledge. That the existence of evil is not evidence against the existence of God, but evidence for the existence of God.

Does not follow; it's presuppositional.


(16-06-2014 08:16 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  It simply is not working for you. You are experiencing a feeling of "angst" or the feeling you get when you know something is not quite right but you cannot discern exactly what it is. Part of you wants to believe that men can determine what is right and wrong and have no one to answer to beyond themselves. But part of you realizes that this simply is not true. Two voices are speaking to you at once. The fact that you are even experiencing this is evidence that the voice of God is still audible.

Christ said that He was the True Shepherd and that His sheep hear His voice.

Wishful thinking. Just because a cosmic retribution system might seem better than not having one doesn't in and of itself make it true.
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16-06-2014, 11:41 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2014 12:08 PM by pablo.)
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
I can't really add much to what has already been said.
I'm glad you're here and I enjoy reading your posts. As mentioned, if nothing else you can vent here and get responses from people who can relate to you from personal experiences. Your presence here is definitely positive. Thumbsup

Now the neg... Jer, you are the epitome of troll. Your post here on this thread is nothing more than being intentionally hurtful. Reason enough for a ban in my opinion.
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16-06-2014, 12:06 PM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
(16-06-2014 04:16 AM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Recently, I was involved in a life-changing series of events. I'm a lifelong agnostic apistavist, and have been since before I discovered a word to describe what I was.

I grew up thinking there was something seriously wrong with me. I could not find a religion I agreed with or even believed the premises of. I have been told for 20 some odd years that I am going to hell for any number of contradictory reasons. And I learned pretty quickly to only tell people I have known and trusted that I'm agnostic.

I have experienced confusion to outright rejection for merely using the adjective, and have been told it's simply not possible to "not believe in anything."

I have watched the utter hypocrisy of people who claim to be religious, but only when it suits them. And I kept it under wraps for a very long time.

I have friends, family, co workers and acquaintances who I deeply respect, who are religious enough I don't think I can clearly state my views around without damaging interpersonal relationships, putting my career at risk, or otherwise ostracizing myself.

This came to a head today, when during a vaguely related fight, I laid into my wife with the grievances and hypocrisy I see in her relatively mild Christian faith, and absolute horror and inhumanity the religion apologizes out of sight.

Without going into too much detail, I have always surrounded myself with predominately female friends (just get along with women better) and for some accursed reason have the type of personality that I can board a city bus, and someone will sit down next to me and tell me their life story, and close friends will reveal lurid details I could live a perfectly happy life without ever having been exposed to.

Suffice it to say, I remember being 13, knowing hell didn't exist, and having my best friend's little sister describe experiences that made me wish it did.

I don't know if I can hold my tongue any longer. For decades, I have watched and listened to horror stories that "turned out alright" because God, and because God will punish terrible human beings whenever he's good and ready and gets around to it.

I hate knowing that karmic retribution, hell and heaven are bullshit.

I hate knowing the statistics of sex abuse,
https://www.rainn.org/statistics

And that 97% of people who commit the most heinous, horrific, destructive act possible to another human being will go unpunished. And it was hard not to cheer out loud watching the end scenes of "Descent" with Rosario Dawson tonight.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_(2007_film)

I have become more outspoken with friends and family, even when it complicates things. I have to endure constant ribbing and chiding from a close friend whose mother is dying, over "nihilism and anger at God," because I can't force myself to believe in the same nebulous deistic god he does, I don't want him to have to face facts.

But I'm fucking angry. I'm livid. At religion, at what it allows people to do to each other, because of a false cosmic do-over that I don't think exists.

I even hear it from my father. My lapsed catholic gnostic atheist father, who is pushing 60, grumpy as fuck, the embodiment of the "angry atheist" caricature religious people portray, and still wants to know "why I care what other people believe."

Because what some people believe allows for pain, suffering, and absolution of things no mortal deserves to be absolved of.

So I find it harder and harder to hold my tongue, from face-to-face, to Facebook, to friends posting pictures of sunsets as proof of God on Instagram.

And it's me. I'm the immoral one, never mind my nonexistent criminal record.

I'm the broken one. The one who cried and prayed and groveled and begged for a sign of what I was supposed to believe in, and got nothing but more angry at the inhumanity of other people.

B. CCTV

I feel you, mostly.

I'm not a big one for punishment. When I look at some sick, twisted person doing sick, twisted things... okay, I do have an angry impulse to see them hurt, but it's a small thing, and something that in my experience leads to more harm than good. I try to ignore that impulse whenever I recognize it. Mostly, what I want is for them to stop. I don't want torture for them and those like them. I don't like the idea of punishing those who do wrong. I'll buy into punishment as a deterrent, if it can be demonstrated to work as a deterrent and to the degree that it works, but for me punishment is not a goal in its own right. What I want is a cure that will turn them into decent people, and some means of early detection that will help that cure be administered before they do harm. I know that a lot of people will hate me for saying this (what kind of monster am I for not wanting to take monsters and do monstrous things to them???), but in my mind, a proactive cure strategy has a chance of reducing or eliminating much of the awfulness that people do, and a reactive punishment strategy (beyond effective deterrence) does not. I look at the punishment/reward model of heaven and hell as the worst possible way of doing things, and I don't long for it to be true at all.

But otherwise? I'm totally there with you. The hypocrisy of (many of) the faithful in judging us amoral, or shoving their religion in our faces with no notion of proper time and place (*coughJeremycough*), or in their selective bias in how they presuppose that their beliefs are positive things in the world when they often do more harm than good, is quite sickening.

As for the rest of it? All the evil in the world? My advice for all problems like this is the same. Roll up your sleeves and make the world better, as best as you are able. Get others to do the same. And if people yammer at you about religion and heaven and hell, tell them you're busy actually doing something worthwhile, invite them to join in, and say you'll have time to talk about their beliefs once all the real issues are dealt with.
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16-06-2014, 06:40 PM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
(16-06-2014 06:37 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(16-06-2014 08:58 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  A man comes on here and tells all and sundry he's had it with liverwurst sandwiches to the point where the very thought of a liverwurst sandwich infuriates him, and gives cases where liverwurst sandwiches real and offered have caused him genuine anguish that has only gotten worse with every instance of liverwurst sandwiches being pushed on him from every direction, and you walk in here and say "I see your trouble, bro, you need to have a liverwurst sandwich". A mind so blind as to say something like that is stupefying to watch, it's like watching a man with perfectly good arms and hands and fingers using only his feet with boots on to do everything with. Incredible.

You may not like what I am saying and that is fine.

But sometimes in life, the truth runs contrary to what we like or desire.

When we realize this, we have a choice which is the beautiful part of this whole thing.

You can choose to follow The Truth and be transformed by it, thus transforming your desires.

Or you can choose to follow your desires at the expense of truth.

The choice is yours.

Yours as well. Yet you choose not to.
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16-06-2014, 06:47 PM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
(16-06-2014 04:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  Your experiences are not unusual. I suggest that your time here can be positive - at the very least as a place to vent.

There are many examples here of how to and how not to communicate with theists and other wackos. It's a place to learn from others with similar issues.

Besides, I like your posts, so that's positive. Yes

THIS
Oxoxoxo

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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16-06-2014, 06:51 PM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
Quote:What I am saying is that fixing the religion issue isn't going to fix the people issue. Religion is only a small part of what is wrong with this world.

Well said, Dom Thumbsup

Humankind Dodgy (a total misnomer)
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16-06-2014, 08:00 PM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
"Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative."

Are you asking the question for you or for others? If you are wondering if you have a positive influence the answer is yes, at least for me, I like hearing what you have to say.
If the question is reflective then only you can answer that, what I do know is that this place is a refuge from much of the madness (until Jeremy spouts off but fuck him, he's just a proselytizing douche).

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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16-06-2014, 08:21 PM
RE: Unsure whether my time on AF and TTA is positive or negative.
I want to add that it is important that we debate theists on here when they go telling atheists that they are right and atheists need to come to their side, or when they distort science and use it as proof that their religion is true.

Theists quickly kick us off of their forums because they don't want anybody who starts any kind of conversation that makes them question their beliefs. We cannot do the same because it makes us look like the cowards that they are. Such behavior would also make us look bad in the eyes of fence-sitters, and give them the impression that we are fearful that theists will prove our arguments to be wrong, and that theism holds the same amount of credibility that atheism does.

As far as public debates, I think atheists like Bill Nye and Richard Dawkins should not be involved in debates with theists. When major scientific figures get involved in openly public debates, it gives creationists the idea that creationist arguments by guys like Ken Ham have just as much validity as the arguments of highly respected scientists.

It strangely has the same effect as people like us giving theists on our forum the boot simply for the fact that they want to debate us on religious topics, because they think that they can fool some average joe atheists with their religious arguments, just because we're not highly respected scientists like Nye and Dawkins, and that makes us susceptible to their bullshit arguments. Sounds backwards, but that's the way it seems to work.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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