Author Topic: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.  (Read 22053 times)

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Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #377 on: August 03, 2009, 10:42:05 PM »
Before I found this site over a month ago, I was really on the fence.  I had not reached a place where I was saying that God wasn't real.  But I had reached a place where I was saying that God does not do the things that the Bible and/or Christians say that He does.  However, I still considered my self a believer – just a rebellious one.

Then I found this website and watched the videos.  I devoured each and every link and read every single line of information.  I literally spent an entire day poring over this sight, watching the videos again, re-reading certain articles.  By that evening, I had come to full terms with my life as a Christian.  This thread is a result of that epiphany.

In starting this thread, I used one example of over 30 years of experiences as a Christian to try and relay how I had come to terms with my faith, or subsequent lack thereof.  My birth to rationalism was not strictly because of an allergy.  My allergy, and how God chose to interact with me about it, was but one step that culminated with my questions, doubt, fear, searching, enlightenment, and finally acceptance of the fact that the God  of the Bible does not exist.

So suffice it to say that I did not initially arrive at this site as an atheist.  But after having spent many weeks studying, debating, listening, and questioning – I feel that I have finally arrived at my true self.

The Christians who offered their debate (and I use that word loosely) only served to remind me of my initial questionings and also gave me a fresh look at how ridiculous my Christian arguments and explanations have been in the past.  They did nothing to “move me back to the fold.”  They only pushed me further away.

The Rationalists who offered their debate did so with such logic, intelligence, order, fairness, and forthrightness that I couldn't help but find my initial fears and doubts turn to confidence and assurance.

So be it.  It makes me sad, but it sounds like your transformation is complete - prepare to become more machine than man as you lose your heart slowly over time.
It was good talking with you.

As a final tribute to ol' Chesty, I would have to agree that, yes, my transformation is complete.

"More machine than man." That is ignorant, arrogant and frankly stupid. Though I'd argue that following a set of instructions because of some great script is much more machine like than free thought and logical thinking. After all Christians do as they're told by the bible.

Seppuku, there is no one so blind as the man who just wont see.  I used to be one of the machines like Chesterton.  He doesn't see that he is exactly what he claims I will become.  He spouts the same thing that all the other Christians spout.  I used to be one of these religious automatons and I never realized that I was more machine than man.  But then I never really opened my eyes either.  The Bible itself says that to be a Christian we must be as sheep.  No individuality, just sheep.  There is your machine.  Chesterton can't see it but I can.  That used to be me.

I think Lonestar Grandad made an exellent point in a previous post (I think it was him) and that's by being an atheist and not believing in an afterlife makes your appreciate the life you have a whole lot more. As atheists this life is all we have and why waste it?

Seppuku, this is my new reality and you have reiterated it with your usual eloquence.  This is my new life.  I find myself not wanting to waste a second of it.  Lately, my wife and I find ourselves asking each other, “What do you want to do now?”  We are so consumed with getting everything out of today that our lives are richer, fuller, happier, and more peaceful.  It was told to me that we have more peace because we have laid down a heavy burden.  I couldn't agree more!  At least we threw off the shackles before we were too old and bitter to enjoy this wonderful experience we call life.

I want to thank all of you for your instruction, debate, construction, and presence.  It has literally been a life-changing event, happening upon this site.  I don't know how much longer I will choose to debate the irrational ones (Christians) but I will check in from time to time. 

Thanks again to everyone.  Even though I don't know you personally, I count you all as friends.  And to my Christian counterparts I say, keep your eyes open.  You never know when the next “miracle” will actually be a total and complete denial of any miracle at all.  When that happens, you are really on to something!

  I am not a Christian, I am not a sinner, I am not a rebel, I am not an atheist.  I am LonestarGrandad :  non-believer in the unbelievable.   
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  Soren Kierkegaard

Offline William

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #378 on: August 03, 2009, 11:09:03 PM »
Great post LonestarGrandad.  This is now officially my favourite thread on WWGHA - a triumph of rational thinking :)

Meanwhile Chesty will soldier on secure in the knowledge that his foot stopped hurting one day and therefore everything in the bible must be true  &)





Edit: little typo
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 08:22:14 PM by William »
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #379 on: August 04, 2009, 03:17:59 AM »
Likewise William, it's a good reminder of what a life without God exactly is as opposed to what some theists claim it to be.

Lonestar Grandad, it's probably better not to stress yourself with arguments with Christians (advice that I might one day listen to), although it's always too easy to want to just correct them or tell them that they're wrong about so many things, it's perhaps wiser in some respects to get on with your life, particularly when you have a new lease. I know some atheists might disagree, given the number of fundies and extremos out there.

Not all Christians are so bad, I mean I've known some kind and decent ones who aren't bothered at all by how people lead their lives and very much have a 'each to his own' attitude.

But I can say I've enjoyed reading this discussion, and I hope the Christians in this discussion will eventually think about what has been said and understand a little more what it means to not believe in a god, but then again I am an optimist. ;)
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #380 on: August 04, 2009, 10:41:52 AM »
Lonestar Grandad, it's probably better not to stress yourself with arguments with Christians (advice that I might one day listen to), although it's always too easy to want to just correct them or tell them that they're wrong about so many things, it's perhaps wiser in some respects to get on with your life, particularly when you have a new lease. I know some atheists might disagree, given the number of fundies and extremos out there.

Indeed, and that's why I like to take a break ever so often. Trying to counter stupidity every day can be wearing.  However, as others have said, it's something i can do whilst being bored at work and it gives my brain exercise. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #381 on: August 04, 2009, 12:03:34 PM »
Yes, it's like a crossword puzzle for those who don't like doing crossword puzzles.  ;D
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Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #382 on: October 02, 2009, 07:40:29 PM »
Your big question is, “Why didn’t God tell me not to take aspirin.”  I could give you a much more specific answer if I could sit down in front of you and talk with you at length about this matter.  But because I have extremely limited information about you, your life, and what happened, I can only present some possibilities:

  • God could have been telling you not to take aspirin all along, but not in the voice you were looking for, and you didn’t hear Him.  He was willing to remove your affliction, but only if you learned to hear him on a deeper level.  Bringing you to a higher level of spirituality was more important than giving you normal health.  If you say, “Whatever He was trying to do didn’t work,” you haven’t seen the entire act yet.

And how long was he supposed to wait? Until he was 80? After his affliction had ruined his life?

  • You said you had a personal relationship with Him.  Was that relationship to the point of guiding you in all your activities?  God guides us in our conscience, without words, even about simple things like what to eat and what not to eat.  He could have been urging you to not to take the aspirin, and you didn’t hear him.

If an omnipotent god is "urging", and yet "not heard", he's obviously speaking TOO QUIETLY.

"Urging" means he was attempting to be heard. Therefore he either wasn't powerful enough, or was deliberately speaking too quietly.

  • Your affliction could have been completely not your fault, but for the sake of others, to remind them that their daily troubles aren’t so bad.

In other words:

"Oh, it's alright that you suffer, because others can point at you and say, we're better off than him"

That is quite possibly the most callous thing I have ever heard anyone say. I hope all of your limbs drop off, that your face turns into an arsehole, and that your penis starts growing inward! Just imagine how much joy you'll bring to other people then!! They will look at you and say, that man is REALLY badly off. And by your own reasoning, they will feel SO much better for it.

You are a callous, evil person.

Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #383 on: October 02, 2009, 07:48:14 PM »
Your suffering could have had little to do with you, but could have been completely for others’ benefit. 

You repeat your callous statement here. Have you no humanity or compassion whatsoever?

Many mothers sacrifice most of their own rest and comfort and interests for the sake of their children.

Yes. VOLUNTARILY.

Again, I can’t make any firm conclusions without knowing you personally.  But I gave you one example of why God could have had a good reason to leave you with your affliction until you were 30-something years old:
Your affliction could have been completely not your fault, but for the sake of others, to remind them that their daily troubles aren’t so bad.
There could have been numerous people you knew or ran into during the course of your affliction that were in the habit of focusing too much on small annoyances in their lives.  By seeing how much you suffered, it acutely reminded them that their problems were not so bad, and that they needed to focus on more important things, that they had a good life, and should be thankful.

And you have the gall to quote your earlier, unforgiveable statement, I notice!

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #384 on: October 02, 2009, 07:52:47 PM »
Wow! GREAT thread! I hadn't caught this one before now. Congratulations, LSGD and LSGM for being honest with yourselves and living your life with integrity and clarity!

I highly recommend looking up videos on youtube with "The Atheist Experience" in the titles. They are clips from a local TV show in Austin TX. The president of the organization--and often host of the broadcasts--is Matt Dillahunty. He was raised a baptist, lived as a baptist for 30 years, and was studying to be a minister when his transformation took place. I'm sure you would find MANY gems in his shows that would be of benefit to you.

Best of luck!

Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #385 on: October 04, 2009, 01:27:38 AM »
Hey Stugol and Get Me There,

So nice to get your imput and encouragement.  Stugol, isn't the "Christian Spirit" of love amazing?  It seems I have been called a plethora of nasty things since telling my story in this forum.  Funny thing is, it has all been by "God is Love" Christians.  The "non-believers" have been nothing but kind, understanding, helpful, and enlightening.

I wasn't ready for the people I used to call brothers and sisters to want to tear me apart like they did.  But then again, I think my thread hits too close to home for them.  My story is not conjecture or theory, it is true and I tell it just the way it happened to me.  I don't think my ex-brothers and ex-sisters can handle it, so they attack it. 

Get Me There,
Thanks for the encouragement.  We have been living this life of integrity and clarity for less than 6 months now.  (We didn't fully take the plunge until recently.)  We have talked it out for quite a while but only in the last few months have we reached the place where we can actually utter the words:  "I don't believe in the god of the bible.  I DO believe that he is imaginary."  Thanks to this website and forum, I am now firmly entrenched in unbelief.  (of course if the son of god appeared to me right now, I might have to give pause and unentrench myself . . . nope, nothing to see here.  I am still fully entrenched.)  I will check out the you tube clips.  It seems that I am now devouring everything I can on this subject.  We have watched the films Religulous and The God That Wasn't There as well as The Athiest TapesThe Athiest Experience looks good as well, we well check it out.  Thanks again to both of you and just so you know, I enjoy both of your posts. 
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  Soren Kierkegaard

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #386 on: October 04, 2009, 10:50:44 AM »
Hi LSGDad/Mom,

I don't believe we've met. I'm Gnu, how do you do?

I was reading your story, and was trying to get my head round the immense change you've made in your lives. Personally, I've never been religious, so it's hard for me to understand what it means to give up an all-encompassing philosophy after decades of believing it.

I was reminded of a few words of wisdom that I came across forty years ago, and I thought they might be helpful to you in this period of transition. They are only the words of one man, so they carry no particular authority. But for me they have been a source of inspiration and encouragement over the years.

Halfway through writing this I decided to start a new thread on the subject instead, which you can find here.

So it's now addressed to everyone, but I wrote it with you in mind. Hope you like it.

Best Wishes,

Gnu.

Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #387 on: October 04, 2009, 05:49:16 PM »
Hi LSGDad/Mom,
I was reading your story, and was trying to get my head round the immense change you've made in your lives. Personally, I've never been religious, so it's hard for me to understand what it means to give up an all-encompassing philosophy after decades of believing it.

Hello Gnu, how do you do? 

It's true that a lot has changed in our lives this year and we are still kind of finding our way.  What does it mean to give up a philosophy that has been as much a part of you as, say, breathing?  At first it is a little fearful.  So much of who you are is wrapped up in this belief system that validates you as a good person and challenges you as a sinner. 

For me, my Christianity gave me purpose and fulfillment.  I felt I was a part of something bigger than myself.  I felt that I had direction and guidance from a higher power who really knew me and cared about me.    This is just a little example of the "good" that I derived from being a Christian.  My Christianity defined me and I liked the definition. 

But the thing that Christians don't ever admit to themselves is the fact that this belief system is incredibly oppressive.  We are told, and we tell others, that God is love.  Jesus cares about us.  He knew us before we were born.  All the hairs on our head are numbered.  No one loves us, knows us, or cares about us like God does.  We bask in the glory of His love.  But we are seldom willing to open our eyes to the oppression that comes with His “love.”

I never really saw the clarity of it until the last few months.  My Christianity defined me and I liked the definition.  But if I only like myself through the looking glass of Christianity didn't that also reveal that without Christianity I am filled with self loathing?  In fact, that is exactly what it revealed and what is also perpetuated by the scriptures themselves. 

Many scriptures tell us that we are hopeless without Christ.  I used to love to quote the scripture that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  But now I see that even that scripture diminishes me as a person, as a human being.  Is it really true that I have to filter all of the good  I can do through the supposed perfection of Christ?  Is it true that without Christ, I am nothing?  Is it true that I owe everything to Him and not myself?  If it is true, than I am very oppressed indeed. 

Pride, independence, self value, and self fulfillment are taboo to Christians.  But as a human being, aren't these the very building blocks of life?  As Christians we strive to be humble, meek and lowly.  We are admonished to be good sheep following the shepherd.  But as human beings aren't we better off being leaders and mentors?  Full of the pride of accomplishment and the drive to succeed?  Aren't we better off as lions instead of lambs?  But this, again, underscores the oppression of Christianity:  Jesus is the Lion, and we are the lambs. 

In the last few months I have trimmed the above scripture quotation somewhat.  “I can do all things, period!” is my new mantra.  Of course, I can't do all things.  But the things that I can do, I do them on my own.  I am the author and finisher and this gives me a new definition of myself, a definition I like much better.

So, in short:  giving up on the idea that God is your everything – your hero - leaves you with a great gaping emptiness . . . until that emptiness begins to fill up with the idea that you don't need a cosmic hero.  That you are your own hero.  That until you accept yourself as your own hero, you are diminishing yourself.  It turns out the “Jesus shaped hole” that someone talked about in another thread is not Jesus shaped at all.  It turns out it is LonestarGrandad shaped and I am valuable enough on my own.

Thanks again for the list,  we have printed a copy and will be referring to it often.  I don't know what the highway ahead holds but isn't the view amazing?

LSGD
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  Soren Kierkegaard

Offline William

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #388 on: October 04, 2009, 06:16:21 PM »
Pride, independence, self value, and self fulfillment are taboo to Christians.  But as a human being, aren't these the very building blocks of life?  As Christians we strive to be humble, meek and lowly.  We are admonished to be good sheep following the shepherd.  But as human beings aren't we better off being leaders and mentors?  Full of the pride of accomplishment and the drive to succeed?  Aren't we better off as lions instead of lambs?  But this, again, underscores the oppression of Christianity:  Jesus is the Lion, and we are the lambs. 

Reading this made my skin tingle and the hairs on my neck stand up - all the atoms and cells in my body lined up in agreement.   
I have two words for this:  Courage. Honesty.
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #389 on: October 04, 2009, 06:28:18 PM »
Nietzsche couldn't have said it better, LSG.  It is one of the areas in which he was right on the ball.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #390 on: October 04, 2009, 06:57:25 PM »
hey, another recommendation for you, LSG--in case a lifetime in the church has kept you away from the latest developments in science that...ummm....some churchgoers are known to avoid...

Have a view of the videos from potholer54 on youtube. They are quite short, but VERY much to the point. They supply a LOT of information that's accurate, well explained, and well condensed--making it possible to learn a very great deal with rather little effort.

Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #391 on: October 04, 2009, 07:00:23 PM »
In time, however, their rhetoric will grow tiresome.  They will spin their hypotheticals, since their worldview doesn't work in the real world and they have to use hypotheticals, and you will one day realize you've heard the same-old tired song many times before. 

Um....doesn't this sound amusingly close to a description of theists?

Yet Chesterton was in fact referring to rational people aka atheists. How odd.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #392 on: October 04, 2009, 07:06:01 PM »
LSGD,

For some reason, I was halfway through reading your post and I found myself in tears.

Really. And it's a bit weird, because I don't quite understand why I'm crying.

So I'm not capable of saying anything sensible to you at the moment.

Except, welcome to our world. We don't know what's going on. It's a weird place. It is what you make it. And we're all in it together.

See? Incapable of sense, as I said.

Catch you later,

Gnu.

PS William:
Quote
Reading this made my skin tingle and the hairs on my neck stand up

Ah, good. Not just me then.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 07:09:57 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #393 on: October 04, 2009, 07:07:44 PM »
So be it.  It makes me sad, but it sounds like your transformation is complete - prepare to become more machine than man as you lose your heart slowly over time.

This stuck-up prick is really starting to get on my nerves.

Chesterton, who the hell do you think you are, to sit on your high horse and pronounce sentence like that? Just goes to demonstrate what arseholes[1] (many) Christians really are.
 1. Yes, I'm English.

Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #394 on: October 04, 2009, 07:11:05 PM »
He used this ailment to draw you into faith.  He hoped that it would bring you into a full reliance on Him for all things.

Let me get this straight. God hoped that by proving that he couldn't rely on God for ONE thing, to convince him to rely on God for ALL THINGS?

Oh, and parents who try to teach their children to "rely on them for all things" are called "co-dependant" and are harmful.

Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #395 on: October 04, 2009, 07:14:52 PM »
Also, LSGD, explain to me why the doctor could not have been the answer.  Was he not created by God? 

The doctor, like the rest of us, was created by sexual reproduction.  His parents banged and 9 months later the larval form of the doctor emerged from his mother's stretched-to-capacity vagina, which was never the same after.  It was not a miracle.  It was very mundane, vulgar, even.  You see, every person you see today was produced in the exact same manner, though probably from many different positions.  All mammals do it like that too.

*giggles self to bits*

You have a way with words, my friend.

Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #396 on: October 04, 2009, 07:24:10 PM »
I talk to atheists now through this website, but I know a few personally.  They are not happy people and many have a tough time fitting in because their worldview does not fit reality.

Firstly, how does their worldview not fit reality?

Indeed, when does "the origin of the universe" ever come into normal discussion? I ask that question because, you see, the ONLY form of god that has NOT been thoroughly and comprehensively DISPROVEN from here to hell and back again on this website is the God of the Gaps. I've only been a member of this forum for about a week, and already I can see that all mainstream religions[1] have been demonstrated to be totally bogus.

Secondly, even if their worldview does not "fit reality", how does this make it difficult for them to "fit in"? Fit in to what, for that matter? Society? If they're having trouble "fitting in" to society, maybe it's more the fault of the TWO BILLION DELUDED PEOPLE that make up the vast majority of said society?

You, Chesterton, are an arrogant bigot; and likely a liar too.
 1. EDIT: Alright, all forms of Christianity, anyway.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 07:47:13 PM by stugol »

Offline stugol

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #397 on: October 04, 2009, 07:36:31 PM »
The Bible itself says that to be a Christian we must be as sheep.  No individuality, just sheep.  There is your machine.  Chesterton can't see it but I can.  That used to be me.

Interesting... I am writing a book, one part of which focuses on the contradictions and plain stupidity of religion. Could you point me at some passages in the Bible that SPECIFICALLY instruct followers to switch off their powers of reasoning and be like sheep? No need to quote them if you don't want to - the verse numbers and such will be fine.

Or would this be better in a thread of its own? Meh. I daresay a mod will split it, if it becomes a problem.

Cheers.

Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #398 on: October 04, 2009, 07:55:31 PM »
Reading this made my skin tingle and the hairs on my neck stand up - all the atoms and cells in my body lined up in agreement.   
I have two words for this:  Courage. Honesty.

Nietzsche couldn't have said it better, LSG.  It is one of the areas in which he was right on the ball.

LSGD,
For some reason, I was halfway through reading your post and I found myself in tears.
Really. And it's a bit weird, because I don't quite understand why I'm crying.
So I'm not capable of saying anything sensible to you at the moment.
Except, welcome to our world. We don't know what's going on. It's a weird place. It is what you make it. And we're all in it together.

I'm kind of at a loss for words.

My wife and I have gained a lot in this short journey of discovery.  But one of the things we have lost, literally, is the sense of community that comes from being a part of a church and a group of believers.  We had resigned ourselves to the idea that this was the price we would have to pay for being honest with ourselves.  (As shown by Christian posters in this thread, shunning is par for the course)

But little did we know that we would gain as much community as we had lost, more so even, from those who had taken this journey before us or had arrived at this place from other avenues.  We count you as friends and mentors. 

LSGD/LSGM
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  Soren Kierkegaard

Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #399 on: October 05, 2009, 12:25:02 AM »
hey, another recommendation for you, LSG--in case a lifetime in the church has kept you away from the latest developments in science that...ummm....some churchgoers are known to avoid...

Have a view of the videos from potholer54 on youtube. They are quite short, but VERY much to the point. They supply a LOT of information that's accurate, well explained, and well condensed--making it possible to learn a very great deal with rather little effort.

Just finished watching the "made easy" videos.  Very useful and informative.  When I think about the things I used to cling to as "truth" it only makes me shake my head.  Intelligent Design and Creation Science is nothing more than misdirection and misinformation used to buttress a preconcieved conclusion.  Yet when you begin with the statement "God said it, I believe it, that settles it" you are more than willing to buy into the misdirection.  I may not be brilliant, but I'm smarter than that.  I may revisit the Creation Science Museum in Glenrose some time in the future with different glasses on.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  Soren Kierkegaard

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #400 on: October 05, 2009, 01:18:47 AM »
Glad you liked the potholer videos, LSG. Potholer is a professional geologist and science writer. My field is molecular and cell biology, but as far as I can tell, his information on everything is as reliable as it gets.

btw, if you've only watched the "Made Easy" series you missed one of potholer's earliest and most compelling videos:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXfIop5ZOsY[/youtube]
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 02:46:53 AM by GetMeThere »

Offline kin hell

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #401 on: October 05, 2009, 03:02:35 AM »
Haven't seen that before GetMe  ............potent vid.    ..................thanks
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

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Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Either God loathes my very existence or He is imaginary.
« Reply #402 on: October 05, 2009, 07:18:24 AM »
Yet another compelling video.  Thanks GMT. 
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  Soren Kierkegaard