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I guess for us it's like a fetish that we're not interested in.   Some people like to be peed on, or dress up as a furry... I don't care if they do, it's just not something that we see that turns us on.

I really enjoy reading your posts; they're very well thought out.  The quote above hits the nail on the head.  Swinging/poly is clearly a fetish, and it just happens to be one I love.  I agree, I don't get the peeing stuff, or BDSM, etc.  But I can't judge, just like you're not judging.  I mean look at my interests!  What does dress up as a furry mean?  Is that an Aussie term?

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If someone else can manage that in a swinging lifestyle, more power to them.   I just don't think I have the willpower to handle my feelings about it, plus, I've definitely seen X-Rated stuff that has turned me on, and wanted to try it with my partner, but, I've never really been turned on by the stuff that features threesomes or swapping.   It's just not my thing.    It's like if you watched a bunch of Real Sex, on HBO... probably half the stuff, you might say, "Wow, that looks cool."   And the other half, you're like, "Meh, not for me."

Absolutely right - and the temptations you talk about in a swinging lifestyle are very real.  It's not a world to walk into half hazardously.  It's great that you know upfront that it's not for you, and that there could be emotional attachments, etc.  Also sounds like you're in a great marriage! 
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   My family considers themselves very christian, but they have a strange interpretation of christianity based on anabaptist thinking, where they throw out alot of the rules and totally base their beliefs on accepting all people and helping those that society despises. (of course like all Christians┬«, they think they are the ones that understand  ;)).   The home church is very liberal, and has atheists and LGBT folks, and gets alot of refugee families from around the world.  They would welcome Muslims to worship with them, but of course they would only get Muslims that are also accepting of all people.  Funny, they are so accepting and serving, that individual church is growing, while so many in christianity, even in other brethren churches, are in decline. 

So for me, it was pretty easy to "step out".  Also my sister is religious, but her husband is atheist.

Be exactly who you want to be, CD, true to yourself, and the people who love you will always respect that.
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How does being able to count on your partner being with you, have anything to do with monogamy?

Most relationships end at some point, monogamous or not.

For many people, there's an emotional connection with sex and intimacy, so, if I'm having sex with new people, I'm potentially connecting with them and falling for them and realizing all the ways that they are "better" than my current partner, and, she's doing the same.    It's possible to use harder drugs casually and not become addicted, but, probably the best way not to become addicted is to avoid using hard drugs.   It might be possible to have an open relationship and never end up meeting someone who replaces your partner, but, I think it's more likely.

So for me and my partner, we want to try to minimize the risks to us breaking up.

Additionally, we're both middle age, we've both had other relationships, and, we have a lot of fun together.   This has been the best, most laid back, most satisfying relationship I've ever had.   We've both been cheated on, we both don't like that feeling.  Chances are, we're not likely to find someone better, and neither of us wants to risk it.   We're ready to cash in our winnings and enjoy the profit, so to speak.   She's had girls that she was friends with steal her boyfriends.   I've experienced being cheated on.   Neither of us likes it, or wants to experience something similar, even if it's pre-agreed...   "You go in that room and screw that guy, I'll go in this room and screw his wife..."

I guess for us it's like a fetish that we're not interested in.   Some people like to be peed on, or dress up as a furry... I don't care if they do, it's just not something that we see that turns us on.

We've watched all kinds of porn and documentaries on stuff, and when I see documentaries on the swinging lifestyle, I get that they're good people... but I'm not drawn to it.

For me, I've always wanted a lifetime, loyal relationship, for better or worse, including taking the negative aspects of it too.    I'm kind of an introvert who prefers small groups and close friends who are wired similarly.   I can be outgoing at a social situation, but, it wears me out.     

I was at a resort in Jamaica once, sitting at a piano bar, talking to the bartender with my partner.   It turned out, this lady had worked at one of their swinging resorts.   I laughed and said to her, "You must have some insane stories."   She said that mostly she remembers people doing things, then sitting alone the next morning, crying and drinking.   For her it wasn't glamorous at all, and maybe the negative experiences stuck out to her.

So yeah... most relationships end, and they're tough to prolong, but, it's something that I want.   I've seen happy old couples that have worked hard to make it that far, and, I want that, and, I purposely tried to marry someone who I thinks wants the same thing.   Knock on wood, if we're lucky, we'll get there.

I love the way her parents are together... my parents made it until death do they part too, but, weren't quite as functional and happy as hers are.   I love seeing healthy relationships and I'm hopeful that we can maintain ours.

If someone else can manage that in a swinging lifestyle, more power to them.   I just don't think I have the willpower to handle my feelings about it, plus, I've definitely seen X-Rated stuff that has turned me on, and wanted to try it with my partner, but, I've never really been turned on by the stuff that features threesomes or swapping.   It's just not my thing.    It's like if you watched a bunch of Real Sex, on HBO... probably half the stuff, you might say, "Wow, that looks cool."   And the other half, you're like, "Meh, not for me."


BTW, I totally agree about the hypocrisy among politicians.    I'm not rich or famous, and I'm moderately fit and moderately good looking, but not so much that I'm fighting off advances.   I don't know if I'd have the willpower to stay loyal if I was a rock star or politician and people were throwing it at me.   As a guy, you get used to having to pursue, so, it's a challenge to be pursued by someone attractive and say no to it.   Ron White did a bit about Tiger Woods sleeping around, while pretending to be loyal, and he commented that most guys who are loyal have never had an opportunity to cheat... so if Tiger had 60,000 opportunities to cheat, and only cheated 12 times, his percentages are pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPGuD2WTDaQ

For me, I wouldn't say my relationship is boring at all, but, I'm also perfectly content that it's not crazy all the time.    It's less stressful to me that way.

I do think for someone wired like Tiger or even like that to some degree, he's better off in a swinging/open relationship, because at least it's honest.   If he's in a swinging relationship, it's not like he's doing something behind his wife's back.


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Chatter / Re: How Atheists Shift the Burden of Proof
« Last post by jaimehlers on Today at 09:12:27 AM »
A theist can easily get around that argument Jaime.  It's metaphorical.  People lived harder even brutal lives back then so they perceived Yahweh as cruel.  It was just bad perceptions.  There are good ones in there too.  You chose which ones inspire you and which ones don't.
A theist can get around any argument if they put their mind to it, junebug.  It's a concept known as 'sophistry', from the old Greek term referring to "elaborate and devious arguments".  So if they're going to try to dance rings around an argument either way, why worry overly much about being punctilious?  Just pick something that works well enough and is fairly easy to remember, so it survives being transmitted from person to person rather than being distorted all out of recognition.
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Man all this poly shit, swinging shit, internet dating shit...what the fuk else other tricks have you active fuckers invented  to meet and fuk with  in fuk world? 

I feel like  I am an alien from a different universe.

LOL...what do you mean exactly?  There are groups for everyone on MeetUp.com right?  You could probably find groups on monogamy seekers, etc.  It's just a choice people make ya know?  And, again not to recruit as was pointed out above, but if you genuinely do feel you could like the lifestyle, you should consider it - if you hate it, get out.  No biggie!  When you said you aren't really gifted at picking up women - I'm not either.  I'd consider myself decent looking too.  But that doesn't matter - I'm not a high confidence guy, and that's what women love.  There are guys at these meetings that beat me out for women I'm attracted to all the time, because they're funnier or more outgoing.  It's ok!  It doesn't fluster me.  I'd also say this - there are women there that the world wouldn't say are "gorgeous", in fact, many would say they're unattractive.  But I really get excited for them, because they're in the lifestyle and they're friendly.  I'd choose them over a "gorgeous" woman without the friendly personality every time.  But that's me - others like the size 2 woman with toughness.  There's nothing wrong with that either!  Man I'm so long-winded lol...bottom line - you might be very surprised at the variety of people at a random event.
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Hi CD,

Like jetson and junebug, I was also lucky enough to not be raised in a religious home.  My mom is French Catholic, but just the other day she asked me if I think there's a God (she's more curious, at age 83) and I said  I think it's highly unlikely, based on the problem of evil, and what a mess the universe is as a whole.  I told her it certainly gives the appearance of chaos.  But, even still, I told her "maybe there's something, I don't know" to stay open-minded.  And of course, we don't know.  But I'm very lucky - my mom figured out by around 20 that Catholicism made no sense, which I always see as impressive in the pre-internet age. 

I came to religion in 2009 at age 40 out of desperation - maybe a mid-life crisis?  But it was easy to get out, because I hadn't had it drilled into me, similar to some others on the board including Jetson and Junebug.  You're definitely in an unenviable position, one that I could never understand.  You got teaching at a young age, and clearly your family is devout, because you're wondering how to tell your family you're an atheist.  As I and others have pointed out, it's hard to admit you're an atheist to ANYONE, much less a theist.  But the first thing I'd ask you is this - are there any family members or loved ones you could trust with the secret?  If so, I would start there - this board is a great release, but speaking in person to a trusted friend would make you feel even better. 

After that, I think you're dealing with a "need to know" basis.  Do you feel the need to tell your family?  I think you're in your mid-20's, so you're out of the house now, right?  Doesn't that make things easier?  They aren't forcing you to go to services are they?  If so, that's another story.
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I was lucky in that my parents and family never really took religion all that seriously. If they did, they certainly did not seem at all concerned about making sure we all practiced and/or participated. However, even later in my life when I realized I was atheist, I was faced with a very uncomfortable label that many of my friends and colleagues might not understand.

Think of it like this - many people who are homophobic have no homosexual friends. Yet they insist on being homophobic as though it somehow makes them superior, or more normal. They are literally afraid of interacting with homosexual humans because - gay, or something. That is also true with atheists, I think. My approach has been to behave in ways that are helpful, accepting, and considerate of my fellow humans, and if the question comes up, I say I am atheist. The only background they have to consider is my behavior, which is probably not what they expected an atheist to act like.

My advice is to live your life in the way that makes you the happiest and most comfortable when it comes to expressing your stance on religion or gods. That could mean that you never once label yourself anything specific. This is your life, it's the only one you have, and you can either spend it trying to make everyone around you happy, or spend your life being who you are, and exploring your ideologies on your own terms. The good thing is that there is no reason to be confrontational or antagonistic towards others. WE have come to know you on this forum as a reasonable person trying to understand the atheist perspective, and sharing your own perspectives. Keep being who you are.

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Chatter / Re: How Atheists Shift the Burden of Proof
« Last post by jetson on Today at 07:24:07 AM »
@jetson

WLC I think is the theist I remember nailing an atheist with that confidence has a Latin root meaning faith comment.  The atheist did not have a good response. 

That example you gave seems more in line with being agnostic for the sake of conversation so I still don't see the use in declaring strong atheism in conversation with a theist.

I totally see how it works for the individual, I do.  I really do.  I don't hate you or disrespect you for it.  I respect people.  I know people want you in boxes so they can sort us out and divide us.  Maybe I'm a label hater.  I've been labeled my whole life, an abomination, the black sheep, a sinner, good mom, bad mom, good friend, bad friend, insecure, not respected, poor, middle class, poor, white trash, single mom they never end.

My position remains the same when I acknowledge the YHWH character for the sake of a conversation, but sometimes theists don't get it. It gets more complicated when atheists admit that Jesus could have been a real person (but certainly not a god.) Hell, many theists argue that atheists sure do talk about God a lot given they don't think he exists! I try to explain that if all atheists refused to talk about the character by giving them the benefit of the doubt, then there would be nothing to discuss. Maybe atheists like me should prefix their arguments with "I do not accept any god claims, but suppose there is a god...etc." The fact that god belief has had such an immense influence on humanity is the only reason it gets discussed and debated. Yet, here we are in 2016 with no gods to show for all of the bloviating.

The god question is most likely binary. It is a yes/no question to be sure if we isolate to YHWH. For the sake of argument, many humans seem to have settled on the god of Abraham as their character for three major religions. Even though there are disagreements among theists in those religions, they are all apparently worshiping the same god character. So it comes down to a simple binary answer of yes or no. But I don't consider it a question that needs to be answered. Theists will always believe in their gods, and atheists will always reject the premise that a mythical character invented by humans is real.

The nature of the entire question renders it an impossible scientific endeavor because the definition of this supernatural, mythical character cannot be falsified. So the very idea that there is even a question is actually preposterous if you think about it - at least from a rational perspective. This entire website is dedicated to showing people that God cannot be real for many, many good rational reasons. It takes the approach of assuming there is a god, then proceeds to show how utterly irrational it is to think that a god actually exists.

Humans had good reasons to invent gods, but time and science have removed those reasons down to wishful thinking and philosophical musings designed to make us feel better about our place in the universe. I don't need those things, nor do I consider them worthy of too much careful thought or consideration. The lack of an actual god does not bother me at all. It just reminds me that our desire to understand our place in the universe is strong enough to keep many people in various states of delusion based on a primal lack of complete knowledge about everything. I think it is very possible that there is no such thing as objective truth, and those who choose to assign all things to a god are intellectually lazy and uninterested in even trying. We can do better.
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Chatter / Re: How Atheists Shift the Burden of Proof
« Last post by junebug72 on Today at 06:01:02 AM »
For the record, I do not consider "strong atheist" to be the same thing as "gnostic atheist", nor do I consider "weak atheist" to be the same thing as "agnostic atheist".  What I posted before was intended to show that people sometimes mistake one for the other - for example, calling themselves a strong atheist when their position is closer to that of a gnostic atheist.

Here's an important section from that same article:

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So is there any value at all in the terms? Yes ? which label a person uses will tell you something about their general inclination when it comes to debates about gods. A person who uses the label ?weak atheist? may deny the existence of some gods, but as a general rule isn?t going to take the step of asserting the nonexistence a particular god. Instead, they are more likely to wait for the theist to make their case and then examine whether that case is credible or not.

A strong atheist, on the other hand, may be a weak atheist by definition, but by adopting that label the person is in effect communicating a willingness and interest to take a much more proactive role in theological debates. They are more likely to assert right up front that a particular god does not or cannot exist and then make a case for that, even if the theist doesn?t do much to defend the position of belief.
Based on this, I would say that strong atheism is not shifting the burden of proof, because a strong atheist will make a case to support their argument, which involves assuming a burden of proof.

It may be true that some strong atheists do not do this, and calling them to task on it is a good idea.  But I think it is a serious overstatement to claim that this happens with atheism generally.  In addition, I think it is a mistake to assume that we do not have enough knowledge to make positive statements about something not existing.  For example, I would have no issues with the statement that YHWH does not exist, even though it is impossible to positively confirm that something does not exist, because the evidence we have goes against the things that YHWH was claimed to do.  And similarly, other such statements against specific gods would also work for the same reason.

A theist can easily get around that argument Jaime.  It's metaphorical.  People lived harder even brutal lives back then so they perceived Yahweh as cruel.  It was just bad perceptions.  There are good ones in there too.  You chose which ones inspire you and which ones don't.   

Down the rabbit hole you go.
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Religion & Society / Re: Hello, atheists who did you vote for?
« Last post by junebug72 on Today at 05:45:10 AM »
This is why Repuklicans disgust me.  How can an American, with love in their hearts, support these very not loving creatures. 

I do hope John 3:16 will come back and talk some policy with me.  8)
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