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Linking a great post

This was posted over on Ex-Christian.net.  Thought it was worth spreading it here too.

“If you’re a Christian, or on the fence about your beliefs, I would like to recommend that you give a little thought to something important.

The Bible, and Christian clergy, writers, and apologists all make a very big deal of hewing to the faith, of shunning doubt and constantly “working on” one’s faith. They make it sound like actually thinking about and researching the truth values of your Christian beliefs is an insult to god. To question the teachings you’ve received, and actually question the truth of the Jesus story, they claim, is to “turn away from god.”

But is this really the right way to look at it? Why do they insist that you believe whatever you’re told in the Bible and in sermons? Why do they say, “Just take my word for it”?” …………

http://networkedblogs.com/KUgLO

May 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm 15 comments

Who’s Pathological?

First a definition: Pathological – deviating from normal, healthy, or efficient

Next some considerations of pathology in the context of evolution and society:

Evolution – The proper purpose of behavior in evolutionary understanding is to maximize the survival likelihood of the individual, the genetic line of the individual, and the species of which the individual is a member. There may be many ways to accomplish these ends but of course the ones to be preferred are those that are most efficient since individuals have limited life spans and resources.

From the definition provided above we can see that an individual who is not acting toward the named purposes in efficient ways is pathological from an evolutionary standpoint.

Society ­– Generally speaking societal behaviors or norms that are preserved in nearly all societies over nearly all times are evolutionarily favorable (and probably evolutionarily directed). Thus such things as family closeness, clannishness, community cooperation, patriotism, traditions, belief systems, and so on are likely to be positive, evolutionary survival behaviors since they can all provide a measure of security, and support that enhances survivability.

Once again, we can conclude that individuals who go outside these lines would fit the definition of ‘pathological’ since they place themselves not only out of the norms but may imperil their own survival by losing the support of community, family, etc.

If my reasoning is right then, I think we may safely conclude that we deconverts are pathological. 😀

April 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm 7 comments

Forgiveness is Cheap: Confession is an Easy Out

Matt 5:23,24 –  “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

There’s a nice principle. If you have a problem with someone else, you go and reconcile with them FIRST: THEN you come talk to your god. But honestly is this how it really works? No, we know it isn’t.

The church has this set of teachings that say, “God is the one most offended by your sins…. He’s the one you really must apologize to… Get right with him.” And along with those maxims goes the teaching that if you just confess to god, then you’ll be forgiven, shriven, cleansed. You’ll be back in good graces with your imaginary friend and all will be right. ….. or will it?

Haven’t you forgotten someone? What about the real, flesh and bone person who was truly offended and hurt by what you did? He/She is still there. Did you confess to him/her? How’s that relationship?

It’s so easy, so cheap to confess to the air and imagine that everything’s OK. You imagine your deity smiles on you. You may hear your priest pronounce forgiveness for you. But try going to that person you really hurt. Will he/she smile and forgive so readily? Or will you have to actually DO SOMETHING to earn your forgiveness? Might you actually have to change your ways? (That’s another actual bible concept called repentance.)

Yeah, confession is easy. Pronounced and imagined forgiveness from an imaginary being is cheap. But real repentance is hard, and real forgiveness is earned, and confessing to a real person you’ve actually harmed is scary.

But hey, religion is there to comfort folks, not challenge or change them. Not to make them better, just to make them happy.

So go to your altars; and if you have any real issues with real people, don’t worry; tell it to the air, then imagine all is well.

April 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm 4 comments

Former Christian Apologizes for Being Such a Huge Shit Head for all Those Years

I don’t know the gal who wrote this, but I LOVE IT! 😀

http://www.rechelleunplugged.com/2010/01/former-christian-apologizes-for-being-such-a-huge-shit-head-for-all-those-years/

January 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm Leave a comment

The reason for the season?

Just who the heck am I talking about here?

  • Keeps track of who is being good and bad
  • Rewards according to the list
  • Knows what you are doing at all times
  • Is aware of your requests for gifts and such
  • Parents teach their children about him
  • Has helpers of lesser abilities than himself
  • Has supernatural powers
  • Is known as loving and kind
  • No one ever sees him
  • Gets credit for things he doesn’t actually do
  • Lots of songs about him
  • Immortal
  • May have origins in some historical character
  • His example may inspire generosity in some people
  • Does some rather weird miraculous things

Happy holidays whilst you figure on that. 😀

December 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm 4 comments

Why can’t you just respect my beliefs?

Isn’t that a terribly common cry to hear from those who still believe? You try to engage them in some sort of dialogue about your doubts, they give some pat answers, you shoot those down easily, and then they act like you’re attacking their faith, they get defensive, and they cry, “Why can’t you just respect my beliefs?”

I have to admit that my first thought in response to this accords with a quote I found by Bertrand Russell. “There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.”

How perceptive of Mr. Russell. The real problem with believers, and the real reason they are so easily upset, is a deep-seated insecurity. As I brought up in a previous post, God is really a surrogate parent. So believers who have their faith challenged are afraid of losing their parent, and by extension, their whole “faith family”. The cry, “Why can’t you just respect my beliefs?” can be translated more realistically to “Don’t take away my comfort and security! You’re scaring me!” …

Continue Reading November 21, 2012 at 1:24 am 53 comments

Built in Irrationality

Once again I am lifting verbiage directly from someone who has been absolutely brilliant. In this case the poster on another site is know only as Dr. X. I know nothing more of him. Only that this post of his is wonderful in it’s insight. No one theory is likely to cover everyone and this one surely leaves out some people, but I find it highly resonant with me and surely with many others on this site. I think it provides insight into the inner motivations of so many people who are reluctant to change and may even may even strengthen belief in the face of conflicting evidence (the backfire effect).

There is abundant evidence from psychological research that irrationality is built into us, and that pre-rational heuristics govern our beliefs far more than rationality. Ideologies, social bonds and group identifications, not training, determine the ability of most of us to process evidence in dealing with matters related to our sense of social alliances. It’s easy to see how this powerful tendency was selected in human beings and no reason to assume that vulnerability to bias is trained into people or that we can be trained out of bias in some general sense during childhood. My mother loved me when I was born, not because of any inherent quality in me that made me more worthy of love. She regularly acted with disregard for her own interests to protect me. So much of our survival is based on pre-rational, preconscious tendencies and heuristics, while reason is a rather lowly step-child in social relations, and that would generally hold true for group identity. …

Continue Reading October 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm 4 comments

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

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Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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