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Showing posts from July, 2011


By Carl S ~ F indings of a recent academic study from the University of Oregon and University of British Columbia show that believers are just as likely to cheat on academic tests as non-believers (as reported in Secular Humanist Bulletin, summer 2011). The article further reports: "What matters more than whether you believe in a God is what kind of a God you believe in. There is a relationship: believing in a mean God, a punishing one, does contribute to non-cheating behavior. Believing in a loving, forgiving God seems to have the opposite effect." The article concludes with words from Azim F. Shariff, co-author of the study, warning that “…the results are preliminary and cannot necessarily be applied to other types of moral behavior." I must say I disagree with the "cannot necessarily" part of Mr. Shariff’s statement. For starters, some believers I have known had no trouble or qualms of conscience about cheating on tests and/or spouses, and I'm sure

The Moral Panacea

Stoic Nurturing verses Religious Indoctrination By Jeff ~ Will ever the day come when the wise will band together the sweet dreams of youth and the joy of knowledge? Each is but naught when in solitary existence. Will ever the day come when Nature will be the teacher of man and Humanity his book of devotions and Life his daily school? Youth’s purpose of joy – capable in its ecstasy and mild in its responsibility – cannot seek fulfilment until knowledge heralds the dawn of that day. [ Kahlil Gibran ] Until some method of teaching virtue has been discovered, progress will have to be sought by improvement of intelligence rather than morals. [Bertrand Russell] If a noble disposition be planted in a young mind, it will engender a flower that will endure to the end, and no rain will destroy, nor will it be withered by drought. [Antiphon] I ’m an Ex-Christian (of the born-again, spirit-filled persuasion) and I’m passionate about introducing a form of nurturing that will supersede relig

On Doubt and Intellectual Autonomy

By Paul So ~ W hen I was young child raised in the church, it was always implied that doubting is at least discouraged (if not sinful), and trying to abandon your faith on the basis of doubt is usually frowned upon. What disturbs me now is that many of the Christians I’ve encountered believe that while one can occasionally doubt their faith, overall one should never abandon their faith on the basis of doubt, and to do so would somehow entail that the doubt is unjustifiable. It bothers me because I am powerless to convince them that my doubt was well justified and reasonable, and it is further exacerbated when some of them stubbornly think that I must have conclusive proof ( beyond reasonable doubt ) that my case is true. The problem with that is not many things can be believed only solely on the basis of conclusive proof, but most of time on the basis of the degree of reasonableness. But even this does not satisfy many Christians because many of them are not evidentialist (that is th

A Personal Relationship with God?

By JR ~ F rom the very start of my "Christian Life," over 50 years ago, I have heard the question; "Do you have a personal relationship with God ?" referred to many times. For years I never really considered the depth of that question . . . A Personal Relationship ? Then I began to realize that frankly "No, I don't have a personal relationship with God," at least not the way I define "personal relation-ship." Consider a close personal friend of your own. What do you know about that person? You know plenty if indeed they are a true personal friend. You discuss your problems with them on occassion, most likely. They give you their opinion about troubling issues in your life and you do the same for them. You laugh and sometimes cry with them. You enjoy spending time together because of the similarities and differences you both have and your willingness to communicate with eachother about them.You know you are cared for by them as they k

Get a Job, preacher man!

By Dano ~ I am 75 years old, and have been a skeptic on the subject of religion for most of my life. I have arrived at the point where virtually all things requiring faith in supernatural things, seems just plain silly to me. The garden of Eden thing, makes so little sense when analyzed with a logical mind that it is irritating to me to even think about it. The Jesus story, is so patently, a blood sacrifice to an imaginary god story, and even dumber than many of the, sacrifice to god stories, that preceded it, that I want to scream. It makes no sense folks, the whole Idea that the creator of the universe would need, or want a sacrifice to himself is nothing more than an insult to whatever brought about the big bang, assuming that "It" could be insulted. The way I see it, is that the human animal is so insignificant in relation to many other things in the universe, including other forms of life that theoretical scientists postulate as having a very high degree of pro

My Personal Journey From Faith to Reason

By Allen J Cavin ~ I was born Saturday March 13, 1965, I was raised in a lower-class Christian home. The first eight years raised as Lutheran and then as a Fundamental Independent Baptist . I attended a Lutheran Kindergarten, Public School for grades 1-3 but from the 4th grade on was again private church-related schools. I am not any different than many children raised up during the late 60's and 70's. Each Sunday morning you were dressed up in your good clothes, attended Sunday school, church service and then to eat at grandma's. When I was around nine years old and sometime in 1974 the film The Burning Hell was shown at Bethany Baptist Church where my family was a going to at the time. The film depicted how people died and ended up in hell and how those that do not accept Christ as their Savior would be left behind after his return. Very shortly after seeing it, I had a vivid dream, a terrible dream of the Rapture happening. In this dream, I was awakened by a loud

The Afterlife: Did Anyone get it Right?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ I t appears that every culture we know anything about, from the past few thousand years, has believed in some sort of afterlife. Given the contradictory descriptions, we know they all, or almost all, got the details wrong, but does the persistence of this basic theme suggest that the Christians may be onto something after all? Could every one of these cultures have been TOTALLY wrong about the existence of some sort of hereafter? Image via Wikipedia On the surface it doesn’t seem likely, but there are things that virtually everyone throughout history has believed which turned out to be wrong. That the earth is flat, for one, and that the sun goes around the earth and that evil spirits cause disease, for others. But, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume there is an afterlife and see what can be said about it. The Mayans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Norse, Baha’i, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, numerous American Indian tribes, and many, many other cultures,

Fire in the Mind - Allen

By Neal Stone ~ As I get closer to filing divorce I find myself facing many battles...and winning. The counseling sessions have been good and after my second one my counselor asked if I wanted to continue. He asked in a way as if I didn't need too. We did find it wasn't low self-value hat was the problem, but currently as it was in the past. But rather now not seeing the value that was already there, But how does this happen? How does someone not have any self-value or not see their own value? That is part of what this blog is about. We will dive deeper into my personal lift story than ever before. As my counselor told me “Just because it started bad, doesn't mean it has to end that way!”. I kind of like that. Image by matthewvenn via Flickr Fire in the Mind Part 1 – Allen I t’s there; you can feel it, a slight burning in the back of your mind. Like a fire that won’t go out. The smoke chokes your soul and your heart is smothered in its ashes. The fire o

Am I Happy Now?

By R. Martinez-Stone ~ I was recently asked by a friend who is a born-again Christian if I think my life is better since I’ve left Christian fundamentalism . My answer was a simple yes, but since responding, I’ve given the question more thought. I felt like I needed to elaborate and more clearly define why I am happier now as a non-Christian. I guess I have never put into words why I instinctively and impulsively responded as I did. I’ve never had any regrets, leaving the church; but now I wondered why. Image by River Beach via Flickr The first reason that came to mind is that, since leaving Fundamentalism , I have been set free from their narrowly defined definition of god and have since had the freedom to have a more individual, personal relationship with god. It is ironic because fundamentalism speaks frequently about the importance of having a “personal relationship” with god, but in my experience, once one becomes a fundamentalist, god is defined by the pulpit and the relat

Searching for the Baby in the Bathwater

By Libby Anne ~ E veryone who leaves the Quiverfull movement , Christian Patriarchy, or fundamentalism in general has a long journey in front of them. They have to sort through everything they have always believed and determine what to throw out and what to keep, what still makes sense and what does not. This can be a long and difficult process, and can even take years. Everyone’s journey is different. My personal journey led me out of Christianity altogether. This is the story of that journey. It is not your journey and does not need to be; rather, it is my journey. Image by vk-red via Flickr I had been taught all my life to take the Bible literally, to believe that God created the world in six days, that Abraham and Moses really existed and did and said what the Bible records, that every word of the Gospels was true as written, and that Paul really did tell women to submit to their husbands and not work outside of the home. The Bible, I was taught, was infallible, without error

My Truth

By BethM ~ I 've been on the site for a while now, and I see so many people here struggling...combing through the scriptures of what they once thought was the one true word of the one true god, hoping to find some kind of real meaning to hold on to; trying desparately to maintain the belief they once had. People trying so hard to understand what brought them to the doubts and fears and the realization that they have been lied to their entire lives. I read the stories of people in shock; reading words that could have come straight from my own mind, about what happens when a person finally gets up the courage to explore those doubts. There is a day in particluar that comes to mind when I was going through it myself. My husband took the kids to church, while I sat at home feeling guilty that I didn't go with them. Feeling guilty about visiting this site and about all the things I had dared to learn. I sat at my desk crying. Balling. Here I was, becoming (even though I didn'

Turning Point

By Doug ~ I was raised in an extremely pious household. Not to bore you too much with the indoctrination I experienced as a young person, but a little history... I was raised in an environment that talked freely of heaven, hell, "being saved" etc. As a young boy, it took awhile before I finally asked "saved from what?" to my parents. I can remember the day like it was yesterday. We were at my Grandmothers house, curiosity finally got the better of me and I had to ask my parents what we were being saved from? Obviously, they gave me the "low down" on hell and being born a sinner and the need to accept that we are all sinners and blah, blah, blah... Now mind you, I was seven, and I thought to myself, "Well of course I don't want to burn in hell for eternity!". Now in retrospect, I don't really blame my parents for their answers, it was heartfelt. But now that I have a 3-year-old of my own, I am at odds internally about how t

Debunking the Kalam Cosmological Argument of William Lane Craig

By skydivephil ~ We hope this is the definitive take down of the Kalam Cosmological Argument . Image via Wikipedia We show how it is contradictory and that the physics being used to support it doesn't do so. We also had this video reviewed by Marcus, one of the Cosmology Advisers on Physics Forums to make sure there were no errors. His words: "I think it is excellent.Your narrator comes across as really smart and personable....I don't see any glaring errors, really amazingly good. It's charming, intelligent, visually engaging, sporadically really beautiful like the brief cut of the Hubble telescope and the volcano etc. Well-made!"

It's Hard To Get Help

From Marlene Winell on the front lines of advancing knowledge and treatment of RTS :-) ~ Image by Eleder JH via Flickr Why Religious Trauma Syndrome Is So Invisible With RTS, the social context is completely different from other trauma recovery situations. Natural disaster experiences, childhood sexual abuse or family violence are all understandable to friends and professionals who are likely to be sympathetic and supportive. In the case of religious abuse, a person is often hounded by family and church members to return, and reminded in many ways that they are condemned otherwise. In essence, they are pressured to return to the perpetrator of their abuse. Their suffering is not seen. In fact, they are made pariahs when they do not return and this social rejection is an added layer of serious injury absent from other varieties of trauma. Even in the general society, “atheist” connotes an amoral person who lives a meaningless life and is often pitied. In the U.S. there