Why I’m no longer a Christian

“SPEBSQSA”

Since: Aug 08

Maryland

#422334 Nov 25, 2012
HipGnosis wrote:
<quoted text>Because your information is not correct. I am not impressed that you "looked" at it. Do you possibly tell yourself that we haven't seen it, and must take your word? We can look at it too, in books, documentaries, and we can "go" to it right now in Google maps.
The Wailing Wall formed a portion of the outer wall of the Temple grounds, not the foundation. In short, it was, most emphatically, a wall. Your assertion is patently ludicrous. It is curious as to why you insist on making this distinction. You have shown thus far that you consider your gratuitous speculations to be superior even to that of non-controversial scholarly inquiry. This one is by far the most egregious, and pointless, of the several you've proposed. It's only possible motive is to somehow demonstrate that you possess insights that have eluded scholars and scientists for centuries.
You probably don't realize that this display of yours is a perfect - perfect - example of the multi-layered legend-building process that has taken place around the corpse of Jesus. Convince enough people of your "vision", and we have yet another Christian splinter group, based on foolishness. This is why the Christian faith is split into tens of thousands of denominations. It is only the stability imposed by the secular state that keeps you all from disintegrating into the holy wars that plagued Europe for centuries, and plagues Islam to this day.
Good point Hip...now we have 38,003 christian cults in just a few days.
It appears that each day another christian cult is born. How are we supposed to keep up with them let alone decide which one is the correct one?
My vote is...none of them.

“What do I know?”

Since: Apr 08

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#422335 Nov 25, 2012
Mr Wiggley wrote:
<quoted text>
Good point Hip...now we have 38,003 christian cults in just a few days.
It appears that each day another christian cult is born. How are we supposed to keep up with them let alone decide which one is the correct one?
My vote is...none of them.
I agree.

I note the behavior of so many of them, for instance:
Just Results wrote:
<quoted text>
. I'll be laughing as I get to watch you punished, you gutless cowardly anonymous bigot.

Cookie_Parker

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#422336 Nov 25, 2012
JOlatidoye wrote:
<quoted text>
Why cant people believe what they want? What bearing does it have on your life? How does it affect you and how you live? In my country (U.S.), we are free to believe what we want.
That's not entirely true. The radical born again evangelical political cult is imposing its anti-everything, hate mongering republican agenda on everything here. Only by exposing it and declaring its false prophets can we EVER hope to practice freely what we believe.

“Live Love Laugh”

Since: Aug 07

Rings of Saturn Emporium

#422337 Nov 25, 2012
Grace Walker wrote:
<quoted text>
Haha..I will keep that in mind..If I hit the lottery one day, I will deliver it to you personally..You see our "friend" is back and chasing me from post to post..Even went to the nice "Friends who want to share" thread because he saw my name on there. I have a "FAN"..LOL Good night my friend
I didn't know that 'stalker' and 'fan' were synonymous. haha.

Cookie_Parker

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#422339 Nov 25, 2012
Resurrectionologist wrote:
<quoted text>
...
You don't have to become a Christian. Nobody is forcing you to do so. I think that you're afraid that the information is correct. If the information we evangelical apologists is more likely than unlikely, then you have choices to make. It is those choices that bother you.
So why not just say, "Okay, the information might be correct, but I choose not to accept it." Why not just go that route? it would be more honest than what you're currently doing.
This is the phoney lining in the evangelical story. What is the purpose of evangelism if NOT to convert and recruit?

As to your "history" of Christ, how do you explain Horus, who was worshiped for 2,000 BEFORE Christ.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.h...

One of the more controversial theories -- sometimes called the "copycat thesis" -- suggests that many of the miracles, other life events, and beliefs about the supernatural status of Horus, an ancient Egyptian God, were incorporated into stories about Jesus as recorded in Gospels and other books in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament).

The copycat thesis is strongly rejected by the vast majority of Christians but accepted by many skeptics.
bullet Most conservative Christians look upon the Bible as a "top-down" document: one revealed by God to humans. Since fraud, deceit, and lying are not attributes normally associated with God, they believe that the Bible -- as God's Word -- is truthful and accurate.

bullet Many skeptics view the Bible as a "bottom-up" document: one written by human authors to promote their religious and spiritual beliefs. Such authors are quite capable of adopting religious concepts of other cultures and incorporating them into their literary works.

On this topic, we are faced with a stalemate. Skeptical commentators claim that there are many parallels between the lives of Horus and Jesus; Christian commentators tend to deny the existence of most or all of them.

Some skeptics may lose objectivity because they are motivated by a desire to weaken the claims of Christianity; Christians may lose objectivity because they don't want to admit that there such parallels could exist and throw doubt on the accuracy of the Bible. We have not yet found an objective, reliable source.

----------

EXACTLY the same god/christ.

“BE BRAVE ENOUGH ”

Since: Oct 09

TO STEP IN MUD PUDDLES

#422341 Nov 25, 2012
Grace Walker wrote:
<quoted text>
We CAN believe anyway we want too. People can also choose to NOT believe. It is childish to fuss and fight over all this. I treat people with the same repect that they treat me with...Have a great night JO.
You wrote..."People can also choose to NOT believe".

It is not a question of choosing not to believe Grace...it is a choice to believe in a different path.

I can't help but laugh when a "believer" uses the word "non-believer". Are there really any people that do not "believe" in something?

Personally I find it a bit arrogant when Christians think that they are the ONLY "believers". They have high-jacked many words from our language and claim them as their own...believer...non-believer. ..faith...heathen...etc etc.

Grace...I did not make the choice to not be a "believer"...I have as much faith in my beliefs as you have in yours.

You know...I don't think that leaving the faith of Christianity was a choice. I woke up one day and realized that I had lost God in the midst of all the doctrine. I could not find him lurking within the walls of the church that I attended. So when I went a different path I didn't just stop believing...I went in search of the God that I could no longer find and my beliefs.

It took a long time for me to "find" God and my faith again. I didn't find him in a text book...nor through degrees from a college...not even through the pages of a leather bound book called the Bible. I found him in life...I found him through the people that I met and even the tragedies of life.

Not so long ago I became frustrated...I wanted not to believe in this God/Higher Power/Spirit in the Sky/whatever one chooses to call it. LOL After a few hours of trying to make the "choice not to believe"...I just laughed and said "okay"...that was futile!

The only choice I have made during my search for what I believe in was not to continue to sit in a church...call myself a Christian...and push the doubts that I had aside.

The ironic thing is Grace...the Muslims might say that you made the choice not to believe...the Hindus...Buddhists...Wiccans.. .etc...the same. When it comes down to it however...we are all believers...we just have found different ways of believing.

How we each display our faith is were the choice comes in...IMO.

“SPEBSQSA”

Since: Aug 08

Maryland

#422342 Nov 25, 2012
Grace Walker wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Kaitlin..There is only one group of "socks" on here that try a little "too" hard to turn you and me against one another all the time..Yes, we disagree on a lot but we still treat one another with respect. I have talked with you through private message and you respectfully declined to believe and I respectfully accepted your right to your own decision...Thats all I feel that I should do..Expect continue to be friendly and love all people. Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? I let my husband open his Christmas present early....I paid for a Walt Disney trip for us. He has never been and never flew in a airplane before..I just couldnt keep it a secret any longer. We will go away for a week in January..Its going to be awesome.
Hi Grace...glad all is well with you. Enjoy your trip to Disney, been there done that.
Take care.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#422343 Nov 25, 2012
Cookie_Parker wrote:
<quoted text>
This is the phoney lining in the evangelical story. What is the purpose of evangelism if NOT to convert and recruit?
To warn. So your blood will be on your own head and not the head of the Christian. An example is Exek 33. In Acts, Paul told those who rejected their blood was on their own heads.
As to your "history" of Christ, how do you explain Horus, who was worshiped for 2,000 BEFORE Christ.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.h...
One of the more controversial theories -- sometimes called the "copycat thesis" -- suggests that many of the miracles, other life events, and beliefs about the supernatural status of Horus, an ancient Egyptian God, were incorporated into stories about Jesus as recorded in Gospels and other books in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament).
''Suggests'' because it is only conjecture.
The copycat thesis is strongly rejected by the vast majority of Christians but accepted by many skeptics.
Rejected by Christians and accepted by ''skeptics''. If it is accepted by ''skeptics'' then how skeptical are they in reality since there is zero actual evidence for copycat thesis. Two things similiar does not mean one came from another. Their so called skepticism is selective which does not make them skeptics in the first place. Only hypocrites or prentend skeptics.
Most conservative Christians look upon the Bible as a "top-down" document: one revealed by God to humans.
Simplistic. Christians start with death and resurrection of Christ. Death of Christ is established history. Thousands were cricified by the Romans and yet this one event which is of no historical significance stands out throughout human history. It is written by humans, so there is a connect there, but it does not mean God dictates and man writes. Maybe some Christians believe that. I certainly do not is.
Since fraud, deceit, and lying are not attributes normally associated with God, they believe that the Bible -- as God's Word -- is truthful and accurate.
Truthful, yes. Accurate as in mistake free, no.
Many skeptics view the Bible as a "bottom-up" document: one written by human authors to promote their religious and spiritual beliefs. Such authors are quite capable of adopting religious concepts of other cultures and incorporating them into their literary works.
First century Christians had contempt for the religious concepts of pagan cultures.
On this topic, we are faced with a stalemate. Skeptical commentators claim that there are many parallels between the lives of Horus and Jesus; Christian commentators tend to deny the existence of most or all of them.
They are not skeptical of their own claims since they have no evidence to back anything other than conjecture as indicated above.
Some skeptics may lose objectivity because they are motivated by a desire to weaken the claims of Christianity; Christians may lose objectivity because they don't want to admit that there such parallels could exist and throw doubt on the accuracy of the Bible. We have not yet found an objective, reliable source.
----------
EXACTLY the same god/christ.
They are not skeptics in the first place since they practice selective skepticism. Their assertions have to be faith based since they have zero evidence to back any of their claims or they base their claims on ignorance or rely on the ignorance or prejudice of the audience. First century Jewish culture had nothing to do with Pagan cultures as far as religious practice. They were idol worshippers. Pork eaters, uncircumcised. They would not even go into the houses of non Jews. Any non Jew who went into the Temple faced a death sentence. There was a seperation there. A Berlin wall if you will.(Please excuse spelling errors, in a rush)
Works of Aristotle

Los Angeles, CA

#422344 Nov 25, 2012
hm abrogation of Christian i think man dont pray for creator of Christian and more Christian nature not good and Christian leader sexual europe and america you read this book about the Christianity so very good for Christian
Works of Aristotle

Los Angeles, CA

#422345 Nov 25, 2012
i think Christian should read the ebook http://esavefile.com/6c1e and batter than all Christian to download this book a few second work i buy this book amazon

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#422346 Nov 25, 2012
Grace Walker wrote:
<quoted text>
I went to Jerusalem in March of 09...We actually took the Exodus Tour that started in Egypt. We stayed there for 3 days and then went on to Israel for 6 days. We visited Bethleham, Jerusalem and Jericho. We had our Sunday morning service on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Did you ride that boat too? Most people do. I was baptized in the River Jordon. We went to the Western Wall (wailing wall)..Very interesting. We walked the via Delarosa, Rode the cable car to the top of The Mount of Temptation. Went to the garden of Gethsemne and the garden Tomb. I saw so much while I was there. We are planning to go back in a few years. Wonderful, wonderful trip. I rode a Camel a few times while I was there. I loved it...I took about 1800 pictures while I was there. We stayed at the Olive Tree Hotel while we was in Jerusalem....Awesome trip. I will never forget it...
I didn't get to do the boat ride. My first trip there was in 1998 as a tourist. There was a lot to do. The Western Wall was really nice.
Did you know that the spot that is believed to be the site of the crucifixion is now a bus terminal? I would love to go to the Jordan River for a baptism. I did see them taking place, but I was more interested in seeing the other sites such as the Pool of Bethsaida and Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, The Garden Tomb. Being a historian, I was thrilled when I was granted access to the Israeli Antiquities Authority for a rare glimpse of archeological survey sites in Israel. When I presented my identification to the guard I expected him to just brush me off as another curious tourist. I was startled when he made a call and somebody actually came to the door and escorted me inside. I was like a kid in a candy store! I didn't expect access without an appointment, and the next thing I know I'm talking face to face with the assistant director for archeological surveys! That's how I got my second visit in 2005! It was work related and I got to observe some archeological digs! It's amazing to watch! Some of the writing I did from that trip was used as a basis for creating some new exhibits in some prominent museums!

“SPEBSQSA”

Since: Aug 08

Maryland

#422347 Nov 25, 2012
Black Thunder 42 wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Grace! It was good. I've been kind of busy working on computers for the last week or so.
Must be we do the same thing...I work on computers also. I play every day and get paid for it....

“SPEBSQSA”

Since: Aug 08

Maryland

#422348 Nov 25, 2012
Just Results wrote:
<quoted text>
. I'll be laughing as I get to watch you punished, you gutless cowardly anonymous bigot.
Your love translated into hate as a true christian shines brightly.
I must thank you for the reminder of the rotten, nasty, horribly negative religion you belong to.
Hopefully your unhappy situation does not spread. Hopefully you are not allowed to pass your unhappiness to children.
Have nice day.
DeathOnCouch

Waxhaw, NC

#422349 Nov 25, 2012
Mr Wiggley wrote:
<quoted text>
Your love translated into hate as a true christian shines brightly.
I must thank you for the reminder of the rotten, nasty, horribly negative religion you belong to.
Hopefully your unhappy situation does not spread. Hopefully you are not allowed to pass your unhappiness to children.
Have nice day.
Freakin crybaby.

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#422350 Nov 25, 2012
AnnieJ wrote:
<quoted text>
You wrote..."People can also choose to NOT believe".
It is not a question of choosing not to believe Grace...it is a choice to believe in a different path.
I can't help but laugh when a "believer" uses the word "non-believer". Are there really any people that do not "believe" in something?
Personally I find it a bit arrogant when Christians think that they are the ONLY "believers". They have high-jacked many words from our language and claim them as their own...believer...non-believer. ..faith...heathen...etc etc.
Grace...I did not make the choice to not be a "believer"...I have as much faith in my beliefs as you have in yours.
You know...I don't think that leaving the faith of Christianity was a choice. I woke up one day and realized that I had lost God in the midst of all the doctrine. I could not find him lurking within the walls of the church that I attended. So when I went a different path I didn't just stop believing...I went in search of the God that I could no longer find and my beliefs.
It took a long time for me to "find" God and my faith again. I didn't find him in a text book...nor through degrees from a college...not even through the pages of a leather bound book called the Bible. I found him in life...I found him through the people that I met and even the tragedies of life.
Not so long ago I became frustrated...I wanted not to believe in this God/Higher Power/Spirit in the Sky/whatever one chooses to call it. LOL After a few hours of trying to make the "choice not to believe"...I just laughed and said "okay"...that was futile!
The only choice I have made during my search for what I believe in was not to continue to sit in a church...call myself a Christian...and push the doubts that I had aside.
The ironic thing is Grace...the Muslims might say that you made the choice not to believe...the Hindus...Buddhists...Wiccans.. .etc...the same. When it comes down to it however...we are all believers...we just have found different ways of believing.
How we each display our faith is were the choice comes in...IMO.
Nice post Annie..Maybe I should have worded that differently. Some choose to believe in God and some choose NOT to Believe in God. There are some who choose to not believe in ANY God at all..The point I was trying to make was a belief "in God" Some choose different Gods than the one I choose to believe in but there are some who choose to believe in NO God at all..At least that what I read from a lot of atheist on topix..Sitting in church is not what makes me a Christian.(IMHO) I became frustrated myself with "church". To be completely honest, I felt the presence of God more powerfully whenever I was sitting alone in my backyard or whenever I am alone in my car and singing along with my favorite song or showing a complete stranger some love and kindness. Some times, I don't FEEL His presence at all, but that doesn't mean that He isn't there.( My ) realtionship with Jesus Christ isn't based on feelings alone but on His promises. Some will disagree and thats ok with me. This is what I believe and this is what my faith is all about. Thanks for telling me "your" story." We all have to find our own path". I like that!!:) Bless You Annie

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#422351 Nov 25, 2012
water_nymph wrote:
<quoted text> AT least we know JFK died of a gunshot wound to the head, as there is at least one movie of it. Even with that, there are still inaccuracies in the reporting and conspiracy theories galore.
True, BUT, I use the historical method. I wasn't alive then. I was born on Dec 22 1964 exactly 13 months after JFK was killed. But I can still write an accurate history of the event. How? Simple.

The historian doesn't need to witness the event. It is better if an eye-witness does decide to write, but in most cases, it's a journal or diary entry or a letter that is written. Now remember, I said imagine that we don't have any photos or the famous Zapruder film. So what would I have to do to write an accurate history even though I wasn't an actual eye-witness?

I would have to interview eye witnesses. Where would I find eye-witnesses? Well I would start by going to Dallas and looking in the already printed archives. I would ask for access to Dallas Police Dept. reports. I would look for the names of witnesses who still might be alive and living in the area. It's only been 49 years since that fateful day. Now suppose I find somebody who was 20 years old and saw the fatal shot to JFK's head. They saw the impact of the bullet, the fragments of skull and brain matter. Gross huh? Do you think something that gruesome could escape somebody's memory?

Okay, so let's imagine that I found only one eye-witness in the Dallas area. But now let's also imagine that in my search for living eye-witnesses, I find the daughter of a now-deceased motorcycle cop who rode near JFK's limo. Let's imagine that she was 12 at the time and that she overheard him telling his wife (the girl's mother) everything he saw, and she saw him break down and cry over it. Wouldn't that memory stick with her? You can claim it's hearsay, but it would be credible hearsay because she has to admit that her dad broke down and cried, which may be damaging to his reputation as a seasoned cop. If that's the image that triggers her memory, then it's likely to be credible even though it may be embarrassing to the memory of her father.

So now we have one direct eye-witness, and one person who knows an eye-witness in Dallas, Texas. Where do we go next? We hop on a plane and fly to Washington D.C. We can ask to look at the public reports in the National Archives. From these, we get the names of those who might have been in the Presidential entourage that day. Then we start inquiring as to where they might live now (any near D.C.?) and attempt to contact them. Let's imagine that we find Mr. Clint Hill,(Jackie Kennedy's Secret Service Agent) and he's willing to give an interview. He was the one who leaped onto the back of the limousine as it sped away to the hospital after the fatal shot. Does Mr Hill feel guilty that he couldn't protect the President? If so, this is a traumatic emotion. If he admits this emotion, it's highly likely that we can trust what he says about the events of that day.

So using just 2 primary sources and one secondary source, I can still write an accurate account of what happened on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, even 50 years after the event.

This is the way historicity is researched and written about WN. It applies to all kinds of historical research regardless of whether it's secular or religious.

And just in case you think we can't find Mr. Clint Hill, 50 years after the fact, check this out. The video at the end is heartrending.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-21250...

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#422352 Nov 25, 2012
Resurrectionologist wrote:
<quoted text>
I didn't get to do the boat ride. My first trip there was in 1998 as a tourist. There was a lot to do. The Western Wall was really nice.
Did you know that the spot that is believed to be the site of the crucifixion is now a bus terminal? I would love to go to the Jordan River for a baptism. I did see them taking place, but I was more interested in seeing the other sites such as the Pool of Bethsaida and Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, The Garden Tomb. Being a historian, I was thrilled when I was granted access to the Israeli Antiquities Authority for a rare glimpse of archeological survey sites in Israel. When I presented my identification to the guard I expected him to just brush me off as another curious tourist. I was startled when he made a call and somebody actually came to the door and escorted me inside. I was like a kid in a candy store! I didn't expect access without an appointment, and the next thing I know I'm talking face to face with the assistant director for archeological surveys! That's how I got my second visit in 2005! It was work related and I got to observe some archeological digs! It's amazing to watch! Some of the writing I did from that trip was used as a basis for creating some new exhibits in some prominent museums!
Hello, I did go to the Pool of Bethsaida and the Mount of Olives. I also went to Lazareths tomb. We can share pictures on our avatars from time to time..I have plenty!!! I went to some sites that I was completely clueless to also...LOL I am not a historian. I went as a tourist. We did go to Shepards Field and En-Gedi. Just thinking about that trip makes me yearn to go back again..Thanks for sharing your story. I can tell you really enjoyed it..Good day
dognes

Masontown, PA

#422353 Nov 25, 2012
youtube.com/watch... …I have more Money less problems and no more emotional Manipulating people,ok?
DeathOnCouch

Waxhaw, NC

#422354 Nov 25, 2012
Resurrectionologist wrote:
<quoted text>
True, BUT, I use the historical method. I wasn't alive then. I was born on Dec 22 1964 exactly 13 months after JFK was killed. But I can still write an accurate history of the event. How? Simple.
The historian doesn't need to witness the event. It is better if an eye-witness does decide to write, but in most cases, it's a journal or diary entry or a letter that is written. Now remember, I said imagine that we don't have any photos or the famous Zapruder film. So what would I have to do to write an accurate history even though I wasn't an actual eye-witness?
I would have to interview eye witnesses. Where would I find eye-witnesses? Well I would start by going to Dallas and looking in the already printed archives. I would ask for access to Dallas Police Dept. reports. I would look for the names of witnesses who still might be alive and living in the area. It's only been 49 years since that fateful day. Now suppose I find somebody who was 20 years old and saw the fatal shot to JFK's head. They saw the impact of the bullet, the fragments of skull and brain matter. Gross huh? Do you think something that gruesome could escape somebody's memory?
Okay, so let's imagine that I found only one eye-witness in the Dallas area. But now let's also imagine that in my search for living eye-witnesses, I find the daughter of a now-deceased motorcycle cop who rode near JFK's limo. Let's imagine that she was 12 at the time and that she overheard him telling his wife (the girl's mother) everything he saw, and she saw him break down and cry over it. Wouldn't that memory stick with her? You can claim it's hearsay, but it would be credible hearsay because she has to admit that her dad broke down and cried, which may be damaging to his reputation as a seasoned cop. If that's the image that triggers her memory, then it's likely to be credible even though it may be embarrassing to the memory of her father.
So now we have one direct eye-witness, and one person who knows an eye-witness in Dallas, Texas. Where do we go next? We hop on a plane and fly to Washington D.C. We can ask to look at the public reports in the National Archives. From these, we get the names of those who might have been in the Presidential entourage that day. Then we start inquiring as to where they might live now (any near D.C.?) and attempt to contact them. Let's imagine that we find Mr. Clint Hill,(Jackie Kennedy's Secret Service Agent) and he's willing to give an interview. He was the one who leaped onto the back of the limousine as it sped away to the hospital after the fatal shot. Does Mr Hill feel guilty that he couldn't protect the President? If so, this is a traumatic emotion. If he admits this emotion, it's highly likely that we can trust what he says about the events of that day.
So using just 2 primary sources and one secondary source, I can still write an accurate account of what happened on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, even 50 years after the event.
This is the way historicity is researched and written about WN. It applies to all kinds of historical research regardless of whether it's secular or religious.
And just in case you think we can't find Mr. Clint Hill, 50 years after the fact, check this out. The video at the end is heartrending.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-21250...
Stop it. You're making sense. That's a no-no to these guys.

Since: Jul 09

Location hidden

#422355 Nov 25, 2012
AnnieJ wrote:
<quoted text>
You wrote..."People can also choose to NOT believe".
It is not a question of choosing not to believe Grace...it is a choice to believe in a different path.
I can't help but laugh when a "believer" uses the word "non-believer". Are there really any people that do not "believe" in something?
Personally I find it a bit arrogant when Christians think that they are the ONLY "believers". They have high-jacked many words from our language and claim them as their own...believer...non-believer. ..faith...heathen...etc etc.
Grace...I did not make the choice to not be a "believer"...I have as much faith in my beliefs as you have in yours.
You know...I don't think that leaving the faith of Christianity was a choice. I woke up one day and realized that I had lost God in the midst of all the doctrine. I could not find him lurking within the walls of the church that I attended. So when I went a different path I didn't just stop believing...I went in search of the God that I could no longer find and my beliefs.
It took a long time for me to "find" God and my faith again. I didn't find him in a text book...nor through degrees from a college...not even through the pages of a leather bound book called the Bible. I found him in life...I found him through the people that I met and even the tragedies of life.
Not so long ago I became frustrated...I wanted not to believe in this God/Higher Power/Spirit in the Sky/whatever one chooses to call it. LOL After a few hours of trying to make the "choice not to believe"...I just laughed and said "okay"...that was futile!
The only choice I have made during my search for what I believe in was not to continue to sit in a church...call myself a Christian...and push the doubts that I had aside.
The ironic thing is Grace...the Muslims might say that you made the choice not to believe...the Hindus...Buddhists...Wiccans.. .etc...the same. When it comes down to it however...we are all believers...we just have found different ways of believing.
How we each display our faith is were the choice comes in...IMO.
this makes you a theist. you have only rejected the claims of the christian god (or maybe the abrahamic god) and while that would be a good start, it is a long way from an atheist, or a rational skeptic.

I do NOT BELIEVE.

I am a rational skeptic, when christian find that I reject their belief claims, they sometimes label me an atheist, and while the label may be accurate from their view, it is not from mine.

I (provisionally) accept those things for which there is evidence, and I adopt (on a probability basis) those things for which there is inference. If I were to label myself, I would choose Rational Skeptic (a bit too shallow, one protests).

I reject "belief" as "a way of knowing", and as a way of feeling, and finally, I reject belief as a philosophy. Which is another way of saying, that I have no respect for any human who employs belief as "a way of knowing".

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