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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 02:48AM

I held onto a belief in god for almost nine years post-mormonism. I had gone back to my Protestant roots you could say.
But when I deprogrammed from mormonism I made a promise to myself that I would always question my beliefs; namely that I would continue to do what led me out of the mormon cult:- Which was to play devil’s advocate with myself. I did that again last year by looking at the atheist point of view, with no intention of necessary agreeing. But I did agree. I watched a tonne of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins and what they said made total sense.

I watched the Genius of Charles Darwin by Richard Dawkins and my world just lit up. I was ignorant of a lot the science having never looked at it as a mormon and not much since. I am of course continuing to read and (mostly) watch things but have no one to discuss it with being surrounded by mostly religious folk.

So for those who are long standing atheists discussing detailed science stuff that I don’t yet understand, if you’re interested in discussing it, I’m interested to know what you think/understand in simple layman's terms (or point me towards a good resource) of:

-How you understand how the universe began? Namely, what are the physics involved in getting something from nothing?

-How do religious spokespeople tend to rebut the problem of who created god, if god is the creator? Can’t find one so far, but wondered if anyone in these infamous televised debates had tried and I’d missed it.

-I’ve heard it quoted that humans have existed for somewhere between 100,000 to 250,000 years. How long do you understand it to be based on the science you’ve read?

-(Have I missed any fundamental questions?)

-I think the mormon church has declined to ever comment on evolution, is that correct? I’m guessing they have so many other fires to put out no one is paying attention to that fact?

-In terms of listening to brilliant minds, who else is there equal to or better than Dawkins?

Thanks in advance

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Posted by: Anti-Bigot ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 05:39AM


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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 08:30AM

It would be interesting if you could explain why you think that

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Posted by: Anti-Bigot ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 07:00PM


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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 07:48AM

First I commend you in having an open mind and wanting to learn something new, especially about the origins of life. This is rare. I'm curious about those questions posted as well.

"How you understand how the universe began? Namely, what are the physics involved in getting something from nothing?" This is the dilemma of believing in evolution as the answer to life's mysteries. It's magical thinking. Atheists haven't come up with an answer to that mystery that I know of. So they tend to believe in hocus pocus.

"How do religious spokespeople tend to rebut the problem of who created god," All the professional evangelical preachers I've heard shut down the conversation by saying God has always existed, he's always been god. They aren't open to questioning the logic of their belief. They think they have an adequate answer.

As for "mormon church has declined to ever comment on evolution," the trouble is that mormondom is run by a bunch of lawyers and businessman. They aren't scientists or philosophers or even theologians. So they have inadequacies in debating any of these deeper issues. They don't think they are important, and to a lawyer I suppose that's true. They are good at managing businesses, in being corporate.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 10:07AM

what are the physics involved in getting a god from nothing ?

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 10:05AM

lj12 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I held onto a belief in god for almost nine years
> post-mormonism. I had gone back to my Protestant
> roots you could say.
> But when I deprogrammed from mormonism I made a
> promise to myself that I would always question my
> beliefs; namely that I would continue to do what
> led me out of the mormon cult:- Which was to play
> devil’s advocate with myself. I did that again
> last year by looking at the atheist point of view,
> with no intention of necessary agreeing. But I did
> agree. I watched a tonne of Christopher Hitchens
> and Richard Dawkins and what they said made total
> sense.

Did you listen to The Problem with Atheism, by Sam Harris? If not, you should. And do your best to answer the questions he asks.

https://youtu.be/ODz7kRS2XPs

I went from theist straight to nihilist on 9-11. I found that was a depressing world view and I needed some meaning in my life, outside of religion. The one thing that gave me hope was Gandhi's saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
I used that to reform a new world view, based upon my own observations and reason. I began studying the cosmologies of people I considered to be wise geniuses, Einstein, Spinozza, Hawking, Sagan, Kaku, Darwin, Franklin, Jefferson, Emerson, Thoreau, John Muir, Thomas Paine, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Dawkins, Hitchins, Lao Tzu, Confuscious, Aurelius and Epicurous. I came away with a meaningful world view based upon ancient wisdom and reason, and an appreciation of the fact that we live in a cosmos that remains largely an eternal mystery.
Like Sagan says, "An atheist would have to know a lot more than me about the Cosmos."

> I watched the Genius of Charles Darwin by Richard
> Dawkins and my world just lit up. I was ignorant
> of a lot the science having never looked at it as
> a mormon and not much since. I am of course
> continuing to read and (mostly) watch things but
> have no one to discuss it with being surrounded by
> mostly religious folk.
>
> So for those who are long standing atheists
> discussing detailed science stuff that I don’t
> yet understand, if you’re interested in
> discussing it, I’m interested to know what you
> think/understand in simple layman's terms (or
> point me towards a good resource) of:
>
> -How you understand how the universe began?
> Namely, what are the physics involved in getting
> something from nothing?

If you've got an hour to spare,

https://youtu.be/7ImvlS8PLIo

> -How do religious spokespeople tend to rebut the
> problem of who created god, if god is the creator?
> Can’t find one so far, but wondered if anyone in
> these infamous televised debates had tried and
> I’d missed it.

They ignore the problem.

>
> -I’ve heard it quoted that humans have existed
> for somewhere between 100,000 to 250,000 years.
> How long do you understand it to be based on the
> science you’ve read?

It depends upon what you consider, "Human" there were 16 different sub species of Humans, going back millions of years, and many other species of proto humans, Austrlopithicas, etc.

>
> -(Have I missed any fundamental questions?)
>
Yes, where did life come from?

We don't know, but my own personal theory is,
DNA/RNA, both of which are present in non-living organisms, viruses.

> -I think the mormon church has declined to ever
> comment on evolution, is that correct? I’m
> guessing they have so many other fires to put out
> no one is paying attention to that fact?
>
> -In terms of listening to brilliant minds, who
> else is there equal to or better than Dawkins?
>
> Thanks in advance

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 10:11AM

Thank you very much for your reply, I will certainly check out all of these resources and links



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 10:11AM by lj12.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 10:55AM

lj12 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
This is a lot to unpack. First of all, recognize how you define atheist for yourself. You will see great variance in use of the words atheist and agnostic. I cannot prove a negative. No matter how implausible I believe a god as described in, for example, the Bible is, I can't prove 100% either way. I do not KNOW (gnostic) but I do not BELIEVE (lack of theism). So, I am among the group who considers this defined as agnostic atheist. Notice Lot's Wife goes with just agnostic. This would be correct since no one KNOWS with proof. Whether or not she believes, I do not know.

The problem comes whensome atheists say there is no god (which might be true) but they put themselves in the position of burden of proof. If someone defines atheism that way, it is important to know. Most theists assume that is what is meant, which is often true. The word means a(without)-theism(belief in god). This is a constant source of confusion. If you don't know 100% but don't believe, for many of us, that falls under the atheist umbrella.

If a theist describes God with some vague terms, it leads nowhere since they can't define what they mean. They usually pick words that already have a definition (love, physics, energy, everything, etc.) to define God. This solves nothing.

>
> I watched the Genius of Charles Darwin by Richard
> Dawkins and my world just lit up. I was ignorant
> of a lot the science having never looked at it as
> a mormon and not much since. I am of course
> continuing to read and (mostly) watch things but
> have no one to discuss it with being surrounded by
> mostly religious folk.


Dawkins is a brilliant teacher for biology. The Greatest Show on Earth is great.
The problem is that many dismiss him because of his personality. They shoot the messenger and therefore never learn the message. He has many fantastic books we can discuss as you decide.



> So for those who are long standing atheists
> discussing detailed science stuff that I don’t
> yet understand, if you’re interested in
> discussing it, I’m interested to know what you
> think/understand in simple layman's terms (or
> point me towards a good resource) of:
>
> -How you understand how the universe began?
> Namely, what are the physics involved in getting
> something from nothing?
>

Before the Big Bang, frankly, the honest stance is "We don't know" because we don't. It doesn't add any information to add to add "God did it" since that only creates a bigger mystery to explain.

An excellent place to browse is the Talk Origins archive.

http://talkorigins.org/

This site has articles, refutations to articles, and refutations to refutations. There are lots of references to explore. Spoiler alert: Get used to not having the answers we want. There are no McMythology explanations in science since "God did it" is not a scientific explanation.

> -How do religious spokespeople tend to rebut the
> problem of who created god, if god is the creator?
> Can’t find one so far, but wondered if anyone in
> these infamous televised debates had tried and
> I’d missed it.
>

They don't go there. They usually try to define God outside of the parameters they define for everything else as if that solves anything. The trend now is to put god into the latest grey area of physics, quantum mechanics. The netherlands of science have always been god's hiding place, moving from volcanoes and clouds to particles. Still, this doesn't solve anything.
There might be info at Talk Origins. Pascal's Wager is another thing that comes up to defend the position. The pros and cons of that wager are easy to find.


> -I’ve heard it quoted that humans have existed
> for somewhere between 100,000 to 250,000 years.
> How long do you understand it to be based on the
> science you’ve read?
>
> -(Have I missed any fundamental questions?)
>
> -I think the mormon church has declined to ever
> comment on evolution, is that correct? I’m
> guessing they have so many other fires to put out
> no one is paying attention to that fact?
>

Mormons dance around this. There is no official position. You can find any position you want to support whatever you want to believe. At one time, Steve Benson was here. He posted a very helpful post about his investigation into what the LDS church says about evolution. I believe if you search his posts you would find it.

> -In terms of listening to brilliant minds, who
> else is there equal to or better than Dawkins?
>
> Thanks in advance

Did you mean about atheism or biology?

No one is more revered for brilliance and hated for various views than Christopher Hitchens. You can get an idea of what he is like in YouTube videos. He is not a biologist but debates with him are fascinating.

Christians will often recommend authors like CS Lewis and others who try to explain theological positions. I started there but the bottom line is they don't know either.

So this could lead you down the road of existentialism since there are no answers for certain. In that case, it is exhilarating to realize you are responsible for your purpose and how you will live.


Some classics to check out:

Carl Sagan: Demon Haunted World This book has information about making and defending claims and scientific literacy. The first half is the best.

Thomas Paine: The Age of Reason This book is short and sweet. It contains his thoughts about the Bible. He was called a dirty atheist for pointing out the obvious.

Sam Harris is another figure who people love to hate, and for good reasons. He is a little too honest about Islam's ideology so he is always in hot water for his views for starters. Also, he is into Mindfulness which I can't say is my thing. Still, he has a podcast Making Sense and books about god delusions that might give you some sources to pursue.

Check out books by Michael Shermer of the Skeptic Society. He has issues people attack him about (justified), but his books are excellent. He has podcasts too.

Joseph Campbell has excellent books about mythology. They provide a perspective about understanding how religious mythology came to be, what it all has in common and why it is important.

Karen Armstrong's History of God (very long) will help explain how the concepts about god in the monotheistic religions came to be (for example how and why they had to form the trinity). She is a believer and former nun. It has a lot of good information to understand why things are the way they are when it comes to how the god beliefs evolved.

Once you start reading, you will see references to other authors. Good luck in your quest!

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 10:19AM

Really appreciate this too, thank you. I agree about what you say on Hitchens and Harris. I find Hitchens to be so intelligent and a brilliant debater. And Harris I don’t like so much but is interesting to listen to. I haven’t been much outside ‘the Four Horsemen’ (liked that conversation they did together a lot), so this is really helpful.

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Posted by: Happy_Heretic ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 11:25AM

-How you understand how the universe began? Namely, what are the physics involved in getting something from nothing?

Answer: I don't know that it "began" in any sense of the word. The "Big Bang" was not a beginning, it was merely a change of state. The cosmos (that we can access) appears to be dynamic.


-How do religious spokespeople tend to rebut the problem of who created god, if god is the creator? Can’t find one so far, but wondered if anyone in these infamous televised debates had tried and I’d missed it.

Answer: Generally it has been my experience that they insist that there can not be an infinite regress of causes, therefore there must be a "first cause" or and "uncaused cause" (which is self-refuting of course).



-I’ve heard it quoted that humans have existed for somewhere between 100,000 to 250,000 years. How long do you understand it to be based on the science you’ve read?

Answer: Dawkins puts it around 250,000 years, and others around 150,000. I am fine with 100,000. If true, then Gawds sat quietly watching humans kill each other and die in agony for more than 93,000 before deciding, "Enough of this... let's give them ethics and morals." *eye roll here*


-(Have I missed any fundamental questions?)

Answer: Yes. What are the basic rules of Logic? From what does any/all rational analysis come from?
Answer- The axioms of: 1. Law of Identity, 2. Law of excluded middle, and 3. The law of non-contradiction.

-I think the mormon church has declined to ever comment on evolution, is that correct? I’m guessing they have so many other fires to put out no one is paying attention to that fact?

Answer: That is my understanding. There have been spokespeople for the church who have stated that the church does not disagree with evolution by natural selection, but does not take a stand either for or against it.

-In terms of listening to brilliant minds, who else is there equal to or better than Dawkins?

Answer: Matt Dillahunty, George H. Smith, Robert G. Ingersoll, Michael Martin, Daniel Dennett, Ricky Gervais, Dan Barker, Ray Kurzweil, Victor Stenger, Fang Zhouzi, Jerry Coyne, Quentin Smith, Kai Nielsen, Peter Singer, and perhaps... lj12.

HH =)

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 10:22AM

Thank you! Yes, I remember the ‘four minutes’ where Christopher Hitchens made the point about god not intervening for the first 97,000 years. I will definitely be working through all of these suggestions.

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Posted by: Razortooth ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 11:56AM

The only thing I know is that I don't know anything. Nothing I can do about it anyway, so why care? What do I believe? Right now I believe I'll have another beer.

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 01:04PM

We all seem to want something definitive. (especially if you have spent time in a cult that seems to have all of the answers) A nice belief system that more clearly encapsulates the universe as how we see it. It would be great if all of our questions could be neatly answered and that would be the end of it.

Fortunately (or unfortunately for some) there are no easy answers. Our universe does not fit in a neatly packed box. It is boundless and open. There are so many things that are unanswerable. So many endless questions that will never be solved.

We humans are not good with that. We all want things neatly tied up in a bow and the universe refuses to do that for us.

That said - isn't it a great thing that there are so many questions? So many discoveries yet to be made? That prospect is very exciting for many people. We may never know all of the secrets of the universe but we can always be learning more and more.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 10:25AM

Yes, good point. I struggled this for a long time. I think I’ve got to the point where I’ve expected not necessarily getting absolute answers. I have discovered there is always more to be discovered. It’s definitely good for my mind.

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Posted by: Tall Man, Short Hair ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 01:21PM

There are a number of challenges facing the atheist. Scientifically speaking regarding the origin of life, information and assembly/organization are huge hurdles.

If you have an hour to spare, here's a presentation by James Tour. He's an internationally recognized synthetic organic chemist and holds over 100 patents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU7Lww-sBPg

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Posted by: shylock ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 01:52PM

I would also suggest spending a little time going over fallacies... You would be surprised (or not)how much poor reasoning gets poured over religion... and non-religion... and since it involves critical thinking skills... which the Mormons hate... it's a win win!

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 02:44PM

Yes. That's very important, IMO.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 03:24PM

It's interesting that some of your path mirrored my own. Even after becoming inactive, I was still a believer, but my mind became more open over time and I tried to question things. I came across the writings of Richard Dawkins and they kind of woke me up. Things that never made sense to me as a believer, suddenly had answers that actually made sense.

One of the hardest things that I had to learn was that "We don't know" is an OK answer to some of these difficult questions. Believers don't accept that as an answer, they insert "God" anywhere they don't know something. You see forms of this in some of the responses above. Saying things like atheists face challenges in the scientific arena. The problem with this thinking is that, the theist's answers to the these questions is "God did it"... until we find out whatever process actually caused it. This follows a pattern:

1. Believer: God did it
2. Proof is shown that it happened naturally
3. Believer: God directed it
4. Proof is shown that God isn't needed to have it happen
5. Believer: God set it in motion
6. It's shown that if religion persists in resisting reality, they will be left behind on some important stuff.
6. Believer: Fine, we'll accept it as "real", begrudgingly, and we'll still say God was somehow involved in an unspecified way. ...And oh, since we don't have an answer to question XYZ, we'll shove god over there...

We've seen this pattern repeat over and over again in history. Before we understood weather, God did it. Now believers have mostly let go, but still claim he's involved (usually to punish some minority with a hurricane or flood). Evolution is in the middle of it right now, science keeps showing more and more that God isn't necessary for it to work, believers are starting to accept that it's a real thing, while still pushing back, and they're working on shoving God into the question of how life started (i.e. OK, life evolved from single celled organisms, but God totally started the process. meanwhile science is working on real answers to that question, rather than just accepting "God did it").

Learning to be OK with "We don't know yet" can be huge. It opens the mind to possibilities of how things could be accomplished without just saying "God did it, so we don't have to think about it anymore"

As to your questions:
>"-How you understand how the universe began? Namely, what are the physics involved in getting something from nothing?"

I think this is one of those "gotcha" questions. "Nothing" is a bit of a misnomer. Even moments after the Big Bang, concepts like matter, time, energy were still getting sorted out and weren't the same thing as we understand them today. So saying "nothing" before the Big Bang, doesn't make sense either, because "nothing" didn't make sense in that context. You might as well as what was around the tightly compressed ball of space/time/energy that exploded into our universe. It might be that we are a bubble on another bubble of another universe, and our universe sprang from the first bubble. We don't know for sure at this point and it's unknown what it'll take to find out. I hope we do know within my lifetime, because then God will no longer be able to hid behind the curtain of the Big Bang.

It makes me think of the Futurama Episode where they travel to the edge of the Universe and see different versions of themselves looking back.

>"-How do religious spokespeople tend to rebut the problem of who created god, if god is the creator? Can’t find one so far, but wondered if anyone in these infamous televised debates had tried and I’d missed it."

They don't, at least not really, and many of them are hypocrites because of it. If science can't immediately explain how something as complex as what existed before the Big Bang, then it can't have happened. Ask them where God came from and they will say, something to the effect of God is outside our understanding and simply existed, always. There are plenty of variations, but it always boils down to "We don't know, but we can't say that, so God did it." If you point out the hypocrisy of how they have a problem with "atheists" not being able to explain the Big Bang, so it can't be right, compared to their explanation of how God always existed, they will simply say that's completely different, essentially because God is magic and can do anything, up to and including, creating themselves.

Note: Mormon's answer for this is eternal progression... The God of this world/universe was like us in their original universe that had their own God, who was originally like us and so on down the line. The problem with this is just pushing the problem further and further back. Was there a "first" god? If so, where did they come from?

>"-I’ve heard it quoted that humans have existed for somewhere between 100,000 to 250,000 years. How long do you understand it to be based on the science you’ve read?"

I'll first admit that I haven't put a lot of study into it. It's a difficult question. One of the hard parts is you first have to define "human" in the context of the question. Keep in mind that while humans like well defined categories, evolution doesn't care about that. It wasn't like one day there wasn't humans and the next day there were. Each generation introduced genetic differences and over the generations you have humans today. So when you say "humans have existed for somewhere between 100,000 to 250,000 years" Well sure, you can also say (according to a quick search in Wikipedia) that Homo erectus, a primitive human, existed 1.8 million years ago. So, primitive yes, but human far earlier than the dates range you specify.

In science, definitions and context matter, so when you are talking about historical human evolution, you're going to have to be more specific.

> "-(Have I missed any fundamental questions?)"

Certainly, but it also depends on what you mean by fundamental questions. Some consider questions like "Is the earth flat?" or "How old is the earth/solar system/universe?" or "How does gravity work?" to be fundamental questions. Finding out what your fundamental questions is fun and it's interesting to try and find the answers, even if the answer is "We don't know yet"

>"-I think the mormon church has declined to ever comment on evolution, is that correct? I’m guessing they have so many other fires to put out no one is paying attention to that fact?"

This has come up from time to time on the board. Someone once pointed out that even though the church teaches that God made everything as is (see the temple ceremony, and the fact that the BOM directly ties to the Tower of Babel and therefore Genesis being fact), BYU teaches evolution as a part of their life sciences. If I remember the poster correctly, they asked a professor about it who responded that they basically try not to think about that too much and that if they don't teach evolution, then their life sciences programs would be horribly lacking.

My father, a devout mormon is a young earth creationist. While I was in school learning about evolution and earth sciences, he would always say, learn what they teach so you can pass your tests, but look at what the scriptures say about the age of the earth and how God created everything.

>"-In terms of listening to brilliant minds, who else is there equal to or better than Dawkins?"

Brilliant minds are everywhere. If you're looking to unwind your thoughts from trappings of religious beliefs, I'd suggest reading Christopher Hitchens, "God is not Great" it was a big help to me after reading several of Dawkins books.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 10:43AM

Thank you so much. I agree with everything you’ve said. The pattern of how believers respond to science; very well put.
Btw, did you find Hitchens more useful than Dawkins? Or in what way was he useful by comparison? I am planning on getting Hitchens book, it’s next on my list now. I wish they’d done more talks together.
The eternal progression thing in mormonism just adds another level of weirdness. I remember when I converted, thinking that mormonism had the answers for everything, in fact my missionary actually made that claim. Ironic that not only don’t they, they actually create more questions than answers, especially compared to other religions (in my opinion). It’s so nice to feel my mind is working better; no more cognitive dissonance. I like your user name - it describes how I feel.

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Posted by: Finally Free! ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:15PM

I'll have to say, I'm excited for you. I remember coming out of the cloud of religion and being learning each new thing and discovering how things work in reality without the haze of "God" over everything. Douglas Adams said, “Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” If you look at the natural world it's so much more amazing to me realizing how it came to be without God than when I was a believer.

As for the differences between Dawkins and Hitchens, I'll admit it's been a while. I should probably re-read them. If I remember right, Dawkins was much more "science" based, while Hitchens was more cultural/sociological. I thought they were a good balance for each other.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 08, 2019 04:32PM

"-(Have I missed any fundamental questions?)"

What are your current biases going into this transition?

I found when questioning everything post belief I had a lot of hidden biases I had to deal with. A huge one was my lingering doubt that there was no supernatural anything out there. I thought there had to be a power or powers that be to make being, existence possible.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 10:50AM

Good point. I think I’m willing to accept, and have accepted, that the highest probability is that there is no god. But you’re right. I still find myself sort of praying on occasion. I’m not praying to the god of the bible or any of the religions; but maybe to the ‘universe’. Doesn’t make sense and I might still be overcoming brainwashing, or maybe this is harmless. I find it difficult to let go of the belief that I will see my deceased father in the afterlife.
However, my rational mind always comes back to this: it doesn’t matter if it’s nice or what I want, it matter if it’s true. I’ve realised there’s a lot to discover and I feel alive in a way I’ve not felt before.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 10:54AM

lj12 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> there’s a lot to discover and I feel alive in a
> way I’ve not felt before.

Excellent point. Dropping the pretenses of religion can feel empowering and vulnerable at the same time and exhilarating.

You are a part of a great community here at RfM. Your posts seem very well thought. I appreciate your contributions.

But about your handle? Does it mean something. I almost miss your posts because it isn't memorable.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 11:56AM

Elder Berry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> But about your handle? Does it mean something. I
> almost miss your posts because it isn't memorable.

Oh I see, yes you have a point. I quickly made that up years ago when I posted briefly on here. Just the initials of my first names and then my lucky number when I believed in such things. Should I change it? - That might be confusing now....
Thanks for your comments

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 12:38PM

IMO, now that we know what it means, it is recognizable and unique!

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:01PM

Thank you! I probably would have picked something better if I’d been thinking at the time. I would prefer to change it but I’m thinking then no one will know who I am.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:04PM

You might as well pick something YOU would like. We'll figure out who you are. :-)

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:12PM

I agree, now we know its meaning, it's great :-D, particularly since your posts are systematically ionteresting and thought-provoking.

It's nice to see another Brit here, too (if I'm not mistaken...).

I'm from the UK too (Woking would you believe?) but I've been

Tom in Paris
for 36 years now :-)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:15PM

The place is lousy with Brits. Lousy I say!

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:47PM

Too bad you’re not still in Woking! I don’t know any exmormons here. (Do any of us in real life? Perhaps that’s a question for another thread). I’m on the border between Bucks and Berks. But France sounds like to might be much better.

Are there any other Brits on here too? (Lot’s Wife are you British, or...?)

I’ll have to think about whether to change the username or not. It’s not very anonymous but I can’t really see my family ever visiting this site. I had to look up what Elder Berry meant by ‘handle’. Either I’m really behind the times or that’s an American word :-)

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 01:54PM

I always hear Elton John's song, Elderberry Wine, when I see his name. Loved that album.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:07PM

I'm actually one of the nevermos here, initially drawn here by an unbeliever's interest in religions and how they work. The lively, varied and friendly community here made me stay ;-). I was born and bred CofE until I was 19. It's still a weird experience because I was brought up with so many preconceptions, but it's nothing like the general derangement that being born into mormonism is.

I don't think Lot'(s Wife is British but she's exceptionally knowledgeable and great fun ;-)

There are several other Brits who come here, although some now live like me in other countries such as the US. Darren Steers, Kentish, Brigantia and Britboy come to mind, but I'm sure I've forgotten quite a few.

I'm afraid nothing would have persuaded me to stay in Woking ;-) but if you ever come to Paris, I'd be delighted to take you and your daughter out to dinner with my wife and possibly a daughter or two ;-)

It's good to see you here, anyway.

Tom in Paris



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2019 05:12PM by Soft Machine.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 09, 2019 02:21PM

That’s very gracious of you :-) I didn’t know there were nevermos here. I came on here to talk about one thing (surprised anyone remembers my daughter) and have ended up staying. Thanks. I don’t blame you for leaving, I have the same plan in mind as the southeast, at least, is not for me.

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