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#189559 - 11/01/07 08:02 PM Higher Power: (possible triggers)
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
The trigger warning here is because I am an agnostic who is vehemently opposed to organized religion. I don't believe in God because no one has ever shown me any proof, and I don't believe in atheism because...well...no one has ever shown me any proof.

The following is a portion of a letter I wrote to my sister recently that pretty much sums up my belief system:

Quote:
I tend to humor (my aunt) a lot when she mentions the "higher
power" in AA and alanon talk, but the reason why I can't accept AA or alanon
is simply because I don't believe in that kind of stuff. I truly believe,
T____, that I've made it this far in life due to my own strength, and when it
comes to my self esteem, that's really all I have to hold on to. If I was
to let myself believe that some imaginary force was guiding me along at my
lowest points, I'd have given up a long time ago. There was a time in my
life where I did give up. I pulled myself out of it. Hell...I'm still
pulling myself out of it.




Edited by BJK (11/02/07 01:07 PM)
_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#189584 - 11/01/07 11:04 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Thanks for posting. I'm more than happy to engage in rational discourse concerning spiritual beliefs, but if someone obviously won't let it rest until i agree w/ them, i'll withdraw from the discussion, or humor them. I don't care if you're a deist, a theist, muslim, wiccan, mormon, scientologist, or if you believe the Divine Will may only be properly ascertained through careful analysis of Oprah's hairstyle changes over the length of her career; if you don't attempt to convert me, i won't attempt to disillusion you. This isn't meant to be snarky or inflammatory, or to insult or demean anyone else's beliefs- but if you want to argue about it, there are plenty of other websites and people more than happy to wrangle for hours about religion, or politics, or any other hot-button issue you can think of. I'm here to heal myself, not to play "my belief system can beat up your belief system". I haven't experienced any problems around this yet, this just my way of pre-empting the possibility of mistaken assumptions, as well as letting Bryan know publicly he's not the only agnostic male survivor here \:\)



Edited by dgoods (11/02/07 04:00 PM)
_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#189621 - 11/02/07 02:18 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
WalkingSouth Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
I can respect that \:\)

Oh, and I love the word "snarky". Gonna have to figure out a way to use it in a sentence one of these days!

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#189665 - 11/02/07 11:42 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
MemoryVault Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: dgoods
I haven't experienced any problems around this yet, this just my way of pre-empting the possibility of mistaken assumptions, as well as letting Brian know publicly he's not the only agnostic male survivor here \:\)


I'll put my name down for that, too.


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#189675 - 11/02/07 12:37 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MemoryVault]
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Put me down for that too guys!

"I never told my religion, nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change anothers creed. I have judged of others religion by their lives, for it is from our lives, and not our words, that our religions must be read." - Thomas Jefferson

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#189809 - 11/03/07 12:56 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: kellygtx]
SEVEN ARROWS Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 1298
I do not believe in a higher power, but i respect those that do.


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#189901 - 11/04/07 08:16 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: SEVEN ARROWS]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I was in AA for almost 5 years. I just cant do it anymore, I am not powerless, I am not hopeless, and I have the right to express my anger and emotions. I do not wish to convert to any system of belief HP God collective conscience....I also don't have to live with guilt, shame , and fear that one 12 step program instills in it's members. It's my life and I made it this far by a strong will to survive, and I'm not giving my will to anyone or anything ever again.
A pedophile took my will for a year and it was hell getting it back. So I have always had problems with the HP thing. Sorry for venting, didn't think it would trigger so much in me.
Rick

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_ô¿ô_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#190255 - 11/06/07 08:31 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: GateKPR4]
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Originally Posted By: GateKPR4
I was in AA for almost 5 years...... So I have always had problems with the HP thing. Sorry for venting, didn't think it would trigger so much in me.
Rick


Rick I can relate totaly to what you say about the 12 step ideas.

One thing that I found helpful was what my advocate told me about that word, GOD

Mark told me to think of it as GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION

wHICH MAKES IT A LITTLE EASER TO ACEPT

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#190456 - 11/08/07 12:33 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Muldoon]
GateKPR4 Offline
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Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Muldoon,
My issue with the word God is I can't seem to erase the negative concept that has been repeatedly pushed on me since childhood and still gets promoted today. Living in the south does little to help.
Creating acronyms to change the meaning of words is to me deceptive.
Was it not deception that kept us isolated for so long? I know this is true for me.
To an outsider Good Orderly Direction means just that "Good Orderly Direction" not GOD. When I hear those words today I think of God. Do you see what has happened here?
It's still God but the definition has been changed. This is just a little to freaky for me.
Rick

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_ô¿ô_m__
|| || || || || || |

Top
#190459 - 11/08/07 01:14 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: GateKPR4]
Hauser Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
I believe that there is a God, but one thing is for sure, God helps those who help themselves.


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#190480 - 11/08/07 05:33 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Hauser]
thesun3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 49
Hello All:
Why I believe....
I saw the snow draped crags of the Grand Canyon, a bald eagle, alone, perched on a dead branch, bow it's head before a blast of snow flurries....
A Poet once wrote, that God's 3 greatest creations are: the stars in the sky...the flowers in the field....and the eyes of children......
Hardly topics for a modern day sermon, a scientific thesis, or a political essay...not enough blood and noise.

_________________________
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Camus

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#190482 - 11/08/07 05:44 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: thesun3]
BJK Offline
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Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I believe it was Voltaire who once said, "if God didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

There are those of us who believe that God didn't create man...man created God.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#190487 - 11/08/07 06:49 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: thesun3]
dgoods Offline
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Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Wonderfully evocative imagery; if your belief brings you to a inner place of acceptance and wonder for the universe, i'm honestly happy for you.

We all reach different conclusions; mine has been that the presence, or absence, of any supernatural force, is intrinsically unknowable.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#190498 - 11/08/07 07:29 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
BJK Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: dgoods
mine has been that the presence, or absence, of any supernatural force, is intrinsically unknowable.


Yes, that is mine as well. However, if we are to deduce that the presense or absense of any supernatural force is intrinsically unknowable, then we must also deduce that all incarnations of such a force that are currently present here on earth are completely fabricated.

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#190500 - 11/08/07 07:38 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
MarkK Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
... if one can deduce such things are "intrinsically unknowable".

there are many who would say they know God exists. not believe, feel, hope, trust - but know.

myself being one.

guess it's all part of what makes life interesting - the many varied thoughts, beliefs, and lives that make up this planet on which we currently reside.

M


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#190510 - 11/08/07 08:35 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
BJK Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I have reached a conclusion, through my own deductive reasoning, that God does not exist. There is not a shadow of a doubt left to me in that belief. However, I will concede that I cannot prove this, and I do not consider the analogy of Russel's Teapot to be conclusive proof. Therefore, I am left with only one remaining conclusion. The existance of God is intrinsically unprovable.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#190627 - 11/09/07 04:34 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
buzz_key Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 635
Loc: USA
you are an intellectual idiot bryan.

you are so full of yourself, you wouldn't recognize God if he was sitting right next to you.

i deduced that about you.


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#190651 - 11/09/07 07:18 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: buzz_key]
dgoods Offline
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Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Okay, this has already devolved into personal attacks...

No, bryan, sorry- i leave it right where it is, which is "CAN'T KNOW, ONE WAY OR THE OTHER".

Mark, no offense, but you're using "know" in the subjective sense, which is still belief, in the way "i know i will never sprout wings" is equal to "i believe i will never sprout wings". i meant "knowable" objectively speaking.

buzz- c'mon, man...

*sigh* I really, REALLY did NOT want to see this sort of crap start, wow...

" I care not if my neighbor worships one god, or twenty. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg."

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

Top
#190656 - 11/09/07 08:04 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
My life has been filled so full of lies, I refuse to believe anything which cannot be proven. My entire childhood was one great big fucking lie. I was 8 years old when I asked my priest why Catholics practice cannibalism, and instead of answering me in an intellectual way, he gave me the words, "Thou shalt not question the ways of the Lord."

I've been questioning such gibberish ever since.

I'm trying as hard as I can not to froth at the mouth here and spew hostilities, but I sense an enormous double standard when people are allowed to talk about how a belief in a higher power has helped their recovery but people are not allowed to talk about how this higher power has hindered their recovery. For the first thirty two fucking years of my life, every time I turned around to try to get help, my refusal to pretend to believe in a higher power has left me alone and in turmoil. Every time I open my mouth to simply try to get other people to understand my viewpoint, someone has to call me an intellectual idiot.

No, I don't believe in God. In a life that I have very little to be proud of, I'm pretty fucking proud of that.

No, I'm not full of myself. I'm just trying to figure out who I am, and if there is a God who has made me endure the shit I've been through, then he can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#190659 - 11/09/07 08:43 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11055
Loc: Denver, CO
Guys,

Please, this is going downhill fast. Let's not resort to name-calling or flare-ups. This ought not to be. Yes, there are differing views, but personal attacks are what get threads closed down.

There are many of us on here who are believers in God, and there are many of us on here who are not. I think that keeping the focus on recovery and centering on what helps us in that mission is what's important.

Andy

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

Top
#190694 - 11/10/07 12:11 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: FormerTexan]
River Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee
Bryan,

I have great respect for your journey. What I see is a man who has survived. I see a man who has the balls to ask the tough questions and to embrace the pain and conflict that this creates in your life. I see a man who stands genuinely in your truth with no pretenses.

Some people cannnot handle "the questions," the searching and the agony that goes with this....and they make inaccurate judgments regarding this important piece of healing and recovery.

Even though this thread has had it's challenges, I still feel like this is a safe place to state our truths, to ask the tough questions and to journey together.

Peace

_________________________
GD

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#190760 - 11/10/07 11:04 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: River]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: River

Even though this thread has had it's challenges, I still feel like this is a safe place to state our truths, to ask the tough questions and to journey together.


I truthfully feel like there is no "safe place" when it comes to the topic of my religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

Religion was used as a tool to abuse in my family, and I've seen it happen in countless other families and countless times in history. If I was a ruler of a kingdom with the charge of protecing my people, the easiest way to that would be to invent a deity and threaten those people with it. This is the temptation that mankind has faced since the beginning of our race, and the effects of this temptation has affected my life greatly.

When I was 3 or 4 years old, I remember breaking an antique lamp of my mothers. She grabbed the closest weapon she could find, a high heeled shoe, and cuffed me over the head with it so hard I saw stars. We then did the wooden spoon therapy in the kitchen, and when she sent me to bed, she told me that God was going to take me in my sleep that night. I slept under my bed in fear, and I prayed to him for the last time. I told him to take me quickly because the fear was worse than the outcome. He never came.

When I was a teenager, I flirted with suicide on a day to day basis. I can say with absolute conviction that I would have done it if I would have allowed myself to believe in God. I truly believed that hell could not be any worse than my life. I embraced that afterlife as an improvement, and then one day....the thought arrived. What if there is no hell?

For about 20 years, the fear of nothing is a large part of what kept me alive.

I was 22 the first time I attended an AA meeting. After about three meetings, the topic was step two. I told the group that I didn't bleieve in God, and they all went on about how they would help me to find the path. I reiterated by telling them that I refused to believe in God, and they all stopped talking to me. I was quite unwelcome after that, and I never went back. At about the same time, I started seeing a counselor through Lutheran Social Services because I couldn't afford one any other way. In our first session, she asked me what church I attended. I told her I was an Atheist, and she lectured me on the need to believe in God for the rest of the hour. I never went back.

When I was 25, I was fired from a job because I was again asked what church I belonged to, and I responded by saying that I don't believe in God. I got my walking papers.

A couple of years later (my time line becomes kind of skewed because I was so messed up most of the time), I made a second attempt at a support group. This time, it was narcotics anonymous. Again, we got stuck on the second step. I got a lecture about how believing in God was a necessary step in recovery. I never went back.

The thoughts of suicide became very strong again after that, for if I was required to believe in God to improve my life, then there just seemed like there was no future for me.

Earlier this summer, when I was first made aware of my childhood abuse, I called a local Rape and Abuse Crisis Center. They told me that they only accept female clients, and they again referred me to a local Lutheran Social Services group. I called them, made an appointment for consultation, and the subject of what church I go to again came up. I walked out without answering.

If my aunt had not been so persistant about me finding help this summer, there is no telling what may have happened. Let's just say that when the topic of religion comes up, I am completely accepting of other people's beliefs, but only if they are accepting of mine. Yes, I hold people to a certain standard there. Plus, if someone makes me feel inferior because I refuse to believe in God and I refuse to pretend to believe in God, I will fight back.

I've gotten to the point in my life where I will not accept this any longer. I'm slowly learning to stand up for myself, and I have a feeling that this is where it starts. The power of God still has a hold on me, and in my life, that power is no different than the power that was exerted over me in my sexual abuse. In both cases, I'm learning to fight back.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#190763 - 11/10/07 11:38 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11055
Loc: Denver, CO


*** POSSIBLE TRIGGERS ***

Bryan,

I can see at some level where you are coming from. Though I am a believer in God, I can see how it was used against me at one point or another, and how that can cause a negative association.

My third perp was a counselor from a church I attended as a teenager. I first met him when I was turning 14. He changed congregations and became a counselor of sorts at this church. When I was 17 I would call him seeking guidance on why my social life was a shambles. He said to me "let me help you." So I let him.

Here was a man who paid attention to me, wanted to guide me and care for me. How cool is that! Our first year of visits went positive, but started to go downhill when started touching me wrong. I remember another time when I avoided talking about things and he said "Why do you resist the Holy Spirit?" In retrospect, this was totally abusive on his part, phrases like this and his inappropriate touching and "counseling exercises."

This man did not represent God or anything spiritual. He only represented himself. Over seven years of therapy, this man was one of the prominent subjects of discussion.

Andy

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

Top
#190764 - 11/10/07 11:54 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: dgoods
Mark, no offense, but you're using "know" in the subjective sense, which is still belief, in the way "i know i will never sprout wings" is equal to "i believe i will never sprout wings". i meant "knowable" objectively speaking.

No offense taken - but you're wrong. I am not saying "know" in the subjective sense. I don't expect you to believe me - but "I know that I know". Yeah - a lot of faith is involved in my life, and there are beliefs mixed in.

But my knowledge of God is exactly that - first hand knowledge.

That said, I sincerely thank you for your honest and open communication.

M


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#190787 - 11/10/07 03:36 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
buzz_key Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 635
Loc: USA
Bryan,

you truly are lost and clueless, not inferior (as you stated)...we were, or are, all that way until we know God.

buzz


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#190789 - 11/10/07 04:12 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: buzz_key]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
If I must know God to truly find myself, then you might as well kill me now. I refuse to believe in mythology.

I'm sorry, buzz...but I have to put you on ignore to keep my piece of mind.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#190790 - 11/10/07 04:19 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
buzz_key Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 635
Loc: USA
whatever...you can ignore me...i would expect nothing less of you...
it's not about me...or you...
i undertand...you have to do what you have to do.


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#190796 - 11/10/07 04:47 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: buzz_key]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
I'm sorry I got involved in this. But at least now I know better.


\:\(


Top
#190798 - 11/10/07 04:54 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Mark,

You haven't said anything remotely offensive or triggering in this thread. In fact, your comments here have been welcome. You know there is a God in the same way I know there is not one. I think we acknowledge and respect each other's beliefs in that regard. I'll go one step further and say that I admire you greatly for your ability to acknowledge and respect my beliefs in that regard. Too many people use religion as a moral pedestal, a tool to repress, or as a mask to hide behind. It is obvious to me that you don't.

When someone tells me I'm an intellectual idiot and that I'm lost and clueless because I refuse to believe in God, that reminds me a little too much of my abuse.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#190810 - 11/10/07 06:46 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
River Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee
Bryan,

I struggle greatly with the Christian church... even though that is where I still hang my hat. Many Christian people think I an condemned to hell... including my parents... if that says anything about my beliefs. It is discussion like this that really saddens me and completely disgusts me on behalf of God-believers and "Christians" ... I just want to apologize from the bottom of my soul and heart and all that is within me for the horrible, awful behavior of fellow God believers and Christians. I acknowledge the many atrocities that Christianity has wrought on many people and am repulsed by it, but nevertheless cannot do anything about the behavior of individuals posting unloving comments in this post nor the many people who have been murdered over the centuries in the "name of Christ" ...BUT I can take responsibility for myself and tell you that I do have great honor and respect for you and what you believe and where your are in your journey and hope that you will not hold it against me personally.

Peace



Edited by River (11/10/07 06:47 PM)
_________________________
GD

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#190813 - 11/10/07 07:25 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: River]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Mark, thanks for clarifying- great thinkers have argued for years about the meanings of words, so i won't claim to be any wiser than they. If you claim first-hand knowledge of God, it's stupid and pointless for me to argue w/ you- how would i know? I can't read your mind; i accept your statement for what it is.
Thanks for remaining calm and respectful in your posts; i never said being religious or siritual was stupid or wrong, i just can't claim to have ever experienced anything of an unmistakably divine nature. I hope that you and i can be friends though our paths may differ, i echo Bryan's compliments, you certainly practice that which the epistle of James speaks of.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

Top
#190815 - 11/10/07 07:44 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
Darren Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 120
Loc: The High Seas
A few thoughts:

To BJK: Count me as on the fence between atheism and agnosticisim. (I used to be a born-again Christian).

On religion as a tool of oprresion: Who decided what books would be included in the bible? White, anglo-saxon males. Hmmmmm.

For the CSA victim: Religion victimizes you, too. You give yourself over to a God who tells you that everything happens for a reason?? So you were singled out to suffer a traumatized childhood and dysfuncitonal adulthood for... what? And why you? Ah, but we dare not ask lest we offend god almighty! Is it not good enough that Jesus died on the cross for our sins? This explanation makes no sense to me.

Buzz key: You say Bryan is lost and clueless, and an intellectual idiot. Have you never questioned your faith? I think it takes a lot of courage to question your faith. After all nothing less than our eternal souls are/were at stake. We are only using what your god ostensibly gave us to use, namely our brains which come equipped with the ability to reason and question. I think it would be intellectually dishonest not to question your faith if there is the slightest shred of doubt. What evidence can you put forth that God does exist and that we should believe in him?

I do not intend to offend anyone with this post , but to keep with the theme of honest, open discourse regarding religion and CSA. I really think religion makes us victims twice over. Once because of our human abusers, and again by a god that supposedly is telling us: It is part of my master plan.

So we have to recover twice, if you will. Once from our sexual abuse, and again from our spiritual abuse.

Respectfully, Darren

_________________________
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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#190831 - 11/10/07 09:24 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
MarkK Offline
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Originally Posted By: BJK
You know there is a God in the same way I know there is not one. I think we acknowledge and respect each other's beliefs in that regard. I'll go one step further and say that I admire you greatly for your ability to acknowledge and respect my beliefs in that regard. Too many people use religion as a moral pedestal, a tool to repress, or as a mask to hide behind. It is obvious to me that you don't.

I used to tell people I respected their right to be wrong ... Truth is, there is always the possibility that what I 'know' is just fabrication of a deluded mind. Plus, the way I read my Bible - judgement is NOWHERE on my list of duties here. Love, respect, honor, acceptance of others, not casting stones .... those are some of what are.

Originally Posted By: BJK
When someone tells me I'm an intellectual idiot and that I'm lost and clueless because I refuse to believe in God, that reminds me a little too much of my abuse.

Yeah. I have the same response to such words.

M


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#190832 - 11/10/07 09:27 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
MarkK Offline
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Originally Posted By: dgoods
I hope that you and i can be friends though our paths may differ, i echo Bryan's compliments, you certainly practice that which the epistle of James speaks of.

I hope so too - thanx.

However ... if I show ANYthing of what is taught in James ... or any other part of the Bible ... it isn't me.

But - that's probably a WHOLE other topic of discussion...

;\)

M


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#190836 - 11/10/07 09:32 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
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my apologies folks...having a bad day and i let the worldly side of me take over in response to something i disagreed with...

i should never have called anyone any name...

truly sorry...buzz


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#190845 - 11/10/07 10:17 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: buzz_key]
dgoods Offline
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thanks buzz,
no grudge on my part, i'm here to make new friends, not enemies...
we can agree to disagree, and still help one another to heal.
\:\)

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#190868 - 11/10/07 11:12 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: River]
BJK Offline
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River/GD

There is nothing to forgive. I do not hold a man accountable for the actions of those who have similar beliefs or his ancestors.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#190891 - 11/11/07 02:36 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
Hauser Offline
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But Bryan? What's the point of even living then? If your life has been nothing but painful, nothing coming easy, and everything you set out to do is a struggle, then why not just kill yourself? That way, there won't be any more pain? Right?

Let's carry this to an extreme. Why not kill 6 million jews? Why not starve 7 million Ukrainians? Why not perp hundreds of boys? Why not only serve oneself and why give a shit about anyone else? Why be kind to people? What's the point to subscribing to any code of honor or decency? Why bother if there is nothing to look forward to after our deaths except............ nothingness?

I could never presume to be qualified to discuss theology, since I never read the bible or any other religious documents.

I just thought I would throw these scenarios out here and see how you might rationalize the thought that Stalin and Hitler got off scott-free, and that they're not paying for all the pain, hurt, humiliation, suffering, torture, and death that they had inflicted on countless millions of people.

Maybe your right Bryan, but, this one time, I really hope you're wrong.


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#190910 - 11/11/07 07:15 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Hauser]
BJK Offline
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Why not just kill myself? Because I'm more afraid of nothing than I am of hell.

I try as hard as I can to live my life by a code. I try to treat others as I want to be treated. I try to pay kindness forward. I do these things because I have a hope that other people will do the same. All of the morality I have has been ingrained within me as a way to try to make my life, as well as the lives of others, easier, not my death.

I think it's somewhat absurd to think that morality and religion are somehow linked, for we see this same morality that humans disply in many other animal species. Besides, if there is this all powerful Sky Fairie up in the clouds who has the power to create a univers with galaxies, solar systems, planets, stars, plants, animals, a periodic table, as well as you and me, why would he care what you and I do with our day to day lives?

When I was sixteen years old sitting in my bathtub with a razor blade and a cigarette, there were a lot of thoughts that flashed through my mind. I was afraid of my mother finding me that way, and that gave me pause to reflect. If I was truly going to hell for killing myself, I viewed that as an improvement. However, if everything just ended at that point, that was truly scary to me. I have made the same decision at several points in my life. Since I won the greatest lottery in the world by being lucky enough to be born into this world, I'm going to try to do what I can with that prize.

To you, Alan, I ask the same question. If people have the promise of heaven to look forward to, then what in this life could possibly be as rewarding as that?

If I believed in God, I'd be dead.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#190911 - 11/11/07 07:30 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Hauser]
BJK Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hauser

Let's carry this to an extreme. Why not kill 6 million jews? Why not starve 7 million Ukrainians? Why not perp hundreds of boys? Why not only serve oneself and why give a shit about anyone else? Why be kind to people? What's the point to subscribing to any code of honor or decency? Why bother if there is nothing to look forward to after our deaths except............ nothingness?


One word, Alan. Love.

Love is the emotion that prevents people from committing such atrocities. People like Hitler and Stalin? I fear they were incapable of feeling love.

Quote:
I just thought I would throw these scenarios out here and see how you might rationalize the thought that Stalin and Hitler got off scott-free, and that they're not paying for all the pain, hurt, humiliation, suffering, torture, and death that they had inflicted on countless millions of people.


If there is an afterlife for these six million Jews that Hitler killed, and if there is an afterlife for the seven million of my kinsmen that Joseph Stalin killed in the Ukraine, then why should we even care about stopping these men from committing these atrocities?

Besides, has it ever occurred to you that Hitler and Stalin were doing what they thought was "right and true" when they committed these atrocities? If someone actually believes that, then scaring them with stories about what "might" happen to them in the afterlife is not going to stop them.

Revenge is a word that is not in my vocabulary, so when I think about people like Stalin and Hitler, my only concern is stopping them. What happens next has nothing to do with me as long as the killing ends.

Quote:
Maybe your right Bryan, but, this one time, I really hope you're wrong.


This is a phenomenon that is known as "Pascal's Wager". When people say "I'd better believe in God just in case he exists", they are making a wager that they will be "saved". I view it as nothing more than pretense, and I firmly believe that most people who proclaim to be believers either prescribe to Pascal's Wager or they are afraid of being persecuted in life.

Bryan



Edited by BJK (11/11/07 07:31 AM)
_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#190927 - 11/11/07 10:44 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
Hauser Offline
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So, if you have no capacity or desire for love, then it's ok to do whatever you want? Kill, rape, torture whoever stands in the way of what you want? What's it matter if there are no eternal consequences?

Why not steal pop cans out of a homeless man's shopping cart? Why not take Social Security checks out of the mailboxes of the destitute widow living down the street? Why not refuse to pay debts that you willingly agreed to pay back? Why not make fun of handicapped and scarred and deformed people if you get a kick out of that? Why not cheat people out of everything you can get away with? As long as you don't feel love, it doesn't matter right? Sure, the world won't be as "nice" a place to live in, but what's it matter? After all, there are no eternal consequences right?

Now assuming that God does not exist, then the only the pretense and assumption that he does exist is what keeps our society from falling into barbaric chaos?

I just don't follow you logic Bryan. (maybe I just refuse to see it) \:\)


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#190934 - 11/11/07 11:22 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Hauser]
Darren Offline
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I believe we are born with an instinct for right and wrong programmed into us, it was necssary to keep our tribes together for survival purposes. I don't think it's love that keeps us from taking social security checks out of people's mailboxes, but I think it's the instinct to take care of our own. If we went around killing and raping eachother all the time, humankind wouldn't have had a chance to survive. That said there will always be people who do steal, rape, kill, etc. That's tragic, but it's not because they have no religion or belief in god. Look at all the wars, the crusades, the inquisition... millions and millions throughout history slaughtered in the name of god. And present day the slaughter that's taking place in the name of Islam. The London subway attacks. The twin towers. All tragedies that would not be occuring if not for people's fanatical belief in their god. Name one war or atrocity that was committed in the name of atheism.

_________________________
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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#190935 - 11/11/07 11:24 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Darren]
Hauser Offline
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Wow, that's an interesting point Darren.


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#190948 - 11/11/07 12:20 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Hauser]
BJK Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hauser
So, if you have no capacity or desire for love, then it's ok to do whatever you want?


No, I didn't say it was okay to commit wrong if one has no capacity for love. I said a person who has no capacity for love has a skewed view on what is right or wrong.

Quote:
Kill, rape, torture whoever stands in the way of what you want? What's it matter if there are no eternal consequences?


If all you have to live for is what is given to you in this lifetime, then that is a reason enough for me to not do wrong.

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#190950 - 11/11/07 12:24 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Darren]
BJK Offline
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Originally Posted By: Darren
Name one war or atrocity that was committed in the name of atheism.


While I agree with most of what you said, Darren, I just thought I'd point out that the essential point about what Richard Dawkins and his ilk miss when writing about trying to defend atheism is the fact that the most popular brand of atheism in the history of the world was the brand that was enforced as a part of Marxism. A majority of the world's population today live in regimes that enforce atheism as a national religion of sorts, and 7 million of my kinsmen killed in the Ukraine during the 1930's in the name of Joseph Stalin only cements my belief that pure atheism is just as much a religion as pure theism.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#190957 - 11/11/07 12:53 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
Darren Offline
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Good point Bryan. I guess any '-ism' taken to extremes is truly dangerous. One can only hope a vigorous democracy like ours that allows freedom of speech and religion, and provides for separation of church and state, can survive the current state of the world.

_________________________
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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#191368 - 11/14/07 04:18 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
dgoods Offline
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Woo-hoo! Thanks, Bryan-
i've been irritated by Dawkins etc. for ages; it's never been a fun realization that the noisiest opponents of theism are equally as rigid and dogmatic in their views as the staunchest religionists can be, and seem to most people as bitter, arrogant blowhards who yearn to justify their inner selfishness by vociferously demanding all others realize what stupid pathetic losers they are, "I'm really smart, so whatever conclusion I reach must be the correct one." There are no Mr. Spocks in real life, even the most intellectually motivated person in the world has an emotional base, and to pretend that somehow it's possible or desirable to completely eliminate emotion from human discourse is just another form of worship, rather than honest inquiry/acceptance.
"clowns to the left of me, jokers on the right- here i am..."

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#191391 - 11/14/07 11:09 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
MarkK Offline
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Originally Posted By: dgoods
...to pretend that somehow it's possible or desirable to completely eliminate emotion from human discourse is just another form of worship, rather than honest inquiry/acceptance.

You had me until here. Not that I disagree, per se - more that I'm not sure I understand the point you're making here. It sounds to me like you're saying worship separates emotion from human discourse and in such, is dishonest.

Must be the way I'm reading it.

Anyhoo - I'm with ya in the rest of it! \:\)

M


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#191438 - 11/14/07 08:34 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
Darren Offline
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I don't find Dawkins irritating, bitter, or arrogant. (Well, maybe a bit arrogant, but perhaps part of that could be attributed to his Oxford English accent) To me he simply states his atheistic beliefs and reasons for believing that way, albeit in a rather verbose way. Whatever your opinion of him is, I think he offers a good counterbalance to the religious fanatics out there, like Pat Robertson et.al.

_________________________
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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#191541 - 11/15/07 08:15 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
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No, I'm saying that exalting logic, rationality, etc. above all else is still exalting something, still espousing the "One True Way". People that are serving their egos in the name of science or religion bug me; the whole "I'm so darn wise I don't care how I come off" thing gets under my skin- whether Augustine or Ayn Rand, wading through acres of self-love to get to some brilliant ideas gets mighty old. Newton may have been a genius, but from all accounts he was an insufferable jerk, and a lousy teacher. Einstein may have thought the world of himself, but he knew enough not to rub it in everyone's face all the time, or delude himself that everyone else shared that opinion. I guess Dawkins bothers me b/c he's so interested in being right, he ends up only preaching to the converted; he'll never be called "the Carl Sagan of atheism".

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#191543 - 11/15/07 08:43 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Darren]
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I find him irritating, but b/c he's such a perfect target for Pat Robertson et al. in the sense of an emotional appeal- show an interview clip of Dawkins, and ask your average audience if they think he's an ivory-tower intellectual w/ no understanding of John and Jane Doe's daily concerns; most people just ask themselves "Why should I care what this guy thinks?"
Both sides tend to act as though what they say is so obvious, it's impossible to understand how anyone could think otherwise.
Maybe some are passionate defenders of their worldview, but there's plenty of folks who love seeing themselves on TV, too..
idk, i just get tired of perpetual "is not! is too!", people usually have their minds made up already, and no amount of effort will sway them. It's like marketing or politics, everyone's chasing the "undecideds".
eh, i'm sleepy, idk if i'm making any sense, early bedtime for me... \:\)

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#191545 - 11/15/07 08:52 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
BJK Offline
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I'm still trying to get Dawkins to prove to me that there isn't a teapot floating around in outer space...

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#191565 - 11/16/07 12:24 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
Darren Offline
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Originally Posted By: BJK
I'm still trying to get Dawkins to prove to me that there isn't a teapot floating around in outer space...


LOL! I think I could believe in that teapot... \:\)

_________________________
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates” -Mark Twain

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#192432 - 11/24/07 08:22 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: Darren]
dgoods Offline
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Well, the Flying Spaghetti Monster made the front of msn.com a couple of days ago... apparently this thread's ahead of the national-discussion curve \:\)

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#192477 - 11/24/07 01:55 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
roadrunner Offline
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Bryan,

Originally Posted By: BJK
I'm still trying to get Dawkins to prove to me that there isn't a teapot floating around in outer space...


How dare you! I mean...really...how DARE you! The teapot is only the prophet of the ethereal espresso machine.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#192496 - 11/24/07 07:01 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: roadrunner]
GateKPR4 Offline
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Ethereal espresso machine? I'll take a double shot when we find the teapot. The teapot is the "only true way" to reach the ethereal espresso machine.
Rick

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_ô¿ô_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#192511 - 11/24/07 08:30 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
theatrekid Offline
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Originally Posted By: BJK
Originally Posted By: Darren
Name one war or atrocity that was committed in the name of atheism.


pure atheism is just as much a religion as pure theism.

Bryan


When a group decides that they are right in their beliefs and all else are wrong that group has crossed a line once that line has been crossed the group can and will abuse its power and do bad things.

when people follow the blind ideologies of an atheist they are doing the same thing as following the ideologies of a religious person.

but it is a mistake to say that atheism is a religion. it is an idea an idea that can have good and bad things come from it. and idea that can be distorted so that people can control but it is the people who twist the idea that form the religion not the idea itself.

although i am not a Christian and i certainly do not agree with many things that a majority of christians believe in. i can still see the good that a true Christian can offer to the world. i think the same should apply to all peoples beliefs.




Edited by theatrekid (11/24/07 08:32 PM)

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#192578 - 11/25/07 06:11 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: theatrekid]
BJK Offline
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You make some good points, Chris, but at the same time, I can see the good that atheism has brought to the world as well. At least, I know that atheist ideology has saved my life.

Of course, I have evoloved into an agnostic, but the time I spent as an atheist, giving up any belief in the possibility of an afterlife, was time well spent.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#193500 - 12/02/07 09:32 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
guy43 Offline
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sorry i'm late to this party. good comments by all.

bryan said "The trigger warning here is because I am an agnostic who is vehemently opposed to organized religion."

for me, i would modify it to say "I am an agnostic who is vehemently opposed to all the religions/sects that preach organized, systematic, covert hate and intolerance."

disclosure: i was sexually abused by my father, a man of the cloth.

i wonder if anyone here has some thoughts on their personal spirituality from a non-religious perspective. although the word spirituality is a bit off-putting for me; i mean that sense of inner self worth/purpose or whatever. i know my sense of self was shattered a long time ago and i'm still trying to find the pieces to put my puzzle together.

from another thread on this site, don't remember who posted this, but thanks whoever you are: http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/

i've been looking at some of the buddhist practices. so far, all i can really relate to is that it's a non-deist belief.


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