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At 3:09pm on January 23, 2013, Amanda Hendrix said…

I still have family and friends who are highly religious. I don't think they are all lying to themselves. For me, I held out believing in a god because I had believed for so long, it was hard to give that final belief up in god (basically I was agnostic for awhile). For others who believe I think there are many different motivations. For many it's just the culture they were raised with and they accept it because of that. Not so much Pascal's Wager, but their whole lives have been built on these beliefs and practices that they believe and could not imagine life without it. Perhaps too the idea that so many people believe in some type of god, so maybe they are on to something. And they were raised to believe this god and so they accept it. I've known very few people who believe because of Pascal's Wager, but I have known people who were religious because of that so that could be a motivation (this I feel is more dishonest, because they are more likely the people who are not sincere in their beliefs, and more likely to hold dualistic opposing ideas). For others it can be the constant in a tumultuous life. It could be what gives people comfort and hope. I think of religion as a social construct, and enough people feel they benefit from it to continue to buy in to it. I do think that we are social and still mildly tribal, and church can provide some of that feeling of belonging and can provide social ties. I don't know how to totally put this but I'll try, for some they may not have learned the tools to emotionally adapt to deal with the difficult times in life, and by praying it kind of lets people let go of their problems and manage how they feel. For some it may be they are outright lying to themselves, but it's usually more complicated than that. There are so many emotions and such a deep rooted belief that to question it breaks their whole reality. This can be shocking and difficult if there's not support. I don't think I would have come along to my position without the support of my husband and friends who were not religious. There are also a lot of lies in the church that the nonreligious person is unhappy, depressed, angry, lonely. My mom who is still religious sent me a sermon that touched on that, of course the transition can be difficult for some, but ultimately these lies hold people to religion. They refuse to accept that life could be happy, because they've been told it's so horrible. And part of that is because some people who are not religious are not happy, and some find religion and find their own happiness. This of course ignores all the unhappy religious people, and the happy nonreligious people. But I think there is refusal to listen because they may feel they could be convinced and that is scary. Because they don't want to lose their social support, their friends, their happiness. Like I said I lost something like 70% of my friends when I stopped going to church, I was young and had alternative ways to find friends, but others might not have the same option. For some (Mormons, Amish) it could mean losing contact with your whole family. For others it might be physically dangerous to leave religion. But whatever the reason to remain theist it's worth discussing with people and not making assumptions about their belief. They may believe so strongly that they are willing to ignore other ideas, their reality is so real to them they cannot accept other ideas. For others who believe in god but not a church may just need something to explain the things they don't understand, coincidence happens and it can seem like a higher power.

I went to a public high school and took biology and chemistry there, in my biology class I don't really remember evolution. I think it may have been brushed over, I do remember that Noah's flood was mentioned. I don't know if it's the same any more, and it was presented that there was evidence a flood in the Middle East. In high school I ate it up, I participated in and l

At 10:59pm on January 22, 2013, Amanda Hendrix said…

Thanks for the interest, my de-conversion took several years. The short version, I started working after school my senior year in high school where my co-workers were not really religious. I got a dose of what the rest of world was like, that people can be happy and okay outside of church. I had been on edge with the pastor as he had accused me of lying. I moved out of my parents house after high school but kept going to church for awhile. I started trying to date, and struggled really hard to reconcile wanting to date with wanting to not sin. I was dating off and on for a year, the time kind of melts together, but I think in that year I took a philosophy class. I was actually signed up to go to a non-accredited bible college when I met my now husband and I decided not to go (wow life would have been very different for me had I gone!). I stopped going to church. My husband and I talked about evolution which he understood and trusted, I had limited experience with it and didn't believe it. We talked about religion. He had tried Christianity for a couple years and he left because of how LGBTQ's were treated and inability to reconcile religion and evolution. The progression of stopping going to church, questioning the details of the god I was taught about, and realizing the bible wasn't true led me to the point of questioning god's existence completely. The thing that held me out so long was fear or something like that, I grew up my whole life believing in a god, and it was hard to give it up completely so quickly. That's the short story of it.

At 5:28pm on January 12, 2013, Patricia Taylor said…
I am in an army band. And planning for the inevitable demise of the us army. Also a future career in law. Attempted Secular Humanist Chaplain, but it looks like litigation is necessary to make that a reality. Curious... Been vegetarian since childhood, attempt vegan now & again but it never sticks. Are you pro dead animals or anti vegan?
At 4:56am on January 8, 2013, Wyatt said…
So basically eat lots of veggies, don't eat too much fat and sugar, and get plenty of exercise. Got it.
At 10:58am on January 7, 2013, Wyatt said…
How are you holding up against vegan logic? I've decided to retire from evangelical meatdom, but the vegans have yet to convince me that eating some animal matter is inherently immoral. And as far as health is concerned, I would like to know if there is any evidence that modest amounts of animal protein in a low-fat diet with vegetables, fruit, grain, etc. has a negative impact on health. Is the vegan diet somehow qualitatively superior to a well-balanced omnivorous diet even if fat, sugars, fiber, vitamins, and all other things are equal between the two? Have we isolated something hazardous in meat that is absolutely not present in a vegan diet? Or is it just that meat is higher in some unhealthy stuff?
At 4:37pm on January 6, 2013, kelly said…

Even during the holidays I don't go see my family. Just too much tension and not really any desire to be bothered by most of them. Does that sound terrible? 

I never decided on a specific area of medicine, but I had decided against nursing for sure. There are waiting lists for those classes here and as a result, not enough nursing jobs for everyone that graduates. We are, however, short on good doctors. The locals are traveling to other areas just to see a decent doctor (and that includes me too).

I would like to leave this place but that isn't an option right now. Not a whole lot of money or anything. So I do kind of feel like I am going insane a lot of the time. I don't even have TV, internet, or cell service where I am residing currently. Talk about living in the boonies.

At 7:44pm on January 4, 2013, kelly said…

Honestly, I don't go to any family dinners. I hardly ever see my family anymore. I don't really have any long term plans right now. I am just kind of doing a day-to-day thing right now. My dream has always been working in the medical field though. Although any time I mention that around here, people automatically assume I mean 'nurse' because they have the mindset that a woman's position is nurse and a man's is a doctor. 

Let's see, we have a WalMart, McDonald's, Wendy's, etc. Nothing special or exciting in the least. And any new business tends to get shut down pretty quickly. These country folk tend to stick to what they know...life is boring "out yonder" lol.

At 12:44am on January 3, 2013, kelly said…

My family (mostly Catholic) constantly has Fox News on. No kidding, 24/7. I believe they also have it on some nights on the WalMart TVs but I avoid that place so I can't be sure how often...

My father was an alcoholic so my family thought it would be a great idea to move to a place where there is little more to do than drink. Great logic, I know. :P

At 12:26am on January 3, 2013, kelly said…

Around here they all say that the founding fathers were god-fearing, atheist-hating christians. Because, ya know, they knew them personally it seems...lol

I'm from Long Island originally, and I can tell you first hand, where I live now is certainly not a place a nonbeliever wants to live...

At 12:12am on January 3, 2013, kelly said…

Yep, the link is right. Wonder why it is not working for you?

I am just chilling out online for now. Going to head to bed sometime soon, though.

Yeah, Mount Airy is close enough to here. I actually prefer it to Galax as it is bigger. We have strict religious people all over here though. The ones that want atheists out of "their" country...

At 11:57pm on January 2, 2013, kelly said…

Thanks for the heads up, and hi to you too! :)

At 12:23pm on December 26, 2012, Hannah said…

My parents were never too bad about religion. They did tell me to follow Christianity though. I guess that view is different because there was a time I enjoyed Christianity and followed it. But for as long as I can remember I have always questioned the existence of a higher power. And I definitely tell no one I am an atheist. Thank you for the warm welcome!

At 5:58pm on December 24, 2012, Steph S. said…

Hey Joseph - yeah I should have just said profile picture in that case. You are correct.

Yeah - low key for me as well. I don't go all out or anything for the holidays.

At 10:16am on December 24, 2012, Steph S. said…

Hey - you changed your avatar. Nice profile picture. Hope you are having a good holiday with friends and family.

At 12:45pm on December 21, 2012, Erin Walker said…

Final Fantasy X didn't really have armor, per se. Each character had their own accessory. For Auron, it was bracers, and Tidus had shields, but everyone had something different and those were the only two resembling "armor". You'd think they'd actually want some protection, y'know... since they're guarding the only hope to defeat Sin and all... but that's just me.

It's all art. Art that's really good, in my opinion, combines form and function as best as possible. I like a little more realism, in that sense. But, you're right; form beats function if I have to choose.

At 5:56pm on December 13, 2012, Erin Walker said…

Thanks for the suggestion, I just might do that now.

Yeah... I don't understand the not covering vital organs thing, when it's apparent that the universe in question has armor that seems to make a difference. Like... for example, Final Fantasy (again, love the series) number ten, there wasn't really an armor system, so I understand the characters wearing whatever garbage they want.

I gotta feel bad for Light, she has a scabbard punching her in the backs of her thighs every step she takes! That's more than an inconvenience, I think.

At 12:19am on December 13, 2012, Paige Bott said…

Yes, some small towns in Michigan are, and I grew up in one. However, college town life is much easier and people so far seem to be less judgmental 

At 10:19pm on December 12, 2012, Addie said…

Pretty man! 

.. you're welcome, c:

At 10:31am on December 11, 2012, Erin Walker said…

Yes, now that I'm going into college, I think I'm going to make best-friends with caffeine.

If I can avoid Texas, I will. But if I end up with a good job there, at least I have an uncle who lives down there. And, I'm a recluse, so I wouldn't have to deal with it too much.

Bioware is in Canada, I believe.

The "objectification" doesn't really matter to me from a female's perspective. I guess I never really viewed it as that, I just thought it was funny that a bikini protected my from the dragon better than the plate mail.

As you can see, I drew Lightning and use her as my profile image everywhere, and she's not too bad, but her legs are just a bi showy. Now, coming from a gay perspective, I can totally see why men in the industry do this; I guess that's why it doesn't bother me - men are the people who play games for the most part, so made by men for men. Whatever floats their boat! I'll just sit in the closet and enjoy.

At 12:08am on December 11, 2012, Erin Walker said…

Ha ha, yes. Although, I've never tried any of the "three official bans".

There's not much going on in Utah in terms of game development, but there are some, probably indie, groups and we have some branch of EA in Salt Lake City. In all honesty, I'm probably going to move somewhere else as soon as I can. If my dream came true (if it's at all what I think it is) I would be working for Bioware. They make all of the best games in my opinion.

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