Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
~ Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 ~

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Spiritual Awakening: Going Deeper

I have debated internally about whether to write about this. The past year has held profound significance for me. Many of the things I will write about here will likely surprise or even shock my readers. Some will attribute this to God, and even that is fine. Others will criticise me for becoming irrational. I don't mind what meaning you attach to it. I have my own interpretations too. What I hope to convey is more of a flavour of what I have discovered, and the wider framework and context in which I now approach life and reality.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Why The Fine Tuning Argument Isn't Compelling To Me

In many discussions with Christians and people of other faiths I have come across the Fine Tuning argument in various forms.

The argument, at least in its modern form, focuses on two primary domains. Firstly, the complexity of living organisms and their origin, and secondly the origin of our universe. It is no coincidence that these two areas are both at the boundary of modern scientific understanding. You can trace religious apologetic arguments right back through time and notice how these arguments always ride on the boundary of the scientific understanding of the day, and fall out of favour as that boundary progresses outwards (i.e. as scientific understanding increases).

The argument from complexity is really a separate argument in its own right, and with its own flaws, but the way I approach it is more or less the same as with the various Fine Tuning arguments. I understand why these arguments are compelling to people, but I think they are compelling primarily due to subtle flaws or mistakes in our reasoning process.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Christianity Is Morally Repulsive

More than 8 years have passed since I was a Christian (or Christadelphian to be precise). Throughout this period I have increasingly moved away from religion and towards a more positive view of life in the here and now. Yet there have been many occasions when I have been forced to revisit various religious ideas both from my past and also ideas put forward by others in more recent times.

If there is one emotion that increasingly comes to the fore when discussing these religious ideas in detail, it is that of disgust. The kind of disgust you might have if you witnessed a fellow human doing something utterly depraved. Or to be clear I am speaking of disgust towards specific ideas put forward by otherwise seemingly-respectable people. To say that it invokes some cognitive dissonance is an understatement.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Do I Believe Everything Happened By Chance?

One of the many misconceptions I have heard regarding those who have left religion is the view that atheists must believe that everything just happened by chance.

I think this idea is misleading at best and doesn't accurately represent my views. So I thought I would share some of my thoughts on this topic and hopefully that will be helpful to some of you.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

My View Of Life After The Christadelphians

A common view I have heard expressed over the years is that without a belief in God or without a belief in an afterlife, life itself must become meaningless and pointless. I can see why people think that, but I also think they may have overlooked some important factors as well.

In this article I will share with you some thoughts on what actually happened to my view of life when I left my former religion behind.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Disfellowshipped: Part 4 - Moving On

About 7 years ago, I was disfellowshipped by the Christadelphians.

This is the 4th and final part of my first-hand account of what it was like to be disfellowshipped from the Christadelphian religion that I had grown up in.

If you have not yet read parts 1-3, you can do so starting here.

Disfellowshipped: Part 3 - The Letter

About 7 years ago, I was disfellowshipped by the Christadelphians.

This is part 3 of my first-hand account of what it was like to be disfellowshipped from the Christadelphian religion that I had grown up in.

If you have not yet read part 1 or 2, you can do so starting here.

Disfellowshipped: Part 2 - The Disfellowship Process

About 7 years ago, I was disfellowshipped by the Christadelphians.

This is part 2 of my first-hand account of what it was like to be disfellowshipped from the Christadelphian religion that I had grown up in.

If you have not yet read part 1, you can do so here.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Disfellowshipped: Part 1 - Doubt And Fear

About 7 years ago, I was disfellowshipped by the Christadelphians, in particular by a few members of a mid-sized ecclesia to the North-East of Adelaide city. While I have talked about the experience of leaving the Christadelphians several times on this blog, I have not previously written about the experience of actually being disfellowshipped, at least not in any detail. I would now like to share that experience with you.

I hope to make readers aware of not only what it felt like to be disfellowshipped, but also the process by which it occurred. While I do feel there were some injustices carried out at that time, my aim is not to seek any sympathy for myself. Rather it is much broader than that, to shine a light on a part of the Christadelphian movement that I'm sure many Christadelphians would rather pretend does not exist.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Life After Christadelphianism, Six Years On

As you may have noticed, I haven't been as active on this blog lately. That trend is likely to continue and I think it represents a very positive and natural step in my personal journey from Christadelphian to Citizen of Earth. Anyone who has walked this path before will very likely resonate deeply with that sentiment.

When I look back over the past 6 years I can see a clear progression. Some readers may relate to this too. Early on I was very focused on doctrines, and truth. I still care a lot about truth, but I also care a lot about life, too. Some things don't fit neatly into facts and figures, and yet they matter a lot to me. Many issues that used to fill my thoughts daily have now almost disappeared from view, replaced by a much deeper appreciation of life and all that it entails.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

No, The Bible Does Not Predict A Russian Invasion

Everyone hold onto your hats and calm down. Christadelphians have been lecturing about Russia for much longer than I can remember and no doubt they will continue to preach fear and alarmism long into the future. I know I won't convince most of them that they have been misled, but for the few who are curious about why most scholars disagree with them, please read on.

The Bible is an ancient book and sometimes difficult to understand. It is therefore not surprising to find that there are often multiple interpretations held by various scholars and that modern research sometimes overturns widely-held ideas. This topic is one such example.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Christadelphian Obsession With Death

Have you ever noticed just how obsessed many Christadelphians are with death? I recently drove past a Christadelphian hall which had a sign out the front advertising an upcoming lecture titled, "What happens when we die?"

Of course, like any rational human being, when I want to find out the answers to such scientific / medical questions I always seek out my local Christadelphian community and trust them to know the correct answers to all things about human biology and natural chemical processes. I jest. What I actually did was type the above lecture title into Google, which linked me to a science article with a handy graphic showing the various stages of bodily decomposition in slightly unnecessary detail.

But why are Christadelphians so obsessed with death?

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Was The Bible Written By God?

When faced with strong evidence from modern science that contradicts traditional Christadelphian interpretations of the Bible, many Christadelphians claim that the Bible was written by God - the very same god who created the universe - and thus it contains a superior understanding than anything science has discovered or even can discover.

But how did they, as fallible humans, reach the conclusion that the Bible was written by God? What if it wasn't?

This article explores some of the more common arguments for the claim that the Bible is the "Word of God".

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Science: What it is and why it matters

All readers will be familiar with science in some form. Most of us enjoy far better health than our distant ancestors, and have the prospect of a longer life, on average. You are reading this on a device only made possible by discoveries from the last 100 years. Through science, humanity has explored the far reaches of space as well as the very strange characteristics of matter at subatomic scales.

But I want to convince you that science is not merely a body of facts. It is not merely something engaged in during the working week by people who studied to become scientists. Perhaps most importantly for this audience, science is not a weapon of mass propaganda wielded by unbelieving apostates intent on robbing your children of a place in God's kingdom. Science is not your enemy. Science is simply a method or process by which we can understand the world and reality. You probably use this method all the time without realising it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

I Was Free

When I was a young boy,
I was free to play in the rain.
I dreamed a thousand dreams,
and imagined who I could become.

But then they taught me about a God
who insisted I give up on my dreams
and follow his instead. Or was it theirs?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Morality and Atheism

If you have read any material from believers on the topic of morality you will no doubt be familiar with the idea that morality requires or implies the existence of a god, and the idea that we get our morals from God and/or the Bible. I disagree with both of these ideas, and in this article I will offer some reasons why.

Morality is a deep and complex subject, so consider this merely an introduction to my views and reasoning on this broad topic, at this point in time. I claim no particular expertise, and my views will likely continue to evolve over time.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Thinking On Purpose

As someone who no longer believes in some kind of afterlife, I quite often come across the claim that life without belief in God or an afterlife must be meaningless and without purpose. I think the fundamental problem with this claim is that it is self-fulfilling. It is only true if you believe it to be true. But you don't have to believe it. There are other ways to look at meaning and purpose, just as there are evidently many ways to live a fulfilling life.

In this article I want to explore some of my current thoughts on meaning and purpose, especially in the context of someone who has left a strict, dogmatic, fundamentalist religion and way of life, and who must now navigate a somewhat unfamiliar world, and a new set of challenges.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

10 Signs Your Religion May Be Harmful

No one knowingly joins a cult and no group has ever admitted to being one. The cult label is so despised that even groups that are widely regarded as cults will go out of their way to explain why they are not a cult. Thus it is not helpful to speak of "cults" at all. Every cult in existence can point to one or more features of other cults that they do not share, and their members undoubtedly do not think they are members of a cult.

So instead I want to list some common features of groups that are generally considered harmful and potentially unsafe. There are several such lists online and many of them offer some combination of the features listed below.

If you recognise similarities between the warning signs listed below and your own ecclesia or even the Christadelphian religion as a whole, then perhaps it is time to ask yourself some critical questions or seek a second opinion from a counsellor or third party outside the religion.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

What if ... ?

“What if Jesus soon returns and you are left behind?
What if you are judged and your eternal life declined?
What if the kingdom really comes and loud you hear the shout?
What if the Christos enter in but you yourself miss out?”

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Divinely Inspired Iron Age Morals?

If a book really was inspired by an all-knowing, perfect god, how would we go about finding out? After all, several books from different religions make this claim, but how do we determine which of them, if any, actually live up to it?

In the case of the Bible, we know the individual books were literally written by humans. The only question we need to answer is about where they got their information from. Did a god really tell them what to write? or did their words have a rather more human origin?