I live in a small town and have been an atheist for probably 16 yrs...But I'm still in the closet (sort of speaking) because as you know,I really don't care to be ostracized. You know? And it's really hard to "play the game" with theists without going off.:,/ I wish there were people near me that I could talk to that were not religious. Um...as of now I'm really boring and stay in my apt a lot.
Anyways...thanks for making a site like this!:)
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*blink* Holy crap. How long was the $400 session? Jeeze. Maybe the problem that Scientologists have with psychologists is that they aren't sufficiently gouging their patients?
... not that I have a problem with psychologists, despite the way that that last comment sounded, as I read it back. I don't find any benefit from them, myself, and I think they charge way too damned much ... but some people seem to benefit greatly, and there's at least a soft-science behind their field.
I was stuck going to Catholic mass every ... single ... week ... for the first 18 years, myself. My siblings and I all had to go to CCD, but I never actually attended a Catholic school.
I was even an altar boy for 4 or 5 years, just so I would have something to do during mass. Had I known, at the time, into what sort of risk I was putting various parts of my anatomy ...
Jeeze, that's awesome that you have your father to talk to about stuff. I suspect that my father was a closet atheist, but I never got a chance to talk to him about it, really, since he died when I was 21. I wish I had at least one other rational person in my close family. All of my aunts and uncles are still quite Catholic, as far as I know ... my one aunt is actually a nun.
For that matter, my father went to Catholic seminary for a couple of years, before dropping out and going to a secular college. That's one of the things that makes me suspect he was agnostic/atheistic. People learning too much in the seminary, then being trapped in the clergy, is a common theme we're seeing with The Clergy Project.
My mother is a vague, fuzzy believer. The best argument I've ever heard out of her is, "You know, God still loves you," in response to which, I just laughed in her face and told her that it's time to let the Bronze-Age mythology go. I don't expect any further comments on the subject, by her. It's the usual sad situation, in which I, the unbeliever, read more about and research more deeply into her religion than she ever has, herself.
My one brother-in-law is the only overtly religious person in my family, though, doing things like praying before family meals and other nonsense.
Wow, nice racial mix. I'm European, and uhhhhhhhhh ... more European? About the most exotic I get is the 25% Sicilian blood.
Hmm, 38 and still carded? Nice. Does the Chinese blood show through in some of your facial features or something? That tends to make people look younger, to most Western eyes.
38 here, too, as of January.
I think I know what you mean about the MS just making you feel old. Doesn't it do something to your energy levels, in addition to the primary issues? I'm bipolar, so I have some major energy issues at times, too.
Yeah, Piers Anthony does some decent stuff. I wouldn't say he's one of my favorites, but I've read and enjoyed several of his books. His writing is ... odd. He can't seem to decide if he wants to write young-adult fiction or pornography.
I'm reminded of On a Pale Horse. The majority of the book is very abstract and low on the details, but then the details of the way that the main character's love interest is being tortured, towards the end of the book ...
It isn't that disturbing really, speaking as someone who has dated several masochists, but it's a bit of a bucket of cold water to the face, after the lighter tone of most of the rest of the book.
I guess I mostly like his ideas. The execution of his storytelling isn't nearly as good as that of lots of other writers, and a lot of his books feel very rushed, but the dude has some crazy ideas.
Given your love of Piers Anthony, let me double down on my suggestion of Terry Pratchett. He does a lot of light fantasy that's wrapped around some very solid morality plays. Plus, he's one of the best storytellers I've read.
Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh. Niiiiiiice. The difference between Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. ^.^ I wish I could have seen their faces. I might have to try that sort of question, next time I get some. Most Christians think Mormons are some cult that worships Satan ... you know ... the whole Planet Kolob thing and such.
Strangely, I've gotten similar questions about Scientology, from the other side.
"So, what do believe in? How do you determine what is true, without a Holy Book?"
"The scientific method is pretty much the best thing we have for determining what is true."
"Oh, so like Scientology?"
"Uh, no, they're a cult which has beliefs as insane and unscientific as any religion. The etymology of their name is pretty much meaningless."
Yeah, I can imagine how, if you're already prone to social anxiety, being surrounded by God-bots isn't going to help. You definitely need to get to a bigger urban area. The greater density of people makes it easier for minority groups to get a group together.
Plus, the education of people in urban areas is a bit higher on average, and there's a negative correlation between education and religiosity. So, you have more, less-religious people. You might like it.
And yeah, as far as chronic conditions go, MS isn't horrible. I mean, it sucks that you have it, and you have to stay on top of it, but it isn't nearly as bad as lots of health issues you could have, just lowers your life expectancy by a few years.
It kicked in at a younger age, for you, so it isn't as bad? No idea how old you are or anything, so I don't know what to guess with the details.
We'll see about my writing. I'm hoping I can turn out something worth reading. I just need to actually finish a freaking book, and we can test that.
That one book sounds like it's likely some woo-woo bullshit, yeah. Alas, there's a lot of unscientific nonsense, in the self-help industry. You almost have to specifically look for books endorsed by the skeptic community, if you want to find something that isn't wish-yourself-to-whatever.
And wow, 4'11". Heh, cool. I'm a fan of short women, but I can see how it could be a pain in the ass being so, with people not taking you seriously and such ... treating you like you're 14. Do you have some Latino or Asian blood of some sort? Or you're just randomly very short?
Hmmmmmmm, good reads ...
What sort of material are you looking for? I've been reading a lot of nonfiction lately: Bart Ehrman, Victor Stenger, Daniel Dennett ...
For fiction, I've been rereading my Terry Pratchett books, lately. You've read some of the Diskworld books I imagine, right?
For self-help material, I'd recommend Powerless No Longer, by Peter Soderman. That's one of those self-help books I was talking about, which is actually based upon scientific research and is endorsed by skeptics. It's meant as an alternative to the woo-woo 12-Step programs, but it's also simply a good guide for behavioral reprogramming.
At least you get out to the library to get books sometimes?
Yeah, I know what you mean about the low funds for moving. It's a bit of a Catch-22, since you need the higher-paying jobs from the larger cities in order to be able to afford the cost of moving and the higher rent. It's a little bit cheaper, if you're willing to live way out, 15 or 20 miles from the edge of the city ... but then you have to deal with the long commutes, and you'll be burning a lot more gas, which isn't as cheap as it used to be ...
Plus, with the economy the way it is right now and wages depressed, it's that much harder to save up the money to make the jump.
Uh, so you write and read a lot. You said you were boring. I don't see it. :-P
Heck, I want to make a living as a writer, among other things, so I'm going to have to disagree with you, about that making you boring.
Ouch, what did you do to yourself that needs medical attention? That always sucks. The will is there, but the body ...
Whoah. Yeah, umm, if I had someone who was there to provide me with medical attention and instead spent the time preaching at me or refused me service, someone would have a lawsuit on his/her hands. And I'm sure the ACLU would love to get their hands on one like that, since they're working hard against the push of the religious right, right now.
I've never experienced anything like that, since I'm male and 6'1". I tend to get rather intense while arguing about religious issues. I guess you aren't quite as imposing, huh?
I had a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses drop by, last Sunday. I think I kind of scared the hell out of them. They never got beyond:
"So, you don't believe in Creation?"
"No, I've had a decent education."
They said goodbye at that point, only about a minute-and-a-half into our discussion. I was almost sad to see them go, since I hadn't gotten to ask any of my pointed questions about their little cult, yet.
Yeah, when New Bern and Jacksonville are the nearest large cities ... ouch. Not much in the way of nonreligious activity. I'm in Jacksonville occasionally, myself. I know what it's like.
I wish I knew what to suggest. I think the nearest group of any size is here in the Triangle, and we're about 2 1/2 hours away.
What are your plans for the future? Are you moving any closer to one of the larger NC cities or anything like that? What do you do in your apartment all day? ^.^ Sounds like a lot of time for reading and such.