Friday, May 29, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Material Needed for a Book

A letter from Trent

Although I still hold to a belief in Christ, I definitely relate to the experiences described by the contributors to this site. I went through Bible College and received a master's degree in seminary before I started to realize the carnage Christianity has left in it's rear view mirror. I am writing a book in hopes of shedding light on these detestable practices and would love to include some of your real life experiences.

I don't honestly know if it's a conflict of interest to for ex-Christians to help a fed-up Christian write a book scolding most Christians but figured it's worth a shot :) !!! If you would be game to help, please send me your experiences at trenttc11 AT gmail DOT com

Thanks

Thursday, May 14, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Religious Disenchantment Narratives and the Arts

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard D...Image via Wikipedia

My name is Philip Francis, a doctoral student at Harvard Divinity School, writing a dissertation on religious disenchantment narratives and the arts. I am posting here to see if there are any readers who would be willing to contribute to my project a short memoir of their experience of leaving the Christian fold, making particular note of the role of the arts, creativity, literature, beauty, the combined work of a particular artist or aesthetic experience (most broadly conceived) in this process.

This memoir could be sent to me directly at pfrancis@hds.harvard.edu or posted on Exchristian.net. Questions about the project may also be directed to my email address.

The following are some basic guidelines and starter questions, but approach the writing anyway you like.

The memoir may be as short or long as you like and assume any form. It may be signed or anonymous.

Others have found it useful to structure their memoir as follows:

1. The Unsettling: reflect on your experience of the forces and factors that unsettled you from the system of beliefs and practices that you once held in a dogmatically unassailable manner. Were the arts in any way a part of this initial unsettling? Feel free to cite specific examples from the arts and literature, or your own creative projects.

2. The Liminality: reflect on your experience of the initial transition away from your previous system of beliefs and practices, the in-between space. Was there a time in which you had begun to disavow your previous religious beliefs and practices but had not yet established a new set of beliefs and practices? What was it like to dwell in that liminal, in-between space? Did the arts play a role in this phase?

3. The loss of faith: reflect on the experience of losing religious faith all together, or losing faith in a particular set of beliefs and practices, or a certain vision of God. And/or reflect on the various kinds of losses incurred in this process of disenchantment with Christianity (or some aspect of it). In all these experiences, was loss negotiated in any way by recourse to the arts, creativity and aesthetic experience?

4.The aftermath: reflect on your experience of the aftermath of disenchantment with Christianity (or with some other form of religious belief and practice). Have you found new forms of faith and practice? Have you found it unnecessary to construct new, fixed, systems of belief? Did your relationship to religious doubt, uncertainty and mystery change over the course of this experience?

What is the role of the arts in the aftermath of these experiences? Have the arts assumed any of the roles once played by your previous forms of religious faith?

***
In all aspects of this memoir I am most interested in hearing about your lived experience, not merely your rational, theological or philosophical justifications for leaving Christianity (or other), although I recognize that it is not always easy to separate the two.
***

Thanks very much for your contribution to this project. All the best, Philip (pfrancis@hds.harvard.edu)

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Sunday, May 10, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Troubled by the beginning

Questions from Saczino

Modification of Image:Huxley - Mans Place in N...Image via Wikipedia

I have been an atheist for 4 months now. I have been studying evolution as the alternative to creation (Most atheists seem to ‘believe’ in evolution). However, I have been highly disappointed by what I have discovered regarding evolution, it also seems to be taken by faith. There is no scientific proof for most of the evolutionary theories.

There seems to be six sections or steps to evolution

1. Cosmic evolution – the origin of matter, space and time.


There is absolutely no proof what-so-ever that matter, space and time can come out of nothing. The big bang (creation of matter, the rotation and the explosion of this matter) can not be proven in any scientific lab (i.e. no tests or experiments can be done to proof the big bang). As for something being coming out of nothing is just ridiculous!!!

Generally accepted theory is that: All matter was condensed in a dot, and the dot came from nothing – this is just ridiculous!!! The very 1st step of evolution makes no sence to me. And how people can believe this is beyond my understanding!

2. Chemical evolution – elements with high atomic mass than hydrogen.

Evolution further states that hydrogen would have then been created from or was the main source of the cosmic evolution. I fail to find anything published about how all the other elements came about. Where all the elements in the dot? Very little info seems to be published regarding chemical evolution.

3. Stellar and planetary evolution – origin of stars and planets

The law of conservation of momentum seems to disagree completely with this type of evolution. The fact is, we have these dens parts (stars and stuff) in the universe and thousands of kilos of empty space. This cannot be a result of a spinning object – the law of conservation of momentum clearly states that matter should be evenly distributed when a spinning object breaks into a lot of stuff. Also, you have planets that are rotating in the opposite direction to the sun – also a direct violation of the law of momentum conservation. Therefore, this type of evolution is completely unscientific!!!

4. Organic evolution- Origin of life from inanimate matter (rocks)


There is absolutely no proof that life can come out of the rocks and the water of the big bang. The earth is believed to have had craters and volcanic matter from whence life came! There is absolutely no proof of this!! No experiment that I know of has proven life coming out of cosmic mud!! Nothing!!!

5. Macroevolution- Origin of major kinds of trees, animals, fishes, etc…

No proof for this either. The familiar sketch of a lizard growing wings and turning into a bird seems to be people’s imagination. No proof what-so-ever for a lizard with no wings, giving birth to a lizard that is developing wings!!! There is no proof that from a frog you can get anything that is not a frog or even a frog with horns on anything that is an improvement on the parent frogs – no proof what so ever!!!!!

6. Microevolution – changes between the same species.

This basically means a cow in the North Pole will have thicker fur them a cow in the equator. And if you take a baby cow from the equator to the North Pole, as an adult cow it will have thicker fur then its parents. This is the only evolutionary step we have proof for. Animals do adjust to their environment. But the change must not be extreme. That is to say, if you put a dog in a cage under water it will drown, it will not grow gills. No matter how long you give it, it will not grow fins!! However, the dog would adjust to small changes in temperature – thicker fur. This has been proven, but it has nothing to do with the other 5 steps.

There is absolutely no scientific proof for the other 5 steps. So do we then say religious people are crazy for believing in a god while we believe everything can from a dot that came out of nothing???!! The fact is none of us can proof beyond reasonable doubt that evolution is true – this is probably because it is not. I believe once we accept that neither religion nor evolution (I don’t say science because evolution is not a science, it is also a believe – you have to take it by faith!!!) can answer the questions about the beginning, only then can we start to work on finding out exactly were we come from!!!

Please, if there is anybody that can proof to me otherwise or that can suggest reading material for me that will be highly appreciated.

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