Here is where, when you have to ask me something, I have to answer.
So then, what would you advise someone for whom pornography DOES feel like the sexual analogue of ice cream? Like it makes real life sex feel boring.
Tell us a joke!
This is a message of support - I read your last post about stress and it hit pretty close to home. It's not really possible to read signs for an impending firing if you're not sure that your capacity to parse these signs is correct or biased by outlook.
It can be said and may be helpful to assess the magnitude of the stressor, if you are unable to assess its likelihood. For example, an impending firing. You know, from past experience, how bad life is in unemployed poverty, and also in employment with a truly shitty job. Threat of returning to either of those states should rightly induce stress. However, you are also able to state that you are capable of pulling yourself out of that situation - proof is that you'd done it once. Doing it once should make you both more confidence-biased in your assessment of your competence, and also provide a few real hard advantages should you need to do it again (at least contacts from the world of non-shitty jobs comes to mind).
Magnitude of the stressor should also be considered in terms of other mitigating factors, like having a family and church of people who can be counted on to keep the worst at bay if push comes to shove.
I hope you get enough supportive feedback to gently nudge you up to a competence-biased view of yourself and back on track professionally.
You seem like a relatively reasonable and pleasant guy, and are also probably the only conservative Christian I can communicate with outside of my dad, so I'll give this a shot.
Basically, I think I would identify as fully Christian if I didn't have immense discomfort with a few parts, and instead identify as relatively non-secular which makes me only mildly uncomfortable. The main things being: I think I'm pretty much wired to be a consequentialist, but living as a Christian who qualifies key Biblical passages to do whatever they want strikes me as being hypocritical.
I could be Christian and just acknowledge that some things I do regularly are sinful, but that has previously been a recipe for massive guilt and self-doubt. Not to mention, some key aspects of my life are basically incompatible with being a "true Christian" from my perspective (I'm bisexual and don't want to limit myself from dating one gender or judge others who do, so I've decided to not view it as more sinful than living like a straight person.) Part of this is because the people I've observed to disapprove of homosexuality tend to blunder their way awkwardly around the LGBT people in my life, whereas people who don't care strongly one way or the other appear more "moral" to me in that they make fewer people uncomfortable. (Oddly, other sins like premarital sex or lying don't stress me out as much, mainly because there seem to be way more Christians who don't worry about those and because they feel less like unchangeable parts of my personhood.)
Another part of it is that being consequentialist means that accepting the Bible as the "end-all-be-all" for what's good feels very strange. If what's moral is all written down somewhere, then what is the point of introspecting about it at all?
I guess I could see the point of being Christian if it gave me a community, but I have rarely felt all that comfortable in church environments, mainly because it feels like a coin toss on whether I can be fully open with myself. It feels like most Christian conservatives are not LGBT, and thus do not need to work as hard to reconcile their "less taboo" sins to fit into the "comfortable Christian" box. Hopefully that doesn't come across as too judgmental.
So I guess the overall question is: is there any hope for me being a Christian at some point? I think I would like to be, but when I sit down and try to say "okay, time to identify and be Christian now," I feel way too anxious within minutes.
Whats a good birthday gift for a rich guy in his 50s?
How'd you learn SQL?
Hey man, this is in lieu of posting a reply to you in the comments of your most recent piece. I don't want to gum up that comments section more than I already have. Just wanted to say that my "just your opinion" comment was a bad joke that sounded good in my head but came out looking pretty stupid and non-sequitur-y on the screen. The post was really thought-provoking and I came up with about a thousand half-counterarguments but couldn't come up with a complete one that made sense. Which I think is maybe at least one person's definition of thought-provoking!
Do you have any recommendations of other newsletters/blogs to follow that are similar to yours? Especially ones written by conservatives or Christians?