4/18/2002                                                                                       View Comments

"A Sabbatical?" or "My Anti-Testimony"

I first posted this "testimony" to the web on July 27, 2001. If you too have found Christianity specifically, or religion generally, to be less than satisfying for any reason, please consider posting your own "testimony" to this site by clicking here, or message me by clicking here.




It is invariably a shock to Evangelical Christians to come across someone who has turned his or her back on the “faith was once delivered unto the saints.” Most believers will quickly dismiss an ex-Christian by piously pointing out that anyone who turns away from Christ was never a real believer. Or, as an insider might say it, “They were never born again.” There is Biblical support for the assertion. 1 John 2:19, which addressed the problem of First Century apostates, states that: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (KJV) (I’d like to point out here that the previous verse, verse 18, suggests that the writer also believed it was the end of history and that the Antichrist was about to appear. It seems that whoever penned 1 John was premature in announcing it to be the “last time.” He may have been mistaken in his quick judgments against those ancient infidels as well.)

For those from a Calvinistic background, the fifth petal of TULIP uncompromisingly declares that those truly chosen by God for salvation will persevere in the faith. They will persevere in the faith because God will preserve them in the faith. Or, as a Baptist fundamentalist might express it: “Once saved always saved.” For fundies, a believer gone bad was just faking salvation or is presently backslidden and will eventually return to the fold, with his or her tail between his or her legs. There are also a plethora of competing denominations that teach people can lose their salvation. To members of those denominations, a fellow believer who has fallen away might have really been saved at one time, but is now lost again. They believe it is possible to get saved, and lost, and saved again, many times, before a person's allotted lifespan runs out.

The reason for this brief essay is to share my testimony about my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and my repentance from that relationship. What follows may unnerve some of my closer associates and will likely alienate some of my good friends. I have absolutely no desire to alienate anyone since I have already spent years as a zealous evangelical Christian, alienating dozens and dozens of people in the name of Christ. However, it is only fair to those who know me to allow them a glimpse into where I am coming from, now.

When I was very young, my parents attended a Presbyterian Church. I used to watch my father pray during the service. His eyes would close and his chin would rest against his chest. I wondered if he was asleep. At home, my mother would tell my brother and I Bible stories. I always had questions for her: “Why did God put the tree of knowledge in the garden since he knew what would happen?” I also wondered whom Cain married, if dinosaurs were taken on the ark, and all kinds of things my mother could not answer. My parents stopped regularly attending church when I was nine, but still sent my brother and me to Vacation Bible School during the summer. I was diligent to learn all the Bible lessons, stories and doctrines, earning multiple gold stars in each class. Though I do not remember it, my mother likes to tell a story that even when I was 5 years old, I would come home from Sunday School, gather the un-churched neighborhood kids together on our porch, and parrot all I had been taught that morning.

I was eleven years old in 1969. My grandmother was a staunch Baptist. In fact, she was one of the founding members of the First Baptist Church in Ashtabula Ohio, and was absolutely devoted to the place. The Church had hired an aggressive youth minister who wanted to see more young people attending services. His name was Norm, and he organized a youth rally which featured a movie produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The movie's aim was the conversion of young people. My grandmother invited me to the meeting and of course I loved my Grandma, so I got a ride from my Dad and sat with her to watch the show. I don’t remember the title of the movie, but the basic plot centered on one of the male characters who accepts Christ and starts to tell his friends about it. One of his unbelieving friends makes terrible fun of the whole thing, mocks Christ, and mocks the threat of going to hell. The unbelieving friend ends up accidentally trapped in a burning barn toward the end of the film and dies horrifically, going straight to a Christless grave.

I am not sure how powerful of a flick it was, but it got to me. Before that movie, I knew about God and the Bible and Jesus, but now I realized I had no personal relationship with Christ, and I needed one. When the altar call was given to come forward and accept Christ, I did not go forward, but listened intently, memorizing the “sinner’s prayer.” Later that night, in the dark and quiet of my room, I got down on my knees confessed my sins, repented as much as I knew how, and accepted Christ into my heart. It was a mind-altering experience for me. In my mind’s eye I visualized the Creator of all physically with me in the room. I felt overwhelmed with what I believed was a personal and direct manifestation of the LORD. I cried and cried. The emotional cleansing and reality of that moment has never left me, and as I write about it now, it comes alive once again.

The very next morning, I started carrying a small New Testament to school with me. I was in the sixth grade, reading a KJV, and doing my best to understand what I could from its inspired pages. I began attending church that week, and became a regular customer at the local Christian Book Store. My paper route wages and tips found investment in books and comic book tracts by Jack Chick, which I read and distributed zealously.

After my twelfth birthday I was asked if I would like to be trained as a counselor for the new Billy Graham evangelistic movie entitled “For Pete’s Sake,” which was being sponsored by several local churches. The showings were to be at Shea’s Theater in downtown Ashtabula. I eagerly agreed and dutifully submitted myself to the counselor training by memorizing the required verses and receiving a certificate as a bona fide counselor. At the end of each night, a short salvation message was shared by one of the local pastors, followed by the traditional Billy Graham style altar call. During the course of the weekend, I was able to assist several young people from my own age group as they came forward to make decisions for Christ. Following that crusade, I was excited. I began to do street evangelism on my own. I witnessed to other kids at school, and even led a fellow Boy Scout to the lord while on a week long Boy Scout camp. His name is Phil and is presently a pastor at an American Baptist Church outside of Youngstown Ohio. I started a junior high school Bible study group, and taught the others who joined how to lead others to Christ ala Billy Graham. (“The Romans Road” with some small variations, was what Billy recommended back then.) The early 1970’s saw the height of the Jesus People Movement in the US, so naturally I became involved with other non-denominational youth study groups held at various houses around town. I was introduced to CS Lewis, Watchman Nee and other famous Christian authors during this time. I drank every word written in those books like it was water. A prolific reader even in junior high I was insatiable for more and more information.

Reggie Kirk, my Boy Scout Master, recognized my thirst for more spiritual enlightenment and invited me to his church, the local Assembly of God, where I learned I needed the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to be a complete Christian. I attended one Sunday night when, providentially, the topic being discussed was that very doctrine. I went forward during the altar call to receive the “Baptism” and kept those poor people there long after the service ended as I pleaded with the Almighty to grace me with the Holy Ghost and tongues. Finally, after two hours of eye watering, knee hardening prayer, and some helpful coaching from a woman who stood with me, I babbled a few syllables. Everyone pronounced proudly that I had indeed received the Holy Spirit. Now, as a full-fledged tongue-talking Jesus person, I went full steam into making a difference in the world for Christ.

My parents, who at best were only nominally religious, viewed my obsessive enthrallment with church-stuff as disconcerting and worrisome. My mother, knowing I loved to read, decided to introduce me to her understanding of reality which was embodied in the writings of Edgar Cayce. My mother was a Reincarnationist. I rejected her teaching, witnessed to her unceasingly for the next 25 years about the love of Christ, and read everything published concerning the psychic Cayce. My grades suffered terribly in junior high, as I could not see any value to secular learning. I viewed the world as passing away, valueless compared with heavenly knowledge with eternal relevance.

As puberty became more influential in my thought processes, I struggled terribly with the hormonal demands of my body verses the tenets of the Church concerning any sort of sensual pleasure. Jesus taught that it is just as sinful to have any sort of lustful thought, as to actually act on any of them. I found adolescence very difficult on my thought life, finding myself in a perpetual war with guilt. I agonized over my sexuality, begging God to deliver me from temptation, to no avail. It was depressing.
I began to distinguish myself in music during this time, receiving nothing but positive feedback on my performance. By the time I was 14, I was being hired to play trombone semi-professionally. It was fun. I had begun finding inconsistencies in the Bible when I noticed numerous contradictions between various number citations in the Old Testament. Then I was confused by the multiple conflicting details in the resurrection stories in the Gospels, as well as in Paul’s version. One of the biggest contradictions I could not rectify was whether or not Judas threw his money into the temple and hanged himself or bought a field and fell headlong into it. I wrote to an evangelistic radio ministry out of Richmond Virginia, asking for direction about these apparent problems. I was only thirteen and they responded to my cry for help with a short note. Instead of an intellectually satisfying apologetic, they merely admonished that some things could only be answered through the eyes of faith. I pretty much got the same answer everywhere I went. Regardless, I continued to attend Baptist Church on Sunday mornings, Assembly of God on Sunday nights, and various home study groups during the week. Then, the summer before entering High School, the Baptist church hierarchy decided to fire the youth minister. He had held an all night youth rally event at the church. The geriatric power people in the church thought his tactics to lure young people to church were inappropriate, so they brought the issue to vote and that settled the matter. He was there one week and gone the next. During the same time period, the Pastor of the Assembly of God church was caught having an affair with one of the lady members. Both he and the woman were married to other people, so when the affair was discovered, he resigned and left the church. I still wonder how long that had been going on. My growing dissatisfaction with the church’s inability to answer my Biblical questions, my budding musical career and the hypocritical church politics worked together to help me fall away from Christianity for a time. My grades in school improved immensely. I finished High School early, in the top 10% of the class. I auditioned for the Air Force Band, was accepted, and as soon as I turned seventeen, I left for basic training in San Antonio.

As the years went by, I continued to have an interest in the Bible, studying textual variants and translation problems. I had several years of revival, when I buried my questioning and simply emulated the faith of a little child, trusting that though I could not understand many things, God knew what he was doing. Eventually, I would get a headache from such pious mind games and find myself drifting again. I spent years in and out of Charismatic meetings where healings were performed as well as Words of Knowledge, messages from God, and rousing sermons proclaiming the imminent return of Christ. The emotional feeling of those early charismatic events was like a drug high.

During these up and down spiritual times, I swung between being fanatically zealous, to totally apostate. I comforted myself on my lack of consistency by reasoning that at least I was not lukewarm. In the next few years I belonged to several different Baptist Churches and several different Charismatic Churches in succession. I was married, had a son, got divorced, remarried and had two more children. In my thirties, I finally hit bottom and decided I would simply dig in, buy books like crazy, and study until I got all my answers.

My second wife and I were deeply involved in an English speaking Assembly of God church while living in Japan. We ran the music ministry, the bookstore and participated in English evangelism at a local Japanese speaking Assembly of God. Once again, my inquiring mind reared its ugly head and put me at odds with the church. For years I had accepted the Pentecostal teaching that all Christians must speak in tongues to demonstrate they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. I had also accepted the harsh Arminianism preached there. As I began to study John Calvin, Matthew Henry, John Bunyan, Matthew Poole, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther and a host of other teachers from the past, I began to realize that there was a whole other gospel of which I was completely ignorant. I questioned the pastor of our AG church on some of these matters. He did not answer any of my questions, assuring me that God would comfort my heart as to the truth of the Assemblies’ teachings in time. He responded to my inquiry by removing my wife and I from all our leadership responsibilities until such time as we came to peace with the issues I brought up. He said if I were to remain in leadership with doubts on various Pentecostal doctrines, it would cause confusion for the congregation. Of course we were welcome to stay and attend the services, he said. We left the church that day. I started a home Bible study where we studied such things as Romans 9, Ephesians 1, and other strikingly Calvinistic chapters, without forcing any dogmatic conclusions. It was well attended. I led that group into street evangelism in Japan, passing out tracts at train stations and other public areas. I wrote letters to Christian leaders all over the world, soliciting their input on various doctrinal issues and spent a small fortune on books, studying the reformed theologians who lived prior to this century’s “charismania”.

I retired from the Air Force, left Japan and started over again in the town where I grew up. My parents and other relatives were apprehensive of my resettling near them, since they knew I was a religious fanatic. We attended, and even joined, several churches over the next few years, trying to settle in with the local evangelical, non-charismatic Christians. We wanted to find acceptance, and learn sound doctrine. As I learned more, and leaned more toward the Reformed Faith, I was made aware that I was living in adultery with my present wife. This was because my previous marriage did not end with a scriptural divorce. One counselor advised me that I should leave my present wife and live celibate in order to obey Christ’s commands. Failure to leave my present wife was considered continuous adultery in this Reformed denomination. This made no sense to me. Can one grievous sin be offset by committing another, I wondered? Should I really abandon my wife and two children because I blew it on my first marriage? I also discovered that any illusions I might have of ever being in any kind of leadership in any Reformed church, was out of the question. Divorce and remarriage was treated, except under the narrowest of scriptural scrutiny, as if it were more unforgivable than murder. The husband of one wife was the badge of acceptance required above all. Of course I still had questions. That, apparently, is a bad thing, as it did nothing but set me at odds with pastors and congregants alike. We finally found a Reformed Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, which accepted my past miscarriage of wedlock and we attended for several months. Originally the church had been an Independent Baptist Church and quite Arminian in theology. They had made the switch to Calvinism in soteriology, but remained Darbyite in eschatology. The primary preoccupation they seemed to have was with such important topics as head coverings for women and hating homosexuals. If the pastor was questioned in private concerning even the smallest detail of his teaching, the next service would be laced with personalized rebuke and condemnation pointedly aimed at the doubting inquiries and directly at those mouthing them. We left that church too.

We found another church some 35 miles away from our house that seemed promising. This church had been very charismatic originally, but had found deeper meaning in the teachings of R.J. Rushdooney. They had made a complete 180-degree turn toward Reconstructionism. I was totally unfamiliar with this brand of Christianity, so we stayed there for over three years. In that time we experienced and were taught a whole new brand of Christianity. Waving the Westminster Confession as the flag of truth we were encouraged to be filled with anger against sin, against worldly politicians, and to be fiercely aggressive political activists, so we might gain temporal power and obey Christ’s command to go into the entire world. “Discipling the Nations” was their clarion call. When the assistant pastor raised money to go and publicly support a civil war in a small African country, in the name of Christ, we finally knew it was time to leave that arena too. During the three years we were there, not one person became our friend. Everyone was too busy condemning pietism, marching and campaigning, and supposedly changing the world for Jesus.

Since leaving that church, I have spent the last couple of years reading other materials. Books by disillusioned Christians, pastors and others who find religion generally, and Christianity specifically, lacking in truth has become my books of choice. I have come to accept my initial adolescent doubts about the Bible. It was not simply rebellion, but the seed of good common logic and sense. I no longer claim to have all, or many, of the answers to life as I once claimed when my fanaticism expanded to full bloom. Since I have had to accept the fact that my theology has been wrong time and again, even though I supposedly had the Holy Spirit guiding me, it is quite unlikely that I have ever been totally right on much. I have changed my foundational beliefs several times as my religious self-education has evolved. I can’t say that I am content to be stagnant even at this juncture of spiritual understanding – I reserve the right to once again change my mind. Surely, if God could make a mistake and repent of making man, I can acknowledge error and repent of making a god and any decisions about my belief in it.

What do I believe now? Like I said, I am not sure. I suppose that makes me an agnostic. At this point, that is the most intellectually appealing position for my tortured thought processes. It allows me the freedom to keep an open mind while absorbing all the viewpoints without completely immersing myself in any of them. You might consider it an R&R from mind control, or perhaps I simply want …………, a sabbatical.

Dave




That is what I said then, and for the most part I would not change a thing. However, as my mind has cleared from the constant programming or self brainwashing I willingly subjected myself to, I have upped the "Anti", you might say. While I really cannot credit or blame anyone else for the positions on religion I have held, I find that much of the feedback I am receiving from this site implies that I have rejected Christ because of how people treated me. I regret I have written in such a way so as to mislead some on this point. Though I indeed was treated poorly by the bulk of Christians I know, I do not hate or dislike any of them. Neither did I leave the faith solely because of their behavior. I endured trials like that for nearly 30 years, and though unpleasant, it did not discourage me from my commitment to Christ. I remained stalwart for years, reasoning, as many of the people who write me, that Christians may be imperfect, but they are forgiven, and Christ is not like them, and so on. The main point I had hoped to accomplish in reiterating a few of the unpleasant experiences I had with the "chosen few" was to show that there is nothing supernatural going on in the lives of Christians. We are taught that the Holy Spirit is within us, transforming us, quickening us, destroying our sin nature, putting to death the "old man" and on and on ad-nauseam. The simple truth is: it is not true. Christians are absolutely no different than any one else. They do not have GOD ALMIGHTY in their bodies, making them into new creatures. Oh, sure, many resist temptation and endeavor to live a pure, moral life, but their thoughts continue to trouble them, and have to be resisted until death. Anyone who claims otherwise is a lying fool.

Now, of course someone is going to give me one of the stock theological answers to this puzzle, such as, the sin nature will never be destroyed until death. Or they might say that we are never perfectly sanctified in this life. There are plenty of well-rehearsed answers, all with supporting Bible verses, and interestingly, many of those bland explanations contradict one another, depending on the denominational bent of the various unharmonious voices. I readily admit that I have never been anything more than a layman. I have no official seminary or theological schooling to adorn my walls. I have, however, read extensively from the writings of Charles Spurgeon, Charles Hodge, Matthew Poole, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke, Martin Luther, John Calvin, R.C. Sproul, the historic Confessions of Faith, commentaries without number, The Sword of the Lord, Charisma Magazine, Bill Bright, Frank Morrison, Hendricks, etc.

Listing all my reading is possible, but I only mention the books I can see from my computer desk. If I were to go to the basement, I would recite dozens of other well known authors in Christendom. I owned a Dake Bible and I own an old Geneva Bible. I have a reprint of Tyndale's original English New Testament. I was, and am, highly interested in the Christian faith. Does all this reading make me the authority? No of course not, but it was not only emotional dissatisfaction which led me to my present position. The more I studied the Christian faith, its history, how it has mutated and evolved over time, I began to realize that I was not being intellectually honest with myself. How can “the truth once delivered” change so much over the course of 2000 years if GOD ALMIGHTY was running the show? For example, Arminianism was heresy to Protestants when the Bible was published in English. Now it is the Calvinists who are held in disrepute.

Chances are that many of the Christians who read the mentions of Calvinism, eschatology, soteriology, etc., have no idea what I am talking about. That is another topic that contributed to my first suspicions that Xtianity is a false lie: the striking ignorance and loathing for learning that is rife in the Christian community. Claiming to love god with all their hearts and souls, yet reading His Word, memorizing it, studying theology to better understand HIM, is quite beyond most, if not nearly all Christians. Finding anyone who understands the history of Christianity prior to Darby's Dispensational gospel is nearly impossible. I would try to strike up conversations about theological and historical topics that were churning in my mind only to find blank stares in the Christian's faces to whom I would address myself. Now, that would be understandable if I were addressing novices, or baby believers, but the blankest stares would come from the pastors themselves. One pastor actually admitted to me that he found if very difficult to study the Word of God. He found study of theology very dry and boring and emphasized to me that Christ was relational, seeking a living relationship with his children, not living in dry books but living in beating hearts. Oh, how pious sounding! No doubt some reading this now have heard such tripe, and maybe some even heard their spirit bear witness to them that, yes that is true, Christ desires a relationship with us. To this nonsense I say that since Christ and his Dad are not talking in any other conventional way except through the words of Scripture in these last days, how is it I can hear His voice, unless I immerse myself in His WORDS? How is it I can say I am filled with the Holy Spirit, I love GOD more than all, I am being made into a new creation, and yet still find studying Christianity to be dull? The answer is simple of course. It is dull, and it is dead. There is no living Spirit indwelling believers, and only the compulsive, people like me, have the natural drive to totally focus on boring stuff.

Finally, finding no answers to my questions, I read the books of such people as Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Dan Barker, Charles Templeton, Austin Mills, James Randi, Richard Dawkins, and a host of others. I began to see that there was a whole world of Freethinking Ex-Christians, and NON-Christians out there, people who were fairly invisible to the general public, especially the Christian general public. My mind was opened to reality, and is continuing to be opened to reality, as the myths and gods of my youth are abandoned to be replaced by reason.

I do not consider myself an agnostic anymore, finding fence sitting untenable. I could say I am now an evil Atheist, or I could use the softer sounding title of Freethinker. For now I will simply call myself an Ex-Christian, though there is more to it than being an ex something or another. I no longer believe in any gods or goddesses, they are all primitive imaginings reflecting an escape from fear and ignorance. There are many things we do not know about the world and the universe at large, but not knowing the how’s or why’s of things does not predispose us to believing in a giant Sky Daddy, or Tri-Daddy, or whatever.

None of this proves or disproves Christianity, I realize, but the purpose of this paper is to show the thinking processes that led to my de-conversion.

527 comments:

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Rick said...

Web Master,

I stumbled across your site and, please forgive me - but I just don't get it (the purpose of your site).

The site purpose is clearly defined as "This forum exists for the express purpose of encouraging those who have decided to leave religion behind." But again, I just don't get it.

Why do people need to be "encouraged" to leave religion behind? Why do you really care or matter to you? What is your underlying purpose for this encouragement?

Would the world be a better place if all Christians stopped believing in Christ as our Savior? Are more people, in your opinion, harmed by a true belief in Christ than by folks who don't believe in God? Would crime go down and charitable donations go up if atheism became the norm? Would world peace immediately break out if the last Christian goes to his or her grave? Does it make you feel better when you hear someone say "I believed in Christ all my life but you convinced me - my Christian beliefs are for the birds." I need some "honest from the heart" factual answers to these questions.

I am obviously being provocative but sincere in asking you to explain your real reason for encouraging folks to become ex-Christians. Again I just don't get it...

Sincerely,

Rick

PS: As a Christian, I do care about you. I have an interest in your well-being both physically and spiritually.

.:webmaster:. said...

It's simple Rick, Christianity is just another man-made, phony cult - that's all.

While touting itself as the answer to man's ultimate questions, all it really does is enslave the mind.

If you are trying to say there are good people who happen to be Christians, well then I completely agree. If what you are trying to say is that because there are good people who are Christians that Christianity is true, then I disagree.

Every person who for one reason or another finds themselves captured by a religious cult, finds it very difficult to escape the clutches of that cult. If they ever do escape, they desperately need encouragement.

This site is for those who have escaped or are escaping from the cult known as Christianity.

Now do you get it?

Ben Cathey said...

Resources every searcher should read/watch before making up thier mind:

DON MILLER - Blue Like Jazz

ROB BELL - Nooma videos, Velvet Elvis

BRIAN MCLAREN - A new kind of Christian, almost any other book.

If you have been dissappointed by fundamentalist or insensitive Christians then try these books. They represent an emerging Christian movement that is attempting to repair some of the brain dead mistakes of the past. This resources represent an emerging movement as followers of Jesus move bravely forward into the new post-modern era.

Dare ya... :-)

A follower of Jesus,
Ben Cathey

Dave8 said...

Rick, religion isn't the answer for humanitarian need, people are the answer working together... Religions, create division among their own denominations, and within society, except when trying to further its own needs...

That's not an altruistic cause, per doctrine, that's a selfish desire...

Don't believe me? When is the last time a religion has totally donated money to a charity, and refused to have its name associated to the donation... When is the last time, a religion has pushed for a cause, and not plastered its name everywhere for recognition... Religion markets itself for its own purposes, and typically requires someone to give up something in order to receive something, i.e., one gives up their natural reasoning ability, to receive help from the church... Religions are co-dependent institutions by and far exceeding the rare ones that are truly in the background and not pounding the drum of "You're all going to pay, if you don't do it our way."...

What's wrong with encouraging people to do it alone, and ask for help from friends who don't require something in return, except honesty... Fanatic Religious underpinnings would be gone long ago, if the marketers for these religious beliefs, didn't exist in a democracy, with "enterprise"...

I have to accept the BS of enterprising co-dependent religions because I live in a democracy, however, as an educated consumer, I get the choice to call it BS and not buy into the madness...

The BS is spreading from this nation accross the globe, and competing with other BS religions... where the demographic targets, are the poor and uneducated... I suppose there must exist a comforting body, for those who have no "hope" that they will do anything in life, and therefore need to look beyond this reality... Point is, why not give "hope" in the here and now, instead of focusing on the afterlife...

Oh, and Abrahamic religions are death cults... There is more Value in death, and the rewards immediately following death, than there is in "Life"...

And regarding recreation of religious views, in order to bring Christianity into the modern-era... That in itself is admission, that Christianity was BS from the beginning, and needs to be overhauled... I suppose there will be a marketing campaign for the next few hundred years, addressing the billions of people who have been lied to, and many butchered mistakenly...

Oh, perhaps not, that would undermine the credibility of those who are creating some "new" and "improved" religion, using the same unprovable icon, Jesus, who by all accounts in the bible, was a coward, liar, blasphemer, etc...

Why not drop the whole "Jesus" precept, and start with Values... oh, that's right, then one religion would have nothing more to offer than the next, and its hard to compete without a unique twist and beneficial reward... Religions are nothing but businesses selling propaganda to the masses, in order to gain power and influence...

Bryan Stevens said...

Dave,
I was looking for info on candy canes and wound up here. I am a "believer" and I agree with you about religion. I predictably don't, however, agree with most of the rest. You make a lot of references to things written ABOUT the Bible as a source of your disillusionment. That's too bad. I'll try not to irritate you with the stock Scripture references and religious sayings. I just have a couple of questions.
Isn't it contradictory on the one hand to say that you have very few absolute answers and then on the other to say that you are an Athiest? In order to be an actual Athiest you have to profess that you are sure that there is no God and to do so requires absolute knowledge. If there is the slightest chance that anywhere in the vast body of knowledge that you don't possess there could be absolute proof of God's existence, then an intellectually honest person cannot be an Athiest, only an Agnostic. Possibly a subtle distinction but words are the means we define our thoughts.
Also, you characterized all "Abrahamic" religions as cults of Death. The topic of "religions" aside, my Bible says that Jesus came that we might have life abundantly. I also don't know, nor do I feel the need to know, about Arminianism, Calvinism, Darbyite or any other of the intellectual tags MEN have put on their particuler brand of Biblical interpretation. I find it is challenging enough to know Christ and Him crucified.
Dave, I pray that God will reveal the Truth to you.
May God Bless You and Your Family

Bryan Stevens

.:webmaster:. said...

Actually, proclaiming myself an atheist, all I am saying is that I do not believe in the claims of Christianity.

I do not believe is a negative proposition. I am NOT saying I believe there is no god, I am simply stating that it is up to the theist to provide evidence that their particular god is real.

Ultimately everyone is born an atheist - no one has a built in belief in any religion, god, myth, etc. All people are taught about religion, god, myth, etc., by their parents, neighbors, culture, upbringing, and so on.

For example, if you were born in a Muslim country, it is quite likely that you would be praying to Allah. Since you were born in a Christian nation (my assumption here - please correct me if I'm wrong), then you would likely believe that Christianity is the correct religion and that your "god" (the one you've crafted in your mind) is "the god."

Feel free to keep praying for me but I think you're wasting your time. If your God truly has "unconditional love" for me and those like me who do not believe in him/her/it, then I don't have a thing to worry about. Unconditional love is, after all, UNCONDITIONAL, right?

Dave8 said...

Bryan: "Isn't it contradictory on the one hand to say that you have very few absolute answers and then on the other to say that you are an Athiest? In order to be an actual Athiest you have to profess that you are sure that there is no God and to do so requires absolute knowledge."

Since I don't know if you were referring to Dave8 or WM Dave, I'll just throw my two cents in :-) There is only "one" Universal absolute I know of, and its called "Change"... Beyond that, there is the external "Atheist" factor and the "Intrinsic" Atheist factor...

I am "Called" and "Labelled" an Atheist from those of religion, because I am more of a "methodological naturalist", even though I don't proclaim a Universal Absolute... Its not my doing, blame those who feel the need to point fingers at those who are different for that title...

Now, Intrinsically what do I believe as a methodological naturalist... Only what I can empirically measure naturally, now, wait... doesn't that mean that in a sense there isn't a supernatural force? No, I didn't say that, I said... I will test all information provided me, using my faculties, tools, and all assetts available, however, all of these tools to my "natural" knowledge, reside in this Natural reality... and, since I don't have access to a metaphysical meter, I'll have to accept by default that I currently have "zero" knowledge of a supernatural entity... That's a Personal Absolute Truth... based on first hand experience...

I'm willing for you to provide me information however, that I can measure metaphysically... is that possible? So, its not that I claim a Supernatural entity doesn't exist... its... at this time, I have been provided nothing metaphysical as proof, and am not willing to blindly follow those who have placed their "faith" in another person whom they trusted... I trust my Self, and I want "first" hand experience, if that isn't forthcoming, then, at this point in time... it doesn't exist... I don't rule out the future, who knows what the future holds... If someone has Evidence for the future, in this life, or beyond, I'm listening... until then... I'm just content with this Natural reality... and not making it more than it is... I mean, I look out at the stars with awe, and feel great that I am part of the bigger whole of the Natural Universe... Its my family... I experience it daily, and its tangible...

Bryan: "If there is the slightest chance that anywhere in the vast body of knowledge that you don't possess there could be absolute proof of God's existence, then an intellectually honest person cannot be an Athiest, only an Agnostic. Possibly a subtle distinction but words are the means we define our thoughts."

Again, I don't label my Self as an Atheist, the less educated do that for me... Personally, I agree, I don't have all the knowledge in the Universe, however, I am willing to continue the search... the Religious believe they already hold their Universal Absolute Truth... i.e., a SuperNatural God does in "Fact" exist... If one wants to crush the illiterate cause, then religion is going to be in for a rude awakening...

Being a Methodological Naturalist, again, I don't presuppose anything... Presuppositions are assumed by most "all" religions, and Other philosophical belief systems which hold Universal Absolute Truths... True, our language is our means of communication, and tis why, I wait for personal experience, it reduces the likelihood of transferrance error when commuting thoughts or ideas...

Is a Methodological Naturalist akin to an Agnostic? Well... not from my humble perspective... An Agnostic makes the "claim" that the evidence for and against the existence of God is inconclusive at some point in time. I tend view my belief on the spectrum, to be between Agnosticism and Ontological Naturalism (Atheism)... Because, I actually don't just leave it as "inconclusive" evidence for or against... I am willing to state there is total conclusive "evidence" for me, at this point in my "life" that a supernatural god doesn't exist... What separates the Methodological Naturalist and Ontological Naturalist is the Ontological Naturalist claims, that there will "never" be, in the future, evidence for or against a supernatural/metaphysical entity...

Some don't know philosophy in depth, and are content to making statements of "soft" or "hard" Atheism... however, those terms seems to be a measure of "Conviction", and I just assume that everyone should be totally convinced of their beliefs, one way or another... If someone is "soft" in their beliefs, then they are not quite settled on a belief system, and are still searching...

Currently, I have disavowed hate groups, and intolerant belief systems, and so, have become a Hard-core Methodological Naturalist... If you want to label me an Atheist, I suppose its your choice, but... your label, doesn't presuppose me to a belief system based on "Universal Absolutes"...

Bryan: "Also, you characterized all "Abrahamic" religions as cults of Death. The topic of "religions" aside, my Bible says that Jesus came that we might have life abundantly."

Bryan, I am well versed, no pun intended, on the bible... historically between socio-political and cultural influence, to linguistical inerpretation using exegisis and eisegesis... I have looked up more Hebrew after leaving the University than I did, while attending a four year Southern Baptist University...

Literally speaking, Jesus committed suicide in order to help out humanity... If Jesus were considered one of the Godhood, then he omnisciently murdered himself in a premeditated manner, becuase he had to power to absolve himself... Jesus came to "die" so that "others" may "benefit"..., he martyred himself, to himself, to absolve himself, for his own mistake... The "Value" of Death and Martyrdom, is quite well documented throughout history and the bible...

One had to die, so that they may live... This elevates "death" above "life"... Such would be the agenda for a Roman Emperor and Roman Church, who needed to sway their citizens to ponder death as heralding some Value, in order to get them to march on to the Crusades... The desire for everlasting "glory", and reward for death, was enough to persuade average citizens to drop their farming tools, and join in the Crusades...

If one cared to look briefly at Adam and Eve's scenario, they were portrayed by the early Roman Church as "Dying" a spiritual death in the garden of Eden... The "spiritual Death" of humanity for all eternity, was overcome, by the "Death" of the creator... One Death was overcome by Another Death... Death, is throughout the bible, and the Jewish God is at the helm in the TaNaKh (Hebrew OT), most times... The Slaughter of innocents, to Glorify God, i.e., Death is Valuable...

Bryan: "I find it is challenging enough to know Christ and Him crucified."

I find it challenging to believe Christ crucified himself as an omniscient deity... Perhaps, the Jews were correct, that Jesus not The Jewish Messiah, and is why the Hebrew OT messianic prophesies were never fulfilled, i.e., the establishment of the Third Temple, the Messiah being of the house of David (Jesus was born of a Spirit, with no biological father), etc., etc...

Bryan, I believe everyone has the right to their beliefs, as Personal Truth... In the end, when someone pushes a religious Universal Absolute as a fact to the masses to persuade, I tend to just ask for evidence of such claims, not that I have a need to take someone elses' beliefs away... I personally want to see the evidence, as... I am a methodological naturalist, looking for information that I might have overlooked... So, far, from what I have learned... metaphysical/supernatural beliefs, are totally based on Rationalized Metaphysical Presuppositions, and thus, must be based on 'hope' which extends beyond "Reason"...

I "hope" you and your family are well, and that comes from me, personally... take care...

got over it said...

Web Master Dave,
What exactly are you trying to prove.? unfortunately you are being equally successfull at wasting your time as those who you now oppose.
Lighten up buddy - turn on the tunes.
specifically try "get over it" by the Eagles. that really sums it up

Ric said...

Dave,

I'm glad I found your site. I too am an atheist, particularly a secular humanist. If I may answer some other people's questions to you, in my opinion, the reason to encourage people to leave religion is that religion causes more harm than good. It breeds hatred, intolerance and intolerance while preaching love-- but in practice it is only love if you tow the line. Keep up the good work, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Every arguement posted on this silly page are statements of faith. I am a Christian based purely on scientific and intrensic evidence. As we move forward into both macro and micro cosmology we find the overwhelming evidence of some sort of cosmic design. For instance we know that there is a beginning to time and all universes, solar systems, drians, DNA etc... spin at the same constant geometric angle - there is no "scientific" explanation for this phenomenon. Nature or physics holds no answer, it is simply a common trait. If looked at objectively one can only identify these traits as evidence of common design such as the brush strokes of a master painter. There are also the scientific laws of probability when applied to infinite space/time and the finite amount of mass or particles that exist at any one time - they tell us that the primordial soup theory for the beginning of life is in fact impossible. The very proof of the existence of many different planes on which time and space exist now tell us what we thought we knew as scientists have all changed. We have recently found out that we share almost all of our DNA with dogs! That is not an amazing coincidence it is proof of a common design philosophy - when looked at purely objectively. Did you know that the law of probability prove you have a better chance of digging up a fully functioning B-2 bomber that just fell together than even the simplest single cell organism? It is a matter of complexity and chemical/elemental availability. Yet if you did discover sucha jet you would never wonder how it evolved naturally from other earlier forms of aviation, you would assume it had been designed and built. Who is making the "great leap of faith" now? True science and historical data have only proven to man how wrong he can be over and over again. Just look at the archeological discovery of Sodom and Gomorrah, thought only to be a cautionary moral fabal in the old testament, they were found right where they should have been and to have been destroyed exactly the way it said they were... Historical accuracy from a book of lies? I think not. I we examine the facts of science and history objectively we can only discover that there was a designer and that there is an accurate record of his dealings with humans. There are thousands of examples more but I have not the time. I encourage you all to be honest with yourselves in your evaluation. I am not telling you how to live or believe but I am making a statement that it takes much more time and enrgy to try and disprove the existance of a God and only very little "faith" to belive in a God (perhaps as small as a mustard seed) - if we strictly look at the FACTS not the theories. Theories and minutes my how they fall...
A good honest resource is www.doesgodexist.com
A scientist and former Athiest - perhaps from birth
Christopher

Jason said...

I understand your "anti-testimony" completely. Thanks for having the guts to put it out there. I would consider myself an hesitant, agnostic-feeling, constantly-reminded-of-God's-goodness, former evangelical Catholic with obedience problems. That is to say, I still profess the faith, but often wonder if I've got any left in me. Until it shows up.

Feel free to post on my blog. Sometimes my faithdoubt shows up there. I wish you the best in the journey.

Elaine, a very concerned mother said...

I find your commentary disturbing. My daughter is currently having difficulties with belief and non-belief. I believe you are only complicating things more. Life is simple. God exists, christ exists, and my daughter and I exist. God is a forgiving God. You do not have to be hell-bent in either direction. To believe without doubt in your heart would be difficult. But the more I learn from my daughter the more I believe this: live life honestly, treat others with respect, do not expect to find all the answers, they are not there. What is there is FAITH. You believe because you choose to believe. You can read book after book, you can proclaim to be a non-believer, it is our right god given right to choose and believe or not believe. I choose to believe and I pray my daughter does to. Maybe I am a sheep as you say, but I am a happy sheep because I believe in heaven and hell and if I am forgiven for all my sins then I will go to heaven and someday meet my daughter there. Remember god is a forgiving god. You do not have to be a fanatical believer or non believer. Your ideas are disturbing and terrifying. I truely hope that before your physical body dies you allow god to forgive you for trying to lead us sheep into the wrong path. Life does not have to be hard. You however are making it hard for my daughter to stop obesssing over faith and non-faith. Please stop. Allow our children to make up their own minds and not be persuaded by someone who cannot make up his own mind. Sincerely, Elaine

.:webmaster:. said...

Elaine,

No one is forcing anyone to read the materials on this site.

If you don't want your daughter reading these things, well... then make a parental decision.

If you'll allow me a little observation on raising kids, I am a grandfather and still have teenage children at home. As much as I might I want each of them to think or do certain things, they have a habit of reminding me that they have minds of their own. I'd wager that one day soon you'll find out that your daughter will make many decisions that may very well contradict your own. That's life.

Have a nice day.

Onanite said...

Elaine (the overprotective mom) said:

"I find your commentary disturbing."

Good, maybe it is making you think. Imagine that!

"My daughter is currently having difficulties with belief and non-belief. I believe you are only complicating things more."

My guess is your daughter is lifting her head out of the sand. Sounds like she is coming to grips with the fact that myth makes for interesting reading at times, but real life is much more to be desired. I hope she is able to free herself from religion and lead a happy life.

"Life is simple."

Well you have that right. We are born, we live and we die, just like everything on the planet. It is simple, and fun, as long as we avoid the trap of religion.

"God exists ... (typical xtian stuff deleted to save space) You do not have to be a fanatical believer or non believer."

Then why are you such a fanatic?

"Your ideas are disturbing and terrifying. I truely hope that before your physical body dies you allow god to forgive you for trying to lead us sheep into the wrong path."

Oh you sad little woman. The ideas here are not what is terrifying you, but the fact that the ideas shake your beliefs and make you think. You have opened your eyes ever so slightly, and the light is blinding you. Don't be afraid; are your beliefs so weak they cannot withstand the light of day?"

"Life does not have to be hard. You however are making it hard for my daughter to stop obesssing over faith and non-faith. Please stop."

Life is not hard dear, you are the one that seems to be making it so for yourself. Your daughter is just thinking for herself. It is part of what makes humans special creatures. We have the ability to seek truth. We have the capacity to reason. Would you really want anything different for your daughter?

"Allow our children to make up their own minds and not be persuaded by someone who cannot make up his own mind. Sincerely, Elaine"

That is exactly what this site and many others do. We post and exist so when people of all ages begin to seek, they will be able to make an informed decision. They will have alternatives to the prison of religion. They will have the ability to be free. Pretty cool huh?

Onanite

Jim Arvo said...

Christopher,

You end your post by claiming that you a "scientist and former Atheist". I find it exceedingly hard to believe that you are a scientist of any kind, given the form and substance of your arguments, and I suspect that you were a rather ill-informed atheist (which you cannot even spell, by the way). Let's look at some of the things you said.

Christopher: "For instance we know that there is a beginning to time and all universes, solar systems, drians, DNA etc... spin at the same constant geometric angle..."

First, please explain in detail what it means to "spin at the same constant geometric angle". I can assign a fairly obvious meaning to that phrase in the context of galaxies and planetary orbits, but that obvious meaning is clearly contradicted by myriad observations. Moreover, your utterance seems to be completely meaningless when applied to DNA. Therefore, I strongly suspect that you are simply stringing scientific-sounding words together without a clue as to what they actually mean.

Christopher: "- there is no 'scientific' explanation for this phenomenon. Nature or physics holds no answer,..."

No scientist I know would make such a silly statement. How do you know that "Nature or physics holds no answer"? Please explain how you would design an experiment to decide whether or not an answer could (in principle) be forthcoming?

Christopher: "If looked at objectively one can only identify these traits as evidence of common design such as the brush strokes of a master painter."

If one looks "objectively"? Is that what you are doing? All you are doing is making a loose analogy, which proves absolutely nothing (aside from your lack of objectivity, perhaps).

Christopher: "There are also the scientific laws of probability when applied to infinite space/time and the finite amount of mass or particles that exist at any one time - they tell us that the primordial soup theory for the beginning of life is in fact impossible."

What on Earth are you talking about?! You are no scientist. What are your credentials? The above sentence is a complete mishmash of nonsense.

Christopher: "We have recently found out that we share almost all of our DNA with dogs! That is not an amazing coincidence it is proof of a common design philosophy - when looked at purely objectively."

Okay, now it's becoming plainly obvious that you have no scientific background in biology either. If you had even a passing familiarity with the theory of evolution you would know that the enormous amount of genetic information that we share with other organisms (even plants and bacteria) is 100% consistent with, and predicted by, descent from a common ancestor.

Christopher: "Did you know that the law of probability prove you have a better chance of digging up a fully functioning B-2 bomber that just fell together than even the simplest single cell organism?"

Law of probability!? Which law would that be, Christopher? The Law of Large Numbers? The Central Limit Theorem, perhaps? Which? Not only does this show a total lack of mathematical acumen, it also shows a complete lack of critical thinking. It indulges the same shallow and fallacious analogies that creationists have been touting for centuries. If you were any kind of scientist you would realize that you are comparing entirely different phenomena, with wholly different priors.

Christopher: "Yet if you did discover sucha jet you would never wonder how it evolved naturally from other earlier forms of aviation, you would assume it had been designed and built. Who is making the 'great leap of faith' now?"

You are, by assuming that your "jet" is somehow representative of all highly-complex artifacts when in fact it was chosen PRECISELY BECAUSE you *know* that it is both complex AND designed. Moreover, as it belongs to a radically different class of objects (man-made artifacts), it does not allow you to conclude anything at all about the class of living things.

Christopher: "True science and historical data have only proven to man how wrong he can be over and over again."

Any scientist is aware of the fact that ALL scientific conclusions are provisional. It seems that this comes as a revelation to you. Once again, this indicates to me that you are not a scientist.

Christopher: "Just look at the archeological discovery of Sodom and Gomorrah,..."

This is abysmally sloppy thinking. The Bible was written in a historical context, hence it is to be expected that it will refer at times to historically real events and places. Novels are often filled with historically accurate references too. Yet such references in no way validate any incredible claim made in a book.

Christopher: "I[f] we examine the facts of science and history objectively we can only discover that there was a designer and that there is an accurate record of his dealings with humans."

Again, you smugly imply that you are capable of this "objective" inquiry while, presumably, those who disagree with you are not. Your entire attitude is at odds with a scientific approach, which eschews any such boasting of objectivity, and simply strives to ATTAIN as much objectivity as humanly possible. Moreover, it strives to do so in as transparent a manner as possible. Your prose is the very antithesis of that. It is mere dogma, or hearsay at best.

Christopher: "There are thousands of examples more but I have not the time."

Right...

Christopher: "I encourage you all to be honest with yourselves in your evaluation."

Have you been honest? You claim to be a scientist. On what grounds?

Christopher: "...it takes much more time and enrgy to try and disprove the existance of a God and only very little 'faith' to belive in a God...."

Logic is apparently not your forte either. If you were a scientist of any variety, you would realize that one cannot disprove any proposition involving supernatural entities. Hence, following the vast majority of Christian apologists, you have it quite backwards. Yet more evidence that you have no scientific background at all.

Christopher: "...if we strictly look at the FACTS not the theories. Theories and minutes my how they fall..."

How profound. I guess as a "scientist" you have learned to ignore all those ephemeral theories and just stick with the "facts", right? Geeesh.

Christopher: "A scientist and former Athiest [sic]..."

There is not a single syllable in your post that indicates you have any background in science or mathematics at all. I've seen other frauds here, masquerading as mathematicians and scientists. They are easy to spot. They give themselves away because they confuse mere terminology with scientific reasoning.

Christopher, I think you too are a fraud. Every sentence gives it away.

jose Sal said...

Everything you say is correct if you look God through the lens of religion. Religion is an attempt to reach "GOD" and I really think and know that religion is man made and is a waste of time for i have tried it myself and found almost 100% of what you've said to be true. Although I am a beliver I believe in Jesus and in the Bible as the truth.... what I do not believe is all the organizational structures of leadership or hierarchy that denominations and religions, they make the source dirty and filthy by adding or taking what they don't need or is contrary to their "holy masked" evil goals some leaders are sincere but still incorrect because they are dividing in classes... and believe me I hate denominations and religions but at the end who am i to judge them. The only thing I can say for sure is that Jesus is God and the Bible is true... i cannot tell you believe what i believe because i do not pretend to know everything but i can tell you the same thing that i say to myself good luck in your search for the truth because that is basically what it is a search... as the bible says only the father can show you the son... we are together in this!!! let's go forward!!

jose sal said...

webmaster:
"on some aspect of relgion that seperates them from the others? You do not
like one aspect so turn your back to it and place your focus in another
aspect."
I understand what you are saying... but what i wanted to say with that is that denomiations, etc... does not belong to what jesus taught 'cause even jesus was not a religious leader nor a priest in human terms.... there are many things that can be discussed about the contradictions in the bible and it may even be possible that there are mistakes in the translations but in the worst of the cases is just a matter of believing a matter of faith. because even for me there is a possibility of 50 and 50 that God is real i guess i prefer to believe... Anyway changing the subject after all this nonsense, my point is that i can be a believer and be in disagreement with the denominational ideas and the clergy and i understand what you say that by being against denominations I am creating another one ... but i am saying denominations do not belong to the truth why instead can't they join the best of each other and be one i guess because of the leadership... but i guess that is an utopia too!!! so the only thing i can do is believe in jesus and his teachings and do good to our neighbor. the fist is my decision of faith without following any ideological standard and the second is a universal rule, call it morality if you want

Just Rick said...

Sal said : > "what I do not believe is all the organizational structures of
leadership or hierarchy that denominations and religions, they make the
source dirty and filthy by adding or taking what they don't need "

Sal also said : > "The only thing I can say for sure is that Jesus is God
and the Bible is true..."

Where to start on this ... I guess the "truth" of the bible. Sal, anyone
that opens their eyes and simply looks at the information available cannot
hold that the bible is true. First is the contradictions in the bible. It
simply amazes me that xians still claim there are no contradictions. Do a
google search of "Bible contradictions" and you will get an eyeful. You
cannot deny this because the contradicting passages are described and you
can look them up yourself.

Next is the bible's authenticity. Again, search the internet and there is so
much proof that much of the bible has been changed over the years due to bad
copying, mistranslation, or purposeful alterations. As an example, the story
of "he who hath no sin, cast the first stone" does not even appear in the
earliest translations of the bible and were added in much later.

Next is the bible's plagerism of other religions. Many of the stories and
events of the bible can be found to predate the bible and their sources can
be traced to other civilizations that existed prior to the writing of the
bible. In many cases these stories have been hijacked and outright stolen
from others. The story of Noah, the story of adam and eve. Again, the
information highway can provide much to anyone willing to search for truth.

The bible simply is not a book of truth. A collaberation of stories trying
to pass off various moral tales would be more accurate, but then again,
there are just as much immoral works in the bible as well (killing babies,
intollerance of others, murder, rape, incest, etc).

I applaud you for recognizing that the institution of religion is corrupt
and that each and every denomination was created to fulfill the ideal of
specific individuals, and that for much of it the corruption is based in
individual desires and greeds. Organized religion is simply a tool to
control the masses and make easy money. However I would point out that what
you do is very similar to the very same claims you make against them.

You have chosen portions of religion (Jesus, God, the Bible) that you like
and focus your belief on those while denying other aspects of religion that
you do not like. Is this not what they have done? Each denomination focusing
on some aspect of relgion that seperates them from the others? You do not
like one aspect so turn your back to it and place your focus in another
aspect.

It's a game of pick and choose, even on an individual level. Do you not see
the contradictions in that?

Anonymous said...

Hello,
i have been reading your anti-testimony and pondering on it for a good hour or so and was just overcome by a great sadness because, unfortunately, some of the things you said were true.
When a person professes to be a christian they are now under a microscope. And when their lives are marred by foolish decisions, ignorance and hatred, well, the world notices. You certainly did.

Why aren't christians' lives any different than the rest of the worlds? that is such a good question. You have challenged me, a follower of Jesus, to take a closer look at myself.

.:webmaster:. said...

When you have the answer to the challenge, come back and share it.

Anonymous said...

Hello again webmaster,
I re-read you anti-testimony for a second time. You wrote that you cried and cried the night you prayed the "prayer" in your room those many years ago. Why were you crying? was it out of fear? or something else?

Anonymous said...

Hello again webmaster,
I re-read you anti-testimony for a second time. You wrote that you cried and cried the night you prayed the "prayer" in your room those many years ago. Why were you crying? was it out of fear? or something else?

.:webmaster:. said...

I cried becuase I felt I was in direct contact with the creator of the Universe and that HE was really present in the room. It was a very emotional and powerful experience - one that I often hungered to have repeated.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my questions. I have more..i hope you don't mind but i am trying to understand your situation better. In your anti-testimony you wrote: “We are taught that the Holy Spirit is within us, transforming us, quickening us, destroying our sin nature, putting to death the "old man" and on ad-nauseam.” I think you are referring to the sin issue that christianity tries to tackle. How did you view the idea of sin before and after your emotional conversion experience? Did this change after your deconversion?

Anonymous said...

Webmaster, I don’t know if you were still wondering about this:

You wrote: “One of the biggest newly discovered contradictions I could not rectify was whether or not Judas threw his money into the temple and hanged himself or bought a field and fell headlong into it.”


Matthew records that Judas threw the money into the temple and hung himself. The chief priests then used the “blood money” to buy a plot of land (Matt 27:2-4); Luke, the writer of Acts, records that Judas acquired (the NIV renders the original greek word ktah'-om-ahee as “bought” rather than the more appropriate “acquired”) a plot of land and fell head long into it (Acts 1:18).

By definition, for two statements to be a contradiction, both cannot be true at the same time. But you see, this is why this isn’t a contradiction.

These two statements are eyewitness accounts. If you ask a person investigating a crime scene, he or she will tell you that no two eyewitness accounts are ever exactly identical. If they WERE this actually lowers the credibility of the statements! That is what makes the Judas account even more likely to be true. This is how you can piece both events together:

Judas threw the money at the chief priests, went away and hung himself, the rope broke around his neck and he then fell headlong on the plot of land below, splitting his insides open (Acts 1:18). You could just imagine the horror of those who discovered his body this way. The chief priests bought this plot of land and was later named the Field of Blood by the people in Jerusalem. Judas acquired this land because it was bought primarily as a burial site for strangers (Matt 27:7) and he was probably the first to be buried there.



p.s. You can check the original greek for yourself at www.greekbible.com which has the original language the NT was written in.

Jim Arvo said...

Concerning the two different accounts of the death of Judas, Anonymous said "If they WERE [the same] this actually lowers the credibility of the statements! That is what makes the Judas account even more likely to be true...."

So if the Bible said Judas was torn to pieces by wolves in one place, and that he fell into a volcano in another place, then those two testimonies would just HAVE to be true, right?

Anonymous: "This is how you can piece both events together...the rope broke around his neck and he then fell headlong on the plot of land below, splitting his insides open (Acts 1:18)."

I can also harmonize the above two scenarios: Judas was standing on the side of an active volcano crater when he was attacked by wolves. Just as they tore his arms off, he fell into the volcano. See? No contradiction.

Of course, it would be quite odd for one witness to fail to mention the volcano, and the other witness to fail to mention the wolves. Just like it would be odd for one of your so-called witnesses to fail to mention the noose, and the other to fail to mention the ghastly spilling of guts.

You also conveniently overlook the fact that one account says that he *hanged* himself, which suggests that he succeeded. In your scenario it would have been more accurate to say that he had *attempted* to hang himself, would it not? Oh wait... We can still get this to work. The rope broke after he was actually dead! Only THEN did his guts spill on the ground! Right?

Good grief. What would the Bible have to say in order for you to conclude that it's not reliable?

Anonymous said...

In any eyewitness account you have to consider the time in which they saw the event. My question for you is this: are you telling me that it is completely unreasonable and unintelligent to conclude that one person saw the hanging and another person saw the body after it has fallen?

Now we can speculate lots of reasons on why it fell; maybe it fell because of decay or someone cut it down and by that time the body was in a decomposed position. We do not know that part for sure.

But we do know that BOTH accounts say that the field was later called the Field of Blood (Matt 27:8, Acts 1:19). Now I haven’t seen too many hangings myself, but doesn’t death result from strangulation or lack of air on the part of the victim? Why would they call it Field of Blood?

Anonymous said...

Hello Jim. You wrote, "You also conveniently overlook the fact that one account says that he "hanged" himself, which suggests that he succeeded. In your scenario it would have been more accurate to say that he had "attempted" to hang himself, would it not?"

No because then I would not be relying on the accounts themselves, now would I?

Matthew does not deny that Judas, after hanging himself, fell and burst asunder; Luke does not assert that Judas did not hang himself prior to his fall” Therefore, the verses actually supplement, rather than contradict, each other. Matthew gives the METHOD by which Judas carried out his own death, while Luke reports the END RESULT.

But thanks for the "volcano" examples. They were humorous:)

Anonymous said...

"You also conveniently overlook the fact that one account says that he *hanged* himself, which suggests that he succeeded. In your scenario it would have been more accurate to say that he had *attempted* to hang himself, would it not?"

You misunderstood me. I didn't mean that the fall was the reason for his death. He did succeed in hanging himself.

.:webmaster:. said...

Well, I think the real point is that neither the writer of Matthew nor the writer of Luck actually saw any of it - it was all hearsay. It seems obvious that each writer merely tailored the details of the fable in order to demonize either the Jewish leaders or Judas, depending on the writer's personal motive.

Besides, I've heard that worn out apologetic a hundred times, and for many a year I even tried to believe it. I'm ashamed to say I even preached it to others.

However, both stories cannot be true - period. Since there is some measure of inaccuracy in at least one of the stories, that would suggest that the Bible is not inerrant. If the Bible is not inerrant in even one sentence, then there is error, and that means it is NOT the word of a god.

Case closed.

And would you please post under some pseudonym besides anonymous. Trying to answer a half-dozen anonymous posters, who may or may not be the same person, is annoying.

.:webmaster:. said...

Concerning the two different accounts of the death of Judas, Anonymous said "If they WERE [the same] this actually lowers the credibility of the statements! That is what makes the Judas account even more likely to be true...."

Ah, no, such inconsistencies do not make the stories true. Inconsistencies just make the stories inconsistent. The TRUTH is unknown.

You say the stories compliment each other - each being completely true, with some details left out.

And how do you know that this is what the writers of Matthew and Luke intended? Having a hypothesis that somehow justifies your belief is fine and dandy, but it is a far cry from truth.

Or how about this scenario: My wife said she spent the evening with friends, which was true. What she failed to mention was that she also slept with a lover. Now, since she left out an important part of the story, did she tell the truth?

OK, maybe that's not a perfect example, but the evidence remains that Judas either hanged himself in a field he purchased, or he had a nasty fall in a field that someone else purchased. More than likely, neither story has a shred of truth in it and the writers of the two gospels simply felt that Judas needed to end up dead after his horrible "mortal" sin of kissing God on the lips.

Dave8 said...

On Judas:

"The Betrayal of Jesus - Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, ranks as the most hated and despised character in the Bible with the possible exception of Satan. Is such intense loathing justified, or is Judas the victim of biased reporting? Interestingly enough the sole source of information on Judas is the New Testament gospels and the Book of Acts all of which were written long after the events allegedly took place. He receives not a single mention mention in the writings of Paul, the Gospel of Thomas, the reconstructed document, Quelle (Q) or the Didache.

Judas first appears in the nineteenth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Mark, the oldest of the canonical gospels, where he is appointed by Jesus as one of the twelve apostles. In this passage we are tipped off in advance of Judas’ treachery. Matthew and Luke repeat Mark almost verbatim, however, the author of John adds something. In John 6:70-71 Jesus announces that one of the twelve, Judas, is a devil. In John 12:4-6 we learn of another of Judas’ character flaws. He was also a thief.

As was predicted, Judas went to the chief priests and offered to identify Jesus. They accepted his offer and agreed to pay him thirty pieces of silver which brings up another perplexing question. Why would the authorities pay to have someone pointed out to them whom they already knew? In Matthew 26:55 Jesus says to those who came to arrest him, "I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, yet ye laid no hold on me."

Judas proceeds to identify Jesus by way of that infamous kiss, and that’s the last we hear of him in the gospels of Mark, Luke and John. However, the author of Matthew doesn’t let it drop there. Apparently Judas’ conscience got the better of him because according to Matthew 27:3-5 he made a sincere attempt to repent but was denied forgiveness. In a gesture of frustration he returned the money and went and hanged himself. Matthew goes on to say that the chief priests and the elders used the money to buy a piece of land. Because it was bought with blood money, the land became known as "The Field of Blood."

In Matthew 18:21-22 when Peter came to him, and asked, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Jesus replied, "I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven." Wasn’t Jesus obligated by his own words to forgive Judas? But instead of forgiving him, Jesus openly cursed Judas when during Passover Seder (Matthew 26:24; Mark 14:21) he said, "But woe to that one by whom the son of man is betrayed for it would have been better for him had he never been born". Contrary to Peter, Judas never denied Jesus. While his action may not have been all together ethical, Judas, unlike Peter, committed neither apostasy nor blasphemy, the two unforgivable sins.

Had the Judas story ended with the betrayal followed by the suicide everything might have been hunky-dory, but the writer of Acts couldn't leave well enough alone. In 1:15-19 he tells us that Judas didn't give the money back; he invested it in real estate. We also learn that Judas didn’t commit suicide; his death was accidental. Because of the messiness of this accident, the property became known as (you guessed it) "The Field of Blood." So, did Judas commit suicide as the writer of Matthew claims or was his death an accident as we are told in Acts? Also, was this the same land that the priests bought, or were there two fields of blood? But, it gets worse.

Mark 16:14 and Luke 24:33 state that following his resurrection Jesus appeared to "the eleven." Who was missing? After all that had transpired one would just naturally think it was Judas. Apparently not, because in John 20:24 we learn that the missing apostle was Thomas. Therefore the eleven had to include Judas. To further confound the reader, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:5 that following his resurrection Jesus was seen by “the twelve.” This had to include Judas because it wasn't until after the ascension, some forty days after the resurrection, that another person, Matthias, was voted in to replace Judas (Acts 1:26). So, apparently Judas neither committed suicide nor died by accident. In Acts 1:25 we are told that Judas "turned aside to go to his own place."

Another clue confirming the absence of the Judas story in the earliest Christian documents occurs in Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30. Here Jesus tells his apostles that they will “sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” No exception is made for Judas even though Jesus was aware of his impending betrayal. The answer may lie in the fact that the source of these verses is Q (QS 62). Q predates the gospels and is considered to be one of the earliest Christian documents. It was obviously written before Judas and the betrayal story was invented by the writer of Mark.

For centuries Judas Iscariot has been held up as the archetypical traitor, the exemplar of treachery, the quintessential turncoat. This is strange indeed when one considers Acts 1:16. Here the apostle Peter tells us, "This scripture (Psalm 69:25) must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus." So according to Peter, Judas' betrayal was a part of God's grand plan all along. Not only did Judas serve as a vehicle through which key Old Testament prophecy might be fulfilled, it was by way of his betrayal that Jesus was able to complete his earthly mission. One might say that it was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it. Judas was in reality an enabler. Instead of hating and reviling him, Christians should appreciate Judas’ contribution as an indispensable element of the passion story.

The story of Judas Iscariot, although obvious fiction, has lead to some tragic consequences. Judas is deliberately portrayed as a caricature intended to confirm the very worst misconceptions about the Jewish people. As a result, for almost two thousand years the Jews have been unjustly persecuted and vilified because their forefathers were accused of slaying Jesus, a mythical god-man whose very existence remains highly questionable. How long must superstition with all its evils rule and curse the modern world? How long must people be held hostage to what is obviously a myth and nothing more?"
http://home.inu.net/skeptic/ntforge.html

Dave8 said...

Mom always said, telling only half the truth, is a lie. Another, favorite fallacious method of argument used by those who "attempt" to bridge the chasm when major contradiction occur:

"Argument By Selective Observation:

Also called cherry picking, the enumeration of favorable circumstances, or as the philosopher Francis Bacon described it, counting the hits and forgetting the misses. For example, a state boasts of the Presidents it has produced, but is silent about its serial killers. Or, the claim "Technology brings happiness". (Now, there's something with hits and misses.)

Casinos encourage this human tendency. There are bells and whistles to announce slot machine jackpots, but losing happens silently. This makes it much easier to think that the odds of winning are good."
http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html#half_truth

Anonymous said...

i was wondering - how would you prove that your senses are reliable?

hoof_and_horn30 said...

I am so happy I found this sight!It has helped me so much and will continue to help me.COmming out of a cult is hard,Im still dealing with my fear of burning in hell for all eternity.But Im working on it and this site is a Godsend hehe

Ben said...

You are so correct, may I call you Horney?...lol These posts that denounce religion and god, are inspired, inspired by the god of truth within. The gods of the Earth the human inhabitants that dwell on this planet. We have the ability to be in complete peace and harmony with every human being on this plabnet, but we refuse to allow ourselves of this control, we give it to an imaginary god. We prefer to trust in imaginary beings to help us in a time of need, we go to war and kill others, and then ask the imaginary beings to forgive us.

For some reason we cannot survive without imaginary beings to worship and they forgive us of our sins, whatever a sin is, no one knows, but it says in the bible that all have sinned, so it must be that being born is a sin.

Hang around h&h30.

Dano said...

hoof_and_horn30 wrote:
"I am so happy I found this sight! It has helped me so much and will continue to help me. Coming out of a cult is hard, I'm still dealing with my fear of burning in hell for all eternity. But I'm working on it and this site is a Godsend hehe"
Posted by hoof_and_horn30 1/19/2006 10:08:29 PM

It is not altogether unlikely that this site is Godsent!

I know that if I were God and gave people a brain, I would be real pleased with those who used it!
Dan

Anonymous said...

i am an atheist but i beleive that everyone has the right of choice, if someone wants to be christian, i dont care as long as they dont preach to me. when i have kids i will. most likely, take them to xtian church, jewish synagogue, muslim temple, buddhist uhh place, while teaching them about atheism. this is so they can amke up their own mind about what they want to believe or nto believe

mrs concerned mother... have fun in "heaven" hehe

Art Ellis said...

Excellent site. Congratulations.

I, like you, became "de-Christianized" around 12 years of age, when I began to read and think for myself. I still believe in God, but I also truly believe that God created man and man returned the favor.

However, I truly believe that organized religion is an obvious political structure formed to control minds and gain power, and it has done an excellent job. I once thought that it was a better opiate than cocaine, having fewer side effects, until I realized that right wing Christians kill in the name of God--that's no different than drug dealers killing for a buck.

As to needing a "Savior," I have to ask why. I suppose it is because Christianity sells the masses on "original sin," causing the disease, and then offers the cure. Original sin aside, there is no reason for a Savior. Not to say that people don't "sin," there's a heck of a lot of bad stuff out there. I, personally, believe that those people will be held accountable in some sort of afterlife, but no "Savior" is going to give them a free pass to help them avoid personal responsibility.


I've often thought that if the historical Jesus could return today, he would go berserk. He was totally against the loud public display of religiosity by the Pharisees, so what would he think of people praying out loud in restaurants as a public display of their religion? If he was against charging fees for converting currency to buy temple sacrifices, what would he think of church sponsored raffles and bingo games?
Most of all, what would he think of spreading hatred toward people who have different beliefs?

On a closing note, I had to laugh when I visited a Catholic church social hall recently to have a health screening and saw examples of how the "Virgin Mary" was, according to poster exhibits, exemplary of a devout follower of the Eucharist. The statement read, in part, "The Holy Mother embodied the Eucharist by practicing it every Sunday." Obviously, the ignorant priest was not schooled in the changing of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday by the Catholic Church, much less the idea that church rituals were not developed during the "Virgin's" time.

For those who wonder why I used quotations around "Virgin," I suppose no one has brought up the fact that when Greek or Roman soldiers returned from a long campaign to find a little baby in the house, the wife would go into great theatrics to explain that a "god" had visited her to cause her to conceive. Sound familiar? Guess old Joseph was gullible, but he seems to have been a good father for the other guy's kid.

Keep up the good work. I, for one, do "get" your site.

Ben said...

Hi Art, The virgin birth story has deceived many millions, Mary most likely was knocked up by the local priest, this is how the miracle was so easily out into place, having been verified by the local priest, that it was an Angel, a horney Angel at that, when all along it was her horndog priest.

Joseph would not have confronted
a man of god, but he might would have killed the soldier. No one questions priests even to this very day.

As far as believing in a god, I think there is something way beyond our ability to comprehend this force, thats why it's called a god, but there is a reason that every living thing eventually dies, we do not know why, what ever created us has control on the DNA strain recepters controling life span, whatever it is, it's way beyond our ability to imagine, what it is. The bible writers tried to impress the peoples of their time that they knew all about this force, but when you read the bible you can tell it's all a bunch of made up human boloney.

This force is much far greater than man's ability to explain in a book, man can only explain what his brain will allow it to comprehend.

You are right there is no need for a savior, man existed long before a savior was born. If this life creator put a limit on the amount of years a person could live or a punishment of death, if it was because of original sin, then all sins are paid for at death, thats it, all other parts of the bible have been embellished to instill biblical morals and to get paid for it for brainwashing services.

Anonymous said...

Webmaster

hi!

Thanks ever so much for sharing your testimony with the world!

Personally,i found great personal comfort in reading of your fall into atheism! And i'm a Christian at that?

In reality,you and i already know,dont we?that you never got to that place of personal salvation in the first place(BECAUSE YOU HAVE JUST EXPLAINED IT SO IN YOUR LETTER) Because in my bible,so also in yours!it is impossible to get the chance to be an "IN-AND-OUT-CHRISTIAN!

Your theology talks of an "in and out belief" in the church one minute,and "out and in" of the church the next minute? permit me.(thats a micky mouse kind of faith?)It might sound good to your ears,and your friend Mr R,DAWKINS?

How can you fall down from somewwhere you obviously werent there in the first place? its silly. You even claim you wernt there in the first place?

To fall down from somewhere,a person must FIRST be up there?

Now!why do i say this?

Well,for one!

Your fall from your obvious counterfiet faith,clearly proves that,that certain Prophecy of Paul's,were he warned the young church over 2000 years ago,is now in your case,Sadly!coming to fruition!

You will obviously know all about those warnings in your(many)bibles,were the apostles spoke of, and put it on record,to warn the young church,that in the far distant future(about the "Age of enlightenment")

Thats the period where the cancer of UNBELIEF,AND EVOLUTION wrought its evil poison,when its man made false scriptures gained entrance into the christian church.

In my opinion,you should delight in fullfilling biblical Prohecy PERSONALLY! yOU ARE ONLY CONFIRMING TO YOUR READERS that what paul warned of,is actually coming true in your case! How did the Apostles know all about you? how did they know that you would first confess christ,but then blashpheme him if the prophecy wasnt true? (there will come a time in the churchs history,were there will be seen to be a falling away from the Christian faith) thats the famous quote isnt it?

You will know all about those warnings,because you will know all about those scriptures.If you have been reading calvin,the wesleys,bunyan,etc,etc! of course you will know.

Dont get me wrong!

I take no delight in your departure from somewhere that you were never even at in the first place?(even though the way you write about this ghost faith in christ,you might even have convinced yourself that you really where there?)but of course,going off your obvious enmity towards God,it just proves The Apostle Paul's prophecy was and still is Genuine

Why should i,or anyother God fearing person fear for you,or indeed even be sad for you? You clearly arnt feeling fearfull,or sad for yourself! so why should we?

Anonymous said...

What is the question here to ask ourselves?
Is there a God? Say you are right, what happens then. Well, we are All worm food when we die. It is over. What we leave is who we are and who we touched in or brief life.
But, let us just assume there is a GOD, those that deny that God would have a serious price to pay in the afterlife, if there is a God, there maybe a Hell. Should we research for the truth, through historical documents, Spiritual book reading research. Study all the different religions,discover all the good and bad of them all. Find out where they came from. What they believe.
I guess that would be work though, and that would take a lot of time. We might not like what we find. We might even have to change our belief. We might even have to change the way we live and act.
I would say most religious people can not even back up their beliefs with 'proof'. Do not all of us need to have an answer why we believe what we believe?
Or is it just okay to say I believe something just because that is what I want to believe.
Say I drive down any road never caring sbout speed limits. Does it change the law wether I know what the speed limit is or not. If I get pulled over, can I say "I did not know", Will that get me off the hook? The law is the law, there is a price to breaking laws, wether man's laws or God's laws. A lawyer once told me, "Ignorance of the Law will never get you off the hook for breaking the law. We all have an obligation to know the law. That is why laws are written. So the people know their bounders"
If there is no God, how can there be right or wrong? Good or evil?

freeman said...

Anonymous,

"If there is no God, how can there be right or wrong? Good or evil?"

Might I suggest that you attend some behavioral science course at your local university, college or jr. college! You will see how there is order in the societies of primates as well as the majority of all mammals. There is acceptable (right or good) behavior, which is rewarded, and there is unacceptable (wrong or evil) behavior, which is punished. To think that we as humans are "special" is to be completely blinded by egotism and ignorance of the world around us.

Linda said...

I just want to say that I am glad I found this site. I'm a 23-year old girl from Sweden who has been looking for a site like this five years ago when I became an "ex-christian".

I really understand the purpuse of your site! When I was in the process of wanting to leave the church, and in a way leaving my friends and everything I built my world upon, I was looking for support on the internet.

If I talked to my christian friends, they were just worried, prayed for me, and treated me like Satan had influenced my life, trying to get me back on track.

If I talked to my non-christian friends, they didn't understand at all, thinking that I just "had to leave it all, because it was obviously false". And it wasn't that easy, I just had to find the answers, and the only thing I could really trust were the Bible, so I had to go from there.

Just want to encourage you to keep writing and telling your "anti-testimony", because people like me can find support in this.

I recognise a lot in the "anti-testimony", even though you had a much longer process than I had. What strikes me is that we both read a lot. I had to smile when you wrote you spent a lot of money on books, like you were trying to convice yourself that there had to be someone out there, who had felt your doubts and could explain it in a way that could help you to keep your faith.

Maybe it wasn't how you meant, but that was exactly what I did.Going to different bible schools, different churches, ordering books from the internet. Knowing, that Christianity had to be right, in some way, I just had to find something that could take away the doubts I felt.

It's a long story. But when I finally played with the thought that maybe, maybe, MAYBE I had to listen to what I felt inside- that maybe christianity wasn't the "truth", not ignoring my doubts anymore, then everything finally changed. I finally made a decision to "choose myself before christianity".

Maybe it sounds strange, but at that time I was going under, being depressed and so on.
Felt like a total failure. Always seen my personal relationship with Christ as the best thing that had happened to me, talking to Jesus everyday knowing that he was my best friend and God was my father, speaking in tongues, been a leader for the youth groups, preaching, leading a lot of my non-christian friends to Christ.. yeah, you know. I just KNEW I would preach the gospel for the rest of my life, that was my purpose.

And then, I had to let everything go and be true to myself, leaving the friends that couldn't accept what I had done.

It was 5 years ago now, and I'm feeling better than ever. I really value to have a life where I can live on the outside what I feel on the inside.

well, just wanted to say thanks!

.:webmaster:. said...

Thanks Linda!

Please feel invited to join the forums at Ex-Christian.Net.

Linda said...

Is all the comments to your anti-testimony kept somewhere? I wrote a comment a few weeks ago (?) and I never read the reply, if there were any. Please tel me if I can find it somewhere. Thanks.

jono said...

I would just like to make a point that... from the "anti-testimony" that I read, most of you have had experiences with extremist christians. Nothing good ever comes out of extremists, whether they be extremist Christians or Muslims. As a Christian myself, (though not a religious fanatic who wants to preach Christianity to every one in the world) I really, really, don't like all the "Get-in-your-face" extremist Christian groups.

Not EVERYTHING in the world black and white, and by that I there are things in the world that God lets us influence on our own. Well I know that most of you who come here don't believe in this stuff, but in my opinion, (everyone gets their own opinion now, right? :P) He gave us free will, the choice to decide what we wanted or didn't want... and yes, to decide whether we accept Christianity or not. Besides, who on earth likes having something forced on them? I know I'm being over dramatic, but when the African-American had laws enforced on them by the whites of the time, they came out and... sort of fought back against, and where we are today.

And... I just wanted to say, if the current "worldly" religious situation were flipped, (That is, Muslims being the greater denomination and Christians being the minority), the extremists (like those in http://www.afa.net/default.asp) would be the terrorists.

jono said...

eh... made a few typos. "...sort of fought back against, and where we are today." supposed to be "and look where we are today"

and err, yes, I'm like a profffesional grama natzi :P

FatherTyme said...

spelling? It doesn't really matter, you're just another typical drive by brainwashed fundy.

jono said...

you didn't have to attack me about that, I pointed it out very clearly that I hate all fundamentalists regardless of religion.

His adopted son said...

Web Master,

I attend Liberty University (before you go puke, listen to the rest of what Ive got). I kinda stumbled across your site while writing a paper against the witnessing methods they teach here.

I just wanted to let you know that you have actually helped my thinking. So many evangelicals want to stop knowledge alltogether. Thats just ridiculous.

And also, to the Christians who read this (I am one myself). Stop trying to bash what hes saying, and evaluate yourself. Think. I mean really think. About your faith and why you have it. If you cant really answer these questions then you dont need to comment here.

Im glad that your seeking, and questioning. I did it for years and ended up at Christianity. I came out of an atheist home. (It bugs the heck out of my mom). I question alot of what they teach me here. But I do want to learn more of the Bible, and how we got it, and actually think about it and God.

(to readers)Im not gonna tell you to think one thing or another. But just keep considering, and dont start from the presupposition that the Bible is true or false. But dont rule one out.

In love,
scott

ps Ive got $8.50 right now, my friend owes me some cash. The ten will be on the way! I really like that whole thing to. it made me think.

.:webmaster:. said...

Thanks for the positive approach Scott, it's refreshing.

Another thought for your consideration: we all come from atheist homes.

Well, let me qualify that a bit: we all come into the world as atheists. There is not one single baby born who comes out of the birth canal praising the Lord. None of them believe in a god, know of a god, think about a god - they all have to be taught about a god by other humans.

Good luck at Liberty.

toulouse798 said...

response to webmaster:

"we all come into the world as atheists. There is not one single baby born who comes out of the birth canal praising the Lord. None of them believe in a god, know of a god, think about a god."

Just for argument's sake, I don't think there is any way you can actually prove the above statement. It seems true enough, though (I'll give you that).. but by the same rationale, does a baby (prior to birth) have any concept of his/her biological father? No. Said baby must learn and come to know who "father" really is. But whether or not that ever actually takes place, i.e. if the baby dies inside the womb, with no knowledge, no understanding of "father," does that change the fact that father exists? Of course not.

Baby can be born into this world, five senses intact, and live his/her life, experiencing life and processing life through his/her limited understanding (10% of his/her brain), and then baby can conclude that his/her experience is ALL THERE IS - not once taking into consideration differing points of view, differing experiences, and differing philosophies.

The scriptures say "the fool has said in his heart THERE IS NO GOD" and - whether it can be lab tested or not, whether your experience (as you process it) leads you to believe something contrary - there may very well be a father.

.:webmaster:. said...

Toulouse, you're confusing the issue.

The fact remains: no one is born religious. No one is born a journalist. No one is born a chemist, doctor, etc.

People are born basically knowing nothing and have to be taught everything.

No one is born a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Communist, or Republican or anything else. People learn these concepts and decide to align themselves with these things or not, depending on a variety of influences.

An atheist is someone without a belief in a god. Babies obviously have no beliefs in a god, and are therefore born as atheists. As they grow up most of those babies will most likely adopt the one their parents teach them.

This speaks nothing as the existence of said gods or goddesses, only that to know of such things, it must be taught. Unless you can prove otherwise, I think my point stands.

Zach Tank said...

Web Master,

If the world is based on theories... aren't we all just putting our faith in our theory? And so if by my theory is based on critical thoughts and examinations and my own potentially inconclusive evidence would be say. Atheism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, being a Jehovah Witness, Moonie, Mormon etc. Then isn't this just another theory page?

So your old theory got tested, and you felt it failed, so now you have found perhaps a new theory? But yet you have faith in this theory...

What happens when this theory gets holes poked in it? An anti-testimony to anti-testimony, at some point man, people choose what they believe and stick it through the not so fair weather, and some people need satisfaction elsewhere, and they go where the pastures are greener...

Shannon said...

Mr. Tank,

We are all waiting or looking for any hole to be punched through this ‘theory.’ Skepticism is what it’s about.

So many people on this site held the ‘other theory’ so tightly that there was nothing distinguishable between them and the theory.

All they ever wanted was to understand and to know of god better. In that process, hours upon hours and years and years, little holes began to show up in the ‘perfect theory.’ Then larger holes appeared but were ignored. All the holes were ignored and ignored and ignored again until they were finally just too big to be ignored.

Then they [the folks not the holes] prayed; they cried; they begged; and their hearts were broken.

De-conversion is not done with a shrug of a shoulder. It’s not done casually or haphazardly. It’s not: “What shall I be today?” “Well, I was a Christian yesterday. So, today, I think I shall be an atheist.”

De-conversion is confusing, lonely, and terrifying.

Hence this site.


Disclaimer: These are my opinions; I could be wrong.

.:webmaster:. said...

You're not wrong Shannon, you're exactly right on.

And, meeting someone with a mind freed from the shackles of religious bondage is not something many "true" believers can easily accept or tolerate. Hence, the plethora of rude evangelistic posts.

south2003 said...

Shannon: "Then they [the folks not the holes] prayed; they cried; they begged; and their hearts were broken."

Just imagine those who have spent over 30 years in the cult and 10 more addtional years detoxing.

StUUUUU said...

UHHHH...HOPE FOR HUMANITY...I am really glad for the ideas, the words, the point of views, the actual dredging up and exposition of our thoughts and feelings on this most visceral ....tacit of ...being - ness...no ontologies, no epistemologies, here WE ARE!!!! I love YOU for the life (in type)that you can now share... WOW...Maybe there is HOPE for humanity after all!!!!

Preston said...

God has a will, and man has a will. And The will of God is the perfect destiny for us. As we make our own decisions, we are going to fall, because not one human being is perfect. But as we stumble we will lose a bit of our destiny each time. Now if you don't understand how God could let different things happen, like natural disasters, deaths, and even the smallest things. Then you must realize that it is only by the will of man! God does not intend us to be hurt in anyway. He will send his Holy Spirit to warn you giving you weird feelings, or speak to you audibly in your head. But even then what you do today wil effect the rest of your life. You are faced with tons of decisions every day! Your life depends on your decision. I come from a non-denominational church, or however you spell it. And we are not neccisarilly a religion. We are just followers of the wordof God. And we follow what the bible tells us because we know it is real we have encountered Jesus and we WANT to live our life dedicated to following our beloved. So im gonna say this one thing. Im 13 and i am absolutely in love with Jesus! you stick a gun up to my head and i will say i believe in him no matter what. I have seen miracles with my own two eyes. I have literally felt the prescence of God come upon my body. I have no doubt in my mind that God is not there for me. I am his beloved as he is mine! Im just trying to tell you that i LOVE him. Yet i sin soo much, but its a complete maturing process for me. And i learn something new each day. Sometimes i feel like making a stand about how i dont understand something God is doing to me. But then i just realize that i can never completely understand him. Who would want a god that you could completely understand, cus then he would just be mortal like all of us. So im not trying to come from a weird, prideful, greedy, whatever angle. But i really am trying to come out of love..

Preston said...

So i just wanted you to know that me and a whole bunch of other people i know are not this stereotypical christian thing. I just love Jesus for everything he has done for me, just read the bible and you will see how much he loves us, and all he asks in return is our love.. So i hope im not in the wrong if im worshipping something i know is real and i love with all my heart. He is the only way to heaven guys.

Blessings, Preston Benjamin

preston said...

sorry for not using big confusing words, or if i repeated anything anyone else said, i just wanna to get my opinion across. And sorry again for taking up so much room :-P

Bye again.

Bentley said...

Preston hunny, where did you get all those crazy ideas? Did you hear them from a preacher or at a church?

Preston what would you be saying if you had never heard of the Bible?

Preston did you know that before 1492 before Columbus discovered America, there had never been a Bible nor a church on American soil?

The Bible was brought over here on a ship, the Bible was transported over here by people, it was not brought over here by God or Jesus.

Did you know that the Bible was written straight out of the Opium capital of the world.

The Native American Indians lived on American soil for thousands of years without a knowledge of a God or Jesus and they never repeated bible verses either like you are, like you've discovered some newly found knowledge.

A god nor Jesus never wrote any part of the bible, it was all written by men, do you see anywhere in the bible that was signed by god or jesus? No!

You might as well learn now, the bible and jesus myth is the biggest hoax and fraud and deception ever played on the world.

Preston said...

it says that the bible is God breathed, that God spoke through man to wright the bible. I dont know why you just mentioned all of that bc i know what iv'e seen and felt, and like i said nothing can change my mind, cus im in love with him! Do you not see?

Preston said...

its not like you can just have the knowledge of God, and know that the men were liars and they wrote it out of their own minds. Its a matter of if you can believe in something that every one is saying is the wrong thing, bc you have faith that this unseen man is the one true God.

boomSLANG said...

"...cuz im in love with him! Do you not see?"


....::dualing banjos::....

Heathen Sister said...

Preston:

I pity you. I truly do. Someone, probably your parents, have done you a huge disservice in brainwashing you. My mother attempted it whith me and my sister but we were lucky and escaped.

You are only 13. Hopefully, you will grow up as well as grow smart.

You must have an abysmal existance to be so completely submerged in a fantasy. Alternate universes are for people who can't deal with reality.

You have been robbed of logical thought and have not been allowed to learn to think for yourself. A mind is a terible thing to waste. How very, very sad.

Preston said...

i guess you just can't see, im afraid i make my own decisions, yet there is no way of showing you how i feel. Im afraid my parents are not christians, i have learned alot by myself, and i only wish that you would only see, before its too late, before you are standing in front of him weeping wishing you would have done something else. Im done trying to convince you that He is real, cus there is no proof. If afraid i serve something that is invisible. Too bad isn't it.

Blessings to you.

Preston.

boomSLANG said...

' Funny how the "invisible" and the non-existant look a lot alike, isn't it?

lol

Bentley said...

Sure Preston have fun pretending that you talk to an invisible being see where it gets you, do you also talk to Allah?

The him is you, your brain echoing it's thoughts back to itself it's called thought monitoring loop. The people that wrote the bible thought it was from a god, but it just their own thoughts, sorry.

Preston you were born without any knowledge of any god, but yet you chose the bible god why not choose Allah? Because the Bible god is the first one you chose to accept as true.

When you go to sleep, all thoughts of a god and jesus disappear.

When you are unconscious, all thoughts of god and jesus disappear.

When you are dead your brain thoughts cease, all thoughts of god and jesus disappears.

Why is that? Because your brain mimicks what it hears, thats why you speak english, not german, french, etc. You're just mimicking garbage that you've been told is true.

Have fun with your pooka.

Jerry said...

Preston you keep repeating the same old garbage we've all heard over a thousand times. Why don't you say something that your imaginary god has told you, you can't, because your god does not speak english, and it would have to be translated over 1600 times, just like the bible was. Time to grow up Preston and live in the real world.

Michelle said...

Preston, you sound very mature for such a young man, but unfortunately you also sound very misguided.

Apparently you have this deep "love" for your jesus. What worries me about this is that I feel that what you really need is love for yourself. Sometimes we can go through life looking for things outside of ourselves to fill up an emptiness. Clinging to "jesus" is a really easy way to fill up that emptiness. But by doing so we neglect to take care of our true selves. Be careful about believing that your overwhelming feelings of emotion mean that jesus is real. I myself have witnessed people filled with the so-called holy spirit--speaking in tounges and such. The first time I heard it, it freaked me out! The second time I heard it I thought that the woman beside me was trying to impress me. I believe that the mental states these people are in at the time are some kind of hypnosis, and frankly I don't think it's a very healthy state of mind.

I wonder if anyone has ever told you that it is o.k. for you to love yourself. I wish someone had told me that a long time ago.
I would urge you to spend less time obssessing over jesus, and more time getting to know Preston.

Take care of yourself.

Preston said...

How do you explain the incredible miracles, and feelings i have seen and felt? Those imaginary too? Cus i know what i have seen, i know what i have heard, and i KNOW what i have felt. And i know that hollywood can not make arms grow right out of the socket in the middle of a conference. I know that man cannot make tumors fall off of someones body! I know with all of my heart that men cannot raise people from the dead! I sound like a crazy maniac who has just been spoon fed all of this. But everything i have heard i read in the bible. So im not just hearing other peoples words, i am seeing the words of God on a page. And the argument will prolly still continue with all the Man created the Bible theory, But i guess there is not anyway to find out the real truth. But i respect all of yall for at least picking one side. ITs horrible to be stuck in the middle, you either have to be completely hot and pressed in, or completely cold and stubborn to every God situation. So really I dont have anything to say cus its a completely "invisible" topic. I mean seriously you can not see something that is invisible,
meaning it is practically non-exsistent, right boomslang ;-). I have heard about Allah, Buddah, Mary, and a bunch of the other focuses in religion. And i really don't wanna serve any of them, after i had a taste of Jesus i would never follow any other religion. I sound like a total follow up of my parents, but i really am not, cus they could care less about what God i served. Anyways.. i can't prove crap to you people, so if you wanted me to say you win, if that would really make you feel better, than i will. But im just gonna continue reading lies, cus i really am having alot of fun with my life.

emptycan said...

hei, preston, you said: "I have heard about Allah, Buddah, Mary, and a bunch of the other focuses in religion. And i really don't wanna serve any of them, after i had a taste of Jesus i would never follow any other religion."

How much have you heard about buddah? Please tell me how much you know about buddhism. If you are serious and responsible person, you should have considerable knowledge about buddhism before you say you do not want to serve any of them. In buddhism you do not serve buddha, you just try to become buddah. If you do not know something, just say you do not know. Don't say your immagination, mr. preston. Don't misunderstand though. I am not buddhist, but i regard buddhism as a great religion which should be seperated from the nasty begotry of xtinity or islam.

emptycan said...

In another word, preston, what i said is to not misuse other religion like buddhism to glorify your bigotry. No offence to you personally please. I am talking about the fucking nasty monotheistic religions like xtianity and islam. I worry that they will dangerously threaten the security and prosperity of humankind. So those religions are the true enemy of humankind because of their greedy gods' commands like do not serve other gods and kill them all the believers. Damn fucking nasty deadly religions. How many people should you kill and how much blood should you drink before you stop the nasty existence from humans?

Jonathan said...

Webmaster, as a pretty devout christian myself, I just want to take the trouble to comment that your website is highly challenging to people like me. I find it all too easy to understand your personal history as you have set it out. I can easily imagine christians I know responding to you in your different life experiences in the unhelpful ways you describe.
It may not be the outcome which you seek, but reading your thoughts makes me motivated to drive myself and other christians to address the shortcomings which you have so thoroughly set out.

.:webmaster:. said...

To Jonathan: Good luck.

Jonathan said...

I take it you think I may need it?

.:webmaster:. said...

"...makes me motivated to drive myself and other christians to address the shortcomings which you have so thoroughly set out."

As I said, good luck. You'll definitely need it.

Anonymous said...

You've had an experience with RELIGION. JESUS, the Person, WILL NEVER DISAPPOINT YOU. You may see my blog at www.xanga.com/razehell

~Carolyn

boomSLANG said...

Anonymous/Carolyn

square/circle

married/bachelor

acceptance/conditions

' Get the picture?



Jesus "the Person", IF he existed, is dead...so, no, he won't disappoint anyone.

Sure, the concept of Jesus may be alive---but so is Thor, Zeus, Toth, Allah, Budda, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, The Great Pumpkin, etc, etc, etc.

Buh-bye.

Bentley said...

I personally recommend Carolyns website http://www.xanga.com/razehell

Praise God, Jesaus is real!!!!

I'm a changed man, I've seen the light!

~~~I was once lost but now I see~~~hmmmmm

Holyshebaslallabamama!!!!!!

LMMFAO----What a Holy Crock Of Shit!

A Million Laughs, Folks!!!

Click on my name if you really want to get saved...lol

.:webmaster:. said...

Carolyn, I worked with 3 churches and a couple of other ministries for over 2 years in Japan. I passed out tracts, lead English evangelism classes, and went all over the place playing music at evangelistic meetings.

I did get to see a cool part of the world, but eventually I realized that Jesus and Christianity are just another phony religion. People believe it -- I know I did -- but it's still just a lie.

Kerry said...

Hey, Dave!

Let me just say it's breath of fresh air to run across your site and read your story. My own story is fairly similar to your own, and I, like you have started to try to make sense of my mysterious and alarming backsliding to my friends and family who are still Christian. For now, I've started my own blog to try to convey my experiences, but it's so good to find your site and so many others like it with people just like us who are are recovering fundamentalists, having cast the scales from our eyes and gathered the courage to face both knew knowledge and the fearful unknown!

Best Regards,
Kerry Davis

south2003 said...

Jonathan said...
Webmaster, as a pretty devout christian myself, I just want to take the trouble to comment that your website is highly challenging to people like me...

and went on futher to say

...but reading your thoughts makes me motivated to drive myself and other chrisitians to address the shortcomings which you have so throughly set out.

Ok.......I'm staying up for this sequel. Imma gonna wait for this one to crack and show us True Christianity (tm).

.:webmaster:. said...

Thanks Kerry!

And your site is awesome!

Anonymous said...

This is to BoomSLANG ~ You wrote:
'Jesus "the Person", IF he existed, is dead...'
Haven't you heard?? After 3 days He arose from the dead. While He was gone . . . He went into hell and took the keys of Life and death out of satan's grimy hands...read Revelation 1:18. 'I am He that liveth and was dead and behold I am ALIVE forevermore - and I hold the keys to Life and death.' JESUS is alive. Have you ever heard of anyone sitting in a tub of water with a toaster and hair blower plugged in and living to tell people about it? Well, here I am. JESUS IS LORD!! God gave us choices to make...YOU have a choice to believe or not. You can ACCEPT or REJECT God's love for YOU. IT'S YOUR CHOICE. ~Carolyn

boomSLANG said...

Dear Anonymous/Carolyn,

If your God's love is conditional---and it is---then I don't want "His" love. He can save it for all the people he manipulated into loving him back. Or better yet---just have him give whatever would be my share of his "love" to you...'k, hun? Thanks, babe.

carol said...

Right on, Boomslang!

Jeebus lubs me, dis I knows, cuz da babble tells me sow.

Jeebus lubs me, dis I know, but if I don't love him and kiss his ass.........BAM, straight to HELL!!

Nothing cracks me up more than hearing xians say that their is such a "loving" religion. What a lie, how delusional they are.

Regards, carol

Ryan said...

Webmaster, thanks for creating this site and sharing your testimony. I've already spents many hours going through the content on this site. While I know I'm being subjected to all types of incredibly biased opinions, many points have been raised that I have never heard before. They have really helped encourage me to continue on the path I have chosen.

For 20 years I was raised as a non-denominational Christian and believed everything fervently. However, I'm a computer programmer and have a mind that requires all data to be (or appear to be) sound and accurate. I sought to answer my questions about Christianity, but searching for answers and studying the Bible kept leading to more questions than answers. Eventually I realized that I was purely the result of programming from my religious mother, churches, and religious school. I prayed and begged God to speak to me, show me anything, do anything to me, destroy my life, anything to indicate he was really there. I told him he was really close to losing me. Maybe it's wrong to ask and expect my loving heavenly father to give the smallest indication that he actually exists. He didn't give one, so I gave up.

I expected my life to go into shambles. Just the opposite happened. I was always told that there was great freedom in Christianity, and non-Christians are slaves to sin. But when I committed to de-converting, I felt more free than I had ever felt before. I no longer feel the need to judge normal people simply because they don't think like me. And I feel no pressure to push my beliefs on others who are already good people. Also, I still consider myself a very good person. I'm nicer and more considerate than most people I know, thanks to my upbringing. Christianity at least has some merits in that regard. But religion is not necessary for morality.

My concern is what to do now. I've been so thoroughly fooled and disillusioned, that I now believe it is impossible to know completely what is absolutely true, therefore I claim Agnosticism. Christianity brought meaning and purpose to my life, but now it seems more prudent to simply live in the moment (with an eye to the foreseeable future of course). How have others coped with filling this sense of meaninglessnesss? It seems most professing non-Christians here have somewhat negative attitudes, and that bothers me a bit. Does anyone have positive suggestions as to how one might find feelings of meaning or fulfillment in a life of which the sole purpose does NOT seem to be scoring points for an afterlife?

PS. While I was still struggling with my de-conversion, I wrote a short bit about my understanding of Christianity which I find quite entertaining. I encourage Christians and non-Christians alike to check it out.

Bentley said...

Hi Ryan, Yeah thats, way cool. We non-believers are saying accentually the same thing in our posts, except you're useing kid-gloves to get your point across, which is just fine. I get so many people tell me how bitter and hateful I sound, but I trying not to sound like my "religious mother". Because of early age brainwashing, we associate negitive speech or reality, as hatred.

I wonder how many people would be willing to belong to a church or "get saved" if the bible had used the same "soft-speak" as you?

After 20 years like you, and your brain constantly knowing that you're trying to belive something that could not possibly be true, I think it's time to give it up, I mean, why force feed your brain something that in it's natural state of reasoning, emphatically rejects?

It's not natural to force feed people a philosophy, that your brain through reasoning, knows that it's unbelievable.

Why subject oneself to such nonsense, when everyone of us is like each other, almost identically, even all races can interbreed successfully, and we try to seperate ourselves from others with our silly religious beliefs.

Over here is the Jews, over there are the Catholics, over there are the Protestants, over there are the Muslims, etc.

Thanks Ryan, welcome to freedom, let your brain tell you what is true, not some ancient Opium inspired book. Please stick around!

Please click on my name above, but I warn you, it's filled with hatred
and powerful insight. TC, Ben

Dano said...

Ryan,
One thing I find helpful when reading on this site is to immediately dismiss the great Christian scholars that come here to explain the bible to us as having a case of "Can't see the forest for the trees syndrome" They will go on for days discussing this verse and that verse, and who said what and when to whom, as if it was really important what a bunch of Bronze age people thought. The average 6 year old today has more accurate knowledge about our world, the universe, and life here on this planet, than anyone did 2000 years ago.

You write like Mark Twain and Robert Green Ingersoll. I was looking for the point in your "piece" where you would stray from clear thought back to fuzzy headed mysticism, and never found it.

I am 70, and Ben is 52, and there are hard core Atheists on this site older than me, and I am sure we have all experienced the "God Hole" when we realized that all religion was silly nonsensical, magical, illogical crap, I personally equate that feeling of loss of the security blanket of belief in a "magic entity up in the sky who I could talk to and ask favors from" , as the burden we will all carry for the rest of our lives, in exchange for the ability to see life more clearly.

I read what people on this site, write, who I know are a lot smarter than me, and feel reassured by the fact that there must be millions of people now, (Thanks to the Internet), who are free from religious cults.

I don't think I could ever give up rational thought and go back to talking to an imaginary creator. If our creator truly is omniscient, and omnipotent, it already knows what we need, what we think, and what we want!
Check out Ingersoll's Greatest Lectures (Robert Green Ingersoll)
http://www.positiveatheism.org/tocinger.htm#INDEX
Dan, (Rationalist, Agnostic, Humanist)

.:webmaster:. said...

Thanks for the kudos Ryan,

I know what you mean about the sense of meaninglessness. Christianity claims to offer meaning to life, and then once you're in, it insists that outside of Christianity there is no meaning. Eventually, the Christian believes that outside Christianity is meaningless existence. I felt that way myself for a time.

However, I no longer view it that way. Here's how I see it now:

Meaning is something we assign to ourselves or something we find within ourselves. While it's a very comforting thought to think there is some big eternal entity that is looking out for us and giving us meaning, if that idea is illusion or myth, then certainly there is no real meaning to be found there. Besides, what is the meaning of worshiping a god? It might feel good, but what's the point really. What's the real point of being alive forever to worship some god while everyone who didn't or wouldn't worship the god is being tortured in horrific agony forever?

I suppose the SS found meaning in serving Nazi Germany, but I would rather be accused of meaninglessness than meanness. Christianity with it's threat of eternal retributive punishment is not real meaning, just mean.

There is no one place to find meaning in life. Some find it in family, in work, in relationships, in creative expression...the list can go on indefinitely. It is not that there is NO meaning to life, it is that there is great variety of meaning. Christianity has condemned all human expression outside of its confining walls to a vague worthlessness. I believe that intense programing is a lie -- for there is much beyond the walls.

Now, if what you think is that mortality limits meaning in some way, let me ask this: Is the life of someone who lives 80 years more valuable than someone who lives 60? Does longevity make a life more meaningful? I assume you'd answer no. If longevity contributes nothing to making a life meaningful, then I'd suggest that even an eternity adds nothing to making our lives meaningful. To have meaning is to use our lives well, regardless of how long or short they may be.

Victoria Davis said...

http://livedigital.com/AHd86wDVNQ/content/52110

I think it's an incredible video.

.:webmaster:. said...

Vic, that's just plain scary.

Youch.

Dave8 said...

The children in that video, have obvious psychological challenges ahead in their life. If society attempts to retain a sane atmosphere, these kids are going to have their share of challenges.

phoglite said...

holy crap that was disturbing. -phog

south2003 said...

Victoria,

Do you mean the video is incredible like amazing, like holy sh*t check this out!!?

All I can see is, if they are not rescued by a dose of common sense and logic, someday those angry and repressed little girls will marry those angry and repressed little boys who will raise angry repressed children. It's a never ending cycle.

Really scary

Anonymous said...

what's up with the candy=jesus sequence.. total brainwashing BS..

the hitler/osama one is a close second - what does that remotely have to do with kids praying?

Gordon james said...

Hey All.
I googled across this site while looking for Easter Images.

I am reminded of Jesus words that People will know we ar his disciples if we love each other.
34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."" - John 13:34-35

I assume that also suggest that people will know that Jesus is real (and we are his disciples) if we actually follow that teaching.

It is funny.

I have many dissapointments with people in general and religious people in particular because we do such a poor job in this issue.


p.s. the form for posting says some HTML can be used, like italic, but if I use the italic tag it tells me no. (FYI)

Anonymous said...

http://www.extremeprophetic.com/index.htm

check out some of the videos!

Kerry said...

Victoria, that video brings back way too many memories from my past that are now utterly depressing to me. Ugh.

It's precisely that kind of appeal to emotion that cements the power of irrational blind faith in believers.

In my mind's eye, I can see similar video's in the muslim world depicting cute little kids with cloth masks and AK-47s and praying to Allah. It's pretty much the same.

Anonymous said...

You are a well educated man. The Bible says in the end times mens' hearts will wax cold. You see we are born runnin from Christ that is our nature we don't seek Him He seeks us.

Michelle said...

I deconverted several years ago, but I only came across this site a few months back after searching for "ex-christians." I never knew there were other deconverts out there--I truly believed I was the only one! Or at least the only one who didn't do a 180 and start spiraling into major "sinning," like christians think happens when someone stops believing.

I am so glad for this site and others like it. It is very affirming for me to read what others have gone through. Thank goodness for the internet! For years I just tried to put it all in the back of my mind, because I was still somewhat under the "influence," even though I knew christianity was wrong for me. At the time I felt it was still o.k. for others if it really helped them deal with life. It's funny, back then I sort of just resigned myself to the possibility of burning in hell forever, but that still couldn't make me step foot in a church again, I hated church! Especially the fake friendliness and the grossly emotional worshipping. Then about a year ago it occurred to me that the concept of hell was so ridiculous that I stopped believing in it. We're going to have new bodies? Bodies that are indestructible, but will still feel pain? Bodies with nerve endings, like what we have now? I just don't see that happening. Ever since then I've relieved myself of the guilt I was brainwashed into having for "falling away." Now, I'm amazed that I ever believed any of it. My grandmother, who has been a christian for 30+ years, sprinkles me with little sayings that start with, "The lord says" . . . and "the lord can help you" . . ." She tries to get me to believe again, yet she doesn't seem to care about any other aspect of my life. A sweet woman who could have done so much more with herself.

Sorry to have gone on so long, but I've never been able to talk about this with anyone for the last 12 years. This site has done so much for my sanity and peace of mind. I think more and more ex-christians will find this site, just like I did, and we will be able to all speak out about something "they" would rather quash--that ultimately people leave the religion because it isn't real, period.

BTW, I could only watch half of that video with the kids praying. My skin started to crawl.

Thanks for everything, Dave!

Anonymous said...

An atheist looking for God is like a theif looking for the police... it ain't going to happen. The problem so many people have is made in His image. That means we are accountable to someone!! Look wher did Isreal come from...why does every country want an piece of her...especially Jerueselum. It is historical fact the Old Testment is old and the New testament is way newer than the Old. So look at how the Old perfectly predicts the New. Its just too perfect. Look it not some great big joke!! being played on us...I mean come on the fact we are talking about this shows he exits. Man we can all give woe as me stories aout how that man run Church down the road hurt my little feelings ...When you are a Chritian you have to be a warrior have thick skin and a soft heart but LOVE always beats anger prison will show you that fast.

John said...

Did any of you read about Paul's experiences. The Christian walk is a battle thats full of Love, Peace and Joy. I am truely sorry for ya'lls bad experiences. But I have seen some bad so-called Christians my self... nto pretty. But guess what? Jesus stayed the same. Him don't ever change.

Michelle said...

There it is again, the "bad experiences" excuse. I said I hated going to church, but that's not because someone there did something mean or bad to me, it just felt unnatural and creepy. If you take any experience and pick it apart, you will find many small things that are negative, and you can blame the failure on any one of those small things. But actually the sum of those small things supports the main idea, that christianity is a big fat fraud.

And in order to continually believe in that fraud, christians have to self-impose a level of psychosis and suspension of reality. Christians start to get this glazed look on their faces as they age. I've seen this look on several older christian female relatives, like they're not all there mentally. They're slow to respond or laugh at humor, almost like they've lost the ability to be spontaneous. How sad, but it makes me feel good about myself, that I was able to finally find and like my true inner being--without any help from any religion.

Belief in god and adhering to religion is an excellent way to squash your personality. Not for me, thank you.

John said...

Don't look at a few sour Christians and put Jesus with them.
People were drawn to Jesus because he was fun and had a sense of humor as well.But you are so very right ther are some Chritians that look like death warmed over, but don't let them steal your joy. Hey I am not trying to make excuses for your deconversion or loss of faith but when you are on this side of the dirt you still have a chance. As far as a fraud I know this about God.....He turned berr into furniture at my house. Oh and the Bible is so perfect it was written by 40 men over a period of 1600 years and flows perfectly as if one person wrote it. Check this out the Book of Ezra 7:21 has every letter in the alphabet except for the letter "J". Also the shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117 and the longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. Oh yeah the exact middle of the Bible is Psalm 118. I just thought that to be neat stuff.

John said...

Evil and the Creation

What about evil, then? Does God love it? No, for God did not create it.

Evil does not exist in the same way as good; evil is a "negative" existence, like a void or a vacuum. Evil is the absence of good, the negation of God's infinite Goodness and the goodness of creation.

If creation is a beautiful tapestry woven by the hands of the Almighty, evil is a tear in the fabric, made by the willful disobedience of intelligent creatures.

.:webmaster:. said...

Isaiah 45:7—I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The Bible means what it means except when it doesn't mean what it means, therefore this doesn't mean what it means, it means whatever John says it means.

Get it, y'all?

John said...

Thats Calamity or disaster in the NIV. Such as the darkness the plagued the Egyptians Dave. He uses it for the good of His people Ya'LL!

.:webmaster:. said...

So your god didn't create Adam and Eve with the ability to disobey him? He didn't then put a tree within reach and forbid it to be touched, knowing full well that it would be touched? And just to make sure, he didn't get a talking snake into the mix, to assure that they'd fall? Remember now, he KNEW exactly what would happen. If I planted a bomb in my house, then told my kids not to go in the house, then they disobey me and are blown to kingdom come, who is at fault? Me, or the kids?

Your god is the author of evil.

Proverbs 16:4—The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Rev4:11"...for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

All means all except when it doesn't mean all, I guess...

Michelle said...

"He turned berr into furniture at my house."

Sounds interesting! But what exactly is "berr" and why would god turn it into furniture?

Anyway, when I was a christian, I couldn't imagine ever not being one, but that was largely due to my pitiful fear of burning forever. Now that I'm not, I can't imagine ever going back. I've grown and matured so much from who I was back then. I'm finally the person I've always wanted to be. I believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all; doing unto others what you would have them do unto you; and finding meaning in my own life as inspired by Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning.

Please remember, we've been where you are now. We are not some newbies or vulnerable persons easily seduced by emotional manipulations or threats of eternal torture. We've all had plenty of time to process and expel the brainwashing we underwent. Who in their right minds would ever want to go back to that?

I do enjoy the opportunity to voice what I've held inside for so long--it helps me in my own personal evolution as a enlightened human being.

Enjoy your berr, I may even have one later--I'll see if god can turn it into a Lazyboy. :)

John said...

I am sorry not a good typist...It was Beer into furniture. You to resort to alchol to deal with problems but through the peace of Christ Jesus I use that money in better ways

John said...

Again sorry about the typing I use to drink alot but not anymore. Use the money wisely now.

Michelle said...

Oh, I get it. I knew you meant beer--I just couldn't resist the comedy in that!

Yes, I know what you mean about those miracles. I've been able to turn guilt into high self-esteem (though not narcissistic). Works wonders for past traumas and struggles.

Congratulations on your sobriety! And I hear you on the furniture. I felt so good when I bought my wicker coffee table, despite it being second-hand. Just makes you feel more complete. :)

Mary said...

I believe "god" created evil, doesn't it say that in the "bible".

Joris said...

Webmaster,

Thank you for a great site.
I'm not and never was a christian or a believer, although I have always been interested in the how's and why's behind people's beliefs.
I think supporting people who are losing their religion is a good thing; though some christians come on here not understanding what this site is about, it seems in their so called unconditional love they're not able to unconditionally support people who no longer think the same way.

Although I find some Ex-Christians comments here a bit harsh towards christians, I can see where they are coming from.
I find it interesting that Christians come on this site anonymously questioning the validity of this site, yet it seems perfectly fine to have a 'christianity rocks' site...to support it is fine,to question it seems to be wrong or unneeded and even objectionable or dare I say it, sinful.

Issues I've struggled with regarding religion in general is this:
-god is an all knowing, all seeing and forseeing omnipotent entity.
-he has created us and the earth, and we are created in his image.

How can I sin? How can god be dissapointed in me if he knows all and knows who I am, as he has created me. If he is all forseeing, then surely he would know what I am about to do, before I even know it myself. How can he be dissapointed in my actions?

It also seems he has rather dubious motives. How can he give an innocent grandmother throatcancer, yet grant say someone like Pol-Pot, muderer of millions, the gift to live peacefully till the end of his days?

It seems this all powerful deity, who has the abillity to create a complete world in a matter of days, is quite happy to dish out global disasters (apparently he is punishing us) but has no desire to stop them. When a loved one dies in a tsunami or flood, we hear people say that god in his infinite wisdom has taken them back to his fold and that it was probably his or her time.
We don't question the fact that this deity could have saved all of them, or that he was perhaps even the cause of the disaster in the first place.

But most interesting of all is that as a non believer, I don't get any signs. I don't get voices in my head talking to me, apart from my own voice. I don't speak in tongues, or 'feel' god or jesus in me. I find it remarkable that some Christians do get this; and you would think that since they are already believers, they would need that less if at all?
Surely myself, as someone who in a Christians eyes is a poor misguided soul that should repent for his sins and start believing, should get some sort of sign; a visitation, a feeling, anything, to startle me and make me wake up to smell the christian coffee?

So in my process of understanding I then turn it around. What if I was a deity and I decided to create earth and mankind (and a universe..for a long time we thought we were the center of the universe..it is only in the last few centuries that through science we have started to understand our own arrogance)..what would I create to make people believe?
Why not make it blindly obvious? Why all the conjecture, books written by third parties who claim to speak in my name? Why not have it come directly from the source? And I don't mean a son who looks human, by all accounts acts and is human and martyrs himself for humans.
Why not manifest myself..or put down a sign of some sort that is so far beyond what we can create that we cannot deny it? That is obvious to all..not just the people who believe in me; as there would be no necessity to believe or not to believe. It would be like gravity itself; hard to ignore when you're walking around on this earth. You can decide not to believe in gravity but there is no point as you cannot ignore it; it is so basic that belief about it doesn't even come into play.

So that's where I'm at. I see that people need structure and morality in their lives. There's plenty of that without religion. There was a time when it wasn't there and religion did a good job of teaching people common values. But to me it looks like something that has gone waaaay beyond what it ever needed to do.

I applaud the people who have come to this site and who are examining their beliefs, wether it is to lose it or to keep it.
Just examining it and asking questions means that you're thinking on your own..that is an important thing.

Thanks for reading my rant:)

Joris

Miss Karen said...

Web master,

I am wondering if you have studied Christian Universalism. Recently I have personally been moving from Christian fundamentalism to Christian Universalism. More peace and hope. Whatever each of us believes or does, God loves us and will never give up on us. I like what Bonnie Raitt said: Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.

.:webmaster:. said...

I have no problem with Universalism. It's not historic Christianity, and was never believed by any major branch of Christianity, but if it gives someone solace, I'm all for it.

I am not anti-spiritual, I just don't happen to believe in Christianity anymore, and find no reason to believe in any religion at this point.

Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

You can't give pearls to swine!

Anonymous said...

Hello all,
I'll be up front and say that I am a christian. The main reason that I wanted to comment, and probably will continue to comment, is because I really like to think. Many christians do tend to think that ignorance is bliss, but I am not one of them, nor do I believe that the Bible teaches this. I go to a christian college and it really gets on my nerves that they expect me to believe everything they say. I like the fact that this site has so many different sorts of people with so many different sorts of ideas. And specifically to the Webmaster I aplaud you for reading so many books and trying to learn and not just have and ignorant unfounded belief in something just because someone else told you to believe it... an i hope you don't mind me asking many questions... i love to discuss philosophical and theological issues.
Anyway, mainly I just wanted to introduce myself and will be back soon, but i also want to say to all of the self righteous, unloveing christians who post rude comments on this site should re-evaluate thier view on love... love is not conditional.
And to all of the people who don't agree with what I say I would love to hear your thoughs but please don't be rude to me as I will not be rude to you.
thank you,
Danielle

Jen said...

Sir,

As I read your story, I could fully relate to most of what you've experienced. I, too, grew up in the church, memorized books of the Bible, led others to Christ, taught Bible schools and camps, etc., and promptly left it all behind at 18.

After I hit bottom many years later, I knew I needed a heart relationship with Jesus, not just a head relationship, so I felt I became a Christian for the first time at that point.

However, we went to denomination after denomination, always questioning, but never getting good answers. For the last nine months, we have stayed at home, (not attending church), just focusing on loving the Lord through studying His Word on our own. I am not reading other people's books so much, but relying heavily upon my own study of God's Word.

There are several things that really helped me. First, I realized that the point of reading the Bible is to have a relationship with God, to get to know Him. Second, there is absolutely NO denomination that has it right, either theologically or in one-anothering. So rather than looking at denominational stances, I have come to my own conclusions about what God's Word says because I have studied God's Word for myself. I have also decided not to judge the oodles of hypocrites out there. Third, I have found a couple things to be helpful in my studies. I use the inductive method of studying God's Word for myself. Kay Arthur has written a great inductive Bible study series, where you still learn everything yourself, but once you learn the method, you are obviously intelligent enough to do it on your own. The other type of resource that has truly helped me put it all together is realizing that the Bible is a Jewish Book, written by Jews, for the Jews, about the Jews. When I learned to read it from a Jewish perspective, it took on a whole new light to me. I am not a Jew, but I do deeply enjoy studying the Jewish roots of Christianity. Without them, Christians cannot possibly understand God's Word.

I would encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourself. Apply correct hermeneutics. Look for the roots. Use the inductive method. Read the Bible as a way to get to know God.

The Christianity I now enjoy is a totally different thing than what I learned in church, than what I grew up with, or than what I see in most of those around me.

I pray for God to open your spiritual eyes, which is what you seem to be seeking. Persevere. It will all be worth it in the end!

.:webmaster:. said...

Jen,

In your post you said: I knew...I felt...I realized...I have come to my own conclusions...

Then you go on to promote Kay Arthur. Jen, I'm 47, I was around when Kay wrote that junk. I used to listen to her radio programs. Inductive study? What the hell is inductive study anyway Jen? Do you even know? I'll tell you: Inductive study is akin to Inductive Fallacy. And then there's its cousin, Inductive Reasoning. In other words, inductive reasoning is not logical deductive reasoning.

Now, don't you think it's odd that you are one of the only enlightened Christians in the world, or at least one of the few you've been able to locate? Didn't Jesus say, "I will build my church?" It strikes me odd that all those churches are in such error, while you, sitting at home, have got it all figured out! WOW!

Kay, if your religion makes you feel good, then please, enjoy. But in the future, realize that many people have had heart-felt, genuine, religous, relational, devoted, real faith in and with Jesus only later to realize that it was all in their imaginations.

Oh, and there are at least a million people praying for me already. Of course none of them are True Christians™ like you, so maybe your prayers will be fruitful.

However, I suggest you not hold your breath.

Bentley said...

Jen wrote,
I am not a Jew, but I do deeply enjoy studying the Jewish roots of Christianity. Without them, Christians cannot possibly understand God's Word.

The main reason that Jews do not believe in Jesus is because of; Isaiah 45:21-22 I the Lord? and there is no God beside me; a just God and saviour, there in none beside me.

Now Jesus was a Jew, and Jerry Falwell said that anyone that was not a Christian was certainly destined for Hell, this includes all Jews and Muslims and non-christians.

So I know you're going to say thats why Jesus went to Hell.

But what about all the God-inspired Jews that wrote the Bible before Jesus was crucified?

Who are we to believe? That the Jews are right, since they wrote the OT, or the God-Called Jerry Falwell?

Anonymous said...

Fools, all of you are wrong.

Bentley said...

What's wrong!

Has your heart waxed cold?

south2003 said...

WM: “Kay, if your religion makes you feel good, then please, enjoy.”

This feeling good and feeling the spirit is actual a mind induced orgasmic state that the fundies love. The only high they will not feel “ashamed” of is their “god high” In this case, the brain is given less oxygen. Their body starts the tingling, shivers and gyrating and during the process, they speak a lot of gibberish (in tongues).

Well, golly gee it must be a god, because every time that I’m with my hubby, the exact same thing happens. Woo hoo WM, I think I found an objective god….lol. “The feel good God”

This is why Kay stays at home. She needs the privacy.

P.S. Ben, you're a hoot..lol

.:webmaster:. said...

Ben,

I sometimes pick up a set or two of those old-fashioned wax lips at the candy store for my kids.

However, I don't recall any cold wax hearts. I guess that's just too old-fashioned.

south2003 said...

Ok, now both of you, ben and WM needs to stop it Ok!
I'm cracking up over here really bad, and they're coming to get me>>LMAO!!

south2003 said...

"This is why Kay stays at home" should read:

This is why Jen stays at home.

Bentley said...

Yeah thanks! We need to start using their own weapons (christian speak) against them, maybe they will see the error of their ways, not likely:-(

Dave, those wax hearts seemed to be a little more common back over 2000 years ago, but it's trying to catch on again in 2006...lol

Love you guys! Ben

Drea said...

Dave~ I don't know if this will mean anything to you, or even if you care, but I want to apologize to you from the church. I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I would not be anything without my personal relationship with Him. I know that you don't know me, that you have and never will meet me, but I just wanted to "stand in the gap" for the church, for "religion" and say that I am sorry.

Drea

trudy said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I'm a new ex and it is so good to know there are others out there - I don't feel quite so alone!

Anonymous said...

Web Master,

Finding this site was by accident at best, but I have found many of your comments in your "testimony" curious. You seem to have spent a great deal of time looking to religion and man to answer your questions of faith. Your going about this all wrong. Denominations were created so that people could pick and choose what from the Word of God that they wanted to believe. Religion is merely something that man came up with to prove his worthiness to get into heaven without following the guidelines set forth in the Word. Stop wasting time learning the history of Christianity and researching denominational texts to learn what God gave you in his word. God did not invent Christianity or any other religion. We are not called to be "Christians". We are called to be children of God. We are required to accept and confess what Christ did for us in his death, burial, and resurrection. We are required to live by the one law that is left for the heirs of God and that is Love. The Word is not hard to understand, we just have to stop trying to look to other people to tell us what God wants from us. In the end we ourselves will have to stand before God and answer for our lives. He has given us his Son and his Word to guide us. We won't be able to put off our short comings on others and what they taught us. We will be responsible for what we learned on our own, while seeking His face and His will for our lives. I do not know how this could change your life, but I feel compeled to write any way. I am no theologian by any means but I do know to not look for my answers on faith from man.

Thank you for your time,
Chris

Epistem01 said...

I read your testimony. I am a 'bible thumping' southern baptist. But i did thoroughly enjoy reading your post.

I think atheism is nuts. Only God is qualified to be an atheist. Agnosticism is alright up to a point. Some things are undeniable. Overall, secular humanism has built a wonderful moral structure, except it rests in mid air. I realize the bible raises issues but the difference is between trying to figure something out versus not having anything to work with.

Anyway...the point I wanted to make to you is that of all the stuff you raise, the most effective argument presented against Christianity are Christians. I frankly do not have an answer for all the points you raised. I know what the bible says, but then trying to figure out how that is seen in many cases, is a real challenge.

The rational arguments against Christianity and even the Bible are very weak. But the best argument against Christianity are Christians and your points are well taken.

I'm not your mother, so I am not going to try to 'convert' you back. I can't leave Him and have wanted to many times....so that is my explanation of the 'fifth petal'. But instead of trying to refute you line by line, I think us Christians MUST do some soul searching of our own in order to even try to attempt answering your concerns about us.

Shannon said...

What? So, god is splayed out on his stomach with one hand holding up his head and with his other, his pointing finger is incessant drawing figure eights in the clouds. He sighs with melancholy. “I just don’t believe that I exist, anymore.”

You, sir, qualify as an atheist since you don’t believe in believe in Zeus, Buddha, or Allah. The only difference between you and the atheists on this site is that we believe in one less god than you do. There are almost 5,000 historical gods to choose from. You’ve picked one. The True One, of course but then again you’ve dismissed 4,999 other gods. You may have a lot of explaining to do…I hear the Zeus can be quite pissy when he’s angry.

Epistem01 said...

Alrighty then!

I believe this broadsword and mace belong to you...they have "Shannon" etched on the handle.

:-)

All I meant was that you'd have to be omniscient to be atheist. Either that or one very keen at guessing. Agnostic seems more suitable for humans.

My main point was that even though the prosecution is pretty weak, the witness list is pretty ominous.

boomSLANG said...

"All I meant was that you'd have to be omniscient to be atheist."


Bzzzzzzzt. Wrong.

Atheism says: "I don't have a belief in gods." Atheism does NOT say: "I know with absolute certainty there are no gods, and I can prove it." Mind you, this pertains to a Universal NON-personal deity. The Biblical Christian god---who is most certainly portrayed as a subjective and personal deity, exists ONLY as a concept, *nothing more.

*If you'd like to refute this, please, feel free to provide objective evidence for the existance of your biblegod.

Dave8 said...

Epistem01, just a few observations from "my" personal perspective, and I do not speak for those who may fall into the below categories.

Agnostics, tend to focus their skepticism on humanity. They typically, believe "humanity", isn't "capable" of legitimizing the term supernatural.

Atheists, tend to focus their skepticism on evidence. They typically, believe "evidence" doesn't exist to support the legitimacy for the "term" supernatural. Thus, the term "supernatural" is absurd, and all that falls in that Platonic category.

Whereas, Agnostics stick to human limitation, and don't make a determination as to the legitimacy of the term supernatural... Atheists, focus on the absurdity of the linguistic expression itself. Unfortunately, those who would want to establish the legitimacy for the term "supernatural" based on self-evidence, get a little bent when asked for "evidence" by Atheists. Self-Evidence is based on "Natural" evidence, if a person is living in this "Natural" realm.

Personally, I agree that humanity has limitations in regards to discretely defining self-evident experiences with "legitimate" words or expressions. Thus, focusing on the inability of humanity to be capable of legitimizing the word "supernatural" itself, based on the human factor alone, would compel me to become an Agnostic.

However, thinking on the matter a little further, if I accepted human limitations when describing metaphysically self-evident experiences, then, I'd have to conclude that the metaphysical term "supernatural" being from a "human origin", is by default "absurd". Thus, I see the Agnostic skepticism of the human factor, as supporting the case for Atheism.

The only way out of such a logical conclusion, would be to assert that the term "supernatural" was borne outside of the "human experience". This being the critical factor, compelling me to sway either towards Agnostic or Atheist, I am going to have to side on the Atheistic side, as I can only "imagine" how a word could be created outside of the human experience.

Now, lets see, where shall I go to pick up an example of a human, who would deliberately create an "absurdity", perhaps, a philosopher and mathematician would be a great place to start.

"In mathematics, an imaginary number (or purely imaginary number) is a complex number whose square is negative or zero. The term was coined by René Descartes in 1637 in his La Géométrie and was meant to be derogatory: obviously, such numbers were thought not to exist."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_number

Now, I detest religion, and I don't make an effort to hide such claim. However, I try and show some restraint when it comes to academics, as there are some heroes in education who are fighting the good fight, against the past stupidity that has been laid out in front of the younger generation.

Uh, there are very few though, that have presented their academics with such "blatant" honesty in my experience however. So, as a youngster, I got preaching, and fundy-school, and then when I thought it was safe... I got to go to mathematics class, and be told that imaginary numbers were "real", based on some medieval fundies' satire.

Underlying the major subjects of education, from kindergarten, all the way through the university levels (to include the Ivy League colleges), are fundified concepts woven into the subject matter, and of course based on the fundified philosophers. Even trickier, some of the fundies had legitimate concepts that made sense in real life, like Rene's algebraic coordinate system/Cartesian Plane.

However, how in the flock does a student figure out which pieces are BS, and which are capable of being applied to reality. In a need to vent, let me just say, that those philosophers who felt a need to create a transcendent reality, to "shove" their perfect god in, created a Platonic number system to go along with the thought.

"Transcendental Number - an irrational number that is not algebraic."

Transcendent, kind of like a Platonic Form, in some other reality, got it. Oh, what's an "irrational number"?

"A real number that cannot be expressed as a rational number."

Oh, its real, but not rational, so perhaps, really irrational.

Teaching some of the philosophical concepts in classrooms as Absolute truths, is assinine. Its like taking the word "supernatural" and trying to convince everyone its true, by claiming that its self-evident. I had a hard time in school, trying to "apply" theology, and other academic concepts, even in the mathematics, in my everyday life. Over time, I dropped the absurd "nouns", and the absurd notions, like "the perfect life", "the absolute truth of infinity x 2", etc., etc.

I think educators who can't present the "reasons" behind their subject material concepts, should be horse-whipped, just my personal opinion. It took a lot of energy, to shove the most irrational b&*(*&it in my mind, for the sheer purpose of passing a test. Anyway, felt great to vent, and again, I don't buy the absurdity of the "noun" Supernatural, and thus, it appears I would be labelled, by those who forcefully believe in such matter as an Atheist.

That "Ball" Guy said...

I was raised with the comics and tracts by Jack T. Chick, and looking back now, they make me want to puke!

Your story is inspiring, and it's good to know that others have experienced the emotional trauma one has to endure to leave christianity and come to their own senses.

Thank you for having this resource...I will be posting my own anti-testimony soon

.:webmaster:. said...

Thanks Kev,

I look forward to reading your testimony. (Nice website you have there, btw.)

Epistem01 said...

Fine. Call it what ever you want Shannon.

I was actually conceding a major point to the author....then I felt my pant leg get chewed.

If you are so sure the Christian God is merely a man-made concept, why bother with the passionate debate? I don't understand that. It looks more like Don Quixote than Richard Dawkins.

Epistem01 said...

Dave,

Thanks for your response. You aren't necessarily defining atheism but you are sidingn with a flavor of it. Wittgenstien is the one who came up with what you presented. But you know enough about supernatural to know that it is either untenable or false...but you understand what I mean when I refer to it. It may not be emperically verifiable to you, but then you get into the problem of trying to define all reality based on what you observe and throw the rest away. However, the statement 'truth is what can be observed' isn't observable, so even the Wittgenstiens had to pull back on the reigns a bit and take a slightly different tack.

Feuerbach was the one who came up with the argument that God (and the supernatural) are merely human projections and nothing more.

The only way to know if God is mere projections of the human imagination is to know more than these projections. If the contents of reality were more than our imagination (there is more to this world than dreamt by your philosophies), then statements about God as 'nothing more than' are really going beyond knowledge and into guessing. You can't know where the wall ends unless you can see beyond it....and since nobody can see beyond it, we are either guessing or holding our positions by faith in a chosen authority that purportedly can see beyond the wall.

The language is understood. It's not that it is absurd. What is absurd is anyone who starts with himself or herself, works their way outward and then makes conclusions about reality they have no way of making.

BTW, I am a Christian and I do not buy into that either.

I can trust Carl Sagan that he's right about the boundaries of time and space or what happened 15 billion years ago. I can trust the Bible in that God created time and space in 6 days, over ages, whatever....but I have to choose an authority that I am convinced can see beyond the wall and that is faith, not empericism or rationalism.

We're all stuck in that delimna whether we are Christian or atheist or agnostic.

boomSLANG said...

Quote: " We're all stuck in that dilemna whether we are Christian(notice capital "C") or atheist or agnostic."


There IS no "dilemma" until one starts presupposing that there is something beyond "the wall"....i.e..something beyond this natural universe. No visitor to this site has ever, so far, provided any *objective* evidence that there is.



I, too, like everything that Dave8 writes, but I feel I can simplify his writings in certain instances---he'll correct me if I'm wrong = )

Pertaining to the "supernatural"---you can slice it, dice it, splice it to infinity and back---you either take the belief in biblegod as a "supernatural being" on "faith", or, you "know" it with absolute certainty to be a truth. IF you take the belief on "faith", then you are implying that you in fact do NOT, and CANNOT, "know" it to be a truth, other than a personal and thus, subjective "truth". If this IS the case, then most Christians--by definition---are Agnostic, at best. A church full of Agnostics LMAO!

Conversely, if a Christian claims to "know", with absolute certainty, that Christianity is a truth, then---by definition---they cast out the need for "faith", and thus, according to their own holy book, have bought themselves a one-way ticket to hell...why?... because they have no longer have, or need, "Faith" in God. I'm sure most see the contradiction.

Epistem01 said...

There's presupposing once anyone makes any claim other than the wall we see, and we all do that....either that the wall is all there is or there is something beyond it. If you think that all of reality is contained in human consciousness, then what we see is all there is. But I don't think that is your position.

Limited agnosticism is healthy for folks, even Christians. But global agnosticism is untenable for anyone. How could you be sure that you weren't sure about anything? It makes no sense.

However, the big question is with certainty. Can we have it.

I believe that no one can have it in the absolute sense and everything below absolute certainty requires faith in another authority or source, regardless of belief.

You guys, so far, are pretty hostile about this. The only thing I can gather is that you were really disappointed by others. If it were merely intellectual, I don't understand the passion I see here. If it were merely intellectual, then who cares if anyone believes something you know doesn't exist or not?

Maybe someone made you look foolish as a Christian, from some barage of arguments, and you never wanted to feel that way again. I can understand that too. I've been there...but in most cases I've seen, it wasn't so much that Christianity was such a bankrupt line of thinking as much as it was Christians who never bothered thinking much about what they believed and left many out there dangling in the breeze.

Just some thoughts.

.:webmaster:. said...

You're right epist...

People who realize they have been lied to and deceived for a large portion of their lives have absolutely nothing to be upset about—absolutely nothing at all.

In fact, leaving religion after 10, 20 or 30 years should be no more traumatic than taking off a dirty sock.

Silly ex-Christians.

Epist... I am pist—at you.

You may have a rudimentary comprehension of the definition of Christianized religious epistemology, but you really have no clue about authentic down-to-earth human psychology. Come back when you learn how to shave.

.:webmaster:. said...

BTW, epist... Presuppositionalism is bologna: plenty of flavor, but little mental nutrition to chew on.

Everyone may initially come from one presupposition or another, but people who make fantastic claims have the burden of proof, regardless. Present evidence for your magical, mystery deity, and I'm sure we'll all be willing to take join your tour to Strawberry fields forever.

Shannon said...

Epistem01,

I don’t find anything in the natural world that would lead me to believe that there is something out there after death. What’s more I am not the least bit disturbed by the thought of my death being the end of me. You seem to ache with a need for something to be out there and you seem disturbed that a few others don’t have the same need as you do.

Through the evolutionary process, the homo sapien sapien got a brain but physically compared to other creatures we are quite puny. We are not great runners, our hearing isn’t all that groovy, our eyesight falls short, and we don’t hold up in extreme temperatures. Ours brains gave us an edge in competing for survival against others. An unfortunate side effect seems to be that we can contemplate own demise.

Atheism is no more nuttier than the belief that the world is only 6,000 years old, we’re made from dust and rib, Noah built a boat that held two of every animal in the world for 150 days, and a 13-year old virgin was molested by a ghost at the behest of a god.

boomSLANG said...

I couldn't get on to post earlier because of technical difficulties. Of no consequence---'looks like Shannon and Webby handled the very typical and unoriginal soundbites that Epist had to offer. Yes, aside from the usual subjective jargon, and a little weasel-wording about "agnosticism", there has been zero evidence presented for any transcendent reality, other than wishful thinking.

Dave8 said...

Epistem01: "Thanks for your response. You aren't necessarily defining atheism but you are sidingn with a flavor of it."

Atheism: "Someone who denies the existence of god."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Actually, I agree with you. My views do in fact differ from being just a "pure" Atheist. An Atheist typically claims that gods don't exist, per their own form of reasoning, and there are many ways to reason away supernatural gods. However, I deny the "existence" of the "entire" supernatural realm. So, in essence, I not only disclaim "gods" like the Atheist, I include under my umbrella of "does not exist"; faeries, imps, demons, spirits, gods, angels, hell, heaven, and everything else that could possibly be imagined, stuffed, and shoved according to someone elses' claims, in an "alternate" supernatural reality. So, again, I suppose you are correct, I am not "just" an Atheist, I'm more like an Atheist, on steroids. I am not a nihilist, and really, I can go full out with my belief system without getting pushed into absurdity, as I don't make claims outside of my understanding. However, if you wanted to attack my position, the best you could do, would be to prove I'm not omniscient, and then, of course, I would just respond that my ignorance of the Natural Universe, doesn't compel me, to start creating mutliple universes and alternate realities, in a feeble attempt to make sense of my "immediate" environment.

Epistem01: "Wittgenstien is the one who came up with what you presented. But you know enough about supernatural to know that it is either untenable or false...but you understand what I mean when I refer to it."

I had a pretty substantial post, that I lost earlier, while the server was being maintenanced. So, instead of giving you the "why" version, let me just iterate that I differ from Wittgenstien in some of his methodologies, but, yes, I can see similarities in some of our same results. Here's a small set of rules that "appear" to be useful to me, when attempting to discuss epistemological foundations.

--Raw information "exists", and is [as] finite and encompassing as the Natural Universe
--Knowledge "exists", when two or more pieces of information are synthesized and stored on a medium that recognizes the synthesized product as a singular informational element. Many people know the word "god", but the informational elements used to "create" this "god", are typically unknown to those who state they know or believe in the "noun" the word represents.
--Synthesized information used to create Knowledge becomes, less tenable, than "raw" information
--Knowledge is [as] finite as the medium on which the information resides
--One attribute of information itself, does not create knowledge
--Information can only be absorbed as efficient as a platform allows, people can only awarely absord "x" number of data elements at any given time, and the elements absorbed are notional most times, kind of like "supernatural", a notional word, built from Naturally Raw information, and synthesized to create what you perceive to be "knowledge"
--All raw information can be used to build knowledge
--Not all synthesized information, provides valid knowledge, representative of the whole from which it was taken

Well, that's a few rules, however, there are more, but, these should suffice to respond further to your post.

Epistem01: "It may not be emperically verifiable to you,..."

Well, actually, I would say it differently. The Supernatural is not only non-empircally verifiable, but the very use of the "word" Supernatural, in my understanding, is totally derived from "raw informational" elements of this Natural Universe. To represent this "word" Supernatural itself, is to assign supernatural properties to the "word" and "definition" itself. Of course, that is absurd, as the word supernatural exists in this natural reality, and so does its definition. There are some religions, that think it blasphemous to suggest they can "know" a supernatural entity, and thus use "G-d" to represent the word "god". The word itself, is considered "supernaturally" representative. Now, as I stare at the word itself, I feel I need to pinch myself, and attempt to figure out, am I in the Natural realm reading the word, or the "supernatural". Since, my environment has never changed, and I have yet to see a wall erected to dileneate between two different realities, I always smile, and go, nope, I am still here, in Nature, nothing changed. So, let me conclude by stating, the word "supernatural" is not only not empirically verifiable by me... I believe, it was empirically created to begin with, based on Natural Raw Informational elements of this Natural Universe.

Epistem01: "...but then you get into the problem of trying to define all reality based on what you observe and throw the rest away."

I do feel that there is more to the Natural reality, than we become aware of all the time. And, yes, if I tried to focus on every little Naturally Raw piece of Information, my body ould "lock up", like a spinning dial on a PC. However, for those special moments when someone suggest that my "entire" life should be focused on "one" word, and I should live my life according to that one "words'" rules and laws, well... I want to get to know who this word represents, and the validity of the words' representation of the object being discussed. Lets see, I don't have to do that much anymore, I just go
straight to the questions that allow me determine the Natural Origin of a supernaturally descriptive word.

Epistem01: "However, the statement 'truth is what can be observed' isn't observable, so even the Wittgenstiens had to pull back on the reigns a bit and take a slightly different tack."

Perhaps, "truth" is what can be synthesized, while still representing the whole of its informational elements. He was 20th century, there has been tremendous research in this area of science.

Epistem01: "Feuerbach was the one who came up with the argument that God (and the supernatural) are merely human projections and nothing more."

Sounds like mentalism to me, we build our reality by projecting our Naturally Raw Information onto our environment. I do believe we project naturally, some more than others during times of stress. Freud also made such assertions, claiming that projection was a Natural defense mechanism, and he tabbed the mechanism "Projection". We do absorb visual information, and yes, we project it as well, but reality to me... was here before I got here, and after I leave, it really won't matter. So, reality is obviously independent of me as a life form. The greatest truth is in my present, go forwards or backwards and uncertainty starts to become a factor, as the "knowledge" base housing my synthesized information from my past slowly dissipates, and my future is determined by present actions, responsive to that synthesized information base and innate core programming (information).

Epistem01: "The only way to know if God is mere projections of the human imagination is to know more than these projections."

Geeeeeesh, okay, here we go. An oldie goldie, and you did mention Sagan, so, well... I don't always see eye to eye so to speak with some of his presentations. In short, "we" are part of Nature, to include our imagination, and even neural projection loop mechanisms. To say, there may be "more" than projections, is to say, there may be more than the "universe" we live within. If I absorb new information, and expand my sphere of reality, the Natural universe didn't expand, I just grew less ignorant.

Epistem01: "The language is understood. It's not that it is absurd. What is absurd is anyone who starts with himself or herself, works their way outward and then makes conclusions about reality they have no way of making."

I disagree that the language is "understood". Many people accept the word "Supernatural" lazily, and live in the "general" per se. I live in the "particular", and want coherent association between the Natural and Supernatural. That connection can not be created, and as you expressed, can be understood as someone trying to move outward from the Natural origin. I think the word is absurd, because its based on a "presupposed" definition, outside of this Natural reality.

Epistem01: "BTW, I am a Christian and I do not buy into that either."

Well, there is something we can agree on at least. I don't buy it for different reasons it appears, but nontheless, going to the edge of reality, and then makeing claims to bridge the Natural with the Supernatural does seem to be impossible, at least to me.

Epistem01: "I can trust Carl Sagan that he's right about the boundaries of time and space or what happened 15 billion years ago. I can trust the Bible in that God created time and space in 6 days, over ages, whatever....but I have to choose an authority that I am convinced can see beyond the wall and that is faith, not empericism or rationalism."

How do you propose to escape your "experiences" in order to reach the "supernatural" peak, of the Informational Tower of Babel. You were biological before you became aware, thus, empiricism has priority in your life. Without empiricism, you would not biologically exist, and thus, you would have no platform on which to discuss these matters. To suggest that you follow "faith", as a priority over Empiricism, shows the out of sequence events that have transpired in your life up to this point. You were born, you have experienced life before you absorbed enough raw information to create a "you", or have an opinion.

--I'm as certain as I can be, that I exist. I'm as certain as I can be, that I live in a Natural reality. I'm as certain as I can be, that if I believe any more than this, that I require "faith".

Epistem01: "We're all stuck in that delimna whether we are Christian or atheist or agnostic."

I don't see a wall Epistem01. The only wall that exists, is between my "knowledge" base, and Naturally objective reality. However, as my knowledge base expands, then my Natural Horizon itself will expand and become part of my "whole" reality in this Natural Universe. I absorb the new, I don't buy a wall analogy where I reach a point, absorb the information of a wall, and then, continue to believe it has a definitive separation parameter. Why isn't the "wall" part of this Natural Universe?

Dano said...

epistemology person!

Exactly what do you believe, that you know, because you don't believe you can know what you really believe?

I know that the bible is a collation of oral and written stories about pagan mythology, attempts at moralizing, people predicting the future, stories about a supreme being doing all kinds of absurd stuff.

Do I really need to know how I know this, other than the fact that 1700 years after it was put together at the command of the ruler of a super power, I can see clearly that it is nothing more, and nothing less than bronze age people attempting to explain their existence?

I'm not angry about the fact that you or anybody else believes in the absurdities of the bible, because I can see the Darwin effect taking place. There are too many people in the world, and if a few billion die off as a result of a nuclear exchange, or some other instrument of mass destruction, wrought by true believers of differing theologies, no big deal. Species have come and gone, and the universe just keeps going round and round.

Your puny word play and mine will have very little effect upon the great cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, in, and of the universe, that the creator designed.

I do know a few things for sure that give me pleasure, though, and one of them is not believing in a death cult like Christianity.

Dan (AGNOSTIC?,HUMANIST?,RATIONALIST?, primate).

Dave8 said...

Happy B-Day:

Thomas Paine
Born: 1/29/1737
Died: 6/8/1809

Jim Arvo said...

Epistem01 said "Limited agnosticism is healthy for folks, even Christians...."

I'm not sure what you mean by "limited agnosticism", but I'll agree that it's healthy for *everyone* to admit that their knowledge is limited, and that they probably harbor some false beliefs. And yes, that applies to everyone, but especially Christians, as many of them (at least among the ones who visit this site) seem to think otherwise.

Epistem01: "But global agnosticism is untenable for anyone. How could you be sure that you weren't sure about anything? It makes no sense."

You're absolutely right; you are making no sense. I think you are just inventing terms and playing fast and loose with words like agnosticism. Given the confusion invited by that word, and the range of ideas associated with it, I personally choose to avoid it altogether; I think it's quite useless anyway, at least in it's common usage (e.g. being "unsure"), as it's nothing more than admitting that you might be wrong. In my opinion, if you cannot admit the possibility of being wrong, then you suffer a malady akin to delusions.

Epistem01: "However, the big question is with certainty. Can we have it."

For empirical facts, no, it is not possible to attain absolute certainty. However, certainty is attainable in a "practical" sense in many cases. For example, while it's entirely possible that atomic theory is all wrong, I think we can agree that it's exceedingly unlikely to be all wrong, given the extensive empirical evidence supporting it. Hence, for all practical matters, it suffices to treat it as an absolute fact, and not waste time continually testing the hypothesis. The same can be said of quantum electrodynamics, biological evolution, special relativity, etc.

Epistem01: "I believe that no one can have it in the absolute sense and everything below absolute certainty requires faith in another authority or source, regardless of belief."

Why do believers love to use the word "faith" as a pejorative? I really don't get it. No, lacking 100% certainty does not automatically imply faith of any variety. I am not 100% sure that my car will start tomorrow morning; I strongly suspect that it will, but I admit the possibility that it may not. No need for faith there. Same with getting on an airplane. I'm not 100% sure that it will not crash, and I do not simply adopt an attitude of "faith" that it will not. I admit there is a remote possibility that it may crash, and I choose to take the risk. I have no need for faith to fill the gaps left by uncertainty.

Epistem01: "You guys, so far, are pretty hostile about this. The only thing I can gather is that you were really disappointed by others."

Well, you've gathered incorrectly, at least in my case. I reject Christianity for one reason and one reason only; it is not supported by the facts, as far as I've been able to determine. Indeed, it appears to be nothing more than a man-made belief system, just like thousands of other religions. I did not reach this conclusion capriciously, but through diligent research spanning several decades.

Epistem01: "If it were merely intellectual, I don't understand the passion I see here. If it were merely intellectual, then who cares if anyone believes something you know doesn't exist or not?"

Personally, I couldn't care less what you believe. You can have an alter to Osiris in your living room, and it won't phase me one bit. However, it does matter to me how people treat one another. When religious zealots attempt to make everyone bow to their particular deity, or cast aspersions toward those who do not share their beliefs, or credulously propagate half-truths and other misinformation, then I tend to get a little irritated.

Epistem01: "Maybe someone made you look foolish as a Christian, from some barage of arguments, and you never wanted to feel that way again."

Not even close. I can say with a high degree of certainty that many of the apostates here have simply used their minds and discovered that Christianity in an untenable belief system.

Epistem01: "...it wasn't so much that Christianity was such a bankrupt line of thinking as much as it was Christians who never bothered thinking much about what they believed and left many out there dangling in the breeze."

Well, I do agree with you that there are many Christians who do not seriously think about what they believe and why. To me, that is the height of irresponsibility, particularly when those same individuals denigrate others for not sharing their beliefs. We see that type here on a daily basis, and I find it very disturbing.

Dave8 said...

Okay, so nobody took me up on my Thomas Paine's B-Day satire :-) I mean, time is relative in the supernatural realm from what I am told from supernatural people, who use supernatural words ;-) Well, I am sure there is at least "one" Freethinker who was born today.

Jim, great post as usual. Well, it appears a vacation to the hallowed reagion of the Dalai Lama is in my near future, so, everyone keep up the good fight, after I fall off the radar screen for a while. Take care...

Epistem01 said...

Holy shit, there's a lot of comments.

It feeds my ego :-)

Dave - You assume you're the only guy on the planet that's been hoaxed, mislead and manipulated by self-motivated people.

Grow up and welcome to the club.

If I were to categorize all the people who've run over me since I was five, I would have to create 750,000 blogs to bleed all over. Carving out Christians as the bad guy is about as insipid as hating atheists because of Stalin.

People are cruel, self-motivated...they see weakness in someone else as opportunity for themselves...etc. What you experienced with Christians can be found in government offices, baseball dugouts, clubs, families and any other place where more than one gathers together.

Epistem01 said...

Regarding most of your blog comments on faith and certain knowledge...let me try to reply very briefly.

The wall is an analogy for nature. It is observable. If it is all there ever is, was or will be isn't. Believing that there is something beyond it also isn't. THe idea that the cosmos is all there ever was, is or will be is a statement of faith. The idea that the supernatural is beyond nature is too.

I really can't see how it can be any other way for us. We're limited in knowledge, scope, understanding and experience to be able to answer many questions beyond ourselves without leaning no the authority of someone or something else....which is my definition of faith....resting your conviction on something or someone other than your self.

That is, unless someone invents a small door that once walked through, can catapult us into another universe, charge $1.00 admission and then get most of the population through it. Until then, we have to take someone else's word for it.

.:webmaster:. said...

Fantasizing about what "MIGHT be" vs. what is genuinely observable reality are not in the same discussion, Episto. To believe in magic or to reject such belief until verifiable evidence is presented on behalf of magic are not two sides of the same coin.

Your Reconstructionist worldview is cripplingly flawed.

.:webmaster:. said...

"Dave - You assume you're the only guy on the planet that's been hoaxed, mislead and manipulated by self-motivated people.

Grow up and welcome to the club."

I'm not sure where you get your information to assume anything about Dave. I'm also not sure what that rude comment had to do with supporting the validity or truth of Christianity. But personal insults from Christians is something we've all "grown" quite accustomed to. Welcome to the rude Christian crowd.

And hey, why bother starting your own blogs when you can so eaisly post all over other people's?

Dave8 said...

Epistem01: "Dave - You assume you're the only guy on the planet that's been hoaxed, mislead and manipulated by self-motivated people."

Well, I don't know if you are referring to the WM Dave or me, but, I will respond as if I'm the object of your attention :-) First, its strange for you to
assume I assume, that's reverse assumption, perhaps this was the projection I was talking about earlier.

Regarding, self-motivated people, I think there those who are cognizant and deliberate in their attempts to manipulate, and then there are those who are so ignorant of their actions and their influence that they have no real concept of the level of their ignorant manipulation. If removal of ignorance, is all I can accomplish in my temporal life, to
remove the "ignorance" excuse, that is so prevantly flashed when people in society conduct acts that are manipulative, etc., then I feel a great sense of
satisfaction - education is a powerful thing. And so, if religious leaders happen to fall in the category of "manipulative" and "hoaxsters", then let the
chips fall where they may, I'm an equal opportunity educator.

I think it an oxymoron to hear "educated faith", do you? Faith requires "unknown" gaps, as
Jim Arvo alluded, I don't particularly like filling in missing gaps with "faith" putty. "Faith" is a conclusion, not a "Question mark", I'd prefer to finish the ride I started as a child of Nature, without someone pulling my neural sparkplugs so their mechanic business thrives.

Epistem01: "Grow up and welcome to the club."

Hehehehehehehe, well, I haven't heard wisdom as such, but perhaps the comment was said with a little esprit. Lets see, just because a club exists, doesn't
mean we should initiate the rest of humanity with such antics and call it - paying dues to be treated honestly. Call it hope, but the circle of
manipulation can be broken. Although, the hard truth is rough at first, it opens up many other possibilities beyond the limited notions of religious
dogma. Leave everyone in manipulated states of awareness, and the dysfunction eats at society like cancer.

Epistem01: "If I were to categorize all the people who've run over me since I was five, I would have to create 750,000 blogs to bleed all over. Carving
out Christians as the bad guy is about as insipid as hating atheists because of Stalin."

Well, if you've been hosed by 750,000 people since you were five, then you need to come here more often, I'm pretty confident many were christians, in this
"christian" dominant nation ;-) In the particular/atomistic approach, I'd suggest you pick a specific topic that seems to thread through all of your
hoaxings and manipulations, and attempt to prevent others from continuing that same circle of abuse. In the general, I'd suggest that you don't need
750,000 blogs, you need just one website, and a bunch of people who have been there and done that, who can come together to validate claims, and share
insights. Education is the key to prevent further manipulation, a person can either share their knowledge, or they can hord it like a piece of loot.
Knowledge was meant to be shared, its how we as humans operate in the sea of information we swim within.

Epistem01: "People are cruel, self-motivated...they see weakness in someone else as opportunity for themselves...etc. What you experienced with Christians
can be found in government offices, baseball dugouts, clubs, families and any other place where more than one gathers together."

True, and transparency seems to be a key ingredient to preventing ignorance overload, and misinformation. People "choose" to have "faith", its not innate. People naturally have "questions", that's normal.

--I'm as certain as I can be, that I exist as part of Nature, we coexist in changing forms. Its natural to question the relationship, its not so natural to "divorce" oneself from the relationship, because they feel they got a bum rap at birth.

Dave8 said...

Sorry for the gaps in the last post, I used notepad as a scratchpad, while the server maintenance was happening, and copy and paste from notepad and the comments don't show line breaks between words that are side by side.

Thanks WM, for the support. I like many regulars here, am somewhat desensitized to the short quips, nibbles, and bites we get, its the dangers of spoon feeding, perhaps, I will go fill out one AF Mishap Report, and take a safety CBT :-). Cheers...

Dave8 said...

Dave8: "...and copy and paste from notepad and the comments don't show line breaks between words that are side by side."

...and copy and paste from notepad to the "comments dialogue box" doesn't show line breaks between words that are side by side.

Dave8 said...

Epistem01: "Regarding most of your blog comments on faith and certain knowledge...let me try to reply very briefly."

First, while I am thinking of my vacation and packing, let me make a few comments... First, Faith is based on "skepticism of humanity" to "know" or "legitimize" the "truth" of "all" aspects of our reality. It is a common thread between faithful christians and "some" agnostics in my humble opinion - tis' why, many christians who have some understanding of their religious foundations, don't feel threatened by agnostics.

It appears that some christians come to this site, with a preset epistemology, they hope to educate agnostics with. The modus operandi, at times, seems to focus on gaining the confidence of the person who is skeptical of humanity, and provide them with enough "synthesized information", to be portrayed as a "legitimate" authority figure that can be trusted to give them the "truths" of life.

Some agnostics, don't ever buy the authority line, from one who passes off their epistemology with confidence, but, some... can potentially be swayed to believe, that "everyone" must have an "authority" figure to follow, and, well... heck, why not them, the christian epistemologist.

The Atheist crowd is a little tougher... the person of authority doesn't count as "evidence" of the "supernatural", and thus, the christian selling tactic of preaching/teaching from authority becomes absurd without providing Natural Informational Elements, that can be validated. Perhaps, that is the current issue.

Epistem01: "The wall is an analogy for nature."

Okay, so, the wall is part of nature, but, where does nature's bounds end?

Epistem01: "It is observable. If it is all there ever is, was or will be isn't. Believing that there is something beyond it also isn't. THe idea that the cosmos is all there ever was, is or will be is a statement of faith."

Heuristically speaking, why don't we key in on the element of "time", as, it seems to be the underlying foundation for your propsed "idea" of cosmology. "Time" is practically modelled, but, in my humble and hurried opinion, I'd suggest that the laws of Nature, and the Natural Informational Elements are deterministically formed (macrophysics), have action potentials that create "randomness" (microphysics), and that randomness accounts for the change vectors in our Natural Universe.

Sometimes, its possible to break past "change vectors" briefly, and "time" itself can be manipulated as proven through numerous physics experiments. So, when you want to talk about "time", and the "cosmos", I would be compelled to believe that "time" is as "static closed system model", but... the physical parts of the clock... well... they are subject to physical fluctuations/randomness, thus accounts for the "gap" created by applying static, consistent, and rigorous models onto a stochastic reality.

Practically speaking, in our dulled sense of reality, the smallest variables of our stochastic reality, aren't perceived many times.

The phenomenological collection of information is so neurologically overwhelming that humanity can only perceive reality as a stochastic process, hence the perception of "free will".

Although, I believe we all have the ability to "become", we can only become according to the bits of Naturally Raw Informational elements that we have absorbed and synthesize to provide us the "knowledge" for "choices". Hope, therefore shifts from a finite monotonous life, to the inspirational search for new Natural Informational Elements, through "experience". Religion strangles "experience", and thus, kills the perception of "free will".

Epistem01: "I really can't see how it can be any other way for us."

I can, "faith" is a destination, the "finality" of a conclusion one has drawn. I am still experiencing life, and continue to allow my reality to evolve, thus, I don't have "faith" in anything, just the highest level of "certainty" for my existence, well, as much as one can be certain in a changing process, by the time I leave this post, many of my cells will have died and been replenished, and thus, I won't even be the same dude, such is our reality.

Epistem01: "We're limited in knowledge, scope, understanding and experience to be able to answer many questions beyond ourselves without leaning no the authority of someone or something else...."

However, knowledge grows, when people are willing to keep an open mind and accept "new" information when it contradicts ones' beliefs. One who has closed the door for greater knowledge, can not grow.

Epistem01: "which is my definition of faith....resting your conviction on something or someone other than your self."

Again, not to be so subtle... I "trust" myself first and foremost. I have the "highest" certainty possible, for my existence, nothing can be higher without me mentally "suppressing" myself as a subjegate to others in reality, and "experience" persuades me to ignore such foolishness. We have "certainty" in ourselves, and in others, we have "trust". Trust, connects the messenger with the message in a relational sense, and is based on evidenciary support. Faith, connects the messenger with the message, in a relational sense as well, but is based on evangelical support. One is focused on evidence, the other, dogma.

Epistem01: "That is, unless someone invents a small door that once walked through, can catapult us into another universe, charge $1.00 admission and then get most of the population through it. Until then, we have to take someone else's word for it."

Okay, I suppose I'll go read some cave walls to derive that "ultimate" knowledge, and place my "faith" in that source, as... cavemen, had as much knowledge of the supernatural, as modern day preachers, logically speaking.

Dano said...

Dave8 wrote:
"Happy B-Day:

Thomas Paine
Born: 1/29/1737
Died: 6/8/1809"
posted: 6/08/2006 10:53 AM EST  .

Communication from Tom:
Gee Dave! That was nice! although somewhat belated. I read all of your posts, and really like this site because it is one of the few ways I can be in touch with real people down there in the good OLE U S of A.

In between choir practices up here in heaven, when we are not listening to sermons from the "Big Guy" blogging is one of the things I really like to do. I was put in charge of publishing up here because of my earthly vocations. I also read all email and handle the inevitable requests for donations from the 700 club and the like.

I like it a lot up here because I have a lot of old friends around like Ben F and George W. and Sam C, (AKA Mark Twain). Sam holds a pretty prestigious position here because of his lifetime achievement award for making fun of what they call Religion down there.

Me and OLE Ben hang out a lot, and we sneak behind a cloud now and then with a couple of comely lasses and teach democracy to them, if you know what I mean, and the good part is, there are a lot more women than men, due to the fact that most preachers down there are men, along with those people who pretend to be holy but aren't really, and they have a hard time getting past OLE ST. Pete,

The only beverage of choice up here is wine, and smoking is not allowed, so we are at a loss for genuinely satisfying pastimes sometimes.

Any way Dave I want to thank you for remembering me, and I will get this off to my friend Dano, via "www.billygraham.jerryfalwel, Mail," because Dano has a lot of "COMMON SENSE," and he is always faithful about forwarding my stuff to EX Christian.

I have to communicate this way because I am on a stipend of 3 pounds Sterling a month,and I can't afford AOL.

Keep up the good work Dave, and say hi! to the others who have been diligent at, not keeping the faith! Ha, ha, ha,.
Your friend always,
Tom

Dano said...

Epistem01 wrote:

"BTW, I am a Christian and I do not buy into that either".

"I can trust Carl Sagan that he's right about the boundaries of time and space or what happened 15 billion years ago. I can trust the Bible in that God created time and space in 6 days, over ages, whatever....but I have to choose an authority that I am convinced can see beyond the wall and that is faith, not empericism or rationalism"

"We're all stuck in that delimna whether we are Christian or atheist or agnostic"

"Grow up and welcome to the club".posted: 6/07/2006 9:56 AM EST  

"If I were to categorize all the people who've run over me since I was five, I would have to create 750,000 blogs to bleed all over. Carving out Christians as the bad guy is about as insipid as hating atheists because of Stalin""

"People are cruel, self-motivated...they see weakness in someone else as opportunity for themselves...etc. What you experienced with Christians can be found in government offices, baseball dugouts, clubs, families and any other place where more than one gathers together". posted: 6/08/2006 8:29 PM EST  

Dano observes:
epistemology teacher (student)

The several statements of yours ^above^ constitute an oxymoron when read in decending order from the first.

Of course, neither you or me could ever know for sure!

Dano (Agnosticathiestjustliketherestof us)

J. C. Samuelson said...

Dave8,

If you use MS Word the cut & paste works great. I ran into the same problem myself.

And you're in the AF...I'm in the ANG. Love those CBTs, baby!

Sorry, no comments for the episto person. I'm trying to avoid getting into debates for awhile, but I'm still lurking.

Dave8 said...

Thanks Dan, that was brilliant. Tell Tom, to keep up his writing, he seems to have been all the rage while he was here. :-)

Your Friend, D8

Dave8 said...

Hey Ubergeek, yep, CBTs are the bomb, hehehehe. I am more the comm type, not the IM type, so of course, I'm thinking portability, small data footprint, etc., the last thing on my mind is spell checking, format, and Microsoft anything, etc :-)

Yep, the amazing episto is still going like the energizer bunny, perhaps in time, even episto will be able to accept reality as a picture, with morphing hues, instead of a reducible jigsaw puzzle, with nice clean walls to look around (for da' boogie man) :-)

The ANG, that's awesome, my next CBTs will encompass all that goes along with an extended vacation, isn't that special. Seems, they are finally focusing their energy with the right folks, in the right places, I'm no six sigma expert, but, can we say Process Improvement and Quality Control? Sometimes (insert sarcasm), I attribute inefficiencies to politics, perhaps, some of the politics have dissipated (take your political pick of choices why) enough to allow progress to be made.

Well, take care, and keep up the resistence, its great to know, that I have another Think Pal on the inside with me. ;-)

Epistem01 said...

I think, like most blogs, whether Christian apologists or skeptics, there's more intellectual orgasms going on than there is real conversation....and everybody is wanting to jump into the mental orgy.

I also think that because I believe in Jesus CHrist as Lord, every position I take, even if it is in agreement with skeptical positions on certain things, I have to be either wrong or need to be straightened out....because I am the Christian.

That's alright. We're all pretty much hopeless in that area.

But I think it's the pink elephant in the living room that hasn't been pointed out yet.

My main point is that none of us know much of anything...especially as much as we espouse (and when we do, it is to further us, not the truth). When it comes to God or no God(s), then we're deaf, blind and mute. Our understanding of such things is so finite, that when we start to talk about either God's attributes, or the boundaries of the cosmos, we're more like a side show than truth gatherers.

In short, unless Someone or something can inform us about this stuff, where we are, we are stuck with only mental orgasms and jousting for sport. And those things are fine, so long as you realize you're not really bettering anything....just finding a way to while away the hours to cancer gets us ;-)

boomSLANG said...

Epist said: "I think, like most blogs, that whether Christian apologists or skeptics, there's more intellectual orgasms going on than there is real conversation...."

Honestly, what in the hell is meant by saying Christian apologists "OR" skeptics?

Newsflash: Christian apologists ARE SKEPTICS! They're skeptical of every other world religion but their own. What Christianity is, is it's a conviction. Convictions are the END of knowledge. Christians claim a monopoly on the one and only "Truth". Talk about a f%cking "orgasm"?

Get over yourself. Either provide objective evidence that you have the "One Truth"---or make like Jesus, and become "invisible".

Dave8 said...

Epistem01: "I think, like most blogs, whether Christian apologists or skeptics, there's more intellectual orgasms going on than there is real conversation....and everybody is wanting to jump into the mental orgy."

Such a risque remark for such a religious person. I agree though, Nature does breath through us, with Raw Information, and of course, we process, and emanante that synthesized informational product bac into the environment, in many varying communications ways.

Epistem01: "I also think that because I believe in Jesus CHrist as Lord, every position I take, even if it is in agreement with skeptical positions on certain things, I have to be either wrong or need to be straightened out....because I am the Christian."

There are limits to knowledge, the present is the most "certain", those who want to reach back a few thousand years, well, they get to play the statistics and probablity game. Look into the future, and attempt forecast analysis, and of course you run into the same probablity game. The knowledge of the past, is built from synthesized Raw Informational Elements. Unless you can deconstruct what someone of the past offers as "evidence", and show the supporting elements in their most Raw and Certain forms, then, obviously one doesn't really know the "truth" of the "matter".

The best that can be gleaned from the past, is the knowledge, that "finite" Raw Informational Elements can be manipulated (in some mysterious way, perhaps) to produce specific results. If a person can not deconstruct and build the elements that created that "specific result", they have to infer (probability) based on levels of "certainty" as to those informational elements.

Epistem01: "That's alright. We're all pretty much hopeless in that area."

Some, more so than others. Some, don't want to live in the present, they have their entire life centered around death, and the future afterlife, again, would that be probability, yes, would the past Jesus, be based on probability, yes, does it appear that all of religion is based on pure speculative probability, yes.

And, just so I finish the thought, does science allow people to live in the "present", yes, do they test their beliefs in the present, yes, are there the most certain results found in the present, yes. So, it appears that one either chooses to enter into the game of probability, extreme probability for the more ignorant in my opinion, or live in the more concrete and certain.

It appears we each make that choice based on our synthesized informational elements. I really don't think Nature cares which choice is made, its more responsive to the informational results and the responsive readings it gets. Funny thing though, Nature/Objective Reality (Objective, in the sense, that Existence is Certain, perhaps, though, you find probability in that though), seems to be experimenting with Artificial Intelligence itself, uh, that AI, would be "you" and "me", there studly.

Nature seems to change our positions in life, through fluctuation, random fluctuation, until there is a pattern derived, and we are no where close. So, although I accept some randomness in my life beyond my control (determinism), I get to experience, and that's all Nature seems to want from me, and "experience" seems to be limitless for a person with a temporal life. It would appear that we receive feeback, when we do things that do not conform with the pattern of experience.

Epistem01: "But I think it's the pink elephant in the living room that hasn't been pointed out yet.'

Yeah? I think your pink elephant, only exists, because you know the color pink, and what an elephant is, and of course, that is based on Raw Natural Information you have received. Me thinks Nature is trying to tell you, to experience the putting together of pieces of information, but once you run the loop, I don't know, "you're entire life", it becomes apparent you are stalling Nature because you won't get off of the pot.

Epistem01: "My main point is that none of us know much of anything...especially as much as we espouse (and when we do, it is to further us, not the truth)."

Again, past, present and future, seem to be different modes of thought, that define how much we can "know" with certain levels of certainty, of course, the peak of certainty being in the "right now". And, of course that knowledge furthers "us", that would include "you" and "me". Isn't it plainly obvious, that some of the "control", is determined by your very actions in the environment, yes, it would appear so. So, is it in my best interest, to attempt to gain the greatest range of freedom for my experience, while not inhibiting your experience, yes. I suppose one could suggest that some people are compelled to "remove" those who threaten their ability to experience, and I would not argue the point, it seems only Natural, and is not a "moral" debate with me.

Epistem01: "When it comes to God or no God(s), then we're deaf, blind and mute."

So, we say, there is an elephant pen, in our living room, but we can't see the boundaries of the fence, nor can we tell how many elephants we have herded. I don't mind watching TV looking through the invisible elephants, and I really don't mind, the guy/gal sitting next to me mesmerized at the empty space in the middle of the floor in front of the TV, as long as they don't get up and stand in front of my TV.

Epistem01: "Our understanding of such things is so finite,"

Arguably so, but as limited beings, our reality becomes "infinite" in perspective. Can we know different? For every piece of information you absorb, is it an original piece or is it a used piece, or... can you know any different?

Epistem01: "...that when we start to talk about either God's attributes, or the boundaries of the cosmos, we're more like a side show than truth gatherers."

Now, now, don't step into nihilism, I didn't remark on your post earlier in regards to your global agnosticism and you making comments that were self-refuting. You tease certainty, while holding onto imaginary probability, why don't you go read some Descartes. Truth, is knowledge, now, how one defines "meaningful" knowledge, well, depends on the synthesized information they have processed in their life.

I'd suggest that we "experience" reality, moving our lenses, back and forth from the general to the particular, from the "macro" to the "micro", and we innately check for consistencies between the two... perhaps, the relationship becomes a standard where we are the interface.

To "Me", truth, is finding those consistencies between the general and particular that make sense, in either practical matters, or theoretical. I'd suggest that the theoretical is a little more abstract because of randomness, and limitations of testability. Our inferences of reality, which we consider "truth", are typically in the "general", and based on common "perceived" patterns, all that we perceive is not always "reflective", of what "is".

Those who seek to cement the macro with the micro, continuously to create a tighter bond with reality, by finding a more stable "anchor" point, seem to be the truth seekers. Those who have come to conclusions, without having that cohesion, and who have given up the experience of processing information, are no longer seeking truth... they appear to suggest, they "hold" the Truth.

Epistem01: "In short, unless Someone or something can inform us about this stuff, where we are, we are stuck with only mental orgasms and jousting for sport. And those things are fine, so long as you realize you're not really bettering anything....just finding a way to while away the hours to cancer gets us ;-)"

Nihilism, doesn't really become useful in a conversation where someone is trying to convey a message with purpose. Can we "know" something, yes, I Exist, I am pretty certain on the matter, because I Exist, based on "experience", and the most "recent" past information, which means there is even a limit on the certainty of my own existence.

I am not sure we can theoretically live in the present consciously, but, that is another thread. Are we jousting, for orgasmic pleasure, I suppose, but, isn't that part of Nature's expectations, so, while we joust we are playing the game I really enjoy, and yet, its a game that seems to undo the binding that holds many religious people captive.

So, no cancer for me, information is breathing freely through me, and I am not neurologically holding my "breath", however, I have met some mentally suffocating people, who need some serious information, to process, instead of reading the words in a book, over and over, as if they are going to receive some new experience, in an "inerrant" and "perfectly static" writing.

Dano said...

Epistem01 wrote:

"I also think that because I believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, every position I take, even if it is in agreement with skeptical positions on certain things, I have to be either wrong or need to be straightened out....because I am the Christian"

"My main point is that none of us know much of anything...especially as much as we espouse (and when we do, it is to further us, not the truth). When it comes to God or no God(s), then we're deaf, blind and mute. Our understanding of such things is so finite, that when we start to talk about either God's attributes, or the boundaries of the cosmos, we're more like a side show than truth gatherers"
posted: 6/09/2006 11:13 AM EST  

Well, Duhh!!!!!!!
SHIT! Epistem01
We have been evolving for 4 billion years, and up till about 50,000 years ago the most sophisticated imaginative thing we had come up with was a pointed stick!

In the last 20 or 30 thousand years we invented language, and the whole "GOD" package!

Give the OLE bearded guy a break, will ya? Everything in due time!

As soon as he gets us off in the right direction with interplanetary travel, he may show us some more about creating universes.

It's my opinion though that we haven't been "Out of the Cave" (Sorry about that Plato), long enough to grab on to the most subtle complexities of it yet.

Dan (Trusting that the "Big Guy," knows what it is doing!)

Epistem01 said...

Intellectual Orgasm:

"Such a risque remark for such a religious person. I agree though, Nature does breath through us, with Raw Information, and of course, we process, and emanante that synthesized informational product bac into the environment, in many varying communications ways."

See?

Ha! I am a little off color from my 'brothers' and 'sisters'. I yam's what I yam's, yet He still loves me. In fact, probably the only reason I pulled off the religious mask and took a risk. That bothers alot of my 'brothers' and 'sisters' more than it probably bothers anyone else.

Anyway, I appreciated your post. I would think your style is more intellectual traffic cop than intellectual orgasm, but that's splitting hairs.

Since we're all into the dance, I'll start two topics. I appreciate responses more if they are efficient and brief...it's a time issue :-)

Speaking of which, let's start with the universe. Did it begin? What caused it?

Also, how does science explain how our knowledge is high fidelity, rather than inscrutable?

Epistem01 said...

BTW, my view of our predicament isn't nihilsm. I have hope, despite our predicament. But we are what we are.

Epistem01 said...

"So, no cancer for me, information is breathing freely through me, and I am not neurologically holding my "breath", however, I have met some mentally suffocating people, who need some serious information, to process, instead of reading the words in a book, over and over, as if they are going to receive some new experience, in an "inerrant" and "perfectly static" writing."

Cancer doesn't ask permission. But I'm glad you are cancer free. As for those suffocating...you are right. ALot of the ones I met are Christians....but many are 'atheists' too. Stubborness doesn't seem to discriminate too much, in my experience.

boomSLANG said...

Hmmm, let's see...is one "stubborn" for not believing in Allah? How 'bout Toth?...Ra?...Osiris?...The Great Pumpkin? 'Didn't think so. The subjective self-rightiousness is staggering.

.:webmaster:. said...

"Speaking of which, let's start with the universe. Did it begin? What caused it?

Also, how does science explain how our knowledge is high fidelity, rather than inscrutable?"

I have a better idea. Instead of this silly dance, on my anti-testimony no less, why don't you just spell out your agenda and let that be the discussion. Whenever Christians start asking questions, it's nearly always to make some point or promote some private agenda.

Please, spare us. Come out with your point.

Anonymous said...

DOUBT CANT STOP THIS! web master i think you are an intellegent man but as a person involved in speach and debate team, your answers wouldnt get you a fourth place ribbon! you are so vauge and sad in your doubts. you dont defend your points you just make pathetic attempts to quiet the attackers with things petty insults like "oh yea well.. umm... religion is all a cult. yea thats it!" all i can do is laugh because you are right, people have a choice to make, and buddy, you chose hell. look up the newsboys "When the toast is burned And all the milk has turned And Captain Crunch is waving farewell When the big one finds you May this song remind you That they don't serve breakfast in hell"
have fun, heres an idea of what its like http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/hell.shtml enjoy!
p.s. have you actually taken the time to research all you doubt? jesus loves you and is a forgiving god of second chances, but once you die, times up!
still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things through christ who strengthens me!
-JESUS FREAK!

Anonymous said...

oh and as for "coming out with my point" you ask us to explain things that you yourself cant explain. and when we (i'm refering to those of us christians who have left comments) give you our simple answer you brush it away as "that religion stuff". the origin of the universe is god, he is the beging and the end. god loves you so much and as much as your feeble mind wants to explain him away you cant. if you want to take any scientist's trust in the big bang and flush it, how about this? assuming that there was a soccor sized ball containing all the matter that would make up our galxies and universe then gravity ceased to exist (thus the big bang)first tell me how gravit "ceased to exist". second tell me where the heck that little soccor ball sized thing of matter came from? ok, as for evolution. we originated from the sea right? wait, how can life come form nothing? that doesnt make sense now does it? all the little hydrogen molecules that formed into the little single celled organism, where did they come from? you cant say from the big bang because once again, where did that matter come from? oh and when i say that god did it and you ask me how i know thats accurate look at all the other things in science that the bible has proven wrong. have you read the bible? if you have you'll notice the second law of thermodynamics mentioned, the fact that the world is round, dinosaurs, and so many other amazing things that people just like you thought to be fairy tales or ignorance. one day when you either die and meet him face to face or when you see all around you and in the news that massive amounts of people have dissapeared, thats when you will realize you were wrong. its so amazing the love of god. have you seen the movie "the passion of the christ". if so you have a taste of how much god loves you. he had that done to himself. would you have that done to yourself to save someone who spit on your name and pretended you dont even exist? you are what i am tempted to call a lost cause but god can work through anything and anyone.

still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things through christ who strengthens me!

-JESUS FREAK!

Annoyed said...

Anonymous: "http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/hell.shtml"

On your site:

Luke 16:23 - "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom."

Select link; http://biblia.com/jesusbible/job6c2.htm

Scroll down that web page. Which bible do you use, and why are there descrepancies between bibles on that passage's use of the term Hades? Oh, "You" have the "one" True Bible, I understand, of course, that makes you one of the "True Christians", unlike all of those "other" christians who use "other" bibles that are different than your inerrant one.

God said...

Jesus Freak: "you are what i am tempted to call a lost cause but god can work through anything and anyone."

Uh, temptation leads one to the greek underworld, you'd better watch out. And, I didn't say I could work through anything, so, quit putting words in my mouth, retard.

Dano said...

Anonymous,
I sense the naiveness throughout your posts that indicate that you are very young, so I will submit this poem just for you!

If

IF you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master; If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same: If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings -- nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

.:webmaster:. said...

"the origin of the universe is god, he is the beging and the end. god loves you so much and as much as your feeble mind wants to explain him away you cant."

Ah, yeah. Okay...

You have stated an opinion that you believe answers the question, "How did the universe begin?"

But, you have not actually answered the question.

It is generally agreed among the many competing branches of Christianity that god is incomprehensible and far above mankind. Our feeble minds' abilities to grasp and comprehend HIM are often compared to an ant trying to comprehend a man.

Please correct me if I've overstated anything in the preceding statements.

So, if I understand your point, you are saying that the explanation by science for the beginning of the universe just doesn't make good sense to you, a reasonably thinking person. You are saying that, far from offering an explanation, science has simply engendered more questions than it has answered.

You know what? I somewhat agree with you. Science has not presented an adequate explanation for the beginning of the universe. At least, not to my mind it hasn't. But then again, I don't understand quite a few things that scientists have come up with. In fact, I don't even fully comprehend how my car works, or what makes the Internet work. If I were to list all the things I don't fully understand, or don't even understand at all, the list, I fear, would be excessively long.

My apologies for the personal digression.

Anyway, since you and I can't answer the question as to how the universe began, you've offered your incomprehensible god as the final answer.

Your answer sparks some questions in my mind:

How did this god create the universe? What method did he use? When, exactly, did the process begin? What materials were used. How were the materials materialized? Can we replicate any of this in a laboratory?

My assumption is that the answer for these, and any other salient questions, would be: "HIS ways are unknowable."

So, in other words, your answer to the question of how the universe began — "God did it" — is no more satisfying or explanatory than the answers from science that you've castigated.

To say "god did it" explains nothing. The beginning of the universe remains inscrutable — beyond our comprehension.

Retreating behind "god did it" does not explain anything about the beginning of the universe, it only sets the topic aside on a shelf — something we can never understand, so why bother trying.

Do you really think such an approach to knowledge is wise? From my scant reading of history, when Christianity condemned the pursuit of science, viewing it as an attack on faith, many centuries of ignorant darkness, disease, and painful death resulted. Do you crave a return to those earlier, more faith-filled times?

I don't.

Anonymous said...

to the guy who submitted his coment under the name of "god" i appologize for putting words in your mouth, it was not my intention. also, pardon the missuse of the word "temptation", i should have said that it seems like. to "annoyed" the reason there are so mant different words for hell is that originally the bible was written in three languages. during the translations, when there isnt a word for the thing you are trying to say it is difficult to say exactlly what you want. to "dano" nice poem, i dont know what the exact moral of it was but i enjoyed it. as for my naivity i appologize because you are right, i am young. but i am still learning and growing. did you know everything about atheism when you began? of course not, i do my best to learn and prepare myself to speak to people like yourself. to the webmaster and your series of questions, ("How did this god create the universe? What method did he use? When, exactly, did the process begin? What materials were used. How were the materials materialized? Can we replicate any of this in a laboratory?") who knows? how the heck are you going to ask me a question like that? thats like asking "you like cheese, exactlly how many bubbles are in this particualr cheese slice? ah i see you dont know, you must not like cheese." i am no scientist, i am 15 years old. but i believe that no, considering no human has the ability to make something from nothing. i am not simply falling back on "god did it". i know he did but i have been learning not only why what i believe is right but why everything else is wrong. as for "My assumption is that the answer for these, and any other salient questions, would be: "HIS ways are unknowable."" ummmm duh? you as a human cannot expect the god of the universe to tell you everything. he has already told us a great many things but i will ask him all your little questions when i meet him. i believe your inability to know everything saddens you, you figure because the answer is unknown that there is no answer. i do not believe that all science is an attack on christian beliefs, that is a scared faithless person who wont even trust god enough to be right. if you cant test your faith then you dont have enough. so whether my answers are fulfilling or not truth be told, i dont know everything, i never will. all i can say is that god does know and thats ok with me that my dad is watching out for me and he knows everything.

still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things through christ who strengthens me!

-JESUS FREAK!

God said...

JESUS FREAK: "...did you know everything about atheism when you began?"

I didn't realize I was an Atheist, until someone said "god", and I asked "where"?

I really hope this is a joke, no one can be this rabid, I was crying I was laughing so hard when I read this post, its the best one yet. I really like the ending too, its like, a catechism that reinforces someone who really needs self-indoctrination, because of their own intellectual insecurities.

How many bubbles are in cheese? Yeeeehaah, now that's some useful information in a religious conversation, perhaps you want to also ask who made the Universe, and how also.

Lets see, obviously in order to provide you with a "meaningful" answer to your question, I must use "your" frame of reference, and suppress my own heuristic "common sense". So, let me help you seek that answer you so much yearn to know, using your Supernatural realm alone.

Uh, that realm alone, presents an infinite number of equally correct & incorrect answers. So, no matter what answer is given to you, you could suggest its "right" or "wrong", and there is no way to falsify the claims, because you can't disprove a persons' imagination.

Uh, yeah, an answer being "both", right and wrong. Well, it happens, one person says their supernatural answer is the correct one, and another person disagrees, by providing their own supernatural answer. Well, that makes each of your statements, "both", equally right and wrong.

Yes, indeedy, if one were asking a question honestly, to reduce the number of possible answer variables, then they can not have a frame of reference that includes the infinite number of supernatural possibilities.

Why would someone with a supernatural belief, ask "anyone" a question, that "any" answer given them, can be said to be legitimately correct or incorrect at the same exact time.

Question: How did the Universe begin & what caused it?

Answer: According to my supernatural crystal ball, which is invisible by the way, puff the magic dragon burped, and we are the snot flying across his backyard in the cosmos.

Lets try it out, I believe that my answer is correct, and that "god" is a figment of everyones' imagination, and that Puff daddy, is the true creator. Now, does any christian buy my answer? No? Well, that means we have a supernatural answer, that is both "right", according to me, and "wrong" according to you, see how that works.

You try, whatever you say, I'll say your a liar. And, we're both right and wrong again, wanna try again? Oh, you got the idea, like, you're not really getting anywhere, because you are chasing your tail. Yeah, I figured that out a long time ago, that's why I'm obviously an Atheist, I had to rest from all of the running in circles.

Hey, Freak, you need to take a chill pill. Those who have supernatural beliefs, should be like their questions - sterile.

Oh, just to close the loop, I believe "all" supernatural questions are inscrutable. High-fidelity, well, comparing the Supernatural to the Natural, I'd suggest that the odds of answering a question are "infinitely" increased if only searching the Natural realm, how's that for high-fidelity. Can one get better odds, than "infinitely" more lucid and scoped fidelity. Thought not.

Wow, I haven't laughed so hard in a while, thanks Freak, you're a hoot. You should invite Epistem01 over for your sweet sixteen B-Day, and trade big fish stories, LMAO.

God said...

JESUS FREAK: "...still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things through christ who strengthens me!"

Bwahahahahahah, I can't help it, holy cow. You need something to strengthen you, from all of that jumping around in the pews, perhaps a five minute abs workout, and a side order of "god". Hahahahahahaha. Lets try again, I "believe" in the supernatural (for grins), and I say. You're god isn't potty trained! And, you don't agree with me. Wow, look, we are "both" correct with opposing answers to the same question. Holy manure, look at that anomaly, talk about inscrutable, you can't beat that obscurity.

Hey, while we are playing the supernatural idiot game, I have a question too. Have you quit thinking about your god when you masturbate? Just a simple yes, or no will suffice. Here, let me provide your answers.

A) Yes, I have quit thinking of my god when I masturbate.

B) No, I still think of my god when I masturbate.

Got any more questions, I mean, this is fun, I typically only get one answer that's correct, with your system, the possibilites are as infinite as the imagination. I can picture your god now; "uh, uh, uh, (in comes music), "I'm dreaming of a white christmas" (end music), uh, uh, uh, (in comes TV newscast from cleveland), "I'm a True Christian reporting the weather, It's a blizzard, look at all that "snow", wow, and it tastes great, how heavenly (newscast off), uh, uh, uh.

Hey, Jesus Freak, I had a dream that you wet the bed also, and although I don't know who you are personally, it must be true, I mean, why else would I be dreaming of you peeing all over yourself while you sleep, I think its your gods' way of telling me you need help.

Jesus Freak, who is still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things by putting my fist up my Jesus Christ puppet's bunghole, and spreading the word/cheeks.

.:webmaster:. said...

Since you're only fifteen and your cognative skills undeveloped, I'll explain my comment that you misunderstood.

You said: "My assumption is that the answer for these, and any other salient questions, would be: 'HIS ways are unknowable.'" ummmm duh?"

The point here is that saying an inscrutable God made the universe gives no information about how the universe was created. Saying "God did it" is the same as saying, "I don't know." Either way, there is no information available about how it was done. The "God did it" response, however, acts as if the answer is already found. Those who believe "God did it" are convinced that people will NEVER, EVER be able to figure out how the universe began, so they don't bother trying to figure it out anymore. The "I don't know" crowd is still willing to search for a real explanation.

In the "God did it" answer still begs all kinds of questions. For instance, what exactly is god? What is he made of? Where did it come from. Can it be verified to exist? Are there others like it?

All we have to confirm the existence of your god, is a book written by men who say they had some experience or other. That's it.

A whole bunch of men signed their names to the Book of Mormon stating that the words within that book are true, and were given to Joseph Smith by an angel of God.

Do you believe the Book of Mormon is from God? If not, why not? A bunch of men say the stories are true! Just like the Bible!

Kid, your zeal reminds me of myself when I was your age. Your ideas will change as you grow older.

God said...

Okay, now that I have stopped laughing, lets just put a one worder out there for you, to tie this all up in a nice little package.

Tautology - "Logic. An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow."
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=tautology

Yeah, the logical form may be structured appropriately, but that doesn't mean the simpler underlying statements are actually true or false. Hence, a tautology provides no insight or proof for anything, its informationally sterile, a dead end for anyone seeking useable knowledge.

Lets take my example where you masturbate either thinking or not thinking of a god.

Simple Underlying Statements:
-There is a "god".
-You masturbate.

Although, my logic is structured and makes sense, the underlying statements could be either true or false. However, I dressed up the tautology, and presented it, as if it logically had real useable meaning. A tautology could be true, but not necessarily, and not one I would want to stand on, if my life depended upon it.

Its okay, I find that there are theoretics in many areas of endeavor that are internally coherent, and rigorously tested for consistency, but when externally applied become pure tautology. However, there are many systems, that seem to be coherent internally, and useful in external "application" as well, albeit, we all must accept levels of uncertainty at some "level", in order to live our lives productively. We can't live in the future, and such coherent systems, aren't for the future, they are for the "now", and "now" doesn't need to incorporate the uncertainty of the future. I digress.


Lets see, here's a common religious tautology:

Have apostates proven the non-existence of god using "Absolute" and "Ceratin" Scientific facts?

Answers:

A) Yes, apostates have proven the non-existence of god using "Absolute" and "Certain" Scientific facts.

B) No, apostates have proven the non-existence of god using "Absolute" and "Certain" Scientific facts.

Simple Underlying Statements:
-God exists.
-Therefore, Apostates exist.
-Absolute & Certain Scientific facts are required to disprove god.

Now, obviously, the very first simple statement, could be either true or false, but the religious present their tautology as if it were "true". However, that first statement could be either true or false, based on how one defines "god". But, then of course there are the apostates, so, its obvious that there is the push for a "pro" god stance, and the final statement requiring "Certain" and "Absolute" Scientific fact as the only test to disprove the defined "god".

Now, as the WM stated. Tautologies are all over the place, they come in the form of opinions, jestures, etc., etc., but are of little use when trying to discern useable information. To declare something as true, doesn't necessarily make it true or false, what is used to support the claim as being true becomes more interesting when searching for truth.

So, if you have some information to support the claim for your Jesus or a God, by your own personal definition, then pony up, or...

be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, or you'll be perceived as a parrot with nothing of substance to offer anyone looking for useful information.

God said...

God: "B) No, apostates have proven the non-existence of god using "Absolute" and "Certain" Scientific facts."

Should read, "B)...have [not] proven the non-existence...

Man, I intuitively know when something just ain't right, but, putting it in logical form tries my patience. Its hard being god, but at least my followers understand I am not all that logical anyway :-0)

Anna said...

Hi,

I am a teenaged Roman Catholic (I imagine you are gasping right now :) ) attending a Catholic school. (You're writhing on the floor, aren't you?) Hopefully you weren't expecting a fundie rant, because I'd hate to disappoint you.
And to get straight to the point, I respect your viewpoint. My religion teacher, if she ever met you, would probably go completely psychotic (especially as she is eighty, and a former nun). I would just like to say that although I'm still a teenager, I do question the church, beliefs of the church, and religion in general. If I were the outgoing type I would have driven my teacher twice as bonkers. I'm still working out what I believe and don't, including doctrines like the Trinity, without which you are apparently not a Catholic (huh, maybe I'm not then. Hm). I don't plan on ceasing my own search for truth, and wish you luck with your own searching!

Anna

P.S.
What on earth is "the fifth petal of TULIP"?

Anonymous said...

first of all, it seems like someone has a superiority problem. first of all, you use the screename "god" because you want to be noticed and you want a name of power. second you accuse me of bedwetting, why? guilty conscience? third, what kind of moron would honestly say something about cheese when having a serious religious discusion and not be joking? were you not hugged as a child? do you know what sarcasm is? because thats what i was using. fourth "for grins" only one of us could be right in that situation. either god is potty trained or not. i dont choose either, i say god doesnt use the restroom because he's not a human. as for masturbation, again guilty conscience? as for the rude obscene and imature insult about a puppet jesus, sir could you not find a more childish way to have a comeback? i mean if we are discusing something in a mature way and your are extending your tonge and going "nahnah!" it shows who the bigger man is now doesnt it? once again why you would be dreaming of a fifteen year old boy wetting the bed is beyond me. do you have these dreams often? you should see someone about that. back to talking to a mature and respectful man, webmaster first let me start by saying i'm sorry you have lost the "zeal" you see in me. please pardon my use of "duh" for my age i suppose it seemed appropriate but not professional. now, to your first statement: Saying "God did it" is the same as saying, "I don't know.". well yes sir you are right. i dont know, noone does and you cant claim any different. but by simply saying god did it and also not knowing how he did it doesnt mean that he didnt do it. next: "For instance, what exactly is god? What is he made of? Where did it come from. Can it be verified to exist? Are there others like it?" well honestly i dont know, dont know, yes i know, and i dont think so. in that order. yea i believe he (not it) can be verrified to exist if not by commom sense in looking around and wondering how all we see could be and accident and in that spiritually. as your testamony said, you felt god in that room. just as i feel jesus in my heart and god protecting me. and as for me not knowing all the answers to lifes questions of course has bothered me at one point. but i feel no matter what it looks like to the world, i will love, trust, and obey him. what you may call ignorance in following god and not knowing all about him is what i would call faith. i dont need all the answers and if thats all you want out of god than you are going to leave empty. because god has a better knowledge than wordly questions to give to people: the knowledge of salvation. that they will be in heaven regardless of all the doubts satan has thrown their way. i apologize for taking so long to get back to you on this comment but i had to look up the morman church. with what i know, the morman church sound so outrageous it is simply obvious that it is a cult. (http://biblia.com/christianity2/3b-mormons.htm) chew on some of that. i shall take my leave now. and regardless of what the scared little child who calls himself "god" says, i'm:

still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things through christ who strengthens me!

-JESUS FREAK!

Anonymous said...

Hey you guys and gals ~ The door of Grace is still open . . . won't you please ACCEPT His invitation? Revelation 3:20: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Some day the Day of Grace will be forever gone . . . Heaven and Hell are VERY REAL. It's not a joke. Jesus is your ticket to Heaven....do you really want to be in torment forever in Hell....IT'S REAL...I TELL YOU...IT'S REAL. ~Carolyn

.:webmaster:. said...

Still not using any capitalization, punctuation or paragraphs either.

That's okay though. It illustrates the point that ignorance is frequently the refuge of the religious.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things through christ who strengthens me!"

Still refusing to use common grammatical skill, formulate cogent arguments, listen, or study, for you are ignorant and lost in your faith.

Incidentally, this kind of statement carries no weight here. Really it sounds more like self-affirmation – “Look at me! I’m a good Christian!”

If you intend on hanging around, for your own sake and for the sake of those who must sift through your posts, please start using what you learned in school about the language. Whether you’re applying for a job, debating skeptics, or writing a letter, you’re more likely to get a positive response if you take the time to present yourself well.

Anonymous said...

Juan 3:16 - Para el dios amó tan el mundo, eso él dio a su solamente hijo begotten, a que el believeth del whosoever en él no debe fallecer, pero tiene vida eterna.

Anonymous said...

Het spreken in een verschillende taal maakt u niet opgeleid, ophouden.

Anonymous said...

have you people really run out of decent points to try and make or topics to argue that you must pick on my grammer and punctuation? that is sad and pathetic. ubergeek, go read a dictionary. you have nothing important to contribute to this discusion. and webmaster, i'm ashamed, you too? :tisk tisk: you truely have run dry. doubts are so easy to create for ourselves, faith is not. and you guys cant say "dont tell me i didnt have enough faith" why not? its true. like i've said before if you let simple foolish doubts step between you and the god of the universe you did that to yourself. and you people call christians ignorant. seeing as this will be my last post on this site because of a request of somone who i love, i leave you with your petty doubts and your little angry club of "ex-christians" and an 'arreviderci! may the lord guide you home oh sheep gone astray.

still refusing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down, for i can do all things through christ who strengthens me!

-JESUS FREAK!

p.s. honestly what is this and english class? its summer and i'm fifteen, i do every summer what every teen does. relax my mind and forget about that sort of junk. seriously... you people make me laugh. haha... hehe... hoho.. punctuation is for the birds.

Anonymous said...

Jésus était une fée

.:webmaster:. said...

Wow, thanks for that final post JF!

In just a few sentences you've proclaimed to have the ultimate truth, attempted to goad and personally insult those who disagree with you, become angry and offended over constructive criticism , and defended mental laziness as if it were a virtue. Good job.

Feel free to come back when you've gained a little life experience. In the meantime, I agree with your mother—you don't need to be on this site anymore.

Bentley said...

Now he's agreeing to be silent, back down, shut up, sit down - JF

Maybe the bedwetter got behind washing his sheets...lol

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