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2/03/2008                                                                                       View Comments

A few observations from an ex-Christian atheist

By Colin

I have been floating around on this site for only a few months now, even though my own de-conversion happened more than 15 years ago. My wife is still a Christian (if a very lukewarm one) and I happened to read one of her magazines that a superheated fundamentalist Christian friend gave her. In this magazine, there was an article about this very site. The article did not mention the site by name, (probably because they did not wish to encourage foolish young sheep to leave the fold), but how intelligent do you need to be to Google “Ex-Christian”?

I noted that the author of that article never posted anything on this site – a wise decision, in my opinion.

This is not my testimonial, which I have submitted previously, but I do wish to tell everyone who visits this site, that everything you read here about de-conversion is true:

It is not a process that takes place in a few days or even weeks – it takes years, more probably decades. It is usually the result of doing an in-depth study of the Bible, and then, when one finds that the God in the Bible is neither a good nor a kindly god, one tries to twist the words of the Bible to match one’s own conception of what a good and kindly God should be. This does not work. Once one realises this, there is a lot of anger – anger for wasting decades pandering to a being that one would not let near one’s children, and for trying to love a being that one would not want for a neighbour.

Anger at all the years wasted when the answers were there for the taking – if you were but willing to use the brain that the Christians will tell you that same God gave you. After my de-conversion, I went through a phase where I went looking for arguments with Christians – the more devoted the better – because I knew that Christians can only take their arguments from the Bible. I, on the other hand, could take my arguments from science, philosophy, history and logic – fields which grow and expand every day, while the supposedly inerrant word of God does not change, even though its adherents do.

I find it passing strange that Christians who post on this site have not realised this simple truth – they are immediately at a disadvantage, simply because all the truth they are supposed to know stems from one book which they are only allowed to reason from, not to reason about. Atheists and agnostics have no such limitation.

The good news is that the anger goes away – eventually. I have come to realise that my mind is my own now, and has always been my own: Christianity would not have taken so much of my life if I did not allow it. I therefore have to take some responsibility for all those wasted years. Not full responsibility, of course: Christianity is a very well designed con, and one can appreciate how well designed it is when it becomes obvious that most of the victims of this con will happily burn you at the stake for saying it is a con.

I now do not look for arguments with Christians – I know that I can win any argument with any Christian as long as that Christian is willing to engage in a logical discussion. Arguing and debating with them have become boring, perhaps because their arguments never change. I have noticed that my discussions with Christians end up in one of two ways: the first way is that the Christian will agree that he believes because he believes – that there is nothing logical or rational about his beliefs. The second way is the way of Marc/Passerby: the Christian realises that the words which convinced him does not convince anyone willing to think about it, and becomes totally irrational – much like a child, this Christian will repeat the same argument (if one can call threats of eternal damnation an argument) over and over again in a progressively louder voice. Even these, I can face without anger – rather with a little sympathy. In that sense, I am ready to be nice.

I should also mention that if you display any kind of anger towards a Christian, or even just raise your voice, he or she will immediately assume that you are not angry at their stupidity, but that you are angry with God. I am not sure why this is. In my own Christian days, if someone got angry with me for not seeing their (atheist) point, or maybe just angry at me for trying to preach to them when it was not welcome (yes, I was an evangelical Christian) I also used to assume this. Perhaps it was because of my reasoning that if a ‘logical’ argument did not carry the day, an illogical one would.

In my readings of the forums on Ex-Christian.net, I have seen a lot of tips for non-believers to assist them in de-converting the faithful. In my opinion, you have about as much chance to de-convert a fundamentalist Christian as you do to persuade Osama bin Laden to embrace Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour, and to start speaking in tongues. Fanatics are all the same – whether they be Christian or Islamic. There is no argument or point of logic that will persuade them. The best one can hope for is to say something that will become clear at a later stage. De-conversion is not something that can be done from the outside, it has to come from within. All of us who have de-converted did so because we were brave enough to question widely accepted beliefs, and also to be diligent enough to research the origins and logic of those beliefs – no-one did it for us. I think that the belief that others can be converted or de-converted should remain a uniquely Christian and Islamic conceit.

To Christians who visit this site: if you take the time to read all the arguments here, you will find that the non-Christian posters seldom quote the Bible out of context, and frequently use the Bible to prove their own (non-theist) points. You need to ask yourself this: if God was everything the Bible said he was, would he allow that to be done to his unchanging and inerrant Word? Of course not! By now, I would have expected him to send a couple of bears to the Webmaster’s house (as he has done) or to destroy the city he lives in by divine fire (which he has also been known to do on occasion). Or perhaps even flood the whole world – this God does not worry too much about collateral damage when he throws a temper tantrum.

In addition, Christians are fond of regarding God as their father, and they are also fond of drawing parallels between human fatherhood and divine fatherhood. As the proud father of a nine-month-old baby, I wish that my child will eventually grow up, and surpass me in every way possible, in terms of intelligence, wisdom, longevity, happiness, prosperity, success and achievement. Would God the Father not wish the same for his children? And if not, what kind of a father is he?

I have also read a lot of posts by Christians that atheists can have no hope. This is certainly not true: I believe that the human race can achieve life everlasting – perhaps medical science will advance to the point where medical immortality can be achieved, if not physical immortality. I believe that the human race can defeat poverty and famine – perhaps someday we shall discover how to travel faster than light, and settle other planets. I believe that we can create heaven for ourselves here in this reality, for everyone. I realise that this will not happen in my lifetime, or even this or the next century, but it is a goal that is worth striving for.

Am I a dreamer? Yes, of course. But I am enough of a realist to know that no god is going to do it for us – we will have to do it all ourselves. The human race has come a long way since the days of the state of nature, when life was brutal, nasty and short. And we have come all this way without divine assistance, and often in spite of our religious beliefs. We can go further still, especially if we stop wasting time asking a god or gods to do for us what we can and will do for ourselves.

That is the hope of an atheist.

72 comments:

Moth said...

What a remarkable post. I have been debating morality and blah blah with christians on the Ray Comfort blog and don't usually go out of my way to visit christian sites to discuss anything, but I was disgusted at their attitude towards atheists.

They seem to dehumanise non-believers and refuse to accept that anyone can develop a decent morality without their bible. I just started feeling sad and frustrated and wondered if there was any hope for mankind if this sort of gross ignorance grows exponentially. But there's always hope... it's not an attribute of christians alone. Far from it. I hope so.

MothandRust said...

Signing in to receive follow up comments.

xrayman said...

"I know that I can win any argument with any Christian as long as that Christian is willing to engage in a logical discussion."

So true. I recently got into a brief debate at work with a Bible literalist and beat her so bad(in the arguement) without really trying. The funny thing was that it actually made me feel bad on two levels. One because this dear woman actually believes this bullshit with all her heart, and two because it was so easy, but unlike you I live for another debate.

That was a great piece. I enjoyed reading it very much. Hopefully your wife comes around some day soon as I hope mine will. My darling wife is one of those lukewarm "Special Events Christians" as I call her. You know the type that doesn't mention God or religion for months but can break into full blow church mode for a wedding, funeral, or perhaps a midnight mass. She can also break into serious prayer when a tough situation in life arises, but I truly think on a deep level she knows it's bullshit.

I too was a lukewarm God believer. I can't say I ever made it to being a Christian yet I tried so hard to find Jesus. I guess you might say I had 40 some years of religious confusion until March of 06. To illustrate the power of the atheist website, I literally read myself totally out of God belief in about two days. If only I would have read some great aticles refuting religion about 25 years ago. Now I call myself a very well informed, elightened atheist.

Brian Worley said...

Colin,

That was a very well written post. I have recently been thinking some one the very same thoughts that you expressed here. I think it is a good thing to move past the anger for having been a fool for being sucked into the religious mess and spending as much time as we did there. This is easier said than done. I feel that all us exchristians need to take full responsibility for our actions despite falling for the clever deception that we fell for.

A point that I would like to add here is that book (bible) WILL LET DOWN those that believe in its message in time. All of us exchristians know this. WE need to be patient and allow for this time to come in the Christians life. I have that much confidence in the bible to know that it will let people down by false promises and contradictions, etc. I believe Christians are truly like sheep. They get intimidated very easily! When we go and look for arguements with them, they become very intimidated and will remember this feeling once their faith has let them down. We may have intimidated them so much that they in rebellion won't listen to us when they are actually receptive to exchristian insight. I think that this is a problem that us exchristians have exacerbated to our detriment. Yes, we can win all those arguements and stroke our egos. When we are personally aquainted with the person we picked the arguement with and subsequently intimidated we can almost assuredly be guaranteed that winning them over is near impossible. For those of us that have almost lost hope in reaching those Christians that we care about, I feel this is the reason have failed to reach them. Namely, intimidation and needless confrontation to stroke our own egos.

notabarbie said...

Thanks for a great post. I'm new in my de-conversion and so I still get a bit angry at Christians when they do and say lame things. It's good to hear that is dissipates with time. I love a good debate, probably always will, but I don't like that I get angry when I'm doing it; it's counter productive.

Here's my question though, how do you not get angry when a believer says they have prayed for something so ridiculous as a parking place, (don't laugh, my sister did this) and then praises god for their answered prayer. How do you not go ballistic and say, how shallow are you that you think god ignored the mother who's child is dying in her arms and yet gave you an f...ing parking place? I guess I hope my anger never dissipates over that.

redtail said...

Colin; Fantastic post, thanks! Very well articulated. I especially liked the points regarding the arguments with christians...you hit the nail on the head.

Michelle said...

Notabarbie, I got mad over the very same thing. My Christian co-worker told me that God saved her a seat at a busy restaurant during lunch. Yet, when several of my Christian relatives and a whole church prayed for my brother in the hospital, it didn't do any good. He still died, but God made sure that my co-worker wouldn't have to wait 10 extra minutes to eat her lunch. How fucking stupid is that?

xrayman said...

Notabarbie said,

"how do you not get angry when a believer says they have prayed for something so ridiculous as a parking place, (don't laugh, my sister did this) and then praises god for their answered prayer. How do you not go ballistic and say, how shallow are you that you think god ignored the mother who's child is dying in her arms and yet gave you an f...ing parking place? I guess I hope my anger never dissipates over that."

Oh how I feel your pain of the above mentioned analogy. I chat rather frequently online with a very kind Christian man who well write and share with me all these little turns of good luck and nonsensical coincedences, mostly chance meetings with people he has saved, he is certain are proof of God's exisitence.

As a heathcare worker I always fire back with a situation as you did. I will say why is God using all his power to heal you of achy knees and to aquaint you with a homeless man in which you shared His word, yet he allows an 18 month old to suffer with a brain tumor at Christmas time(recent true story from work). By the way an 11 year old died of bone cancer right before Christmas in our hospital, but I am sure he(God) had a very very good reason for the suffering of a child and her family.

But with their clouded mindset, they will never get it.

Another typical analogy I can't stand is when I see a patient who tells me that God gave them a miracle because they survived a serious disease or accident. If God were real and really cared, the shit never would have happened in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Colin noted:
This is not my testimonial, which I have submitted previously, but I do wish to tell everyone who visits this site, that everything you read here about de-conversion is true:

It is not a process that takes place in a few days or even weeks – it takes years, more probably decades.


I should like to ammend this: for some people it may be a long term process. For others, such as myself, it happens very quickly. In my case I listened to the minister delivering his "sermonette" to us kids in sunday-school - I was about six at the time - and it suddenly struck me that what he was saying - urging upon us as "absolute truth" was a crock of shit. It just didn't make any sense. I have no detailed recollection of his exact words, or even of the particular point he was trying to make: he was, all of a sudden, spouting garbage.

I asked my parents on the way home about the truth or falsity of his argument, and I was told something along the lines of "there is truth and then there is truth": with that any doubts I might have had about my correctness in disbelieving vanished, never to reappear.

The Avid Intimidator said...

Brian Worley: "For those of us that have almost lost hope in reaching those Christians that we care about, I feel this is the reason have failed to reach them. Namely, intimidation and needless confrontation to stroke our own egos."

Of course, there are egos that compel a person to ignore a believer when they earnestly seek information, and even egos that require a religious affiliation to atheism, that would send a believer to convulse.

If would appear, that we either live our lives honestly, without false pretense, or we become what others expect, in order to appear more receptive.

The deceive to achieve option never seemed right with me, and introducing myself as a religious atheist just doesn't seem as if that would be the "best" introduction to set the stage for a "non-biased" discussion.

"Intimidation" is subjectively defined, one person may be intimidated by "female" intelligence; another by "money", and yet another by a "community"; it becomes obvious, that we either move towards another persons' comfort zone by changing the environment to meet their expectations, or; we live our lives and ask them to build a bridge and get over it - allowing them to use our tools (reason) and lumber (knowledge).

Brian Worley said...

Dear Intimidator, it seems you revel in your identification title here. I think that you fail to comprehend a few things. First, I hit Christianity very hard at Exminister. Only those with inferior reading comprehension skills would fail to notice this. There is no deceive to achieve motif as you seem to observe.

Once you express your point to an unbeliever, it may take some time for that viewpoint to sink in. It is hard for that unbeliever to be able to reason when intimidators stay and rub their intellectual superiority in the face of that Christian. That is what I call ego and a moronic tendency that intimidating people have. This behavior is no different from the fundamentalist preacher that presses upon people to submit by pressure alone. Personal transaction skills have great humanitarian value! So does listening, warmth and being able to get along with people by avoiding needless confrontations. But I realize that some people like to argue rather than think.

No god/No fear said...

In my readings of the forums on Ex-Christian.net, I have seen a lot of tips for non-believers to assist them in de-converting the faithful. In my opinion, you have about as much chance to de-convert a fundamentalist Christian as you do to persuade Osama bin Laden to embrace Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour, and to start speaking in tongues. Fanatics are all the same – whether they be Christian or Islamic. There is no argument or point of logic that will persuade them.

But, just to argue this point from another perspective, there apparently are arguments and logical points that people do take to heart eventually because there are a number of ex-fundamentalist Christians posting on this site alone. I was raised Catholic and although our particular church didn't particularly embrace a bifurcated view of the world, I can see now in hindsight that every religion is a cult whereby there are built in defense mechanisms that are designed people to stop thinking for themselves. The endless droning and repetitive chanting, for one. Or how about the singing? I remember singing, 'Sons of god, hear his holy world. Gather round the table of the lord. Eat his body, drink his blood' and never thought twice about it. Had someone substituted another name like Sun Yung Moon, I'd have felt pity for the poor brainwashed folk who were so obviously reciting some creepy, bizarre cult ritual.

At some point, I have to believe that it is possible to get through to people. If not this generation, most likely the next. One of the most refreshing things about working with a lot of young people is that so many of them are atheists and see religion in general as very cult-like.

Sophia

The Avid Intimidator said...

Brian Worley: "Dear Intimidator, it seems you revel in your identification title here."

Touche, meister "Exminister".

Brian Worley: "I think that you fail to comprehend a few things."

How omniscient of you, at this point, I'm feeling a little intimidated that I may have failed to grasp something.

Brian Worley: "First, I hit Christianity very hard at Exminister."

And to some Christians, I have to submit, that you must in fact, intimidate them.

Brian Worley: "Only those with inferior reading comprehension skills would fail to notice this."

Ouch, I'm feeling intimidated now.

Brian Worley: "There is no deceive to achieve motif as you seem to observe."

Therefore, you must admit, that your "in-you-face" hitting of Christianity on your site, likely has an intimidating effect to some believers, and therefore, you are genuine to your message, not a deceiver.

Brian Worley: "Once you express your point to an unbeliever, it may take some time for that viewpoint to sink in. It is hard for that unbeliever to be able to reason when intimidators stay and rub their intellectual superiority in the face of that Christian."

So, your strategy is to plant the seeds and walk off the field, hoping that they may take root.

That's fine, except that strategy doesn't work when you have flocks of birds sitting around your field looking for seeds to eat.

You see, your scenario may appeal to the benign Christian who is just innocently sitting around in some form of doubt. While no doubt, they may exist, they exist in an environment, surrounded by religious leaders who continually engage in lies and deception.

The second you throw a seed out to take root, it is immediately collected by such religious leaders who want a barren field, so they have control of the hay.

The point, is that its obvious that there is not a silver bullet strategy, that is effective for every engagement a non-believer may find themselves in.

I don't go looking for an argument, and if a Christian approached me and gave me a bible - I'd say, no thank you. However, if they insisted, I have a choice; I could ignore then and walk off, engage them in some discourse if they were willing, or perhaps suggest that I used to be a minister who no longer believes. Which of the choices would be the more intimidating.

We communicate in order to achieve an effect, if I want to effectively get rid of a bible thumper; I know how to escalate logical operations proficiently if need be.

To add, I use "intelligent" discernment and "tact", which requires the ability to "judge" the situation and not just drop a seed as if that is "The" best reply for all scenarios.

As well, your point seems to suggest that people need respect to get respect, albeit those are my words as I attempt to see where you are attempting to go.

While I agree, if I were to "strip" all dignity of an individual from them, and belittle them, I am quite certain that I will not be gaining any popularity points or "respect" from them, such that they care about anything I say.

However, respect goes two ways, if I am attacked with lies and given disinformation and propaganda on a continual basis - I will respond in a way as to strip any credibility they have away.

In the spirit of the super bowl, there is a difference between being on offense and being on defense, and a good defense can be extremely painful for those who can't run an effective logical offense. I do quit, once the Q-back is down, but if they continue to try and score points off of me as a person, I will do everything I can to make sure they go down hard and lose any shred of credibility they have as a decent person in the process - it's their choice, since they are on the offense, how far "they" want to take it.

If you are suggesting that there are non-believers out carrying out their own offenses, to take out the innocent follower who is not involved in any offense themselves, and to make them feel inadequate and hurt, then I'll agree that this approach is not one that is going to make one popular.

However, as an atheist, such a person represents "themselves" as a person, not the "entirety" of all atheists across the globe, and if an individual believer or Christian can not understand this because they lack that understanding, and respond to "every" atheist as if they actually attended an atheist church with doctrine - they will be met from a variety of diverse atheists who will challenge their lack of intellect every turn they make.

In such a case, it is not just "one" atheist who will be involved with this rubbing out of stupidity, it will be the combed effort of "many" people focused on one who can't seem to find a good offense to run.

Brian Worley: "That is what I call ego and a moronic tendency that intimidating people have."

If being logical and relentless in the pursuit of logic, is moronic and intimidating, then, so be it for those who launch an offensive.

Brian Worley: "This behavior is no different from the fundamentalist preacher that presses upon people to submit by pressure alone."

If a person is engaging a Christian who is on the offensive, and they are only responding with equal ignorance, then, its a pissing match that will achieve little.

Hence, the reason to understand one's position, using logic and reason, "before" engaging someone who just uses fundy pressure clothed in emotional appeal.

Brian Worley: "Personal transaction skills have great humanitarian value! So does listening, warmth and being able to get along with people by avoiding needless confrontations."

We don't always get to choose when we are "attacked". However, as a rule of thumb, it would appear that not seeking out an offensive to just belittle a person, would seem a live and let live sort of concept.

While I have no problem with that; and I allow myself to be approachable, I do not ever give the signal that I will not respond with equal force and intellect in any conversation. Again, respect goes both ways.

Brian Worley: "But I realize that some people like to argue rather than think."

Couldn't agree more, and in those cases where two people are just pissing in the wind, it's either entertainment for those who know better, or pity for those who want to prevent the pissing, as it seems to blow on everyone else around.

Birds of a feather flock together, it seems wise to pick those we care to engage, and only those that seem open to discover - as opposed to the trolls that litter our web-sites and everyday lives.

The Avid Intimidator said...

Just to iterate, some people are not willing to sit around looking for an umbrella, so they aren't getting pissed on from fundy lobbyists, religious leaders, etc. involved in local, state, and national politics and elections.

While it may not be beneficial to respond to raging ignorance, shown by people we personally know, there are the centers of influence that spawn illiteracy and ignorance, and for that, they are fair game as an ongoing offensive to humanity; that would be, religious lobbyists, all the way down to local community religious leaders.

The source is always on offense, they are a permanent threat to society, and my love and warmth is meaningless to them, because their livelihood is built on selling their ignorance.

The Avid Intimidator said...

A follow on observation; while the Christian has the, "hate the sin, not the sinner thing", to hide behind, would it be as equally cordial to suggest that a non-believer have the message, "hate the ignorance, not the ignorant", handy.

For those who have yet to find an identity outside the words they were given by some other person, any and all statements will remain offensive and as a personal attack that challenge them.

When dealing with those who have not mentally matured to a point where "all" words stated become a personal attack, it's best to leave them alone and look for the scoundrel that fed them ignorance, half-truths, and outright lies.

Just like the plethora of teachers I frequently deal with in public school say; most all children are not mature enough to understand the concepts being discussed half the time, it's best to just keep them contained and focused on training in the areas of communication - education will come over time, if they are allowed time and the intellectual freedom to grow.

However, that does not excuse the adults who perpetrate lies, and suffocate anything that looks like intellectual freedom and growth for their "own" purposes.

The great thing about the Internet, is that conversations can happen, while "not" being intimidating to many people - perhaps, intimidating to their ability to make statements and defend them, but then, getting a virtual butt kicking, is far from beating them over the head with a book. Any person, who can't hold their own, has all the freedom to leave and take it elsewhere - total freedom to choose. Find any contradictions between that, and having a missionary standing on one's doorstep?

AWLHEART said...

Thank you for such a wonderful post! I so love this site. It's been great reading about so many people breaking away from (what I call) the body snatchers! I read this site daily!

Personally, it took me about a year to mourn the loss of my imaginary friend aka god. I've been many religions...from Catholic, to Southern Baptist, to Evangelical (which I was told was called non-denominational)to Wicca to where I'm at now...Reality. I was always on the path to find the truth and it took me 37 years to find it. That was over 10 years ago. I still get angry at ignorance. I find it worse when someone who is highly intelligent except when it comes to their religion.

Once again, thanks for the post. Just as there is diversity in every group, yes, even freethinkers are diverse.

empathetic said...

Well, I'll admit it, right off, I'm a Christian. However, I love your post, and I see many things in it that I can relate with. Many Christians that I have met only use the Bible, which drives me crazy as well!

My sadness is that Bible thumping Christians, or those who do not critically think about their faith do make fools of us all. I know many are well meaning, but I think a lot of what they believe is bullshit. In fact, I think I hold many beliefs that are bullshit as well.

However, I still have met wonderful Christians, that don't fit the standard mold. They care about poverty, injustice, Corporate Corruption, unconstitutional wars, consumerism, etc.

My relationship with God is frustrating much of the time. I have a lot of hurt and anger towards God. I have questions that I keep asking, some that are continually frustrated. Yet, I also have peace. Which really is paradoxical to me. The times when I throw everything back in God's face. When I do everything I can to leave. When the questions seem to hard. After all of that, my soul is in a place of rest. However, that is entirely personal, not to discount any of your experience, or to convince you otherwise. I'm just laying out my experience.

I would highly recommend watching the film, if you haven't already seen it, "What the Bleep do we know?" It is a combination of quantam mechanics and spirituality. Now I'm not really saying you should watch it for the God part, which i found interesting and agreed and disagreed with. But you say that you feel like you believe the world will change by what humans do. This is a very empowering movie for personal responsibility and the science that goes behind our thoughts, actions, words, etc.

Anyways, I am thankful for your honesty, and look forward to more dialogue!

Colin said...

Notabarbie said:

Here's my question though, how do you not get angry when a believer says they have prayed for something so ridiculous as a parking place, (don't laugh, my sister did this) and then praises god for their answered prayer. How do you not go ballistic and say, how shallow are you that you think god ignored the mother who's child is dying in her arms and yet gave you an f...ing parking place? I guess I hope my anger never dissipates over that.

Notabarbie, I know what you mean. Whenever I hear something silly like this I certainly feel the spark that can so easily become an explosion. So I have to remind myself that this was me 15 years ago - I also prayed for silly things like a parking space, an easy exam or not to make a fool of myself in public.

So I can unfortunately see how easy it is to fall into that trap - that God really cares enough to do the little things for you (when He feels like it, evidently) but not the big things like world peace.

The anger you feel at stupidity is a common reaction - I share that reaction with you. It keeps you thinking logically - after all, you do not want to be angry with yourself for getting that silly, do you?

I will not show this anger, especially not to a Christian. And when I think that I was just like this, the anger quickly turns to embarrasment - yes, I was that naively stupid as well. I then concentrate on telling the Christian to keep praying for bigger and bigger things - sooner or later, he or she will run out of excuses as to why the progressive prayers are not answered. This is the only chance I have to making a point that a Christian will not reject out of hand.

Colin

Colin said...

Anonymous said:

I should like to ammend this: for some people it may be a long term process. For others, such as myself, it happens very quickly.

I truly envy those who have managed to shake the Christian mindset at an early age, or did not believe it from the start. My life would have been so different if I managed it myself. Still, better late than never...

It sounds to me that you never even bought into it, even at age 6 - I unfortunately swallowed the whole thing whole at age 6. I think this is where the intimidation comes in - I very much did not want to go to hell at that age. The part that took the longest in my deconversion, was the part that hell does not exist.

Colin

Colin said...

no god/no fear said:

At some point, I have to believe that it is possible to get through to people. If not this generation, most likely the next. One of the most refreshing things about working with a lot of young people is that so many of them are atheists and see religion in general as very cult-like.

Sophia, I have to believe this as well. I do not work with young people, and I find it gratifying to hear that more than a few of them consider Christianity to be what it is, a cult. Yes, I hope too.

I can tell you this, though: most of the people that I went to school with (and Christian religious instruction was compulsory in South African schools in the 80's) are now atheists. Perhaps it is a protest against having Christianity rammed down their throats from a young age? I am not sure, and neither are they.

Colin

notabarbie said...

Hey Colin,
Thanks for the reminder of what I chuckle-head I used to be when I was a fundamentalist Christian . Ahhhh to be humbled, it’s such a wonderful thing. I kind of think that is why I get a little ticked off when I hear silly statements like I mentioned previously; I see my past self in them and I think, geez, how could I have thought like that, or more accurately not thought. Your advice was very insightful and I think I will handle it just the way you suggested the next time. Thank you. …just one more reason why I love this site.

No god/No fear said...

Colin wrote:

I can tell you this, though: most of the people that I went to school with (and Christian religious instruction was compulsory in South African schools in the 80's) are now atheists. Perhaps it is a protest against having Christianity rammed down their throats from a young age? I am not sure, and neither are they.

Another interesting observation. I guess it's anecdotes like this where I can really see hope for rationalism in that fundamentalism has so many built in safeguards to keep people from questioning and thinking for themselves that if people that are bombarded with these ridiculous messages, even from the time they are small children, can rebel against them in order to choose the path of sanity, then there's hope that religion is dying. As was noted before, the internet has been such a great tool for people searching for answers--Praise Science ;)

Sophia

freedom_33 said...

Hey guys whats up? You are absolutely right: religon is a horrible travesty that has occured. You see, I am a christian but please, don't associate me with religon. Christianity is following a man named Jesus the Christ; being a christian is imitating christ and the way he lived. The really sucky part about His followers, are they are the greatest hypocrites and tarnish His name like no other. The biggest thing that I want to convey is the fact that christianity is not about religon, but a relationship. Actually, in the New testament, when religon is mentioned it is always in a negative context. That is why Christ said he came, to abolish religon. And let me ask you one thing: If I said I could show you imperical evidence that the "devil" exsited, would you beleive in God? Oh, and if God did exist, what would He have to do to prove to you that He exsited? (I'm no basher of atheism, I just want to know. I would appreciate the same repect to not bash me. Oh and whatever you do, do not think of me as some foolish christian that is "limited" to the bible for anything. I am well versed in a number of things including science and its methodology). :)

stronger now said...

freedom_33,

While I cannot speak for everyone here, I would like you to present credible evidence for the "devil", and also explain why you put -devil- in quotation marks.

I see several problems with believing in your god if you could provide credible evidence for a "devil".

Firstly, I think you'd have to provide evidence that the "devil" you provide evidence for is the one described in the bible and not some other religions "devil".

Secondly, given the OT accounts of god and his barbaric handling of humanity and the NT doctrine of hell, I feel you'd be hard pressd to distinguish god from the "devil".

Thirdly, If the evidence for the "devil" is sufficient and credible enough for a reasonable and logical skeptic to decide that it does, in fact, exist and it is, in fact, the "devil" of the christian version and not the christian god, then you'd still have to provide evidence for your god because the "devil" may have killed him off and placed himself in charge and we as humans would have had no way of knowing that.

All this is pointless if you cannot provide credible evidence for any supernatural being.

Can you?

Oh...one more thing. Is a relationship with someone who tortures you forever if you don't love them back a loving one?

Jim Arvo said...

freedom_33 said "You see, I am a christian but please, don't associate me with religon."

If you follow or emulate a being who you believe to be divine, then it seems to me you are practicing a religion.

freedom_33 continued "The biggest thing that I want to convey is the fact that christianity is not about religon, but a relationship."

A "relationship" with a divine being whose existence is proclaimed in a "holy" text and whose words are purportedly those of "god". I'm having a hard time distinguishing that from a religion. Sorry.

freedom_33: "If I said I could show you imperical [sic] evidence that the 'devil' exsited, would you beleive in God?"

"Proving" that invisible being X exists does not "prove" that invisible being Y exists. However, if you demonstrated the existence of any disembodied conscious being, then it would lend credence to other claims of such beings. As yet, I've not seen one tiny scrap of credible evidence for any such being, so I view them all as exceedingly improbable.

freedom_33: "Oh, and if God did exist, what would He have to do to prove to you that He exsited?"

I think that's the wrong question to ask. Fantastic assertions are generally not "proven" in one flash, but are arrived at through an accumulation of corroborating evidence. Therefore, I think a far better question would be this: "What would you deem as positive evidence for the existence of god?"

I could make a long list, but I'll mention just a few. How about if not a single child the world over died of hunger or abuse on Christmas or Easter, year after year. How about if god sent a single coherent and unambiguous message to every nation on Earth on the same day in a way that was objectively recorded the world over. If a fantastic being materialized in front of me, introduced himself, and proceeded to tell me marvelous things that I could objectively verify (such as a proof of the Riemann hypothesis or a demonstration that P = NP). Here's a really mundane one: Somebody tell me (via god) what object I am picturing in my mind as I type these words. Or how about if god gave arms and legs back to all the kids who lost them to landmines. I could go on and on.

Now, would any one of these things absolutely and instantly convince me that god is real? No, probably not--at least not instantly. But each one would be stunning evidence that must be taken very seriously. Each one would dramatically change the balance of evidence in my mind.

stronger now said...

"Somebody tell me (via god) what object I am picturing in my mind as I type these words"

It was a turtle.

boomSLANG said...

freedom_33...Hey guys whats up?

Oh, not much.....'just another day at EX-christian.net.

freedom_33...You are absolutely right: religon is a horrible travesty that has occured.

I think you probably meant, religion. But anyway, good, so there's agreement, then. So you'll probably agree that one of the main reasons that religion is "horrible", is because people justify such things as bigotry, racism, and elitism by refering to their respective interpretations of the "Holy Bible", while using it as a "go-between"---from "Creator of the Universe", to humankind. Yes? YES, after all, the bible is, no question, thee leading source for knowing what the "Creator of the Universe"..i.e.."Christ", desires from us all. You cannot logically deny that, can yOU?

freedom_33...You see, I am a christian but please, don't associate me with religon.

But wait a second.....we just went over this---how on earth can you follow "Christ", without the religious "go-between"?...i.e..the "Holy Bible"---the same book that the "religious" use to justify their "horrible" actions? Remember? So it seems to me that we can liken your request to asking us not to associate the Mouseketeers with Mickey Mouse.

freedom_33...The biggest thing that I want to convey is the fact that christianity is not about religon, but a relationship.

Right, right, a "relationship" with "Christ", the central figure in the what?..right, the central figure the BIBLE. And again - "relationship", or not - if the central figure of the bible cannot tell you directly what he requires/requests of you, then you are reliant on what the bible says for determining such information. BTW, have you read the bible lately?..and I don't mean "buffet style".

freedom_33...Oh, and if God did exist, what would He have to do to prove to you that He exsited?

Firstly, it would be VERY convincing if no one asked what it would take to "prove" the existence of "God". Do you understand? In other words, if such a being exists, and said being is "omniscient"(as delineated in the bible), then he would already know exactly what I would, and would not, accept for "proof". In other words, discussing it with you is irrelevant and pointless, if "God really exists.

freedom_33...Oh and whatever you do, do not think of me as some foolish christian that is "limited" to the bible for anything. I am well versed in a number of things including science and its methodology). :)

Good, then maybe you can explain the "scientific methodology" in talking snakes, donkeys, and vegetation. Yes? Use whatever extra-biblcal sources you need. :)

Toodles!

Jim Arvo said...

Stronger Now said "It was a turtle."

Nope, but thanks for playing! I must have asked that very question at least 20 or 30 times, and you are the first person to even take a stab at it (even in jest). Interesting, no?

freedom_33 said...

I mean no offense when I say this: Have you ever wondered that maybe the things that you over analyze, are really not as complicated as they seem? I remember reading some great philosopher such as Socrates or someone (its been a while), and yet to describe a dog, go through an enumerable amount of ways at which to define a dog. Life was never meant to be complicated, and the questions that most people have may be answered so much more easily.
I place devil in quotation marks because there are many names for him, and “devil” seems to be the most common and recognizable. I could of called him Lucifer, the bright and morning star, the adversary, accuser of the brethren, Satan, the Father of all Lies, etc.
My credible evidence? Well, for it to be completely credible in your mind, mere words would not sway someone so deeply ground in their faith such as you. But I can show you anytime you are ready to come find me J . I would very much like to ask you to analyze those great medical and mysterious anomalies known as demon possession, or even explain how the phenomena called the stigmata may occur. Even in the world of medical science, these genuine cases have not yet been found false.
I know what most of you will say about possession. But explain how those possessed can speak languages that they have never learned, or how the temperature in the room always go sub-zero? Let me jump ahead of the denial of such things to be false, and say they are true, and you can find no, truth in your logic to find these claims as false. Let me say now, that these demons, so to say, will scream in pain in torment at the sound of the name Of Jesus. Surmising that all this is true, not that you believe or agree, what would you say then of Christ?
A created thing overthrowing God? Tell me, have you ever seen a lump of clay turned into a pot, rise against it’s potter and say “ now I make the rules and shape the clay?” That is impossible. God is not so unjust as you so claim He is. Let me ask you this: As a child, you thought like a child, and now that you are a man, you see how foolish some of those thoughts were, don’t you ( Yes, I know, now come the comments of denouncing the faith in Christ ;) )? Did your father ever beat you? I don’t mean just a little pat on the butt and then made you go to bed, I mean did he leave physical marks stripped across your legs, and made you hate him with a passion like no other? Well, my father did. He would say such ridiculous things as he disciplined me too. Mostly, I rarely ever saw the point he wanted to convey. He wanted me to understand and figure it out on my own what caused me to be beaten. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” he would say. I had to learn not to do what caused my pain. I knew the rules of the house. He had already given them to me, and I was supposed to follow them.
So it is with God. Why would it be so hard for you to understand that God does love you and that all your pain you go through is to make you better than what you are? So what if you do wrong. If you do something wrong, own up to it. Sometimes children don’t think that what they do is wrong, but does that make it any less wrong? Of course not! If I wanted to murder someone and even had just cause to do so, would it be okay for me to do so? Of course not.
My point is this: you shouldn’t hate God for something that He has done to you, or allowed you to do to yourself. Oh, and I think its interesting how you can hate the very being that you claim to deny exists.
To answer your last question Stronger now, yes He is still a loving God. Tell me, if you were God and made man so that he would have a relationship with you, and then the race of man kept on breaking the simple laws that you gave them, would you still say “well, even though you treated me like a dog, I guess I’m still going to let you into my wonderful place called heaven. What, you don’t believe in me? Well, that’s okay, here how about I just blink you out of existence.” Personally, I don’t think so. If God is pissed off, He has every right to be. Secondly, hell was never meant for us, but Lucifer and his angels whom wanted to be God, themselves.
That was the point of sending Christ, and everything that looks “evil” that He did in the OT, was for our wonderfully disobedient age; so that we may skip the “religion” and go straight for the relationship, and so that we would have to not go to hell. For God to give us that, it seems like He is indeed a very generous and loving God.
One last thing. Religion is defined as follows: it is an obsession, and is anything that you do repeatedly. God never wanted a religion. That denounces His throne of love and sets up the law once more
Jim arvo…. What if a great part of the population suddenly vanishes, leaving their clothes and all personal items? What if, all at once, mothers suddenly, were not pregnant anymore? Their stomachs, literally, deflating before you eyes? What if horrible plagues began to scourge the earth, like in the times of the plagues of Egypt? What if winged creatures began to fly about, and the dead arose? All of which are recorded in the revelation of Jesus Christ of the last days? People think that those days are to punish sinners and to destroy the world. No, it is God’s last “Here I am” statement. So, I suppose, literally, you will not believe in God until He comes back, is that it?
Well, it’s been fun, but I will end my dirge now I suppose hahaha. I look forward to hearing your comments ;)

boomSLANG said...

freedom_33...Life was never meant to be complicated, and the questions that most people have may be answered so much more easily.

More easily? I have to tell you---I find this statement quite ironic, coming from the same person who posted the run-on paragraph, just above this. In any event, you might want to investigate Occam's razor.

In my view, "Freedom_33", YOU are the one complicating reality with all this talk of gods, demons, devils, scriptures, plagues--not to mention, you've committed various logical fallacies, such as existential, and bare assertion, to name but a few.

I'll go over a few points:

freedom_33...My credible evidence? Well, for it to be completely credible in your mind, mere words would not sway someone so deeply ground in their faith such as you.

Yes, and no. "Yes", you're correct in that mere words will not convince me, much in the same way that mere words will likely not convince you that there are abductions by aliens; "no", in the sense that this has nothing to do with "faith". In fact, to accept such anecdotal evidence as fact is more in line with having "faith". A position of neutrality doesn't require "faith", or "hope".

freedom_33...Tell me, have you ever seen a lump of clay turned into a pot, rise against it’s potter and say “ now I make the rules and shape the clay?” That is impossible.

No one has suggested that any such ridiculous thing can happen. You set up a strawman. Moreover, we know that "clay" exists, and we can logically infer that things made out of clay were made by man, simply because we can witness the whole process.

freedom_33...Let me ask you this: As a child, you thought like a child, and now that you are a man, you see how foolish some of those thoughts were, don’t you(?)

Oh, you mean, like, believing that animals can speak the human language; believing that there's an evil boogieman under my bed, and believing that I have an invisible friend who talks to me? Yeah, uh huh...I see how foolish that is now = )

freedom_33...My point is this: you shouldn’t hate God for something that He has done to you, or allowed you to do to yourself.

MY point is this: You shouldn't hold such idiotic distorted views. Atheists do NOT "hate God"; we simply lack belief in such an entity. Stick it in your memory bank.

freedom_33...That was the point of sending Christ, and everything that looks “evil” that He did in the OT, was for our wonderfully disobedient age; so that we may skip the “religion” and go straight for the relationship, and so that we would have to not go to hell. For God to give us that, it seems like He is indeed a very generous and loving God.

Um, no thanks, I'll pass on having a "relationship" with any individual who will incinerate me for not reciprocating it's "love".

freedom_33...One last thing. Religion is defined as follows: it is an obsession, and is anything that you do repeatedly.

Reference, please?

freedom_33...What if a great part of the population suddenly vanishes, leaving their clothes and all personal items? What if, all at once, mothers suddenly, were not pregnant anymore? Their stomachs, literally, deflating before you eyes? What if horrible plagues began to scourge the earth, like in the times of the plagues of Egypt? What if winged creatures began to fly about, and the dead arose?

What "if"? Well, if those things "happened", I would suggest laying off the 'shroom-tea.

Enjoy your delusions.

stronger now said...

freedom_33:" Life was never meant to be complicated, and the questions that most people have may be answered so much more easily."

That answer being GODDIDIT! Right.
Just because it's an easy answer doesn't make it a correct answer.

"My credible evidence? Well, for it to be completely credible in your mind, mere words would not sway someone so deeply ground in their faith such as you."

Hold on there. What do you suspect I have faith in? I have never seen any reason to believe in any supernatural beings. That's WHY I asked for credible evidence.

"But I can show you anytime you are ready to come find me."

If you could produce any credible evidence for the existence of the supernatural realm then I suggest you contact James Randi or anyone else in the scientific community, and end all doubt about the existence of these things once and for all. I think It's safe to assume that the reason you have not done this is because you have NO credible evidence to offer anyone.

"I would very much like to ask you to analyze those great medical and mysterious anomalies known as demon possession, or even explain how the phenomena called the stigmata may occur. Even in the world of medical science, these genuine cases have not yet been found false."

Which cases? How can I analyze anything without knowing the details one needs to find a case where these things have been investigated by reputable scientists and have not been debunked or given a natural explanation?

"Let me jump ahead of the denial of such things to be false, and say they are true, and you can find no, truth in your logic to find these claims as false."

So...You give us no evidence to analyze, then insist that these things are true....and we are just supposed to take your word for it?

I'm not that gullible.

"A created thing overthrowing God? Tell me, have you ever seen a lump of clay turned into a pot, rise against it’s potter and say “ now I make the rules and shape the clay?” That is impossible."

We are not speaking of lumps of clay we are speaking of supposed intelligent supernatural extrafantastical beings of mystery.

"God is not so unjust as you so claim He is."

You are speaking of the god described in the bible right? Perhaps you need to read the things he commanded be done, and the whole hell thing reeks of injustice to any compassionate person.

"Did your father ever beat you?"

Yes. And the difference is the beatings eventually stopped. He never once set me on fire and forced me to burn forever.

"Tell me, if you were God and made man so that he would have a relationship with you, and then the race of man kept on breaking the simple laws that you gave them, would you still say “well, even though you treated me like a dog, I guess I’m still going to let you into my wonderful place called heaven."

If I were a god I would be a perfect being without the need or want of a relationship with anything else. So I wouldn't have created anything to that end. Furthermore if I had created anything I wouldn't have to put it in a hell to burn forever and ever. I wouldn't have even created a hell because it is unjust to punish someone forever for anything. Also, the idea that I, as god, had to kill off most of humanity and nature in a big 'ol flood. Not cool. Not when I wouldn't have had to create them in the first place knowing full well what the future held for them.

"If God is pissed off, He has every right to be."

No he doesn't because he knew this would happen when he created us. He knew, and did it anyway."

"Secondly, hell was never meant for us, but Lucifer and his angels whom wanted to be God, themselves."

Another failed attempt by your god. See, to believe in a god that fucked up so much is absurd.

"...everything that looks “evil” that He did in the OT, was for our wonderfully disobedient age"

Bullshit. It looks "evil" because it was "evil". The god in the bible is "evil" for killing innocent babies and ordering genocide and for hell. He is "evil" for the simple fact that it is "evil" to imply that the blood of the innocent is needed to purify the guilty.

"Religion is defined as follows: it is an obsession, and is anything that you do repeatedly."

You can make up new and wonderfull definitions all you want, you subscribe to a belief system and THAT is what a religion is.

"God never wanted a religion. That denounces His throne of love and sets up the law once more"

Stupid. Should have never given us the law to begin with and magically blinked all rebelliousness out of us and ended up with the robots he intended us to be in the first place. Your god is a moron. And because no thinking human can be accused of being so horrid I can safely say he is indeed a viscious monster.

As I said before you have given NO credible evidence that any supernatural being actually exists in objective reality. I'm not just going to take your word for it. Especially given the horrible nature of the deity you say is real.

And then ther is this bit of rubbish:

"Oh, and I think its interesting how you can hate the very being that you claim to deny exists."

You describe my feelings to your imaginary friend as hatred. No. I feel no such emotion for a being that doesn't seem to exist in objective reality.

But your imaginary friend...you know, the one described in the bible....if he were objectivly real, he'd be an asshole.

freedom_33 said...

You know what? You call me delusional. You say that what I believe is idiotic. Please, for the common sake of humanity, show a bit of respect. I have not even once called your beliefs to be foolish or ridiculous. Nor have I ever made any jests about your belief. No, brother. You have faith that God does not exist and you hope that when you die He will not be their to judge you. You believe it, and that, I’m afraid, is belief. That is faith. You might not be religious about atheism yet, but give it time. You see pretty religious about this blog.
If your right about your views, then I’ve lived a life that was not self-centered, and helped a lot of people turn away from self abuse, and live a way life, which is living to help other people. What greater thing can any man give society, but to make it a better place? There is nothing. So after I have lived my life, I die and return to the great compost heap called earth. And that is pretty much that. Right?
But if I am right, then you burn in hell for ever, always wondering why you denied him; knowing that every reason that you could possibly conceive is totally found in ridicule against the fact that He gave you so many chances, and gave you so much evidence to believe in Him. Yet instead of taking this as fact, you chose to explain it through ‘science’. To be honest, that’s a really large, ‘what if’.
The majority of the scientific community is actually beginning to admit that the universe has more evidence leading to intelligent design. Quit basing your ‘facts’ on the ‘evidence’ that most of the scientific community has refuted because it is based off of weak suppositions. You know right now, I don’t have time to go into all of the evidence that affirms an intelligent creator. Check this book out: The evolution of a creationist, by Jobe Martin. He is a very intelligent man, and I had the honor of learning under him for a while. Let that get you started.
Where would you find medical documents containing events of the stigmata of possession? Google is a great search engine buddy. Give it a shot.
God doesn’t put people in hell, you do, mate. God gives you every chance not to go to hell, you just choose to deny it. And you think God fucked up? God saw the outcome of this thing called existence, and saw that the end result was better than all the things that would mess up. Lucifer had to be made, just the way he is. You see, if the devil was never made, then sin would not exist. If you god, then you choose sin forever. Therefore, God wanted to be loved. For it to be true, genuine love, people have to have a choice from one thing or another. If their were no devil, then we would only have god or god to choose from, and then we would be robots and their would be no love in that. God didn’t want robots, that is why He gave you the choice to believing in him or to deny him.
Oh yeah, and what I meant by ‘don’t make things so complicated’, was that sometimes you just call things for what they are. A table is a table, and a chair is a chair. Don’t write a book on why a chair is, and that it is a chair because it serves a purpose, and that is the only reason that it exists, is because it has a freaking purpose. IT IS A CHAIR ( No, I’m not implying this in a literal sense, it’s a bit of an exaggeration)
I can’t remember which one was talking about the run-on paragraph, but, who cares? I really have better things to critique in my life than a paragraph. If all you can do is look at peoples grammatical errors, or errors as you see them than good luck with NOT destroying your life or having someone destroy it for you.
The definition I use for religion is the third definition found in Webster’s Dic. Oh yeah, mate. For someone who is not pissed off, you sure do use colorful language, harmful and spite-filled words that seem to be out of….. Yeah, that’s right. Anger.
I’ll tell you what: Save me from my stupid beliefs in Christ. Get me away and out of my need for an imaginary friend. If life is really that good without god, then prove that to me. want proof of God, and I want proof that there is no God. Save me from my ‘religion’ and enlighten me to a new mind. Tear me apart, if you will, and make me bleed, but do NOT use the bible, or your interpretations, cause that my friend is a little hypocritical. Show me the respect from one human being to another. I tell you one thing. You aren’t going to win me over my calling what I say is stupid or nothing but rubbish. But please, win me over to your side , as though someone is holding a gun to your head and this is the only way you are going to be able to squeeze out a couple more unimportant years of your life. Can an atheist muster up this? Can you deal with that challenge?
Personally, if I knew for a fact that this was all that life was, it so would not be worth it to live out my life. In that case, living is a waist. Screw that.

MothandRust said...

"But if I am right, then you burn in hell for ever, always wondering why you denied him; knowing that every reason that you could possibly conceive is totally found in ridicule against the fact that He gave you so many chances, and gave you so much evidence to believe in Him. Yet instead of taking this as fact, you chose to explain it through ‘science’. To be honest, that’s a really large, ‘what if’."

What if the Jehovah Witnesses are right and god is angry at you for having birthdays? What if Tom Cruise is right and the Mothership analy probes you instead of taking you to a better galaxy far far away? What if The muslims or hindus are right? What if the United Pentecostals are right and you didn't speak in tongues enough to enter the Kingdom? What if Harry Potter is right and Voldermort truly has risen again?

What if, what if WHAT IF... they are some pretty bid damn 'what IFs'.

More like WTF!

Sure if your particular mythology turns out to be an actualy unreality then you've spent some of your life trying to be holy. Some of us actually practice decent ethics without the misconception that an eternal reward awaits. That seems more commendable than those only wanting celestial brownie points.

MothandRust said...

"then prove that to me. want proof of God, and I want proof that there is no God."

With this sort of logic, all those other mythologies need to be disproven. Try disproving the Invisible pink spaghetti monster. However, if I claimed that the spaghetti monster was perfect and good and loved everyone, you'd have to explain why a woman died in my town today saving her baby from drowning in local flood waters.

Your god is easy to disprove. The whole sin thing is a contrived story. LIfe is random and sometimes pathetic and horrifying. Your supposed god made it.

.:webmaster:. said...

”You know what? You call me delusional.”

Ah, yeah.

“Please, for the common sake of humanity, show a bit of respect.”

Do you respect the position of non-believers? You have implicated repeatedly that everyone on this blog who disagrees with your religious fantasy is living a worthless life and after death going to be tortured forever by your unconditionally loving god. In other words, those who don’t have the correct opinions about your religion are doomed. And doesn’t your book of fables say that those you don’t believe in your god are fools? Psalm 14:1 comes to mind. Perhaps you didn’t directly call anyone a fool, but it’s dripping off your words, so don’t be so self-righteous. Your unconditionally loving god-man might have to put a hurt on you for that.

“You might not be religious about atheism…”

Atheism is not a religion. "A religion is a set of beliefs and practices generally organized around supernatural and moral claims, and often codified as prayer, ritual, and religious law. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.” – Wikipedia

“If your right about your views, then I’ve lived a life that was not self-centered, and helped a lot of people turn away from self abuse, and live a way life, which is living to help other people...

So, what you are saying is that without your religion you wouldn’t have done any of those humanitarian things? You would have lived a selfish, grubbing, grabbing life except for your religion? Well, then by all means, hold on to your religion. It apparently does you some good.

“But if I am right, then you burn in hell for ever…”

Explain that one to me. How is it that divine justice would find it necessary to give an eternity of “burning in hell” for the temporal “sin” of disbelief? Disbelief is merely asserting that certain religious opinions that are dogmatically proclaimed about the existence of an invisible “realm” filled with spirits, ghosts, angels, demons, a flying-un-dead-god-man-on-a-stick, a super god, and god knows what else, lack any supporting evidence. Besides, there are a considerable number of other religions out there. What if you have chosen the incorrect religion? Or, what if you have chosen a heretical version of the correct religion? Hmm? There are more than two options in your scenario. It may be that you are preaching the wrong religion! It may be that you are the one in for a big surprise after death.

“The majority of the scientific community is actually beginning to admit that the universe has more evidence leading to intelligent design...”

I challenge you to find one reputable quotation from a real scientist that supports that statement. Good luck.

"I don’t have time to go into all of the evidence that affirms an intelligent creator..."

There is no evidence that affirms an intelligent creator. Your book is rife with supposition and logical fallacy. And that’s not evidence.

“God gives you every chance not to go to hell, you just choose to deny it.”

Let me get this straight. You’re loving god threatens people to either love him or they will be kept alive forever and tortured mercilessly throughout eternity. I’m sorry, I think I choose to just die like all the rest of the living creatures on this planet and go back to ground. If your scenario is true, then both heaven and hell are horrific options. In heaven I’ll be living with a cruel dictator who is torturing most of humanity forever and ever. In hell I’ll be tortured forever and ever. Either way it’s sick. It’d be like having to choose between being part of Hitler’s SS machine or one of the Jews.

“God didn’t want robots, that is why He gave you the choice to believing in him or to deny him.”

Yeah, we’ve all heard this a million times. Now, tell me this. Why couldn’t he have given that choice without threats of hellfire and damnation? I mean, if you really love someone, and you want them to love you back, is treats of torture, pain, agony, the best way to win that affection? How about this: "Love me and go to my heaven, or love me and live in another place that is just as nice, but I won't be there. I hope you choose coming with me, because I really, really love you."

Nah. That'd be too easy. Let's torture 'em!

“I’ll tell you what: Save me from my stupid beliefs in Christ. Get me away and out of my need for an imaginary friend. If life is really that good without god, then prove that to me.”

This website is intended to encourage people who have already decided to leave Christianity. You came here to preach your religion, and it is you who are stepping into someone else’s territory. I, for one, could care less what you believe. No one came looking for you on the Internet, mate. You came here. Oh, and life is what life is – life is life. It is your attitude about life that makes it good or bad. You must have a piss-poor attitude about your own life, because the only good thing you see in yours is your death. You are fixated on death and going to heaven. If you would rather have a life given to you by a death-cult fantasy instead of a life ruled by reason, reality and rational thought… then have at it!

“I want proof that there is no God.”

It doesn’t work that way. When you can give me proof of no Zeus, no Allah, no leprechauns, no Bigfoot, no UFOs, no invisible pink unicorns crawling around Uranus, then perhaps you’ll get it that people don’t need to prove the non-existence of things. The responsibility of providing evidence falls to the people who insist that any of these things actually exist. Surely that makes sense to you.

“You aren’t going to win me over my calling what I say is stupid or nothing but rubbish.”

That may be true, but think about this: What do you say to a religious fanatic that will be convincing? I can’t even imagine parachuting into Iran and converting the place to any other religion. Religion, once it gets a foothold in a person’s mind, seems quite intent on remaining there.

“In that case, living is a waist. Screw that.”

I prefer singing “Row, Row, Row your boat” to your depressingly negative view. However, to many people, life is a waist. Too many of us eat too much.

stronger now said...

Freedom_33,

You must think you are smarter than the average bear...er...christian.

Hindus have been known to have stigmata. One was Chaitanya Mahaprabu(1486-1534). Which suggests that christianity isn't the only religion to have adherents with psychosomatic marc...I mean markings. Intersting that it is mostly a catholic thing. More interesting is that the people getting these markings have them on different sides of the body(spear wound) and either in the palms or wrists. Even more interesting is that they were almost unknown in before the thirteenth century, that is, before christ on the cross was a popular image. And there are known frauds such as Magdalena de la Cruz. Then lastly the magic trick.

As for demon possession, well, lots of mental illnesses can be wrongly "diagnosed" as demon possession. And the temperature drop, show me a case where there was a supernatural being infesting someones body that was studied by a credible scientist or scientific body that measured the temperature varience in the room BEFORE the alleged possession and during. But please make sure that it wasn't in the winter as someone could have opened a window.

I have never seen any case of demon possession or stigmata that could not be easily given a natural explanation. I even asked YOU to point to one case that couldn't be given a natural explanation and you just gave me the challange of finding one for you. I did google it and I have to say, after doing some reasearch I still don't feel a strong desire to accept the fanciful claims of the religious.

"Quit basing your ‘facts’ on the ‘evidence’ that most of the scientific community has refuted because it is based off of weak suppositions."

What are the facts that I have used that have been refuted by most of the scientific community? Please, show me.

I was a christian, even a creationist. I have not read that one book you recommended but I have read many others by proponents of Intelligent Design. Like "Mere Creation", to name one. I know the arguments for it and I know the logical scientific refutiations of it.

"For someone who is not pissed off, you sure do use colorful language, harmful and spite-filled words that seem to be out of….. Yeah, that’s right. Anger."

I have a very good reason to be angry at a system that wishes I didn't use rationality and logic to seek out objective reality.

See here.

"Save me from my stupid beliefs in Christ."

If you don't want people calling your beliefs stupid, don't believe stupid things.

You have offered us no good credible evidence for your beliefs. That is why you shouldn't believe them. Not because they might make you feel better. Not because you wish they were true. You should believe the things that can be backed up with credible evidence or a logical argument.

If you believe in things for which there is no credible evidence for then you might as well believe in pixies, leprechauns, martians and such.

Jim Arvo said...
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Jim Arvo said...

freedom_33 said "I mean no offense when I say this: Have you ever wondered that maybe the things that you over analyze, are really not as complicated as they seem?"

It's unclear who you are addressing, but I'll go ahead and reply. Your question is based on the premise that I (we? who?) "over analyze"... something. Without some specifics it's impossible to give you a meaningful answer.

freedom_33: "Life was never meant to be complicated,..."

By whom? How do you know there was anything for which life was intended?

freedom_33: "My credible evidence [for Satan]? Well, for it to be completely credible in your mind, mere words would not sway someone so deeply ground in their faith such as you."

WHO ARE YOU ADDRESSING?

freedom_33: "But I can show you anytime you are ready to come find me J ."

Is "J" shorthand for "Jim"? I'll assume so. So, I must demonstrate my "readiness" for your evidence, then I must seek you? Why so coy all of a sudden? It seems you were chomping at the bit to tell us of your evidence before.

freedom_33: "I would very much like to ask you to analyze those great medical and mysterious anomalies known as demon possession, or even explain how the phenomena called the stigmata may occur."

Specifics please.

freedom_33: "But explain how those possessed can speak languages that they have never learned, or how the temperature in the room always go sub-zero?"

Can you point us to documented evidence for any of this? Let's start there, shall we?

freedom_33: "Let me jump ahead of the denial of such things to be false, and say they are true, and you can find no, truth in your logic to find these claims as false."

Don't confuse "denial" and "skepticism". And please stop throwing the word "logic" around; it seems you use it in the most simplistic way, and it bears no meaningful relationship to what any of us might recognize as "logic". But I'm willing to play "what if". Yes, let's pretend for a moment that the phenomena you've alluded to have been meticulously documented by dispassionate and scientifically savvy observers, and everything appears to be exactly as claimed. (That's a HUGE "if", but let's see where it goes.)

freedom_33: "Let me say now, that these demons, so to say, will scream in pain in torment at the sound of the name Of Jesus. Surmising that all this is true, not that you believe or agree, what would you say then of Christ?"

If this were shown to be the case under controlled conditions, which ruled out the possibility of the response being purely an emotional (of psychotic) one of the individual, and if the response was very highly correlated with the name "Jesus", but not other names, like "Jessie" or "George", then I would be quite intrigued. I'd want to find out more.

freedom_33: "...have you ever seen a lump of clay turned into a pot, rise against it’s potter and say “ now I make the rules and shape the clay?”"

No, I've never seen that happen. Have you ever seen water turn into wine, or a tree wither upon being cursed? Me neither. (I wonder what this has to do with anything.)

freedom_33: "...Why would it be so hard for you to understand that God does love you and that all your pain you go through is to make you better than what you are?"

Because I've seen ZERO evidence of disembodied conscious beings. That's just for starters.

freedom_33: "...you shouldn’t hate God..."

I don't hate god. I just don't think there is such a being. If she's out there, and I somehow missed her, she's 100% welcome to stop by any time. I'd love to hear what she has to say.

freedom_33: "...if you were God and made man so that he would have a relationship with you, and then the race of man kept on breaking the simple laws that you gave them, would you still say “well, even though you treated me like a dog, I guess I’m still going to let you into my wonderful place called heaven. What, you don’t believe in me? Well, that’s okay, here how about I just blink you out of existence.”"

First, I cannot imagine ANY circumstance under which I would intentionally inflict eternal pain on ANY organism. But that's me. The god you worship obviously has different rules. Second, your analogy is extremely weak. Let's make it a bit more realistic. Let's say you, as "god", created some beings with whom you wished to have a "relationship," and this is how you went about fostering that relationship: you routinely murdered entire civilization, sanctioned slavery, rape, infanticide, plundering, and all manner of treachery, not to mention idiotic rituals such as animal sacrifices, and left your instructions in a psychotically disjointed book assembled by religious zealots who routinely killed one another over disagreements. Let us further stipulate that your instruction manual will be littered with "miracles" and strange dogma that is eerily similar to that of more ancient traditions that we all know are 100% bunk. Moreover, let us state that you shall never show your face or give clear evidence of your existence. Under those circumstances, if you hold it against your creations that some of them think you are a myth, then you are not "god", you are a sociopathic moron of galactic proportions.

freedom_33: "Jim arvo…. What if a great part of the population suddenly vanishes, leaving their clothes and all personal items? What if, all at once, mothers suddenly, were not pregnant anymore? Their stomachs, literally, deflating before you eyes? What if horrible plagues began to scourge the earth, like in the times of the plagues of Egypt? What if winged creatures began to fly about, and the dead arose?"

Ooooooo, those are good ones. Yes, I'd definitely start to consider supernatural explanations if any of those things happened. (Well, maybe not the plagues, but the other ones are really spooky!)

freedom_33: "All of which are recorded in the revelation of Jesus Christ of the last days?"

Recorded? Yes, that nonsense appears in the book of Revelation. On what grounds do you suggest we take that seriously? Have you read the Koran? It makes some spooky predictions too. Do you take them seriously?

freedom_33: "So, I suppose, literally, you will not believe in God until He comes back, is that it?"

Huh? I think you've not been paying attention.

freedom_33: "Well, it’s been fun, but I will end my dirge now I suppose hahaha. I look forward to hearing your comments ;)"

Somehow I doubt it. I take it you will be offering no evidence after all, is that correct?

Ta ta.

freedom_32 said...

You guys are a mixed bunch. Forgive me if I do not answer everything perfectly. I’m trying to read comments from about three different people and answer at least some of them as best as I can with the time that I am given. I read your (collective) comments above and write from their. Okay. So I want you guys to know that you have been a wonderful help to me, in figuring what it is that you, ( again collective for the atheistic community) believe.
Yeah, I know. It is kind of petty of me to play the what if games and such. And forgive me for not giving you that solid proof. Listen, friends, I know what I know because of the things I have seen. I am a rarity in the fact that I tasted every faith system, and the only one that spoke back to me was the Christian god. I have seen things that cannot be explained by science or any other kind of (sorry to throw your favorite word around) logical ways of debunking them. I’m sorry for being preachy to you, but that was a necessary thing for me to do. Oh yeah, and the coyness is due to my reasoning. All I wanted to know is what it would take for you to believe in God. So many people believe in some kind of God, or life after death, or the very least, a spiritual realm. Can the majority of people really be wrong? Of course they can. I always believe that it is worth really looking in to, especially if there are those who are so zealous they would kill for it. I can’t remember who said it but it is said that the most godless wars are those fought in his name.
Personally, I find that atheists are very interesting. You strive on pure, hardcore, scientific, no way to get around it or another way to explain it… evidence. I was the same way until I really wanted to know if God was real. The evidence He gave me was irrefutable TO ME. But my word doesn’t mean shit to you and I don’t blame you. I admire your perseverance and the fact of what you need to believe in God.
The one thing that I would really like to know is why are you NOT open to the idea that their could be a God? I mean obviously you had to at one point, or other wise you wouldn’t call yourselves ex-Christians. Give me something else besides no evidence, lets just be optimistic that maybe one day their could be evidence for a creator. So, are you open to the idea of god, or do you deny it completely? You guys have been wonderful, and I hope your lives go well. I would say god bless you, but I guess that don’t really mean much to you lol. Once more, I appreciate your comments and your insight. Thank you.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

freedom_33: You know what?

As a matter of fact, yeah---I know at least this much: Your second-most recent post, again, is rife with logical fallacies and inconsistancies - and in the end, you have offered not one iota of evidence for your religious belief(s).

freedom_33: You call me delusional.

Yup.

freedom_33: You say that what I believe is idiotic.

Pretty much, yeah.

freedom_33: Please, for the common sake of humanity, show a bit of respect.

Excuse me---you, by your own volition, decided to post on a website clearly titled EX-christian. The most respect you deserve, is that you are perfectly free to post your opinion. And if I'm not mistaken, that's precisely what you've been doing. On the other hand, if you want us to believe your opinion has a referent in reality, you'll need to cough up some objective evidence. To the best of my knowledge - and upon review - the sources and arguments you've served up could make ANY religion "true".

freedom_33: I have not even once called your beliefs to be foolish or ridiculous.

Perhaps that's because if you were to do so, you'd essentially being labling yourself all the same. After all, you aleady disbelieve in all the same gods as we do---we just disbelieve in one extra. In other words, is it "foolish" and ridiculous" for you, the Christian, to disblieve in "Allah"? How about Poseiden? Amon Ra? Hopefully you get the picture.

freedom_33: No, brother. You have faith that God does not exist and you hope that when you die He will not be [there] to judge you.

Yes, I have about as much "faith" that "Yahweh" does not exist, as you do that "Allah" does not exist. I think we can safely say that is ZERO, yes?

freedom_33: You believe it[that "God" does not exist], and that, I’m afraid, is belief. That is faith.

Let me make sure I get this straight by offering a few different perspectives:

Firstly, if "non-belief" is a "belief", and further, it takes "faith", then is it your contention that to believe on "faith" is flimsy logic, and thus, unwise? In other words, is Christianity JUST AS flimsy, and is it just as unwise to believe it on "faith"??

My second perspective is in the form of a question. If I were to ask you if you believe in transparent purple pixies, which of the following answers would be closest to your exact words:

a) Why YES, boomslang...I DO believe that transparent purple pixies don't exist.

or..

b) No, boomslang, I don't believe in transparent purple pixies.

If you are honest, you will have picked "b"(provided you don't believe in purple pixies, of course). In any event, do you see the point? Here it is, in case you missed it: NON-belief is NOT "belief". The end.

freedom_33: You might not be religious about atheism yet, but give it time.

I'm sorry, but that notion is moronic.

To be sure, do you by chance collect depression-era glass? No?...you don't? Well, you might not see that as a hobbie yet, but give it time!!

freedom_33: If [you're] right about your views, then I’ve lived a life that was not self-centered, and helped a lot of people turn away from self abuse, and live a way life, which is living to help other people. What greater thing can any man give society, but to make it a better place?

Fantastic outlook! But then I would've asked: Why did you need religion to motivate you to do those things?

freedom_33: There is nothing. So after I have lived my life, I die and return to the great compost heap called earth. And that is pretty much that. Right?

Right, and if true, how does that/how would that presumably "undo" all the good things you did?

freedom_33: But if I am right, then you burn in hell [forever], always wondering why you denied him;

No, I'm sorry, whether I "burn in hell forever", or not - I will never "wonder why" I denied "him".

freedom_33: knowing that every reason that you could possibly conceive is totally found in ridicule against the fact that He gave you so many chances, and gave you so much evidence to believe in Him. Yet instead of taking this as fact, you chose to explain it through ‘science’.

So, once more, you seem to be suggesting that "faith" should trump "science"---is that what you're saying? If so, then why do you not accept "Allah" on "faith"? Why do you not accept the testimony of Joseph Smith on "faith"? Listening.

Additionally, do you think that all of the inventors throughout history - you know, the ones who gave us all of the modern conveniences that you and I both enjoy - sat around on their duffs "hoping" and having "faith" that "God" would drop a f%cking schematic or diagram in their laps?

freedom_33: The majority of the scientific community is actually beginning to admit that the universe has more evidence leading to intelligent design.

Reference, please.

freedom_33: Quit basing your ‘facts’ on the ‘evidence’ that most of the scientific community has refuted because it is based off of weak suppositions.

If you have a better, more reliable method for determining truth, let's hear it.

freedom_33: You know right now, I don’t have time to go into all of the evidence that affirms an intelligent creator.

How convenient

freedom_33: Check this book out: The evolution of a creationist, by Jobe Martin. He is a very intelligent man, and I had the honor of learning under him for a while.

Okay, and did you learn who or what created the "creator"? If you don't have an answer for that - and if you cannot explain how this alleged "Creator" created everything - then guess what?.. neither you, nor your book, have any answers at all; you only have more questions.

freedom_33: Where would you find medical documents containing events of the stigmata of possession?

Bingo!..NO-WHERE.

freedom_33: Google is a great search engine buddy. Give it a shot.

Yeah, 'google' Batboy, or boy raised inside pumpkin.

freedom_33: God doesn’t put people in hell, you do, mate.

"God" doesn't exist, mate...and neither does "hell". But for kicks, let's give your biblical concept the benefit of the doubt.

I'm guessing you will say that it is our own "free will" that lands us in "hell", right? Yes, of course. Welp, that idea is ludicrous, and here's why:

Say you are in line at the bank cashing your check, and a masked man comes in waving revolver around demanding that everyone give him their money. Are you telling me with a straight face that you are exercising your will, "freely", when you hand over your money, lest your brains be blown out? See? So please, don't insult my intelligence with your "free will" concepts, m'kay?

And before we move on, let's ask a more pertinent question:

If biblegod is so wonderful, smart, loving, and a general 'JOY' to be around - and all of this is so self-evident - then why does said being need to use threats to gain followers? There is something seriously amiss about that whole concept.

freedom_33: God gives you every chance not to go to hell, you just choose to deny it. And you think God fucked up?

Yeah, I think "God" f%cked up, specifically, by presumably giving man a brain, but expecting him not to use it.

freedom_33: God saw the outcome of this thing called existence, and saw that the end result was better than all the things that would mess up. Lucifer had to be made, just the way he is. You see, if the devil was never made, then sin would not exist.

If "sin" and "evil" didn't exist, then "God" would be obsolete...i.e..UNnecessary. 'See any irony there?

freedom_33: If their were no devil, then we would only have god or god to choose from, and then we would be robots and their would be no love in that.

More absurd 'logic'. Okay, if chives didn't exist, then what?...we'd only HAVE sour cream or sour cream for a potato topping? How about NO topping?

freedom_33: God didn’t want robots, that is why He gave you the choice to believing in him or to deny him.

...::yawn::

If "God" is "omniscient", meaning, if said being KNOWS the future, then that future is solidified, hence, "God's plan"? If that statement is true, then we only have the illusion of "free will", thus, we are f%cking "robots" anyway...and furthermore, so is "God", for that matter. Here let me spell it out for you: If "God" knows the future, then "God" knows, in advance, what decisions "God" will make when those choices arise, thus, "God" cannot choose, thus, "God" has no "free will", thus, "God" can be likened to a robot.

freedom_33: Oh yeah, and what I meant by ‘don’t make things so complicated’, was that sometimes you just call things for what they are. A table is a table, and a chair is a chair.

Right...and bullshit is bullshit.

freedom_33: Don’t write a book on why a chair is, and that it is a chair because it serves a purpose, and that is the only reason that it exists, is because it has a freaking purpose. IT IS A CHAIR

Exactly what point have you made? Whether there are books on "chairs", or not, we know they exist.

freedom_33: I can’t remember which one was talking about the run-on paragraph, but, who cares? I really have better things to critique in my life than a paragraph.

Ooo Ooo!...I pointed that out. And for the record, I'm not implying or suggesting that all Christians have lame writing skills; I'm merely saying that most religious people that I encounter are uneducated, and it shows in their writing.

freedom_33: If all you can do is look at peoples grammatical errors, or errors as you see them than good luck with NOT destroying your life or having someone destroy it for you.

Lol! Um, whAT? Can you show a correlation between the two?

freedom_33: The definition I use for religion is the third definition found in Webster’s Dic.

What were the first two?

freedom_33: Oh yeah, mate. For someone who is not pissed off, you sure do use colorful language, harmful and spite-filled words that seem to be out of….. Yeah, that’s right. Anger.

Type "Not Ready to Be Nice" into the search window on the main page.

freedom_33: I’ll tell you what: Save me from my stupid beliefs in Christ. Get me away and out of my need for an imaginary friend. If life is really that good without god, then prove that to me. want proof of God, and I want proof that there is no God.

As you've previously been informed, it does not quite work that way. The onus of proof is in the lap of the one making the positive assertion; the one asserting that something exists, in the positive. That'd be you.

freedom_33: Save me from my ‘religion’ and enlighten me to a new mind. Tear me apart, if you will, and make me bleed, but do NOT use the bible, or your interpretations, cause that my friend is a little hypocritical. Show me the respect from one human being to another. I tell you one thing. You aren’t going to win me over my calling what I say is stupid or nothing but rubbish. But please, win me over to your side , as though someone is holding a gun to your head and this is the only way you are going to be able to squeeze out a couple more unimportant years of your life. Can an atheist muster up this? Can you deal with that challenge?

Ironically, in your facetious little rant, you raise a great point about a "gun" being held to someone's head. The point is, you are perfectly free to reject everything you've read on this blog, and be on your merry Christian way. We are NOT offering you our views conditionally, where as, conversely, threats are both implicit, and explicit, in your posts. See the difference yet? Maybe you should review.

freedom_33: Personally, if I knew for a fact that this was all that life was, it so would not be worth it to live out my life.

So what you appear to be saying, is that "to live", in and of itself, is meaningless, yes? Okay, then let me ask you---what difference does it make to "live" in perpetuity? In fact, if that were the case, it would seem that "to live" would soon become pointless. Feel free to enlighten us, though.

Jim Arvo said...

freedom_33 asked "So, are you open to the idea of god, or do you deny it completely?"

Perhaps you missed this from my previous post:

JA: "If she's out there [i.e. god], and I somehow missed her, she's 100% welcome to stop by any time. I'd love to hear what she has to say."

Okay?

As for your comment "Give me something else besides no evidence, lets just be optimistic that maybe one day their could be evidence for a creator", all I can say is, if you want to believe stuff on no evidence, then go right ahead. There are infinitely many things one could believe, just for the heck of it, or because it makes you feel good. There is a whole pantheon of gods you could believe in, or you could believe that you are god, or that you are the reincarnation of Caesar,... whatever floats your boat. But most of us here have an odd bias for things that stand some chance of being true. Call us crazy...

boomSLANG said...

J.A..."...all I can say is, if you want to believe stuff on no evidence, then go right ahead. There are infinitely many things one could believe, just for the heck of it, or because it makes you feel good."

Jim Arvo makes a crucial point - one that I try to stress to Christians, despite their seeming unwillingness to accept it - and that is that the minute you accept something as true on "faith", is the minute you open the window to an infinite "list" of things that can be "true". If you use documents such as Holy texts, etc., to try and show that some faith-based beliefs are more plausible than others, then you've essentially shot yourself in the foot, because you are attempting to use a type of "evidence", when the whole premise/point of "faith" is to believe in lack of evidence.

freedom_33: The one thing that I would really like to know is why are you NOT open to the idea that [there] could be a God?

Please note......PLEASE note, that the idea of not being open to the existence of "God", a generic entity, and the idea of not being open to the idea of the Christian biblegod, are NOT mutually inclusive. Do you get that? Let me try and explain it further:

I am open to the idea of anything, provided that there are no contradictions in the make-up, and/or, characteristics, and/or, identity of said 'thing'. In other words, I'm open to the idea of the Christian biblegod in as much as I'm open to the idea of square circles. Just like you cannot have a circle with corners---you cannot have an "all-loving" deity who rejects and tortures people, whatever the reason. You can NOT have an omniscient deity, who has "free will".

As to if there is some generic, impersonal, impartial super-natural "intelligence", there may be such a thing, however, I cannot know such a thing as long as I exist in a natural universe. But more importantly, what would it matter?

boomSLANG said...

Correction. Previously, I said: the sources and arguments you've served up could make ANY religion "true".

...when it should've said, the same types of sources, etc. In other words, anecdotal, religious documents, etc.

stronger now said...

"The one thing that I would really like to know is why are you NOT open to the idea that their could be a God?"

I am open to the idea of there being a god! Why do you think I asked you for evidence?

"Give me something else besides no evidence, lets just be optimistic that maybe one day their could be evidence for a creator."

If someday there was good credible evidence for a creator god, Then I'd switch to deism. Just because there is evidence for a god doesn't mean that it's the biblegod.

freedom_31 said...

Why do you argue? Man. Just humor me would you? Listen Jim argo... I repect you. Don't get me wrong. So why don't we try this, and this is how God answered me. Honestly, and when I say honestly I mean that you gotta want it ya know what I mean? Just say something along the lines of if you are real, then prove it. Direct it out their to the cosmos, or whatever. Either way, it's just words to you so their is no harm. I can gurantee that He will show Himself in a very short amount of time. And whatever it is that answers your call, then test it to be God. Ya I know, you think it's foolish. And again Jim, the question is not always directed to you. I was answering three or four other people's comments. I do appreciate it though. The fact that you are willing (after credible evidence) is.... refreshing.

freedom_31 said...

My bad. I was really directing most of that comment to Sronger now, more so than Jim arvo, but oh well. Atheists are just as divided as christians in their beleifs as to what they would accept and what they would not. I don't know what is worse. Oh well, so be it. Thanks anways for your time. Have a good life and keep on keepin' on.

MothandRust said...

"Direct it out their to the cosmos, or whatever. Either way, it's just words to you so their is no harm. I can gurantee that He will show Himself in a very short amount of time."

Is this like saying 'Bloody Mary' into the mirror three times?

Actually what you have here is your own self-fulfilling prophesy. If you look into space and hope for signs from god, you will give more meaning to every little thing you can... falling stars, and blah.

Astreja said...

freedom_31: "Just say something along the lines of if you are real, then prove it... And whatever it is that answers your call, then test it to be God."

In My experience, the answer to that particular question will tend to come in a form that resembles the petitioner's spiritual ideal... Whether or not it's "real".

Thus, I've received "answers" from a Chinese bodhisattva, several Norse gods, and a character from a book of modern fiction.

Although the information thus gained has been extremely useful to Me, I have no way of determining the real source. Is it My rather vivid conscious imagination? Unconscious or preconscious mind? Telepathic extraterrestrials? Jung's Collective Unconscious? The beings I thought I was speaking to? A completely different being with multiple personae? And is it benevolent or malevolent?

You see, "test it to be God" is rather difficult to do in practice. If it works for you, great; but don't think you've found a definitive answer to this rather open-ended question.

boomSLANG said...

I have to ask---is freedom_31, freedom_32, and freedom_33 the same person? Only because some responses are quite a bit goofier than others.

Passerby said...

freedom_33,
Boomslang asked you many questions. The least you can do is respectfully answer them.

.:webmaster:. said...

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse.

Whoa-ho! It's Magick!

Jim Arvo said...

To any supernatural beings out there in the cosmos...

If you can hear me, or read these words, you are hereby invited to demonstrate your existence to me in any way you see fit. You have my full permission to implant ideas in my head, materialize, intercede in my affairs, ANYTHING you wish to do to let me know you are there.


There you go, freedom_33. (Or should I say "Their you go!") I'll let you know what happens, okay?

By the way, did you know that I'm a prophet (Or "profit" if you prefer). Here is a prophecy: You, freedom_33, shall findeth fault with my invitation. Ye shall sayeth "Thou words do not floweth from thine heart, and lo, the LARD shall not answer thee!" Let's see if I'm right...

stronger now said...

freedom... uh?_33,_32,_31

Is this some kind of countdown to armageddon? Anyway...

"I can gurantee that He will show Himself in a very short amount of time."



How can you miss the EX-christian thing so many times? I've done the prescribed procedures for conjuring of supernatural entities. It didn't work when I most needed it to, but for the sake of....of...for the hell of it, I'll give it another go.

(lifts his hands to the sky in an appropriate pleading manner)

I bid the creator of all to reveal himself to me.

(a very short amount of time later)

Nope.

Oh! Wait...wait!

nope.

Jim Arvo said...

To freedom_33,

I don't know what qualifies as a "short amount of time", but here are the unusual things that have unfolded for me thus far; maybe these are signs from a supernatural being? You tell me...

1) I came into some unexpected money. (As I was playing a game with my son on the floor, I noticed a dusty and somewhat gooey penny under the couch.)

2) My cat did something she has NEVER done before. (I saw her curled up on a cushion that I've never seen her sleep on before.)

3) I ran out of my favorite breakfast cereal. (This happens at MOST once every other week.)

4) I got a phone call from my accountant. (The last time this happened was well over a month ago.)

Now, individually, these may not seem like much, but the chances of all these things happening together are fairly remote. What do you think?

freedom_30 said...

Hehehe… Maybe my names that are slowly counting down is to Armageddon… Maybe we will see, and maybe we won’t.
To mothandrust, one would think so. But then again, I’m talking about the notion of God. I’m not talking about a falling star falling in such a form that is unusual to the degree that it is odd, or that the fallen star implies something. Or of a cross forming in the clouds, or of a picture of mother Mary appearing in my burnt pancakes…. Or grilled cheese sandwich ( though I think I have seen a silhouette of Elvis once). Something profound, not mundane.
To astrja…. I’d like to know more about your “answers” from these norse gods, bodhisattva, and, purely out of curiosity, which character? And yes, it is a very open ended question, but it’s just a start of a series of more in depth question which could be asked off the basis of the answers that you receive.
Boomslang, and passerby… I’m sorry if I don’t answer all of your questions. I get kind of caught up with one comment and go from their. I should be more forward with what I say. My bad. I tell you what. From here on out, I am going to do my best to answer what you ask.
Oh and Jim arvo…. Yeah, my spelling sucks… It really sucks. I was never good when it came to grammar, but then again, Albert Einstein couldn’t perform basic mathematics, yet could do algebra in his mind.
Stronger now. I miss the ex-christian part because, just because you went to church doesn’t mean you were a christian. There is a BIG difference. Most of the people that go to church aren’t REAL Christians. Be careful about your sarcasm. It completely irradiates your validity of being a person of any level of intelligence… lol… smart ass. ( Just messin’ bud.)
And for that last comment Jim, I don’t think that those are indications for an intelligent being trying to get your attention and answer your call. Though you have amused me, what is important is the level of how genuine you were about your call. But that is all on you, I’m not in your head, and I don’t know how serious you are being, or if you are just making a jest at my expense.
Okay. So let me stop being so trivial and simplistic. Let’s go to evolution, and see if perhaps we can tell if there is proof for a creator, or if all of this is purely a process of random actions that have occurred. Is it safe to say that you Jim arvo, and I suppose stronger now, believe in evolution to our existence? Along with this, do you believe in the theory of the Big Bang? If so, brush up on your quantum physics, and get ready to give me proof of it’s theories. Scientific method will rule over all, correct?

Astreja said...

Freedom(--n): "To astreja... I’d like to know more about your 'answers' from these norse gods, bodhisattva, and, purely out of curiosity, which character?"

Well, here's a scattering of Interesting Incidents with information that could just as easily have come from Me as from Them.

- 1999: On my break at work, while sitting in the coffee room and handling a rock recently added to My collection, I mentally 'heard' the name Astreja for the first time. I attributed this incident to Oðinn, and subsequently took the name Astreja Odinsdóttir. In the recent past I had begun to rediscover and study My Scandinavian heritage, and had also been carving a set of runes.

- 2000: A confrontation with my about-to-be-ex spouse. He threatened to murder a friend of mine and then commit suicide. I heard a voice whisper "Get... out!" Probable cause of this auditory hallucination: Acute stress and terror. I immediately attributed this message to the Dragonlance character Raistlin Majere, partly because of the nature of the voice I heard and partly because I had been journaling and writing fan fiction in that 'voice' in the recent past. (And yes, I did leave the relationship... That very night, in fact.)

As for the bodhisattva, Guan Yin and I have been friends for... At least 28 years now. She's the one who helps Me talk Myself out of doing ill-advised stuff and/or work through bouts of anger. Her little nudges are My version of taking a deep breath and counting to 10... And a fine role model for compassion and active listening, too.

Real or imagined? (shrugs) I don't need them to be real. They're fine just the way they are.

stronger now said...

Freedom_33_32_31_30 (ect.?)

"Is it safe to say that you Jim arvo, and I suppose stronger now, believe in evolution to our existence?"

Believe? As in to have faith in without credible evidence for it being real or true? No. I accept that it's the best explanation for the diversity of life on this planet because it has the most credible evidence to support it. However, If another explanation comes along with more and better evidence, I'll drop evolution for THAT one.

But let me explain a little more. The biblegod doesn't "win" by default. If you somehow were to show that evolution isn't the best explanation for the diversity of life, then you'll still have to provide evidence for a god. Since you seem to be having a problem providing evidence for a god now....

As far as I can see this also applies to the Big Bang theory as well.

If someone came along and said that pixies were pushing magnets together instead of electromagnetism, then somehow demonstrated that the theory explaining electromagnetism couldn't fully explain the phenomina, would that make pixies real? Would you go around with a belief in magnet pushing pixies then, even without being shown evidence for pixies? If so why?

"I miss the ex-christian part because, just because you went to church doesn’t mean you were a christian."

True. Would it help you to know that I believed that I had a relationship with jesus and that I thought it was his still small voice that I heard guideing my actions and thoughts? If not, please explain how you can tell the difference between a True Christian™ and a poser. It would be a great help to all those churches being led by theifs and pedophiles if you could spot the nonbelievers on sight.

"Be careful about your sarcasm."

No.

"It completely irradiates your validity of being a person of any level of intelligence… lol… smart ass. ( Just messin’ bud.)"

Glad to see you weren't seriously trying to tell me how to conduct myself here.

You have asked us many questions and you seem to not be as forthcoming with answers to ours. In fact I see that you seem to expect us to seek out your answers for you.(remember the "google it" comment?)

If your not going to provide your own answers to our questions, why should we continue to jump through hoops to answer yours, other than for our own amusment?

I want a direct answer from you on one question before I go any further. O.k. Remember this:

"My credible evidence? Well, for it to be completely credible in your mind, mere words would not sway someone so deeply ground in their faith such as you. But I can show you anytime you are ready to come find me J ."(bold added)

Here is the question:

If you can produce evidence for the supernatural anytime, why have you not gone to James Randi with it?

stronger now said...

Oops. I have seen Ia need for a correction in my last post. As the wikipedia entry for James Randi states:

"Starting on April 1, 2007 only those with an already existing media profile and the backing of a reputable academic would be allowed to apply for the challenge."

It would seem that it is no longer acceptible for just anyone to take his challenge. However the intent of the question I asked still stands.

If you can provide evidence for the supernatural at ANY time, why don't you provide it to scientists?

Jim Arvo said...

freedom_XX said "...what is important is the level of how genuine you were about your call."

Right... If I get no reply, it's because my invitation was not "genuine"! (So I'm a prophet after all!) Don't you see the problem with that? If not, please do the following for me: Ask Lord Krishna to reveal himself to you. I don't mean some half-hearted request just to appease me, I mean a REAL and genuine invitation. Are you willing/able to do that?

freedom_XX: "Let’s go to evolution, and see if perhaps we can tell if there is proof for a creator, or if all of this is purely a process of random actions that have occurred."

Before we discuss evolution, I would like to make two requests of you:

1) Please refrain from setting up straw men, such as characterizing evolution as "purely a process of random actions", which is rather like claiming that all of English literature was produced by monkeys banging on typewriters.

2) Please list some of the mainstream science books that you've read on the theory of evolution.

The reason for the former is simple. If we're going to discuss evolution, then I would like to discuss evolution, and not the idiotic creationist caricature of the theory, which gets really tiresome.

The reason for the latter is also simple. I find that with astonishing regularity those who think evolution is ridiculous know absolutely nothing about it, and therefore what they espouse is not informed opinion, but idiotic talking points they've acquired through rumor or from pastors, apologists, or vapid devotional material. While it can be amusing to shoot down these rampant misconceptions, I will no longer try to educate those who have taken no initiative on their own. It's futile, and it's a complete waste of my time.

freedom_XX: "Is it safe to say that you Jim arvo, and I suppose stronger now, believe in evolution to our existence?"

I will speak only for myself. No, that is not "safe" to say. I categorically do not "believe in" evolution, or any other theory for that matter; not even atomic theory, or the theory of plate tectonics. To "believe in" a scientific theory carries connotations that I do not care for, so I do not use that language. Here is how I express it: I believe that the theory of evolution is by far the most factually supported and plausible idea ever proposed for the diversification and development of life on Earth. If you don't see the difference between that and "believing in it", then speak up.

freedom_XX: "Along with this, do you believe in the theory of the Big Bang?"

Same objection. I don't "believe in" theories. As for the Big Bang, it fits several observations extraordinarily well (red shift of distant galaxies, the abundance of hydrogen and helium in the observed universe, and the 3-degrees Kelvin background radiation). Therefore, it is (rightly) the dominant theory today. That's precisely how I regard it.

freedom_XX: "If so, brush up on your quantum physics,..."

Do you have a physics background? If so, please elaborate. I don't wish to talk down to you.

freedom_XX: "...and get ready to give me proof of it’s theories."

If you want "proof", I suggest you pursue pure mathematics; that's the only discipline that admits absolute proof. In empirical matters what we have is evidence, nothing more.

freedom_XX: "Scientific method will rule over all, correct?"

Until there is something that is demonstrably better, it would be wise to stick with the highly conservative process known as the "scientific method".

boomSLANG said...

Freedom 31, 32, 33, etc., said: I tell you what. From here on out, I am going to do my best to answer what you ask.

Okay, then great. So, without further adieu, here are a few of the questions that you previously ignored:

1) If "non-belief" is a "belief", and further, it takes "faith" to uphold that "belief", then is it your contention that to believe on "faith" is flimsy logic, and thus, unwise? In other words, is Christianity JUST AS flimsy, and is it just as unwise to believe it on "faith"?[bold added]

This question, of course, is based on one of your previous assertions. Let's review:

freedom_33: You believe it[that "God" does not exist], and that, I’m afraid, is belief. That is faith.

Let me make it easy for you: Kindly, just answer the question in bold, above, with a "yes", or "no". If "no", please explain how "faith" in "no god" is lacking or flimsy, but "faith" in "a god" is "okay". Thanks.

2) Do you, the Christian, employ "faith" when you deny other known deities, such as "Allah"? Again, a "yes", or "no" will be fine.

3) Also previously---if I were to ask you if you believe in transparent purple pixies, which of the following answers would be closest to your exact words:

a) Why YES, boomslang...I DO believe that transparent purple pixies don't exist.

or..

b) No, boomslang, I don't believe in transparent purple pixies.

*Of course, the point here is to illustrate how "non-belief" in something is NOT a "belief", so hopefully, you'll answer honestly.

4) In regards to another one of your previous statements, I asked for a reference. Here is that statement:

freedom_33: The majority of the scientific community is actually beginning to admit that the universe has more evidence leading to intelligent design.

Again, your source is..?..?..?

5) Previously, I asked, and was denied answer to the following:

"If biblegod is so wonderful, smart, loving, and a general 'JOY' to be around - and all of this is so self-evident - then why does said being need to use threats to gain followers?"

Well?

There's more....'er, wait...I mean, theirs more, but that's all for now.

freedom_29 said...

Astreja- I agree with you when you said that it could have just as easily of come from you, as from your rather interesting incidents. The human psyche is beyond all things known to man, thus far. (Perhaps we should stop trying to discover the secrets of the universe and start figuring out the complete complexity of our own bodies?) Anyways, there are ways to debunk this idea of “is it me, or is it them?” thing. First of all, did they ever speak to you a second time? The name that was spoken to you…What led you to your ancestral religion, and how does Astreja fit into this psyche experience? Personally, I can tell when my mind is just spitting things back to me, and when it is a different entity producing these words. How did you know that it was that very specific deity? Your premonition-like voice could, again be your mind, or a separate voice. I don’t know how you feel when you get these kind of “projected” voices or ideas in your mind, but ( and I say this loosely) I think everyone has had some kind of experience with that.

As for it being God, or a product of God, or a norse god, or the girl from dragon lance (boy, it’s been a very long time since I have heard her name mentioned), I don’t know. When I find something like that happening, I make a very powerful effort to discern my conscious mind from these ‘happenings’.

If I can achieve this, then there is still the idea that it could be my sub-conscious mind, which may be a culmination of everything that has been stored in my memory from day one of my birth (or further). I am also curious… why are you content with reality as it seems to be? I’m not saying that it is a bad thing, I’m just curious… why don’t you question it?

Stronger now- You said, “Believe? As in to have faith in without credible evidence for it being real or true? No.”

The point that I really want to understand is how you say that it is not faith, or belief that you have in these things. Have you tested models of the beginning or the theory of the big bang? If not, then you are accepting and putting faith that the men that have completed such things as this and formed these theories, are well informed men, of high intelligence, and are credible. Furthermore, a theory DOES require some degree of faith/ belief because it cannot be tested or reproduced. It cannot be accepted as fact. Scientifically, this is not scientific. You believe, for one reason of another, that these men are reliable sources at which to place your “acceptance” in.

Also, earlier in my comments I mentioned that this (whatever it may be) is a religious kind of thing. Once more, I wanted to see what you say. Therefore, I would like to say that you may not be a religion, which very much IS a structural form of a faith or belief, you still have a belief and a faith. Even in the second law of thermodynamics states that before the big bang, all matter and energy was in a state of equilibrium which is defined in the concept of Zeroeth Entropy. For it to be before the big bang, then this matter and energy had no beginning, and simply always ‘was’. Most people call this eternal. So, is it eternal matter and energy?

Stronger now said, “Would you go around with a belief in magnet pushing pixies then, even without being shown evidence for pixies? If so why?”

If I were never shown any kind of evidence that these magnet pushing pixies were really doing this, then NO I would not believe this. I would, however spend a majority of my life to figure out what was causing this phenomena to occur ( if it took that long).

But at the same time, I would like to say this: Let us say that one day these pixies manifest themselves to you and tell you exactly how it is they do what they do, and that the laws of electromagnetism were man’s way of explaining things they can’t grasp. Then they disappear. You dismiss this as a crazy moment and NEVER mention it to anyone. Now, a few days later, they do it again! Again and again, at random moments that you are always alone, they keep materializing, to where you are the only one who sees them. You keep these experiences to yourself, until one day, someone comes up to you and says that they have been having delusions of magnet pushing pixies, and that it keeps reoccurring. Then another, and another until you admit that you have been seeing these things to. Collectively, the stories are all the same, and collectively, the stories vary very little but still have the same message: What would you say then? Mass hysteria? Oxygen level too high? None of it can be proven, but the experience remains the same, along with the knowledge that electromagnetism just doesn’t cut it.

To have a relationship with Jesus you say? Adolf Hitler said he was a Christian and that he had a relationship with Jesus. In fact, he claimed to love Jesus soooo much, that he wanted to kill all the Jews for crucifying Christ. If Hitler had a relationship with Jesus, then he would have known first and foremost how Jesus felt about murder and killing( I would like to make it clear, that I am very much aware that Hitler was an evolutionist, and his excuse for exterminating the Jews was to speed up the process of ‘survival of the fittest‘). So, it is by someone’s actions that you may see if they have a true relationship with Lord Jesus. In the book of revelations, it is mentioned that God sends an angel to measure around His temple. Not the courtyard, which was a representation of the world at large. Now, it was just out of the temple, and those who were in side of it that God said only one third of those will be saved by there faith. The rest of the world was not mentioned, only those claiming to be Christians, and out of this number, two thirds were not true Christians.

You may tell if someone is a Christian, a mean a real Christian by there love. The Holy Spirit is to reside within you, and if you really have God within you, then His spirit brings forth from you these things: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those whom are lacking greatly in those departments, listed above are NOT true Christians. Oh, and the big thing about acquiring these, is it is not forced for you to do them. To someone who is a true christian, these things become easy, when before, they were hard. They become a new nature to you, different from something you had before. And if that is what you had, then great.

To your last question, I have not gone to James Randi with any substantial poof of God or a spiritual realm because to do this, one would have to die, and shed this flesh that holds our soul and go to it themselves. The proof that I can show is very personal and I would literally have to show you it. Perhaps, someday, I will go to James Randi when I am better prepared. Thanks to you, I am getting acquainted with what it is I am going to have to deal with. You seem to idolize James Randi, and hold this man in high regard. Why? Has he never told a lie? As he never broken a law? Has he ever been wrong on something?

freedom_29 said...

Boomslang,

You said, “If "non-belief" is a "belief", and further, it takes "faith" to uphold that "belief", then is it your contention that to believe on "faith" is flimsy logic, and thus, unwise? In other words, is Christianity JUST AS flimsy, and is it just as unwise to believe it on "faith"?[bold added]

Do not put words in my mouth with your assumptions. My point was this: EVERYONE has a belief in something, even if it is nothing. You don’t believe there is a god, but you believe there is nothing. You have no way to prove that he doesn’t exist, much like you cannot prove that evolution was the cause for all life. And yet, I do NOT, let me repeat this. I DO NOT believe it to be unwise. I believe that it is what it is, mate. Faith is just that. Faith is flimsy, yes. Too bad that everyone has it and puts it to something. Do you believe the sun will rise tomorrow? You have no way of proving, at this very moment, that some great catastrophe will not occur, causing the sun to cease from shinning. You have faith that tomorrow will come, and yet no way to prove that it will until it does come. To completely answer your question, they are both “lacking” and “flimsy”.

“Do you, the Christian, employ "faith" when you deny other known deities, such as "Allah"? Again, a "yes", or "no" will be fine.”

Do you know how Allah came to be known? Allah was the chief deity of a territory in the middle east, which happened to be where Mohammed lived. Yes, I have seen the background that even goes past this, as to how these “deities” came to be known. I am glad to see that you know the difference between Allah, and Yahweh. Most Christians do not even know the difference. No, and yes, to answer your question. No, because I have reasons at which to believe that Allah is not a god. Even he answers to someone. Yes, because everything that one takes into acceptance based off of “facts” that someone else has composed together must be believed by faith. The only instance that faith may not be used is in the case that you yourself are the one that has done the extensive research necessary to form such an idea, and is not based off another person’s research, AT ALL. If, in fact it was, then you have faith in the one who completed the research that you did not, and that it was credible, for that matter.

About your purple pixie question…I’m sorry, but I’m going to answer honestly here. This is precisely what I would say, “ I believe that transparent purple pixies do not exist. I also do not believe that transparent purple pixies exist.” I know you don’t want to here that, but that is what it is. It can be said either way, and mean the same thing, but not believing and believing are still a belief. Either you BELIEVE they do exist or you BELIEVE they do not exist. Still is believing though.

freedom_33: The majority of the scientific community is actually beginning to admit that the universe has more evidence leading to intelligent design.

Yup, those are my words. I would like to retract the ‘majority’ and add minority. A small, small percentage of scientists are beginning to actually enforce fundamentals when it comes to the scientific method. First off, as described by Hy Ruchlis, the scientific method is “…the basic set of procedures that scientists use for obtaining new knowledge about the universe in which we live.” Hy ruchlis, Discovering Scientific Method (n.y.:Harper & Row, 1963) p. 7.

Ruchlis continues to say this on page seven and eight, “ Unless the teachings of the authorities on a subject are based upon scientific method, error can be just as easily transmitted as fact… The most important point to remember about the method of science is that it rests upon the attitude of open mind. In accordance with this attitude, one has the right to question any accepted fact. One who searches for truth has to learn to question deeply the things that are generally accepted as being obviously true.”

At this point, one must say that the concept of evolution is not based off of any fact, and Jim arvo is correct when he said that it most be done by evidence. But mere evidence is a far cry from the, nearly fail-safe of the scientific method. Evidence, as it sits, which cannot be tested, still leaves room for error.

I am afraid that I over exaggerated greatly with my first statement, but there are those who are beginning to look at the problem of creation vs. evolution from different stand points of the “vs.”. First off, I would like to present Hans Kosterlitz, the man who discovered the natural painkillers for the body, which are called the enkephalins. This next statement was written by Jeff Goldberg, who writes the thoughts of Kostelitz: “It is a question of almost God. Working on the enkephalins you get- without being religious- a commitment. You start to admire and wonder. How could that come about- that plants and animals share such structurally similar chemicals? How, even after a million years of evolution, could the earth, with all its plants and creatures, be so very simple and unified?” Jeff Goldberg, Anatomy of a Scientific Discovery (N.Y. Bantam Books, 1988) p. 211.

For now, this is all I have for my original statement. I would also like to say that I do not have an immense amount of time to write these things out, and, about the time that I wrote that statement I was trying, once more, to see your reaction. Mea Culpa, mate, mea culpa.

Boomslang-"If biblegod is so wonderful, smart, loving, and a general 'JOY' to be around - and all of this is so self-evident - then why does said being need to use threats to gain followers?"

First of all, I would like for you to site these ‘threats to gain followers‘. By all means, give me book and verse in the bible, because I would like to know where God threatens someone to follow Him.

Secondly, if you are going to use the argument of the existence of Hell, then let me say this:

EX. 1-Do you believe in gravity? Gravity is something that cannot be seen, and yet we all know it to exist. Gravity is a law of nature, and this law is set within the bounds of other laws to govern it. What goes up, must come down. Okay. Now, still sticking with the gravity thing, let us say that you are going to go try and jump across a canyon with your friends. Now, your Dad has told you that you should not try to jump the canyon because you will surely fall and get hurt. You ignore him and go to try this anyways, even though he gave you fair warning. And, just like he said, you fall and get hurt ( but somehow still live and are able to walk). You go back home and curse you Dad, saying, “ you knew all along what was going to happen, so you should have stopped me from going all along. You are hateful and evil and I do NOT want to be your son anymore!” Your Dad answers, saying, “Hey. You are old enough to know NOT to do something, and if I warn you not to do it, I have good reason to. You are not a slave, and I can’t run up and keep you from doing anything you set out to do. All I can do, is tell you what your consequences will be.”

If you ignore the laws of gravity, you will probably get hurt, one way or another. I can’t say “ gravity doesn’t exist” and then not fall down and get hurt because of it. It is still going to happen one way or the other whether I believe it or not.

Hell is kind of the same way. It has laws, just like life does. Plain and simple, it is a consequence to an action. God blatantly warns us of hell, and tells us how to escape it. I fail to see how this is a threat.

EX.2- You go to ride your bicycle and your Mom tells you to where a helmet and knee pads. You ignore what she says, and ride your bike. Surely enough, you fall down, bump your head and scrape your knee. So who’s fault it that you got hurt? Your’s or your mother’s for not stopping you? (Let us also say in this imagining that you are ten years old, and not two)

There you go, boomslang. I hope this gives you something else to critique for a couple of days. And let us not forget “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Commit Sin + reject Christ= hell. Not to mention, God said that he never, ever once meant for us to go their. That was the punishment of the fallen angels that rebelled against God within there hearts. Make no mistake on that.

Jim, I'm sorry, but I didn't have a chance to complete what you have asked of me, but I'll have it to you shortly. Sorry for my delay.

.:webmaster:. said...

Please learn how to use their, there and they're. CLICK HERE

Secondly, for the sake of argument, let's just throw evolution on the trash heap. OK? There, evolution is false and worthless and doesn't have a lick of evidence to support it. Evolution is crap.

Now, that's decided. How does that in any way give your religious delusion one iota of credibility?

Guess what, Big Foot doesn't exist, does that mean Jesus if God? Hey, here's one: There are no faeries, leprechauns, or pink unicorns! WOW! You what that means! Jesus still doesn't have any evidence for being a god!

Throwing aspersions on scientific theories doesn't contribute a bit to supporting your claim that your godling is real. Whether or not science has puzzled things out has nothing to do with proving your case. You just don't get it. The default position on any of these claims is "I don't know." The default position for where life came from is "I don't know." Making wild assumptions that scientists are evil beasts, deceived by an imaginary Devil, still does NOTHING toward supporting your religiously manic claims.

Do you get it?

I doubt it.

stronger now said...

Freedom...whatever,

"...a theory DOES require some degree of faith/ belief because it cannot be tested or reproduced."

But they(theory's) do have supporting evidence that is reproducible and testable. It is these bits of credible evidence that lend believability to a theory.

So again, it isn't a "faith" in the sense of it being unevidenced and blind and therefore on equal terms with religion.

I accept that there are limitations to what I know and that there are people more knowledgeable about these things than me. However I need not accept there theories if I find them to be illogical or unevidenced. That Is why I am an ex-christian. I found the claims in the bible faulty, unevidenced, and illogical.

If you or anyone else can show that the mathimatical models, telescopic images, and other well known scientific tools that cosmologists use are indeed faulty, unevidenced, and illogical I'll drop my acceptance of their theory.

But you still bear the burden of proof for your god theory. As they bear the burden of proof for their theories. They can point to credible evidence for their theories, where you seem to have a problem doing this.

"If I were never shown any kind of evidence that these magnet pushing pixies were really doing this, then NO I would not believe this. I would, however spend a majority of my life to figure out what was causing this phenomena to occur ( if it took that long)."

Great. What method would you use to determine the cause of such phenomina?

"What would you say then? Mass hysteria? Oxygen level too high? None of it can be proven, but the experience remains the same, along with the knowledge that electromagnetism just doesn’t cut it."

Possible mass hysteria. Mass delusion. Is that how you see your religion? Everybody getting messages from the same type of entities all with the same experiences. Like the hindu's and mormons.

***"If Hitler had a relationship with Jesus..."

Hold up! Judge not lest ye be judged. Do you not "sin" anymore?

"In the book of revelations..."

What? Did you just use the bible after you said:"Save me from my ‘religion’ and enlighten me to a new mind. Tear me apart, if you will, and make me bleed, but do NOT use the bible..."

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that Not doing to others as you would have them do unto you? Asking someone to abide by rules that you have no intention of abiding by yourself is kinda hypocritical of you, unless I misunderstood.

But either way I see NO reason to hold to your request if you won't do likewise so...

***If hitler had a relationship with jesus, and jesus claimed that to know him was to know his father, and his father was the OT god who condoned genocide, murder and stoneing disobedient children then he would have understood that jesus wouldn't have any more of a problem with it than he did.

"The Holy Spirit is to reside within you, and if you really have God within you..."blah blah blah.

Yeah yeah yeah. Heard it all before pal. EX-christian, remember.

"...I have not gone to James Randi with any substantial poof of God or a spiritual realm because to do this, one would have to die,..."

Wow. So you have no poof and the only way to get any would be to die. Yet you go on to say:"The proof that I can show is very personal and I would literally have to show you it."

Are you telling me that for you to show me proof you'll need to kill me? I thought you said your jeebus was against it?

"Perhaps, someday, I will go to James Randi when I am better prepared."

Are you saying that you are preparing to kill non-believers?!!?

"You seem to idolize James Randi..."

No, not really. He's just very good at what he does. Please don't kill him. That would make baby jeebus cry.

Astreja said...

freedom_29: "The human psyche is beyond all things known to man, thus far." (emphasis Mine)

Give it another hundred years. We're learning more every day.

"Perhaps we should stop trying to discover the secrets of the universe and start figuring out the complete complexity of our own bodies?"

Lots of scientists to go around, and not everyone is interested in neurology or physiology. Multiple people working on multiple problems = Greater likelihood of new discoveries.

"Anyways, there are ways to debunk this idea of “is it me, or is it them?” thing. First of all, did they ever speak to you a second time?"

Does not follow that a once-only event uniquely identifies the source. But yes, I've received the occasional 'nudge' (although not in quite so spectacular a fashion).

"The name that was spoken to you... What led you to your ancestral religion, and how does Astreja fit into this psyche experience?"

Initially it was someone else's question about some symbols I had sketched and then embroidered onto a garment. Were they actual runes? I didn't know anything about runes at the time, so I went looking for information. Only two of about a dozen embroidered symbols resembled symbols from the Elder Futhark... Not a particularly impressive percentage of "hits"... But by that time I was interested enough to continue studying Norse mythology.

As for the name Astreja... It appears to be a Nordic turn on the name of the spring goddess Ostara, and since Ásatrúar consider themselves to be children of the gods I decided to take on the vernal-goddess gig. That's My story, and I'm sticking to it. :-)

"I am also curious... why are you content with reality as it seems to be? I’m not saying that it is a bad thing, I’m just curious... why don’t you question it?"

Well, I do actually question it. A lot, in fact.

I'm open to the possibility that there's something beyond the veil of unknowing, but strongly feel that adherence to the Scientific Method is our best hope of correctly assessing that "something". If a phenomenon can be explained in terms of our current knowledge, pretending that it's supernatural is a huge step backwards for believers and non-believers alike.

Put it this way: If you want to find an honest-to-goodness god, your best bet is to relentlessly cut away everything that doesn't look like a god.

feedom_28 said...

Strnoger now....

The statement about not using the bible for any of your arguements,is because you have no beleif in it what so ever. For that reason alone, just leave it be.

I beleive in science, that is why I will use it. I beleive the bible, so I will use that, especially, when I am defending a point that is a spiritual matter. The comment about killing all non-beleivers was alittle out of place. Also, I am not saying I would kill anyone. I am saying that if you want serious proof, then one would have to die, as all people will. I'm not going to kill anyone, though the concept of a religous zealot wanting to prove his beleifs by killing people might make a real nice thriller-novel, I am NOT an advocate of murder or killing of anykind.

So, hold up. I answered all of your questions, and you couldn't answer, not even one of mine? Why do you seem so pissed off? Oh and I liked how you ignore all the things you can't answer, that is pretty typical.

Webmaster,

Not a single ounce... Both of us cannot offer what the other would ask, for proof of God, of proof that there is no god. All I want YOU to understand, is everthing involves some degree of FAITH.... Or beleif... However you want to word it, it is still the same thing.

I will make more in depth comments on what you said strong now, but I'm tired, and really need some sleep.

.:webmaster:. said...

Freedom_xx,

Do you offer evidence that there are no leprechauns? Do you provide evidence that that the Gods of Mt. Olympus are non-existent? Do you hold up evidence that Allah is imaginary?

By your logic, if you reject any of those imaginary creatures I've must listed, that means you have FAITH in the non-existence of Allah, Zeus and leprechauns.

That would mean that you have FAITH that the 10,000+ gods that people have worshiped for thousands of years are phony. That would mean you have FAITH that the theory of gravity is true while the equally valid position that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is holding the world in place with his noodley appendages is false. You take it on FAITH that gravity is real and you have FAITH that noodley appendages have nothing to do with it.

Assigning equal validity to every statement or belief that a person spouts or imagines is ridiculous. You are making fantastic claims about the existence of a hidden, non-material, magical reality full of spiritual monsters, un-dead zombies, and horrific torture chambers of eternal fire. I am saying, "Uh, yeah? Where's the evidence of that?"

Then your response is that, "You don't believe me because you have FAITH that my invisible reality doesn't exist, and I don't need to provide any evidence in support of my invisible reality, you just have to believe me, and if you don't believe me, it's because you have faith!"

Clear thinking is not your strong suit, is it freedom_xx?

stronger now said...

"I answered all of your questions, and you couldn't answer, not even one of mine?"

Hypocrite and liar. If you'll look back I answered a couple of your questions and pointed out several problems with your thinking. And technically you DIDN'T answer ALL of my questions. So stop exaggerating.

I already said that my understanding of these theories was incomplete, but I also pointed out several lines of credible evidence that supports them as being valid scietific explanations. I also pointed out the fallacy of equating credibly EVIDENCED theories with dogmatic beliefs that have NO credible evidence for them.

Use science to support your spiritual beliefs. At least that way you wouldn't be a hypocrit.

FREEDOM said...

Webmaster,

Yeah, that is what I am trying to tell you. I don't care if you think my logic is ridiculous, it's part of humanity to have faith in something. Everybody does. Why do you find that so hard to grasp? Stop associating Faith and beleif soley with religion. Don't misunderstand; if you want to place faith in something that seems more credible than others, then by all means, have at it. I did NOT come in here to try and reconvert you at all, so stronger now, and webmaster, you can stop with your failed attacks with spaghetti monsters, or other such things.

Yeah, I have seen things that are of a spiritual nature, whether it used to be human, or whether it was a demon, whatever. But yeah, through personal expereince, something exists past this. Maybe that is all it is, and maybe it isn't.

http://www.mercola.com/2002/jan/2/soul.htm

Check into that for the proof of the soul.

"Then your response is that, "You don't believe me because you have FAITH that my invisible reality doesn't exist, and I don't need to provide any evidence in support of my invisible reality, you just have to believe me, and if you don't believe me, it's because you have faith!" "

Your not going to beleive me, and I'm not going to beleive you. Where the hell is your proof on anything? You keep talking about this credible evidence that supports that their is no spiritual realm, or God, or any other thing.

Honestly, that is the reason I came here... I want you to show me your proof. Why are you so unwilling to do this?

Stronger now,

What is your problem. I am no liar, and ever one is a hyporcrite to some degree. Show me a perfect person and I'll show you a fairy tale. Stop with the childish name calling, athiest. You give yourself a bad name, along with those that hold the same bracket of thinking as you. Now, why are you so unwilling to answer the rest of my questions? Is it because you cant?

.:webmaster:. said...

Freedom blathered, "Where the hell is your proof on anything? You keep talking about this credible evidence that supports that their is no spiritual realm, or God, or any other thing."

Freedom, I have no proof that your godling doesn't exist. I also have no proof that Allah, Zeus, or any of the thousands of deities in the mythological host of heaven don't exist.

And guess what? I don't have to disprove the existence of magic, imaginary deities, or invisible, un-dead flying zombies, to logically reject the claims of nut-jobs who insist these goofy things do exist! The burden of proof is on the one making the fantastic claim! You claim there is another reality of which I am unaware! I am saying, "Oh really? Can you give evidence it exists?" Your retarded response is to stick your finger in my face and say, "Hey, bozo, you have to disprove my claim and if you can't disprove my claim of a magical realm then my god-thing exists! Stupid!"

Look, idiot. I have an invisible tree in my front yard, and if you don't believe me, then you're retarded. I have a personal experience of standing under that invisible tree in a full thunderstorm and not getting wet. I KNOW that tree is there in my yard, even though it can't be seen, tasted, touched, smelled or heard. It exists because I had a personal experience that confirms the existence of my invisible tree.

You must accept my claim of my magical tree until you can come up with PROOF that it doesn't exist.

Do you get it yet, moron?

No, you don't get it, because your ability to reason has been crippled by religious delusion and fantasy.

Personally I could care less if you want to pleasure yourself with irrational arguments, but I really wish you would find somewhere else to practice your mental masturbation.

I doubt the existence of your god. I doubt the reality of your supernatural claims. I am not convinced that your version of reality matches up with obvious reality. I am skeptical of your position. You are the one coming here selling a product which you talk about but haven’t shown to anyone. It is plain that your product only exists in your imagination.

stronger now said...

Freedom....?,

"Now, why are you so unwilling to answer the rest of my questions? Is it because you cant?"

Some I can't. Because AS I STATED BEFORE:"I accept that there are limitations to what I know and that there are people more knowledgeable about these things than me. However I need not accept there theories if I find them to be illogical or unevidenced."

Do you still have a problem understanding that?

Your inability to grasp the logical tools used to determine what is objectively real and what isn't, makes your claim of the supernatural less credible. But don't worry too much. You're claim of the supernatural is just as credible as the hindu's, mormons, islamics, voodoo priests, wiccans, ect..ect..ect...

You speak in contradictions and use fallacious "logic" to try nd prop up your unevidenced belief in the supernatural.

"Childish"? You were lying. And THAT made you a hypocrite. You can try and call me names but anyone can plainly see that you are guilty of both because of what you wrote. Trying to denigrate me for pointing out your flaws won't make you any less guilty of the things I accuse you of. You were LYING about ME. You lied to US.

Remember you said:" Just say something along the lines of if you are real, then prove it. Direct it out their to the cosmos, or whatever. Either way, it's just words to you so their is no harm. I can gurantee that He will show Himself in a very short amount of time."(bold added)

Obviously that statement was untrue. A lie. A flase statement. As was another about, and directed at, me.

I think you should do as the webmaster suggests.