Recovering Catholic

sent in by Lynne

I'm a person who chose to be a devout Catholic. My parents took me to church, had me make all the sacraments (except the nunhood of course), but I chose to absorb the religion into my being. (they were not particularly religious)

This is the hardest part for me - I have had cognitive dissonance with Catholicism for 15 years now, but I just realized I am finally now in recovery. The effects of being a die-hard Catholic are still plaguing me - even though I quit going to church 15 yrs. ago. My big issues that still haunt me are: feeling guilty for silly reasons, a neurotic desire to help the needy, a huge fear of conflict and expressing anger, being sicky sweet to people, but inside highly judgmental of them (my biggest regret), and thinking mundane things are immoral. Unfortunately, all this greatly hindered my social skills (as you can imagine), and this caused me to suffer clinical depression on and off for years. I recently decided to go to the root of my problems that were causing the depression, and realized they stemmed from my "Catholic personality."

I have great hope for the future that I will recover from this religion. I found a young woman's website who wrote her own personal "12 step program for Catholics Anonymous." It was brilliant. I tweaked it some to fit my own situation, but already it has helped me. I will work on the steps with my therapist, since my city does not have a Catholics Anonymous meeting anywhere. I highly suggest people who were "addicted" (and I believe I truly was) to religion to write their own 12 step program. AA works for so many people, and I really think a program like that will help me.

New York
USA
Joined: technically, 5 months (baptism)
Left: 26
Was: Catholic
Now: agnostic, recovering Catholic
Converted because: thought it was the right thing to do
De-converted because: it made a mess of my life

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you please list that website you spoke of?

Anonymous said...

I am trying to be an excatholic man in the same identical boat as you

freeman said...

Lynne,
The first steps are always the hardest. This is true with anything in life!

I was also raised catholic. I went to catholic schools for 12 years. My mother is very devout, my father started going back to church after he had a heart attack some years ago (the big joke is that he really doesn't believe in the heaven hell thing, but just dust). I was never a devout catholic, but in my senior year we had to take a religions of the world class. This was my breaking point. After learning most of the religions, we were then told why christianity was the "true" religion. I could never buy it and would always ask questions and the answer was always, "Rudy, you just have to believe". NEVER!

That was around 23 years ago and I have never looked back. I am a deist (closet atheist is probably more accurate) but free from the cult.

One warning I will give you. Christians will come and post on your testimony telling you that you were never a "true christian" just because you were catholic! My reply to these people is "Thank God!", pun intended!

Lynne, welcome to freedom and sanity! We, who have broken free, are living our lives in the logical, reasoned world. You can see things more clearly than ever before. Enjoy!

Jim Lee said...

Hi Lynne. Just because you have moved away from religious brainwashing does not mean that you cannot help the needy. My wife and I who are ExChristian, now atheists just get in and help the needy whenever an opportunity presents itself. You will usually find that Christians who help others (good example is "Aid workers" in war torn or third world countries) have an ulterior motive. That motive being to try to Christianise those they help. I see all world religions and that includes bloody Christians ( they seem to think they are not a religion) as being EVIL in the mere fact they they instigate intolerance (Unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs) and bigotry.

freedy said...

Lynne, welcome back to reality.You
have joined a precious few who somehow escaped the mythical cult of churchianity,..congrats!!

John said...

Christianity in the Catholic tradition is hardly a cult. People here use that word so flippantly. I've never been asked why I don't put money in the collection basket. When I stopped attending Mass, a priest didn't telephone me and ask me why. I just left quietly one day, and was never called a heretic for questioning the Church's authority. Cults, on the other hand, permit their members no such freedom to come and go, to join other faiths, and to protest like people do here.

Jim Lee, you mentioned Christians' unwillingness to accept differences of opinion, but I see a lot of that here. Atheists aren't content with not believing what the Bible says. They also have to degrade people who do believe. That's intolerant, too.

.:webmaster:. said...

cult [ kult ] (plural cults)

religious group: a group of people who share religious or spiritual beliefs, especially beliefs regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false

Christianity is most certainly a cult. In some measure, all Christians are held to their system of beliefs by a deep-seated fear of the promised eternal, retributive and horrific torture that will supposedly be carried out by sadistic demons in hell against the unfaithful. Learn some history. Christianity may be much weaker in your part of the world today in 2006, but for long centuries it dominated all of the western world with an iron fist. Christianity is definitely a mind-control cult. No doubt about it.

Hisservant said...

The systems which men make, whether they are religious or secular, if followed, will make a mess of anyone's life. It is not
Catholicism or Methodism or Pentecostalism alone that are evil or unfulfilling and empty, it is life alone. Life without God is life alone. If we believe that we can find fulfillment in this life of the flesh without God, we will find that it is a false bubble of hope for those who pursue it.

I have been there and done that. Within every 'Christian' group
that I know there are, at least, a few people who truly love God and are trying to serve Him, but in those same groups there are too many that do not and, of course, the worst offenders are too often the ministers who influence so many of the others negatively.

The answer is not in 'religion' or in the men who lead religion and describe religion. The answer is in God. Where is He?
Where is His kingdom?

"Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the
kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU." Luke 17:21

"But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not
sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance." Matt 9:13

.:webmaster:. said...

Hisboy,

Every system is manmade -- every single one of them. Life is messy because life is messy. That's all there is too it. Life is MESSY!

One thing I will agree with, the Kingdom is within you. It is entirely up to each of us to make the most out of the lives we live. If we wait around for some god to give us purpose, we'll be disappointed time and time again.

Piprus said...

Lynne,

Thanks for joining in, and welcome to this place of freethought.

Growing up a southern baptist, I had little experience with catholicism except to be taught by other baptists that they were idol-worshippers. When I became older I learned otherwise, of course, but like all the other xtian sects, it's foundation is nonetheless nonsensical.

And Lynne, don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone has their little neuroses, whether they're religous or not. What's so bad about wanting to help those in need, for example?

(Hisservant, I hope you were self-impressed by your little hissy-fit. But I for one have a life without gods, and it is neither alone nor empty. Life is simply what it is, and there is no place in it for imaginary super-beings.)

Best wishes,
Piprus

Dave8 said...

hisservant, uh, you need to read more of your bible, you reference Matthew 9:13 and Luke 17:21, here are a few more passages from those chapters.

Matthew 9:32 - "As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil."

So, every person who is dumb must obviously be possessed by the devil, like all Atheists. Care to explain what this dude said, to make the apostles believe the devil was spending his vacation in this guy's body. Oh, that's right, the guy couldn't talk, that must be a "sign".

Luke 17:27 - "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

Your god, wiped out newborn babies, all animals, plants, and everything else on the earth, because he was angry. Killing of innocent people, is that how to reach justice for those one is angry with. One could assume that a god, could serve justice to those who deserve punishment, and not an entire planet's "living" creatures. So, when you have kids, I suppose you are going to beat them all, once "one" kid makes a mistake, yeah, that's the kind of heavenly "father" I want as a role model.

So, if you knowingly post only the pieces you want to use to make your point, you are cherry picking biblical passages, which is deceitful.

Perhaps you're not deceitful, just ignorant or in denial. I suppose if you weren't trying to "use" the bible to make your case as a christian, there wouldn't be a need to draw from the bible.

Thus, maybe the bible, is only good for many christians, as they use it as the introductory bridge to justify the claims of a Jesus god, as long as no one reads the remainder of the bible, there may be many years a person can live on the faith of the "words" of their friends/leaders/family who taught them about Jesus.

At that point, I'd say, the christian has more "faith" in their friends/leaders/family who taught them about a Jesus, than the actual "Jesus", that they never knew. It would appear to make sense, for a preacher, to attempt to shift ones' faith from them as a religious leader, to "god" or "Jesus", unfortunately, that means the preacher discredits themselves as the bringer of "good news", so, christianity continues to be nothing less that a group of people who have grouped themselves based on "faith" in eachother, using a common phrase to identify eachother, e.g., christian.

jim earl said...

Hisservent, no matter what decision you make in life, it it you and you alone that makes that decision. Jesus may have been a man but he was not a "god." I say may have been a man with good reason. I'll take it back if you can show any historical documents that tell of this man outside of the bible. Like Piprus, I once was a blind follower of religion but now my eyes have been opened and I am happier than ever before. Contented as hell! I never felt this good when I was a sheep. I do agree that "God" never lets anyone down. Why? Because he doesn't exist. We let ourselves down by believing crap for truth. Too bad because the non-believer's life is awesome. We don't have to worry about hell, demons, ghosts or goblins. Try it, you may be in for a surprise.

Hisservant said...

Quote: hisservant, uh, you need to read more of your bible, you reference Matthew 9:13 and Luke 17:21, here are a few more passages from those chapters.

Matthew 9:32 - "As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil."

So, every person who is dumb must obviously be possessed by the devil, like all Atheists. Care to explain what this dude said, to make the apostles believe the devil was spending his vacation in this guy's body. Oh, that's right, the guy couldn't talk, that must be a "sign".

Hisservant reply: You seem to know all of the answers. I admittedly do not. The beginning of understanding even in the secular world is recognizing that none of us know everything. The answers that each of us (Christian or other) do have are inside of us. When we attempt to share them through words for most of those that listen it is a seemingly wasted effort because they have already made up their minds.


Quote: Luke 17:27 - "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

Your god, wiped out newborn babies, all animals, plants, and everything else on the earth, because he was angry. Killing of innocent people, is that how to reach justice for those one is angry with. One could assume that a god, could serve justice to those who deserve punishment, and not an entire planet's "living" creatures. So, when you have kids, I suppose you are going to beat them all, once "one" kid makes a mistake, yeah, that's the kind of heavenly "father" I want as a role model.

Hisservant: You have your understanding of what the Bible is or is not and of what God is or is not. Again, it seems that you have all of the answers according to man's imperfect knowledge. Again, I do not claim to have perfect knowledge. I definitely do not and I do even claim that my knowledge is better than yours.

Quote: So, if you knowingly post only the pieces you want to use to make your point, you are cherry picking biblical passages, which is deceitful.

Hisservant reply: Would you prefer that I post the entire Old and New Testament? Deceit is certainly not my purpose.

Quote:Perhaps you're not deceitful, just ignorant or in denial. I suppose if you weren't trying to "use" the bible to make your case as a christian, there wouldn't be a need to draw from the bible.

Hisservant: Is it wrong for me to draw upon the Bible to express what I believe, but it is OK for you to draw on extra-biblical sources to express what you believe?

Quote: Thus, maybe the bible, is only good for many christians, as they use it as the introductory bridge to justify the claims of a Jesus god, as long as no one reads the remainder of the bible, there may be many years a person can live on the faith of the "words" of their friends/leaders/family who taught them about Jesus.

Hisservant: I cannot speak for all others who claim to be Christians, but I do read all of it regularly. I have some understanding, but not all:

For now we see through a glass darkly... I Cor 13:12

Quote: At that point, I'd say, the christian has more "faith" in their friends/leaders/family who taught them about a Jesus, than the actual "Jesus", that they never knew. It would appear to make sense, for a preacher, to attempt to shift ones' faith from them as a religious leader, to "god" or "Jesus",

Hisservant: My teaching has come in part through men, AS HAS YOURS, and this holds for ALL biblical as non-biblical knowledge. I will ateempt to give any man the benefit of listening to him rather than piling on him my disagreements with his cause without knowing what he himself believes. Of course, being an imperfect man, I fail. Will you admit as much?

Quote: unfortunately, that means the preacher discredits themselves as the bringer of "good news", so, christianity continues to be nothing less that a group of people who have grouped themselves based on "faith" in eachother, using a common phrase to identify eachother, e.g., christian.

Hisservant: Here you have lumped everyone together when people, even "Christians" are individuals. Some of what you have said will probably apply to some of them, but pointing out their errors does not disprove the correctness of God's purpose.

Quote: Hisservent, no matter what decision you make in life, it it you and you alone that makes that decision. Jesus may have been a man but he was not a "god."

Hisservant: I agree that we all make our own individual decisions. As to what Jesus was or is, you have already decided. I have not.

Quote: I say may have been a man with good reason. I'll take it back if you can show any historical documents that tell of this man outside of the bible.

Hisservant: Apparently you place alot of trust in history. This means you trust alot of men that you have never known. Men write things down and in those writings even men of great honesty express their own biases and/or the political biases of their own time and cultures, etc. Sometimes they write things which have no basis in fact. How can you know that any historical writing has any truth in it at all if you did not personally know the writer? Even if you did personally know the writer (as for instance with a modern newpaper reporter), how can you know that while the reporter himself believed he was writing the truth, he was not, in fact, misinformed?

Quote: Like Piprus, I once was a blind follower of religion but now my eyes have been opened and I am happier than ever before.
Contented as hell! I never felt this good when I was a sheep.

Hisservant: The problem with "Christian" sheep is that too often they are not really His sheep, but His goats. So revel then in your 'happiness' while your flesh lives:

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. Ecc 8:15


Quote: I do agree that "God" never lets anyone down. Why? Because he doesn't exist. We let ourselves down by believing crap for truth. Too bad because the non-believer's life is awesome. We don't have to worry about hell, demons, ghosts or goblins. Try it, you may be in for a surprise.

Hisservant: The non-believer life may be as you say 'awesome', but it is only a seasonal awesomeness.

In the end the only thing you can count upon is returning to the dust.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 11:6

And, by the way, I do not worry about 'hell, demons, ghosts or goblins'.

Sincerely in Christ, Hisservant

Anonymous said...

HS says, I'll just stay right here in my little Jesus box and I know of myself can do nothing, and know nothing, all I know is that the Bible is the absolute word of god, no matter how much you all prove that it's garbage. I will continue to believe my little fairytale, and live my life as a puritan and a Saint. All I know is that God loves me and thats all I care, no matter what happens in the world, I know that God loves me, and that is the most important thing to me, I do not care how foolish I may look or seem to others, all I know is Jesus loves me. Even if there are certain parts of the Bible that make absolutely no sense to anyone living, all I know is, God loves me. God is all I have, and God is all I want. No matter what anyone says to me, you will never convince me that there is no God. I want to be with God so much, because God is real, I do not care if every preacher rapes their own children, and embezzles all the church funds, I will always believe in God. I do not care if Jesus comes down and tells me himself, that all religions are false and the Bible is fake, I will still always believe that the Bible is from God. There is not one single thing that anyone can say to me to convince me otherwise. All I know is God loves me. I do not want to know anything else. Thats all I know, and that is all I want to know! I love living in my mental fantasy, and I will continue to live in my make believe Godly thoughts, no matter what anyone says. Nothing anyone says will ever change the way I intend to think and believe.

Any more questions?

Dave8 said...

I'll just reply to the portion that pertains to my comments...

HisServant: "Again, I do not claim to have perfect knowledge. I definitely do not and I do even claim that my knowledge is better than yours."

However, you completely fail, to delve into knowledge obtainment, and if its possible to attain certain universal objective truth(s). Based on physics, logic, and natural law, humanity is limited in the area of perception, with physiological limitations, and therefore, we perceive this natural reality "subjectively", unless you have another claim to make in that regard.

HisServant: "The answers that each of us (Christian or other) do have are inside of us."

Subjectively...

HisServant: "When we attempt to share them through words for most of those that listen it is a seemingly wasted effort because they have already made up their minds."

Wrong, your assertion that humanity falls short in transference of thought, because of stubborness, is being mentally shallow. You couldn't transfer your "thought" to anyone, even if they were truly willing to receive your message. A person, would have to place their "faith" in "YOU", and what you promise, knowing, that you admit you can not possibly know more than anyone else. Like you received your knowledge, you attempt to pass on that same subjective knowledge and suggest that those who do not come to your way of thinking, must be stubborn, and already have their minds made up.

Hisservant: "You have your understanding of what the Bible is or is not and of what God is or is not. Again, it seems that you have all of the answers according to man's imperfect knowledge. Again, I do not claim to have perfect knowledge. I definitely do not and I do even claim that my knowledge is better than yours."

Freudian slip, in your comment, nonetheless, bottom line is I didn't go to your website to proselytize and push my subjective knowledge as objective truth. However, here you are...

Hisservant: "Is it wrong for me to draw upon the Bible to express what I believe, but it is OK for you to draw on extra-biblical sources to express what you believe?"

I don't know what your education level is, but... do you agree, that we "all" live in this natural reality, and that "the bible", is a product of this "Natural" reality. If so, then it appears we are both making claims, using natural sources. That being said, my statements and claims, can be vetted through a validation process, by allowing anyone on this planet to practically test the information I provide. However, the information you present, even though, it is drawn from this natural environment, can "not" be validated, because it makes "transcendent" super-natural claims - claims, that are impossible to validate while "living" in a "natural" reality.

Perhaps, its enough to just say, you have as much right to your opinion, as I do mine. Point is, I don't rely on unprovable hypotheticals to make my decisions in life, and... you do... not only do you use an illogical thinking scheme to make decisions in your life, you suggest that others should follow your way of living.

If your intent is to pass on knowledge, then you are uneducated in your theological studies. The only information you can pass on, are words in a book, and those words represent nothing less than supernaturally based hypotheticals. You have every right, to your opinion, as I do mine, but between us, I seem to have the capability to present testable and verifiable information, whereas, you can't.

If your intent, is to just paste information, like bait, and see if anyone is desperate enough to bite, because they haven't gained enough information in this natural reality to answer or fill in enough holes, then I'd suggest you are preying on ignorance. It appears, that your comment projects your personality... it would seem, that you believe I am in competition with you based on belief alone, in an effort to pass on information... We are not equals, I am subjectively providing information that can be understood by others "today"... You... are providing subjectively laden unprovable and unfalsifiable hypotheticals.

Might, I suggest, that an unfalsifiable hypothetical, is... useless, as its something that can never be applied in this natural reality. Perhaps, you believe that your unfalsifiable supernatural hypothetical has "value", not because it can be verified by others, but, because it can be used as a "symbol" to rally people to a cause, by getting them to "associate" a state of being (mind), or "desired state of being (mind)", to the words you present.

Again, you are attempting to prey on those who are in psychological need, and if they take your bait, you offer them nothing but "hope", for something in another reality after death. The value of your religion, here today, in this lifetime, right "NOW", has nothing to offer, over secular life, PERIOD. As a matter of fact, statistically speaking, the christian religion, is not pristine as it has delivered the most brutal criminals to this world throughout history, and it continues.

Hisservant: "I cannot speak for all others who claim to be Christians, but I do read all of it regularly. I have some understanding, but not all:"

Understanding of what? Supernatural wisdom, while living in a subjectively perceived natural reality, do you know how ignorant that sounds? That's not an insult, just read what you wrote. "NO ONE" can know of anything "supernatural", while living in "this" natural universe, period. The early church attempted to bridge the huge chasm, by using "Jesus" as the symbol to connect the "supernatural" with the "natural" reality. Whatever lives in this reality, can "not" be of "another" reality, they are either here, or they are not, Jesus, wasn't skim deity, by christian tradition. The dude lived, and "died", (by tradition), and no one saw him in "heaven" and made a report, even while he was supposed to "walk" the earth, he was still part of "this" natural reality, not a "supernatural" reality. There is "zero" known of a supernatural reality, even with Jesus thrown into the mix, its irrelevant to even suggest Jesus has some meaning in the tradition of christianity, as anyone who understands philosophy knows the illogical claims.

Hisservant: "My teaching has come in part through men, AS HAS YOURS, and this holds for ALL biblical as non-biblical knowledge. I will ateempt to give any man the benefit of listening to him rather than piling on him my disagreements with his cause without knowing what he himself believes. Of course, being an imperfect man, I fail. Will you admit as much?"

I don't "fail" to be perfect, because no one can "define" perfect. Unless, you are going to attempt to provide a "perfect" definition, from a subjective point of view, would that be logical?

Hisservant: "Here you have lumped everyone together when people, even "Christians" are individuals. Some of what you have said will probably apply to some of them, but pointing out their errors does not disprove the correctness of God's purpose."

Again, you start out by stating everyone has subjective beliefs, but end, with "God's purpose", which can only be perceived subjectively by anyone in humanity. Even "IF", one person like Jesus (by tradition) could understand "God's purpose", the rest of humanity, is incapable of perceiving "Objective" information equally, period. So, don't end your conversation by making the claim that there is some "objective" reality that you are certain of, as it goes against your subjective perception. If you want to discuss, an objective natural reality, that would be fun, but it wouldn't provide you with any more fuel for the supernatural god fire. No, I don't know everything, but what I do know, I can share and can be used in this natural reality. What you suggest, can only be shared in the imagination, thus, your views and information, is "much more" subjective than the information I provide, will ever be. Perhaps, there is value in bordom prevention, using religion and imagination, I grew up in a small town, it seemed to be a good time filler. Maybe, people will find other things to do, to give them enjoyment, instead of having to rely on religion for entertainment.

Hisservant said...

HisServant Final reply to this anonymous on this forum: I never said that the Bible is the absolute word of God, nor do I believe that. The Bible is a written version of a translation or translations. The physical book itself is dead, as are all books, but when and if the Word of God is planted in us and given Life that is another thing. People following the Bible without God's Spirit providing Life will always fail even as people following their own ways will always fail.
Pointing out the failures of people, either Christian or non-Christian will not prove or disprove God.
Live your life such as it is. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die!
If I am wrong I still found fulfillment and happiness in this lifetime before going to the dust along with you.
If I am right then there are promises which will be kept and hopes which will be fulfilled.
If you are wrong, welcome back to the dust.
If you are right, welcome back to the dust.

Anonymous wrote:
HS says, I'll just stay right here in my little Jesus box and I know of myself can do nothing, and know nothing, all I know is that the Bible is the absolute word of god, no matter how much you all prove that it's garbage. I will continue to believe my little fairytale, and live my life as a puritan and a Saint. All I know is that God loves me and thats all I care, no matter what happens in the world, I know that God loves me, and that is the most important thing to me, I do not care how foolish I may look or seem to others, all I know is Jesus loves me. Even if there are certain parts of the Bible that make absolutely no sense to anyone living, all I know is, God loves me. God is all I have, and God is all I want. No matter what anyone says to me, you will never convince me that there is no God. I want to be with God so much, because God is real, I do not care if every preacher rapes their own children, and embezzles all the church funds, I will always believe in God. I do not care if Jesus comes down and tells me himself, that all religions are false and the Bible is fake, I will still always believe that the Bible is from God. There is not one single thing that anyone can say to me to convince me otherwise. All I know is God loves me. I do not want to know anything else. Thats all I know, and that is all I want to know! I love living in my mental fantasy, and I will continue to live in my make believe Godly thoughts, no matter what anyone says. Nothing anyone says will ever change the way I intend to think and believe.

Any more questions?

Hisservant said...

To Dave8 Final reply: I know that arguing with you will not win you to my beliefs. I will respond this one final time just clarify where I stand. While it is still likely that you will disagree with my beliefs or conclusion, I hope that you will, at least, carefully consider what I am saying.

Dave8 wrote:
I'll just reply to the portion that pertains to my comments...

HisServant: "Again, I do not claim to have perfect knowledge. I definitely do not and I do even claim that my knowledge is better than yours."

Dave8:However, you completely fail, to delve into knowledge obtainment, and if its possible to attain certain universal objective truth(s). Based on physics, logic, and natural law, humanity is limited in the area of perception, with physiological limitations, and therefore, we perceive this natural reality "subjectively", unless you have another claim to make in that regard.

HisServant final: What do you know of where I have delved or am currently delving? You assume that science has more than it has and that man is the center. I believe that perfect science would match up perfectly with God and His creation which I believe to be everything that is…even if man does not understand it all which, of course, he doesn't. I believe that the only reality which really exists is God's reality. When we hold ourselves to the perception of our natural senses, we are holding to a wisp of smoke which will soon be scattered as to the 4 winds and nothing will remain...unless we have obtained or been given something more from our Creator.


1
HisServant: "The answers that each of us (Christian or other) do have are inside of us."

Dave8:Subjectively...

HisServant: "When we attempt to share them through words for most of those that listen it is a seemingly wasted effort because they have already made up their minds."

Dave8: Wrong, your assertion that humanity falls short in transference of thought, because of stubborness, is being mentally shallow. You couldn't transfer your "thought" to anyone, even if they were truly willing to receive your message. A person, would have to place their "faith" in "YOU", and what you promise, knowing, that you admit you can not possibly know more than anyone else. Like you received your knowledge, you attempt to pass on that same subjective knowledge and suggest that those who do not come to your way of thinking, must be stubborn, and already have their minds made up.

HisServant final: Faith in me with regard to the things of God for the most part would always be misplaced. My young natural children had faith in me and yet I, in spite of my best efforts, failed them at times. Coming to 'my way of thinking' would be no better than continuing in your own way of thinking. Everyone does have his mind made up about most things. In your case, it seems that you believe that reality is no more or less than that which can be perceived with the 5 natural senses and 'proven' by the scientific method. I, of course, disagree, but I recognize that I cannot prove my position to anyone else. But...neither can you prove yours.

Hisservant: "You have your understanding of what the Bible is or is not and of what God is or is not. Again, it seems that you have all of the answers according to man's imperfect knowledge. Again, I do not claim to have perfect knowledge. I definitely do not and I do even claim that my knowledge is better than yours."

Freudian slip, in your comment, nonetheless, bottom line is I didn't go to your website to proselytize and push my subjective knowledge as objective truth. However, here you are...

HisServant final: I do not believe that I came here to proselytize or to push my own subjective knowledge as objective truth. I believe that I was 'sent' on a mission which is not my own. Reject this if you will, but if it is true, your rejection will mean nothing to the One who sent me and will mean final death to you.
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

By the way I do not believe in eternal torment upon death. Probably I am similar to you in believing that death is the end, but with a big IF. It is the end IF we do not know God. I believe that this is also what the Bible teaches.

Hisservant: "Is it wrong for me to draw upon the Bible to express what I believe, but it is OK for you to draw on extra-biblical sources to express what you believe?"

Dave8: I don't know what your education level is, but... do you agree, that we "all" live in this natural reality, and that "the bible", is a product of this "Natural" reality. If so, then it appears we are both making claims, using natural sources. That being said, my statements and claims, can be vetted through a validation process, by allowing anyone on this planet to practically test the information I provide. However, the information you present, even though, it is drawn from this natural environment, can "not" be validated, because it makes "transcendent" super-natural claims - claims, that are impossible to validate while "living" in a "natural" reality.

HisServant final: My education level, whether I were self-taught or had a doctorate in philosophy would hardly matter would it? I do not agree that we live in 'this natural reality'. On the contrary, I believe that the only enduring reality is 'in God'. What, we perceive and call reality is simply an illusion and/or delusion which will eventually pass away completely. We believe it (.i.e. this natural reality) and by our natural faith it stands, "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." That "which is in part" is all that we perceive with the natural senses.

As to your statements being able to go through a validation process which would allow anyone to test the information, I disagree. Such a process is possible only by making certain assumptions. Any real pure scientist will tell you that. The assumptions of my belief are that the assumptions of your belief are faulty. I do not believe that information on which my belief is based comes from this 'natural environment' of which you speak. I cannot prove my case as it is based on faith. Neither can you prove your case which also based on faith in something else, but still faith.

Dave8: Perhaps, its enough to just say, you have as much right to your opinion, as I do mine. Point is, I don't rely on unprovable hypotheticals to make my decisions in life, and... you do... not only do you use an illogical thinking scheme to make decisions in your life, you suggest that others should follow your way of living.

HisServant final: Every man alive today relies on unprovable hypotheticals to make decisions. We live by faith in the system we have the created. It seems to be logical because we all agree on certain basic assumptions. If we were all to disagree on those assumptions the entire complex would disintegrate and eventually, that is exactly what will happen. Again, I say, 'eat, drink and be merry' for tomorrow you die. Go ahead and live your life as you will. For those that are hungry I have food to eat, and for those that are thirsty, I have drink for them, but choose you this day for yourself. You have that choice, as do each of us.

Dave8: If your intent is to pass on knowledge, then you are uneducated in your theological studies. The only information you can pass on, are words in a book, and those words represent nothing less than supernaturally based hypotheticals. You have every right, to your opinion, as I do mine, but between us, I seem to have the capability to present testable and verifiable information, whereas, you can't.

HisServant final: My intent as previously stated is to do the will of Him that sent me. It is not my job to twist any one's arm in order to accomplish something. You take your choice and I take mine.

Dave8: If your intent, is to just paste information, like bait, and see if anyone is desperate enough to bite, because they haven't gained enough information in this natural reality to answer or fill in enough holes, then I'd suggest you are preying on ignorance. It appears, that your comment projects your personality... it would seem, that you believe I am in competition with you based on belief alone, in an effort to pass on information... We are not equals, I am subjectively providing information that can be understood by others "today"... You... are providing subjectively laden unprovable and unfalsifiable hypotheticals.

Hisservant final: All of us are ignorant. Some of us are desperate. But, I am not a predator. What I believe to be knowledge, you would discredit,because you cannot prove it by your logic. You believe that I am in competing with you, you being on the side of 'good practical information' and I on the side with a 'pie in the sky'.

Your good, practical information assumes that man is capable of making his own way in this world and, of course, you are correct. Man is, but at different levels of success as measured by man, himself, according to ability and application.

The 'pie in the sky' way goes outside of man's way of doing things. The measuring stick used for this way is not provided by man, but by God. When I speak of God, you think I mean Christianity, but I do not. What man generally refers to as Christian is not. Our language cannot properly express God's intentions. All of this world that He created was created for our use and good pleasure. In your good, practical information you attempt to describe the way to use the things of this world and in a sense we are here in agreement. The difficulty is that every man different and every man, yours truly included, is also selfish. I believe that we need guidance and direction from outside of ourselves and that that guidance is available from God. I believe that God has provided us with helps and starting points, but as usual man has taken the reins, himself, and blundered along with what is known by most as Christianity today. [Some, of course, have chosen you road, but it is no smoother and has no better end] I won't provide you with more detail of what I believe because you are apparently not hungry and definitely not thirsty.

Dave8: Might, I suggest, that an unfalsifiable hypothetical, is... useless, as its something that can never be applied in this natural reality. Perhaps, you believe that your unfalsifiable supernatural hypothetical has "value", not because it can be verified by others, but, because it can be used as a "symbol" to rally people to a cause, by getting them to "associate" a state of being (mind), or "desired state of being (mind)", to the words you present.

Again, you are attempting to prey on those who are in psychological need, and if they take your bait, you offer them nothing but "hope", for something in another reality after death. The value of your religion, here today, in this lifetime, right "NOW", has nothing to offer, over secular life, PERIOD. As a matter of fact, statistically speaking, the christian religion, is not pristine as it has delivered the most brutal criminals to this world throughout history, and it continues.

Hisservant final: 'Hope springs eternal' is not a Bible quotation is it? If a person lives in this world without hope of a better life in this world, what purpose does he have in this life. You and I have the material benefits and possibilities of these United States and that means in the material world that we have much hope for a 'good life'. Who provides hope to the majority of the people in Haiti who live the worst abject poverty? Who provides hope for the majority of the people in Indonesia and in Malaysia? You speak (and so do I) from a position a relative material wealth as residents of this nation. Your little circle of friends (and most of mine as well) have some substantial material hope in this world, but that is not true of most people. Would any of us like to be a woman living in a moslem nation such as Saudi Arabia or Iran? No, probably not! But then we have the hope of this wealthy nation and as seen in the news today, many others would like to partake in the same illegally if necessary.

Christian religions are not Christ or even Christ-like and the to the extent that they fall short of His glory they do not represent Him at all in spite of their claims. By all means let us reject and cast aside the dirty bath water, but let us embrace the pure baby.

Hisservant: "I cannot speak for all others who claim to be Christians, but I do read all of it regularly. I have some understanding, but not all:"

Dave8: Understanding of what? Supernatural wisdom, while living in a subjectively perceived natural reality, do you know how ignorant that sounds? That's not an insult, just read what you wrote. "NO ONE" can know of anything "supernatural", while living in "this" natural universe, period. The early church attempted to bridge the huge chasm, by using "Jesus" as the symbol to connect the "supernatural" with the "natural" reality. Whatever lives in this reality, can "not" be of "another" reality, they are either here, or they are not, Jesus, wasn't skim deity, by christian tradition. The dude lived, and "died", (by tradition), and no one saw him in "heaven" and made a report, even while he was supposed to "walk" the earth, he was still part of "this" natural reality, not a "supernatural" reality. There is "zero" known of a supernatural reality, even with Jesus thrown into the mix, its irrelevant to even suggest Jesus has some meaning in the tradition of christianity, as anyone who understands philosophy knows the illogical claims.

Hisservant final: Because you do not know anything "supernatural" does not mean that no one can. To say so is to claim a knowledge that neither you nor I have of what is in the minds and hearts of other people.

Hisservant: "My teaching has come in part through men, AS HAS YOURS, and this holds for ALL biblical as non-biblical knowledge. I will ateempt to give any man the benefit of listening to him rather than piling on him my disagreements with his cause without knowing what he himself believes. Of course, being an imperfect man, I fail. Will you admit as much?"

Dave8: I don't "fail" to be perfect, because no one can "define" perfect. Unless, you are going to attempt to provide a "perfect" definition, from a subjective point of view, would that be logical?

Hisservant final: I would not say that no one can define 'perfect'. I would say rather that there is more than one definition of the word. One definition of a 'perfect man' might be someone with absolute or complete knowledge of all things. No person meets the requirements for that definition to apply to him. This includes both you and me.

Hisservant: "Here you have lumped everyone together when people, even "Christians" are individuals. Some of what you have said will probably apply to some of them, but pointing out their errors does not disprove the correctness of God's purpose."

Dave8: Again, you start out by stating everyone has subjective beliefs, but end, with "God's purpose", which can only be perceived subjectively by anyone in humanity. Even "IF", one person like Jesus (by tradition) could understand "God's purpose", the rest of humanity, is incapable of perceiving "Objective" information equally, period. So, don't end your conversation by making the claim that there is some "objective" reality that you are certain of, as it goes against your subjective perception. If you want to discuss, an objective natural reality, that would be fun, but it wouldn't provide you with any more fuel for the supernatural god fire. No, I don't know everything, but what I do know, I can share and can be used in this natural reality. What you suggest, can only be shared in the imagination, thus, your views and information, is "much more" subjective than the information I provide, will ever be. Perhaps, there is value in bordom prevention, using religion and imagination, I grew up in a small town, it seemed to be a good time filler. Maybe, people will find other things to do, to give them enjoyment, instead of having to rely on religion for entertainment.

Hisservant final: So let me rephrase. If there is a God and He has a clearly defined (by Him) and unchangeable purpose, whatever man as His creation believes or does, will not change the purpose of that God. If a supposed follower of God were in error that would not change a thing with regard to God' s purpose would it?

boomSLANG said...

Jesus christ!....Pascal's Wager?...AGAIN!?!?!? lol

Okay, the first thing that should be obvious when we see this "case for God" is that the user likely has nothing to back up their belief---and WHAT D'YA KNOW??--- H.S. has ZERO evidence to back up his belief---zero; zip; zilch; NADDA. And what's even worse, someone does a blantant caricature of what it means to be a "Christian", with emphesis on such key points as believing blindly, even contrary to the evidence, and what does H.S. do?...well, by the looks of things, he basically endorses it! D'oh! LMAO!

Anonymous said...

My finale answer to HS.

Religions and beliefs offer a personal identity, a marker. a place in society that one never had before their religious . commitment. Now religous titles make them feel important, preacher, preist, deacon. missionary, his servant, diciple, apostle, brethern, etc. now they feel valued with a purpose and a mission to carry out, or a duty to fulfill, now they feel special, they feel like they have a calling. This is the brainwashing taking over. If God created the whole universe, why would he leave the path to salvation up to men and to the humans that he admited regreted creating in the first place?

Try reality for once, you may like it!

Anonymous said...

Dear dave 8,

You make the claim that you can validate your beliefs through logical testable hypotheses.

This is true.

Your weakness is that you do not realize that there is more to knowing and knowledge than intellect and logic.

'In professing themselves wise, they became fools'

There are other means to knowing, like intuition, meditation, prayer, senses, etc.

If we had it your way and had to prove everything, we would all be robots!!! A logical computing mahcine.

The only scoffer of prayer is one who has never tried it.

Try it. It WORKS. There is your evidence. PRAYER CAN BE TESTED.

God may not tell us all the answers becuase we are too finite.

Also, we all need faith, brother.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith IS the EVIDENCE of things UNSEEN.

Just try prayer, man.

Take care,

Chris Colna

J. C. Samuelson said...

"There are other means to knowing, like intuition, meditation, prayer, senses, etc."

In themselves, there's nothing wrong with any of these if they contribute to your quality of life. But they are unreliable at best, and having critical thinking skills as well as the ability to reason intelligently are fundamental to navigating through life.

For me, it's not about proving everything. It's about being discerning. All knowledge is not equal.

As for your admonishments to try these things, most of us here have. Like many religionists, you fail to grasp that this site is full of people who have lived that life and have since discarded it (with some exceptions).

Faith is NEVER evidence. Pretty platitudes don't change basic facts.

Dave8 said...

Chris: "You make the claim that you can validate your beliefs through logical testable hypotheses. This is true. Your weakness is that you do not realize that there is more to knowing and knowledge than intellect and logic."

To know, is to be aware, to be aware, is to sense and understand, to sense and understand requires experience. Without awareness and understanding via experience, one can really never know anything. There exists nothing more, than this in life.

Chris: "'In professing themselves wise, they became fools'"

If wise is stated to be one who knows all, and thus must have expereinced all, then, I can see that statement as true, we are temporal beings, and it would be quite an impossible task to experience all states of reality in the few years we have. If on the other hand, wise, is someone who understands that "experience", is the key to knowledge, then, its quite possible to be "wise", and not be a "fool".

Chris: "There are other means to knowing, like intuition, meditation, prayer, senses, etc."

Knowledge obtainment, via experience is agreed upon. A process is required to obtain knowledge, and as humans, our biological being is a mechanism used to create and process knowledge. Biological senses, are the base sensors used to check the phyiscal environment, each sense being used in order to more accurately ascertain true states of the environment. Biological senses, thus, form a filter, and informational elements are collected and assigned some "meaning", in our memory.

When we are introduced to new experiences in life or scenarios we are placed in, we recall previously stored informational elements, to create a map or approximation of the scenario being faced in our minds. We do this naturally, its how we live and anchor ourselves in reality. Once, we create an approximation based on our recalled informational elements, using a mental algorithm, we draw inferenced conclusions.

These pre-staged mentally inferenced conclusions, are what many people term in the common vernacular as "intuition". Intuition is most relevant, when experiencing a situation, that has many similar elements of previous experiences, but not enough to overwhelmingly convince ourselves that the data elements held, will render a high-probability expectation.

In my humble opinion, some dreams brought to the forefront of our conscious state during REM, are the continuation of unresolved intuitive experiences we've had. We continue to run the data, changing small data elements in order to see if there are enough pieces that can be combined to render a solution, or greater understanding of the scenario in question.

Those who have had certain experiences, will of course, "creatively", and "intuitively", use those learned data elements in their mental processing. "All", in my opinion, data elements are valid for processing, to see if pieces fit, its like a jigsaw puzzle, and each data element represents a piece of the puzzle, and we mentally attempt to piece together a picture. Hey, I have had much fun dreaming of scenarios that I am quite sure, will never happen in my married lifetime.

Anyhow, intuition is a inferential mental process, and each of us "acts" upon our intuition, according to our awareness and understanding of that intuitive process. I am keenly aware when I see enough information elements in front of me, to know if something isn't as it should be, and I do act upon my intuitive impulses most times. Oh, yeah, forgot to tell you, intuition, is commonly referenced by the more religious as that "little" voice or guide in ones' life. Whereas, I see intuition as an interdependent process involving biologically based mental processing, bio-senses, and the environmental factors one is exposed to in life.

Meditation, like intuition is not a "sense" that can be used to obtain furhter knowledge. Intuition as explained is a naturally occurring process. As well, our basic biological makeup, strives to reach a state of homeostasis, which is the goal of meditation. So, intuition and meditation are Naturally occurring events in our lives. So, we are not gaining knowledge by "using" meditation or intuition, we are exercising our Natural processes in order to function with greater levels of understanding of our environment and in a more peaceful state of mind.

Prayer, well... the act of praying can be seen as a form of meditation I suppose, however, when the act of prayer is invoked to "gain" knowledge, and wisdom, well, that becomes absurd. One must establish an "outside" agent who has knowledge to give, before "asking" for that agent's insights. I personally, have not "experienced", an "Independent", "Isolated", outside agent in the form of a god, whatever I have "experienced" in life, has been "Interdependent" between me, and Nature. Much different between that understanding, and those who believe that there is an Independent "god", or Isolated outside agent providing answers to individuals in their lives.

Chris: "If we had it your way and had to prove everything, we would all be robots!!! A logical computing mahcine."

Believe it or not Chris, we biologically process our reality, whether we want to or not while living, to include sleeping, if one wanted to prevent such a process, they would have to do so by inducing chemicals or expending much energy to repress environmental factors.

Without some level of filtering data elements, that are possible in our lives, then "everything" becomes possible. Merging pigs with geese in our minds, creates flying pigs, with beeks. There has to be discrimination between the Natural Potential for what can be, and the Naturally experienced, "what is" at this moment in time. Natural potential, is still based on environmental factors, and the human ability to merge data elements.

Many people live in the here and now, while planning their future according to the Natural potential of their environment, albeit, humanity seems to throw many variables in the mix that are inherently unpredictable many times, so there is potential in all directions, nothing is absolute, and the best that can be done, is to intuitively plan based on previous experience, or using trend analysis from historical events. Try it, its better than prayer.

Chris: "The only scoffer of prayer is one who has never tried it."

Each time I ask for information, I am reminded of the person "asking" the question... me. Thus, prayer, depends on "me", not an external agent. If an external agent wanted me to "know" something, I am sure it would reveal information to "me", without my need to ask, especially if that outside agent were the source of all creation.

Chris: "Try it. It WORKS. There is your evidence. PRAYER CAN BE TESTED."

Well, not really, prayer as stated before is an act, the only testable portion of prayer, is the act, there is no evidence of an outside agent working in the process or ritual of prayer, and if someone prayed for one dollar, and they received it, there is nothing to prove that an outside agent, made the difference, as opposed to receiving that one dollar from pre-established deterministic actions already in place. Prayer is useless, without the supporting evidence of an outside agent. Its already established, that we, are the ones that make a difference. If there is more than "us", I am willing to entertain a discussion on how you are going to present the "more" than us phenomenon.

Chris: "God may not tell us all the answers becuase we are too finite."

:-) A recurring theme from a certain persona... Not getting into the finite, or infinite, but, it does seem to me that if we are too finite, then why pray for more knowledge than we can not possibly understand with our finite limitation?

Chris: "Also, we all need faith, brother."

Faith, is an absolute "answer", to the "absolutely" valid questions in life. However, one must determine if the questions being focused on, are truly valid, in order to determine if "faith", has merit as a viable answer in life.

"Faith" only exists, for those who believe their "questions" in life, are "absolutely" valid. Yet, in order for there to be "questions" that are "absolutely" valid, the questions must be founded upon "absolute" premises.

I believe there are only a few apodictic claims that can be made, in life, regarding premise construction, and religionists don't hold to these claims by doctrine - ironic.

Thus, there are truly very few questions, that can be created with absolute premises, and thus, support the creation of "absolutely" valid questions.

Thus, "faith", can not be an "absolute" answer, to the majority, "if not all", questions in life. Religionists must "accept" the truthfulness of the underlying premise statements that build further questions. Thus, "faith", is the projectable product, "after" accepting "absolutes" in life.

I have yet to hear someone say, they are not sure if their questions on religion are valid, yet they still hold faith. If one doubts their questions, they no longer need faith, they need reassurance that the questions are valid. Which... is what religious clergy intend to do on every sunday. To keep the questions alive, based on absolute premises, as that establishes "faith", as a de facto product. Perhaps, I missed a few too many church services.

If faith is said to be a non-absolute product, and is merely a foundational premise statement by which one is building their beliefs, then, it has become itself a non-absolute premise statement, one in which no absolute answer can be built. An absolutely true answer must be built on absolutely true premises. Thus "faith" as a non-absolute premise statement, does no one any good, if they are searching for "absolutely true" answers.

So, if faith is a product, someone built the questions in life, based on "absolute" statements... statements, I'd like to observe if anyone of religious faith wants to state them. If faith, is a non-absolute premise statement, then we have an opinionated statement, built on desired bias.

By the way, premise statements built on Natural information, can not render SuperNatural results. "Faith", is a linguistic expression, a "Natural" expression, and so, holds no SuperNatural meaning. Does everyone need "faith", no, I don't have a need to make absolute statements in order to build unanswerable questions, that to me seems like a big waste of time.

Chris: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith IS the EVIDENCE of things UNSEEN.

Thus, "Faith", Is the product in your terms, based on the "absolute" truth or premise of the "unseen". So, can I ask how you tend to absolutely "know" of that which is "Unknown", or "UNSEEN"?

kim said...

Please visit my website
www.grace.kimbruce.biz
I am an artist and an excatholic and my current body of work revolves around the "child bride" images of first communion and confirmation.
I am making a public call for images of your first communion and confirmation that I can use in the creation of the work in this series. Should you wish tell me what these two scaraments meant to you at the time, I would like to hear it.
Should you wish to participate pls email your images from the link at the above website.
Many thanks.
Kim

JimB said...

For those who do not believe in Jesus, here is a suggestion. I find that when I argue with people (as I observe occuring here in this blog) it is difficult for me to accept what is being said. Because in life we come to understand how difficult it is to argue accurately and effectively "off the cuff." We can't remember statistics, authors and convincing points that we've read.

I had bought into the Anti-Christian line of reasoning that has been dished out in American Society of late, until I began to read apologetic books. I realized that I wanted to KNOW the truth. I was sick of listening to bias, innuendo, exageration, and distortion that I received from the news media, politicians and just about every typical source of information that most Americans feast on.

So I decided to find out if the arguments that Christian apologists were making in well footnoted books with good bibliography held water. You see for me (and maybe you will find this also) if someone takes the time to research their comments and back them up with footnotes and bibliographies that I can cross-reference to find out if they are exagerating or not, then I can put more credence in what they are saying (rather than discounting all comments immediately because of assumption of gross bias). Granted this doesn't erase distortion, but it goes a long way toward minimizing wasteful rhetoric.

Here's my suggestion. If you honestly want to know the truth, start with a simple Christian apologetic book and see if God whets your appetite. Now be honest...many of you will not accept this challenge because the real reason you slam Christianity is because you are happy with your life and don't want God interfering with what you have going on. You know that your life is sinful and to entertain the idea of letting God in, would mean that you might have to give up your fun and cherished sins. I understand. But if you really examine yourselves, you will see that you've rationalized your life and decided that...you are a good person and will be okay when you die (either you think there is no Hell or God -- if there is one -- will accept you as you are). You see yourselves against the fabric of society and you don't look so bad (in your own mind). But here's the problem. God is a perfect God and any sin seperates us from Him, and condemns us. In God's eyes, you and every other human is a sinful creature and deserves His wrath. He is a "just" God also and will carry out his wrath, just like He did so many times in the Old Testament. You say, I won't believe in a God of wrath. Too bad, it doesn't matter if you believe it or not...it doesn't change anything. You can say you don't believe in gravity, but when you jump off of a tall building it will be evident that truth is truth and your belief doesn't change it.

So here's a book or two you should read:

More Than A Carpenter, by Josh McDowell

The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel

Evidence That Demands A Verdict, by Josh McDowell

Dave8 said...

JimB: "I realized that I wanted to KNOW the truth. I was sick of listening to bias, innuendo, exageration, and distortion that I received from the news media, politicians and just about every typical source of information that most Americans feast on."

More Than A Carpenter, by Josh McDowell

The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel

Evidence That Demands A Verdict, by Josh McDowell

JimB, as soon as you explain to me how these books and authors aren't just as prone to bias, innuendo, exageration, and distortion, for their political agendas, then your personally biased information may be of use, thanks.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"So here's a book or two you should read:

More Than A Carpenter, by Josh McDowell

The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel

Evidence That Demands A Verdict, by Josh McDowell"


Hmmm....I happen to own all three, and used to refer to them all the time when I was a Christian. Funny how I came to a different conclusion once I actually checked out how much water the arguments held from a skeptical standpoint.

I won't bother with a play-by-play. The bottom line is this - Christians have an emotional or psychological need that finds relief in worship of a God. Some were raised in it. It's a nearly inextricable part of their lives. Those who converted later often have deep-seated guilt about their own faults and missteps. In Christianity, they find a sense of redemption in the story of Jesus, and meaning where previously there was none (or so they perceived).

Logic and evidence do not really play any part in the conversion process, and those who say it did have missed the boat entirely.

Writers/apologists like Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell do a good job of shoring up lingering doubts Christians have. Christians want those doubts to be resolved, and Lee & Josh provide just enough evidence to do so, without meeting the demanding criteria required in the skeptical and scientific arenas.

If you want to accept their explanations, fine. However, with all due respect it's not really going to get you anywhere recommending and/or quoting either of these two in front of a skeptical crowd.

For a primer on Josh's work, see here and here. For a similar primer on Mr. Strobel, see here. There are more materials on the web that thoroughly trump the material each of them presents, but these should give you a basic run-through of some of the problems.

Anonymous said...

J.C.

"logic and evidence do not really play any part in the conversion process, and those who say it did have missed the boat entirely."


I am sorry, but there were no cameras or recording devices like TV's 2000 years ago.

As far as logic, logic was just in the beginning stages of development 2000 years ago. The Greeks wanted to see Jesus perform miracles and wanted "evidence" and logic".


Here is to logic:

The foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom (including logic and evidence) of man. - Direct Scriptural Quote

Why do so many people try to Trump God with their finite logical arguments?

Bill Wilson in his Chapter to the Agnostic says that man uses his education (logic) to blow himself up into prideful balloons.

Ask yourself if you are the most powerful entity in the Universe. If you say no, then some force or entity must be more powerful than you. Try starting with this as a higher power. If you don't like the word GOD, use higher power.

I have been to college and have an education in biology and psychology and have read A Case for Christ and found that it did provide more evidence leaning towards Christ's supernatural powers.

Catholics are allowed to believe in evolution.

Aristotle, a famous philosopher, used logic in proving that there must be a First Cause - God.

Aquinas has also given proofs and damn good arguments of the existence of God.

Perhaps this is some evidence you are looking for. There is evidence out there, but no pictures becuase they were not invented in Christ's time.

What kind of evidence does anyone want? Please respond. Specifically?

Chris Colna

Anonymous said...

Lynne:
this list of comments has gotten so long you have probably stopped reading but just a few thoughts:
(1)Be careful, psychoanalysis is not a science as anyone who has been subjected to ex-gay psycho brainwashing will tell you.
(2) the root of your depression may be genetic - hint modern psychiatry is a science despite what scientologists say, just consider this
(3) apparently a whole lot of people get a lot out of religion, including Catholics.
(4) if religion doesn't work for you, perhaps you are in a SPIRITUAL DESERT. Some of the greatest religious thinkers in human history have had such an experience.
Anyway, I'm glad you are doing so much better.
- a Catholic

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of nonsense! We all try to play the blame game when we are lacking in ourselves. People put themselves into situations of blame and then try to blame religion or their church for all their problems. I want to be a humanist...I want to be a free man or women making my own choices...I want to do this and that...they act as if they alone are the sole judge and their own creators and that they can determine their world and how it should be viewed. Wake up and look around!

stronger now said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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