Forced to believe

sent in by David

I’d been with the church for so long I still dream about it. Every Sunday, the same routine. But in the beginning I was all for it. As a kid it was easier to believe I suppose. I remember being a very devoted Santa myth believer as well, something I think should be shutdown right along with religion for what it’s doing to children! But back to my story.

I believed it. I honestly believed it all. I was baptized and made a member of my church. I was a missionary at a (sorry about this) children’s summer camp. I followed all the steps, devoted all my time, and I always felt like I was the good Christian. But at the very same time, doubt was always lingering at the back of my mind. I’m an intelligent and rational person. I skepticize and nitpick everything. The further I got into the whole thing, the further I was driven away from it in my mind. Rationality kept asking the fundamental question, why? To what end? The more I asked questions, the more I came up empty, until it came to the point where I could no longer stand attending church. But my parents would have nothing for it and forced me to attend at the risk of punishment. Eventually I was allowed to stay home, when it was clear forcing me was not having the desired effect.

So here I sit, completely free of my bindings to Christianity, and the happiest I been in my life.

Brooklyn
NY
USA
Joined: From day one (Raised in the church)
Left: 18
Was: Baptist
Now: Free
Converted because: My parents wanted me to be a christian.
De-converted because: I wanted to decide who I was for myself.

67 comments:

Bentley said...

Well David thanks for your testimony. The thing is, we are all drenched in religion from birth, by our parents and authority figures, society as a whole is saturated in Bible religion and it's taught as pure fact, to question the Bible one is judged immediately as an Atheist and is soley AGAINST GOD!

It's taboo to question the Bible and viewed as a UNPARDONABLE MAJOR SIN without another choice, YOU MUST PROFESS TO BELIEVE OR YOU ARE VIEWED AS LESS THAN HUMAN, NOT DESERVING OF A CHRISTIAN'S RESPECT!

Religions are CONTROLLING AND TYRANICAL without having a God's authority or any God's authority.

This is what makes all religions false! Preachers and church leaders take on their own authority, they're all tyranical zealots, to force people to conform through fear and guilt and emotions, and threats.

Welcome aboard David.

jim earl said...

Hi David, and thanks for posting your story. It only gets better and better. One day, if you haven't already, you will wonder how in the world you ever believed in the first place. Religion is a powerful placebo that many people rely on but that doesn't mean it's true. I paid my dues but logic and reason won out in the end. If you happen to be a person who is willing to question things and accept the answers you find, you will drop religion like a red hot poker. Of course, you know this already. Good for you and good luck in your bright future without religion.

brigid said...

Hello David, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Brigid Brophy, resident Irish bitch, and I haven't had a sane thought in 20 years.

I do not know why, but your post has had me staring at this screen for half an hour. I just thought I would talk to you--and all here--for a few minutes.

These are a few sentiments I have expressed before at this site: I am me; there is nothing wrong with me; as a sentient being I need to be who I am and to live as my reason dictates; I will not be told that I am wrong; I am not evil; I do not deserve to be punished; I deserve to be happy and to experience the pleasures I choose.

To continue my introduction, I am a former catholic, an atheist, and a lesbian. If anyone wants to pick a fight, come on.

David, I am happy for you. Really I am. I do not care if half the assholes on this planet line up to make accusations, you have proven yourself to be a strong and capable person.

SpaceMonk said...

David: "...I’m an intelligent and rational person. I skepticize and nitpick everything..."

Well there's your problem right there.

You can't be all that and still be a christian for very long. ;)

Wade said...

One of the worst things xianity did to me was make me believe there was something wrong with me., that I deserved to be tortured forever for being who I am. The damage done by that mindfuck is something I am still dealing with to this day.

Congrats on getting out and learning the truth at such a young age David. Xianity is a prison of the mind that some never escape. What a waste!

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"
--Denis Diderot

Welcome to Ex-C David, but more importantly welcome to freedom!

Anonymous said...

What gives people the right to force their silly childhood beliefs on to anyone?

My name is Earl said...

As a previously Aetheist/agnostic chap I had a 'spiritual encounter' (very nice it was too!) in 1993 and as it was in an empty Church I headed for a Christian pal to find out what was going on. YIKES! It was only then that I got confused and guilt laden as I was introduced to the Church 'System'...It got to a whacko point when (through some actually very weird coincidences)I ended up in the states and a sect leader (who seemed to have my interests at heart at the time) told me I was an Apostle who would save England from the out of date Church system (ooh I felt honoured ...)! BUT FIRST I had to spend TEN years with (and ONLY with) him and his leaders 'preparing' and obviously tithing into the wealthy leaders pocket and doing whatever they instructed me!! I debated some points with them after a while and they got angry. On the way home my friend said 'But if you argue with the Apostle of the house you are arguing with God!'..phew I was out of there the next morning...
Long story short, this led me to study spiritual abuse and mind control techniques which unwound EVERYTHING I thought I believed. I was a mess for a while but I have left it all behind now. I still miss the moments I thought I was having with 'Jesus' (or the Jesus I created as a friend in my head) but at least I don't have ridiculously flawed ideas about life anymore or shut my eyes in Church (as people get shaky and clappy) thinking "I don't feel anything...help I want to run out the door". I am now a freethinker who finds it interesting to discuss beliefs, wether that is Zen philosophy or Neuro Linguistic Programming. I'm just like the rest of the human race really. I'm not a special 'trainee apostle' anymore (btw That leaders Business card actually just said 'Apostle' under his name, it's hilarious)... NO... I'm just an open minded guy,
happy trying to be the best I can. :0) THANKS FOR THIS SITE , IT HAS HELPED ME!!!

Jim said...

As the world become smaller through Global communication, maybe the adherents of all the religions of the world, may just start to realise that each and every religions makes the claim that their particular faith has the "Real Truth". It become very clear indeed that none have the truth and they are all deceptive.
Christianity lays claim that they have the truth because they worship a living God. This of course is bullshit as there are no living Gods anywhere to be found. Even the New Testament Jesus is a myth. Cheers all Jim Lee

Randy (Earls Brother) said...

All said though, we were just talking and we DO love alot of the NT teachings as they are pretty peaceful and pro-underdog and you can apply them if you choose. The sermon on the mount really is amazing. I think there is enough proof 'Jesus' existed as there are seperate records outside the bible too. Who he really was though? Well we don't really know for sure because he never left his own statement, it's third person account. If you can hear us and have the time please answer and clear this up for us, it sure will save alot of blogging eh guys.

Justin said...

To "My name is Earl",

I too have had a similar experience. Almost exactly the same. This was not the "Kings Chapel" church was it?

Evelyn said...

Welcome, David, and congrats for getting out while still young!

While I wouldn't say I was forced to attend church while growing up, I will say that I had "faith at gun point", believe or go to hell! I, too, constantly had doubts. After many year, I finally became honest and admitted to myself that I didn't believe this stuff any more.

So, welcome to this web site and welcome to freedom!

David Berlin said...

Hi all! I am Dave, I am brave, I am fierce in defense of the ones I love, I have no blood family worth associating with, and I desperately, desperately tried REALLY REALLY hard to be Jewish and "a good Jew" before I abandoned the whole pursuit as not just illogical but silly on a philosophical level. I'm not sure if it was my narcissistic mother's inability to simply say "I forgive you" on Yom Kippur (Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement. In Judaism you don't get forgiveness from a priest or God. You get it from the person you've wronged. The theory is that no Jew is supposed to refuse to forgive someone who is asking to be forgiven. Try telling that to my psycho hose beast Mother--and if you want to know another little secret, I never really wronged her. But let's don't go there just yet!) Judaism--well, like every other religion, it exists for the benefit of the priesthood and the ruling class. I think it was the rabbi explaining the Book Of Job and God's great mercy and love for Job that he did all these things and then made Job forget and gave him more children. I was in eighth grade at the time, already getting a reputation for asking questions the rav didn't want to deal with, and I remember thinking, "When a bank robber does this, we call it, 'eliminating evidence' or 'covering his tracks'."

I never liked *dogma* dammit...that's about the long and the short of it. And I never understood why two systems of belief, say Islam and Judaism or Christianity and Judaism, or Hinduism and Judaism, with an equal amount of empirical, objective evidence in favor of them (approximately zero) could have different levels of validity. It seemed that the level of validity was the same for all of them--and that level was likewise zero. I mean, I've never seen god, what's her mailing address? Why doesn't she ever seem to answer my prayers? I'll come out and tell you this: I grew up in foster homes, group homes, psych wards, and institutions. I have lived through things and had foulnesses done unto me the likes of which most folks wouldn't believe. Believe me, I prayed aplenty. And hard, and with plenty of faith. Why didn't god help me? Many people, particularly Christians (Jews tend to see the question as beneath contempt) have tried to engage in torturous mental gymnastics to explain why god didn't help. But my considered opinion, by Occam's Razor, is that there is no god.

Another thing that turned me off about Judaism is a cultural issue: Israel. Jews seem to blindly be okay with pretty much anything the State of Israel does. The problem is, the fastest way to get yourself literally ostracized by other Jews is to speak out against the policies of Israel or to demand a more reasonable solution. In fact, in the community into which I was born, to suggest that Israel needs to play the game in better faith or employ different methods and that Arabs are anything other than filth will get you asked not to return. It was actually this, compared with a strong racism and classism (I survive--barely--on disability and Food Stamps and I lived in a bad, bad ghetto--when I tried to return to the synagogue of my youth people demanded that I "get a job" and "stop hanging around with those fucking shvatzes") that given my experiences in foster homes etc., I couldn't understand, that finally caused me to say, fuck this, there's gotta be something better. I left Judaism a while back, two or three years now. At first I was a god-believer without a religion, and then I began examining the empirical evidence for the nonexistence of god. There's a lot more such evidence than there is evidence for him. It's a lot more logic based to say that there is no god than that there is one. Two things helped me here. One, a list of logical fallacies and debating techniques is useful. Two, Carl Sagan's Baloney Detector was a big help. So I decided, again, by Occam's Razor, that there was no god. Positing god involves mental gymnastics. It involves not asking certain questions. Fie on that.

So that's that. Mmm...Brigid...is there any way you might be able to e-mail me privately? I'd love to talk to you if you feel up to it (although in the true tradition of Steinbeck, I respect your right not to talk if you don't wish to). I just think we have a lot of shared experiences...well anyway. My e-mail address is groovydave at verizon dot com. It's heavily spamchecked.

Hope all's well with everyone.

Much love, and hope y'all don't mind an ex-Jew rather than an ex-Christian hanging around. I've been lurking for some time.

brigid said...

David, hi, it's Brigid, and my email is rpa1543@saintjoe.edu. I would be happy to hear from you, just anytime. I will be away from the keyboard for a few days but hopefully back by Monday.

This is my second attempt to post. The first time failed and my message disappeared. damn. Anyway, I was saying that I do not mind an exjew if you do not mind an expapist.

christians have always said that they were the fulfillment of god's will; they "got beyond" judaism; judaism was merely a preparation and an introduction. The law and the prophets all pointed to christ. But we see no change. It is still the same bigotry and the same bloodshed. I can talk about my Irish ancestors if I can keep from whimpering. And there's another joke....protestants thought they were an improvement over catholics. Each pack of zealots thinks they are somehow moved closer to god's will. gag.

Okay, baby. Let me hear from you.

brigid said...

I have debated this elroy person, and he can't argue his way out of a paper sack. He loves mystical, visionary stuff. He failed to answer my last response (see Not Your Usual Ex-Timony)and now he can do no better than to go panting after miracles.

elroy, I have never seen such long posts in my life. What are you trying to cover up? Only bullshit needs length. Try to respond to me--I will be back Monday--and try to wage an argument. Appealing to the miraculous is not an argument.

Elroy's Nemesis said...

Elroy, I am not going to suggest that posting something without making your own keen observations makes you seem obtuse, but... it does. Do you let articles, speak for you? If you don't have the ability to comprehend what you are posting on a more intellectual level, then... you are ignorantly posting material as a rube.

In your article, posted above, by Jaki, Stanley L. (The Linacre Quarterly, February 1999). Can you please explain, how you "know" for a "fact" that your devil didn't perform such miracles... thanks, I'll take you insolent silence, as someone who is slackjawed and drooling over their keyboard, when asked a question regarding logic.

For that matter, why don't you tell everyone how you "know" for a "fact" that Zeus didn't perform those miracles, or "Allah". I am sure you are not the moron, you have the potential to be, however, you do seem to have be an alarmingly powerful attraction towards such an effort, good luck, I think you can reach your full potential.

Elroy said...

Dear Brigid and Nemesis:

Ad hominem remarks are not debate. I'm simply pointing out events that can be verified. Check them out if they interest you, or anyone else who might be open to evidence beyond their own assessments. If I don't directly respond to insulting remarks, I hope you'll understand.

Now, call me what you will, be unless you plan on censoring me, I am free to post to this site as any other person. I do not aim to insult or demean anyone. My statement that, in my opinion, everyone here is actually interested in clarity is not a putdown. It is based on experience.

If I refer to an article, it is because it has verifiable information in it. Unless you are completely closed to anything other than your own viewpoint, I can't see how this could alarm anyone.

It would also be nice if the insults could stop. If not, then God bless you anyway. And if God is Zeus, he certainly has let this Jesus fellow steal his thunder for a long time. And, if the devil performed miracles, and healed people, and gave them peace...he wouldn't be the devil, would he?

.:webmaster:. said...

Elroy, since you are a True Christian™, may I please have ten dollars? Click here.

George Jetson said...

Elroy: "It would also be nice if the insults could stop. If not, then God bless you anyway. And if God is Zeus, he certainly has let this Jesus fellow steal his thunder for a long time. And, if the devil performed miracles, and healed people, and gave them peace...he wouldn't be the devil, would he?"

It would also be nice if logic would prevail. If not, then Allah bless you anyway. And if God is Jesus, he has certainly let this Allah fellow steal his pity martyrdom thunder for a long time. And if your god performed miracles, and healed people and gave them peace...he wouldn't create evil, would he?

Isaiah 45:6 - "That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else."

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

Elroy, you need to come clean with your logical discourse. You didn't discern how you tell your god from the devil when you pray. I mean, how do you know who you pray to, especially, if the devil's job is to trick people.

Who's to say, the bible wasn't inspired by the devil, at your gods' will, to test all of humanity. If anyone believes that god is as illogical, mythological, and contradictory as the bible, then they fail the test.

Uh, that means I pass, becuase I can clearly see the fractures throughout the christian bible (one of hundreds). However, it doesn't appear that many christians can discern the difference between obvious contradictions and what a "god" would likely be capable of writing.

In the mystical mind of a christian, its more probable that a devil is more likely the advocate of the bible, than an omni-benevolent god - well, that is... if one has a logical and consistent imagination.

south2003 said...

Elory,

Enough! Move to the forums and start a debate.

George Jetson said...

Elroy, here's how saints are elected.

"Many of the world's religions bestow special status on people who demonstrate a life of almost perfect virtue. Religions differ on the title assigned to these people. The Catholic church calls them saints. The process by which someone becomes a saint is called canonization. The Catholic church has canonized around 3,000 people -- the exact number is unknown because not all saints were officially canonized."

Oops...

"According to the Catholic church, the pope does not make someone a saint -- the designation of sainthood only recognizes what God has already done."

Uh, but it appears "someone" has to make a decision using their as Aquinas says... faulty perception, to make the call on who is a saint and who is not a saint, lets see if a "god" makes that decision, or if a faulty human makes that decision...

"For centuries, saints were chosen through public opinion. In the 10th century, Pope John XV developed an official canonization process."

There we go, the pope has his fingers in the pot, creating his own "faulty" standards according to Aquinas.

"Canonization has been revised in the last 1,000 years, most recently by Pope John Paul II in 1983."

The poor illogical pope keeps changing gods' rules for him, seems that faulty human reasoning doesn't go away, I'm sure the pope will change it again, the whole sainthood process has evolved and changed over the years. Hey, Elroy, does "truth" change? Sainthood obviously does.

"Pope John Paul II, who has canonized more than 280 people since 1978, made several procedural changes to the canonization process, including the elimination of the "devil's advocate" from the review process."

Well, there we have it, removal of an unbiased party, seems that sainthood is in the eye of the pope, and "not" god, after all.

"The devil's advocate was the person designated to attack the evidence offered in favor of canonization."

The devil's advocate was a person designated to ensure blatant naturally occurring events, weren't labeled as "miracles". Thus, science enters the picture, and... then the pope removes the devil's advocate.

Elroy, there is nothing special about the pope or his puppets.

Dandelion said...

-Without judgement or prejudice -

I am deeply sorry that you were hurt by the people in this world. My heart is breaking because the world warped everything. I really am.

Love is lost.

May my tears for your soul find the breast of God... Blessings on your journey, David.

George Jetson said...

Faith Healing

"One of the most significant of the Marian apparitions was that allegedly seen in 1858 by fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous (now Saint Bernadette), at a grotto near Lourdes, a town in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Although the parish cur branded the affair a hoax, Bernadette's several visions culminated in her being directed to a hidden spring in the cave that had "healing" waters. Despite "multitudinous failures" over the intervening years (one such failure being Bernadette herself, who suffered for many years from tuberculosis of the bone and died at age thirty-five), a few cases have been certified as miraculous or rather as "medically inexplicable." Independent medical investigators have found otherwise, however, observing that virtually all of the diseases that were supposedly cured were those that were susceptible to psychosomatic influences and/or were known to show spontaneous remissions. Emphasizing the uncertain nature of Lourdes' power, French writer Anatole France visited the site in the late nineteenth century and said, surveying all the discarded crutches, "What, what, no wooden legs???"

Uncertainty is characteristic of faith-healing cases in general. Healing occurs naturally in the body and as many as an estimated seventy-five percent of patients would get better even if they had no medical treatment. That fact together with spontaneous remissions, illnesses that have been misdiagnosed or simply misreported, and other factors, including psychosomatic illnesses and even outright fraud helps to explain the apparent success of so many faith healings. Quite often, the apparent success is short-lived and follow-ups often reveal that the old condition has resurfaced.

So-called faith healing can even be deadly, if it causes people to reject medical treatment. This has happened in all too many instances, notably among adherents of Christian Science who following church dogma reject all forms of medical intervention, including drugs and instruments such as thermometers, as well as even such simple measures as ice packs or back rubs. Instead, members depend on faith healers called practitioners whose training consists of a brief period of religious tutelage and whose treatment is limited exclusively to praying.

Of course one cannot prove miracles do not exist, but apart from the well known difficulty of proving a negative one does not have that burden, which is actually on the claimant. Invariably, when we subtract the cases which have been clearly disproved, or which have plausible counter- explanations, or that are inadmissible because they cannot be substantiated, there seems insufficient grounds for invoking a miracle. Perhaps this article will make people more aware of how easily they are deceived not only by pious fakes but also by their own wish-fulfilling natures."

David Berlin said...

-Without judgement or prejudice -

Dandelion wrote:

I am deeply sorry that you were hurt by the people in this world. My heart is breaking because the world warped everything. I really am.

Love is lost.

May my tears for your soul find the breast of God... Blessings on your journey, David.

Ah! But you mischaracterize me because you DO have prejudices. Love is NOT lost. I love most of the world. Even the parts of and people in the world I cannot love, it is with regret. I believe in an enlightened world with love and not religion. Tell me, were the Crusades an act of love? The Catherine Wheel? The Witch Burnings? The priests and pastors and ministers who abuse their followers? Is that love? Don't you understand? Christianity is as Christians do. To give the usual reply ("Christianity is as god does") is meaningless because as I said, who is god, what's his mailing address, what does he like for dinner, what kind of car does he drive?

I believe very much in love. Warm, safe, sweet care and compassion. Forgiveness. Sexual congress between consenting adults who care about each other or have feelings and respect for each other. A safe place to come home to. Providing a safe place for someone else to come home to. Etc. etc. *Real* things, not some illogical, unprovable legend of a demigod from 2100 years ago, a demigod who didn't do any of the things he promised to do for ANYONE, not just me.

Or to take it back to a Jewish level--well, Jews don't even *pretend* that god is loving etc. I never understood even as a young CHILD how my linesmen could worship the god of the old testament. He seemed to me to be a complete and total whacko. Objectively speaking. "Taketh the little babies and dasheth their heads against rocks?" He was so arbitrary. Hello, Jacob and Esau? Or the whole thing with the ten plagues. If I were god, I would have done it totally differently, because I am a loving, caring, compassionate person and god apparently is not. Come on, M'chat B'chorot? The slaying of the first born? What the HELL did they have to do with it? What was his beef with them? At a seder (note to Messianic Jews: You do seders all wrong. There's an important tip coming up, pay attention.) you dip your finger in wine to lessen your own joy. You do this while reciting the plagues. You take ten drops out of your own cup. Jews *actually* believe that this "pays" for god slaying the Egyptians first born somehow. How the HELL can you say that they are morally equivalent? But most modern Jews will tell you that they are.

Anyway, I am going off and pointlessly. Dandelion, there is no god. There is nothing and the universe exists without a purpose. I am not saying my own personal life or the life of the people I love is purposeless, only that in the grand existential sense and scientific universal sense, there's no purpose or meaning. Sorry!

To the local logicians: I am only learning how to debate logically and I don't think I am going to be very good at it. When I do get off SSI and food stamps it will be because I got a degree in advertising. At rhetoric and propaganda and flowing sophistry I am positively the shizznit. Hard scientific logic--I can follow it but creating it is hard for me.

.:webmaster:. said...

Elroy, copying and pasting articles from the Internet is not appreciated. If you continue copying and pasting articles, all your posts will be deleted.

You may discuss the things in any articles, use a few quotes, and/or reference a link to any articles, but please do not post the entire articles.

Thanks.

Elroy said...

Dear Webmaster Dave,

Hmm...you want ten bucks. You think if I don't give you ten bucks I'm disobeying Jesus' commandments.

I'm an inner city high school teacher. Whoever walks through the door, I teach. Whether they love me or curse me, I teach them. I do it for less money than the highschool dropout that hangs drywall in the school system where I serve. Secretaries to school board members make three times my salary. I take papers home and read them, and since many of my immigrant students are struggling with English, I seek to find a glimmer of reason in their broken writing, or allow some of them to turn in a paper in Spanish if they just landed in this country, hoping for a life that makes sense.

Why do I do this? I went to one of the best schools in the country and graduated at the top of my class, and everyone thought this guy was going places. But along the way, I realized that a life spent living for yourself is a life that is wasted. I was trained to go to the top of my profession, and I had the chops to do that, but I chose to help the helpless, aid those who flee from hopelessness, and even when they look at me and call me a gringo pig. I do this because Jesus told me that if I sought to save my life, I would lose it, and if I gave my life away, I would find it. I have found a deep purpose to life, though I sometimes forget what a ten dollar bill looks like. No matter, for when we leave this life, all we can take with us is our virtue.

I've given my ten bucks, and do it every day. Where is your ten bucks, Dave, and what have you done with your life? I'll ask you this: why did you build your house on a foundation of sand?

Bentley said...

Elroy said;

I do this because Jesus told me that if I sought to save my life, I would lose it, and if I gave my life away, I would find it.

Guess what Elroy, it was all for naught! Do you know why?

No!!!!

Because neither God nor Jesus never wrote any part of the Bible!

Big surprize I know!

Can you imagine a God that can create the whole universe including over 125 Billion galaxies similar to our own, in just 6 days and cannot write his own book about himself, and leaves the most important decision that a person could ever make, left in the hands of the very wicked people that God admitted he regretted making in the first place?

And then it takes God 4000 years to come up with the virgin birth salvation plan, why did it take your brilliant God so long to invent a plan of salvation?

I know Elroy, we're not to question God and his motives, so therefore you never have.

You have kicked yourself in the butt and felt sorry for yourself, and humbled yourself down to zilch, do you think there's a God that wants that from you?

The worlds biggest enemy is oneself, not an man made invisible Satan!

Elroy you're your biggest enemy, time to grow up mentally little boy and move on to the real world.

George Jetson said...

Okay, Elroy, it appears you are at least in your twenties, so... mental gloves off. You get the full benefit of being a mentally coherent adult.

Elroy: "I'll ask you this: why did you build your house on a foundation of sand?"

Foundations... built on sand? :-) I'm not the WM, but, in my humble and obviously subjective reasoning, I'm going to say, "logical" support builds the strongest houses in "this" reality. So, if you are going to suggest that you want to help "people" or "students" in this reality, you need to offer advice that is consistent, and built on "logic". Consistency builds trust, trust leads to security, security leads to freedom, freedom leads to happiness.

Here is some religiously flawed logic... One must accept themselves as naturally defective and fallen in nature, sinful beyond hope, with the only glimmer of salvation from such a pitiful state, coming from the hand of a deity, that can't be logically defined.

Now, here is the logical kicker, think about this El-Roy. To care for someone, (and some call care, love), requires a person to "give" something of themselves. How is it possible, for someone to "give", care/love, when they haven't learned to care/love themselves, due to religiously embedded belief? Its easy, they can't. A person can't give, what they don't have/understand, and Elroy, religion requires self-sacrifice every second it requires a person to place themselves below a cross, and that starts from birth for many children born into religious households.

If you are looking for a house built on sand, you need to walk over and look in a mirror, if you accept yourself as depraved and sinful, naturally defective, and in dire need of salvation because of your pitiful state of being. You can't build a house, on emptiness Elroy, and that is what religion requires of you. You are empty, until you die, with the hope, than in the afterlife, you will be fulfilled and rewarded. Its a reward system, you give your life today, for the hope of a better life once you die. That's a house, built on sand, which resides in another dimension of reality.

Elroy said...

Dear George,

Let's let Dave WM speak for himself. He's knows what I'm talking about when I refer to building his house on a foundation of sand. My question surrounds his taunt, using the words of Christ without a fundamental understanding of what Jesus was saying. If Dave did not understand what Jesus said, that it was a call to service, an emptying of the self, so that our own passions could be mastered, then maybe Dave missed a lot of other things about Christ he thought he understood.

Dandelion said...

Comment back to David Berlin:

I read your reply. Thank you. I understand it. I however, don't receive it. God is very much alive. I do not base my belief(s) on what other's did or didn't do. Fact is: They are human. I am too.

There is much confusion, falsehood, misleading in the world. I know what I know because of what is in my heart...

Everybody has a story.
You.
Me.
The person reading this.
Everybody has a choice.
You.
Me.
The person reading this.

I am not writing this to defend or preach or teach. Not to attack you, or what you write or put 'out there'... I can do nothing of these things.

But David. The origin of your name is Hebrew. And the meaning of it translates to 'Beloved One' or 'Belonging to God'.

This you cannot stand against. Even if you change it... it will keep on ecchoing into eternity...

Allow me however, to ask one quetion: If science dictates that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - do I have that right? How then do you scientifically explain demonic activity?

.:webmaster:. said...

Elroy,

If you are the inner city teacher you claim to be, then you have my complete respect. Coincidentally, I just read Frank McCourt's new book, Teacher Man. I'd highly recommend it to everyone.

Now, Jesus did say to give to any and all who ask. That's literally what he said. Therefore, when I ask for ten dollars, a Christian is obliged to to give. It's stupid, but that's what the god-man commanded! For True Christians™, it's not about how many good works are done in life, what matters is faithful obedience to God. One was given 10 talents of gold, another 5, and another 1, and all that. Not everyone is given the same challenges, gifts, etc.

However, if you want to compare how many sacrifices I've made for others in my life to what you're doing today with your life, implying perhaps that you've chosen a higher path than I, then you definitely win. Anyone who has the strength and commitment to diligently work in education, especially in inner city schools, should be applauded and praised—period.

Have a nice day.

.:webmaster:. said...

"How then do you scientifically explain demonic activity?"

Did you mean to ask, "How then do you scientifically explain belief in demonic activity?"

But, you probably think your question makes sense. First you must scientifically demonstrate that there is any such thing as a demon. Then you must demonstrate scientifically that said demon is doing some activity. Until then, your question is really saying: Prove that demons don't exist.

You are assuming demons exist and then requiring others to prove they don't exist. You have it backwards. You are assuming that which you hope to prove. You assume demons, you demand proof to the contrary, you consider the lack of disproof to be proof, and poof!—you've proved there are demons. It's circular reasoning, a big, mental circle-jerk, with you kneeling in the middle.

Bentley said...

To Elroy, I was not down playing your roll as a teacher, which is very commendable, but you have taken away your own dignity for a promise in the next life that was invented and promised over 2000 years ago that was written down on papyrus by men that thought the voices that they heard were from a God. You have eccentually cheated yourself and possibly your family and created great hardships for you and the ones that you love in hopes of a promise that can never be verified nor proved because you have accepted the Bible as being the truth, only because the Bible is the only scource that you were exposed to when you were a little child, and society in USA has accepted the Bible as truth and pure fact.

CC hears voices from God and speaks to God everyday, so why does he not write a new chapter and have it inserted into the Bible? Because the voices that he hears is his own brain echoing just what he wants to claim that he hears. We all do that, but it's not from any God, after death the brain ceases to think and there are no more voices and God and Jesus and Allah and all religious beliefs disappear.

Elroy said...

Dear Ben and Dave:

>>you have taken away your own dignity for a promise in the next life that was invented and promised over 2000 years ago that was written down on papyrus by men that thought the voices that they heard were from a God. You have eccentually cheated yourself and possibly your family and created great hardships for you and the ones that you love in hopes of a promise that can never be verified no<<

You're not listening. I have DISCOVERED a deep purpose to the life I am leading. It is in the DOING that one finds this, not in the observing from the sidelines. Everything in the Gospels points to the life of a servant as being the pinnacle of the Kingdom of God. This is correct. How do I know? Because I have rescued young lives from ignorance and paths that lead to darkness (if you don't think that is possible, you don't know what is going on in youth culture). You see, you folks are speaking abstractly, without having jumped into the mix.

This is exactly what Plato was speaking of in his Allegory of the Cave. Until you give up your selfish concerns, you are strapped to the post, observing shadows. It is in the life of service, and especially in teaching ethics that goes against the grain of common selfishness, that one is freed from Plato's allegorical post. This is what Aquinas was speaking of in his Summa, that Brigid found wanting. Her assessment, that his posit is childish, is flawed, because an is-ought fallacy is a defense of the status quo, despite contrary evidence. Aquinas was restating the Allegory: we see through a glass darkly, and it is only God that can free us of our darkness.

Now, reurn to the New Testament. Everything Jesus said was about humbling oneself and becoming empty of selfish concerns. It is the focus on the self that ties us to the post. Following Jesus' instruction, to lose one's life in order to gain it, can only be done with FAITH. You have no evidence that it will come to a good end, for it is outside your experience, up there, where the light is at the opening of the cave. Those who respond to the voice of God are freed and see things that cannot be explained readily to those who are still in chains.

Of course you don't understand what I'm talking about. But Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. understood. Mother Teresa, on a train trip, saw the hopeless dying people of Calcutta as the distressing guise of Jesus. She began her ministry without any fanfare, picking up the dying and serving them with love, so that they had a happy death. Can you possibly understand what a dying body in the state she saw them is like? It's not fun. But she saw something that goes over your head.

You would say, because life is meaningless, that she was wasting her time, as you say I am wasting mine, not acquiring the fortune I could have had if I had chosen another path. I say this: it is in response to the message of Christ that Ghandi, Martin Luther, and Mother Teresa set in motion events that have and are changing the world. If in teaching I save one child from a life of disapation, I have done something no one can imagine. That one child is a life, a gift given that cannot be repeated, and if lost, is a profound tragedy. What if in a thirty year career I turn around ten kids and they lead profoundly different lives than the one they would have led without my influence? These are ten unreplacable lives. I've experienced this. I was at Blockbusters one night, and a former student of mine ran up to me and embraced me, and said "You changed my life!" I asked him what he was talking about and he said "What you said about Plato and The Cave, I understand it." This kid was involved in some ugly stuff, mostly drugs. He went on to college and is leading a good life.

You would have to know these children to understand, but imagine YOUR son or daughter on their way to a life misspent. Now inject that one person, acting upon the teachings of Jesus Christ (you'll notice that I did not effect a change in this boy through converting him to my religion, but everything I taught him is in Christianity. I pointed him towards virtue. How he planned to implement what I taught I left up to him. I can only plant the idea), who turns your son around and points them to a life in which they make something of themselves. Do not become a drug addict or something that is beneath their dignity.

In your world, I am wasting my time, because there is no God, no message to respond to. I'll remain tied to the post, talking about abstractions, thinking I'm talking about the concrete. In a world in which human sentient matter is the only thing, why bother? There is nothing beyond this world we see with our eyes, so why waste my time. Right?

George Jetson said...

El-Roy, great job in showing that you are self-sacrificing to even the most needy in society, our children. However, how are "you" doing as a person. If you are not capable of loving yourself "unconditionally", then you can't claim to love/care for your children that you teach.

Again, a person can't give what they themselves can't understand, and accept. I suppose you may consider that giving a child an education is noble, however, what you teach your children about care/love is the greatest of all lessons. If you are religious, and believe in original sin, then you teach your children non-verbally to love something greater than themselves "first", before looking inward and finding peace.

The argument would go, from a religious perspective, that a person can't find peace looking inward, that there is only misery in the "self".

Identity is not based on the pulling of information from the external environment, and blindly accepting that information without running it through a "self" check, but that self-check is not possible, as religious people throughout history have devised their philosophies to discount the value of human perception and the ability to "find" truth using the "self".

The Essence of Destiny:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words for they become your actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits, study your habits for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Elroy, the above requires a "self" guided person to regulate their thoughts, meaning, a person must have "trust" in their own ability to "self" regulate, and this flies in the face of religious doctrine. If you can't control your thoughts, because you accept mankind as downfallen and incapable of self-regulation, then your destiny is directly affected.

In your classroom, do you teach your children to "think" for themselves, to trust in their ability to "care" for themselves, because its your "actions", that speak louder than words. Perhaps, you are like many teachers I have had in school, and are excellent at "training" a child to perform a function. I wouldn't call these teachers, educators, they are more "instructors" providing a student a "skill" to a student so they may take those skills and apply them on a test so they can pass to the next grade. Education in the U.S.A., for the last half of the 1900's, has become "skill" training, from carpentry, etc., in a vocational capacity which was provided in my high-school for credit, to the skill of regurgitating information on a test.

An educator, educates, this requires a teacher to build a childs confidence that they can "think" and learn on their own - life long learners, but that requires "trust" and "confidence" in the "self". Elroy, without you educating your children to "think", and "trust" in their "self", you have in many ways "impacted" those childrens' destinies. They can recover, I am proof of that, but I have little respect for the teachers I have had, who "failed" to give me an education. I am a self-induced life-long learner, based on my personality type, the teachers in a religiously saturated area in the U.S. failed to nurture that "trait" of my personality - they failed Elroy to grow educated children, because they "failed" to teach a "child" that they "can" be self-taught and that they "can" find "truth" using their "self" as a guide.

Elroy, I don't know you and the rubrics you teach from, or what course material you use to supplement your teaching programs, but I know this. A person who can provide open dialogue in a global setting, who challenges people to "think" for "themselves", and tighten their neural-reigns to be life long learners, who can dis-spell information without penalty in their life, i.e., lower grade for not mindlessly accepting information, etc., is doing a much "greater" service to humanity, than someone who requires blind acceptance of information.

The neural organ, is a muscle, when that muscle is exercised it stays firm, and functional, the opposite of course is non-use, and crenation.

"The Apology of Socrates - Plato p.52"

"Systematic questioning of the claims made by others to knowledge and wisdom became a way of life for Socrates. The 'Socratic method' did not depend on a particular theory or body of ideas that Socrates sought to sell to others. It was, rather, a disposition of mind wherein nothing was taken on trust, nothing was simply assumed just because others assumed that it was so. Socrates would question, question and question again, not in order to demolish everything and everyone around him, but in order to test their foundations, their connections, and their coherence."

One must "trust" themselves to ask questions, and believe they have the potential to find "truth" in their life. Between you Elroy and the WM, who provides the best platform, for uninhibited questioning, and further enlightenment? If you want to get into the details of your lesson plans, or how you are constrained by political influence, etc., then, great, I can't wait to "question" your ability to "educate" the children of today. Question, not to demolish, but to verify what you say, is actually verifiably true. Seems we'll have to leave religion out of it, as god isn't verifiable, right.

freeman said...

Elroy,
Boy, you love to make up shit, don't you!

"You would say, because life is meaningless..."
No one here has ever said that life is meaningless. On the contrary. Because we do not believe in your "here after life" we tend to appriciate what we have. We tend to be more compassionate towards others. We have only one go round and will make it worthy.


"In your world, I am wasting my time, because there is no God, no message to respond to."
Again, we tend to be more humbled by life's experiences and make the most out of the one shot we have.

Also, I and many others that I know can do all that you mention without you imaginary diety! One does not need "god" to help his fellow man. You even mention Ghandi as a shinning example that we should follow. Exactly, he never believed in your diety. Jesus was completely abstract to him, yet Ghandi was probably a more compassionate human than your jesus could ever hope to be! Jesus sucks by comparison! Son of god my ass! If that were the case, he failed miserably. As he told Judas, do you think we can save these people from there lot, there will always be poor people. Well, yes! If you are god, then stop starving your people. You have the power, but lack the will. No compassion. Your god sucks!

George Jetson said...

Thomas Aquinas:

"Some of Thomas's ethical conclusions are at odds with the majority view in the contemporary West. For example, he held that heretics "deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death", and thus that heresy should be punished by death (ST II:II 11:3), He also maintained the intellectual inferiority of women and their subjection to men on that account (see ST I:92:1), which is one reason why he opposed the ordination of women (see (ST Supp. 39:1); he did say, however, that they were fit for the exercise of temporal power. He also held that "a parent can lawfully strike his child, and a master his slave that instruction may be enforced by correction". (ST II:II 65:2)."

Please, by all means, continue the attempt to educate, I mean, train us, Elroy.

"In 1319, the Roman Catholic Church began investigations preliminary to Aquinas's canonization; on 18 July 1323, he was pronounced a saint by Pope John XXII at Avignon; and in 1567 Pius V ranked the festival of St Thomas with those of the four great Latin fathers, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and Gregory."

Sainted by the pope, as if the pope were a god, to bestow such a rite, more idolatry I suppose.

"At the Council of Trent only two books were placed on the altar, the Bible and St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologiae. No theologian save Augustine has had an equal influence on the theological thought and language of the Western Church, a fact which was strongly emphasized by Leo XIII in his Encyclical of 4 August 1879, which directed the clergy to take the teachings of Aquinas as the basis of their theological position, stating that his theology was a definitive exposition of Catholic doctrine. Also, Leo XIII decreed that all Catholic seminaries and universities must teach Aquinas' doctrines, and where Aquinas did not speak on a topic, the teachers were "urged to teach conclusions that were reconcilable with his thinking."

Aquinas, was an instructor as well. Catholic leaders of his time, didn't want educated people, they wanted people "trained" according to Aquinas' pre-created outcomes. This is the "is-ought", predicament. He taught what he felt "ought" to be, and not necessarily the "reality" of what "is".

This of course "prevents" the socratic method of "questioning", as anyone who questions is obviously not educated, right Elroy. Accept, Aquinas' writings blindly, never question, and accept the catechism. You are well aware of the importance of the catechism, right Elroy. If someone says something enough, they become to believe. Unfortunately, for every sentence I read, I ask a mental question, so, I break this mind control game quite easily - because I truth in my "self" to find "truth", Elroy. Its what an "educated" or "life-long" learner, does.

George Jetson said...

George Jetsons' last paragraph, should read "...because I trust in my "self" to find "truth", Elroy. Its what an "educated" or "life-long" learner, does."

Elroy said...

Dear George and freeman,

You guys are talking out of your hat. Like I said, George, you are echoing what you perceive, but have no idea what I'm talking about. In reference to your statement, freeman, I quote Ben:

"'I do this because Jesus told me that if I sought to save my life, I would lose it, and if I gave my life away, I would find it. '

Guess what Elroy, it was all for naught! Do you know why?

No!!!!"

The inference here is that my activities have no basis in reality. I posit that you see shadows and think they are real. You can't perceive the light, so you say there is no light, or what you see, is the light. I've made it clear what the light is.

And George, nice attempt to hit the target with a scattergun...but you missed. There are lots of crappy teachers out there, and it looks like you had some. So did I, but your experiecnes are not the sum total of what teaching is, and you have demonstrated that you haven't an idea what I'm talking about. Until you DO, until you ACT, you are on the fence, watching, without real data to assess. And to quote the zen master, until you empty your cup, how can you learn?

Elroy said...

George Jetson said:

>>This is the "is-ought", predicament. He taught what he felt "ought" to be, and not necessarily the "reality" of what "is".<<

This is not what Brigid referred to. She was referring to the Summa's first article, which is a restatement of the Allegory of the Cave. We see imperfectly, and need an infusion of God's insight in order to be free.

And you know what reality is? Tell me, George, what is reality? Is it what you see? Is it what you think? Is it what you feel? How will you, George, expand your frame of reference? Or is your limited experience enough for you?

Good luck on your life-long learning.

George Jetson said...

Elroy: "Now, reurn to the New Testament. Everything Jesus said was about humbling oneself and becoming empty of selfish concerns."

Not "everything" Jesus said Elroy, was about leaving the self behind, for instance.

Matthew:
7:13 - "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:"

7:14 - "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction. Jesus says that most people will go to hell. He seems to be OK with that Elroy.

Also, lets rerun the NT and what Jesus said in regard to who should be proselytized.

Matthew 10:5 - These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:"

Jesus tells his disciples to keep away from the Gentiles and Samaritans, and go only to the Israelites. Are you a Jew Elroy, if not, your Jesus didn't seek your race out, hmmmm, does this make Jesus a racist.

Elroy: "It is the focus on the self that ties us to the post."

However, your "self", believes it can tell other "selfs", that they aren't as capable of questioning and finding "truth" as you obviously are, right.

Elroy: "Following Jesus' instruction, to lose one's life in order to gain it, can only be done with FAITH."

Buddhism is a religion and philosophy focusing on the teachings of the Buddha ??kyamuni (Siddh?rtha Gautama), who probably lived in the 5th century BCE.

Pre-Jesus, by five hundred years.

Buddhism on detachment of the self, in respect to enlightenment.

"Sam?dhi · Concentration (mental development"

7. Samm?-sati – Right Mindfulness:

"And what, monks, is right mindfulness?

(i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on (his/her) body in and of itself... ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(ii) (He/she) remains focused on feelings in and of themselves...ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(iii) (He/she) remains focused on the mind in and of itself...ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(iv) (He/she) remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves...ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

This, monks, is called right mindfulness."

Obviously, detachment isn't an original thought. Hey, Elroy, can you find something in the bible, that is truly "original", and wasn't created using past information.

Elroy: "You have no evidence that it will come to a good end, for it is outside your experience, up there, where the light is at the opening of the cave."

However, you are obviously not a philosophy major. So, lets dispense with "The Cave" allegory for what is really being portrayed, shall we.

"Plato had this theory that our human perceptions are "shadows" of the real objects. By shadow, I mean only a glimpse into the real object. A shadow is two dimension and it is colorless... Similarly our perceptions are incomplete ideas of what reality is."

In other words, there Elroy, Aquinas didn't believe people had the ability to perceive an "objective" reality, and "neither" did Plato. Plato, in his allegory, presents humanity as only capable of seeing the "shadows" of the "true forms" that exist in a transcendent world, and the properties from those "real" objects are pushed into our physical reality in this world.

In both cases, you have attempted to "prove" the obvious shortcomings of humanity to "find" real truth, due to human limitations. Again, if you are correct, then, your very words are "limited", and your very thoughts are "incomplete", thus, you can not credibly stand up, and say you have a better judgement of "reality" than "anyone else". This includes, Plato, and Aquinas, who make statements about our inability to see "true" reality, due to subjective tainting, but they "both" somehow, feel they have "knowledge" of the "truth", so they have "removed" themselves from their own philosophy, as if they are not susceptible to human subjectivity and limitation. That, is illogical, and hubrus.

Elroy: "Those who respond to the voice of God are freed and see things that cannot be explained readily to those who are still in chains."

Your "freed" person, has somehow become the one who can see "true" reality. Again, show us "true" reality, there Elroy, so that we may inspect it. Obviously, you believe "you" are not subject to the philosophy of the limited perception by Plato and Aquinas, right.

Your "freed" person is using their imaginative "experience" to find "truth" in this reality, and not based on empirical experience. Imagined or created reality, does not "connect", nor is it "coherent", with what "is" many times, of course, we can always ask "questions" to see if there is a connection, right Elroy. So, I am imagining a purple elephant orbiting Pluto, shall we question and test my assertion/hypothetical or do you accept that my imaginative creation is in fact "true"?

.:webmaster:. said...

Elroy said: "In your world, I am wasting my time, because there is no God, no message to respond to...In a world in which human sentient matter is the only thing, why bother? There is nothing beyond this world we see with our eyes, so why waste my time."

So all your humanitarian efforts are for some ethereal reward? In that case, you are doing none of these sacrificial things out of a selfless love for your fellow man. You are only striving after a pat on the back in eternal happy-land.

If you are acting selfless in order to receive future reward, then you are insincere. Regardless of the quantity of holy acts you think you are performing, you are doing them all for selfish reasons.

The time, energy and finances I put into this site, for instance, is selfless. I expect no reward for my efforts. I donate it for the sake of others. This is not realistically comparable to your working in the inner city, but my point is that a truly selfless act is done even if there is no possibility of reward.

Humanitarian kindness serves the future of mankind. I can't see what difference it makes whether I get to live in happy-land or not. Serving humanity is a good idea even if my personality dissipates with my death.

If you are teaching all this crap that you're posting here to your students, then I retract my previous compliment.

George Jetson said...

Elroy: "You guys are talking out of your hat."

Nice scattergun approach, but you missed. I don't have a hat, or is that word play.

Elroy: "Like I said, George, you are echoing what you perceive, but have no idea what I'm talking about."

Gee, is that a lack of your ability to communicate, or mine to perceive. Well, since I can't perceive reality objectively, according to Aquinas (but he can), or Plato (which he obviously made reference to from a position of perfection) perhaps, the burden is upon you to communicate a little more effectively. That "is", what an educator does, right - communicates effectively.

So, you do believe in subjective reality, I can't "objectively" perceive what experiences you have had in life, you know, the nature vs. nurture facets of your life, with my own experiences in life. However, you suggest there is an objective reality, out there somewhere, mind telling the class where you "found" this objective reality?

Elroy: "And George, nice attempt to hit the target with a scattergun...but you missed."

Not from where I am sitting.

Elroy: "There are lots of crappy teachers out there, and it looks like you had some. So did I, but your experiecnes are not the sum total of what teaching is, and you have demonstrated that you haven't an idea what I'm talking about."

You presume your information should be isolated, and kept separate from "other" information. Well, I don't agree, I have every right to take what you say, and test it against everything I know, to see if what you say makes any sense at all. That's what an "educated" person does Elroy, I gave up being "trained" a long time ago, I don't take your words at face value, nor do I accept illogical assertions blindly, but thanks for the opportunity. Oh, and I do know what The Cave allegory represents, I provided as much in my previous post, prior to you submitting your comment, so, again, it appears I may "know" what you are saying, and what the meaning of The Cave, ought to have been, but then, there is of course, the "is" relationship with this reality, that seems to be missing. Lets see if you bridge that gap, as you haven't at this point, at least to my limited perception.

Elroy: "Until you DO, until you ACT, you are on the fence, watching, without real data to assess."

Okay, please by all means, show me real data, as data/information builds our reality. And you know what reality is? Tell me, Elroy, what is reality? Is it what you see? Is it what you think? Is it what you feel? How will you, Elroy, expand your frame of reference? Or is your limited experience enough for you?

You do believe Zeus is god, right Elroy, is that the supplemental expansion of reality you are looking for?

Elroy: "And to quote the zen master, until you empty your cup, how can you learn?"

And to quote me, because I have "faith" in my self to find "truth". "if you don't place a filter over the cup, how can you get clean information?" The filter is called asking "questions", there Elroy.

George Jetson said...

Elroy: "We see imperfectly, and need an infusion of God's insight in order to be free."

However, you assert that we can't possibly see objective and true reality, using Aquinas and Platonic dialogue. So, how did "you" get this "insight" Elroy? Are you above everyone elses' insights/experiences?

Elroy: "And you know what reality is? Tell me, George, what is reality? Is it what you see? Is it what you think? Is it what you feel?"

It "is", not what "ought". I make every effort to take what "is", to explain what "ought", what "is", can be verified by many people using empirical expression.

Elroy: "How will you, George, expand your frame of reference?"

Well, I started by dumping all the dirty water out of my cup, because I wasn't cognitively prepared as an infant to "build" a filter. However, I expand my reference, by taking information that is predictably consistent, coherent, and verifiable, and building upon that base.

Elroy: "Or is your limited experience enough for you?"

According to the bible, only the ignorant can truly find heavens' gates. I expand my reality, by searching, questioning, and expanding my frame of reference. However, your bible, suggests that you shouldn't, as knowledge is the bane of humanity.

Elroy: "Good luck on your life-long learning."

Right, Elroy. I will continue to keep my water in my cup, pure. Thanks, perhaps, you can extend that courtesy to the children you instruct.

David Berlin said...

Question for Elroy: You mention "kids going down paths that lead to darkness"...this is starting to sound less like Thomas Aquinas and more like Cotton or Increase Mather. What are some of these paths that are so horrible they can't be spoken about? Wearing colored shirts? Running in the halls? Dancing? Fiddling? Gangs? What are we talking about here?

Elroy said...

George Jetson wrote:

>>Elroy: "We see imperfectly, and need an infusion of God's insight in order to be free."

However, you assert that we can't possibly see objective and true reality, using Aquinas and Platonic dialogue. So, how did "you" get this "insight" Elroy? Are you above everyone elses' insights/experiences?<<

Isn't that what this whole site is about? The atheists on this site are positing that their insights into reality and life are superior to the vast majority of people who have lived heretofore. You are somehow "above everyone elses' insights/experiences." I say you are blind. I say, yes, my insights are superior to yours, for I am not afraid. You are so afriad of being wrong that you have closed yourself. You are at variance with the greatest minds of all time, Isaac Newton, for one, who would have laughed at you. Can any of your crowd come up with a Martin Luther King Jr., or a Mother Teresa? You can come up with a Stalin very easily, but finding someone amongst you who has made a difference in this world is a tough nut to crack.

Reread my posts. I say very clearly how I came to a superior realization of life than you. You will tell me how your's is superior, but I will tell you that your way will have no positive effect on the world.

Dandelion said...

Again... I do understand your comment(s) and the way you think. I say again: Everyone has their story. You have yours. I have mine. I know of the existance of demons because of it. Having said... I know God-the-Trinity is alive beyond a shadow of doubt. Beyond a moment of turmoil.

You are where you are.
I am where I am.

Nothing I say will change that. Nothing.
No question I ask will be unanswered... for instance...

What of Evolution? If man evolved from ape... why are there still primates? OR

Carbon datings' relation/relevance to the ozone layer and bearing in mind if it was in fact ALWAYS thin, or was there a time where it was thicker... and time went by differently... and the influence it had on people's age OR

the Big Bang Theory... where did the miniscule little molecules come from? Particles? And where did those come from? Leptons? and they... and so on and so on... at the end of that... where is that? OR

The question about Jesus Christ and the prohecies He fulfilled. Why the big who-ha over centuries... Astronomer and mathematician Peter Stoner, in his book Science Speaks, offers a mathematical analysis showing that it is impossible that the precise statements about the One to come could be fulfulled in a single person by mere coincidence. The chance of only eight of these dozenso of prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man has been estimated at 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 chancwe in 1000,000,000,000,000,000. How can I put this in terms we can comprehend? Dr Stoner illustrates the odds with this scenario: "...take 10 to the 17th power silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texax (with its approximate land area of 262,000 sq miles). They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and syay that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing eight prohecies and having them all come true in any one man...

But that is only 8 of the dozens of prophecies of the Messiah. Using the science of probability, the chance of as many as 48 of these prohecies coming to pass in one person is 1 in 10 to the 157th power - a 1 followed by 157 zeros (1963, pp. 100-109)"

But then again... this probably means nothing to you. You will just debate it away with the things in your mind.

Take it. Leave it. Comment on it. Chuck it. File it.

My heart is pure. My love is real. (I say this more for me than for anybody else)...

Elroy said...

David Berlin wrote:

>>Question for Elroy: You mention "kids going down paths that lead to darkness"...this is starting to sound less like Thomas Aquinas and more like Cotton or Increase Mather. What are some of these paths that are so horrible they can't be spoken about? Wearing colored shirts? Running in the halls? Dancing? Fiddling? Gangs? What are we talking about here?<<

You need to get out more, David. Just visit a big city high school, watch MTV, read Tupac's drivelling poetry, listen to rap lyrics. Need I go on? Watch a Britney Spears video, or Christina Aquilar to see girls and boys are being influenced to have sex at a younger age. They aren't ready for these things, and having children before you are educated is a sure road to poverty. Choosing to deal crack instead of learning to read, because it's a white thing, is death. Spending time in jail is a mark of credibility on the streets among young black males.

Have I made myself clear? What are you doing to make a difference?

David Berlin said...

Just wondering Elroy. Did it ever occur to you that maybe as a teacher you aren't connecting as well as you think you are or thought you were?

It amuses me how Christians tend to mischaracterize folks like me. I suppose it's inevitable. I don't fit neatly into anyone's pigeonhole. Come on now. Jewish, grew up in a fairly religious household, published-for-pay writer, living currently on SSI and Food Stamps...what the fuck kind of pigeonhole do I fit into?

(Whispers to Elroy--Maybe I do get out once in a while, just a little bit)

.:webmaster:. said...

Elroy,

Is your life all about being superior to others? WOW! That's a revealing admission.

'Nuff said from me.

Elroy said...

>>Elroy,

Is your life all about being superior to others? WOW! That's a revealing admission. <<

WM, my point is that the life of service is the key to freedom, and freedom is superior in its breadth of view than slavery. Servanthood is a paradox that seems opaque to this crowd. You however, I would take to task, for at one time you loved Jesus. Are these concepts foreign to Baptists? Why did you build your house on a foundation of sand? Are you not aware of the paradoxical nature of reality? You knew that the first would be last and the last would be first. That which seems to make sense does not lead to its intended consequences.

You've lived long enough to see these things. What would cause you to betray someone you have loved?

David Berlin said...

Just a thought if I may...one of the reasons it is hard for me to debate religionists of any kind from any religion is that I do not concede the validity of the debate. The natural world is. It's right there in front of you, when you stub your toe on a rock, it hurts. Furthermore, I believe in ethical treatment of my fellow man much more than moral treatment. Moral treatment I reserve for people whose morals I understand and am familiar with--otherwise I risk getting myself in SERIOUS trouble, especially considering the fact that I travel extensively in the North, Northeast, South, and Midwest in America. Metphorically speaking, Jesus should have said, "Do unto others what they want done unto them."

But my point is, the natural world exists, it's right there in front of you and ethical principles are pretty easy for most folks to understand--most large cultures have enough of the same ethical concepts to at least get along (don't cheat, don't steal, don't murder, etc., )...once you bring god, Jesus, Abraham, etc. into it you are multiplying hypotheses in a BIG way. You are introducing things into the argument that can't be empirically verified. And once you do that, debate becomes silly and invalid. You have faith. I don't. It's an exercise in silliness and I have a date tonight.

Just for the record, there will be times when I will question Dave the Webmaster. There are certain things that he says and does that I disagree with. But he and I are by and large on the same page...we don't by a long shot part ways so much that we lose sight of each other. Elroy, you start talking about Jesus and god and faith and souls (my arse-ole?) and you've introduced something into the debate that isn't real from where I sit. What's her mailing address? What's her cell phone number? What's she like in bed?

Debating with a Christian is a mugs game at best. The debate is not valid. When I used to watch guys practice for debates in High School or at other times in my life, it was fascinating. These guys and occasional girl had the time of their lives, putting together arguments and statistics and verifying their sources.

Elroy, have you noticed at all that everything you quote is what we who have seen actual forum debates call "self-referential"? Basically, it means that you've not used any "outside sources" to verify the things you say. You've quoted Thomas Aquinas, some articles about Lourdes...all Christian stooges. Find someone neutral. What does the CDC say about Christianity? Or the AMA? or ummmm...I don't know...it's hard to find people neutral on the topic of religion since the lies are so all pervasive. But still. My sophomore English teacher Mrs. Senerchia would be horrified (and yes, I know I am opening myself up to the "wise fool" jokes that Christians like to make at this point--jokes that are only funny to other Christians, because normal people don't *think* like that)...

All right. I'm on roaming airtime, getting a little far afield. You get my drift. I'm bowing out although I'll stick around. The long and short of my point is that nobody is scoring this debate and Elroy will not ever be convinced because it isn't well reasoned, tightly buttressed arguments that convince anyone of anything--it's experience in the world. Well reasoned, tightly buttressed arguments can help, but experience has to match up. That's why I'm going into advertising. What people believe or will believe is largely a matter of psychological manipulation. Just ask the Pope. Or Billy Graham. Or any of 'em.

George Jetson said...

Elroy: "Isn't that what this whole site is about? The atheists on this site are positing that their insights into reality and life are superior to the vast majority of people who have lived heretofore. You are somehow "above everyone elses' insights/experiences."

Well, what you suggest is a gross generalization of "all" members on this site. For one, not "everyone" on this site, claims to be Atheist, funny though, that you are on this site, and somehow "placing" or "removing" yourself from your broad-stroked argument. Again, the same logic to form a philosophical argument, was used by Plato and Aquinas, as they removed themselves, as part of their philosophical argument.

Elroy: "I say you are blind. I say, yes, my insights are superior to yours, for I am not afraid."

Oh, so, removal of "fear" makes one superior?

There are theories that suggest that fear has been to genesis of survival for the human species. Without fear, we would have died out long ago, so, it appears that "fear" or better yet, "anxiety", has its merits in our lives.

However, Elroy, I speak logically and of this "natural" reality. You, are referring to the supernatural reality as well, no? I don't believe in the supernatural, there Elroy, and what I don't "know" in this Natural reality, doesn't cause me "fear".

Yes, Elroy, believe it or not, I don't fear that which I have no knowledge of, I don't allow people to inject me with fear of the unknown and unprovable, its part of my "filtering" process.

If you suggest I should have "fear" of supernatural unknowns, then of course, you are suggesting you are omniscient, of both this natural and supernatural realm. Meaning, I should fear that which you seem to "know" with your "superior" experiences. How often do you play the omniscient god role there Elroy? Does it come out in the classroom? Do you get aggravated when children question the information you present in class, is that a challenge to your omniscient authority?

Elroy: "You are so afriad of being wrong that you have closed yourself. You are at variance with the greatest minds of all time, Isaac Newton, for one, who would have laughed at you."

So, you suggest I should open myself up to an onslaught of unpredictability in order to find inner peace? That in short, I should place my "faith" in another person, who can then "lead" me with their personal and subjectively biased/slanted views?

If I were to follow your prescription, I would lose control of my own autonomy/identity. Not to a "god", but to a mere mortal who believes they have more valuable experiences than everyone else in this world - as they live in the exact same world as everyone else. Once a person loses the control of their mind, they lose their identity, and predictability in life, and thus, fear does become a factor, as a person becomes "lost" and unattached. That is not rational "fear", though, Elroy, that is using manipulation and control, in order to instill "fear".

Risk:
A ship in the harbor is safe... but, that's not wat ships were made for.

I don't believe, humanity was meant to stay "moored" to the docks of life, there Elroy. However, this is what "religionists" and their leaders require for the most part. A steadfast belief in a traditional and unchanging ritualistic system. You do know what happens to ships, that are harbored while the seas of rapid change create storm waves, right? If not, a ship at harbor during high seas, is battered against the docks or rocks of reality, and is damaged, sometimes beyond repair. We are made to "adapt" and change our routes in life based on our environmental changes, there Elroy. Its hubrus to "Demand" that nature change to fit a supernatural reality, a supernatual reality that can't be defined, even by Platonic standards.

John Adams [1735-1826] 2d President of the United States

"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

"Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it."

Let the ship loose, let it loose to navigate to new unchartered waters, its what we do Elroy, but one must be able to sense their environment to be able to navigate, is that possible when one is imagining what "could" be ahead in the sea of life (supernaturally), or is it more sane, to observe what's ahead and make good decisions on what one observes. Expanding a frame of reference beyond what one can prove, or experience, only complicates the decision making process for the religionist.

The Art of Strategy:
"Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow... They have form but are formless. They are skilled at planning and adapting and need not fear the result of a thousand battles for they win in advance, defeating those that have already lost." - Sun Tzu 100 BCE

Sun Tzu would suggest the followers of religion are already defeated in life, as they can't possibly "plan" or gain skill in "planning" with so many "unknowns" in a supernatural reality. However, "fear" can be attained with such "unknowns", so the real winners, are the religious leaders, who mine the mindless followers of their congregations.

I have "faith" in my Self first to seek a safe path in life, no one knows better than "me", my position in life, and thus, my sense of direction. If someone requires me to sacrifice my Self, in order to be "led" by some other subjective person, without the benefit of proper explanation, that I can validate according to my filters, then, they don't see me as a friend, they see me as someone/something to be conquored. Yeah, that would be a basic Catholic tact as seen throughout history.

Elroy: "Can any of your crowd come up with a Martin Luther King Jr., or a Mother Teresa?"

This is the logical fallacy, of attempting to argue from some moral authority. You can't possibly, pull someone from a group of intellectuals, as they haven't been able to prove anything supernatural since the inception of the word by Aristotle "metaphysics". So, who do we have on the left side of the belief spectrum that is a humanitarian?

(Sigmund Freud / 1856-1939 / The Future of an Illusion / 1927
"Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis."

From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954. It is included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, published by Princeton University Press.
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

Thomas Edison [1847-1931] American inventor
"So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk."

The contributions of these individuals have made a positive "impact" on the lives of every human who have benefitted from mental health support and services that rely on natural physics. Their contributions, have benefitted "all" of humanity, now, and into the future.

If you need more quotes from intellectuals, who gave their life to the care of humanity, let me know. Albeit, its not what these people have done in their life that is important, its what "I" do in my life that is important, right Elroy.

Elroy: "You can come up with a Stalin very easily, but finding someone amongst you who has made a difference in this world is a tough nut to crack."

Uh, Stalin was religiously influenced bubbah. And, again, saying "amongst you", as if everyone on this site, is of the same exact belief/non-belief is positing ones' omniscience, which is absurd. And, when you suggest a "difference" in this world, do you discount "everyones'" acts in life that are of a humanitarian effort, because they haven't reached "celebrity" levels of recognition? Some people, do awesome things for humanity, and never get recognized for their efforts, because their benefit is more "intrinsic", not "extrinsic", you know what those two words mean, right.

Elroy: "Reread my posts. I say very clearly how I came to a superior realization of life than you."

Again, you must be an omniscient "god", to know "my" personal experiences. Do you realize

"Narcissism is the pattern of characteristics and behaviors which involve infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

Elroy: "You will tell me how your's is superior, but I will tell you that your way will have no positive effect on the world."

I don't typically need validation so much, that I get on a blog to puff my Self up, but... then there are those who need that. All "I" ask, is for confirmation of ones' belief via information, so that I may be able to analyze what's presented, and at this point Elroy, I am worried that you are teaching children in a public forum.

George Jetson said...

Before I forget, Dandelion, I don't know the answer to one of your questions. Can you help me understand.

Dandelion: "the Big Bang Theory... where did the miniscule little molecules come from? Particles? And where did those come from? Leptons? and they... and so on and so on... at the end of that... where is that?"

Lets see, which way are you going to provide me an answer to your question. You will attempt to:

1 - Teach me how to find those answers fervently.

2 - Give me your solution, i.e., only "god" knows, etc., and then attempt to get me to agree that I don't have to know anything, because I don't need to, because, "god" knows, and that's all that really matters, right.

3 - Give me your opinion, using some totally imagined solution outside the realm of observation/analysis, and not useable in any fashion other that for psychological manipulation.

Okay, let me have it, I am really wanting to gain some valuable information. I know you have "my" best interest in mind, so, thanks in advance, for any insights. Oh, and remember, if you want to discuss the human defined dimension of time... you can talk to Elroy, as he seems to be "god". If he can't provide you with a usable model for that subjectively laden dimension, well, then, please give me loosely your best estimate using a cosmological argument with variants in quanta matrix mechanics or wave mechanics.

Looking forward to your most scholarly explanation of the underpinnings of this universe. Oh, and on quantum-neurology, if you can't figure it out, look up quantum indeterminism, its how you think I would suggest, albeit, I don't buy the concept as of yet, but, I am sure you can lead me in the right direction.

.:webmaster:. said...

"You've lived long enough to see these things. What would cause you to betray someone you have loved?"

Elroy, you hold a very dogmatic view of reality. While on the one hand you tout the unsearchable mysteries of life, on the other hand you arrogantly spout that you, and perhaps you alone, have the all the answers to every mystery—your version of your religion.

I've betrayed no one, because it is apparent that the so-called (supernatural) answers you've discovered are all generated by active imaginations.

But, cling desperately to your faith Elroy, because without it, all your labor is for naught. You have clearly demonstrated that your ulterior motive for all your self-applauded self-sacrifice is only for the purpose of ensuring your own personal reward in Christian cloudland. Re-read what you've written. You have said over and over that you are superior to the mass of humanity, and the reason you have chosen this superior road is not out of a love for your fellow humans but for eternal applause from your favorite angry deity.

You don't realize it, but your lifestyle is not altruistic at all. The family man who sacrifices to complete a doctorate, working odd jobs, studying to all hours, accumulating debt, burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, etc., is making great sacrifices to ultimately earn a payback for himself and his family. Similarly, you believe your poor, poor, me lifestyle is going to earn you a big payback.

Your attitude here shows that your self-sacrifices are little more than self-aggrandizement.

I weary of you.

.:webmaster:. said...

test

Dandelion said...

"George Jetson wrote:

Before I forget, Dandelion, I don't know the answer to one of your questions. Can you help me understand."

Reply:

I like the way how you get to imply how I am judging you... Or rather maybe, the way how I am pre-guessing how you think I am going to want you to reason... or answer. I re-visit in my heart some lovely parables in the Bible... but I guess you already knew about them... and the theme: misunderstanding the heart of God. But then again. God for you is nothing... So there goes that...

I do however think that your answer implies a certain amount of judgement and prejudice? Shall I use a stronger word... no, not hate... anger. Deep rooted hurt? Wait. Don't answer that.

Fact of the matter is. I do not have the answer in words. I merely believe - that's it. I did not expect you to give me an answer... they were questions directed to make you think of past times... to think what you believe about 'the beginning' - and how YOU would answer the questions. I did not want to give my answer... that was not the point. Clearly you know how I think... don't asume I do not know how you think...

Do not for a minute ponder on a thought that you get me... I read your answer(s) and I think to myself... Asumption is a bad thing. Very bad thing isn't that what you are doing asuming?

ASUMING - that I am here to judge... to teach... to throw moral whatevers... to convict... to force you back into that religious pathway you so desperately rebell against... or maybe not so desperately... but whatever. I cannot do that. I do not want to. I refuse. This is my choice.

However, sarcastically you tempt and lure me into an argument with you... how rude! (I say with tongue in the cheeck) See. I have a sense of humour... (not implying you don't)...

I have no comments about or for Elroy at this time.

Indulge me... and answer this question please... not because you are "debating", not to entertain me, not for any other reason but to answer the question:

Was there a beginning? Life starts whenever you believe life starts... with conception, three months later... whatever. Point is... where did it all start? Or is this the classic... which was first the chicken or the egg argument? Which anser is basically... neither, the one cannot be without the other... which sadly, translates to the fact that we... me and you and everyone else... should not be... so we are nothing... Realistically speaking... then, do I really bleed? Do I really hurt my toe when I kick it against that rock? Ugh... whatever...


Now. Without mockery, without prejudice or anything other that a inquisitive mind... Tell me. What is your beliefs, thoughts on this? "The Beginning".

brigid said...

elroy, you can be damnably hard to follow. You bear the earmarks of someone who has taken a philosophy course at some hick bible college.

About the "is/ought" fallacy....yeah, it can be used to justify the status quo, and that is what acquinas was doing. What the hell else was he doing? acquinas was a toady for the church, writing down in elegant latin what they wanted to hear. He was providing a psuedo-philosophical defense of revealed doctrine: "our reason is faulty, therefore we ought to have supernatural assistance".

This fallacy can also be used to oppose the status quo. Example: "In a country like America, a student ought to go to college free". The "is/ought" fallacy means "I want what I want because I want it".

elroy, your hot air would wither the Amazon basin.

George Jetson said...

Dandelion: "I like the way how you get to imply how I am judging you... Or rather maybe, the way how I am pre-guessing how you think I am going to want you to reason... or answer."

Well, if you really read your own post, you will see how you are attempting to lead me to further enlightenment, through self directed learning process - how thoughtful. Still, its a form of "teaching", albeit, not as obtrusive and assinine as teaching from authority, as our friend Elroy seems to enjoy, but, still far less enlightening than the Socratic method, which is rarely used as a pedagogical standard.

Socratic Method:
"A skillful teacher can teach students to think for themselves using this method. This is the only classic method of teaching that was designed to create genuinely autonomous thinkers."

"Since a discussion is not a dialogue, it is not a proper medium for the Socratic method. However, it is helpful -- if second best -- if the teacher is able to lead a group of students in a discussion. This is not always possible in situations that require the teacher to evaluate students, but it is preferable pedagogically, because it encourages the students to reason rather than appeal to authority."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method

So, I did not pre-guess that you are attempting to build a pattern of my thinking, I asserted directly that you would choose one of the three options, and thus, you have chosen to engage in the number one option, via your own methodology. On a side note, and because Elroy's name is still on this site as being a public school teacher, I would like to once again, say I detest the methodology used to "educate" children. The public school system builds drones who jump to appeals of "authority", it gets no better in college, where many "professors" (based on my experience), "Profess" their views from an authoritative stance, still not building autonomous thinkers.

So, what happens there Dandelion, is that some people don't do well in school, because they don't conform to authoritative instruction, especially if the instruction is contrary to personal experience or understanding. And, then we get people in society, who are subject to following blindly, those who hold a position of authority, hence, one could make a case that there are many people who follow religious leaders, because they have been "programmed" to blindly accept information if provided by an authoritative figure.

So, lets see, you are still appealing to the category one, but, unlike Elroy, you at least aren't trying to appeal to authority, who seems well versed in the method. However, you are attempting a more subtle method of allowing me to come to a conclusion of my own accord.

Has it occurred to you, that I already know where my ignorance lay? That I really, do know where there are epistemological limits to obtainment of knowledge? Perhaps, you believe that I will post to you a dissertation on natural phenomenon. And play the game.

You aren't prepared to play this game Dandelion, but... ya' know what, I have a minute or two. So, lets see, if we are going to use a frame for discourse to determine "which" of two possible thesis statements are more "sound", meaning, they are "non-contradictory", and hold coherence, the longest, then, I'll posit "my" thesis statement, and then you posit your "religious" thesis statement. I will ask you a question to test the validity of your thesis statement, and you in turn can challenge mine :-)

In this manner, we can determine who has the more "solid" thesis statement, by determing which thesis statement falls "first" to contradiction, no? What, don't want to play the game? Oh, you want to play half-court, so you can continue to quiz me on my thesis statement over and over and over, until after using reductionism I come to a point, where I stand with leptons and quantum photons of zero mass (theoretically), and can just go no further, you can say "aha", gotcha', your thesis statement is not Perfect.

Am I thinking for you? No, you have set the game up, by your own post, albeit, you could just be too ignorant to know your own pattern, because from your own perspective you actually may believe or perceive your strategy as novel. However, if you read any of the posts in which many of us have had to endure with all these christians running around thinking they have an "original" thought, you'd realize the number of times, we get to run through this "self-learning" model, as if perhaps, we ourselves haven't taken that opportunity of our own volition.

So, please, by no means take what I have said personally or that I can somehow claim to know your emotional/psychological state, but... I know the pattern of thought you pervade, and I am a skilled professional in that area, so, forgive the glaring observation, and sarcasm that comes out when I see another attempt to engage original debate. Oh, that's right, its not debate, you want to sit out, and let me play the game with myself, like playing with a rubix cube, thanks. Shall I play chess with myself also? Okay, that's sarcastic humor, its as close as I get in the realm of religion :-)

Lets see, I can make this statement with solid confidence. A naturalistic thesis statement, will "always" prevail when contesting a "supernatural" thesis statement.

Its not, if I can't keep up the pattern of logic, I use to create reality, its that my pattern of logic, is by "far" more non-contridictory than a supernatural thesis staement.

So, in all of those questions you ask, in your previous post, they are irrelevant to the task of determining which of the two sides have the most credible information, if logical cohesiveness is to be the test of truth. There are surely limits to naturalistic knowledge, and although I could spit out a dissertation into quantum logic, I would bet a years' salary you'd have no clue about what I said. Your only goal, wouldn't be to "learn", it would be to "teach" me that there are limits to naturalistic knowledge.

Dandelion: "I re-visit in my heart some lovely parables in the Bible... but I guess you already knew about them... and the theme: misunderstanding the heart of God. But then again. God for you is nothing... So there goes that..."

George Jetson: "3 - Give me your opinion, using some totally imagined solution outside the realm of observation/analysis, and not useable in any fashion other that for psychological manipulation."

Dandelion: "I do however think that your answer implies a certain amount of judgement and prejudice? Shall I use a stronger word... no, not hate... anger. Deep rooted hurt? Wait. Don't answer that."

Is this an example of reverse psychology, I hope you don't deal with depressed people on a regular basis. Will it get me to take the bait, no, I'll let it pass, I am more the wise.

Dandelion: "Fact of the matter is. I do not have the answer in words. I merely believe - that's it."

George Jetson: "2 - Give me your solution, i.e., only "god" knows, etc., and then attempt to get me to agree that I don't have to know anything, because I don't need to, because, "god" knows, and that's all that really matters, right."

Dandelion: "I did not expect you to give me an answer... they were questions directed to make you think of past times..."

Assumption that I actually thought of this information in "past" times, perhaps, I haven't had time in my life to dwell on such information for any long period of time. And, when I did, I found authoritative instruction lacking, and it is the "sole" use of passing information in religious circles. Yes, there is a pattern, I am not fond of, from modern education to religious manipulation.

Dandelion: "to think what you believe about 'the beginning' - and how YOU would answer the questions."

George Jetson: "1 - Teach me how to find those answers fervently.", albeit in your own original paradism of instruction, right.

Dandelion: "I did not want to give my answer... that was not the point. Clearly you know how I think... don't asume I do not know how you think..."

Well, if I read the words above literally, it appears I should assume you know how I think. If that is the case, I am thinking of a number, lets see if you have that number next time we chat. Perhaps, John Edwards can help you.

Dandelion: "Do not for a minute ponder on a thought that you get me... I read your answer(s) and I think to myself... Asumption is a bad thing. Very bad thing isn't that what you are doing asuming?"

No need to assume, I read what you write, its laid out pretty plain to me.

Dandelion: "ASUMING - that I am here to judge... to teach... to throw moral whatevers... to convict... to force you back into that religious pathway you so desperately rebell against... or maybe not so desperately... but whatever. I cannot do that. I do not want to. I refuse. This is my choice."

Well, that's really reading between the lines, I don't recall ever stating that any of that above is a "hang-up" of mine, however, perhaps you would be interested in learning a little Freudian psychology, and the term "projection".

Dandelion: "However, sarcastically you tempt and lure me into an argument with you... how rude! (I say with tongue in the cheeck) See. I have a sense of humour... (not implying you don't)..."

Well, it appears you personality is dripping through the words at this point, I see a unique thought pattern forming, though, it really isn't of matter at this point ;-)

Dandelion: "I have no comments about or for Elroy at this time."

Elroy, appears to have more children to mentally disable, he seems preoccupied. Perhaps, his "authori-ti" finds little use, in an open debate.

Dandelion: "Indulge me... and answer this question please... not because you are "debating", not to entertain me, not for any other reason but to answer the question:"

So, you want me to provide an answer, but you present no challenging thesis statement? Well, how about this, I'll start with my premise statement, and wait for you to make one, not to debate my logic alone, but to determine which of the two of us, have a more cohesive belief system. Okay?

Dandelion: "Was there a beginning? Life starts whenever you believe life starts... with conception, three months later... whatever. Point is... where did it all start? Or is this the classic... which was first the chicken or the egg argument? Which anser is basically... neither, the one cannot be without the other... which sadly, translates to the fact that we... me and you and everyone else... should not be... so we are nothing... Realistically speaking... then, do I really bleed? Do I really hurt my toe when I kick it against that rock? Ugh... whatever..."

Okay, my premise statement based on "Natural" observation:

"Transcendental gods are illogical"

Your turn there Dandelion... you get to pick a premise statement based on a "Supernatural" premise statement...

perhaps, you can use this one... "Santa Clause and god smoke cigars together"

Dandelion: "Now. Without mockery, without prejudice or anything other that a inquisitive mind... Tell me. What is your beliefs, thoughts on this? "The Beginning".

Oops, well, its quite impossible to not have prejudice, as its a remnant of our subjectivity, however, I want to "debate" your thoughts against mine. I have no problem stating that I am not omniscient.

"Socrates generally applied his method of examination to concepts that seem to lack any concrete definition; e.g., the key moral concepts at the time, the virtues of piety, wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. Such an examination challenged the implicit moral beliefs of the interlocutors, bringing out inadequacies and inconsistencies in their beliefs, and usually resulting in puzzlement known as aporia. In view of such inadequacies, Socrates himself professed his ignorance, but others still claimed to have knowledge. Socrates believed that his awareness of his ignorance made him wiser than those who, though ignorant, still claimed knowledge. Although this belief seems paradoxical at first glance, it in fact allowed Socrates to discover his own errors where others might assume they were correct. This claim was known by the anecdote of the Delphic oracular pronouncement that Socrates was the wisest of all men. (Or, rather, that no man was wiser than Socrates...)"

I'll leave you with a few statements, that you can ponder on. "My ignorance, doesn't substantiate truth to your premise, whatever your premise be."

And, contrary to your attempt to "teach" me, indirectly, I really do know for the most part, what the epistemological limits are for humanity, albeit, I am not inclined to believe we would not agree on this topic, of which, I am quite sure you are not prepared to engage in.

Finally, grasshopper, before you become a butterfly, let me pose a statement, that you may spend the rest of your life seeking an answer to, one... if I may, is more pertinent to your life, than your imaginary god, good luck...

Questions do not exist, only answers in life ;-) Let me know, when you are capable of providing a cohesive argument for such a statement, and I will further be inclined to continue this conversation. Until then, you can go ping a few world renowned academecians for the answer, if they aren't too busy instructing our future citizens from a position of authority. Oh, and if you want to take my Socratic challenge, between premise statements, I will respond, just to ensure you actually realize your initial flaws of logic. Although, perhaps, you know any supernatual logic is doomed to failure, from the start, at least that would show promise on your behalf.

And, so you don't flake out, and suggest I didn't answer your question... I did. However, as stated, it will take you by your level of research, the most part of your life, to figure it out - bon chance. In a weird sort of way, though, I do agree with you, that only a "persons" own sweat will earn them great understanding.

Enjoy your life, if we don't communicate again.

George Jetson said...

George Jetson: "And, contrary to your attempt to "teach" me, indirectly, I really do know for the most part, what the epistemological limits are for humanity, albeit, I am not inclined to believe we would not agree on this topic, of which, I am quite sure you are not prepared to engage in."

Correction: ...limits are for humanity, albeit, I am not inclined to believe we would agree on this topic, of which, I am quite sure you are not prepared to engage in.

Well, Dandelion, I suppose I should change my name to rose, as in order to reach such beauty through simplicity, one must understand where the thorns of life reside ;-)

Dave Harty said...

Hey, everybody, I know you love to argue back and forth and what not, but this space is supposed to be comments about my Testimony. I got about five or so before someone else stuck in their own story, and then the arguements started. Isn't there a place for that? Can't you respect my Testimony page by only commenting on my Testimony and staging your arguments in the forum? I was looking for support, and what have I got?

Dandelion said...

Reply for Dave Harty:

I apologise for not respecting your testimony, this space and what you have intended it to be. My initial response to your testimony therefor stands.

Reply for George Jetson:

I have read your reply. English is not my first language so I will first go and "decyper" your comments/statements - apologies.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Hi Dave,

It may be a bit belated, but welcome to ex-Christianity, and thank you for sharing your testimony. It's tough to break out of habits and ideas ingrained from childhood. So much so that I'm continually amazed that many do so, since my own story isn't one of childhood indoctrination.

Yes, we here love to argue with Christians. We do this for a variety of reasons of course, but I think some of it is an expression of years of pent up hostility toward our former faith. The Internet (this site in particular, and others like it) gives us an outlet to vent, as I'm quite sure many still cannot do so with their own families and even friends/acquaintences who we may not want to alienate. Another obvious reason is that when Christians do come here to post, it's rare to see anything other than dogma, condemnation, fear-mongering, etc.. That's something I think we all would like to see stamped out.

Anyway, I hope that your experience here hasn't soured. Generally, these arguments happen where they do (in many testimonies) because Christians like to post to these things, maybe hoping to re-convert the recently de-converted.

Once again, welcome. If you feel the need to talk or need support in your new path, shoot me an email at googleman70@yahoo.com.

George Jetson said...

Dave Harty: " The further I got into the whole thing, the further I was driven away from it in my mind. Rationality kept asking the fundamental question, why? To what end? The more I asked questions, the more I came up empty, until it came to the point where I could no longer stand attending church. But my parents would have nothing for it and forced me to attend at the risk of punishment."

Dave, sorry about the side-track of conversation. Your testimony speaks to the many things discussed. Religious leaders teach from a position of authority, as do many instructors in public education. Those who don't feel they can blindly accept information without some validation, become targets by those of authority, and are typically labelled "trouble-makers".

I grew up, in much the same situation. I wanted to know everything as well, in church, but as I drilled down, I was sadly disappointed that I got the "god only knows", or the "keep searching, having faith" knowing that a supernatural entity could never be sought or understood.

Much modern theology today, is founded, even in much of seminary (and I have some experience), to perpetuate questions until a person acquiesces and just accepts that they can never know enough, thus, god is the only real solution. The continual reference to "one" book to prove itself, is circular in reasoning, the pushing a god out of this reality into a transcendent reality that can never be understood, and having some pope or religious leader swear that they can in "fact" know gods' will while standing in this natural reality, all created distrust for me. I see in your post, you have had much the same experiences.

There can be an infinite number of questions in life, it becomes important at some point, to come to terms with which questions in life are truly valid, but... we all have to seek out that for ourselves. I quit playing the "question" game with those who have a vested interest in perpetuating unanswerable questions, long ago. Some may even go as far, as to label such questions, invalid.

I see in your testimony, that you ran accross some of those questions in your experiences. I, like you, wanted a deeper understanding of my life, with personally validated honesty. Your testimony, to me, shows that the path religion has taken, is still true to its nature, and am personally glad to see that you made it out. Smell the intellectual freedom :-) I hope your endeavors in life are the product of your rational thoughts, those who use their ability to rationalize are not so easily manipulated.

Religions psychologically manipulate, but from their point of view, its for a good reason, and then, there are others who manipulate for their own ends, and I'm not going to get into business/gov't. I am not sure, I buy into the precept of "good" manipulation or aided influence to guide someone to a persons' way of thinking. It prevents autonomous thinking, and creates dependence on some external business/religion/gov't, etc.

What are your thoughts? Is there such a thing as healthy manipulation?

Anonymous said...

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME. KJV

I'm not yelling, the content in all caps was spoken by Jesus and documented. Anything written in my Bible that--Jesus said--is in red/lower case.

That scripture, in itself, speaks to Christians and fallen Christians. Perhaps educating yourselves on Satan. Who he is, how he works and what the result of rebelling against God's loving warnings and your parent's or any form of authority in your lives.

It is my opinion that the basics on believing in God is this. You do bad you get bad and I'm pretty sure it's that way for any church etc. Makes perfect sense to me.

boomSLANG said...

Anonymous fundie # 1,342,987 said:

"Perhaps educating yourselves on Satan. Who he is, how he works and what the result of rebelling against God's loving warnings and your parent's or any form of authority in your lives."

"Satan". Ooooooooo, yikes!

Okay, Livernutz---THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOD'S, DEVILS, GREMLINS, ELVES, SPIRITS, GREAT PUMPKINS, TOOTH FAIRIES, IMPS, BOOGIE MEN...and last but not least "SATAN"! This "being", "Satan"..... WHERE is he, other than inside your head? Really, does "he" look like the guy on Underwood Deviled-ham can?...red leotard, pitchfork, horns?....pointed beard?


BTW, the difference between your fantasy God's "loving warnings", and your "parents" warnings are--- no matter HOW many times you're warned by your parents and you STILL fail to comply, they won't set you on fire. They love you UNconditionally, unlike the your biblegod.

Please, Anon... it's 2006 A.D.(After Deception)----please use the exact same logic you use to dismiss all other Gods as myth, and dismiss your OWN. Try it...it'll work!

Bentley said...

Imagine if you will, all people suddenly removed from the face of the Earth, where is God and Jesus and Allah and Mohammad and Buddha, etc.

All the man made gods have disappeared too!

The avatars that we have formed in our minds, as gods and saviors leave with us and disappear when we die.

Star Search said...

Anonymous: "Perhaps educating yourselves on Satan. Who he is, how he works and what the result of rebelling against God's loving warnings and your parent's or any form of authority in your lives."

Your logic, suggests we become immersed in Satanism in order to properly weigh spiritual pros and cons.

Is your strategy: "Let the fallen christian go, if they return, it was meant to be, if they don't, hunt them down and damn them to hell for all eternity?"

So, just so I get this right. You challenge a non-believer to go out and find an "evil" deity, in order to weigh pros and cons, because the "good" deity, they've been searching for, hasn't shown up to answer any questions. Perhaps, I'm just reading into the comment a little too deeply.

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