Sharing Our Truth with the Vaguely Religious

Sent in by Bill

I recently heard Richard Dawkins express this point in one of his short interviews. He stated that we as enlightened non believers must do all we can to reach out to the vaguely religious or the “fence sitters” and lead them to our truth. I am a shining example of why this is so important for us to do. I could not officially classify myself as an ExChristian. I am more like an ex wishy washy believer in some sort of generic God. I have faint memories of attending Sunday School as a small child, but I don’t recall ever attending church services with my folks after about age seven. My parents could also fall into the category of the vague believers. They rarely discussed anything about religion, but lead by example to live by the Golden Rule. My parents acts of kindness or generosity were never meant to please an invisible man in the sky. Due to the fact that we had a very beloved gay extended family member, my parents were often critical of the intolerance of most mainstream churches.

Most of my life I professed a God belief and I usually did have the reward of Heaven and the fear of hell in the back of my mind, yet I’ve always had my doubts. Despite my doubts I prayed daily and I would often give God huge thanks when good things came my way. At the lowest point in my life from my alcoholism, I tried to become born again. I got down on my knees and asked Jesus to come into my life. I professed to accept him as my personal savior. My attempt at becoming a born again Christian didn’t take. I just never felt the power of His love. I abandoned the born again concept, but I still thought I believed in God. After becoming sober, I got my life in order, and my wife decided it would be a good idea for our family to join a local church. We got our two kids baptized and we decided to become a real church going family. I remember listening to sermons and just shaking my head. I made it through about four Sundays and I was done. I could not just go through the motions of embracing organized religion if my heart wasn’t in it. I told my wife she was on her own with the church thing, but she soon rejoiced in sleeping in on Sundays right along with me. We never went back to church, yet I still professed a belief in an all loving God, and continued to pray daily and give thanks for the good. But in a way I was in a religious no man's land, I couldn't really find God, yet I couldn't let go. It was an uneasy feeling at times.

After a lifetime of wishy washy God beliefs, for no particular reason at 43(last March), I did a Google search for atheism. I just started reading a series of short articles on various sites that just blew me away. Everything these non believers were saying made perfect sense where as nothing in my world or religion made any sense. I became obsessed with reading all of these convincing articles I could get my hands on, and within a couple of days my God belief was virtually gone. The final irrefutable straw came when I read Dan Baker’s book, “Losing Faith in Faith.” How I wished someone would have shared all this wonderful material with me about 25 years ago. The case against there being a God is just so simple to explain, yet those simple explanations just don’t make it to the general public.

My workplace is a microcosm of society. We have a few hardcore Christians(whom I wouldn’t think of approaching), a few confessed atheists, and a whole lot of wishy washy believers in the middle, from those who profess to be Christian, but don’t attend church, to those who attend church to basically polish the pews with their pants. We must start dialogue with those in the middle whom we feel comfortable talking. If it were so easy for me to embrace non belief, it could happen with so many others out there on the fence, who just haven’t been exposed to the facts. If only everyone would just pick up Dan Barker’s book and read it.

Now to those Christians who are reading this; you may be asking why would we non believers impose on others with our views. The reason is simple. Religion is creeping into government at an alarming rate, and we must make a stand. If people kept their religion to themselves and it had no effect on my life, I would not be writing this, but when religion flows into government and public policy is highly influenced by a 2000 year old obsolete book of nonsense, we should all have a problem. If the religious right sinks their claws deep enough into our legislative bodies, the freedoms we now take for granted, could fall by the wayside, and we may be soon told what books we can read and so on a so forth.

The internet is such a wonderful resource of information. If it weren’t for the resources out there I would probably be trapped in a tepid God belief for the rest of my life. If each of us could just reach out to one other person, who is caught in the middle, perhaps we could start a snowball effect, that could greatly increase our numbers, and insure our country doesn’t become a Puritan State somewhere in the near future.

Bill

Please feel free to email me.
xrayman at chartermi dot net


Owosso
Michigan
Never Really a Christian, but Had Vague God Belief
Stopped God Belief at 43
Had a Very Brief Affiliation with an Episcapal Church
Atheist...Or I Guess Actually I Would be an Agnostic Deist
Believed because: I Believed in God Because of the End Reward
Left because: Because I Stumbled Upon the Real Truth

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thank you. I'm one of those on-the-fencers. I think it's because I like to celebrate the Holidays and I enjoy the customs and rituals other religions uphold. However, when it comes to having their beliefs crammed down my throat, I get irritated and vocal. Even amongst Christians, there is disagreement (ie. the Catholics think the Fundamentalists are going to Hell and Vice Versa). Amongst all religions, there is volatile separatism. It would be nice if they'd keep a separation between church and state in this country.
I enjoyed your story. It's very much like mine and I don't feel so alone. However, it has been a strain on some members of my family that I've taken a hiatus from religion. I can still be nice and not be a Christian. Thank.
Tina
twincats said…
I just wish I knew some people who were 'on the fence!'

I agree that there is way too much Christian-flavored faith-based stuff going on in our government today. The Christians I converse with (mostly on Netscape) all vehemently deny any mandate against religion in government. I always tell them I hope they are as willing to accept Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, pagan, Buddhist, etc. faith-based initiatives, then since these are all religions, too. Never goes over well. ;)

Funny how the only 'church' folks think shouldn't be separated from the state is the amorphous Judeo-Christian one!
Elder Norm said…
Hello Bill,
Interesting post. Actually, I think there there is a better position than either side of the religion vs atheist thing.. Each side gets too angry and focused for me likes.

However, I do not think the "sitting on the fence " is the place to be either. While it lets one escape the need to make any decisions, :-) it also tends to make one have to accept what ever the winds blow as their fate. JMHO. :-)

Personally, I think the Order has a better approach, but then, thats just me. LOL :-)

Later, and best of luck.

Elder Norm
Albert said…
From another perspective
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/eagl01_.html
freedy said…
In my many years of fence sitting I came to realized that it was making me sick and depressed!

I didn't fit in the church crowd,... nor the worlds. I was truly lost!

The best thing I ever did was to stop the insanity of church life and go it on my own.(with a little help from ex-chtistian.net)
Nvrgoingbk said…
I have to agree with freedy. I too felt stuck in limbo between religion and "the world". I didn't fit in either. My exodus from Christianity was a gradual one, because I wanted to be absolutely sure of what I was doing. ExChristian.net was instrumental in sealing my fate, and I am so grateful for that.

When I was in the church NOONE was talking about the troublsome scriptures, NOONE was discussing the errors and contradictions, and NOONE wanted to answer my questions; if they did, it was dry, lifeless apologetic answers that left my mind and soul panting to be quenched.

I think back to Christianity now and I see it as any other unsettling experience in my life that I would never go back to out of fear. Funny, I used to be afraid to leave out of fear, and now I wouldn't go back for the same reason. Now, however, the fear is based on something different. The fear is this, and this is ironic-I fear being made a slave of fear ever again. When I see a cockroach I start crying and screaming, I run like hell, I want to vomit, I get the shakes...It's the same when I think about going back to the lie of religion. Fear of Hell tries to draw me back again, but I remember back to when I was a Christian and how I always thought I was going to go to Hell anyway. I rarely ever felt that this god loved me despite my desperate pleas. I NEVER felt him lull me to sleep or kiss my brow when I was hurting. He never came to sit with me and talk to me. He never answered my questions. His "book", the Bible, left more questions than it answered. I was in fear of hell every day, wondering if I had committed the unpardonable sin at sometime in my life, if I was going to Hell for remarrying my wonderful husband after my first left me for another woman and divorced me. I wondered about all the ridiculous scriptures, about the "gift of tongues". I wondered why "real Christians" who supposedly loved the truth so much were celebrating pagan holidays and why they believed in a pretribulation rapture, why they celebrated a pagan sabbath, etc. None of it made sense. My whole sixteen year experience was basically unrewarding and left me hating myself, never feeling good enough to even call myself a Christian. I would watch these pious women of the church walk around and want to be like them. I was a nervous wreck. I would feel guilty for running a stop light. I would wonder about all the other religious folks of the world who were going to hell simply for being born into the wrong religion. I wanted to be a missionary, but I didn't want to spread the gospel. I simply wanted to hold the children and give the hungry a cool cup of water without trying to westernize them or Christianize them, but then the whole point of missionary work in the church's view is to witness and make converts of all men.

Christ supposedly said the he desires us to be hot or cold and that he will spit the lukewarm out of his mouth. I guess I'm safe then, because I will never go back. Never, ever again.
Anonymous said…
Well one thing's for sure, fence sitting isn't where it's at. I agree with Jesus-be hot or be cold!
Both positions require equal amounts of faith so have at it.
R. Hoeppner
King Spirula said…
Leave it to RH to bring the stupid.
boomSLANG said…
R.H. Both positions require equal amounts of faith so have at it.

Bzzzzzzzt! Wrong again. It does not require "Faith" to have non-belief. R.H., how many times in a 24 hr period do you say to yourself-- "Lucky the leprechaun does NOT exist...he does NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT exist!"? How many times? Whaaaa?..NONE, you say? Right, that's because it's a NON-issue....therefore, requiring zero "Faith" to NOT believe in something that does NOT exist. Stick in your memory bank, 'k handsome?
KIng Spirula said…
boomSLANG

Related to RH's absurdism, I have moved away from using "unbeliever" or "non-believer" to refer to my stance. Instead I prefer disbeliever as it implies I have seen the "evidence", heard the "arguments", and find them to be totally unconvincing.
boomSLANG said…
King S.---Understood, but on the other hand, it could be construed that in order to "dis-believe" in something, that it first must "exist" in order to disbelieve it, thus, implying the "disbliever" simply denies it's "existance". But at the same time, I'm not sure R.H. is clever enough to work that angle, so.
King Spirula said…
boomSLANG,
I see your point. Guess I'll just go back to "I don't need to be labeled just because I think you're full of shit".
RubySera said…
When discussions about definitions become so convoluted I think it's least complicated to just stick to the normal words and their normal meanings. People will believe what they believe regardless.
boomSLANG said…
I agree with what you're sayin' too---however, again, since X-ian fundamentalists don't have a solid case for their own argument, they spend time looking for loopholes in the non-believer/dis-believer/un-believer's argument..i.e..."Well, you stupid Atheists 'believe' that God doesn't exist..therefore, Athiesm IS SO A BELIEF....so neener! neener! neener!"

You know the type. lol
xrayman said…
Nvrgoingbk Said,


"Fear of Hell tries to draw me back again, but I remember back to when I was a Christian and how I always thought I was going to go to Hell anyway. I rarely ever felt that this god loved me despite my desperate pleas. I NEVER felt him lull me to sleep or kiss my brow when I was hurting. He never came to sit with me and talk to me. He never answered my questions. His "book", the Bible, left more questions than it answered."

Wow that was a brilliant compelation of words that hits so close to home with me. I know the feeling of never feeling the love, and feeling like hell was enevidable even though I was praying for forgiveness. You always have such a great economy with words in these forums. Nvrgoigbk, I wish you would share your email address with me.

Bill

xrayman@chartermi.net
King Spirula said…
Yeah, they do have this irritating need to insist we are a black in contrast to their white, while we are, in fact, colorless.
Nvrgoingbk said…
Thanks Xrayman,

I am an aspiring writer and am majoring in journalism and minoring in English (need something to fall back on). I'm only interested in Journalism if I'm able to write commentaries. I have no desire to report the news. I know I should be trying to submit work now, but my time and dedication are split between my family (husband and three children) and school. I will be taking next summer off so that I can devote that time to writing. Anyhooo, enough about me, what do you think about me? LOL! My inspirations are Maya Angelou and surprisingly enough Philip Yancey, a wonderful Christian author who has a way with words, but I digress. My email address is Tiffanieradcliffe@yahoo.com

Thanks for the praise. I always love your comments as well.
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry, I just assumed you believed in evolution. That would require the kind of faith I was talking about.

Oh by the way do any of you know the subtitle of Darwin's "Origin of Species?"
R. Hoeppner
boomSLANG said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
boomSLANG said…
I'm sorry, I just assumed you believed in evolution. That would require the kind of faith I was talking about.

See, King Spirula? This is exactly what I was talking about---instead showing the verifiable evidence for "creation"..i.e.."magic"; instead of showing us the science in creation, they(they, meaning the fundies) spend time trying to equate the science in evolution with their own weak "faith", as if THAT will somehow "make" creation "true". Of course, this particular fundy seems to ignore the fact that there's MILLIONS of liberal Christians out there who ACCEPT the theory, and fact, of evolution.

I would ask the people who think that evolution requires "faith", to NOT get a flu shot this season---that just might kill two birds with one stone. = )
Thackerie said…
Why, yes, I do "believe" in evolution – in the same sense as I believe in the theory of gravity. Guess that must make me polytheistic, according to fundie "logic."
King Spirula said…
boomSLANG

Yup. I know many Christians that go to church every week and yet "believe" in evolution. As a researcher, I have met quite a few. But the fundies don't ever talk about them except in some off-handed and disparaging way.

One analogy I have used to counter this line of argument is a jury trial. A juror must weigh the evidence presented during the trial in order to determine whether a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Is their "belief" in a person's innocence or guilt a matter of "faith"? If not, why not? If not, why is my "belief", based on the overwhelming scientific evidence, in evolution equivalent to a "faith" in non-material beings, alleged miracles and undocumented personalities. The fact is, my "belief" in the theory of evolution is no different than a juror's "belief" in the guilt or innocence of the accused. It is based on evidence, plausibility and logic.
RH is one of those who have to insist that apples are the same as oranges, because he brings nothing to the evidentiary argument.
Pennsylvania Agnostic said…
I'm not fond of the idea of being either "hot or cold". "Fence-sitting" too often is referred to in a negative way. I don't reject religion only because of some of its silly ideas. I reject it because of the idea of infallibility, perfection. Because of that I reject both religion and atheism because they are both arrogant. Both pretend to have a certainty about the nature of reality that I don't think is possible. I think all statements are theories that are fallible and subject to change or become obsolete over time.
Eric Bischoff said…
I am a christian, and I somewhat agree with your claim that christianity will have negative influences on government. I think that there are many bad ideas circulating around and it's not just christians who have them. people are people, who do and say alot of stupid things. I personally used toworship satan and did witch craft; I was not raised in church. When I became a christian it was not because of what a man told me, but because of Gods love. I have seen angels and demons, and given them orders. Gods love has changed my life (apart from organized religion). God is real and has real power. The true problim is mans behavior. I know there are many reasons to not believing in God(many which are logicly true), but if pride is the one.....please please go to him about it humbly. I care about your situations not because of my fear of falling away, but because jesus showed up and changed me. He loves you and does is not intemidated (excuse my spelling) by your doubt. Don't let a man discorage you. You can argue with my logic, because I have no proof of my belief. But what I have seen makes me a changed person and I consider that proof. I feel very sorry for people that are christians because of fear.
Humility is the answere, maybe pride why there are so many bad ideas in christians . I hope if you are reading this you will kneel down and ask Jesus himself to reveal himself to you. There is power right now, even thought there might not have been before. it is not about what man says but rather what God says. If there is no power in humility before God than you can choose to ignore this post. Jesus is the only answere, not religion. I may be considered narrow minded; but I have the antedote for life. If I had the only antedote for a rare snake bite, it would not be narrow minded for me to tell you that you need to take this cure. thanks for listening to a Christian and I wish you only the best.

Jesus bless you all inspite of our(including my) doubts
Dante said…
I'm definitely an atheist, and I sometimes worry about one dominant religion having too much influence on any government, not just the United States Government or a state legislature. But we need to be honest with ourselves and admit that we've been winning the war against organized religion in the American public square for 40 years.

Prayer in the public school system was banned in 1962. Over-the-counter birth control pills became available at about the same time, against a stiff Christian opposition. Abortion was legalized in 1972, condoms have been distributed in elementary schools, "one nation under God" is no longer part of the Pledge of Allegiance in some western states, gay marriage is legal in one state already, and prostitution is legal in another. There is talk of removing "In God We Trust" from our currency. The Ten Commandments cannot be displayed on public property, in spite of widespread support for it. This all happened in spite of the fact that Christians vastly outnumber people like us.

The NEA funds performance artists who desecrate Christian symbols and icons on stage. Television is far more violent and sexual now than it was 30 years ago. Films are even more so, and an R-rating today is more liberal than it was in the beginning. None of this would be true if Christians had as much power as Bill, the essay writer, thinks that they have.

I think that there are too many paranoid atheists in the United States who need to stir up constant fear of the day when their rights will be taken away by evangelicals. They're like people who think that someday, the government is going to take their guns away. We need to calm down.

Besides, after what we've taken away from them, I can't honestly begrudge Christians a victory now and then.
Enigma said…
Pennsylvania Agnostic: I'm not fond of the idea of being either "hot or cold". "Fence-sitting" too often is referred to in a negative way."

Agnosticism: A religious orientation of doubt; a denial of ultimate knowledge of the existence of God; "agnosticism holds that you can neither prove nor disprove God's existence"
the disbelief in any claims of ultimate knowledge."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

So, you doubt humanity's ability to know or obtain a universal truth, because of the limitations of human knowledge... yet, you use your "limited" human knowledge to critique those who make universal claims. So, is the agnostic position to remove itself from arrogance, to that of an "uncertain" polemic - stated with absolute "certainty"?

What does the agnostic use to measure the truth of words, if they aren't capable of affirming their own competence to speak on such matters?

I have heard some state that one of the keys to happiness is having a bad memory :-) I suppose a second best, would be one who proposes that knowledge/memory isn't really reliable anyway...

Curious, how do agnostics measure truth?

Religious Orthodox = Revelation/Visions
Atheist = Empirical Evidence
Agnostic = ?
Al Swearengen said…
Here is my testimony - I was a born-again Christian for many years, and came around while in the Army from age 17-21...for anyone interested (written in 2005, w/ plenty on Dobson and Pastor Ted):

http://deadissue.com/archives/2005/06/13/born-again-christianitys-jihad-on-america/
Pennsylvania Agnostic said…
Enigma,

Good point. My critique is subject to the same uncertainty it claims, but my mind starts going in circles when I think about the certainty of certainty. I start thinking about the root of the words I'm typing and even the thoughts I'm thinking. If traced back far enough they're just particles of energy at different coordinates in different dimensions interacting in some pattern for some reason that we are attempting to determine, except we are they. They (we) are attempting to determine the meaning of themselves (ourselves). It's a cycle. We (I) are (am) must be the one who created all existence, and we (I) use all these conflicting ideas simply to entertain ourselves (myself). What else would we (I) do for all eternity?

Anyway, I don't believe in ultimate truths since that would end change, and I'd get bored. Reacting to the temporary truths I haven't yet disproved is what keeps me entertained.
Audie said…
Enigma wrote:
"Curious, how do agnostics measure truth?

Religious Orthodox = Revelation/Visions
Atheist = Empirical Evidence
Agnostic = ? "

Well as the epitomy of an agnostic, I measure truth by what I know. In other words: facts add up to truth.

I have no idea where we came from, and neither do you!

I no idea what is "out there" beyond our world, and neither do you.

I have not a clue what will happen to us when we die, and guess what? Niether do you.

So I cannot say with certainty that there is or is not some god, spirit, higher power, or a great pumpkin. And to be dogmatic on either side would be dishonest.

But what I am assured of is that xianity is total Bullshit, and on that I am willing to bet my eternal soul!
Pennsylvania Agnostic said…
Enigma,

Also, it's important that I say that my confidence is only about my own uncertainty (yes, a paradox, okay) not other's. If I say it can't be determined whether or not some "God" exists, I should make it clear I'm not referring to other people's determination. I'm only referring to my own. What I think at this moment is that any evidence that could be presented to convince me that a "God" exists or doesn't exist could be an elaborate falsification. I base this on the fact that I remember things that I used to believe but no longer believe. Of course, this could change if I was either brainwashed or my memory was erased, but I'm not sure I'd be myself at that point. Of course, I'm not even sure who I am right now.

Anyway, my real point was that Christians shouldn't be close-minded about discovering personality traits they didn't used to know their "God" had, and atheists shouldn't be closed-minded about discovering patterns in nature that have a strong enough correlation to suggest their is some intelligence behind them. What is "God" but a very very large "person", and what is a person but a collection of causes and effects? Let's not close our minds to causes and effects we haven't yet discovered. Being open-minded to new evidence is good science (much of Christianity is bad science).
J. C. Samuelson said…
"...condoms have been distributed in elementary schools..."

It's my understanding that in some places condoms are available starting in 6th grade. That is, those interested must request them from the school health professional.

Frankly, I'm not convinced whether this is wise. At age 11-12, my daughter better not be having intercourse, and I will be doing everything I can to educate her so that she can make a good decision about this once she's old enough to consider it. Not that I plan on being an ogre, but as long as she lives under my roof she won't be having sex under it too.

With younger kids, I believe the proper approach is to focus on thorough education, not hand out condoms to 6th graders.

"..."one nation under God" is no longer part of the Pledge of Allegiance in some western states..."

I'm curious, which states? I haven't heard this and I can't seem to find any references.

"The NEA funds performance artists who desecrate Christian symbols and icons on stage. Television is far more violent and sexual now than it was 30 years ago. Films are even more so, and an R-rating today is more liberal than it was in the beginning."

Not all of these are what I would call progress. Part of the reason I don't watch television (I don't have cable, and my daughter finds other things to do) is because most of what is on T.V. is trash, and doesn't reflect reality in any way, shape, or form. FOX news especially. ;)

Seriously though, I don't think violence as entertainment is something to aspire to, regardless of one's religious convictions (or lack thereof). Call me a prude, but that's how I feel.
Enigma said…
PA: "Anyway, I don't believe in ultimate truths since that would end change,"

Unless, change is considered an ultimate truth/constant.

PA: "...and I'd get bored."

Me too. If change is considered an ultimate truth/constant, and it is a universal construct held by the agnostic. Then what makes "change" different than someones elses' construct... called god?

The Agnostic position, must place "change" in a position of uncertainty, along with all other prospects that could feasibly be proposed as universal(s) - god.

Agnosticism: A religious orientation of doubt; a denial of ultimate knowledge of the existence of God; "agnosticism holds that you can neither prove nor disprove God's existence"
the disbelief in any claims of ultimate knowledge."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Just curious.
Audie said…
Egnigma wrote:
Agnosticism: A religious orientation of doubt; a denial of ultimate knowledge of the existence of God; "agnosticism holds that you can neither prove nor disprove God's existence"
the disbelief in any claims of ultimate knowledge."

Yep, that about sums it up.
Regardless of what your philosophy, beliefs, or wishes are, there is no proof of the existance, or lack of existance, of a god, gods, or any other higher power- none, nada, not a bit!
Of course, if you happen to have any proof, aside from Philosophic or faith-based reasoning, then bring it forth. Otherwise, there is no proof.
and of course that may change, but then again it may not.
Enigma said…
Audie: "Yep, that about sums it up. Regardless of what your philosophy, beliefs, or wishes are, there is no proof of the existance, or lack of existance, of a god, gods, or any other higher power- none, nada, not a bit!"

Strong Agnosticism: "Strong agnosticism (also called hard agnosticism, closed agnosticism, strict agnosticism, absolute agnosticism)—the view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of god(s) are unknowable by nature or that human beings are ill-equipped to judge the evidence."

Perhaps, an individual who makes an absolutist argument, based on any philosophy could be considered leaning on arrogance. If the argument is that the atheist is arrogant because the atheist states absolutely "god" doesn't exist... it must be understood, that the theist who makes such an absolute claim, as well as the agnostic are equally as arrogant.

Those who would accept change as a universal constant, would appear to be the ones, who would couch universal claims, with a measure of universal uncertainty.

If the point, is to suggest that both theists and atheists can hold to universally absolute positions, and it is considered arrogant, then, of course, it would be fair to throw everyone else in that pot, whatever the philosophy... unless, one is going to pony up some information to prove their ultimate knowledge.

By the way, good to see you made it back safely. Is the bluesman still picking?
Anonymous said…
has anyone ever just woke up and just found themselves believing it is true? I mean the whole God thing. The evidence and arguments make sense, there is no effort to wrap your mind around it? that ever happened to anyone here?
Anonymous said…
any ex-exchristians out there?
Jim Arvo said…
Anonymous: "has anyone ever just woke up and just found themselves believing it is true? I mean the whole God thing."

Sure. When I was a young child I believed there was a magical invisible being who watched over us all because that's what I had been told. By the time I was about seven, I decided to think things through on my own and concluded that I had no more reason to believe in god than I did Santa Clause. When I actually read the Bible (and volumes of apologetics) for myself, many years later, I was stunned by how poorly supported Christianity was. I am still stunned by it.

Anonymous: "The evidence and arguments make sense,..."

Oh? What evidence would that be? Which arguments? I've yet to find a single one that makes any kind of sense, and I've studied every argument I could find for decades.

Anonymous: "...there is no effort to wrap your mind around it?"

When I was perhaps six it required no effort because I was susceptible to "magical thinking" and I was happy to believe what people told me. Now I realize that "god" is nothing more than a personified label for all things mysterious; it's an "answer" that assumes infinitely more than it explains and it is supported by nothing. Hence, I can no more believe in such a thing than I can believe in elves, fairies, and leprechauns.
Anonymous said…
It is all ok, guys. It is already a done deal.

I, atheist for 25 years, then a physician in training, then a searcher ........


What is peculiar is that everything I do is "self-gratifying." Nothing I do is in actuality, virtuous.

If the GOD of the bible did NOT mold and encourage my heart to set up the circumstances so that I can WILL what I want to will.....

then all I do is NON virtuous. Now, if my pride can live with that acknowledged fact .... so be it.....

If my pride can not accept this, then I can live in fantasy of denial ( with its consequences )or, I must seek out "that" which comes prior....

I really never had any fear of death, that is, what is next after this life.

I began a life with an "I am unworthy" attitude due to envirnomental influences... then corrected this lie.

I am in my late 40's, a retired physician, in "deep moment to moment peace", in my new role as Mr. Mom.


As far as I know, only one person with a few reasonable credentials, so far, claims to have risen from the dead ... so I started there..... and this is how what I write now became a "no brainer."

What I concluded intuitively, was,
the GOD of the bible knows everything and is fair. This knowledge includes those whose heart, will, before death be inclined to agree in HIS ways. {For what is the ultimate purpose for human existance? } Some people were made and PURPOSED to live with Him forever ( and appreciate it ). For what is 6000 or so years of 100 or so years of tough life {or 100 minutes or so of life, for that matter } for 10 billion or so creatures compared to forever. It sure tends to make those who live forever appreciate forever. I also notice intuitively, that all peoples' hearts were increasingly molded by GOD's SPIRIT, from the point of extreme depravity [ after the Fall ] to the point where a legitamate heart choice is possible, in all the fairness of GOD, and in full awareness of all heart-felt experiences of that individual of their life suffering. And some people "just say no." Although seemingly unfair to mortals, even at the point of last breath, this fair GOD already knows from the beginning "whence there was no time" if, indeed, that person will "just say no" ( and the person will likely know that, also, deep in their heart ).

If I suppose that "wide is the gate to destruction," then I must suppose that over half of humanity deliberately move their way there. Then, as a physician, I must suppose that since 20% or so fertilizations end in earthly death prior to actually exiting the abdominal cavity { but at the same time enter heaven as determined by GOD before “time”}, that leaves less that 30% of the human creatures formed by GOD actually sincere in their heart that they incline toward this GOD of the Bible. Since it is supposed that presently, over 30% in the Americas claim to be Christian, and if it be supposed that "there will be those that say "Lord, Lord" but Christ will say, "I never knew you," then there are a lot of people in churches in the Americas that should be ignored in evaluating personal faith.

I guess that is why it is recommended to "seek" while one still has the day called "today"... and to "work { that is, cognitively incline one's heart to accend past the intellectual unto conviction}... and to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" ... hoping that GOD will so incline your heart that the choice becomes a "no brainer."
PastaLaVista said…
Eric Bischoff said:
"I have seen angels and demons, and given them orders."

Well then, that's all I need to know.................
Anonymous said…
To me, Richard Dawkins is nothing more than Pat Robertson with a slightly different argument.

Both follow the same ideology: The world would be perfect if everybody simply realized that I knew everything and agreed with everything I say and do. Once we can convince everyone of that fact, which I know is true because it's me doing the knowing, then we will all live in a perfect society. Those that disagree with me, even slightly, are obviously harmful to society because they go against the idea that my thoughts are the answer to all problems. They should be silenced so that my utopia can rise above them.

Pot calling the kettle black, ultimately.
.:webmaster:. said…
To me, Richard Dawkins is nothing more than Pat Robertson with a slightly different argument.

Pat believes everyone who is not a Christian will be roasting in hell. Is Dawkins proclaiming that any and all who reject his ideas will end up suffering eternally in a sadisitic torture chamber?

If Dawkins is proclaiming something even remotely similar to what Pat preaches, I guess I missed it.
Philip said…
Anonymous said:

"I guess that is why it is recommended to "seek" while one still has the day called "today"... and to "work { that is, cognitively incline one's heart to accend past the intellectual unto conviction}"

I'm guessing the last part means "force yourself believe it." Sorry, not for me.

- "Although seemingly unfair to mortals, even at the point of last breath, this fair GOD already knows from the beginning 'whence there was no time' if, indeed, that person will 'just say no'"

This is a typical argument Christians put forth. The thing is that the only way to rationalize it all is to admit that God doesn't actually want to save everyone. Unfortunately, this absolutely DISPROVES God being a "fair GOD."

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