I can accept myself again

Sent in by Ellytoad

Before I begin, I want to point out that I am, indeed, an ex-Christian, so forgive some of my terminology here.

Do you know what my least favorite Christian teaching is? It is the one that states how Jesus could have smited all of mankind off of the face of the earth for our evilness but instead, out of the pure generosity of His heart, decided to die for us instead. Yes, the belief that fills so many Christians up with tearful thankfulness used to make me think I was totally worthless. Such a feeling is apparently a healthy one in Christianity's eyes, because it means knowing just how ugly and deserving of Hell one's soul truly is.

After a time of wallowing in this state of mind, I began to realize that mankind was far more innocent of its "sinful nature" than my former fellow believers would have me think. There's two details that brought me to that conclusion; one, we were born with the weakness of sin inside of us, and two, it is apparently impossible for us NOT to sin, so we are basically born screwed. Unless we died as children, and therefore never having committed the crime of reaching the age of accountability, we have personally hammered Jesus to the cross ourselves. Without knowing it.

The problem is, when I told all of this to a fellow Christian on a message board one day, he became angry. He accused me of refusing to take responsibility for my own wrongdoings, saying that it's "always someone else's fault" and generally missing my entire point altogether.

It's a pretty weird spot to be in... being incapable of being entirely sinless but being completely responsible for every last thing, even stray thoughts of envy or anger. And then getting told that you deserve hell and are nothing but crap who was just given the gift of redemption because that's just how nice God is... yes, I'd say that really sucks.

I'm so glad I'm free of that now, and can accept myself again. I can look at my "nails through the hands of Christ" simply as mistakes to learn from, not things to beg for forgiveness for. I can stand on my feet and hold my head high... not with pride, but with confidence in my own true individual value.

Thanks for reading,

Ellytoad

44 comments:

Laughing Buddha said...

Good for you. The worst thing about Xtianity, to me, is that constant mistrust of every thought and motive that is required. "Is this REALLY his will for my life?" "Am I REALLY walking close to the Lawrd?" Always assuming the worst about ourselves, right? I have come to believe that if we were not capable of reaching an ideal of thought and conduct in life, we would not be alive. No one can possibly live without any chance of being able to become the best "them" that there is. I, too, had to reject the idea that we, as "sinners", were dead before we even got off the ground. How pathetic that is.

By the way, I have left Xtianity, but I am still on staff at a church, so if the bad memories and guilty feelings ever get really bad, just send me a message here and we can talk if you need to. I still have a connection to the zoo they call "church", so I have a daily reminder of all the crap you went through. I'd be glad to help.

ryan said...

Ellytoad, good morning. I just took a notion to comment on something you said. One of the dumber statements christians make is that "we have all crucified christ". We are all guilty of killing the son of god.

Okay, jesus' death on the cross was supposed to gain us god's forgiveness, but if the crucifixion is made into another sin, how do we get forgiveness for it? Are we to say that jesus died for the sin of the crucifixion? Any of you christians passing through, feel free to answer this. And for christ's sake, don't tell me it is a mystery.

Optimistic Thinker said...

I read something about this stuff at www.lifesucks.info. The fellow there makes a good point:

"For God liked the world somewhat, so he allowed the only son he
ever bothered to have to suffer briefly, so that some people could escape the hell
which God created".

When stated as above, Jesus really didn't do anything all that great. Sin is just an excuse to condemn people (as the author of this post pointed out), and Jesus can't do anything to change this.

The only real problem with realizing that we are not condemned is that it is hard to know what to do. Do we do what feels good to us? Later on, we might feel bad about what made us feel good. It is impossible to know what we should do, just like it is impossible to prove/disprove the existence of God absolutely. We are just some kind of animal that lives and then dies.

Carl K. said...

I think this God guy is some sort of an Indian giver. His son didn't really die, certainly not in the decisive and irrevocable way most of us die. And if he didn't really die, how can he fulfill the sacrificial requirements for cleansing sin, as stated in the Bible. Indeed, why go through anything like it at all? God can, in his infinite wisdom and power, wipe the slate clean whenever he chooses. And also, if Jesus is God, and Jesus died, then God died, too. So God is dead. Why worry about him (or her, or it)?

Thackerie said...

Good post! I'm glad you are enjoying the freedom of self-acceptance.

One question, though: Can you, or anyone else, tell me where to find that bit in the bible about the "age of accountability"? I don't think it's in there; it's just yet another doctrine that some denominations have made up for themselves to try to mitigate their natural revulsion at the unfairness and cruelty of the concept of hell.

Lorena said...

The other "doctrine" that bothers me as much as the original sin one is that Jesus never sinned.

Yeah right!

Richard said...

Ellytoad-
I am continually amazed when I look back and realize just how many premises and dogmas were slipped by me, without my noticing or objecting, back when I was a Christian.

For example, I think Christianity manages to convince us we are steeped in sin mainly by redefining it. The criteria given for what counts as sin are so broad that virtually anything you think, do, or say, that is not done from a state of utter motivational purity, qualifies. CS Lewis, who was very influential on me, does this in spades, espeically in his book The Great Divorce. His basic idea is that self-will (he is obsessed with this) is the root of all sin -- the Luciferian "I will" -- and any self-interest you have, of any kind, in anything you do, counts as self-will. That means if, for example, you do something good, and have any thought or feeling in you anywhere of pleasure in the fact that it was *you* who did something good, rather than sheer/pure egoless pleasure in the fact that good was done, that is sin.

Of course no one can live up to this standard. But if you arent paying attention, as a Christian, then you buy in to this definition, start looking around your life, and of course you see sin everywhere. So you think: by Golly, theyre *right*! I *am* enslaved to sin. And the state of sinlessness that Christianity specifies -- total surrender of the will to God -- is impossible, because paradoxical: how can you, by force of will, surrender your will? You would have to assert your will to deny your will. Of course you cant. So now, Christianity has also convinced you that not only are you steeped in sin, you are powerless to help yourself. So what choice do you have but to accept the cure Christianity offers?

Another favorite example of mine of these sorts of under-the-radar assumptions is the teaching that "without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins." I accepted this without comment when I was a believer. It never occurred to me to ask "why the hell not? Who made up *that* stupid rule?" God runs this ship, right? So why does or did anyone ever have to bleed and die for us to be forgiven, even accepting for the sake of argument that what Christianity says about our sinfulness is true? *We* dont require that standard. You dont demand that your friend who has wronged you beat his child to death before you will forgive him. So why does God?

The trick here, I think, is that Christianity *must* first persuade you that you are utterly worthless, helpless, and powerless, before it can sell you on its solution. It was such an amazing liberation to me to redefine, as I deconverted (this was with the help of a psychotherapist), all those thoughts and feelings as simply human, products of our forebrain and limbic system (or your unconscious, depending on what perspective youre looking from). All those emotions that I couldnt control anyway werent sin -- even the "bad" ones, like anger and lust that Jesus talked about -- they were rather just ordinary, human, morally neutral parts of ourselves. Its what we *do* that counts, ethically, not what we think and feel.

Far be it from me to reference pop culture, but one of my favorite quotes on religion comes from Sting: "Men go crazy in congregations and they only get better one by one."

Congratulations on your deconversion,

Richard

ryan said...

Richard, that was good. Those were some of the things that used to drive me to distraction when I was in the churches. Why does an all-powerful god need to butcher someone in a gruesome execution before he can forgive the smallest of our misdeamenors; for breaking laws that he himself made; to save us from the hell that he himself made? And why do we need to accept the "cure" of christianity when it made us sick in the first place? Would you thank someone who poisoned you when he provided the antidote?

Too often we bog ourselves down when we argue with christians over contradictions and phoney prophecy--sometimes we unwittingly play them at their own game--and we forget the big picture; namely, that the bible is hoax and a trap.

Keep up the good posting.

optimistic thinker said...

I remember when I was a Christian. I was a strict Fundamentalist. However, I was probably not the hateful person you might assume. I never told anyone they were going to hell; I was just nice to everyone. As well, I always assumed that almost everyone I came into contact with already knew about God. After all, they only had to turn on the TV to hear a Christian message, so I didn't run around evangelizing like I was commanded by preachers to do.
What made me rather angry as a fundamentalist was the fact that Christians were not sincere. They were not sincere because they were ignorant, and they were ignorant because they never read the Bible or even cared about the truth. When I would bring up topics like women wearing jewelry or divorce(I'm a man, by the way), people made excuses that I knew were patently false by God's standards. I just dismissed these morons as false believers who would probably go to hell for their insincerity. Then, I just woke up one day and decided that it was all a bunch of lies anyway. There was no hell, no rules, and no god. People were molded by psycology, laziness, and ignorance. It was not the fault of religion or sin that cuased people to behave the way they did, but rather, it was the lack of curiosity for the truth.
Though I know this now, I can't say that life is really any better. I don't treat people differently. All I can say is that it is sad to be human; I gave up the "best years" of my life to religion, but how can some years be better than others when we all eventually die anyway? I have a PhD and a fantastic job, but what good does it do? Even if God existed, life would still be pointless because there is not an infinite number of things for us to do for all eternity. Of course, the ignorant masses never figure this out.

Anonymous said...

I found the entire proposition of Xianity to be absurd, from original sin to salvation by grace to the Bible as the final word in one's life. I too am free from the spell of religion and, as you say, can accept myself again. When you're finally free from religion, it is like being born again, but being true to yourself.

I believe there is a large fraction of churchgoers who are agnostic, atheist or skeptical to a large degree (regarding "laughing buddha" statement).

optimalist thinker said...

Like laughing Buddha, I serve in a church. I do menial tasks, but I go mainly because I don't want to hurt my family. There probably are many others like this too.

However, I find real problems with people who actually believe in the same god that condemns them. Divorced people and drunkards find churches that "accept them", never realizing that the Bible says they are evil and doomed to Hell. Yet, they still attend church and claim allegiance to an invisible sadist. I mean, why would you do this unless you are just stupid?

Ellytoad said...

Thank you for your kind comments, everybody.
Carl K... that's such a good point that you made that I've wanted to make a post discussing it once. Jesus DIDN'T truly "die", since he came back to life shortly after and went back up to be God again. It's like nothing really special happened at all. I also would want to mention that it's hard to understand the mechanics of how his non-death pays for our sins. What did he do, other than move back and forth through our dimension? Weird.

And, Thackerie... I hear you on the Bible not mentioning the age of accountability anywhere. The concept was indeed Christian-formulated. Which makes sense, because it's from them that I got most of those feelings of shame from in the first place.

trancelation said...

Elly:

Your post is very uplifting. Indeed, it is wonderful to be free of the psychological abuse system that is religion. Your thoughts on the nature of "sin" reflect my own when I went through my deconversion. The notion of "sin" is absurd; even more absurd is the idea of "original sin," that we are ALL bad people because of what Adam and Eve did. Whenever I have tried to debate this point with Christians, that the Bible states that a man should not be punished for the crimes of another, Christians have always shrugged it off or attempted to argue "original sin" as something else entirely. More poetic Christians have likened it to a stain spreading throughout God's creation, but no matter what pretty words you attach to it, it's still the same. We, with no control over ourselves, are punished for what Adam and Eve did, regardless of how Christians try to spin it. I think Christians know the idea of "original sin" is a twisted one, but they are so thoroughly indotrinated into the abuse system that they have come to love it, to depend on it - as alcoholics and drug addicts often do with their affliction of choice.

Religion is a mental disorder, and should be treated as such. Thank you for pointing that out, Elly.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Ellytoad Said:
"Jesus could have smited all of mankind off of the face of the earth for our evilness but instead, out of the pure generosity of His heart, decided to die for us instead"

Elly,
This surely begs the question of why god didn't send down jesus to save the planet in Noah's time, when he killed off almost every life form the earth contained.
If god destroyed it all once, why not twice, or better yet; why not skip all the mass genocide altogether and be a nice humane god instead.

Some day, some xtian out there will explain to me the mechanism of how taking a piece of this 'godhead' entity and making it into a human (son?) and then having other humans kill it, (but only for a measly short 3 days) results in this 'saving' of the human species.


Doesn't this sort of faulty logic remind you of how things work in some TV shows and movies, where the hero says a few magic words or makes a magic potion from earthly things, and those very words or potion, suddenly has the power to do-in the bad guys?
Just like they never explain what force supplies this power to the words or potion, I want to know what supplies the power to change the human fate rules when part of a godhead dies on a man-made cross.
This idea makes it sound like god the father did NOT have the power within himself to fix this sin problem, but something ABOVE him in the god-hierarchy demanded the god of this earth make such a sacrifice of part of himself, to show how much he wanted to keep his pet humans around for eternity to toy with etc..


Carl K. wrote:
"His son didn't really die, certainly not in the decisive and irrevocable way most of us die...And if he didn't really die, how can he fulfill the sacrificial requirements for cleansing sin, as stated in the Bible"

Carl,
This was a recent question I asked of a couple xtian relatives, thinking it would generate at least a moment of concern for their strong beliefs.
Well guess what....even such a valid logical question doesn't phase such xtians.
Even throwing in the added bonus question of whether it was jesus the human who died or jesus the god instead, also had no effect on their faith.
That pretty much tells me that until someone is ready to open their closed eye's, they will never see the point of such questions.

On another related note:

SOMEONE HELP PLEASE!!!

I still can't grasp the concept of a SON of god, but that is what the bible calls this jesus person.

Did not god himself call jesus his SON. I mean, it wasn't the humans in the bible that gave jesus this title of being the SON OF GOD, but god himself, yes?
So what exactly makes this jesus a "SON" to god.

First off, if god wanted offspring, like most humans do, then why didn't he just create a bunch of heavenly god-children or mini-gods like himself.
Instead, god decides his means to procreating, is to screw a human VIRGIN and get her pregnant with his holy seed.

Now if one says god was merely transferring the part of himself called Jesus into mary's body, how does that make that part of god, his 'son' then?

Isn't the term 'son' really a human term alone?
It might be proper to say it was mary's human SON, but how does his male human body make him a 'son' to god, or for that matter; how is god, the 'father' of jesus, if they were both part of the ONE god before jesus beamed down to earth?

Are we to believe the jesus part of the godhead was always a son to the father part?
If so, doesn't that imply that god had a god-son eons ago and if that's true, I just have to ask....who was the god-mother way back then and where is she today?

Yes, I'm confusing even myself just trying to present this question to you, because the whole concept is just so ridiculous to fathom, let alone grasp enough to put into context here.


Richard wrote:
The trick here, I think, is that Christianity *must* first persuade you that you are utterly worthless, helpless, and powerless, before it can sell you on its solution.

Richard,
I drive past churches all the time where I live and these days they seem to love to have public signs they customize weekly with various sayings.
Many of them say something along the lines that "All Are Sinners" or other similar sayings that tell us we are worthless and lost without their jesus god. The signs are a way of getting new members to join, obviously.

So let's see, that would be like feeding someone poison then telling them they can only get the remedy if they come inside and repent their sins.
In this case, it would be mental poisoning, rather than physical, but the arm twisting is the same. If you convince a passerby they are worthless without this particular brand of religion they are offering, then you gain a member, and of course the money that this new member supplies them doesn't hurt their collection plates either.

I have to admit, there are days I'm soooo tempted to walk into one of those churches and explain to them the fairy tale story they have immersed themselves into so mindlessly.
Alas, I learned from what most xtians on this site say, that it's useless to try and reason with them until something sparks their brains from the god-coma they delude in.


ATF

notabarbie said...

I remember being in a Sunday school class once and the leader was explaining about how sinful we are. He said, “if sin were blue (I kid you not) everything we do, even the most selflessly good deeds are tainted with blue. Since we are all born sinners, everything we do has some sort of sinful motive at its core.” Everyone sat there nodding their heads…unbelievable.

On another note and something I will eventually blog about—it’s just so interesting to hear about people that have de-converted, still attend church and even serve in the church and no one has any idea. (I did it too for a while) I do understand why because, even though I haven’t “come out,” officially, since I have stopped attending church, there has been intense pressure from Christian friends and family to come back to the fold. I can’t imagine what would happen if I let my de-conversion become known. It just goes to show the unhealthy attitudes that are brought to bear from religion. I wish we could pick a day and all come out together. I wonder how many of us there would be. They say there is strength in numbers you know…

SpaceMonk said...

ATF: "...Yes, I'm confusing even myself just trying to present this question to you, because the whole concept is just so ridiculous to fathom, let alone grasp enough to put into context here."

The answer would be, that there is no answer. It can't actually be explained to really make sense because it doesn't.
It's not based in reality.

I used to to have similar problems with questions like, "What about all those native tribes in far away lands who lived and died for generations before a missionary ever brought them the 'good news'?"
I just thought, "God knows the whole story. When I'm in heaven I'll know the answer, human's aren't meant to understand, etc.", but eventually I realised, No, the fact is there just isn't an answer, because it's all fake anyway.

Such things are actually proof of the bible being nonsense, yet it's twisted to be another 'proof' of human inferiority to the 'Wisdom of God'(!).

Yet another example of christians being trained to not trust themselves...

Brent Seth said...

SpaceMonk--

That is one of my favorite arguments to make to christians, and one of the first things I questioned during my deconversion; Religions are geographic, especially before the age of mass transit. One religion in Israel, another in Babylon, another in Greece, another in China, another in the Americas...

Sure, the crazy-fucking Mormons tried to cover their asses with the native Americans, but no one has a reasonable answer for the rest of them. Oh yeah, that tower of Babel thing (so long as you discount radio-carbon dating and the fossil record,) when people had their languages changed, they spread-out across the Earth and decided to invent new religions. That argument was made to me by a Jehova's Witness. He, of course, insisted that the distinction between Asians, aborigines, native Americans, etc were all defined at that moment. Stupid Git.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post!
I want to add too that Christianity is a racket, a shameful career for men who don't want to get a real job, men who use psychological terrorism (hell)to procure and income. Think of it! Men make a living off of scaring vulnerable people with their "hell stories". Its disgraceful.

Get a real job, preacher man!

Bunk & Bullshit said...

Spacemonk said:
"The answer would be, that there is no answer. It can't actually be explained to really make sense because it doesn't.
It's not based in reality."

That IS in fact the answer; it is not based in reality but MYTH.
Well, let’s examine this myth.
This is Hebrew myth, as opposed to Nordic, Teutonic, Celtic, Roman or Greek myth.
Why was this Hebrew myth foisted on us?
A certain Roman emperor Constantine was losing his power base roughly in 325 AD, because most people were worshiping all of the above gods and then some.
He convened the Council of Nicaea so as to get the empire back in line. HE and a few other MEN decided to use these Hebrew manuscripts and call it “the bible”.
He gave people enough time to get used to the new scenario: changing the roman feast of saturnalia to become Xmas and Easter (Ostara or Eostre) pagan spring celebrations to become the time of the crucifixion, and so on. They also decided on doctrine i.e. who is jesus and how should we wangle him to be “the son of god.”
Later people were slaughtered wholesale if they still kicked against the system.
So here is the beginning of 2000 years of bullshit spawned by the roman catholic church.
Let’s now look back down the tunnel of time and examine this strange Hebrew god of the OT.
YHWH was the weird symbol used for this god, mainly because they believed that one must never say or write down the name, lest they be smitten.
This then resulted in a shit load of confusion, because over time, the Hebrews forgot the name of their god! They had a vast number of euphemisms they called their god like “elohim” and later just added some vowels to the consonants and lo & behold, we’re stuck with “Yahweh.” and still more offshoots like “joshua” and “jesus.” Now it would seem that Yahweh was nothing more that a war god, which perfectly accounts for all the violence of the OT, and the stories that we find in the OT, like the flood, were simply stolen by the Hebrews from old Sumerian and other tales (see Gilamesh) and made into the mish-mash that is the OT.
Now bearing all of the above in mind, how can we possibly even take any of this seriously.??? Why should we even be bothered by these old fables.
Most of us aren’t even of Hebrew decent to begin with. If we are going to allow ourselves to be ruled by mythological figures, should we not become shit scared of Thor and Odin instead!! Or Zeus if we’re Greek. Jupiter if we’re Italian. Yet we stress ourselves into a coma trying to decipher the crap written in the hebrew book of tall tales.
Come on folks, can you see how mindless this all is!!!

AtheistToothFairy said...

Bunk & Bullshit said:
"Yet we stress ourselves into a coma trying to decipher the crap written in the hebrew book of tall tales. Come on folks, can you see how mindless this all is"
-----
Bunk,

Your history of the god/jesus myth is pretty close to what I've read elsewhere, and one does wonder how xtians can still believe what they do after knowing this bit of history.
Of course, I'm sure they just deny it all, as the bible is the only true source for them, for anything.

I am a bit confused which "folks" you are talking to in either/both of these lines you write?

If you're talking to the xtians, then you have a very slim chance to convince them to see outside what their brainwashing tells them they MUST think.

Now, if what you say (that I quoted) is really meant as a question to us ex-xtians, then let me say this to you.

If one feels that society is being crippled (or worse) by bible-thinking, then one can choose to just ignore the problem or try and make a small impact into waking these xtians up to see what's real.
In order to accomplish this, one has to know something of the bible text, as well as it's philosophy.
So yes, that means at times getting into discussions about "decipher[ing] the crap" they bank on so much.

In fact, for the majority of fundie xtians, showing what's wrong with the bible writings is pretty much the ONLY way you'll get their attention. Any secular arguments either mean nothing to them, or go in one ear----and out the other.

Do you understand why such religions must be kept in-check, if not proven as the myths they are?
Now, you're not really implying that us ex-xtians take a back-seat here, are you?

Please tell me the folks you were speaking to, were the xitans and not us members?


ATF

jfraysse said...

Hi Elly: Great Post – Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you are on your way to a full and complete recovery!

Thackerie is right - there is no biblical basis for the “Age of Accountability”. It is a tradition adopted by many societies, including the Jews, and has been forged into civil law for hundreds of years in all civilized countries.

The Bible declares that we are conceived in sin and capable of it from birth and, therefore, all are guilty, even newborns. This is one of reasons why the Catholic Church Baptizes babies. Worst yet, God will have mercy on whom he chooses (Rom 9:15-16) and even if you are one of the “lucky ones” if you do something “willfully” that god doesn’t like you are doomed anyway – with or without Jesus (Heb 10:26).

Once when confronting a fellow church member, who insisted that the Bible actually supported the “age of accountability” doctrine, I replied, “well, why don’t Christians kill their babies as this is the only guarantee that they will see heaven”. Their reaction stunned me, as they appeared to be internally validating my statement. I uncomfortably add, “I was just kidding, you know that, right?” I obviously was trying to make a point concerning the absurd nature of many Christian Dogmas, but since that time, I have been very reticent to use this suggestion as a conversational gimlet.

Anyway, all the best to you and Welcome!

Grace & Peace, John

AtheistToothFairy said...

SpaceMonk wrote to ATF:
"The answer would be, that there is no answer. It can't actually be explained to really make sense because it doesn't. It's not based in reality."
----
Spacemonk,
Okay, so it's NOT just me that can't get my head wrapped around this god-SON concept then.

Just to add more "flies to the ointment" of this mystical confusion game xtians play, I read today on a large xtian website that many xtians believe that this jesus 'being', returned to heaven inside his HUMAN BODY.

Putting on my retired xtian hat here for a second, let me propose another problem now.

Up to this very day I had this xtian concept of us, the earth, and the rest of the energy/matter universe being in one realm and god/jesus, angels and demons being part of another realm/dimension/place etc.
I even can accept (within xtian theory) that spirit beings could leave the spirit realm and visit the physical earth.

However, even within the constructs of bible understanding for these two different realms, how does one take a physical human flesh&blood body into a realm that is not only populated by just spiritual beings, but would in theory not be able to support a living carbon-based being. Even if one takes a leap of faith here and supposes that this spirit realm (heaven?) could support such an earthly body, you still have the problem of getting from here to there without some protection for this fragile 'human-type' body.

For instance, if we suppose that jesus kept going up and up and UP, then he goes from having air, to little air, then a vacuum; from ambient normal temperature to -50F where jets fly, to something not all that far from absolute zero in space; from having our atmosphere protect him from radiation, to having zero protection in space.

Of course, xtians will merely say that he was god so all things are possible with god, but don't you dare ask them how such tricks are done. Maybe god belongs to the magic society and goes by their rules of not revealing the secret to their magic tricks?


I think the real answer, is that the xtian story needed for folks to see and TOUCH a revived jesus, rather than just seeing a ghostly jesus.
Part of the whole concept of 'saving' us via his death and then resurrection, was to have the jesus that was killed be the SAME exact jesus that was brought back from death.
(i.e. a clone just wouldn't do)

That being the case, the authors had a new problem now, so they had no choice but to have a bodily jesus ascend up to the clouds and then to god's realm.
How such a thing is possible is left up to saying, "god works in mysterious ways"...YEAH RIGHT.


>I used to to have similar problems with questions like, "What about all those native tribes in far away lands who lived and died for generations before a missionary ever brought them the 'good news'?"

Funny that we had the same thoughts about these remote cultures.
I asked that very question, as you did, from the time I was a boy, but never heard a logical answer.
The best answer I heard, and it was just recently, was that after these innocent but non-xtians died, god would quickly educate them about the xtian ways and give them one last chance to conform and be saved.
How very nice huh.

So then I asked, where in the dang bible do we read about this special offer for those innocent folks.
SILENCE was the only answer, which is pretty much the answer I get for many of my hard questions.

As I said elsewhere, god believers have the most excuses of anyone. They would be a lot richer if they could just sell all those excuses for cash money..LOL


ATF

AtheistToothFairy said...

jfraysse wrote:
"Once when confronting a fellow church member, who insisted that the Bible actually supported the “age of accountability” doctrine, I replied, “well, why don’t Christians kill their babies as this is the only guarantee that they will see heaven”. Their reaction stunned me, as they appeared to be internally validating my statement"
------
John (Jfraysee),

WOW, this is truly SAD !!!
In fact, it scares the BeJesus out of me, that they even pondered your suggestion.

The only other warped thinking that comes close to this example, is from the occasional story we read in the news; where a child/baby dies from some idiot trying to exorcise the devil from them.

I think we can add both examples to our list of why such religions need to die, can't we?


ATF

Dave8 said...

Ellytoad: "The problem is, when I told all of this to a fellow Christian on a message board one day, he became angry. He accused me of refusing to take responsibility for my own wrongdoings, saying that it's "always someone else's fault" and generally missing my entire point altogether."

Generally speaking, isn't it the claim of Christianity that God is the God of "All"... if so, how can anything be, but exactly the way God knew/wanted everything to be(come)...

More specifically in context, Christianity blames "all" sin, on a naked dude and chick running through a Garden eating apples... talk about passing the buck of eternal responsibility...

Christian theology is pathetic in terms of logic...

I have had responses from Christians such as "you're trying to escape responsibility"... I usually smile, as it almost parallels in my mind as...

Christian Statement: "God is the answer"

Logical Response: "Who asked the question?"

As far as trying to escape responsibility, one almost has to get in the mind of the one making the statement... the believer, actually believes that they are guilty of "everything" they "do" in life, therefore, their only safe "haven" (heaven) is to consider themselves totally "irresponsible" and needing a cure, called "salvation"... such a cure gives them illusory balance in their perspective, but it paints how they "observe" reality...

Because they accept themselves as "irresponsible" and in need of a "cure", they "graft" their "personality" onto "all" people, and then; make judgment calls. In clinical psychology this is called projection.

There is much truth in the statement, that many "perceive others, as themselves"... what is missed many times, is understanding how a person's identity is established to begin with; before grafting one's personality onto others, they need an "I" (identity) to work with...

Many are painted prior to having the ability to autonomously break free and gain an "I" (identity) by parents, caretakers, etc...

This "I" primer, is held and projected onto others for years, until the individual is capable of establishing themselves cognitively...

So, when I hear a Christian say such rhetoric like; you're trying to escape responsibility, most times after talking with them for a few minutes, I determine if they are working from a primer Identity, or one that is self-established with reason... many times, I find that the Christian has not found "individuality" and they are processing emotion, in response to how they perceive themselves, based on a hand-me-down "I"...

I was able to accept myself, when I no longer accepted the notion that everyone is of a common "I"... that our actions, thoughts, and being together give us a particular nature that is unique to each of us...

I was able to accept myself again, when I realized I was no longer "owned" and "defined" by words and religion...

SpaceMonk said...

ATF: "The best answer I heard, and it was just recently, was that after these innocent but non-xtians died, god would quickly educate them about the xtian ways and give them one last chance to conform and be saved.
How very nice huh."

I've heard that too, based on some verse in Revelations ...but then why did Jesus himself order his disciples to go out and evangelise 'all the world'?
Also, Paul clearly describes how those who have not heard can't be saved without an evangelist to tell them.

Dave8,
Your last line reminded me of a quote I liked from the movie "The Man Who Sued God".
At one point Billy Connelly says, "It's not much of a life if you can't call your soul your own."

Bunk & Bullshit said...

Hi there ATF,

Let me clarify which folks I was referring to.
I will be honest and not lie; I completely meant the ex- xtain folk.
The reason I say this is because, whether you admit it or not there’s a lot of baggage and much pain and anguish that I pick up on behind many of the posts on this thread. Make no mistake, this is normal and I’m not giving anyone stick or being demeaning about it. I just thought that if I wrote a simplistic piece like my post,it might just help in making folk stronger in their de-conversion. Sometimes looking at a thing from a weird tack somehow puts a different spin on it. We all more or less got over Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Toothfairy without too much trauma, but getting over this xtain mind-meme is a whole different kettle of fish. As many have stated before, it's almost as if there should be something in its place, but there isn’t and that’s almost too much for a lot of people to bear.
I am however totally with you on keeping the fundie lot in check, learning and countering what they believe is important work, and we are all responsible in blowing this dangerous cult out of the water. If we can just denigrate xtianity into a minority hodge-podge of bumbling fools, we’ll save many more from the very suffering that is going on here.

Anonymous said...

The "age of accountability" is a contradictory doctrine. On the one hand we are told that babies and young children who die go straight to heaven. Yet on the other hand Christians believe that children can become "born again", "saved", etc. Problem is, if a child can accept Christ, a child can reject Christ. Christians don't want to admit this, because the thought of children burning in hell is really disturbing to them. (Yet they have no problem with the thought of adults burning forever.)

nightflight

freethinker05 said...

B&B, I agree with you about, god being compared too santa,toothfaires, etc. I myself, at times of grief and anger, of sitiuations that have come into my life, and dwelling upon them, until the point of breaking down and balling my eyes out; I still find myself (stupidly) asking god why, (with the words, you son-of-a-bitch added); So,yes, religion has done alot of damage to my life, but maybe we do need it, to keep the religious folks in check; and something to take our anger out on. I just wished for myself, I would've never learned anything about the shit. It's took It's toll on my mental status, plus I think I inherited alot of my craziness from my mother's side of my family,LOL Hell, I don't know if my post even pertains to your's or not, but i'm just ranting. Peace, Roger...A/A

Dave8 said...

Spacemonk: "Dave8, Your last line reminded me of a quote I liked from the movie "The Man Who Sued God". At one point Billy Connelly says, "It's not much of a life if you can't call your soul your own."

:-) Amen brother Spacemonk, when I attended church at one time, I remember being presented an explanation of how the "religious" Christian is "different" than others... as a True Christian, my "soul" (ghost), considered a spiritual marionette/puppet, was given the privilege of being moved by invisible strings (Holy Ghost), by the puppet master (God)...

With such a mindset, who can actually take credit for anything they do ;-) Have a great one.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Bunk & Bullshit wrote:
>"We all more or less got over Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Toothfairy without too much trauma"

Bunk,
Okay, I understand where you're coming from now, but umm, while I did get over santa and the bunny, I feel you're now trying to "trauma[tize]" the ummm, ToothFairy, by saying it doesn't exists.
(If you don't understand, just look who is writing to you here...LOL)

>As many have stated before, it's almost as if there should be something in its place, but there isn’t and that’s almost too much for a lot of people to bear.

That is a HUGE statement in fact.
If one moves from one religion to another, one still has religion going for them.
If one is into the supernatural stuff and gives up one belief for another, you still are left with something supernatural to believe in.

Alas, giving up all the gods leaves one with ZERO gods to replace the one that was given up.
It also usually means giving up the concept of an afterlife, unless one holds onto the belief of a godless afterlife of some kind.
So indeed you are right, it's a hard concept to swallow, where you have nothing beyond the natural to bank on.

Isn't it funny though, that throughout history the one's who claim to believe in an afterlife (in heaven?), have tried their darndest to prolong their human existence.

If xtians really believed 100% they were going directly to an afterlife in heaven, then why do most fight so hard to stay alive on earth?
Isn't the life in heaven a million times better than a human existence would be, right.

ATF

eel_shepherd said...

AtheistToothFairy wrote:
"...or try and make a small impact into waking these xtians up to see what's real. In order to accomplish this, one has to know something of the bible text, as well as its philosophy...
"...In fact, for the majority of fundie xtians, showing what's wrong with the bible writings is pretty much the ONLY way you'll get their attention..."

I liken it to trying to redirect a supertanker whose pilot has gone into a coma. You don't turn a big ship like that around by ramming it from a 90 degree angle; for the first little while, you have to run parallel with it, in its wrong direction, and ease it over by small degrees into a direction that does some justice to the purpose it was meant to serve.

In a separate post by the same poster (and I don't mind telling you that it also gave me a nasty turn when I thought momentarily that I was going to have to abandon my belief in toothfairies), we had:
"...Part of the whole concept of 'saving' us via his death and then resurrection, was to have the jesus that was killed be the SAME exact jesus that was brought back from death..."

And yet they never seem to balk at the fact that this same Jesus body is quite able to walk around on feet that have had big old spikes poked through them mere days prior. So at some level, they're comfortable about there being something different about the Jesus body being somehow not quite the same as before.

From Optimistic Thinker, we had:
"...The only real problem with realizing that we are not condemned is that it is hard to know what to do..."

That is one of the things that Xtianity (and other religions) provides, alright; an organising principle. It's a scary feeling, being cut loose into a sense of purposelessness. This would be a gigantic post if I were to go into what a person's life response to that feeling of purposelessness ought to, or at least might, be. I just wanted to quote it here because I thought it was a good comment, and one that could potentially bear a high yield if more Xtians would steel themselves to looking at it instead of fleeing from it.

rickyusvi said...

optimalist thinker wrote: "However, I find real problems with people who actually believe in the same god that condemns them. Divorced people and drunkards find churches that 'accept them', never realizing that the Bible says they are evil and doomed to Hell. Yet, they still attend church and claim allegiance to an invisible sadist. I mean, why would you do this unless you are just stupid?"

Two reasons, probably. First, they believe that it's real, so defying it wouldn't get them anywhere. It's the flip side of accusing atheists of being angry at God. Second, they don't perceive Yahweh-Jesus as a sadist (Stockholm syndrome).

rickyusvi said...

AtheistToothFairy wrote: “This surely begs the question of why god didn't send down jesus to save the planet in Noah's time, when he killed off almost every life form the earth contained.
If god destroyed it all once, why not twice, or better yet; why not skip all the mass genocide altogether and be a nice humane god instead.

“Some day, some xtian out there will explain to me the mechanism of how taking a piece of this 'godhead' entity and making it into a human (son?) and then having other humans kill it, (but only for a measly short 3 days) results in this 'saving' of the human species.

“[...] I want to know what supplies the power to change the human fate rules when part of a godhead dies on a man-made cross.
This idea makes it sound like god the father did NOT have the power within himself to fix this sin problem, but something ABOVE him in the god-hierarchy demanded the god of this earth make such a sacrifice of part of himself, to show how much he wanted to keep his pet humans around for eternity to toy with etc..”


This sounds somewhat like Gnosticism. We aren't the first to notice these problems.

AtheistToothFairy wrote: “Did not god himself call jesus his SON. I mean, it wasn't the humans in the bible that gave jesus this title of being the SON OF GOD, but god himself, yes?
So what exactly makes this jesus a 'SON' to god.

“First off, if god wanted offspring, like most humans do, then why didn't he just create a bunch of heavenly god-children or mini-gods like himself.
Instead, god decides his means to procreating, is to screw a human VIRGIN and get her pregnant with his holy seed.

“Now if one says god was merely transferring the part of himself called Jesus into mary's body, how does that make that part of god, his 'son' then?

“Isn't the term 'son' really a human term alone?
It might be proper to say it was mary's human SON, but how does his male human body make him a 'son' to god, or for that matter; how is god, the 'father' of jesus, if they were both part of the ONE god before jesus beamed down to earth?

“Are we to believe the jesus part of the godhead was always a son to the father part?
If so, doesn't that imply that god had a god-son eons ago and if that's true, I just have to ask....who was the god-mother way back then and where is she today?”


Three words: Arians versus Athanasians.

_________________

jfraysse wrote: “Once when confronting a fellow church member, who insisted that the Bible actually supported the ‘age of accountability’ doctrine, I replied, ‘well, why don’t Christians kill their babies as this is the only guarantee that they will see heaven.’ Their reaction stunned me, as they appeared to be internally validating my statement.”

AtheistToothFairy responded: “WOW, this is truly SAD !!!
In fact, it scares the BeJesus out of me, that they even pondered your suggestion.

“The only other warped thinking that comes close to this example, is from the occasional story we read in the news; where a child/baby dies from some idiot trying to exorcise the devil from them.”


Andrea Yeats. LaShaun Harris. Dena Schlosser. It’s real.

_________________

AtheistToothFairy wrote: “Okay, I understand where you're coming from now, but umm, while I did get over santa and the bunny, I feel you're now trying to 'trauma[tize]' the ummm, ToothFairy, by saying it doesn't exists."

You’re a figment of your imagination, ATF. It’s time to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

why does everyone on this site condem Jesus after how we (the church, christians aso ) react or live..
If we ere to put our faith in Christians we wouldn't need God.
What a wold to live in.

So what if christians say that sin is such a horrable thing... thats not what Jesus says he mentions that we aren't perfect but common logic tells us that to.
Jesus doesn't undermind us we do.. God says that we are his priceless and most dear treasure.. doesn't sound that awfull to me.

I just wanted to state that quickly..
How awefull to be expected to be perfect..
lets see...
Islam - must pray 5 times a day ex
Buddhism - The practice of Buddhism is very much about becoming a better human being.
Hinduism - Be a better human and you'll end up in nervana, after you've lived 100 lifetimes as differant beings... like a goldfish?!
New age - Trust and worship only yourself God is in you.. wow what a load to bear... think about it.. do you always trust yourself?

Jesus came for you.. he took the steps he was the better being so we didn't have to be because he knew it was imossible. So he gave so we could live without condemming ourselves... simple.

/Aleczandra
a very non-perfect person

Jim Arvo said...

Aleczandra,

What ever are you talking about? I don't "condem" Jesus and I never have. However, I do think he's a largely (if not totally) fictional character. See the difference? (It's generally a good idea to know something about those you are speaking to, particularly if you're going to accuse them of something.)

rickyusvi said...

@Aleczandra,

What Jim said. You need to stop making stuff up about us.

Also, please remember that, as Ellytoad reminded us, we are indeed ex-Christians. We already know the story of Jesus, and we don't think that it's true. You'll need to do more than just repeat to us what we've already heard a thousand times.

—Ricky, a very non-perfect person who does not expect some imaginary Savior to take responsibility for my errors.

Bunk & Bullshit said...

Hey ATF…Ok let’s keep the tooth fairy and my personal favourite the Invisible Pink Unicorn. They’re far more friendly.

ATF said:
“Isn't it funny though, that throughout history the one's who claim to believe in an afterlife (in heaven?), have tried their darndest to prolong their human existence.”

So true: ask people if they would like to go to heaven and they will definitely say yes. Ask them if they will go now immediately if they have a choice and the answer will be, no, not now. Why not now if heaven is such a wonderful place?
Ask people if they wish to go on an all expenses paid idyllic holiday to Bali and if they would like to go immediately, and the answer will be a resounding YES. Is Bali then better than heaven or what? No, that’s not what’s worrying us, we know for sure that Bali exists, but we are not sure about heaven and that’s why we do not want to go to heaven now. What if it doesn’t exist?

rickyusvi said...

ATF wrote: “Isn't it funny though, that throughout history the one's who claim to believe in an afterlife (in heaven?), have tried their darndest to prolong their human existence.”

But it’s also true that the ones who really do believe in an afterlife have been perfectly willing to martyr themselves in exchange for a guarantee that they’ll go up, not down. Sometimes this dangerous belief results in nothing worse than imaginary consolation for the next of kin, and wildly inflated legends and canons of saints over the following centuries. But the danger becomes harshly evident when it leads to suicide bombings and jumbo jets flying into large buildings.

(Evident though it may be, it’s lost on people who routinely ignore evidence. Instead, they trip over each other to cure this evil by using the very same thing—faith—that caused the atrocity in the first place.)

Bunk & Bullshit wrote: “Is Bali then better than heaven or what? No, that’s not what’s worrying us, we know for sure that Bali exists, but we are not sure about heaven and that’s why we do not want to go to heaven now. What if it doesn’t exist?”

Hmmm. Evil twin of Pascal’s wager? What if they do have something to lose by believing? ;)

AtheistToothFairy said...

Bunk & Bullshit wrote: Hey ATF…Ok let’s keep the tooth fairy and my personal favourite the Invisible Pink Unicorn. They’re far more friendly.
---
Bunk,
Thanks for keeping the tooth fairy alive.
Ummm, I would have missed me...lol.

FYI....You do know that the invisible pink unicorn and I are buds, right?
I sure do wish she was easier to find though, being invisible and all.


Hey, shouldn't your name be 'DE-bunk' instead--- just wondering..haha

>So true: ask people if they would like to go to heaven and they will definitely say yes. Ask them if they will go now immediately if they have a choice and the answer will be, no, not now. Why not now if heaven is such a wonderful place?
Ask people if they wish to go on an all expenses paid idyllic holiday to Bali and if they would like to go immediately, and the answer will be a resounding YES. Is Bali then better than heaven or what?


This is a paradox I have pondered most of my life.

Even as a young boy it confused me why everyone got so sad when someone '"went to heaven". Sure, I could understand that they would miss having them around, but the depth of their sadness I saw, seemed more than I could account for, if this dead person was having a great time up with god; playing harps on clouds, or whatever.
So even at that young age, I was already detecting that SOMETHING was screwy with their claim of all good people going to a wonderful heaven.

As an adult, I think what we hear at funerals, is basically 'lip-service' from xtian folks.
Their mouths assure us that our loved-one is up in heaven, but in most cases you can tell they either have great doubts about it, or don't believe it at all themselves, but want you to, just to comfort you.
Their intentions of comforting are admirable, but if everyone keeps pretending a false thing exists, is it any wonder our society then supports such falsehoods with funding and laws.


So YES, Bali is surely far better than heaven...mainly because Bali is REAL and heaven is as solid as the clouds that god walks upon.

Pssssst to xtian readers.....Clouds really can't be walked upon, like your bible believes of them. Even god would have a tough time staying afloat on such wisps.


ATF

AtheistToothFairy said...

rickyusvi wrote:
"ATF wrote: “Isn't it funny though, that throughout history the one's who claim to believe in an afterlife (in heaven?), have tried their darndest to prolong their human existence.”"

rickyusvi then said:
But it’s also true that the ones who really do believe in an afterlife have been perfectly willing to martyr themselves in exchange for a guarantee that they’ll go up, not down.
---
Rickyusvi,
I did consider your thought when I wrote this above comment, but I saw it as the exception, rather than the rule of most believers.
The believers who have tried to prolong their lives, either didn't really believe they were going to heaven or had a great fear of this unknown place.
So once again it's a case where what they SAY, is not really what they believe or wish for.

Yes, we do indeed have fanatics who have been brainwashed so badly, that they see no problem in killing off their body's in order to see their god. Not to mention killing as many around them as possible.
This fanatical belief obviously overrides the normal human survival instinct.

The problem here, is a total lack of feedback from the 'believed in afterlife'.

The fact that no one comes back to confirm to them that there is an afterlife, doesn't deter them from believing in it. If Allah and Jesus were really out there and accepting dead folks into their abodes, wouldn't it make sense to let a FEW of them come back and let us know it's all real. Is there some 'god' rule in place that say's if someone escapes heaven to inform a living human that such a place is real, that the penalty is burning in hell for them?
Sure, we wouldn't expect folks burning in hell to be allowed out to visit earth but I'm sure there has to be at least thousands of 'good' folks in heaven that would qualify for a trip to earth to spread the word about, yes?

Here's an impossible idea for you....

I wish the fanatics (and xtians to) could be woken up from their eternal death, just long enough to let them know they had been totally dead and they will now go back to that dead state forever.
But first, they are given a chance to inform a few living folks that this forever nothingness is their true future. Then maybe the nuts wouldn't blow themselves up, thinking they were headed for some cool afterlife reward of playing harps or playing with 72 virgins, whichever is the appropriate reward.
Then at least we'd have some positive feedback from our dead, instead of the phoney communications some claim to have with them now, or the 'dead silence' from them instead...no pun intended.

Alas, the afterlife beliefs continue because we have a negative condition of the afterlife, much as we have a negative god, who also gives no feedback as well.

ATF (who wonders if invisible pink unicorns have to eat invisible food?)

rickyusvi said...

ATF wrote: “Pssssst to xtian readers.....Clouds really can't be walked upon, like your bible believes of them. Even god would have a tough time staying afloat on such wisps.”

I dunno... My experience suggests that God is wispier than the clouds.

ATF wrote: “I did consider your thought when I wrote this above comment, but I saw it as the exception, rather than the rule of most believers.
The believers who have tried to prolong their lives, either didn't really believe they were going to heaven or had a great fear of this unknown place.
So once again it's a case where what they SAY, is not really what they believe or wish for.”


The matter is often raised among Christians, even by preachers. “How many of you want to go to heaven? Now, how many of you want to die?” The responses are predictable, but to my recollection, the paradox is never answered. It seems that Christians just don’t want to face that. I don’t even recall any of the sermons that followed—remarkable for such a grave matter!

A question i long had as a Christian was, “If heaven is so great, why is it wrong to kill?” I tended to avoid that question, as i well realized that one person who answered it to his satisfaction was Charles Manson.

Now that i think of it, though, that question didn’t occur to me until after i’d begun to question the reality of the afterlife. I’m not willing to say that most Christians don’t believe in heaven. The human mind has a profound ability to compartmentalize. It’s only when Christians decide that they need to resolve the issue that they’re necessarily confronted with the answer that they don’t like. Some prefer to live with the cognitive dissonance. Others, like you and me, accept that reality doesn’t give a damn what we prefer.

Bunk & Bullshit now(IPU) said...

Hey ATF...Greetings in the name of the IPU :blessed be her holy hooves !
Bunk comes from that old pommey word "bunkum" or "humbug" meaning nonsense and that's where we get "de-bunk" :- getting rid of non-sense.
But I reckon you're onto something when u suggest a name change..and what better than IPU, so from now on that's what it's gonna be.
It's a little known fact that the IPU luvs eating (invisible) beetroot, with the one downside that this produces a lot of wind, and paradoxically, while most farts are invisible,the IPU's are indeed out there for all to see, thus accounting for the pink wisp of cloud that can be witnessed from time to time, at breakfast and especially again around dinner.
Irrefutable proof that her holiness does indeed exist.
Ex B&B now IPU

rickyusvi said...

ATF wrote: “But first, they are given a chance to inform a few living folks that this forever nothingness is their true future.”

Not quite. There won’t be any nothingness, because one cannot experience nothingness unless one exists to experience it. Their true “future” is that there won’t be a future at all. (Would you say that before you were born you “experienced nothingness”?)

AtheistToothFairy said...

rickyusvi said...
"There won’t be any nothingness, because one cannot experience nothingness unless one exists to experience it. Their true “future” is that there won’t be a future at all. (Would you say that before you were born you “experienced nothingness”?)"
--
Rickyusvi,
You are 100% correct, and I knew this when I was trying to force-fit the puzzle pieces of the 'afterlife' scenario here.

I think what I should have added in a clearer manner to this idea, was that they would be shown that some elapsed time period had gone by (say one whole year) and during that time they had accumulated no memory of ANYTHING, and then told that their eternal future will be exactly the same way...nothing at all.

Yes, this would be exactly as before one was born...a huge nothing to see, hear, touch, smell etc., so yes indeed, one can not experience a huge nothing per se, if one doesn't exist to detect it's a huge nothing.
Warps the mind, doesn't it.

Obvioulsy there is no means to reach the goal of having them sense an existing 'wrong' afterlife that is contrary to their own religious belief system.
It's not as if we are dealing with the Allah reward vs the Jesus reward or some other god reward, that they could pass-the-word around that they had it wrong and pass that on down to their own fellow believers.
If that were possible then perhaps we could fix this religious diversity mess we're in and have a common theme for at least the afterlife age-old question.

So my idea here is pretty much an impossible one, but one that a part of me wishes could still happen. To make them realize they were dead for X amount of time, that they went nowhere, saw and heard nothing and then given the opportunity to spread the word for a short time before knowing they would return to that forever nothing state again.

That would at least put to bed the idea of hell, heaven or even an afterlife in general.
If the Muslim terrorist heard it from one of their own un-dead, that there is no Mohammed to greet them, no 72 virgins to take to bed, then it surely would cut down on those willing to make themselves into human-bombs.

I will take a wild ass guess here and say that if you take away any promise of an afterlife, that 90% of the current religious folks would have little reason to stay religious. The other 10% I think still would because some folks need something greater than themselves, just to get through each day on earth.

Alas, proving there is no afterlife is the same proving-a-negative problem as we have for any god we wish to disprove.

Heck, I'm willing to bet that even if a dead person was dead for 100 years instead of just 1, that some folks might still think their god would bring them back to life in the far distant future, by whatever means could accomplish such a science fiction feat.
So perhaps my puzzle here grows even larger than I initially had surmised...haha.

ATF (who finds this discourse about as confusing to deal with, as time travel concepts)

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