If you logically look at Christianity, it just doesn’t add up

Sent in by Anya

When I contemplate my journey through Christianity, I’m reminded of that old Rod Steward song that goes, “If I listened long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true.” More than anything in the world, I wish I could sincerely believe in Jesus or God, but at this point in time, intellectually and logically, there is no reason to believe.

I grew up in a household of lapsed Catholics. They taught me how to pray and we went to church occasionally, but my parents warned that the Bible wasn’t meant to be taken literally. My mom also used to dabble in astrology and even consulted psychics on occasion. Even though I lacked solid religious structure, I always wanted God to be a close part of my life. Before tests and competitions I would pray to the Almighty to help me win. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. There were times when I experienced such amazing coincidences that I was sure I was getting signs from the Almighty.

In high school I had a boyfriend who was interested in fundamentalist Christianity. The Christians I got to know through him were truly wonderful people, willing to drop anything to help you out. They seemed to exemplify the true spirit of Christ. Of course, there were others that were arrogant and judgmental, but I dismissed them as not being “true Christians”. I also attended Catholic schools for a few years and had many positive experiences with the priests and nuns. I have no sour grapes.

Over the years I continued to identify myself as Christian although I rarely went to church. I still maintained an active prayer life and felt that God was always with me and would protect me and bring me to heaven. To be honest, most of the time I was more worried about my looks, boys, friends, and school, but my underlying belief in the Lord gave me peace of mind. Of course I had been taught about science and evolution but I found ways to rationalize this as being consistent with a Christian God.

This past summer I had what you might call a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized for almost a week. For awhile I totally lost touch with reality. I believed all sorts of things that I now recognize are not true. Among those thoughts was a belief that Jesus was coming down from heaven to take me as his bride. This was based on something I read in the book of Revelations. Obviously, this didn’t happen, although I strongly believed it at the time and even thought I had evidence to justify my expectations. Once my mind straightened out, I was left to wonder if some of the most basic religious ideas that I had might not be true either.

It was while studying for the Law School Admission Test that I had an epiphany. Studying for the test taught me to think logically about everything, and that included religion. I started to realize that if you logically look at Christianity, it just doesn’t add up. If even the apostle’s questioned Jesus, how was I supposed to trust in him when all the evidence pointed against his being the son of God. Plus, to believe in Christ you must also take the Old Testament as being true and that book didn’t hold up to scrutiny either. If this is the God that created the universe, then he also created science, logic, and reason. Why would this God want us to believe in him based on hearsay? There were numerous other questions that Christianity couldn’t answer.

I wish Christianity was true. I wish there was a benevolent God looking out for us who would listen to our prayers. Not having God in my life has left me feeling empty and depressed. I have gone from feeling like an immortal being made in the likeness of God to simply an evolved monkey, nothing more than a collection of cells, alone in the cruel world. This change in belief has certainly humbled me. The church can be so seductive, but in my heart I can no longer call myself a Christian. The decision to live in reality has not been an easy or happy one.

460 comments:

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pdwxm29 said...

So who on here wants to talk about the JFK conspiracy?

Your thoughts anyone?

pdwxm29 said...

Maybe Dan Marvin can fill us in on the subject of JFK.

Tell us Dan, do you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, or was he set up?

Please share with us on the subject.

pdwxm29 said...

Also Dan, please share your thoughts with us about the 1947 Roswell Crash.

Do you think Jesus might have been on that UFO, and that he was attempting his second coming?

I believe that was Jesus' failed 2nd coming. I believe that simply by faith, and faith alone.

Please Dan, I would like to hear your insights on the subject.

pdwxm29 said...

I also believe that God told Lee Harvey Oswald to shoot JFK.

It was part of God's master plan.

I believe that simply by faith also.

Wouldn't you agree Dan?

AtheistToothFairy said...

pdwxm29 wrote:
"Thanks Dan, Passerby, and Kevin.
Now where is Marc, Jason, and Computer to add their words of wisdom also?"
---
Hey pdwxm29,
What makes you think they haven't been here all along?

ATF

AtheistToothFairy said...

Dan Marvin wrote:
"That is a subjective statement. There are many scientists who affirm evidence for God's existence through science"
---
Dan,
That's pretty hilarious, because I have yet to hear of anything in any scientific paper/journal that speaks to finding ANY evidence of your god.

I would highly suspect you are once again reading apologist books that claim this is true, but yet can never back it up.
If any legit science study had found a single proof for any god's out there, it would make world-wide headline news.

Maybe my local newspaper overlooked this important discovery?

ATF (who wonders why xtians lie to each other with such great frequency)

Dan Marvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Marvin said...

"If any legit science study had found a single proof for any god's out there, it would make world-wide headline news."

If you are looking for more study on truth there are plenty such as these:

trueorigins.org

ISCID

Origins.org

Discovery

Intelligent Design Network

Access Research Network

AtheistToothFairy said...

.:webmaster:. wrote:
"Regardless, this certainly is an entertaining thread, wouldn't you agree? "
---
Webmaster,
Perhaps you could start a new blog for these bickering xtians?

Something like:
Christian's Bickering---Proof That Ex-Christians Were Right All Along.com

FRONT PAGE:

ExChristian website discovered the ultimate proof that God's Holy Spirit is at best dysfunctional (if it exists at all).


CURRENT NEWS:

The very common Christian claim that this Holy Spirit instills universal secret knowledge upon it's flocks, has been proven to be nothing more than an erroneous belief.

While each Christian throughout the centuries has maintained they held God's truths and those truths were communicated by this Holy Spirit part of the almighty God; the vast disagreements between Christains is now considered by most rational folks as being solid proof that such supernatural beliefs are formed within Christian's own minds.

It has been claimed that the Holy Bible is sanctioned by the Christian god, with many Christains holding the belief that every word in this book has come directly from their chosen God. In addition, most Christians insist there are no contradictions within it's pages, but it has become apparent that such Christians merely have an inherent talent for overlooking these 'problems' of their holy book.
The many interpretations of their book have resulted in countless factions of the Christian faith, each believing their own sect is in direct contact with this Holy Spirit entity.

Secular analyst of this holy book agree that a warning label is needed on the front cover, to warn any potential reader that it may cause delusionary behavior in some non-discriminatory readers. Parents should be especially prudent in not exposing their offspring to the ramblings of this ancient text, as doing so is now considered a form of brainwashing, if not abuse of our tender young minds.

Conclusion:

If the Christian God ever makes a return trip back to planet earth, then perhaps the Christian faith will become homogenous amongst it's followers.
Until that day arrives, one needs to use their educated mind to discern the magical claims in the text of this bible book, against the known reality of our universe.

One also must be careful not to confuse strange emotional experiences with actual human life on our planet. The sought after emotions and the resulting experiences to the believer, tend to confine their minds within a supernatural world that exists only within the boundaries of their own physical 'brains' and nowhere else.

This bible book should be kept under lock and key and only viewed by adults who have shown the ability to grasp the difference between reality and a work of ancient fiction.


Signed,
The Managment Team



ATF (who can't wait to hear from our "TRUE Xtians", that they alone are talking to the holy spirit, but everyone else is talking to the devil instead)

stronger now said...

I see Dan still has not been able to put forth a well reasoned answer to my old question. Doesn't seem like he's much interested in answering any question.

Dave and Jim, I think I know why Dan isn't responding to you. I think he has a strong masochistic side(the kinky bastard!) but only enjoys getting verbally and logically "spanked" by one non-believer at a time.

This may be why he refuses to answer my questions in a logical way. Because he knows if he does the "spankings" will stop. (makes me feel kinda used now)

I don't think he has even considered anything I wrote. Especially what I wrote last night. There may be some errors that he didn't pick up on, and not just the spelling errors.

Last night was very telling for me. I had a migraine and wrote most of that after taking some medicine for it.(don't try this at home kids) If I can so easily counter his attack with half my brains tied behind my back, I see no more challenge for me.

Though, I will loose a few more arrows in his direction when I feel like it. I believe I have exacted my pound of flesh from him for being such a jerk to me.

I am tentatively bowing out of the fray.

Perhaps one of you will get some "air time" with him now.(remember, he likes it rough)

"You can lead an ass to water but you can't make him think."

Jim Arvo said...

Dan, Kevin, and Passerby,

Don't mind us, okay? Give us a buzz when you've worked out how best to educate us unsaved heathens, or "swine" if you prefer. We'll just talk amongst ourselves over here; or should I say "grunt"? Carry on.

Dave8 said...

Dan M: "If the laws of logic are human constructs, then how can they be absolute since humans think differently and often contradictorily?"

Let me first state, the term God has been given no contextual meaning - therefore, it has no meaning other than an utterance.

Also, Dan has not formed an argument that connects logic to the term God. Therefore, by evading the huge elephant of Christianity, and opening up the discussion for the merits of logic, you are engaging in the following logical fallacies:

1-Red herring: Your statements regarding logic, have no direct connection to your argument for a God concept (unless you are defining God as logic) - that's evasion.

2-Confusion of cause and effect: If you attack logic as being ambiguous, it is a fallacy to assert that such a cause proves in effect that your concept of God is true - that's absurd.

3-Guilt by association: Your lack of ability to make the case for your concept of God, does not inherently make "everyone" else in the world's argument as erroneous and arbitrary - that's absurd.

Now, the topic is that Christianity does not "add up", which is a basic arithmetic operation - addition. Where, when one variable is added to another, there should be, "no kidding"… a consistent "summation".

In Christianity, there is no consistency in "summation" in the following;

1-Internally, within the bible itself, there are contradictory passages when taken as a whole.

2-Externally, when using extant sources to validate the bible as a "whole".

3-Logically, when validating, the "experts" revelations (Pope, etc.) and what is found within the bible itself.

Due to the fact that there is conflict within the bible, if taken as a whole source book divinely "inspired" by a God, there exists "no reliable expert" - except by their "own" self-validation, and the "authority" other people bestow upon such a person.

So, Christianity on the whole, doesn't really add up, consistently and reliably.

Now, to answer your question;

Dan M: "If the laws of logic are human constructs...

They are.

Dan M: "...then how can they be absolute since humans think differently and often contradictorily?"

The laws of logic, in many fields, are "cognitively" held absolutes - in the proper "context". Many cognitive tools render 100% reliability, and are useful in the interaction of physical "life".

If a person runs a cognitive tool, using the correct protocol, they will render a 100% reliable result, every time. That means, planning and prediction is "possible", within a "natural", "physical", "material", framework.

There is no "think differently" or in "contradiction", in the use of such cognitive tools. However, there "is", the refusal to use such tools (lack of understanding/perceived utility, etc.), or the cognitive inability to wield such tools.

Now, some have levied that some cognitive tools are tautologies. However, there is more to the argument.

Mathematical tools, and the theorems of a system are tautologies because they are "true by definition" by virtue of being deducible from the axioms.

In short, by virtue of staking an "axiomatic truth", and employing a purely deductive reasoning process... the theorem is "expected" and must follow - to say at the end of using such a process that the theorem is "true" - is vacuous... as... it must have "necessarily" followed - it's repetitive to suggest "hey, my theorem is correct, based on this axiom".

The point here Dan, is that such a cognitive tool, if properly exercised, "must" render a particular answer - every time.

Now, if you wanted to make an argument over the veracity of axiomatic statements, then, I'd like to hear the argument. However, you and any other Christian may want to consider, that when we talk of cognitive tools, and idea sets, that they are only as "useful" and "meaningful", per their categorical application.

However, I don't perceive "any" manner for "you" to claim that "God" is an axiomatic truth without "defining" the term God. You see, no matter how one constructs an "axiom" - internally, the words that "make up" the axiom, have to hold "meaning" in order to be of "use".

So, you see... while there can be a discussion on axiomatic statements, that have words and terms defined; there is "no room" for discussion regarding axiomatic claims, with words that are - subjectively defined and arbitrary based on a believers' notion of what a God is or isn't.

Oh, and there is of course, the notion, that "some Christians" believe, that the word "God", can not be defined, "because"... to define such a thing, would be to "limit" such a thing... and well, some Christians don't believe their God has limits.

Here is some further thought.

Edward T. Hall: "Experience is something man projects upon the outside world as he gains it in its culturally determined form."

Hall is the grand-father of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The Silent Language is where one would find his following statements...

"Man is the model-making organism par excellence..." "Grammars and writing systems are models of language... Myths, philosophical systems, and science represent different types of models of what the social scientists call cognitive sytems. The purpose of the model is to enable the user to do a better job in handling the enormous complexity of life. By using models, we see and test how things work and can even predict how things will go in the future... People are very closely indentified with their models, since they also form the basis for behavior. Men have fought and died in the name of different models of nature."

Dan, in bold, is the crux of the matter at hand. We model our reality, it's how we are able to "relate" and "cope" as we are naturally/cognitively "forced" or "persuaded" to expand our sphere of reality (biologically dependent)... those "models", and "cognitive tools (a model would be a type of cognitive tool as well), are part of that natural integration and synthesis of knowledge process...

A person, can either seek "stable" and "consistent" cognitive tools, or... not, in order to find peace and harmony in life. When a person employs cognitive tools, and is able to make sense out of their reality - they can be said to have found "meaning" via correspondence, and from "meaning", comes understanding... and from understanding - one gains more control of their life to find "happiness" or "peace", which is the release of mental conflict.

Release of mental conflict, doesn't guarantee a person will escape physical abuse due to their environmental conditions, or remove them of genetic/biological ailments... However, a person who is free of mental conflict, is more able to cope, deal, and overcome if possible, those things which cause suffering, than a person who is mentally conflicted, or using beliefs that are "inconsistent", and "un-reliable" about "Reality".

E. Jeffrey Conklin & William Weil: "Trying to get people to reason in a way that is not natural for them is like trying to teach a pig to sing. You don't accomplish anything and you annoy the pig."

Francis Bacon: "If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts. But if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties."

Dan, Christianity just "fails". It's that simple. When a person attempts to "integrate" their knowledge, using natural drivers; they can not accept conflicting values of information, else there is a cognitive dissonance as a result.

So, just want to let you know; that logic/mathematical tools, etc., do "not" conflict with "reality". They do "not", make statements that "reject" the knowledge that has been proven through experience and integrated.

Personally... I don't have much use/tolerance for "any" tool, that is presented that rejects reality - and called "useful".

"Everything" can be logically proven as true, if given the proper "context". However, Christianity fails the greatest, in its deliberate refusal to allow its core axiom to be placed into proper "context". That which can't be placed into proper "context", can't be "tested/falsified". And, belief systems that result from an axiomatic truth that is arbitrary/undefined will render a 100% "unreliability" rating.

Dan, because the Christian belief system is logically "unreliable", it is "contextually" accurate to say, that "every" Christian has their "own" interpretation of what God/Jesus/Christianity mean. As a matter of fact, that is how it has always been packaged to me...

God/Jesus/Christianity were not "topics" that were proven behind the pulpit; the were defined by each individual... regardless of the arbitrary nature of those words, a pastor got behind the pulpit to "deliver" what the congregation "should do", or "ought to be", based on the "pastor's" understanding of those words; God/Jesus/Christianity - and they pulled out individual passages from the bible to make their case.

The lazy Christian is ready to just accept what they pastor says. The more mentally active Christian, attempts to "create" and "define" what the terms God/Jesus/Christianity mean, but many times fail to realize, that it is "their" personally created mental view - not the view, of everyone who says they are "Christian".

Dan, Christianity is an arbitrary belief system in terms of logic, held together by a social communion, where accepting the word "Christian", means you are in the "club".

Mignon McLaughlin: "Don't look for God where He is needed most; if you didn't bring Him there, He isn't there."

J. C. Samuelson said...

Dan,

If you would, please answer the following very simple question.

1. Are you willing to admit to any possibility that you may be wrong about both God and the Bible?

It goes almost without saying that you are convinced you're correct, so to be clear that's not what I'm asking. What I'm trying to learn is whether you still consider yourself bound by the limits of human intellect and understanding or if you believe you've been so suffused with the Holy Spirit that your words are no longer yours but your God's.

Thanks.

WWDMD (What would Dan Marvin Do) said...

Instead of relying on Dan Marvin for the answers that all of you seek, turn to God for your answers.

Dan Marvin is only a man.

Turn to the real source for your answers, which is God.

How do you do that, you ask?

You start by reading the bible, and pray.

That is how all of you will find the answers to your questions.

It's that simple.

Can't Spell Christ Without Shit said...

Passerby Said:
"Despite everything you've done, He's still calling out to you today. He will do so until your last day."

Funny, I don't hear him saying anything. All I hear is dead silence when I am by myself.

It's funny how God is supposedly calling out to all of us, yet the only one's that seem to speak for God is people like you and Dan Marvin Passerby.

Tell your God that he might want to try a better means of communicating more verbally with us, since he doesn't seem to have very effective communication skills. He sure as hell doesn't do a very good job relating to people.

And God sure as hell doesn't do a very good job of getting his biblical message through to you christians either. Just look at some of the posts on here for example. You, Dan, and Kevin seem to not be able to agree with each other either.

Matter as fact you christians are more divided than any group of people I have ever seen.

So much for "The Dysfunctional Family of God".

Phant said...

Matthew 7:15
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves

Hey, Dan quoted a verse in one of his earlier posts that warns us about people like him.

Thanks for the warning Dan!

AtheistToothFairy said...

WWDMD (What would Dan Marvin Do) wrote:
"Turn to the real source for your answers, which is God.
---

Hey WWDMD,
How do you know the "real source" for answers, aren't the advanced aliens living on a 'moon' of UR-ANUS?

>"How do you do that, you ask?"

Actually, I did NOT ask, but of course you 'BELIEVE' I did, as you believe many other false delusions, such as your god really talking to you etc..

>"You start by reading the bible, and pray"

Okay, I just tried your method three times.

The first time, I got sick to my stomach with the way your god treats his human pets.
(This method works great if you happen to swallow some poison and need god to fix you fast)

The second time, I found your god's words so terribly boring, I fell asleep.
(Up till now I thought reading an advanced chemistry book was the best sleep remedy, but thanks to you I now can fall asleep in 5 minutes flat......So thanks for the nifty advise)

The third time, I discovered your god talks out of both sides of his mouth and just isn't consistent at all with his messages to us.
(I've now concluded that the trinity is really three competing gods, each with their own brand of messages to us, and so one has to choose a favorite god person to bow down to)

I also tried this praying stuff you suggested as well.

Did you know praying out loud to your protecting god, but while visiting one's local pub, gives your god a chance to show his great healing powers upon one's fist-beaten body?

I then tried praying in a verbose manner while in the local police station, thinking I'd be safer there than in the pub.
I'm now enjoying my new padded room, which makes me feel quite safe and secure.

I tried praying alone inside the tall steeple of my favorite church, but god must have hated my awkward prayers, as he once again sent his glorious lightning bolt to purify the sins of this church, burning those sins away as the church bell came crashing down, announcing his divine presence to all the fire fighters on the scene.

Face it WWDMD, there is no xtian god and praying does nothing but let oneself hear the echo of one's words. Any answers from your god exists within your fantasy of a god delusion, where your weak mind can't discern fantasy from reality.


ATF (who wonders if THIS bellowing xtian is the one who will bring us that long awaited proof that prayer works?)

Mandy said...

Dan Marvin Said: "Rom. 9:11-13 We see that God loved Jacob and hated Esau not because of anything that they did, but because of "God's purpose according to His choice,". Is this fair for God to do? Yes it is."

Dan, I have a question. Do you believe in "Predestination"? Basically, are you saying that you believe that God created some of us for the purpose of destruction according to what you said in that previous post?

Dan Marvin Said: "First of all, whatever God does is fair. God can do no wrong"

Oh, I understand then. So it is ok for God to do what he wants to, because he is "God". But, yet he wants us to follow his example: James 3:15 “For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil.”

Ok, God wants us to follow his example so here is another example of his example based on his truths:
Exd 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a "jealous" God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;

Wait a minute! God says to get rid of jealousy, yet he is jealous himself, but he wants us to follow his example? He says that jealousy is of the devil, yet God is jealous himself. Fine example of many of the "Contradictions" that are found in the bible. God seems to be a hypocrite.

Kind of reminds me of, "Do as I say, don't do as I do".

Plus God also says in Exodus 20:5 that he is going to punish the children of the "God Haters" up to the 3rd and 4th generations, even though those children were not responsible for the sins of their parents. This same God also thinks that we are all responsible for "Adam and Eve's" sins. God sure does like to take his anger out on everyone, and play the "Blame Game". One thing that I have learned about God over the years is that he is not willing to accept his own "irresponsibility", and screw ups. Then again, why should he? After all he is "God". *rolls eyes*

I guess when you are an "Almighty Being" with unlimited power, you can do whatever you want to do. So I guess he can afford to be "irresponsible", because he is "God" and we are tiny little insects to him that he takes great pleasure in manipulating and torturing. We are like entertainment for him.

I must say that "God's" version of what is "Fair" is quiet twisted. Your statement tells me that "God" is selfish and cares about nobody but himself. He will do what he wants to do, and if we don't like it well, that's just too bad.

Now let's recap what you said about "Rom. 9:11-13" again: "We see that God loved Jacob and hated Esau not because of anything that they did, but because of "God's purpose according to His choice,". Is this fair for God to do? Yes it is."

So, it's ok for God to love someone else, yet it's ok for him to hate another? That's not what Acts 10:34 claims: Act 10:34 Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.

Did you read that Dan? It's ok for God to love someone else, but hate another, yet Peter claims that "God is no respecter of persons".

Yet another contradiction found in the bible, however notice that these were the words of "Peter", not God, however the Bible is supposed to be "The Word Of God", yet is says that "Peter opened his mouth". It doesn't say that "God opened his mouth". Peter claimed this. Not God.

Peter is a "Man" who has a "Wicked Heart" just like every other living human being. Remember Dan. It is "Peter" who opened [his] mouth, and said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons".

So the bible isn't exactly the word of God, it is the word of "Peter" and other men's opinions of God. That right there just proves it even more. Seems that the authors of the bible didn't do a very good job of covering their tracks.

Oh wait! They were inspired by God you say? Once again for the one millionth time, can you prove that Dan? Can you prove that these men were special and were appointed by God himself to write these words on paper (tablet)?

After all, why should we take their word for it since men are evil and wicked liars like "Stronger Now" keeps pointing out to you.

Dan Marvin Said: This means that because we are all fallen and because we are all sinners, the "fair" thing to do is to let us all go to hell.Fairness deals with what is right. Since it is only God who is holy and pure and right, and not us, it is perfectly fair that all of us sinners be judged and condemned by God."

Once again, that is a very twisted version of the meaning of what is fair. It would be like sending you or me to prison for the crimes of mass murderers like "Son of Sam" or "Ted Bundy". Even though I did not take the lives of those victims, I am somehow responsible.

Wait a minute! You say that Jesus paid for their sins? However, somehow according to Jesus, we are still responsible for sins that we did not physically commit.

God sure does like taking his anger and wrath out on everyone, even though he planted Satan in the garden of Eden, and chose to set Adam and Eve up for the fall. If your God is real, then we are all victims of an Unfair God who wants to make all of us pay for his own screw ups.

Then again, it's ok for him to do that to us, because he is a powerful being known as "God" so because he is "God" that is what makes it right. All because of these two things.

1) His name is spelled G-O-D

2) Because he can, and he is all powerful, so that makes his "Wrong Doings" Right.

God sure is into black mail, and framing human beings.

Dan Marvin Said: "So, yes it is fair that God loves one and hates another. It is not fair, however, that God would send His Son to die for us so that we might be saved. That wasn't fair."

It seems to me that God is the one who chose to commit suicide by having himself crucified. Just like he chose to create Satan, and place a stumbling block in the Garden of Eden. God seems to not only enjoying framing people, he also enjoys playing cruel jokes on us lowly humans.

Dan Marvin Said: "I guess the short answer, 'Jesus' is the reason I believe the Bible."

Allah is the reason why Muslims believe in "The Qur'an". What makes you think that "The Qur'an" is not an authentic book Dan? Doesn't it deserve any credibility?

Dan Marvin Said: "I have tremendous joy and peace during persecution, tribulations and temptations in my life knowing He is there for me, that we are not alone."

Yeah, having an imaginary friend can be a comforting thing. I wonder if you would feel the same way if you lost your whole entire family?

A lot of the same christians who claim the same thing you claim always claim this too, "I am happily married to a wonderful spouse and we have 2, 3, or 4 wonderful children".

However, I have known of christians who claimed the same thing, and when they lost their whole entire family, they turned on God. I think your spouse and your children are your "Real Strength". That is your "God".

Plus, if Jesus is all we need, why get married? If people get married then apparently Jesus wasn't enough.

Dan Marvin Said: "I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone! I wish... I... could share that... I wish, that everybody, if only for one... moment, could feel... that awe, and humility, and hope. But... That continues to be my wish."

Yeah, I wish you could to in all honesty, and it's too bad that God didn't provide a better way for you to share your proof.

After all, we are not supposed to take man's word for it. Man is a wicked liar, and for all we know, you are lying to us, or you are lying to yourself about what happened.

It's possible Dan, that something did happen to you like you described, however it's also possible that this same thing that you claim that is from God is just your imagination running wild.

WWDMD (What Would Dan Marvin Do) said...

Sorry that you took my post so serious ATF.

It was meant as "Sarcasm" and it was my way of making fun of Dan Marvin and his beliefs since he cannot logically answer questions.

So I decided to post a stupid answer that christians like to give.

For example, back when I was an active christian in church, I got all down and out with depression one night, and I called another christian brother of mine for comfort at 2'oclock in the morning. My situation was almost desperate at the time.

This wonderful "Holier Than Thou" Brother in Christ, told me not to ever call him that late again, and if I really need to talk to someone, then I should talk to God.

That is a prime example of the "Unrealistic Answers" that most christians give, and it is also their way of avoiding their own personal responsibility to minister to others.

I have found that most christians talk a good game, however that's all they do is talk. Their actions speak for themselves. They prove what hypocritcal assholes they are by their actions.

After all, the bible does teach that christians should hold other christians up. Unless you call them at 2'oclock in the morning. Seems God didn't want to be bothered at that time either.

stronger now said...

Mandy,

("I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it...yadda..yadda..yadda, ect.. ect...")


This is a quote from the movie/book CONTACT that Dan used to waste time. It was a work of fiction. Like the bible.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Mandy said...

Stronger Now,

Thanks for the info.

Noticed that Dan has not posted on here much today.

Maybe Dan is busy trying to find the answer to your question. lol!

pdwxm29 said...

MANY POSTED:
<<< Maybe Dan is busy trying to find the answer to your question. lol! >>>>

Speaking of looking for the answer to a question.

Dan, you still have not answered my two questions:

Question #1: Do you think Jesus might have been on that UFO that was involved in the "Roswell Crash of 1947", and that he was attempting his second coming.

2) Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald was a prophet sent here by God to shoot JFK in order for some type of biblical prophecy to be fulfilled for God's greater master plan?

I'm still waiting for your answer to both questions Dan. I'm getting impatient. *taps foot*

AtheistToothFairy said...

WWDMD (What Would Dan Marvin Do) wrote:
"Sorry that you took my post so serious ATF"

Tis okay WWDMD. The post was meant to entertain ALL, regardless whether you were serious or not.

>"Unless you call them at 2'oclock in the morning. Seems God didn't want to be bothered at that time either"

Darn, so that's the xtian secret....NEVER call on god while he's "resting"...who knew.
But wait, didn't god get all the "rest" he required, on that 7th day after his great creation?
I guess god is showing his old age now and needs more rest than he once did.

Okay xtians out there....What is a good time/day/month/year/century to wake up god for a small favor?
I never realized before that the reason god NEVER answers us, is because we have a terrible habit (not the nun habit, shezz) of bugging him while he's resting up in heaven.

I was thinking of inventing a Prayer Machine to solve this resting god problem.

You record your prayer and it will play it back to god every half hour, throughout the entire day. This way you can be sure god was awake and listening and caught your prayer at least once during the day.

This Prayer Machine comes with a lifetime guarantee to.
If god doesn't answer you back with a YES, NO, or WAIT, then I'll refund the purchase price back to you.

Sorry, but the shipping cost to/from heaven is not refundable.

Any takers????


ATF (who wonders what god dreams about when he's sleeping on the job?)

Can't Spell Christ Without Shit said...

I think the churches need to take up an offering to buy God a pager or a cell phone maybe.

ATF Said:
"I never realized before that the reason god NEVER answers us, is because we have a terrible habit (not the nun habit, shezz) of bugging him while he's resting up in heaven."

God has been asleep for centuries it would seem. Remember as far as God is concerned 1,000 years to us is like a 24 hour day to him, so I guess he's still in the middle of his sleep right now. That's why he doesn't answer us. He's not done sleeping yet. It's still in the middle of night up in heaven. Makes sense to me. Not even Dan Marvin could come up with that answer.

ATF Said:
"I guess god is showing his old age now and needs more rest than he once did."

Yeah, the old boy doesn't seem to be able to part seas or talk through burning bushes anymore. It comes with old age.

AtheistToothFairy said...

stronger now wrote:
"This is a quote from the movie/book CONTACT that Dan used to waste time. It was a work of fiction. Like the bible"
----
Stronger,

First off, good job on picking up that little bit of plagiarism from Dan the Man.

I know both the Contact movie and the novel, and while the book is quite different from the movie plot, they both are great works, but of FICTION; as you pointed out.

In looking at Dan's website today, I realized it's filled with xtian apologetic videos, most of which are lame.

One thing I've discovered in all the many xtian apologetics I've encountered, is that they tell half-truths, exaggerate, misquote, and sometimes flat out LIE, just to 'win souls over' to their god.

So it shouldn't surprise anyone that fundie Dan would 'borrow' those famous lines of the movie and imply to us that it was from his own strange experience.
If this wasn't truthful from Dan, what should we believe of his actual god experience he claims to have had.
I suspect whatever he would tell us would be either an emotional experience with no credible evidence to back it up, or just a flat out lie, in hopes of converting someone for his god.

I swear these fundies really believe that god will give them a special place in heaven, based on how many humans they convert to their own delusion.
What a shame we can't ask a non-existent god to inform them just how wrong they really are.


ATF (who see's xtians doing as they please, because they know their god will forgive just about anything they do on earth)

Passerby said...

You poor, poor people. He stated that it was from the movie Contact in brackets at the end of the quote.

I personally don't know why Dan quoted a movie in this thread when he should have known it would just get you all frenzied about the wrong thing. To help you understand, once you've been converted to God, there are many things in this world that move you about His creation. Sometimes even works of art by other men.

If you want to get frenzied about something, why don't you get frantic about the following words from your Creator:

shrivelled with your awakening, your eyes will be transfixed in Mine which will be like two Flames of Fire{Ap. 19:12} your heart then will look back on its sins and will be seized with remorse; you will, in great distress and agony suffer your lawlessness, realizing how you were constantly profaning My Holy Name and how you were rejecting Me, your Father .... panic-stricken, you will tremble and shudder when you will see yourself as a decaying corpse, devastated by worm and by vulture;

Believe these words or not, but either way you will meet your maker and we will all suffer our lawlessness unless we seek Jesus' help.

May the first fruits of the Spirit, fear and trembling, invade your soul. Once you fear the Lord and convert your will to His, His peace and joy will overwhelm you, yes, even hear on earth.

.:webmaster:. said...

Passerby is a mystical Roman Catholic? Well, I'll be damned! Is that you again Marc?

Here's where Passerby is quoting from: True Life in God.

If Dan Marvin deigns to come back, he'll find out that Passerby isn't a "True DM Christian™."

Of course, to Passerby, Dan is a heretic.

Religion is insanity.

stronger now said...

Passerby:"May the first fruits of the Spirit, fear and trembling, invade your soul."

Oh yeah. I'm scared shitless.

May the produce of a spooky scary ghostie, which is hysterical diarrhea, infest your own ghostie.

Jim Arvo said...

I have two simple questions for our intrepid visitors:

1) Can any one of you participate in an actual dialog?

2) Do any of you have a clue as to why we don't share your beliefs?

I would hope that an affirmative answer to the former would be accompanied by a good-faith effort (no pun intended) to answer questions that are put to you. I would also hope that an affirmative answer to the latter would be accompanied by a concise summary of your current understanding. (Hint: answers to the latter that assert how evil, ignorant, lazy, or depraved we all are will not receive full credit, and quoting scripture will automatically give you a score of zero for so badly missing the point.)

Here's one last question, which is clearly rhetorical for obvious reasons. If you cannot give affirmative answers to either of the above, would you mind taking your comments elsewhere? Thanks a bunch in advance.

alanh said...

So passerby, you believe Vassula Rydén speaks for god. Do you agree that the AIDS virus is divine justice? Do you think its OK to go along with god and hate atheists, since god "said" he loathes atheism?

reference from the TLIG site.

boomSLANG said...

You' gotta love it!!!!!...two, to three Christians, each claiming a monopoly on the One True Interpretation™ of their "Holy" book....mind you, the same "Holy" book.... yet, with blatant discordance and unceasing discrepancies in their regurgitated rhetoric.

Anyway, thank you, Theists!... for illustrating, perfectly, how religious belief is one giant subjective grab-bag!

Dave8 said...

Rita Mae Brown: "Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results."
Sudden Death, Bantam Books, New York, 1983, p. 68.

Apply that to the bible, reading it over and over, expecting to get the one "True Revelation/Meaning".

There hasn't been a different result, since the bible was canonized; it has as many meanings as people want to give it - it's arbitrary.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Passerby wrote:
"If you want to get frenzied about something, why don't you get frantic about the following words from your Creator:"
---
Passerby,
I can't oblige you, mainly because the supposed words of gullible fishermen and sheep herders, along with a Jesus who had delusions of grandeur, really don't get me into a frenzy.

Charles Manson also didn't get me into a frenzy either, but it seems he did have that effect on some weak-minded individuals who bowed down to his claims of divine glory.

Of course, you still haven't proven to anyone here that your buddy jesus ever lived, let alone was some god's human son, so I find it hard to work myself into a frenzy over a fable that has no more credibility than a good camp-fire horror story, or some late night chiller flick.

Passerby, most of us can realize that a camp fire scary story is just that, a story.

Most of us when watching a Dracula movie, don't really expect a blood thirsty vampire to show up in our living rooms after the movie is over and the tv set is turned off.
See, the general idea here is that one's mind understands the difference between fiction and reality and can avoid blending the two into one construct.

While a scary story or movie can leave one with residual feelings of fright, one's intellect should not conclude that just because we might FEEL a bit scared for a time, that the beast must also be real. Usually in a short time those scary feelings vanish and we are back into reality again and saw the experience as what it was meant to be, a fantasy thrill.

Perhaps you watched too many god movies in your life and the fiction of those movies has invaded your cognitive mind, like some "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" theme, but self- induced by your own overly-dynamic emotions instead.

It's quite obvious that your belief system is based on an addiction to the feelings it renders unto you. Just like any addict, you will invent excuses to justify your addiction, even lie to yourself, if need be. You will ignore any evidence that your addiction is hurting you, just to maintain those feel-good emotions you're hooked on.

Thus, no matter what counter evidence we provide you that shows your bible is wrong, that your god is cruel and inhumane, your mind can not allow such interference to override the 'fuel' to your sad addiction.

So, you just go right ahead and keep on living out your delusion that makes you FEEL so good inside. Keep up the pretense that your saviour is a real living entity and will save your sorry ass from your sci-fi hellfire.
Keep on hearing those whispering voices in your head, that you are sure is your god speaking to you-- with a bad case of laryngitis.

I will not crawl to your pretend god, anymore than you would crawl into the den of vampires.
Your god is as bloodthirsty as those pretend vampires.
The religious human leaders that sell you this addiction and then keep you addicted, are nothing more than vultures, feeding on the weak.

You better hurry and open your bible and read a few versus now, because I would hate any logic to interfere with your god addiction.


ATF (who thinks fundies, are much like sharks in a feeding frenzy)

Can't spell Christ without Shit said...

Poor Poor Passerby. You are truly a pathetic individual.

Passerby Said:
"Believe these words or not, but either way you will meet your maker and we will all suffer our lawlessness unless we seek Jesus' help."

Let me ask you a question Passerby, do you have a job? Do you even go outside your house? Or do you sit on your lazy butt all day on your computer proclaiming your "Out of date" ancient gospel.

Passerby Said:
"May the first fruits of the Spirit, fear and trembling, invade your soul."

Trying to put curses on us I see. So you would rather see us broken and have the successful and fruitful lives of people who finally managed to get away from whacko fundies like yourself.

You are like the rest of these idiots Passerby. You christians would rather see someone broken and miserable living for your "False God" instead of these same people living happy, healthy, and productive lives.

You know why you feel that way Passerby? Because seeing people who are living happy and productive lives outside of your "Jesus" is a threat to your belief. You Christians lie to everyone else including yourselves, that is not possible to be happy outside of Christ. But, when you find that not to be true, it scares you, because a happy non-believer shoots down your faith.

People like you have been preaching for centuries about how we are going to one day meet our maker, and how Jesus is coming back, and it never happens. The sun comes up and the sun goes down. Another day has passed, and your precious savior has once again failed to show back up on planet earth. I will continue to rub this in your face every time I see a post on here from you from now on.


Passerby Said:
"Once you fear the Lord and convert your will to His, His peace and joy will overwhelm you, yes, even hear on earth."

Already tried that. Are you too stupid to figure that out? Why should I repeat the same damn thing over when it gave me no results.

Tell me Passerby, if I was to once again submit myself to the "God" who you believe in, what would be different the next time, than what was different from the last time I was serving your God? I tell you what would be different, absolutely nothing.

A long time ago, when I was going to church on a regular basis and doing everything I could to serve God, praying, fasting, and seeking his will, I had lost total direction in my life. I didn't know how to do anything for myself anymore. I was only concerned with pleasing "God".

Then one day someone asked me this one simple question: "Enough about what God wants, What do you want? What does it take to make "You" happy? Let's think about it, because serving God is only making you miserable, and from what I can tell this "Christian Life" is making you miserable and you no longer know how to think for yourself."

That person was right. I hated living in bondage to your "God" and your beliefs and I got so sick and tired of people like you Passerby who kept telling me how I should live my life for Christ and forsake my own desires.

Well, I finally got control of my life again and told people like you to fuck off. I am also telling you to fuck off and mind your own goddamn business. I am not ashamed to tell you that your faulty faith sucks ass.

Passerby, why would I care about what some "Fart in the wind" invisible God wants. Following an invisible myth only did one thing for me. It kept me broke, and enslaved.

Unlike you Passerby, I know how to think for myself. You are a brain washed invalid who does not know how to think for oneself. I see you as a weakling. You are like a programmed robot.

I will not be enslaved to your God ever again. I now have control of my life again, and guess what? It feels damn good. So you and the rest of your christian friends will never take that away from me ever again. Go fuck yourself Passerby and mind your own business.

Most of all, get a job and get off of your lazy ass and go do something outside that is productive instead of proclaiming and preaching on the internet like the loser that you are. You do not impress me, nor does your God.

Nobody is going to listen to you Passerby, I think it is a shame that people like you try and try so hard to convince us that the christian way is the only way, but your precious Jesus doesn't even lend you a hand to back up your claim and make your case sound more convincing. You and Dan Marvin have been left here all by yourselves to defend him, and he doesn't even help you to convince people like me that your way is the right way.

Instead you just take away more and more credit from your God. Nobody takes you serious Passerby. You are a joke.

May the day come where you christians no longer have any say so in this country about how people choose to live their lives. May the day come where christians like yourself get thrown in prison for harassing others with your faith.

May the day come that you wake up and realize that your Jesus is not coming back and you have wasted your whole life being a useless bible thumper.

Can't Spell Christ Without Shit said...

I have a correction to make from my previous post.

FROM MY ORIGINAL POST TO PASSERBY:
"Trying to put curses on us I see. So you would rather see us broken and have the successful and fruitful lives of people who finally managed to get away from whacko fundies like yourself."

THIS IS WHAT I MEANT TO SAY:
Trying to put curses on us I see. So you would rather see us broken than have the successful and fruitful lives outside of Christ instead?

Passerby's salvation depends on us said...

Passerby Said:
"Believe these words or not, but either way you will meet your maker and we will all suffer our lawlessness unless we seek Jesus' help."

Wait a minute Passerby! You're on here preaching at us, yet you said that the rest of you will suffer along with us included, if we do not seek Jesus' help.

Sounds like you are going to burn in hell with the rest of us by the way you worded that above statement of yours.

Sounds like you got your gospel message mixed up.

If I was God, I would sue the christian church for slander.

Astreja said...

Passerby, thank you for, once again, reinforcing My decision to renounce Christianity.

And one good threat -- Um, 'blessing' -- deserves another.

May the fruits of your imagined Spirit rot to the core and fall away, so that you might have the opportunity to one day see the real world.

Life is short. Don't waste it by pretending that you'll live forever in the bosom of your ugly little god.

Passerby said...

CSCWS said: "Most of all, get a job and get off of your lazy ass and go do something outside that is productive instead of proclaiming and preaching on the internet like the loser that you are.:"

I'm an engineer and I have a family (yes, with children) and if I do say so myself, I'm still an okay athlete (for an old timer). Our family loves fitness so we enjoy the outdoors a great deal.

CSCWS said: "So you would rather see us broken than have the successful and fruitful lives outside of Christ instead?"

Never, it is the complete opposite that is being shared with you. I am not a broken man and personnally, I have never been truly fruitful until I desired God.

Acknowledging our sins does not break a man, it will make a man. Whatever sorrow of repentance a man is blessed to feel, he can be assured that Jesus will restore his peace & joy in due time.

NegroSan said...

Jesus is real and the Christian faith is true. I know this because God has been faithful in revealing Himself to me in dreams, visions and prophecy, just as is promised in the Bible.

I can see here that some of the "x-Christians" here have become quite brutal in their words. In regards to them, I say this to the Christians here:

give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
neither cast ye your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet,
and turn again and rend you. Matthew 7:6

This my friends, is exactly what has happened to you. These Dogs have turned and rended you.

As I was reading this, the Lord gave me a revelation. They are also described in Luke 12 45-46:

But and if that servant say in his heart,
My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin
to beat the menservants and maidens, and to
eat and drink, and to be drunken;

The lord of that servant will come in a day when
he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is
not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will
appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.


In conclusion, for the x-Christians here, we know we don’t have much empirical evidence, but we believe anyway. After all, the definition of faith is believing while not seeing. Therefore, to ask for proof is an oxymoron to faith. One either takes it or leave it. For me, my spiritual experiences after coming to faith is enough for me. God didn’t have to do any experience for me to continue in faith, but he has followed up WITH ME.

Also, what’s wrong with "feeling good"? Joy feels good. Happiness feels good. God's promises tend to feel good. What’s wrong with that?

Dan Marvin said...

Now NegroSan shows fruit of a True Christian...see the difference?

When NegroSan talked about Luke 12 it reminded me of something I just read today. Speaking of shadowy prophecies in the Bible, life itself is a shadowy reminder of our fate.

"In parts of Africa during the drought season, antelope are drawn by thirst to pools of muddy water. Without a drink they will die of dehydration. Hidden in the foul waters lie hungry and vicious crocodiles. The only thing visible in the water, to the discerning eye, is the naked eye of the monster as it watches the antelope's every movement.

Desire so consumes the antelope that they slowly venture to the water's edge and completely let down their God-given guard as they drink in the life-giving liquid. Instinct warns them of danger, but their unquenchable thirst drives them to the water. Suddenly, great jaws open and amid the splashing of water, an antelope is pulled to a terrifying death.

Likewise, sinners are drawn to the muddy pool if iniquity by their uncontrollable thirst for sin. The cries of their God-given conscience are muffled at the sight of what lies before them--their desire. Then in an instant, death seizes upon them and they are gone forever, swallowed by the jaws of everlasting Hell.

The Law reveals the crocodile before it attacks. As sinners drink in the muddy water of iniquidy, they suddenly see sin's terrible form, as it lies hidden in the pool. This is what Paul is speaking about in Romans 7:8-12. The Law showed him the appetite in the eye of the beast, causing him to draw back quickly from the pool of iniquity." (wotm)

You must resist the thirst for sinning and REPENT (Turn away from sin) and deny your body the desire to sin. Trust Jesus with your entire life, thirst for Him. Otherwise your fate will be exactly like those antelope.

Jim Arvo said...

NegroSan said "...we know we don’t have much empirical evidence, but we believe anyway."

Perfect. You believe for some reason other than evidence. Thank you for being completely up-front about that--not all believers are.

NegroSan said "God's promises tend to feel good. What’s wrong with that?"

There's nothing wrong with feeling good. If you want to believe something because it makes you feel good, I'm not going to try to stop you (unless I see that it may put someone in danger).

However, I do have an issue with you. You imply that we are "dogs" and "swine" simply because we do not hold to your theology. If you have no (or little) evidence, and you believe because it makes you feel good, is there some reason we are obliged to believe what you do? After all, you just admitted that you believe irrationally, did you not?

You're welcome to believe for whatever reasons you wish, but you ought not denigrate others for holding different beliefs if you have nothing of substance to support your view. Understand?

(By the way, you should probably look up "oxymoron".)

Jim Arvo said...

Dan said "Trust Jesus with your entire life, thirst for Him. Otherwise your fate will be exactly like those antelope."

Dan, we think your theology is bogus. Do you think that if you repeat it often enough it may begin to seem plausible to us? Please explain, because I can see no rational explanation for your behavior.

Dave8 said...

The Book of Mark (Twain):

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

"Go to heaven for climate; and hell for society."

"A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows."

The Book of Thomas (Paine):

"The declaration which says that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children...is contrary to every principle of moral justice."

"Accustom a people to believe that priests, or any other class of men, can forgive sins, and you will have sins in abundance."

Passerby said...

Dan said: "Now NegroSan shows fruit of a True Christian...see the difference?"

Are you saying that I am not? I hope not, considering that you already know that I fear and love our Lord.

If a man believes in what was revealed by our Lord and by grace fears and loves Him, I consider this man a true Christian. Despite this fact, there are no perfect Christians and we all know that not all Christians have accepted the fullness of the Truth. Hence the miriad of sects which is a terribly sad state for God's Church on earth. Jesus is at work in His Church and I fully believe that He will return us all to unity someday...on earth as it it in Heaven.

In the cases of Christians that may not have accepted the fullness of Truth, I certainly believe that many of them are members of God's Church. It depends on what they have and have not accepted...God knows man's heart. As I've said in a previous post, I worry for those that deny Jesus' divinity yet believe in Jesus. For my sake, I put my faith in His written word and the Extraordinary (or Solemn) Magisterium of the Church.

Peace.

NegroSan said...

>However, I do have an issue with you. You imply that we are "dogs" and "swine" simply because we do not hold to your theology.

No, not everyone of you, just the ones that want to jump on every word important to us; not for dialogue, but only for abuse.

>After all, you just admitted that you believe irrationally, did you not?

Well, yes I did. However, I am not sure what you mean by "irrationally" as the word, used irresponsibly, can sometimes mean "foolish", as in the pejorative sense. I am going to assume you mean it in the purer sense of the word which simply means "without evidence" AS FAR AS THE MIND IS CONCERNED.

I will explain further. So lets take love. My wife tells me all the time that she loves me. Now I have no way to empirically test that love in a way that would prove it to my mind. So in a sense I have simply trust and place my faith in her. Is it foolish for me to do so? No. Becuase like love, faith is taking a chance where our mind do not know and cannot know. Humans are born to take chances. And like love, faith dwells in the realm of the heart. And I dont know anyone who loves a person with their mind.

>By the way, you should probably look up "oxymoron

What do you mean? Faith is oxymoronic to evidence(as far as the mind is concerned)!

And what can I tell you, I am a moron :)

Jim Arvo said...

NegroSan: "No, not everyone of you, just the ones that want to jump on every word important to us; not for dialogue, but only for abuse."

Then may I suggest that you address your criticisms toward specific comments that you believe fall into this category? Broad brushes are seldom justified (except, perhaps, when painting a large flat surface).

NegroSan: "I am going to assume you mean it [the word "irrational"] in the purer sense of the word which simply means "without evidence" AS FAR AS THE MIND IS CONCERNED."

Yes, that's essentially how I intended it.

NegroSan: "And like love, faith dwells in the realm of the heart. And I dont know anyone who loves a person with their mind."

I'd say just the opposite. As all emotions are rooted in brain function, and love is an emotion (albeit a complex one), it's definiteley a product of the brain. The "heart", as you've used it, is simply a metaphor for feelings, beliefs, etc. that are not open to conscious introspection. They don't literally reside in some organ other than the brain. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Astreja said...

Negrosan: "I can see here that some of the "x-Christians" here have become quite brutal in their words."

Yes. True Christians™ kick down the door to our little corner of the Web, shit in our larder, and then have the unmitigated gall to tell us how to live our lives.

If someone tried an abusive, invasive stunt like that in My physical residence, I would have no compunctions whatsoever about throwing them bodily down a flight of stairs, then calling the police and having them arrested for B&E. The anger level is exactly the same, but on the Internet all I can do is swear.

"As I was reading this, the Lord gave me a revelation."

Já, right.

"Also, what’s wrong with 'feeling good'?"

Nothing. Nothing at all. It just so happens that Christianity does not make *us* feel good. Quite the opposite. Many of us are suffering from chronic stress as a result of our encounters with Christianity. When someone comes in here to preach to us, it opens very old and very deep wounds, then rubs salt in them. Can you put aside your beliefs long enough to emphasize with this?

"In conclusion, for the x-Christians here, we know we don’t have much empirical evidence, but we believe anyway."

Fine. But go "believe" somewhere else, please. Like it or not, you *are* an intruder here and we will deal with you accordingly.

NegroSan said...

>Then may I suggest that you address your criticisms toward specific comments that you believe fall into this category?

I did. I addressed it to, and I quote, "some of the "x-Christians" here have become quite brutal in their words."

Second, the phrase was not directed even to the aforementioned pigs and dogs, per se, the statement itself was to the Christians who commented on this board.

>As all emotions are rooted in brain function ..They don't literally reside in some organ other than the brain. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The truth is, I dont know, and neither do you. The universe is filled with many things, that are in apparent contridiction and indeed, unknowable. Take for example, the nature of space itself. It is either standing still, or expanding. But how can it do either? For if it expands, what is it expanding into? If it is not expanding, what is beyond its borders?

Astreja:

>Many of us are suffering from chronic stress as a result of our encounters with Christianity.

Now I am curious, please elaborate..

>Can you put aside your beliefs long enough to emphasize with this?


Well perhaps I could if I knew what was going on, but all we get are curses!

>you *are* an intruder here and we will deal with you accordingly

No we are not. You know full well that Christians would come here and speak. It is next to un-avoidable. When I look at this blog, I dont see any of you "sharing your pain", so to speak. You know full well that you enjoy cussing at and "getting back at Christianity" by trashing us.

boomSLANG said...

Negro': So lets take love. My wife tells me all the time that she loves me. Now I have no way to empirically test that love in a way that would prove it to my mind. So in a sense I have simply trust and place my faith in her. Is it foolish for me to do so? No. Becuase like love, faith is taking a chance where our mind do not know and cannot know.

This time-worn analogy---the "you can't prove love" analogy---is inapt in this application, as it is every time theists attempt it. Yes, your wife might tell you daily that she "loves you". However, "love" is more than a noun; love is a verb, as well...and yes, it'd be irrational to stick around, based only on her utterance of the word "love"---meaning, if she never ever demonstrated this love with physical(empirical) action(s), you'd have every rational reason to call that "love" into question. No "faith" required in this application, that is, unless one is scared of an undesired truth of the matter...i.e..if you have evidence that your signifigant other is having an affair, then "just have faith" that they are not.

Negro': Humans are born to take chances. And like love, faith dwells in the realm of the heart. And I dont know anyone who loves a person with their mind.

When you say "dwells in the heart", I take it you are speaking metaphorically for using one's intuition, as opposed to saying that we make choices/guesses with our cardiovascular organs, correct? If so--if the former is correct--then we know that "intuition" is a function of the human brain. A person with a defective brain, whether due to disease, or injury, cannot use "intuition". Testing can reveal this.

NegroSan said...

>However, "love" is more than a noun; love is a verb, as well...

This is equivocation - You changed the meaning of the word away from my original intent. It is obvious that for the purposes of my example, that I am referring to the feeling only, as in the noun. There is no point talking about as a verb aspect because thats besides the point.

Look, when I was in my 20's, many of my friends used to do all the verb actions of of "love" to get sex, and were very convincing - even to me. The women were convinced by the evidence and gave in. But the truth is, these women were completely clueless as TO THE REAL INTENTIONS of these men. Whether you say brain or I say heart is really besides the point again. The point is, there is simply no way to prove empirically the intentions in someone's brain. NO WAY!!!

>meaning, if she never ever demonstrated this love with physical(empirical) action(s), you'd have every rational reason to call that "love" into question

And what if the spouse is an invalid - incapable of movement or words, what then?


>When you say "dwells in the heart", I take it you are speaking metaphorically for using one's intuition

No, why would you think that. Obviously, I am a believer in something more than just the physical. I can't prove it empirically, but I took it on faith.


>A person with a defective brain, whether due to disease, or injury, cannot use "intuition".

That could be true, but I am not convinced. Even if it is, the brain is the interface to the physical world for the spirit. If the interface is broken, the it would stand to reason that the spirit would be limited due to the faulty interface.

Astreja said...

Negrosan: "Now I am curious, please elaborate."

Read the Ex-timonies. Read the deconversion stories of people who suddenly realized that they had wasted large portions of their lives. Read about the unanswered prayers, the hostility of family members, financial hardships, psychological abuse, despair.

"You know full well that Christians would come here and speak. It is next to un-avoidable. When I look at this blog, I dont see any of you "sharing your pain", so to speak."

Then you didn't look very hard. Read. The. Ex-timonies.

"You know full well that you enjoy cussing at and "getting back at Christianity" by trashing us."

Speaking for Myself, I consider Christianity to be obscene, idiotic and destructive to society. In particular, I'm enraged by the thought of believers indoctrinating innocent children with barbaric ideas such as Hell and Original Sin. So yes, I do attack Christianity directly.

I, Myself, tend to hold expletives in reserve until a visitor attacks our community.

Unfortunately, that usually happens in someone's first post. Saying "You were never a True Christian™ is a hostile act, because it's a blatant attempt to nullify our personal experiences. Needless to say, we also look with disfavour upon threats of hellfire (including regurgitations of Pascal's Wager), and, um...

...calling someone a 'pig' or a 'dog'.

Ahem. You say something like that and still expect us to take you seriously? Just go away.

NegroSan said...

>Ahem. You say something like that and still expect us to take you seriously? Just go away.

Yes, I know you hate Christians and want us to go away (I believe you are the one who said you wish you could throw us in prison?). But we won't do that.

As for NT "pig" or "dog" quote to other Christians, I stand by the it.

.:webmaster:. said...

When Christians use the Sermon on the Mount to call unbelievers dogs and swine, they are taking the verse out of context.

Check it out: Matt 7:3-10: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

It's painfully clear to anyone reading this section that believers are being admonished not to judge others, not to get into bickering fights and arguments with others, to treat other people with dignity and respect, etc., etc., etc. There is not one hint of rebuke against unbelievers in this passage. The passage is entirely directed at believers.

Using this passage as a weapon toward unbelievers is convenient, but erroneous. Quite frankly, every Christian who tosses out the "dogs and swine" passage at unbelievers is playing the hypocrite. They are doing the exact opposite of what is directed here, supposedly by their man-god.

No matter what you think that verse means, it is a command to the Christian to stop acting like Dan Marvin. It is not a weapon to be used by Christians against those who reject the religion.

.:webmaster:. said...

En'ner Sam wrote: "No we are not. You know full well that Christians would come here and speak. "

Please read the site disclaimer. You indeed are a guest here. This site was not created so you would have a place to preach. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of Christian sites where you would be welcome to wallow in your religion and pat your fellow believers on the back for having "The one and only super-duper religious Truth™."

Jim Arvo said...

NegroSan,

If you want to make a point, you'll need to be specific. Why must we guess at what you consider to be "brutal" and which remarks you might be referring to?

NegroSan said "The truth is, I dont know [that all emotions are rooted in brain function], and neither do you."

That's correct, I do not know in an absolute sense. However, the empirical evidence is overwhelming and unequivocal; injure the brain, or change its chemistry, and you can dramatically alter emotional responses. Even one's perception of what is self and non-self, left vs. right, etc. is all linked to basic brain function. Can you cite some aspect of cognition or human behavior that is demonstrably independent of brain function?

NegroSan said "It [space] is either standing still, or expanding. But how can it do either? For if it expands, what is it expanding into? If it is not expanding, what is beyond its borders?"

I will grant you that there are numerous facts about the world that are radically counterintuitive--quantum mechanics is full of those. However, the reasoning you just presented is nonsensical. You imagine all of space embedded in more space (i.e. what it is expanding into or what is "beyond" it). That's a common misconception.

boomSLANG said...

Negro': This is equivocation - You changed the meaning of the word away from my original intent.

Your original "intent" was to compare a non-verifiable abstract concept..i.e.."God", to "love", which is not altogether a non-verifiable abstract concept.

negro': It is obvious that for the purposes of my example, that I am referring to the feeling only, as in the noun

Yes, "feeling", only(to make your analogy "work").

Okay, are you saying that you only have a "feeling" that "God" exists, then?.... and that you have a "feeling" that this "God" is none other than "Jesus"? Yes? Alrighty, then how do you validate your "feeling" over, say, a Muslim who also has a "feeling" that "God" exists, but they instead "feel" that this this "God" is none other than "Allah"? "Faith" VS "Faith". Listening.

negro': There is no point talking about [love] as a verb aspect because [that's] besides the point.

Yes, but you've attempted to illustrate your "point" with a crippled analogy. In doing so, you are short-changing the concept of "love" by setting limits on it's meaning.... and in turn, you've failed to make a fair comparison. You'll have to do better. Can you?

Astreja said...

Negrosan: "Yes, I know you hate Christians and want us to go away (I believe you are the one who said you wish you could throw us in prison?). But we won't do that."

I can't take credit for the 'throw us in prison' quote. That was CSCWS's work.

And, if I read that quotation correctly, CSCWS doesn't want people imprisoned for their beliefs, but for abusing and harassing other people. Big difference.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Negro San Said "Humans are born to take chances. And like love, faith dwells in the realm of the heart. And I dont know anyone who loves a person with their mind"

Boom then asked:
"When you say "dwells in the heart", I take it you are speaking metaphorically for using one's intuition, as opposed to saying that we make choices/guesses with our cardiovascular organs, correct?"

NegroSan replied:
"No, why would you think that.
Obviously, I am a believer in something more than just the physical. I can't prove it empirically, but I took it on faith".....
"The truth is, I dont know [that all emotions are rooted in brain function], and neither do you."
---------

To all:

I've been surprised time and time again that many modern day xtians still won't accept evolution, still believe in the great flood and Noah's ark, still believe in all the miracles the bible makes claim to, but I really never thought I'd see one that still thought the heart organ was responsible for emotions like love and faith.

After reading Boom's and Jim's replies to NegroSan, I think I see a perhaps more simplified way to make your points to him.
So Boom/Jim, forgive me for butting in here, but I thought this idea might help a bit in this discussion.


To NegroSan:

Let's suppose your theory is correct and that faith and love are 'connected' to one's heart somehow and not just our brains alone.

So what you're implying (I assume), is that when a person gets a heart-transplant, that this should be a major problem in how it affects that person's love or faith emotions.

Thus, if Jack is very much in love with Jill and also loves his mother, sister, and father, then if we replace Jack's heart with the heart from his dead close friend named John Doe, then Jack's ability to feel love for his wife Jill, would be at least impaired?

Jack might also now have problems even loving his mother, sister and father as well.
Jack might now feel love for the living wife of John Doe, because John loved his wife from his HEART and now Jack has John's heart.

Jack's former faith in god might be compromised now as well, for John was an atheist and didn't have any faith in Jack's god.

While I'm sure many people, who undergo something traumatic as a heart transplant, might also undergo some emotional changes from that experience, I doubt you can prove that their new hearts now give them the emotions of the donor, rather than their own emotions they had before the operation?

Many organs are transplanted these days, and I've not see a single study that showed someone's love for their spouse suddenly vanished when they received the heart from another, nor do we hear that they suddenly find themselves in love with someone totally new either; at least not more than the normal statistical deviation of the general population would dictate about such new found loves etc..


So I suppose we'll just have to say that this is your personal belief, based on nothing but faith, as you have less proof for this belief than xtians have for their bible god.
At least xitans have a book they can point to, churches built in this god's name, but what do you have NegroSan, to base this idea that love and faith are connected to a blood pumping muscle?
Is your evidence for this being true, because the bible say's "heart" and not brain when it speaks of such emotions, and therefore if god said "heart", he must have meant one's physical heart?

Oh, and would a heart attack that kills off some of the heart muscle, also result in some change to one's ability to love or have faith....just curious if one can still feel those things properly, with say one-half a working heart left?


ATF (who is totally amazed that we surely have a time traveler here in our presence, that came to us from the era of the witch-hunts)

NegroSan said...

>Your original "intent" was to compare a non-verifiable abstract concept..i.e.."God", to "love", which is not altogether a non-verifiable abstract concept.

Nope. I wasn't arguing the "verifiability" of the of anything, including God. My whole post is simply on the need for and usefulness of faith in everyday life and how human it is. On the contrary, I was speaking on the other "un-verifiable" things in life, such as love, and the need for faith.

Why was I talking about faith? Well, it wasn't to prove God. It is because some of the people on the board here are upset that the bible wanted them, as believers, to have faith in something we can't verify. And it says that upfront - why get mad later?

>then how do you validate your "feeling" over, say, a Muslim who also has a "feeling" that "God" exists,

You know, in the past, when people would bring up other faiths and so on, I would fall for it. Somehow, I would end up in a rabbit hole arguing things that are simply beyond the scope of the discussion. Then I realized the absurdity of it. Look, we are talking here, about me and what I think, not anyone else. I can't speak for or answer for any other person or faith system.

it's like this: if you said to me "I have faith that my gf loves me and we will get married". And I said "that's dumb of you boomslang; what about all those other people who thought their gf's loved them, got married, and ended up divorced"? I mean, what do you say?

>you've attempted to illustrate your "point" with a crippled analogy. In doing so, you are short-changing the concept of "love" by setting limits on it's meaning

It doesn’t matter what you think love is - all that matters is the way I use it in MY analogy. And for the record, the word is used legitimately as a noun or a verb. See websters.com

Jim Arvo said...

NegroSan said "My whole post is simply on the need for and usefulness of faith in everyday life and how human it is."

As with nearly every discussion on "faith", it's unclear what, exactly, we're talking about. If you are using "faith" to mean acting on or believing something without complete information, then yes, of course, we all do that. Every living organism must do that to survive. However, the practical necessity of making decisions on partial information is not an argument for why those decision are correct. If you say that you have faith that someone loves you, that's not proof that they love you; it's an affirmation of your wish, and an admission that you do not (and perhaps cannot) know for sure.

In the context of religion, I define "faith" to be a conviction that is more strongly held than reason and the available evidence warrants. While we perhaps all are guilty of this from time to time, I see no reason to view this as desirable. In fact, I think society is far better served if its members strive to keep convictions grounded in reason and evidence. Imagine the strife that could be avoided if this were the norm.

So, I would need to be convinced that 1) having "faith" in something is positively correlated with that thing being true, and 2) holding convictions that exceed their logical warrant is a good thing.

NegroSan said "You know, in the past, when people would bring up other faiths and so on, I would fall for it..."

Here is why the "faith" of other people is relevant. The world is filled with people who claim to "know" of various deities and invisible unverifiable realms. Can we agree that very many of them are wrong? After all, each religion posits a different deity, and different properties of this other world. Each religion, in effect, claims that each other religion is wrong (well, except for Hinduism). What this tells me is that faith is a terrible way to "know" something--that it's more a projection of what the person thinks or wants than a glimpse of something objectively so.

Therefore, it's a perfectly legitimate question: Why is YOUR faith reliable, but the faith of billions of other people not?

Dan Marvin said...

Passerby "Are you saying that I am not? I hope not, considering that you already know that I fear and love our Lord.

No of course not. Sorry if it sounded like that. What I was saying is the difference between the foul mouthed unsaved and the care of the truly saved. One can plainly see the Fruit of the Spirit - An ever-growing capacity of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control in the life of the believer. We also see truth in the Fruit of Righteousness - Doing the right thing according to the way God defines it in his word. Not according to the way man defines it in his own mind.

We are here to get fruit bearing Christians not decisions for Christ to fill pews.

I will point out one thing though, Passerby. I am not saying this is you, because I don't know you well enough, I am just making a point here. I remember though when you said:

Passerby: "He loves you beyond comprehension and truly is a good and gentle Father, he seeks your will, not your ruin."

We must not give the gospel until the soil is ready for the seed. Yes he is gentle but only to the saved, right? For the wicked they will meet a very different God, one that is of justice and they will see God's wrath they stored up in their sinning (transgressing of God's Laws)

"A blind sinner is unwittingly headed for the edge of a thousand-foot cliff. A modern evangelist draws alongside him and says, " Blind man, I am going to give you a wonderful gift that will give you peace." He then hands him a CD player and adjusts some earphones over his ears. The sightless man hears "Amazing Grace" being sung by a choir of ten thousand voices. His unseeing eyes widen with delight. He smiles and says, "What you said is true. This is truly wonderful. Thank you very much." He shakes the man's hand, turns up the volume and his new gift, and continues walking towards the thousand-food cliff.

What has the modern evangelist done? He has failed to awaken the blind sinner to his true plight. Instead, he has given him false peace. Now not only is the blind man still heading towards a horrible death, but he is deaf towards any further verbal warning. The message of peace has done him an unspeakable disservice.

Millions of people have been given 'assurance of salvation,' yet they are strangers to biblical repentance. The Law has never awakened them. They have never been warned to turn from the cliffs of eternal destruction. Now because of the techniques of contemporary evangelism, their ears are deaf to the true message of salvation." (wotm)

If we understand the parable in Mark 4:3-13 then it unlocks the secret to all parables: Foolish virgin=false convert, Wise virgin=Genuine conversions. The good fish, the bad fish. The man who built his house on rock and the man who built his house on sand. The one who built his house on sand is the one who hears the word of Jesus but doesn't keep them. False Convert.

One evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it.

Have you lied ever? (9th Commandment), Stolen anything ever? (8th Commandment). Well then you are wicked and deserve hell, but it is the grace of God that allows us to be saved and not perish. That is how much God loves you. I love you enough to tell you the truth. It takes far more love to confront then to ignore the situation, perfect love is a constant confronter. I hope you all see the power of God's Grace someday before it is too late. The end times are near and I want to hug all of you in heaven someday and I will pray for that to to come to fruition.

boomSLANG said...

Brain-washed, obstinate, self-righteous True Christian™ is back, and asks:

Have you lied ever? (9th Commandment)

Lol! Um, you recently "lied" when you said that "NOTHING" is required for "salvation". Tsk, tsk. LIAR.

Dan Marvin said...

boomSLANG,

I said (and/or meant whichever you prefer) that salvation is complete in Christ and that nothing more is required for salvation. What is required of us is repentance and faith but I never meant "We" didn't have to do anything. Salvation is complete the GIFT is for our taking. Like a present all wrapped up with a bow, it is Complete.

There is nothing more that needs to be done with that gift but to give it to us. We must repent and trust to receive that gift that is already complete and wrapped up with a pretty bow. Your logic is flawed when you say that I lied about that. The gift is complete but you have to open the box to get the gift, right!

NOW GO OPEN THAT BOX!

Jim Arvo said...

Dan said "One evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it."

I suppose you could I say I "oppose" the Bible in that I do not view it as being anything more than an invention of humans, just like every other purported holy book. By your comment above, then, I gather that you thereby claim to know something about my character. If that is correct, please expand on that if you would. I'm curious to hear what you think you know about me from the mere fact that I do not share your view of the Bible.

Also, Dan, you've yet to address a single thing I've written (unless I've missed it). If you are so eager to spread your theology, why do you refuse to enter into a dialog? As I'm sure you've gathered by now, nobody here is going to adopt your beliefs simply because you espouse them. You need to demonstrate that they stand up to critical examination. Are you not willing to do that?

I must admit that your behavior is inscrutable to me--I don't see how you expect to accomplish anything.

boomSLANG said...

In regards to Negrosan's "love = Faith" analogy, I previously commented:

"Your original 'intent' was to compare a non-verifiable abstract concept..i.e..'God', to 'love', which is not altogether a non-verifiable abstract concept."

Negro' responds:

Nope. I wasn't arguing the "verifiability" of the of anything, including God. My whole post is simply on the need for and usefulness of faith in everyday life and how human it is. On the contrary, I was speaking on the other "un-verifiable" things in life, such as love, and the need for faith.

Nope, I beg your pardon... I never said that your objective was to "verify" anything. AGAIN, I merely pointed out that your attempt to equate "love" with "Faith", as in, we blindly trust our feelings when it comes to "love", is faulty and completely erroneous thinking... and thus, your analogy is crippled. Repeat--crippled..i.e., it fails to make your intened premise. Lump it.

Negro' goes on...Why was I talking about faith? Well, it wasn't to prove God. It is because some of the people on the board here are upset that the bible wanted them, as believers, to have faith in something we can't verify. And it says that upfront - why get mad later?

Why get mad? Okay, I'm sure the reasons are many, and that they vary from individual to individual---but for now, here's one reason off the top of my head: Because, as we speak, people are killing each other over which "Faith" is the One True Faith™. Now, since you readily admit that "Faith" is NOT verifiable with empirical means, this poses a real problem for people of "Faith", as well as the rest of us bystanders. Again, once you accept information on "Faith", the possibilites are literally endless...while of course, at the same time, you'd like us to believe that "Truth" is limited ONLY to what Negrosan has "Faith" in.

Now, do you think you can concentrate hard enough/long enough to see the conflict/contradiction/circularity in that 'reasoning'? If you cannot see it, and/or, if you refuse to admit it, that's another reason why some of us are "mad". 'Get it?

I previously inquired: "..then how do you validate your 'feeling' over, say, a Muslim who also has a 'feeling' that 'God' exists.."

Negro' attempts...You know, in the past, when people would bring up other faiths and so on, I would fall for it. Somehow, I would end up in a rabbit hole arguing things that are simply beyond the scope of the discussion. Then I realized the absurdity of it. Look, we are talking here, about me and what I think, not anyone else. I can't speak for or answer for any other person or faith system.

Good grief!... what a utter f%cking cop-out. You've said a whole ass-load of nothing, only to circumvent my entire point. Very clever. Yes, yes!..it's an "absurdity" that I would take what you are implicitly pimping as objective Truth, and apply to other people. Duh?

Negro', and more analogies:

it's like this: if you said to me "I have faith that my gf loves me and we will get married". And I said "that's dumb of you boomslang; what about all those other people who thought their gf's loved them, got married, and ended up divorced"? I mean, what do you say?

I say you don't have clue when it comes to the word "love". Obviously, marriages are not made soley based on the utterance, "I love you". It takes incredible amounts of "follow-up"...i.e...action.

Negr-oh: It doesn’t matter what you think love is - all that matters is the way I use it in MY analogy. And for the record, the word is used legitimately as a noun or a verb. See websters.com

I'm led to think that you must have a slight reading comprehension problem---that, or a touch of A.D.D. Look---do you see in the above statement where I alluded to "love" being an "action"??? Um, that would be a verb...furthermore, I pointed out the fact that "love" was both a "noun" as well as a "verb"(action word) earlier in the discussion, and you'd have no part of it. Waffle much?

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan Marvin wrote: "Foul mouthed unsaved" and "One evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it."

Dan, excuse me, but you really don't know any of us to be that rude. However, your god is imaginary, existing only in your mind. As much as you want to self-justify your rudeness, the only real reason you are upset is because we have concluded that your religion is crap.

I didn't say you were crap, Dan. But your religion? Crap.

Besides, your free-will Arminian version of Christianity is heretical and will send you to hell. Return to Calvinism, Dan!

boomSLANG said...

Brain-washed, obstinate, self-righteous True Christian™: I said (and/or meant whichever you prefer) that salvation is complete in Christ and that nothing more is required for salvation.[bold added to point out deception later on]

Uh huh..right, so again, does "nothing" mean nothing..i.e..not-a-thing?

Let's see...

B.W.O.S.R.T.C™: What is required of us is.....(CUT!!!!)

Quote: "nothing is required"!!!

LIAR!

B.W.O.S.R.T.C™: Salvation is complete the GIFT is for our taking. Like a present all wrapped up with a bow, it is Complete.

...::yawn::

Aaaw, how adorable!...a nice "gift". Yet, if you don't accept it, you get incinerated. How "loving". Thanks "God".

Dan Marvin said...

boomSLANG "Yet, if you don't accept it, you get incinerated."

Now, now, don't be misleading!

You will burn in the lake of fire for transgression of God's Laws.

You, being a Law breaker deserve justice as any lawbreaker should, right?

You wonder why people don't address you? You are being difficult, just to be difficult along with all of your presuppositions. You are not actually serious about your fate. We care enough about you to try our very best to turn you away from that cliff you are heading towards.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan,

I saw this! This was an episode on SG1. Those who refused to surrender their brain and bow to the ORI would be mercilessly incinerated. Those who bowed would be patted on the back for accepting the free gift of the ORI.

Your religion certainly does promote AMAZING grace.

Is amazing synonymous with bizarre?

stronger now said...

Hey Boom! Welcome to the "Dan Marvin said I'm just being difficult" club. I'm thinking about getting T-shirts made.

Seems he's the one that's being difficult, not answering questions an all. Seriously!

Dan Marvin said...

I'll take one XL and one L

are there any kids sizes?

:)

Astreja said...

Dan, you're as 'unsaved' as the rest of us. The Jesus Bus is not going to save you from the oblivion of death, no matter how many tickets you buy.

stronger now said...

Sure dan! Just be so kind as to give me your credit card information.....

J. C. Samuelson said...

Not to sound like a broken record, but just in case Dan missed this, I'd still be interested in his answer:

Dan,

If you would, please answer the following very simple question.

1. Are you willing to admit to any possibility that you may be wrong about both God and the Bible?

It goes almost without saying that you are convinced you're correct, so to be clear that's not what I'm asking. What I'm trying to learn is whether you still consider yourself bound by the limits of human intellect and understanding or if you believe you've been so suffused with the Holy Spirit that your words are no longer yours but your God's.

Thanks.

Dan Marvin said...

JC "Are you willing to admit to any possibility that you may be wrong about both God and the Bible?"

I am not wrong and I am 100% sure of that because of my experience. (remember the 'Hot Iron" analogy)

Is it possible I could be wrong? NO, it isn't even possible at this point of what I experienced. My words are my own they are not of God if that is what you meant.

Jesus manifested Himself many times to me as promised in John 14:21

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan,

I don't want to guess at the point of JC's question, but it seems to me that if you acknowledge that your thoughts and words are merely your own and not "ex cathedra," then your thoughts and ideas should still be subject to error, right? If you are the genuine article (fanatical fundamentalist), and not just a sock puppet then you're an interesting study in self-aggrandizing religious delusion.

Unfortunately, I've known others just like you. My father-in-law is convinced that god speaks directly to him in an audible voice. He told me once that god helped him fix the plumbing by giving him detailed audible directions, for instance. He's also mean as shit and has alienated his adult children, threatening them with hell for their worldly ways. Oh, and did I add, he was a missionary in Europe for 40 years?

I hope you're just a sock puppet, Dan. Otherwise, I pity your poor wife and children. Ultimately, however, it is you who will require the pity when they all leave you.

Dan Marvin said...

Textual reliability of the ancient document.

The New Testament documents are 99.5% textually pure. This is indeed an extraordinary fact since all other ancient documents do not even approach this level of accuracy.

Retention of crucifixion wounds post event.

This would indeed be an extraordinary evidence of a resurrection to see the actual holes in Jesus' hands and side after he had died on the crossJohn 20:27, "Then He *said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing."

Post death appearances to many people.

It is indeed extraordinary to have someone who has died in public at an execution to appear to many people afterwards.John 20:26, "And after eight days again His disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, "Peace be with you." Prophetic fulfillment
Fulfilling prophecies made hundreds of years earlier about Jesus birth, death, crucifixion, and resurrection is indeed extraordinary.

Accounts written by eyewitnesses.

It is perfectly ordinary to have people write about what they saw. History is full of such accounts.

No counter historic information.

There is no contradictory historical information concerning Jesus' resurrection. This doesn't prove anything, but when the gospels were written, people contemporary to the described events (Jews, Romans, etc.), could have easily written something refuting or correcting the resurrection account. No such writings exist. This isn't extraordinary, but it is important.

Jesus body is gone from the tomb.

We can see that there is sufficient reasons to believe that the Bible does indeed provide extraordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim; namely, the resurrection of Jesus.

With some help from Christian apologetics, here are the points why we should believe in Christianity instead of other religions:

1. There are such things as absolute truths

2. Religions contradict each other; therefore, they cannot all be true.

3. Fulfilled Prophecy concerning Jesus

4. The Claims and Deeds of Christ

5. Christ's resurrection

Why should anyone trust in Christianity over Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, or anything else? It is because there are absolute truths, because only in Christianity is there accurate fulfilled prophecies of a coming Messiah. Only in Christianity do we have the extremely accurate transmission of the eyewitness documents (gospels) so we can trust what was originally written. Only in Christianity do we have the person of Christ who claimed to be God, performed many miracles to prove His claim of divinity, who died and rose from the dead, and who said that He alone was the way the truth and the life. All this adds to the legitimacy and credibility of Christianity above all other religions -- all based on the person of Jesus. If follows that if it is all true about what Jesus said and did, then all other religions are false because Jesus said that He alone was the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). It could not be that Jesus is the only way and truth and other religions also be the truth.

Either Jesus is true and all other religions are false or other religions are true and Jesus is false. There are no other options. I choose to follow the risen Lord.

Dan Marvin said...

webmaster"If you are the genuine article (fanatical fundamentalist), and not just a sock puppet then you're an interesting study in self-aggrandizing religious delusion."

I am not a sock puppet. I for one do NOT believe God speaks to us in audible words. That is not to say He doesn't because He did in the OT. He at least hasn't to me.

We were talking about this in the past and a couple of Christians posted some ways God speaks to them. Here is what they said:

So how does God speak to me? In no particular order:
1) Through scripture.
2) Through nature (the big things and the small).
3) Through other Xians.
4) Through other people (all truth is God breathed).
5) Through impressions in my Spirit.
6) Through dreams (very rarely in my case).
7) With an audible voice (extremely rare in my case).
8) Through seeing things with my eyes that are not actually present in the physical world (rare, but it has happened).
9) Some things I just "know" without having perceived them.
10) Through miracles.
11) Through peace, joy etc. (deeper tham mere emotion).
12) Through things I have written.
13) Through science, mathematics, philosophy.
14) Through all expressions of love.
15) Through reason.
16) In music, especially (but not exclusively) gospel / worship music.

Another answered like this:

I do not know How He is speaking with you.

He speaks to me most often in
1.syncronicities…
2.impossible "coincidences"…
3.things that oddly catch my attention…
4.unfolding chains of events
5. SYMBOLS symbolisms found in my dreaming and my waking!
6. "double" meanings and "life signs"…
7. creation. everything existing in the physical world… speaks of the Spirit. everything.
8. supernatural heightening of the senses.
9. out and out "impossibilities"
10. simple spiritual intuition.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan, your list of things that you have chosen to interpret as your god talking to you are events that regularly happen in my life too. I'm afraid that those kinds of events and observations are normal to being human. It's only your desperate lust for supernatural significance that allows you to delude yourself into thinking the normal happenstances of life are a special, personal, communication from your own personal deity. Frankly, it's sad when an adult holds so desperately to fantasy.

Dan, you didn't become a Christian because of any of that apologetic baloney. Admit it. You became a Christian for purely emotional reasons at some point in your life. Since that time, you've been taught all this apologetic rhetoric which you are regurgitating like a mindless parrot. Since you didn't convert because of "reasons to believe," why would you suppose that they would have even the slightest effect on anyone here?

Dan, you left out one option: All religions are made up in the minds of fevered imaginations. You've been sucked in to what is just another human religious construct.

Good luck with that.

Man, I sure wish you were a sock puppet. It's disturbing when I run into the mentally unstable, like my missionary father-in-law.

Passerby said...

Question was: "Are you willing to admit to any possibility that you may be wrong about both God and the Bible?"

When the Spirit of Truth, God, reveals Himself to you, I think the only way any of us believers could "admit that we are wrong about God" would be if we surrendered to sin. The fact is that I don't know biblically if the Spirit would really let us become deaf again. Maybe my fellow Christians would know the answer to this question I'm posing?

We do still have free will so I guess, yes, we must still be able to reject Him. This is a most frightful thought to me. I can honestly say that the Lord does rebuke His children when they sin. And I will continue to pray that He does whatever He wishes with me to ensure that my lamp is filled with oil!

May I never stop burning with the desire to talk about our Lord! Well, I guess that answers your question, no, there's no chance I'll start denying His divinity...unless I return to living for sin.

boomSLANG said...

Hey Boom! Welcome to the "Dan Marvin said I'm just being difficult" club. I'm thinking about getting T-shirts made.

Thanks, dude...but nevermind the T-shirt--where's my complimentary Dan Marvin bobble-head? I soooo wanna smack it around.

My Imagination is Bigger said...

DM: "We care enough about you to try our very best to turn you away from that cliff you are heading towards."

Hey, I imagine a cliff twice as deep, I'm trying to save you from that one :-) What does XL stand for? Extra-Limp?

Negrosan said...

>Jesus manifested Himself many times to me as promised in John 14:21

Dan, I have had several experiences too - including a vision of the risen savior himself. That vision, and other similar experiences, brought the faith to my door step in ways I could never have imagined.

I am interested to learn yours.

Holy Gas said...

DM: "We were talking about this in the past and a couple of Christians posted some ways God speaks to them. Here is what they said:"

I farted and the holy gas said; "too much chili".

My Imagination is Bigger said...

Passerby: "I am interested to learn yours."

I had a vision/dream, while I was sleeping, of my God beating up the Christian God, it must have been real.

Where's the bumper stickers when you need them; "My God beat up your God, last Sunday!"

Astreja said...

(glances at Dan Marvin's list, starts laughing)

I agree with the Webmaster. With the exception of the Christianity-specific items on the list, all the things listed are normal human phenomena. You slander them by attributing them to your bloody, sadistic little religion.

And as I said once before, and as Webmaster Dave reiterated in his response to you, there are indeed more than two possibilities. Although I consider myself a polytheist, I am quite open to the possibility that *all* religions are false and the gods (including My personal favourites) mere archetypes.

You seem to be deeply addicted to all-or-nothing thinking, Dan. And that can be dangerous to both life and sanity (to say nothing of the catastrophic havoc it wreaks on the psychological development of children living in such an environment). Why do you want to spend your precious days on Earth blinded by daylight and stumbling around in "total" darkness when everyone else is happily strolling through both dusk and dawn?

AtheistToothFairy said...

Dan Marvin believes because of:

10) Through miracles

2.impossible "coincidences"

--------
I would like to hear more about these two items Dan, as I have never seen a real 'miracle' nor an impossible coincidence either.

Of course, one has to define these things before the claim(s) would have any meaning.


ATF

A True Christian said...

Dan and Negrosan said the following:

Dan: "Jesus manifested Himself many times to me as promised in John 14:21"

Negrosan: "I have had several experiences too - including a vision of the risen savior himself."


You guys are going to hell, no man has seen the Lord!!!!

Exodus 33:20
There shall no man see me, and live.

John 1:18
No man hath seen God at any time.

John 6:46
Not that any man hath seen the Father.

1 Timothy 1:17
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.

1 Timothy 6:16
Whom no man hath seen nor can see.

1 John 4:12
No man hath seen God at any time.

stronger now said...

Dan:"7. creation. everything existing in the physical world… speaks of the Spirit. everything."

Everything? Even marijuana? How about feces? Maggots? Boogers? The Koran? The Koran is a part of the physical world.

Does the Koran speak of the "spirit"?

boomSLANG said...

On the "free gift" of "salvation"......

boomSLANG: "Yet, if you don't accept it[the "gift"], you get incinerated."

Brain-washed, obstinate, self-righteous True Christian™, AKA "Dan Marvin", retorts:

Now, now, don't be misleading!

You will burn in the lake of fire for transgression of God's Laws.


Assuming it's all true(only for the sake of argument, of course)---to reject these "Laws" as "God's Laws", itself, is a "transgression". See your bible. So, blantant but not surprizing attempt at equivocation on the part of the Theist.

More of the same...

"Lake of fire".(um, combustable H2o?)

Fire: noun.

a) A rapid, persistent chemical change that releases heat and light and is accompanied by flame, especially the exothermic oxidation of a combustible substance.
b) Burning fuel or other material: a cooking fire; a forest fire.

Incinerate: verb.

a) To cause to burn to ashes.

Ref: American Heritage

Brain-washed, obstinate, self-righteous True Christian™, AKA "Dan Marivin", concludes:

You, being a Law breaker deserve justice as any lawbreaker should, right?

My apologies for my misuse of the word "incinerate". Yes, apparently, being incinerated as "justice" for the "transgression" of non-belief, would be too kind in Dan's biblegod's eyes. In actuality, being burnt to ashes, would, in the long run, be a blessing; what I, the non-believer deserve, is to be kept alive, and slow-roasted in a "lake of fire". I suppose this will give me plenty of time to reflect on the words, "God loves you!!!!". Perfect.

B.W.O.S.R.T.C™: You wonder why people don't address you?

I do? Show me any post of mine that depicts me in a such a state of wonder.

B.W.O.S.R.T.C™: You are being difficult, just to be difficult along with all of your presuppositions.

If, by being "difficult", you mean, pointing out the circularity of your arguments; calling you out on your blatant equivocation; not accepting second-hand non-verifible revelation as Objectively true just because "Dan Marvin" says it's true...then yes, absolutely!... I'm being "difficult"!!! If, by "presupposition", you mean, I'm presupposing that "Yahweh" doesn't exist, much in the same way that YOU presuppose that Allah, the Toothfairy, and Amon Ra don't exist.... then YES, absolutely!...I have "presuppositions"! 'Don't like it? cLiCk OFF.

B.W.O.S.R.T.C™: You are not actually serious about your fate. We care enough about you to try our very best to turn you away from that cliff you are heading towards.

You are not actually serious about reality. We don't care enough about you and your mental delusions to worry about it, because you are too far gone to be reasoned with.

Jim Arvo said...

Dan,

I take it you've never once discussed your lists with someone who has an ounce of skepticism in them, or perhaps you have but didn't listen to a word they said. Please correct me if I'm wrong. You realize that nobody has the original manuscripts of the gospels, right? You realize that they were anonymously authored, redacted some unknown number of times, and that "Matthew" and "Luke" drew heavily from "Mark", right? You realize that "Mark" made liberal use of midrash, and that there is no extrabiblical corroboration for any aspect of the Jesus story (save for a few dubious passages), right? You realize that there were numerous Christian cults right up until the latter part of the 2nd century, and some denied a physical Jesus, right? Most importantly, you realize that repeating shallow Strobel-like apologetics here is a fruitless exercise, right?

But then, I'm talking to a wall, right?

Dan Marvin said...

You guys are going to hell, no man has seen the Lord!!!!

Exodus 33:20
There shall no man see me, and live.


Remember I said: "Jesus manifested Himself many times to me as promised in John 14:21"

That does not say that I saw Jesus like Negrosan claims. Let me define manifest for purpose of clarity. There are other definitions beside just sight.

Manifest: easily understood or recognized by the mind, obvious,evident, plain, unmistakable (clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment) to prove; put beyond doubt or question: The evidence manifests the guilt of the defendant. Synonyms 1. clear, distinct, unmistakable, patent, open, palpable, visible, conspicuous. 3. reveal, disclose, evince, evidence, demonstrate, declare, express.

Along with the list that I provided of what others wrote you can see the manifestations of Jesus. Although I haven't experienced every thing on those lists I do agree with most of them as manifestations. Things that are just too coincidental to write off as such. He manifested Himself to me in the most obvious way by changing my own deceitfully wicked nature to a radically different heart. When I finally repented and put my entire faith in Him, my life was radically changed forever and it was obvious to people around me that I was touched by God. Things that never were a part of me ever, seems like second nature now like Fruit of Righteousness and Fruit of the Spirit - An ever-growing capacity of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control. These thing were so very foreign to me before.

If you knew me before I became a Christian, you might all of liked my company. I enjoyed partying, I had a lot of friends some very shady, then my life moved to a whole different direction. 25 year old habits, including smoking cigarettes, just stopped in one day with no withdrawals of any kind, before that it would of been impossible to do that. A life that became others centered, not the self centered jerk I was. Just an overall radical change for the better. I noticed God's love throughout my walk with Him. I have seen God's touch manifested in people that would not be like that otherwise. I can go on forever about the little situational experiences that were revealed in front of me for the purpose of teaching me His way. Many, possibly hundreds of times, I would read the Bible and the verses would reveal themselves to me that week in real life as an example of what was being taught. I can't explain it all.

1 Corinthians 2:1 "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God."

1 Corinthians 2:4 "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:"

boomSlang, you are cracking me up. "because you are too far gone to be reasoned with." Thank you Jesus for that

Jim Arvo, I have wrestled with and have taken in account of all the things you have pointed out. Earlier I said this to AtheistToothFairy, you can apply to yourself also. "I have read most all of the gnostic and apocryphal writings also. I must say that I agree that they should not be part of today's Bible because of how they differ a great deal from the true Word of The Bible. To say that you knew more then the entire body of Biblical scholars back then that collected the books into the current Canon and what The Bible is today as to what was authentic or not is delusional also. Do you really believe that you have been lead by the Spirit of truth more so then them? So you really think that God cannot preserve His Word? Your Logic is suspect to say the least."

Like I have said in the past I was raised atheist and my friends and myself acted just like most of you here. I am very familiar to what you are all saying, most of the time. There is something so radically different about me, I wish I can convince you what I have gone through more eloquently but that would be my plan not His. For a long time I thought kindness was actually weakness and that power was my goal in life. That no longer exists, and I can only explain it by saying it is because of Jesus. Some things we cannot answer outright and we must take them on faith. Take care of yourselves.

boomSLANG said...

In regards to addressing Dan Marvin's regurgitated slew of apologetics, Jim asks:

But then, I'm talking to a wall, right?

Right.

.:webmaster:. said...

DM wrote: "If you knew me before I became a Christian, you might all of liked my company."

I sincerely doubt it. Once an obnoxious bore, always an obnoxious...

DM wrote: "My friends and myself acted just like most of you here."

Danny boy, you know absolutely nothing about any of these posters' personal lives or how they act. This blog is confined to writing short sound bytes. You cannot make any judgments on anyone's life from that. And you are projecting your own "past life" onto others. I do not party and have no shady friends, for instance.

Your problem with convincing us, Danny boy, is that you are claiming to have a revelatory experience with some preternatural entity. Since this experience resides outside known reality, all you can hope to do is offer a second-hand account of what you believe has happened to you. Your experience is undoubtedly "real" to you, but you can't make it real to anyone else. You can only give a hearsay account. And frankly, the tone in your writing is bordering on frantic.

You do realize that other people in other religions claim equally convincing experiences of the preternatural, right?

But I think you've confirmed my guess posted earlier. You had an emotional experience at some point in your life and converted to fundamentalism. Since that time, you've ingested large does of fundamentalist apologetics to support the validity of your emotional experience.

Danny boy. I do know what you are talking about. If you read my testimonial, you know that I too had what I believed was a close encounter of the third kind with the ruler of the universe. I've since come to realize that human emotions and the imagination can be carried away in the best of us. Dan, all you supposedly experienced only exists in your mind.

Good luck with that.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan,

Here's a little rant you might want to examine: Conversion, Spiritual Epiphanies and Mystical Experiences

Dan Marvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Marvin said...

It is not an emotional epiphany but a radical understanding that one deserves Hell for breaking God's Law and need for a Savior.

You wrote "While I've never known of a single person who was converted solely from reading an apologetic book, I do know people who have "backslidden" and later rededicated their lives to Christ after reading an apologetic book."

I am very excited that you actually admitted this although some of your cronies would disagree with you. This is one reason I gave you all apologetic points, to try to reach your proud intellect as well as your conscience. Of course its pointless for a choice few hard hearts but if one person hears the truth then it was worth it. The day of Judgment is very near, and I understand that doesn't to mean anything to some of you. You will all understand someday why I have spent the time here.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan,

I was just like you for 30 years. You probably don't remember the Hal Lindsey craze of the 70s or that Billy Graham predicted the Second Coming by 1985, but scary end of the world rhetoric has been promulgated by frenzied religionists for centuries. Some day, if you live long enough, you'll realize that it is all lies.

Your life reformation is because you wanted to change. It had nothing to do with magic.

.:webmaster:. said...

And Dan, my point was to point out that you're conversion was not because of apologetics. And correct me if I'm mistaken, but your brand of fundamentalism preaches "Once saved, always saved," right? So preaching to supposedly backslidden Christians won't save them, because they're already saved. However, it might give you a power rush to think your Internet postings had an effect on some poor less-informed-than-you soul. And I suppose that will do great things for your inflated "God-talks-to-and-through-ME" ego.

Dan Marvin said...

webmaster: "I was just like you for 30 years."

webmaster: "Danny boy, you know absolutely nothing about any of these posters' personal lives or how they act. This blog is confined to writing short sound bytes. You cannot make any judgments on anyone's life from that. And you are projecting your own "past life" onto others."

umm, OK

Jim Arvo said...

Finally, Dan responds to me...

Dan: "I have read most all of the gnostic and apocryphal writings also. I must say that I agree that they should not be part of today's Bible because of how they differ a great deal from the true Word of The Bible."

But how do you know what the "true Word of The Bible" is? Do you have some independent means to verify that the Council of Nicea chose the correct books? If not, then you are simply noting that various accounts contradict those that were ultimately selected--that there was a diversity of opinions about Jesus in the early days of Christianity. That was the point I was making.

Dan: "To say that you knew more then the entire body of Biblical scholars back then that collected the books into the current Canon and what The Bible is today as to what was authentic or not is delusional also."

Can you please point to where I said such a thing? I'm going to remind you of something you said:

Dan "There is no contradictory historical information concerning Jesus' resurrection."

I pointed out that there were numerous traditions that did not even recognize a human Jesus, which would de facto also deny a resurrection--at least as it is imagined by current orthodoxy (i.e. as occurring in the physical realm). Many prominent church members, even into the 2nd century, viewed "Christ" as Logos, and thought it absurd to construe it as having been a man. The Gnostics, in particular, held this view.

Dan: "Do you really believe that you have been lead by the Spirit of truth more so then them?"

No, I don't believe I've been lead by any spirit, since I don't believe in "spirits". But I do believe that I've been extraordinarily diligent in studying all sides of the issue, understanding what the apologists have to offer, and examining the historical evidence. So, I feel quite justified in offering my opinion and equally capable of supporting it.

Dan: "So you really think that God cannot preserve His Word? Your Logic is suspect to say the least."

Since you mentioned logic, let's take a look at what you just said. You suggest that I have overlooked god's ability to preserve "his word", and this has lead me to an erroneous conclusion. (Is that fair?) However, what you just exhibited is circular in that it assumes a god by way of supporting the authenticity of the Bible; moreover, you seem to think that I should make that assumption also. Surely you can see the fallacy in that.

Dan, when a person is so taken by a belief that they can neither examine it critically, nor imagine how they might be in error, it becomes irrational and, at an extreme, even delusional. Now, you've already cast that last word ("delusional") in my direction. However, I challenge anyone to soberly examine what I have said, and what you have said, and conclude that it is I who is delusional. If you think that I deserve that epithet, then I urge you to make your case.

.:webmaster:. said...

Oh, and the word "Cronies" is not only inaccurate, it is down right rude.

I'm getting the impression that the only change that an obnoxious bastard gets from religion is to become an obnoxious religious bastard.

stronger now said...

Dan, you have made broad generalizations and belittled us since you got here.

All to make yourself feel better about loseing your mind.

You're still a self centered jerk.

stronger now said...

You beat me to it, Dave!

.:webmaster:. said...

Danny boy, my good buddy,

When I say I was just like you, I should have qualified it. I meant that I was just as convinced as you that a flying, un-dead, zombie with holes in its hands was my personal friend. I was equally zealous to get everyone on the planet "saved." I even did missionary work in Japan for two years. Yup, in this respect I was just like you.

And, just like you, I was a religious pain in the ass.

Other than that, I have no idea what your life is like. However, the more you post, the more detailed the picture.

boomSLANG said...

Dan Marvin/True Christian™: It is not an emotional epiphany but a radical understanding that one deserves Hell for breaking God's Law and need for a Savior.

We've established, umpteen times, that you are a liar, Marvin. You can attempt to circumvent the issue with your verbal apologetic diarrhea until donkeys fly; YOU, "Dan Marvin", have been deceptive/misleading about what is *required* for the alleged "free gift" of "salvation". To lie, is to break Jebus' Laws, remember?...yoo hoo?...hello?...dInGDoNg? Let's review:

Dan Marvin/True Christian™: "I said (and/or meant whichever you prefer) that salvation is complete in Christ and that nothing more is required for salvation."[bold added to once again point out deception]

A paragraph later you stated: "What is required of us is....."(insert subjective requirement)

Blatant contradiction. LIAR.

Bill said...

If Dan were a true Christian he would stand in front of abortion clinics to save all the unborn children being murdered. He would give his belongings away and live by faith serving God whom he trusts with all his heart. He would turn the other cheek in every situation and never advocate violence because he would trust God. If someone threatened to kill his child unless he renounced Jesus as Lord he would trust Jesus and not renounce Him. His child would be killed but Dan would earn a crown to give back to Jesus in Heaven.

Am I getting an accurate picture of Dan Marvin and all the other fundamentalists???

NegroSan said...

>Therefore, it's a perfectly legitimate question: Why is YOUR faith reliable, but the faith of billions of other people not?

This type of reasoning, or questioning, is not valid because it is a logicall fallacy. It is the fallacy of guilt by association. Guilt by association tries to tie together things that have a spurios relationship at best in an attempt to disqaulify, or even affirm, an idea. To bring home this point more clearly: lets say you, by some miraculous revalation, found Islam to be true. Would you then conclude that, because it also a faith, that Christianity is also correct? Of course not, that would be absurd! The truth is, each faith claim either stands or falls on its own. And must be investigated and decided on on its own.

Here is another example that fits. I had a discussion with a friend the other day and it went like this:

Him: "You know, I think the cop on tv professing his innocence on his missing wife is guilty of killing her"

Me: "Why?"

Him: "It seems like any time they get on tv acting innocent, it turns out they are guilty. Take Scott Peterson, he proclaimed his inncocense on tv and he turned out to be guilty. As a matter of fact, so did Susan Smith, and look what happened with her!"

Me: "Oh, ok".

As for investigating the faith, I have already admitted that for me its not about logical investigation. I did not place my faith in logic, I placed it in the Christ of the Bible "just because". Just because I wanted to. For me the Gospels stories and promises were enough "evidence", if you will, because they rung true for me. I really think they are true.

If a person is considering the faith, they need to really count the costs. The costs are sometimes great. For some it is mere redicule and lonliness, for others, it is their lives. In both cases, it hurts being the odd man/woman out, but that’s the deal.

And many people opt out after a short time because it sucks being rediculed or being murdered. But when I feel that way sometimes I look at the parable of the sower(Mt 13:3-9; Mk 4:14-20; Lk 8:11-15). Check it out, it is a mirror.

Anonymous said...

Only charismatic Christians filled with the Holy Spirit and who speak in tongues know God. God has used me to heal people, cast out demons and prophesy the truth. I will pray for all of you including Dan. I will pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened to the truth of God's word.

Bill said...

Faith is a subjective experiential thing. It is over rated. Thomas didn't need it. He asked to see the nail holes in Jesus' hand and he got his wish. God can and does reveal Him/Herself to people if they ask. Really? Does He/She speak verbally to people? People claim these things but there is no proof. There are all kinds of contradictions from people about what God says.

One would think that with the Holy Spirit indwelling believers they'd get their stories straight? They don't. All the different sects and denominations prove that point perfectly. Each one thinks they have the correct version and all of them say the Bible says what they mean.

If God exists then there would be order in churches, theologies, sermons, etc. Just like Christians claim that creation shows order and consistency. Even with sin in creation and humans, there would be an undeniable unity. There isn't and there never will be.

Once a person realizes that the Bible is not a perfect God breathed book they run out of steam. God did not have a book published so He/She could take a break from miracles. They never took place and they still don't. Find me a soldier (from Iraq) with a missing leg. Bring the elders of the church together (like James instructs) to pray for the soldier. Pray for the soldier's leg to grow back. Once this happens I will reconvert to Christianity. I'm sure God will do this to win my soul back from Hell because God loves me enough to come to earth and and die for me. Right?

Anonymous said...

To Negrosan,

Are you a true Christian? Are you filled with the Spirit of God? Have you been baptised in His Spirit? Have you cast out demons, healed the sick, drank poison and not been effected? Have you? Do you have faith at least the size of a mustard seed? If not, I pity you. Have you given everything away to follow Jesus. Have you studied to show yourself approved? Have you memorized the Word of God so you can witness and rightly divide the truth? Do you turn the other cheek when someone threatens you? Have you learned the original languages so you can know the Scripture without someone else translating it for you? If not, you have a long way to go to please God. Keep it up and maybe you will be given many crowns in heaven so that you may give them back to Jesus. I pray that you never look upon a woman with lust in your heart. I pray that you never masturbate and spill your seed. I pray that you recognize when you are proud.

Astreja said...

Ah! I see it's time for another Random Prayer.

(shakes up the Ex-C.net Random Prayer Job Jar) Aaaand what do we have for the latest "I'll pray for you" anonymous poster? Seventeen weeks of flatulence, from Legumra, god of starchy beans. Congratulations. I think.

On a much, much more serious note, I'd like to respond to Dan's clumsy and ignorant "You hellbound atheist types would've just loooved me back then" diatribe.

Speaking for Myself, the answer is an unqualified 'No'. You are not the kind of person I would bother to hang out with, then or now.

As for the "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control" you claim to now possess, you have been exhibiting the polar opposites of those qualities ever since you got here. You are still a self-centered jerk, merely making your religious delusions the center of your narcissism.

Passerby said...

Anonymous,

Please be forwarned that you will be held accountable for your lies and your hypocrisy. We all will. As scripture tells us, the Lord is merciful and will not refuse an honest repentant heart. You should come to Him as you are...He will help you on your journey to holiness. Where we are going, lies will be detestable and hypocricy a thing of the past!

Most Christians that visit this site are here in hope that God will grace some of you with Faith or protect vistors of this Web site from being misled by lies. Not to come here, as you pretend to be, as a self-righteous Christian condemning others for their errors. What spirit has touched your heart that you should stand on a pedestal and condemn others. I can tell you what spirit but you would never believe me. Why? Because the master you obey won't let you.

Love of God, is freedom! Hatred or denial of God, bondage to sin!

We, brothers in Christ around the world, will continue to pray for all of you. His immense Mercy is still upon you, please turn your hearts towards Him!!!

A True Christian said...

Passerby: "We, brothers in Christ around the world, will continue to pray for all of you. His immense Mercy is still upon you, please turn your hearts towards Him!!!"

Passerby, you're going to HELL. You shouldn't be praying here. Is your computer in your closet, if not, you're going to HELL!!!

Mathew 6:5-6 "Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

AtheistToothFairy said...

trancelation wrote (in part) to ATF....

"Religion is a mental illness....

.....and while indeed there are hypocricies, innacuracies and contradictions on literally every single page of the Bible, pointing out these problems to Christians is like pointing out why alcohol is bad for you to alcoholics. They are too addicted to see the flaws with what they are addicted to, and how it does not actually solve their problems.

..... Their words they type or speak or think will always revolve around allowing the disease that has claimed them to exist. They are afraid of facing it; they are afraid of freedom and happiness. So instead of acknowledging points made time and again, this will always be the end result. No matter how cogent your point or argument, the Christians will alway[s] regress to that knee-jerk childlike state where their minds shut down and succumb to the call of their addiction. "
-----------
Hi Trancelation,

Ever since you wrote these words on Nov. 5th, they have played-back over and over again in my mind.
Keeping what you said here in mind, I've since watched the replies of our fundies here and have concluded you are indeed correct.

They can't see outside their own feel-safe 'bubble world' they've been brainwashed into, thinking it is the only possible world there can be on earth.

When backed into a corner by some logic of reality, they ignore the logical problem at-hand and quickly revert to spewing their bible verbiage at us; in what surely they believe is some sort of god-defense 'weapon' to use, to protect themselves from corruption of their chosen delusion.

It so reminds me of what a skunk does when cornered, where it spews an offensive odor to keep one from getting too close.
In the xtian's way of thinking, if one gets too close to showing them reality, they turn on the 'odor of bible versus' to keep us at bay, and their minds locked safely away in the illusion of their bible teachings.

I suppose this tactic is similar to what we see in movie scenes of an exorcism, where speaking bible versus repels the devil/demon and the holy water burns him.
Xtians surely must belive that we are being controlled by the devil himself, so these versus not only are meant to protect them from our logic, but to keep the devil thoughts from entering their minds as well.

Sadly, most of these fundies are imprisoned in their own faulty thinking and will never escape that prison that they feel they must reside within. A prison, that has become a mental addiction, for the emotions it generates are indeed as powerful an addiction as any street-drug ever has been.

Sometimes I wonder if these xtians have been absorbed into some episode of the old Twilight Zone show, where reality is traded for some zone of supernatural fiction.
If only these fundies could stand outside themselves and see themselves, as those from reality can clearly see them.
If only they could see what their addiction is doing to their minds and lives, and in some cases, to the rest of society as well.

If only they could see how their attitudes towards science will result in science being dumbed-down whenever they win a battle of removing real science (like evolution) from our schools.

Perhaps they should find their own tropical island where all secular knowledge could be banished from their population and they can try and thrive on the words of their holy book itself. We can check back in a few decades to see how close to being like 'cavemen' they have become.
Surely with god watching their backs, they don't need secular knowledge to make their lives better, nor to ever heal them from disease or put food in their mouths.
Let's see how well they do when it's just them and their god ALONE and see how fast they wish to return to modern society.


ATF (who can already smell the putrid skunk odor of bible versus that will follow this)

Jim Arvo said...

I asked NegroSan "Why is YOUR faith reliable, but the faith of billions of other people not?"

He replied "This type of reasoning, or questioning, is not valid because it is a logicall fallacy. It is the fallacy of guilt by association. Guilt by association tries to tie together things that have a spurios relationship at best in an attempt to disqaulify, or even affirm, an idea."

In a sense, you are right, but only insofar as induction is itself a form of "guilt by association". If 100 people tell me 100 contradicting stories about the supernatural world, I'm behaving rationally by 1) observing that not all can be true and possibly all are false, and 2) not choosing one arbitrarily to believe "just because". So, no it's not a fallacy, but it is a form of "guilt by association", as all induction is.

NegroSan: "...lets say you, by some miraculous revalation, found Islam to be true. Would you then conclude that, because it also a faith, that Christianity is also correct? Of course not, that would be absurd!"

Yes, that IS absurd! If I had a direct revelation about Islam (and I was convinced that it was legitimate), that would set it apart from the other religions--it would have confirming evidence that the others lacked. Now, this is what YOU claimed to be the case with Christianity. In YOUR assessment, it is evidence for Christianity. However, nothing that you've told us suggests TO US that what you experienced was something supernatural, therefore it is not evidence to us. From our perspective, you are misinterpreting natural events that occur in your own brain, which is a COMMON OCCURRENCE (there's that "guilt by association" again).

NegroSan: "The truth is, each faith claim either stands or falls on its own. And must be investigated and decided on on its own."

You are partly right. However, if the claim fits a pattern that is known to be unreliable--if it is observed that many people tend to make similar mistakes--then that alone is reason to be skeptical of the claim. It does NOT disprove the claim, but it is reason to doubt it, and to disregard it if there is not some credible evidence to support it.

NegroSan: "...I did not place my faith in logic, I placed it in the Christ of the Bible 'just because'. Just because I wanted to."

Okay. Is there some reason we should do likewise?

NegroSan, you have chosen to believe something for reasons that you either cannot articulate or are inherently non-transferable. Millions of people behave similarly, and reach conflicting conclusions. They are not all right. Possibly all are wrong. If your particular beliefs cannot be distinguished in some way, by credible supporting evidence, then we are behaving rationally by saying "no thank you". That's not a fallacy. That's recognition of the fact that people believe millions of absurd things. We're under no obligation (logical or otherwise) to believe what you believe "just because".

Anonymous said...

Passerby

Why do you judge me? Judge not that ye be not judged! First pull the beam out of your own eye.

Brother, I call on you to ask for forgiveness from me for calling me a lier. May God have mercy on you and grant you the truth to see the error of your ways. May Jesus fill you with His Spirit and empower you to speak with new tongues and heal the sick as Benny Hinn and other Spirit filled brothers and sisters in the Lord do.

Yours and Dan's use of the Word is only half of what God has for us. That is why the first believers never had the word and they relied on God to speak to them and move through them with power.

I pray that you both will know the rest of God's promises and show many how much God loves them by working His signs and wonders.

God bless you.

Jim Arvo said...

Passerby said "Most Christians that visit this site are here in hope that God will grace some of you with Faith or protect vistors of this Web site from being misled by lies."

Well, it appears we have at least one thing in common then: We all wish to expose lies and deception. Let's agree that that is a laudable goal.

As for "god's grace", I'd like to point out that no supernatural involvement has been evident here, at least not to me. However, I can think of one thing that such a being might profitably accomplish without treading on anybody's free will. It seems to me that such a being might help all of the visiting Christians understand how to present a cogent argument without being condescending, and without myriad presuppositions. (By the way, I'd like to inject that NegroSan had done reasonably well in this regard--it's the others I am mainly addressing.)

Let me be more specific. Dan and Passerby, for example, continually assume both the existence of their purported deity and the authority of their holy book, which completely undermines nearly every sentence they write. One cannot present a case for X by assuming X. I would have thought that that principle was more broadly understood. Can their god not grant them just a shred of insight so that they might converse intelligently and comprehensibly with those who do not share their presuppositions? Apparently not.

NegroSan said...

Passerby, Anonymous is not a Christian, he is just fooling with you...

Anonymous said...

To NegroSan

The Spirit revealed to me that you trust too much in the intellectual mind. You must trust His Spirit and He will guide you to truth.

Never judge those in Christ. We are all called to exhort one another but not judge one another.

May God grant you the faith at least as large as a mustard seed, the ability to move mountains, walk on water, heal the sick, prophecy and speak with new tongues.

boomSLANG said...

Jim Arvo: We're under no obligation (logical or otherwise) to believe what you[Negrosan, and other people of "Faith"] believe "just because".

BiNgO!!!

Dan Marvin said...

Why is YOUR faith reliable, but the faith of billions of other people not?

I answered this in my blog: "That is, our religion is from the Creator. It is a result of our hope and trust in God. It is the natural fruit. False religions have stolen from God and not the other way around. False religions have a common denominator and that is there assault on the term "Justification." They are working toward their salvation. We are working as a result of our salvation."

Bill,

You made a valid point about the denominations. The mere fact there are different denominations negates the one true way as talked about in Jeremiah 32:38-40. Simply, they are wrong that is all, they missed the boat. Does that mean people are not saved in those denominations, of course not! The Bible talks about wheat and tares (Matthew 13:25) and Revelation 2 talks about the different assemblies that failed Christ. They will be addressed. The criteria to receive the Gift of the Lord hasn't changed.

Bill:"Pray for the soldier's leg to grow back. Once this happens I will reconvert to Christianity. I'm sure God will do this to win my soul back from Hell because God loves me enough to come to earth and and die for me. Right?"

Now you sound like the devil. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 4:5-7 "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

What you said reminds me of the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. He needed more to prove hell existed for his brothers and God said you have the Bible (moses and the prophets) and if they don't believe that they will not believe anything else. (presupposition again)

Bill: "Once a person realizes that the Bible is not a perfect God breathed book they run out of steam." What you said isn't true! His word of salvation is preserved. If you are talking about copyist errors well then you are not looking at it as a book of salvation. Isn't that an Inductive fallacy called Hasty generalization. I wrote my Mother-in-Law a letter about salvation. When I met up with her again I asked her about it all she did is comment on a couple of spelling errors I made instead of the message. God addressed this also.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."

Exodus 4:10 "And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."

Paul said: 1 Corinthians 2:1 "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God."

boomSLANG, you really have no right to call me a liar just because you don't understand and want to be difficult. You just pile a tired old ad hominem on in hopes that God's word isn't true but it still is. Yes the gift of salvation is complete and requires nothing more (from God) to save the people, it is complete in Christ. We DO have to humble ourselves and prepare the soil for that seed of salvation. The seed is still complete! There are no more seeds needed, there is nothing else to do but to bury it in the prepared soil.(Repent and Trust) God will water and nurture it along. I stand by what I said, my little confused one.

NegroSan: "As for investigating the faith, I have already admitted that for me its not about logical investigation. I did not place my faith in logic, I placed it in the Christ of the Bible "just because". Just because I wanted to. For me the Gospels stories and promises were enough "evidence", if you will, because they rung true for me. I really think they are true.

If a person is considering the faith, they need to really count the costs. The costs are sometimes great. For some it is mere redicule and lonliness, for others, it is their lives. In both cases, it hurts being the odd man/woman out, but that’s the deal.

And many people opt out after a short time because it sucks being ridiculed or being murdered. But when I feel that way sometimes I look at the parable of the sower (Mt 13:3-9; Mk 4:14-20; Lk 8:11-15). Check it out, it is a mirror."


I agree, way to go dude!


Strongernow "You're still a self centered jerk."

I am not hear to say we are better then you like some of you are eluding to, you think I have a holier the thou attitude and that is just not the case. I am trying to plead with you to understand His word and avoid eternal damnation. Truth is very confrontational I understand. There is always someone on the 'wrong' end of truth. You are simply wrong, now go buy Google stock!

Bill said...

Hi Dan,

The fact that Christians aren't in unity regarding theology and so forth is proof that God is not speaking. No, it's not a result of the person hearing incorrectly. That would be a cop out. One has to look at the facts as they stand not what we want them to mean. If Christians claim that God speaks to them and that God is all powerful then God is powerful enough to get His/her point across.

The point about the leg regrowing isn't about tempting God. It is about the fact that the Scripture gives us a remedy for physical healing that does not work. That is the point. If it worked.....people would have something to write home about.

Just as many other things in Scripture don't work. The problem with religious thinking is that it can not be nailed down because it always allows for an out. Oh, God didn't answer your prayer because.....and the list is all encompassing. Do you get my drift?

It is one of the things that led to me leaving the fold. One can only go so far on false claims without evidence in the nature world. The claims of Christ do not unfold today as pictured in the OT and NT. If they did....I'd have never left. I don't reject Jesus. I just don't believe in him anymore or the claims of Scripture.

All the arguing in the world mean very little if it can not be backed up in practice. Thomas asked for proof and Jesus granted it. Why are the rest of us not granted proof? Please don't tell me about how God shows us proof in creation and people helping each other.

Show me an arm. leg or eye regrown. Show me the nail holes in Jesus' hands. For that matter....show me Jesus in the flesh. Surely that is not too much to ask from God who desires that no man go into the fires of Hell for ever and ever and ever.

One has to look outside of ones beliefs to seek the truth. Forget what you want to believe. Seek the truth and have the courage to believe that.

Leaving behind my faith was the second hardest thing I ever did. Never ever presume to know another person's heart and life without first getting to know them. I say this in reference to all those who say I never knew God.

I took many apologetics courses in Bible College and Seminary. I don't need the lessons in scripture because I no longer value them as God inspired.

What is the point of all this blabbering? Mostly to help people move away from the kind of thinking that set me up for failure, false guilt and wasting my life, money and time on ancient mythologies.

I would like to think that you might, one day, back away from your belief system long enough to use your skeptical brain to evaluate your beliefs.

Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped to leave behind that which gives them self esteem, purpose and hope.

The truly courageous people are those who let go of the safety net called religion and forge a new road.

boomSLANG said...

Dan Marvin: boomSLANG, you really have no right to call me a liar just because you don't understand and want to be difficult.

No, jackass...I understand, completely. You've been caught in a blatant lie. To be sure, you even attempted to rectify and apologize for your blunder after you realized what you said. Must I dig through your puke and find the post in question? I will, if need be.

Now, to be sure that I'm not misunderstanding(as you say)...let's look at what you said for a fourth, or fifth, or sixth time... or however many f%cking times I've had to repeat it.

YOU, "Dan Marvin", previously said:

"I said (and/or meant whichever you prefer) that salvation is complete in Christ and that NOTHING MORE is required for salvation."[bold, and this time, upper case letters added]

NOT soon after that statement, you said: "What is required of us is....."(insert subjective requirement)

"What is required of us is"..."is required"..."is required"..."is required"..."is required".

Those are your words, Marvin. So, you are a liar. You have been misleading in an attempt to cover up the fact that your biblegod's "love" is fully conditional, and you know it's conditional. You come in here and apparently have zero problem telling other human beings that the deserve to "burn in hell"...so, y'know what?... I have zero problem calling a spade a spade; I have no problem calling you a liar, Marvin.

Liar: You just pile a tired old ad hominem on in hopes that God's word isn't true but it still is.

Check this out---I don't hope your biblegod's "word" isn't true, any more than you "hope" that the All Mighty Allah's Word isn't true. In other words, I have every bit as much confidence that your religion is man-made bullshit, as you do that all religions but your own are the same.

BTW, let the record show that none of my ad hominem proves or disproves any biblegod. It's merely my opinion of your character based on what you say to others.... which, it's all the more laughable since YOU are the one who claims to be guided by a "loving" and "compassionate" spook.

stronger now said...

Dan,

I said nothing about your holier that thou attitude in my last post. So stop the lies. Now go get spanked by someone else you perve.

Jim Arvo said...

I asked NegroSan earlier "Why is YOUR faith reliable, but the faith of billions of other people not?"

Dan offered this answer "...our religion is from the Creator...False religions...are working toward their salvation. We are working as a result of our salvation."

I'm astonished that I need to keep pointing this out, Dan, but your answer is circular. You assume that your theology is correct in order to argue that it is correct. Please see my comment earlier today concerning this: it would seem to me that if you were the mouthpiece or instrument of god, you would have the wisdom to present a cogent argument. We've seen nothing approaching that from you yet.

As for your scriptural quotes, you assume that your chosen "holy" book has some authority, and you inexplicably assume that we will also regard it as such. Dan, what could you possibly be thinking? Let me rephrase that: Dan, could you be thinking?

Dan, are you capable of having a dialog? I've asked you that before.

Passerby said...

Jim, are you able to step down from that pedestal? Or is that step too high?

We Christians know someone that can help you. All you need to do is ask.

.:webmaster:. said...

Passerby,

I hope you're kidding, but I fear that you're not.

What you should say is that you Christians "BELIEVE" that you know an invisible preternatural entity who fathered himself with a human and sacrificed himself to himself so that those who get the right "beliefs" about him will not have to be roasted forever by him in his lake of eternal fire which he created. Oh, and you also BELIEVE that donkey's talk, bushes talk, snakes talk, ax heads float, chariots fly when on fire, and an un-dead, flying, zombie, man-god has taken up residence in your pulmonary organ.

Compared to all that nonsense that you BELIEVE, it sounds to me that Jim has his feet resting soundly in reality, while you have your heads buried in mythology.

Passerby said...

Please forgive me, it appears that the Gospels being referenced must not have been meant for many of you. The Good News of these Gospels was meant for us sinners.


(I bow down and kneel before my Creator)

Thank you dear Lord, for continuing to help me remove each pedestal I raise up. Amen.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Dan,

My words are my own they are not of God if that is what you meant.

If your words are your own then they have the potential to be wrong, yes? Complete confidence in your beliefs is one thing. Being confident that a belief is true, one can still admit the possibility of personal error and maintain a link to reality. Saying you absolutely cannot be wrong about what you believe is another, and requires you to reconcile - if only for yourself - the human potential for error with the claim of absolute knowledge. And this is what you've basically just claimed, even though you've limited it to one domain of your life. That is, you claim to have absolute knowledge that your beliefs about God are true.

Passerby,

I appreciate your honesty in saying that it's still possible to be wrong. Rest assured, I'm not asking anyone to deny anything. What I wanted to know what how deeply entrenched Dan's belief is, and how he manages to resolve the inevitable conflict between reason and faith as he struggles to maintain his professed humility while simultaneously claiming to be 100% correct and thus without error with regard to his faith. This is something I went through myself during my time as a Christian, and it always made me uncomfortable. How could I claim with absolute certainty that God exists and that the Bible is His witness if I admitted to myself that I could be wrong? You could say that this is the Achilles Heel of a fundamentalist, Evangelical faith. By no means is this limited to Protestantism, by the way. To err is human, but Dan claims - as I once did - the impossibility of being wrong when it comes to faith. Surely you can see the contradiction inherent in this idea.

Aggravating this situation is the fact that Dan seems to view people like Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort as authorities. These men are callous sheisters whose primary talents seem to be belittling and denigrating otherwise normal people, and embarassing themselves in front of a camera. His continued claims, extracted directly from popular apologetics works and websites, are hardly worth addressing because he's not willing to critically examine them. He cannot be wrong, and so he refuses to ask or entertain legitimate questions.

I'm not going to waste Dan's time and mine by discussing the particulars of his faith, partly because he has essentially just admitted he's not here to actually discuss anything. Though he may be completely sincere in his faith, the effect is the same as if he were nothing more than a troll, spewing dogma in order to provoke a response. To be fair, I believe it may be the former, because he's so far not returned to the FC since he was told he'd worn out his welcome. Nevertheless, meaningful dialogue with someone like Dan seems virtually impossible. Thus, I think the WM is fully justified in deleting Dan's posts if he wishes.

Of course, you've not done much better in the dogma department. In your first post on this thread under the name Passerby, you opened up with ad hominem, accusing the WM of being close-minded, obstinate, self-centered, and of never having been a Christian. In the same post, you resorted to ad baculum by saying mercy is available for a limited time only. Of course, this threat is meaningless really, but this sort of attempted emotional blackmail isn't exactly the best way to open a dialogue, which may or may not have been your intention.

Things haven't improved much, though your exchange with Dan was amusing.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that if your objective here is to offer a witness, then all of you - Passerby, Dan, NegroSan, and trumpeter - have pretty much done what you came to do, so what's the point in staying unless it's to antagonize? That's assuming that you're all legitimate posters, rather than sock puppets (as the WM suggests), and that your objectives have been sincere rather than contrived. Then again, maybe it's time to clear your Internet cache (the Information Age equivalent of "shaking the dust off your feet") as your LORD advises (Matt. 10:14; Mark 6:11, and Luke 9:5), and follow the advice given by Paul in Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14 to "live in peace with all men." But, since that's really up to you, I'll say no more about it.

Have a nice weekend.

.:webmaster:. said...

Excellent post, JC.

If any of the supposedly Christian posters on this thread are sock puppets, I'd like to ask them to quietly cease and desist. If these supposedly Christian posters are sincerely genuine, then I'm content to let the madness continue. One step in leaving a mind controlling cult is actually realizing that the cult is mind controlling. And as you pointed out, to err is human, so how can a religionist be so dogmatic that his or her "faith" is without error? It's an obvious conundrum to those looking in from the outside, but to those on the inside...

Anyway, Dan, Passerby, etc., are illustrative of what "faith" is really all about. They'll probably consider that a compliment.

Jim Arvo said...

First off, I'd like to applaud J. C. Samuelson's post. That was perfect. I could not have said that nearly as well. Interestingly, Passerby also supplied what I think is the perfect post. Here it is in it's entirety:

"Jim, are you able to step down from that pedestal? Or is that step too high?

We Christians know someone that can help you. All you need to do is ask."


Believe it or not, I think this concise little post represents a step in the right direction, so I welcome it. Passerby is acknowledging that there is something standing in the way of productive dialogue; he calls it a "pedestal", and he urges me to "step down".

Passerby, I see this as a golden opportunity, for I too have a metaphor for your position. I see it as a "brick silo"--an impenetrable shield that you have built around your faith, so as not to challenge it. You imagine a "pedestal", I imagine a "silo"; how can you not appreciate that symmetry?

So, I have a proposal for you (and I extend this to Dan too, by the way). I will attempt to step down from the "pedestal" that you imagine me perched upon if you attempt to exit the "silo" I imagine you inhabiting. Now how do you suppose we can do that? Listen...

I'm going to first make a good-faith effort to UNDERSTAND why you think I place myself on a pedestal. If I'm going to "step down" from it, I had better first understand what it is. Can we agree on that? So I will patiently allow you to explain this to me (provided you stay on topic and avoid needless personal attacks). If you do this, and honestly answer any questions I might have along the way, I will try my best to accommodate you. In fact, I will begin by offering you this: I humbly admit that I may be completely wrong in my current understanding, and that Jesus may indeed be the savior you've been claiming him to be. Does that qualify as a small step off my "pedestal"?

If you wish to pursue this, there will be a small price, however. You must reciprocate 100%. Not 99.9%, but 100%. That is, you must try your very best to UNDERSTAND my position, and to accommodate me as much as possible. As you begin to understand what that "silo" is that I imagine, you must try your best to comply with reasonable requests from me. I *promise* you that I will never ask you to state something that you do not believe to be true--I would consider that to be an unreasonable request. Likewise, I should never need to state something that I do not deem to be true. Agreed?

If you accept the terms of my proposal, or wish to amend it, please let me know.

Looking forward to it.

Passerby said...

JC said- "In your first post on this thread under the name Passerby, you opened up with ad hominem, accusing the WM of being close-minded, obstinate, self-centered, and of never having been a Christian."

Indeed you are correct, I have no idea whether WebMaster ever truly heard the word of God. But I do know this, if the word of God makes no sense to you, then sin is your master. I also did state that I didn't really know whether it's possible to be a true believer and then to become a disbeliever. But I am here to correct that statement. Saint Peter in 2 Peter makes it very clear of WebMaster or any truly ExChristian's state:

2 Peter

20 For if they {ExChristians}, having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of (our) Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their {ExChristians} last condition is worse than their first.

21 For it would have been better for them {ExChristians} not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down to them.

22 What is expressed in the true proverb has happened to them, "The dog returns to its own vomit," and "A bathed sow returns to wallowing in the mire."


If Saint Peter's words offend you, don't be alarmed, it's not too late to restore your relationship with Christ. Let Heaven rejoice in your return to God's family, in humility, you know you can return to your Father's house.

I think that Jim's last post is even reflective of Saint Peter's words. Jim is not an ExChristian, unlike most of the others at this site, and because of this, his openess to dialogue may very well be reflective of Saint Peter's words "their last condition is worse than their first".

Jim, I view your openess, at face value, as a gift from God. Your statment "I humbly admit that I may be completely wrong in my current understanding, and that Jesus may indeed be the savior you've been claiming him to be.", with ulterior motive or not, is a grand offering that may very well bring God's spirit to your rescue.

You asked if this statement qualifies as a small step...my mind and heart tell me that it most definitely is a step towards God.

If, in reciprocation, you wish that I step in the other direction, away from God, I can honestly say that I cannot or will not step away from God. With fear and trembling before the potential of God's power to save, I will say that I am open to discussing the silo that you believe surrounds all believers. I am aware of the presuppositions that form my beliefs but there are intangibles that I could never fully present you without God's help.

If you believe that I am capable of the degree of openness that you require for dialogue, feel free to pose your first question or statement. My schedule does not always permit prompt responses but my brothers in Christ at this site may very well answer before I get the chance.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

Passerby said...
"21 For it would have been better for them {ExChristians} not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down to them"


Sounds just like the **DEAL** ya get when you join the Mafia.
Members of the Mafia also get the same biblical 'free will' that your god offers up.
DO or BURN!!


Horse-Head Gawd

Jim Arvo said...

Passerby said "If, in reciprocation, you wish that I step in the other direction, away from God, I can honestly say that I cannot or will not step away from God."

You realize that I made no such request. Right? I spoke of understanding, and accommodating as much as possible. Do you see anything unreasonable in what I proposed?

Passerby "...I am open to discussing the silo that you believe surrounds all believers."

Again, a small correction. I did not state that such a silo surrounds all believers, and I do not believe that is the case. I was speaking specifically of your position and Dan's position.

Passerby: "I am aware of the presuppositions that form my beliefs..."

Hold that thought. We'll get to those presuppositions shortly, if all goes well.

Passerby: "If you believe that I am capable of the degree of openness that you require for dialogue, feel free to pose your first question or statement."

I have no idea whether you are actually willing to discuss things openly. That's entirely up to you. As for questions, I have plenty of them. But what I requested of you was to first explain to me why you think I place myself upon a pedestal. That is your belief, is it not? If so, I ask that you make it comprehensible to me. I cannot honor your request unless I understand it. I will then attempt to make the silo comprehensible to you. First the pedestal, then the silo. Okay?

Jim Arvo said...

Passerby said "Jim is not an ExChristian, unlike most of the others at this site..."

Another small correction. I've said many times at this site that I've never been a Christian as an adult. However, as a child I most definitely considered myself to be a Christian. Do with that as you like.

Passerby said...

Jim wrote- "I cannot honor your request unless I understand it. I will then attempt to make the silo comprehensible to you. First the pedestal, then the silo."

Pardon me but despite your words to the contrary (that you had asked me to explain my meaning by pedestal), I had felt it was clear by your statement and my replying that it was a step towards God, that you actually understood what I meant by, pedestal. If you take your statement and hold it with all the honesty and humility that you can gather, I urge you to re-read the Gospels with that perspective. With this perspective, "that Jesus may indeed be the savior you've been claiming him to be", God's spirit may very well lead you to the same understanding we Christians have in His word.

So no, at this stage, I do not believe that you don't understand the meaning of pedestal, your words appear to me as proof of this fact. In my opinion, anyone that can conclude that there is no God, as atheism implies, is on a pedestal.

Hope this clarifies,

Peace.

Jim Arvo said...

Passerby said "So no, at this stage, I do not believe that you don't understand the meaning of pedestal, your words appear to me as proof of this fact."

I can take your assertion in many different ways. I truly hope that you are not calling me dishonest; that would be a terrible way to start this off. The statement that I offered you about Jesus was nothing more than I've said dozens of times here. It's an admission that I might be wrong, on practically any matter. I'm not the least bit hesitant to admit that. Now, by "pedestal" you could have easily have meant that I was not willing to consider alternatives; that I claimed to possess the absolute truth. Since I've never made such a claim in my life (at least not that I recall), I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you might have meant something a bit more than that. If that's not the case, then say so and we can move on. But in that case it would also be kind of you to retract your earlier statement about the pedestal. Do you agree?

Passerby: "In my opinion, anyone that can conclude that there is no God, as atheism implies, is on a pedestal."

Is that your understanding of my position? If, so, I'll gladly clarify for you, because that is not accurate at all. Do you wish to understand what my actual position is?

Dan Marvin said...

I will do my very best to stand by and read this discussion so it remains civil, since I seem to bring the best out of people. lol

I'm interested in both positions of Jim and Passerby. I'm not sure where this exercise will go but it will be interesting to have a truly civil and honest conversation about the Lord. Is this conversation (debate) about the knowability of God? Passerby says to step down from a sort of intellectual pedestal and humble yourself to understand Him, to get to know him. Jim statement "I humbly admit that I may be completely wrong in my current understanding, and that Jesus may indeed be the savior you've been claiming him to be." is refreshing. To know God it would take putting down the presuppositions and look at the scripture for what it is.

"The Scriptures clearly teach us that God is the Almighty (Job 11:7), who is incomprehensible (Psalm 145:3), infinite (Psalm 147:5), and wholly "other." Yet, the Bible also tells us that God is knowable (John 17:3; Gal. 4:8-9). This means that though we cannot know Him exhaustively, we can know Him at a level we can comprehend, even if it is limited to our finite abilities. For example, we can know that God is love (1 John 4:8), that He is spirit (John 4:24), and that He communicates to us (Exodus 20). We can know whatever it is God has revealed to us, because His Self-revelation has been arranged in such a way that we can understand it.

Because God is so incomprehensible and vast, the best way for us to know Him, is for God to reveal Himself to us in word and deed. This is exactly the case in the Incarnation. Jesus is divine, the second Person of the Trinity, the Word made flesh. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth," (John 1:1,14). Jesus is the exact representation of God (Heb. 1:3), and the only One who can reveal God (Matt. 11:27). Therefore, our ability to know God and also to experience God rests completely and totally with Jesus. Again, we can know God through Jesus Christ; "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him," (Matt. 11:27).

Therefore, God is very knowable, because He has made Himself known in a way that we can understand. Jesus, who is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8), is our best revelation of God in word and deed, and the truest representation of what God is. And, because of the Incarnation, we can have a relationship with God, because to have a relationship with Jesus is to have a relationship with God: "God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord," (1 Cor. 1:9)." (carm)

Dan Marvin said...

Jesus is the answer to the questions of whether we can know anything about God as well as experience Him. Jesus is the way to God (John 14:6), and the One who reveals the truth about God (Matt. 11:27). So, can we know and experience God? Yes, we can, through Jesus. This is the message of truth that we need to convey to the world.
Also, because the Bible tells us that everyone can know through creation there is a God, and that they have this knowledge also embedded upon their hearts (Rom. 1:19-20), you can speak with confidence, knowing the Holy Spirit will confirm the truth of God's Word in those to whom you speak. This does not mean that everyone will repent and come to Christ. But, it does mean that God will confirm the truth. What the unbelievers do with it, is up to them. You must realize there are those who have suppressed the knowledge of God in their unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18), and have been given over to the depravity of their minds (Rom. 1:24-28).

The atheist asked the Christian, how do you know there is a God? The Christian answered, "I know there is, because I know Him." The atheist responded, "But how can I know that you are not in error?" The Christian said, "Knowing someone is not proven. It is experienced."

Jim Arvo said...

Okay Dan, since Passerby is not around at the moment, I'll talk to you. You said my statement about Jesus was refreshing. Why is that? In my view it was nothing more than admitting the possibility of error, and it's what any rational person might say. Comments?

Also, you've brought up presuppositions numerous times. How do you know which presuppositions lead to the "correct" interpretation of the Bible?

With regard to your exchange between a Christian and an atheist, do you mind if I play the role of the atheist? That way the dialog might be a little more realistic. Okay? I'll pick up where you left off. You have the Christian saying "Knowing someone is not proven. It is experienced." So the atheist (me) responds: "But proof has never been the issue. I see no evidence of the 'someone' you claim to know. Can you provide some?". Your turn.

Jim Arvo said...

Perhaps Passerby is too busy to chat at the moment, so I thought I'd go ahead and clarify some things for his (and Dan's) benefit.

As I've made clear numerous times, as far as I know there are no invisible conscious beings; this would include all deities I've ever heard of. That is a different statement from "there are no gods" for several reasons. First, and most importantly, it is relative to my personal knowledge, which is all I can logically claim. Second, the word "god" can be given all manner of interpretations, including the impersonal force of nature held by Spinoza and Einstein. Consequently, I prefer to speak about more well-defined concepts.

So, here is a very succinct statement of my position that should suffice for this discussion: "As far as I know, the god of Abraham does not exist." As I pointed out earlier, I'm happy to admit that I may be wrong, but given my current understanding, that does not seem likely to me. In fact, it's about as remote a possibility as anything I can imagine.

I don't know whether my actual position qualifies me for a "pedestal" in Passerby's view. If it does, he (or Dan) will need to explain because that is patently illogical to me. How does expressing one's honest opinion equate to being on a pedestal? Surely you would not advocate that I lie about my opinion, would you, Passerby? Or do you claim that I have somehow been dishonest from the start? Or perhaps you think I am answering to Satan? I hesitate to guess, so please do speak up.

NegroSan said...

Ok, the real issue at hand. To my statement of faith, Jim asked the crucial question "Is there some reason we should do likewise?"

My answer is that Jesus delivers on those good things that we all desire. If you are seeking joy, peace, hope, et al, then the Gospel is for you. What is the evidence that the Gospel delivers on these things? Just read the posts and testimonies of some of the ex-Christians here. Very many of them admit they (1) did not posses them prior to conversion, and (2) they possessed them after and during their tenure as Christians. I believe one guy said leaving the faith was the second hardest thing to do because in doing so he felt he was leaving these "good things" behind. When I read his post I really felt his pain.

Some here say we have a mental illness, but think about that for a minute. In this life, If you happened to stumble on a "thing" that delivered these rare and much sought after (by EVERYBODY) good things (with no harmful side affects), would you be in your right mind to leave it?

Further, they claim the astonishing statement that people like me, dan and passerby somehow hijacked our brains to deliver these good things. As a matter of fact, that knee-jerk reaction is always thrown up at any experience we have "testified" to. You just cant win! lol. Ask yourself another question: If our minds are so powerful as to simply blow a fuse because we wanted it so badly, why isn't the fuse broken for everybody? I mean, most people I know are really unhappy in life. Some are down-right miserable and aimless, many of them are drug addicted. Why doesn't the fuse blow for them and give them their fantasy?

Sure I know a few people claim the same "happiness" in some other faith - sure, until you follow-up with them. Many people of other faiths I have spoken to don't really believe. Even some "Christians" don't really believe. Shocking? Well you must understand that most "believers" are only so in name. For most people their faith is just another social label: to satisfy their family or culture. for some it is even a means for social advancement and so on. And for the few I spoke to that really believe, well, I will sum them up in the answer of one guy in my question to what happiness means to him. His answer was; the feeling you get when you find a coin.

If you want more than a coin in this life, Jesus is the answer.

Disclaimer: Please don't think I am saying good feelings are the totality of Christianity. There is repentance, sin, judgment, heaven, hell and other things as well.

NegroSan said...

Someone said: "Thomas didn't need it. He asked to see the nail holes in Jesus' hand and he got his wish. God can and does reveal Him/Herself to people if they ask."

You are correct. Thomas wasnt satisified with the word of other people, and Jesus did satiate his desire to "know".

However, please understand that Jesus gave a subtle rebuke to Thomas (and by extension those of like mindedness).

AFTER he received his proof, Jesus said: "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

Jesus is talking about faith here. Basically, Jesus gave props to the "non-thomases" of the world. I mean 10 other people told Thomas they saw him. 10 People he knew personally! Why wasnt that good enough?

NegroSan said...

To the guy who spoke of SG1 and the ORI.

Dude, I love that show!

"All hail the Ori". "Blessed are the ORI". :)

Jim Arvo said...

NegroSan,

You've offered some informal subjective opinions about the relative abundance of happy Christians vs. happy non-Christians. I have two comments:

1) My informal subjective opinion is worlds apart from yours, and

2) Even if your impression is correct, it says nothing at all about whether what you believe is true.

With regard to the first point, the majority of my colleagues and associates are non-believers, and they are a happy, productive, and socially-responsible lot. They are a great bunch of people. Moreover, you seem to have missed the many testimonies of people who are much HAPPIER now that they have left Christianity. Many claim to now finally know the meaning of compassion, as it is now a sincere expression and not coerced. I cannot hazard a guess as to how the numbers stack up globally, and I suspect that you cannot either.

With regard to the second point, some people derive great comfort from believing that they will see deceased loved ones again in another life. That comfort is a result of belief--whether or not the belief is true. Similarly, if you believe that the travails of life are merely a test, and that you will be handsomely rewarded for persevering, that's likely to keep your spirits up--whether or not it's true. If it makes you feel good, that's fine. But it is not evidence that what you believe is true.

“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one” --George Bernard Shaw

NegroSan said...

>With regard to the first point, the majority of my colleagues and associates are non-believers, and they are a happy, productive, and socially-responsible lot.

What about you? Are you happy?

>testimonies of people who are much HAPPIER now that they have left Christianity.

I must have missed it. because manyof the people who left makes claims to forging ahead and so on, but no great claims of happiness.

>..as it is now a sincere expression and not coerced.

Coerced, I do not feel any cohersion at all. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that people of faith tend to be generous than those of no faith.

>some people derive great comfort from believing that they will see deceased loved ones again in another life.

Must I conclude then, that the opposite is also true? that non-believers derive no comfort in death?

>The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one” --George Bernard Shaw

Interesting quote, not to mention a serious fallacy. We are not drunk or under the influence of a narcotic.

Dan Marvin said...

Jim "But proof has never been the issue. I see no evidence of the 'someone' you claim to know. Can you provide some?".

So let me get this strait, evidence does NOT equal proof to you? Isn't proof the issue? Another point is if I showed you evidence would that prove God to you, or would your presuppositions prevent a belief again? "I see no evidence " you say, but as you know there is plenty of evidence for knowing God.

Evidence of impossible things that are in the Bible such as eye witnesses with dedication to the truth, 40 people writing a cohesive message of salvation over 1600 year period, etc. There is even scientific truths in the Bible that would be impossible to know back when it was written a brief list of Atoms (Hebrews 11:3, written 2000 years ago), Blood is the source of life and health (Leviticus 17:11), Ocean floor contains deep valleys and mountains (2 Samuel 22:16; Jonah 2:6), round earth (Isaiah 40:22) , Second Law of Thermodynamics the Law of Increasing Entropy (Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25,26; and Hebrews 1:11), Each star is different (1 Corinthians 15:41), Light moves (Job 38:19,20),Winds blow in cyclones (Ecclesiastes 1:6) ,Ocean contains springs (Job 38:16), Job 38:35 written 3,500 years ago said that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech but did you know that radio waves move at the speed of light? This is why you can have instantaneous wireless communication with someone on the other side of the earth. Science didn't discover this until 1864 when "the British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing" (Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia, Vol. 12), Dinosaurs (Job 40:15-24), Why was circumcision to be carried out on the eighth day? (Genesis 17:12) Medical science has discovered that the eighth day is the only day in the entire life of the newborn that the blood clotting element prothrombin is above 100%. On and on, a handful more things that can be pointed out but you get the point.

Are they acceptable to you is another question. Obviously the evidence presented so far doesn't allow an atheist such as yourself to believe.

Jim "In my view it was nothing more than admitting the possibility of error, and it's what any rational person might say. "

That is because you lack experience and that is the difference. I have an experience that removed ALL doubt, I am 100% certain there is a God. On the flip an atheist cannot say they have 100% certainty based on a non experience, it is based on a belief still. They have a belief based on lack of said experience, but they remain uncertain (lack of assurance). That is in fact what you just said earlier, correct? You said "As far as I know, the god of Abraham does not exist." (a belief based on lack of said experience)

Jim: "How does expressing one's honest opinion equate to being on a pedestal?" The lack of acknowledgment of a Creator puts yourself above God, That is why he requires you to humble yourself and bow to His authority which is inconceivable most proud intellects.

Jim: "Or perhaps you think I am answering to Satan?" Yes! but not answering, according to the Bible you are of satan. In 2 John the 7th verse it is clear "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."

NegroSan, Great point about Thomas.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one" --George Bernard Shaw"

I agree with that statement.

I would disagree with you NegroSan on the subject of happiness. I know many very wealthy people that are very content and quite happy in their life. They see no need for a God until you show them the Law. The real problem is they do not understand the Law (Ten Commandments). The law was made as a mirror for us. In the same way, we don't realize what a bad state we are in until we look into the "mirror" of the Ten Commandments. Have you stolen, lied, dishonored your mother and father etc. then you broke His laws, and the penalty is death. You can be a happy but you are still a wretched sinner. Before I was a Christian I loved sin, tell me who doesn't think fornication feels good. Do you know any Christians that lost a child? Because they are not happy are they still Christians? Of course, we just don't understand that we broke His Laws and deserve punishment. According to the Bible the only guarantee to us is persecution, temptations, and tribulations. While being persecuted Paul did have a certain peace and joy but that will not help the lost to understand the cliff they are headed for. Food for thought.

I mean no one any harm just please understand my motive and you will possible understand why I say the things I say. Thank you all for this worthwhile conversation

Dan Marvin said...

I can't let this go because boomSLANG thinks I lied. So I want to clear things up. I said that salvation is complete in Christ and that NOTHING MORE is required for salvation.

boomSLANG said "NOT soon after that statement, you said: "What is required of us is....."(insert subjective requirement) "What is required of us is"..."is required"..."is required"..."is required"..."is required".

I may have been wrong to use what is "required of us" since it is confusing you in your understanding.

Does God accept the repentance and sincerity of people as a means of obtaining forgiveness of sins? No, He does not. Think about it: if we appealed to God to forgive us based upon what we have done (repented), or what is in our hearts (sincerity), then we are seeking to be made right before God by our own efforts - and this amounts to pride. The fact is that our repentance and sincerity are not enough to merit forgiveness of sins. There is nothing we can do in word, deed, or heartfelt intent that will satisfy an infinitely holy God. If there were, then righteousness would be based upon what we do instead of the sacrifice of Christ (Eph. 2:21). But, Jesus did have to die because we cannot fulfill the perfect Law of God. Why? Because we have been touched by sin in our hearts, minds, and bodies.

Since we can do nothing to merit God's love and forgiveness, He is the only One left who can remove our sin. This is why God had to come down in the form of a man (John 1:1,14), in order to shed His blood, wash away our sins (Acts 22:16), and make us right before God the Father by faith (Rom. 5:1). God's holiness is too great to accept anything wrought by the heart or hand of man.

Passerby said...

Jim said- "I'm not the least bit hesitant to admit that {I might be wrong}."

To admit the possibility of something is very different than to truly believe in what is being admitted.

Example; I could state: "I humbly admit that I may be completely wrong in my current understanding, and that Jesus may indeed be nothing more than a historical figure that once lived, then died. And even further, Jesus may have been fabricated by the imagination of men.".

Now, if I admitted this statement, I can tell you with complete honesty that I would be a liar. why? Well, because I wouldn't mean it from my heart. From the core of my being, this statement is a lie.

Do I consider this statement a lie because its content goes againt my personal beliefs? In fact, I have no way, 2000+ years after the event to prove or disprove any of the claims of the Gospels. So why can't I make that simple statement and admit that I could be wrong? Is it because I'm afraid of what Jesus might say when/if I meet Him? Surely Jesus would understand such a statement, considering that I wasn't around 2000 years ago to witness the whole thing and all I've got are transcribed words through 2 millennia. I really don't see any harm with making such a statement, it's not like I'd be denying the existence of Jesus, I'd simply be admitting that I could be wrong. So to me, no, this isn't the reason I will not make the statement.

Is it because the focus of my life has become so dependent on Jesus through personal dialogue (prayer), Sunday Mass, etc...? It is true that if I made such a statement, in honesty, I would be introducing an element of doubt in what my personal faith holds dear. It sure sounds like this might be the reason why I would not admit such a statement, doesn't it? Yes, of course it does...this must be the reason I can't make such a statement. My worldview is at stake and if I make this statement, with honesty, I'd introduce doubt and would be forced to "limp" along with this Christian worldview or maybe just drop it all together. Right?

Again, no, these are not any of the reasons why I would not make a statement indicating that I might be wrong about Jesus. The honest answer is exactly what I said in the beginning, I would be lying and in good conscience I choose not to lie. I hope to be like Jesus, holy, and lying is not permitted.

Some might say that this sounds alot like brainwashing. How can I possibly believe to such a degree that admitting that I might be wrong, is viewed as lying to myself? "How did he get like this", might be words of those that disbelieve. The only way I got like this, is God. I didn't do it, He did it. He has fed me with spiritual food ever since the day I turned to Him in faith. He has confirmed His existence to me personally and He continues to do so today.

To end my little post on "admitted statements", I must point out that some of your statements leave something to be desired. You first stated that you were open to the possibility "that Jesus may indeed be the savior you've been claiming him to be.". In a following post, you stated that "As far as I know, the god of Abraham does not exist.". ? So which is it, are you truly and sincerely open to the possibility that Jesus might be God? Or are you paying lip service to lure Christians into dialogue? Your second statement indicates that, at this time, you don't see a possibility in the god of Abraham. This place you live, this worldview of yours, sure seems to be on shaky ground and your honesty is suspect. Sadly, at this time, the pedestal I referred to seems "firmly" in place for you Jim. Despite your apparent openess in a previous post, your atheistic worldview seems quite "solid" despite the fact that its been built on sand (Matthew 7:26).

I also worry that the most interesting aspect of dialog for you, may very well be the opportunity to "corner" a believer through the use of pure rationalism. Rationalism will get you nowhere with a true believer in a state of grace, nor will it get you to know God.

You asked if I was interested in understanding your position, the answer is yes, of course, but brutal honesty is a prerequisite. Statements made that have no real anchoring or potential anchoring to the core of your beliefs present themselves as hypocritical. You'll have to pardon me but honesty, in its most brutal form, is all that I accept.

Peace.

Dan Marvin said...

Well said Passerby, I am honored to be your brother in Christ.

To prove God with evidence is a pointless endeavor I must admit.

Let's just say Jim that we stump you with powerful arguments, using archaeological and scientific evidence. We have even intellectually dwarfed you.

Now all we have to do is convince you that Noah actually built an ark and brought in the animals two by two, that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, that Samson killed a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass, that Daniel was really in the lions' den, that Moses really did divide the Red Sea, and that Adam and Eve ran around naked...and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Do you really think we can prove all of that to you?

Look at what Paul said about how he persuaded men about God: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God." (1 Corinthians 2:1) Why didn't Paul dazzle his hearers with eloquent speeches and intellectual wisdom? Bible scholars who have studied his letters tell us that he was extremely capable intellectually. First Corinthians 2:5 tells us why he deliberately stayed away from worldly wisdom: "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

If sinners are converted by the intellect (the wisdom of men), they will fall away by the intellect. If they are merely argued into the faith, they will just as easily be argued out of it whenever a respected scholar reports that 'the bones of Jesus" have been found. However if sinners are converted by "the power of God," they will be kept by the power of God. No intellectual argument will cause them to waver because they will know the life-changing reality of their conversion, and their faith will be secure in the eternally solid and secure Rock of Ages.

Rock on! Passerby

Bill said...
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Bill said...
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Bill said...

Jeash.....Christians on this site are dense. I guess I should understand. I used to hear from god, pray for the sick, preach, witness and so forth. I used to believe all that stuff. Man...were we really that full of ourselves?

You know what I really think brings them back? It's the fact that they are trying to convince themselves that they are right. I really think it's a matter of pride. It's a hard pill to swallow when one realizes that all they can do with all this power they supposedly have from god is talk about an old collection of writings put together selectively by men. Show me some evidence that it's supernatural. Put up or shut up.

I guess those who like answering their every bad apologetic can have at it. I took those courses in undergrad at Christian Heritage College in San Diego. It took awhile to learn there was more to the straw man stuff they fed us.

Have fun guys. Hopefully some day these christians will figure it out. O yeah.....I used to tell people about how I experienced god. I really believed I did too. I even had emotional experiences in worship and prayer and so on. Wake up man. It's not substantial nor is it supernatural.

AtheistToothFairy said...

NegroSan wrote:
"Further, they claim the astonishing statement that people like me, dan and passerby somehow hijacked our brains to deliver these good things. As a matter of fact, that knee-jerk reaction is always thrown up at any experience we have "testified" to"
----
NegroSan,
What is the difference between any god-believer and their claims of a supernatural-being and its miracles/powers etc., versus others who claim to be in touch with supernatural forces or cite highly unlikely events they experience.

While the question of which god is the true god, comes up often here, I won't even ask you to prove your god is the one and only god, but I will ask you to justify your extraordinary belief as I would other strange human beliefs.

1. I've known over my lifetime, a handful who were convinced that aliens in spaceships kidnapped them from their beds. While they can show no evidence this abduction took place, they are just as sure they experienced it, as you are sure about your experiences from god.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

2. What about the women who claim to also be abducted and are sure the aliens impregnated them, but once again no evidence is found that this happened, other than their own word.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

3. Many who claim to have been abducted, will show you their scars from claimed alien surgery, yet these scars are no different than a scar one would have from any earthly injury.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

4. Many claim to have the ability to perform Astral-Traveling while asleep, where they travel to friend's houses, other countries, and some even claim to visit other planets.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

5. Many claim the ability of ESP. Even though every test of ESP has failed miserably, some still are sure they have this power.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

6. How about the folks who are quite positive that they can locate water and oil in the ground, by using divining rods. Now and then they do score and thus they totally believe they have some special talent within them for finding this water and oil beneath their feet.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

7. There are still many today that believe aliens taught our ancestors the technology to build such things as pyramids and even landing strips for their spaceships.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

8. How many, even today, are convinced that Aliens from other words are spying on us quite regularly from their spaceships. Ships that are advanced enough to travel the great vastness of space across many light-years, but still shun making verifiable public contact with us, yet still show themselves in obscure fleeting ways for some unexplainable reasons.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

9. Pick up almost any newspaper and you'll find the Astrology column, that will give you insight into your short term future, based on your 'sign'.
You do know there are many who swear these star-predictions are true and others who make the claim to be able to tell a person their future based on the position of the stars and planets. For those who are serious about this 'hobby', you can't convince them they are wrong in their belief. They are as sure about their belief as you are about your god.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

10. Then we have folks who believe one can get messages from the 'other-side', via folks like John Edwards and his talent to communicate with the dead. Oddly enough, nothing specific about that other-side is ever revealed, but regardless, many are convinced these soothsayers are in contact with their dead relatives.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

11. There are still some who believe that 'automatic-writing' is real, some who swear a
Ouija board can communicate with the dead.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

12. Some lay claim that they can move objects with their minds.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM WITHOUT EVIDENCE?

The point here is that there are many claims for things that are of the supernatural, and folks who are so convinced about these things, that their lives revolve around such beliefs.

What about the mental patient, who has delusions so realistic that they can't discern them from reality. To them, their delusions are just as real as your bible god is to you.
If they told you of their delusion in great detail, even showing you a book they had written about them, would that make their delusions a reality?
They EXPERIENCE their delusions, which contain feelings strong enough to convince them that the object of their delusion is very real, just as many xtians here claim to experience the xtian god with feelings they are sure validate that experience.

Any odd experience based on feelings alone, even one resulting in a skewed interpretation of data that seems to infer some miracle occurred, exists solely in the realm of a human mind alone, unless there is evidence that can be shared and proven out.

Just as the folks who have beliefs in the odd-ball things I just cited, are very sure these things are real, you are just as sure about your god belief for the same type of non-critical, unscientific reasons.
Just as they have no evidence to prove out their beliefs to any skeptic, god believers (so far) also have no evidence to back up their own god belief.

It's quite easy to fool the human mind, especially when that mind's desire is to believe in something supernatural.

John Edwards fools his audience so easily because the folks that go to such shows, WANT to believe it.

The person who seeks water using two sticks, wants to believe they have that talent; that some force is helping them to find that water. Therefore, they ignore their misses and only record the results (hits) and conclude they have some magical talent.

Those who wish to believe alien spaceships are flying in our skies, will easily delude themselves into seeing what their minds want to see, rather than trying to reason out what is actually there.
One can look at a star or planet with the naked eye and see the object jitter about in the sky, which if one is prone to want to see UFO's in the sky, will lend one to conclude no human aircraft can move about in such a pattern etc..

God believers will believe in god, either because they were instilled with that belief from childhood and it becomes a part of them, or something about their personality has a NEED to believe in such a god. Such a person most times will search for proof that their god really exists, but the evidence they see can't stand up to any close scrutiny, other than to their own wishful thinking.
God believers maintain their belief because some part of them has a need for the security their god provides them, along with the good emotions such beliefs provides them that are quite addictive.

You are hooked on the Jesus-Drug, and your mind will reject any evidence to the contrary I'm afraid.
The fact that any attempts to prove your god exists have met with dismal failure, will brush by your mind like dust in the wind.
You will hold to your jesus belief, despite the fact that your bible is the only historical writing supporting his godly existence.
You will hold fast to your belief, even when you've never seen a single person healed in a clear supernatural manner and will instead cite healings that could easily be attributed to earthly causes...or no cause.
You will cherish your belief in an afterlife and heaven, even though you have not one single piece of evidence to support either one.

Your mind doesn't need evidence, as it's all about feel-good emotions for you and the idea that someone is watching your back and guiding you through life.
Your mind will refuse to look too closely at the missing evidence as well as any evidence to the contrary, because you can't bear to wake up from your 'Matrix' illusion that you have been so used to existing within.

So cling to your religion and it's empty promises, because life is too hard to go-it-alone without your invisible sky daddy.

However, those of us who reside within reality would appreciate if you didn't try and drag us down with you into your god delusion, anymore than we would appreciate someone trying to hook us on cocaine.


ATF (who is still waiting for ANY proof of the supernatural, be that some god being or otherwise)

Astreja said...

Dan Marvin: "No intellectual argument will cause them to waver because they will know the life-changing reality of their conversion, and their faith will be secure..."

Bzzt! Wrong, tragically wrong. Many of us here did indeed believe for non-intellectual reasons. Faith made us feel good.

And then, one day, that faith was gone.

Simply gone.

Either the "power of God" was withdrawn on divine whim, for reasons unknown, or it simply never existed in the first place.

And if it happened to us, it can happen to you, too, Dan et al. Saying "You were never true Christians" is fear and denial speaking. (You do remember what Paul said about love and fear, don't you?)

boomSLANG said...

Perpetually obstinate Christian, AKA "Dan Marvin", is back with:

I can't let this go because boomSLANG thinks I lied. So I want to clear things up. I said that salvation is complete in Christ and that NOTHING MORE is required for salvation.

boomSLANG said "NOT soon after that statement, you said: "What is required of us is....."(insert subjective requirement) "What is required of us is"..."is required"..."is required"..."is required"..."is required".


Perpetually obstinate Christian responds: I may have been wrong to use what is "required of us" since it is confusing you in your understanding.[bold added]

Hold the phone!...did you say that you could have been "wrong"? Glory! Please, do tell the class how you could have been "wrong", if you are presumably being guided by an in-dwelling intellectually "perfect" disembodied consciousness?.. one, who has presumably endowed you with it's own ALL-objective, ALL-knowing intellect, via the "Holy bible"? Are you admitting that you are prone to error?..that "God" is having a hard time getting you to delineate, concisely, "His plan" for humanity? Additionally, if you were "wrong" in accurately conveying your own f%cking "thoughts" to me, then why are you attempting to chastise me for being "confused", hmmm? Dumbass.

Marvin attempts damage control, with....

Does God accept the repentance and sincerity of people as a means of obtaining forgiveness of sins? No, He does not. Think about it: if we appealed to God to forgive us based upon what we have done (repented), or what is in our hearts (sincerity), then we are seeking to be made right before God by our own efforts - and this amounts to pride. The fact is that our repentance and sincerity are not enough to merit forgiveness of sins. There is nothing we can do in word, deed, or heartfelt intent that will satisfy an infinitely holy God. If there were, then righteousness would be based upon what we do instead of the sacrifice of Christ (Eph. 2:21). But, Jesus did have to die because we cannot fulfill the perfect Law of God. Why? Because we have been touched by sin in our hearts, minds, and bodies.

Since we can do nothing to merit God's love and forgiveness, He is the only One left who can remove our sin. This is why God had to come down in the form of a man (John 1:1,14), in order to shed His blood, wash away our sins (Acts 22:16), and make us right before God the Father by faith (Rom. 5:1). God's holiness is too great to accept anything wrought by the heart or hand of man.


Oh, good grief. Okay, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that what you are attempting here is one big mountain of equivocation, this, in the hopes to "reconcile" your a priori belief that the bible is true, and thus, that the "salvation" described therein, makes "sense".

You said: Since we can do nothing to merit God's love and forgiveness, He is the only One left who can remove our sin.

Now, let me ask you---is this the same connotation of the word "nothing", as in the statement, "nothing is required for salvation"???? Or would you like to entertain us with more equivocation? If "nothing" actually means nothing, then there's NOTHING I can do to be worthy of your biblegod's acceptence. In that case, WTF are you doing here; WTF are you trying to convince us non-believers that we "need" to do?

Boy, Marvin, for someone who claims to have the One True Interpretation of the creator of the Universe' wishes, you sure can't seem to delineate those thoughts very well, can you?(rhetorical) What a joke.

Jim Arvo said...

Apologies for the length of this post. I tried to keep it concise, but there was a lot to respond to.

Dan: "So let me get this strait, evidence does NOT equal proof to you?"

No, of course they are not equal. There are varying degrees of evidence. Your convictions are actually *evidence* of what you claim, however they are far from being *proof*. Moreover, practically any interesting issue has conflicting evidence. In empirical matters, there is no possibility of absolute proof since the evidence can never be complete and without possibility of error. Therefore, I ask for evidence and not proof.

Dan: "...I showed you evidence would that prove God to you, or would your presuppositions prevent a belief again?"

It depends entirely on the evidence. If you showed me evidence that actually stands up to scrutiny, then I would need to change my position. That's not to say that I would immediately accept your theology, but I would need to adjust my assessment of it. If there were a subsequent accumulation of *credible* evidence, I might ultimately accept your theology. The same with Islam. The same with Hinduism. The same with UFOs.

As for presuppositions, Dan, that's getting really tiresome. You too have presuppositions. Can YOU put those aside? Please don't bring that up again unless you're willing to squarely address what presuppositions you have, and whether or not they prevent you from reaching a rational conclusion. Can we shake on that?

Dan: "...as you know there is plenty of evidence for knowing God."

I see plenty of evidence for BELIEF in god, yes. Belief is not the same as knowledge. Belief *is* actually a very weak form of evidence--I'm happy to admit that. That's why I normally qualify the word "evidence" with the word "credible". Pardon my inadvertent dropping of the qualifier "credible".

After a lengthy list of items he finds compelling, Dan said "Obviously the evidence presented so far doesn't allow an atheist such as yourself to believe."

First, I don't know what you mean by "allow"? If I found such arguments compelling, then it would influence my assessment of your claims. As it is, I find absolutely nothing that you just listed to be even slightly compelling (although I must tell you Dan, you are FINALLY on the right track!). I'm not going to go through your list line-by-line; if you want to pick one or two, I'll address those. Let me try to make the point very quickly this way. Do you believe the Koran to be the word of god? I presume not. Have you seen the lengthy lists of amazing scientific facts that they Koran got right long before they were known to science? There are literally thousands of them. I'll bet that you will find them underwhelming, and for the very same reason that I find your list underwhelming. Each and every one has one of these characteristics: either they require a very creative reading of the text, or they are facts that could be surmised, guessed at, or arrived at without modern science. (Note to NegroSan: this is NOT "guilt by association". I use the Koran to illustrate, not indict.) Also, your list does not include the many absurdities claimed in the Bible, such as the fact that the coloration of livestock can be influenced by mixing various types of bark. That is special pleading.

Dan: "I have an experience that removed ALL doubt, I am 100% certain there is a God."

Dan, based on how you described those experiences earlier, what you just said makes no sense to me whatsoever. Did you not list many ways in which god "talks" to you? Did those ways not require you to INFER that they were from god? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Also, please explain how an experience can be free of doubt. Do you deny that people often perceive and experience things incorrectly?

Dan: "On the flip an atheist cannot say they have 100% certainty based on a non experience, it is based on a belief still."

We can quibble over that word "belief", but that's essentially correct. In a nutshell, I cannot completely rule out the existence of ANYTHING (so long as it's non-contradictory), as I have no means to do so, even in principle. That does not mean that I must consider any such claim to be CREDIBLE. No. Not being able to completely rule something out is not the same as thinking it likely, or even plausible.

Dan: "The lack of acknowledgment of a Creator puts yourself above God,..."

That's nonsense, Dan. It's slinging mud at those who disagree with you. I don't share your theology, Dan. As much as you would like to do so, that does not entitle you to infer anything about my character--and claiming that it's GOD who does so, and not you, is simply question begging. I could just as easily assert that you, Dan, arrogantly place yourself above Zeus by failing to acknowledge him. It's a nonsense ad hominem argument.

I asked earlier "...perhaps you think I am answering to Satan?" Dan answers with "Yes! but [by?] not answering, according to the Bible you are of satan."

Lovely. Let's summarize. You claim there is a god. I say I don't believe you because I have examined the evidence, and it doesn't hold up. You therefore claim that I am of (controlled by?) some other powerful evil invisible being. And you "know" this through an ancient anonymous text. Dan, honestly, don't you feel just a little embarrassed in claiming that I'm controlled by Satan?

Dan: "They [rich non-believers?] see no need for a God until you show them the Law. The real problem is they do not understand the Law (Ten Commandments)."

That's a silly statement you just made. Have you spoken to all such people? Have you verified this somehow? Here's another option (and one I can cite many examples of): They reject your theology for essentially the same reason I do--i.e. it appears to be nothing more than man-made mythology. Admit it, Dan, thinking rational well-informed people can decide to reject your faith for non-selfish reasons.

Now to Passerby. First of all, I think your post started out extremely well. Apart from the insults you tossed at me toward the end, I liked what you wrote. I think it's the first time I've seen you walk through a sequence of possibilities and examine them undogmatically. Credit where credit is due. Well done (except for the rudeness toward the end).

Passerby: "To admit the possibility of something is very different than to truly believe in what is being admitted."

Right. I admit the possibility of alien abductions. I think the chance of them being real is so remote that I essentially dismiss such claims, however. I also admit the possibility that ESP is real. But again, its a very remote possibility. Do you think there is something "unreal" about my statements?

You said, in essence, that if you admitted any doubts about your belief, you would be lying. If that's true, then I see that as a very real manifestation of the brick silo I spoke about earlier. There is nothing wrong with doubting, especially when your belief hinges on countless inferences. That you do not permit yourself this latitude is, to me, a sign of something artificially forced. The most robust beliefs, in my experience, are the ones that can withstand doubt and continual testing. Conversely, those that are shielded from doubt are the ones that are most suspect, as they do not remain tethered to what is real.

Passerby: "So which is it, are you truly and sincerely open to the possibility that Jesus might be God? Or are you paying lip service to lure Christians into dialogue?"

I categorically do NOT assert that I believe something when I do not. Let's get that out of the way. It seems you want to paint me as speaking a half truth. By piling on words like "really and truly" it appears you are asking for some heartfelt admission of longing. No, there is no longing. I merely admit that I may be wrong. It is a possibility that would require unbounded arrogance on my part to deny. Do I THINK that I'm wrong? I currently have no reason to, no. Nothing in my experience suggests that there are invisible conscious beings, except in the imaginations of people, so I don't believe in them. I challenge you to accept that simple fact for what it is. For some reason this is always the most difficult thing for believers to accept, perhaps because it is so plain and simple.

Passerby: "This place you live, this worldview of yours, sure seems to be on shaky ground and your honesty is suspect."

That's quite rude and completely uncalled for.

Passerby: "Sadly, at this time, the pedestal I referred to seems 'firmly' in place for you Jim."

That's also rude, not to mention unfounded.

Passerby: "I also worry that the most interesting aspect of dialog for you, may very well be the opportunity to 'corner' a believer through the use of pure rationalism."

I'll have you recall part of my initial statement of intent. To *understand* your position, and to have you *understand* mine. Do you suppose that's possible?

Passerby: "You'll have to pardon me but honesty, in its most brutal form, is all that I accept."

I'll take you at your word. But I must point out that I hold "honesty" to include more than merely stating what you truly believe. It also extends to fairly representing the views of those you do not agree with. I do not feel you've adhered to that last part, although I appreciate your candor with regard to your own beliefs.

Back to Dan. Dan said "Do you really think we can prove all of that to you?" I don't know, but it doesn't seem central to the current discussion. What I would like from you, Dan, is credible evidence of a conscious invisible being. Or, somewhat equivalently, credible evidence of ANY scripture having non-human origin. Whether Noah actually built an ark seems incidental to me--that could stand or fall without affecting the bigger picture. Again, correct me if you think otherwise.

NegroSan said...

>I even had emotional experiences in worship and prayer and so on....

Like I was saying; here is another one saying again about he felt theses good things. These ex-christians keep proving my point.

>Show me some evidence...

I ask the question again: when you-all sat up in Church, and they were preaching on those famous FAITH scriptures like "WE WALK BY FAITH and NOT BY SIGHT", or the "just shall live by FAITH" and so on; what did you think they were talking about?

Folks, Jesus delivers as promised. What you do with it is up to you.

I will also say this, AT LEAST we feel SOMETHING..

boomSLANG said...

Negro': Like I was saying; here is another one saying again about he felt theses good things. These ex-christians keep proving my point.

Unreal. Okay, your "point" is a logical fallacy, in that, it fails to validate your underlying premise. To illustrate--as a child, the "feeling" that I had an invisible companion who played with me, was, then, a "good thing". Likewise, was my belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Toothfairy. I felt those beings actually existed. Yet, I left those "good things" behind, because as a rational-minded adult, those beliefs don't have a referent in reality. 'Got it?

Negro': I will also say this, AT LEAST we feel SOMETHING..

Good grief. Okay, who says that the belief in God/gods is mutually exclusive with the ability to "feel", in general? Who?..yOU? Huh! Yeah, nice arrogant sweeping generalization, there, "Christian". So, other than we don't believe in your deity, shall we believe that you know one single thing about who we are, and/or, what we feel, or don't feel, "just because"? Brilliant, Cleo'...tell us more about ourselves, won't you?

stronger now said...

Boom:"...if you were "wrong" in accurately conveying your own f%cking "thoughts" to me, then why are you attempting to chastise me for being "confused", hmmm? Dumbass."

I've been eagerly awaiting this! Well done!

Jim:"The most robust beliefs, in my experience, are the ones that can withstand doubt and continual testing. Conversely, those that are shielded from doubt are the ones that are most suspect, as they do not remain tethered to what is real."

Poetry. I think I'd like to print this out and keep in in my wallet for future reference.

NegroSan said...

For the record; its NegroSan, not Negro.

Lol.

boomSLANG said...

Hi Stronger'. 'Glad you like it!

Peace, Boom'

(notice use of apostrophe to denote omissions and abbreviations)

Jim Arvo said...

NegroSan,

When someone suggests that I accept something on faith, I believe I do understand what is intended: I am being asked to accept something on insufficient evidence (although there may be additional connotations as well). My question is this: Why should I do that rather than attempt to ground my beliefs on evidence, which has served me admirably in every other aspect of life? If you insist that it's because Jesus (as god) deems it good, then you are simply adding another layer to the imaginary cake. Again, why should I accept your claims about Jesus without sufficient evidence? If that were a good idea, there are millions of things I could choose to believe (see ATF's list). Your cake appears to me every bit as imaginary as those offered up by Muslims, Hindus, Mithraists, Jains, Pagans, etc.

You and others are welcome to believe as you wish. But if you want me to buy into it, for some reason, I will first need to distinguish it from fantasy; it will need to be more than merely possible. If that seems unreasonable to you, I'd love to hear your rationale.

You say "Jesus delivers as promised." Yet clearly millions of people in dire situations have made heartfelt pleas to Jesus, and their petitions have gone unanswered. I will give you specific examples from my own experience if need be, but I doubt that will be necessary. So, what does it mean that "Jesus delivers"? It seems you will be forced to explain away the obvious fact that heartfelt requests for things as basic as food, water, and shelter are routinely unfulfilled. To my knowledge, Christianity has no better record here than other religions.

Hello to Boom, Stronger, and ATF. Call me crazy, but I actually think Dan, Passerby, and NegroSan have written some interesting posts, and managed to keep it civil for the most part. WM is probably wondering if I'm enjoying this. Actually, I am.

NegroSan said...

>but I actually think Dan, Passerby, and NegroSan have written some interesting posts

really...why?

NegroSan said...

>Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Toothfairy. I felt those beings actually existed. Yet, I left those "good things" behind,

Having been a child myself that believed in Santa Claus; all I can say to that is, Well if a person can compare the totality of their Christian experience to a child's "joy" of believing in Santa Claus, then I don't know what to say..

>My question is this: Why should I do that rather than attempt to ground my beliefs on evidence, which has served me admirably in every other aspect of life?

The question you ask implies a "natural" answer. The concepts I speak of are not natural, they are spiritual; and never the twain shall meet.

>I could choose to believe (see ATF's list)...

ATF's list and the accompanying questions are not valid. As I pointed out earlier, guilt by association is a major fallacy. lets turn it around so my point makes sense to you(because the same logic would apply). If any item on ATF's list somehow gets proven true beyond a reasonable doubt, then - for the logic to hold true, we must conclude that all the other un-knowns on the list are true as well; by default.

>I will first need to distinguish it from fantasy; it will need to be more than merely possible. If that seems unreasonable to you, I'd love to hear your rationale.

Well, think there are many apologists websites that do a good job of that. As a matter of fact, I think Dan touched on a few in his posts. If I was a non-believer, they would be enough to convince me that the Gospels are historic documents, and not just made up fantasy. I am sure you can come up with many reasons to dispute my conclusion, but that's besides the point.

>You say "Jesus delivers as promised." Yet clearly millions of people in dire situations have made heartfelt pleas to Jesus, and their petitions have gone unanswered

Jesus also promised trials, tribulations, testing, suffering and persecution. Also, since neither of us are capable of testing that out, I would conclude that your statement has no foundation. I could even go so far as to assert the opposite (in a general sense).

Bill said...

Negrosan....faith without evidence is really scary. I mean....wow...what kind of a person takes things on faith without having evidence in the natural world to prove what they say is real or true.

Let's take the synoptic gospels. They were written from the infamous "Q" document, which no one has ever seen. Mathew, and Luke were copied from Mark and Mark was copied from the Q. John is another animal all together.

The gospels contradict one another on many points and they were written around 30 - 50 years after the supposed death of Christ. All Christian and non-Christian scholars agree that some of the stories were never apart of the original text...like the woman caught in adultery.

My earlier point about emotion being a proof text of God was to point out the false line of reasoning that Dan used to prove god speaks to him.

To say nothing else happens to prove the existence of god except faith from a collection of writings is not a very rational or logical approach to life.

And please don't tell me that logic and reason are not needed to understand spirituality. Every aspect of life is built on the attempt to be reasonable and logical.

Religion should not be an exception. It is of course and that is why people like you defend it without understanding the dichotomy it produces. I was there once too. I said the same thing about walking by faith and not by site. Duhhhhhh! I spent 5 years and Bible College and 4 more in seminary.

I was once religiously arrogant and elite in my views. I would never have called it that when I was a born again, bible believing Christian, but now I see how I was.

Your gift to us is really about you. If you really believed in your faith you would pray for us and leave us alone. But instead you argue on hoping that in the process you will augment your doubts with positive feelings that you are doing the Lords work and He will be pleased when you die.

Christianity is a very prejudicial religion as are the Muslim and Jewish faiths. The blindness that is produced by religion is saddening. Your statements are unfalsifiable because you always have some explanation to cover your other explanation that didn’t add up. I learned about that kind of thinking when I really looked into creation science. I should know because I studied it in Bible College and I did my student ministry at the Institute for Creation Research. I used to use that stuff in my arguments to witness to people. Needless to say, I have since read a lot more about dating methods and the likes. I could never mindlessly parrot that stuff again. I hope my uncle can forgive me (he is an astrophysicist) for employing those ignorant arguments at him. J

I believe that you honestly believe that god exists and that you are probably trying to live a good life, serve Him and help others. That speaks well of you; however that does not mean that just because your intentions are good that your beliefs are true. All I ask is that you step back from what you believe and take some time to reflect and honestly evaluate your beliefs with the same skeptical mind that most of us employ in life (some of us just don’t employ it in religion). Stop reading the Word, going to church and praying and hanging out with other Christians long enough so that your rational programming, so to speak, has time to kick back in again. Have the courage to try this. Good luck!

Bill said...

Oh and by the way...Jesus does not deliver at promised otherwise the blind would be healed, limbs would grow back and so forth. No body has the faith to move mountains, heal the sick, walk on water, make wine out of water and on and on. No one drinks poison, is bitten by snakes and on and on. Jesus promised these things and greater after he left. For that matter, no christian leader seems to be able to live up to the promises of Jesus and do these things. It's the pink elephant in the room kind of thing. Either the bible is literal or it's not. You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

As a former believer I also was under the realization that everything was a matter of faith. I also had no way of knowing if I would really see a heaven when I died. I chose to believe that everything I stood for was true. How could I be wrong. I had prayers answered, saw people healed of alleged diseases and I even spoke in Holy tongues. I was apart of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship movement and I was convinced in my rightness and the rightness of my fellow Christians. All truth is God truth and away I went praying and witnessing and learning more and more about God.

All I can say is......life has a way of waking you up if you are capable of reasoning beyond mere Christianity. It took a number of years but I eventually found the courage to quit being afraid of Hell and God's displeasure. I can't say that life is a bowl of fun. It never was as a Christian and nothing has changed now except me. I have a new and more peaceful outlook on life. I am glad I no longer have faith in Christ or any other spiritual belief. It truly is a good thing. I would never in a million years have believed I would have left the Christian religion( Christ). It/He was my life, my identity and my strength. It gave me hope and made me proud to pass it on to my children.

Again, all I can say is that life has a way of making you see the truth if you let it.

boomSLANG said...

Negrosan originally stated: Like I was saying; here is another one saying again about he felt [these] good things. These ex-christians keep proving my point.

Yes, your "point". Okay, just so there's no misunderstandings this time---based on your previous comments, your "point" seemed to be/seems to be that you are questioning, and thus, skeptical, of how we, as exchristians, could've left the "good things" that we "felt" when we were Christians, behind.... yes? Is that a fair assessment? I'm running with "yes", until I hear otherwise.

Anyway, to the above-quoted, I originally responded:

"Okay, your 'point' is a logical fallacy, in that, it fails to validate your underlying premise."(the premise that Christianity can be true, if you merely have 'faith' that it's true)

Following that, I previously made the analogy......"...as a child, the 'feeling' that I had an invisible companion who played with me, was, then, a 'good thing'. Likewise, was my belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Toothfairy. I felt those beings actually existed. Yet, I left those 'good things' behind, because as a rational-minded adult, those beliefs don't have a referent in reality."

Negrosan's latest: Having been a child myself [who] believed in Santa Claus; all I can say to that is, Well if a person can compare the totality of their Christian experience to a child's "joy" of believing in Santa Claus, then I don't know what to say..[bold added]

I beg your pardon, but your charge that I am "comparing" childhood beliefs, with those of adulthood beliefs, is false, as it is YOU who is implicitly, and erroneously, comparing the respective feelings produced by said beliefs. I'm sorry, but that MISSES the point; the point is why one KEEPS beliefs, and THAT, according to your above 'reasoning', is because of the good "feelings" the belief, itself, produces.

To be sure, put it this way---if the belief in "Santa" brought you "joy", then why did you eventually abandon that belief? Why don't you just have "faith"?...why don't you believe in Santa "just because"???

Listening.

AtheistToothFairy said...

NegroSan wrote:
lets turn it around so my point makes sense to you(because the same logic would apply).
If any item on ATF's list somehow gets proven true beyond a reasonable doubt, then - for the logic to hold true, we must conclude that all the other un-knowns on the list are true as well; by default.

---
Negrosan,
Let's "turn it around" again then, using your logic here.

[[So round and round the wheel spins, so hang on folks and try not to get too dizzy...LOL]]

You say that if we prove any item on my list, then by default we have proved them all to be valid, correct?

My list is made up of things unearthly or supernatural, as most would consider your god to be as well.
Therefore by YOUR logic here, if we prove your god to be real, then by default we have have also proven that aliens abduct earthlings and perhaps do nasty things to their bodies.
We also then would be forced to believe the human mind has the power of ESP and can also move objects just by willing them to move.

Proving out a single item on my list does NOT prove out any other at all !!
There is no direct "association" between any of them in my list.

For instance, we could have aliens out there that taught our ancestors some technology, but have left our solar system long long ago.
We could have abductions of humans by aliens, but that doesn't also mean they really are doing surgery on humans, leaving scars as evidence.
I will say that proving aliens have visited earth, would also prove there is life somewhere else in our universe, and while that would open a big can of worms for some, it has NO bearing whether there is a creator god out there as well. They are independent of each other.

There might be an afterlife where some who are still alive, can actually make contact with those who died, but that does not also mean there is a heaven and hell, nor a god controlling that afterlife realm.

If some new form of astrology was proven to actually work, to predict the future for each of us, that also has no bearing on if we have aliens visiting earth, no bearing on if humans travel astrally while asleep to other locations etc..

Whether one item gets proven true on my list, or all of them do, doesn't prove or disprove the existence of your xtian god, nor would proving a god exists, prove any of those items to be true.

Sure, if we could find just one thing that is clearly beyond the natural, then we'd have enough suspicion to take a closer look at other things that might also be of supernatural origins. So far, not one item on my list has been shown to offer any credible evidence, just as is the case for your god not have any credible evidence to support his existence.
All the things on my list could be proven to be true and yet we'd still have no direct evidence in your god's existence.

I think perhaps you missed the whole point of that long list I made you.
It was all about how much evidence YOU would require in order to accept any of those things as being credible.

What type of proofs would YOU require to convince you that things like ESP, Astral Traveling, Aliens visiting earth and so forth, are of reality and not just some wishful thinking from too- eager human minds?

Do these things on my list take more or less evidence to convince you they are real, as compared to the evidence you needed to believe your god exist?

Perhaps by thinking about how much and what type of evidence YOU would require for those things, might alert you into realizing you have put the 'bar' far too low in your requirements to be sure your god exists.

Most of us here who are skeptical about things unnatural or uncommon, won't believe any of these things until some real proof shows up to support them, which is why we also can't believe in your god, for your god has about the same type of 'evidence' to support his existence as these other things I mentioned. In fact, your god probably has LESS evidence than these other things do.

I fail to see how you can make an argument that all these things are tied together, such that proving one, proves all, so please explain your logic to us here?


ATF (who wonders why some folks can accept mystical things without a shred of credible evidence to support those things, god included---of course)

NegroSan said...

>Why don't you just have "faith"?...why don't you believe in Santa "just because"???

Asking backwards questions is not the same as making an argument.

Notwithstanding the above, I say this: You are looking for a natural "answer" to spiritual question. And the twain shall never meet.
No matter how much I say God made the difference your comeback against it will always be some variation of "its all in your head".

>Listening.

Are you?

NegroSan said...

>I fail to see how you can make an argument that all these things are tied together, such that proving one, proves all, so please explain your logic to us here?

My whole point is that your argument makes no sense. I gave the erroneous argument to show your fallacy from another angle.

boomSLANG said...

In regards to the subject of why we hold beliefs---and that, according to Negrosan, is because they are "good things"; because they make us feel good, I asked Negro': "[Then]Why don't you just have 'faith'[in Santa]?...why don't you believe in Santa 'just because'???"

Negro' responds: Asking backwards questions is not the same as making an argument.

Good grief! Um, no, the question is totally pertinent to your premise; totally pertinent to your "argument".

Again, it was a hypothetical question meant to illustrate that if the reason we should hold beliefs is because of the way they make us feel, this, even in lack of empirical evidence, then that should apply ACROSS THE BOARD. My point: If one believes something on "Faith", then that opens the door to a literal endless list of things to be believed as "true", in lack of evidence.... including "Santa".

Now, stop equivocating; stop stonewalling; stop weasle-wording, and please just answer the question: If "Santa" made you feel "joy" as a child, then why did you eventually stop believing?

Waiting.

NegroSan said...

>If "Santa" made you feel "joy" as a child, then why did you eventually stop believing?

Because Santa did not speak to my heart as Christ did, that's why.

Santa did not appear in a vision to me, jesus did.

The "Joy" Santa gave me is not the same "thing" that Jesus gives.

Santa did not give me dreams and prophecies that came through as Jesus did.

And here is a sign for you - when you see two Earthquakes occur simultaneously in two seperate geological locations, you may count it as a sign from God to you.

.:webmaster:. said...

NS wrote, "Because Santa did not speak to my heart as Christ did, that's why.

Santa did not appear in a vision to me, jesus did.

The "Joy" Santa gave me is not the same "thing" that Jesus gives.

Santa did not give me dreams and prophecies that came through as Jesus did.

And here is a sign for you - when you see two Earthquakes occur simultaneously in two seperate geological locations, you may count it as a sign from God to you."



Your statement, is a succinct encapsulation of what makes religion dangerous. History is replete with examples of what happens when personal dreams, fantasies, wishful thinking, and outright hallucinations replace reality in a person's mind, and when those delusions are subsequently encouraged and applauded by charismatic religious cult leaders.

Regardless, NS, you more or less stated that the evidence that convinced you that Christianity is true amounts to mystical visions, dreams, ect.

Experiences that occur in one person's mind cannot be shared with another person. It may be that your "experiences" have helped convince you that Christianity is true, but your experiences cannot be cited as evidential confirmation for anyone else. Those experiences, whether real or delusional, are yours alone. Experiences such as you describe cannot be analyzed, examined, falsified, replicated, or anything else. You have had some sort of mental/emotional experience and you have chosen to interpret those experiences within the framework of your religion. And, I would dare to guess that you were a Christian long before you started having "visions." In fact, I would guess that your "mystical experiences" really had nothing to do with your initial conversion to Christianity.

Oh, and your prophesy of two earthquakes? Let's have a little more detail, OK? Two earthquakes at different locations happens quite frequently, so that's not much of "sign" of anything. And will this sign of yours be taking place within the next 10, 20 or 2,500 years, or more? Hmm?

boomSLANG said...

Regarding the feelings that beliefs generate, I asked Negrosan:

"If 'Santa' made you feel 'joy' as a child, then why did you eventually stop believing?"

Negro': Because Santa did not speak to my heart as Christ did, that's why.

That's wonderful, but try as you might, you haven't quite disqualified, or moved away from the issue of "Faith"---mind you, an issue that you, yourself, introduced into the discussion. To be sure, what exactly do you mean when you say that something would "speak to" your "heart"??? Can you qualify that with logical thought-processes?..or is that just more metaphorical jibberish for "intuition", or Faith? Or wait, maybe you have internal or external cochlear nerves attached to your heart? Do tell.

Negro': Santa did not appear in a vision to me, jesus did.

Wow!..and Moroni the Angel appeared in a vision to Joe Smith, founder of Mormonism. Thus, we can conclude that Mormonism is true, right?....just have "Faith"?

Negro': The "Joy" Santa gave me is not the same "thing" that Jesus gives.

Right, right, of course!..."Santa" doesn't promise you that, upon death, you can float around in the clouds in eternal bliss, if you're a "good boy" here on earth. Roger, that...10-4.

Negro': Santa did not give me dreams and prophecies that came through as Jesus did.

Show me a fulfilled "prophecy", and I'll show you some out-and-out shoe-horning.

Negro': And here is a sign for you - when you see two Earthquakes occur simultaneously in two [separate] geological locations, you may count it as a sign from God to you.

Lol! You're kidding, right? Fantastic joke!

boomSLANG said...

BTW, regarding "prophecy", be forewarned:

If "Prince" can signify "God", then "lawn mower" can signify "hair clippers".

AtheistToothFairy said...

NegroSan said:
And here is a sign for you - when you see two Earthquakes occur simultaneously in two seperate geological locations, you may count it as a sign from God to you.

Then the webmaster replied:
Oh, and your prophesy of two earthquakes? Let's have a little more detail, OK? Two earthquakes at different locations happens quite frequently, so that's not much of "sign" of anything. And will this sign of yours be taking place within the next 10, 20 or 2,500 years, or more? Hmm?
----
Negrosan,

Try as I may here, I can't fathom why YOU would see these earthquakes as a 'sign' from god?

Are you suggesting that your xtian god would actually CAUSE earthquakes and the resulting destruction they reap upon our world?
If so, then what great purpose would that serve, as something of that nature is quite indiscriminate in who/what it affects.

See, if some natural disaster only affected non-xtians and left xtians unscathed, then one could attribute such a thing to something supernatural, otherwise it's just a NATURAL cause and happens all the time because the plates of the earth now and then play the game of "slip&slide".
(Oops, didn't mean to spill any secrets of science to you)

If a disaster, instead only killed xtians alone, then one might hypothesize that your god was taking his faithful up to heaven, although one would think he could just point a finger at these xtians and take them to heaven without causing physical destruction to the earth in the process.

Please tell me that you aren't suggesting your god caused these earthquakes just to give YOU some proof of his existence, because I sure wouldn't want to know ANY god who would work in such a manner.
(We already had one chap here recently, who thought god shook the earth for his benefit)

Do you also believe that volcano's erupting, the destruction from hurricanes, tornado's and all other natural disasters; are caused by the direct hand of your god as well?

Do you perhaps see these things as some warning from your god for humanity to 'wise up' or suffer his consequences?



ATF (who feels like he's being told that the "Night at the Museum" fantasy movie, was actually instead a documentary about wax figures that really come to life at night)

AtheistToothFairy said...

NegroSan wrote:
ATF said: It was all about how much evidence YOU would require in order to accept any of those things as being credible.

ATF asked: I fail to see how you can make an argument that all these things are tied together, such that proving one, proves all, so please explain your logic to us here?

NegroSan replied: My whole point is that your argument makes no sense. I gave the erroneous argument to show your fallacy from another angle.

----
Negrosan,

I see one of two possibilities here:

1. Your intellect and debating skills are vastly superior to my own.

2. You have been backed into a ugly corner by my questions and are just trying to wiggle out of having to reply to them.

Now because my debating skills are NOT on a par with the talent that Boomslang and Jim Arvo have, I will defer to their opinions as to whether my questions (re: the list) are applicable here or whether I'm out in left field by trying to associate the importance of evidence for your god, with the importance of evidence for other odd-ball things that many folks tend to believe.

So Boom and Jim, is Negrosan correct in that we can't compare his unique god belief with my example beliefs of Aliens, Astrology, Astral Travels etc., or is there indeed a correlation between all these things; in the proof required to substantiate such extraordinary things???


In the meanwhile, I'm pondering your statement above, where you say my "argument makes no sense".
It sure seems to me that if one is prone to buy-into something extraordinary, using mostly just FAITH, then one is doing so because one WISHES that thing to be true and would naturally then fear discovering through empirical evidence that this desired thing is actually false instead.

Folks who personally have had a 'dream' of an alien abduction and then assume their experience was of reality, are ignoring all the counter-evidence that say's it's highly unlikely, as well as being unconcerned that they are lacking empirical evidence to support their belief.

Folks who believe they traveled outside their bodies while sleeping and become convinced they really visited another location, never look close enough to realize that they didn't witness any specific event that can be correlated with a precise time of day.
They just don't want anyone or any fact, to burst their bubble.

The point here that I feel is valid, is that people are easily fooled into believing a thing that matches up with a desired belief, or perhaps for some it's because they lack the fortitude to try and discern the facts of the matter.

I see LITTLE difference in how folks will form a belief of anything supernatural, versus how god-believers form their own beliefs without a shred of empirical evidence to back it up.
The ONLY difference I really see here is that most of us were brainwashed as children into believing the god story, instead of forming that supernatural belief as mature adults.

Where is the difference between a child's pretend-friend who makes them FEEL good, or a child's mind believing in the monster under the bed, or that a scary ghost is haunting their home; versus the evidence you have to convince other adults that your god is real?

The fact that you have some writings that were written 2000+ years ago and pieced together hundreds of years ago to form a bible book, really is no better than the out-of-focus pictures that UFO folks use to embellish their own beliefs.

So no NegroSan, I do not see a problem with my comparison between your god belief and any other supernatural belief that some folks hold dear and live their lives around.
They are clearly one and same thing to me !!


NegroSan said: "Santa did not appear in a vision to me, jesus did."

And what if Santa had appeared to you in a vision when you were a boy.
Would you have questioned that vision or assumed he really did appear to you?

Why is it that 99% of the time, these Jesus/God visions are of the personal nature.
They tend to happen when a person is either asleep or very tired; or under the influence of some substance.

Why doesn't Jesus appear in a church on a sunday morning to all his xtian followers?
After all, these xtains are there to worship him, unlike us heathens who might not deserve an appearance from this god of yours.

Why is it that all of you who swear you saw jesus while fully awake, never bother to take his picture for us?

How about ALL xtians who are reading this, pray to Jesus to appear to them, while the camcorder is recording the grand visitation.
Please don't tell me that your all powerful jesus is camera-shy...LOL.

Could the answer be that these visions exist only in a xtian's MIND and thus no camera on earth would be able to record that vision.

Why is it that your god/jesus can't perform a miracle, that can't be denied by even the most skeptical of us.
Why is it that everything about your religion is based solely on this faith stuff, where no proof is ever required.
Funny, but the woo-woo folks of the supernatural say the same darn thing about their certainty of their own beliefs.

Perhaps ANYTHING supernatural that exists, is also too afraid to provide us with evidence that can't be questioned by anyone, so like your god does, they only provide hear-say evidence and the like.

So go right ahead and ignore my points and questions.

Pretend that your god belief is vastly unique to anything else of the supernatural and that it has no need for any proof, to be believed.
Surely your great god doesn't need to be subjected to the task of handing over proof-positive that he really is out there. He's just soooo wonderful that such things wouldn't ever apply to him, right.


ATF (who is waiting and waiting and waiting, for the picture of Jesus, so we can dismiss all the artist conceptions of what he looked like)

Dan Marvin said...

NegroSan,

One of the forums that I was reading answered something that I thought was interesting enough to share with all of you:

Does God Speak To Us Apart From The Bible?

ANSWER: No. The Bible reveals the mind of God to the mind of man.

God does not speak to us apart from His revealed words recorded in the Bible. God speaks to us today through His Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-4).

BIBLICAL PROOF:

* The phrase “God hath spoken” shows God has said all that He intends to say (Hebrews 1:1-2).

* Jesus promised the apostles they would be guided into all truth (John 16:13). If God is still revealing truth, the apostles were not guided into all truth as Christ promised.

* Paul said he declared all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27). How could Paul have made such a claim, if God’s message to man was not complete? The answer is that the Bible reveals the completed message of God to man.

* Timothy was taught, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unti all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17). The American Standard Version says, “that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.” The fact that a man may be complete shows the Word of God is complete. The Bible is all we need!

* If God is still giving revelation, then Peter was mistaken when he said God “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3).

* The faith, which is the gospel (Colossians 1:23), “was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). That is, once for all time. Once a thing has been delivered, it does not need to be redelivered.

* If God spoke directly to a person and not to others, then this would make Him a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).

* We are warned against adding to the Word of God (I Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:8-9; II John 9; Revelations 22:18-19). Anything revealed other than the recorded words of God in the Bible is error. For instance, some religious groups claim God provided latter day revelations. The latter day revelations claimed by men do not harmonize with clear Bible teaching from God’s word.

Anonymous said...

dan marvin

I thought you'd left us alone. You do realize that the bible is a collection of jewish history (made up by many different people). Consider the Moses, he writes about his own death and burial. He writes about genesis???? The nt was put together by the men. They decided what fit their theology of god and they tossed the rest. Come on. Do you really believe some super force like god manipulated men to write and put together a collection of stuff and now that collection is the authoritative word of some supernatural dude in another dimension?

GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!

Quoting from that book is silly. I mean really man. How would you like it if every time we spoke I quoted the koran and said it is god's word, how dare you not believe.

Wake up and get some brains.

Anonymous said...

Oh mighty god may dan and his friends be blessed with many children and much wealth where as I will go to hell and burn forever because I don't have just the right faith in you.

I get so sick of people who don't use reason and logic in religion. They just believe so that makes it all TRUE!!!! Wow!!! The bible is true because I believe it. Oh joy

AtheistToothFairy said...

Dan Marvin said::

Does God Speak To Us Apart From The Bible?
ANSWER: No. The Bible reveals the mind of God to the mind of man.

----
So there you have it folks, another lame xtian EXCUSE for why none of us can ever know their god is real. He only makes contact Mind-to-Mind, something like a 'Vulcan Mind Meld' I suppose.

Gosh, if that's the only form of god contact left on earth, then how can anyone tell a person suffering from major delusions, versus one who is really in contact with god's mind?
Oh I know, we just take their word for it [rolling eyeballs]

It must be great to be a xtian and have at hand, a million excuses to explain why your god has to stay hidden and silent, except to the one's who's brains WISH to believe he exists.

How very convenient !!


ATF (who is off to have a secret conversation with the tooth fairy spirit boss, that speaks only to me; mind to mind---of course)

stronger now said...

Since Dan cannot think for himself, I decided to do a little for him.

Now keep in mind that even if the books in the NT were written in chronological order, that would mean that "gods word" discounted revalations as "gods word" as it would have been the last book written. But since the books af the NT were NOT written in the order in which they appear in the NT, the writers could not have known about the books yet to be written that are now in the NT.

Here are some things that seem to call into question the "BIBLICAL PROOF" that dan used:


"* The phrase “God hath spoken” shows God has said all that He intends to say (Hebrews 1:1-2)."

And hebrews was more than likely written before revalations, 3 john, 2 john, 1 john, john, and jude. Are they not "gods word"?


"* Paul said he declared all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27). How could Paul have made such a claim, if God’s message to man was not complete? The answer is that the Bible reveals the completed message of God to man."

And acts was most likely written before , 2 timothy, 2 peter, 1 peter, titus, 1 timothy, and phillipians. So it would seem that at the time that acts was penned, "gods message" really wasn't complete. Making what paul had to say in acts a lie.

"* Timothy was taught, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unti all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17). The American Standard Version says, “that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.” The fact that a man may be complete shows the Word of God is complete. The Bible is all we need!"

And 2 timothy was likely penned before revelations, 3 john, 2 john, 1 john, john, jude, and hebrews. So they couldn't have been part of "scripture" that timothy was talking about.

"* If God is still giving revelation, then Peter was mistaken when he said God “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3)."

2 peter being written before revelations, making peter mistaken.


"* If God spoke directly to a person and not to others, then this would make Him a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34)."

Which makes the old testament discriptions of god talking to moses, a lie. Right? Unless moses wasn't "a person".

"* We are warned against adding to the Word of God (I Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:8-9; II John 9; Revelations 22:18-19). Anything revealed other than the recorded words of God in the Bible is error. For instance, some religious groups claim God provided latter day revelations. The latter day revelations claimed by men do not harmonize with clear Bible teaching from God’s word"

And are we to surmise that revelations was written at the exact same time as 1 corinthians? They are estimated by some to have been written more that thirty (30) years apart.

My information on the chronological order of the NT books was taken from a christian site:

http://gfcto.com/2007/02/new_testament_books_in_chronol.php

And the dates are NOT certain. However, if one is to claim that god has said all that he is going to say, then all the books of the entire bible must be written before, or at the same moment as, the one in which that statement appears.

This seems impossible to reconcile with the fact that the statement appears in many different books of the NT.(I Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:8-9; II John 9; Revelations 22:18-19)

But then, Dan doesn't let facts or logic get in the way of a good story.

boomSLANG said...

D.M.: "BIBLICAL PROOF:"

The very first fallacy in Dan Marvin's unceasing slew of Christian apologetic diarrhea.

A document cannot be its own "proof", Marvin. Duh?

Jim Arvo said...

ATF asked "...is Negrosan correct in that we can't compare his unique god belief with my example beliefs of Aliens, Astrology, Astral Travels etc.,..."

Let's first try to understand NegroSan's statement about the "argument" making no sense. What "argument" is he referring to? I suspect that perceives you to be arguing something that you are not; something like "Because all these things are crazy, so is your belief."

So, step number 1: Let's clearly state what the argument is. Here is my interpretation of your argument, and you can correct me if I'm wrong: "Believing something on faith alone is unreliable, as it can be used to justify countless beliefs that we all agree are false." Or, to put it somewhat more formally "Faith is not a valid inference mechanism," which simply means that it can be used to deduce false statements from true premises (not that it ALWAYS does, but that it CAN).

If that is your argument (and I think that it is), then your list is not only apropos, it is effectively a proof of your statement. If someone claims that having "faith" in some statement is a good way to demonstrate its truth, or even to lend it credibility, then you need only point out that one could choose to have faith in [fill in the blank with any absurd notion you like], yet that in no way helps to establish it.

Bottom line. You are stating a principle that ought to be immediately obvious to everybody: Wanting/hoping/wishing something to be true does not make it true. However, in the context of religion, this simple fact somehow gets obscured beneath layers of emotional appeal and obfuscation. Somehow, "faith" comes out looking like the ultimate inference mechanism to the believer--it's the tool that lets them see farther than the rest of us. Neat trick. Were it only that simple.

Dan Marvin said...

stronger now,

I will use Jim's comments for you:

"Wanting/hoping/wishing something to be true does not make it true."

You are missing something very important here, you pointed out "the dates are NOT certain." Really? I think it goes a little further then that.

From that site: "This chart does not give dates as certainties. Many scholars, even within conservative, Evangelical circles disagree with the precise ordering given above. Many of the dates listed above are based on a series of conclusions, which are in turn based on partial data. "

What if you are totally wrong and the data you used is falsifiable? Aren't you doing what you claim us Christians are doing? Hypocrisy? Umm "Neat trick. Were it only that simple."

Stronger now "However, if one is to claim that god has said all that he is going to say, then all the books of the entire bible must be written before, or at the same moment as, the one in which that statement appears."

But the real truth is that I surmised that God wrote the Bible and that men just penned it. Then, what I copied would be very true since God stands outside of the natural realm of time and being Omniscience and Omnipotence then even if the information you used is in fact correct, If God knowingly wrote it in "whatever" order, He knew it would be placed in a certain order. Your point still doesn't stand up to God writing it.

If you are basing all your arguments on chronological order then explain Isaiah 53 written about Jesus 700 years before He was born. Or Psalm 22:16 which talked about crucification a thousand years before it was even invented or used. Is you argument coincidence?

But then, stronger now doesn't let facts or logic get in the way of a good story. (I am just using your way of talking 'at' people like you do, I for one think that is unproductive and prideful)

Take care buddy

stronger now said...

Dan:"What if you are totally wrong and the data you used is falsifiable?"

That's why I posted the site where I got the info from and stated It was uncertain. Meaning not certain. Was I being misleading when I said the dates were uncertain? I don't see how.

"Aren't you doing what you claim us Christians are doing? Hypocrisy?"

Hypocrisy: "a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not"

I was using ONE christian chronology to make a point. I thought you would be more apt to take the argument more seriously by using a christian site as a reference.
I stated:"And the dates are NOT certain." You would see that as hypocracy how?

Are you suggesting that I should have let you get away with your certitude in defiance of reason, with nary a question raised?

"But the real truth is that I surmised..."

from Merriam-webster

"Surmise: to form a notion of from scanty evidence : imagine, infer"

"Scanty: : limited or less than sufficient in degree, quantity, or extent"

One cannot "surmise" real truth.

"God wrote the Bible and that men just penned it. Then, what I copied would be very true since God stands outside of the natural realm of time and being Omniscience and Omnipotence then even if the information you used is in fact correct, If God knowingly wrote it in "whatever" order, He knew it would be placed in a certain order."

By using that argument one could also argue that gods "word" may still not be complete. Perhaps one segment is lost or undescovered. Or, perhaps god is just waiting to "inspire" another man to write some more of "his word". It just creates more problems for you, Dan.

"Your point still doesn't stand up to God writing it."

My point was that it doesn't look like any god wrote it. It looks like a bunch of men wrote it because they say nothing more is supposed to be added to scripture, then, ADDED TO SCRIPTURE!!!

Is your god that supid that he would "inspire" different men to write similar statements of completion BEFORE "inspiring" other men to write the same statement? Does your god not understand the problems his supposed word creates for itself?

"...explain Isaiah 53 written about Jesus 700 years before He was born."

O.k. What the NT writers knew of the OT, they used to craft their own work of fiction.(How's that) How about the fact that it doesn't say jesus or yeshua.

"Or Psalm 22:16 which talked about crucification..."

How about the rest of that passage that has nothing to do with crucifixion and is written in metaphor? I think your taking it out of context. How about this part that came before?:

Psalms 22:2

"Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer."

Do you practice Midrash much?

"Psalm 22:16 which talked about crucification a thousand years before it was even invented"

It stands to reason that people would talk of things before doing them, Dan. Torture was, by no means, an "invention" unheard of at that time. The passage doesn't speak of being hung on a cross. In fact it speaks of being lain in the dust while being surrounded by enemies. Now, it would really be something if they spoke of something like bacteria before the microscope was invented.

"I am just using your way of talking 'at' people like you do, I for one think that is unproductive and prideful"

And why should I care what YOU think? As far as being non-productive I hardly think you should cast that stone, ye who has yet to answer my question.(you remember that right?)

I could go even further explaining your stupidity, but I am bored now.

Jim Arvo said...

Dan, Psalm 22 nowhere mentions crucifixion. Pulling little phrases out of context and weaving them into new stories was a popular way of "receiving messages" from god among the ancient Jews. It's called midrash, and all the evangelists did it. Essentially the entire passion scene is stitched together from passages mined from the OT (look at the first verse of Psalm 22!). How odd that there were no additional details to speak of given an event of that magnitude.

Psalms 22 also mentions bulls and lions. Were they present at the crucifixion too? One hallmark of midrash is that the passages are ripped out of context; surrounding text that is not deemed relevant is simply ignored. As for Isaiah 53, that was a gold mine for the author of Mark and the later evangelists, despite the fact that it was not even a messianic prophecy.

With regard to the order of the books, stronger's point remains valid if ANY of the books are out of order, whereas your rebuttal requires ALL those conclusions to be wrong. Why not look at the evidence for the proposed ordering and see how strong or weak it is? Wouldn't that be a better way to assess it? As for god authoring the works in one order and men transcribing it another, sure, that works. The nice thing about god-concepts is that you can explain absolutely anything--If god wanted it that way, then that's the way it was.

I stumbled upon this discussion recently, which is very relevant to my comments above. And here is a link that shows Muslims playing the game of extracting "scientific facts" from the Koran, just as Christians do with the Bible (as I mentioned earlier). The tactics are the same, and the results are equally unconvincing.

Dan Marvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Marvin said...

stronger now,

You are right and thanks for pointing out my oversight of "But the real truth is that I surmised..."

I intended on saying something else but I forgot to delete that beginning part. I was going to say "The real truth is that God wrote the Bible..." but even the Bible doesn't say that so changed it. I should of just said "I surmised..."

stronger now "Now, it would really be something if they spoke of something like bacteria before the microscope was invented."

I addressed these things to Jim previously so I won't repeat myself. It starts like "Evidence of impossible things that are in the Bible..."

It is obvious that you and Jim have had discussions about Psalms 22 in the past, or at least read something similar.

The entire Bible has shadowy prophecies like I have said in the past. To you they are just coincidental and you write it off as such. (presuppositions)

Jim: "As for Isaiah 53, that was a gold mine for the author of Mark..."

Even more hilarious is that the NT is purposely made up to fit the OT. It is truly not logical at all for so many reasons. For one if they really believed in God enough don't you think the knowledge of the 9th Commandment would have stopped them? Don't you think they could of done a better job then a woman named Mary Magdalen (woman not taken seriously back then) to find the single greatest and most important miracle on this earth, ever? To give it more credibility they would have used a man, possibly a very important trustworthy man, to find the tomb empty but they didn't write that, they didn't because that would have been untrue. Too many other things to mention, [with my hands thrown up in the air] we can agree to disagree. (Insert Pascal's wager here)

stronger now said...

"I intended on saying something else but I forgot to delete that beginning part."

Yea, right. As Boomslang has determined, your credibility is questionable. So I think I'll not give you the benefit of the doubt.

"It is obvious that you and Jim have had discussions about Psalms 22 in the past, or at least read something similar."

Actually we might have read some of the same thing but I cannot remember ever discussing it with Jim. He might remember if we did. Even if we did I will have to point out that it makes our assesment no less valid.

"For one if they really believed in God enough don't you think the knowledge of the 9th Commandment would have stopped them?"

How do you know that they, indeed, believed god enough? Is it written in the bible that they did? And they were also men with wicked lying hearts, remember.

"Don't you think they could of done a better job then a woman named Mary Magdalen (woman not taken seriously back then) to find the single greatest and most important miracle on this earth, ever?"

I'm not sure they were all that smart considering that the were saying that scripture was complete, then continued to write it. So...no, I don't think they could have done better.

"..we can agree to disagree."

Does that mean your finally going to leave us be?

Jim Arvo said...

Dan: "The entire Bible has shadowy prophecies like I have said in the past. To you they are just coincidental and you write it off as such. (presuppositions)"

Dan, do you know what cognitive dissonance is? Look it up, because you're displaying it right now. No, I am categorically NOT attributing it to coincidence. There are "shadowy prophecies" because the OT was used as a SOURCE of information. If you do not know what midrash is, then you are in for a rude awakening. It accounts for much of that book you hold in such high regard.

Dan: "Even more hilarious is that the NT is purposely made up to fit the OT. It is truly not logical at all for so many reasons."

Right... You have no idea do you? There are telltale signs of midrashic invention throughout the NT. We can go through some of those with you, Dan. Do you have any comment on why nearly all of the so-called messianic prophecies are not even prophecies in their original context? Midrash, Dan, midrash.

Dan: "For one if they really believed in God enough don't you think the knowledge of the 9th Commandment would have stopped them?"

That's how most believers react when they first learn of this COMMON TECHNIQUE used in ancient times; they claim it would have been LYING. Right? It would have been lying to write something that didn't happen and claim it did--i.e.by pulling verses out of context and stitching them together. Listen...

This is where is gets really interesting, and this is where you will probably tune me out completely. Those writers (e.g. the author of Mark) were not liars; they believed what they wrote, because they believed GOD SPOKE TO THEM. And how did god speak to them? You said it yourself earlier--THROUGH SCRIPTURE, which in those times was the Hebrew Bible. That was their method of research, Dan, reading scripture and waiting for god to "speak" to them. There is nothing at all astounding about those "shadowy prophecies". The reason they are "shadowy" is because they were yanked out of context.

Dan: "Don't you think they could of done a better job then a woman named Mary Magdalen (woman not taken seriously back then) to find the single greatest and most important miracle on this earth, ever?"

If they had been liars, Dan, then yes, they could have made up a more believable story. I agree with you. But they were honestly attempting to tell it like it is--straight out of scripture. As for where Mary Magdalen came from, I honestly have no idea. It would be interesting to look into that.

Dan: "Too many other things to mention, [with my hands thrown up in the air] we can agree to disagree."

I can't imagine what those "too many other things" are. Why don't you humor us and list them. Your first one didn't hold water.

Dan: "(Insert Pascal's wager here)"

(insert explanation of why Pascal's wager is a fallacy here)

NegroSan said...

v>ATF: 1. Your intellect and debating skills are vastly superior to my own.

Unlikely. I am pretty sure you are smarter than me.

>ATF:2. You have been backed into a ugly corner..

Unlikely.

>ATF:Folks who personally have had a 'dream' of an alien abduction and then assume their experience was of reality, are ignoring all the counter-evidence
>ATF:.. they are lacking empirical evidence to support their belief.

Fallacies: This is guilt by association; Poisoning the well

>ATF:..people are easily fooled

Ok, so we are all fools then.

>ATF: Why doesn't Jesus appear in a church on a Sunday morning to all his xtian followers?

Because we Christians are called to walk by faith. Our "Holy Books" tell us that all over the place. There is a time for faith and there is a time when we will finally behold. And we await with patience for that day.

>Anonymous: The nt was put together by the men. They decided what fit their theology of god and they tossed the rest.

To what end?

>Anonymous: Wake up and get some brains.

Ok, we are fools again.

>Jim Arvo: If someone claims that having "faith" in some statement is a good way to demonstrate its truth...

Well, I never stated that "faith", in and of itself, is a proof of the existence of the object of the faith. This alone renders Jim's defense of ATF's erroneous argument invalid. I keep saying faith is trusting/believing without evidence. I took a chance and believed on Christ even without Dan's most excellence proofs. I don't regret it all.

Second, it is clear that ATF's argument is indeed ""Because all these things are crazy, so is your belief.". If it is not the case, why introduce the other "crazy things"?

This "faith" doctrine is made plain through and throughout our "Holy Books" to the point of repeating itself. We Christians even have songs with the lyrics "We walk by faith NOT BY SIGHT". Just about all the sermons I have heard is in some variation, one way or another, on the topic.

That is why I am so confused why some of the ex-Christians are surprised that they did not see any "proof" during their tenure as Christians. I asked the question earlier, but no one seems to know the answer (except one guy complaining about wars or whatever..). Its like one giant straw man.

Jim, I consider you to be one of the more reasonable of the bunch. You tend to call a spade a spade as you see it, you are willing to digress when appropriate, and you have even resisted the temptation to launch ad-hominine attacks like some of the others here. You did not call us "fools" or even allude to it. You did not call us "liars" like some have called Dan, and so on. Which is why I am surprised that you would misstate my argument so eloquently.

ATF, again - here is why your argument is invalid (I will even provide examples). In fact, it is not even an argument. NO VALID ARGUMENT STARTS OUT WITH A QUESTION. So whenever you see something that begins with "Why..." or "How..", it is not an argument, it is only a question. For this reason alone we should stop the presses. But nevertheless....

ATF, you attempt to "prove" my faith false, but your argument is invalid because it commits the fallacy of "Guilt by Association". Guilt by association tries to tie together things that have a spurious relationship at best in an attempt to disqualify, or even affirm, an idea. It is a very easy fallacy to fall into because it ties into our pre-conceived notions very well. People sometimes use it to certify their own bias against or even for idea; sometimes, even a people. In some cases it is obvious, such has:

a.) All dogs have 4 legs
b.) A cat is an animal with 4 legs
c.) Therefore, a cat and a dog are the same thing

Or to your point:

a.) [NegroSan you agree that]All other faiths[of which I list 10] are invalid
b.) Christianity is a faith [animal]
c.) Therefore, Christianity is invalid [all the same thing]

When I first raised this issue with Jim, he said "In a sense, you are right, but only insofar as induction is itself a form of "guilt by association"". But I say; Induction is fine when we are careful to tie things together that have a CLEAR relationship. Such as:

a.) All Muslims are monotheist
b.) Abdul is a Muslim
c.) Therefore, Abdul believes in one God

Even within the scope of induction we must be careful because not everyone believes in the validity of it. In fact, "Inductive reasoning has been attacked several times. Historically, David Hume denied its logical admissibility".

Jim Arvo said...

NegroSan said "...I am surprised that you would misstate my argument so eloquently."

I don't follow you. Which argument did I misstate? I thought you agreed that the argument you thought ATF gave was "Because all these things are crazy, so is your belief." But that was not ATF's argument. That would indeed be guilt by association, had that been the argument.

Again, if I may offer my phrasing of the argument (which was only implicit in ATF's post), it is this: If we apply FAITH in another context, it can yield demonstrably BAD results. THEREFORE, faith alone is not trustworthy. In other words, faith is not a good way to verify something. Now, you can simply say "that's now how I verify what I believe". That's fine. But ATF's larger point remains valid, even if you claim it does not apply to you.

NegroSan said "...ATF, you attempt to 'prove' my faith false,..."

NO! You are misinterpreting it as "guilt by association". Let's use a different example. Let's say I tell you that I KNOW there is life on other planets because my Ouija board told me so. You say, "You idiot, you shouldn't trust a Ouija board!", and you proceed to demonstrate that it can generate nonsense. You ask it "What is my mother's maiden name?" and it answers "XQWYUZ" (which is not even close). Time and again, it generates nonsense. Finally, I admit to you that perhaps I should not trust the conclusion I drew earlier.

Now, does the fallibility of the Ouija board DISPROVE that there is life on other planets? No, of course not. But what we can now agree on is that it DID NOT PROVIDE CREDIBLE EVIDENCE. If it were in fact reliable, then you would not have been able to generate nonsense with it. But you did. So it isn't.

Belief by faith alone (i.e. without supporting evidence) generates lots of false beliefs. Therefore, it is unreliable. This does NOT prove that any given belief is false. It simply shows that faith is not credible evidence for something being true in and of itself.

Again, maybe you feel this doesn't apply to you. If so, I suggest you make that case instead of trying to cast ATF's argument as a fallacy.

Jim Arvo said...

Several other quick points, NegroSan. The "All other faiths are invalid..." argument that you outlined is a straw man. Nobody in their right mind would use that argument. Honestly. If that's what you think somebody is arguing, there's a good chance you've misinterpreted what they said. Also, the last argument that you outlined is not induction; it's deduction using the most basic of inference rules (Modus Ponens). Finally, Hume did not dismiss induction. He and other philosophers examined it, and rightly criticized it. However, without it, we don't have much--science would not exist. It's simply a useful, albeit imperfect, tool.
xpxmz

NegroSan said...

>Let's say I tell you that I KNOW there is life on other planets because my Ouija board told me so. You say, "You idiot, you shouldn't trust a Ouija board!", and you proceed to demonstrate that it can generate nonsense. You ask it "What is my mother's maiden name?"

Jim, I appreciate your explanation. But with respect, this scenario is not the same thing. And it makes all the difference. It is different in 2 ways; 1st, In your scenario, you are testing a SINGLE "thing" generating multiple events. This ties the players together in a specific casual relationship, in such a way that there would be no Guilt by Association problem. With the religions, however, we have multiple parties involved with totally different claims. If I went to a Muslim, he could not tell me anything BUT his own faith claim. And these faith claims are different.

And 2.), you are able to test the board and produce concrete results. With religion, their claims about the unknown are simply untestable in the classic sense of the word, thus, we cannot esablish a casual relation between the parties.

In truth, ATF's argument is misses the obvious; that there COULD be one that is valid - even if we don't "know" which one that is. Lack of evidence is not proof of lack.

NegroSan said...

>I said: In truth, ATF's argument is misses the obvious; that there COULD be one that is valid.

I propose that the only way to break the deadlock is for an outside party from that "unknown" to reveal it. I propose that party is no other than God Himself.

Anonymous said...

Yea, well he'll be here any moment now, what's it, been a little over 6000 years?? Sheesh, you doddle head christians, you nothing about any god, except what you have read in a book...get a life will ya's?

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