If I could still believe, I would

Sent in by Chris

I have been a believer in Christ for more than 15 years and now I must explain what has happened to my faith. There have been a lot of questions from family and friends, so I wrote this letter as an explanation of sorts. To put it bluntly, I don’t believe in God anymore. To finally come out and say that ‘I do not believe’ has been one of the most heart wrenching experiences of my life. I have been a zealous Christian apologist and I know most of the arguments in favor of the Christian faith intimately. I have a cross tattooed on my arm with the Greek letters for Christ above it. I know many of the key Bible verses in the original Greek as well as English. I am very familiar with all of the church history and the ‘evidences’, and have used them in debates with others who were not Christian. I have at times been a youth leader and have filled in worship leader playing guitar or bass. I have lead small group studies; my evangelical credentials are obvious to all who know me. Please understand, if I could still believe, I would, if for no other reason than it would make life a lot less complicated. Nearly all of my friends and family are strong, dedicated Christian believers and now it seems I am at odds with them. I have questioned myself, am I doing the right thing? Just how much do I doubt the existence of God, the veracity of scripture, and the Gospel message? I am still the same person you knew before, my character has not changed, only my religious beliefs have changed.

I have been fighting this decision for a long time and have gone through periods of trying to “seek the truth and draw close to God” to varying levels of unbelief and back again. God never answered my prayers or spoke to me, so he wasn’t much help when I tried to seek him out. And all the faith in the world was not answering some of the fundamental questions I was having about religion. What follows from here are my reasons for abandoning my belief in God. It is not my intent to convince anyone to see my point of view, only to explain how I arrived at my conclusion. My arguments were developed from others who shared with me their stories of deconversion.

As a Christian I believed in God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as a Trinity; angels and demons; prophesy; and the coming judgment and heaven and hell. I believed in the Genesis account of the creation, in a 6000-year-old earth, in Adam and Eve, Noah and his ark, in Elijah and in Elisha. I believed I was chosen by God for eternal life by faith in Christ, in supernatural healings, in words of knowledge, in speaking in tongues, freewill, and in the Bible as God’s perfect revealed word. I was as mainstream Evangelical Christian as the next person with just as orthodox theology as everyone else. I believed in all these things and thought anyone who did not believe in them was a fool. When I met people who believed in another religion or in no religion at all, I was dumfounded as to how they could not see the apparent simple truth and beauty of CHRISTIANITY, because “only a fool says there is not God”. I would think to myself that, “God had put a ‘veil’ over their eyes” or that God had “Hardened their hearts” to the His Truth.

My path to atheism began as I worked on my master’s degree in ancient history. As a student of ancient history, I learned about ancient civilizations and cultures and their attendant mythologies. I wondered how those people could believe in such bizarre stories of gods and goddesses, monsters and demons and fantastical creatures. How could any rational person believe in such wildly absurd things? I never considered the stories I believed in the Bible were just as peculiar as these other ancient tales. I learned that nearly every culture had some form of religion and that religion evolved as a way for man to make sense of his universe. There have literally been tens of thousands of ‘gods’ who have been worshiped at one point or another over the course of human history. People didn’t know how lightning was formed or the mechanics of plate tectonics that cause earthquakes, or why rainbows exist so they invented gods that controlled these “mystically powerful” forces that they could not understand. Some civilizations had hundreds of gods, for fertility, weather, the sun, the harvest, death, and the list goes on. Other cultures decided against the pantheon had just one god that controlled everything himself. As mankind’s understanding and knowledge grows, his needs for a god or god’s to explain the unexplained decreases. Greek sailors don’t need to sacrifice bulls to appease Poseidon before setting out to sea; they just need to check the weather channel first. All of this is summed up succinctly in a quote from the 1700’s makes so much sense to me now:
"If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests."

"If ignorance of Nature gave birth to gods, then knowledge of Nature is calculated to destroy them."

- Baron d’Holbach

Man has been searching for explanations since he learned rub sticks together and make fire. Fire was magic at first, but we all know it is a chemical reaction caused by friction and combustible materials in an oxygen rich environment; no fire-god is required. This is a common thread through all of human history. One of the biggest unknown things that man has tried to explain is death. All sentient beings have within them a strong desire to live. Animals don’t commit suicide, and humans as highly intelligent animals, have a strong desire to live. It is this desire to live on that gave birth to the idea of an afterlife. For all living creatures death is inevitable. But because humans are so completely self aware and have the mental ability to contemplate our own deaths, we desire to live forever. Even faith-strong elderly Christians who believe they are going to heaven the very moment they die, wish to stay alive, this is common to all or mankind.

Our death does not need an explanation; it is simply a natural part of life. The Norse had Valhalla, Egyptians the Underworld, Hindu reincarnation, Muslims Paradise, Christians Heaven, and the Jews resurrection. All of these were made by man to give him hope of some way to live on forever. I realized through my study of history that Christianity was but one of a long string of religious ideas that have been around for thousands of years and is in no way unique. I didn’t believe all the weird improbable stories of other ancient religions or myths. Julius Caesar was reportedly born of a virgin; Roman historian Suetonius said the Caesar Augustus bodily rose to heaven after he died; and the Buddha was supposedly born with the ability to speak, Mohammad was a merchant who was visited by angles who gave him the Koran as was Joseph Smith and I dismiss all of these accounts as fables, myths, or outright lies, but accepted the Bible as absolute truth.

Believing in God might give people an inner strength not available to the atheist. In a similar way, believing in Santa Claus gives a certain magic to Christmas morning not available to the non-Santa-believing child. There may be strength in believing in something, but believing in something, no matter how deeply, does not make that something a reality. Faith does not equal reality.

At first it was terrifying for me to think that the universe is an impersonal place with no plan for the future. If there is no eternal plan, then one day the sun will die, and along with it, all life here on Earth. Humans have a deep need for something to believe in, for a purpose, and it was this need that kept me in the church for as long as it did. I know the Christian response well. This desire to believe is proof of mans “God shaped hole in his soul”, that God formed us with a need to have communion with him. I have used that line and believed it myself for a long time.

Believing in God might be more comforting; giving a worldview that has eternal hopes and possibilities, but again, believing in things even if everyone else does too, doesn't make those things true. Just as children eventually leave behind belief in Santa and the Easter Bunny and tooth fairy, I have left my belief in an invisible omnipresent, omniscient God that dwells in my heart and intervenes in my life. Belief in God is nothing more than a method to provide answers to questions that are unanswerable. Like, what happens when we die? Or, what is the point of life.”

When I see someone walking down the street talking seriously to himself, I could rightfully judged him to be mentally ill. When I hear children talking to imaginary friends or their dolls, I think they are being cute, but it’s a childish behavior. When I heard people in church, including me, talking to Almighty invisible God, I thought that was perfectly normal. I thought that way because I was taught to think that way. A 5 year old that believes in Santa in cute, a 40 year old that does is mentally ill and in need of medication. Why do most children believe in Santa but no sane adults do? The answer is simple. Our parents and culture taught us to believe. We are not born with any knowledge of Santa so we were taught about him as we grow up. We were told that he sees us when were sleeping, knows if we have been bad or good, and brings presents to all the good children of the world. We sing songs about Santa and leave offerings of cookies and milk. Savvy parents can use this belief in Santa to great effect in the fall and winter to get kids to behave lest Santa find out and leave a lump of coal and not a train set. But as we grew older we started to have questions, logical ones that most of us develop around 6 or 7 years old. How does Santa fit down a chimney? How can he eat all of the cookies people leave for him? How can he fit all of those toys on his sled? Why have I never seen him? The questions have no rational answers so gradually it becomes apparent even for young children that Santa is make believe. It is a spirit of goodwill and magic that children can enjoy but wears off as they grow up. But while children stop believing in Santa due to a total absence of any empirical, verifiable evidence of the miraculous claims, people continue to believe in a God who has all of the same features as Santa with no more evidence of existence than an ancient book and what our parents or friends taught us.

I believed that Christianity was the answer to life and the absolute truth. But now I find it irrational to think I believed in a God who created all of the universe in six literal days; that women were created from a man’s rib; a snake, a donkey, and a burning bush all spoke a human language; the entire world was flooded and mankind exterminated like so many cockroaches, covering the highest mountains to drown out evil; all animal species, millions of them, rode on one boat together; language variations stem from the tower of Babel; Moses had a magic wand; the Nile river turned to blood and it rained frogs; witches, wizards, and sorcerers really exist with real powers; food rained from the sky for 40 years; people were cured by the sight of a brass serpent on a pole; the sun stood still to help Joshua win a battle, and it went backward for King Hezekiah; men survived unscathed in a fiery furnace; a detached hand floated in the air and wrote on a wall; 3 men followed a star in the sky which directed them to a particular house; Jesus was born of a virgin mother impregnated by a ghost. Jesus walked on water unaided; fish and bread magically multiplied to feed the hungry; water was turned into wine; mental illness is caused by demons; a “devil” with wings exists who causes all evil; demons can possess animals; people were healed by stepping into a pool stirred up by angels; disembodied voices spoke from the sky; Jesus vanished and later materialized from thin air; people were healed by Peter’s shadow; angels broke people out of jail; a fiery lake of eternal torment awaits unbelievers under the earth ... while there is life-after-death in a city which is 1,500 miles cubed, with mansions and food, for Christians only.

All of these stories violate natural law, contradict science, and fail to correspond with any reality, common sense or logic. I can see that now, and I can separate truth from fantasy, just like I did with Santa. I know all of the rebuttals; God can perform miracles and do what he pleases so we must have faith in him, or better yet, these God did these miracles and are proof of his existence so that we might “know him and his mighty power”, but Jesus comes and said only wicked people seek a sign or proof to believe, so at what point does the argument become circular? I cannot accept these outlandish Bible stories on “faith” anymore. If God does exist and gave us a rational and inquisitive mind, why would he perform irrational acts that defy the natural laws of his creation and not expect us to question the reality of such acts? As a Christian, I refused to believe any of the extra-Biblical miracles and stories from the ancient world; I don’t know why I never applied the same critical examination to my own beliefs. I wouldn’t believe someone who came up to me and said that a horse spoke to them and neither would you, unless they brought you to the horse and you heard it for yourself. Even then your first reaction would be to look for the hoax, that it was some kind of David Blaine illusion, and not real because you know it is impossible for horses to talk to people. Now, if real, no kidding miracles where happening all the time then it would be plausible to believe the claims in the Bible, because we would live in an irrational universe where irrational actions take place, but alas, we do not. Dead people do not come back to life, men don’t walk on water, and the Sun does not decide to stop in the sky. Coincidences happen, real miracles do not.

The God outlined in the Bible is a warrior God, exactly like so many other ancient tribal religions at the time. Though He allegedly said “Thou shalt not kill,” he ordered death for all His opposition, wholesale drowning and mass exterminations of people; he punishes offspring to the fourth generation for their fathers sins (Ex. 20:5); ordered pregnant women and children to be ripped up (Hos. 13:16); He made demands for sacrifices of animal and human blood to appease His anger; He is partial to one race of people; judges women to be inferior to men; created a hell to torture unbelievers and sinners for all eternity; created evil (Is. 45:7); discriminated against the handicapped, which he himself made!(Lev. 21:18-23); He ordered virgins to be kept as spoils of war and everyone else slaughtered (Num. 31:15-18, Deut. 21:11-14); spread feces on people’s faces (Mal. 2:3); He sent bears to devour children who dared to teas a prophet (II Kings 2:23-24); He punishes people with venomous snakes, wild dogs, dragons, drunkenness, the sword, slavery, arrows, axes, fire, famine, and infanticide; and said fathers should eat their sons (Ez. 5:10). Was that the picture of the all loving God I served?

Then Jesus came and said, “I and my father are one,” and reaffirmed “every jot and tittle” of the Old Testament law. (Mt. 5:18) He preached the same judgment to come: vengeance and death, wrath and distress, hell and torture for all non-believers. Jesus believed in demons, angels and spirits. He never denounced the subjugation of slaves or women. Women were excluded as disciples and as guests at his heavenly table. Except for hell he introduced nothing new to ethics or philosophy. He was disrespectful of his mother and brothers; he said we should hate our parents and desert our families. (Mt. 10:35-36, Lk. 14:26). He denounced anger, but was often angry himself. (Mt. 5:22, Mk. 3:5) He called people “fools” (Mt. 23:17,19), “serpents,” and “white sepulchers,” though he warned that such language puts you in danger of hell. (Mt. 5:22) He said “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Mt. 10:34) He irrationally cursed and withered a fig tree for being barren out of season, but the Gospel writers couldn’t agree if it happened immediately or the next morning. (Mt. 21:19) He mandated burning unbelievers. (Jn. 15:6) He stole a horse. (Lk. 19:30-33) He told people to cut off hands, feet, eyes and sexual organs. (Mt. 5:29-30, 19:12) Jesus said good works should be seen, then not to be seen. (Mt. 5:16, 6:1-4) The writers of Matthew and Luke could not agree on his genealogy, contradicting the Old Testament, and giving Jesus two discrepant lines through Joseph who wasn’t his father anyway.

I began to develop moral problems with my concepts of original sin, total human depravity, substitutionary forgiveness, intolerance, eternal punishment. I do not believe it is justice to punish someone with eternal torture for a finite crime. Hell is punitive in its nature, there is no corrective purpose other than to make someone suffer in the most horrific manner possible. Yet I once believed that God was just in pronouncing this judgment upon non-believers. Would you or I approve of torture for a crime? Are God’s ways really higher than ours? As a Christian I would say, “We cannot question God’s righteous judgment”. Yes, in fact I can. And I, along with everyone I know, have a much better sense of justice than the God of the Bible does. The Bible says we are all born sinners, all will sin, and all will die as a punishment. So, God created me sinful, and then condemns me for that sin, and then he offers me the cure! Would I bow down and be eternally thankful to someone who poisoned me when they gave me the antidote?

One of the biggest reasons that lead me to unbelief is the problem of evil and suffering. During a course I took in Ancient Greek Philosophy and History, I learned of a philosopher named Epicurus and his logical arguments against the existence of a God/Gods based on the existence of evil in the world. His logic is explained as such:

If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able to---Then he is not omnipotent

If he is able, but not willing---Then he is malevolent

If he is both able and willing---then where does evil come from?

If he is neither able nor willing---Why call him God?


This argument makes complete sense to me and I am no longer a Christian because I cannot reconcile the existence of a loving God with the superfluous nature of evil in our world. If God is so all-knowing he can perceive evil plans while they are but a dim conception, yet he does not impart this knowledge to us, and as a result we suffer. If God is ever-present, he is there when a child is being raped, a pregnant woman murdered, millions being gassed and when an innocent child is hit by a car. God was there in person and did nothing to stop it. If I were in a room where someone was abusing a child and did nothing to stop it, I would be just as guilty of the crime and liable for whatever happened. But we don’t expect God to stop this evil when any thinking and rational human being would step in and intervene. This evident inaction is not the action of an all loving God. If God is real, he is guilty of negligence on a cosmic order. God had the ability to stop the child from being raped and murdered, but was not willing to lift a finger, making him completely malevolent.

If God is all-powerful then he can prevent these evil acts from happening (He can do this and still allow for free will). This means that the tragic loss of life due to natural disasters could be entirely avoided. After all, God is in control of these things isn’t he? So God sends His natural disasters to make havoc on hummanity, how nice of him. Is he ‘proving his power’ by causing so much human misery? And who is there to step in and help the survivors? God? Nope, it’s sinful human beings coming to help their fellow man. All the pointless bloodshed of the 20th century could have also been completely bypassed, if God could only have “opened the doors” for Hitler to become a successful artist in Vienna and adverted the Holocaust for His ‘chosen people’. To me, God's power is not evident. If God is all-knowing, then he knows that his failure to act in opposition to incredible evil and tragedy leads people into a state of unbelief. Yet he provides no rational alternative. If God is all-loving, then He WILL DO SOMETHING to stop evil—not sometime in the distant future, but NOW, as any feeling, caring sentient being would, after all “He cares for you”. Yet he consistently does NOTHING and allows evil to befall his people. I know the rebuttal to this as well, “His ways are not our ways, His will is not our will”, or “we have free will that why evil happen, we live in a fallen world”. Or, “God tests us through suffering and tragedy to make us cling to him even more.” That makes God capricious and still malevolent. I could not believe the tales anymore. I had to stop making excuses for my God and stop trying to reconcile his ‘actions’ and ‘inaction’ with the reality of the world around me.

It is all too convenient that the Bible describes God as being the perfect being, but at the same time offers him an out for his imperfect world by placing the all the blame for the evil and imperfection in the world on our ‘sin’. Regardless of what Revelation 20-22 or any other passage of Scripture says about how the story will end, I am deeply disturbed that God apparently has the power to stop evil in his world but does nothing. I avoided using the word "suffering" here because Christians have a tendency to associate it with something noble--and in some situations a person can certainly develop their character from persevering through hardships (think Lance Armstrong). What really troubles me is not the difficulties and trials that we learn and grow from. What troubles me are the cold, brutal acts of evil that leave death, destruction, prolonged pain and misery in their wake.

I know the existence of evil and suffering is a philosophical stumbling block for many people. The primary questions they pose are: "If God is real, and God created everything, why did He create evil?" "Why did a personal, loving God create a world in which evil exists?" "Why did God give man freedom to commit evil acts?" Atheists’ reason, "Surely, an all-knowing God of love would not allow evil to exist in His world." As a Christian I heard these arguments and debated them based on the Biblical apologetics.

The response to the question I believed was summed up in God's nature and His plan for mankind. The logic was this; how could God allow for love without the potential for evil? God could have created robots that do nothing more than forever saying, "I love you, I love you, I love you." But such creatures would be incapable of a real loving relationship. Love is a choice, and the Bible says God desires a real love relationship with His creation. Love is not real unless was have the ability to not love. One of God's supposed attributes is omniscience. God knew that in a world with choice, there would be much evil – and to choose not to love is evil by definition. However, there would also be the capacity for real love. Apologist Alvin Plantinga wrote, "An all loving, all powerful, all knowing Being could permit as much evil as He pleased without forfeiting His claim to being all loving, so long as for every evil state of affairs He permits there is an accompanying greater good". The potential for love outweighs the existence of evil, especially if that evil can only exist for a finite time. Evil is a side effect of love. Suffering and death are a side effect of evil/sin (Romans 5:12). The Bible says that this side effect is only for a limited time. Evil serves the limited purpose of establishing real love relationships between creation and the Creator, and evil will be done away with after that purpose is achieved. "And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever" (I John 2:17). That was my established argument for the question of evil. But my perspective began to change as I studied the Bible closely.

In my original argument the presupposition was that love and evil were mutually exclusive. However from the New Testament Luke says: "For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? “For even sinners also love those that love them." (Luke 6:32) Apparently even the wicked are capable of love. Another thought that comes to my mind is that although my wife and I love each other very much, neither of us cares about other men and women in that way. I have no such emotion when it comes to the rest of the women in the world, and she has no interest in other men. I also love my children very much, but other people's children rarely enter my thoughts. The argument that for God or people to experience love, then evil has to exist is false dilemma. I can't help but wonder if I am truly evil, since I do not love every single person in the world. Why is it so impossible for Christians to imagine the likelihood of someone not loving God without being evil in the process? Why couldn't God create creatures with the capacity of either loving Him or not, without them also being murderers, sadists and rapists in the process?

Another attribute of God was that he never changed. "For I am the LORD, I change not" (Malachi 3:6) Since God never changes, what changed that he somehow at some point decided he needed people to love and be loved by? Oh, and I wasn't aware that God needed anything at all. I was under the impression that God was without needs, wants or desires. A desire implies a lack of something in a person. If I desire a meal, it is likely that I lack enough nutrition for the day. I desire things because I need things. I perceive that I lack something and therefore strive to fill that need. Apparently God doesn't have enough love so he needs us. I would have to agree that real love is only real if it is accompanied by the capacity and choice to not love. However, as I tried to illustrate above, the ability to not love someone does not equate to evil. I do not love lots of people, but I do not hate them and wish all manner of evil on them. But this is exactly the way I see God's love. For example God loves a certain person. The person is not interested in God for whatever reason. God feels like his love has been spurned. God demonizes the person who is just not interested in his love and calls him or her evil. God gets angry and shouts, “I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.”(Ezek 25:17) and sends them off to rot in eternal torment in hell forever and ever for the ‘sin’ of not loving Him.

The “free will” defense as the answer to the problem of evil, but let’s look at “free will” for a second. The Christian God loves me so much that he gives me the opportunity to live blissfully forever in His presence, or be horribly tortured for all eternity in Hell. What kind of “free will” choice is that? It’s like someone holding a blowtorch to your face and demanding a confession or they will melt out your eyes out. Not really a fair choice there is it? Does God really want me to serve Him and confess my need and love for him to avoid the torture He created for me if I don’t? Is a confession extracted under torture or the threat of torture reliable and sincere? If I love God, and he is my savior and watched over me and was in control of everything, why does He allow me to suffer so much? Is it to make me love Him all the more? In Psychology it’s called the “battered wife syndrome”. “But he really loves me”, is what abused wives say to justify the pain their husbands put them through. Or, “I deserved it”. How much did God really love Job? I now say that if Job really loved God after all he put him through he was suffering like that battered wife.

At this very moment somewhere in the world a child is being molested. These are horrible crimes that destroy childhood innocence. After the act is over the shame, self-hate, bitterness, anxiety, distrust, and scars never go away. All of this stays with a victim for life. Worse still, many of the perpetrators go undiscovered and unpunished. There is simply no value in this tragedy, none at all, and I was tired of all of the excuses offered by the Church and systematic theology. What angers me is the thought that a holy, loving, omnipresent God would stand by and do nothing while a child is raped and then buried alive in a shallow grave. After all he is there in the same room as the child and the molester. Christians believe that God would punish those could do something, but chose to do nothing. Heck, they believe that the courts should punish someone who could have stopped the crime and did nothing. And yet...God still does nothing. This is where the free-will defense comes to bear. Yet, there are stories of God intervening (even hardening the hearts) of men when it suits his purposes. If molestation is not worth intervening in, then I don't know what is. What is God’s purpose in allowing this? Does it make sense to you? It seems entirely incongruent with His character to stand on the sidelines and watch. So, I am left to conclude that such a God does not exist.

As I have gone on, I have gathered more insight and realized that I have not believed in God for a very long time, and here is another analogy why. When I wrecked my shoulder, did I go to church first or to the hospital for help? If my house was on fire with my family trapped inside, would I kneel and pray before or after I called the fire department? Most sane people, including myself, answer these questions the same. If my house were on fire and my wife and the children were trapped inside and I did nothing but pray to God to save them, would you think I was ‘holy’ and ‘spiritual’? Or would you rightfully think me criminally negligent?

When it comes to the truly important, urgent, and practical things in life, did people trust God to be a “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46), or when we need present help in times of trouble do we go to our fellow humans? The answer is obvious; when I need “very present help in trouble”, the number I call is 911, not the local church. And why is that? Is God unable to help me in my time of urgent need? Is He unwilling? Or is it that, when the stakes are at their highest, the matter is urgent, and most importantly the consequences are something you can actually see, is your faith in man greater than your faith in God? Mine is.

I have faith in mankind, because I trust my experiences. Regardless of how many poetic Bible verses I can recite that promise God’s help in times of need, no matter how fervently I argued against non-Christians, no matter how enthusiastically I shared the Gospel, when the chips are down and it comes to something urgent and real, I wholeheartedly rely upon ‘sinful’, imperfect people. Did this say something negative about me as a Christian? I don’t think so; I think it says something very real about God. When it comes to anything we can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell, God does not live up to His Word. He is not here or there and I knew it and no matter how I tried to reconcile it, it faith just didn’t work.

I have come to accept that God does not exist, and since one cannot logically prove a universal negative, it is incumbent upon the one the making the positive claim to prove God’s existence. As a Christian, I could not prove God’s existence without circular reasoning so I gave up trying. Praying for God to ‘reveal’ himself to me was not working to well. Here is what I was taught to believe:
  • Premise #1: The God of the Bible is real because the Bible says so.
  • Premise #2: The Bible is true because the God in the Bible says so.
  • Premise #3: Any questions or doubts, reverts back to premise #1.
Naturally I recognize that this is an oversimplification of the matter, but none-the-less this to a large degree, succinctly encapsulates the Christian “proofs” of God’s existence and involvement with humans. Then there is the other ‘proofs’ which are the very subjective claims of “personal relationships” and “changed hearts”. But I now see this “relationship with Jesus” was ridiculous. If he was real and cared about ‘His’ people and was involved in their lives, what does it say about God when I believed he answers my prayer for a great promotion at work, but ignored the prayers of others suffering from starvation and genocide?

As a Christian, I would demand irrefutable proofs for what I considered the outlandish claims of evolutionists and atheists. Yet I never demanded the same type of evidence for the even more remarkable claims of the supernatural made in the Bible. My thought process seems so much clearer now than it was when the “eyes of faith” and “my heart” guided me. There can really be only one explanation as I look back in retrospect: I believed only what I wanted to believe.

Whether or not I have something better than Christianity to offer is not relevant to the question of the existence of the biblical God. What is pertinent is that I am honest with myself by demanding the application of the same type of evidence to the claims of religion as are expected of scientists and again for me the proof comes up short. There is no proof of God, only faith.

In conclusion, I do not believe in unicorns, ghosts, elves, goblins, Bigfoot, UFO’s, Cyclopes, Zeus, Thor, the Loch Ness Monster, Allah, Buddha, Astrology, Greek Gods, Roman Gods, Chupacabra, Vishnu or Brahma, or Christ. There is no credible evidence for any of their existence. I know this is a shock to the family and will cause division. I wish I could keep on pretending I believe for the sake of peace, but I cannot in good conscious do that anymore. I am not ‘led astray’ or ‘demon possessed’ because they don’t exist. I hold that everyone is entitled to believe as they wish, and I will not try and “de-convert” anyone around me. If anyone asks how I came to this conclusion, I will tell them why. Hopefully this letter explains that. In the end, everyone is an atheist when you think about it, if you don’t believe in Poseidon, Zeus, Mars, Krishna, Allah et. al. you are an atheist when it comes to those deities and don’t believe in their existence. I just happen to believe in one fewer god than you do.

106 comments:

Bongo said...

Fabulous.

god said...

ooh, I love this quote:


"If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests."

"If ignorance of Nature gave birth to gods, then knowledge of Nature is calculated to destroy them."

- Baron d’Holbach

I'd make one argument that "Believing in God might give people an inner strength not available to the atheist." should be "inner conviction" rather than "inner strength" as believers always seem to suffer from the conviction that they are always right

leotracks said...

Excellent post. Please keep us informed on your deconversion and subsequent coming-out.

Thank you for sharing your story, and well done to you for your courage and intellect!

Enjjpt said...

Thanks guys for the support. Most of my coherent arguments have been gleaned over the past year or so from the posts of others. I had to put this together for myself and for my friends and family. I copied some peoples arguments shamelessly, so I give credit to the others on this site who have helped me make it to were I am today. Thank you all!

Stephen said...

"If God does exist and gave us a rational and inquisitive mind, why would he perform irrational acts that defy the natural laws of his creation and not expect us to question the reality of such acts?"

....


-- Great line!!! I mean it's beautiful, just f*cking beuatiful! I want to make a bumber sticker, t-shirt, and a billboard with that quote!

Philip said...

This is one of the most amazing testimonies I've seen. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

oh lord well written and long. I understand you felt then need to really search. They say those who study the social sciences ( anthropology, sociologoy, history, phsychology ) tend not to be believers in traditional religion. Its no surprise,
I come from a family like yours as well. Im glad Im finally out.

Paul T said...

Wow! Your testimony is absolutely brilliant. Would you have a problem if some of us who are les eloquent and informed use some of your thoughts for our own debates?

Enjjpt said...

Paul,

Feel free to copy and paste at will. I did from others when I complied this rambling mess! I hope it helps you all put your own thoughts in order. Thanks again for your support!

-Chris

Gunner said...

I have just completed listening to a series of Muslim Vs Christian debates:

As I was giving the debates some thought it suddenly struck me that unknowningly those religious factions were doing the work of atheists for them by condemning each others religions and ridiculing and making fun of each others holy books.

In other words they are doing to each other what atheists have been trying to do for hundreds of years.
Both factions are trying to convince each other how stupid and incorrect the others religion is:

Atheists have known this all along, yet when we try to voice our opinions we are classed as godless morons worthy of hell by the very same people who are condemning each others religions, and they have the gall and the nerve to call us hypocrites. What crass arrogance:

Let we Atheists sit back with a wry smile on our faces and think to ourselves as we contemplate other religions "THERE FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I"

Anonymous said...

WOW! How I feel as well. Almost mirrors my life

Steven Bently said...

Very brilliant piece of work! Thanks, It's going on my blog.


Our dear god wrote"

I'd make one argument that "Believing in God might give people an inner strength not available to the atheist." should be "inner conviction" rather than "inner strength" as believers always seem to suffer from the conviction that they are always right.

I think perhaps, "a false feeling of inner strength" not longed for or expected, to the atheist." IMO

sconnor said...

Chris,
Every word, syllable, and punctuation is exactly what I think. It took me almost two years to come to the exact same conclusions and realizations you came to but my conclusions stemmed from the death of my ten year old son, from a heat attack, related to leukemia.
I asked myself, how could an all-loving, all-powerful, all-merciful god let my child suffer horribly only to die? And my son, only represents any child who has suffered horribly and died, throughout history -- walking through a pediatric intensive care unit painfully validates this picture.
To further expound on your ideas; I asked these questions as well:
If a god is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving, couldn't he have created a world, without suffering and without evil as an antithesis to good? Couldn't he -- with these attributes -- teach us love, without having evil or hate? Couldn't he have done all these things without the concept of free will? Couldn't he have given us all levels of good and satisfaction and accomplishment without evil, if he is indeed, an all-powerful and all- loving god?

Scott

sconnor said...

Continuing,
But now where does this leave me? I get to exist, until I die, with the torturous pain of this monumental loss, never being with my child and virtually, zero, hope of seeing him again.
Scott

Enjjpt said...

Scott,

I am sorry for your loss. I have two small children of my own, one 7months old and one 2 1/2. The pain of losing a child would be too much to bear and I cannot even begin to comprehend your pain.

As a Christian, or a person of any faith, there is some refuge from the pain in the belief of an afterlife or divine plan. That is one thing that I still have trouble coming to terms with myself, that when this life is over I will be no more. The only thing that will live on is the memory of us in others.

If there was a loving, personal God in this world, you would not have suffered like you did. No caring person would wish that kind of pain on anyone, which alone disproves the existance of god. I wish I could say something that could console you Scott, but I haven't the words. My heart breaks for you and your family.

-Chris

resonate11 said...

Wow! Great testimonial, Chris. I particularly love the quote from Baron d'Holbach. Where did you find it?

Good luck with your loved ones as you continue your walk in reason.

Enjjpt said...

I first heard the quote in a documentary on the "History of Disbelief" that was on PBS. Best two hours I ever spent. Between Thomas Paine's, "The Age of Reason", d' Holbach and Epicuris...The logical argument against God has been laid out for nearly 2500 years. Throw in Voltaire and you can see that Hitchens and the like are standing on the shoulders of giants.

BTW, there is a good wikipedia entry on d'Holbach that has a refrence to that quote.

-Chris

jeffrey said...

wow. a thousand times over.

there is not a part of this testimony that i didn't like. i really like this quote:
"Would I bow down and be eternally thankful to someone who poisoned me when they gave me the antidote?"
I had never thought of it like that. All very succinct!

-Jeffrey

Anonymous said...

Interesting, but I wonder on some parts.

First studying ancient myths you say they were created to explain natural pheoninom that could not be explained by the science at the time. However, I would think the Bible is unique in that it does not try to explain natural phenominon. It does not say thunder is God yelling or Lightning is fashioned by God. The only things it attributes to God are things that defy all laws of nature.

Anonymous said...

The immediate tip-off for fraud in modern times should be when anyone reading the buybull when it says "and god hardened his/their hearts."

That statement alone, is in fact a blatant lie.

And people today still believe such ignorant bullshit.

Instead of saying "He made a personal decision of refusal to comply to gods commands, yet god hardened his heart." But instead inserted metaphorical bullshit lies for emotional appeal.

"If it's unbelievable, then it must be untrue" Judge Judy Shindling

notabarbie said...

Very well written...long...but you never lost me; not once. I printed it out and read it to my husband at dinner last night. I think he may be coming around. Your post had a little of each one of us in it. It all made sense after I read that you had taken some of your post from others here. We could all sign our names to it, couldn't we? Thank you for putting it together in such a concise way.

Jim Earl said...

Excellent post, Chris.

Like all the other posters, I could see some of myself in many of your points. Likewise, I plan on sharing this with as many of my lost friends as possible. May it help them find the truth! Jim Earl

Enjjpt said...

For the last year I have felt like a man stranded on a deserted island. My entire world revolved around the church and its activities. Your comments and support mean a lot to me, it has been a rough year but the folks here have got me through.

I'd like to thank everyone, especially boomSlang, shygetz, webmaster, and the rest of the crew here fpr helping me articulate my positions. John Loftus over at www.debunkingchrisianity.com was the source of much of the 'problem of evil' argument that moved me so much. Outside of the internet George Carlin's bit about the 'Sun God'and religion was not only funny but a revelation for me. Penn & Teller's "Religion is Bullshit" show was likewise enlightining.

And a special big thanks to Dan Marvin who gave me the motivation to put down all of my objections in one place.(/sarcasim off)

I re-read my post last night and realized that I left a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes in there. Also, I jumped around a bit and think it could be a little better organized, so I will attempt to clean it up and make it publish-quality. When I get it done I will get it back out to all of you. Consider it public domain and free to use any or all of it without attribution.

If anyone lives in the Seattle area drop me a line and lets get together!

-Chris

Ex-Pastor Dan said...

Chris,

Doesn't it finally feel like REALLY being "Born Again", that the TRUTH has "set you free". That's the way I felt when I finally came out and said it. "I Don't Believe in God!!!"

It took me around 20 years to de-program and finally say those words. I posted my testimony on this site a couple of weeks ago and that very act in itself was freeing and exhilerating. I'm sure that today you feel the same way. Possiby mixed with some anxiety. Anyway, Thanks for the wonderfully written testimony. I think you have a book in you. Your writing style is easy to follow and although you are obiously very intelligent, you are able to convey your thoughts in a way that even a 5th grader could understand it (unfortunately that is about the grade level of most fundamentalist christians).
I like you have been scorned by my family and friends that remain behind in the church, but I would never dream of going back to that blind delusion of a life.
On a positive note, my favorite nephew (who was also in the ministry at one time) and I have been in contact and he also has recently come out of the lunacy. Now my wife and I have an allie withing the family. Perhaps you too will find those just waiting for someone else to be brave enough to step out and lead the way out of the Fairy Tale World.
You will find kindred hearts at this web site. Welcome

Ex-Pastor Dan

Enjjpt said...

Ex-Pastor Dan,

The closest feeling I can relate to is being blind for years then suddenly seeing for the first time. The fear of constant judgement and self-loathing for my 'sins' and imperfections were gone and I felt free for the first time in my life.

Religion was prison for my mind and I could not do the gymastics anymore to try to fit my dogma with reality. One had to give, and I am sad to say that for a long time 'faith' trumped reason. But I am free now! Reality is great and reason is simple and refreshing.

Thank you so much for your kind words!

SkyEyes said...

Great post. I'm a former born-again fundamentalist christian myself, although I've been an atheist for about 30 nows.

I highly recommend Daniel C. Dennett's most recent book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. It's well-written and accessible. Dennett includes some good, hard science in with the philosophy. Gives you a real good idea of where organized religion came from and why it's still with us today.

Welcome to atheism! You're not alone, you're home!

Hells Bells said...

Chris,

So much of what you have written mirrors my thoughts over the past year or so. If God is all-powerful and doesn't act to prevent a horror then isn't he guilty of not stopping that horror? Doesn't that, in itself, make a sinless God sinful? The conclusion becomes that either God is evil, God isn't all-powerful or God doesn't exist. Why should God be personally interested and want to intervene on my behalf, but seemingly not want to intervene on behalf of the billions of people who are sick or starving? Doesn't that make god selective? God does appear to be a god of wrath, not of love, despite all the hopeful words in the New Testament you still have the ultimate judgement. You also have the gospel quote that not everyone who calls Jesus Lord will be in heaven - you cannot guarantee that you'll get there - it's entirely down to god. Doesn't that make god capricious? Doesn't humanity just then become a plaything for god?

The one point I'm still wrestling over is what to do with all those spiritual experiences over the past 30 years. You wrote "I have faith in mankind, because I trust my experiences." I seemed to experience God as very real, I felt his presence, I heard him talk to me (in some way). That's the objection my wife also has - "but all these things happened". The only answer I can give is either that God is real and did communicate, but is simply not all-powerful, is selective and is judgemental, or that God doesn't exist and I was deluded. I know that people can be hypnotised into believing and doing all sorts of things, and I can see that church often invokes some kind of mass hypnosis. But it does mean that you can't actually trust your own experiences completely - and I don't know where you go from there.

Helen xx

soren said...

My 12-year old daughter has a brain tumour. It is benign, but i could not be completely removed.

There is some problems and I have read a lot on the net.
I found a side with a 13-year old girl, who got a real nasty and malignant tomour and had to undergo surgery, combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Still she thanked god for his blessings by letting her keep her hair in spite of the chemo.

??????

not a single thought why the sucker gave her the darned thing???

Of course she has this from her parents, but still - how can anyone fuck the mind of a child up so badly?
Soren

The Defender said...

Chris,

Thank you for posting this. I grew up completely outside of religion, and I am grateful to my parents for this. I often wonder if I had been brought up Christian if I would have hand the intellectual ability to arrive at the same conclusions you have.

I commend you for allowing reason to guide your thought.I hope you'll continue to help spread the word that athesists are moral and loving people who appreciate life as much or more than god-fearers.

Enjjpt said...

Hells Bells,

I know how 'real' those experiences can be. I spent the first 6-7 years of my xtian life in a Pentacostal church. I spoke in 'tounges' was 'slain' in the spirit countless times. I 'felt' god all the time.

In the end, I beleive that the human mind is a very powerful tool and we do not fully understand how it functions and controls our actions. My experiences were not 'supernatural', they were just 'natural' states induced by my mind that were different from everyday emotions/feelings. I was under the spell of some type of group hysteria, that is all.

I have seen people who can meditate so deeply that they can endure pain that would cause others to scream out. I have seen a side-by-side demonstration of a meditation technique were the person could be pricked by a pin in their left and right hand, and only choose to bleed in one. Yes our brains are powerful and can produce some amazing feats, but in the end it all lies within you..No Gods Required.

Enjjpt said...

The Defender,

I suspect that for many Christians, or people of any faith, the external pressure to conform is stronger than the internal drie to seek the truth at any cost.

Most Christians I know are very smart people and reasonable, except when it comes to matters of faith. There is an unwillingness to admit that you have been wrong for years that keeps people in. Also, when your entire social and family life is so intertwined with faith it seems impossible to escape.

My wife is a born and raised xtian, her father was a Missionary and is now an assistant pastor so my religious views are an off-limits discussion. She does not want to answer the tough questions because her entire social order and worldview would collapse. That is a powerful lure to keep one in line no matter how much they question their faith.

And you make a good point about atheists being good people too...I submit that we are even better people because when I see somone who needs help, I stop and help them myself. I dont ask 'god' to help them because he has a bad habbit of not showing up. When my family sits down to eat dinner, I give thanks, to the person who made the dinner and who provided the food. Giving credit where credit is due and not to god, and helping when it is required and not looking for god to fix the problem makes you a better person.

-Chris

The Defender said...

Chris,

My wife is a recovering Christian as well. Your point about giving credit where it is due is one I bring up often myself. I've been busting my hump to get into grad school. I've applied for a few fellowships and my wife and I are waiting to hear if I'll get sufficient funding.

She mentioned to her father that it was a little tense waiting to see what was going to happen. He told her to trust in the lord. Needless to say, I took some offense at this. If I get funded, the lord will have nothing to do with it!

Similarly, I hate it when athletes thank the lord after a win. Why the hell to they bother to practice if the "lord" is going to hand the win to whomever he deems appropriate.

It's all quite ridiculous, and your incredibly thourough and credible post here gives me hope that someday logic and reason will triumph over fear and superstition.

--Brian

Enjjpt said...

Brian,

Good luck in grad school, and take pride in the fact that whatever you accomplish in life was a product of your own sweat and hard work. You opened your own doors and made life happen the way you wanted.

The saying that "God helps those who help themself", while not in the Bible is the truth. Another one I like was General Patton's comment that "God fights on the side with the heaviest artillery." If you feel compeled to thank God when you win, do you blame him when you lose?

--Chris

Anonymous said...

I had a minister befriend me when I was homeless in 1999

He fed me, allowed me to stay over so I had a place to sleep. He allowed me to use his shower because I was dirty and needed a shower.
He gave me a bicycle to sell. He did good things and I am grateful.
I went back to church and was baptized and then he moved to teach Biblical Greek and we lost touch.

His answer to one of my questions was:

"You can't figure it out on your own.
Your mind, any human mind, is not created to figure out and understand God." It won't work.

"You have to have faith, and trust Him and that is all there is too it."

Perhaps my friend was on to something?

Look around you, Somebody put all this here. Somebody created all of us and everything around us.

Furthermore, the middle East and Israel and all this does seem to follow the words printed in thwe Bible. There is some force at work and it follows this book that is being bashed here.

Myself, I'd rather not mess with whoever or whatever designed all of us and everything we see.

However, This post that I am answering "is the best yet written"

I propose that it is printed out and taken to ministers of churches and ask then to explain it all and
that a book be written with the expalnations.

Cousin Ricky said...

Anonymous #6634205932014696654 wrote: “First studying ancient myths you say they were created to explain natural pheoninom that could not be explained by the science at the time. However, I would think the Bible is unique in that it does not try to explain natural phenominon. It does not say thunder is God yelling or Lightning is fashioned by God.”

Are you kidding? Have you read it?

Try Exodus 9:23, Exodus 19:16; 1 Samuel 7:10; 1 Samuel 12:18; Job 36:29-33; Job 37:2-5, 15; Job 38; Job 38:24 (whew!); Psalm 18:7-14; Psalm 29:3, 7; Psalm 77:17-18; and on and on... And those are just for thunder and lightning.

Genesis 2 explains why humans pair up. Genesis 3 explains why shit happens and why snakes slither. Genesis 9 explains rainbows. Genesis 11 explains why we speak different languages. In addition, the gospels and Acts imply that diseases and mental illnesses are caused by evil spirits. All these phenomena have natural explanations.

Anonymous wrote: “The only things it attributes to God are things that defy all laws of nature.”

What things? Things that, if you’d heard about them from any other source than the Bible, you wouldn’t believe? David Hume hit the nail on the head:

“A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined [emphasis added].

“…no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.”

An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding,1748

Sorry, but to the skeptics among us, the fallibility of the Bible is no miracle.

No wait... Let me see that again:

Anonymous wrote: “The only things it attributes to God are things that defy all laws of nature.”

Why don’t you dust off that Bible sitting on your shelf, crack it open, and read Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges to see how many times it attributes battle victories to God.

Really! It’s unbecoming of a Christian to be that clueless about the Bible. ;-)

Enjjpt said...

Anony,

I did not say that some Christians are not great people who do really care about others and help as best they can. The minister who gave you assistance was a decent human being, but his kindness one way or another, does not prove the existance of god.

You are right that someone made all of us. They are called 'Mom' and 'Dad'...A long time before that it was Bobo and Bonzo the apes, before that it was ameobas.

What is going on in the Middle East has now bearing whatsoever on any of the claims of the Bible or the proof of the existance of god. Once upon a time, I did think that 'prophecy' was being acted out on a daily basis over there, but now I can see it is not.

The Bible is like a fortune teller who tells you all kinds of very general things and allows you to draw the conclusions and fill in the gaps to make it seem very precise and accurate. Application of these standards to Nostradamus, the Bible, Koran, or the Fortune teller down the road all yeild the same results. They are frauds.

I am glad you have turned your life around, it was you who did it with the help of some friends, not God. Man helped himself yet again! Take the credit you deserve and dont look to god for the change, look in the mirror.

Cousin Ricky said...

Anonymous #828787594414635047 wrote: “I had a minister befriend me when I was homeless in 1999”

Good for him! But just because he is a good man doesn’t mean he has the truth.

Anonymous wrote: “His answer to one of my questions was:

“‘Goddidit. Now STFU.’ [paraphrased]”


Anonymous wrote: “Look around you, Somebody put all this here. Somebody created all of us and everything around us.”

Argument from ignorance. “I don’t know how it got here. Therefore, God exists.”

Anonymous wrote: “Furthermore, the middle East and Israel and all this does seem to follow the words printed in thwe Bible. There is some force at work and it follows this book that is being bashed here.”

Nothing there is happening today that wasn’t happening there long before Biblical “prophecies” were written.

*Bash* *Bash*

Anonymous wrote: “Myself, I'd rather not mess with whoever or whatever designed all of us and everything we see.”

Argumentum ad baculum. “Please don’t hurt me, God! (Smooch, smooch)”

Anonymous wrote: “However, This post that I am answering ‘is the best yet written’

“I propose that it is printed out and taken to ministers of churches and ask then to explain it all and
that a book be written with the expalnations.”


Good luck getting anything accurate or logically coherent.

Hells Bells said...

Chris,

The rationale I'm thinking through is that, even though most of my deep spiritual experiences were on my own rather than in a group setting, it is possible to maintain some residual level of "hysteria". Also, it is possible to train yourself into or expect and thereby create particular emotional responses. That seems to be how phobias develop. I don't think it's insignificant that most "spiritual" experiences tend to be highly emotional ones - mine included.

Anonymous - rather than saying "x exists therefore God must have put it there" (which is not a conclusion you can actually make from the observation), why not address the nature of god as Chris has raised? If he's all-powerful then doesn't his refusal to prevent just one "sin" that make him guilty as hell? Also, why not use any of the alternative arguments that, because we exist, Allah exists, or Thor, or Zeus, or Osiris, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or ...? Also ever thought that some religious folk are actually working in order to ensure that the "prophecies" are fulfilled, just because they believe there's some meaning in this Bronze Age book? But hey, you won't read this anyway - you've dumped and moved on, right?

Helen

Message to my Son Brian said...

It has come to my attention that my son has been posting on this site. I must say that I am greatly disturbed at the deception that my son has fallen into when I read some of the things that are on this site.

Here is the reason why my son has turned his back on Jesus.

My son is mad at God because God simply did not give my son what he wanted in life. My son had built his own false image of God in his own mind, and so therefore he made God into his own image.

My son's so called claims about how he attended church, studied the bible, prayed, and served on many church committees faithfully were all done out of a selfish motives in hopes that he would win favor from God. So once he did all of these great things for God, my son thought that God would simply reward him by giving him what he wanted. So when God did not bring certain things to pass in my son's life, and when God did not give him what he wanted, my son got mad and lost his temper by cursing my Jesus and rejecting him like a immature 2 year old.

I'm sure that is the same case in regards to the rest of you who have turned their backs on God who posts on this site. Just like my son, God did not give you what you wanted nor did he do what you wanted him to do, so you got mad at him and turned your backs on him all because he would not give you what you wanted.

The facts are you do not tell God what to do, or what he is supposed to do. He is God, and you are to serve and obey him without any conditions attached. God does not owe any person living on this planet anything. He didn't even have to die on the cross for our sins. He didn't even owe us that. So the next time some of you say that God owes you something or he did not treat you fairly, I will also remind you that God doesn't owe you anything. It is you who owes God.

God is not someone who gives us what we want, he gives us what we need.

As for my son, you know who you are, and if you choose to retaliate to my post then so be it. God loves you and he will chasten you until you come back to him. God will never leave you alone until you come back home to him. You were bought with a price, and nobody can take you out of his hand.

Jesus is the true lover of your soul. He will not let you stray far from him no matter how far you run away from him. He is in hot pursuit of your soul!

Dad

Jim Arvo said...

Brian's Dad said "I'm sure that is the same case in regards to the rest of you who have turned their backs on God who posts on this site. Just like my son, God did not give you what you wanted nor did he do what you wanted him to do, so you got mad at him and turned your backs on him all because he would not give you what you wanted."

Sir, what you just said is patently absurd. You do not know anybody here, except your son. I assure you that NOBODY here is so naive as to reject "god" for not catering to our every whim. Moreover, I think it's a distinct possibility that you are projecting onto your son the same puerile reasoning that you accuse us of.

Here's an important question for you. Do you care what your son or anybody else thinks, or do you feel that everyone is somehow obliged to adopt the same theology as you?

And here's a piece of advice, which you can take or leave as suits you. Try listening as well as speaking. You are not the only one who is entitled to have an opinion.

resonate11 said...

Brian's dad,

I pray that you recover your humaneness. Do you have any idea how hateful, how mean spirited, how hard hearted the attitude expressed in your post is?

I pray you go inside yourself and feel again the kindness and gentleness and mercy you once cherished.

If everyone has to have congruent beliefs to yours, you are doomed to misery. We can't believe what you believe. Even those who are generally shaped by similar beliefs to yours, can't believe in the exact same way with the exact same degree of passion as you.

I pray that in your heart you find the goodness to allow others their beliefs. As certain as you are of your beliefs, anger toward others for their beliefs won't help you or them. It can only hurt.

This post is my prayer. It will be read by real, live human beings. It won't be read nor heard by your god. But you--you are still a human--will it be heard by you?

Enjjpt said...

Brian's Dad,

Try reading my original post about the 'nature of God'. Jesus is the lover of our souls , huh??? Where was Jesus when Jessica Lundsford was raped, beaten and burried alive in a shallow grave? Where is Jesus in the cancer ward at St. Judes where 4 and 5 year old kids are dying everyday from the most painful and miserable forms of cancer? Where was Jesus when millions were being gassed in the Nazi camps while the Doctors performed vile experiments on children?

I have been polite up until this point but no more. Your god is a fraud and belief in this Jesus is an affront to all of hummanity. I owe god nothing and you good sir can go to your own hell that youe loving god created. Please wake up and join the 21st century.


--Chris

boomSLANG said...

Dad: You were bought with a price, and nobody can take you out of his hand.

Eeegad, that's appalling!

Congratulations....you are insane, and so is the family belief you inherited and handed-down to your poor, poor son. Shame on you.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Message to my Son Brian wrote:
It has come to my attention that my son has been posting on this site
----
Am I the only one wondering how this 'dad' found out his 'son' has been posting here?

That is, assuming this 'dad' claim is even true.

Either way, the 'dad' person writing here, is just another brainwashed xtian who thinks everyone else left his religion because they surely must be 'angry' at his very own pretend 'god-toy'.

Hey 'dad, it's time to pack up your god-toys and find someone else to play with, besides the 'son' you attempted to keep brainwashed in your delusion.


ATF (Who wonders if I also "turned my back" on those other human created gods, just as 'dad' here surely turned his back on them)

Brian's Dad said...

"I pray that you recover your humaneness. Do you have any idea how hateful, how mean spirited, how hard hearted the attitude expressed in your post is?"

Do you have any idea how much danger my son's soul is in because he has rejected Jesus?

Many of you fail to realize that this life is only temporary. None of you seem to be too concerned about eternity.

As for the other poster who left the hateful message about Jesus being a fraud and how can he allow people to be raped and murdered along with allowing an innocent child to die from cancer.

I'll say that it is sad to see a innocent child suffer and die from cancer like that. I will be the first to admit that I do no know why God allows such things as that to happen, however I do believe that God has a greater purpose for everything, and that he will one day turn all of these tragedies here on Earth into something really beautiful in the long run.

One thing I have learned how to do over the years is not trust in my own understanding, but lean on God who's thoughts are higher than mine. God sees the bigger picture, not us. He knows what is best for each and everyone of us. He created us and he is the designer of our bodies. Only the creator knows what is best for his creations, not the creation itself.

As a christian parent, I am deeply concerned for my son Brian's soul. I have every right to be concerned especially when the danger exists that my son may end up in eternal torment someday.

I realize none of you subscribe to my beliefs, however my beliefs are real, and the danger of my son facing eternal torment is real, and you better believe I am going to be worried.

I'm not about to take that chance unlike the rest of you are. I'm not going to risk the chance of burning in hell for all eternity, because I am reminded every time I attend someone's funeral that this life is only temporary. Nobody is guaranteed another single day on this planet. We all take life for granted.

Brian's Dad said...

"Am I the only one wondering how this 'dad' found out his 'son' has been posting here?"

Well when my son tells me just what a stupid brainwashed christian that I am, and how out of date my beliefs are and how I am living in the dark ages and then he tells me that he got his information from a site called, "exchristian.net", it's not too hard to figure out.

Brian's Dad said...

"Where was Jesus when Jessica Lundsford was raped, beaten and burried alive in a shallow grave? Where is Jesus in the cancer ward at St. Judes where 4 and 5 year old kids are dying everyday from the most painful and miserable forms of cancer? Where was Jesus when millions were being gassed in the Nazi camps while the Doctors performed vile experiments on children?"

Just to make a point out of what all you said in your post.

Just imagine one person having all of those same things you just mentioned along with all of the other tragedies that has happened on this planet past, present, and future, and you will see just how much suffering that Jesus went through.

Jesus died for every single one of those tragedies (Sins) plus more. He took on the whole entire sins of the world. No human could do that. Jesus' death and suffering was the greatest because he took on all of the sins and burdens of the world.

Astreja said...

Brian's Dad: "My son is mad at God because God simply did not give my son what he wanted in life... I'm sure that is the same case in regards to the rest of you who have turned their backs on God who posts on this site."

You're sure, are you?
Really, really sure?

You're wrong.

We aren't mad at your god. It's a waste of time to be mad at something that isn't actually there.

We can, however, be mad at you, however... People so deluded by their faith that they try to ram it down other people's throats.

People who stalk their own children on the Internet and try to shame them into returning to the sheep pen.

"He is God, and you are to serve and obey him without any conditions attached."

Just as you demand that your kidlet serve and obey your ideas? More proof that men make gods in their own images.

"however my beliefs are real, and the danger of my son facing eternal torment is real, and you better believe I am going to be worried."

Your beliefs are just that... Beliefs. Your believing is real; you actually believe that your son is in danger. However, it's doubtful that he's in any real danger of burning forever and ever, ay-men.

I, for one, refuse to buy into Christianity's sadistic mythology. I, Myself, prefer to risk an eternity in Hell rather than give credence to the idea of gods being irrational torturers.

Please find the courage to do likewise, for the sake of your own sanity.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Brian's Dad said...
...how I am living in the dark ages and then he tells me that he got his information from a site called, "exchristian.net", it's not too hard to figure out
----
Hey 'dad',

First off, I assert your dad/son story doesn't jive, and I'm pretty sure others will notice what I just did, in less than 1 minute of digging.

Either way 'dad', you ARE living in the dark ages. I'm quite pleased your son was smart enough to escape that dark age delusion. Maybe some day his 'dad' might as well.

Now if you have any real proof of our god, I'm all ears, otherwise your god is still just a pretend toy you play with and nothing more.


ATF (Who still thinks GI JOE was a much better hero toy, than the coward xtian god toy)

Philip said...

In response to Brian's dad:

We don't owe God anything. If God is infinite and eternal, He doesn't need our love and respect.

And the "dying" for us? Child's play. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of people in history who have suffered worse than Jesus, who not only was just whipped for a little bit and then crucified, but God also cut his pain short, and he got to go to Heaven to rule at the right hand of God afterward. Some sacrifice!

Steven Bently said...

To Brians Dad,

I was just wondering where you found out so much information about your god? Let me guess...a 2000 year old book, that was brought over here by white english settlers in 1492.

BTW, we now know from the invention of the microscope, that diseases are caused by germs, viruses and bacteria not evil spirits or demons that requires one to pray to a god to remove those evil spirits.

This was the mindset of those who wrote the bible over 2000 years ago.

We now know that the world is not flat and the earth is not the center of the whole universe.

Although in 2008, this is forbidden knowledge in churches.

We now know that virgin birth is not possible and snakes and donkeys cannot talk, demons and angels do not exist.

If jesus is true, then he has been bouncing around in gods testicals for over 4000 years before god wacked-off in a cup and handed it to an angel and inseminated Mary...is this the basis for your belief?

You sir, are the eptome of the mental illness that pervades this country.

Hells Bells said...

Brian's Dad: Maybe you would like to read again what you originally wrote:

"The facts are you do not tell God what to do, or what he is supposed to do. He is God, and you are to serve and obey him without any conditions attached." Hmm - so God DOES actually want mindless robots.

Got any proof that this god of yours, who demands this mindless obedience, actually exists?

Helen

Brian's Dad said...

"Your beliefs are just that... Beliefs. Your believing is real; you actually believe that your son is in danger. However, it's doubtful that he's in any real danger of burning forever and ever, ay-men."

So you would rather take your chances then?

You are playing Russian Roulette with your life by doing so.

Is it really worth it? I doubt if you would feel that way if you found out you were getting ready to depart this world.

Those who exalt themselves shall be humbled.

Brian's Dad said...

After reading some of the comments on here from some of you, now I understand why my son has so much anger and hatred.

All of you have the same attitude that Brian has. Typical Human Arrogance.

I wonder how many of you would act if a comet or an asteroid started coming towards this planet or some other destructive force.

I'd say that 90 percent of you would change your attitudes rather quickly.

Brian's Dad said...

As far as your Webmaster goes I will continue to post on here. This is spiritual warfare.

As far as the rules go I do not answer to your WM. I answer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has all authority over man. WM is a man not God.

WM may delete my posts, however he will not delete and censor the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Jesus Christ when he returns to this Earth.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dear Brian's Dad:

Would you please identify your son's posts on this site for me?

And, as far as the rest of your bluster goes, you sound strikingly similar to my father-in-law. His version of Christianity and his dogmatic, fist-pounding approach to jamming it down other people's throats has successfully alienated his entire family. Even his grandchildren will have nothing to do with him. I think you may be on your way to emulating his success. Good luck with that.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Brian's Dad,

All of you have the same attitude that Brian has. Typical Human Arrogance.

Please refer to Deuteronomy 21:18-23 for sound, moral guidance on what to do about your intransigent son. Deuteronomy 13:6-18 might also be relevant. While reading the instructions there, don't forget Matt 5:17-20.

Or, you could be proud of your son's willingness to examine the world and the beliefs he was raised with for himself, and treat him with the same dignity you expect for yourself.

Moron.

The Defender said...

Brian's Dad,

You completely misunderstand us. We don't hate your god. We haven't turned our backs on god. We simply don't find any evidence that such a god exists. Therefore, we wouldn't know which way to point our backs even if we wanted to turn them on your god.

Also, if accepting Jesus means that I have to spend eternity with a guy who considers the brutal rape of children part of his greater purpose, I'll gladly accept eternal separation from him as my 'punishment'.

darthwonka said...

brians dad:" After reading some of the comments on here from some of you, now I understand why my son has so much anger and hatred.

All of you have the same attitude that Brian has. Typical Human Arrogance.

I wonder how many of you would act if a comet or an asteroid started coming towards this planet or some other destructive force.

I'd say that 90 percent of you would change your attitudes rather quickly."


This is a support site for people who have, against the odds, embraced reason instead of the religious indoctrination they have been brainwashed in. Of course there is anger. My anger is from being duped for so long and the emotional distress I suffered under the delusions I was taught were truth. The rest continues as many people I love dearly continue to suffer and infect their children with this death cult.

The suffering has stopped for several years now, at least in my own home. But, yes@ I am still angry! Notice the change in tone as you read the comments. We welcome our new brother who has suffered as we have and encourage him. Then, the xtians enter and we have to fend them off like a swarm of mosquitoes.

I am grateful, at least, that I, and many here, have escaped the delusion and embraced reason.

Unless you are writing fiction, the facts guide the story. The facts! If the facts don't fit the story, reject the damn story and move on!

Best regards,

wonka

stronger now said...

"Do you have any idea how much danger my son's soul is in because he has rejected Jesus?"

Yes, his unevidenced "soul" is in as much danger for rejecting jesus as it is for his rejection of zeus, allah, odin, and all the other mythical deities that ever existed. In other words...NONE WHATSOEVER!

"...my son got mad and lost his temper by cursing my Jesus and rejecting him like a immature 2 year old.

I'm sure that is the same case in regards to the rest of you who have turned their backs on God who posts on this site."

Insulting, generalizing, and uninformed. Yep, your a christian allright!

"One thing I have learned how to do over the years is not trust in my own understanding, but lean on God who's thoughts are higher than mine."

If you can understand that your god's thoughts are "higher" than yours then you are in fact relying on YOUR understanding. See you cannot help but rely on your own understanding, even if it is faulty.

"...the danger of my son facing eternal torment is real..."

Do you have any credible evidence for this?

"I'm not about to take that chance unlike the rest of you are."

Wrong. You are taking a chance that all the other religions that have a crappy afterlife for non-believers are wrong. You risk as much as anyone else does if you are wrong.

"I'm not going to risk the chance of burning in hell for all eternity..."

Yes you are. If some other god is the real god and you are worshipping the wrong one, you are playing Russian Roulette with your life by doing so.

"I wonder how many of you would act if a comet or an asteroid started coming towards this planet or some other destructive force."

I, for one, will go to Disneyworld and have as much fun as I can with the time I have left. I mean, it's not like we never think about things like this.

"As far as the rules go I do not answer to your WM. I answer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has all authority over man. WM is a man not God."

You wouldn't sound so arrogant if you could provide some credible evidence that your god is something more that your imaginary friend. As it is, you seem unwilling to treat your fellow humans with any respect simply because they are not as gullible as you seem to be.

You seem upset with your son for using his brain and doing what you seem too scared to do. Are you sure your not a bit jealous of your son and us?

boomSLANG said...

Defender: Also, if accepting Jesus means that I have to spend eternity with a guy who considers the brutal rape of children part of his greater purpose, I'll gladly accept eternal separation from him as my 'punishment'.

I second that motion; nicely put.

Jim Earl said...

Brian's Dad wrote:
I'd say that 90 percent of you would change your attitudes rather quickly."

I certainly can't speak for anyone else on this site, but I can assure you that Jim Earl will never go back to the seamy world of religion at any cost.

I have three sons aged 19 to 40. Every one of them are nonreligious and I don't fear what may happen to them when they die. Likewise, I don't fear death either.

Sorry you feel the way you do about your son, if what you say is real. Your son has lost his faith and let me assure you that when faith is lost, it can never be recovered.

I am beyond thankful that I lost my faith years ago. I couldn't look in the mirror if I had the same fanatical beliefs as you.

Do yourself a big favor and love your son for being honest with himself. Let him teach you the reality of life. You need it.
Jim Earl

Bill said...

Enjjpt

I'm in Portland Oregon. We should talk. I've posted on this site a number of times. You can email me at w_jeffreys@msn.com.

Bill Jeffreys

resonate11 said...

Brian's dad said, "Do you have any idea how much danger my son's soul is in because he has rejected Jesus?"

No, I really don't know anything about this. And because you favor coercion and fear mongering I am not receptive to learning about souls and Jesus from you. Well, to be honest, neither Jesus nor souls (non coporeal essences) makes any sense to me. So, truth be told, even if you were a kind and gentle soul (the totality of your being), I would probably pity you for your delusions without finding any truth in your beliefs.

resonate11 said...

By the way, Brian's dad, how is this whole anger and coercion and fear mongering thing working out for you?

Are you trying to "save" your son because your god needs your help? What powers do you have that your god lacks?

Or are you trying to win back your son because you fear life in heaven without him will be at least a little sad? If you truly believe in a joyful heavenly reward, what difference does it make who is and who isn't in heaven with you?

And what about life on this earth? When you are unable to respect your son's beliefs, are you happier or sadder? Are those you love, including your son, happier or sadder when you deny your son his integrity?

leotracks said...

I hate to overshadow Chris's original, and rather brilliant, post by arguing with daddy...but what the hell.

Just so you know, even when I was a devout christian, I rejected the idea of "giving my problems to god," and "asking" god for anything. Even at that stage in my life, that seemed like the exact opposite of what like is about. My problems were my own, and my personal responsibility to resolve. Why should I expect god to fix my problems? What could I learn from that?

As for asking things from god; again, what would I learn from receiving gifts from above? Aren't the best things in life the things that we must work towards and earn ourselves?

So I did not reject god for not giving me gifts; I never asked for any. I think, perhaps, you are the one who expects gifts from above, and you are terrified that your son's failed ingratiation might cost you.

And do we sound angry? Absolutely. I am angry that I have to live in a world ruled by primitive superstition, ignorance, presumption and self-willed stupidity. The evidence against god and the ludicrous simplicity in the bible are clear and abundant. People like you have to choose to not see, to deny what observation and life experience tells you is real, to cling to an ancient collection of documents, while simultaneously ignoring similar documents with same pedigree, only different names.

And you accuse us of arrogance. Ha! You claim that god is real, and still you presume to know his mind. That must make you near god-like yourself. And that is your motivation, daddy, to find a reason to be better than the rest of us.

You are not better than the rest of us; you are a small, petty, simple-minded fool, and I will not waste another minute on you.

Enjjpt said...

Brian's Dad lives in a world of abject fear. Fear that his 'all-loving' God is ready to smite his son down to everlasting torment and pain for the grevious sin of disbelief.

When my children grow up and live live according to their own conscious, I hope they will make responsible and rational choices. Even if they decide to throw out their upbringing and whatever values I tried to instill in them, I would still love them unconditionally. If they decided they never wanted to talk to me again, I would still in my heart wish the the best of luck and hope that they were happy and had good lives. That is what true love is.

God's 'love' is to punish you by burining you alive and letting maggots and dogs rip at your flesh for all eternity if you decide to go it on your own. You could be the most moral, upright person on the planet but God will torture you forever for having the audacity to question his motives.

I pitty you Daddy. I cant imagine a grown man living in fear and superstition like you do. If your 'god' is one of perfect love, why dont you do to your son what your 'god' will do. If you sons soul it at such a risk, why not kidnap him and run a blow torch over his flesh until he confesses that he loves your Jesus again. You would be doing him a favor in the long run, a little physical pain now to avoid an eternity of it latter...You will not do that because it would be EVIL to do so to your own son. But your 'god' will do that and much worse...Tell me about this 'amazing love' again.

--Chris

redtail said...

Excellent testimony Chris!!
Brian...welcome. You have my sympathies

AtheistToothFairy said...

I think Brian's 'dad' is just another TROLL, trying to stir up some trouble here.

'Dad' ignores the WM's request to indicate who 'Brian' is in posts.

Why hasn't Brian himself had anything to say, if he visits this site as dad claims he does.

Care to dispute my troll theory, "DAD"?


ATF (Who sure "Smells Something Rotten in Denmark")

Anonymous said...

Troll or not, I understand exactly what Brian is going through.

I have read many great points on here made by many of you based on pure 100 percent logical that shreds the christian belief to pieces.

I realize I am wasting my time, however I ran off a copy of all of the comments on here, and tried to get my father to read some of the posts that many of you made on here just to show him how stupid his fairytale beliefs are and he refuses to do so. He won't even take the time to read on sentence on here. My father claims that "He is not interested in what a bunch of idiots have to say", that he has the truth called the bible.

Like many of you who post on here already know it doesn't matter what you tell a lot of these christian nuts, they close their ears and refuse to listen to anything we have to say. You can make an excellent point to a christian, and then they act like they didn't even hear you.

I'll just say in closing that christianity is a belief that enslaves one's mind. Stay the fuck away from it as far as you can. It has damn nearly destroyed my life, and has almost driven me to the point of suicide in the past.

That is just how damn dangerous and destructive christianity is.

There is no personal and loving god period. He doesn't give a fuck about anyone in this world and all I have to say to people is that if you are expecting God to bless you and give you direction in your life, then you are going to be in for a major disaster. I too was taught to believe for so much of my life that God would direct my paths if I served him and made him lord and master of my life, and I ended up on fucking anti-depressants, and almost dead because I didn't believe enough in myself to make things happen.

I have left the faith, however I don't know if I will ever be able to get over the Psychological damage that have been done to my life no thanks to christianity. Especially these lies that are in the bible.

For the record I have no love for any christians or their God period. I honestly cannot stand having christians around me and I cannot stand to hear any talk about how great their sorry assed pathetic Jesus is. It's all a big fucking lie.

I would love to file lawsuits against all of these churches and ministries who continue to spread lies. These churches need to be stopped somehow IMO. They do more damage to people's lives then they do any good, and it's not just one particular church or one particular christian. It's all of the sons of bitches and their stupid fucking bible.

I hate christians! Fuck em all!!! Most christians would do well to stay away from me or not even talk to me.

Enjjpt said...

ATF,

By the way, I wanted to say thanks to you personally. You have been one of my major influences on this site over the past few months. You were one of the main contributiors of logical arguments that I ellaorated into my own words to make this post.

Again, thank all of you who ave made this site a refuge from the insanity!

--Chris

Astreja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astreja said...

Brian's Dad: "So you would rather take your chances then?"

Yes.

"You are playing Russian Roulette with your life by doing so... Is it really worth it?"

Yes.

Far better than thinking of a god as a fucking homicidal maniac. If any gods actually exist, to think them capable of creating and maintaining a Hell is to offer them a grave insult. This is the same god that you consider the source of all love, right?

*crickets*

I said, right???

But if Hell actually exists, I have already decided to go there voluntarily in a gesture of support for any and all other beings trapped there.

"I doubt if you would feel that way if you found out you were getting ready to depart this world."

Unlike you, I do not believe in an afterlife. I think that matter and energy persist, but that human consciousness simply stops at the moment of brain death. "I", sir, will not be departing; I will simply cease to be.

And so will you.

And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to let go of your "Me gonna live forever" fantasy and make good use of the life that you do have.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Enjjpt wrote:
By the way, I wanted to say thanks to you personally. You have been one of my major influences on this site over the past few months
----
Chris,

Ummm, I don't what to say to here really.
One always hopes that one's time and energy spent here in writing their thoughts is 'reaching' someone----somewhere.
While I saw 'my' type of logic being used in your post, I hadn't realized my words had such an effect on your own thought processes.
In any case, many thanks for your very kind words.

>God never answered my prayers or spoke to me, so he wasn’t much help when I tried to seek him out.

Well Chris, I can't recall anytime when I was a xtian, where I asked god for something and he then delivered. As I've said before here, it always seemed if I asked for something, I was certain to NOT ever get it from god.
The closest I ever came to believing that god was taking an interest in my life, is where I had avoided some bad situation in life, but it wasn't something under my own power to have done so, and so I would then attribute that 'protection' to god or some guardian angel etc..
Naturally, we ALL can find bad things we somehow avoided in life and then attribute that fact to some higher power, right.

>People didn’t know how lightning was formed or the mechanics of plate tectonics that cause earthquakes, or why rainbows exist so they invented gods that controlled these “mystically powerful” forces that they could not understand

I've watched shows about ancient societies that clearly showed this was the case.
The thing is that as science further explains each 'mystery', the god that once was associated with that mystery, suddenly vanishes from existence.

That TREND has been relentless and will continue to be so I believe.

God's days are surely numbered, as science progresses to learn more and more, and while some will continue to cling to their religious beliefs and make some fancy excuses to fit their beliefs alongside the latest knowledge of science, I think the freethinker population will continue to grow and grow, despite those who continue to live in the past.

>There may be strength in believing in something, but believing in something, no matter how deeply, does not make that something a reality

This is one of my favorite points I like to make in my real life to those who make some extraordinary claim to me.
To say it simply, You can't wish something into existence, no matter how earnestly you may wish it.

>Belief in God is nothing more than a method to provide answers to questions that are unanswerable. Like, what happens when we die? Or, what is the point of life.”

Yes, both of these being probably the two most popular questions adult humans ask themselves. Face it, some folks just can't stand not knowing an answer to a mystery and will do anything to find themselves an answer. That answer of course doesn't need have credible proof, but need only be emotionally satisfying to each person.

>But while children stop believing in Santa due to a total absence of any empirical, verifiable evidence of the miraculous claims, people continue to believe in a God who has all of the same features as Santa with no more evidence of existence than an ancient book and what our parents or friends taught us.

I think we use 'santa' often here as an example.
While it's so obvious to us that a god belief is no different, for some strange reason the 'faithful' can't understand that santa and their god have exactly the same criteria about them.
I dare say, that the evidence for santa far outweighs the evidence for god.
I think the reason the god belief doesn't vanish as easily as the santa belief does, is because to lose belief in santa has only a possible consequence of getting no/less presents at xmas, while a loss of a god belief has far deeper and eternal consequences.


>If God does exist and gave us a rational and inquisitive mind, why would he perform irrational acts that defy the natural laws of his creation and not expect us to question the reality of such acts?

Darn good point!!!
But oh nooo, we are not suppose to question god's ways...yeah sure.
If we took away the bible promise of heaven and hell and god answering prayer, you bet your bottom dollar every person would indeed question god's actions.
So it's nothing but a form of 'bribery' that puts a fear in xtians to not every ask such questions about their god.


>Except for hell he introduced nothing new to ethics or philosophy

You know, I never really gave this much thought but I think you're right.
I think you're onto something here for sure.

>"For I am the LORD, I change not" (Malachi 3:6) Since God never changes, what changed that he somehow at some point decided he needed people to love and be loved by?

Let me add to this thought of yours and say, why was god also just fine without a material universe composed of billions of galaxies, but one day decided he 'needed' to form this huge universe of ours. Not only did he do so, but he sure made it far larger than he would ever need to support some humans to render worship unto him.

Would god DIE if all his humans decided not to give him love and worship?
If not, would he cry?
Would he also be angry?
Would he admit he screwed up in making a creation that wouldn't worship him and then wonder how his creation powers had failed him?

Isn't it funny (funny strange, not funny ha ha) that god has emotions and his feelings greatly mirror human feelings?

Oh no, but it couldn't be that humans invented this xtian god, like they did all the rest (sayeth the blinded xtian)

>If my house was on fire with my family trapped inside, would I kneel and pray before or after I called the fire department?

While I'm sure you could find a FEW who might do this, the majority of xtians wouldn't dream of it.
Why...because I really think that most who claim to be xtians aren't very sure of their own beliefs. For most, it's a hope like winning the lottery. While we all like to dream we will win that lottery, how many have faith enough that they will to go out and pre-buy expensive items and then think they will pay them off just as soon as the lottery winnings show up.

Frankly, if that house burned down and kids died because they decided to pray for a few minutes before calling the FD, I think they should be brought up on criminal charges.

From one of your comments:
>She [wife] does not want to answer the tough questions because her entire social order and worldview would collapse. That is a powerful lure to keep one in line no matter how much they question their faith.

That is also my exact situation to.
My wife avoids my tough questions or makes lame excuses that shift the burden onto her god answering them 'for me'.
For her to lose her god beliefs, would wreck not only those beliefs, but destroy her church social life she is so fond of having.
As most of us have learned, once you lose your faith in the xtian god, you tend to lose many of those church friends as well. After all, the human tendency is to hang around folks that are like-minded or at least have a common general interest in life.

So like with your wife, I really think if my wife started to internally question her faith, she would never externally admit it.
Like many 'xtians', I'm sure she would continue to put up a facade, if only for the social reasons and some outside hope that her god actually might exists.


ATF ( who also was very impressed with your original post)

nm156 said...

Chris,

Without a doubt, I can say that this is easily one of the most intriguing testimonials I have read.

I could identify with almost all of your comments. Thanks for your insight.

Brian's dad....

I find it very interesting that you managed to post on this particular thread.... and avoid answering some of its most basic arguments.
If you would please, answer me just this one question.... Why is it that Christians such as yourself claim that your particular beliefs are at the same time irrefutable and deserving of the most serious reflection followed by acceptance, but yet to accept them (in the case of those who were not raised in a 'Christian' culture) would require a certain open-mindedness that is heretofore unknown to you.

Thanks..

Epicurienne said...

Chris, your post ROCKED. You said everything that I think, so much better than I could.

"Brian's Dad", I have a point-by-point smackdown for you:

"I will be the first to admit that I do no know why God allows such things as that to happen [rape,death of children, etc.], however I do believe that God has a greater purpose for everything, and that he will one day turn all of these tragedies here on Earth into something really beautiful in the long run."

Proof, please. And even if you can provide proof, I don't think there's any "long run" that could possibly be good enough to justify allowed the terrible things to happen.

"As a christian parent, I am deeply concerned for my son Brian's soul. I have every right to be concerned especially when the danger exists that my son may end up in eternal torment someday."

As a deist-going-on-atheist, I am deeply concerned about all the kids in this world whose health and sanity are threatened by religious brainwashing.

"Jesus died for every single one of those tragedies (Sins) plus more. He took on the whole entire sins of the world. No human could do that. Jesus' death and suffering was the greatest because he took on all of the sins and burdens of the world."

Wouldn't it have been better if [G]od had prevented those tragedies from occurring in the first place? I personally don't think letting bad stuff happen, and then doing a crucifixion to "pay" for it all, is the most efficient way to handle it. If I (a mere human) could figure that out, why couldn't [G]od? He's supposedly smarter than us.

"I wonder how many of you would act if a comet or an asteroid started coming towards this planet or some other destructive force."

I'd try to gather everybody I love around me, and make the most of the time we have left together, instead of worrying about things like gods and souls that I have no evidence exist.

Taylor said...

Chris said:
If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able to---Then he is not omnipotent
If he is able, but not willing---Then he is malevolent
If he is both able and willing---then where does evil come from?
If he is neither able nor willing---Why call him God?


God is capable and is willing but as our creator, He has laws. If we all obeyed them, pain and suffering would be gone. It’s as simple as that. He is not a complicated God.

Then you go on to say:
If God is so all-knowing he can perceive evil plans while they are but a dim conception, yet he does not impart this knowledge to us, and as a result we suffer.

Correct. If we want true righteous knowledge, true wisdom, we must obey.

If God is real, he is guilty of negligence on a cosmic order. God had the ability to stop the child from being raped and murdered, but was not willing to lift a finger, making him completely malevolent.

In your own arrogance you fail to acknowledge that God is choosing a greater good for these people. We can never comprehend it but I can assure you that those children are compensated justly and so will their abusers. You must have faith that the One who gave you the gift to reason and the gift to desire justice, is far superior than any of us with these gifts. His reasons and His justice are perfect. Just because you don’t see the whole picture doesn’t mean that the picture makes no sense! You’ll get to see more of the “picture” (i.e. His wisdom) once you step down from that lofty pedestal and humble yourself before Him.
Try to maintain perspective, He’s God! and you have the audacity to judge Him!

If God is all-powerful then he can prevent these evil acts from happening (He can do this and still allow for free will). This means that the tragic loss of life due to natural disasters could be entirely avoided. After all, God is in control of these things isn’t he?

God is all-powerful but He cannot give freewill, yet force everyone to choose righteousness. He cannot make things that are mutually exclusive, inclusive!

All the pointless bloodshed of the 20th century could have also been completely bypassed, if God could only have “opened the doors” for Hitler to become a successful artist in Vienna and adverted the Holocaust for His ‘chosen people’.

Sin, sin, sin! Will not permit Him to intervene in our actions. If we chose sin, we receive His justice.

If God is all-loving, then He WILL DO SOMETHING to stop evil—not sometime in the distant future, but NOW, as any feeling, caring sentient being would, after all “He cares for you”.

And He has given this generation a special gift to remind us of His presence and our need to reject sin. A special gift to humanity has been given through Vassula Ryden. You can read Jesus’ dialogue with her since 1986 at http://www.tlig.org/. But, if you choose to be like the Pharisees, His many gifts you’ll ignore and you’ll continue down that lost path.

Regardless of what Revelation 20-22 or any other passage of Scripture says about how the story will end, I am deeply disturbed that God apparently has the power to stop evil in his world but does nothing.

You keep forgetting that you’re not seeing the big picture yet! If you trust Him, He’ll take care of you.

"Why did God give man freedom to commit evil acts?"

Our choice. We may not be able to fully comprehend or reconcile Genesis with the natural world but at least God gave us this book to understand that it was not His original plan. His human creation chose to understand evil and He honored their request. But, thank God He didn’t leave us to our poor choice, He loved and loves us too much so He did the only thing He could do, He gave Himself.

Suffering and death are a side effect of evil/sin (Romans 5:12).

Now you have it.

Why is it so impossible for Christians to imagine the likelihood of someone not loving God without being evil in the process? Why couldn't God create creatures with the capacity of either loving Him or not, without them also being murderers, sadists and rapists in the process?

Please understand that your ability to love is a gift from God. Everything that gives you peace and joy that is of a good nature is from God. Don’t get me wrong, you can most definitely get what appears to be wonderful peace and joy from sin, but God’s justice will catch up to you. You know when you’re sinning and just because years of choosing sin has diminished the effects it has on your conscience, will not be a good argument to God.

If your existence and every good thing in your life is a gift from God, how much will God be offended with your statement of “not loving God without being evil in the process?” Not loving the one that gave you life is quite evil, wouldn’t you think?

Since God never changes, what changed that he somehow at some point decided he needed people to love and be loved by? Oh, and I wasn't aware that God needed anything at all.

Why does God’s decision to create make you think that He’s changed? He doesn’t need anything but He decided to create and share His existence. Are you not thankful that He decided to give you life? I know I am! More importantly, that He gives those that love Him eternal life!

However, as I tried to illustrate above, the ability to not love someone does not equate to evil.

It does when you decide to hate the one who created you.

Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.”(Ezek 25:17) and sends them off to rot in eternal torment in hell forever and ever for the ‘sin’ of not loving Him.

To Not love Him, the source of Love itself is to love all those things that are opposite to Him. To love pride over humility, power over meekness, arrogance over tenderness, etc… We are all so blind to our sins that we sin continually without recognizing it. If we reflect on all our thoughts and the motive behind all our actions throughout the day...we will all find many, many sins.

The problem is that to sin, blinds us to our own sin. Most people actually believe they are pretty good people but to say such a thing, is also a sin. I am only as good as God permits me to be as He is the source and power behind everything. We can either join our will to His and receive His graces or turn our will against Him and receive our just “reward”.

Does God really want me to serve Him and confess my need and love for him to avoid the torture He created for me if I don’t? Is a confession extracted under torture or the threat of torture reliable and sincere?

If you choose what is not from Him than you choose suffering. All peace and that includes your health, are a gift from God. To reject Him is to reject the source of all peace, you’re then asking for a place without Him and that will be Hell.

In the end, it will all be our own choice. We'll either be judged against His law or against our consciences. In the case of everyone at this site, it will be His law.

Based on your own testimony, it does not appear that you were ever blessed with faith.

You said:
I have been fighting this decision for a long time and have gone through periods of trying to “seek the truth and draw close to God” to varying levels of unbelief and back again.

These are varying levels of unbelief. All levels of unbelief are, disbelief. Where was your faith man! Please bring yourself to a mirror. Did this person come to exist through random events! Of course not. Did an inanimate universe, through random processes, “create” life with the capacity to contemplate itself. No! For the love of God, please wake up. This path of yours is leading to destruction when the one that made you and loves you more than any other is pining over His lost child…

God never answered my prayers or spoke to me, so he wasn’t much help when I tried to seek him out. And all the faith in the world was not answering some of the fundamental questions I was having about religion.

More of the same disbelief. If you had faith of any kind, you would not write “God never answered my prayers”.

Faith does not equal reality.

Nor did the Christian faith ever claim such a statement. God equals reality. Christianity is choosing to have faith in the creator of our human reality and trusting that the work done at Calvary is sufficient to bring us back to Him, back to absolute reality.

Good night.

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Taylor/Marc/Unblinded/etc.,

What happened to your promise to use the nickname "Passerby"? Do promises mean anything to you?

Enjjpt said...

Taylor,

You should really lay off the Kool-Aide. I dont have the slightest bit if desire to debate you point for point because no amount of logic or critical thinking will make you change your mind. I might just as well shout at a wall. Don't worry though, I was just like you not too long ago so there is hope for you as well!

FOAD! Nite-nite!

Astreja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astreja said...

Taylor: "In your own arrogance you fail to acknowledge that God is choosing a greater good for these people. We can never comprehend it but I can assure you that those children are compensated justly and so will their abusers."

No amount of future bliss can erase suffering in the here-and-now.

That suffering existed at the moment it happened, and it cannot be erased.

Ever.

"You must have faith that the One who gave you the gift to reason and the gift to desire justice, is far superior than any of us with these gifts. His reasons and His justice are perfect."

I, Myself, think that the above statement is a pile of steaming camel crap.

I see no superiority in your god-concept, just a weak attempt to rationalize away the Problem of Evil.

And you, mortal, are not in any position to make a rational and complete assessment of an intangible, undetectable and quite likely imaginary being. That's your faith talking, nothing more.

"Did an inanimate universe, through random processes, “create” life with the capacity to contemplate itself."

Sure looks like it to Me. It's nonsense to *start* with Ultimate Complexity and Intelligence, *then* start building universes.

But, even if there is an intelligence tinkering away behind the magic curtain, I doubt very much that it bears any resemblance whatsoever to the god of the Bible.

Think about it, Taylor... First Biblegod got blindsided by two child-like humanoids and a talking snake. A third of its own angels ran away to join the circus. It couldn't deal with a bunch of iron chariots. Only knows pi to zero decimal places. And ended up getting itself nailed to a couple of pieces of wood, totally blowing a perfectly good opportunity to liberate Israel from the Romans and lay a legitimate claim to the 'Messiah' title.

Seriously. Does *that* sound like a being capable of creating a fucking universe? Sheesh.

(shakes head in dismay and wanders away to play a couple more tunes on Her bass guitar)

AtheistToothFairy said...

Taylor wrote:
God is capable and is willing but as our creator, He has laws. If we all obeyed them, pain and suffering would be gone. It’s as simple as that. He is not a complicated God.

Taylor (like we don't know who you really are by now),

If god is not complicated, then he would be EASY to understand, therefore your later assertion in this post, that we can't understand your god, is null and void by your own decree.

Now, if we would all just be good boys and girls, all human suffering would vanish huh?
Would you mind explaining the mechanism of how such a thing would work please?
Does sin cause all diseases?
Does sin cause the weather to reap floods, hurricanes and tornado's upon mankind?
Does sin cause car accidents to?
Again, please explain HOW sin has such a powerful force to cause these things.

>In your own arrogance you fail to acknowledge that God is choosing a greater good for these people. We can never comprehend it but I can assure you that those children are compensated justly and so will their abusers.

So here we went from god being "not complicated" to a god who does things we can "never comprehend".
I think you better get your story straight, before posting such things, okay.

>His reasons and His justice are perfect.

And just how would you KNOW all his reasons and justice is 'perfect', hmmm.
Oh that's right, because that ancient 'book' said so and you obviously have no reason to doubt that this piecemeal formed book was inspired and assembled by an invisible gawd.
I really wonder if your entire life is run on such infallible reasoning, sheesh.

>Just because you don’t see the whole picture doesn’t mean that the picture makes no sense!

Actually 'taylor', it is you that are stuck looking at one piece of the huge jigsaw picture.
The rest of us actually see your tiny piece and all the other many pieces that nullify that one piece.
If only you could back away far enough from your tiny god piece, to see the bigger picture you are so sadly missing out on.

>He’s God! and you have the audacity to judge Him!

Actually, I do not judge him, as he simply doesn't exists, but I do judge the folks who made up this legend and follow it like blind/deaf sheep.

>God is all-powerful but He cannot give freewill, yet force everyone to choose righteousness.

Well, that surely says that your god is not all-powerful then, doesn't it.
For if he were, he could have found a super-duper means to rectify this supposed limitation of his human toys.
Why couldn't your god be just AS happy with human robots, hmmmm?
Is it because he requires WORSHIP and LOVE from his creation, or he'll cry his eye's out, hmmm?

>Sin, sin, sin! Will not permit Him to intervene in our actions. If we chose sin, we receive His justice

So then the jesus god really never performed any of those ancient miracles, right, for if he had then he would have been intervening in human affairs.
For instance, to heal a blind person would surely change the course of his/her life.
Worse, to bring someone back from the dead, surely changed the course of that person's life, without a doubt!!!

You are way too hung-up on this sin stuff taylor!!
You think it's the answer to all human woe's, but you couldn't be more wrong if you tried to be.

>And He has given this generation a special gift to remind us of His presence and our need to reject sin

THIS generation?
What happened to all the previous generations then?
They didn't count or what?
What makes you think THIS generation is so dang special.
Could it possibly be the answer is because YOU happen to be alive and desire this gift, hmm.
Yeah, I think that just might be the case here for your conclusion, right.

>His many gifts you’ll ignore and you’ll continue down that lost path.

I sure don't feel lost. In fact, most of us were never so un-lost, as we became once we dumped your imaginary god and his followers ideas.

>If you trust Him, He’ll take care of you.

Been there, Done that, and no, he didn't.

>We may not be able to fully comprehend or reconcile Genesis....

Or any other part of your holy book, for that matter.
There isn't a 'soul' on this planet that can comprehend the jibberish it contains.

>His human creation chose to understand evil

And what is so wrong about understanding evil, hmmm?

>Please understand that your ability to love is a gift from God.

So you're saying that none of us could ever love another, if your god hadn't supplied that ability in our molecules.
Then I'm surprised your god didn't take away that ability when we all turned our backs on him.
Funny, my ability to love is no different than it was when I claimed I was a xtian.
Perhaps the devil also supplies this love ability to..haha

>but God’s justice will catch up to you.

So says you, but of course, you NEVER have proof of any such assertions you make.

>You know when you’re sinning

Actually your quite wrong here.
At the very least, when I was a boy I didn't know many things were considered a 'sin' until some human informed me that they were, so there.

>Not loving the one that gave you life is quite evil, wouldn’t you think?

It might be, if your god actually would take the time to stop hiding away in heaven and prove himself to exist. Outside doing that, I have no reason to love something that solely exists within your own deluded mind.

>Why does God’s decision to create make you think that He’s changed? He doesn’t need anything but He decided to create and share His existence

Wow, are you really that blind?
No matter how old the universe is, no matter how long we have been around, there had to be a huge expanse of time where there was nothing but space out there.
God got along just fine (it seems) without any universe or life forms within it, so obviously something had to change IN GOD for him to suddenly decide a universe needed to be made.

See, that was easy to understand, right.

Also, if he doesn't NEED anything, then why did he create angels and humans etc..?
What is it about your god that made him feel lonely or in need of something to worship him, when before we and the angels were around he had no such need, hmm?
Just TRY and explain that one to all us, Taylor?

>Are you not thankful that He decided to give you life?

You truly need to ponder this a bit further I'm afraid.
If I did not exist, then I do NOT exist, just that simple.

If I do not exist, then I couldn't be sorry I was chosen to be not-created.
I'm sure I wouldn't have missed me if I never got to exist....would you?
Your logic is impeccable...NOT.

>It does when you decide to hate the one who created you

I don't hate your god, as he doesn't exists, but if he's the god of your bible book, then yeah, I could hate the things he stands for, easily.

>people actually believe they are pretty good people but to say such a thing, is also a sin.

COOL......I like to sin then, cause I know I'm GOOD, but I'm pretty sure a few xtians are NOT. Therefore, I do have the ability to detect sinful people, so that makes my mind A-Okay

>We can either join our will to His and receive His graces

Just for the record.......I hate that word GRACE!!!
It should be struck from every known dictionary on the planet !!

>All peace and that includes your health, are a gift from God.

Wow, I guess then we have NO worthy xtians, because no one escapes health problems on this earth.

>To reject Him is to reject the source of all peace

Odd, because I'm quite at peace with myself, all without your god around in my life.
In fact, I'd venture to say that xtians have less peace in their lives, because they are always being told they are evil sinners and keep trying to not sin, but never can reach such a goal.

>We'll either be judged against His law or against our consciences

And what if a person grew up an atheist and never even heard of this so called 'law', hmm

>Based on your own testimony, it does not appear that you were ever blessed with faith.

What you really mean, is that we were never blessed with your grand delusion to a point where it was impossible to escape it.

>Did an inanimate universe, through random processes, “create” life with the capacity to contemplate itself.

Actually that is exactly how it happened and all the evidence points to this.
Sorry, no god necessary here.

>If you had faith of any kind, you would not write “God never answered my prayers

Right, because then we would find tons of sorry excuses to convince ourselves that god must have intervened in our behalf, over and above random chance.
Ah huh, sure

>God equals reality.

Well then, I DARE your god to show he is reality, without having to shut down my brain or become deluded in order to FEEL him.

How about it GOD...I DARE YOU !!!

There go those darn crickets again...chirp chirp chirp.

>Christianity is choosing to have faith in the creator of our human reality

Yeah, the same could be said about every other religion that has a god to worship.
What makes you so sure your personal choice is the right one?
I know, because it's the one you were brainwashed with as child, just that simple really, for if you hadn't been raised in this country with xtian parents and their church, you would most likely have never found this xtian god you are so dang sure about.


ATF (who wonders how some xtians can ignore everything of reality, that exists outside their little ancient brainwashing book)

Phant said...

Hey Taylor,

Let me ask you a question. Would you be willing to reject your whole entire family if someone told you that if you did not reject Jesus that they would shoot and kill every single member of your family? More than likely you would end up rejecting Jesus.

It's easy for a christian like you who lives in their "American Christian Safety Zone" to take a stand for Christ, and talk about how proud they are to be a Christian, however if you were given a choice to reject Jesus and let your family live, or don't reject Jesus and let some radical muslim shoot and kill your whole entire family, you would more than likely reject Jesus. You would also reject Jesus if you were captured, beaten, and mentally tortured to the point of breaking. I guarantee it.

The fact is that 99 percent of American Christians would reject Jesus if they were faced with the same situation.

Just like all American Christians who hide behind the walls of their church, you are nothing but another "Arrogant Holier Than Thou American Christian" who does nothing but run their mouth because their worthless God doesn't know how to speak for himself.

Until your God speaks to me directly I have no interest in what some christian piss ant like you has to say, so you can just shut your mouth bitch.

Taylor said...

Phant,
The answers are an unequivocal no, but God knows my wretched weakness and would not put me through more than I can bear. If He wanted me to glorify Him in this way He would send His Consoler in full force to my rescue.

ATF,
We are all immersed in God's graces. When you were thirsty, did you enjoy that glass of water. His gift to you. When you were hungry and savored that meal you made, did you thank Him? Why, because in having food you are a recipient of His graces. Your every breath is a gift from God.

Have a great Sunday all, hope you take the time to thank Him for all the graces in your life. Maybe someday He'll return you to a state of grace.

.:webmaster:. said...

Hi Taylor!

It's refreshing to finally, after all these years, meet a true, real, authentic, filled-with-the-holy-ghost, on fire, zealous, and unshakable Christian!

PWAIZE GAWD!

Taylor, Jesus said that Christians should give to everyone who asks, and I have a big request to make of you. I could really use ten dollars. Taylor, would you please give me ten dollars? I've explained my request in more depth in an article entitled "No True Christians."

I so hope you won't disappoint me, Taylor. I do hope you are a "True Christian™" (there are so few of those these days) and not just one of the many self-deceived false Christians that stop by from time to time.

Have a great Sunday everyone! And for those in the U.S. -- break open the beer! It's the Superbowl!

.:webmaster:. said...

Oh, and Taylor. Mary, if she ever existed, is dead. And, she's never magically appeared to anyone for any reason.

Roman Catholicism is a twisted perversion of Christianity, and Christianity is nothing but myth and legend.

GOOD DAY!

Belconar said...

Taylor said:

We are all immersed in God's graces. When you were thirsty, did you enjoy that glass of water. His gift to you. When you were hungry and savored that meal you made, did you thank Him? Why, because in having food you are a recipient of His graces. Your every breath is a gift from God.

Logically, this would mean that the minute we turned our backs on God, we have taken our last breath/our last drink. This did not happen - you can take my word for it.

Logically, this would also mean that no Christian has ever died of thirst or asphyxation - no, sorry, also not true.

Perhaps then God shares his graces with everyone, regardless of their belief in him? Unlikely - I assume you read your Bible on a regular basis, so I do not need to throw scripture at you to demonstrate this point.

You seem to find God in everything around you. While I recognise that this quality is praised in some Christian sects, ex-believers would rather look at the 'gift' (like air, water and life) itself and try and find out where it really came from, rather than say "Goddidit".

You are not willing to do this - you are not willing to look further than the Goddidit explanation. This makes you extremely presumptuous, trying to peddle your version of ultimate truth on this site of all sites.

But, I guess that is what makes you an evangelical Christian.

Enjjpt said...

Taylor said,

ATF,
We are all immersed in God's graces. When you were thirsty, did you enjoy that glass of water. His gift to you. When you were hungry and savored that meal you made, did you thank Him? Why, because in having food you are a recipient of His graces. Your every breath is a gift from God.


When my wife's 4 year old cousin was suffering painfully from non-hodgkin's lymphoma, was she drinking in "god's graces" Watching an innocent 4 year old girl suffer in pain like that is proof that your "God" does not answer prayers. There were thousands of people praying for her, there are 4 ministers in our family and the prayer chains were miles long. Watching 'god's' grace and blessing as she slowly died was a sight to behold. Praise "god" she got to live to see her 5th birthday then die.

Taylor, are you thankful to 'god' that she died a miseradle death? Christ suffered for a day. She suffered for a year in incredible pain.

If Christ died to take away her sins so that she would not perish, but have everlasting life, why did she die? If sin causes death, but faith in Christ makes one sinless before "God", why do Christins still die?

.:webmaster:. said...

Taylor is our resident Roman Catholic troll named Marc. I have requested that he cease preaching here more than 50 times. He refuses to respect that request, because, quite frankly, he's without honor.

Goodbye Taylor. Your posts as Taylor will no longer appear.

What a loon.

.:webmaster:. said...

BTW Marc, Unblinded, Passerby, Taylor and all the other silly pseudonyms you've posted under: CATHOLICS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS!!!

You need to get SAVED, boy! You need to be filled with Gawd, instead of that demonic Mary-worshiping cult! Repent and obey the true gospel! You're on your way to hell, kiddo!

HALLELUJAH!

AtheistToothFairy said...

Enjjpt said...
Watching 'god's' grace and blessing as she slowly died was a sight to behold. Praise "god" she got to live to see her 5th birthday then die.
----
Enjjpt,

I'm so so sorry for your loss of such an innocent child in your family.
It is truly beyond my comprehension how ANY god worth it's salt could allow an innocent child to suffer so painfully for an entire year, only to cut it's life so terribly short in the end.

I've asked this question to our xtian readers before and I never get a logical answer, that question being what purpose does it serve for god to create a human life, only to allow it to live a few short years and possibly die a painful/horrid death.
What great knowledge/experience would such a child have gained by spending so few years on this earth, that would benefit her (or others) once she floats up to god's heaven?


Now to Taylor,

While your latest comments about this child have been erased by the WM, I did see them regardless.

I would like to tell you that your are one sick twisted individual to make the remarks you did about this child's needless suffering and subsequent death.

I won't give you the satisfaction of repeating what you said here, but if your god was real he would never put any innocent child through a pain and suffering that greatly EXCEEDED anything your precious jebus ever experienced in his own fictitious death march.

You sir, need some very serious mental therapy!!!
Alas, you can't comprehend this need for therapy yourself, because you think you are the normal one in human society....NOT

Do you surround yourself with many other mentally ill people?
Perhaps that is why you have no normal people in your real life to compare yourself to, in order to see how screwed up your evil mind truly is.



ATF (Who is convinced the devil is real (today), but his flock is made up of mind-twisted mentally ill xtians, like Taylor here)

leotracks said...

For a long time I have asserted that one of xianities appeals it that it absolves one from responsibility. Dickweed has demonstrated another; absolution from any sense of compassion or empathy. If a child dies tragically, it's not big deal, they are now in fantasy land. If these heartless bible-thumpers actually believe this shit, why don't they all stand in front of approaching trains to prove their devotion to little jeesie and get there faster?

.:webmaster:. said...

Marc, you're in desperate need of counseling. Please get some.

When you do, you're posts will be tolerated. Until then, you're just a troll here. G'bye again.

Valerie Tarico said...

Hey Chris -

I'm in Seattle and would be glad to connect for coffee or simply by email if you're interested.

Valerie
vt at valerietarico dot com

.:webmaster:. said...

For those who have been subjected to the multiple, spamming comments posted by our insane, resident Roman Catholic troll Marc, my apologies. I've enabled comment moderation to spare you the annoyance.

Isn't "True Christianity™" wonderful?

Phant said...

Taylor's Post:
"The answers are an unequivocal no, but God knows my wretched weakness and would not put me through more than I can bear"

Yep, you are just like any other typical arrogant American Christian.

Taylor believes that "Nobody can touch "ME" because I am an "American Christian" and America is a nation under God." You hide behind our country's military and government Taylor. You are a coward.

Tell the same thing to these people who are christians who get tortured and beaten to death in these other countries. Who in the hell do you think you are Taylor? What makes you think that you would be immune to the same type of persecution that christians in other countries face? What makes you think you are so special?

As far as this statement from you: "God knows my wretched weakness and would not put me through more than I can bear"

If you actually believe that then all I can say is that you are going to have a very hard time in this world. I at one time believed exactly the same thing that you believed at one time. I believed that God would not put no more on me than I could bear, and he broke me mentally to the point of almost ruining my life, no thanks to my beliefs in God and idiot christians like you who continue to spread lies.

That is why I no longer subscribe to your faith and why I find no credibility with idiots like you.

I hope the day does come when arrogant christians like yourself are faced with horrible persecution and I hope you get brought down on your knees like I did, and you find out in reality there is "NO GOD". I hope you lose everything like I did because christians like you need to be brought down on your knees. You are the one who is arrogant.

You are pathetic Taylor. I now see people like yourself for the weak minded fools that you are.

Dave8 said...

Chris, great post, it was an enjoyable read, thanks for that. Dave8

sheesha said...

ykmynYour post is a bit long and I'm not going to read it all the way down. I cant imaging going through a spiritual walk built on sand. My prayers are always answered, without fail. The exact answer may not be what I want but I only get what I need before I realize that what I wanted wasn't that compelling to begin with. I asked for ridiculous things and then wait for God to ride in on his rocket ship with da goods.

Isn't never gonna happen. Thank God. I don't want all that stuff. Me Me Me Me Me Me, All about me. Face it, whether you're atheist or believer' you can get caught up in me me me. But if you're disgusted with God, God takes the blame. 911 - all God's fault. He could have stopped it. Then you know what would have happened? the same people responsible would be attacking some other innocent group of human beings while us Americans sit back and continue to numb our questionable intellects by sitting in front of Idol or some other eqaully depraved, soulless dribble - while mothers continue to ignore and neglect their children, while fathers go out at night to be with their drainkin' buddies, and on and on. Yeah, God! Gimme what I ask for! But don't expect me to call out your name or even thank you for loving me! Isn't God's fault we've chosen to bleed our greedy souls out, not God's fault that we #need# to have so much oil and gold? Screw that. Take it down a notch or 50. Quit blaming God for you own problems, then maybe when you (we) realized we fuck up daily God can actually do something. Why should God do anything? he's not in control - you are. Yeah, God, heal my illness 'cause there's a really cool guy who won't look twice at me now that I'm in this wheelchair. God knows that dude won't marry me, and knows that dude is a lying scammer, so rather than bless my little toes off and give me the crackfather of my dreams, he whispers to me "hey, come this way, I have something better for you".

Quite blaming God for the way we screw up our own lives. Since when is God the hired help cleaning up our ugly vomit so we can sleep in clean sheets tonight and then go out tomorrow and soil them tomorrow night - we'd all need our 24/7 god following us around cleaning up our messes, are fuck ups, our sad little lives. Daddy help me! bail me out again so I can go serve myself. Sheesh. Now talk about illogical. Unreasonable, silly, selfish and economically stupid

Enjjpt said...

Sheesha said:
"Unreasonable, silly, selfish and economically stupid.

If I am going to be stupid, I'd rather be economical about it than extravagant like some...Iw ould respond to your post, but it was too long and I couldn't be bothered to read it all.

Black Swede said...

Sheesha Said:

"Quite blaming God for the way we screw up our own lives."

Considering that there is no God I would agree with you. We are responsible for our own actions.

Astreja said...

Sheesha: "My prayers are always answered, without fail. The exact answer may not be what I want but I only get what I need before I realize that what I wanted wasn't that compelling to begin with."

In other words, the "answers" that you received were "Yes/No/Wait", indistinguishable from chance.

"I asked for ridiculous things..."

If you know something is ridiculous, your unconscious mind will tend to go 'Yeah, right' and not play along with your plans.

Reasonable goals (within, or close to, one's current ability) do in fact tend to be fulfilled.

Putting aside the religious aspect, however, that was an interesting rant on North American consumer society.

Dave8 said...

Sheesha: "My prayers are always answered, without fail. The exact answer may not be what I want but I only get what I need before I realize that what I wanted wasn't that compelling to begin with."

Sheesha: "Quite blaming God for the way we screw up our own lives."

Sheesha, if 911, and living in a screwed up life isn't what you really want; perhaps, it's your God just answering your prayers.

Dave8 said...

Sheesha: "My prayers are always answered, without fail. The exact answer may not be what I want but I only get what I need before I realize that what I wanted wasn't that compelling to begin with."

Sheesha: "Quite blaming God for the way we screw up our own lives."

Sheesha, from your reasoning, the exact answer to your prayers, that you may not have wanted could look something like 911, and your screwed up life – that is, unless you prayed for 911 and your screwed up life. In either case, it seems you believe your prayers were answered by a God, and suffering and despair were the result.

Your God seems to be all over the suffering and despair thing; who’s running Hell these days?

1 Sweet Rock said...

Chris,

This was a wonderful read, one of the best that I have seen here. You covered all the required bases, and then some.

This conversation is unique, in a sociological sense anyways; it offers up a wide array of dialogue to learn from, as in this parent denying his own child acceptance and grace on an exchristian blog with the atheist folks to play witness to.

Here it is in black and white.

I came here over 4 years ago seeking conversation and friendship with like minded folks, and what a difference these years have made for me.

I have always been a curious person by nature, and my parents told me I asked too many questions. I was fascinated with the Egyptian culture at age
10, but I was forced into the Christian cult by age 14, just to fit in with family and society.

My mom was anti-church and my dad hated preachers, but they both loved the Bible. So, naturally my grandparents had to step in to assure that my soul was properly saved.

Well, before I could ask why, I was shuffled into their mega palace of praise, placed in a blue wet suit, then guided into a big glass front tank of cold tap water, while everyone was singing and clapping for what appeared to be my drowning.

I kept asking myself why these people thought that I was so bad that I needed to be drowned, as original sin was such a foreign thing to me. Other than being born a girl and lying about my late homework, or my candy stash, I simply did not understand what I had done to warrant such a strange ritual! * LMAO at this now!

I have always loved to study history, and college helped to refine my personal views and broaden my thinking. That’s why the religious right hates all those e-vile secular universities. We are the living proof and positive result of open education and critical thinking, which of course is the antithesis of their blind faith.

I think people should be more aware of whom they are as individuals living as a part of the whole of humanity, but instead most people seem to be most interested in WHAT they are.

That said- it is always a good thing to be able to sit amongst friends who really know just how hard this journey has been, and to see that we have all managed to escape the mind trap of the Christian cult.

We know there is a better way to experience life. One that promotes self-awareness, responsibility, discovery, human dignity, and all of these will pay it forward by contributing to the common good.

We will do what gods can not.

That is what we honest folks do. We don't play pretend to please others, and we refuse to live our lives according to a cult book of confusion, that encourages everything from war and genocide, to slavery and sexism, and ends with a cosmic sized supremacy cult dictating the greatest act of torture ever conceived.

Chris said: "when the stakes are at their highest, the matter is urgent, and most importantly the consequences are something you can actually see, is your faith in man greater than your faith in God? Mine is." and "I have faith in mankind, because I trust my experiences"

My sentiments exactly!

Thanks for your eloquent words and your support here amongst those of us who have decided to rise up out of the ashes of hell fire cults and mindless obedience to an ever rotten core of theistic delusions.

No warrior gods to fear, and no more guilt for being born into a fanatical world. We have inherited the problems of religious tribal warfare for long enough. It is time for the citizens of this planet to look beyond their silly old superstitions and bizarre beliefs.

We grow and change to survive, as we've always done instinctually. Life flows on...

Welcome aboard Chris. You are now free to move about the universe.

Good night!

AtheistToothFairy said...

sheesha wrote:
My prayers are always answered, without fail
-----
sheesha,

Your style of praying sounds pretty darn 'reliable' to me, so it's no wonder you get answers.

Yes indeed, my prayers also get answered, every time; as long as I'm very careful what I pray for that is.

Here are some examples of prayers god always answers from me.

1. Please lord, make the sun in the sky come back to me tomorrow "morning" ;or thereabouts.

2. Please dear jesus, let the loud annoying buzzing of my morning alarm clock, wake me up for work; sometime before lunch preferably.

3. Please all-powerful god, show the world your glorious power by making thunder and lightning; somewhere on the planet earth tomorrow.

4. Please avenger god of the world, don't let all the oceans evaporate into an icy firmament; again.

And lastly.....

5.God, I'm begging really hard this time. Please stop all the knowledgeable fundies from knowing how to make those 'perfect' inarguable cases in favor of your divine existence; here on our EX-Xtian website.


Hey, 4 out of 5 ain't bad, right [grin]


ATF (Who is thinking of writing a book, on which prayers god is adept at answering, It's sure to be a best seller)

charles said...

The “free will” defense as the answer to the problem of evil, but let’s look at “free will” for a second. The Christian God loves me so much that he gives me the opportunity to live blissfully forever in His presence, or be horribly tortured for all eternity in Hell. What kind of “free will” choice is that?


Amazing testimony and the above true also
'free will' is an armenist lie and heresy, you have no choice in the matter you are commanded to believe and repent, you are quite right to see that its untrue and does not make any sense

why believe that the earth is young just because the Bible says so - how about googling for young earth evidence see what you think.

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