It all seemed so empty

Sent in by A Bit Lonely

I'm the only child of Christian Parents. I was born into it. From a very early age I attended church, had a children's bible, children's devotional books.

All through my childhood I believed in Jesus. I believed in his love for me and felt he had picked me personally as one of the chosen saved. I felt honored and grateful. I would get choked up thinking about how some one could love me so much as to die on a cross for me. I was home-schooled along with a few other Christian friends, quite sheltered. I really thought I knew the truth, because that was all that was ever pumped into my head, over and over. I felt sure I knew things my secular neighbors and relatives did not. I prayed for them to know God. I'd wish I were in heaven all ready, so I wouldn't have to grow up and spend so much time on earth. I hardly gave hell a second thought.

The only time in childhood I remember questioning whether Christianity was true, I was about seven. I was in Vacation Bible School, and the adults were re-enacting an Old Testament scene. I just remember thinking, "I don't really know if this is true. I'm just being told it is. How do I know this is true, honestly?" I felt uneasy and when I ran into the Bible School teacher in the bathroom, I asked her how we KNOW. She told me we have to have FAITH, Christianity was based on faith. I nodded, but I didn't feel my question was answered.

When I was twelve, I started attending private school. I still attended church, but my faith was harder to keep with so many secular influences on my life. In order to fit in, I started cursing, laughing at dirty jokes, would gossip about others to take negative attention away from myself. I definitely didn't witness to any one at school because I knew it would make me a laughingstock. I felt ashamed of my God and didn't live by His rules at all. At night the guilt would come and I would pray "God, please forgive me, I'm sorry." over and over, trying to feel that same God connection as only a year before. I felt empty.

At fourteen, I went back to home-schooling, and re-found my faith. It was easy enough since my only social outlet was high-school youth group. I thought the seniors were so accepting and mature compared with the mean-spirited, judgmental kids I'd just been in school with. With relief, I delved back into "purity". I even threw away my Greenday "Dookie" album because I thought it was sinful.

The same year, I began to really question Old Testament passages where God slays men, women and children for disobeying him. It was so inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus' unconditional love, yet supposedly they are the same God. I became deeply disturbed and angered by the idea of Hell. For the first time, I became afraid of going there, and afraid for my fellow humans. I questioned God's goodness, but I still believed in him. Hell seemed as real to me as this world, and for one entire week, I spent all my time awake with tears pouring from my eyes, grief-stricken over the fact that this God I'd grown up with was such a cruel, misunderstanding bully. I would pray, "God, I hate you, but I don't want to. Please help." I felt no response. I was deeply depressed and wished I'd never been born, because I saw so much beauty and goodness in ALL life, but Hell made all Non-Christian existence pointless. I felt isolated from Christians and Non-Christians both because neither understood my misery.

Since I couldn't live in such misery, I decided to simply ignore Christianity. I wasn't that I didn't still believe; it was that I couldn't live in a functional way while still believing in Hell. I didn't understand Christians anymore for being able to do just that. I told myself that I would just have to think about Christianity later in life; for now it was killing me. So I took a break. I stopped praying. I began making up excuses to skip church and at age 15 told my parents I didn't believe anymore, and after that they treated me as an adult who they wouldn't force to get up for church. I felt sad over losing this faith, losing this world I'd grown up. It all seemed so empty.

At sixteen, I began attending community college and exposure to secular life once again was unbelievably refreshing. I LOVED it. The old Hell fear would pop up every now and again, but I'd push it away, and eventually, I came to realize there are many different organized religions that tell you they are THE way, yet no one knows. Sweet relief.

I LOVE my parents; they are wonderful people. I wish them happiness, love, and peace. I wish they could understand me.

87 comments:

Jacstar said...

I can relate to your feelings about hell. When I was a christian, the thought of hell really tormented me. I went through periods of depression because as I looked around me all I saw were a lot of people that would end up in hell. I could never understand why a loving god would send people there. I used to worry a lot about my brother and sister who weren't christians. I was a christian for about 20 years, and I gave it up only 7 months ago. I was even a missionary for a little while. I tried to ignore the thought of hell, but eventually it would come back to haunt me..and for all those years it was the fear of hell that stopped me from giving up christianity.
But eventually I think I just got to breaking point, I think my common sense finally prevailed and I had the guts to stop believing, and stop fearing hell. It really is great not having such a heavy burden on my mind! Not worrying about the people around me going to hell!
I really wonder about all the christians in the world, when (or if) they really think about hell seriously....if they are honest.....do they really believe a loving god would send people to hell?
Thanks for your testimony! I hope you stay encouraged and don't ever go back!!
Cheers!

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
webmdave said...

Andrew, you are mentally ill. I've been reading your sick posts in Craig's List. Your cruel posts there reveal your need for professional help.

Please get back on your medication. Nothing good will come from your derangement.

xrayman said...

One of the first questions I will always ask a true hardcore Christian who claims that God/Jesus are pure unconditional love, is how Hell could even exist at all. They just can't admit for an all loving God and Hell to exist would make as much sense as a square circle.

Let me give you a working model of unconditional love. One of my best friends was a cocaine addict. He put his elderly father through Hell. He bullied him for money, stole his car, and pretty much made his life a living Hell. My friend finally took his own life at 40.

To see that father at the funeral, was to see pure unconditional love. He was devastated and wanted nothing but the best for his son who often abused him. He completely forgave his actions.

Yet a God can't be big enough to do this to someone who simply doesn't believe in him?

I give Fred Phelps and his gang this: At least they don't claim God to be unconditional love with their strong proclamation of Hell.

xrayman said...

Oh come on Dave now I want to know what that asshole said.

Anonymous said...

Hi lonely. There is not a whole lot I can add to your post. I did take note of your phrase "sweet relief". My god, the very air itself smells sweet. I feel--pardon my choice of words--born again.

My little story can be found at the thread about the pastor and sexual abuse of the teenager, just below this one.

Sweet relief.......I don't have to go back to that church.

muttmutt said...

WHen I was a christian it was about guilt shame and fear. I find more peace as a Pagan (not a christo pagan, those people creep me out!) ANyways, christianity is just the new kid on the block, always telling others how to live. Not one christian has ever lived thier faith, besides maybe JPII and MLK jr. But those are two examples out of millions of christians. Which is rather sad. I believe it is better to be yourself, than to hang on to some guru's every word. Hell even Budda said some things I dont agree with. In my mind, thats the way it should be.

Bloviator said...

Pardon the expression, but bless you in your journey away from insanity. I sense you are still quite young, and therefore both blessed and cursed -- blessed by getting out early, cursed by the usual youthful susceptibility to indoctrination. Beware those who would try and reconvert you -- they are everywhere.

I kinda gave up on the idea of hell when I was a kid -- it seemed so ludicrous and so clearly a way to control people with fear. And without the fear of hell, it is generally easier to leave belief behind.

It took me years to put xtianity behind me due to fear of what that meant to me: no afterlife, no meeting up with old relatives and historical figures I wanted to know, no "meaning" to my existence other than the meaning I create. It was never fear of hell, it was always fear of annihilation that scared me. One day I woke up and realized I couldn't pretend anymore, regardless of my fear.

Regarding hell, I think most xtians don't really think deeply about the meaning of it. Most folks have little to no understanding of an infinite timeline, so I believe most of them think it is 'just desserts' for those who sin or doubt. Sort of like getting sent to your room for a while after hitting your brother or sister.

Am I correct here that most of you folks who had a firm commitment to the idea of hell finally couldn't reconcile that to the idea of an omnibenevolent god? When I believed in hell, it was no deep belief, and I feel that those, like our little friend Andrew, don't really give it much thought, at least anymore than a kid who yells 'oh yeah, well your mother wears army boots!'

Xrayman, I have had discussions like you mentioned, but the 'true believers' always fall back on the 'just god' position, as though that answered all questions (i.e. god is merciful, but he is also a just god, and therefore his hands are tied by our sinful actions against him -- what can he do?)

All you have to do to see the folly of the idea of eternal torment is use an analogy such as this:

You have a child, whom you love deeply, but they are a handful. One day they curse you out, so you banish them from the house forever. They can't make it on their own, they are only children, but you refuse to listen. They beg, plead, cry, and even gnash their teeth, but to no avail. You won't open the door, won't listen to their cries for help, won't acknowledge them in any way whatsoever, and you intend to keep it that way forever and ever.

Keep in mind this is the LIBERAL view of hell! In the fundie view, you would pour a canister of gasoline on them and set them ablaze.

I have children, and they can be a real chore, but no matter what, my love for them overcomes my occasional anger. We make peace. We laugh and love each other. I make it as clear as crystal that my love for them is unwavering, regardless of their actions. Now, if I, a simple little human of no great account, can manage this, why can't the supposed supreme ruler of the universe? AND keep in mind, it is for the SAME infractions that he supposedly will cast us into the outer darkness. Do the math.

apologist777 said...

I would like to take this opportunity to explain to you from a Christian perspective unconditional love. In actuality, xrayman has already explained it for me. Let us recall a quote from xrayman:” to see that father at the funeral was to see pure unconditional love. He was devastated and wanted nothing but the best for his son who often abused him. He completely forgave his actions.” This is how God looks at us. For in this story, each one of us is acting like this cocaine addict towards our father, God. Throughout our lives, we bully our father, we steal from our father, and we disrespect our father. There are times when we turn our backs on our father; there are times when we curse our father. Even through all of this, our father, God, still loves us even though He is hurt by our thoughtless actions. So when you think of that devastated father at the funeral only wanting the best for his abusive son, remember, God only wants the best for you.

Thanks and God Bless,
Apologist777

AtheistToothFairy said...

apologist777 wrote:
Throughout our lives, we bully our father, we steal from our father, and we disrespect our father

Yes, but at least we know our earthly father exists.

>So when you think of that devastated father at the funeral only wanting the best for his abusive son, remember, God only wants the best for you.

So if your god only wants the best for us, then how to you explain his need to torment us non-believers for all eternity in a hell that he built just for that purpose?

Why is it this weak god of yours, has a huge need to be worshipped by lowly mortals?
Would your god die if he didn't receive this needed worship from us?

Why would your god get angry enough to fry us, if we don't give him this adoration?

Your god sounds terribly weak and human to me, possibly because humans invented all gods, yours included.


ATF (The Anti-Apologist 666, for this post)

Jacstar said...

All the stuff that the apologist777 said is what I have heard a thousand times when I was a christian listening to sermons about hell etc...
But it doesn't make any sense...
You can't compare "god"s "unconditional love" to an earthly father's unconditional love. For one thing, we can see, touch, hear, and smell our earthly father, so we never have to wonder if he actually exsists. But "god" is what...hiding from us? How is that love? if an all-loving, all-powerful god was real, why is he hiding?
if an earthly father was regected and abused by his own child, i have no doubt that even if the child never asked for forgiveness, and never repented, the father would never (if it were in his power) send is own child to hell for all eternity. Yet "god" who is suposedly all powerful and all loving, not only (according to the buybull) created such an awful place as hell, but chooses (yes he chooses) to send his own "creation" to hell forever and ever, with no hope at all for escape...everyday for eternity he would hear ours cries of plea, yet his all-loving ears would be deaf to our cries.
THAT IS NOT AN ALL LOVING GOD

Bill said...

Hey Apologist777

How the fuck can you compare your God who will send his children to an eternal roasting to my friend's father who truly wanted peace for his son? God Damn the Christian mind set just blows me away with it's nonsensical logic. Now if your doctrine stated all go to Heaven no matter what, then your logic would make sense.

xrayman

Anonymous said...

Hello Apologist

I can see that you didn't quite get the welcome you might have expected. I myself wish you would go away, but I will briefly join this august company in my own style of rant.

I myself just walked out of a perfectly hideous church, and I am still trying to wash off the stink. They did not want the best for me. I was made to feel small and unloved. When I experienced normal female feelings I felt like a tramp.

I am going into my second month of freedom and I feel great. This is the best, and I do not thank any deity for it. I congratulate myself for having the power to get up and walk out.

Maybe you are one of those "liberal" christians, like maybe a Unitarian or something. I know some Wiccans who sound like you, but they are usually talking about the goddess. But most of us have known christianity as an ugly, diseased sinkhole, and we are glad to be out. And if the god you believe in really wants the best for me, then he can leave me alone.

(signed)

Her Infernal Majesty

sconnor said...

Ass-wipe777 said,

This is how God looks at us...Even through all of this, our father, God, still loves us even though He is hurt by our thoughtless actions. So when you think of that devastated father at the funeral only wanting the best for his abusive son, remember, God only wants the best for you.

How the fuck do you know how god looks at us and what god wants? Everything you think you know, about god, is a delusional, human construct, based on bullshit in the reputed Bible and bullshit doctrine. Your supposed knowledge of god is extracted from a fairy tale book of myths and superstitions, that has absolutely, zero viability and zero authority -- except for the authority you give it, that is a product of your deluded mind. Take your ignorant, delusional, superstitious, drone-ass somewhere else.

God bless me? God damn you.

--S.

HolyHolyHoly said...

"God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning
or crying or pain." Revelation 21:4

AtheistToothFairy said...

HolyHolyHoly wrote:
There will be no more death or mourning
or crying or pain


Hey A-HOLE-Y,

Thanks for letting me know that god has changed his plan of putting us heathens in a very PAINFUL hellfire.
Now we can all live without pain and crying, and the one's who got to heaven will no longer have to MOURN their friends and family who were sent to burn in hell.

ATF (Who is pretty darn sure which troll wrote this crap)

Anonymous said...

"And whosoever was not written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire"

revelation 20:15

sconnor said...

Bible-god, also, said:

Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread dung (shit) on your faces,

Malachi 2:3

Loving god or demented, psycho-fuck god?

--S.

apologist777 said...

To ATF, JACSTAR, and BILL:

I do appreciate your replies to my previous post and I will attempt to clarify some of your questions. I think that some of your frustration stems from confusion about the faith. But first let us take a step back and review some basic philosophy. Whether you believe in God or not, there is no denying there are two basic forces in the world. Good versus evil. These two forces are constantly at battle. Christians consider this to be spiritual warfare, but for the sake of argument, let’s just call it good versus evil. Let’s think for a moment about our daily lives and the situations that we face. In these situations many of the choices we are faced with give us the opportunity to choose between right and wrong or good versus evil. No matter which choice we make, we are responsible for that decision. In being responsible for that decision, we are therefore responsible for the consequences. Unfortunately, many people choose to forget these responsibilities and want to place the blame on God rather than on either themselves or the forces of evil. Christians call this free will. This free will is one of the many ways that God does show His unconditional love for us. God could easily force us to love Him, but He doesn’t. He leaves that choice up to the free will of the individual. If God did force us to love Him, think of the resentment there would be here on earth. Think of it in human terms. There comes a point in time when a parent can no longer force their child to obey them and love them. If the parent continues to try to force their views and opinions onto the adult child, then the adult child comes to resent the parent for doing so. However, if/when the parent allows the adult child to rebel and make their own choices as well as mistakes, no matter how detrimental these choices may be or how much it hurts the parent, the adult child hopefully learns a great deal from these experiences and grows to love and appreciate the parent that much more. All the while, the parent still loves the child unconditionally. Remember, though, that while the parent is watching the child go through these experiences, the child must still unfortunately deal with the consequences of their actions, even when the parent still loves them unconditionally. That’s the beauty of the design of free will.

With all of this in mind, in response to questions posted by ATF and BILL (XRAYMAN), God does not “torment” or “fry” non-believers. These consequences are a direct result of free will. By not accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, the non-believer now falls subject to the forces of evil (Satan/Hell). God does not send his children to an “eternal roasting”. God gives us free will for us to choose to deny Him and therefore “eternally roast” or to accept him and live forever in paradise. He allows us to make that choice. Again we are responsible for the consequences of the choices that we make. God does truly love us and truly wants peace for His children. That is why the requirement for paradise is so simple, accept Christ!

In response to JACSTAR, God is not hiding from us but rather waiting for us. He is knocking on our door just waiting for us to let Him in. This is not hiding. It is as simple as opening the door and allowing Christ into your life. Again, this is not hiding. In regards to being trapped in “hell forever and ever, with no hope at all for escape”, you’re correct. Once you have left this world there are no second chances. By that time you have already made your choice through free will and must be prepared to accept the consequences, be it good or evil. However, keep in mind that the average life span of the male is approximately 75 years, and the average life span of the female is approximately 85 years. Therefore, not including childhood, most people have at least 60 years to make this decision (barring any unforeseen accidents, ect). In my mind, this creates more than ample opportunities for a ‘second chance’. Remember, if the game-plan is changed after the clock runs out, the losing team still lost.

Thanks and God Bless
Apologist777

AtheistToothFairy said...

To: apologist777

I'm going to answer you, point by point.
Your words are marked with a >

>But first let us take a step back and review some basic philosophy.

Okay, let's do that.

> Whether you believe in God or not,

In my case, it would be NOT.
(I think my nickname gave that away, huh)

>there is no denying there are two basic forces in the world. Good versus evil. These two forces are constantly at battle.

Okay, this is where we are off to a bad start.

YOU consider good and evil to be 'forces' of the universe.
You think, God is good and the Devil is evil, and there is some big war/contest going on between those two forces to be the victor, right?
You probably believe that evil is the absence of good to, but let's continue on......


>Christians consider this to be spiritual warfare, but for the sake of argument, let’s just call it good versus evil.

And why would this contest be considered "spiritual" warfare?
It would be perhaps, if we had spirits fighting a war, where one side was all evil and the other side all good, however, we are not aware of any such battle in the universe between two camps of opposing spirit beings.

Any such battle would have to be taking place here on earth, between HUMANS.
Of course, this all greatly assumes we have armies of evil and good humans, dueling things out.

> In these situations many of the choices we are faced with give us the opportunity to choose between right and wrong or good versus evil. No matter which choice we make, we are responsible for that decision. In being responsible for that decision, we are therefore responsible for the consequences.

Exactly !!
When I mess up, it is my responsibility to make things right again.
That means I can't turn to some god being to do that FOR ME, see.
I alone must face the consequences of my actions.

> Unfortunately, many people choose to forget these responsibilities and want to place the blame on God rather than on either themselves or the forces of evil.

Only someone who believes in some god being, could transfer the blame onto a god.
No atheist or agnostic would be seen doing such a thing, rest assured.

>Christians call this free will. This free will is one of the many ways that God does show His unconditional love for us.

Did you say FREE WILL?

Okay, I'm going to save this topic for my associate BOOMSLANG to answer, as he's our resident expert on the FALLACY of what you believe to be, "free will".
Good luck in winning him over...LOL


> God could easily force us to love Him, but He doesn’t. He leaves that choice up to the free will of the individual. If God did force us to love Him, think of the resentment there would be here on earth. Think of it in human terms.

Actually, your god could have easily created either robots, or made humans/angels in such a manner that we would never reject him. After all, he's all powerful and all knowing, is he not?
Perhaps god messed up, not once, but twice. First with creating rebellious angels and then later with rebellious humans, huh?

> There comes a point in time when a parent can no longer force their child to obey them and love them.

Excuse me, but since when can a person "FORCE" another person to "love them"?
No wonder you believe in a god who would send his children to hell.

> If the parent continues to try to force their views and opinions onto the adult child, then the adult child comes to resent the parent for doing so.

This is exactly what your god does to us.
God says, either do and think as I do, or you will fry in hell by my hand.
Some free will concept you have there.

> However, if/when the parent allows the adult child to rebel and make their own choices as well as mistakes, no matter how detrimental these choices may be or how much it hurts the parent, the adult child hopefully learns a great deal from these experiences and grows to love and appreciate the parent that much more. All the while, the parent still loves the child unconditionally. Remember, though, that while the parent is watching the child go through these experiences, the child must still unfortunately deal with the consequences of their actions, even when the parent still loves them unconditionally. That’s the beauty of the design of free will.

Do you not see the difference between your human example here and how your god behaves?
A parent might allow a child to learn some hard lessons and even punish that child to TEACH it a lesson, but a parent would never do as god does and punish a child for all eternity in some vindictive adventure.
Once a person is in the bible hell, there is nothing to learn, no reform accomplished and one is stuck there in great pain forever.
I mean, we aren't talking about purgatory here, where one has a chance of getting out, right.

Also, I doubt burning someone in a hellfire would ever make them see the error of their ways. It certainly would not make a person start to 'love' this god of yours!!

>With all of this in mind, in response to questions posted by ATF and BILL (XRAYMAN), God does not “torment” or “fry” non-believers. These consequences are a direct result of free will. By not accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, the non-believer now falls subject to the forces of evil (Satan/Hell). God does not send his children to an “eternal roasting”. God gives us free will for us to choose to deny Him and therefore “eternally roast” or to accept him and live forever in paradise. He allows us to make that choice. Again we are responsible for the consequences of the choices that we make. God does truly love us and truly wants peace for His children. That is why the requirement for paradise is so simple, accept Christ!

God does NOT allow us to make this choice, you are wrong here.

First it would be very cruel to force us to make such a choice, even if we had proof positive that this god actually existed.
However, your god refuses to reveal himself in such a positive manner, where he can't be easily dismissed as some fairy tale of our history
Given how he hides himself away (like a child) and he still insist that he will fry us for not believing in him and his son, how can you tell me that this is a matter of free will and choice?

If I held a gun to your head and told you to hand over all your money to me, is that really a choice. If you ask most of us here, your god is great at arm-twisting, with his 'choices'.


>In response to JACSTAR, God is not hiding from us but rather waiting for us. He is knocking on our door just waiting for us to let Him in. This is not hiding. It is as simple as opening the door and allowing Christ into your life. Again, this is not hiding.

Helloooooooooooo God????
See, he doesn't answer me.
So he must be hiding, as he's always done in the last 2000 years.

Perhaps you could speak to him and have him take a trip down to earth to let us know he's of our reality, okay?

> In regards to being trapped in “hell forever and ever, with no hope at all for escape”, you’re correct. Once you have left this world there are no second chances.

Well then, I was correct, there is no reformation with your sky daddy.
Either one accepts his existence in a totally blind manner, or one will fry forever in his custom built BBQ.
Great choice we have...NOT.

Also, you say 'once we leave this world'......as if you somehow have evidence that we leave this world after we die.
Care to show me ANY evidence you have that we have some part of us that survives the death of our body?
I have yet to see ANY evidence that would indicate we have a spirit side to our physical selves.
Best as I can tell, that is nothing but an answer to a great human fear and a whole lot of wishful thinking, which btw is not unique to your xtian ideas.

> By that time you have already made your choice through free will and must be prepared to accept the consequences, be it good or evil.

Oh trust me, I have PLENTY to say to your lame god, should we ever meet up.

> However, keep in mind that the average life span of the male is approximately 75 years, and the average life span of the female is approximately 85 years. Therefore, not including childhood, most people have at least 60 years to make this decision (barring any unforeseen accidents, ect). In my mind, this creates more than ample opportunities for a ‘second chance’. Remember, if the game-plan is changed after the clock runs out, the losing team still lost.

Isn't is odd how god let humans live to be something like 900 years old way-back-when, which would have given them far longer than we have today, to make this critical belief choice about your god.
Doesn't it seem just a tad bit unfair that our ancestors got so long to think things over and we get only a fraction of what they did?

I'd also like to know where you think all the humans who lived before jesus, are now?
Did they all just die and will stay that way, or did they all go to hell because they never heard of this jesus character?

If they all just died and will stay dead, then isn't that a bit unfair to all of us who happened (by sheer chance) to be born after jesus paid us a visit?
If they have to go to hell, then obviously that is unfair to them, as they didn't live during a post-jesus time, and didn't have the opportunity to decide on this jesus being real or not.

Speaking of your jesus character.
You wouldn't happen to have any credible evidence that he actually walked this planet and did all kinds of great miracles, then died on a Roman cross and after taking a '3' day nap, woke himself up and flew back to heaven, would you?

If you do, then congratulations, because you'll be the very FIRST xtian to offer us such evidence. Up till now, the only so called proof we get are the stories of your bible and some hearsay evidence, or a couple lines about jesus that were deviously inserted by xtians into Jewish historian records.

It should greatly bother your reasoning mind, that the existence of your jesus has almost zero evidence outside the legend of your bible story.
Of course, I'm sure you'll tell me the same thing we've heard time and time again, that you can FEEL jesus in your heart, so he must be real.

You'll most likely cite a few instances in your life where you were sure jesus had a hand in doing something for you. Then you'll tell us a few stories that you heard in the rumor mill, about some great things he's done for other xtians.

However, what you will never tell me, is how your god/jesus re-grew some blown off limbs from xtian soldiers who fought in Iraq or other battles.
You will make all kinds of excuses for why young children suffer in great pain and then die anyway, as you think god has some greater purpose for those children in some fictional heaven.
When a child happens to recover from cancer, just from chance alone, you will quickly cite your god has having performed some miracle, yet you ignore the many he allows to die at the same time.

You pretend that god is in control of this earth, when everything we see around us shows that all events happen by chance alone.
The weather does what it does, in spite of your belief in some god.
We have earthquakes and other natural disasters, that take the lives of every faith, xtian and non-xtian alike.

There is no advantage one can see in statistics, that xtians have over non-xtians.
Xtians get sick just as often and even the great xtian leaders suffer with disease in the same way as the rest of us do.

So where is this god or yours exactly, because he's not visible, not testable (not believable) and any actions he might be doing for his creations, are sorely hidden away from public view.

WHERE IS YOUR PROOF OF THIS GOD?????


ATF (Who see's the same old excuses here, as we've heard a million times before)

Astreja said...

Apologist777: "I would like to take this opportunity to explain to you from a Christian perspective..."

(taps title bar at top of web browser) Excuse me, young man... What part of "Ex-Christian" did you not comprehend?

"But first let us take a step back and review some basic philosophy..."

Oh, this just gets better and better.

"...Whether you believe in God or not, there is no denying there are two basic forces in the world. Good versus evil."

Well, I'm denying it. "Good" and "evil" are not forces -- They are sentient beings' perceptions of the outcomes of various events and actions. They have no power in themselves, because they are subjective descriptions of the effects rather than the motive power behind the causes.

777, Methinks thou art stuck in the same old dualistic rut that's plagued humanity since at least the time of the Zend-Avesta.

(Oh, and got any evidence for the existence of that god of yours?)

sconnor said...

A777 said, God gives us free will for us to choose to deny Him and therefore “eternally roast” or to accept him and live forever in paradise.

Listen here, you delusional, screw-hole, that's not a choice that's an ULTIMATUM. Like if I was the leader of an organization, similar to the boy scouts, and your two sons decided they wanted to check it out, so I had them sit in front of me, while I give them the "choice" of joining my little club, by telling them you can play any video games or watch any movies, you want, eat pizza and ice cream and I'll give you free money -- a child's paradise -- or if you don't "choose" me, then I'm going to take a blowtorch to your body and while keeping you just barely alive, in a pit, I'll burn you for the rest of your life. You got "free will" kids; make your "choice" and oh, by the way, I love you, unconditionally.
Controlling by fear is vile, and making a person "choose" someone, with it, is an ULTIMATUM.

Ultimatum -- A statement, especially in diplomatic negotiations, that expresses or implies the threat of serious penalties if the terms are not accepted.

And another thing, Cuckoo777, your god is doing a mega-shitty, job at getting his all-important, message across.

If god, so loved his earthly children, then why would he relay his, all so important messages and the Good News, in a book, using difficult or vague texts, parables, poems, songs, dream imagery, switching from literal to non-literal, that could so easily be misinterpreted, perverted or interpreted, so many different ways?

If it was so important for God to save his earthly children, from the eternal flames of hell, then why did he put his message into a book that couldn't possibly get to the masses?

If the Bible is so important, how come only 30% of the worlds population is Christian, while the other 70% of the worlds population is another, non-biblical, religion or the non-religious? And out of the 30% of Bible-believing, Christians, there are thousands of separate sects and denominations that have varying and vast ideas about the Bible and how one is supposedly saved?

If your all-loving, god is using the Bible to get his, all important, message across and truly wanted to save us, you would think, an all-knowing, all-powerful god, could do a better job at delivering the crucial laws, commandments and messages to everyone, equally and clearly, but most certainly this is not the case -- why is that?

God's plan is seriously flawed and I would have to conclude the Bible and Christianity is a human construct, susceptible to fallibility and in your case gullibility, and there, really, is nothing gained from it, except an illusion of authority and the illusion of eternal life.

I await your thorough and twisted excuses... I mean, answers.

--S.

Dave8 said...

If a God is Universally Omnipresent, then God reigns Universally, to include Hell.

If a God is Universally Omni benevolent, then Hell doesn't exist. Christians claim Hell exists, therefore, their God can not be Omni benevolent.

If a Christian claims their God is Omnipresent; and reigning CEO of the Universe, including the cosmological ghetto - Hell, then they are logically dystheists.

Dystheism - "Dystheism is the belief that God does exist but is not wholly good, or that he might even be evil."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystheism

Christians just happen to be in “biblical denial”, “ignorance”, or… are secular/cultural and not engaged in the doctrine of their religion – which in my book doesn’t make them Christian, it makes them a member of a group of people who meet in a building under the auspices of Christianity.

Christians, who promote a God concept as Omnipotent, Omniscient or Omni benevolent as worthy of their worship, regardless of evil acts in the bible, modern day atrocities every day, and the deliberate creation of Hell - is a Dystheist.

Ironically, most Christians will deny they worship a malevolent God, or a God concept who has continually engaged in evil acts in the bible. The only way they can create this self-deniability, is to cherry-pick the verses of the bible that "form" the God of their "desire", and ignore those parts that evidence their God's immoral actions - per the Ten Commandments.

For example; Thou shalt not Kill... Yet, God kills millions in the bible, because of jealousy, hatred, etc. to include his own son (if God is Omnipotent), Thou shalt not lie, but in the bible God does on numerous occasions. Thou shalt not steal, yet, God steals a virgin girl for his concubine, and suggests this is a "blessing" to the virgin girl - Holy Rape... Thou Shalt keep the Sabbath day Holy, yet... Jesus deliberately disobeys the Sabbath and on and on.

While Christians don't "claim" they worship an "evil" God, their Bible is proof to the contrary, and others have no problem pointing out their dissent.

"Satanism, as represented by the Church of Satan (founded by Anton Szandor LaVey) does not, as commonly presumed, advocate worship of Satan as a literal existing entity, but rather advocated rebellion against an all too real manifested god.

As LaVey wrote about God:
“ [The belief that] 'God takes care of drunks and fools' is inaccurate. In truth, he doesn't even notice them. That's why nothing bad happens to them. I proceed on the assumption that God is an asshole, and only notices those who don't deserve his dubious 'attention': the sensitive, the just, the capable, the talented, the gifted. They are the butterflies whom God pulls the wings off of. You must be something special to be cursed by God."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystheism

What I find... interesting... is that a Satanist, is "moved" to their position, like an "atheist"... because of the "demand" by Christians that "Christianity" is the One True Religion with a One True God, and therefore, "everyone" must give an account of their position.

In general, atheists lack belief in a god or gods, but for a myriad of different reasons...

However, Satanists, choose to respond, not like atheists who either reject or “lack reception” of the Christian proposition of a God/gods, but by accepting the Christian "proposition" as demanded by Christians, and then calling the Christian God of the bible, exactly as the God of the bible "acts" - per Anton, like an asshole.

Astreja said...

Dave8: "However, Satanists choose to respond... by accepting the Christian 'proposition' as demanded by Christians, and then calling the Christian God of the bible, exactly as the God of the bible 'acts'..."

In other words: Laveyan Satanism is the health warning printed on the side of the cigarette box of Christianity. :D

Lance said...

Hi Apologist777,

You said; "In these situations many of the choices we are faced with give us the opportunity to choose between right and wrong or good versus evil. No matter which choice we make, we are responsible for that decision."

I completely agree with you. So when I looked at the history of my religion - which was Christianity - as well as all the other religions of the world, today as well as historically, I made the choice for good over evil. Which means I made the choice to get as far away as possible from the evil of your religion.

I choose good over evil every day. But the point you are missing is that your hell is not reserved for people that choose evil over good, it is reserved for those that don't believe the correct doctrine. It is for those that reject a bunch of ancient fairy tales because of the lack of evidence, or other similar reasons.

And as for faith in Christ goes, I have perfect faith that if he exists, he is not as much as an asshole as Christianity and you say he is.

You say you choose good over evil, but you ignore the evil in the actions of the god of the bible. How do know that if you actually do survive your own death and get to meet God, that he/she won't say something like "Why did you believe that crap in the bible? Couldn't you see for yourself how bad it made me look? I gave you a brain, why didn't you use it?" To which you would reply "Well I believed because the book said you would fry me if I didn't."

And that about sums up the only reason to be a Christian: The fear that your god really is an asshole, and will send you to eternal torment if you don't believe the stupid book.

Without hell, your god becomes good, and your religion falls to pieces. You don't have a good god, you have a religion that tries to explain why your god can be an asshole if he wants to be.

You have nothing for us.

Peace.

-Lance

WhateverLolaWants said...

A bit lonely-

My sister did the same with her copy of "Dookie", for the same reason! Hilarious! We both look back now and laugh. We're still both Green Day fans- just no guilt now, haha.

stronger now said...

ATF:"Did you say FREE WILL?

Okay, I'm going to save this topic for my associate BOOMSLANG to answer..."

I can't wait ATF. I've just got to say something about the misrepresentation of the biblegods treatment of free will.

@apologist777(With apologies to Boom')

777:"This free will is one of the many ways that God does show His unconditional love for us."

Noooo. The biblegod doesn't seem too concerned about taking away human free will when it suites his desires. Look at how the biblegod hardened the pharaohs heart and made the guy go against what the biblegod supposedly wanted.

777:"God could easily force us to love Him, but He doesn’t."

However you're overlooking other obvious questions here. Those being: Does god force us to hate him? Does he force us to NOT believe he exists? Does he force us to go against his desires as he did to the pharaoh?

777:"He leaves that choice up to the free will of the individual."

In the Exodus story it appears that god made the pharaoh change his mind about relenting and doing what god supposedly wanted, several times. So by hardening the pharaohs heart and making him return to opposition to gods will, was the pharaoh doing what god wanted him to do? If not, why did god take away his choice to relent?

777:"the adult child hopefully learns a great deal from these experiences and grows to love and appreciate the parent that much more."

Your parent/child analogy falls apart with the description of gods actions in exodus. It seems that the rebellious "child" was forced to continue in his rebellion by the "parent", without any mention of the "child's" free will being important to the "parent" at all.

"If God did force us to love Him, think of the resentment there would be here on earth."

Think of the resentment he creates when he forces us to disobey his will.(let alone the confusion) Think of the resentment the pharaoh felt(assumeing he understood what god did to him) after being forced by god to change his mind, and then had to deal with the consequences of what god made him do.(i.e. the death of his child)

Sorry, the bible doesn't support your claim that god gives humans a choice untill they die. The bible doesn't support your claim that god loves us as a parent loves a child. The bible doesn't support your implication that god doesn't want to creat resentment.

"That’s the beauty of the design of free will."

Your beliefs seem to be heretical.

Welcome, fellow unbeliever.



Oh, and just so you know. Boomslang is fixin' to stomp your silly notions of biblical free will into bunny cud.

Get 'em Boom'!

Dave8 said...

Hi Astreja, yep, Laveyan Satanism, is the health warning label of Christianity, and Christians do everything in their power to hide the warning, so no one can really understand the contents of the box :-)

I was at a church a month or so ago, at a funeral, and had a Christian start using the bible (and the funeral) as a tool for control... I started asking direct questions, about biblical passages, and when they were not able to address the obvious problems in front of them, they said, "Satan knows the bible better than anyone".

So, the Christian Bible... and a person's understanding, either makes them a True Christian (ignorant) or a demon (knowledgeable). In short, if we can read the warning label, then we are doomed to reject, or lack reception of the Holy Smoker (Ghost). If we are pressed to acknowledge the Holy Smoker's existence based on the words on the cigarette box, then we may just reply, "the cigarette manufacturer an asshole" :-)

boomSLANG said...

777A...I think that some of your frustration stems from confusion about the faith.

Dear 777A,

Personally, I think you are the one who is a bit confused. Let me put it this way---when Christians, themselves, show some unity in the interpretation of the christian doctrine, then that is the day that you can come back and minister to us about "the faith". Until that day, what you have is an opinion.

777A...But first let us take a step back and review some basic philosophy.

Let's....

777A...Whether you believe in God or not, there is no denying there are two basic forces in the world. Good versus evil.

Well, FYI, I, and many more, flat-out deny this "basic philosophy" of yours.

Yes, there exists the "force" of nature, which, said force yields "good"(desirable) and "evil"(undesirable) results. Other than that, there are only the actions of humankind which determine "good" or "evil" results. In fact, "good" and "evil" are human constructs, and thus, are limited to human affairs. To illustrate what I mean, if a lion cub plays with(tortures) a rat before eating it, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that that cub is being "evil". Or, if the wind blows a coconut tree, and subsequently, a coconut falls and konks a monkey on the head, I highly doubt any rationally thinking person would label said tree "evil". Of course, I don't want to speak for you, so feel free to elaborate.

777A...These two forces are constantly at battle.

No, I don't believe so, for reasons I just explained.

777A...Christians consider this to be spiritual warfare, but for the sake of argument, let’s just call it good versus evil.

...in other words, for the sake of argument, let's assume the Christian worldview true. Okay, let's do precisely that...

777A...Let’s think for a moment about our daily lives and the situations that we face. In these situations many of the choices we are faced with give us the opportunity to choose between right and wrong or good versus evil.

Here are a couple of things for you to reevaluate, again, under the pretense that the Christian worldview is true:

1) If biblegod is "omniscient"(knows the future set of events, including our "choices"), then we only have the illusion of "free will", at best.

2) If we are all "sinners" by birth, and if "sin" is "evil", then we don't have the "free will" to resist "evil".

There. Those are just two contradictions to deal with. Feel free to challenge either one, or both, of those points.

777A...No matter which choice we make, we are responsible for that decision. In being responsible for that decision, we are therefore responsible for the consequences.

Precisely! However, as I just pointed out in points 1 & 2, above, this philosophy does not/cannot apply, if the Christian worldview is true; it can only apply in a naturalistic universe.

To review, briefly, if "sin" is unavoidable(as doctrine plainly states it is), then we cannot/should not be held responsible for what we have no control over. That's like tossing a goldfish into a tank of water, and holding it responsible for getting "wet". Do you see the philosophical problem with your "basic philosophy", now?

777A...Unfortunately, many people choose to forget these responsibilities and want to place the blame on God rather than on either themselves or the forces of evil.

::looks around::

Well, I must tell you that the only people I see deflecting responsibility and laying blame on external "forces", ironically, are Christians.

777A...Christians call this free will.

Secular humanists call this bullsh*t. Repeat: If the Christian worldview is true, then our "free will" has limits, thus, it is not entirely "free". 'Follow?

777A...This free will is one of the many ways that God does show His unconditional love for us. God could easily force us to love Him, but He doesn’t. He leaves that choice up to the free will of the individual.

I'm sorry, but I could not disagree more, as you've been warned by others I would.

Tell me with a straight face--- are you suggesting to me that a presumably limitless being can only muster-up two choices?...i.e..1) Forcing us to reciprocate its alleged "love" for us, or 2) Giving us a "choice" between reciprocating its "love", or eternally roasting us in a "lake of fire"? If you want to exploit your own gulibility, fine...but please don't insult my intelligence in the process.

Let me ask you---is there a good, sound, logical reason that an omnipotent "God" couldn't simply offer its "love", without threats or punishment for waiving said offer? I mean, is the "Creator of the Universe" really so insecure that it would need to coerse people into accepting it/loving it?

777A...There comes a point in time when a parent can no longer force their child to[EDIT!]

(edited for economy of space, and to spare others from having to reread such annoyingly weak arguments)

Like clock-work, we see the "parent/child" apologetic, and for serveral reasons, it fails miserably each and every time. Here are just two of the stronger arguments against said ridiculous analogy:

1) No one is debating the existence of "parents".

2) No matter how rebellious a child becomes, I've yet to hear about a single case of a parent or guardian tracking a child down, and setting him or her ablaze, while still claiming to "love" said child.

777A...That’s the beauty of the design of free will.

That's the beauty of logic---there cannot exist "free will" where predestination by "omniscience" is concerned, and there cannot exist "love" where conditions are concerned. Stick it in your memory-bank and hit "save".

777A.....God does not “torment” or “fry” non-believers. These consequences are a direct result of free will. By not accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, the non-believer now falls subject to the forces of evil (Satan/Hell). God does not send his children to an “eternal roasting”. God gives us free will for us to choose to deny Him and therefore “eternally roast” or to accept him and live forever in paradise.

Good grief, do you not hear yourself as you type this stuff? Let's recap, hopefully for your benefit:

- "Sin", according to Xian doctrine, is unavoidable, and thus, we do NOT have the free will" to avoid "sinning". Please note, being "forgiven" for "sin" is irrelevant, because it doesn't eliminate the alleged predispostion to "sin". Not to mention, it's pretty absurd to ask to be "forgiven" for something you have no control over.

- One minute you say we have "free will", and "evil" is our "choice". Out of the other side of your mouth, you now say that this "evil" is a "force", and we are "subject" to this force. Are we responsible for "evil"?..or is "evil" responsible for our actions? Make up your mind.

- If sending his "children" to hell is something that "God" ultimately does not want to do, then he can simply not do it. To say that he "must" do so, limits the supposed "free will" of "God". To say that he "wants" to do so, makes him a barbaric, pugnacious, tyrant, and certainly not any type of being that I would want to spend eternity with, let alone worship.

777A...He allows us to make that choice. Again we are responsible for the consequences of the choices that we make. God does truly love us and truly wants peace for His children. That is why the requirement for paradise is so simple, accept Christ!

Here's a hypothetical senario I'd like you to consider, and I liken it to the senario you just described, above:

I'm going to smash both of your knee caps with a ball-peen hammer. I'm then going to offer you a ride to the hospital. If you accept the ride, then I'll be your friend, eternally. If you don't accept the ride, I'll then procede to use the hammer on your groin area, elbows, and feet. See?..the requirement to be my friend is so simple!...just accept me as your friend!!!!

(If you have objections, please feel free to tell me, specifically, how said hypothetical senario misses the point)

777A...In response to JACSTAR, God is not hiding from us but rather waiting for us.

Really? Where is "He" waiting right this second, and every second? He's "omnipresent", correct? So, by definition, "God" is everywhere, and anywhere....oh, that is, accept in our line of vision.

Why is it that the invisible and the non-existant look so much alike? Hmmm....

777A...... keep in mind that the average life span of the male is approximately 75 years, and the average life span of the female is approximately 85 years. Therefore, not including childhood, most people have at least 60 years to make this decision...

This is interesting(in an outlandishly absurd kind of way) So, once and for all, what is the "cut-off" age? 8?..9?..10 yrs and 9 months?..what is it, and please provide a source. Thanks.

...(barring any unforeseen accidents, ect).

There ARE no "accidents"; only "God's will", right?

777A, your posts are riddled with logical fallacies, contradictions, inconsistencies, and special pleading. Feel free to counter any or all of my points(preferably with good, sound reasoning)

Have a blessed, yet, predetermined day!

Boe said...

I was waiting for Boom's reponse to A777. It was worth waiting for. I would like to ask A777 a question relating to Boom's last point (if this thread hasn't died -it usually has by the time I get there.)
A777, you say 70-80 years is plenty of time to come to a decision; what about chilren. Are you a Phelpsian kind of monster who has it that children who die go straight to hell, or are you one of those 'kinder' Xtians who has it that there is an age of accountability. If the latter, what is that age? 12? 13? What about the children who die when they're 13.5? Have they had enough time? Considering that hell is apparently for ever why doesn't god give us a million years, or a trillion - it makes no difference when compared to infinity.
For myself, even if god only put one person in his hell, even if that person was a monster, it would make him a barbarian.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Hello Apologist777 ??

Now I and others have answered your comments and for some very strange reason, you vanished from sight.
Perhaps your blessed jesus saw your post and came to take you away to heaven (or hell)?

As I forewarned you, your free will 'argument' was ground into stardust.

Now the question is, do you dare show your face here to reply to us or shall we forever listen to those typical crickets we hear when xtians find their "tails between their legs" after prancing into our EX-Christian site.

A777?
A777?
A777?

Are you out there, mister self-assured xtian apologist?


ATF (Who thinks a cricket must be the god-appointed spokesperson, for xtians like A777)

Anonymous said...

I would suggest to anyone who rejects the church doctrines on eternal hellfire etc; to google
J. Preston Eby and check out the doctrine of universal reconciliation, which really does make a lot more sense. Check it out!

AtheistToothFairy said...

voiceoone wrote:
I would suggest to anyone who rejects the church doctrines on eternal hellfire etc; to google
J. Preston Eby and check out the doctrine of universal reconciliation, which really does make a lot more sense

----
Voice,

As you requested, I found this article on hell by Eby.....
http://www.hisremnant.org/eby/articles/savior/hell.html

Now I admit, I did not have the time to read through this very LENGTHY (boring) article, but I did scan through it.

This is simply another view of what someone THINKS the bible is saying on the matter of hell/redemption, but can never be proved beyond a doubt.

The J/W cult solves the problem of hell by saying that god will simply kill all us heathens off and not fry us for all eternity, so perhaps they are correct?

Some rejected writings that didn't make the hit-parade of the bible review board, clearly show that there is a possibility that those damned to hell, have a chance to escape it.
This view was suppressed because the church felt it would cause humans to sin without worry of eternal damnation. So to CONTROL the population, it was kept secret from most.

What you fail, VOICE, to recognize here, is that none of us believe in your xtian god or it's hell, of ANY kind or type.
So if you think you can butter us up by making the threat of hellfire less dramatic, then you're wasting your time and ours......but thanks anyway.


ATF (Who could make the bible say anything he wanted it to, just as anyone can, and DOES DO)

Anonymous said...

AtheistToothFairy quotes with >

>This is simply another view of what someone THINKS the bible is saying on the matter of hell/redemption

Of course it is, just as what you think about it is your view. Many here talk about how they can't accept a God who would let people burn in hell forever, so I am presenting another biblical view that can be argued is also scriptural even though it is not widely accepted by the churches. Some explanation is given to misinterpretation of specific key words which can be helpful.

>What you fail, VOICE, to recognize here, is that none of us believe in your xtian god or it's hell, of ANY kind or type.

Thank you for being somewhat diplomatic but you are making some assumptions here. First you are assuming you speak for everyone reading or posting here which I find hard to believe, as gullible as you assume me to be.

Next, you are assuming I believe just like all the other Christians you have known. While there are probably some similarities, I have pretty much rejected a lot of church doctrine and methods of witnessing.

>So if you think you can butter us up by making the threat of hellfire less dramatic, then you're wasting your time and ours......but thanks anyway.

Another assumption you make is that I'm just trying to package belief into something easier for you to swallow. Well, I happen to actually believe in universal reconciliation and I do reject the eternal hellfire doctrine. I'm not trying to trick anybody into anything, just offering an alternative for your consideration that doesn't get much air time in Christian circles.

AtheistToothFairy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Franciscan Monkey said...

A Bit Lonely:

Congratulations on breaking free! Christianity can be so imprisoning, and tends to make people judgmental. I hope you enjoy your new freedom.

voiceoone:

I must say that doctrines that hold to either annihilationism or universal reconciliation are less disgusting than eternal damnation. However, most Christians hold to the concept of an eternal hell or lake of fire scenario, and, despite Mr. Eby's assertions, the Bible seems to support such notions.

I read a couple of the articles by Mr. Eby. He seems to make claims unsupported by the biblical texts, and tends to use variant meanings of words over the normal meanings.

Regardless, the reason why I don't believe in Christianity and the Bible anymore is that they just aren't true.

Respectfully,
Franciscan Monkey

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan

AtheistToothFairy said...

To: voiceoone
ATF original text indicated by >>
Voiceoone replies indicated by >

>>This is simply another view of what someone THINKS the bible is saying on the matter of hell/redemption

>Of course it is, just as what you think about it is your view. Many here talk about how they can't accept a God who would let people burn in hell forever, so I am presenting another biblical view that can be argued is also scriptural even though it is not widely accepted by the churches. Some explanation is given to misinterpretation of specific key words which can be helpful.

I will admit that the article was quite extensive, even citing the Greek/Hebrew to make it's case.

However, I'm sure many xtian theologians would find flaws in this article.
As I already said, the JW sect attempts to make a good case against a biblical hell for the unbelievers, by citing the Greek/Hebrew origin of certain key words, yet mainstream Christianity continues to ignore their arguments.


>>What you fail, VOICE, to recognize here, is that none of us believe in your xtian god or it's hell, of ANY kind or type.

>Thank you for being somewhat diplomatic but you are making some assumptions here. First you are assuming you speak for everyone reading or posting here which I find hard to believe, as gullible as you assume me to be.

Actually, I think it's fairly safe to assert that an overwhelming majority of the 'members' here would vote that there is no bible god and no hell of any kind; or heaven for that matter.

[Anyone for taking a vote out there?]

That would leave only the visiting readers that might object to my statement of us not believing in your xtian god/hell.
Given this is a EX-xtian blog, I see no reason for my post to take into account those readers who still have faith in this xtian bible god.

I may be mistaken here, but I would assume the Webmaster Dave didn't create this blog for us ex-xtians to bend over backwards in an effort to accommodate the feelings of xtian readers, who happen to chance in here and read our ex-xtian posts.


>Next, you are assuming I believe just like all the other Christians you have known. While there are probably some similarities, I have pretty much rejected a lot of church doctrine and methods of witnessing.

Yes, I admit that I'm assuming you are a CHRISTIAN.
A xtian, who chose to post an alternative CHRISTIAN hell dogma to a website, who's owner [and members] have concluded that no form of hell or bible god, exists.

>>So if you think you can butter us up by making the threat of hellfire less dramatic, then you're wasting your time and ours......but thanks anyway.

>Another assumption you make is that I'm just trying to package belief into something easier for you to swallow. Well, I happen to actually believe in universal reconciliation and I do reject the eternal hellfire doctrine. I'm not trying to trick anybody into anything, just offering an alternative for your consideration that doesn't get much air time in Christian circles.

While I once would have admired your efforts to rid the Christian dogma of a hellfire concept, (which would have made this bible god a bit more likeable), it really doesn't matter anymore which type of eternal punishment you assume your bible god will dole out to us.
If one has concluded that your xtian god is a myth, then any form of eternal punishment from that god, is also a myth, by default.

While you state that your intent wasn't to make your god easier to swallow for us, I have to ask myself what OTHER purpose would you have for bringing this alternative hell plan to everyone's attention?
It sure would APPEAR to most members here that your intent was to coax some of us back to your bible god, by making the eternal punishment a bit more pleasing.

I would also say that you were hoping to catch the attention of some readers who are still indecisive about whether this bible god actually exists or not, hoping if you could convince them there is no hell fire awaiting their family and friends, that they would return to the 'loving' arms of your bible god.

If what I said is incorrect, then PLEASE, tell us what your purpose was in posting on a ex-xtian website, hmmm?


ATF (Who also wants to see any GOOD evidence you might have for this bible god/jesus to)

Anonymous said...

>If what I said is incorrect, then PLEASE, tell us what your purpose was in posting on a ex-xtian website, hmmm?

I was directed to this site by a good friend who is genuinely concerned about some of the people here. Of course I would hope to have some influence and make some convincing arguments, but my intention is not to force my opinion or to trick anyone by untruths etc. If I state something or direct to someone's writing, it is because I am convinced of it's merit and value. I do not wish to be confrontational or just to win the argument etc, but to discuss and debate as people in search of truth and understanding of the human condition. I'm assuming that although this is an exchristian site that it is still open to anyone as long as they are civil. (I admit I never read the rules or conditions etc so maybe I'm wrong about that)Anyway, I'm not sure I'll stick around, I'm just checking things out. This is the first time I've visited this site.The original post in this thread kind of interested me so I felt compelled to post something as the Christians that post basically just follow traditional doctrine.

>If one has concluded that your xtian god is a myth, then any form of eternal punishment from that god, is also a myth, by default.

But this view can be just as dogmatic as any belief system, because that's exactly what it is, a belief. It takes as much faith to believe there is no God as it does to believe in God because neither can be conclusively proven or demonstrated. Of course, I would argue that it takes more faith to believe there is no God.

>It sure would APPEAR to most members here that your intent was to coax some of us back to your bible god, by making the eternal punishment a bit more pleasing.

If I really believed in eternal hellfire, I would most definitely tell you that straight up! I don't believe that and since that seems to be a main complaint of people here I thought I would attempt a response.

apologist777 said...

Atheisttoothfairy,
Don’t worry, I didn’t go anywhere… it hasn’t even been 24 hours since my last post. I don’t go ‘running with my tail between my legs’ as you might hope. I'm always in the mood for a good debate.
To everyone else, just some things to keep in mind though before I get back to debating with my next post. If you use your ‘logic’ to come to a conclusion, that’s great. Everyone should use the mind that God gave them. My suggestion to you is to make sure that your logic is not obstructed by your pre-conceived thoughts about the subject matter. Otherwise, your deductive reasoning will bring you to a false conclusion. It’s the old grade-school story problem…all cows eat grass, all grass is green, and therefore all cows are green. Make sure you follow the logic.
Next, the majority of the responses I’ve gotten continue to state that God will send you to hell if you don’t love Him ect. That is not what my original post stated. My original post stated that if someone ends up in hell, it is a direct result from a choice that the individual person made.
Also, when debating, be consistent in your argument. What I mean by this is some of you state in one sentence that the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’. Then turn around and state that the God of the BIBLE is evil because he killed millions of people. Either the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’ or it is an accurate history book, you decide. But your ‘logic’ won't be correct if you discredit the BIBLE as a ‘fairytale’ then use it to try to discredit me. By attempting to do so, your ‘logic’ loses all credibility.
Lastly, several of you stated that you wanted proof of all this. That’s fine, I'm more than happy to oblige. Before I do though, which way do you want this debate to go? Do you want proof from the BIBLE, or would you prefer proof from a more ‘earthly, scientific’ arena? (Keep in mind that until now, I never even mentioned the BIBLE.)

Thanks and God Bless
Apologist777

Ps,
Don’t worry boomslang, I didn’t forget you.

Astreja said...

Voiceoone: "First you [ATF] are assuming you speak for everyone reading or posting here which I find hard to believe, as gullible as you assume me to be."

For all intents and purposes, ATF does in fact speak for Me. I think that the god of the Bible is infinitely unlikely, and that 'Heaven' and 'Hell' are just as improbable.

Please keep in mind that this site supports Ex-Christians. Some of the 'regulars' are strong atheists, but we also have agnostics, Buddhists, pagans, apatheists, Deists, secular humanists, and various other combinations of knowing, not knowing, believing and not believing.

We do have one major thing in common, however: We no longer consider ourselves Christian, and we reject the Bible and its mythology.

As for our other guest...

Apologist777: "My suggestion to you is to make sure that your logic is not obstructed by your pre-conceived thoughts about the subject matter."

Can you do likewise, A777? Can you put aside your beliefs?

"Before I do though, which way do you want this debate to go? Do you want proof from the BIBLE, or would you prefer proof from a more ‘earthly, scientific’ arena?"

On this site, A777, ONLY scientific data will be accepted as evidence. The Bible is not considered to be anything more than mythology here, so don't even bother. Personal experiences of supposedly "spiritual" matters don't count for squat here either, because we have no way of assessing someone else's subjective experiences.

Your scientific authorities must also be peer-reviewed so that the experiments can be verified, and the evidence must have been obtained in properly controlled studies in accordance with the Scientific Method, preferably in the scientists' own areas of expertise.

In other words, don't hand us any apocryphal stories of an oceanographer who looked through a telescope and went "Ooh! Ahh!", then shrugged and said 'Goddidit'. If someone purports to be an expert in physical cosmology, we want to see a M.Sc. or Ph.D. in Physics at a bare minimum, and a solid grounding in Astronomy as well. Likewise, if we start talking about evolution, a Master's in Biochemistry or Genetics is the opening bid.

Jacstar said...

To Apologist777,
I was hoping that you could respond to BOE's post re: Age of accountability......
If a baby dies, where does it go? It obviously hasn't excepted Jesus as it's personal lord and saviour, so does it got to hell?
Also, what about people born in tribes around the world who have never ever heard of jesus. Where do they go?
And I think someone also asked about people in the old testament, before jesus came. They didnt have jesus as their personal lord and saviour either, so do they also go to hell too?

Awaiting your Answer,
jacstar

Dave8 said...

Apologist777: "My suggestion to you is to make sure that your logic is not obstructed by your pre-conceived thoughts about the subject matter."

Hehehehehe, I almost broke into tears laughing at this one...

A777, if you are a Christian then you believe in a Universal God concept, which is "infinite" in knowledge... so... you must admit that your "finite" mind/knowledge, started and continues to process "pre-conceived" notions, about the Universal "subject matter" of a God.

Want to hear some irony; those who don't speak on behalf of a Universal God, are logically, "less" prone to make "pre-conceived" declarations.

The only logical manner a person can speak on behalf of a Universal God, without making "pre-conceived" statements... is if the person speaking is actually taking the logical position as "God".

A777, if you are God, just let us know, so we can put to rest any further pre-conceived notions you may have regarding your Universal God statements, or pre-conceived notions about those on this site, for that matter ;-)

boomSLANG said...

ATF..."If one has concluded that your xtian god is a myth, then any form of eternal punishment from that god, is also a myth, by default."

voiceoone responds: But this view can be just as dogmatic as any belief system, because that's exactly what it is, a belief.

While one may conclude that the foundations of religious belief, in this case, the christian doctrine, are based on "myth", and/or legend, such an affirmative claim is not dogmatic in the sense that if evidence were put forth that substantiated said doctrine beyond a "faith", that one would hold steadfast to dismissing it as myth. In other words, non-belief is, by default, a position of neutrality, that is, until the affirmative claim has supporting evidence. 'Got any?

voiceoone: It takes as much faith to believe there is no God as it does to believe in God because neither can be conclusively proven or demonstrated.

Forgive me, but that is not only a logical fallacy, but it is utter bullsh*t. And frankly, I've grown tired and weary of hearing said apologetic, which is probably why I responded the way I did.

But let's look at this "philosophy" of yours....

If you are a Christian, then obviously, you don't believe in "Allah"; or "Thor"; or "Neptune"; or "Mithra"; or "Amon Ra".

Safely assuming you confirm your NON-belief in those deities, I then ask: How much "faith" does it require of you to waive belief in those "gods"??? How much "extra" devotion, contemplation, thought, reasoning, etc., do you put into the notion of the aforementioned gods' non-existence? If you are like me - that is, intellectually honest - then you will concede that it requires ZERO "faith" to lack belief in the existence of the aforementioned gods. Well guess what?.....the same applies to my lack of belief in "Yahweh".

voiceoone...Of course, I would argue that it takes more faith to believe there is no God.

Oh, heavens yes, I'm sure you would argue that, as we are accustomed to theists bludgeoning us to death with logical fallacies, and setting up double-standards when it suits their own agenda(s).

voiceoone,

Your arguments are typical and weak. And while they may give the already-convinced a semi-erection, you'll have to do much better if you want to convince the UN-convinced. Do your homework before you come back, okay? Cool. Thanks.

boomSLANG said...

A777...Ps,
Don’t worry boomslang, I didn’t forget you.


If your counter-arguments are anything like what I observed in your most recent post, I would ask that you would "forget" me.

For the time being, I'll tackle just one of your rebuttals:

You said...Also, when debating, be consistent in your argument. What I mean by this is some of you state in one sentence that the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’. Then turn around and state that the God of the BIBLE is evil because he killed millions of people

Thank you for the advice. Evidently, you are a novice in this arena---the world of theism vs non-theism.

Listen closely: If an exchristian references the bible, it is under the pretense that the bible is true. In other words, if someone points out the murderous, pugnacious nature of the Christian biblegod, it is implicit that they don't believe that any such being can exist, and be "God"..i.e..the supposed "All-loving Creator of the Universe".

To illustrate more simply for you, if I question why biblegod couldn't find Adam and Eve in the garden after they "sinned", it doesn't mean I believe in said "God", but he just happens to suck at 'hide-n-seek'; it simply means that the idea of two imbeciles "hiding" from the "Creator of the Universe", who, BTW, is purported to be both "omniscient" and "omnipresent", is completely and utterly ridiculous. Such a suggestion is not plausible enough for belief.

'Got it now?

AtheistToothFairy said...

voiceoone wrote:
I was directed to this site by a good friend who is genuinely concerned about some of the people here

VO (but not the booze),

I'm sure everyone here is quite curious about this "good friend", who has sent you here.

Would your 'friend' be someone who has posted here to us, perhaps even OFTEN, and under several monikers, hmm?
Just curious is all.

>If I state something or direct to someone's writing, it is because I am convinced of it's merit and value.

I wasn't questioning the sincerity of your beliefs, nor the value that you place upon a cited article. I have no doubt that you believe with conviction, what you do.

>I do not wish to be confrontational or just to win the argument etc, but to discuss and debate as people in search of truth and understanding of the human condition.

Trust me, we've heard these words, " in search of truth" from xtians coming in here, more times than I can recall now.

Many xtians come in here making a claim that they are only seeking a mutual truth 'with' us, as if we are on some great quest together about the "human condition".
It would be a very RARE visiting xtian who is really here to search for this so called "truth and understanding", but rather 99% of them are here to convince of us their bible god.
I swear that the bible god must be handing out heavenly rewards for every 'lost soul' that is brought back to god by these xtians.

I'm quite sure you'll find plenty of debating action, if that is what you seek here.

> I'm assuming that although this is an exchristian site that it is still open to anyone as long as they are civil. (I admit I never read the rules or conditions etc so maybe I'm wrong about that)

Yes, our webmaster tends to allow anyone who acts civil, to post here.
However, if one thinks they can still be considered acting civil, while pasting pages of bible scripture to us, I think our WM just might lose his patience a bit.

>The original post in this thread kind of interested me so I felt compelled to post something as the Christians that post basically just follow traditional doctrine.

While it can be interesting at times to compare notes between various xtian sects or philosophies, most of us will draw the line when that turns into an excuse for proselytizing to us.

>But this view can be just as dogmatic as any belief system, because that's exactly what it is, a belief. It takes as much faith to believe there is no God as it does to believe in God because neither can be conclusively proven or demonstrated. Of course, I would argue that it takes more faith to believe there is no God.

You do realize that the majority of us went from being xtians to ex-xtians, yes?

Each person has their own story to tell as to how that happened, but more often than not, they used solid reasoning to arrive at that HARD decision.
I say "hard', because for most of us, it was a life upsetting choice we had to make, so we did not make it lightly.

That said, you tend to be under the same false notion as most xtians, that not having a belief in a god, is a kind of religion (faith) in itself.
While you may NEED faith in order to believe in your god (from lack of proof), to not believe in any gods doesn't require any faith at all, but it does require one to have reasoned things through using their minds and not just their emotions.

Speaking for myself, I looked for any positive evidence for your 'god', either direct or indirect evidence and found ZIP. Same for anything of the supernatural, I'm afraid.

Worse, non-biblical history is lacking any historical evidence for this jesus character, as well as lacking in confirmation for much of the bible 'history' from the old testament.
It stands to reason that if the bible were all true, cover to cover, then secular history should EASILY confirm the events of the bible, but yet it does not....WHY NOT?

If we could look around this planet and see credible evidence that your god is influencing the course of our lives in some obvious fashion, then we might have a reason to believe in your god. Of course, the only evidence we ever get is either hearsay or outright LIES from xtians, who will say anything to convert us to their way of thinking.

If this Holy Spirit was real and worked as xtians tell us it does, then we should have a homogenous xtian belief system, instead of the thousands of sects we see today.
If this Holy Spirit enters into every xtian, then how is it they have the ability to commit serious crimes, sometimes crimes against humanity, and even children?

If god can't be demonstrated to exist, in a somewhat easy fashion, then he can be just as easily dismissed as every other ancient god that humans once had thought to be real.
If I have to shut down my cognitive brain in order to 'hear' or 'feel' this god of yours, then that means I could be hearing thoughts/feelings from my own mind's wishes, or worse, it might be this devil character talking to me instead.

So no VO, it doesn't take any faith at all to not believe in a god who refuses to reveal itself in other than secret ways to us.
Chances are pretty darn good, that if one says a creator god behaves in this childish way, then that god just doesn't exists at all.

If you think about it, hard, you'll realize as we did, that all the evidence for your god exists solely in your own mind and nowhere else.
You have never seen this god of yours, never seen a real miracle you would have to attribute to more than chance alone.

Your god had no problems in ancient history, performing all types of wonderful miracles.
Miracles, that were seen by multitudes and it didn't affect their free will one iota, yet this same god remains totally hidden today and too shy to let us see those same kind of miracles as our ancestors had seen.
If he did perform some great miracle today, then we would have something to point to, to know that something beyond the natural surely exists out there.

So tell me, how did you conclude this god of yours truly exists?

I mean, anyone can cite blind faith to support any belief they wish to have, but blind faith doesn't give credence to any belief, other than to the believer themselves.
So obviously, having blind faith in something will never be enough to convince another person of it's existence. Therefore, you not only need more than blind faith to convince us, but you should also demand more than blind faith yourself, to be sure you made the right choice for your ONE life on this earth.

>If I really believed in eternal hellfire, I would most definitely tell you that straight up! I don't believe that and since that seems to be a main complaint of people here I thought I would attempt a response.

The concept of such a fire and brimstone hell, certainly has been the cruel tool of many churches to keep their followers from leaving.
It has scared more children to pieces, than any horror movie ever would.

While it is for sure a factor for some, in their decision to see Christianity as being false, it's removal will have a minimal effect on bringing back any former followers.
The concept of hell is sometimes the door that opens up a mind to start looking at the bigger picture of your bible dogma, but once that door opens up, it rarely ever shuts again.

So perhaps by convincing a few that this hell isn't what is commonly thought by most xtians, you might stop a few from looking further with their MINDS as to whether the bible makes sense, but you won't bring back anyone who has already seen the plethora of problems that your bible dogma has within it.

Did you know the easiest way to turn a xtian into an ex-xtian, is to get them to read your bible from cover to cover...TRUE!!
The bible itself is it's own worst enemy, NO DOUBT.


ATF (Who walked away from xtian foolishness and will not return until god sets foot on this planet to tell him he's been wrong)

Lance said...

Hi Apologist777,

You said - "Also, when debating, be consistent in your argument. What I mean by this is some of you state in one sentence that the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’. Then turn around and state that the God of the BIBLE is evil because he killed millions of people."

I'm not sure if you were referring to my comment or not, since you did not quote it, but I'll answer that one anyway.

When I, or someone else here, says that the bible god is evil, we do not mean to imply that he exists. Just as the ogre in one of my kid's books of fairy tales can be classified as evil, or bad, or misguided, or whatever, so too can your imaginary deity be classified as evil.

You also said - "Either the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’ or it is an accurate history book, you decide."

Well I for one have decided: The bible is a fairytale and the god in that bible is simply a fictional character in that fairytale. Any references to that god from me, and from many others on this site, should be interpreted in this way.

The fact that you say your god is perfectly good, but then you have a book that shows him to behave in an a very evil fashion is simply evidence to me that both your book and your god are fictional.

Is that more logically consistent for you?

I think this problem in communication stems from how you and I view the word 'god' in different ways. When YOU see or write the word 'God', you are imagining a deity that you think actually exists, while I am thinking of the fictional character in your book, or of the imaginary friend you carry with you.

I hope this clears things up.

- Lance

P.S. I put my vote in with ATF that there is no bible god and no hell of any kind. So ATF does indeed speak for me as well in this regard.

Lance said...

One more thought for apologist777.

You said - "Either the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’ or it is an accurate history book, you decide."

So now I will ask you to decide that same question. Do really believe that the bible is an accurate history book? Do you really believe in the talking snake and the magical fruit in the garden of Eden, the global flood of Noah, the Tower of Babel as an explanation of the various human languages, God stopping the sun in the sky for a day so Joshua could finish of one of his episodes of genocide, Jonah in the fish for three days, God sending a deceitful spirit to King Saul, Moses writing of his own death and secret burial place, of over 1 million Jews camped together in the desert where they are not allowed to poop inside the camp boundaries? All that stuff and more?

By the way, consider the logistics of that last one.

So I ask for you to be logically consistent on this one as well. Do you really consider the bible to be an accurate history, or do you consider it a fairytale? You decide.

Now before you go off on me for dismissing all the history in the bible, I do not consider the bible to be a complete fairy tale, in that there really is a place called Israel, and there is plenty of evidence that the Israelites existed 2500 - 3000 years ago. But just as the Ancient Greeks really existed, both the epic of Homer and the bible fall into the category of fictionalized history or myth.

Peace.

- Lance

AtheistToothFairy said...

apologist777 wrote:
Atheisttoothfairy, Don’t worry, I didn’t go anywhere… it hasn’t even been 24 hours since my last post. I don’t go ‘running with my tail between my legs’ as you might hope.
---
A777,
No, I wasn't hoping that you ran away, not at all.
I was merely making an observation, one that is usually true about most of the xtians who come in here and do a Hit and Run post, never to be seen again.

>If you use your ‘logic’ to come to a conclusion, that’s great.

Trust me, when it comes to gods and religion, I never use emotions to form a conclusion.
I wish I could say the same for the majority of xtians !!

> Everyone should use the mind that God gave them.

Well, I can ALMOST agree with that statement.
I agree that everyone should use their MINDS, but of course we differ on where our minds came from.
I got my own from my Mom and Dad....How about YOU?

> My suggestion to you is to make sure that your logic is not obstructed by your pre-conceived thoughts about the subject matter. Otherwise, your deductive reasoning will bring you to a false conclusion.

Which is exactly the method of how I gave up my belief in your xtian god.


> My original post stated that if someone ends up in hell, it is a direct result from a choice that the individual person made.

Let's try this a different way to get the point across to you, shall we.

You are told by a distant friend, that he heard through a long chain of his friends, that if you didn't put $100,000 dollars in small unmarked bills, under a certain park bench at midnight, that some evil dude would burn down your house in 1 year's time.

You have now been given a choice, the same kind of vague choice that your god gives us.

You have never seen this evil dude your distant friend speaks of, and your only evidence that he would burn down your house is hearsay that exists only through a very long rumor mill of folks you do not know.

The stakes are seemingly high, for both choices.
If you put the money under the park bench, it will surely vanish at some point but you can never be sure who got the money or that your house won't burn in one years time.
If you don't put the money under the park bench, then you have to worry for the next year whether this threat was real or not.

You could lose all that money, you could lose your house or you could lose everything or lose nothing.
How would you make your choice in such a situation?

Going back to your god and his vague choice now.
We can't confirm this god exists, anymore than you could confirm the evil dude existed in my story.
We only have hearsay evidence for your god, yet this god of yours demands we make a choice about his existence and worthiness to be worshipped by us.

To accept this bribe from your invisible god, we have to serve him and usually that means putting in much time, effort and handing over our money as well, for his benefit.
So just like one might have chosen to put that $100,000 under that park bench, we can make a choice to believe and serve your god and still have no confirmed guarantee that we'll get anything in return.

To not make that arm-twisting choice, might result in our loss, if your god really does exists, but how could such a god hold our choice against us, given that he refuses to provide any evidence for his own existence?

So then tell me, is what you're calling a "choice" any different than the choice you had in my story?
I think NOT.

>Also, when debating, be consistent in your argument. What I mean by this is some of you state in one sentence that the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’. Then turn around and state that the God of the BIBLE is evil because he killed millions of people. Either the BIBLE is a ‘fairytale’ or it is an accurate history book, you decide.

I see this has been explained to you already, but I'll put it in my own words anyway.
I have NO doubt that your bible story is a myth or ancient legend.

However, just as we can sit here and discuss a story about Harry Potter's adventures as if they were real, or we can discuss the plot of a movie we just watched as if it had really happened, we can also talk about your bible stories in much the same fashion.
Deciding what a certain character should or should not have done in a story, or deciding if the plot if full of holes or not, doesn't presume that we think a story is of real life.

We for sure are not the types who will write a letter to a TV station, to suggest what a certain soap opera character should do about her problems with her boyfriend etc., as if that character's problems were of reality.

[[ I really don't understand why we keep getting xtians in here that have such a big problem with this debating concept...gezzz ]]

> But your ‘logic’ won't be correct if you discredit the BIBLE as a ‘fairytale’ then use it to try to discredit me.

If we are discussing a 'plot'/creed or piece of dogma from within the pages of your bible storybook, then we have every right to use another part of the bible to discredit that same piece of a plot/creed or dogma etc..
Meaning, your bible is suppose to be consistent and non-contradictory, yes?
If you disagree with that statement, then really, anything-goes when it comes to what your bible says or doesn't say.

I await your speedy return

ATF (Who made his choice and is sure it's the right one to)

AtheistToothFairy said...

Lance wrote:
P.S. I put my vote in with ATF that there is no bible god and no hell of any kind. So ATF does indeed speak for me as well in this regard

Lance,
As most politicians would say....Thanks for your support [vbg]

Umm, just one minor hiccup with your confirmation here, if you don't mind my input.

It wasn't the xtian A777 that filed the complaint to me about this 'speaking for others' issue, but rather "voiceoone" who did that.
I realize it was a P.S. in your comment, but A777 might think you meant he was the one who made this complaint.

Yes, I know, it's sooooo easy to confuse these xtians, as they pretty much "sing the same song" to us by now....LOL


ATF (Who still wishes we could take a VOTE, on "voiceoone" complaint)

Franciscan Monkey said...

For the record, I also agree with ATF that there is no bible-god or hell. In fact, I will go so far as to say that there is no god of any sort.

Respectfully,
Franciscan Monkey

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan

stronger now said...

A777" Do you want proof from the BIBLE, or would you prefer proof from a more ‘earthly, scientific’ arena? (Keep in mind that until now, I never even mentioned the BIBLE.)"

I feel this is directed at me.(at least partly)

In my post I was simply addressing the logical inconsistency within the bible to show you one reason I don't believe it. It was also to show you that you seem selective about the parts of it that you believe.


In your post(the one before my last) you were going on and on about what god is like, but you were specifically referring to the biblegod, were you not? As a descriptive reference the bible would be considered an authority as to the nature of the deity it describes, whether or not said deity actually exists.

Therefore, if the description you give of the biblegod doesn't match up with the description actually found in the bible, regardless of existence, then you are placing yourself as the ONLY true authority for the nature of said "deity".

So why should we believe you?

I was, and still am, calling your beliefs, as you described them, heretical to the bible.(Good for you!) Not to place any credibility to what the bible says, but to make you explain why we should take you as THE authority on god.

Lance said...

ATF,
You are right my P.S. was aimed at your discussion with voiceoone. I should have clarified that in the P.S.

By the way, I love reading responses to the Christians that drop by.

About the original post, I feel the need to apologize to A Bit Lonely, as any time the hell topic comes up it seems to get derailed by a passing Christian and our responses to them.

But thanks for the original post, as these are some of the most fun discussion. Good luck in your journey.

- Lance

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

A777, from his most recent post:

...the majority of the responses I’ve gotten continue to state that God will send you to hell if you don’t love Him ect. That is not what my original post stated. My original post stated that if someone ends up in hell, it is a direct result from a choice that the individual person made.

Continuing the counters to A777's posts....

The above is blatant equivocation.

Yes, of course, to not love "Him"(God) is obviously a choice. You have made a distiction that is relevant to nothing.

Again, arguing under the pretense that the Christian worldview is true, the "Heaven and Hell" concept is an arrangement that was presumably a "brainstorm" of the christian biblegod. It certainly was not the idea of "Adam" or "Eve". Remember, they had no a priori knowledge of what "good" and "evil" were; they had no frame of reference for either one.

So, A777, you must make a choice: Either the christian biblegod desires to send those who deny him to "Hell", or said deity as no choice in the matter. You seem to be siding on the latter senario, in which case, you worship a "God" whose "will" is weaker than man's will. To be clear, you believe in, and worship, a "God" who must actually do things that it ultimately does not want to do. Imagine(pun intended).

In case you're not grasping the implications---your "God" is not omnipotent(if it existed)

All,

Christianity is bullshit.

Bye.

Anonymous said...

>I'm sure everyone here is quite curious about this "good friend", who has sent you here.

I'm sure you are. :o)

>Would your 'friend' be someone who has posted here to us, perhaps even OFTEN, and under several monikers, hmm?
Just curious is all.

Possibly but I don't really know. He didn't really explain any of that to me. I think he posts mostly in the forums and he wanted to know if it is possible to post images there. Do you know? He didn't ask me to post here or anything. I just checked it out on my own.

>Many xtians come in here making a claim that they are only seeking a mutual truth 'with' us, as if we are on some great quest together about the "human condition".

Well, the main reason it seems that people here turn against Christianity is that they say it isn't true. I would deduct from that that people here are in search of truth, otherwise .... you get my drift I'm sure. Now I realise you are gonna say well yes but we are on different pages here and we know the truth and you believe a lie etc etc, but if you want the truth it's not really wise to rule out the possibility of God when there is no absolute proof there is not one and therefore we should be able to discuss it together. If you totally rule out the possibility then you have become dogmatic about what you believe and are in danger of the same kind of things you accuse believers of.

>I'm quite sure you'll find plenty of debating action, if that is what you seek here.

Well, maybe, but I can't help but notice the way many people "debate" here is to basically belittle and make fun of and exhibit a kind of arrogant self-righteousness I thought was reserved for the church. (not so much you AtheistToothFairy but some others) I'm Not sure I really care to waste my time debating such mindsets. As I said, not sure I want to stick around here and wade through all that. I did enter into a coversation with you so I feel compelled to answer you.

>I say "hard', because for most of us, it was a life upsetting choice

I understand what you are saying.

>That said, you tend to be under the same false notion as most xtians, that not having a belief in a god, is a kind of religion (faith) in itself.

Well we may be getting into semantics and splitting hairs over this. I don't see non-belief as a religion but it is a belief and a belief is something you have faith in and trust you are right. I don't think thats really debatable.

>So tell me, how did you conclude this god of yours truly exists?

Well it may be hard for you to swallow but foremost would be my salvation experience, which was truly a supernatural event and a meeting with the divine. The exact moment I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart, it was like a supernatural atomic bomb went off and my being was flooded with light and I felt the Holy Spirit filling me and working in my spirit and I knew beyond a doubt that God had answered my prayer and I was instantly a new man, a completely different person . I mean, I was still me, but I was changed somehow, and it wasn't just an emotion or something I imagined, it really happened and my life changed radically from that exact moment. I've had many answers to prayer. I've experienced healing, nothing major, but miraculous nonetheless. I've seen miracles happen in the lives of others I have witnessed to and won to the Lord. Anyway, now you are probably going to say I imagined all this and what I thought was miraculous really wasn't etc. Believe that if you want, but I can't deny what God has shown me, not through doctrine, not through church, not through any legalism, not through dogma etc, but just through a relationship with Him.

So there you go. You can either believe me or not but I'll tell you that reason cannot explain what I have experienced so if you rely solely on that you are really missing a lot.

By the way, the Bible says that God is love, and love happens to be an emotion so to rule out emotional religious experiences automatically leaves God out of the picture. You can't reason God away, but you can reason Him away in your own life to the point that if He was staring you in the face you might not even realise it. There's a lot more to life and God than just simple reason.

>Did you know the easiest way to turn a xtian into an ex-xtian, is to get them to read your bible from cover to cover...TRUE!!

I would argue that if people are so easily swayed it is because their faith was probably not on a true foundation to begin with (which can very easily happen in the churches)or they already wanted out for any number of reasons.

xrayman said...

Hey Voiceoone,

I am one of the really dumb guys who comes to this site. I sit back and watch the brains of this operation reinforce my non belief as ATF, Lance, Boomslang, and others seem to be doing in this thread.

Are you from the U.K.? I learned a few weeks ago folks from the U.K. spell realize, realise.

One quick question. Why did Jesus not give me that wonderful, powerful emotional experience when I asked Him to come into my heart at the lowest point in my life? Was he busy or on vacation? How does that work? Perhaps if I would have felt the magic, I would be tossing copius amounts of my hard earned money in the church plate and feeling totally guilty for lusting after some of my twenty something coworkers at this point in my life.

boomSLANG said...

ATF: "I'm sure everyone here is quite curious about this 'good friend', who has sent you[voiceoone] here."

Count me out.(no offense to either person, but really, I don't care)

voiceoone: Well, the main reason it seems that people here turn against Christianity is that they say it isn't true.

The common denominator is that we are EXchristians(hence the moniker). From there, it should be pretty self-evident that we don't think it's "true". Now, whether former christians "turn against Christianity"?....that varies from person to person, depending on how much emotional damage was done. Many recovering heroin addicts "turn against smack"; it's not unheard of.

voiceoone: ... if you want the truth it's not really wise to rule out the possibility of God when there is no absolute proof there is not one and therefore we should be able to discuss it together.

Question: Have you "ruled out" The Almighty Allah as your personal creator, and creator of the Universe? Notice that there is no "absolute proof" that disproves said deity's existence. In other words, what you have employed for an argument for a "God"(in the positive), is a logical fallacy. Roughly speaking, the fallacy of this argument is that it asserts that "A" is true, because there is no proof that "A" is false.

Secondly, your argument assumes that all possibilities are equally probable. Well, they are not, and hopefully you see the problem without me having to explain it.

voiceoone: If you totally rule out the possibility then you have become dogmatic about what you believe and are in danger of the same kind of things you accuse believers of.

As far as a disembodied "mind"..i.e...a generic "god", no one is saying that such a being is disproven; we're saying such a being is unproven. There's a signifcant difference there. I implore you to learn and memorize that difference, if you should return.

But the long and short of it is, you're not talking about just any ol' generic "god", because of course, you are a Christian. In other words, if your personal biblegod is claimed to be "just", but yet, has made arrangements to infinitely incinerate people for finite offenses, then you have a contradiction that renders such a being highly improbable, if not impossible. If your personal biblegod is claimed to be both "omniscient" and "omnipotent", then once more, you have contradiction on your hands. If your personal biblegod is claimed to be both "omnipresent", and "omnibenevolent", yet, sits there with its thumb up its ass when a child is being sodomized, then you have a contradiction. "All-loving", but only loves those who accept it? Ditto.

In other words, we can prove that any being claimed to have those attributes, not only does not exist, but cannot exist. 'Questions?

voiceoone: Well, maybe, but I can't help but notice the way many people "debate" here is to basically belittle and make fun of and exhibit a kind of arrogant self-righteousness I thought was reserved for the church

Being "right", and being "self-rightious", are two entirely different things. But before we get into that, I'm not offering you my position with conditions attached; you are free to disregard every single word I type(d), and be on your way.

Now, yes, I believe I am right, in that, I believe Christianity is false, just like you likely believe every other "faith" but your own, is false. Notwithstanding, I'd be happy for you to prove me wrong, by showing me some sort of objective evidence that substantiates your chosen religion as true, while all others are false. This is the extent of my "self-rightiousness".

ATF: "I say 'hard', because for most of us, it was a life upsetting choice."

voiceoone responds: I understand what you are saying.

Forgive me, but in light of the fact that you later suggest that our "faith" was not on a "true foundation", I have to see your statement as somewhat patronizing.

ATF: "That said, you tend to be under the same false notion as most xtians, that not having a belief in a god, is a kind of religion (faith) in itself."

voiceoone responds: I don't see non-belief as a religion but it is a belief and a belief is something you have faith in and trust you are right. I don't think thats really debatable.

I think it's highly "debatable", and quite preposturous, to boot.

Tell me, if I don't play soccer, is that a "sport"? If I don't collect baseball cards, is that my "hobbie"? No, and no---and likewise, if I don't have a belief in something, it's not "a belief".

Additionally, not all "beliefs" require "faith", as in a religious context. "Faith", in a religious context, is a form of agnosticism. When you employ "faith", you are essentially admitting that what you believe is not self-evident; you need something "extra", otherwise, there's no need for "faith" in the first place.

voiceoone: The exact moment I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart, it was like a supernatural atomic bomb went off and my being was flooded with light and I felt the Holy Spirit filling me and working in my spirit and I knew beyond a doubt that God had answered my prayer and I was instantly a new man, a completely different person

That's very colorful, and brimming with metaphoric language, yet, what it amounts to is belief based on emotion. History shows that mankind has time and time again misled himself when he uses "emotions" to determine "truth". Notwithstanding, I experienced the same colorful, fanciful types of feelings when I believed. I now know I was self-deluded.

voiceoone: I've had many answers to prayer. I've experienced healing, nothing major, but miraculous nonetheless.

Are you aware that good and bad things happen to all people at about the same statistical ratio? Thus, you can realistically "pray" to a bottle of bleach, and get half your "prayers" answered, eventually.

As far as medical "miracles", I'm curious, what say you about Muslims who claim that The Almighty Allah blesses them with miracles?

voiceoone: I can't deny what God has shown me, not through doctrine, not through church, not through any legalism, not through dogma etc, but just through a relationship with Him.

Yes, yes, of course....the proverbial "relationship". Please, if you feel up to it, give a profile on the Creator of the Universe. I'm assuming you've seen/heard "Him" at some point, in order for this relationship to subsist.

voiceoone: So there you go. You can either believe me or not but I'll tell you that reason cannot explain what I have experienced so if you rely solely on that you are really missing a lot.

You are young; perhaps, late teens?...early 20's?

In any event, no, I'm not missing out, because as I told you, I believed exactly what you believed, and for most of the same reasons. And as I said, I now realize that I was self-deluded.

voiceoone: By the way, the Bible says that God is love...

The "bibles says". Yes, BTW, the bible also says that if you do not reciprocate that "love", that you will be cast into a "lake of fire".

Now, are you telling me with a straight face that that is good example of "love"?

Lance said...

Hi Voiceoone,

You said - "...but if you want the truth it's not really wise to rule out the possibility of God when there is no absolute proof there is not one and therefore we should be able to discuss it together."

I agree. But this blog type of debate does not really lend itself to the discussion you are after. Personally I would prefer a long philosophical discussion with you that involved at least two bottles of good wine. Sadly we are limited by this format.

That said, I'd like to explain that I did not reach my current position lightly. And from my reading of the posts of many others here, most of us got to where we are through much thought, discussion, prayer (yes, prayer) and deep searching for truth. That kind of stuff is difficult to convey in a blog.

Right now I don't completely dismiss the concept of a prime mover, or unknowable force, but my beliefs fall more into line with Einstein's god. (Basically just enjoying the wonder of the universe, and being alive in it.) I won't waste the space here to explain how I got to the place where I reject any kind of personally involved deity, but I think you understand why I, and others here, reject the biblical one. A more in-depth discussion would involve those bottles of wine I mentioned.

-------

Now on to your religious experiences. You said - "Well it may be hard for you to swallow but foremost would be my salvation experience, which was truly a supernatural event and a meeting with the divine."

I too was deeply touched several times by what you call God when I was a Christian. But I also felt that exact same touch, and I mean exact same, at the moment - after years of searching - that I realized that the god of the bible was a complete fiction. The light bulb of reason went on, and instantly I got this tingling energy that went up my spine and seemed to radiate around the back of my neck, followed by an intense feeling of peace. Go figure that one out.

There was another time a friend invited me to a non-religious weekend that involved some Native American spiritual themes. I was reluctant to go, and was and still am skeptical, but during the weekend I had that experience again. And a very intense one at that. I was crying like a baby and everything.

I know of others that have had a similar experience at rock concerts or other secular public events. Apparently your god likes rock concerts, and other loud, crowded places.

I tend to chalk these experiences up to chemical reactions in the brain since they tend to occur in emotionally charged environments, and since they are common (in varying degrees) to all sorts of people regardless of faith or lack thereof.

Even with my skepticism, I still have these experiences now and then. If the Christian faith is correct, then why would that be?

Well now I've gone on and started rambling. Sorry about that.

But I will leave you with this. Maybe there is an invisible god that cares about you in some unknowable fashion. I don't think so, but I'll leave the possibility open. Well maybe she realizes that you and I are nothing more than highly evolved primates and touches us as best she can, since the maker of the universe would be so much different from us. Maybe she doesn't give a rat's ass about religious doctrine and touches you as a Christian and others as a Buddhist and others still as atheists.

That seems to fit the evidence of universal religious or spiritual experience better than the ideas put forth by Christianity. I personally think variances in brain chemistry makes more sense.

Oh dang, I'm still rambling aren't I? I'll stop now.

If you haven't had enough, please feel free to email me at lkasari-at-bendcable-dot-com, where we can converse more.

Peace.

- Lance

Anonymous said...

> = xrayman

> Are you from the U.K.? I learned a few weeks ago folks from the U.K. spell realize, realise.

Sorry, I didn't realise there was any other spelling. I'm from 3 UK countries according to ancestry, England, Ireland, and Scotland, but I was born and raised and live in a distant commonwealth country, Canada. We do have some different ways of spelling things than the US does, as well as different ways of thinking and viewing the world. For instance, we like universal healthcare while in the US it is thought of as some kind of subversive communist plot to undermine Christianity and overthrow free market democracy(greedy corporate capitalism).

>One quick question. Why did Jesus not give me that wonderful, powerful emotional experience when I asked Him to come into my heart at the lowest point in my life? Was he busy or on vacation? How does that work?

First thing, it wasn't emotional as in conjured up by my emotions. It was emotional in a way I guess, but the emotion was more of a reaction to what happened rather than the source. It may sound crazy but I believe I was actually posessed by an evil spirit (something I was totally unaware of before that time) so when God flooded me with light, the evil spirit had to leave, and I actually felt it happen. After that I had quite an exhilerating time and It felt soo incredibly good. The feeling was sort of like when you've been working hard getting all sweaty all day and then you go home and have a nice shower and then you feel all clean and invigorated, except it was on the inside, and I felt incredible love and warmth and my skin was rushing like mad all over as the Holy Spirit just overflowed from every pore. All this happened in just moments without any particular reason other than I had prayed to receive Jesus. I didn't really expect it and I wasn't in a distraught or emotional state at all when I prayed. It was something which had come from outside of myself that did all this. I was more like a spectator just observing and experiencing the whole thing. I know it sounds pretty wild and to be honest, it really was. I had never experienced anything like it before. I know that not everyone has this kind of coversion experience and I don't really know why that is. My wife for example thought I had completely gone off my rocker at the time but later received Jesus too but she didn't really experience the Holy Spirit until much later. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps it was because I had that bad spirit and I needed that jolt of power to get rid of it. Anyway, I was totally convinced that God was real at that point, and I remain convinced. The only time I ever come close to that experience is when the Holy Spirit stirs within me from time to time. If you've never experienced the working of the Holy Spirit inside, I really wish you could. I wish that for everybody.

>Perhaps if I would have felt the magic, I would be tossing copius amounts of my hard earned money in the church plate and feeling totally guilty for lusting after some of my twenty something coworkers at this point in my life.

Thank you for your confession my son. Sometimes you just have to take things into your own hands. :o)

apologist777 said...

jastar,
just wanted to let you know that i did read your post and i will try to answer some of your questions within the next day or two. im almost finished with boomslang's reply, as you probably have read, there is much to reply to.

thanks and God Bless
apologist777

apologist777 said...

Boomslang (BS)
Sorry for taking so long to reply, but there were many points to counter.

Bs> when Christians, themselves, show some unity in the interpretation of the christian doctrine, then that is the day that you can come back and minister to us about "the faith".

There’s one major unity in doctrine that all Christians share that you seem to have overlooked. We all believe the ONLY way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.

Bs> To illustrate what I mean, if a lion cub plays with(tortures) a rat before eating it, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that that cub is being "evil". Or, if the wind blows a coconut tree, and subsequently, a coconut falls and konks a monkey on the head, I highly doubt any rationally thinking person would label said tree "evil".

These examples are great examples, however, they don’t pertain to the actual topic. The actual topic was good and evil in regards to man. Therefore, my original statement about free will and good versus evil still holds true.

Bs>) If biblegod is "omniscient"(knows the future set of events, including our "choices"), then we only have the illusion of "free will", at best.

First of all, let us visit ‘Webster’ for the actual definition. Omniscient: all knowing, infinitely wise. This does not mean that God will make the choice for you. You still have to make the choice on your own. It does mean, however, that God does know the choices that you will be presented with as well as the choices you will make. Hence, free will.

Bs> If we are all "sinners" by birth, and if "sin" is "evil", then we don't have the "free will" to resist "evil".

Again, all cows are not green. You are correct in we are all sinners and sin is evil. However, the jump to the ‘we don’t have the free will to resist evil’ is incorrect. If your analogy/logic is correct, then how do you explain all the good and good choices made in the world? Everyone would be doing pure evil all the time. And we all know that this doesn’t happen.

Bs> To review, briefly, if "sin" is unavoidable(as doctrine plainly states it is), then we cannot/should not be held responsible for what we have no control over.

The doctrine does not state that sin is unavoidable. What it does state is that we are all sinners. It also states that since we are all sinners, we are able to say ‘sorry’ and accept Christ. Christ already paid the penalty for our mistakes/sins. That is why the only way to be forgiven is to accept Christ.

Bs> That's like tossing a goldfish into a tank of water, and holding it responsible for getting "wet". Do you see the philosophical problem with your "basic philosophy", now?

No, actually I don’t see the problem with the basic philosophy. Was the fish given a choice? We’re talking about free will and being given choices. If your analogy included the person holding the fish asking the fish if he wants to be thrown in the water or left on dry land, and the fish chose the water, then yes, the fish was responsible for getting wet. But a better question is why the person was holding the fish out of the water. That person made a choice to demonstrate evil by holding the fish out of the water and potentially killing the fish. That person could have very easily decided to make the choice of demonstrating good by leaving the fish in the water to begin with. You see, the person with the fish has free will to decide between good and evil.

Bs> Well, I must tell you that the only people I see deflecting responsibility and laying blame on external "forces", ironically, are Christians.
On the contrary. Christians have accepted responsibility for their actions. We have also accepted the fact that we are all sinners and decided, through free will, to accept Christ and ask for forgiveness.

Bs> …then our "free will" has limits, thus, it is not entirely "free". 'Follow?

Yes, our free will does have ‘limits’ as you would say. The limit is the choice between right and wrong, good versus evil, God versus Satan.

Bs> …are you suggesting to me that a presumably limitless being can only muster-up two choices?..

No, I'm not saying that God could ‘only muster up 2 choices.’ Is what I'm saying is that God chose to give us only two choices, right and wrong, good versus evil, God versus Satan. How many more choices do you need? If He gave us too many choices, then you’d be complaining that it’s too complicated and you can't decide. Why couldn’t God make it easier on us if He wants us all in heaven with Him? It’s my opinion that this is why we have only two choices.

Bs>1) Forcing us to reciprocate its alleged "love" for us

Again, God is not forcing us to love him. As you seam to have done, we can choose to not love/accept Him. But remember, which ever decision we make, we must ‘live’ with the consequences. Simply put, if God did ‘force’ us to love/accept him, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We would ALL be Christians!

Bs> Like clock-work, we see the "parent/child" apologetic, and for serveral reasons, it fails miserably each and every time. Here are just two of the stronger arguments against said ridiculous analogy:
1) No one is debating the existence of "parents".

Yes, actually you are. God is our heavenly FATHER. You are debating the existence of God. Therefore, you are debating the existence of our heavenly Father.

Bs>2) No matter how rebellious a child becomes, I've yet to hear about a single case of a parent or guardian tracking a child down, and setting him or her ablaze, while still claiming to "love" said child.

Your are correct in this statement. You never have heard about this happening and you’re still not hearing about this happening. God does not ‘track down’ His earthly children and ‘set them ablaze for not loving Him’. If the earthly child rebels, (as I sense you are), and refuses to accept Christ as Lord and Savior (through free will), then God allows that child to continue through life as ‘normal’ just as you are doing. However, once death arrives, the earthly ‘child’ has already made their choice during their life and decided to not accept Christ. At this point in time, God is simply obliging in this decision. Here’s another analogy. Someone gives you 2 tickets. One ticket is for a 1 week vacation package on a cruise ship to a tropical island. The other ticket is for a 1 week stay at a federal penitentiary as a prisoner. If you chose to take the ticket to prison, for whatever reason, be it you thought they were wrong, or prisons don’t exist, or whatever other ‘logic’ you use, your still the one who made the choice for the prison vacation package. Why would you be upset at the person who offered you the tickets? They specifically told you what the tickets were for and you could have easily chosen the cruise. Ultimately, it was your choice!

Bs>That's the beauty of logic---there cannot exist "free will" where predestination by "omniscience" is concerned,

Alright, lets go back to visit Webster. Predestined: to determine beforehand. Omniscient: all knowing, infinitely wise. Predestined DOES NOT equal omniscient. Like I said before, use correct logic when trying to deductively reason. Nowhere does it say that God predestines the choices that we make. The choices that we make are left up to the free will of the individual. However, being that God is omniscient; he already knows the choices that we will make and allows us to make those choices regardless. He does not make the choices for us.

Bs> …and there cannot exist "love" where conditions are concerned
Webster: love: a powerful emotion felt for another person manifesting itself in a deep affection or devotion. God loves us unconditionally!

Bs>- If sending his "children" to hell is something that "God" ultimately does not want to do, then he can simply not do it. To say that he "must" do so, limits the supposed "free will" of "God".

Your right. God does have the authority/power/ability to either allow us all to go to hell or to allow us all to be with Him in heaven. There is no denying this point. After all, God is omnipotent. However, He chose to give us the free will to chose our own destination (please refer to the prison/cruise analogy). Also, the free will of God is without limits (omnipotent). By allowing us to make the choice to go to hell, God is simply following the rules that He Himself placed into effect. If He didn’t follow His own rules, then you would be complaining that God is inconsistent in His own actions and therefore cannot be trusted. However, God keeps His promises, follows His own rules, and is consistent in His actions. We just may not like those actions or outcomes. But, it is not for us to tell God how to run His own creation.

Bs> Here's a hypothetical senario I'd like you to consider, and I liken it to the senario you just described, above: I'm going to smash both of your knee caps with a ball-peen hammer. I'm then going to offer you a ride to the hospital. If you accept the ride, then I'll be your friend, eternally. If you don't accept the ride, I'll then procede to use the hammer on your groin area, elbows, and feet. See?..the requirement to be my friend is so simple!...just accept me as your friend!!!!

Your ‘be my friend’ analogy was quite interesting, yet irrelevant as well as flawed. Where your analogy is faulty stems from your misconception that God performs these evil tasks. As stated before, God does not, Satan does. God does not make you poor until you accept Christ. He doesn’t take away family members if you don’t accept Christ. He doesn’t do any of this evil that you speak of if you don’t accept Christ. God simply asks you to accept Christ and then waits for your answer. Another analogy. If your caught speeding, your given a ticket. Simple cause and effect. In this scenario, the only person to blame for the ticket is you. You are the one who chose to disobey the speed limit. The police officer who pulled you over didn’t make you speed. The automaker didn’t make you speed. Even the road crew who built the highway didn’t make you speed. It was your own disregard for the law and the consequences.

Bs> Really? Where is "He" waiting right this second, and every second? He's "omnipresent", correct? So, by definition, "God" is everywhere, and anywhere....oh, that is, accept in our line of vision.

Yes, God is omnipresent. And yes, He is in our line of sight. All you have to do is…accept Christ (and actually mean it). Then yes, God will be in your line of sight and never leave your side.

Bs> This is interesting(in an outlandishly absurd kind of way) So, once and for all, what is the "cut-off" age? 8?..9?..10 yrs and 9 months?..what is it, and please provide a source. Thanks.

Why does there have to be a ‘cut-off’ age? First of all, it is not up to us to determine who gets to go to heaven and who doesn’t. That job position has already been filled. The only person we get to determine who goes to heaven is ourselves. Secondly, unless I'm ‘speaking’ with an eight year old, this is irrelevant to the current debate. However, I do have a simple response for this. Jesus has already said ‘come to me with the innocence of a child.’ So, one could conclude that Jesus already holds children in high esteem.

Bs>777A, your posts are riddled with logical fallacies, contradictions, inconsistencies, and special pleading. Feel free to counter any or all of my points(preferably with good, sound reasoning)

Well, it’s taken a bit of time, but I have just proven that my logic is not the logic that was riddled with inconsistencies and logical fallacies.

Thanks and God Bless
Apologist777

webmdave said...

Lucky 7’s wrote: “There’s one major unity in doctrine that all Christians share that you seem to have overlooked. We all believe the ONLY way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.”

But there are many different interpretations as to what “ONLY way to heaven is through Jesus Christ” really means. To some “ONLY” requires baptism. To others “ONLY” requires a formulaic recitation of the sinner’s prayer. To yet others “ONLY” entails a radical repentance followed by a life-long commitment to faithful discipleship. To still others “ONLY” requires the mental acceptance of certain metaphysical doctrines such as the Trinity, the immutability and inerrancy of the Bible, etc.

Conversely, heretics (which are described as any that do not adhere to a particular group’s definition of “ONLY”) are castigated as hell bound, regardless of their supposedly seeking heaven through “Jesus Christ.” Mormons, JWs, Roman Catholics, Oneness groups, etc., are all deemed heretical by large portions of Christendom.

Lucky 7’s: ”The actual topic was good and evil in regards to man. Therefore, my original statement about free will and good versus evil still holds true.”

What evil could a solitary human on a desert island commit? What good could he commit? Good and evil only exist in the context of human society, and human society has been adjusting its definition of good and evil throughout history. Polygamy and slavery are never condemned in the Bible. While Jesus did make a one man / one woman statement, the context was addressing divorce. Polygamy had fallen somewhat out of vogue when Christianity was birthed, but slavery was the way of things and nowhere is it condemned. Now, obviously, slavery in any form is considered evil.

The point here is that the definitions of good and evil seem to be a bit fluid, depending on the cultural prejudices of the society.

Finally, if every human being is morally depraved from birth as taught by Christianity, then no one is capable of choosing good. There is none righteous, no not one. All people are DEAD in sin. Dead people are unable to choose to be alive. If Bible-God knows every choice I will make since before the foundation of the world, then all my choices are already written in stone. I cannot change them. Foreknowledge and predestination are functionally the same thing. If I know my wife will make a wrong turn and wreck the car tomorrow, and that no matter what I say or do, it will still happen, where is the free will? I cannot change her mind, she cannot change her mind. The script was written before time began and there is nothing anyone can do to change it. If you want to call that freewill…

Lucky 7’s: ”The jump to the ‘we don’t have the free will to resist evil’ is incorrect.”

If you are correct and we all have the free will to resist evil (I’m only addressing this in the context of Christian presuppositions), then we are capable of maintaining a perfect holy life without the need of a sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins. That’s called Pelagianism; it was condemned as heresy a long time ago.

Lucky 7’s: ”The doctrine does not state that sin is unavoidable.”

Yes it does. Perhaps you should read where Paul admits that he wants to certain things but finds himself powerless to do those things. He is crippled, he says, by sin.

Lucky 7’s: ”We’re talking about free will and being given choices.”

According to your big book of myths, everyone is born “condemned already.” I don’t have freewill in regards to my parents, my gender, my intelligence, my general health, my preference for vanilla ice cream, my allergies, my pockmarked skin, and a host of other things in my life. I was born (according to Christianity) with a disposition that hankers irresistibly after sin. I am as able to avoid sinning as much as I am able to avoid breathing. It is part of my nature. Boom’s analogy is right on the money. I did not choose to be born with a sin nature. I was presented no options. I was tossed in the water and now I am condemned for being wet.

Lucky 7’s: ”I'm saying is that God chose to give us only two choices, right and wrong, good versus evil, God versus Satan.”

So, we are born as damaged goods (sin nature) and then required to go against our nature and choose good. Good here apparently means becoming a Christian. If the person chooses not to become a Christian, then this unconditionally loving father will torture the person horrifically for all eternity. When a rapist holds a knife to the neck of his victim and threatens death if the victim doesn’t yield to his affections, the rapist is not offering much of a choice. Your god is threatening horrific consequences if people don’t yield to his affections. Surely an unconditionally loving god could have come up with a loving way to allow people to spurn his affections without threatening to torment them for eternity!

Lucky 7’s: ”God is our heavenly FATHER. You are debating the existence of God. Therefore, you are debating the existence of our heavenly Father.”

I suppose you mean the Christian god, or more accurately, your particular version of the Christian god. Until such time as you present evidence that your magical, invisible, indescribable, immaterial, incomprehensible friend actually exists, there is no debate. You say there is a god. We ask for objective evidence. The only debate is over the veracity and value of your presented evidence. So far you’ve presented none.

Lucky 7’s: ”Once death arrives…”

So, a person disbelieves in this god for 80 years, give or take, and after that this god obliges the skeptic his “choice” of being tortured forever in horrific agony without chance of parole, opportunity for reform, or time off for good behavior. Such a concept is an archaic understanding of punishment for failing to yield to authority, nothing more. There is no justice, love, or compassion in such a doctrine. That doctrine is obviously the construct of religious leaders who were intent on subjugating a superstitious population.

Lucky 7’s: ”Predestined: to determine beforehand. Omniscient: all knowing, infinitely wise. Predestined DOES NOT equal omniscient. […] Nowhere does it say that God predestines the choices that we make.”

1. Acts 4:28
to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.
2. Romans 8:29
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
3. Romans 8:30
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.)
4. 1 Corinthians 2:7
but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
5. Ephesians 1:5
he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6. Ephesians 1:11
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

Lucky 7’s: ”He chose to give us the free will to chose our own destination…”

Love me or I’ll have your throat slit – refer to the rapist analogy.

Lucky 7’s: ”It is not for us to tell God how to run His own creation.”

OK. In that case, justice, mercy, compassion, unconditional, and love have absolutely no meaning at all. My cat is my cat. Therefore if I choose to set it on fire, that’s my affair. No one has any right to tell me I’m being cruel to my own pets. No one!

Lucky 7’s: ”God does not (perform evil), Satan does.”

And this God created this so-called Yang to HIS Ying, Satan, and does nothing to stop him?

Revelation 4:11
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Lucky 7’s: ”Yes, God is omnipresent.”

Then he’ll get to enjoy the fruits of his creative energies as most of humanity writhes and moans in torment in the exquisitely grotesque place HE created for them.

Lucky 7’s: ”Why does there have to be a ‘cut-off’ age?”

Translation: Lucky 7’s has no idea how to answer the question, because there is no answer.

Lucky 7’s: ”Well, it’s taken a bit of time, but I have just proven that my logic is not the logic…”

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Thanks, and reason bless.

Bill said...

Hey Apologist777,

I would like to give you great praises for your response to Boomslang's comments. Although I disagree with just about every counter argument you presented, you are about the first Christian in history of this blog who has managed to say so much without using one quote from the Bible and that is to be commended. You spoke from your own heart in your own words. Why can't we have more of that from our Christian friends?


I will have to agree with my friend Lance. When I had that moment when I realized that God/Jesus and religion were all the concoction of man, I did have a very wonderful emotional experience. It was like, "I am no longer in bondage to this fucking Jesus character." It was wonderful.

And as Lance also said I have had very powerful emotional experiences(that had nothing to to do with religion) that shook my body to the core and almost brought tears to my eyes. One example is when I witnessed the first lap of the Indy 500 live. When those cars take the green flag and take that first lap at 220mph it sends a rush through your body that you can't explain. I literally almost cried it was so intense. I never saw it coming. I assume that is the same feeling those sense with a religious awakening.

xrayman
(who can't figure out why my name shows up on some posts and my nickname on others)

boomSLANG said...

Pardon the length, but serious clogs need seriously long roto-rooters.

Previously, I said: "when Christians, themselves, show some unity in the interpretation of the christian doctrine, then that is the day that you can come back and minister to us about 'the faith'."

A777 responds: There’s one major unity in doctrine that all Christians share that you seem to have overlooked. We all believe the ONLY way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.

Dear A777,

You state the obvious, and therefore, I conclude that you either missed, or intentionally circumvented the entire point I was making. That point, more clearly put, is that there is no unified agreement among "Christians" on what "Jesus Christ" requires of "His" followers, in order to get into "Heaven". In other words, while you insist that you have interpreted scripture correctly, Shirley Phelps & Co. will gladly come along and tell you that you are not a Christian at all, and that "the Lord your God" will toss you in "Hell".

And before you attempt a simplistic explanation like telling me that she is not a "True Christian", please understand that this, again, makes my point perfectly. That is, there is NO unified agreement among Christians as to what a "True Christian" is.

Previously, I said: "To illustrate what I mean, if a lion cub plays with(tortures) a rat before eating it, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that that cub is being 'evil'. Or, if the wind blows a coconut tree, and subsequently, a coconut falls and konks a monkey on the head, I highly doubt any rationally thinking person would label said tree 'evil'."

You respond: These examples are great examples, however, they don’t pertain to the actual topic. The actual topic was good and evil in regards to man.

Unbelievable!....well, no duh? AGAIN, that is the entire point I'm trying to make; that "evil" is a human construct. There is no "external" thing, or "force" that is "evil".

You continue....Therefore, my original statement about free will and good versus evil still holds true.

Therefore? I'm so sorry, but no, it does not hold true. Here is what I said to you previously on the subject:

"1) If biblegod is 'omniscient'(knows the future set of events, including our 'choices'), then we only have the illusion of 'free will', at best.

and...

2) If we are all 'sinners' by birth, and if 'sin' is 'evil', then we don't have the 'free will' to resist 'evil'."

A777, you have not addressed these two rather blatant problems regarding "good versus evil". All you have done is insist that such things exist, by asserting they exist. That is not a good argument.

Previously, I said: "If biblegod is 'omniscient'(knows the future set of events, including our 'choices'), then we only have the illusion of 'free will', at best."

You respond..First of all, let us visit ‘Webster’ for the actual definition. Omniscient: all knowing, infinitely wise. This does not mean that God will make the choice for you. You still have to make the choice on your own. It does mean, however, that God does know the choices that you will be presented with as well as the choices you will make. Hence, free will.

Thank you for the definition.

Okay, now---you are still stuck with a contradiction. If "God" knows the future outcome of all events, including human affairs, then that future is fixed, or else "God" could NOT have known the future outcome to begin with. That is just plain common sense. Continuing, if the future is fixed; if "God" has a "plan", then our "free will" is only an illusion. "God" cannot have a "plan" for a certain individual, without knowing the outcome. And thus, again, if "God" knows the outcome, then our choices are predestined; they are not truly "free".

Previously, I said: "If we are all 'sinners' by birth, and if 'sin' is 'evil', then we don't have the 'free will' to resist 'evil'."

You respond: Again, all cows are not green.

Can I ask you to not give partial analogies? It's nonsensical, and frankly, annoying. Thanks in advance.

You continue...You are correct in we are all sinners and sin is evil. However, the jump to the ‘we don’t have the free will to resist evil’ is incorrect.

Listen to the questions: Is "sin" not a derivative of "evil"???? Is it not a direct result of "evil"???? Are we not all "sinners" because of "the fall" in the garden? In other words, if we are all "sinners", then we cannot disassociate ourselves from "sin", entirely, in which case, if "sin" is unavoidable, and "sin" is "evil", then "evil" is unavoidable, and thus, we don't have "free will" in the matter.

Do the math: If A = B, and B = C, then A = C.

You: If your analogy/logic is correct, then how do you explain all the good and good choices made in the world?

I think you probably meant "good and bad", and if so, my answer is human nature. It is human to be kind, but on the other hand, it is also human nature to be curious, and to look out for number 1; to get our own personal needs met. Many times, people make poor decisions when the latter two things are taken into consideration.

While you choose to call such poor decision-making "evil", your philosophy on the matter still contradicts, because out of one side of your mouth you say "evil" is an external "force"(against "good"), but then out of the other side of your mouth, you say that humankind is responsible for perpetrating "evil". Make up your mind; you argue in circles.

Previously, I said: "To review, briefly, if 'sin' is unavoidable(as doctrine plainly states it is), then we cannot/should not be held responsible for what we have no control over."

You respond: The doctrine does not state that sin is unavoidable. What it does state is that we are all sinners.

Lol. Okay, feel free to explain how we can't avoid being a "sinner", but we can avoid "sinning".(preferably in logical terms, if it's not too much trouble)

You said: It also states that since we are all sinners, we are able to say ‘sorry’ and accept Christ.

Firstly, why on earth should I apologize for having a characteristic that I cannot avoid? I'm a "sinner' by birth, yes? It sounds like a "set-up", to me. Did you miss my "ball-peen" hammer analogy? In short, it illustrates that "God" is responsible for the very problem he seeks to have solved.

You said: Christ already paid the penalty for our mistakes/sins. That is why the only way to be forgiven is to accept Christ.

Okay, so you are being equivocal. Perfect.

Evidently, when you say pay for "our" mistakes, etc..you only mean "Christians"..i.e.."Christ" only "paid the penalty" for Christians. Please don't try to argue this point, because that is exactly what it boils down to.

Previously, I said: "That's like tossing a goldfish into a tank of water, and holding it responsible for getting "wet". Do you see the philosophical problem with your 'basic philosophy', now?"

You respond...No, actually I don’t see the problem with the basic philosophy. Was the fish given a choice? We’re talking about free will and being given choices.

I've illustrated with logic, sound reasoning, and analogy, that "free will" is an impossiblity from the Christian perspective. Repeat: You have not overcome this dilemma. Boldly asserting that it is so, does not eliminate the internal inconsistancies.

For some reason, you continue...But a better question is why the person was holding the fish out of the water. That person made a choice to demonstrate evil by holding the fish out of the water and potentially killing the fish. That person could have very easily decided to make the choice of demonstrating good by leaving the fish in the water to begin with. You see, the person with the fish has free will to decide between good and evil.

The analogy I used was to prove a point. That's what analogies are for. You have now taken it completely out of its intended context, and went off an an irrelevant tangent. I must conclude that you are either trying to be funny, or you are a vapid moron.

Previously, I said: "Well, I must tell you that the only people I see deflecting responsibility and laying blame on external 'forces', ironically, are Christians."

You respond: On the contrary. Christians have accepted responsibility for their actions. We have also accepted the fact that we are all sinners and decided, through free will, to accept Christ and ask for forgiveness.

Based on your repetitious, bold assertions, I suspect what is called invincible ignorance. There comes a point where you mindlessly repeat what you've been taught to believe, and you have no regard for what people with opposing views say to you. From what I can tell, this fits you to a tee.

You, on the one hand, say that "evil"("sin") is caused be an "evil force"; that we are ALL "sinners". Then on the other hand, you insist that we have "free will" to avoid being "sinners". You then suggest that being "forgiven" and having someone else pay for your trespasses, is "taking responsiblity". That's funny, would we allow hard criminals to go free because their family members agree to do the jail-time for them? No, we wouldn't. The concepts you are peddling are ludicrous.

Previously, I said: "then our 'free will' has limits, thus, it is not entirely 'free'. 'Follow?"

You respond with: Yes, our free will does have ‘limits’ as you would say. The limit is the choice between right and wrong, good versus evil, God versus Satan.

::yawn::

Once more, if we cannot disassociate ourselves from "sin", and if "sin" is "evil", then we cannot entirely avoid "evil", in which case, we cannot avoid "Satan"...who I presume is "evil". So?..is "Satan" an "evil" guy today?

Previously, I asked: "are you suggesting to me that a presumably limitless being can only muster-up two choices?.."

You respond: No, I'm not saying that God could ‘only muster up 2 choices.’ Is what I'm saying is that God chose to give us only two choices, right and wrong, good versus evil, God versus Satan.

No, I'm sorry, but you've evidently misunderstood again.(shocker) What I asked, was why can a presumably limitless being only come up with one approach to getting his "will" met?..i.e.."Heaven and Hell"? If "He" is so great and loving, then why not just offer his creation to be him in everlasting bliss, and let those who wish to waive that offer just expire? That would not interfere with our "free will" in the least. That way, "God" wouldn't be "forced" to send people to "Hell". Can you grasp what I'm saying to you, and answer logically?

you continue... If He gave us too many choices, then you’d be complaining that it’s too complicated and you can't decide. Why couldn’t God make it easier on us if He wants us all in heaven with Him? It’s my opinion that this is why we have only two choices.

Lol. I have to admit, that's the first time I've heard that exuse.

Me(taken out of context): "Forcing us to reciprocate its alleged 'love' for us.."

You respond: Again, God is not forcing us to love him. As you [seem] to have done, we can choose to not love/accept Him.

Again, your worldview/philosophy makes a mockery of the word "love". I don't believe your biblegod has a referent in reality. But to be clear, even if it did, I would reject its "love", since it promises to roast me if I do. That is not "love"; that is coersion/manipulation.

You continue on... Simply put, if God did ‘force’ us to love/accept him, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We would ALL be Christians!

Yes!... we all would be "Christians", and ironically, that is precisely what would satisfy "God's Will".

Previously, I said: "Like clock-work, we see the 'parent/child' apologetic, and for serveral reasons, it fails miserably each and every time. Here are just two of the stronger arguments against said ridiculous analogy:

1) No one is debating the existence of 'parents'."

You respond: Yes, actually you are. God is our heavenly FATHER. You are debating the existence of God. Therefore, you are debating the existence of our heavenly Father.

Again, you take the analogy out of its intended context, in this case, your own analogy. lol. Good grief. YOU used the parent/child(humans) analogy, and I merely pointed out the obvious, and that is that we are not debating the existence of "parents", thus, your analogy is not consistant with your premise, which is that there exists a "Divine" invisible daddy in the sky. Please investigate bare assertion fallacy.

Me: "2) No matter how rebellious a child becomes, I've yet to hear about a single case of a parent or guardian tracking a child down, and setting him or her ablaze, while still claiming to "love" said child."

You respond...Your are correct in this statement. You never have heard about this happening and you’re still not hearing about this happening. God does not ‘track down’ His earthly children and ‘set them ablaze for not loving Him’. If the earthly child rebels, (as I sense you are), and refuses to accept Christ as Lord and Savior (through free will), then God allows that child to continue through life as ‘normal’ just as you are doing. However, once death arrives, the earthly ‘child’ has already made their choice during their life and decided to not accept Christ.

Right, and what?......that's right, your omniscient, all-loving babysitter in the sky already knew my fate. So it should be no shock to "Him". If this a priori knowledge of his disappoints His Highness, he shouldn't have let me come into existence in the first f%cking place. If I know my oven is stuck on 550 degrees, but despite that, I decide to bake cookies anyway, then I have no one to blame but myself when they come out looking like burnt hockey pucks. 'Makin' sense?

You: Here’s another analogy. Someone gives you 2 tickets. One ticket is for a 1 week vacation package on a cruise ship to a tropical island. The other ticket is for a 1 week stay at a federal penitentiary as a prisoner. If you chose to take the ticket to prison, for whatever reason, be it you thought they were wrong, or prisons don’t exist, or whatever other ‘logic’ you use, your still the one who made the choice for the prison vacation package.

In your "analogy", can I actually SEE the tickets? Or did someone leave an anonymous note on my front door saying that the tickets exist? In your "analogy", can I turn both "invitations" down?..or do I have ZERO free will in the matter?...::cough::

Me: "That's the beauty of logic---there cannot exist 'free will' where predestination by 'omniscience' is concerned.."

You respond: Alright, lets go back to visit Webster. Predestined: to determine beforehand. Omniscient: all knowing, infinitely wise. Predestined DOES NOT equal omniscient.

Thank you for the clarification.

Now, for the umpteenth time---if you know the future OUTCOME, per "omniscience", then that FUTURE IS FIXED. Thus, if the future is FIXED, then it is known "beforehand"; if it known beforehand, then it is as good as predestined. Use your brain.

You recommend..Like I said before, use correct logic when trying to deductively reason.

Is today opposite day? Should I use logical fallacies, inconsistant reasoning, and circular arguments as my "correct logic"?

You: Nowhere does it say that God predestines the choices that we make.

If your holy handbook says that "God" is "omniscient", and can do things like make Prophetic predictions about the future, then yes, right there in the bible is where it implies that our choices are predestined.

You: The choices that we make are left up to the free will of the individual. However, being that God is omniscient; he already knows the choices that we will make and allows us to make those choices regardless. He does not make the choices for us.

Marc?

Previously, I said: "…and there cannot exist 'love' where conditions are concerned"

You reference: Webster: love: a powerful emotion felt for another person manifesting itself in a deep affection or devotion.

Then you conclude..God loves us unconditionally!

Um, the former fact, does not make the latter assertion true. I'll bet you didn't know that, did you?

Previously, I said: "If sending his 'children' to hell is something that 'God' ultimately does not want to do, then he can simply not do it. To say that he 'must' do so, limits the supposed 'free will' of 'God'.

You respond: Your right.

The contraction "your are" is "you're". A pet peeve of mine.

You continue... God does have the authority/power/ability to either allow us all to go to hell or to allow us all to be with Him in heaven. There is no denying this point.

So "God" is not "omnipotent". Thank you.

You..After all, God is omnipotent.

If "God' must let the free will of man take precedence over its own "Will", then "God" is forfeiting some of its power, thus, "God" is not "omnipotent". 'Sorry =...(

You...However, He chose to give us the free will to chose our own destination (please refer to the prison/cruise analogy).

The "prison/cruise" analogy fails miserably, just like the "child/parent" analogy.

You...Also, the free will of God is without limits(omnipotent).

Again, no. If "God" knows all its future choices, then "God" cannot change them, or else "God" never knew them. Again, common sense.

You...By allowing us to make the choice to go to hell, God is simply following the rules that He Himself placed into effect.

Yes, the "rules". Yet, again, you have gone on record to say that he cannot change those rules. He "must" send those who reject "Him" to "Hell". Therefore, his hands are tied on the issue, thus, "God" cannot be "omnipotent" like you unceasingly insist he is.

You...If He didn’t follow His own rules, then you would be complaining that God is inconsistent in His own actions and therefore cannot be trusted.

No, actually, my first complaint would be that you have not one scrap of objective evidence for any "God", while assuming a position of authority on the matter of knowing the Ultimate Universal Truth. I have a problem with that.

Previously, I said: " Here's a hypothetical senario I'd like you to consider, and I liken it to the senario you just described, above: I'm going to smash both of your knee caps with a ball-peen hammer. I'm then going to offer you a ride to the hospital. If you accept the ride, then I'll be your friend, eternally. If you don't accept the ride, I'll then procede to use the hammer on your groin area, elbows, and feet. See?..the requirement to be my friend is so simple!...just accept me as your friend!!!!"

You respond with: Your ‘be my friend’ analogy was quite interesting, yet irrelevant as well as flawed. Where your analogy is faulty stems from your misconception that God performs these evil tasks. As stated before, God does not, Satan does.

First things first. Question: "God" cannot stop "Satan"? If he cannot, then certainly I shouldn't be held accountable for not being able to do what "God" cannot even do. Is that being unreasonable?

As for the analogy, let me explain it for you: The smashing of the knees represents "God" allowing "evil" to exist. The ride to the hospital represents the "need for God", the need that "God", itself, creates. The "I'll be your friend" represents "salvation".

In other words, "God" creates the need for himself, and creates the conditions under which he'll help you. He creates the problem, but expects US to fix it.

You...God does not make you poor until you accept Christ. He doesn’t take away family members if you don’t accept Christ. He doesn’t do any of this evil that you speak of if you don’t accept Christ.

Yes, of course. "God" is not non-existent, he is just defined in terms of what he does not do. How convenient.

Previously, I said: "Really? Where is 'He' waiting right this second, and every second? He's 'omnipresent', correct? So, by definition, 'God' is everywhere, and anywhere....oh, that is, accept in our line of vision."

You respond: Yes, God is omnipresent. And yes, He is in our line of sight. All you have to do is…accept Christ (and actually mean it). Then yes, God will be in your line of sight and never leave your side.

First you state that "God" is "in our line of sight". Then you state that only those who accept "God" can see "God". Shall I remind you that not all of the people claimed to have seen "God" in the bible, were believers? And guess what?..."God" appearing to them didn't hurt their "free will", or tamper with anyone's "faith" one single bit. And by the way, who are you to suggest that we didn't really "mean" to seek "God"? Are you "omniscient", too? Or is it just your natural "apologetic" arrogance coming out?

I said: "This is interesting(in an outlandishly absurd kind of way) So, once and for all, what is the 'cut-off' age? 8?..9?..10 yrs and 9 months?..what is it, and please provide a source. Thanks."

You: Why does there have to be a ‘cut-off’ age?

Let's review: YOU are the one who introduced "life spans" etc., into the discussion, under the premise that we have ample time to "decide" and be accountable. If only "God" decides, and he does it on a person-by-person basis, then what was the point of doing that?

You continue...First of all, it is not up to us to determine who gets to go to heaven and who doesn’t. That job position has already been filled. The only person we get to determine who goes to heaven is ourselves.

I thought only "God" determines it?

You...Secondly, unless I'm ‘speaking’ with an eight year old, this is irrelevant to the current debate.

Again, you are the one who introduced "time-frames" into the discussion. If you now say it's irrelevant, I guess I won't be too shocked.

You...However, I do have a simple response for this. Jesus has already said ‘come to me with the innocence of a child.’ So, one could conclude that Jesus already holds children in high esteem.

Yes, yes, "high esteem", which is why it's okay to dash little children to pieces against rocks, and stone rebellious teenagers. (ref: the Holy bible)

I said: "777A, your posts are riddled with logical fallacies, contradictions, inconsistencies, and special pleading. Feel free to counter any or all of my points(preferably with good, sound reasoning)"

You...Well, it’s taken a bit of time, but I have just proven that my logic is not the logic that was riddled with inconsistencies and logical fallacies.

No, I'm sorry, but from where I sit, you have "proven" nothing of the sort. In fact, you've basically just repeated every fallacy you started with, and added a few more.

Thanks and God Bless
Apologist777


May reason find you,

Boom'

boomSLANG said...

Correction on previous post: It should have read, "the contraction for 'you are' is 'you're'."

xrayman said...

Mr B. Slang,

You've outdone yourself. Great stuff. Thanks for taking the time to cover so much. This have been one of the best civil debates I've seen in a long time around here. You've cleaned the Christian's clock.

boomSLANG said...

Thanks Bill..aka Xrayman.

Big Daddy Jude said...

The truth exists. If you seek religion you will find bondage. If you seek the truth you will find the truth and true freedom. If you believe God doesn't exist, you are a fool. If you don't believe that Yeshua(Jesus) is the Messiah and Saviour of the world, you are condemning your ownself to Hell by denying the only salvation and redemption available to mankind. Indeed there are struggles to find the truth in this society of lies and deception, but you can KNOW the TRUTH. One should rather endure the struggles in this life on the road to truth instead of suffering in Hell and the lake of fire for eternity. Jesus is not a religious figure but a governmental one. Jesus said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.(John 7:16-17) Jesus also said, My kingdom (kingship, royal power) belongs not to this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My followers would have been fighting to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews.(John 18:36)
His Kingdom is real. Whether you ever believe it or not, the truth still exists. Therefore,don't let your feelings and circumstances dictate the truth to you. Suicide is one of the most selfish things one could do or consider. Selfishness not only will cause you to take someone elses life but ultimately your own. So stop being selfish, and change your way of thinking and your way of doing things. Believe in Jesus and learn more about Him so you can enter the Kingdom of God.(God's way of thinking and doing things.) God is blameless. Don't blame Him, because it is our sins that got us in the mess we're in. He's only trying to Help mankind. Let us not suppress the truth we know. May you find true peace from knowing and doing the truth.

xrayman said...

Hey Big Daddy who knows the truth. Could you please provide us with a wee bit of evidence for your claims?

boomSLANG said...

bdj...Suicide is one of the most selfish things one could do or consider.

Agreed, so, to the list of homicidal, pugnacious, jealous, racist, barbaric, superficial, hateful...we can add "selfish" to biblegod's profile.(if the "Father, Son, Holy ghost" are "One", then "God" killed Himself)

bdj...Don't blame Him(biblegod), because it is our sins that got us in the mess we're in.

Our sins? 'You got a turd in your pocket, fella?...or were you there with Adam & Co. in the infamous "Garden"? I know I wasn't there.

And finally, the bible is true because it says so, right? Is that the extent of your evidence, "Big Daddy"?

The Thylacine said...

Boom: I really admire you for taking the time to try...sadly I think that your superhuman efforts fell as the xtians say "on stoney ground". Your efforts haven't been wasted as I'll be plagerising (with appropriate credits) all the points you have made clearer than my own clouded thinking. I too have a bee about "your" when "you're" is the correct usage.
Thylacine

boomSLANG said...

Thylacine,

Feel free to plagiarize me all you'd like. If it contributes to abolishing superstition from the face of the earth, I'm good with it.

sconnor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

>quotes are from the boomer

>Question: Have you "ruled out" The Almighty Allah as your personal creator, and creator of the Universe?

My view is that "Allah" is simply Islam's term for "God".

>Secondly, your argument assumes that all possibilities are equally probable.

Not at all! All I was saying is I can't prove to you conclusively that God exists and likewise you can't prove He doesn't. I"m not saying your belief that there is no God is a belief that is probable, but that that "belief" cannot be conclusively proven to be true.

>no one is saying that such a being is disproven; we're saying such a being is unproven.

To you maybe, but not to me. The belief that there is no God is likewise belief in something which is unproven.

>In other words, if your personal biblegod is claimed to be "just", but yet, has made arrangements to infinitely incinerate people for finite offenses

I've covered this before in this thread and I don't believe that, period.

>"All-loving", but only loves those who accept it?

I don't believe that either.

I don't care to repeat your previous vulgarity but of course you know the answer is that the person comitting the offense is the guilty party and choosing to commit the offense and God is comitted to allowing free will. Perhaps we are supposed to learn something from such things. Bad things happen when people aren't keeping God's law to love God and your neighbour.

>In other words, we can prove that any being claimed to have those attributes, not only does not exist, but cannot exist.

Ha! You Wish!

>Being "right", and being "self-rightious", are two entirely different things.

But you can be "right" in your belief or argument and still exhibit a selfrighteous spirit, or you could be wrong and do the same. It's not so much what you say as it is how it is said.

>just like you likely believe every other "faith" but your own, is false.

My opinion is that there are degrees of truth is most religions and in the different sects of Christianity. There is something positive about most religions. I do believe complete salvation is found through Christ, but that doesn't mean other religions don't have any validity.

>Forgive me, but in light of the fact that you later suggest that our "faith" was not on a "true foundation", I have to see your statement as somewhat patronizing.

I put that out as a possibility. I also suggested another possibility that people for one reason or another were looking for a way out. I also understand that there may have been legitimate reasons why people would want a way out of the organized churches. I can totally understand that. I have a hard time to understand how people can deny the possibility of there being any God whatsoever. I know it's a very hard decision to go against what spouses, friends, family, community, believe in, especially if they don't accept it and act differently toward you etc. I really can empathise in this aspect,. I know it's hard, what can I say more?

> if I don't have a belief in something, it's not "a belief".

If you say there is no God, that means you "believe" there is no God because there is no absolute proof there is not. I think this point keeps getting rehashed because people here don't want to admit that non-belief is a belief in itself, albeit not a religious belief necessarily, but a belief nonetheless. A belief always requires some kind of faith that what you believe is right or true. To admit it is a belief lessens your argument that a God who has to be worshipped through faith cannot exist.

> That's very colorful, and brimming with metaphoric language, yet, what it amounts to is belief based on emotion.

Man, you really don't get it! Believe me, what happened was not emotion driven, it was an actual happening, an event, an intervention.

>Are you aware that good and bad things happen to all people at about the same statistical ratio? Thus, you can realistically "pray" to a bottle of bleach, and get half your "prayers" answered, eventually.

I had a small growth that I had had for years. Shortly after I got saved I prayed for it to disappear and it did. It didn't happen instantaneously, but it slowly shrank and disappeared over a period of time. That to me was an answer to prayer that I doubt a bottle of bleach could duplicate.

>As far as medical "miracles", I'm curious, what say you about Muslims who claim that The Almighty Allah blesses them with miracles?

It's absolutely possible! Why not?

>You are young; perhaps, late teens?...early 20's?

Ha ha ha, I wish! I've been saved for 27 years now, and the previous 25 were a completely different story, especially after 12 or so.

>The "bibles says". Yes, BTW, the bible also says that if you do not reciprocate that "love", that you will be cast into a "lake of fire".

If I recall Revelation says the Beast, the false prophet, those who follow and worship the Beast, death, and hell, are the only people and things that are cast into the Lake of Fire. I don't think it ssys anywhere that everybody who has never received Jesus will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Some preachers might say that. I think it might say something like "they that were not found written in the Book of Life", but it doesn't say exactly who is written there. Of course the churches always interpret that to mean the unsaved, but it doesn't exactly say that plainly so it is possible that people who were not in the aforementioned catagories could be in the Book of Life. The reconciliationist believes the work of redemption extends beyond this life.

Lance said...

Hi Apologist777,
One quick question.

You say the choice is between good and evil, or between God and Satan, but doesn't really all boil down to whether or not we believe the bible is true?

I choose good over evil as often as I can, and I try to make that the standard choice throughout my life. But your arguments are implying are that I must choose the beliefs as set forth in the bible, and not necessarily choose between what the best of my ability tells me is good and evil. And I choose good over evil because it make my life, and the life of others around me better. Not because I'm trying to earn my way into heaven or avoid hell. I'm just being pragmatic.

I reject the bible because it is self contradictory concerning the very nature of the god it describes. I reject it for a whole slew of other reasons, just as you and I both reject the Koran, the book of Mormon, and others.

You have not directly quoted the bible yet, and I commend you for that. But your doctrines are standard biblical fare.

So in rejecting the bible and the doctrine it proclaims, but still choosing as much good in this life as I can, is that good enough for your god, or do I still need to believe the stuff in the bible as well?

The feeling I get from reading your words, and from having been a Christian for over 30 years before abandoning the faith, is that the choice put forth is not between good and evil, but between believing or not believing a book.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks,

- Lance

P.S. Your bible says that when Jesus was getting ready to let himself be killed, his disciples started to freak out. He said not to worry, that he would send a helper. He did NOT say he would write a book where it would all be explained.

Why do you believe the bible? Why can't you become more comfortable with the mystery that is this life? Why do you have to have it all figured out? What need of your's drives that?

You don't need to answer my P.S. questions. Just the first one.

Jacstar said...

A777 wrote: Another analogy. If your caught speeding, your given a ticket. Simple cause and effect. In this scenario, the only person to blame for the ticket is you. You are the one who chose to disobey the speed limit. The police officer who pulled you over didn’t make you speed. The automaker didn’t make you speed. Even the road crew who built the highway didn’t make you speed. It was your own disregard for the law and the consequences.

A777, I have a huge problem with this analogy for a couple of reasons. And I can relate to this as I recently got a speeding fine. AUD$80 plus 3 points off my licence for going 15km/hr over the limit.

1. In the speeding analogy, the punishment fits the crime. It is a just punishment. If they were to instead throw me into jail for 20 years then I would consider that an unjust punishment.
Burning in hell for eternity with no hope to ever escape, is not a just punishment for our finite "sins" here on earth. I don't think any human deserves that, even hitler or other such badies. In the bible it says god is just. hell is not a just punishment.

2. The punishment for the speeding fine has a purpose. The purpose is to deter me from speeding in the future, and if I tell my friends about it, it might deter them from speeding too, making the roads safer and probably saving some lives. And if stick to this for a couple of years, I will get my points back too. There is no such purpose to hell, making it pure vindictive payback...

3. We know for a fact that speeding fines are real. Where is the evidence that hell is real?

4. hell is not reserved for those who are "evil" or who are "sinners" it's reserved for those who don't believe in biblegod.... the most evil person in the world might believe in biblegod and therefor go to heaven while the nice man next door who has taken a good and honest look at the bible and concluded it's not true will burn in hell....

The bible is bullshit

jacstar

PJ said...

I'm sorry that you are all very focused on hell and punishment. I don't believe that God is as focused on that. I'm not denying it is in the bible, but not the focus of God's heart. One of the stories Jesus told was of the lost son. He is not eager for people to be separated from Him (hell), but to be with Him.

The good news from my perspective is that worldwide, people are coming to God at a higher rate than ever before in history. Stories of miracles are happening in many places. I have seen some firsthand and know many others who have experienced them as well. I realize some miracles are fake or manipulated, but not all of them. We may not see these things in America, but they are happening.

Jacstar said...

Hi PJ,
I just have 2 questions for you:
1. What kind of miracles have you seen firsthand?
2. If God is omnipresent, how can one be separated from him/her? (ie - in hell)
With Respect,
Jacstar

boomSLANG said...

If I may....

PJ chimes in, with...I'm sorry that you are all very focused on hell and punishment.

Dear PJ,

If the "Creator of the Universe" has vowed to throw me into a "lake of fire" for the noncompliance of its desires...specifically, the denial of its existence - which, at the end of the day is the only real "sin" - then golly, I don't know, but I probably shouldn't take that little promise too lightly, should I?(rhetorically asked)

And BTW, if "free will" pops into your head at this point, just know that there are myriad alternatives to "invite" us to "Heaven" that neither effect our alleged "free will", nor involve the torture of human beings. And if I can think of such alternatives, then surely, the "Creator of the Universe" can, as well. No excuses, please.

PJ...I don't believe that God is as focused on that. I'm not denying it is in the bible, but not the focus of God's heart.

The most current, leading, and extolled resource for presumably knowing "God's heart"(i.e. knowing the "mind" of "Creator of the Universe") is its alleged "Written Word"..e.g..the "Holy Bible". Aside from that document, you are left with speculation, and nothing more. And BTW, did I mention that the veracity of the bible is speculation, as well? Well, it is...so, I guess you're left with "faith". And let's not forget how useful "faith" is, after all, the tobacco industry has "faith" that cigarettes won't kill too many people.

PJ...One of the stories Jesus told was[EDIT]

Without using any self-affirming documents, please give me some objective evidence that "Jesus" existed.

Disclaimer: Some examples of self-affirming documents would be the "Holy Bible", the "Holy Qu'ran", the "Book of Mormons", and the labels on many consumer products...i.e.."Get 409!...the BEST degreaser on the market!"

PJ...He is not eager for people to be separated from Him (hell), but to be with Him.

Aside from being blatantly equivocal, I find such philosophies perplexing, for many reasons. Here's just a few:

- If "God" is "eager", one way, or the other, then that suggests "God" has a "Will". However, if, as Christians unceasingly insist, man's "free will" takes precedence, then that really defeats the purpose of the "Will of God". Sure, "God" may still have wishes, and desires, etc...but if "God" cannot get those wishes met, he is certainly not "omnipotent".

- If "God" cannot get its wishes met without the torture of human beings, then "God" is certainly not "omnibenevolent", let alone, very "intelligent".

Shalom!

boomSLANG said...

Again, pardon the length...

Previously, I asked voiceoone: "Have you 'ruled out' The Almighty Allah as your personal creator, and creator of the Universe?"

voiceoone responds: My view is that "Allah" is simply Islam's term for "God".

So, if I understand correctly, your personal view is one of Universalism, which, roughly speaking, is that all paths lead to the same "God". Okay, if that is the case, and if that philosophy holds true, then why not practice Mormonism this week? And how about Islam next week? Could the reason possibly be because the Muslim Holy doctrine is incompatable with the Christian doctrine? I believe that is the reason. In fact, in my view, that is precisely why Universalism cannot, and will not, ever work.

This "just in": People are blowing each other up, and themselves up, over religious doctrines that are unequivocately incompatable.

The second problem with your philosophy is that it leaves "God" with no objective identity, whatsoever. Anything "being" that exists, has an identity. So, either "God" cannot/does not exist as being, because it has no identity, or, "God" exists and it has an identity, in which case, that would include verifiable attributes that are consistant with "existence".i.e..consistant with reality.(more on this later)

Previously, I said: "Secondly, your argument assumes that all possibilities are equally probable."

Excitably, you respond...Not at all! All I was saying is I can't prove to you conclusively that God exists and likewise you can't prove He doesn't.

Yes, yes, I'm perfectly, and painfully aware of the position you take on this. Now, what I'm saying to you, is that you are employing a logical fallacy, specifically, negative proof.

Dear voiceoone,

Can you prove to me, "conclusively", that transparent, purple pixies do NOT live deep beneath the surface of Uranus, and it is from there that they designed and created humankind in a testube, and transplanted them here on earth????

For sake of argument, I'll assume "no" you cannot disprove it, even though we know for a fact, that you cannot---your own philosophy even suggests you cannot.

Now, since you cannot disprove that hypothesis about how we came into existence, do you have a good reason to believe it true? Would my asserting it over and over and over and over make it more convincing to you? And although you cannot disprove it, "conclusively", and it thus remains in the realm of "possibility", is it therefore a plausible hypothesis??

If you are intellectually honest with yourself, you'll quickly see the FALLACY of the "negative proof" argument.

You continue...[I'm] not saying your belief that there is no God is a belief that is probable, but that that "belief" cannot be conclusively proven to be true.

Yes, again, I know what you're "saying", ad nauseam. You are saying that "lack of belief" is a belief, which it isn't. And you are saying that I cannot conclusively disprove the flying disembodied mind that you believe exists, which, again, is a logical fallacy.

Other than falling back on your apparent invincible ignorance, is there another approach you think would be more effective?

Previously, I said: "no one is saying that such a being is disproven; we're saying such a being is unproven."

voiceoone responds...To you maybe, but not to me. The belief that there is no God is likewise belief in something which is unproven.

Please study the fallacy of negative proof, which, again, says that "X is true because there is no proof that X is false." Or then again, if it fancies you, just completely ignore it. While I find it frightening that the bulk of religionists seem to repell reasoned knowledge, I still support your right to remain invincibly ignorant. Yes, absolutely...carry on...best of luck with that.

Previously, I said(partially quoted): "In other words, if your personal biblegod is claimed to be 'just', but yet, has made arrangements to infinitely incinerate people for finite offenses.."

You respond: I've covered this before in this thread and I don't believe that, period.

Forgive me, but in your comprehensive coverage of that topic, **I don't remember seeing any evidence that your personalized, unique, interpretation of Christian doctrine(if doctrine even applies) is anything remotely resembling Universal Truth. Sadly, until you do present such evidence, I cannot view your position as anything more than opinion, and a very convoluted one, at that.

I asked: " 'All-loving', but only loves those who accept it?"

You respond: I don't believe that either.

Yes, yes....'got it. See here**, above, and read it with both eyes open.

voiceoone: I don't care to repeat your previous vulgarity...

Refresh my memory....was that "shit"?..or "fuck"? Usually, I only imply the word, by inserting a "*" in lieu of a vowel. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the case. 'Tell ya what, though, next time I'll be sure and use "dung" as my choice of vulgarity, since the Christian biblegod has a fetish for feces.

You attempt......but of course you know the answer is that the person comitting the offense is the guilty party and choosing to commit the offense and God is comitted to allowing free will.

Let me see if I have this straight---"God", "Allah", "Poseiden", or whoever, it's all the same "God" or interpretation of "Jesus", is "committed" in advance to allowing man's "free will" to trump its own "Will"? Do I have that much correct?

You...Perhaps we are supposed to learn something from such things. Bad things happen when people aren't keeping God's law to love God and your neighbour.

Is this an admission that those are the only two "Laws" according to voiceoone's custom understanding?? If so, then firstly, I must tell you that I don't need to be "instructed" to "love" my "neighbour"..i.e. treat my people as I wish to be treated. That is common sense.

Secondly, if loving "God" is a also a requirement("God's Will"), then I'll take that into consideration the very second that I see as much evidence for "God", as I do for my "neighbour". 'Deal?

Previously, I said: "In other words, we can prove that any being claimed to have those attributes, not only does not exist, but cannot exist."

Your response is...Ha! You Wish![add spittle]

No, actually, I have no need to "wish" true what I know is true. It's true, whether I believe it, or not. If you tell me that you're a "married bachelor", I don't need to "wish" you were a liar; I know you're a liar. Likewise, if you tell me that you have an invisible babysitter who is "omniscient", and who is also ALL-powerful, ditto....I don't need to "wish" you are a liar; I know you're a liar.

I said: "Being 'right', and being 'self-rightious', are two entirely different things."

Your response is...But you can be "right" in your belief or argument and still exhibit a selfrighteous spirit, or you could be wrong and do the same. It's not so much what you say as it is how it is said.

OH? So this is now an admission that if I phrase my arguments in a way that is consistant with what voiceoone deems acceptable, that then my position has merit? I anxiously await your reply.

Previously, I said: "just like you likely believe every other 'faith' but your own, is false."

You respond...My opinion is that there are degrees of truth [in] most religions and in the different sects of Christianity.

And what truths would those be? Do you mean, simplist "poetic truths"?.. like, don't go around murdering people? Love your neighbor? etc...stuff like that? 'Listening.

You continue..There is something positive about most religions.

If you cannot see that the negative outweighs the "positive", then all I can say is that you don't get out much, or read much, or have access to the news in your city.

You said...I do believe complete salvation is found through Christ, but that doesn't mean other religions don't have any validity.

"Salvation"?? For..? By chance, do you mean fixing the problem that, supposedly, two other people initiated? Do you mean, apologizing for turning out precisely that way my "Creator" knew I would? Stuff like that?

I said: "Forgive me, but in light of the fact that you later suggest that our 'faith' was not on a "true foundation", I have to see your statement as somewhat patronizing."

You respond...I put that out as a possibility. I also suggested another possibility that people for one reason or another were looking for a way out.

Looking for a way out? You mean, looking for a way out of the opportunity to be reunited with all my deceased family and friends in a land of perpetual, never-ending bliss?....do you mean that, as opposed to just dying?

You continue...I also understand that there may have been legitimate reasons why people would want a way out of the organized churches. I can totally understand that.

For me, church, and church members were a small fraction of the reason. The two main contributors for my deconversion, are 1) Lack of convincing evidence, for not only "God", but anything else supernatural, and 2) Reading, for myself, the undisputed number 1 source for "understanding God's Will"..i.e..the Holy Bible.

You...I have a hard time to understand how people can deny the possibility of there being any God whatsoever.

As I've already explained - so far, in vainly - I do not/cannot rule out, absolutely, a supreme disembodied "mind". However, again, I can rule out, absolutely, any being who is claimed to have characteristics/attributes, that CONTRADICT absolute reality.

You continue...I know it's a very hard decision to go against what spouses, friends, family, community, believe in, especially if they don't accept it and act differently toward you etc. I really can empathise in this aspect,. I know it's hard, what can I say more?

What can you say? You can start off by admitting that what you believe to be a "cure-all" remedy to the problems humanity faces, is only your opinion. Will you? I'll wager you will not admit it.

Previously, I said(partially quoted): "... if I don't have a belief in something, it's not 'a belief'."

Here it is in context: "Tell me, if I don't play soccer, is that a 'sport'? If I don't collect baseball cards, is that my 'hobbie'? No, and no---and likewise, if I don't have a belief in something, it's not 'a belief'."

I guess the reason you didn't quote the whole passage is because, well, when put into the above context, your assertion that "lack of belief" is a "belief" looks a bit more asinine. If that's not the reason for the partial quote, it's still an asinine assertion.

You continue...If you say there is no God, that means you "believe" there is no God because there is no absolute proof there is not.

First things, first: I say there is no Christian "God". I say this for the reasons that I have delineated clearly, and concisely, herein.

Secondly, you are still harping on the tired ol' "negative proof" apologetic, which of course, is a fallacious argument.

You said...I think this point keeps getting rehashed because people here don't want to admit that non-belief is a belief in itself, albeit not a religious belief necessarily, but a belief nonetheless.

Now you are being equivocal(again)..i.e..not a "religious belief necessarily".

It's simple: When you admit that not playing tennis is a "sport", then non-belief can become a "belief".

You attempt...A belief always requires some kind of faith that what you believe is right or true.

False. Not all beliefs require "faith".

You said...To admit it is a belief lessens your argument that a God who has to be worshipped through faith cannot exist.

You don't get it. Listen closely: With "faith" ANYTHING CAN BE POSSIBLE. The list of "possibilties" is literally ENDLESS. This is where "evidence" comes into to play---notice, not evidence to disprove a negative, but to SUBSTANTIATE a positive. Good grief, let it penetrate your cranium.

Notwithstanding, let me ask you something. If we grant you your sought desire, however delusional, how does non-belief as a "faith" STRENGTHEN your position that a flying, semi-living cadaver on a stick, exists? Are you saying that to accept something on "faith" is flimsy, unreliable reasoning??????? Are you saying that your "faith" in "God" is flimsy, and unreliable?

In case you're still not getting it, I'm asking you how your agenda to reduce Atheism to a faith" actually bolsters your position. 'Listening.

In regards to voiceoone's personal, anecdotal testimony, I said: "That's very colorful, and brimming with metaphoric language, yet, what it amounts to is belief based on emotion."

Pot, says...Man, you really don't get it! Believe me, what happened was not emotion driven, it was an actual happening, an event, an intervention.

"Believe me". O.J.'s famous last words.

Previously, I said: "Are you aware that good and bad things happen to all people at about the same statistical ratio? Thus, you can realistically 'pray' to a bottle of bleach, and get half your 'prayers' answered, eventually."

You respond...I had a small growth that I had had for years. Shortly after I got saved I prayed for it to disappear and it did.

A "growth"? What?..a pimple? a wart?..an ingrown hair? Was it malignant, or benign? And more importantly, why did you "pray" to a being who was presumably already aware of your problem? Seriously now, if you see the neighbor's child drowning in a kiddy pool, what?..you won't help unless the child asks you? I invite you to make sense of it all.(preferably, logical sense)

You go on...It didn't happen instantaneously, but it slowly shrank and disappeared over a period of time.

Should I be impressed? I mean, really, it would look more like supernatural intervention if it just vanished instantaniously, as opposed to going away naturally over time, which is what some tumors do.

You conclude...That to me was an answer to prayer that I doubt a bottle of bleach could duplicate.

Yes, to you, I'm sure that's what is was. However, to the THOUSANDS of children who die of hunger monthly, I'll wager that to them it looks more like "luck".

I said: "As far as medical 'miracles', I'm curious, what say you about Muslims who claim that The Almighty Allah blesses them with miracles?"

You respond...It's absolutely possible! Why not?

Of course!..remember, ANYTHING'S "possible" where "faith" is concerned. Hell, perhaps we can cure cancer by smearing pigeon blood on the patient! Or maybe we can have them gargle marbles? Why not?!?!

I said: " 'The bibles says'. Yes, BTW, the bible also says that if you do not reciprocate that 'love', that you will be cast into a 'lake of fire'.

You retort...If I recall Revelation says the Beast, the false prophet, those who follow and worship the Beast, death, and hell, are the only people and things that are cast into the Lake of Fire. I don't think it ssys anywhere that everybody who has never received Jesus will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

A "True Christian" such as the late, obese Jerry Falwell, would surely take issue with your interpretation of scripture.

You...I think it might say something like "they that were not found written in the Book of Life", but it doesn't say exactly who is written there.

It's predetermined, nonetheless, and I'm not too sure if Christian Universalists would make the list.

You said...Of course the churches always interpret that to mean the unsaved, but it doesn't exactly say that plainly so it is possible that people who were not in the aforementioned catagories could be in the Book of Life.[bold added]

Um, it doesn't say ANYTHING "plainly", hence, the bazillion sects/split-offs of Christi-insanity.

You said...The reconciliationist believes the work of redemption extends beyond this life.

The child "believes" his or her stuffed animals can talk to them.

Philip said...

Actually, BoomSlang, "Allah" literally -is- the Arabic word for God. It's viewed as the same god as that which the Jews and Christians worship.

PJ said...

Jacstar,

I'm having a similar discussion on another thread, but I'll answer the one about firsthand miracles.

I was with a group that prayed for a lady with a cancerous growth on her face. Within a couple of days, it was gone and the doctors confirmed that the cancer was gone.

My wife prayed for a lady with a limp and was using a cane to walk. When she prayed, we heard a crackling in her leg and the limp was gone.

Another time as we were counseling/praying for a lady with some emotional issues. I kept hearing the word incest in my mind. I certainly did not want to say anything about it now want it to be true. We came to a lull in the conversation and my wife looked at me and said share what God is telling you. I told the lady that I hope there is nothing to what I'm hearing, but then just said the word "incest." She broke down and started crying and explained the situation to us. That was two years ago and she no longer struggles with her depression. Whether that was God that told me or not, I'm still glad that she is doing better.

I will admit that I am skeptical about most reported miracles. Can you explain to me what could have happened in my examples?

boomSLANG said...

Philip...Actually, BoomSlang, "Allah" literally -is- the Arabic word for God.

True; thank you, Philip. I guess similar to how "Eloah" is the Hebrew word for "God", and how "Christ" means "God"(and/or the "Son of God") to Christians. And yes, I'm fully aware that the three leading monotheistic religions are Abrahamic. It's nuts, isn't it? I don't know if I should make the obvious distinction, but it's the doctrinal differences that distinguish them from one another, and thus, make them incompatable. That was the point I was trying to make.

Best,

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

PJ,
Thankyou for your civil reply. In regard to the things you have witnessed, this could be one way to explain them:
1. Lady with cancerous growth: growths and tumours etc. do sometimes come and go, it's part of nature. That could've happened naturally. If it had instantly visably dissapeared before your eyes, then that would be a different story. I've heard other storys where things get better or go away gradually, but to me that is not a miracle, could be just nature taking it's course. God should be able to heal instantly.

2. Lady with limp: cracking in the leg happens with and without prayer, could have been co-incidence....the limping going away...placebo effect....knowing that you are being prayed for can produce a placebo affect, just like taking sugar pills thinking they are real medicine works as a placebo.

3. Incest story: intuition?

I don't know if these explanations are good or not, but my point is, all the "miracles" I have heard of can be somehow explained without factoring in god. If god healed an amputee instantly in front of my eyes, ie...the person now has a real live foot where previously there wasn't one, then there would be no doubt in my mind that it was a miracle peformed by some supernatural being. check out www.whywontgodhealamputees.com for more info.

Just to let you know a bit about my background, I'm 29....was a christian for 20 years before "daring to NOT believe" as of about 6 months ago. The main reason I finally walked away is that the bible concept of hell is incompatable with my reasonable, compassionate mind.
Since reading all the posts on this website over the past few months, I now have many, many more reasons why I don't believe.

I personally don't completely rule out some sort of higher power...although I can't really see any evidence for one....but I DEFINATELY don't believe in biblegod anymore.

You might think my explainations for your "miracles" is just rationalising away god, but I can tell you one thing, as a christian, I had to do a hell of alot more rationalising to try to reconcile in my mind some of the utter BS in the bible...

With respect,
Jacstar

PJ said...

Jacstar,

Thanks for your response and your honesty. I'll certainly give what you say some thought. I'll be offline for a couple of days, but I wanted to at least thank you for the dialogue. I have no other outlet to discuss these things at this point, so it has been good to share some of these thoughts. I'll be back soon. Peace.

sconnor said...

Shoot PJ,

why don't you take your miracle-workin' prayer groups on the road if you believe in miracles and prayer, so much. The first place you, your wife and merry band of miracle workers could go and pray is your local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where the horrors of children suffering in unimaginable ways could use your so-called help. And after you stroll down the chamber of horrors where anything from preemies to adolescents, suffering in mind boggling, egregious pain, hooked to every machine available, that looks more like medieval torture devices rather then medical technology -- after you pray over every child in this gauntlet of pain and suffering, why don't you go next door to the Pediatric Burn Unit, where some children are suffering from 4th and 5th degree burns over their entire body -- hellish burns down to the bone. Go there and pray for them that they will miraculously heal and be good as new. And after you miraculously heal all those children with prayer, you can take your miracle prayer party and heal all the children in all the PICUs and PICU Burn Units, across the nation. What are you waiting for? God is waiting to heal children, but for some reason your demented, mother-fucking, dumb-ass god is waiting for you to beg for his help in the form of a prayer.

--S.

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