That is funny...This is where the free will argument is ridiculous...According to most christians, one has free will as long as that person "chooses to believe" or else they will suffer in eternal flames. How is that free will? It is by threat of punishment, and reward for making the "right" choice. And I hate when this is equated with REAL world choices for survival, like don't walk in the street or you will get run over by a car...It is not the same thing. I want my children to love me, but I will not make them suffer or kill them if they don't.
Stardust: According to most christians, one has free will as long as that person "chooses to believe" or else they will suffer in eternal flames. How is that free will? It is by threat of punishment, and reward for making the "right" choice.Frank: Okay, Stardust, the next time you cross a busy street you either have the choice to be hit by a car or not by simplying crossing the street or not. I guess that really isn't free will since you'll be punished by getting hit by the car or rewarded by not getting hit by a car. Okay, John, you can delete me now.
Stop whining frank. All you have to do is allow comments on your blog, and you'll be allowed to comment here.Until then, buh-bye.
Frank, I guess I should have explained better that absurd crossing the street example was actually used in debate BY A CHRISTIAN about free will...and yes, it is ridiculous. Other examples I have encounterd are equally as ridiculous. Making the offer of worshipping an imaginary sky daddy or spending an eternity in hell is not exactly allowing someone to express his or her free will. It is a threat. "Believe or else." Religion is sounding more and more absurd to me, and christians I am finding that many of them are not nice people.
stardust: "Religion is sounding more and more absurd to me, and christians I am finding that many of them are not nice people."They hated themselves before they hated you and me.
Frank,I am not a student of philosophy but I can recognize bull shit when I see it. What the hell are you talking about? Or is this a deliberate attempt on your part to obfuscate the clarity of Stardusts1954's reasoning?
Sometimes I'll just leave a comment or two by Frank. He debunks himself.
Stardust- I am a Christian and I don't believe in free will. In fact self-determined free will leads to an infinite regress. As for your comment: "I want my children to love me, but I will not make them suffer or kill them if they don't." This is exactly right, you "love" particularly don't you? You want your children to love you. Your setting up a false dichotomy. God does love his children, but as Jesus clearly taught some children are of a different father. You assume that if God exists (which I believe he does) then he would love all his children. However, God's love is particular.
streetapologist: "In fact self-determined free will leads to an infinite regress."So, are you saying that your god doesn't have self-determined free will?
I love it when they try to bridge the obviously impossible gap between their imaginary god's plan and free will.That they fail every single time is hilarious.
Dawson- Do you know the difference between a contingent and a necessary being? It only leads to an *infinite regress in a contingent being.
streetapologist: "Do you know the difference between a contingent and a necessary being? It only leads to an *infinite regress in a contingent being."Ah, as I expected. There's some catch that qualifies your god as an exception to the rule you want to apply to everything else. And to give that qualification an air of intellectual credibility, you couch it on the necessary-contingent dichotomy. You're right on queue.Unimpressed,Dawson
"God's love is particular."StreetapologistSo you are saying that where my love for my children is unconditional, your god's love is conditional...(strings attached.) This god will love you IF you love him first. If you love him, then he won't send you off to be tortured for all eternity...that is the message.This god, as with other gods of mythology, is self-centered and self serving. It would seem that he would have been happier to just create himself a basketful of puppies. For an all-powerful god to create beings with minds provided with the option to rebel against him, and then punish them for doing so is ABSURD. (Is this god just bored or what?)Also, what makes you believe your interpretations and understandings are correct and interpretations and understandings of other christians wrong? There are so many versions and variations of this message that this god trusts to his flawed and untrustworthy "creations". Looking at this all in retrospect, it is indeed absurd as any of the mythologies of all civilizations past (which many were religions at one time).
This might be the wrong place to be telling you my story but .....here goes. My stepson became a Baptist preacher some two years ago. Out of curiosity, I became curious about what Josephus might have written about Jesus. I was completely floored to find that the two verses mentioning Jesus were forgeries done in the fourth century by the monk Eusebius. The more I read, the more inconsistencies I found in the bible, i.e. Herod's death in 4BC and Jesus' birth at the time of Quirinius census in 6 AD. The baby Jesus was pursued by a dead man. An on and on.... I found that, in actual fact, despite his supposed popularity, no historian seems to have even heard of him or considered his miracles important enough to document them. The conclusion that I've come to is that a very mortal Jesus might have been an Essene who preached Essene doctrine, ran afoul of the Romans and was executed by them - end of story. As time passed, the story became more and more embellised (compare Mark's version, the earliest to the later additions of magi, star, Herod's slaughter of children (never documented).I found that all that knowledge has made me feel more free than ever before and to me, Christianity is simply much ado about nothing.
If the Creator chooses to be whatever mankind considers to be "unfair" by declaring that those who do what He says will be eternally rewarded and those who disobey will be eternally punished does this make Him any worse than any worldly leader? If God is God, I can understand hating the fact that you have to do what He says to get the reward, but don't even leaders in this world reward obedience and punish disobedience? The difference is, many men will choose to obey the worldly men who offers temporary rewards but decide to disobey the God who offers eternal rewards. Talk about skewed thinking. (in my opinion :-)~BrotherD
John: 357 Let us all embrace the flaming love of G-bus.
anonymous said..."This might be the wrong place to be telling you my story but ..."Thanks for posting your story.I have a similar story of looking for the "real" Jesus & finding a pious fabrication. It's kind of amazing to find oneself, at the end of the process, looking at a whole different world & wondering why it took so long to recognize the truth. Welcome.-evan
Frank- kudos for being civil. Look me up if you're in Vienna, and the drinks are on me.But your heavy traffic analogy limps, as they say here. A more accurate analogy would be this: I don't have to go near a busy street. Unless I sign up for Jesus' protection racket, He'll drive right into my house and run me down.dbull, you say:If the Creator chooses to be whatever mankind considers to be "unfair" by declaring that those who do what He says will be eternally rewarded and those who disobey will be eternally punished does this make Him any worse than any worldly leader?Yes, it does, and infinitely more so: even Hitler couldn't punish anyone eternally.streetapologist, you say:Do you know the difference between a contingent and a necessary being?There's no difference, because both terms are meaningless. Or can you show me an example in the real world of a "necessary" or a "contingent" being? These are just theo-philosophical buzzwords with no referents, conjured up out of thin air in order to create the Almighty with a syllogism. I doubt that She is amused.
willis, would you honestly allow comments on your blog if you had the posts he does? The kid's just tired of getting beaten down time after time, and he seems to have retreated to his own little childlike world of legos and batman. Check this post out and tell me whether or not Frank has anything to offer this discussion.Frank Walton Kicks Rich Rodriguez's intellectual assYeah he debunks himself.
yeah Zilch, I probably should give Frank a break, he was civil.
Oh Gentle Jesus, meek and mild: Please come and stay with me awhile….NOT!
Charlie: This is a typical John Loftus lie. They never had guns during the period that Jesus lived in, much less automatic rifles and pistols. I might give John a little more creedence if he had a flintlock or a wheelgun. And plus he won't kill you, he'll just allow you bake in hell for eternity. Gosh maybe someone around here could come up with a real argument for a change.Scaryjesus: Why can't I resist being such an ass?
They never had guns during the period that Jesus lived in, much less automatic rifles and pistols.Can you prove this, scary? Were you there? Typical atheist reasoning...
Zilch, don't spin me off into the "were you there" critisims of evolution, cause I'll take the bait.
"Scaryjesus: Why can't I resist being such an ass?"No free will my friend, it's your fate.
God, I love this blog. I need this today. Thx carbonbased, Hey I'm carbon based too... ok I'll stop
"They never had guns during the period that Jesus lived in, much less automatic rifles and pistols."With the miracle power of Jesus, all he would have to do is convert a toothpick into a machette, or a fig into a grenade, or threaten people with an eternal invisible hell.
Stardust :"Religion is sounding more and more absurd to me, and christians I am finding that many of them are not nice people."Yes well maybe fraudulent literature cannot really be expected to spawn many that are not frauds really.Can it?.Like they say :"the proof of the pudding is in the eating ”.I agree with Stardust.And my thoughts are so very often verified with the proof of the pudding with any dealings i might have with the faithful folk.For first impressions on face value they have the outwardly looks of the lovely christianly frills yet because of the nastiness they read.Soon enough the nasty overdone sour taste of to much baking powder having been used ,shows through and taints what might have been a nice pudding if the recipe was sadly not such a fraud.When i get told with such pride! by one of these faithful folk, that i am disliked.I chuckle and sort of imagine they might strangely be thinking for some reason i might be the type, who actually enjoys puffy pud full of air with no real decent substance within.Often i do not bother to say anything just in case they again with such fraudulence,try to throw in a cup or two of sugar to try to hide the rancid taste to suggest and fool me that they might have changed their brew and mind.I decide with these cooks im quite in agreeance with them on that one thing.That thing being puffy pud is really not for me ,so im happy not to return.I find their cooking only serves up a guts ache anyway.Yes the cartoon says it all really,after all its all about fear for control .But when you look towards the area in the countries where this belief was formed.And still see fear and control and many nasty things happening for real ,there even today.Would we be intelligent to really expect anything different ?."They never had guns during the period that Jesus lived in, much less automatic rifles and pistols."No they didnt .....Besides stones made death much more slower and painful,and the vocal sound of the poor bugga pleading was no doubt far more pleasing for vengeance . :)
Not that anyone here needs reminding, but there are people who take their Christianity very seriously indeed. A small sample:If it all is going to heck, I’m actually looking forward to it. Not in a grim way, just, as a younger man, I’m looking forward to the struggle. I think men in their nature need the struggle, just like women need kids. Modern women have to dote on pets to replace kids, while modern men have to diddle around with video games and sports to replace the struggle. God willing, the crap hits hard and soon, and it’ll give men problems to solve, crazies to shoot, hungry mouths to feed, women and kids to die protecting…life could be like the greatest video game ever.I can hardly wait.
"They never had guns during the period that Jesus lived in, much less automatic rifles and pistols."Well, my all powerful Jesus had a gun. Obviously he was not limited by the human technology of the day. "Praise myself and pass the ammo" is what he said.
If you don't believe there is a God, then there is no hell, so why do you care?? I see the arguments here as silly as arguing about the tooth fairy! She exists, no she doesn't...Ugh! If I choose to believe that God exists, as does Heaven, why does it matter to any of you?? If I believe that I have free will, in which by using I will seek Jesus, how does that affect you? Believe or else...or else what? If you don't, than there is nothing else!!In addition, I am not sure how many of you have children and what there ages may be. I have children and they are in their early teens...and they think that my sole existance is to make their lives miserable, and that I must hate them. Hmmm, familiar. I simply try to teach my children and guide them, and they think that I hate them! I love them more than myself...and I hope to see them become wonderful, intelligent, socially responsible adults...oh, and if they choose to be Christians...awesome...
If you don't believe there is a God, then there is no hell, so why do you care??Heather- I don't really care. As long as you behave nicely, you are more than welcome to believe whatever you want, and I will defend your right to believe as you want to. While I do enjoy arguing about the existence of God, in the end, the only thing that really matters to me is how people treat each other and our Earth.And there's the rub. There are believers who think that their God wants them to kill unbelievers. There are believers who think that it doesn't matter how they treat the Earth, because the End Times are coming anyway. Did you read the quote in my last comment? Doesn't that frighten you?I have children and they are in their early teens...and they think that my sole existance is to make their lives miserable, and that I must hate them. Hmmm, familiar. I simply try to teach my children and guide them, and they think that I hate them! I love them more than myself...and I hope to see them become wonderful, intelligent, socially responsible adults...oh, and if they choose to be Christians...awesome...I too have children. They are now eighteen and twenty, and are both well on their way to becoming wonderful, intelligent, socially responsible adults. We had some pretty rocky times with them over the last few years, so I know exactly where you're coming from. I can assure you, that if you love them, as I'm sure you do, that things will get better as they get older. Best wishes to all of you.My kids are both atheists, but it wouldn't matter to me if they became religious, as long as they were happy and good.cheers from rainy Vienna, zilch
Heather said...:"If you don't believe there is a God, then there is no hell, so why do you care??.If I choose to believe that God exists, as does Heaven, why does it matter to any of you?? "And Zilch had said :"Heather- I don't really care. As long as you behave nicely, you are more than welcome to believe whatever you want, and I will defend your right to believe as you want to"But as Stardust had said:"Religion is sounding more and more absurd to me, and christians I am finding that many of them are not nice people."John W Loftus: showed us a video on another thread named The Calvinist God is evilExbeliever had showed us a comic photo. Of jesus knocking on a door holding a gun.With commentary saying "Love Jesus of he`ll fucking kill you"The above maybe partly answers Heathers question:"why does it matter to any of you??" And this: "If you don't believe there is a God, then there is no hell, so why do you care?? "Maybe might be answered by, we dont worry about hell no not at all!.Hell in the life after life is the very least! of our worries.What we worry about most of all is all the nastiness of faithful beliefs and indoctrinations, that far to often spawn the nasty effects some of which are talked about so often by us here and are talked about elsewhere.When we see on the news such things as this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohKAT6qThgc&feature=related It speaks so loudly of danger and nastiness .And we know something is wrong somewhere.When we see this :http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-11-16-russia-cult_N.htm .We think of the poor four children, one only 18 months old and feel worried and very sad .We think of the HELL living conditions and maybe cold and hunger they might have endured.When we read this http://www.magharebia.com/cocoon/awi/xhtml1/en_GB/features/awi/reportage/2008/11/07/reportage-01 We are sick to the core !! but we know faith and religion is at the core of male dominance and that these actions of stoning are definitely !! spoken of in scriptures.We can almost (feel) the Hell on earth feeling! this poor girl must have endured!.Ok of course the faithful argument might be, yes but hold on! these are just naughty believers !.And each of the faithful then squabble and claim that their own translation is right!! while the others translation must have been just wrong.But they forget!! the fact that never changes is! ,that what ever the problem might or might not be .It is still ! ALL TO VERY OFTEN that it is these very words/teachings that are the ones that lead these people to still do what they do.Such nasty abhorrent things !.And that while some! folk still suffer daily.Some of us almost! believe, that it is in fact our duty to do something about it.Heathers kids might be quite fine!.But heathers kids being fine, should not stop us being concerned about the very many kids that are not!.And suffer on daily!, though religious bullshit .And personally i dont think it says a lot for much of religion and the faithful that believe it.That it seems they often dont understand why we might do what we do in speaking out,as it seems so many often ask why we might be so interested in matters.And with many of them i get the feeling that im sure ,that they wish we would just shut up! and think and say nothing about it.Silence does not always solve matters.Martin Luther King im sure might be one to agree.
Okay, here is something for everyone...Christians and non-Christians. What are we doing to change things? What steps are we taking to prevent all of those nasty, horrible things that Gandolf is referring to from taking place? We sit at our computers and type up reasons why God does or doesn't exist. That really helps people doesn't it...I just had an interesting conversation with a Christian friend of mine. She is tired of other Christians bemoaning the fact that Obama has been elected and all of the "liberal" laws, like abortion and such will be "ok", legalized. She stated, instead of complaining about it, why not put yourself out there and help the people that are looking for answers, the teenage girl who has no option, who's parents will kick her to the curb due to her preganacy, take her in, give her other choices...Instead of buying another car/boat/home, give to your community, state, country, world. If you don't have money, give your time!! God doesn't have to have anything to do with it!! The world we live in will never be any different unless the people that live in it do something about it...with or without religion, with or without God...
Zilch - People say a lot of things for a lot of reasons. I don't understand many things that come out of peoples mouths, or why people say the things they do. And, it doesn't really matter what someone says...it is what they do.
Hi Heather,We also must realize that if it wasn't for God being ambiguous with his supposed communications to us, given in primitive times, and his expectations of who knows how many more generations to come, before and if he comes, to understand them, we wouldn't have to be debating about him, and people wouldn't be doing things based upon obscure and false beliefs.Keep in mind that whether or not your god exists, the world is still in the state that it is in. We cannot just get up and do something and fix the world as easy as you make it sound. It would take steps where anyone, group, organizations, and up to our governments, plays a role. Even a blog like this is doing it's part because it's educating, while slowly eradicating dangerous beliefs. This is just one key starting process for the goal of being victorious in making the world a better place.We all have beliefs and questions about a purpose to life. And how one chooses to live can be shaped by these beliefs and the answers we accept to these questions. This site speaks about those important issues and tries it's best to come up with the proper answers and solutions one could hope would be most beneficial for our species and this world we live in. And since there is no evidence for your God, it is evident that it is we ourselves who creates a world of heaven or hell for us. So it is important to look for the root and weed it out before it spreads and becomes even more difficult to fork up these contagious and critical religious beliefs.This is why as long as certain religious beliefs makes the world dangerous, as well as any other crazy ideologies, I will care.
Seriously, I mean really...Andre says... We cannot just get up and do something and fix the world as easy as you make it sound. It would take steps where anyone, group, organizations, and up to our governments, plays a role... that attitude has put us where we are...I can't do anything, I am just one person. However, if every person did one thing, amazing things could happen. Andre, I believe you would be surprised that when your plan to eradicate all religion takes place (if it were possible), you would live in exactly the same place you did before (if not worse)...because guess what, you didn't really do anything to change the world we live in, I can't imagine that you truly believe that all the bad things are done by religious loons...but, maybe you do...Oh, and since when is loving others as you love God, as you love yourself, dangerous and crazy.
Heather,Wouldn't prayer be a better route to take? I mean, since God is perfect and we are imperfect, shouldn't we be praying about it instead of doing something? That's what prayer is for, isn't it? Or perhaps you recognize how undependable prayer is ...
Philip - It is amazing what prayer can do. However, no matter what experiences of prayer I relate to you, it will be discounted as false. I may pray, but prayer without action doesn't get me very far. I pray to help guide me, I pray to futher my relationship with God, I even pray to see God's will fulfilled. However, if I pray to help someone and sit on my couch...well, that is physically impossible, isn't it. If I pray that I could know Jesus more, and never read the Bible, well, that also is impossible, isn't it...What I am finding very interesting is that I am getting snide comments about my call to everyone that all people should come together and do what is neccessary to make this world a better place...I haven't gotten anything positive in return. Interesting...Is it impossible to be positive when it relates to a conversation with a Christian?
Heather,Don't say I'd discount it, because I wouldn't (unless the evidence was weak, of course).And regarding those things you mentioned ... why would they be impossible? "Through God, all things are possible", I thought.And you've been getting snide remarks because your comment is lame, especially considering the forum it's in. You are coming here and telling us that if we just went out and did something that we could change the world, which is absurdly idealistic. And you're simultaneously admitting that your God that you love so much is so absent that imperfect humans are expected to take on the impossible task of setting the world to rights. I just find it so strange, how low your standards for God's behavior are.
Heather, maybe I could have been clearer and elaborated (which is not always possible) a little more, because you seem to be misunderstanding. You're also twisting my words and putting some in my mouth too.Do you think I can just get up from in front of the computer and go change a mothers mind who thinks it best to disown her child just because the child doesn't believe in Jesus anymore. Please tell me how I can do that and I promise you I'll do like Micheal Jackson and "make that...chaaange!I was never implying that we shouldn't attempt to make a difference. I was simply saying one way of doing that is having a blog on the internet where people from all over the world, can have the convenience of getting useful information, that could possible change their lives, and consequently others. Remember, "God works in mysterious ways". So maybe the mother I spoke of will be one of those people. You said "Oh, and since when is loving others as you love God, as you love yourself, dangerous and crazy." This is dangerous and crazy because a Muslim will kill for Allah, just as much as a christian will kill for Jesus, all because of their "love" for their respective God. If you don't see that as a problem then may "God bless you."And I never said anything about eradicating religion or "that all the bad things are done by religious loons", so I'll just leave it at that.
Heather- I couldn't agree with you more: it is what people do, not what people say, that is important. But what people say sometimes does affect what people do, and religion has all too often played a role in increasing misery.But as I said, religion can be an inspiration to do great things also. And I think it is impossible to say how the balance would look without religion. In any case, any attempt to forbid religion is against basic ideas of human rights, and has been proven to be counterproductive.As far as doing things to make life better, I am trying in a small way to do what I can. For instance, my wife and I give marionette concerts in my workshop, and often donate the proceeds to charity. Last night we earned €216, which is going to the children of Chernobyl. It's just a drop in the ocean, but if everyone does a little, things will get done. And getting the things done that make the world a better place is something that everyone, believer or not, can appreciate. We are honored to be able, by doing something we love to do, to help in a small way.
Andre - I apologize, you stated "while slowly eradicating dangerous beliefs", which I in turn, changed to eradicating religion. All things are possible, it just doesn't say how. :) God wants a perfect world for his children, however, that is not the here and now...so, we better do whatever it takes to make it all that we can. I would think that as a non-Christian, you would be jumping up and down with joy screaming "yes!" due to the fact that this is it...so why not make it better. Zilch - That is awesome! That does make a difference!!
heather said "Okay, here is something for everyone...Christians and non-Christians. What are we doing to change things? What steps are we taking to prevent all of those nasty, horrible things that Gandolf is referring to from taking place?We sit at our computers and type up reasons why God does or doesn't exist. That really helps people doesn't it..."All of those nasty things i referred to it might be noticed revolved around religion.heather says we sit at the computer.Maybe in her thinking the best way to start fixing these problems would be to run around like chooks with their heads cut off,nagging all these separate groups trying to get them to all change their tune.Very fine idea and no doubt some people are involved with trying to change these groups.Very likely quite a task !,once indoctrination has taken root the indoctrinated almost become religious zombies .Closed mindsets are trained towards one way thinking,how likely would it be to talk those muslims into not stoning that young girl to death for instance?.How likely could people talk folk at some dooms day cult into not all committing suicide just because their guru told them to?Almost impossible !!.And while this team of mad religious ghost busters is madly doing its rounds at a blustering pace,new cults and religious nasty`s are still bursting out flat out forming everywhere else !.Hell people have tried to do it this way for years and years.Thousands of years even maybe.Some no doubt have worn themselves out in the process !,dieing noticing that still ! this religious bullshit ruins lives.So the reason why some of us spend some of our time sitting on our butts in front of computers is because maybe the best way to stop this happening is to work away at the root! of the problem.Belief and faith in God/s.There lies to root.No belief in God/s = no abusive religious faiths in God.Our discussion to some religious folk might be hard to understand,it might even get on their wick a bit .Some might even froth at the mouth a bit about it ,wish we would just stop like some demon half possessed thats just returned from a local exorcism party .But the fact remains online we get to discuss matters with a much larger and wider based crowd!, than we would if we were to all trundle around the world like a flock of Khaki Campbell ducks following each other .Trying to sort matters out at each place.Education is the key ,specially to hopefully get the youth and the next generation to start thinking with open minds.Instead of just! believing in God/s because its because of who they have been born to or because of what they have been told is the truth etc.Show how utterly stupid ! it is that people would believe that God/s exist that would be so mean .Get these people to realize ! there is no need to be mean and nasty and hard and horrible and grow up as a mirror of some supposed God that rules from fear.Have people (honestly) question themselves with common sense! whether it stands to good! reason that a perfectionist creater would ever be very likely to create a mess thats able to mess up!,and then punish this mess with eternal torment if it was not good.Whats just!! written in books no longer should be blindly judged to be truth, without real factual evidence that backs it up.Yes its all about working at tackling the root of the problem first .And maybe if there are faithful folk who still believe faith is good ,then they should then be the ones sorting it out ! so it is .But no they come to blogs and rattle on about how terrible it is that atheists/agnostics think and say the things they do! and suggest that maybe they should be doing something else.They dont seem often to stop and consider just why though ,and maybe concentrate more on putting matters right themselves in other ways since its really their problem to fix!.It seems even though the tribes been poisoned and dieing ,they only wish to try to convert more.That its their! problem why we are concerned matters little it seems,no we are just wasting time on should find better things to do. Maybe they would like us to be silent, to help them keep conversion rates high.But we have a right to think different, and some of us believe more than enough have suffered for to long because of belief in God/s.And as its got to stop,so its our diplomatic right to do what ever we think is best.
Gandolf - I can't say that I don't agree with some of the things you are saying. Those religious cults with crazy leaders calling everyone to commit suicide...I would love to join the ranks of people trying to talk sense into the members. The radical muslims that stone people, (sometimes for converting to Christianity) I pray that those things could be stopped. I agree whole-heartedly that there are people that get sucked into cults, and are deeply harmed by it. However, I thought this site was about Evangelical Christians. I believe you would be hard pressed to find a congregation of Evangelical Christians that decided it was time to go by way of mass suicide...they would all be scouring the Bible looking for scripture to back that up, and when they came up with nothing, they would be kicking that leader to the curb!!Obviously, I am one of the many sitting on my butt, typing away...for mostly the same reasons. However, I want to expect more of myself (and I do more, just not enough). While I want people to know God, I want to be a productive citizen as well...
heather "However, I thought this site was about Evangelical Christians. I believe you would be hard pressed to find a congregation of Evangelical Christians that decided it was time to go by way of mass suicide"You might be surprised heather .Many of these people that end up believing and doing some of the extreme things they do within faith.Often start out! in much less extreme faithful beliefs.This is partly where i believe the cry from faithful in protection of the bible and the beliefs within fall apart.They suggest these faithful with extreme beliefs have all been involved in a wrongful translation which has wrongly led them to their wrongful stand that they now hold.Now with this suggestion either God/s with such intelligence to be able to create a whole universe , were also utterly hopeless in creating simple to read and understand manuals for life and beliefs for their children .Or more likely its no word of any god/s but is written confusion of mans thoughts .Yes the world is chocker full of faithful folk each claiming to have translated matters right,as well as suggesting others have just translated matters wrong.But while they argue the points ,the rest of us know one thing is a fact for sure !and will always remain so as has been proved time and time again over thousands of years.That is that these religious words written in books are very dangerous and lead people up the gum tree teaching them all to often, the most nasty things which they do claiming to do out of faith with suggestions of love .Maybe you and others who believe faiths to be great might like to try from the faithful end to be busy with trying to repair these problems.Myself i see the END of all superstitious faith that is without real evidence of proof, to be in the very best interests of this world.Some others do agree , in fact more and more agree every year.Maybe if the faithful do their job right and manage to straighten out some of these nasty abhorrent parts of extreme faiths,before faith becomes utterly laughable and is finally thrown away by mostly everyone all together.Then there might be some hope that faith will have some hope of existing.Ie we might meet in the middle somewhere.But for starters these things will never be cleared up!, whilst so many faithful many within these very wonderful Evangelical Christians you speak of.In thinking of the protection of their (own) beliefs and suggested faithful rights ,rally and vote so that all powers that there might be that might be able to help sort out some of this mess should they be allowed the right to do some inquiries into these faiths and investigate matters.Are continued to be disallowed!! any power to investigate! due to long held religious rights of practices and choice of faithful beliefs being fought for by some of these fancy wonderful evangelical christians you speak of.These very faithful folk and the overpowering long held freedoms of religious (rights) they fight for are in fact a VERY VERY BIG part of the very reason that these cults and extremes continue to exist and continue to abuse .When next you vote to continue to hold the religious right to believe what you wish and basically do as you wish within your belief , voting along with all those wonderful faithful friends of yours who hold fast to the perfect translation of the bible as is suggested.Just remember !when voting each of your votes to be able to continue with this unquestioned religious right of belief and practices .Is in fact also!! helping to continue to hold (many) within the chains of nasty religion ,who suffer! because all you faithful fight to keep them that way by voting for the continuation of these freedoms of religious rights to personal beliefs.In effect in doing so i personally believe, you all play a personal part in all the very abuses! that take place.And hold onto the very chains and foundations that allow for these abuses to continue to take place.Therefore in effect i personally see little that separates between those that claim to be non abusers or those involved directly in the abuse ...other than principles and dogma and scapegoats .This needs to change, and if the faithful wont realize it and start helping us ,by not expecting to retain these free religious rights by law and as total faithful freedoms .We will just keep on speaking up and out and do what ever is needed to finally get these matters cleaned up and changed ourselves in the end.If the faithful wont listen well then we have no other choice.But no amount of questioning by religious folk on sites such as this, about why we might take such a interest in the things that we do,will ever hold us back or make us change our minds or keep quiet.Besides with just a little more thought about matters to do with religion outside of their own selfish interests ,i think more faithful folk would understand without asking the reasons why we think the way we do.And realize the feeble claim "oh yes but that cult has just translated matters wrong "just doesnt cut it !and still doesnt change the FACT that these faiths lead all to often to some very nasty abusive practices . What im basically saying heather is all to often when people suffering from these extreme faithful approach political people to try get laws changed ,which would then allow freedom for investigations to take place.It may even be many of your wonderful evangelical friends including the (priests) ! who quietly approach the political people behind the scenes and caution that these religious faithful rights and freedoms should not be questioned or changed.In effect sealing the path for the continuation of abuse and for no hope of change ever coming from (within). Why you might ask? ....Well many of them worry that if in fact rights to freedoms of beliefs became less than that,ie less than total freedom as of right.That it might in fact open up a minefield in future for themselves/others and their church as well .In that part of this loss of total freedom might take away the right to abuse by faith .And that it could be possible that biblical religious fear indoctrinated into people and children in churches, could also be taken to courts and discussed and that it could then be judged to be psychological abuse and that certain church practices could be seen even as torture.Their own churches beliefs and practices might be questioned and investigated as well etc .:( Dear me its such a worry !There is a big can of worms out there heather just not wishing to be opened! behind the scenes,digging its religious right toes into the ground that it holds and gripping on for grim death. That that also retains and allows the very freedom of these extreme faiths to be able to continue in such nastiness to do as they continue to do.And why ? because of great religious pride! and much religious selfishness and unthoughtfulness , in thinking of not much other than what only effects themselvesSorry about the long post folks ! .But these things really get me spitting tacks a bit.Specially when i hear faithful folks suggesting that some how they might have nothing what so ever!! to do with the abuses that continue to happen.That somehow as they sit in their wonderful non abusive churches, they are also completely absolved of all the reasons these abhorrent abuses continue elsewhere .When it seems to me they are (the very people) who all fight for the continuation of the very laws of religious rights and total freedoms , that allow for ALL these abuses in the first place.Gets my blood boiling sorry .But i just cannot understand how it so often seems that this part of what matters, could be so easily overlooked by so many of faith.As they sit there warming pews thinking "oh how wonderful we all here are (in this building!)",praise the lord tra la la hallelujah amen .
Gandolf - Do you suppose that by eliminating freedom of religion, it turn, all religions will cease to exist? All of those people, involved in good, bad or indifferent Faiths, will just say "Okay, no problem. We are finished with our Faith"? I, personally, would continue to have Faith in God and worship as I do now...I am sorry, I have to ask, what other freedoms should be removed, simply because there are those that abuse the particular freedom. Maybe any type of freedom should just be removed entirely, and someone (who knows who) should direct every action of every person. Hmmm, that would be interesting.
Heather: Mistress of the Strawman.Seriously, Heather, you are taking this argument to illogical extremes.No one has said that removing religion would remove all the world's problems. The position some atheists (including myself) take is that religion is contributing an undue share of problems. That's a big difference. If you can wrap your mind around that concept.And you can still believe, even if the majority of people don't; disbelief won't be forced on you, contrary to all-too-typical Christian paranoid persecution fantasies. It'll just be that more people don't believe. That's all. You can practice whatever delusional fantasy you want in the privacy of your home, or in your cult HQ. That's your business. Just as long as you leave it to your home and your cult HQ, rather than having the unmitigated arrogance and gall to think you and any of your like cultists have a one-size-fits-all answer for everyone, and bugger all (preferably DEATH) to anyone who thinks otherwise.The reason so many atheists are becoming more vocal is because, quite frankly, so many Christians have gone too far. Too many have shown increasing disrespect and intolerance for differing views. Too many are becoming increasingly, disturbingly intrusive into people's lives, to the detriment of us all. Worst of all, too many are becoming more and more delusionally violent. The world has seen what happens when religion becomes too powerful, politically. It's never pretty.That's why we're fighting back now.In case you were wondering.
Aquaria: Well stated!!!
heather said"Gandolf - Do you suppose that by eliminating freedom of religion, it turn, all religions will cease to exist? "No heather religion should always have a right to exist.Peacefully.What religion should not have is total freedom of a religious right to totally believe and do as it pleases.Ie The boundaries of faith should be controlled.All faiths should be made to be open for investigations from time to time to make sure for the safety of (all humanity, that these faiths and their beliefs and practices have not become abusive in any way.Faiths should not be given free reign of the religious right to just be believing and doing as they wish according their personal beliefs,as they so wrongly are allowed to do at the present time.This wrongful allowance that comes under the protective banner of free religious rights to beliefs,is how cults are so freely able and allowed to form and treat people the way they wish to.At present, faiths can be psychologically abusive.Can torment with fear .Can split and divide families.And do so many more other nasty practices that effect both adults and children alike in their lives,many so profoundly that some are never able to fully recuperate from the abuse! within their whole entire lives!so they suffer on .Many of these poor folk having been indoctrinated with religious fear and nastiness for much of their lives,often for no other reason than sadly the luck of the draw of to which family they themselves were born into.Its a nasty sentence of the fate of birth!.That ok by you heather?its ok as long as you and your children in your lovely little church do not have these nasty effects that certain faiths have?.You still believe you and religion should continue to be (allowed) these laws of free right of faithful beliefs and practices and that they should have no control from outside of the faiths within which laws of humanity should overrule and you should need to meet and comply within a faith?.Should you believe in this continued freedom of faith you are not alone, there is many who still sit warming pews bathing in the wonder of their own glory and happiness who never ever bother to consider just what this freedom of faith might be delivering to others elsewhere!.They just put up their hands and continue to vote when asked to, that this uncontrolled freedom of faith and practices continues unchallenged.And say "oh dear those nasty christians over there elsewhere are just so wrong in their translations and its nothing to do with us and what we do!we are just so wonderful over here" .Without giving it even a thought! as to whether the faithful rights that they have (all) voted to hold on to,has had anything to do with why they are still so nasty over there elsewhere.They consider not that (their) votes for the continuation of retention of the freedom of religious belief laws,have in effect bound the abused in the chains of faith elsewhere. No not even a moment! of consideration do they give to this in pondering why these things happen .To full of pride are they! in bathing in their own glory and self-righteousness!.They say "we are just so wonderful over here in this here church with no abuse! tra la la",as they wave the laws (they all!) were involved in voting for that gave total freedom of belief to the religious crowd some of whom continue to abuse.Strangely in such religious bliss they feel or see no reason to bear any blame themselves , such total blindness and oblivion does religious faith all to often cause.No!!This is so wrong ! for humanity in the year 2008 to continue to allow!.This must stop!and the perpetrators that continue to do this type of nasty work that so profoundly effects many people detrimentally in their lives.In future in (my mind) ! should all be rounded up and dragged into to court and be made to pay with a very strong sentence for their (inhumane) crimes.Many of these faithful folk practice nastiness that is full of fear and torment !with prolonged psychological abuse that can quite legally at the present time under the laws of the religious right that we have, be allowed to be carried out quite freely for many many years .With no laws at all that control or investigate what they choose to do according to their beliefs and faiths.At the moment these faithful people are allowed to do what i believe is a whole lot worse than murder, they are quite legally without any boundaries allowed to use prolonged (TORTURE) and fear and psychological abuse what ever way they see fit to do.With no questions asked !.Disgusting! a cancerous blight on humanity.In time to come!! these barbaric practices WILL be governed and stopped, and laws WILL be made so these people who abuse can be thrown into jail where they belong .I personally have been effected by these barbaric practices .They have effected my life all my brothers and sisters lives and now continue to effect all our childrens lives through the separation and excommunication and the general family breakdown that took place.These prehistoric barbaric bullshit beliefs have robbed us of much in our lives on this earth,in this the only life that can be shown as a real fact that we actually have.For what??. For dark age thoughts and writings of man passed on from so long ago, with no real reality of decent proof !!.A nasty thoughtless stinking paskels wager with our lives !,swapped for a ticket in hope of winning some unproven life in the here after .A ticket banked on the thoughts and beliefs and writings of ancient superstitious men lacking in scientific knowledge .What a bloody rip off !! .What a farce and a ridiculous sham !.What a cancerous blight on the lives of humanity!.I speak for (myself)right here and now when i say im so angry that i personally believe jail would be much to kind of a sentence for many of these people who ruin the whole lives of some people by the use of these bullshit beliefs .If (i) were to be involved in the judging of these CRIMES in thinking of how much it has manipulated and meddled with our(my family) lives,i personally would like to see all the abusers dragged through the streets to be drawn and quartered and fed to the dogs.In plain full view of any folks who might likely be inclined to consider to continue to use these nasty faiths that abuse , at any future time.That they might fully understand that these things will not be tolerated anymore .Though not even that would appease my distaste for whats happened through this curse of religious faith ,because we have but one life! on this earth.Of which has been robbed and taken away and wasted by bullshit faithful beliefs for my family ,and it can never be replaced or returned !.Which is why i speak out on these matters now.Not so much for myself as now thats just to late, but more that somehow in future other people will not be effected and not have any reason or need to feel the hatred for abusive religious faiths that i now personally feel.heather for once in your life please pull your head out of the sand!,manipulating and twisting what we say is pointless.You suggesting that we look to end all faith ,is just a ploy you use to try to battle on digging your feet in the ground regarding this freedom of religious rights.Most people including myself couldnt give a damm if faith and religion continues .But many of us do give a damm! that all to often it is abusive and ruins the lives of far to many.We give a damm that its allowed to do as it pleases and is suggested to be accountable to nobody and no laws on this earth .heather you will be welcome to continue to have faith ,but in future i hope if its found to be abusive in anyway.Then it will be either you will stop the abuse!, or like any other torturous abusive criminal you will be given a free holiday in some jail.
Gandolf - I feel deep sorrow for you. I am so, so sorry that whatever has affected you, whatever it is that has caused you this pain, had rooted itself so deeply in you. I understand that in some way, someones religious beliefs have tormented you so...that is not God, that is not Jesus. I am sorry to say (because I am sure I will be rediculed), but that is Satan.I hope that some day you may feel the awesome release of forgiveness. Forgiveness towards whoever or whatever has affected you. True forgiveness is so freeing, it is truly amazing, it is truly the most amazing thing that can help a persons life. That forgiveness can only be accomplished with the help of Jesus. (sorry...I just can't not tell you that). Truly, Jesus is truly a way to live a free and freeing life. I can't even respond to your statements, it makes no difference, our difference of opinions. All I can think of is how I wish I could help you...
My grandfather used to wear a T-shirt that said,"Submit to JESUSor go to hell"LOLricoel
Stardust says...So you are saying that where my love for my children is unconditional, your god's love is conditional...(strings attached.) This god will love you IF you love him first. If you love him, then he won't send you off to be tortured for all eternity...that is the message.Yes. The CREATOR in all things has the SAYSO and the LAST SAY..Say you were building a computer. And to make this computer truly submissive to you, you made each part have "choice" as to whether they submitted to you or not. As each part submits, this makes the computer, as a whole, completely submissive. That is your intention.Then, there are those parts that just don't do what you need for them to do. As you're building the computer, parts refuse to work with you, tend to get in the way of your work, and at times, even change their minds and come off the computer where you had set them.Again, your intention is to complete the computer and you, being the creator, have all say as to when it will be completed.When you finish the computer, what are you going to do with all the parts that refused to be a part of your computer? Today, when you finish building something, what do you do with all the extra parts?So it is with HIS CREATION.LOVE, RICOEL
Gandolf: I hear where you're coming from. Religion has indeed been implicated in all kinds of nasty stuff. And it's still going on, and it must be countered.But how? The only way I know that has a chance of working is with logic, and with love. Of course, we must defend ourselves with force against suicide bombers, but that is not going to solve the problem.And making laws against religion won't solve the problem either. In the first place, freedom of belief, along with freedom of speech, should be basic human rights. In the second place, it doesn't work: religion pushes back and gains strength when it is outlawed, as can be seen over and over again in history. Third, it's not religion per se that is the urgent problem, but how people behave; and there are atheists who behave badly, and believers who behave nicely.So what can we do? Speak out against evil: war, oppression, destruction of the environment come to mind as problems for all of us. And since we are all in the same boat, believers and atheists alike, and since belief and atheism are not going to go away anytime soon, we must work together.Heather: I don't agree with your beliefs, but I think you a probably a very nice person. And that's far more important to me.Rico El: you sayMy grandfather used to wear a T-shirt that said,"Submit to JESUSor go to hell"LOLricoelLol! That really is hilarious!And then you have your computer story, and say:When you finish the computer, what are you going to do with all the parts that refusedto be a part of your computer?Why, of course what I would do is endow each of these parts with consciousness and the ability to feel pain: I would make them living, feeling beings. Then I would cast them into eternal torment. What would you do?
Zilch sorry to say sadly i dont have the same faith as you do that logic will ever be of much help when dealing with faithful folk,anymore.I have seen logic disregarded by the faithful far to often,and even within the cult i was born into and left it is a total waste of time.To the stubborn faithful blind deaf and dumb!sadly logic matters not,and that their beliefs causes such widespread heartaches matters little to them either.Just as logic didnt help much with dealing in matters such as apartheid in the separation issues between whites and blacks.In the end to get people to at least be ready and willing to listen and address matters properly! and with at least some real sense of the real need for some real honest attention to matters at hand, i think sadly that in the end there will most likely need to be some forceful measures taken to bring matters to the forefront of faithful peoples thoughts.Without it they will just continue to slumber in their cozy pews.Even though i personally agree with you about heather probably being a very nice person ! i have also already expressed this feeling i have about her before. I feel she displays this religious faithful ignorance we are up against when she suggests,"I understand that in some way, someones religious beliefs have tormented you so...that is not God, that is not Jesus. I am sorry to say (because I am sure I will be rediculed), but that is Satan."She places the blame faithfully and blindly and foolishly on some supernatural force biblically named to be that of Satan .When in fact the only nastiness at work here is a ancient book written by MEN wrongly suggested to be words of some god.Which in fact is so utterly full of complications confusion and fallible information that it in fact causes (so many) who read it to do the most nasty things they do.That she cannot see or address this fact that it doesnt just cause only very few to do nasty things ,shows that in her faithful oblivion she is overlooking cold hard facts.She is not willing to see that this book being so ungodly and full of ONLY mere mans ancient confused thoughts and in its natural humanly complications is able to be translated in many differing ways by many .And in such is the cause of the many fractions of faiths that we see WORLDWIDE today!.She sees little logic in the thought that any honest (real) word of any honest god would (not likely) lead to such (worldwide confusion) and so (many fractions of faiths).Like so many other faithful all caught up in such faithful bliss she totally disregards these very obvious logical facts.Kind of suggesting "oh im sorry your fraction got the translation wrong"There you go Zilch its a simple easy problem solved they try to suggest,yet never solved because the suggested problem is totally wrong and looked into with such one track indoctrinated thinking.heather and so many like her diven by blind faith and the fear involved in ever questioning this faith , with faithful blinkers on are never willing to use any logic to enable them to ever see that Satan doesnt exist! as being taught that (faith) does not rely on facts they then tend not to look to deeply for facts.And that it is the ancient words of mere men within this book that causes people who read it to do the nasty things they do,just does not register with them at all.Her suggesting its the work of some fictional supernatural power named Satan is almost belittling (to me) of the actual causes ,and is in a way even kind of like a slap in the face to me.But i will not! let myself be personally offended to much,as from knowing many blinded faithful folk over life i have come to expect little more!they mean well but with lives set so much on faith care little what their faiths do in any harm.Lets just say knowing faithful folk very well now i expect nothing less than remarks such as that,trying to prop up their nasty written beliefs in such faithfulness.Like you suggest most of them mean well and are sadly just nice folk indoctrinated by ancient religious bullshit beliefs born out from nasty lands where many people are even today still ill treated by hard hearted religious modern day man of that area.Just a short note to heather or anyone else that might be interested , i never mentioned my situation in the need of any sorrow ,i have come to accept the cards life has dealt through my situation of place of birth and the nastiness of faith that was then to become part of my life .After all there was not a lot of choice! it was but a matter of fate.And in many ways it has made me to need to be a far much stronger person in life.And opened my eyes to see that there is very much a very great need in this world i (personally) feel, for me to join with many others as a warrior against these oppressive foolish religious faiths that as they stand at the present time are little more than a cancerious blight on humanity and very much a great hinderance towards any chances the world has of ever reaching some decent hope of peace.Faith and religion not only abuses the lives of personal families, it is also still at the root of the problems in fighting and war.In saying that though even though i (personally) dont hold much faith or have very high hopes in your belief that some how logic will play a big part .I do wish that i will in fact be proved wrong!and that you Zilch will be right .You must realize Zilch a man cannot live a full life disregarding the facts he see`s with his own eyes that never show any real promise of change,yet still live on keeping hope and faith .I care not so much about faith being banned , but by jove it needs to be regulated to some extent !.And while i see little religious folk doing anything much towards helping in sorting out these nasty matters of faith .Instead it seems so often they are content only mostly on protecting their religious books and their rights to try to continue to control us in matters .Let me just remind them here ,there is a large group of us getting larger and larger year by year worldwide. Getting angrier and more impatient by the minute! having suffered by their beliefs,we believe for well and truly long enough!.Many of us are sickened to the core and disgusted that the faithful in such oblivion seem to care little and do so little to help.They seem to care little that people still suffer with these beliefs little more than pitiful offerings of words of sorrow etc, when its urgent ACTION! from them that we need.So should it finally turn to action coming from those that still suffer,in the end.Then i suggest that they cannot then suggest that we have just been crying wolf.They cannot say we should have been more patient and discussed matters more.Hundreds and thousands of years of patience and discussion is plenty enough i suggest .Zilch when words make little difference even after years and years of discussion and patience, then people in such frustration in the end sadly revert to some drastic action themselves in hope of hastening action from those who slumber.Can they be totally blamed for that?.
Gandolf- you're right, many believers will not be moved by logic or love. But prohibitions and force don't work either, and they are unconscionable in any case, unless in self-defense, as against suicide bombers.I don't harbor any illusions about religion going away any time soon. The best we can hope for, imho, is peaceful coexistence: working together on the real problems of this world, and leaving considerations of the next world up to each individual.Look me up if you're ever in this part of the world. Cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch
Gandolf - Pray tell, please tell me where in the New Testament (any widely accepted Evangelical translation), there is a call to man to be "nasty". Please tell me where man is called to do harm to one another, to wreck havoc on other people...I keep thinking that I must have skipped over some scripture when I read your posts. That I have been reading some other Bible, not the Bible that provokes you so...Please tell me why you say I have blinders on...I want to be informed and I obviously read "the other side of the coin" by reading this blog. So, I am looking at both sides of the picture here...I see the points of many of the posters here, but they all seem to focus on people and scientific facts. Scientists are changing their minds about discoveries all of the time! Can you say that you are doing the same? Do you look at the Christians posts and give them any merit, any thought? If not, that is your choice, but somewhat calling the kettle black...
Zilch if im ever over that way i would love to look you up and visit.Vienna might be chilly but i can tell by reading your thoughts that a visit at your place would be full of warmth! no matter the weather.Same offer goes if you ever wish to visit New Zealand ,my place is yours.Personally Zilch im not so interested in any need for religion to disappear,but i am interested in faith and religion not being allowed to do as it chooses just by claiming any faithful beliefs.And thoughts as to whether its (really honestly) divine word of God need seriously to be addressed.That it can be and has been all to often a blight on humanity for far to long, and many people have suffered because of this inhumane ruling.Its a blatant injustice that needs to be dealt! with.As quickly as possible.heather i have no doubt my total honesty and thoughts that cut straight to the point,at times maybe do not sit so well with you in your wanting to hold onto total complete faith in this book.To keep in your good books a little more maybe i might be better off to try to dull my honesty of my actual thinking and try to smooth a way to say what i actually think.But from experience ive found this is just a type of politicking something im not so good at, being that im a straight shooter with no hidden agenda`s .Hidden agenda`s and manipulation and sly tactics etc ,is what i left behind when i left the religious cult.Its something that both disgusts me and sickens me to the core.I dont like beating around the bush,playing tactical manipulating games of trying to make false policy somehow seem to be ok by use of jumbled words to confuse.Im honest, even if at times i might come across as blunt.Would you prefer if i was less honest and more about making people comfortable with my thoughts.Would you trust me more if i spoke in riddles. heather your book the bible is full of it!,full of confusion and word jumbles, that in effect has confused so many many men many that would be even considered by many to be quite (intelligent).Yet from the outcome of these many intelligent men reading this book there still has sadly been a harvest of many many fractions and all the sadness and nastiness that goes with it.With (blinkers) you blame this on some mythical supernatural power suggested to be Satan (as you had stated before in a answer to me).In effect you suggest my own family! to be evil and nasty,something that i know is so wrong!.It is the thoughts and words of (mere men)written within this book the bible that are so humanly confusing and ungodly in real honest truth that have led them into believing such total rubbish and in such faithfulness in fear of the suggested consequences of non compliance,has held them to doing the things they have done.It is simple for me to see though, you like my family are not naturally mean or nasty!,you like them are blinkered by belief and fear of the suggested consequences for lack of faith and belief in this book.For starters! that you would overlook such a (simple thought)of the likelyhood that any real god who loves his children would not ever!! be likely in any real logical way to produce such a book that (confuses) so many,along with my families beliefs shows me that you too are blinkered in faithful oblivion to believe that these thoughts could ever be thought to be any real inspired thoughts of any real god .As ive said before (i believe) that you could even think to believe that these confusing scriptures would ever likely be the inspired word of some god,in my way of thinking is almost a total disrespect of the intelligence of any god that there might be.Your belief in this bible book in effect suggest god is likely to be so (hopeless) in creating a manual for life that the thoughts in this book are actually his and that the fractions within religion that has eventuated are because he is likely so hopeless in explaining matters clearly.If i was any Supreme Being and the creator and ruler of the universe,i think it would be (quite logical) that i would likely be both appalled and angry that you would ever be likely to truly believe such a thought.Why? because in you doing so you in effect allow for all the fractions and abuse and suffering that HAS happened within this belief to be connected to it being of my doing as the supreme being that i am.In effect you have connected this all with my name God.And that you along with many others would try to make excuses by trying to depict all the confusions within scripture to some how come together to be thought of as quite ok ,is only making matters worse and lengthening the suffering that many suffer so wrongly through belief in what is little more than confused religious thoughts of faith of (ancient) mere man.You dont need to skip over any scripture set out by me heather,its enough that you skip over (logic) in thinking that some how these scripture that (DO CONFUSE) so (many) could ever honestly be ever likely to be thought of as any (real)divine word of God !.Like i say heather in doing so i suggest you blindly connect the fractions within faith along with the effectual abuse,to all be connected to God.If he were to actually exist i find it hard to believe he would be too happy about that.With the use of (just logic) in this way,why would i even need to supply scripture ?.Would you have me follow you any many others to run through all the written gobble de gook (said/suggested) to be word of God to try to find some way to make it all seem ok,whilst (over looking!) simple facts of logic that would tell me that the thoughts and words of any supreme being would NOT ever be likely to be so tangled and confusing ???.No i might have never been to any uni but im no complete fool! ....My names Willy not Silly....I wont follow anything that is so unreasonable and illogical in thought!,even if some ancient person held in (HUMANLY high regard) such as Paul or peter or mark or luke or who ever they might be said so.But ok you want some New Testament nastiness ,what about the suggestions that the jews are somehow all bloodthirsty killers.This thought of such confusion of mere mortal man even effects the jews today.What about Revelations ,not nasty at all ?.What about this heather: "Matthew 10:34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Just lovely isnt it heather ! its wonderful words like this that suggest to my family that all the sadness within our family is just meant to be and is quite ok.These people here http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iP5oYpZe4LDgzSejZYMuH__QvZwwD94BFQE80 might read this scripture and think "oh its meant to be!tra la la fiddle dee dee !" and move off blinkered in faithful oblivion and think little more about any logical thoughts .If i wanted to i could find much more,but why bother do i really need to or will it ever make a lot of difference if i did ? .And if i posted more would it really make any difference.I know the faithful well enough that i know they will just sive through the scripture with in mind to somehow find something that trys to covers obvious matters up.Somehow their God is a God thats not expected to speak with simple common sense ,hes a god that allows for confusion! a riddler almost a god that seems to like to leave booby traps ready for within any unlearned biblical master to fall.With the use of logic i then ask myself of this, should for some reason all adults and biblical master pass on.How would children then be expected to understand these divine teachings without them being simple?.Do you think god would not make his divine word available even so it could be easily understood by simple children ?.Yes heather should i see (good) reason to change my mind i would, and i do about many many things .But if you are asking me if i would ever be likely to believe the bible to be some (divine) word of God passed on to special men.Though i cannot say its just totally 100% not possible ,i would have to say its very much highly unlikely!.Its just to illogical to believe.Why? well for starters! i would need to first think that a supreme being known to us as God who evidently passed on divine messages to certain supposed special men.Did so (without) keeping in mind that these matters needed to be passed on in simple easy to understand format so that mistakes would hopefully not ever be made.Either that or he enjoyed seeing widespread nastiness and abuse.To think of this book as anything to do with divine word of God ,just lacks so much in any common sense.To look at it and think of it as possibly being some religious thoughts of (mere men) ,well the clues are there! and all seem to add up to that.And that makes plenty of logical common sense .What should i do heather follow in fear what i have been told and indoctrinated with in my youth,or look at it with the use of some common sense ?.Should i in blind faith believe it still to be the spiritual divine word of god ,when it has quite openly!and obviously all the trappings and blunders and confusion and contradictions that i still see everyday in the thoughts and words and ways of mere man ?.You say heather :So, I am looking at both sides of the picture here...I see the points of many of the posters here, but they all seem to focus on people and scientific facts.Ok putting all that aside and out of your mind for just a minute !.heather let me ask you one question do you (honestly!) believe a (supreme being!!) would ever pass on messages that would ever end up being the complicated book that it is (the bible) that in effect confuses and (has) created! the many different fractions within religion that we have?.Before you suggest these different fractions within religion are all due to Satan .Give a thought to in doing that you are then suggesting my family to be nasty or else unlearned of both.A thought i personally know to have no basis of fact.And also before you reply ask yourself if you can really (honestly) say this book is in no way at all confusing and is totally easy to understand with absolutely no contradictions.
Gandolf - I am sorry if you think I ever would call your family anything, especially evil and nasty...I don't know you, I don't know your family...not sure where you think I said that...I asked you where the Bible called a person to be as the people you call the names that you did. You claim that the Bible causes people to behave in the horrible ways that you detest. You have labeled them, not me. I see them as people...nothing more, nothing less.Do I read the Bible consistantly to understand it more? Yes. Do I read one sentence and change my life, no. I read more, and more and more, until I am certain of the meaning. If someone else tells me the meaning of a scripture, do I take it at face value, or do I research it...I research it. I read and reread and reread it, and look at other scripture that supports it, then I make my own decision. When I asked you for Scripture in the NT, all you could come up with is coming with a sword...oh, and revelations...which has nothing to do with how to live, but what is yet to come...hmmmm. Like I said...maybe you could take some time and read the Bible, at least the New Testament. I think you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find...
Yeah well i must admit in a (word game) sense you never actually suggested my family as evil or nasty, heather.You are quite right as you say, you dont personally know them.But i was not meaning that, i was referring to your suggestion that people make wrong translations somehow because some Satan is involved.In which case it seems to me to suggest that some how my family is suggested to be going out of their way to personally be involved in whats evil and of Satans work.This is so wrong.That is so illogical and if you did personally know my family you would agree.The idea that my family and the cult they belong to do what they do because of being involved with works of Satan is in fact laughable.The fact is this book the bible is so confusing and so much work of mere ancient religious mans mind ,it is the very reason this cult believes and does what it does.Even the fact there is so many differing (main stream churches)all with different beliefs points in (simple logic) to the fact of the confusing lost aspects of this book.That blatantly show it up as obviously being no real work of any divine being.Unless you might like to suggest a supreme being who might be smart enough to create the earth and all around us ,might some how not be so bright when writing divine manuals on how to live life.So thick when it comes to written directions that we end up with the many differing fractions of beliefs that we have.But i personally dont expect people of blind faith to ever think for much longer than a second or two considering these very simple things.Faith does not need proof.Faith is not so much about simple logic, but more set fast in trying to decipher mans confused religious gobble de gook.And let me just remind you that im not alone in the detesting of these things.You might like to think that im the only one.The fact that so many more than myself detest these things surly should suggest somethings wrong.Of course as an answer to that a person of blind faith might reply,yes but Satan is at work.Once again like suggestions that people of faith who have the wrong translations are somehow willingly involved in some Satans work,suggesting as a easy answer that people who also see this book as having little to do with anything divine of some supreme being.Are also willingly involved with Satan.The (logic) that we see that tells us to disbelieve these writings holds little reason in the minds of that of blind faith.Regarding you suggesting that the few scriptures i had bothered to post regarding what i suggest is mere nastiness very typical of mans type of thinking,and with you kind of saying oh so what.Is the very reason i wasnt and wont be that bothered to look for any more,why would i when i can already tell its very obvious you dont really care.Your mind is made up.You say :oh, and revelations...which has nothing to do with how to live, but what is yet to come...hmmmm.So how do you know ? what actual proof of this do you have?.Do you judge this by knowing its actually a (fact) or is it just though what is written and what you have been taught to believe.If its not an ACTUAL FACT ,wouldnt those fearful thoughts then be rather nasty in your thinking ?.Or dont you (mind) at all if some poor child might worry needlessly ?.You know heather i find it rather sad that you seem to care so little about these things.That like some paskels wager you seem to not take these matters seriously and seem to be quite happy and unmoved at all at the thought that should these thoughts and beliefs be of no real connection with any real supreme being.Its all most like you would just shrug your shoulders and say "oh well to bad".That any God that there might actually be maybe might not be in agreeance with the thought,"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." matters very little it seems to you.You shrug it off so easily like "oh so what" .That maybe this written thought might partly be how some people of faith allow themselves to accept divisions in this world and the lack of peace,matters little it seems to you by your remark.It seems just as long as its the belief that you have,then its just to bad how sad who cares. Yet i ask what actual proof of fact do you have to prove that this is actually any thought of any real Godly type way of thinking ?.Do you know it for sure as a fact! or do you believe it because its whats written and what you have been taught to believe?.By the way you never answered my simple questions .Do you actually believe this book that is so confusing to so many ,is really very likely to honestly be some divine thinking of God .And would you actually expect and believe a supreme being who could create a earth and all around us,would ever be so likely as to produce a book that is so complicated and confusing to so many ?.
Gandolf - I imagine that there are a few people that actually worship Satan. However, most people that are affected by Satan, do not realize they are being affected! Just like you said, why would most any person want to be involved in such things...they would not. People are used by Satan, and most of the time don't even realize it. It is very sad...Yes, I believe that the Bible is a work of God. Yes, I believe the things happened that are written about in the Bible. Yes, I think God inspired the writers of the Bible. How can one question the Maker? How can you expect me to question our Lord's wisdom? I don't...which is what you call blind faith. I can go with that. :)
Heather,If you think that the Bible is an accurate account of History & God's dealings with the people of Israel, this book may be a real eye-opener:The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Textshttp://www.amazon.com/Bible-Unearthed-Archaeologys-Vision-Ancient/dp/0684869136/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227896841&sr=8-1I was under the impression that the Biblical accounts of the OT were reasonably accurate & quite verifiable. Alas, like the NT, it too appears to have all the hallmarks of pious fabrication.This is an important question. If the OT is largely a compilation of legend & fiction, we have no business making it the basis for a belief system or set of ethics.-evan
Evan – I have been pondering your post all morning. I have been trying to put together my thoughts on your argument. I did take a look at the book and at the reviews. In fact, I have watched many a program on cable that do just the same thing, disprove something in the Bible. Actually, is it amazing that there are so many books and programs that focus on just that! Is it to help the Christians deconvert, or help the deconverted Christians feel better about their decision? In all reality, no one really knows what happened. No one was an eyewitness to anything recorded in the Bible. Scientists can reconstruct to the best of their ability what occurred, but they too were not there. I suppose that is where Faith comes into play. My faith in God truly trumps the archeologist and the scientist. In my heart, I know I worship a living God, I worship Jesus, our Savior. I know I can read their word in the Bible. What is negative about the belief system and ethics that are provided in the Bible? Can a person live a moral, upstanding life without the Bible, without God, sure. Can they with the Bible, with God? Yes! If our society embraced more of what the Bible taught…would our society take a turn for the worse…I imagine not (and I am not speaking about the wacko things that some people try to tell you the Bible promotes, I mean the core values of Christianity). In fact, the farther our society removes itself from the values of the Bible, the worse it gets, from my point of view. We are at a point now that anything goes, and it just continues to spiral in that direction. From my own childhood 30some years ago, until now, with my own children growing up, the changes are amazing, and not for the better…
Heather, I know you're already dealing with two people now which is why I didn't want to make it three, so I hope you don't feel ganged upon. But you exemplify the way a lot of Christians think, specifically in the case regarding Satan. So my comment is more geared towards this belief and not you.When you attribute peoples own ability and freedom to think (which your god supposedly gave us) for themselves to being the work of Satan, you are taking away that freedom and ability from them. If you think about your many experiences in life where someone misinterpreted what you've said, do you also say it was the devil why they didn't understand correctly. If no, then what reason do you a christian and me an atheist have to think that when reading the bible, and someone gets the wrong meaning from it, that is must be of the devils work. But when it comes to reading any other book for example, and you and I come away with two different views, it's the cause of our imperfections.You see, there are many intelligent people in many sects of Christianity that don't interpret the bible in agreement on everything. Yet still, they all believe in the same god, so there is no point in thinking their disagreements are due to Satan.It's very simple, to me, people like you really want to believe and will believe under any circumstances, even when it doesn't make sense. As with all these different views, some of these intelligent people are wrong if the christian god does exist. People ask why would someone lie and die for something they know is not true, but it doesn't have to be that they were lying, if you believe in a delusion, then it's just that you're believing in a delusion. Think about this, if you are right that Satan exists, how do you know that you're not one of those people who don't realize they're being affected by Satan as you say.You mentioned that "the farther our society removes itself from the values of the Bible, the worse it gets, from my point of view." From the point of view that the bible is written by man and man only, the good that can be taken from it comes from the same species that you and I are of. So if you are implying that we are drifting from God's word, your statement is pointless if it's just man's word.
Andre - No problem...I don't really feel ganged up on...I am a tad in the minority here. :) The number one goal of Satan is to keep mankind from God, from Jesus, from the Holy Spirit. I don't think much else matters to the enemy. I disagreement about a book has nothing to do with that. By keeping to what the scriptures say, one can feel certain that they are walking God's path. Also, there is a good test, is what you are doing loving, helping, caring, and not in direct opposite of scripture? Then you are safely in Gods path. While the Bible may have been written by man, it is Gods word. Even so, if you disagree, would it not prove better for our society to live by its standards, mans or Gods??
heather for me to speak of your faith i would not even think twice about saying your faith is wonderful.I guess that is why i do see a very good part about you that i like very much.But what im talking about here is your passion for faith and that i can see that you honestly believe.And i can tell you are both honest and trustworthy and a person that (personally) deserves to be liked.I dont have the same respect or like of that that you believe in however which is in fact (the) faith.Because i personally respect only where i personally believe respect is both earned and due.So i respect you for being a honest and faithful person,that is a respect that i have for you personally,not of that what you have faith in.And most of all i do know that you mean well,just as i know my family stuck in the cult mean well too.I feel very much the same about my family in personally liking them, as i do you.Just had to say that so you know what ever i say is not said in any personal dislike of you personally.Ok!!....................heather you say:"yes I believe that the Bible is a work of God"By saying this i suggest you suggest, God is hopeless at writing books simply enough to be easily read and not being to complicated to be easily misunderstood.Or his inspiration that he gave to people that wrote the books for him was complicated etc.Yet this same God who you suggest is likely to write/inspire complicated books that confuse many even among mainstream churches (which accounts for the differing translations & beliefs),is able to create this world and all its wonder making many things within it even work like clockwork.Doesnt seem logical or make any common sense to me.For you to try and suggest that somehow satan is the reason for all the differing translations and beliefs many of which we even see within mainstream churches.Is i suggest akin to you suggesting that somehow you and all who only have the same beliefs and translations as you ,are somehow the only ones who have not been effected by this supposed satan .Somehow you and your friends have remained righteous and sinless ,while others have somehow been led by satan to be wrong.You might come back and say yes well ive prayed to god for guidance and studied the bible.Before you do/might, let me just say first i would find it both insulting and (knowing my family) to be of little justice! if you would try to suggest that somehow my family hadnt done exactly the same as you.They pray and read the bible maybe even likely more maybe in fact!.And let me just guess that i think many others in many other mainstream churches as well as many others including some cults would if that were suggested of them ,find it just as wrong and to be just as insulting as well of their faithfulness and steadfastness in both study aspect and prayer for guidance from the very same god you might suggest you ask for guidance from.So i suggest your suggestion that somehow this satan is the reason and to blame is just both illogical and very wrong.It is your blind faith that makes you want to believe this.Faith is something that teaches/indoctrinates people to not have open minds in looking at anything that might suggest their faith is based on wrong grounds. heather i can understand you wanting to be faithful and as ive said i totally respect your faithfulness, but i suggest something is very wrong with what you have faith in .You talk about satan and how he leads people.Well let me just ask you now how can you be so sure of where/what you have actually put your faith in?.First you must be 100% sure this book actually is divine work of god, and not of the misleadings of man and this satan that guides them to do wrong.You find it easy to say my families cult and others etc can be effected this nasty way by satan.Yet how and of what proof do you come to the conclusion that you can be 100% sure that the same has not happened within the workings of the works and in fact writings of this book the bible ?.Those that wrote this book cannot be led astray by this satan?.Do you then suggest they are above man who can sin and be led by this satan,are you putting them on some pedestal like some gods?.Would god who ever he might be be so happy about YOU! doing that?Does it really seem that ((logical)) that Gods work in his book that he inspired or wrote,would likely (in thinking of the wonderful job he did of the world he created etc)be some complicated and hard to understand book where by making it so easy for so many of his children to be so easily led astray by some satan?.You suggest this heather and i suggest you are suggesting god did not plan very well, and left a very large wide trap open for his children to fall into as well as plenty of room to move for this suggested satan.If you suggest this book is actually work of god or inspired by god, and nothing to do with mans thoughts.Im not at all afraid to say what a idiot God this God is and how hopeless he is at writing and giving directions,and he can throw me into his hell if he chooses from where i wll continue to give him the fingers saying "dont like being told the honest truth huh God almighty ,expect me to be happy with your useless directions that led my family to believe and do what they did making my kids suffers as well in the process.".Cause heather this book you and so many others have so much faith in has already delivered me and my kids and family ,along with many many many others in this world. A kind of living hell right here on this earth!.Let me just sayAnybody who believes and has faith in this book without knowing and proving 100% that it is right.If in fact they have faith in what is actually wrong!They then are in fact actually keeping this hell on earth going for many many people in this world! who SUFFER through the many faiths and beliefs in these books of beliefs.You say heather:"How can one question the Maker? How can you expect me to question our Lord's wisdom? I don't...which is what you call blind faith. I can go with that."Is questioning this book really questioning the maker ?Does this book=the maker?.What actual proof do you have?.How good is your Pascal's Wager ?.Have you wagered on real honest truth or on the lives of many who have suffered because of your gambling habit of earthly faith in belief in books written on mere mans thoughts?.As we have no real (proof) of what we will actually experience after death.But for the faithful i suggest they better hope they have bet on the truth or hope like hell there is nothing in life after death after all.As they might not enjoy meeting some very very angry unhappy people who have been so adversely and harmfully effected by this earthly wager of faith.As there might be some afterlife where we all meet again in person or there might even be some real god who is rather angry that people believed in mere mens thoughts without making sure they were honestly really from god.You say:"While the Bible may have been written by man, it is Gods word. Even so, if you disagree, would it not prove better for our society to live by its standards, mans or Gods??"If you say it might be written by man but is gods word.How can you be sure?Do you personally know what gods word is?.Do you personally know these men who supposedly got divine guidance from god actually/(honestly) did?.Where is your faith actually being put in God or man, heather by you belief in these beliefs?!.If you are not 100% sure you are blinkered and believing in blind faith.Not a good idea to wager/bet with peoples lives unless you know for certain is it?.Words are CHEAP! if you suggest you (care about people), if in fact your actual actions in believing in faith in this book is actually chaining certain people to continued abuse and nastiness due to people having faith in little more than written ancient confused and complicated thoughts/beliefs of mere men that often cause many divisions and heartbreak in this world.Having long been dishonestly suggested to be of divine guidance from god.Can you honestly say you are a very caring person, if in fact you are being a part of keeping abuse and heartbreak alive through faith and belief in religions that might actually be of no real divine guidance from any God? What does your faith actually wager with?.Your chance/hope of a suggested heaven ,or the earthly lives of many who suffer through faith on this earth.Do you wager with the lives of those who suffer within faith in this world here TODAY ,for your hope of heaven in (your) afterlife ?Remember heather!, faith has no claim to good thoughts such as for instance "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". these thoughts were around long before these faiths and religious writings.
Thank you, Gandolf. I appreciate the fact that you took the time that you did to clarify your thoughts/feelings towards me!
The first half of this post was incredible, but then people started making sense and I stopped laughing. Ah, thank you everyone for some excellent humor. Especially scaryjesus for starting the ancient firearms debate.
The idea here made fun of, that we have to love Jesus or else sure is absurd... in a world where everything is just fine and we're alright. But that's not where we live.
IRT to Frank's crossing the street analogy, I think you dismissed his argument too hastily, Mr. Loftus. Whether you did this based on reasoning of because you have a past history with him, I leave up to you...Many philosophers distinguish between free will and free action: the ability to make choices and the ability to act upon them. Frank's example is entirely consistent with Hume's opinions on the matter.
"Frank's example is entirely consistent with Hume's opinions on the matter."Hm. Then I guess neither Frank nor Hume have ever heard the term "coercion."
I think you misunderstand. Hume would have argued that coercion impedes/prevents free action, but that it does not hinder free will.eg. the man crossing a busy road exhibits free will.
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