what faith you

mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
what faith you

 

You can't prove there isn't a God. You believe it - I believe you are sincere - but that's your faith. You can't prove it.

 

I believe there is a God. I believe He designed, made the world and everything in it. I believe the sun, moon, stars, and penguins show great design - just to name a couple.

I think you guys have more faith than I do when it comes to believing preposterous stuff. My hat's off to your great faith - it's just illogical faith to me.

Man could not even make one acorn or one bee - this is evident to you guys. You can't explain magnetism or gravity - yet you think there was no designer? Great faith I say.


cyberdaemon
cyberdaemon's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
I actually edited first post

I actually edited first post to make more sense than any of the evil atheists and "rational response" people can ever made.I offer you The church of Flying Spaghetti monster! I offer you the true truth!

 

You can't prove there isn't a Flying Spaghetti monster. You drink for it - I drink for you are pastafarian - but that's your faith. You can't rape it.

 

I believe there is a Flying Spaghetti monster. I believe He shited the world, made the noodles and everything in it. I once got high and believed there is the sun, moon, stars, and penguins.They all come from pasta , there is a sign that shows that - just to name a couple.

I think you guys have more pasta than I do when it comes to believing preposterous monkey suit made out of bananas. My fat's off to your great  rape- it's just illogical one to me.But im up to other cholesterols.My pants dont fit , you see!

Donkey could not even make one brown candy or yellow smelling lemonade - without Flying Spaghetti monster! this is evident to you guys. You can't explain donkey shit or its magical smell - yet you think there was no raper? Great candy I say.

 Now cloth up like pirates , or stfu!

Little green warrior


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:And we return

jcgadfly wrote:

And we return to the reason why I left the faith. My wifem my pastor, and several counselors were telling me hat I'm not worth a damn without God. I read the Bible and see God telling me that I'm not worth a damn without him/ I finally got tired of people telling me I wasn't worth a damn. Where do you get the idea that you hae to do nothing for this "gift" of salvation? Blind, unwavering obedience to a man-made book abot a man-made god is nothing?

 

JCG,

And now we arrive at the fact that you never have had this Life in Christ I described - you never got it.  I'm not being rude, I'm being truthful here which I think is friend to friend. 

You might have learned some of the language and otherwise made yourself "look" like your impression of a Christian, but you never were one.  You never did get your true value. 

You are worth more to God than you are to yourself.  Do you have a son?  I do.  If I was willing to give my son for you that would mean you were worth more than anything - more than my life or any imagination I could ever have.  Because that's how much my son's worth to me. 

You are worth more than that to God, because He gave His Son.

You are right about the fact that you have to do something.  You have to accept the simplicity of the Gospel and accept the gift and get over the desire you have to make it hard. 

 

 

mephibosheth 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:jcgadfly

mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

And we return to the reason why I left the faith. My wifem my pastor, and several counselors were telling me hat I'm not worth a damn without God. I read the Bible and see God telling me that I'm not worth a damn without him/ I finally got tired of people telling me I wasn't worth a damn. Where do you get the idea that you hae to do nothing for this "gift" of salvation? Blind, unwavering obedience to a man-made book abot a man-made god is nothing?

 

JCG,

And now we arrive at the fact that you never have had this Life in Christ I described - you never got it.  I'm not being rude, I'm being truthful here which I think is friend to friend. 

You might have learned some of the language and otherwise made yourself "look" like your impression of a Christian, but you never were one.  You never did get your true value. 

You are worth more to God than you are to yourself.  Do you have a son?  I do.  If I was willing to give my son for you that would mean you were worth more than anything - more than my life or any imagination I could ever have.  Because that's how much my son's worth to me. 

You are worth more than that to God, because He gave His Son.

You are right about the fact that you have to do something.  You have to accept the simplicity of the Gospel and accept the gift and get over the desire you have to make it hard. 

 

 

mephibosheth 

Funny, I thought that when I prayed and gave my heart and life to Christ according to Scripture I had a life in Christ. I guess I was wrong since I didn't do it your way. Got to love the NTS fallacy. You keep telling me to open my eyes and see what God's done foe me. Been there, done that. That's why I'm an agnostic atheist - I read the Bible (closely).

Yes I have a son. I'd die myself before he came to harm. I wouldn't sacrifice him trivially like your God the Father did for his boy. Really, letting his son die so he could change a rule he made? If I lost my son, it would be a real loss. That's why I'd sooner die first. God lost nothing as he (in Jesus' body) came back to life after a 3 day weekend.

I will give you that the Gospel is simple. Simply words...simply man made...

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
mephibosheth

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

JCG,

And now we arrive at the fact that you never have had this Life in Christ I described

 

 

 

 

Strange that you feel qualified to make a pronouncement contradicting the authenticity of jcd's former faith.  A multitude of mainstream Christian denominations believe apostasy is always a dangerous possibility for a genuine believer.....

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God  and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."  Hebrews 6:4-6

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

JCG,

And now we arrive at the fact that you never have had this Life in Christ I described

 

 

 

 

Strange that you feel qualified to make a pronouncement contradicting the authenticity of jcd's former faith.  A multitude of mainstream Christian denominations believe apostasy is always a dangerous possibility for a genuine believer.....

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God  and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."  Hebrews 6:4-6

 

Apostasy affects the church coffers far more than the apostate's soul.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
jcgadfly wrote:  Apostasy

jcgadfly wrote:

 

 Apostasy affects the church coffers far more than the apostate's soul.

..and that's the "gospel"  truth !

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:You are

mephibosheth wrote:

You are worth more to God than you are to yourself.  Do you have a son?  I do.  If I was willing to give my son for you that would mean you were worth more than anything - more than my life or any imagination I could ever have.  Because that's how much my son's worth to me. 

You are worth more than that to God, because He gave His Son.

Meph, I have three daughters.  Are you implying that a son is more emotionally valuable to a father than a daughter?  Are daughters more easily sent to the slaughter because they are inferior and of less value than a son?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
PTOMAINE FROM JCGADFLY'S RESTURANT

jcgadfly wrote:
mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

And we return to the reason why I left the faith. My wifem my pastor, and several counselors were telling me hat I'm not worth a damn without God. I read the Bible and see God telling me that I'm not worth a damn without him/ I finally got tired of people telling me I wasn't worth a damn. Where do you get the idea that you hae to do nothing for this "gift" of salvation? Blind, unwavering obedience to a man-made book abot a man-made god is nothing?

 

JCG,

And now we arrive at the fact that you never have had this Life in Christ I described - you never got it.  I'm not being rude, I'm being truthful here which I think is friend to friend. 

You might have learned some of the language and otherwise made yourself "look" like your impression of a Christian, but you never were one.  You never did get your true value. 

You are worth more to God than you are to yourself.  Do you have a son?  I do.  If I was willing to give my son for you that would mean you were worth more than anything - more than my life or any imagination I could ever have.  Because that's how much my son's worth to me. 

You are worth more than that to God, because He gave His Son.

You are right about the fact that you have to do something.  You have to accept the simplicity of the Gospel and accept the gift and get over the desire you have to make it hard. 

 

 

mephibosheth 

Funny, I thought that when I prayed and gave my heart and life to Christ according to Scripture I had a life in Christ. I guess I was wrong since I didn't do it your way. Got to love the NTS fallacy. You keep telling me to open my eyes and see what God's done foe me. Been there, done that. That's why I'm an agnostic atheist - I read the Bible (closely). Yes I have a son. I'd die myself before he came to harm. I wouldn't sacrifice him trivially like your God the Father did for his boy. Really, letting his son die so he could change a rule he made? If I lost my son, it would be a real loss. That's why I'd sooner die first. God lost nothing as he (in Jesus' body) came back to life after a 3 day weekend. I will give you that the Gospel is simple. Simply words...simply man made...

 

JCG,

Well, that's the better of the two choices.  If you did really have life in Christ then turned away from it you are in worse shape than if you never did.  You're like a dog eating it's breakfast (again) (according to Scripture as you know by reading, not by experiencing, my guess). 

My guess is you wouldn't be talking like you do about it if you ever really experienced the heavenly gift.  You're right it could go either way though.  I just can't imagine you being one who really experienced Life in Christ then saying what you say about Him and His Sacrifice - The Gospel.  Maybe that is beyond the limit of my imagination. 

I will give you this; you seem really bunkered in, determined to serve ptomaine to any of my efforts to change your mind about Jesus, God and the Gospel, all to the applause of your fellow adventure blasphemers.  You seem to think that because you treat heavenly things as common and God doesn't do anything you have accomplished something great - or even proved God isn't here.  The fact is though, God is a merciful God - slow to anger and One who loves His enemies.  He loves even while they are crucifying His Son, in hopes they will repent and accept His Gift.

Since you didn't design heavenly things the way they are and if you accept the Bible as the authority Christ - God's only Begotten Son had to die for us to have spiritual life and communion with God - it's hard for me to see why you can't identify with both the idea of that being the greatest sacrifice and giving you the greatest value. 

Your value is worth more than God's Son.  It seems you skipped commenting on that part.

 

mephibosheth

PS - what does NTS mean, Nevada Test Site?  Note to self? 

 


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
THREE DAUGHTERS - ONE SON

Watcher wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

You are worth more to God than you are to yourself.  Do you have a son?  I do.  If I was willing to give my son for you that would mean you were worth more than anything - more than my life or any imagination I could ever have.  Because that's how much my son's worth to me. 

You are worth more than that to God, because He gave His Son.

Meph, I have three daughters.  Are you implying that a son is more emotionally valuable to a father than a daughter?  Are daughters more easily sent to the slaughter because they are inferior and of less value than a son?

 

Watcher,

Ah yes, I have three daughters too - and a son, 4 grandsons and a little grandaughter.  There's nothing more precious than a little girl.  How could anyone look at a little girl and not believe in God?  But Jesus was God's Son, that's why I said son. 

 

mephibosheth

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:jcgadfly

mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

And we return to the reason why I left the faith. My wifem my pastor, and several counselors were telling me hat I'm not worth a damn without God. I read the Bible and see God telling me that I'm not worth a damn without him/ I finally got tired of people telling me I wasn't worth a damn. Where do you get the idea that you hae to do nothing for this "gift" of salvation? Blind, unwavering obedience to a man-made book abot a man-made god is nothing?

 

JCG,

And now we arrive at the fact that you never have had this Life in Christ I described - you never got it.  I'm not being rude, I'm being truthful here which I think is friend to friend. 

You might have learned some of the language and otherwise made yourself "look" like your impression of a Christian, but you never were one.  You never did get your true value. 

You are worth more to God than you are to yourself.  Do you have a son?  I do.  If I was willing to give my son for you that would mean you were worth more than anything - more than my life or any imagination I could ever have.  Because that's how much my son's worth to me. 

You are worth more than that to God, because He gave His Son.

You are right about the fact that you have to do something.  You have to accept the simplicity of the Gospel and accept the gift and get over the desire you have to make it hard. 

 

 

mephibosheth 

Funny, I thought that when I prayed and gave my heart and life to Christ according to Scripture I had a life in Christ. I guess I was wrong since I didn't do it your way. Got to love the NTS fallacy. You keep telling me to open my eyes and see what God's done foe me. Been there, done that. That's why I'm an agnostic atheist - I read the Bible (closely). Yes I have a son. I'd die myself before he came to harm. I wouldn't sacrifice him trivially like your God the Father did for his boy. Really, letting his son die so he could change a rule he made? If I lost my son, it would be a real loss. That's why I'd sooner die first. God lost nothing as he (in Jesus' body) came back to life after a 3 day weekend. I will give you that the Gospel is simple. Simply words...simply man made...

 

JCG,

Well, that's the better of the two choices.  If you did really have life in Christ then turned away from it you are in worse shape than if you never did.  You're like a dog eating it's breakfast (again) (according to Scripture as you know by reading, not by experiencing, my guess). 

My guess is you wouldn't be talking like you do about it if you ever really experienced the heavenly gift.  You're right it could go either way though.  I just can't imagine you being one who really experienced Life in Christ then saying what you say about Him and His Sacrifice - The Gospel.  Maybe that is beyond the limit of my imagination. 

I will give you this; you seem really bunkered in, determined to serve ptomaine to any of my efforts to change your mind about Jesus, God and the Gospel, all to the applause of your fellow adventure blasphemers.  You seem to think that because you treat heavenly things as common and God doesn't do anything you have accomplished something great - or even proved God isn't here.  The fact is though, God is a merciful God - slow to anger and One who loves His enemies.  He loves even while they are crucifying His Son, in hopes they will repent and accept His Gift.

Since you didn't design heavenly things the way they are and if you accept the Bible as the authority Christ - God's only Begotten Son had to die for us to have spiritual life and communion with God - it's hard for me to see why you can't identify with both the idea of that being the greatest sacrifice and giving you the greatest value. 

Your value is worth more than God's Son.  It seems you skipped commenting on that part.

 

mephibosheth

PS - what does NTS mean, Nevada Test Site?  Note to self? 

 

NTS = No True Scotsman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_scotsman)

I addressed your claim that I was worth more to God than his own son many times. I'll say it again. God gave up nothing. If my son were to die that would be a loss because I could do nothing to get him back. Jesus went on the cross knowing he would resurrect (he is God also, according to you) so there was no loss involved.

Don't be too offended at my skepticism - it may be overblown. Comes from hearing so many Christians tell me how great their life is in Christ and I didn't hit that point after following the same rules they said they did. It makes me think I'm not getting the whole picture.

I'm getting this "hearts and flowers" view of Christianity from you. Combine that with you saying "Well, you must not have gotten the real thing because you don't have the warm fuzzy Jesus feeling inside like I do", it tends to agitate me. It reminds me of the Christian who didn't get healed from a disease after serious, fervent prayer being told by other Christians that "Your faith isn't strong enough" or "You need to pray more/better/properly"

If that's dumping ptomaine on your ideas, so be it. If it sounds too good to be true, I'm going to be honest enough to show you where I don't think it works. The "experiencing Scripture" bit is a perfect example. You're telling me experiencing of Scripture wasn't good because I didn't have the same experience you did (without, I might add, knowing or giving a damn about my own experience). Since I didn't get it your way, I must be wrong. Sounds a lot like what my wife and the marriage counselor were telling me. As I'm not them or you. why does my experience with God have to be just like yours/theirs to be valid?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
NIGHT COUNTRY

nigelTheBold wrote:

 

Have you ever read Loren Eiseley? The Immense Journey and Night Country are two of my favorite books of all time. I mention him only because I think you might like him. He was a naturalist, and perhaps even an atheist (though I don't know for sure), but his writing is quiet and peaceful and reflective and quite spiritual, very much like your own style. And his subject matter is fascinating. I don't know if you're a young-earth creationist or not, but even if you are, his discussion of the history of humanity, and life in general, is very thought-provoking. He doesn't say anything new, but that's not his point. Most of the essays are about his own quests, and are personal, rather than scientific.

This isn't a veiled attempt to convert you. I just think you might like him.

 

Tony the bold,

I just got the book "Night Country".  What is it that you like about it?  What should I look for?  Have you read Ecclesiastes yet? 

 

mephibosheth


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:Tony the

mephibosheth wrote:

Tony the bold,

I just got the book "Night Country".  What is it that you like about it?  What should I look for?  Have you read Ecclesiastes yet? 

mephibosheth

Hey, Sir,

I have started Ecclesiastes, but have not finished. I'tm trying to do a careful reading. However, I've had much going on in life -- we've had a lot of work at work (go figure), and I have professional commitments outside of my regular job that are falling behind, and my wife and I are remodelling our kitchen. So, it's taking longer than I'd planned.

As far as Eiseley goes: I enjoy his ability to find a kind of spirituality in even the most mundane things, and his ability to present it in a poetic fashion. (His poetry isn't that great, but his prose is deeply poetic.) Rather like your recounting of the splinter, Eiseley finds deeper meaning in much of life.

At least, that's what I get from him. You may or may not like him, or even see the same things I see. I just hope you do enjoy reading him.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
THE IMMENCE JOURNEY EISLELEY

 


Tony the bold, 

It sounds like you're not just burning the candle at both ends but the whole candle.  I am struggling for time to read these two books too (just got The Immense Journey). 

In my experience working on your own house is the hardest work there is (at least, being a carpenter).  Maybe it will be recreation for you. 

I'll be interested in what your take is on Ecclesiastes. 

 

mephibosheth

 


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
TRY MORE COLOR TO ENHANCE LOOKS

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

JCG,

And now we arrive at the fact that you never have had this Life in Christ I described

 

 

 

 

Strange that you feel qualified to make a pronouncement contradicting the authenticity of jcd's former faith.  A multitude of mainstream Christian denominations believe apostasy is always a dangerous possibility for a genuine believer.....

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God  and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."  Hebrews 6:4-6

 

 

Prozak,

Apostasy is a fearful possibility you're right - I am hoping for better things than that from old JCMcFly. 

I would have to say your portrait illustrates well fallen man, spiritually dead in sin.  Normally it isn't as evident.  God can fix that for you in Christ.  Determine to have it and have it you will.

What are you doing messing around there in Hebrews?  Did you see the "therefore" and what it says after?  By the way, as an outsider, who do you think wrote Hebrews?

 

mephibosheth (life experiencing, not "wishing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
EISELEY - MIND ADRIFT

nigelTheBold wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

Tony the bold,

I just got the book "Night Country".  What is it that you like about it?  What should I look for?  Have you read Ecclesiastes yet? 

mephibosheth

Hey, Sir,

I have started Ecclesiastes, but have not finished. I'tm trying to do a careful reading. However, I've had much going on in life -- we've had a lot of work at work (go figure), and I have professional commitments outside of my regular job that are falling behind, and my wife and I are remodelling our kitchen. So, it's taking longer than I'd planned.

As far as Eiseley goes: I enjoy his ability to find a kind of spirituality in even the most mundane things, and his ability to present it in a poetic fashion. (His poetry isn't that great, but his prose is deeply poetic.) Rather like your recounting of the splinter, Eiseley finds deeper meaning in much of life.

At least, that's what I get from him. You may or may not like him, or even see the same things I see. I just hope you do enjoy reading him.

 

 

 

Tony the bold,

 

 

I started The "Immense Journey", by Loren Eiseley: A man out in a primitive place, mind adrift, armed with scientific words and theories invented by other minds adrift. 

It's a stark contrast I grant you - like a guy riding a camel down Broadway.

He quickly spins into a made up world of his own, like a bum pushing a shopping cart full of textbooks through time, enjoying his invented world, inventing and smoking and spinning as he goes into history and space, skipping across light-plays of imaginative mirage. 

Does he believe these things he makes up?

As far as resting your weight of faith on this - it seems to me to prove my premise: it takes great faith to be ungodly (I don't mean obviously wicked here, I mean for a thinking guy to keep God out of his thoughts).

Contrast reading the scriptures - (ie), Ecclesiastes: living water, light, meaning, direction, rock solid truth.

This Eiseley is work I'm telling you.  It would help if I didn't have concerns that he actually believes this.

 

 

mephibosheth  

 

(enjoying LIVING WATER and MANNA - SAFE ON THE WELL - ARMED ARK - with a RUDDER and ANCHOR, a CAPTAIN, FRIENDS and a DESTINATION)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth

mephibosheth wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

Tony the bold,

I just got the book "Night Country".  What is it that you like about it?  What should I look for?  Have you read Ecclesiastes yet? 

mephibosheth

Hey, Sir,

I have started Ecclesiastes, but have not finished. I'tm trying to do a careful reading. However, I've had much going on in life -- we've had a lot of work at work (go figure), and I have professional commitments outside of my regular job that are falling behind, and my wife and I are remodelling our kitchen. So, it's taking longer than I'd planned.

As far as Eiseley goes: I enjoy his ability to find a kind of spirituality in even the most mundane things, and his ability to present it in a poetic fashion. (His poetry isn't that great, but his prose is deeply poetic.) Rather like your recounting of the splinter, Eiseley finds deeper meaning in much of life.

At least, that's what I get from him. You may or may not like him, or even see the same things I see. I just hope you do enjoy reading him.

 

 

 

Tony the bold,

 

 

I started The "Immense Journey", by Loren Eiseley: A man out in a primitive place, mind adrift, armed with scientific words and theories invented by other minds adrift. 

It's a stark contrast I grant you - like a guy riding a camel down Broadway.

He quickly spins into a made up world of his own, like a bum pushing a shopping cart full of textbooks through time, enjoying his invented world, inventing and smoking and spinning as he goes into history and space, skipping across light-plays of imaginative mirage. 

Does he believe these things he makes up?

As far as resting your weight of faith on this - it seems to me to prove my premise: it takes great faith to be ungodly (I don't mean obviously wicked here, I mean for a thinking guy to keep God out of his thoughts).

Contrast reading the scriptures - (ie), Ecclesiastes: living water, light, meaning, direction, rock solid truth.

This Eiseley is work I'm telling you.  It would help if I didn't have concerns that he actually believes this.

 

 

mephibosheth  

 

(enjoying LIVING WATER and MANNA - SAFE ON THE WELL - ARMED ARK - with a RUDDER and ANCHOR, a CAPTAIN, FRIENDS and a DESTINATION)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't meant to jump in the middle of your converstiaon here guys but...

Meph, why do you and other theists automatically assume that, because we're not following your book, atheists' lives have no direction or meaning?

I think life has just as much or as little meaning as the person living it is willing to give it. To tell you the truth, your way scares me more. You may have heard the saying, "Too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good"? I don't think anyone should be so caught up in the life to come that they forget about living in the present and being useful (and meaningful) here and now.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
mephibosheth

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

 

Prozak,

 

  God can fix that for you in Christ.  Determine to have it and have it you will.

What are you doing messing around there in Hebrews?  Did you see the "therefore" and what it says after?  By the way, as an outsider, who do you think wrote Hebrews?

 

I was a dedicated Christian for the first half of my life.  I have already been down that road and it leads to a dead end.  My needs are real and I haven't the patience for a god who makes promises and then never shows up.

If you are like most Christians who are confronted with that negative reality you will defend your faith in God by accusing me of being mistaken concerning the authenticity of my conversion and / or  blaming me for never actually "believing" or "trusting" or "abiding" in Christ. 

Putting the blame upon me is no different than a medical doctor trying to blame a sick patient because the patient died on the operating table. It's a cowardly attempt to shift responsibility.

As to the multiple meanings of Hebrews 6:4-6 it is by no means a settled issue among Christian denominations ( a fact that can be quickly substantiated by a simple internet search ).

Pro:     http://www.bible-knowledge.com/Lose-Your-Salvation.html

Con:    http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/hebrews.htm

I'm sure you will determine a meaning that bests represents your personal beliefs, as is the manner of all Christians.

 

 

As far as who wrote Hebrews I will simply read the introduction to Hebrews from my NIV bible:

"Although the author of Hebrews is unknown, this book was probably written in the late AD 60's."

 Taken from "The Holy Bible,  New International Version.  Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984  by International Bible Society"

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
MYSTERIES REMAIN - AS DOES FAITH

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

 

Prozak,

 

  God can fix that for you in Christ.  Determine to have it and have it you will.

What are you doing messing around there in Hebrews?  Did you see the "therefore" and what it says after?  By the way, as an outsider, who do you think wrote Hebrews?

 

I was a dedicated Christian for the first half of my life.  I have already been down that road and it leads to a dead end.  My needs are real and I haven't the patience for a god who makes promises and then never shows up.

If you are like most Christians who are confronted with that negative reality you will defend your faith in God by accusing me of being mistaken concerning the authenticity of my conversion and / or  blaming me for never actually "believing" or "trusting" or "abiding" in Christ. 

Putting the blame upon me is no different than a medical doctor trying to blame a sick patient because the patient died on the operating table. It's a cowardly attempt to shift responsibility.

As to the multiple meanings of Hebrews 6:4-6 it is by no means a settled issue among Christian denominations ( a fact that can be quickly substantiated by a simple internet search ).

Pro:     http://www.bible-knowledge.com/Lose-Your-Salvation.html

Con:    http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/hebrews.htm

I'm sure you will determine a meaning that bests represents your personal beliefs, as is the manner of all Christians.

 

 

As far as who wrote Hebrews I will simply read the introduction to Hebrews from my NIV bible:

"Although the author of Hebrews is unknown, this book was probably written in the late AD 60's."

 Taken from "The Holy Bible,  New International Version.  Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984  by International Bible Society"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prozak,

 

I'm sorry to hear that - and obviously I don't know what happened with you. 

No, I don't have all the answers - you must be thinking about someone else. 

Just as the disciples heard Jesus say things they didn't understand yet they held on I can live with the mysteries - and there are plenty.  I don't have the answer to the Hebrews scripture.  I would have to regard every man and woman as if they HADN'T  reached the point of no return.  And I hope that for you.

 

mephibosheth 


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
TOO MUCH HEAVEN - THE BEE GEES

jcgadfly wrote:

I don't meant to jump in the middle of your converstiaon here guys but... Meph, why do you and other theists automatically assume that, because we're not following your book, atheists' lives have no direction or meaning? I think life has just as much or as little meaning as the person living it is willing to give it. To tell you the truth, your way scares me more. You may have heard the saying, "Too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good"? I don't think anyone should be so caught up in the life to come that they forget about living in the present and being useful (and meaningful) here and now.

 

JCG,

The short answer is I take the Scriptures as my guide.  I know there the idea that man is basically good - all you have to do is adjust, educate, tweak, whatever - and THERE'S THE DIAMOND!  You may believe that, I don't know. 

 

I believe the Scriptures say man is spiritually dead.  Only God can bring man to life, and He does that in Jesus.  It's not a DIY job. 

 

While you may have an acceptable righteousness to some men, according to the Scriptures you can only have that by being in Christ and presenting yourself to God in the Wedding Garment He gives out - Christ.

 

mephibosheth


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
The scriptures are 100%

The scriptures are 100% total and utter bullshit. Spiderman comics are just as valid, if not more so, than the Holey Buybull.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
HAMMER vs ANVIL

MattShizzle wrote:

The scriptures are 100% total and utter bullshit. Spiderman comics are just as valid, if not more so, than the Holey Buybull.

 

MattShizzle,

I think AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER the Bible applies to everything in life - past, present, and future....for eternity!!!

 

Proverbs 29.9:  "If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet". 

 

mephibosheth  (I'm betting on the ANVIL- in - HAMMER VS ANVIL - (especially if it's a turdhammer)


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth

mephibosheth wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

The scriptures are 100% total and utter bullshit. Spiderman comics are just as valid, if not more so, than the Holey Buybull.

 

MattShizzle,

I think AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER the Bible applies to everything in life - past, present, and future....for eternity!!!

 

Proverbs 29.9:  "If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet". 

 

mephibosheth  (I'm betting on the ANVIL- in - HAMMER VS ANVIL - (especially if it's a turdhammer)

The Bible has life applications - I can agree with that. They were plagiarized from stories that were old when the writers of the OT were young. Human rules made by humans...brilliant (and Yahweh-less).

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
KNOW THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD

jcgadfly wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

The scriptures are 100% total and utter bullshit. Spiderman comics are just as valid, if not more so, than the Holey Buybull.

 

MattShizzle,

I think AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER the Bible applies to everything in life - past, present, and future....for eternity!!!

 

Proverbs 29.9:  "If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet". 

 

mephibosheth  (I'm betting on the ANVIL- in - HAMMER VS ANVIL - (especially if it's a turdhammer)

The Bible has life applications - I can agree with that. They were plagiarized from stories that were old when the writers of the OT were young. Human rules made by humans...brilliant (and Yahweh-less).

 

JCG,

 

What you need to learn to recognize is the voice of the One Shepherd.  I can recognize that all through the Scriptures.  If I pick up, say, Loren Eiseley (in fantasy land) or Joseph Smith (he's nothing to me)  it's a totally different ball game. 

This is illustrated in the far east by shepherds taking all their sheep to the watering hole.  When it's time to go, each shepherd just calls his own sheep.  They know the voice. 

In the Scriptures I see a lifetime of feasting - an eternity of feasting.  I'm not tempted by the Purina diet. 

 

 

 

I have a question for you, JCG.  I've been wondering what your position is on the subject of conscience.  Do you believe you have a conscience?  Are you in touch with it?  If so do you regard your contact with said conscience as "feeling" or something else?  What do you think "conscience" is? 

 

mephibosheth                    (checking the JCG dictionary under C)

 

 

The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings which are given by one Shepherd.  My son, beware of anything beyond these.  Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:jcgadfly

mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

The scriptures are 100% total and utter bullshit. Spiderman comics are just as valid, if not more so, than the Holey Buybull.

 

MattShizzle,

I think AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER the Bible applies to everything in life - past, present, and future....for eternity!!!

 

Proverbs 29.9:  "If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet". 

 

mephibosheth  (I'm betting on the ANVIL- in - HAMMER VS ANVIL - (especially if it's a turdhammer)

The Bible has life applications - I can agree with that. They were plagiarized from stories that were old when the writers of the OT were young. Human rules made by humans...brilliant (and Yahweh-less).

 

JCG,

 

What you need to learn to recognize is the voice of the One Shepherd.  I can recognize that all through the Scriptures.  If I pick up, say, Loren Eiseley (in fantasy land) or Joseph Smith (he's nothing to me)  it's a totally different ball game. 

This is illustrated in the far east by shepherds taking all their sheep to the watering hole.  When it's time to go, each shepherd just calls his own sheep.  They know the voice. 

In the Scriptures I see a lifetime of feasting - an eternity of feasting.  I'm not tempted by the Purina diet. 

 

 

 

I have a question for you, JCG.  I've been wondering what your position is on the subject of conscience.  Do you believe you have a conscience?  Are you in touch with it?  If so do you regard your contact with said conscience as "feeling" or something else?  What do you think "conscience" is? 

 

mephibosheth                    (checking the JCG dictionary under C)

 

 

The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings which are given by one Shepherd.  My son, beware of anything beyond these.  Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I have to already believe in Yahweh/Jesus before I can properly read the Bible? I have to get saved before I can get saved? That's...odd.

As far as conscience (and by extension morality) goes,  no god needed. Conscience  is the desire to not do anything that would be a detriment to you or fellow human beings (or to work to benefit you or fellow beings).  Sometimes I think that when people put God in as a replacement for their natural conscience, they lose the restraint that comes with the conscience. That's why there are a lot of Christians in prison and some pastors involved in sex scandals. They stopped caring about people because they have the blanket of God's forgiveness as a replacement for their conscience. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
mephibosheth

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

 

 

Prozak,

 

I'm sorry to hear that - and obviously I don't know what happened with you. 

No, I don't have all the answers - you must be thinking about someone else. 

Just as the disciples heard Jesus say things they didn't understand yet they held on I can live with the mysteries - and there are plenty.  I don't have the answer to the Hebrews scripture.  I would have to regard every man and woman as if they HADN'T  reached the point of no return.  And I hope that for you.

 

mephibosheth 

Dear meph,  thank you for not attempting to discredit my religious conversion.  I know that I was sincere in my effort to find God.  I came from a very religious conservative family and I was led in the sinner's prayer by my very Christian father who, if he were still alive, would not hesitate to attest to the genuine reality of my initial conversion and to my continued devotion, thereafter.

When my faith began to falter, it was he that I went to to find reassurance.  Unfortunately, his efforts failed and he willingly shut his mind off when I confronted him with the troubling examples that contradicted our religious doctrines.

Even now I have no objections in leaning upon a higher power to find guidance and relief.  If I did I would never become a Christian in the first place.  The problem is that the God depicted in the Old and New Testaments is a savage God who destroys human life on a whim;  he kills the innocent as well as the guilty; he is an insecure God who claims to value free will yet he stacks the deck in his favor by threatening to send us to Hell if we choose "improperly".

 "Love me or Ill burn you alive" is the framework within which all of man's choices regarding God are decided.  I have no need for a God who relates to humanity in that fashion.

 

If I ever discovered a god who was truly interested in my needs and didn't play games with my human frailty by constantly "testing" my faith and devotion then I would perhaps revert back to a life of faith.

 

My attitude toward all Abrahamic religion is that Yaweh, Allah, God can themselves go to Hell.  They are nothing but Divine Sociopaths who terrorize and degrade their followers with threats of torture if they don't bow and scrape. No thanks.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
SPIRITUAL GPS - RECALCULATING......

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

If I ever discovered a god who was truly interested in my needs and didn't play games with my human frailty by constantly "testing" my faith and devotion then I would perhaps revert back to a life of faith.

 

 

Prozac,

 

 

I read the Bible by myself and at a certain point it all opened up to me.  Soon after that I went on the bipolar roller coaster, was backed in a corner, and God enabled me to come out fighting.  That's probably as long a version as you would want to hear I'm sure.

My conversion experience is different than what you described (though I've heard what you described).  My perspective on what happened now looking back (not understood at the time except from infant view) is this:  I gave myself to die in a death like His, entrusting God to raise me in a resurrection like His. 

It was violent, it was public, it was thorough, it was voluntary.  I was buried in the water grave, having done all my conscience was aware of - appealing to God to give me spiritual life. 

And He has.  I'm now enjoying spiritual life.  And it's great!  I just wish I could get it across to you guys on this web site.  I don't think you grasp (and I don't think I express) what it is. 

I have a different set of desires.  I hate sin.  I have light to see what's going on.  I can see I'm not anything special at all in myself, but I can see Christ at work in me and the Holy Spirit energizing and training and disciplining me.  It's the highest form of happiness - no sorrow added in any way. 

There's security and peace in every way.  There's direction.  The past is resolved, the future is not an issue to be nervous about at all - thus, the moment is to be fully enjoyed in fellowship with the living God in Christ and other people who also have spirits to manage. 

Let's say you had a traumatic experience with drowning and now you're afraid of water.  I'm trying to tell you that swimming isn't bad, come on in.  I couldn't navigate you through that though. 

You seem dead set against God and the Bible.  But I see it all differently.  I don't see God the way you describe at all.  God IS God, however.  He does what He pleases, dwells in the Heavens.  I like that.  I think everything He does is eternally right.  I can only imagine how that makes you think of me. 

But I'm baffled to try to change your - entanglement - as I see it.  I wish I could. 

 

 

mephibosheth  

 

 

 


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
DON'T HAVE TO/ DON'T HAVE TO/ DON'T HAVE TO/DON'T HAVE TO

jcgadfly wrote:

So I have to already believe in Yahweh/Jesus before I can properly read the Bible? I have to get saved before I can get saved? That's...odd.

As far as conscience (and by extension morality) goes,  no god needed. Conscience  is the desire to not do anything that would be a detriment to you or fellow human beings (or to work to benefit you or fellow beings).  Sometimes I think that when people put God in as a replacement for their natural conscience, they lose the restraint that comes with the conscience. That's why there are a lot of Christians in prison and some pastors involved in sex scandals. They stopped caring about people because they have the blanket of God's forgiveness as a replacement for their conscience. 

 

JCG,

 

Ah, JCG, you don't have to do anything - and you're doing great at it.

You didn't go very deep in your conscience answer, but that's ok.

I'm beginning to think you are going to be successful in what you seem to be trying to do. 

 

mephibosheth

 

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth. 

For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife. 

 

 

 

 

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:jcgadfly

mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

So I have to already believe in Yahweh/Jesus before I can properly read the Bible? I have to get saved before I can get saved? That's...odd.

As far as conscience (and by extension morality) goes,  no god needed. Conscience  is the desire to not do anything that would be a detriment to you or fellow human beings (or to work to benefit you or fellow beings).  Sometimes I think that when people put God in as a replacement for their natural conscience, they lose the restraint that comes with the conscience. That's why there are a lot of Christians in prison and some pastors involved in sex scandals. They stopped caring about people because they have the blanket of God's forgiveness as a replacement for their conscience. 

 

JCG,

 

Ah, JCG, you don't have to do anything - and you're doing great at it.

You didn't go very deep in your conscience answer, but that's ok.

I'm beginning to think you are going to be successful in what you seem to be trying to do. 

 

mephibosheth

 

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth. 

For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife. 

 

 

 

 

 

I went as deeply as I deemed necessary. Why are you dodging it if it so shallow.

As for what I'm trying to do (make sense out of the only life I have and be as good of a person to those around me as I can be), I hope I'm successful at it as well. Especially since I don't have the out of "It doesn't matter if I was a jerk to that person. All I have to do is pray and God will forgive me."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
BELIEVE AND LIVE - NOT WAIT AND ARGUE

jcgadfly wrote:
I went as deeply as I deemed necessary. Why are you dodging it if it so shallow. As for what I'm trying to do (make sense out of the only life I have and be as good of a person to those around me as I can be), I hope I'm successful at it as well. Especially since I don't have the out of "It doesn't matter if I was a jerk to that person. All I have to do is pray and God will forgive me." Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

JCG,

 

Worldly reasoning never arrives at certainty when it comes to salvation.  Argument can't bring a troubled heart to rest, certainty, or anchor. 

The rest Christ brings us to is in His Word.  Once we believe that what He says is truth - that settles it (even if we don't understand).  "Believe and Live" is  what the Scriptures say, and that deals with man's problem. 

 

mephibosheth


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:jcgadfly

mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
I went as deeply as I deemed necessary. Why are you dodging it if it so shallow. As for what I'm trying to do (make sense out of the only life I have and be as good of a person to those around me as I can be), I hope I'm successful at it as well. Especially since I don't have the out of "It doesn't matter if I was a jerk to that person. All I have to do is pray and God will forgive me." Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

JCG,

 

Worldly reasoning never arrives at certainty when it comes to salvation.  Argument can't bring a troubled heart to rest, certainty, or anchor. 

The rest Christ brings us to is in His Word.  Once we believe that what He says is truth - that settles it (even if we don't understand).  "Believe and Live" is  what the Scriptures say, and that deals with man's problem. 

 

mephibosheth

In other words, you're a nice guy because the Bible says people who believe in Jesus need to be. I'm a nice guy because it works out for well for me and the other people I deal with.

Of course, you have the additional paranoia of wondering if you're making the right god happy enough not to send you to their place of punishment. I don't have that and don't really need it.

Why add that

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:Tony the

mephibosheth wrote:

Tony the bold,

I started The "Immense Journey", by Loren Eiseley: A man out in a primitive place, mind adrift, armed with scientific words and theories invented by other minds adrift. 

It's a stark contrast I grant you - like a guy riding a camel down Broadway.

He quickly spins into a made up world of his own, like a bum pushing a shopping cart full of textbooks through time, enjoying his invented world, inventing and smoking and spinning as he goes into history and space, skipping across light-plays of imaginative mirage. 

Does he believe these things he makes up?

As far as resting your weight of faith on this - it seems to me to prove my premise: it takes great faith to be ungodly (I don't mean obviously wicked here, I mean for a thinking guy to keep God out of his thoughts).

Contrast reading the scriptures - (ie), Ecclesiastes: living water, light, meaning, direction, rock solid truth.

This Eiseley is work I'm telling you.  It would help if I didn't have concerns that he actually believes this.

mephibosheth  

(enjoying LIVING WATER and MANNA - SAFE ON THE WELL - ARMED ARK - with a RUDDER and ANCHOR, a CAPTAIN, FRIENDS and a DESTINATION)

I never saw him as making things up -- more, I read it as twisting the perspective of what he observes, attempting to find pervasive meaning among the disparate, the isolated. Many of his essays are built isolation, which makes sense; as an anthropologist, he spent many solitary days in the deserts and fields. His was a life spent searching for a connection between the dry bones of the distant past, and the brittle dessicated grasses of the prairie, the playfulness of a fox pup, the clay of an eroding riverbank. I'm not sure which bits concern you -- could you give an example?

Ecclesiastes seemed to be both desolate and hopeful. I actually saw parallels between Ecclesiastes and Eiseley: the search for meaning among the meaningless, a thread of continuity that stretches from the past, through our lives, and into the future.

Ecclesiastes spends a lot of time contemplating death, and the futility of life without God. To me, that is too simple, too easy. Not that it can't be -- just that it isn't, as far as I can see. It's like that Farside cartoon, the one with two scientists at the chalkboard, and an equation with "and then a miracle happens" stuck right in the middle. To me, the solution that God provides meaning is senseless. It's like two sides of an equation, with "Then a miracle happens" plastered between.

I found Ecclesiastes echoing the precepts of Buddhism, too. That was kinda cool. Once I understood that connection, I went back and re-read it, and found both have a lot in common. Take away God from Ecclesiastes, and reincarnation from Buddhism (which is only present in some forms of Buddhism anyway), and the two are very similar -- the futility of desire, the concept that emotional pain is brought about by wanting, that acceptance of life is the way to peace and happiness.

Ecclesiastes gives God as a way to peace and happiness and acceptance. Buddhism leaves that up to the individual.

I guess I just see God as an unnecessary addition to the mix. Perhaps that makes my laughter madness, and my mirth folly; but I enjoy myself, and I enjoy life, and I feel that we (our whole species) is bound for our own greatness. I believe my meaning in life is independent of a creator, just as my child's meaning in life is independent of me. My meaning is to help -- in whatever small way I can -- to help us survive long enough to reach the stars. That's my personal meaning, I guess.

When I contemplate my position in this biosphere of ours, I feel small and insignificant. I feel that there is something greater than myself. I believe the only way to keep some echo of God out of your thoughts is to think only of yourself, to divest yourself of empathy. I don't believe God exists, other than as an artefact of our own feeling of ultimate insignificance, but there is something inside us that understands we are not the center of the universe, as either individuals or as a species, or even as a living planet.

The only reason I call it an "echo of God" is because we have God as a central part of our culture. It is a touchstone, a common word that represents a knowledge that isn't really knowledge. It's more a feeling, a certainty of something that is illogical, unprovable, and unknowable.

At least, that is how I view it.

Ecclesiastes contains wisdom. If that is your basis of wisdom, you could certainly do worse. I cannot see the necessity of God, though, and so that portion of Ecclesiastes is meaningless to me.

Thanks for letting me wander on, and thanks for recommending Ecclesiastes. I have read the Bible twice through in my life, and I don't think I ever saw anything special in Ecclesiastes (other than the Byrds lyrics). This time, I believe I understood quite a bit more. (Of course, I'm 20 years older now. Perhaps that has something to do with it.)

Take care, Sir. I'm sorry Eiseley wasn't your cup of tea. I hope you enjoyed the telling, if not the tale.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
mephibosheth

mephibosheth wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

If I ever discovered a god who was truly interested in my needs and didn't play games with my human frailty by constantly "testing" my faith and devotion then I would perhaps revert back to a life of faith.

 

 

Prozac,

 

 

I read the Bible by myself and at a certain point it all opened up to me.  Soon after that I went on the bipolar roller coaster, was backed in a corner, and God enabled me to come out fighting.  That's probably as long a version as you would want to hear I'm sure.

My conversion experience is different than what you described (though I've heard what you described).  My perspective on what happened now looking back (not understood at the time except from infant view) is this:  I gave myself to die in a death like His, entrusting God to raise me in a resurrection like His. 

It was violent, it was public, it was thorough, it was voluntary.  I was buried in the water grave, having done all my conscience was aware of - appealing to God to give me spiritual life. 

And He has.  I'm now enjoying spiritual life.  And it's great!  I just wish I could get it across to you guys on this web site.  I don't think you grasp (and I don't think I express) what it is. 

I have a different set of desires.  I hate sin.  I have light to see what's going on.  I can see I'm not anything special at all in myself, but I can see Christ at work in me and the Holy Spirit energizing and training and disciplining me.  It's the highest form of happiness - no sorrow added in any way. 

There's security and peace in every way.  There's direction.  The past is resolved, the future is not an issue to be nervous about at all - thus, the moment is to be fully enjoyed in fellowship with the living God in Christ and other people who also have spirits to manage. 

Let's say you had a traumatic experience with drowning and now you're afraid of water.  I'm trying to tell you that swimming isn't bad, come on in.  I couldn't navigate you through that though. 

You seem dead set against God and the Bible.  But I see it all differently.  I don't see God the way you describe at all.  God IS God, however.  He does what He pleases, dwells in the Heavens.  I like that.  I think everything He does is eternally right.  I can only imagine how that makes you think of me. 

But I'm baffled to try to change your - entanglement - as I see it.  I wish I could. 

 

 

mephibosheth  

 

 

 

I'm happy for you that you feel so content in your faith.  Yours is not a universal experience though, even among Christians themselves.

 

Putting atheism aside for a moment,  there are many Christians who are dissatisfied with their walk with God.  One need only to walk into a Christian bookstore and examine the many topics that are related to unrealized hopes, doubts about God's love, and other crises of the spirit.   I especially sought out material concerning God's opinion on Christians who kill themselves.  ( yes, such topics exist )

Any Christian such as yourself who insinuates such spectacular benefits in regard to faith in God is actually doing a severe disservice by setting up false expectations among prospective converts.  The unexpected results can be a faith that is severely weakened, or in my case, a faith that disappears altogether.  

Besides, glowing personal testimonies such as yours are to be found among every religion ( Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc ) on the face of the Earth. 

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
THANKS

 

Tony the bold,

 

I appreciate your ability to discuss the subject without veering toward personal attack, not that personal attack bothers me - it's just distracting.

Anyway I enjoyed at least the quality of your answer (I was hoping it would convert you) and notice you have obviously done more Ecclesiastes homework than I have Eiseley, so I need to give him more of a chance first. 

And you did that with the kitchen underway?  So are you in chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes as far as your "building program"

 

mephibosheth

 

 

 

 

 


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
YOU CAN HAVE THAT DUCK

jcgadfly wrote:

In other words, you're a nice guy because the Bible says people who believe in Jesus need to be. I'm a nice guy because it works out for well for me and the other people I deal with.

Of course, you have the additional paranoia of wondering if you're making the right god happy enough not to send you to their place of punishment. I don't have that and don't really need it.

Why add that

 

JCG,

Do you see how you are saying you are more righteous than me?  I wouldn't argue with that.  You may be for all I know. 

However, I am not trusting in my own righteousness.  I'm trusting in Jesus' Righteousness.  There's a difference. 

There's also a difference in who I am trying to glorify.  You are trying to glorify yourself to me.  I am trying to glorify Jesus to you. 

Also - what you prove again is no matter what I state or how I state it you can twist and mischaracterize it. 

I'm not saying I'm a nice guy.  I'll try it again and you can apply your "gift".

I totally believe everything Jesus says to be true.  I believe Jesus.  I have no doubts about Him or what He says or does being true. 

Believing Jesus and totally trusting Him, in other words, having faith in Jesus settles all these issues you keep trying to bring up.  They're settled for me, because I totally believe Jesus not you.  You or other "gods" don't concern me. 

 

 

 

mephibosheth

 

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. 

He who is sated loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. 

 

 

 

 

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:jcgadfly

mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

In other words, you're a nice guy because the Bible says people who believe in Jesus need to be. I'm a nice guy because it works out for well for me and the other people I deal with.

Of course, you have the additional paranoia of wondering if you're making the right god happy enough not to send you to their place of punishment. I don't have that and don't really need it.

Why add that

 

JCG,

Do you see how you are saying you are more righteous than me?  I wouldn't argue with that.  You may be for all I know. 

However, I am not trusting in my own righteousness.  I'm trusting in Jesus' Righteousness.  There's a difference. 

There's also a difference in who I am trying to glorify.  You are trying to glorify yourself to me.  I am trying to glorify Jesus to you. 

Also - what you prove again is no matter what I state or how I state it you can twist and mischaracterize it. 

I'm not saying I'm a nice guy.  I'll try it again and you can apply your "gift".

I totally believe everything Jesus says to be true.  I believe Jesus.  I have no doubts about Him or what He says or does being true. 

Believing Jesus and totally trusting Him, in other words, having faith in Jesus settles all these issues you keep trying to bring up.  They're settled for me, because I totally believe Jesus not you.  You or other "gods" don't concern me. 

 

 

 

mephibosheth

 

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. 

He who is sated loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. 

 

 

 

 

 

You still dodged the question - why do you think you need Jesus in order to be a good person? I think you are a good person. I also think you were probably that way before you found your Jesus. why put yourself through the additional pressure of hoping you got the right number in the God lottery?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

I'm happy for you that you feel so content in your faith.  Yours is not a universal experience though, even among Christians themselves.

 

Putting atheism aside for a moment,  there are many Christians who are dissatisfied with their walk with God.  One need only to walk into a Christian bookstore and examine the many topics that are related to unrealized hopes, doubts about God's love, and other crises of the spirit.   I especially sought out material concerning God's opinion on Christians who kill themselves.  ( yes, such topics exist )

Any Christian such as yourself who insinuates such spectacular benefits in regard to faith in God is actually doing a severe disservice by setting up false expectations among prospective converts.  The unexpected results can be a faith that is severely weakened, or in my case, a faith that disappears altogether.  

Besides, glowing personal testimonies such as yours are to be found among every religion ( Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc ) on the face of the Earth. 

 

 JEALOUSY?

Prozac,

This reminds me of the story of Elisha and the prophets making a pot of stew.  One guy had gathered poison gourds and when they started to eat they said, "there's death in the pot".  Elisha just got some flour and put it in and it was ok. 

The way to deal with poisonous doctrines is to teach the true doctrine.  I'm not setting anybody up for failure if I am telling the truth about the abundant life in Jesus.  You're thinking about all the false claims of snake oil salesmen we've been set up with all our lives. 

It's true that some Christians are weakened and hurt by false doctrine.  The answer is for them to hear the truth.  I'm not saying sing songs to a heavy heart, but when we share the truth with each other it is a great gift.

 

mephibosheth

A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

 


Anonymouse (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:This

mephibosheth wrote:
This reminds me of the story of Elisha and the prophets making a pot of stew.  One guy had gathered poison gourds and when they started to eat they said, "there's death in the pot".  Elisha just got some flour and put it in and it was ok. 

The way to deal with poisonous doctrines is to teach the true doctrine.  I'm not setting anybody up for failure if I am telling the truth about the abundant life in Jesus.  You're thinking about all the false claims of snake oil salesmen we've been set up with all our lives. 

It's true that some Christians are weakened and hurt by false doctrine.  The answer is for them to hear the truth.  I'm not saying sing songs to a heavy heart, but when we share the truth with each other it is a great gift.

 

mephibosheth

A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

 

Interesting.

So why don't you go and mix your brand of christianity with the fundies ? Dilute some of that hatred with your love. You know, do something useful.


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
SALVATION "DODGE BALL"

jcgadfly wrote:
mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

In other words, you're a nice guy because the Bible says people who believe in Jesus need to be. I'm a nice guy because it works out for well for me and the other people I deal with.

Of course, you have the additional paranoia of wondering if you're making the right god happy enough not to send you to their place of punishment. I don't have that and don't really need it.

Why add that

 

JCG,

Do you see how you are saying you are more righteous than me?  I wouldn't argue with that.  You may be for all I know. 

However, I am not trusting in my own righteousness.  I'm trusting in Jesus' Righteousness.  There's a difference. 

There's also a difference in who I am trying to glorify.  You are trying to glorify yourself to me.  I am trying to glorify Jesus to you. 

Also - what you prove again is no matter what I state or how I state it you can twist and mischaracterize it. 

I'm not saying I'm a nice guy.  I'll try it again and you can apply your "gift".

I totally believe everything Jesus says to be true.  I believe Jesus.  I have no doubts about Him or what He says or does being true. 

Believing Jesus and totally trusting Him, in other words, having faith in Jesus settles all these issues you keep trying to bring up.  They're settled for me, because I totally believe Jesus not you.  You or other "gods" don't concern me. 

 

 

 

mephibosheth

 

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. 

He who is sated loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. 

 

 

 

 

 

You still dodged the question - why do you think you need Jesus in order to be a good person? I think you are a good person. I also think you were probably that way before you found your Jesus. why put yourself through the additional pressure of hoping you got the right number in the God lottery?

 

JCG,

I have another view on that:  you dodged the answer again.

I can sympathize with your problem: you.  For a long time that was my problem:  me. 

I was stuck.  I kept circling the problem, worrying about the problem, trying to use the problem to dissect and analyze the problem to the problem's satisfaction and benefit and the problem's sake so the problem could go on - round and round I went from every angle and to every extreme and with every experiment but I was like a locked up cyclotron - the victim of my own cycling thoughts. 

I think this is why I saw so much humor in that song by Toby Keith - "I want to talk about ME".  I'm out of that "stuck on spin cycle" now and it is because of the very thing that human nature revolts at the thought of:  (build up again)

TA TA!   "He that believes in Me (JESUS CHRIST) has eternal life".  Salvation must be by faith so it can be by grace (gift) and it must be by grace or not at all.  I understand why a proud soul revolts at the thought that simply by believing in Jesus Christ he passes from death to life, but it's exactly the transformation that you need. 

It seems a man must be driven to despair before he will agree to being saved by faith in Jesus. 

When Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him Who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned - he has crossed over from death into life", our salvation becomes not a theory but the Word of Jesus. 

Now for your question:  i was totally depraved before Jesus took me out of the garbage dump.  i never had the problem of being concerned about where to park my righteousness - i never had any.  i'm not going to talk about my old life, it's like a felon uncle i'm ashamed of, OK?

Have you ever in your life got caught up in something bigger than yourself - HUGE such that you lose yourself, forget to even think about yourself, maybe forget to feed yourself, or give yourself all this consideration you keep bringing up? 

I'm so happy about Jesus I don't give a hoot about myself.  I'm going to be happy if I can just be a doorman for Jesus. 

The process has gone like this, best I can understand:  When I gave up something I thought I wanted to do or keep for myself to the Lord, I found what I REALLY WANTED TO DO and actually found my real self - IN  THE LORD. 

I don't expect you to accept this from me (though you could), but I think it all depends on the question of whether or not you believe Jesus, what He says, what He said about Himself, what He said about you and me and the future - His Character, Who He Is.  You don't accept Him as True, I do. 

He is a Rock you stumble over - He is The Rock I am standing on and hopefully building on.

 

 

mephibosheth  

 

"He who trusts in his own mind is a fool; but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered."

 


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:Tony the

mephibosheth wrote:

Tony the bold,

I appreciate your ability to discuss the subject without veering toward personal attack, not that personal attack bothers me - it's just distracting.

Anyway I enjoyed at least the quality of your answer (I was hoping it would convert you) and notice you have obviously done more Ecclesiastes homework than I have Eiseley, so I need to give him more of a chance first. 

And you did that with the kitchen underway?  So are you in chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes as far as your "building program"

mephibosheth

That's part of what took so long. Ecclesiastes really isn't long; but it took a couple of reads, and some time to think about it, before I felt I really knew what it was saying. All that with a kitchen remodel. (I'm installing a marble tile countertop next weekend -- I don't know how I let my wife talk me into these things.) So I'm a little slow in repsonding, I'm afraid.

I'd like to mention a couple of things. Both jcgadfly and I are saying pretty much the same thing. With me, it's only a small portion; with jcgadfly, it's his point. It is this:

Consider from our point of view. We don't see that God exists, and we don't see a need for God to exist. Look at your testimonial from that perspective. What you say is that you were spinning about on an existential problem (I'm not quite sure what that problem was, but we all spin about on an existential problem at one time or another). Then you found that Jesus could help you, and your problem was solved.

From our point of view, Jesus is a conception, a thought in our heads. Each of us holds a different conception of Jesus. For me, he's a character in a spiritual book designed to convey certain ideals. Others see him as a catalyst for terrible deeds. Others see him as an abstract reality, a pivotal figure in their own beliefs, but held yet at a distance.

So, again from our point of view, your problem was solved by something that is innately a part of you. It is a thought in your head. In the end, your problem was solved by you, using your conception of Jesus as a method to find your way to peace and contentment. jcgadfly comes right out and says what I merely imply: you are giving credit to a conception, without recognizing the conception as part of yourself. You had the strength all along, even if it was wrapped up in a conception of a spiritual being. Open up that conception, and you will see the strength is yours, and always has been.

Consider yourself from our point of view, and I believe you may understand a little more clearly why testimonials won't work on people like us. It won't sway you in your faith at all, but I think it's important to try to clearly understand our point of view.

Again, I'm merely representing our point of view. (Really, I'm only representing my point of view; jcgadfly's might actually be different.) Your experience was solely your own, and I cannot speak to it. I can only say how I interpret it, as a stranger.

That's the main reason I'm involved in this long thread at all. You appear to be a decent person with strong faith, and I desire to understand more about people with strong faith.

Don't read too much into that. I've been interested in belief for a very long time. I am also very fascinated by bigfoot, UFOs, 9/11 conspiracies, the Bilderberg group, psychic research, and other paranormal beliefs. I myself do not believe in any of those. (Well, the Bilderberg Group exists, but I don't think it controls the world; and I also believe persons in the US government had the information about 9/11, but because of communication lapses and basic ineptitude, nobody pieced it together.) So though I am interested in strong faith, I am not fishing for religion. (That's a song.) You are dropping your seeds on barren soil, to use a Biblical metaphor (one which has always seemed slightly icky to me).

I'm going to give Ecclesiastes another read, and I might have some specific questions for you. I'm going to branch out and try some non-KJB-based texts next. Plus, I'm going to go back and reread some Eiseley. It's been a long time since I've given him a read.

By the way: what is your interpretation of Ecclesiastes? What is it you see there that I am missing?

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Jesus is that truth you

Jesus is that truth you can't use reason on. He's that knowledge you can't really know. He's the understanding you can't understand.

No offense but that seems to be what you're saying to me.

As for your total depravity - chances are you were continually told you were totally depraved and you bought it (I was too and I did as well). Amazing what persistent conditioning can do. Eventually, I found people who told me that I was worth something as me. It was a refreshing change from being constantly told I was worthless (with and without Jesus).

I'm glad you're happy with and about Jesus. If it works for you, great. Nothing wrong with an addict enjoying their addiction. Just don't automatically assume that people who don't have Jesus aren't happy and can't have rich, full lives, ok?

That's all I ask.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
THE ECCLESIA

nigelTheBold wrote:

That's part of what took so long. Ecclesiastes really isn't long; but it took a couple of reads, and some time to think about it, before I felt I really knew what it was saying. All that with a kitchen remodel. (I'm installing a marble tile countertop next weekend -- I don't know how I let my wife talk me into these things.) So I'm a little slow in repsonding, I'm afraid.

I'd like to mention a couple of things. Both jcgadfly and I are saying pretty much the same thing. With me, it's only a small portion; with jcgadfly, it's his point. It is this:

Consider from our point of view. We don't see that God exists, and we don't see a need for God to exist. Look at your testimonial from that perspective. What you say is that you were spinning about on an existential problem (I'm not quite sure what that problem was, but we all spin about on an existential problem at one time or another). Then you found that Jesus could help you, and your problem was solved.

From our point of view, Jesus is a conception, a thought in our heads. Each of us holds a different conception of Jesus. For me, he's a character in a spiritual book designed to convey certain ideals. Others see him as a catalyst for terrible deeds. Others see him as an abstract reality, a pivotal figure in their own beliefs, but held yet at a distance.

So, again from our point of view, your problem was solved by something that is innately a part of you. It is a thought in your head. In the end, your problem was solved by you, using your conception of Jesus as a method to find your way to peace and contentment. jcgadfly comes right out and says what I merely imply: you are giving credit to a conception, without recognizing the conception as part of yourself. You had the strength all along, even if it was wrapped up in a conception of a spiritual being. Open up that conception, and you will see the strength is yours, and always has been.

Consider yourself from our point of view, and I believe you may understand a little more clearly why testimonials won't work on people like us. It won't sway you in your faith at all, but I think it's important to try to clearly understand our point of view.

Again, I'm merely representing our point of view. (Really, I'm only representing my point of view; jcgadfly's might actually be different.) Your experience was solely your own, and I cannot speak to it. I can only say how I interpret it, as a stranger.

That's the main reason I'm involved in this long thread at all. You appear to be a decent person with strong faith, and I desire to understand more about people with strong faith.

Don't read too much into that. I've been interested in belief for a very long time. I am also very fascinated by bigfoot, UFOs, 9/11 conspiracies, the Bilderberg group, psychic research, and other paranormal beliefs. I myself do not believe in any of those. (Well, the Bilderberg Group exists, but I don't think it controls the world; and I also believe persons in the US government had the information about 9/11, but because of communication lapses and basic ineptitude, nobody pieced it together.) So though I am interested in strong faith, I am not fishing for religion. (That's a song.) You are dropping your seeds on barren soil, to use a Biblical metaphor (one which has always seemed slightly icky to me).

I'm going to give Ecclesiastes another read, and I might have some specific questions for you. I'm going to branch out and try some non-KJB-based texts next. Plus, I'm going to go back and reread some Eiseley. It's been a long time since I've given him a read.

By the way: what is your interpretation of Ecclesiastes? What is it you see there that I am missing?

 

 

Tony the bold,

I had never consciously understood that in your arguments.  So that's what you're saying (I know, JCG flies high and lands where he will, so you don't speak for him or his landing pad). 

The first thing I want to say is: marble will stain - I hope you meant granite or soapstone.  I know people that have had marble ruined in a moment with, say, finger nail polish remover - very soft, very porus.  If it's at the point of no return, forget I mentioned it.  We installed 29 lineal feet of black African granite a while back - great stuff but expensive.  Interesting that on the bottom (unpolished) it looked common as concrete.

I'll have to really work at it to put myself in your viewpoint - that Jesus is a figment of my imagination - WOW, I don't think I have the imagination to stand in that position.  You don't rattle my faith with that, it's just so odd to me.  I don't know what to say to that. 

If I had to try to back in time before (as I now do) I experienced the Living Christ and the Holy Spirit living and working in me - I would fall back on the power of the gospel story - that is still just as powerful as it was 45 years ago to me. 

The Word of God lives and jumps off the page to me.  I get a recoil in my heart and spirit from it - it's like eating the healthiest to me.  I crave it everyday - as you or JCMcFly said, there's 'nothing like an addict enjoying his addiction.'

I understand you're not sick - so the physician would be rebuffed and insulted at your door, so I'll move away from any effort (obvious) to convert you, and on to the great book of Ecclesiastes.

Well, sorry for whatever I insult and bore you with that's obvious, but the Ecclesia - the "called out" refers to The Church in the New Testament, called out of the world and all that.

The guy that wrote it, Solomon, as moved by the Holy Spirit, had a miraculous gift of wisdom. You remember when he became king of Israel he was really young.  God came to him in a dream and ask him what he wanted and was so pleased with his request for wisdom to rule well that God threw in extras.

Solomon, a man like you and I, conducts an experiment like you and I - but with special tools beyond our reach.  It would be real efficient if we would accept his results and save ourselves the time and trouble. 

He starts to search for what it is in this world that is worth putting your whole life in to.  He tries a bunch of things we have tried most of - but with a special gift of wisdom guiding him. 

He sees how earth's wells don't satisfy - we crave more.  We might think they do for a while, then we get undeceived and realize they don't.  We might think a marble ...   Anyway, he sees emptiness everywhere he turns and begins to be discouraged in his pursuit - to despair. 

Then he starts to see some flashes of light - he starts to bring God into the picture and starts to find some answers.  The answers aren't like they seem on the surface such as: "it is better to be in the house of mourning than the house of feasting". 

He takes this to a poetic description of what's coming - old age, and at the end says:  "The end of the matter ALL has been heard".  (we can't be this thorough in our experiment).  Then the conclusion which I know you don't buy.  You guys are missing out. 

Anyway, that's a rundown from memory.  I love this book.  I love everything in it.  I love Proverbs and everything in it.  I got the wife of Proverbs 31.  There's a evidence of God:  "house and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord". 

I don't see how and I don't believe you can be happy without God in your heart, thoughts, and mind.  This is one of the principles brought out in Ecclesiastes.  "There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and find enjoyment in his toil.  This also, I saw, is from the hand of God; for apart from Him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?" 

It's not that I think you are lying, but I think you are not observing something - like the fact that the things you enjoy to some degree DO come from God, but it's lost on you.

 

mephibosheth    

"I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with.  He has made everything beautiful in its time; also He has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."

 

 

 

 


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
ATHEIST FANTASY LAND

jcgadfly wrote:

Jesus is that truth you can't use reason on. He's that knowledge you can't really know. He's the understanding you can't understand.

No offense but that seems to be what you're saying to me.

As for your total depravity - chances are you were continually told you were totally depraved and you bought it (I was too and I did as well). Amazing what persistent conditioning can do. Eventually, I found people who told me that I was worth something as me. It was a refreshing change from being constantly told I was worthless (with and without Jesus).

I'm glad you're happy with and about Jesus. If it works for you, great. Nothing wrong with an addict enjoying their addiction. Just don't automatically assume that people who don't have Jesus aren't happy and can't have rich, full lives, ok?

That's all I ask.

 

 

 

JCG,

 

If Tony the bold is correct in summing up your shared positions, your perspective on me - I think I see what has actually happened. 

I think you two have conceived imaginary "yous".  I think you have conceived a concept of yourselves that is not real, is void of substance, a "fantasy you".  I don't know how you've done this, "positive pretending" possibly, but this "fantasy you" is someone you can adore and think you can put your trust in.

It's a shaky thing, probably a worry that when I knock on the door the whole thing might fall - but that's why I'm such an annoyance to you.  You sense you are on shaky ground in this conceived pretend state and rightly so. 

It's a fitting comparison to American Idol contestants that actually think they can sing but can't - it's kindness to shatter the fantasy. 

The way you can focus on yourself and continue to think you are the source of guidance and hope is only found in continuing this fantasy. 

But the Scriptures say your righteousness is filthy rags before God.  You may find some fellow self-worshippers that accept your form of righteousness, but according to the Scriptures not God. 

I didn't conceive or make up Jesus (who is alive and living in me) or the Holy Spirit (also alive and living in me).  The me part of this is the part that absolutely needs redeeming and is nothing without the Life part - which is Jesus.  Yet I am accepted by God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit because I believe in Jesus and have died and been born again in Him. 

This is not a shaky state and I'm not concerned in the least at your challenges to it because it is real, unlike your false state of self-righteousness, trusting in yourself, focused on yourself thinking you can save yourself - or that there is no salvation, no eternal meaning to this life period? 

 

mephibosheth

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and His Anointed, saying, "Let us burst Their bonds asunder, and cast Their cords from us." 

He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD has them in derision.  Then He will speak to  them in His wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, "I have set My King on Zion, My holy hill."

 

 

 

 

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:jcgadfly

mephibosheth wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Jesus is that truth you can't use reason on. He's that knowledge you can't really know. He's the understanding you can't understand.

No offense but that seems to be what you're saying to me.

As for your total depravity - chances are you were continually told you were totally depraved and you bought it (I was too and I did as well). Amazing what persistent conditioning can do. Eventually, I found people who told me that I was worth something as me. It was a refreshing change from being constantly told I was worthless (with and without Jesus).

I'm glad you're happy with and about Jesus. If it works for you, great. Nothing wrong with an addict enjoying their addiction. Just don't automatically assume that people who don't have Jesus aren't happy and can't have rich, full lives, ok?

That's all I ask.

 

 

 

JCG,

 

If Tony the bold is correct in summing up your shared positions, your perspective on me - I think I see what has actually happened. 

I think you two have conceived imaginary "yous".  I think you have conceived a concept of yourselves that is not real, is void of substance, a "fantasy you".  I don't know how you've done this, "positive pretending" possibly, but this "fantasy you" is someone you can adore and think you can put your trust in.

It's a shaky thing, probably a worry that when I knock on the door the whole thing might fall - but that's why I'm such an annoyance to you.  You sense you are on shaky ground in this conceived pretend state and rightly so. 

It's a fitting comparison to American Idol contestants that actually think they can sing but can't - it's kindness to shatter the fantasy. 

The way you can focus on yourself and continue to think you are the source of guidance and hope is only found in continuing this fantasy. 

But the Scriptures say your righteousness is filthy rags before God.  You may find some fellow self-worshippers that accept your form of righteousness, but according to the Scriptures not God. 

I didn't conceive or make up Jesus (who is alive and living in me) or the Holy Spirit (also alive and living in me).  The me part of this is the part that absolutely needs redeeming and is nothing without the Life part - which is Jesus.  Yet I am accepted by God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit because I believe in Jesus and have died and been born again in Him. 

This is not a shaky state and I'm not concerned in the least at your challenges to it because it is real, unlike your false state of self-righteousness, trusting in yourself, focused on yourself thinking you can save yourself - or that there is no salvation, no eternal meaning to this life period? 

 

mephibosheth

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and His Anointed, saying, "Let us burst Their bonds asunder, and cast Their cords from us." 

He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD has them in derision.  Then He will speak to  them in His wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, "I have set My King on Zion, My holy hill."

 

 

 

 

 

1.You didn't make it up - that much is true. Other people throughout history did that for you. You just read it, got some good feelings out of it and called those feelings "Jesus/the Holy Spirit living in you". I have no problem with that - the good feelings hopefully trigger good actions.

2. You are correct - the Scriptures say your righteousness is as filthy rags before God - even after you accept him. If living by the book that is supposedly his Word isn't enough for him, what's the point?

3. Why do you need an eternal meaning in your life? Can't find any meaning in what you have?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
mephibosheth wrote:Tony the

mephibosheth wrote:

Tony the bold,

I had never consciously understood that in your arguments.  So that's what you're saying (I know, JCG flies high and lands where he will, so you don't speak for him or his landing pad). 

The first thing I want to say is: marble will stain - I hope you meant granite or soapstone.  I know people that have had marble ruined in a moment with, say, finger nail polish remover - very soft, very porus.  If it's at the point of no return, forget I mentioned it.  We installed 29 lineal feet of black African granite a while back - great stuff but expensive.  Interesting that on the bottom (unpolished) it looked common as concrete.

I'll have to really work at it to put myself in your viewpoint - that Jesus is a figment of my imagination - WOW, I don't think I have the imagination to stand in that position.  You don't rattle my faith with that, it's just so odd to me.  I don't know what to say to that. 

If I had to try to back in time before (as I now do) I experienced the Living Christ and the Holy Spirit living and working in me - I would fall back on the power of the gospel story - that is still just as powerful as it was 45 years ago to me. 

The Word of God lives and jumps off the page to me.  I get a recoil in my heart and spirit from it - it's like eating the healthiest to me.  I crave it everyday - as you or JCMcFly said, there's 'nothing like an addict enjoying his addiction.'

I understand you're not sick - so the physician would be rebuffed and insulted at your door, so I'll move away from any effort (obvious) to convert you, and on to the great book of Ecclesiastes.

Well, sorry for whatever I insult and bore you with that's obvious, but the Ecclesia - the "called out" refers to The Church in the New Testament, called out of the world and all that.

The guy that wrote it, Solomon, as moved by the Holy Spirit, had a miraculous gift of wisdom. You remember when he became king of Israel he was really young.  God came to him in a dream and ask him what he wanted and was so pleased with his request for wisdom to rule well that God threw in extras.

Solomon, a man like you and I, conducts an experiment like you and I - but with special tools beyond our reach.  It would be real efficient if we would accept his results and save ourselves the time and trouble. 

He starts to search for what it is in this world that is worth putting your whole life in to.  He tries a bunch of things we have tried most of - but with a special gift of wisdom guiding him. 

He sees how earth's wells don't satisfy - we crave more.  We might think they do for a while, then we get undeceived and realize they don't.  We might think a marble ...   Anyway, he sees emptiness everywhere he turns and begins to be discouraged in his pursuit - to despair. 

Then he starts to see some flashes of light - he starts to bring God into the picture and starts to find some answers.  The answers aren't like they seem on the surface such as: "it is better to be in the house of mourning than the house of feasting". 

He takes this to a poetic description of what's coming - old age, and at the end says:  "The end of the matter ALL has been heard".  (we can't be this thorough in our experiment).  Then the conclusion which I know you don't buy.  You guys are missing out. 

Anyway, that's a rundown from memory.  I love this book.  I love everything in it.  I love Proverbs and everything in it.  I got the wife of Proverbs 31.  There's a evidence of God:  "house and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord". 

I don't see how and I don't believe you can be happy without God in your heart, thoughts, and mind.  This is one of the principles brought out in Ecclesiastes.  "There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and find enjoyment in his toil.  This also, I saw, is from the hand of God; for apart from Him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?" 

It's not that I think you are lying, but I think you are not observing something - like the fact that the things you enjoy to some degree DO come from God, but it's lost on you.

mephibosheth    

"I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with.  He has made everything beautiful in its time; also He has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."

Uhm. Granite. Not marble. Don't ask me why I wrote marble. It's just cheap granite tiles. Mea culpa.

Thanks for your take on Ecclesiastes. I really did enjoy it, and I like that it presents the greatest joys as the simplest things.

I hope you understand I did not mean to offer offence with my explanation of my views of belief. My feelings and views are much more complex than implied by my simple description. I mostly just wanted you to understand what my beliefs are, and why it will be very hard to convince an atheist that God exists through witnessing and testimonials. I admire anyone who finds happiness and joy in life. If God is your path to happiness, then you have found a path to happiness.

I can only try to imagine how your faith and your happiness are tied together. I figure I'll have about as much success imagining your faith as you have imagining my lack of faith.

As I mentioned, I found the similarities between Ecclesiastes and Buddhism striking. The Buddhist path to happiness is by giving up desire. The reasoning goes like this: wanting things leads to unhappiness. Only by removing desire, which is unproductive in the first place, can one truly find happiness. I found some of the same sentiment in Ecclesiastes, especially in the bit about taking pleasure from eating and drinking and work. By enjoying the simple things, happiness is easy to attain. By desiring things that are beyond us, happiness cannot exist.

I'm not Buddhist, in the least. I desire too much, though most of what I desire I already have: a good home, a wonderful wife, a daughter of whom I am very proud. I have a job that I enjoy tremendously. I have friends that are kind and trustworthy and intelligent.

I see in your faith a certain echo of Buddhism, though. By giving up your desires and pride to God, you divest yourself of that which brings pain -- wanting of that which you cannot have; pride, which is easily bruised; and worry of the future, which is a form of wanting.

I have had a great life. There is very little I'd change about it. I have only been unhappy a few times, other than the casual dissatisfaction with certain things (stupid things, for me: Microsoft's ruining of the computer industry, the destruction of our national honor by the current Presidency, things like that).

Ultimately, I find life extremely joyous and happy. I celebrate every day I'm alive. I am happiest when I am programming, or talking with intelligent people (especially my wife, who understands people much better than I), or reading a good book, or writing, or playing with my dogs, or hanging out with my daughter (which doesn't happen nearly enough).

I suspect we have much in common in our happiness. My happiness is based on the love of those around me, and the contentment with what I have. If I were to lose my house and my dogs and all those things that take my attention (computers, video games, books, writing, and so on), I would still be content, as long as I have intelligent and trustworthy friends, especially my wife. That is all that really matters to me: the people around me. The rest is just comfortable trappings.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
mephibosheth wrote: The

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

The way to deal with poisonous doctrines is to teach the true doctrine.  I'm not setting anybody up for failure if I am telling the truth about the abundant life in Jesus.  You're thinking about all the false claims of snake oil salesmen we've been set up with all our lives. 

It's true that some Christians are weakened and hurt by false doctrine.  The answer is for them to hear the truth.  I'm not saying sing songs to a heavy heart, but when we share the truth with each other it is a great gift.

 

mephibosheth


 

Doctrines ?  Did I frame my comments within the context of specific doctrines ?  I have no idea where this irrelevant response came from.

 

At any rate, please provide an example of what you consider "poisonous" doctrine.

 

Lastly what is this "truth" that you have contrasted against the so-called poisonous doctrines and why is it any different ?

 

 

 

 

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
FALSE DOCTRINE NEVER FED A HUNGRY CHRISTIAN

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

mephibosheth wrote:

 

 

The way to deal with poisonous doctrines is to teach the true doctrine.  I'm not setting anybody up for failure if I am telling the truth about the abundant life in Jesus.  You're thinking about all the false claims of snake oil salesmen we've been set up with all our lives. 

It's true that some Christians are weakened and hurt by false doctrine.  The answer is for them to hear the truth.  I'm not saying sing songs to a heavy heart, but when we share the truth with each other it is a great gift.

 

mephibosheth


 

Doctrines ?  Did I frame my comments within the context of specific doctrines ?  I have no idea where this irrelevant response came from.

At any rate, please provide an example of what you consider "poisonous" doctrine.

Lastly what is this "truth" that you have contrasted against the so-called poisonous doctrines and why is it any different ?

 

 

Prozac,

 

First I want to say I like that picture of yours - I now understand the "deathwish" is aimed my way  (ha)   I think that would look good on your gun card seriously.  It's attention getting.

Yeah, I see now i fell into using a "churchy" word, sorry, doctrine.  I should have said principle or teaching.

The way I understood it you said I was overbilling Christianity to potential Christians.  I was saying, no, I'm not.  There are things that can come along and derail a Christian, but that's the fault of errors rather than the Christianity.

Here's an example of poisonous doctrine:  Your salvation is based on your feelings. (false)

 

The true teaching is that we don't trust in feelings, feelings change like Illinois weather.  We trust what Jesus says.  That's the true doctrine.

Just because there are a lot of ways to go wrong doesn't mean something is wrong with the Christianity. 

The scenario you described was like a Christian that has a mountaintop experience focused on feelings or the wrong thing, then next week he feels bad and is let down.  The Lord and what He says doesn't change or let us down. 

 

mephibosheth

 

 

 


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
Oh, my current avatar is

Oh, my current avatar is Robert DeNiro from the movie Taxi Driver.  The "....DeathWish"  of my screen name is purely auto-biographical and is not aimed at you or anyone.

 

 

Incidentally, at the age of 16 I was instructed by my Methodist minister regarding emotional experiences using the same "mountain tops and valleys" metaphor.  As a former Christian who struggled against extremely powerful negative emotions ( and even went to Christian counselors and Christian psychologists ) I found that answer to be poetic but patently superficial.

Essentially my out of control despair was just another burden that I shouldered alone ......with no help from Jesus.  Actually, why would he even bother to help ?  After all, as long as my salvation was not dependent upon my feelings, then what did it matter that I continually lived in emotional agony ?

I think I'm beginning to understand what you mean by true doctrine meph;  why should I pray to God about my personal hell on Earth just as long as in the end I avoid the real Hell ?

(ps, as a Christian I never could understand why Jesus' compassion usually felt not like a gentle, comforting hand, but instead like a cold, hard slap to the face. )

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
  What faith AM I ?  I AM

  What faith AM I ?  I AM ALL ..... I AM GOD, I AM JESUS, I AM BUDDHA, I AM CONFUCIUS, to name a few ......

I AM everything ....  just like you ..... believe it or not !  I AM .....  what I AM .....       


mephibosheth
TheistTroll
mephibosheth's picture
Posts: 354
Joined: 2007-08-12
User is offlineOffline
FEELINGS AND HAPPINESS

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Oh, my current avatar is Robert DeNiro from the movie Taxi Driver.

 

 

Incidentally, at the age of 16 I was instructed by my Methodist minister regarding emotional experiences using the same "mountain tops and valleys" metaphor.  As a former Christian who struggled against extremely powerful negative emotions ( and even went to Christian counselors and Christian psychologists ) I found that answer to be poetic but patently superficial.

Essentially my out of control despair was just another burden that I shouldered alone ......with no help from Jesus.  Actually, why would he even bother ?  After all, as long as my salvation was not dependent upon my feelings, then what did it matter that I continually lived in emotional agony ?

I think I'm beginning to understand what you mean by true doctrine meph;  why should I pray to God about my personal hell on Earth just as long as in the end I avoid the real Hell ?

(ps, as a Christian I never could understand why Jesus' compassion usually felt not like a gentle, comforting hand, but instead like a cold, hard slap to the face. )

 

 

Prozak,

 

As I said right after becoming a Christian in '63 I was hit with bipolar and next hit with all the clunky health care approaches, mis-diagnosis, off base counseling, well meaning other Christian blunders, and so on.  I just kept reading and trying to understand my Bible.  It was the wilderness.

Eventually I crossed-over into full assurance and learned how in Christ to KO the guy that stole my fries and guard my heart, etc.  You probably don't want to hear all of that.

But it was a multi-layer thing.  I had the bipolar, still do but it's not a problem.  I had a unresolved guilt/conscience issue to open up and deal with.  I had my new life in Christ and living faith and the Holy Spirit for a trainer.  I got spiritually beat up a lot. 

One problem I had was attributing one thing to another.  When I was depressed I could attribute it to whatever, but the fact was: the wave still went up and down no matter what I attributed it to.  It was a separate problem.

I saw others who had the bipolar try to treat it by adding another problem layer - drugs, moral, alcohol.  The extra layer I had was the spiritual and it eventually won out.  I don't deny the bipolar was involved in bringing me to the Lord.

Finally it became clear which was which and what was what. 

I take an extremely low dose of lithium now, (as does Dr Kay Redfield Jameson, AN UNQUIET MIND ) and have for about 30 years, no blood tests, just from a family doctor.  I have a conviction that not NEAR as much of that stuff is needed as the "experts" think.  I have a mistrust of the health care bunch, as I had to figure it out myself it seems.  I still feel slight highs and lows, but I've heard that's normal?

But here's the way it goes now.  Now I would describe the depression as a "low energy wave" or a weight pushing down on me.  I just push back.  I view it as a work out, curls, bench press, whatever.  It's a good exercise program, and I'm still happy under there (the undertow) but feel like crap up on top (the white caps). 

I have learned to view feelings as an unreliable and untrustworthy friend.  I notice them and live with them but don't aim to invest much in them.  Feelings are not what I am calling happiness at all. 

I was once tangled up in this mess but have been enabled by God to sort it out and break free from it for several years now.  It's hell.  The bipolar takes experience to master, there's paranoia when the mood is falling, there's the seductive mania that needs to be exposed, there's a need for some kind of RX, but it's not "tune up in a can".  It brings you to know your spiritual need for God and Christ.

 

mephibosheth

He who sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day and like vinegar on a wound.


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3611
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
mephibosheth

mephibosheth wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Oh, my current avatar is Robert DeNiro from the movie Taxi Driver.

 

 

Incidentally, at the age of 16 I was instructed by my Methodist minister regarding emotional experiences using the same "mountain tops and valleys" metaphor.  As a former Christian who struggled against extremely powerful negative emotions ( and even went to Christian counselors and Christian psychologists ) I found that answer to be poetic but patently superficial.

Essentially my out of control despair was just another burden that I shouldered alone ......with no help from Jesus.  Actually, why would he even bother ?  After all, as long as my salvation was not dependent upon my feelings, then what did it matter that I continually lived in emotional agony ?

I think I'm beginning to understand what you mean by true doctrine meph;  why should I pray to God about my personal hell on Earth just as long as in the end I avoid the real Hell ?

(ps, as a Christian I never could understand why Jesus' compassion usually felt not like a gentle, comforting hand, but instead like a cold, hard slap to the face. )

 

 

Prozak,

 

As I said right after becoming a Christian in '63 I was hit with bipolar and next hit with all the clunky health care approaches, mis-diagnosis, off base counseling, well meaning other Christian blunders, and so on.  I just kept reading and trying to understand my Bible.  It was the wilderness.

Eventually I crossed-over into full assurance and learned how in Christ to KO the guy that stole my fries and guard my heart, etc.  You probably don't want to hear all of that.

But it was a multi-layer thing.  I had the bipolar, still do but it's not a problem.  I had a unresolved guilt/conscience issue to open up and deal with.  I had my new life in Christ and living faith and the Holy Spirit for a trainer.  I got spiritually beat up a lot. 

One problem I had was attributing one thing to another.  When I was depressed I could attribute it to whatever, but the fact was: the wave still went up and down no matter what I attributed it to.  It was a separate problem.

I saw others who had the bipolar try to treat it by adding another problem layer - drugs, moral, alcohol.  The extra layer I had was the spiritual and it eventually won out.  I don't deny the bipolar was involved in bringing me to the Lord.

Finally it became clear which was which and what was what. 

I take an extremely low dose of lithium now, (as does Dr Kay Redfield Jameson, AN UNQUIET MIND ) and have for about 30 years, no blood tests, just from a family doctor.  I have a conviction that not NEAR as much of that stuff is needed as the "experts" think.  I have a mistrust of the health care bunch, as I had to figure it out myself it seems.  I still feel slight highs and lows, but I've heard that's normal?

But here's the way it goes now.  Now I would describe the depression as a "low energy wave" or a weight pushing down on me.  I just push back.  I view it as a work out, curls, bench press, whatever.  It's a good exercise program, and I'm still happy under there (the undertow) but feel like crap up on top (the white caps). 

I have learned to view feelings as an unreliable and untrustworthy friend.  I notice them and live with them but don't aim to invest much in them.  Feelings are not what I am calling happiness at all. 

I was once tangled up in this mess but have been enabled by God to sort it out and break free from it for several years now.  It's hell.  The bipolar takes experience to master, there's paranoia when the mood is falling, there's the seductive mania that needs to be exposed, there's a need for some kind of RX, but it's not "tune up in a can".  It brings you to know your spiritual need for God and Christ.

 

mephibosheth

He who sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day and like vinegar on a wound.

Well at least your bi-polar condition provides you with a degree of insight as to the power of emotions when they are being produced by a severe disorder.  It is never simply a mind-over-matter solution.  Will power is insufficient ( by itself ) to overcome such burdensome afflictions.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )