Just out of Curiosity

Christin
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Just out of Curiosity

Hi,

I stumbled on this site yesterday and have been reading about the recent Nightline debate and about your organization.   I read several of the forum discussions, but of course have not had time to read all of them.  I am a Christian, and I love to talk about my Christianity.  I understand that the odds of me convincing anyone through debate that Christ is real are very slim.  It's not a matter of debate, it's a matter of faith and a matter of love. 

 I do have a question:  Why is a group of atheists so focused on disproving the Christian faith?  There are many religions in the world that worship and follow a God or a God concept.  If the objective is to disprove God and to end religious dissillusionment, then I'm just curious why I haven't found any other religions under scrutiny here.   

 Thanks,

Christin


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First, and this is

First, and this is something that has been stated but I want to state it again, the RRS is not just about disproving Christianity and thats all.  Its basically all theism.  However, obviously the majority of people who go to this site and that we deal with in America are Christians, thats obviously where a lot of focus is.  If this were somewhere that a majority of muslims, then that would be our focus.  The RRS is here to debunk and debate irrational claims, one of the biggest being religion.

If you look at other portions of the site you will see mentions of Islam and Judaism.  However, since Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all part of the same root, then its safe to say that tho we may debate and what not a lot of Christians, its the overall theism part that we are debating.   And again, a lot of what we debate on is not religion itself (tho thats part of it) but the irrationality that comes from it and its beliefs (evolution being a big one but certainly not the only).


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I looked at the FAQ after I

I looked at the FAQ after I posted this and found the answer to my question, sort of.  (It probably would have been helpful to check there before posting) 


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I understand that the odds

I understand that the odds of me convincing anyone through debate that Christ is real are very slim.

If you intend to continue to post on this forum, please be aware that a major pet peeve of mine (and many others) is prostelytizing.  If you are interested in having discussions that is fantastic and you'll be more than welcome.  As long as you are honest and open (and you seem to have a good head on your shoulders just from what I've seen in this thread) than I hope to hear more from you.

I believe Gizmo pretty much answered your question about why Christianity seems to be the main focus.  Most of us here are American so Christianity is what we are most familiar with.  Also, it is Christianity that is a great concern (at least for me, I don't want to speak for anyone else) because of the increasing influence it has on  the American government.   

There are many religions in the world that worship and follow a God or a God concept.  

I'm curious what your opinion is of other religions that are not Judeo-Christian.  Do you feel the followers have been duped?  Do you perhaps think that they're being a bit ridiculous in their beliefs?   

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Christin
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If you intend to continue

If you intend to continue to post on this forum, please be aware that a major pet peeve of mine (and many others) is prostelytizing

Point taken. 

I'm curious what your opinion is of other religions that are not Judeo-Christian.  Do you feel the followers have been duped?  Do you perhaps think that they're being a bit ridiculous in their beliefs?

That's a good question, that makes it obvious to me why this site seems to be so focused on Christianity.  When questioned, it seems like maybe I don't know as much about world religions as I should. - I don't think that anyone is ridiculous for their beliefs.  When we're talking about the whole world, it gets a little more confusing because people don't have choices everywhere like we have here.  They don't have opportunities and resources like we have here.  There are many countries that have laws about what religions can be practiced.  Many people believe what they believe simply because it's all that they know.  So to answer your question, yes I believe that they are deceived and ultimately lost.  I believe it's my responsibility to show them Jesus.    


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Christin wrote: Hi, I

Christin wrote:

Hi,

I stumbled on this site yesterday and have been reading about the recent Nightline debate and about your organization.   I read several of the forum discussions, but of course have not had time to read all of them.  I am a Christian, and I love to talk about my Christianity.  I understand that the odds of me convincing anyone through debate that Christ is real are very slim.  It's not a matter of debate, it's a matter of faith and a matter of love. 

 I do have a question:  Why is a group of atheists so focused on disproving the Christian faith?  There are many religions in the world that worship and follow a God or a God concept.  If the objective is to disprove God and to end religious dissillusionment, then I'm just curious why I haven't found any other religions under scrutiny here.   

 Thanks,

Christin

The only reason that christianity gets most of my focus is that other religions haven't had the balls to step up yet. It doesn't mean I think your beliefs are any better or any worse than anyone elses. I discount them all. But when surrounded by christians, they are logically the focus of my attention.

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Christin wrote: When we're

Christin wrote:

When we're talking about the whole world, it gets a little more confusing because people don't have choices everywhere like we have here.  They don't have opportunities and resources like we have here.  There are many countries that have laws about what religions can be practiced. 

What would be the reaction from your friends and family if you decided to follow Islam or Scientology or another religion? Would they respect that choice?

 

Christin wrote:
Many people believe what they believe simply because it's all that they know. 

Would this apply to you too?

If not, why not?


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What would be the reaction

What would be the reaction from your friends and family if you decided to follow Islam or Scientology or another religion? Would they respect that choice?

Of course they would respect my decision.  My family loves me.  I would have a lot of explaining to do because everyone that I know knows how much I love Jesus and how much he's changed my life. 

 You also asked me if I believe in God because that's all that I know.  Absolutely not.  It wouldn't be possible for me to love God if I hadn't experienced the pain of living without God.  A Christian life isn't always a big fun social network like a lot of people think that it is.  For me there have been very lonely times, but that's when Jesus shows up the strongest.  Once I had experienced that kind of power that gave me hope and peace, I really didn't want anything else.   


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Christin wrote: Of course

Christin wrote:

Of course they would respect my decision. 

Well, that's cool. Alot wouldn't. What if you switched to another Christian religion? You'd still believe in Jesus, so there wouldn't be any explaining to do with that.

What do you think about the personal experiences of people in other religions? When they seem to get help in their time of need, do you think they're lying? If you think they believe their god is helping them but they're wrong, what makes their experiences wrong, and yours right?


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?

Christin
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What if you switched to

What if you switched to another Christian religion?

I'm not sure what this means.  I don't attend the same church as the rest of my family.  I moved out of state a number of years ago.   I've also found that even within the same denomination, every church is different.  It's funny how regional that kind of stuff is.  I wouldn't have expected it.

What do you think about the personal experiences of people in other religions? When they seem to get help in their time of need, do you think they're lying?

That's a really good point.  I was just talking to a friend a little bit ago who was describing the sense of peace and relief that he felt because he had recently decided that he was a nihilist.  I didn't know what that meant, so I asked him to explain it to me.  While he was telling me what it was I just started to feel bad for him.  I didn't hear a message of love and hope.  I heard a message of nothing.  Do I think he's lying?  No, I think he really does feel peace.  I think it's very confusing to find out what you believe.  I could imagine that it's very peaceful just to have settled on something.  I still believe that you have to know Jesus to experience true peace, but I can appreciate the frustration of his confusion. 


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Christin wrote: You also

Christin wrote:

You also asked me if I believe in God because that's all that I know.  Absolutely not.  It wouldn't be possible for me to love God if I hadn't experienced the pain of living without God.  A Christian life isn't always a big fun social network like a lot of people think that it is.  For me there have been very lonely times, but that's when Jesus shows up the strongest.  Once I had experienced that kind of power that gave me hope and peace, I really didn't want anything else.   

You ever think maybe your not giving yourself enough credit?  What did jesus really do for you, did he invite you to coffee and introduce you to his cousin Frank so you would have someone to fall in love with?  Did he give you a hot stock tip to help you with your financial problems.  Did he bring you flowers to let you know he was thinking about you when you were feeling down?  Or did you decide you weren't living the life you should?  Maybe reevaluate some of the bad decisions that got you in your predicament?  Did you talk to a friend/family member/church member and get some good advice that you followed?  Just like you can make your own bad decisions, I bet your just as capable of making your own good decisions if you chose.


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Arletta wrote: Christin

Arletta wrote:
Christin wrote:

You also asked me if I believe in God because that's all that I know. Absolutely not. It wouldn't be possible for me to love God if I hadn't experienced the pain of living without God. A Christian life isn't always a big fun social network like a lot of people think that it is. For me there have been very lonely times, but that's when Jesus shows up the strongest. Once I had experienced that kind of power that gave me hope and peace, I really didn't want anything else.

You ever think maybe your not giving yourself enough credit? What did jesus really do for you, did he invite you to coffee and introduce you to his cousin Frank so you would have someone to fall in love with? Did he give you a hot stock tip to help you with your financial problems. Did he bring you flowers to let you know he was thinking about you when you were feeling down? Or did you decide you weren't living the life you should? Maybe reevaluate some of the bad decisions that got you in your predicament? Did you talk to a friend/family member/church member and get some good advice that you followed? Just like you can make your own bad decisions, I bet your just as capable of making your own good decisions if you chose.

 

Indeed I concur with Arletta. I constantly see mostly Christians (of all theists) not giving themselves credit. How do you really know it was Jesus who has helped you?

How do you know that it wasn't yourself, your family, friends etc?

Have you considered that it might just be a belief in something out there that "helps" you - that helps you? By this I mean that have you considered the psychosomatic effect, as in believing in Jesus helping in you was a sort of placebo? Finally, how do you know it was Jesus/Yahweh who has helped you and not the invisible pink unicorn or the purple snarfwidget (please consider this, because if you had been born in Viking times in Denmark you would have attributed it to Thor)?


 

Sorry lots of questions there ;D 

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"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." -Thomas Jefferson


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A agree with the two above

A agree with the two above posters.

 

When something bad happens, we tend to go on a search for answers and we desperately search for anything that could solve our problems. But when you 'give up to god' or whatever they call it, and say that you're nothing without Jesus.....well, you're not giving yourself ANY credit. How can you be sure it was Jesus?

If you and I were in the same posistion  and I did it WITHOUT Jesus, what does that mean?

 

When you start down this 'theism-dependant'  path, you begin to negate your personal achievements, and you start a cycle that begins and ends with god, with nothing for you in between.


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Christin wrote: Hi, I

Christin wrote:

Hi,

I stumbled on this site yesterday and have been reading about the recent Nightline debate and about your organization. I read several of the forum discussions, but of course have not had time to read all of them. I am a Christian, and I love to talk about my Christianity. I understand that the odds of me convincing anyone through debate that Christ is real are very slim. It's not a matter of debate, it's a matter of faith and a matter of love.

I do have a question: Why is a group of atheists so focused on disproving the Christian faith? There are many religions in the world that worship and follow a God or a God concept. If the objective is to disprove God and to end religious dissillusionment, then I'm just curious why I haven't found any other religions under scrutiny here.

Thanks,

Christin

Thank you for your honesty in part of your statement. No we are pretty well armed through investigation and knowlege of theistic claims to not fall for it.

But your question, while welcome about the issue of why, has been asked a billion times and we have answered it a billion times.

Atheists cannot disprove anything and we are not attempting that at all. We are merely looking at what is presented to us and accepting it or rejecting it on its merits. That goes with any issue, not just theistic claims.

Now try to understand the following exampe as to why it is not our job to "disprove" anything.

EXAMPLE,

Me, "I know Thor is real"\

You, " Ok, I hear you claim Thor is real. Can you show me evidence of this "Thor".

Me, "We have tons of archeological artifacts that tons of people believed in him"

YOU should respond, "That fallacy is argument ad populum(sp). You are tring to argue that because so many people believed in Thor then Thor must be real"

Me, "Prove to me Thor is not real."

You should respond, "I'm not the one making the claim, you are"

Me, "We know lightning and thunder exists and something had to create it"

Your response should be, " You have a spacific "who" and a "something" is can be a thing, not a being. Did you ever consider that maybe Thor did not make lightning and it is a mere result of atoms coliding as part of a non-magical process?" 

My point in this example is that you'd rightly reject Thor as being real because nowhere in this example did I give you any emperical evidence that is falsifyable or testable or repeatable to make my case for Thor. That should be why you reject that claim.

What skeptics suggest is that you should aim that same use of logic at your own claims. For the same reason you reject Thor, I reject claims of spirits getting girls pregnant. For the same reason you reject claims of 72 virgins, I reject any claim that would say that surviving 3 days of death is a reality.

But, I would highly suggest that if you dont want to debate and it is merely a matter of "faith" to you, then you might find yourself frustrated with us. We are not passive people. When someone makes a claim about anything super natural, be it Allah, or scientology, or Hinduism, or oiji boards, we are going to ask hard questions.

There is a section of the board here called, :Kill em with Kindness". That might be a good place for a theist to go if they dont want to hear harsh blasphemy. But it is still not immune to debate.

The other thing you can do as a visitor here if you want to avoid conflict, is to disscuss other issues than the existance of a deity.

However, keep in mind that you came here. The owners of the board dont mind that at all, they welcome it. But do not expect us to walk on eggshells in every thread because you might be uncomfortable with what we say to you.

"Question with boldness even the existance of God, for if there be one, surely he would pay more homage to reason than to that of blindfolded fear" Thomas Jefferson.

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."  -

Thomas Jefferson letter to John Adams April 11th 1823

 

 

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Christin wrote: What if

Christin wrote:

What if you switched to another Christian religion?

I'm not sure what this means. 

I mean if you switched from say, Protestant to Catholic, or Evangelical to Jehovah's Witness. Just another christian religion.

Christin wrote:
What do you think about the personal experiences of people in other religions? When they seem to get help in their time of need, do you think they're lying?

I was just talking to a friend a little bit ago who was describing the sense of peace and relief that he felt because he had recently decided that he was a nihilist... 

How about if a Muslim feels that Allah and Jesus have helped him/her through hard times? If you believe there is any truth to their claims, that Jesus did help them but that they have the wrong religion, how can you be sure that it's not their god that helped you, and that you don't have the wrong religion?


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A couple of you have

A couple of you have suggested that perhaps I helped myself, and unwittingly attributed it to Jesus even though it could have been any number of solutions.  That would make sense if the right things to do in terms of the Bible were always the easier, more sensible things.  Many times they're not.  I understand what you guys are saying, and you're probably right, that in some cases the good decisions that I make are simply good decisions.  To follow God's will however, doesn't always make sense, and answers/provisions don't always come easily or instantly.  Following God is like driving a car in the dark.  You only get to see as far as your headlights will show you.  You have to take steps in faith and then when you've taken those steps, God lets you see the next steps.  Very rarely do you get to see the whole plan right away.  Most often, you only get one step at a time. 

So, how do I know that it was Jesus?  Because that's how he works.  I know him.  I speak his name and he shows up.  I would wonder why a different God was answering to Jesus' name.  I know that that is almost too simple, but that's how I know that it's him.  I see your point about the placebo as well.  Maybe it's just the hope itself that gives me hope and power.  I don't really know how to explain this by any other way than the one that I just mentioned.  I know it's Jesus because I know him. 

I mean if you switched from say, Protestant to Catholic, or Evangelical to Jehovah's Witness. Just another christian religion.

I don't follow a religion.  I follow Jesus.  Attending church on Sunday is a very small part of my Christian life.  Jesus didn't follow the laws of a religion, He followed God, and that's what I try to do.  Jesus doesn't care about the divisions that you mentioned either, he cares about my relationship with him. 

 Brian37, I understand that my question was answered, and I appreciate it.  The conversation has kind of meandered in a couple of directions, so I just kept talking.  I wasn't offended by anybody, and I really wasn't trying to be confrontational.  I thought that we were just having a conversation.  If my presence here is offensive I could leave.  I thought that it was ok to talk like this here. 


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Christin wrote: A couple

Christin wrote:

A couple of you have suggested that perhaps I helped myself, and unwittingly attributed it to Jesus even though it could have been any number of solutions. That would make sense if the right things to do in terms of the Bible were always the easier, more sensible things. Many times they're not. I understand what you guys are saying, and you're probably right, that in some cases the good decisions that I make are simply good decisions. To follow God's will however, doesn't always make sense, and answers/provisions don't always come easily or instantly. Following God is like driving a car in the dark. You only get to see as far as your headlights will show you. You have to take steps in faith and then when you've taken those steps, God lets you see the next steps. Very rarely do you get to see the whole plan right away. Most often, you only get one step at a time.

Wait, this is fascinating. Are you saying that somehow (through the Bible? Christian doctrine? direct revelation?) you received counterintuitive advice that you wouldn't have thought of yourself? And when you took it, it worked out better than things would have if you'd followed your own thought?

Specifics, please! Give us the whole story! What exactly happened and how did you receive this advice?

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Christin wrote: A couple

Christin wrote:

A couple of you have suggested that perhaps I helped myself, and unwittingly attributed it to Jesus even though it could have been any number of solutions. That would make sense if the right things to do in terms of the Bible were always the easier, more sensible things. Many times they're not. I understand what you guys are saying, and you're probably right, that in some cases the good decisions that I make are simply good decisions. To follow God's will however, doesn't always make sense, and answers/provisions don't always come easily or instantly. Following God is like driving a car in the dark. You only get to see as far as your headlights will show you. You have to take steps in faith and then when you've taken those steps, God lets you see the next steps. Very rarely do you get to see the whole plan right away. Most often, you only get one step at a time.

So, how do I know that it was Jesus? Because that's how he works. I know him. I speak his name and he shows up. I would wonder why a different God was answering to Jesus' name. I know that that is almost too simple, but that's how I know that it's him. I see your point about the placebo as well. Maybe it's just the hope itself that gives me hope and power. I don't really know how to explain this by any other way than the one that I just mentioned. I know it's Jesus because I know him.

I mean if you switched from say, Protestant to Catholic, or Evangelical to Jehovah's Witness. Just another christian religion.

I don't follow a religion. I follow Jesus. Attending church on Sunday is a very small part of my Christian life. Jesus didn't follow the laws of a religion, He followed God, and that's what I try to do. Jesus doesn't care about the divisions that you mentioned either, he cares about my relationship with him.

Brian37, I understand that my question was answered, and I appreciate it. The conversation has kind of meandered in a couple of directions, so I just kept talking. I wasn't offended by anybody, and I really wasn't trying to be confrontational. I thought that we were just having a conversation. If my presence here is offensive I could leave. I thought that it was ok to talk like this here.

Quote:
To follow God's will however, doesn't always make sense,

Ok, so if God asked you to kill me, but didnt explain why, you'd do it?

That is exactly the same type of mentality that allowed the soldiers at Abu Grab to do what they did to the prisoners. No one felt they could feel free as to question the actions of the soldiers partisipating.

It is the same mentality that Hitler used to convince  Germans to kill millions of Jews. No one felt they could question Hitlers actions because he had convinced them they not only didnt have to question, but if they did he would turn on them. 

That is the core reason that makes worship of anything, be it a political party, nation, personality, or deity so dangerous.

"It doesnt have to make sense" Is the epitomy of lazyness and the seed of danger to humanity. If there is a god of any kind who tells a human "it doesnt have to make sense" this is a deity that not only is not deserving of being followed, but should be rejected.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Christin wrote:A couple

Christin wrote:

A couple of you have suggested that perhaps I helped myself, and unwittingly attributed it to Jesus even though it could have been any number of solutions.  That would make sense if the right things to do in terms of the Bible were always the easier, more sensible things.  Many times they're not.  I understand what you guys are saying, and you're probably right, that in some cases the good decisions that I make are simply good decisions.  To follow God's will however, doesn't always make sense, and answers/provisions don't always come easily or instantly.  Following God is like driving a car in the dark.  You only get to see as far as your headlights will show you.  You have to take steps in faith and then when you've taken those steps, God lets you see the next steps.  Very rarely do you get to see the whole plan right away.  Most often, you only get one step at a time. 

I would say thanks for answering my question, but you actually didn't.  You keep saying that god shows you the way, that jesus comes to you and helps you, but what I want to know is what exactly does he do?  Hey, maybe I've been getting all these signs from jesus and because theists won't tell me what I'm suppose to be looking for I miss them.  Does he email you?  If so, what's his email address?  Maybe his emails keep ending up in my spam box, so if I get the address I could add it to my safe list.

Or maybe he doesn't have internet in the ether, but does he have a phone?  You could give him my number, I would LOVE to talk to him. I'd call him but long distance charges are insane, no telling how much sprint would charge for a call to the after life, but I'm sure it's expensive.  I figured with all the money people give to him at his vacation homes(churches) he could afford the long distance better than I can.  Or does he just show up at the door un-announced?  I hate when people do that so I could understand him not coming to my house, but hey, if he just calls first I have no problem!

I've looked all I can, never found him though.  Once I thought I saw him at the bottom of a tequila bottle, but it turned out to be a worm.  So hey, next time you chat with him, let him know I've been looking for him.  He should know how to get in touch with me, he is god for god's sake!


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Christin wrote: So, how do

Christin wrote:
So, how do I know that it was Jesus?  Because that's how he works.  I know him.  I speak his name and he shows up.  I would wonder why a different God was answering to Jesus' name.

But isn't that what you think happens if a Muslim speaks Jesus' name and receives help? You wouldn't think it was Allah, would you?

 

Christin wrote:
I don't follow a religion.  I follow Jesus.  Attending church on Sunday is a very small part of my Christian life. 

Without your visits to church, how would you know everything you do about Jesus and how he helps you? I'm not sure if you could say the Bible would tell you, reading it cover to cover wouldn't give that as the main message, I don't think. Maybe it did though.

Which church do you attend? Different ones teach different things about Jesus, so I have the feeling it is influencing your view of Jesus more than you think.


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Give us the whole story!

Give us the whole story! What exactly happened and how did you receive this advice? I can give a coupleWait, this is fascinating. Are you saying that somehow (through the Bible? Christian doctrine? direct revelation?) you received counterintuitive advice that you wouldn't have thought of yourself? And when you took it, it worked out better than things would have if you'd followed your own thought? Specifics, please! 

I could give a couple of real generic examples if you want me to, but it seems like you want to hear about me and my experiences, so I'll tell you.  I joined the military at the age of 25 which was against everything that I ever wanted to do or thought that I would do,  But I could feel God telling me to do that .  It didn't make any sense because I had a job, I wasn't poor, My family and I get a long.  There was no reason for me to leave, but I signed up and left.  Through that experience I have grown and experienced so much more as a person than I ever would have if I had stayed put in my hometown and just kept my life the way it was.  I've learned that there's no one that I couldn't live with.  And God put me in a powerful position that I never would have dreamed for myself, but I happen to be very good at.  He put me right where he wanted me.  So then I started dating a man that I was absolutely head over heels in love with, but I didn't do what God wanted me to do.  I got pregnant, then I had an abortion.  Both of those things were things that I never thought would happen to me.  Then I got pregnant again and had a miscarriage.  About six months after my miscarriage, the most perfect relationship of my life ended. 

So to recap:  for me to go into the military was not a logical decision, but I could feel God leading me to do it, and it worked out better than I could have hoped because now I have all of this education and training, and will soon be working as a civilian in a job that I love.  My perfect relationship was a gift from God as well.  It went for 2 years without even a minor argument.  We were having sex most of the time, but if I had followed God's rules on sex, than either the relationship would not have been ruined, or It wouldn't have hurt me nearly as badly as it did when it was ruined.  It wasn't ruined over sex, but we had stepped outside of God's blessing by disobeying him. 

I have a lot more examples if you want them, just ask.

 

Ok, so if God asked you to kill me, but didnt explain why, you'd do it?

God's not going to ask me to kill you.  Why would he do that?  He loves you. 

"It doesnt have to make sense" Is the epitomy of lazyness and the seed of danger to humanity. If there is a god of any kind who tells a human "it doesnt have to make sense" this is a deity that not only is not deserving of being followed, but should be rejected.

Faith causes you to do lots of things that don't make sense.  That's why a lot of people reject faith.  I would guess that a lot of former Christians that are now atheists have been hurt by the church.  People in a church will hurt you.  People anywhere will hurt you.  Jesus will never hurt you, and he'll heal the hurts that other people have caused. 

I would say thanks for answering my question, but you actually didn't.  You keep saying that god shows you the way, that jesus comes to you and helps you, but what I want to know is what exactly does he do? 

God talks to us through scripture, in our spirit, and through other believers.  It's taken me a lot of work to understand him in my spirit because, like you said, it's not easy format like an email.  Sometimes he gives me a vision or a dream.  For the longest time, I couldn't figure out how to understand him.  I just kept praying and telling God that I wanted to hear him and that I wanted to understand him.  He doesn't want it to be a mystery either.  He wants me to hear him so that I know what he wants me to do.  Jesus doesn't go places that he's not welcome.  He will show up if you ask him to.  If you say, "Jesus, please prove yourself to me." and mean it in true faith, than he'll do it.  He loves to do things like that.  He wants you to see him. 

But isn't that what you think happens if a Muslim speaks Jesus' name and receives help? You wouldn't think it was Allah, would you?

I am sure that if a Muslim asked Jesus for help, than Jesus would help him.  I am not familiar enough about Muslim beliefs to know if they ever would call out to Jesus.  If they call out to Jesus and accept his sacrifice for their sins, then they are Christians.  I quickly read the wikipedia, and it told me that they believe in one god, Allah, but I did see that they believe in Jesus.  It didn't say wether or not they believe he is the son of God. 

Without your visits to church, how would you know everything you do about Jesus and how he helps you? I'm not sure if you could say the Bible would tell you, reading it cover to cover wouldn't give that as the main message, I don't think. Maybe it did though.

Which church do you attend? Different ones teach different things about Jesus, so I have the feeling it is influencing your view of Jesus more than you think

I believe that the Bible is the living breathing word of God.  I definitely learn alot about Jesus, about the heart of God, and the will of God for my life by reading my Bible.  I currently attend a non-denominational Christian church.  The only thing that happens there is that we worship as a group, and the pastor spoon feeds us scripture, and we pray together.  We also take communion.  Everything else happens through the week.  Jesus is with me all the time.  He is so powerful.  Everything that he comes in contact with is changed for the better.


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So how'd we get here then?

If someone is looking at all the evidence presented, and the only logical conclusion they can come up with requires one leap of faith (even a rather large one) and then most everything else makes sense, wouldn't you say that that is the rational thing to do?

Then suppose another person is looking at much the same evidence.  They don't like the one leap of faith because of many of the implications, so, they decide that they'd rather depend on countless leaps of faith.  In fact these leaps are actually just ignoring the rather glaring obvious.  This gives them a way to say the first conclusion doesn't exist (or, is wrong).  But since they are just ignoring the facts, wouldn't they be acting irrationally?

 

I guess what I'm getting at here is, if you don't believe in God, how the heck do you think we got here?  Who, or what, created the forces that make the thunder and lightening?  The atoms that collide?


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MKLT4 wrote: If someone is

MKLT4 wrote:

If someone is looking at all the evidence presented, and the only logical conclusion they can come up with requires one leap of faith (even a rather large one) and then most everything else makes sense, wouldn't you say that that is the rational thing to do?

Then suppose another person is looking at much the same evidence. They don't like the one leap of faith because of many of the implications, so, they decide that they'd rather depend on countless leaps of faith. In fact these leaps are actually just ignoring the rather glaring obvious. This gives them a way to say the first conclusion doesn't exist (or, is wrong). But since they are just ignoring the facts, wouldn't they be acting irrationally?

 

I guess what I'm getting at here is, if you don't believe in God, how the heck do you think we got here? Who, or what, created the forces that make the thunder and lightening? The atoms that collide?

OK, I'm ready for taht leap of faith.  Which direction do I jump? What belief do I accept without evidence?  there are so many...

 OK, so things that exist need a cause, I get that.  So, you are proposing that something else that exists as well created them, right?  OK, lets call that thing god (or whatever).  Wait, if that thing exists, how did it get there.... 

Maybe it always existed, that would solve that.  But wait, why couldn't the atoms (matter/energy) have always existed.  Why am I willing to consider that exception to the rule of needing a cause for one things but not the other...

I'm so confused, perhaps I should just stop thinking about all of this and believe something.  After all, once I accept some conclusion then I don't need to look for answers anymore, and that would be easier. 

Shaun 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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Christin wrote: I could

Christin wrote:

I could give a couple of real generic examples if you want me to, but it seems like you want to hear about me and my experiences, so I'll tell you. I joined the military at the age of 25 which was against everything that I ever wanted to do or thought that I would do, But I could feel God telling me to do that . It didn't make any sense because I had a job, I wasn't poor, My family and I get a long. There was no reason for me to leave, but I signed up and left. Through that experience I have grown and experienced so much more as a person than I ever would have if I had stayed put in my hometown and just kept my life the way it was. I've learned that there's no one that I couldn't live with. And God put me in a powerful position that I never would have dreamed for myself, but I happen to be very good at. He put me right where he wanted me.

So then I started dating a man that I was absolutely head over heels in love with, but I didn't do what God wanted me to do. I got pregnant, then I had an abortion. Both of those things were things that I never thought would happen to me. Then I got pregnant again and had a miscarriage. About six months after my miscarriage, the most perfect relationship of my life ended.

So to recap: for me to go into the military was not a logical decision, but I could feel God leading me to do it, and it worked out better than I could have hoped because now I have all of this education and training, and will soon be working as a civilian in a job that I love. My perfect relationship was a gift from God as well. It went for 2 years without even a minor argument. We were having sex most of the time, but if I had followed God's rules on sex, than either the relationship would not have been ruined, or It wouldn't have hurt me nearly as badly as it did when it was ruined. It wasn't ruined over sex, but we had stepped outside of God's blessing by disobeying him.

This is unconvincing.

First, it is still unclear how you knew that these are the things that God wanted you to do, and not the things that you wanted to do (whether or not you'll admit to it).

Second, I find it difficult to believe that you can know that this path truly was the best possible route. I don't know you personally, but if you replaced the "army" with "college" the story would read in the same way and be equally believable. People can have empowering, enlightening and wonderful experiences doing just about anything.

As an example, I didn't get into the college that I wanted to go to. However, now looking back on the school I did go to, I feel that I had a great experience and made wonderful friends and so forth. If given the option to go back in time I wouldn't make a different choice because it would mean giving up all the friends I have now. Does that mean that if I had gone to my first choice school I wouldn't have had a wonderful experience or made friends I wasn't willing to give up? Of course not. The only difference is that I know what I would have missed not going to the school I did, and I don't know what I did miss not going to the school I didn't.

Further, and this is a more sensitive topic, so please take no offense should I inadvertanly cross a line. It's easy to say that having the abortion was against God's plan because it didn't turn out well. However, the relationship did end, and it ended for a reason. I don't know what that reason was, but would it have been better to have both a break up and a baby? Also, if two years from now, you meet the perfect person, and have a wonderful child, and live happily ever after, would that mean that the abortion was part of the plan after all?

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. From your comments so far, it seems more like you have labeled good things as "God's Plan" and bad things as "Against Gods Plan" without any real suggestion as to how you know they were part of the plan or not (other than the result).

It's similar to the argument of "God doesn't cause arson, a person does" BUT "God then works through the firemen who save the people from the burning building"


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Christin, you blame Jesus

Christin, you blame Jesus for the break up of your relationship. Aren't you aware of ANY other reasons why it ended? Didn't he give an explanation?

What do you think is the difference between God telling you to leave your hometown and gain experience, and someone who decides to do it as a 'spur of the moment' thing, and ends up having many good experiences too?

MLKT4 wrote:
I guess what I'm getting at here is, if you don't believe in God, how the heck do you think we got here?  Who, or what, created the forces that make the thunder and lightening?  The atoms that collide?

It's hard for us to understand because we think everything has to come from something else. So you have two choices- you believe that there was a creator that existed forever with no maker, or you believe in a universe that existed forever with no maker. Which has the most proof? Well, the universe. We can see it right now. We know the universe exists! What proof is there for a creator?


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Christin wrote: Hi, I

Christin wrote:

Hi,

I stumbled on this site yesterday and have been reading about the recent Nightline debate and about your organization.   I read several of the forum discussions, but of course have not had time to read all of them.  I am a Christian, and I love to talk about my Christianity.  I understand that the odds of me convincing anyone through debate that Christ is real are very slim.  It's not a matter of debate, it's a matter of faith and a matter of love. 

 I do have a question:  Why is a group of atheists so focused on disproving the Christian faith?  There are many religions in the world that worship and follow a God or a God concept.  If the objective is to disprove God and to end religious dissillusionment, then I'm just curious why I haven't found any other religions under scrutiny here.   

 Thanks,

Christin

Just throwing this out. What if you grew up in China, for example. Xianity would make no sense to you.

It is your culture/family etc that shapes your beliefs. If you lived in a cave, you would not have the same support that you currently have thru church, family etc.

THAT is what gives you a feeling of "being close to God."

EDUCATION! EDUCATION! EDUCATION!


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Thanks for the response,

Thanks for the response, Christin. You're giving us something to work with here, which is more than most theists do. 

Christin wrote:

I could give a couple of real generic examples if you want me to, but it seems like you want to hear about me and my experiences, so I'll tell you. I joined the military at the age of 25 which was against everything that I ever wanted to do or thought that I would do, But I could feel God telling me to do that . It didn't make any sense because I had a job, I wasn't poor, My family and I get a long. There was no reason for me to leave, but I signed up and left. Through that experience I have grown and experienced so much more as a person than I ever would have if I had stayed put in my hometown and just kept my life the way it was. I've learned that there's no one that I couldn't live with. And God put me in a powerful position that I never would have dreamed for myself, but I happen to be very good at. He put me right where he wanted me.

OK, a couple of questions:

How did God communicate this desire for you to enter the military? Did you hear a voice or what? 

Perhaps you've heard of Ockam's Razor. This is the logical rule that given two theories that explain something, the theory that requires the fewest additional elements is prefered. Put simply, it means the simplest explanation is best. So we have two theories of how you decided to go into the military:

1. God told you to.

2. You knew, at some level, that you would enjoy a career in the military and therefore felt a desire to go.

Theory 1 requires an additional element that theory 2 does not: God. And it's a whopper of an additional element, since God relies on the theory that he exists, and that begs a whole bunch of questions. However, let's leave that aside for now and just focus on the fact that the second theory should be prefered according to Ockam's Razor...given the evidence we have.

So in order for this story to count as evidence of God's work, we need more evidence that discounts the second theory. Is there some reason that you know the feeling came from God and not your subconscious?

Christin wrote:

So then I started dating a man that I was absolutely head over heels in love with, but I didn't do what God wanted me to do. I got pregnant, then I had an abortion. Both of those things were things that I never thought would happen to me. Then I got pregnant again and had a miscarriage. About six months after my miscarriage, the most perfect relationship of my life ended.

A little unclear here, do you feel that God didn't want you to have sex out of wedlock, or God didn't want you to get pregnant or God didn't want you to have the abortion? Or all three? How do your know God's wishes in this regard? And why didn't God fill your heart with the desire to not do these things in the same way that he gave you the desire to join the military? Given your previous success with following God's instructions, why didn't you listen to him this time?

 

 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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Christin wrote:God talks

Christin wrote:
God talks to us through scripture
Wow, thru scripture he tells you to go into the military? Where is that passage located that he addresses you specifcally?
Quote:
in our spirit
What exactly does that mean?
Quote:
and through other believers
So you credit other people's good advice with god? Not nice to short change people who helped you in my opinion, but then again, I'm not a christian where that is highly acceptable.
Quote:
Sometimes he gives me a vision or a dream
Are you saying you hallucinate and dreams are real? So I really did help the queen of england back to her castle after she was turned into a red high heel shoe? Cool! (yes, that is an actual dream I had)
Quote:
for the longest time, I couldn't figure out how to understand him. I just kept praying and telling God that I wanted to hear him and that I wanted to understand him. He doesn't want it to be a mystery either. He wants me to hear him so that I know what he wants me to do
If he's the all powerful god why is he such a "mystery' in the first place? If he really wanted all of us to believe in him, then why doesn't he turn the white house lawn into a burning lawn and bellow out of it for all to hear?
Quote:
Jesus doesn't go places that he's not welcome
IOn the contrary, according to the bible Jesus almost always went to places that he's not welcome, so my front porch shouldn't be an obstacle at all
Quote:
If you say, "Jesus, please prove yourself to me." and mean it in true faith, then he'll do it. He loves to do things like that. He wants you to see him.
Why would I have to already believe in him before he will prove to me that he exists? Sounds really counter productive if you ask me. It's the unbelievers he should be spending his time trying to prove his existance.

 You're entire post to me and all others never actually gave an example of what Jesus did. You gave examples of situations that you claim he helped you, but not how he helped. We deal here in specifics, not vague claims. So please, I'm still waiting to hear exactly what Jesus did and how he did it that can not easily (and rationally) be attributed to someone else?

{edited for typos}


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I do hope that Christin is

I do hope that Christin is just away for a holiday weekend because this is a really good discussion.

 

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Quote: I do hope that

Quote:
I do hope that Christin is just away for a holiday weekend because this is a really good discussion.

For you it may be, Susan. But please allow me to express the deep feeling of sickness it induces for me.

By the way, I recommend a book, that kind of "touches" the problem(s) with a very tender on the surface, yet extremely brutal on the inside, hit: Norman Spinrad - The Children of Hamelin.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


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I agree that this is an

I agree that this is an excellent discussion and I, too, hope Christin hasn't gone away. I actually think that the only possible justification for belief in God is if you have had a personal experience that you feel qualifies as evidence for God's existence, so it is interesting to speak to someone who claims to have had just that. Too many theists come in here saying that they don't need evidence to believe in God. Christin is a refreshing change.

 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown