You Do Believe In God

stgemma
Posts: 40
Joined: 2009-05-23
User is offlineOffline
You Do Believe In God

Peace~

I've scoured the Atheist Experience website and numerous YouTube videos from there and elsewhere (atheist) and I've seen a lot of good, logical arguments against the existence of God.  Somewhere in those viewings I was taken to this site.  Admittedly, I've only read a few topics here, but so far I'm just plain disappointed.  It looks more like a Christian hate-site than an attempt at good, logical, unemotional dialogue.  I'm guessing that quite a few participants here are closet-believers with a real grudge against God.  There's a lot of anger, hatred and obvious immaturity here.  

 

I consider myself Christian but I have often doubted the existence of God.  The majority of participation I've seen here (on the "atheist" side) has been hostile and childish.  In fact, possibly every response I've seen from the "atheist" side has been.  I say the "majority" in case my memory serves me wrong - but I doubt that's the case.  

 

Tell me:  Why would I want to join you in your supposed "disbelief"?  Is this what will become of me?  

 

Tell me:  What motivates you?  How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?  Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?  Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?  Do you work for the common good?  What reason have you to?  Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination?  

You people have never experienced God - that is obvious.  I tell you, most professing Christians have not known God either, and I sympathize with you for choosing to disbelieve based on your experience with nominal Christianity (for those of you who can admit this).  

 

I can easily refute the existence of God using logic just like anyone else can.  I'm right there, for instance, with Matt Dillahunty (sp?) of the Atheist Experience...  I can totally see his point of view.  But that is using a very base and, albeit "natural" view of God, the universe, science, etc...    It clearly takes "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" the paradoxical nature of Jesus' teachings.  

Anyone who can recall childhood can easily gain insight into the many "problems" you all raise about God; suffering being a prime example.  Such statements to the affect of: "If God is so good, why does he allow miscarriages."  "Why does he allow rape" "...murder", etc......

When I was 4 I'm sure I wondered why my parents punished me when I did what I thought was a good thing.  I didn't realize if I had gone through with what I wanted that it would have hurt me in some way or prevented me from some greater good later.  You (and I at times....) act like little children who are sulking b/c you don't "get" why your "daddy" seems so "mean" sometimes. 

A tree has to endure some injury during the pruning process, but what results is a more bountiful fruitation as the damaged (pruned) areas are opened to release more branches, leaves and fruit.  If the tree had consciousness, it would not understand why it had to undergo such cruelty.  It would view the gardener as a tyrant; every so often taking his cruel weapons and inflicting such pain and damage to it.  If it knew, in advance, what a benefit the gardener's work on it would have in the near future, it would thank him; seeing him now as a great liberator or guide to its advancement.  

I'm sure life must be quite meaningless without belief.  It's all about here and now.  If so, what motivation do you have to me "moral" at all?  In that case, how do you even determine morality/ethics?  Sure, it seems quite elementary to a stagnant mind, but I assure you that the issue is quite complicated.  The 10 commandments are elementary, and yet even those are difficult to abide by at times.  Btw, Jesus raised the bar so to speak, concerning the 10 commandments.  "Whosoever looks at a woman with lust in his heart has already commited adultery...".  

Bondage?  You think the level Jesus calls us to is bondage?  I assure you that you have no idea what bondage you are already in if that's the case.  I feel very sorry for those, like many of yourselves here, who have bought into the lie of this world; that seeking pleasures and trying to escape suffering are what your temporal, earthly lives are all about.  Ever heard "it is better to give than to receive"?  I would gladly go to hell for all eternity to give my all (love) than to live comfort and ease, and I will rejoice all the while.  Shocking?  I know many of you view the "religious" as selfish.  Pity, pity, pity.  You've never met a passionate, godly person. 

Even suffering is a grace; a gift; a thing to be enjoyed.  THIS is liberation!  If you walked the streets of the impoverished, would you love the diseased and filthy you encounter?  HOW ARE YOU IMPROVING MANKIND?  Would you step out of your comfort level and embrace them and love them and help them?  Would you give your life for someone you don't know at all?  Would you forgive your enemy?  Love them?  Peace in this world will never be attained, but it certainly never would be by bloodshed.  Love would end all wars.  I think you all have never encounted real, agape, unconditional love.  Such a pity!  

When you know what holiness is; when you know God (stop reading your hatred for Him into Scripture), you will see how ungrateful and proud you have been to your Creator and Father...   When you discover how much He has loved you by giving His own, human, life for you, you will fall upon your knees in repentance.  The Almighty has lowered Himself by being born a babe in this hostile world and allowing Himself to be continually mistreated, dibelieved and persecuted.  Would you do that for someone?  This was a man born into crucifixion.  I tell you, He was crucified at the moment of His birth.  God loved us so much He wanted to share in your human misery, oppression, depression, poverty, persecution....   He lived it for 33 years and it ended with the most bitter and painful death imaginable.  Why?

He gave purpose to our humanity.  By becoming like us, we can become like Him.  God made us to become like Him.  There is a purpose to this life.  What an awesome opportunity we ALL have, to become like God!  I have experienced unconditional love.  Perhaps many of you have not, for which I'm empathetic and sorrowful.  God created mankind to be made divine, like Himself.  We are all created to be with Him; a part of Him, forever.  Like the tree that doesn't comprehend why it has to undergo a pruning, we are God's creation unaware of the purpose of our suffering.  And God is not elusive.  You have evidence for these paradoxes in nature itself.  We also live in a time where God's revelation is written and widely-distrubed throughout the world.  God reaches out to everyone - I am certain of that.  Many have not recognized Him b/c they are too enamored in themselves or are too busy with self-pity (which is pride) to notice Him.  Too entangled in (what many KNOW is) a sinful lifestyle to admit they recognize God's presence.         (cont...) 

 


hazindu
Superfan
hazindu's picture
Posts: 219
Joined: 2008-04-02
User is offlineOffline
stgemma wrote:Actually, when

stgemma wrote:
Actually, when I contemplate what it must be like to have no faith, those are the problems I see.  How can anyone answer them consistently?  Is it all relative?  And how does a society operate for the common good (if you can even prove that it should) when everyone's answers only originate with their own opinions?  Why is killing wrong?  What if I believe that my family is superior than everyone else's and I just kill anyone who gets in the way of our progress?  Who determines that is wrong and why?  We are fast approaching a time when the number of elderly exceed the number of working-class people (and people who have the potential to live to be workers).  What a burden this will be to the working-class.  If our interests are on progress, we should eliminate these people who cannot contribute to society.  Same with disabled people. 

Seriously - don't you people see something wrong with this?  I'll wager a guess that some of you DONT!  And you cannot honestly tell me that everyone agrees that these things are wrong - I know for a fact that this is how a staggering percentage of society are thinking.  And how can you prove it's right or wrong?  Euthanize them all and no one will suffer - in fact fewer will suffer as the burden will be lifted.  Many elderly feel like they are a burden anyway... 

A world without faith or where the faithless are the majority (at least in a democracy), this will be just one of the results. 

Those of you who think those things are wrong believe so b/c you were raised to believe so - most likely b/c family and society have been influenced by faith - especially Christianity here in the states.  I believe not many generations from now all of that will change, and what a sad state of affairs that will be.

We evolved as a social species, is it really that surprising that our societies evolved ethical standards?  Most creatures alive want to stay alive, and if they didn't, they'd probably be extinct.  Therefore, like most living creatures, we value our lives and therefore don't want us or our loved ones' lives to be ended or compromised prematurely.  How can we promote a society that protects us from this?  Oh yeah, we can shun violence (just one example of course).

Of course, morals are not objective, and the "greater good"  or how to achieve it cannot always be agreed apon.

The Greeks, (the people of a deeply religious group of city states) for example, actually did at one time have a practice of discarding deformed, disabled, or otherwise handicapped people.  They had to consider what best suited their society.  Slavery is outlawed in many places now, but just a few centuries ago, it was normal in my own country.

We're a social species, and our societies are evolving.  What need for a god do we have in explaining current morality?

"I've yet to witness circumstance successfully manipulated through the babbling of ritualistic nonsense to an imaginary deity." -- me (josh)

If god can do anything, can he make a hot dog so big even he can't eat all of it?


Zaq
atheist
Zaq's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: 2008-12-24
User is offlineOffline
Wow this is long

stgemma wrote:

Peace~

I've scoured the Atheist Experience website and numerous YouTube videos from there and elsewhere (atheist) and I've seen a lot of good, logical arguments against the existence of God.  Somewhere in those viewings I was taken to this site.  Admittedly, I've only read a few topics here, but so far I'm just plain disappointed.  It looks more like a Christian hate-site than an attempt at good, logical, unemotional dialogue.  I'm guessing that quite a few participants here are closet-believers with a real grudge against God.  There's a lot of anger, hatred and obvious immaturity here.

I think you're setting unusually high expectations for an internet forum, especially one focused on debating such a socially sensitive issue.  Can you really expect emotions not to run high here? 

stgemma wrote:

I consider myself Christian but I have often doubted the existence of God.  The majority of participation I've seen here (on the "atheist" side) has been hostile and childish.  In fact, possibly every response I've seen from the "atheist" side has been.  I say the "majority" in case my memory serves me wrong - but I doubt that's the case.

Then I'll give you a response that isn't hostile and childish.  I've seen plenty of well-thought out posts that were neither hostile nor childish.  If you want to develop a more reliable statistic than what you've presented, I suggest you keep a running tally of hostile/non-hostile posts on a piece of paper.  This eliminates problems such as confirmation bias and forgetfulness.  Then you can give us numbers instead of "majority" or "possibly every"

stgemma wrote:

Tell me:  Why would I want to join you in your supposed "disbelief"?  Is this what will become of me?

You say you've doubted God.  When/if that doubt gets strong enough you'll want to join our disbelief.  Also, our disbelief is not supposed, it is real.  By "this" I assume you refer to your previous assertion that all of us are childish, hostile posters.  What will become of you if/when you de-convert from Christianity will be entirely up to you.

stgemma wrote:

Tell me:  What motivates you?  How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?  Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?  Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?  Do you work for the common good?  What reason have you to?  Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination?

What motivates you?  My desire for happiness, both in myself and in others

How will disbelieving improve life (you seem already dead)?  How do I seem dead?    If I were dead could I be typing this?  Anyway, I have never believed in God, so I don't know how different my life would be if I did.  It's not something I chose, it's just that upon much reflection I saw the idea of God as too ridiculous to accept.

Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Seeing as this is the only life I can be sure of, I'd be silly not to.

Do you live for yourself? For pleasure? To escape suffering? Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)? Do you work for the common good?  I live for happiness, both in myself and in others.  I guess this means that I do live for myself, and for pleasure in a sense, and certainly to escape suffering.  I also seem to have compassion, I'm always outraged at moral atrocities, even when they don't directly effect me.  I work for the common good as best I can.

What reason have you to?  To what?  Live like I do?  I live for happiness, both in myself and in others, because happiness is the only thing I have found to be intrinsically good.  Basically, I want people to have good, happy lives all around.  I guess this is due to the emotional wiring of my brain.  Why do I work for the common good?  There's of course the emotional wiring, which is a result of my being a social animal.  There's also game theory, and the idea of the Nash Equilibrium.

Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination?  False dichotomy here.  You seem to be implying that chemical reactions aren't real.  Even if love is a chemical reaction (it is, at least in part), that wouldn't make it any less real.  Love is definitely not a figment of our imagination, though we can imagine it when, say, reading a book.

Love is difficult to define mainly because it has so many definitions.  There are many types of love.  I define a few here, but this probably isn't exhaustive

Lust:  A chemical reaction that helps humans reproduce.  Causes strong sexual desires

Common Love:  Desire to see one's fellow human happy, regardless of one's own relationship with said human.  This is why people donate to the poor, help random strangers while asking for nothing in return.  It promotes the Nash Equilibrium state

Tribal Love:  Result of emotional bonds with people, usually those you interact with regularly.  This includes friends and family.  Causes humans to help each other significantly, which allows higher survival rates and more happiness.  It promotes teamwork that can help solve otherwise insurmountable obstacles.

stgemma wrote:

You people have never experienced God - that is obvious.  I tell you, most professing Christians have not known God either, and I sympathize with you for choosing to disbelieve based on your experience with nominal Christianity (for those of you who can admit this). 

I did not "choose" to disbelieve.  There was never a choice for me.  Upon contemplation, the idea of God was self-contradictory and ultimately meaningless.  You also have never experienced God, because you cannot experience something that doesn't exist.  You may have imagined an experience with God.  You may have had a lucid dreaming experience, or heard a voice, or interpreted patterns, but this is merely your brain trying to fit its input into a conceptual framework.  Sometimes, even often times, brains get things wrong.  This is why the scientific method is so important.

 

stgemma wrote:

I can easily refute the existence of God using logic just like anyone else can.  I'm right there, for instance, with Matt Dillahunty (sp?) of the Atheist Experience...  I can totally see his point of view.  But that is using a very base and, albeit "natural" view of God, the universe, science, etc...    It clearly takes "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" the paradoxical nature of Jesus' teachings.

So WHY do you believe in God?  If you can refute the existence using logic, and you recognize the teachings as paradoxical, why go with it?

stgemma wrote:
 

Anyone who can recall childhood can easily gain insight into the many "problems" you all raise about God; suffering being a prime example.  Such statements to the affect of: "If God is so good, why does he allow miscarriages."  "Why does he allow rape" "...murder", etc......

When I was 4 I'm sure I wondered why my parents punished me when I did what I thought was a good thing.  I didn't realize if I had gone through with what I wanted that it would have hurt me in some way or prevented me from some greater good later.  You (and I at times....) act like little children who are sulking b/c you don't "get" why your "daddy" seems so "mean" sometimes.

Three key differences here.

First, you are able to understand why what your parents did was right once you get old enough and learn enough.  Yet God remains forever incomprehensible.

Second.  While we all may sometimes act childish, we are not children.  We are adults now, and we will make our own decisions because we have developed enough critical thinking skills to make them.  If anyone wants me to follow their rules, then they can explain why those rules are there, and how they will help me.  If they can't, then I'll figure out my own rules.

Third, according to Christian doctrine God is supposedly omnipotent, which means that he could have built us perfect, could have made us intelligent enough to understand, and moral enough to not act childishly.  Thus if we do wrong, he only has himself to blame.

stgemma wrote:

A tree has to endure some injury during the pruning process, but what results is a more bountiful fruitation as the damaged (pruned) areas are opened to release more branches, leaves and fruit.  If the tree had consciousness, it would not understand why it had to undergo such cruelty.  It would view the gardener as a tyrant; every so often taking his cruel weapons and inflicting such pain and damage to it.  If it knew, in advance, what a benefit the gardener's work on it would have in the near future, it would thank him; seeing him now as a great liberator or guide to its advancement.

Woah now, what level of consciousness are we talking about here?  If the tree is conscious, then the farmer should explain why he is pruning the tree.  Give it enough consciousness and the tree will understand the farmer's explanation.  God makes no attempt at such an explanation.

stgemma wrote:

I'm sure life must be quite meaningless without belief.  It's all about here and now.  If so, what motivation do you have to me "moral" at all?  In that case, how do you even determine morality/ethics?  Sure, it seems quite elementary to a stagnant mind, but I assure you that the issue is quite complicated.  The 10 commandments are elementary, and yet even those are difficult to abide by at times.  Btw, Jesus raised the bar so to speak, concerning the 10 commandments.  "Whosoever looks at a woman with lust in his heart has already commited adultery...".

First, life is not meaningless without the god belief.  My life is meaningful because of how it affects the lives of others around me, and the lives of those who have yet to be born.  It is not all about the here and now.  I fully expect to be alive tomorrow, so I will make plans today that will improve my life tomorrow.  I have Common Love (see above), and so I will make plans today that will improve the lives of the children around me.  It is quite complicated, but then so is life.  The ten commandments are oversimplified, they are inssuficient for the complicated lives that we live. 

"Whosoever looks at a woman with lust in his heart has already commited adultery..."  This could lead me into a huge segway about the morality of punishing thoughts.  People can't control their sex drive to such an extent without seriously damaging it (see my Lust definition above).  Punishing people for something beyond their control is not only immoral, it's plain counterproductive.

stgemma wrote:

Bondage?  You think the level Jesus calls us to is bondage?  I assure you that you have no idea what bondage you are already in if that's the case.  I feel very sorry for those, like many of yourselves here, who have bought into the lie of this world; that seeking pleasures and trying to escape suffering are what your temporal, earthly lives are all about.  Ever heard "it is better to give than to receive"?  I would gladly go to hell for all eternity to give my all (love) than to live comfort and ease, and I will rejoice all the while.  Shocking?  I know many of you view the "religious" as selfish.  Pity, pity, pity.  You've never met a passionate, godly person.

I've never used the term Bondage, and am unfamiliar with its use in this context.  You make the false assumption that being an atheist inherently leads to a selfish mindset.  As I've said before, I live for happiness in both myself and others.  I too would gladly go to hell to prevent such a fate for others (should hell exist, mind you), especially if I could save multiple "souls" with the sacrifice (2 for 1 deal, eh).  It's not shoking, it's actually quite natural.  It's called empathy, and most humans have it regardless of their religious beliefs.

stgemma wrote:

Even suffering is a grace; a gift; a thing to be enjoyed.  THIS is liberation!  If you walked the streets of the impoverished, would you love the diseased and filthy you encounter?  HOW ARE YOU IMPROVING MANKIND?  Would you step out of your comfort level and embrace them and love them and help them?  Would you give your life for someone you don't know at all?  Would you forgive your enemy?  Love them?  Peace in this world will never be attained, but it certainly never would be by bloodshed.  Love would end all wars.  I think you all have never encounted real, agape, unconditional love.  Such a pity! 

You enjoy suffering?  It is a gift?  Would you like me to make you suffer?  That seems to be the logical conclusion of your first sentence there.  Be careful what you wish for...

Unfortunately I have not yet been able to help the world very much.  The main reason is that I plan to help the world through technological and intellectual advancement, mainly in the fields of physics and mathematics.  That sort of education takes time.  But I try to help people when I can.  My most recent endeaver is the asking of daily philosophical questions to my fellow students.  I try to open people's minds and get them to think critically about the world around them.

stgemma wrote:

When you know what holiness is; when you know God (stop reading your hatred for Him into Scripture), you will see how ungrateful and proud you have been to your Creator and Father...   When you discover how much He has loved you by giving His own, human, life for you, you will fall upon your knees in repentance.

Had to interrupt here.  I am an American that firmly believes in the handshake and the equality of all.  I kneel before no one, man or deity.  If I were to meet a god, I would shake his/her hand.

stgemma wrote:

The Almighty has lowered Himself by being born a babe in this hostile world and allowing Himself to be continually mistreated, dibelieved and persecuted.  Would you do that for someone?  This was a man born into crucifixion.  I tell you, He was crucified at the moment of His birth.  God loved us so much He wanted to share in your human misery, oppression, depression, poverty, persecution....   He lived it for 33 years and it ended with the most bitter and painful death imaginable.  Why?

God supposedly went through a lot of unnecessary pain (remember, he's omnipotent.  He could have just waved his hand if he wanted to) so that I may ask forgiveness from him (or was it his son?) for violating his unexplained rules.  Why not just forgive me?  Why not explain his rules?

If God loves me so much, why did he lower me to being born a babe in this hostile world, and allowing me to be continually mistreated, disbelieved, and oppressed (yes, I've faced anti-atheists oppression, even in my own home)?  Would you do that to someone?  People live worse lives than Jesus every day.  If God loves them so much, why does he put them through it?

stgemma wrote:

He gave purpose to our humanity.  By becoming like us, we can become like Him.  God made us to become like Him.  There is a purpose to this life.  What an awesome opportunity we ALL have, to become like God!  I have experienced unconditional love.  Perhaps many of you have not, for which I'm empathetic and sorrowful.  God created mankind to be made divine, like Himself.  We are all created to be with Him; a part of Him, forever.  Like the tree that doesn't comprehend why it has to undergo a pruning, we are God's creation unaware of the purpose of our suffering.  And God is not elusive.  You have evidence for these paradoxes in nature itself.  We also live in a time where God's revelation is written and widely-distrubed throughout the world.  God reaches out to everyone - I am certain of that.  Many have not recognized Him b/c they are too enamored in themselves or are too busy with self-pity (which is pride) to notice Him.  Too entangled in (what many KNOW is) a sinful lifestyle to admit they recognize God's presence.         (cont...) 

Again, he's just jumping through unnecessary hoops.  And making us do the same.  Why not just snap, poof, make us divine?  Why not just snap, poof, and appear right in front of me?  What is with all these unnecessary shenanigans?  An all-powerful and all-loving deity ought to come up with a more efficient means of saving souls.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


Behemoth (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
You show up to this website,

You show up to this website, read a couple posts, and then make a generalized judgement on everyone here. You obviously are attempting to start an argument that you believe will somehow magically validate your own beliefs, most likely because you yourself are unsure about them. Let me make this short and simple, we are not interested. Move along troll.


Zaq
atheist
Zaq's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: 2008-12-24
User is offlineOffline
stgemma wrote:I'm very sorry

stgemma wrote:

I'm very sorry you have never met someone who knew God, that you've never known Him, and that you discount those who witness to Him as crackpots.  With Christ there is no suffering at all.  If only you knew the bliss and complete freedom that could be had in Christ.  It takes a lot of work to strip away the selfishness (pruning) and allow the fruit (unity with God/"Nirvana"/sanctity), but what Heaven, even on earth, it truly is!

My younger sister is a born-again Christian, and I feel very sorry for her.  She is not a crackpot, but she has received some  very old-fashioned ideas about women's rights, their role in marriage, divorce, and science.  Also, you say that with Christ there is no suffering, yet you previously said that suffering is a gift, something to be enjoyed.  Why is Christ taking this gift from us?

stgemma wrote:

I will say this:  Most of Christianity has it wrong, and they are trying to impose their "morality" on unbelievers as if it could make the world better.  True transformation has to come through true, personal compuction (realiziong of sin: humility).  No one can make someone live a godly life.  There is never going to be peace for this reason.  Even if atheists had their way and converted all religious (although you only seem to target Christians here....) you could not impose your "morality" on others.  There would never be agreement.  Furthermore, even if everyone subscribed to some general, atheistic, "morality", b/c it doesn't come close to God's standards (which have our better good in consideration, but like little children, you fail to see it), it would fail.

So what's the point of your post then?  Why bother trying to impose your morality on us?  Why try convincing us that your belief is good if you won't succeed?

We target Christians here because a.) Christianity is too darned common, and b.) Christianity is what most of us are most familiar with.

And again, if we fail to see God's standards then it's God's own fault, not ours.  He is omnipotent after all.

stgemma wrote:

Bear in mind, the above comes from a formerly angry, abused, addicted-in-every-way, bi-sexual, man-hating, mankind-hating, intelligent, now-mature person who has had the grace of living in God's Presence, in the here and now.  St. John Vianney (the "Cure of Ars" [France]) once said: if we could experience, for one brief moment, how much God loves us, we would die of joy!  You think and think and use all your silly logic to "see" how "impossible" it is that God exists.  It's your pride and love of sin that make you blind.  I can rationalize away the impossiblity of God's existence too, but I learned how to stop being my own God, like many of you wish to be.  But there is such a thing as Heaven on Earth if you would abandon your preconceived notions, put aside your pride, be willing to abandon your sins, and empty yourself so that God can fill you with Himself.  This is the "deny yourself" Jesus was speaking of.  The "take up your cross", b/c it is very hard at first.  We want control.  But real control - the kind that liberates you - comes from self-abandoment of your will to God's will.  Allowing the pain of pruning away at parts of ourselves that we very much wish to possess, that, once released, give way to far better things.  This is why (some, albeit few...) Christians rejoice in their afflictions.  It's how many of what you consider "sufferings" and "injustices" in this life are really graces (prunings).  People fill themselves with silly, passing pleasures which actually do more harm than good.  They kill themselves (physically, mentally AND spiritually) with their drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, and every sort of immorality.  God's ways are not grievous.  They are liberating.  What a joy to be rid of filling myself with such passing and unfulfilling garbage.  Yes, it's all good, for a short time, but in the end you do yourself some harm, and over time a lot of harm, and all the while you never accomplish what you wish: to be fulfilled.  You're happy for a moment, and the next you are empty again.  Always trying to fill yourself: with people, with substances, with material possessions, with power, with knowledge....

Um... real control is abandoning your will?  You have an unusual definition of control there.

You seem to be saying "stop reasoning, stop using logic.  Stop thinking and just believe."  This is my biggest problem with religion.  You are the one who is damaging your mind by inhibiting your thoughts.

Also, your "holier than thou" stance is getting annoying fast.  Please stop assuming we're all such terrible people.  Just because God got you out of drugs and hatred doesn't mean its the only way, nor does it mean that it works for everyone.

stgemma wrote:

You will never be happy until you rid yourself of these things.  You were made for God.  We are ALL called to holiness.  My guess is, if you know people who believed and lived these things, you'd KNOW God exists.  And I don't think it is limited to Christianity.  I believe Christ's "way" is lived, to some extent, through a minority of people of other religions like Buddhism and some nature-oriented, pagan relgions, but I believe there are few that truly experience and live this.  Jesus said the way was narrow and few would find it.  Be one of the few.  You won't regret it.     

Peace~          

I do know people who believe and live these things, and it is very unconvincing.  I am also very happy with my life right now, and have no need for religion to obtain happiness.

Also, I hope you realize how self-contradictory your argument has become.  You repeatedly criticize us for seaking selfish pleasures, yet then tell us that god will make us happy.

And lastly, if this path be so narrow, then an all-powerful deity ought to come up with a method of saving souls that has a higher success rate.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


The Flying Spag...
Science Freak
The Flying Spaghetti Monster's picture
Posts: 225
Joined: 2009-06-03
User is offlineOffline
stgemma wrote:It looks more

stgemma wrote:

It looks more like a Christian hate-site than an attempt at good, logical, unemotional dialogue.  I'm guessing that quite a few participants here are closet-believers with a real grudge against God.  There's a lot of anger, hatred and obvious immaturity here. 

Why can't I hate Christians while offering good, logical, and unemotional dialogue? Christians certainly hate me.

 

stgemma wrote:
The majority of participation I've seen here (on the "atheist" side) has been hostile and childish.  In fact, possibly every response I've seen from the "atheist" side has been.  I say the "majority" in case my memory serves me wrong - but I doubt that's the case. 

Lol @ hostile...No offense to the admins here, but the "MAJORITY" of posts from Atheists here have been fairly boring and wordy. Saying we're childish and hostile is an absurd exaggeration. How about you throw in us being baby-killers for shock value. Helps in making you sound more like a poor, innocent wittle victim :*(

 

 

stgemma wrote:

Tell me:  Why would I want to join you in your supposed "disbelief"?  Is this what will become of me? 

It's not a movement, genius. It's simply not believing in something. Don't criticize us, criticize your creator for being so imaginary.

 

stgemma wrote:

Tell me:  What motivates you?  How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?  Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?  Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?  Do you work for the common good?  What reason have you to?  Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination? 

Again, disbelieving isn't a choice. It's called facing reality. If there's no reason to believe, the end result is...not believing. Try applying those critical thinking skills, Socrates. As much as it might bother you, I'm an extremely happy, positive person. Have a perfect life - without Jesus, even!

 

stgemma wrote:

You people have never experienced God - that is obvious.  I tell you, most professing Christians have not known God either, and I sympathize with you for choosing to disbelieve based on your experience with nominal Christianity (for those of you who can admit this). 

Not a choice, unless I'm a hypocrite.

 

stgemma wrote:

I can easily refute the existence of God using logic just like anyone else can.

 

Wow, you just checkmated yourself. I think I'll skip the rest of whatever argument you're trying to make. GG


 


marshalltenbears
marshalltenbears's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: 2009-02-19
User is offlineOffline
stgemma wrote:Here's the

stgemma wrote:

Here's the short version:

 

Many of you are believers, you just hate God b/c you love your lifestyle which is killing you and making you miserable.  You're not happy, you're angry at God and anyone who professed to believe in Him or find peace with Him b/c you have made no effort to step down from your pedestal and admit that you wish to be your own God.  Like silly little children who sulk b/c they don't understand their parent's rules and prefer their childish ways...

 

You were made to be holy - like God.  It takes humility.  Humility will give you "ears to hear" and "eyes to see".  God isn't a tyrant like you envisioned your parents in your youthfulness.  He wants you to grow up to be like Him and share in His divinity.  Like a tree that has to bear the uncomfortable pruning, our suffering and "injustices" endured in this life are for our advancement.  They are for our own downfall if we insist, in our pride, to follow our own destructive path.

 

 Actually the times when I felt the most miserable were when I was a christian. I constantly felt guilty about every little detail in my life. I could not enjoy life. And I know what you are already thinking about saying, " I didn't truely know christ" Please spare me. I would pray constantly, I would go into the wilderness for days hoping that god would reveal himself to me, or at least speak to me. I went to church own my own when I was a teenager, 3 times a week. If you would just stop being stubborn for a couple of minutes and think about the reasoning behind your god. He knows before we are born if we will go to hell, but yet he allows it to happen anyways. (Please don't tell me that god does not send us to hell, that we send ourselves, He created hell so he has control over it.) Could you allow your children to go to such a place forever? If he is real he is not a god of love. I am a mere mortal and I have more love than that.  If you care to read why I left the faith check out my post.  

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16870

Just take the time and read it, you may get something out of it, that is if you are not afraid to read something other than the bible. 

peace. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


marshalltenbears
marshalltenbears's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: 2009-02-19
User is offlineOffline
 Sorry, I totally fucked

 Sorry, I totally fucked away the quote funtion, the third paragraph is mine, if you couldn't tell. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
Apologies if this has not

Apologies if this has already been done but this thread is full of tldr.

 

 

Do not!!!11!!one!!1

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


SSBBJunky
Superfan
Posts: 209
Joined: 2009-02-06
User is offlineOffline
The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

GG

Does this stand for good game?

and if it does, what game do you play where you use that?

''Black Holes result from God dividing the universe by zero.''


The Flying Spag...
Science Freak
The Flying Spaghetti Monster's picture
Posts: 225
Joined: 2009-06-03
User is offlineOffline
SSBBJunky wrote:The Flying

SSBBJunky wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

GG

Does this stand for good game?

and if it does, what game do you play where you use that?

Starcraft. Waiting on 2 !


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
 To Reply to the OP: I am

 To Reply to the OP:

 

I am a mature, well adjusted, happy person with no particularly strong childhood or adult trauma.  I love my parents, they love me.  My only sibling is great.  My family is stable, and very, very Christian.  I am married to a great woman, and have a wonderful, gorgeous daughter.  I have an interesting job, and I get up for work every day.  I don't do drugs or drink excessively.  I have never fought, murdered or violated another human being and I am loyal to my wife.  I live the life I do in the way I do because I think it is beneficial to my happiness, not because I fear a magical being, or strive for a mystical reward.

 

I understand your faith.  I was brought up in a religious family, and spent the first 18 years of my life directly studying the Bible and Christianity every single day.  Your idea of a fatherly deity who cares for your personal well-being is absurd in the face of evidence.  Trying to humanize your god, and make him compatible with your modern sense or morality requires heavy duty cherry-picking.

 

I have zero reason to hate your imaginary friend, and I do not.  However, I believe that your fundamental belief that humanity is governed by an illusion is harmful to human progress, and I can show evidence of this fact.  Humans are capable of being productive and happy without the concept of deity, and this can also be demonstrated by many cultures and societies.

 

You believe in magic.  In mysticism.  In ancient prophecy.  In Demons.  In Angels.  I do not, because they have not been shown to exist outside of the religious mind.  You are an ancient pagan trying to cloak yourself in a layer of reason, and you are not analyzing your own belief system with the same logic that you would analyze the rest of the real world.  You make excuses for god because you *feel* something.

 

Your presumptions of my character and civility are insulting and demeaning, and they show a distinct lack of intellectual honesty on your part.

 

Good day.

 

(Edit:  Aw man, I thought the discussion was still active.  Too bad.)

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5815
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Nice post, mellestad.Oh, and

Nice post, mellestad.

Oh, and I haven't personally welcomed you to these forums, yet.

Welcome!!

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
 Thanks!  I look forward

 Thanks!  I look forward to many interesting discussion.s

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


LosingStreak06
Theist
LosingStreak06's picture
Posts: 768
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
stgemma wrote:Somewhere in

stgemma wrote:
Somewhere in those viewings I was taken to this site.  Admittedly, I've only read a few topics here, but so far I'm just plain disappointed.  It looks more like a Christian hate-site than an attempt at good, logical, unemotional dialogue.  I'm guessing that quite a few participants here are closet-believers with a real grudge against God.  There's a lot of anger, hatred and obvious immaturity here.

 

Greetings and salutations! Might I humbly suggest that, if the topics posted on the boards are a bit too low-brow for you, that you instead read some of the articles written on the site instead? I would even be kind enough to offer you some suggestions as to where you might seek out some loftier, more intellectual stimulation:

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/what_are_epistemic_rights_a_basic_primer_in_critical_thinking

http://www.rationalresponders.com/ontological_and_epistemological_blunders_tag

http://www.rationalresponders.com/problems_notion_nonmaterial_aspect_conscious_process

http://www.rationalresponders.com/silence_screams_no_contemporary_historical_accounts_quotjesus

http://www.rationalresponders.com/039supernatural039_and_039immaterial039_are_broken_concepts

http://www.rationalresponders.com/quotgodquot_incoherent_term

 

That should get you started.

 


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5100
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Why care about a single crucifixion?

 

StGemma - I could walk out into the street and find a dozen people prepared to give their lives to save the world.

In case you missed it, the concept is an abiding male fixation from David and his sling to Flash Gordon.

I'm not sure you can suggest you're a wavering christian then start blazing away with gun-full of wild assumptions about

members and their weaknesses based on your heavenly father's utterly unprovables.

Nothing you wrote in your original post touched me as anything other than a regurgitation of an unsavoury dogma.

You've clearly never visited a christian site as an atheist if you find the attitude here not to your liking.

Why don't you start again by giving one single, incontestable proof jesus ever lived let along died on a cross.

And do try to use short, pithy sentences when you do it. You either have the evidence or you do not. Any digression

will give me the answer I need. Oh - and be respectful enough not to dish up the new testament, won't you?

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


FledgelingSkeptic
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-09-20
User is offlineOffline
I'm brand new to the site

I'm brand new to the site though I've been an atheist and skeptic for about a year now. I'm sorry you've found so much anger at so many sites. There are reasons for that anger at it isn't solely directed at your diety. Atheists are angry because we are told that we live in a country based on religion and we just need to "get over it" or "deal with it". It sucks being a minority when the rest of the country is cramming their (unscientific, unsubstantiated) beliefs down your throat constantly. Every. Single. Fricking. Day.

I can tell you that, without a doubt, I do not believe in god, yours or any other. I am not angry at him/her/it. But I AM angry at what many organized religions do in the name of a book and a god. And it's not just christians I'm mad at. It's anyone who uses a belief to harm or subjugate others.

In your original post you say you sometimes doubt the existence of god. I would tell you to trust those instincts. You know deep down when something doesn't seem quite right. Of course I understand that you were indoctrinated at a young age so it will take time to completely shed that. It takes a long time to recover from systematic abuse. And it IS abusive to tell a child that they must believe in this invisible person or they will be burnt and hurt for all eternity.

You asked: What motivates you?  How will disbelieving "improve" "life" (you seem already dead)?  Do you live for this world (your earthly life)?  Do you live for yourself?  For pleasure?  To escape suffering?  Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)?  Do you work for the common good?  What reason have you to?  Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination?  

You people have never experienced God - that is obvious.  I tell you, most professing Christians have not known God either, and I sympathize with you for choosing to disbelieve based on your experience with nominal Christianity (for those of you who can admit this). 

 

What motivates me: I love my life. I love my family and friends and I enjoy doing what I do in my life. I help others where I can and live each day to the fullest because I know, as an atheist, that I only HAVE this life. There's no reward waiting for me after I die and I'm content in knowing that. So I treat each day as a precious thing, because it IS.

How will "disbelieving" improve your life? I'm SO relieved that I no longer have to feel so much pressure. Am I doing the right thing? Am I thinking the right thing? Which flavor of Christianity is the "right" one? What is the "right" way to believe? What is the "right" way to pray? It is such a HUGE burden off my shoulders no longer having to conform to what others think I SHOULD be. I can just be myself. Finally.

Do you live for this world (your earthly life)? If you mean do I look forward to an afterlife, then yes I live for my earthly life. I know, as an atheist, that this is the only time I will ever get to have here on this planet. But if you mean do I live a life enmeshed in greed, suffering, etc, then no. I accept that bad things happen. I deal with them and then I move on. (read more about the bad things that have happened to me here: http://www.boobcast.wordpress.com) That's not to say that I haven't been traumatized by situations. I HAVE been as you'll see in the above blog. But instead of looking for strength in a divine being, I found it in my husband, my family and, most importantly, in MYSELF.

Do I: live for pleasure/to escape suffering? - No. I'm not a hedonist. I don't attend orgies. I barely drink alcohol and I NEVER do illicit drugs. I'm a happily married monogamous bisexual. Yes, such a thing exists.

To escape suffering: Honey, this is Planet Earth. NO ONE escapes suffering here.

Have you compassion (for others - especially for strangers)? It sounds rather self-aggrandizing to answer this question at all. It hurts me to see innocent people suffer for the foolishness of others. But that is also colored with the knowledge that some people have gotten themselves into the mess they are in. That doesn't make them any less in need of a caring heart. Sometimes compassion comes in the form of a brick to the head. Not literally, of course. What I mean is that sometimes it is more compassionate to point out the errors in hopes that the person will learn from those mistakes.

Do you work for the common good? What IS the common good? Who defines it? What is good for one person is not good for another. I work for the good of those who are oppressed by being an activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. These people (myself included) are denied access to many government benefits simply for who we love. Hardly an equitable thing so I work with others to right that inequity.

What reason have you to? Injustice ticks me right the hell off. It's the way I was raised. My parents taught me to stand and fight if I believe I'm right. It's as much a part of me as thinking for myself instead of allowing others to define how I should think and act.

Is love real or is it a chemical reaction; a figment of our imagination?  Chemical reactions ARE real. I've had a happily ongoing chemical reaction with my husband for over 13 years.

You go on to say "You people have never experienced God - that is obvious.": That would be an incorrect assessment. I used to be christian. I used to speak in tongues. I gave accurate interpretations during tongues and interpretations in church. I felt the Holy Spirit many times.

When I was a believer I met someone who challenged me to prove the existence of god. So I started reading other books. I read "The World's 16 Crucified Saviors". I read about the bloodline of Jesus. And you know what I discovered? The chrisitan church has been lying to people about SO many things it's not even funny. Did you know that Jesus was an "oops" baby? There was a certain time of year that Joseph and Mary were supposed to have sex to ensure that their child would be born during the prophesied time. But they got busy too early and..oops!

That's just one TINY part of the conspiracy of religion that keeps people subjugated and living in fear of retribution. I refuse to live my life in fear. I have also found no proof that ANY god exists. So that's why I'm a happy, well-adjusted atheist. I hope that answers all of your questions. Please feel free to email me at fledgelingskeptic@atheist.com if you have any questions for me.

 

 


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
stgemma wrote:Doesn't god

stgemma wrote:


Doesn't god know what will happen already?

He can know what will happen, yes, but having the ability to know does not mean that He orchestrates things for us.  Being omniscient doesn't interfere with free will.  That's a common fallacy. 

 

It is a common fallacy when people try to apply logic to your magic friend?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.