To all theists: Why do you believe? [kill em with kindness]

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To all theists: Why do you believe? [kill em with kindness]

I'm putting this in the Kill em' with kindness section so that more theists will feel safe posting on it. I'm not used to watching what I say, or in my opinion calling a spade a spade, but I'll do my best.

As a person who has never believed in deiti(es), I have always been curious as to why people believed in them. Don't think I'm using this thread to just try and belittle believers, I am genuinely curious as to what you have felt and experienced which brought you to a belief in some kind of "higher power". I am curious as to the kinds of experiences which will lead someone to god belief.

Was it a close call with death? Your own or someone close to you?

Was it your upbringing? What part of it lead you to begin or keep believing?

Was it something else entirely, like a personal vision or something of that nature?

So what's YOUR story? I may not agree that there is any truth to belief in deiti(es), but people do believe, and I'm wondering what causes it.

 

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
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Though I really don't think

Though I really don't think it is your intention to belittle believers, look at the tone of your invitation. It suggests that there must have been some sort of desperation that brought about our beliefs while yours was formed from rational observance. Some unfortunate geographic connection to a primitive superstition or tradition or perhaps a flare for drama or even insanity.

Perhaps before I answer your questions you should tell me how you come to believe as you do?

Was it some heartbreaking disappointment? Did life beat the spirit out of you?

Did you just fall into it or were you running away from something? Responsibilities? Community?

Or was it something else altogether, like drug use, alcoholism or mental illness?

 

Seems like a typical narrow minded religious approach of me to make those sorts of assumptions, doesn't it? Does it make you want to wail on the importance of education and rational thinking as if in some sort of class struggle of superiority?

I was raised in an irreligious house. My mother had been raised as various freakish Bible belt fanatics like the Pentecostals and had decided fairly early in life that it was bullshit and my dad had been raised to that effect from the start. We were well off and educated. As a child I was an avid reader. I would read anything I could get my hands on. I hated religion for the obvious destructive power I seen that it possessed, for the mind numbing control and abuse of that control I seen that it incorporated in the lives of the people around me, and for the hypocrisy of its people. By the time I was 27 I realized that I had a Bible in my possession which was the only book that I had and yet had never read and it occurred to me that if I was going to criticize and even hate something as I did religion in general and Christianity specifically, I should read the supposed root of all of that, the Bible. To make a long story short, I discovered two very important things very quickly. Firstly, religion had grossly misrepresented the Bible and had distorted it almost beyond recognition, and secondly that the Bible was most likely exactly what it said it was. For the next 16 years or so I have reaffirmed this over and over again.


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I like your questions.Quote:

I like your questions.

Quote:
 Perhaps before I answer your questions you should tell me how you come to believe as you do?

Was it some heartbreaking disappointment? Did life beat the spirit out of you?

Did you just fall into it or were you running away from something? Responsibilities? Community?

Or was it something else altogether, like drug use, alcoholism or mental illness?

 

I do not "believe as I do".  I lack belief and therefore others have the burden of proof.

Of course I'm disappointed.  Having no grand design or greater purpose for my life is of great stress to me.  Doesn't mean I can all of a sudden start believing in things like spirits.

I became an atheist the moment I heard the word and its definition.  Before that, like all children, I simply was one.

And I use drugs and alcohol in order to kill the soulless black hole in my mind where wishful thinking is not potent enough.

 

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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ShadowOfMan wrote:I like

 

ShadowOfMan wrote:
I do not "believe as I do." I lack belief and therefore others have the burden of proof.

You believe a negative which can't be prooved. It isn't my burden to correct you, that is your own.

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Of course I'm disappointed.  Having no grand design or greater purpose for my life is of great stress to me.  Doesn't mean I can all of a sudden start believing in things like spirits.

I agree, though I see no reason in being disappointed. Is it possible that you are disappointed in something else?

ShadowOfMan wrote:
And I use drugs and alcohol in order to kill the soulless black hole in my mind where wishful thinking is not potent enough.

That I seriously doubt. I used drugs and alcohol in order to get fucked up. Nothing more and nothing less. Other people use it for other reasons though I doubt a substitute for wishful thinking would be one of them.

 


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 I do not believe that Thor

 I do not believe that Thor does not exist.  I do not believe that the Easter bunny does not exist.  I disbelieve in such things.   Its a very subtle difference, but the difference exists none the less.  

The burden of proof does lie with the person making the claim.  If I told you that I have a talking pimple, it would be up to me to show you some evidence if I had any hope to convince you.  

Of course drugs and alcohol don't REALLY fill holes in my personality or "soul" or whatever.  They do fill holes in my boredom.  And they give me the euphoric feeling that others might expect heaven to be like.  Or maybe the euphoria that worshipers may feel when they feel the "holy spirit".

 

Back to the question, why do you believe?

Why don't you believe in my talking pimple?

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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David Henson wrote:Though I

David Henson wrote:

Though I really don't think it is your intention to belittle believers, look at the tone of your invitation. It suggests that there must have been some sort of desperation that brought about our beliefs while yours was formed from rational observance. Some unfortunate geographic connection to a primitive superstition or tradition or perhaps a flare for drama or even insanity.

Perhaps before I answer your questions you should tell me how you come to believe as you do?

Was it some heartbreaking disappointment? Did life beat the spirit out of you?

Did you just fall into it or were you running away from something? Responsibilities? Community?

Or was it something else altogether, like drug use, alcoholism or mental illness?

 

Seems like a typical narrow minded religious approach of me to make those sorts of assumptions, doesn't it? Does it make you want to wail on the importance of education and rational thinking as if in some sort of class struggle of superiority?

I was raised in an irreligious house. My mother had been raised as various freakish Bible belt fanatics like the Pentecostals and had decided fairly early in life that it was bullshit and my dad had been raised to that effect from the start. We were well off and educated. As a child I was an avid reader. I would read anything I could get my hands on. I hated religion for the obvious destructive power I seen that it possessed, for the mind numbing control and abuse of that control I seen that it incorporated in the lives of the people around me, and for the hypocrisy of its people. By the time I was 27 I realized that I had a Bible in my possession which was the only book that I had and yet had never read and it occurred to me that if I was going to criticize and even hate something as I did religion in general and Christianity specifically, I should read the supposed root of all of that, the Bible. To make a long story short, I discovered two very important things very quickly. Firstly, religion had grossly misrepresented the Bible and had distorted it almost beyond recognition, and secondly that the Bible was most likely exactly what it said it was. For the next 16 years or so I have reaffirmed this over and over again.

 

I don't think you are being fair.  He listed, "Or other" as an option.

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


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mellestad wrote:I don't

mellestad wrote:

I don't think you are being fair.  He listed, "Or other" as an option.

Duly noted, but you can't deny that there was, intended or unintended, the notion that belief is inferior. A defecancy or illness rather than possibly an exhaustive search for evidence. That was the point I was trying to make.


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David Henson wrote:mellestad

David Henson wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I don't think you are being fair.  He listed, "Or other" as an option.

Duly noted, but you can't deny that there was, intended or unintended, the notion that belief is inferior. A defecancy or illness rather than possibly an exhaustive search for evidence. That was the point I was trying to make.

 

Well, naturally Smiling

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


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ShadowOfMan wrote: I do not

ShadowOfMan wrote:

 I do not believe that Thor does not exist.  I do not believe that the Easter bunny does not exist.  I disbelieve in such things.   Its a very subtle difference, but the difference exists none the less.  

Explain the very subtle difference, please?

ShadowOfMan wrote:
The burden of proof does lie with the person making the claim.  If I told you that I have a talking pimple, it would be up to me to show you some evidence if I had any hope to convince you. 

That may be true if you were trying to convince me or I were interested in fairly examining the evidence. I don't think that you are interested in fairly examining the evidence. The fact is you believe what you believe and I believe what I believe.

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Of course drugs and alcohol don't REALLY fill holes in my personality or "soul" or whatever.  They do fill holes in my boredom.  And they give me the euphoric feeling that others might expect heaven to be like.  Or maybe the euphoria that worshipers may feel when they feel the "holy spirit".

I couldn't have said it better myself. You simply traded one euphoric delusion for another.

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Back to the question, why do you believe?

Because I have gathered the evidence and have no choice but to believe. The instant I should find any contrary evidence I will immediately cease to believe, very publicly and very openly.

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Why don't you believe in my talking pimple?

I think you might have been drunk or stoned when you discovered it.


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mellestad wrote:David Henson

mellestad wrote:

David Henson wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I don't think you are being fair.  He listed, "Or other" as an option.

Duly noted, but you can't deny that there was, intended or unintended, the notion that belief is inferior. A defecancy or illness rather than possibly an exhaustive search for evidence. That was the point I was trying to make.

 

Well, naturally Smiling

Heh-heh.


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David Henson

David Henson wrote:

ShadowOfMan wrote:

 I do not believe that Thor does not exist.  I do not believe that the Easter bunny does not exist.  I disbelieve in such things.   Its a very subtle difference, but the difference exists none the less.  

Explain the very subtle difference, please?

ShadowOfMan wrote:
The burden of proof does lie with the person making the claim.  If I told you that I have a talking pimple, it would be up to me to show you some evidence if I had any hope to convince you. 

That may be true if you were trying to convince me or I were interested in fairly examining the evidence. I don't think that you are interested in fairly examining the evidence. The fact is you believe what you believe and I believe what I believe.

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Of course drugs and alcohol don't REALLY fill holes in my personality or "soul" or whatever.  They do fill holes in my boredom.  And they give me the euphoric feeling that others might expect heaven to be like.  Or maybe the euphoria that worshipers may feel when they feel the "holy spirit".

I couldn't have said it better myself. You simply traded one euphoric delusion for another.

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Back to the question, why do you believe?

Because I have gathered the evidence and have no choice but to believe. The instant I should find any contrary evidence I will immediately cease to believe, very publicly and very openly.

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Why don't you believe in my talking pimple?

I think you might have been drunk or stoned when you discovered it.

 

Hey David, how did you get introduced to the JW stuff?  Was it something you found on your own, a family/friend thing or did they find you?

It doesn't have anything to do with this thread, I'm just curious.

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


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what evidence?

David Henson wrote:

Because I have gathered the evidence and have no choice but to believe. The instant I should find any contrary evidence I will immediately cease to believe, very publicly and very openly.

I'll let ShadowofMan answer the rest of your questions, but I'm curious.  I searched for evidence of god/s/dess existence for years.  All I found was a bunch of self-delusional people who wanted very badly for an invisible friend.  I understand their need for finding self-worth outside of themselves, but that isn't proof that said invisible friend exists.

Find me one, just one, person who was healed of cystic fibrosis or limb amputation or something similarly visible and I could believe in miracles, too.  Invisible tumors, headaches, backaches, or images of Jesus in bacon fat just won't cut it for me, sorry.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:David Henson

cj wrote:

David Henson wrote:

Because I have gathered the evidence and have no choice but to believe. The instant I should find any contrary evidence I will immediately cease to believe, very publicly and very openly.

I'll let ShadowofMan answer the rest of your questions, but I'm curious.  I searched for evidence of god/s/dess existence for years.  All I found was a bunch of self-delusional people who wanted very badly for an invisible friend.  I understand their need for finding self-worth outside of themselves, but that isn't proof that said invisible friend exists.

Find me one, just one, person who was healed of cystic fibrosis or limb amputation or something similarly visible and I could believe in miracles, too.  Invisible tumors, headaches, backaches, or images of Jesus in bacon fat just won't cut it for me, sorry.

Hey, don't be a hater...he got a job for Musicguy!

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


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not hating

mellestad wrote:

Hey, don't be a hater...he got a job for Musicguy!

I'm not hating, I'm truly curious.  And could he (which he?) get a job for me, too?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:mellestad

cj wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Hey, don't be a hater...he got a job for Musicguy!

I'm not hating, I'm truly curious.  And could he (which he?) get a job for me, too?

 

Big 'H' He.  God.

 

I think you have to pray though.

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


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oh

mellestad wrote:

cj wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Hey, don't be a hater...he got a job for Musicguy!

I'm not hating, I'm truly curious.  And could he (which he?) get a job for me, too?

 

Big 'H' He.  God.

 

I think you have to pray though.

If I thought prayer would work, I would have tried it six months ago when I took the CISSP exam.  But hard work and memorization did the trick and I passed.  The same tactic doesn't seem to work for finding a job, however.  Maybe I need to be young with great tits.  Nah, that couldn't be it, either.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:mellestad wrote:cj

cj wrote:

mellestad wrote:

cj wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Hey, don't be a hater...he got a job for Musicguy!

I'm not hating, I'm truly curious.  And could he (which he?) get a job for me, too?

 

Big 'H' He.  God.

 

I think you have to pray though.

If I thought prayer would work, I would have tried it six months ago when I took the CISSP exam.  But hard work and memorization did the trick and I passed.  The same tactic doesn't seem to work for finding a job, however.  Maybe I need to be young with great tits.  Nah, that couldn't be it, either.

Maybe you could pray to God for great tits?

 

The power of Christ enlarges them!  The power of Christ lifts them!  The power of Christ firms them!  Praise Jesus!

 

Edit: Man, I am so bad at memorizing for exams.  My brain leaks like a sieve, and I'm a lazy bastard.

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


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mellestad wrote:Hey David,

mellestad wrote:

Hey David, how did you get introduced to the JW stuff?  Was it something you found on your own, a family/friend thing or did they find you?

It doesn't have anything to do with this thread, I'm just curious.

 

The Bible that I first began to study was published by the WB&TS. They had given it to my mom years earlier and I had taken it and never read it until then. So, after studying myself for a while I decided to pray that if they were the truth for Jehovah to send them to me. I then lived way out in the country where they never come, so I prayed that night and the next morning. While I was praying that morning they come knocking on the door. I studied with them for about a year. I read all of their literature going back before I was born. I read their massive history, the Proclaimers book before most of them actually had. Elders and Presiding Overseer were very impressed with my knowledge and would sometimes come to me with questions about the Bible or JW history. I would find myself having to correct some of them when they were wrong. I never become one because of their history of false prophecy, and former bans on neutrality, organ transplants, education and vaccinations. I also felt that they were only putting on a big show.


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cj wrote:David Henson

cj wrote:

I'll let ShadowofMan answer the rest of your questions, but I'm curious.  I searched for evidence of god/s/dess existence for years.  All I found was a bunch of self-delusional people who wanted very badly for an invisible friend.  I understand their need for finding self-worth outside of themselves, but that isn't proof that said invisible friend exists.

Find me one, just one, person who was healed of cystic fibrosis or limb amputation or something similarly visible and I could believe in miracles, too.  Invisible tumors, headaches, backaches, or images of Jesus in bacon fat just won't cut it for me, sorry.

You can't find God in people. Healings were isolated events in the Bible in order to accomplish something other than healing itself. Paul said healings and speaking in tongues would end for these reasons, for the weak in spirit to witness more or less, would end. Healings can be performed by people under the influence of demons, though most alleged healings are fake.


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David Henson wrote:mellestad

David Henson wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Hey David, how did you get introduced to the JW stuff?  Was it something you found on your own, a family/friend thing or did they find you?

It doesn't have anything to do with this thread, I'm just curious.

 

The Bible that I first began to study was published by the WB&TS. They had given it to my mom years earlier and I had taken it and never read it until then. So, after studying myself for a while I decided to pray that if they were the truth for Jehovah to send them to me. I then lived way out in the country where they never come, so I prayed that night and the next morning. While I was praying that morning they come knocking on the door. I studied with them for about a year. I read all of their literature going back before I was born. I read their massive history, the Proclaimers book before most of them actually had. Elders and Presiding Overseer were very impressed with my knowledge and would sometimes come to me with questions about the Bible or JW history. I would find myself having to correct some of them when they were wrong. I never become one because of their history of false prophecy, and former bans on neutrality, organ transplants, education and vaccinations. I also felt that they were only putting on a big show.

 

Thanks for explaining!

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


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suuuuure

mellestad wrote:

Maybe you could pray to God for great tits?

 

The power of Christ enlarges them!  The power of Christ lifts them!  The power of Christ firms them!  Praise Jesus!

 

Edit: Man, I am so bad at memorizing for exams.  My brain leaks like a sieve, and I'm a lazy bastard.

Then again,

I'd like to be noticed for something other than great tits!

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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fine

David Henson wrote:

cj wrote:

I'll let ShadowofMan answer the rest of your questions, but I'm curious.  I searched for evidence of god/s/dess existence for years.  All I found was a bunch of self-delusional people who wanted very badly for an invisible friend.  I understand their need for finding self-worth outside of themselves, but that isn't proof that said invisible friend exists.

Find me one, just one, person who was healed of cystic fibrosis or limb amputation or something similarly visible and I could believe in miracles, too.  Invisible tumors, headaches, backaches, or images of Jesus in bacon fat just won't cut it for me, sorry.

You can't find God in people. Healings were isolated events in the Bible in order to accomplish something other than healing itself. Paul said healings and speaking in tongues would end for these reasons, for the weak in spirit to witness more or less, would end. Healings can be performed by people under the influence of demons, though most alleged healings are fake.

Yeah, so what is your overwhelming proof?  YOUR proof.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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David Henson wrote:mellestad

David Henson wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Hey David, how did you get introduced to the JW stuff?  Was it something you found on your own, a family/friend thing or did they find you?

It doesn't have anything to do with this thread, I'm just curious.

 

The Bible that I first began to study was published by the WB&TS. They had given it to my mom years earlier and I had taken it and never read it until then. So, after studying myself for a while I decided to pray that if they were the truth for Jehovah to send them to me. I then lived way out in the country where they never come, so I prayed that night and the next morning. While I was praying that morning they come knocking on the door. I studied with them for about a year. I read all of their literature going back before I was born. I read their massive history, the Proclaimers book before most of them actually had. Elders and Presiding Overseer were very impressed with my knowledge and would sometimes come to me with questions about the Bible or JW history. I would find myself having to correct some of them when they were wrong. I never become one because of their history of false prophecy, and former bans on neutrality, organ transplants, education and vaccinations. I also felt that they were only putting on a big show.

 

I agree, and glad to hear atleast that.  I was raised Joho very strictly for 15 years, went to all the meetings/bible studies/out in service the hole 9 yards.  They are very much so putting on show, many are more involved in the culture and the society than being true believers.  But that's all a different thread. 


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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:I

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

I agree, and glad to hear atleast that.  I was raised Joho very strictly for 15 years, went to all the meetings/bible studies/out in service the hole 9 yards.  They are very much so putting on show, many are more involved in the culture and the society than being true believers.  But that's all a different thread. 

 

Sorry to hear that. You don't have to answer this if it makes you uncomfortable, of course, but, uh - did they put you through the ringer? Disfellowshipped and shunned trip?


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cj wrote:Yeah, so what is

cj wrote:

Yeah, so what is your overwhelming proof?  YOUR proof.

Proof? What exactly do you mean by proof?


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David Henson

David Henson wrote:

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

I agree, and glad to hear atleast that.  I was raised Joho very strictly for 15 years, went to all the meetings/bible studies/out in service the hole 9 yards.  They are very much so putting on show, many are more involved in the culture and the society than being true believers.  But that's all a different thread. 

 

Sorry to hear that. You don't have to answer this if it makes you uncomfortable, of course, but, uh - did they put you through the ringer? Disfellowshipped and shunned trip?

Nope, I was never baptized (I refused from 11 on), you have to be baptized to be technically disfellowshiped and have all the official announcements and all the official shunning.  You still get shunned, just unnoficially.  My sister however was baptised and so she was offically disfellowshiped.  I'm not uncomfortable about any of it, it's all just silly to me.  


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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

Nope, I was never baptized (I refused from 11 on), you have to be baptized to be technically disfellowshiped and have all the official announcements and all the official shunning.  You still get shunned, just unnoficially.  My sister however was baptised and so she was offically disfellowshiped.  I'm not uncomfortable about any of it, it's all just silly to me.  

I guess being an unbaptized publisher at that age wouldn't be all that unusual, I actually was for 1 day. It was such a disappointment to go out with 2 elders, and two ministerial servants. They would really put down whoever had left the van to go to a door and when they were all in the van driving from one place to the other they would complain about the traveling overseers driving nice cars and being too lazy to help on quick builds. All except one of the ministerial servants, who was dead quiet and of the lot only he is now disassociated. I always kind of figured he had the sense to end up like that.


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  They're a very tight nit

  They're a very tight nit gossipy bunch.  They place alote of value in how they are viewed by the others in the congregation.   If your kid questions the church or disobeys the teachings it reflects on you as the parent, gossip ensues, and other children aren't allowed to hang around with you.  They are very strange people, although mostly very nice, they're just very petty and gossipy and fake and it's all very obvious.   None of the kids believe any of it and most of them hate it.  The other joho rats in your school (theirs always atleast 1) make sure you don't stand up for the national anthem so you can proclaim to the entire school your parents are cooks.  Some do the opposite and try so hard to please their parents by awnsering questions and singing loudly in church it's wierd.  The more questions you awnser in church, the more little talks you give, the more bible studies you host the higher your status and that of your family in the congregation.  The ones who are a part of the 144,000 seem to have just willed themselves into the position with no real process other than "you just know".  It's all just wierd.  One time I was 13 and I got a "bad haircut" (little to spikey), and so 3 elders came to my home and sat down with my mom 4 on 1 to discuss getting rid of my new too spikey do to please the congregation.  4 on 1, who does that? They sat their and quoted the bible to me and other garbage society literature (young people ask) coming to the conclusion with my mom that I should change it.  WTF? That's just so wierd now that I look back at it.  I'm 13... it's like who the fuck are these 3 men in my house in suites I barely know telling me to cut my slightly too spikey hair.  What a bunch of cooks. Not to mind they've predicted the end about 7 or 8 times now.  Man I could on and on about these guys.   


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Man Tits

cj wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Maybe you could pray to God for great tits?

 

The power of Christ enlarges them!  The power of Christ lifts them!  The power of Christ firms them!  Praise Jesus!

 

Edit: Man, I am so bad at memorizing for exams.  My brain leaks like a sieve, and I'm a lazy bastard.

Then again,

I'd like to be noticed for something other than great tits!

 

Yeah, I know how you feel.


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David Henson wrote:cj

David Henson wrote:

cj wrote:

Yeah, so what is your overwhelming proof?  YOUR proof.

Proof? What exactly do you mean by proof?

You are all so fired certain, why?  What triggered your certainty? 

I am not interested in picking apart why you feel so certain.  I more than likely won't agree with you.  I am just curious, I don't think you have ever said what convinced you to believe?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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explains a lot

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

They are very strange people, although mostly very nice, they're just very petty and gossipy and fake and it's all very obvious.  

Ah, that explains why my sister likes the church.  She was that way as a child before she joined.  We don't have anything in common and never did.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:You are all so

cj wrote:

You are all so fired certain, why?  What triggered your certainty? 

I am not interested in picking apart why you feel so certain.  I more than likely won't agree with you.  I am just curious, I don't think you have ever said what convinced you to believe?

I have said what convinced me to believe many times. It is simply an intense study of the Bible. If the Bible were, like most uninformed atheists insist, produced by primitive men for some alleged reason it would reflect that, and, if you look at it from the perspective of apostate Christianity with its primary teachings being influenced by pagan teachings it is obvious that those teachings are the traditions of men. That is the Bible most 'skeptics' are aware of, but the actual Bible itself is so impressive in a way as leaving no room for doubt for the honest skeptical examination.


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I didn't think I was being disrespectful

David, my intention wasn't to be disrespectful, I was just curious. I used that list of things which can lead to religiousness because I have heard those come from the mouths of believers many times before. If you think that I was being disrespectful by stating reasons for god belief, I'm sorry but I don't think there was anything wrong with it. I have reasons for not having any belief in the supernatural, I would assume that others would have reasons for their belief.

I was raised in a family with no t.v. but thousands of books on science, history, and literature as well as books on the many world religions and their holy books. I spent my time as a child reading any book I could get my hands on, so as I read about the different world religions I was already steeped in science. I never saw any evidence for the wild claims of any of the religious beliefs, so I remain an atheist.

David Henson wrote:
Though I really don't think it is your intention to belittle believers, look at the tone of your invitation. It suggests that there must have been some sort of desperation that brought about our beliefs while yours was formed from rational observance.

Not so, I just used the reasons I hear the most from believers as to the source of their faith. Those things come from them, not I. Looking on my original post, I see no disrespect assuming that there are reasons people have for belief in the supernatural. Why wouldn't people have reasons for having faith?

David Henson wrote:

Was it some heartbreaking disappointment? Did life beat the spirit out of you?

Did you just fall into it or were you running away from something? Responsibilities? Community?

Or was it something else altogether, like drug use, alcoholism or mental illness?

You are the one putting negative connotations on belief or disbelief, not I.

If you think that religious people never come to faith by personal visions, close calls with death, or their upbringing, I would have to say I think you are mistaken. Not all religious people find faith, like you, from careful study.

As I said before, I didn't mean any disrespect in this thread (I leave that to the debates), I was just curious as to how the various theists on this site came to their beliefs.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
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seriously

David Henson wrote:

cj wrote:

You are all so fired certain, why?  What triggered your certainty? 

I am not interested in picking apart why you feel so certain.  I more than likely won't agree with you.  I am just curious, I don't think you have ever said what convinced you to believe?

I have said what convinced me to believe many times. It is simply an intense study of the Bible. If the Bible were, like most uninformed atheists insist, produced by primitive men for some alleged reason it would reflect that, and, if you look at it from the perspective of apostate Christianity with its primary teachings being influenced by pagan teachings it is obvious that those teachings are the traditions of men. That is the Bible most 'skeptics' are aware of, but the actual Bible itself is so impressive in a way as leaving no room for doubt for the honest skeptical examination.

Huh.  I don't know, man.  I read it, really.  Went to adult bible study classes, and women only bible study classes, read it on my own.  I wasn't impressed. 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:David Henson

cj wrote:

David Henson wrote:

cj wrote:

You are all so fired certain, why?  What triggered your certainty? 

I am not interested in picking apart why you feel so certain.  I more than likely won't agree with you.  I am just curious, I don't think you have ever said what convinced you to believe?

I have said what convinced me to believe many times. It is simply an intense study of the Bible. If the Bible were, like most uninformed atheists insist, produced by primitive men for some alleged reason it would reflect that, and, if you look at it from the perspective of apostate Christianity with its primary teachings being influenced by pagan teachings it is obvious that those teachings are the traditions of men. That is the Bible most 'skeptics' are aware of, but the actual Bible itself is so impressive in a way as leaving no room for doubt for the honest skeptical examination.

Huh.  I don't know, man.  I read it, really.  Went to adult bible study classes, and women only bible study classes, read it on my own.  I wasn't impressed. 

 

You need to read at least 40 commentaries and translations before it makes sense.  Seminary helps too.

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


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B166ER,I didn't mean to

B166ER,

I didn't mean to suggest that you were being disrespectful, in fact I pointed out that you didn't belittle believers. I agree that unfortunately most believers are not lead to the Bible through careful study, and I have heard the same sorts of reasons given by Christians as the ones you gave. Perhaps I was careless in my trying to make the point that those dramatic sorts of reasons for belief are not necessarily always the case, which isn't what you were saying at all. My mistake.


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mellestad wrote:cj

mellestad wrote:

cj wrote:

Huh.  I don't know, man.  I read it, really.  Went to adult bible study classes, and women only bible study classes, read it on my own.  I wasn't impressed. 

 

You need to read at least 40 commentaries and translations before it makes sense.  Seminary helps too.

No, no, no, no! Seminary only teaches you the tradition. Mainstream Christianity influenced by pagan fable. Be careful of commentaries which can often subscribe to the same school of thought, especially when it comes to those areas of study. Trinity, etc. Sometimes you can glean the truth from them, for example, the Catholic Encyclopedia will tell you straight up that Easter, the trinity etc. are not Biblical teachings even though they teach those traditions. It is important to compare different translations and most important to try and understand the original language. The last is most important.  Question everything and don't start out with the idea that there might be something to the Bible. Start out trying to debunk it so that it will actually encourage you to uncover the truth rather than make you feel like you are trying to go against what you believe or trying to prove what is nothing more than some stupid myth in your own mind. This would sort of neutralize you as well, relaxing your preconceived notions which allows you to spot the truth.

If you have ever read Douglas Adams it is like the SEP on a spaceship. The aliens would park their spaceship right out in the open instead of trying to hide it because that way people wouldn't be surprised when they saw it there. It simply didn't belong so no one would see it unless they tried to hide it. If it didn't belong there it was SEP - Somebody Else's Problem. That is the way the mind works.

 

 


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ah.....

mellestad wrote:


You need to read at least 40 commentaries and translations before it makes sense.  Seminary helps too.

Now I get it.  It's hopeless for me! 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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 The subtle

 The subtle difference....

First,  I do not believe in dragons.  This implies that I lack something.  A belief in dragons.  There could be dragons.  I just don't care to waste my time believing for or against them.  If someone were to claim that they found one, I would have to see some proof, but as a biological possibility, I cannot dismiss the notion of a dragon as impossible.

You think that I believe there are no dragons, or that I have a strong opinion that dragons do not/could not exist.  You think I do not lack belief, because I believe positively in the absence of dragons.  Where as this example is positively negative, I am just negative about the positive statements of others.

In the case of God/Gods, I do not have enough knowledge of physics to positively believe there is an absence of an extra-dimensional plane of existence where a powerful intelligence lives.  I just don't believe people when they tell me that they know.  I am not trying to convince anyone of anything.  The burden of proof is on the theist.  If I am trying to do anything, it is to spread doubt and skepticism.   

If proof of such a being were to reveal itself to me, I could not in good faith call it a god anyway.  Just like the discovery of ancient fossilized bones of large reptilian creatures does not prove the existence of dragons, a powerful extra-dimensional being only means that aliens have been discovered.  

Everything about this is a semantic argument.  So not only do I lack a belief in your very specific and named alien, but I also am not convinced that it is anything to worship.  I can not tell you you are incorrect because you are obviously expressing faith.  This faith is just exotic to me.  My teachers, parents, anchorpersons, congresspersons, friends, and neighbors all make claims everyday.  Most of them are not credible.  Ancient literature is not very credible.  As a difference of opinion, I hold skepticism a higher virtue than faith.  It is the reason that I respect J-Dubs over all other Christians.  They are critical thinkers.   

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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You are absolutly, one-hundred percent right.

I believe mostly in laveyan and buddhist philosiphy, which makes most of my beliefs non-christan, but i have read the bible, and i do think that its a mythilogical book that explains certain lessons, whle i disagree with quite a couple of its claims, it still has some good points. I think religion has turned from a matter of choice, into a matter of brain washing, and Thats why i like people like marilyn manson, because when he rips a bible up on stage, its like he's breaking some kinds of trance among people who blindly follow religion, and helping them think for themselves.....

Kathy Griffin will cut a bitch!!! lol


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Are you an anarchist? If you

Are you an anarchist? If you are, as am i. Also, I was brought to atheism by a dramatic experince, that caused me to think much harder about their being a higher force. I believe in an "all", and i believe that spirits that some title "gods" exist as well. For instance, I see the two pagan gods, Herne and Epona, represent the masculine and feminine forces that exist in the universe... But i don't believe that their is some god up there watching me.... Lol, than god would be a stalker, but how would it be able to watch EVERYONE....

Kathy Griffin will cut a bitch!!! lol


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So, literal or metaphorical?

Spiritual atheist wrote:
I was brought to atheism by a dramatic experince, that caused me to think much harder about their being a higher force.

Care to elaborate? What kind of event was this? Just curious.

Spiritual atheist wrote:
I believe in an "all", and i believe that spirits that some title "gods" exist as well. For instance, I see the two pagan gods, Herne and Epona, represent the masculine and feminine forces that exist in the universe...

Do you see them as metaphor for human experience, or do you see them as literal beings? From what you said, I'm leaning towards the metaphorical view, but I'm not sure. If you see them as literal spiritual beings, then it sounds like you are a pantheist, and not an atheist. I know pagan's who see the gods as metaphor for nature and I have met literalist's. So I had to ask.

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artymarty wrote:That's when

artymarty wrote:

That's when I picked up a self-help book (possibly out of sheer desperation - I hated books).  It was written by a Christian and he raised the question of 'what is worthwhile living for?'  I skipped most of the theological stuff

I'm not sure how it's possible to "skip the theological stuff" in a self-help book written by a christian. If you really wanted to avoid that stuff, why not pick up a self-help book written by someone without any religous affiliation ?


artymarty wrote:
This post is purely intended to give an honest answer to the original question raised.

Hope it helps!

Well, it brought up more questions than it answered, but thanks anyway.


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I don't understand why

I don't understand why anyone needs an, 'ultimate purpose'.

 

It is sort of sad, really, that people think they are worthless unless they have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe.  I'm not sure if that is a condition an overabundance of ego or an underabundance of self worth.  For artymarty I'm guessing the latter.  I'm sad that he doesn't think he is worth anything without external validation via an invisible, omnipotent friend.  I'm also sad that he fell in behind a religion that reinforces his lack of self worth and ties him to an ego-maniac who will burn him for eternity if arty doesn't love him enough.

 

Christianity is making me sad today.

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


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artymarty wrote:The deeper

artymarty wrote:
The deeper you go the more questions arise.  Just have to live with not knowing all the answers, right?

No.  No you don't.

 

artymarty wrote:

If God's love for you is such a sad thing, you should be happy that it plays no role in your life, right? An ever present reason to rejoice!

Alternately, I can recommend some good self-help books to cheer you up!!  Just kidding.

Religion plays a huge role in my life, because I live in America, and more than that I live in rural America.  I am surrounded by theism.  Theists tell me what I can and cannot do based on their religion, and they even make laws based on their ancient holy book.  You might not think it is so, but that is only because you are used to it.

artymarty wrote:

If there is no 'ultimate purpose', is it something we are left to make up for ourselves?  If so, why are you so upset that I did not choose a purpose similar to your own?  Or derive my purpose from the same place you drew yours?  Aren't I entitled to make up my own?  Not that I believe it is my own

If I am happier and more peaceful for it, shouldn't that make you happier?  If you could ask the atheists around me whether my presence is depressing to them, I wouldn't be surprised if they would laugh.  And there are far more atheists around me than theists.  One of my best friends is an atheist and he would probably agree that I am happier than he is!

 

.

You didn't choose a purpose for your life.  You bought into a system that says your entire life is meaningless without external validation.  Worse than worthless, cursed and doomed.  I'm not sad that you are happy, I am sad that you think you need to be forgiven for being human.  I'm sad that you are tied to a God that demanded death because it was the only way to avoid the eternal curse he put on his own children.

artymarty wrote:

 

Jesus' death on the cross emphasizes my worth, not lack there of.  It also demonstrates what sin deserves, unless you think it would be better to have a world with sin and no death?

Jesus' death is about a human blood sacrifice to spare you because your ancestors made god angry by eating a piece of fruit, so angry he create an eternal torture chamber for all of humanity.  It really isn't any more complicated than that.

artymarty wrote:

I could be way off, but my definition of love is "self sacrifice to the benefit of another."  That entails that wherever there is love there is also the sacrifice of the self.  One example would be giving to the poor when you could easily keep your money to yourself.  If my definition of love is accurate, how much are you willing to sacrifice for others?  What does that say about their worth?  Would you give your life for someone you believe is more valuable than yourself?  Is there anyone you find more valuable than yourself?  What is you self-esteem and self-worth based on?  A grand view of yourself?

If you set up a twisted game where you condemn your children to an eternity of torment unless they love you, that isn't 'love'.  I can't imagine how it is love.  I have children, and there is nothing they could do to win an eternity of torture.  There isn't anything I can imagine *anyone* doing to win an eternity of torture.  What have you done that is so horrible that you needed to be saved?  According to the Bible, your crime is being born and not loving Jesus.  And heck, on that same note, what have you done to deserve an eternity of bliss?  

My self esteem and self worth is based on the same psychology that everyone elses is based on.  I don't need a grand view of myself, because I don't feel a need to be 'grand' to be happy.

artymarty wrote:

How do you define love anyway?  The questions just keep going don't they?

I don't have a non-standard definition of love, besides the fact that I am a naturalist and so think it can be explained physiologically.

artymarty wrote:

My eternity is secure, what's there to fear?  My salvation isn't based on my works, thankfully.   The fear of hell had nothing to do with my turning to Christianity, nor does it have anything to do with why I stay.  I barely give hell a thought.

Not many theists are unmotivated by the carrot of eternal reward or the stick of eternal torture.  If that is true, good for you.

artymarty wrote:

A quick thought on the issue of an 'ultimate purpose'.
Have you ever tried to play 'pin the tail on the donkey'?  What happens when there is no 'tail'?  One persons guess is as good as anothers isn't it?  You could say all the participants become winners, or losers.  One thing you couldn't say, is that one persons guess is better than anothers.  Similarly, no 'ultimate purpose' = no idea whose life has been lived more purposefully.

Even if you can't see the need for an ultimate purpose in one's life, do you at least understand the necessity for a purpose in life at all?  A reason to live?  I find it strange that most people I know who reject an ultimate purpose in life seem to end up with a hedonistic view.  Maximise pleasure, minimise self suffering.  Is that a better option?  Where does love fit in with that?

These questions were intended for anyone's personal reflection.  I don't expect to be making any great effort to respond to further posts, though I do intend to return. So feel free to comment.  Looking back over my post, it does come across a bit too fiesty for my liking.  A bit too much like a reaction than anything deeply thought out.  Forgive me for not taking the time to go back and edit it, it's late, I'm tired.  I believe we've probably all got better things to do, like writing a letter to someone you love, or even reading The God Question by JP Moreland, or the book of 1 John or James.  Why not give them a try, I make the effort to read Dawkins, Dennet and Michael Martin (I like him the best, he seems the smartest as well as most respectful).

Again, you are claiming your life is worthless unless there is an 'ultimate purpose' and you get that ultimate purpose right.  The problem with this is at assumes something there is no evidence for, and then it assumes that you have the ability to make the right guess as to what that purpose is...both of which are unwarranted assumptions.  All those Muslims would disagree on you having found the correct ultimate purpose, and you can't show you are right any more than they can.

I don't think you understand hedonism.  Hedonism has room for love, self sacrifice and all the rest.  I would argue that you are hedonistic (so is everyone) because you are doing what you think is the best for you, and that action brings you peace and joy.  That action cannot be objectively proved, it is just your opinion.  So you are just as much a hedonist as anyone, with the added benefit of being able to feel superior for having found 'ultimate reality' and being personal friends with the creator of the universe.  Think about that for a minute.  You literally thing the creator of reality is in your back pocket.  Yikes.

Part two expresses the sum of my frustration with born again Christianity.

 

 

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


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Believing in a God because

Believing in a God because he promises you an eternity of 'bliss' is the ultimate hedonism.

 

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

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Who are you responding to

Who are you responding to arty?

 

The quote function helps keep things straight.  [ quote=whomever] blahblahblah [ /quote]  (only without the spaces between "[ quote" or "[ /"

Looks like

whomever wrote:
blahblahblah[/quote

 

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Origins

It seems to me that some sort of theism is necessary to answer the question of the origins of time and matter.  To say these things have no beginning or have existed forever seems irrational.  If science can give some kind of rational explanation for these things I will have a lot to consider.  Until then, I will stick to the only rational response: theism.


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*Random*

Well as a child I almost died A. stabbing B. Powder explosion C. drowning

That is not it then I had dreams of me dying and going to hell for not believing in Jesus dying to save humanity

(he died preaching the gospel even though it was predicted he would die for doing it) sort of like Luther king died preaching for freedom

(he quoted the bible in some of his speaches).

It wasn't like a normal dream where you feel nothing but in mine you would feel pain stabbing in every nook and

cranny of your body  but couldn't even move to do anything about it.

                                                                                                             -also had a dream on the apocapolypse

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time and space are linked

time and space are linked proved by einstien

matter can be converted into energy and vice versa

so saying in the beginning there was nothing but energy is a true

concept but what if the energy could purposly manipulate itself?

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NON-aethiest wrote:time and

NON-aethiest wrote:

time and space are linked proved by einstien

matter can be converted into energy and vice versa

so saying in the beginning there was nothing but energy is a true

concept but what if the energy could purposly manipulate itself?

That is a really crazy "what if".

We have no evidence that anything without a complex stable structure could possibly display anything like intentionality.

It is also completely unnecessary to allow something to happen - quantum randomness will all but guarantee that any special state needed to trigger a 'Big Bang' will happen eventually if it isn't explicitly impossible.

In the light of modern scientific understanding, the God concept is not only unnecessary as an explanation for our existence, it actually raises far more puzzles than it even attempts to answer, like what determined the existence of such an entity in the first place? And how can you really make logical coherence out of the traditional 'omni' attributes, which appear to be the product of a childish imagination, not even logically necessary for a "creator" being.

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