What moves atheists to tears?

sugarfree
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What moves atheists to tears?

Well, I had an interesting experience on Sunday. I was singing on the vocal team at my church for the Easter service. I get teary sometimes, because of the words and power of the music along with it, sometimes it becomes overwhelming, in a good, but also very humbling way. On Sunday, I made it thru all the songs, but the last one was a traditional spiritual. A very simple song, simple melody, but quite beautiful melody, at that...with some interesting minor/jazz chords thrown in.

The second verse..."Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree"...then the third verse..."Were you there when they laid him in the tomb," and I felt it coming...not just tears, sobs...in front of 250 or so people. This is not how I wanted it to happen, I don't relish allowing 250 people to see my weakness, but the truth of those lyrics, so simple, so incredibly profound. I couldn't sing anymore, I just looked down...and...bawled. But you know what? The fact that I was in front of all those people, it doesn't really matter. I knew they would not judge me.

The reality of those words is what caused me to sob. Jesus was brutally beaten, disgraced, humiliated, his hands were nailed...and then He, God, died a human death. A more horrible death than any of us will experience. And he walked into that situation, willingly, for me. In the process of walking to his death, He spoke volumes about the character of God. And if we so chose, we can learn about God by studying how Christ died...and lived. He did all this, so 2000 years later, a person like me can know God personally. Intimately.

Now, you all will tear this post apart, say, I made all this up in my mind. It was the music, the setting, all the people around me... You all can look in from the outside and criticize. But it's okay. Because what I experienced in that moment, as I fully understood what Christ did for me, was Truth. And this Truth is so magnificent that everything you throw at me pales in comparison.


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sugarfree wrote: jce

sugarfree wrote:
jce wrote:
I do not mean to be disrespectful, but your thread seems ridiculous to me. Many things move people to tears. Child abuse, animal abuse, murder, rape, genocide, extreme ignorance...all of these things move me to tears as do songs related to them.
I'm not surprised that it sounds ridiculous to you. I guess what I am wondering, tho, is, in your life, do you have anything that makes you feel so small and humble, yet at the same time, so important and special? My tears weren't grief tears necessarily...which would be the types of tears shed for those things you mentioned above. Or maybe they were grief tears, but mixed with a profound thankfulness. Because, when considering what Christ did on the cross, it really isn't possible to separate the two. So maybe I should ask, what are atheist profoundly thankful for, that moves them to tears?

Why should we be thankful for Jesus pretending to die on the cross? I am moved to tears by Benjamin Britain's epic anti-war symphony The War Requiem. It's a much more worthy effort, worth pondering and getting cought up in and reacting to.


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PillarMyArse: Quote: Now

PillarMyArse:

Quote:
Now this kind of sensless drivel drives me to tears.

Okay.

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Way to sidestep... I mean, you really do need that mental god crutch of yours so much that you are willing to commit very cartwheels of intellectual dishonesty in order to smooth away the ructions in your mind created by this question?

Okay.

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What did jesus give up? He went to heaven and fulfilled his predestined task. Where is the giving up attached to this?

Unless you didn't read the post.. I don't understand why you didn't understand this.

Furthermore.. nothing could be 'predestined' for an omnipotent God, everything must be done by choice.

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You state he had 'everything' - what the hell is that supposed to mean?

It's suppose to mean that he was God and he is, theologically, has more than you can imagine.

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Are you serious?

Yes.

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Please don't try to base an argument on a one-word assertion that you totally fail to subsequently quantify.

I'm pretty sure I did qualify it by stating that one must look from the inside out.. my implication was that one must look at it from a theological perspective, using theological assumptions to understand.

Theological assumption, Christian at least, in this case would be that Jesus was an omnipotent God.

Quote:
You cannot have anything useful if you are following your predestined path. Because being able to use something, to take advantage of something, you need the free will to do so. So what is this "everything" he had? Please quantify what "having everything" means, in non-etherial terms.

First off.. why must I use non-ethereal terms? Perhaps the conversation is ethereal.  But in anycase..

You again make the presumption that something can be 'predestined' for an 'omnipotent God'.

God is not NECESSARILY omniscient.  He is not NECESSARILY anything if one starts with the presupposition that he is omnipotent.

So.. as much as you keep on saying that it was 'predestined'-- logically its not necessarily the case-- and must have been a choice if one accepts he was omnipotent.

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How do men understand him then? Like Mr. Dawkins says - how can you understand a man sent to die on the cross for the sins of the (already widely accepted) allegorical figure of Adam? Doesn't sound very understandable to me.

For one: your ability to understand of ANYTHING has nothing to do with the validity of the statement.. but I digress.

(Already widely accepted) allegorical figure of Adam?

I can understand 'a man sent to die on a cross' as much as I can understand any other man dieing on a cross.. furthermore, any analogy I wish to consider at the same time that would seem to represent the circumstance.

This seems like a pretty broad question.. 'how do I understand?'.  I could say 'I understand through fishes.' Use more specific language yourself.

Quote:
I'm sure your response would be something suitably mysterious, and I'm really looking forward to it.

You're fairly high-horsed.. prehaps you should get down so I can talk with you. Smiling



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This is so much like MY

This is so much like MY deconversion, actually ... When I had no defenses for my faith left (no scientific, logical, philosophical or intellectual defenses left), I turned to the argument from personal experience and used it as a weapon of outrage ...you know, 'that someone would dare question my deepest, most cherished notions ... how dare they?' etc.

What I never realized is that deep, transcendent, spritual experiences are absolutely real - they are real for no other reason then something is happening that changes our chemistry, creates behavioral changes, etc. - in sugar's case, the 'gift of tears'.  We frame these experiences in different ways, often (though not always) through the faith tradition that is around us ... I called it the 'gift of tears' because my background is Catholic and when I 'received' the 'gift' (as an Anglo-Catholic mystic), that is what I was told it was ... Sugar feels this transcendant experience and frames it through his tradition - and then uses it as an apolgetic because most of us do not want to tell someone their personal experiecne of the divine is wrong - it is considered taboo to do that ...

But we fail as thinking, curious creatures when we frame these event subjectively - we do not unpack them to understand them, but wallow in our non-understanding and our ignorant inference that God, Christ, whomever, is real ... these are actually objective experiences and to frame them though Vishnu, Christ's suffering, Thor's hammering or what have you is to betray the science of our bodies and our quest to understand it.

... There may be hope yet for sugarfree ...

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com


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Oh and to answer the

Oh and to answer the initial question of this thread:

- the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (... and movie version Field of Dreams ...)

- loving my family, friends

- making love to my partner

- seeing the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 and wathcing the the final out in Game Four ...

- puppies and dogs

- dinosaur museums

- the beauty that this is the only life I get and living it to the fullest ... 

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com


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Quote: You're fairly

Quote:
You're fairly high-horsed.. prehaps you should get down so I can talk with you. Smiling

You mistake exasperation for an ivory tower. But reading back it seems a bit pointed so I'll give you that one.

Quote:

Unless you didn't read the post.. I don't understand why you didn't understand this.

I did read the post. It just takes a theistic mental approach to accept this, which I don't have. Take hostility toward jews because they were supposedly 'christ killers'. If I understand it correctly, jesus needed to die on the cross in order for everyone else to be forgiven (which makes no sense to an atheist but there you go...) Was this not destiny though? Had the almighty not pre-ordained this, decided this? So had the jews not acted in accordance with the wishes of god?

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God is not NECESSARILY omniscient. He is not NECESSARILY anything if one starts with the presupposition that he is omnipotent.

That's the first time I've heard that from a theist.

Quote:

It's suppose to mean that he was God and he is, theologically, has more than you can imagine.

Er.. not exactly clear from the grammar - he is more, or he has more? OK my main problem with that statement is that he has more/is more than my frail imagination can fit around. Fine with that. But what about your imagination? We are both members of the species homo sapiens, with similar limits on our imagination. You also can not form an acceptable, reliable picture of your infinate, omnipotent god either. So how come you yourself can make these assumptions with any authenticity or accuracy?

Quote:
I can understand 'a man sent to die on a cross' as much as I can understand any other man dieing on a cross.. furthermore, any analogy I wish to consider at the same time that would seem to represent the circumstance.

I don't think I asked this question with any clarity, I do apologise. What is it that we understand about this action? Again one necessarily requires a theistic viewpoint that I simply do not possess. And that thiestic viewpoint comes directly from a book, the authenticity of which I implicitly deny. But the natural state of affairs is an absence of knowledge. That is how we come into the world. I feel that the onus is on you to offer proof that the bible wasn't simply made up by several rather imaginative folk from far back in history.

Religion is the ultimate con-job. It cons the conned, and it cons the conner.

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sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:

All right ya'll. I'm sorry you feel my post was odd. I was opening my heart to you in attempt to share what I feel is something very precious. You have stomped on this beautiful thing, and called it a lie. I suspected you might...but I was just taking that one last risk, because I felt it was worth the try. Now, to be honest, I am tired of being stepped on.


In a sense I feel for you. It's rough having something that is important to you being attacked like that. At the same time, the bit in bold demands comment. Our point is that it is not beautiful at all and that you have fallen for Christian propaganda. It's not that altruistic sacrifice isn't beautiful or that tales of people's love for others aren't beautiful. It's just that the story of Jesus' "sacrifice" doesn't fit this...

It comes across as a tokenistic "look! I've done something that looks like something beautiful! Now obey what I say!"
Why? What separates it from sacrifices we do find beautiful?
What did Jesus sacrifice? It wasn't his life - he knew full well he was to live for eternity. Was it a day torture? That is quite a sacrifice (although not the 'ultimate' that Christians like to make out it is) but even so, what was he sacrificing for?

Most people sacrifice because it's their only option.
Their lack of power means that the only way they can save their loved on is to go through the pain/punishment. God/Jesus doesn't have such limitations. He could've achieved these ends without such a sacrifice. It then looks like he went through the suffering for the sake of it, unnecessarily, and then we come back to it being tokenistic. That is why none of us find the story of the passion moving... instead we find it baffling...

"Why would an omnipotent entity feel the need to put himself through all that? Was he in to sadomasechism?"

Quote:
Whomever reminded me that you are real people did so unnecessarily. Of course I know that. That is why I have been here chatting. It has certainly been interesting, and I take away no ill feelings...(Well, there is my heart...currently in a bloody pulp...but I'll get over that. I don't take it personally.)

I was told by one of you that you don't believe in luck. I can't say "good luck", so I'll try this. I wish you the best in this life. Do take care.


Apologies over the rough tone.
You have hit on something we feel very strongly about.
You have to remember that it's not just that the story has been wrongly assigned the status of 'beautiful', it's that this 'propaganda' is often used to justify telling us we're all bad people for not becoming an obedient Christian and that this is the wickedness we all deserve to burn in hell for eternity for.

Best wishes to you too. Smile

(PS. I guess that Easter it really did cause you to tremble, tremble! Wink)


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I've got two and I can

I've got two and I can assure you that I'm bawling tears before I finish this post.  I'm not going to attack the validity of what made you cry as that has no bearing on the question.  True or not the imagery of Jesus and the Cruxifiction move you to tears.  So here's what makes me spout tears...

1) The Hubble Ultra deep field - http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0403/hudf_hst_big.jpg

That image is one of the single most moving pictures to me.  It shows me that we don't even have to leave the physical universe to acheive too big for one person to understand.  It just starts this chain reaction off in my head.  Our Galaxy is 100,000 lightyears across and yet when we look up at night, almost every start we can see unaided is within 60 light years of us (thousands and its just a speck in our own Galaxy).  Now here's a picture of an area in the sky that from earth is just as big as our moon.  An area that famously has almost no visible stars.  Peering into that we find a beautiful starscape... but its not stars at all... every single point of light in that picture is a Galaxy.  Everyone is billions of light years away, and every one is home to millions to trillions of stars.  And here I am, a 2 meter high organic mass on some pale blue dot around an average sized star in a galaxy of billions of others... looking into the void and seeing enough galaxies that if they were stars, they'd make their own galaxy.  Which brings me to my second.

2) Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M

I have a hard time writing anything about that reading by him because by the end of it, I'm broken down and crying.  But that one reading has more effect on me than any of the images and songs from my days of going to church.

 I invite you to take a watch of those links SugarFree and see if they don't move you at all.

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Quote: You mistake

Quote:
You mistake exasperation for an ivory tower. But reading back it seems a bit pointed so I'll give you that one.

I suppose I can understand general exasperation.. heh-- but still, I just wanted to point out that it appeared to be the ivory tower.


Quote:
I did read the post. It just takes a theistic mental approach to accept this, which I don't have.

The question was "How could Jesus sacrifice?"


This is not the same as "How can a christian God exist?"


The former question requires the assumption that a Christian God exists.. the latter doesn't.


That is why I was contending that one must look from "inside Christian thelogy" and "accept" certain assumptions about it in order to understand the "sacrifice".


One of those assumptions, I contended, was the all-powerful and, compared to human life, had infinitely more.


Quote:
Take hostility toward jews because they were supposedly 'christ killers'. If I understand it correctly, jesus needed to die on the cross in order for everyone else to be forgiven (which makes no sense to an atheist but there you go...) Was this not destiny though?

Personally I don't think that jews are "christ killers".  


As for the "needed to die".. IF he "needed to die" it was only within regards to earlier set rules chosen and put in place by God.


I personally don't believe he "needed to die" for "sins" to be forgiven.. but he did as a consequence of what he did and what he said.


Of course you may not understand this.. because.. I suppose.. I might have to more clearly define some theological concepts used within the explanation.


Quote:
Had the almighty not pre-ordained this, decided this?

Probably could have forseen it if he chose to do so.  Did he "pre-ordain" it? Perhaps he "pre-ordained" a plan.. that is not to say that he "pre-ordained" the human choices that led to the particular need of such a plan.


The way I view it is analogous to a "fire drill".. the plan is preordained.. but someone still sets a fire.


(No.. I do not want to hear (believe me.. someone probably will or wants to, e.g. Tod) that 'all things are God's responsibility since he is 'perfectly responsible'.. therefore, he DID set the fire!.. this is an argument that will go on for awhile.. and will come down to a difference of opinions about the concept of 'freewill'.)


Quote:
So had the jews not acted in accordance with the wishes of god?

They acted in accordance with the wishes of God in that God wished for them to make their own choices.


I believe the theistic "plan of salvation" was comprised of God coming to earth in the form of man so that man could relate to him on a personal level.


His crucification might have been forseen by God.. but I do not believe that it is what Got "wanted" or "pre-ordained".  The former speaks to the nature of God.. the latter speaks to the the concept of freewill as well as God's nature.


Quote:
That's the first time I've heard that from a theist.

Perhaps I'm not a theist. 


Heh. I consider myself one.  Nonetheless, I believe this logic is pretty sound.. Theist, when pushed correctly, will understand that it doesn't necessarily crush their belief system to believe that God does not "need to be good".. merely "chooses" to be so within their theology.


Quote:
Er.. not exactly clear from the grammar - he is more, or he has more?

You're right.. my grammar was horrible. Smiling


How bout.. "is and has".  Would that be fair to say that God "is" much greater than man.. and "has" more than man ever will?


Quote:
OK my main problem with that statement is that he has more/is more than my frail imagination can fit around. Fine with that. But what about your imagination? We are both members of the species homo sapiens, with similar limits on our imagination.

By saying "more than I can imagine" does not mean I cannot relate to any particular aspect of the thing that is "more than I can imagine".


"You love me more than I can ever imagine" would merely, in my mind, imply that I cannot "fully comprehend" the love.. it does not mean that I cannot partially comprehend.


I realize that "more than imagination" can be interpreted multiple ways.. so I apologize for the ambiguous language.


Quote:
You also can not form an acceptable, reliable picture of your infinate, omnipotent god either.

Acceptable? By whose standards? His or mine?


Reliable? For what? My purposes?


You see.. I don't believe I will ever "know" God in all his "majesty" if he is "omnipotent".. however.. I can act upon a certain "belief" about a limited part of his nature.


Does this make it objectively true or objectively reliable? Who knows.. only time will tell.


Yet.. so many things cannot be objectively true or objectively reliable.. I'm a nihilist in many ways-- and as that-- I perceive all people to accept certain assumptions on no other basis than the basis which I accept 'God'.


Quote:
So how come you yourself can make these assumptions with any authenticity or accuracy?

Am I telling you to accept them? Am I telling you it is accurate or authentic? It is accurate in my belief.. and it is authentically my belief.. this is all I am stating.


One may choose to accept it based upon there own person feelings and experiences.. how they choose to view the world and the facts of it.. etc.-- But one never "needs" to.


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What is it that we understand about this action?

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And that thiestic viewpoint comes directly from a book, the authenticity of which I implicitly deny.

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But the natural state of affairs is an absence of knowledge. That is how we come into the world.


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I feel that the onus is on you to offer proof that the bible wasn't simply made up by several rather imaginative folk from far back in history.

Why is it on me? It is only on me if I tell you that you must accept it or that it is objectively true-- which I have not.


If this is the argument I wish to make.. I feel I might be very lacking since peoples knowledge of the history of that time and the bible.. probably far outweighs my own.


I read the bible to understand the "picture of God" that the bible speaks of... I then approach the "picture of God" with a certain amount of logical skepticism as I do all other religious and atheist concepts I happen to come across.


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Quote: The question was

Quote:
The question was "How could Jesus sacrifice?"

I don't agree with that. The question was "How meaningful was the sacrifice?". I'm still not satified. I can accept your view that god did not necessarily know what was going to happen, although this is a serious departure from the accepted omniscient nature of god. It also depends how you interpret omnipotent - having no limit to your power could necessarily imply that you indeed have the power to see what will happen. It still begs the question, didn't jesus know he was swapping a bit of earthly pain for a lot of glory?

Quote:
Acceptable? By whose standards? His or mine?
Reliable? For what? My purposes?

Oi! Let's not get into a meta-discussion about meanings and contexts. The gist of my question still stands - if god is ultimately unknowable, how come lots of the theist here have such specific information about his heavenly will? (I can provide examples from other threads if required). Was the bible/koran/book of mormon/etc divinely inspired? Was it god writing the words? Or was it the people?

Quote:
Why is it on me? It is only on me if I tell you that you must accept it or that it is objectively true-- which I have not.

Must disagree. You are supporting that position by posting it. If you are making an assertion, surely you have to back it up?

Quote:
I read the bible to understand the "picture of God" that the bible speaks of... I then approach the "picture of God" with a certain amount of logical skepticism as I do all other religious and atheist concepts I happen to come across.

Have you not already decided that god exists however? Perhaps I could understand this better if you can say what lead to this decision?

Religion is the ultimate con-job. It cons the conned, and it cons the conner.

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Hambydammit wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Sugar, I suppose you just haven't believed me when I've told you this before, but most of us have been where you are. I know what it's like to be in one of those church services. I've been in them. Oh, and Iruka, I used to play piano for them, and I was really good at getting people to cry. One day maybe we can talk about that. I promise you're on the right track. The pastor never had any idea how much power I had as the musician! (Of course, in those days, I gave credit to god. In retrospect, I realize it was me.)

In his book Losing Faith in Faith, Dan Barker recalled a similar experience. One of his Christian friends claimed he couldn't have performed so beautifully at a certain church service had he not felt the spirit of god. At the time, Dan Barker was already a closet atheist. Smiling

Last year I moved someone to tears singing an Italian song called Star vicino. (<--click to listen) They were good tears. At least the person in question insisted they were good tears. Eye-wink The song had nothing to do with god and neither did I. Smiling

About the same time I had occasion to speak with someone who has a doctorate in sociology. She said that current studies show music absolutely lowers inhibitions. Maybe I could get some more info from her.  I found it absolutely fascinating.

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Have we all fallen for

Have we all fallen for responding to a convoluted version of the "You can't really have emotional experiences without God" tripe?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Quote: Hamby, I did read

Quote:
Hamby, I did read your entire post, and that particular sentence stood out among all the rest. If you did not mean it to sound the way it did, I apologize, otherwise, my comment stands.

Ok, sugar. I'll spell it out for you.

Here's What I said.

Quote:
I used to play piano for them, and I was really good at getting people to cry. One day maybe we can talk about that. I promise you're on the right track. The pastor never had any idea how much power I had as the musician! (Of course, in those days, I gave credit to god. In retrospect, I realize it was me.)

Funny how you just left the part out where I said I thought that god was the one doing the work, but now I realize that I had, and still have the power. Interesting that I'm an atheist, and I can still pretty much make people cry at will in the right situation, huh? Odd that a good rendition of "A Blossom Fell" has the same effect as "Just as I Am." No god needed.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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RhadTheGizmo

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Quote:
I issue my challenge for any theist:

It makes no sense to state that something is a sacrifice when 1) there was no loss, and 2) the gain for the behavior was infinite.


I do not understand why people equate the relationship of life and infinite with that of numbers of infinity.



I do not understand why you think this is a response to my point!


Quote:

So.. To say that Jesus sacrificed nothing is mixing the inside-out observation with the outside-in


This is gibberish.

Jesus loses nothing. To sacrifice is to lose.

Real people suffer more, every day, than this imaginary being could have..



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I've never seen a theist dare respond at all.



Quote:

This is a lie. And if not a lie.. then not perceptive.. and if perceptive and not a lie..

Well now, even you seem to be ready to back down.

Quote:


Something.. but I definitely "dared" to respond.


You didn't respond at all, stop lying to yourself.

You didn't deal with any of the points in the challenge. You just ran from them.

Like you are doing here.


Quote:

I DO NOT mean to belittle the belittle the sacrifices that people make everyday.. but.. I think they are fallacious comparison.

How do you compare finite man giving finite things for an infinite God giving up infinite things+1.. even if temporarily.


I don't think they can be compared.


What 'infinite thing' did this god give up, 'temporarily'?

And how is giving up something temporarily, giving it up at all?

 

The idea that an infinite being suffers infinitely is absolute garbage, it's childish wordplay. For an infinite being to suffer infinitely would require infinite damage. But you yourself concede that whatever 'sacrifice' he sacrifices is really not a sacrfice at all, as he loses it only temporarily. So there can be no infinite damage.

Ergo, any finite damage suffered by an 'infinite being' is null... zero. 

  Your 'jesus' knows he's going to eternal bliss, he knows he's saving souls and he knows he will be loved for it.

    The average person suffers pain for no reason, for no purpose. He has no guarentee of reward. He just suffers, for nothing...


     To respond to my post, you must deal with these facts. So your post isn't a response, just like your last posts weren't responses... they are dodges, because you refuse to deal with the pertinent points.

 As is the case with nearly every theist 'response' I find that I must again repeat the original argument, as it has been completely dodged:

 

Christians tell us that "jesus' died for us, and that he was a sacrifice.

I have two simple questions for our christian friends:

The first: What did this 'jesus' sacrifice? Is this jesus dead? Don't you hold that this jesus is now in eternal bliss, in heaven, where he receives the undying love and gratitude from a multitude?

Sacrifice means loss. Sacrificing doesn't involve gain. It certainly doesn't involve no loss and infinite gain. Yet this 'jesus' loses nothing, and gains everything.

Some theists respond by saying that he lost his physical body. But what does paul say about the nature of flesh?

"For I know that in me that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing...." (Rom 7:18) which contradicts: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me...." (Gal. 2:20).

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor. 15:50)

So where's the sacrifice?

There is none. "Jesus" sheds something worthless.

Some theists then announce "But he suffered pain!"

But everyday people suffer far worse pain. A child with Leukemia suffers eggregious amounts of pain, without any purpose, without any guarentee of an eternal reward in a blissful afterlife. They die without the hope of 'giving' their lives (and then getting it right back!) to save countless billions of others, without the pleasure of knowing that they are a 'hero' and without the eternal love and accolades that such an act would bring.

So don't insult yourself and logic itself by holding that this 'pain' is a sacrifice.

For those who still don't get it:

Remember that It makes no sense to state that something is a sacrifice when

1) there was no loss, and

2) the gain for the behavior was infinite.

Here's the ultimate irony: every person in the world suffers more than Jesus!

Jesus could not suffer even as much as a normal person:

Here is why:

1) He knows he's not really going to die in the first place
Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If
anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and
follow me.
2) He knows that he will be loved and adored for his act
3) He knows he will save billions of souls with his act.
4) He knows his reward is infinitity in bliss.
5) He knows he will not lose anything, ergo, no sacrifice.

This is not a 'sacrifice' therefore, at all. In fact, its the biggest, best deal in the world, and I challenge a theist to respond as to whether they would go on the cross. I've never seen a theist dare respond at all.

So why do theists call this a 'sacrifice'? Because they don't bother to think it through. It takes compartmentalization. You have to forget that millions die every day in doubt, for no reason. That's the real pain in the world. A child dies of starvation, with no reason, no reward, nothing. A cancer patient watches his body whither away, in pain. He's not getting any reward, any recognition, no assurance that he will go to some heaven. He just faces death without any comfort.

How many people in the world have sacrificed real blood for others? A mother or a father dies to save their own child - no reward, no assurances. They just do it.

Every day, every person suffers more pain than this supposed savior could ever have suffered "for us". We all live in doubt, we all suffer pains. We do it because we must. Some of us even give more - we sacrifice our time, our blood, even our lives, for others.

No rewards. No guarentees.

A solidier gives up his life for his country. What reward does he get? A ribbon nailed to a wall somewhere, his name recorded in an unseen history book.

Now for my second question: If you were offered the opportunity to go on the cross, to save billions and also go to heaven in eternal bliss as your guarenteed reward, would you go?

Before you answer:

Don't rush to find a way to sweep the cognitive dissonance away. Instead, think the question through,about it like this: imagine your child is about to be burned alive forever. And someone says to you: you can save him if you agree to go on the cross for three hours. In return, you not only save your own child, you save all children in the world. In addition, you are remembered and loved by billions. Oh, and one more thing: you go directly to heaven, in eternal bliss (after a three day tour of hell, all expenses paid!)

Would you refuse? Would ANYONE refuse? Seriously. There can be no greater gift in the world than to be offered the opportunity.

Again, I challenge a theist to answer the question: Would you go on the cross?

If you are a theist, about to respond to this by arguing that you couldn't go on the cross, please look up the word 'hypothetical' in a dictionary.

 

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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Quote: I don't agree with

Quote:
I don't agree with that. The question was "How meaningful was the sacrifice?".

Your right.. I may have misrepresented.  Mistakenly of course.

But the same logic applies.. its not asking me to argue the existence of God.. it's asking me to argue "If Jesus was real" (and I believe.. another assumption is "was God"-- although I'm not sure about this one) how meaningful was his sacrifice?

Quote:
I'm still not satified. I can accept your view that god did not necessarily know what was going to happen, although this is a serious departure from the accepted omniscient nature of god.

I don't agree with this. For the most part I just don't believe most theist know what they are saying when they say God is "necessarily omniscient"-- they may use the word.. but it has a slightly different connotation when they use it (I believe).

Quote:
having no limit to your power could necessarily imply that you indeed have the power to see what will happen.

Yes.. "no limit to power" necessarily means that one "has the power to see what will happen"-- that does not mean that one exercises his/her power to do so.

I have the power to kill a bird... doesn't mean I exercise it.

Quote:
It still begs the question, didn't jesus know he was swapping a bit of earthly pain for a lot of glory?

This was my original point.

The statement seems to suggest that Jesus "gained" glory.

But.. what did he gain?  He was God already.

Quote:
Oi! Let's not get into a meta-discussion about meanings and contexts. The gist of my question still stands - if god is ultimately unknowable, how come lots of the theist here have such specific information about his heavenly will? (I can provide examples from other threads if required). Was the bible/koran/book of mormon/etc divinely inspired? Was it god writing the words? Or was it the people?

My contention comes with your qualification.. by admission of "ultimately unknowable" as opposed to just "unknowable".. there is an are of "partial knowability".

I agree that within the concept of "ultimate unknowability" one cannot know everything.. but one can know part-- and perhaps this "part" is his will.

Once again.. it's a belief.

As for who wrote those books.. It's obvious that its man.  Whether man was "divinely inspired" is something I cannot speak to a certainity of-- only that I believe that certain texts were "divinely inspired".

Quote:
Must disagree. You are supporting that position by posting it. If you are making an assertion, surely you have to back it up?

If I have ANY position it is this: that there are many beliefs (from theism to atheism) that CAN BE rational.. but that NONE of them, I believe, is logically necessitated by our mere existence.

I AM NOT saying that God is "objectively true" or that "No God" is "objectively true"-- this is where some people seem to understand my purpose in arguing.

Quote:
Have you not already decided that god exists however? Perhaps I could understand this better if you can say what lead to this decision?

At this point I have decided to believe God exist-- what led me to this decision is the same as what leads most, if not all, people to their decisions.. choice based off experience and thought.

Further experience and though may someday lead somewhere else.. but at this point.. this is where I am.


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Quote:

Quote:
I do not understand why you think this is a response to my point!

Because you fail to understand the thinking of a theist when the question necessitates that you do understand parts.

Quote:
Jesus loses nothing. To sacrifice is to lose.

He sacrificed his ability to live those days as God, since he lived them as a man.

You might consider certain theistic concepts "gibberish".. but really.. within the context of the question.. which challenges the accuracy of the word "sacrifice" used in a statement.. one must place himself in the place of the theist.. to say someone "sacrificed" something can be stated subjectively as well as objectively.

A man gives up his kidney to save his child. An outsider says "that man sacrificed his kidney to save his son." The man says "I sacrificed nothing and gained everything."

Who is right in their usage of the word? Linguistically... its a matter of what philosophy you choose to believe regarding language.

In anycase.. I still contend that to allow oneself to feel pain to the point of death.. when one had never experience pain to the point of death or never had to.. is a sacrifice in that, one must sacrifice his ability to not "experience pain to the point of death".

Quote:
Real people suffer more, every day, than this imaginary being could have..

I don't pretend to be the objective standard on what is comparatively more or less suffering. So I will just pass this by..

Quote:
Well now, even you seem to be ready to back down.

Well.. "lie" requires intent. "Not perceptive" requires fault. Etc Etc Etc. I was just leaving all options open because truth be told.. its equally plausible that it could have been any of them.

Quote:
You didn't respond at all, stop lying to yourself.

You didn't deal with any of the points in the challenge. You just ran from them.

Like you are doing here.

You have the most severe lacking of the most simple of concepts.

Stop lying to yourself.

Deal with the points of my contention. Don't just run away from them and bat them away like a spoiled baby.

Like you're doing here.

(See.. that was easy. It's fairly easy to be rude and presumptive about the mind of another-- doesn't make you any more right.. doesn't make me anymore wrong.. and certainly doesn't changed the fact that even the most IRRATIONAL, INVALID, and STUPID of replys to a question is still a response by definition.)

Quote:
And how is giving up something temporarily, giving it up at all?

You fail to understand the concept of time. Whether I live to be a million.. a day is still a day.. and at this moment it is still long one.

"Giving up" money for three days is still "giving up" money for three days.

"Giving something infinite" for a finite amount of time is still "giving up something infinite" for a finite amount of time.

The usage of the phrase "to give up" does not necessitate permanence.

Quote:
For an infinite being to suffer infinitely would require infinite damage.

I never said he "suffered infinitely".. I say he "gave up" his infin-ance.

Quote:
Your 'jesus' knows he's going to eternal bliss, he knows he's saving souls and he knows he will be loved for it.

You're asserting a lot about 'my' Jesus and about what 'I' believe about him. I don't believe I have EVER spoke to you of my concept of Jesus or my concept of his advent.

Quote:
To respond to my post, you must deal with these facts. So your post isn't a response, just like your last posts weren't responses... they are dodges, because you refuse to deal with the pertinent points.

Well then.. by this definition (thanks for explicitly defining it.. since it is different then the objective definition).. the only means by which to "respond" is for you to "accept" my response.

If I turned this around and used this definition I suppose I could take on your rather antagonistic attitude as well:

You've never responded to any of my posts.

Quote:
Christians tell us that "jesus' died for us, and that he was a sacrifice.

I have two simple questions for our christian friends:

The first: What did this 'jesus' sacrifice? Is this jesus dead? Don't you hold that this jesus is now in eternal bliss, in heaven, where he receives the undying love and gratitude from a multitude?

Sacrifice means loss. Sacrificing doesn't involve gain. It certainly doesn't involve no loss and infinite gain. Yet this 'jesus' loses nothing, and gains everything.

Some theists respond by saying that he lost his physical body. But what does paul say about the nature of flesh?

This is just a repeat.

This however brings in a interesting path..

Quote:
There is none. "Jesus" sheds something worthless.

Speaking of the "Flesh".

So God.. which has "infinite" worth.. became "worthless".

Yah.. I consider that a sacrifice.. you don't?  I guess that's fine..

Quote:
This is not a 'sacrifice' therefore, at all. In fact, its the biggest, best deal in the world, and I challenge a theist to respond as to whether they would go on the cross. I've never seen a theist dare respond at all.

You're asking that IF I was God would I come to earth, live as a man, die on a cross so that some puny person could see me? And all I get is to be God afterwards?

Hmm...

Quote:
Don't rush to find a way to sweep the cognitive dissonance away. Instead, think the question through,about it like this: imagine your child is about to be burned alive forever. And someone says to you: you can save him if you agree to go on the cross for three hours. In return, you not only save your own child, you save all children in the world. In addition, you are remembered and loved by billions. Oh, and one more thing: you go directly to heaven, in eternal bliss (after a three day tour of hell, all expenses paid!

See.. and I suppose this is where we depart. You are assuming that I as a theist must hold this concept of this particular story. Which I don't.

I view it as more as this.

"Imagine you have two children who have chosen to fight in a horribly brutal war in a far off land for 50 years. And someone says to you: You can go to that far off land so that your children can see you for 10 minutes, but you will be tortured and killed by one of your children. But three days later we'll put you back together and you can go home."

Would you refuse?


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Rhad, as per our discussion

Rhad,

as per our discussion about definitions,

Quote:
I don't agree with this. For the most part I just don't believe most theist know what they are saying when they say God is "necessarily omniscient"-- they may use the word.. but it has a slightly different connotation when they use it (I believe).

Fine.  Please define exactly the connotation you'd like to apply to god.

 Also, as per our recent discussion,

Quote:
If I have ANY position it is this: that there are many beliefs (from theism to atheism) that CAN BE rational.. but that NONE of them, I believe, is logically necessitated by our mere existence.

You keep saying this, yet you cannot refute my statement that theism is not rational.

Until you have demonstrated that theism is rational, please do not use this as a point in your argument.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote: Fine.  Please

Quote:
Fine.  Please define exactly the connotation you'd like to apply to god.

I don't apply it to God.  I say that God is omnipotent.. and by that, anything he wills he can do.

To say that he is "necessarily omniscient" would be to work against the first premise I have chosen.

Omniscience is what (I believe) you define it as.  

Like I said in the quote you quoted.. I just don't think that most theist know the implications of an "omniscient" God-- and furthermore, that it is not necessitated by theistic thought.

Quote:
You keep saying this, yet you cannot refute my statement that theism is not rational.

Until you have demonstrated that theism is rational, please do not use this as a point in your argument.

This was not a point.  I was saying this was my POSITION.

The POSITION is equivalent to yours-- and I can equally state that you have "not refuted" my statement. Thus, applying your words to yourself, don't use your statement as a point in any of your arguments.

(The reality of the matter is that "everyone" will never agree on "everything".. and thus many times people use statements that they believe have been defended even though other belief they have been refuted.  Objectiivity is difficult in this issue.. they are just beliefs unless both people concede to a particular end.

But like I said.. I wasn't using it as a point.. I was stating my position.


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Quote: Jesus loses

Quote:

Jesus loses nothing. To sacrifice is to lose.

rhad: :He sacrificed his ability to live those days as God, since he lived them as a man."

 So Jesus wasn't God when he (as you claim) walked on the earth? All that "I and my Father are one" stuff was bull?

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


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: At this

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
At this point I have decided to believe God exist-- what led me to this decision is the same as what leads most, if not all, people to their decisions.. choice based off experience and thought.
RhadTheGizmo wrote:
You are assuming that I as a theist must hold this concept of this particular story.  Which I don't.
I thought you said you were an atheist. Have you changed your mind? Or have you been masquerading as an atheist for some reason?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Heh.. I have never stated

Heh.. I have never stated myself as an Atheist.  I just don't proclaim my theism at every turn because I don't see the purpose in it... I just say what I think.


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Quote: As for who wrote

Quote:
As for who wrote those books.. It's obvious that its man. Whether man was "divinely inspired" is something I cannot speak to a certainity of-- only that I believe that certain texts were "divinely inspired".

This goes back to cherry picking. Which texts, namely, do you believe were divinely inspired? You believe this, but with what basis? That is an important point. How do you decide that you are hearing divine words? A nameless 'pull' in that direction?

 

Quote:
But.. what did he gain? He was God already.
Well, he got to go home to heaven, much less cumbersome than sporting a physical form? And he got to be revered, and 'save' everybody. This has already been laid out by tod, quite comprehensively in my opinion.

Quote:

My contention comes with your qualification.. by admission of "ultimately unknowable" as opposed to just "unknowable".. there is an are of "partial knowability".

I agree that within the concept of "ultimate unknowability" one cannot know everything.. but one can know part-- and perhaps this "part" is his will.

Once again.. it's a belief.

Er.. A lot of effort in these forums goes into asking for qualification of just the above point, I've noticed. Why is it your belief? How did you formulate that belief? It is not a particularly well quantified statement. I don't think that this 'ultimate unknowability' argument is doing you many favours, with all due respect. It has a distinct flavour of mysticism about it. I just can't accept that we can (conveniently) equate UNKNOWABILITY = [All the stuff I just don't understand]. There is a reason you don't understand it - it doesn't make any sense. Now is there any way you can convince me (and I will listen to any reasonable line of discussion with a fully open mind) that the guys who tried to fill in these mystical gaps in the form of the bible, were not simply fabricating every word on the spot? Look no further than the ridiculous book of mormon, 'revealed' by an angel 140 years ago. Most christians would agree that the book of mormon is a total fabrication. Why do they believe that the same thing didn't happen 1800 years ago?

 

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A christian concept, I

A christian concept, I believe, is one that Jesus was divine (in his perfection) yet human (in his flesh).

In anycase.. I need a text for "I and my father are one".. I know of "If you speak to me to speak to the father." Perhaps it was those abouts..

But nonetheless.. Jesus was not "God" in the sense that "God" was "God".. obviously.. because if you accept christian principles.. how could he refer to "his father" if they were, in every aspect the same.

So yes.. there were some non-similarities.. I believe this to be consistent with the christian theology.  Feel free to argue otherwise.. perhaps it's not accurate. 


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After 324 posts I've finally

After 324 posts I've finally been labeled as a theist.  Finally! I guess it's my turn to take my leave...


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: After

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
After 324 posts I've finally been labeled as a theist. Finally! I guess it's my turn to take my leave...

Well, Rhad I had asked you in another thread and you would not answer what your worldview was. I did not give you the theist badge but would have after seeing what you posted here. The theist moniker helps everyone who posts here, they know your presupposition, they know your worldview and they know what direction you may skew your arguments. It is not an insult, it merely give indication of your starting point.


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Rhad, John 10:30 is where

Rhad,

John 10:30 is where the "I and my Father are one" comes from.

You hit on my problem with Trinitartian Christianity - If Jesus was God too why did he spend time talking to the "Father"? Why did the writers give God the line "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17, et al)

 

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


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Heh.. I can understand

Heh.. I can understand this.. however, in my opinion, it also creates an somewhat "antagonistic" relationship right off the bat because of these assumed biases and/or presuppositions.

I really would rather people just judge me off what I say.. rather than what they suppose I will say and/or think.

But.. who knows.. perhaps thats just my bad belief. 


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: I

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I really would rather people just judge me off what I say.. rather than what they suppose I will say and/or think.

Well, you got 329 posts into this before you got tagged. It seems you were under the radar for a while.

Though, I have suspected as much for a while I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. 


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Quote: Well, you got 329

Quote:

Well, you got 329 posts into this before you got tagged. It seems you were under the radar for a while.

Though, I have suspected as much for a while I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Just needed to ask.  "What do you believe?" I would have answered. (You're PM had some side issues that I felt more important then your initial question.. heh, so I addressed those directly rather than answer your question directly.  But a simple question like the one above? I would've answered to anyone.)

Someone did ask this awhile ago as the subject to a thread.. I answered there.  I was suprised I wasn't tagged at that point. 


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Jesus loses nothing. To sacrifice is to lose.

He sacrificed his ability to live those days as God, since he lived them as a man.

Is god an infinite being? Does god live forever? If so, what's so big about a few days here or there?

Just curious...in your "context", was anyone running the universe while god was a man? Did he just put it on autopilot for a while?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

You might consider certain theistic concepts "gibberish".. but really.. within the context of the question.. which challenges the accuracy of the word "sacrifice" used in a statement.. one must place himself in the place of the theist.. to say someone "sacrificed" something can be stated subjectively as well as objectively.

You must place yourself in the place of an atheist. Then you will realize why we think this is gibberish.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

A man gives up his kidney to save his child. An outsider says "that man sacrificed his kidney to save his son." The man says "I sacrificed nothing and gained everything."

Does the man get his kidney back after 3 days?

And exactly who did god make this 'sacrifice' to anyway?

There are no theists on operating tables.

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Quote: Is god an infinite

Quote:
Is god an infinite being? Does god live forever? If so, what's so big about a few days here or there?

If he wills it.  If he wills it.  (I say these things because a common concept of the christian God (that I currently hold) is that he is omnipotent). And.. a "few days" is a "few days".

Would the fact that you're X amount of years old make the fact that you were raped any less real when you were being raped?

This is how I view it.

As I stated before.. people like to compare "experience" with "mathematically ratios".. that somehow the fact that you're going to live 20 more years makes the experience of bleeding out for an hour any less 'easy' to get through during that 'hour'.

If I promised you would live 60 more years exactly as you would have lived it otherwise.. would you let me shoot you in the groin?

Quote:
Just curious...in your "context", was anyone running the universe while god was a man? Did he just put it on autopilot for a while?

Heh.  God was running the universe.  Jesus was on earth.  There does seem to be some distinction between the two within the Bible.

Quote:
You must place yourself in the place of an atheist. Then you will realize why we think this is gibberish.

Don't worry.. I believe I do understand.  If you don't accept any premise of God.. then speaking of him as an actual, affecting, thing.. would probably be considered gibberish.

Quote:
Does the man get his kidney back after 3 days?

And exactly who did god make this 'sacrifice' to anyway?

I was speaking linguistics in this post..

My personal concept of the "salvation story" is probably better represented at the end of my last post when I give the analogy of a parent and his two children.


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zarathustra wrote: And

zarathustra wrote:

And exactly who did god make this 'sacrifice' to anyway?

Oh, I know!!!! *waves hand wildly in the air*

Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! 

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Now now, Iruka.  Give the

Now now, Iruka.  Give the others a chance.

 And haven't I told you to stop reading ahead?


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

If he wills it. If he wills it. (I say these things because a common concept of the christian God (that I currently hold) is that he is omnipotent). And.. a "few days" is a "few days".

A few days for an eternal being is nothing. If you have an unlimited income stream and you deliberately drop 3 pennies on the ground, I'm not impressed and I'm not calling it a sacrifice. Especially if you pick the 3 pennies back up after dropping them.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:


Would the fact that you're X amount of years old make the fact that you were raped any less real when you were being raped?

If I knew the bruises and any risk of disease or pregnancy (well actually I'm a man, but hey! It's omnipotence, right?) disappeared after 3 days, then yes, it would be less real. And if I then had an infinite amount of time to get over any resulting psychological trauma, it might as well have never happened. AND...if I had determined ahead of time that I needed to be raped in order to complete some ingenious plan of my own making, and therefore created the situation which necessitated my being raped (to use your words -- "willed it&quotEye-wink, then once I got raped, I don't think I'd be worthy of your respect, or your tears. It would be fair for you to say "You wanted it, you asked for it, and you probably enjoyed it."

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

This is how I view it.

As I stated before.. people like to compare "experience" with "mathematically ratios".. that somehow the fact that you're going to live 20 more years makes the experience of bleeding out for an hour any less 'easy' to get through during that 'hour'.

20 years, maybe. But an infinite number of years? With that much time on your hands, anything is easy.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:


If I promised you would live 60 more years exactly as you would have lived it otherwise.. would you let me shoot you in the groin?

Quite a proposition...I'll have to think about it and get back to you. But in the meantime: If I told you that you had to shoot me in the groin so that I could give you eternal salvation, would you do it?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

zarathustra wrote:
Just curious...in your "context", was anyone running the universe while god was a man? Did he just put it on autopilot for a while?

Heh. God was running the universe. Jesus was on earth. There does seem to be some distinction between the two within the Bible.

Oh yeah, the trinity. How could I forget. Maybe it's because you just got done saying:

"He sacrificed his ability to live those days as God, since he lived them as a man."

So jesus gave up his ability to live those days as god, but god was still running the universe, so god didn't give up his ability to live those days as god. Now what were we talking about again? Ah yes--sacrifice.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
You must place yourself in the place of an atheist. Then you will realize why we think this is gibberish.

Don't worry.. I believe I do understand. If you don't accept any premise of God.. then speaking of him as an actual, affecting, thing.. would probably be considered gibberish.

Quite so. Likewise, if you accepted the premise that Harry Potter was real, you would be crushed with remorse to think how Gandalf cut off poor Harry's hand after telling him he was his father.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Does the man get his kidney back after 3 days?

And exactly who did god make this 'sacrifice' to anyway?

I was speaking linguistics in this post..

My personal concept of the "salvation story" is probably better represented at the end of my last post when I give the analogy of a parent and his two children.

You're speaking of linguistics. Well, I'm speaking of nephrology: Does the man get his kidney back after 3 days?

And yes, I would still like to know: Who was this sacrifice made to?

As far as your analogy:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Imagine you have two children who have chosen to fight in a horribly brutal war in a far off land for 50 years. And someone says to you: You can go to that far off land so that your children can see you for 10 minutes, but you will be tortured and killed by one of your children. But three days later we'll put you back together and you can go home."

Would you refuse?

Yes I would refuse. Actually, I would first of all ask what kind of sadistic maniac makes such idiotic rules like that where torture and death is a requirement. I would then ask for substantive proof that a dead body can be "put back together" after 3 days. If such proof could be provided, I would then tell them to just put my kids back together when they die, and leave me out of it.

Nice analogy. Can I keep it?

 

 

 

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote:

Quote:
A few days for an eternal being is nothing.

I'll state again.. I do not believe that relationship between mathematical ratios and life/time can be equated.

Quote:
If you have an unlimited income stream and you deliberately drop 3 pennies on the ground, I'm not impressed and I'm not calling it a sacrifice. Especially if you pick the 3 pennies back up after dropping them.

Money as well.

Life and experience is not sufficiently (in my opinion) similar to mathematical ratios in order to be compared.

Quote:
If I knew the bruises and any risk of disease or pregnancy (well actually I'm a man, but hey! It's omnipotence, right?) disappeared after 3 days, then yes, it would be less real.

Okay. I would not agree.

Quote:
And if I then had an infinite amount of time to get over any resulting psychological trauma, it might as well have never happened.

The knowing ability to get over something does not make it more or less easy to get through the point of experience.

I know I will "get over" breaking up with my girlfriend. Doesn't mean that when it happened it made that particular pain "easier" to experience.

Quote:
AND...if I had determined ahead of time that I needed to be raped in order to complete some ingenious plan of my own making, and therefore created the situation which necessitated my being raped (to use your words -- "willed it&quotEye-wink, then once I got raped, I don't think I'd be worthy of your respect, or your tears. It would be fair for you to say "You wanted it, you asked for it, and you probably enjoyed it."

Apart from your "willed to be raped".. I would have to say that the rest relies on what God did not do in order to create this system, with these possibilities (freewill, etc) while still being logical.

Before you say "God didn't necessarily have to be logical". Tis true.. but if he wasn't.. I won't not be able to talk of him at all with regards to his actions, nature, or anything-- and that would be a rather pointless thin to believe in my opinion.

I believe God acted "logically" so that we may know him in part. I believe that he created "freewill" because he was allloving. If he had decided not to do either of these things then he would not have had to do his "ingenuous plan".. would not have had to feel pain.. or belittle himself to humanity.

Once again.. If I believed in a God that's sole premise was "omnipotence" I would not be able to speak with you in such a manner.. since absolutely NOTHING is needed. (I believe this to be logically correct)

Yet... this is not my sole premise regarding God. I also hold true that he has chosen these two other things: all loving, logical.

So.. in order that I may love and know him-- God came enacted his "ingenious plan".

Quote:
20 years, maybe. But an infinite number of years? With that much time on your hands, anything is easy.


Once again.. I believe your confusing experience with regard to "ratios" with the concept of experience in "a moment of time."

A gunshot is as real to me during the initial experience whether or not it was existent in a 80 year life or a 20 year life.

Quote:
Quite a proposition...I'll have to think about it and get back to you. But in the meantime: If I told you that you had to shoot me in the groin so that I could give you eternal salvation, would you do it?

I would hope not. I do not believe the end justifies the means.

Quote:
Oh yeah, the trinity. How could I forget. Maybe it's because you just got done saying:

"He sacrificed his ability to live those days as God, since he lived them as a man."

So jesus gave up his ability to live those days as god, but god was still running the universe, so god didn't give up his ability to live those days as god. Now what were we talking about again? Ah yes--sacrifice.

We were talking about the sacrifice of Jesus (the mythological or historical figure).. not necessarily "God the father". (Trinitarian assumption).

Quote:
Quite so. Likewise, if you accepted the premise that Harry Potter was real, you would be crushed with remorse to think how Gandalf cut off poor Harry's hand after telling him he was his father.

He did? How horrible. Heh.

But yes.. agreed.

Quote:
You're speaking of linguistics. Well, I'm speaking of nephrology: Does the man get his kidney back after 3 days?

And yes, I would still like to know: Who was this sacrifice made to?

As far as your analogy:

Sacrifice does not require that someone "gains" what is "given". Otherwise.. who gains the arm of the man who loses it saving a kid from a fire?

Surely not the kid.

But I could still say he sacrificed an arm.

The sacrifice wasn't made to anyone in my opinion.. it was made "for a purpose".. but no one "received" what he "sacrificed". (Granted.. my concept.. I won't speak for anyone other theists).

Quote:
Yes I would refuse. Actually, I would first of all ask what kind of sadistic maniac makes such idiotic rules like that where torture and death is a requirement. I would then ask for substantive proof that a dead body can be "put back together" after 3 days. If such proof could be provided, I would then tell them to just put my kids back together when they die, and leave me out of it.

Nice analogy. Can I keep it?

Heh. You can keep it.

I explained earlier that my conception of the premises are different then yours. You are arguing from, what seems to me to be, a purely "omnipotent" individual.. as opposed to linked to some other self-imposed rules.

This is how I view the analogy without the analogy. Smiling

God created "children". God loved his children. God wanted his children to love him. God thus gave them freewill, for "love" (as we understand it, I believe) requires freewill (as we understand it, I believe. We can only speak of these concepts as we know of them now.. not of what "they could have been&quotEye-wink. God acted logically in order that his children might understand him logically (I cannot understand anything but through the process of logic). Children chose to experience what God said they "should not" experience--mainly life at increasingly larger distances from his divinity. The human experience is man's exploration of what he "should not" experience but has the ability to choose. Mid point within this experience "God" (trinitarian) becomes man in order to "commune" with man who has increased his 'relative distance' greatly from the beginning-- for no more a purpose than to purpose give man an example that he still cares. Man kills incarnate. Incarnate returns to God.

At any point in here you can say "God didn't NEED to do this or that"-- and to that.. I fully agree if the only premise is that he is omnipotent.

Yet.. again.. just to make this clear.. I believe that he choose to act in accordance with "all lovingness-thus-freewill" and "logic".

Both which have man made defintions.. that if were any different.. would be have fundamental implications regarding our ability to have this conversation in a logical, freewilling, manner. (Since.. we know of only one logic.. and one form of freewill-- unless you can imagine another form of logic that won't affect our ability to have this conversation? Or you can think of some other form of "freewill" which is just as "free" yet not the same thing).


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sugarfree wrote: Because I

sugarfree wrote:
Because I am still trying to figure you all out and this is my latest attempt. And, of course, there's always that glimmer of hope that someone may listen instead of rolling their eyes...

Well first of all, fuck you for assuming that your religious beliefs make you more human and emotional then atheists. Stop being ignorant!

Figure us out? It's quite simple. We don't have to believe in God to feel special or cope with what we don't know. I think most people believe in God because they are afraid of death. They make up a world after death and they make up the ruler of this world and the ridiculous rules that must be followed in order to go there after death.

The reason you feel all the emotions that you do is because you have created them in your own mind. You have created this god in your mind and you imagine all the 'wonderful' things that he does for you and the 'sacrifices' that he has made for you, etc. and this god that you created is so important to you that it triggered a HUMAN emotion. One that any person would feel for a loved one.

I got a question for you- What makes Christians think that they are so god damn special than non-believers?! 

 

ASK A PRIEST!!!!

I am collecting questions for the next couple of weeks. Do you have a question you'd like to ask a priest? Post it here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/5959


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jcgadfly wrote: Rhad, John

jcgadfly wrote:

Rhad,

John 10:30 is where the "I and my Father are one" comes from.

You hit on my problem with Trinitartian Christianity - If Jesus was God too why did he spend time talking to the "Father"? Why did the writers give God the line "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17, et al)

This is because the entire Jesus story is copied from henotheistic religions. Christianity is - in fact - the only messianic religion that comes to mind that tries to pretend it is monotheistic.

 In reality - Christianity is STILL henotheistic - however - trying to pretend an obviously henotheistic religion is monotheistic leads to confusion for believers - which causes believers to irrationally assume this means god is above their understanding - and thus god is real - instead of looking at it plainly and calling it the obvious bullshit it is.

 In Egyptian mythology - when Horus said he and his father (Osiris) were one - people understood they were seperate gods - and that Horus was implying they were one in mind.

The plaguarism did not pan out so well for Christian dogma. 


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sugarfree wrote: I'm not

sugarfree wrote:
I'm not surprised that it sounds ridiculous to you. I guess what I am wondering, tho, is, in your life, do you have anything that makes you feel so small and humble, yet at the same time, so important and special? My tears weren't grief tears necessarily...which would be the types of tears shed for those things you mentioned above. Or maybe they were grief tears, but mixed with a profound thankfulness. Because, when considering what Christ did on the cross, it really isn't possible to separate the two. So maybe I should ask, what are atheist profoundly thankful for, that moves them to tears?

 

As for something making me feel small and humble, I would have to say that a good deep trance meditation can really get the humility going. It is quite mind blowing to lose yourself completely. A slight feeling of being one with everything often accompanies this. Humility inducing indeed.  Many people think this is an experience with God, Christ, or (insert diety here) as well. It depends on which world-view lens you are wielding at the moment.

"The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously." [Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946]


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It's funny how theists

It's funny how theists always end up sounding like Gil from The Simpsons. Shambling used car salesmen, adapting their gibberish to the situation, first trying to use logic, then explaining why logic is unecessary. First explaining how natural laws support their claims, then proclaiming natural laws inapplicable when called on their bullshit. In the end, they're stuck arguing in favor of a concept so marginal, so inaffectual and subjective, so unsupportable, its character is more the cockroach running behind the fridge than the "obvious" and extraordinary invisble friend they came in with.


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Thanks, NarcoSun.  I'd

Thanks, NarcoSun.

 I'd never heard of henotheism before. Thanks for the education.


Iruka Naminori
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Mixed feelings.

When I look back on this thread, at times I feel bad about the responses I (and others) gave sugarfree.  Then I read the original post and feel insulted again.

What's up with that?

I've seen a couple of people who were deconverted by this site, but most get pissed off and go their merry way.  I realize that the deconversion process takes time.  It probably also takes a lot of different kinds of confrontation.

Have any of you ever witnessed a deconversion from start to finish?  What kind of effect did a blunt style have on the process?  If you used to be religious, what kind of effect did the "blunt style" have on you?

I'm thinking back over my experience and I have to admit that the instances of bluntness are the ones that stuck out in my mind and made me think. 

I've been a non-Christian for a long time, but my atheism didn't really solidify until around 2001.  I went through a phase of intense fear of death.  During that time, I noticed the topic of death everywhere.  I was offended by Sally Jessy Raphael's insistence there was no life after death.  I tried to watch Crossing Over with John Edward and ended up turned off because after looking over his website, it became apparent he was in it for the money.  What disturbed me?  He wanted BOTH parents of a deceased child to pay the standard fee for his consultation.  It was naked greed, there for all the world to see.  (It made the South Park episode, The Biggest Douche in the Universe, even funnier.) An episode of The Simpsons and Family Guy both had death themes or death mentioned in them. Peter's line was, "Yeah, I've gotten people to believe crazier things than that."  The scene cuts away to Peter teaching a Sunday School class: "And if you're very, very good, you'll all go to a wonderful place called heaven."  A little kid pipes up, "Really?"  Peter laughs and says, "Naw...you'll just lie in the ground and rot."

So I guess my own mind in conjunction with various experiences allowed me to become more of a thinker and skeptic.  Those who spoke out bluntly may have hurt my feelings at the time, but my mind had to chew on what they said.  As much as it pissed me off to admit it, Sally Jessy Raphael was right.  There is no good reason to believe in life after death.

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Iruka Naminori wrote: When

Iruka Naminori wrote:
When I look back on this thread, at times I feel bad about the responses I (and others) gave sugarfree.  Then I read the original post and feel insulted again.

I think I would feel worse about how I respond to her (and others) if I were less direct for the sake of being more friendly with them. It would be almost lying. Sometimes, people really need to know that their approach is just laughable.

I sometimes wonder if she realizes how insulting she can be. I'll admit that sometimes my own frustration with her attitude is often substantial, but I try to at least step away from that most of the time before responding to her.

And I don't put up with the sanctimonious crap like "Look how humble I am, I'm so unworthy." That's just disingenuous.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
I've seen a couple of people who were deconverted by this site, but most get pissed off and go their merry way.  I realize that the deconversion process takes time.  It probably also takes a lot of different kinds of confrontation.

Have any of you ever witnessed a deconversion from start to finish?
...
If you used to be religious, what kind of effect did the "blunt style" have on you?

From start to finish, only my own, and it took a long time, with a long period of denial. Other people I know have reported that they had long periods of doubt as well.

Truth is, I don't expect too many people to be directly deconverted on the spot here, and I think that's OK. The ones who do that are likely to be the type of theists who never gave it much thought. More thoughtful people, I think, are likely to need a lot of time. But where atheists can have a positive effect is in providing the arguments they will need to ponder on their own, and educating people to tear down the false ideas spread about atheism.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
What kind of effect did a blunt style have on the process?

I try to let the theist set the tone, and I personally don't usually initiate the conversation. If they come out with an 'I'll prove to you that god exists' argument, I come in swinging. Most of these people are not interested in rational discussion, they just want to win converts for Christ (or whatever brand of nonsense they support). If they start with a sincere question (this is rare) I try to be honest and open, and receptive, but still direct.

I have found that this approach has led to progress with at least one theist, but I don't know if he ultimately deconverted. When I stopped seeing him regularly (we had a religion class together) he was still a theist, but a theist with substantially fewer misconceptions about particularly evolution.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
I'm thinking back over my experience and I have to admit that the instances of bluntness are the ones that stuck out in my mind and made me think.

Agreed. Actually, this may seem rather stupid, but for me, a major tipping point was hearing the song Judith, by A Perfect Circle. It flipped the question for me from "What can we do to get god to forgive us?" to "What did we do wrong to deserve the awefull God offers us?" The lyrics were a necessary and direct rebuttal of basic Christian theology that I found it to be very helpful.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
So I guess my own mind in conjunction with various experiences allowed me to become more of a thinker and skeptic.  Those who spoke out bluntly may have hurt my feelings at the time, but my mind had to chew on what they said.  As much as it pissed me off to admit it, Sally Jessy Raphael was right.  There is no good reason to believe in life after death.

Exactly.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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Iruka Naminori wrote: Then

Iruka Naminori wrote:
Then I read the original post and feel insulted again.

Hello. I'm still perusing, but posting only very selectively. I am surprise that you feel insulted by my post. What about it insulted you? Since insulting you was so far from my intent, I am open to you showing me where I might have been off base, so that I can consider it, and apologize if I must. Just let me know.


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Well sugar, first of all it

Well sugar, first of all it was the fact that you felt the need to come here and congratulate yourself in front of us about being so emotional. Look at the title of your post. It has the subtle implication that atheists (and I suppose people who worship something other than jesus) are not capable of emotions, or at least not as capable of it as you are, when you're "thinking about "jesus over jazz chords".

Then when you bowed out of this thread, you suggested that we are not "real", because we are not terribly impressed with the little pity party you bragged to us about.

This is coupled with your refusal to deepen your arguments - after all this time, your entire argument for your beliefs is "jesus". Essentially this is like saying "I'm right because I'm right". And when we find this argument unsatisfactory, you accuse us of being "negative".

Now you stand agape with surprise that we find you arrogant and insulting.

Have fun crying.

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zarathustra wrote: Well

zarathustra wrote:

Well sugar, first of all it was the fact that you felt the need to come here and congratulate yourself in front of us about being so emotional. Look at the title of your post. It has the subtle implication that atheists (and I suppose people who worship something other than jesus) are not capable of emotions, or at least not as capable of it as you are, when you're "thinking about "jesus over jazz chords".

Then when you bowed out of this thread, you suggested that we are not "real", because we are not terribly impressed with the little pity party you bragged to us about.

This is coupled with your refusal to deepen your arguments - after all this time, your entire argument for your beliefs is "jesus". Essentially this is like saying "I'm right because I'm right". And when we find this argument unsatisfactory, you accuse us of being "negative".

Now you stand agape with surprise that we find you arrogant and insulting.

Have fun crying.

Okay, I'm just gonna say it, zarathustra, you seem to be just plain mean.  I suppose if that's what you are going for, you have succeeded.  I think when you read my post, you read it from your own point of view.  Certainly, if you wrote a post like that, it would be a fake, a lie, because you do not believe as I do.  But, even tho it seems hard for you to understand, I wrote that post out of utmost sincerity.   Now, it did in fact, come with a challenge.  The implied challenge was, show me why I should give up what I have.  Show me experiences that you have in your life that meet or exceed the type of thing I experienced in church on Sunday.  Because, to me, that would be a valid argument for your side.  However, you have not done that.  Instead, you have judged me...assumed I had negative motives, assumed I was trying to prove that I'm better than you, or that I am so humble...

 Now, you tell me why I should want to adopt your belief system, when from my perspective, all it has done is turned you into a rude and insensitive human being.


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hi all, sorry to intrude on

hi all, sorry to intrude on this thread. i had a question for rhad. 

 what about the crucifixion(sp?) is meaningful to you? is it that jesus died on the cross? is it that he was resurrected after three days instead of one day or one minute or 4 weeks? 

as i understand it, the logistics of jesus' story seem to be what impresses most christians, but to me, they seem to be unnecessary, if not distracting. employing the dramatic nature of your exit from earth as a means to communicate a divine message seems a bit juvenile to me.

 what if jesus had died of food poisoning or a heart attack? Or, if he tripped and fell on the way to the crucifixion. would his story be less meaningful to you? would jesus still be jesus?

Ethics and aesthetics are one
-Wittgenstein


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perhaps i should make this a

perhaps i should make this a new thread?


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
zarathustra wrote:

Well sugar, first of all it was the fact that you felt the need to come here and congratulate yourself in front of us about being so emotional. Look at the title of your post. It has the subtle implication that atheists (and I suppose people who worship something other than jesus) are not capable of emotions, or at least not as capable of it as you are, when you're "thinking about "jesus over jazz chords".

Then when you bowed out of this thread, you suggested that we are not "real", because we are not terribly impressed with the little pity party you bragged to us about.

This is coupled with your refusal to deepen your arguments - after all this time, your entire argument for your beliefs is "jesus". Essentially this is like saying "I'm right because I'm right". And when we find this argument unsatisfactory, you accuse us of being "negative".

Now you stand agape with surprise that we find you arrogant and insulting.

Have fun crying.

Okay, I'm just gonna say it, zarathustra, you seem to be just plain mean.

I have been avoiding this thread, but I have to tell you, Zarathustra was much kinder that I would have been at this point and did an excellent job of summarizing this thread and pointing out the obvious to you.

sugarfree wrote:
I suppose if that's what you are going for, you have succeeded. I think when you read my post, you read it from your own point of view. Certainly, if you wrote a post like that, it would be a fake, a lie, because you do not believe as I do. But, even tho it seems hard for you to understand, I wrote that post out of utmost sincerity. Now, it did in fact, come with a challenge.

Way to backpeddle after you realized you did in fact sound arrogant and full of false humility.

sugarfree wrote:
The implied challenge was, show me why I should give up what I have. Show me experiences that you have in your life that meet or exceed the type of thing I experienced in church on Sunday. Because, to me, that would be a valid argument for your side. However, you have not done that. Instead, you have judged me...assumed I had negative motives, assumed I was trying to prove that I'm better than you, or that I am so humble...

And you have done the same to us. How dare YOU assume any of us has not had extremely moving experiences? I tried to be respectful to your beliefs but when you stated that your ultimate motive was to get converts my respect for you ended. No one asked to you come on this forum to "witness" to us and as far as I can see everyone has been more than patient. If you want to learn, read the threads and investigate the links provided. If you want converts, check with the Jehovah's Witnesses...they have a very annoying method you might like.

sugarfree wrote:
Now, you tell me why I should want to adopt your belief system, when from my perspective, all it has done is turned you into a rude and insensitive human being.

The same could be said for you.


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sugarfree wrote: Well, I

sugarfree wrote:
Well, I had an interesting experience on Sunday. I was singing on the vocal team at my church for the Easter service. I get teary sometimes, because of the words and power of the music along with it, sometimes it becomes overwhelming, in a good, but also very humbling way. On Sunday, I made it thru all the songs, but the last one was a traditional spiritual. A very simple song, simple melody, but quite beautiful melody, at that...with some interesting minor/jazz chords thrown in. The second verse..."Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree"...then the third verse..."Were you there when they laid him in the tomb," and I felt it coming...not just tears, sobs...in front of 250 or so people. This is not how I wanted it to happen, I don't relish allowing 250 people to see my weakness, but the truth of those lyrics, so simple, so incredibly profound. I couldn't sing anymore, I just looked down...and...bawled. But you know what? The fact that I was in front of all those people, it doesn't really matter. I knew they would not judge me. The reality of those words is what caused me to sob. Jesus was brutally beaten, disgraced, humiliated, his hands were nailed...and then He, God, died a human death. A more horrible death than any of us will experience. And he walked into that situation, willingly, for me. In the process of walking to his death, He spoke volumes about the character of God. And if we so chose, we can learn about God by studying how Christ died...and lived. He did all this, so 2000 years later, a person like me can know God personally. Intimately. Now, you all will tear this post apart, say, I made all this up in my mind. It was the music, the setting, all the people around me... You all can look in from the outside and criticize. But it's okay. Because what I experienced in that moment, as I fully understood what Christ did for me, was Truth. And this Truth is so magnificent that everything you throw at me pales in comparison.

Prostyltizing, we have all heard this appeal to emotion bullshit argument before.

 

Your thread title, if you truly wanted to be fair, would have been; "What emotional events have made you cry?". Not the bullshit title "What makes atheists cry?", I can hear the snideness as you wrote that. I hear you saying to yourself, "Those silly little atheists have no emotion, they are so cold and unfeeling maybe my story of sobbing thinking about what a mythical character in a work of fiction gave will show them the light". As you are typing away, thinking the whole time, "my pastor would be so proud", "I am such a good person for sharing this with these heathens". "Ohhhhh jesus love me". Ughhhhh

No thanks, I do not wish to become a driveling idiot because of some story written in a cave. 


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Seriously, do you want me

Seriously, do you want me to hate myself?  Is that the point?  Look, I make mistakes, I am human, I say dumb things, I make people mad.  But, I also say some good things, and do some good things.

 Really, what did I do to deserve this hate-fest?  It's not like I threatened your child's life.  I shared an experience with you, an experience of my own which was powerful and good.  And I hoped one of you might see it as good also.  It was that simple.

 If I had one thing to change, I would have left off the last line.  That's all.

So this is how you turn people into atheists?  Is this what you mean by deconversion?  Make the person feel so stupid and bad about themselves, try to confuse them so much that they finally just give in to you and say "you're right, stupid me"?  If it is, I am so not impressed. In fact I am repulsed.

Forget it, I keep coming back to you people with hope.  That's my own dumb fault.  Now, for love of God, don't let me check back in on this thread again.

 Good bye.  (Yes, THESE are hard feelings.  Like I said.  I'm human.  Have fun bashing the next theist that comes along.  You should keep a tally.  Perhaps make medals for yourself and wear them as proud badges of honor.)


McLeod
Posts: 5
Joined: 2007-03-31
User is offlineOffline
SugarFree, it just doesn't

SugarFree, it just doesn't seem like anything is really getting through to you.  This has turned into an inane cycle of people explaining why your posts are garbage, and then you feigning innocence and trying to twist what they say into making it sound like everyone is out to get you.  It just doesn't register with you that you may just be being very difficult to argue with because you simply won't listen to reason.

I remember reading your first thread here.  It asked the forum to convince you to be athiest, and that you're "listening".  It is now more apparent than ever that you aren't.  You just want a happy ending.  You have no interest in truth.  I can't say I'm too upset about your claim that you won't be back, but I have a feeling that you just won't be able to stay away.