New thread concerning reformed serial killers. (From "How do atheists propose filling in the gap")

JCE
Bronze Member
JCE's picture
Posts: 1219
Joined: 2007-03-20
User is offlineOffline
New thread concerning reformed serial killers. (From "How do atheists propose filling in the gap")

sugarfree wrote:
magilum wrote:

Incidentally, David Berkowitz ultimately admitted his original story (about his neighbor's dog being a demon that issued him orders) was complete and utter bullshit he made up. He said he killed because it excited him sexually. Like many serial killers, he would return to the scenes of his crimes, and in his case he would jerk off at them and relive the memory.

What's your point, this would have been before he became a Christian. He was obviously a severely messed up man.

Just out of curiosity, would you allow one of these "reformed" serial killers to live in your home?


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
jce wrote: sugarfree

jce wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
magilum wrote:

Incidentally, David Berkowitz ultimately admitted his original story (about his neighbor's dog being a demon that issued him orders) was complete and utter bullshit he made up. He said he killed because it excited him sexually. Like many serial killers, he would return to the scenes of his crimes, and in his case he would jerk off at them and relive the memory.

What's your point, this would have been before he became a Christian. He was obviously a severely messed up man.

Just out of curiosity, would you allow one of these "reformed" serial killers to live in your home?

I am not keen on allowing a third adult to live in my home, period, but if the person appeared reformed as Son of Sam does, I would allow him in my home.  I think it would be natural at first to have a distrust or wonder about someone who did these sorts of things in the past, and they would have to spend time proving to you that they had really changed.  Perhaps, even tho they are forgiven by God, that is part of their punishment...to be looked on warily by their fellow men. Their past is forgiven but they cannot escape it's stigma, at least not in this life.


22jesus22
22jesus22's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: 2006-12-18
User is offlineOffline
I honestly don't think I

I honestly don't think I could.  I would feel way to uncomfortable.  Knowing a person killed multiple times and is now living in your home, or neighborhood, or in some area close to you is just an uneasy thought.


22jesus22
22jesus22's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: 2006-12-18
User is offlineOffline
-sorry double post-

-sorry double post-


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
jce wrote: sugarfree

jce wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
magilum wrote:

Incidentally, David Berkowitz ultimately admitted his original story (about his neighbor's dog being a demon that issued him orders) was complete and utter bullshit he made up. He said he killed because it excited him sexually. Like many serial killers, he would return to the scenes of his crimes, and in his case he would jerk off at them and relive the memory.

What's your point, this would have been before he became a Christian. He was obviously a severely messed up man.

Just out of curiosity, would you allow one of these "reformed" serial killers to live in your home?

I know this is probably a practice in futility, but why would God allow these serial killers to kill in the first place?  Why would he make someone who got off sexually by murdering or torturing people?  I'm quite sure you're going to say that was Satan's work, but why didn't god step in and help those innocent victims?

The fact is, these serial killers did morally reprehensible things.  Why is it that they get the ulitmate 'get out of jail' free card, if you will. 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
pariahjane wrote: jce

pariahjane wrote:
jce wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
magilum wrote:

Incidentally, David Berkowitz ultimately admitted his original story (about his neighbor's dog being a demon that issued him orders) was complete and utter bullshit he made up. He said he killed because it excited him sexually. Like many serial killers, he would return to the scenes of his crimes, and in his case he would jerk off at them and relive the memory.

What's your point, this would have been before he became a Christian. He was obviously a severely messed up man.

Just out of curiosity, would you allow one of these "reformed" serial killers to live in your home?

I know this is probably a practice in futility, but why would God allow these serial killers to kill in the first place?  Why would he make someone who got off sexually by murdering or torturing people?  I'm quite sure you're going to say that was Satan's work, but why didn't god step in and help those innocent victims?

The fact is, these serial killers did morally reprehensible things.  Why is it that they get the ulitmate 'get out of jail' free card, if you will. 

Ah, yes, the problem of evil. I lived until my early 20's not believing in evil, until my friend was murdered and then I was forced to make sense of why someone would kill someone else, and what makes me different than someone who decides to kill? Pretty heavy stuff. I could have potentially gone different directions with this. 1) God exists and he inspired those guys to kill my friend (pretty frightening huh), 2) God doesn't exist (but still, this does not explain why some people go bad and others do not...how do I know I'm not going to go bad...what makes me different? Anything? Equally frightening.) 3) the devil exists.

You already know which direction I went. I still believed and observed that there is goodness that transcends this physical world. I simply cannot buy that our emotions, the good that we do, stems only from our instinctual desire to maintain societal order…in other words, we do good because, ultimately, we are selfish. I just can’t buy that, it’s too simplistic of an answer to effectively account for the wide range of observable human behavior. Also, I could not, in confidence say there is no God. If I had to pick one singular reason why I cannot deny the existence of God, it would be NDE’s. I’m not ready to stake my potential eternal life on some scientist’s speculation about “hallucinations.” So, if there is good in this world, and there is a God, where does murder, molestation, lying, cheating fit in? Are we really just God’s puppets? He makes us do good AND evil? Does that seem right to you? No, it seems very wrong. That kind of God would not be a just God, and I would not blame you for not wanting to worship him.

Enter Satan, man’s tendency to be fooled by him, and therefore, the spiritual warefare that is being waged behind the scenes in this world. The Christian Bible has given me a comprehensive understanding of evil. I have studied, learned about, been exposed to other religious texts, and they simply have not offered me as clear a description of evil. For me, they raise more questions about evil than they answer, which is unsettling. (I do not believe “unsettled” is our natural state. Nature requires balance to survive, our bodies require balance to thrive. It follows, then, that our minds and our hearts are also healthiest in a balanced state. “Unsettledness”, fear, confusion all represent unbalanced emotional states. I have come to recognize that these feelings are indicators that something is amiss, and if a certain philosophy or line of thought creates these feelings in me, I become skeptical.)

As I have read the Bible, specifically passages about the unseen spiritual battle taking place, and the need to arm oneself against it, it just makes sense given my 3-decades long observations of this world. And with this understanding of evil, has come, not fear, but peace (i.e., balance…a balanced view of the world), because I am better able to determine the good from the bad in this life. I am LESS confused.

Why God has allowed Satan to reign on this earth for a given time period, I do not know. What I do know, is that God has faith that we can handle the challenges he presents, and that he has provided us with the tools to be victorious. So, I do not need to fear him.


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
I find it... interesting

I find it... interesting that you'd be willing to completely disregard the idea of human nature and choose something supernatural as an explanation.  On a basic level, I think that people do terrible things because they're just terrible people.  Or perhaps their brain was just wired wrong.  Or they something similar happened to them and they are just repeating what they taught.  I'm not a psychologist; I can only speculate on the reasons. 

 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
pariahjane wrote: I find

pariahjane wrote:

I find it... interesting that you'd be willing to completely disregard the idea of human nature and choose something supernatural as an explanation.  On a basic level, I think that people do terrible things because they're just terrible people.  Or perhaps their brain was just wired wrong.  Or they something similar happened to them and they are just repeating what they taught.  I'm not a psychologist; I can only speculate on the reasons. 

 

How do you know you are not wired wrong. Did you just get lucky? What if a wire shorts out?


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:

I find it... interesting that you'd be willing to completely disregard the idea of human nature and choose something supernatural as an explanation.  On a basic level, I think that people do terrible things because they're just terrible people.  Or perhaps their brain was just wired wrong.  Or they something similar happened to them and they are just repeating what they taught.  I'm not a psychologist; I can only speculate on the reasons. 

How do you know you are not wired wrong. Did you just get lucky? What if a wire shorts out?

Hell, maybe I am wire wrong and just don't know it!  lol.  Maybe you're wired wrong!  And yes, there are things that could make a person's brain 'short', if you will.  I used to know a guy who basically became a paranoid schizophrenic because he hit the LSD one too many times as a teenager.  Now he's prone to violent tendencies and has to be medicated.  That's not satan, that's his dumb ass taking too many drugs. 

I honestly don't know what makes a person do something like murder.  However, I think that we have the ability to know (the field of psychology, as an example). It could be a variety of things from emotion to mental imbalance.  However, mental illness can be proven.  Sociopathic tendencies can be tested and retested and defined.  Satan cannot. 

Just as you cannot understand why I don't believe in god or satan, I cannot understand why you do. 

Wait, are we off topic again? 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
pariahjane

pariahjane wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:

I find it... interesting that you'd be willing to completely disregard the idea of human nature and choose something supernatural as an explanation.  On a basic level, I think that people do terrible things because they're just terrible people.  Or perhaps their brain was just wired wrong.  Or they something similar happened to them and they are just repeating what they taught.  I'm not a psychologist; I can only speculate on the reasons. 

How do you know you are not wired wrong. Did you just get lucky? What if a wire shorts out?

Hell, maybe I am wire wrong and just don't know it!  lol.  Maybe you're wired wrong!  And yes, there are things that could make a person's brain 'short', if you will.  I used to know a guy who basically became a paranoid schizophrenic because he hit the LSD one too many times as a teenager.  Now he's prone to violent tendencies and has to be medicated.  That's not satan, that's his dumb ass taking too many drugs. 

I think it's a combo of the two. Why did he do the dumb thing in the first place?
pariahjane wrote:
I honestly don't know what makes a person do something like murder.  However, I think that we have the ability to know (the field of psychology, as an example). It could be a variety of things from emotion to mental imbalance.  However, mental illness can be proven.  Sociopathic tendencies can be tested and retested and defined.  Satan cannot.
Like I said, also a combo of the two. I think certain behaviors, or states, make us more susceptible to Satan's influence...like, being drunk. Because of what the alcohol does to the brain, the person is more easily influenced...or, to put it another way, they are less armed. (I know, you think it is all chemical, but I think there is an interplay between the two.)  
pariahjane wrote:
Just as you cannot understand why I don't believe in god or satan, I cannot understand why you do.
I understand why you don't believe in Satan. If I could honestly say to myself I didn't think he was real, then I would. I would rather he not be real.
pariahjane wrote:
Wait, are we off topic again?
Oh, probably.


mrjonno
Posts: 726
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Human beings are born wild

Human beings are born wild animals a ruthless product of 5 billion years of natural selection. This is not however make them evil but does make them uncivilized. Via parenting, education, self-education (ie screwing up) we become part of society. I will even allow for the fact that religion can play its part in civilzing too (it can also have the opposiste effect of course).

Serial killers and other evil people are a combination of over aggressive genes and a lack of general education (covering all the parts I mentioned above)

In some ways 'original sin' and the fact we are advanced animals are 2 different ways of looking at the same thing and actually  come to similar conclusions for different reasons.

 No one is born 'evil' but everyone is born wild 

 

 


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Ah, yes,

sugarfree wrote:
Ah, yes, the problem of evil. I lived until my early 20's not believing in evil, until my friend was murdered and then I was forced to make sense of why someone would kill someone else, and what makes me different than someone who decides to kill? Pretty heavy stuff. I could have potentially gone different directions with this. 1) God exists and he inspired those guys to kill my friend (pretty frightening huh) 2) God doesn't exist (but still, this does not explain why some people go bad and others do not...how do I know I'm not going to go bad...what makes me different? Anything? Equally frightening.) 3) the devil exists.

So you rejected options 1 and 2 on the basis that they were too frightening? Why can't the answer be frightening? The universe can be a frightening place! 

 

sugarfree wrote:
You already know which direction I went. I still believed and observed that there is goodness that transcends this physical world.

How can you observe something that transcends the physical world?

sugarfree wrote:

I simply cannot buy that our emotions, the good that we do, stems only from our instinctual desire to maintain societal order…in other words, we do good because, ultimately, we are selfish. I just can’t buy that, it’s too simplistic of an answer to effectively account for the wide range of observable human behavior.

Social order, personal happiness, reproductive success, tribal success - these are all perfectly valid, rational reasons for good behaviour. What are the human behaviours that can't be explained by these factors?

sugarfree wrote:

Also, I could not, in confidence say there is no God.

Or no Easter Bunny. Or no spider sitting on your shoulder (made you look).

sugarfree wrote:

If I had to pick one singular reason why I cannot deny the existence of God, it would be NDE’s. I’m not ready to stake my potential eternal life on some scientist’s speculation about “hallucinations.”

We know that hallucinations exist and we know what causes them. We have complete scientific models of exactly how near-death conditions could trigger hallucinations. There is no speculation, you are shifting the burden of proof. Science has explained, with evidence and observed fact, NDEs. Now you must defend your claim that NDEs represent an actual vision of heaven. You can start by showing that heaven exists and telling us where it is. 

sugarfree wrote:

So, if there is good in this world, and there is a God, where does murder, molestation, lying, cheating fit in?

Excellent question.

sugarfree wrote:

Are we really just God’s puppets? He makes us do good AND evil? Does that seem right to you? No, it seems very wrong. That kind of God would not be a just God, and I would not blame you for not wanting to worship him.

Yet this is the only kind of God that can exist, given the Christian Bible's claims about Him.

sugarfree wrote:

Enter Satan,

From your imagination...

sugarfree wrote:

man’s tendency to be fooled by him, and therefore, the spiritual warefare that is being waged behind the scenes in this world. The Christian Bible has given me a comprehensive understanding of evil. I have studied, learned about, been exposed to other religious texts, and they simply have not offered me as clear a description of evil. For me, they raise more questions about evil than they answer, which is unsettling. (I do not believe “unsettled” is our natural state. Nature requires balance to survive, our bodies require balance to thrive. It follows, then, that our minds and our hearts are also healthiest in a balanced state. “Unsettledness”, fear, confusion all represent unbalanced emotional states. I have come to recognize that these feelings are indicators that something is amiss, and if a certain philosophy or line of thought creates these feelings in me, I become skeptical.)

So any information that makes you uncomfortable must be rejected? You have just admitted that you base all your reasoning on emotion! Any comforting fantasy can be defended along these lines. Why do you bother to post here when all you have to offer is your personal fantasy that can't possibly be relevant to anyone else?

sugarfree wrote:

As I have read the Bible, specifically passages about the unseen spiritual battle taking place, and the need to arm oneself against it, it just makes sense given my 3-decades long observations of this world. And with this understanding of evil, has come, not fear, but peace (i.e., balance…a balanced view of the world), because I am better able to determine the good from the bad in this life. I am LESS confused. Why God has allowed Satan to reign on this earth for a given time period, I do not know. What I do know, is that God has faith that we can handle the challenges he presents, and that he has provided us with the tools to be victorious. So, I do not need to fear him.

You don't "know" that about God, or anything else. You have admitted that your entire worldview is a fantasy that you have cooked up to make you feel better following your friend's death. Give us just one reason why we should pay any attention to it or you at all.

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


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Like I

sugarfree wrote:

Like I said, also a combo of the two. I think certain behaviors, or states, make us more susceptible to Satan's influence...like, being drunk. Because of what the alcohol does to the brain, the person is more easily influenced...or, to put it another way, they are less armed. (I know, you think it is all chemical, but I think there is an interplay between the two.)  

Why do you think it is a combination of the two?

I think it really is all chemical, mixed in with emotion.  As an example, let's say I see this really cute guy at a party but I'm too shy to talk to him.  After a couple of drinks, I suddenly feel a bit more confident so I end up going over and talking to him.  The only that has changed is the effect the alcohol has on my brain (i.e. lowering inhibitions - in this case the shyness).  Alcohol effects a brain in such a way that it impair reason (among other things).  I can't see any evidence of a supernatural at work.

If god takes life he's an indian giver


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
pariahjane

pariahjane wrote:
sugarfree wrote:

Like I said, also a combo of the two. I think certain behaviors, or states, make us more susceptible to Satan's influence...like, being drunk. Because of what the alcohol does to the brain, the person is more easily influenced...or, to put it another way, they are less armed. (I know, you think it is all chemical, but I think there is an interplay between the two.)  

Why do you think it is a combination of the two?

I think it really is all chemical, mixed in with emotion.  As an example, let's say I see this really cute guy at a party but I'm too shy to talk to him.  After a couple of drinks, I suddenly feel a bit more confident so I end up going over and talking to him.  The only that has changed is the effect the alcohol has on my brain (i.e. lowering inhibitions - in this case the shyness).  Alcohol effects a brain in such a way that it impair reason (among other things).  I can't see any evidence of a supernatural at work.

Do you think NDE's are just hallucinations? I think there is more to them than that. So, given that I am not honestly able to explain NDE's away for myself, I equally cannot convince myself that this physical world is all there is. I guess, it really comes down to that. (Plus, there's the whole Jesus thing, which I believe to be historical count...which is obviously easier for me to accept than you, as I have already accepted the possibility of a spiritual realm...but, let's not go there. That's when people seem to start getting mad.)


pariahjane
pariahjane's picture
Posts: 1595
Joined: 2006-05-06
User is offlineOffline
I don't know enough about

I don't know enough about NDE's to answer that, sorry. 

I'd love to comment on everything else but we're getting off topic!  This thread will spin out of control. 

(Forcing...thread...back...on...track - there!)

Why should someone who tortured and murdered people get a place in heaven? (how's that for back on track?)

What about those he murdered?  What if they hadn't had the chance to 'find god'?

If god takes life he's an indian giver


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Tilberian wrote: sugarfree

Tilberian wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
Ah, yes, the problem of evil. I lived until my early 20's not believing in evil, until my friend was murdered and then I was forced to make sense of why someone would kill someone else, and what makes me different than someone who decides to kill? Pretty heavy stuff. I could have potentially gone different directions with this. 1) God exists and he inspired those guys to kill my friend (pretty frightening huh) 2) God doesn't exist (but still, this does not explain why some people go bad and others do not...how do I know I'm not going to go bad...what makes me different? Anything? Equally frightening.) 3) the devil exists.

So you rejected options 1 and 2 on the basis that they were too frightening? Why can't the answer be frightening? The universe can be a frightening place! 

 

sugarfree wrote:
You already know which direction I went. I still believed and observed that there is goodness that transcends this physical world.

How can you observe something that transcends the physical world?

sugarfree wrote:

I simply cannot buy that our emotions, the good that we do, stems only from our instinctual desire to maintain societal order…in other words, we do good because, ultimately, we are selfish. I just can’t buy that, it’s too simplistic of an answer to effectively account for the wide range of observable human behavior.

Social order, personal happiness, reproductive success, tribal success - these are all perfectly valid, rational reasons for good behaviour. What are the human behaviours that can't be explained by these factors?

sugarfree wrote:

Also, I could not, in confidence say there is no God.

Or no Easter Bunny. Or no spider sitting on your shoulder (made you look).

sugarfree wrote:

If I had to pick one singular reason why I cannot deny the existence of God, it would be NDE’s. I’m not ready to stake my potential eternal life on some scientist’s speculation about “hallucinations.”

We know that hallucinations exist and we know what causes them. We have complete scientific models of exactly how near-death conditions could trigger hallucinations. There is no speculation, you are shifting the burden of proof. Science has explained, with evidence and observed fact, NDEs. Now you must defend your claim that NDEs represent an actual vision of heaven. You can start by showing that heaven exists and telling us where it is. 

sugarfree wrote:

So, if there is good in this world, and there is a God, where does murder, molestation, lying, cheating fit in?

Excellent question.

sugarfree wrote:

Are we really just God’s puppets? He makes us do good AND evil? Does that seem right to you? No, it seems very wrong. That kind of God would not be a just God, and I would not blame you for not wanting to worship him.

Yet this is the only kind of God that can exist, given the Christian Bible's claims about Him.

sugarfree wrote:

Enter Satan,

From your imagination...

sugarfree wrote:

man’s tendency to be fooled by him, and therefore, the spiritual warefare that is being waged behind the scenes in this world. The Christian Bible has given me a comprehensive understanding of evil. I have studied, learned about, been exposed to other religious texts, and they simply have not offered me as clear a description of evil. For me, they raise more questions about evil than they answer, which is unsettling. (I do not believe “unsettled” is our natural state. Nature requires balance to survive, our bodies require balance to thrive. It follows, then, that our minds and our hearts are also healthiest in a balanced state. “Unsettledness”, fear, confusion all represent unbalanced emotional states. I have come to recognize that these feelings are indicators that something is amiss, and if a certain philosophy or line of thought creates these feelings in me, I become skeptical.)

So any information that makes you uncomfortable must be rejected? You have just admitted that you base all your reasoning on emotion! Any comforting fantasy can be defended along these lines. Why do you bother to post here when all you have to offer is your personal fantasy that can't possibly be relevant to anyone else?

sugarfree wrote:

As I have read the Bible, specifically passages about the unseen spiritual battle taking place, and the need to arm oneself against it, it just makes sense given my 3-decades long observations of this world. And with this understanding of evil, has come, not fear, but peace (i.e., balance…a balanced view of the world), because I am better able to determine the good from the bad in this life. I am LESS confused. Why God has allowed Satan to reign on this earth for a given time period, I do not know. What I do know, is that God has faith that we can handle the challenges he presents, and that he has provided us with the tools to be victorious. So, I do not need to fear him.

You don't "know" that about God, or anything else. You have admitted that your entire worldview is a fantasy that you have cooked up to make you feel better following your friend's death. Give us just one reason why we should pay any attention to it or you at all.


I guess you can officially brand me a hippie. Alot of this comes from my study which I conducted to regain my own health, and in understanding the body's constant desire for homeostasis, i.e., balance... The body will seek balance to the point where it will do some weird things to try to acheive it, like with my sister's Crohn's...her body in an attempt to protect itself grew fistulas to redirect the digested food away from a blockage.

I do not discount fear, but nor do I see it as a balanced emotional state. I see it as something that needs to be resolved in order to return to a peaceful state. Some things about the Christian message are scary. However, the question is, does the fear resolve with further study, does the philosophy address the fear? My answer, for the most part, so far is, yes. I mean come on...hell, that's a pretty scary concept! Yet I did not abandon the Christian faith because of it. Instead, I continued learning and studying until I came to a better understanding.

If what I believe is truly just a fairy tale, I would have left the hell thing out of it. I believed in fairy tales of my own design before I became a Christian and they collapsed under pressure.


Magus
High Level DonorModerator
Magus's picture
Posts: 592
Joined: 2007-04-11
User is offlineOffline
So who made Satan?  Was is

So who made Satan?  Was is your god?  Does Satan have the free will like us humans?   You would think an omnipresent god would know exactly where and what Satan was up to. Why does your god allow Satan to do the things it does? (according to your belief system)  Why does a god allow the supernatural being Satan infect people and kill otheres?

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
I am not keen on allowing a third adult to live in my home, period, but if the person appeared reformed as Son of Sam does, I would allow him in my home. I think it would be natural at first to have a distrust or wonder about someone who did these sorts of things in the past, and they would have to spend time proving to you that they had really changed. Perhaps, even tho they are forgiven by God, that is part of their punishment...to be looked on warily by their fellow men. Their past is forgiven but they cannot escape it's stigma, at least not in this life.

You would have to be nucking futs to let someone like that anywhere near you.

My mother will trust anyone--and I do mean anyone--who says they are a Christian to the exclusion of others with superior morality. After my father died, my mother kind of went nutso in a lot of ways. I'm guessing this is due to my father's absolute control over her during his lifetime.

One thing she did during the "completely nutso" phase was allow a convicted felon on the run into our home. Yes, I was living with her at the time. The ex-con was supposed to be living in his parole area down in Los Angeles, but instead, he moved in with us for awhile. He was affiliated with the Crips and had a rap sheet a mile long. He had done everything from burglary to accessory to murder and rape, but my mother was willing to overlook all that because this man was now a "Christian."

I had no say in the matter. Not only that, but I was cautioned not to tell anyone. If my brother found out, he would kill the convict, etc. etc. etc.

When the convict returned to LA, he wandered onto the wrong street and was shot seven times by a rival gang. The fucker actually lived through this and my mother's time was consumed by commuting between our house and LA, an 8 to 9 hour drive. At the time, I was going through a lot of things (chronic illnesses, for example) and she practically ignored me in favor of her pet Crip.

Has he reformed?

Ignorance and Apathy.

I don't know and I don't care. What I did care about was this: Someone I was afraid of moved in with our family, endangering my life and well-being. Even if the con had reformed, there were other people out to get him. My mother placed her own wishes and her religious sensibilities ahead of her safety and mine.

I often hear this phrase and it pisses me off: "Oh, he's a wonderful man! He's a Christian!" As if being a Christian justifies a person's whole existence! Christians will dismiss the most heinous crimes if a person becomes a Christian and "reforms" or is a Christian and "repents."

We atheists rely on something a little more reliable: past actions. Anyone who buys a line of bull from some "reformed sinner" must not have two neurons to rub together.

On edit: Yes, I realize some people do reform themselves, but I'm not going to bet my life on it.  Also, I'm less likely to trust someone who got religious while in prison.  These people know Christianity is regarded favorably by most of the population.  They also know there are people out there like my mother who will buy this line of crap and cater to their every whim. 

 

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: I guess

sugarfree wrote:
I guess you can officially brand me a hippie. Alot of this comes from my study which I conducted to regain my own health, and in understanding the body's constant desire for homeostasis, i.e., balance... The body will seek balance to the point where it will do some weird things to try to acheive it, like with my sister's Crohn's...her body in an attempt to protect itself grew fistulas to redirect the digested food away from a blockage.

Why throw out the evidence of the real scientists and doctors who have done real studies with real methodologies and found no intrinsic tendency toward "balance" in the human body at all? In fact, they have found that people can go "out of balance" in various ways quite easily, and stay that way for a long time. 

sugarfree wrote:

I do not discount fear, but nor do I see it as a balanced emotional state. I see it as something that needs to be resolved in order to return to a peaceful state. Some things about the Christian message are scary. However, the question is, does the fear resolve with further study, does the philosophy address the fear? My answer, for the most part, so far is, yes. I mean come on...hell, that's a pretty scary concept! Yet I did not abandon the Christian faith because of it. Instead, I continued learning and studying until I came to a better understanding. If what I believe is truly just a fairy tale, I would have left the hell thing out of it. I believed in fairy tales of my own design before I became a Christian and they collapsed under pressure.

You are dodging my point. The fact of the matter is, you are accepting emotional bias into your process of creating beliefs. I'm not going to sit here an pick apart your fantasy. Only you know why it's satisfying to you. The important point is that IT IS A FANTASY. It is separate and distinct from reality.

Now you tell me that you constructed other fantasies and discarded them in favor of christianity. Doesn't anything about your approach strike you as flawed? Why not build your worldview on the same cognitive framework you use for all your other daily activities? The world is actually a beautiful place, much more filled with wonder and discovery than the Bible allows. Why not let your observations of it inform your model? 

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


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
I am not keen on allowing a third adult to live in my home, period, but if the person appeared reformed as Son of Sam does, I would allow him in my home. I think it would be natural at first to have a distrust or wonder about someone who did these sorts of things in the past, and they would have to spend time proving to you that they had really changed. Perhaps, even tho they are forgiven by God, that is part of their punishment...to be looked on warily by their fellow men. Their past is forgiven but they cannot escape it's stigma, at least not in this life.

You would have to be nucking futs to let someone like that anywhere near you.

My mother will trust anyone--and I do mean anyone--who says they are a Christian to the exclusion of others with superior morality. After my father died, my mother kind of went nutso in a lot of ways. I'm guessing this is due to my father's absolute control over her during his lifetime.

One thing she did during the "completely nutso" phase was allow a convicted felon on the run into our home. Yes, I was living with her at the time. The ex-con was supposed to be living in his parole area down in Los Angeles, but instead, he moved in with us for awhile. He was affiliated with the Crips and had a rap sheet a mile long. He had done everything from burglary to accessory to murder and rape, but my mother was willing to overlook all that because this man was now a "Christian."

I had no say in the matter. Not only that, but I was cautioned not to tell anyone. If my brother found out, he would kill the convict, etc. etc. etc.

When the convict returned to LA, he wandered onto the wrong street and was shot seven times by a rival gang. The fucker actually lived through this and my mother's time was consumed by commuting between our house and LA, an 8 to 9 hour drive. At the time, I was going through a lot of things (chronic illnesses, for example) and she practically ignored me in favor of her pet Crip.

Has he reformed?

Ignorance and Apathy.

I don't know and I don't care. What I did care about was this: Someone I was afraid of moved in with our family, endangering my life and well-being. Even if the con had reformed, there were other people out to get him. My mother placed her own wishes and her religious sensibilities ahead of her safety and mine.

I often hear this phrase and it pisses me off: "Oh, he's a wonderful man! He's a Christian!" As if being a Christian justifies a person's whole existence! Christians will dismiss the most heinous crimes if a person becomes a Christian and "reforms" or is a Christian and "repents."

We atheists rely on something a little more reliable: past actions. Anyone who buys a line of bull from some "reformed sinner" must not have two neurons to rub together.

On edit: Yes, I realize some people do reform themselves, but I'm not going to bet my life on it.  Also, I'm less likely to trust someone who got religious while in prison.  These people know Christianity is regarded favorably by most of the population.  They also know there are people out there like my mother who will buy this line of crap and cater to their every whim. 

 

Perhaps I did not state it clearly enough, but what I was going at was, yes, you should use some common sense, get to know the person, determine for yourself if you believe the person has sincerely changed. I would not just trust them if they said "I'm a Christian." They're behavior and demeanor would have to also reflect that, and I think a relationship would have to develop over a period of time before you could truly determine if the person was sincere. For me, I would exercise caution. I would not say "you can never come in here" because of what they did, nor would I say "you're a Christian now, well come right in!" I would use common sense.


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Tilberian wrote: sugarfree

Tilberian wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
I guess you can officially brand me a hippie. Alot of this comes from my study which I conducted to regain my own health, and in understanding the body's constant desire for homeostasis, i.e., balance... The body will seek balance to the point where it will do some weird things to try to acheive it, like with my sister's Crohn's...her body in an attempt to protect itself grew fistulas to redirect the digested food away from a blockage.

Why throw out the evidence of the real scientists and doctors who have done real studies with real methodologies and found no intrinsic tendency toward "balance" in the human body at all? In fact, they have found that people can go "out of balance" in various ways quite easily, and stay that way for a long time. 

Ugh. If you were a doctor, you would be just like all those ones I have been to that say, "you're bloodwork looks fine, nothing is wrong with you" "here take this pill" even tho I felt like CRAP. What a waste of money. Nancy Appleton explains homeostatis well. Some people have robust immune systems and can handle being out of balance for years before their body gives in. Others of us feel the effects of imbalance MUCH sooner.
Tilberian wrote:
You are dodging my point.
You must of missed my subtle suggestion that it is you, in fact, who are living in fantasy land. I walked away from that place.
Tilberian wrote:
The fact of the matter is, you are accepting emotional bias into your process of creating beliefs. I'm not going to sit here an pick apart your fantasy. Only you know why it's satisfying to you. The important point is that IT IS A FANTASY.
YOU are living in a FANTASY. I have left that world behind and I am much better for it now.
Tilberian wrote:
It is separate and distinct from reality.
You are denying whole, entire, huge pieces of reality.
Tilberian wrote:
<

Now you tell me that you constructed other fantasies and discarded them in favor of christianity. Doesn't anything about your approach strike you as flawed? Why not build your worldview on the same cognitive framework you use for all your other daily activities? The world is actually a beautiful place, much more filled with wonder and discovery than the Bible allows. Why not let your observations of it inform your model? 

Why do people always assume that because I'm a christian, I don't think the world is a great place? The Bible has not closed my mind, it has OPENED it.


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Ugh. If

sugarfree wrote:

Ugh. If you were a doctor, you would be just like all those ones I have been to that say, "you're bloodwork looks fine, nothing is wrong with you" "here take this pill" even tho I felt like CRAP. What a waste of money. Nancy Appleton explains homeostatis well. Some people have robust immune systems and can handle being out of balance for years before their body gives in. Others of us feel the effects of imbalance MUCH sooner.

And others have psychosomatic problems. 

sugarfree wrote:
You must of missed my subtle suggestion that it is you, in fact, who are living in fantasy land. 

YOU are living in a FANTASY. I have left that world behind and I am much better for it now.

You are denying whole, entire, huge pieces of reality.

*shrug* Back it up or retract it. You admited straight out that you were constructing reality models out of pure fantasy, then discarding them and trying new ones. You've further admitted that you won't believe anything is real unless it makes you feel good. Throwing out baseless claims that I do the same thing doesn't make it so. Show your evidence for that statement or admit you are full of shit.  

sugarfree wrote:
Why do people always assume that because I'm a christian, I don't think the world is a great place? The Bible has not closed my mind, it has OPENED it.

I made NO assumption. You said straight out that you found the world to be too frightening a place as it was revealed to your senses. Your error, of course, was to focus too intently on one particular part of the world in ignorance of the rest of it. You then went on to construct various fantasy realities for yourself until you hit on Christianity. Basically, your method of dealing with the world is to move from delusion to delusion trying to make yourself feel better.

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


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Perhaps I

sugarfree wrote:
Perhaps I did not state it clearly enough, but what I was going at was, yes, you should use some common sense, get to know the person, determine for yourself if you believe the person has sincerely changed. I would not just trust them if they said "I'm a Christian." They're behavior and demeanor would have to also reflect that, and I think a relationship would have to develop over a period of time before you could truly determine if the person was sincere. For me, I would exercise caution. I would not say "you can never come in here" because of what they did, nor would I say "you're a Christian now, well come right in!" I would use common sense.

Yes, I realize this.

I was adding another facet to the question.  If you decide to befriend someone who was locked up for heinous crimes, it not only affects you, it affects your family and perhaps others in the community, too.  

Also, I think that someone who becomes a "Christian" while in prison should be regarded with utter skepticism.  I trust that person less than the guy who doesn't "find" religion.  Convicts use it to manipulate and it works rather well.  For that matter, people in everyday life use it to manipulate others.

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Also, I think that someone who becomes a "Christian" while in prison should be regarded with utter skepticism.  I trust that person less than the guy who doesn't "find" religion.  Convicts use it to manipulate and it works rather well.  For that matter, people in everyday life use it to manipulate others.

Like the old saying goes,"There are no atheists on death row."  LOL

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


BGH
BGH's picture
Posts: 2772
Joined: 2006-09-28
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: Like the

totus_tuus wrote:

Like the old saying goes,"There are no atheists on death row." LOL

Which has been proven wrong.

But... 99.9% of Nobel prize winners and committee members are atheists. 


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
BGH wrote: totus_tuus

BGH wrote:
totus_tuus wrote:

Like the old saying goes,"There are no atheists on death row." LOL

Which has been proven wrong.

But... 99.9% of Nobel prize winners and committee members are atheists. 

I know.  It was a feeble attempt at humor.  It was funnier inside my head for soem reason.

Interesting statistic.  I had no idea.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


BGH
BGH's picture
Posts: 2772
Joined: 2006-09-28
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: BGH

totus_tuus wrote:
BGH wrote:
totus_tuus wrote:

Like the old saying goes,"There are no atheists on death row." LOL

Which has been proven wrong.

But... 99.9% of Nobel prize winners and committee members are atheists.

I know. It was a feeble attempt at humor. It was funnier inside my head for soem reason.

Interesting statistic. I had no idea.

Since you made an outlandish claim I embellished the statistic a little bit. The last figure I actually heard was between 95% & 99% Nobel prize winners and committee members were atheists. But of course this is anecdotal because I cannot remember the source except that it was on a podcast. 


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I was kinda checking it out,

I was kinda checking it out, but only got as far as wikipedia, which was feeble to say the least.  And the defintion of Jewish is goofy (ie nationality vs religion vs cultural).

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
Perhaps I did not state it clearly enough, but what I was going at was, yes, you should use some common sense, get to know the person, determine for yourself if you believe the person has sincerely changed. I would not just trust them if they said "I'm a Christian." They're behavior and demeanor would have to also reflect that, and I think a relationship would have to develop over a period of time before you could truly determine if the person was sincere. For me, I would exercise caution. I would not say "you can never come in here" because of what they did, nor would I say "you're a Christian now, well come right in!" I would use common sense.

Yes, I realize this.

I was adding another facet to the question. If you decide to befriend someone who was locked up for heinous crimes, it not only affects you, it affects your family and perhaps others in the community, too.

Also, I think that someone who becomes a "Christian" while in prison should be regarded with utter skepticism. I trust that person less than the guy who doesn't "find" religion. Convicts use it to manipulate and it works rather well. For that matter, people in everyday life use it to manipulate others.

I agree with you all points, except I would not necessarly trust the newly religious man less than the one who made no such claim.  If a person tells me they are a Christian, I at least have to give them the chance to display the fruits of their newfound belief.  Yes, "I'm a Christian" can be used to manipulate, especially by someone who may be a pathological liar, and it is wise to decide for yourself if the person's actions truly reflect Christ.  If not, it is likely just another tool they are using to try and control people.  I do not blame that on Christ, but on man's sinful nature.


Rigor_OMortis
Rigor_OMortis's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: 2006-06-18
User is offlineOffline
Quote: I agree with you all

Quote:
I agree with you all points, except I would not necessarly trust the newly religious man less than the one who made no such claim.  If a person tells me they are a Christian, I at least have to give them the chance to display the fruits of their newfound belief.  Yes, "I'm a Christian" can be used to manipulate, especially by someone who may be a pathological liar, and it is wise to decide for yourself if the person's actions truly reflect Christ.  If not, it is likely just another tool they are using to try and control people.  I do not blame that on Christ, but on man's sinful nature.

Etiquette for the heavenly afterlife: "If your murderer was Born Again whilst in jail, at least pretend to be polite if you should bump into him/her."

Copyright Adrian Barnett, http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/etiquette.html

 

This particular one sets of laughter in an almost reflex manner.

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