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agnosticator last won the day on January 31 2012

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About agnosticator

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    Music performance and composition, making Thai and Italian food, hiking, snorkeling, nature photography, and other outdoor activities with Mother Nature.
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    Hey fellow apostates! Just stopped by for some fuel to balance the religious craziness that surrounds me...

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
  1. Here's some more links for you, Filipino5: http://filipinofreethinkers.org/ http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/philippineatheist The Philippines is a beautiful place I'd like to visit sometime. I hope you find the peace you long for.
  2. Trapped, I hope your family can try to understand what you are going through, instead of responding as the church expects them to. Hopefully, your wife's love for you is stronger than her feelings for that organization of deceit and wishful thinking! My thoughts are with you, man.
  3. Duckiegirl, I've just read your thread, and it sounds all too familiar. Some of my closest friends were abused growing up and into their adulthood. Any decent parent knows their "job" is to help their children mature into well-adjusted adults. Too many think the way to accomplsh this is through guilt, fear, and total control. It's astounding to me, that many people who shouldn't even own pets have children! You have been more severely psychologically abused than you fathom. I've witnessed this type of abusive fathering first hand. They are loving and caring as long as your demeanor and behavior fulfills their expectations. They'll turn into angry, manipulative, controlling bastards on a dime if you fail to think, say, and do as expected for the least little thing. I might be wrong about your case, but this is what I've seen first hand. Any father who is this controlling, yet jumps at the chance to throw his own daughter out on the street knowing she has little resources to survive....I won't say anything further, since he is your father, not mine. But get out quietly, and don't communicate with him (and your Mother) until they change and apologize. Even in my fundagelical days, I wouldn't think to do that to my child, no matter what my child might have said or done. EDIT: I wasn't talking about MY father, but someone else
  4. The Sin of Cynicism 4/06/2011 By agnosticator ~ The Greek word translated as “Sin” in the Bible is “hamartano”, literally meaning "to miss the mark." Just what is the mark that is missed? The New Testament says the first couple “missed the mark” and we all are blamed for it: Romans 5:12: "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— Romans 5:18: Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people,..." We can conclude from the first couple’s story that obedience was the mark they missed. Apparently, we are born missing the mark thanks to them. Humanity is born disobedient and also evil. Evil means many things that are considered offensive to God in the Bible. In Mark 10:18, Jesus said no one is good—except God alone. Ephesians 2:3 also states we are by nature deserving of God's wrath. The concept of "Sin" is tied to our nature, because we are born evil and therefore also missed the mark. How can a newborn baby be considered evil and only capable of missing the mark, when it just has the capacity to learn a concept of self? The newborn is beginning to develop in every area of its being, and has yet to learn anything about where to aim! This view of human nature omits the truth that humans are born with the capacity for both good and bad. The capacity for good is dismissed while the capacity for bad is blown out of proportion. This God of love's assessment of humans is cynicism at its worst! "Sin" and "evil" are religious terms created to convince us there is something inherently wrong with human nature. We have totally evil tendencies with no hope of any goodness. I find it hard to believe anyone has ever been totally bad in thought and deed. Sin, evil, and Salvation are overreactions to the dark side of humanity. Sin serves to make us feel bad about ourselves. Besides inheriting Sin, the authors of the New Testament allude to corrupt morals as being the sin and evil in people's lives. Since no one can be morally perfect, being a helpless sinner in need of Salvation can induce guilt where none is merited. Our evil thoughts and deeds count, while our good thoughts and deeds mean nothing! Sin is stronger than the love of God since a God-human sacrifice is necessary for Him to love humanity. Neither is God's forgiveness stronger than Sin, because it was not possible for forgiveness without a sacrifice. Love and forgiveness become complete through action. It is what one does for another that fulfills them both. If God forgave humanity there would be no penalty, nor terms of acceptance of love and forgiveness. His all-powerful, all-loving nature, isn't. Humanity's dark side can be held back by embracing our better half instead of demeaning it. If we aim for the good qualities like hope, love, and forgiveness, we can triumph in an imperfect world.
  5. A Blueprint for the Cults 3/18/2011 By Agnosticator ~ It can easily be argued (and I am) that American religious cults owe the New Testament for their existence because it contains a blueprint for the cults. The believer is told to focus upon doing God's will, while surrendering his own will, family, and all worldly possessions to God. Next he must separate himself from the "world" by living in a community of believers (see Mt.19:21, 1Thess.3:14, 1Cor.5:9-13, lCor.6:l). So why are we continually shocked and appalled by Christian cults? The story of Ananias and Sapphira illustrates the importance of this communal life. They sold some of their own land and gave most of the money from its sale to the apostles, to be distributed to anyone who needed it. The married couple made one mistake by lying so as to keep a portion of their own proceeds for themselves. So of course, God struck them dead as an example to anyone who does not obey and give all their possessions to the commune (Acts 5:1-11). Believers are expected to surrender their independent, rational capacity for thinking-their minds-so God can do his Will through them. But it isn't God's Will to surrender to the leader of the cult. Or is it? Someone has to decide how to follow God every step of the way since the Bible is vague about all the details. God also chooses leaders for the sheep to follow throughout His Holy Book. Since humans are easily manipulated by authority (see Stanley Milgram's "Obedience to Authority"), God's slaves and sheep are in over their heads. Inevitably, followers will pay a price and their tragedies will make the news. By asserting it has the only Truth, and that this Truth must be obeyed, the Bible denigrates truth as a concept. Truth must be verifiable and "of this world" in order to be relevant to our reality. Otherwise, reality itself is denigrated along with it. How we deal with truth proves us to be either in or out of touch with reality, mature or immature, and ignorant or knowledgeable. When I became a liberal Christian (after my fundagelical phase), I believed that many layers of false, man-made doctrines and beliefs had to be peeled away until the core of God's Truth was uncovered to reveal true Christianity. However, in attempting to do so, I discovered what I had mistaken as being core truths were merely veneer. These texts covered up the more numerous texts that betrayed what was stated by the few humanitarian ones. The veneer was stripped away, ending my Christian walk. These anti-human doctrines cannot be avoided. Far from being harmless, Christianity is potentially dangerous both to the believer and to others. It is all too easy for church leaders to lead the sheep to slaughter while feeding them Truth which will set them free from this life.
  6. Enough is enough 2/22/2011 By agnosticator ~ In October, 1991, two young boys were killed when a tire from a truck driving in the opposite direction flew off, bouncing over the median, and through the front of a school bus full of fourth graders in Miami, Florida. Was this an accident or God's will? Was it coincidence or God's plan? If we believe God intervenes supernaturally to save us from accidents, disease, natural disasters, even crime, what about those who suffer and die? Doesn't this thinking make tornadoes tools of God's whim and criminals his lackeys? By the way, don't blame Satan or God will lose His power! This news story has stayed with me, reminding me of the insanity I once embraced called Christianity. Americans perpetuate the manipulative objectives of the New Testament authors by teaching their children this nonsense. By portraying God as desiring people to be unthinking, submissive, blank slates to write His Will upon, the N.T. writers launched their agenda of deception and tyranny. The authors' recipe for deceit lay in their obsessive accusations of all others as evil and corrupt, mixed with rhetoric about salvation and God's love. By accusing the rest of the world of what they themselves were guilty of, they deflected their faults away from their followers' awareness and onto non-believers. Espousing Christian doctrine, they maintained their power and control over believers. Belief in New Testament writings successfully alienates believers from others who might expose the deception as the propaganda it really is. What is taught to a child will be blindly followed as an adult unless it is strongly, consciously challenged. Since Christianity is socially reinforced and taken for granted as being beyond reproach, it is difficult and even taboo to examine it objectively. Our problem is that the N.T. teaches passive acceptance rather than thoughtful reflection, blind obedience in place of understanding consequences of belief, release from responsibility for our actions, and disrespect of wisdom. The result is crazy thinking! It's time to tell it like it is. Enough is enough!
  7. A High Tolerance for Absurdity 2/08/2011 By agnosticator ~ I know a woman who is kind and cheerful, and has never shared her Christian faith with me. I respected her due to this, until recently. I overheard her raise her voice in an unholy manner while repeating the word "atheist", as if it was the dirtiest word in the English language! Her loving-kindness morphed into venomous hatred that shocked me. Christian compassion must have taken a sudden vacation. But I shouldn't have been surprised. Atheists don't love the Truth, and they believe a lie. They are described in the "Good Book" as weeds, chaff, and goats separated and reserved to be charbroiled by Jesus. Never mind that the Biblegod is more petulant and hateful than any human could ever be! Never mind that this god is anthropomorphic, and that his absolute, objective morals cannot be identified by any of his followers...atheists are depraved and deserve to be scorned! To hell with love and compassion! What really bothers me is the common belief that non-Christians should be judged by their lack of belief, not by the kind of person they are. The inverse is true for the Christian: it is not character that saves, but belief in New Testament writings. They mistake belief for goodness, and so conclude without belief, there can be no goodness. But good and bad (evil) are added to, not grounded in religion. Good and evil can only be experienced by a living being, not a god. God is an idea beyond life itself, outside of where values reside. So life is the most basic value there is, and good/bad are human traits. Christians today also mistake agape (Godly love) for love, faith for ordinary trust, sin for immorality, vengeance for justice, and masochism for forgiveness. These are the fruits of Bible belief. Conformity and a desire for certainty all but guarantees the sheep will stay in the fold. Edmund Cohen states what atheists possess, and what holds believers back from becoming the very thing they hate in THE MIND OF THE BIBLE-BELIEVER: "It is good to have high tolerance for ambiguity, but low tolerance for absurdity."
  8. Without Hell there is no Heaven 12/31/2010 By Agnosticator ~ The Bible is considered to be the Good Book, and the Gospel Truth. We swear an oath in court with one hand on a Bible, and have as our motto, "In God We Trust". God is agreed to be the God of the Bible, particularly the New Testament. Many Americans also believe the Bible is to be taken literally, even though a story of human sacrifice linked with another story about the first human couple seems mythological rather than historical. Christianity is founded upon these two stories from the Old Testament and the New, forming a religion unlike any other. Though human sacrifice to appease the Gods was a common basis for most ancient religions, the story of Adam and Eve adds a new twist: Genesis Chapter 2: "And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Chapter 3:4: "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 22 And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil..." In Romans 5:12, the doctrine of "sin" is introduced: 12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— " Yet, "sin" is not mentioned until Cain's wrongdoing in Genesis 4:7! Before eating the fruit, the first couple were naive and obedient just as children before they begin to mature. They were incapable of moral responsibility. So, their "sin" has nothing to do with morals or personal responsibility. It was invented in order to ground the human-god sacrifice of Jesus, because without sin, there can be no salvation. The sacrifice of Jesus restores us to what we were before the Fall. God desires us to be sexless, naive, immature, dependent, obedient children. We will be "sinless" and incapable of moral responsibility. Heaven is the New Eden where human nature is sacrificed to appease God. By viewing human nature as sinful and ungodly, the way is made for the punishment hell provides. However, the story of the Fall wasn't about that. The couple didn't die when they ate the fruit, but became morally conscious and aware of their moral responsibilities. They had to learn to make moral decisions on their own. God told them a half truth because He couldn't tolerate human maturity. If we see Genesis as myth, it makes perfect sense. The story is an allegory about our dependence upon our parents, and the difficulties we must face to become mature adults. Rather than being the solution to life's challenges, the Plan of Salvation exacerbates them. God's intention to save the world becomes an utter failure when we consider that 99% of all life that ever existed is condemned and will be destroyed. The foundation of a mature morality begins with empathy, compassion, and justice. It will also include the goal of coexistence. Salvation begins with a cynical view of human nature and divides humanity. We are either saved or unsaved, bound for hell or heaven. Without sin, there can be no hell. Without hell, there can be no heaven. Neither can there be anything to be saved from. Finally, without Salvation, there is no need for a Savior. A literal interpretation of the Fall and Jesus' Sacrifice is like a house built on sand: Matthew 7:27: "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
  9. 9/27/2009 The Arrogance of Faith by agnosticator Once again, I am reminded of the primary difference between a "true" Christian and the rest of us. Here is a quote from a Christian in the forums: "Christians are capable of greater levels of love than unbelievers. Not because of who we are; but because of God's work in our hearts." This is an example of a common belief shared exclusive to believers. They are better than anyone else because God touched them and made them special. But not only special, God makes them superior in every way. They magically become more empathetic, more honest, more loving, and morally superior. Simultaneously, they possess a mean streak; an attitude that is palpable to those unlike themselves. This is the arrogance of faith. The New Testament inspires this attitude through the doctrine of salvation. But this is only the beginning. The scriptures are riddled with words of arrogance masquerading as love and concern. There is a mean-spirited bitterness permeating the New Testament, and it is directed at the world. Humans and the earth itself are evil and destined for everlasting destruction. But God loves us. God created "sin" but it is our fault for being born into it. If we don't believe, we will be tortured eternally. Some may believe hell is temporary rather than eternal, but we are still punished to death by torture. Yet God loves us. We are called fools for being wise (i.e., intellectual or educated), while anyone who believes the New Testament's "good news" is called wise-even if he is not too bright. God loves us and wants to save us, but if you use the brain he gave you....you might reject his offer. So, let us become fools for Christ! The New Testament describes "wolves in sheep's clothing"(Mt 7:15) causing us "to believe a lie"(2Thess. 2:11), and to beware of "cunningly devised fables"(2Pet 1:16). But the authors are describing themselves. Furthermore, believers become "wolves in sheep's clothing" whenever they speak of their mean-spirited religion. They are killing us with kindness whenever they speak of salvation, hell and and the solution called god's love. They are not the solution. They are the problem. They are the liars, and the truth in not in them.
  10. 7/20/2009 THE TEN SUGGESTIONS By agnosticator Most Christians in America agree that THE TEN COMMANDMENTS are the pinnacle of morality and think they should be displayed or read at every opportunity. If we all obeyed or valued them, our country would be moral and crime free! At least this is what they seem to saying. But do they realize there are two other sets of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS they ignore ? One version differs considerably with their preferred set, and is found in Exodus 34:14-28. Another version is in Deuteronomy 5:6-21 and is similar to the Christians' top ten choice from Exodus 20:2-17. This discrepancy is only the beginning of their problem. How can purely religious commands (1-4) cause us to be morally good? The first four commandments are about a relationship between the Christian and god. It has nothing to do with relationships between humans, i.e. morality. The sabbath (#4), is not kept by Christians. They keep the Lord's Day. To say the command was changed, directly implies that the rest are also subject to change or irrelevance! Additionally, god admits he is jealous, and will punish children due to the sins of their fathers to the third and fourth generation (#2)! Now that's quite a grudge, and a fine example for the Christian to emulate. Commandment 10 makes our thoughts and desires a crime worthy of eternal damnation. To want what our neighbors have is the American way, so many Christians are guilty of this. But morality is how we treat one another-not what we feel or think. The other five commandments are good advice (#5,7,9) and basic to morality (#6,8), but nothing that hasn't be said before by non-Christians. So what is so special and compelling about THE TEN COMMANDMENTS? Many believe Christ summed them up: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. But how is love related to THE TEN COMMANDMENTS? Love is a positive, life-affirming feeling towards someone we value. We can't love people we are not intimate with. Not harming another person is not love, so what else can we say? The link between love and the commandments is nonexistent. There is nothing special about them, especially when Christians don't practice most of them. Forgive them, lord. For they know not what they do...or believe...or what the bible really says!
  11. 5/17/2009 0 Comments What's love got to do with it? By Agnosticator Christians have a lot to say about their love for God, and that God loves them abundantly. They claim to have a special love relationship nonbelievers cannot ever have. What does it mean to love God? Before we can answer this, we need to know what love is. Any dictionary will probably define it as being "a deep feeling of affection or attachment to another person (or even an animal) we value". There are different kinds of love, shared between: parent-child, friend-to-friend, adult lovers, and human-animal. Love eminates from human relationships. It is emotional and, in healthy relationships, also rational. This feeling is also extended to God by devoted followers. Beyond this feeling, "love" transforms into something entirely different. Why? First, we must ask how we can love a God who is invisible and transcendent? Christians are not free to only feel love towards God, or be thankful for what this God provides, and leave it at that. They cannot act upon their love for God as human-to-human relationships do. The transcendent christian God sets up a different type of love relationship: "This is love for God: to obey His commands" (see 1Jn.5:3, 1Jn.2:5, Jn.14:15,21 NIV.) "Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them..."1Jn.3:24,NIV. Following biblical directives is the way to show one's love for God. It is also the way to love God. "Trust and obey, for there's no other way...", says the hymn. Have "faith" (trust) and obey the New Testament! "Love" in the New Testament is not erotic love (eros), nor intrafamilial love (storge), nor brotherly love (phileo). Godly love is "agape": the exclusive christian "love". Agape is not born from human emotion. It is grossly misleading to say one loves the Christian God or that the Christian God loves us. Christians agape God and God agapes them. It is a supernatural term; not an earthly one. Agape is expressed by the believer via obedience-not affection. It is not to be confused with the love we feel toward others. It also is not unconditional, because this God does not agape those who reject New Testament Truth (Narrow is the way). A definition of agape in the New Testament is unclear as to what it consists of. 1Cor. 13:4-7 says what it is NOT, and when stating what it is, we are left with: "...[agape] rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (NIV) All this is consistent with what a believer in a cult would be expected to do. "It's not a religion, but a relationship." How Orwellian! Long live Big Brother Jesus!
  12. 4/29/09 A FOOL FOR CHRIST Sent in by Agnosticator When I was 17 and naive, the Christians came knocking upon the door of my mind, persuading me to join the ship of fools for Christ. I thought we were embarking upon an upward journey to the city where the streets are paved with gold. Reality dictated otherwise. My journey did an about face when I realized the streets are paved with pyrite, or fool's gold! I sacrificed my personal goals and aspirations to serve Christ, but the bait-and-switch tactics of conservative-evangelical Christianity and the New Testament showed they were primarily concerned with mind control and self-sacrifice for the church. I set out to be a good Christian. But wait. All the talk about Christians being morally superior because they are forgiven, and becoming better people, was obviously untrue. It took years for my Bible-pickled mind to learn this lesson. Christian morality is but a smokescreen covering faith. Faith is believing in spite of what is real. Faith displaces reality with New Testament fantasy. Believe and be saved; fail to believe and become condemned to hell. The convoluted result of faith is best seen while considering this: A mass murderer or serial killer will be forgiven and gets a free pass to heaven, while a morally upright, kind unbeliever (or any non-Christian) is condemned solely for lack of faith. God so loves us to death! Faith belittles morality by placing itself (i.e. religious belief) above how we should treat each other (i.e. morality). The person who approves of this cruel injustice exposes his own deflated empathy-one divisive effect of New Testament mind control.
  13. It took me many years to conclude this too.The effects of biblical Christianity provide no solutions to people's problems, but adds to self-doubt and irresponsibility. Christianity can't be the solution when it's part of the problem.
  14. There are threads on the site in which I have learned quite a bit about science. Take a break from the library and browse through them. The discussions are interesting and even intense (in the lion's den).
  15. The reason I suggested it, is due to all the reading and thinking I have done in the past. Humans tend to paint a God as being all too human. You have a lot of interesting reading ahead of you. Books abound. The only mistake I made was buying too many. I should have checked all the libraries first. Have fun!
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