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More About Me

Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

Found 13 results

  1. Friend of mine brought up his increasing frustration with how easily the religious swallow ridiculous doctrine and unhesitatingly apply it to everyday life. He cannot stand how easy it is to live with a mind so warped that even the word "the" might mean that the End of Days will happen by noon time after a lunch at Subway. He isn't the only one just flabbergasted at how easy it is for believers to accept that God doesn't do any one on one counseling anymore, and they are oblivious to the fishy way a prophecy is changed to fit a prediction after an unexpected earthquake shatters a small mountain community in the world somewhere. He wasn't sure how to put his thoughts on the subject into words, and while I follow his line of thinking, I think a bigger discussion on the pointlessness of arguing in apologetics is more on task this time. I apologize ahead of time how semi analytical this might sound, but after a few re reads of this entry, I just don't see an easy way to make it conversational at all. It's apologetics. They suck. So, first of all, compartmentalized thinking, especially within religion, protects one from the difficult concepts of life. Concepts such as failing in becoming successful or accepting the process of death and its permanency. Instead, compartmentalized thinking allows one to latch on to certain ideas about life and death with whatever fanciful ideology one chooses to solve the dilemma with, no matter how irrational. These notions are completely protected against scrutiny and enforce ridiculous concepts of what creates success or defines death. Notions like faith, everlasting life, and supernatural punishment for immorality are hallmarks of many Judeo-Christian faiths. Now, much like algebra, what you do to one side, you must do to the other. For every compartmentalized idea or belief, there has to be a real answer that can shatter the carefully bricked up wall one puts around it. So how do you rationalize the truth of what you believe to actually equate into a result that you want? You have to use a handy little evangelical tactic known as dispensationalism. Dispensationalism provides a proposed historical timeline, on an evangelical level, to reinforce the aforementioned compartmentalized religious thinking process. It provides a cushy soft barrier of excuses and rationalizations to bolster one's aspirations to achieve the sectioned off understanding of how life works. Again, reality is not required, just targeted interpretation of biblical events that are neatly divided up into sections that cover certain time periods in scripture and .... Read more at my blog The Bluegrass Skeptic http://thebluegrassskeptic.com/2015/05/15/the-padded-cell-of-apologetics/
  2. From God is not Great.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGCkx5jAhvQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUUKpV1m_1VZc4JjbxhGwl0A
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCS21bI1arg&feature=c4-overview&list=UUUKpV1m_1VZc4JjbxhGwl0A Error - I forgot to add the narrative as I did with the previous one. Apologies. Anyway: Carrier, Richard (2011-02-28). Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith (pp. 67-68). Philosophy Press. Kindle Edition. When we look at how the universe is actually built, we do find that it appears perfectly designed after all—but not for producing life. Lee Smolin has argued from the available scientific facts that our universe is probably the most perfect universe that could ever be arranged for producing black holes. He also explains how all the elements that would be required to finely tune a perfect black-hole-maker also make chemical life like ours an extremely rare but inevitable byproduct of such a universe. This means that if the universe was designed, it was not designed to make and sustain us, but to make and sustain black holes, and therefore even if there is a God he cannot be the Christian God. Therefore, even on a successful fine-tuning argument C Smolin explains how a universe perfectly designed to produce black holes would look exactly like our universe. It would be extremely old, extremely large, and almost entirely comprised of radiation-filled vacuum, in which almost all the matter available would be devoted to producing black holes or providing the material that feeds them. We know there must be, in fact, billions more black holes than life-producing planets. If you found a pair of scissors and didn’t know what they were designed for, you could hypothesize they were designed as a screwdriver, because scissors can, after all, drive screws.(describe my own use of them) In fact, there is no way to design a pair of scissors that would prevent them being used as a screwdriver. But as soon as someone showed you that these scissors were far better designed to cut paper, and in fact are not the best design for driving screws, would you stubbornly hang on to your theory that they were designed to drive screws? No. You would realize it was obvious they were designed to cut paper, and their ability to drive screws is just an inevitable byproduct of their actual design. This is exactly what we are facing when we look at the universe: it is not very well designed for life, though life is an inevitable byproduct of what the universe was more obviously designed for: black holes. So if the universe was intelligently designed, it clearly was not designed for us. But that is not the only explanation. Now, Smolin’s theory has yet to be proven. It is at present just a hypothesis—but so is Christianity. Just like Christianity, there are elements to Smolin’s theory that are conjectural and not independently proven to exist. However, the most important element—the fact that unintelligent natural selection can produce incredibly precise fine tuning over time—has been proven, whereas any sort of divine activity has not. We have never observed a single proven case of a god causing anything, much less any fine-tuning of the properties of our universe. But we have found overwhelming evidence for a process that produces very amazing fine-tuning without any intelligence behind it, and that is evolution by natural selection. This is a known precedent—unlike bodiless minds or divine causation. And a theory based on known precedents is always less ad hoc than a theory based on completely novel and unobserved mechanisms. The universe exhibits no values in its own operation or design. It operates exactly the same for everyone, the good and bad alike. It rewards and craps on both with total disregard. It behaves just like a cold and indifferent machine, not the creation of a loving engineer. Christianity does not predict this. Atheism does. Christianity is therefore refuted.
  4. I can firsthand express disdain at religious parenting, especially Christian based parenting. Not because of just the emotional abuse inflicted with a child's first initial programming of fearing all things to do with Satan, his demons, and the fiery pit, but because of the lack of necessary care for a child's mental health in general. A large majority of Christian parents see issues like constant lying, theft, irrational fear, and even mental handicaps as something that requires more prayer and immersion in the cess pool of what is twisted righteousness. Those who have diagnosed disabilities are fortunate enough to have the public school systems on their side, though what happens to those stuck in a home school makes me even more nervous. For me though, the idea of introducing divine grace to sufferers of neurological disabilities like autism really make me wonder how these so called faithful parents for Christ can be sure, at the end of their day, just how good of god fearing parents they really are. Honestly, there is no way that faith can save them all, even by these religious family standards. For example, take this discussion that was started earlier on a board I observe. A mother hops on there, we will call her Jane and her son John. She is a devoutly practicing conservative Christian (by her own description), has a four year old autistic son. Recently she posted a thread asking for help in how to teach her son about God biblically. She states that "she knows it is her duty to teach him about God and the Bible". Now, before we get to the whole nonsense of the notion of getting a disabled child to knowingly accept grace with full understanding of the implications, one of the responses actually made me ponder a few moments at the irrational logic. A member, who has a higher functioning autistic child than Jane, stated that she has "a 3.5 year old with autism. Every child is different but mine does understand bible stories. In fact, the story of Joseph is his favorite. I do sunday school lessons with him, where we color pictures or make crafts so he will remember the story and i repeat the same stories many times. We also read stories every night before bed. He doesn't get everything of course but he knows alot. I guess it depends on the level of functioning of the child." The biggest understanding to be gained from this member's advice? Have your child memorize the stories and make crafts? Am I missing something here? If all she could impart upon her toddler as far as faith goes was how awesome Joseph's robe was and that by crossing two popsicle sticks and using some glue you can make a cross, then he is screwed! If that kid died tomorrow, by this particular group's beliefs, he would roast. I realize that he will likely grow up to be wonderful young man, but if he never genuinely accepts salvation, or at least accepts salvation for love of God and not for the rewards of Heaven or fear of Hell, it makes me ask: Who failed here? God? Or the faithful parents? Now back to mother Jane and her son John. I know her son is not a high functioning autistic. I'm sure he will understand the concepts of right and wrong eventually, but to just obey without understanding isn't enough. I know some have said that there is an age of accountability for children, and anytime before then, they are Heaven bound. This is based on David's stating he would see his dead baby again someday. How do we know David was not speaking out of denial? There isn't any implicitly stated rule or regulation. For fuck's sake, kids were torn up by bears for calling a man bald! You are telling me they went to Heaven? Or are they in Hell and eternal torment forever because of a minute incident of mild bullying? Others have told me that so long as the mentally handicapped are too incapacitated to decide then they are considered like innocent children and are Heaven bound as well. Yet, there isn't a single solid proof of this in the Bible. Fact is, the Bible treats mental illness like a demon possession. Of course, you also have some who have said that when someone who is disabled or too young to understand dies, that they come before God whole and able to understand, and it is then that they decide. Again, not a shred of proof in the written book of the Bible to support this. Just a bunch of cherry picked scriptures and a bunch of injected conjecture and meaning that isn't really there. There is this uncomfortable truth out there and like the big elephant in the room, no one is talking about, and that is a pesky little statement made by this deity, that knocks all these claims of salvation for babies, puppies and handicapped people. This scripture is consistently thrown in the face of atheists, fellow Christians who aren't following the rules the way their church thinks they should, and at other relgions in general. Which scripture? C'mon now, you know this one! I'll give you a hint. It's in Romans chapter one. Remember it yet? Well here's a reminder. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. So, I'm sorry, Jane. If you can't get your son to genuinely accept God, he's going to burn, and you have to ask yourself did you fail him as a mother? Were you a shitty example of faith that doomed your son's soul? Or did God's presence not live up to what He claims? Perhaps you should step away from all the Bible speak and think long and hard about what you are truly trying to impart on your son. If you do that, you are going to have to think really long and hard about what you think you signed your own personal life up for. Personally, I think you're being a total cunt. However you go about it, you will have to discuss the consequences of lack of faith. You have to explain to your handicapped child that he isn't perfect, that he is a sinner, and that he is NEVER good enough without God in his heart. You are going to counter program him with fear and continuous dissatisfaction with himself while at the same time trying to convince him he is important like everyone else. Forget the fact that his being autistic and all the personality differences that will make him stick out isn't bad enough. I struggle daily with a child who is ADHD, very emotional and genius smart. He has the pressure of teachers trying to help him not get ahead of himself, lose control of his feelings, or lose his school work. He has the pressure of other kids who know he is emotionally vulnerable and are intimidated by his advanced learning skills and mature thought. Everyday he looks in the mirror and knows he sticks out, and everyday I remind him that isn't a bad thing in the long run. In the long run, he is going to face challenges everyday, but he will also be in control of his life and thoroughly enjoy pursuit of what he wants to accomplish. And he'll find plenty of others who stick out, and realize that sticking out is what makes good company. He'll be compassionate not out of fear of eternal torment, but because he will want to leave a legacy worthy of remembrance in his wake. How will Jane's son ever contribute, or any child with such dogma and disabilities combined, when they are being handicapped even further with issues that are above their understanding or control? If ever there were a path to lead to further issues and lack of progress, I would say John has been set on it, and he can't even count on his own mother to protect him.
  5. Science? We don't need no stinkin' science... LOL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdtD6QRWxQU&feature=youtube_gdata
  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBsobjjHaM4&feature=youtube_gdata
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B3KC0Bu4pU&feature=youtube_gdata
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WeHKu8wHio&list=UUUKpV1m_1VZc4JjbxhGwl0A&index=1
  9. I know this sounds crazy, but..... It's been almost a year since I finally threw in the towel and walked away from the Christian cult. One of those unanswered prayers all of us have experienced was the final nail in the coffin of delusion. After the incident I simply said to myself, "I get it". Yes, I got it - all of it was nothing more than pure bullshit surrounded by fantasy, delusion, and lies. So I simply let go of it and in doing so I also unloaded a 10,000 pound rock that had been chained around my neck. I've never been happier, more content, and more sure of things than now! Yes, there are still doubts about some things but nothing of any importance that will cause me a sleepless night or worrying. But something strange, something fantastic has been happening during this past year. It's not anything some of you may consider special but for me, after struggling in the cult for 25 years, it really is. Things have been falling into place for my family and me as though they'd been scripted in a play of some kind. Good things that have come along after an incredibly long drought in our lives. Both our sons who'd been unemployed for a long time (one for 2 1/2 years and the other for almost 2 years), now have jobs and are able to start supporting themselves. My wife and I had been helping both of them as much as we could by having them live with us, rent free, along with providing food and other necessities. My oldest son met someone a while ago and is now living with her in another state with marriage plans in the works. My wife, who has worked in a company for over 17 years is finally getting the recognition she richly deserves for her hard work and dedication. There's been talk of a significant promotion in the near future for her. How about me? Well, I'm still plodding along keeping things together in our house, making sure 'all the trains are on time' as I put it and never been more content in doing so. Those are just a few of the things going on in our house since my escape from the insanity of religion. Now, why do I say this sounds crazy? Well, here goes the prelude to the premise I've been thinking about for the past few months. What if there is an intelligence behind the universe? Something similar to the deistic approach which I guess I support. What if this intelligence is beyond anything any of us pitiful human beings could ever describe? In fact, what if you put together the entire human race since the dawn of man, combined all of the intelligence of the species, put it up against the incomprehensible intelligence, and still found no way of trying to explain this unseen force? In other words, this intelligence is and will be unfathomable, unexplainable, and beyond anything any of us could ever explain. Having said that, my premise is what if this intelligence literally despises all of the religious attempts to explain it especially the Christian cult? In fact, what if the intelligence has completely ignored this cult or even worse, interfered at times with it in order to prevent it from doing even more harm than it has already done throughout history? I support this premise with some very simply facts and observations. You could even say I used the scientific method in its most rudimentary stages to make certain conclusions. The facts/observations simply stated are: 1. If the Christian cult was the only way to a god, why are Christians the most screwed up people out of all religions except for the most radical Muslim sects? I am going by my and our collective experiences with the cult here. I am also going by actual studies I've made during the past 10 or so years especially with my observations of various clergy among them. 2. These studies include facts such as in highly religious states such as Texas and Alabama, the illiteracy rates are higher than in other states which are more secular. 3. Those same states have higher teen pregnancies and high school dropouts than other secular states. 4. The divorce rates among the cult members are as high or even higher than the rates among non cult members including atheists and even same sex marriages! If marriages are ordained by their god whom supposedly blesses these unions, why do so many of their marriages wind up in the garbage cans? And I can't begin to count the number of acrimonious divorces I've seen among them. 5. The lack of intellectual honesty including what is exhibited during debates between the cult and atheist or other non cult members. It seems that they are incapable of formulating any kind of intelligent argument without being forced to rely on the one source which is the most fallacious - their bible. If they were directed and 'led' by their god, wouldn't it be able to provide them with the basic tools for debating the enemies of this god? 6. If their god favors them over everyone else why do many of them live in squalor, poverty, and seem to live hand to mouth day after day? (this goes back to the first 4 facts cited). If their god is supposed to provide their every need, why has it failed so miserably regarding this? 7. If they were the only ones with the one way to joy, peace, heaven, why do they create such a hell on earth for themselves and the people around them? I mean, if the message is so perfect, why aren't they at least partially perfect in their behavior, lives, and everything else related to living a good life on earth? And more importantly, why does their god allow them to show such a disgraceful 'witness' to the rest of us? I could cite numerous other facts and I'm sure most of you can add to the list but I think I've supported my premise of the incredible disconnect between the Christian god the cult allegedly follows with that of an actual intelligence behind the universe. I'm not suggesting that those of us who have tossed off the garments of the cult are actually rewarded for our efforts by this so-called intelligence. But perhaps it goes back to that thing called a self fulfilling prophecy, i.e.: we cause our own luck many times by our actions and behaviors. If we can discard the harmful behaviors we can then concentrate on living a healthy, reality based life which has rewards in itself. I told you this may sound crazy didn't I? Or, perhaps it isn't. What do you think? From 'Christianity, the Sociopathic Cult' unpublished book I'm working on...
  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMbZBJHm0kc&feature=youtube_gdata
  11. I was inspired to start a different type of thread. We often discuss what things are not true in the bible and present information as to why they are false. Frankly it's a lot of content to discuss. I realized it might actually be easier to list all the things that are actually true in the bible. I honestly don't expect there to be many. So, if you know that something, someone, someplace was true in the bible, please list it here. If it relates to a verse(s) please include those for reference. Can we actually find something in the bible that IS a fact??
  12. I haven't gotten around to writing out my ex-timony yet, but I will volunteer that for me, the demise of my faith took place largely in the intellectual realm, following a disappointing life experience in the realm of actual Christians and a disappointing relationship "with God". As I read scholarly objections to the faith, including in particular Bart Ehrman, I began to see that the absolutes of the faith and inerrancy of the Bible weren't necessarily so, after all. I carefully did my research so as to not fall under the trap of bias confirmation. I was wiling to be wrong, but a large part of me wanted to find Christianity to be true. After all, I'd already invested 30 years of my life into making choices in light of Christianity being true. I resonated with Ehrman who like me identified with leaving his faith "kicking and screaming". Bart was an evangelical and a pastor schooled in three of the leading Bible schools. He set out to learn the ancient scriptures in order to better understand the texts he was teaching and preaching. His wife is still an active believer and he certainly had many valid reasons to not tear away from his long-time church culture. That said, since coming out to my former church peers, well meaning Christians have encouraged me to ignore Ehrman's findings, and have referred me back to Christian scholars like Dan Wallace and James White) who contradict the works of Ehrman. It has not escaped my notice that these other scholars remain believers, determine to remain in their chosen faith and confirm their bias of the Christian writings. Bart came out of our camp with a critical mind and that's what makes me more apt to take him seriously (whereas I've largely ignored the works of Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris so far). But all of this back and forth on the evidence thrown at us from both Christian scholars and defenders of the faith and secular scholars who provide counter evidence to the reliability of the gospel texts raises a very interesting question in me: Assuming God is real, is he not asking more of the current generation of would-be converts than of previous generations prior to availability of such contention of knowledge? The Christian God has left us with a book that you have to admit *at least looks like* it's been tinkered with and altered over the years, by scribes, by memory gaps in oral tradition, and by the decisions and whim of those who had the social power and formed the canon. The book on which the instructions for our salvation supposedly hangs doesn't immediately shout "error-free and unaltered straight from the mouth of God!" You have to accept that initial premise on faith. So if we want to be saved, we have to not only trust in Jesus, but also have to first find a way to trust in the book that speaks of Jesus. And still before we can do that, we have to be able to know which Biblical scholar is telling the truth about the historicity and apparent textual inconsistencies, since both camps assert different things about the trustworthiness of the stories in the text pertaining to Jesus' deity and resurrection. So I have to first be able to place my faith in James White or Dan Wallace, to be able to put my faith in the historicity of the Bible, to be able to put my faith in Jesus? That's a flippin large amount of faith to ask of someone who wasn't lucky enough to be born with a gullible brain that accepts at face value what a pastoral figure or parent teaches them! And so, Christian, your God first made me with a brain and a critical mind that couldn't sit still with "...for the Bible tells me so", and then after I've done my best to study and conclude an answer that makes the most sense to me with the totality of evidence I've amassed, he will toss me into hellfire for all eternity if I pick the answer wrong? Sheesh! At least the dissenters of Jesus day supposedly got to see a miracle or two before they chose to disbelieve!
  13. 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. That is the full scenario of this picture. What a petty asshole Jesus was! Just because it wasn't the time for a fig tree to offer fruit, he curses it... Classy! Now to the argument I hear on behalf of Jebus. I have heard that he is trying to make the tree an example of how when something is useless, it will wither away and die, or even more so in this case, be destroyed. Referencing to Israel...though, I think like many other parables of the bible, this one was quite a stretch as well. Jesus doesn't say anything along the lines of,"This is what is in store for Israel since they went all rogue on me and have become useless in their faith." Granted, people have brought up Jesus' speech in Matthew 21:20's, but he is speaking as to how YOU will conquer nations, he says nothing of Israel directly being in the wrong here. Secondly, don't you think he pre-emptively killed a tree without cause? He couldn't tell with his godly vision and omniscient powers that the tree didn't have fruit? Rather he got pissed when he walked over because the leaves fooled him? Seriously? I realize that if a fig produces fruit, a telling sign are the leaves that show up AFTER such production. Yes, it is an ass backwards plant. But is there not a chance that maybe, just MAYBE, there were other people on the road that morning who might have plucked the fruit first? You can pick figs and have the leaves remain. I think that is why people refer to the first defense that this is in fact a lesson. And ironically, I see it as survival of the fittest as what Jebus was referring to, which would be the Romans overtaking the lands at some point. Everyone in Jebus' time KNEW Rome's march was inevitable. And back to the ass backward fig tree. What really crisps my ass here as that the story isn't even being told honestly either. You can tell whoever wrote this nonsense is scrambling to make it look better. As I recall in this verse, it is an understood fact that Jesus' expectations for fruit were falsely founded because it was NOT time for the figs to be in season. THEN, just incase it was an early bloom, the author decides to deal with that by saying it must be a sick tree to begin with then. AND THEN, they remove the common notion that maybe there were more people on the road that morning who might have enjoyed an early bearing from the tree and left the leaves behind. Forget the fact Jebus couldn't have known before walking over there that fruit wouldn't be on it? And then to rationalize destruction of said tree that had probably fed weary travellers for many years, they use a common sense deduction of survival of the fittest. Where as faith makes you fit and you can move mountains.... This whole thing is ridiculous. I think this whole adventure with a fig tree and petty behavior has been kind of glossed over with this parable of something that was common knowledge anyhow.
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