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Wisdom Of The World Is Foolishness?


monsterfeets
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Okay. I apologize in advance if this is the wrong section because I really couldn't figure out whether to put it in Ex-Christian Life or Rants XD But here we go.

 

Recently I did a complete turn around and just up and decided one day that I had been wrong about Christianity and it was all true. Now I didn't want to admit it at the time but looking back it seems like it was just another emotional reaction based on the fact that I was afraid I was going blind (I keep seeing flashes of light in my eye and the doctor told me I am prone to retinal detachments so I better be paranoid :( ) So ofcourse what did I do, I jumped around and clung to what I thought was the only thing that could save me. It seems awfully silly now but neverthless. For about 2 weeks I was in super fundie mode. Convinced that the world was decieved and the Holy Spirit was speaking through me and man was I ON FIRE and I knew the Truth with a capital T thanks to the grace of God.

 

Now I'm pretty much back where I started because it suddenly dawned on me that I was basing this on what could have been nothing more than my imagination playing tricks on me.

 

The problem is not my lack of facts either. Ever since I de-converted I've been emmersing myself in the history of the Bible and every anti-apologetic I can get my hands on. Everything! I read this forum every day. But for some reason none of it mattered. The problem is when I read the bible and it says things such as the message is foolishness to those who are perishing and that the wisdom is man is foolishness and all that stuff, and that none of us seek god and we're all totally corrupt without God it seems like it almost makes sense that it doesn't make sense. Does that make sense? Honestly, I know it sounds stupid, but that's what I keep tripping over, it's not even the fear of Hell anymore but that one little nonsensical statement. I want to know the Truth. But then I think, how can anyone ever know the "Truth". No one can ever know everything. And none of my arguments work on the faith of my friends because they are so sure. I would commend them if it weren't for the fact that I absolutely do not want to believe Christianity is true unless it is the truth.

 

So my question is I guess. Did anyone else ever see it that way? Wonder the same thing? That the Bible almost made sense in a backwards kind of way? And what made you sure, whether it was history, a certain discovery, something in the bible itself, or just an 'aha' moment? That it wasn't the truth and that the wisdom of this world was -not- foolishness and that you also weren't just fooling yourself because you didn't want christianity to be true?

 

Also if you have any really important websites or books I ought to read let me know. I'm all over the links in the sticky posts in the forums but just in case I miss something.

 

Thanks for putting up with me ;P

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Yes, I recognize it. That's why arguments against my faith never really did anything to me or changed my opinion. I brushed it off with the "the worlds wisdom is foolishness to God, and the Gospel is foolishness to the world's wise."

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The "wisdom" of the Holah Babble™ is foolishness.

 

Jeezus™ Never Existed

 

Old Testament Evidence Against Jeezus™

 

Agnostic Review of Xianity

 

Pagan Origins of the Christ™ Myth

 

Skeptics Annotated Babble™

 

Babble™ Errancy

 

The Babble™ is the most contradictory book out there. It defies itself on everything that Xians claim is necessary for belief, and is one of the worst pieces of "literature" ever written. I had my doubts a couple of times, but I never let myself fall back into the Xian trap.

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I can relate... fear of hell doesn't make me reconsider Christianity and God, but the whole "foolishness of man..." thing does. Maybe what God wants is faith... even if God isn't the Christian God. I don't fear hell if I don't make this leap of faith, but I wonder if my life would be fuller if I did believe in SOMETHING.

 

I was listening to the new Live CD (and some of their older stuff) and I just felt like it was... well, it's hard to desribe. It just makes sense that there's something out there sometimes... and I want to connect to it if it's there. But I see nothing that suggests it's there except humanity's reactions to the idea of it. The songs are basically like a Third Day version of New Age spirituality.. and I remember the spiritual highs I got when I listened and went to their concerts. It's tempting to let that kind of thing comfort me again... but I think I would just be fooling myself emotionally and psyhcologically.

 

It's hard to explain, but yeah... I see where you're coming from.

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I think that powerful "making sense without really making sense" thing is what kept me hooked for as long as I was.

 

It's a little like a confusion tactic verbal abusers use. They can take any situation and explain it in such a way that it sounds like they're right - but they're not, and if you stop and think about it, they make utterly no sense at all.

 

I had an ex who used to tell me that I didn't make any sense when I spoke. He had all kinds of convoluted reasons as to why he was right, all kinds of statements and arguments that "proved" what he was asserting - but I can't for the life of me remember any of his arguments. I can't remember anything other than feeling completely confused and unsettled, in the face of his triumphant assertion that I was weak-minded (and my confusion "proved" it, of course).

 

Abusers will also insist that things are the way they are because of whatever they want to assert as true, regardless of what reality actually is. Xianity is the same way. It's very convenient that their holy book says that "the wisdom of the world is foolishness"; that way they can justify claiming that everybody but themselves are fools. It couldn't possibly be their holy book that's wrong, now, could it.

 

It's convenient that their holy book says they'll be persecuted for Jesus' sake and that they'll reap heavenly rewards for it - that way they can justify coming to places like Ex-C, acting like utter assholes, and whaddaya know - our negative reaction to their bad behavior just "proves" that the babble was true! It couldn't possibly be that they were being a jerk, now, could it.

 

And on and on and on.

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While doing all of my deconversion research, it eventually became clear to me that the language used in the bible, and its little mental latches, had been honed over centuries and that it was put together in such a way as to make one fear letting it go.

 

So yeah, a lot of those little passages were written by some dudes that really really knew how to hook into ones psyche.

 

I have to give them credit for that much. :notworthy:

 

They just never had the "foresight" to see what their religion would do in the long run.

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Hey, thanks everyone for the advice and links :) Finding some great stuff here.

 

I got to thinking and it seems to me that there's really no real basis in saying the wisdom of the world is foolishness. Obviously we figure things out in a useful way. But also the fact that the wisdom of God doesn't actually seem all that more wise than ours. And most of the good bits in the bible are stuff recycled from other philosiphies anyway. How do we know anyway besides just accepting it without question? That's what bugs me ... that I can't question God "because he's God". I just don't understand WHY an all powerful God wouldn't have figured out a better way to 'save' us or atleast make himself known other than through some obscure backwards logic that was nearly impossible for anyone with a brain to accept.

 

I found this article on Infidels.org and I thought it was great: Justified Faith or Emotionalism

 

I liked this part, it made a lot of sense:

 

The spiritual gift is merely an ingenuous wrapping to conceal the morality of old. This is the difficulty that morally stable individuals experience when presented with the argument for Christianity. The individual might claim that he is presently exhibiting moral behavior, but the religious man repudiates his claim, contenting that if he is deficient of the presence of God, or the institution of the church, his morality is self-promoting and devoid of any substantive worth. Surprisingly, the religious counter-argument cannot be validated. The evidence in the believer's life of God's presence is sometimes affectionately termed, "the fruits of the spirit." But these fruits of the spirit express themselves no differently than the fruits of the secular man who is mild-mannered, altruistic, pleasant, and peaceful in his existence. There is no ethereal quality that distinguishes the Christian moralist from the secular moralist. The distinction is merely in the claims of origination. One derives from God; the other is attributed to the man per se.

 

As the convert accepts this indoctrination he becomes more and more cognizant of the world that once elicited his passions. He despises it, and with good cause. For without this detestation and renouncement of the world and its pleasures, he will inevitably be coerced to return. He must convince himself that the world is evil and neglect its every pleasure that entices him with its irresistible siren songs in the night. The world must be an object of detestation, and the epitome of all that is perverse and profane. This provides strong evidence that the pull of the world is ever calling and Christians generally attribute this calling to two agents: Satan, the roaring lion, and the weakness of their own fleshly desires. Subsequently, both agents are spiritualized to the place that they no longer have a practical worth, but become the vehicles of all demonic influence. They are personifications, suitable characters for Bunyan to manipulate. Nietzsche illustrates this point precisely when he says,

 

The Church combats the passions with excision in every sense of the word: its practice, its 'cure' is castration. It never asks: How can one spiritualize, beautify, deify a desire?' - it has at all times laid the emphasis of its discipline on extirpation (of sensuality, of pride, of lust for power, of avarice, of revengefulness). - But to attack the passions at their roots means to attack life at its root: the practice of the Church is hostile to life...

 

What gets me is I've heard so many people say the only reason they follow Christ is because they know he's real and they hated Christianity until God smacked them upside the head with the truth. I felt this way for a while too, that I disagreed with it but it was true so I had to accept it. I am curious as to why this happens. I suppose it probably happens in other religions as well, giving up your life and desires to follow some higher ideal. But what causes this sudden shift in perspective from "there's no way this is true" to a little lightbulb going off and suddenly 'understanding everything'. I mean aside from the ones who are doing drugs at the time. :P

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the wisdom is man is foolishness

 

Great tool for brainwashing. "if it sounds stupid, it must be true". But once I left it behind, I had a lot of "how the hell did I believe that?" moments.

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What gets me is I've heard so many people say the only reason they follow Christ is because they know he's real and they hated Christianity until God smacked them upside the head with the truth. I felt this way for a while too, that I disagreed with it but it was true so I had to accept it. I am curious as to why this happens. I suppose it probably happens in other religions as well, giving up your life and desires to follow some higher ideal. But what causes this sudden shift in perspective from "there's no way this is true" to a little lightbulb going off and suddenly 'understanding everything'. I mean aside from the ones who are doing drugs at the time. :P

Maybe what you have is personalities that are prone to/ conditioned to see the world in absolutes. Something is either wrong or its right. They recognize faults in it, they say it’s false and reject it. Then they see some truth in it; truth that appeals to them emotionally/spiritually. The feel swayed to that truth they hear... then wham! Christianity it True! The world is a lie!

 

Instead, the approach to anything in this world should be open and balanced. It's not one or the other. There are things that are truths to us everywhere, and things that don't work for us either. What is "true" or rather "has meaning" to one, might not to another. Christianity does have some truths in it to do work for people, but it does not make it true absolutely. It also has ideas in it that are outdated, or irrelevant and don't work anymore, but it does not make it false absolutely.

 

It's not about the value of a system; it's about the individual’s approach to life.

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How do we know anyway besides just accepting it without question? That's what bugs me ... that I can't question God "because he's God". I just don't understand WHY an all powerful God wouldn't have figured out a better way to 'save' us or atleast make himself known other than through some obscure backwards logic that was nearly impossible for anyone with a brain to accept.

 

What gets me is I've heard so many people say the only reason they follow Christ is because they know he's real and they hated Christianity until God smacked them upside the head with the truth. I felt this way for a while too, that I disagreed with it but it was true so I had to accept it. I am curious as to why this happens. I suppose it probably happens in other religions as well, giving up your life and desires to follow some higher ideal. But what causes this sudden shift in perspective from "there's no way this is true" to a little lightbulb going off and suddenly 'understanding everything'. I mean aside from the ones who are doing drugs at the time. :P

 

The first thing you said right there is exactly what I kept coming around to. If God created me this way, as logical and reasonable, why would he expect me to not use those abilities to find him? And then if those abilities that HE gave led me to not find him but to see him as false, why did he do that? It didn't make sense. I have questioned it a lot, and I can't say exactly what made me kind of stop wondering if it was really real. I will share with you that I have occasional moments of weakness. When I deal with all my Christian family, sometimes I wish, for a fleeting moment, that I could just believe it all because it would make dealing with them easier. However, I don't stay in that thought for long because my love for what is true is more important. Also, I am pregnant and sometimes I am really sick. I actually decided on Atheism around the time I got pregnant so the whole time I have been a non-Christian I have been sick. It is easy when I am weak and feeling horribly sick to wonder if I am being punished for not believing (as I was taught would happen). However, I understand that in both of the situations above where I question Christianity and my decisions that I am in vulnerable and weak states. Religion, it seems, plays on the weak and the down and out because it offers false hope and all the answers. When you live without religion, you live without answers sometimes, and this can be difficult on the human mind and body. But none of that makes it real.

 

And the second thing you said about people changing to Christianity when God smacked them with the truth- these are probably people that didn't really believe anything to start with. If they are kind of a blank slate or haven't done a substantial amount of reading about Christianity they are almost certain to fall into it and believe it. The doctrine is pretty tough and hard to break through and makes sense to most people not looking at it as though it could be false. Just because people fall into it doesn't make it true either.

 

Those are my thoughts. Also, I'll suggest the book I often suggest on here in case you don't have it because it is EXCELLENT and really gave me a more realistic picture of Christianity:

 

Asimov's Guide to the Bible

 

Have a great one.

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After reading that excerpt from that article that you posted, Monsterfeets, it seems to me that what the church actually does is trick people into believing that all that there is just isn't good enough for them. Almost as if the religion itself is, at its core, an ultimate greed. :scratch:

 

Heh! Reminds me of part of a song from Dave Matthews. :grin:

 

Is this not enough?

This blessed sip of life

is it not enough,

staring down at the ground.

Then complain and pray,

I need more from above

like a greedy little pig.

 

:HaHa:

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