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Why aren’t you a Christian?
Posted: 05 November 2009 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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How so?  What specifically unsettled you?

Well…simply put, I am tempted to believe that a loving Creator couldn’t possibly judge people to eternal punishment.  Like you, I don’t think the punishment really fits the crime, so to speak.  Of course, these thoughts are exceptionally selective, and don’t give the big redemptive picture.  Love is rooted in God’s nature, but so is righteous indignation and wrath against sin.  The Santa Claus sky daddy that even many Christians say they believe in is a false god, one based on their own feelings.  Secondly, I perceive that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, because I only think in finite terms and I don’t take sin against God seriously enough.  The God of Scripture cannot bear sin in his presence and his wrath is always against it…hence the atonement of Christ to salvation for all who believe.    If that seems a little harsh, imagine a god who created all the world and doesn’t care at all about sin…the picture is far worse.

Yes and no.  Your explanation would make sense if the existence of hell was a matter of fact.  It doesn’t matter how I feel about the idea of, say, plate tectonics - it simply IS true, regardless of how it makes me feel.  But the existence of hell is not a matter of fact.  It is a matter of belief - and more to the point, it is a matter of acceptance or rejection of a pre-packaged idea.  And in the absence of any evidence in support of the existence of hell, the potential believer’s emotion on the subject is very relevant indeed.

Just as I believe that the most basic of all facts is the existence of the Triune God, so I believe that Hell is also a fact.

That’s kind of circular, though, Clay, isn’t it?  You are presuming that God is indeed just and good and therefore concluding that hell must serve a purpose that is just and good.  When unsettled by the horror of the idea of torturing anyone for eternity, you quell this discomfort with the circular reasoning that it MUST be OK, good and just because God is just and good - by definition!  Or more to the point, by fiat!  Is this how you justify the God-ordained genocide of the Amalekites?  The slaughter at Jericho?  God, whom you declare a priori to be good and just, ordered it, therefore it IS good and just?

With all due respect and deference to your intelligence, Clay (and I am not being sarcastic here), this is simply an act of refusing to actually practice discernment, to really think about this issue.  It is giving up by saying God wants it this way, it MUST be good and just.

Well everyone has to start somewhere, Rami.  All worldviews are circular at bottom.  The simplest answer to your questions is I don’t have to justify God in using Israel to judge the Amalekites.  God’s will and His holiness stands wholly apart from my ability to judge him.  And as Van Til put it, a finite person judging the Creator of all things is like a child, held up on his father’s knee, slapping his father in the face.  I believe the existence of God provides the only basis for rationality and moral indignation.  You shouldn’t have any reason to be upset about God killing the Amalekites anymore than I should, because a “godless” universe (as Doug Wilson told Hitchens in debate) doesn’t care what happens to Amalekites, or anything else for that matter.  It’s really not giving up.  In the context of the Christian worldview, it makes sense that God has good and just purposes for doing what he’s doing.  I could even explain some of those…but for someone who is picking out things they don’t like from Scripture, the overarching themes and redemptive purposes will make no difference.

Hell is a way of keeping the faithful faithful.

Again, I don’t this does the Christian faith justice, in fact I know personally that it doesn’t.  If this were true, no one would believe.  Hell is one piece of a complete Christian faith based in Scripture and God’s revelation that best explains life and existence.  If Hell is what keeps the faithful faithful, then this should be at the forefront of believers’ minds when you ask them why they believe, right?  In my experience, it is the riches of Christ and the work of the Spirit of God that keeps the faithful faithful, by evidence and testimony. 

I hope your reasoning is more sophisticated than that.

Again, there is no reasoning outside of the revealed will of God.  The reality of Hell is what drives (or should drive) a Christian to public testimony and the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.  You have to at least admit that Rami…the Christian who accepts the truths of Scripture and keeps it himself and hides it away is acting in direct defiance to the mandates of Scripture…a city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Indeed, I don’t believe anyone will be in Hell unjustly…does that take faith? Sure it does.

But again, the fear creeps in when doubt creeps in.  Faith is the means by which one is saved.  When doubt erodes faith, salvation is in jeopardy.  Doubt leads to hellfire, basically.  And the Bible is full of passages that teach that one must not doubt, but trust and obey.

Actually its interesting how little language there is connecting doubt with hell, or loss of salvation - which of course, is impossible.  The Bible says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…which is essentially to say that we should be sober-minded and constantly striving.  Faith has an object, which is Christ.  It’s not some esoteric state of mind that we need to maintain and if we don’t we lose it.  Our salvation is built on faith that Jesus is the Christ and died in our place.  There is no point of no return…  And, of course, when we do trust and obey, we see God’s grace at work in our lives.  It’s more than just a feeling.  I’ve gone through about two years now of fighting my own thoughts and working things out in my own mind.  I don’t feel like a “strong Christian” as I once did, but I’m still resting ultimately on the promises of God.

And no Rami, I certainly would take no pleasure at the thought of you in Hell, I would rather you turn to the living God and be freed from the bondage of sin.  I imagine we could be very good friends!

As a side note…you mentioned something about heavenly bliss for believers.  It is often misunderstood by unbelievers (and many believers too) that heaven is some kind of eternal cloud party of monotonous singing and kneeling.  However, the historic Christian faith holds that we will “live” again, with a new heavens and earth and new bodies, free of sin and death, in fellowship with and worshipping the Triune God.  That’s not meant to try and win you or anything, its just a distinction I think needs to be made.  I think its likely that there will be good beer, food, and conversation in the life hereafter…can’t say that for sure, but I don’t think God would get rid of these things, among many others!

[ Edited: 05 November 2009 12:31 PM by clayforHim648]
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Posted: 05 November 2009 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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‘However, the historic Christian faith holds that we will “live” again, with a new heavens and earth and new bodies, free of sin and death, in fellowship with and worshipping the Triune God.  That’s not meant to try and win you or anything, its just a distinction I think needs to be made.  I think its likely that there will be good beer, food, and conversation in the life hereafter…can’t say that for sure, but I don’t think God would get rid of these things, among many others!’

Yeah clay, speculation means everything to the easily deluded mind.

What happens to men who have 3-4 wives? Does he get to have sex with all of them again in heaven? I mean, while you are speculating..

Do you even imagine how childish this all sounds? What is GOOD beer by the way? Does God choose or do we all get which ever brand we like?

I can’t believe I even replied to this.

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Posted: 06 November 2009 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Rami - 20 October 2009 07:09 PM

  You are no more wicked that they, they are equally undeserving of Paradise as you - but they have accepted the free gift of salvation; you have not.

I usually reply that they can’t speak for god and are pretentious to think they know who’s going to heaven or hell. Then I tell them, “If there’s a heaven, then that’s where I’m going. Hope to see you there.” They usually accept the former but scoff at the latter. Besides, if salvation is a free gift, you don’t owe anything to anyone.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Rami - 19 October 2009 10:29 PM

Today I was teaching a voice lesson at the Christian university where I work.  We were working on “My Lord, What a Morning!” - a well-known spiritual.  I was trying to get my student to be expressive, so I urged him to consider the words - the trumpet sounding, the “nations under ground” rising to be judged, the stars falling as the world is destroyed, the yearning to be at right hand of God, etc.  He asked me “Are you a Christian?”  Without delay I answered “No.”  Without even missing a beat he said “Why not?”

That really surprised me.  Not the question itself, but the attitude that being a Christian is the default, and to not be a Christian one must have a really good reason.  It’s almost as if he thinks that one is a Christian or one is a rebel against Christianity.  Or maybe I am over-thinking this…

He said that from the way I speak I could be a preacher - since clearly I understand the Christian dogma.  And so I guess maybe he is thinking that it would be one thing if I just had not spent much time thinking about Jesus or if I were Jewish or a Muslim or something.  But I understand it - so why I is it that I am not a Christian?  Have I deliberately turned away from Christianity?

I have worked with this young man for several years.  I have genuine affection for him and his talent.  It saddens me that he might think that after I die God will send me to damnation, where I will be incinerated and destroyed in the lake of fire.  Does he really think I deserve that? 

Anyway, if you were in my position, what would you have answered?  I did not want to get into a discussion with him about my personal beliefs, which could lead to my losing my job.  So I just told him that I am not a Christian for several reasons, but that I find Christianity fascinating and that I know my stuff (meaning, I know what Christians believe).  On the way home I kicked myself for not answering his question with “Why aren’t you a Muslim?”  How would you have answered his question?  Once he graduates, I will have this conversation with him.  So, I’d appreciate ideas on what to say to him.  Thanks.

Maybe because he thought you sounded like a christian, so he just asked you, why you weren’t one.

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Posted: 26 February 2010 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Yesterday I was teaching a voice lesson, and my Korean student was having a hard time with the [ae] vowel in “Allandale”.  It sound like “Ellendale”.  So I told him that there is a difference between “Allan” and “Ellen, like ‘Ellen’ from the ‘Ellen Show’ on channel 7.”  He said “Oh, I don’t like that show!  I hate that woman!” 

“Why?”

“Because she is a… lesbian…  AND she is not ashamed of it”

“Well, some people are attracted to members of the opposite gender, some are attracted to members of their own gender”, I replied. 

“It’s immoral.”

“How is it immoral?” I asked.

“The Bible says so.”

...and the conversation went on from there. 

This is what worries me.  Religion has elected itself as the guardian of morality, as the ultimate authority on morality.  This young kid does not even know what morality is.  Or at least he thinks that morality is spelled out for us in the Bible.

Tonight I am going to watch the live webcast on the debate “Is God the Best Explanation for Morality” on:

http://www.conversantlife.com/debate

I was supposed to attend by I decided to stay home and rest.  I think this is a subject that needs to be addressed first and foremost.  What IS morality?  What are we actually talking about?  My student apparently thinks that morality is obedience to God and His Word.  Period.  I have a utilitarian/consequentialist moral outlook.  For me morality concerns the suffering of others, of beings capable of suffering, of feeling. 

If by morality we mean “obedience to God’s Law”, then of course God is the best explanation for morality - by definition, by THIS definition.

But if we are talking about morality as a set of societal rules that concern the suffering of others, if we are talking about utilitarianism, then we can really debate.  If God is the author of morality, then one would expect him to be the Ultimate, Absolute Utilitarian.  Is he? 

I so wish I could have taken my conversation with my student further.  But I would lose my job.  I have already been told not to come out to my students, even if they ask me outright.  Besides, I am supposed to be teaching voice lessons, not debating morality, sexuality and religion with them. 

Anyway, I hope some of you will watch the debate; it starts at 7 PM Pacific Time.

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Posted: 28 February 2010 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 05 November 2009 12:21 PM

Well…simply put, I am tempted to believe that a loving Creator couldn’t possibly judge people to eternal punishment.  Like you, I don’t think the punishment really fits the crime, so to speak.  Of course, these thoughts are exceptionally selective, and don’t give the big redemptive picture.  Love is rooted in God’s nature, but so is righteous indignation and wrath against sin.  The Santa Claus sky daddy that even many Christians say they believe in is a false god, one based on their own feelings.  Secondly, I perceive that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, because I only think in finite terms and I don’t take sin against God seriously enough.  The God of Scripture cannot bear sin in his presence and his wrath is always against it…hence the atonement of Christ to salvation for all who believe.    If that seems a little harsh, imagine a god who created all the world and doesn’t care at all about sin…the picture is far worse.

...

Just as I believe that the most basic of all facts is the existence of the Triune God, so I believe that Hell is also a fact.
 
...

Well everyone has to start somewhere, Rami.  All worldviews are circular at bottom.  The simplest answer to your questions is I don’t have to justify God in using Israel to judge the Amalekites.  God’s will and His holiness stands wholly apart from my ability to judge him.  And as Van Til put it, a finite person judging the Creator of all things is like a child, held up on his father’s knee, slapping his father in the face.  I believe the existence of God provides the only basis for rationality and moral indignation.  You shouldn’t have any reason to be upset about God killing the Amalekites anymore than I should, because a “godless” universe (as Doug Wilson told Hitchens in debate) doesn’t care what happens to Amalekites, or anything else for that matter.  It’s really not giving up.  In the context of the Christian worldview, it makes sense that God has good and just purposes for doing what he’s doing.  I could even explain some of those…but for someone who is picking out things they don’t like from Scripture, the overarching themes and redemptive purposes will make no difference.
...

Again, I don’t this does the Christian faith justice, in fact I know personally that it doesn’t.  If this were true, no one would believe.  Hell is one piece of a complete Christian faith based in Scripture and God’s revelation that best explains life and existence.  If Hell is what keeps the faithful faithful, then this should be at the forefront of believers’ minds when you ask them why they believe, right?  In my experience, it is the riches of Christ and the work of the Spirit of God that keeps the faithful faithful, by evidence and testimony. 

...
Again, there is no reasoning outside of the revealed will of God.  The reality of Hell is what drives (or should drive) a Christian to public testimony and the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.  You have to at least admit that Rami…the Christian who accepts the truths of Scripture and keeps it himself and hides it away is acting in direct defiance to the mandates of Scripture…a city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Indeed, I don’t believe anyone will be in Hell unjustly…does that take faith? Sure it does.
 
...

Actually its interesting how little language there is connecting doubt with hell, or loss of salvation - which of course, is impossible.  The Bible says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…which is essentially to say that we should be sober-minded and constantly striving.  Faith has an object, which is Christ.  It’s not some esoteric state of mind that we need to maintain and if we don’t we lose it.  Our salvation is built on faith that Jesus is the Christ and died in our place.  There is no point of no return…  And, of course, when we do trust and obey, we see God’s grace at work in our lives.  It’s more than just a feeling.  I’ve gone through about two years now of fighting my own thoughts and working things out in my own mind.  I don’t feel like a “strong Christian” as I once did, but I’m still resting ultimately on the promises of God.

And no Rami, I certainly would take no pleasure at the thought of you in Hell, I would rather you turn to the living God and be freed from the bondage of sin.  I imagine we could be very good friends!

As a side note…you mentioned something about heavenly bliss for believers.  It is often misunderstood by unbelievers (and many believers too) that heaven is some kind of eternal cloud party of monotonous singing and kneeling.  However, the historic Christian faith holds that we will “live” again, with a new heavens and earth and new bodies, free of sin and death, in fellowship with and worshipping the Triune God.  That’s not meant to try and win you or anything, its just a distinction I think needs to be made.  I think its likely that there will be good beer, food, and conversation in the life hereafter…can’t say that for sure, but I don’t think God would get rid of these things, among many others!

Clay,

There is a rare tone of sincerity in your posts which makes it sort of special. I think you deserve some honest arguments in return. You don’t need to answer my post. All I want to do is share my perspective on faith and reasons why I reject it.

The religions I know almost without exception have no credibility whatsoever. And this is especially true about the three major ones: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is almost like studying animal evolution. You see an organ of some extinct species and you ask yourself: what biological purpose did it serve? You find the answer, make one step forward in understanding the mystery of the animal and after few steps like that the pieces of the puzzle start fitting together, and we gain a substantial knowledge about the animal we’ve never seen with our own eyes. Unfortunately the same is the case with religions. Once you start asking yourself questions about the purpose of this or that “teaching” you will end up disgusted discovering that they all have one thing in common. They all are designed to keep the faithful in line by instilling fear, guilt and occasionally few pieces appealing to our longing for justice and desire to be loved and protected.

If there are massive conspiracies in the world we live in the religions are the primary examples. There are some cases of relatively new religions like Mormonism where the shameful origins of the movement are very well documented. Please read the “Under the Banner of Haven”. It is very instructional.

What in arguments put forward by religions makes an impact on the scared believers fortunately is very cultural and time dependent. So, after few thousand years a big gap between the religious dogma and the reality opens up and the church authorities are put to the task of explaining to believers why the old stories don’t make any sense in the modern world.

Let’s take Christianity. We don’t need to argue whether Jesus Christ was a historical person or not. But we can go back to known history and ask why the doctrine of the Church and its “teaching” underwent all the twists and changes in time. Starting with the political founder of the Church, emperor Constantine who, I hope you know, invented few things and added to the teaching of Christianity for his own political reasons.

I am not claiming that religions are especially corrupted and prone to evolving into conspiracies. Like everything else they are simply driven by human’s desire and lust for power and getting ahead of others in securing and enjoying the pleasures of flesh. Wherever you look it is always the leaders who go after pleasures of flesh while demanding that the faithful settle for noble spiritual awards.

As an explorer of the spiritual I can throw in one more stone at the worthless and corrupt ideologies of religions. They are completely devoid of what in this world of ours has some serious aspirations to be considered spiritual. If you give some time to learning about yoga or few similar eastern philosophies it can be an eye opener. Those guys understand god and spiritual as experience which can be found through meditation or some other form of introspection. They will tell you that talking about god without actually having experienced god is a total waist of time (if you hope to get god’s favors so to speak).

Miracles and inspirations experienced by the faithful? I am not like other people on this forum and will not try to deny them. But those miracles and inspirations are not a monopoly of any particular religion, they are related more to the spiritual than to religious teaching and they have an explanation which unfortunately your religion will not provide.

The ending question to ponder is why to be intellectually and emotionally enslaved by a religion? There is nothing to gain by keeping your faith and a lot to gain by discarding it as a useless shell.

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Posted: 28 February 2010 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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About this time in the discussion is when a somewhat educated Christian introduces/reveals his/her personal revelation, which of course established absolute truth for them, or…. Pascal’s Wager. Or possibly even the unexplained phenomena of human consciousness and emotion.

We’ll see where this goes.

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Posted: 02 March 2010 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Why I’m Not a Christian

I’ve read various accounts of why people stopped believing in God.  Usually it has something to do with the triumph of Reason over superstition.  Not so in my case.

My parents were both raised Catholic.  Up until I was five years old, they dragged me to church every Sunday.  Then my youngest sister was born.  My parents decided enough was enough and my mother had a tubal ligation.  She confessed this and was excommunicated for it.  That marked the end of my experience with religion. 

I don’t remember much from back before I turned five, but I do recall going to church.  Vividly.  Parents with young children were required to sit in a separate, soundproofed room in order not to annoy the rest of the flock.  The priest’s voice came in over a crackly loudspeaker.  I’m not sure if they were still saying mass in Latin then, but they may as well have been.  Babies screamed and cried the whole time.  The room’s ventilation was inadequate; it was always oppressively hot in there.  The whole affair seemed to drag on for ever and ever.

To make matters worse, my mother dressed me up in a pair of wool pants for church.  I think I may have been allergic to wool.  My legs itched horribly from the moment I put them on.  Just thinking about them, even today, makes my legs itch.  You can imagine the torture:  suffocating from boredom and the lack of ventilation, sweating and squirming in my scratchy wool pants, enduring a dozen babies howling at the top of their lungs, the priest’s unintelligible, tinny rantings in the background.  It made quite an impression on my young mind. 

Had my parents used the ludovico technique (from A Clockwork Orange) to intentionally innoculate me against Christianity, it couldn’t possibly have been any more effective than that stifling room with all the bawling babies and those scratchy wool pants.  The thought of stepping inside a church still fills me with dread.  My eyes glaze over at any mention of God or religion.  It’s beyond me why people subject themselves to such mind-numbing boredom.

You may recall that the ludovico technique not only turned poor Alex against violence, but, inadvertantly, against Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as well.  My early experience with church turned me against Christianity, but it also turned me against formal attire.  To this day, getting dressed up in a suit makes me itchy and fidgety.

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Posted: 03 March 2010 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Thomas Orr - 28 February 2010 11:41 AM

Miracles and inspirations experienced by the faithful? I am not like other people on this forum and will not try to deny them. But those miracles and inspirations are not a monopoly of any particular religion, they are related more to the spiritual than to religious teaching and they have an explanation which unfortunately your religion will not provide.

The ending question to ponder is why to be intellectually and emotionally enslaved by a religion? There is nothing to gain by keeping your faith and a lot to gain by discarding it as a useless shell.

I agree with most of your post.  And I love it.

I do deny miracles.  And it has to do with how one defines “miracles.”  “Miracles”, like a baby falling out of a second-story window and surviving, are not really miracles.  They are fortuitous, somewhat unlikely events.  But in order for them to be miracles, one has to be able to show that the outcome was necessarily the result of divine intervention.  And how can one possibly show such a connection?  All one can do is say “Well, this outcome was very unlikely, therefore it must have been divine intervention.”  No matter how unlikely an outcome may be, if there is a chance that it could be explained “naturalistically”, then one cannot conclude that it MUST have been Deus-ex-machina.  And even if we cannot explain the outcome, that still does not necessarily lead to the divine as the only possible alternative.  Perhaps there is a naturalistic explanation and we simply have not figured it out yet. 

Believers are often quick to label outcomes as “miracles”, but not because they cannot explain the outcome naturalistically.  Most likely they are simply desperately looking for confirmation of their faith, proof that God does indeed exist, he is indeed good, and he is involved in our mundane worldly affairs.  Confirmation bias.  And by the way, does this not point to the fact that the “I-don’t-need-proof-that’s-why-it’s-called-faith” defense is BS?  Of course they want proof.  They are desperate for it and try to see it everywhere they look. 

The word “spiritual” is very vague - for me.  What does it mean, really?  Is it simply an emotional sense of awe, wonder and mystery?  Or does it refer to an actual sense of some kind of “spirit” that exists in a real sense? 

And of course very often we get accounts of people who have had personal experiences with this spiritual force, whatever they may choose to call it.  But they do more than give it a name; they actually claim to know exactly what it is: it’s Jesus, or it’s Moroni, or it’s Gabriel, or God Himself, in the form of a burning bush, or Our Lady of Fatima…  And since these are personal, subjective experience, that appear to be happening in the believer’s brain, no one an actually disprove them.  And the believer then feels free to interpret them in whatever way they wish.  Even with the best of honest intentions, the believer will interpret his experience through his or her bias - subjectively.  Those who are less scrupulous will deliberately make stuff up and adjust the tale of their “visions” to suit not just their bias, but also their agendas. 

So, I am very suspicious and skeptical whenever someone talks about having “experienced” the supernatural, and talks about “spiritual” experiences.  The subjectivity of the interpretation of these events triggers my BS alarm…

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Posted: 03 March 2010 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Rami - 03 March 2010 06:25 AM

So, I am very suspicious and skeptical whenever someone talks about having “experienced” the supernatural, and talks about “spiritual” experiences.  The subjectivity of the interpretation of these events triggers my BS alarm…

Sorry for late response. When I visit the forum I go to the Political section, which interests me more than the subject of faith. So, I tend to neglect my occasional discussions on faith and religion.

Looking at the quote from your post I concluded that you actually agree with me even on the subject of spiritual experience. As you said what bothers you is the subjective interpretation and not the experience itself. You are also right on the money saying that it happens in someone’s brain.

I didn’t conduct any studies but am inclined to think that the religion or a lack of it don’t affect the likelihood of “spiritual” experience happening to you and I think this argument alone is more powerful when debating the people of religion than trying to dismiss the reality or objectivity of such experience. Of course, knowing the Christians I can predict that they have explanation even for that. If you are a non Christian the experience is the “last warning from God”. If you are a Christian it is an award. Or vice versa grin

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Posted: 24 May 2010 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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I am not a Christian for the same reason I am not a Catholic or Muslim.  Because all of there belief systems are based off of incompatible evidence.  Not only that but they are also self-contradictory, crass, and based on 1st century logic and reasoning.  Most of the desires that religion attempts to accomplish are evil, and highly decisive and manipulative.  For these reasons alone I am not only, not a Christian, but I am also not a part of any religion.

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Posted: 06 October 2010 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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‘Cause I ain’t bein’ paid to be one.

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Posted: 08 October 2010 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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I am not a Christian because I have read the bible.  I believe it to be a manual for systematically destroying the humanity in mankind and the beauty of civilized society.  I am anti-theistic because my religious neighbors do not limit their employment of that book’s teachings to their own self-abasement.  Rather, they actively seek to harm me, my loved ones and the broader human family.  I believe and hope that my fellow unbelievers should band together, and through force of law, defend ourselves and our civilization from the barbarity and unreasoning of the death cults that surround and threaten us.

My own introduction to man’s covenant with God (it is difficult to watch):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6584757516627632617&q=circumcision&hl=en#

If you are moved by this video, and are so inclined, please sign the following petition.  It urges the ACLU to undertake a class action suit to force a change in US law that would abolish this religiously motivated assault on children. 

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/end-male-genital-mutilation-mgm-in-the-usa/

Thank you.

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Posted: 13 October 2010 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Hello, I am new here.

I am not a Christian or follower of any religion because, having studied the faith based actions of religionists both present and past, I came to the conclusion that any god would not want his/her/its followers to behave in such ways and so must be a man made entity designed to excuse actions that people would take anyway.

‘God told me to do it’ has long been used as an excuse.

It is also very convenient to the takers of such actions that ‘disagreeing with me is an insult to god’ has been forcefully (over the time that religion was a controlling power in the world) thrust upon people.

I have heard it said in a debate, by an apologist, that ‘you must not blame the centre for the actions of the fringe’.

One thought and one question about that statement;

If there was no centre there would be nothing to be on the fringe of.

Why does the ‘centre’ do nothing about the ‘fringe’ that is giving them a bad name?

Lack of action against is tacit approval.

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Posted: 19 October 2010 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Just had to note that I laughed my guts out at Antisocialdarwinist’s description of his childhood experience of religion. It resonated!

I think it’s difficult for someone who has never been indoctrinated in a religion to understand the presence of religious belief in others. I experience a disconnect when trying to explain it (religious belief) to my significant other—who was not indoctrinated in childhood—and when listening to and reading the words of others with an areligious childhood experience. It resonated through the one Sam Harris book I have read (Letter to a Christian Nation). I kept thinking, “Yes, Sam, but you’re missing the point! No argument will sway them! They **believe**!”

One of my purposes in reading this forum is to attempt to formulate a better way of explaining to the never-religious why it is that so many of their species need religion. The vista here is promising.

This is my first post, so it’s in lieu of an introduction.

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I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.—Bertrand Russell

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