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Mia: “Have you even read the Bible?”
Posted: 22 February 2007 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“andonstop”]My question to you is, when there can be no factual basis for your faith regarding afterlife, why would you choose annihilation?

Ah, there it is, right on schedule. I’d in turn ask you, andonstop, why you respond so warmly to the deity’s threat of “Either love, worship and serve me, or I will deep fry your ass for all eternity.”

When you speak of annihilation, you seem to forget that someone must DO the annihilating. In this case it’s—surprise!—the one said to be all-loving and all-forgiving. The very one who, in the first place, created the place he sends those he has doomed, and who appointed its overseer. Doesn’t that just make your head explode?

[quote author=“Ted”]I think we are striving for sonship (daughtership), and have been provided the model for achieving it.

I’m sorry that your own very real human parents apparently didn’t satisfy this hunger in you. But you’d also have to show that the supernatural parent provides a more admirable lesson plan for life than what most of our own human parents and elders can, at least in civilized societies. The god-construct of the Bible fails miserably when stacked up against my own mum (who was a closet atheist during her Catholic marriage), so I have no need to ‘strive’ for an association with the biblical deities, who were not as moral as my mother. A comprehensive read-through of the Bible (at least as much as one can stomach) is all you really need to realize that you don’t want a slavery-loving, woman-hating, virgin-raping, incest-favoring, sex-fearing, war-mongering, worship-craving, bloodthirsty egomaniac as their daddy. Much less for an eternity.


If you want to extract a few positive quotes from your book, all of which were already long established in human societies, then so be it—that is obviously preferable to your being true to the entire text. But be honest with yourself about the fact that you’re doing exactly that—you’re editing the word of God in order to make it meet your own higher standard of behavior. If you do not condone slavery, treat women as property, feel shame over your sexual nature, practice ritual animal sacrifice, or murder masses of people because they don’t worship you, then you are automatically a better person than the biblical deity(ies). Surely you must realize that no society could follow the WHOLE Bible word-for-word without tremendously uncivilized behaviors resulting.

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Posted: 22 February 2007 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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You asked why I would “choose” annihilation, and I can only answer that it is not my choice to pick.  In the same way that I could not choose to come to life in the first place, I cannot choose not to die in the end.  It may seem to you that there’s a choice at the end between either just dying, like a flower dies, or a bumblebee dies, or living on in some made believe eternal realm.  For me that choice does not exist, so I am immune to having to make myself believe I have one.  But let’s be serious here, that can’t be a choice for you either, if it is then you are one pathologically deluded person.  If you do indeed (as a believing theist) have a choice, well that choice is between a heavenly eternity or a hellish one, the choice cannot be one between annihilation or afterlife.  If you believe the latter is a CHOICE for you, then your faith is just a whim, it’s superfluous, irrelevant (or perhaps you are just like god?).

You also say that in order for me to understand you and god, I “must be willing to utterly abandon all those primitive notions about what He is.” 

But that was part of my question about the ultimate worth of Jesus, “if you can temporarily dismiss the notion that Jesus is the supposed son of the tyrant of the Old Testament, what else is there remaining to prompt such an exaggerated reaction.”  So I’m not sure what is causing your confusion?  I guess that you want me to see god/Jesus as an all loving force . . . fine with me and given all that, what makes Jesus so great that you would still want to worship the idiot (I mean that in a good way, a loving way)?

Then finally you list his credentials and I quote, “his unconditional love for each of us, loving us both as a brother and as a father; his dignity, his kindness, his compassion, his patience, his tolerance, his grace, his understanding, his wisdom, his courage, his faith in each of us; that majestic leadership.”  Wow, what a list!  Where did you find all these wonderful traits?  Since you see the New Testament in the same light as you view the Old (as a work of primitives), you obviously did not get these perfected characteristics from the scriptures.  So where did you find evidence for all this?  I’m afraid you must have simply made it all up, and because it sounded so good to you, you chose to believe it were true?  I think I’m now beginning to understand you and god, funny I didn’t see it before, but the two of you are very closely related, in fact you might even be the same person?  One ghost short of a real trinity.

Bob

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Posted: 22 February 2007 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“CanZen”]You asked why I would “choose” annihilation, and I can only answer that it is not my choice to pick. 
Bob

“Man’s mind has never solved the eternal why
nor foraged past the frontier set for thought.
All intellect, be sure, proves nugatory
How ever hard we either teach or learn

In agitation I was brought to birth
and learned nothing from life but wonder at it. 
Reluctantly we leave, still uninformed
Why in the world we came, or went, or were

My presence here has been no choice of mine
Fate hounds me most unwillingly away
Rise, wrap a cloth about your loins, my Saki
and swill away the miseries of this world.” 
                      Omar the Tentmaker

Reads very differently depending on the reference
of the word “this” in the last line.

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Posted: 23 February 2007 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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I’ll drink to that!

Bob

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Posted: 23 February 2007 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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[quote author=“Mia”][quote author=“Ted”]I think we are striving for sonship (daughtership), and have been provided the model for achieving it.

I’m sorry that your own very real human parents apparently didn’t satisfy this hunger in you. But you’d also have to show that the supernatural parent provides a more admirable lesson plan for life than what most of our own human parents and elders can, at least in civilized societies. The god-construct of the Bible fails miserably when stacked up against my own mum (who was a closet atheist during her Catholic marriage), so I have no need to ‘strive’ for an association with the biblical deities, who were not as moral as my mother. A comprehensive read-through of the Bible (at least as much as one can stomach) is all you really need to realize that you don’t want a slavery-loving, woman-hating, virgin-raping, incest-favoring, sex-fearing, war-mongering, worship-craving, bloodthirsty egomaniac as their daddy. Much less for an eternity.


If you want to extract a few positive quotes from your book, all of which were already long established in human societies, then so be it—that is obviously preferable to your being true to the entire text. But be honest with yourself about the fact that you’re doing exactly that—you’re editing the word of God in order to make it meet your own higher standard of behavior. If you do not condone slavery, treat women as property, feel shame over your sexual nature, practice ritual animal sacrifice, or murder masses of people because they don’t worship you, then you are automatically a better person than the biblical deity(ies). Surely you must realize that no society could follow the WHOLE Bible word-for-word without tremendously uncivilized behaviors resulting.

Hi Mia,

I have to apologize.  I keep forgetting to keep my opinions to myself.  But I was wondering what the source of your position is?  I assume you view Christianity as intolerant and ignorant, but is that true of all religions?  Is there a specific experience that led you to that opinion, or has this simply been a life-long view?  Some people here have very specific events or triggers in their lives that positioned them in opposition to religion?  I was just wondering.  Thanks!

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Posted: 23 February 2007 06:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[quote author=“Ted”]Some people here have very specific events or triggers in their lives that positioned them in opposition to religion?

That is a question?

Since you asked (or did you?): Mine was being born. Sorry to butt in. :D

Ignorance and intolerance are only byproducts of adopting untestable propositions as absolute truth. For additional recent examples, consult Hitler and Stalin.

[ Edited: 23 February 2007 06:46 AM by ]
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Posted: 23 February 2007 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“Ted”]Some people here have very specific events or triggers in their lives that positioned them in opposition to religion?

That is a question?

Since you asked (or did you?): Mine was being born. Sorry to butt in. :D

Ignorance and intolerance are only byproducts of adopting untestable propositions. For further details, consult Hitler and Stalin.

No problem.  I knew the moment I hit enter that I would pay for thaat?

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Posted: 23 February 2007 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“Ted”]I knew the moment I hit enter that I would pay for thaat?

The “edit” button is kind of like “forgiveness of sin”. It means you can atone for your mistakes, but sometimes you can’t entirely disguise the fact that you made them.

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Posted: 23 February 2007 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“Ted”]Hi Mia,

I have to apologize.  I keep forgetting to keep my opinions to myself.  But I was wondering what the source of your position is?  I assume you view Christianity as intolerant and ignorant, but is that true of all religions?  Is there a specific experience that led you to that opinion, or has this simply been a life-long view?  Some people here have very specific events or triggers in their lives that positioned them in opposition to religion?  I was just wondering.  Thanks!

Who has told you to keep your opinions to yourself? Perhaps you’re simply unaccustomed to having your opinion challenged?

Regarding the ‘source’ of my position. . .  generally speaking, I’d trace it back to the recognition of childish fear, the sort you feel over a monster hiding under your bed. Looking back, the God/Invisible Monster mindset appears painfully childlike to me, and I’ve been able to trace every single supernatural belief back to an instilled fear regarding this deity—fear of burning, fear of offending God, fear of hurting Jesus’ ‘feelings’ by not surrendering myself to him and loving him above all else, fear of being barred from my loved ones after death, fear of an end to consciousness, fear of doubting and questioning, fear of being shunned, fear that all my thoughts are being read, 24/7 (which was perhaps the worst of it). . .


But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the tsunami—specifically, observing how so many Christian’s speculated in the media about its cause. “God called his children home”. . .  “God was punishing them”. . .  “It was meant to be”. . . “Let us pray for understanding about why God needed to do this”. . . and on and on. At some point, it stopped sounding ‘normal’—in the sense that we’ve heard these sorts of knee-jerk God blatherings all our lives—and instead morphed into a big pile of crap. In that barrage of religious pontificating, the lunacy of faith-based explanations became clear, and the spell was simply broken.

Now, this was by no means a comfortable perspective to adjust to, but the apologetics supporting those who claimed that “God did it” or “God allowed it” revealed themselves for what they really were—circular gibberish and baseless justifications. It dawned on me that these people were behaving like robots with virus-riddled operating systems, locked into (and largely unaware of)  their corrupted programming. This was alarming, since I could sense the same problem still looming in my own OS. It inspired me to take myself apart, so to speak, to see what this was all about. I addressed only very small segments of it at a time—sometimes for only a few seconds  at a time—because fear was still a constant. The examination was slow-going, but eventually it came down to the one thing—whether or not I believed that the God described in the Bible truly existed, a being who was hearing my every thought and tallying up a score on my life. When held up to the light, I discovered that I did not believe this, and from there, aided by consistent attention to the problem—specifically, to staving off the continuing surges of fear—the virus was gradually cut off from its source of nourishment. Without God-fear, it could no longer survive.


If there is a purpose to the Bible, it is not to inspire love, but to instill a lifelong fear—that is my opinion. Even the passages about love are ultimately tied to a threat, the bottom line being: “Love me, or I will punish you”.

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Posted: 23 February 2007 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“Mia”]

Who has told you to keep your opinions to yourself? Perhaps you’re simply unaccustomed to having your opinion challenged?

Ahhh, no.  I have kids.


But, thanks for the explanation!  It makes things much clearer.

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Posted: 23 February 2007 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“andonstop”]My question to you is, when there can be no factual basis for your faith regarding afterlife, why would you choose annihilation?


This is ‘Pascal’s wager’, isn’t it? ie The consequences if god does exist and you don’t believe in him are are much worse than if he doesn’t and you do…therefore I’ll believe, just to be on the safe side, like…

In The God Delusion, Dawkins is characteristically dismissive of this kind of religious motivation and I think he’s absolutely right; there’s something incredibly mealy-mouthed about worshipping ‘just in case’. Is this even allowed to be called belief? Almost doesn’t seem fair to all the nutjobs who really believe.

And it’s even more shabby that their super-perfect deity would either be prepared to accept such dribbling insincerity or to not be able to spot it.

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Posted: 23 February 2007 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Occam,

Yes. It is Pascal’s Wager.

I disbelive in God just to be on the safe side.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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[quote author=“Occam’s Razor”]This is ‘Pascal’s wager’, isn’t it? ie The consequences if god does exist and you don’t believe in him are are much worse than if he doesn’t and you do…therefore I’ll believe, just to be on the safe side, like…

I tend to think it’s even worse than that. Proselytization, in effect, makes you responsible for eradicating the cognitive dissonance experienced by the believer in the face of atheism.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 05:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“Occam’s Razor”]This is ‘Pascal’s wager’, isn’t it? ie The consequences if god does exist and you don’t believe in him are are much worse than if he doesn’t and you do…therefore I’ll believe, just to be on the safe side, like…

I tend to think it’s even worse than that. Proselytization, in effect, makes you responsible for eradicating the cognitive dissonance experienced by the believer in the face of atheism.

Can you explain that last bit using smaller words?  Makes who responsible, the proselyte or the the one proselytizing?  I am asking because I did not think atheists could proselyze, which would mean I have misunderstood you.  Thanks.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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[quote author=“Ted”]Can you explain that last bit using smaller words?

“keep your lamp trimmed and burning” is a good approximation.

Proselytization, in effect, makes you responsible for eradicating the cognitive dissonance experienced by the believer in the face of atheism.

Some believers proselytize other people in response to their own cognitive dissonance in the face of atheism. It’s just a theory, pal.

You can believe whatever you want. How can you expect to bother other people with it and then resent the fact that they think you’re kooky?

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