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A Simple Letter back from a Christian
Posted: 24 September 2006 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
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FranklinBR: “if allowed on this board onward,”

So far as I know, the moderator of this forum has not banned anyone with the possible exception of people who come here to sell drugs or sex or insurance or porn or the like. Merely peddling, er, promoting religion doesn’t upset him or the rest of us. I don’t think you need to concern yourself with the possibility of being ejected from this forum. The worst that might happen is that some people will find so little value in your posts that they ignore you. Well, maybe worse than that, some might address abusive posts to you. If that bothers you, you can ignore them.

I don’t have the patience to read those long posts you put up. I just sample them. Nothing personal. You are amazingly prolix/verbose/long-winded/whatever. You may need to practice more economy of expression if you are ever to get church members to sit through your sermons. Life is short, and the golf course beckons.

On the subject of respect and kindness that you raised: I mean to be both truthful and tactful but, if I cannot be both and express my opinions, then I choose to be truthful. Here is an example. I regard religious devotion as an emotional disorder, a medical condition. As Freud or Freudians say, religion is a shared neurosis just as neurosis is a private religion. I think that those who suffer from that condition deserve the same kindness and consideration that we would naturally extend to those suffering from any other contagious affliction, tuberculosis for example. I don’t extend that consideration to those crazies who advocate violence against people with different beliefs or, as Sam Harris emphasizes, those with more moderate beliefs who nevertheless give aid and comfort to the crazies. I have a deep aversion to parents teaching their children to believe in an ogre of a God, but I mind my own business as long as they don’t foment or facilitate violence.

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Posted: 24 September 2006 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
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[quote author=“Ted Shepherd”]Well, maybe worse than that, some might address abusive posts to you. If that bothers you, you can ignore them.

Yeah, FranklinBR—you’re a moron.  There’s an ignore function on this site somewhere—I’m a good addition to it for you.

Your world view is idiotic, but since you don’t advocate violence you’re tolerable and you are fun to ridicule.

I think you’ll find as much meaning poking your finger through fresh chicken guts as you would from reading the bible.  And chicken guts are more fun.

Yahweh is a big booger-face.

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Posted: 25 September 2006 02:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
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Believers!

Why doesn’t the big guy end the debate?
He could quickly appear on TV(or in the sky so everyone in the world could witness) in a form we mere humans can tolerate and tell us which religion is right and which self-contradictory dogma to follow.
There’d be no more fighting between us over religion. We’d all unify under the new, undisputable Proof! Hurray!

Why doesn’t he? Wouldn’t he want us all to be on the right path?

Admit, God hasn’t shown up in a long time. (unless you believe Falwell, and Robertson, and the Pope, and many other lying blowhards. And funny how only ‘they’ get to talk to god. Because they’re ‘holy’. Full of Holy Shit more like.)

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Posted: 25 September 2006 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
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Apropos Mia’s cartoon, a similar thought but centuries earlier:

“I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”—Oliver Cromwell, in his letter of 3 August 1650 to the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/athvalex.htm

(not that I like to reflect much on the bowels of Christ, but I suppose it is a vivid metaphor or the ugly thing would not have stuck in my memory . . . )

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Posted: 25 September 2006 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
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Cromwell’s a great mascot for the anti-theocracy movement.

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Posted: 25 September 2006 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
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For the one who wishes to name call, I believe to the one that called me a moron.  Name calling serves absolutely no purpose when having a conversation.  It is a shame that the lively discussion has turned into simple name-calling by you.  I wonder if you are of the many who spout that all Christians are intolerant?  Yet you are intolerant of my expression of who I am?  You say I am tolerable and yet you ridicule me?  Isn’t that the same as when you say Christians say not to judge and they speak against the homosexual lifestyle?  Do you not realize that you yourself do not practice what you, no pun intended, preach?  Just because you are a humanist/atheist, doesn’t mean I am going to try to find all the names in the book to call you.  Nor do I go to some kind of “Let’s Hate Atheist” get together and try to figure out the next “David Letterman Top Ten list of ….”  I came here because Mr. Harris seems to wish people like myself to read his books, which I have, and to hear what he says, which I have.  And I am responding likewise in a, I hope adult, mature, fashion, disagreeing with him and stating why.  This is called conversation and I have been enjoying it up to now because I like to talk to others, even if our worldviews are different, because I have a great respect for people as long as there are mutual respect. 

To you, Mr. Shepherd, it is good to hear from you again.  I understand what you are saying, but I happen to disagree.  I do not think of myself as being “mentally challenged” or “mentally ill” as the case may be.  Then again, I’ll be sure not to let you talk to my managers because they may feel differently. wink  Yes I suffer from depression, but my beliefs are in no way held up by emotionalism.  I could point to you several atheists that I know who suffer from depression and in fact one of them suffers from social alcoholism.  I don’t hound this person saying that her depression is caused because she is an atheist.  What would that serve but only cause animosity.  Of course I would hope to not receive condescending “pity” from anyone because I am a Christian.  That’s about as bad as some people having “pity parties” over homosexuals, saying they are gay because they are “sick” or what not.  Nor am I some backwoods “good old boy” who never went to school and never went to college.  I do have several degrees and I am in the starting process of receiving a second Master’s Degree, this time in a Master’s of Divinity, aiming hopefully toward a specialization in Old Testament theology and eschatology.  I’m not an intellectual giant, no, but I’m not a silly fool either.  Not that you are calling me that, I am only trying to make a point.

I wish all well and have a great Tuesday!

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Posted: 25 September 2006 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]  
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Hey Franklin. Welcome to the forum. Have a nice stay.

First, I haven’t read through all your words. It’s very long, It’s very much in English and I’m very Swedish. Sorry about that. Your last post was more my size.

I was also a believer once, read the bible each and every day. My problem was that every time I read it I seemed to believe less and less. You don’t experience this? Why?
Don’t you find it strange that god chose a book as his main mean of communication? The guide book to stay out of hell, was written down on paper, easily lost, faded and burnt. Easily misinterpreted. Easily misused. Easily a subject for copy error, as the printing press wasn’t invented at the time. A subject for translation error for certain. This isn’t odd to you? Why not? An all powerful god chose paper…

Also, say I read it wrong, but did you write that you are ok with beating defensless children? You called it ‘spanking’(first page). It is an act of fascism that belongs in the stone age. It is an outdated form of control that will only leave emotional scars and resentment. Don’t control your children through violence. Guide them with love and as a good example.

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Posted: 25 September 2006 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]  
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[quote author=“FranklinBR”]For the one who wishes to name call, I believe to the one that called me a moron.  Name calling serves absolutely no purpose when having a conversation.

Yes it does.  It is fun for me.

  It is a shame that the lively discussion has turned into simple name-calling by you.  I wonder if you are of the many who spout that all Christians are intolerant?

Hell, no.  Those people are assholes.  I like Christians for the most part.

  Yet you are intolerant of my expression of who I am?  You say I am tolerable and yet you ridicule me?  Isn’t that the same as when you say Christians say not to judge and they speak against the homosexual lifestyle?

Are you coming on to me?  If so, PM me your stats and a picture.  I’ll have to consult with Mrs. Foot as she’s pretty greedy about whom I cavort with.  And I don’t really swing that way.  But please send naked pictures of yourself anyway if it helps you with your quest for the jollies.

Do you not realize that you yourself do not practice what you, no pun intended, preach?

How dare you, sir, imply that I preach—or that I practice—how appalling.

  Just because you are a humanist/atheist, doesn’t mean I am going to try to find all the names in the book to call you.  Nor do I go to some kind of “Let’s Hate Atheist” get together and try to figure out the next “David Letterman Top Ten list of ….”

OK I’ll start.  I’m a GODLESS LIBERAL SODOMITE.

  I came here because Mr. Harris seems to wish people like myself to read his books, which I have, and to hear what he says, which I have.  And I am responding likewise in a, I hope adult, mature, fashion, disagreeing with him and stating why.  This is called conversation and I have been enjoying it up to now because I like to talk to others, even if our worldviews are different, because I have a great respect for people as long as there are mutual respect.

Devout people respectful of religion flew airplanes into buildings on 9/11/2001—because the people in those buildings didn’t respect religion enough.

Fuck their god.
Fuck your god.
Fuck everybody else’s god.

And they’re still blowing themselves up for their God, and they intend to continue doing so.  They would chop your head off.  They would chop my head off.  Dispense with the bullshit—the silly facade of mutual respect, pretending that adults aren’t somehow made of flesh and blood and bile.  I don’t have a beef with you—or even with your precious Yahweh.  But people with blind, stupid, ignorant faith are just about the biggest threat
we have to civilization.

The problem is too much respect for unquestioned, bankrupt ideologies.

To you, Mr. Shepherd, it is good to hear from you again.  I understand what you are saying, but I happen to disagree.  I do not think of myself as being “mentally challenged” or “mentally ill” as the case may be.  Then again, I’ll be sure not to let you talk to my managers because they may feel differently. wink  Yes I suffer from depression, but my beliefs are in no way held up by emotionalism.  I could point to you several atheists that I know who suffer from depression and in fact one of them suffers from social alcoholism.  I don’t hound this person saying that her depression is caused because she is an atheist.  What would that serve but only cause animosity.  Of course I would hope to not receive condescending “pity” from anyone because I am a Christian.  That’s about as bad as some people having “pity parties” over homosexuals, saying they are gay because they are “sick” or what not.  Nor am I some backwoods “good old boy” who never went to school and never went to college.  I do have several degrees and I am in the starting process of receiving a second Master’s Degree, this time in a Master’s of Divinity, aiming hopefully toward a specialization in Old Testament theology and eschatology.  I’m not an intellectual giant, no, but I’m not a silly fool either.  Not that you are calling me that, I am only trying to make a point.

I wish all well and have a great Tuesday!

What’s this gay stuff you keep talking about—just go find a man.  It doesn’t make you a bad person.  My former neighbors were gay republicans—Mrs. Foot couldn’t comprehend that possibility.  Andrew Sullivan is a gay right wing Catholic and a very good thinker and writer.  Just go be gay and religious if you want, as long as you have consent with others.  That’s what life and freedom is all about.

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Posted: 26 September 2006 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]  
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To you mudfoot, you are acting like a child.  Discussions are important, yes, conversations foster understanding, but you are merely name calling and acting silly.  You are nothing more than an atheist’s version of Jerry Falwell, same superiority complex, same fanaticism toward your beliefs, same hatred toward anyone who disagrees with you.  People like Jerry Falwell are wrong in their narrow-minded fanaticism just as you are wrong in yours.  I wonder what in your past created so much animosity toward those different than you?  I wonder what psychological damage was done to you to make you so spiteful and bigoted?  It does not matter, I have no wish to answer any more of your lowbrow “replies.”  To you, I shake the dust off.

————-

To you, Storm, greetings to you and I hope you are having a delightful day.  Swedden eh? I hope the weather is doing well for you. 

For me, everytime I read, whether I am reading a minor prophet or reading the Gospel, now knowing background information and background examination of what I am reading, I have a far easier time understanding and appreciating and believing what I am reading.  Now that I know the foundations that support both the Old Testament and the New Testament, (sources from within and from outside), I understand the validity and the intellectual and spiritual groundings.  One of the great problems I myself face and I see a lot of my fellow Christians facing is that they dont really know what they are reading and how it is connected in the overal story and history and theology of the Bible. 

Case in point, a lot of people fail to realize that Kings is written as historical documents with a theological mindset while Chronicles, on the other hand, is written as a theological document with a historical mindset.  This slight difference makes all the difference in the world when trying to understand these four books of the OT.  Another case in point is that of the Gospels.  A lot of people fail to read the Gospels correctly.  The Gospels are not biographies as we read biographies today.  They are recordings of Jesus’ time and actions on earth in theological perspectives.  You cannot read the Gospels the same way you may read a biography on Bill Clinton. 

Then you ask about punishment.  Yes the Bible does prescribe punishment in the Bible, but what we as parents do now is very different culturally than how parents were in the OT or even in the NT.  You have to realize that the books of the Bibles are “God’s breath” but they also have their social connotations and connections.  If I was to find a wife, a woman whom I would love and be loved by, and we would marry and then have a sexual relationship and a child, I would not beat the child.  I would be stern when I am called to be, but I would not and will not beat a child. 

Still, my father spanked me, not out of anger but out of punishment—and yes, the two are different in that spanking out of anger is violent but spanking out of punishment is out of “justice” (that is, I did something wrong that warranted a spanking, so I was spanked).  Rarely did this happen, I wish to point out.  I can probably count out of my childhood maybe on one hand how many times I was spanked.  Grounding a child is a great way along with restricting privileges.  Or maybe taking something away, like the video game console for several days.  Child abuse, that is, being violent to a child out of anger is wrong and I am dead set against it.  Having the wrong kind of anger toward anyone, whether child or adult is wrong, because anger, as I trus the Bible in what it says, is a “little killing” that is…anger is a spiritual murder toward that other person.  For me, I hate child abuse. I hate the thought of hurting children, which is one of the reasons I support the needs of children in my community in ways I can help. 

Storm, I hope I have given some thoughts to you, and I hope I didn’t go overboard with information…I tried to make the paragraph’s short.  Have a great day!

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Posted: 26 September 2006 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]  
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Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily…

Christians live in dreams…

It’s 2006 and there is no longer any need to be wide-awake in dreamland. Reality and the 21st century are here in the now, in the MOMENT.

The Christians have chosen the correct God. No, wait… It’s the Muslims who were right. Uh oh, hang on a minute… It’s the Mormons!

If any of your “gods” were truly omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent - wouldn’t the debate have been settled long ago? Instead of a bunch of mammals setting around arguing and killing eachother, don’t you think a supreme being would have setup its universe (er, um… one single planet) correctly? It sounds like the humans have added a character into a book who was never there from the start!

When you can look at your own religion, the same way you do at another and see “right” and “wrong” simultaneously - you will have gained something far greater than what you have now. Because you will understand that they’re all just metaphors of life, creation and destruction.

By their own nature, all religions cancell eachother out. Thereby making each and everyone one of them redundant.

And nobody ever had to die to come to this conclusion. It was already WITHIN us.

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Posted: 26 September 2006 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]  
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You conclude what you say by the following: “It was already WITHIN us.”

Let’s look on the flip side of the argument, let’s see what the other side has to say about how you believe in a perfect humanist utopian and that such a utopian can be built readily and easily once all the Christians and other “bad guys” are gone.  You get what you want.  All the Christians are shuffled into concentration camps, along with every other human being who is religious, no matter what religion they may be.  (Not that I believe Humanists want to send anyone who is religious into concentration camps, per say, I’m using extremes to make a point.)  And all that is left in freedom based upon human “intellect” and human “reasoning”...which ironically is based solely on only what man can perceive (and all other things that man cannot perceive are thus irrelevant and immaterial).  Thus you have your utopia.  Your own Atlantis.  Your own Shangri La.  I wonder, then what?  What about tomorrow? Ten years from now?  Centuries from now?  What “greases” the wheel of your society?  Man’s goodness?  Man’s greatness?  Man’s power?

What you are wanting and what you are stating in your humanist manifesto toward the “perfect society” is not something new to me.  In fact I’ve heard the argument before, ironically enough, in the history courses and in the theology courses.  We want so much for man to place man before himself and only to himself.  That we are our own saviors, that through our own mind, our “logic,” our own decisions, our own actions, we save ourselves and not just ourselves…but if we build upon ourselves looking out for ourselves out of self-interest and looking out for others out of “social responsibility” (usually in that order, me first you second)…then I think I’ve heard someone say the same thing…that is, that we can be our own god knowing good and evil on our own merit. 

“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”

Even though you believe that Genesis is nothing more than a creation myth, much like any other myth from ancient cultures such as Babylon and Egypt.  That doesn’t mean that the message in that “so called myth” does not hold relevance to you and me.  Right here.  Right now.  In fact, I dare say that it is a striking message that shows just how self centered humans are, even when we think we are doing good deeds for others…just really what is being learned in the deepest of our minds and hearts and being?

You say that humans can build for ourselves our own utopian vision.  That through humanism, through what you narrowly perceive as being “rationalism” you can create a better world.  Hasn’t that been tried before?  I could probably go to one of my history books and consider the many times, whether through Greek culture or Roman culture or Asian cultures or whatnot, man has tried to be his own “tower” his own “altar” his own “god.”  In fact, I would dare to say that when we compare the notes on our visions of utopia based on human will and human will alone, we will not only see cracks in the surface, but I dare to say that we will see the very building that we created totter and fall to the ground.

I wonder how you would view your utopian vision in comparison to reality?  Just how fast your notions on how to handle crime, how to handle poverty, how to handle school shootings, teen pregnancy, mental illnesses, how to handle all the nations that will probably either ignore you, try to manipulate you, or just seek your utter destruction.  If there are no moral absolutes and nothing before us as we stand here, or at the least moral absolutes are based upon human’s intellect, while at the same time no exact future…just random events until we die.  Then we’re dead.  Then that’s it.  We are dust.  The world may move on, or the world may succeed.  I myself would be willing that this utopian society you believe in will fall like a tower made of cards in a hurricane wind…and quicker than you might think.

Alas when the apple is always bitten, the people will turn to dust.  That is, any society based upon human need and human function and human utopia will always, in the end, fall because humans are incapable of being our own god no matter how much we may look after our own self-interest or taking care of others because it is the “responsible” thing to do.  Ages have gone onward, time has moved on, and yet human evil is still human evil because we are all limited.  We are all fallen.  We are all lost.

You also say the following: If any of your “gods” were truly omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent - wouldn’t the debate have been settled long ago? Instead of a bunch of mammals setting around arguing and killing each other, don’t you think a supreme being would have setup its universe (er, um… one single planet) correctly? It sounds like the humans have added a character into a book who was never there from the start!

Yes.  I believe He has.  His name is Jesus Christ.  Stepped into this universe He created.  Stepped on this planet He created.  Walked up to the humanity He created.  Told it like it is.  And we can either turn away or turn to Him.  Do what you want for you do have freedom of choice and freedom of belief, but after a long and arduous journey these thirty some odd years, I see the conclusion clear and precise:  Jesus Christ.  Despite the utter complexity to the universe, despite the madness and the dreams of man, through the live that I’ve lived over the past thirty some odd years, the choice is there…the choice is made…and there is completion. 

This is a completion that is not purely based on what humans call “rationality” nor is this a completion purely based upon “emotionalism”…this is a completion that goes from the mind, the heart, to the very being of who I am and what I am in this world, this vast universe, this universe of universes, that I live in.

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Posted: 26 September 2006 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]  
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[quote author=“FranklinBR”]To Noggin: 
Christianity verses humanism is, when you get down to it, faith toward a specific idea.  Toward a specific matrix and paradigm.  Worldview verse worldview that are fully opposite of one another.  Christianity is a paradigm that insists that we cannot be an extension of ourselves, that we can only lead ourselves so far…that we ultimately come to a chasm that we cannot breach on our own accord.  Humanism, on the other end, is a belief that humans can lead humans toward a specific destiny using man-aimed ideologies within individuals and with a society as a whole.

Humanism, the way I practice it, is a focus inward to self.  It is a quest to find and foster the capacity to further the human race in significant ways and means.  Humanism is kind of difficult.  There is a strange eschewing of self while listening to self that happens in the process.  I want to do x y or z gratificational event, but put off that desire in order to satisfy the need of someone else I care for.  Getting that need that my loved one has done is the challenge.  Some times it is difficult, sometimes it is not.

In that sense, Humanism is a more difficult code to live by than Theism because the Humanist does not have an imagined celestial mansion he can hope for when he dies and just maybe finds his good deeds outweigh the bad.  On the other hand, I should also point out that the reward often times are more immediate.  I have noted a deeper sense of gratification and satisfaction acting humanistically.  It appears that the reasons I do things now are more refined and, how to say it, genuine.

Here is a thought.  Let’s just say that Theists realized that it is difficult to act altruistically on a consistent basis, so an extra incentive (we’ll call it heaven) was conjured up to fit the bill.  I gather nobody dreamed that theism would expand into such manipulative breathing out of threats (we’ll call those ‘Hell’).  But it was doomed to evolve in that fashion due to the ‘carnal’ nature of man.

Christianity says that man is inherently evil, that we are flawed, that we are not capable of saving ourselves.

those are the party lines, yep.  Very necessary to beat down any sense of ability to govern ones own self rightly sans diety.

Humanism on the other hand says that society can be good as long as society aims toward human objectives and objectivity.

Humanism seeks much of the same ideals as theism.  The greater good.  You just won’t find a crutch under the arm of a humanist.  I guess I cannot knock the crutch too terribly.  The god concept has shown to motivate people to actually get off the couch and do something good… but if there was no threat (we’ll visit Hell—permanent vacation—if we don’t get off our couch), would people sink to lower levels of morality?

...That is, GOD doesn’t threaten hell, GOD allows you to choose either eternity with Him or choose eternity without Him.

How do you say that god does not threaten hell?

According to a Christian, if I do not choose god, I get thrown into the pit.  If so much were riding on this decision, i.e. a fiery pit, you would think that god would be pretty clear in letting me know which of all the gods is the real god I should follow.  FranklinBR, I suggest you humor yourself and take the 6 Mormon missionary discussions.  They ‘know” without a shadow of doubt that Joseph Smith restored Christ’s church in 1830.  Go talk to a Jehovah’s Witness.  Sit down with a Scientologist.  Have you done that?  Have you talked to a Scientologist to see what their opinion of your future is?  What about Islam?  Eckankar?  Jaenism?  Hindu?  Buddhism?  Billions of people all led astray, I suppose.  All of them going to burn in your god’s fiery pit.  You lump my dear deceased devout Mormon mother in this category. She never did anything wrong and lived rightly the best she knew how.  But nope, to the hot spot with them all.

It’s lunacy.  Why is it lunacy.  Because, God made my dear mother and with god’s supposed omniscient personality (knowing all, the end from the beginning) knew my mother would never dismiss her Mormonism and certainly would never accept the Christian Jesus… so knowing this, YOUR HORRIFIC GOD DESIGNED A PLACE OF BURNING FOR HER EVEN BEFORE SHE HAD A CHANCE TO LIVE OUT HER EARTHLY LIFE!!!

ahem.  composure.  hang on. you continue…

Christianity says that GOD will provide for us, for those of us who choose Him and humble ourselves before Him, a utopia not on our accord but upon His as He describes throughout the prophecies of the Old and New Testament.

Ummm.  You just sent a shockwave of emotional turmoil throughout my heart.  I am not trying to be dramatic either.  Here.  Franklin please read this:

400 die in Algeria massacre
Survivors of the massacre in Algeria have been giving their first accounts on Algerian television. Algerian newspapers say 412 people died - many of them women and children.

One newspaper, Liberte, said the victims had their throats cut and were decapitated.

It is the worst massacre in six years of political violence.

Survivors of the systematic slaughter say whole families were rounded up and butchered with knives and axes in an attack that lasted until dawn.

One man said he saw the attackers slit the throats of his wife and seven children…

The attack took place on Tuesday in four isolated villages in the province of Relizane. ... According to local newspaper reports, the assailants arrived at sunset at the end of the first fasting day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and stayed until dawn.

They set upon the victims, cutting their throats and hacking them to death using knives and hatchets. Some bodies were dismembered and not even babies were spared.

A witness is quoted as saying that he saw 50 bodies being pulled out from a house and 30 others from another next door.

Indeed, western Algeria had previously been regarded as relatively calm in comparison to the centre.  But in the last 10 days more than 800 people have been killed, mostly in the west.

You say, FranklinBR, that god will provide for us.  Granted, these who were butchered were Muslim.  Will you claim that your god turned a deaf ear on them simply because they had not heard of Jesus before? Or if they had heard of Jesus, and rejected him, what then?  This is some sort of punishment?

You also say:  God will provide
a utopia not on our accord but upon His 

Come now.  This god is not omni-benevolent.  A god cannot turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to such horror and be called or claim to possess benevolence.  The raped and pillaged woman needed this life experience of having her fetus ripped out of her and dashed against a wall for her to see as she lay there bleeding out only to be raped again and finally decapitated?  God could not have chosen another more humane object lesson for this creation of his? 

Or perhaps god is not omni-potent, incapable of stopping the atrocities and shrinks in horror due to his own ineptness.  If so, he does not deserve fealty.  He cannot be god. 

And lastly, he could be lacking in the omni-scient department.  Perhaps he did not realize that humans would evolve into such violently heinous strains.  A science fair project (earth) gone horribly, and madly wrong.  I wonder what the judges at this cosmic science fair would think of god’s project.  Regardless… Again, god fails. 

The only defense left, FranklinBR, is that Algeria is part of some sick and twistedly bizarre masterplan that only god understands.  Far be it from me to comprehend why rape and gruesome murder are tools god uses to assist his godly purposes even if said tools merely act as counter weights in the balance scales of free will.  The mental contortions to arrive at such a conclusion defy gravity and several other laws of physics extending only into that wacky world of metaphysical.  I don’t know how else to slice this for you.

It’s god playing dice with human souls.  Except he knows what combination of numbers comes up before he rolls each soul!  To the raped and brutally murdered somalian 13 year old, he knows this is her fate… yet off he sends her soul to earth to experience it. 

Whelp?  Uh… Have fun down on earth **snicker** Ho hum, pass the salt, dear.

**Noggin shakes his head**

I bow out of the attempt to explain this to you any further.  My post is long.  I have not intended to be so lengthy.

Good night

Noggin

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Posted: 26 September 2006 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]  
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FranklinBR, your story about man making himself/herself god is refuted by a billion people everyday.  Buddhism is a way of life that consists of no god, no deity, no great spirit, yet those who practice it are not the barbarians you expect them to be.  Their ultimate goal is self-improvement but it is not on an almighty god scale, but on a rather more humble and realistic foundation . . . the true human condition.  It’s odd that Buddhist communities have not murdered one another, they have striven for peace and harmony and their society has not faltered and crashed like a shoddily constructed tower.  These are very ethical people. These are beautiful people who love life and love one another.  Where did you get so much wrong information on godless living?

Bob

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It’s definitely a moon! . . . and now it’s become a sunflower!

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Posted: 26 September 2006 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]  
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Hey Franklin, and a good day to you. I did have a delightful day. Well, to call it a ‘day’ would be exaggerating. At the moment it’s really shifting between dusk, night and dawn. But the sun will be up and running in April again. Can’t wait. The weather is fine, if by fine one would mean ‘wet’ and ‘cold’ :D

The size of your post was perfect. Thanks!

Sorry to hear about the beatings. To me, violence is violence no matter the reason, when a stronger person imposes himself on a weaker. Father - child in this case. The only form of violence I could support would be self-defence. There are so many other ways to go instead of spanking, it boggles my mind that people still use it. I’m glad to hear you don’t support it.

I understand your standpoint on “god’s breath” and the mixing of old social structures in the book. I used to believe that too. To me, as you understand of course, I no longer feel any “breath” and only see the outdated social structure. This is the basis for the “problem”. I’m not alone.

With 34000 denominations of believers smelling their own special brand of “breath”, it implies that at any given moment there are 33999 denominations that don’t see the “breath” in the same places as you. There are about 4 billion people that don’‘t see any “breath” at all.  The fact that I need a priest to be able to find the “breath” is strange at best. Why would god need any help? The fact that the priests don’t even agree on where the breath is, qualifies as even more wierd. If, of course, one thinks that a perfect god had anything to do with it. It isn’t at all strange if all 34000 are looking for a god that isn’t there or the god is less than perfect. Such a god would indeed need help.

To trust such an important message, “how to not burn for eternity”, with men of limited minds, in a mostly illiterate world, where the best form of spreading the word was on horseback and on a material as weak as paper, I argue that a perfect god would have been able to come up with something better. A book is not a perfect way of distributing a message. Especially if it’s so difficult to interpret. It is, if you are human and the book/paper is the newest form of communication, or your agenda is to send people to hell, or if you are not a perfect god. But if you are an all-powerful, loving, perfect god, a book, is not.

On a lighter note, I hope you live in a sunny place Franklin, I sure know I love those rays.  8)

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Posted: 26 September 2006 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]  
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FranklinBR wrote:
You say that humans can build for ourselves our own utopian vision. That through humanism, through what you narrowly perceive as being “rationalism” you can create a better world. Hasn’t that been tried before? I could probably go to one of my history books and consider the many times, whether through Greek culture or Roman culture or Asian cultures or whatnot, man has tried to be his own “tower” his own “altar” his own “god.” In fact, I would dare to say that when we compare the notes on our visions of utopia based on human will and human will alone, we will not only see cracks in the surface, but I dare to say that we will see the very building that we created totter and fall to the ground.

Careful with the stones.  Christians live in glass houses too.  I do suggest you go to the history books to witness your own shards. 

Noggin

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