I have decided to start cursing much less on this blog…so that those that consider themselves Christians can more easily tolerate it’s content….i will try to reflect that from now on…
I have about 6 rebuttals i need to prepare and post to my last few entries…be patient with me, lately at work we have had alot of people calling in…
continued in next journal
My extimony post (two posts back), if you don’t know, is not meant as an argument… this is just an explanation of a part of the emotional process that i have gone through, throughout this journal in the future the different fallacies of god belief and religion will be handled…the Extimony is just like a coming out party and a way for me to get all these things off my chest…that i haven’t talked to anyone about. Surely you folks dont think this has been an entirely emotional thing?
This conversation occurred on facebook, with Kyle’s permission I have copied and pasted it directly as written, leaving off the part where I ask for his permission at the very end of the conversation. Kyle has asked that I not bash him and I also ask that of anyone reads this, he seems to be open to conversation though so I am sure you can contact him thru the comments section here. (I wish you would keep it on this blog though).
And just so you know, Kyle is a good guy, he is nice, his faith is strong, but I have never seen any hypocritical behavior come out of his life…the type of Christian, if one is going to be a Christian, that one should strive to be. Even though I don’t know Kyle very well I have always had a lot of respect for his positive attitude toward life, often in contrast for my often cynical attitude.
The conversation started by asking Kyle if it was ok if I joined his facebook group called “The FoUND project” since I had received an invite from him, I simply asked that if I did join if he would mind if I played the devils advocate a bit, respectfully.
My text is the white text
Kyles text will be this color
Thanks for reading.
July 21 at 7:33pm
Thanks for asking, I would rather you not play devil’s advocate in this group.
How’ve you been doing?
July 21 at 7:34pm
quite well Kyle, I expect you are doing well?
and not a problem, just wanted to make sure it was ok if I did.
If you ever need one, let me know
July 21 at 7:35pm
I’m doing quite well, too, my friend. Just staying busy as usual!
if you were to play devil’s advocate, what would say?
July 21 at 7:36pm
I just like to ask questions Kyle… the most important thing we can ever do to strengthen our faith is to ask questions. God can handle tough questions right?
July 21 at 7:39pm
I agree with that. If you know that God can handle tough questions, are you atheist?
July 21 at 7:41pm
I am appealing to your beliefs, your terms…not mine…I am an atheist…although it is new to me
July 21 at 7:42pm
I see, I see. What led you to atheism?
July 21 at 7:46pm
i will answer with a question…
if my soul depends on it…shouldn’t god provide evidence for himself? because i do. The burden of proof lies on god, as the almighty and creator of all things he should be required to provide definite answers to any questions that might lead to any doubt in him.
do you agree?
This is one of the questions that led me here.
July 21 at 7:52pm
Who are we to demand anything from God?…Even if we were to pose every single question before God..who are we that he should give an answer? Who are we, as mere humans..mere mortals..to demand a single ounce of attention from God?
As far as God providing evidence for himself..show me that the doesn’t exist..
July 21 at 7:59pm
we are his beloved creation are we not? If thats not a position of importance i dont know what is….If god allows me to doubt, as the originator and creator of all things, including sin (you MUST admit this) and doesn’t answer those doubts then i have to seriously reconsider how beloved I must be, and how much Love god actually has.. there are roughly 2.5 Billion christians in the world right now…4 billion of us have some sort of doubt or reason not to believe, God should love us enough to help us not doubt.
regarding evidence, the burden, again, lies on the more absurd claim, if science well explains our current reality, alternative explanations need evidence, not things already proven. Either way the you cant prove god exists and you cant prove he doesnt argument becomes circular…FAST
BTW, i approach this with all due respect.
July 21 at 8:22pm
sorry man, my internet is messing up..had to change computers.
I too approach with all due respect.
Yes, we are his beloved creation. If there were no doubt and we had all the answers..would we need God? If we had all the answers, we wouldn’t need Him. But that’s not reality. The reality is that we don’t know anything (compared to God)..thus, we have doubts. Over and over in the Bible, God says that if we seek Him, He will be found. Examples include: Deuteronomy 4:29 and Acts 17:26-28 and Hebrews 11:6. Look them up.
Tell me, back in high school..why did you believe in God?
July 21 at 8:26pm
in high school i needed god…i was unaware of the things i am now aware of.
perhaps you just answered your question..or my question…what have you…perhaps we dont need god?
July 21 at 8:53pm
Seems to me that…from you saying that you needed God in high school, but dont’ need him now..it makes me wonder if you even knew Him back them..if you even understood God’s grace and Jesus’ sacrifice back then. Sounds like you didn’t.
We need God. We all have been created with an innate awarenes and need for God. What other hope do you have? Yourself?
July 21 at 9:23pm
the question of whether or not i knew god then is…well its a tough one…because there is no way for me to convey the sense of relationship i had with God/Christ…i considered it a very intimate relationship with god…its when i came to the realization of how much emotions play on you when it comes to god belief that helped me let go of that experiential part…which is why so many people find it hard to leave their faith…because like you and I they have experienced god in a way that seems very real…like i said though, there is no way for me to convey that to you or to convince you that i was truly “saved” or that i knew god.
With your assertion that we NEED god, i agree, it has been bred into us to require something to give a generic answer to all of life’s truly difficult question…where did we come from?, what happens after we die?…this is where religion came from…all religion came from a desire to explain things that were beyond comprehension…as science has progressed to explain the more difficult questions, like where did we come from, belief in the myths regarding that question (ie creationism..or god forbid, intelligent design…or even the myths that the root religions had) become outdated and slowly are rejected by realistic society. The point of contention is that we were created that way, i dont see that, i see that thinking man needs to know answers to his questions, if he cant answer it he makes something up…
Regarding hope…what do i need hope for? Hope for what?
July 22 at 8:14pm
You mention religion. Yes, Christianity is a religion, but it goes beyond that to something more..it is not about religion, per se..it is about a relationship with the one and true living God. This is evident in the fact that many church-goers believe that having religion is all they need. And you must admit that that is not true. A person can have all the religion they can handle, yet still die and go to Hell. It’s about a relationship with Christ.
If each man makes up his own “answers,” who determines what is ultimately right? If there were no God and you believe that we all have the right and freedom to make up and believe what we want..why believe in anything in the first place? What would be the point?
To make yourself feel complete? To make yourself feel like you have something worth living for? Ultimately, when you die, the world is just going to brush you under the rug and that’s it.
So, if you don’t believe there is Heaven or Hell, why strive to make up and believe in anything today? Again, to make yourself feel complete or like you have something worth living for? What would be the point? From asking yourself these questions, I hope you’ll see that there is a void in your life that only God can fill. He is the only solution to our disease of sin.
As for me, I know that I don’t have to make up anything to believe in..because Jesus is the only way, truth and the life.
Also, you said “god forbid….” 🙂
I respect the fact that you are being conversational in this email and since you are respectful in this discussion, go ahead and join the group.
July 22 at 9:05pm
You notice Kyle that I also mentioned the relationship…I knew you were going to this place…and like I already said, there is no way possible for me to convey to you that i was 1:truly a Christian, 2: Completely and entirely devoted to the Christ which i lived for, 3: Deeply involved in intimate communion with God…I can say this all day long but i simply can not convey it, its like you trying to explain how you feel about your relationship…you can talk about the friendship you feel with god and the companionship…but you cant really convey that deep sense of comfort and closeness at any point…I have been on the other side talking with atheists as a Christian about this same subject many times, it just is not possible to convey it.
God is also not necessary for morality to exist…Einstein, Dawkins, Twain, Hawkings …great men that did not need god yet they were as moral if not more than many of the most prominent leaders of the Christian world. What all of these important Atheist or Deist figures hold in common is that they hold to a very high regard human life and and a desire to improve our knowledge of the universe and one another. I conclude that this is morality, to care about the society you are in as well as the world at large…you agree and i know this. God has had little to do with the laws that have shaped our society, Christians like to lay the claim that the bible is the foundation for modern lawgiving, but it simply isn’t true (Hammurabi, Grecian and Roman law for instance predate biblical lawgiving outside of Judaism) God simply is not neccessary for morality, in fact, it is by and large the religious world that produces the greatest evils–I don’t need to provide examples for that fact I am sure. Society can define right and wrong without the eye in the sky, it is very simple.
Believing in Heaven and Hell—Eureka! The catalyst for belief in deity for 99.999999% of mankind…FEAR. You FEAR life without God, because according to the bible and nearly every other religious text the world over, non devotion or adherence leads to fear…Christianity isn’t the first religion to come up with this, its a working copy of a working system, that has been working for eons…Scary place, easy–unprovable solution…its the way it is done. I don’t need to work for heaven or have hope for it, I can live for here and now, I can live to serve my fellow man…with no fear of my afterlife and no hope for it either..why work for things you can’t see?
Jesus…well I will let the evidence speak for itself about Jesus.
Here is a great cross-referenced resource for understanding where most of our Jesus mythology comes from…This is just scratching the surface about how many times the Christ archetype has been used by the religious elite to promote belief.
Regarding “god forbid”….my writing style is very intentional…if i capitalize something, leave out a letter, what have you, it was done entirely intentionally…this is one example and was meant in jest…few people pick up on the nuances of my writing style, and it is usually only meant for my own entertainment or reference anyway.
If the invite still stands I will join the group and make it known that I am LoST.
So like I said, I really want to write all this down, its just that my emotions are…crazy right now…it happens to me about every 6 months or so I just have a few days or a few weeks where I feel like I cant function and I don’t enjoy anything…I am sure it will pass but it’s a little disturbing the whole time it goes on.
One thing that is rather overwhelming is that I have been through some pretty radical changes in the last couple of years…putting those changes and the emotions that accompany them is really difficult, because the rate at which my mind is having to process all this is insane…and trying to find the time to put those thoughts down is even more difficult. So , this is one more, likely feeble attempt at an essential extimony, as a remnant of my faith I guess I still have the innate need to share my experience and understanding…and even promote it for others…evangelical atheism-as odd as that sounds…I have been told by other atheists that the desire to deconvert others passes with time, I hope that is true, because I feel so weird undoing a lot of what I have already done…bringing people out of the faith I once had and actively brought others into.. I guess it is like making amends to humanity for the evil I did bringing people into a faith that I now see as a crock and a fallacy. My whole goal in my religious life seems to be centered on helping other people question this faith….because if you are a Christian already no one can tell you nor prove to you that your faith is in vain, you have to come to the realization of your own volition, but I feel that my goal is to just make the questions come up that you must ask in order to relieve yourself of your dependence on deity. Not everyone will or is capable of shedding the skin of religion and renouncing god, which is why so many do not…religion holds people that way, it is powerful in that way because the emotions connected with religion and Christianity in particular are incredibly strong, especially for the devoted follower.
Christianity, in the orthodox consideration, is build upon doctrines that require strong emotional relation to the doctrines: Jesus Loves You evokes the emotion of love and gratefulness for having a deity care for you. The thought of Hell invokes an insane amount of fear, as it did for me when I was younger and unsure of my “salvation”. The stories in the Bible either focus on g-ds wrath, g-ds greatness, g-ds sovereign nature, or g-ds providence…in some way almost all of the time….alot of the stories, the book of Job in particular, really make g-d look like a huge asshole if you think about it more critically…I used to think Job was a beautiful story by the way.
When anything has such strong ties to ones emotions it is hard to override that, fear and love are very hard to deny oneself. Emotions, even when based on superstition and fallacy become reality, because you can physically feel fear and love, I know I have multiple times been overwhelmed by the love of god, feeling the embrace of the divine. How does one experience that and then months or years later break free from the illusion that it is?
Religious ferver, or as some would have me say since, “Christianity is a relationship not a religion” therefore Christianity or Relationship with God is very much an emotional state, not a reality. I believe now that the emotions I felt, the things I saw (up to and including miracles and participating in exorcisms on extremely numerous occasions) were all results of my emotional status.
Thusly we begin our story: (dates and times are really fuzzy, its all kind of a blur but I am telling this to the best of my memory without stretching anything, if I say something happened in 2005…it could have happened in 2003…I cant keep years straight to save my life.
It must have been the winter of 2004 when I left Holy Ground Outreach…a church I loved very much and was very active in, I was probably at the church at least
3-4 times a week, doing church services, participating in youth, helping my mentor at the time, and we also prayed there on certain nights. It was a comparatively good church as far as that goes, they had a food ministry, and they went to the ghetto’s and places to give away free food and such…things that bigger churches rarely do for some reason…they did…worship services were active and somewhat charismatic. It did have the flaw of being very involved in the Word of Faith movement…which, even though I was big into it at one time, became a bit of an issue with me after a little while, I realized that prosperity was not the god I believed in from my understanding of the Bible…so Monica and I, we went together, discussed it, and we decided to just leave. It was near Christmas time…that was hard enough, but it was the only way we knew, we didn’t tell anybody, we just stopped showing up. At that point I decided to read the Bible, like I had done many times before, and seek God, to find out what was the ultimate Truth.. I pretty much didn’t talk to my wife actively about this from then until just about 6 or so months ago….
During those few years, I was still sure of God and Christ for a very long time, as a person whom had done a lot of study in apologetics I knew a lot of the Bible “difficulties” and could defend it pretty well…but what I decided whilst on this journey, was that I had to completely and totally take my own emotion out of it…which is what I spent the bulk of my time doing…just deciding not to allow the emotional self, which is what I now know as the easily duped self, get in the way of God and my understanding….I wanted my relationship with God to be entirely pure and unadulterated…I stopped praying for myself, I refused to pray for anything other than “Gods will”…I don’t remember the series of events after that, but there came a time, about a year ago…when I questioned hell, and the bible…
I am not going to point out specific areas in which the Bible contradicts itself…the only people that wont see that are fundamentalists and people that will continually lie to themselves…just know that at some point I had to make that admittance…The Skeptics Annotated Bible is a great resource if you are curious to know though (http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com) . If it doesn’t quash any idea that the bible is the perfect word of god then you aren’t reading it…but that is beside the point. The greatest conflict in that line of thought , for me, was regarding the sovereignty and kindness of god…is god benevolent?
Here was my approach, and still is; Assuming God exists and is the creator of all things…then 1: God must have created evil, simple yes, but none the less conflicting as to the contention that “God is love” 2: God tempted man in the garden by proxy by having created Lucifer and via permission (as was required in
Job) 3: God created Hell 4: God created the nature of man to be fallen and 5:
God by creating man in such a way that he thinks logically and processes information the way we do knew that eventually science would come in to play to cast doubt upon his existence, not to mention the fact that god has allowed thousands upon thousands of unique and salvation (in some way) providing religions most of which claim to be the sole connection with god…by allowing that god proves that he is cynical and cruel and NOT loving, and thereby a contradiction in his own terms…any terms that contradict, mathematically, are null and zero…and thereby the only logical conclusion my mind is capable of coming to is that god does not exist.
This is the realization I came to…I don’t remember the day, it really took months to say out loud and to come to the conclusion in a definitive way. Whilst doing this it was as if both my Father and my Best friend were dying slow and painful deaths. I cried a lot for these months in my quiet drives to work in the morning, a lot of the time I put on some MewithoutYou to see if I could still feel him and commune like I remember.. It was devastating. I hid it pretty well I think…but it was both the darkest and most enlightening time in my life…only recently, within the last few months, have I come to terms with a dead god. I stopped feeling god in me and around me
The aftermath is deciding, that since there is no reason to believe in heaven, hell, or any proof of an afterlife…what does one live for…I have made the decision to live for myself, my wife, and for humanity over all. I feel that I can serve mankind much better without being tied to a deity of any kind, my old god was a jealous god full of wrath, my new god is my own ability and engineering, my old god refused to change, I change readily when it is necessary. I think I am doing a much better job than he ever did.
Overall, despite the last couple of days and the depression that hit, I can say that this writing has taken a load off of my chest…I hope to be able to keep it up and use this LJ account as a way to express my thoughts and connect with other people that are going through similar things. I also welcome anyone that is willing or able to present your ideas, from any religion or background…including Christians. I am very open to a kind debate of myself vs. believers at any time.
I really want to write all this down….i find myself in a rather emotional state today, like some sort of goddamned emo…an emo…
i really wanna write all this down…cuz everything happend really fast and i dont know how to explain much of it…i can defend it of course, my newfound lack of faith…but i can defend anything i hold dear…yet…for some reason, i dont doubt that i am correct this time…there were always doubts with god…
I really wanna write all this down, and do so intelligently, unlike the last one, which looked like a kid with ADD got a hold to it…but this isnt the time is it
and i really want to know why in the hell i cant turn syncronized swimming off….
Wrote this in Dec last year, forgot to post it here… it WAS published
Re: Whats the Holiday by Vernon Smith of Bonair 12/24/07
I feel that Mr. Smith may be somewhat deluded as to what our countries tradition is regarding the winter holiday we now call “Christmas”. So here I will attempt to set the record straight-and touch a few other important points.
In regards to this country, December,25 was not recognized as a federal holiday until 1870. The fact of the matter is that the pilgrims did not celebrate Christmas either, as it was seen to them as decadent—the founding fathers even held congress on Christmas day of 1789. So I think it is quite clear that Christmas is more of an exception to the rule than a clear cut tradition.
In regards to the terminology of Xmas. Short Greek lesson: X=Chi, P=Ro. XP=ChiRo or Christ in greek(simplified of course). If you don’t know, Constantine’s army had an XP on their shields that represented Christ just as well as saying “Emmanuel lord of lords etc blah blah”. The true fact of the matter is, people aren’t offended by Christ (mass) but are offended at jumbling words together in magazines or catalogs…and by having to type that long name. That’s right, no one is trying to steal the Jesus out of Christmas, no GRANDE CONSPIRACY to subvert our culture to the wicked ways of athiesm or satanism. The church can rest now, go back to sleep.
Now, was Xmas ever really a Christian thing anyway? Heck no….Yule was a Scandinavian holiday that began on the Solstice of Dec. 21st, that was celebrated by much drinking and carrying on to thank their Gods for providing meat through the winter, and enough beer to last till spring. Saturnalia was celebrated over 1000 years in Rome before anyone ever heard of Christ, in the week before the solstice and lasted up to a month long. It was a celebration of Saturn, the God of agriculture–and it was often celebrated with much more drunkenness and revelry than even Yule. Saturnalia was a pagan celebration that turned the social structure on its head, poor people were buying the equivalent to HDTV’s that they couldn’t afford way before now. In fact, Christmas, is becoming more like its ROOTS than Christians will ever admit.
So get off your anti-holiday tossmass high-horse. Realize that holiday is appropriate because there are a lot of holidays celebrated in this 6 week spread we call the “Holiday season” and not everyone celebrates or believes in the birth of your Christ.
If you doubt any of the facts I have presented today, please feel free to Google any of the terms I have used. There are plenty of strong resources available to those willing to learn-however few you may be.
December 17, 2006
Its been a while since I took the time to write an entry—I have less and less time to actually do this lately—I miss it something terrible though. I think the main reason I haven’t done it though, is because all this Christmas bullshit going around—-I am so sick of it. I get so sick of explaining to people whom should know better why I don’t celebrate the holiday—and I am so sick of being attacked as a person because I do not celebrate it. AND WHOM are the worst ones about this? CHRISTIANS—-
So lets set it straight for all the Jerry Fallwells of the world—
1: NO ONE is attacking Christmas— People just don’t want to be badgered by a holiday that they don’t celebrate, so next time someone says “happy holidays” to you in walmart, and you get offended because they didn’t say Christmas—just shut the hell up.
2: There is no Christ in Christmas—there never was—wake the hell up folks—it’s a freaking pagan holiday with 100% purely pagan roots. What you are celebrating is a: The Phallic Tree, b: The Equinox (Saturnalia), c: The Birth of Mithra (Mithraimism), d: Natalis Solis Invicti and e: Yule . If you want Christ and Christmas to have anything to do with one another, you might just have to create a brand new holiday. SO STOP thinking that the “liberal media” is trying to secularize your holy day-it was secular from the beginning. AND DON’T give me this bullshit about how YOU celebrate the BABY JESUS—because you know good and damn well you don’t. We were never asked to celebrate the birth, only the resurrection—so get over yourself.
3: Holiday greetings are more appropriate than Christmas Greetings—why? Because there are five major holidays during the time at which these phrases are used. 1:Kwanzaa, 2: Hanukkah, 3: Christmas (Saturnalia), 4: Thanksgiving, and 5: The New Year. I don’t hear any Jews getting pissed off about seeing Christmas trees at places, in fact, This article shows just how intolerant our nation is to other celebrations. And what’s funny is that Hanukkah is not at all pagan—REAL, BELIEVABLE miracles happened during those 8 days thousands of years ago. I don’t hear any African Americans angry because they don’t get Kinaras everywhere. Nope, no one cares but the Christians—but THEY think they are being attacked! Of all people, the CHRISTIANS, or should I say the evangelical church goers whom aren’t the least bit CHRISTIAN, are being attacked and berated by evil culture and media. OY VEY!
4: Christ was NOT a capitalist (philosophically speaking)—therefore there is NO WAY in hell he would have endorsed such a holiday. On that note, I doubt there are very many churches in this world He would have much to do with now though. Seeing as how the goal of the church is now to increase membership thereby increasing the funds raised in the plates, and thusly increasing the reach and scope of investments so that they can further their message. In the end a lot of church CEO’s are getting extremely rich from a perverted version of a FREE gospel.
5: Xmas=Christmas. So next time you see Xmas, don’t be offended—X=Chi in the greek alphabet, the first letter of Christ or XP (Chi-Ro). X is just as appropriate here as Christ—it is completely inappropriate to hold pagan holidays in the name of Christ.
6:Fundamentalist nutjobs (see Jerry Fallwell, the Southern Baptist Church, and Puritans et al) haven’t always approved of Christmas, It was even Banned by the Puritans in the 1700’s. Truth is unchanging—so why the change of heart?
7: I am not evil—as all men , I was born in sin, and thusly suffer from the same affliction of carnality that everyone else does. I do not think I am better than anyone—I simply know that I have made effort, unlike the majority of the decrepit church, to learn as much as I can so that I can KNOW God. I am no Gnostic, but I have Gnosis