God and Son

Poking the bloated corpse of religion with a pointy stick to hear it fart.

Don’t push too hard…

on January 4, 2013

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Several years ago I took a class on philosophy. We explored the various views and stances of religion, but as there were no religious people in the class it was down to certain students to take the role of a believer, to allow philosophical debate. Besides, it is easy to defend with belief rather than fact.

Not one student found it hard to take the role of a religious follower, and not one found it difficult to put forward and defend arguments in favour of a god. I found it particularly easy, after all, it was about learning from the debate, and that required a strong argument from both sides.

Then a Christian joined the group, and to give balanced debate there were occasions where they would have to take the role of the atheist.

I learnt the following from this class, and this has been repeated time and time again when believers and non-believers have been asked to carry out similar role play debates:

The atheists could quite happily play the role of a believer. It meant nothing to them, and they could defend god without a hint of discomfort, yet once the debate was done, they went back to their atheistic ways without a second thought.

The Christians just could not take up the role of atheist. They fought to not take part in the role play, and on the occasions that they did bend a little and participate, they put very little effort into defending their godless position. They argued that they couldn’t imagine no god, ‘because there IS a god!’…

To me, and many others, this showed a great lack of faith from the believers. How much deep rooted doubt must they have to be unable to even role play as an atheist? The atheists had such a grasp on their views that they felt no pressure in acting and defending their roles as believers.

This is reflected on a daily basis by those who simply cannot accept different racial types, or people with sexual preferences that go against what they consider straight and normal.

Some people get so wrapped up in their own little world, that they’d rather fight against everyone else, than try and flex a little and see things through others eyes… Show others a little empathy.

I can’t help but feel sorry for these people who trap themselves in their human phobias & religious beliefs. They send out such aggression because of how weak they feel against others openness and understanding.

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35 responses to “Don’t push too hard…

  1. Jennifer says:

    Just a thought as a believer…. I can’t speak for the exact motive of the Christian participants unwillingness to take the atheistic role that you discussed in your blog post. You stated because of his/her decision “this showed a great lack of faith from the believers”. I also would not take that role, but because of the exact opposite of what you stated. Because my faith is so strong, to deny my Father, even in a roll playing manner, is displeasing to Him and would show a great hole in my faith. Just some food for thought. Peace and may you have a wonderful 2013.

    • LB says:

      I wouldn’t have expected an answer any different from a believer.

      http://godandson.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/buyers-remorse/

      • Jennifer says:

        And the manner in which you sweep my reply under the rug as an ordinary believer response, because it is not of likeness to your own, speaks to your character, not mine. I’ll leave with this….

        Being an atheist is okay.

        Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.

        Being a Christian is okay.

        Being misogynistic, racist or hateful in the name of Christianity is not okay.

        Being a reindeer is okay.

        Bullying and excluding another reindeer because he has a shiny red nose is not okay.

        • LB says:

          Shaming religion is not okay?

          I’m sorry, but speaking out against archaic values that fuel hatred, murder, rape and genocide is not okay?

          Speaking out against a Pope that supports Uganda’s life imprisonment and death penalty of homosexuals is not okay?

          Speaking out against Christians who say the gunned down children in Connecticut brought their deaths upon themselves for not worshiping god, or that the children were murdered by god to teach the godless parents a lesson is not okay?

          Speaking out against religions that cause death and destruction on a daily basis is not okay?

          But being a fictional red nosed reindeer is okay?

          You talk like a believer who ignores the atrocities and only takes the nice bits, the bits you can stomach.

          Where is your proof of god? This holy father who lets millions die each year through starvation, yet praise Jesus helps some middle class westerner get a job? How can you worship a god that states ‘Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock’…?

          ‘Sweeping it under the rug’ is exactly what you are doing by ignoring all the little bits and pieces you don’t like… all the parables and psalms that disagree with your sensibilities, all the atrocities in the world that aren’t anything to do with how you see religion (but you’re still part of it).

          ‘Sweeping in under the rug’ is precisely what many Christians do on a daily basis.

          I too wish you peace for 2013, but any support for religion is support for all the bad as well as good that it carries, regardless of how much you chose to ignore.

          • Jennifer says:

            I find it funny that you jumped on the little poem I posted, seeing as it was something that I read on my atheist friends facebook page a while back. I agreed with her on it. Gasp, a Christian and an atheist agreed on something. It IS possible. My brother was an atheist while he walked this earth, and we had open conversations constantly about my faith and why he did not believe in God. I didn’t look at him diffferently. I loved him the same. My life will never be the same without him. He made me think and question in a way others could not. Believe it or not, I understand how an atheist can be treated and looked down upon, from Christian friends and family. He asked me to not share his views with certain members because he knew the reaction he would recieve, so I don’t approach this topic lightly, blindly, or without having some serious heart to hearts with others that think as you do. I truly does not bother me, or anger me. I respect your ability to make your choices based up your thoughts and your feelings, I just ask that the same regard be afforded to me.

            I would agree with most of what you stated above in regards to genocide, the feeling good parts etc. Those same values have not made me murder, rape, slaughter anyone. And don’t get me started on the pope and Catholicism. If we are talking “churches” such as westboro, oh boy. Many mean people/groups make personal choices that cause harm to others. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the saying, “if it weren’t for Christians, I’d be a Christian”? I can assure you that the Christ in Christian is not my religion, but my savior. Religion is of man, and fully flawed. Christ is not.

            I would love to discuss the differences between old testament and new testament/covenant to address some of the other points. You don’t by chance live in Texas do you? That’s gonna take a bit more typing than my fingers can handle.

            (And this avatar is driving me nuts and I’m not signing up to get a new one. But I can assure you I’m not green with a crooked smile)

            • LB says:

              Odd really, thinking that Westboro are bad Christians, when they are taking such literal (honest…) interpretations of the Bible.

              They are idiots, uncaring & unthinking about others. I see no good points to them at all, yet they follow the very same bible… But it’s not how YOU see your saviour? Interpretation again…

              …and of what? A fictitious deity that you waste your life trying to please?!

              Show me proofs.

            • LB says:

              Your brother sounds as if he was a wise man.

              You say you loved him?

              Luke 14:26 (and Jesus said:) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.”

              So loving, that Jesus.

      • Jennifer says:

        LB, since I can’t reply to many posts below, because there is a lack of reply buttons, I’ll just stick it here. The passage from Luke is lacking verses 27-35. Building a firm foundation on Him as opposed to things that will crumble. Not asking you to accept this.

        And yes, my brother was a kind loving man and I miss him dearly and love him unconditionally.

        And I’m afraid you would lose the wager on the all my life devout Christian bet. ;-) I’m 35 and I have found my own way to Christ later in my life.

        It’s a shame that you have been subject to swearing and everything else described below. It’s unfortunate that that is how conversations take place now. Thanks for the posts.

        Despite the potholes that occurred during this, I appreciate the discourse LB.

        • LB says:

          A discussion that tests us both, is a good discussion.

          Argument for arguments sake just fails to benefit anyone.

          It’s refreshing to have a discussion that doesn’t simply end:

          ‘Why do I believe in God? F*** you, that’s why…’

          Astounding response I’ve had more than a few times! If someone wants to come to an obvious atheist page, make comments and then give replies like that, then what’s the point? :-)

  2. I will wager Jennifer has the sum total of zero evidence her god actually exists. What she is exhibiting is the dangerous practice of blind faith based on FEAR. Yes, Jennifer – fear. you has it.

    • LB says:

      Don’t be silly Steve… It can’t be fear. Surely God would know in her heart that she was only taking up the role of an atheist to test her belief, and therefore become a stronger believer.

      God’s all about testing people.

      God is amazing. Otherwise how can you explain how he made man before the beasts, but made the beasts before he made man? Eh? Can’t answer that can you? It’s in Genesis… It must be true…

      UNLESS it’s a matter of interpretation… In which case, if the entire Bible is a matter of interpretation, who the crap has the right interpretation?!?!

      I guess the ones who interpret the scripture correctly are the ones with the biggest armies & the deadliest weapons, able to roll over the people who have different ideas about the scriptures.

      Fear indeed…. Tut tut!

      • Jennifer says:

        Oh boys/girls, see above. And please be as open minded to me as I am to you.

        • LB says:

          These people ARE open minded.

          You just THINK you are open minded.

          Hiding behind a ‘better than you’ condescending attitude with a certain poetic lilt to all of your comments.

          I can pretty much visualise that your typing down your nose at us.

          • Jennifer says:

            Wow LB. I’m sad that you are so willing to jump to that whole holier than thou often too typical response. I hoped that you would be willing to have an honest conversation without all the ad hominems. So rare to find people that are willing to do that these days, especially with differing viewpoints. It’s how we learn and grow. Peace LB.

          • Jennifer says:

            And LB, in addition to my comment just made, this comment in your original blog post is what prompted me to originally post.

            “Some people get so wrapped up in their own little world, that they’d rather fight against everyone else, than try and flex a little and see things through others eyes… Show others a little empathy.”

            I read that and thought, brilliant!!!

            • LB says:

              Thank you.

              I have followed the religious path (several), I have been open minded. I would wager that you have always been a devout Christian, as that’s the standard for where you were raised, so it must be right.

              It is from my own open-mindedness that I have gained my views, and lead me to follow on from the part you quoted, with:

              ‘I can’t help but feel sorry for these people who trap themselves in their human phobias & religious beliefs. They send out such aggression because of how weak they feel against others openness and understanding.’

              You’ve already said that you wouldn’t put yourself in the position of an atheist to carry out a role play… and you now point towards me being close minded?

            • LB says:

              In addition to this, due to some people who simply decide to spew swearing and hate in comments when this site first started, each comment has to now be approved by me.

              I allow other people’s constructive views, even if they go against what I think.

              Therefore, each comment you post, I actually allow to be posted.

              I’m that close minded.

  3. Shev says:

    Jennifer, you’ve come to a page that quite clearly states, right at the top, that if one is offended by religious humour, one should back away. That means, don’t look at the page. Don’t read anything on it. I mean, you obviously can read. So why didn’t you read the warning, and just quietly go away?

    • LB says:

      A person who puts the statement ‘I’ll leave with this’ in an inflammatory comment, is a person who knows they are on the wrong foot, and knows they have no defence or counter argument.

      • Jennifer says:

        Actually LB, I put that because it was more of a, I’ll see you later and I won’t be back for a while. My mistake on the words. But really, we have to play the wrong/right card? Just merely meaning that I had extremely important events to attend to that needed my presence this evening.

        College football bowl game.

        • LB says:

          People make that final inflammatory comment, then watch to see the result… And when called out on the ‘I’ll leave with this’, there’s little choice than to save face and come back.

          Maybe you did have to go for something more important.

          You follow football? I bet you have a favourite team, or player.
          Pretty hard to to eh? I’d go watch that rather than defend my god against an atheist argument.

          • Jennifer says:

            As intriguing and deep as that all sounds, it was because I had to go. Leave as in this is the most simplistic manner to express my views.

            And I’m not here to defend God to you, or slap you in the head with the bible. Just offering a differing viewpoint and ideal. I truly do not understand how my faith angers you. I’m not going to change your mind, nor was/am I trying to. What part of my respect for personal choice is so hard to understand?

            • LB says:

              Don’t mistake anger for rationality.

              You can have any personal choice you want. Who am I to write down ten simple rules to as what you should believe?

              My qualm is with the thing you have chosen, not the fact you chose it.

              Supporting religion on the smallest level, well, it makes the person a small cog in the bigger machine that fuels all of the rapes, murders, brutalisation, wars and genocides carried out under the same banner.

              You either support religion (good luck finding the one true one out of 10,000 and growing…) or you don’t.

              Sounds like a bit of a generic view I have there. I learnt it from the heads of Churches, who put any group that goes against Christianity into one big lump. As an atheist I am also seen ironically as a Devil Worshipper…

              Where is your proof that you are following the right path?

              I’ve asked several times as I am interested in the proofs that you follow. I’d like to see the hard facts that make you follow your god, to try and understand better.

              You seem adamant you have made the right choice. An unquestionable choice… A life choice, as it is your life that you are giving up to a god… This is a pretty darn big choice to make, so I imagine the proof and hard data is completely clear and undeniable?

    • Jennifer says:

      Shev, I’m not offended. That way I found this blog, was through one of the many rabbit holes facebook can lead one down. This particular blog post was based upon a subject of a debate in a philosophy class. I was merely responding to what a portion of that article. I’ve seen the ‘humorous cartoons’ on the blog, and while I do not personally find them funny, I am not offended to the point of being nasty to the blog holder. As I’ve posted to others, please see original post and my latest reply. Thanks.

  4. Jennifer says:

    LB, I would love to answer your last post beginning….’don’t let my anger’. Please afford me the courtesy to go to bed…it’s 3:30 my time and I have to be on the road at 8am to visit family. I will be happy to reply when I get home. Thanks again.

    • LB says:

      That’s the very reason there was a gap in my replies last night. We all have to sleep!

      Have fun with your family tomorrow.

      • Jennifer says:

        LB, I’m going to address each point as you made it above in the same order if I can.

        You state that your “qualm is with the thing you have chosen, not the fact that you chose it.” These things are not mutually exclusive. The act of the choice and what is chosen is interwoven.

        Even if you look at the massacre in Newtown, the choice the killer made to kill is not exclusive of the aftermath and consequences of his choice.

        I disagree that my personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ fuels the brutalities that you name. I will agree that many people and or groups pervert the word of God, for their own hateful agenda, but would argue that those who are willing to do that also are not following Christ to begin with. This leads to me to where we may agree more than we both think, because, correct me if I’m wrong, but from what you’ve stated, religion is your sticking point. Religion being the observances and rituals in regards to one’s faith. Religion is manmade and can be either productive or destructive in the hands of the user. I have seen both. I also believe it is possible to have a personal relationship with God through His Son without participation in said observances/rituals.

        When you said you learned things from heads of churches, I’m assuming this is a reference to potentially Catholicism? I believe this to be an example of the perversion of Christianity that I spoke of. I gather that many “Christians” that you have come across apparently have not offered you proof of existence of their walk with Christ by using their life as an example. These false converts, and there are many out there, (I was one of them!), are not offering an example of who the Lord is. And often times hinder. Now don’t get me wrong, a me example of Christ will be flawed, because I am not perfect and will never be while I walk this earth. But I have fruits, examples, of Him in my life. These people that have come to your site and cursed at you, those are not fruits of Christ and I’m sorry you have been subject to that.

        I find it funny, but am not surprised, that you are seen as a devil worshipper. If people would think for a short moment, logic would tell them this is not possible. A belief in God is not in any way exclusive to believing Satan also exists, therefore, you not believing in a deity makes it impossible for you to worship a devil you don’t even think exists.

        You’re question of “Where is YOUR proof that YOU are following the right path?” is spot on the perfect question and in many ways, your question included accurate terminology. Let me explain. I highlighted you and your in your question because they are very telling to my faith. My walk with God is unique compared to any other person’s walk. Because we all have different experiences that guide us in different directions. My walk will not validate or negate the walk of another. There is not a collective faith that will earn a collective salvation. It’s an individual walk and an individual proof that validates it to me. My proof is not the same as my husband’s proof, or the proof of a friend or family member, etc, solely because we have all taken different paths in life. I’ve known several atheists in my years, and now have gotten a change to ‘speak’ to you, and I can say not one of you have the exact same viewpoint, because you also have arrived into your thinking from different paths.

        That all being said, I can only portray my testimony. Proof is all around me. Omega Centauri is magnificent through an 18” Dobsonian. (Sorry, I’m a geek and love stargazing). Proof is in my personal experiences that have lead me to ask certain questions, and I will keep those private, because this is a public forum, and even though I doubt anyone I know will read this, they are deeply private. My proof derives from logic. Logic is absolute. Logic is not observable as are, for example, the laws of physics, because logic derives from the mind and cannot be measured. So how can absolute, conceptual, abstract laws be derived from a universe made up of matter, energy and motion? God is absolute.

        And simply, for me at least, God knew there were doubters and that we needed a savior, so he sent his Son as proof of existence and as a sacrifice, so that “a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified”. Galations 2:16.

        My proof will probably not ever satisfy your need of proof, but neither would it satisfy exactly in the same manner that which is proof to my husband. I needed my own “proof” so I sought it out and found more. And I do not claim to know everything and that is where my faith steps in. And as for clear and undeniable….yes, I’m not sure it is even possible to put this into adequate words, because there are none, but when the Holy Spirit convicted me for the first time, the closest words that I can connect to this is absence of fear along with understanding.

        I don’t believe in coincidence either, and it was no coincidence this smacked me right in the face when I opened my email this morning. Romans 1:19-20, “ since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to then. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

        So there is LB, my testimony. Not the testimony of a group, or a particular religion, but of Jennifer and of Jennifer’s personal relationship with God.
        Peace and thank you

        • LB says:

          Good Morning Jennifer,

          Thank you for your explanations, although with all answers come more questions… ;-)

          I have put your comments into this reply below as such: ‘…(your comment) …’ and have my points following.

          Some responses might not be quite as polished as I had in my mind, but I wanted to at least address them some way today. A busy work schedule means spending time discussing things over the net can often get drawn out, although that’s not to say I do not enjoy the discussion, especially with one who has a level head and doesn’t resort to the stand by ‘F U, that’s why!’.

          I also feel that as you went to the effort of commenting, then it is only polite that I give you some of my time.

          And so to start (not that any of this will change each others minds, although we probably both hope it might, all for our own right reasons!):

          ‘…The act of the choice and what is chosen is interwoven…’

          The act of choice and what is chosen *should* be interwoven… But honestly, how many people study religion and all of what it stands for when they make the choice? Not many, I’ll wager.

          Not long ago people smoked because Doctors recommended it. Their choice is based on false positives, and not the actuality of what is chosen.

          One of the Royal family chose to dress as a Nazi for a fancy dress party. His choice was not in support of Hitler (damn you Godwin), so was not interwoven with *all* things related to his costume, but was still seen as many as pro-Nazi!

          The smallest seemingly insignificant cog still helps run the bigger machine.

          ‘… Even if you look at the massacre in Newtown, the choice the killer made to kill is not exclusive of the aftermath and consequences of his choice… ‘

          I cannot base anything regarding sane choice reasoning on someone who was so unbalanced in he first place. He was outside of the bell curve, and must, at this stage, be disregarded.

          Unless you state that that this really was his choice… In which case, anyone can see, it was twisted and what he believed was so warped in his mind that he truly believed it to be right, where most other people could see it wasn’t. Choice is based on what people perceive to be true, and not necessarily what is true.

          ‘… I disagree that my personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ fuels the brutalities that you name. I will agree that many people and or groups pervert the word of God, for their own hateful agenda, but would argue that those who are willing to do that also are not following Christ to begin with… ‘

          Why are you right and they are wrong?

          The biggest trick the Devil played was making people think his words and suggestions came from God… You say you love God, but your God could easily be leading you astray from what is real (or the true God, if you must believe). The deceiver could very easily make you feel that the proofs you have been given are genuine, and could only come from one true God… You are just human, so there is no way you can prove that you have not been duped…

          Similarly, people see things in personal religious relationships, foibles, lucky charms, astrology, tea leaves, tarot, that they want to see. These things are often the brain putting coincidence together and making the result (a logical result) the rule, not the exception, and this is where people get sucked into habits, false worship, rubbing a lucky set of car keys before an exam or such like. False positives each time. A series of coincidences does not make for a god.

          Ancients in a time of drought would dance and sing and sacrifice to appease a god and get the rains back… and then BAM! It rained! They knew nothing about axial tilt. They knew nothing of meteorology… but they knew singing and dancing and sacrifice worked… and that stuck with them.

          The very same with prayer. People pray and pray and pray, and then one day one of those prayers appears to be answered (coincidence), but that’s enough to prove god exists!

          We do not know enough about ourselves biologically, our planet, let alone our galaxy or universe to start putting our warm fuzzy feelings into an unproven, unsubstantiated deity, when we should be using our resources for better understanding of the real, substantiated world. If this view is wrong, then we should never have left the alleged Garden of Eden. Any use of any technology, ancient or modern, is wrong… By using it, we support it’s development & research when we should just be putting faith in god and accepting that we were as evolved as we needed to be at the dawn of time.

          ‘… Religion being the observances and rituals in regards to one’s faith. Religion is manmade and can be either productive or destructive in the hands of the user. I have seen both. I also believe it is possible to have a personal relationship with God through His Son without participation in said observances/rituals… ‘

          Show me that god wasn’t man made to satisfy the need for the religious rituals, the rain dances, the lucky keys, the prayers, to have a focus point. The rituals came first in ancient history, and the results (either the happy rain cloud or angry volcano) then needed a focus figure to have caused them… Something had to be created… and the time of gods kicked off.

          ‘… When you said you learned things from heads of churches, I’m assuming this is a reference to potentially Catholicism? I believe this to be an example of the perversion of Christianity that I spoke of. I gather that many “Christians” that you have come across apparently have not offered you proof of existence of their walk with Christ by using their life as an example… ‘

          Nope. Islam, CofE, Baptists, Presbs, and yes, Catholics, but to a much lesser extent than the others (mostly due to location). Who is to say that their way is the perversion though, and not closer to the originally intended path?

          ‘… These false converts, and there are many out there, (I was one of them!), are not offering an example of who the Lord is. And often times hinder. Now don’t get me wrong, a me example of Christ will be flawed, because I am not perfect and will never be while I walk this earth… ‘

          I was introduced to god. There was the build up, the groups of people, friends, families, colleagues, who told me the wonders, and then there was the obligatory ritual of acceptance… Most groups have this, from laying on of hands, baptisms yada yada… And this day for me was one I was nervous of, my friends and peers were there. Almost like exam nerves, building up until that day came. Once I had completed the ritual, I felt the burst of euphoria, the world came alive! Those who couldn’t see the beauty of God were pitiful fools!

          It was pretty awesome. No wonder people get hooked in.

          But that’s the thing… Later I discovered that it was the chemical release in my body that gave me the rush, in the same way a person who passes their driving test suddenly jumps about in joy, or the release that a cancer sufferer gets when they find out they are clear… It wasn’t god, it was the release of pressure, the release of endorphins…

          Still, that joy proved to me that killing a goat & dancing naked asking for rain (figuratively) moved me closer to god. And when things went right that added to the fact, logically, that it MUST be god… and if they went wrong, then it was a test or not meant to be…

          And then I noticed that the religion I was in, the scriptures they followed, were all warped and twisted by HUMANS!!! Following these man made words was stealing me away from the god I (thought I) Ioved… Religion was stealing my god… So I found myself loving god and not religion…

          This goes to answer some of the things you bring up in your personal proofs stated later.

          Anyway, with skewed belief I wondered what other lies my indoctrination was built on… and how the crap had I felt so good when this major religious group were all flawed!

          Now I could have splintered off and formed a new group or cult based on the rapturous joy I had felt, as I am sure that those cult and splinter leaders had very similar experiences… That their way was right, so they stuck to it and formed a new group… but I didn’t. I did not assume I was right. Instead I studied and researched.

          The feelings of euphoria – chemical release of agents within my body, tripping nerves to stimulate areas of my brain… Much like the euphoria after orgasm… or the red mist and pain from a stubbed toe or Lego’d sole (possibly the greatest proof that a Devil exists… Stairway Lego at night with bare feet). The answered prayers were coincidences for things that would have happened anyway… The things I failed at were not a test or never meant to be, they were me failing, or being unrealistic.

          YAY!!! Sunrise! God is good to me… But there’s no cure for cancer yet, so God must be punishing us…

          The more I studied, the more I saw science had answers, or ideas of answers, that fit true logic, test, result, test, result. Where science had once had theories, proofs were being found, tested, applied, tested, questioned, until the once theory was proved as fact.

          Time and time science has done this. We have a knowledge gap, but what knowledge we do have does give a good idea of what should fit in that gap… and eventually the thing that was missing is discovered. It’s not a quest to find something to answer our question, but a quest to find things out, and if they answer our question, it is a bonus. Science does not mould answers to fit our blanks.

          Study also showed how many gaps there are, and how much we may never know… But it also showed that the things we did know, and things we are discovering, were building a giant jigsaw.

          We don’t know the picture (or only had a basic idea), but we found the edges, then this clump of leaves from a forest was quite easy to fill in, and they were probably from trees… So until we find the trunks and branches, we interpolate & extrapolate, we theorise the forest… and carry on with the cottage on the other side… We assume it has a door, because all we have discovered so far suggest it must have a door… and time goes on and the theories become fact as we find the door, the forest, and…oh, some more blanks, but we can see a pattern forming… a universal pattern. The picture is almost infinite in size, I’ll never see it finished… Generations of people won’t see it finished, but we know HOW it goes together.

          I will discover all that I can, but I am happy (or at least accepting) to not know an answer, because one day someone will find it. I will not jump around dancing or praying as my ancestors did, because they were still on the edges of the jigsaw and hadn’t figured out the basic universal laws yet. I know a picture is forming within the scientific ways that we are discovering, and I am certain from what has been achieved to date, that there is no God on the picture on the front of the box.

          ‘… I find it funny, but am not surprised, that you are seen as a devil worshipper. If people would think for a short moment, logic would tell them this is not possible. A belief in God is not in any way exclusive to believing Satan also exists, therefore, you not believing in a deity makes it impossible for you to worship a devil you don’t even think exists… ‘

          It’s a relief to hear such a comment from a believer. Admittedly logic is generally only based on what we know as fact (hence belief in god via logic is flawed), but when one thing cannot exist without the other, then a devil with no god is a simple A can only exist with B logic circuit. In this case, logic works.

          ‘… You’re question of “Where is YOUR proof that YOU are following the right path?” is spot on the perfect question and in many ways, your question included accurate terminology… ‘

          I used *your* for that very specific reason. For the path to be right, surely the path must share attributes and almost identical similarities with other believers. If yours is truly individual, are you the only one who is right? That would be a turn up for the books…

          ‘… I highlighted you and your in your question because they are very telling to my faith. My walk with God is unique compared to any other person’s walk. Because we all have different experiences that guide us in different directions. My walk will not validate or negate the walk of another. There is not a collective faith that will earn a collective salvation. It’s an individual walk and an individual proof that validates it to me. My proof is not the same as my husband’s proof, or the proof of a friend or family member, etc, solely because we have all taken different paths in life. I’ve known several atheists in my years, and now have gotten a change to ‘speak’ to you, and I can say not one of you have the exact same viewpoint, because you also have arrived into your thinking from different paths… ‘

          As mentioned earlier, I explained my personal experience and touched on some of those points.

          ‘… That all being said, I can only portray my testimony. Proof is all around me. Omega Centauri is magnificent through an 18” Dobsonian. (Sorry, I’m a geek and love stargazing). Proof is in my personal experiences that have lead me to ask certain questions, and I will keep those private, because this is a public forum, and even though I doubt anyone I know will read this, they are deeply private. My proof derives from logic. Logic is absolute. Logic is not observable as are, for example, the laws of physics, because logic derives from the mind and cannot be measured. So how can absolute, conceptual, abstract laws be derived from a universe made up of matter, energy and motion? God is absolute… ‘

          Logic is flawed unless all hard facts are considered. It was logical for ancients to have rain dances. They knew no better… It was all they had at the time and they had no idea of what they didn’t know.

          In its truest sense then, logically you cannot be correct in your logical absolute statement of god, because you (and I) do not know everything, and more importantly, we do not know what we don’t know. As such you cannot create an absolute argument of logic based on data that is either unsubstantiated (at best) or that we don’t even know about yet.

          ‘… And simply, for me at least, God knew there were doubters and that we needed a savior, so he sent his Son as proof of existence and as a sacrifice, so that “a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified”. Galations 2:16. …’

          But this is from text that has been perverted by humans. You said yourself that religion has perverted the true meaning, yet rely on the same to defend it..?

          ‘… My proof will probably not ever satisfy your need of proof, but neither would it satisfy exactly in the same manner that which is proof to my husband. I needed my own “proof” so I sought it out and found more. And I do not claim to know everything and that is where my faith steps in. And as for clear and undeniable….yes, I’m not sure it is even possible to put this into adequate words, because there are none, but when the Holy Spirit convicted me for the first time, the closest words that I can connect to this is absence of fear along with understanding… ‘

          I refer back to my euphoria of earlier. Don’t confuse proof with belief. Your proof is not a real proof, it is a summation of beliefs and occurrences that you call a proof. Proof is data and hard fact. The things that lead you (and me once), to the point you thought you had proof, are nothing more than our gap filling where there were no answers, and seeing answers that satisfied us at the time.

          Had I looked deeper, then I would have seen that the things that lead me down that path actually had perfectly reasonable explanations with no god involved, and at worse they had explanations that others could understand (more educated & experienced people) but I just couldn’t understand at the time.

          Actually, that last paragraph is bull. Had I looked deeper at that time, then I would have seen God, because at that time I was lost in dancing naked and killing virgins so I could pass my driving test. No amount of scientific research or levelled debate could have changed my mind.

          ‘… I don’t believe in coincidence either, and it was no coincidence this smacked me right in the face when I opened my email this morning. Romans 1:19-20, “ since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to then. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” …’

          Perverted text again, written by mans hand? But seriously, this is such a sweeping statement and open to abuse. This may be the very statement that religious people use when asked for proof, and they come back with ‘I don’t need proof, because I know! I believe!’

          As for coincidence, and I’m smiling here because you bring up the word coincidence on the very day after I experienced one of the most weird coincidences I’ve yet had!

          THIS IS THE LINK TO IT: http://moretimespace.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/very-coincidental-land-rovering/

          Going through that coincidence, I can create a logic (yes… albeit flawed) sequence that shows how the coincidence was a long shot, but perfectly explainable… Plausible. It has to be, because it happened… (Like so many other ‘coincidences’).

          Coincidence is a poor persons excuse at explaining probability and chance.

          Coincidence falls in the same shaggy pile as people who believe astrology… or gods.

          It is a lack of understanding that people needed to put a cause to.

          I feel the same way with the use of the word accident instead of incident. Slicing your finger with a knife whilst cutting steak is not an accident. It is the result of poor training, the wrong technique, carelessness… It is not an event that could not have been avoided.

          A coincidence is a probability that people who don’t understand probability assign to ‘ooh, fancy that-ism’.

          ‘… So there is LB, my testimony. Not the testimony of a group, or a particular religion, but of Jennifer and of Jennifer’s personal relationship with God.
          Peace and thank you…’

          Thank you for such a well written response. I mean no disrespect with any of my replies or comments, and any seemingly personal swipes are purely down to my poor use of language, and not meant as such.

          Also, and quite pointlessly I shall state that I take no offence by anything you have said, as that is your belief, and I mean no offence by what I have said, for that is mine.

          I say pointlessly, as It has been said that offence within discussion is a petty thing, as in ‘So what? You’re offended? Big deal… My personal view doesn’t match your personal view!?’

          For offence to occur, two contrary views must be involved. As such, the offending comment is equally placed on both parties, and as such negates itself!

          E,g: You like ice-cream (this offends me). I tell you that ice-cream sucks (this offends you). The two cancel out. By being offended in this case, your saying ‘this offends me’ is tantamount to saying that I am wrong… which offends me!

          Language and the interpretation thereof, is a tricky thing. Open to perversion in the very act of just trying to write it down correctly in the first place…

          • Jennifer says:

            More questions…..come on!! Lol Just kidding.  And I understand the polished in your head and then putting it on paper is altogether different. I’m no writer and it’s the hardest way for me to express myself. I’ll address in order, best as possible. And your gonna get believer talk in my descriptions, so fair warning. ;-)

            You said “And so to start (not that any of this will change each others minds, although we probably both hope it might, all for our own right reasons!):”….spot on, probably not, but nice to be able to have a civil back and forth. They say you should never discuss politics and religion, but I disagree. That’s what has made the ‘F— you’ response so commonplace. I think we need more practice talking about it the right way. Anywho, onto the meat of it all.

            I don’t think a lot of people on many subjects do any studying before making any choices, religion included. And yes, you are probably right on my example of the Newtown shooter. He had issues, though we don’t know how deep at this point.

            You’re question on right and wrong…..I base this on the universally accepted version of right and wrong and what is deemed against in the law in most civilized nations.. I.e., murder is against the law, rape is against the law, etc.

            “The biggest trick the Devil played was making people think his words and suggestions came from God… You say you love God, but your God could easily be leading you astray from what is real (or the true God, if you must believe). The deceiver could very easily make you feel that the proofs you have been given are genuine, and could only come from one true God… You are just human, so there is no way you can prove that you have not been duped…”

            Smart man. That is his m.o. How the devil can be combated from a believers standpoint(humor me here) is constantly studying the will of God to be able to detect the very subtle inconsistencies, that often are usually only surface deep. And yes, I am only human. Proof….faith, more on that later.

            And I’m not a lucky charms, astrology, tea leaves, kinda gal, but I get what you mean. And I don’t base my belief on a series of coincidences to validate and prove God. Well, we actually did leave the Garden of Eden (believer talk here), we were kicked out. And I don’t think God ever intended us not to evolve and grow intellectually.

            When I discuss perversion, I should have made my point clearer. By perversion, I mean practices that are not biblically based. For example in Catholicism, confession to a priest is not biblical, confession and repentance to God is.

            Dude, I am intrigued by your description of your days of following religion. And honestly, because much of what you described I never would even call the presence of God. The euphoria, the tingly feeling….I’ve never once thought….wow, God’s embracing me right at this very moment. Because it’s not a random, He’s here, because He’s always here. What was in your baptismal water, cause they didn’t put it in mine! lol

            “Time and time science has done this. We have a knowledge gap, but what knowledge we do have does give a good idea of what should fit in that gap… and eventually the thing that was missing is discovered. It’s not a quest to find something to answer our question, but a quest to find things out, and if they answer our question, it is a bonus. Science does not mould answers to fit our blanks………and later said…..I will discover all that I can, but I am happy (or at least accepting) to not know an answer”

            Would it be fair to say that your faith then lies in science? I don’t want to put those words in your mouth, but that’s my take. And let me change the words in the last sentence referenced to my own…..”My proof of God’s existence is Jesus Christ who walked this earth as God in human flesh and had I been alive at that time, I could have touched Him with my hands and seen Him with my eyes, but since I was born a few millennia later, until I meet Him face to face, I will discover and study all that I can, but I am happy and accepting in faith to not know the answer to ever last question I have.” Which l do wonder, what is your take on Jesus Christ? I know the atheistic approach varies from there was no one named Jesus who lived ever, to he was a philosopher and everything in between. Curious where you fall?

            “I used *your* for that very specific reason. For the path to be right, surely the path must share attributes and almost identical similarities with other believers. If yours is truly individual, are you the only one who is right? That would be a turn up for the books…”

            I used MINE and MY Personal Relationship with God repeatedly to show that I can only speak for myself. The things beyond the obvious that validate His existence, like God in human form, are personal to me, but yes, there would be similarities of the aforementioned obvious to all believers.

            “Admittedly logic is generally only based on what we know as fact”…

            How can that be? Fact from a scientific standpoint is based upon scientific method. And the scientific method is dependent upon logic to determine fact. That’s circular argumentation.

            And also….”As such you cannot create an absolute argument of logic based on data that is either unsubstantiated (at best) or that we don’t even know about yet.”

            Based upon this statement, if logic is not absolute, then no logical argument for or against the existence of God can be raised. And if logic is not absolute, then logic cannot be used to prove or disprove anything. Which means both God could or could not exist. Your above statement also reads to me more agnostic?

            “But this is from text that has been perverted by humans. You said yourself that religion has perverted the true meaning, yet rely on the same to defend it..?”

            This is where we fundamentally disagree. I believe the Bible to be the very word of God and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible was written from 1500 BC to 100 AD…..1600 years, by 40 different authors in 3 different languages. If it’s all perverted, that is one heck of a conspiracy of a bunch of dudes on camels over a long period of time. Just sayin’. And if the argument to this is in translation, I have been studying that and it’s solid…..more on that another time…

            “I refer back to my euphoria of earlier. Don’t confuse proof with belief. Your proof is not a real proof, it is a summation of beliefs and occurrences that you call a proof. Proof is data and hard fact. The things that lead you (and me once), to the point you thought you had proof, are nothing more than our gap filling where there were no answers, and seeing answers that satisfied us at the time.”

            No confusion on my part of proof and belief. I’ll refer back to what I said earlier about my touchy feely proof….the very existence of Jesus walking this earth. And in place of belief, I’ll place the word faith and refer back to what I said earlier…. but I am happy and accepting in faith to not know the answer to ever last question I have for what I do not know. This was in response to your example of continuing to find things out where science was concerned.

            “As for coincidence, and I’m smiling here because you bring up the word coincidence on the very day after I experienced one of the most weird coincidences I’ve yet had!”

            I shouldn’t even tell you this, because you’ll think I’m crazy, BUT what the heck, you already think I am ;-) so here goes anyway……I KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN!!! I ran this last piece on coincidence by my husband and said, I shouldn’t include it in my response and he asked why not….it happened, include it. My response to him was that you would also receive something similar. I’ll go play the twilight zone theme in my head now….. lol

            “Thank you for such a well written response. I mean no disrespect with any of my replies or comments, and any seemingly personal swipes are purely down to my poor use of language, and not meant as such.

            Also, and quite pointlessly I shall state that I take no offence by anything you have said, as that is your belief, and I mean no offence by what I have said, for that is mine.”

            Agreed wholeheartedly, as I am no writer. Written word can be tricky as you don’t hear the emotion and connotations behind it. I’m glad we got past those ticks (fairly) early on in the discourse and I did not come to your page with any disrespect.

            There may or may not be a reply to this, so let me take a moment to say thank you….for the challenges, I did learn some things as one usually does when they take the time to open ears, mind and heart. I’ll stop in to give you heck on occasion if for no other reason than to have a Christian visit your blog with a conscience of Christ that won’t cuss you out. And if I ever start a blog, I’ll be sure to direct you there. Be well my friend.

            • LB says:

              Hi Jennifer,

              Just to give a brief response so you know I’m not ignoring your reply; I’m back at work so have little time for a while for an in depth answer, but I will give you one soon!

              A side point, until I return!: What are your views on Scientology & Mormons?

  5. Adie says:

    Wow, impressive discussion , (you too Jennifer). LB do you have to do this existential justification of your humour everyday?

    • LB says:

      I don’t have to do anything… but when people put the effort in, and do so in a fair manner, it is only fair and polite to reply. :-D

      A lot can be learnt in discussion. Whether my mind is changed one way or the other, I am open to a good conversation.

      But an atheist and a believer?!?

      In WW1 the British and German soldiers put down their guns and shared food, drink and stories, and had a game of football in the trenches. Then they went back to shooting at each other.

      No hatred. Quite illogical, captain.

      I call myself an atheist, but as Richard Dawkins pointed out; although there is an incredible amount more proof in science than god, it is near impossible to prove there is no god, just that it is incredibly unlikely. As such, can anyone really call themselves atheist?

      As Jennifer said regarding logic… I should be agnostic, verging on atheist.

      Imagine the number 11 had not been discovered.

      As I see it, god says there is a number 11, because god says so.
      Science says theoretically there is a number 11, because there are numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, ,12,13,14 etc… and according to what is proven and certain, we can theorise with some certainty (not blind belief), that 11 must exist.

      The blanks science leaves suggest I should be agnostic… but the constant blank filling and theories getting proved correct makes me see that science has holes, but it knows what should fill them, and will back it up with proof… as it keeps doing. It finds more holes, then finds out what fills them.

      It is from this that I interpolate to the point of atheism…

      What was the question again?
      :-D

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