Christian Asked Me What I Thought Of The Crucifixion.

I replied:

So far as the cross, it’s a throwback to a more barbaric time, the idea that we suffer because god requires blood and pain and death for our sins. A primitive rationalization for the existence of disease and natural disasters and drought etc before we could get better explanations. This is very clear in scripture, if it doesn’t rain and your crops die it’s because god is punishing you, if it rains too much it’s because god is punishing you more.

We know now that these things have zero correlation to religious adherence and that they occur because of the chemical and physical properties of the chemical elements, gravity, barometric pressure and various other forces.

Because of this notion that god requires us to suffer in order to be appeased and that that is why disease etc happens, during the middle ages when the plague was decimating the population priests would torture and mutilate themselves in the noble but misguided effort to maximize their own suffering and bring the end of the plague upon us sooner.

It’s a really demented idea and a really monstrous concept of god, one which neither of us subscribes to I’d wager.

But 2,000+ years ago everyone did, and they tried to get out of their own suffering by mystically piling the sins of their tribe on an animal and then destroying it to destroy their sins and bring an end to the foul weather or sickness or whatever that they were experiencing, or prevent it. Then along came the christian religion, which is based on the notion that this vindictive god who can only be satisfied with blood decided to spare us by letting us torture his son to death in our place, and that somehow this sacrifice appeased god so much that we no longer had to do animal sacrifice.

The idea of a savior or a god sacrificing themselves for man is not uncommon. In greek mythology prometheus defies zeus, father of the gods and steals fire from the gods and gives it to man to protect them, because his brother epimetheus gave away the good traits, like fur to stay warm, claws, speed, flight etc to the animals and left nothing for humans.  Prometheus was punished for this by being chained to a bolder on the top of a mountain in the blistering sun to have his liver pecked out by a giant bird every day, and it regenerate every night forever.  The story of pandora’s box is almost the exact same story as the story of eve and her apple. By some versions pandora was even the first human created by zeus.

This stuff is just mythology. It didn’t actually happen.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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40 Responses to Christian Asked Me What I Thought Of The Crucifixion.

  1. annnnnd the response to this? XD

  2. striemmy says:

    You kinda went on a tangent.Like a lot.

  3. agnophilo says:

    @Chinese_Sait0u – Pending.I give me even odds of a rebuttal or banishment.@striemmy – : )  I did a bit.  The tangent started earlier, I spared ya and just put in the crucifixion bit.

  4. Mugo60 says:

    61% of america believe that evolution is a theory. We are fucked. These morons probably think the milky way is a candy bar. This is exactly what corporate america wants..the fact that people will remain willfully ignorant so they can have a perfect plutocracy. The oxy-moron Limbaugh is a corporate whore and these ditto heads don’t have a clue. I want a Palin-Beck ticket to get it on and over with.Have I mentioned how much I hate conservatives? .. every single one is a COWARD.

  5. You hold a stance many others share as well, and it is one I can at least understand. I have heard these points presented many times over the years.

  6. agnophilo says:

    @Mugo60 –  “61%of america believe that evolution is a theory.” It is a theory.  61% of americans simply don’t know what that means.”We are fucked. Thesemorons probably think the milky way is a candy bar.” That’s actually not far off.  “This is exactlywhat corporate america wants..the fact that people will remainwillfully ignorant so they can have a perfect plutocracy. The oxy-moronLimbaugh is a corporate whore and these ditto heads don’t have a clue.I want a Palin-Beck ticket to get it on and over with.”I feel your pain.”Have I mentioned how much I hate conservatives? .. every single one is a COWARD.”I wouldn’t say that.  The ones in congress absolutely.

  7. agnophilo says:

    @The_James_Blog – In other words “that makes a lot of sense… hmmm I wonder why it isn’t true.”: P

  8. @agnophilo – No, I have asked myself that more than once over the years actually, and I do have a response to it — I just try not to throw it at someone uninvited, given how pushy many of my brethren are nowadays. I believe it isn’t true for a variety of reasons, which are difficult to cover all of in one comment due to the sheer broadness of the topic at hand. But, in my humble opinion, I think the conclusions above are the result of over-simplifying a very, very complicated concept, which to be fair is hard not to do when condensing something into a single blog topic. I have often found myself guilty of such. For example, I think “vengeful” is one aspect of a very, very complex God, so to characterize and then dismiss God for that is a bit short-sighted in my view, as it also is to say the God who is vengeful and willing to level a city cannot also be the same God who is loving and gracious.But trust me, even those of us who hold very firmly to faith really struggle to underestand some of these concepts you raise. If someone tells you it’s easy to grasp or explain, they’re either lying or don’t understand what they’re saying…else they have a completely different grasp of things than I do. Also, your last point is actually something I find a bit edifying — Many, many religions from different regions and eras have extremely similar myths. Take the insanely-hard-to-spell and supposedly more ancient Zoroastrianism that many say Judaism/Christianity is more or less derived off of. Despite the wide range of differences between these religions, there are these odly common threads that in my opinion, suggest there’s really something very interesting going on beneath the surface of it all. Yes, there are secular explanations for the similarities, as I’m aware, but I think it’s unwise to be too dismissive of the “coincidences” nonetheless. Of course, I say this expecting the wave of inevitable “you simple minded xtian, what about science and this and that and the other yadda yadda yadda you suck!!!1” comments, which is why I often keep my thoughts to myself. I give you the “every single conservative is a coward” comment as Exhibit A. Not from you, but I’m sure a few of the angstier atheists will be happy to jump me on my response, and I’m not much one to up and pick an unnecessary, unproductive fight.But does that more or less clarify where I’m coming from? I can probably give you a better, less rambly response if you throw me something a bit more pinpointed. I’ll give you by best shot at a reasonable explanation.

  9. agnophilo says:

    @The_James_Blog – “No, I have asked myself that more thanonce over the years actually, and I do have a response to it — I justtry not to throw it at someone uninvited, given how pushy many of mybrethren are nowadays.”Heh, study history – your brethren are decidedly less pushy than they have been in the past.  But yeah, feel free to challenge any or every notion you disagree with on my blog.”I believe it isn’t true for a variety ofreasons, which are difficult to cover all of in one comment due to thesheer broadness of the topic at hand. But, in my humble opinion, Ithink the conclusions above are the result of over-simplifying a very,very complicated concept, which to be fair is hard not to do whencondensing something into a single blog topic. I have often foundmyself guilty of such. For example, I think “vengeful” is one aspect ofa very, very complex God, so to characterize and then dismiss God forthat is a bit short-sighted in my view, as it also is to say the Godwho is vengeful and willing to level a city cannot also be the same Godwho is loving and gracious.”This to me reeks of rationalization.  The god in the bible is explicitly described as vengeful on many occasions and behaves in a petty and vindictive manner over and over again, he’s vindictive.  Whatever else he is, he’s still vengeful and needs death and blood to be appeased.  Bear in mind I think he’s vengeful in the sense that winnie the poo likes honey, in that he’s a character in a book and is depicted that way.  I don’t think that this being actually exists.  Nevertheless, being something else in addition to being vengeful does not make him cease to be vengeful.”But trust me, even those of us whohold very firmly to faith really struggle to underestand some of theseconcepts you raise. If someone tells you it’s easy to grasp or explain,they’re either lying or don’t understand what they’re saying…elsethey have a completely different grasp of things than I do.”They usually struggle not to understand these things.  What I said is pretty simple and straightforward and ample evidence can be rapidly found in the bible that all of it is true, both theologically and culturally.  That “struggle” is not because my blog is hard to understand, but because it’s hard to reconcile with pre-determined beliefs.  When you say that this is deep and mysterious and the waters are muddy, you are putting up a smokescreen because christians aren’t supposed to agree with me and you’re trying to find a way not to.  It’s like the trinity, the idea that the father, son and holy spirit are all separate and the same at the same time, or that god was 100% god and 100% man.  This is a simple contradiction, in logic or philosophy it would be written off as a paradox, an impossible situation, and seen as demonstrably false.  But to a religious person who they’re supposed to believe it, or who wants to believe it for whatever reason (maybe desperation to get over an addiction or trauma, I’ve seen that a lot) it isn’t a contradiction, but a deep and profound mystery.  This is a way of deciding that something is true, and that you’re just not smart enough to understand how or why it’s true.  It’s a form of wishful thinking and self-deception.I’m sorry if this offends, I’m just rambling.”Also,your last point is actually something I find a bit edifying — Many,many religions from different regions and eras have extremely similarmyths. Take the insanely-hard-to-spell and supposedly more ancientZoroastrianism that many say Judaism/Christianity is more or lessderived off of. Despite the wide range of differences between thesereligions, there are these odly common threads that in my opinion,suggest there’s really something very interesting going on beneath thesurface of it all. Yes, there are secular explanations for thesimilarities, as I’m aware, but I think it’s unwise to be toodismissive of the “coincidences” nonetheless.”They may not be coincidences.  Religions are subject to a process of natural selection the same way biological organisms are.  If religion A says go forth and multiply and religion B says everyone must abstain from sex, religion A will survive longer and religion B will go extinct.  This has actually been documented to have happened.Similarly religions that promise a reward for adherence and a threat of punishment for non-adherence will be more popular for psychological reasons, so this is a common theme, etc.If you are supposing on the other hand that somehow various religions are all divinely inspired (and horribly muddled), then you have to contend with the religions that are dramatically different than christian theism.  Why didn’t god inspire them?  Why is religious adherence determined by geograph and not random? “Of course, I saythis expecting the wave of inevitable “you simple minded xtian, whatabout science and this and that and the other yadda yadda yadda yousuck!!!1″ comments, which is why I often keep my thoughts to myself.” You’ll get none of that here.  Now to be fair I’m liable to completely eviscerate your arguments, but I’ll make no personal attacks unless perhaps you annoy me very, very, very much, which of course you haven’t even begun to do.  Among secular thinkers dissent is often welcomed and encouraged, and among those who are intent on believing a pre-configured set of beliefs, it is usually seen as a threat.”Igive you the “every single conservative is a coward” comment as ExhibitA. Not from you, but I’m sure a few of the angstier atheists will behappy to jump me on my response, and I’m not much one to up and pick anunnecessary, unproductive fight.””Note that I disagreed with him before you mentioned it : )”But does that more or lessclarify where I’m coming from?” More or less.  Interestingly you didn’t address a single claim in my blog other than the idea that god is vengeful.”I can probably give you a better, lessrambly response if you throw me something a bit more pinpointed. I’llgive you by best shot at a reasonable explanation.”I don’t know how I can be more specific than I was in my blog.  Do you mean citing scripture etc?

  10. As irrational as Christianity is….it is an evolution of God (well our minds really). Judism (its parent) was terrrrribly wasteful. You look at your neighbors wife and ya wanna bone her, you gotta kill one of your goats and make a stinking mess. You take an apple from your neighbors tree, Ya gotta kill one of your chickens. You hit your finger with a hammer and say Yahweh Damn it and you are placing your hand on one of your sheep and ya know the drill.The idea of Jesus is kinda smart in how to get away from this idiotic way of getting rid of sins. This idea has been played out and now it is much more of a hinderance to society and really isn’t needed anymore.We continue to evolve and the need for any of this nonsense is becoming more apparent in many peoples minds.

  11. agnophilo says:

    @tendollar4ways – You’re normally very well spoken, but this comment (while intelligent) seems like you typed it while someone was hitting you on the head with a hammer.

  12. I would’ve just said:  “I wasn’t there, but sounds like it was pretty awful.” 

  13. I could have attempted to be more eloquent or dignified like Karen Armstrong lays it out in The History of God that but isn’t as much fun. The YHWH Damn it, and then putting your hand on your camels head and butcheing it….makes me laugh.What can I cay, I am a jackass and a dork. At some point ya just gotta laugh or it would all drive ya insane or into a deeeep depression.

  14. agnophilo says:

    @crazygrampastuey – Haha.  Yeah that would save time : )@tendollar4ways – No I meant like broken sentences and things like this:”We continue to evolve and the need for any of this nonsense is becoming more apparent in many peoples minds.”

  15. @agnophilo – It is early in the morning. Not enough coffe yet. My spelling sucks and grammer is worse. What can I do.

  16. @agnophilo – No offense taken, you stated your points fairly and reasonably. In kind, I hope I don’t come off as annoying as I continue to attempt explaining my POV.”Heh, study history – your brethren are decidedly less pushy than they have been in the past.”While that’s absolutely correct, it doesn’t make what’s going on today any more acceptable. From what I’ve read, Jesus said “spread the Good News” not “bean people over the heads with Bibles repeatedly until they give in”. Yes, at least we’re not doing it by the sword now, but that surely isn’t saying much.”This to me reeks of rationalization.  Thegod in the bible is explicitly described as vengeful on many occasionsand behaves in a petty and vindictive manner over and over again, he’svindictive […] Nevertheless, being something else in addition to being vengeful does not make him cease to be vengeful.”Understood, and let me attempt to clarify. If God is nothing more than a vindictive jerk, we have no justifiable reason to follow Him. However, if God is a loving God who is also vindictive for appropriate reasons at times (it’s up to you whether you conclude the reasons are appropriate or not), then we can’t necessarily just sign Him off for simply being vengeful. This is what I mean by over-simplifying God on the basis of one trait, which many people do, which is also rationalization to me. “God doesn’t exist because I don’t like what I’m reading about him.” Not saying that’s what you intend to say here, but I do see that a lot elsewhere. To me, that’s a little too quick of a conclusion to draw, just as it is to also say “God exists because He sounds great to me.””When you say that this is deep andmysterious and the waters are muddy, you are putting up a smokescreenbecause christians aren’t supposed to agree with me and you’re tryingto find a way not to.”That is not my intention. If I were putting up a smokescreen, my intent would then to be to hide a weakness from you so my flawed thinking isn’t discovered. What I’m attempting to do instead is say “While I believe in this as a whole, that one specific detail I haven’t entirely figured out yet.” Just because I don’t have every detail nailed down and explained does not invalidate my entire faith — But that opens an entirely different topic of discussion eh? Let me give you an example to make better sense of this — In Exodus, to punish Pharaoh’s refusal to obey Moses’ request to free his people, God performs an act that results in the deaths of innocent children. I’m not going to B.S. you on this one — I don’t quite understand what’s going on there yet. But I know enough about other aspects of God to trust that there is an explanation for it. I am continuing to try to figure that out (getting ready to give it another read through and really delve into it, actually). Many will conclude my “filling in the blanks” with trust is very foolish, and that is something I can only leave you to draw your own conclusion on. Some people simply can’t accept that. So is this a smokescreen or rationalization for me to believe what I want to believe? That argument can indeed be made. It should be considered very carefully whether it is true. And I do pose this question to myself often so that I stay honest with my beliefs. Yes, wishful thinking and self-deception are dangerous.”If you are supposing on the other hand thatsomehow various religions are all divinely inspired (and horriblymuddled), then you have to contend with the religions that aredramatically different than christian theism.  Why didn’t god inspirethem?  Why is religious adherence determined by geograph and notrandom?”Fun thought huh? I think there a LOT of possibilities, and perhaps we far too often limit them. You can go any number of directions with this one, some led by wishful thinking, others by reason and curiosity. I’m probably going to be pondering this one for a while. But suffice it to say for now I have a very, very hard time looking at the honestly devout Muslim or Hindu and telling them they’re going to hell. Our universe is huge, crazy, and complicated, as is, in my opinion, God. There are at least possibilities. “Among secular thinkers dissent is oftenwelcomed and encouraged, and among those who are intent on believing apre-configured set of beliefs, it is usually seen as a threat.”Sadly true. We of religious backgrounds NEED to be open to dissent. There is no harm in this, as we can only learn more from it. At one point in time rabbis had no problem arguing matters of theology and exploring proposed contradictions in the details…somewhere along the way, the church decided that was a bad, heretic idea. And so it’s no wonder atheists hate our guts so often. I think this is man’s corruption of religion, not God’s intention. I am imperfect, and sometimes some of my reasoning is flawed, and I need someone on the outside to point it out. So I have no problem listening carefully to dissent. In fact, much of the conclusions I have reached today are much in thanks to the dissent people have provided me to show me details I had missed. “More or less.  Interestingly you didn’t address a single claim in my blog other than the idea that god is vengeful.”Yes, but look where that one topic took us? We now have comments the size of blog posts.   I fear if I try tacking on yet more of your points, this is going to get really long and muddied. I find Internet debates really difficult to keep up with for this reason. Each of your points brought up in this blog make for some really good, beefy discussion. If we can wrap up this line of discussion, I’ll be glad to jump to the next point and run with it. Admittedly, you are probably better at this than I am. “I don’t know how I can be more specific than I was in my blog.  Do you mean citing scripture etc?”Yeah, that’s what I meant, because the situation varies from instance to instance. For example, you have what leveled Sodom and Gomorrah, which is a different example of vindictiveness than, say, God almost killing Moses in the early pages of Exodus. To me, you have to step through it on a case-by-case basis, else you risk making some potentially biased generalizations if you try to lop it all together into one ball of “God is just vindictive”. Then you ask things in each case such as “does this fit into a world where God is supposedly loving?” and move from there. Then again, as one who works in the IT realm, this is also just how I think — take things apart and step through each module one step at a time as you debug it to weed out errors or performance issues. I now a lot of people don’t think like I do.

  17. mccanarie says:

    @agnophilo – @tendollar4ways – not trying to stir things up. But how does one explain the experiences that cannot be explained by science or evolution? The same experiences that the Bible promises to believers. I’m talking about people who are blind getting prayed for and being able to see, people bound to wheelchairs getting up and walking, people cured of diseases like parkinson’s or cancer?I personally don’t know anyone who was blind and now see, but I do know 1 person who was bound to a wheelchair for years and my grandpa prayed for him one day and the man has walked ever since. My wife’s grandmother was in a wheelchair could not even hold a pen in her hand to write her name due to parkinsons. She was supposed to have died over 8 years ago. She got prayed for and now she walks and can use her hands all day long. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t given long to live either. He was prayed for and has been cancer free ever since.I asked one person this before and his entire argument was that “the all faked it and it never really happened”, but since I know this not to be true, I want to know how this is possible.I also understand that there are a lot of people who get sick and people pray for them every day and they still die, so you don’t have to remind me of that.

  18. Shy___Away says:

    Christianity is a series of defunct cultural practices and then-necessary rationalizations that has become totally irrelevant. The majority of the philosophies contained in the New Testament are good, (i.e. “Love your neighbor”, “Do unto others”, etc) but those, I would think, should be fairly common sense. 

  19. @mccanarie – There are many many things that we do not know. We atheists simply ask for an explaination backed up with evidence of some kind. We are curious. We want to know. You site cancer disappearing or going into remission or Parkinsons miraculously subsiding.Is it God? or is there a possible other explaination. When people don’t understand or quickly exlain something…they declare it God. This is what we have done for ages as humans. The Sun was God, the Moon, The Stars. I cannot speak for all atheists but this is laziness and mental complacancy. It retards our growth and understanding. In the Parkinson’s case or the Cancer case, we could take the theistic approach and simply leave it in God’s hands and pray “for a miracle”. “Mircales” might occur but vastly more will suffer.I prefer to try and find out if it wasn’t God but perhaps something we don’t understand but can figure out. There are some people immune to HIV. Is that a miracle or perhaps is it in there DNA. Can we figure out what it is and utilise it.Since most incarnation of “God” have been proven to be something else….I think the wisest approach to determine it as an unknown instead of God because…as demonstrated…we eventually figure most things out we thought were God.

  20. agnophilo says:

    @tendollar4ways – Fair enough. : )@The_James_Blog – “No offense taken, you stated your pointsfairly and reasonably. In kind, I hope I don’t come off as annoying asI continue to attempt explaining my POV.”Don’t worry about it.  People who bug me are people who are obnoxious and extremely unreasonable.”Whilethat’s absolutely correct, it doesn’t make what’s going on today anymore acceptable. From what I’ve read, Jesus said “spread the Good News”not “bean people over the heads with Bibles repeatedly until they givein”. Yes, at least we’re not doing it by the sword now, but that surelyisn’t saying much.”Well he had a few things to say about the sword too, and god instructs much worse in the bible than beaning people with bibles.  “Understood,and let me attempt to clarify. If God is nothing more than a vindictivejerk, we have no justifiable reason to follow Him.” No, not what I said.  What I said was that the belief in animal and human sacrifice is based on the erroneous assumption that the world is run by a vindictive jerk who must be appeased by blood and suffering.  Then you argued that the biblical god wasn’t vindictive, and I pointed out that he is portrayed as being vindictive and taking vengence on people many, many times.Nowhere that I can recall did I say “jehovah is vindictive so we shouldn’t worship him” or “jehovah is vindictive so he doesn’t exist”.”However, if God is aloving God who is also vindictive for appropriate reasons at times(it’s up to you whether you conclude the reasons are appropriate ornot), then we can’t necessarily just sign Him off for simply beingvengeful.”Jehovah is depicted as being more or less psychotic in the bible.  I mean how else would we describe you if you were really mad at someone so you murdered 20 random strangers who aren’t that person.  This is no less insane than god killing children because he doesn’t like what the pharoah did.  In reality the pharoah probably died and those that were oppressed attributed it to their god and made up a story, citing other recent things like locusts eating the crops as god fighting for them and blah blah blah.  It’s mythology, no different than explaining the changing of the seasons by saying that the nature goddess lost a bargain with the god of the underworld and her daughter had to stay with him for 1 week or month for every seed he could get her to eat, she ate a certain amount, so every year her daughter must live in the underworld, and this makes her sad and so it gets cold and things start dying, but then spring blooms when she returns to her and she is happy again.”This is what I mean by over-simplifying God on the basis ofone trait, which many people do, which is also rationalization to me.”God doesn’t exist because I don’t like what I’m reading about him.”Not saying that’s what you intend to say here, but I do see that a lotelsewhere. To me, that’s a little too quick of a conclusion to draw,just as it is to also say “God exists because He sounds great to me.”I can’t think of a non-believer who does the former, but many believers openly admit to doing the latter.”Thatis not my intention. If I were putting up a smokescreen, my intentwould then to be to hide a weakness from you so my flawed thinkingisn’t discovered. What I’m attempting to do instead is say “While Ibelieve in this as a whole, that one specific detail I haven’t entirelyfigured out yet.” Just because I don’t have every detail nailed downand explained does not invalidate my entire faith — But that opens anentirely different topic of discussion eh?”Yeah, smokescreen.  It isn’t rational to believe things are true before you understand them, you should at least be “agnostic” about some of these things.  Believing in something without understanding how it could possibly be true is like people who believe the bible is infallible but haven’t read it.  Usually they haven’t even read one chapter of it.”Let me give you anexample to make better sense of this — In Exodus, to punish Pharaoh’srefusal to obey Moses’ request to free his people, God performs an actthat results in the deaths of innocent children. I’m not going to B.S.you on this one — I don’t quite understand what’s going on there yet.But I know enough about other aspects of God to trust that there is anexplanation for it. I am continuing to try to figure that out (gettingready to give it another read through and really delve into it,actually). Many will conclude my “filling in the blanks” with trust isvery foolish, and that is something I can only leave you to draw yourown conclusion on. Some people simply can’t accept that. So is this asmokescreen or rationalization for me to believe what I want tobelieve? That argument can indeed be made. It should be considered verycarefully whether it is true. And I do pose this question to myselfoften so that I stay honest with my beliefs. Yes, wishful thinking andself-deception are dangerous.”The trouble with this “trust” thing is that you could do the same with hitler.  I know hitler killed 6 million jews but this other quote I have from him seems really sensible, so I trust that he had good reasons.  It is just deciding to believe what you want to believe despite evidence, which is the clinical definition of a delusion.  Religious “trust” and mental illness actually are so similar that many legal definitions of delusion literally list the clinical definition of a delusion and then exempt religious beliefs.Here, you may find this interesting.”Funthought huh?” Eh, I think the notions about god and the universe in pantheistic philosophies like buddhism are a lot more fun : )”I think there a LOT of possibilities, and perhaps we fartoo often limit them. You can go any number of directions with thisone, some led by wishful thinking, others by reason and curiosity. I’mprobably going to be pondering this one for a while. But suffice it tosay for now I have a very, very hard time looking at the honestlydevout Muslim or Hindu and telling them they’re going to hell. Ouruniverse is huge, crazy, and complicated, as is, in my opinion, God.There are at least possibilities.”I have the same attitude toward the idea of a creator.  For all I know there could be one, but I’ve never seen any reason to suppose there is one.  I mean if you had a good reason I’d be absolutely floored to hear it.  But I think we’ve done these debates enough to know that there is no such reason, there’s only “faith”.”Sadlytrue. We of religious backgrounds NEED to be open to dissent. There isno harm in this, as we can only learn more from it. At one point intime rabbis had no problem arguing matters of theology and exploringproposed contradictions in the details…somewhere along the way, thechurch decided that was a bad, heretic idea. And so it’s no wonderatheists hate our guts so often.” I don’t hate religious people, but I do detest religion.”I think this is man’s corruption ofreligion, not God’s intention. I am imperfect, and sometimes some of myreasoning is flawed, and I need someone on the outside to point it out.So I have no problem listening carefully to dissent. In fact, much ofthe conclusions I have reached today are much in thanks to the dissentpeople have provided me to show me details I had missed.”I thought that too when I was a recent former-christian, about it being a corruption of “real” christianity.  It wasn’t until months or years later that I washed the fog of religion out of my brain and realized this was just cultural bias.  In reality it’s equally likely that the “good” parts of the bible are the distortion as it is that the “bad” parts are the distortions.  Or even more likely still that it’s a little of both.But yeah, I had the notion that a god existed instilled in me from childhood so when I discovered things I couldn’t believe in the religion I assumed that people had screwed up the “true” message.”Yes, but look where that one topic took us? We now have comments the size of blog posts. “This blog was a comment, lol.”I fear if I try tacking on yet more of your points, this is going toget really long and muddied. I find Internet debates really difficultto keep up with for this reason. Each of your points brought up in thisblog make for some really good, beefy discussion. If we can wrap upthis line of discussion, I’ll be glad to jump to the next point and runwith it. Admittedly, you are probably better at this than I am.”Yeah I have gotten into a few insanely long debates.  And yeah I’m pretty good at debating, I’ve been told I’m almost freakishly good at debating deceptive radio televangelists in real-time.  I once had a guy track down my email address from my first name, what state I was in and that I was an atheist to tell me he thought I was really good on an evangelical call-in show, lol.”Yeah,that’s what I meant, because the situation varies from instance toinstance. For example, you have what leveled Sodom and Gomorrah, whichis a different example of vindictiveness than, say, God almost killingMoses in the early pages of Exodus. To me, you have to step through iton a case-by-case basis, else you risk making some potentially biasedgeneralizations if you try to lop it all together into one ball of “Godis just vindictive”. Then you ask things in each case such as “doesthis fit into a world where God is supposedly loving?” and move fromthere.”Not what I was saying.  I mean I could make that argument, but I don’t have to unless you want to go down that road.”Then again, as one who works in the IT realm, this isalso just how I think — take things apart and step through each moduleone step at a time as you debug it to weed out errors or performanceissues. I now a lot of people don’t think like I do. “I used to build websites for a living, tech jobs are constant problem solving.  Good for building intellect and logic skills though.  Someone wrote a book called “soulcrafting” or something along those lines about how people who do jobs that require problem solving are often as smart as academics, because of that.  Sounded interesting.

  21. @agnophilo – Naw…you are right. I write to fast and don’t re-read what I write and sound like an idiot alot cuz it doesn’t make sense . Or perhaps I am simply a jackass.Prolly both.

  22. agnophilo says:

    @mccanarie – “not trying to stir things up. But howdoes one explain the experiences that cannot be explained by science orevolution? The same experiences that the Bible promises to believers.I’m talking about people who are blind getting prayed for and beingable to see, people bound to wheelchairs getting up and walking, peoplecured of diseases like parkinson’s or cancer?”I’m deleting the rest of your comment just for convenience because the above basically sums it up (correct me if I’m mistaken or missed something).A few points:1) It is no more logical to conclude that Jehovah specifically is responsible for something simply because you have no immediate explanation than it would be logical to conclude that ghosts or aliens or Allah or zeus or satan was responsible.  There is no logic to this whatsoever.  So even if you had no explanation for any of these things there would still be no reason to conclude that the god of any specific religion or any god exists.2) Many superstitions are caused by a simple illogical assumption that because thing A happens and then thing B happens, thing A must have caused thing B.  Ie someone breaks a mirror and their life turns to shit, so they conclude that breaking mirrors is bad luck.  Or a baseball player forgets to wash his socks the day of the big game and plays the best game of his life, so he then never washes his socks before the big game.  Any of those people who got better could just as easily have been prayed for to Allah or another god or spirit, or rubbed a rabbit’s foot or done any number of things and then attributed their recovery to that thing.  The fact that the prayer came first is not evidence that the prayer caused the recovery. 3) There are countless similar experiences in every culture and religion and are attributed to the gods of those people.4) Some “miracles” are documented forgeries and no miracle story is credible without actual medical proof, ie an x-ray before and after.  I’ve heard stories about people re-growing limbs etc but interestingly these peoples’ names and medical records are never forthcoming.  Not all of these accounts are faked, some can be explained by psychosematic illness (ie in their head it’s worse than it really is) and the placebo effect, where someone is “cured” by the simple belief that something with no medicinal value will work.  Obviously whether someone can walk is somewhat subjective unless their legs have been chopped off, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone after receiving prayer and support could have the strength to overcome illness or disability for non-supernatural reasons.But again, even if there were no explanation for these things it would prove nothing.Oh, and cancer’s an easy one.  Cancer is when a normal cell goes screwy and the DNA that tells it how and when to grow mutates in a specific way, causing it to grow rapidly and out of control, forming a tumor.  Many tumors are benign and perfectly healthy, they grow for awhile then stop.  Others grow for a long time and then stop or suffer programmed cell death, since some cells are programmed to perform a task and then die, etc.  Remission is common and is not mysterious, but christians pray at the first sign of trouble and then only attribute whatever happens to the prayer if it’s positive.Lets say a disease kills 70% of the people who have it, and we pray over 100 people with that disease.  We know what will happen, 70 or so of them will die, 30 or so will live.Is it logical to conclude that prayer saved the thirty?  Why not conclude that it killed the 70?  It’s not like that makes less sense.

  23. agnophilo says:

    @Shy___Away – They are.  The golden rule was stated by socrates, confucius, lao tsu and the buddha (just to name a few) centuries before christ was born.

  24. agnophilo says:

    @tendollar4ways – Don’t beat yourself up, sheesh. 

  25. @agnophilo –  I am not really. I am pretty much a jackass but compared to some of the people I run into on xanga are sooooooooooo frigging retarded and ignorant (flapjack comes to mind)..make me seem somewhat intellegent. Sad really.

  26. agnophilo says:

    @tendollar4ways – You strike me as having more than average intelligence.  Though technically that’s a dubious honor for mathematical reasons.

  27. @agnophilo – “Well he had a few things to say about thesword too, and god instructs much worse in the bible than beaningpeople with bibles. “Also true. In my opinion, we need to look at those particular spots and examine the context and purpose. Another topic to explore perhaps? What you’re referencing is a sticking spot for a lot of people. “No, not what I said.  What I said was thatthe belief in animal and human sacrifice is based on the erroneousassumption that the world is run by a vindictive jerk who must beappeased by blood and suffering.  Then you argued that the biblical godwasn’t vindictive, and I pointed out that he is portrayed as beingvindictive and taking vengence on people many, many times.”Ok, got it. Somewhat of a communication error there — I also was not saying God wasn’t vindictive, but that God is not merely vindictive, and that the reasons for instances of vengeance must be examined to determine if they are justified. I failed to connect the vindictiveness and sacrifice you paired together, which I see now that you’re bringing it back up to me, sorry about that. I focused on one while neglecting the other. Sacrifices — difficult topic at best. The way I understand it, think of it as a cause/effect system more than a misdeed/vengeance system, at least for the sake of seeing it through my eyes. We start off with a perfect world (order), oops man sins, this introduces chaos (entropy) into the world, and thus here we are. And this is me taking a very complicated concept and trying against my better reasoning to sum it up in one sentence. So yes, I probably just failed miserably at that.   But in any case, there’s this system in place where disobedience = death as injecting chaos into order by nature does. In a world built for order, you choose disorder, this is incompatible, thus ultimately death. Yet, God isn’t exactly happy about the whole you dying thing, so like any good programmer, He sets up a workaround so that something else dies to keep the system going as planned, and you are spared. Or is it simply nothing more than “grr, angry God, feed him death to appease him”?  Given other traits God possess, in my view the former seems more fitting than the latter. And the former is probably not entirely correct either, but I suspect at least much closer. In other words, is it truly appeasement as you suggest? Or could it be something a bit more intricate? And am I still misinterpreting what you said in any way?”Jehovah is depicted as being more or less psychotic in the bible.”I have a hard time accepting that the explanation is that simple. And again, this requires stepping through each instance of God appearing psychotic to verify or deny. Please understand that to me, “God is simply psychotic” is as hard for me to swallow as “mystical invisible man created everything” is for you. I see a lot more going on in there when I read the texts. To me, the conclusion is far more intricate than a simple signing off with a diagnosis of psychosis. “I mean if you had a good reason I’d beabsolutely floored to hear it.  But I think we’ve done these debatesenough to know that there is no such reason, there’s only “faith”.”I disagree. I have an issue with the whole “faith requires no proof” concept many Christians preach. The problem is, there is that which is observable, and that which is observable and recordable. Events that served as proof to me, I had no way of recording to use as proof for others. So while I am convinced with proof I observed, I’m screwed trying to prove to anyone else anything. I have personal events that served as proof, but I can’t expect that to lead anyone else into believing. I have had prayers answered, countless “coincidences”, too many events just randomly fall into place, etc. to sign it all off as mere chance, but none of these things I can prove to you, nor do I expect anyone but me to accept them. If God is as personal a God as I believe He is, I think there’s a reason for that. But, it also means I can only speak for myself — which, coming full circle, is why aggressive Christians annoy me as much as they do you. “I have the same attitude toward the idea ofa creator.  For all I know there could be one, but I’ve never seen anyreason to suppose there is one. “I understand this, and it’s an honest conclusion on your part. You need something solid and observable in order to accept that God — especially a specific God — is actually out there. I am certainly in no place to fault you for that.”I thought that too when I was a recentformer-christian, about it being a corruption of “real” christianity. It wasn’t until months or years later that I washed the fog of religionout of my brain and realized this was just cultural bias.  In realityit’s equally likely that the “good” parts of the bible are thedistortion as it is that the “bad” parts are the distortions.  Or evenmore likely still that it’s a little of both.”I absolutely, positively will not use the wording “real christianity”. I see that language dropped a lot, seems to be the trendy thing to say at the moment. I’m simply a dude who is convinced via a multitude of events and concpets that God is real, and that those who recorded their experiences and conclusions in what we now call the Bible seemed to have their stuff nailed down quite well. And then there are things I see many in the church and other believers do that I don’t think is in line with that teaching. Whether that somehow makes my beliefs “realer” than theirs, I dunno, nor am I interested in going that route. I have simply reached the best conclusions I can given the experiences and information accumulated, much as you have in your own way. For those who wish to evaluate my conclusions, they may decide what they will about it. All that said, I think there’s an interesting thing going with religion. We tend to go one extreme or the other — entirely march in step with religious leaders, or entirely reject them, not much in between. My conclusion is that faith is the substance, religion is merely the means and thus leaves some room for some degree of subjectivity. Meanwhile, people lead the way in terms of religion, and thus, sometimes things just go to crap, while other times some good comes of it. Such is life with any group of people. But faith is what it is apart from religion, if that makes any sense. Such is my personal philosophy, anyway.”This blog was a comment, lol.”Ha, point.”I’ve been told I’m almost freakishly good at debating deceptive radio televangelists in real-time. “Let’s be honest…That shouldn’t be all that difficult. “I mean I could make that argument, but I don’t have to unless you want to go down that road.”Ah, gotcha. I’m willing to, but it’s a darn long bumpy road! I do enjoy getting into the little details at times though. I think both a lot of believers and non-believers miss a whole lot of tiny but significant details when reading Scripture, much in part due to the connotation it carries now. Some expect to find retardedness before they even start reading, so that’s what they find. I think if you go in just not expecting anything at all, it’s a bit more interesting. “Someone wrote a book called “soulcrafting”or something along those lines about how people who do jobs thatrequire problem solving are often as smart as academics, because ofthat. “Reeeaaaally?  Curiosity is perked. Though, I wouldn’t dare classify myself as at an “academic” level of intellect. “Smart enough to get by” is probably more accurate, heh.Ah crap, I skipped a part. Lemme backtrack and pick that up —  (Exhibit A of why I suck at Internets debate)”It isn’t rational to believe things are truebefore you understand them, you should at least be “agnostic” aboutsome of these things. “I believe in black holes, but barely understand them. Actually there’s quite a few things that fit that bill. Thing is, I understand enough to get the bigger picture while not quite getting some of the finer details — AND I’m still not working on the finer details too, not about to just toss them to the wayside. I learn as I go. Similarly, I have experienced and learned enough about God to get who He is and what He’s about, but yet there are still some finer details I haven’t gotten down yet. Now, if I barely had a grasp of it at all other than “hey this sounds awesome”, you’d have a stronger point I think. But if you’re not going to believe anything until you know everything about it, you’re not gonna believe in much anything at all, right? So, in an attempt to wrap this all up into a concise conclusion, consider this: Is the key difference between my conclusion and yours is that you require more empirical, reproducable, recordable evidence than I do? If so, then we are where we are, but hopefully understand each other a bit better. That would mean that ultimately, you require different evidence than I do. Perhaps in the end we are simply different people who have different requirements for belief in something. At this point, it is Friday afternoon, and I feel my brain slowing down. I should probably break from this for now so I don’t carry on and risk sounding retarded. I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have though. Resume another day perhaps?

  28. @agnophilo – If I’m not mistaken, Paul somewhat quotes Socrates in Acts. Thought that was pretty cool.@tendollar4ways – It’s the Internet. We’re all jackasses sooner or later here.

  29. Casbahmaniac says:

    I haven’t read all the comments..too long and I wanted to get this while fresh in my head. Have you seen Julia Sweeney’s one woman show “Letting Go Of God” ? She raises the question about Jesus suffering for OUR sins. How was starving on the cross for two days considering suffering when people suffer much more than that for longer sustained periods of time? She cites her brother’s battle with cancer. Also, I would add, the suffering of millions who DO believe in God. Suffering unmatched by the Lord’s ultimate sacrifice. Maybe the cats who wrote the book only had minimal knowledge of what suffering means.

  30. Casbahmaniac says:

    @Mugo60 – Evolution is a theory. So is electricity. don’t be bothered by it.

  31. mccanarie says:

    @agnophilo – I appreciate your response in that you actually put thought behind it. While I disagree, my curiosity was how you, as a person who does not believe in God, explain such things. While there are many other things I have experienced, that I can only attribute to God, I understand where you are coming from. My profession is 100% based in science and technology. Every problem has a root cause and problems don’t just “fix” themselves so the subject of miracles as it relates to my faith is interesting to me. My understanding of what the Bible says leads me to believe that illness, disease, natural disaster, etc are all random events that happen to random people and places throughout the world. I personally believe that God created all things and the science behind all of those things. Science reveals the truth of who God is. Everything God has done in creation, the bible, etc is done in a systematic way. A leads to B leads to C.. and so on.

  32. mccanarie says:

    @Casbahmaniac – Jesus didn’t starve on the cross for 2 days. He was publicly beaten to near death and then nailed to the cross, a spear shoved into his side, piercing his heart and He died within hours.oh, and electricity isn’t a theory. Electricity is the word used to describe the result of protons and electrons interacting. The explaination of gravity is a theory. Relativity is a theory. Electricity, not a theory. At the very least use google if you’re going to try to use science as your source of truth.

  33. misuriver says:

    @mccanarie –  I’d say, shit happens. It could have happened if they weren’t prayed for. No one knows. That’s the fun of it. Sticking a random magic man into the holes of our knowledge doesn’t do us any good.

  34. agnophilo says:

    @The_James_Blog – “Alsotrue. In my opinion, we need to look at those particular spots andexamine the context and purpose. Another topic to explore perhaps? Whatyou’re referencing is a sticking spot for a lot of people.”You will interpret it as either a distortion of the original message or anything but a call to violence.  Or just say “I don’t understand it all yet”. : P”Ok, got it. Somewhat of a communication error there — I also was not saying God wasn’t vindictive, but that God is not merelyvindictive, and that the reasons for instances of vengeance must beexamined to determine if they are justified. I failed to connect thevindictiveness and sacrifice you paired together, which I see now thatyou’re bringing it back up to me, sorry about that. I focused on onewhile neglecting the other.”It’s understandable, that part stuck in your craw, so to speak.”Sacrifices — difficult topic atbest. The way I understand it, think of it as a cause/effect systemmore than a misdeed/vengeance system, at least for the sake of seeingit through my eyes. We start off with a perfect world (order), oops mansins, this introduces chaos (entropy) into the world, and thus here weare.” God creates man.  Man creates peanut butter.  Peanut butter has cholesterol which allows for fat and gluttony, which lets sin into the world.  Sin requires death because cholesterol leads to heart disease which is the number one cause of death.  That is why bad things happen to good people.The above random crap I pulled out of my ass is more logically coherent than what you just said.  A perfect world becomes imperfect?  Wouldn’t that be an imperfection?  What is “sin” and how does it introduce “chaos” which in this scenario is apparently also entropy, a completely different concept?  And how does entropy (which is necessary for life to exist and is a good thing) necessitate animal and human sacrifice?”And this is me taking a very complicated concept and tryingagainst my better reasoning to sum it up in one sentence. So yes, Iprobably just failed miserably at that.”Not your fault, it’s not a logical concept however many words you use.” But in any case, there’s this system in place where disobedience =death as injecting chaos into order by nature does. In a world builtfor order, you choose disorder, this is incompatible, thus ultimatelydeath.” Um… what?  Choosing “disorder”, ie following any other religion or being gay or whatever, is “incompatible” with the universe and therefore causes you to die?  What?”Yet, God isn’t exactly happy about the whole you dying thing, solike any good programmer, He sets up a workaround so that somethingelse dies to keep the system going as planned, and you are spared. Oris it simply nothing more than “grr, angry God, feed him death toappease him”?  Given other traits God possess, in my view the formerseems more fitting than the latter. And the former is probably notentirely correct either, but I suspect at least much closer.”He built a workaround?  He is omnipotent, right?  And even if his hands are tied somehow, what being would design a system where it can only be fixed by the bludgeoning and impaling of his son.  Would you build a system like that?This is so crazy I can’t believe we’re even asking these questions.Watch this.  Also this, this etc by the same guy are very good.”Inother words, is it truly appeasement as you suggest? Or could it besomething a bit more intricate? And am I still misinterpreting what yousaid in any way?”Nah, you’re pretty much outside of what I was talking about.”Ihave a hard time accepting that the explanation is that simple. Andagain, this requires stepping through each instance of God appearingpsychotic to verify or deny.” I gave examples, you ignored them.”Please understand that to me, “God issimply psychotic” is as hard for me to swallow”Please stop modifying my statements to argue against strawmen.  I didn’t say god is “simply psychotic” I said he’s described as exhibiting psychotic behavior.”as “mystical invisibleman created everything” is for you.” God is a character in a book, the character in the book drowns babies to death, sends bears to maul people to death, kills people in all kinds of horrific ways.  On what planet is this not psychotic behavior?”I see a lot more going on in therewhen I read the texts. To me, the conclusion is far more intricate thana simple signing off with a diagnosis of psychosis.”So explain how murdering countless innocent children in egypt because the pharoah pissed you off is not psychotic.Defend mass-child murder for me.”Idisagree.” Uh huh.  So where’s your stunning evidence that god exists?”I have an issue with the whole “faith requires no proof”concept many Christians preach. The problem is, there is that which isobservable, and that which is observable and recordable.” We can not only record anything we can observe, but we can actually record many things we cannot observe with our senses.  If you saw a ghost for instance, but didn’t have a camera to take a picture, I would conclude that you most likely suffered a hallucination (which are actually more common than most people think) because if ghosts were as commonly seen as people claimed there would be ample evidence of their existence simply from security cameras, let alone camera phones, cam corders etc.”Events that served as proof to me, I had no way of recording to use asproof for others. So while I am convinced with proof I observed, I’mscrewed trying to prove to anyone else anything. I have personal eventsthat served as proof, but I can’t expect that to lead anyone else intobelieving. I have had prayers answered, countless “coincidences”, toomany events just randomly fall into place, etc. to sign it all off asmere chance, but none of these things I can prove to you, nor do Iexpect anyone but me to accept them. If God is as personal a God as Ibelieve He is, I think there’s a reason for that. But, it also means Ican only speak for myself — which, coming full circle, is whyaggressive Christians annoy me as much as they do you.”I can’t comment further unless you give specifics.  But I will tell you I’ve never gotten specifics on miracle stories or prayers answered stories that were impressive.By the way if you believe because your prayers were “answered” you are committing the post hoc logical fallacy of conflating chronology with causality.  In other words you’re assuming that because you prayed and then the thing you wanted came true, that the prayer must have caused the good thing because it came first.  This is the same fallacy that is the basis of many if not most superstitions, and is completely illogical.  It’s also completely hypocritical because it is never interpreted evenly, if a christian prays for someone’s cancer to be cured and then the cancer goes into remission the declare that prayer works, amen and hallelujah.  If the person gets worse or dies, they never conclude that prayer makes cancer worse, though this conclusion uses identical logic.And so in this way prayer is a form of auto-deception whereby someone can pray to any being for anything, determined to view an “answered” prayer as proof of that being’s existence and completely disregarding the prayers that pile up un-“answered”.You might as well rub a rabbit’s foot or find a four leaf clover, same exact logic.”Iunderstand this, and it’s an honest conclusion on your part. You needsomething solid and observable in order to accept that God –especially a specific God — is actually out there. I am certainly inno place to fault you for that.”I didn’t mean “seen” that literally.  I would accept logical evidence as well, if there were any.”Iabsolutely, positively will not use the wording “real christianity”.” I find that just as obnoxious, which is why I put the quotation marks around “real”.”Isee that language dropped a lot, seems to be the trendy thing to say atthe moment. I’m simply a dude who is convinced via a multitude ofevents and concpets that God is real, and that those who recorded theirexperiences and conclusions in what we now call the Bible seemed tohave their stuff nailed down quite well.” Really?  We must not be reading the same bible, lol.”And then there are things Isee many in the church and other believers do that I don’t think is inline with that teaching. Whether that somehow makes my beliefs “realer”than theirs, I dunno, nor am I interested in going that route. I havesimply reached the best conclusions I can given the experiences andinformation accumulated, much as you have in your own way. For thosewho wish to evaluate my conclusions, they may decide what they willabout it.”This sounds a bit like the “agree to disagree” brushoff I usually get from professedly “open” theists.”All that said, I think there’s an interesting thinggoing with religion. We tend to go one extreme or the other — entirelymarch in step with religious leaders, or entirely reject them, not muchin between. My conclusion is that faith is the substance, religion ismerely the means and thus leaves some room for some degree ofsubjectivity. Meanwhile, people lead the way in terms of religion, andthus, sometimes things just go to crap, while other times some goodcomes of it. Such is life with any group of people. But faith is whatit is apart from religion, if that makes any sense. Such is my personalphilosophy, anyway.”Okay, define your terms.  “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms” as socrates once said.  In other words until you really define concepts like love, beauty, justice, they are empty and meaningless.So what is “faith”?Bear in mind it can take a long time to really define a concept like this.And no, don’t go to the dictionary or you’ve missed the point.”Let’s be honest…That shouldn’t be all that difficult. “Actually the ones I’m talking about (which is every evangelical radio host I’ve ever talked to, maybe half a dozen or so) are extremely sleazy and very good at trying to confuse the other person, talk over them, give pre-scripted arguments, keep them off-balance, and various other very sleazy debate practices.I would send you an MP3 or two, but the ones of the debates  I was in are on my other harddrive which died awhile back.”Ah,gotcha. I’m willing to, but it’s a darn long bumpy road! I do enjoygetting into the little details at times though. I think both a lot ofbelievers and non-believers miss a whole lot of tiny but significantdetails when reading Scripture, much in part due to the connotation itcarries now. Some expect to find retardedness before they even startreading, so that’s what they find. I think if you go in just notexpecting anything at all, it’s a bit more interesting.”Um, I used to be christian.  I started out with a very strong bias toward all of it being true and my opinion of the bible was greatly diminished by reading it, not being told it was stupid.  I was an atheist before I had ever heard the word, I literally came across it in a philosophy discussion and realized it applied to me.  I was never instilled with a bias against scripture that colored my interpretation.”Reeeaaaally? Curiosity is perked. Though, I wouldn’t dare classify myself as at an”academic” level of intellect. “Smart enough to get by” is probablymore accurate, heh.”Yeah it did sound interesting.”Ibelieve in black holes, but barely understand them. Actually there’squite a few things that fit that bill. Thing is, I understand enoughto get the bigger picture while not quite getting some of the finerdetails — AND I’m still not working on the finer details too, notabout to just toss them to the wayside. I learn as I go. Similarly, Ihave experienced and learned enough about God to get who He is and whatHe’s about, but yet there are still some finer details I haven’t gottendown yet. Now, if I barely had a grasp of it at all other than “heythis sounds awesome”, you’d have a stronger point I think. But ifyou’re not going to believe anything until you know everything aboutit, you’re not gonna believe in much anything at all, right?”I didn’t say suspend your opinion before you know everything, I’m saying that it isn’t honest to believe something that you cannot imagine could possibly be true or make sense.  That is not comparable to accepting black holes etc.  And by the way god is not a thing to study and understand, god is not a phenomenon which can be observed or predicted or communicated with.  Black holes are.”So,in an attempt to wrap this all up into a concise conclusion, considerthis: Is the key difference between my conclusion and yours is that yourequire more empirical, reproducable, recordable evidence than I do? Ifso, then we are where we are, but hopefully understand each other a bitbetter. That would mean that ultimately, you require different evidencethan I do. Perhaps in the end we are simply different people who havedifferent requirements for belief in something.”No.  As I said above I’d accept logical evidence as well.  The difference between you and me is about 10 years of my life.  When I was younger I espoused many of the ideas you are espousing, and it was my bias talking, not me.  If you teach a child whose brain is not developed that something is true it makes it seem far more reasonable as an adult than it would be if they had been exposed to it the same time.  The same phenomenon that instills children with an almost unbreakable bias toward one religion or set of ethics also makes people lifelong racists, when no healthy, well adjusted adult would accept the premises of racism if they were first exposed to them as an adult.”At this point, it is Friday afternoon, and I feelmy brain slowing down. I should probably break from this for now so Idon’t carry on and risk sounding retarded. I hope you have enjoyed thisas much as I have though. Resume another day perhaps?”Feel free.

  35. agnophilo says:

    @The_James_Blog – Actually quotes him or says the same idea?@Casbahmaniac – Very true.  I’ve not seen it, but I’ve heard about it.@mccanarie –  “I appreciate your response in that youactually put thought behind it. While I disagree,” Kinda saw that coming, lol.  Though I don’t know how you could possibly disagree with my reasoning, it’s pretty bulletproof.  I doesn’t disprove the existence of god of course (wasn’t trying to do that) but it certainly establishes that people getting better when they’re sick is not evidence that god exists.”my curiosity was howyou, as a person who does not believe in God, explain such things.”Already gave you several explanations.  I can’t test any of those explanations because I’m not a medical expert and I have no evidence to examine.  But even if you stumped me it would mean just that – I don’t know.”While there are many other things I have experienced, that I can onlyattribute to God,” You can also just be honest and admit you don’t know everything.  Or hell you could even attribute those things to Allah or sky pixies if you wanted to.”I understand where you are coming from. My professionis 100% based in science and technology. Every problem has a root causeand problems don’t just “fix” themselves” Sure they do.  A friend of mine was a computer programmer and he talked about impossible problems in computer code inexplicably fixing themselves after he worked on them for a week or more and all the frustrating things in his profession.  What problem is not eventually resolved?  A flood fixes itself by water seeking an equilibrium between the forces of gravity and buoyancy.  A fire fixes itself by consuming all available fuel, etc.”so the subject of miracles asit relates to my faith is interesting to me.” What we call miracles are things that a) we have no immediate explanation for, and b) are positive for us in some way.Those two qualities in no way indicate that yahweh of the christian religion exists.And almost everything anyone has ever called a miracle, we now know isn’t a miracle.  We just didn’t have an explanation before now.”My understanding of whatthe Bible says leads me to believe that illness, disease, naturaldisaster, etc are all random events that happen to random people andplaces throughout the world.” Some passages suggest this, and many suggest that these things are punishment for sin.  Others attribute clouds, lightning, thunder, rain, snow etc to direct acts of god.”I personally believe that God created allthings and the science behind all of those things.” Science is a manmade methodology for testing explanations for natural phenomenon, it is manmade.  Science and the phenomena science studies are two separate things.”Science reveals thetruth of who God is.” Science explains natural phenomenon, the supernatural is strictly outside of it’s domain.”Everything God has done in creation, the bible,etc is done in a systematic way. A leads to B leads to C.. and so on.”I sense a weird 6 day creation and/or flood theory coming on, lol.

  36. mccanarie says:

    @agnophilo – 6 day creation is metephoric. I’m not even so sure that the author intended the reader to take even the sequence of events literal, but simply the fact that God did what He did.As far as a flood theory.. I believe archeologist and geologists have proven that in ancient mesopetamia (however you spell it) there was a flood that flooded the whole area. In such a primitive time with little knowledge of the size of the planet, a massive flood that flooded everywhere you had been in your life, it would seem like the whole earth had flooded. Keep in mind that until Columbus, we thought we would sail off the edge of the earth if we sailed too far west. It makes sense why the author would write that the whole earth was flooded. It also would make sense that a person could build a boat big enough to hold all the animals that the person was familiar with. With the knowledge we have of the history of the region that the event (would have) occurred, an interpretation of the text under the assumption that they had 21st century knowledge of the size of the planet is isegesis at it’s best. The ark story is easily justifiable and there are even accounts of it in several texts other than Jewish ones.I didn’t mean that I disagree with your reasoning. I mean we disagree on the entire issue of the existance of God. You have obviously done your homework. The problem is that you cannot disprove the existance of God as I cannot prove to you that God exists. The bible itself does not even set out on this task. I didn’t expect you to try. Honestly, I just wanted to see how you think.as far as the problems fixing themselves. I’ve experienced the same thing as your friend, but the problem always shows back up. It never fixes itself. Your examples of floods and fires though are poor examples. The fire isn’t the problem. The start of the fire is. The only way to fix it is to assure that it never happens again. Same with a flood. In new orleans the problem was that the levees broke flooding was the consequence. The water went back to its normal level, but the levees still needed fixed.I almost get the feeling that you want to argue with anything regardless of the topic.

  37. agnophilo says:

    @mccanarie – ” 6 day creation is metephoric. I’m noteven so sure that the author intended the reader to take even thesequence of events literal, but simply the fact that God did what Hedid.”Always refreshing to meet a christian who doesn’t take genesis as a literal documentary.  Yeah, it’s painfully obvious that these are not literal histories.”As far as a flood theory.. I believe archeologist andgeologists have proven that in ancient mesopetamia (however you spellit) there was a flood that flooded the whole area. In such a primitivetime with little knowledge of the size of the planet, a massive floodthat flooded everywhere you had been in your life, it would seem likethe whole earth had flooded. Keep in mind that until Columbus, wethought we would sail off the edge of the earth if we sailed too farwest. It makes sense why the author would write that the whole earthwas flooded. It also would make sense that a person could build a boatbig enough to hold all the animals that the person was familiar with.With the knowledge we have of the history of the region that the event(would have) occurred, an interpretation of the text under theassumption that they had 21st century knowledge of the size of theplanet is isegesis at it’s best. The ark story is easily justifiableand there are even accounts of it in several texts other than Jewishones.”Very true.  This is a mythology where the biblical authors made up stories to use their worldview to account for things they could not explain and overcome their fears, eg god promised never to do it again.  The tower of babel etc are similar.  As are the numerous accounts of stories about god helping them in battle etc and well, probably most of the stories in the bible really.”I didn’t mean that I disagree with your reasoning. Imean we disagree on the entire issue of the existance of God. You haveobviously done your homework. The problem is that you cannot disprovethe existance of God as I cannot prove to you that God exists.” I cannot prove or disprove the existence of fairies.  That’s a point against the likelihood of them existing.  I am not the one making a positive assertion, I’m simply saying I’m not convinced a god or gods exist.  You are the one making the claim, and the onus is on you to establish that it is true, not on me to disprove you.Imagine if scientists could claim any random thing and say “Aha!  You can’t prove I’m wrong!”Ideas in philosophy and science are considered false until evidence is given to support them, not true until proven false.  If we did the latter we would believe in all manner of ridiculous things, unicorns, fairies and so on.”Thebible itself does not even set out on this task. I didn’t expect you totry. Honestly, I just wanted to see how you think.”The bible doesn’t set about on the task of proving god exists, but it does promise many things which we can verify don’t happen.  For instance it says if the elders of the church pray over a sick person they will be well.  But we’ve tested the effects of prayer the same way we can test the effects of medicine and there is no difference.”as far asthe problems fixing themselves. I’ve experienced the same thing as yourfriend, but the problem always shows back up. It never fixes itself.Your examples of floods and fires though are poor examples. The fireisn’t the problem. The start of the fire is. The only way to fix it isto assure that it never happens again. Same with a flood. In neworleans the problem was that the levees broke flooding was theconsequence. The water went back to its normal level, but the leveesstill needed fixed.”You’re twisting the situation.  I said nothing about new orleans which is a completely different situation and we were discussing whether a problem, once it exists, can fix itself, not whether a problem can prevent itself from existing.”I almost get the feeling that you want to argue with anything regardless of the topic.”You’re the one disagreeing with my blog here, wtf?

  38. mccanarie says:

    I know you said nothing about new orleans, you were talking about flooding and I used new orleans as an example.

  39. tau_1 says:

    Well, the cross represented death. just like in American today..The ele. Chair and other form of legal death…However, biblically speaking the cross represent something else also. In Genesis 3:15The cross simply represented the hope for all and reach back to the beginning for all that believe that Christ will return. The cross was so important that it had it own sanctuary services that ended at the cross.  As you study the Sanctuary services in the old testament will help you understand why the cross was important or any form of execution during that time…

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