Started by DavidMcClean, December 07, 2018, 11:51:41 AM
Quote from: jiminpa on December 08, 2018, 12:17:55 PMYou are not morally superior to the God of the Bible, and He is not obligated to prove Himself to you, me or anyone, especially if they are dead-set against His existence. The fact is that He could prove Himself to you, explicitly, and you would stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and demand that He go away, then because He did go away you would feel self-satisfied and justified in your criticisms of Him because He did what you demanded. In the past I have walked on eggshells to try to avoid hurting your very easily triggered feelings, but you actually need someone to tell you that when you go to Hell it will not be because of your moral superiority but because of your absolute arrogance. You have been looking for an excuse to hate everything for a long time, and when you couldn't find one you created one on your own. Congratulations! you are now your own god, and your god is a fool. One day you will face the real God, and your arrogance will crumble and you will know that you are morally inferior, and still cling to your arrogance as it drags you to the abyss.
Quote from: jiminpa on December 08, 2018, 06:48:33 PMI'd apologize for saying anything, but you won't see it.
Quote from: jiminpa on December 08, 2018, 07:35:21 PMOkay, well have fun with that, (seriously, I figure like an Irish bar fight), but I'm not such a strong person in real life, so it's more than a little hypocritical for me to be a keyboard commando. I did once have someone I considered a very good friend because we had frothing at the mouth arguments every day at work, and he made a good case for his position. People at work expected us to come to blows, and that was the opposite of what was going on. We had learned to trust each other enough to go at it and know neither of us meant any harm. I remember it fondly. But I was an entirely different person then. God is both incomprehensibly compassionate and fearsome. He is more moral than you or I can understand. He does not owe either of us an explanation, and we won't understand it if He gives it. If you want to think you are smart enough and moral enough to hold God accountable it won't work out well for you, and sooner or later you will find out that you are neither smart nor moral. That is not a shot, that is reality for us all. It's like when a 3 year old tries to explain justice to an "unfair" parent, only infinitely more so. It's not God who is unjust and doesn't understand, it's us. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament who walked as one of us and died a horrible death to raise us above our own evilness. Will I rejoice if you continue on in your assumptions all the way to damnation? absolutely not! If you are determined to set yourself up as your own god all the way to Hell, the most compassionate thing I can do is confront you. I believe that what I said was accurate. I could have said it better, or not at all.
Quote from: jiminpa on December 08, 2018, 11:08:04 PMI can't apologize for posting what I know to be the truth. I do apologize for the tone. If you're interested, I can expound.
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 09, 2018, 03:28:14 AMWould that be a detailed retraction of the points you levelled against me without even knowing me?Yes - I'd be interested to read that and I think it would be good for you to articulate it.Thanking you in advance....
Quote from: jiminpa on December 11, 2018, 08:56:15 AMThanks Pete. You'll probably handle this much better than I did. I just got all fired up about the immoral God thing.
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AMHey Bryan,Not at all - let's see long story or short one. I'll go for the "medium" one . Please note anything I say is not designed to offend, it's merely my opinion.Basically two years ago my wife's health really took a nose dive. Her fibromyalgia got really bad and she was off work for six months. Constant head to toe pain 24 hours a day. Then I lost my job in terrible circumstances, and shortly afterwards Andrea was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. We have come through the last year in a blur of chemo, radio, operations, hair loss etc.Thankfully she is now in the clear - albeit with a 35% chance of it returning - definitely NOT the odds I would like to bet on.
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AMThrough the course of this 2 years of living hell I just found the words in the bible just ringing more and more hollow. We both became sick to the back teeth of relatives saying they were "praying for us". A pastor even visited our home one day and told us that even if the worst happened and Andrea died, that we could still praise God because she would have received her "ultimate healing". I nearly hit him.I love Madalyn Murray O'Hairs quote - "Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer."
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AMI appreciate that there could be other Christians whose faith would be strengthened during this time. Not my wife's and not mine.So that started my own journey of enquiry. I read a lot. I watched a lot. I studied a lot. I did what religion says we're not allowed to do.....I questioned and I reasoned. I used the grey matter between my ears instead of impressions "in my spirit".
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AMPeople like Seth Andrews, Matt Dillahunty, John Compere, Dan Barker were people I discovered who blew my mind. People who had been deeply "in the faith" but for various reasons no longer believed. What they said made sense, real sense. (People like Hitchens or Dawkins don't resonate as much with me because they were never IN the faith. It's a completely different perspective reasoning about something you have no first hand knowledge of...)I started reading my bible not through the lens of faith and a pre-disposition that what I was reading was by definition "the truth" but of reason and intellect. My eyes were opened - things I'd never seen before just leaped off the page....
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AMHate the practice of female genital mutilation? Check. But Yaweh thinks male genital mutilation is just great. It's not - it's child abuse.Hate the idea that a rape victim is forced to marry her rapist? Check. But Yaweh thinks that's also fine and dandy.Hate the idea of owning other people as slaves in certain circumstances? Check. But Yaweh's pretty cool with that as well.Son misbehaving and cheeking back? No problem - don't train or teach him. Don't EDUCATE him - just take him out and stone him to death.Kids cold on the Sabbath and you want to make a bit of a fire to keep them warm? That's a stoning for you right there.Think that destroying entire nations in a genocidal ethnic cleansing exercise is terrible....along with killing all the babies and children? Check. But Yaweh thinks that's a great idea as well.(Now I realise the great get out of jail free card for God here is that "this is old covenant and doesn't apply any more". Well....no. If I used to beat and abuse my children up until 12, then after 12 I treat them differently....does that excuse the wrongs I did before? No it doesn't. Ever. Imagine I'm standing in front of a judge and I've killed some homosexuals twenty years ago and my defence is that "I was operating under a different agreement than I am now" - would I be allowed to walk free? No). On a side note if it's decided that the Old Testament doesn't apply then we have to throw out the creationist argument, original sin, the ten commandments, the origins of evil, Satan, any "prophecies" of a messiah and about 1000 other underlying essentials of the basis of the Christian faith, not to mention Judaism and the concept of Yaweh's chosen people.Then the New Testament introduces the doctrine of hell in a new and even more lurid way. A method of punishment that makes the pains of Auschwitz look like a sunny day picnic. It beggars belief.....and is even more dreadful that this is taught to children. Gentle Jesus meek and mild, the loving Saviour who gives a choice "Do it my way or I'll burn you alive forever".I could go on Bryan. But as I read the Bible for the first time in 50 years with a fresh pair of eyes I was appalled. Utterly appalled.So....a journey of suffering, a book that I realised was the most immoral blood drenched, misogynistic and murderous document I've read and then other things began to make sense -
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AM(1) The sanctification of believers - I honestly can say in 50 years in church circles that I've NEVER met a radically transformed person who is living the book they claim to. Every Christian is just as flawed, broken and twisted as anyone else. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating...then it simply does not work. (Case in point - the last church we were members of had 2 pastors. Shortly after they baptised my wife one of them admitted to the church that he had been sleeping with the other pastors wife...the church closed, many people were devastated and lost their faith....some sanctified life eh?). Please note that with hindsight I put myself in this category as well. I used to think I was the most "close to God" person alive...I actually READ my bible, I fasted, I prayed for 2 hours every day before I went to work. Years ago I was a charismatic youth pastor in the church I attended with my first wife along with being on the bible teaching rota. I ran a cell group in our home and led a lot of the young people on our estate "to Christ". Yet even when I look back at some of the holier than thou posts I've made on this site....appalling stuff. I was as petty, defensive, insecure, nasty and more of an idiot than the people I was arguing with....it didn't even work for ME lol
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AM(2) The case of special pleading - "Jesus is the way, the truth and the life". But every other religion can site a book or set of beliefs or millions of utterly devoted followers all of whom make the same claim for their own chosen faith. So if there is a God then which God is it? Did Allah create the universe? How about Mithra? Maybe Thor? Possibly Kali? How about Ra? No one has ever demonstrated that their God is the correct one. Think for one moment as an example of all the devout Muslims in the world today (leaving out the suicide vest wearing idiots and the radicals). You must either conclude that they're deceived, or else deliberately following Allah when somehow they "know" that Jesus really is the one they should be following. I think the latter is impossible - so they're deceived or in error. Yaweh will either judge them and consign them to the lake of fire eventually, or else He'll take the attitude of "well they were following me with the light that they had received" and in that case they'll be ok. If this is the case then why didn't He adopt the similar attitude in previous times instead of obliterating the nations around Israel? Makes no sense to me. A completely devout follower of another deity gets eternally punished because they are following their faith with care and dedication - unfortunately they're born into the wrong culture and wrong time to get "the good news".
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AM(3) The unreliability of scripture - this is a big one for me. My bibles were read cover to cover until they were falling apart. Yet when I read with fresh eyes of logical enquiry and not the "eyes of faith" it's just so inaccurate and jumbled on so many levels that I was literally dumbfounded.
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AM(4) Lack of agreement in Christianity - take two Christians in the same pew. They will have different views on a myriad of topics. Hats are fundamental, hair is a head covering....the gifts are for today, tongues are from the devil....the King James is the only true Bible, every version is the word of God...Adam and Eve are real people, Adam and Eve are a nice story to illustrate a principle....Jesus is coming before the tribulation, Jesus is coming after the tribulation....women are to keep silent in church and not teach or have authority over a man, women are ok to teach and be leaders - that's just the culture of the time and we can safely ignore it. And we could go on ad-infinitum...yet every believer will tell you that they hear from God, are right in what they believe and are walking in the truth. But the perfect word of God and the very spirit of the living God never seems to get a bunch to set aside differences and agree. If I lay this at God's door, then isn't it about time he did something to correct all the baloney and set things out clearly once and for all? If the Bible is the best document that a God could produce to set out clearly the Divine Plan then it's a pretty poor attempt.
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AMI came to realise that faith is the excuse people make for believing in something for which they have no proof. Even the Bible says this - "Faith is the substance of things not seen, the evidence of things hoped for". The burden of proof is on those making the claim, not the burden on the atheist to disprove in the existence of a God. If I have proof then I don't need faith. Faith is the complete absence of any proof.
Quote from: DavidMcClean on December 08, 2018, 03:38:22 AMI finally "came out" to my family a month ago. I've brethren elderly parents, a charismatic aunt and uncle, one sister who is a church elder and another who is a lay preacher. I have a cousin who was the head of the Presbyterian church in Northern Ireland. My first wife was a tongue talking charismatic (as I was as well). Needless to say my revelation was met with horror, then silence and indifference. If I was the black sheep of the family before, then I'm now the goat with horns and a pitchfork. Not one of the extended born again family has contacted me in the last month to find out how I am. You're the first person - a veritable stranger - who has had the basic kindness to ask "why did you leave?". (Thanks for asking by the way - it may be a difficult read by this point, but at least you've made more of an effort than my "family" so on that one you get my thanks! ).My position now is that of "Atheist / Anti-Theist". That's to say I am ready, willing and able to believe and follow a God if that God proves to me that he / she / they / it exists in a measurable and testable way. What proof do I need? No idea...but any God should know what I need to be convinced and if that proof is not forthcoming then I assume that God either doesn't exist or doesn't care. However if the "God of the Bible" does exist then by choice I will not follow as I believe that being to be a moral monster. I will choose hell, knowing that I am morally superior to the being sending me there as I never have at any point in my life advocated for slavery, stoning, male genital mutilation, genocide, animal slaughter and sacrifice, eternal torture etc etc).That's my story and I hope that by sharing it we won't get into arguments - this is my experience and my process. If you're happy in your faith then I'm happy for you (as long as your faith is a private one and doesn't try and to make converts, dictate social policy, education, laws, a mothers right to determine what happens to her own body or a person's sexual preferences!).If my post has come across with any anger then that's not my intention. It's difficult for me to articulate these things as I *DO* feel angry at being misled for my whole life. Apparently that's normal and part of the coming out process. Most atheists that come from a religion go through a "blazing with anger" phase, then settle down, eat fruit and keep calm Thanks & RegardsDave
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